Lost Girl by Anne Francis Scott Review #2

Lost Girl is a riveting, paranormal story with a sprinkling of romance. Allison Weathers moves to Dawson Mills in search of her mother that seemingly walked out of her life years before. However, when she moves into a giant, old farmhouse she finds more than she bargained for. She finds ghosts wandering her property and weird neighbors that like to spy. Now on top of finding out what happened to her mother, Allison has to finish her sculptures for an art show that is fast approaching, fix up the farmhouse, find out who the children are that keep coming in her yard, and fight her own demons in her head. Now that is a full plate!

Anne Francis Scott did an excellent job writing this first book of the trilogy. She kept me glued to the pages from beginning to end. I can’t wait to start the next book. The way she brings these characters to life makes it hard to remember this is a work of fiction. In my opinion, not many authors can end a book correctly (i.e. they end it too abruptly or they leave it too open ended) but Ms. Scott tied it up just right that it will smoothly transition into the second book’s story line.

If you enjoy paranormal fiction, you will love Lost Girl. If you get spooked easily you may still like this book. There are two main scary elements at play here. The first is the spirits haunting Allison; the second is the living that wants her dead. I am a person that spooks easily and I really enjoyed this book. I would not recommend it for anyone younger than a teen though.

Dancing with Demons and Other Bedtime Stories by jd young Review #2

This collection of short stories begins with a foreword from the author, jd young that states “It is everyday life that is scary simply going to the gym, joining a writers website, attending a morning business meeting, stopping for a relaxing glass of wine after to work are not the places we expect horror”   And then says “These stories will encourage you to rethink everything you thought safe – even the elevator in which you ride”

I go to the gym regularly, I actually belong to several writers websites, I attend more business meetings than I can count and I very much enjoy a glass of wine after work and taking the elevator is a regular event.  I was a little skeptical that any of the above could instill any kind of fear and I was expecting something much different than what I got.

While most certainly in the horror genre this collection of short stories (for the most part) takes on the feeling of fiction and the majority of the stories could be stories featured as a top news story, one that is just crazy enough that we don’t want to believe it but we have no choice.

The author does a wonderful job giving each of the characters a very distinct voice, I really enjoyed that as many times characters in short stories tend to feel similar to one another and each of them remind you of someone you know and a couple might just remind you of yourself and that is the truly frightening part of these stories.

I am a voracious reader and very few books leave me thinking of the characters after I have finished the book.  I am not sure that has ever happened after reading a short story.  This book and the majority of its stories have given me pause on more than one occasion since reading it. The author in a very short amount of time is able to breathe life into the characters and they become people that you know and think about after the book is done.   There are two stories in the book that while I enjoyed, did not have the same impact for me and that is in no way an indication of the writing, rather those stories were more fantasy, which is not my preferred genre however they were also wonderfully written with the same high level of character development.

I really enjoyed this book and I think that anyone who is a fan of scary stories and fantasy will also enjoy it!

Finding Billy Battles by Ronald Yates

Finding Billy Battles is a work of faction which is still relatively new to me. Faction is a book based partly on fact, but it has been augmented with narrative fiction. Which basically means the author took a true story and elaborated on it. I find that faction novels are very interesting to read. Ronald E. Yates does a wonderful job to the point that I couldn’t separate fact from fiction. It was hard to believe that this book wasn’t one hundred percent true.

You can clearly see by reading this book that Mr. Yates did his research. The dialogue is perfect for the time period, as is the picture he paints of the people and places that Billy Battles travels to. You step into a time machine the moment you start reading Finding Billy Battles. It is fascinating how different life was so many years ago and yet people had a lot of the same inward battles. I am not one who normally would pick up a western story; however, this is not the typical western as we have come to know the genre. Give it a read and judge for yourself. You won’t be sorry.

Ready or Not Out I Come by Raechel Bull Review #2

Pregnancy can be an exciting time as well as a difficult venture for couples. In Raechel Bull’s Ready or Not, Out I Come,the author helps readers to understand that their not alone in their challenges. She delves into the world of miscarriages, at-risk pregnancies, premature babies, c-sections, special care nurseries, parenting obstacles that arise, and other challenges that people face when a pregnancy doesn’t go the way you planned.

In each chapter, she tells her story and then shares others’ as well. Each one includes what she and others have learned as well as what was going through their minds as they were dealing with their challenges. She shares insights from doctors, as well as from those who went through it, on ways to cope with the challenge or tragedy.  Most of all, however, she raises awareness of the issues people can face with pregnancy, but also helps the reader to realize that it’s okay if your pregnancy isn’t ideal. Each pregnancy is unique and comes with its own challenges.

The best part of this book is the resources section at the end of the book. Despite being Australian-centered, the links are all valid, full of useful information, and other people’s stories and successes/mishaps. Diverse in content, they help the reader to cope or prepare for any challenges that may or may not arise in pregnancy.

The author’s perspective is unique. Typically, books that cover such a wide range of information are not from the one affected, but by a doctor or other professional. This one takes first-hand experiences and sheds light on a difficult, but not often addressed topic. She’s gone and researched other people’s experiences and knowledge and integrated into the book in such a way that the reader feels supported and engaged.

The only problem I had with the book was a little difficult to follow some of the timelines with the author’s stories. They jumped around a bit in time frame and it was hard to decipher where certain ones began and others ended.

Overall, I think this book was well-done and would be a great resource for its subject matter. Although I’ve never been in such a situation, I feel the resources and stories emotionally connected and would’ve been helpful if I’d been dealing with such difficult challenges. I would recommend this for anyone who has an at-risk pregnancy or knows someone who is dealing with an at-risk pregnancy.

Ready or Not Out I Come by Raechel Bull Review #1

Raechel Bull’s Ready or Not Out I Come, is a refreshing and sincere look at the daunting subjects of conception, pregnancy, birth with all the good and bad that comes inbetween. This is a heartfelt work written by a woman who willingly divulges her personal (and sometimes painful) pregnancy experiences, showing other women that they are not alone in their pregnancy trials and tribulations.

Ready or Not Out I Come, is an invaluable read for any woman of child bearing years. This is a deeply touching book that readers will find immediately engaging. The book offers some important and emotionally sustaining information presented as a well organized, clearly written and relatable work. Each chapter of the book is dedicated to the different aspects of the author’s own pregnancy journey, all fraught with sentiment and life lessons.  Beginning with her emotion ridden attempts at trying to conceive to her experiences with miscarriages, IVF and having a successful birth with the initial heartbreak of having her baby start out in a special care nursery.

Author Bull emotes well through her writing, readers will easily relate to her emotional states and  be encouraged by the supportive, and loving tone present throughout the book. Although the book is about her personal pregnancy experience author Raechel Bull makes the book a well rounded learning experience by taking the time to include the male perspective, relevant real life stories (from others) as well as the  informational perspective of conventional medicine.

Overall,  I enjoyed Ready or Not Here Out I Come, and heartily recommend it to any female having a child or thinking about it. This is a book that I personally think would prove invaluable.