Lost on the Water: A Ghost Story by D.G. Driver #bookreview #YA #ghoststory #TuesdayBookBlog

One girl’s daring adventure turns into a long frightful night lost on the water.

Against her wishes, Dannie has to leave the California beach behind to spend the summer with her grandma in rural Tennessee. Things look up when a group of local boys invite her on an overnight kayaking trip. When her grandma refuses to let her go, Dannie finds an old rowboat hidden behind the shed and sneaks off to catch up to her new friends. It seems like a simple solution… until everything goes wrong.

Dannie soon discovers this lake is more than just vast. It’s full of danger, family secrets, and ghosts.

First, I’ll say this is a beautiful cover that catches the spirit (no pun intended) of the more eerie moments of this novel.   This is such a pleasurable read, a bit of a coming of age story, in which Dannie discovers family secrets and inner strength and courage she was unaware of.

Driver perfectly captures the obstinate, sulky mood of teens quite well, and I found myself chuckling and nodding at Dannie’s comments and behavior.  Her determination to be herself and not what others envision is admirable.  Assuming she’s perfectly capable of handling a boat on such a vast lake despite her lack of experience is a common mistake in both teens and adults.  I lived on a lake for thirteen years and know very well the dangers involved in being overconfident on the water.  Being familiar with a lake doesn’t guarantee your safety – in the blackness of night, even with a light, it’s extremely easy to get turned around.  The vivid scenes with Dannie in the darkness, sensing she may not be entirely alone, are deliciously creepy and likely to raise the hairs on your neck.

Lost on the Water is a mesmerizing read combining suspense and danger with supernatural overtones, and is perfect for the lower end of the YA spectrum on up.

I received an ARC from the author.

 

#BadMoonRising Calvin Dean #IndieAuthor #paranormal #mystery

Calvin Dean was one of the first authors to sign up for Bad Moon Rising when it began, and I’m thrilled to have him back for the third year in a row.  I read Curses, which is a delightful blend of supernatural and humor, and wondered if Calvin had created a new category – cozy supernatural.  It’s FREE over the next five days, so make sure to get your copy soon!

Curses is FREE (Kindle only) Oct. 18 – 22, 2017. Download your free copy right now.

Martin Gallagher buys an old house in the country. While pursuing Hannah, a widow from the neighborhood, he encounters a sexy but psychotic ghost named Agnes. To make matters worse, Agnes is dead-set on derailing his blossoming romance.

“Just my luck. A woman wants me and there isn’t a breath of life in her.”

Meanwhile, an eccentric medium offers to help Martin exorcise his home, but this means resisting the temptress, encountering the bizarre, and braving supernatural encounters. Can Martin overcome his desires and fears long enough to lift the dreaded curse?

“I recalled Madam Zelda’s advice—avoid Agnes. Have nothing to do with her. Yet there I stood, drool on my chin, tangled in her wicked web, rendered powerless to resist.”

“Curses” is three connected paranormal mysteries that elicit horror, laughter, warmth, even tears. Cozy up with Dean’s haunting cast of characters and enjoy a delightfully humorous tale of the paranormal. If you dare.

“Curses is just one of those books that you come to the end and think, now that was fun!” – By Hook or By Book Blog

Curses is a paranormal mystery with horrifying scenes and a haunting cast of characters that will make you laugh out loud.

Favorite Halloween costume as a child or adult? 

The Wizard of Oz has always been one of my favorite movies. One year, my girlfriend (now my wife) bought fabric and patterns, and sewed a Dorothy costume for her, and a Scarecrow costume for me. I still have it tucked away in my closet. Warning: accessorizing with hay can be itchy. Who knew?

Any paranormal experiences you’d like to share? 

As a teen growing up in a small town in Mississippi, my friends and I heard tales of hangings and strange balls of fire in the night sky. Naturally, we formed a search party. One late night excursion took us down a narrow, gravel road with the branches of stately oaks hanging overhead. When we arrived at an old antebellum mansion miles from nowhere, we scanned the grounds for nooses hanging from trees or other telltale signs of murder. Though the anticipation of discovery gave us chills, we found no evidence of foul play. On another occasion, we rode a rural two-lane highway at midnight, the prescribed time when a ball of fire would allegedly descend from the sky and follow lonely travelers. Foiled again. I’m sad to report no supernatural experiences for me. Well, I tried.

