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

My Books Are Available On Platforms Other Than Amazon!!! Yippie!!!

I had a blast on Amazon’s KDP Program, but it’s time to start thinking long term regarding my books. Right now, I think it’s best to be on as many platforms as possible. I reinstated One By One and Something’s Amiss on B&N and Smashwords. I also added my books to Draft 2 Digital (this site is very easy to distribute to all book sites). Wish me luck! 🙂

 

  

 

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby 

Weekend Writing Warriors Excerpt #4

Weekend Writing Warriors is an awesome site that brings writers together who want to share their work to the blogosphere. All writers and authors are welcome to join, introducing excerpts from published and/or unpublished works. Please visit the WeWriWa’s website tomorrow to read all the talented writers.

I’ve had fun sharing parts of my women’s fiction novella, Something’s Amiss, but this will be the last excerpt. I thought it’d be best to show Dominic, who is Raven’s father. It’ll be cool sharing parts of my different stories, ranging in different genres.

With this excerpt, Dominic told Oliver a secret the night before and he’s nervous that Oliver may spill the beans. It’s the day of Jenna’s funeral and everyone’s on edge.

Here we go 🙂 :

Oliver caught Dominic glaring at him.

“Hey man, were you two really talking about Poe?” he asked.

“Yeah.”

“I thought your mom was just trying to cover for you. I thought you were talking about what happened at my place last night.”

“No, I told you I wouldn’t.”

“I know, but you have to admit you tell your mom everything….”

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

 

 

Weekend Writing Warriors Excerpt #3

Weekend Writing Warriors bring authors together who’d like to share their work with the blogosphere and social media. By 9 AM on Sundays, an 8 sentence excerpt of your manuscript or draft is shared around the web. It can be from a published or unpublished work. If you’re interested in joining or would like to check out other writers who participated for the week, please go to WeWriWa’s website on JULY 6TH.

For this round, I thought it’d be cool to show Poe’s friendship developing with Raven. For someone afraid of children, maybe she didn’t do so bad with baby-sitting after all.

Here’s the excerpt:

When everyone had gone, Poe massaged Raven’s scalp as she settled on her lap. Even though she couldn’t see her face, Poe could feel her tears, her shoulder was soaking wet. She rubbed Raven’s back while the little diva held on for dear life.

“I want Mommy.”

“I know, Raven, I know.” Poe closed her eyes, rocking Raven back and forth. Poe didn’t know what it felt like to lose a parent. Unfortunately, Raven would learn this tough lesson at a very young age.

—————————-

21795800.jpg2Oliver never thought he’d see his ex, Poe, step foot in Rhode Island again. But, she returns a year later to pay her respects for the loss of Jenna, Oliver’s cousin. Deciding life’s too short, he plans to fight for what he wants. Can he convince Poe to give him a second chance? Or will old resentments resurface?

Poe’s life is going well in Pittsburgh. Her comic book is in production, and she has a great social life. Her world is shattered when she finds out her best friend, Jenna, passed away. She goes to Rhode Island, planning to attend the funeral. She gets an unexpected surprise when she’s able to bond with Jenna’s younger daughter, Raven. And, for a long time, she thought her ex hated her. Poe soon realizes, maybe she was wrong.

Amazon          —Goodreads          —-My Book Page

 

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Weekend Writing Warriors Excerpt #2

Weekend Writing Warriors bring authors together who’d like to share their work with the blogosphere and social media. By 9 AM on Sundays, an 8 sentence excerpt of your manuscript or draft is shared around the web. It can be from a published or unpublished work. If you’re interested in checking out other writers who participated for the week, please go to WeWriWa’s website on JUNE 29th.

This excerpt is a continuation from my women’s fiction novella, Something’s Amiss. Click here for last week’s. Poe and Oliver are standing in the kitchen; they haven’t seen each other in over a year.

Here’s the excerpt:

Oliver moved closer. “Do you love him?”

She didn’t know where to go. Leaning against the counter, Poe inhaled the scent of his cologne. A flash of him, his bare chest over her, danced through her mind. She shook her head, as if this would rid her of the memory. “No,” she blurted without thinking. “Do you love Kate?”

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

21795800.jpg2THIS BOOK IS FREE JUNE 30TH-JULY 2ND. GET YOUR FREE COPY!!!

Oliver never thought he’d see his ex, Poe, step foot in Rhode Island again. But, she returns a year later to pay her respects for the loss of Jenna, Oliver’s cousin. Deciding life’s too short, he plans to fight for what he wants. Can he convince Poe to give him a second chance? Or will old resentments resurface?

Poe’s life is going well in Pittsburgh. Her comic book is in production, and she has a great social life. Her world is shattered when she finds out her best friend, Jenna, passed away. She goes to Rhode Island, planning to attend the funeral. She gets an unexpected surprise when she’s able to bond with Jenna’s younger daughter, Raven. And, for a long time, she thought her ex hated her. Poe soon realizes, maybe she was wrong.

Amazon          —Goodreads        —My Book Page

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Something’s Amiss Received A 4-Star Review!!!

I would like to thank Becki at The Musing Writer for reviewing Something’s Amiss. She gives a pretty good account of the events that lead up to the cliffhanger, so if you’re curious about the plot, definitely check out what she had to say. Here’s a snippet:

I think Something’s Amiss is a good read. I hope Yawatta does a follow up book on this story, because I can’t wait to see what happens next.

If you’d like to read the rest, please visit–Book Review on Something’s Amiss By Yawatta Hosby.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Something’s Amiss Goodreads Giveaway!!!

It’s that time again for more free stuff!!! My Goodreads giveaway ends May 11th–Mother’s Day. Something’s Amiss would be a beautiful gift to give to someone you love. It explores loss and love, something everyone goes through. My favorite scenes were Poe bonding with the little girl, Raven.

WIN ONE FREE AUTOGRAPHED PAPERBACK!!!

Here’s the link to enter if anyone’s interested: Something’s Amiss Goodreads Giveaway

21795800.jpg2Oliver never thought he’d see his ex, Poe, step foot in Rhode Island again. But, she returns a year later to pay her respects for the loss of Jenna, his cousin. Deciding life’s too short, Oliver plans to fight for what he wants. Can he convince Poe to give him a second chance? Or will old resentments resurface?

Poe’s life is going well in Pittsburgh. Her comic book is in production, and she has a great social life. Her world is shattered when she finds out her best friend, Jenna, passed away. She goes to Rhode Island, planning to attend the funeral. Poe  gets an unexpected surprise when she bonds with Jenna’s younger daughter, Raven. And, for a long time, she thought her ex hated her. Soon, she realizes, maybe she was wrong.

Good luck to all who participates in the giveaway!!!

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Interview With Fran Clark, Author of Holding Paradise–Plus an Excerpt

Please welcome my special guest Fran Clark, the author of Holding Paradise. Please enjoy her wonderful interview. If you’re a huge fan of women’s fiction, then please check out her book. She’s having a launch party on April 25th at her blog. Check it out for a chance to win prizes! Here’s the link: Fran Clark’s blog.

HP2_721.  Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?

I would say, don’t be in a rush to take the first deal that comes your way. Make sure the publisher is offering the kind of support you need to get your book as visible as possible. These days a lot of the marketing effort has to come from the author themselves and some publishing houses are better equipped to help than others.

2.  Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Only that I had a recollection of a conversation I had with my Dad when I was a little girl. He asked what I wanted to do when I was older and I said I wanted to be a teacher or an author. By the time I left school I’d forgotten that conversation and had no idea what to do with myself. I worked in administration for years until I discovered music and eventually became a professional singer-songwriter. The writing came later still and now I have two passions in life. And, believe it or not I’m considering teaching Creative Writing so maybe I knew all the time what I wanted. It just took the long way to get there.

3.  What are your thoughts on the fact that both trade and self-published authors have to promote their own work?

Personally I hate the promotion side as it really isn’t my strong point so although my publisher does a lot less than me on the promotion side, I still feel I have some support. Self-published writers are extremely brave in my opinion. It is a shame that publishers don’t have the same financial clout they used to in such a changing market but we all have to adapt. Both traditionally and self-published writer alike. I am strongly considering self-publishing my short story collection as I’m geared up for promotion–whether I like to do it or not.

4.  What genre do you write for? Your favorite aspect? Your least favorite aspect?

i write Women’s Fiction. I love the variety in angles and stories that Women’s Fiction can cover. It’s not all love and romance. I hate that people will assume I write Chick Lit, I don’t. My stories are about ordinary people facing extraordinary situations and learning something about themselves as part of their journey. I just happen to choose themes that I believe women would relate to more than men but men enjoy my writing too.

5.  What are your current/next projects?

Well I need to edit my short story collection. I am half way through a second novel which needs lots of research. When the novel is completed I will begin to look for an agent.

6.  Do you prefer to work alone or with critique partners/beta-readers?

Well I certainly like to get my writing to at least 2nd or 3rd draft stage before anyone reads it. I think it’s important to get all your own ideas down and a level of confidence about your story so that you know where it’s going. But it is important to listen to criticism. Good criticism (and you have to decide what that is) can make the story stronger and hopefully more marketable.

7.  How do you find time to write?

These days with difficulty. I’m doing a Creative Writing MA and that is very demanding of my time. I find that I have neglected my second novel in favour of completing assignments. I am at my best when I’m organised and giving each task its necessary attention and knowing how much that is can vary depending on what life deals you at the time.

8.  Do you write the beginning/opening first or do you tend to write out of order (with whatever scenes interest you the most)?

I was only thinking about this recently. I do start at the beginning and work my way along to the end. I can’t help it. That’s what feels natural to me. I’ve tried writing out of sequence and that was the book I abandoned. (For now).

9.  Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Not hated so much as didn’t like. Sometimes I’ve felt a story wasn’t going well but continued anyway. When you read some things back they don’t always feel right and you can’t always put your finger on why. But don’t scrap ideas completely. Keep them in a back draw there might be a sentence, idea or character you’ll want to use in another story.

10.  Which is the easiest for you–novel, novella, or short story? Why?

To be honest I really don’t have an easiest because all writing is as easy or as hard as it to get a story to say what it needs to say. I’ve never written a novella but I have a collection of some very long short stories. I like to think that I give a story what it needs and that could be in 2,000 words or it could be in 90,000. Having said that I do have problem writing Flash Fiction. Maybe my problem with that is that I can’t shut up. Too many ideas to cram in to so few words!

11.  While you were writing, did you ever feel like you were one of your characters?

I never felt like I was one of my characters but some of them have certainly made me cry–and laugh come to that. My characters seem to take on a life of their own. They speak for themselves and I just go with the flow as I write. Hope that doesn’t sound too weird.

12.  How did you come up with the title?

The original title was Hidden Paradise and I was advised by a literary critic to change it as it didn’t fit the tone of my writing. I sat for days trying out new titles and started a poll with a few of my friends. Out of the blue I stumbled on just changing one word. Holding Paradise seemed to hold more promise and everyone else seemed to like it so I went with that.

13.  What inspired you to write your latest book? What is the book about?

Lots of things is my honest answers but if I were to narrow it down I would say it had a lot to do with my Mum. Her stories about life growing up in the Caribbean and what life was like when she first came to London. Holding Paradise isn’t her story as I used imagination to dream up my characters but there may be a little of everyone  I know in the characters in my book.

Holding Paradise’s Blurb:

On a grey and miserable morning in 2008 London businesswoman, Angelica Ford, boards a plane and flies off to the blues and greens of her mother’s island in the Caribbean. Angelica is desperate. She is looking for a way to save her marriage and win back her daughter. A web of lies has torn a hole into her seemingly perfect world and she is convinced that only her mother, Josephine Dennis, can help her turn her life around.

Josephine Dennis arrived in England by ship on a cold winter’s morning as a young mother joining her husband. She weathers a lifetime of secrets and betrayal as she raises her family in 1960s London. A matriarch with strong family values, she told her children colourful stories to guide them through life. It is the wisdom of one of these stories that Angelica seeks. Josephine has one last story to tell–the story that could change both of their lives.

Holding Paradise’s Excerpt

I walked into her room and saw, as usual, piles of clothes on the floor but resisted the urge to pick them up. Instead I dumped her clean clothes on the bed. Just as I did so, I heard her mobile go off. It made me jump. I was used to the ring tone but didn’t expect to hear it. It was impulse that made me grab it and press the little green telephone symbol. Before I could say ‘hello Eva’s phone’ I heard Saffron’s voice.

‘Bitch, what do you mean you’ve been having sex with someone in your family? You can’t send me emails like that and not expect me to call you right away. Who is it?’ I pressed the red telephone symbol straight away and threw Eva’s phone on the bed. I stood there staring at it. A few seconds later it rang again. I picked it up but I was ready. I saw the ‘Saffron calling’ sign as I gathered my thoughts.

‘Hello,’ I said.

‘Who’s that?’ Saffron sounded worried.

‘Oh Saffron. Did you just call? I picked up Eva’s phone but I couldn’t hear anyone so I hung up.’

‘Mrs Ford. You’ve got Eva’s phone?’

‘Yes, she must have forgotten it when she went off to Surrey with Luke. Shall I tell her you called?’

‘Er, yes please. So you didn’t hear me talking when you picked up?’

‘No. I don’t know what happened there. That’s technology for you.’ I laughed. A fake laugh. I hoped Saffron wouldn’t see through it. ‘Any message?’

‘Oh no, that’s okay Mrs Ford. I’ll just try her again this evening. Will she be back then?’

‘Yes, she should be. Bye then Saffron.’

‘Bye.’

I sat heavily on the bed. The piles of clothes I’d just put there slipped garment by garment onto the floor in slow motion until the last few t-shirts flopped quietly onto the jeans in real time. I got up quickly. I still had Eva’s phone in my hand. Why did I answer that call? No. I had to answer that call. The biggest secret that Eva could ever have kept from me, I had discovered by answering that call. But was Saffron serious? Why would she say it if it wasn’t true? My head was spinning. If it were true then who the hell could this family member be?

14.  Any blogs, websites, social media you’d like to share?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Is This All There Is? By Patricia Mann

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

Beth Thomas has the perfect life. At thirty-five, she’s married to her college sweetheart, has two adorable kids, and teaches part time at the local university. But when a friend persuades Beth to go dancing on a rare night out, a chance meeting with twenty one year old Dave, one of her former students, changes the course of her life. Loud music, too much to drink, and the thrill of feeling young again lead to an unforgettable kiss that was never supposed to happen. As she tries to put the memory behind her, Dave’s pursuit leaves Beth torn between her loyalty to one man and her lust for another.

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I loved this book. It was written in Beth’s first person point-of-view. My favorite lines: 1) With every kiss, a rush of emotion followed. Exhilaration. Guilt. Fear. 2) I considered the possibility that Rick wasn’t the enemy. Maybe he had been a convenient scapegoat for my discontent.

Beth was married to Rick. One night she went out with her friend; they ended up at a club. The club scene where Dave, Beth’s former student, admitted his crush was so sweet! From there, they had a flirtatious affair.

I appreciated the realistic situation in the book. Her friend didn’t support Beth’s emotional cheating on Rick. I liked this because it showed the characters were mature and were held accountable for their actions. I really enjoyed the drama.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

A Pleasant Surprise Today!!!

Promoting my new release, I’ve been contacting bloggers to see if I  can have a book spotlight, interview, or guest post. Well, today I’m a special guest on two blogs, Writing Women’s Fiction and Library of Erana. I want to thank both for giving me an author interview!

Here’s the links for anyone wanting to check it out:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby