Saturday, October 18, 2014

#Review ~ Ghost Hold (The PSS Chronicles #2) By Ripley Patton ~ #Paranormal #Thriller

Ghost Hold (The PSS Chronicles #2)
By Ripley Patton
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Age category: Young Adult

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Olivia Black is back.

Only this time she's not the one in need of rescue.

Samantha James, rich, popular, and an award-winning composer at age seventeen, is the next target on the CAMFers' list. In order to convince Samantha to come with them, Olivia and Passion must pose as cousins, blend into the most affluent high school in Indianapolis, and infiltrate a mysterious cult known as The Hold.

Olivia doesn't expect it to be easy, even with the PSS guys backing them up. But what she discovers over the course of the mission will call into question everything she ever believed about herself, her family, and especially about Marcus, the guy she is undoubtedly falling in love with.

About the Author:
Ripley Patton lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat, two teenagers, and a man who wants to live on a boat. She is an award-winning short story writer and author of The PSS Chronicles, a young adult paranormal thriller series.

Ripley doesn't smoke, or drink, or cuss as much as her characters. Her only real vices are writing, eating M&Ms, and watching reality television.

You can find and contact Ripley here:

You can buy Ghost Hold here:

Book 3 Ghost Heart here:
Book One Ghost Hand, is Free:

I loved this book. It was even better than the first one, which I also loved. Love how Olivia is still stubborn but feisty as usual. In this book learns more about herself, PSS as well as the CAMFer's, the Hold and the others around her. She is still unsure on who she can and can't trust, which just makes it all that more confusing and complicated. Many things are not quite what they seems, and these twist in the story are really interesting and keep you reading.

We also get some new characters that have interesting PSS and powers. I love how we get more info on the characters we already know. I was surprised at some of the things Passion  has had to go through. I actually really got to liking Jason as we learn more about him.

This book was suspenseful and packed full of action with many secrets and some steamy romance and betrayal that will shock you. There is a major cliffhanger so you may want to have the 3rd book, Ghost Heart, on hand as you will want to keep reading.
This series is one I highly recommend for anyone looking for something a little different and pull at your heartstrings.

5 out of 5 stars for me.

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

This review is also at Goodreads and Amazon

(at bottom of post is info on the other 2 books in series.)
Chapter One
I had never been so happy to see a barn in my life. Yes, it looked like it was about to fall over, which had me questioning the wisdom of storing all our worldly belongings in it, but the squat red building had a roof and four walls, luxuries I hadn’t seen in over two weeks.
As our ATVs pulled up, their trailers rattling behind them, I moved my hand from Marcus’s waist and yanked my bandana over my mouth to keep from inhaling the cloud of dust that billowed around us. I still hadn’t gotten used to the constant grime of camp life, the way my clothes held a layer of dirt, like Pigpen from the Peanuts cartoon, or the grit I could always feel between my teeth no matter how many times I brushed them. They didn’t show you that in the movies; that the life of a fugitive was filthy and sweaty, especially in the middle of an unseasonably hot Indiana October.
Marcus cut the engine of our wheeler and, one by one, Yale, Jason, Nose and Passion cut theirs too. We’d replaced Jason’s stolen ATV fifty miles outside of Greenfield and gotten one for Passion while we were at it. I don’t think I’d truly grasped the reality of Marcus’s million-dollar trust fund until I’d seen him pay cash for those ATVs. But I hadn’t missed the pained, quickly-masked look on his face as he handed it over. It was blood money, paid to him in a settlement for the untimely and accidental death of his parents, but it was money we desperately needed.
Marcus had offered to get me my own ATV as well, but I preferred to ride with him. I was a crap driver; that was the reason I’d given. But really there was just something about wrapping my legs around a thrumming motor while slipping my arms around Marcus’s waist that made the hundreds of miles of dust and dirt-eating worth it. Even so, I was really glad to be back to civilization.
Marcus pulled off his helmet, and I lifted mine off too. He looked over his shoulder at me, and we smiled at one another, not needing to say anything. We were here. We’d made it to Indy without any apparent pursuit by Mike Palmer or the CAMFers.
Well, we’d almost made it. We still had about thirty miles to go, but this was where we’d trade in our wheelers for a comfy rental van. We’d lock away all our camping gear and dirt-stained clothes in the barn and disguise ourselves as wealthy suburban teenagers. This was where the mission to save Samantha James really began.
I slid off the vinyl seat, set my grimy helmet on it, and stretched my legs. My ass hurt, as usual, but I’d learned not to complain about it. It seemed there was nothing in the world teenage boys liked more than making sore ass jokes.
Marcus, still straddling the wheeler, dug in his pocket for the key that would unlock the padlock on the barn door. That was something else he’d picked up in the town where we’d bought the ATVs. The key, the use of the barn, the promise of a van waiting for us with certain forged documents and supplies inside of it—he’d arranged it all in the space of a couple hours.
But he hadn’t found the key yet, and I could feel the mid-day sun beating down on me, so I strode forward and sank my ghost hand into the lock. It made a satisfying click as it popped open.
“Thanks,” Marcus said, coming alongside me. “You’re sure handy.”
“Ha ha, very original,” I said, poking him in the ribs with my elbow.
As Marcus and I pulled the heavy barn doors open, the others joined us, and we all entered the vaulted, slat-lit interior of the barn. It smelled musty inside, with a slight sweet undertone of rotting hay.
“You’re sure our stuff will be safe here?” Jason asked.
“Pretty sure,” Marcus said, “But if it isn’t, we’ll buy more. Anything personal you should bring in the van though, in case we don’t make it back.”
In case we don’t make it back. There was a subtle message in that statement for all of us. We’d been outrunning danger for weeks, but now we were charging straight into the thick of it, and none of us knew exactly what that would look like, or what the ultimate outcome would be.
I looked around at their faces, these boys who had once been my rescuers. Was this how they’d felt when they’d been just outside of Greenfield preparing to come get me? This calculated fear? This tingle of excitement and anticipation?
My eyes fell on Passion, and she stared back at me, her pale face almost glowing in the darkness of the barn. Was she afraid or excited? I had no idea. She was a complete mystery to me, a mystery I’d spent weeks avoiding, despite the fact that we’d been living in the same camp.
It hadn’t been that hard to keep my distance. She had her own tent and I’d shared Marcus’s. She tended to keep to herself, just like I did, so we’d mostly encountered one another at meals or around a low fire on the nights Marcus had deemed it safe enough for one.
The first week after she’d joined camp, Nose had paid her a lot of attention, but she hadn’t given him any encouragement, and eventually he’d backed off. She hadn’t been mean or anything. And when he’d asked me if I thought it was his PSS Nose or the ski mask he always wore to cover it, I told him I doubted it. Passion wasn’t like that. She was always nice to everyone. Too nice. Annoyingly nice.
So, if she was that nice, why did I have a problem with her? I had no good reason.
A couple of days ago, Marcus had taken me aside and said, “Don’t you think it’s time you two hashed this out?” But that had made me want to talk to her even less. Honestly, Passion had every right to dislike me, not the other way around. I was the one who’d yanked something out of her soul, used it for myself, and then handed it over to the bad guys. She probably thought I was a complete bitch.
And maybe she was right.
“Let’s unload the stuff from the trailers into the barn,” Marcus directed the guys. “But set aside the personal stuff for Olivia and Passion to pack into the van.”
“Speaking of the van, where is it?” I asked.
“It should be out back,” he said.
We all exited the barn, circled around to the back, and there it was gleaming in the sun like a golden chariot—an extra-long, brand new, white passenger van with bucket seats, tinted windows and a gray leather interior.
It was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen. My butt could already feel that padded seat. My face craved the cool, dustless breeze of the air conditioner.
Marcus opened the back doors of the van, and started passing out duffle bags for each of us containing a change of new clothes and our fake IDs. Mine said that I was Anne Clawson, seventeen, and Passion was playing the part of my cousin, Mirabelle Clawson, also seventeen, who’d come to live with us after her parents’ recent and messy divorce. Anne was my middle name, and Mirabelle was Passion’s. Marcus said it was always better to play close to the truth. It made the lies easier to remember.
I tried not to be disappointed that the clothes in the duffle weren’t my style. Apparently, Anne Clawson, a rich girl with rich parents, didn’t have my dark sensibilities. At least there was a new pair of black leather gloves to help hide my ghost hand.
But the clothes and the cousin thing weren’t the worst of it. Not even close. The worst part was that Marcus would be playing the role of my older brother, Clayton Clawson, a twenty-one-year-old pre-med student. The story was that our parents were away celebrating their thirtieth wedding anniversary in the Mediterranean while Clayton orchestrated the family move to Indianapolis. Yeah, my boyfriend was going to pretend to be my brother. I was really looking forward to that.
As for Jason, Yale and Nose, they were a little too ethnically diverse to fit in to the Clawson family. So, they’d be hiding out in the house Marcus had rented for us, running security detail, and laying low. Still, they’d get new clothes and fake IDs casting them as three of Clayton’s college buddies, just in case.
“We can get changed in the barn after we get everything loaded,” Marcus said, handing the last duffle bag to Yale.
And then we got to work, like the well-oiled machine we’d become. The packing was easy compared to setting up and tearing down camp every day. Marcus had us store the guns and ammo deep under the back seat in case we got pulled over, though, according to Jason, Indiana had some of the most relaxed gun laws in the country, which was the argument he gave for refusing to put his away.
“Jason,” Marcus said. ”You’re not going to need it in the next thirty miles.”
“You don’t know that,” Jason said, gripping his gun more tightly. It was useless trying to talk Jason out of anything. We all knew it, so I wasn’t surprised when Marcus let him keep the weapon.
After we all got changed, the last thing to go into the back of the van, carefully wrapped in a blanket, was my father’s painting, The Other Olivia. Yes, it was singed around the edges, but it was all I had left of him. It was all I had left of anything, the sole belonging the CAMFers hadn’t destroyed when they’d burned down my house and chased me from my home town.
As Marcus shut the back of the van Nose called out, “Shotgun!” and ran around to the passenger side door. Then he and Jason proceeded to fight over who should get to sit in the front. Jason’s argument was that he was carrying a gun; therefore he should get the shotgun position by default without ever having to call it. Nose countered that Jason’s gun was technically a hunting rifle, not a shotgun, therefore his argument was invalid and Nose should get the front seat. Marcus pointed out that neither a guy in a ski mask nor a country boy armed with a rifle were probably the best choice for most-visible front seat passenger, and I began to understand why he’d gotten a van with darkened back windows. In the end, he assigned Jason and Nose to sit all the way in the back. Yale and Passion sat in the middle, and Marcus drove with me riding shotgun.
I started nodding off almost as soon as we turned onto the highway. Under normal circumstances, I was a drowsy passenger. One of my dad’s nicknames for me had been Sleepy Gonzales, because I’d always fallen asleep so fast in the car whenever we traveled. And these weren’t normal circumstances. I’d slept like crap for weeks, and I hadn’t sat in a comfy, cushioned, leather anything for way too long. It just felt so damn good. Camp life had definitely worn on me more than I’d realized.
I was just beginning to drool against the window when Marcus suddenly swerved off the interstate onto a dirt road.
“What the hell?” I asked, gripping the dash with my gloved hands and glancing frantically in the side view mirror, expecting to see a caravan of CAMFers in hot pursuit.
“Just a quick stop,” Marcus said, avoiding my gaze.
When we passed an old wooden sign that read Warren Gun Club, I stared at him until he looked at me.
“We all need to know how to protect ourselves,” he said, glancing back at the road. “Not just Jason.”
I wanted to argue, but I really couldn’t. I had always disliked guns, but I’d disliked seeing Marcus get shot in Greenfield while trying to save me even more. The CAMFers tended to come well-armed, and who knew what kind of opposition we were going to face in Indy?
Marcus pulled the van up to an old farm house, a long low building next to it stretching into the endless fields of rural Indiana. Just as he shut the ignition off, a large man in dirty coveralls came out of the long building, shotgun in hand, moving toward us.
“As soon as I close my door, lock the van,” Marcus said, handing me the keys, “and get in the driver’s seat. Don’t get out, under any circumstances, unless I tell you to. And, if something goes wrong, drive away.”
“Wait!” I said, but he was already out, slamming the door behind him.
He walked slowly around to the front of the van, arms out to show he had no weapon.
The guy with the shotgun was advancing on him, and two more guys had come out of the farmhouse, guns in hand.
What the hell was Marcus doing? Everything about these guys screamed CAMFers, but that made no sense. I had no idea what was going on.
“Fuck,” I said, clicking the button on the key ring to lock the van. The little chirp it made was completely at odds with the adrenaline and fear surging through me. I looked back and saw the shock on the others’ faces as they peered out the windows of the van. So, he hadn’t told anyone about this little stop. Well, he wasn’t the only one who could bark orders.
“Jason, I need you up here, right now, with your weapon,” I said, sliding across to the driver’s seat and putting the keys in the ignition. “Nose, can you reach the other guns?”
“I can try,” Nose said, diving down to rummage for them.
Jason slid into the seat next to me, rifle in hand, and I tried not to show my surprise that he’d actually listened to me.
“Let them see it,” I told him, “but don’t point it at anyone. Yet.”
Jason nodded and made his rifle as visible as possible.
Outside, Marcus had moved further away from the van, but he was still in front of it.
The three gun-toting country boys were nearly upon him, and I cracked my window just as the one in the front said, “You David?”
What the fuck? Why would Marcus give these guys his real name? He always went by Marcus, and he’d obviously gone to the trouble of getting us all fake IDs, including himself. Why not use his new identity? What was he thinking?
“I’m David,” he confirmed, “and we’ve come unarmed, as specified.”
“That one has a gun,” Shotgun said, gesturing at Jason.
Marcus turned and looked at us, frowning. He turned back and said, “It’s not loaded. I emptied it myself this morning.”
I looked at Jason, and he looked at me. Then he yanked open the chamber of the gun and showed it to me. It was empty.
“Do you have any ammo on you?” I asked him.
“No,” Jason shook his head, looking more pissed off than I’d seen him look in a long time: and he usually looked pissed.
“Nose, any luck with those guns?” I turned to the back of the van and Jason turned with me.
“I can’t reach them,” came Nose’s muffled voice in response.
Shit. We were screwed. Jason and I both turned and looked back out at Marcus.
“How do we know you’re who you say you are?” Shotgun asked, his buddies grunting in Neanderthal agreement behind him.
“Come and see,” Marcus said, gesturing Shotgun forward.
At first, I didn’t understand. I thought Shotgun was just getting a better look at Marcus’s face or something. He walked up to him, his gun held up between them, and gestured at Marcus’s chest with it.
Marcus reached down and began to unbutton his shirt.
Jason went stiff in the seat next to me. You could have heard a pin drop in that van. No, you could have heard a feather drop. This could not be happening. Marcus didn’t reveal his PSS chest to anyone. He hadn’t even told me about it until I’d seen him come back from the dead and, at that point, he’d pretty much had no choice.
I jammed the keys into the ignition of the van and turned it on. I thrust the stick into drive and, with one foot on the brake and one on the gas, I revved the engine.
Marcus paused in unbuttoning his shirt and glanced at me, looking annoyed. Then he turned back, resuming his little striptease.
Shotgun and his buddies were eyeing me, but they couldn’t seem to keep their eyeballs from straying back to Marcus.
They were all right there in front of me. I could take them out like bowling pins. Yes, Marcus might get hurt in the process, but probably not fatally, and he could always reboot. The hillbilly brothers might get off a shot or two, but Marcus wasn’t a complete idiot. I had noticed earlier the tiny little labels on the van’s windows indicating they were not only tinted, but bulletproof.
I revved the engine again.
Marcus unfastened the last button of his shirt, and it fell open.

Ghost Hand (The PSS Chronicles #1)
By Ripley Patton
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Age category: Young Adult

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My Review at Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy.

How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she's a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky.

Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia's calculus class, stares at her like she's a freak, Olivia doesn't like it. And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.

Ghost Heart (The PSS Chronicles #3)
By Ripley Patton
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: October 14, 2014

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In the aftermath of a brutal tragedy, Jason and Passion are on the run. Marcus is lost beyond reach, and The Hold is in shambles. If that weren't enough, Olivia Black has been taken by the CAMFers to be used as Dr. Fineman's personal lab rat in his merciless quest to uncover the mysteries of Psyche Sans Soma once and for all. But only if he can break her.

They are scattered.
They are devastated.
They are ruined.

Their only hope is Olivia's stubborn determination to thwart her captors and unlock the secrets of her ghost hand before Dr. Fineman can. Will she finally find the strength within herself to embrace the full power of her PSS?

And will it even matter if Marcus has already betrayed her?


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