Book Review: First Contact by Kat Green

************

Title: First Contact
Series: Haunts for Sale #1
Author: Kat Green
Narrator: Kate Tyler
Publication Date: November 9, 2017

************


Purchase Links:

Audible // iTunes // Amazon

************

First Contact
Haunts for Sale #1
Kat Green
Narrated by Kate Tyler
The Wild Rose Press, November 2017
Downloaded Unabridged Audiobook

From the publisher—

Sloane Osborne is a paranormal real estate agent in the business of selling haunted houses, but, in truth, she’s only searching for one ghost. And her time is running out.

It’s the 366th day after her fiancé’s death. Michael used to like putting things off for “a year and a day” – so tonight’s the night. Sloane will do anything to make contact with him before the clock strikes midnight. When she gets a call to check out a home in Waukesha, Wisconsin, it’s the last place she thinks Michael would contact her.

Sloane is dead wrong.

This is one of those books that you just have to throw disbelief and credulity to the wind and enjoy the story for what it is. The good thing is it’s well-told and fun enough to keep me going.

Yes, it’s sadly true that the protagonist, Sloane, is TSTL and also driven by an obsesssion to see her fiance one last time before he leaves this dimension for the next because, you see, he died a year ago. To be more specific, he died 365 days, 21 hours and 36 minutes ago so she only has 2 hours and some minutes before his “year and a day” is up. This was my first hint that I was going to have some trouble with this book as obsession of any kind is a red flag for me. Add to that the location; Michael and Sloane didn’t live and he didn’t die in Wisconsin so why would his ghostly presence be there?

Sloane also is blind to all sorts of hints and clues that maybe, just maybe, she shouldn’t do certain things but, hey, that’s what TSTL is all about, right? Anyway, she stumbles into what could be a very dangerous situation when she discovers a house overflowing with ghosts and, at last, her obsession takes second place to trying to help these ghosts escape this mortal plane, hopefully before she becomes one of them. Oh, and there’s a potential romance in her future if her and Michael’s best friend, Jonah, can find her before it’s too late.

Seriously, I did enjoy this story (although I didn’t care for the graphic and unnecessary sex scene) and I especially liked the narrator, Kate Tyler. Her tone and cadence are really pleasing and she does different voices, male and female, quite well. The next book in the series, Second Sight, isn’t out in audio yet but I’ll be looking for it.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, February 2018.

About the Author

Kat Green is really the alias of authors KAT de Falla and Rachel GREEN.

Rachel Green has always believed in ghosts but saw her first full body apparition while working at an old movie theater in college. When she met Kat de Falla at a writer’s workshop, she knew she’d met a kindred spirit – one who was also sensitive to the hereafter. And after bonding on a few ghost adventures, Kat Green was born.

Kat lived in a haunted house for too long. When things really heated up, she had several paranormal teams investigate, but things only got worse. When her mother suggested they contact a shaman, she agreed to come, saying she had been waiting for Kat’s call. The home was cleansed and sold. When she paired up with Rachel Green, the idea of co-writing a book with a paranormal real estate agent seemed perfect.

With their combined paranormal “experiences”, they decided to combine their creative mojo. That’s when Sloane Osborne, Paranormal Real Estate agent, and the HAUNTS FOR SALE series was born.

Website // Twitter // Facebook

************

About the Narrator

Kate Tyler is an audiobook narrator and producer with several published audiobooks available on Audible, iTunes and Amazon.  A background in drama and a successful career in voiceover, Kate lives with her family in San Diego and enjoys swimming, running, cycling and stand up paddleboard.

Website

************

Play an excerpt here.

************

Follow the tour here.

************

Advertisements

Book Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

The Dead Girls of Hysteria HallThe Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
Katie Alender
Point, September 2015
ISBN 978-0-545-63999-6
Hardcover

Precisely what I wanted from practically every book I picked up in high school; I simply cannot wait to share The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall with “my” students.  Teen-age angst, quintessentially captured in the sharp, witty and biting dialogue creates characters that are real and relatable.  Fabulous and freaky foreshadowing sets a quick, compelling pace making this a page-turner that causes the reader to declare “one more chapter” many, many times.  The sprawling haunted house/former institution “For the Care and Correction of Troubled Females” that Delia inherits from her former pen-pal and namesake Aunt Cordelia, serves as spot-on setting for this mesmerizing mystery.

While the plot pulled me in and kept me puzzling, the charisma of the characters captured my heart.  The familial and friend drama (with a dash of romance) that distract Delia from her ghost-saving goal of finding and eliminating the source of evil feels familiar.  Plotting escape from the house, Delia matures.  Refreshingly, Ms. Alender reveals this perfectly, in an honest way by allowing Delia to backslide…maybe she learns from this mistake the first time; but just like in real life, she doesn’t stop screwing up and she doesn’t learn from every mistake as quickly.

The history of Piven Institute, where female hysteria could mean anything from schizophrenia to too many opinions, coupled with her dad’s casual dismissal of anything uttered by a female, subtly introduces misogyny and its ill effects.  Conversely, the relationships Delia builds with the girl ghosts and her growing admiration for her little sister, “the prettiest, wittiest, most sparkling complete twerp of a human being you ever wanted to backhand on a daily basis” illustrates girl-power in its finest form.

There is so much to absolutely adore in this adventure peppered with amazing zingers that one highlighter was not enough to get me though this book.  I won’t be lending this out, I’ll need to read it again….at least once; but I will most certainly be giving it as a gift for a long time.

Reviewed by jv poore, January 2016.

Book Reviews: This House is Haunted by John Boyne and Open Source by M. M. Frick

This House is HauntedThis House is Haunted
John Boyne
Doubleday, April 2013 (UK edition)
ISBN: 9780857520920
Hardcover
Other Press, October 2013 (US edition)
ISBN 978-1-59051-679-9
Trade Paperback

Eliza Caine has never been a beauty but her father adored her and together they led a simple but contented life. But since he died unexpectedly, she is forced to uproot herself into a new life at Gaudlin Hall. Left to care for two young children by herself, she becomes increasingly convinced that she’s not the only one looking after them. Forces beyond her control are trying to get rid of her and she has to fight to survive. But just how far can a mother’s love go?

I had read John Boyne’s more well known title, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and loved it and since I’m also a fan of gothic horror, this book seemed right up my alley. It opens with the line, ‘I blame Charles Dickens for the death of my father’ and so begins a very Victorian jaunt into the Norfolk countryside. Eliza foolishly answers an advertisement for a job without checking references or questioning why no one has come to meet her first. But upon arriving, she finds that she has two charges, an unsettling girl and her younger, more loveable brother. Soon after arriving, strange things start happening and Eliza becomes more and more concerned as she discovers the dark history of the house. She is up against obstacles at every turn as the villagers close rank and refuse to answer her questions.

This was essentially a good book with a good storyline and the writing was pretty authentic in terms of style and prose. The only thing that let it down for me personally was a heavy dose of sentimentality towards the end when she discovers an unlikely ally in her fight for survival. I’ll not spoil the book by revealing just what happens but I found it too cheesy-pie for my liking. I would still recommend it to others, so if you like lashings of sentimentality and gentle scares then this is the book for you. But if your bent is more towards bone chilling, sleeping-with-the-light-on thrills, then try The Woman in Black instead for that’s a woman who was born to scare.

Reviewed by Laura McLaughlin, June 2013.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Open SourceOpen Source  
M .M. Frick
Matthew M. Frick, July 2010
ISBN: 978-1-453-719985
Trade Paperback

Here is a fascinating premise, in this newly shaped world of aggressive social media and instant information exchanges. This review will be posted on several blogs, a few book store sites and will be seen by some number of people all over the world. Suppose, for an instant, you are a special operative for a foreign power—any foreign power. You have been assigned to monitor blogs from certain sources in order to determine certain attitudes of leaders regarding the drilling of a new oil field in, oh, Canada. Your employer wants early warnings about possible strikes that could lead to a change in oil prices on the world market. You have a search bot which employs an algorithm you have designed. The bot travels the world of the Internet matching words and collecting data.

Now let’s assume you are a bright and inquisitive citizen with an ordinary job. You live in Georgia and one of your hobbies is searching the Internet for odd events of interest. When you find such an event, you blog about it. Perhaps your interest is oil fields. You read open sources on the internet, construct a possible scenario, just for fun perhaps and then this casual activity of yours triggers the operative’s search bot. That sends ripples through shadowy organizations and suddenly evil people are questioning how you know certain things and where you get your information. You, of course, are merely a bright person raising questions based on readily available information.

But your innocent blog begins to look dangerous to people who are suspicious of everybody and everything. YOU begin to look dangerous. And soon an operative is dispatched to deal with you, an operative who knows how to kill.

My scenario, like that of author Frick, is fiction. But this world-spanning thriller is as real as it gets and might cause you, gentle reader, to think thrice about what you post.

Open Source is a clean, well-constructed thriller with only one serious deficiency, one which detracts very little from a gripping, fast-moving story. One of the characters seems to me to have some personality defects which are troubling enough that she would not have been hired into the important position she has with a private data-mining company.  However, she is in most other aspects a competent, bright and charming woman who fits nicely into the scenario constructed by Mr. Frick in his debut novel. A very interesting and challenging story.

Reviewed by Carl Brookins, July 2013.
Author of Red Sky, Devils Island, Hard Cheese, Reunion.