Getting More International Love for Perfect Little Murder!!!

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I woke up to a nice surprise this morning and haven’t been able to stop smiling. Deborah J. Miles gave Perfect Little Murder a 5-star review, and she posted my author interview on her blog. She’s a talented writer. Please check out her book review blog and support her book called Orchard View.

Please click on the link to check it out!: #BookReview Perfect Little Murder @Yawatta_Hosby #GuestPost #AuthorInterview

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: When All Is Dark and Quiet by Cory Mason

***I received a free copy and am voluntarily giving an honest review***

Nova Sellers needs to get away for a while. Her escape of choice? Mackinac Island, a historic tourist town that in the winter months serves as the home for less than five hundred people. It’s remote, it’s quiet, it’s lonely, and nobody knows your business. It’s just what Nova thinks she needs to get back on her feet.

But Nova’s escape is shattered when a rockslide during a hike nearly kills her and unearths a small cave that had been sealed off for millennia. Ancient paintings on the walls depict an unsettling scene: people stalked and isolated by a strange gray figure.

As the days go by, unusual things begin to occur around Nova’s old house, when everything is dark and quiet. The locals don’t exactly set her at ease, either. Paranoia sets in, and things Nova would have left in the past begin to catch up with her. Nova slowly realizes that something more may have been uncovered in that cave than just paintings.

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I loved this coming-of-age drama. The opening “The island loomed on the horizon like the back of a great green turtle, floating in the dark teal waters of Lake Huron” had me hooked. The author was great with imagery in the setting details. I could picture everywhere Nova went.

I was surprised to see covid-19 mentioned because Nova was leaving her house to explore Mackinac Island all the time, even hanging out in coffee shops. Were there any restrictions on the small island? Was this all before states have been on lockdown?

I loved that the chapter headings were the dates of April. It helped me, as a reader, keep track of Nova’s journey. The suspense was interesting after she experienced bad dreams and the –(wait I won’t spoil that for you guys!). Her world turned darker after visiting the cave. I was definitely interested in the scenes where the creepy guy was harassing Nova. I wish more time had been spent on him, especially after he said he’d been watching her sleep one night. Was he for real? Or just being a lying punk?

I appreciated the ending. Nova was depressed throughout the story and had to face her past. I hadn’t been expecting that reveal of her past, so I was pleasantly surprised.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

***I got a free copy from NetGalley and am voluntarily giving an honest review***

The creeping horror of Paul Tremblay meets Tommy Orange’s There There in a dark novel of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones.

Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

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I liked this horror book. The opening line was interesting: “The headline for Richard Boss Ribs would be indian man killed in dispute outside bar.” I felt bad for what happened to that character. The story mostly focused on Lewis. When he was younger, him and his friends (Gabe, Rickey, Cass) had tortured and killed an elk. Now, the ghost of the elk was getting her revenge.

I wanted to love this book because I’m part American Indian but it was just alright for me. The unedited ARC from NetGalley had weird wording in some sections so I found myself having to keep re-reading paragraphs to get what was going on. I think if I had read the final product, I may have enjoyed the book more. I’ve read a short story of the author’s, so I know he’s a great storyteller. I’d be interested in trying his other books.

Lewis was an interesting character. As a reader, I didn’t know if he was crazy or if he was really being haunted by a ghost elk. I thought the author did a good job of building suspense. Lewis was probably my favorite character.

When the story started to focus more on his friends, the book started to go at a slower pace for me, as a reader. I was missing Lewis. The story wasn’t scary for me like I had hoped it would be. At the 80% mark would have been the perfect ending, with everything coming full circle. Instead the story kept going, focusing on a side character now being harassed by the ghost elk. To be honest, I didn’t care what would be her end game because I didn’t get a chance to know her.

If you like slow burn, quiet horror, then you’ll like this story.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Book Review: Terror at 5280’ by Denver Horror Collective

***I received a free copy from Ginger Nuts of Horror in exchange for an honest review***

A neighborhood won’t let its residents forget the past. One taste draws two lovers into a nightmarish addiction. A harsh winter forces strange creatures down from the mountains.

At sea level, where it’s safe, things like this can’t happen. But when you’re sky high in Denver, Colorado, anything goes…including your sanity.

Beware of Terror at 5280’, a horror fiction anthology featuring dark tales set in and around Denver and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, penned exclusively by local authors.

Edited by: Josh Schlossberg, Gary Robbe, Melinda Bezdek, Bobby Crew, Desi D, Lisa Mavroudis, Thomas C. Mavroudis, and Jeamus Wilkes

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I really enjoyed this anthology. I loved how the intro teased that these stories were all based on true events but disguised as fiction. I’m all for a conspiracy theory, so my interest was definitely piqued.

Saying that—I’m a huge horror fan. I live and breathe horror books and horror movies. My Netflix feed is nothing but indie horror films and blockbusters. My favorite types of horror are slashers, hauntings, and survival. The majority of these short stories didn’t really jump as horror to me. They were more like psychological suspense. Most of the stories had a quiet approach of being creepy and setting a dreadful tone.

I’ll go over each story one by one:

The Depths by Matthew Lyons

I liked this story. A kid named Travis had stolen something from a very dark place where “there are too many ghosts buried there.” That line really popped out to me. When the old man banged on the door to get the item back, the tension between the old man and Travis’s dad was interesting. That scene was full of suspense. My favorite lines: 1) “…pretends he can’t feel the curious, dead eyes that follow him all the way home.” 2) “The house is filled with blood, and the silence is back, worse than before.”

Laffing Sal by Lindsay King-Miller

I loved the opening line: “A spider crawled across Sal’s tongue as the three girls came down the stairs.” I loved the twist of how Sal was part of an amusement park prop. The author did a great job of going between Sal and the three girls’ different point-of-views to show the terrifying situation happening. My favorite line: “Sal knew about fear. Fear had brought her to life.”

This Was Always Going to Happen by Stephen Graham Jones

This story used second person point-of-view by using “you” in the narration. The main character had a flat tire, and this weird cyclist kept bothering him with things that wouldn’t help with a flat tire. The author did a great job of making the cyclist creepy. The horror stories that I appreciate the most are the ones that could happen in real life. The ones that show humans can be monsters. I was digging the story then it just ended abruptly.

Electric Stalker by Rebecca S.W. Bates

Lindsay got hit by lightning while waiting on a bus. At the hospital, a woman named Amanda came to visit, claiming they were sisters. Lindsay had no recollection. I didn’t find this story creepy or scary at all. In fact, it seemed more like a contemporary drama with the family dynamics.

Gaze With Undimmed Eyes and the World Drops Dead by Carina Bissett

The author was good with setting and description. As a reader, I could feel the nastiness of the hotel bar. It was gross when a taxidermy squirrel on the rack lost its eye in the lady’s drink haha. I liked the twist of who Bruce turned out to be, but this was another story where I didn’t get a scary or creepy vibe at all.

Grave Mistake by Joshua Viola and Carter Wilson

This was one of my favorite stories in the anthology. Stephanie was pregnant, causing her to think suicidal thoughts because she didn’t want the baby. She was with Oliver and Elijah in a cemetery. They were looking for a vampire who they think killed their friend. The author did a great job of weaving body language into the back and forth dialogue. There was great tension. My favorite lines: 1) “What Stephanie struggles with most was the secret—a secret that began as shame and blossomed into horror.” 2) “Why would ghosts be in a cemetery, anyway?” 3) “The lives they led then, and the futures they hoped for, were gone.”

There Is Something Up There by Joy Yehle

This story was one of my favorites. It managed to make me feel bad for the characters with their tragic backstories. I loved how the emotional aspects didn’t stop the scenes from being full of suspense. Chills definitely went down my spine. Lily was on a search team, looking for a crew member that disappeared in the mines. Her neighbor warned Lily not to go, but she didn’t listen. I would love to say what they found in the mine because the reveal excited me so much! But I won’t spoil the ending.

***To read the full review, please go to: https://gingernutsofhorror.com/fiction-reviews/terror-at-5280by-denver-horror-collective-book-review

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: River of Lies by R.M. Greenaway

***I received a free ARC from NetGalley and am giving an honest review voluntarily***

In rain-drenched Vancouver, detectives Dion and Leith work to separate truth from lies in two seemingly unrelated cases.

February is the month of romance, but in North Vancouver it’s also become the month of murder. While the North Shore RCMP slog through the rain in the search for whoever left a young woman to die in the Riverside Secondary School parking lot — their first clue a Valentine’s Day card — a toddler mysteriously vanishes from a Riverside Drive home in the midst of a dinner party.

With Constable JD Temple’s full attention on the parking lot murder, Constables Dave Leith and Cal Dion work the kidnap … until a tenuous connection is made between the two cases, along with the thinnest ray of hope that the child could be alive and well in the hands of a childless couple. But when more tragedy rains down on the North Shore, lies must be unveiled before the ugly truth can emerge.

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I loved this murder mystery. The opening line: “Tasha looked at the toes of her new work boots and worried.” had me all in. Tasha was afraid that she was being followed, and it didn’t help that her car had a flat tire. Tasha had every right to be worried…her murder set up the mystery throughout the book.

Leith and Dion worked on one case while JD and another detective worked on Tasha’s murder. Later on, a baby was abducted from a wealthy family’s home. It did get confusing at times because one section would have the detectives first name being used, then down the line only their last names would be used. I had to make a cheat sheet of who was who throughout the book.

I loved the the author’s writing style. The sentences had a nice rhythm and flowed nicely. The story was easy to read. My favorite lines:  1) “She was cold. Stiffening. Well beyond help.” 2) “Over their time working together, Dion shifted gears often, in Leith’s eyes. Like an antsy motorist in the freeway. Moody, sharp, sometimes cheerful, but always cautious.” 3) “Leith preferred to assume nothing. Always be ready for a twist.”

The author did a great twist with the detectives. I loved how in the second chapter one of the male detectives became a red herring. This tease definitely motivated me to finish the book quickly.

Since I was reading an ARC, the paragraphs didn’t have indentations, but I didn’t hold that against the author, assuming those glitches will be fixed in the final product.

I guessed the wrong killer, but I guessed the right kidnapper. There was twist, after twist, down to the last second, which I appreciated. I’d definitely consider reading another book from this author.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Book Review: The Soul City Salvation by Jonathan LaPoma

***I received a free copy and am voluntarily giving an honest review***

Ten months–that’s how long twenty-six-year-old writer and aspiring actor Jay Sakovsky decides to stay and teach in the bohemian beach town of Soul City, California, to save up cash and overcome his anxiety before moving on to Hollywood.

But after several “friendly chats” with the vice principal about hangover sweats and black eyes from barroom brawls, Jay sees a therapist who helps him connect his self-destructive tendencies and artistic blocks to his undiagnosed OCD, setting him on a ten-year healing journey that drives him to near madness as he explores the limits of his heart, creativity, and psyche.

A surreal, darkly comic, and psychologically epic novel, The Soul City Salvation explores mental illness, friendship, aging, masculinity, modern love, the creative process, spiritual awakening, and fighting for respect in an uncaring world.

*The Soul City Salvation is the fifth book in a loosely-linked series, with Hammond, The Summer of Crud, Understanding the Alacrán, and Developing Minds: An American Ghost Story as books one-four. Each novel can be read independently of the others.

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I enjoyed this contemporary drama. It was written in Jay’s first-person point of view. Jay had OCD, anxiety, and depression—things I could relate to as a reader. In fact, some scenes when he was younger helped me understand the actual things I had been going through as a kid and teenager. My moodiness and “dark” thoughts could be linked to my OCD back then.

Jay stayed on Doug’s couch in California to live out his dreams as a musician or actor. Instead, he ended up becoming a teacher. When Jay and Doug had a fallen out, I was curious to see if they would repair their friendship. I was disappointed when that storyline sort of fizzled out. Doug had a temper. I had been expecting more conflict.

My favorite lines: 1) “I knew that the old me had to die.” 2) “Our dreams consumed the reality of our love.” 3) “Just as I’d had to make peace with death, I also had to make peace with isolation.” 4) “A part of me wanted to self-destruct. It was easier that way.” 5) “You shut them all out. You think anyone’s ever gonna give a fuck about you again?”

I loved when Silas, an old childhood friend, visited California to see Jay. It was nice to see Jay have good moments in his life instead of focusing on just the bad. The story sort of read like a journal. There was a lot of telling instead of showing when it came to character interactions. I would have loved to see the full extent of Jay’s romantic dates or his friendships in Mexico. I felt bad for Jay how his coworkers bullied him. Usually I love bittersweet or depressing endings, but I was really hoping for Jay to get the last laugh. Did he? You’ll have to read to find out.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Curmudgeon Avenue #1 by Samantha Henthorn

You do know that walls have ears, don’t you? When sisters Edith and Edna Payne move into Curmudgeon Avenue, their presence is not welcomed by the proud, yet grouchy Victorian terrace. This delightful comedy-drama is narrated by the house itself and tells of quarrels, romances and dramas of the intertwined nincompoop residents.

Widowed Edith is looking for love and dates one of Edna’s ex-boyfriends, Maurice – wait until you find out what happens there! Edna is heartbroken after her long term partner moved to France. Unhappily cohabiting with her idiot sister, Edna dislikes her nephew, Ricky Ricketts, who permanently hangs around Curmudgeon Avenue with his on/off girlfriend Wantha, her sister Toonan and all the tomfoolery they bring…
The sisters decide to advertise for a lodger – enter the notable Harold – yet another of Edna’s exes! Still vulnerable from the Maurice incident, Edith falls for his charms… what will happen at Curmudgeon Avenue?

This novella is the first in the series of the quirky comedy-drama series, Curmudgeon Avenue.

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I enjoyed this comedy. The opening line: “On the day this all started, the sky was full of August apologies for a summer undelivered.” I loved that the main character happened to be the house. It was not a fan of Edith or Edna, which I found funny. I will say the ending happened quite abruptly, and I wasn’t prepared for that. It was a nice cliffhanger though.

My favorite line of the book was: “If I have to contend with the bunch of nincompoops that replaced Mr and Mrs Payne, then so should you…” This summed up everything perfectly lol. I enjoyed the lighthearted tone of the book. It’s not a genre I typically read, but I’m happy I gave it a chance for #DectheShelves. The entire time I was reading, I pictured everything as a play with over-the-top characters and funny situations to force everyone to interact.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Hollow Heart by Ben Eads

***I received a free copy from Ginger Nuts of Horror and am voluntarily giving an honest review***

Welcome to Shady Hills, Florida, where death is the beginning and pain is the only true Art…

Harold Stoe was a proud Marine until an insurgent’s bullet relegated him to a wheelchair. Now the only things he’s proud of are quitting alcohol and raising his sixteen-year-old son, Dale.

But there is an infernal rhythm, beating like a diseased heart from the hollow behind his home. An aberration known as The Architect has finished his masterpiece: A god which slumbers beneath the hollow, hell-bent on changing the world into its own image.

As the body count rises and the neighborhood residents change into mindless, shambling horrors, Harold and his former lover, Mary, begin their harrowing journey into the world within the hollow. If they fail, the hollow will expand to infinity. Every living being will be stripped of flesh and muscle, their nerves wrapped tightly around ribcages, so The Architect can play his sick music through them loud enough to swallow what gives them life: The last vestiges of a dying star.

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I loved this horror book. The opening sentence “Making deals with the dead had to stop” had me hooked right away. The author did a great job with setting and description at the beginning. I could picture the bad conditions Harold and his neighbors lived in very vividly.

My favorite lines: 1) Pain is just one of my hobbies. A hobby the world will soon know. 2) No one leaves. Never has. Never will. 3) Everything went dark as they descended like an elevator with its wires cut.

I appreciated that the plot was pretty fast paced. There weren’t any dull moments in the book, but I wished the author would have slowed down at certain parts, especially towards the end…

To read the full review, please visit: https://gingernutsofhorror.com/fiction-reviews/book-review-hollow-heart-by-ben-eads

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Getting International Love for Plenty of Fish #WomenInHorror #WIHM

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I got a pleasant surprise this month, which is awesome because it’s Women In Horror Month. My dark suspense short story, Plenty of Fish, got a 4-star review from Deborah J. Miles who lives in the UK. Thank you so much 🙂

This is another well-written, short, dark tale from Ms Hosby, where I found myself holding my breath, expecting the worst, while still hoping to be wrong.”–Deborah J Miles.

Check out her blog (Against the Flow Press) to read the rest of her review.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters

***I received a free copy from NetGalley and am voluntarily giving an honest review***

One of Refinery29’s and POPSUGAR’s Favorite New Books of December 2019!

A supernatural thriller in the vein of A Head Full of Ghosts about two young girls, a scary story that becomes far too real, and the tragic–and terrifying–consequences that follow one of them into adulthood.

Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face…

In 1991, Heather Cole and her friends were members of the Dead Girls Club. Obsessed with the macabre, the girls exchanged stories about serial killers and imaginary monsters, like the Red Lady, the spirit of a vengeful witch killed centuries before. Heather knew the stories were just that, until her best friend Becca began insisting the Red Lady was real–and she could prove it.

That belief got Becca killed.

It’s been nearly thirty years, but Heather has never told anyone what really happened that night–that Becca was right and the Red Lady was real. She’s done her best to put that fateful summer, Becca, and the Red Lady, behind her. Until a familiar necklace arrives in the mail, a necklace Heather hasn’t seen since the night Becca died.

The night Heather killed her.

Now, someone else knows what she did…and they’re determined to make Heather pay.

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I really enjoyed this supernatural novel. It was told through Heather’s first person point-of-view.  She was a child psychologist to make up for what happened when she was a kid. I definitely liked the “then” chapters better than the “now;” however, the ending really started to pick up, leaving me engrossed in the story.

My favorite lines: 1) Guess I’ve always been better at keeping secrets. Even from myself. 2) You can’t unopen an envelope. Can’t undo the damage you’ve done. 3) This is a private apocalypse. 4) I refuse to believe the dead can buy postage stamps. 5) An apology lingers on my tongue but it’s bitter and sharp and I keep it to myself.

The beginning was very slow and drawn out, for me as a reader. I started to enjoy the story better when it introduced the “then” sections. As little girls, Heather, Becca, Rachel, and Gia took part in the dead girls club. They talked about serial killers, dark topics, and the Red Lady. I loved the twists at the end. I hadn’t seen any of that coming!

I was hooked the second Heather announced she had killed Becca, and no one had ever found the body. I’m a sucker for a good mystery, so I was excited to see who was behind taunting Heather. The ending did not disappoint.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby