Book Review: Dog Meat by Priscilla Bettis

Kalb Ward slaughters dogs for the Colony, a closed, dystopian society where resources are tight, free speech is nonexistent, and those in power have eyes and ears everywhere. Ward desperately wants to quit his grisly job, but he knows he’ll be arrested, or worse, if he tries.

In the Colony, a citizen’s future is determined by a placement exam. Score high, and you’re set for life. Score low, and you end up living a nightmare–like Ward.

Li Ling, the love of Ward’s youth, scored high, and she’s a local celebrity now, far out of his reach. Meanwhile, his neighbor’s son is making a series of disastrous decisions as his own exam rapidly approaches.

Can Ward bridge the social divide and win back Li Ling? Can he help the neighbor’s son avoid a future as grim as his own? Can he escape the Colony’s oppressive rule and, if he’s very lucky, bring down the whole horrific system in the process?

You know what they say: Every dog has his day.

And Ward’s day is coming.

I loved this dystopian book. Fay owned a Yulin Dish restaurant. She was Ward’s boss, who forced him to slaughter dogs for their meat. My favorite quotes: 1) “If the dogs did ever turn on him, it’d be a better death than theirs.” 2) “I wouldn’t want to go with me either,” Ward said.'”

The drama was very enticing to me. I felt awful for Ward. He tried to do the right thing and get out but was met with roadblocks every step of the way. The author did an amazing job showing all the tension between characters and developing the relationships between everyone. It was a great twist of who the neighbor’s son was. Wasn’t expecting that at all! I shed a tear at the scene where Ward met the local celebrity in the restaurant with the entourage. I could feel his brokenness, emptiness, and hopelessness. The ending was depressing (in a good way).

The author did a wonderful job with all the setting details. I could feel the dread and gloomy atmosphere in that dystopian society.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Check Out My List of the Best Books To Be Terrorized By Things That Go Bump In the Night!!!

Hola! Happy 2023!!!

Since semi-retiring from writing novellas, I haven’t really had any instances of discussing horror books. I was pleasantly surprised when the founder of Shepherd reached out to me. It was fun building this list of the “Best Books To Be Terrorized By Things That Go Bump In the Night.”

Click on the link to check out the list with my reasoning for each book: The best books to be terrorized by things that go bump in the night.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: The Hay Bale by Priscilla Bettis

Contemporary Southern Gothic meets weird horror in this new novelette from Priscilla Bettis.

Professor Claire Davenport yearns to be a mother. After suffering four miscarriages, the university microbiologist tries and fails to qualify as an adoptive mother. Then Claire’s husband leaves.

Alone and emotionally wounded, Claire takes a summer sabbatical from her microbiology classes and escapes to rural Virginia to heal. There, she meets local farmers with strange agricultural practices.

Claire moves into the historic manor house she rented for the summer, and an abandoned child greets her. Is the child real, an answer to her prayers? Or is he a figment of her tormented emotions? Perhaps the tight-knit locals are playing a trick on the science lady from the city.

Whatever the boy’s origin, Claire is determined to find the truth, but the truth may be bloody.

I loved this fast read. It was full of mystery and suspense. Was she crazy? Was she really experiencing paranormal activity at the place she stayed at? Did that horrible ritual really happen in that farm town 200 years ago? All those questions motivated me to keep reading. I was satisfied with the ending and enjoyed the creepiness of some of the characters.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Cirque Berserk by Jessica Guess

I was honored when Divination Hollow Reviews asked me to be a guest blogger for their Women In Horror and Black History In Horror event. Battling covid at the time, their request had given me something to look forward to. Since I haven’t written anything creepy in awhile (because I’ve been working on my graphic novel and spiritual blog), I didn’t want to share any short stories. I thought the safest bet would be to write a book review on a fun horror book.

I ended up finding Jessica Guess’s Cirque Berserk.

If you want to check my book review, please click on the link: Book Review: “Cirque Berserk” by Jessica Guess.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

#BookReview: Starving Ghosts In Every Thread by Eric LaRocca #amreadinghorror

***Thanks for the free copy in exchange for an honest review***

Teddy has a secret….

She’s so consumed with guilt that it compels her body to literally unravel unless she feeds off the emotions of others. Teddy’s parasitic condition is usually tempered easily and is invisible to most, unless she feeds from them. However, her insatiable hunger has already begun to threaten her safety. Trapped in her tiny Connecticut hometown thanks to a careless mistake which cost her a prestigious scholarship, Teddy grieves her father’s death and cares for her neurotic mother, Mercy, who is convinced scorpion venom is the only remedy for her own peculiar skin ailment linked to her daughter’s sadness.

Once an aspiring songwriter, Teddy now merely alternates between shifts at the local market and visits to the house of her eccentric neighbor, Mr. Ridley, for fresh scorpions to bring to her mother. It’s during one of her routine visits to Mr. Ridley’s subterranean grotto of exotic animals that Teddy meets an unusual young girl named Kiiara. Immediately enamored with one another, Teddy soon discovers that Kiiara is hiding a gruesome secret, too – a secret that will threaten to undo everything Teddy has ever known and loved, and violently touch all those who cross their path with disaster.

I enjoyed this fast-paced novella. The author was great with setting details. The book was character-driven focusing on Teddy and Kiiara. The drama was interesting. Since there was no horror (for me as a reader) until the very end of the story, I couldn’t tell if this story was literary, horror, or fantasy. Whenever Teddy could read a person, part of her skin would coil. Was this just in her head? Was she the only one this happened to? Was this a fantasy world? A normal world? I couldn’t tell, but those questions not being answered didn’t stop me from liking the story.

My favorite lines: 1) “I often feel lost, even to myself.” 2) “Everything I’ve lived, I’ve lived through other people. I’ve convinced myself that their stories, their troubles, their passions were mine.” 3) “The thing I’ve so desperately tried to convince myself otherwise is true–people know.”

The ending was pretty intense. The very last scene I felt for Teddy. It was a lasting impression of what she did after making her mom go to the neighbor’s house. I thought about it long after finishing the novella, which I gave props to the author for writing a compelling drama.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Urban Legends Getting International Love! Plus, My Personal Guest Post On #BlackLivesMatters!

Sorry, I haven’t been blogging lately. I feel like I’m off and on, which can be a good thing. It means I’m working hard on my writing/art projects. Since it’s October–Spooky Season (woo hoo!!!)–I plan on blogging more to celebrate the countdown to my favorite holiday, Halloween.

I want to thank Deborah J Miles for giving my newest release, Urban Legends, a chance. It’s always cool to see my sales dashboard go international 🙂 Right now, I have readers in the US, UK, Denmark, Australia, and Canada. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Not only did Deborah J Miles give my book a review, she also let me share a personal experience of racism I dealt with at work years ago. It took a lot for me to be vulnerable sharing this…If you want to check out my guest post and check out her book review on Against the Flow Press blog, then please click on the link– Book Review: Urban Legends by Yawatta Hosby

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Twisted Obsession Getting International Love!!! #bookreview #amreadingsuspense

I’m on cloud nine. Being an author with a back list, it’s always great when your old books get love and attention. I published Twisted Obsession back in 2016, and it’s still one of my favorites. I used my middle name for Finia. Plus, the setting was my old childhood home. This story will always have a special place in my heart.

“The atmosphere throughout the entire novella was stifling, creepy and just hung with a sense of foreboding. It is pretty much a dark, twisted tale throughout the whole thing.”–Kimberly Wolkens

I was excited to see the 5-star review on Ginger Nuts of Horror from Kimberly Wolkens! If you want to check out what she said, please click the link: Book Review: Twisted Obsession by Yawatta Hosby.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent by Jennifer Gordon #GNOH

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***I received a free copy from Ginger Nuts of Horror***

Adam, a young alcoholic, slowly descends into madness while dealing with the psychological scars of childhood trauma which are reawakened when his son and wife die in a car accident that he feels he is responsible for. After a failed suicide attempt, and more group meetings that he can mention. Adam hears a rumor of a Haunted Island off the Coast of Maine, where “if someone wants it bad enough” they could be reunited with a lost loved one. In his desperate attempt to connect with the ghost of his four-and-a half year old son, he decides to go there, to Dagger Island, desperate to apologize to, or be condemned by, his young son. Adam is not sure what he deserves or even which of these he wants more. While staying in a crumbling old boarding house, he becomes involved with a beautiful and manipulative ghost who has spent 60 years tormenting the now elderly man who was her lover, and ultimately her murderer. The three of them create a “Menage-a-Guilt” as they all come to terms with what it is that ties them so emotionally to their memories and their very “existence”.Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent is a poetic fever dream of grief, love, and the terrifying ways that obsession can change who we are.JENNIFER ANNE GORDON is a professional ballroom dancer by day, and a curly haired neurotic writer by night. She is an actor, a traveler, a photographer, a lover of horror, and a dog mom. Beautiful, Frightening and Silent is her debut novel.

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I loved the title of this book. It was poetic, and I appreciated the author’s efforts in her debut novel, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Just because ghosts are mentioned doesn’t mean a book should be in the horror genre. I wouldn’t even really call it a paranormal romance, maybe contemporary drama…

My favorite parts of the book were the flashback scene of the car crash and Adam’s downward spiral before going to the haunted mansion. Once he arrived on Dagger Island, I was confused on what was going on plot-wise. The ending definitely left me confused. I ended up with questions that left me frustrated as a reader. Why was the son hiding? What was so special about “mother’s” room? Did these people already know their fates? Etc, etc, etc

My favorite lines: 1) Anthony grew up with the reality of a haunting, the same way other children grow up with the facts of grass being green and snow being cold. 2) She hears the rattling of death, climbing out from the deepest parts of his lungs each time he exhales 3) Somethings, even uninvited, come back to stay.

To read the rest of my review, please check out Ginger Nuts of Horror 🙂

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

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