Category Archives: Paranormal

That Which Remains: A Novel of Ghosts and Murder (Hometown Ghosts and Legends Book 1) by Terry Daly Karl

Reviewed by Ray Palen

That Which RemainsSet in the upper Western New York State town of Akron, located outside of Buffalo, is the Akron Hotel. This is the location for this outstanding, atmospheric story. To refer to THAT WHICH REMAINS a horror, supernatural or mystery tale would not be enough of a description. This novel contains all of those elements and more.

Author Terry Daly Karl is a resident of Akron and clearly knows the territory. She imbues her story with rich detail while at the same time using a modern-day time-frame to tell a tale that contains the rich elements that have made up classic ghost stories for centuries. THAT WHICH REMAINS includes ghost hunting, séances and a murder mystery which includes an other-worldly character as a potential suspect.

The novel opens with an employee of the Akron Hotel, Jenny Shenandoah, cursing as she has to travel to the upper floors of the Hotel which she firmly believes to be haunted. She believes she sees a ghost and runs to the Hotel Manager Steve and bartender Joe for protection. When the small team investigates things further on the 3rd floor they do not find a ghost. Instead they find the corpse of one of their missing employees, Wendy Kulbrick.

The Diary of an Immortal (1945-1959) by David Castello

Reviewed by Suzanne Odom

The Diary of an ImmortalThe story begins during the height of World War II. Twenty-one-year-old U.S. Army combat medic Steven Ronson, describes his weariness of the death that’s all around him. For him it is especially difficult when his company is the first to liberate the Nazi Concentration Camp, Dachau. While exploring the camp along with some other soldiers, they enter the cottage of a commander of the German military. Inside they find a lavishly decorated room with beautiful paintings and fine furniture. Behind one of the paintings, a wall safe is discovered. It contains German cash, jewelry and a large, mahogany box which is given to Steven. Thinking that it may consist of medical instruments, he opens it and finds two envelopes and a sizable stash of bottled pills. Thus begins his dalliance with immortality.

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The letters explain a doctor’s discovery of a formula designed for Adolf Hitler to give him immortality. After seeing so much death, Steven decides to take the pills and develops amazing, superhuman abilities. For one, his body is able to heal itself of any injuries.

Walking the Dead by Heather Graham

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Walking the DeadThis starts in Switzerland in 1816 when a group of well-known artists gather at the castle of a friend. It is to be a sociable, maybe some working, time for folks like Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, and Claire Godwin. Henry Hubert was the host and at the end of the little get-together he announces that he too is an artist. He also announces that he is going to begin “painting with blood” to hopefully cover much of the dark despair of the castle.

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The story then moves to the present day and is basically located in New Orleans where a family has been found slain. It was a man, his wife, her mother, father, and her aunt. They are strewn through the house and appear to be stabbed and sliced up with a knife and possibly a sword.

Utopia, Iowa by Brian Yansky

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Utopia, Iowa “I wanted to write about a magical Midwestern small town and a boy who will have to leave that magical town to chase his dream of writing the movies. There’s murder, mystery, and mayhem in this novel, but at the heart is the struggle of a boy to leave family, friends, and home behind to pursue his dreams.”

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For Jack Bell, who is entering his senior year in high school, life is not easy. Jack’s mouth tends to have a life of its own and he enjoys the trouble he causes, even if it means numerous detentions. He has big dreams of being a screen writer and believes that this will be his last year living in Utopia. His life next year will need to be in California.

The After House by Michael Phillip Cash

The After House

Reviewed by Book Bug

After divorcing her husband, Remy and her daughter move to an old cottage right near the water.

The house is a little big for just two people. The house is drafty and lets the chill inside.
On top of all that, The house has a ghost. A somewhat noisy one.

Remy’s mother introduces her to a new fellow. His name is Hugh. He seems to be just perfect for Remy. They connect like soul-mates from the start.

Remy begins to have bad luck again. Her yoga studio is targeted by vandals. She’s chased in her car which causes her to have an accident.

Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island by Michael Phillip Cash

Stillwell

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Any young family with one parent suffering from cancer has immense challenges that few people can really comprehend. Sometimes just maintaining a career, a marriage, and raising three children is overwhelming.

For Paul Russo, this is his life.

Paul has been a successful real estate agent in the Long Island area. Fortunately, his financial situation is healthy enough that he can take off time to be with his dying wife. However, a year with cancer treatments, death, and three children can be taxing on anyone financially, physically, and most of all, emotionally.

The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna

The Wedding Gift Reviewed by Teri Davis

Some people are fortunate that they were born beautiful. All their lives, they are judged as wonderful because of their outward appearance. That is Leeann.

Leeann was only a baby when one of her brothers died. Due to the family tragedy, her mother completely indulged her as a princess with the entire family enraptured with her beauty and charm.

However, the death of her brother was always an unresolved family issue. An oil-rich family lived in this Oklahoma small town and one night, the mother of five children who had married into this family, slaughtered her children, husband, and then took her own life. The family kept this house as if those dead would return any moment.

Leeann’s brother, along with his best friend, chose to have an adventure in the haunted house. Her brother died from falling out of a tree into the empty swimming pool, landing on his head and the friend survived with broken bones. No one really talked much about the event. Why would they?

Leeann had won every beauty pageant and beginning her senior year, she had planned to marry her deceased brother’s best friend, Donnie. However, Donnie suddenly married another girl.

77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz

77 Shadow Street Reviewed by Allen Hott

Like paranormal stories? Like authors with a fantastic vocabulary? Like authors with a great insight into scientific matters? How about many, many great descriptive pictures painted by an author?

These attributes are all very much in evidence in 77 Shadow Street. And the author is Dean Koontz. Yes he has done it again. Mr. Koontz has crafted a tremendous story that is loaded with all the above.

77 Shadow Street in 2011 is a large condominium that has been in that spot since the late 1800’s when it was built for a multimillionaire as a family residence. It has been renovated and added to many times. Today it houses a mixed collection of fairly well to do families who seem at ease and comfortable in their surroundings.

But what is it about the Pendleton house located at 77 Shadow Street that is vastly different from most other buildings anywhere and at any time? Not a lot of folks know about the past history of the Pendleton and how often some strangeness occurs. As the reader begins his visit to this strange place he will find many very unusual happenings that seem to be occurring at this time. Is it some sort of a cycle that appears ever so many years? And if so what is it?

“One” and “Witness” who appear throughout the book as narrators or seers quite often give not only words of wisdom but also warnings of things to come. As “One”speaks early on:

I am the One, the all and only. I live in the Pendleton as surely as I live everywhere. I am the Pendleton’s history and its destiny. The building is my place of conception, my monument, my killing ground.

Unrepentant Siren by Karen M. Bence

Unrepentant SirenReviewed by Chris Phillips

Bence follows up the Midnight Revelations with another compelling and haunting sequel. Characters from Midnight Revelations come back into focus and then erupt into a mystery and in fact a horrific secret that murder is the mildest repercussion these secrets generate.

The story line begins with a shocking accident. Leila, Sara’s best friend, is electrocuted. It is a freak accident but apparently only a near death experience for Leila. Sara is the protagonist of the tale carrying to plot with many exciting and interesting discoveries. Alex, Leila’s fiancé, has been part of the dramatic changes in Leila’s life. Alex is the one boyfriend that survived Leila’s six month rule and then he proposed.

After Leila’s recuperation, all the interested parties go to Charleston for the plans that Alex’s mother has for a grand traditional wedding get pushed at Leila. Sara and her son, Jack, are involved as they came to Charleston as a support group. Then the odd happenings that seem to always follow Sara and Jack start up even in Charleston. Sara finds herself drawn into some deep dark family secrets and she must solve these mysteries to save her friend, her friend’s marriage and ultimately her own life.

Haunted Heritage by Michael Norman & Beth Scott

Haunted HeritageReviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

Do you love reading true cases of genuine, spine-chilling haunted houses and historical sites, like cemeteries and Civil War battlefields? Then, just in time for Halloween but a fun and entertaining read for anytime of the year, you should check out the nonfiction book Haunted Heritage by Michael Norman and Beth Scott. Described in the book are hauntings from all across the United States and Canada. The authors are well-known for their other collections of tales about haunted places, such as Haunted America and Historic Haunted America, and I also highly recommend them.

Haunted Heritage is a great book with tales based on interviews, public records, and family histories. Some involve famous families, like that of the American patriot Nathan Hale, and some involve famous events, like the Battle of Little Big Horn. Some of the spirits seem to be gentle and helpful, like stories about deceased family members watching over their descendants, while others are about ghosts who are vengeful and angered about a wrong long forgotten by everyone else except for themselves.

I’ll briefly mention a couple of the stories that really caught my interest. Like most people, probably, I immediately opened up the collection to tales from the two states I have lived most of my life in, namely Illinois and Arkansas. Now, the book doesn’t claim to be inclusive, but there were many famous ghostly places in both states (and others) I would have liked to see included that weren’t; however, I’m reviewing the book for what it is, rather than what it isn’t, and I enjoyed reading the accounts included from both of these states, as well as the tales from others states, very much.