Book Review: H_NGM_N by JC Gatlin

***I got a free copy, and I’m choosing to give an honest review***

Every murder has a story.

Every story begins at home.

Tampa newscaster Tori Younger is saddened to learn her childhood friend, Brooke Martin, hung herself from the old water tower in their hometown. Tori hasn’t spoken to Brooke in years and doesn’t feel comfortable returning to attend the services. Then cryptic text messages from Brooke’s cellphone change her mind.

Attending the funeral, Tori confronts a past that still haunts her and questions the text messages haunting her now. Her investigation leads to a fact she suspected all along: her old friend didn’t commit suicide but was murdered. There’s no shortage of suspects either: Brooke’s angry husband who instigated a fight the night she died; Brooke’s high school principal who denies rumors they were having an affair; and a town sheriff who shares a stormy past with Tori and is blocking her investigation at every turn. The only witness appears to be Brooke’s five-year-old daughter who hasn’t spoken since the tragedy and continually draws the same graphic picture of the night her mother’s body was discovered hanging from that old water tower.

Tori knows one of them has Brooke’s cellphone and is texting her from it. Others are convinced it’s Brooke reaching out from the Great Beyond. Either way, someone from her past is playing a deadly game of Hangman.

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I loved this murder mystery. The opening scene was very chilling. Brooke is arguing with her drunk husband, yet she’s scared that someone or something’s outside, staring at her through the kitchen window. The author did a great job of providing red herrings. I was shocked by Brooke’s killer!

My favorite lines: 1) The barking stopped. The room turned silent. Dark. 2) “Fate is fate. You can’t escape it.”

I loved the rhythm of how the author’s sentences flowed. I really liked Tori and her cameraman’s friendship. They made a cute duo as they tried to figure out the clues to who was sending Tori cryptic text messages from Brooke’s cell phone. I was confused though why hardly anyone questioned why the young daughter Darla was drawing two silhouettes looking up at her dead mom, instead of just one.

I would have given the book 5 stars, but I deducted a star for formatting issues. Weird indentations between words every other paragraph in my ebook.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Whispers In the Dark by Laurel Hightower

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

Rose McFarland is a trained killer–a Memphis S.W.A.T. sniper with a secret. Her team knows about the burn scars that lurk under her clothes, a legacy of the house fire that killed her father and brother sixteen years before. Her supervisors know that she spent two years in a rehabilitative facility, healing and learning to cope with the emotional trauma of the fire. But no one knows about the visions that drove her there, angry spirits that consumed her childhood, alienated her from her family and made her doubt her own sanity–the Whispers. When Charlie Akers, a half-brother she never knew, ends up on the wrong side of Rose’s rifle, she unwittingly sets off a chain of events that puts her family in the middle of increasingly dangerous paranormal visitations. Charlie won’t stay dead, and soon ghosts from Rose’s past are creeping back into her life. People she’s killed in the line of duty, family she thought long buried, every one of them under the influence of Rose’s greatest fear, the Whispers themselves. As the walls between our world and the world of the dead grow thin, Rose will have to face her old nightmares to stop the Whispers from breaking free. If she can’t, it won’t just be Memphis that falls to the dead–there will be no safe place left on earth for the living.

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I liked this supernatural story. At first it read very slow for me, like it was a drama, showing Rose’s relationship with her ex-husband and best friend. I wasn’t scared at all even though the story was labelled suspense and horror. But, the story began picking up at 23% and the action was pretty good. Plus, I was finally starting to get a little scared. Only read during the daytime 🙂

The story was mostly told through Rose’s first person point-of-view. When Zack was taunted by a ghost who ended up not being his brother, the scene had me sitting on the edge of my seat, chills going down my spine. I felt bad for Luke after a very touching scene involving him and Agent Neal.

The plot was interesting. It was cool that Rose’s son could hear the Whispers too. Poor kid. The author did a great job with tension throughout the story. Agent Neal was especially creepy, but I understood his motives.

I’m not sure why Rose kept using character’s full names if the narration was in first person. It kind of made it seem like she had distant relationships even though the scenes clearly showed how close she was to her family and coworkers. I liked Rose, but she infuriated me so many times. She didn’t seem proactive at all in stopping the Whispers. Character after character kept telling her she needed “to close the door.” I’m not sure why she waited and waited and waited before doing any research.

My favorite lines: 1) Zack lingered, watching, waiting. Hoping. 2) A shadow, darker than the rest of the night. It moved, swayed. Waited.

I loved the ending; the story ended on a very high note. Interesting villains throughout the story. Good plot, nice tension.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Perfect Little Murder is here!

I’m happy to announce book #6 is available! What would you do if someone killed your brother? Cry? Get revenge? Check out my new suspense to see what Loren does.

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Franco was my brother, my best friend, my protector. He never missed any of my ballet practices.

Until Kina…killed him. I don’t care how many times she denies it. I know she killed him. And for that, she’ll have to pay.

CLICK THE LINK TO BUY:  AMAZON, B&N, APPLE, KOBO, OTHER BOOK SITES

***If anyone wants a free copy so they can write an honest review, please email me: author.yawatta.hosby(AT)aol(DOT)com. I can gift the book at any book site or give a PDF, ePub, or Mobi file.

Right now, Perfect Little Murder is only available as an ebook. Once my proof copy arrives, I’ll be able to publish the paperback too 🙂

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Can You Guys Help Name My Next Suspense Book? Pretty Please

Hola. I want to thank everyone who has helped me with titles in the past. I suck at naming my stories hahaha. I’m asking again…can you please help me name my new suspense book?

The premise is:

Thirteen year old Loren terrorizes her younger sister after their brother, Franco, dies. Ballet will never be the same for Loren because she was his perfect little dancer.

I’ve named the story (in my head) Crazy Ballerina for so long that it’ll feel bittersweet calling it something else.

Please vote for the title you like the most:

  1. Perfect Little Dancer
  2. Loren
  3. Franco’s Dancer
  4. anything you can think of. I’m open to options 🙂

Thank you.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Sleepwalker by Andy Lang

***I received a free copy from my Making Connections group on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review***

Sleepwalker: An eighteen year old blonde with a penchant for older men and public nudity! A jaded member of Spain’s Guardia Civil and a deranged serial killer!

“Friedrich Nietzsche! Of course,” came the reply, “Also sprach Zarathustra–Thus spoke Zarathustra, the over-man, I establish the new order, as Nietzsche so eloquently relates what is an ape to man, an embarrassment, a link to the past, a past without enlightenment, so I see man, so more like the apes than me, so limited in capacity, so devoid of morality.”

Deborah Grant is a normal, healthy teenager. A girl standing at a crossroads in her young life, and she has a decision to make:

Allow her loving yet domineering father dictate her future, or, strike out on her own, follow her heart and dare to dream? 

A long holiday is what she needs and the Costa del Sol has beckoned. Fuengirola has welcomed the buxom blonde into its sun-drenched embrace.

But the Spanish resort reveals deeply buried desires, desires that she had never dared to dream lived inside her, desires that cause Deborah to rise from her bed in the early hours…and in a trance, she walks.

Disturbing, yet harmless, she imagines…Until the morning that she wakes to a nightmare discovery.

Suddenly, Debbie is terrified to close her eyes!

Sleepwalker, a psychological thriller with a hint of spice!

Caution: Please note that this novel includes some adult themes (nudism and exhibitionism)

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I liked this book. Debbie was the main character. She was vacationing in Spain alone, but her dad often checked in on her by phone. Her sleepwalking turned out not to be so innocent like she had assumed when it’s discovered that a serial killer is trying to frame her for murders. When the killer was introduced, we started to get inside his head. That’s why it’s impressive that I still couldn’t figure out the clue.

The first five chapters were kind of boring to me. I didn’t care about Debbie finding freedom walking in the nude in the wee hours of the night. All I kept thinking was ‘it’s not safe for any lady to do that. Why isn’t she worried about being sexually assaulted?’ Debbie kept talking to herself out in public (well actually maybe screaming in excitement because exclamation points were used), but no one paid attention to her. That was hard to believe.

Chapter Six caught my attention and held it to the end. This chapter introduced a crime scene. I really enjoyed how the author had red herrings throughout the book. I guessed the wrong killer, so it was fun reading the end to see who it really was.

My favorite lines: 1) I was definitely alone. I was in the taxi alone, I was in here alone. 2) Often he joked that he could commit the perfect murder, untraceable. He wondered how many others in his position shared the same dark joke. 3) “Why?” he asked repeatedly, “How could you do this to me Debbie? Don’t you understand sweetheart, don’t you know what you’re doing to me?” The words escaped his lips as a tortured whisper, almost a plea.

I had a lot of questions while I was reading: Where was the dad? Why wouldn’t he come to Spain to be with his daughter if a killer was stalking her? Why was the officer Molina so chill dating Debbie out in public when the killer was clearly obsessed with her? The killer kept killing any guy who touched or flirted with Debbie. Why didn’t any of the Spanish officials or Molina have alarm bells ringing in their ears when Debbie and Molina started dating?

I really liked the very first nude beach scene. It was cool how Debbie was okay with her body to flaunt it. That was the appropriate time to be naked if she wanted to, not in the wee hours of the morning on a busy street.

I saw Debbie as a lost child with daddy issues. She was only eighteen. I didn’t like the detective Molina at all. He seemed incompetent, like he only wanted to date this little girl instead of actually solve a case. He was forty-five, and I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t find a woman his own age. I knew Debbie liked older men, but I cringed throughout their romantic scenes. I guess I’m a prude because that was too much of an age gap for me…

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

What Writing Has Scared Myself, Wondering Where My Wild Imagination Came From

Celebrating Women’s Horror Month, I’d like to share my personal writing experience. Today I was asked an awesome question: Do you ever come up with anything so wild that you scare yourself, that leaves you wondering where that came from?

My answer–absolutely yes! I really pushed myself to the limit when I was writing Twisted Obsession. I scared myself how easily the words flowed on the page, it’s a pretty dark story. I scared myself how much fun I had writing Miki. Let me tell ya, Miki was a real piece of shit, and I held nothing back. I wanted my readers to feel disgusted by him. No leeway.

But, the most important thing that scared me while writing my suspense novella…how calmly I wrote Chapter 28. I couldn’t believe what I did to the son Jahlin. Some of my beta-readers demanded I change the ending, but I stuck to my guns. How demented and creepy Miki was, there couldn’t be a different ending.

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I remember after writing Chapter 28, I needed to compose myself. I held back tears, fearing what I had in store for Finia next. I felt like a piece of shit because I don’t condone violence. Heck, I’ve never been in a fight before. I’m a peaceful hippie. But, when you write dark fiction, you have to get out of your comfort zone and enter the mind of your villain with no apologies.

That scene was hard for me, but I’m proud of myself. I stayed true to my dark, creepy, obsessive suspense novella. I didn’t chicken out and give a happy ending to please readers.

If you don’t mind spoilers, here’s a sneak peak of Chapter 28:

Miki chuckled and looked at his son, then he scanned the area in the front, back, and sides of the boat. On the lake, they were near an open field, so he had to make sure no one else was approaching. He had gone to the least favorite fishing spot in the area for a reason. Taking a deep breath, he said, “Buddy, do you know how to swim?”

I shuddered typing that, knowing what happens next! If you want to read Twisted Obsessionclick on the title. For all of February, the book is only 99 cents.

For all the writers out there, have you ever been scared of something you wrote? For all the readers out there, have you ever read a scene and felt some way about the author, wondering where that wild imagination came from?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby