Day Eight of Something Wicked Strikes brings us another visit from a terrific and talented indie author: JL Byran. This is Jeff's third appearance here on Wicked, and I am so pleased to have him back once again. For those of you who have not yet tried one of Jeff's books, you must grab one. They are delightfully creepy and perfect for the season. Today's book is all about ghosts and hauntings. I would not recommend reading this right before bed when sleeping in an unfamiliar house. (That is what I did). Before I get to the post, I must remind you to all to visit these stops:
Ali@My Guilty Obsession: Chaos by Sarah Fine
Let me reintroduce Jeff Bryan:
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.
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Here is Jeff posting on ghosts:
Five Reasons Ghosts Make the Scariest Villains
Thanks to Heidi for inviting me back for another great Something Wicked event! Since my new series is about ghosts, I thought we’d look at some reasons why ghosts are just the worst.
1.They’re dead people. Well, right away you know you’re dealing with something creepy—some restless spirit that crawled out of its grave to harass the living. What do they want? Revenge? To possess the living? Who knows? Their motivations are as diverse and bizarre as anyone else’s.
2.They can turn invisible. In fact, ghosts are invisible most or all of the time. If they do appear, it’s usually a very temporary apparition. For the most part, you may hear their footsteps, or see objects and furniture moving around the room just when you and your family were sitting down for a nice game of Parcheesi. The fact they’re invisible makes them extra scary and dangerous, because you never know when they’re in the room with you, or when they’re coming to get you.
3.They engage in psychological warfare. An unexplained moaning, groaning, or bumping sound in the night. A disembodied voice whispering from the shadows. A cold, invisible hand grabbing your ankle while you lay in bed. Ghosts can make you think you’re insane, or make it impossible for you to sleep and slowly drive you insane. Telling other people about your ghost will just make them think you’re crazy. Is it really a ghost, or is it your mind playing tricks on you? Only the ghost knows for sure.
4.It’s very hard to get rid of a ghost. You can kill them, because they’re already dead. So what do you do? There’s actually no clear answer. If the ghost is possessing a person, you can try for an exorcism, but it’s a long and difficult process to petition the Vatican for one of those. You’ll probably end up turning to some fly-by-night ghost-chop-shop for help. What else can you do? If you’re lucky, the ghost’s body is buried somewhere on your property. That might not sound lucky, but it indicates you might be able to get rid of the ghost by moving the body. Beyond that, who knows? You just have to wing it and hope for the best.
5.Ghosts may be real. Unlike vampires and werewolves, we can’t be sure that ghosts are entirely fictional. People from all cultures, all throughout history, have reported ghostly encounters. You may know someone who’s seen or heard, or you may have encountered one yourself. We can’t know whether ghosts truly exist or not, because we don’t really know if the soul survives death—and if it does, we don’t really know what it does afterward. So maybe that strange shadow in the hallway, or that odd creak you heard last night, really is a restless spirit. I hope this helps you sleep between now and Halloween!
A huge thanks to Jeff for once again being a part of Something Wicked! I love having authors come back again and again. Ghosts on are my list well, Jeff, they scare me because they can't be proven or disproven. Jeff is offering a chance to win a paperback copy of Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper to one lucky U.S. winner. To enter read the Contest Policies and fill out the Rafflecopter. Good Luck!
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper(Ellie Gordon #1) by JL Bryan
Ellie Jordan’s job is to catch and remove unwanted ghosts. Part detective, part paranormal exterminator, Ellie operates out of Savannah, Georgia, one of the oldest and most haunted cities in North America.
When a family contacts her to deal with a disturbing presence in the old mansion they’ve recently purchased, Ellie first believes it to be a typical, by-the-book specter, a residual haunting by a restless spirit. Instead, she finds herself confronting an evil older and more powerful than she’d ever expected, rooted in the house’s long and sordid history of luxury, sin, and murder. The dangerous entity seems particularly interested in her clients’ ten-year-old daughter.
Soon her own life is in danger, and Ellie must find a way to exorcise the darkness of the house before it can kill her, her clients, or their frightened young child.
Paperback, 218 pages
Four stars: A creepy, realistic ghostly tale.
