Evil Eye by Madhuri Shekar

Book Description:

Published: May 2, 2019

Format: Audio/Audible

Pallavi is an aspiring writer living in California. Her mother, Usha, is thousands of miles away in Delhi – and obsessed with finding her daughter a husband.

In Madhuri Shekar’s ingenious Evil Eye, hilarious back-and-forth via phone and social media takes a shocking, supernatural twist when Pallavi meets the perfect man – leading to a climactic showdown that will leave listeners on the edges of their seats.

Review –

“Usha is convinced that the Evil Eye, a curse that brings continuous misfortune, was cast upon her daughter, Pallavi, in the womb. What else could have possibly left her driven, career-oriented daughter edging closer and closer to 30 without a prospective husband? Determined to set Pallavi on the right path, Usha arranges date after date with potential suitors—but after yet another setup fails, it seems her efforts are proving fruitless. But in an unexpected turn of events, Pallavi becomes her own matchmaker when she meets—and quickly falls for—Sandeep, a young Indian-American entrepreneur. And though she expects her mother will be elated with her finally finding a man, Pallavi is distraught and confused to find her mother growing increasingly suspicious of Sandeep’s motives…and his true identity.

Told through a series of phone calls and voicemails, this Audible Original penned by award-winning rising star playwright Madhuri Shekar transitions seamlessly from a light-hearted family dramedy to an unexpectedly supernatural thriller. With an endearing cast of well-rounded characters, sharp, natural dialogue, and a shocking edge-of-your-seat climax, Evil Eye is a can’t-miss tale about cultural miscommunications, family secrets, and the lingering echoes of trauma.

Please note: This audio contains strong language, distressing situations, and descriptions of abuse and violence that some listeners may find upsetting. Discretion is advised.” Audible Originals

Fantastic short story that will keep you captivated from beginning to end.

 

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The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Book Description:

Published: June 23, 2015

Format: Audio/OverDrive

A sweeping and captivating debut novel about a young librarian who is sent a mysterious old book, inscribed with his grandmother’s name. What is the book’s connection to his family?

Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home, a house perched on the edge of a cliff that is slowly crumbling into the sea. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks.

One day, Simon receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller; it has been sent to him because it is inscribed with the name Verona Bonn, Simon’s grandmother. Simon must unlock the mysteries of the book, and decode his family history, before fate deals its next deadly hand.

The Book of Speculation is Erika Swyler’s gorgeous and moving debut, a wondrous novel about the power of books, family, and magic.

Review –

“When a young librarian comes into possession of the diary of a traveling circus from more than 200 years ago, he decides the book may hold clues to a family mystery he needs to solve to save his sister’s life.

Narrator Simon and his younger sister, Enola, grew up in an 18th-century house on a bluff overlooking Long Island Sound. Taking after her mother, a former circus performer who drowned herself when Simon was 7, Enola travels with a carnival as a tarot card reader. Simon is still living in their dangerously dilapidated family home when, out of the blue on one June day, he receives a book from an antiquarian bookseller, who had noticed Simon’s grandmother’s name inside. Soon Simon discovers a frightening pattern among his female ancestors, all unnaturally good swimmers, all drowning as young women on July 24. If this “coincidence” sounds a bit far-fetched, it sets the bar for the novel’s credibility. Swyler intercuts Simon’s present drama—intensifying research into the diary’s history, loss of his job at the local library, incipient but already rocky love affair with fellow librarian Alice, return home of Enola, irretrievable collapse of the family manse—with the romantic tragedy of Amos, a traveling circus performer, and Evangeline, an aquatic performer with a guilty secret. Born in the 1780s and abandoned by his parents, Amos is mute when he joins a traveling troupe to perform a disappearing act as a “Wild Boy.” The fortune-teller takes him under her wing, teaching him to read the future. But despite her warnings, he falls for the dangerously mysterious Evangeline. She has his baby girl, and the havoc that follows leads straight to the curse that Simon, a whiny loser, is frantic to solve before someone else dies. A bit fey, even as romantic whimsy.

For die-hard mermaid-fiction lovers only.” Kirkus Review

I disagree with Kirkus’s last catty remark, the book was a joy to read and the description of the house falling apart was so real I felt I was there and anyone enjoying an epic, all-encompassing will love this book.

Five stars, and I love the cover!

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Book Description

September 4, 2012
Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean – but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.
Review –
This is a wonderful story that is really two stories in one. One about mermaids and the other about ghosts and combines them flawlessly.  The story is also told in flashbacks so we learn the back story of some of the ghosts and the main mermaid. It also tells of a curse and of folklore of sea creatures. The mermaid depicted in Monstrous Beauty are not the “little mermaid” type but instead dark, driven, fierce and deadly.
Saying all that, it was a beautiful story of love and loss and I recommend  it to those who enjoy books about mermaids and those who never thought of reading a book about mermaids.

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Dark Bayou (The Dark Trilogies) by Nancy K. Duplechain

Book Description

Publication Date: May 5, 2011
“The Spanish moss swayed eerily in the breeze that brought with it fat rain drops that plopped onto the water, rippling the reflection of the darkening sky. That was when we saw the cabin, far off in a corner on the west bank. It was as I had seen it in my dreams—rustic long-forgotten by the world, save for whatever occupied its malevolent little frame. And whatever it was, was nothing more than a black silhouette in a creaking rocking chair on the tiny porch. As I stared at the phantom rocker, it suddenly stopped in mid rock, picked up its head and turned to me, grinning, and started rocking away, never taking its yellow eyes off of me. And there, in the humid twilight of the swamp, a bitter chill washed over me, and my spine felt like ice.”
When Leigh Benoit returns home to Louisiana for the funeral of her brother and his wife, she becomes increasingly concerned about the welfare of her orphaned niece, Lyla. She is prompted by her grandmother, Clothilde, to move back to take care of her. Leigh has no desire to take on any responsibility, and being home again brings back painful memories. At the funeral, Leigh’s childhood friend, Detective Lucas Castille, tells her the mysterious details of the accident that killed her brother and his wife. Lucas’ young son has dreams of a Dark Man who wishes to harm Lyla. Leigh begins to have similar dreams. She struggles with her rational mind but vows to protect her niece. Soon, she finds out there is more to the story and more to her grandmother than she thought.
Review –
This is a creepy story made creepier by the setting of the moss-covered trees and humid bayous of Louisiana. I’ve been to Abbeville,LA  and reading  this put me there again.  I will definitely be reading  the next installment.  If you like CREEPY then this is the book for you.

The Killing Room by John Manning

Product Description

Once You EnterOld houses have their secrets. The Young residence–a beautiful Maine mansion overlooking the Atlantic–is no exception. But the secrets here are different. They can kill. . .

The Only Way Out

Carolyn Cartwright, private detective and ex-FBI agent, has been hired by Howard Young to investigate a string of gruesome family deaths. The crimes are horrific, brutal, and senseless. And the time has come for the killing to begin again. . .

Is To Die

One by one, members of the Young family are chosen to die. Old and young, weak and strong, no one is safe from a killer with a limitless thirst for revenge. And the only way for Carolyn to uncover the shocking truth is to enter the room no one has ever left alive–and make herself the next target. . .

 

Review-
This book gets five stars.   I was hooked after readimg the first few pages and put it down only a couple of times before coming to it’s end. It was the best spooky cursed family  murder plot that I’ve read in a long time.  If you like Dean Koontz you need to give this book a try.