Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Day 11: #Spotlight: Deep In The Hollow by Brandy Nacole #HalloweenBooks, #CryptKeeper2017






Deep in the Hollow
Chindi Series
Brandy Nacole

Genre: Paranormal

Publisher: Brandy Nacole

Date of Publication: September 15, 2016

ASIN: B014U7BMU0

Number of pages: 232
Word Count: 80,000

Cover Artist: The Book Cover Machine

Tagline: Greed has a price, and the dead do not always rest.

Book Description:

Let me share some wisdom with you. There is evil in this world we cannot see, not because it is hidden from us, but because our minds refuse to accept its existence. But once we are able to get past what everyone says should not be, it becomes our responsibility to stop the evil we now see.

This insight wasn’t given to me until a year after I lost the most important person in my life: Bryce Rowan. Now, after another death at the same spot where he died—the overlook, where the mysterious lights dance amongst the trees—I begin to wonder if they were accidents after all.

Lucky for me, I’m not the only curious one in town. Cooper, a ghost hunter (aka chaser), and his sister Jada have moved to town and are starting to ask questions.

But the more we find out about this town and the people who live here, people who I have known my whole life, the more I begin to think there are those who would rather keep the evil secret, even if it means we will never be safe, and that more will die.


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Excerpt:

Prologue
July 11, 1972 

Once again I’ve fallen prey to MaryAnn’s pleading, and I follow her out the window, my stomach churning with dread, a contrast to her excitement. I don’t know why I let her talk me into these things. She’s always getting us into trouble, has been since we were little. Yet, here I am, still following her after seven years of mistake after mistake. There’s something about her I can’t say no to. I’ve always thought of her as my sister, not my cousin, and considering we were born only two days apart, we are more like sisters—look like it too. But still, even sisters tell each other no every once in a while. Not me. This time though, I should have.
Our tiny flashlights give off little light in the dark forest, mine unsteady as it shakes in my hand. Thorns scrape at my skin and I look back, hoping to see a light in the cabin on and my grandfather coming out to see where us girls have run off to. No such luck. The small, two-bedroom cedar cabin is dark, its frame nothing but an outline against the trees around it.
“I think we should go back,” I whisper, my voice trembling.
“Will you quit whining, Ester? This is no different than walking through the woods during the daylight.”
I beg to differ. During the day, the green leaves look welcoming, not over-powering and creepy like now. I don’t feel trapped and afraid when walking these familiar woods when the sun is shining bright, but now I do.
“But, MaryAnn, grandpa said—”
“He was just trying to scare you,” she hisses, as she shines her light on a raccoon scavenging for food. It rushes off to hide from what he perceives as danger and we continue on through the thicket.
No matter what MaryAnn says, I know she’s wrong. I saw the fear in our grandfather’s eyes as he told us the story of the thing that haunts these woods. MaryAnn had been enthralled as she sat by the fire, her eyes bright, her body unmoving as she absorbed every word. I had been terrified. Our grandfather has never been a skeptical man, always saying rumors and legends are nonsense. “What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t witness with your mouth.” So to see the fear in his eyes as he witnessed the story he told us tonight is enough to convince me he was telling the truth, and not just some tale to scare his grandchildren.
An owl hoots overhead and a chill slowly creeps up my back, making me shiver.
“I think we should wait. I don’t have a good feeling about this.”
MaryAnn ignores my pleas, knowing I won’t go back alone.
The leaves rustle as a slight wind picks up. I can no longer see the outline of the cabin. I don’t know if it’s from my fear, but our lights seem to grow dimmer, making the darkness feel as if it is weighing down on us.
A small clearing comes into view, with timber laying hazardously along the ground.  
“We are almost there,” MaryAnn whispers. “This is where grandpa and his workers have been logging close to the overlook.”
Good. Once we reach the overlook and she sees it is the same during the night as it is during the day, we can go back to the safety of the cabin. I can already feel the relief of being back under my blankets, eagerly waiting for morning, with the fresh smell of biscuits baking in the oven and bacon frying in the pan filling the air.
Whoosh.
“What was that?” I ask, panicked, and spin around in a circle, my flashlight shaking with more force.
“Ester, please stop this nonsense. I’m sure it was nothing.”
Once on the other side of the clearing, we start the mile hike up the incline and once again I wish we had stuck to the main road instead of taking the shorter path through the woods. The ground is slick from the rain we had yesterday, and with every step I take, I lose two as I slide back down.
MaryAnn grabs my hand, steadying me, as we both use our weight to climb the impossible hill.
Whoosh.
“Did you hear that?” she asks, her voice a bit higher than before.
I close my eyes, my stomach tensing. She better not be playing any games with me. I will rat her out in a heartbeat if she is.
“Yes. What do you think it is?”
Before she can answer, a strange mist builds in front of us. I examine it closely and point it out to MaryAnn, but before it takes on a shape, it’s gone.
Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.
A strong wind spins around us, and not caring about what MaryAnn thinks, I let go of her hand and tumble back down the hill, scared for my life. My feet are unsteady as the land levels out again and I fall over a log. Seconds later, MaryAnn lands on top of me.
“Come on!” she screams, terror in her voice. “We have to get back to the cabin.”
“What did you see?” I demand, as I race after her, dodging fallen limbs. But she doesn’t answer. She keeps running, looking back to make sure that I am close behind her.
A strong force comes from behind me and I’m shoved into MaryAnn’s back, making us both lose our footing.
Whoosh.
Tears pour down my face as we scramble to our feet, our flashlights lost in the darkness. We try our hardest to run through the darkness with no light to guide our way. MaryAnn grabs my hand, our sweaty fingers clinging as tightly as they can while we try to make out where we are.
When MaryAnn screams, her body jerked away from me, I feel as if I can’t breathe. Something is trying to take her from me. My grip on her hand tightens, my small twelve year old frame pulling as hard as possible against whatever is trying to tug her away.
A movement behind her catches my eye as we struggle, but I can’t make out who or what it is. It’s shrouded in a black cloak, practically invisible under the blanket of night. I do make out the grey mist behind it, as if it’s drifting and waiting for its prey.
My heart thrums, feeling as if it’s trying to escape out of my chest, and my throat grows tight as I choke on my tears. MaryAnn screams, begging me not to let go of her, as our fingers begin to slip.
Why can no one hear us? We have to be close to the cabin.
A sharp pain explodes in the back of my head, and I pitch forward, disoriented. My legs slip out from beneath me, and I can feel myself losing consciousness. MaryAnn’s fingers slip out of mine as I land against the damp leaves on the ground. The last thing I hear is her pleading for me to save her.



