Midnight Movie (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #14) by J.L. Bryan

Long ago, dreams glowed on the screen under the night sky at the old drive-in theater. Once an attraction drawing families and teenagers from miles around, the theater has sat dark and silent for years, its former bright, carnival-like atmosphere a distant memory.
A young family brings the forgotten theater to life with a new, modern vision for its future, but strange troubles plague them. Something from the past haunts the theater and won’t leave them, or their occasional customers, alone. The family is living in the old theater manager’s apartment located inside the drive-in’s screen tower, so they enjoy no peace even when they go home after work late at night.
With disturbing supernatural activity threatening their small business and their family, they turn to paranormal investigator Ellie Jordan for help—but the mythic world of the movies has its own dark magic, and Ellie may not be prepared to face what awaits her when the sun goes down, the lights go out, and the show begins.

Picking up a new Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper book is like visiting a good friend or friends – because the series wouldn’t be the same without her “found” family. I look forward to each new installment of this series and pretty much drop whatever I had decided was next in my never ending TBR pile to spend time with this crew – even though I know I’m in for some sort of dangerous terror between the pages. Crazy, right?

I also look forward to discovering whatever unique venue J.L. Bryan has decided to haunt next. There are so many deserted drive-in movie theaters across the country that Midnight Movie probably provided a familiar spot for a lot of readers. That familiarity definitely took scare factor up a notch – plus there was a bonus haunting at a nearby house. Yikes!

As with most mysteries, nothing is quite what it seems and there was more than one spooky being haunting the property. The real mystery was figuring out exactly who they were and more importantly, which one was in charge and the most dangerous.

Of course, Ellie found herself right in the middle of the danger while trying to protect her friends and the family that hired them. There was also a lot of witty banter and fun to break the growing tension. As a bonus, they also got to watch a lot of really old and some really bad movies while they were trying to figure out exactly who they were dealing with. Which brings me to an interesting side note…if J.L. Bryan ever decides to abandon his book writing, he may have a future in writing screen plays for campy, over the top “B” movie horror stories. 😉

The Trailwalker (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #13) by J.L. Bryan

The old campground in the mountains has a shrouded history wrapped in legend. Located by the mysterious mounds of a vanished people, it was once a popular summer destination for children, but closed long ago under tragic circumstances.
Josh and Allison Conner have moved out from the city, inspired to create a retreat for children in need, a place to build skills and character. They’ve brought their own children with them, and now they’re hurrying to rebuild and update the old camp in time for their first opening day.
But something lurks in the wilderness around the old summer camp, something that strikes against the Conners’ best efforts to revitalize it. They feel watched, then threatened, but after sinking their savings and their hopes into the place, they are unwilling to walk away.
Paranormal investigator Ellie Jordan must sort history from legend to determine what haunts the camp and how to fight it, before it inflicts more harm on the well-meaning family attempting to bring life back to the remote abandoned campground.

Ellie and Stacy have their hands full in Trailwalker. It doesn’t take long for them to figure out that they are probably dealing with more than one ghost and maybe even something else? J.L. Bryan didn’t pull any punches in this one. Yikes!

Their investigation might have gone a little smoother if they didn’t have the added obstacle of Josh. He wasn’t exactly a believer and although he had agreed to have them come, it was more to prove to Allison that she was letting her imagination get away with her.

As usual, Stacy and Ellie had to use more than their paranormal tools to solve the mystery of who their ghosts were and why they were still hanging around. Their research revealed more than they bargained for and made things even more interesting.

I was happy to see some of my favorite characters make brief appearances, especially my favorite part-time historian. 😉 There was more than enough spookiness, outright terror and danger to keep the pages turning. There was even an unexpected alliance that took everyone by surprise. In other words, Trailwalker had everything I’ve come to expect from an Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper book and more. As usual, J.L. Bryan succeeded in making me walk away wanting more.

The Necromancer’s Library (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #12) by J.L. Bryan

The antebellum mansion sits isolated in the overgrown countryside like a forgotten temple. Within it lie the dark, twisting paths of a private library possessing secrets from across the ages. The collection of ancient and medieval occult manuscripts tell of conjuring spirits and raising the dead, of making contact with supernatural realms and beings usually forbidden to living mortals.
The house’s recently deceased owner was a reclusive former professor who transformed his home into a great library, but his desire for hidden knowledge and arcane power may have led him into madness, even death.
Disturbing specters now haunt the new occupants of the house, who turn to paranormal investigator Ellie Jordan for help. Ellie must unravel the mysteries of the occult library before she can banish its ghosts and make the house safe again for the living.

Even though this is the 12th book in the Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper series, it’s not getting old… if anything, each book makes me want more. The stories and adventures are all fresh, the ghosts are terrifying, the locations are all unique and spooky and the characters are full of wit and their personalities are a perfect balance to each other. Yeah, it’s not hard to tell that I’m kinda in love with Ellie and her crew. 😉

The Necromancer’s Library was not what I expected, but that’s nothing new when it comes to this series. A library should be anything but evil, right? Well this one was a combination of impressive and terrifying. There were quite a few twists, turns and surprises, as well as secrets kept by more than one person. There were also unexpected allies thrown into the mix. In other words, JL Bryan held nothing back.

There were also some ominous hints of things to come, which is also nothing new. This series isn’t slowing down at all and I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for Ellie and company next.

Fire Devil (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #11) by J.L. Bryan (Bout-of-Books 24 Review)

Ellie’s pursuit of a possessed friend and her own worst enemy takes her across the United States into forgotten corners of the countryside through haunted hotels, ghost towns, and strange highways, and toward the site of a horrific fire haunted by hundreds of spirits.
Together with her team, plus help from an eccentric exorcist from Texas, prepares for the fight of her life, a fight destined since her own childhood.
Ellie’s past and present collide in a final confrontation that will change the course of her life, giving her a chance to finally be rid of her most dangerous personal demon—if he doesn’t kill Ellie first, along with the people she cares about the most.

Eleven books in and I’m no where close to being tired of Ellie Jordan, her crew or their escapades. Fire Devil may be one of my favorites in this series so far.

Throughout the Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper series, readers have known about Clay. He’s only been front and center in a few books, but he’s always there. He’s the reason why she started hunting and trapping ghosts in the first place. In Fire Devil, things finally come to a head and she risks losing everything to take Clay down. Even her own life.

The action and danger didn’t slow down in this one at all. The whole crew was together, with a few additions. Their main goal was to release Michael’s sister from Clay’s clutches and destroy Clay in the process. Hopefully without anyone else getting hurt… or worse… in the process. Along the way they encounter even more restless spirits and solve a few mysteries, while opening up even more. Clay has a sinister plan, which they have to figure out and fast.

Ellie learns more than she expected and gains something that she thought was forever lost. Just one of the many reasons why I loved this one so much. I can’t wait to see what J.L. Bryan has in store next for Ellie Jordan. 😉

The Monster Museum (Ellie Jordan Ghost Trapper #10) by JL Bryan

Just outside the small but colorful mountain resort town of Foxboro, Tennessee lies Dr. Weirdman’s Mountain Museum of Monsters, Curiosities, and Ancient Mysteries. Once a major tourist attraction, it offers travelers the amusement of touring unusual underground caves and pseudo-scientific exhibits ranging from strange creatures to the supposed artifacts of lost civilizations.
Now the museum is a crumbling relic of an older age, fallen into disrepair. Its longtime owner has died, leaving it in the hands of a younger distant relative who knows nothing of how to run a failing tourist trap of a museum, but who is desperate to make a living and provide for his own children.
The museum has a serious ghost problem, though, and Ellie Jordan is called in from Savannah to help. An unexpected old friend joins Ellie at the last moment so that they can spend a snow-filled Christmas together in the mountains…if the ghosts of the restless dead don’t turn the holidays into a horrific tragedy.

Have you ever read a book and had the urge to jump in and warn the characters because you figured something out before they did? A life or death something? Something that they really, really needed to know? Yeah, that’s pretty much how I felt at least halfway through The Monster Museum and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. That realization was almost as terrifying as the monsters Ellie was attempting to protect her clients agains. *sigh*

Running head long into danger is nothing new to Ellie Jordan. She pretty much does it all the time, but this time was different. This time she had no back-up. At least no back-up that she felt comfortable taking advantage of. That “old friend” that is hinted at in the description is Michael. And before you get upset about me “spoiling” anything, it’s revealed in the first chapter. Those of you who have followed the series know that Michael and Ellie aren’t exactly on the best of terms, at least they haven’t been. I know that when things were good between them, he was good for Ellie. I’m still not sure how I feel about him though. He was pretty hard on Ellie, but there’s also no one who’s harder on her than Ellie herself.

There was a lot going on even beyond the ghost trapping in The Monster Museum. We get a lot of Ellie’s personal feelings in this story that readers don’t normally get. Ellie would be the first to tell anyone that she doesn’t do relationships. Her job is too dangerous and it’s not the kind of thing she can leave at the office. Her emotions are jumbled and she doesn’t even trust them most of the time. She spends a lot of time in this story doing some self analysis and readers got to see a whole different side to her.

Heart stopping danger and an atmosphere that was more than a little spooky kept the pages turning and then… well, you’ll just have to read The Monster Museum to find out. This series is not for the faint of heart, so consider yourself warned. And even though you can’t really call the ending of The Monster Museum a cliff hanger, the danger is far from over and there’s a lot more in store for Ellie and company. Although I liked the one on one time spent with her, I’m hoping that the rest of the cast of characters returns for the next installment. FYI, if you haven’t started this series yet, the first book, Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper is currently FREE at Amazon. 😉

The Tower (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #9) By J.L. Bryan

Ellie’s new case takes her far out of town, to an historic but crumbling nineteenth-century skyscraper in downtown Atlanta. The reclusive, once-prominent family living at the top of the tower are experiencing paranormal disturbances that grow more threatening by the day.
Ellie and Stacey must unravel the hidden history of the tower and the ancestors of the family who occupy it—a history full of crime, corruption, wealth, and power. With floor after floor of dark, haunted spaces, the labyrinthine antique tower presents one of the greatest ghost-trapping challenges that Ellie has ever faced.

Having Ellie and Stacey travel out of their ‘comfort zone’ made things interesting. It didn’t make a difference in how they operated though.

The tower included some of the most interesting ghosts in this series yet. The family that Ellie and Stacey were working for had a lot of history. Some of it even they didn’t know about.

Sometimes the intrigue behind who the ghosts are and why they are still hanging around is as interesting as the haunting itself. The ‘bad guy’ in The Tower was really bad. He had a lot of power and a lot of time to find ways to seek revenge – over and over and over again. You could almost kind of respect his tenacity, if he wasn’t so evil.

The thing about The Tower was that there were a lot of ghosts. Figuring out who the mastermind was wasn’t easy, but if any ghost hunter could figure it out, my money would be on Ellie and Stacey. It wasn’t easy and there was plenty of danger involved, but Ellie and her friends never back down, especially when people’s lives depend on it.

I kind of liked the change of venue and Ellie probably needed it, but I also kind of missed her being in familiar territory. She still has some things to deal with and I can’t wait to see what J.L. Bryan has in store for her next.

The Keeper (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #8) by J.L. Bryan – Bout-of-Books 18 Review

thekeeperThe South Channel lighthouse is a crumbling antique at the mouth of the Savannah River, abandoned and forgotten for generations. Local stories still tell of a mysterious woman in white who often stood at the old lighthouse, watching the sailors come into port…even long after she died.
Now the property by the lighthouse is owned by a famous movie star in search of a remote beach getaway on sleepy Tybee Island. Unfortunately, old ghosts haunt her new retreat, stirred up by the construction of a luxurious new mansion. Ellie, Stacey, and their team must remove the ghosts, who grow more dangerous and aggressive every night, threatening the lives of the client and her family and personal staff.
The lighthouse has a dark history, with many ghosts, and mysteries to unravel before Ellie can send them on to the other side.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Things didn’t end well for Ellie in Lullaby, the last book in the Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper series. The Keeper started where Lullaby left off and unfortunately, things hadn’t gotten much better. Ellie felt betrayed by more than one person and the list of people she felt she could count on was getting smaller and smaller. *sigh*

The danger was ramped up even more in The Keeper and the tension was even higher because Ellie had some personal history with the location. She kept that to herself though, which may have made it easier for her to tell that their client was doing the same. Add to the official ghost trapping drama on Tybee Island the fact that Kara is still a danger and Ellie & Stacey’s side ghost hunting endeavors, it’s no surprise that there was little or no down time in The Keeper.

There were more than a couple of mysteries solved, twists and turns that kept you wondering who the good guys were vs. the bad guys and more than just a little emotional drama. All in a day’s work for an evil author pro like J.L. Bryan. Not sure what he has planned next for Ellie, but there’s definitely more. Even though The Keeper didn’t end in a cliff hanger, there’s still a lot of loose ends that need tying. 😉


Lullaby (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #7) by J.L. Bryan

LullabyLife is more difficult than ever at Savannah’s only ghost-hunting detective agency. While Ellie copes with her mentor’s departure and other unwelcome developments, she also worries about the supernatural injuries keeping her boyfriend caught in an endless slumber. 
At the same time, Ellie and Stacey are called in to investigate an eerie entity haunting a baby’s nursery room. The ghost appears late at night, its face barely visible on the baby monitor, and sings a chilling song. 
Soon, Ellie learns there are more ghosts in the house, and at least one of them is a dangerous, child-hunting monster who must be stopped before it kills again.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1My list of authors that I currently have a love/hate relationship with is steadily growing. J.L. Bryan holds a fairly comfortable place on this list because Lullaby is far from the first book that bestowed him that honor. He’s getting really good at leaving readers hanging at the end of books in the Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper series and even though I’m not giving the author a compliment, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to take it that way.

Lullaby began pretty much where Maze of Souls left off and as much as I hoped things would get better, I should have known better. Not only was Michael still in a coma, but his sister was blaming Ellie for his condition. The heartbreaking part was that Ellie wasn’t arguing with her. The fact that she felt betrayed by Calvin for selling the business to PSI just added to her depression. Things were definitely not changing for the better. If not for her obsession with Anton Clay, Ellie may have given up on the company all together.

The ghost that Ellie and Stacey were assigned to take care of in Lullaby was scary and dangerous, but an even bigger threat turned out to be a lot closer to home. Turns out Kara was a lot more evil and manipulative than they could have imagined. Working with the PSI crew is not going to be easy and Ellie and her friends are going to have to watch their backs.

As low as things were for Ellie, readers were given a bit of hope by the end… almost. In true J.L. Bryan fashion he had me turning the page to see what happened next and the story was over. Finished. Done. There’s definitely more to come so I’ll just sit here and wait patiently for the next installment. (Yeah, right.) *runs off to stalk evil author*


Maze of Souls (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #6) by J.L. Bryan

MazeofSoulsIt’s October, and down at newly opened Pine Hollow Farm, the ghosts are running wild! This “genuine” old-time family farm offers a big heap of fun fall activities. You can drink cider fresh from the orchard, enter a pumpkin-carving contest, and explore the five-acre corn maze. At night, if you aren’t too scared, join the haunted hayride through the woods, featuring a genuine eighteenth-century cemetery. According to local legend, the ghost of a horseman has ridden the old dirt road through the woods for nearly two centuries, menacing travelers. Hayriders beware!
Then the real ghosts start to come out, threatening visitors to the farm and the family who live there. Paranormal detective Ellie Jordan travels out to the remote farm to root out the dangerous spirits. Ellie and her assistant Stacey must move fast, because the night is coming when all ghosts will be at full strength and free to roam—the night of Halloween.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1So, it’s now officially Spring… and this book is set in October, but honestly, there’s no time set in stone to read a scary story, especially if it’s part of the Ellie Jordon, Ghost Trapper series.

As readers have come to expect from this series, there really isn’t any down time in Maze of Souls. A lot happens in this book. More than a few of those things Ellie and crew aren’t prepared for. Between the emotional moments and the scary moments, Maze of Souls may be my favorite installment in this series so far.

Ellie’s world is about to change and she’s not ready for it. She’s feeling abandoned by someone she’s close to, whether it’s logical or not, that’s how she feels. Her boyfriend semi-ignores her through a lot of the story and there are kids involved in the haunting she’s investigating, which is never a good thing. Throw in a hormonal, moody teenager and some seriously powerful ghosts and you have a story that pretty much covers it all.

There were also a few interesting twists in Maze of Souls that I never saw coming… at least not all of them. In the end (no spoilers, I promise) Ellie has to make a decision that leaves more than one person hanging in the balance. I almost forgot how good J.L. Bryan is at throwing his characters into situations that leave them just a little bit broken. (That’s an understatement in some cases – Jenny Pox (The Paranormals, #1) ) Needless to say, I’m hoping the next book can’t come soon enough.


House of Whispers (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #5) by J.L. Bryan

HouseOfWhispersThe luxurious Lathrop Grand Hotel is a Savannah institution that has entertained guests for more than a century and a half, offering some of the finest accommodations in the city. Famously haunted, the hotel draws tourists from around the world eager to encounter its numerous ghosts. The hotel is also known for being honeycombed with hidden doors and secret passages, enabling staff to appear and disappear quickly as they attend to the hotel’s guests.
Now some of the spirits in the Lathrop Grand have turned violent, even murderous. Ellie and Stacey must determine which ghost has become dangerous and remove it from the hotel before it can claim any more lives. They soon learn the hotel has secrets even darker than the notorious string of nineteenth-century murders that made it famous, and the powerful entities inhabiting it don’t intend to leave without a fight.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1If I was asked to make a list of authors/books that I would recommend to readers who wanted a good October (aka scary) read, J.L. Bryan would definitely be in my top ten recs. I honestly have no idea how he comes up with this stuff. Having said that, House of Whispers was definitely scary, but it wasn’t the scariest in the Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper series so far. I’m not complaining, honest. The series gets better with each installment. I guess after the craziness that Ellie experienced in Terminal, a hotel full of civil war era, weapon wielding, bloody ghosts (among others) seemed kind of tame. (Sounds kind of ridiculous when I put it that way, doesn’t it?)

I think what I liked most about House of Whispers was what went on other than the ghost hunting. The future of their investigation firm is still up in the air, which has Ellie more than a little worried. Some relationships are unexpectedly strained, which added a little twist to the story line. And as I’ve come to expect, the characters continue to evolve and grow. Speaking of which, I love these characters. They’re witty, smart, loyal to each other and believe in what they do. I’m basically falling in love with them more with each book.

There were also a lot of sneaky twists in House of Whispers that I didn’t see coming. Those twists also left room for Ellie to take control. In the previous books she’s taken some unnecessary risks. I’m not saying she was being stupid, but she took those risks to protect others. In House of Whispers she was smart and proved herself capable more than once. I liked that side of her… especially given the circumstances – but those you’ll have to figure out for yourself when you read them 😉

The best part as far as I’m concerned is that J.L. Bryan has promised that there’s more to come. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for Ellie and friends. Given the way things ended (not a cliff hanger BTW) things could prove to be even more interesting… as if trapping ghosts for a living wasn’t enough.