The Haunting of Josh Weston

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  The Haunting of Josh Weston

OneBookAZ 2016 Young Adult eBook Winner

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Ghosts of the past can seriously haunt the future . . .

Former star athlete and gifted student, fifteen-year-old Josh Weston and his mother move to a desolate ranch in the Arizona desert after his father is killed in Afghanistan. Josh blames himself for his father’s death and for the shooting of his best friend. Besides failing in everything he used be good at, Josh is relentlessly stalked by a nasty psycho at his new school. Unable to see any way out of his escalating problems, Josh tries to end it all one moonlit night. A cantankerous old prospector and his evil white burro suddenly appear, forcing Josh to join their dangerous, spooky escapades. If he has any chance of survival, Josh must learn to draw on his strengths and deal with his haunted past that threatens his future.



OneBookAZ 2016 Young Adults eBook WINNER

Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2017 Book Cover Contest WINNER – Cover by Valerie Howard

Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2017 Book Cover Poster Contest Finalist Award

Twice-Nominated, Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award

EPIC Best Young Adult Novel EPPIE Nominee




Rated: 5 STARS

You can be haunted by many things and Josh Weston has it bad. In The Haunting of Josh Weston by Melinda Rucker Haynes, Josh is haunted by the gruesome death of his cousin, the loss of his father in Afghanistan, and his own issues being the new kid in a new school run by a ruthless bully. One night when Josh feels he can’t stand it anymore, he walks out to the cliff at the edge of his ranch and considers ending his pain. That’s when he realizes he really is haunted by the ghost of a cranky old prospector and his mean burro, Snowball. With Powder Pete’s support and life lessons, Josh is forced to face the issues confronting him and deal with the bully, who has more going on than just being mean in school. Pete leads Josh to a stash of drugs which they take to the local sheriff’s substation in the middle of the night. This, of course, leads to more problems, but with Pete’s help and his own newly restored confidence, Josh is able to do the right thing. Hopefully it will be in time to prevent further tragedy.

Magical and moving, The Haunting of Josh Weston by Melinda Rucker Haynes is a powerful YA paranormal tale that offers lots of emotional insights and a message of hope to anyone who is suffering from insecurities and bad memories. The action is quick-paced as the tension between Josh and the bully builds, but the relationship between Josh and Pete provides a timeless feeling and a sense of love and support that Josh’s mother just can’t provide by herself. With a subtle romantic element, there is just the right balance between the paranormal and the everyday to make the story quite believable and uplifting. Excellent story – kept me glued to the pages! The Haunting of Josh Weston is certainly well worth reading.

Rated: 5 STARS

“Move over, Harry Potter, there’s a new kid in town—Josh Weston. In the tradition of Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling, author Melinda Rucker Haynes taps into every kid’s nightmare (bullies who make life hell) and fantasy (making sure they get their due). The reader wants to shout ‘hurray’ at the end of the book. Issues relevant to today’s teen—death, divorce, relocation—are handled in a sensitive manner, validating the feelings of isolation, guilt, and despair. The old prospector, who appears and disappears mysteriously, adds levity while dispensing wisdom. The preaching is left to Mom, who understands better than Josh can imagine. It’s easy to see why this book has twice been nominated Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist for Best Young Adult novel.”

Rated: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for ages 8-100!

“ … a twice-nominated RWA Golden Heart Award Finalist for Best Young Adult … full of danger, excitement, ghosts, and some trials of a young boy turning into a young man, the hard way.”


“This first of a series is a well-written, fast paced story. Lively characters, and action with lots of twists and turns, make this a really good read.”

Author Recommendations:


“Melinda Rucker Haynes blasts onto the scene with a heart-stopping tale too engrossing to put down. If you miss this one, you’ve missed something special!”