Book Review: A Trace of Revenge by Lyle Howard

Title: A Trace of Revenge
Author: Lyle Howard
Genre: Paranormal Mystery, Thriller, Supernatural Thriller
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

A young boy is left for dead by the assassin who has just bludgeoned his parents.

Matt Walker witnesses the murder of his parents but is able to escape and remains alive. He loses his ability to hear but finds out he has a unique power called Psychometry. This power is an ability to “trace” or know an object’s history, just by touching it.

A few years later, a top-secret government armament is stolen during a deadly hijacking at sea and someone intends to sell the powerful weapon to fulfill their own twisted ambitions.

At the same time, a ruthless mob boss has a gruesome secret that he must protect no matter the cost.

All it takes is something as unassuming as a foul ball hit at a Major League baseball game, to send all of these characters and events spiraling on a collision course aboard the most unique cruise ship ever built and send Matt on the quest to find his parents’ killer.

In A Trace of Revenge, Matt Walker witnessed his parents’ murder and narrowly escaped with his life. Although he can no longer hear due to this terrifying ordeal, he discovers he has an unique power: the ability to trace an object’s history by touching it.

Seeking revenge for what happened to his parents, Matt is dead-set on tracking down the killer, no matter what the cost. Add in the theft of a top-secret government weapon, the most unique cruise ship ever built, and a ruthless mob boss with a harrowing secret, and you have an edge-of-your-seat thriller that is fast-paced, not predictable at all, and solidly escorts the reader from one chapter to the next.

Book Review: Haunted Blood by Elik Katzav

Title: Haunted Blood
Author: Elik Katzav
Genre: Paranormal Mystery / Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

A missing reporter is found drained of blood after being murdered in a ritualistic ceremony.

Now, a young boy has gone missing.

David used to be a police detective before he was shamefully dismissed for claiming that a demon possessed an old priest.Now, he is taking odd jobs as a private eye and investigating the disappearance of a missing boy. As his investigation progresses, he becomes certain that supernatural forces are involved.

The theft of an ancient pagan god statue from a museum, a patient in a psych ward who claims she took part in secret sacrificial killings, and a ruthless cult leader who will stop at nothing, all allow David to understand evil things are coming his way.

David must solve the mystery before the clock strikes zero. If he doesn’t find the boy, he will lose himself as well.

In Haunted Blood, we follow main character David, who used to be a police detective before he was dismissed because he claimed a demon was possessing an old priest. Now, David makes a living as private investigator, and it’s this job that leads him to the search for a missing young boy, which is linked to the murder of a missing reporter – found drained of blood in what looks to be a ritualistic ceremony.

Combined with a woman in the psych ward claiming she participated in sacrificial killings, and an evil cult leader, David realizes that the evil he recognized all those years ago has come back to haunt him. And if he wants to find the missing boy, he’ll have to face his own worst fears.

The world-building was great. I read a lot of paranormal mysteries, but to have one set in Israel is quite unique and gave it an intriguing feel. I liked the characters and plot, even if the plot was not that original, the setting and characters definitely made it entertaining!

Book Review: Frightened in France (Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries Book #2) by April A. Taylor

Title: Frightened in France (Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries Book #2 by April A. Taylor)
Author: April A. Taylor
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Rating: 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Alexa Bentley is back, and this time, she’s gone international! A series of disturbing murders in Paris send Alexa to some of the City of Light’s most notable attractions. Can she tap into the spectral network quickly enough to prevent another murder? And what do these crimes have to do with a notorious criminal from France’s past? Alexa scoffs at the idea that a ghost could be the murderer… but what if she’s wrong?

Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries – She’s a witty, mystery-solving ghost therapist. From the author of the Midnight Myths and Fairy Tales Series.

Praise for Frightened in France:

“With book one Alex became my favorite unlikely hero. In book two I realized why…She seems like someone I could befriend. Alex is real, relatable, and relative. The story catches you, draws you in, and keeps you enticed till the end.” -Goodreads Reviewer

“I really enjoyed this read as much as the first in the series! New characters are introduced…the adventures they share are thrilling and entertaining.” -Goodreads Reviewer

“A great read that grab[s] your attention.” – Amazon Reviewer
Praise for Missing in Michigan:

“The story is fast-paced, the plot entertaining, the characters – in particular Alexa – are intriguing…this is a gripping read that fans of paranormal mysteries will certainly enjoy.” –I Heart Reading

“Alexa (Alex) Bentley is the type of main character I love…the plot grabbed me and made me want to read on…this is a book I would be quite happy to read a second time.” –Long & Short Reviews

I previously reviewed (and gave it 5 stars!) the first book in the series, Missing in Michigan. Read my review here.

In this sequel, Frightened in France, Alexa Bentley is back, and this time, a series of disturbing murders sends her to Paris, France. While the city is usually a romantic hangout, now it’s the scene of several gruesome murders… And it’s up to Alexa to prevent the next murder from happening, and to find out who the murderer is, and how she can stop him.

Once again, the story was so compelling I lost all track of time and space as I devoured chapter after chapter. This is my kind of book, spot-on. A relatable, witty heroine who I would love to hang out with in real life, storylines that incorporate murders and supernatural elements, a blast from the past, a setting I’ve visited a few times and really love (who doesn’t love Paris?), and writing that pulls you in from the start.

If you like paranormal mysteries and ghosts, then I absolutely, 100%, recommend this series!

Book Review: Missing in Michigan (Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries Book #1) by April A. Taylor

Title: Missing in Michigan (Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries Book #1)

Author: April A. Taylor

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Is she a medium? A psychic? Alexa Bentley only knows one thing for certain; she can talk to ghosts. And sometimes, they take her advice. Missing in Michigan is ideal for fans of the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Mysteries, quirky female characters, and the Paranormal Mystery/Supernatural Suspense genre. This exciting, funny new series will keep you guessing!
Alexa’s unusual ghost therapy skills take her to a remote corner of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. But this case is much trickier than anything else she’s ever encountered. A grieving ghost, several missing teens, and a supernatural creature from Native American folklore stand in her path. Along the way, she manages a bit of romance and lots of witty humor.
Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries – She’s a witty, mystery-solving ghost therapist. From the author of the Midnight Myths and Fairy Tales Series.
Praise from Early Reviewers:
“I love Alex! She’s the witty, sometimes snarky, definitely quirky best friend you didn’t know you needed.” – Goodreads Reviewer
“The author’s voice is fresh and inviting. I was intrigued from beginning to end! I honestly can’t wait till book 2.” – Goodreads Reviewer
“I enjoyed it very much. It is going to be a very good series.” – Goodreads Reviewer

In Missing in Michigan, the first book in this brand new series, Alexa Bentley isn’t quite sure if she’s psychic, a medium, or something else alltogether, but one thing’s for sure: she can talk to ghost. As a therapist for the deceased, she helps troubled spirits move on to the afterlife, but that’s not always as easy as it sounds.

Her current case, for example, is anything but easy. This time around, rather than a living family asking her to remove a ghost from their property, it’s a grieving ghost enlisting her help. During a seemingly normal case, the ghost refuses to leave until Alexa helps her find her missing son. But then Alexa discovers there are more teens missing…

Missing teens, a supernatural creature from Native American folklore, and of course a plethora of ghostly activity are only the tip of the ice berg. I don’t want to give away any spoilers for the plot, so I’ll just say that a lot of stuff happens, and some of it you wouldn’t expect in the slightest!

The story is fast-paced, the plot entertaining, the characters – in particular Alexa – are intriguing, and overall, this is a gripping read that fans of paranormal mysteries will certainly enjoy.

Book Review: The Emerald Circle by L. Rosenman

Title: The Emerald Circle
Author: L. Rosenman
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Their daughter’s kidnapping plunges the protagonists into a hair-raising calamity

A five-year-old child is kidnapped near her home in a small town in northern Israel. The secret behind her disappearance forces her parents to face a terrible crisis. Mutually suspicious, they embark separately on an emotionally and physically life-changing quest to find their daughter.

Will they ever find her?

Embarking on a physically and emotionally jolting journey to find their lost daughter, they find themselves in a mysterious, far-away, life-threatening place, ruled by a leader who intends to purify the world with genetic engineering. International corporate leaders with dark motives and the Israeli Mossad all feature in the plot.

They must brave a sinister state of altered reality in their search for her

The Emerald Circle is an additional dimension, paralleling our reality, in which occurrences can be more clearly seen. It has vital influence on the protagonists. The solution for the chaos and the turbulent events of the plot can be resolved only on the level of reality itself. In this reality, each passing day increases the danger that the little girl will never be found.

The Emerald Circle definitely fits into the genres of books I like: paranormal mixed with mystery. When a five-year-old goes missing, her parents are willing to do whatever it takes to get her back – although each of them has their own method to do it.

As the clock is racing, the mother infiltrates into a secret organization, and the father tries to help his family from the inside-out. The book skips between both views, giving the reader and over-reaching view over the entire story.

The mix of dystopian elements, the genetic engineering, and the missing-child-narrative is interesting. The book is suspenseful, to say the least, and not the kind of book you can put down halfway through.

Book Review: The Lost Bible by L. Rosenman

Title: The Lost Bible
Author: L. Rosenman
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

“Fate brought us here. Faith will get us out.”


Hannah, a green-eyed beauty, finds herself in mid-life with no husband, no work, and no clear direction. Following a promising ad, she joins an enthusiastic professor on a perilous search for a lost copy of the Gutenberg Bible, last seen in the 16th century. To succeed where others failed, they must decipher ancient encrypted texts, enter monasteries and torture cellars – and avoid dangerous criminals who will stop at nothing to lay their hands on this priceless antiquity. But then they are forced to face an even greater challenge…


This suspenseful romance reveals an ancient love that drowned in blood 500 years ago, yet has endured to this day.

The Lost Bible is an intriguing, suspenseful romance novel that combines religion, philosophy, mythology, history and mystery in an exciting, edge-of-your-seat rollercoaster of a book.

Hannah finds herself suddenly stuck in the middle of her life, her young years behind her, the future clouded in mystery. She has no job or husband, and she lacks a sense of direction of where to go next. Following a promising ad, she ends up on the adventure of a lifetime as she helps a professor search for the lost copy of the Gutenberg Bible, last seen in the sixteenth century.

From deciphering texts and entering ancient, crumbling monasteries, this book is like a mix of Indiana Jones and Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code – and then an even bigger challenge awaits our main characters…

 

Book Review: Hunted (A Jonathan Harker Novel) by Christopher Draven

Title: Hunted: A Jonathan Harker Novel
Author: Christopher Draven
Genre: Paranormal Thriller / Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Slinging Spells with Broken Ribs Isn’t Easy

Jonathan Harker, mage and life-long demon hunter, wakes to find himself tied to a chair and severely wounded. His captor, a demon in service to a summoner who wants Harker alive.

Armed with impossibly powerful magic and a gang of demon toughs, the summoner has snared Harker in a deadly trap. Nothing is ever easy, and being new in town has left Harker with few allies. However, with help from a Fortune-Teller named Clover and a self-described “Kitchen Witch” named Momma Dee, Harker fights back.

To prevail, Harker must walk unprepared into a pit of demons and black magic – and come out alive on the other side.

In Hunted, the first book in the Jonathan Harker series, protagonist Jonathan Harker is a mage and demon-hunter trapped by a demon in service to a summoner. If he wants to escape, he’ll have to rely on a bunch of new allies he isn’t sure he can trust, and on his own magic.

Jonathan Harker is an intriguing protagonist. He’s witty and sarcastic, but also very intelligent and not willing to give up without a fight. Jonathan seemed like a real person, and so did the secondary characters. Each character introduced to the readers stood out and was different from the others. The writing was excellent and fast-paced as it quickly dived into the story. The world-building was solid too, and we don’t get any info-dumping as the world slowly unfolds around Harker and his allies (and enemies).

When it comes to paranormal thrillers, this is definitely one of the better books in the genre. If you enjoy this genre, give Jonathan Harker and his magic spells and witty humor a try.

Bewaren

Book Review: The Girl Who Talks to Ghosts by J.H. Moncrieff

Title: The Girl Who Talks to Ghosts
Author: J.H. Moncrieff
Genre: Supernatural Suspense
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Would you risk everything to save a stranger?

 Off the coast of Venice lurks Poveglia, the world’s most haunted isle, steeped in centuries of innocent blood. A deranged doctor who took great joy in torturing his patients in life continues to rule his abandoned asylum after death.

Few go to Poveglia willingly, but medium Kate Carlsson has no choice. It’s her job.

While struggling to retrieve a young girl’s soul, Kate uncovers some shocking truths about the evil on the island that challenges her own convictions and morals—and even her life.

Is saving Lily worth making a deal with the infamous Doctor of Death, or is the price too high to pay?

The Girl Who Talks to Ghosts is the sequel to City of Ghosts, which I reviewed earlier. I loved the first book, but I liked the second book even more. This time, the book isn’t set in China (one of my favorite parts about book one was the implementation of Chinese culture) yet it still features a foreign culture, since most of the book is set in Venice, Italy, and the island of Poveglia. I’ve always been a big fan of Italy. I once visited Venice and I loved the city, so I certainly didn’t mind the different setting.

Kate Carlsson is a medium, and desperate to retrieve a young girl’s soul, she heads to the haunted isle. She uncovers some shocking truths about the island that challenges her own beliefs and morals, and even her own life. Kate was already one of the characters in City of Ghosts, and I was glad to follow her along now in this second book. Jackson, the main character of City of Ghosts, is also back for round two.

The writing was excellent and I was drawn into the story right away. Poveglia is an actual island – I’d heard about it prior to reading the book, as I’m a huge history / ghosts / legends buff, and I loved the author had picked this setting. The characters were complex and intriguing, even the villains. The storylines were engaging, and the book kept me guessing. An excellent pageturner!

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Book Review and Giveaway City of Ghosts

Title: City of Ghosts
Author: J.H. Moncrieff
Genre: Supernatural Suspense
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

On the day the villagers were forced to flee Hensu, not everyone got out alive.

Jackson Stone is touring the abandoned Chinese city when he slips away from the group to spend the night, determined to publish an account of his ghostly experiences there.

Then he meets Yuèhai, a strange, soft-spoken woman who can tell him the city’s secrets—secrets the Chinese government would kill to keep hidden.

As Jackson uncovers the truth about Yuèhai and the ghost city, he’s drawn into a web of conspiracy, betrayal, and murder. He must risk everything to save himself and bring honor back to Yuèhai and her family.

City of Ghosts in the first book in the GhostWriters series by J.H. Moncrieff. It’s a supernatural suspense featuring ghosts, conspiracies and murder. The setting and characters were very intriguing and I felt immersed in the world of this series almost right away.

Jackson Stone is touring the abandoned Chinese city Hensu when he slips away form the group, determined to spend the night and then record his ghostly experiene. He meets Yuèhai, a woman who can tell him all about the city’s secrets. But the more Jackson uncovers, the more he finds himself at risk, with betrayal waiting around every corner. From the moment Jackson runs away from the group, the atmosphere becomes eerie and unsettling.

Jackson is a flawed individual but I liked him that way, the flaws made him seem more realistic to me. The setting was great, I loved getting to know the Chinese culture as I’m not all that familiar with it. I also enjoyed getting to know more about the way they see ghosts, and some of their ghostly legends and tales.

This is a chilling ghost story in an unique setting with engaging characters and excellent writing. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys paranormal mysteries, and I look forward to the second book.

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Book Review: Lalin Bonheur by Margaret O. Howard

Title: Lalin Bonheur
Author: Margaret O. Howard
Genre: Paranormal Mystery / Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange

When Lalin Bonheur shape shifts, she roams the Vieux Carre as a sleek tuxedo cat to learn the secrets of her city.

But on her debut at a Quadroon Ball in 1830 this octoroon beauty meets and falls in love with French aristocrat, Etienne Legendre. Etienne becomes her protector and he soon learns that his mistress leads a second life as a healer and voudou priestess.

Their story takes a bizarre turn after Lalin’s protector marries. His wife, Minette, dies mysteriously and he is charged with murder. Lalin concocts a zombie potion to assist him in his escape from jail.

The couple sail upriver to hide until they can prove his innocence. But their struggles only become more challenging, when they face the fearsome loup-garou (wolf men of Louisiana) and then a giant bird. Lalin must use her magic to battle these monsters. But it’s what she learns about the vicious feathered creature that brings the story to its climax.

Lalin Bonheur is an extraordinary book. Set in New Orlean in the 1800s, it’s the story of Lalin, an extraordinary woman in an extraordinary era. Lalin is a healer, a voodoo priestess, a girl who can shapeshift and who knows things she shouldn’t know. Lalin meets Etienne Legendre, a French aristocraft who becomes her protector.

When Etienne’s wife dies under mysterious circumstances and he’s charged with murder, Lalin helps him scape from jail. Unfortunately they run from one danger into the next, and Lalin needs to use all the magic she knows to protect them both.

This was an intriguing book, not just because it focuses on a mixed-race relationship, but also because of its focus on voodoo and magic. I’ve always been intrigued by voodoo, and I enjoyed this opportunity to learn more about it.

The writing and storytelling was excellent, and the author managed to describe the historical period well, making me feel as if I’d actually transported back in time to New Orleans in 1830. Fans of magical realism and paranormal mysteries will enjoy this book.

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