Book Review: Fangs Out By David Freed

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

Moments before he is executed, the killer of famed Vietnam War hero-pilot Hub Walker’s daughter makes a startling allegation: the real murderer is Walker’s close friend, a prominent U.S. defense contractor. Walker wants to hire somebody willing to spend a few days hunting up information that will refute the convicted killer’s groundless but widely reported claims, and help restore his friends good name. That somebody, as fate would have it, is sardonic civilian flight instructor, would-be Buddhist and retired military assassin Cordell Logan. Thus begins one of the years most suspenseful mystery-thrillers.

A Medal of Honor recipient married to a former Playmate of the Year, Walker resides in the swanky San Diego enclave of La Jolla, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Logan is convinced that working for Walker will be little more than a paid vacation – a chance to rub shoulders with a living legend while rekindling Logan’s relationship with his own enticing ex-wife, Savannah. But after flying to San Diego in his beloved aging Cessna, the Ruptured Duck, Logan is quickly drawn into a vexing and deadly jigsaw puzzle. The deeper he digs, the murkier the truth appears, and the more in danger he finds himself. Who really killed the war hero’s daughter, and why? Somebody in “America’s Finest City,” wants to stop Logan from asking questions, and will stop at nothing to silence him.

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I loved this 27 chapter book. It was told through Cordell’s first person point of view. My favorite lines: 1) “Live long enough, you learn to pick your battles. 2) No one ever said being a smartass was without its drawbacks.” 3) “I’ve never turned down a free meal in my life. I wasn’t about to start now, not with the sad state of my bank account.” 4) “He would take his last breath one minute after midnight, on May 28–Amnesty International Day, it said on the wall calendar they’d allow him to keep in his cell. The irony of it, dying by the government’s hand on a day honoring human rights.” 5) “My plane was in pieces, my ex-wife wasn’t talking to me, my cat was AWOL, and somebody wanted me dead. But there’s never any excuses for bad manners.”

The opening scene was pretty intense. It showed Dorian’s experience of his last day. He was a man on death row, eating his final meal and having his last words. He had been accused of butchering his ex-girlfriend. It pulled at my heart strings once he still claimed innocence. Either readers will feel bad because they’re against the death penalty or they’ll feel bad for the victim Ruth. Either way, I guarantee readers will have  a strong emotion at the very beginning.

The author had a fantastic talent with plot. He had the right amount of pacing to keep my interest. Every scene had a purpose to move the mystery along. It was fun trying to solve the mystery. I liked gathering clues and being skeptical of everyone Cordell met. When he helped Hub Walker and his wife land their small aircraft safely, Hub asked him to do a private investigation. He wanted to clear Greg Castle’s name. Dorian had blamed him for Ruth’s death; Ruth was Hub’s daughter.

I loved all the suspense moments. Cordell’s life was in danger because someone didn’t appreciate him snooping. They wanted their secret safe. I’m afraid of flying, so my heart pounded when his plane crashed on the ground. I was right when I suspected someone had messed with it. He encountered a bunch of shady people, which made the story interesting. I had three suspects, and I”m proud to say I was partly right.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

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How to Add a Simple Table of Contents in Kindle Books

Found an informative blog post for authors needing help adding a Table of Contents to their ebooks. It’s an easy step-by-step guide, including pictures.

Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors

I’m going to be honest and admit that I don’t have a table of contents in my books, or at least I haven’t manually put one in. But, a fellow author got a notice from Amazon that some of you may have gotten:

Your book doesn’t have a Table of Contents. A table of contents provides readers with both easy navigation and improved visibility into the contents of the book.  Please see https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A2BQILI6OJWLTC for help with creating and formatting a Table of Contents.

So, I thought this might be a good time to discuss HOW to make a table of contents using Word. (I assume other word processing programs are similar but I haven’t used them, so I don’t know.)

There are probably multiple ways to go about this, (for how to use headers, check out THIS POST)  but here is what I did:

1. Since my chapters don’t have names…

View original post 437 more words

Another Rejection–Blessing In Disguise

I finally heard from another market. carte blanche took 81 days to give me a rejection on my short story Pit Stop. This is good because it’s another market I can add to the list of ‘they don’t make you wait forever and a day on a response.’ At the end, they said “do consider submitting to us in the future.” Plus, they wished me luck on my writing, which was nice of them.

It’s funny but it’s not. Apparently, editors are very nice in form rejections since they’re scared of cray-cray authors. Cray-cray means crazy LOL. So, I learned that a form R will more than likely include something like submit again even if they don’t mean it. I had my bubble burst when I read another author being happy about that comment on their rejection, and veteran writers clued the author on the real deal.

I promise I’m not crazy. I realize my story got rejected for one of the following reasons:

  • the editor didn’t feel the magazine’s readers would fall in love with my story
  • it didn’t hold the editor’s attention
  • better stories came along that were a better match for that particular magazine
  • etc.

I can tell you for sure that my story didn’t get rejected for the following reason (how do I know this–because I’m not crazy 🙂 )

  • the editor is close-minded and doesn’t appreciate my style of writing. MY WRITING IS WHAT THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY NEEDS!!!! (sorry I couldn’t resist. Some authors are pretty scary with the entitlement they have)

Since Pit Stop is a part of Something’s Amiss, maybe I shouldn’t try a new market. Maybe I should just let it go. That’s why I considered this rejection a blessing in disguise. Some markets don’t want excerpts even if it can be turned into a short story, something that can stand on it’s own.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: From Man To Man By D.E.M. Emrys

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

‘I’ve traded my old enemies for just this one…’ The axe thundered home. ‘I miss the old ones.’

Every man has a past, none more so than Draven Reinhardt. Abandoning his old life to settle down as a villager, he struggles to fit in, let alone hold down a job. When opportunity offers the much needed coin, Draven is torn between a promise and a purpose.

But, what’s one last job if you’ve already got blood on your hands?

‘From Man to Man’ is the story of how one man can change – or not – for the best. Prequel to the upcoming novel ‘It Began With Ashes’, the short (6400 words) introduces the reader to a world of suspense, intrigue, and action.

FM2M_CoverI liked this 8 chapter book. I thought the opening was pretty cool and intense. My first reaction was: Draven hears voices? Is he crazy? Who killed his wife? My favorite lines: 1) ‘Take the bull by the horns. Or the goat in this case.’ 2) ‘Might not be a tool of my old trade but it’s got a blade all the same.’ Draven’s earlier words haunted him.

The Blacksmith wanted Draven to return to his old ways, just one more time. The mission: escort the Tax Collector through the forest. The forest scene was full of action and suspense. I loved that the beginning and ending kept me on my toes as a reader. As a short story, “From Man To Man” provided enough details for Draven’s personality to shine through. And it ended in an interesting cliffhanger for any readers who would be interested in the novel.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Founding Father: A Novel By J. Kenneth Metz

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

Unlike “Sally Hemmings: A Novel,” the leading man in “Founding Father: A Novel” is not Thomas Jefferson, but is Jefferson’s first law professor, George Walker. And “Founding Father’s” early 19th Century setting is not Jefferson’s Monticello, but is little more than a stone’s throw away in neighboring Richmond, Virginia. And the leading lady’s role is not played by Sally Hemmings, but is shared by several Southern belles in Walker‘s life.

It has been 25 years since George Walker signed the Declaration of Independence and 13 years since he helped frame the United States Constitution. He, the mentor to two U.S.presidents and to the Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, has reached a point in his illustrious career where he can rest on his laurels. So George and his wife now have retreated to the sanctum sanctorum of their manor house among the gentry in the genteel City on the James.

But Lady Luck and Lady Karma will sling sand into the machine of Squire Walker’s comfortable, Old South paradise. Throwing grit into his squiredom’s hum drum, frictionless machinery will be a villainous arch-rival, who will cross swords with the “founding father,” a no-account nephew, who will manipulate his Uncle George’s bank account, a dancing girl, who will quicken George’s pulse to a fever pitch, and a femme fatale or two, who will lead George into temptation.

Can anyone deliver him from evil?

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I loved this 40 chapter book. Even though it wasn’t written in first person point of view, it felt like the characters were talking directly to the readers. The foreshadowing at the end of every chapter motivated me to continue reading. My favorite lines: 1) “Could she possibly be interested in me as a man? Interested enough to be teasing me?” 2) Now alone, George, perhaps for the first time in his life, realizes that he has never before spoken to a living soul about his desire for–his need for children. 3) “My empty heart isn’t the issue, more like my empty stomach, my empty pocketbook. All that I can think on is that she shall die regardless of what we do, so–“

My favorite characters were George, his wife, and Lydia. The setting was 1801 Richmond, Virginia, and I admired that the Walker family wasn’t prejudice. They believed in equality. I shed some tears when the groundskeeper, Russell, came up with the last name Walker to honor his former employers before they allowed him to retire and when George and his wife freed Lydia as a slave. They paid her to be their housekeeper. In their household, they didn’t mind sitting at the same table as their workers. It brought a smile to my face. If only the other characters felt that way…

It was sad that George and his wife couldn’t produce any children–they really wanted a family of their own. Unfortunately, George’s wife died from a terrible disease. I liked that he took the time to grieve for his wife. He considered finding a new wife because it was his former’s wife last wish. I loved George and Lydia’s interactions. It was cute the way he kept second-guessing himself about crossing the line between employee/employer, white man/black woman, older man/younger woman, etc.

Since it was historical fiction, it had to keep up with facts, but I cringed every time the ‘n’ word was used. I really enjoyed the ending, especially when a mystery was introduced. How ironic that George’s lawmaking was the one thing that guaranteed justice couldn’t be had. I frowned on that (in a good way–it brought tension), but I couldn’t stop smiling when Lydia reunited with her little boys and daughter.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Slave of Passion (The Harishtu Saga Book 1) By Brian Warren

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

Harishtu is an “import” from another world to satisfy the Queen’s taste for exotic sex slaves. Queen Sekhem, a being of unimaginable power and a ruthless tyrant, is worshiped as a living Goddess by the vampire aristocracy of a war torn land where humans are expendable commodities used for work, food, and sex. Despite this, Harishtu falls in love with the notoriously cruel Queen and a twisted romance springs up between captor and slave. Thrust into a hostile world of violence and depravity, Harishtu must struggle not only to survive but to maintain her humanity surrounded by the many horrors of her new home.

16162296I enjoyed this 10 chapter book. A man (readers never found out his male name) had a dream of being transported into southeast Asia to find a girl, Sekhem. He found her in a bar, but he wasn’t a man anymore. In this world, he’s a woman. The story was told through this character’s first person point of view, and a couple of times it switched to Sekham’s third person point of view.

My favorite lines: 1) Guys cruised around the bars like sharks in a swimming pool, checking me out as I walked by. A wink, a sly half smile, their glances prodded and groped me, looking for a weakness, but I avoided eye contact and quickly made my way to an open stool at the very end of the bar. 2) Was she guarding me from danger? Restraining me from escaping again?

Sekhem was very powerful, yet jaded. Most of the people in her kingdom were ex-lovers, one she even had locked up. She’s a lesbian–that’s why Harishtu believed he had to change to a female form. She wanted a sex slave. It was funny when Harishtu picked his name because in their vampire language it meant “Royal Slut.”

I liked when Alluatha looked after Harishtu while Sekhem was away on missions. As a reader, I wanted Harishtu to wise up and fall for the nice girl instead of continuously being disrespected by the one he thought he loved. To me, it felt more like obsession and/or lust.

As the only human, Harishtu wasn’t safe by any means. There was an evil vampire trying to kill him, just because he wanted a plaything to toy with. And one of Sekhem’s ex-lovers was jealous of him. I loved the tension in these scenes.

This is just my opinion, but I didn’t care for any of the sex scenes. It seemed like the ‘p’ word was used way too much, and I didn’t find anything sensual about their lovemaking. There was only one part I found offensive as a reader and as a woman: Harishtu thought about if he was still in male form, then he could rape, just because he could. As in he was tired of being in a weak position, so he wanted to gain control and power back. This made me wonder what type of human he had been in the real world.

The story ended in a cool cliffhanger. Everyone knows if royalty is powerful, then someone will come along, attempting to destroy.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: The Day The Tigers Broke Free By Ken Christopher Ping

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

In a small town, a seventeen-year-old Chinese boy is found dead. An obvious suicide, say the police, and the family is left to grieve. Enter Charlie Kee, a relative and investigative reporter in from New York for the funeral. There are suspicious circumstances about the death and his questions stir up a lot of hate between him and the police chief, and with the local boys. But a skilled and relentless investigator, he picks up on the clues. And he is a man with a past that simmers hot and cold in his mind. What he uncovers stokes the fire of those emotions and throws him headlong into a tumultuous clash with hatred, with himself, and with Ann, a beautiful psychologist, who is journeying through emotions of her own.

This novel is a blend of action and drama centering around the investigation of a crime while exploring the issues of life and death, racism, the human condition. Charlie, with his cold exterior, is himself volatile like his enemies, and it is a thin line that divides them, one that only God might sort out as they come to an explosive climax.

17376004I enjoyed this 33 chapter book. My favorite lines: 1) “I’m a reporter. We’re worse than nosy old women.” 2) Ann knew there was an area in the conscious where the mind went under heavy stress. There, confusion nullified pain, and fantasy eased reality. 3) “It’s been my experience that a quiet person has the most to say.” 4) It was not wise to wear your arrogance on your sleeve. Better to be two-faced and unassuming like him. 5) Charlie laughed. “That would make it too easy for you. Who would keep you honest?” When Charlie was in this kind of mood he invited trouble.

David was found dead behind the school building one day. He was only seventeen, which was sad. He could’ve had his whole life ahead of him. Not only did he die from a gunshot wound to the head, but a shady person did the autopsy, covering up secrets he didn’t want revealed to the public. David’s older cousin, Charlie, came for the funeral and to investigate. Luckily, he didn’t accept anything the sheriff was trying to sell.

  • The big mystery: Did David really commit suicide? Or was he murdered? If murdered, who were the killer(s)? The ending definitely revealed an interesting twist. I didn’t see it coming!

I liked that Charlie had a violent streak. It made things interesting. Someone needed to be tough to stand up to the bullies in that town. The sheriff was shady–definitely a bad guy–with others following suit. The bullies/drug dealers were part of the KKK. Usually you hear how this group torments the black community, so it was interesting to hear from an Asian character’s perspective. The town thought he’d be timid and shy away from trouble. Charlie definitely wasn’t weak, which I respected as a reader. I cheered when he gave everyone what they deserved.

Headhopping was involved, and sometimes it was confusing when out of the blue flashbacks would occur. It slowed down the pace of the story a little bit. I loved the present-action, so I wished it would’ve stayed more on that. However, I really enjoyed the drama aspects of the story. And I liked how the author developed the friendship between Charlie and Ann; it was realistic instead of presented as a fairytale.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby