Monday, September 14, 2009

Once Upon A Nightmare by Lee Moylan

Copyright: 2008
Pages: 330
Genre: Horror
Book Source: From author

On the night of October thirteenth, the Hunter's Moon descended upon the quiet town of White Chapel. As Sara Bishop drifted off to sleep under its soft illumination, the full moon seemed to have brought with it something far more sinister than a warm glow. At once, the nightmare started. But this wasn't any ordinary nightmare… This one seemed real - as if she could smell it, feel it, taste it. It was one of those dreams - one that awakened her witch-like sense - a harbinger of heartbreak and now, horror.

Together with Rebecca Parker, the only other person who understood her gift, someone who had experienced her own strange senses, Sara hoped to come to terms with this ominous nightmare. But her closest friend and next door neighbor was no where to be found - not since the night of October thirteenth. And so it begins. With little help from her skeptical husband or local police, Sara finds herself virtually alone as her grisly dreams crawl from the darkness to become a sick and twisted reality - a reality where she has become the ultimate desire of a sadistic serial killer. As images of death, phantoms and shadows surround Sara in this Halloween season, she needs to listen to the whispers in her mind, use her gift, to unmask those around her, for one of them is the man from her nightmare. And he sees her when she's sleeping… He knows when she's awake.

Firstly, a big thank you to Lee for sending me Once Upon A Nightmare. I loved the personal message in the front of the book:

To Sheree,
Welcome to my nightmare!
Sweet Dreams ...
Lee Moylan

I jumped on this one as soon as it arrived in my mailbox and honest to goodness I could not put it down. I read it in one sitting, staying up into the wee hours with my heart in my mouth, my hair on end, and a sick feeling of dread in my stomache.

To become completely immersed in evil, caught up in the horror with the characters is a frightening experience & a testament to the talent of the author and the "poop your pants" quality of the story. Lee Moylan's characterisation is excellent, the mystical bond between Sara and her best friend Rebecca was both fascinating & terrifying and I found myself hoping for a miracle or a different outcome for one of my favourite characters while understanding the futility of such hope. While I had an inklng who the killer was part way through the book, my hunch was soon forgotten as the author's writing sent my suspicions off on different tangents. Apart from a minor hiccup with a scene that would have worked as narration rather than dialogue this book seriously blew me away.

Lee Moylan writes evil with such clarity, with a vividness that is too real for comfort. These were some of the best and most graphic and macabre murder scenes I have read in a long time. The author's passion for forensics is evident in her writing, she goes to great lengths to describe the physicality of what happens to the victims of this serial killer and believe me, it is not for the squeamish or faint hearted.

I love a disturbing, intense, chilling horror and Once Upon A Nightmare definitely fits that criteria, giving Lee Moylan entrance to the sacred sanctum of horror writers, joining the ranks of my favourites, Masterton, King, Koontz and Rickman

"Welcome to my nightmare" - check - your work here is done Lee!!
Bring on Fatal Charade.

About the Author:
Lee Moylan is a fiction writer with a BS degree in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She lives outside of Chicago in the Northwest suburbs with her three children. Besides a fascination with biology and chemistry, she has a passion for the art of forensics.
Her desire to comprehend the almost incomprehensible has driven her to create a frighteningly believable tale that explores the depths a deranged mind can go. The murderer of Once Upon a Nightmare combines elements of actual criminals.

Lee's inspiration for Once Upon A Nightmare came from a vivid nightmare she experienced and I hope to find out a little more about that in an up-coming interview.

You can purchase Once Upon A Nightmare from The Book Depository or Amazon.

This month on The Eclectic Reader you could win Fire by Kristen Cashore OR Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick OR Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Check this blog post for details. International entrants welcome.


  1. I'm not sure this one is for me but I know Jake and my mom would love it. Thanks for the review! It gave me chills!

  2. Fantastic review! You couldn't pay me to read it but I'm sure people who like horror would love it! Well done, one down!

  3. I love this review - I like a little horror every now and then and this book sounds right up my street...

    And you couldn't put it down - what better recommendation...


  4. Great review!! Sometimes a really evil book is a nice change of pace. I will definitely keep my eye out for this one!

  5. This book sounds fantastic! I love horror books, although I don't always get around to reading them. My fiance is a huge fan of horror, and whenever I have a recommendation for him he always dives right in. I will have to let him know about this one. It's been added to the wishlist!

    Thanks for the great review, now I'm itching to become a part of the nightmare too!

  6. This sounds positively chilling! I'll be looking for this title it really sounds like a god one. Thank you for the great review!

  7. I meant "good" one LOL! Good old typos, gotta love'em!

  8. Oooh, I love a good horror novel Teddyree and am definitely adding this one to my list!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!!


  9. Wow, this sounds really scary, I am adding this to my list, sounds like a great read!

  10. Alyssa Kirk ~ yes this genre is not for everyone but I'd thoroughly recommend it for those that love a graphic murder/suspense.

    Alaine ~ lol hey you've become desensitised to blood and gore over the past year, who knows what you'll be reading in another 12 months.

    EH ~ let me know what you think if you manage to pick this one up.

    Mandi ~ if you like the genre you will love this one

    Falling of the Shelf ~ lol loved your comment "itching to become a part of the nightmare too!"
    I can't recommend it highly enough!

    Krista ~ lol, knew what ya meant. let me know if you do read this one, I'd love to know what you think.

    Lea ~ cool another horror reader, there's not too many of us out there lol. I dont think you can go wrong with Once Upon A Nightmare.

    Elnice ~ yep, did you see my comment "poop your pants" scary LOL. It was awesome!

  11. Grat review. This sounds really good! Sounds like it's right up my alley too. Thanks for the review. =)

  12. I love horror! Great review, and I am definitely interested. :)

  13. Hi Teddyree!

    New author to me and right here in Illinois. I'll have to pick this one up, I love a good scarytale. Dean Koontz is one of my favorites. I have his new book, Relentless coming up to read. Have you read it yet?

    Dottie :)

  14. Dottie ~ haven't read Relentless, I'm off to goodreads to check it out, don't know how I missed his new one out LOL

  15. Wow, that was an awesome review...Big Kudos to you. You captured the book perfectly.

    I'm so glad you liked it =) I did too!!

  16. "Lee Moylan writes evil with such clarity, with a vividness that is too real for comfort." That is a dead-on description. Great review!

  17. Wow ... what an irresistible review! :-) I don't usually read horror, but you piqued my interest.

  18. With your well written and descriptive review, the reader can tell that this is a chilling and yet irresistible book of horror. It seems from your description the author has great skill in depicting the horror with succinctness. I loved your review and I definitely have added it to my TBR list.

    bstilwell12 at comcast dot net

  19. Good review, I will have to read this one!!!! I love scary stories and silly me I always seem to read thiese kind when hubby is at work so then I hear every creak and groan of this old house....!!

  20. This was a great review! I'll have to look this one up!

  21. Wow - your review sure made me want to read this book. I'll put it on my to buy list!! Great review..

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  22. Great review. Sounds like a good horror/suspense book that I have to watch out for.

  23. Great review. I love scary stories and I can't wait to read this.

  24. OOOOOOOOOO this sounds like a great book. It will be another to add to my TBR books. Thanks for the review
    Love & Hugs,

  25. Hi Teddyree,

    Great review and I really want to read this book! Once in awhile I like to read books that are spooky and scary!

  26. Your review made me really want to read this book!

  27. Great review! I would love to read a book that makes me stay up at night :P

  28. I love the sound of this book. Definitely my type of read. Thanks for the great review.

  29. I laughed with this bit: "poop your pants" quality of the story

    Good review!

  30. Okay, I need to get this sounds awesome.

  31. I can't stand to hear these kinds of stories in real life but I love to read a fictional version. Scary stories are such fun and this sounds like one I have to read! Great review!

  32. Great review, This book sounds scary.I would love to read a book which I would not like to put down unless and until I don't finish it.

    The author 'Lee Moylan' has a fascination for biology and Forensic..! No wonder she has written such a book..!

  33. Great Review, I'm going to get the book.

  34. This is my kind of book. Every once in a while I want a thriller that I just cannot put down even though it scares me.


  35. Awesome interview. Gave me goosebumps just reading it. I like to get scared so this would be the book for me. Thanks so much for this opportunity to win it.

  36. Great review!
    If I didn't already wanted to read this, I would after reading the review.

  37. That message was kind of creepy :)
    And you love a disturbing! I dnt know, I have not read one yet and maybe I should give this one a try and se what you are talking about :)


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