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

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Bad Pennies – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

 

Bad Pennies: A Supernatural Horror Novel (The Scaeth Mythos #1)

John F. Leonard

 Image result for bad pennies book

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:

“DARK FORCES SWIM BELOW THE SURFACE OF THE WORLD…
THEY CHANGE THEIR SHAPE BUT NEVER GO AWAY…
THEY FIND A WAY THROUGH…THEY ONLY NEED A TINY GAP

Chris Carlisle is about to experience an everyday horror. A morning that starts out bad is going to get infinitely worse. It’s gonna go to hell.
Wrong place at the wrong time and life takes a wrong turn.
But even the blackest clouds have silver linings. He’s going to get a little slice of luck to balance out the horror.
Just goes to show, bad often comes bundled with good.
Sometimes, they bleed into each other until you can’t tell them apart.

That’s where the strangeness begins, when the miraculous starts to rub shoulders with the mundane and monstrous.

It is only the beginning…
Chris has stepped onto a long road that leads to a hideous and horrifying destination. Dark and dangerous stops are dotted along the way. The pavement is crumbling and craziness shining through the cracks.
Enough for him to question his sanity and come to the conclusion that madness may be the easiest way out.
Sometimes need and greed get mixed into a deadly and deceptive cocktail.

He’s going to discover that dark and dreadful things lurk within spitting distance of the ordinary and routine.
That there are levels of horror and layers of knowledge which defy any rational explanation.
Impossible creatures crawl along the shady seams of the world.
Monsters wait in the shadows.
The walls of reality are thinner than we know. In places, they’ve been hollowed to a hazy veil that struggles to hold back the horror of what lies on the other side.

Chris is going to get a glimpse of an eternal darkness.
Become acquainted with a supernatural hunger that has endured aeons and echoes down the ages.

HE’S GOING TO ENCOUNTER THE SCAETH. A CREATURE THAT IS OLDER THAN TIME AND TWICE AS MERCILESS.

Chris thought life was grim. He has no idea.
He thought he was hard up. He doesn’t know what debt is.
They say that money is the root of all evil. They also say that the bad penny always turns up. That’s so true. Those crappy coins have a nasty habit of coming back.

BAD PENNIES is the first book of the SCAETH MYTHOS, a terrifying vision of horror that will haunt your dreams.”

The first thing that really grabbed my attention with this book was Chris Carlisle. A guy, just trying to make it through life, struggling the same way we all do. Mundane job, living payday to payday, debating with himself over the now regular winter ‘heating or eating’ dilemma. This is a great story, a supernatural horror story encompassing not only the horrors of the supernatural world, but also the horrors of our own everyday existence. I felt his internal struggle, his guilt, and his overwhelming need. He needed the money, he knew he was wrong, but it was going to help him more than the dead guy wasn’t it? Or so he thought. I really loved the undertones about our general money worries, and the depths we can be driven to in desperation. For me personally, it felt like John F. Leonard was getting right into the nitty gritty of our materialistic society. The rich get richer and the poor get squashed.  Our ‘need’ as it were, for the things we don’t really need, take over our senses and cause us to do things completely out of character, ruining our lives and those of our loved ones. Those of us who are desperate enough can be completely blinded by obsession and greed. To me, this was a story examining just how far one is willing to go, and how much is one prepared to turn a blind eye to, just to get on in this mundane existence we have created for ourselves.

A particular quote I loved “I might have no time for Fleecebook and Twitter-Tattle, Snapshat or Instawhatever, but it loves them like naughty sons. The more noise the better as long it keeps a few real truths quiet.”

I felt this partly summed it up, our materialistic obsession. We love sharing so much with friends via social media. We lose ourselves in the moment, rather than enjoying what is in front of us right now, we sacrifice it for a few likes and retweets. We are missing so much. I am as guilty as the rest for this. There is a pressure here too, the ‘keeping up with the Jones’’, the need to acquire things just to show we have them. We don’t like the idea of people knowing we are struggling, we don’t always ask for help when we should. It’s like this ‘shame’ has been bred into us. There is no shame in needing help. To me anyways, it felt like this was one of the points of the books. Speak to people, ask for help if you need it. Don’t leave it so the ‘help’ seeks you out. Evil is attracted to the most vulnerable among us.

My favourite character has to be Ronald Hodge. My god that guy is a creep. I felt like I needed a shower each time he was in a chapter. He is one horrendously bad man, in every possible way. I absolutely loved the development of his story. The way it just kept getting worse and worse (in a very good way), he is awful. Reading about Steph in his house gave me chills. It was so bad yet so good. I really don’t want to say too much on Ronald as I don’t want to totally ruin it for people. This is must read, for this character if nothing else.

Bad Pennies is brilliantly thought out and written, it flows so easily from one chapter to the next. The switch up in characters is obvious without being confusing. The fluidity of the story and realness of all the characters made this a truly horrifying pleasure to read.

I am very much excited to delve deeper into The Scaeth Mythos, it’s fascinating. The other realm, the manipulations of our reality and the descriptions of the, do I call them familiars? I’m not sure. King Ratty was a definite favourite. When he became spider-rat, oh god, I was itching all over. I hate spiders! I really can’t wait to read the next instalment.

Anyway, that is more than enough from me raving about how much I loved this book.

Go buy it, go on, you can get it right here on Amazon (UK):

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Pennies-Supernatural-Horror-Scaeth/dp/1976103428/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

5/5 – I love it!!

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

Eat the Rich -⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

Eat the Rich

Renee Miller

Hindered Souls press

5* Book Review

Image result for eat the rich book

Synopsis:

When Ed Anderson discards his life to become a homeless person, he has no idea of the shit storm about to happen. Almost overnight, the city’s homeless population spikes.
~
So does the murder rate.
~
Ed learns that aliens posing as homeless people are eating the city’s wealthiest residents. He tries to warn the police, but they think he’s crazy.
~
The situation is worse than Ed describes, though.
~
He’s right about the aliens. They’re here to free humans from wealth and poverty. The flesh of the rich is just a tasty reward for their hard work. And if humans refuse to embrace the utopia imagined for them, there is a plan B:
~
KILL EVERYONE.

 

Eat the Rich, a fantastic grotesque look into the idea that we can all be equal. Abolish money, abolish the oppressive nature of the so-called ‘1%’ and live out our lives as equals. We each receive the same food, the same clothing, just all the basics we need to survive. Yeah… it’s just never going to work is it? We humans are an interesting breed. We want to be equal, we shout a lot about equal rights, equal pay, equal this that and the other. But if it ever comes to that, whether it be through an alien invasion or some other means, we all know it’s not what we want. This book does a great job of highlighting this, “No reason to work harder or to even dream about anything. It’s all just what it is and it’ll never change if the aliens have their way. I find that disheartening”. Don’t get me wrong, I whole heartedly believe that things need levelling up as it were, really, come on, 2018 and we still have people living on the streets and children having to be fed from food banks. There is absolutely no need. But total equality in every way, that is where we lose ourselves. It’s our hopes and dreams that drive us, the hope of a promotion, dreaming of that perfect life we have long desired. It’s this that keeps us going. Hope is a powerful tool. If we have nothing to aim for, nothing to strive for, what do we have? I think as a species we are still a long way from that Star Trek utopia where poverty is gone along with money. The idea of working to better ourselves is a noble one indeed, realistic and achievable? I really don’t know.

 

This is a great read; you have alien invasion, gruesome murders, cannibals, and plenty of rebellion. It’s rather funny in parts too, plenty of quirky one liners from human and alien alike. Ed is the unlikely hero, just a ‘regular Joe’, materialistically rich through debt, living with a lazy wife who is just in it for what she can get. He leaves her and his life behind to be free. Living on the streets he soon gets himself tangled up in this mess, first getting arrested, then infiltrating the alien camp and winding up in a mental ward, finally becoming the forced face of the alien invaders and finally the leader of a rebellion.

I couldn’t decide who I actually was supporting in parts, human or alien. Both sides I have to say had valid arguments, and I can completely see why our alien overlords thought they were doing the right thing. I didn’t think I was one of those supporters of government until they were all destroyed… They may suck and their jobs, some more than others naming no names. As a country though, we do need the structure. Without some form of structure, anarchy will prevail.

This book is most definitely a conversation starter, I can hear the political debates in my head already.

Enough from me though now.

I really did enjoy this book and would love you all to give it a go. You can find it hear via Amazon (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eat-Rich-Renee-Miller-ebook/dp/B07DKCD6VR/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541344578&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=EAT+THE+RICH+RENNE+MILLER

And it’s free (who doesn’t like freebies) via Kindle Unlimited.

 

Give it a go. You won’t regret it, I promise.

 

Lesley-Ann

Housewife of Horror

Interview with the Devil Part One: Victor’s Account – ⭐️ Book Review ***minor graphic content***

Interview with the Devil: Part 1: Victor's Account

 Interview with the Devil Part One: Victor’s Account

1* Book Review

Skylerr Darren

 

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:

“There sat a frail, abnormally-pallid African-American man. His weight looked rather questionable. He looked as if he hadn’t eaten in months, judging by the fact that his integral skeleton had been visible through his diminished skin. He stared at me with no facial expression. He just sat there, staring.”

Satan, the brooding, scriptural ghoul that takes on the responsibility for murder, perversion, and the gruesome deaths of children. Society views these horrors as a grim nightmare-a nightmare in which one would desperately attempt to wake up from. But in reality, you simply just can’t wake up from a nightmare, for both reality and fiction have become one. Victor, a timid young college student dreadfully awakens into such a demonic ordeal from the repulsive dismiss of his relatives, to macabre dreams and morbid occurrences. Do not look at Interview with The Devil: Part 1 as a mere book but instead the detour into your own self-morality.

 

There are honestly no words, this is awful. It’s full of rape, suicide, dead babies sexually abusing their dead fathers (I know, right)… and for what? It’s pointless. I am by no means easily disturbed, or a prude, or any of that, but there was honestly no need for this. The descriptive text was too much, very over the top, graphic for nothing other than shock value. There was no plot development within all this gratuitous trash that I could make out. Yet it started so well on the first few pages, I really thought it was going somewhere good.

I really don’t have anything else to say about this, it’s bad… it’s really bad.

 

1* (and that’s generous)

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

Haunted: Horror of Haverfordwest – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

 

Haunted: Horror of Haverfordwest

5* Book Review

  1. L. Davies

6th Books

 

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:

“Blissful beginnings for a young couple turn into a nightmare after purchasing their dream home in Wales in 1989. Their love and their resolve are torn apart by an indescribable entity that pushes paranormal activity to the limit. Haunted: Horror of Haverfordwest is the prequel to the bestselling A Most Haunted House.”

 

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, 6th Books, for this ARC of Haunted: Horror of Haverfordwest.

This terrified me, I couldn’t put it down. Haunted: Horror of Haverfordwest is an interview with a married couple, Dai and Anne (names changed so as to not be identified), recounting the dreadful days spent in their marital home. They are haunted by a malevolent paranormal being, tormented and almost driven apart by the entity. This book is the prequel – which happens to be featured at the end of this one – to G. L. Davies’ ‘A Most Haunted House’.

I really liked the style, the transcript, it really pulled me in, and I was immediately engrossed, desperate to find out what happened next. I was hooked from the get-go. It was really interesting, as well as frightening, the idea that this could be going on in the house next door and you wouldn’t know it. You might put banging and clattering down to just noisy neighbours with no consideration, or maybe they are having a clean out… you would never think that they were being haunted, not in a million years. Or maybe we don’t want to think that? Is it better that we live our day to day lives in the blissful ignorance that there is nothing else out there, nothing lurking in the closet or under the bed? Are we happier this way?

I honestly can’t say I’m 100% sure this is based on truth or whether this is a story in a ‘true life’ format. I am most definitely open minded, and I’m more to leaning that this is based on real events. If so, oh my god, I can’t begin to imagine how horrendous and terrifying this must have been.

I’m glad the original book was included, I hadn’t read this previously and it was interesting to see the similarities between both accounts, from different people in different eras. I also found the possible explanations for paranormal occurrences an interesting and insightful read.

For someone like me, a believer, this is a great read. It’s had me on Google, looking up the area and the paranormal goings on. It seems Pembrokeshire is a paranormal hotspot.

https://pembrokeshirebeyond.com/2015/05/22/the-pembrokeshire-haunted-road-trip/

I’m quite interested in this I must say.

https://pembrokeshirebeyond.com/2015/06/10/the-ghostly-monk-of-haverfordwest/

The story of the Hooded Monk of Union Hill in Haverfordwest is something that has grabbed my attention, the ghost hunter in me has decided to take a trip down later in the year, see some sights, and maybe spot a ghost or two. Of course we are already concerned this will end up the next big ‘found-footage’ film, my fiancé joking the sequel will involve his mother and uncle heading out looking for us.

Pre-order here via Amazon (UK):

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Haunted-Horror-Haverfordwest-G-L-Davies/dp/178535843X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539531159&sr=8-1&keywords=g.+l.+davies

 

A must read for any paranormal enthusiast.

5/5

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

The Die-Fi Experiment – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ book review

The Die-Fi Experiment

5*

M. R. Tapia

Hindered Souls Press 

2017

 

“I would like to welcome the world to The Die-Fi Experiment. Please join us in the fun that is the deterioration of the world by means of social media.”

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads: “Marie and her husband are spending their honeymoon in Tokyo, Japan. While strolling the downtown streets, they are hoaxed into a chance at winning the latest cell phone: First to get through a maze of doors wins! Only they both awaken amidst a sadistic live-stream gameshow. Marie competes against a man while both of their partners are strapped down to chairs. The winner of the deranged challenges imposes extreme pain for their own partner while the loser receives their own form of demented punishment. As it goes on, more and more people around the World Wide Web tune in. The winner of the entire competition gets the chance to fight one last time for their ultimate chance of survival against their own partner…to the death! Will Marie and her husband get the chance to have their first fight as a married couple, and if they do, who will be the last one standing?”

 

A huge thank you to M. R. Tapia for allowing me to read and review The Die-Fi Experiment.

The Die-Fi Experiment, a brutal glimpse into the ever changing morals of our modern society. The pitiful truth of the time we live in, a world where we upload a video of someone being assaulted in the street to Instagram with a snappy hash-tag rather than help them. Where we go out for dinner and spend the entire time posting pictures of our meals all the while trolling for likes and comments. Seeking the validation from faceless friends, and judging our place in society by how many comments or re-tweets we receive. 

It’s a very sad time for the human race. We have lost ourselves to the digital world. We are helpless without a WiFi connection.

I personally loved this novelette from M. R. Tapia, it really hit chords with me over our obsessions with our iphone and the likes (yes – I need my phone; I am one who gets a bit anxious if I don’t have it with me. I hate that about myself). It really reflects well the global fixation with viewing life through a 7 inch screen, as well as our backwards need to comment on the misery of others rather than to help. The phrase – “A congregation of faceless hairdos. Mohawks and bowl cuts. Tapers and sumo buns. Bald Heads and sweeping comb-overs. Lots of them nodding in approval. Receiving their own acceptance by sharing this live on their own Facebook and Instagram and Twitter accounts.”  really summed this up.

The Die-Fi experiment is quite a brutal experiment, a live streaming of torture and murder with tones of Saw and Hostel. The coup de grâce being that the winner receives a brand new iphone X – seriously though, people kill for less these days. 

I loved this, the relevance to our brutal world really spoke to me and I feel like it has given me a nudge to maybe leave the phone at home sometimes. To go out and enjoy the world, see some sights through my own eyeballs while I still have them, and rather that tweet it, tell someone in person.

Definitely a must read…

5*

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror

The Jesus Man – 5* Book Review ***minor spoilers***

The Jesus Man

The Jesus Man

5* Book Review

Keith Anthony Baird

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads: “It is 2037. Radicals in the Middle East have done the unthinkable. Low-yield nuclear weapons have been unleashed and the subsequent escalation of exchanges is enough to blacken the skies.

In time, the world goes dark. Crops fail and economies begin the inevitable collapse. Countries close their borders, cease trading with one another and declare martial law to control their populations. As oil and power dwindle, the descent into chaos follows and the global meltdown unfolds.

An entity arrives and this malevolent force begins its strategy to claim this broken territory as a piece in a long-waged celestial conflict. Moving half a century ahead, the story centres on a colony entrenched in the desert of the Four Corners region of the United States. It is a place of sanctuary, established in the post-war years and grown to be a stronghold in the badlands. In the wake of the entity’s global strategy, it stands as the sole remaining seat of the human race. Its citizens are ruled by a brotherhood of elders who cling to the shattered remnants of the Christian faith.

A priest, favoured of the sect, begins to suffer nightmarish visions as evil turns its intent on the last bastion of mankind still to fall by its hand. Overcome, and subsequently possessed, the holy man becomes the vessel through which dark forces infiltrate the colony and lay low the last of men with a crushing malediction which will claim their souls, their homeworld and ultimately their Godhead for all time.

Rich in descriptive content and paced throughout with a growing sense of doom, The Jesus Man delivers an unsurpassed vision of Hell on Earth.”

 

Many thanks to Keith Anthony Baird for allowing me the pleasure of reading The Jesus Man in exchange for an honest review.

 

“I am the beast who stalks the scourge of man, the wind that hollow breathes… I am every soul’s disease”

I have to be honest, with the first couple of chapters I was struggling. It was a complicated read, not so much the content, it was just very, how can put this, ‘wordy’ and felt maybe overwritten a touch. But as I got more involved with it and deeper into the story, I began to appreciate the writing style more and more. It actually works very well for the story and I feel adds to it. It’s a brilliant book. The descriptive imagery is quite terrifying in parts. You would not think this was a debut novel. I especially loved the chapter supplemental after each chapter; I thought those were great additions that added even more to the narrative.  I feel this is a novel I will need to re read and that I will appreciate it even more. I do think with the complexity of it I have probably missed things essential to the story. I love that though, when you see extra’s you missed first time around. It adds to the thrill as you know there will be something new.

An example of the imagery and quite frightening descriptiveness:

“At the rear of the chamber, she skipped in front of a full-length mirror propped against the wall and came to a standstill. It was ornate and its rich surface of polished wood was beautifully carved and she leaned forward and peered into it. No reflection peered back, for she was the construct of evil, plucked from Clay’s most recent vision, the ghost of a soul who’d never existed and she was looking forward to her meeting with Brother Decker. She pulled the cord in the dolly’s back and the voices of the legion of the damned cackled as one.

‘Please kiss my tears away’

And she giggled… and giggled… and giggled…”

 

So, The Jesus Man; A post apocalyptic vision of our future, hell on Earth, and the end of mankind. This is a great read, a very honest envisioning of life after a nuclear intervention. The world as we know it is over, and we are now living a very primitive life within the sanctuary of ‘The Ark’ (if we are one of the lucky ones). This isn’t set straight after the end of the known world, it is some years later. Mankind has settled into its new routine, a hierarchy of control with a somewhat barbaric judicial system. And of course, we are still fighting over who has the power – when will we learn?

There is some very descriptive and ‘real’ dialogue concerning us first turning on one another. Splintering into groups, hording rations the astounding paranoia as life falls apart. Before eventually the groups begin the slow descent and turn on one another or themselves. If frightening how close to reality this could be.

It’s not ourselves it turns out that we need to be concerned about; it’s a higher, dark power, one that comes from the depths and one that cannot be contained, one that has come to seek the ultimate retribution for our sins past and present.

I was riveted with the story of Clay, his visions, his nightmares and his frightening possession experiences. It’s gripping stuff, very well written and imagined. I won’t say anymore as I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.

 

I can only hope to put out a debut book as good as this.

Thank you for allowing me the pleasure.

 

The Jesus Man is the debut novel from Keith Anthony Baird and is available from Amazon (UK) here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jesus-Man-Keith-Anthony-Baird/dp/1980302456/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1538913491&sr=8-1&keywords=the+jesus+man+keith+anthony+baird

 

5/5 – A very good read. Take your time with this one, it’s worth it.

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

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