Book Review: Tryst (Based on Actual Events) by Aaron Eldritch

Based on real events, this dramatized nonfiction describes the paranormal events experienced by four young men during a transformative period in their lives. What starts as youthful innocence grows darker and more sinister as the question of malicious forces and even trickery emerges. Will the bond of these four withstand the trials of fear and doubt that await them?

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I really enjoyed this book. It got pretty suspenseful towards the end. Maybe I liked it because I’m a believer. The world is too huge to only have humans, I think. So, it was fun to speculate if these paranormal/supernatural events really happened or if the author exaggerated to make his book more interesting. I thought it was cool that the main character had the same exact name as the author; that’s why I’m assuming the book is about his own experience.

My favorite lines: 1) “You’re not crazy, Greg,” Derik insisted. “It’s his house, remember? Not you.” 2) “It seems so…intentional.” 3) “He hoped that Aaron had somehow done it, even if it meant that Aaron was capable of such a cruelty.” 4) “Sometimes you just want so much to be something special…To stand before the unknown, one amongst the lucky few.” 5) “He had never stood before that house alone in such darkness and took this as a sign of grim things to come.”

I didn’t know why the expression “in disgust” was used often. I didn’t really know what the characters were feeling with that description: shock? confusion? anger? Since the omniscience point-of-view was used, readers got a glimpse of the whole picture. Yet, I still want answers (that’s just my INTJ curiosity taking over haha). Was everything caused by aliens? Demons? A supernatural game? I could definitely picture this as a sci-fi movie as I was reading.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: One By One by D.W. Gillespie

***I received a free ARC from NetGalley and am voluntarily giving an honest review***

The Easton family has just moved into their new fixer-upper, a beautiful old house that they bought at a steal, and Alice, the youngest of the family, is excited to explore the strange, new place. Her excitement turns to growing dread as she discovers a picture hidden under the old wallpaper, a child’s drawing of a family just like hers. 

Soon after, members of the family begin to disappear, each victim marked on the child’s drawing with a dark black X. It’s up to her to unlock the grim mystery of the house before she becomes the next victim.

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

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I loved this suspense novel. The opening line “I never wanted to come here” hooked me right away. The story was about 10 year old Alice moving into a new home with her parents and 15 year old brother Daniel. The prologue showed a snippet of Mary’s diary. Mary, the little girl who had lived there before them.

I thought the first chapter was pretty long. Maybe because I didn’t care about the family’s walkthrough of the new house with a creepy history. The story really picked up for me when Alice  thought she saw someone staring at her through her bedroom window. I really liked that Alice and her dad had dark thoughts. It made them interesting as characters.

My favorite scene was when Alice found a black painted X across the picture of a dog on the wall. After that, all hell broke loose. Throughout the story, I kept trying to guess if ghosts were haunting the family or something more sinister. You’ll have to read to find out.

I couldn’t tell if the story was written in 3rd person POV or in omniscient because Alice was only 10 but seemed to have a big vocabulary—not when she talked, but when she was narrating the story. Plus, at times she would say her parents’ first names in narration, instead of just saying Mom and Dad.

I really enjoyed the conflict. The stress of the move had all family members on edge. The author did a good job with the mystery of who/what was actually messing with the family. The twist at the end was epic!

My favorite lines: 1) I think a lot about what a smile is, especially when you don’t mean it. It’s a mask. Something that hides the truth. 2) The family that was painted on the wall was covered up too. Buried. 3) Debra turned and managed a tired smile, the stress of the move, the cat, the snow all visible in her mother’s eyes.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Had Fun at My Book Signing and Would Totally Do It Again!!!

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me setting up my table

Over the weekend (9/14 and 9/15), I participated in the Craft Train 2 fair. There were 104 vendors, including 15 local authors. I had a blast both days. The more book signings I do, the less shy I become at talking to strangers. I sold 13 books, gave out a lot of business cards, and made over $120 dollars. Not bad for hanging out at the Martinsburg Roundhouse.

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Audrey and me

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me and Mom

Thank you everyone who came down for support! I really appreciated it. I reconnected with some local writing buddies, and reconnected with some old classmates. So surreal that I graduated high school in 2000 and WVU in 2004! Where did the time go???

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me signing books

I’m in the process of switching my paperback covers into my more interesting ebook covers, so hopefully, that will help all of my books stand out in the future. I honestly think Perfect Little Murder was the best seller both days because the cover was eye-catchy, compared to the other generic covers.

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me and Mary

The highlight of the second day–we had only 5 minutes left before the craft show was over. Some vendors were already closing. The guy beside me was having his family help him pack his stuff and fold his tables. A little girl named Kaylen walked over to my table. She was smiling, which is totally contagious. I asked her if she liked to read, and she said yes. She took me by surprise when she mentioned liking horror and suspense. Her mom let her buy Perfect Little Murder after I said the main character was around the same age as Kaylen.

You just never know what may happen 🙂 For example, I found out a YouTuber posted a video of me at the book signing! Click on the link to check it out: Book Signing.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Stitch Fix Helping Me Not Be a Plain Jane

An area where I live in West Virginia, they took away our mall a few years ago. They keep bringing hotels and restaurants in our area but NO places to shop. It’s beyond annoying. The only clothing stores are Gabes, Target, and TJ Maxx. The only place I like is Target. Wanting more choices, I’ve had to resort to buying clothes online.

This weekend, I have a book signing at a local craft show. I’m looking forward to meeting other authors and hopefully networking and selling some paperbacks! I wanted a new outfit for the occasion, so I tried Stitch Fix (after seeing a promoted post from the company on Facebook).

I was very satisfied with my first box, and I ended up keeping every item. Stitch Fix always send five items. If you keep everything, then you get a 25% discount plus $20 styling fee taken off when you checkout.

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I really liked my second box from Stitch Fix as well and kept everything. I let my stylist know from the beginning that I love bold colors and funky prints. She hasn’t disappointed me yet.

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My book signing is this Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 4pm. I’m going to wear something comfortable. I like the pink cardigan from my first box, a pair of blue jeans, and my purple top from my second box for Saturday. Then my red top from my first box, a pair of blue jeans, and a sweater or jacket for Sunday.

I may also have a book signing in October (depends on if I have any extra books from this event), so hopefully, my third Stitch Fix box will have some gems. If you want to help me get $25 referral credit and you receive $25 credit, then please try Stitch Fix. There’s no obligation to keep anything. It’s free shipping, getting the items and returning items. If I’m not mistaken, it’s only available to the US. Boxes can be for women, men, or kids.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

My Childhood Secret

Have you followed your dreams?

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Around March of this year, I decided to stop being shy and share my artwork, joining the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project volume 14. So that I wouldn’t chicken out, I decided not to put pressure on myself. I wanted it to appear like I was just drawing for myself, instead of trying to appear professional. I finished my sketchbook in under 5 days!

Something spooky happened to me as a kid. I’m sharing my story. Want to know the craziest part? Click on the link to see my sketchbook: My Childhood Secret.

Since I love drawing myself as a cartoon, the final pages are of my photo feed on Facebook 🙂

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Joining the Sketchbook Project family was a fun experience, and I’m sure I’ll participate in more volumes. For all the artists out there, do you share your work?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: A Predator and A Psychopath by Jay Kerk

***I received a free copy from NetGalley and am voluntarily giving an honest review***

Trigger warning: caution is advised, the book contains graphic content. Do not read this if you are at all weak-stomached or easily sickened / offended. Reader discretion is advised.

After Jason is committed to a mental institution, he begins to uncover things he never knew before or things his mind shut out to protect him. He finds himself questioning what’s real and what’s not. What happened to his wife, Lisa? Where is Lea? Why can’t he remember what happened?

Meanwhile, Jerry is dangerous and unpredictable. He envisions a world where boundaries are broken down and he is free to enforce his narcissistic belief that he has a divine mission.

An explosive ending that is anything but expected, forgive yourself for shuddering throughout and after you close the book.

Drawing inspiration from real cases, and with well-researched, realistic characters, this thriller is not for the soft-hearted.

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I liked this suspense novel. It was very dark and had topics on incest,   stalking, pedophiles. I thought the author did a great job showing how gross Jason and Jerry were. They made me cringe throughout the whole story (in a good way).

I thought the beginning where Jason is talking to a therapist to regain his memory was a little boring. It was repetitive with him not remembering he murdered his wife and had a sexual relationship with his daughter. But, when Jerry’s crazy ass came into the story, things got very interesting.

As a reader, I don’t mind dark books. Sometimes, the darker the better, and I usually look at the villains as just misunderstood. The author has a trigger warning in his book description, but I think if you like horror, suspense, or thrillers, then you’ll be fine reading this.

The book was written in Jason and Jerry’s point-of-views so you get inside their head. I wished some parts slowed down instead of being glossed over. For example, I was interested in Jerry stalking his tenants and conning a drug addict mother. One scene, I wished it would have played out with showing how distraught the mom was of her daughter running away, instead of it just being told to the readers through narrative summary.

Spoiler alert! Don’t read any further if you don’t like being spoiled: The ending was getting juicy. Jason met someone sketchy who may have actually killed his family and framed him. Jason’s son may be alive. Jason was starting to get his memory back and starting to figure out clues. Then, the story ended so abruptly. You will not get any answers in this book.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: The Whisper Man by Alex North

***I received a free copy from Netgalley to voluntarily give an honest review***

In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…

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I loved this murder mystery. It reminded me of a Law & Order: SVU episode arc. Jake’s father was raising him alone. They were practically strangers before his wife had committed suicide. I felt bad for the both of them. In order to try and rebuild life, they moved to Featherbank where strange things started happening.

Meanwhile, detectives were searching for a missing child named Neil, around Jake’s age. The opening sentence gave me chills: The abduction of a child by a stranger is every parent’s worst nightmare.

I would have given this book 5-stars but, in some parts of the book, paragraphs weren’t indented and sometimes quotation marks weren’t used with dialogue when characters were reminiscing about past events. The wonky formatting in some places made me deduct a star.

I loved that readers got a chance to see some characters have first person point of view narration while others had third person point of view. I also really enjoyed all of the red herrings. I guessed correctly who the kidnapper/serial killer was. I loved the interactions with all the characters. A moment with Jake’s father and the detective Pete really touched me. I won’t spoil how they know each other. You’ll have to read the book to figure out all the mysteries involved. The plot played out really well, especially the ending.

My favorite lines: 1) It stemmed from a desire to be seen. To be noticed. To be loved. 2) The whole world seemed to be sleeping peacefully in exactly the way I wasn’t. 3) It felt like our home had started dying when Rebecca did. But then, she had always been the heart of it.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby