Friday, June 29, 2012

Review: Don't Bite the Messenger by Regan Summers

Don't Bite the Messenger
Author: Regan Summers
Release Date: January 16, 2012
Publisher: Carina Press
ISBN13:  9781426893070
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Author


Anchorage, Alaska
The vampire population may have created an economic boom in Alaska, but their altered energy field fries most technology. They rely on hard-living--and short-lived--couriers to get business done...couriers like Sydney Kildare.
Sydney has survived to the ripe old age of twenty-six by being careful. She's careful when navigating her tempestuous clients, outrunning hijackers and avoiding anyone who might distract her from her plan of retiring young to a tropical, vampire-free island.
Her attitude--and immunity to vampires' allure--have made her the target of a faction of vampires trying to reclaim their territory. Her only ally is Malcolm Kelly, a secretive charmer with the uncanny habit of showing up whenever she's in trouble. Caught in the middle of a vampire turf war, Sydney has to count on Malcolm to help her survive, or the only place she'll retire is her grave...


Sydney is a courier for the vamps and I found her job to be fun and exciting. I could so picture people doing that and it was fun to learn how she had to change her appearance all the time and keep her real identity a secret. The opening scene was full of action as she raced to complete a run so that we got an instant taste of her job. Sydney takes her job seriously and kinda lives the part but she is still down to earth and easy to like. Because of her job she hasn't really had time for romance but Malcolm and her have instant attraction that shines through the pages. They didn't immediately jump each others bones or fall in love which was nice.The story is pretty short but its filled with action, was fast paced, and it felt complete.


I'm kinda hoping to see more of Sydney and Malcolm. The story ended well and I was satisfied with the ending but I think they would be super fun to follow on their next journey so I would definitely read more. 


I gave it 4/5 stars

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: Consumed by Rebecca Zanetti

Consumed
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Kensington
Dark Protectors Book #4
ISBN13: 9781601830135
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: Netgalley 


Sometimes You Mate For Life

Katie Smith is the best of her class, part of an elite hunting force trained to eliminate werewolves from the hills of Western Virginia. She's good at it because she has the kind of focus and drive that won't back down no matter how steep the odds. Call it southern sass. Whatever it is, there's no denying her willingness to risk everything for the only man she's ever cared about--a man on the verge of losing his very humanity. . .

Sometimes You Mate To Stay Alive

For the past ten years Jordan Pride has dedicated his life to protecting his people from a deadly shifter virus. But in a rare moment of distraction, Jordan's guard drops just long enough for his fate to take an irreversible twist. Unless the woman he loves surrenders everything to him, again and again, under a full moon rising. . .


I didn't realize that CONSUMED was the fourth book in the series until about half way through reading it and i honestly would have never guessed that it wasn't the first if I wouldn't have noticed that.

The pace was nice and fast, I was never bored and the characters were all fun to follow. The twists were well revealed and they was plenty of action. Katie and Jordan had fantastic chemistry together and I loved how their relationship progressed even though they were both pretty stubborn. The world that the series is set in was easy to fall into and I cant wait to read more about it. I loved how the last chapter took place 2 years later so we could follow up on them, I'm always disappointed when books end without letting us know what happens so that was a great surprise.

I don't think I will go back and read books 1-3 because I don't really like to go backwards but I will defiantly be following the series here on out.

I gave it 4/5 stars

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Winner: ARC copy of Blood Kin by M.J. Scott

Thank you to everyone who entered!!

Prize: ARC copy of Blood Kin
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.

Review: Darkness Devours by Keri Arthur

Darkness Devours
Author: Keri Arthur
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Signet Select
Dark Angels Book #3
ISBN:   0451237110
ISBN13: 9780451237118
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Publisher

Half-werewolf, half-Aedh Risa Jones can enter the realm between life and death, and she can see the Reapers who collect the souls of the dead. Now, she is using her gifts—and the investigative know-how of a man who broke her heart—to find a cabal searching for the power to control time, reality, and fate. And this is besides her work for the Vampire Council, half of whom want her dead.

