Tag Archives: supernatural

Book Review: The 9 Ghosts of Samen’s Bane – Fast Paced Fright

The 9 Ghosts of Samen’s Bane

By D. A. Schneider

Mild mannered Adrian Dillard decides to join a venture to revitalize passenger train travel at the suggestion of a good friend and entrepreneur. Everything seems to be going well until a tragically fateful night leaves over a hundred people dead and Adrian becomes a vessel for 9 young ghosts. The dead kids have a mission to complete, but need the help of a person who is still alive to carry it out. Adrian is hesitant and afraid, but he is more afraid of what the spirits that inhabit his body will do to his pregnant wife and young son if he does not do what they ask.

They come to him in dreams at first, but soon they manifest themselves to explain how they need Adrian to vanquish their evil enemy – Samen. Appalled at the thought that he has to play a part in an epic battle of good and evil, Adrian resists. He defends his reluctance by reminding the 9 that he is a mere mortal, unequipped for a showdown with the devil. They quickly assure him that they each have supernatural powers that they can teach him use to vanquish their enemy. Even though he is scared silly, he has to try. So begins his transformation from dad to demon hunter.

This is not your classic story of good and evil. First of all, kids are in charge of the plan to eliminate Samen. Granted they have super powers, but they are still unruly children at times. Adrian is the perfect choice to go from zero to hero because he has a lot at stake. Unfortunately, his reluctance and gentle nature make him an unlikely savior. The deeper he gets involved with the 9, the more questions he has. His intuition is telling him that they are hiding something from him. Little things begin to not add up, especially when he does a little investigating on his own. Will this get him killed? He doesn’t know, but what will happen to the world if he doesn’t at least try?

The 9 Ghosts of Samen’s Bane is fast-paced, unpredictable and an absolute hoot to read. Of course, there are dead people milling about, and there is a force that is trying to end mankind.  There is also humor in the juxtaposition of Adrian battling with dead people during the night and going Christmas shopping at the mall with his family.

If you are a fan of Christopher Moore, you will love this book. This is the first book I have read by Schneider, but will not be the last. Luckily, he is a prolific writer, so he has a list of books just waiting for me – and you – to discover.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: The Connelly Curse (Celtic Witches #2) – A Wickedly Wonderful Story

The Connelly Curse – (Celtic Witches #2)

By Lily Velez

At the end of the first book in this series, Scarlet unwittingly released scores of the damned into the world. Her magic was new and she did not know the power or the magnitude that her actions would rain down on the world. But she has help fighting them, so she is not alone. The Connelly boys are right there with her, some more reluctantly than others. Jack has strong feelings for her, which Scarlet fully reciprocates. The other three Connelly boys are not quite as enthusiastic about Scarlet’s newfound role in their lives, but she helped save their mother, so they will always be grateful for her help.

When Scarlet’s father starts acting strangle, Jack realizes that he has a demon inhabiting his body. Scarlet will do anything to save her father, even if that means entering the Otherworld to fight demons more powerful than she could imagine. Jack and Scarlet set out on a mission to save her father and most likely the world.

Adding to the small job of saving mankind, the budding relationship between Scarlet and Jack begins to bloom. Like any relationship, it has its ups and downs, but considering the world as we know it might end if they don’t work together, it makes the stakes so much higher than your average lover’s spat.

Once again Ms. Velez has delivered a solid plot with multidimensional characters. While Scarlet and Jack are saving humanity, Rory, Connor and Lucas are becoming more complex. Their magic is developing and they are finding out they can solve problems without Jack, who usually comes to their rescue.

This is the second book in the Celtic Witch Series. It is also the second book I have read by Ms. Velez. The third book in this series will be released in late 2019. You could read this book as a one off novel because the previous book is referenced enough to understand what is happening. But I suggest reading The Connelly Curse first because it is a must read for Urban Fantasy fans. And more importantly, you will want to know the story and characters from the beginning.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman.

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Book Review: The Connelly Boys – Outstanding New YA Urban Fantasy Series

The Connelly Boys – (Celtic Witches #1)

By Lily Velez

Being one of the handful of girls in the entire school stinks. But seventeen year old Scarlet Monroe has little choice in the matter. Everything in her world has changed recently. Her mom died after a long battle with cancer. She had to move to Ireland to live with her father, whom she barely knows. And now she has to go to the school where her father teaches. So here she is, a female in an elite all-boys Catholic Prep school just trying to make it through the day without incident.

Choosing a seat next to a boy who seems indifferent, she gazes out the window while doodling because she doesn’t even have the required books. When she sees a vine moving in a tree as if it is a snake, she assumes she is losing it. Shaking her head, she tries to listen to the professor and ignore the strange sight.

During a tour of the campus, Scarlet sees a guy she can’t take her eyes off of. Her tour guide warns her away from Jack Connelly, stating that he is cursed and that his entire family is probably cursed as well. Recently, the grandfather that is raising him and his brothers jumped off a cliff to his death, leaving the boys in the care of their uncle. Scarlet is shocked, but still feels inexplicitly drawn to Jack.

As soon as Scarlet and Jack meet, she begins to encounter things that are much more intense than moving vines. The infamous Connelly Boys – Jack, Conner, Lucas and Rory would soon become her unwilling allies and friends. Could the rumors about them being supernatural beings actually be true? And how could Scarlet possibly be a part of the world that has powers that most humans do not have or want. But she will do anything to help the father she is just beginning to care about even if it ends up being an epic battle of good versus evil.

This YA Urban Fantasy is full of action, twists and turns as the teens are called upon to save their loved ones using ancient spells, weapons and their own ingenuity. Velez writes one of the best battle scenes between demons and witches I have ever read. It is as if the Harry Potter series and the Sookie Stackhouse series had babies for our reading pleasure.

The characters are rich and complex. I was surprised and pleased to find out the identity of the person orchestrating the evil. When the character was revealed, it absolutely made sense but I didn’t figure it out beforehand, which delights me to no end.

This is the first book in the Celtic Witch Series. It is also the first book I have read by Ms. Velez. I cannot wait to read book #2 in the series.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Author and Bookfunnel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Book Review: The Ghost Photographer – Cosmic Journey of Self Discovery

The Ghost Photographer A Hollywood Executive Discovers the Real World of Make-Believe

By Julie Riuger

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from the publisher/author in connection with Killer Nashville in return for my review. Copyright © 2018 Laura Hartman

The Ghost Photographer takes the reader along on Julie Rieger’s cosmic course of self-discovery. Her journey of is not always an easy choice, but she jumps in with both feet willing to take the ride wherever it takes her. But her newly found psychic powers allow her to be at peace with herself and others. Isn’t that about all anyone can ask for?

Julie is often bawdy, funny and willing to share both the good and bad parts of her life with her readers. She explores the reason for her grief, but realizes grief comes to others in different forms that are just as devastating as the loss of her mother was to her. She knows she needs to dig deeper to figure out the person she will be now that she is really on her own for the first time in her life.

Her journey begins when she discovers pictures of ghosts in photographs she has taken. (The pictures are included at the end of the book for you to decide for yourself). She works to develop her psychic gifts with close friends who have clairvoyant abilities. She also references famous people who were prophetic, second-sighted and/or were precognitive. They include Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill to name a few.

The thing that may surprise readers about Julie is her reliance on religion throughout her journey. She repeats how often she uses the power of prayer to protect herself and others from evil spirits. It should not surprise us that good and evil go hand in hand, and protecting yourself with a higher power is often necessary when delving into the unknown. There are a few things that might give you goose bumps. The chapter about “Old Scratch”, whom the Bible says is a stand in for the devil, is pretty creepy.

This is a very interesting, funny and thought provoking book. It is fast to read and full of things that you may or may not believe could ever happen. If so, take it at face value for your entertainment. That is okay, it is Julie’s journey to document and share. If you are a fan of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert or Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Sheryl Strayed you need to read this book. Journey and self-discovery comes to different people in different ways, each of them unique and interesting to read about.

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