Thursday, May 31, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: Lisa Shearin

UFI welcomes Lisa Shearin Author of The Raine Benares series. Thanks for Joining us!!

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

I don’t have much downtime, but when I do, I love to read. Any spare moment I have, I grab a book. Right now I’m really into paranormal thrillers.

What is your favorite part of writing?

I absolutely love it when I’m “in the zone” and the characters, setting, and scene all come together and come to life. When that happens, I feel like I’m not the one in control, the characters are, and I’m just sitting in a corner writing down what they say and do as fast as I can. That’s when the magic happens.

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

I start each chapter writing longhand in a journal with one of my vintage fountain pens. And my official “writing chair” is a huge a 120-year-old mahogany rocking chair. My thoughts flow better from brain to pen to paper (while sitting in that chair). I think writing longhand gives me a more direct path to my inner storyteller. Once I’ve written a first draft, then I key it in to my computer and start expanding from there.

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

 I loves me some Harry Dresden. In my opinion, Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files are danged near flawless. I also adore Rob Thurman’s Cal Leandros series. Dark, snarky, and mmm, mmm good. I also really have enjoyed Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child’s Agent Pendergast series. At the moment I’m reading NOCTURNAL by Scott Siegler, MONSTER HUNTER ALPHA by Larry Correia, and LEGEND by David Golemon. I generally have more than one book going at any given time and bounce back and forth between them depending on what I’m in the mood to read.

How would you pitch the Raine Benares series to someone who has not heard of it before?

 Raine Benares is a seeker, which is basically a detective who uses magic to find missing people and stolen objects. At the beginning of the series (MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND) she inadvertently gets herself psychically bonded to the Saghred— a stone that gives the one bonded to it unlimited power, with a side order of insanity. Not crazy like an eccentric aunt, but take-over-the-world-and-kill-millions kind of crazy.

The entire series (all six books) takes place in an approximate three-month timeframe. That’s a lot of action in very little time, but thanks to the Saghred (and the evil megalomaniacs who want the stone for their own), Raine is in a lot of trouble with very little ways out of it.

Thanks to friends and allies (both old and new), and ill-timed romantic entanglements (it ain’t easy to fight for your life and have a relationship at the same time), Raine manages to stay one step ahead of the power-hungry elves and goblin aristocrats who want the stone and its power for their own. Unfortunately Raine can’t just give it to them. Once bonded to the Saghred, you’re bonded for life. Only death can break that bond. Yours. Understandably, Raine has a problem with that last part.

ALL SPELL BREAKS LOOSE is the finale of the Saghred storyline. In it, Raine and a small band of good friends, not-so-good friends, and one outright enemy (don’t ask), travel to the goblin capital of Regor in order to destroy the Saghred and kill the goblin archmage who has found a way to use the stone’s power to enslave the world. While there, Raine & Company must also renegade goblin prince on the throne. Piece of cake. Not.

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

 I based the island city of Mermeia on Venice. It’s just so cool and gorgeous and mysterious. Hmmm, that sounds a lot like Tam, too, doesn’t it? ; ) I wanted to start the series with a location that readers could anchor themselves in, to make the book more easily visualized, and the action more real.

Do you have a favorite scene in All Spell Breaks Loose

Oh jeez, there are so many little gems in there; I can’t just pick one. Besides, I wouldn’t want to ruin the fun for anyone who hasn’t read it yet. ; )

Which character was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about? 


The most fun was my main villain, Sarad Nukpana. He’s just so gloriously, gleefully evil. How could you not have fun with that? His scenes with Raine virtually wrote themselves. I have to say that two of the most difficult to write were Mychael and Tam. What can I say? The way of a man’s mind is a mysterious thing.

All Spell Breaks Loose is the last book of the series. What book out of the six was your very favorite to write about? Hmm, that’s like trying to pick a favorite child; you love them all, but for different reasons. If I had to pick one, I would have to say BEWITCHED & BETRAYED, because a lot of relationship issues were resolved in that book.

What other projects can we look forward to reading from you?

 I’ve just completed a proposal package for an urban fantasy/supernatural thriller/comedy series. You all know how I love to mix & match genres. I have the series premise written, as well as the synopses for the first three books, and I just finished the final sample chapter today (for a total of six). I promise that as soon as I get a contract for it, I’ll tell you more—in fact, you probably won’t be able to shut me up. I’m so excited about this project—it’s just pure fun.
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Contrary to popular belief, most authors do have day jobs just like everyone else. I’m happily ensconced at an advertising agency as an editor and quality control manager. In my previous corporate life, I’ve been a magazine editor, advertising copywriter, and writer of corporate marketing materials of every description.

I’m the author of the national bestselling fantasy adventure series featuring Raine Benares, a finder of things lost and people missing. But what Raine finds best is trouble and lots of it. The series began with Magic Lost Trouble Found, and continued with Armed & Magical, The Trouble With Demons, Bewitched & Betrayed, Con & Conjure and All Spell Breaks Loose, which will hit bookstore shelves in 2012.

I’m a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and I live in North Carolina with my always patient and ever-encouraging husband, two spoiled-rotten retired racing greyhounds and a Jack Russell terrier who rules us all.
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Find Lisa and her books
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All Spell Breaks Loose
Raine Benares #6
May 29, 2012
My name is Raine Benares—and it sucks to be me. The Saghred, a soul-stealing stone that has given me unlimited power, has been stolen by a goblin prince, and with it went my magic. The Saghred is in the goblin capital of Regor, in the hands of Sarad Nukpana, who’s on the verge of becoming the most powerful mage ever...just as soon as I’m dead.

Because Sarad can’t use the stone while I’m alive. Incentive enough to plan a little trip to Regor with a small band of good friends, not-so-good friends, and outright enemies. All we need to do is destroy the Saghred, kill Sarad, and put a renegade prince on the throne. Did I mention I’ll be doing this without magic?
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Early Review: Arise by Tara Hudson

Arise
Author: Tara Hudson
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
Hereafter Book #2
ISBN:  0007437285
ISBN13: 9780007437283
Genre: Young Adult
Review Copy Source: Publisher/Teen Book Scene

Amelia—still caught between life and death—must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua’s Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers…and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life...a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.

ARISE Continues with Amelia stuck between life and death and in love with Joshua. They take a trip to New Orleans to visit Joshua's relatives and Amelia ends up meeting someone that changes her from a ghost who can touch Joshua to a half alive girl that can touch everything but Joshua.

I didn't enjoy ARISE as much as HEREAFTER, I just couldn't get into the story. For half of the book Amelia actually isn't even with Joshua. She leaves him for his own protection while she runs from the darkness that is still chasing her so there isn't much romance. We meet Gabrielle and although she starts out as someone you might not like she ended up being pretty cool and I would like to see more of her in future books. The setting was ok. I love New Orleans so having characters running around it especially with ghosts is understandable. Most of Joshua's young relatives annoyed me and as soon as Amelia and Joshua got into their car to drive home at the end of the book I was relieved to not have to deal with them anymore.

Now that Amelia is visual to everyone but not able to touch Joshua I assume the tragic love story will turn more tragic in book 3. Not sure if I will pick up ELERGY when it comes out but the story has been interesting enough so far.

I gave it 3/5 stars 

Winner: Jenn Bennett Giveaway

Thank you to everyone who entered!!

Prize: Winners choice of Kindling the Moon or Summoning the Night
The Winner chosen by Rafflecopter is.....
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
Congrats!! I have emailed winner who has 48 hours to respond with mailing address or I will pick another.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: Jaime Rush

UFI welcomes Jaime Rush Author of The Offspring Series. Thanks for Joining us!!

I thought it would be fun to interview the hero of my new book, DARKNESS BECOMES HER, with Urban Fantasy Investigations' This or That questions. I always do an interview before the book begins, but checking in after the book is done is a different kind of chat.

Jaime: Hi, Lachlan! It's been a while since we talked—

Lachlan: Talked! You put me through hell, you did.

Jaime: Yeah, sorry about that. What can I say, the readers like it.

Lachlan: Nay, I think you like it, evil wench.

Jaime: Heh. Yeah, I do. But you are better off now, you have to admit.

Lachlan: Aye, definitely. Jess and I … [eyes me with suspicion] What do you want?

Jaime: No need to look at me like that. I promise, I'm not throwing you into danger, sending hell doggies after you, testing your loyalties and hard-won honor or making you fall in love with the one woman you can't have.

Lachlan: Oh, well then, bring it on.

Jaime: This will be fun, I promise.

Lachlan: That's what you said when you sat me down before you started writing the book.

Jaime: Well, it was fun … for me, anyway.

Lachlan: Bloody hell, you've got a warped sense of fun. Go on then.

Jaime: These are This and That questions. You just pick one or the other.

Lachlan: Alright, it doesn't sound too awful … [Cracks his knuckles] Bring them on.

Coffee or Tea

Tea, the gourmet kind with the loose leaves. My mum came from Scotland, so tea was the norm for her. My dad picked it up, and so did I. I use my dad's special tea pot, because it reminds me of him.

Pizza or Pasta

Pizza. It's easy to eat, and hell, you don't even need a plate. I just eat it right out of the box. [Jessie nudges him.] Well, I used to, anyway. Before I had to get civilized and all.

Up or Down

When I'm working with my swords, bringing them down is a lot easier, and you can use your strength to, say, cut someone's head off. Like wicked authors. Oh, did I say that?

Coke or Pepsi

When I indulge in the occasional soda, it's an orange one.

Werewolves or Vampires

After dealing with the beasties that look like wolves, I think I'd take my chances on a vampire.

Left or Right


Right. Always.

Angels or Demons

Jessie's an angel, though I thought she was a demon for a while. I'll definitely take the angel side. She's got her moments—ouch!

Facebook or Twitter.

Who has time for computers? [wicked grin] I've got much better things to occupy my time with.

Thanks, Lachlan, for indulging me one last time!

I'm celebrating the release of DARKNESS BECOMES HER with my Kick Butt First Line contest. Shocking, suspenseful…make us want more! Cash prizes! Contest runs until July 1, 2012. For aspiring authors, it's a chance to get your name out there and add a "win" to your bio. For readers, it's a chance to play at being a writer. Even if you're not inclined to write a line, check out the entries—they're a lot of fun! For details, go to www.JaimeRush.com and click on the Contest link.

Win a copy of DARKNESS BECOMES HER! Comment or stretch your evil mind … if you could put a person or character through some tortuous situation, what would it be?

----------------------------------------

Here's a sneak peek!

“You’re going to just run away? Again.”
Jessie shrugged out of Lachlan's grip. “Running is working for me so far. You make it sound like I’ve got a bevy of choices. I can’t go to the police. They’d only lock me away in the loony bin, and besides, they wouldn’t be able to help me, anyway. Make nice with Russell? Not likely.”
“You can throw him, and he can tear you apart. How long do you think you can stay ahead of the game?”
“As long as I can. What else can I do?”
“Kill him.”
She laughed, especially seeing that he was serious. “I’m capable of fending off an attack, as you know. But that’s a far cry from planning to kill someone, even with a good reason. He's stronger, and hell, I don't even know what I am, much less how to use it to defeat him.”
He was shaking his head. "When Magnus wakes, I'm going to have to tell him there's some new supernatural essence in him. That's going to be bad enough. If I tell him I let you leave, a lamb sent to the slaughterhouse, he'll have my head and rightfully so."
Part of her softened at the thought of not being alone. She had been alone for so long, holding her secrets, her pain. "I saw kids who were given a death sentence because of a disease that ravaged their bodies bit by bit. At least I won't die like that. If it comes, it'll be over quickly."
"How did you come to be in a place where children died?"
"I lived with a couple who fostered special needs kids."
He looked her up and down, searing her with his gaze. "You were ill?"
"Not like that."
He braced one hand against the wall, leaning closer. "When you watched those children dying, did it kill you too that you couldn't do anything to help them?"
His words cut into her. "Yes."
"Those diseases, they were monsters you couldn't defeat."
She shook her head.
"I watched people I love die, too, unable to do anything to save them. So you'll understand why I can't let you walk out there alone."

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Find Jaime and her books
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Darkness Becomes Her
Offspring #6
May 29, 2012


  Lachlan McLeod, a man beyond redemption, has a mission: find the beast who put his brother into a coma. He'll start with Jessie Bellandre, his brother's girlfriend, who's harboring a dark, dangerous secret that could get them all killed. Honor is all Lachlan has, and as they plumb the depths of Darkness, not falling in love with her will be as hard as staying alive.
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International
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New Releases: 5/27-6/2






Tuesday May 29


Happy Reading!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Week in Review: 5/20-5/26



Books Ive Bought/received

*Widow's Web by Jennifer Estep-eARC- Author

* Shades of Desire by LM Pruitt- eCopy- Bewitching Book Tours

* Shades of Gray by LM Pruitt -eCopy- Bewitching Book Tours

* Shadow's Edge by J.T. Geissinger- eCopy- Author

* Taken by Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes -Purchased at Barnes and Noble

* Blue-Blooded Vamp by Jaye Wells- Purchased at Barnes and Noble




Books I read

Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander
Echo Falls by Jaime McDougall
Kitty Steals the Show by Carrie Vaughn
Taken by Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda
Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent
Blue-Blooded Vamp by Jaye Wells

Reviews posted


Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep
Wilde's Fire by Krystal Wade
Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent
Fated by Alyson Noel

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

* Monday I Interviewed Author Tara Hudson. Her newest book Arise comes out June 5th.

* Tuesday Jenn Bennett stopped by to let us know what she prefers and offer a giveaway for a copy of one of the books from her Arcadia Bell series.


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*If you see something on my books Ive read list that you are dying to know about let me know I'm back logged on reviews and can move it up on the list if I know people are wanting one.

* I love comments so if you see something you like (or not) please comment away and let me know.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review: Fated by Alyson Noel

Fated
Author: Alyson Noel
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Publisher: St Martins Press
Soul Seeker Book #1
ISBN:   0312664850
ISBN13: 9780312664855
Genre: Young Adult
Review Copy Source: Publisher

Lately strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, and glowing people appear out of nowhere. Worried that Daire is having a nervous breakdown, her mother packs her off to stay in the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico with a grandmother she’s never met.

There she crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes who she’s encountered before...but only in her dreams. And she’ll get to know her grandmother—a woman who recognizes Daire’s bizarre episodes for what they are. A call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, one who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead. Her grandmother immediately begins teaching her to harness her powers—but it’s an art that must be mastered quickly. Because Dace’s brother is an evil shape-shifter who’s out to steal her powers. Now Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and find out if Dace is one guy she’s meant to be with...or if he’s allied with the enemy she’s destined to destroy.
FATED is also available in Audiobook Enjoy a sample clip


Daire has traveled the world with  her makeup artist to the stars Mom.That was until the day the crows and glowing people came to her in force and she was sent to live with the Grandmother she has never known about because her mom and everyone else is about to commit her to a mental hospital. Daire learns she is one in a line of many family members that has a gift that she must learn to control before evil takes it from her.

I have mixed feelings about FATED. There were some great parts and some not so great parts. Some characters I liked and some I dint. I felt like the story was really slow at some points but greatly paced at others. The plot was interesting enough and for the most part I enjoyed the storyline but the goals of the main character seemed to change more then I cared to follow. In all honestly the book doesn't stick out to me. I didn't hate it but I didn't love it.

I definitely think the series has potential and I will probably grab a copy of book 2 from the library but its not a must read series for me. 

I gave it 3/5 stars 

Winner: Hunting the Shadows by Alexia Reed

Thank you to everyone who entered!!

Prize: e-Copy of Hunting the Shadows
The Winner chosen by Rafflecopter is.....
Congrats!! I have emailed winner who has 48 hours to respond with mailing address or I will pick another.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Review: Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent

Shadow Bound
Author: Rachel Vincent
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Publisher: Mira
Unbound Book #2
ISBN:  0778313433
ISBN13: 9780778313434
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: Netgalley


If you live in the dark long enough, you begin to forget the light…

KORI DANIELS is a shadow-walker, able to travel instantly from one shadow to another. After weeks of confinement for betraying her boss, she’s ready to break free of the Tower syndicate for good. But Jake Tower has one final job for Kori, one chance to secure freedom for herself and her sister, Kenley, even if that means taking it from someone else…

The job? Recruit Ian Holt—or kill him.

Ian’s ability to manipulate the dark has drawn interest from every syndicate in the world, most notably an invitation from Jake Tower. Though he has no interest in organized crime, Ian accepts the invite, because he’s on a mission of his own. Ian has come to kill Tower’s top Binder: Kori’s little sister.

Amid the tangle of lies, an unexpected thread of truth connecting Ian and Kori comes to light. But with opposing goals, they’ll have to choose between love and liberty…

BLOOD BOUND was a slam dunk for me so when I saw that SHADOW BOUND was set to release it was a must have on my wish list. I was all set to purchase the book so that it could join BLOOD BOUND on my bookshelf and then I read a review on SHADOW BOUND and was so disappointing that I might not like the book so I was all set to not even read it at all. Netgalley ended up throwing it up for review so I was like what the heck at least I will know what happens so I can read book 3 when it comes out and not be lost. I just got done reading it and THANK GOODNESS I didn't pass it up It looks like SHADOW BOUND will be joining book 1 on my shelf after all. 


If you have read book 1 you know who Kori is and what went down. SHADOW BOUND starts up 6 weeks after the previous events with Kori getting out of her punishment for her role in what happened in the Tower house. She has been beaten, raped and all around tortured. She is then send for more punishment as Tower forces her to be a new recruited personal recruiter and get him to sign anyways she can or else he will subject Kori's sister to the same treatment she herself was forced to endure. Ian is on a mission to kill Kori's sister to save his brother from a binding that was placed on him and that is slowly killing him. He never expected to be attracted to Kori let alone not want to kill her sister for fear of hurting her.


The main parts of SHADOW BOUND takes place over a very short couple days so some of the stuff written is a little unbelievable. Kori and Ian's attraction right off was a little off because of what Kori went through but in her defense she was far from throwing herself at Ian. I think Vincent did a good job of writing in her feelings I just think it would have made more sense if a little more time had passed. I enjoyed both of their characters and the world building of the unbound series was again pretty darn awesome to witness. I love that past characters got a little role and I hope that that continues with the next books. The emotions are pretty dark and I admit I was bawling my eyes out a few moments throughout. I went in thinking that I was going to hate SHADOW BOUND but I ended up pleased with the outcome. I'm interested to see who will be the main characters in OATH BOUND.


I gave it 4/5 stars

Winner: The Last Four Things by Paul Hoffman

Thank you to everyone who entered!!

Prize: Print copy of The Last Four Things
The Winner chosen by Rafflecopter is.....
Congrats!! I have emailed winner who has 48 hours to respond with mailing address or I will pick another.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Wilde's Fire by Krystal Wade

Wilde's Fire
Author: Krystal Wade
Release Date:May 13, 2012
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Darkness Falls Book #1
ISBN13: 9781620070574
Genre: Young Adult
Review Copy Source: Netgalley

“There is no pain in this death, only peace, knowing I am going to die with the one I love the most.”—Katriona Wilde.

Katriona Wilde has never wondered what it would feel like to have everything she’s ever known and loved ripped away, but she is about to find out. When she inadvertently leads her sister and best friend through a portal into a world she’s dreamed of for six years, she finds herself faced with more than just the frightening creatures in front of her. Kate’s forced to accept a new truth: her entire life has been a lie, and those closest to her have betrayed her. What’s worse, she has no control over her new future, and it’s full of magic and horrors from which nightmares are made. Will Kate discover and learn to control who she really is in time to save the ones she loves, or will all be lost?

Katriona, her sister and best friend set out on a camping trip and were sent into another world through a cave portal. Katriona learns not only was she born to this world but she is the one who will bring it back to life.

I enjoyed the world that Wade created. The fact that it is dark and only Kate with Arland beside her can light it up was easy to imagine with the way it was presented to us. I loved that Kate had always dreamed of Arland so that when she saw him in real life all her feelings were already there and she was instantly drawn to him. Its clear from the beginning that they were born for each other and I had no trouble imagining them together and rooting for them. WILDE'S FIRE also had some great supporting characters. They all brought something new to the story.

The story progressed at a nice speed, revealing just enough to get to the next step without giving to much away. I wasn't so crazy about the ending but that is just because I don't want to go through most of book 2 without some of my favorite characters. I hope book 2 isn't far off.

I gave it 3.5/5 stars 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Early Review: Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep

Dark Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Publisher: Kensington
Mythos Academy Book #3
ISBN:  0758266960
ISBN13: 9780758266965
Genre: Young Adult
Review Copy Source: Author 


I’ve seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I’m supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I’m just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me—again.

Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects—and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I’m also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me?

It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can’t use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me—and I’m in for the fight of my life.

DARK FROST starts with action and ends after action. A lot develops in DARK FROST, Gwen and Logan are finally advancing with a relationship, Loki's champion is finally revealed, and the Helheim Dagger is found leading up to events everyone was fighting to stop. 

Gwen has grown so much since book 1 and I have thoroughly enjoyed following her. One of my very favorite things about Gwen is that she isn't overconfident. She is brave, strong, and sticks up for those she loves but she has no doubt that she has flaws and cant do everything. Character development continues and we learn more about our favorite characters. An old friend comes back to Gwen and I absolutely loved how it was worked into the storyline. We get to see that Grandma isn't your normal fragile Grandma. Logan and Gwen work very well together and I loved watching them get closer to each other even if there is a little drama on the way.


I have yet to read anything from Jennifer Estep that I didn't enjoy. DARK FROST is fast paced and full of action and suspense. Book 3 so far is my favorite of the series and I'm impatiently waiting to see what happens next in CRIMSON FROST. 


I gave it 4/5 stars

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: Jenn Bennett

UFI welcomes Jenn Bennett Author of The Arcadia Bell Series. Thanks for Joining us!!

This or That

Coffee or Tea

Both. Lon drinks jasmine tea in my books, and I'm afraid that blossomed out of my own personal love for it. I've spent a fair amount of time in China and Hong Kong, which is where my devotion to this tea started. I remember the first time I tasted it: when I was getting a haircut and massage at a Taiwanese hair salon in Taipei . . . with a transgendered man who owned a karaoke bar. I could not make this stuff up!

However, I am also a three-cup-a-day coffee addict: best beans I can afford (grind myself), French press.


Angels or Demons

Demons, naturally. Preferably Earthbound ones.


Pizza or Pasta

Pizza. Wood-fired. Sauce made with San Marazano tomatoes. Thin crust.


Left or Right

Left. Far, far left. As far away from the Right as I can get.


Reading or Writing

Both. Daily.


Coke or Pepsi

Does Pepsi still make products? They do? Well, I'll be damned. Coke all the way, baby. I live in Atlanta, where Coke was born. To drink anything else is blasphemy. We even have a World of Coca-Cola Museum that has a tasting room where you can sample crazy Coke flavors from around the world.


Book Signing or Panel Speaking

Signing. Speaking of, I'm doing a book signing at the RWA national conference in Anaheim, California at the end of July. Come and see me if you're in the area. I'll be giving away exclusive trading cards.


Vampires or Werewolves

Wereroaches that live off vamp blood?


YA or Adult

I love YA, but I always miss the graphic sex. Is that wrong?


Facebook or Twitter

Twitter. No competition. FB makes me want to tear my face off with all its weird, illogical changes.


Virtual or Real

Virtual *is* the new real, isn't it?


Up or Down

Is this a dirty sex question? Most definitely down.
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Jenn Bennett is an award-winning visual artist-turned-urban fantasy author. Born in Germany, she’s lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the U.S., and the Far East. She believes rebellion is an under-appreciated art form, has conjured more demons than you’ve had hot lunches, and likes her fairy tales like she likes her coffee: dark. She currently lives near Atlanta with her film-geek husband and two very bad pugs.
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Find Jenn and her books
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Summoning the Night
Arcadia Bell #2
April 24, 2012
MAGICAL TRICKS. DEMONIC TREATS.

After narrowly escaping her fate as a sacrificial scapegoat, Arcadia Bell is back to normal. Or at least as ordinary as life can be for a renegade magician and owner of a tiki bar that caters to Earthbound demons. She’s gearing up for the busiest day of the year—Halloween—when a vengeful kidnapper paralyzes the community.

The influential head of the local Hellfire Club taps Cady to track down the fiendish bogeyman, and now that she’s dating red-hot Lon Butler, the Club’s wayward son, she can hardly say no. Cady and Lon untangle a gruesome thirty-year trail of clues that points to danger for the club members’ children. But locating the person behind the terror will require some metaphysical help from Cady’s loyal bar patrons as well as her potent new Moonchild powers—and she’d better figure it out before the final victim disappears and her own darkest secret becomes her biggest enemy.
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New Releases: 5/20-5/26


Tue May 22


Happy Reading!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Interview: Tara Hudson

UFI welcomes Tara Hudson Author of The Hereafter Series. 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 can quote every word in the movie GHOSTBUSTERS.  You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’mnot.  I think just about every syllable in that movie is applicable to everyday life, including (but not limited to): “I’ve been slimed,” “She sleeps above her covers…FOUR FEET above her covers,” and “Shhh…do you smell that?”
 
What are some of your Favorite books or Authors in the Urban Fantasy/ ParanormalGenres?
 
In the world of non-YA, I adore Neil Gaiman and Joe Hill, who both dabble in the paranormal.  As for YA, the list is pretty enormous, but my most recent favorite was FURY, by Elizabeth Miles.  It was so atmospheric that I just couldn’t put it down.
 
How would you pitch Arise to someone who has not heard of it before?
 
A ghostly girl and the living boy she loves must face malicious spirits, Voodoo priestesses, and a legion of demons in the darkest corners of New Orleans’ French Quarter. 
 
Can you tell us a little bit about the world that Arise is set in?
 
Arise has two major settings.  The first is the French Quarter of New Orleans, in the world of living.  But if you’ve ever been to New Orleans, you know that the boundary between the living and the dead is pretty thin.  This is a city known for its history, its Voodoo, and its cemeteries – and my main characters get to discover all of it!  The second major setting is the netherworld, an evil world just beyond ours.  I don’t want to give too much away, but there may or may not be a demonic version of the Mississippi River… J
 
What Other Projects can we look forward to reading from you?
 
Right now, I’m finishing up the third book in the Hereafter Trilogy, which is entitled ELEGY.  I have to admit, I’m kind of sad to say goodbye to Amelia, Joshua, Eli, Ruth, and all the rest of my characters.  But I’m really enjoying my newest project, a YA murder mystery told from the perspective of the three possible killers.
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 Born and raised in Oklahoma, Tara Hudson graduated with a degree in law, mostly because she believed all the horror stories about English majors and their careers in the food-service industry. Luckily, she soon remembered how much she loved telling ghost stories, particularly to her girlfriends who liked visiting abandoned cemeteries as much as she did. Tara currently lives in Oklahoma with her husband, son, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets
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Find Tara and her books
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Arise
Hereafter #2
June 5, 2012
 Amelia—still caught between life and death—must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua’s Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers…and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life...a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.
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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Week in Review: 5/13-5/19



Books Ive Bought/received

* Chosen by Sable Grace- eARC- Edelweiss/Publisher

* Dark Parties by Sara Grant- Publisher for teen book scene tour

*Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent- Netgalley

* Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander- Purchased at Barnes and Noble


Books I read

Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson
Revived by Cat Patrick
Wilde's Fire by Krystal Wade
Chasing Magic by Stacia Kane
Once by Anna Carey
Tainted Night, Tainted Blood by E.S. Moore

Reviews posted


Hunting the Shadows by Alexia Reed
A Patch of Darkness by Yolanda Sfetsos
The Mayfair Moon by J.A. Remerski

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

* Wednesday Author Yolanda Sfetsos was here promoting her book A Patch of Darkness with a guest post.

* Thursday I put up a giveaway for a copy of The Last Four Things by Paul Hoffman

* Friday Alexia Reed was here with a guest post and giveaway for her book Hunting the Shadows.


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*If you see something on my books Ive read list that you are dying to know about let me know I'm back logged on reviews and can move it up on the list if I know people are wanting one.

* I love comments so if you see something you like (or not) please comment away and let me know.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Review: The Mayfair Moon by J.A. Remerski

The Mayfair Moon
Author:J.A. Remerski
Release Date: February 6, 2012
Publisher: Self-published
Darkwoods Trilogy Book #1
ISBN:  9781468185
Genre: Young Adult
Review Copy Source: Author

After a nightmarish encounter with a werewolf, seventeen-year-old Adria Dawson loses her sister, but gains the love of a mysterious young man and his legendary family.

Strange and tragic things begin to happen in the small town of Hallowell, Maine: residents come down with an unexplainable ‘illness’ and some disappear. In the midst of everything, Isaac Mayfair is adamant about keeping Adria safe, even from her sister whom he has warned her to stay away from.

As unspeakable secrets unfold all around Adria, impossible choices become hers to bear. Ultimately, no matter what path she takes, her life and the lives of those she loves will be in peril. As she learns about the werewolf world she also learns why her place in it will change the destinies of many.

I don't review a lot of Self-Published books and those I do review usually come from blog tours I sign up for but when Jessica contacted me about THE MAYFAIR MOON I was on a bit of a werewolf kick and decided I would give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised and glad I gave it a chance. In the beginning of THE MAYFAIR MOON Adria and her sister Alex are very close and are living with their very needy and abused mom who refuses to leave her alcoholic husband. While out one night they are stuck between two fighting creatures they later learn are werewolf's. Because of the trauma that the event caused DFS shows up and Adria is taken out of the home and sent to live with her Uncle and Aunt. Alex goes with but she is no longer the loving close sister Adria has always known.

I really enjoyed the book. Adria was very easy to follow and like. She is pretty much left to deal with everything that is happening on her own and her strength through everything was incredible. There is a great romance/love story, Adria finds support from a great cast of characters and the action was present throughout the entire book. I fell into the story very easily and once I was there I had no want to dig myself out until it was over. The ending wrapped things up nicely but also left enough questions and open connections so that you will be excited to see what comes next. My only complaint is how the werewolves are portrayed. I like my werewolves all gorgeous and powerful wolf like but Jessica's werewolves make me think of the werewolves from the UNDERWORLD movies. I can easily overlook that though since I enjoyed everything else.

I think there was some pretty heavy hinting going on at the end of THE MAYFAIR MOON on what will come next for Adria and her friends and if I'm correct in my assumption it will be one heck of a second book for the series. Either way I'm looking forward to reading book 2 KINDRED to continue the story.

I gave it 4/5 stars  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: Alexia Reed

UFI welcomes Alexia Reed Author of Hunting the Shadows. Thanks for Joining us!!


What it Means to be Strong

   There are many breeds of heroines—those created strong and kick-ass from page one and then the others who grow as the story progresses. While I do enjoy a heroine who is kick-ass and can handle herself from the first moment we catch a glimpse of her, I love the ones who are grow to be strong.
   I don’t mean the kind who won’t fight for what she believes in or feels sorry for herself when things get rough for the entire book. I mean someone who isn’t highly trained in fighting or completely secure in standing up for herself but learns to be. Someone who isn’t fine with taking the life of another, even when threatened.
   Characters who grow into themselves, who learn who they are. These are the stories that I love the most.
   With Amy, I went back and forth in the various versions I’d written. In the earlier ones, she was a lot more worldly. She lived a normal life then was dragged into the chaos of the Centre. She knew who she was in those old versions. This didn’t resonate with me. She was fine, but there wasn’t anything that made me connect. So I rewrote her to have been part of the Centre the whole time and at the same time, an outsider.
   I knew Amy wouldn’t have the training the others had. It’s just not realistic. A telepathic-empath with no natural mental shields is never going to be able to walk outside and keep her sanity. I wanted her to be an outcast, to learn as the story progressed with the reader.
   I wanted Amy to keep growing, not just in Hunting the Shadows, but every future book. It could be easy to have her know everything, but I didn’t feel that would be effective.  Being a telepath, she could have easily gone into the head of J.C. and simply ‘known’ everything. I wanted to give her barriers and a reason to grow.
   And when things get rocky, she doesn’t give up. Even when no one will believe her about the killer and she’s sedated, she keeps trying to get through to someone, anyone, psychically. She doesn’t stop fighting, despite her situation.

Do you look for a certain kind of heroine when you read? Who do you feel you connect more to…or want to?
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Blurb: Amy has spent her life in isolation. Locked away in the Centre, a secret government facility where children with extraordinary abilities are raised as highly skilled fighters, she longs for a normal life. A life where being around people doesn't overload her sensitive telepathic mind. A life where she can't see through the eyes of a murderer as he hunts down his next victim...

J.C. Nikolaiev was a top researcher, but when his conscience got the better of him, he tried to destroy his work and free his subjects—and was imprisoned as a traitor. To save himself and prevent more people from dying, J.C. must catch the serial killer stalking the halls of the facility. But his only leads come from a woman whose thoughts have invaded his mind...

Finally out of the psych ward, Amy joins forces with J.C. to find the killer before he closes in on them. Can their growing attraction withstand the truths they uncover?

You can purchase Hunting the Shadows through the Carina PressAmazon, or Barnes and Noble.
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While in reality Alexia Reed resides in Ontario, she likes to say that she lives in her own little world. A lover of all things scientific and the paranormal, Alexia uses her books as a way to straddle the realms of fact and fictionand always with a healthy dose of romance thrown in.

When not writing and reading, Alexia paints, and  is the caretaker to two neurotic cats.


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Find Alexia and her books
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Hunting the Shadows
Shadow Ops Project #1
May 7 2012
 Amy has spent her life in isolation. Locked away in the Centre, a secret government facility where children with extraordinary abilities are raised as highly skilled fighters, she longs for a normal life. A life where being around people doesn't overload her sensitive telepathic mind. A life where she can't see through the eyes of a murderer as he hunts down his next victim...

J.C. Nikolaiev was a top researcher, but when his conscience got the better of him, he tried to destroy his work and free his subjects—and was imprisoned as a traitor. To save himself and prevent more people from dying, J.C. must catch the serial killer stalking the halls of the facility. But his only leads come from a woman whose thoughts have invaded his mind...

Finally out of the psych ward, Amy joins forces with J.C. to find the killer before he closes in on them. Can their growing attraction withstand the truths they uncover?
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