Publisher: Black Mountain Press
Released: September 1, 2014
Length: 49 pages
Source: Kindle purchase
Rating: ★★★★

“Carly K came to Black Mountain on the tail-end of a bad storm in the summer of 1974. I should have given more thought to a woman alone blowing into a hick mountain community like it was something special, but to tell the truth, I was purely dazzled by that girl. The first time I laid eyes on her she had pulled her car off at Hocket Drop, one of my favorite places.”

A humorous short story collection from Ann Hite, award winning author of Ghost On Black Mountain, The Storycatcher, and Lowcountry Spirit. Whether you are familiar with Ms. Hite’s wonderfully crafted Appalachian characters or not, you will love these stories set in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

GHOULS, FOOLS, AND RELATIONSHIP TOOLS is a funny and folksy “short, short story” collection from Ann Hite. The five tales in this book take place over a 50-year period, beginning in the 1950s, and they are all tied to Black Mountain, North Carolina, the curious setting of Ms. Hite’s previous novels.

I’m usually not a fan of short stories, but anything connected to Black Mountain is a must read for me! I had a great time reading this book, getting to know some new characters, and revisiting some old ones. Ann Hite is a talented storyteller, and she’s my new go-to author for Southern Gothics. I would recommend starting with GHOST ON BLACK MOUNTAIN and going from there.  I think you’ll appreciate the short stories more. 4 stars!

P.S. How cute is that cover? Again, folksy!

Audiobook Review: THE STORYCATCHER by Ann Hite

Format: Audiobook; 10 hrs, 33 mins
Narrator: Allyson Johnson
Publisher: Gallery Books/AudioGo
Released: September 10, 2013
Source: eBook review copy from Edelweiss/Audiobook borrowed from the library
Rating: ★★★★★

Shelly Parker never much liked Faith Dobbins, the uppity way that girl bossed her around. But they had more in common than she knew. Shelly tried to ignore the haints that warned her Faith’s tyrannical father, Pastor Dobbins, was a devil in disguise. But when Faith started acting strange, Shelly couldn’t avoid the past—not anymore.

Critically acclaimed, award-winning author Ann Hite beckons readers back to the Depression-era South, from the saltwater marshes of Georgia’s coast to the whispering winds of North Carolina’s mystical Black Mountain, in a mesmerizing gothic tale about the dark family secrets that come back to haunt us.

Ann Hite’s previous novel, GHOST ON BLACK MOUNTAIN, is one of my favorite books, and I think I enjoyed THE STORYCATCHER, set a few years after the first, even more. The book is told from the point of view of several strong, compelling female characters, some living and some ghosts.

The main character is Shelly Parker, a teenage girl living with her mother, Amanda, on Black Mountain. They work for Pastor Dobbins, his wife, Lydia, and their daughter, Faith. Shelly has the gift of sight, and she can see restless haints all over the mountain. These ghosts were wronged in life, and they need someone to tell their stories so others won’t meet their fate.

THE STORYCATCHER is Southern Gothic fiction at its best, complete with dark family secrets, a haunting setting, an eerie murder mystery, enchanting folklore, and complex characters whose stories are pieces of an intricate puzzle. I grew up in the South, but I wasn’t familiar with storycatchers, granny women, and death quilts. Now, I know!  The big reveal at the end of this book was a jaw-dropper. I did not see that coming. 5 stars!

I listened to most of this book (95%) on audio CD that I borrowed from the library. The narrator, Allyson Johnson, was A-MAZING! There were numerous characters in this book, and she captured the essence of each and every one beautifully. THE STORYCATCHER is going on my top three favorite audiobook performances.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: GHOST ON BLACK MOUNTAIN by Ann Hite

Publisher: Gallery Books
Released: September 13, 2011
Source: Review copy from publisher

Once a person leaves the mountain, they never come back, not really. They’re lost forever.

Nellie Clay married Hobbs Pritchard without even noticing he was a spell conjured into a man, a walking, talking ghost story. But her mama knew. She saw it in her tea leaves: death. Folks told Nellie to get off the mountain while she could, to go back home before it was too late. Hobbs wasn’t nothing but trouble. He’d even killed a man. No telling what else. That mountain was haunted, and soon enough, Nellie would feel it too. One way or another, Hobbs would get what was coming to him. The ghosts would see to that…

Told in the stunning voices of five women whose lives are inextricably bound when a murder takes place in rural Depression-era North Carolina, Ann Hite’s unforgettable debut spans generations and conjures the best of Southern folk-lore—mystery, spirits, hoodoo, and the incomparable beauty of the Appalachian landscape.


GHOST ON BLACK MOUNTAIN is a spellbinding Southern Gothic about dark secrets, murder, ghosts and revenge. The story is told from the points of view of five women, each one connected in some way to Hobbs Pritchard and Black Mountain, North Carolina. Hobbs was an evil man. A criminal. An abuser. A murderer. But he was also deceptively charming and handsome, and easily won young Nellie’s heart. It was during the Great Depression that he married Nellie and brought her to live on the mountain. It only takes a short time for her to see the real Hobbs and to realize her life is in danger, and there’s only one way for her to get off that mountain. Unfortunately for Nellie, her secrets won’t stay buried forever.

This was an amazing book, one that I will think about long after finishing. I love how the book was constructed with each narrators’ point of view in a separate section, and each part added more depth to the story as a whole. All five of these women were strong yet flawed, and I connected to each one. Even the ghosts and the mountain itself were compelling characters in this eerie tale.

GHOST ON BLACK MOUNTAIN had me captivated from the first page. The tone of the story was dark and unnerving, and there were many surprising twists and chilling moments throughout the story. This was more than a ghost story. It was also a testament to the powerful bond between a mother and child that nothing, not even death, can break. GHOST ON BLACK MOUNTAIN has a place on my keeper shelf.

Rating: 5 Stars

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.