Book Review: No Heroes by Jon Mayo

***I voluntarily received a free copy to give a honest book review***

The Locke twins possess a peculiar power: they can pass pain and injuries to one another. Despite this flaw, Aries Locke dreams of becoming a superhero one day, to the chagrin of his twin, Ezra. But after performing a heroic deed they soon learn why there are no heroes in the world.

With the help of their mother, they run away from the shadow of The Purity Project–an organization devoted in controlling and regulating superhumans.

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I loved this book that was divided into three parts. Part One showed Aries and Ezra living with their mom, Gracie. She turned out to be more than a pill-popping, sad person. She had been hiding a secret forever. Part Two showed the twins as teens, growing up with their foster sister, Caylee. She had a secret of her own. Part Three focused on Barry and Theo of The Purity Project–the villains.

My favorite lines: 1) It looked painful, but he knew that all origin stories began with trauma. Aries just got his. 2) “Suffering is part of life. It is what makes us strong.” 3) It was a murder scene without a corpse. 4) There was a chill that crawled up Aries’ back. 5) One bullet shattered his breastbone. Another popped his right eye open like a squeezed tomato.

I loved Aries and Ezra, and I was really rooting for them throughout the book. It was a wicked scene when Ezra fell from the tree but Aries’s arm got broken instead. I also really enjoyed when Aries saved a cat from a fire. After that, it was nothing but drama. The author did a wonderful job of showing how crappy their life was, always on the run with their mom. I was sad about what happened to Gracie.

I thought it was a cute moment when the twins met Caylee for the first time. I’ll admit in Part two I was asking myself: is this book a super hero origins story or a romance? But, the devastating scene Ezra and his loved one faced broke my heart. This section of the book made sense at the end. Readers needed to feel Ezra’s pain to understand why Aries was gung ho on becoming superheroes.

I really enjoyed the ending, but Part One was definitely my favorite section of the book. It was cool that the book ended on a cliffhanger.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

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Book Review: Merry Murder by Angel Gelique #WomenInHorrorMonth

It seems like only yesterday I was celebrating Women’s Horror Month last year with blog posts. With a blink of an eye, it’s a year later and February has arrived again! Celebrating Women’s Horror Month, my first blog post is dedicated to one of my favorite horror author’s, Angel Gelique. I was lucky enough to win her book Merry Murder in a Twitter contest. Loving the book so much, I ended up buying it on Amazon too. I’m not lying when I say I’m a strong believer in writers supporting other writers 🙂

Poor Paul McKenna. He just wants to enjoy the holidays. But with an obstinate teen-aged daughter, Heather, and an unreasonable wife who enables her, Paul is anything but jolly. Heather has her heart set on getting the latest cell phone for Christmas. The only problem is Paul can’t find one within the acceptable price range. He simply refuses to fall victim to holiday price-gouging. He has every intention of buying the phone weeks after Christmas when it’s half the price. Surely, Heather will understand…right?

In this tale of vengeance, a well-intentioned father will find that sometimes it’s better to appease an incorrigible teen daughter–no matter the cost–rather than incur her wrath. 

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I loved this pretty intense book! The story was told in Paul’s first person point-of-view. I felt so bad for him. He was surrounded by–excuse my french–straight up bitches. Oh my goodness, I hated Heather and his wife Maeve with a passion. The author did a wonderful job making those two ladies enormous bullies. They were the perfect villains. I was happy for Paul when his son visited for the holidays. Finally a peace of mind, even if short-lived before Heather’s extreme temper tantrum ruined everything.

I loved getting inside Paul’s head. He knew something was wrong, but there was nothing he could really do about it since his wife kept taking their daughter’s side. I wanted to punch Heather in the face; that’s how great Angel Gelique made that character a bad guy. As a reader, I was also quite scared of Heather. She was a narcissist to the core–a psychopath too. Who could have ever thought what would happen because of a cell phone? The story blew my mind (in a good way)!

My favorite line:  Though to be fair, she’s only grown grossly intolerable over the past couple of months since her last cell phone began showing signs of electronic Alzheimer’s. I truly loved the ending. Does Paul’s wife have a change of heart? Does Heather still make your skin crawl? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

***I hope you enjoyed the book review. If you know of anyone who wants to celebrate Women’s Horror Month, please let me know. They can write guest posts for me, and I’d love to reblog from other wonderful writers. Let’s celebrate Women’s Horror Month in style!

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

 

Book Review: Not Broken by Meka James

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…

Calida Jokobi doesn’t see it that way. Surviving an abusive relationship with a sadistic, manipulative man changed her. She has spent the last two years carefully constructing her new persona with two goals in mind: to keep the remaining pieces of her heart safe and her deepest secrets buried. One man puts it all at risk.

Malcolm has been a part of Calida’s life for as long as she can remember. A friend. Her first teenage crush. Now he’s asking for something she swore she’d never give again: her heart.

Calida must decide if she should risk the fragile facade she’s created and give Malcolm the chance he’s asking for.

They say love can heal all wounds…

Malcolm Frankel wants to prove to Calida it’s true. She survived a hell most people couldn’t fathom. He’s been by her side fulfilling whatever role she needs him to play. All except the one he wants most. It took nearly losing her to make Malcolm realize he couldn’t keep denying his feelings.

He knows no one goes through an ordeal like that and comes out unscathed, but the closer they get, the more he learns just how deep Calida’s wounds go.

She’s the only woman he’s ever loved, and Malcolm is ready to put his own heart at risk for a chance at mending hers.

**This novel is a follow up to my debut book: Fiendish. I have constructed it so that it may work as a standalone for new readers.**

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I loved this romance novel. It switched between Calida’s first person point-of-view and Malcolm’s first person point-of-view. Calida was my favorite character because of her inner-strength. It took a lot out of her pretending she was normal in order to please her family and friends. I loved every scene of Calida opening up to her therapist. As a reader, it gave me relief that she’d make it.

Meka James provided great sexual tension throughout the book. Malcolm was a total gentleman, loving Calida but respecting her boundaries of not liking to be touched. But, oh boy, when Calida felt comfortable around Malcolm toward the middle, those sex scenes were sensual, explosive, and hot, hot, hot!!!

From beginning to end, the book had interesting conflict, inner-struggles, and lots and lots of drama. I shed a tear when Calida was drunk and finally revealed to Malcolm what her abusive husband did to her in the bathroom. I wanted to give Calida a hug throughout every scene.

My favorite lines: 1) This kiss held emotion, it held promise, it held hope. This kiss was a new beginning…Our beginning. 2) I didn’t want to go into the dark and empty place alone, but that was my only choice. 3) With each passing day, he looked more and more like Seth. He haunted me through our son. 4) “Calida, stop shutting me out. Please. I’m not the enemy. I promise you.” 5) How had I lost control? Did I ever really have control?

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Book Review: Cushion by Tamela Miles

***I received a free copy voluntarily for an honest review***

Natalie Kliebert finally has the perfect life she spent years dreaming of. She’s on the fast track to her fantasy-come-true career as a therapist. If she can help pop star Billy Chambers, it will be her greatest achievement and even sweeter than earning an “A” grade.

The last thing Billy Chambers wants is anyone’s help, especially when he doesn’t see a single thing wrong with his life. When bossy Natalie becomes his court-appointed personal therapist, sparks fly from day one. Annoyance was never so arousing. Hooking up should be easy, but an undercurrent of evil is coming for Natalie, which may force her to reveal her deepest secret.

The problems of their pasts are no match for today’s demons. Natalie and Billy must come together and be the allies they were meant to be in a supernatural fight that may cost them their lives.

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I really enjoyed this supernatural romance novella. Billy and Natalie’s third person point-of-views switched throughout the book. The beginning was pretty intense and grabbed my interest right away. She was pretty bad ass, and I loved every second of it. I’d speak on it more, but I don’t want to give away the plot twist in the middle of the book.

My favorite lines: 1) “Good God, ghosts are real.” His voice was soft with wonder. 2) She couldn’t draw in a breath as she trembled, fighting back bitter tears. 3) She stared blankly into space for long moments, her mind spinning. The scratches on her arm were probably her own doing, but the wall…

The author did a great job with dialogue. I loved Billy and Natalie’s back and forth. Their sexual tension showed in their body language. Plus, there was a STEAMY love making scene to make any reader blush (in a good way).

I wish there would have been more to the scene of Billy and Natalie fighting the bad guy, especially considering who the monster was, but I really liked the drama from the situation once Natalie finally told Billy the truth.

It was cool how the nickname Cushion tied into the title. I loved the main characters as well as the supporting characters, especially Billy’s mom.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: 13 Wicked Tales of Witches by Avrin Kelly

Whether it’s around Halloween time, or one of the other 11 (boring) months out of the year; you are going to love these 13 stories from Avrin Kelly…

Dear Reader,

I present thirteen stories to horrify you, make you question existence, and even those around you. Thirteen tales of treachery, magic gone wrong and spells done right. Stories about people, just like you, who had a run-in with a Witch…or who are Witches themselves. 

You don’t know who the villains are until the end. You won’t know who the monsters are until they strike, but isn’t that the best part about horror?

The unknown?

If you are feeling particularly brave, I encourage you to explore the uncanny world of Witches, with me as your guide. Snuggle down with this creepy read, and come with me into the depths of wickedness and strange magic. To a place where nothing is ever as it seems, where the danger could be lurking in the shadows behind you or right beside you, in the light.

Thirteen tales of terror; every one of them involving a Witch…

–A handyman recalls the horrifying details of a job he wishes he’d forgotten.

–An overly curious English teacher gets way more than she bargained for when she sets out to solve a mystery concerning her next door neighbor.

–A Witch out for revenge on an unfaithful lover, finds he may have beaten her to the punch.

–A veteran cat burglar underestimates a wealthy old woman in the dead of night.

–A young handyman tells what happened when he went to work with his father one Saturday afternoon.

–A Warlock in college is having issues with his unruly doppelganger. 

–And more…Read “Thirteen Wicked Tales of Witches” and treat yourself to some twisty, turny (is that a word?) Halloween frights!!!

Signed Sincerely,

Your Guide

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I really enjoyed this short story collection. When I think of horror, I want to read about monsters or evil people. Some of these witches were pretty dark, right up my reading alley.

Ms. Burgess’s Pets:

Sam and Little Frank were plumbers who answered a call to an old lady’s home. Flour was all over the floor as they worked. My favorite line: “Honestly, at that point I just figured she was a little senile. And who could blame her? She was out here in the country all alone, all the time.” I enjoyed the twist regarding “pets.”

The Flags in Barrymore Village:

13 years old Ducky and Isaac watched the Witch Flag hang. Suddenly, very bad weather arrived in town. The story was full of suspense with the boys being locked in a basement for sinister purposes. My favorite lines: 1) “You should always be cautious in Barrymore Village. This place is not Mayberry.” 2) “It’s not snow.” Ducky sniffed the air, his face contorting into true horror. “It’s bone.”

Ajax:

This was one of my favorite stories. I loved the twist at the end. Cam was being bullied and wanted revenge. His cousin was psycho. My favorite line: “You wanted revenge, right?” I nodded. “How better to get that than to wash the smiles right off their faces.”

The Stick Lady:

This was very short. An old lady hung sticks from top of a tree. My favorite line: “It was the first of many emails I’ve received as of late. This is easily the least disturbing one.”

189 Martin Lane:

This was one of my favorite stories. A burglar climbed into a window of an old lady’s house to steal from her downstair’s safe. It was an eerie and chilling scene when she confronted the burglar. She was badass! My favorite line: “S-s-stay away from me.” I whispered, inching away from her. “You’re a monster.” I’d seen what was in her safe. I knew I was in over my head. I wish the author would’ve revealed what was in the safe.

The Crossroads:

The opening sentence: “Blood gushed from my side where Norman had stabbed me” hooked me right away. Two ex lovers faced off with witchcraft. I liked the twist at the end.

Neighbors:

This was one of my favorite stories. Red rain water flowed into a couple’s yard. They got it tested and figured out it was human blood from the neighbor’s yard. It was creepy (in a good way) how Ms. Aster stood naked, glancing at their cameras. There was great tension between the married couple. I cared about the characters. This was a depressing story; that witch was vicious! My favorite lines: 1) “She didn’t move. Didn’t blink. Didn’t flinch.” 2) “Yet.” I added. “She hasn’t hurt us yet. That blood came from somewhere…”

The Burrstreet Witches:

Viana was the head witch with 12 in her coven. I loved the twisty ending. My favorite line: “All thirteen of them were horrified.”

Night Owl

This was one of my favorite stories. Clarity was suspicious of her gorgeous coworker Suzette. An owl was stalking Clarity. A creepy owl! I was sad that Clarity’s fiance had died. The story was eerily spooky. Well done to the author. The villain was truly a villain. My favorite lines: 1) “The entire time, I felt like someone was watching me. Like something was watching me.” 2) “The elevator’s interior lights flickered off, abandoning me in total, suffocating darkness.”

Twine:

The story started with the reveal of a real live zombie gerbil. The little sister brought things back to life with a string, with bad consequences of course. I loved the twist of the little sister. I never saw it coming. I wish the ending would’ve shown if the main character (brother) escaped or not.

Fetch:

A fetch (or doppelganger) was trying to kill a guy in college. No mirrors or reflective surfaces were allowed in the guy’s apartment. A guest accidentally left his cell phone on the couch, so craziness happened. My favorite lines: 1) “Don’t worry, just say the word.” I told him. I sounded more confident than I really was. 2) He rolled his eyes and got to his feet. “Sorry,” he mumbled as he rubbed his head. “Almost dying will give a person an attitude sometimes.”

Old Hag Syndrome:

Eric talked to a shrink because a witch kept attacking him in his sleep. His life was out of control and everyone thought he was crazy. Gaining strength, the witch started haunting Eric and Barry in the daytime. Barry was already committed to an insane asylum. Eric was being threatened with the same fate. I was a little confused by the ending.

Low Gravity Charms

A warlock was supposed to be a guide on a spaceship. The crew got attacked by an outside force.

The Truth About Wildwood

This was one of my favorite stories. A coven of witches lived in the middle of the woods. I loved how the main character was talking to us, the readers. It made the story seem more real. I enjoyed the twist of the main character and Henry. My favorite lines: 1) “I’m not ashamed to say I was scared. I’d rather be out here in the woods by myself than make a decision concerning my future. What an idiot.” 2) “She shook and cowered away from me. Embarrassed. Confused. Horrified.”

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Abode by Morgan Sylvia

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

A TERRIFYING HAUNTING

This is the place where the harrowed ghosts of a dozen generations whisper in the shadows of their ancestral home, where one family’s dreams of a new beginning turned into a nightmare that ended in tragedy.

A CURSED BLOODLINE

This is the place where a line of witches bound themselves–in blood–to a primeval entity. Here, nightmares and reality meet beneath frozen skies, and even time and space fall under the power of the demonic being that rules this remote northern woods.

A CHANCE ENCOUNTER

This is the place where the path of a tormented survivor meets that of an unknowing innocent. Past and present collide, and secrets long buried crawl back into the pallid light of day as the shadow of the Beast falls over them both. But even the bloodiest dreams of that demonic being may pale in comparison to what lies buried within the human heart.

This is the place where evil dwells…

ABODE

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I absolutely loved this creepy book! It scared the crap out of me that after a few nights reading, I had to switch to only reading it in the daytime. I’m talking hairs on my arm and neck standing up, chills running down my spine, me looking over my shoulder, me jumping at any sound my house made.

The opening line: “You don’t know me” hooked me right away. The entire book was written as emails of a deranged man contacting his little sister who he believed died. As a reader, I thought it would’ve been cool to see how she replied, but I understand why the author didn’t show any of that. It would’ve taken the suspense away from the explosive ending.

My favorite lines: 1) You were a tiny thing, but you looked at me with an expression far beyond your years. 2) There was something behind me. I heard it. I felt it. 3) I have no answers. Only memories. 4) This may sound crazy. I cannot argue that. I agree, actually. It not only sounds crazy, it is crazy. But that doesn’t make it less true.

As a little boy, the main character moved into a haunted house in Maine with his parents and younger sister. These ghosts weren’t Casper the friendly ghost. They were viciously wicked. Not only ghosts, the family had to deal with demons and monsters in the woods. The author described each haunting and supernatural creature in great detail, making this book very spooky.

The setting (70’s) reminded me of the Amityville era. The parents really frustrated me because they were so passive. There was no excuse of not trying to get help for their haunted home, especially when their children were getting hurt. The entire town knew about the Murder House down the lane. The kids were much braver than the adults, and I applaud them. I loved when he got some answers from his best friend Lane’s aunt, Phyllis.

The slow build up was great. There were many suspenseful moments in the book because of the slow build up. The twist at the end was great. I hadn’t seen it coming.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Sleepwalker by Andy Lang

***I received a free copy from my Making Connections group on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review***

Sleepwalker: An eighteen year old blonde with a penchant for older men and public nudity! A jaded member of Spain’s Guardia Civil and a deranged serial killer!

“Friedrich Nietzsche! Of course,” came the reply, “Also sprach Zarathustra–Thus spoke Zarathustra, the over-man, I establish the new order, as Nietzsche so eloquently relates what is an ape to man, an embarrassment, a link to the past, a past without enlightenment, so I see man, so more like the apes than me, so limited in capacity, so devoid of morality.”

Deborah Grant is a normal, healthy teenager. A girl standing at a crossroads in her young life, and she has a decision to make:

Allow her loving yet domineering father dictate her future, or, strike out on her own, follow her heart and dare to dream? 

A long holiday is what she needs and the Costa del Sol has beckoned. Fuengirola has welcomed the buxom blonde into its sun-drenched embrace.

But the Spanish resort reveals deeply buried desires, desires that she had never dared to dream lived inside her, desires that cause Deborah to rise from her bed in the early hours…and in a trance, she walks.

Disturbing, yet harmless, she imagines…Until the morning that she wakes to a nightmare discovery.

Suddenly, Debbie is terrified to close her eyes!

Sleepwalker, a psychological thriller with a hint of spice!

Caution: Please note that this novel includes some adult themes (nudism and exhibitionism)

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I liked this book. Debbie was the main character. She was vacationing in Spain alone, but her dad often checked in on her by phone. Her sleepwalking turned out not to be so innocent like she had assumed when it’s discovered that a serial killer is trying to frame her for murders. When the killer was introduced, we started to get inside his head. That’s why it’s impressive that I still couldn’t figure out the clue.

The first five chapters were kind of boring to me. I didn’t care about Debbie finding freedom walking in the nude in the wee hours of the night. All I kept thinking was ‘it’s not safe for any lady to do that. Why isn’t she worried about being sexually assaulted?’ Debbie kept talking to herself out in public (well actually maybe screaming in excitement because exclamation points were used), but no one paid attention to her. That was hard to believe.

Chapter Six caught my attention and held it to the end. This chapter introduced a crime scene. I really enjoyed how the author had red herrings throughout the book. I guessed the wrong killer, so it was fun reading the end to see who it really was.

My favorite lines: 1) I was definitely alone. I was in the taxi alone, I was in here alone. 2) Often he joked that he could commit the perfect murder, untraceable. He wondered how many others in his position shared the same dark joke. 3) “Why?” he asked repeatedly, “How could you do this to me Debbie? Don’t you understand sweetheart, don’t you know what you’re doing to me?” The words escaped his lips as a tortured whisper, almost a plea.

I had a lot of questions while I was reading: Where was the dad? Why wouldn’t he come to Spain to be with his daughter if a killer was stalking her? Why was the officer Molina so chill dating Debbie out in public when the killer was clearly obsessed with her? The killer kept killing any guy who touched or flirted with Debbie. Why didn’t any of the Spanish officials or Molina have alarm bells ringing in their ears when Debbie and Molina started dating?

I really liked the very first nude beach scene. It was cool how Debbie was okay with her body to flaunt it. That was the appropriate time to be naked if she wanted to, not in the wee hours of the morning on a busy street.

I saw Debbie as a lost child with daddy issues. She was only eighteen. I didn’t like the detective Molina at all. He seemed incompetent, like he only wanted to date this little girl instead of actually solve a case. He was forty-five, and I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t find a woman his own age. I knew Debbie liked older men, but I cringed throughout their romantic scenes. I guess I’m a prude because that was too much of an age gap for me…

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby