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: Chronicles of Drenyon: The Golden Sword by NLJ

Mystery. Romance. Adventure. Suspense.                
 
 The Chronicles of Drenyon series has the power to show you worlds you have never known. It will whisk you away to adventures that will thrill readers of all ages. Join the journey of a tyrant king, an enchanted tree, a captivating maiden, and a pair of mystical twins as they fight for their one and only home.
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***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review***

Fantasy isn’t a typical genre I read, but I decided to give this book a try. I’m happy I did. The author did a great job with setting and description. The scenes were quite interesting, showing a lot of action and a lot of interaction between the characters. I loved all the tension between everyone; they all had secrets, and some had a shady past.

Anya was the main character. As a reader, I respected her strong nature. She was one of the heroes in the story, not weak having to always wait for the man to save her. I felt sorry for Anya since she seemed to only have her mom Elina and the tree man at the beginning.

Drenyon didn’t have a king because their king had died violently in war many years ago. Drenyon had twelve years of peace until…an enemy unleashed something horrible. The regular townfolk were turning into monsters.

With the help of the tree man, Anya had to find a way to save her country. My favorite scenes where when they found the young boy in the prison. He and the tree man fought for Anya’s attention, plus they found a set of powerful twins. I loved all the disharmony among the ranks.

My favorite lines: 1) What a lovely tale, she thought. Yet, she was curious…2) Today, there was an unspoken sadness between them. 3) Mother’s smiles were forgotten. 4) “Don’t recite, my love. Dream.” 5) “True goodness comes from unexpected sources.” 6) “Red sparks along the sides of the moon,” she remembered aloud, “and untamed chaos.”

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: A Portrait for Shy by Justin Kenneth

Fans of We Were Liars will devour this psychological supernova.

At seventeen, Jared Sedgwick wanted to share his artwork with the world, marry his first love, and get the hell out of Vermont. But he put down the brush when his relationship fell to pieces, and his cracked phone still says it’s another cold day in Bennington.

He only opens up to his best friend Stan, the one who’s there for him when he feels suicidal, who listens to every word and sits through every heartbreaking detail just waiting for some cat food; Stan never offers much advice. But that’s okay now because Jared’s got a new story, and her name is Eloise. She’s a cat-loving bookworm with a passion for starting over, new in town from California, and she’s making him forget that he ever had a past.

It’s a fresh romance for both until she questions the whereabouts of his ex-girlfriend, soon to discover an awful truth much worse than cheating.

A PORTRAIT FOR SHY is a twist-riddled narration of undying love in the wake of tragedy, an upper-YA/crossover contemporary *Mature content novel.

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

The opening line, There’s this game I play with Stan called Scratch-me-if-you-can, where I tap behind his paws until he tears apart my hand, caught my attention right away. The story was told in Jared’s first person point of view, and Stan was his cat. I loved this story because Jared’s quirky personality kept my full attention. Picture this book as an indie quirky drama or a quirky romance movie. Something you’d see on Sundance or the IFC Channel.

Jared, Jared, Jared. From the beginning, it was clear he wasn’t all sane, but that made him endearing. I felt bad that he couldn’t let go of the past. He was in a love triangle with  his high school sweetheart Shy, and his new neighbor Eloise. I loved that everyone’s backstory was twist after twist. I’m all about mystery.

Even though my favorite scenes where of Jared bonding with Eloise and Shy, I wish there would’ve been a little more interaction with other people. They lived in Vermont, so I pictured a small town, which the author did a great job capturing Vermont’s beautiful landscape. I wanted to get a feel if his neighborhood found him odd or if he just faded in the background. I was happy that he became less lonely when Eloise arrived into town.

Eloise’s dialogue used alot of exclamation points. That made me think she was eccentric or youthful. My favorite line was There was a pause that swallowed. But I closed my eyes, and then I heard her voice. As a reader, I usually have a clear cut couple I’m shipping if there’s a love triangle. However, I really liked Shy and Eloise, both for different reasons.

I RECOMMEND 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

Check Out Ginger Harman’s Blog To See My Latest Book Review

I haven’t guest blogged in a long time, so I jumped on the chance when fellow local author, Ginger Harman, asked me to write a book review for her blog. We both love to read. And, we both agree that writing doesn’t have to be a lonely activity. I’m happy that I met her.

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If this book looks interesting to you, then please check out Ginger Dawn-A Spice Below the Horizon’s blog to see what I thought of this horror short story collection. Here’s the link: Guest Book Review: Tales From the Graveyard by Susan Shultz.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Beneath the Silence by Charlene Carr

***I was gifted a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review***

Secrets have consequences. If given the power, they will lead you into a life you never dreamed of or wanted.

Brooke Lake is a girl caught in a town and a life she yearns to escape. Full of anger, fear, and questions without answers, she runs from her problems only to lose herself in a world that’s too much for her.

Molly Shirley is a woman without a past and no foreseeable future. Her body is her best commodity, so she does whatever she has to do to survive.

Broken by lies, Brooke and Molly must explore the parts of themselves they would rather keep secret. Only by confronting the past can they develop the strength to create a life of their own making–a life where love and forgiveness never come too late.

I loved this contemporary drama covering Brooke’s childhood to becoming a woman and Molly’s journey from teen to woman. The story kept switching between Brooke and Molly’s point of view. Right away I figured out who Molly was, but that didn’t ruin the story for me. In fact, the author did such a wonderful job with characterization that I really cared for everyone in the story. When they laughed, I laughed. When they cried, I shed tears. 

I loved this book because it was full of drama–Brooke’s family dynamic was downright depressing. With a family like hers, who needs enemies. Good thing she had her neighbor and best friend, Gabe. Molly was a poor, naive teen who turned to stripping and prostitution in order to survive. Some of her roommates (coworkers) were decent. Both ladies needed self-reflection and I prayed that they could find themselves. It’s never too late.

My favorite lines: 1) He looked like the brother she remembered, not the strange person he’d turned into. 2) Riv. Her protector. Her hero…until he wasn’t. 3) Are cliches okay if they’re real? 4) The older Brooke got, the easier the lies came.

The author was brilliant with dialogue and creating tension. All the scenes were full of emotion. I definitely thought of this story as an indie movie, a tear jerker. It seemed like every time Molly tried to get ahead, bad luck would find her. She wanted to get her GED, but her past haunted her. She had a supportive boyfriend until he became an insensitive jerk. She faced inner-conflict every day–strip vs. real world.

I loved the twist at the end. I hadn’t seen that as the cause for Brooke’s mom, dad, and brother’s unhappiness. The entire situation broke my heart. If only…

My favorite scenes involved Grams telling Brooke about her parent’s tragic past, Brooke meeting her niece for the first time, and Brooke and Gabe getting closure. I can’t lie. This book made me cry. I loved how journal entries became a part of the narration. These characters were beyond broken, and the author didn’t shy away from that. It made for a very emotional, inspirational journey.

I’m definitely a fan of the author’s writing style. Usually I get bored with long books, but I didn’t want Molly or Brooke’s story to end. I rooted for them to become strong women. Did they get happy endings? You’ll have to read to find out.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby