Reviews: Ghosts of Pebble Brook Lodge

Great reviews continue to come in for The Ghosts of Pebble Brook Lodge!

5 Stars: “Plenty of action and her words carried me down the trail to the end of the story with anticipation.”

Review by Jo Ann Hakola from Journey of a Bookseller Blog, July 26, 2016

Pepper has had to move again. Her parents refurbish homes, restaurants, even lodges. They are also chefs. Every time Pepper has made a new friend that she really likes, they move. At least this time it’s just some miles away, not states away. She was doing OK with the change until she saw the ghost…

The author and Goddess Fish Blog Tours gave me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you). You can buy a copy on Amazon now.

Pepper and her little sister explore the lodge but it’s huge. One unique thing about it is that a river runs through the restaurant. It’s pretty and soothing and not very deep. It’s also where a young girl died. Pepper hears the story at a shop downtown and when she mentions it to her mother she confirms it’s true. Her little brother was accused of killing her and they say he’s not right in the head. He’s an adult now and Pepper admires his skill at carving. She also sees his gentle nature and thinks that he couldn’t be a murderer. But how to prove it?

This has a feel of the old fashioned mysteries I used to read as a child. It’s written for young adults and is a very pleasant read. Pepper has the ability to see ghosts but she can’t figure out what they are trying to tell her. She finds four different ghosts and they all have part of the story.

Ms. Covella makes everything fit together smoothly. There are scary moments and one evil ghost but Pepper prevails. There’s plenty of action and her words carried me down the trail to the end of the story with anticipation of how it would end.

This is the second in this series and I’m sure there will be more to come. It will be fun to see Pepper grow up and conquer more challenges.

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4 Stars: “I really loved this story.  The characters are vibrant.”

Review by: Fiction Zeal blog, July 26, 2016

Kayanne (Pepper) Connelly is thirteen and about as curious as they come.  Her parents have moved into Pebble Brook Lodge in the Santa Cruz area.  It had been abandoned years ago and completely rundown.  Her parents, both fabulous chefs, were taking on renovating it.  Pepper was going to miss her friends over the Christmas holiday, but she didn’t mope around about it.  She began investigating her surroundings.  When she was afraid she’d become lost, she saw a small cabin in the woods.  The woman who answered the door was creepy.  The man that followed her as she ran back to the lodge was creepier.  She had just met Mrs. Hullett and her grown son, Willie.  She found out shortly after that Willie had been accused of drowning his sister in Pebble Brook Lodge back in 1966.  He would have only been ten years old then.  Mrs. Hullett never forgave him, and is forever sewing a dress for Karen’s birthday.

We find out early on that Pepper is a ‘Ghost Whisperer’.  She not only manages to see Karen’s ghost, but three other ghosts who took up residence at Pebble Brook Lodge.  One of the ghosts is much more dangerous; he’s the one she needs to be especially careful of.  Pepper gets to know Willie more as time goes on, and begins to realize what a gentle spirit he is.  He carves the most beautiful animal creatures.  With the help of the ghosts in the house, she sets out to prove he didn’t kill his sister.

I really loved this story.  It’s part of a series, but can be read as a standalone.  The characters are vibrant.  The descriptive time change that Pepper experiences are critical to the story and Ms. Covella does a wonderful job of placing the reader back in 1966 as well as other time periods.  The only thing that felt like more of a stretch to me was the river that ran through the dining area of Pebble Brook Lodge.  A nice image, but how realistic would that be?  This is a preteen mystery and I really believe that age group would thoroughly enjoy this.  There’s a scene of Pepper with her friend, Ally, and a Ouija board which will stick with me.  It seemed the ghost was suggesting for her to find and destroy a certain book.  When she asked for clarification if the book should be destroyed, “The pointer flew to the word ‘No.’  Then to ‘Yes.’  Then it went faster and faster and faster, skidding between the two words yes no yes no yes no …”

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5 Stars: “Compelling…”

Review by Gigi via Amazon, July 23, 2016

These books are compelling. You simply can’t put them down. They end leaving you wanting to pick up the next one right away!