But for now the Council needs her alive. Someone is killing blood-whore addicted vampires, and Risa must find the guilty party. If she succeeds, she may finally convince the council to lift the execution order on her life. But before she succeeds, she must first survive…

I had not picked up the first two books in the Dark Angel series until I received DARKNESS DEVOURED but loved reading them back to back. I loved Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson Guardian series so I had no doubt that I would enjoy this one. In the Riley series Risa is just a little girl so it was neat to see her all grown up and I also loved that Riley is a part of this series as well even if she is in the background. 

The book takes place in the same world as Riley's series so I have no complaints on that front and I love being back there. The progress of the storyline and the growth of the characters progresses nicely with each book. There is plenty of action and scenes filled with situations that feel like it would be impossible to escape from. Romance/relationship thoughts....Risa and Azriel... SO frustrating and filled with sexual tension towards each other but wow they make a good team, can't wait to see them in book 4. Risa and Lucian... I can NOT stand Lucian, yeah they have good sex together but he is so involved in her problems I just KNOW it and cant wait until he is revealed for the scum he is. I really enjoyed how Risa acted towards Lucian is DARKNESS DEVOURED and hope it keeps up. 

Final thought? I'm so glad I decided to read the series. If you have not read the first two books I'm sure you could jump in and not be lost but why would you want to? Go back and read, you wont be disappointed. Bring on DARKNESS HUNTS.

I gave it 4/5 stars  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Winner: Shadow Sight Prize Pack by E.J. Stevens

Thank you to everyone who entered!!

Prize: ebook copy of Shadow Sight by E.J. Stevens, an Ivy Granger sticker (with Private Eye logo), and a signed Shadow Sight postcard
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.

Promotional Post: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

 The Hallowed Ones
Author: Laura Bickle
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Graphia
ISBN:   0547859260
ISBN13: 9780547859262
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian

If your home was the last safe place on earth, would you let a stranger in?

In this captivating thriller, an Amish settlement is the last safe haven in a world plagued by an unspeakable horror…

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Something is out there...and it is making a killing.

Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a decree: No one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elder’s rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community—but what else is she bringing in with him?


I just finished reading The Hallowed Ones and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. What are your thoughts after reading the blurb?

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Laura Bickle's professional background is in criminal justice and library science. When she's not patrolling the stacks at the public library, she can be found reaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs. She has written several contemporary fantasy nov-els for adults, and THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats. For more about Laura, please visit her website at: www.laurabickle.com.

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 Find Laura and her books
__________________________________

New Releases: 6/24-6/30

 
Tues June 26

 
Happy Reading!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Giveaway: Cursed by Benedict Jacka

Cursed
Author: Benedict Jacka
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Publisher: Ace
Alex Verus Book #2
ISBN:   1937007596
ISBN13: 9781937007591
Genre: Urban Fantasy


Benedict Jacka's acclaimed Alex Verus series continues with Cursed.

Since his second sight made him infamous for defeating powerful dark mages, Alex has been keeping his head down. But now he's discovered the resurgence of a forbidden ritual. Someone is harvesting the life-force of magical creatures—destroying them in the process. And draining humans is next on the agenda. Hired to investigate, Alex realizes that not everyone on the Council wants him delving any deeper. Struggling to distinguish ally from enemy, he finds himself the target of those who would risk their own sanity for power...

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Week in Review: 6/17-6/23



Books Ive Bought/received

* In a Fix by Linda Grimes- eArc- Netgalley

* Consumed by Rebecca Zanetti- eArc- Netgaley

  
Books I read

Darkness Devours by Keri Arthur
Chosen by Sable Grace
Midnights Master by Donna Grant
Consumed by Rebecca Zanetti
Rogue's Pawn by Jeffe Kennedy

Reviews posted

Stalking the Others by Jess Haines
Echo Falls by Jaime McDougall
Black-Hearted Betrayal by Kasey MacKenzie
Chasing Magic by Stacia Kane


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

*Wednesday Author of Echo Falls Jaime McDougall Stopped in with a guest post on Investigating Werewolves.

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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, June 23, 2012

Early Review: Chasing Magic by Stacia Kane

Chasing Magic
Author: Stacia Kane
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Del Rey
Downside Ghosts Book #5
ISBN:   0345527526
ISBN13: 9780345527523
Genre: Dystopian/Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Netgalley

A DEADLY HIGH

Magic-wielding Churchwitch and secret addict Chess Putnam knows better than anyone just how high a price people are willing to pay for a chemical rush. But when someone with money to burn and a penchant for black magic starts tampering with Downside’s drug supply, Chess realizes that the unlucky customers are paying with their souls—and taking the innocent with them, as the magic-infused speed compels them to kill in the most gruesome ways possible.

As if the streets weren’t scary enough, the looming war between the two men in her life explodes, taking even more casualties and putting Chess squarely in the middle. Downside could become a literal ghost town if Chess doesn’t find a way to stop both the war and the dark wave of death-magic, and the only way to do that is to use both her addiction and her power to enter the spell and chase the magic all the way back to its malevolent source. Too bad that doing so will probably kill Chess—if the war doesn’t first destroy the man who’s become her reason for living.

These books just get better and better.

Oddly enough Chess isn't working a church case in book 5. The relationship between Chess and Terrible is still going, They obviously love each other. There are still issues with Chess thinking about how she isn't good enough or he wont trust her enough but she is getting a bit better with that and she is making a bit of progress with her personal issues. Terrible and Chess make great strides towards healing all the things that have happened to their relationship in the time they have been together. Chess' drug use is still heavy, at one point she gets herself into a scary situation and she was suitably scared by it. I'm not sure if that will make her cut back or not, I'm kinda hoping it does. I would love to see Chess drug free. Chess does a lot of thinking throughout the book on her "relationship" with Lex and if she truly wants to continue to have him in her life as a friend. He does some pretty crappy things in the book in my opinion but when he was needed he was there for her. I'm hoping she sticks with her final decisions though. 

I don't want to give away and spoilers so I will end this with saying that CHASING MAGIC was a great addition to the series.  I have not been disappointed with any of the books to date and I'm always excited to grab the next book in the series. 

I gave it 5/5 stars 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Winner: Bleeding Out by Jes Battis

Thank you to everyone who entered!!

Prize: Print copy of Bleeding Out
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.

Early Review: Black-Hearted Betrayal by Kasey MacKenzie

Black-Hearted Betrayal
Author: Kasey MacKenzie
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Ace
Shades of Fury Book #3
ISBN:  1937007650
ISBN13: 9781937007652
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Publisher

Riss Holloway has taken a leave of absence from her mortal job as Boston’s Chief Magical Investigator to focus on an unsettling friction brewing in the Sisterhood—only to be ushered into a tumultuous civil war drawing every other god and goddess into the chaos as well.


I really love all the covers of this series. Riss's leave of absence doesn't end up going so well. There is actually a line in the book that explains it best, She is now taking a leave of absence from her leave of absence. I was looking forward to seeing Riss with her niece now that she is a fury so I was kinda sad that that was put off until later.

Riss and Scott are still very much together and happy, they don't really have any alone time with each other but they are still a great team and still growing their relationship together. There was a lot more mythology added into book 3, more gods and goddesses are introduced into the book and new situations fill the pages. I expected the bad guy to go down at the end but I was totally shocked by all the events that made it happen and the outcome of Marissa completing her task. I know that the new situations certain people find themselves in at the end of the book will bring plenty of action and excitement in future books.

Like the other book in the Shades of Fury series BLACK-HEARTED BETRAYAL is filled with action and suspense. Riss and her allies hardly have room to breathe before the enemies are on them again. I thought that there was a lot more brought to the table compared to book 2 and I hope that it continues with book 4.

I gave it 4/5 stars

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: Echo Falls by Jaime McDougall

Echo Falls
Author: Jaime McDougall
Release Date: July 15, 2011
Publisher: Self Published
ISBN:   1463664044
ISBN13: 9781463664046
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: Bewitching Book Tours

Running from a nightmare stalking her every move, Phoebe Martin arrives in Echo Falls hoping she has finally found a safe place to stop. But trouble has a way of catching up and soon the signs are there.

After a vicious attack in an alley, policeman Aidan O'Bryan is left with Phoebe as his only path to understanding why the Echo Falls werewolf pack - his pack - is being attacked. When another pack member is killed, Phoebe is forced to confront her past before she loses Aidan and everything she has come to love.

Love and duty become one as Aidan strives to prevent Phoebe from becoming the next victim. But with Phoebe just as determined to protect Aidan and her new home, secrets from her past threaten to tear them apart.

Will love give Phoebe the strength to trust Aidan and face her fears, or will her past destroy her future?

I enjoyed ECHO FALLS. The protagonist Phoebe is a photographer who has been on the run for a while and finally feels like Echo Falls could be home. Phoebe doesn't trust anyone, is very cautious and tries not to get to attached to anything. She is attacked in an alley one night and Police officer and werewolf pack leader Aidan saves her, brings her home and nurses her back to health. Everywhere Phoebe goes disaster follows so she immediately starts pushing him away in the hopes that nothing will go wrong in Echo Falls.

When the murders in Echo Falls start looking familiar Phoebe fears that the evil she has been trying to escape is finally catching up to her again. Aidan doesn't understand why Phoebe is pushing him away or what she is hiding but he still wants to get to know her. The attraction between Aidan and Phoebe makes itself known very early but they gradually worked through their feelings which was nice. They didn't have the feel of people that just met and threw themselves together so I think their slow progress complimented their characters. I think the flaws that both of them brought to the table made them more real and made me understand them more.

ECHO FALLS moved at a nice fast pace with a great amount of mystery. I enjoyed the supporting characters almost as much as the main characters and the story held my attention. I haven't seen anything that suggests ECHO FALLS is part of a series but I wouldn't mind reading more.

I gave it 3.5/5 stars

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Guest Post: Jaime McDougall

UFI welcomes Jaime McDougall Author of Echo Falls. Thanks for Joining us!!


Investigating Werewolves

In the original version of Echo Falls, chapter eighteen didn’t exist. Oh, there was a chapter eighteen, but it didn’t contain the wolf hunt that makes the chapter now…

The night Phoebe Martin came crashing into my head, sending me searching out the nearest pen and piece of paper, I couldn’t help but shake my head in confusion. Phoebe’s story had werewolves in it and I knew very little about werewolves. Wolf shifters, maybe, but not quite the give-you-a-bite werewolves.

Why had my brain given me a subject I didn’t know much about?

Yet it was a story I had to right. That kind of clarity didn’t come to this writer for no reason.

One of the beauties and fun of writing any story is the research involved. The investigation combined with imagination to give your story the flesh it needs to draw the reader in and never let them go. But werewolves? To say I was a little intimidated by the subject matter is putting a very soft light on it.

Even in the first draft, I didn’t have it quite right. I’d done research, decided which aspects of werewolf lore I wanted to keep and which I didn’t want to deal with. I wanted the silver allergy, but I didn’t want shifting to hurt. I wanted them to have to change every full moon, but I wanted their inner wolves to be a presence during human times, too.

But my investigating still hadn’t gone far enough, and it was only when a good friend and beta reader told me this that I finally got it:

“What? No hunt scene? You can’t have them transform for a hunt and then skip over the hunt. That’s like sex with no orgasm!”

(You can see why I love this beta reader.)

Then and there, I finally let go of my intimidation and plunged fully into my werewolf investigations. I watched documentary after documentary about actual wolves in the wild, I stopped at every website and blog I could find about werewolf lore, I researched wolf body language and read old myths about werewolves and how they got started.

It was only when I threw myself into the investigation part of writing my book that I began to truly feel like I had a wrong story. My print off of the first draft became lost in a sea of red as I tightened, changed and strengthened my story. And as I wrote chapter eighteen – what turned out to be one of the most fun chapters to write in the book.

Were I to give any new paranormal writer advice about the craft, I would say to enjoy the investigation. Having your book in your hands is a wonderful thing, but it’s the journey that can be the true bliss of the experience. Once you through yourself into the paranormal investigations, you’ll find yourself in an even stranger world than you ever imagined.
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Jaime McDougall is a citizen of the world, currently loving life in beautiful country Victoria in Australia. She loves eating sushi, kidnapping her husband and naming her pets in honour of science fiction authors.

A love of fiction has always coursed through her veins and she told stories as a child even before she knew how to write them. Settling into one genre was never her style and she has plans for novels in women’s fiction, urban fantasy and more – all with a touch of romance.

She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: High School: The Real Deal and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles. She has also enjoyed writing the So You Want ebook series for authors looking to establish their names online.
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Find Jaime and her books
__________________________________

Echo Falls
July 15, 2011

 Running from a nightmare stalking her every move, Phoebe Martin arrives in Echo Falls hoping she has finally found a safe place to stop. But trouble has a way of catching up and soon the signs are there.

After a vicious attack in an alley, policeman Aidan O'Bryan is left with Phoebe as his only path to understanding why the Echo Falls werewolf pack - his pack - is being attacked. When another pack member is killed, Phoebe is forced to confront her past before she loses Aidan and everything she has come to love.

Love and duty become one as Aidan strives to prevent Phoebe from becoming the next victim. But with Phoebe just as determined to protect Aidan and her new home, secrets from her past threaten to tear them apart.

Will love give Phoebe the strength to trust Aidan and face her fears, or will her past destroy her future?

*Warning: Contains adult situations and language


__________________________________

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

ARC Giveaway: Blood Kin by M.J. Scott


Blood Kin
Author: M.J. Scott
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Roc
Half-Light City Book #2
ISBN:  0451464583
ISBN13:9780451464583
Genre: Urban Fantasy


Imagine a city divided. A city where human and Fae magic rests uneasily next to the vampire Blood and the shapeshifting Beasts. A city where a fragile peace is brokered by a treaty that set the laws for all four races… a treaty that is faltering day by day.

I didn’t plan on becoming a thief and a spy. But options are limited for the half-breed daughter of a Fae lord. My father abandoned me but at least I inherited some of his magic, and my skills with charms and glamours mean that few are as good at uncovering secrets others wish to hide. Right now the city has many secrets. And those who seek them pay so well…

I never expected to stumble across a Templar Knight in my part of the city. Guy DuCaine is sworn to duty and honor and loyalty — all the things I’m not. I may have aroused more than his suspicion but he belongs to the Order and the human world. So when treachery and violence spill threaten both our kind, learning to trust each other might be the only thing that saves us.

But even if a spy and a holy knight can work together, finding the key to peace is never going to be easy…

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New Release: 6/17-6/23


Tues June 19

 
Happy Reading!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Early Review: Stalking the Others by Jess Haines

Stalking the Others
Author: Jess Haines
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Publisher: Kensington
H&W Investigations Book #4
ISBN:   1420124021
ISBN13: 9781420124026
Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Review Copy Source: Author


Vampires, werewolves, mages–the Others are very real, and wreaking havoc in Shiarra Waynest’s life. But now, she’s returning the favor…

Once, she was one of the good guys–or as close as a New York P.I. can get. Then Shiarra Waynest was drawn into the world of the Others. Every faction has its own loyalties and agenda. And Shia’s recent betrayal by her ex-boyfriend means that she may be on the verge of becoming a rogue werewolf at the next full moon.

Of course, with all the threats against her, Shia’s not sure she’ll live long enough to find out. The enigmatic vampire Royce wants her back in his clutches, as do two powerful werewolf packs, along with the police. Instead of going into hiding, Shia is enlisting the aid of her enchanted hunter’s belt and every dirty P.I. trick she knows. If she’s going down, she’ll take out as many of her enemies as she can–and hope that in the process, she keeps whatever humanity she has left…

**MINOR SPOILER ALERT!!**

STALKING THE OTHERS isn't my favorite of the series but was still a fantastic addition the series and great read with some nice development. Shiarra was not in a happy place for a good portion of the book. She is angry and wants revenge. Surprisingly it comes to light that the belt that has helped Shia out of many dangerous situations ends up being not so good for her or her psyche.

Why wasnt it my favorite of the series? Well, there was a lot of lead up for what I was hoping was Chaz's demise only for him to be still alive at the end, It was disappointing. On the other hand Royce and Shiarra FINALLY progress in their "relationship" woot woot and I'm dying for book 5. Just like the previous books in the series there is tons of action and dangerous situations. Shia is constantly on the move. The relationship with her family still isn't fixed and that was a super big sad point for Shia throughout the book. I missed some of my fave characters but the characters that were involved were as always well rounded and full of development.


If your new to H&W Investigations I would definitely not recommend jumping into book 4 without reading the others. There is way to much back story and awesomeness to be found in books 1-3. I love the characters, I love the world, I love the writing and I love the story lines. Jess Haines will continue to be a must buy author for my bookshelf.


I gave it 4/5 stars