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Summary

Fans of Susan Hill's The Woman in Black and Alejandro Amenábar's The Others will be eager to listen to this contemporary ghost story. Written in the tradition of classic English ghost tales, Winterbay Abbey is an unsettling Gothic thriller.

Will Larson has one last chance to save his stagnant career as an architect: design a grand restoration for a long-abandoned abbey. Looming above the breathtaking, windswept coast of Maine, Winterbay Abbey offers a picturesque spot for a charming hotel. But the locals harbor a peculiar distaste for the ruined Gothic convent.

After witnessing a drowning within sight of the abbey, Will wonders why the police seem disinterested in the case. He begins looking deeper into the incident, gradually uncovering chilling secrets behind the old nunnery's walls. Will's wife, Emily, becomes convinced the drowning is a ghostly replay of a forgotten death. But their investigation into the abbey's frightening history results in a tragic end with no escape from Winterbay's dark curse.

Buy Winterbay Abbey today to add some needed chill to your home library.

©2016 John Bladek and Davonna Juroe (P)2018 John Bladek and Davonna Juroe

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  • Simone K
  • 30-06-18

Fun Ghost Story

I love a gothic horror story so it's really no surprise that I greatly enjoyed 'Winterbay Abbey: A Ghost Story." John Bladek and Davonna Juroe weave a tale about a long forgotten evil that preys upon pregnant women and teenage girls who dare stray too near the Abbey. It's not *the* most unique take on a ghost story that I've ever read, but it's definitely worth the listen if you really enjoy paranormal dramas. Matt Godfrey delivers a fabulous performance, as he always does!

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Char's Horror Corner
  • 17-05-18

Beautifully Written Gothic Style Ghost Story!

4.5/5 stars!

WINTERBAY ABBEY is a beautifully written Gothic style ghost story and I adored it, from start to finish!

When I saw this being compared to Susan Hill's THE WOMAN IN BLACK, I was a bit hesitant because, to be honest, I did not like that tale AT ALL. It was repetitious and I felt it lacked the Gothic, quiet horror atmosphere that I love so much. I needn't have worried because this book was much better than that one and it had the added advantage of Matt Godfrey's narration.

This is the story of a man and his wife, Will & Emily, getting over a recent accident where the wife nearly lost her hand. They've also just discovered that Emily is pregnant. Her damaged hand has affected her ability to contribute to the family's financial resources and times are tight. When Will's boss offers makes him take a job in Maine drawing up architecture plans to turn an abandoned abbey into a resort hotel, he jumps on the chance to secure his family's financial future. At the last minute, he decided to invite Emily to meet him there. Will their plans work out? Will they succeed in having a happy and healthy family? You'll have to read this to find out!

I do love me a quiet horror story. What does that mean? For me, it means atmospheric, inspiring feelings of dread and fear, without spilling a lot of blood and guts. This must be difficult to write, because, to be honest, I haven't read that many good, quiet horror stories. This one is better than good, it's fantastic! There were a few instances where I thought Will made a bad decision or two, but overall, I also felt that it was realistic in the telling, and I was rooting for our couple to make it through.

With the always rich narration of Matt Godfrey, I felt this couple come to life. I hope that you give it a chance and let Will and Emily come alive for you.

Highly recommended!

*Thanks to narrator and friend, Matt Godfrey, for the audio copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • AudioBook Reviewer
  • 26-07-18

Something Creepy is Definitely Going On

Story line:
The plot is interesting. Getting around Will’s weird character traits, there is a story line that makes this worth reading. Weirdly, again, Will kind of spoils it when he instantly thinks sinister things are going on. Either you fully believe in ghosts, in which case you’re not going to think you’re going crazy, or you don’t and you’re going to try to eliminate what can or cannot happen, basically using Occam’s razor. Any rational person would do this.

Will, on the other hand just wants to drive me nuts and decides that something creepy is definitely going on because a nun stared at him in a sinister way. Hasn’t he ever heard of Catholic School. Nuns are supposed to be scary so you’ll straighten up. It’s an innate ability that’s also perfect for rearing bratty children. But Will sees this nun staring at him and instantly thinks that she’s out to get him and that something crazy is happening. EVEN AFTER speaking to the police about a girl that he thinks is missing, and them telling him they didn’t find anything, he believes that she was there and the nun tried to hurt her.

So, of course he digs deeper. Then he decides to bring his wife out because he misses her so much, even though she’s pregnant and they’ve been fighting a lot, and he’s been gone an entire ONE DAY. They can’t pay their mortgage but they can afford a plane ticket because they miss each other.

Needless to say, this one didn’t quite fit the bill for me. I did love the gothic feel but the characterization was spotty. The plot was decent and is what kept me reading the book, but honestly I just didn’t understand much of what was going on due to Will’s different, very odd reactions. I get it, a character is going through a lot and you want them to voice their opinions on how devastating these horrible events can be. But, it’s the incessant whining that got to me. It’s never ending.

Even when a great thing happens, Will is still whining and wondering when/how things will go wrong.

Twist ending:
The twist ending reminded me of something from the 80’s. Something that is supposed to take your breath away, but I was a bit frustrated with this also. Signs were laid to leave the reader believing a particular thing, so when those signs are reversed, it’s almost as if a promise is broken. I love a twist ending, but this one seemed to come out of nowhere. Instead of firmly solidifying the story it left me with more questions.

Narration:
The characterization killed the narration for me. It’s not Matt Godfrey’s fault that the character is so whiny. The characterization just drove me crazy and although the narration was fabulous, that whining wouldn’t do any narrator any justice. Considering Matt Godfrey nailed it, especially with the character’s attitude, does say something about his ability to hit the nail on the head. Even though I didn’t love the main character, the idea that he is going through a LOT comes through.

The audio was also fabulous. With everything going on in this gothic horror, I was happy that, although I didn’t fall in love with the story, the audio and narration didn’t take away from it at all.

In short:
If it’s not quite obvious, this one was a bit harder for me to listen to. Had it not been for the setting of the story, I think I may have wanted to set it aside for later. Curious about the author’s other works because the idea and setting were amazing!

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

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