Sunday, April 20, 2014

Week in Review: 4/13-4/19


Books I've Bought/received

* Passion's Sacred Dance by Juli D. Revezzo- eCopy -Author

* My Soul Immortal by Jen Printy- eCopy- Author

* Angel Kin by Tricia Skinner- eCopy- Netgalley via promotion

* A Vampire's Promise by Carla Susan Smith- eARC- NetGalley

* Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews- eARC- Publisher via Netgalley

Books I've Read

Vampire's Thirst by Cynthia Garner
My Soul Immortal by Jen Printy
Angel Kin by Tricia Skinner
A Vampire's Promise by Carla Susan Smith
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
Trusting an Angel by Missy Jane

Reviews Posted

Frozen Desires by Jessie Donovan
The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

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* New Releases for the week. Was there anything you were looking forward to reading?

* Monday- Guest Blog for Living Dead Girl by Nessie Strange

* Tuesday- Guest Blog and Giveaway for Shadows of Fate by Angela Dennis

* Wednesday- Interview and Giveaway for The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher

* Friday- Promo and Giveaway for Incarnate by Anton Strout

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* Did you know you can follow UFI on these other sites?

You can also add me (as in Stacy) to your friends on these sites if you're on them.
 
 * I love comments so if you see something you like (or not) please comment away and let me know.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Review: Frozen Desires by Jessie Donovan

Frozen Desires
Release Date: February 24, 2014
Publisher: LHK
ISBN:   0989733645
ISBN13: 9780989733649
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source:Author
Camilla Melini is a high-ranking soldier with an organization fighting to free elemental magic users. Her latest assignment is to find one of the legendary elemental Four Talents, and she’s determined to get in and out of Mexico as quickly as possible to avoid running into the man who nearly destroyed her life. But when the dangerous man from her past finds her, Cam must work with Marco Alvarez, a man she’d dismissed as a playboy, to prevent the the powerful magic of the Talents from falling into the wrong hands. She never expected the charming playboy to be a cunning warrior worthy of her heart...

Marco Alvarez is sent to Mexico with two goals—to watch Cam’s back and to investigate a series of arson fires targeting former AMT prison employees. But when a shadow-shifter shows up looking for Cam, Marco decides he needs to stick close to her to help her mission succeed. As he gets to know the strong-willed woman, he’s torn between telling her the truth of his elemental magic and keeping the others who share his secret safe. But when Cam sacrifices herself to save her colleagues, Marco must expose the secret of his elemental magic or risk losing the only woman who can match both his passion and his strength.

Book 2 in the Asylum for Magical Threats series features Camilla and Marco. Camilla is Kiarra's sister, we were introduced to both her and Marco in book 1.

Camilla is sent on a mission with her team to Mexico. She has no clue that Marco was sent to keep an eye on her and when she finds out she is anything but happy about it. Marco hides his real self behind a flirty, man whore attitude. He can't really get close to anyone because he holds secrets that can't get out. Cam threatens to break him though and he can't help but try and win her over. I have to say that Camilla and Marco ended up being pretty entertaining.  They bicker a lot but they are very attracted to each other, Marco is the chaser while Cam does everything to push him away. They end up growing close and when Camilla is taken by someone from her past, Marco does everything to get her back. I don't think either of them expected to fall so hard and fast for each other.

There is a secondary story that focuses on Millie (Jaxton's sister from book 1) and Giovanni (Kiarra and Camilla's brother). I don't see any mention of them having their own story so I assume their secondary story lines will continue in future books as well. There isn't enough yet for me to give an opinion on them. I know the background will be needed, it just isn't yet exciting enough for me.

So far I am really enjoying this series. The world is original and grabs your attention. We get a great story with each book that connects to that last but holds its own. I would suggest starting with book 1 so you don't miss out on the great world building that happens in BLAZE OF SECRETS. I see mention of two more books on Jessie's website.

I gave it 4/5 stars

* This book was provided free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Promo & Giveaway: Incarnate by Anton Strout

Urban Fantasy author Anton Strout is pleased to announce the third and final installment of his Spellmason Chronicles, INCARNATE, coming to readers' bookshelves and e-readers on September 30th from Penguin/Ace Books. Like the two previous books in the series, ALCHEMYSTIC and STONECAST, the book will focus on spellmason Alexandra Belarus, who has the ability to give stone life-like qualities, and Stanis, the centuries-old gargoyle who has sworn to protect her. At the end of STONECAST, readers were left at a point of high tension with lots of questions still unanswered. INCARNATE promises to deliver answers by way of a fast-paced adventure with all the action and snarky humor Strout's fans have grown to love.

You can find the Spellmason Chronicles on Amazon.com and other online booksellers. 

 
 

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Born in the Berkshire Hills, Strout currently lives in the haunted corn maze that is New Jersey (where nothing paranormal ever really happens, he assures you). He's the author of the Simon Canderous urban fantasy series and the Spellmason Chronicles, both for Ace Books, as well as many short tales published in anthologies by DAW Books.

In his scant spare time, Strout is a sometimes actor, sometimes musician, occasional RPGer, and the world's most casual and controller smashing video gamer. He currently works in the exciting world of publishing, which he assures is as glamorous as it sounds.

Find Anton and his books
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Incarnate
The Spellmaster Chronicles #3
HITTING ROCK BOTTOM

When Alexandra Belarus discovered her family’s secret ability to breathe life into stone, she uncovered an entire world of magic hidden within New York City—a world she has accidentally thrown into chaos. A spell gone awry has set thousands of gargoyles loose upon Manhattan, and it’s up to Lexi and her faithful protector, Stanis, to put things right.

But the stress of saving the city is casting a pall over Lexi and Stanis’s relationship, driving them to work separately to solve the problem. As Stanis struggles to unite the gargoyle population, Lexi forges unlikely alliances with witches, alchemists and New York’s Finest to quell an unsettling uprising led by an ancient and deadly foe long thought vanquished.

To save her city, Lexi must wield more power than ever before with the added hope of recovering a mysterious artifact that could change her world—and bring her closer to Stanis than she ever thought possible…




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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

The Forever Song
Author:Julie Kagawa
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Blood of Eden Book #3
ISBN:  0373211120
ISBN13: 9780373211128
Genre: YA/ Dystopian
Review Copy Source:NetGalley
VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

MONSTER

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.
 *Spoilers from THE ETERNITY CURE*

FOREVER SONG was not my favorite book of the series. As we know from the ending of THE ETERNITY CURE, Zeke is still alive and is now a vampire. Allie doesn't know this and the first part of the book is spent with her no longer fighting her vampire but embracing it and hell bent on revenge against Sarren.

It wasn't too shocking to see Allie embrace the coldness of her vampire. After what she has been through to get where she is and then losing the one person that she loved with everything in her she just kinda cracked. She did come to her senses before she ever learned the truth and started to change herself back into the person she was. It definitely showed me how strong of a person she has become.

I unfortunately found myself bored at many points throughout THE FOREVER SONG. The pace just wasn't up to snuff with the previous books and there was a lot of repetition with very few surprises. On a side note, I was really able to enjoy Jackal in book 3. You see a different side of him and I enjoyed every bit of his character.

The ending was just OK. I didn't feel as strongly about it as I thought I should have. Everything was concluded I just felt like it was still missing something or maybe I was still waiting for something to happen. Overall the series was still worth reading.

I gave it 3/5 stars

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Interview & Giveaway: The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher

UFI welcomes Sharon Lynn Fisher Author of The Ophelia Prophecy. Thanks for Joining us!!


What can you tell my readers about yourself that they might not know from looking on your bio or reading in another interview?
 
That gets harder and harder as the book tour rolls on, so you are going to get something totally random! I have in recent years developed a bit of an obsession with gingers. My boyfriend and his daughter are gingers, as well as one of my favorite friends, a giant of a soccer-playing chemist from Manchester, England. Possibly it all started when I read OUTLANDER. Or when I went all fangirl over Irish singer/songwriter Glen Hansard (The Frames, Swell Season). Anyhow I love looking at photos of gingers, and have learned all sorts of interesting facts. Such as the fact blue-eyed redheads are the rarest combination — they’re double-recessives. I also recently wrote a piece of sci-fi romance flash fiction that features a redheaded paladin.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?
 
Time that I can really call my own is fairly rare. I have a 7-year-old daughter, a relationship, and two jobs (author, and senior editor and partner for a romance/erotica short story site called SilkWords). So with some of my free time I attempt to keep my head on straight with a regular yoga and meditation practice. And my favorite way to totally slack is TV. Some current favorites are Orphan Black, True Detectives, Mad Men, and Downton Abbey.

What is your Favorite part of writing? 
 
Probably everyone says this, but those times when I’m really in the zone. That is the true crack of writing. We put up with writer’s block, deadline anxiety, rejection, and all the rest, for those rare and precious moments of bliss when the story is flowing through us without effort. When we’re nothing more than an open channel for creativity.

A close second would be when a reader/reviewer really *gets* one of my books.

Do you have any certain routines you must follow as you write?
 
I never sit down to write without tea or coffee. I almost always drink decaf these days, so this is more a ritual than a drug habit. I also typically run some background noise, such as rainycafe.com. And when my own company and my freaky orange cat start to drive me batty, I pack up and go to a coffee shop. I’m a serial monogamist with coffee shops. I fall in love with one and go there every time, no matter how inconvenient the location, until I fall in love with another one. My current affair is with a place called Neptune. They have very complicated, highbrow coffee varieties (because Seattle) and the most fragrant jasmine tea ever.

What are some of your Favorite books or Authors in the Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Genres?
 
I love Skyler White (AND FALLING, FLY and THE INCREMENTALISTS). Her voice is lush and amazing. I think she and I were separated at birth; we both write speculative stories spiced with romance and geeky goodness, and we both have crazy hair.

I also really like Kat Richardson’s heroine, Harper, (the Greywalker series) and Darynda Jones’s reaper, Charley Davidson. Darynda and I were both paranormal finalists for the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award in 2009. She beat me. But she’s adorable, so it’s okay.

How would you pitch The Ophelia Prophecy to someone who has not heard of it before?
 
It’s a post-apocalyptic, fast-paced Romeo and Juliet story with a vivid setting and plenty of suspense, plus a slow-burn romance with a big payoff.
 
Can you tell us a little bit about the world that The Ophelia Prophecy is set in? 
 
The setting is post-apocalyptic Earth. The hero’s race — the Manti, genetically engineered beings created by man — have unleashed a virus that all but wiped out humanity. The heroine hails from the last human city, Sanctuary, located in the Utah desert. The hero hails from the Manti capital city of Granada, which is culturally rich and fascinating even in the real world, and really comes alive (literally in some cases) under the Manti’s Gaudi-inspired enhancements.

Do you have a favorite scene in The Ophelia Prophecy?
 
I think I’d have to say the opening chapter, because it really sets up the dynamics between the hero, Pax, the heroine, Asha, and Pax’s sister and pilot, Iris. We also get a first glimpse into this strange new world, a taste of the sexual and emotional tension to come, and a sense of the mystery that will perplex the main characters for the first half of the book.

Which character was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about?
 
Asha was the hardest to write. She has partial amnesia for the first half of the book, and when her memory returns, the way her character has developed in the meantime has to be reconciled with the person she was before the memory loss.

I had the most fun with Pax’s sister Iris, who is part human, part praying mantis, and looks sort of like a futuristic fairy. She’s smart, sarcastic, and unpredictable. And I LOVED writing Banshee, Pax’s ship. She’s a blend of plant and insect DNA and artificial intelligence, and she becomes sentient in the early part of the story.

What Other Projects can we look forward to reading from you?
 
I have another new book coming out early next year, ECHO 8. Here is an unofficial blurb from my web site:

The fate of two worlds hangs in the balance as three lives entangle: Jake, a man shifted to an alternate Earth, where he must drain energy from others to survive. Tess, the parapsychologist trying to save him. Ross, the FBI agent torn between duty and his love for Tess.
 
It’s my first love triangle, and I had a blast writing it.

I’ve also started something new that I don’t want to say too much about for now. It’s set in Portland and blends art, mythology, physics, and reincarnation. I’m very excited about it!

Thank you for having me on UFI!
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I write books for the geeky at heart — sci-fi flavored stories full of adventure and romance. I have a passion for world-building and twisty plots, and themes that recur in my writing include what it means to be human and symbiosis in human relationships.
  • Awards: RWA RITA finalist, 3-time RWA Golden Heart finalist.
  • Labels: Aries. INFJ. Geek Mom. 
  • Home hobbies: Mountain biking, hiking, climbing, finding new restaurants.
  • Away hobbies: World travel and road trips to Oregon.
  • Staying sane: Yoga and meditation.
  • Vices: Baked goods, Irish tea, champagne, and craft beers.
  • Favorite color: Green. Blue. Pink. Yellow. Teal. Aw hell. 
  • First accomplishment as a writer: Honorable mention for "Ice Age Adventure" from Cricket Magazine (age 10).
Find Sharon and her books
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The Ophelia Prophecy
Our world is no longer our own. We engineered a race of superior fighters -- the Manti, mutant humans with insect-like abilities. Twenty-five years ago they all but destroyed us. In Sanctuary, some of us survive. Eking out our existence. Clinging to the past.

Some of us intend to do more than survive.
* * *
Asha and Pax -- strangers and enemies -- find themselves stranded together on the border of the last human city, neither with a memory of how they got there.

Asha is an archivist working to preserve humanity’s most valuable resource -- information -- viewed as the only means of resurrecting their society.

Pax is Manti, his Scarab ship a menacing presence in the skies over Sanctuary, keeping the last dregs of humanity in check.

Neither of them is really what they seem, and what humanity believes about the Manti is a lie.

With their hearts and fates on a collision course, they must unlock each other's secrets and forge a bond of trust before a rekindled conflict pushes their two races into repeating the mistakes of the past.
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US/Canada

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Guest Blog & Giveaway: Shadows of Fate by Angela Dennis

UFI welcomes Angela Dennis Author of Shadows of Fate. Thanks for Joining us!!

I’m so excited to have the opportunity to do a guest post on Urban Fantasy Investigations. Since I love BuzzFeed top ten lists, I thought it would be fun to put together a list for Shadows. Here you go, enjoy!

Ten Random Facts about Shadows of Fate
 
1. Brenna drinks her coffee out of a mug that reads “Blood Suckers Rock.” It’s hot pink.

2. Brenna and Lucy have a weekly poker game where they use moon pies as money. It’s the only currency Lucy will accept.

3. Lucy prefers chocolate moon pies. She will only eat the vanilla ones if she’s desperate.

4. Although Hilda is a ghost, she has found a way to eat solid food. She loves orange rolls.

5. IRT Headquarters is located underground in a former nuclear fall-out shelter.

6. Before Marissa took on the role of housemother, she was Brenna’s partner at the IRT.

7. Mira was an attorney who worked as a prosecutor for the IRT. She was forced to quit when she was made a vampire because she couldn’t control her blood rage.

8. Several years before the start of Shadows, Brenna saved Sam’s life. To thank her, he cleaned up his act and became a semi law abiding incubus.

9. Gray draws his power from the elements. He is weakest when he is inside a building.

10. The IRT always sends its hunters out in pairs. The team Brenna and Gray piece together is the first of its kind.
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Angela Dennis lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, son and a sheltie with a hero complex. When she is not at her computer crafting stories, she can be found feeding her coffee addiction, playing peek-a-boo, or teaching her son about the great adventures found only in books.



Find Angela and her books
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Shadows of Fate
Shadow Born #1
Samhain Kobo Amazon BN 
 Chapters iTunes Amazon.es
Redemption lies beyond the veil between truth and lies.

After witnessing her husband’s brutal murder, Brenna Baudouin lost control of her Shadow Bearer powers and wreaked havoc on her home world. Her penance: one hundred years policing hordes of supernatural misfits that spilled onto the Earthly plane after a cataclysmic war.

She’s on a routine exorcism run when she learns she’s been assigned a new partner. But there’s something about this Shadow Bearer that sparks her suspicions. Particularly when people closest to her start turning up as piles of ash.

Gray Warlow holds tight to the glamour that allows him to get close to the woman on whom he plans to wreak vengeance for betraying his people. Yet as he skillfully manipulates his way past her distrust, he begins to see her not as the heartless monster he was led to believe, but a strong, vulnerable woman.

As they work to put together the pieces of a killer’s macabre puzzle, an attraction deeper than blood and bone flares between them. And they must reveal their deepest secrets to avoid becoming the final targets,

Product Warnings
A thrill ride of supernatural proportions. Contains violent battle scenes, nail-biting suspense, crazy hot sexual tension, and enough twists and turns to make your head spin.
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Tour Wide


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New Releases: 4/13-4/19


Mon April 14th

 Silver Skin (Cold Iron #2) by D.L. McDermott

Tue April 15th
 
 Deliver Me by Kate Jarvik Birch 
 Frozen (Taken #2) by Erin Bowman
 House of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

Happy Reading!