Favorite Halloween candy? 

As a child, Halloween meant walking the neighborhood with my older sister and cousins who lived next door. We’d go neighborhood to neighborhood, knocking on door after door yelling ‘Trick or Treat!” There was little concern for our safety in the early to mid-sixties. The man who ran the local print shop owned a house I always looked forward to visiting. Mr. Chapius always hid somewhere in his yard and would jump out from behind a bush or wherever and scare the living daylights out of us. One year, he wore a sheet and stood on his rooftop making ghostly gestures. I thought he was gonna jump. After the terror subsided, his wife gave us homemade candy coated popcorn balls. They were the best! As an adult, I wanted to honor these memories, so I took a vintage pine box coffin that looked like it came from a Vincent Price movie set, placed it on my front porch on Halloween, and climbed inside. With the lid closed, I’d pop it open at the right moment when kids came to my door for tricks or treats. I got some shocked looks on the faces of kids and more than a few parents. A few years ago, I ran into a kid from the neighborhood, all grown up now. He said, “I remember you. You’re the coffin man!” I smiled—made my day.

What are you working on now? 

For the past several months, Geriatric Delinquents has been collecting dust in my hard drive. You see, during the spring and summer I umpire youth league baseball—USSSA and Dizzy Dean to be exact, including the Dizzy Dean World Series. And no, I’m not related to the St. Louis Cardinals legend as far as I know. I estimate that I’ve umpired over 200 games this year. By the time Fall Ball ends in late October, I’ll umpire another 35 or more games. So I’ve been busy as you might imagine. At some point this fall, I’ll dust off Geriatric Delinquents and see what the characters have to say to me.

When you finish a book, do you take time off or jump into another project? 

After writing my first book, The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff, I immediately began outlining and writing the original draft of A Door Unlocked. I completed the book in four months. After this, I took time off from writing—a year or more. Then I started working on Curses, my latest release. But even Curses took time. In the middle of the book I took a little down time. Sometimes things have to percolate.

Do you have a favorite character you’ve created? 

Yes. Though several come to mind, Martin Gallagher rises above the rest. He is the main character in Curses, my most recent book. Martin is witty, charming, and a nervous wreck all at the same time. I’d compare him to an older version of Mortimer, played by Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace. To be honest, I never intended to introduce humor in my character, but Martin insisted. By the time I had written six or seven chapters, I noticed this streak of humor coming naturally. I had to go back and rewrite portions to match the character’s evolving personality.

I want to thank Teri for giving me a chance to reconnect with you this year. I always look forward to Bad Moon Rising. Don’t forget to download Curses. The Kindle version is FREE Oct. 18 – 22, 2017.

Author Bio

Calvin Dean is the author of two bestselling novels: “The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff” and “A Door Unlocked”. “Curses”, a humorous paranormal mystery, is now available on Amazon and other booksellers. His short story, “The Rookie Umpire”, appeared in Junior Baseball Magazine and is now available on Wattpad. Calvin enjoys spring breaks on the Redneck Riviera, summers umpiring USSSA and Dizzy Dean baseball, and winters beside a fire sipping a frothy cappuccino. Calvin lives with his family in the suburbs of Memphis, Tennessee.

Social Media

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/jcalvindean/

Twitter: @jcalvindean

Buy Link

Amazon

#BadMoonRising Who Killed Eddie Montgomery? by C.M. Blackwood #IndieAuthor #horror @CM_Blackwood

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Today we welcome C.M. Blackwood to Bad Moon Rising!  A decades old manor, murders, ghosts – doesn’t this just scream Halloween?

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Life’s a bowl of cherries, as they say. Until someone chops your head off.

In the year 1933, an alcoholic, cynical 32-year- old named Mary Meade inherits a manor. She’s been emotionally scarred ever since her mother died. But you probably would be, too, if your mother had a heart attack after walking in on you while you were sleeping with another woman.

Mary’s great-uncle just passed away, so his house, and all his money, goes to her. When she arrives at the house, though, she finds much more than she bargained for: including strange servants, a murder mystery, and – oh, did we forget to mention? – GHOSTS.

Despite her cold demeanor, Mary is romantically drawn to a spirit named Jessica Price, who was killed in 1879 by a madman named John Drum. Mary and Jessica fall in love, but of course, the story is much more complicated than that.

Shortly after the death of Mary’s great-uncle, a young woman named Edie Montgomery was found gutted and beheaded on his property. Now her spirit is trapped inside the manor. John Drum killed Jessica Price. But who killed Edie Montgomery?

To view Edie on Amazon, click here.

What’s the first story you ever wrote?

The first story I ever wrote was a historical novel called The Ballad of Katharine O’Brien. It’s a bit of a mess, but someone once called it (God bless ‘em) “an undiscovered masterpiece with fuzzy historical details.” The kindest way anyone could have put it, I’m sure.

Which fictional character would you most like to meet and have a drink with?

Ooohhh. Good one. I would like to have a drink with . . . Regina from Once Upon a Time. I’d always be wondering if she was going to go all “Evil Queen” on me after she had a few highballs. It’d be super exciting.

In the spirit of Halloween, what scares you?

The only thing that ever really creeps me out is taking out the trash after dark. My backyard is super dark, and it looks really big with the shadows at night, so I’m always wondering, is there some creepy person who’s going to jump out and murder me? Probably not – but I always wonder.

Favorite hero and villain in a book/movie?

Hmmm. I’ll use the movie The Boxtrolls. For heroine I pick Winnie Portley-Rind, voiced by Elle Fanning: the coolest, funniest little chubby champion I ever saw. She loved to talk about how the Boxtrolls would drink her blood and crush her bones – and even though she was glad to be able to help save them, she was a little disappointed that the trolls didn’t actually do any blood-drinking or bone-crushing. For villain, I loved Snatcher, voiced by Ben Kingsley – the Boxtroll catcher who wanted to wear a White Hat and eat cheese, even though he was allergic to cheese and got hives when he ate it.

What do you consider the hardest part of writing?

Yikes! Probably getting all of the facts in order. Everyone knows there’s a ton of research to do when writing a novel – at least, a novel that’s not a fairy tale. (Which is why I love writing fairy tales best. It’s like imagination on crack.)

What are you working on now?

I’m working on my second mystery, Who Murdered Dr. Damien? It’s set in an old mental asylum, where someone’s running around killing doctors and patients. It’ll come out in 2017.

Author Bio:unnamed-25

I’m an indie author who writes, among other things, lesbian murder mysteries. I also write romances and fairy tales. On October 1, I’ll be publishing a middle grade fantasy novel under the pen name Athellia Lovegood.

Contact & Buy Links:

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Amazon Buy Page

Blogs:

Blackwood’s Magazine

Blackwood’s Follies

The Edge of the Cemetery (Ghost Killer #2) by Margaret Millmore #RBRT #bookreview

There are ghosts and demons that wander among the living; they do not haunt in the traditional sense. Instead, they 30423091plague mankind with diseases and physical deformities, and once a ghost finds its victim it will haunt them for a lifetime. When George Sinclair discovered he could see these ghosts, and more importantly, he could kill them and save their victims, his life changed from ordinary to extraordinary, he’d become a ghost killer, one of the most powerful to be born in some time. George has embraced this new life and now works alongside his new friends, Billy Wilkinson and Phil James. Together they assist the Watchers, an international group of ghost killers and supernatural experts who monitor the world for ghostly sightings and demon infestations to maintain the balance between the living and the dead.

When San Francisco and the surrounding area are suddenly plagued by rogue groups of ghosts and demons, who appeared to have a leader of sorts, a 17th century musketeer demon, the Watchers know it isn’t random, nor was it the usual form in which ghosts and demons prefer to haunt. These monsters were also possessing their victims and forcing them to hurt others, and once the ghost killers arrived, the demons directed their human weapons on them. The question was, who was this musketeer demon and why was he directing these attacks?

