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

 

 

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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: 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

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