Month: October 2018

Sunday Series Review: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl Series by Paige McKenzie

Today the Sunday Series Review is back: Again, in time for Halloween, today Kim reviews The Haunting of Sunshine Girl Series by Paige McKenzie!

Books in the Series:
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

The Awakening of Sunshine Girl
The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
March 24, 2015
296 Pages

Something freaky’s going on with Sunshine’s new house… there’s the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mom believes her. Sunshine’s always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort…

If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can’t help them?

As things become more frightening and dangerous, and the giggles she hears turn to sobs and screams, Sunshine has no choice but to accept what she is, face the test before her and save her mother from a fate worse than death.

The first in a frighteningly good new series based on the popular YouTube sensation The Haunting of Sunshine Girl Network, created by Paige McKenzie.

The Awakening of Sunshine Girl
March 1, 2016
296 Pages

Sunshine Griffith can communicate with ghosts. Even more amazing, she recently discovered—with the help of her would-be boyfriend, Nolan—that she’s a luiseach, one of an ancient race of creatures who have lived among humans for centuries, protecting them from dark spirits and helping them move on to the afterlife. Now, Sunshine’s powers are awakening and she feels spirits everywhere—intense and sometimes overwhelming.

Eager to get her supernatural abilities under control, Sunshine agrees to begin training with her mentor, her estranged father Aidan. He takes her to an abandoned compound deep in the Mexican jungle. But what she learns there about her powers, and her family history, turns out to be more terrifying than Sunshine could have imagined. Can anything—Aidan’s experiments, her friendship with another luiseach named Lucio, even Nolan’s research—prepare Sunshine to face the frightening woman who haunts her dreams, and to finally learn the truth about the rift that threatens the future of the luiseach and all of humankind?

The stakes grow ever higher in this sequel to The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, revealing that Sunshine has to protect more than her own friends and family—she may be the key to saving the entire human race.

The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl
April 4, 2017
322 Pages

Sunshine Griffith can communicate with ghosts. Even more amazing—to herself; her boyfriend, Nolan; and her adoptive mom, Kat—she’s recently learned she’s a luiseach, one of an ancient race of creatures who have lived among humans for centuries, protecting them from dark spirits and helping them move on to the afterlife.

Having survived an abyss full of demons, Sunshine Griffith must figure out who—or what—has been organizing the forces of darkness against her. Do they want to destroy her and the rest of the endangered luiseach? Do they want to take over the world? Nolan has figured out that Sunshine’s death would trigger a calamitous event, so not only does she have to stay alive for herself, but for the fate of civilization. It’s not just the demons who want Sunshine dead, though. Her biological mother, Helena, is back. And what is Helena’s history with the mysterious man in black?

Fortunately for Sunshine, she has a lot of people (and ghosts) to help her stop the darkness: Nolan, her father and mentor Aidan, her mom Kat, Victoria, Lucio, Anna, and Ashley—whose handsome new crush, Sebastian, seems hauntingly familiar. But time may be running out as an unexpected event unleashes a fierce war between the luiseach and the demon army. In the midst of the fiery battle, Sunshine will learn a shocking truth about herself and what sort of sacrifice is required to save the world.

Kim’s Rating of the Series: 4 Stars

Kim’s Review of the Series:

I bought The Haunting of Sunshine Girl two years ago during my creepy book stage. I read it and loved it. Unfortunately, the first two times I read it, once when I first bought it and again when I bought The Awakening of Sunshine Girl, I easily forgot it because I skimmed it. Thankfully I have matured in my reading and, as they say, third time’s the charm! I really love this series!

Sunshine is one of those rare, mature teens who fits in better with adults than she does with kids her own age. The one teen she does get along with best is Nolan, who is also a mature teen. And what’s really nice about this series is that its not full of teenage drama. Yes, Sunshine’s relationship with Nolan and later with Lucio gets a little complicated, but never does it get annoying. I love how she considers her mom to be her best friend, aside from her actual teenage best friend, Ashley. All I could think was, “oh good, I’m not the only one who has Mom as her best friend!” And strangely enough, Ashley became one of my favorite characters by the end of the series! She is the typical, boy-crazy, shallow teenager, but she’s so funny and loveable and cute that I started liking her very quickly!

The story is unique and not just a rehash of every other YA book out there. Sure, there are some similarities, but nothing too obvious. Considering that this series is considered fantasy, it’s actually very realistic. Overall, McKenzie did a great job of writing a continuous, fascinating story with great characters and interesting settings. This series is perfect for middle and high schoolers, not too much language and not too scary. A great series!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US:

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Awakening of Sunshine Girl
The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl

Amazon UK:
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Awakening of Sunshine Girl
The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl

Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker

It’s almost Halloween and now is the perfect time to share this review:

Authors: Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker
Published: October 2, 2018
512 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The prequel to Dracula, inspired by notes and texts left behind by the author of the classic novel, Dracul is a riveting novel of gothic suspense that reveals not only Dracula’s true origins but Bram Stoker’s — and the tale of the enigmatic woman who connects them.

It is 1868, and a twenty-one-year-old Bram Stoker waits in a desolate tower to face an indescribable evil. Armed only with crucifixes, holy water, and a rifle, he prays to survive a single night, the longest of his life. Desperate to record what he has witnessed, Bram scribbles down the events that led him here…

A sickly child, Bram spent his early days bedridden in his parents’ Dublin home, tended to by his caretaker, a young woman named Ellen Crone. When a string of strange deaths occur in a nearby town, Bram and his sister Matilda detect a pattern of bizarre behavior by Ellen — a mystery that deepens chillingly until Ellen vanishes suddenly from their lives. Years later, Matilda returns from studying in Paris to tell Bram the news that she has seen Ellen — and that the nightmare they’ve thought long ended is only beginning.

Kim’s Review:

I was so excited when this review copy came in the mail! J.D. Barker seems to be one of our favorite authors at Jessica’s Reading Room and the praise is so well deserved. I am incredibly fascinated by Dracula, but unfortunately after multiple attempts, Dracula by Bram Stoker has been moved to my DNF shelf. For some reason I never managed to get into it or enjoy it. However, other books about Dracula, such as The Historian, have become some of my favorite books. Dracul joins those ranks easily.

I loved this book so much! It did get a little slow in the beginning, but once the mystery of Nanna Ellen started, it didn’t stop. I loved the jumps in the timeline and suspense was ridiculous. Bram and his siblings were relatable characters and they kept the tension tight throughout the entire book. Adding Nanna Ellen and her story was a unique twist. I got to see the physical aspects and abilities of vampires in much more detail. The authors didn’t let reality hold them back, but went all out with the fantastic. I would absolutely recommend this to any suspense or horror fans. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Blog Tour: Isolation Junction (Second Edition)

Today I am one of the stops on the blog tour for the second edition of Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour!  And surely by now you all know how much I support her in her endeavor to stopping domestic abuse- We are just on opposite ends of the world…. There is also a giveaway going on to win an e-book copy of this new edition!

First published in 2016, Jennifer has republished a second edition with the changes in Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

This is the republication of Isolation Junction and what a difference it is. A make over with a new book cover, new content, with Pict Publishing, third person only (as opposed to third and first in the first edition) and the incidents in correlating order.

Book Description:

Rose is the mother of two young children, and finds herself living a robotic life with an abusive and controlling husband. While she struggles to maintain a calm front for the sake of her children, inside Rose is dying and trapped in ‘Isolation Junction’.

She runs an online business from home, because Darren won’t let her work outside the house. But through this, she meets other mums and finds courage to attend networking events, while Darren is at work, to promote her business.

It’s at one of these events that Rose meets Tim, a sympathetic, dark-haired stranger who unwittingly becomes an important part of her survival.

After years of emotional abuse, of doubting her future and losing all self-confidence, Rose takes a stand. Finding herself distraught, alone and helpless, Rose wonders how she’ll ever escape with her sanity and her children. With 100 reasons to leave and 1,000 reasons she can’t will she be able to do it? Will Tim help her? And will Rose find peace and the happiness she deserves? Can Rose break free from this spiralling life she so desperately wants to change?

Based on true events.

Buy Isolation Junction:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Isolation Junction: A novel to raise awareness of the unseen side of domestic abuse

Yorkshire mum of three, Jennifer Gilmour, released her first novel in 2016 with the aim of not only raising awareness of the insidious behaviour of domestic abuse which brings hidden misery to so many but of bringing about changes at a national level.  A ‘survivor’ herself, Jennifer is well aware that changes to national policies and working practices are needed so that situations in which women (and men) present in emotionally abusive situations are recognised and dealt with appropriately and with compassion. Jennifer believes that particular training needs to be focused on recognising the perpetrators of this behaviour, as often they are very persuasive people who are able to manipulate the services themselves.

Jennifer’s Huffington Post article went into more depth about life after domestic abuse and living with the unseen ‘bruises’. She states that, “This is why it is important that not only are the agencies well equipped to recognise abuse and coercive control but that there is support to protect those at risk as well.  I was lucky to be supported by Hull DAP, which takes on medium risk cases as well as high risk cases. In many parts of the UK. This is not the case.”

Jennifer’s book follows the story of Rose who is stuck in an abusive and coercive relationship referred to as Isolation Junction.  After years of emotional abuse, the self doubt about her future and the erosion of her confidence, Rose takes a stand.  Finding herself alone, penniless and frightened Rose wonders how she will ever escape from the situation to provide a better life for herself and her children.  With 100 reasons to leave and 1000 reasons why she perceives she can’t – will she have the courage to do it? And will she find the support to regain control and confidence?

Since the initial publication of Isolation Junction, Jennifer has spoken to many women and men who have related to what she writes about. This lead to publishing a second book Clipped Wings releasing an anthology of survivor stories. Alongside speaking in radio interviews, speaking at events across the UK, hosting a Twitter chat each week and opening a forum; Jennifer continues her advocacy.

The second edition of Isolation Junction is almost like a different book, with a make over, new edit and the events that unfolded through flashbacks are now in correlating order. You feel like you are with Rose every step of her journey. A page turner and a read for a purpose.

About the Author:

Born in the North East, Jennifer is a young, married mum with three children.  In addition to being an author, she is an entrepreneur, running a family business from her home-base. Her blog posts have a large readership of other young mums in business.

From an early age, Jennifer has had a passion for writing and started gathering ideas and plot lines from her teenage years.  A passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships, she has drawn on her personal experiences to write this first novel. It details the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again.  

Contact Jennifer:
Twitter @JenLGilmour
Amazon Profile
Goodreads Author Profile
Huffington Post Blogger Profile

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