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. 

51u39oSOM3L._AC_US218_

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

 

 

Interview With Amy Cross, Horror Author

For the 5th post celebrating Women’s Horror Month, please welcome my special guest Angel Gelique, author of Expulsion and the Hillary series. She’s interviewing a favorite author of mine–Amy Cross! If you read my book reviews on here or Goodreads, then you’ll see I’m also a huge fan of Angel Gelique’s dark writing style. Please enjoy 🙂

Celebrating Amy Cross, an Amazing Woman in Horror
by Angel Gelique

February.  What a great month!  The groundhog tells us whether we can expect more weeks of winter.  There’s the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras.  Who can forget Valentine’s Day–time for love and romance?  But for me, February is the best because it’s Women in Horror month.

Recently, I had the good fortune to discover a brilliant horror author, Amy Cross.  If you haven’t heard of Amy Cross or haven’t yet read any of her stories, I strongly advise you to rectify that grievous oversight immediately!  Seriously, if you’re a fan a horror, you’ll thank me once you give her books a try.  Author of an impressive number of books (almost a hundred–WOW!), Ms. Cross has certainly left her mark on the world.

I’m honored that such an incredibly talented author has granted me permission to conduct an interview.  What a treat it’s been learning more about one of my favorite writers!

INTERVIEW WITH AMY CROSS

1. When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer? What led you to that realization?

When I was very young, my mother used to write stories for me. Just short things, a few pages long, but I suppose that made me realize from an early age that stories weren’t just things that other people wrote in books for me to read. I realized I could try writing them too. It took me a while to really get started, though.

2. Are there any books from your childhood that were instrumental in luring you down the writer’s path?

I really loved the Narnia books when I was younger, and the way C.S. Lewis told entertaining stories while building up those whole incredible imagined worlds. Also, I think I must have read The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster at least a hundred times by the time I was fifteen.

3. Which authors have most influenced your writing?

Emily Bronte, definitely. If you read Wuthering Heights, it has romance and adventure and melodrama, and it’s also very experimental. I always come back to Wuthering Heights as an example of a book that refuses to be just one thing or just one style.

4. If you could meet any author (living or dead), which one would you choose and why?

Either Emily Bronte, so I could learn more about the influences behind Wuthering Heights, or Carl Sagan so I could pepper him with questions until he told me to go away.

5. What do you find most challenging about writing horror books?

The hardest part, for me, is avoiding repetition. Sometimes I use certain words a little too often, so I have to banish them for a while, and the same is true of story elements and characters. Occasionally I have to write a list of things that absolutely cannot happen, or appear, in my books for a while. For example, at the moment, no-one is allowed to mutter or hiss, because I think I over-used those words. And houses can no longer have strange bumps in the night, because I had too many of those as well.

6. As a writer of horror, do you ever feel compelled to limit the amount of gore/violence present within your stories?

No. I think each story is different, and some need lots of violence while others benefit from having much less. Sometimes you need blood splattering against walls, and sometimes you need something more subtle. Emotional violence can be just as powerful as taking a hammer to the face.

7. If you were able to meet one of your characters, which one would you choose and why?

Patrick from the Dark Season books, mainly because I think I finished his story a little too soon and I’d like to spend more time with him.

8. Have you ever based a character upon someone you know?

Only Harry in The Dog.

9. Which one of your characters most closely possesses your personality traits and characteristics?

None of them. I don’t really write autobiographical elements in my books, so I can’t think of any characters who are anything like me. Which is a good thing, because I think I’d be a pretty boring character in a book!

10. What fuels that incredible imagination of yours?

I’m not sure it’s really very incredible, but I get most of my ideas while I’m taking the dog for a walk, or while I’m sitting on the train. Long train journeys and long dog walks, without anyone to talk to, can be pretty good for forcing your brain to come up with things, because then you have to kind of talk to your own thoughts and ideas. Reading that answer back, I hope it doesn’t make me sound crazy…

11. What has been your hardest topic/scene to write about?

There were times when I wanted Harry to have an easier time in The Dog, so parts of that book were very tough to write. There are also occasions when I want a character to have a happy ending, but the book demands something nastier, and I always have to go with what fits the book. So I’d have preferred The Printer From Hell, for example, to be less bleak at the end, but I couldn’t think of anything uplifting to put in there.

photo-4

12. Have you ever considered writing a screenplay and/or adapting any of your stories for the screen?

I have. I know nothing about screenwriting, so I should probably leave it to the professionals, but I’ve been thinking on and off about writing an adaptation of A House in London, mostly just for my own amusement. I just need to find the time.

13. How long, on average, does it take you to compete a short story? A novel?

I try to write 10,000 words each day, so a novel with 80,000 words would take eight days to get the first version done. Sometimes they’re pretty much finished at that point, but others need a lot more work. At the moment I have three sitting on my laptop in varying stages of completion, and the beginnings of several others. Short stories can be anything from a day to two or three.

14. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

At the moment, I spend most of my spare time walking the dog and trying to learn to cook. Apart from that, it’s good to meet friends from time to time, otherwise writing can tend to be a very quiet life.

15. What are your goals for the future?

In the immediate future, I need to get a few books knocked into shape so they can come out in February. One of them is a complete reboot of the Joanna Mason series I started a few years ago. In the first few books, she was a loudmouth US cop. Now she’s a much quieter, more introspective British private detective. I like the new version much more. Longer term, I don’t really have any plans. I’d like to see one of my books turned into a movie, but I don’t think I’d want to be heavily involved in that process.

•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•-•

Nope, I’m not yet done praising Ms. Amy Cross….

For those of you who are considering giving this author a try, you’ll be delighted to know that she generously offers her stories for free.  On any given day, you find at least one of her books on Amazon, free of charge.  Of course, once you read them, you’ll be hooked and want to buy more!

😉  Check out her Amazon page to see what’s available today.

For more information on her books and latest releases, visit her website.

You may follow Amy Cross on Goodreads.

Many thanks to Amy Cross, not just for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer my interview questions, but also for entertaining me with her awesome stories!

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.

angel-expulsion

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: Omerion (Hell Is My New Home) By Angel Gelique

22712680SO YOU THINK YOU KNOW ABOUT HELL?

“It is a place of unrelenting misery and interminable pain and sorrow. It is a place of lost hope, a dismal abyss where remorse is candy, and tears, nectar, to unforgiving monstrosities with endless appetites.”

In life, Samuel Rylandt was a serial rapist and murderer who callously committed heinous acts with no regard whatsoever for the women he victimized. In death, however, he will suffer the consequences of his depravity as his soul undergoes a startling corporeal transformation and he is thrown to Hell (Omerion) to complete three horrific phases of moral reconstruction.

Samuel’s notions of the underworld are broadened as he learns that “Hell” is actually an elaborate civilization where the damned agonizingly learn the virtues that evaded them in life.

I loved this short story. The opening: “There should have been an ear-piercing scream resonating throughout the dank, dismal cavern, but no sound spewed forth from my mutilated, bloodied mouth” gave chills down my spine. The story was told through Samuel’s first person point-of-view. The author was great with voice because I HATED this bastard!!! He was vile, he was slime, and I respected that Angel Gelique wasn’t afraid to write in fear. I was disgusted (in a good way), thankful Samuel got his karma.

My favorite lines: 1) “All the while I prayed–yes, me, the black-hearted atheist–prayed for the sweet relief of a finite sleep.” 2) “Scanning the room was like having a private glimpse into insanity.”

I enjoyed hearing about Molly Watts; it helped me understand Samuel more. The author was also great with description; her metaphors were original and creative. If you love horror, then you’ll love this book. If you’re squirmish or have a weak stomach, BEWARE!

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Book Review: Christmas Shopping By Angel Gelique

A tale of Christmas mayhem…

All Jilly Carson wanted to do was get a little Christmas shopping done with her best friend, Peyton. But when Peyton can’t meet her at the mall, Jilly finds herself feeling anxious and alone as her mother’s cautionary words echo in her head:

“Don’t talk to strangers. Don’t put yourself in that position again. You remember what happened last time….”

When a tall blonde-haired stranger begins to stalk her, Jilly does everything she can to avoid him. Feeling scared and vulnerable, she finally decides to leave the mall.

But the blonde-haired man won’t let her flee quite so easily…

You can get this eBook for free (all formats) at Smashwords.com.

19500385I loved this short story. Jilly and Peyton were best friends. They were supposed to go shopping at the mall, but Peyton was stuck at home babysitting her little sister. A blond guy stalked Jilly in the mall because she wasn’t interested in him. He was persistent trying to win her over because he loved the challenge. Jerk.

My favorite lines: 1) “You okay? You don’t talk much do you?” 2) A simple “hello” turned into a night she would never be able to erase from her mind.

As a reader, you get an eerie sense throughout the book. Something had happened in Jilly’s past, so you wonder what’s wrong with her. Traumatized? Crazy?

The twist at the end was great. I didn’t see it coming.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Book Review: Hillary: Retribution By Angel Gelique

***I received a free copy from the Goodreads group Paranormal and Horror Lovers in exchange for an honest review***

After sustaining years of sexual abuse by the father she had once loved and trusted, Hillary Greyson finally confides in her mother, only to be called a liar. Just when all seems hopeless and Hillary has no one to turn to, she discovers an ally, a voice within her that promises to make everything all better. Relying on her one and only friend–the voice of reason, Hillary puts an end to the sexual abuse and those she deemed blameworthy for her suffering. Fueled by rage, Hillary lashes out against everyone who hurt her until she is apprehended in the woods. For months, Hillary is left alone in an empty room, tied naked to a bed in the home of a man claiming to be her doctor…a man who says that she is there for her own good. Hillary finds a way to escape and discovers that she has been delivered to the doctor by a military man, Lieutenant Alan Langford, for the sole purpose of being used as a test subject in an unauthorized and unethical biomedical research experiment. Hillary knows there’s just one thing left to do. With the voice of reason now silent, she has found her own voice, along with the strength and resolve to find this man-this military lieutenant who prolonged her suffering-and make him pay. Hillary just wants revenge….

19133636I enjoyed this book. The opening held my interest right away and had me sitting on the edge of my seat. My mind raced with questions. Was Hillary the bad guy? Did Dr. Jake hurt her?

Hillary was considered dead by the public. They thought she was killed while resisting arrest in the woods. However, Dr. Morrison and Dr. Jake held her captive for military testing. When she escaped, Dr. Jake was afraid she would kill and torture his family.

My favorite lines: 1) The blame would be passed down the ranks. Shit always rolled downhill. 2) There they were…two ghosts, together again. 3) “So it’s true then,” she said angrily. “Your whore is on her way over.” 4) But he knew the truth. And the truth would set him free…

There was some headhopping and it almost seemed like every other word was an adverb. But, there was nothing distracting about the story. I will admit–I was a little confused by the ending. Did Hillary torture those people? Was she responsible? Or something else? This was the last book of the series. Maybe the first ones explained more.

Overall, this story had a great plot. I liked that Hillary met Miss Billie because she needed an ally to help escape/hide (Miss Billie had her suspicions but helped anyway). Dr. Jake and Detective Eliza were on the hunt for Hillary–both for different motives. I loved the tension and conflict in the story.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author and book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby