Category: Ghosts & the Supernatural

Book Review | “Haunted” (Book No.1 of the Arnaud Legacy) by Lynn Carthage

Posted Monday, 31 October, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: Winning the bookaway attached to #HistoricalFix (see Info) when we talked about Cosy Horror & Historical Fiction stories – of which Haunted was one of the featured stories! The chat took place on 20th of October, 2015 and yielded a HUGE List of Next Reads suggested by everyone who took part in the chat itself! Cat Winters and Katherine Howe also attended giving me such a wicked awesome chat to participate inside as I have been wanting to read Howe & Winters for awhile! Ms Carthage and I enjoyed meeting up as well, due to our like-minded interests. The books given away during the chat are part of the fun and are always unexpected as they are essay-based where you have to respond to Questions; best replies win.

I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein nor was I obligated to post a review on behalf of “Haunted”. I am posting this review for my own personal edification after having enjoyed reading the story.

A bit of a backstory:

Originally, when I first caught sight of the Haunted blog tour being adverted as an upcoming event this Spring 2015, there was a strong draw for me to want to participate on it! After all, I have shared my first review on reading ghost stories (The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton), joined my first Horror October, expressed why I’m a Cosy Horror Girl, shared my top favourite Classic Horror Motion Pictures, and compiled a list of book series which are definitely bent towards the paranormal! As you will see from those previous blog posts I’ve written, there are aspects of the Horror genre I never quite realised I was enthralled with myself, as I always felt I was living outside the genre completely! Sometimes it takes an event like Horror October hosted by the girls @ Oh, the Books! to set your mind straight! Laughs.

Instinctively, I hopped on Twitter to see if Ms Carthage was online (not that instant, but in general!), as I have come to appreciate finding authors I am keen on reading are participating in reader to author connections via Twitter; as it allows the readers (such as I) to ask pertinent questions which might arise out of reading a book synopsis or an excerpt (if one is available). What followed was a happenstance conversation, where a reader enjoyed getting to know an author outside the scope of being able to read the novel! I asked a few direct questions, as I was a bit on the fence as whether or not I could read this novel as it might take me too far outside my comfort zones along the lines of what is seen or unseen in the novel itself.

I’m definitely *the Cosy Horror Girl* at heart, as I have to weigh what I want to read with what I can handle as I have a sensitive heart. Always feeling being honest about this upfront is best, I did share my concerns, and as we talked a bit more about Haunted and our personal likes in books, I decided I truly felt I would love to interview Ms Carthage in lieu of reading the book for her blog tour! The elements of the paranormal within the series is still keenly intriguing to me, and there was a heap about the setting and atmosphere she stitched into it which lit my imagination aflame with curiosity!

The book cover art alone has all the lovely bits I appreciate about what can be considered an epic Gothic suspense, as you have the house barely seen through the misty fog, the young protagonist’s field of vision not focused on what is in front of her but what is unseen to the side, and the colour dimensions give it a purely haunting feel, encouraging your will to want to read this in order to see where the layers enfold and retreat from what is visually representative in the art itself!

Therefore, I am quite happy to bring to you, dear hearts, the conversation I pulled together out of inspiration from our original twitterverse convo intermixed with bits and bobbles I discovered about her book series whilst composing my thoughts on this interview! I hope you enjoy the conversation!

-originally shared on my Interview with Ms Carthage

However, this wasn’t the end of my connection with the book, the series or the author! We honestly liked talking to each other, not just in the interview but in the twitterverse, too! As the moons aligned, guess what happened?! We both found ourselves happily engaged inside the #HistoricalFix chats hosted by Ms McCabe (of the novel I Shall Shall Be Near to You) wherein we were participating in a chat that felt like it was primed to be exactly set for readers like us who love cosing up to a wicked Gothic story where hauntings, the supernatural and everything that makes you feel spooky are par for course!

I should say, the #HistoricalFix chats have become my tribe of like-minded bookish souls who hunger for captivating next reads, challenging historical fiction and stories that will tuck themselves into our hearts. We chat as if we’ve known each other for centuries rather than a mere year or so, where we only gather each quarter to chat up our latest reads, decipher the latest releases that have charmed our curiosities and exchange all the bookish delights you’d find at a book club!

Snippets of last October’s #HistoricalFix are captured below, along with the convo I had with Ms Carthage about her novel and Cosy Horror in general! ENJOY!

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(tweets to return soon)

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Something quite wicked happened during that particular #HistoricalFix – I changed my opinion about not reading HAUNTED and dearly wanted to read it afterall! This is why I participated in the essay-based bookaway challenge to see if I could add my hat to the mix! I was truly overjoyed and quite shocked I had won – it was one of the happiest moments truly, as it was such a lovely capstone to the chat! I had wanted to read the book soon after I had found it in my postbox, however, time and tides had a way of working against me last year – to where I took great care to make sure HAUNTED was part of my #HalloweenReads in 2016!

Lest I mention, the author enscribed a note to me in the book on Halloween, 2015!? The very day one year later I pick it up to read having forgotten she had done that!? SPOOKY!

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Notation on Cover Art Design: I immediately loved what the cover evoked about the setting, the Gothic nature of the tale and the way in which you can be haunted in a hauntingly ethereal setting! I also started to notice the girl on the cover was being featured on other books as well; something I had mentioned to the author. Apparently others had noticed too, which is why there was a big celebration of sorts about this girl and her hair recently that drew attention not only to HAUNTED but two other novels who featured her. One thing I liked even more than the exterior design is the interior mirror that graces the chapter pages! There is something about that design and the way in which it presents itself that just felt ‘authentic’ to this story!

Book Review | “Haunted” (Book No.1 of the Arnaud Legacy) by Lynn CarthageHaunted
Subtitle: The Arnaud Legacy
by Lynn Carthage
Source: Won a Bookaway

Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Irving has traded life in San Francisco for her stepfather’s ancestral mansion in rural England. It’s supposed to be the new start her family needs. But from the moment she crosses the threshold into the ancient estate, Phoebe senses something ominous. Then again, she’s a little sensitive lately—not surprising when her parents are oblivious to her, her old life is six thousand miles away, and the only guy around is completely gorgeous but giving her mixed messages.

But at least Miles doesn’t laugh at Phoebe’s growing fears. And she can trust him…maybe. The locals whisper about the manor’s infamous original owner, Madame Arnaud, and tell grim stories of missing children and vengeful spirits. Phoebe is determined to protect her loved ones—especially her little sister, Tabby. But even amidst the manor’s dark shadows, the deepest mysteries may involve Phoebe herself…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781617736261

Also by this author:

Also in this series:


Genres: Ghost Story, Gothic Literature, Upper YA Fiction


Published by Kensington Books

on 24th February, 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 288

Published By: Kensington Publishing Corp. ()
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, E-book

The Arnaund Legacy series:

Book 1: Haunted

Book 2: Betrayed (Synopsis)

Book 3: Avenged (Synopsis)

Read about the particulars of the series!

Converse on Twitter via: #Haunted & #arnaudlegacy

About Lynn Carthage

Lynn Carthage

Lynn Carthage is a novelist living in Sacramento, California, near where the Gold Rush launched. Under her real name, she was a Bram Stoker Award finalist. Born in Vermont, Lynn has lived in Maine, Ireland, and Arizona. She reads voraciously, loves anything French, gets “itchy feet” to travel on a regular basis, and finds peace in the woods, in meadows, in nature. She has always been fascinated by how history allows us to imagine how people of the past lived and breathed and felt.

HAUNTED is her first young adult novel, and will be followed by the next two books in the Arnaud Legacy trilogy.

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Posted Monday, 31 October, 2016 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Castles & Estates, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Debut Author, Debut Novel, England, Fly in the Ointment, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Good vs. Evil, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Haunting & Ethereal, Indie Author, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense, Upper YA Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance

Double-Showcase | Book Review w/ a Cover Reveal (for the sequel!) feat. the Moonfall Mayhem series by A.E. Decker!

Posted Thursday, 25 August, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Stories Sailing into View Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I love unexpected surprises, don’t you?

You can imagine then, my earnest surprise to have learnt the novel I was about to be featuring during my #FuellYourSciFi showcases leading up to #RRSciFiMonth this November has not only a *sequel!* but a lovely re-designed concept for it’s cover imagery! Remember when I said I would be resuming where I left off with my reviews showcasing *World Weaver Press*!? whilst announcing the upcoming September release for “Murder in the Generative Kitchen”?

As that was in July, I felt I would happily find World Weaver Presses stories alighting on my blog throughout the month – until of course – I learnt that despite my best intentions, circumventing (*extreme!*) lightning storms, my personal life & the ramifications of technical woes extending out of said lightning storms is not quite as easy as it would appear to be on the surface! My computer & ISP are driving me battier than bananas spoilt too soon before they can baked into a divinely tasting bread! You know how vexing that is, don’t you? You have a lovely batch of bananas right at the ready to whip into a hearty batch of banana bread, repleat with walnuts, shredded coconut and either dried fruit or chocolate pieces – only to find that your horrid humidic temperatures destroy any chance to bake it!

Ergo, sometimes blogging is like baking! You have to roll with the unexpected & happily look forward to the hours you can soak inside the stories! Even if your hours wick off the clock – remain calm – your time to duck into a ‘new’ author’s imagination is right round the corner! This has been my mantra this Summer, as I still grieved the loss of my equipment & hours from last Summer’s EPIC 90 days of lightning which wasn’t something I was keen on repeating! I’ve managed to keep online more regularly this year due to a new ISP but sometimes, even your ISP can become flummoxed by surges, power outages & a quirky habit of your connectivity *not responding* to their tech support interference! Laughs. There’s a lesson in this, you know! Sometimes you have to find more patience than you feel!

This isn’t the ‘unexpected surprise’ I am hinting towards, as being the kind I ‘appreciate’ and ‘love’ to find alight in my life! No, the kind of surprise I’m referring too – is a sequel is about to debut continuing a story you’ve looked forward to reading! The fact the cover has been re-designed in order to cross-coordinate with the sequel is even sweeter! The only thing I truly miss about the old cover is this lovely bat-cat (Moony) on the back cover! The expression on that cat was quite spectacular! Although, I suppose I should confess – I *loved!* the purpleness of the cover’s colour, too!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art: The tree stood out to me as it reminded me of the trees in the Fantasy films I grew up watching as a child! Think along the lines of “The Neverending Story” (1984) or the television version of “Babes in Toyland” (1986) starring Drew Barrymore & Richard Mulligan! Yet it’s the expression on (Rags-n-Bones) face that truly held my attention! That is seriously speaking volumes towards what could lie behind this cover in regards to the story and the suspense of something brewing!

The Meddlers of Moonshine by A.E. Decker

#PubDay is 25th October, 2016 | Cross-Releasing in Trade Paperback & Ebook!

ISBN: 978-0-9977888-3-9 | Page Count: 337

Cover Art Designer: Cary Vandever | Twitter

Meddlers of Moonshine on World Weaver Press

Something is rotten in the town of Widget, and Rags-n-Bones knows it’s all his fault. Ever since he snitched that avocado from Miss Ascot’s pack, things have been going wrong. Armed with a handful of memories he never realized he had, Rags-n-Bones searches for a way to put right whatever he did to Widget in the past. If only he knew what it was! Unfortunately, the only person who seems to have answers is a half-mad youth that only Rags can see.

Widget is also suffering from a ghost infestation that has the townsfolk almost as spooked of outsiders as they are of actual spooks. While Rags-n-Bones seeks answers in the past, Ascot offers the town leaders her service as an exorcist, only to be handed an ultimatum: banish the ghosts or be banished herself!

Who’s meddling with Widget? To catch the culprit, Ascot and Rags-n-Bones must match wits with a shifty sorcerer, a prissy ex-governess, and a troublingly attractive captain before the town consigns itself to the graveyard of history.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comMeddlers promo badge provided by World Weaver Press and used with permission.

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If you ask me, there is more than meets the eye in this series!

This is one of the beautiful new promo badges created with an excerpt of the story!

Isn’t it lovely how you can see the secondary characters & get a vibe for the context?

Ah! Now, then, what did Jorie think about the 1st book in the Moonfall Mahem series?!

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Posted Thursday, 25 August, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Cats and Kittens, Coming-Of Age, Fairy Tale Fiction, Familiars, Fantasy Fiction, Father-Daughter Relationships, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Genre-bender, Ghost Story, Gothic Literature, Indie Author, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Upper YA Fiction, Vampires, Vulgarity in Literature, World Weaver Press, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “The Secret Language of Stones” (Book No.2 of Daughters of La Lune series) by M.J. Rose

Posted Wednesday, 10 August, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “The Secret Language of Stones” direct from the publisher Atria Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why I wanted to continue reading the Daughters of La Lune:

I previously hosted Ms Rose during her blog tour for The Collector of Dying Breaths, whereupon I also interviewed her for the same tour. I had a fascination inside me about the Reincarnationist series, but it ended up my heart was attached quite dearly to the second trilogy making up the volumes of: The Book of Lost Fragrances, Seduction, and The Collector of Dying Breaths. I went into details about this on my previous M.J. Rose book review, but what intrigued me about returning into her next novel is how it was set to life in Paris itself.

The layers she knitted into the story to encourage a back-drop of suspense mixing inside Gothic Lit undertones and the possessiveness of a long-dead master of darkness, was imploring as I wanted to see how this story would balance most of what I’ve come to love inside an M.J. Rose novel! I was thinking this was in-part a departure from her Reincarnationist series as much as an extension of the passionate drive her characters have for not only their pursuit of joy but their pursuit of how to live their lives without the attachments which might not allow them to live as freely as their soul desires. Rose tends to write convicting fiction where her characters are seeking ‘something’ in relation to who they are at their innermost core whilst giving the reader a depth of back-story to soak inside whilst the characters thrive through the journey they undertake. – as related on my review of The Witch of Painted Sorrows

I have become quite intrigued by Ms Rose’s style for crafting her stories through sensory awareness, as I also made a footnote about on my review for The Witch of Painted Sorrows, stated as follows:

Rose has a spirit about the writer’s craft in her novels, I appreciate the touches of prose she stitches inside them because she wants you to be sensory aware of each key moment that triggers a deepening connection of ‘time and place’ for her characters. I noticed this in The Collector’s of Dying Breaths as much as I have inside The Witch of Painted Sorrows; as she endeavours to have you carried through what is nearly tangible by taste, smell, and a sixth sense attribute.

It isn’t so much that your merely reading an MJ Rose novel, your experiencing the full breadth of what she’s etching into the background of the story itself. Providing you with a portal of intrigue which defies time and catapults you through history’s mirrored door. I was quite spellbound by the first Daughters of La Lune novel and I have been eagerly awaiting the sequel, to see where Ms Rose is going to further takes us throughout the trilogy!

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Blog Book Tour | “The Secret Language of Stones” (Book No.2 of Daughters of La Lune series) by M.J. RoseThe Secret Language of Stones
by M.J. Rose
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

As World War I rages and the Romanov dynasty reaches its sudden, brutal end, a young jewelry maker discovers love, passion, and her own healing powers in this rich and romantic ghost story, the perfect follow-up to M.J. Rose’s “brilliantly crafted” (Providence Journal) novel The Witch of Painted Sorrows.

Nestled within Paris’s historic Palais Royal is a jewelry store unlike any other. La Fantasie Russie is owned by Pavel Orloff, protégé to the famous Faberge, and is known by the city’s fashion elite as the place to find the rarest of gemstones and the most unique designs. But war has transformed Paris from a city of style and romance to a place of fear and mourning. In the summer of 1918, places where lovers used to walk, widows now wander alone.

So it is from La Fantasie Russie’s workshop that young, ambitious Opaline Duplessi now spends her time making trench watches for soldiers at the front, as well as mourning jewelry for the mothers, wives, and lovers of those who have fallen. People say that Opaline’s creations are magical. But magic is a word Opaline would rather not use. The concept is too closely associated with her mother Sandrine, who practices the dark arts passed down from their ancestor La Lune, one of sixteenth century Paris’s most famous courtesans.

But Opaline does have a rare gift even she can’t deny, a form of lithomancy that allows her to translate the energy emanating from stones. Certain gemstones, combined with a personal item, such as a lock of hair, enable her to receive messages from beyond the grave. In her mind, she is no mystic, but merely a messenger, giving voice to soldiers who died before they were able to properly express themselves to loved ones. Until one day, one of these fallen soldiers communicates a message—directly to her.

So begins a dangerous journey that will take Opaline into the darkest corners of wartime Paris and across the English Channel, where the exiled Romanov dowager empress is waiting to discover the fate of her family. Full of romance, seduction, and a love so powerful it reaches beyond the grave, The Secret Language of Stones is yet another “spellbindingly haunting” (Suspense magazine), “entrancing read that will long be savored” (Library Journal, starred review).

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781476778099

Also by this author: The Collector of Dying Breaths, The Witch of Painted Sorrows

Series: The Daughters of La Lune


Also in this series: The Witch of Painted Sorrows


Genres: Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, War Drama


Published by Atria Books

on 19th July, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 320

Published By: Atria ()
{imprint of} Simon & Schuster (

Converse via: #DaughtersOfLaLune, #SecretLanguageOfStones & #MJRose
Available Formats: Hardback and E-Book

About M.J. Rose

M.J. Rose

New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed.

She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice…books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

(Biography updated August 2016)

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 10 August, 2016 by jorielov in 20th Century, Art, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Crime Fiction, During WWI, Earthen Magic, France, Ghost Story, Gothic Literature, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, Jewelry & Jewelry Design, Mediums & Clairvoyants, Multi-Generational Saga, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Psychological Suspense, Supernatural Fiction, The World Wars, War Drama