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One Hundred Candles

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It's taken a long time for me to feel like a normal teenager. But now that I'm settled in a new school, where people know me as more than Charlotte Silver of the infamous Silver family paranormal investigators, it feels like everything is falling into place. And what better way to be normal than to go on a date with a popular football star like Harris Abbott? After all, it's not as if Noah is anything more than a friend?.

But my new life takes a disturbing turn when Harris ...

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2011 Trade paperback FinePristine text, a touch of wear. Ultra FAST shipping! Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 235 p. Harlequin Teen. Audience: Children/juvenile; Young ... adult. Read more Show Less

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One Hundred Candles

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Overview

It's taken a long time for me to feel like a normal teenager. But now that I'm settled in a new school, where people know me as more than Charlotte Silver of the infamous Silver family paranormal investigators, it feels like everything is falling into place. And what better way to be normal than to go on a date with a popular football star like Harris Abbott? After all, it's not as if Noah is anything more than a friend….

But my new life takes a disturbing turn when Harris brings me to a party and we play a game called One Hundred Candles. It seems like harmless, ghostly fun. Until spirits unleashed by the game start showing up at school. Now my friends and family are in very real danger, and the door that I've opened into another realm may yield deadly consequences.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373210237
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 2/15/2011
  • Series: Past Midnight Series , #3
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 240
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Read an Excerpt

I would never get used to spending Christmas in an insane asylum. My parents laughed and said that, after seventeen years, I should have looked forward to it, but I would much rather sit in front of a roaring fire with a mug of hot chocolate listening to Christmas carols instead of this year's version of holiday cheer: roaming the barren hallways of an empty sanitarium in a quest for restless energy.

After opening presents in yet another beige-and-floral hotel room and wolfing down the hotel's complimentary cinnamon rolls, my family piled into our van and drove nearly an hour west of Cleveland to Lake Sanitarium, a somber-looking brick monstrosity that was, despite its name, located nowhere near a lake. Dad opened the massive front doors by shoving against them with his entire body. My teeth chattered as the five of us climbed the stairs, our footsteps echoing until we reached a large, empty room on the third floor.

"It's colder inside than it is outside," I muttered to my sister when we reached our destination.

"Welcome to Ohio," Annalise replied. "It's supposed to be nearly seventy degrees back home today."

I groaned and thought of our house in South Carolina. I could picture my best friend, Avery, taking her little dog for a warm winter walk, shading her eyes from the sunlight. Or Noah, who told me that he grilled steaks for his mom every Christmas. And Jared—well, I didn't know what Jared did for the holidays. We were friends, but he was an intensely private person, and he rarely offered details about his life.

I glanced out one of the grimy, narrow windows onto the sprawling white lawn of the sanitarium. The perfectly undisturbed snow was lovely to look at, but I was too cold to enjoy it.

"How are we doing, girls?" Dad clapped his hands together and walked over to where Annalise and I stood huddled in the corner.

"We're freezing." I could see my breath, which was the same pale color as the cinder-block walls.

"Well, the best way to stay warm is to keep moving. How about helping Shane with the equipment?"

I sighed, sending another puff of white into the air, and hurried across the empty room. There was no furniture to offer a clue of what the space had once been used for, but I guessed it had served as a massive holding area for the insane people who had lived there decades earlier. I knew the building had housed thousands of dejected people. Many of them had died here, as well, earning it the nickname Last Stop Lake.

"Hey, kid, can you give me a hand?" Shane was struggling to sort through a nest of cables and camera wires. I knelt down next to him and began picking through the different cables.

"This is a mess," I complained. Shane was usually more organized. He'd worked as my parents' full-time cameraman since I was a baby, traveling all over the world with us to produce documentaries about the paranormal. I'd never seen his equipment so scattered.

"It's a little chaotic," Shane admitted. "Been distracted lately, I guess."

I snorted. "Distracted, huh? I wonder what's causing that?"

He shot me a look but said nothing. Shane had begun dating Trisha, the mother of my friend Noah, right around Halloween. They were always together, it seemed, and while I liked seeing Shane crazy about someone, Noah was not nearly as thrilled.

"She's acting like a teenager!" he told me during AV. It was the one class we shared together, and we usually worked as a team to edit the daily school news footage. "I'm supposed to be doing this, not her."

"And anyone in particular you'd like to be immature over?" I teased him.

His eyes had widened and he immediately blushed. I suspected he harbored a little bit of a crush on a freshman girl I'd seen hanging around his locker, but he hadn't admitted to it yet, and I didn't ask a lot of questions. We had gone to homecoming together, an event I thought might lead to something more. At the end of the night, though, he'd just smiled, said he had a great time and left. That was it. I was totally confused, but Avery said that maybe Noah and I were destined to be good friends. Since I would be graduating in a few months, it didn't make a lot of sense to start something with a junior, but I had been hoping that Noah and I could be more than just "friends."

After sorting through the web of wires, I helped Shane set up a tripod, then returned to a corner of the huge room and pulled out my cell phone. Being the daughter of paranormal investigators provided a few perks. My parents were always buying different gadgets, and they appreciated great technology, so when I asked for a new cell phone for Christmas they gave me the best one they could find. While they set up their equipment to begin their research, I stood by the window and attempted to download my email.

"Hey, Charlotte. Do you have a signal yet?" Annalise walked over, gathering her long black hair into a ponytail. My sister had gorgeous wavy hair, just like our mom. I, on the other hand, inherited our dad's straight locks, which I'd recently chopped shorter, so that it was just long enough to tuck behind my ears.

"It's faint," I told Annalise.

She sat on the cement floor. "I can't believe how much I miss Mills."

I rolled my eyes. "It's only been three days." "It feels like three years."

I'd never seen my older sister so head-over-heels for a guy. I'd met Mills two months earlier, in Charleston. Annalise was a junior at the college there and Mills was a grad student. We were in Charleston to put an end to a seriously supernatural situation, but our gathering had also served to introduce Mills to the family. Mom loved him. Dad was not as thrilled.

"He's a little old for her, isn't he?" he asked me the day after we met Mills.

"He's just a couple years older," I pointed out. "Besides, aren't you five years older than Mom?"

"That's not the point," he grumbled.

I wondered if Dad would have the same disgruntled reaction when I began introducing guys to the family. Of course, I didn't see that happening in the immediate future, but still. A girl could wish. I finally felt somewhat secure in my life since we had moved to South Carolina at the end of the summer. I had a bedroom that was completely unpacked, whereas in the past I'd always used moving boxes as my dresser. I would be graduating from Lincoln High in the spring instead of transferring to yet another high school. And best of all, I had friends who knew what my parents did for a living and still chose to be associated with me. Things were great, but there was still something missing from my life.

Or, more accurately, someone was missing.

I wanted to meet a guy, someone I could spend time with and share inside jokes with and curl up next to. Someone who would take me to the movies or out to eat and, most importantly, to the prom. More than anything, I wanted to go to prom, if only because it seemed like the most glamorously normal thing I could do.

"Girls?" Mom called from across the large room. Her voice echoed. "Any sign of him?"

Annalise stood up and looked out the window. "Not yet."

We were waiting for Leonard Zelden, a "renowned de-monologist" and bestselling author who was already an hour late. My parents weren't happy about having to accommodate someone whose work conflicted with their own, but it was the only way they could get permission to film and research in the abandoned asylum. The owner of the building knew Zelden, and had promised us full access to the property on the condition that Zelden was present to document his own findings, which would undoubtedly find their way into yet another fat, glossy book.

My parents were known as debunkers; that is, they went into a "haunted" place and methodically uncovered evidence to prove that paranormal happenings were, in fact, just plain normal. They also worked under the theory that strange occurrences were often caused by harmless residual energy. Dad was a staunch believer in the effects of energy. Mom had been, too—until two months ago. Now she was beginning to research different theories about the paranormal, theories my Dad absolutely rejected. It was causing some tension at home, and I hoped it wouldn't spill over into their documentaries. They had obviously decided to set aside their professional differences for the holiday, which I appreciated. It was weird enough to be checking the lights on a camera instead of on a Christmas tree, without the added stress of yet another parental disagreement to deal with.

Annalise sighed and wandered off to wallow in her longing for Mills while I tried to force my new phone to show signs of life. It was hopeless. Nothing could get through the thick concrete walls of Lake Sanitarium.

"Someone's here," Shane announced. We all stood at different windows and watched as a sleek white car slithered up the winding driveway and parked in front of the entrance. The graceful curves of Zelden's vehicle were a sharp contrast to our bulky van, which was painted black with the word Doubt stretched across it in tall silver letters. A young man got out of the driver's side and quickly opened the back door. An older man wearing a gray wool coat and hat emerged. He surveyed his surroundings and said something to the driver, who scurried to open the trunk.

"I already despise this guy," Dad muttered.

"He's not even helping with the camera," Shane pointed out. "What a tool."

"Be nice," Mom warned.

We heard footsteps thumping up the stairs and turned to greet our late guest. Zelden entered the room and immediately walked over to Mom, smiling wide and taking both her hands in his.

"Karen Silver! So lovely to finally meet you! I've heard marvelous things about you."

Mom was flustered. "Oh. Well, it's lovely to meet you, too."

Dad stepped forward. "Mr. Zelden, I'm Patrick Silver."

Zelden frowned. "It's Doctor Zelden, if you don't mind. I do hold a doctorate in theology, you know."

Dad gave him a stiff smile. "Of course."

Both my parents held doctorates in psychology, but they never referred to themselves as doctors. They said that title should be reserved for people who could actually save lives, not just write a thesis.

Zelden's assistant stumbled into the room, struggling under the weight of the video equipment. "Over there, Marcus," Zelden said in an unconcerned voice. He turned back to my mother. "Good assistants are so difficult to acquire," he said, winking. "Marcus has been with me for two years, and I'm still training him."

Mom nodded. "Dr. Zelden, I'd like to introduce you to our daughters." Annalise and I stepped forward, but Zelden was looking at Shane, who was positioning the tripod.

"Is that on?" he asked.

Shane grunted yes, and Zelden positioned himself directly in front of the camera. "As you can see, I travel without an entourage," he said, his voice louder. "I believe the pursuit of truth is a somewhat solitary calling, and, even though my devoted fans have often offered to help me with my research, I choose to focus purely on the work, with only minimal distractions." He glanced at me and Annalise.

"Our daughters are not a distraction," Dad said, clearly insulted. "They've been assisting us since they learned to walk."

Zelden smiled. "Of course. Now, where should we begin?"

While Marcus the Assistant made trips up and down the stairs to retrieve cameras, candles and coffee for his boss, Zelden and my parents went on a tour of the building to get

a "feel for the energy." Shane followed with his video camera. Annalise and I stayed behind with Marcus.

"Merry Christmas," Annalise said to him as he hunched over a camera.

He looked up. "I'd forgotten that was today."

"How could you forget Christmas?" I asked.

Marcus shrugged. "Dr. Zelden doesn't celebrate the traditional holidays."

"No kidding." I was ticked that we were spending the day researching. It had been Zelden's decision to work on December twenty-fifth. While my parents usually scheduled something around the holiday, we rarely spent the actual day doing anything besides lounging around in a hotel watching classic movies and eating too much fudge. I studied Marcus as he pulled fat white candles from a cardboard box. He looked to be about college age, and was dressed like his boss: dark dress pants and a white-collared shirt with a tie. Again, it was a stark contrast to my family. We were wearing jeans and sweatshirts beneath our heavy coats.

