The Piper by Lynn Hightower

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Oooooh this book needs to be made into a movie!  Very eerie and I loved it, kept me on the seat of my chair!  I would highly recommend this book if you want a great chilling read!

Christopher James has been dead for nine weeks, but that doesn’t stop him from phoning his sister Olivia and warning her: “I had to pay the piper….Don’t let him…after you.” Olivia knows instantly that the piper is the nameless malefactor who carried off her sister Emily 25 years ago along with her beloved dog. Does Chris’ call indicate that he fell victim to the same predator and that Olivia may be next?

Now that she’s moved herself and her 8-year-old daughter, Teddy, from LA back to her family home in Knoxville, she certainly has put herself in the Piper’s way. Teddy gets texts and hears menacing predictions from a voice she reluctantly identifies as that of Duncan Lee, aka Decan Lude, the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

After Chris’ widow, Charlotte, begs Olivia to move out of a house she’s convinced is haunted, a blowup between the two women leaves Olivia feeling acutely isolated. It does no good to reach out for help, since anyone who tries to reassure her or stand between her and the piper ends up dead. When Teddy vanishes as suddenly and completely as Emily, Olivia is forced to decide what value she places on her child’s life and whether she’s willing to pay the piper to bring her back safely.

I am going to check out more books by this author, love the way she writes and keeps the reader on edge!  This is a stand-alone nightmare that will keep you awake till the last page and maybe even afterward!

Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

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Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I will have to admit, when I got this book in the mail I wasn’t sure what it was going to entail as the author is only 19 years old!  When I started reading it my first thoughts were, “I hope that young entrepreneur will not take this book to heart and think they could make fast money doing this!”.   After I finished reading the book in whole, I laughed at my self for thinking that.  This book turned out to be really good!

The main character you meet is Kit, she is London’s “Perfect Killer” and she takes her job very seriously.  She receives letters and cash that come to her in a secret mailbox and choosing who she is going to kill is not a game and not an impulse decision.  Every letter Kit gets starts with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders someone, she leaves a letter with the dead body.  Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known and who did she learn it best from?  That you will have to read this book to find out and you WILL be surprised!  But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to bring Kit down as perfectly as she commits her murders, she starts to think away from the rules she was taught.  Did I mention that Kit is still in High School?!

Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is an amazing sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe.  For Young Adults or Adults (25ish) like me will love this fast paced thriller clear up until the very end!

 

 

The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is the type of book I absolutely love.  Perfect for children and young teens! When 11 yr. old Zack Jennings moves with his father and new step-mom, Judy,  from New York to Connecticut, he hopes this will be a new start. He’s always felt partially responsible for his mother’s death from cancer, and leaving the home where she died is a relief from the constant reminder of how unhappy she was, and how much she blamed that unhappiness on Zack.
Everything seems wonderful once they get to Connecticut. After all, they have a beautiful new house, a big yard, and even a new dog!  Zack realizes soon that the huge, old, gnarled tree on their property holds a terrifying secret; a secret that could threaten his entire family!
This was such a fun book, and a fascinating mystery! Ghosts soon start popping up everywhere Zack looks, the scary old lady that’s built a shrine on that gnarled, old tree is carrying a 50 year old secret, and she’s not about to let anyone get in the way of her diabolical plans!
Chris Grabenstein does a wonderful job creating characters that are hard to forget and an ominous atmosphere that make the reader get that tense knot in the middle of their chest!  Dear Libraries, get you hands on these books! 😀

Featured Author of the Month…Jody Casella

 

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I would like to introduce to you my featured author of the month, Jody Casella,  author of  “Thin Space“.  Here is my review for “Thin Space” if you missed it!  Check out my amazing interview with Jody!

Ohio-based Jody Casella has been writing stories since the age of seven. She majored in creative writing at Rhodes College and has an MA in English from the University of Memphis. After many years teaching and raising children, she’s thrilled to be making her debut with THIN SPACE (Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster), a paranormal YA mystery about a boy coming to terms with his twin brother’s death.

 

Tell us a little about yourself:

 

Jody: I’m a former high school English teacher, a mom of two teens, a long-time writer and a big-time reader. Also, I walk my dog a lot.

 

Sierra: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

 

Jody: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember–since I learned how to read. I was a Creative Writing major in college and started an MFA in poetry before I chickened out and became a teacher. When my kids were little I started writing again, short stories for kids’ magazines, and then I started writing novels. Thin Space is the sixth book I’ve written but the first to be published. Let’s just say it was a very long road to publication!

 

Sierra: Tell us a little bit about your first book or the first book in the series.

 

Jody: Thin Space is a contemporary mystery with a paranormal twist. Sixteen year old Marsh Windsor lost his identical twin in a car accident several months ago and he’s reeling with guilt and grief. He’s heard about the Celitc belief in “thin spaces,” places where the veil between our world and the world of the dead is thinner. He becomes obsessed with finding one in the hopes that if he can see his brother again, he can set things right.

 

Sierra: How did you choose the genre you write in?

 

Jody: When I first started writing, my stuff was more autobiographical–realistic/contemporary. Somewhere along the way I moved toward fantasy and the supernatural. I’m not sure why this happened but I think it was because I let my characters and their stories evolve and go where they wanted to go, regardless of how strange or weird it seemed as I was writing.

 

Sierra: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write?

 

Jody: Towards the end of the book Marsh is finally nearing the point where he may find a thin space. I must confess that until I reached this point in the writing, I didn’t know if he was going to find a thin space, or even if there was such a thing as thin spaces at all. I kept writing until I found out. Let me just say, I did NOT see the end coming.

 

Sierra: Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

 

Jody: Well, I’m not a sixteen year old boy and I don’t have an identical twin, but I have experienced loss and grief and obsession. This is the cool part about writing fiction–how you can weave in bits of your own feelings and experiences into something purely made up.

 

 

 

 

Sierra: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

 

Jody: One of my favorite books as a kid was a now out-of-print book called Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer. It’s about a girl who keeps slipping back in time and trading places with a girl from the past. I loved the escapist aspect of the book, how you could leave your own life behind and play around in a different life. There’s all kinds of cool things about identity and lots of twists and turns in the plot. If you can find a copy of this book, I highly recommend it.

 

Sierra: Do you ever experience writers block?

 

Jody: I do, in the sense that there are many days when it is hard for me to sit down and work. What I’ve learned over the years is that this is a pretty normal experience for writers and the only cure is to let go of your expectations, try to silence the doubts or at least shove them in the back corner of your head, and just write.

 

Sierra: Is there an author that you would really like to meet?

 

Jody: I met one of my favorite writers, Meg Rosoff, at a writers conference and blathered to her like a gushy idiot. I’m afraid if I had a chance to meet other favorites–people like John Green and Sara Zarr and Courtney Summers–I would blather like an idiot too.

 

Sierra: Will you have a new book coming out soon? If so, can you tell us about it?

 

Jody: I am in the process of revising a novel that has the potential to be either really awesome or ridiculously horrible, depending on what day you ask me. (Today, I’m thinking it’s okay.) It’s a mash up between environmental disaster and Greek mythology with multiple points of view, more romance than I have ever dared to write, some humor, and also, death.

 

Sierra: If you could go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your first novel or getting it published that you would change?

 

Jody: It took a very long time to go from finished manuscript to book on the shelf. The wait nearly drove me crazy, but now, looking back, I think I needed that time–to write other things, to figure out my writing and revising process, to learn how to absorb rejections and criticism, and to learn a bit about marketing. So, no, I don’t think I would change anything.

 

Sierra: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

 

Jody: Keep writing. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it’s true.

 

Sierra: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

 

Jody: I still can’t get over the idea that there are people out there–people I don’t know!–reading a story I wrote. So, thank you! Thank you! People I don’t know, for picking up my book and falling into my story.

 

 

 

Thank you so much!!