Book Review: Heart of a Hunter by Tamela Miles

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

Life has never been kind to teen, Elle Connor. With a troubled home life, the gritty, violent streets of Los Angeles have become her home. She never questions her superhuman abilities until she encounters, in a fight or die situation, a guardian angel Tagas, who reveals her holy origins as one in a long history of demon hunters. She also has her eye on her attractive classmate, Brandon.

Problems arise when Elle finally realizes that life as a hunter is fraught with tragedies and is deeply lonely. Elle is presented with a choice – follow her calling from God as a hunter or live a “normal” life with love. Can Elle tip the scales in favor of what’s good or will she become just another casualty in the eternal war between good and evil?

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I really enjoyed this paranormal story. The beginning was full of suspense. A mysterious being wanted to kill the main character, Elle, as he watched her across the street. Soon, readers found out that the villain was named Pyro. The story switched between Elle and Pyro’s third-person point of views. There were no chapters, only scene breaks, which fit this short novella.

Elle became a demon hunter with the help of Tagas. The setting was in Los Angeles, which I thought was pretty cool. It was nice to see LA in a different light, instead of being superficial and only about celebrities. I really liked Elle and K.D.’s friendship, and the love scene between Elle and her boyfriend Brandon was cute and very sensual.

My favorite lines were: 1) He held her tightly in comfort for long moments in the darkness, the moon and stars in the clear night sky their only witness. 2) Her lips twisted in a private, cruel smile as her eyes settled on Brandon. 3) Hell would come to fear the name Elle Connor. 4) “Not feeling sorry for myself, just stating the facts.”

There was a lot of telling, which was to be expected because the story was a short novella–only 44 pages. Readers were told how much Elle loved Brandon instead of seeing it play out for awhile. Readers were told about the training Elle was going through instead of really seeing it on the pages. The telling didn’t distract from the story though; it just made the scenes move faster. I appreciated this quick read.

The story was full of conflict and tense moments. The demons Pyro and Cascadia really, really, really hated Elle and Tagas. For some scenes, I jumped out of my seat because Pyro was a very intelligent and worthy opponent. That end of the party scene really touched my heart, and I loved the twist regarding her best friend.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

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Book Review: Defenestration by Matthew W. McFarland

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

Defenestration

Noun

the act of throwing a thing, or especially a person out of a window

All it takes is one random deviation from the run of things to send a life spiraling out of control; An underachiever from the retail sector with a degree in geography and a taste for younger women. An attractive pharmacist with addiction issues. An enigmatic taxi driver with a penchant for theology. All three are brought together when Adam is thrown from the twelfth storey of an apartment complex in mysterious circumstances. As he falls towards almost certain death, he contemplates his fate, killer whales, flying cats, and the untapped potential of the human mind.

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I loved this contemporary novella. It was written in Adam’s first person point-of-view, and switched into third person when showing how other characters fit the puzzle. The author did a brilliant job with characterization; every character was given a backstory, a personality, and they shined in whatever scene they were in.  Most importantly, the author did a great job of setting up the reveal of who could have possibly shoved Adam out of the window!

After he was pushed from the window, Adam met Gabriel and Michael. They helped him piece together the mystery of what had happened that night at the party. I really enjoyed reading about the anti-heroes of the story. Life had dealt them a terrible hand. By their own fault or bad luck?  You’ll have to read the story to find out.

Reading this novella reminded me of a Judd Apatow movie. I could picture Seth Rogen and James Franco as starring roles. The sarcasm really made me laugh.

My favorite lines: 1) When a week went by without any contact, she knew his laziness had overcome his libido. 2) “As I was falling, I looked back up, and there were two faces. We found one, so who was the other?”

I REOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Book Review: Expulsion by Angel Gelique

WARNING:

This book contains extremely gory, depraved, disturbingly graphic material that many may find offensive, including a descriptive scene of a self-performed abortion. Adult readers only!

Wait…!

Perhaps you’re ready to give it a try despite the warning—maybe even in spite of it. But be fully warned, this story is truly revolting. Imagine seeing a child get struck by a truck. In his last moments of fear and agony, he feebly lifts his head off the ground, leaving the right side of his face upon the pavement. No doubt you feel terribly for the poor child. But does morbid curiosity compel you to watch? Or do you turn to flee, emptying your stomach along the way?
Please only read this book if you are able to tolerate extremely vile situations.

You have been warned.

Twice.

Elizabeth thought that she got rid of her unwanted baby.
She was wrong….

On a stormy Sunday afternoon, twenty-four-year-old Elizabeth Cotton has a bizarre encounter with a stranger dressed in black, which leads to an unexpected and unwanted pregnancy. In an act of desperation, Elizabeth aborts her unborn child, savagely expelling the fetus from her womb.

Years later, she is happily married to Martin Howe and in her second trimester of pregnancy. Plagued by horrific nightmares, Elizabeth has a dreadful feeling that something is terribly wrong.

When she gives birth, it is immediately clear that the baby is not a typical newborn. Elizabeth believes that she is being punished for her past—for deplorably terminating her unborn child’s life. But she isn’t the only one tormented by the aberrant infant.

Evil has been unleashed and mankind will face its ultimate challenge.

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I absolutely loved this crazy, crazy, crazy book. Did I say it was crazy? I was impressed with the author because she didn’t write in fear. She showed in great detail kids, women, babies being tortured. I was extremely grossed out and knew not to eat while reading the book. I appreciated Angel Gelique not holding back because reading a book about an evil child shouldn’t be sugar-coated.

The setting was Cortlandt, a small town that hardly had any crime. The small town was turned upside down when Elizabeth and Martin, wife and husband, entered the hospital. She was pregnant, unbeknownst to her it wasn’t a normal baby.

Four years earlier, Elizabeth had met a mysterious evil man, Malum. She lost her virginity to him, then did a horrible, horrible, horrible act. The self-performed abortion scene was so sad! I felt horrible when she puked on it afterwards. The author did an amazing job creeping me out with her visual details. Sign of a truly talented writer.

My favorite lines: 1) Yet, something about this particular rainstorm unnerved her greatly. 2) “I can help you feel better,” the man said, his flawless face devoid of emotion, yet irresistible. 3) “Is it dead?” Elizabeth cried out. “It’s dead, isn’t it?” 4) “I am death, decay and deception, disease and disorder. I am lust and greed and wrath and chaos. I am the destroyer of minds, bodies, and souls. I am sin itself.”

I really liked the hospital staff, but I wished those scenes would’ve been shorter. The book really picked up after Elizabeth got discharged from the hospital. I really enjoyed the tension and conflict between Elizabeth and Martin. She was scared of her baby and wanted nothing to do with it. But Martin loved it unconditionally. I wanted him to snap out of his naivety, but then there wouldn’t have been a story haha. I didn’t like Martin at all because of his lack of support. He came around towards the end though and I grew to respect him.

I had to pause and catch my composure after reading two scenes. It really hurt my heart and I wept. The first scene was Elizabeth taking matters into her own hands regarding her first baby. And the second scene involved the aftermath of a dad’s greed of insurance regarding his two daughters. That scene really shook me to the core–in a good way. Once again, a sign of a brilliant horror writer!

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Stay of Execution By Kellie Larsen Murphy

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

Little Springs was just a small college town, the kind of town where everyone knew everyone and violent crime was nonexistent–until a series of rapes and murders at the college. After an outbreak of fear and hysteria, only the arrest and conviction of Leo Spradlin, the “Co-Ed Killer,” could end the terror.

Years later, Spradlin is suddenly cleared based on unshakable DNA evidence, and no one is more surprised than Detective Mike Cancini. As new questions surround the identity of the true “Co-Ed Killer,” Cancini struggles to accept his role in the conviction of an innocent man. Suspicions mount when Spradlin’s release coincides with a fresh waves of rapes and murders at the college, eerily reminiscent of the original crimes. Cancini is drawn back to Little Springs, caught in a race against time to uncover the identity of the latest “Co-Ed Killer” before the next girl dies…

A tension-filled psychological mystery, STAY OF EXECUTION is also a novel about loyalty, deceit, and the darker side of truth.

I loved this mystery novel. It was placed in Washington D.C. and Virginia. I love reading books that are near my area, especially if I can recognize the scenery and public places with the author’s description. 

Detective Cancini was one of the main characters. As a reader, I respected his problem-solving skills, stubborn yet efficient. He reminded me of Gibbs. Leo Spradlin, the townies, and the Mayor were other main characters.

Spradlin was an innocent man on death row. He had been convicted of raping and murdering female students of Blue Hill College. But was he the true “Co-Ed Killer”? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

There were some repetition areas in interior monologue, especially when Cancini found out Spradlin was released from prison. But, I guess it fit because Cancini was obsessed with finding out the truth, never once believing Spradlin was innocent.

Julia, an ambitious reporter determined to get out of the shadows of her husband’s career, was another character I enjoyed. My favorite scenes were of her investigating in the small town and any scene with her and Spradlin.

My favorite lines: 1) He understood his role. 2) “Mike, the evidence says Spradlin’s innocent. Let it go.” 3) Was it really that something didn’t feel right? Was it really about truth and closure, or was it his own bruised ego?

When Julia started reading Spradlin’s morher’s diary entries, I figured out the mystery. It was fun watching the story unfold to see if I was right. The ending was definitely keeping me on the edge of my seat.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Counting Down the Days Until I See Kenneth Postalwait’s Smile Again. Until Then, I’ll Write About His Books

If you follow my blog, then you know I’ve mentioned the author Kenneth Postalwait before. It’s cool that he’s dedicated his creativity to writing Civil War poetry books:

Red Hawk–A Civil War Journal–Battle of Gettysburg (Excerpts from Book III)

This book covers all the different aspects of the Battle of Gettysburg. You can’t sit through a History class without hearing about this popular battle in the Civil War. Everything rhymes, so the pacing has a nice rhythm. 

I have to give a shout out to the illustrator Daniel Paul Murphy. His sketches of nature and buildings really brought Kenneth’s poems and psalms (Book of Revelation and Gospel of John) to life.

My favorite part of the book was the cliff notes at the bottom of the page. They were used to give a brief History lesson, whether about a certain individual, Civil War term, or place. 

Here’s two verses that really caught my attention:

Gittin all we wanted–blues fed it to us–stuffed it down

Mad retreat two blue corps sudden up the ridge scan’t hold the cemetery crown

Piled the dead to stall us thru, ends the day each rebel rues

Shreds and basements searched for fugitives an all for them gosh durn shoes.

* * * *

Gathered to count all the killing

All equal all now in God’s Grace

Reluctants and those who went willing

And those we must leave in this place

Forever Remember their story!

The Thousands and Thousands who’ve died

Whether here to taste unsavored Glory

Or fallen upholding States’ Pride.

———————–

Red Hawk–A Civil War Journal–Book III Born Again Rebel

This lovely written book also contained poems and psalms that rhymed. Some instances covered Valentine’s Day of 1963. I couldn’t even imagine.

This book had poems on:

  • Battle of Chancellorsville
  • Great Sugar Raid
  • Battle of Gettysburg

And, the psalms included:

  • Book of Luke
  • Gospel of John
  • Book of 2 Timothy
  • Book of Revelation
  • Book of Colossians

If you’re intrigued by history or facts on the Civil War, please consider checking out Kenneth Postalwait’s books, especially if you have children or nieces and nephews.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

P.S. Kenneth, the next time you stop by The Journal and say hi to Sarah, I’m literally  across the lobby at the other desk 🙂

Book Review: The Diary-Loving a Killer by Julia Derek

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

BOOK ONE OF THE “LOVING A KILLER” SERIAL:

A HAPPY MARRIAGE. TERRIBLE SECRETS.

Happily married Lexi Woods thought losing a child would be the worst thing that could ever happen to her. She was wrong. It turns out that life has more ugly surprises for her. When she is finally through the heavy depression of losing her newborn, she finds her husband’s diary. As she reads it, she learns that he’s been unfaithful to her. He’s not at all the man she thought he was. Unfortunately, that’s not the worst part. Not only has the love of her life gone behind her back–but it also looks like he killed his mistress…What else could he be hiding?

NOTE: LOVING A KILLER is a three-part novella serial. While dark and disturbing at times, it’s a love story at its core. True love is not always easy to read about. It’s intended for mature audiences only and contains strong language.

I enjoyed this book. It was written through Lexi’s first person point-of-view. Her husband, Jason, wanted to become a full-time author. I could relate to the scenes of him sweating bullets over his first draft.

The suspicions of her husband started when Lexi read “I killed her.” in Jason’s diary. But was it his deepest, darkest secrets? Or was it part of his fiction novel? You’ll have to read the story to find out.

I loved that Lexi was proactive in finding out the truth. It made me respect her, as a reader. The author did a wonderful job portraying Lexi and Jason’s pain of losing their baby boy Matthew. I felt very sorry for them.

I wish there would have been more dialogue between the couple, especially when she was hiding her suspicions. When there was conversation in the scenes, it seemed like Jason was toying with her, especially when he claimed everyone has a dark side. I wanted to see that play out more, to give more suspense.

The very last scene gave me chills! The story ended on the perfect cliffhanger.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Into the Deep End By Leesa Freeman

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

Before didn’t exist–not for Luke Stevenson–not anymore.

He once dreamt of winning Olympic gold and escaping his crappy little New Mexico town, but that dream shattered the night a drunk driver took his twin sister and confined him to a wheelchair. Mourning Bethany and struggling to cope with his new paraplegic life, Luke is blind with rage at everyone and everything.

Adriana Toomey, the only other survivor of the crash, can barely crawl out of bed after burying her fiancé, Luke’s best friend. But what haunts her most, she has no memory of that fatal night.

An old friend who manages a camp for special needs kids, strong-arms the broken pair to act as counselors for three weeks. Seeing each other again is painful. Luke reminds Adriana too much of the man she was going to marry. Luke, who secretly loves his best friend’s girl, has no idea how to be the kind of man any woman would want. Disabled and destroyed, what could he possibly have to offer now?

Maybe nothing. Maybe everything.

I loved this heartbreaking novel. I was wiping tears away left and right. The opening sentence: “Before didn’t exist. Not for me. Not anymore.” hooked my interest right away.  And, I thought it was cool that the main character was American Indian. I enjoyed hearing about some of his culture. 

My favorite line was: “You’re always alone. Ever since that night you’ve done nothing but be alone.”  The story was written in Luke’s first person point of view, which really highlighted how much he was broken. As a reader, I cared for Adriana since he loved her so much. I really rooted for them but sometimes you have to let someone you love go and be free.

The story focused on the camp, then Luke’s life afterward. This was a tearjerker, and had many uplifting scenes. I could see the story as a Lifetime movie because the author was able to capture a vivid picture with her descriptions. 

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby