It’s always fun when I’m drawn into a book by its cover… and then find out that the story not only lives up to that cover, but exceeds my expectations. Author J. Rose’s Vera Warden and the Two-Faced Demon does just that.

Having been the new kid in school twice during my grade school years, I’m always interested in a protagonist that’s facing that challenge. I figured out pretty quickly that twelve-year-old Vera Warden had the chops to find her niche at her new boarding school for tech kids. That process can be a challenge for any kid, but Vera isn’t just ‘any kid’. It seems she has the ability to see and interact with ghosts. This skill comes in handy once we meet the schools unconventional, unalive ‘gardener’.

Her ghostly new acquaintance is just one of the new friendships she’s trying to form. It helps that she designed a popular game that most of the other kids enjoy playing. But some of the kids aren’t treating her kindly, since Vera’s in a wheelchair due to Osteogenesis Imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. Besides that, her face is formed differently than the other kids.

Can Vera navigate (figuratively and literally) her way though this new school experience? Will she learn more about her ghostly gardener friend? Are there other supernatural surprises waiting in the wings of the historic old school buildings?

Vera’s no superhero – she’ll make mistakes along the way, but who doesn’t? Readers will find Vera to be relatable in so many ways, but she’ll also prove to be a standout role model to anyone who’s ever struggled with school. Which, let’s be honest, is probably everyone.

The paranormal twists creates a solid mystery for Vera to solve, and add tension that will keep a reader page-turning right up to the’ never saw that coming’ end. Happily, this is volume one of a planned series. I look forward to spending more time exploring paranormal mysteries with Vera and her new friends.

Vera Warden and the Two-Faced Demon is available in Kindle and paperback formats, and as an audiobook right now at


Lori Alden Holuta
Lori Alden Holuta

Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields in Michigan, where she grows herbs and vegetables when she’s not playing games with a cat named Chives. She’s fond of crafting, reading in the dark, literary worldbuilding, and pulling up dandelions. Visit Lori at and