Book Review: Cirque Berserk by Jessica Guess

I was honored when Divination Hollow Reviews asked me to be a guest blogger for their Women In Horror and Black History In Horror event. Battling covid at the time, their request had given me something to look forward to. Since I haven’t written anything creepy in awhile (because I’ve been working on my graphic novel and spiritual blog), I didn’t want to share any short stories. I thought the safest bet would be to write a book review on a fun horror book.

I ended up finding Jessica Guess’s Cirque Berserk.

If you want to check my book review, please click on the link: Book Review: “Cirque Berserk” by Jessica Guess.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Shut Up & Write!

Copyright PGR Studio

Shut up and write!

Am I being rude? Or am I teasing about a writing lifesaver I found recently?

Let’s go with a writing lifesaver 🙂

Since last week, I’ve been utilizing different Shut Up & Write meetups to write over 1,900 words in an hour. Shut Up & Write is exactly what it sounds like. Writers meet online (or at a certain place in town) and introduce themselves plus the project they’ll be working on, then they literally just write for the remainder of the time. I’ve found success on Tuesday, Friday, and Sundays with the online version. Meetup lists several different chapters and the beauty–you don’t have to belong to that city in order to join since everything is online. Guess I can thank covid for that…

I’ve written so much that I’m almost finished my five scripts for my graphic novel series! I’ve also taken advantage of an art group that I’m in. Every Saturday, G.N.A.W. hosts accountability hours where we can draw or write for an hour and a half. It’s literally the same concept as Shut Up & Write.

I’ve learned that I’m a more disciplined and productive writer when I am with other people working on their own projects. How are you? Are you better off alone? Or do you like connecting with others? If you think you’d like joining a writing community, definitely check out Shut Up & Write online, and if you’re on Meetup, my profile is Yawatta Hosby. Join the groups I’m in and say hello!

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

I’ve Been Writing…Just Not What You Think

I’M FREE

Before getting covid on Christmas Eve, I was a busy bee. Nonstop, I was drawing character sketches for my Unscripted graphic novel. In fact, I even drew a 24-page comic in October as a comic’s challenge! Every day, I was working on my script for Unscripted. I don’t show any of that on this blog since it’s for my horror writing, but if you want to check out my progress, I share on my Instagram page and I have a YouTube channel.

After covid, I’m still a busy bee, writing my Unscripted graphic novel script and drawing.

Plus, I created a free newsletter called Inspire. Awaken. In Awe. It shares my spiritual journey. I’m getting out of feeling in a rut by paying attention to the angel numbers coming my way. I’ve been more productive in the past couple of months than what I’ve done in the past year or two. If you’d like to check out my spiritual newsletter, I’d really appreciate it.

This Thursday, I’ll be starting a short story challenge with my writing buddy. I’m excited to get back into the groove of writing fiction again. Anything’s possible. I’m holding on to that 🙂

I LOVE BEING FREE. I can do whatever I want and it feels wonderful!

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

New Anthology: The Vampire Connoisseur

You should check out a cool vampire anthology! I am 🙂

Keep smiling,
Yawatta

Priscilla Bettis, Author

Image of vampire anthology book cover

It’s a new anthology, The Vampire Connoisseur, and I’M IN IT! OMGosh, I’m a published author! (Squeal!) I’ve read all 16 vampire stories. They’re all good, fun, enjoyable, and not your typical vampire tales. Yes, I have some faves:

“The Red Angel” by Lisa Hario because it’s kinda sweet, but it’s still a horror story.
“Poem of the Riverbank” by Gary Robbe because of the way the author achieved a sense of dread and because the prose felt so refined.
“Parasites: A Tale of Route 66” by B.J. Thrower because the ending was truly horror-filled but not in a fangs sort of way.

My story, “The Sun Sets Nonetheless,” is about a Midwestern man fighting off vampires. It was inspired by a wind gust that blew white petals off a flowering tree in our back yard. The image stuck with me, and I wrote a dark story around…

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#BookReview: Starving Ghosts In Every Thread by Eric LaRocca #amreadinghorror

***Thanks for the free copy in exchange for an honest review***

Teddy has a secret….

She’s so consumed with guilt that it compels her body to literally unravel unless she feeds off the emotions of others. Teddy’s parasitic condition is usually tempered easily and is invisible to most, unless she feeds from them. However, her insatiable hunger has already begun to threaten her safety. Trapped in her tiny Connecticut hometown thanks to a careless mistake which cost her a prestigious scholarship, Teddy grieves her father’s death and cares for her neurotic mother, Mercy, who is convinced scorpion venom is the only remedy for her own peculiar skin ailment linked to her daughter’s sadness.

Once an aspiring songwriter, Teddy now merely alternates between shifts at the local market and visits to the house of her eccentric neighbor, Mr. Ridley, for fresh scorpions to bring to her mother. It’s during one of her routine visits to Mr. Ridley’s subterranean grotto of exotic animals that Teddy meets an unusual young girl named Kiiara. Immediately enamored with one another, Teddy soon discovers that Kiiara is hiding a gruesome secret, too – a secret that will threaten to undo everything Teddy has ever known and loved, and violently touch all those who cross their path with disaster.

