Book Review: Five Years (A Fire In Redbridge) By L.M. Langley

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

Nothing much ever happens in Redbridge. Nothing, until Nate, a bright young man who is visiting his family during his freshman year, drives over the town bridge and onto his death.

Casey watches as her high school sweet heart leaps to his death. Together with Alex, his best friend, she will look into what happened. How far are they willing to go for someone they may not have known at all?

Casey has always been an outsider in the small town of Redbridge. Her only tether was Nate. When he died, she turned to the person who had been closest to Nate when they were in school, best friend Alex. Casey doesn’t know that Alex has a few secrets of his own… secrets that are about to affect her life in unimaginable ways.

18755888I enjoyed this 20 chapter book. My favorite lines: 1) He sounded so far away, it almost felt pointless to answer him. 2) “I’m–I always wondered how much happier everyone would be if it had been you in that car…”

The story was written in Casey’s first person point-of view and Alex’s third person point-of-view. They hadn’t been friends even though they were both close to Nate, a friend who died in a car crash. I thought it was cool that Casey lost her memory after Nate’s car went over the bridge–sort of like the brain blocking painful memories. The mystery of if it was murder, suicide, or an accident was intriguing. Finding out the answers kept me motivated to continue reading until the end. It turned out that the Sheriff’s daughter, Clara, was crazy and pretty obsessive over Nate. Unrequited love. Did she have something to do with Nate’s brakes not operating correctly? You’ll have to read to find out.

L.M. Langley did a brilliant job of making me care for the characters. I’m a sucker for sympathetic characters. I felt bad that Casey returned to town; she was an outcast. She lost her ex-boyfriend and friend just like that, without any closure. Talk about a mind trip. I definitely, definitely, definitely felt sympathy for Alex and Nate. They held a secret that there was no reason to be ashamed of, but their small-minded town shunned them. Casey found out that Alex and Nate had hooked up once. I hated the way Alex’s mother treated him.

I loved the characterization. It helped that the story seemed character-centric, so it helped me feel like I was going on a journey with the main characters. Even the secondary characters were full of personality. I loved the drama and tension on all ends. Alex’s fiance broke up with him after his secret came out, Nate’s older brother had fathered a child with Alex’s ex-fiance. It was great how all the characters were three-dimensional. There definitely weren’t any Mary Sues or Gary Stus in the bunch. As a reader, my favorite characters tend to be the bad guys or villains.

What would you do if you wanted to get revenge? That was the main theme that Alex and Casey had to face throughout the book. From Nate’s journal entries, they figured out that Clara was sort of stalking him. They devised a plan to avenge their best friend’s death. They felt so lost and lonely without him. It was cool seeing the different stages of their relationship–first, Alex and Casey hated each other, which turned into an acquaintance-ship in order to find answers, which turned into becoming buddies. I always got a kick out of Alex asking to sleep on her couch.

At first, it was confusing because of the time jumps without any warnings. But once I figured out what was going on, it was pretty smooth sailing. It was a very interesting twist at the end, regarding Nate’s brother. I didn’t see it coming! It made the story even more clever. What would you do after you got closure? You’ll have to read the book to see what Alex and Casey decided to do.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author or book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Interview With L.M. Langley, Author of Five Years (A Fire In Redbridge)

I would love to welcome my special guest L.M. Langley, author of Five Years (A Fire In Redbridge). Please enjoy her insightful interview.

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1.  Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?

I think you just need to be patient. Be good, and keep your motivation up. I know it’s easier said than done, but it will pay off eventually.

2.  Do you have anything specific that you want to say to  your readers?

Thank you for giving my story a chance. I know it’s always a bit of a gamble to go for self-published writers so I hope it has paid off.

3.  What are your thoughts on the fact that both trade and self-published authors have to promote their own work?

I think it’s terrible, to be honest. If you are giving away a huge chunk of your royalties over a certain amount of time, you should get some marketing done for you. Now you do your own marketing and even if the Big Six are publishing you, there is nothing there but name association. It is a very difficult part of the process. I think the shift towards self-marketing is taking advantage of first time authors with trade publications.

4.  What genre do you write for? Your favorite aspect? Your least favorite aspect?

I write young adult books. I think of my books as consumable literary fiction–the type you could read in an airport, but have to think about to get. My favorite aspect is the actual writing. The planning is probably my least favorite part–I wish it could all just flow and fit perfectly.

5.  What are your current/next projects?

I have started working for a small alternative publishing house called Dark Nexus Fiction and should have something published by them very soon. My next novel is a coming of age set in Newcastle Upon Tyne and tentatively titled the City Steps.

6.  Do you prefer to work alone or with critique partners/beta-readers?

I usually do my first draft on my own and then call in the cavalry. I’m just one person and I make mistakes, so it is always useful to ask my writing group for feedback.

7.  How do you find time to write?

In between assignments. I guess that’s one of the advantages of being a freelance writer.

8.  Did you always want to become an author?

Yes, since I was very little.

9.  Is there any writing rituals you complete before creating your manuscripts/drafts?

Not particularly. If I have an idea, I write a paragraph, leave it for around a day and then reread it. If it clicks, I continue writing it.

10.  Do you write the beginning/opening first or do you tend to write out of order (with whatever scenes interest you the most)?

I always write the beginning first. I can’t just go around writing other scenes when they may be changing slightly as I write other things that lead up to them.

11.  Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Yes! All the time. Writing is hard and sometimes I’ve had to abandon projects because I hated them, even though I loved the concept.

12.  Which is the easiest for you–novel, novella, or short story? Why?

Probably a short story. I have a short attention span and I like words to be condescended. To me, good writing is tidy writing, and it is easy to get there with a short story.

13.  While you were writing, did you ever feel like you were one of your characters?

I really hope not! My characters are very flawed. I love them but I really hate them.

14.  How did you come up with the title?

Five Years was the song I was listening to on repeat while I was writing my book. It is also the span of time that the book takes. It’s not very specific, so I thought referencing a certain, pivotal event in the book was important.

15.  What inspired you to write your latest book? What is the book about?

I wanted to use an academic concept–The Death of the Author–and use it in a literal sense. I thought about the way that a young person would react if they could find someone else’s thoughts but they weren’t allowed to ask them any questions, especially if that person was not who they thought he was in the first place. The book is about these two young people trying to find closure after their friend dies and realizing that his death may not be an accident.

16.  Any blogs, websites, social media you’d like to share?

Sure. My author site, my Facebook, and my twitter:  @lmlangleyauthor.

One By One Received Another 4 Star Review!!!!

After viewing my post asking for book reviews, L.M. Langley was kind enough to offer a review for One By One.  It’s pretty cool getting a glimpse into the readers’ minds. Opinions are so subjective. It’s nice to see if I got my point across or not. Some may love the plot; some may find it boring. Some may love the characters; some may hate them. Some may love my writing style; some may find it amateurish.

Either way, I appreciate anyone who takes the time to leave any opinion on how they felt about One By One. I loved L.M.’s review because it’s very detailed with a character breakdown, the pacing, and storytelling vibe. There’s some spoilers–beware if you click on the link 🙂  One By One By Yawatta Hosby.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Guiding the Fall By Christy Hayes

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

Sexy multi-millionaire Jack Forrester has never needed anyone, and although he’s suffered a crushing blow to his personal and professional life, he’s not about to start now. When he moves to Hailey, Colorado, to look into a new business venture and work with a biographer documenting his career, he meets the beautiful and irresistible Olivia Golden – a woman creating more gossip in town than he is, and making him rethink his views on being alone.

Olivia Golden has always enjoyed the attention her beauty has garnered. On the brink of finishing her student-teaching job, she’s ready to leave her hometown, start her career, and find love. Her plans go awry when she’s forced to fight charges levied against her at school and the insanely rich new businessman in town makes her a proposition she can’t refuse.

No stranger to loss and public humiliation, Jack offers to help Olivia with the fall-out from the scandal…and soon, she’s offering him something as well. A no-strings-attached relationship. But as the sensual attraction between them grows, Olivia breaks through Jack’s carefully constructed walls to reach the lonely man inside. Will Jack risk his heart to save Olivia’s sinking ship, or will the beautiful teacher guide herself straight into a fall, and take him with her?

18667299I loved this 48 chapter book. I’m a sucker for romance, especially when the two characters have tension first. So sexy. The story focused on Jack and Erica, brother and sister. Lyle was writing a book about him. Lyle was also roommates with Olivia, the townie hottie. If you read the first book in the series, then you’ll remember that these two were Jill’s best friends. She even makes some appearances in the book, which was a pleasant surprise.

My favorite lines: 1) “I didn’t say I don’t like him. I don’t know him.” 2) “Unlike you, when I like someone I’m not afraid to get to know them.” 3) “She’s got to get to know you before she’ll be nice. Don’t be offended.” 4) He had the tendency to look  onto things and create fantastical stories in his mind. That was why he wrote fiction.

All the crushes were cute, but, as a reader, I fell in love with Lyle and Erica’s relationship. Maybe because i could relate to her. She had a wall up and people misunderstood her. It’s not easy putting yourself out there, so I rooted for her the most. Plus, Lyle was adorable with his patience.

The author had a brilliant talent with characterization and dialogue. I loved how people were three-dimensional and had flaws they were working on. I got lost in the conversations; there were a lot of heart to hearts and calling people out.

My favorite scenes: 1) Jack calling out his sister’s behavior after his interview 2) all the scenes with Lyle and Erica ( a wonderful build-up of the stages they went through to gain trust as friends then a relationship)

There was a cliffhanger at the end, regarding Lyle’s brother, Tommy. I’m motivated to read the next book to see who the lady was at the party.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For  more information on the author or book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Book Review: My Daylight Monsters By Sarah Dalton

I always thought my demons came out in the day, rather than at night. I’ve never been scared of the dark. I’ve only ever been scared of real things: getting ill, having injections, physical pain… death. Those are my monsters, not ghosts or vampires or whatever else can hide under your bed at night.

I was wrong.

The dark makes everything worse.

When Mary’s psychiatrist advises a short stay at a psychiatric unit, her worst nightmares are confirmed. How can she get better in a place that fills her with dread? When she meets the other patients, she begins to gather some hope, until she realises that the death toll in the hospital is rising without explanation. Something sinister stalks the corridors and maybe she is the only one who can stop it…

Mary has to confront the Things that she sees if they are to stand a chance. But will she survive a confrontation with death itself?

18626145I loved this 15 chapter book. It was told through Mary’s first person point of view. At 17 years old, she witnessed Anita die in a fire. Mary had to leave, otherwise she would’ve died too. I’m sure she felt awful, and I felt bad that she had to live with survivor’s guilt. This tidbit made me instantly care for her.

Mary was committed to a psych ward. There were interesting people there–Johnny, Lacey, Mo, and the doctors. It was cool that Mary had her guard up at first, then everyone started bonding with her. From this, she found out that Johnny had died. He’s a ghost. In fact, many patients next door ended up dead. I loved that the patients banded together to solve the mystery.

My favorite lines: 1) “Scary Mary. That’s what they started calling me–after the incident.” 2) The shuffling stops. Somehow, silence is worse. 3) “You’re betting on deaths?” I blurt out. “Isn’t that a bit…morbid?” 4) I don’t know anything about these subjects, and when I try to offer any kind of opinion, it’s so matter-of-fact and abrupt that I wonder about my tact and social skills. 5) You could say that it’s weird. That I’m weird. Because I don’t believe in ghosts, but I believe in what I see. I see some strange things.

Sarah Dalton was great with the setting details. I could see the places and people vividly. This story was pretty suspenseful; I even jumped out of my seat in some scenes–when they sneak upstairs and a scary story is told, when Mary is locked in a room for an extended period of time, and when readers found out that the creepy killer knows Mary figured out everything and begins stalking, threatening her.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author or book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Another Book Spotlight for One By One

Angelique was nice enough to offer featuring my book on her Why I Can’t Stop Reading blog since she couldn’t do a book review. It was refreshing to hear that after many no’s and straight up no responses. Here’s the book spotlight if anyone’s interested: Promo–One By One Written By Yawatta Hosby.

I’m still looking for book reviews for my mystery thriller, some have even referred to it as horror. If anyone would like to do a book review, I can email you a free copy. Just let me know at Author.Yawatta.Hosby(AT)aol(DOT)com.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby