Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Consumption" a Horror Novel by Heather Herrman, Served with a 'Purple Cow' Float (+ an eBook/eGift Card Giveaway!)

There are many life lessons to be learned from horror movies and novels: clowns are scary and evil, don't go investigate weird noises--or stay behind if someone else goes--you need to stick together, don't run upstairs or down to the basement when being chased by a monster or serial killer, don't ever assume it's all over even if things seem quiet and peaceful..., the list goes on and on. One of the best lessons? If the local Native American tribe says a piece of land is "bad" and tells you not to build there, and refuses to live there themselves... well, you should just listen to them and not put your town there. 

Today's TLC Book Tour Stop gives us an example of why that advice is so critical as we journey to the small town of Cavus, Montana (yeah, they didn't listen) to find the evil that awaits in the horror novel Consumption by Heather Herrman. Served up with today's book review is a take on a 'Purple Cow' Ice Cream Float, and there is a chance to win an eBook copy of Consumption, plus a eGift Card for the eBook retailer of your choice. 

Published by : Hydra (May 26, 2015)
eBook Pages: 288

Publisher's Blurb:

For fans of Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Sarah Langan comes a thrilling new vision of American horror. In Heather Herrman’s heart-pounding debut novel, evil is ready to feed—and it’s got one hell of an appetite.

In the wake of tragedy, John and Erma Scott are heading west in search of a new life. So when car trouble strands them in sleepy Cavus, Montana, they decide to stay for a while, charmed by the friendly residents and the surrounding ambiance. Here, they hope, is the healing balm that their marriage needs.

Then John and Erma find themselves in a fight not just to save their marriage, but their very lives. For this is no ordinary town. Its quiet streets conceal a dark and bloody secret that has slumbered for centuries. Now, that secret is awake . . . and it’s hungry.

Like a slow infection, evil is spreading through Cavus. Soon John and Erma—along with the local sheriff, an undocumented immigrant, a traumatized teenage girl, and an old man with terrible secrets of his own—must join together to battle an all-consuming force that has set its sights on its prey: the entire human race.

My Review:  

There is a slow and deliciously creepy build up in Consumption, obviously you know something bad is going to happen but the story unfolds bit by bit until, when it takes off, the action and tension doesn't let up and you realize just how bad things will get. I found myself repeatedly yelling at John and Erma, our stranded protagonists, to get back on the road and out of Cavus, Montana! (Another horror plot learning--watch those small quaint towns, get out as soon as you can, and NEVER stay for a big party, festival, or anything referred to as a "feast!") Although most of the book is set in the present day, the evil has been building in Cavus for many years and Herrman skillfully weaves glimpses of the town's past into the story along with the different characters. Although John and Erma, the main characters, are outsiders to the town of Cavus, the supporting characters are also outsiders in their own ways --the recently-returned-to-take-over sheriff with a failed marriage, a runaway teenage girl who is missing her deceased mother and freaked out over her father's recent odd behavior, an immigrant teen trying to build a better life for himself and his family, and a crazy-acting old man with an old notebook full of secrets given to him by his dead wife. 

Consumption has been compared to Stephen King and I can see that--in the small town with its quirky citizens setting, the unknown evil that pervades, and the somewhat ragtag group of characters that have come together to battle it. Author Herrman also shares King's ability to write these ordinary folks in such a way that we care about them, making the inevitable carnage that happens when the evil strikes feel like little punches to the gut. And, there is plenty of carnage in Consumption--it is not for the faint at heart. The "evil" refers to itself as The Feeder for good reason. If you can't stand a little grossness in your horror (why are you reading it?!), then be warned, because The Feeder is ready to feast. With a whole town to take over and/or feed on, the book certainly had its cringe-worthy moments that added well to the fright-factor. An excellent debut from a talented new author and a great addition to the horror genre, grab up Consumption if you love a good scary story. (Just don't read it on a dark night, while eating, or on a road trip through quaint rural towns...)
Author Notes: Heather Herrman explores American society through horror fiction. She holds an MFA from New Mexico State University, and her work has appeared in such publications as Alaska Quarterly Review, The South Carolina Review, and Snake Nation Review. Herrman’s fiction has also been honored with a Frank Waters Fiction Prize and a scholarship to the Prague Summer Program for Writers.

You can connect with Heather on her website, Facebook or Twitter

Let's face it--an evil, cannibalistic creature taking over the bodies of your friends and family doesn't really inspire happy thoughts of food--but I do love a challenge. For my dish inspired by the book, I went back to much happier times when (although we readers knew) the protagonists had no idea that the quaint little town they were stuck in was a hotbed of terror. Erma, spying children with ice cream, ducks into the local drugstore for a treat for her and John--a cup of purple cow ice cream. 

"She handed him his cup, full, he saw, of a purple-and-white sludge of ice cream and something else. He took the cup from her and spooned a bite into his mouth. The ice cream was cold and delicious, tasting something like grape juice and cream. Standing there, with the ice cream trailing down his throat and his wife looking, to him, more beautiful than he'd ever seen her, with the sunlight bouncing off the brown of her hair, making her outline fuzzy, he thought he would remember the taste of that grape ice cream for the rest of his life."    
--Consumption by Heather Herrman 

I did a little research into the purple cow--which seemed to have started as a soda shop treat of grape soda or grape juice, mixed with milk, cream, or sometimes ice cream. Later it morphed into grape or black cherry or raspberry ice cream, sometimes with chocolate chunks--white or dark which sounded like what Erma might have had in her drugstore cups. 

I decided to go the drinkable soda route with a Purple Cow Float. Because grape soda or flavored sodas are not favorites of mine and hard to buy in a tiny quantity, I decided to combine pure Concord grape juice with ginger ale for the soda. In place of ice cream, I added scoops of vanilla frozen yogurt. I am not calling it traditional, but it worked for me. ;-)  

Purple Cow Float
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 1)

5 oz grape juice
1 scoop vanilla frozen yogurt or vanilla ice cream
about 3-4 oz ginger ale (I used diet ginger ale)

To serve, pour grape juice into a tall glass, "hang" a scoop of frozen yogurt or ice cream off of the side of the glass or place into the glass, then slowly top off the grape juice with ginger ale (mind the foamy overflow). Serve immediately with a tall spoon for stirring and a large straw to sip it all up.


Notes/Results: You have probably guessed that I don't have a future career as a soda jerk in my future. I did attempt a more photogenic float by "hanging" a scoop of the fro-yo on the rim of the glass (see instructions here) but even though I started with a firm scoop, I was not successful, so I just went with putting the frozen yogurt scoops in the glass of grape juice and adding the soda on top. ;-) Slightly messy but it tasted good. Although this isn't something I would drink on a regular basis, the combination of tangy grape and sweet vanilla ice cream with the fizz of the diet ginger ale was actually pretty pleasing. I only managed to make it through half my glass but I enjoyed it. It would be fun for any purple or grape soda-loving kids you know.

Note: A review copy of "Consumption" was provided to me by the publisher and TLC Book Tours in return for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review and as always my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.


This TLC Book Tour includes a Rafflecopter giveaway for an eBook copy of Consumption, as well as and an eGift Card to the eBook retailer of your choice! You can enter below for your chances to win. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good Luck!


  1. Gluten Free A-Z BlogJune 4, 2015 at 3:25 AM

    I'm not a fan of horror thriller books, but I love the look of your purple cow float. Yum!

  2. You did a great job coming up with a food pairing for this book - it was certainly a challenge this time!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.


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