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Running Shoes

I felt like it was just fine. Nothing outstanding and not truly terrible. Thanks to Goodreads and Montlake Romance for the copy in exchange for an honest review. Nov 01, Kristie rated it really liked it Shelves: audible , , mystery , paranormal. I think it was well done for the genre, though some of the storyline was a bit generic.

Ghost Gifts Summary & Study Guide

I knew the who-done-it before the end, but still thought it was a good mystery, not too easy and there were other possible options. Overall, a good read. Mar 09, Ms.

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Shelves: fiction , suspense. Imagine a netherworld, a place for dead people unable to move on — riveted by unfinished business or unresolved emotions. Aubrey Ellis has a special susceptibility for accessing that world.

Publisher's Summary

From early childhood, the opening of that portal was presaged by unsettling symptoms: intense heat, dizziness, extreme nausea, disturbing smells and tastes. Sometimes she intuited a special significance in some mundane object and collected it. Other times, however, the apparition was overpowering; reality would dissolve, and she was forced to interact, forced to patiently listen and counsel, sometimes even gently easing the passage of the dead beyond world of the living. Sometimes, though, the shadows of malevolence and rage engulf her with danger.

Is Aubrey's strange ability a gift or a curse?

Ghost Gifts | Young Adult Thriller | eBookBump

The book opens in the past, some twenty years ago. Aubrey's parents died in an accident when she was 5. Since then, she was raised by her grandmother, who owns a traveling carnival. It was an unconventional life that suited both women. In Surrey, a small Massachusetts town, Aubrey has one of her visions but doesn't know what it means.

In the next chapter, the scene shifts to the present. Aubrey has chosen a peculiarly unambitious career path, profiling houses for the real estate section of the local paper, the Surrey City Press. It's a coping mechanism. Rather than exploit her journalistic talent, she prefers to constrict any opportunities for ghostly summoning.

She is able to choose and limit her encounters with the netherworld by choosing which haunts she chooses to tour and commune with. Abruptly, her predictable routine is disrupted. The body of a young co-ed, Missy Flanigan, who disappeared twenty years ago, has been discovered in the disintegrated basement wall of a local citizen.


A drifter was convicted back then based on strong circumstantial evidence for Missy's murder. The entire staff including Aubrey is commandeered to cover the story and a hard-driving ambitious outsider, Levi St. John, has been brought in by management to lead the probe. Another time jump transports the reader to the events preceding the murder. Missy Flanigan was to casual onlookers a pretty, church-going, very ordinary young woman, destined to marry and raise a family. The chapter narrating the past paints a very different picture, including her relationship with Frank Delacort, the drifter imprisoned for her murder.

These chapters augment the questions Aubrey and Levi begin to ask about the original police investigation, and the information their inquiries begin to uncover.

The journalistic digging is intertwined with two other threads. Levi has his own troubled past, hinted at by uncanny smells and tastes that invade Aubrey's senses intermittently and with increasing intensity. At the same time, Aubrey's estranged husband contacts her with a plea to reconcile. Spinella is a great storyteller. Far from being hackneyed, this ghost story envelopes the reader by focusing on Aubrey's senses.

Like Aubrey, the reader does not know what to make of the sensory clues, a pungent burning smell, or the salty spray of the ocean. By introducing Aubrey as a young child, the reader empathizes with the disorientation, fear and loss of control she feels when a vision invades her space. There is a tension between the romance and the mystery as the timeline shifts from present to past.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The mystery was a bit obvious to me, but I enjoyed the characters and the suspenseful events Spinella created.

Ghost Gifts

This was a free book I obtained through Amazon's Prime Membership program. Oct 10, Traci marked it as abandoned Shelves: kindle-library , books-read-in , mystery. I'm going to DNF this one, but avoid a rating since I feel like that would be unfair if I can't finish it. I don't hate it. But every time I settle down to read, I stare at this one for a while and then try to force myself through a little bit of it and since this year is "bad book year" in my buddy reads, I just can't justify forcing myself through another one that I feel nothing about.

It just feels flat, and I feel like I'm missing something. It started out well enough that I wanted to read it I'm going to DNF this one, but avoid a rating since I feel like that would be unfair if I can't finish it. It started out well enough that I wanted to read it and that's a huge plus, but by the same token I just don't get Aubrey's motivation or anything about her character.

She seems really sensitive--I don't mean in the mediumship type of way; I mean she quit at the carnival because it hurt her feelings that people were laughing at her Not only journalism, but she writes features about houses? Honey, if you can't handle criticism then a career in journalism is not where you need to be.

Besides that, if you could really communicate with ghosts All of her choices so far have had this sort of "what is she thinking? Feb 11, Jenn rated it it was ok. But please tell me why the characters were so 2D. Charley is the grandmother who is very grandmother-ly, with her quirks and insightful life analysis. Aubrey is the ghost whisperer that struggles with her powers, and her life is obviously very struggle-some. Why does a mature woman feel the need to randomly and repeatedly tell her new writer partner that, of course, her marriage will work out and that she'll be happy?

Not a bad story, but all of the dialogue was as subtle as a yell. Don't get me started on the metaphors and similes.

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Or I will flounder on the ground like the late spring salmon fighting its fate, as I whisper "no more" like the softest snowflake in the breeze. Since when do war-hardened, year prison inmates start comparing fake innocence to yellowing prison snow. Overall, a mildly enjoyable book I still finished. I'm left with the feeling that I just read a very LONG, long, long book, but I thankfully made it through with the hilariously bad metaphors. So 2 stars for amusement and because I read it for free with my Amazon Prime subscription.

Feb 01, Suze rated it it was ok. The first chapter was good, a thirteen year old dealing with communicating with the dead. Then we have an adult Aubrey still talking to the dead while trying to hide her ability from everyone else. My problem with the book is the main character. I didn't like or dislike her, she just seemed rather bland. I also thought the book was a little too wordy. I realize I am at odds with all of the five star reviews, but this is my honest opinion.

A singular and wickedly satisfying storytelling experience. Jun 26, Jennifer rated it really liked it Shelves: challenge , did-you-hear-that. Because her gift can sometimes put her in contact with ghosts that aren't nice, she is very careful about what she does in her life, including the kind of stories she pursues as a newspaper reporter.

So when she is assigned to work on a 20 year old murder case, she is not enthusiastic. Her partner, Levi, is a no-nonsense type of guy who doesn't believe in anything that he can't prove. Ironically, the ghost of the murdered girl has been strangely silent. Between Levi's message from beyond and finding out who the killer is, Levi and Aubrey grow rather close - skin to skin close.

I thought the author did a good job of bringing things together between the flashbacks of the victim and Aubrey's current timeline. I liked the way the clues were revealed, but the ending totally surprised me.

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Not so much because the killer was revealed but because what happened when it all went down. I was on the edge of my seat through the entire epilogue wondering what happened. Feb 28, Maria11 rated it it was amazing.

This author is so wonderful! Very interesting topic of communicating with the dead. She faces head on and goes the distance. Levi was a wonderful foil to Aubrey as a character. Great read!! Love this author and will testing the next book in the series This one has been on my wishlist for a while. So glad I finally broke down and bought it.

Ghost Gifts was exactly the kind of ghost story I enjoy. It has down-to-earth characters, a mystery to solve, and a ghost story without other paranormal creatures not a fan of vampires, werewolves, etc. My only complaint is that the romantic scenes were so very out of place. The graphic bedroom details were completely out of touch with the rest of the book. To be honest, Ghost Gifts would have been just a This one has been on my wishlist for a while.