Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Review: Veiled Enchantments by Deborah Blake

Veiled Enchantments
Release Date: March 20, 2018
Publisher: InterMix
Veiled Magic Book #3
ASIN:   B0738MHYH8
Genre: Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

In this exciting novel in the Veiled Magic series, Witch and police officer Donata Santori travels to Maine to help solve a deadly mystery, where her magical abilities are tested like never before.

Still reeling from her unwitting involvement in murder and subsequent break up with a half-Dragon art forger, Witch-cop Donata Santori is grateful for the distraction when her ex-lover requests her help. Not only are Magnus's beloved dead suddenly haunting the Ulfhednar shapechangers in his tiny rural hometown in Maine, their patron god Odin has turned his back on them, and the members of their once tight-knit enclave are at each other's throats. Literally.

Magnus is relying on Donata's experience in dealing with the gods, along with her magical ability to summon the dead, to help him unravel this mystery in time to save his clan. Donata only hopes to survive the ordeal so she can return home to the city and her quiet job at the precinct.

But first, she must discover who or what is behind the terrible attacks on the Ulfhednar. And the clock is ticking, in more ways than one...

Magnus shows up on Donata's door asking for help and although she is apprehensive she accompanies him to Maine. 

I honestly don't have a whole lot of feedback when it comes to VEILED ENCHANTMENTS. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but most of what I have to say would spoil things for someone and nobody wants that. I thought Donata was appropriately apprehensive when it came to Magnus after everything she has already been through. I felt the storyline really highlighted the mysteries while also focusing on what Donata wanted in a relationship. There was a good balance. 

Wow Donata and Magnus' connection really flourished in VEILED ENCHANTMENTS. I felt like I really got to know Magnus more in the environment of the book. I liked him before, but I loved him after VEILED ENCHANTMENTS.

We meet a lot of new characters in VEILED ENCHANTMENT and most take a while to really grow on you, but I really enjoyed Magnus' mother. She was so warm and loving in moments where everyone else was anything but to Donata.

I really want more Donata! I hope that this series isn't over, but if it is, it ended well.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Monday, March 19, 2018

Interview + Giveaway: Awakened by D.C. Gambel

UFI welcomes Author D.C. Gambel. 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 dog lover. I can quote to you every line of the Trolls movie.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time? 

Reading. Spending time with my daughter. Finding other creative outlets such as crafting.

What is your Favorite part of writing? 

Quieting the voices. At any given time I have about five ideas floating around in my head. Emptying my mind and then reading what came from it is the best part.

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

Not really. Every book is done differently. The one thing that is a must have though is coffee. It’s the true inspiration.

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

I really enjoyed the Black Rose series by K.L. Bone and the Vampire Mage series by C.N. Crawford. I’ve read most of what both these authors have written.

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

Awakened is about a girl, Evie, who discovers she’s one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Instead of being sent to end the world, the horsemen are a safety feature in the seals to stop the apocalypse. Evie has gone her whole life not being able to be touched until she meets the horsemen who are the first people she’s met that her particular gift doesn’t affect.

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

The world for the Horsemen Chronicles is set where supernaturals are still hidden but are not quite in the dark as we might think. They’ve infiltrated our world and are blended into society.

Do you have a favorite scene in Awakened

I have a few. I think my favorite is when Evie get’s her first kiss.

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

Out of all my books? My favorite was Shawn from The Edge of Forever series. He was fun and made me laugh. The hardest was Cam from Awakened. I needed the right balance of jerk and caring.

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

Well, I’m finishing up with my Edge of Forever series. The final book, The Prophecy, is due out April 17th. I’m in the process of writing book two for The Horsemen Chronicles, Obsidian. I don’t yet have a release date. After that, I’m not sure. I have dozens of ideas floating around. I have been considering taking another dip into the Edge of Forever world again. Until I’m closer to completing the Horsemen Chronicles, I just don’t know. Although the idea of playing around with the Fae has been something I’ve been considering.

D.C. Gambel is a mother, army wife, and a hopeless romantic. Romance has always been her genre of choice whether it’s contemporary, historical, paranormal, or even pushing towards erotica in both reading and writing. When she first decided to try her hand at writing, romance was the obvious choice. Getting lost in a different world, living unimaginable lives is something she strives for, even if it’s just a temporary enjoyment.

Find D.C. and her books

Horsemen Chronicles #1

Evie has lived most of her life as a recluse, terrified that she might hurt someone. On her twenty-first birthday she meets Derek who informs her there’s a reason behind her gifts.

As someone that had to spend her entire life avoiding human contact, learning the truth about her origins as one of the Four Horsemen was a hard pill to swallow. Especially once she realizes that her fellow Horsemen are the only people she’d ever met that can withstand her touch.

The struggle to overcome her seclusion becomes very real when Evie discovers an attraction has sprung up between herself and one of her fellow Horsemen. Nothing good can come from pursuing the allure, especially when she knows that it not only would jeopardize her team, but her heart as well.


“Break it down for us, Cam.”
“I met my informant last night,” he said, leaning between the opening of the front seats. I angled myself to face him so I could hear him better. “He claims that Axel Reese, pack alpha of Summery, was contacted by Asmodeus.”
There was a swirl of profanities, but I was clueless to why. So I asked.
“Asmodeus is one of the seven princes of hell. He’s also the prince of lust. Apparently they were rumored to have met the night the succubus attacked the fraternity party,” Cam went on to explain.
“I’m sure that was no coincidence,” Tyler muttered. “I thought the succubi broke off from Asmodeus decades ago when he started demanding that they worship him as a god.”
“They did, but with the seals being broken the demons of lust are returning to their master in hopes he can protect them from the apocalypse. They don’t even realize that he’ll use them a cannon fodder to save his ass. If Axel really did meet with Asmodeus we need to be prepared for a shift in the packs loyalty.”
“Why not just go to Asmodeus first?” Derek asked keeping his eyes forward.
“Axel would be a lot easier to handle then walking in to Phoenix.”
“Phoenix?” I asked.
“It’s a demon club,” Tyler answered. “We don’t get the warmest reception. Asmodeus owns it.”
“Stole it is more like it,” Derek chimed in. He glanced at me. Seeing the quizzical look he elaborated. “It used to be a safe haven for the powers of good. Demons attacked it as a distraction for whoever is breaking the seals. The club has been in demon hands for almost three decades after two centuries of it being in the hands of good. Only positive thing is the demons can’t put up their wards to keep us out.”
“They’ve tried,” Tyler announced.
“Yes they have,” Cam agreed. All three men chuckled and I felt like I was being left out of the joke.
“Hair of the dog?” I asked when we pulled up outside the dive bar. “I thought you were joking.”
Cam chuckled. “They’re not the most creative bunch.” His hand found the small of my back as we headed to the door. I could feel its warmth seeping though the fabric of my shirt almost like it was melting it away until his skin touched mine. I shook my head subtly clearing those thoughts. “You stay near one of us and we’ll make sure no one touches you. What skin is exposed no one should be touching anyways unless they’re looking for trouble.” The other two nodded in agreement.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Week in Review: 3/11-3/17

Books Received for Review

Secrets of Midnight by Debbie Cassidy
Immortal by Kristin Ping
ISAN by Mary Ting
True Storm by L.E. Sterling

Books I've Read

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton
Everlife by Gena Showalter
Champion of Midnight by Debbie Cassidy
Secrets of Midnight by Debbie Cassidy

Reviews Posted

Guardian's Bond by Rhenna Morgan
Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
Lake Silence by Anne Bishop


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

* Wednesday- Guest Blog for Shadow of the Moon by Kwen D. Griffeth


* 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, March 16, 2018

Review: Guardian's Bond by Rhenna Morgan

Guardian's Bond
Author: Rhenna Morgan
Release Date: March 12, 2018
Publisher: Carina Press
Ancient Ink Book #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

For decades, he’s been alone.
Now, she’s here. His fated mate.
His to win. To protect.
To provide for and pleasure.

Priest Rahandras has lived with the darkness trapped inside himself for years. Betrayed by his own brother and forced to watch his clan’s brutal annihilation, the only thing Priest wants more than to escape the curse that haunts him—as both man and beast—is to rebuild.

Until the mate he’s longed for walks into his life with an elder from his past. She’s everything he’s wished for, and the key to the clan’s very survival.

Kateri Falsen is a woman of logic and facts. While Priest’s cat can sense her arousal, telling her they’re fated won’t be enough. He’ll have to show her his love: with his words, with his actions, and with his body.

Protecting Kateri from the evil trapped inside him is paramount. But when lost clan members are systematically murdered, he’ll have to choose between exposing his mate to his black magic, or risking her as the next victim.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed GUARDIAN'S BOND.

Priest has finally found his mate, but she knows nothing of the clan ways so he has his work cut out for him to win her heart. I liked Priest. He has a lot of life experience and seemed to have a pretty level head. He is very protective of those he considers part of his family. Kateri doesn't believe in anything that doesn't make sense and Priest and the way she feels about him doesn't make sense. Katy didn't grow up knowing about the clan world. On top of that, her father hated who he was, so he pushed his 'logic and fact' life on her from an early age and she is having a really hard time finding a way to let that go. Katy was very stubborn and I wanted to just squeeze some sense in her a few times, but I understood where she was coming from and I had a hard time holding her stubbornness against her. I was very frustrated with her though at quite a few moments.

The romance was slow, but burned bright. I enjoyed watching the characters learn each other. The world was interesting and I enjoyed the pace at which information was given out. The characters are easy to like and learn about. Priest and Kateri's relationship is a big part of the story, but so are all the characters and the journey they are on.

New mates are introduced at the end of GUARDIAN'S BOND and it once again deals with a character that grew up knowing about the world and one who didn't believe in it, so I'm sure book two will be just as interesting. I look forward to reading more.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Review: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Burn Bright
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Ace
ISBN:  0425281310
ISBN13: 9780425281314
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source:  NetGalley

In her bestselling Alpha and Omega series, Patricia Briggs “spins tales of werewolves, coyote shifters, and magic and, my, does she do it well” ( Now mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham face a threat like no other–one that lurks too close to home…

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok’s pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf–but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills–his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker–to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn…

BURN BRIGHT didn't pull me in like the Alpha and Omega books of the past, but still does a good job of continuing the series and setting up the next chapter in Charles and Anna's story.

My biggest issues with BURN BRIGHT was the pace and the way that information was just sort of chaotically thrown around. The pace was slow and I had a hard time getting excited when I just wanted things to happen. It left me a bit bored which made it hard to get into when things actually did start happening. Information was thrown out so willy-nilly that it made things a little confusing at times. Thankfully the plot twists and the action helped me get back into the story.

The plot as a whole was interesting. There was a lot of character driven moments and the mystery actually stayed a mystery. There are some things that are revealed about Mercy's past and some things about Bran that were a bit shocking. I am interested to see if this information comes out again in future stories.

Like I said, not my favorite Alpha and Omega installment, but it furthered the series. BURN BRIGHT definitely ends in a way that makes you want more though so here's to hoping that the next book doesn't have these same issues.

I gave it 3/5 stars

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

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Guest Blog: Shadow of the Moon by Kwen D. Griffeth

UFI welcomes Author Kwen D Griffeth. Thanks for Joining us!!

The Story Behind the Story
Guest Blog – Kwen D. Griffeth 

The most often comment I hear about “Shadow of the Moon,” is “Why on earth would you write a fantasy werewolf story?”

My response always starts with a smile.

A few years ago, I read a trilogy written by a well-known author, and part of the story was the experiences of a female werewolf. Out of all the fantasy stories, i.e., the Mummy, Dracula, Swamp Creature and such, the werewolf has always been my favorite. In the telling of the story I referenced, I felt the she-wolf was cheated.

When in human form, the character was tough, intelligent, educated, and determined. When forced to change by the moon, she became little more than a wild dog chasing rabbits through the woods. Her ability to shapeshift indeed was a curse.

Fast forward several months and the story was still with me, and a nugget of an idea started to form. I decide to write my own story, and I begin by doing weeks of research about the history of the werewolf, as well as the social order of actual wolf packs. My theory was a family of werewolves would fit somewhere within that structure.

You may know that according to legend, Rome was founded by two brothers, Romulus and Remus, who were nursed by a she-wolf. Is it a leap of logic to say these brothers were the offspring of the wolf? It has never been documented that wolves are kind to orphans. Point two, later, Romulus killed his brother and then named the city Rome, after himself. Such actions are not limited to wolves but certainly would fit the violent nature of the animal.

Perhaps the best beginning of the wolf is the story of Lycaon, a Greek, who tried to trick Zeus. As a punishment, Zeus transformed Lycaon into a wolf and forced him to remain so for many days. Later, he changed him back, and the ability to shapeshift was complete and was a gift from a god. Lycaon went on to father many sons, fifty in fact, and he is said to have started the Lycaean Games, which led to the Panathenaic Games and thus the Olympic games.

I particularly like this part. The old man has fifty sons, all of whom needed wives. He doesn’t start a university, as his boys aren’t the brightest. Nor does he build a debating hall, again, the boys are not so articulate. What his boys are, is the biggest, the toughest, the fastest and the strongest of all the men in the area, so Dad starts physical contests in an effort to marry them off.

Accurate or not, such was one side of the story that came to be known as “Shadow of the Moon.” The other side was the social behavior of wolf packs. Lone wolves usually do not survive as the dynamics of the pack determines survival. I took that to mean werewolves have stable, as well as extended, families. The wolf pack is a matriarchal society; so must the werewolf family be.

Last, the werewolf would be conflicted. On the one hand, they would be some of the toughest and meanest of us. They would be athletic winners as well as leaders in combat if they could accept the rules of society. If not, they would undoubtedly be capable of being the cruelest of serial killers. They would be the best of us and the worst of us. Underneath it, all would be the fear of extinction, as they are also the least of us.

“Why would you write such a story?” is the most common question I hear.

“You almost made me believe in them,” is the most common statement.

Winner of Readers' Favorite Silver Award for Historical Fiction/Western, Kwen knew he wanted to be a writer when he was fourteen years old. He felt the urge when he finished Earnest Hemingway’s masterpiece “For Whom The Bell Tolls.” The story touched him in a way no other book ever had. It transported a kid born and raised on a farm and ranch in Idaho to the mountains of Spain. It took him back in time forty years to witness the Spanish Civil War. Kwen knew he wanted to share that wonder with other people.

John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you make other plans.” While Kwen lived a full and varied life, his dream of writing remained in the back of his mind.

Finally, in 2012, he wrote a novella named Dear Emma. He self-published through Amazon and asked people to read it. “The best way to see if I can write is to let people check it out,” he said. Like it, they did. Currently, Dear Emma enjoys a 4.8 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon.

Often asked what genre he writes, Kwen replies he writes stories about people and uses the genre that best fits the story. “I think of the genre, or setting as another character that interacts to help tell the story,” he says.

His most often received and constant comment is how real his characters seem. Upon the completion of his historical fiction trilogy Sam and Laura books, a reader telephoned Kwen and directed him to write more stories about the couple. When asked why the reader was so adamant about more stories, he replied he “wasn’t ready to tell Sam and Laura good bye yet.”

Kwen considers that comment one of his highest compliments.

Kwen’s books are getting some attention from the literary community. The Law of Moses, the Silver Award winner from Readers' Favorite, and The Tenth Nail both received the Gold Award from Literary Titan Book Review. In addition, The Law of Moses was awarded five 5 Star Reviews from the reviewers of Readers' Favorite.

Kwen’s books are available in several formats; e-Book, paperback, and audio. He invites you to check his writings out. Who knows? He might become your next favorite author.

Find Kwen and his books

Shadow of the Moon
Shadow #1
The grisly murder of a diplomat’s son in Central Park draw NYPD Detective Gerald Meeker and FBI Special Agent Andee Trakes into a twisted and confusing investigation. Within hours, the evidence indicates the man was executed in the manner saved for werewolves. Andee Trakes is assigned to liaison with a history professor, who is an expert on folklore and legends.

Professor Alwyn Lloyd, handsome, articulate and successful, not only agrees the method of death was indeed an execution, he claims to be a werewolf. Andee is torn between the desire to date the man and the suspicion to arrest him.

From the initial killing in the park, a bloody spree is ignited that soon has Andee and Lloyd forced to work together to protect themselves and family members.

Shadow of the Moon explores the world of werewolves and paints a picture of what is good about them, as well as bad. The story explains what is beautiful as well as ugly about the wolf.

The story is fast paced and full of interesting characters and several twists and turns to keep both the fantasy as well as the suspense and romance enthusiasts entertained.
Book Trailer:


“I’m Professor Lloyd’s assistant. Is he expecting you?” Her smile never wavered, though the hand dropped to her side.
“No, as I said, I’m with the FBI, and we don’t normally make appointments.”
Miranda, with smile still in place, walked to the door leading to the professor’s office as she said, “Let me check with him, but I’m sure he will be able to meet with you. I keep his appointment calendar, so I know he’s not overly busy.”
“Hey, I was here first, and I’ve waited thirty minutes.”
Trakes turned back to the office and noticed a blonde had stood to announce her displeasure. She tried to show her indignation with the agent, but her glare fell short.
Trakes smiled at the student and held out her FBI credentials for the blonde to see.
“I’m with the FBI, sweetie. We get cuts.”
Behind her, she heard Miranda say, “Sit down, Shelly, you know as well as I do the professor won’t change your grade.”
Trakes turned back to Miranda and waved the credentials one more time.
“These are really the only announcement I need, but thank you. I’ll just pop in. Then the professor and I will get acquainted.”
Before Miranda could object, the agent turned and stepped through the door.
Her first impression of the office was the desk. It was large, made of wood and appeared antique. The floor was wood, with a large rug that covered most of it. Like the outer office, this one was also wainscoted with dark wood paneling. Opposed to the other space, this one was painted an off-white the rest of the way to the 10-foot ceiling. Again, keeping with the theme set by the outer office, this one also had pictures and paintings on every wall. Bookcases, shelves and glass cases flanked the desk, with two chairs centered in front of it. A two-person sofa along the wall to the left and a coffee table finished the d├ęcor. Professor Lloyd sat behind the desk.
He studied papers with his head lowered, and her first glimpse of him took in the breadth of his shoulders and his hair. It was thick and dark, almost black down the center of the head, but shaded to grey by the time it reached the man’s ears. It was combed back, but a natural part down the center caused it to fall to each side. She wondered what it felt like, then forced herself to refocus.
As she stepped through the door, Trakes announced, “Good afternoon, I’m…”
He looked up from his papers.
The eyes were a pale blue. Ice blue. The shade of blue used to sell breath mints, and her intake of air seemed fresher as it travelled to her lungs. The eyes were hard and unwelcoming. Andee wished she had waited to be announced. She stepped into the room and tripped on the edge of the rug. She whispered a curse, caught her balance, held her blush to a minimum and muttered an apology.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have…”
Those eyes, still focused on her, softened enough to indicate his irritation at the interruption had grown into a mild curiosity. As he studied her, he allowed an eyebrow to raise and his head to cant to one side. She suddenly felt exposed, and her blush from the ungainly entry deepened. Her heart paused, and then quickened. Her stomach tickled, then settled into nervousness. Her underarms damped and a question about deodorant flashed through her mind. She tried again to introduce herself, but discovered she had forgotten her name.
“Professor, I’m…a…I’m…”
Her words came in a small squeak. It may have been the squeak a mouse makes when she sees the hawk dive, but it was certainly the squeak of prey. She froze. The corners of his mouth turned.
“Uncle Alwyn, you stop this. Stop it, right now.”
The commands came from Miranda, and the professor looked past Trakes to his niece, who was standing in the doorway. As he broke eye contact, Andee gulped air. She realized she’d forgotten to breathe.
“Uncle Alwyn, I’m ashamed of you,” Miranda continued, and she took Andee’s arm and assisted her to one of the chairs in front of the desk. Andee smiled her gratitude as she felt dizzy. She looked up at the assistant, who smiled down at her.
“Don’t mind my uncle. He does that sometimes. It’s because he is an Alpha.”
“He’s a what?”
Andee felt as if she was clearing a fog.
“He’s an Alpha, and sometimes he takes advantage.”
“An Alpha? Is that a fraternity?”