Monday, June 30, 2014

Early Review: Cold Hard Secret by Sierra Dean

Cold Hard Secret
Author:Sierra Dean
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Author
The Secret’s out, and heads will roll.

Ever since her near-death experience at the hands of the villainous Dr. Kesteral, Secret McQueen hasn’t been the same. As in damaged almost beyond repair. But as usual, Secret has no time to lick her wounds.

Armed to the fangs, she and Desmond embark on a whirlwind quest for revenge that takes them to the sewers of Paris to put an end to Alexandre Peyton. Instead, it’s almost the end of them, and before she can stop him, Peyton rips the veil off her deepest secret.

The devil’s not through muddling up the details, either. An eye-opening confab with Sig in the Big Apple leaves her wondering if she’s ever been in control of her own life at all. Plus, a cryptic postcard sends her racing back to her Manitoba hometown, fearing for her grandmere.

With the Council holding the power of life and death over her head, Secret’s circle of friends is shrinking, while the pool of enemies looking for payback is widening like a pool of her own blood.

Warning: Contains the least romantic Paris getaway in history and an unstoppable hybrid with an impossible choice to make between two men who’ve been to hell and back for her

COLD HARD SECRET has a TON of action in it. It starts with action and ends with action. There is constant moving with no time for rest. Enemies die, a lot is revealed including who exactly Sig is to Secret. It was not the news she wanted to hear.

Secret is still having a hard time with what happened to her in SECRET UNLEASHED. Her relationship with both Desmond and Holden are suffering due to it but they are both very much trying to be there for her. Good news for those that don't care for the Secret tug of war, the love triangle comes to an end. I would like to say I am surprised by Secrets choice but I'm really not. I saw her final choice from the beginning of the series. 

We see a lot of our favorite characters in COLD HARD SECRET. The plot was pulled in many different direction but Sierra made the transitions smooth and made it easy for us to fall into each scene. Be prepared, COLD HARD SECRET ends on a huge cliffhanger. In case you didn't know, book 8 A SECRET TO DIE FOR is the last book for this series. I will miss it but I am excited to see how everything will end.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Week in Review: 6/22-6/28

Books I've Bought/received

Books I've Read

Wicked Magic by Madeline Pryce
Nights End by Yasmine Galenorn
Blade Song by J.C. Daniels
Night Blade by J.C. Daniels
Broken Blade  by J.C. Daniels
Silver Wolf Clan by Tera Shanley
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Reviews Posted

Quick Thought Reviews
Scala by Christina Bauer
The Revealed by Jessica Hickman
Contact Laurisa White Reyes
Past My Defenses by Wendy Sparrow


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

* Monday- Guest Blog & Giveaway for Bitter Fruits by Sarah Daltry

* Tuesday- Guest Blog & Giveaway for Allegiance by Susannah Sandling

* Wednesday- Guest Blog & Giveaway for Past My Defenses by Wendy Sparrow

* Thursday- Guest Blog & Giveaway for Queen of Wands by Katee Robert

* Friday: Interview for Beyond The Horizon by Wanda Kay Fittro


* 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, June 28, 2014

Quick Thought Reviews

Sometimes I read a book where I just don't have a lot to say about it. Hence the name quick thought reviews. These will be short and sweet.

Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Monster LLC
Angelbound Book #2
ISBN13:  9780989405041
Genre: Young Adult
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

Nineteen-year-old Myla Lewis has transformed into Great Scala, the only being with the power to move souls out of Purgatory and into Heaven or Hell. Trouble is, a magical object called Lucifer’s Orb is limiting Myla’s abilities. If she tries to move a soul, the Orb’s forcing her to send that spirit straight to Hell.

So, what’s a girl to do? Send innocents to the fiery down-under?

No way. Myla’s gone on a supernatural strike. No souls go anywhere until the Orb’s history. It’s the right thing to do, but Purgatory’s Soul Storage buildings are turning into time bombs. No spirits are moving out, while millions keep coming in. Myla’s determined to find the Orb and send the innocent to Heaven, but she’s running out of time. Soon, the containment fields will burst, releasing a mob of homicidal ghosts.

With Soul Storage ready to explode, Myla’s got enough on her plate without her old enemy, Lady Adair, causing problems. Adair is launching an ingenious campaign to take away everything that Myla holds dear, including Myla’s Angelbound love, Prince Lincoln.

Between their clever ideas and toe-curling kisses, Myla and Lincoln are fighting back. But will they beat the clock or lose everything to Adair’s devious schemes?

ANGELBOUND wrapped up the current storyline really well with only a slight conflict with the distance between Myla and Lincoln going into book 2 (as in where they lived) so I was excited to see what could possibly happen. The new conflict didn't surprise me at all but I enjoyed the buildup and wrap up as the story went along.

I could have sworn with the ending that this was the last book in the series but I was informed that book 3 is already available for pre-order so YAY! I wish we could get more from the series but it did a good job of closing all the loose ends and giving the characters a great ending. I enjoyed the overall storyline and character development from the whole series. Nice fast paced read.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

The Revealed
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Spark Press
ISBN:  1940716004
ISBN13: 9781940716008
Genre: Dystopian
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

Lily Atwood lives in what used to be called Washington, D.C. Her father is one of the most powerful men in the world, having been a vital part of rebuilding and reuniting humanity after the war that killed over five billion people. Now he’s running to be one of its leaders.

But in the rediscovered peace on Earth, a new enemy has risen. They call themselves the Revealed – a powerful underground organization that has been kidnapping 18 year olds across the globe without reservation. No one knows why they are kidnapping these teens, but it’s clear something is different about these people. They can set fires with a snap of their fingers and create a wind strong enough to barrel over a tree with a flick of their wrist. No one has been able to stop them, and they have targeted Lily as their next victim.

But Lily has waited too long to break free from her father’s shadow to let some rebel organization just ruin everything. Not without a fight.

I wasn't sure what to expect with THE REVEALED. I would say the book is split up between 3 parts, the buildup and catch up to the big kidnapping, the revealing of the organization and training, and lastly the mission that leads Lily to realize her life is forever changed. 

There is a great amount of smoke and mirrors and conflict in THE REVEALED. I enjoyed the characters. Lily hated her caged life and did everything possible to get a little freedom. The world building was done really well and the action was heart pounding. I would read more.

I gave it 3.5/5 stars

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


Release Date: June 23, 2014
Publisher: Hallowed Ink Press
ISBN13: 9780985848019
Genre: Young Adult
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

 It takes only half a second…

…Like those commercials where a crash test dummy rockets forward at high speed and slams into a wall.
…In that instant, every thought in Emma Lynn Walsh’s head collides with mine—every thought, memory, hope, disappointment and dream.
…I open my eyes to see Dr. Walsh peering at me, a puzzled expression on her face.

“Let—go—of—me,” I order though clenched teeth.

Mira wants to die. She’s attempted suicide twice already, and failed. Every time she comes in contact with another person, skin to skin, that person’s psyche uploads into hers. While her psychologist considers this a gift, for Mira, it’s a curse from which she cannot escape.

To make matters worse, Mira’s father is being investigated in the deaths of several volunteer test subjects of a miracle drug. Shortly after Mira’s mother starts asking questions, she ends up in a coma. Although her father claims it was an accident, thanks to her “condition” Mira knows the truth…but proving it just might get her killed!

 My thoughts were pretty thin after reading CONTACT. I liked it. Mira can not touch anyone without downloading their life's story. She hates it, tries to commit suicide multiple times and has to work through her feelings as she discovers that she isn't who she always thought she was. The book kinda just WAS if that makes sense. It really amazed me that no one would believe that Mira even had her gift and that she had to fight so hard to get anyone to believe her. I liked Mira, she was interesting and I was not bored reading about her but, I wasn't falling all over the book either. Would I recommend it? Probably it was interesting and passed the time nicely.

I gave it 3/5 stars

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

Past My Defenses
Release Date: June 23, 2014
Publisher: Entangled: Ignite
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

Vanessa is the fastest Lycan around. In wolf form, the only threat she can’t outrun is her allergies. After a feline dander-bomb takes her down, she wakes up naked in a cage staring at a hot park ranger who had no idea what he’d trapped. But ooooh, he smells so good. Mine.

Dane hoped to tame the silver wolf in his kennel, but all bets are off with the deliciously sweet Vanessa on two legs. Her temper makes his pulse race, and he can’t escape the feeling they belong together.

They’re hot as a forest fire even before they scent-match, but Glacier Peak’s Alpha considers Dane a danger to the pack. Meanwhile, Lycans are being poached, and Vanessa has been targeted. Dane will have to keep her close to protect her, but with Vanessa in heat and mad to mate, who will protect him?

I loved PAST MY DEFENSES. Vanessa was witty and likable. Dane was surprisingly understanding and resilient and the supporting characters and storyline did a great job in keeping my attention. The attraction between Vanessa and Dane was instant and the romance had a nice build up to it. The pack atmosphere was a nice addition to the storyline. 

Sparrow did a great job introducing us to her new paranormal romance series. There is non stop conflict and danger. The mystery stayed a mystery to the very end and The couple had a nice wrap up of their storyline when the book ended. I look forward to seeing which character will be featured next.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Friday, June 27, 2014

Interview: Beyond The Horizon by Wanda Kay Fittro

UFI welcomes Wanda Kay Fritto Author of Beyond the Horizon. Thanks for Joining us!!

This or That

Angels or Demons - Angels, especially fallen ones.

Vampires or Shifters - Shifters (I think I would like to be one)

Left or Right – Left, it's the path less traveled.

Up or Down - Up, you never get anywhere looking down.

Pizza or Pasta – Pizza, you can eat it on the go.

Coffee or Tea – Coffee, the stronger, the better.

Coke or Pepsi - I'm a Coke girl.

YA or Adult - Adult

Knives or Guns – Guns, quick, effective in the right hands and less messy.

Reading or Writing – Hard choice...Writing.

Facebook or Twitter – Facebook

Wanda Kay Fittro lives in the beautiful Ozark Mountains in Southwest Missouri. Born and raised in a small town community, gave her an appreciation for that lifestyle, and provides the inspiration for her novels. A love affair with books started early on while reading Nancy Drew by flashlight under the bed covers. She won the prestigious Missouri Literary Festival Reader's Choice award in 2011 for her Civil War short story One, Two, Three.

Find Wanda and her books

Beyond The Horizon
Buy Link

Katie and Josh, both desperately seeking redemption from their past, discover passion in each other's arms. With danger just around the corner, will love survive? 

When Katie Sullivan makes the hasty decision to run away from an abusive relationship, she has no clue what is ahead of her. She only knows it has to be better than her life up until now. Her boyfriend is a powerful drug dealer who will stop at nothing to get her back. She knows too much. Car trouble leaves her stranded in the middle of Kansas, with little money, and a growing fear of failure. 

Widower Josh Warner works and lives on an elderly couples' farm. He juggles the responsibilities of raising his young son and his passion for the rodeo. Unable to let go of his deceased wife's memory and on the rebound from a misguided affair, he has no desire for another relationship. But, when Katie appears out of nowhere, everything changes. 

Against all reason, Katie and Josh find themselves drawn to each other. If the past catches up to them, their newfound passion, and their lives could be in jeopardy. Can their love win against the evil headed their way?


"You know, it's a nice night for this time of year. Would you like to sit on the front porch for a while? I can meet you out there after I get Chad settled in."

"I don't know..."

"Hate to waste a nice night, especially with winter just around the corner, but suit yourself."

Katie sat alone for a few minutes after he left. What the heck. Why shouldn't I enjoy an evening on the porch? She went upstairs to get her sweater. Whether Josh showed up or not didn't matter. She could use the fresh air. Surely it's worth putting up with him for a little while if he does join her.

In her room, she attempted to check her phone for messages, then remembered it hadn't worked since she dropped it on the floor. Just as well. Katie felt her neck and shoulders relax a little. At least she wouldn't have the constant worry of what message Rick would leave next. She really didn't want to hear his threats or how close he was to finding her. All she wanted was some peace and quiet. Maybe a nice evening on the front porch would be just the ticket.

When she stepped out, Josh stood on the top step looking at the stars. "I love a crisp fall night. It's like you can see clear across the universe. Look how close the Milky Way seems." He reached out his hand as if to touch it.

Katie sat on the wooden swing. The rusty chain squeaked as she moved back and forth.

"Do you know a lot about the stars?"

Josh stepped up, leaned on the porch rail, and faced her. He crossed his long legs, placing his hands on each side. A feeling of ease flowed from him.

"A little. Lisa and I used to stargaze at night on the balcony of our apartment. She bought me a book for one of my birthdays that showed all the names and positions of the constellations. I still don't know where she got it. There aren't any bookstores for miles around." He shook his head and turned back around toward the yard.

Katie fell silent. There really wasn't anything to say. She knew the pain of his loss must run deep.

"The tree frogs and the crickets are really strumming their tunes tonight." Josh broke the awkward silence between them.

Katie stopped the movement of the swing to listen. "That's a sound you don't hear in the city. You don't see a night sky like this either."

"I can't imagine living somewhere without the sights and sounds of nature around. It gives rhythm to a person's life, you know?"

Katie didn't know quite how to answer that. His words were so profound and heartfelt it startled her. Maybe there is more to him than rodeos and wheat fields.

"It is beautiful out here," Katie pulled her sweater around her shoulders tighter. "If I was staying much longer though, I would need a heavier coat. That's something I didn't bring with me."

Josh turned back around to face her. "Looks like you packed in a hurry."

"Yeah, I wasn't thinking very far ahead I guess." Uncomfortable with the turn of the conversation, she changed the subject. "Chad seems to be a really good kid. And smart. He whizzed through his math homework in no time. You should be really proud."

"I am."

A shiver ran through her as a crisp breeze blew onto the porch. Josh sat on the swing, took off his jacket, and placed it around her shoulders. He let his arm rest behind her. Katie resisted the urge to protest. His arm felt comfortable and it belonged there.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Guest Blog & Giveaway: Queen of Wands by Katee Robert

UFI welcomes Katee Robert Author of The Sanctify Series. Thanks for Joining us!!

Falling for Your Big Bad

I have a serious problem. It’s almost a sickness, really. When I read a book or watch a movie or play or whatever form of media, I almost always fall a little in love with the villain. The more charming and likely to murder he is, the harder I fall.

Hannibal? God, that character fascinates me as much as he repels me and I can’t get enough of him. Richard III? I’ve been a little in love with him ever since I read his play in ninth grade and that love has only grown over the years. Death in all his various representations? Yep. Stick a fork in me, I’m done.

So it should come as no surprise that I’m more than a little in love with the villain I created in Sanctify. Oberon. He’s smarter than he has a right to be, cold, and possibly more than a little psychotic. He also has a chip in his shoulder the size of Texas.

Sounds bad, right? This is a guy who’s just as likely to gun you down as he is to hold a conversation. But something happened in QUEEN OF WANDS. He got a little more page time, and he started stealing scenes. It was an EFFORT to rein him in and keep him confined to the spot I had planned for him. If Oberon had his way, he’d have taken over the entire book.

Typical Big Bad—why have a slice when you can have the whole cake?

The problem is that I’d love to give him the whole cake. Oberon might be a mean son of a gun, but he’s very much a product of his upbringing. When you’re raised in the company of hateful zealots, is it any wonder that you grow up looking at every problem as one that can be solved with violence? But, for all that, he’s not a paper doll cut-out. He’s got his own wants and desires and he’s not afraid to look outside the box to make them a reality.

Which is a damn problem as an author. Because the more real and complex he becomes, the more I love him. It’s very much like Khan in the newest Star Trek movie. Who can’t sympathize with him, at least a little? He was willing to burn the world for his family. It doesn’t mean we agree with his methods, exactly, but most of us can totally and completely understand where he was coming from. And, as a result, we feel for him.

That is what makes the best Big Bad. The one who you almost want to root for. And Oberon most definitely falls into that category.

Katee Robert learned to tell stories at her grandpa's knee. Her favorites then were the rather epic adventures of The Three Bears, but at age twelve she discovered romance novels and never looked back.

Though she dabbled in writing, life got in the way--as it often does--and she spent a few years traveling, living in both Philadelphia and Germany. In between traveling and raising her two wee ones, she had the crazy idea that she'd like to write a book and try to get published.

Her first novel was an epic fantasy that, God willing, will never see the light of day. From there, she dabbled in YA and horror, before finally finding speculative romance. Because, really, who wouldn't want to write entire books about the smoking-hot relationships between two people?

She now spends her time--when not lost in Far Reach worlds--playing imaginary games with her wee ones, writing, ogling men, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Find Katee and her books

Queen of Wands
Sanctify #2
Amazon / BN / Entangled
When Jenny O'Keirna gets a chance to slip her older brother, the new king of Hansarda's, leash, she jumps at it, even if it means playing babysitter to a too-smart-for-his-own-good inventor. She's not expecting the attraction that sparks between them—or that Sanctify is just as desperate to take him for their own.

Never in Mac Flannery's wildest dreams did he imagine Jenny would be the one sent for him. He sees beyond the mad grin the sexy princess of Hansarda presents to the world, and that combination of vulnerability and wicked humor is a siren call he can't resist.

But Sanctify is always three steps ahead of them. On the run—and unable to keep their hands off each other—Jenny and Mac devise an insane plan: kidnap the leader of Sanctify, and stop this war once and for all. Unfortunately, they've just played right into his hands…
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Guest Blog & Giveaway: Past My Defenses by Wendy Sparrow

UFI welcomes Wendy Sparrow Author of Past My Defenses. Thanks for Joining us!!

A Writer’s Weird Science

I can’t imagine trying to research for a book decades ago before the internet—though I do suspect fewer writers made NSA lists back then. My research for books takes me down many rabbit holes…scary rabbit holes…fascinating rabbit holes…rabbit holes that might give me a motive or my husband reason for concern.

For Past My Defenses, there were many awkward research nights where I hoped my husband didn’t feel nosy and take a gander at my search history. Though, I suspect he’d have guessed why I was perusing articles on wolves mating. But all my books have searches like that which I’m tempted to wipe my search history over. Do you want to know my weirdest top ten from the last five years of writing? Of course you do.

Top Ten Strangest Web Searches I’ve done

10. The mating habits of various animals. *sighs* It’s not just wolves. I wish I could say it was just wolves. But I’ve had to research bears, rabbits, mice (more on that), cats, big cats, horses, dogs, penguins, orangutans, giraffes, and turtles. I’m sure there’s been more, but those are the ones that come to mind—which is scary that this comes to mind. Before you think I’m a creepster, sometimes I was looking to see if they mated for life. Others I needed to know when they were likely to be...on the prowl. I’ve spent way too much time on this.

9. Profanity in other languages. I’m always looking up words that are foul…but not completely offensive, and it’s very difficult. The word “goat” is profane in a bunch of different languages. Sometimes very profane. In fact, I shouldn’t even have used it here just in case someone uses Google translate on this page. I’m sorry, random-reader-of-a-different-language!

8. Knife and gunshot wounds and recovery time. Hey, at least I’ve checked to see how long of a recovery my poor victim would have. That’s good, right? Right? By the way, I’d avoid being injured in either of these ways. It’s not as Hollywood quick as you’d think.

7. Decomposition of a body and blowflies. Okay, so maybe it’s not all rainbows and cupcakes for my victims. By the way, every minute I spent investigating blowflies should earn me time in a quiet room with piano music playing. My skin crawled for hours. It didn’t help that I was doing it in the dark.

6. Near-death experiences. This made me all shivery. After I’d read enough of them, I think I did a fairly good representation of them, but it’s not actually research I’d care to do again. It left me feeling uncertain of what I believe or wanted to believe about death.

5. Ghost urban legends. You couldn’t pay me enough to do this one again. Especially not to watch all the Youtube videos that I did. There are some interesting urban legends—like all the history surrounding haunted locations like the Winchester mansion, but diving into ghost urban legends left me even more sleepless than normal.

4. Taking the power and phone lines down in a residence or a neighborhood. This was research I really considered wiping from my computer, but I figured it was too late…the NSA was on to me. I do a lot of research into crimes, and I have a cop brother-in-law I can pester for answers too. He’s grown accustomed to me asking about response time after shots fired and how long the police would be at a crime scene. Then, my own husband is wondrously useful for helping me commit crimes…on paper, I mean—we’re not about to Bonnie and Clyde it. He hung out with some real juvenile delinquents at a high-crime high school. I look forward to conversations that start with, “You know what you could do, one time when I was in high school….”

3. Diseases, disorders, and conditions. Sometimes I need something viciously terminal to kill off a character or sometimes I need something slow and ugly to infect them with. Either way, there is nothing grosser than searching medical pictures for something fatal. On the other hand, there is nothing nearly so fascinating as conditions like synesthesia. I find medical science endlessly interesting…but I could do without the pictures.

2. Historical criminals. Fiction has nothing on true crime by psychotic despots. A little research on Vlad the Impaler or Elizabeth Bathory goes a very long way. Actually any time spent pouring over articles on prolific serial killers leaves me wanting someone to sing “Soft Kitty” to me.

