Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Release Day! That's the Spirit by Mallory Pierce ~ My Thoughts, an Excerpt, and a #Giveaway! #ThatsTheSpirit @MalloryPAuthor

Happy Release Day!

Congrats Mallory
on the release today of
That's the Spirit!

That's the Spirit by Mallory Pierce
Paranormal Cozy Mystery, 285 pages
Published October 5, 2022

He’s on a deadline; she's just . . . dead.

Brought back from the other side by a séance, Gwendolyn Frink has been roaming the halls of her family’s Victorian house for more than a century. She can’t communicate with the living, she can’t leave the premises, and she can’t stand feeling useless.

Enter Nolan Drake, aka the Guru of Gore. Suffering from a wicked case of writer’s block, the best-selling horror author purchases the empty Victorian, thinking a change of scenery from Manhattan to upstate New York might get his creative juices flowing again.

Gwen is thrilled to have a new housemate even when he turns out to be an antisocial, coffee-guzzling grump—spectral beggars can’t be choosers, right?

Nolan is not thrilled when he discovers his real estate agent's dead body in the attic of the Victorian along with its resident ghost—a very talkative, opinionated ghost who insists on him helping her solve the murder of Morgan Charles.

Can this unlikely investigative duo crack the case so that the streets of Woebrook will be safe for the town’s annual Festival of Frights? Or will they run afoul of the wrong person, dooming them both to haunt the Victorian, and drive each other batty, for eternity?

If you enjoy sassy sleuths and supernatural shenanigans, That’s the Spirit! is the book for you! It’s similar in tone and content to the works of Paranormal Cozy Mystery authors Angie Fox, Erin Huss, and Annabel Chase.


My thoughts about That's the Spirit ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First line—"Death was a colossal bore."

Oh my goodness! This was such a fun book to read! I immediately fell in love with Gwendolyn Frink, the resident ghost trapped in her old home. Gwen is a hoot, I love her sense of humor and intelligence. Honestly, there were quite a few LOL moments as I got to know her and how her mind works.  

When she meets the new owner of the house, writer Nolan Drake, the real fun begins. The chemistry between these two characters takes the reader on a joy ride, as they try to solve the mystery of the dead real estate agent that they discovered in the attic. You know nothing can come of them, romantically.... you know....because she's a ghost....but you sure would like it to. They play off each other so beautifully. 

I loved how they worked together, in very unconventional ways mind you, to help solve the murder mystery. The situations they found themselves in were hysterical but ingenious as far as crime solving goes. 

The entire story was delightful and entertaining and the ending left a perfect opening for the next story. I am so excited for this series and I can't wait for more!! 

I can't recommend That's the Spirit! enough. It's the perfect story to read anytime but especially now, as it's based around Halloween and has a ghost as a main character. Lovers of romcoms, cozies, and light paranormal will fall in love with these characters and this series. 5 🌟 read for me! 

Psst! Check out the giveaway below to win a Kindle copy of That's the Spirit!

I received a copy of That's the Spirit from the author and this is my honest opinion of the book.


by Mallory Pierce

“Mr. Drake! Mr. Drake!” I tapped his cheek with my fingers even though I knew he wouldn’t feel it. “Wake up, Mr. Drake!”

His eyelids fluttered and he groaned. “You’re only a figment of my imagination, so no need for formality. Call me Nolan.”

“Now I’m a figment of your imagination? My goodness, you are stubborn! Why won’t you just accept that I’m a ghost?”

“Because”— he struggled to push himself up to a sitting position— “it’s too weird and I might write weird, but I don’t want to live it. Ow!” Clutching the back of his head, he grimaced in pain.

“Look me in the eye,” I instructed.

“No way!” He pushed his spectacles, which were askew thanks to his fall, back up his nose and averted his gaze. “I’m not going to let you put the ghost whammy on me.”

“I’m not a ghost, remember? And a figment of your imagination cannot put a whammy, whatever that is, on you. You might have incurred a serious injury when your occipital bone struck the floor, but I can’t determine that without further examination.”

“Occipital—what’s with you and all the fancy, medical terms?” He asked, turning back toward me. “You said asphyxial earlier.”

“My father was a physician. I spent a great deal of time at his office and sometimes assisted him with patients, so I have a good deal of medical knowledge.”

I leaned in so that I could stare into his eyes, which were a lovely shade of hazel with green on the outer portion of the iris and a ring of golden brown around the pupil. Something about their color struck me as being familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on why.

“Your pupils are the same size, and they aren’t dilated,” I announced, “so that’s a good sign. Do you feel nauseated or have ringing in your ears?”

“No, but I think I’ve lost my sense of smell because I’m not gagging on Eau de Dead Real Estate Agent anymore. She’s still over there, right?” He inclined his head to the left but didn’t glance in that direction.

“I’m afraid so. Your nose has probably just adjusted to the scent of her decompo—”

“Please stop,” he requested, looking very green around the gills, “or I’ll have to change my answer about being nauseated.”

“You’re quite squeamish for someone in your line of work. It’s not like Miss Charles’ death was as gruesome as the ones you write about, and her body is still in the first stage of decomposition. It hasn’t even started to bloat ye—” 

“I’m out!” Nolan declared, standing up so fast that he swayed precariously and had to grab onto the rocking horse to steady himself. 

About the author

Mallory Pierce is a third-generation graveyard enthusiast (tombstones tell such interesting stories!), reader of Nancy Drew, player of Clue, devout dissectologist (look it up!), and the owner of several fetching trench coats. So, it makes perfect sense that she spends her days writing stories about a plucky, crime-solving ghost.

Despite having visited haunted houses from San Jose to Savannah, Mallory has yet to have a close encounter with anyone from the Great Beyond and that’s probably for the best because she’s sort of a wimp. Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone.
That’s the Spirit! is the first of what will hopefully be many Paranormal Cozy Mysteries penned by Mallory Pierce, which is a pseudonym of award-winning Romantic Comedy author Tracie Banister.

Connect with Mallory


Be sure to check the sidebar for all of my current giveaways!


  1. Thanks so much for the wonderful review, Susan! I'm thrilled to know you enjoyed the book and the Gwen/Nolan partnership. And I appreciate you doing a giveaway of That's the Spirit--that's so generous!

  2. Would love to read your new book. I also find gravesite interesting.


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