Pamela McCord writes novels, in addition to her day job as a legal secretary at a law firm in Orange County. She started writing later in life when a friend challenged her to create a book out of one of his story ideas. Surprisingly, she found out she could do it! An avid reader, she’s written several books , in several genres. Romance, middle grade and paranormal comprise most of her work. Pam lives in Southern California with her beautiful, but deadly, cat Allie, who in 2013 starred in her own episode of My Cat From Hell.
“This spunky heroine sees dead people, to readers’ delight. What results is a winning, lighthearted paranormal
tale for all ages.”
– Kirkus Reviews
Three high school ghostbusters investigate a haunted antiques shop in this YA mystery.
In their first two adventures, Pekin Dewlap and her friends Scout and Amber of Springdale tackled supernatural disturbances with great success, forming a business called The Ghost Company. This summer, the teenagers have a new client in Matt Cooley. Poltergeistlike phenomena in his antiques shop are scaring away customers. With help from their medium friend Mildew Willingham and Miranda Talbert, a specter they previously rescued who has stuck around, the friends make contact with the shop’s ghost. She’s Althea, Matt’s recently deceased mother, who says she’s lonely and only wants her son to notice her: “When Mattie didn’t pay any attention to me, I got madder and madder.” Matt is intensely Type A and doesn’t possess the calm that might allow him to see or hear her, but he agrees to regular get-togethers. Unfortunately, it soon becomes evident that Althea’s true purpose is more nefarious. The Ghosties are challenged to perform a removal ritual that will stick while Pekin deals with jealousy and insecurity that could threaten her relationship with Scout, a childhood friendship that has recently become romantic. In this third series outing, McCord offers the genuinely disturbing prospect of a ghost intending to drain her own son’s life energy. The author keeps this plot element from becoming overly dark through the contrast of more mundane teenage concerns, such as Pekin’s overreaction to a pretty girl’s flirting with her boyfriend. The Ghosties are wholesome but not prissy, with snarky irreverence that helps relieve the tension, as when Althea grumpily declares she’s not an old woman—just older: “ ‘And that’s as old as you’re going to get,’ Scout said.” Efficient storytelling keeps the plot moving quickly toward its satisfying resolution.
An entertaining and fast-paced supernatural tale.
Pub Date: March 9, 2021
Page count: 235pp
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2021
Three amiable, young ghost hunters learn lessons the hard way in this second installment of a middle-grade mystery series.
Pekin Dewlap grew up in the spirit world, able to see ghosts. But when the teenage Pekin hadn’t seen any since age 12, she missed the talent that made her feel special. So she started a ghost-busting business with her best friends, Amber and Scout. Later, Pekin developed a crush on Scout. In this second outing, the trio is recruited by the Dwyers, who wish to help their longtime ghost, a crying woman searching for her missing baby, to cross over. After talking with the Dwyers’ elderly neighbors, the Mastersons, the teens identify the spirit as Lily Grayson, who died during childbirth in the house. Shortly after Lily’s death, her husband, Ron, sold the place, then moved away with their infant daughter, Violet. But identifying Lily is only their first challenge. Lily reacts violently when Pekin tries to talk to her about Violet. Ron and Violet reject the team’s efforts to bring them to the Dwyers’ house. The friends then seek aid from their mentor, Mildew, and friendly ghost Miranda, whom they rescued in McCord’s (The Haunting of Elmwood Manor, 2019) series opener. This time out, the author shows the growth of Pekin, Amber, and Scout. Mildew offers them the opportunity to learn from her experiences, teaching them the tricks of the trade so they’re more prepared for danger. That promises to become even more important in future volumes, as McCord foreshadows Pekin’s starting to regain her paranormal ability. The friends also discover that every ghost requires different handling methods. On the personal side, while Amber is blissful in a relationship with jock Josh Parker, Pekin and Scout are stuck in romantic limbo, which interferes with their case until stress leads to a breakthrough. This sequel, with no villain, does lack the suspense of the first volume. And even though the ghost hunt only lasts a week, the pace seems too leisurely, with the teens having time for normal activities while on duty at the Dwyers’ home. Still, this charming mystery remains a step forward for the trio’s Ghost Company.
These fledgling ghost busters and their adventures should enchant readers.
Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2019
Page count: 225pp
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020
A debut YA novel features the message that ghosts have problems too.
In this series opener, McCord introduces a feisty protagonist. Pekin Dewlap, 15, is starting her own ghost-hunting business and plans to draft her best friends, Amber and Scout, for this venture. She has chosen to clean up haunted houses because, up until middle school, she was able to communicate with spirits. As she explains to her mother, Melissa, who used to have that same ability, “I want to be special again.” Pekin already has a client, Elonia Collins, who says the property she inherited at 12 Elmwood is haunted. Elonia suspects the apparition is Miranda Talbert, who was 14 when she disappeared in the house in 1918. Pekin, accompanied by her two reluctant friends, encounters Miranda on her first visit to Elmwood Manor. After Miranda gets comfortable with the trio, she admits she was murdered. During the attack, Miranda bit off and swallowed one of the killer’s fingers, keeping him from crossing over when he died. Since then, the culprit, imprisoned at Elmwood Manor, has been tormenting Miranda. So the three friends, aided by local psychic Mildred “Mildew” Willingham, must determine how to banish the killer and help Miranda find peace. In this novel, McCord certainly knows how to reach her target audience. Pekin is dealing with emotional changes in her life, including a growing attraction to Scout. In her thoughts, Pekin debates whether he really likes her. Amber is even more boy crazy while Scout is sometimes a typical, monosyllabic male teen when expressing his feelings. But, while acknowledging the teens’ daily struggles, this volume is primarily about solving the mystery. Pekin and company get away with pluck and ingenuity for a time, finally gathering enough knowledge to put them in danger. When the three friends inevitably get in over their heads, they wisely seek help from the adults in their lives, especially Mildew. What results is a winning, lighthearted paranormal tale for all ages.
This spunky heroine sees dead people, to readers’ delight.
Pub Date: March 1, 2019
Page count: 214pp
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019
John Irving, Anne Frasier, Amanda Stevens, Ann Charles, Jana DeLeon, Gregg Hurwitz, too many to name!
A Prayer for Owen Meany
Unexpected skill or talent
Passion in life
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