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With a touch of her hand, Octavia Hollows can restore life. Yet, she couldn’t save the man she loved from the horrific accident that stole him from her. Octavia thought she could outrun the pain, but ghosts from the past refuse to be silenced. Out of options, she chooses to retrace her wayward journey across the country in search of answers. Surrounded by baffling mysteries of the undead, what she learns about herself along the way might become her greatest weapon.

Seattle, Washington: Land of cloudy skies and a great cup of coffee.

Octavia blew into town in search of information, only to get swirled up in a paranormal predicament even she couldn’t fathom. A neonatal nurse is dead, and her young patient is aging at an alarming rate.

Can Octavia unlock the secrets to this confusing curse before time runs out?

If you like snarky humor, fantastical monsters, and farm-animal sidekicks, The Journals of Octavia Hollows are the paranormal cozy mystery novellas you've been waiting for!

118 pages, Kindle Edition

Published February 28, 2019

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Stacey Rourke

66 books723 followers

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 79 reviews
Profile Image for Nadene  (Totally Addicted to Reading).
1,268 reviews175 followers
October 16, 2019
The synopsis caught my attention and based on prior experience with the author; I knew I had to read/listen to Wake the Dead. I had no regrets about my decision. I enjoyed my journey with Octavia and her trusty companion, Bacon her resurrected pet pig.

Octavia and her pig sets out on a journey to figure out the circumstances of her fiancé’s death and disappearance of his body. While on her journey she found herself knee deep in a weird mystery investigation.

The characters were a hoot, my favorite being Octavia who is a witch and a necromancer. She is not your typical necromancer, as she possesses the Lazarus effect, where the persons or animals she resurrects are brought back to life in their original form, providing their death was not violent. Growing up had not been easy for her. She lost her parents, spent her life in foster care. She had difficulty making friends, as she was considered weird because of her magic. As a result, she is cautious when it comes to the use of her magic.

The author created an atmosphere infused with humour, sarcasm, magic and action.

Brenda Scott Wlazlo narrated this awesome story. As a new to me narrator, I did not know what to expect. However, she did not disappoint. She did an excellent job. She brought the story to life and she exhibits her versatility in the portrayal of the characters’ voices.

To sum up Wake the Dead was an awesome start to the series and I am looking forward to more adventures with Octavia and Bacon. I recommend this one to fans of Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Cozy Mysteries.
Profile Image for Lorna.
1,346 reviews62 followers
November 2, 2019
Now that was a fun listen with an awesome narrator. Urban fantasy with snark and fun moments. The undead piglet named Bacon, was an inspired addition to the story. And the reason for some of the lighter moments in the book. Octavia carries him around in a baby carrier attached to her chest. He has to be my favorite part of the book. Well, that and the heroine’s snark. Very short listen. I’ll definitely be looking for the next one. I think they are all novellas and that’s fine as long as they are as witty as this one. Recommended to light urban fantasy readers.
Profile Image for Sophia.
Author 5 books334 followers
October 1, 2019
When I spotted the title and then read the blurb, I was hooked. New to me author and narrator, a snarky necromancer on a journey quest to find answers including about herself- oh yeah. And, this opener has left me a taste for more Octavia adventures.

Octavia is on the road with her pet resurrected pig, Bacon, to discover the truth of the love of her life's death and disappearance (yes, in that order). She rolls into Seattle when a strange request is brought to her. A grieving family is under a curse of their child aging rapidly beginning right after his hospital nurse is murdered. They beg Octavia to help them and she does knowing she'll have to resurrect the nurse to get some answers.

Octavia's past fails with her magic have left her leery of using her magic. She lost her family, many foster care homes, and was forced to leave another place because she made mistakes with her death magic or scared people because of it. She's a loner now and feel it is best to stay that way so she doesn't get hurt again by someone's rejection. This quest to solve the mystery about the one person who loved her no matter what is what drives her now.

The humor in this first installment and getting to know Octavia had me smiling and rooting for her quickly. Bacon, her resurrected pig, had me chuckling. Her snarky outer shell and need to push back with attitude made me want to hug her poor bruised soul even when I know she would bristle at the thought. For all her bristles, she's a generous, caring person who set out to help strangers in this one and mourned over each loss.

Brenda Scott Wlazlo's narration work was superb and well-matched to the story and as the voice of Octavia. She was also versatile with the other voices in the story and kept up a good pace to whatever was going on in each scene. I hope she is doing the whole series.

To wrap up, it was a sensational first in series and I look forward to more of Octavia's adventures. I think paranormal cozy or urban fantasy fans should give this one a go.

My thanks to Caffeinated PR Services for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange of an honest review.
Profile Image for Sarah.
3,336 reviews1,016 followers
November 26, 2019
This is a great introduction to Octavia and this world. We get to find out about her ability to raise the dead and meet the most adorable sidekick in her pet pig called Bacon. The story starts with Octavia retracing her steps to Seattle looking for clues about Elba's missing body. While there she is asked for help by a desperate family whose children both seem to be dying. Add in a dead nurse, a visit to the morgue and a dangerous curse and Octavia is going to need to keep her wits about her if she wants to survive this adventure.

We only find out a little about Octavia's past here but we start to understand how alone she has been since falling out with the Coven who raised her until she was 16.
Profile Image for Jodi.
973 reviews
January 24, 2020
I am enjoying kickass, take no prisoners, self doubter and best friend to Bacon the Pig Octavia. This was fast paced, energetic, omg what have I done and and how do I fix this story. When Octavia deliberately brings Nikki back from the dead, she finds herself dealing with a very nasty wraith. She is so determined to fix this on her own, that she works hard to not kill Nikki or accept help from Dina of the Coven. I loved how she stood up to Dina at the end, picked up Bacon and headed out to the next town. I'm definitely going to be reading more about Octavia
Profile Image for Megan | A Page to Turn.
558 reviews16 followers
February 18, 2019
Octavia is probably one of the funniest and quick-witted characters I've read in a long time! I absolutely loved this first novella in the series and I'm excited to see what happens next on her road of discovery. She's on a mission, and things keep side-tracking her, but she's out to prove that being a necromancer isn't necessarily a bad thing! She's learned a lot, and I love that she's kind of a badass.
Profile Image for Samantha.
1,376 reviews24 followers
April 7, 2019
After being introduced to Octavia and Bacon in How the Dead Lie, I knew I wanted to read more of their adventures.
This is such an easy-to-read, entertaining, and fun series of books. Rourke is brilliant as always and really knows how to capture the humor in her writing. Even battling the darkness and its demons, I still find myself snickering at Octavia and her snarky quips.
I am looking forward to the next books in this series.
Profile Image for Randy Harmelink.
935 reviews253 followers
July 9, 2020
Maybe I was just in a bad mood when I read the book, but most of the humor fell flat for me. I never really cared for any of the characters, so it was hard to get engaged in the story.
Profile Image for Bookworm.
370 reviews24 followers
September 8, 2019
Wake the Dead (The Journals of Octavia Hollows Book 1) is book 1 of 6 in the The Journals of Octavia Hollows series.
This installment centers on Octavia Hollows who is a witch and a necromancer who can bring back the dead. Octavia has had a rough past with her gift and she has been given a hard time by her coven because her talent borders on dark magic.
Two parents reach out to Octavia for help. Their young son is aging rapidly and his brother is aging in reverse, becoming younger. Also in the mix is neonatal nurse Nikki who may be able to help the brothers with some answers but who is recently deceased. Octavia is always with her sidekick, a little pig named Bacon who she worked her powers on to save from the slaughterhouse.

This was a fun mix of the paranormal and humor with a dash of mystery and I really enjoyed the story. I liked Octavia right away. She is torn because of her gift and the way she used it in the past. She’s sarcastic and snarky and between her and Nikki, they had me laughing out loud more than once. I love a pet sidekick and Bacon was too cute. I would definitely continue with this series and see where Octavia goes next. The ending wrapped everything up nicely and Octavia continues on her road trip cross country to try and finds some answers about what happened to the love of her life.

This was a novella that I listened to on audio and it left me wanting more. The narrator did a great job with the story. I liked how she did the different voices and her narration was easy to follow.

Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. My free review copy of Wake the Dead (The Journals of Octavia Hollows Book 1) by Stacey Rourke was courtesy of Caffeinated PR Services .

216 reviews1 follower
February 28, 2019
There's those awesome characters again. Stacey Rourke truly has a gift for creating incredible characters and Octavia is one of them. She is street smart with a heavy dose of biting sarcasm. She is a rather unexpected hero considering her past. She learned early that she could only count on herself but at the same time she can fiercely protect and defend others. I love that she is also extremely clumsy, a trait she and I have in common. That clumsiness has a tendency to get her into trouble and it is such an awesome detail. It makes Octavia so much more relatable. Bacon is hands down one of the best sidekicks ever. I love that Octavia has such an unconventional pet. My one and only complaint about this book is that I want more!! This novella is part one of an old school serial, meaning a group of short works, sometimes chapters of longer works, that were typically published in newspapers or magazines but in this case are being published as individual books. The original Sherlock Holmes books were often printed as serials with each chapter printed either weekly or monthly. The good news with "Wake the Dead" is that it is a complete story with a conclusion (ie no cliffhanger). I can't wait until the next installment comes out because I am seriously loving Octavia and Bacon.
Profile Image for Autumn.
2,157 reviews38 followers
February 16, 2019
I received an ARC to give an honest review.

I can see this series is going to be amazing just like all the other series. If you haven't read the previous book I would totally recommend it. That way you can learn more about Octavia and why she took this road trip. I have to say I found myself just a laughing with the whole nurse thing, like wasn't expecting that part of the story. I really like how Octavia can hold her own and though she has always taken care of herself she is always willing to help others. That just screams awesome hero status right there. I do eventually see that Octavia's stubbornness might hurt her in the future with Dina as it seems that Dina knows Octavia is bada** and might be a little bit worried about that. I really love the humor that is within this story not only with Octavia and what she gets herself into but also with Bacon. A necromancer carrying around a pet pig like it is something normal just screams out laughter. Another thing I liked within the book was that while Octavia is trying to get answers for herself she is also helping people that needs it. I can't wait to dive into the next book. Wake the Dead is a quick novella that you can sit down and devour with 30 minutes to an hour!
Profile Image for Marissa.
517 reviews
February 14, 2019
Wake the Dead is the continuing adventures of the snarky, pink-haired, motorcycle riding necromancer Octavia and her piggy sidekick Bacon after they depart Havenwood Falls following the events of How the Dead Lie. While I don't think it's necessary that readers have read How the Dead Lie to follow what's going on in Wake the Dead, I highly recommend picking it up because it's awesome. Octavia is easily in my top five favorite book characters. Ms. Rourke did an amazing job not just developing her as a character, but giving her an entertaining story. As readers will discover, Octavia isn't your average necromancer, which tends to get her in trouble. In Wake the Dead, she is brought in to solve the mystery of a young boy who is aging rapidly and his nurse who may be able to help answer some questions as to why, but is unfortunately dead. What's a necromancer to do? Highly entertaining read that made me laugh with the snark and sarcasm. I am really looking forward to getting to know Octavia and Bacon in future installments in this series.

I received an ARC copy of this book from the author.
Profile Image for Rebecca Rogers.
149 reviews17 followers
February 28, 2019
Where do I start...honestly I just wanna write in all caps "this book is awesome read it now" but I feel that nothing really does justice to how amazing this novella truly is! I first met Octavia in the Havenwood Falls book "How The Dead Lie" and I was instantly hooked! This is the first book in the breakaway novella series by Mrs. Rourke and it did NOT disappoint. Octavia left HWF to find answers about herself and her dead fiancè. I plowed through this book and before I knew it it was over. It really sucked me in and I giggled through the entire book. I don't know if Mrs. Rourke intended this outcome but Octavia, her antics and sass mouth and her never ending companion Bacon are hysterical and how they deal with the situations they find themselves in. Please get this first novella and join me in my love for Octavia and all things Bacon. #bestpigever #Bacon #bestpet #OctaviaRocks #troublefindsher #snarkqueen
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Krystyna.
5,134 reviews35 followers
March 30, 2019
Second chances

A good read. Strange but good although several questions were unanswered. One is who dropped the phone and the other main one is what does she do for money? A read about a necromancer who brings back the dead. Not as mindless zombies but as full functioning humans. The characters are starting to take up a life of their own but need a bit more fleshing out.
She and her pet pig (a pet she picked up when working in a butchers shop) are searching for the body of her dead boyfriend. Stopping for a rest, she knocked into by a guy and is shocked when a phone starts ringing. A distraught woman begs her for help. It appears that her newly born baby and her teenage son got switched into different bodies just as the baby was dying. Whilst the nurse looking after the family died. Now they need help. Add in a wraith, a talisman, a coven leader and a mob trying to stop her. Can she get the children switched back? Can she find out why it happened?
Profile Image for Hope Collier.
Author 3 books168 followers
March 4, 2019
Kindhearted, undead nurse with deep relationship problems? Check.
Mysterious force threatening to wreak havoc on all mankind? Check.
Unlikely solution brought to you by an endearingly clumsy and unsuspecting heroine? Double check.

Wake the Dead is a quick, fun read with a quirky and witty lead. The story follows the life and misadventures of Octavia Hollows and her sidekick: a curious and mischievous undead pig named Bacon. Octavia is a necromancer of an unusual sort, and when she gets a call to solve a problem befitting her strange talents, she winds up with more than she bargained for.

Wake the Dead is a definite must-read for fans of Terry Maggert's Halfway Witchy series and Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. If you enjoy fun and quipy mystery, Stacey Rourke is the author for you.
Profile Image for Paranormal Tendencies.
248 reviews17 followers
January 23, 2019
Octavia Hollows is on a mission. Find her dead boyfriend’s body to bring him back. But on the way she gets a mysterious phone call. She answers to find a distraught set of parents with two children suffering from different mysterious things. She sets out to help the family by waking their nurse and getting some answers, but when the flighty nurse brings even more trouble Octavia knows she has a big supernatural problem.
I am totally loving Octavia and Bacon! Octavia is so fun to read and bacon is adorable! She meets some new characters in this one and they are fun too. Nikki the bad decision maker is a blast to read and Dina is fun to dislike. This story was a quick, exciting story and I can’t wait to see what trouble they get into next!
5 stars for Waking the dead
Profile Image for Nanette Bradford.
237 reviews20 followers
February 5, 2019
I loved this story right from the beginning. Who wouldn’t love a life resurrecting neceomancer toting around an undead pig named Bacon. I mean come on, this was an awesome read. The main character Octavia is funny yet a bit of a loner. She’s not used to helping others yet when Nikki comes into her life that all changes. Don’t let me get started on Nikki. OMG! That girl was a huge HO but she owned it and that’s one of the many things I loved about her. This story is full of crazy and maybe a bit freaky things but as a whole I loved every minute of it. Looking for something different and a quick read, this is totally your next book. Stacey Rourke NEver fails to make me laugh even in the midst of all hell breaking loose.
February 28, 2019
What an awesome ride!!

The characters were phenomenal. I loved Octavia's attitude. She is an amazing character that knows how to get to the bottom of each mysterious investigation that she finds in each town...well, except for the one she really wants to solve that is. And of course, I can't forget about Bacon!! He really livens up the story and makes me crave for more!!

The story-line is incredible! Rourke has a knack for drawing in her readers and keeping us guessing from beginning to end and this story is no different. I mean who doesn't want to read about a fuchsia haired necromancer with a pig named Bacon as her sidekick? This is a memorable, fast paced read that I highly recommend!! I can't wait to read more about Octavia Hollows!!
Profile Image for Kacey Ables.
49 reviews17 followers
March 4, 2019
Sometimes opportunity knocks... other times it uses a data plan!

Bacon is the pig we didn’t know we needed, but one we all deserve!

Octavia is a hilarious smart a**. She is a complete mood! You will find yourself laughing hysterically! She literally has no filter and laughs and jokes at the most inappropriate times! Which honestly makes me love her more! If you haven’t read any of Octavia Hallows journals... you really should! Just wait until you hear how she acquired bacon! I laughed harder during this book than I’ve laughed in a long time!

Stacey.... you are goals, girl! You wrote such a beautifully flawed and relatable character with Octavia! I could literally envision that being me... especially with my clumsiness!
Profile Image for Skyye Breeze.
337 reviews
March 14, 2019
I loved it!
The story was fresh, it was very entertaining, and it's addicting... once I started reading I couldn't stop! you find yourself turning the pages faster but at the same time wanting it to last because you're not ready for the book to end! It's such a fun book to read!
I love the main character Octavia! Her sense of humor and antics had me laughing! I loved that she showed courage and got things done when the odds were against her and certain people didn't believe her! She's Awesome with this amazing kick butt power inside of her!!!!
It's definitely a fun book and it will have you thinking about it for days!!! I can't wait for the next book to see where the story takes us! It's so exciting!!!!
Profile Image for Chuya.
33 reviews5 followers
January 30, 2019
This is the first time I’ve read a book about a necromancer. I love Stacey Rourke’s take on it. I absolutely CAN NOT WAIT for the next one. I’m addicted to this series like I am to Bacon 🐖 💕.
I’ve had a book hangover for awhile and I honestly thought it'd never go away but this “delightful display is what’s known as a Cosmic Bitch-slap” and has restored my love for reading again.
This story has the bad ass, Octavia, find out who she really is and learn not to go by what others think she is or will become. She becomes comfortable with herself and her powers and I think we all need a bit more of THAT in our lives.
Profile Image for Cheree Castellanos Edits.
286 reviews26 followers
February 8, 2019
Absolutely amazing! I laughed my ass off reading this book! Amazing story, fast paced, and emotional. For such a short book, the attachment you get to these characters is strong! The emotions were flowing right out of my eyeballs big time. After meeting Octavia in How the Dead Lie, a Havenwoood Falls book, I new I was never gonna get enough of this girl! I'm over the moon excited to know I will be getting a new Octavia adventure every month! Everyone needs to treat themselves to this goodness. You can sit down and get the most excellent adventure, a complete story, so well told that the novelty of the novella loses it's power because you never want it to end!
Profile Image for Tricia Randall.
129 reviews7 followers
February 17, 2019
Octavia Hallows is a badass necromancer with sass. With her sidekick Bacon, trouble is sure to find Octavia. I love her sense of humor and sarcasm when dealing with the problems that come with raising the dead.
Mystery, suspense, action, and humor are all in this amazing quick read. I'm looking forward to reading more. Stacey Rourke has a winner on her hands with this one.
Although not required before reading Wake the Dead, you can meet Octavia in How the Dead Lie. Another great adventure for you to read. I hope Octavia and Bacon return to Havenwood Falls before she completely forgets about the town.
Profile Image for Tina.
343 reviews20 followers
March 29, 2019
Bring on Bacon! I just love Octavia's little undead companion pig. Octavia is a Necromancer and let me tell you she is hilarious. Trouble seems to follow her, but the way she handles each situation cracks me up.
I love reading books by Stacey Rourke. I never have a clue where she is going to take the story or what's going to come out of the mouths of her eccentric characters. It's always a fun and crazy ride. Wake the Dead is totally amusing and face paced. I read it in one sitting and I am craving more. Thank goodness this is going to be a series.
I highly recommend this book if you love adventure, laughter and the cutest undead sidekick ever!
Profile Image for Markus Matthews.
Author 9 books34 followers
October 10, 2021
More please.

Octavia Hollows is a necromancer that can restore life. In her travels, she gets caught up in a paranormal event in which a young man is aging at an alarming rate.

First off, how can you not love a book that has an undead pig named Bacon?

Octavia is a flawed but likable character with a rich supporting cast of fun characters.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book but had one small issue with it – it’s not a book but a novella. If I’d known it was a novella, I wouldn’t have picked it up as I find even the best novellas don’t go deep enough due to their limited space.

In short, great story but wished it was a full book.
Profile Image for Amanda Floyd.
62 reviews
January 17, 2019
Wake The Dead picks up after Octavia leaves Havenwood Falls on a journey for answers. I strongly suggest reading How the Dead Lie first. Octavia is snarky and a total badass Necromancer. Plus her pet pig Bacon is just adorable. Wake the Dead was a page turner from the start. Stacey Rourke kept true to the Octavia we feel for in Havenwood. Nurse Nikki that she comes across had me laughing so much. This book has humor, suspense, and a couple of what the heck moments. I'm so glad that Octavias story is continuing. She definitely deserved her own series.
Profile Image for Lynn  2 Girls & A Book.
633 reviews17 followers
January 20, 2019
Wake the Dead encompasses all the things I love about Author Stacey Rourke!
Badass female heroine✔
Unrelenting sarcasm✔
Laugh out loud wit✔
Pig 🐖 Sidekick✔
Wait, what? Yep! That's right, a pig for a sidekick and his name is Bacon. How perfect is that!

Wake the Dead is book 1 in Rourke's new novella series, The Journals of Octavia Hollow. Its fast paced, action packed, full of sarcasm and wit, and laugh out loud funny at times. If you are not amused by a pig in a baby carrier strapped to a necromancer 's chest, then this book is not for you.
Profile Image for Martina.
25 reviews1 follower
February 17, 2019
I absolutely love anything written by Stacey Rourke and her stories just keep getting better and better. We first meet Octavia Hollows in How the Dead Lie, a Havenwood Falls Legends story. You don’t have to read that story first, but it is an extra look into who Octavia is and some of the things she’s been through. Wake the Dead follows Octavia and her sidekick, a pig named Bacon, as they are called to help figure out a paranormal situation. Can a patient who’s aging rapidly and a dead nurse help give her the answers she’s looking for? Read it yourself to find out!
Profile Image for Kira Assad.
1,040 reviews
February 19, 2019
I love everything about this story! I was not expecting to find it as intriguing and laugh out loud funny, but Stacey Rourke has done a phenomenal job with this first book in The Journals of Octavia Hollow. Not only do we get to learn a bit about Octavia's backstory, and how she has an undead pig named Bacon as a sidekick, but we also get to see her in action fighting monsters and saving the day. Even when she is basically falling down... a lot. That stair fall sounded painful! All in all, a fantastic story. I cannot wait to dive into book 2.
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