Maddie had forgotten that cursed summer. Now she’s about to remember…
“Madeleine Chambers of Hargest House” has a certain grandeur to it. But as Maddie enters the Gothic mansion she inherited from her aunt, she wonders if its walls remember what she’s blocked out of the summer she turned sixteen.
She’s barely settled in before a series of bizarre events drive her to question her sanity. Aunt Charlotte’s favorite song shouldn’t echo down the halls. The roots of a faraway willow shouldn’t reach into the cellar. And there definitely shouldn’t be a child skipping from room to room.
As the barriers in her mind begin to crumble, Maddie recalls the long-ago summer she looked into the face of evil. Now, she faces something worse. The mansion’s long-dead builder, who has unfinished business—and a demon that hungers for her very soul.
M & J’s Review
Too bad this book wasn’t being published in October because it would have been a great one to read during my Spook-tacular October reads! Wow, this story made my senses so raw, every noise I heard made me take a second look and then immediately I went back to the story. (wink)!
Maddie Chambers fell into the lap of luxury (or curse) from her dear Aunt Charlotte who willed Hargest House to her along with all her wealth. If the cover of the book doesn’t give you a great visual of what this house was like, the author’s description of the interior frightened me more than the cover. (chuckle).
Maddie is met by a charming groundskeeper named Charlie who tells her of the people who once lived there and what it was like. Of course, Maddie remembered spending many of her summers there as a child. Superstitious rumors swirled around St. Priorary Michael (the area where Hargest House resided) about devil worshipping and sacrifices of which her aunt was accused of participating. Nathaniel Hargest, who was the creator of Hargest House, was a legend in his own right with the townspeople pointing a trembling finger at him for having built the house in the first place. To most people, he was a cruel evil man with a temper ready to blow at any second. Maddie had heard similar stories about Mr. Hargest and her Aunt Charlotte, but she knew the kind of woman her aunt was and ignored the rumors. Maddie also knew there was something different about the house when strange occurrences began to happen as she set about trying to bring the house up-to-date with new lighting and heating. While she’s going about her day, the sound of a door creaking in the distance startled her. Children’s laughter and pitter-patter of running feet on the stairs. But when she went to investigate, there wasn’t anything or anyone there. And more importantly, Maddie didn’t have any children, and neither had her aunt, so who were the children and to whom did they belong?
What was even more strange than light bulbs blowing out, children’s laughter, doors slamming or opening at will, it was what was growing in her basement that terrified the Be-Jesus out of me! This thing also frightened Maddie who was quick to bolt back upstairs and rejoin the living, or was that the dead? Hmmm? The neighbors treated Maddie like she was the devil’s familiar and stayed cleared of her, that is, until a very nice lady who lived in the neighborhood befriended Maddie and asked if she and her theater friends could use the upstairs section of Hargest House as a practice area. Maddie was all too happy and eager for them to begin. She couldn’t stand living in the house. The very thought of being alone with voices echoing and things-that-go-bump-in-the-night of which she couldn’t explain away without sounding like she needed a first-class ticket to the nearest insane asylum, she welcomed the theater actors.
This is a very short read which can be read in a few hours, but those few hours of terror will have you reading this story in the daytime, and giving pause to the night! I absolutely loved this story. As my readers know, I love, love, love horror books! Every time I read one, I’m constantly reminded as to why did I venture down this road knowing it’s going to scare me half to death, but read on I must. Don’t know why I love spooky books, but I do. This is definitely a must read. It was hella scary. I couldn’t get enough. Cavendish did an exceptional job giving her readers just enough to have your mind racing and wondering what lurked behind that wall? Did I just see something move in the corner? Hmmm? Will wonders ever cease?
Mello & June gives The Devil’s Serenade, five stars. This is a must-add-to-your-shelf-type of read! Whatever you do, don’t read this book alone? Make sure you have company, or then again, perhaps you will have company, even though you’re not aware they’re there?! Hmm? Read at your own risk, if you dare. The ending was mind-blowing!
The Devil’s Serenade is out now! Grab yourself a copy!
Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer
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