Something Wicked rises up and brings another fantastic, spooky read for today. I am thrilled to be once again hosting author Jeff Bryan here today. Jeff has participated in Something Wicked every year since its inception. Today, Jeff is here with book five of his Ellie Jordan Ghost Trapper Series. I have become a big fan of this series, it's addictive. For those of you who are new to the series, The Ellie Jordan Series is about a ghost hunter, who uses modern technology to trap ghosts. I love all the gadgets, the science and the history behind each case. What I love about this series is that it is realistic and creepy and you can pick them up and read through them quickly, and each book is like a small episode. Okay, I am rambling on and on. Let's meet 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.
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Jeff is here guest posting today so please welcome him back:
So You Want to Go Ghost Hunting...
Maybe you're having trouble with a ghost in your home—unexplained footsteps at night, doors and cabinets mysteriously opening, pale apparitions watching you while you sleep. Or maybe you're thinking of buying a creepy, abandoned old house and you just want to check it for restless spirits before you put money in escrow. Or maybe it's Halloween and you just want to sneak into someplace spooky, like that abandoned amusement park at the edge of town.
Whatever your reasons, you'll be happy to learn that there are several well-established techniques to help you find the ghosts you're looking for. These are used by real ghost hunters as well as the characters in my Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper Series (giveaway details below!). I've spent a ridiculous amount of time studying real (and supposedly real) hauntings as research for this series, and I've found that real-world ghost hunting techniques generally fall into five major areas:
A paranormal investigator's first step is to speak with anyone who saw, heard, or felt something that seemed spooky and unnatural at the location. Often these witnesses are people who live or work in the haunted building and have contacted the paranormal investigators for help. Witness accounts gives investigators an idea of which specific rooms or areas are believed to have ghosts, and possibly some idea of whether the ghost is benign or dangerous. Are the investigators here out of curiosity only, or do the ghosts pose a real threat?
Who the heck is haunting this house, anyway? Investigators may research the history of the property to try to determine the identity of the ghost. Tragic and violent circumstances are often at the root of the haunting, with the ghosts trapped in their own memories of misery and murder. Identifying the ghost and the issues that are keeping it bound to the location can be the first step in a successful de-haunting. Investigators may have to comb through local archives, libraries, courthouse records, and more in order to find any clues about tragic events that may have caused the haunting, or past residents of the property who might fit the description of ghosts that have been encountered there.
Investigators might use a variety of tools for attempting to find and even communicate with ghosts. Prior to the twentieth century, a popular tool for spirit communication was a planchette outfitted with a pencil—people would place their fingers onto the device and try to get ghosts to write messages on paper. This was later simplified into “talking boards” like the popular Ouija boards.
Today, ghost hunters use a range of electronic equipment, including thermal and night vision video cameras, motion detectors, laser grids, and electromagnetic frequency meters to detect any strange energy activity. One favorite technique is to ask questions of the ghost while taking an audio recording. Later, investigators will listen carefully for any voices or other sounds that seem to answer their questions. Today's paranormal investigators collect hours and hours of video and audio during an investigation that must be reviewed for hints of communication from the dead.
Some people are mediums with empathic or psychic connections to the world of the dead. They might be able to see, hear, feel, or even communicate with ghosts. A psychic can help determine the identity and motives of the ghost(s) in your house, and possibly find ways to remove the ghost, too. Finding a good medium isn't always easy, however. You don't have to have the world's greatest and most powerful medium on hand, but you want to avoid the worst mediums, too—try for a “medium” medium.
If a ghost is causing problems, you might be interested in removing it from the premises. For a pesky nuisance ghost without much power, sometimes just a direct confrontation by the homeowner is sufficient, maybe accompanied by “smudging” the house (burning sage to ward off unwanted spirits). A medium may know how to guide ghosts into moving on to the next world. Sometimes religious leaders have experience with exorcising ghosts, too. Sometimes, unfortunately, nothing seems to work, and the living just have to learn to live with the haunting or surrender the property to the ghosts! This the origin of many creepy old abandoned houses around the world—ghosts can take over and drive out the living.
On that note, we hope you're enjoying this year's Something Wicked, and thanks to Heidi for inviting me back again this year! I'm offering autographed paperbacks of the first two books in my Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper Series to one winner (open internationally). The first book is currently free in ebook format on all platforms, so you can grab a free copy today on Amazon, Nook, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. I hope you enjoy it, and Happy Halloween!
Thanks so much, Jeff, for once again taking time out of your busy schedule to return for Something Wicked. I am always delighted to have you here, and I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in The Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper Series. Jeff is graciously offering to one lucky winner signed paperback copies of Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper and Cold Shadows (Ellie Jordan Ghost Trapper Book 2) To enter read the Contest Policies and fill out the Rafflecopter. Jeff has generously made this giveaway open Internationally! Good Luck.
Here is my review:
House of Whispers(Ellie Jordan #5) by J.L. Bryan
The luxurious Lathrop Grand Hotel is a Savannah institution that has entertained guests for more than a century and a half, offering some of the finest accommodations in the city. Famously haunted, the hotel draws tourists from around the world eager to encounter its numerous ghosts. The hotel is also known for being honeycombed with hidden doors and secret passages, enabling staff to appear and disappear quickly as they attend to the hotel's guests.
Now some of the spirits in the Lathrop Grand have turned violent, even murderous. Ellie and Stacey must determine which ghost has become dangerous and remove it from the hotel before it can claim any more lives.
They soon learn the hotel has secrets even darker than the notorious string of nineteenth-century murders that made it famous, and the powerful entities inhabiting it don't intend to leave without a fight.
Kindle Edition, 220 pages
Published: October 2nd 2015 by J.L. Bryan
Four and a half stars: A creepy and thrilling tale that blends ghosts from different eras.
Ellie and Stacie are ready to take on their next case. They have been hired to investigate a death in the elegant and quite haunted Lathrop Grand Hotel. The hotel has hosted and entertained guest for one hundred and fifty years. The Lathrop has one famous ghost, Stabby Abby, a Confederate nurse who reportedly slashed the throats of Union Soldiers. Abby has been around for years, but for whatever reason, the paranormal activity has reached a new and dangerous level. Recently when construction workers were renovating the mysterious fourth floor, things turned deadly. Has Abby continued her murderous ways?
What I Liked:
- I am always thrilled to plunge into the next Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper Series because I know I will get an exciting and creepy tale with plenty of ghosts and history as well as fun gadgets and gizmos for capturing ghosts. If you are a fan of real life ghost hunters, this is a fun series that you need to check out.
- One of the things I love the most about this series is that all of the hauntings have a long and interesting history. I always enjoy when Ellie goes digging into the past to uncover who is behind the haunting and why. The series is set in Savannah, a city with a long, ghostly history, and I often wonder if Mr. Bryan uses real life ghost tales for the books.
- House of Whispers was my favorite book in the series to date. What made this book exciting was that it was set in a hotel with a long and sordid history. It has many ghosts from different eras. For instance, there is Stabby Abby, the hotel's most notorious ghost who haunts room 208. Abby was a young Confederate nurse who slashed the throats of enemy soldiers. Along with Abby, there are numerous Union Soldiers, as well as some yellow fever victims. Then there are the dangerous ghosts up on the fourth floor from the twentieth century. This group of ghosts in life were dabbling in spiritualism, psychic energy and other dangerous paranormal activity. It is up to Ellie and Stacie to sort through the hauntings and determine who is causing the problems. I thought the hotel was an excellent setting, with its long history and deaths, it was a creepy backdrop.
- I love the relationship between Ellie and Stacie. They work well together, and balance each other perfectly. Ellie is straight forward, serious and she is very aware of how dangerous her job is. Stacie is the opposite. She is more carefree and upbeat. She is quick to crack a joke or a smile, and she is a bit wacky. I enjoy watching them work together to trap the ghosts. Along with Jacob, the psychic, they make a terrific team. Speaking of Jacob, he continues to be fascinating. I always look forward to his psychic readings of each haunted spot.
- The ending is fast, furious and shocking. I have to admit, I didn't see it coming. It was a whirlwind. However, once the dust settled, I was completely satisfied with the way it all went down. I also love that this series refrains from cliffhangers. You get a complete ghost mystery with each book, which makes them all the more addictive. Yes, you can pick them up and read them out of order, but of course, they read best in sequential order.
And The Not So Much:
- This book picks up a theme from the last book regarding Ellie's boss wanting to sell the business. While there is a bit of development with that story line, I was left hanging. I was hoping for more resolution.
- While I loved that the ending caught me off guard and that it was a bit of a shocker, I wish that the reader had been clued into Ellie's reasoning. I wanted a better understanding as to what tipped her off as to who the real villain was. I was confused as well over how the young girl was kidnapped. Was she taken from her room or from somewhere else and how? I also wanted a bit more aftermath.
- I adore Jacob and Michael, and I keep hoping that we will get a bit more romance. We need more of the guys.
House of Whispers is my favorite book in the series to date. I loved the creepy setting, and the abundance of ghosts from different eras. This is a highly addictive series, and I appreciate that you can pick one of the books up and read it in a couple of hours and get a full story. If you are wanting a ghostly read on the realistic side, this is the perfect series for the Fall season. If you love ghosts, you must read these books!
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.
Don't miss the rest of the Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper Series:
For those of you who want to do some binge reading, you can purchase all five ebooks for under $15.00, and for those of you who want to try the series, book one, Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper, is free right now. Don't miss out!
See you back tomorrow for another thrilling post and giveaway.
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