At my recent Cole's book signing I met Pauline Holyoak. What a surprise to learn that she not only lives just a few homes down the street from me, but that she is also a published author. Her first book, Merryweather Lodge, Ancient Revenge, was published in 2010. This book was awarded the 2011 Readers Favorite Award Winner.
I started reading it and could not put it down. Having finished the first book, I am excited to start on Pauline's second book, the sequel, Merryweather Lodge - Malevolent Spirit. Pauline is working on the final book to the trilogy.
Now, I have to admit that stories with vengeful witches, evil spirits and gruesome scenes are not normally my cup of tea. The movie "Carrie" thoroughly turned me off that genre. However, having met Pauline and enjoyed her upbeat personality, and saw the book had won an award, I decided to risk the nightmares. I believe that any book that is written well, regardless of the genre, must be read.
Over the next three days I was immersed into the beautiful English countryside, and its ancient myths. The scenes are so well described I became not the reader, but the companion of the main characters. I was wanting to yank them out of the horrific events and lead them to safety. Instead of being overwhelmed with horror, like I am usually in these scenes, I found myself wanting to place myself between the evil and the characters. This was as a result of the author's skill making the characters real, people I would love to know and care for. I cheered for their courage and selflessness to protect each other. Then, of course, I hoped that the romance between Emily and Jonathon would blossom, hopefully before one or both of them were killed by the evil cousin.
Pauline's talent for describing scenes is beyond beyond. Not only could I accurately visualize the details, but all my other senses were activated to the max. Humour is strategically placed throughout preventing the dark plot from becoming overly taxing. I loved the dialogue that depicted the English expressions, adding to the personalities of the characters. The plot is well executed (no pun intended) leading you deeper into the mystery and the magic. The ending? Well, you will just have to read the book!