Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Review: Heir of Illaria by Dyan Chick

Heir of Illaria
Author: Dyan Chick
Release Date: January 23, 2017
Publisher: Illaria Publishing
Illaria Book #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

In Illaria, there is a fate worse than death.

As long as I can remember, I’ve been taught to fear the Necromancer King. He controls the kingdom of Illaria with dark sorcery and the constant threat of his undead army. I never thought I’d have reason to cross his path. Everything changed the day his guards tried to kill me. That’s when I found out my whole life has been a lie. By joining a resistance group called the White Ravens, I’ve claimed new roles. Princess of Illaria, sorceress in training, and threat to the Necromancer King.

It didn't take me long to start enjoying HEIR OF ILLARIA and the characters quickly grew on me, but there were a few things that kept book one in the Illaria series from being a total hit for me.

Wilona was easy to like. She was raised to think she was just a normal girl and ends up finding out that she is actually a princess and the true heir to the throne. Wilona is a bit naive and very innocent, but she grows from weak to strong from start to finish of the story.

Although we have seen the whole 'normal girl is really royalty' storyline before, I still enjoyed the plot of HEIR OF ILLARIA. I enjoyed the progress that both the story and the characters made and I also enjoyed the world that everything took place in.

Now for the not so awesome parts. I found the romance a bit lackluster. It was missing the zing I look for in a romance. There is definitely room for that zing to grow, but so far I'm missing it. Another thing was the pace. For most of the book the pace was great, but there were times that it went a little too fast and I felt like the details just weren't there. These issues weren't huge enough to ruin the story, but they were worth mentioning.

I definitely enjoyed HEIR OF ILLARIA enough to want to find out what would happen next for Wilona and the rest of her allies in book two, ORACLE OF ILLARIA.

I gave it 3.5/5 stars

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

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Promo: Crisis Alert by Mary Abshire

Time Machine Backups:Alliance Series:Crisis Alert:Crisis art:DivineJusticeBanner copy 1.jpg

Crisis Alert
Divine Justice #3
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Demons are growing in mass numbers and destroying vampires, mankind's protectors. To stop an outbreak of demons, the best field agents from the Divine Syndicate and Union of Justice must work together.

Anna and Zale hit the streets of Indianapolis to locate the demon masters and end the bloodshed. Although Zale holds biases against vampires, he's impressed by Anna's strong morals and commitment to saving the human race. He's drawn to her in a way he's never felt before. The need to protect her thrives deep in his soul. Anna can't deny her attraction to Zale. Captivated by the werewolf's nobility and compassion, she considers giving in to her heart's desire. But preventing an outbreak must come first.

Anna and Zale's struggles increase when the vampire leaders demand deadlines for exorcising the masters and reducing the demon population. Vampires are outraged over the increased destruction of their kind and want revenge. But killing humans is a crime. The UoJ will have to cease helping the DS to serve justice on those who break the law.

In a race against time, Anna and Zale must find the masters to avoid more carnage and the damnation of humanity. Their devotion to their mission and each other prevails as they encounter dire circumstances. But can they stop evil from ruling the Earth?

Excerpt #2:

Hot and wet from his shift, Zale pushed his wet hair back. He felt much better now, stronger and full of energy. The pain in his hip had disappeared. The wound had healed and left behind a small pink scar. Anna had done a good job of extracting the bullet.
He brought his gaze to her. Her eyes were as wide as saucers as she stared at his naked body. Surely she'd seen plenty of men before.
She blinked and lowered her gaze away from him. "I'm so sorry."
He stepped toward her. "Told you, I have nothing to hide." He stopped in front of her and lifted her chin.
Dark circles had formed under her eyes. They hadn't been there earlier. Her skin seemed whiter and tighter around her cheekbones. The aroma of her blood filled his nose.
"I'm so embarrassed. It's just… Well, I've never seen a werewolf change before. And you have such a solid...body." Cheeks turning a light shade of pink, she pressed her lips together and looked away from him.
Her compliment revved his heart. From the way she blushed, he suspected she enjoyed his package.
"It's your turn to strip now," he said.
She veered her gaze back at him. "What?"
"Take off your clothes."
She lifted her palm up. "I don't think so. In fact, you should put yours on."
He couldn't help but grin. "You have bullets in you. I can take them out."
"I have nurses who can help me."
"Not the way I can." He curled his lips on one side.
She gaped at him. "I'm sure you can, but this isn't the time. The bullets—"
"Need to come out. I can do it. I have experience."
"How is it you've never been shot but you can remove bullets?" she crossed her arms.
"I helped a few buddies over the years. It's not unusual for us to get shot at least once every fifty or so years from hunters. I've just been lucky so far. Now, let's stop wasting time. I can help you." He took hold of the sides of her shirt and lifted.
She abruptly stopped him. "I can undress myself, thank you." She stepped back from him.
When she didn't remove her top, he said, "You have nothing to be bashful about. I've seen plenty of women naked."
"I'm not bashful."
"Then take off your clothes."
"I have nurses who can tend to my wounds."
"What are you afraid of?" He stepped closer to her.
"Then take off your clothes and let me help you. The longer you wait, the more blood you lose."


Mary is a romantic at heart and a lifetime lover of the paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction. When she's not working or binge watching television, she enjoys creating fantastical stories with vampires, demons, werewolves, angels, and/or other supernatural creatures. She often adds mystery and suspense to spice up her books. For the most part, she lives a quiet life in Indianapolis. She aspires to become a full time writer one day. She also hopes to meet a vampire, werewolf, or angel who will sweep her off her feet. Hey, a girl can dream. And Mary does.

Find Mary and her books

New Releases: 8/20-8/26

Tue. Aug. 22nd

Happy Reading!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Review: Ashes of the Phoenix by Jess Haines

Ashes of the Phoenix
Author: Jess Haines
Release Date: May 12, 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
ISBN:   0988972824
ISBN13: 9780988972827
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

Legend says a phoenix will rise again—but all that remains of the immortal bird are ashes and whispered fairy tales...

Lyra Adams enjoys her job as a rare books dealer, but when an angry wizard barges into her store and demands she fork over a unique tome from the antiquities section, she's not about to let him get away with grand larceny without a fight.

Except it's suddenly very difficult to defend her wares, seeing as the wizard turned her into some kind of weird red bird by flinging a handful of ashes in her face.

Her only hope of returning to her normal, human self lies in the hands of the one man she never wanted to see again: her lying, stealing, sorcerous scumbag ex, James Pierce. The same light-fingered thief who tried to steal that very same tome from her a few days before.

She knows she can’t trust James with her heart or her inventory. Can she trust him to turn her back?

This is a really hard review to write because I usually LOVE anything Jess Haines puts out into the world, but ASHES OF THE PHOENIX just didn't do it for me.

Although ASHES OF THE PHOENIX is full of action, I couldn't get into the characters or storyline enough to enjoy it. With the length of this novella, there wasn't enough time to really introduce and develop the characters of the story. I think I would have liked it more if it was longer and a little more in-depth. The storyline was interesting, but I just needed more out of it to get me excited.

The romance aspect of ASHES OF THE PHOENIX also fell flat for me. I mean, Lyra was a phoenix for most of the book, so it's not like any romance could happen anyways, but the love interest was the ex-boyfriend that tried to steal from her. He does do some redeeming things, so maybe I'm being too hard on him.

ASHES OF THE PHOENIX just needed more. More character development, more world building, more explanations and a little less action maybe to fit it all in.

I gave it 2/5 stars

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

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Week in Review: 8/13-8/19

Books Received for Review

White Lily by Juliette Cross
Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter

Books I've Read

Oracle of Illaria by Dyan Chick
Ashes Reborn by Keri Arthur

Reviews Posted

No Good Deed by Kara Connolly

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

* Monday- Interview + Giveaway for Kinglet by Donna Migliaccio

* Wednesday- Cover Reveal + Giveaway for Treasured by a Tiger by Felicity Heaton

* Friday- Promo for The Dragon’s Playlist by Laura Bickle


* 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, August 18, 2017

Promo: The Dragon’s Playlist by Laura Bickle

The Dragon's Playlist
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From the author of THE HALLOWED ONES and NINE OF STARS comes a new novel blending the magical and the real…

“This is war,” the dragon said. And she believed him.

Di fled rural West Virginia to study music and pursue a bright future as a violinist. But when a mining accident nearly kills her father, she is summoned back home to support her family. Old ghosts and an old flame emerge from the past. When Di gets a job as a bookkeeper at the same mine where her father worked, she is drawn into a conflict pitting neighbor against neighbor as the mine plans an expansion to an untouched mountain.

If the mining company’s operation goes forward, there will be more at stake than livelihoods or the pollution of the land: Di has discovered a dragon lives deep within Sawtooth Mountain, and he is not happy with this encroachment upon his lair. When catastrophe strikes, Di must choose between her family’s best interests and protecting the dragon – the last surviving bit of magic in Di’s shrinking world.

In every fight, sides are chosen. And there can be no yearning for what has been left behind.
Full eBook Available at Pronoun


Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology-Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs. Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.

Find Laura and her books

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review: No Good Deed by Kara Connolly

No Good Deed
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
ISBN:   0385743939
ISBN13: 9780385743938
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

Fans of Dorothy Must Die will love this reimagining of the legend of Robin Hood. Girl power rules supreme when a modern girl finds herself in the middle of a medieval mess with only her smart mouth and her Olympic-archer aim to get her home.

Ellie Hudson is the front-runner on the road to gold for the U.S. Olympic archery team. All she has to do is qualify at the trials in jolly old England. When Ellie makes some kind of crazy wrong turn in the caverns under Nottingham Castle—yes, that Nottingham—she ends up in medieval England.

Ellie doesn’t care how she got to the Middle Ages; she just wants to go home before she gets the plague. But people are suffering in Nottingham, and Ellie has the skills to make it better. What’s an ace archer to do while she’s stuck in Sherwood Forest but make like Robin Hood?

Pulled into a past life as an outlaw, Ellie feels her present fading away next to daring do-gooding and a devilishly handsome knight. Only, Ellie is on the brink of rewriting history, and when she picks up her bow and arrow, her next shot could save her past—or doom civilization’s future.

NO GOOD DEED was an imaginative spin on the Robin Hood story.

Did you ever think that Robin Hood would be totally kick-butt as a girl? Well meet Ellie Hudson, U.S. Olympic archer extraordinaire, who finds herself transported to middle age Nottingham. It was extremely easy to like Ellie. Not only did I find her to be both strong and smart, she was fun to follow during her adventures.

The different cast of characters was introduced at a nice pace to keep you from being overwhelmed. I thought the world building could have been stronger, but the storyline moved along nicely. I really enjoyed how events turned out and it was fun to see enemies turn into secret allies when you least expected it.

NO GOOD DEED is a standalone and ended on a great note, but I would read more of Ellie's story if there happened to be a sequel. 

I gave it 3.5/5 stars

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