1. I can’t really get around it…the strangest research I ever did was for a single line of dialogue, and it was into the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases among rats. I cruised the internet and even asked experts on Twitter. I suspect several of my friends on Twitter still remember me mentioning I was researching it; it’s not every day someone says, “Hey, I’m looking into how often rascally rodents get jiggy and pay the piper.” Okay, I didn’t put it that way. And, honestly, if you’re friends with writers, chances are, one of them is researching something really freaky right now.

To see why I needed to check out the mating habits of wolves, and why one of my characters does his own digging, read Past My Defenses.

Thanks for having me on your blog!

Writing is in Wendy’s blood…which is also about thirty percent Mountain Dew and twenty percent chocolate brownies. Wendy has been telling tales since she was a child with varying amounts of success. Her parents clearly anticipated her forays into the paranormal because she heard “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” so many times she could have written the screenplay at age five. She lives with a wonderful husband and two quirky kids and is active in Autism and OCD support networks. She can usually be found on Twitter where she’ll talk to anyone who talks to her and occasionally just to herself.

Find Wendy and her books

Past My Defenses 
Taming the Pack #1
 Amazon / Barnes And Noble
 Vanessa is the fastest Lycan around. In wolf form, the only threat she can’t outrun is her allergies. After a feline dander-bomb takes her down, she wakes up naked in a cage staring at a hot park ranger who had no idea what he’d trapped. But ooooh, he smells so good. Mine.

Dane hoped to tame the silver wolf in his kennel, but all bets are off with the deliciously sweet Vanessa on two legs. Her temper makes his pulse race, and he can’t escape the feeling they belong together.

They’re hot as a forest fire even before they scent-match, but Glacier Peak’s Alpha considers Dane a danger to the pack. Meanwhile, Lycans are being poached, and Vanessa has been targeted. Dane will have to keep her close to protect her, but with Vanessa in heat and mad to mate, who will protect him?
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Releases: 6/22-6/28

Mon June 23

Tue June 24
 Darkness Bound (Night Prowler #5) by J.T. Geissinger
 Drowned (Drowned #1) by Nichola Reilly
 In the End (In the After #2) by Demitria Lunetta
 Rain (Paper Gods #2) by Amanda Sun
 Summoned (Redemption's Heir #1) by Anne M. Pillsworth
 Thorn Jack (Night and Nothing #1) by Katherine Harbour 

Happy Reading!

Guest Blog & Giveaway : Allegiance by Susannah Sandling

UFI welcomes Susannah Sandlin Author of The Penton Legacy Series. Thanks for Joining us!!

Life Lessons from a Vampire
By Cage Reynolds
(transcribed by Susannah Sandlin)
Do I really have to do this? (Gives what he hopes is intimidating stare to author, who ignores him.) Right. A bit about me, since I’m the newest of Penton’s senior lieutenants. My passport says I’m thirty-three and a citizen of the UK; in reality, I was turned vampire during an unfortunate period during World War II.

(Author: Tell them what happened.)

I think not. At any rate, I readily admit that I’m fourth in command here in Penton behind Aidan, Mirren, and Will.

(Author: I think Robin trumps you.)

I think she does not. At any rate, I was a psychiatrist in my human life, and still consider it a bit of a hobby to analyze some of my fellow citizens. Here is a quick summary:

If Penton were a family, and we are in some ways, Aidan is the father. He makes wise decisions, thinks things through, and tries to treat everyone fairly. Some don’t deserve it. His mate, Krys, is much like him in that sense. Lovely people, those two.

If Penton were a family, Mirren Kincaid would be the crochety uncle who came and kicked everyone’s arses until he had them brow-beaten into submission. His only weakness is his mate, Glory, who, fortunately for the rest of us, is quite lovely and even-tempered and can shut him up with a single look.

Will Ludlam’s had a bit of a hard go of it lately. Been through some rough things, has Will. He’s very hard to get to know since he hides everything behind a well-placed wall, but he’s quite brilliant and dead loyal if you take time to scratch beneath the surface. The same can be said of his mate, Randa.

Melissa and Mark Calvert are…well, this is awkward, right? I’ll leave them alone.

Max Jeffries and Rob Thomas are the human Army Rangers sent to help Penton rebuild. Rob is, like his sister Randa, very competent and quite tough. Max is a bloody idiot. Apologies, mate, but he can’t accept that vampires are stronger than humans. I shall continue to beat him until he believes it.

There are new faces in Penton now, not the least of which is Fen Patrick, who I knew in his human life before he was turned. It was quite a surprise to see this Irishman turn up in Penton. Did I mention I never quite liked him?

