7 Horrors of Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House”

The Haunting of Hill House

by Shirley Jackson

Nikki’s Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary: Four strangers come together to spend a summer at Hill House. Hoping to observe paranormal occurrences, they may have gotten more than they bargained for. Rooms covered in blood, personal messages written on the walls, the house appears to have a mind of its own.

7 Horrors of Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Quick Read

All in all, The Haunting of Hill House is a quick read and I’m extremely grateful for this as I do not think my anxiety could deal with a full-length horror novel.

2. Horror

The Haunting of Hill House is an effective horror story and is really quite disturbing to read; makes the reader think and question if they have ever experienced a house that might have been sentient.

3. Description

Nothing can drag a story and bore the reader than too much description. However, Jackson uses description effectively. While description could be heavy throughout The Haunting of Hill House it did not appear to be drawn out past what was necessary for the reader to know and understand the scene.

4. Characters

There are a few rather vile and hated characters in The Haunting of Hill House and Jackson writes them well! Character development is no easy feat in a short story as there is less interaction with the characters overall but Jackson does an amazing job with her unfavorable characters. Just thinking about Dudley makes me cringe.

5. Build Up

One of the reasons The Haunting of Hill House is an effective horror story is because Jackson is a masterful writer in that she builds the intensity. At first Hill House is strange, then there is some unease that eventually grows into feeling like there is an actual sinister presence which leads to all out fear.

6. Eleanor Vance

Another extremely effective piece of The Haunting of Hill House is that readers are left questioning whether Eleanor’s demise was because of an evil presence that is Hill House or her own psychological break.

7. The Beginning is the End

The book begins and ends in exactly the same way and it is quite unsettling:

“Hill House itself, not sane, stood against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, its walls continued upright, bricks met nearly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”

(p. 3 & 235)

What were your favorite things about The Haunting of Hill House?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

7 Liked Things about Donna Grant’s “Midnight’s Lover”

Midnight’s Lover

Dark World Book 8; Dark Warriors Book 2

by Donna Grant

Nikki’s Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary: Thrown four centuries into the future, Ian is in bad shape. Torn apart by the death of his twin brother, Ian is now in a desperate battle against the demon god he and his brother shared. Worst of all, if he cannot control his god, he may end up hurting and possibly killing Danielle, the beautiful druid that has captured his heart.

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7 Liked Things about Donna Grant’s “Midnight’s Lover”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Twins

While it was absolutely tragic that Duncan died, I think Grant really captured the beauty of the special connection many twins can share with each other. Made total sense that they equally shared one god and could feel each other’s pain.

2. The Villains

Ugh, Deirdre and Declan. These two are just so vile, greedy, and delusional. They truly deserve each other and I’m hoping that one of them will take out the other in their grab for power.

3. Malcolm

Malcolm continues to struggle with his orders from Deirdre and I’m hoping that it will be enough for him to walk away from her soon and join up with the MacLeods et al. Always intriguing to have those characters that are more fluid in their morals and alliances because you are never really sure what they are going to do in the end.

4. Sizzling

A true romance, “Midnight’s Lover” features sizzling erotic scenes between Ian and Danielle.

5. Pacing

As always, Grant gives a good story with some twists and turns. As a whole, she writes well with likeable characters, enjoyable banter, a vivid imagination, and great pacing, keeping the story going and readers interested.

6. Happy Ending

Overall the ending was pretty positive and I’m grateful for that as things could have gone totally south. Ian and Dani survived and stay together, the infiltrator was discovered and destroyed, but most importantly, Duncan has moved on and found peace.

7. Dark Heat

The Dark World series continues in Donna Grant’s “Dark Heat,” a collection of short stories that begins her Dark Kings series.

What are your favorite things about “Midnight’s Lover”?


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Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

4 Heroic Things about Kira Brady’s “Hearts of Chaos”


Hearts of Chaos

Deadglass Book 3

by Kira Brady

Nikki’s Rating: 4 out of 10

Summary:  While Emory rules with an iron-fist and expects a dutiful, compliant, dainty wife, his betrothed Lucia is defiant, outspoken, and challenges Emory at every turn. Destined to save their world and the Kivati, a race of shapeshifters, Emory and Lucia must find a way to each other’s hearts and destroy the ancient goddess Tiamet before its too late.

4 Heroic Things about Kira Brady’s “Hearts of Chaos”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Babylonian Myths

The Deadglass series features a lot of lore from the religion of ancient Babylon and in “Hearts of Chaos” we finally get to see the Babylonian Goddess of Primordial Chaos, Tiamet. She has an interesting backstory and learning about unfamiliar lore, myths, and religion of other cultures is always fascinating.

2. Adventures

“Hearts of Chaos” follows Lucia and Emory through the Land of the Dead. Like a tale of old, they must complete tasks set by the gods to test different strengths. It was most intriguing to find out what the trials were and see how the characters overcame them.

3. Lucia and Emory

The best part of “Hearts of Chaos” was watching Lucia and Emory find respect, friendship, and then eventually love with one another. While some of their traits were drastically different, they were able to find common ground in their values, and realize that they really weren’t that different.

4. Happy Ending

“Heart of Chaos” concludes Kira Brady’s Deadglass series and thankfully while the world at large experienced drastic changes and all were affected by loss throughout the novels, there is a happy ending and hope for the future.

What are your favorite things about “Hearts of Chaos”?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

5 Hardy Things about Kira Brady’s “Hearts of Darkness”

Hearts of Darkness

Deadglass Book 1

by Kira Brady

Nikki’s Rating: 5 out of 10

Summary:  Wanting nothing more than his freedom from bondage, werewolf and mercenary Hart prepares for his last mission, capturing Kayla Friday. As Kayla searches for answers about her sister’s death, she finds herself drawn to Hart even after he warns her to stay away. Having never failed a mission before, Hart struggles to handover the beautiful, smart, and tenacious nurse Kayla to his boss but if he doesn’t, he will be bound to servitude even in death.

5 Hardy Things about Kira Brady’s “Hearts of Darkness”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Supernatural

Werewolves, wraiths, shapeshifters, oh my! As a fan of the supernatural, it was enjoyable to have a book with so many supernatural beings but best of all, “Hearts of Darkness” features a clan of dragon shifters. Have I mentioned that I love dragons?! If I was a shifter, I would totally be a dragon shifter.

2. The Bad Guys

While the dragon shifters were the central bad guys of the “Hearts of Darkness”, I appreciated that Kira Brady didn’t write them as all bad. The dragon shifters are power-hungry, greedy, and manipulative but also amusing, intriguing, and complex, as you would expect real dragons to be. Antagonists that have redeemable qualities are much more interesting and captivating.

3. Lore

Kira Brady’s Deadglass universe is unique. While featuring supernatural elements is not uncommon, Brady provided her own twists on things such as the dragon shifter clan being influenced by Viking culture and the Kivati shapeshifters being more influenced by Native American culture. And then you also have the background of these 2 races being in a war that is hidden from the humans and the ominous Gate.

4. Steamy

Things get hot and heavy between Kayla and Hart in “Hearts of Darkness.”

5. Hearts of Shadow

Thankfully Kira Brady’s Deadglass series continues in “Hearts of Shadow” because we all need to know what happens now that the Gate has been ripped open!

What are your favorite things about “Hearts of Darkness”?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.