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Broken Chords

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They rip, they tear, they FEED, and you never come back again.

Feathered Cop Music Festival is usually Lenora “Lenny” Ragno’s favorite weekend, but not anymore. Avoiding a public performance is about as impossible as hiding from Jeb, her longtime crush, who she’s been dodging since she blew their duet last year. She thinks facing him will be the scariest part of the festival, but when one of their friends talks everyone into trying astral projection, Lenny catches the eye of a demonic entity that marks her as its own.

Whenever it wants, the demon can pluck Lenny from her reality and transport her to a hellish between-world, haunted by its countless, gruesome victims. If she doesn’t want to become one of them, she must discover the nature of the demon’s hold on her and remove it. But how can she defeat a literal demon when she can’t even get over her personal ones?


Published October 2, 2017

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About the author

Jessica Bayliss

10 books137 followers
Jessica Bayliss is a fiction author with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology who loves all things reading and writing. Author of the young adult horror novella, BROKEN CHORDS and YA thriller, TEN AFTER CLOSING , she has been a lover thrillers and ghost tales since her days scanning VHS rental shelves—admittedly with eyes half-averted from the gory covers. She also loves to eat, cook, and exercise—in that order—and is a firm believer that coffee makes the world a better place.

In the psychology world, she has more than fifteen years of experience and training in the cognitive-behavioral model. She’s a psychotherapist, a teacher, and a researcher. One day it hit her: Why not combine writing and psychology? Just like that, PsychWRITE, her series of lectures, workshops, and coaching services for writers was born. Her blog features motivational posts for writers that combine her passion for writing with her love of psychology.

She has authored thirteen novels and several short stories that appear in anthologies such as BEWARE THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT, FRIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, and ZOMBIE CHUNKS and in such literary magazines as Sanitarium Magazine. Jessica is a Senior Editor for Allegory Magazine. Member: ITW, HWA, SCBWI, RWA.

Jessica is available for Skype Visits, Workshops, and talks about her books, writing, and related to her PsychWRITE workshops and webinars. For media kits, see the individual pages for each book. For more information, visit http://www.jessicabaylisswrites.com

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Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews
Profile Image for Esther.
554 reviews108 followers
January 2, 2018
Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I liked this book. It was easy to read, easy to get through, I liked the story and the fact that music is playing a large role. Their were some little things that I didn't really like so it wasn't a favorite but still very enjoyable and I would recommend this book if you like creepy stories.

A longer review can be found at Bite Into Books

A quick to read, creepy story that involves character development and a nice portion of love for music. It's not that long, you can easily read it and if you like horror, YA and a bit of romance, you should pick it up and give it a try!
Profile Image for Lauren Stoolfire.
3,560 reviews259 followers
October 20, 2017
I received a free ARC of this novel from NetGalley in exchange an honest review after the author reached out to me.

Last year, Lenora "Lenny" Ragno should have rocked her duet with Jeb, her long-time crush, at the Gypsy Cob music festival - and they should have finally kissed. That's how thing's should have gone, but in reality, she completely choked on stage in front of everyone. Since then Lenny has spent the last year avoiding Jeb and avoiding playing her fiddle in public. She thought her worst nightmare was behind her, but she was totally wrong. Now's she back at the music festival and avoiding playing her fiddle is just as impossible as avoiding Jeb. Facing Jeb should have been the scariest part, but then another friend convinces their group to try astral projection after picking up a book from a new festival vendor. While on the other side, Lenny catches the attention of a frightening demon. This demon can now pull Lenny from her own world into it's disturbing in-between plane of reality which is full of its past victims. If Lenny doesn't want to be next, she's going to have to face an actual demon, as well as come to terms with personal ones.

I'm so glad that Jessica Bayliss contacted me about her newest release, Broken Chords, because it's exactly up my alley. I mean, YA Horror Fantasy, demons, astral projection, plus bluegrass and acoustic folk music? What's not to love? Luckily, this short, fast and thrilling read hooked me right from the start - and I have to mention that it's a perfect read for the Halloween season. I also loved that it balances the horror and nightmarish really well with the non-horror elements of the music festival and the tight knit friendships. I was so pleased to see a couple of my favorite real life bands, Nickel Creek and Del McCoury, get mentioned in the story - you usually don't see bands like that show up in YA! I don't want to spoil too much about the horror aspect of the novel, but I will say that it's incredibly dark, eerie, and intense. The author does an excellent job of describing what Lenny experiences during those traumatic astral projection scenes and really amping up the tension. I'm pretty sure this is also my first YA novel featuring astral projection so prominently, and after this I'd love to see it used more. In my opinion, the only things that could have made this a little better would be getting to know Lenny's parents better, know a little bit more about Lenny and her musician friends relationship outside of festival season, and to see some more of Lenny's other friends who don't get as much page-time like Amanda, Darnel, and Jose.

Overall, Broken Chords by Jessica Bayliss is a great new YA Horror release that features both astral projection and bluegrass and acoustic folk music. I have a feeling that if you liked the style of The Call by Peadar O'Guilin which I loved, you will also enjoy this brand new book. Like me, you'll probably want to finish it in one sitting! I am definitely looking forward to more of Jessica's future projects.

Thanks again to NetGalley and Jessica Bayliss!
Profile Image for Crystal.
42 reviews6 followers
September 8, 2017
I was lucky enough to read this creepfest of a book before its release and TBH, some of the dark demonic imagery still haunts me. Holy moly. The detailed descriptions, astral projection, the demon--I never know how much to reveal without spoiling things, but oh man, it all had me sleeping with the lights on.

Having been to many music festivals, I felt like the author did a great job portraying the festival feeling, and the heart of the story, the love story between Lenny and Jeb, was done really well.

A quick, scary read that will keep you up past your bedtime.
October 10, 2017
I adored Broken Chords! Let me start off by saying that I am a huge fan of Horror books. Broken Chords being described as "Poltergeist meets Insidious at a music festival" by Jessica Bayliss, it immediately captured my attention and I had to read it. And it lived up to all of that hype and MORE! I read this at night, which added an extra layer of scariness, which I highly recommend doing! I love being scared and having the anxious feeling of what will happen next.

The novella starts off by one of Lenny's friends picking up a book about astral projection at a psychic's tent at Gypsy Cob, a huge, outdoor music festival. Then the group of friends all try astral projection at night. Then all "hell" breaks loose for Lenny. As if it wasn't bad enough that she choked up on stage the year prior at Gypsy Cob with her friend Jeb, now she has another problem to deal with, aside from having to perform again this year. A demon.

Broken Chords definitely spooked me when Lenny astral projected to the Hellish between-world and encountered a demon, tortured souls, creepy monsters, and creatures. And with enchanting spells and eerie songs in the underworld, it'll make your skin crawl. The world building in this novella is spectacular. The sinister descriptions of this frightening in-between place in the astral realm were gruesome enough to make you feel like you were really in the demon's lair, including smells, atmosphere, and the setting.

What I also liked about this horror novella, was the fact that it had a nice balance. It wasn't all horror. There is a nice blend between a contemporary feel and a horror novella, through alternating worlds of the present day at a music festival, and the hellish demon's world. So don't worry if horror books aren't your thing. This novella appeals to those who like contemporaries or those who are fascinated by musical instruments, concerts, and musicians. Music is a big part of this book. Also if you are into psychics or intrigued by astral projection or the supernatural/paranormal, this novella will satisfy your craving too.

The characters in the novella are interesting, relatable, and daring! There is a nice humanistic feel to the main character Lenny, who goes through trials and tribulations like teens in real life do. Lenny feels all the angst of a real teen crush, so the reader gets to see how that romance plays out with Jeb. Also Lenny's character goes through a hardship at the music festival and you get to see how she handles it and how she tries to "conquer her demons" both in the real world and the astral world. You'll have to read the novella to find out how her encounter with her "demons" went.

The characters are strengthened as the novella progresses, and themes of facing your fears and trying to conquer them, having courage, failure and the importance of never giving up, and encouraging others are vitally sprinkled throughout this novella. Competition is also part of the book at the music festival, and it teaches you that we're really only in competition with ourselves. We are the only ones who really choose whether we are winners in life.

Overall, I loved Broken Chords! It was a wonderful and inspiring story. It had the perfect blend of horror and contemporary, and really spoke to my "soul." It did what a horror story should do, which was scare me. But what's nice is that it was never so overwhelmingly scary where I couldn't handle it. I know some people might be concerned about that and say they can't handle being too frightened by a horror book, so they avoid it. But this one I believe you're able to handle. Jessica knew the right amount of scare level to make it just right. It's a great Halloween read. Broken Chords was mesmerizingly spooky as much as it was emotionally captivating. You will definitely be spellbound by this novella. I highly recommend it to everyone!
Profile Image for Sue Wallace .
5,888 reviews61 followers
October 24, 2017
Broken chords by Jessica bayliss.
They rip, they tear, they FEED, and you never come back again.
Here’s how last year’s Gypsy Cob Music Festival should have gone. Lenora “Lenny” Ragno was supposed to rock her duet with her long-time crush, Jeb, during the open-mic competition. Then, swept up in the glow of success, he’d finally kiss her. Instead, Lenny choked on stage and spent the whole year dodging him online. And avoiding playing her fiddle in public. She thought her worst nightmare was behind her, but she was way wrong.
A fantastic read. It was a bit slow to begin with I nearly gave up. I'm so glad I didn't. Really enjoyed it in the end. I liked lenny wasn't sure about jeb. 5*. Netgalley and weapenry co-op.
Profile Image for Taylor (Books&Beanies).
115 reviews18 followers
October 8, 2017
Broken Chords by Jessica Bayliss is a fast-paced, engagingly creepy novel. Lenny is worried about performing with Jeb again this year at Gypsy Cobb Music Festival after screwing things up last year. After her and her friends play around with astral projection, Lenny learns she has much more to be worried about, like staying alive.

This book is less than 200 pages in its entirety but that doesn't make it any less haunting. Bayliss uses creepy songs and other worldly creatures to help describe the place in between. The dark, demonic imagery will haunt you into the night. Mixed in with all of this creepiness is the relationship between Lenny and Jeb. Lenny has been avoiding Jeb for the past year until Gypsy Cobb where she must face him. Only to find out their relationship will become more than she ever imagined.

This creepfest of a book is a quick and easy read full of detailed descriptions, astral projection, and other worldly creatures. Perfect for anyone who loves scary stories with a touch of romance. I look forward to checking out Bayliss’s other books.

It took me a couple of chapters before I was truly hooked to the story. Once I was hooked though, it was hard to put down. Everything is happening so fast that you if you put it down, you feel as though you may miss something. There was a perfect amount of creepiness that it wasn't cheesy as some scary stories can be. The amount of romance was also perfect, not too much but not too little that it didn't play an important part of the story. The description of the demon and the Feeders makes them easy to imagine. As far as a rating goes, I give this book a 3.5/5.

I received this book from NetGalley and Leap Books, LLC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Charlotte.
2,102 reviews80 followers
October 10, 2017
Not what I expected from the title. Jessica has such descriptive words for what Lenny goes up against that it's just creepy. This would be a great Halloween read. Jeb and Len have some things to over come from last year, but they are minor. The characters are all pretty likeable. The story has a different twist to it with the astral aspect. I think it's well worth reading.
2 reviews
February 11, 2018
Great atmospheric YA romantic horror! Jessica Bayliss captures the music festival experience and turns it on its head by plunging it into a horrific parallel dimension. It's also a successful story of redemption and second chances at not only the things and ones you love but at life itself.
Profile Image for K.L. Hallam.
Author 7 books58 followers
November 14, 2017
This was an intense story about what can go wrong in the astral plane when you’ve had an out of body experience –a bad experience that is. As someone who uses this knowledge through life and in my meditations—this concept scared me witless!

Visually written, and suspenseful, you’re lifted into another world where demons and hollow specter children, roam, waiting on your final days, and the love story that helps “Lenny” Lenora along, as she searches for a guitar string the shadow in the darkness stole from her, in order to be released from the demon’s grip. It won’t let her go! You won’t be able to let go until the release of the final page.
Profile Image for Joey Paul.
Author 20 books586 followers
November 10, 2017
A quick, short, read, but a great book. When faced with the prospect of seeing her friends again, and reconnecting with the boy she insulted the year before, Lenny is more than happy to join in and avoid Jeb. After an idea from a friend about trying astral projection, Lenny is faced with fears she didn't even know she had. The book is both terrifying and thrilling as you follow along the journey with Lenny and Jeb. I loved it, and was so glad I picked it up at this time of year. A quick read for me, but altogether an amazing book. Loved it!
Profile Image for Melissa Banczak.
Author 15 books22 followers
December 16, 2018
4 & 1/2 stars. creepy horror I couldn’t put down

At a weekend music festival, fiddle player Lenny joins friends who want to try astral projection. It doesn’t work for anyone in the group but her and now she’s keeps getting sucked back into an in- between world where creatures want her soul. And more. A fast paced story that kept me reading from page one to the end, I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Jessica Bayliss.
Author 10 books137 followers
September 16, 2019
Here's what people are saying about BROKEN CHORDS.

"Romantic, eerie, and deliciously creepy, BROKEN CHORDS is a modern-day love letter to Lois Duncan that will have you turning pages well past bedtime!" --Micol Ostow, bestselling author of AMITY and THE DEVIL and WINNIE FLYNN

"Jessica Bayliss has somehow managed to pen a novel that blends the frustration, humor, and angst of a YA romance with the nightmare imagery of a horror novel reminiscent of Lovecraft or Barker. BROKEN CHORDS is a truly excellent read!" --Ty Drago, author of THE UNDERTAKER series.
Profile Image for Amelinda Bérubé.
Author 3 books166 followers
September 7, 2017
A fast-paced and engaging read featuring a lovingly detailed music festival setting mirrored by a vividly eerie otherworld. Many delicious details to savour including A+ use of creepy folk songs and a whole array of nightmarish monsters - and a lovely romantic arc, for a nice bonus. Looking forward to reading more!
Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews

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