Something Wicked Day #7 brings us another talented indie author. J.L. Bryan is stopping by today to share his thoughts on scary things. I recommend you check out his books if you want creepy and interesting as well as different. His series The Paranormals features teenagers with strange powers. In book one, Jenny Pox, Jenny Morton is a teenager who cannot touch anyone ever without spreading a deadly pox. Book two, brings us Tommy, a boy who can push fear into others with his touch. I like that this series is scary, and it reminds me a bit of earlier Stephen King books. If you are on the hunt for a great, creepy paranormal YA series try The Paranormals I am pleased to welcome Jeff back for another spot on the Something Wicked Returns. Jeff was here last year, and I am thrilled he decided to return this year. Let me tell you all a bit about Jeff:
J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on the English Renaissance and the Romantic period. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He enjoys remixing elements of paranormal, supernatural, fantasy, horror and science fiction into new kinds of stories. He is the author of The Paranormals series (Jenny Pox, Tommy Nightmare, Alexander Death, Jenny Plague Bringer) and other books. Be sure to check out his latest time travel dystopian: Nomad. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Christina, his son John, and some dogs and cats. You can find J.L. Bryan on his website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
And here is Jeff:
The Scariest Thing You’ve Never Seen
by J.L. Bryan
Are there any scary monsters left? Vampires have become the sexy monsters of romance, werewolves the less-sexy monsters of the same genre. Zombies are figures of fun. Mummies and swamp creatures are all but forgotten, as far as the major monsters of the past are concerned.
Of all the monsters we see in books and movies, I would argue that ghosts are the scariest. While we can say with confidence that vampires, werewolves, and zombies don’t exist and have never existed, we just can’t be sure about ghosts. Death remains a mystery, and the question of whether some restless spirits might still be hanging around to harass us remains an open one.
The best horror stories keep the monsters unseen—the unknown thing behind the door is always scarier than what you see when you open it.
Ghosts fit the bill perfectly. A ghost is usually not seen, only implied by thin evidence. A light that goes on or off without explanation, a creaking board in the attic, a whispered voice in a dark room, a sudden inexplicable chill—any of these could indicate that you’re in a haunted place.
Ghosts are sneaky because they can do things that are terrifying in the middle of the night, but sound unimportant when you try tell others in the light of day. A door opened? You felt cold for a minute? A chilly voice seemed to whisper in your ear? All of this can be explained away with a shrug. Hey, maybe you just have a draft in your house.
A ghost can terrify you with these small things without ever making an appearance. Even worse, they can drive to question your own sanity. If your house isn’t haunted, then maybe your mind is!
Because they’re believable, and because they can scare you with a seemingly mundane event that most people can dismiss as non-supernatural, I vote for ghosts as the scariest monsters of all.
In the comments below, you might tell us what you think is the scariest monster!
Thanks so much Jeff. You are right, ghosts are truly creepy and I would hate to run across one alone in the middle of the night. Enter to win a signed copy of Jenny Pox by filling out the Rafflecopter after reading the Contest Policies! Good luck!
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Here is my review:
Tommy Nightmare (The Supernaturals #2) by J.L. Bryan
While Fallen Oak recovers from the Jenny pox, someone new is hunting Jenny.Like Jenny, Ashleigh Goodling belonged to a pair of opposites with powers that mirror each other.
Now Jenny and Seth must face the opposite of love...
***Alexander Death, the third book in the Paranormals series, is now available.
The fourth book, Jenny Plague-Bringer, will be available in the fall of 2012.
Kindle Edition Published April 9th 2011 (first published April 1st 2011)
Four stars: An exceptional sequel that raises the stakes and establishes a strong foundation!
Tommy has the power to put fear into others just by his touch. At a young age, he was bullied and abused by his foster father, until the day he decided he had enough. Tommy now as an adult has led a life of crime, it is all too easy when you can force others to do your will by pushing fear into them. Sitting in prison, Tommy sees a lovely teenage girl, Ashleigh, discussing the evils of teen pregnancy. For some inexplicable reason he is drawn to her. He decides to head across country to the small town of Fallen Oaks in hopes of finding her. Little does he know that his path is about to cross with some centuries old enemies. Once again, the battle lines are drawn. Who will win?
What I Liked:
- I enjoyed Jenny Pox but I wasn't prepared for the notched up action and suspense in this sequel, it was amazing! Tommy Nightmare outdoes its predecessor with more danger, diabolical plotting, and twists. If you were a fan of the first book, but you have not had time read this one (I am guilty) what are you waiting for?
- The stakes are raised as we are introduced to new characters such as Tommy, Esmerelda and Alexander. Tommy has the touch of fear, Esmerelda speaks to the dead and Alexander is a necromancer. Jenny with her deadly pox is back along with Seth the healer, and let's not forget the cunning Ashleigh. She is a perfect villain as she is pure evil. She is one of those characters that makes you shudder every time she is in a scene. Ashleigh is manipulative, dangerous and a downright bitch. She is one of those characters that you love to hate. I always enjoy a villain that elicits a strong repulsive response and Ashleigh definitely does not disappoint. However, she does have some funny moments in this one and she especially cracked me up when she channeled poor Darcy.
- I liked seeing the characters come together. Not only do they meet up in the modern world, but there are flashbacks to their previous lives dating back hundreds of thousands of years. Jenny, Seth, Ashleigh, Tommy, Esmerelda and Alexander have clashed time and time again with many different outcomes. I am interested to see how their battle will play out in this lifetime.
- I love the suspense and tension in this one. There are some creepy parts, but nothing over the top gross or gory. Plenty of scheming and lots of twists and surprises. Mr. Bryan has stepped up to the challenge to write a better second book, and I think he excelled at his task. I am kicking myself for not reading this sooner. Now to find time to read the third and fourth books. If you are looking for an exciting, dark, and different YA paranormal series, this is a good bet.
And The Not So Much:
- Even though this was originally written as a YA series, I think by today's standards it fits better into the NA category. The characters are eighteen and over, and there are mature themes. Not to mention lots of sexual references, sometimes even straying into the vulgar territory along with some sex scenes. This is truly not a book for younger readers as it is a bit dark and twisted.
- I was pleased to find that this book did a solid job of recapping the previous events that occurred in Jenny Pox so I wasn't lost. The only exception being that I had forgotten why Ashleigh plotted to have a bunch of teenage girls in her school get pregnant. This is not a big issue, but I would love to have my memory nudged, since this issue is brought up several times.
- Tommy is the title character and the book starts out with his point of view, but as the story progresses he takes a backseat to the action and the story rolls back to the main players from Jenny Pox. By the end of the book, he is not much more than a secondary character. I was a little surprised by his diminished role just because I was drawn in by his story and then he falls to the sidelines.
- Alexander makes an appearance toward the end and he plays an important part. I was wishing that I had a better grasp on his character and his motives. However, the next book is titled Alexander Death so I am guessing I will get to know him more intimately in the third book.
- Finally, the fledging romance which took center stage in Jenny Pox falters in this one, and at the end of the book, it appears that a love triangle is about to rear its ugly head. I am hoping that is not the case!
Tommy Nightmare proves that J.L. Bryan is not a fluke. This book establishes that The Supernaturals is a solid indie series that you need to read. It has lots of action, diabolical characters, a crazy good story line and some interesting paranormal powers. I cannot wait to dive into the third book to see what happens next.
"I've never even had a boyfriend. Just the one time with Bret Daniels, when we sinned really bad. I mean, he sinned my brains out. But he never acted like he cared about me after that."
"Sometimes everybody's wrong."
"Every lifetime has its share of suffering." Alexander looked out the windshield at the galaxies of stars. "Forgetting is a gift."
I purchased a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
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