Author: Jill Bisker
Published: June 2014 by Melange Books
Category: Paranormal, Contemporary
Finding the Way Back is the story of Laney, a recently divorced woman who agrees to help her mother fix up her dead grandfather’s house. From the first night when she hears ghostly music to later physical attacks that seem targeted only at her, she soon discovers that a spirit in the house may have plans of its own. For her own well-being, she needs to find answers as the danger escalates and she learns to trust herself and others. With the help of her cousin Connie, an attractive ghosthunter named Emmett, and several other eccentric characters, Laney uncovers the dark secret of the house and a new path for her future.
Laney MacKenzie is ‘finding her way back’ from years spent with her cheating and controlling, now ex, husband, Simon. Her self-worth is almost non existent after being subjected to Simon’s undermining attitude and cavalier treatment. Laney’s mother has given her the option, with a little push, of refurbishing her late grandfather’s house, affording her a place to live and something to restore her confidence and self-respect. Her cousin and erstwhile best friend, Connie, moves in to lend a hand and she and Laney rekindle their old and close friendship.
The house is crammed full of boxes and the accumulations of a lifetime and Laney feels daunted by the task, especially so when strange and unexplainable incidents begin to occur. As she and Connie start to gradually uncover the secrets of the house and their family, Laney gets much more than she could ever imagine. As the ghostly occurrences escalate and become extremely threatening, Connie has an idea.
I stopped, petrified, a sudden memory coming back to me. I hadn’t thought of it in years, but suddenly it seemed like yesterday. Connie and I had been in the basement poking around the junk while our parents argued with our grandfather upstairs. I had been teasing Connie and hiding behind things when I felt a hand come down on my shoulder. Thinking I’d been caught terrorising my cousin by an adult, I’d jumped up and turned round. Only there was no-one there. I never told anyone because I knew they would never believe me.
I like the inclusion of the ghost hunters, they add an extra layer of interest to the story although I would have liked to learn more about Emmet’s backstory.
This is a very enjoyable, humorous and well crafted story of re-learning the values of trust and love and letting go of the past. There are likeable, realistic and some eccentric characters, several scary scenes and a satisfactory conclusion, despite me not quite understanding why the two ghosts would elect to stay in the house rather than move on together.
Jill Bisker lives in Stillwater, MN with her husband and a calico cat named Senora. She believes in empowering women to be strong enough to protect themselves, while still soft enough to be loving and compassionate. Her work includes paranormal mystery and traditional high fantasy, as well as contemporary and humorous fantasy and an everyday living blog. Her novella Within Reach is her first publication with Melange. Once a dedicated stay at home Mom, Jill now writes full-time.
Visit her at www.jillbisker.com