I offered to help Marcus set up, but he firmly rebuffed me, saying that Dr. Zelden expected things to be done precisely.

"No offense," he said. "It's just that I can't allow any mistakes. It could interfere with his process."

I knelt down on the cold floor next to him. "What is his process?" I knew a little about Zelden's work, but it was mainly through what I'd heard my parents say, and none of it was flattering. They saw him as a complete fraud, although Zelden's book sales indicated that many people believed the opposite. He claimed to contact demons who resided in people's homes or businesses and "send them back to their place of origin." My parents scoffed at not only the concept of demons, but also the idea that one could summon and control something supposedly so powerful.

Marcus considered my question as he arranged the candles in a circle on the floor. "He's very guarded about the process. I don't completely understand it, and I've watched him work hundreds of times." He stood up and surveyed his work, then knelt down again to move a candle so it was perfectly aligned with the others. "The spirits speak through him," he continued. "His entire body changes. His voice becomes something otherworldly. It's fascinating."

"It sounds, uh, fascinating," I said.

Marcus smiled. "It's okay if you don't believe in it. You will, though. Before today is over, you'll get it."

I seriously doubted that Zelden's performance would convince me of anything other than his acting abilities, but I nodded. Marcus stood up.

"Is that them?" he asked, looking toward the doorway. "That was quick."

I followed his gaze but didn't see anything. "They're probably on another floor by now."

He frowned. "I heard voices."

"I don't hear anything."

Marcus returned to his work and I wandered over to Anna-lise, who was blowing into her hands to warm them up.

"What'd Marcus have to say?" she asked.

I shrugged. "Nothing much. He says we'll be amazed by Zelden's process."

"Unlikely." She looked around. "Where are they? I want to get this thing over with so we can go somewhere that actually has heat."

The group returned ten minutes later, Zelden leading the way. "Are we ready?" he asked Marcus. "Yes, sir."

"Very well, then. May I have everyone gather around the candles?"

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Worth the Read

    Another great book in a really great series! You really need to read the first book 'Past Midnight' first.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved this book

    I really love this book well all the books in this series. I really like the fact that the main character doesnt have any powers and she gets by with her smarts its a nice change from the vampire books and warewolf and such (dont get me worng i read those too) I think most should try well really like

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The exciting sequel to Past Midnight is a fun teen angst paranormal thriller

    An hour west of Cleveland at the Lake Sanitarium insane asylum, Charlotte Silver and her sister Annalise assist her famous parents (Patrick and Karen) and Shane their cameraman on their research into paranormal activity.when the Guardian of the Gate possesses dubious colleague Dr. Zeldon in what the Silver crew know is a sham. At the asylum, there is an otherworldly essence; the Watcher notices the Silver team, but makes his presence known through Zeldon's assistant to Charlotte.

    Besides an apparent demon, Charlotte has bigger personal concerns as the teen fears that the relationship between her father and mother, which she thought loving and forever, seems at an end. The teen would prefer to live a normal life as she has travels around the world with her parents mostly debunking claims of otherworldly phenomena, but not to have it end by the marriage ending.

    Meanwhile, Charlotte is excited to be going out on a normal date with school football star Harris Abbot though she muses on going out with her friend Noah. As the Watcher sets in motion snuffing out the life of Charlotte, Harris seems to want more from her than she is ready to give him; especially at a party where the kids play One Hundred Candles, which will prove spiritually deadly.

    The exciting sequel to Past Midnight is a fun teen angst paranormal thriller starring a realistic family dealing with paranormal phenomena. The key is that the four Silvers and Shane act normal including reacting in a way to what they encounter in a plausible manner. Young adult readers will appreciate One Hundred Candles as Marla Purnhagen goes golden with this enjoyable teen urban fantasy.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Impossible to put down!

    Until recently, Charlotte Silver has been the youngest in a globe-trotting, nomadic family of ghost debunkers. Stability is something she has never known but has always wanted. Finally, her family has decided it is time to form a home base, and Charlotte is thrilled. She has a new best friend, cute boys, and a social life. She is starting to feel as if she belongs, has a home.

    This is the second full-length book in the series, following the first, Past Midnight, and a bridging novella, Raising the Dead (only available online). I think it is my favorite of the series thus far. It has all the thrills and chills necessary for a great ghost story, but this book is so much more than that. Purnhagan has created a story in which the paranormal themes ride right alongside the mundane. The blend is perfect, allowing the everyday drama of Charlotte's life to be just as important. Charlotte is a wonderful lead character, entirely believable and relatable. The emotional pull between the characters drew me into the story just as much as the paranormal aspect.

    One of things that I truly love about this series, beyond the blend of the paranormal and the mundane, is the character creation. All of the characters, both main and supporting, are equally well-developed. That, in my opinion, creates a better, fuller backdrop for the main characters and the plot.

    Next up is Haunting the Night, also available only online.

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    Read in Two Nights

    Put simply, I loved this book! I read it in just two sittings, not wanting to put it down in between. The characters are strong, well-developed and real. I didn't find myself getting bored or frustrated with them. They were not over-the-top like some YA novels I have read. Charlotte is an easily likable character who craves normal actually. And her relationships with her family and friends, even romantic, are realistic and complex at the same time. The parents' occupations as debunkers of the paranormal were an original and wonderful idea.
    The solid writing in this novel did not leave you guessing at the paranormal elements and therefore easily built suspense with elements of the unknown. Enough was revealed and enough was held back. I think the amount of subplots and plot twists added to the novel, grabbing the reader and not letting go. The author does a great job of raising tension, a nice build with subtle hints and lots of plot hooks.
    I found this book to be wonderfully creepy and truly haunting. Rarely does a book surprise me, but this one did. I can't say exactly how or why, but this story walked that thin line between scary and entertaining and age appropriate situations. As a mom, I enjoyed it myself and would have no qualms letting my teens read it. In fact, I think it would be fun to discuss. As a former English teacher, it also touched upon enough of life's issues like divorce and death that I think it would make a worthy class read.
    If you are a fan of ghost stories, I highly recommend it no matter what your age.

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    Verrry goood

    I was not aware that this was a series until after i finished the book but i still love it regardless of the fact that i didnt read the first book. Ill tell you, one of the scenes was actually pretty scary. I loveeed all the characters and the plot as well. If you like a good book, and a chea one at that, fo ahead and try it.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Even Better than the First One

    With every one of Mara Purnhagen's books I read I come to like her more and more as an author, and with One Hundred Candles this trend has continued thankfully. Because not only is One Hundred Candles Mara's best book yet, but this one is filled with even more suspense, romance, and intrigue than its prequel Past Midnight.

    One Hundred Candles begins on Charlotte Silver's Christmas day, and while most families spend the day relaxing and having fun at home, Charlotte's doesn't, though, they've never been one to be normal. Instead they are spending their day at a empty and supposedly haunted sanitarium filming a segment for one of Charlotte's parents' documentaries. Though, a quick trip to the sanitarium soon turns deadly, landing Charlotte in the ER with a bruised arm and her parents in one of their biggest clashes ever. Returning home Charlotte hopes everything will quickly return to normal, though everything soon goes amiss when she plays a game called One Hundred Candles at a party. With the game comes mysteries and paranormal happenings, as well as the most deadly energies Charlotte's dealt with yet. So, will Charlotte be able to rise to the task and finish it off once and for all, or will she fail at the task? Better yet, what about Harris, the new guy who is paying attention to her? Does he truly like her, or this something more sinister to his intentions? Only time will tell in this deadly and spooky follow up to Past Midnight!

    In this fantastic, action packed sequel there's more of everything- plot development, character development, you name it...

    Though, my absolutely favorite out all of it was the character development. In Past Midnight, I was only to quickly come to like Charlotte and in One Hundred Candles this trend continued. One of the things I love most about Charlotte is her spunk that always leads her to be fearless when it comes to helping her friends and family out and in this addition this trait continued to be prevalent. Better yet, I loved how Charlotte got some romance in this one, because not only did it lead to an interesting sub-plot, but it also lead to some much needed tension between Charlotte and her friend Noah, a guy who may just be perfect for Charlotte if they gave each other a chance.

    Adding to this, I loved the plot of this book. It was filled with enough action and suspense to keep my hands stuck to the pages like glue. I was ceaselessly wondering what would occur next, especially when it came to the events following the One Hundred Candles game. And while I'm one to get annoyed with cliff-hanger endings, the one at the end of One Hundred Candles was fabulous and well worth the frustration I'm now feeling over having to wait until Fall '11 to find out what will happen next.

    In all, if you're a fan of paranormal books, be sure to pick up Past Midnight as well as One Hundred Candles. These are two books that are sure to rock your world and they may even add a certain new author to your list of favorite authors ever!

    Grade: A+

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  • Posted May 9, 2011

    Courtesy of Readergirl Reviews a Teen Book

    This story was somewhat different from what I'm used to reading, but I am glad I picked it up. I don't typically do haunting type stories, but the idea behind a family of paranormal investigators was too interesting to pass up.

    I was pleasantly surprised, and found myself enjoying the story. It had a fast-paced, intriguing and mysterious quality to it that held my interest. Charlotte was a great character because she was smart, brave, and reasoned her way through some of the unusual occurrences that she found herself involved in. There were times in the story that I found eerie, but in a good way, as there were some truly creepy elements that had the hair standing up on my arms. This only added to the appeal though.

    If I had any complaints about the book, it might be two things. 1. Obviously this is a sequel book, and I found that some elements of the story were missing for me in the sense that the author left a lot of information out, trusting to the fact that the reader must already be aware of events in the prior book. This wasn't the case though. I would have liked it if some things had been explained a little bit better. There were times I felt led around by the nose, and times when someone would refer to something that hadn't happened in this book, but that had a huge impact on this book's events. Yet, it was never explained.

    2. I felt that the romance really took a back seat in the book, to be almost non-existent. I'm a romance-y sort of girl, so I really missed out on that aspect and didn't feel like I got quite enough development in that area.

    On the whole, however, this was a highly enjoyable book that makes me want to go back and read the first to understand things better. I will definitely keep an eye out for more from this author in future.

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Fun Read!

    One Hundred Candles was an excellent second installment of the Past Midnight series by Mara Purnhagen. The first title, Past Midnight, was refreshing take on ghosts in the realm of paranormal novels, and One Hundred Candles only builds upon the first, satisfying one's thirst for more of the Silver family. Charlotte, the protagonist, is a selfless character who's compassionate and is effortless to love. The way she manages the situation with her family and friends after the hundred candles game fiasco is written in an authentic and rational way. Authors these days seem to have a difficult time writing teenage characters in today's time, but luckily Purnhagen pulls it off with grace, her character building refined to an art. Not only does Charlotte have to handle her home life (that's currently falling apart), but also her peers and the supernatural. And the unsupernatural as well.

    The school undergoes several pranks to generate the feel of the place being haunted, while Charlotte tries to disprove the disturbances. She also begins to date an oh-so-hot boy at school who ends up using her for her parents' services to remove a ghost from his girlfriend's (GASP!) house. It was in this moment I realized how well the character Charlotte was written. She is just enough of a teenager to be believable but also enough of an adult for her not to be annoying. Finally an author who can portray a young adult character that acts like a teenager growing into an adult. Bravo!

    This book was provided by the publisher, and I'm grateful for the opportunity. Though I had seen Punhagen's books, it was the offer to read and review this one that made me buy the first. For my paranormal lovers, I would recommend this series. Not only is it original, it's also written with elegance. I have to say thank you to whoever the editor was for finally understanding the rules of grammar!

    Now, quit reading my review and go buy this series. It's available as an ebook for a reasonable price! :)

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Blowing out candles has never been so spooky!

    The beginning didn't really catch my interest as Charlotte bemoaned her "single lady" state, but when we get to the ghost stories gone real, I admit that I had trouble sleeping that night! one hundred candles was a little confusing - I think mostly because there might be a book before it that hopefully explains what happened to Charlotte before now, but partly due to trying to build the suspense without giving too much away.

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  • Posted February 22, 2011

    Fantastic Read

    Charlotte Silver is not afraid of ghosts. She's been studying them with her scientific team parents, debunking them as myths, since she could walk. But things seem to be changing after an incident at a "haunted" asylum over the holidays. When a seemingly possessed cameraman grabs her arm and inflicts pain with a haunting warning, things start going haywire at Charlotte's high school, where all she wants to do is fit in. Everyone is seeing ghosts everywhere, which may or may not be the result of a spooky New Year's Eve party where Charlotte finally made a boyfriend connection.

    I don't usually read paranormal, but the blurb for One Hundred Candles caught my attention. I whizzed breathlessly through the novel in one sitting. I love first person done well and this definitely gets the job done. One Hundred Candles has a riveting point of view, smooth plotting and includes all of the usual but empathetic angst of being a teenager.

    Charlotte is an easy character to relate to, and her devoted best friend, Noah, is quite the catch, even if she's distracted by her new jock boyfriend. I liked the high school setting and really felt the bond between Charlotte and her family. Her feelings for her quirky parents are strong and respectful, and her pain is felt as she endures the challenges of watching adults try to make things work.

    The strong supernatural elements in this story are chilling and unraveled at a good pace until demons are at the doorstep. Ms. Purnhagan does an excellent job making both worlds believable and logical. She is careful not to go overboard into darkness, and focuses on the goodness and light beyond the villains from other realms.

    Purnhagan also has a unique writing style that stands out. Each chapter begins a new experience, that begins at an end and backtracks seamlessly. It's quite a feat, and I stand in awe of how this worked for the storyline.

    In my opinion, the book is for older teens, not tweens, as alcohol makes mention along with the sweet romantic storyline, but I think these were handled tactfully, and I appreciated that. I also liked the science woven into the fear factor. It helped alleviate some of the supernatural angles which some parents might be uncomfortable having their children read. That being said, I will recommend this to my teens, and I'm pretty protective.

    With clever writing, this is a unique series that I suspect has superstar potential. I'm glad I picked it up--I feel like I'm ahead of the crowd and suspect I will be hearing a lot more about the series.

    If you enjoyed Twilight or the Harry Potter series, you will love this book. I'm picking up the first volume in the series very soon!

    Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews.

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  • Posted February 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    One Hundred Candles

    Charlotte Silver and her family are spending Christmas investigating an insane asylum in Cleveland Ohio, I guess I need to back up a bit and explain who the Silver's are! They are a family of debunkers, who go around investigating haunted sites to prove that usually there is a normal explanation for whatever the reported hauntings are. They are investigating the insane asylum with demonologist Leonard Zelden and his assistant Marcus. When Marcus becomes posessed by an other worldly force called the Watcher, Charlotte finds herself accosted by the Watcher, and in addition to physically grabbing her arm so forcefully it results in wearing a sling for six weeks, he also tells her "that the curtain has been pushed back to far, and that their is a price to be paid!" Charlotte is happy to be living as a normal teen, a senior in high school, even though her friends know what her parents do for a living they still accept her.She has a best friend, and also went to homecoming with Noah. She isn't sure what happened though after homecoming, because while she really liked Noah he seemed to distance himself after the date. When she goes to a New Year's Eve party where a game called One Hundred Candles is played, weird things start happening at school, Charlotte is able to debunk alot of the strange happenings but a few things can't be explained, causing her to wonder if perhaps it has something to do with her strange encounter with the Watcher!With all this going on, Charlotte's parents are at odds, fighting all of the time, which causes Charlotte to fear that it could be the end of her parents marriage. This is a fantastic sequel to "Past Midnight", Charlotte is such a strong, yet like able character. She is finally living the life of a normal teen, which means dating, prom etc, but she is also a part of the Silver paranormal debunking team which throws in the paranormal drama, that I love! I find it refreshing that the author is able to pull Charlotte's family into the story in such a major way. This story never had a down time, and the ending leaves me anxious to read the next book in the series! I think this book could easily be read as a stand alone work because the author provides enough background information so that you don't feel lost, although I recommend picking up "Past Midnight" because it was such a fantastic story that you won't want to miss it! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.

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  • Posted February 18, 2011

    Fast and Fun

    I enjoyed this addition to the series much more than I did the first book, Past Midnight. While Past Midnight was slow for me at times, the pacing in this book was great. It keep me guessing, keep me turning the pages to find out what would happen next. There was a lot more action and a lot more mystery.

    This time around, not only is Charlotte dealing with school drama, boyfriend problems, and parents who are always fighting, she is also dealing with with something stalking her that isn't exactly human. I love that this series concentrates just as much or the mortal problems that Charlotte deals with as it does the paranormal element.

    I love that Charlotte is a girl like anyone, with no extra special powers, no added advantages. She has to figure out how to deal with the paranormal world around her and find the strength within herself and her family and friends to face things down. She has a great support system of characters that are very enjoyable to read.

    Overall, this was a great mystery, but even more a coming-of-age story. Enjoyable, fast, and fun read that I think will appeal to most YA fans.

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!

    Things are never normal in Charlotte Silver's life. Since the last book she has grown immensely and is still having problems with ghost. After attending a party playing a ghost game, all of sudden all the stories are coming true. Some students are scared, while others are excited. But Charlotte looks deeper realizing it is not as all as it seems. Its something much more.

    I will go straight into it and say this book lost it pizazz from the first book. I still enjoyed reading it. I just felt like something was missing. Charlotte's character felt different. She has matured in a lot of ways. This time in the book the ghost are not the only problem as much as the drama. The drama in this book was intense. As things always go in Charlotte's life she is faced with fighting parents. I admit that this hurt me. Only because I have been there done that with the fighting parents and its not cool. It put an extreme amount of stress on Charlotte. I do like that it gave a fresh prospective on real life. Cause lets face it. Life is not perfect, not even our parents.

    The boy drama had me fuming. I thought the guy was selfish and a jerk. I like the way Charlotte handled it. I would have done the same thing. For one thing, her best friend is awesome and a life saver. I loved how she was always there for her and always had her door open. Charlotte need help and she got it.

    This book does contain major life drama like a roller coaster. I was mad, angry, upset, and I even cried because I felt so bad. I just really wanted to hug Charlotte and make all the bad things go away. I am happy that things did turned out okay in the end.

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  • Posted February 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Sequel to Past Midnight

    After the disturbing situation in Charleston, Charlotte Silver's life is finally settling down. She's got steady friends and even a boy or two interested in her. But this comfort is short-lived. Another creepy happening occurs on a mission with her folks, and things go downhill shortly after that. A weekend party makes things worse a few days later. Throw in the increasing fights and awkwardness between Charlotte's mom and dad, and it is going to be a really rough time!

    Have you read Past Midnight? I liked it, and was looking forward to meeting more ghosts with Charlotte and the family. This sequel started off with a fairly spooky scene, but there weren't nearly the scares in this one as there were in the first book. Which was okay with me, honestly. It lended more time to get to know Charlotte and develop some of the relationships around her. I liked the premise of the ghost story - that of one hundred candles being lit over stories. Clever! Fans will definitely want to check out the short ebook Raising the Dead and then book three, Beyond the Grave, when it comes out in September.

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