Book Reviews by Michael McCarty
I am a big fan of the YA suspense genre. I did write a YA horror book called I KISSED A GHOUL that went onto make it to the Final Ballot of the Bram Stokers … but ultimately did not win.
And although, LOST GIRL OF THE LAKE, co-written with Joe McKinney, isn’t technically a YA book, it features the protagonist as a teen for most of the book.
Some of my favorite fiction mixes YA and horror or suspense, such as Stephen King’s novella “The Body” which was also turned into the movie STAND BY ME and Robert McCammon’s BOY’S LIFE novel.
HELL IS IN ME
By Colleen A. Parkinson
HELL IS IN ME by Colleen A. Parkinson is a hell of a good book. Scratch that, make that a hell of a great book. The story is set in a small town in California where Quinn Vanderfield is spending his free time restoring a family graveyard that has fallen to years to neglect. This solitary activity gets Quinn away from the high school bullies who are making his life hell, but also his over-worked, over drunk father. His family life hasn’t been the same since his Mom has passed away and he doesn’t have any friends either. Things would be very lonely in this world for Quinn, except that he sees dead people, lots of them and even talks to them too.
Stephanie Norris moves in next door to Quinn. Her father was a fireman, who also passed away. Her Mom inherited a house from grandmother and decided to take residence there. She encounters Quinn in the cemetery and the two immediately don’t hit it off.
She is free-spirited and very talkative.
He is a lone wolf, a solitary young man who doesn’t like company much.
But Stephanie takes it upon herself to help Quinn restore the cemetery. And there, a decades old murder mystery emerges into light.
Enter temperamental ghost, Jake who keeps Quinn off kilter with is many demands …
I’d highly recommend HELL IS IN ME, this is a fantastic coming-of-age YA thriller. Realistic and very likeable characters; a story line that is part ghost story but also has an underlying paranormal mystery to it and has just as many twists and turns as a roller coaster ride has and just as exciting.
Here are some links to the book
Barnes & Noble:
by Daniel Charles Wild
This is a stunning debut by Daniel Charles Wild.
I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf, since Dan was invited to a book signing during December 2019, called “Nightmare Before Chrismas,” which he was his debut book signing in the Quad Cities with LITTLE PEOPLE and I was doing the last signing GHOSTS OF THE QUAD CITIES.
I read LITTLE PEOPLE in one sitting and it totally captivated me. It is a dark fantasy that has an unnamed protagonist being visited five days after his estranged Dad’s funeral by two figurines from his father’s basement model train diorama. And from there the book a mini juggernaut, a locomotive racing down a toy railroad tracks at full-speed ahead and never lets up.
Throw in Jonathan Swift’s GULLIVER’S TRAVELS, Gordon William’s THE MICRONAUNTS and a dash of Peter Jackson’s HEAVENLY CREATURES …. simmer until you got a tasty story line … you’ll get the idea.
LITTLE PEOPLE by Daniel Charles Wild has small characters in it, but the novella is big on imagination and even bigger in heart, I have no problem recommending this well-written debut.
Besides checking out these two great books … please consider checking out these two by me:
Trade Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998691291
Lake Livingston: August, 1961.
Mark Gaitlin is 15, the son of one of the wealthiest men in Texas, and on the most boring summer vacation of his life. His days are filled with the pomp and circumstance of country club life, while his nights are a parade of one embarrassment after another at the hands of giggling teenage girls. But the piney woods above Lake Livingston are dark at night, and hold many secrets for an impressionable youngster on the cusp of becoming a man. And one night, after skinny dipping in the lake with a mysterious local girl, Mark Gaitlin’s life takes a crazy turn into the fire and brimstone religion of backwoods snake handlers and abandoned villages haunted by old family secrets. If he can survive the snakes and the ghosts and his own family’s dark history, he just might make it out of the woods alive.
I KISSED A GHOUL by Michael McCarty
“Never fear, Tommy Wharton is here! When you need help with ghosts, goblins and things that generally go bump in the night, I wouldn’t be anywhere in sight…..
”You would think that being the mayor’s son would automatically make Tommy Wharton popular. If only! This horny, overweight, high-school geek is the diametric opposite of popular—but that doesn’t stop him from trying to score with the chicks. After all, his dad’s position does lend a few sweet perks: use of his campaign van and credit card. The only thing that can—and does—get in the way of his raging hormones is the supernatural. Vampires. Werewolves. Succubi. Mummies. You name it, Tommy faced it. And walked away with his life, and virginity, intact. Will Tommy finally hook up with the girl of his dreams, or will his love life remain thoroughly zombified?
I KISSED A GHOUL by Michael McCarty was a Bram Stoker Finalist For Superior Achievement in Young Adult Novel.
Smashwords (feeds Apple, Overdrive, and a few small sites)https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1079187