Susan Hill - The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

8. The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill (1983)
Length: 164 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 11 February 2013
Finished: 20 February 2013
Where did it come from? I downloaded this ebook from Amazon back in January of 2012 and then I acquired a physical copy from a Library Book Sale.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 10 January 2012 as an ebook; Since 2 February 2013 as a physical book.
Why do I have it? I like horror and Susan Hill is a new author for me.

Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to the town of Crythin Gifford - deep in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway. He comes to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow's house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and cloaked in mystery, however Arthur is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind Eel Marsh House's sheltered windows.

The routine business trip Arthur anticipated upon his arrival quickly takes a horrifying turn. He glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral and a creeping sense of dread begins to take hold within him. His sense of dread increases exponentially when he questions the townspeople about the mysterious young woman's identity and is met by walls of silence and deep, abject terror. That people know something of the young woman's purpose but refuse to say anything about it, is obvious and very perplexing to Arthur. As he sorts through Mrs. Drablow's papers, Arthur is continually haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and apparitions - a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap in trouble, and a child's terrified scream in the fog.

I loved this book! I had actually bought myself an ebook copy of this book from Amazon back in January of 2012, but was searching everywhere for a physical copy of my very own! :) I do enjoy reading ebooks, and I have an Amazon Kindle that I use a lot, however I find that I prefer actually holding a book and turning the pages from time to time. The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill was rather hard to obtain a copy of, but at the Library Book Sale that mom and I went to on February 2nd, I grabbed this book off the shelf and bought it. My mom read the book first and then I took it to read next. 

I give this book an A+! and was pleasantly surprised when a back ordered copy of the movie starring Daniel Radcliffe came in the mail. Now mom and I want to watch the movie whenever we can - I hope that the movie does the book justice.

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Introducing Jack: The Tale of Frost by Tony Bertauski!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hello everyone! I'm delighted to introduce you all to Jack: The Tale of Frost by Tony Bertauski! :) For those of you who may be interested, Jack: The Tale of Frost is the sequel to Claus: Legend of the Fat Man, which I read in December of 2012.

Or, if you prefer, The Legend of Socket Greeny, The Discovery of Socket Greeny, Foreverland is Dead, Halfskin, The Drayton Chronicles, The Annihilation of Foreverland, Claus: Legend of the Fat Man, and The Training of Socket Greeny are all available as audiobooks from Audible. Download and listen to them all while you're on the way to grandmother's house!

Meet Tony Bertauski

My grandpa never graduated high school. He retired from a steel mill in the mid-70s. He was uneducated, but he was a voracious reader. I remember going through his bookshelves of paperback sci-fi novels, smelling musty old paper, pulling Piers Anthony and Isaac Asimov off shelf and promising to bring them back. I was fascinated by robots that could think and act like people. What happened when they died?

I've written textbooks on landscape design, but that was straightforward, informational writing; the kind of stuff that helps most people get to sleep. I've also been writing a gardening column with a humorous slant. That takes a little more finesse, but still informational for the most part.

I'm a cynical reader. I demand the writer sweep me into his/her story and carry me to the end. I'd rather sail a boat than climb a mountain. That's the sort of stuff I wanted to write, not the assigned reading we used to get in high school. I wanted to create stories that kept you up late.

Fiction, good fiction, is hard to write. Having a story unfold inside your head is an experience different than reading. You connect with characters in a deeper, more meaningful way. You feel them, empathize with them, cheer for them and even mourn. The challenge is to get the reader to experience the same thing, even if it's only a fraction of what the writer feels. Not so easy.

For more information, be sure to visit Tony's website at

Claus: Legend of the Fat Man by Tony Bertauski (2012)
Length: 326 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Audible!

Claus: Legend of the Fat Man Blurb: 

The Christmas story you never heard.

In the early 1800s, Nicholas, Jessica, and Jon Santa attempt the first human trek to the North Pole and stumble upon an ancient race of people left over from the Ice Age. They are short, fat, and hairy. They slide across the ice on scaly soles and carve their homes in the ice that floats on the Arctic Ocean. The elven are adapted to life in the extreme cold. They are as wise as they are ancient.

Their scientific advancements have yielded great inventions - time-stopping devices and gravitational spheres that build living snowmen and genetically-modified reindeer that leap great distances. They've even unlocked the secrets to aging. For 40,000 years, they have lived in peace. 

Until now.

An elven known as The Cold One has divided his people. He's tired of their seclusion and wants to conquer the world. Only one elven stands between The Cold One and total chaos. He's white-bearded and red-coated. The Santa family will help him stop The Cold One. They will come to the aid of a legendary elven known as…Claus.

Jack: The Tale of Frost by Tony Bertauski (2013)
Length: 290 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords! 

Jack: The Tale of Frost Blurb:

Some tall tales are true.

Sura is sixteen years old when she meets Mr. Frost. He’s very short and very fat and he likes his room very, very cold. Some might say inhumanly cold. His first name isn’t Jack, she’s told. And that’s all she needed to know.

Mr. Frost’s love for Christmas is over-the-top and slightly psychotic. And why not? He’s made billions of dollars off the holiday he invented. Or so he claims. Rumor is he’s an elven, but that’s silly. Elven aren’t real. And if they were, they wouldn’t live in South Carolina. They wouldn’t hide in a tower and go to the basement to make…things.

Nonetheless, Sura will work for this odd little recluse. Frost Plantation is where she’ll meet the love of her life. It’s where she’ll finally feel like she belongs somewhere. And it’s where she’ll meet someone fatter, balder and stranger than Mr. Frost. It’s where she’ll meet Jack.

Jack hates Christmas.

The Chronicles of Claus:
Book 1: Claus: Legend of the Fat Man
Book 2: Jack: The Tale of Frost

May you read well and often

Kathryn Meyer Griffith Chats About How Her Writing Ambitions Turned Into a Forty Year Career

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Meet Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. I began writing novels at 21, over forty years ago now, and have had seventeen (ten romantic horror, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance and two murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press and Amazon Kindle Direct.

I’ve been married to Russell for almost thirty-five years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha, live cats Cleo and Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.

Find the entire list of Kathryn Meyer Griffith's novels currently available through Amazon at:
Egyptian Heart Audio Book now available at ACX here:

Once again, I'm thrilled to welcome prolific author Kathryn Meyer Griffith, author of eighteen novels, two novellas and twelve short stories, back to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Ms. Griffith was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in her own words:

'Yes, I’m a Horror Writer…'
But forty years later I’m so much more.
by Kathryn Meyer Griffith

I never started out to be a horror writer. I mean I never said one day, “I’m going to write horror like Stephen King and Anne Rice.” It just sort of happened. But, if I would have looked, the signs were there early on. I grew up loving scary movies and ghost stories; intrigued by tales of vampires and werewolves. My fondest childhood memories were of my Grandmother Fehrt dropping my younger brother, older sister and I off at the afternoon movie matinee at the grand old-fashioned movie palace to watch the horror or monster flicks in the early nineteen-sixties. For some reason I was always drawn to anything concerning the supernatural and read everything on it I could get my hands on, though I also devoured science fiction and historical romances as well. 

But years later, in the 1970’s, when I was a restless young wife with a baby son gurgling in his crib; no longer in college (I dropped out to have my child), I found myself, out of pure boredom, writing a sexy historical romance, which was all the rage at the time. I’d just read one I thought was awful and believed I could do better. Well, that’s what I thought. So arrogant. I had a lot to learn…and over the next forty years I learned it well.

Writing a book, any kind of book, isn’t easy, not cut-and-dry, and it rarely takes a straight course or a set amount of weeks or months to complete–and, wow, did it take me a long time to learn this. On an electric typewriter, I pecked out that first novel I eventually titled The Heart of the Rose in under a year but it took me over twelve to sell it. Life got in the way and, to be perfectly honest, I had to grow up some first. I went through having a child, getting divorced, finding a real day job as a graphic artist, meeting and marrying the man who’d be the true love of my life…and experiencing years of everyday life.

And somewhere in those twelve years, during the early days of my second marriage, as I was waiting for that revised historical romance to make the fiftieth or so slow snail-mail publisher rounds, I began another novel, a straight fiction, based on my idealistic childhood in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. 707 Suncrest. It was a story which wouldn’t let me rest until I finished it. But the publishers I sent it to didn’t want it, or at least, not like it was; though some of them commented they liked my writing and to not give up. In 1978, a kind editor at Towers Publisher advised me I should add an element of the supernatural to it, as my writing had a spooky ambiance to it anyway. She said I wrote like a horror writer so why not be one? Since horror, the pack being led by Stephen King, was so big by that time. 

It was the turning point for me and my writing. I added an ancient evil in the woods behind the family’s home and had it knock off all of them but a sister and a brother, then I fast forwarded the narrative twenty years and followed that grown-up brother and sister as they returned to their childhood home to fight that same evil which had begun killing children again. Ta-da! I renamed it Evil Stalks the Night and sent it to that kind editor. She loved it. Towers was going to publish it, but went bankrupt before they could and a paperback company called Leisure Books bought them out. My Tower’s editor hand delivered my manuscript to the new Leisure editor before she left, recommending it…and that editor bought it in 1984. They asked if I had any other books and I sent them the historical romance. And after a series of requested rewrites, they bought it, too, and brought it out the year after they released Evil Stalks the Night

So my third novel, released in 1989, was a horror, too. About a possessed gun. Leisure Books saddled it with the inane title Blood Forge (not my first choice, but in those days you took the title and the cover your publisher gave you). Then in 1990 and for the next four years came a new publisher, Zebra paperbacks, and they released my romantic horror novel Vampire Blood, my sf/horror The Last Vampire, a novel called Witches, and my ghost story, The Calling
After that I endured a long dry spell of eight years (again life and a new job got in the way) before two hardcover murder mysteries, Scraps of Paper and All Things Slip Away, came out from Avalon Books

And the years went by. My life went by. Twenty years. My ancient Egyptian ghost story, Egyptian Heart, came out; followed by a romantic suspense, Winter’s Journey, and a paranormal murder mystery, The Ice Bridge. Thirty years. A Time of Demons, a horror novel, and my vampire novel, The Woman in Crimson followed and Damnation Books/Eternal Press rereleased most of my revised older books between 2010 and 2012…this time in eBooks as well as print. I slowly kept writing and selling, like pulling teeth some years, my stories. Forty years. I tried something new and self-published another sf/horror, Dinosaur Lake; a vampire tale, Human No Longer and then republished my mystery Scraps of Paper. Oh, I kept writing horror, vampires, witches, and ancient Egyptian ghosts, but every once and awhile I found myself penning a time-travel romance, a suspense, or a love story; a few murder mysteries or short stories.
One day I looked at the old woman in the mirror and, smiling, said, “I’m not just a horror writer…I’m a storyteller.” Just like I heard Stephen King was calling himself. “I write stories and it doesn’t matter what genre they are. They’re my stories. The way I see and feel the world around me and try to explain it. The way I see and appreciate the beauty and the magic of life.” I was happy to be a storyteller. 

Now eighteen novels, two novellas and twelve short stories later, I’m content with my career as I gaze back over it. All its ups and downs. Defeats and triumphs. Sadness and joys. At the moment, my sixteenth novel, Dinosaur Lake, my first of three self-published with Amazon Kindle, is selling very well. I’m in the middle of working on eight ACX audio books of some of my novels and thinking, for my nineteenth novel, of writing a sequel to Dinosaur Lake when the audio books are done. If some narrator/producer doesn’t offer for another one of my other ten novels, that is. Even listening takes time and work.

Yes, I still consider myself a horror writer…but I’ve realized I’m so much more. I’m a writer. I’m a storyteller and proud of it. 

Thank you, 
author Kathryn Meyer Griffith

May you read well and often

Introducing Chasing Justice by Danielle Stewart!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Meet Danielle Stewart

Writing is a way to make a lot of different people do exactly what you want them to do. When I can’t get my toddler to listen to me, I turn to my characters. They always cooperate!

I currently live in Charlotte, North Carolina with my husband and three year old son. I have perfected the ability to write in a noisy house and create story lines while folding laundry.

Chasing Justice is book one in my Piper Anderson Series. It follows the evolution of a woman who feels unworthy of love and introduces a colorful and endearing cast of characters who are hell-bent on proving her wrong. The second book of the Piper Anderson Series will be out in August 2013.

 Chasing Justice by Danielle Stewart (2013)
Length: 402 pages
Download your copy for free from Amazon!

Chasing Justice Blurb: 

Piper Anderson has been given a fresh start in the picturesque town of Edenville, North Carolina. But her plans of settling into a normal life are derailed when she witnesses a prominent judge in her community committing a violent assault. Running from her own past and fueled by a passion to make the judge answer for his crimes, Piper is forced to decide if she’ll play by the rules or achieve justice in her own way.

Complicating things further, Piper finds herself fighting a powerful attraction to rookie cop, Bobby Wright. Although she’s increasingly enamored with Bobby, his staunch belief in the justice system is in stark contrast to her own. She may not share his opinions about the effectiveness of the law, but she certainly can’t deny how safe she feels when she’s in his arms or how every kiss leaves her desperate for more.

For Piper, the idea of finally living an ordinary life with a man to love is tempting. However, fate keeps placing the judge, quite literally, in her path. Will she decide the only way to win is to be as wicked as the judge, but with righteous intentions? And more importantly, will Bobby choose to let her go, or follow her as she crosses the line and takes justice into her own hands?

Piper Anderson Series:
Book 1: Chasing Justice
Book 2: Cutting Ties (Available NOW!) 
Book 3: Changing Fate (Coming Fall 2013!) 

May you read well and often

Tia Nevitt - Wish by a Hazel Tree

Thursday, February 7, 2013

7. Wish by a Hazel Tree by Tia Nevitt (2011)
The Accidental Enchantments Prequels Series Book 1
Length: 17 pages
Genre: Short Story 
Started/Finished: 7 February 2013
Where did it come from? I downloaded this ebook for free from Tia's website to read on my Amazon Kindle.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 18 January 2013
Why do I have it? I like fantasy and had read and enjoyed The Sevenfold Spell by the same author in December of 2010.

Fayette is almost thirteen years old and is still recovering from an accident that has left her with a lifelong limp. The last thing that she wants to hear are the glad tidings that her widowed father wants to marry her lovely young aunt - her late mother's sister, Tante Marie. When Fay goes out into the back garden and makes a frivolous wish by the hazel tree that she and her father planted in her mother's memory, she never expects it to actually come true. This story takes place about a dozen years before the events of Mischief at the Prince's Ball - an upcoming book in The Accidental Enchantments Series.

I really enjoyed this story. It is only two chapters long, but it has certainly sparked my interest to read the full-length book whenever it will be released. I give Wish by a Hazel Tree by Tia Nevitt an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Introducing The Tempest Murders by P. M. Terrell!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Meet P. M. Terrell

P.M. Terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 18 books in 4 genres. A full-time author since 2002, she previously opened and operated two computer companies in the Washington, DC area. Her specialties were in the areas of computer crime and computer intelligence and her clients included the Secret Service, CIA and Department of Defense as well as local law enforcement. Computer and spy technology are two themes that recur throughout her books.

She is the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation, whose mission is to raise awareness of the link between high illiteracy rates and high crime rates. And she founded the annual Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair which takes place each February. She is also an animal advocate and helped to start the New Leash on Life program in which dogs destined for euthanasia are rescued and paired with prison inmates in Robeson County, North Carolina, who train them. The dogs are then adopted into loving homes.

The Tempest Murders by P. M. Terrell (2013)
Length: 252 pages
Purchase Your Copy From Amazon!

The Tempest Murders Blurb: 

Detective Ryan O’Clery has always had dreams of a beautiful woman he’d loved and lost but when he discovers his ancestor’s journals from his native Ireland, he realizes his dreams are really the other man’s memories.

Now he is working a series of murders in North Carolina that are eerily similar to cases Rian Kelly was working when his soul mate was murdered during one of Ireland’s most horrific storms, in which the Atlantic Ocean swept over the island all the way to the Irish Sea.

As Hurricane Irene barrels toward the North Carolina coastline, Ryan discovers the serial killer’s real target is a reporter who bears a striking resemblance to the woman of his dreams - a woman with whom Ryan O’Clery is falling deeply in love.

Is history destined to repeat itself? Or can Ryan save Cathleen Reilly from a killer intent on destroying everything he ever loved?

May you read well and often

Our Library Visit For February

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hello Everyone! How are you on this fine Saturday? I'm doing just fine. :) So, for the first time this year Mom and I went to our local library and bought books at the library book sale. :) I suppose we each thought our separate TBR piles needed replenishing! We wound up buying five bags of books and staggered out to our friend's car where she helped us to unload our 'burden'! :)

Neither of us had been to the library since July of 2012 and I must say, I was looking forward to a return visit! We arrived at the library at about 11:45 A. M. and spent an hour and a half there. We had a wonderful time together - as we always do!

We bought 25 hardcovers and 23 paperbacks and 14 oversized paperbacks between us and spent a whopping $20 for a total of 62 books. In fact, mom bargained with the young librarian's assistant up from $18! :)

May you read well and often

Reading Wrap-up For January at Emeraldfire's Bookmark

Friday, February 1, 2013

Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog.

Anyway, I started out January with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from authors.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile 

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Fruit of my Spirit: Reframing Life in God's Grace by Deanna Nowadnick
- Matching Wits With Venus by Therese Gilardi
- Ghost Brother by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- The Banshee and the Witch by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- Too Close to the Edge by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- Running With the Train by Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Oddities and Entities by Roland Allnach
- Othermoon by Nina Berry
- The Forgotten Queen by D. L. Bogdan
- The Water Witch by Juliet Dark
- Stalking You Now by Jeff Strand
- Double Enchantment by Kathryne Kennedy
- Summerset Abbey by T. J. Brown
- Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep
- The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark
- The Forever Year by Lou Aronica
- Paper Airplane: Unique Tales From a Mile High by Kersten L. Kelly
- The Living Room by Bill Rolfe
- The Bad, the Good, and Two Fly-Fishing Women, and a Life-Changing Day on a River by Randy Kadish
- Into the Small Hours by Patrick C. Greene
- In the Shadow of the Moonlight: The Awakening by J. J. Bidell
- India Was One by An Indian
- Scorpio Rising by Monique Domovitch
- The Vampire Hunter's Daughter: Part IV by Jennifer Malone Wright
- The Vampire Hunter's Daughter: Part V by Jennifer Malone Wright
- The Annihilation of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski
- The Fifth Man by James Lepore
- Scraps of Paper by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
Human No Longer by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- Wish by a Hazel Tree by Tia Nevitt

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Fruit of my Spirit: Reframing Life in God's Grace by Deanna Nowadnick
- Matching Wits With Venus by Therese Gilardi
- Ghost Brother by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- The Banshee and the Witch by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- Too Close to the Edge by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- Running With the Train by Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me, considering. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 6
Pages Read: 552
Grade Range: A+! to A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was January. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

May you read well and often