Welcome to FAB Lovelies!

A Lifestyle blog that focuses on all things from fashion to beauty; fitness to weight loss; recipes to coupons; books to movies; travels to entertainment; and everything in between.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Ghost Hunter's Daughter by Caroline Flarity - Book Tour - Book Review - Giveaway - Enter Daily!


Hey, lovelies!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Caroline Flarity and her new book, “The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter”!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Caroline and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!


The Ghost Hunter's Daughter
by Caroline Flarity

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

GENRE: YA Supernatural/Paranormal

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

BLURB:

Sixteen-year-old Anna sees things from another world, the spiritual world, a skill that isn’t exactly useful in high school. It’s bad enough that her mother, possessed by a demon, took her own life when Anna was a child, a loss she remains tortured by. Now her father makes his living “clearing” haunted objects, and Anna’s job as his assistant makes her a social misfit. Most kids in her suburban New Jersey town refer to her just as “Goblin Girl.”

Only Freddy and Dor remain loyal friends. But Anna’s so focused on her own problems, she’s missed that her connection with Freddy is moving beyond the friend zone.

As junior year approaches, a rare solar storm lights up the night skies and the citizens of Bloomtown begin to act strangely: Anna’s teachers lash out, her best friends withdraw, and the school bullies go from mean to murderous. When Anna realizes she can harness this evil power, she sets out to save Bloomtown and the only family she has left.

But to do so, she must keep her own increasingly dark urges at bay.

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

EXCERPT ONE:

Anna continued the staring contest with herself until the current of connection became so strong that she couldn’t look away from the mirror even if she wanted to. And then the details of the yellow flecks around her pupil—the golden starbursts in the hazel of her irises—suddenly grew sharper in the glass, crystallizing. Every muscle in her body tightened. Something was going to happen.

At first Anna thought she was shaking with fear, and then she was sure that a bee had flown into her mouth. Her jaw clenched instinctually, biting down. She braced for the soft crunch and searing sting that was sure to follow, but her teeth met without resistance. There wasn’t a bee, but her teeth continued to rattle as an electric thrumming spread throughout her body. Was this another portal attack? Anna wasn’t sure, but it was a vastly different sensation from the river rage—a much faster and higher-pitched vibration. She waited with dread for the shaking to slow and deepen, for the waves of hatred and misery to roll through her. But the vibration inside her increased in tempo, intensity and pressure.

It was like being in an airplane right before the wheels lifted off the ground—all that power. She was vibrating at a body-numbing, incredibly high rate, but was somehow still at the same time, like a tuning fork. It had been a mistake to try this in her room. What if the mirror gazing had opened her up even more to the destructive power of the portal spew? There was something familiar about it, the growing roar in her ears, but she braced herself and resisted with all her strength. No.  

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

MY BOOK REVIEW:


This book focuses on Anna, a 16-year-old teenager dealing with family issues, high school drama, learning to understand her unique and special abilities in the family business of ghost-busting, oh and saving her hometown of Bloomtown, New Jersey, when the townspeople turn into crazy, violent scoundrels.

Anna battles ghosts, demons, evil spirits, bullies, mean girls, and the occasional inappropriate teacher.

There is so much pain, hurt, grief, and torment you can just feel the agony seep off the pages!

Of course, that is what is feeding the town’s portals and only making the town sicker.  There is an evil gray mist of electrical static that is floating in the air above these specially located portals and they are gorging off people’s pain energy – especially guilt, hatred, fear, and misery.  The townspeople’s moods and behaviors continue to get more erratic and unstable day by day.  Anna, her dad, Jack, his new assistant, Geneva, and Anna’s best friend’s Freddy and Dor must figure out what – and/or who is truly causing this mayhem in their town and stop it before it gets even more out of control and continues to spread!

This book was definitely interesting and stood out in many ways – both good and bad.

First off, this book was way darker and heavier than I expected – especially for a YA book.  There are a lot of mature topics covered that I’d like to think young adults today aren’t thinking about or experiencing, but perhaps that’s just me living in a dream world bubble lol.

I really liked the main characters and I especially enjoyed how realistic and flawed they were.  Anna was easy to like and connect with.  I think most readers will be able to either relate to her or have empathy for her and her situation.  I liked how smart, strong, brave, stubborn, tenacious, and caring she was.  She totally has her cynical and obnoxious moments, but then again, she is a teenager.  She also has a lot of personal issues that she is struggling with, but she is working through them, and it definitely shows her hard work, dedication, and development throughout the book.  Anna saw her mom commit suicide in front of her when she was only eight years old.  Anna’s mom was possessed by a demon and sacrificed herself before the demon could hurt her daughter and husband too.  Anna and her father both haven’t been able to get over the loss and both deal with the grief in different ways.  Anna also struggles with low self-esteem, poor self-image, self-harm cutting, teen pressures, bullying, family issues, an absentee father, grief, loss, and abandonment from her mother.

I really liked the way Anna goes out of her way for her friends, how she always looks out for them, and how protective of them she is.  Also, I have to do a huge shout-out and commend her for the way she just let’s all the mean kids bullying comments for the most part just roll off her back!  I can’t believe how cruel and insensitive these kids are – yet Anna remained mostly calm and collected.

I also liked Anna’s best friends Freddy and Doreen, also known as “Dor.”  After reading the book blurb I knew to expect some kind of romantic story line between Freddy and Anna.  Freddy’s advances were light, friendly, and non-pressuring.  It was obvious he was into her as more than friends and Anna seemed to like him too, but she was worried about Dor possibly liking him too and making her feel like a third wheel.  But they are super cute together!  Well that is when Anna’s not daydreaming or drooling over Craig LOL!!!  I enjoyed learning more about Dor and her complicated daddy issues.  Dor also struggles with family drama, especially battles with her mom.  I often cringed when her mother was being emotionally abusive to her.  I felt bad her mom was in pain, but that still is no way to talk to your kid.

I also loved Anna’s Dad, Jack, and his new assistant, Geneva!  They were so adorable together!  Geneva was hilarious, scatterbrained, yet super intelligent, compassionate, and warmhearted.  Jack was kind, considerate, stubborn, persistent, but he was in a great deal of pain and every day was a challenge for him.  Jack was still grieving over the loss of his wife and after her suicide he turned to hoarding – never able to let anything go.  This was such an important topic in this book, because it’s often not explained the true root of hoarding and it usually gets overlooked.  People who hoard have often experienced a personal trauma and they try to fulfill that hole that the trauma left with stuff, but it is only a temporary fix and the underlying issue must be addressed.  Hoarding is a serious, complex medical disorder that takes time, patience, and highly trained professionals to diagnose and treat.

I liked that this book shined light on hoarding and educated readers that it’s not just people choosing to be lazy, dirty, or messy – that hoarding is a medical disorder and not a choice.  Even though Anna teases Jack about his stuff, that she refers to as “Jack’s Crap,” and “Jack’s Kingdom of Crap,” she knows that her father is trying in some strange way to cope with her mom’s death.  Anna doesn’t completely understand the connection with hoarding, trash, and grief, but she knows her dad is sick and needs help.  Throughout the book Anna does throw a lot of shade at her dad and his hoarding and even though it is often laughable it is at the same time sad.  There is a scene where Anna is going through and cleaning out his hoarding stuff and she is looking at all the trash bag piles.  She states that her family uses black trash bags, yet when she looks around, she sees white trash bags, clear trash bags, and even blue recycling bags.  And then she realizes her father was actually stealing the neighbors trash bags!!  LOL!!!  And as she puts it, “But why? It was a stupid question. To rifle through them, searching for God-knowswhat? Something he could never find because it wasn’t there, wasn’t anywhere? Things to fix and hold on to for a goddamn rainy day? (75).”  I seriously couldn’t help but laugh as I could easily picture Jack’s basement filled with all these different colored trash bags and Anna down there cleaning them up and going, “Where on earth did these come from?!” LOL!!!

I liked that this book also gave insight into bullying.  Bullying is a serious issue in school these days and ever so among the junior high and high school crowd.  Anna is a victim of bullying.  The mean kids have created cruel nicknames for her, including, “Goblin Girl,” and “Daughter of a Freak.”  Anna’s actually mostly embraced, “Goblin Girl,” and even teases calling the name herself.  She knows that by doing so it takes away some of the sting from the bullies if she beats them to the punchline.  But it’s still evident that it hurts when someone – especially someone she cares about uses the nickname in a malicious way.  Anna is particularly picked on because of her father being a “ghost-busting weirdo,” and that she also assists him on his jobs, her mother having committed suicide in front of her, and for just being an overall misfitted outcast.

Not only does Anna face ridicule from students, but there is one particular belligerent and inept teacher who inappropriately torments Anna in front of the entire class!! There’s this one scene where a teacher teams up with Izzy (her biggest bully) and shows a video in class.  The video is of Anna and Craig’s (her crush) private webcam video chat.  During the chat Craig got Anna to flash him and to show her bra.  She had no idea that Craig was being a total jerk and was with Izzy and Frank (Izzy’s sidekick/another bully) and that they were filming it – let alone the ridiculous and perverse comments made among the guys – including bets.  I was totally roaring and wish I could have kicked their butts for being such morons!  And I totally would not have only had that teacher fired but would have had his teaching license revoked!  Furthermore, Anna is a minor and showing a video of her undressed and in a compromised situation this totally would count as child pornography and distribution as he was sharing it and it should have gotten him thrown in jail!!!  I can’t believe the parents of the students that were in class watching the video didn’t call the school or the police?!  I also can’t believe the students – especially the female students didn’t walk out in support of Anna or go get the principal.  I couldn’t believe the strength and composure Anna showed.  I so would have been in tears!

Even though the townspeople are acting in a more aggressive and mischievous manner it is technically attributed to the portals/brain-altering mist, etc.  However, many of these characters were already malicious in the first place.  The mist just took it up a notch.  Nonetheless, do you ever think if people acted a certain way regardless of the circumstances, they had those thoughts and capabilities inside them?  What’s to say that’s not how they truly were to act; the mist just gave them that tiny little shove to be the person they legitimately are?!  Of course, there were some townspeople, like Dor’s mom, who was affected and became verbally and emotionally abusive to Dor.  She had no previous background of that kind of behavior so it would seem more likely that it was the mist that caused her wicked words.  Unlike in the former, that is geared more towards the bullies like Izzy, Frank, and even Mr. Denton.

This book has a lot going on and so many difficult, mature topics are referenced and deeply delved into.

So, technically you’re not supposed to diagnose teenagers as sociopaths as their brain hasn’t fully developed until they’re into their early twenties.  But if you add stalking, trespassing, deviant behavior towards women, excitement at women experiencing pain, plans to commit rape, pyromania, and animal cruelty – you are just a small step away from this character growing up to become a serial killer!  And personally, I thought there wasn’t enough punishment in this book or in the world for a coward that would kick and murder a dog!!!  Peeps deserved justice and I felt her murderer got away way too easily.

There was a moment I was proud of Anna for going after the killer and seeking revenge in an entertaining and unconventional way.  Unfortunately, it was short lived, and the murderer basically was left alone after that.  There is a later scene where Peeps lets Anna know she’s happy and okay and to let go.  It was very sweet and what every pet owner dreams of for their furbaby when they pass on.  However, there is a difference between letting go and justice.  Peeps suffered, her babies have no mom now, and she deserved her killer to at least get some sort of punishment.

I honestly didn’t know much about the supernatural world or poltergeists.  However, it does seem clear that the author performed an extensive amount of research as she was able to provide descriptive details about the types of human and non-human spirits that haunt people, places, and possessions.  Furthermore, she had ample particulars about what it took to cleanse, neutralize, and/or help them cross over.  It all was very detailed, felt accurate and realistic, and was easy to picture.

There are some predictable scenes.  However, there are quite a few unexpected twists and turns and misdirection’s that you won’t see coming!

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book and would absolutely recommend it!  I think all young adult, supernatural, paranormal readers will like this book too!  So, add it to your TBR List and get to reading - you won't be disappointed!

**Warning!**  Please note this book contains mature content including stalking, sexual harassment, molestation, child pornography and distribution, bullying, suicide, demon possession, self-harm cutting, teen drinking, drugs, and animal cruelty.

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations.**

Did you find this review helpful?
If so, please, please, please mark it as helpful on Amazon here:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/review/R2JIA6TADDPAG6

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

AUTHOR BIO:


Caroline Flarity is a web content producer living in NYC. Her fascination with fringe topics and love of scary movies led her to begin her writing journey penning creepy screenplays. Her debut novel THE GHOST HUNTER'S DAUGHTER started life as a feature script, placing in the finals of the StoryPros Awards and as a semifinalist in Slamdance Film Festival's writing competition. She enjoys pitting her characters against both supernatural and cultural evils.

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

CONNECT WITH CAROLINE:

Website:

Email:
carolineflarity@icloud.com

Facebook:

Twitter:

Instagram:

BookBub Author Page:

BookBub Book Page:

Goodreads Author Page:

Goodreads Book Page:

Amazon Author Page:

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

BOOK BUY LINKS:

Amazon Kindle eBook:

Amazon Paperback:

Barnes and Noble Paperback:

The Book Depository Paperback:

BAM! Books-A-Million Paperback:

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

GIVEAWAY INFO:

Caroline will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.


**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.

15 comments:

  1. Caroline ~ Good morning! Welcome back! It is so great to have you here again! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour! I really enjoyed reading and reviewing your book, thanks for providing the copy! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ally, thank you SO much for hosting and it's great to be back! I *really* appreciate your thoughtful and extensive review. I did want to clarify one small thing. Peeps (the dog) was not set on fire and did not burn to death. Izzy the stalker kicked Peeps, and it was this injury that caused the dog to die. The fire was actually an accident caused when Izzy flicked his cigarette on his way out of Anna's yard and a gust of wind blew it back into the yard. Sorry if this wasn't clear! Not that it wasn't still a horrible death for poor Peeps (who Anna sees later is alive and well in the spiritual world) but the dog was not set on fire and did not burn to death. I care a lot about animal cruelty, too, and am a vegan. I believe animals have souls, just like we do. So, I just wanted to let you and your readers know the sequence of events I tried to portray in that scene. I'll be around all day to answer any questions or respond to comments! Thanks again!

      Delete
    2. Hi Caroline, I truly apologize for the misunderstanding! I think once Izzy started going into details about kicking Peeps and wanting to get even more kicks in and stomp her head in, I think I may have started to skim over a few lines. And from the earlier passages when Anna found Peeps she mentioned preparing herself for the smell of scorched fur. I guess with the broken up scenes I jumped to the conclusion with Izzy being not the best character in the bunch. Usually I am extremely thorough in my reviews so again I apologize for getting this important detail wrong. I will be sure to update this review on here and on the additional book review websites I have already posted on. Thanks, Ally

      Delete
    3. Ally, no problem at all! I totally understand. It's an upsetting scene and I too skip a few lines when I'm reading something that is disturbing. I love your review and the passion you express. Izzy is a demented character with demented thoughts and he did kick Peeps in the her side, but never stomped her head, set her on fire, etc. Yeah, I can imagine that would be very upsetting to imagine! I'm horrified on a daily basis at the suffering inflicted on animals so I get it.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great review, I'm looking forward to checking this one out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oops. I replied below as a regular comment. You'd think by now I'd have this figured out ;)

      Delete
  4. Victoria! I'm going to miss you :) Thanks for showing up for my stops so I never had to face an "empty room". I can't believe today is the very last day of my blog tour. Wednesdays just won't be the same! Good luck in the giveaway and hope you enjoy the rest of your summer. All the best, Caroline

    ReplyDelete
  5. Replies
    1. Hi Rita! Great to 'see' you, as always. I appreciate so much that you've taken the time to comment throughout both legs of my blog tour. Hopefully, we'll correspond again when I publish my next book. That excerpt is from my favorite scene, right before Anna leaves her body and travels into the astral realm where she discovers the identity of the evil entity invading her mind and the mind of everyone she cares about. There is a lot of dark and creepy content, but at its core the book is about (to me) the metaphysical coming-of-age on a teenage girl. Anna has a significant arc that I hope readers will appreciate. Enjoy the rest of your summer and best of luck in the giveaway! Bye for now.

      Delete
  6. Lord help me... I felt this!!! I know all about family issues.. I've GOT to read this..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mya, I replied below as a regular comment. For some reason I CANNOT reply correctly today. I blame caffeine!

      Delete
  7. Hi Mya! Yeah, the book is full of family issues and lots of other dark content. I'm so used to reading dark fiction that I originally thought of it as a spiritual story about the metaphysical coming-of-age of a teenage girl. Since it's been published, I've reevaluated that interpretation based on a lot of reader feedback. I now market the book as YA HORROR for older teens :) Thanks for being there during my tour and rooting me on. What will I do with myself next Wednesday? Best of luck in the giveaway, and if you ever get a chance to read the book, please let me know what you think. All the best!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Signing off now. Ally, thanks so much for reading and for your review. Thanks to all who participated and good luck in the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete