Book Review: Gross Out

Title: Gross Out

Author: Duncan Ralston

Link: https://www.audible.com/pd/Gross-Out-Audiobook/B0BDNJ566Y

Summary

A brand-new extreme horror novel from the twisted mind that brought you Woom.

Revenge is on the program at this year’s Splatterfest convention!

Horror authors, critics, and fans from all over the world have gathered to share stories, enjoy each other’s company, and to take part in the yearly Gross Out contest, a fan favorite. 

But some attendees have arrived with ulterior motives. Clay Kayden, whose story at the last in-person Gross Out contest got him “canceled”, wants to tear down the convention from the inside. Moira Mead is desperate to impress her favorite horror director, who’s promised to option a story based on the weekend’s readings. And Clay’s former mentor, Guest of Honor David Ennis, just wants to find his muse again…no matter the cost.

In a weekend filled with violence and horror, no one will be spared from trauma, and only one author can reign supreme.

Gross Out features characters and situations from the novella Woom. While this not a direct sequel, it does continue Shyla and Angel’s story from that fateful night in Room 6 of the Lonely Motel.

WARNING: Do not buy this book if you have a weak stomach, if you’re easily disturbed, or if you’re looking for a light horror listen. THIS IS NOT THAT BOOK. Seriously. You’ve been warned.

My Review

5/5 Stars

For an extreme horror book, this story was a lot of fun. In a way, it felt like catching up with old friends, and it sort of was when taken into the account that some of Ralston’s characters from another book, Woom, had a role in this story.

I loved the shenanigans that each character got themselves into. This book was almost like listening to someone’s real convention experience. Loved every minute, especially the gross out shorts sprinkled throughout. They were creative and cringy and the perfect amount of gross.

Outstanding!

Book Review: The Bodyguard’s Convenient Marriage

Title: The Bodyguard’s Convenient Marriage (A Second Chance at Love Book 2)

Author: M.L. Tompsett

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Bodyguards-Convenient-Marriage-Billionaire-playboy-ebook/dp/B09ZKQ7KQ8/

Summary

Contemporary second chance at love
What does an independent, strong-minded ex-FBI woman have in common with a wealthy businessman-playboy?
A marriage of convenience.
What could go wrong?

✓ Action
✓ Drama
✓ Passion
✓ Action Fight scenes
✓ Love
✓ The need to strangle your brother-in-law with your bare hands…

Too busy for love. A woman scorned is deadly.

Three rules to stand by:
Don’t mix business and pleasure.
Don’t get involved with a client.
Don’t get married.

Never one for relationships, hard-working retired-FBI agent Essy Raiker has made it her mission to be the best bodyguard in the business. Complete the contract. Don’t get attached. Don’t fall in love. Rules to live by for a kid starved of love and abandoned into foster care. That is, until the day Declyn Bianchi hired her, changing her life forever.

More than bullets fly hot and fast when Essy faces her estranged husband.

Declyn Bianchi is fed up with his high society family controlling his life and the reckless antics of his trouble-seeking identical twin. Dekk’s prayers are answered in the form of a sinful-looking body—his new bodyguard, Essy Raiker.

Family is everything to Dekk. So, when their safety is threatened, he risks danger to save them. Then the family he thought he could trust betrays him, and he turns to his estranged wife for help.

Can Essy risk rejection and let Dekk in, exposing her fragile heart? Can Dekk reveal his feelings for Essy and protect his heart from breaking again?

Who is behind the attacks against the Bianchi family? And can they be stopped before everything Essy and Dekk value is lost?

Not all secrets remain dead and buried. Some lurk beneath the surface, waiting for the right moment to strike.

Passions burn deep in this second chance at love.

HEA is included, but, make sure to have the tissues handy.

My Review

5/5 Stars

Essy’s job in the FBI have seen her through many situations. Being ghosted by the man she married out of convenience isn’t one of them. When a plot to kill him and his brother comes to light, he finds his way back into Essy’s life.

I always love a compelling story with a strong kickass female lead. Essy is that and so much more. I loved her down to Earth direct thinking and the way she’s not afraid to take control of a situation. Her and Dekk’s rollercoaster attraction gave the story so many dramatic moments I had a hard time putting it down.

I couldn’t wait to get to the heart of the story and find out how many mysteries one family could truly possess.

Book Review: Drowning in Oceans of Black

Title: Drowning in Oceans of Black

Author: Brandon Ford

Link: https://www.audible.com/pd/Drowning-in-Oceans-of-Black-Audiobook/B0BHNRCBRV

Summary

Minutes gone. Hours lost.

For Paula Carson, a living hell becomes all too real when she experiences unexpected blackouts. Without warning, her world sinks into a cavern of darkness, and she wakes screaming, icy cold terror pulsing through her veins, with no memory of preceding events.

As instances become more frequent, Paula seeks the aid of Dr. Maggie Butler, award-winning psychiatrist, who introduces her to the powers of hypnosis. Each session helps Paula piece together an ever-expanding puzzle. As she slowly finds the answers she seeks, Paula falls from a dreaming nightmare into a waking one, where she is forced to question both her sanity, as well as her willingness to trust those she’s closest to.

Drowning in Oceans of Black is a terrifying thriller which follows one woman’s battle for answers in a world where she’s lost all sense of control, and her body is no longer her own.

My Review

5/5 Stars

Woah. That’s the lasting thought I have after finishing this story even though it’s been days since I turned the last page. I devoured this book in one session because I couldn’t seem to put it down. It was powerful and gut wrenching, a real emotional cocktail.

When the book starts, we’re introduced to Paula who lives in a seemingly perfect world with her lover Dwight. The biggest issue she faces are the blackouts. Blackouts that have plagued her life for ten years. They terrify her to the point where she feels like her life is controlled by them. Getting to the bottom of what’s causing them will mean tearing her entire world apart.

Like always, my favorite part of Ford’s books is the gradual feeling of dread he weaves through the story and the way he takes such seemingly normal worlds and breaks them down into chaos.  

This story was particularly scary because trafficking circles are a rising problem and a real thing that anyone can fall victim to under the wrong circumstances.

A heavy thing to digest. This book really leaves the reader with the thought that you never really know anyone as well as you think you do.

The Sage is Out Now!

Guys, I’m excited to announce that The Sage, the final book in the Witch’s Ambitions Trilogy, is out now on Amazon.

Summary

The final battle approaches!

After joining the Elemental Coven, young witch Lilith’s eyes were opened to the truth that the Council has always been desperate to keep hidden. With only two Covens still standing, Lilith’s world is in danger of collapsing… and so is the Elemental Coven. After a mysterious illness begins to infect the Coven, witches are dying, and not even coven leader Willow’s power of resurgence is enough to save them.

After the Battle of the Grove destroys Lilith’s good leg and her ability to walk, she faces an internal war about her future that consumes her, dragging her further and further into the darkness. Willow is desperate to help Lilith find the light because Lilith isn’t just her sister—she’s the Elemental Coven’s last hope for survival. As the Sage’s ex-apprentice, Lilith is the only witch capable of taking down the ancient ruler.

As the war destroys the last of the covens, Lilith knows there is only one way to end the chaos for good—a final showdown against the Sage that only one of them will walk away from.

Start the series for Free with Kindle Unlimited!

Book Review: Mickie Mckinney: Troubles with Teamwork

Title: Mickie McKinney: Boy Detective, Troubles with Teamwork (Mickie McKinney: Boy Detective Book 2)

Author: R.L. Fink

Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0B4T71W4P/

Summary

Mickie McKinney is no longer Maple Ridge Middle School’s one and only private detective.
Now there is a certain blonde by the name of Sam Hayes to share the office with, and the cases, who
keeps giving away the candy! So when Angus McDermitt hires Mickie to help him ask Kailani
Groom to the school dance, Mickie sees it as an opportunity to work one last solo case. Too bad
for him, Kailani is the girl of his dreams.

My Review

5/5 Stars

A cute story about teenage detectives. I loved the characters and their world.

The mysteries were fun, and I love the way the author developed their friendship throughout the story. I hadn’t read book one before reading this one, but it works as a standalone, though I must say I’m curious now about book one.

All in all, this is a solid middle grade book.

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.