Thursday, May 28, 2015

Review: Stillwater by Maynard Sims

Published:  March 3, 2015 Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Genre: Horror
Format: ebook
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary

A modern ghost story.

Life was good for Beth, once. Now a car crash has left her confined to a wheelchair. To help her recuperate and rebuild her life, she’s leased Stillwater, a house with a lake in the countryside. But her dreams of peace and quiet are thwarted when she realizes she’s not alone. A girl who once lived at Stillwater—until she drowned in the lake—has never left, and she does not seem pleased by Beth’s presence. Beth sets out to solve the mystery of Stillwater. But can she find a strength she doesn’t know she possesses as she fights the fury of the dead girl, and tries to establish herself as the true mistress and keeper of the Stillwater house and lake?

Buy Stillwater by Maynard Sims Today at Amazon

After a tumultuous divorce, Beth's life takes yet another devastating hit.  She is in a car crash leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.   She decides to leave her flat in London to rent this amazing little house called Stillwater out in a cute little quiet village to restart her life and work on getting her writing career back on track.  Once there, she starts experiencing small, seemingly strange phenomenon.   They eventually grows into bigger and bigger supernatural events that can no longer be ignored.  Is Beth having another nervous break down or are the secrets in Stillwater more horrifying than any work of fiction could ever be?

"Guilty pleasure," she said. "I am sure you have plenty."

Classic Lady in the White Dress Goes Modern

This book boasts itself as a modern ghost story.    Anyone who has sat around with friends telling ghost stories have told or heard stories of the lady in the white dress.   Even the pilot episode of one of my favorite shows Supernatural was a retelling of the lady in the white dress.  At the core, that is what this story is about.  A fresh, new, modern version of just that story.    It follows the story line of most ghost/paranormal stories.    Beth moves into a new house, slowly little strange things start to happen that can easily be brushed off.  Eventually the ghost gets pissed off and makes her presence known in a big way.   This was a short, sweet and effective ghost story.  While I wouldn't call it scary, it was a very intriguing story and reinvention of a classic.   I liked the psychological game the author played with us.   We knew there was a ghostly presence, but at times it was hard to tell what was real, what was imagined, and what was caused by a spirit named Jessica.    The author does a good job of taking us on the ride right along side Beth to solve the mystery of the haunting of Stillwater.    I loved it because it was a story I knew, but at the same time it was a completely different story.   Trying to figure out the key players or factors in Jessica's death was a fun little mind game.  There were just a few characters.  The author did not put too many people, or to many side plots.  This book had the perfect harmony so you as the reader can stay focused and not get lost in trying to keep up with too many people or a complicated plot with tons of smaller subplots.   A great quick fun read!

"And I'll bring some salt and vinegar for that chip on your shoulder."

Sometimes Classic is Meant to Stay Classic

I only really had two pet peeves about this book.   One, the main character in this book is Beth.  She is a world renowned author.   So in my mind that means she is smart and should be good at research.   Writing a book is not easy and in most cases requires research to get the story just right.   Beth on the other hand was not smart about trying to research what was going on in the house.   I do realize at first she wasn't sure if what she was experiencing was real.  However, watch enough ghost hunters and you will know she did a poor job at researching and/or trying to get proper help to help Jessica out.   My second real complaint was the end.  It was not a bad ending at all.   It was good actually.  However, it seemed rushed.    This is a pretty common theme or issue in horror books and films though.  And after Beth learned the truth we never really find out what happened to the person responsible for creating such an awfully evil/vengeful spirit.

"Icy fingers caressed her spine as, for a moment, sje was reluctant to turn to the source of the voice."

Final Conclusion:  Yes Beth it is a Haunting

Overall a very good ghost story.   It is very cliché with most ghost stories you have heard or probably told.   There are very eerie moments in Stillwater.   There are times when it makes you question whether or not the character is just crazy or being haunted.   This book is not long or drawn out.  It gets to the point of the story and leaves out any unnecessary fillers.   The end was just that...the end with not a lot of follow up.   Doesn't really hurt the story, but I am one that likes to know everything LOL!    As someone who loves ghost stories (and I have my very own ghost that follows me around.  True Story), this book is a very good and interesting retelling of an already great classic story.

Buy Stillwater by Maynard Sims Today at Amazon


  1. I love The Lady in the White Dress so I think I would like this one.

  2. Thanks! If you like ghost stories you should give it a try!

  3. I am sure you would. An interesting modern twist!
    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Bookworm BrandeeJune 2, 2015 at 6:45 AM

    Stillwater sounds interesting, Melody, even if cliche. I don't read many ghost stories but I like a good one. :) I'm glad you enjoyed this despite your few issues. I definitely have to agree with you on thinking Beth should have been 'smarter'. But I still think I might give Stillwater a go.


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