Trick or Treat Book Blog Hop and Giveaway

Trick-or-Treat Reads Book Hop

It’s heeeeere…

The third annual Trick or Treat Book Blog Hop!

Today’s the day! Right now. Don’t delay!

Free books!

Started by author Patricia Lynne (@plynne_writes), the Trick-or-Treat Book Blog Hop features authors who give away free books in honor of Halloween and spiced cider and spooky October nights.

Readers, you are in for a treat—no trick—as you add to your TBR list!

For your Halloween trick or treating pleasure, I will be offering both of my ebooks—the time-slip ghost novel Moonlight Dancer and the review anthology  31 Ghost Novels to Read Before You Die—for free on Halloween. Just click on the blue links to access the free books.

Moonlight Dancer                                              31 Ghost Novels to Read Before You Die

Don’t forget to check out all the other wonderful authors giving away books today as well.
Click the links in the list below to visit their sites.

And one more thing. If you enjoy the books you download at the Trick or Treat Book Blog Hop, please consider writing a review. That’s one treat all the authors would appreciate.

Small and Spooky

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Review: Small and Spooky Edited by M.R. Nelson

You’ve heard of flights, yes? Kayleigh Kulp of Wine Enthusiast Magazine explains that flights, “which usually consist of three to eight tastes of comparable wines, are designed to encourage novices and experts alike to explore….”

Borrowing from that concept, M.R. Nelson has created an interesting niche of literary Taster Flights in the publishing world. Her latest offering, Small and Spooky, is just up my dark alley.

In this taster flight, M.R. Nelson has brought together classic ghost stories from some of our best loved authors. Small and Spooky features six stories: “The Marble Child” by E. Nesbit, “The Wind in the Rose-bush” by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, “Their Dear Little Ghost” by Elia Wilkinson Peattie, “Morella” by Edgar Allen Poe, “The Old Nurse’s Story” by Elizabeth Gaskell, and “The Doll’s Ghost” by F. Marion Crawford.

Of these stories, Edgar Allen Poe’s was the creepiest with a sort of twisted sexual overtone, just as readers of The Fall of the House of Usher might expect (though subtle enough that young readers will not be distressed). E. Nesbit’s “The Marble Child” is a sweet story of love between friends from the author of Five Children and It, a lovely children’s novel with a sand fairy. My family and I were living in London in 1991 when the BBC aired a wonderful six part production of Five Children and It. We all enjoyed watching it, and I recommend it to everyone.

Though I enjoyed all the stories in Small and Spooky (with the possible exception of Poe’s and with apologies to Elizabeth Gaskell whose novel North and South I love), my favorites of this ghost flight are “Their Dear Little Ghost” and “The Doll’s Ghost.” Both of these stories, while melancholy, are gentle and kind in the grand style of Victorian children’s literature. I will confess that when I read over “Their Dear Little Ghost” a second time, I felt a little prickle of tears.

The collection of stories in Small and Spooky is well worth tasting both for the stylish writing and for the vintage illustrations. You will discover new works by familiar authors guaranteed to shadow your waking thoughts. For, as Editor Nelson says, “Even small ghosts can be spooky.”

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For more spooky short stories, be sure to visit the R.I.P. Challenge at Stainless Steel Droppings to see what other readers and bloggers are imbibing.

Haunted Souls by Kathryn Knight

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Review: Haunted Souls by Kathryn Knight

I like the double entendre of the title Haunted Souls; it’s not just a ghost who is haunted in Kathryn Knight’s novel. Emily Shea and her former lover Staff Sergeant Brett Leeds are both haunted by their pasts. Emily is raising a child alone and is tormented by the fact that she has never been able to share this news with his father, Brett. Brett is haunted by the events he witnessed in Afghanistan, events that shatter his dreams every night.

Brett is now stateside and knows he has a son and cannot forgive Emily for keeping that fact from him, nor will he listen to her explanations of the ways she tried to contact him. Meanwhile, Emily and her son Tyler go on a haunted walking tour with a friend from preschool, and while on the tour, Tyler meets a ghost from the past. This child ghost follows Emily and Tyler home and attaches himself to Tyler.

Haunted Souls follows three story threads–the tenuous forgiveness and developing relationship between Emily and Brett, the troubled ghost in Emily’s house, and Emily’s suspicions that her friend from preschool is living in a dangerously abusive marriage.

The relationship between Emily and Brett is beautifully layered and ultimately believable. They both wrestle with inner demons yet are able to turn to each other in times of need. (Note: like many romances, Haunted Souls contains sex scenes. I think there were about six quite detailed sexual encounters, so this novel would not be appropriate for readers wishing to avoid such scenes.)

The abusive marriage of Emily’s friend and Emily’s attempts to help her are written with delicacy and compassion. Readers will cheer Emily’s persistent, thoughtful efforts to help her friend in a perilous situation. And this story-line later provides some heart-pounding drama!

Less successful for me was the ghost story. The ghost did not exert enough presence for him to feel an integral part of the novel. The details of the ghost child’s life were imparted mostly through Tyler’s flat monologue and Emily’s computer searches. My interest was piqued when the psychic entered Emily’s home, as I was really ready at that point in the novel to be immersed in sensory details and experience a tension-filled encounter with a spectral messenger. (Some of my favorite moments in ghost books and movies involve the give-and-take between psychic and spirit. The movie The Orphanage comes to mind.) However, in Haunted Souls the psychic’s revelations read more like a bland recitation of facts than the high drama I expected.

Though the ghost element was lacking, Haunted Souls succeeds as a romance with a kindhearted, brave heroine willing to help those in need.

I received a copy of Haunted Souls from NetGalley.

 

Trick or Treat Book Blog Hop

Trick-or-Treat Reads Book Hop

Announcing the third annual Trick or Treat Book Blog Hop!

You’ll want to participate in this event. Trust me.

Started by author Patricia Lynne (@plynne_writes), the Trick-or-Treat Book Blog Hop features authors who give away free books in honor of Halloween and spiced cider and spooky October nights. If you’re an author, you are welcome to join in the event. If you’re a reader, you’ll have the most fun adding to your TBR list!

For authors and readers, all the details are over on Patricia’s blog, along with a Thunderclap that you can join to help spread the word.


Third Annual Trick-or-Treat Reads
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For your Halloween trick or treating pleasure, I will be offering both of my ebooks—the time-slip ghost novel Moonlight Dancer and the review anthology  31 Ghost Novels to Read Before You Die—for free. On Halloween, just click on the blue links to access the free books.

Moonlight Dancer                                              31 Ghost Novels to Read Before You Die

And check out the other free books from participating authors at Patricia’s blog!