Monday, March 31, 2014

Guest Blog: Covenant by Sabrina Benulis

UFI welcomes Sabrina Benulis Author of The Books of Raziel Series. Thanks for Joining us!!

What You can Expect in Covenant
 
When I sat down to write Covenant, the first thing that came to mind was that my main character Angela Mathers would have to storm Hell, whether she wished to or not. Her best friend has been kidnapped there, and Angela's noble heart won't let her do otherwise. But the devil is really in the details. So here are some brief mentions of what else you can expect to find in Covenant if you too dare to enter through the darkest of doors with Angela and descend.

A villain you'll love to hate. Demons are a notoriously fickle bunch, aren’t they? Even the worst of them can be so suave and charming. But what's temptation if it doesn't look attractive? Python, despite his unearthly eyes, is of course both unsettling and irresistable. It's hard not to enjoy his devious nature.

Two deadly dances. School dances can cause a great deal of drama, but make it a dance in the supernatural city of Luz, and all bets are off. Yet even so, no dance on Earth can quite compare to a dangerous masquerade in Hell.

An unbearable strain on a precious friendship. Angela and her best friend Sophia have already been through quite a lot. Heck, Sophia isn't even completely human, though she looks like a living and breathing porcelain doll. But when she's kidnapped to the darkest parts of the underworld, loyalty and bravery takes on a new meaning for Angela Mathers, and survival is put to the test as she tries to defy all odds to reach her friend.

A relationship sorely tested. Angela couldn't help falling for Kim, a young man from Luz with a dangerous secret--he's half human and half Jinn. Yet now that she must unswervingly follow her heart and save Sophia before it's far too late, love and attraction might be two of the worst temptations she could possibly encounter.

A few shocking revelations. Angela is determined not to be the Devil's successor on the Throne of Hell if she can help it. However, she will soon learn that sometimes your worst enemy shares more things in common with you than you realize.

And last but not least, something you certainly know already, but Angela must learn the hard way. No matter what--never trust a snake.
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 Sabrina Benulis graduated with a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She currently resides in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania with her husband Mike, and her spoiled cockatiel Caesar. COVENANT is the follow-up to ARCHON, her first novel.



Find Sabrina and her books
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Covenant
The Books of Raziel #2
Harper Collins Amazon BN
The haunting gothic tale started in Archon continues-a mesmerizing work of the paranormal in which a young woman discovers that she is caught in a labyrinth of intrigue where angels, demons, and all the creatures between Heaven and Hell will stop at nothing to possess her.

A year ago, Angela Mathers, a talented artist with a tortured soul, enrolled at the Westwood Academy and encountered the angels who haunted her dreams. Then she discovered the dark truth … she is the Archon, a being of supreme power who will determine the fate of the universe. But with such power comes great danger, and for every force seeking to aid Angela there is another burning to stop her. After a scheming demon kidnaps the Book of Raziel, Angela must find her way through a nightmarish game and enter the Door to Hell to rescue her only friend before it is too late.

The perilous fate of both Heaven and Hell rests on her success.
 
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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Week in Review: 3/23-3/29


Books I've Bought/received

The Dark World by Cara Lynn Shultz- eARC- Netgalley

* What Remains by Kay Holland- eARC- Netgalley

* The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead- eARC- Netgalley

* Poison Promise by Jennifer Estep- eARC- Netgalley

* Death's Daughter by Kathleen Collins- eCopy- Netgalley

Books I've Read

Before the Storm by Claire Ashgrove
Vampire's Hunger by Cynthia Garner
Shift Happens by J.C. McKenzie
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Poison Promise by Jennifer Estep
Shattered Secrets by Krystal Wade

Reviews Posted

Darkside Sun by Jocelyn Adams
White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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

* Monday- Covet March Release Blast

* Tuesday- Promo & Giveaway for Vampires Need Not ... Apply? by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

* Wednesday- Guest Blog & Giveaway for The Spiritual Discord Series by Brandy Nacole

* Thursday- Giveaway for Lockstep by Karl Schroeder

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* Did you know you can follow UFI on these other sites?

You can also add me (as in Stacy) to your friends on these sites if you're on them.
 
 * I love comments so if you see something you like (or not) please comment away and let me know.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

White Hot Kiss
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ISBN:  0373211104
ISBN13: 9780373211104
Genre: Young Adult
Review Copy Source:
One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

Armentrout is a great writer and their has not been one book I have read of hers that I did not enjoy. WHITE HOT KISS is the first full book in her new The Dark Elements series.  

Layla is half demon, half gargoyle, that alone makes her an outcast with everyone she lives with. The Guardians think they are so superior but it's clear that Layla is so much better than some of them. Except Zayne. Zayne and Layla grew up together and even though they should feel like brother and sister, Layla has a huge crush on him (and it's hinted that Zayne has feelings for her as well). The only problem is that they can never be together. Her kiss alone would suck his soul out. I was actually pretty happy when Roth came into the picture. Roth gives her that chance to be with someone that will love her for her no matter what she is or who is against their relationship.The romance between Roth and Layla is rocky while Layla learns to trust Roth but every interaction between the two was entertaining.

With a great storyline and pace WHITE HOT KISS is another great addition to Jennifer L Armentrout's bibliography. It's not a must to read BITTER SWEET LOVE before jumping into WHITE HOT KISS but it gives you a nice back story and lead up to the series so I would suggest reading it before jumping in to book 1.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Friday, March 28, 2014

Review: Darkside Sun by Jocelyn Adams

Darkside Sun
Release Date: March 10, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
ISBN:   162266339X
ISBN13: 9781622663392
Genre: New Adult/ Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: NetGalley
Addison Beckett tries hard to pretend she’s normal, but she’s far from it. Since she was six years old, she’s seen the world around her unraveling, as if someone is pulling a thread from a sweater and it’s all slowly coming undone. When she ignores it, it goes away, so that’s what she does.
Enter her arrogant-but-hot professor Asher Green. He knows all about her special brand of crazy. In fact, he might be just as nuts as she is. Asher insists that the dead from a parallel dimension are trying to possess the living in this one. And since Addison seems to be the only one who can see these “wraiths,” she just might be the key to saving the world.
Addison wants nothing to do with Asher or his secret society, The Mortal Machine. But as their animosity grows, she finds it harder and harder to ignore the chemistry between them. And when she discovers that Machine laws forbid her from touching him, she realizes that’s all she wants to do.
Stop the wraiths. Break the rules. Save the world. All in a day’s work.
Normal was overrated, anyway.

The blurb does a really good job of giving a basic rundown of the book. DARKSIDE SUN started out a bit slow and confusing but picked up and I felt straitened out about 1/3 of the way in.

Addison was super stubborn for most of the book but I totally got why. She has no idea why she sees what she sees but when she has the chance to learn she doesn't take it as seriously as I would imagine she should. She is ripped away from her life and has every decision made for her. She is hunted and attacked by those around her yet steps up and learns all she can to protect herself. She falls in love with Asher but he pushes her away. She is dealing with a lot. Asher as you will quickly tell has serious issues. He's a pain in the ass that thinks he knows better than everyone else. He falls hard for Addison but doesn't think they should be together so decides that they won't on his own. He never tells anyone anything, just tells them what to do. Uggh he was annoying, but I still kinda liked him and was rooting for him and Addison once I got to know him and why he acts like he does.

I really enjoyed the storyline but the world building and flow of the story wasn't as strong as I would have liked. The ending is a killer. Pain, frustration, and a huge cliffhanger that makes you want to scream. 

I gave it 3.5/5 stars

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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Giveaway: Lockstep by Karl Schroeder

Lockstep
by Karl Schroeder
When seventeen-year-old Toby McGonigal finds himself lost in space, separated from his family, he expects his next drift into cold sleep to be his last. After all, the planet he’s orbiting is frozen and sunless, and the cities are dead. But when Toby wakes again, he’s surprised to discover a thriving planet, a strange and prosperous galaxy, and something stranger still—that he’s been asleep for 14,000 years.

Welcome to the Lockstep Empire, where civilization is kept alive by careful hibernation. Here cold sleeps can last decades and waking moments mere weeks. Its citizens survive for millennia, traveling asleep on long voyages between worlds. Not only is Lockstep the new center of the galaxy, but Toby is shocked to learn that the Empire is still ruled by its founding family: his own.

Toby’s brother Peter has become a terrible tyrant. Suspicious of the return of his long-lost brother, whose rightful inheritance also controls the lockstep hibernation cycles, Peter sees Toby as a threat to his regime. Now, with the help of a lockstep girl named Corva, Toby must survive the forces of this new Empire, outwit his siblings, and save human civilization.

Karl Schroeder's Lockstep is a grand innovation in hard SF space opera.
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Karl Schroeder (born September 4, 1962) is an award-winning Canadian science fiction author. His novels present far-future speculations on topics such as nanotechnology, terraforming, augmented reality and interstellar travel, and have a deeply philosophical streak. One of his concepts, known as thalience, has gained some currency in the artificial intelligence and computer networking communities.

Find Karl and her books
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US and Canada only 
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Guest Blog & Giveway: Spiritual Discord Series by Brandy Nacole

UFI welcomes Brandy Nacole Author of The Spiritual Discord Series. Thanks for Joining us!!

Creating Evil Characters
 
Not all, but most fiction books have an evil villain. But what makes a good villain? Well, besides the reason they are fighting against the good guys, which is usually about power and taking over the world, I think they also need a good backstory. A villain’s backstory explains so much about why they are doing the things they are doing and what led them there.

In my novel, Broken Faith, the hell hound Falon is the villain. Although he is not the main boss, that would be Lucifer, he’s the one doing the dirty work. But Falon isn’t just following the command of his boss, he’s out for revenge. In the story, bits of Falon’s backstory is told through Kayson and even a little by himself as he searches for Kayson and Sabrina. His backstory allows readers to see who he was, who is now, and gives them ideas about his possible future.

Backstory’s help improve the story, add a twist, as well as add to the complexity of the character’s relationships. Creating evil villains who have no backstory, they just do what they do just because, gives them no meaning. Sometimes it makes you feel for them, hate them more, or make you look around at your own life. It is what gives a villain his depth.

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Brandy Nacole resides in Arkansas where her imagination runs wild. Her obsession is reading but her passion is writing. She put her dream of becoming a writer on the back burner and went to college to become a psychologist. Three years after endless classes in a field she only felt half satisfied with, Brandy picked up her pen once again and wrote the outline to Uniquely Unwelcome. She finished out her degree in psychology, but traded her dream of writing for the degree and put psychology on the back burner. Whenever she's not reading or writing, Brandy is spending time with her family and friends, throwing around crazy ideas, teaching , and singing like a rock star at a concert for no one else but herself. She loves plants, but unfortunately is a killer of anything that requires water but can't voice (scream) their needs.

She is the author of The Shadow World Series and The Spiritual Discord Series.

Find Brandy and her books
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Broken Faith 
Spiritual Discord #1
Amazon BN Kobo iTunes
"This is it. The moment Heaven and Hell clash. But which unearthly being will win, the fallen angel or Hell's hounds?

Overtaken by fear, I close my eyes."

Kayson is a Fallen Angel who has spent decades running from the Hell Hounds while searching for something that no one else believes can be so, not even God. Kayson is determined to find a Blood Child. But when a hound finds Kayson first, he is sure his end has come.
Falon, Alpha of the Hell Hounds, destroyer of the blood children, and devoted believer in his master’s plan, is bound and determined to drag Kayson back to Hell with him.
Sabrina is a Vampire, a half-breed created from one of Lucifer’s original blood children. After years of hiding, Sabrina’s fate changes when she finds Kayson barely alive. Against her instincts, Sabrina saves him. Now she and Kayson are both marked by the Hell Hounds.
Emma is an ordinary human, whose only problem is making ends meet, and getting over the hurt caused by her untrustworthy brother. Her everyday problems become supernatural ones when she finds Kayson and Sabrina hiding in her parent’s backyard shed.

Kayson, Sabrina and Emma are unlikely allies, thrown together by chance to fight against the most powerful creatures of the underworld in order to follow their world-changing quest. But will the broken faith of one break the faith of all?


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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Promo & Giveaway: Vampires need not ... Apply? by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Vampires Need Not ... Apply? 
Accidentally Yours #4 
Amazon Barnes and Noble iTunes
Impending apocalypse. Check.

Leaders of the gods' army captured. Check. Check.

Three slightly ticked off women now charged with saving the world while the gods fall apart, the good vampires go on holiday, the bad guys are popping up everywhere. Check. Check. Check.

Help is on the way. Check?

Meet Dr. Antonio Acero, a world-renowned physicist whose life is about to take a turn for the worst. And the bizarre. While on vacation in southern Mexico, Antonio discovers an ancient Mayan tablet. Local legends say it contains magical properties, properties that could put his stalling research on the map. But is this really his lucky break? When Antonio attempts to put the tablet to use, he'll discover that Fate has other plans. And her name is Ixtab.
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Excerpt:

New Year’s Day. New York City
               “Save me. Please save me.”
               “Dammit. Where are you?” Thirty-four-year-old Antonio Acero frantically searched the dark, empty, cavernous room, helplessly listening to the woman’s cries.
               “Time is running out. You must work faster,” she wailed.
               “I am doing everything I can,” he called out, his voice bouncing off the bare, smooth walls. “But I can’t get to you. If you just tell me…” Two catlike eyes punched through the darkness, sucking the words from his mind. He wanted to see more of her, to touch her. He felt like he might become the one who needed saving if he did not.
               “Save me. Please save me,” the woman repeated. “Time is running out. I have the answers you need, but you must work faster. Destiny—”
               Antonio catapulted from his deep slumber, dripping in cold sweat. “Puta madre, ” he whispered and flipped on his stainless steel reading lamp. It had been the same damned nightmare every night for the last month. Ever since he’d found that fucking tablet in Mexico. Or had it found him?
Doesn’t matter. It’s what you were looking for, the answer to your prayers.
               “Everything all right, baby?” A silky arm slipped out from beneath the steel-gray satin sheets and rubbed his bare thigh.
               “Uh… yeah. Sure.” He looked down at the mop of brown hair. Her face was as obscure as her name.
Mierda. What was he doing? It didn’t matter how many women he brought home, he couldn’t wash her—the woman in his dreams—from his mind.
               He slid from bed and plucked his discarded tee and boxer briefs from the floor. On his way to the kitchen, he slipped them on and tried not to punch something.
Dammit. The dreams were only getting worse, more vivid, more frantic with every passing night.
               He yanked open the fridge, pushed past the Odwallas and beer, and grabbed the soy milk. He knew this madness didn’t make sense, but what the hell did that matter? The dreams kept coming. Scotch—the good stuff—sex, hypnosis didn’t matter. Every night she came. Every night he woke. Every day he worked and didn’t stop until his mind reached exhaustion. And even then, he couldn’t stop thinking about the tablet.
Or her…
Shit. What was happening to him?
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Before taking up a permanent residence in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mimi spent time living near NYC (became a shopaholic), in Mexico City (developed a taste for very spicy food), and Arizona (now hates jumping chollas, but pines for sherbet sunsets). Her love of pre-Hispanic culture, big cities, and romance inspires her to write when she's not busy with kids, hubby, work, and life...or getting sucked into a juicy novel. 

She hopes that someday leather pants for men will make a big comeback and that her writing might make you laugh when you need it most.
Find Mimi and her books
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Tour Wide 
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New Releases: 3/23-3/29


Tue March 25
 
 Bite Me (Pride #9) by Shelly Laurenston 
 Code Zero (Joe Ledger #6) by Jonathan Maberry  
 Foamers by Justin Kassab  
 The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston 
 Six months (Seven #2) by Dannika Dark
 Smasher by Scott Bly
 Wanderers (Wasteland #2) by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan 

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Covet March Release Blast


Covets have all the sexiness, emotion, and happily ever after that readers have come to expect and love from Entangled. They are firmly grounded in the contemporary world, but each novel brings in supernatural twists, breaking the contemporary and paranormal rules, alike. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books you’ll be coveting next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, LIKE their Facebook page, and join the Book Club.


Today I'm happy to be featuring Covet's March releases:



Sex and the Single Vamp by Robin Covington

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!


Cici Trent, vampire and media darling, spends her days finding true love for humans and supernaturals (the “Others”) at her dating agency. But someone is trying to sabotage her business and she needs help. Unfortunately, the best man for the job is the one who broke her still-beating heart two hundred fifty-four years ago.


Deacon is a patient vampire. He’s only loved one woman in over three hundred years— CiCi— and she chose another. So when she shows up in his office asking for help, he finally has the chance to lay that demon to rest. He’ll help her, but for a price—a night in his bed.


Adrenaline, mischief, and a little late-night B&E light the passion that even a couple of lifetimes couldn’t put out. But Deacon has a secret and when Cici is suddenly mortal, his deception might be the only way restore her immortality. Can love bridge the gap between a heartbeat and forever?




Love and Other Cosmic Nonsense by A.D. Marrow

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!

Breaking it off with her long-time non-magical boyfriend, Evan, was for his own good. At least that’s what Maggie Owen tells herself. After all, a witch and a human can have no future together. Her vision told her so. But now it seems the universe is exacting revenge for upsetting the balance of what “should be” and her heart is telling her she was wrong.

Evan Jackson can’t believe his bad luck. It’s been a year since Maggie broke his heart, and now his business partner has hired her as their new receptionist. Fine, they need the help. But no way will he let her get close again. He can’t take another heartbreak from the woman he still dreams about, even if it feels like there’s still a magical pull between them.

Being in the same building with Evan is a start, but it’s going to take more than Maggie’s special talents and a wink to get the hard-hearted bad-boy to see that love is really more than just cosmic nonsense and set the universe back into balance.




Also don't miss:


January's releases, Love At Stake and Haunt Me, are on sale for only for a limited time only! If you missed out before, now's your chance to snap them up at just $0.99 each!

(Click on the covers to grab the limited time deals)







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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Week in Review: 3/16-3/22


Books I've Bought/received

* Vampire's Hunger by Cynthia Garner- eARC- NetGalley

* Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin- eARC- Netgalley

* Frozen Desires by Jessie Donovan- eCopy- Author

* Shift Happens by J.C. McKenzie- Ecopy- Author

* Before the Storm by Claire Ashgrove- eARC- Author

* Shattered Secrets by Krystal Wade- eARC- NetGalley

Books I've Read

Deceiving the Witch Next Door by Melissa Bourbon Ramirez
Bloodfire by Helen Harper
Blood Magic by Helen Harper
Blodrage by Helen Harper
Blood Politics by Helen Harper
Bloodlust by Helen Harper

Reviews Posted

ARV-3 by Cameo Renae
Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep
The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian

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

* Monday- Guest Blog and Giveaway for Dead Awakening by Rebekah R. Garniere

* Thursday- Guest Blog for Wild Card by Jamie Wyman

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* Did you know you can follow UFI on these other sites?

You can also add me (as in Stacy) to your friends on these sites if you're on them.
 
 * I love comments so if you see something you like (or not) please comment away and let me know.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Review: ARV-3 by Cameo Renae

ARV-3
Author: Cameo Renae
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Publisher: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
ISBN:  1939769507
ISBN13: 9781939769503
Genre: Dystopian
Review Copy Source: NetGalley
The beginning of the end. The Apocalypse.

A nuclear fallout wiped out every living thing on the planet, except for a few thousand of us who took shelter in underground bunkers across the globe. Now, after thirteen long years, we were finally able to return to the topside to begin to rebuild.
We thought we were alone. We were never more wrong.
Before the fallout, scientists had worked on creating an anti-radiation vaccine (ARV). The first two attempts failed, but despite the incomplete tests and results, the government approved and distributed the third serum to the masses in an effort to aid those who had no shelter.
It worked, keeping those who remained on the topside alive, but it also altered and mutated them. This new and infectious threat had completely outnumbered us. Now, we not only had to rebuild our planet. We would have to fight for it.
My name is Abigail Park. I’m seventeen, and this is my story.


ARV-3 follows Abigail Park and her hive mates as they leave their home of 13 years and journey to the safe zone that is set up for all the hives. Before they set out the learn that those who survived the nuclear fallout have changed into these zombie like creatures that will make their journey even harder. The haven they thought they were going to isn't quite what they expected either. 

I really liked Abigail. She was born before the fallout but grew up in the hive with her family and friends. She is in peak physical shape, she has trained in weaponry, she knows how to take care of herself and she is very personable. She is wise beyond her years but still has some of those innocent moments. Right before her group sets out her and her best friend realize their attraction for each other is mutual and decide to give their relationship the go as well so there is a nice romance behind the story as well. 

The author did a fantastic job of building her world and story. We get lots of information without it all being dumped on us and making you overwhelmed. The Arvies are well described and depicted. The action is intense and keeps you glued to the pages. I wasn't overly shocked by what the group found when they got the the safe zone but that is because I knew it wouldn't be all butterflies and rainbows. Its a Dystopian after all. I enjoyed many of the characters that were introduced and was a little shocked at their willingness or unwillingness to help at certain times in the book.

I have high hopes for the next book in the series. I have what I would love to happen planned out in my head and I know I am going to get so angry when it doesn't go that way but I will read it just the same in hopes that it does. 

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Guest Blog: Wild Card by Jamie Wyman

UFI welcomes Jamie Wyman Author of Wild Card. Thanks for Joining us!!

*begin transmission* Hello? Hello is this thing on? Can anyone hear me? It’s me, Jamie Wyman. I don’t know what’s happened. I was typing and listening to the 90s grunge station, and the next thing I know I’m sitting in my bedroom circa 1995. If any of you can hear this, please…please, find a way to get me back to 2014 before my past self sees me and cringes that she is not, in fact, everything she thought she would be.

Oy vey, this place is a bit of a wreck. I mean, I wasn’t a slob, but… okay, I was a bit of a slob. Must be summer, because it looks like my closet threw up and covered my bedroom in the vomit of journals, clothes and CDs. I’m surrounded by posters of Jonathan Brandis and Christian Slater. They’re everywhere. Even on the ceiling. Holy crap! There’s the picture of me and Brandis. My parents had that blown up to poster size! I haven’t seen that thing in ages. 


Eee! And my Chucks! Wow… yeah, these are totally demolished. Must be last marching season’s troopers.
Multiple holes in the inner sides of both shoes from countless hours spent wearing them to marching band rehearsals. Soles worn to butter-softness and thinner than a supermodel’s photoshopped soul. Scribbles and scrawls written all over them. Tons of “anarchy” symbols, too. Holy wow, these were the best shoes of all time.

And my phone!!! I’d forgotten all about this phone! I just HAD to have it—along with the blue and black lava lamp—when I went birthday shopping at Spencer’s. Sure, it wouldn’t stay mounted to the wall and ended up just sitting there on the floor, open and clunky, but it was still better than some clear plastic thing from 1991. Do you have any idea how many hours I spent on this phone talking with my BFF Susana about how cute Jerry Sobota was? Guh! Sure, he said he didn’t *like* me like me, but I carried that torch, dammit. And we won’t even go into how often I talked to my boyfriend on that phone. This phone was pimp! 
 
Guys guys guys! My drumset is here! Jet black Ludwig Rocker LTD. Zildjian cymbals (10 inch splash, 14 inch crash and 20 inch ride), 2 black tambourines and Yamaha hardware. “Animal” (muppets) plush lives in the bass drum. Most often played while listening to Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Offspring and Aerosmith.

Oh, my gods, AEROSMITH! I loved them! There’s all my t-shirts that I hung on the wall. And EVERY. Damn. CD the band ever produced. And the music books of Get A Grip and the Greatest Hits album. And my bass guitar ready to learn Cryin’.

*spins in circles* Holy crap, this like some crazy time capsule! And my beanbag…My Weezer flag! And my copy of “The Crow” graphic novel. (Totally need to get that signed by James O’Barr when I see him at Phoenix Comic Con this year.) My notebooks of poetry and stories, all tied together with keychains….damn, I lost those in a flood a few years ago! And the Woodstock ’94 pictures I drew and hung on my door? And that stack of notes passed between classes from Susana, Pam. I used to sign all of them the same way: TLATEOTTMBY – “The Light at the End of the Tunnel May Be You”. Got that from an Aerosmith song and loved it. It was my thing. More notes…and a huge stack from my boyfriend.

Oh, dear, my boyfriend…. *blushes* There’s the necklace he gave me that I wove a hemp cord for because the original chain broke. 
 
Dude! Why did I hate myself so much as a teenager? Sure, I had some issues, but I played drums like a freakin’ deranged octopus. I had stellar friends, great taste in music and just as much fashion sense then as I have now. Nothing much has changed, honestly. I mean, physically there are grey hairs and more pounds and a bad back from all that marching band and drumline, but I’m still the same. I’m worlds away from who she was—who she thought she would be—and yet, I am her. And she was pretty damn cool. I should leave her a note and tell her that…
 
Wait… *transmission begins to fade* Guys, can you hear me? I think something’s happening. The room’s getting…it’s clearing out…Everything is gone. Oh, no…I’m looking out the window and there’s like eighty feet of snow on the ground. This paper on the window says “condemned”.
Where’s my stuff? Where the hell am I? Guys? GUYS?!!! Hurry….wherever you are, start singing “No Rain” by Blind Melon. Maybe it will create some sort of conduit—I’ll sing, too—and I can come home. Home to my daughter, my husband, my ohana, my cats and the me I’ve become. I’ve got sequels to WILD CARD to write. Hurry. If you’re there…sing for me!
*blast of light…static* 


Um…I’m in my house now. My real house. At my computer in 2014. TyGrr is being insane and my daughter left her breakfast dishes on the floor. Again. *sigh* Wow. That was close.
So, I was supposed to do a guest post for you on Urban Fantasy Investigations, but…well, after all that, I think I’m a little discombobulated. (I love the Spell Check recognizes that word. Just sayin’.) I’m going to sign off now. 


And remember…the light at the end of the tunnel may be you. Goodnight.
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After a misspent adulthood pursuing a Music Education degree, JAMIE WYMAN fostered several interests before discovering that being an author means never having to get out of pajamas. (However, she can eat/spin fire, tell you a lot about auditioning to be a Blue Man, and read/write in Circular Gallifreyan.) As an author, Jamie’s favorite playgrounds are urban fantasy, horror and creepy carnival settings. When she’s not traipsing about with her imaginary friends, she lives in Phoenix with two hobbits and two cats. She is proud to say she has a deeply disturbed following at her blog.

Jamie’s debut novel WILD CARD (Entangled Edge, 2013) is available wherever ebooks are sold. You can also find her short story “The Clever One” in the anthology WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME 2 (Dragon Moon Press, August ’13). Jamie has contributed to the SF Signal’s “Mind Meld” feature as well as the flash fiction contests on Chuck Wendig’s blog.
Find Jamie and her books
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Wild Card
 It was bad enough that gods gambled with human souls, but Catherine Sharp’s soul just had to be won by the Greek goddess of Discord, Eris. As if working a dead-end tech support job didn’t suck the life out of her as it was. Now, Cat finds herself performing random tasks for the goddess in her free time.

But when Coyote, the Native American trickster himself, claims to have won her own soul in Mayhem’s weekly poker game, Cat wants in on the action. With five sneaky gods upping the ante, Cat needs to find a way to collect the winning chips that could save her soul.
Marius, a handsome yet irritating satyr with his own debt to Eris, might finally come in handy for something. If they play their cards right and work together, Cat and Marius may just get their freedom back. If they don’t kill each other—or fall in love—first.
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review: Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep

Killer Frost
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Kensington
ISBN:  0758281544
ISBN13: 9780758281548
Genre: Young Adult
Review Copy Source:NetGalley
I’ve battled the Reapers of Chaos before–and survived. But this time I have a Bad, Bad Feeling it’s going to be a fight to the death … most likely mine.

Yeah, I’ve got my psychometry magic, my talking sword, Vic–and even the most dangerous Spartan on campus at my side, in Logan freaking Quinn, but I’m no match for Loki, the evil Norse god of chaos. I may be Nike’s Champion, but at heart, I’m still just Gwen Frost, that weird Gypsy girl everyone at school loves to gossip about.

Then someone I love is put in more danger than ever before, and something inside me snaps. This time, Loki and his Reapers are going down for good … or I am.

KILLER FROST is the last book in the Mythos Academy series. All of Gwen's allies are present to help defeat the Reapers and Loki for good. As Nike's Champion it's said that Gwen will be the one to defeat Loki but she still has no clue how and doubts she is any match for him.

It was great seeing all the world and character development we have witnessed since FIRST FROST come to a head in the final book. There were plenty of shocks that will throw you through a loop. I don't want to spoil anything and I have said a lot about the series in previous book reviews but know that the pace was great and the final battle did the series justice. It wasn't too short, too easy or without its failures. Everyone was involved, no one was left unscathed and when it was time for Gwen to step up she did so even though she knew the sacrifice to herself would be great.

It was fun getting to know Gwen and her friends and I will miss the series but the conclusion was satisfying.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review: The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian

The Wicked We Have Done
Author:Sarah Harian
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Headline
Chaos Theory Book #1
ISBN13: 9781472218100
Genre: New Adult/Dystopian
Review Copy Source:NetGalley
Evalyn Ibarra never expected to be an accused killer and experimental prison test subject. A year ago, she was a normal college student. Now she’s been sentenced to a month in the compass room—an advanced prison obstacle course designed by the government to execute justice.

If she survives, the world will know she’s innocent.

Locked up with nine notorious and potentially psychotic criminals, Evalyn must fight the prison and dismantle her past to stay alive. But the system prized for accuracy appears to be killing at random.

She doesn’t plan on making friends.

She doesn’t plan on falling in love, either.

THE WICKED WE HAVE DONE was interesting. The whole premise of the story is what made me want to read it and it kept my attention. Evalyn is an accused killer who takes the option of going to The Compass Room to test her morality. While there she meets friends, falls in love and rebels against the prison that holds them all.

Evalyn doesn't think she will make it out of The Compass Room. She committed a horrible crime and as she is forced to relive it while waiting to finally be killed for it. We slowly learn the circumstances behind her crime and the role she played in it while we also meet the other participants and why they are there. You have a small idea of who will make it farther than others but things go hinky many times. You can guess pretty quickly who the romance is with. Although this character is a little bit younger than Evalyn they quickly become part of each others life's and fight to take care of each other. The characters all seemed well rounded. I had no problem liking Evalyn's allies and despising her enemies. The prison obstacle course was very Hunger Games like. There are tests, hallucinations, people bent on killing others but it was also unique in the sense of the technology used and its purpose.

I still had a lot of questions when the book was over and I can't decide if the author made it that way or if I missed something which is a tad frustrating. Depending on what I read when the blurb for A VAULT OF SINS is released I might read book 2.

I gave it 3/5 stars

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

New Releases: 3/16-3/22


Tue March 18

 Elusion by Claudia Gabel, Cheryl Klam
 Storm Bound (Grim #2) by Dani Harper 

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Guest Blog & Giveaway: Dead Awakening by Rebekah R. Garniere

UFI welcomes Rebekah R. Garniere Author of Dead Awakening. Thanks for Joining us!!

Hi! I'm Rebekah. Thanx so much for having me today! My debut novel Dead Awakenings is an Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance about Deaders. A new form of Reanimated Undead.

I frequently get asked if I have a playlist I like to listen to when I write or if I write without noise. I have to have noise when I write. I have four kids that I home school and if there isn't noise around me I get antsy and think there's something wrong. I can't stand silence. Unless I'm asleep. I have to have total quite when I'm sleeping.

But when I'm writing I like to have the television on for noise, or I have a specific playlist. I've been listening to some of these songs for a long time. I've always loved music. I've been able to deal with emotions through songs before. It hits me hard. I cry to so many songs when I hear them, yeah I'm sensitive that way.

Anyway, since music touches me so deeply, I use it as a tool in my writing. I write Tortured Alpha Males and Kick Ass Heroines. I have no problems with the heroes. They actually are really easy for me to write. The heroines are a different story though. I have problems sometimes getting them to come across well. So I need a bit of help. And for that help, I turn to some tough and amazing singers.

Pink! Yes, Pink. She is my favorite tough, balls to the wall, all out female. Her music is strong, and inspires me to write hard hitting females who don't take crap from people. Even though they are sensitive inside.

Kelly Clarkson. I love her music. She has strong women songs, but she also has many touching songs that hit me deep, so I like the emotion behind her singing.

Katy Perry. I think she is great. Her songs are fun and uplifting and teach people to be who they are.

For strong males, I like Green Day, Live, Train, Imagine Dragons, Fun and several others.

My actual list looks like this:
Pink – Just Give Me a Reason
Kelly Clarkson – Dark Side
Train – 50 Ways To Say Goodbye
Christina Perri – Jar of Hearts
Pink – Bad Influence
Kelly Clarkson – Breakaway
Pink – U + UR hand
Sarah Bareilles – Brave
Katy Perry – Roar
Jordin Sparks – Battlefield
Imagine Dragons – Demons
Jean Simon – Cups
Passenger – Let Her Go
Green Day – 21 Guns
Pink – Try

I love music. If I had to choose between going blind and going deaf, I would choose to go blind. It would be tough, but I know I couldn't live without music.

Thanx a bunch for having me today! I hope that when you read my writing you can hear a bit of these songs in them. Feel free to let me know if you do, and what your favorite songs are, or what songs you write to.
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Rebekah grew up on both the east and west coasts and currently lives in the Los Angeles area. From the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein to The Stand by Stephen King, Rebekah immersed herself in other people's made up worlds. She began writing in junior high and then found she liked pretending to be other people's characters in high school. Lettering in drama she went on to study theater in college as well. After college she continued acting till becoming a mom. Ultimately, she ended up going back to writing her characters down instead of acting them out, so she could stay at home with her kids.

Rebekah is a member of Romance Writers of America and is a board member of both the Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal and her local Los Angeles chapters. When she isn't spending time telling the lives of the characters constantly chattering inside her head, you can find her with her husband and four children; reading comic books, gaming, at the movies or taking care of the menagerie of pets. A dog, a rabbit, two bearded dragons, and three tortoises. Wonder woman, the escaped snake, has yet to be located.

Find Rebekah and her books
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Dead Awakening
Amazon BN ARe
Evaine, a struggling New York theater student, enters an unsanctioned drug trial in an effort to pay bills. She awakens in a derelict hospital, chained to a bed with no memory of who she is, or how she got there. A band of pale skinned men, led by the gorgeous Luca, burst in, whisking her away to safety.

Once at Haven House, Evaine is introduced to The Family. Like them, she has become A Deader, a reanimated Undead.

Luca is hell-bent on stopping the experimentations, and killing those responsible. He has no time for a Newborn who is struggling to control her rages, hunger, and powers. Nor does he have the desire to deal with the feelings she's awakening within him.

Despite their best efforts, Evaine and Luca find their connection intensifying when suddenly, she remembers not only who she is, but also her fiancé, Tristan; who is still looking for her.

Torn between her first love and her new heart’s desire, Evaine runs back to Tristan putting everyone in danger. When a rogue faction of Deaders, called Feeders, attempts to kidnap her, Luca suspects Evaine is the key to the experiments.

Can everyone band together to keep Evaine off the cutting table of those she escaped from? Or will second death tear her away from everyone, for good?
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