Tag Archives: ghosts

Missing Persons Report: Melissa White

Full Name: Melissa Mary White
Date of Birth: February 2, 1969
Place of Birth: Lanster, New Hampshire
Missing Since: September 22, 1985. (Sixteen years old)
Height: 5’4” (At time of disappearance)
Weight: 115 pounds (At time of disappearance)
Race: Caucasian
Hair: Blond
Scars and Marks: Freckles; ears pierced; navel pierced
Clothes and Jewelry: Unknown

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact the FBI immediately.

Specter paperback and ebook go on sale July 7th.

With strong characters who are easy to root for, this stunning, multilayered paranormal thriller will keep you holding your breath till the very last page.

Order from all major retailers or Hidden Bower Press.

Who Killed Melissa White?

The school picture flipped to another photo—Melissa standing by a beach dressed in a pristine white bikini. There was a grainy silver glint at her belly button—her piercing. She was half-smiling, half-smirking at the camera, though her eyes were hard and shuttered. She was a knock-out, but a sad aura hovered around her, like some young almost-Marilyn Monroe.

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Specter debuts July 7th. Available for preorder now at all major retailers.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo

Who Killed Melissa White?

Her face was inches from my own, close enough to see the smattering of navy freckles on her cheeks. My throat clenched to scream, but the air in my windpipe felt frozen, like it had solidified into a chunk of ice. Something about looking at her was making my head hurt, like patches of her face were fading in and out—not transparent, but like they weren’t even there at all.

She leaned in towards my ear as I stood paralyzed, and biting cold stung the side of my head, radiating through my skull. Her words came to me as a distant shout, distorted and waterlogged.

“Melissa White!”

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Specter debuts July 7th. Available for preorder now at all major retailers.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo

Who Killed Melissa White?

It—she—had none of the silvery translucence from the stories. In fact, she wasn’t see-through at all, her figure cast in slow-moving blue shadows, like the sun making mottled patterns on the seafloor.

There was a ghost in my room—a ghost my age, her hair a big mess of feathery curls straight out of an eighties movie, her clinging black leotard and jeans vintage to match. And she was looking right at me.

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Specter debuts July 7th. Available for preorder now at all major retailers.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Okay, what do I even say about Maureen Johnson at this point? She’s awesome? I love her characters, her voice, her plotting? Does that about cover it?

Listen, Maureen Johnson has a certain style that you’ll either like or you won’t, and her books are all different versions of the same wonderful thing. Quirky and intelligent MC, no parents for miles, a way of inserting detail and humor into the text that keeps you just reading one page, no, two pages, no, twenty pages more… If this is the sort of thing you enjoy, then go read the first in the Shades of London series, or Truly Devious, or 13 Little Blue Envelopes. (And presumably anything else by Johnson, all of which I’m sure I’ll read eventually.) If you’re trying to decide between her series, here’s a cheat sheet:

  • Shades of London series for ghosts (this book, The Madness Underneath, is book two)
  • Truly Devious series for true crime and historical elements
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes series for quirky road trips

It’s been a while since I read the first Shades of London book, so I got to rediscover the MC, Rory, in this second in the series. A Louisiana native transplanted to a London boarding school, Rory behaves in a way that feels authentic. There are more than a few points in the book where I was mentally screaming at her to do something, anything other than what she was doing, but even when Rory’s making bad choices, you can see why she’s making them. She’s flawed but relatable, and you can’t help but be on her side, even when she’s royally fucking up.

So what else do I have to say about this book? It had that classic “recovering from the first book” feel, especially given the emphasis on therapy. I can understand if a lot of readers feel this book lags in the first half, but again, I don’t care; something about Johnson’s writing just calls to me, and the rip-roaring ending made up for any slowness. Plus it’s totally allowable to slow things down temporarily after the frenetic ending of the previous book. Our MC is in high school and just went through some truly traumatic events—it would be unrealistic to push ahead with the story any faster.

As the book moves toward the finish line, there’s a plot twist that I’ll admit I saw coming, but the execution and details of the surprise were still exciting and unexpected. As can be expected from Johnson’s other books, there isn’t so much a resolution at the end of this book as a pause and shift in the action, compelling us to reach for the next in the series. Cliffhangers are just something you have to deal with if you’re a Maureen Johnson fan.

I did also feel that the plot held together more cohesively than the first in the series. Leaving aside the aforementioned cliffhangers, the ends of both books struck me as a little bit off, like the reader is being expected to take a too much of a leap of faith, all at a breakneck pace. You can definitely leave both of these books with a dazed, what even just happened feeling. Yet the second book is an improvement on the first—not quite so manic, not quite so out-of-the-blue.

So overall The Madness Underneath was a crazy fun read (I mean, it’s not Truly Devious, but whatever…) and I’m looking forward to picking up the third book in the series.