As George, Billy, Phil and the Watchers investigate, they discover the 17th century demon is teamed up with a teenage boy, who they come to realize is a powerful ghost killer himself and more importantly, they believe he is being controlled by the demon and is now using its energy to kill people at will. Their search for the teenager and his demon lead them to the discovery of an enemy from their past and a mysterious prophecy. As they decipher the true meaning of the prophecy, they uncover a plot for murderous revenge involving a secret vault containing numerous malevolent souls and a plan to return those wicked dead to human form as directed by Satan himself. Unfortunately, they also discover the true purpose of the demon musketeer’s involvement, which is to become one with the powerful teenage ghost killer, creating a monster that cannot be defeated. With the clock ticking against them, they must find the vault and destroy it before it can be opened and kill the demon and his teenage host. – Goodreads.com

Let me start by saying I didn’t read the first book in this series, but the author includes some background information in this novel, so I wasn’t completely lost, and feel it could also be read as a standalone.

The whole concept of an international covert organization of ghost killers intrigued me from the start – then you throw in secret vaults, old diaries, and mysterious prophecies?  Yes, please.  I liked how there are both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ ghosts and the way a person can be haunted for a lifetime – that definitely gives the ghost killers job security.  The way the story develops is also intriguing, as George discovers connections between various hauntings and people.  George is likable, but flat, and I didn’t feel as if I had as good a grasp on his character as Billy or some other supporting characters.  The author did a wonderful job with Calvin’s character – he was equally disturbing and creepy.

The story begins and ends with exciting action sequences, but the middle is predominantly information gathering and sharing, making the pacing a little uneven for my taste.  I was also overwhelmed with the sheer number of characters (there were many mentioned, even though some didn’t appear in the book) and had to backtrack several times to remind myself who they were.  At the beginning of the book, there are some grammar and tense errors, but the last 80% or so seemed better edited.

I’d classify The Edge of the Cemetery as more of a supernatural thriller – and if you’re a fan, this is a book you’d enjoy – but with the mention of ghost killers, ghosts, and demons, I was hoping it would be heavier on the horror.  But I’m probably in the minority on that preference.

I received a copy of this book through Rosie’s Book Review Team in exchange for an honest review.

 

#BadMoonOnTheRise Day 23 The Ghost Tree by Sara Bain @SarahPBain #books #paranormal

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Today we welcome Sara Bain!  The Ghost Tree evolved from a recorded account dating back to the 1600’s by Reverend Alexander Telfair about a poltergeist haunting his home.  Make sure to read the link below – fascinating!

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Five years after the death of his wife, MacAoidh Armstrong moves into a smallholding in southern Scotland with the intention of living a self-sufficient existence. In the nearby town solicitor Libby Butler is trying to find peace after her recent deadly brush with the unknown. On a hill by the steading stands The Ghost Tree: all that remains of the former Ringcroft of Stocking. Local legend says that when the last Ghost Tree dies, the Rerrick Parish Poltergeist will return. Just days after MacAoidh moves in, he is forced to contend with a number of strange events that apparently defy explanation, and distance him from the local community. Turning to Libby for help, they find themselves challenged by a series of bizarre and terrifying occurrences which defy all logical and scientific explanation. As the phenomena become increasingly violent and lives are threatened, Libby must delve into closely guarded secrets to discover the reason for the present terror…and come to terms with her growing feelings for MacAoidh. Can she save the pragmatic Highlander from an ancient evil, and in doing so will she lose her heart?

How long have you been writing horror/thrillers and what drew you to the genre?

I am quintessentially a writer of fantasy fiction and have had a huge epic fantasy on the back burner for a number of years. This is the book I cut my teeth on as a writer and is what I call “very raw” as my style has changed considerably since I first began writing. I can’t count the amount of times I have rewritten my first book and still it never seems right.

Out of sheer frustration, I decided to write a shorter contemporary thriller but the fantasy element wouldn’t leave me. My first book, The Sleeping Warrior, is a crime thriller with a very subtle fantasy factor woven into the narrative and even some horror, which is a genre of fiction that fantasy lends itself to very well.

My father gave me my love for Hammer Horror movies and a morbid fascination in the paranormal has stalked me throughout my life. I have read so many horror books and watched so many movies of the genre that I feel I have become desensitised to those shocking moments that scare the pants off an unsuspecting person. That said, I still can’t watch The Exorcist!

