Book Review: A Bouquet of Viscera

Title: A Bouquet of Viscera

Author: Bridgett Nelson

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Bouquet-Viscera-Bridgett-Nelson-ebook/dp/B09RYSRC7V

Summary

An overzealous vigilante, who sees her victims’ auras, finds herself in a very uncomfortable situation. A young woman, injected with a microchip in a futuristic America, develops unusual and grisly cravings. Four high school graduates end up on the menu of a giant, mutant sea creature. Diary entries share shocking and disturbing confessions…but who is the author?

Bridgett Nelson, a fresh new talent in the world of horror, makes her debut with this short fiction collection containing these stories and more! These gory tales of revenge and retribution are sure to terrify and delight readers in equal measure.

Before opening the pages of A BOUQUET OF VISCERA, be sure to take a deep, calming breath. Because these nightmare scenarios, and many others, are lurking under the covers and waiting just for you.

My Review

5/5 Stars

Macabre and intense, A Bouquet of Viscera is a fantastic collection of extreme horror. With plenty of blood, gore, and suspenseful plot twists, each story will hook you and hold you hostage. From deadly fungus, to underwater monsters, and deranged psychopaths, this book has something for everyone.

If I had to pick a favorite in the collection, I’d say I enjoyed “The Show Must Go On” on the most with “Political Suicide” a close second.

If you’re in the mood for something dark and wicked this poky season, you won’t be disappointed with this selection!

Book Review: Soup

Title: Soup

Author: Kate DeJonge

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Soup-Kate-DeJonge-ebook/dp/B09X8W4JLR/

Summary

Ashley McCormack was brutally abused as a child, but she’s found a way to thrive as the sadistic Assistant Coroner at the City of Changusay morgue. Convicts from a nearby maximum security prison get shanked on a regular basis, and Ashley loves to play with their remains, picturing her estranged father with every slice of her scalpel. When the morgue is updated with the newest in “environmentally friendly” human disposal systems, the Alkaline Hydrolysis HT500, a fellow member of her dark web death group makes an offer she can’t refuse. No really, she can’t.

Review

5/5 Stars

The Dark Web is a place of darkness and chaos from all corners of the human mind. A person can find everything there. Even human “soup.”

Ashley McCormick has a unique interest in death. As Assistant Coroner, having access to bodies is a daily occurrence for her. She takes advantage of that by taking trophies of the worst of the worst humans who land on her table. To pass the time, she shares her interests with a group of like-minded humans on the Dark Web. It’s her safe zone, until she receives a mysterious DM with a once in a lifetime offer.

Soup is an intense horror novella. Short but will leave you with a knot in your stomach. This is perfect for fans of extreme horror. My favorite part about this story is how real of it seemed and could be.

Book Review: Highland Heather

Title: Highland Heather

Author: Sherrie Hansen

Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09WMJZ6MX/

Summary

One of Heather McPhearson’s dreams is about to come true. But while she’s pouring her heart into little lambs and Highland coo and the challenges of running a farm and dealing with difficult employees, the odds that she’ll be able to have a baby, now, while she still can, diminish every day.

Engineer Brodie McBryde is at home in the Highlands – only briefly – to help on the farm while his da recovers from a heart attack. He can’t wait to get back to the islands to design his next bridge.

When a mysterious man from the past turns up dead, complications threaten to tear apart even the strongest family ties. Timing is everything – trust is essential – as they struggle to bridge Brodie’s troubled waters and bring Heather’s dashed dreams back to life.

Review

5/5 Stars

Heather has a dream of running her farm. So when the opportunity rises for her to make it come true, she moves out of her parents’ place. Life has other plans for her when someone turns up dead. Will Heather have it all or will she collapse beneath the pressure?

Miss Hansen has a very enjoyable writing style, and I especially loved reading the accents. It made the characters feel so unique.

Mysterious and heartwarming, this was a sweet romantic tale with the perfect balance of suspense sprinkled in. Sherrie Hansen is a good author to read whenever you’re in the mood for a romantic tale.

Book Review: Hidden Pictures

Title: Hidden Pictures

Author: Jason Rekulak

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Pictures-Novel-Jason-Rekulak-ebook/dp/B09HPKQN43

Summary:

Fresh out of rehab, Mallory Quinn takes a job as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.

Mallory immediately loves it. She has her own living space, goes out for nightly runs, and has the stability she craves. And she sincerely bonds with Teddy, a sweet, shy boy who is never without his sketchbook and pencil. His drawings are the usual fare: trees, rabbits, balloons. But one day, he draws something different: a man in a forest, dragging a woman’s lifeless body.

Then, Teddy’s artwork becomes increasingly sinister, and his stick figures quickly evolve into lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to wonder if these are glimpses of a long-unsolved murder, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force.

Knowing just how crazy it all sounds, Mallory nevertheless sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy before it’s too late.

My Review:

5/5 Stars

It’s not often that a book can combine the paranormal with a twisty thriller, but Jason Rekulak did a fantastic job of it.

The story started out so normal with Mallory, a recovering addict, being hired by a family to take care of their little boy. She’s determined to prove her worth and get her life back on track. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is. The family has a lot of secrets. The longer Mallory stays with them, the more she starts to see the cracks in their perfect facade and the secrets lying beneath the surface.

I loved how realistic and down-to-Earth all the characters were. Sometimes I forgot I was reading a fiction book, and I could believe I was reading about real people.

Filled with vibrant imagery, realistic characters, and nonstop suspense, Hidden Pictures is definitely one of my favorite reads of 2022.

Book Review: Penpal

Title: Penpal

Author: Dathan Auerbach 

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008WVVKCQ/

Summary


In an attempt to make sense of his own mysterious and unsettling childhood memories, a man begins to reconstruct his past. As the games and adventures of his youth become engulfed by a larger story, he finds that it forms a tapestry of unbelievable horror that he never could have expected. Each chapter completes a different piece of the puzzle for both you and the narrator, and by the end of it all, you will wish that you could forget what he never knew.

My Review

5/5 Stars

Haunted.

I’m completely haunted by this story. What starts as such an innocent tale of a kindergarten project quickly dives into a dark tale of obsession that’s certainly every parent’s worst nightmare.

The jumping timeline of the story alternating between present day and the beginning of the tale gives us a unique look at the story and ramps up the suspense as we’re slowly given enough information to put the story together.

Even though I could guess how the story would end the last few pages still brought tears to my eyes with the way the author wrote it. I found this story to be incredibly difficult to put down once I started reading it.

All in all, this is a captivating and scary tale because not only is it well-written, but it highlights a very real, very scary situation.

Book Review: Stolen Tongues

Title: Stolen Tongues

Author: Felix Blackwell

Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0737GD2GM/

Summary:

A romantic cabin getaway doesn’t go exactly as planned. High up on the windswept cliffs of Pale Peak, Faye and Felix celebrate their new engagement. But soon, a chorus of ghastly noises erupts from the nearby woods: the screams of animals, the cries of children, and the mad babble of a hundred mournful voices. A dark figure looms near the windows in the dead of night, whispering to Faye. As the weather turns deadly, Felix discovers that his terrified fiancée isn’t just mumbling in her sleep – she’s whispering back.

Originally a contest-winning story on reddit.com’s horror community NoSleepStolen Tongues has received widespread acclaim and has been optioned for film.

My Review:

5/5 Stars

You know those books that stay with you long after you finish them? That’s this book.

I went in blind, without reading the summary, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. When it turned out to be about a creature from Native American mythology, I was pleasantly surprised. The idea of a creature who can lure a person to their doom in their dreams caught my interest, especially since I suffer from night terrors too.

The characters, Felix and Faye, were an intriguing duo, Faye especially. Unraveling the mystery of the secret she kept, the very one that kept the Imposter interested, was such an edge of your seat experience. There were several times that the story seemed to wrap up, and I thought the beast was defeated at last only to find out that wasn’t the case. I love when a story can keep me guessing right up until the end.

Stolen tongues is a fantastic read for those looking for something a little different and plenty of creepy. Just make sure to read this with the lights on!

Book Review: The Bloody Stone

Title: The Bloody Stone (S.U.N. Universe)

Author: Cherime MacFarlane

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Bloody-Stone-S-U-N-Universe-ebook/dp/B09MDPX6SW/

Summary

She’s a misfit, a genetic mistake on Iskonia. Iliria’s clan uncle was a criminal, which kept her hoped for introduction into society from happening. His business partner wants compensation and plans to sell her. Iliria escapes into a female only sect and goes into a retreat on a backward planet. She is in disgrace and fears being kidnapped. Can she find peace and a new life on Nizad?
He’s head of security on Nizad and wants to keep his job. Drk feels conflicted. As head of security for the closed planet, his job is to keep the peace, not get tangled up in attraction to beaten-down young females. Then two of the beautiful girl’s race arrive on the closed planet without the proper paperwork. Drk’s trouble radar buzzes. With no reason to be on Nizad, what are the two Iskonians planning? Is the young female the reason? Are pirates involved?

My Review

5/5 Stars

Opening with plenty of mystery and intrigue, I fell in love with this new addition to the S.U.N. universe from page one. I really found myself feeling for Illiria. Living in the wake of her uncle’s shame has made it so that she can’t live the life she’s always dreamed of. Her best chance of keeping her life her own is to go into hiding. But does she have what it takes?

The other main character, Drk, was easy to root for as well. The bond between him and his mother was an interesting one that really helped to strengthen him. It seems so rare to read a story with strong parental influence, so I really liked this aspect.

All in all, The Bloody Stone is a read perfect for fans of fantasy, romance, and suspense.

Book Review: The Guardian

Title: The Guardian: The Journey Begins (Women of Avaron Book 1)

Author: Chisto Healy

Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B09XBZMXLW/

Summary

A battle to avenge the past is also a fight to protect the future.

Twelve years ago, Marista, warrior for the royal guard of Avaron, was given the sworn duty of protecting her fallen kingdom’s infant prince, Derrin. Marista was hidden away with the prince while her people fought and died at the hands of the Vorcan raiders.

Now… Lord Vorcan is hunting them to eliminate what remains of his enemyWith no one to oppose him he could replace the Lands’ many cultures with a one world dictatorship ruled by his own iron fist. Avaron lives on in Marista’s heart and now she has more than a fallen kingdom to fight for. Derrin is no longer just her king, he is her son, and she will do anything to keep him safe. This means taking on slave traders, pirates, and the Vorcan Empire itself, and this is just the beginning. All of the Lands are about to discover that there is no greater fight than the one driven by love.

For Avaron.

My Review

5/5 Stars

Regardless of what genre Chisto Healy writes, one thing is a guaranteed: a whirlwind of adventure.

This fantasy novel, the first step in a wonderful new series, is no different. Vibrant characters and vivid descriptions help us take the plunge into a world of badass women, pirates, and sea creatures.

Will the power of a mother’s love prevail over all?

Recommended for fans of fantasy books with strong female leads and suspenseful adventure.

Book Review: Left to You

Title: Left to You

Author: Daniel J. Volpe

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09LNZF5JY

Summary

What would you do to save a loved one?
Robert’s mother, Helen, is ravaged with cancer. Every day could be her last, and Robert dreads losing
the last member of his family. Robert’s friend and Holocaust survivor, Josef, tells him an unholy story
and leaves him a way to save his dying mother. But, as with everything in life, the salvation comes with a
steep price.
Will Robert accept what’s left to him and save his mother? Or will the cost be too high, weighing
Robert’s soul down to the depths of Hell?

My Review

5/5 Stars

When Robert Sinclair strikes up a friendship with a seemingly nice old man, the last thing he expects to encounter is a demon.

Left to You is such a wild ride of a story. From paranormal, to historical, to horror, this book encompasses a wide range of genres in the most genius way. The choices the characters make throughout the book were so difficult and heart wrenching, and I think part of the horror comes from the fact that in those situations, many of us would’ve taken the same path as the characters.

By the time the story concluded, I wasn’t ready for it to be over. The ending left me haunted, and I’m gonna think about it for a while.

 I can’t recommend this book enough to fans of dark emotional stories.