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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Review - The Ghost of Grover's Ridge by James Hartley

Title : The Ghost of Grover’s Ridge

Author: James Hartley

Publisher: Muse It Up Publishing

Buy Link: Buy The Ghost of Grover’s Ridge Here!

Rating : You Need To Read

Reviewed By : Jodie Pierce

Out of work paranormal investigator Ken Parker arrives in Groverton. He meets and falls in love with cute red-headed Jinny Talbot. He gradually realizes that there is magic in the town, good witches and evil warlocks, and sees a war looming between the two. He discovers that his girlfriend Jinny is a witch, and more surprisingly, that he himself is too. As battle with the warlocks draws nears, Ken joins with Jinny and the witch covens to fight the warlocks and the Ghost of Mordecai Grover.

After being kicked out of his Montcalm College owned apartment and his tenure revoked after his TV series went too Hollywood, Dr. Ken Parker is forced to ‘take a vacation’, according to his lawyer who gives him a credit card and pushes his out the door. Ken gets ‘mental itches’ which have always helped him as a Professor in the Institute for Paranormal Studies Department of Montcalm College. This ‘mental itch’ also took him to a little town called Groverton, three states away from where he’d called home for so long. It was one of those small towns where everyone knew everyone else and strangers were immediately noticed and untrusted. Except for Mamie’s Eats waitress Jinny Talbot.

When Ken came in and had lunch she knew there was something different about him. When he touched her hands to get his change before leaving, he felt a tingling, which his years of training told him she was a witch. But she didn’t look like a witch and she was so willing to help him and friendly. He couldn’t ever rely on his intuitions so he dismissed it and went on his way to enjoying his time with his new cute, red-headed new friend. She showed him around town and even got him a room to rent in the house she was renting from. Later that same night, the towns covens came together to talk about the newcomer. Jinny insisted he was a witch and a good one but some were not convinced. She already loved him and knew he had a sister that was paralyzed and was probably a witch as well. She asked her grandmother, Mamie to heal Alicia. She said if they found out Ken was a good witch they would try but he would have to prove himself. While antique shopping he found a sword in a sheath on a shelf that he had to have. By the time Jinny came into the store it was too late. He had bought the sword and had unsheathed it which no one had been able to do according to the store clerk. He called his friend Mike to come to town to visit him and teach him how to use the sword. Jinny also felt Mike was a good witch. Little ‘coincidences’ around town kept him from learning about the town and its history. Finally one day, he caught the library open, lied about still being a professor and got the book he needed that explained the whole story behind the town.

An unknown person came to Hazelnut Valley, as it was called at the time and was looking to buy a big house with lots of land. At the time, they didn’t have such a place that was within the city limits so Mordecai Grover bought a big house on a little land and sought to build on property outside of the limits. After a series of unfortunate events and deaths, he finally got himself appointed Mayor of the city and renamed it Groverton. He was a warlock and had Balkashir demons doing his dirty work for him. The local witches found a way to get rid of all of the demons after losing two of their girls to Grover and his cohort Absalom Cowper, each girl pregnant with one of their babies. The high priestess of city rallied the other covens to attack the warlocks after they took and sacrificed a young local boy. The high priestess was killed along with Grover but the house remained on the ridge.

Ken had explored that ridge and saw a car he recognized coming and leaving out of it. The car was that of his old department head, Dr. Farley Josephson from Montcalm. He thought that was the strangest ‘coincidence’ he’d come across but now he knew the truth about the people here in Groverton and confronted Jinny. She agreed it was all true and Mamie, the current high priestess, still unsure if Ken was good or evil asked him to go through their test ceremony. He did and passed with notable strong magical powers. The women agreed to go heal Alicia and when she turned up in town, she surprised Ken to be walking and that she was also a witch. With the three extra witches, the covens were hoping the ensuing battle with the warlocks would be a little easier. The warlocks conjured up the ghost of Mordecai Grover who turned out to be the grandfather of Dr. Wilton, the other person that fired Ken and partner of Farley Josephson.

Both sides took losses during the battle but Ken took on the ghost and Jinny remembered reading from a book as a child that you have to castrate a ghost to kill it. Ken fought and fought but nothing seemed to hurt the ghost until he tried Jinny’s suggestion and then the ghost and his followers burst into flames. When the witches came off the hill, emergency medical teams were waiting for them. The City Council offered Mamie the job of Mayor and she accepted with the condition that the town’s name be returned to Hazelnut Valley. Jinny and Ken got married and were going to start looking for a house when Ken received a phone call. It was from the Chancellor of Montcalm College asking him to be the Department Chairman for Paranormal Studies. Wilton and Josephson had been taking the department’s money and sent them into bankruptcy but they wanted him to chair it. Jinny and Ken decided to wait and buy a house in Brentwood near the college.

This was a riveting tale of mystery, romance, suspense and deceit. The romance that builds slowly between Ken and Jinny was very cute. The witches in the town communicating telepathically all around him and his not knowing it was hysterical. The mystery surrounding the towns origins were brilliant and once he finally realized them and the deceit around him was a great climax. The battle scene was a little bit of a letdown as it was over too quickly but it was still interesting. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a little witchcraft, suspense, humor with a touch of sweet romance.

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