Colleen’s #Book #Reviews: “A Ghost & His Gold,” by Roberta Eaton Cheadle, @bakeandwrite

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

From the Author

“After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summons a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.

Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?

After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.”

Amazon.com

My Recommendation

“A Ghost and His Gold,” by Robbie Cheadle, was a pleasant surprise. The author takes us to South Africa, where Tom and Michelle Cleveland have recently purchased a house in the town of Irene. During a housewarming party and a chance encounter with a Ouija board, readers are drawn back to the era of the second Boer War where Great Britain’s army tried to regain what it lost in the first war. Somewhere along the way, the lure of gold and riches sets the stage for a ghost adventure like no other!

The Ouija board proves to be the catalyst that opens the door to the past. Michelle is the most receptive to the spirit world. When the others shrug off the temperature changes and the exploding bottles, Michelle senses the ghostly presence.

The next day, she researches the local history of the area and specifically the house they live in. Michelle makes some interesting discoveries, not only about the house but about Tom and how he lived the year before she met him. By the time Estelle (a supernatural ghost) makes her presence known, Michelle and Tom have collapsed into a paranormal hell.

Writing about ghosts can be tricky, and this author handles the paranormal aspects of the book well. Supernatural ghosts always have a past agenda to work through. They remain on the earthly plane until their personal trauma or unfinished business is resolved and they can pass into the light. Estelle, the ghost, makes Tom the target of her ire as the reader witnesses his descent into madness.

The historical aspects of the book are as well presented as the paranormal aspects. Cheadle retells the bloody horror of the Second Boer War in all its graphic detail. This history cements the different aspects of the story joining the past and the present into a cyclical supernatural event.

In the end, the story is really about family. We learn the story of the Boer farmer, Pieter, and his daughter Estelle’s tragic life. Estelle’s story is truly unforgettable. Be mindful that emotional abuse and trauma within family relationships could trigger some readers.

This book was so much more than a ghost story. It’s a complex read, dealing with many themes that mirror the present-day, including racism, rape, family issues, and much more. I struggled with my feelings throughout the book, and it felt like I had embarked on a roller coaster of emotion. However, I will not forget the characters, or what I learned about the Second Boer War or the history of Africa. I found the book to be an excellent read!

Follow-me-on-Bookbub-300X121-300x121

 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also!  Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-literary-divas-library-fb-cover.png

I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Through the Nethergate,” BY AUTHOR, Roberta Eaton Cheadle, @bakeandwrite

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

About this Book

Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own.

In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th-century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise.

With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.

Amazon.com

MY RECOMMENDATION

After the death of her parents, Margaret moves to Bungay, England to live with her grandfather. Once there, she realizes she can see the spirits of the dead. Even more terrifying, Margaret sees the spirits of how they looked at the moment of their death. If that’s not creepy enough, hang on… this story takes a dark turn. Soon, Margaret realizes she must figure out how to free these lost souls from the ultimate evil.

Some of the ghosts are evil and some are good, while others seem to be stuck between the worlds in a sort of limbo. Margaret’s gift of sight acts as a catalyst for some and the ghosts begin to incarnate and interact with our world. All of this activity alerts the big guy below and he fantasizes about Margaret’s abilities and what her power could do for him.

Cheadle builds her story off of the legend of Black Shuck, the Devil Dog of Bungay who in 1577 terrorized the parishioners of the local church by killing two people kneeling in prayer after bursting through the church doors amid a flash of lightning. In the book, the dog resurfaces as the evil Hugh Bigod, the vilest of spirits who commands the other spirits who chose not to go into the light when they died.

What makes this story stand out from other YA horror novels is how the author weaves the historical accounts of real-life murderers into her plot. Some of these accounts, while interesting, bogged down some of the pacing in the novel. Yet, it didn’t stop me from reading into the wee hours to find out what happened next.

Additionally, I found the story to be heavily influenced by the Christian concepts of heaven, hell, and the devil. These aspects didn’t affect my personal view, except that I don’t think a belief in spirits belongs to any specific religion.

I found the political elements in the story to be the most compelling. There are some valid points made between the rise of fascism/nationalism and the spread of evil in our current world cultures skillfully woven into the story. The author intertwined many other current events into the storyline including “fake news,” mass shootings, and the war in Syria, all as part of the machinations of Lucifer.

This book had plenty of terrifying moments to hold a reader’s attention. I thought the story concept was solid and the author’s approach to history enriched the storytelling. If you love YA fiction, you’ll enjoy this book.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book as a gift from the author.

MY RATING

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with six published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle-grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.

I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.

I have participated in a number of anthologies:

Two short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Dark Visions, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre;
Three short stories in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories, edited by Stephen Bentley;
Three short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Nightmareland, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre; and Two short stories in Whispers of the Past, an anthology of paranormal stories, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth.

I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades

Robbie Cheadle, aka Roberta Eaton Cheadle Amazon Author Page

How to Connect with the Author

BLOG: Robbie Cheadle: Books, Poems, Reviews

TWITTER: Robbie Cheadle @bakeandwrite

FACEBOOK: Robbie Cheadle

Follow-me-on-Bookbub-300X121-300x121

 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also!  Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-literary-divas-library-fb-cover.png