There’s Nikolas, another Army Ranger who has psychic abilities. I think Nik will be a great addition to the Penton crew.

And then there’s the eagle shape-shifter named Robin. The woman is incorrigible. I find her oddly fascinating—purely from a professional standpoint, of course. I suspect she has a few secrets hidden away beneath that prickly, foul-tempered exterior.

Someone else will have to discover them, however. I don’t have time for another woman in my life.

Susannah Sandlin writes paranormal romance and romantic thrillers from Auburn, Alabama, on top of a career in educational publishing that has thus far spanned five states and six universities—including both Alabama and Auburn, which makes her bilingual. She grew up in Winfield, Alabama, but was also a longtime resident of New Orleans, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football, cheap Mardi Gras trinkets, and fried gator on a stick.

She’s the author of the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, a spinoff novel, Storm Force, a standalone novelette, Chenoire, and a new romantic thriller series, The Collectors, beginning with Lovely, Dark, and Deep. Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she also is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series. Her Penton novel, Omega, was nominated for a 2013 Reviewer’s Choice Award in Paranormal Romance from RT Book Reviews magazine. Absolution was the winner of the 2013 Holt Medallion in Paranormal Romance.

Find Susannah and her books

Penton Legacy #4
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From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes the fourth book in the smart and steamy Penton Legacy series.

British vampire psychiatrist and former mercenary Cage Reynolds returns to Penton, Alabama, looking for a permanent home. The town has been ravaged by the ongoing vampire war and the shortage of untainted human blood, and now the vampires and humans that make up the Omega Force are trying to rebuild. Cage hopes to help the cause, put down roots in Penton, and resolve his relationship with Melissa Calvert. The last thing he expects is an attraction to Robin Ashton, a trash-talking eagle shape-shifter and new Omega recruit.

Meanwhile, as a dangerous saboteur wreaks havoc in Penton, the ruthless Vampire Tribunal leader Matthias Ludlam has been freed on the eve of his scheduled execution. But by whom? And to what end? As war and chaos rage on, love is the last thing Cage is looking for, but will his attraction to Robin distract him from the danger living among them?

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Guest Blog & Giveaway: Bitter Fruits by Sarah Daltry

UFI welcomes Sarah Daltry Author of Bitter Fruits. Thanks for Joining us!!

I first heard of Lilith in college, when I attended Lilith Fair. I thought the concept was crazy – there was the entire version of the Bible that we had never learned. I went through a period in high school when I was very religious and I read the entire Bible through several times. However, to learn that the stories were changed possibly was mindblowing.

Later in school, I took a course on Biblical mythology and I also played the roleplaying game, Vampire: The Masquerade. Through both, I was exposed to more versions of the stories and it really stuck with me.

Honestly, the idea of Bitter Fruits came to me in the dumbest way. I was watching Supernatural and thinking both Sam and Dean are hot and how it would be fun to date them both. I’ve always had a weird fascination with brothers, because it’s a strange concept to me since I never had one. That was the basic idea and I pondered it for a few days, until I thought of the overarching concept. What better brothers than the first? And certainly the most complicated.

I also found Lilith interesting as a symbol because although she’s technically evil, she’s evil because we are expected to see her that way by the patriarchy. I wanted to play with that a bit and in the long-term trilogy, it will come into play more. It’s taking me forever to get to the last two, for a number of reasons, but I do think the feminist approach to the Bible is worth exploring.

Sarah Daltry writes books in a variety of genres, including the NA contemporary series, Flowering, and YA gamer geek comedy, Backward Compatible.

Find Sarah and her books

 Bitter Fruits
Eden's Fall #1
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 For fans of dark urban fantasy comes a novel that questions why forbidden fruit is always the most tempting...

A vampire-themed masquerade party isn’t really her scene, but Nora is sick of frat parties and bars. When she meets Alec, the appeal suddenly becomes clear. It’s obvious that they’ve been struck by the same intense mutual attraction, but Alec keeps his distance. Intrigued despite herself, Nora pushes a little deeper — and discovers Alec’s unimaginable secret...

Nora is not afraid of following Alec into the darkness, but the choice is soon taken from her. Someone is hunting her — someone tied to the secret and desperate to see it play out. But when Nora finally meets her aggressor, she finds herself hopelessly drawn to him. She needs to make a choice between the two men, but can she save them both, knowing one is destined to die?
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