Growl by Ashley Fontainne ~ Review & Excerpt


OOOO, such a beautiful and eerie cover.

I have a special affinity to trees and I would love to wander through the swamp.

I can hardly wait to get to the story inside.

Me thinks, that is not so beautiful. LOL

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Title: Growl
Author: Ashley Fontainne
Publisher: RMSW Press
Pages: 315
Genre: Gothic Horror/Suspense
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON


I saw the cover and knew this was a book I would have to get my hands on. I mean, those eyes, they ‘speak’ to me. The font drips and oozes badness into the murky water of the swamp. 😈 I have an idea of what lies between the pages and I am very eager to begin reading. I can hardly wait to get all the gory details. The story got my attention from the beginning and held me captive until the end.

S.I.N was an appropriate name for her. Sheryl Ilena Newcomb had been a cheerleader and flaunted her sexuality. It was an era of love and she and her peers gave and received it freely.  She did the normal things teenage girls do, worked, studied, played and fell in love. She’d had only one boyfriend and their dream was to escape the small town they grew up in.

But that was not to be.

It had begun when she was nine years old and she never could have imagined what the future held for her.

Three months later  and the memories were fading. They are taken their toll, both mentally and psychically. She was learning to live with her inner monster. The ordeal had left her physically damaged, she had lost an eye and the physical scars would never disappear. She learned to compensate for its loss. The family had hid all evidence of the event at Caney Creek in a small town called Junction City,Mississippi.

Now, she is the guardian, the protector. It is her job to pass on the knowledge to the next one. She writes it all down, hoping it will be a panacea, so she can rebuild her life, her life in Junction City, Mississippi.

Ashley’s writing is outstanding. I was able to feel the little girls terror as she lay in bed, alone, the monster determined to take her, and only her cat, Tinker, to save her. I can smell the competing smells at the wake. It reminds me of fairs and carnivals, where there are so many overwhelming smells, even when I am starving, I find it hard to eat anything. I hear the generations of Kovlin women, all talking at the same time, competing against each other to be heard.

I love the story and the twists Ashley puts in. I did not see the biggest surprise of all coming and Ashley gave me a good one near the end. I had my thoughts, but I didn’t take them as far as Ashley did.

I love the Native American reference to their belief in tokens, animal guardians. The mixture of mysticism, religion and the paranormal are just the right blend to make this a novel a huge success. I would highly recommend Growl by Ashley Fontainne.

This is not just S.I.N.’s story, but mankind’s.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos4 Stars – Would Highly Recommend To Others


My name is Sheryl Ilene Newcomb. And yes, my initials are S.I.N. A funny little piece of whimsical humor my parents found amusing when I arrived.

Then, it turned out to be true. Looking back with wiser eyes now, my family and I concluded that the events leading up to my transformation started the summer I turned nine. But the day we realized there was a problem, and no turning back, was a week before I started my senior year at Junction City High. The day the fangs and claws appeared and the monster inside of me emerged.

When mutilated corpses appeared near a pile of brush down by Caney Creek, everything changed. Because evil woke up and growled, its ominous rumblings heard by every living thing in Locasia County, Mississippi.


It was all over—for now. The ending completed, and the living nightmare of what happened in our sleepy little town nothing more than a permanent stain embedded in my mind and body. I stared at the words on the page, the white paper covered in bright blue ink. The empty pages behind it waited, impatient for me to add more. They sat in mocking silence on the desk in front of me. A twinge of apprehension slithered up my back.

What am I doing?

During the last three months, I thought I’d done a decent job of stopping the memories. None of what happened was something anyone could be prepared to endure. No longer did the vile sounds and unbelievable images pop up during the middle of the day. I felt a sense of pride I stopped them without the use of medication. With the support of my mom and dad and the Lord above, I worked daily to bury the horrific events.

I shivered at the disturbing recollections. When the crystal clear images of the final battle exploded inside my head, they turned my slender torso into a shivering pile of goose bumps. I was unable to stop the screams of agony and anger when my mind replayed the events at night. Physical and mental anguish would slam into my body and soul as I fought not only the animal inside of me, but the one that stared at me from inside my mind.

The eerie visions of the final confrontation were as terrifying in my mind’s eye as the actual day they occurred. Dark, jade-green eyes lit from within bored through my own with their anticipatory killing stare. The growl from its furry throat would seem as loud in my memories as it did when it happened. The flexed muscles of the creature jerked in its readiness to shred me down to a bloody pile of mush. The bright moon’s rays shimmered off of its stark white fangs. One swipe of the enormous paw or bite from the strong jaws would end it all. My cries of sorrow erupted at night when the images of the dismembered corpses appeared inside my mind. They were seared into my memory banks. I hadn’t experienced a moment of heart-stopping, frozen-to-one-spot freakouts in two months during the daytime. I whittled them down to only haunting my dreams at night.

Progress, plain and simple.

A sound caught my attention, so I lifted my stare from the ruled, white paper on the desk and looked out my bedroom window. My sharp, one-eyed gaze glanced over to the pool and settled on the old, rusty swing at the edge of our backyard. I recalled with a slight smile the day last week when I took my first step out of the house and sat outside for almost an hour. The warmth of the sun and the gentle urges of my mother’s voice lured me into the water—at least the shallow end. I considered it a big leap in my recovery progress since I had developed a strong distaste for water. I had sat on the bottom step, the cool water barely up to my shins, and fought the urge to run back inside and lock myself inside my bedroom. The task of quelling my paralyzing fears had taken every ounce of mental strength to overcome. It was beyond weird at my age, but I felt safe in my adolescent bedroom. It was my territory. But I also knew it would become my prison if I didn’t learn to live outside its four walls again. Like a normal, sane person lives.

A quiet snicker from my lips bounced off the walls of my room. Sanity. Normalcy. Those ships sailed away eons ago, pulled under the dark waters of the mighty Mississippi River, never to be seen again.



Award-winning and International bestselling author Ashley Fontainne is an avid reader of mostly the classics. Ashley became a fan of the written word in her youth, starting with the Nancy Drew mystery series. Stories that immerse the reader deep into the human psyche and the monsters that lurk within us are her favorite reads.

Her muse for penning the Eviscerating the Snake series was The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Ashley’s love for this book is what sparked her desire to write her debut novel, Accountable to None, the first book in the trilogy. With a modern setting to the tale, Ashley delves into just what lengths a person is willing to go when they seek personal justice for heinous acts perpetrated upon them. The second novel in the series, Zero Balance focuses on the cost and reciprocal cycle that obtaining revenge has on the seeker. For once the cycle starts, where does it end? How far will the tendrils of revenge expand? Adjusting Journal Entries answered that question: far and wide.

Her short thriller entitled Number Seventy-Five, touches upon the sometimes dangerous world of online dating. Number Seventy-Five took home the BRONZE medal in fiction/suspense at the 2013 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards contest and is currently in production for a feature film.

Her paranormal thriller entitled The Lie, won the GOLD medal in the 2013 Illumination Book Awards for fiction/suspense and is also in production for a feature film.

The suspenseful mystery Empty Shell, released September 29, 2014. Ashley then delves into the paranormal with a Southern Gothic horror/suspense novel, Growl, scheduled for release in the Spring of 2015. Plus, she will be teaming up with Lillian Hansen (Ashley calls her Mom!) to pen a three-part murder mystery/suspense series entitled The Magnolia Series. The first book, Blood Ties, is due out the Summer of 2015.

Ashley also hosts The WriteStuff, a popular BlogTalk Radio show, each Friday night at 10 p.m. CST.

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17 thoughts on “Growl by Ashley Fontainne ~ Review & Excerpt

    • My pleasure, Ashley. I did love her story and can hardly wait to read the rest of your books that I have. Thanks for stopping in!

  1. The novelty of starting a new year hasn’t warned off yet, so I’m still reading outside of my comfort zone. I tackled my first Young Adult Science Fiction title this past weekend, and now I’m tempted to give Gothic Horror a go after reading your review. That amazing cover certainly didn’t hurt either. Thanks for introducing me to this new-to-me author!

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    • Reading outside our comfort zones can be a good thing. It is an amazing cover and that drew me in first. Ashley’s writing kept me totally involved, beginning to end.

  2. Me thinks it is not so beautiful on the inside too.
    Love the play on the heroine’s initials. Clever.
    I enjoyed the book trailer too–short and sweet and to the point, yet it makes you want to read the book.

  3. Ashley Fontainne always hits the spot: the spot in me that needs a story fix in order to survive! I love all her writing. She brings her characters alive with such skill that I feel like I know them. I worry about them and really care what happens to them. That and her exquisite description ad pacing is what keeps me reading to the very last word. You won’t growl like Ashley’s poor, beleaguered heroine, but I suspect you will purr a little when S.I.N. comes into her own and fulfills her life purpose. Thanks, Miss Ashley, for entertaining us on such a grand scale. xo

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