I wanted to write a book that scared me. I deliberately wrote at night time with the door open behind me to get that feeling of something creeping up behind me. It worked to a fashion and I think that’s why there’s so much humour in The Ghost Tree as laughter helped me to dispel my fear. I cut the silly bits out after the book was written.

 How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I am a journalist and came across the real Ghost Tree when I was researching stories for a running feature on haunted houses in Dumfries and Galloway for my newspaper. The tale of the Mackie or Rerrick Parish poltergeist has haunted me for over a decade. The chilling account of the ordeal of a farmer and his family in a steading near Auchencairn in 1695 was published in an account that same year by the minister who performed the grueling two-week-long exorcism of the poltergeist that plagued his house. Rev Alexander Telfair carefully recorded his account and got the signatories from 14 members of the clergy and community officials, all of whom personally witnessed the paranormal activity at the steading. You can read the account here.  

I spoke to a number of experts on poltergeist and to some of the people in the locality. I also visited the tree with a spiritualist medium but he didn’t pick up anything of a paranormal nature. A few local people told me that the old tree on a hill on the subjects of the old steading is the last living remnant of the Mackie plantation. There were three trees in living memory but only this old gnarled oak survives. Local legend says when the last of the ghost trees die, the Rerrick Parish poltergeist will return.

The picture of the tree on the cover of my book is the real Ghost Tree. I took that picture about 12 years ago and, so I am to understand, the enduring old oak is still alive and well.

I always wondered, however, what would happen to an ordinary person if the last Ghost Tree did die and the poltergeist returned. What would that mean to a person who staunchly doesn’t believe that the spirits of the dead can come back to turn your life into a living hell.

I am very inquisitive by nature and feel compelled to research all theories and aspects of a subject before I reach a definitive conclusion. My search took me into spiritualism, psychology, sociology and even quantum physics.

The main problem in concluding the story was finding an answer to the existence of a paranormal dimension. By its very nature, the supernatural defies the existing canons of science and logic and my main character, who doesn’t believe in ghosts, is forced to re-think all his existing beliefs when baring the full brunt of the inexplicable.

It is a truly fascinating subject.

If you could erase one horror cliché, what would it be?

Don’t go into the woods. I absolutely hate that cliche. Anyone who has grown up with the story of Little Red Riding Hood will understand why.

What are you working on now?

I will soon have some spare time to work on the third and last book in the Libby Butler series.

Favorite horror movie and book?

My very favourite horror book is Interview With A Vampire by Anne Rice. I love her beautiful descriptive prose, the way she can turn horror into an almost erotic journey of the soul and the way in which she can make anyone fall in love with her main characters, even though that character would probably want to eat you rather than have a drink in the pub with you.

Author bio

An imaginative thinker with a career as diverse as the number of genres her fiction crosses, Saraunnamed (14) Bain is one of those people who has the ability to write to any formula but chooses to adhere to none.  She was brought up in London, qualified as an English barrister and pursued a career in legal publishing where she learned to produce academic texts and draft complex legal forms.

She then left the bright lights of the city and moved to Scotland where she worked as a journalist for a local newspaper for 15 years and learned to write facts as well as creative features.  Sara has been a law lecturer, computer tutor and is an able photographer and graphic designer. She now has her own company which provides press and publicity services and currently works on media campaigns for a number of Scottish arts organisations. She is editor of The Nithsdale Times. When she finds some downtime, Sara writes fantasy and paranormal cross-genre fiction which includes elements of crime, romance, horror and humour.  Her debut novel, The Sleeping Warrior, has been described as “talented”, “imaginative”, “remarkable” and “simply brilliant.”

Where to find Sara

Goodreads
Website
Twitter:  @SaraPBain
Facebook

Buy links

Amazon UK
Amazon
Waterstones
Guardian book shop (20% off)

The Suffering (The Girl From the Well #2) by Rin Chupeco

Over the last year I’ve gone against faceless women, disfigured spirits, and grotesque24789796 revenants. Some people keep dangerous hobbies; skydiving and driving at monster truck rallies and glacier surfing. Me? I cast my soul into the churning waters of potential damnation and wait for a bite.