About the Author:

Gemini Brandy Nacole is a writer of urban fantasy and paranormal books published by Ponahakeola Press. A reader from a young age, Brandy has always loved folklore and stories of beings that go bump in the night.

Whenever she’s not reading or writing, Brandy is spending time with her family and friends, throwing around crazy ideas, teaching, and singing like a rock star at a concert for no one else but herself.  She loves plants, but unfortunately is a killer of anything that requires water but can’t voice (scream) their needs. 






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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Day 7 Countdown to #Halloween: Spot 7 Spooky! by Kids Label



SUMMARY:
Each spread of this Halloween-themed activity book features two spooky photographs that appear identical. Eagle-eyed readers, however, will spot seven things that have changed from one photo to the other. Perfect for fans of the I Spy or Where's Waldo series, the popular Spot 7 books offer benefits the other series don t: Comparing the two photos helps develop important reading skills, such as differentiation and visual memory. With a riddle on each spread and extra things to look for throughout the book, Chronicle's latest search-and-find activity book is sure to provide hours of spooky fun.

MY REVIEW:
As the summary states, this book is along the lines of the "I Spy" books and has that feel. However, in this case, the two-page spreads are very similar and it takes a keen eye to find what the reader is looking for. Each section has a riddle to solve which is pretty simple in nature. That to me was a nice touch but still does not hold up to the original "I Spy" books which I like.


Overall, the book is cute and tries to follow along a Halloween theme but in my mind, falls a bit short. Although I am reviewing it for Halloween books, it could easily follow for any day as it is certainly not spooky enough but kids will like it none-the-less.

3 stars!

Disclosure: I obtained a copy of this book from my local library.

WHERE TO FIND THE AUTHOR:
Amazon

Monday, October 2, 2017

Day 2 #Review: Skeleton Meets the Mummy by Steve Metzger #Halloween #CryptKeeper2017 #ScholasticBooks




Summary:
On Halloween night, Sammy has to make a quick trip through the dark woods before he can go trick-or-treating. But someone--or something--is following him. Scritch! Scratch! What could it be?

My review:
I wish I could say that I was overly enthralled with the story line of this book, I wasn't. The story is so-so in my mind and could have been something a bit better. However, that does not mean it is a completely terrible book. 

The illustrations are bold and a bit fun. It is fun to see a skeleton be scared.
Like the story line, the illustrations could have added more but still cute none-the-less.

The twist at the end was actually not predictable as I would have expected and truly was surprised.

I would probably say this book is good for the early reader who likes something a little spooky but not too scary.

I give it three pumpkins.


Disclosure: I obtained a copy of this book from my local library. The views here are 100% my own. ~Michelle aka Naila Moon, Crypt Keeper

Where to find the author:

Day 1 #Review: Vampire Boy's Goodnight by Lisa Brown #Halloween #CryptKeeper2017



Summary:


When the sun goes down and everything is wonderfully cold and dark, a vampire boy and a little witch go searching for children in the night.
But this is no ordinary night. It is Halloween, and what they find may surprise them. . . .

My review:

This is an adorable book that I could see myself reading over and over. Bela and Morgan are "real" vampires and witches who want to know about real children. Their adventure takes them to a local Halloween party. What happens there will tickle the reader just a bit.

What I liked most about this book is the subtle insertions in the illustrations. Children who read the book may not be aware of them and I felt it was more for adults reading to children. For example, the raven in the window sill or the pictures of scattered books with popular titles like, "Dracula" by Bram Stoker. There are many to be found and quite clever.

This is a sure win to have on the Halloween shelves and gets five pumpkins from me!


Disclosure: I obtained a copy of this book from my local library. The views expressed here are 100% my own. ~Michelle aka Naila Moon, Crypt Keeper

Where to find the author:


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Get Your Reading Spook-tacular Books Right Here! #Giveaway Announcement! #CryptKeeper2017

photo credit



It is that time of year by boo-kish friends when I change up my blog for Halloween reading delights. I become the Crypt Keeper of books for your reading pleasure.

This year, as in the past, I will present books with a "Halloween-ish" theme to them. Most of the books will be children's books that I review but some will be for adults as well. There will be some giveaways attached to some spotlighted or book blast books.

This year, I have decided to also give a $10 Amazon gift card away at the end of October. You will be asked to follow along with a "skeletal keyword" to put into the giveaway tools for each book. In essence, it will give you 31 chances to win if you come back every day. There will be other entries too.

Of course, you do not have to enter at all and that is ok but I would love, as all Crypt Keepers do, for you to leave me a comment on my pages. That makes my bones happy!

Happy Haunting!

Michelle aka Naila Moon

Friday, September 22, 2017

#BookBlast & #Giveaway: I. Am. Elizabeth, by Kathi Haacke Morehead

I. Am. Elizabeth by Kathi Haacke Morehead

I. Am. Elizabeth is a story of medieval intrigue based on the life of Elizabeth Plantagenet. Set both contemporaneously and in the 16th century, the reader will be invited to weigh for themselves the truth of Elizabeth's life, including the disappearance of Elizabeth's brothers, the Lost Princes in the Tower, the ascension of her uncle, Richard III, to the throne of England, and her marriage to Henry Tudor. Elizabeth Plantagenet was a daughter, niece, sister, wife, and mother to five Kings of England, and grandmother of the first and second Queens Regnant: Mary I and Elizabeth I. You may have met The White Princess, but prepare for your introduction to the real Elizabeth of York. Description: Elizabeth of York died in 1503. Annie Campbell lives today. Can they reach through time to heal one another's soul, or will their secrets be impossible to overcome? ... Why can't I sleep? It is not as though tonight is any different from last night, or the night before, or even the night before that. It's hot, and not a breath of air moves through the window. I feel like I will go mad from this anxiety, this fear. But of what? It's so very dark tonight. No moon, no light from the windows. Just dark... Damn you, darkness. You've not been kind the past few nights. What horror do you hold for me tonight?