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5+ Stars: “The author set the stage beautifully.”

Review by Elaine Cantrell Hope. Dreams. Life…Love blog, July 19,2016

I truly enjoyed this book even though it’s a YA book. The way it’s written I think many adults would like it as well. The plot is great and the ending satisfying. The young heroine is sweet, mature, and smart. The author set the stage beautifully. If ever you were going to see a ghost, this would be the place to do it.

This review is short, but you can read the blurb up above. It’s a wonderful story that I’d give 5+ stars.

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4.25 Stars: “I enjoyed the hair-raising adventures that Pepper experiences in this tale.”

Review by The Reading Addict blog, July 10, 2016

“The Ghosts of Pebble Brook Lodge” by Linda Covella is a young adult story that continues the ‘Ghost Whisperer’ series which centers around Kayanne (Pepper) Connelly’s experiences at the aforementioned lodge. The thirteen-year-old not only has to deal with her younger sister Sage, the family having moved across the country, and the rundown lodge they have ended up in temporarily, but also the mystery of the ghosts who have something to do with the tragic death of a young girl many years prior. Pepper’s prior experience with a ghost aids her as mysterious experiences and contact with various folks (dead and alive) lead her to search for the truth of what happened. The only problem is, not everyone wants the truth to be revealed and it may become dangerous for her and her family if Pepper continues to search.

This fun and eerie story started off fairly slow and ponderously but it definitely picked up and increased in intensity by the time Pepper’s friends and bandmates show up. The whimsical elements, such as their chef parents naming their children after spices or a band called The Nonmall Oddballs, are nicely contrasted with the supernatural interactions and the mystery that is going to take quite a bit of courage to solve. I really enjoyed this author’s story, “Cryptogram Chaos”, and I am delighted to say that I enjoyed the hair-raising adventures that Pepper experiences in this tale. I am curious about what happened in the prior book in the series but I had no trouble reading this one as a stand-alone story. Fair warning, there always seems to be some kind of meal being prepared, so I was craving some of the older dishes that are highlighted in the story, but it just added to the atmosphere!

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5 Stars: “You’ll find yourself completely lost in the story!”

Review by Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’, June 28, 2016

Loved how this book gives you the feel of another time and place!  What happens in this plot will keep you reading.  The author’s ability to keep you interested in trying to figure out the end is remarkable.  The characters will make you question each one of them.  But only you will know just what I’m talking about by reading this book for yourself!  You’ll find yourself completely lost in the story!

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5 Stars: “A great story that is well written and full of suspense.”

Review by Literary Classics, May 29, 2016: The Ghosts of Pebble Brook Lodge won a Gold Medal from Literary Classics and was awarded their Seal of Approval.

Thirteen year old Pepper is not thrilled when her parents take her away over winter break to renovate an old building. This trip comes at a time when she and her friends should be hanging out together. Her family is staying in the run-down lodge where they move into the two least dilapidated rooms; but that’s not saying much. To make matters worse, it seems it’s always storming at the lodge. Pepper keeps hearing and seeing strange things in this spooky place where time and ghosts seem to know no boundaries. When a friend of Pepper’s comes to visit they receive a message of warning. It soon becomes clear Pepper and her friend need to help the ghosts move on before harm befalls the newest residents of Pebble Brook Lodge.

The Ghosts of Pebble Brook Lodge is an entertaining ghost story that will keep readers in suspense from the first page to the last. Author Linda Covella creates a great story that is well written and full of suspense. Young readers will delight in this book which has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

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5 Stars: “Well written and full of intrigue, family, and friendship.”

Review by Stacie Theis of BeachBoundBooks, March 2016

The Ghosts of Pebble Brook Lodge is a hair-raising paranormal mystery that will keep young readers guessing until the end.

Pepper and her family are spending Christmas break at the Pebble Brook Lodge in the Santa Cruz mountains. Disappointed to be away from her friends, Pepper takes a long walk and ultimately becomes lost. Seeing a cabin she asks for directions, but the people inside give her the creeps and she runs all the way back to the lodge. However, her encounter in the forest has nothing on the spirits she finds hanging around the lodge, except, she’s beginning to think they’re all connected? It’s up to Pepper to find out what’s going on and help the ghosts move on, but can she do it before harm comes to those she loves?

The Ghosts of Pebble Brook Lodge is the second book in The Ghost Whisperer series and picks up where the first book, The Castle Blues Quake, left off. I do have to admit that I did not read the first book, but the author does a wonderful job of providing background details and I never felt confused or lost. I also, have to say that I love how Pebble Brook runs directly through the lodge and really want to stay somewhere like that!

The author shares her creative imagination by spinning a wonderful tale full of vibrant characters of both the living and spiritual worlds. Well written and full of intrigue, family, and friendship, The Ghosts of Pebble Brook Lodge is captivating middle grade tale that should not be missed.

I highly recommend picking up a copy.

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4 Stars “A Ha[u]nting for clues and an answer these two sleuths went.”

Review by Robin Leigh Morgan, February 10, 2016

I received a e-book copy of this book through a giveaway on Marie Lavender’s FaceBook page from the author and the following is my honest opinion.

Ghost Whisperer, Pepper Connelly, her sister and chef parents had decided to move so they could undertake a new venture where they could apply their cooking skills. They wound up at the Pebble Brook Lodge which has been abandoned for many years, which meant a total renovation would also be needed.

And what good would a place like this be without a cast of ghosts inhabiting it; as well as a mystery added in for good measure. Pepper and her new friend Ally set out to solve the mystery of Karen Hullet’s death, and to prove that her brother Willet, who had been accused of her murder, is in fact innocent of the crime.

The loved the way Pepper with her friend are able to unravel some of the clues, with a variety of complexity, which had either stymied the adults who been involved with the original investigation, or had been misled in their findings.

In the end these two sleuths found there had been far more to Karen’s demise than anyone back then could have imagined.

The author has used the right combination of ghost hauntings, the occult and even time travel to give her readers a delightful reading experience which has been able to grasp their attention throughout the reading of this book. While this is my overall opinion for the book, I believe it could have been tighten up a bit; which is why I’m this book 4 STARS.

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3.5 Stars: “I enjoyed seeing how all of the pieces to her puzzle fit together.”

From Long and Short Reviews YA, January 2016 3.5 Stars

One of the most interesting things about staying in a new place is discovering its secrets. The Pebble Brook Lodge has more than its share of them.

The descriptions of the food in this story made my mouth water. Pepper’s parents were both very creative when it came to making meals, and almost everything they served to their daughters sounded really good. The different ways they dressed up something as simple as a grilled cheese sandwich made me smile. I never would have thought to combine the various foods they did, but reading about it made it easy for me to imagine what kind of family Pepper and her sister are growing up in.

There were some pacing issues in the beginning. It took Pepper a while to start investigating the mysterious past of the lodge, and it took even longer for her to begin discovering what might have happened there. This kind of pacing would have worked perfectly for a full length novel, but it felt uneven for something of this length. I would have really liked to have had more time to dig into the history of the place Pebble and her family were staying as the stories she did uncover were fascinating.

With that being said, figuring out what happened to Karen was so interesting. Some of the clues were easy to unravel, but others took more time and thought. I enjoyed seeing how all of the pieces to her puzzle fit together. The mystery of her death and why the lodge was so haunted in general was well done.

This book is part of a series, but it can be read on its own or out of order.

I’d recommend The Ghosts of Pebble Brook Lodge to anyone who is in the mood for something supernatural.