Ellie and Stacey arrive at the old mansion. Ellie and Stacey are ghosts hunters and they have been called out to investigate a haunting by the new owners. At first, Ellie believes it to be a relatively simple case of a ghostly haunting, but she soon finds out that there are far more sinister and foul things residing in the house. With Stacey's help, Ellie intends to flush out the ghosts once and for all, but little does she know, she is up against a powerful force. Can Ellie clean house?
What I Liked:
- What a fun, creepy little book. What makes this book shine is that Mr. Bryan keeps it realistic. Ellie and her partner, Stacey, hunt ghosts with all of the latest technology that real ghost hunters use. I loved that it had a believable vibe throughout, and that made it all the more scary. Note to self and to you readers, don't read this book while away on vacation when you are sleeping in an unfamiliar place, it makes every unfamiliar sound in the night feel much more sinister!
- You want ghosts? There are plenty of spooky spirits in this one. From Mercy, the scary lady who haunts the family, to the terrible Captain Marsh, and lots of hobos, prostitutes and transient ghosts, there is even a junkie ghost looking for his next fix. I liked the variety of ghosts, and I appreciated that some were terrifying while others served as guardians. If you love believable ghost stories, this one is for you.
- The characters were terrific. I liked meeting Ellie and discovering the traumatic events in her past that drive her to hunt ghosts. She is fierce and brave, you have to be in order to trap ghosts and stay the night in haunted places*shivers*. I admired her tenacity and courage, especially in light of her past. I definitely want to know more about that pyrokinetic ghost. Stacy is Ellie's new, ambitious sidekick. She is optimistic, funny and she manages to keep things on the lighter side. I liked how she was willing to jump in and do what was necessary, even though she was at times terrified. I am anxious to see her mature as a ghost hunter. The rest of the cast from the family being haunted to the ghosts themselves were well developed and fleshed out. I thought the entire cast was terrific.
- For all of you technology geeks, there are plenty of gadgets, gizmos, and techniques utilized by the ghost hunters to trap ghosts. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring all these devices and learning how they were used. Mr. Bryan has done plenty of research to try and make sure that everything in the book used by the ghost busters is authentic. Who knew that there was such an array of inventions to catch ghosts? The traps were fascinating. If you are a fan of ghost shows, you will like this book.
- The setting, Savannah, is perfect for ghost huntings. Savannah is reputed to have an abundance of ghosts, and I can't wait for more adventures in this old, haunted city.
- The ending is satisfying with no cliffhangers. I especially loved the final twist with Mercy. Even though this is the first book in a new series, it can be read as a stand alone. The main threads are resolved, but there are some lingering issues regarding the characters that I cant wait to follow up on.
And The Not So Much:
- Ellie is employed by a retired, wheel chair bound, former detective. Calvin Eckhart was a character I desperately wanted to know more about. How did he end up paralyzed? Was it the result of an accident trapping ghosts? Why did he start trapping ghosts? I am hopeful that more of his story will be forthcoming in the next book.
- Calvin insists that Ellie bring in a psychic, Jacob Weiss, to help investigate the haunting. Ellie is extremely reluctant to have Jake help out, and she is downright rude to him. I couldn't figure out why she was so adverse to having extra help. I was also disappointed that Jake didn't play a bigger role because once he did start using his abilities, I wanted more. I need more of Jake in the next book as well.
- The overall story was a bit predictable. There were plenty of clues dropped ahead of time so the reveals didn't have the same impact. I pretty much had everything figured out one step ahead of the characters. Not a big issue, but I was hoping for a few jaw dropping surprises.
- I wasn't satisfied with the information provided regarding Louisa Marsh. I feel like there was way more to her part of the story, and I wanted more answers.
- For all you scaredy cats out there, this is definitely a nail bitting, creepy book not to be read before bed if you are prone to nightmares. Some of the final ghostly scenes are downright scary, and what makes it even more frightening is that ghosts are one of those phenomenons that can't be proved or disproved. Who knows? So if you scare easily, best read this during the day.
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper is a solid start to what is sure to be an exciting series. I have become a big fan of Mr. Bryan over the last three years, and this latest installment doesn't disappoint. It is a realistic, creepy book all about ghosts and those brave enough to hunt them. This first installment sets the stage for more terrifying and exciting adventures for the ghost hunting gang. I am eagerly awaiting book two!
"Tips for breaking into an abandoned mental hospital: first, get permission from the current owner, probably a bank or government agency. Second: go during the daytime. Third: go with a large group."
I purchased a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.