Blog Tour and Giveaway: Ashes to Ashes by Karina Halle


Ashes to AshesAshes to Ashes by Karina Halle
(Experiment in Terror #8)
Publication date: December 11th 2013
Genres: Horror, New Adult, Supernatural

Synopsis: It’s been two months since Perry Palomino and Dex Foray’s relationship reached a new turning point, two months since Perry started a new life in Seattle, and two months since their Experiment in Terror show took on a new partner, ex-Wine Babe Rebecca Sims, and found a new level of success. But whenever there is light in their lives, the madness still has a way of coming back in.

When the team is sent back to the stormy Oregon coast to investigate a haunted school, Perry wants to use the opportunity to reconnect with her family and reintroduce Dex into their lives. Only Perry’s not the only one who’s reaching out – her grandmother Pippa has started appearing to her with disturbing warnings and Perry’s presence at the school has ignited a chilling new wave of supernatural phenomenon. Once used a century ago as a sanatorium to house children dying of tuberculosis, the school’s past residents are slowly coming back to life and with one thing on their mind. They want someone to play with, someone to join them. Forever.

Even when dead, some children get whatever they want.

And they want Perry.

AH and Regina Loved Ashes to Ashes! 5 Badass Skulls!

AH: First of all, ever since we discovered Darkhouse earlier this year, Regina and I have literally devoured every book written by Karina Halle. (AH is a little behind on the Artist Trilogy series – but Regina read and loved those too). If there is one word to describe the Experiment in Terror series it’s ADDICTIVE!

Regina: Addictive, absorbing and obsession creating – that is how I would describe how Karina Halle writes her books.

AH: Ashes to Ashes takes place 8 months after Perry and Dex met at the lighthouse (Darkhouse). They’ve been through a lot and are back on the Oregon coast visiting Uncle Al at the place where it all began. I liked how the author tied in the beginning of the series to this book, which in a way represents a new beginning in Perry and Dex’s relationship.

Regina: I feel like I have been through so much (yes, ME) since I first read Darkhouse. So many ups and downs with Dex and Perry, that I was shocked to realize it had only been 8 months. But the reminder of where they started from and how recent it was, I agree was nice and shook up the story. I loved the setting, beautiful and eerie; Halle picks her settings perfectly.

AH: It’s so funny that you said that. I also feel like I’ve been through so much while reading this series. I think it’s because Dex and Perry are so easy to relate to. Dex has his demons, and Perry has her body issues – who can’t relate to that?

Dex just made me melt in this book. He said all the right things (except when he was behaving like a little boy). He’s looking at the future and can see himself and Perry together.

Regina: Well Dex made me slightly nauseous in Come Alive, so it was good to melt in a good way with Dex in Ashes to Ashes. I loved all of Dex in Ashes to Ashes. It was the imperfect and sometimes annoying, but usually charming guy that I feel in love with. This is a guy who took Perry to a strip club (earlier book), he is not a prince charming but he is good with Perry. Come Alive was a difficult read for me, AH I know you felt differently. But I felt like reading Ashes to Ashes was the best of the series and like slipping on the comfort from the earlier books.

AH: I really enjoyed Come Alive. You can see my review here.

AH: – Pippa makes an appearance in this book and she’s not looking too good. What did you think of her warnings?

Regina: I found Perry’s reaction to them annoying. But I probably shouldn’t say more about that. FYI, Pippa’s appearance isn’t a spoiler; it happens at the beginning. I like how messy the warnings were. I really like how imperfect everything was in this book, there are no easy answers.

AH: I liked that Rebecca was added to the EIT team. Rebecca kind of grounded Perry and Dex and kept them in line. I think it helped having a team member with a soothing British accent.

Regina: This would be a fun book to hear narrated. I love Rebecca, such a great character. And we got two big reveals about her, which frankly make sense but added a lot to the story. Dex and Perry are so knew and flounder so much emotionally they really need someone like Rebeca – you are so right. I didn’t think about that until you said it. She helps with the flow of the story. Frankly, I like her as the 3rd wheel better than Maximus.

AH: What did you think of the sanatorium? Personally, it was super creepy. Add in the fog, the damp sea air, the secret passages – the author really knows how to set up the atmosphere. Oh, there was a part where I couldn’t help but think of a Scooby Doo episode and later on in the book, the author actually made a reference to Scooby Doo!

Regina: Its funny, because I just read another book about a sanatorium that was a historical short story (Dear Life by Alice Munro). Such a sad setting and I have never thought about these institutions before – kind of like the lepers colony Halle does such a good job at digging up settings rooted in our past. I loved Halle’s nod to Scooby Doo, it was definitely similar!

AH: What did you think of the ghost entities? In a way, it was kind of nice to see a non-threatening ghost. Of course, Ms. Halle would not leave us feeling that safe – there’s always a malevolent entity out there and whoa, is it freaky!

Regina: I spent so much time feeling bad for the ghosts, they were both royally screwed in life. But Oh. My. Goodness, the scene were the teacher is telling Dex, Perry and Rebecca about “the bad thing” and how she has encountered the bad thing – scary! Halle nails freaky, spooky and scary in this book. I had to put it down at night and not read.

AH:– I’m glad that Perry got a chance to go home and visit with her parents. Awkward doesn’t even begin to describe it. What kind of parents go out drinking after their daughter returns after a prolonged absence? (although, come to think of it, it does say a lot about her parents). I loved Ada and how devoted she was to Perry.

Regina: Ada is a great character and I look forward to where her story goes. Perry’s parents drive me bonkers. I cannot stand them. They are such control freaks and so judgmental. I get that they are antagonists to the story line, but I am hoping with the interesting reveals we learn at the end of the story that there is going to be progression with that relationship.

Regina: This book is my favorite in the series, which says a lot because I love Experiment in Terror. Halle has a really unique take on writing urban fantasy and writing about relationships. She incorporates the delicious mess of life that is frustrating but makes it work, makes it compelling. And damn, she nails sex scenes – not much more needs to be written about that. She gets them right.

AH: I have to agree with you. So far, Ashes to Ashes was my favorite as well. This series is so addictive – it is almost impossible to put down a book (unless you are reading very late at night and it’s dark and something goes bump in the house). Dex and Perry are one of my favorite fictional couples. It’s going to be a long wait for the next book – Dust to Dust is expected to be published in May 2014. Can’t wait!

Rating:  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

Grand prize giveaway

Prize (open to US and Canada):
–A signed copy of Perception (it’s a paperback compilation of all the e-book novellas), a signed copy of Darkhouse, a signed copy of Red Fox (with new cover) as well as a signed copy of Ashes to Ashes and an EIT tank top

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The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with).

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup.


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Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for organizing this event and providing a review copy of this book.

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