Monday, May 23, 2016

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb by Lexi George

UFI welcomes Author Lexi George. Thanks for Joining us!!

A Radio Interlude With The Hannah Hag

This is Simon Spann, host of Supernatural Scoop on station BEHR, live from Hannah, Alabama. It’s the witching hour, and our special guest today is the Howling Hag of Catman Road, also known as the Hannah Hag. For those of you unfamiliar with the tale, the Hag and her  . . . er . . . bloody appetites have been the subject of urban legend in Behr County since the 1800s. Sitting beside her in my studio this morning, I can honestly say the survivor accounts of her monstrous appearance do not exaggerate. In my twenty-plus years as a paranormal investigator, she is the ugliest creature I have ever encountered.  Picture, if you will, a hideous old woman with scabrous skin, sharp, black teeth, and vicious claws. Truly frightening.

Thank you for being with us, Ms. Hag. (pauses) Addressing you as “hag” seems rude. Have you another name?

Hag: Of course I have another name, idjut, but I ain’t telling you. (Hag waves) Hel-lo—monster? There’s a price on my head. Hag will do.
Spann: Um . . . yes. Well, moving along. You requested a spot on our show. What brings you here?

Hag: I’m looking for a thief. There’s a reward in it for anyone who helps me catch her.

Spann: For our listeners, the Hag maintains she is the victim of a crime. Any chance you can tell us the name of the thief, Hag?

Hag: (snorts) Big on names, aintcha, sonny? The gal’s name is Sassy Peterson, and she stole my fairy juice. There’s ten thousand smackeroos in it for anyone with information on her.

Spann: Peterson . . . as in the Petersons, the richest family in Behr County?

Hag: That’s the one. A real perky little do-gooder, this chick. Rainbows and lollipops shooting out her—

Spann: (coughs) Yes, well, can you give our listeners a description of her?

Hag: Petite. Blonde hair. Pretty. A real tasty dish, if you take my meaning. Hangs around with a big, muscular guy named Grim. Easy on the eyes, that one, but dangerous as all get-out. Dalvahni, you know.

Spann: I’m not familiar with the Dalvahni. Are they a local family?

Hag: Hell, no, they ain’t local. They ain’t even from Earth. They’re demon hunters, dim bulb. Immortal, hardnosed and stubborn, and damned nasty when riled. If it weren’t for Grim, I’d have Fairy Puss in my clutches by now.

Spann: “Fairy Puss?”

Hag: A nickname for Sassy. She didn’t just steal my fairy juice. She drank it and got herself fairyfied, the impertinent little twit. (loud crash in the studio) Oops, sorry about the table, but thinking about it gets me steamed.

Spann: Did this Dalvahni fellow aid and abet Sassy Peterson in the theft?

Hag: What? No, but she’s got him wrapped him around her little thumb, all the same. The big oaf calls himself her bodyguard. Don’t that beat all? I mean, what business is it of his?

Spann: I take it this Grim fellow’s pugnacious character has complicated your plans to recover your property?

Hag: You can bet your boots it ain’t helped matters. Guards her like she’s a steak sandwich and he’s a starving man. But Grim Dalvahni won’t stop me from getting what’s mine. I had plans for that fairy juice. Big plans. You think I like going around looking like this and gobbling up little kids? (Hag gives a teary sniff) No, sir. I do not.

Spann: And it is your fervent hope that the medicinal properties of the fairy potion will change you for the better?

Hag: (chuckles) Sweetest little granny you ever seen, as long as I drink my fairy juice.

Spann: I see. Can’t you just get more juice?

Hag: Sure, sure, but it takes time to distill fairies, and I need it NOW.

Spann: I’m afraid I don’t understand. If Sassy drank your juice, how do you plan to get it back?

Hag: For reals? What is this, your first fairy tale? Think about it, slowpoke.

Spann: (gasps) That’s horrible. Surely, you don’t intend to—

Hag: I’m hungry. Whadda you got for eats in this joint?

Spann: I . . . I’m afraid we don’t allow food in the studio.

Hag. That so? You look nice and tender to me, a real treat. Come to mama, big boy.

(Piercing screams and static, followed by dead air.)
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Lexi George writes snarky, Southern-fried paranormal romance for Kensington. Her debut novel, Demon Hunting in Dixie, was released in 2011, and a novella and two more demon hunter books followed. Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar, the third book in the series, was nominated for a RITA in 2014. The fourth book, Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb, is due to be released May 24, 2016. Lexi enjoys reading and writing romance, but her first love is fantasy. A Meddle of Wizards is the story of Raine Stewart, a sheltered, sickly young woman who comes into her own when she’s transported to a magical world, discovers her burgeoning powers as an adept, and faces the evil wizard who killed her parents. Lexi’s day job as an appellate attorney requires reading transcripts filled with murder, mayhem, and worse. Perhaps this is why she enjoys stories filled with humor, action, adventure, and magical creatures. She has a violent aversion to sad movies, having been scarred by Old Yeller at the age of nine. She drinks tea, not coffee, and has never seen The Exorcist, because she is a world-class chicken. She is the third of four children, with all the attendant neuroses.

Find Lexi and her books
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Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb
Demon Hunting #4
Amazon iTunes Google Kobo Nook

 Deep South legends. Deep fried curses. Deep dish revenge . . .

This Debutante Is Having A Ball!

Way down south in the land of cotton, one belle's plans are soon forgotten--when Sassy Peterson drives her Maserati off the road to avoid a deer and lands smack-dab in the proverbial creek without a paddle. The Alabama heiress should have known something weird was going on when she saw the deer's ginormous fangs. Hello, Predator Bambi!

But nothing can prepare her for the leather-clad, muscle-bound, golden-eyed sex god who rescues her. Who wears leather in May? That's just the first of many questions Sassy has when her savior reveals he's a demon hunter named Grim. Also: Why would a troop of fairies want to give her magical powers and rainbow hair? Why would a style-challenged beast called the Howling Hag want to hunt her down?

Most importantly, what's a nice debutante like Sassy doing in a place like this anyway? Besides feeling Grim . . .
Excerpt:


“Sugar,” Sassy murmured. She laid her head on Grim’s shoulder. “Fairies.”
With a drowsy sigh, she relaxed against him and went to sleep.
Grim stilled. A surge of lust hit him, hard and fierce. Sassy smelled delightful, a dizzying combination of summer roses and female. Curling tendrils of her hair lifted to caress his jaw, like flowers reaching for the sun.
I am her sword and shield. The vow rose unbidden in his mind. Here and now I vow to protect her, from anyone or anything that threatens her.
An admirable sentiment, I am sure, the Provider said, but hardly necessary. She leaves tomorrow, and you return to the hunt. That is good, is it not?
Yes, of course.
Then why the hollow ache in his chest?


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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Week in Review: 5/15-5/21



Books Received for Review


Rootbound by Shannon Mayer
Withering Rose by Kaitlyn Davis

Books I've Read

All Fixed Up by Linda Grimes
Rootbound by Shannon Mayer

Reviews Posted

Rylee by Shannon Mayer
Savage Urges by Suzanne Wright
Struck by Amanda Carlson

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

* Monday- Guest Blog + Giveaway for A Midsummer Night’s Mechanical by Kirsten Weiss

* Wednesday- Interview for Phantasma by Efthalia

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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.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Review: Struck by Amanda Carlson

Struck
Release Date: May 24, 2016
Publisher: Self-Published
ISBN13:  9780990392880
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Author
When Phoebe Meadows gets struck by a strange light in the stockroom of Macy’s, life as she knows it flies out the window. As if being hit by lightning isn’t bad enough, she’s accosted in the subway by a man with a missing hand, arrives home to find a raven on her kitchen counter, and her neighbor, Ingrid, shows up dressed like a gladiator hell-bent on protecting her.

Before Ingrid can shuttle her to safety, Phoebe is kidnapped and tossed into one of the Nine Worlds where she’s quickly forced to come to terms with what she is: A valkyrie. The only problem is, she has no idea what that means.

After a narrow escape, she finds an unlikely ally in Loki’s son, Fenrir. Together the valkyrie and the wolf must battle their way back to New York City and reach the valkyrie stronghold where Ingrid is waiting for her. But with danger and obstacles at every turn, she might not live long enough to learn the full truth about who and what she really is…

I really hate that I didn't love STRUCK. It had such a great idea going in, but there were some pretty big issues that kept me from falling in love with the storyline and characters.

I liked the characters enough that I wanted them to make it to the end of STRUCK. Phoebe, although kinda foolish, had an interesting background to learn. I probably would have loved her if she wasn't so ridiculously unwilling to see and believe what was right in front of her face. Because she was so adamant that everything was some huge mistake or joke she got in more trouble and did the stupidest things that I'm surprised she made it past the first couple of chapters. I liked Fenrir and don't really have any big complaints about his character. He seemed to make good decisions and did a good job of protecting Phoebe. There were a few other side characters that seemed to have decent heads on their shoulders as well. The relationship between Phoebe and Fen had it's moments, but I didn't feel there was enough development involved. It was more of an insta-love situation and I thought they needed to grow a bit more than they did for the amount of feelings they were feeling. 

A lot of the dialogue just about killed me. Not only is most everything way over explained, but it felt fake and somewhat forced a lot of the time. The whole book wasn't like that, but enough of it was that it totally ruined the flow for me.

The action is one thing that STRUCK didn't lack. There is danger and fights around every corner of the book which left the characters with very little down time. There were a lot of different nookes and crannies in the world that Carlson created in STRUCK and they were all very well built. I had no problem imagining I was there.

The biggest bummer I had with STRUCK is that I didn't feel the need to read book two when it was over. That is something that I look for in every book I read and if you don't feel that urge it's hard to want to put the next book on your wishlist. Unless I see some reason that will make me think that book two will fix some of my biggest issues —I really do hope I do see something because this series has great potential—, I don't think I will be reading it.

I gave it 2.5/5 stars

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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Review: Savage Urges by Suzanne Wright

Savage Urges
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Montlake ROmance
ASIN:  B018IAZMY2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: NetGally
She’s a lone wolf with a cause.

As a volunteer at a shelter for lone shifters—the same one that rescued her—Makenna Wray has dedicated her life to finding homes for its residents. And when she discovers that a teen in her care is related to Ryan Conner, the broody, handsome-as-sin enforcer of the Phoenix Pack, she’s eager to help connect the two. She just wasn’t prepared to feel a connection of her own.

Lone wolves are loners for a reason—and most of them bad. Or so Ryan assumes until he meets the mysterious Makenna. Quirky and sensual, she seems to enjoy riling him, especially when she refuses to discuss her past. Although there is no mating bond, he’s sure she’s the one. All he has to do is be patient and wait. But when another pack’s sinister Alpha comes sniffing around, threatening Makenna and her shelter, this enforcer is ready to let his wolf off the leash…

I have really enjoyed both The Phoenix Pack series as well as The Mercury Pack series and can't imagine not reading either of them. If you are new to this series I suggest starting from book one of The Phoenix Pack series and stagger it with the Mercury Pack series (in order of release date) to stay on track to read SAVAGE URGES. Both series take place in the same world and include the same characters so in my opinion it is important to read them together and in order to get the full story.

Ryan has always intrigued me so I was happy to see that SAVAGE URGES was his love story. We got to learn more about his background and what made him the grunt-y, unsociable guy he is. Mckenna is the new character to the storyline. She is a lone wolf with a deep seated need to help other loner wolfs be safe and find their places in the world. I really liked McKenna. I was very quickly able to connect with her and care about her character. 

Like any other book in this series, the relationship the characters is HOT. McKenna and Ryan have an immediate connection to each other, but also an immediate annoyance with the other. The step on each others toes and push their ways into the others personal space where the other feels uncomfortable, but they also quickly grow on each other and become a team.

The pack has a very prominent role in the storyline as usual. I love seeing them again and catching up with the past love stories and seeing what they have been up to. The world is great, the characters are always interesting and easy to want to get to know, the action is always plentiful and the mysteries always keep me on my toes. I will continue to read both The Phoenix Pack series and the Mercury Pack Series.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Interview: Phantasma by Efthalia

UFI welcomes Author Efthalia. 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?      

 I’m a bit of a ‘lead foot’ when I drive. I lost my license a few years ago for six months.  It’s amazing how life really slows down when you can’t drive. I’ve also been given the nickname Fangio.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?      

Haha. I think you can guess – reading.

What is your Favorite part of writing?      

When you completely zone out.  It’s a euphoric feeling being immersed in your world and characters.

Do you have any certain routines you must follow as you write?     

Small increments of 20-30 minutes then stop and start again.  

What are some of your Favorite books or Authors in the Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Genres?        

 Karen Marie Moning, Darynda Jones, Jeaniene Frost, Charlaine Harris, P. C. Cast, Nalini Singh and Gena Showalter.  Just the tip of the ice-berg. I have so many.

How would you pitch Phantasma to someone who has not heard of it before?   

High concept =  My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets True Blood

or  
A daughter of a god,
an immortal warrior,
a demi god out for vengeance,
the ultimate sacrifice.

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that Phantasma is set in?

Modern day Charleston and Greece but most of the series will be set in Charleston.

Do you have a favorite scene in Phantasma?

A scene from Chapter 18, where Xen asks Adam to get some of Carissa’s clothing for tracking purposes.

“Yello,” Adam’s voice cheerfully danced in the receiver.  
“I need you to go upstairs to my room and grab any clothes that belong to Carissa.”
“Oooh, do I get to go through the lingerie too? He teased.
Xen growled into the phone.
“Sorry, Xen. I was just kidding.”
“Get the clothes and no lingerie.”
“Not even a bra?”
“Don’t tempt me to break your neck, lykos.”
“Okay, I got it. No lingerie.”
“Clothes only,” Xen bit out.
“Thong?”
Adam!” Xen’s voice shook and his fangs elongated. He’d choke him just for the hell of it.

Which one character out of all your books was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about?  

Adam as you an see he likes to test the limits of all those around him. Very cheeky wolf.

What Other Projects can we look forward to reading from you?

A novella on Xen’s (hero of Phantasma) backstory and book two in the series.  If all goes according to schedule they will both be out before the end of the year.
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Efthalia lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband and two children.

Her passion for writing was cultivated by the stories her mother told her as a child.

She has an MA in Writing and is currently studying the Classics and Archaeology at Sydney University.

Phantasma is her debut novel and the first in the Phi Athanatoi Series.


Find Efthalia and her books
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Phantasma
Amazon Kindle Amazon Print BN
 Carissa Alkippes is the daughter of a god but she doesn't know it. As a cop she's seen her fair share of bad but nothing prepared her for the horror of the world she has been plunged into.

Xen Lyson is the head of the Phi Athanatoi, a group of immortals who have been protecting man for over 2,000 years from the Kakodiamones--demons who want nothing more than to feast on humanity.

Thrown face to face with Xen during a skirmish with the demons, Carissa becomes a pawn in the deadly game of a demi-god who seeks godly powers.
Book Trailer:  https://youtu.be/lHrHeeikoio

Excerpt
From Chapter 2

Xen Lyson’s fingers moved to the pulse point of the woman lying at his feet. Skata! He swore internally. He should have guessed she’d come back for her partner. He’d have to leave her.
Take her. He jerked at the sudden possessiveness that demanded he acquire ownership. She’s yours.
His hand moved to her hair as he pushed the strands back from her face. The pads of his fingers deliberately caressed her cheek. His nostrils flared when the scent of her exotic blood hit his nose. He examined her without delay. A large bump and cut graced the back of her skull. He lifted his fingers to his mouth and tasted her blood. Ambrosia danced over his tongue and warmth spread through every cell in his body.
Dikia mou... she’s mine.
“Xen, we should move.” Kane Hart, his right hand man, brought him out of his strange musings and sudden infatuation. “Bring the truck. Get the clean team. Stack the demon bodies.”
His brow creased in contemplation at what would be the best course of action for the female and her partner. Taking her would risk exposing her to his world. He looked over her body again. Take her. He wanted to give in and do as his mind bid. “Leave these two untouched.”
As the leader of the Phi Athanatoi, an ancient specialist group of vampires and werewolves, he was sworn to protect humankind. Right now, leaving the woman and her wounded partner would be an act of protecting them from the Kakodiamones, the demons that walked amongst man. Bringing them into his world would only paint them as moving targets.
He stood and sheathed his double-edged xiphos. His acute senses picked up the strong smell of demons. Before he could turn, one descended upon him, blade in hand. He braced himself. The impact was inescapable. Slamming into his back, the demon knocked him forward.
“Vlaka!” Xen yelled.
He found his footing quickly, speed and skill on his side. Reaching for his sword, he readied himself for combat. The demon changed tactics when he saw Xen’s weapon. He stopped on the spot, trying to avoid his opponent’s blade.
Xen sneered and bore his fangs at the demon. A threat—one other creatures would acknowledge as to who held the power. The demon stood expressionless.
“Well, come and get me.” Xen coaxed. The demon didn’t move.
Statues...thicker than Greek marble. Xen didn’t need an invitation. His blade hissed through the air, cutting through the demon’s neck and spinal cord, severing his existence. Blood splattered on the already sticky floor. The head thudded on the ground while the body teetered for a second before it too slumped to the concrete.
Kane laid his boot into the beast. “Nice cut, Xen. The bastard didn’t have enough time to blink.”
The lykos let out a growl of satisfaction, but then his demeanor changed, his nostrils expanded at the scent of another demon headed in their direction. He turned in time and swung his double swords, severing the demon’s head, blood gushing over him.
“Damn! I just bought this jacket.” He gave the headless body a kick to let out his frustration. The body flew through the air and landed with a thud when it hit the wall on their right. “Dumbass! When will you demons get it?”
Xen smirked. His friend excelled at the combination of lethal and loyal.




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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Review: Rylee by Shannon Mayer

Rylee
Release Date: October 14, 2016
Publisher: HiJinks Ink Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Urban Fantasy Investigations
Review Copy Source: Author

My name is Rylee and I was a Tracker.

The final battle is over and The Blood of the Lost was spilled. In the aftermath, the humans still have mysteries they call upon me for. Except I can no longer Track and my new abilities terrify me.


A salvage is offered to me, and with it, a chance to redeem myself. A missing girl, her brother desperate to find her. Simple and straightforward, this salvage should be a piece of cake - and a chance to learn some discipline with my powers.

Except the girl is somehow tied to the world of the Elementals, and with that comes a danger I could never have expected.

As I search for her, I realize it is not only her life that is on the line, but my soul and sanity as well, as the voices and unnatural needs in me grow more demanding.

If I am to save us both, I must face the darkness within; and this time, I must do it all by myself.
 

Our hearts were left a bit broken at the end of BLOOD OF THE LOST. Shannon Mayer is giving us a chance to heal them with the first book in The Rylee Adamson Epilogues.

I was a bit hesitant to jump into RYLEE. I absolutely loved the Rylee Adamson series, but it ended and I was content. I was worried that RYLEE would end up like one of those movies where they decide to do a sequel and it totally failed to meet the expectations of everyone that couldn't wait to see it. My hesitations were quickly proved unfounded though as I dived into chapter one. Rylee is back and the story drew me in as all the stories before it. I enjoyed catching up with Rylee and Liam and I really enjoyed seeing the babies after the final battle. Fair warning: Rylee is no longer a tracker and she has a lot to work through from beginning to end of RYLEE. There is a lot of emotion involved and you will probably need some tissue.

I hate this, but I disliked the ending. Why? Because it leaves us with a huge cliffhanger and I hate those. Who doesn't!?! It looks like epilogue two will be from Liam's POV. I love Liam and all, but I will miss being in Rylee's head. I hope we get back to her quickly.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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