It’s been two years since Tark Halloway’s nightmare ended. Free from the evil spirit that haunted him all his life, he now aids the ghostly Okiku and avenges the souls of innocent children by hunting down their murderers. But when Okiku becomes responsible for a death at his high school, Tark begins to wonder if they’re no better than the killers they seek out.

When an old friend disappears in Aokigahara, Japan’s infamous ‘suicide forest’, both must resolve their differences and return to that country of secrets to find her.

Because there is a strange village inside Aokigahara, a village people claim does not exist. A village where strange things lie waiting.

A village with old ghosts and an ancient evil – one that may be stronger than even Okiku…Goodreads.com

Horror may just be my favorite genre – I’m a long time fan of Anne Rice and Stephen King, and it’s one of the couple of genres I tend to gravitate toward.  Last August, I had the pleasure of reading the first book in this series, The Girl From the Well, and found it to be one of the best YA horror novels I’d read in quite a while.  When reading that book, I was disappointed that I didn’t learn more about Tark, as he was such a large part of the story.  That definitely wasn’t the case this time around.

This book is written in first person from Tark’s POV, so I felt as if I got to know him so much better and just really liked the guy.  He’s humorous, snarky, quick-witted, and just plain sweet at times and the interactions and emotions he experiences with Okiku seem very real and natural – or as real and natural as you can be with a ghost.  As in The Girl From the Well, Okiku has her own brand of justice and strikes terror in the hearts of her victims, but she also displays more of her human side in this book.

Learning more about the Japanese culture was a pleasure, and the American film crew from a Ghost Hunters-type show lends a touch of reality to this story.  The author gives vivid, chilling descriptions of the ghosts and Tark finds himself in some terrifying, suspenseful situations.

Something that didn’t mesh for me was the abrupt transition from the first few chapters of the book, with Tark in his everyday high school life continuing his ongoing search for killers, and the possibility of a love interest, to the next chapter thrusting him into the “Suicide Forest” in Japan.  It almost seems like two different stories, but the ending brings it full circle somewhat.

The Suffering is a complex, well-developed, unique story with amazing characterization, and a must read for horror fans.  This book is scheduled for publication September 8th, 2015.

This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.

The Uninvited by Cat Winters #bookreviews #ghoststory

From the award-winning author of In the Shadow of Blackbirds comes a 19547848stunning new novel—a masterfully crafted story of love, loss, and second chances. Set during the fear and panic of the Great Influenza of 1918, The Uninvited is part gothic ghost-story, part psychological thriller, perfect for those who loved The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield or The Vanishing by Wendy Webb.

Twenty-five year old Ivy Rowan rises from her bed after being struck by the flu, only to discover the world has been torn apart in just a few short days.

But Ivy’s life-long gift—or curse—remains. For she sees the uninvited ones—ghosts of loved ones who appear to her, unasked, unwelcomed, for they always herald impending death. On that October evening in 1918 she sees the spirit of her grandmother, rocking in her mother’s chair. An hour later, she learns her younger brother and father have killed a young German out of retaliation for the death of Ivy’s older brother Billy in the Great War.

Horrified, she leaves home, to discover the flu has caused utter panic and the rules governing society have broken down. Ivy is drawn into this new world of jazz, passion, and freedom, where people live for the day, because they could be stricken by nightfall. But as her ‘uninvited guests’ begin to appear to her more often, she knows her life will be torn apart once more, but Ivy has no inkling of the other-worldly revelations about to unfold. – Goodreads.com

This book was very well-written, but didn’t draw me in as I’d hoped.  In fact, I’d given up on it, ready to mark it a DNF.  The main character, Ivy, frustrated and annoyed me, wandering from place to  place, making the story seem random and disjointed.  This is the first book I’ve read by this author and had heard good things about her other books, so I was disappointed.  Then, I saw some reviews on Goodreads, a few of them encouraging readers to stick with the book, the plot twist near the end tied everything together.  So I decided to give it another try, but I have to admit, I’d guessed the twist earlier, although I’d hoped there might be more to it.

Even though I didn’t connect with this novel, I enjoyed the setting and time period; however, it seemed to be missing the haunted, eerie atmosphere I associate with gothic ghost stories.

The Uninvited is scheduled for publication August 11, 2015.  Thanks to Edelweiss for providing me an ARC for review.