Review & Giveaway: Seeing Ghosts by James Garcia Jr.

Seeing Ghosts

Seeing Ghosts
by James Garcia Jr.
Publication date: May 10th 2013
Genre: Paranormal
Source: Ebook provided for tour
in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

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Paul Herrera finds himself bequeathed a mysterious old house near the California central coast by a deceased aunt he never knew. The woman who shows it to him is the spitting image of his wife, taken from him three years before in a senseless car accident which also took his unborn son. While he deals with the ghosts of a past he cannot let go, there are new ghosts Paul must deal with – alone for the week in the expansive two-story house that he will soon discover holds many secrets. Eventually, he will see that he is surrounded by ghosts as he struggles to hold onto the only thing that he has left in this world – his sanity.

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~My Thoughts~

Paul is still mourning the loss of his wife, Angie, when the story begins. It’s been three years, but he is still feeling the emptiness that his one great love left behind. Luckily he has his brother, Ray, to help keep his wits about him. Ray is an awesome brother, always there for Paul whenever he needs him. When Ray calls one morning to tell him they’ve inherited a ranch home from an Aunt they never knew, they decide to take a road trip to see what they have acquired. They meet Annie, their Aunt’s estate representative to discuss the details, take a look at the property, and retrieve the keys. Both brothers almost lose their lunch when they see Annie, as she greatly resembles Paul’s dead wife. After taking a tour of the property and feeling assured that this is a good thing, Paul decides to stay for a while. He is a freelance writer and has nothing but the ghost of his dead wife back at home. Little does he know, there are ghosts in this house, too. Literally.

Seeing Ghosts is a haunting paranormal tale told from Paul’s POV. I loved the story with all of it’s mystery and dark secrets. And secrets there were! There were plot twists I never could have seen coming, which was a very pleasant surprise. Ghosts stories always take me back to my childhood, when it was fun to try to creep out your friends. As an adult I don’t scare very easily, so I enjoy losing myself in a story that can haunt me once again. Full of vivid imagery and ominous events, this story has a gripping essence that lingers long after the story ends. I do wish there was a little more personality in it, though. Some of the scenes felt a bit dry, or matter-of-fact. At times there was a little too much information, which made it seem a bit verbose, and I found it somewhat hard to get into at first, but that began to dissipate as the story progressed. Overall, I enjoyed the story and will definitely read more by this author.

~Read the Prologue~

I suppose you can say this whole thing began and ended with ghosts. Not all my life, of course, but only all that ever really mattered. Everything before meeting Angie happened simply to get me prepared for our life together. No real living had occurred until that moment. After Angie died, I was left only with ghosts. Now tonight I lie beside another woman who is not my wife, and who I have yet to touch. I marvel at her even, peaceful breathing as I stare at the awful ghost that sits calmly, but menacingly, near the foot of the bed.
Aunt Flora is dead and has been for several months. There’s really no reason on God’s green earth why she should be here, in my home, a place she’d never visited in life, but here she sits just the same, and I’m sure I know why. Perhaps it has everything to do with her not having a home of her own any longer, or because she’s lost her husband once again. She seems to grin at me as if she can read my thoughts.

Now she nods dramatically to say that she can, indeed.

“What do you want, Flora?” I finally ask, whispering. I try to be as quiet as possible. It seems like a useless proposition. Peace is an illusion to me at this point; like something so far out of my grasp as to be laughable.

“You know what I want, Paul.” Her voice is low and calm, but seems to reverberate against the walls. “You know very well what I want,” she says as the all-too-familiar lightning flashes outside probe into the bedroom and illuminate her. A gust of wind rattles the window briefly. It must’ve been the reason I awoke in the first place. I’m pretty sure it was just wind, but who could know at this point? In any event, there’d be no more sleeping.

I see Flora’s terrible features—that aged and deep-wrinkled skin pulled over high cheekbones; and that profound smile that brings no pleasure, but only sets me on edge. Thunder roars in the distance as if on queue. I am intimately familiar with this particular storm. Both it and Flora seem to have followed me. “I can’t help you with that, Flora,” I say.

“Yes, I know. All you can do is bring everything to ruin.”

I stare at the ghost and say nothing further, taking in the sight of her with her long-sleeved white blouse, dark slacks and black shoes. It’s incredible to me that I’m having another conversation with my aunt. It’s clear she holds me to blame for what’s happened. If I wasn’t afraid before, there’s no denying it now.
Flora reclines against the winged-back chair that was Angie’s favorite and smiles. Her arms remain atop the arm rests, the perfect picture of quiet. Another bolt lights up the sky and my eyes immediately find her claw-like fingers as they seem to be digging into the upholstery. Now I know better and I shiver at this apparently perfect culmination of events.

“It’s not over, Paul,” Flora says. Her tone is firm and reminds me of a wild animal’s growl. “You know damn well what I want! It is all that I have ever wanted. But you have taken that from me. You have taken far too much. Now I shall do the taking. Do you hear me, Paul? Do you understand what I am telling you?”

Now I’m the one who leans back. I sit up first, positioning myself against the tall headboard. Here is a trend I can’t shake free of—me being awake as the night wanes. Another burst of lightning flashes across the Central California sky and then disappears, casting the room back into shadow. Thunder sounds. The storm is fast approaching. I say nothing more as I recline and simply stare at my dead aunt who sits and stares back, composed for the moment. It would seem I’ve become quite comfortable with ghosts, doesn’t it?

About the Author

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James Garcia Jr. was born in the Central California town of Hanford. He moved up the road to Kingsburg with his family as a child. After graduating KHS, he attended Reedley College where he met his wife. They, along with their teenage sons, still make their home in Kingsburg which is also the setting of James’ vampire series. Dance on Fire was published in 2010 and its sequel Flash Point was published Halloween 2012. His third book entitled, Seeing Ghosts, a stand-alone paranormal romance is set for a June 2013 release. James is an Administrative Supervisor for Sun-Maid Growers of California.

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Wife, homeschooling mom, YA author of paranormal, dark fantasy, and horror, huge fan of the Oxford comma, book blogger, crafter, baker of sweet things, lover of the culinary arts, self-appointed zombie slayer.