Weekend Writing Warriors Excerpt #31

I’m back! The Weekend Writing Warriors is an awesome site that allows writers to share their 8 to 10 sentence excerpts, published or unpublished, to the blogosphere. If you’d like to join or would like to read wonderful talent, please visit the WeWriWa website on Sunday, 1/8: http://wewriwa.com.

This week I’ll be sharing my WIP of my sequel Six Plus One. Alta and her friends leave Voy on a road trip to Green Bank, West Virginia. They plan to film footage for their popular alien-centric web series. What should be a get-in and get-out situation turns into a deadly nightmare.

Here’s my excerpt:

“We didn’t forget the wireless mics, right?” Alta’s cell phone rang. She picked it up on the second ring. “Hey, dad, what’s up?”

“Wanted to make sure everything’s okay. Kendrick’s following the speed limit, correct? You guys aren’t bringing attention to yourselves, right?”

“We’re going to isolated woods to contact aliens. What could go wrong?”

“I’m serious, Alta…”

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Chronicles of Drenyon: The Golden Sword by NLJ

Mystery. Romance. Adventure. Suspense.                
 
 The Chronicles of Drenyon series has the power to show you worlds you have never known. It will whisk you away to adventures that will thrill readers of all ages. Join the journey of a tyrant king, an enchanted tree, a captivating maiden, and a pair of mystical twins as they fight for their one and only home.
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***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review***

Fantasy isn’t a typical genre I read, but I decided to give this book a try. I’m happy I did. The author did a great job with setting and description. The scenes were quite interesting, showing a lot of action and a lot of interaction between the characters. I loved all the tension between everyone; they all had secrets, and some had a shady past.

Anya was the main character. As a reader, I respected her strong nature. She was one of the heroes in the story, not weak having to always wait for the man to save her. I felt sorry for Anya since she seemed to only have her mom Elina and the tree man at the beginning.

Drenyon didn’t have a king because their king had died violently in war many years ago. Drenyon had twelve years of peace until…an enemy unleashed something horrible. The regular townfolk were turning into monsters.

With the help of the tree man, Anya had to find a way to save her country. My favorite scenes where when they found the young boy in the prison. He and the tree man fought for Anya’s attention, plus they found a set of powerful twins. I loved all the disharmony among the ranks.

My favorite lines: 1) What a lovely tale, she thought. Yet, she was curious…2) Today, there was an unspoken sadness between them. 3) Mother’s smiles were forgotten. 4) “Don’t recite, my love. Dream.” 5) “True goodness comes from unexpected sources.” 6) “Red sparks along the sides of the moon,” she remembered aloud, “and untamed chaos.”

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: A Portrait for Shy by Justin Kenneth

Fans of We Were Liars will devour this psychological supernova.

At seventeen, Jared Sedgwick wanted to share his artwork with the world, marry his first love, and get the hell out of Vermont. But he put down the brush when his relationship fell to pieces, and his cracked phone still says it’s another cold day in Bennington.

He only opens up to his best friend Stan, the one who’s there for him when he feels suicidal, who listens to every word and sits through every heartbreaking detail just waiting for some cat food; Stan never offers much advice. But that’s okay now because Jared’s got a new story, and her name is Eloise. She’s a cat-loving bookworm with a passion for starting over, new in town from California, and she’s making him forget that he ever had a past.

It’s a fresh romance for both until she questions the whereabouts of his ex-girlfriend, soon to discover an awful truth much worse than cheating.

A PORTRAIT FOR SHY is a twist-riddled narration of undying love in the wake of tragedy, an upper-YA/crossover contemporary *Mature content novel.

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***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review***

The opening line, There’s this game I play with Stan called Scratch-me-if-you-can, where I tap behind his paws until he tears apart my hand, caught my attention right away. The story was told in Jared’s first person point of view, and Stan was his cat. I loved this story because Jared’s quirky personality kept my full attention. Picture this book as an indie quirky drama or a quirky romance movie. Something you’d see on Sundance or the IFC Channel.

Jared, Jared, Jared. From the beginning, it was clear he wasn’t all sane, but that made him endearing. I felt bad that he couldn’t let go of the past. He was in a love triangle with  his high school sweetheart Shy, and his new neighbor Eloise. I loved that everyone’s backstory was twist after twist. I’m all about mystery.

Even though my favorite scenes where of Jared bonding with Eloise and Shy, I wish there would’ve been a little more interaction with other people. They lived in Vermont, so I pictured a small town, which the author did a great job capturing Vermont’s beautiful landscape. I wanted to get a feel if his neighborhood found him odd or if he just faded in the background. I was happy that he became less lonely when Eloise arrived into town.

Eloise’s dialogue used alot of exclamation points. That made me think she was eccentric or youthful. My favorite line was There was a pause that swallowed. But I closed my eyes, and then I heard her voice. As a reader, I usually have a clear cut couple I’m shipping if there’s a love triangle. However, I really liked Shy and Eloise, both for different reasons.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

IWSG Blog Hop–Writing Rule I Wish I’d Never Heard

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Last month I joined the Insecure Writer’s Support Group on Facebook after reconnecting with my writing buddy Meka. Even though writing is a lonely activity, it doesn’t mean you can’t surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through.

IWSG also has a website, which hosts a blog hop the first Wednesday of every month. Writers get to discuss their doubts and fears they’ve conquered, their struggles and triumphs.

I’ve always joked that writers need a support group, and if I ever found one, then I’d join. Even though I’m a published author, I have fears and doubts and insecurities. After reading the Insecure Writer’s Support Group purpose on their website, I was hooked.

Their purpose–“to share and encourage writers. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.”

Showing vulnerability makes you strong. If you’d like to read more from bloggers who shared their personal experiences, then please click here.

Okay, here goes…

January’s question–What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

The writing rule I wish I’d never heard is don’t write in passive voice. Only use active voice. For example, it’s bad to say “the tree got chomped dwn by an axe.” The rule says you should use “the axe chomped down the tree.” I swear I don’t mind grammar. English was one of my favorite subjects in school, but man, always having to use active voice is intimidating. What if your character doesn’t speak like that? Isn’t it better to stay true to your character’s voice?

Unfortunately, I tend to speak and write in passive voice. If you read my blog posts, I’m sure passive sentences are used everywhere. I know it’s a bad habit, but I don’t know how to stop. How much do readers really mind passive voice? Writing a first draft, my main goal is to just get my words on paper. Editing comes later…but I stall tremendously. I think it’s all the pressure of every sentence, every word has to be perfect or you’ll lose the reader. I struggle with the revision stage, which is why I probably only publish one book a year. I wish I could just hire an editor to completely fix my manuscripts in the grammar sense.

Since it’s hard for me to follow the rule of ‘don’t use passive voice,’ I often think my writing sucks. If someone leaves me a good review or if a critique partner says I did a god job, I think they’re just being nice. Equivalent to a loved one being supportive just because they care about you.

I know this fear is something I’ll have to get over. I can’t keep losing confidence when I’m around other writers who know what they’re talking about, grammar wise. I need to tell myself that a story isn’t about perfect sentence structure, it’s about following the guidelines of your particular genre. I write horror and suspense. I have plot twists nailed haha. I need to learn how to take a compliment without thinking there’s a hidden meaning.

Thanks for listening.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

2017 Writing Goals

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I started the new year laid up in the hospital. I stayed there for three nights in my own private room, my left arm linked to an IV the entire time. Instead of giving up, the experience made me stronger. I hate being anemic, but it is what it is. Finding my inner-peace, I tried to ignore my pain as best I could. It worked. I managed to focus on a couple short stories. If I can find the time to write in a hospital, then I predict my 2017 will be a productive year!

MY 2017 WRITING GOALS:

1. Write at least 250 words a day or at least 10-15 minutes a day

2. Submit short stories to magazines and anthologies

3. Read at least 50 books in the horror and suspense genre

4. Don’t be shy to tell people I’m an author

5. Keep bonding with my critique partners, beta readers, and writing buddies

6. Join at least one online writing class

7. Publish at least 3 novellas

8. Create my own MFA writing program, focusing on teaching myself how to edit on a timely matter, utilizing the 3 act structure, description and setting, imagery and metaphors

9. Write at least 10 short films and direct at least one

10. Submit mini-comics to newspapers and magazines, or at least show my work on Tumblr

11. Protect my writing time, using an official writing spot, a writing schedule, and creating my own writing retreats over the weekends

12. Sign up for book signings and local author events in the area

13. Keep a steady blogging schedule, using blog hops and participating in more guest posts

For all the writers out there, what are your writing goals for 2017?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Three Babes in the Woods by Yawatta Hosby

Three Babes in the Woods

by Yawatta Hosby

Copyright 2016

Three Babes in the Woods

If I shut my eyes, maybe Mommy will forget about me. I only need her to forget about me for about ten seconds. Well, I’m not very good with math, maybe it’s an hour. I squeeze my eyes tighter and tighter. And, I hug my red fuzzy Elmo tighter and tighter.

Elmo. Yikes! I throw him away from me in the back seat. He hits the side of the door with a thud. Oh no, the thud may get Mommy’s attention. I can’t open my eyes, so I can’t tell if she sees me or not.

“Honey, what are you doing?”

“You can see me?”

“Of course, honey, are you playing a game?”

I wish it was a game, but I’m scared to dea—Wait I don’t want to say death. Oh no, I said it by mistake. I don’t want to die. Maybe if I don’t answer Mommy she’ll forget about me.

“Honey?”

I open a eyeball. Mommy’s looking at me through the rearview mirror. I can’t hide anymore. I may die.

“…I throwed Elmo.”

“Why? He’s your favorite toy.”

“He’s scary.”

Mommy laughs. She stops when she sees I’m not laughing too. “Why is he scary?”

I hide under my coat by pulling it up over my head. Then I point out the window, afraid to see the scary sign. We go on this road every day to get home, and I didn’t know it was scary until yesterday. Bennie, my older cousin, warned me about Elmo leaving his three daughters in the woods to die. That the scary blue and yellow–I mean gold, is it gold or is it yellow? I haven’t learned all my colors yet in school–sign near the road is proof that it happened. Bennie says if I become a burden on Mommy and Daddy, then they may leave me in the woods to die too.

“What are you pointing at? The woods? You love the woods, sweetheart. Tell me what’s going on.”

“Did we passed the sign?”

“The sign? You know what the sign means?”

I stop hiding under my coat. Mommy needs to see me shake my head yes.

“Oh, Samantha, you’re too young to understand. How in the world did you hear about what that sign means?”

“I know-I know that Elmo killed his three daughters because they were a burden. Mommy, how does Elmo have daughters? Did he get married?” I reach out for Elmo. The seat belt cuts into my chest, but I manage to get him. Mommy needs to see who I’m talking about. No more lies, Mommy.

“You don’t have to be afraid of Elmo. He’s just a toy.” Mommy frowns. Oh no, is she lying?  “I wish I could’ve explained things when you’re older, but let me try to now. I don’t want you afraid. Nothing bad will happen to you, honey.”

“But-but something bad happened to those girls. They died in the woods. Can I die in the woods too?”

“I’ll do everything in my power to protect you. Me and your daddy.”

“If Elmo’s just a toy, then who killed those girls?”

“Elmo Noakes was a man from California. He took a road trip with his three daughters and girlfriend. They ended up here in Pennsylvania.”

“Why did he kill them, Mommy?”

“In 1934, I want to say it was the Great Depression, but I’m not sure. I was never good in History class. I think… Mr. Noakes was a desperate man. He couldn’t afford to support his family…it was a tragedy, but you have to know me and your daddy love you very much. You never have to worry about us abandoning you.”

“Even if I’m a burden?”

“You’ll never be a burden to us, honey. Never.”

Did Elmo ever tell his daughters that? What if Mommy changes her mind? Bennie said it could happen at anytime. I never want to go camping again. I never want to drive on this road again. I never want any fur coats either.

And, I hate the color green. Green used to be my favorite color, but not anymore. Those three girls were found by a green blanket. Why couldn’t it have been a blue blanket? The awful scary color blue. Scary blue and scary yellow or scary gold. I really need to learn my colors.

My best friend in pre-school is scared of frogs. My cousin is scared of dogs. My little sister is scared of the boogeyman. I’m scared of Mommy and Daddy, thanks to my cousin Bennie. I’m scared to die. What if I become a burden and they decide to leave me in the woods to die? What if Mommy is lying about Elmo? I look at my red fuzzy toy. Is he going to kill me? Is he going to leave me in the woods to die if I become a burden?

What does burden even mean? I’m scared to ask Mommy. She may lie. Shutting my eyes tight doesn’t help me disappear. I’ll have to come up with something else. Only when we take this scary road that passes that scary blue and yellow—or is it gold?—sign. The sign that says On This Spot Were Found Three Babes in the Woods. Nov.-24-1934. The only reason I remember is because last night my cousin Bennie made me say it out loud a billion times until it stuck in my head.

How can I disappear? And what does burden mean? I’ll ask Bennie the next time I see him.

THE END

Free Books for the Holidays!!!

How is it already mid-December? Geez Louise! I hope everyone is staying warm and reading an entertaining book.

To celebrate the holidays, I’m offering three of my ebooks for free on Amazon until December 17th! It’ll give readers a chance to try my stuff or give their friends a free gift.

Happy Reading!!!

Just click on the book titles to download free books:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby