Katie Hayoz, author, reader

I'm a reader and a writer of young adult and adult speculative fiction--from fantasy to steampunk to romance to horror. I'll read anything you throw my way, but paranormal is my passion. Just give me popcorn to eat while I'm reading.

COYER Update: Until the End of the World

Until the End of the World - Sarah Lyons Fleming


Yikes!  I left you all hanging after my last post.  This will be short and sweet.  Until the End of the World by Sarah Lyons Fleming is now up there with my ultimate indie faves like Angelfall by Susan Ee.


That means it get six stars out of five.


All I have to say is read it.  I don't care if you don't like zombies.  You'll like this book.  It's that good.

Source: http://www.katiehayoz.com

Have a Little Cheese with that Whine and an Overdue #COYER Review on Its Way

“I personally believe we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain.”
Jane Wagner, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe 

Yesterday I went on a rant and whined about the state of publishing. My state of publishing. Others' state of publishing. And the unfairness of the world.  It wasn't pretty.  And it may have involved a few after-dinner snifters of CalvadosBut, the point is, I was thinking I had no more 4 or 5 star reviews to add to the Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge.

I was wrong.  COYER may be officially over with, but I'll be adding one more book to the list.  I started it last night and already know it will be a favorite.  It's just freaking awesome so far.  A zombie book that's really well written.  And funny.  And touching.  And...well, you get the idea.

I'm reading Until the End of the World by Sarah Lyons Fleming.  I'll let you know when I'm finished.  But I'm kind of savoring this one.  Reading it in bits and pieces to reward myself for jobs done.

It's so good.  I wish I'd written it. :)
But don't worry.  I'll be reading it with popcorn and Diet Coke.  The Calvados is back in the liquor cabinet.

I won't be taking the Calvados out again until we have cheese fondue.   Because it's always good to have a little cheese with my whine...

Source: http://www.katiehayoz.com/2013/12/have-litte-whine-with-that-cheese-and.html

#COYER review: True of Blood by Bonnie Lamer

First things first. I have to say I'm so happy that I decided to participate in the Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge hosted by Fantasy is More Fun and Because Reading is Better than Real Life . True of Blood is book three of a stack of e-books that I probably would not have read for a while otherwise -- which would have been a shame.

Xandra lives with her, uh, ghost parents, her aunt and her little brother in a secluded place in the mountains.  She rarely sees other people and rarely goes down to the city.  But then a walk in the woods shows footprints in the snow and her parents freak.  Apparently, her mom had been keeping a rather large secret from Xandra.  Namely, that she's half-fairy half-witch and that some major people want her dead.

The premise was pretty awesome, but I found it took a while for the book to gain speed.  This is not unique in the first novel of a series where there is a lot of set up for the following books.  But Lamer manages to get the story going when the relationship between Xandra and the fairy Kallen takes over.  It's a love/hate thing that keeps the reader on her toes.

FYI: Young adult novels where the main love interest is insulting and manipulative are often on my black list.  And the prevalence in which this sort of relationship occurs in these books (and how popular they are) turns my stomach.  I feel girls have enough self-esteem issues nowadays, that they don't need that kind of relationship to seem like something good.  And Kallen was insulting and manipulative.  There's even an undercurrent of violence in some of his attempts to kiss Xandra that grates on me (see my post is what we're reading hurting women)...

And yet...

And yet Lamer kept me reading.  She ramped up the romantic tension to such a high, she got me to like Kallen enough that I was sitting there going, "Come on! Kiss her!" despite my regular standpoints and beliefs.  In short, she got me turning pages, wanting more.

There are some things I question -- the mother's motivation for many things, Xandra's attitude at times.  But overall, I found this book a fun read.  It's FREE on Amazon so I suggest you grab it and decide for yourself.  If you do like it, it's the first in a series, so you'll have more to look forward to.

Source: http://www.katiehayoz.com/2013/11/coyer-clean-out-your-e-reader-review-3.html

#COYER review: Deer in Headlights

What can I say about this book?  When I think about it.... Um. Yeah.  Let me just...

*goes away, come back*

Okay, had to get a cold shower in there before I could discuss anything.   Because this book is steamy.

I didn't read any of the reviews and I barely glanced at the blurb before picking this up.  I liked the cover and it was free.  No-brainer.

Thing is, had I read what it was like I probably wouldn't have gotten it. I don't usually read hot romance.  Books that refer to a certain part of male anatomy as a "man rod" or "pulsing shaft"are not my thing.  (Hey, I was brought up Catholic, you know.  Better to pretend that particular part of the body doesn't exist. Ahem.)  And this novel, minus the sex scenes would have been half as long.

However, I have to say, I really enjoyed this book.  It was a romp (and not only that kind!). Yes, there was a lot of sex.  But there was also some kick-ass creative use of the Greek gods.  Hart used the Greek mythology as a starting point to build up backstory for all of these characters, and then she ran with it. Hart's take on Aphrodite, Apollo, Persephone and others borders on genius. And the basis of the plot?  Nothing like a friendly competition between gods to create some fantastic tension and fun.

Hart managed to make me -- someone who doesn't like sexy romance -- read with gusto to the end.  If you like romance but are looking for something unusual, you'll devour this.


My call?  Four solid stars.  Get it on Amazon HERE.

(Part of the COYER challenge with Fantasy is More Fun and Because Reading is Better than Real Life.)

Source: http://www.katiehayoz.com/2013/11/coyer-review-2-deer-in-headlights-by.html

#COYER review: Someone Different

I'm not a reviewer.  Reviewing is an art form I haven't mastered.  But I'm taking part in the Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge and wanted to share my experience here.  So, this is my opinion of the first book I read for the challenge. 

Someone Different by Kate Hanney is a book I just downloaded for free a week or so ago.  I heard about it from Wendy Storer, who is a fantastic writer herself (Get Wendy's books here.  Do it. You won't be sorry). Huge thanks to Wendy for this find.

Kate Hanney is a writer of young adult realistic, gritty fiction.  I go more for the paranormal, but I'm finding more and more writers of realistic fiction I admire.  Kate Hanney is one of those writers.

There is nothing earth-shattering going on in this book: it's about two kids from opposite sides of the track who fall in love and all the difficulties they face trying to stay together.  So, yeah, the Romeo and Juliet storyline.  But Hanney makes it feel earth-shattering.  She got me right in there.  Anna is the little rich girl who can do nothing right and Jay is a pot-smoking petty criminal from a violent home.  After committing a crime, instead of prison, sixteen-year-old Jay and a friend are sentenced to a work program.  Jay is sent to help out in the stables on Anna's parents' estate.  Anna is young, extremely lonely and rather lost.  While her parents give her everything she could physically want, their emotional support borders on neglect. She falls for Jay practically from the minute she meets him because he is one person who seems to notice and care that she exists. And Jay, for once in his life, is told he is worth something.  Anna makes him feel it.

Hanney writes in the first-person point of view and leaves little out. I felt gut-wrenchingly close to these two.  Any plot coincidences or "contrivances" didn't matter to me because I just desperately wanted Jay and Anna to be together!  I cried at parts and stayed up late to finish it.

It gets five stars from me.  Buy it on Amazon.

Source: http://www.katiehayoz.com

November: Write It. Read It. Clean It.

Clean out your E-reader Challenge Sign-up You probably already know that November is NanoWrimo -- where you write a novel in a month.  Or 50,000 words worth, anyways.  I intend to beef up my word count this month.  But November is also Clean Out Your E-Reader Month!  Those free or nearly free books you have piling up on your Kindle?  Time to read them! 

Fantasy is More Fun and Because Reading is Better than Real Life are hosting this blog hop/challenge, so be sure to check out their blogs as well as the others participating. 

I'm not a book blogger so why did I decide to participate?  Well,  because :
1. My buddy Lexxie at (un)Conventional Bookviews told me I should, and when she talks I listen.
2. I just put Untethered out there for free.  I know how it feels to realize that your book is languishing on some one's Kindle.  So...
3. I wanted to help out other authors by reading and reviewing those books on my e-reader!

Here are five of the freebies I intend to read:

Someone Different by Kate Hanney
One Ghost Per Serving by Nina Post
Girl Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie by C.A. Verstaete
Deer In Headlights by Staci Hart
True of Blood by Bonnie Lamer

November here I come!  50,000 words to write!  300,000 words to read! (Way too much to clean.)
I will keep you posted on my progress.

Source: http://www.katiehayoz.com/2013/10/november-write-it-read-it-clean-it-coyer.html


Obitchuary - Stephanie Hayes Just pure fun.


Rapeseed - Nancy Freund Literary fiction is not my thing. I go for more fast-paced paranormal YA. But I think it's a good thing to stretch my brain cells every once in a while and read something out-of-the-ordinary for me. And every once in a while I'm glad I did. Rapeseed made me glad to have read out of my comfort zone.

I give this book five stars because the writing was seriously stellar. The story wasn't perfect. I did have some issues with the characters and motivations and some threads I didn't really understand. But the writing carried me past that. There were so many moments when I stopped after reading a sentence and just shook my head at how well it was wrought. The dialogue, too, at times was witty and funny and dynamic. As a writer myself, this is the kind of word-crafting I fully admire. I will for sure check out other books Nancy Freund writes.

Slammed (Slammed, #1)

Slammed (Slammed, #1) - Colleen Hoover What is there to say about Slammed except "Oh my freaking God, it was good!" Colleen Hoover is an awesome writer and has mastered the art of making the reader want to turn the page. Slammed is brilliant. Will in Slammed is my kind of hero. LOVE him. I had a few issues with Holder in Hopeless (found him too stalker-like/violent for my taste) but Will is the kind of guy to fall for. Add good writing, great story-telling, and some humor and you've got yourself a fab read.

Running (The Empowered Series)

Running (The Empowered Series Book 1) - Rhiannon Douglas I had fun reading this! Every chapter was a cliffhanger. And I am now waiting to read book two!
Where Bluebirds Fly - Wendy Storer LOVED this book. Wendy Storer is an author who has managed to convince me that pure, simple books about relationships and discovery are just as exciting as ones that deal with the end of the world. Beautifully written. Beautifully executed. A middle grade novel that even adults can enjoy.

Bring Me Sunshine

Bring Me Sunshine - Wendy Storer Normally, I'm into dark fiction with a paranormal bend for the older YA crowd. But every once in a while a book that is not in my usual repertoire blows me away. Bring Me Sunshine is refreshing -- a novel for both younger and older readers, it somehow manages to be both heart-wrenching and uplifting at the same time. There's no love triangle, no vampires, no sex, and no swearing. But it has a lot: it's a story about love and fear and family and illness and responsibility. Who needs vampires?!?
The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories - Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff, Tessa Gratton I don't usually go for short stories, but since I like these authors I thought I'd read this collection of their stories. I enjoyed it. It was fun to read and inspired me to check out more short works.

The Mind Readers (The Mind Readers, #1)

The Mind Readers (The Mind Readers, #1) - Lori Brighton Though there were some things about the characters that drove me nuts in this book, overall I really enjoyed it. And I would read the next book in the series.

The Slender Man

The Slender Man - Dexter Morgenstern This book was given to me in the YA group giveaway.

First of all I want to say I think this writer has real potential. The plot is solid and he managed to set it up in a way that created mystery and tension which is not easy to do. However, some of the other issues in the book kept me from rating it higher.

The book needs a good editor. Both for grammar/style mistakes(example: there should be paragraph breaks for dialogue)and especially for content. There is too much superfluous information in the novel that loses the reader. For example, the author might want to think about completely dropping the first two chapters. We learn about the main characters flossing habits and how everyone's hair is cut but are not pulled into the story. He could lose readers here because there are too many banal things happening and too many characters introduced but little tension. Luckily, things pick up a bit in Chapter 3.

The voice of the main character comes off as too young for sixteen -- she has the feel of a girl. However, that probably would not have bothered me so much had we gotten right into the thick of the story and stayed there throughout.

From what I can tell, the author of this novel is young and therefore can learn from the editing errors in this book what not to do for the next one. Were this book tighter and more streamlined, it could be a nail biter!

Sailing to Jessica

Sailing to Jessica - Kelly  Watts A friend of mine gave me this book to read, and when I saw that it involved sailing I have to be honest : I inwardly groaned. I am not the audience for this kind of book. Even so, I read it and am so glad I did. There was a lot to enjoy! Part travelogue, part memoir, part craziness (they sailed around the world without actually knowing how to sail!) Sailing to Jessica holds nothing back. Not only are Kelly and Paul on the ride of their life in their sailboat, their relationship and desire to build a family has as many ups and downs as a Pacific storm. They are maddening, touching, and brave. We cringe, we bite our nails, we cry and we laugh. A book about the human spirit, luck, fate and the things we do with our backs to the wall.