A Penny For Your Thoughts, by Robert Ford, Matt Hayward

rock_n_reads's review against another edition

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A Penny For Your Thoughts was my first read from both authors, and it certainly won't be my last. If there is another collaboration between Hayward and Ford, I'll gladly read it. This was a fun read! The premise of the story was great. I thought the characters were entertaining, and I loved the dialogue. Not only were there horrific moments, but there was humor scattered throughout the entire story, which I loved! I can't count how many times I laughed out loud while reading this. The authors did a great job writing a suspenseful tale with humor and heart. Overall, a unique tale that left me interested in more from both authors!

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the authors and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

turnthedamnpage's review against another edition

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What a great spin on a classic tale. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story from Bob Ford and Matt Hayward. As I was reading, I forgot that I was reading something blended from the minds of two separate authors because it came together so well at every turn.

I thought Ford and Hayward did an excellent job bringing our characters to life. Kenny was easily my favorite character in this story. He kept our friend Joe on his toes and in the real world when Joe may rather keep his head higher than one ought to.

Though the jar offered a mixed emotion, I was looking forward to seeing what the next thought would be every time!

To keep it short and sweet, this is a must read that I have and will continue to recommend to everyone!

bandaloop's review against another edition

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Sometimes we are handed events, and other times we choose them. Both come with a price, whether immediate or served cold, and the final bill is usually stuffed with interest, hidden fees, and flat-out robbery of the highway kind. A wheat penny for any wish you want? Who could resist? However, the old adage "be careful what you wish for" is taken to the extreme in this book-in the best possible ways. Remember: there is always a price.

Nestled between the main story of a jar of wishes wrapped around pennies, ready to be granted as soon as the papers are opened, is the story of addiction in its many forms, as well as secrets. Family secrets, neighborhood secrets, cosmic secrets. This novel weaves a thread of addiction to recovery, with the temptations, backsliding, and revelations that comes with it. Some secrets aren't revealed, just as they aren't in life. Some aren't meant to be.

We come away with the knowledge that shortcuts are not a replacement for hard work. Things we thought we wanted, things which would make our lives better, tend to be more of a hindrance or an outright nightmare.

Robert Ford and Matt Hayward managed to put together a tight, focused, and often hilarious piece of work (the double d boobs through line had me cackling each time), especially considering they live an ocean apart. The dialogue is real: staggered, broken sentences--in order words, it reads as if eavesdropping on a conversation.

The authors' voices meld into one, unlike other collaborations where it's easy to distinguish who wrote what. This comes as no surprise to me. Anything Robert Ford writes is brilliant, and I've been a die-hard Hayward fan since his short story collection "Brain Dead Blues".

Be prepared for long nights of little sleep, laughter, tears, chills, and warmth. And remember: Donuts are love.

curiosityboughtthebook's review against another edition

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Robert Ford and Matt Hayward knock it out of the park with this witty, funny and creative horror novel.

Joe is fresh out of prison, living with his dad and trying to avoid getting incarcerated again. One day, he takes a hike along the trails, and finds a jar filled with notes. All these notes have a penny stuck to them, and seem to be someone's long forgotten wishes. He doesn't seem too alarmed when the first few wishes come true. Yet, soon he wonders what the real price for these trifle wishes is going to be.

This book is awesome. The authors sure have a knack for developing characters and making them come to life. While Joe seems like a bad guy at first, you will soon come to love him and root for him. His ex girlfriend is another story all together. I don't find myself having this kind of contempt for a fictional character often.

Within 292 pages, the authors managed to tell a fleshed out story with a wide array of characters and settings. It's quite funny, but it's also the type of horror I enjoy. I'm definitely looking forward to more material from these two amazing writers! I just saw there's another book coming out in this series, and I can't wait!

4 out of 5 stars!

spookyoctopusreads's review against another edition

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This book seriously had so much packed into the almost 300 pages. I didn't know what to expect going into this, but it had been recommended to me by some friends in the #bookstagram community, so I knew I had to give it a go. Matthew Hayward and Robert Ford are well-established names in the horror community, so the only thing I expected with this book was an enjoyable, wild ride, and it certainly delivered!

I don't want to get too much into the plot, but I did really enjoy the realistic and relateable characters. Joe was just a real as they come. As an ex-con trying to do right after his release from prison, Joe was both a likable character and one that everyone can root for, despite his unsavory past. I absolutely adored the relationship between Joe and his father. The character development in this book was incredible.

When Joe finds a jar full of pennies with handwritten wishes taped to each one, he decides to take the jar home with him. What he finds is that wishes can come true, but at what extent? What if there is something sinister lurking behind the wishes? What if each wish is more than a wish, but an exchange that comes a debt that must be paid?

Reading this book brought to mind the familiar cliche, "Be careful what you wish for." The authors' take on this familiar adage was dark, unique, and gripping. The way these two authors worked together to weave this somewhat cautionary tale was just phenomenal and seamless.

4.5 rounded up to 5 stars for me! I really loved this book, I just thought there were some portions that slowed down a little for me, and I had to push myself to continue. This book runs the gamut of emotions from gut-wrenching horror, edge-of-your-seat anxiety, laugh our loud hilarity, and such deep and heartbreaking sadness. I think it's difficult for a "horror" book to play on so many emotions and explore human nature at such a depth as this one did.

**Thank you to Poltergeist Press for providing me with a copy of this book to read/review.**

mrfrank's review against another edition

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Robert Ford and Matt Hayward take the adage, "Be careful what you wish for," and twist it into, "Be careful what someone else has wished for." Thus the premise for A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS goes. This is a killer angle for an eerie horror tale and is executed beautifully by two skilled writers.

The opening chapters grab you and pull you into the backwoods Pennsylvania town of Lowback and drag you through the seedier parts that exists just out of view from the everyday townsfolk. That's where the dark and excitement collide. The story twists and turns as it tries to find the dark answers to darker questions. The plot always has you on your toes and gets darker and more supernatural as you go. The ending is a near gut-punch that caps the whole story off the only way it could be told.

Oh! Also, the paperback is honest-to-goodness mass market size so you can stick it in your back pocket and keep it close to your sexy ass at all times!

This is a no-brainer of a book considering Robert Ford and Matt Hayward are a logical dream team. You get the exact type of classic horror you would expect to read from these two talented writers. What they have left in their wake is an unforgettable town that seemingly has more tales to give up. Let's hope Ford and Hayward visit Lowback again real soon.

onetrackmind77's review against another edition

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Great story with an interesting premise. I loved the characters, but there were still a lot of loose ends that I wanted to follow up on. Give me more from this story...the second book in the series is due out later this year, but I'm ready to dive into it now.

jeanne25's review against another edition

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I enjoyed this story and liked the concept. I found myself getting distracted early on but it seemed to hold my attention well at about 60% in. The ending was solid but left me with some questions. If there is a second novel to answer those questions, I am not sure I will read it. I did think this was a solid, entertaining read though.

kelliowen's review

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An amazing read!! I couldn't tell which author wrote which section. [a:Matt Hayward|7243628|Matt Hayward|] and [a:Robert Ford|8391637|Robert Ford|] blend together so beautifully, you'd think they'd been collaborating for years... and hope they do it again. No favoritism, no nepotism, this is truly a great story and must-read from both of them.

motherhorror's review

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Review originally published on Cemetery Dance Media, May 15th, 2019
As far as introductions go, I couldn’t ask for a better way to familiarize myself with the talented voices of Bob Ford and Matt Hayward. A Penny For Your Thoughts is the collaborative effort of both authors. I’m impressed with how harmoniously they blended their storytelling because this read like one, seamless narrative.

Readers follow our main protagonist, Joe Openshaw, as he finds himself experiencing freedom after serving time in prison. On a hike, Joe finds a dirty jar full of pennies that had long been buried. Upon closer inspection, Joe realizes that the pennies have been taped to scraps of paper that read like childhood wishes. He decides to bring the jar home where he is painstakingly rebuilding his broken relationship with his dad.

Bob and Matt do an excellent job bringing Joe to life through a series of events involving colorful characters from Joe’s past. I especially loved Joe’s best friend, Kenny. I got a real sense that maybe if it wasn’t for Kenny, Joe was going to have a rough time adapting to his new life outside. He had an annoying tendency to want to act like this “changed man” at every single turn and it’s his buddy, Kenny, who keeps Joe from thinking he is in control of everything.

Even though the reader knows that the jar of wishes will serve as a catalyst for some unsavory circumstances, the authors make the bold choice of bringing some levity to the story. I find that the most enjoyable dark stories are the ones that can run you through a full spectrum of emotions. In one chapter, I’m cracking up and in the next, I’m totally creeped out—still, other chapters feel poignant and sad.

We’ve all heard the phrase “Be careful what you wish for”—and all of us probably think that we would make wise decisions if we were given the opportunity to make wishes—but this story reminds us that fate and destiny aren’t the only forces at play. There might be even something more sinister at the bottom of a wishing well. Perhaps we should think twice about what we wish in our hearts as we hold an old wheat penny in our fingers. How far would anyone be willing to go to get exactly what they want, and what would be the ultimate price?

I loved the way these two authors took a classic cautionary tale and spun it into an original journey I would recommend to anyone and everyone. This is a must read!