Fiction - Short Story/Novela
172 Pages
Reviewed on 05/02/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I've been writing short stories since 2017 when my mom succumbed to Alzheimer's and I wrote a short story called, "Wilma", commemorating her life. Since then, I've written and published 13 books, including a book of inspirational stories during Covid and a series of gothic horror. Recently, I've written two novels of psychological thrillers and a book called "Wilderness Legends."

    Book Review

Reviewed by Doreen Chombu for Readers' Favorite

Jeanette Phillips has a beautiful life. Her marriage to Nick is perfect, she has friends who love her and are always there for her, and her parents are caring. But her world is turned upside down when she starts experiencing vivid nightmares of her loved ones dying. Jeanette wakes up at odd hours, loses track of time, and starts to experience and see paranormal things. Then, her dreams begin to collide with her reality. She seeks medical attention, but her condition perplexes the doctors, and she feels helpless. Jeanette tries unconventional methods to cure her disorder, but things get worse. But all is not what it seems because Jeanette’s problem has a twist. Get yourself a copy of Nightmare by Kerry ONeal to discover the true nature of Jeanette's illness.

Nightmare is a suspenseful psychological thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. This story blew my mind because I could not tell whether it was a paranormal story and Jeanette was being haunted or a crime mystery and someone was plotting to kill her. So many scenarios were running through my mind. So, when Kerry ONeal revealed what was happening in the final chapter, I applauded his fantastic creativity. Every clue made sense and fit perfectly with the reveal. Despite its dark themes, the story also covers heart-warming topics like love, friendship, and family. It is well-written, and Phillips does a great job maintaining a consistent tone that kept me engrossed. Brilliant work.

Pikasho Deka

Nightmare is a gripping novella by Kerry ONeal. Jeanette Phillips has been a regular customer at 'The Monkey Loft' where she and her four best friends have met every Friday night for the last twenty years. But on this particular girls' night out, celebrating Maya Garcia's promotion at work, the girls get more drunk than usual, and after Jett returns home, she experiences a horrific nightmare in which she sees a burning car with her friend Lauren inside. Over the next few weeks, Jett begins to lose her sense of time and reality as she continues to be plagued by nightmares, witnessing her loved ones die one by one. She has a loving and supportive husband in Nick, but will it be enough? What is going on with Jett's mysterious hallucinations and will she get better?

Kerry ONeal plays his cards close to his chest and pulls the rug from under your feet over and over again in this riveting short story. Just when you feel you've got it all figured out, ONeal throws a curveball your way, and it only makes you want to get to the bottom of the mystery even more. Nightmare is a psychological thriller that captivates until the end. The narrative is surreal and doused in tension and intrigue. As a reader, you constantly find yourself second-guessing, wondering if this is real or another one of Jett's hallucinations. I honestly didn't expect the big reveal toward the end. Highly recommended.

Alex Ndirangu

Jeanette Phillips, known as Jett, has a husband, who loves her very much, and four friends with whom she's been best friends since high school. Every Friday for the past twenty years, Jett and her friends have met to party, have a good laugh, and share their experiences during that past week. One time on those special Fridays, Jett arrives home just before the sun lights up the sky, snuggles next to her husband, and falls fast asleep. After a horrific nightmare where a car bursts into flames with all her friends trapped inside, she wakes up shaking uncontrollably and alone. Looking at the clock, she discovers she has slept for fifteen hours! This is the beginning of Jett's living nightmare. Over the next few days, she completely loses control of her sleep and has to helplessly watch the people she loves most be subjected to untold horrors in her dreams. Even worse, whatever she sees in her dreams starts to happen in reality. Will anyone determine a solution to her condition? Can the horrors she's seen in her dreams be avoided in reality? Find out in Kerry ONeal's Nightmare.

The cover design is well done and drew me into this story, promising us a treat of horror and suspense. With adeptly crafted sensory descriptions, Kerry ONeal draws you deep into the setting to experience the surrounding tale. I prayed that doctors would eventually devise a solution to the dreadful sickness tearing Jett's life apart. After all, it is only a neurological problem that would cause Jett's troubles. Or is it? ONeal does an excellent job with the characters; they are likable and interesting to follow. They are also expressive, and they have real feelings. Every character has something interesting going on. More than anything, Nightmare heavily emphasizes the importance of healthy relationships and having people always by your side. ONeal also shines a light on the beauty of love in marriage through Nick and Jett. Several times in Jett's life, when uncertainty, fear, and pain threatened to take over, she looked to love for hope and comfort. ONeal's Nightmare was a pleasure to read and had the perfect cliffhanger to whet your appetite for whatever the second installment might bring. Highly recommended!

Melissa Christensen

I am not an avid book reader, but this story kept me wanting to continue reading to find out more of the story and why. Loved the ended very nice twist.