****An Imaginative Horror Tale with Ghosts Review by Rox
Author Roberta Eaton Cheadle provides a balanced mix of history and ghosts in this young adult horror story. Margaret, the 16-year old girl, moves to live with her Grandfather after a horrific accident makes her an orphan. Upon her arrival, her Grandfather shows her his Inn explaining the past along the way. His knowledge of the history and her curiosity is common ground between Margaret and her Grandfather. I liked the detailed, rich storyline that draws out the reader’s imagination. It sets the stage between good and evil, with Lucifer right in the middle.
The possibility of Margaret being enabled to see and communicate with the ghost in her Grandfather’s Inn appears early and opens up the challenge or gift of her life. The intrigue begins almost immediately with the plaque on the wall of the Inn. A servant girl who was caught stealing in 1589 and chained up in the cellar of the Inn until she died. Lizzie became the first ghost haunting the Inn.
“ She suppressed this thought and nodded; she knew the Inn was said to be haunted.
“Her death is a blight on the history of the Inn,” said Grandfather. “It is best not to dwell on the injustices of the past.”
Grandfather turned away and started climbing the stairs. Margaret followed him. At the bottom of the stairs, she paused, something was moving. She glanced back into the room.
A figure stood in front of the plaque. The figure was a young girl dressed in a tattered, floor-length dress. She held an ale tankard in her hands.
I can’t breathe! Margaret’s hands flew to her constricted throat, her pale fingers instantly chilly. A soft moan oozed from her mouth as she screwed her eyes tightly shut and rubbed them. Slowly she opened one, and then the other. The figure was gone. Margaret stared at the plaque and thought: I couldn’t have seen anyone. I’m tired from the early morning and long journey. Grandfather’s comments have given me the willies. She turned and trotted up the stairs.
Margaret didn’t see the cat lying on the sixth riser from the top. She tripped, grabbing hold of the banister to save herself.
On reaching the top of the stairs, Margaret stood for a moment, breathing heavily. The strange vision in the cellar, combined with the cat on the stairs, had scared her. Adrenalin pumped through her body. “
Margaret possessed a decidedly unique ability to not only see dead souls but transform them into human bodies. It was seeing them or being near that is the catalyst for this transformation. As we learn, it started very early in her life and seemed like a game. Overworld ghosts are caused when one dies too early or too violently and misses the chance to travel to the White Light or the Underworld.
Her empathetic relationships with these ghosts help ease their pain and make her a target of Lucifer. Lucifer abducts Margaret to force her to help transform his dead souls into an army. Lucifer shows his true colors of greed and manipulation.
Margaret is grounded in Catholicism. She finds within herself the strength to resist the evil, but not without paying the price. A different ghost story ladled with history, filled with good versus evil, and a surprising ending. Author Cheadle creates a good read for young adults and beyond who like an unsuspecting scare. It would be near terrifying to be around the campfire and have someone tell this story.
About the Author
Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with seven published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.
I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.
I have participated in a number of anthologies:
Two short stories in Spellbound, a forthcoming collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre;
Two short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Dark Visions, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre;
Three short stories in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories, edited by Stephen Bentley;
Three short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Nightmareland, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre; and
Two short stories in Whispers of the Past, an anthology of paranormal stories, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth.
I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.
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