Purchase the book:


$1.00 of all sales proceeds of paperback and hardback editions of this book will go to the fundraising campaign of Mt. Blanc for MS on behalf of Neely Worldwide Publishing and Kathi Haacke Morehead. For more information please visit https://theroyalmarinescharity.org.uk/news/ascent-of-mt-blanc/


About the author:
Kathi - White Night Author PicKathi Haacke Morehead made her fictional debut with WHITE NIGHT followed by the sequel Eternal Night. She is the author of HEART BLEED: Letting go and stanching the flow, and THE BEST FROM THE CHEAP SEATS. Her fiction has tackled questions of morality, spirituality, life after death, love, and integrity. She is not a conventional author, writes in a conversational style to better interact with her readers. If you're looking for high style, you won't find it in her work. Kathi believes in the value of tightly crafted story - everything else will fall into place. To quote Kathi: "I guess that makes me a bit of a bohemian. And I'm good with that." Kathi lives in Brunswick, Maryland with her husband, Dave, and four finicky felines. They have a blended family of 4 children and 3 grandchildren.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Review & Giveaway: Overwhelmed Writer Rescue by Colleen M. Story @colleen_m_story @iReadBookTours #WriterRescue #timemanagement


Summary:
Today’s demands on writers and other creative artists are overwhelming. Not only must you produce the work you love, but build and maintain a platform and market your finished products to the world—all while holding down a day job and/or caring for a family.

You teeter on the edge. What waits on the other side are burnout, exhaustion, and a complete loss of creative motivation.

Overwhelmed Writer Rescue provides practical, personalized solutions to help beginning and experienced writers and other creative artists escape the tyranny of the to-do list to nurture the genius within. You’ll find ways to boost productivity, improve time management, and restore your sanity while gaining insight into your unique creative nature and what it needs to thrive.


My Review:
I have read one of Ms. Story's books before, a novel, a book of great interest. So, it is that I was excited to read another. 

This book, however, is not a novel but a self-help book. It is one that I truly needed to read at this particular time in my life when I am so desperately trying to write my own stories.

I seriously have felt I have no time to do such a thing but, this author, with her book, has shown me not only how to find time but how not to be stressed while doing all the things I need to do.

She mentions at the beginning of her book that this is not just for writers but for anyone who is finding themselves pinched for time to do the things they really love to do.

The book is divided into sections to help the reader find the time, to not fall into pitfalls that sabotage and to pick one's self up when it does happen.

The author includes small boxes of "time treasures" to make the reader think and also includes quizzes to help further understand one's self, all to move forward into (this case) getting that writing done.

As I said before, this book has come at a great time for me and I do recommend it.

5 stars.
----------------------
Would you like to win a copy? Check out below and enter. Hurry, it ends Sept. 23, 2017. 

~Michelle aka Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Colleen M. Story has worked in the creative writing industry for over twenty years. Her novels include "Loreena's Gift," an Idaho Author Awards first place winner, New Apple Solo Medalist winner, Foreword Reviews' INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner, Reader Views award finalist, and Best Book Awards finalist; and "Rise of the Sidenah," a North American Book Awards winner and New Apple Book Awards Official Selection. 



As a health writer, Colleen has authored thousands of articles for publications like Healthline and Women's Health; worked with high-profile clients like Gerber Baby Products and Kellogg's; and ghostwritten books on back pain, nutrition, and cancer recovery. She finds most rewarding her work as a motivational speaker and workshop leader, where she helps writers remove mental and emotional blocks and tap into their unique creative powers. 



Colleen is the founder of Writing and Wellness (writingandwellness.com), a motivational site helping writers and other creative artists maintain their physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being throughout their careers. Sign up for your free weekly email containing tips for living your best creative life at writingandwellness/ newslett
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