#BadMoonRising The Things in Heaven and Earth by Michael Scott Hopkins #paranormal #supernatural #horror

Ghosts, demons, possession – all of these words excite me when any are mentioned in a book description, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when all three popped up in the blurb of today’s featured novel. It’s his first time at BMR, so let’s give a big welcome to Michael Scott Hopkins!

Have you ever had a tarot card reading?

Lots of times. When I was a kid, my parents had friends who claimed to be psychics. I had lots of readings, not one of which has come true yet. But it was fascinating at the time.

Would you rather dunk for apples or carve a Jack o’ lantern?

Carve a Jack o’ lantern. I completely lack the artistic skills to make one that looks good, but I hate pumpkin so much there’s a certain satisfaction that comes with plunging a knife into one. There is considerably less chance of drowning as well.

Do you ever see figures in your peripheral vision?

When I was a kid, I did. Quite often. This was when I had a paper route (tells you how old I am), and the paper deliveries had to be made at four or five a.m. It was still dark outside, and the streets were deserted. I was literally the only soul around. But I would see movement out of the corner of my eye, look fast to try to catch whatever it was, scared as heck, and then there was nothing there. But I had a sense that something was always there and following me. That’s why I seldom managed to actually hit the porches when I threw the papers.

Would you and your main character get along?

We would unless he was on one of his murder rampages, since he kills people he likes.

What do you do to get inside your characters’ heads?

I run. It’s a great way to clear your mind of the usual distractions and work out who your characters are, their backstories and motivation. I mean, aside from sweating, what else are you going to do?

How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?

Hopefully, everyone. However, the novel is meant for readers who want to be challenged a bit, to engage with uncertainty of what is happening to the main character along his journey and his emotional growth.

“…plenty of the unpredictable chills and excitement horror thriller fans appreciate.” -Kirkus Reviews

Nash Baxter is a liar.

He’s the famous skeptic who rides his motorcycle across the country debunking hauntings everywhere he goes. Yet he knows ghosts are real – suffering remnants of the departed, held fast to this world and tormented by demons. Hell, it seems, exists all across the land, side-by-side with the living world. Nash has the power to see into that hell and destroy the demons by a force of will.

But sometimes demons fight back…

When they do, they possess Nash and force him to commit murder. Not that Nash minds. He does not feel emotions. Not fear. Not horror. That is until a mysterious woman comes into his life and convinces him nothing was ever as it seemed. He has one purpose in life – to save the world from the truest evil, an evil that lives and breathes inside of Nash Baxter himself. 

Purchase Link

Amazon

Author Bio and Social Media

Michael Scott Hopkins grew up on San Leandro, California. He joined the United States Air Force out of high school and served for eight years, working as an avionics technician on F-4 Phantom aircraft. After being honorably discharged, he worked as a mechanic for the U.S. Postal Service. While working for the Postal Service, he earned a BA in English and went on to graduate studies, earning his master’s degree from Governors State University.

After earning his MA, Hopkins started a career in public relations and as a speechwriter. He also taught English literature as an adjunct professor for his alma mater, GSU. While working in public relations, Hopkins started law school, graduating cum laude from The John Marshall Law School, where he was a member of The John Marshall Law Review.

He lives in Joliet, Illinois, with his wife of more than 30 thirty years, Carla, his golden retriever, Charlie, and two black cats named Lolli and Pop.

He and Carla have three grown sons, Tyler, Kyle, and Eric.

Hopsfiction.com

https://www.facebook.com/MichaelScottHopkinsAuthor

Sarah is FREE Today Only! #TuesdayBookBlog #freebook #YA #horror #paranormal

I hate to post twice on the same day, but my publisher let me know a few weeks ago the Sarah ebook would be free today only across all makets on Amazon – just in time for Halloween! It’s not a slasher/gore type of story, it’s more about the bonds of family and friendship – and a vengeful ghost just happens to be hanging around the house. But it also contains a good amount of humor and a really awesome black cat named Eby (inspired by my cat, Shadow, who gave me the idea for this book). I hope you’ll download Sarah today HERE!

I’m also over at Robbie Cheadle’s blog today answering some of my own Bad Moon Rising questions. Click HERE to visit. She’s currently on tour with her most recent release, A Ghost and His Gold, so make sure to check it out!

Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her. But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy. She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain. With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.

#BadMoonRising Eternal Road: The Final Stop by John W. Howell #paranormal #supernatural #thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

If today’s author’s name isn’t familiar to you, I’ll bet you know his lovable furry friends Twiggy and Lucy from the pics of them on his blog (they totally steal the spotlight). Discussion has been made on previous BMR posts about the hazards of dunking for apples in the time of COVID, but I think this author has come up with a viable alternative. You just may not be sober once you finally latch onto that apple. Welcome John W. Howell!

Would you rather dunk for apples or carve a Jack o’ lantern?

I would rather carve a Jack o’ lantern. Before I get into why I like to carve Jack o’ lanterns, let me point out in the time of COVID how creepy it is to dunk for apples. Someone is coughing up a storm and then placing an unmasked head into a vat of apples floating in the water. They come up with one, and the excess water runs out of both sides of the mouth back into the vat. Can you say Sleeping Beauty or Snow White side effects? Good gravy, folks. Let’s not even think about dunking for apples unless they are floating in 200 proof moonshine. Now to the Jack o’ lantern part of the question. I have been carving them for at least 70 years. I love to make pictures and words and funny faces. I also backlight my creations with a candle and parchment paper over the openings so the candle flame doesn’t show and ruin the effect.

If you watch horror movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, covers your eyes, or falls asleep?

When watching horror movies, I’m the one up in the grill of each stupid character. You know the ones. They back into a dark corner of a cellar or run for the car. Come on, people. How many movies do you have to see to catch on? Also, you don’t say something stupid like, “Well, I guess Jason is dead.” You have to know you are just jinxing yourself. And to that one who absolutely must take a shower right in the middle of all the mayhem. I have no sympathy for you at all. I do enjoy seeing you streak through the woods, trying to cover up with a towel and screaming your head off. Was the shower worthwhile?

Do you ever see figures in your peripheral vision?

Whoa, this question just scared the pants off me. I can’t imagine that seeing figures in your peripheral vision was a thing. I thought it was just me and some weird brain abnormality. I have been seeing figures in my peripheral vision for years. Those little black suckers dart in and out of my field of vision. I have pretty much come to the point of ignoring them. Why not? They pretty much ignore me. I have tried to make contact, but nooo. They jump behind me and then dare me to make a fool of myself by twirling around to see if I can catch them. It becomes a problem in the line at Starbucks. Just when I get my grande and before I put in cream, I see ‘em and twirl around only to lay a coffee-colored swath across some poor civilian’s white outfit. Okay, maybe I exaggerate a little, but it could happen.

How do you celebrate when you finish writing a book?

Finishing a book seems to be a challenging point in time to pinpoint. There’s the first draft which I guess could count as finishing a book. But it is usually a mess, so I wouldn’t want that to be my celebration point. Next, there is the final draft. Sure, I guess that could be the finish, except then there is the professional edit. So not yet time to celebrate because after the edit comes the formatting. Holy Crap, when is this dog ever going to be finished? After formatting comes publish. All right now, we’re talking—time to celebrate. Yeah, but my stomach is still rolling from the tension, so I doubt anything will stay with me. Well, let’s just say when my books are complete, I have a giant slug of Keopectate and a bourbon.

What do you do to get inside your characters’ heads?

The more accurate question as it applies to me is what do my characters do to get inside my head. I’m usually minding my own business working on the book when all of a sudden, I get this call from the blue. There is no ringing like a telephone, but there is a connection. Before I know it, I’m having a conversation with a being that is a figment of my imagination. Under these circumstances, I am definitely at a disadvantage because I maintain an arrogant view that I understand my creation. Nothing is further from the truth. These things have a mind of their own, and I’m just glad they can’t use the keyboard. If they did, there is no telling what kind of story could get written. I’m the only thing standing between them and what I could describe is an outrageous collection of narcissistic rambling with my name on it.

What are you working on now?

I am working on the sequel to Eternal Road – The last stop. It doesn’t have a title yet but is a story of the two main characters from Eternal Road who can help rescue another soul lost on the Eternal Road. The soul is a combat pilot who stayed with his fighter in Afghanistan rather than bailing out, knowing the plane would crash into a school. His name is Ryan Sanders, and he is being escorted on the Eternal Road by none other than Eddie Rickenbacker. It seems Eddie and Ryan have come up missing, and there is speculation that Lucifer has had a hand in their disappearance. They were last seen in aerial combat over France in 1918. Sam and James must find the pair and help Ryan chose his Eternal Home.

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things

1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older.

2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save mankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

Purchase Link

Kindle Universal link  mybook.to/EternalRoad

Author Bio and Social Media

John is an award-winning author who, after an extensive business career, began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written five other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. The paperback versions are also available in the Indie Lector store

John lives in Lakeway, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Contact John

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

BookBub  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/john-w-howell

#BadMoonRising The Hat by C.S. Boyack #paranormal #supernatural #fantasy #TuesdayBookBlog

This is what readers have to say about today’s featured book – “fun banter”, “vividly imagined”, “hilarious paranormal suspense”, “enchanting characters”. Having read the first three books in this series, I couldn’t agree more. Being a fan of snarky characters, Lizzie and the hat are among my favorites. As a special treat from the author, no tricks (I feel you cringing, but I couldn’t resist), The Hat is FREE today, so make sure to click the link below! Welcome C.S. Boyack!

Thanks for inviting me back, Teri. I love Bad Moon and look forward to it every year. I have a bit of promo to do, but want to attempt a brief participation according to the rules. Let’s get to some of that first.

Would you rather dunk for apples or carve a Jack o’ Lantern?

Huh! Neither of these particularly bother me. I skipped the candy apple question with my beard. I’ve carved many a pumpkin in my day, and enjoy figuring out all the cool 100% vegetable ways of dressing them up. Did you know a red bell pepper makes an awesome tongue, that an eggplant can be a fun nose, or that corn silk makes for awesome eyebrows?

If you watch horror movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, covers your eyes, or falls asleep?

I’m the guy who yells at the characters. Why can’t they seem to figure out shooting first is a viable option? Getting out of the scary environment is another viable option? Sheesh.

How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?

I have a lot of books, but I’m going to focus on the series being promoted here today. This series is all about having fun. I have readers across a broad swath, but I think all of them are looking to poke a little fun at standard tropes, have a laugh or two, and still get to wipe a little blood off their hands.

What are you working on now?

That’s a loaded question for me. I’m writing this in August, and I typically have two projects going at once. At the time of this writing, I have the final volume of The Lanternfish Trilogy in the editing phase, and the next book in The Hat Series in the same status. I’m also working on a nameless space opera that I think will be fun.

About that promo… I’m touring The Hat Series around this October, and this is the first stop. To kick things off, I have the first volume, The Hat, free for a few days. While you can always read my books for free with Kindle Unlimited, now you can get your very own copy for free.

The Hat is the origin story for the whole series. It shows Lizzie and the hat coming together for the first time to deal with a group of baby snatchers. There’s no reason humans can’t be evil, and it’s a little simpler to walk our new monster hunter into the role without dealing with supernatural beasts. It’s highly thought of and the reviews are positive.

I’ve included a universal series link instead of the solo book this time. http://mybook.to/The-Hat-Series I also wrote a series blurb for this promo.

Blurb: The Hat Series is my opportunity to have a little fun, and readers seem to be enjoying themselves, too. The series fits into a variety of pigeonholes as all stories do. If you’re looking for supernatural, paranormal, or urban fantasy, with a dose of dark humor, this might be the series you’re looking for.

Lizzie St. Laurent is a hard working twenty-something. She’s struggling with the issues of being a young adult, but also dealing with the supernatural world. After her grandmother died, she tried to get a memento from the estate. Her greedy uncle refused to share, so in desperation, she stole a box from the moving van.

Her treasure turned out to be an old hat that belonged to her grandfather. Not exactly the knickknack she was hoping for. This isn’t any ordinary hat. He’s actually a being from another dimension who was brought here by witchcraft. He has a few magical skills, but also some more ordinary ones. He can transport her to a cabin, deep in the forest, among other things. A bit more ordinary is his ability to play the upright bass, but only if he has a human host to manipulate. He’s also a shapeshifter, but limited to always being a hat of some kind.

The hat has been in Lizzie’s family for centuries, and all of his partners have been monster hunters. Their symbiotic relationship also created an additional income stream for Lizzie. They formed a small cover band, which tends gets them out at night when monster hunting is more productive.

I put all kinds of strange things into these stories to make them fun. My section breaks have all been replaced with a series of bass clefs. I also include silly graphics in various locations to enhance the tales. You’ll find tons of snark mixed in with your blood and adventure.

These are short novels, designed for a single afternoon. While it is a series, they can be read as stand-alone tales. If one of the other volumes is your entry-point, I don’t think you’ll feel lost.

If this sounds like something to make your October complete, I’d appreciate you checking it out.

Social Media

Blog

My Novels

Twitter

Goodreads

Facebook

Pinterest

Bookbub

#BadMoonRising Harbinger (Wake-Robin Ridge #3) by Marcia Meara #supernatural #paranormal

Today’s author unfortunately doesn’t share my love of zombies (since she’s a friend, I can overlook that), but she’s put a spin on an urban legend and incorporated it into her featured book (part of a series I highly recommend – Rabbit!). Welcome Marcia Meara!

Would you rather dunk for apples or carve a Jack-O’-Lantern?

Oh, put me down for carving that pumpkin any day. First of all, autumn is my favorite time of year and I dearly LOVE Halloween. Secondly, coming up with fun faces to carve on the pumpkin is a delight, and I’ve been known to keep my carved pumpkins outside the door until the heat causes them to collapse in on themselves like deflated balloons. (Sadly, in Florida, this usually happens in a matter of 3 or 4 days.)

Was there a horror movie you refused to watch because the previews were too scary?

Any and ALL apocalyptic zombie movies, but not so much because they are too scary. It’s more that apocalyptic themes creep me out, especially in today’s world, and also because I find zombies utterly disgusting. Mostly that last one. (Way too much rot going on.)😊

Which urban legend scares you most?

I love many urban legends, though I don’t know that any of them really scare me, except for a shivery feeling or two, of course. One that I have always been drawn to, however, is the legend of the Black Dog as a harbinger of death. The legend is an ancient Celtic one, and has been the subject of many a tale. It has been said that the Hound of the Baskervilles was based on it, and stories of the Black Dog were brought to the New World by the Europeans. Those legends are alive and well in the Appalachian Mountains to this day.

There are some variations on the theme, but the most common one still seems to be that the Black Dog, called Ol’ Shuck by the mountain folk, is a harbinger of death. In other words, if you see him, you (or someone you know) is going to die. Typically, he stands at a distance, silently staring at the person who’s been unlucky enough to have the beast come to call. That concept has always given me chills, and is the inspiration for my third Wake-Robin Ridge novel, Harbinger, wherein a man’s past deeds might mean it’s only a matter of time before Ol’ Shuck drags him off to face the consequences.

Would you and your main character get along?

All of my books are set in towns like the ones where I grew up, and the characters are just like the folks I went to school with and have known all my life. I would get along with every single one of them because I know them well, and like them a great deal. (Except for the bad guys, of course.) I often imagine myself sharing a cup of tea with Willow or being out on the river with Maggie and Gunn. I’m pretty sure they are my kind of folks.😊

If you decided to write a spinoff of a side character, who would you choose?

Funny you should ask. I actually did exactly that with my Emissary Trilogy of novellas. In Finding Hunter, a minor character was featured as a trucker who gave Hunter Painter a ride back to his love, Willow. I was asked about him so many times, I knew I had to tell his story, too, so I did, and now Jake Daughtry (alias Gabe Angelino) is the main character in three novellas. (Excluding that ginormous archangel, Azrael, of course, who doesn’t like taking second place to anybody!)

And next, I’m going to return to Wake-Robin Ridge for a series of novellas that will include a brand-new partner joining MacKenzie Cole and Rabbit. He was introduced in The Light, and so many people enjoyed the interplay between him and Rabbit, I decided he had to be a full character in his own right. So, look for a new series of novellas to debut in a few months when I hope Book 1, Cole, Cole, & Dupree, will be ready for Prime Time.  

If you could spend the day with another popular author, who would you choose?

Oh, so many to choose from! Authors I chat with online all the time (and would love to meet in person), authors I’ve read over and over through the years, and even my favorite author of all time, Daphne du Maurier. I’d love to have been able to meet the late Rachel Caine, too, whose beautiful books I’ve devoured right to her very last. But—even though horror doesn’t really scare me (technically, anyway)—I’ve always loved spooky, creepy tales, and shivery camp side stories. With that in mind, I think I’d choose to go back in time and spend a day with Edgar Allan Poe. I devoured everything he ever wrote the year I turned twelve, and still enjoy re-reading my favorites. And I can quote great, long passages of The Raven to this day, much to the groans of annoyance from those around me. Yep. I can’t imagine anything more fun than meeting him, so Poe it is!

BLURB FOR HARBINGER

The wine-red trillium that carpets the forests of the North Carolina Mountains is considered a welcome harbinger of spring—but not all such omens are happy ones. An Appalachian legend claims the Black Dog, or Ol’ Shuck, as he’s often called, is a harbinger of death. If you see him, you or someone you know is going to die.

But what happens when Ol’ Shuck starts coming for you in your dreams? Nightmares of epic proportions haunt the deacon of the Light of Grace Baptist Church, and bring terror into the lives of everyone around him. Even MacKenzie Cole and his adopted son, Rabbit, find themselves pulled into danger.

When Sheriff Raleigh Wardell asks Mac and Rabbit to help him solve a twenty-year-old cold case, Rabbit’s visions of a little girl lost set them on a path that soon collides with that of a desperate man being slowly driven mad by guilt.

As Rabbit’s gift of the Sight grows ever more powerful, his commitment to those who seek justice grows as well, even when their pleas come from beyond the grave.

EXCERPT FROM HARBINGER

3:00 A.M. Sunday, March 2, 2014

Morganton, North Carolina

EYELASHES FROZEN, EACH gasping breath a snowy plume in the frigid night air, the boy ran for his life. Heart pounding, he scrambled up the wooded slope, terror driving him faster and faster.

There! Just ahead, a warm light glowed in a small window. Home. Safety. Only a few yards more.

He lurched forward, sure he was going to make it, now. His heart sang with joy, even as his foot slid on an icy patch of old snow, and he went down hard, knocking the wind right out of himself. The metallic taste of blood from his bitten tongue flooded his mouth, and for a moment, he couldn’t move. He was simply too tired to keep going.

No, no, no…get up. You got to get up. You’re almost there.

Desperation gave him a last burst of energy, and panting, he struggled to his knees. The woods loomed dark and silent around him, and he dared to hope he had outrun his pursuer. Then he heard it. A soft rumble at first, the sound built into a full-throated growl, coming from the last stretch of trees between him and his daddy’s tiny cabin. Somehow, it had gotten in front of him. He was cut off!

As he stared in horror, two glowing pinpoints of red appeared not ten feet away, growing steadily larger, as the beast stepped out of the bushes and into the moonlight. The dog was huge, and black as coal. And those fiery eyes stared unblinking, directly into his.

Whimpering, he felt a rush of warmth as he wet himself. He’d seen the Black Dog, and that meant it had come for him. He was going to die.

Somewhere in the dim recesses of his mind, he heard his aunt calling his name, but it was already too late. When Ol’ Shuck shows up to get you, it’s always too late. Still, she called, her voice coming from far away.

“Cadey? Cadey … ?”

He tried to answer, but could make no sound, and stood helpless, watching. Just before it leapt, the Black Dog’s lips peeled back, revealing long, gleaming teeth. Hot, foul breath washed over his face, as Ol’ Shuck opened its mouth impossibly wide, and Cadey tumbled forward into its reeking maw.

At last, he screamed.

Purchase Link

Amazon

Author Bio

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years and four big cats.

When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. She enjoys nature. Really, really enjoys it. All of it! Well, almost all of it, anyway. From birds, to furry critters, to her very favorites, snakes. The exception would be spiders, which she truly loathes, convinced that anything with eight hairy legs is surely up to no good. She does not, however, kill spiders anymore, since she knows they have their place in the world. Besides, her husband now handles her Arachnid Catch and Release Program, and she’s good with that.

Spiders aside, the one thing Marcia would like to tell each of her readers is that it’s never too late to make your dreams come true. If, at the age of 69, she could write and publish a book (and thus fulfill 64 years of longing to do that very thing), you can make your own dreams a reality, too. Go for it! What have you got to lose?

Marcia has published seven novels, three novellas, and one book of poetry to date, all of which are available on Amazon:

Wake-Robin Ridge

A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2

Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3

The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4

Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel

Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2

That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3

The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff NovellaThe Emissary 2: To Love Somebody

The Emissary 3: Love Hurts

The Emissary Trilogy

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love

Marcia’s Amazon Author Page

Social Media

You can reach Marcia via email at marciameara16@gmail.com or on the following social media sites:

The Write Stuff

Pinterest

Twitter: @marciameara

The Haunting of Leigh Harker by Darcy Coates #bookreview #horror #thriller

Sometimes the dead reach back...

Leigh Harker’s quiet suburban home was her sanctuary for more than a decade, until things abruptly changed. Curtains open by themselves. Radios turn off and on. And a dark figure looms in the shadows of her bedroom door at night, watching her, waiting for her to finally let down her guard enough to fall asleep.

Pushed to her limits but unwilling to abandon her home, Leigh struggles to find answers. But each step forces her towards something more terrifying than she ever imagined.

A poisonous shadow seeps from the locked door beneath the stairs. The handle rattles through the night and fingernails scratch at the wood. Her home harbours dangerous secrets, and now that Leigh is trapped within its walls, she fears she may never escape.

Do you think you’re safe?

You’re wrong.

I’ve read a few Darcy Coates novels, but this one is unlike any of those I’m familiar with. It’s creepy, chilling, and guaranteed to have you leaving lights on all over the house – but the premise is something I haven’t come across in other horror novels. Which is why this review will be brief since I don’t do spoilers.

I’m not the first reviewer to say they almost DNFed the book, but most of those reviewers also encouraged readers to stick with it, and everything would soon make sense. The beginning is slow, filled with the monotonous details of Leigh’s everyday life interspersed with some terrifying moments that didn’t seem to make sense. I couldn’t imagine why the author chose to begin the story this way. Trust me when I say you’ll be rewarded with a jaw-dropping reveal later on. Everything will click.

Something else resides in Leigh’s house with her. The doorknob of a locked closet under the stairs rattles at night when whatever is on the other side tries to get out. It watches while she sleeps – if she ever manages to get any. Then there’s the harrowing encounter with sharp tools in a gardening shed when the door mysteriously slams shut and traps her inside. There’s no shortage of gripping scenes that may have you holding your breath while reading. Coates draws the reader in and makes them feel as if they’re right beside Leigh experiencing every terrifying moment with her.

Surprisingly, the story also contains some bittersweet and heartfelt scenes – and I can’t say that about most horror novels I’ve read. Part of the ending shot out of left field for me, but it comes with an explanation. If you’re looking for a different spin on the haunted house tale, give this novel a chance. Just remember to hang with it a few chapters.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Calling #Horror, #Thriller, and #Paranormal #IndieAuthors for #BadMoonRising

I’m not sure how we got here so fast, but it’s time for Bad Moon Rising again!  Thirty-one authors for thirty-one days in October will be featured right here at Books & Such.  If you’re an indie author of horror, thriller, or paranormal/supernatural books and would like to participate, send me an email.  FREE publicity, book sales, new authors to follow, loads of fun, and more books added to the TBR – woo-hoo!

Each post will feature one of your releases, a book description, author bio, social media links, buy links, and a short interview.  If you’d like to include a giveaway or have alternative ideas for your post, I’m always open to suggestions.

This is the seventh year of Bad Moon Rising and spots tend to fill up fast, so if you’d like to be included, email me at tpolen6@gmail.com.

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould #bookreview #YA #thriller #LGBTQ

Courtney Gould’s thrilling debut The Dead and the Dark is about the things that lurk in dark corners, the parts of you that can’t remain hidden, and about finding home in places―and people―you didn’t expect.

The Dark has been waiting for far too long, and it won’t stay hidden any longer.

Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers seem to point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just returned to town. Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV’s ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before, but the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there’s more secrets buried here than they originally let on.

Ashley Barton’s boyfriend was the first teen to go missing, and she’s felt his presence ever since. But now that the Ortiz-Woodleys are in town, his ghost is following her and the only person Ashley can trust is the mysterious Logan. When Ashley and Logan team up to figure out who—or what—is haunting Snakebite, their investigation reveals truths about the town, their families, and themselves that neither of them are ready for. As the danger intensifies, they realize that their growing feelings for each other could be a light in the darkness. 

All I needed to read was strange happenings and ghost hunters to jump at requesting this book. Dark, intense, intriguing, mysterious – does the description give you an idea of what this story is like? I honestly could have read it in one sitting but had to split it into two days.

Snakebite, Oregon isn’t very welcoming to newcomers or even to some of the previous residents who visit. It’s a small town, but cliques are prevalent in both the teenage and adult crowds and, like most small towns, secrets are nearly bursting out of the closets they’re barricaded in. Logan’s dad, Brandon, has been in Snakebite scouting the location for his TV show ParaSpectors. When Logan and her other dad, Alejo arrive, they learn a teen boy disappeared around the same time Brandon rolled into town six months ago. The locals don’t consider this a coincidence and make it known to Logan and her family at every turn. Logan is the curious type and isn’t content to sit around the hotel room watching TV all day and before long, she’s caught up in a tangled web of secrets involving her family. Although adversaries at first, Logan and Ashley, a local resident, make a pact to discover the truth together after it becomes evident Ashley’s mother is involved.

Something I really liked about this novel is the relationship between Logan and her dads. In most YA books parents don’t play large roles, but that’s not the case here. She enjoys an easy camaraderie with one of them, but has a strained relationship with the other (which is explained, but no spoilers here). Besides the paranormal occurrences, a parent’s overwhelming love for their child, finding your place in the world, and learning acceptance are strong themes in this story. Readers will also be shipping the budding romance between Ashley and Logan.

