Hot Best Seller

Petrified Women

Availability: Ready to download

Some pranks go too far. This one could be deadly. Harley has the perfect boyfriend. Why can’t her best friend see that? He’s nothing like the others, especially the one who still haunts her memories. She’s finally picked a “keeper” with Aiden. Sure, he’s a bit eccentric. His wood carving hobby is a little odd. His need for isolation while he carves his life-size female figur Some pranks go too far. This one could be deadly. Harley has the perfect boyfriend. Why can’t her best friend see that? He’s nothing like the others, especially the one who still haunts her memories. She’s finally picked a “keeper” with Aiden. Sure, he’s a bit eccentric. His wood carving hobby is a little odd. His need for isolation while he carves his life-size female figurines is strange. And maybe his obsession with pranks, or "scares" on Harley goes a little too far. But what do you expect? Aiden’s an artist. Harley has finally picked the perfect boyfriend. That’s why this year, Harley ignores all her best friend’s warnings. She has the ultimate surprise planned for Aiden’s birthday, one that’s going to help her get even in their battle to out-prank each other. She hides in his apartment, excitedly waiting to pull off the scare of a lifetime… But then he comes home, and Harley witnesses a different side of her boyfriend. The side that exists behind closed doors when he doesn’t know anyone’s watching. Is this just one of his scares? Or is there something more sinister lurking behind his playful nature? Harley’s about to find out. CONTENT WARNING: Sexual Assault Violence Body Horror Strong Language Reader discretion advised


Compare

Some pranks go too far. This one could be deadly. Harley has the perfect boyfriend. Why can’t her best friend see that? He’s nothing like the others, especially the one who still haunts her memories. She’s finally picked a “keeper” with Aiden. Sure, he’s a bit eccentric. His wood carving hobby is a little odd. His need for isolation while he carves his life-size female figur Some pranks go too far. This one could be deadly. Harley has the perfect boyfriend. Why can’t her best friend see that? He’s nothing like the others, especially the one who still haunts her memories. She’s finally picked a “keeper” with Aiden. Sure, he’s a bit eccentric. His wood carving hobby is a little odd. His need for isolation while he carves his life-size female figurines is strange. And maybe his obsession with pranks, or "scares" on Harley goes a little too far. But what do you expect? Aiden’s an artist. Harley has finally picked the perfect boyfriend. That’s why this year, Harley ignores all her best friend’s warnings. She has the ultimate surprise planned for Aiden’s birthday, one that’s going to help her get even in their battle to out-prank each other. She hides in his apartment, excitedly waiting to pull off the scare of a lifetime… But then he comes home, and Harley witnesses a different side of her boyfriend. The side that exists behind closed doors when he doesn’t know anyone’s watching. Is this just one of his scares? Or is there something more sinister lurking behind his playful nature? Harley’s about to find out. CONTENT WARNING: Sexual Assault Violence Body Horror Strong Language Reader discretion advised

30 review for Petrified Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Pat (on partial hiatus)

    This sweet little horror novella can be summed up in four words - karma is a bitch! Harley has terrible taste in men but thinks her current boyfriend, Aiden, is a good guy. He has a rather annoying habit though of prank scaring her. Also, his apartment is a little freaky as he is a sculptor and he carves life size and life like women in various poses. On his birthday though Harley thinks she has got the perfect comeback. She sneaks into his apartment to prepare the surprise scare. But yikes, she This sweet little horror novella can be summed up in four words - karma is a bitch! Harley has terrible taste in men but thinks her current boyfriend, Aiden, is a good guy. He has a rather annoying habit though of prank scaring her. Also, his apartment is a little freaky as he is a sculptor and he carves life size and life like women in various poses. On his birthday though Harley thinks she has got the perfect comeback. She sneaks into his apartment to prepare the surprise scare. But yikes, she hears Aiden coming home before expected. And he is not alone. What follows really, truly scares the pants off Harley. I really enjoyed this novella but I didn’t find it at all scary or creepy. It was kind of fun because….karma!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Helen Power

    Petrified Women is a gripping and original novella that packs a lot of horror in its 92 pages. The story starts off as unsettling as we’re introduced to the protagonist, Harley. She’s dating a man who loves playing pranks–in fact, he calls this his love language. This, in itself, doesn’t seem too disturbing, until she starts to outline the pranks that he’s played on her over the course of their time together. They seem to be designed to petrify her, and her PTSD from a previous abusive Petrified Women is a gripping and original novella that packs a lot of horror in its 92 pages. The story starts off as unsettling as we’re introduced to the protagonist, Harley. She’s dating a man who loves playing pranks–in fact, he calls this his love language. This, in itself, doesn’t seem too disturbing, until she starts to outline the pranks that he’s played on her over the course of their time together. They seem to be designed to petrify her, and her PTSD from a previous abusive relationship doesn’t help matters. This PTSD is viscerally depicted in a realistic and gut-wrenching way that adds another level of horror to this multi-layered story. Her boyfriend, Aiden, is an artist, and he has sculpted wooden women standing around his apartment. The imagery of these peculiar pieces of art combined with the obviously toxic relationship dynamic between Harley and Aiden immediately created a tense atmosphere that only gets more and more stressful as the story progresses. One thing that I loved about the novella is that you never truly know what’s real–which is what Harley herself struggles with. Aiden loves his malicious pranks, and as the horror of the story escalates, she’s constantly wondering if everything that’s happening could actually be just another elaborate prank. Are the events of the story just an extreme form of gaslighting, or is something truly insidious going on? I was a little worried that the author wouldn’t (or couldn't) keep the momentum going for the entire story, but he pulled it off masterfully, wrapping everything up with a satisfying conclusion. Needless to say, I devoured this book in one sitting, and I look forward to checking out more of Jeremy Ray’s work. *Thank you to the author for the ebook to review* This review appeared first on https://powerlibrarian.wordpress.com/ Book Blog | Instagram | TikTok | Website | Twitter My 2021 Reading Challenge

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paul Ataua

    Harley copies her new boyfriend’s apartment keys to play a prank on him in response to all the pranks he has played on her. What happens when she goes there is far from what she expects. It’s a great Idea and a fairly satisfying story with a solid enough end. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite work. The suspense builds early and then plateaus as the author tries to keep up the tension over much too long a period. There is a limit to how many times a shadow appearing under the crack of a door works t Harley copies her new boyfriend’s apartment keys to play a prank on him in response to all the pranks he has played on her. What happens when she goes there is far from what she expects. It’s a great Idea and a fairly satisfying story with a solid enough end. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite work. The suspense builds early and then plateaus as the author tries to keep up the tension over much too long a period. There is a limit to how many times a shadow appearing under the crack of a door works to increase your heart beat and the constant mention of pranks eventually goes stale. Having said that, I do feel there is a lot of promise here and I will look out for future offerings from this author. Try it and see!

  4. 4 out of 5

    greta

    first i wanna say thank you to the author for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ! i liked this. it was really bizarre and unique. i think this story would have been even better if it was a proper novel. what i liked about this book was definitely the ending. like that was fucking creepy ngl, i’d be out of that place immediately 😂 also i really appreciate the trigger warnings in the beginning of the book. in my opinion, all the authors should be doing that 💕 and the au first i wanna say thank you to the author for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ! i liked this. it was really bizarre and unique. i think this story would have been even better if it was a proper novel. what i liked about this book was definitely the ending. like that was fucking creepy ngl, i’d be out of that place immediately 😂 also i really appreciate the trigger warnings in the beginning of the book. in my opinion, all the authors should be doing that 💕 and the author’s note about Petrified Women absolutely broke me. that was so damn heart breaking to read and i really appreciate how strong Jeremy Ray is for sharing his experience through stories. i also liked the beginning of this book, the pranks Aiden pulled on Harley were really something else entirely 👀 now what i struggled with was the middle of the novella, really. i found it to be a bit boring, despite all the stuff that happened. i can’t really say much without spoiling it all, but i can say the supernatural aspect of this book didn’t really work out for me. i also struggled to fully connect my feelings to the story, i felt like i needed to know more about the characters to care what happened to them. as i said before, i think it would’ve worked better as a novel. that way the reader would get to see the backstory of everything, the present and the aftermath in a more detailed way and so the whole situation would feel more realistic and gripping. it was too short and crammed, in my opinion. i do recommend reading this for those who want to begin reading horror and those who want a quick read. also, don’t let my review dissuade you from reading this book, i really think some of you will find it to be brilliant !!! specially if you want a bizarre and somewhat different horror 👀

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael Sorbello

    After dating a series of jerks and psychotic abusers, Harley thinks she's finally found a soulmate in her new boyfriend Aiden. He's a bit eccentric, his main hobbies include carving life-sized female figurines and expressing his affection through cleverly orchestrated practical jokes that scare the living daylights out of Harley. While her friend warns her that these are obvious red flags, she ignores them in desperation of finding someone she actually feels safe with. To pay him back, Harley pl After dating a series of jerks and psychotic abusers, Harley thinks she's finally found a soulmate in her new boyfriend Aiden. He's a bit eccentric, his main hobbies include carving life-sized female figurines and expressing his affection through cleverly orchestrated practical jokes that scare the living daylights out of Harley. While her friend warns her that these are obvious red flags, she ignores them in desperation of finding someone she actually feels safe with. To pay him back, Harley plans the ultimate practical scare on her boyfriend on his birthday, hiding in is closet while waiting for him to enter his apartment. What she witnesses him doing while hiding in his closet changes the way she sees her boyfriend, realizing that he might be far more eccentric than she originally thought. He turns into a different man when he thinks no one is watching. Petrified Women effectively plays with the concept of who people pretend to be in the public eye versus who they really are behind closed doors. Trauma, karma and blurring reality through misplaced hope and disbelief all play a role in setting up an intense situation between two not-so-ordinary people. A very good psychological thriller with a satisfying conclusion.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    To all the survivors out there. To everyone with trauma that keeps us frozen in time and held captive by memories. Jeremy Ray sees you. Petrified Women is a horror novella, less than 100 pages long and with a unique story that keeps you glued to the page. It calls attention to the internalized emotions that accompany trauma (specifically sexual assault), it reminds readers that being violated is never your fault, and it cathartically shows the reclaiming of power. And oh how the women here recla To all the survivors out there. To everyone with trauma that keeps us frozen in time and held captive by memories. Jeremy Ray sees you. Petrified Women is a horror novella, less than 100 pages long and with a unique story that keeps you glued to the page. It calls attention to the internalized emotions that accompany trauma (specifically sexual assault), it reminds readers that being violated is never your fault, and it cathartically shows the reclaiming of power. And oh how the women here reclaim their power! I loved it! Highly recommend!!! Petrified Women is now available on Amazon! Link available in @jeremyraystories IG bio.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nakia's Hideaway

    4.5 out of 5! This was a page turner! I could not put it down. Jeremy Ray created so much suspense in the setup of this story that I was just on the edge of my seat needing to know what was going to happen next. And for a while I was wondering why this novella was categorized as a horror because it seemed more like a suspense/thriller. But then the horror kicked in and it was disturbing... in the best possible way. It got creepy and gory and I was here for it! I read this novella in October and it w 4.5 out of 5! This was a page turner! I could not put it down. Jeremy Ray created so much suspense in the setup of this story that I was just on the edge of my seat needing to know what was going to happen next. And for a while I was wondering why this novella was categorized as a horror because it seemed more like a suspense/thriller. But then the horror kicked in and it was disturbing... in the best possible way. It got creepy and gory and I was here for it! I read this novella in October and it was perfect for the spooky season. The only reason this isn't a 5 star read is due to it getting a little confusing when the action picked up, but that was only briefly. Note: Jeremy Ray makes it clear that there is a trigger warning for sexual assault in the introduction to this novella. And as someone who was concerned about this, let me tell you that it was handled very tastefully. The sexual assault is recounted and not very graphic. And I applaud Jeremy Ray for addressing a very important topic. This one is a new favorite for sure!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Deb✨

    For only being a novella, this ends up being a creeptastically psychotic psychological thriller that will leave you reeling! Don't say you weren't warned... For only being a novella, this ends up being a creeptastically psychotic psychological thriller that will leave you reeling! Don't say you weren't warned...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hilda

    Scares were Aiden’s love language. He invested time devising them. It’s not like he hadn’t warned her. Harley has the perfect boyfriend. Sooooo perfect. He just likes to scare her is all. That’s the only bad quality. He scared her half to death. She has PTSD from his scares. She is living scared he’s going to scare her. That’s it. NOT. You all, when I tell you I thought I knew….so predictable…then BAM. I was not ready. This story was so creepy but I thought it was normal people suck creepy. It d Scares were Aiden’s love language. He invested time devising them. It’s not like he hadn’t warned her. Harley has the perfect boyfriend. Sooooo perfect. He just likes to scare her is all. That’s the only bad quality. He scared her half to death. She has PTSD from his scares. She is living scared he’s going to scare her. That’s it. NOT. You all, when I tell you I thought I knew….so predictable…then BAM. I was not ready. This story was so creepy but I thought it was normal people suck creepy. It definitely is that, Aiden (view spoiler)[ was a serial killer (hide spoiler)] this was pretty clear. But then all the scary stuff starts happening and it was so perfect. It scared me, like really scared me. I will never see trees the same. It was also dealing with a lot of emotions and listen to the TW. All I can say is wow. This story was wow. Read it if you want to be scared and want to read a small novella. Halloween is coming, read this!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kristina ||

    ✨😱 Book Review - PETRIFIED WOMEN by Jeremy Ray 😱✨ I was lucky enough to be a beta reader for this one and it's so awesome to see this story blossom as much as it has. This novella is about a young woman who wants to surprise her boyfriend with a scary prank for his birthday but things go awry and secrets are discovered. This was such a thriller and had very suspenseful moments, that I couldn't put it down. I found myself really connected and attached to the main character. She was very relatable a ✨😱 Book Review - PETRIFIED WOMEN by Jeremy Ray 😱✨ I was lucky enough to be a beta reader for this one and it's so awesome to see this story blossom as much as it has. This novella is about a young woman who wants to surprise her boyfriend with a scary prank for his birthday but things go awry and secrets are discovered. This was such a thriller and had very suspenseful moments, that I couldn't put it down. I found myself really connected and attached to the main character. She was very relatable and had a wonderful character arc that was pivotal to the storyline. Loved her. Now the horror in this was pretty shocking and a little magical. I enjoyed the horror elements and feel that they complimented the tougher subjects in this. Even though the storyline had predictable moments I was still enthralled with what was happening. The ending I really enjoyed and wasn't expecting. In the beginning of this novella, Jeremy points out trigger warnings and what they are so I would suggest taking note of them just in case. Again, this was very enjoyable and just shows how versatile of a writer Jeremy Ray really is. ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫/5 Rounded up for GR

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kelly| Just Another Horror Reader

    Jeremy Ray may be the most versatile writer I’ve found since joining bookstagram. I started off reading his non-horror short story The House Plant and absolutely loved it. Then I read The Gathering and realized he can write really good, creepy horror. Today I finished his new horror novella, Petrified Women, and it’s my new favorite. It’s about a young woman named Harley and her “perfect boyfriend”, Aiden. Aiden is an artist who has full sized wooden statues he’s carved of women in his apartment Jeremy Ray may be the most versatile writer I’ve found since joining bookstagram. I started off reading his non-horror short story The House Plant and absolutely loved it. Then I read The Gathering and realized he can write really good, creepy horror. Today I finished his new horror novella, Petrified Women, and it’s my new favorite. It’s about a young woman named Harley and her “perfect boyfriend”, Aiden. Aiden is an artist who has full sized wooden statues he’s carved of women in his apartment (That would have been a huge warning sign for me 😂). Harley decides to pull off a surprise prank for Aiden’s birthday but Harley’s the one who gets the surprise. I don’t want to give too much away about the plot. but be prepared to feel claustrophobic and totally creeped out. The ending was completely unexpected and I LOVED it! This book deals with trauma and abuse. Jeremy notes this in the preface in case you’re triggered by these things. Thank you, Jeremy, for sending me this book for my honest review. It was a blast to read!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Harley falls hard for Aiden, an artist with an odd hobby of sculpting life-size women out of wood. Aiden straight up tells her his love language is practical jokes and though some pranks can be creative, others are borderline psychotic. Harley comes up with the ultimate, shocking stunt that will top their list and beat Aiden once and for all. But what she witnesses while hiding in his closet makes her not only question her boyfriend’s motives, but his sanity as well as her own. Sometimes she talk Harley falls hard for Aiden, an artist with an odd hobby of sculpting life-size women out of wood. Aiden straight up tells her his love language is practical jokes and though some pranks can be creative, others are borderline psychotic. Harley comes up with the ultimate, shocking stunt that will top their list and beat Aiden once and for all. But what she witnesses while hiding in his closet makes her not only question her boyfriend’s motives, but his sanity as well as her own. Sometimes she talks to the wooden women, and sometimes she thinks they talk back. Sometimes she thinks they move. What could adventurous, mysterious, over-the-top prank-loving Aiden possibly be hiding? PETRIFIED WOMEN is a fast-paced psychological horror with such a badass conclusion. Thank you to the author for an advanced copy of this book 🖤 I am always so stoked to read your work 🙌🏻 TW: sexual assault

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alex | | findingmontauk1

    I just finished PETRIFIED WOMEN by Jeremy Ray and right off the bat we have another banger for a cover! I know covers aren't everything but I just love a great one, okay? With this story we get to see another side of Ray's mind, one that is much darker than I've read before. We experience a toxic relationship, abuse, and I felt panicky and claustrophobic when I read this - I was absolutely on edge! Harley and her boyfriend, Aiden, have an odd relationship (to say the least), where they like to p I just finished PETRIFIED WOMEN by Jeremy Ray and right off the bat we have another banger for a cover! I know covers aren't everything but I just love a great one, okay? With this story we get to see another side of Ray's mind, one that is much darker than I've read before. We experience a toxic relationship, abuse, and I felt panicky and claustrophobic when I read this - I was absolutely on edge! Harley and her boyfriend, Aiden, have an odd relationship (to say the least), where they like to prank each other and see who can produce the biggest scares. Aiden also has a creepy hobby of carving female wooden statues... these things absolutely freaked me out! Having just crafted the ULTIMATE scare prank for her boyfriend on his birthday, Harley is suddenly placed in a terrifying situation. And you do not know what's real or what's a threat... and you definitely don't know who, if anyone, is safe. Main plot aside, we get a lot of psychological horror re: trauma. There's a little bit of an anxious hope (is that a thing...? If not, I am making it a thing) for Harley the whole book - and I really felt like I was sharing her brain, in her head, and experiencing all of her emotions, past and current, as she shared them with us. Jeremy Ray put out another solid hit with this story, and it might be my favorite to date now. I was in suspense and fear for the majority of the story and I seriously had no idea which way the story could be heading -- there were countless ways the story of Harley and Aiden could pan out. And I can say I enjoyed it from beginning to ending! Check this one out when you can -- try not to feel too helpless and petrified as you ride alongside Harley.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael Goodwin

    Practical jokes have always made me nervous because they are easily taken too far. What starts out as something intended to be funny can suddenly turn in the wrong direction, and with devastating circumstances. This story explores that and much more, including some very sensitive topics. We come into the story with Harley, who wants to beat her boyfriend at their "back and forth" game of practical jokes. As she lies in wait in his apartment, things go sideways fast and she is forced to confront d Practical jokes have always made me nervous because they are easily taken too far. What starts out as something intended to be funny can suddenly turn in the wrong direction, and with devastating circumstances. This story explores that and much more, including some very sensitive topics. We come into the story with Harley, who wants to beat her boyfriend at their "back and forth" game of practical jokes. As she lies in wait in his apartment, things go sideways fast and she is forced to confront dark parts of her past to save her own life. Ray does an excellent job blending suspense, fear, and horror all into one short story. He navigates many potentially triggering issues in a way that was vivid and real without being gratuitous. The ending was fast and brutal with a satisfying twist. As well written as some of the "trigger" scenes were, it could definitely still be too much for some. I advise you take heed of the author's content warning in the preface, and if you continue past that, you'll soon be cheering along for Harley just like I was.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karla Kay

    "Some choose fight, others choose flight, you chose freeze." Wow, what can I say? As a new reader of Jeremy Ray, I am blown away by the creativity here. I am not talking about the the scare tactics that Aiden gets his kicks out of, albeit they are quite scary. I cant even imagine having these done to me. I'm jumpy enough already, so this part of the story had me filled with anxiety. Not in a bad way, this is what I love about horror. Those anxiety filled, spine tingling moments. Now poor Harley "Some choose fight, others choose flight, you chose freeze." Wow, what can I say? As a new reader of Jeremy Ray, I am blown away by the creativity here. I am not talking about the the scare tactics that Aiden gets his kicks out of, albeit they are quite scary. I cant even imagine having these done to me. I'm jumpy enough already, so this part of the story had me filled with anxiety. Not in a bad way, this is what I love about horror. Those anxiety filled, spine tingling moments. Now poor Harley has suffered tremendously, not only by Aiden's scare tactics and why she even wants to be with him is beyond me. She has suffered abuse from a past boyfriend and she is trying to deal with the unrelenting horror that she went through. This is handled by the author in a respectful, somewhat quiet manner. He doesn't go into unrelenting detail, but he does reveal to us what happened and it is an unsettling occurrence. It is handled with sensitivity and mindful care. Harley often makes bad decisions because of this and it is certainly understandable and relatable. My heart sincerely broke for her and had me routing for her to kick Aiden's backside into the wind. The most creative part of this was the petrified women. This is what blew me away! I don't want to reveal what they are, but they are absolutely creepy and had me on edge. I also feel that they are the heroes in this. The protectors. Although, I wouldn't want them lurking about!! This story gives us the darkness of humans, the power it has that affects our hearts and our minds. The horror that sticks. The hope that there may be a light shining at the end of that darkness. I love the dedication at the beginning. It tells us that we are diving into a story that has meaning and reaches out to the heart. The synopsis gives the reader trigger warnings and reader discretion is advised, so please be aware. In all honesty, I probably would not have been able to read this a few years ago. But I choose, I choose awareness, I choose to learn, I choose to not let it be in control. This one is handled with compassion. I'll most definitely be looking into more of Jeremy's writing. It is such a great feeling to read an author's published works that I have never read before. A huge thank you to the author for the complimentary copy! I appreciate your kindness!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Krystin Rachel

    Book Blog | Bookstagram Book Blog | Bookstagram Filed Under: Getting a woody This short story is… really odd. While I certainly love the uniqueness of the plot and the idea of spooky wooden women, most of the plot points were really hard for me to get behind. Like, I cannot believe this young woman hung off a fire escape like she was in Die Hard over the worst fucking boyfriend. The only character I liked was the friend who was suspish of the BF and tried to talk sense into the MC. Said MC is annoyi Book Blog | Bookstagram Book Blog | Bookstagram Filed Under: Getting a woody This short story is… really odd. While I certainly love the uniqueness of the plot and the idea of spooky wooden women, most of the plot points were really hard for me to get behind. Like, I cannot believe this young woman hung off a fire escape like she was in Die Hard over the worst fucking boyfriend. The only character I liked was the friend who was suspish of the BF and tried to talk sense into the MC. Said MC is annoying and seemed to be written with the intelligence level of a 12-year-old. I’m not sure why writing a naïve, meek female requires them to also be childish as well. Riddle me that! But, the boyfriend is the FUCKING WORST. The extreme pranking thing was so fucking egregious, I can’t even. How does this guy have friends or any kind of long-term relationship? No one would put up with that. I don’t believe it. If I were to start dating someone who immediately scared the shit out of me repeatedly, GOODBYE. I get that we’re supposed to be witnessing someone fall into a toxic relationship, but that didn’t totally click for me because the pranking was so unlikeable. The two things didn’t really mesh well. I feel like most of what happened was just meant to facilitate the plot, instead of seeming like genuine events. As in, there has to be pranking so she has a reason to hide in the closet, so she can see what happens when the boyfriend gets home, etc. That kind of writing is not for me. But, on the flip side of that, this does have a truly unique plot and I loved how it ended. If any of that gnaws your wood, go for it. The vibe for this one: ⭐⭐⭐ Book source: The author in exchange for a review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michela

    "Some choose fight, others choose flight, you chose freeze. It's not your fault, Harley." Harley has finally found the perfect boyfriend: caring, honest, special. But her best friend doesn't agree with her: sure, he's not like Harley's abusive ex-boyfriends but there's something about him that is strange. Besides his odd hobby of carving life-sized suffering women in wood, he is obsessed with pranks or, as he calls them, "scares". Harley is willing to accept all sorts of jokes to be with him, des "Some choose fight, others choose flight, you chose freeze. It's not your fault, Harley." Harley has finally found the perfect boyfriend: caring, honest, special. But her best friend doesn't agree with her: sure, he's not like Harley's abusive ex-boyfriends but there's something about him that is strange. Besides his odd hobby of carving life-sized suffering women in wood, he is obsessed with pranks or, as he calls them, "scares". Harley is willing to accept all sorts of jokes to be with him, despite being a bit traumatized, and plans the ultimate scare on her boyfriend for his birthday, hiding in his closet. But while hidden she witnesses him doing something that will change their relationship forever. Petrified Women is an amazing horror novella that not only gives you the creeps, but also explores trauma in a very honest way. The main character Harley survived abusive relationships, but it's not easy to leave the past completely behind. I found her incredibly real and her feelings so true. Understanding her past and what she experienced is essential to fully dive into the horror of this story, and in less than 100 pages Ray gave me more than enough details to identify with Harley, feel her claustrophobic fear, share her thoughts and root for her. Read in one sitting, I could not put the book down: beautifully written, I found myself so charmed by the story that I didn't even think about the ending. But when the ending arrives... oooh it's so good. I loved this novella and I can't recommend it highly enough! Do you love horror? Do you enjoy fast-paced stories? Do you enjoy books that make your heart race? Then Petrified Women is the book for you. 5 stars. * I'd like to thank Jeremy Ray for providing a copy of his novella in exchange for my honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    4.5/5! Harley has the perfect boyfriend. She’s confident that Aiden’s a keeper. He's a bit eccentric and his wood carving hobby is a little odd. His need for isolation while he carves his life-size female figurines is strange. And maybe his obsession with pranks, or “scares” on Harley goes a little too far. Harley justifies it by telling herself that Aiden’s an artist. Ignoring all of her best friend’s warnings, she has the ultimate surprise planned for Aiden’s birthday, one that is going to help 4.5/5! Harley has the perfect boyfriend. She’s confident that Aiden’s a keeper. He's a bit eccentric and his wood carving hobby is a little odd. His need for isolation while he carves his life-size female figurines is strange. And maybe his obsession with pranks, or “scares” on Harley goes a little too far. Harley justifies it by telling herself that Aiden’s an artist. Ignoring all of her best friend’s warnings, she has the ultimate surprise planned for Aiden’s birthday, one that is going to help her get even in their battle to out-prank each other. As she hides in his apartment, waiting to pull off the scare of a lifetime, she realizes that the Aiden who just walked in the door is nothing like the man she thinks she knows. Is this just one of his scares? PETRIFIED WOMEN is a dark novella that takes an in-depth look into a night readers are sure never to forget. From the moment I picked this one up I could feel that something was off about Aiden, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I mean what kind of person thrives out of extreme practical jokes and why is Harley okay with this behavior? Then the night of Aiden’s birthday starts to unravel and I just wanted to scream at Harley to run far, far away! Clocking in at under 100 pages, this novella is nothing short of a tense and suspenseful journey alongside Harley that will leave you at the edge of your seat.  This story is pretty dark and not for the faint of heart. I highly recommend taking a look at the trigger warnings Jeremy has listed on the Goodreads page for this book and if you’re okay with them, check this novella out ASAP! I promise that the darkness is worth it for the great conclusion of this story!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Irene Well Worth A Read

    Poor Harley! I loved her but I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and give her a good shake. Sure we've all had a bad relationship or two but Harley takes the cake (literally!) when it comes to choosing the wrong guy. Her too trusting and generous nature has led her down the wrong path before, and sadly she has not learned from her past. This time the lesson may finally sink in, but is it already too late? When Harley decides to surprise her boyfriend for his birthday she is the one who is in fo Poor Harley! I loved her but I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and give her a good shake. Sure we've all had a bad relationship or two but Harley takes the cake (literally!) when it comes to choosing the wrong guy. Her too trusting and generous nature has led her down the wrong path before, and sadly she has not learned from her past. This time the lesson may finally sink in, but is it already too late? When Harley decides to surprise her boyfriend for his birthday she is the one who is in for a shock. I felt almost like I was in the room yet powerless to help as I bore witness to this date from hell. I may have even yelled out loud once or twice but Harley paid me no mind. The content warning doesn't mention claustrophobia because Harley doesn't suffer it, though it may it raise your anxiety level in a particular cramped space scene in the book. There's more to this clever story than just a creep of a boyfriend but far be it from me to spoil it for you. Read it for yourself to find out. This was a short but shocking read with an original and creative plot. You'll never guess where it's going until you get there. I received a complimentary copy for review

  20. 5 out of 5

    Julia (ten_thousand_books)

    I received an ARC copy of Petrified Women by Jeremy Ray to review. Synopsis: Some pranks go too far. This one could be deadly. Harley has the perfect boyfriend. Why can’t her best friend see that? He’s nothing like the others, especially the one who still haunts her memories. She’s finally picked a “keeper” with Aiden. Sure, he’s a bit eccentric. His wood carving hobby is a little odd. His need for isolation while he carves his life-size female figurines is strange. And maybe his obsession with pr I received an ARC copy of Petrified Women by Jeremy Ray to review. Synopsis: Some pranks go too far. This one could be deadly. Harley has the perfect boyfriend. Why can’t her best friend see that? He’s nothing like the others, especially the one who still haunts her memories. She’s finally picked a “keeper” with Aiden. Sure, he’s a bit eccentric. His wood carving hobby is a little odd. His need for isolation while he carves his life-size female figurines is strange. And maybe his obsession with pranks, or "scares" on Harley goes a little too far. But what do you expect? Aiden’s an artist. Harley has finally picked the perfect boyfriend. That’s why this year, Harley ignores all her best friend’s warnings. She has the ultimate surprise planned for Aiden’s birthday, one that’s going to help her get even in their battle to out-prank each other. She hides in his apartment, excitedly waiting to pull off the scare of a lifetime… But then he comes home, and Harley witnesses a different side of her boyfriend. The side that exists behind closed doors when he doesn’t know anyone’s watching. Is this just one of his scares? Or is there something more sinister lurking behind his playful nature? Harley’s about to find out. CONTENT WARNING: Sexual Assault Violence Body Horror Strong Language “Some choose fight, others choose flight, you chose freeze. It’s not your fault, Harley.” I was a little hesitant about the beginning on this book but as the story went on.. let me just say, that reading it when you’re in a dark room makes it all the more creepy. 4/5 Stars! Petrified Women is now available on Amazon! Link available in @jeremyraystories bio.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chryssie

    This short book is raw and powerful. It is based on tragic but very real topics (trigger warning; sexual abuse and violence) and to me, as much as this book is classed as a horror, it’s more just SCARY because the (non-magical) things that happen are uncomfortably and realistically true events for some people, which is heartbreaking 💔 The book is a fast paced, action packed, edge of your seat thriller with horror themes, and it portrays the message of trauma, but also the power of finding streng This short book is raw and powerful. It is based on tragic but very real topics (trigger warning; sexual abuse and violence) and to me, as much as this book is classed as a horror, it’s more just SCARY because the (non-magical) things that happen are uncomfortably and realistically true events for some people, which is heartbreaking 💔 The book is a fast paced, action packed, edge of your seat thriller with horror themes, and it portrays the message of trauma, but also the power of finding strength and overcoming. To me there is more to take in by reading between the lines of this story and I found it powerful, uncomfortable (but not in a bad way) and sad. The writing is excellent, atmosphere eerie and very well done, and the heart pumping story had me completely absorbed. A great read 😊

  22. 4 out of 5

    Philip Aldous

    Full disclosure: I got my copy of Petrified Women free as an ARC. However, because I’ve been busy, I haven’t gotten round to reading it until way after the book came out. Ray seems incapable of writing anything less than a five-star story. From the bizarre apocalypse depicted in The Gatherings, to the heartfelt slice of life drama presented in The Houseplant, each novella he releases is perfectly realised, edited, and crafted to perfection. Petrified Woman is no different; in fact, I was so engro Full disclosure: I got my copy of Petrified Women free as an ARC. However, because I’ve been busy, I haven’t gotten round to reading it until way after the book came out. Ray seems incapable of writing anything less than a five-star story. From the bizarre apocalypse depicted in The Gatherings, to the heartfelt slice of life drama presented in The Houseplant, each novella he releases is perfectly realised, edited, and crafted to perfection. Petrified Woman is no different; in fact, I was so engrossed in the story, I didn’t even notice my tablet’s battery was low until the moment it died around the 50% mark, leaving me scrambling to plug it back in and get back into the action. The premise is simple: After a year of being terrified by one practical joke after another, Harley plans to get her own back on her boyfriend with the ultimate prank. Unfortunately, her plan goes awry when she witnesses an event that threatens to change their relationship forever. But is it just another of his pranks? Although this is Ray’s second horror novella, it’s totally different to The Gatherings. While The Gatherings is more of a classic horror, deriving fear from an eldritch monstrosity, PW is a thriller, exploring themes of human relationships, abuse, and sexual assault. However, for people who may find those topics triggering, it might be a good idea to give this one a miss. It feels like he handles the topic with the perfect amount of care and caution, but as I’m not a survivor myself, I don’t really feel qualified to comment on how the subject is handled. In short, I can’t recommend this one highly enough. It’s a fast-paced, action-packed story that chokeslams you into a vat of tension, and then airdries you in a tumble dryer of self-doubt. Is that a weird way to end this review? Probably. Will I change it? No.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brittany (hauntedbycandlelight)

    “𝗦𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗔𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻’𝘀 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗴𝘂𝗮𝗴𝗲. 𝗛𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺. 𝗜𝘁’𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗶𝗱𝗻’𝘁 𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗻 𝗵𝗲𝗿.” They have a “scare list” attached to the fridge, and Harley only holds one spot, which she feels like Aiden gave her out of sympathy. But she knows that’s about to change because this scare is for real. The surprise she has for Aiden’s birthday is about to slot her into the 1st spot on that list and it involves breaking into his apartment. While hiding in the closet, her mind races to make sense “𝗦𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗔𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻’𝘀 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗴𝘂𝗮𝗴𝗲. 𝗛𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺. 𝗜𝘁’𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗶𝗱𝗻’𝘁 𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗻 𝗵𝗲𝗿.” They have a “scare list” attached to the fridge, and Harley only holds one spot, which she feels like Aiden gave her out of sympathy. But she knows that’s about to change because this scare is for real. The surprise she has for Aiden’s birthday is about to slot her into the 1st spot on that list and it involves breaking into his apartment. While hiding in the closet, her mind races to make sense of what she’s seeing; who is scaring whom? This book will hook you from the very first page and have you staying up all night to finish it. The paranormal elements were AWESOME and super CREEPY. I really enjoyed this one! 4 ⭐️ I’d like to thank the author, Jeremy Ray, for sending me a copy of this e-ARC.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Anderson

    Full Disclosure: I received an ARC of Petrified Women in return for a fair, honest review. I was in no way, shape, or from, coerced into any preconceived appraisal and/or critique(s) of this book Jeremy Ray reached out to me on Instagram and asked me to review Petrified Women. I’ll be honest and say that While I appreciate the hustle of trying to get your independent work read, I’m always a bit leery of when authors try and get you to read their work. It’s always a bit worrisome and there’s alway Full Disclosure: I received an ARC of Petrified Women in return for a fair, honest review. I was in no way, shape, or from, coerced into any preconceived appraisal and/or critique(s) of this book Jeremy Ray reached out to me on Instagram and asked me to review Petrified Women. I’ll be honest and say that While I appreciate the hustle of trying to get your independent work read, I’m always a bit leery of when authors try and get you to read their work. It’s always a bit worrisome and there’s always the fear that the book will suck and you’ll still have to be nice with a moderately positive review. Thankfully, that’s not the case with this novella. Petrified Women is a great story. It’s only something like 90 pages, but what it lacks in length, it makes up for in pacing, plotting, and tension. At times, it reads like a Hitchcockian suspense thriller, so thick with tension that you could cut it with the proverbial knife. Other times it’s a horror story straight out of King or Koontz. It’s well written and speeds along at a pace that’s incredibly hard to put down. Aside from a gratuitous amount of “fucks” (which I don’t have a problem with…just over usage—sometimes I feel it’s just a place holder for words that could be better suited) and it’s short length (not a complaint, just wanna see Ray pen a full length novel if he’s this good at short stories), there’s nothing negative to say about Petrified Women. I can’t wait to see what else Ray can do.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Connor Daley (CJDsCurrentRead)

    The author very kindly offered me a copy to go nicely with my spooky October reads. This novella is very fast paced and adrenaline inducing. I was sucked in immediately and I honestly couldn’t put it down. I read it, in its entirety, while lying down in the dark in bed. Definitely spooky! I will say I think I did kind of see some of the twists and turns coming, but that did absolutely nothing to prepare me for them, nor did it alter my enjoyment whatsoever. Thoroughly a heart-pounding novella of The author very kindly offered me a copy to go nicely with my spooky October reads. This novella is very fast paced and adrenaline inducing. I was sucked in immediately and I honestly couldn’t put it down. I read it, in its entirety, while lying down in the dark in bed. Definitely spooky! I will say I think I did kind of see some of the twists and turns coming, but that did absolutely nothing to prepare me for them, nor did it alter my enjoyment whatsoever. Thoroughly a heart-pounding novella of infatuation, manipulation, abuse, and horror. The wooden, petrified women reminded me of the super eerie flower-people from Annihilation. If you haven’t seen the movie look it up and I’m sure you’ll see what I meant after reading! I was super impressed and happy with the inclusion of a content warning to start the entire thing off. Definitely a thoughtful inclusion that is often not even thought about by authors. Would gladly read more of this writer’s work! You can find all of his work at the link in his bio on Instagram, as well as updates on his page, so give him a follow!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Be prepared to have your mind mentally f**cked! From the author that brought you The Houseplant, Jeremy Ray will give you nightmares. I dare you to get a good night's sleep after reading this book. Horror fans will want to treat themselves to a copy of this book. I knew that I would like this book even before reading it as I loved The Houseplant but I was not prepared for the dark, twisted tale I was about to embark on as I started reading this book. Aiden is super into pranks. There is the ment Be prepared to have your mind mentally f**cked! From the author that brought you The Houseplant, Jeremy Ray will give you nightmares. I dare you to get a good night's sleep after reading this book. Horror fans will want to treat themselves to a copy of this book. I knew that I would like this book even before reading it as I loved The Houseplant but I was not prepared for the dark, twisted tale I was about to embark on as I started reading this book. Aiden is super into pranks. There is the mention of Scare Tactics but think about four times more on the scare level. Harley starts getting into the pranks trying to best Aiden at his own game. What she finds in store for herself when she hides in Aiden's closet is more than she bargained for. Seriously, this book will have you tripping asking yourself what did I just read (in a good way).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    I received a copy of "Petrified Women" from the author for free in exchange for an honest review. And I can honestly say... what a ride! Horror can be such a thrown dice. As a sexual assault survivor, a lot of horror can be weakly written at best, and triggering at worst, and navigating one kind of tale from another is a lot of work (it's one of the reasons why I read a lot of YA horror). So I tiptoed into "Petrified Women" by Jeremy Ray not sure what I was about to get, but I found it the equiva I received a copy of "Petrified Women" from the author for free in exchange for an honest review. And I can honestly say... what a ride! Horror can be such a thrown dice. As a sexual assault survivor, a lot of horror can be weakly written at best, and triggering at worst, and navigating one kind of tale from another is a lot of work (it's one of the reasons why I read a lot of YA horror). So I tiptoed into "Petrified Women" by Jeremy Ray not sure what I was about to get, but I found it the equivalent of... a warm hug?? A warm hug soaked in blood and gore, sure, but nevertheless, the kindness was there. "Petrified Women"'s plot is a straightforward one: Harley wants to scare her boyfriend. Just once. You see, her boyfriend is a bit of a prankster, and he's managed to terrify her a few times now. Harley's fed up with being the victim. And so she sneaks into his apartment and hides, but her boyfriend comes home early, and he's not alone. What initially looks like cheating gets dark and FAST, and suddenly Harley is fighting for survival against a deadly predator. This book is a slim 92 pages, and its short length works great with the characters and worldbuilding that Ray pulled off. Harley made a few suspect choices, sure, but wouldn't we all when our worlds had been rocked by trauma? And it's obvious that Ray has done research into fight/flight/freeze. The tale teeters between action, horror, and almost a dark fairy tale. It's fast-paced and it's gripping, and once I had started it I knew I'd have to finish it in one sitting. I'd recommend this novella to anyone who wants a great story well-told. Other reviewers have mentioned that there's a satisfying karmic element to this book, and I agree, but I'd also add that this book also succeeds in part because it DOES see survivors - and understands and embraces them. I'll be featuring this book on my Bookstagram this week for sure.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Rossi

    I was sent a copy of Petrified Women by Jeremy Ray and was completely blown away by it. It had such a unique concept and as the story progressed, my heart-rate was thudding out of control. The author states at the beginning of his story that he is a sexual-assault survivor. I really appreciated his honesty and vulnerability. It also added a layer of depth to the story as it showed how he works and survives his trauma by facing it head on. I really admire him as a person. I couldn't recommend thi I was sent a copy of Petrified Women by Jeremy Ray and was completely blown away by it. It had such a unique concept and as the story progressed, my heart-rate was thudding out of control. The author states at the beginning of his story that he is a sexual-assault survivor. I really appreciated his honesty and vulnerability. It also added a layer of depth to the story as it showed how he works and survives his trauma by facing it head on. I really admire him as a person. I couldn't recommend this novella enough. It has everything you could want in a short horror story and the ending will leave you so satisfied. Thank you Jeremy, it's an honour to work with you and I hope I get to do so more in the future.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jaroda

    A suspenseful psychological thriller with a touch of horror, perfect for fans of the genre. Even for those like me who don't normally gravitate toward horror/thriller books and want to dip their reader toes in. It's short but Ray's writing has a way of pulling you in and keeping you engaged until the final page. I loved the book and the themes it explores. I highly recommend it, but a word of caution: There are trigger warnings for sexual assault and violence, which Ray addresses in the beginnin A suspenseful psychological thriller with a touch of horror, perfect for fans of the genre. Even for those like me who don't normally gravitate toward horror/thriller books and want to dip their reader toes in. It's short but Ray's writing has a way of pulling you in and keeping you engaged until the final page. I loved the book and the themes it explores. I highly recommend it, but a word of caution: There are trigger warnings for sexual assault and violence, which Ray addresses in the beginning of the book. This was my first work by him, and I'm definitely going to be checking out his other works in the future.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rachaelbookhunter

    Harley is a young woman with a history of picking bad boyfriends. Luckily she has finally found a good guy. Or has she? Her best friend doesn't approve. And he has this thing where he likes to pull pranks on his girlfriend. These pranks are not silly harmless games though. Aiden loves to scare. The couple even have a list of the most frightening scares he's pulled. Aiden is also an artist that carves life sized wooden sculptures of women. This time though Harley is the one who is going to prank Harley is a young woman with a history of picking bad boyfriends. Luckily she has finally found a good guy. Or has she? Her best friend doesn't approve. And he has this thing where he likes to pull pranks on his girlfriend. These pranks are not silly harmless games though. Aiden loves to scare. The couple even have a list of the most frightening scares he's pulled. Aiden is also an artist that carves life sized wooden sculptures of women. This time though Harley is the one who is going to prank Aiden on his birthday. She sneaks into his apartment and hides in the bedroom closet. When he comes home things don't go as planned. Harley is about to see something she wasn't expecting. This novella is a great combination of scary and creepy. Because Harley is hiding in the closet we only get to see what she hears. Sometimes only sound can be more frightening. Then as we hide with Harley we can easily feel her terror. I really felt for Harley and I can understand her response to things that happen to her. It's hard to say much without spoilers. So I'll just say there is dread and tension throughout. Also I wasn't prepared for what begins to happen when Aiden comes home. I also kept waiting for the wooden women's part in the story as I guessed/knew what would happen. I wasn't disappointed. Jeremy Ray is the author of the short story The Houseplant. That story is sweet and completely different. Petrified Women is completely different but both are very good reads.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...