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I read this one a couple of years ago, but some of the scenes are still fresh in my mind Absolutely captivating imagery This was an excellent character driven novel that had enough twists and turns to make quite an impression on me Definitely a story I can see myself re reading Edit from re read I found myself really drawn into this novel with this second read On top of being character driven, the intense atmosphere was incredibly prevalent The storyline was eerie right from the beginning, I read this one a couple of years ago, but some of the scenes are still fresh in my mind Absolutely captivating imagery This was an excellent character driven novel that had enough twists and turns to make quite an impression on me Definitely a story I can see myself re reading Edit from re read I found myself really drawn into this novel with this second read On top of being character driven, the intense atmosphere was incredibly prevalent The storyline was eerie right from the beginning, and thoroughly engrossing There was only one aspect of the story that I didn t particularly care for but I won t mention specifics so as to avoid any spoilers.Second reading 4.5 starsRecommended I loved this book.Scott Nicholson dips into the tradition of Appalachian folk lore, mining its lode of celtic and Scottish fables, and fashions a world of his own making in CREATIVE SPIRIT, molding myth into horror, creating a haunting tale where ghosts and evil spirits interact with humans and fight for power The story had me hooked from the opening sentence.On one level CREATIVE SPIRIT is a riveting horror story peopled with ghosts and flesh and blood characters artists, photographers and wri I loved this book.Scott Nicholson dips into the tradition of Appalachian folk lore, mining its lode of celtic and Scottish fables, and fashions a world of his own making in CREATIVE SPIRIT, molding myth into horror, creating a haunting tale where ghosts and evil spirits interact with humans and fight for power The story had me hooked from the opening sentence.On one level CREATIVE SPIRIT is a riveting horror story peopled with ghosts and flesh and blood characters artists, photographers and writers who getthan what they ve bargained for as the guests of Korban Manor, the nineteenth century Appalachian estate of Ethan Korban where his spirit reins As the lives of the guests unfold, the author creates a rich world of layered dimension where ghostly beings, good and evil, grapple with humans and with one another for control.On another level, CREATIVE SPIRIT is a book about being an artist and longing for acceptance and success in a harsh world It deals with writer s block and self doubt, with rekindling imagination and the joy of artistic creation.The characters, alive and dead, are many, believable, three dimensional Chapters are devoted to their stories My favorites are George Lawson, Ransom Streater I want one of his charms , Mason Jackson, the dying Anna Galloway searching for her own ghost, and of course, Appalachia, a character in its own right and I loved to hate Jefferson Spence and Ethan Korban.It takes great skill and understanding of the human spirit to write a horror story and Scott Nicholson s writing flows At times it is brilliant, especially his descriptions of pain and of spiritual beings I will never forget the scene of George Lawson in his agony, Anna Galloway s search, or how the novel ends.I recommend the book to all readers who love action packed horror, especially those who delight in a unique story told with compassion and prolific imagination A horror novel about an old mansion harboring the soul of its creator artist, Creative Spirit tells the story of a group of artists there on retreat whose souls are desired by the long departed owner A little bizarre, not terribly scary, I think I was looking for a bitthat never appeared There were some good scenes, though I ended with some questions that went unanswered. This is probably the shortest review I ve written on any book so far, but Creative Spirit is easy to sum up in a few sentences, so here goes Unputdownable doesn t roll off the tongue so well for me, but that s just what it is Wonderfully creepy are also great words to capture the essence of this book For quite some time now I ve been searching around for a book that would scare the living daylights out of me, as I am a big horror paranormal fan, and don t scare easily How lucky for me t This is probably the shortest review I ve written on any book so far, but Creative Spirit is easy to sum up in a few sentences, so here goes Unputdownable doesn t roll off the tongue so well for me, but that s just what it is Wonderfully creepy are also great words to capture the essence of this book For quite some time now I ve been searching around for a book that would scare the living daylights out of me, as I am a big horror paranormal fan, and don t scare easily How lucky for me to have won a copy of Creative Spirit by Scott Nicholson for review Remember how haunted house stories used to be written This book is just like that although it s not just any haunted house, but something farsinister Voodoo, witchcraft, shockingly slow deaths, possession, and loadshair raising goodies are to be found right here It contains all the elements a good old fashioned, spine chilling supernatural story should have.I suppose I should mention what really adds to this book is good, solid characters with strong personalities, each with their own in depth background story as well as medium to fast pacing of the storyline that builds up the suspense really well until you can take noThe author hardly gives you enough time to catch your breath before launching into the next bloodcurdling twist I won t recommend you read this before turning off the lights though you ll keep looking over your shoulder and hearing strange noises in the darkBut don t say I didn t warn you WARNING Not for the fainthearted This book made me want to cover my eyes and hide in the closet but I couldn t put it down long enough You won t find a typical ghost or haunted house story here The plot is original and kept me on edge from start to finish Scott Nicholson has a gift for breathing life into his words, inviting us to step into his characters world and share their experiences If you re looking for horror with substance, this is the one for you. Delightful Lyrical prose horror viewed through the kaleidoscope of realism and shifting reality finely tuned characterization and a pace that allows no stopping nor turning back another Scott Nicholson gem Every one of Author Nicholson s books I ve read has been a winner, but some are even beyond exceptional, and Creative Spirit is one of these I absolutely could not turn away from this book I felt as if I was devouring it rather than reading it.This is not a novel in which the horror begin Delightful Lyrical prose horror viewed through the kaleidoscope of realism and shifting reality finely tuned characterization and a pace that allows no stopping nor turning back another Scott Nicholson gem Every one of Author Nicholson s books I ve read has been a winner, but some are even beyond exceptional, and Creative Spirit is one of these I absolutely could not turn away from this book I felt as if I was devouring it rather than reading it.This is not a novel in which the horror begins up front rather, like the little cat feet of a fog, the horror creeps along almost silently, waiting in the backdrop On the forefront of the stage is a hundred year old mansion, with a powerful, wealthy founder who willed his estate to be a perpetual artist s retreat Why Most of the artists don t ponder, but are happy to enjoy the sightseeing and the opportunity to get away and to exhibit their egos and vanity But the mansion and the entire estate are a crucible where emotions fire up and spirits roam No one but a very exclusive few understand this mansion s secrets After the initial roll call of the characters, my attention span waned a bit The ongoings of some of the artists weren t driving the story forward fast enough I don t know if the ending was as thrilling as it should have been The writing was solid I think it was the pacing that made this a good, put downable, gothic tale. *FREE BOOK ↶ Creative Spirit ⇸ A modern Gothic thrillerAfter parapsychologist Anna Galloway is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she has a recurring dream in which she sees her own ghost The setting of her dream is the historic Korban Manor, and she s compelled to face the secrets of her soulSculptor Mason Jackson has come to the manor to make a final, all or nothing attempt at success before giving up his dreams When he becomes obsessed with carving Ephram Korban s form out of wood, even Anna can t divert his bizarre passionThe manor itself has secrets, with fires that blaze constantly in the hearths, portraits of Korban in every room, and deceptive mirrors on the walls With an October blue moon looming, both the living and the dead learn the true power of their dreams Somehow, I had three Scott Nicholson books on my kindle Drummer Boy was the first, a book I felt was so horrible that I would never read another book by said author Joke was on me Because, as I said, three were on my kindle This was the second book, and it was only marginally better At least I finished it.So, we have Korban Manor, an awesome artistic retreat where folks of artistic abilities can come and recharge their juices for a very hefty price I got the feeling that they only allowe Somehow, I had three Scott Nicholson books on my kindle Drummer Boy was the first, a book I felt was so horrible that I would never read another book by said author Joke was on me Because, as I said, three were on my kindle This was the second book, and it was only marginally better At least I finished it.So, we have Korban Manor, an awesome artistic retreat where folks of artistic abilities can come and recharge their juices for a very hefty price I got the feeling that they only allowed one of each time, as I can t remember there being really two of any kind of artist at the retreat in the story, unless they were a couple We had a sculptor, a painter, a photographer, a videographer documentary person, a writer, a psychic yeah, whatever , a couple who played instruments, and a few others They applied to come to this retreat, and it s like the Who s Who of their artistic world What they don t know is that it s haunted by the evil Master Korban who is sucking the creative energy from them to feed himself, and plans on becoming solid oncebecause this trip so happens to coincide with the Blue Moon in October Not a bad storyline.In fact, it was the storyline that drew me in and made me break my Never this author vow Beyond the first chapter, I was ready to go back to my Never this author onceFor a good idea, the execution was horrible I finally figured out why, but I m saving that for my third review since it will tie everything together Creative Spirits promised to be a scary book, but never delivered on the scares Scott Nicholson kept pulling me out of the action and horror to focus on a new character This book suffered from both Too Many Characters and Vanishing Characters Every chapter focused on a new character, in a new location, with a new problem, and it was dizzying I never felt scared because I got whiplash from being whisked from where Mason was to where Anne was to where Roth was and so on Because of the focus, you d think the characters would be better developed, but I felt like they weren t developed enough Oh, they were better than the ones I encountered in Drummer Boy but not developed enough that I cared about them The only character I cared about was Adam, and I think he only showed in maybe five chapters total.The huge cast of characters is weeded out quickly Of the artists that arrive, Scott only focuses on a handful, but the rest are basically dropped At the end, we have the musician couple playing a song, and I forgot who they were because they are not talked about at all since they arrived Some characters get a brief dialog at their introduction, and then they, too, are dropped They served no purpose in the book and I felt they could have been cut Of the characters we do focus on, we keep going back to Anne and Mason Mason was okay, but I couldn t wait for Anne to die of cancer as evil as that sounds She annoyed the crap out of me with her I m a Psychic and people make fun of them, so anyone who talks to me must be making fun of me so I m going to be a bitch to them first attitude I wanted to deck her Hell, I still want to deck her.Mason wassympathetic, but he was a wet towel Adam, as I mentioned, was the only one I really cared about, and I don t normally go for gay storylines Here he is, a man who inherited a lot of money, enough to go to this three month retreat, so his boyfriend can reap the benefits And almost at once, the boyfriend turns into a jackass Now, I don t know if he was supposed to be a jackass before hand and Adam thought this would bring them together, but I really felt for him And after Adam s fate is revealed and his boyfriend is callous, I wished they had switched places To hell with it, SPOILERS Adam dies And no one cares Literally, no one cares Not his boyfriend, Paul Not Anne Not Mason No one The one good character, and he is treated so horribly That sucked.The story doesn t flow right Since every chapter is another character s POV and story, it never flows properly from one section to the next It was very jarring Some chapters ended with what would be cliffhangers, but then I had to reorient myself with the story of the next chapter, and it dampened any scare That being said, I also found the way the story was told to be confusing I had to reread several sections because I felt like I missed something We would go from like Mason doing something, to him thinking about his past, to something elseall on the same page While Scott has some very beautiful writings, it got jumbled in trying to put too much in the story I really didn t care about hearing about Mason s mom or Anne s anger toward her ex every time they were on screen It got in the way of the story The scenery he did fantastically and jumping into back story or following some train of thought in an ADD like track pulled me out of it All in all, this was a better book, and I have oneto review It took three books to fully understand Scott Nicholson I suppose, if you like haunted house stories which, honestly I do , this book isn t bad It could have been better if half the characters were never there and we spentthen one chapter at a time with a character Other then that, it okay Click here to read the full review as it originally appeared on our blog.We ve all seen the set up before A small group of strangers are invited to an opulent mansion beyond the reaches of civilization They get to know each other, somebody dies, strange events ensue, then the waiter comes around with dessert Creative Spirit is anything but bad dinner theatre.The book opens with an introduction to the frantic Sylva She s going to the home of Ephram Korban land baron and occult figure We ge Click here to read the full review as it originally appeared on our blog.We ve all seen the set up before A small group of strangers are invited to an opulent mansion beyond the reaches of civilization They get to know each other, somebody dies, strange events ensue, then the waiter comes around with dessert Creative Spirit is anything but bad dinner theatre.The book opens with an introduction to the frantic Sylva She s going to the home of Ephram Korban land baron and occult figure We get a brief glimpse of the enigmatic Korban as his strange powers emerge and fade into flame.We are then thrown into the modern day mountains of NC, where artists both legitimate and delusional meet for a retreat Some are present because of charity, others because of the enormous wealth they possess At the end of the day it will not matter The mansion has a life all its own It possesses others with its spirit, which tends to make the artists far better than they are, and deceive them into thinking that they are the source of their genius.At its heart, Creative Spirit is a morality play that rails against the twin sins of Vanity and Pride One can only imagine the author returning from yet another party full of stuffed shirts and pretension to a beckoning keyboard It is there he displays the horror of these vices for all to see A pompous writer on the verge of obsolescence returns to the mansion to regain his standing as a literary genius A humble sculptor is transformed from a charity case into a dreamer driven to obsessive madness by the promise of fame The spirit of the mysterious Korban occupies this atmosphere, seemingly guiding these artists to heights previously unknown To what end Amidst all this, Anna stumbles through the twilight of her dreams and treads on ground that is both unstable and eerily familiar Why does she feel so connected to the mansion Is there a reason it feels like home Unlike the others, she seeks neither fame nor fortune Rather, she searches for the answers to her questions, so that she can enjoy the short time she has remaining and die in peace.The remaining cast of characters is fantastic, which is one of the factors that separates a book that is simply ok from a book I recommend Even the most minor characters are well used, and make their appearance at the right time to push the story forward Boy, does this story move, through reality, imagination, and things that stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the border between the two.If could use one word to describe this book, it would be balanced Mystery gives equal time to humor Horror gives way to humanity The dialogue blends effortlessly with description This book is pure fun The plot twists are unexpected Nicholson will make you the victim of your own reason I mentally flogged myself for falling victim to this misdirection many times.Overall, Creative Spirit deserves the 5 stars I am giving it It is creepy in the best way possible It avoids cheap thrills through the use of character development, and builds a feeling of true suspense and dread.This was my first Scott Nicholson book, and I can give you good odds that it won t be my last