Monday 17 October 2016

REVIEW: Wayne Lemmons - The Story's Writer

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: 1st April 2016
Pages: 172


A copy of The Story’s Writer was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Wayne Lemmons, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is self-published.

You know how I like a funny story of how I got a book to review? Well, Mr Lemmons doesn’t know this, but there is a funny story for this one. Someone recommended his writing to me and said I should check it out. Well, they didn’t, exactly. They recommended someone else. I got the name wrong. I didn’t find this out until a few months after we had made contact and the books were in the pile for review.

So, obligated as I was, I couldn’t do anything about it and had to go with my promises. Did it turn out to be a fortuitous mistake on my behalf?

This is what I thought.

Amy is a single mom. She works very hard to keep a stable household and a steady life for her son, Bailey. The only thing she keeps for herself is a lifestyle of one night stands that, while leaving Bailey to fend for himself, keeps her sane. Not ideal for anyone, but they survive.

On one of these one night stands, she meets Grant. A horror writer that seems to be very grounded, and very interested in meeting Bailey, when he can. Could this be Mr Right at last?

When things blossom and Amy and Bailey move in with Grant, all seems to be going swimmingly. Until Grant starts to write his new book about ghosts. It really seems to Bailey like Grant has brought some of his research home with him.

Not too many characters to talk about in this one. Amy, Bailey and Grant are the three the story features most. Amy seems to be a bright young woman working hard to keep things as normal as she can for herself and Bailey. He is her life, even if she is selfish in her ways at times. Bailey is eight years old. A very mature and very bright eight years old. He doesn’t have many friends but he doesn’t seem lonely. He is more than capable of looking after himself in whatever way is needed. Even when his mom is off on one of her nights out.

Grant seems to be the ultimate catch for any single woman. Successful enough to live a nice life with his own place. He seems to have morals and manners that would match any gentleman of old. And he seems to like kids.

Another couple of characters to note would be Amy’s sister Deb, pub owner Chuck and Joanna. Deb is another single girl living her life just how she wants to. Fully supportive of Amy, Bailey is a love of her life. Chuck owns a pub with a history. An older man, he has a heart full of compassion, if not the energy to match it.

Joanna……nah……. read the book.

The plot? Amy and Bailey move in with Grant and all seems to be rosy. Grant starts to write his new book and things start to turn not so rosy. Bailey seems to be the only one that notices and must set about finding out what the problem is and trying to fix it. It isn’t going to be that easy.

Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well, it is. And it isn’t. I won’t lie to you. It’s not very hard to figure out what is going on in this story quite early on. I don’t think it was ever written in a way that Mr Lemmons wanted to keep things a secret, or have you guessing right to the end what was going to happen. You won’t be guessing in terms of the actual story. You will be guessing how it is going to pan out.

So what was it like in terms of a book and how was the writing?

I am going to make a very bold statement right now and make my feelings on this story very, very clear:

This is one of the most harrowing, difficult to read (due to emotional highs and lows), dark and frightening stories I have read in years.

It took me a long time to read this book. A lot longer than it normally would for a book of its length. Not because it was bad or I lost interest. Because I had to keep putting it down and walking away from it to try and get my levels of anger and disgust back to a point where I could read on and not want to throw my nice new Kindle out a window.

If you read the synopsis, if will be no surprise to you that Bailey suffers a lot of abuse in this story. Thankfully there is no sexual abuse or I would have just closed the book. It is mostly psychological but does get worse as the story progresses. I must highlight at this point, in the strongest possible terms, the abuse in this story is handled in such a way that, yes, it is not pleasant to read, but no, it is not done in a gratuitous or sensationalistic way. It is just right for the story. Mr Lemmons deserves huge pats on the back for that aspect of the story alone.

If you read this book and do not feel sad at times and angry at times and truly wish that you could dive into the pages and get Bailey out of there then you are one heartless son of a bitch.

So what does all of this tell you? What it should tell you is this; I have read hundreds of books throughout my lifetime. Most times nothing surprises me anymore. Then I pick up a book like this. It makes me realise that there are some people out there who turn into monsters. There may be a reason for it as there is in this story. It makes me realise that the old stories of ghosts and hauntings and demons terrorising simple people, could really exist. It makes me a believer.

All because of how good someone has been at putting the words, on this page that I am reading, together in such a way that they entertain me, scare me, absolutely terrify me, make me want to run and hide, make me want to run and get help, make me put the book down and go and talk to my wife about it because it has affected me so much, make me cry.

Do I have to tell you any more about how Wayne Lemmons writes?

Didn’t think so.

To summarise: a harrowing, brutal at times, creepy as hell story about ghosts that don’t want to be held back. Read it at your peril, but read it you must.

General rating:

★★★★★ superb.

Horror rating:

★★★★★ superb again.

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer, then please consider using the links below to buy The Story’s Writer or any other books from Wayne. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.


Book Synopsis:

Grant is handsome, charismatic, and charming. He’s also a horror novelist who’s had moderate success in his craft. The only thing more attractive than the man is the fact that he actually wants to meet Amy’s son, Bailey.

Bailey is independent for his age, as competent at caring for his own daily needs as most children twice his age, but overweight and ailed by a lack of personal confidence. His reservations about meeting a new man are evident in his resistance of his mother’s demands, but soon he warms to the charming writer. Bailey sees an opportunity to gain not only a father, but a friend.

Months later, after Bailey and his mother have taken up residence with this new man, odd behaviors begin to emerge as Grant researches the basis for his new novel. It’s a nonfiction manuscript, based on ghost stories originating at a local bar with a reputation for appearances from the other side. It’s a good book with a good story behind it, but it’s taking Grant down a path of hatred, violence, and ultimate destruction.

When Amy begins helping Grant with his editing, she too falls victim to the effects of prose, Bailey begins to receive a more brutal version of parenting. Now he’s hungry, in pain, and afraid with little or no help in sight as the story being written in his home stops mirroring the events at a remote bar, and becomes the new terrorizing story of his life.

Remember when you were a kid and told everyone that you wanted to be an astronaut-cowboy-billionaire? I didn't really do any of that, but the principle still remains the same. I'm a wrench-monkey by day, a writer/editor/proof-reader/drunkard by night, and a scuba diver on the weekends. I was born in Kentucky and somehow found myself on Clearwater Beach living in a houseboat with a group of eclectic neighbors that are sure to grace the pages of one of my books in the near future. What a terribly boring life I lead, right?

I've been writing since I pumped out my first short story at the glorious age of nine. For some reason the story was absolutely violent beyond belief and I'm thankful that I've been able to tone down the language since then. I was a vulgar little kid.

I'm continuing the dream of that nine-year-old by writing full-length novels that will take you to emotional places that you may or may not want to go, but the journey will leave you fulfilled and unsettled. Two feelings that I love to invoke.

So read my books! You'll love them, I promise!

And for more about Wayne, visit his site or find him on Social Media:

Website – Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads – Amazon Page

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