I enjoyed this fast-paced novella. The author was great with setting details. The book was character-driven focusing on Teddy and Kiiara. The drama was interesting. Since there was no horror (for me as a reader) until the very end of the story, I couldn’t tell if this story was literary, horror, or fantasy. Whenever Teddy could read a person, part of her skin would coil. Was this just in her head? Was she the only one this happened to? Was this a fantasy world? A normal world? I couldn’t tell, but those questions not being answered didn’t stop me from liking the story.

My favorite lines: 1) “I often feel lost, even to myself.” 2) “Everything I’ve lived, I’ve lived through other people. I’ve convinced myself that their stories, their troubles, their passions were mine.” 3) “The thing I’ve so desperately tried to convince myself otherwise is true–people know.”

The ending was pretty intense. The very last scene I felt for Teddy. It was a lasting impression of what she did after making her mom go to the neighbor’s house. I thought about it long after finishing the novella, which I gave props to the author for writing a compelling drama.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

#BadMoonRising The Ballad of Mrs. Molony by C.S. Boyack #IndieAuthor #Paranormal

Check out this blog if you love celebrating the spooky season! C.S. Boyack has a new book out called The Ballad of Mrs. Molony. If you love paranormal, the book is on sale for .99c!!!

Keep smiling,
Yawatta

Books and Such

Welcome to the first day of Bad Moon Rising!  Having been a fan of horror/paranormal/supernatural books and movies from a very young age (blame my dad for letting me watch some shows at a questionable age), I look forward to hosting this event every year.  Today’s author is known for his wildly creative speculative fiction novels and is here today with his newest book that released this week!  Many of us are familiar with Lizzie and the Hat, and The Ballad of Mrs.Molony is the third in the series.  C.S. Boyack is in the house!

Thanks for having me back, Teri. I look forward to Bad Moon all year. October is kind of my month, and I enjoy learning about all the other author participants.

Seems like I’m always the one to break the rules, so I’ll try to follow them as best I can. It’s a lot of…

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Urban Legends Getting International Love! Plus, My Personal Guest Post On #BlackLivesMatters!

Sorry, I haven’t been blogging lately. I feel like I’m off and on, which can be a good thing. It means I’m working hard on my writing/art projects. Since it’s October–Spooky Season (woo hoo!!!)–I plan on blogging more to celebrate the countdown to my favorite holiday, Halloween.

I want to thank Deborah J Miles for giving my newest release, Urban Legends, a chance. It’s always cool to see my sales dashboard go international 🙂 Right now, I have readers in the US, UK, Denmark, Australia, and Canada. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Not only did Deborah J Miles give my book a review, she also let me share a personal experience of racism I dealt with at work years ago. It took a lot for me to be vulnerable sharing this…If you want to check out my guest post and check out her book review on Against the Flow Press blog, then please click on the link– Book Review: Urban Legends by Yawatta Hosby

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Twisted Obsession Getting International Love!!! #bookreview #amreadingsuspense

I’m on cloud nine. Being an author with a back list, it’s always great when your old books get love and attention. I published Twisted Obsession back in 2016, and it’s still one of my favorites. I used my middle name for Finia. Plus, the setting was my old childhood home. This story will always have a special place in my heart.

“The atmosphere throughout the entire novella was stifling, creepy and just hung with a sense of foreboding. It is pretty much a dark, twisted tale throughout the whole thing.”–Kimberly Wolkens

I was excited to see the 5-star review on Ginger Nuts of Horror from Kimberly Wolkens! If you want to check out what she said, please click the link: Book Review: Twisted Obsession by Yawatta Hosby.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Have you had a gun pointed at your face? Because I have.

Hello, I’d like to welcome my special guest, Stephanie Evelyn. She’s an author and artist. Someone I admire 🙂 Last month I had the pleasure of being a guest on her blog to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement. I wish I could say things are getting better but…just today, I had to hear a disgusting conversation from “religious” people how it’s sad the treatment of police officers at the moment. No condolences for people getting executed. Then they called the white teenager who killed two protestors a “hero,” joking they’ll have ammo ready too. I swear one day I’ll move out of West Virginia. It’s too painful living here.

Please read Stephanie’s take on Black Lives Matter. I love that she’s an ally 🙂

I want to thank Yawatta Hosby for taking the time to collaborate with me, having the courage to open her heart, and having wisdom to share. I had the pleasure of interviewing Yawatta on the topic of Black Lives Matter. A link to the interview is at the end of this post.

Yawatta then invited me to guest blog and to provide my insight on the Black Lives Matter movement as a nonblack person of color. I am Mexican American and while our experiences from our black brothers and sisters differ, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. While Latinos are also the targets of police brutality, the extent at which the black community is demoralized and stripped of their humanity, I still cannot fathom.

I cannot begin to imagine what it’s like to be black. What it’s like to be a black mother, fearing for her child’s life…always and forever. What it’s like to be a black father, fearing that you may not live to see your child grow up and fearing that your child may not live to grow up. I can only begin to understand infinitesimally and it’s not because I don’t want to understand. It’s because I am not black and I will never be able to live the experiences that my black brothers and sisters have had to endure.

Here’s what I do know. When I was twenty-two years old, a white male police officer in San Jose, California pointed a gun at my face, finger on the trigger. Why? There’s two sides to every story right? I am here to say, WRONG. There are not always two sides. Let me say this, this is the one and only time a gun was pointed at my face in my life. I am alive to tell you this but if I was black, chances are I wouldn’t be.

I was twenty-two years old and a student at University of California, Santa Cruz studying to get my B.A. My parents lived in San Jose, just a forty five minute drive from my college. It was summer so I was visiting home. My friends and I were at a party that night and they asked me to drive them to the liquor store five minutes from the party. I did. I drove down the street, stopped at a red light, turned when it was green, and drove into the parking lot. It was already coming up on two o’clock in the morning (nothing ever good happens after two indeed.) Does that mean I deserved what I got? Maybe I shouldn’t have been driving at two o’clock in the morning, even though I had nothing to drink and had a valid license to drive.

I parked my car in front of the liquor store and as I looked up to see that it was closed, a police car sped through the parking lot with lights flashing and parked behind me. There was a male office and a female officer. They got out yelling as I sat in my car confused. I went to grab my license and registration but my friends, Latinos as well, yelled at me to not move. They knew the drill because they were Latino men but as a female, I really didn’t know the drill.

The white cop didn’t like that I took my wallet out and he pulled his gun out, eyes blazing, and pointed it at my face. If this has never happened to you and then it did happen to you, what would you be thinking? Doing, feeling? I really can’t tell you how it felt at that moment. I was confused and I didn’t know why they came behind my parked car in a parking lot.

The male officer asked me to get out of the car so he could handcuff me. I did what most people might do, I asked what I did wrong and why I was being handcuffed. The Mexican female officer, yes you read that correctly, said to me, “Why were you running?”

Huh? Running?

“What are you talking about? Running from what?”

These two adults in uniform then proceeded to tell me an elaborate tale in which they put their lights and siren on half a mile back and I gunned it and tried to outspeed them. It literally did not happen. Their story did not exist in reality but that didn’t matter. They had guns and I was handcuffed.

I obviously got let go and didn’t die. This is the one and only time a gun was pointed at my face. Do I hate the police officer that pointed a gun in my face? No. Do I hate “All Lives?” Of course not, why would I? I do not think that police officers deserve to die but I do think some police officers believe that black people should die. They have proved that with their actions.

Do blue lives matter? Yes.

Do all lives matter? Yes.

Do children’s lives matter? Yes.

Do animals’ lives matter? Yes.

Now, let’s get this right and start to make right. Black Lives Matter and that statement is not some carefully fabricated argument to rebuttal the rest of the world on. Let me ask this, when the slogan “Black Lives Matter” did not exist, why weren’t people saying blue lives matter or all lives matter? Why do people feel the need to oppose the slogan Black Lives Matter with something at all? The reality we are living is that police officers are killing the black community when they are asleep in their beds. What are the two sides of that story? We don’t know Breonna Taylor’s because she was asleep.

And people want to take that opportunity to explain all the possible reasons the police had to murder her. Ask yourself if any of those reasons equated to Breonna Taylor deserving to die. Now multiply this, rinse, and repeat.

I thank Yawatta Hosby for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts even though my thoughts are not significant enough to create the change that I want to see in my lifetime. The only thing I can give is the destruction of my silence. I wish I could give more.

And to everyone out there who is tired of hearing Black Lives Matter, just remember, the black community is tired of getting murdered.

It devastates me as a human being, that we have the intelligence and courage to travel into outer space, to strive to find cures for the deadliest diseases, but we are not willing to stop killing off our black brothers and sisters. Black. Lives. Matter.
Check out my interview with Yawatta Hosby here.

 

Please check out Stephanie’s social media:

Email: writersterp@gmail.com

Website: https://www.iamsterp.com/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamsterp 

IG: https://www.instagram.com/iamsterp/ 

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Copyright I Am Sterp blog

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Thanks #FrightGirlSummer for the Shout Out!!! #WomenInHorror #SupportWomenofColor

I want to thank V. Castro for letting me be a guest on the website, Fright Girl Summer. It’s great how they love to support women who write horror! I like how the genre is gaining in popularity 🙂

Urban Legends - High Resolution

She was nice enough to let me post an excerpt of Urban Legends; plus, my author bio is in the Black Voices Matter section of the website. I’m so excited and very grateful. I can’t believe my shy-self is getting my name out there.

They’re currently looking for books and authors to feature, so if you have any suggestions or want to be featured yourself, please contact them. They’re nice ladies!

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby