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Welcome to my blog! My name is Kim and I write young adult paranormal, mysteries, and thrillers. This blog enables me to share the two things I love: Books and the craft of writing.

Ask the Girl is my debut novel. Murdered in 1925, Kate must seek the help of Lila and her sister to save her from her demon prison.

Book "Ask the Girl" by Kim Bartosch

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Middle-grade Paranormal Mystery: THE CARREFOUR CURSE Book Review

The Addams Family meets The Westing Game in this exhilarating mystery about a modern magical dynasty trapped in the ruins of their once-grand, now-crumbling ancestral home.

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on THE CARREFOUR CURSE by Dianne K. Salerni Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About the Book:


Authors: Dianne K. Salerni

Pub. Date: January 31, 2023

Publisher: Holiday House

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 224

Twelve-year-old Garnet regrets that she doesn’t know her family. Her mother has done her best to keep it that way, living far from the rest of the magical Carrefour clan and their dark, dangerous mansion known as Crossroad House.

But when Garnet finally gets summoned to the estate, it isn’t quite what she hoped for. Her relatives are strange and quarrelsome, each room in Crossroad House is more dilapidated than the last, and she can’t keep straight which dusty hallways and cobwebbed corners are forbidden.

Then Garnet learns the family secret: their dying patriarch fights to retain his life by stealing power from others. Every accident that isn’t an accident, every unexpected illness and unexplained disappearance grants Jasper Carrefour a little more time. While the Carrefours squabbles over who will inherit his role when (if) he dies, Garnet encounters evidence of an even deeper curse. Was she brought to Crossroad House as part of the curse . . . or is she meant to break it?

Written with loads of creepy atmosphere and an edge-of-your-seat magical mystery, this thrilling story reads like The Haunting of Hill House for preteens. Perfect for late-night reading under the covers.


★ "A standout, genre-bending dark fantasy. . . . Salerni enlivens classic horror tropes and gothic ambience, complete with a sentient manor house, blending wry humor with atmospheric descriptions. . . ."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review ★ "Salerni’s gothic charmer is deliciously creepy and atmospheric, building an immersive fantasy world that gently explores intergenerational trauma. . . . An enchanting and evocative tale."—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review ★ "An inventive take on the supernatural that skillfully blends drama, humor, magic and mystery. Salerni's large cast of characters is delightful and each family member is enough of a rounded individual that readers should easily keep track of them all. The puzzle, spook factor and complex family dynamics make this a perfect book for upper middle-grade readers and fans of The Addams Family."—Shelf Awareness, Starred Review "Interconnected mysteries keep readers turning pages, and when they all converge, the payoff is spine-chilling and satisfying."The Horn Book "Fans of The Haunting of Hill House or Schwab’s Gallant will surely stay up late at night reading this heart-pounding novel."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "A fun page-turner that touches on the deeper themes of family, identity, and what it means to pay for the sins of the past."—Booklist "Spooky, dark, and enthralling. I couldn't put it down until every mystery had been solved." —Cassie Beasley, New York Times bestselling author of Circus Mirandus



What a fun book this was to read!! I loved all of the characters and found that I really wish my family had an old magical house and knew how to cast spells. Keep in mind, the Carrefours are not witches, but they do wield magic since the 1700's beginning with Linden Carrefour. Each family member specializes in an earth element, Garnet our main character, and her mom Emerald, talk to stones and uses them to cast spells. Her cousin Holly deals with plants and potions, and her other cousin Windy prefers water and air. Each character is not only unique in their magic abilities but also their characters reflect the elements they wield.

The story begins with Garnet puking up frogs from a curse. Her mother rushes her to the Carrefour family home called the Crossroads House. Garnet has never been there or met any of her family members. So come to find out, she's intentionally caused the curse because she wants to meet her mother's family, whom she hears so much about. But Mom has a good reason why she's kept away, which is shrouded in a mystery from the beginning.

After they arrive, the author does a wonderful job introducing each eccentric family member, including the mysterious Crossroads House. Your mind wonders, what's behind that door, and why did her cousin Linden or LJ say that? Is the grandfather really sick or is he still able to cast spells?

If your middle grader loves a good mystery wrapped in a magical bow and orchestrated by a cast of fun, intriguing characters, then you've found the perfect addition to their library.


About Dianne K. Salerni:

Dianne K. Salerni has written many books for children, including Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts and Jadie in Five Dimensions. After teaching elementary school for twenty-five years, Dianne now spends her time hanging around creepy cemeteries and climbing 2,000-year-old pyramids for book research. Visit her online at

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE CARREFOUR CURSE, US Only.

Ends May 2nd, midnight EST.


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