I guessed a couple of major plot points early on, that didn’t prevent me from devouring this book. Murders, ghosts, mediums, and some cool ghost hunter gadgets held me spellbound. The story skillfully builds to a nail-biting climax, but I did feel like the ending wraps up a little quickly. This is a strong debut novel, and I’ll be looking out for future releases by this author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

The Ballad of Mrs. Molony (The Hat #3) by C.S. Boyack #bookreview #vampires #paranormal #TuesdayBookBlog

Lizzie and the hat are back, and this time they’re chasing vampires across a subculture of America. A pair of rodeo cowboys are holding a woman captive to use like a milk cow since they joined the undead.

The person who put them onto the trail is also a vampire, but he has to be the worst vampire in history. Is he really that pitiful, or is he setting a trap for our heroes? Does the woman even exist? Can Lizzie and the hat find her before she also takes up blood sucking?

Follow Lizzie and the hat as they use their cover band to stalk vamps across the country music scene. 

I’m a real fan of this series and, also being a vamp fan, was super excited to go on this hunting/staking adventure with Lizzie and the hat.

Working several part time jobs and playing in a band keep Lizzie busy enough, but she and the hat also have a duty to fight crime. Luckily, they can still make some money playing gigs at the same time. When Kevin asks Lizzie and the hat to help rescue his sister from a group of vampires, Lizzie wants to volunteer, but the hat is suspicious. Kevin is also a vampire, but not the dark, mysterious, sexy type – trust me on this. He doesn’t feed on humans, and he certainly doesn’t sparkle, but the hat wants to stake him anyway, nice guy or not. Having no choice but to give in, the hat loses this battle.

The banter between Lizzie and the hat is always a favorite for me in this series. Sometimes it’s like listening to an old married couple. Since discovering the internet (especially Amazon), the hat has discovered the joys of online shopping. Lizzie has to occasionally veto purchasing requests (I didn’t think the fog machine was an entirely bad idea) due to budget constraints. At least it keeps him busy (he doesn’t sleep) and out of Lizzie’s hair for a while.

I’m not a country music fan, so I was amused by the band’s attempts to slide some other non-country artists into the playlist by introducing them as cowboys. I also snorted out loud several times at the hat’s attempts to remember (more like poke fun at) Kevin’s sister’s name, Ida Rose.

At less than two hundred pages, this is a quick read. With humor, vampires (one that’s very memorable), banter, and music, this is another adventurous romp with the ever patient Lizzie and shopaholic hat. The fourth book in the series dropped recently, and I can’t wait to get started.

Through The Nethergate by Roberta Eaton Cheadle #bookreview #YA #supernatural

Can one girl banish evil?

Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own.

In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise.

With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.

A clever melding of fiction and historical facts. 

I’m always up for a good ghost story, and I have to commend the author (or cover designer) for such an intriguing, foreboding cover. It does a wonderful job of setting the tone of the story.

My heart immediately went out to Margaret. She’s lost both parents in a tragic accident and has been taken away from her familiar environment to live with her grandfather in a haunted inn. Having second sight, she encounters several ghosts, and I enjoyed learning their backstories and how some of them came to linger at the inn. With several historical characters woven into the story (many of them spirits – good and evil), it’s clear the author did extensive research. I’ve read several YA horror/supernatural novels, but a character with the ability to bring ghosts trapped between heaven and hell back to life is new to me and adds a unique spin.

After Margaret is attacked and taken, and Lucifer shows up with plans to use Margaret’s gift for his own benefit, the story becomes a battle between good and evil. A lot is going on, and much responsibility falls on Margaret’s young shoulders. She’s thrust into some extreme situations, and some scenes may cause goosebumps (love it when that happens).

Although categorized as young adult, with the historical aspects and social commentary on several important issues, this novel would also be a crossover to adults. With a mix of supernatural, horror, paranormal, and history, Through the Nethergate will appeal to a wide variety of readers.