Ash and Gold

Fiction - Paranormal
465 Pages
Reviewed on 01/28/2022
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

Lydia R. Outland graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a bachelor's degree in Philosophy. Because she struggled with significant dyslexia, it was not until high school that the endless universe of books opened up to her. Her dream is to open that world to another person, even just one other.

Lydia’s debut novel The Strangest Woman, was published by Black Rose Writing in July of 2020.

Lydia is active in animal disaster rescue and lives in Amador County, California with her family and numerous animals.

    Book Review

Reviewed by JC Minnaar for Readers' Favorite

Ash and Gold by Lydia R. Outland is a phenomenal addition to paranormal books. Briar Rose Pierce, or as her friends have come to affectionately call her – Buggy – due to her large eyes, is a young woman with a hard past, abandoned at birth in a cold, dark alley, plagued by vivid nightmares of dying in horrible ways and with a growing void in her chest. She recently celebrated her twenty-fourth birthday and everything became a whole lot worse. Along with her nightmares of being burnt alive, suicide, and being stabbed to death, she starts hallucinating, drinking more often, and she feels the void in her chest grow as if it is a dark, tangible thing. Buggy must discover the root of her burdens and her past before irreparably destroying her life or, even worse, being consumed by the void.

Lydia R. Outland’s Ash and Gold is a book I would rate 10 overall if I could. I originally planned on finishing Ash and Gold within 5 to 6 days but here I am writing the review 4 days later. The slow-start pace of the book invested me so thoroughly into Buggy’s life that when the floodgates of her life and past were opened, one-third of the way in, I was utterly hooked and blown away. Buggy is exceptionally well-written, as are the supporting characters and antagonists, and I felt every moment of joy, suspense, shock, and setback that Buggy felt, which is a testament to Lydia R. Outland’s outstanding writing ability. The story is one of the most unique paranormal adventures I have had the pleasure of reading. I absolutely loved the descriptive details of the environments, violent scenes, and emotions displayed. I struggle to compare Ash and Gold to other works because I have truly not read anything like it. A literary masterpiece.

Miche Arendse

Lydia R Outland’s Ash and Gold follows Briar 'Buggy' Pierce, an odd young woman from Marshall County, California as her life is turned upside down. Buggy wasn’t a normal girl by any means with her odd looks and little habits. She found herself surrounded by few people; however, those few people knew her well and accepted her for who she was. Buggy’s life was nothing overly exceptional and she lived it as any normal young woman would. However, her life takes a drastic turn when she is kidnapped by two men, one of which is someone she never expected to meet. Buggy is thrust into a world she never knew existed and one that her parents never wished she’d experience, but with darkness lurking she has no choice except to face it head-on. Psychic powers and ongoing nightmares become a reality for Buggy and her companions.

Ash and Gold by Lydia R Outland is such a refreshing book to read in this genre. The story is absolutely captivating with multiple themes that would have any paranormal book reader entranced. I loved the interactions between the characters, especially Buggy and Theo; their antics always left me with a warm feeling and a smile on my face. Buggy as a female lead was also a pleasure to read about as she is quirky and lovable but, more so, she has a strong character that makes you admire her so much. Overall, Ash and Gold is a wonderfully written book that has both suspense, comedy, and that paranormal edge you can’t help but love, and I would highly recommend it to any book lover.

Samantha Gregory

Ash and Gold by Lydia R Outland follows a young woman called Buggy, an unfortunate nickname she received as a child due to her large eyes, who finds herself kidnapped by two men. She tries to escape, but they use some kind of strange ability to control her. This all ties back to her mother, who she believes abandoned her as a baby in an alleyway. She almost died but was saved by a paramedic. Buggy finds herself plunged into a world she knows nothing about and soon learns the truth about herself and where she comes from. She has no idea who to trust, but she must figure it out fast if she is going to survive.

Lydia R Outland has written an intriguing story with Ash and Gold. The opening really captured my attention, from Buggy’s mother trying to get to the hospital in time, knowing she would never get to know her daughter, to beginning with a kidnapping. It made me want to know more. The story moves at a good pace and Buggy is an interesting character. She has been through a lot, from birth basically, but she is tough and knows how to look after herself. It is a well-written book with a great plot that I enjoyed reading. The author has paced the story well, setting up the mystery and dropping hints along the way. I think this would appeal to paranormal fiction and supernatural suspense fans. I would definitely recommend it.

Keith Mbuya

Having spent her first moments after her birth in a cold alley, she escapes death because of a medic who picks her up by chance. Did her mother abandon her? She is later named Briar Rose Pierce by her foster parents. However, Briar’s exceptionally large eyes earn her the nickname “Buggy”. Over two decades later, now a dental hygienist in Marshall County, California, Buggy starts experiencing a peculiar wave of nightmares that render her confused and terrified. She can’t tell what’s going on with herself. Before she knows it, two strangers abduct her claiming that they knew her and wanted to help her. With the two strangers, Buggy is introduced to a whole new world of powerful cults and dreadful dark powers. Are the two strangers genuinely helping the vulnerable Buggy? Or are they after something else? What happens to Buggy? Get yourself Lydia R. Outland’s Ash and Gold to know more.

I must say that it was Lydia R. Outland’s intriguing introduction that doubled my anticipation. With an impressively dramatic scene that poses a compulsive cliffhanger, Lydia R. Outland breathes life into her stunning characters and her gripping plot in Ash and Gold. The story is captivating as well as intriguing with an aggressive underlying tone of suspense, tension, and adventure in the plot. The author’s style of writing makes the story all the more captivating. She alternates between flashbacks and the present, offering me just enough background information about the protagonist Buggy, among other characters. Ash and Gold has a comprehensible plot.

Rabia Tanveer

Ash and Gold by Lydia R. Outland follows the strange life of Briar Rose Pierce as she uncovers some terrifying truths that leave her reeling. Briar, a.k.a. Buggy, wanted nothing more than to finish school and complete four years of study. She had no idea things were about to change incredibly fast. Plagued by horrifying nightmares of murders, fire, darkness, and more, Buggy had no idea she had a power that she had no control over. Before she knew it, her waking hours were becoming a nightmare she could never escape. However, when two strange men came into her life, promising to help her and make her understand what was happening, Buggy could not help but crave their help a little. Theo and Styger share some disturbing news with her and reveal the part of society Buggy wants nothing to do with. But she has no other choice. Should she trust these strangers and try to understand herself? Or should she remain trapped in her own darkness?

Ash and Gold by Lydia R. Outland was divided into four parts, which made reading it much easier and faster. The chapter length is short, which was another reason why I breezed through the story. The story is fascinating, to say the least. While there have been many other paranormal and young adult novels with a similar theme, I have never come across something as consuming as this. Buggy is a complicated character that challenges readers into figuring her out before the story ends. She was feisty, had a spark that made her likable and made me root for her. Theo provided the much-needed comic relief without being insignificant. He and Styger had a purpose that went beyond Buggy and her predicament. The dialogues between Styger and Theo were hilarious, and the banter between the two was very refreshing. Buggy’s journey to self-discovery was not only entertaining but all-encompassing. Loved it, even the cliffhanger ending! Fantastic and incredibly intricate.