A Perfect Memory – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

A Perfect Memory

Dona Fox

This is yet again a wonderfully intricate story from Dona Fox. A Perfect Memory sucks you in, chews you up and spits you back out ten fold. A very clever piece of twisted psychological horror. You never quite quite know what’s real or who is who. I’m still a little unsure. A chilling tale of identity and government secrets from start to finish.

It is put together with such perfection down the last detail. The characters are woven deeply into the plot with a level of writing ability one could only hope to aspire to.

There is so much involved for such a short piece. I really am in awe of the writing of Dona Fox.

All the Children on the Porch -⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

Another exquisitely creepy read from Dona Fox. I love these shorts, they are written with a depth and expertise that’s hard to find. I can only hope to write something half as good one day.

This starts pretty innocent and simple, but quickly develops into a tragic story of family and the dark secrets within. I can’t say too much as I really wouldn’t want to spoil the ending, or the build up, but my word it’s a good one.

It is another really quick read, about 20-30 minutes. Perfect for those train journeys and lunch breaks at work. It has a quick pace. great characterization and depth and is one I feel I could read over and over and still be surprised and horrified.

It’s truly quite shocking, down to the last line.

“I like mine bloody. I get whatever I want now; I’m not a child anymore”.

The Devil Crept In – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

The Devil Crept In

Ania Ahlborn

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29430798

This is an amazing read, thank you so much to Catherine (RedLaceReviews) for sending me this one.

I really enjoyed this. It’s one of those stories you just can’t put down. With every page I needed to see the next one to find out what happens next. It’s the true definition of a page turner. The mystery of what happened to Jude for the three days he is missing, the curious case of all the pets and then just what did happen to young Max Larson.

Deer Valley, Oregon, is a very dangerous place it would seem.

No one can seem to keep a pet, not of the uncaged variety anyway. They just keep running off into the night, cats and dogs, something keeps pulling them towards the woods and a creepy old abandoned house.

Jude Brighton, a young troubled boy, goes missing for three days. His cousin Stevie will stop at nothing to find him, Jude is his only real friend and ally. Stevie believes that something, not someone has taken Jude.

I really don’t want to say too much more about the story plot-wise as I feel I will give too much away. But what a ride it is.

It is a book of two stories, the intertwine very nicely all through and come together in a shocking conclusion. Everything about this book was perfect for me, the pacing, the characters, the plot with its twists and turns. The story is one which is very well thought out, you can tell the author has really sat down and planned all this out. There is a also a wonderful subtlety to it, the character of ‘Ras’ is underplayed on point. You come to know just who he is without hardly ever coming across him.

I would recommend this book to everyone. Seriously, check it out! Thank you Catherine for sharing this one with me, it really did strike a chord with me.

You can get it here:

5/5

Lesley-Ann

Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery – ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery

Toneye Eyenot

First of all, many thanks to the author for a copy of ‘Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery’ to read in exchange for an honest review.

Who doesn’t like a good Werewolf story? 

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:

“La Lluna Plena – the Full Moon – that beautiful and mysterious celestial body which stirs within us all those deep, dark emotions we do our best to subdue and control. For some of us, her influence runs deeper, much deeper. We all walk beneath her maddening rays, yet, while most may shrug off the notion that inside us all resides a beast – a savage wolf – there are those of us who embrace the monster within and ride that lunatic wave with abandon each time she casts her gaze upon us.

Some see it as a blessing, others…a curse. To be bitten, and fall prey to murderous urges beyond our control, or to have the good fortune to be born into the pack, or perhaps even to whisper words of spell in order to evoke the lycanthropic gift, there are more than a few ways to cast aside the human skin and let loose the wolf within. Those ways are explored throughout this collection of werewolf terrors.

Suspend disbelief, dear reader, because whether you care to admit it, or continue to live in ignorant bliss, we walk among you. We smell the blood as it courses through your veins and taste your fear on the breeze. We long to see the life drain from your quivering flesh as we gorge. Beware the Full Moon, as you are about to enter the world of the Werewolf.”

Toneye Eyenot is a wonderful expressionist. His passion for all things werewolf comes across as plane as day in his writing. His visceral approach makes for an intense journey.

Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery is a collection for stories, one long and several much shorter, centering around werewolves in all their blood-lusting glory. It is a very entertaining read, full of all the gore and guts you would expect.

The initial story ‘Blood Moon Big Top’ is ‘fangtastic’, this was my favorite of the collection. For me, personally, this was the best in the book.

This a great read if you are a fan of all things werewolf, its full of life, character, and plenty of full moon action.

You can check it out here at Amazon (UK)

3/5

Lesley-Ann

Contrition by Deborah Sheldon – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

Contrition

Deborah Sheldon

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:

“In her late teens, Meredith Berg-Olsen had had all the makings of a runway model. Now in her late forties, after everything she had been through – including horrors that John could only guess at – she looked bloodless instead of pale, skeletal instead of slender, more dead than alive.

John Penrose has two secrets. One is the flatmate he keeps hidden from the world: his high-school sweetheart, Meredith. His other secret is the reason he feels compelled to look after her.

Contrition is a horror story with noir undertones and an atmosphere of mounting dread.”

‘Contrition’, by Deborah Sheldon, is one of those books that once started on, you just cannot put down.  

I found it intriguing from the beginning; I was desperate to know what the secrets were. Just what was Meredith? What had John done? The author does a fantastic job of keeping the reader guessing, and withholding just enough to keep us turning those pages, without us losing interest or faith in the book. The pace is very fast, there is always something happening or about to happen and we are never quite sure what. I knew the payoff would be worth it, and quite frankly, the ending is brilliant.

The back-story, the history of John and Meredith, goes from normal to ‘what in the hell’ at great intervals. We get tossed just the right amount of detail and the right times.

I secondary story of John dealing with alcoholism was treated with dignity and respect. I feel that the author has either had personal dealings with the disease or she had really done her research. Coming from a family with alcohol problems past and current, I felt a kinship to John; I was really rooting for him throughout. He had a lot to deal with, past and present. The toll that Meredith was taking on him, his day to day life, and his mental well-being; he truly is a strong character. This is something that really came across well in the narrative.

I am annoyed at myself for taking so long to read ‘Contrition’. It has been a long standing title in my to-read list, and for the impact it had on me, I really wish I had gotten to it sooner. It is one of those books that will stick with you for a long time afterwards.

I cannot recommend this enough, Deborah Sheldon is a great author, and she knows how to write deep and real characters. She can tell a tale and she can scare the crap out of you. This is a terrifying story of the human condition.

5/5

Lesley-Ann

Violet Eyes – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

Violet Eyes

John Everson

This is the book to read if you want to be completely freaked out and lose some sleep. It is horrifying.

I don’t particularly care for spiders anyways, along with wood chippers they are my biggest fear, but the levels ‘Violet Eyes’ took my phobia too was way above and beyond.

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads: “

Their bites are more than deadly…
The small town near the Everglades was supposed to offer Rachel and her son a fresh start. Instead it offered the start of a nightmare, when an unknown breed of flies migrated through the area, leaving painful bites in their wake. The media warned people to stay inside until the swarm passed. But the flies didn’t leave. And then the radios and TVs went silent. That’s when the spiders came. Spiders that could spin a deadly web large enough to engulf an entire house overnight. Spiders that left stripped bones behind as they multiplied. Spiders that, like the flies, sought hungrily for tender flesh…through Violet Eyes.”

Rachel and her son Eric have moved out to the Everglades for a fresh start. Rachel is moving on from Eric’s father, Anders, and trying to re-build her life, and a life for her son out in the small town of Passanattee. Rachel endures the usual difficulties involved with juggling work and parenthood. She then meets Terry, a man who she could happily bring into her sons life without worry.

It’s what has followed her neighbor Billy, a student whom she meets living across the street from her, home from his terrifying trip to Sheila Key. A swarm of deadly flies, and the spiders that will literally eat you alive.

This is truly terrifying read, I was incredibly itchy during and after with all the descriptive imagery of the murderous spiders and the swarms of flies. I really am not a fan of our eight-legged friends (sorry spiders, it’s me not you). The author has done a wonderful job, I feel, of making this story into two things. One being a great creature feature. It has it all, scary flies and spiders swarming, web covered houses, people being eaten alive, and even spiders popping out of eyeballs – as well as other places (let’s just say if I was male, I would be wincing). The second, it’s a story of family, of new beginnings, of love and of walking away from a bad situation. It really is a wonderful read.

“The best things in life were usually killed by ignorance, ambivalence, age, wisdom and sometimes, outright malevolence. Whatever the reasons, the things you loved most always seemed to die long before you were ready to let them go.”

Chapter 32 ‘Violet Eyes’ by John Everson

If you are subscriber to Kindle Unlimited then you download and read a copy here for free:

Violet Eyes is a book worth your time. It’s terrifying, creepy, nightmare educing, all the things the horror fan could wish for.

4/5

Lesley-Ann

February at Housewife of Horror – A Weird and Wonderful Month

February was an odd month for me. Reading wise it’s been quite quiet, one thing and another creeping up and taking me away my from reading time.

I hated the fact that two of my reads became DNFs. I struggle to get into ‘Will Haunt You’ and ‘Black Wings’. Both I was quite excited for. I will come back to them at a later date as potentially I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind for them. I hated Sons of Anarchy when I first watched the first few episodes – came back to it a few months later, and it’s now one of my favorite shows.

I got around to reading ‘Blood in the Woods’ from J. P. Willie. I have had that one a while, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a wonderful book, kind of a ‘Stand by Me’/ Horror mash up. It’s well worth your time.

My favorite read of February, of course it was Jonathan Janz with ‘The Dark Game’ – see review excerpt below.

Book of the Month – The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz  –https://horrorhousewife.net/2019/02/22/the-dark-game-%E2%AD%90%EF%B8%8F%E2%AD%90%EF%B8%8F%E2%AD%90%EF%B8%8F%E2%AD%90%EF%B8%8F%E2%AD%90%EF%B8%8F-book-review/

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The Dark Game did not disappoint.

“I am ever developing a deep love for the style of Janz’s writing. I adore his characters, they are as always, full of depth and horrific delights. His stories are inventive and unique, and he has a wonderful penchant for all things gory.

Ten writers of varying ability are taken to the secluded home estate of Roderick Wells, the worlds most famous author. They are promised a great lesson in writing, with the winner taking home not only a healthy pot, but they will also receive the book deal of a lifetime. Of course, things are not always as they seem. What they have fallen prey to is a twisted game, a brutal fight for survival. And in true horror fashion, there are some particularly gruesome ends.

Janz does an impeccable job of creating so many full characters in this novel. They all have their darkness; each character has their own sin to bare. Each character is well thought out and written so flawlessly that you can almost touch them. The back story of the individuals, the sins, they are woven in throughout the novel, intertwining in a perfect harmony with the events occurring at Roderick’s estate.

One of my favorite parts:

“Well’s entered with his wife. Lucy stared at the man, stunned at the change in his appearance. She supposed it was a matter of simple grooming: he’d shaven and the hair around his ears had been trimmed. Yet there was something more at work, something subtler yet more profound. His eyes shone with a vitality that hadn’t been there the first night. The deep grooves in his forehead were less pronounced.”

This is a very intense and immersive read. Thank you so much to Flame Tree Press, and to Jonathan Janz for a copy to read.


Find it here – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Game-Fiction-Without-Frontiers/dp/178758187X

The end of February I have to say was the most exciting for me. My short story ‘Fresh Air’ was published in Sirens Call issue 43. I am so excited and so proud. To see something that I created in black and white, published along with many many other wonderful stories by so many talented writers. I am truly honored and overwhelmed.

Thank you so much to the amazing people over at Sirens Call and to those who have stuck by me and supported me. You guys rock!

Check out my story here – http://www.sirenscallpublications.com/

Sirens Call issue 43 is free to download along with all the back issues.

Enjoy, and thank you again.

Bring on March.

Lesley-Ann Campbell

Blood in the Woods – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

33637643

J. P. Willie

Blood in the Woods

First of all, many thanks to the author for reaching out and offering me a copy of ‘Blood in the Woods’ in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:

“Rural Louisiana country life is peaceful, idyllic, and sanguine. One bucolic town leads to another in an endless series of southern country life. Yet beneath the tranquil surface lies another story. A story of the south which hasn’t been told only hinted at. 

As 26 -year -old Jody stands on the cracked, aged driveway of his childhood home, a black mass settles itself on his chest. A sense of fear is manifesting around the edges of his psyche as unmentioned memories flood back to the last time he stood on this spot years ago. There is an empty space where the trailer once stood. The place he called home; thought of as his refuge together with his mother and younger brother, but all was ripped apart along with the innocence of childhood. 

Growing up in the late eighties and early nineties in the small town of Hammond, Louisiana, with his best friend Jack, was full of wonderful memories. Their lives on Rhine Road are typical for boys their age. Time is spent playing in the woods, shooting pellet guns, blowing up mailboxes, fighting at school and the beginnings of interests in girls. Their lives are what you would expect from children with no responsibilities or worries beyond the next pop-quiz or getting to second base. 

As they grow older together and experience the joys and pains of life, love, family and friendship, they discover a meddlesomeness borne of lazy summer days, boredom and childhood rebellion. Through idle curiosity, they stumble upon something horrific in the woods one evening and their lives quickly take a turn. 

They soon become hunted by an unspeakable evil and the hunting ground was home.”

A Louisiana coming of age novel with a twist of horror.

This was a very engaging read from the start. The author has done a wonderful job of laying the foundations of a beautiful and harrowing tale of childhood friends Jody and Jack. We are taken though the story of their lives, living carefree in the town of Hammond, getting up to all the usual mischief, followed by the terrifying story of what lurks in the woods.

This is a chilling read. I was emotionally invested from the get-go. This novel has it all, emotion, laughs, tears, chills and scares. It is one hell of a ride.

A great debut from J. P. Willie, An author I hope to see more from.

4/5

Lesley-Ann

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