Sunday, April 30, 2017

Week in Review: 4/23-4/29



Books Received for Review

All the Stars Left Behind by Ashley Graham
The Red Lily by Juliette Cross

Books I've Read

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Ride the Storm by Karen Chance
Moon Tortured by McKenzie Hunter
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

Reviews Posted


Drakon's Prey by N.J. Walters
Blade Bound by Chloe Neill

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

* Tuesday- Promo + Giveaway for Snared by Jennifer Estep

* Wednesday- Promo + Giveaway for Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons

* Friday- Interview for The Dastardly Miss Lizzie by Viola Carr

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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, April 28, 2017

Interview: The Dastardly Miss Lizzie by Viola Carr


UFI welcomes Author Viola Carr. Thanks for Joining us!!

What can you tell my readers about yourself that they might not know from looking on your bio or reading in another interview?

I'm actually a super-powered criminal mastermind, posing as an ordinary person. You'd never know it to look at me.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

Right now I'm sitting in the sun, thinking about writing! I also like console games – my favorite right now is the Assassin's Creed series – and pretty much any TV show with fantasy in it.

What is your Favorite part of writing?

I actually really like editing. I know, right? Weird. But the first draft is hard work. I mean, so is editing, but it's the part where the book really starts to sparkle and you see some results for your efforts.

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

I like to do lots of outlining before I start. So there's plenty of mooning about thinking and scribbling in notebooks and writing on index cards. Kind of a ritual, I suppose, but it works for me!

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

Bec McMaster and Kristen Callihan write terrific steampunk/historical paranormal romance with lots of action. If you want urban fantasy action, there's always Ilona Andrews.

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

A dark, edgy, steampunk, gender-flipped retelling of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, where Dr Eliza Jekyll is a crime scene investigator in Victorian London, secretly addicted to her father's magic potion and in a love-hate relationship with her dark side, Lizzie Hyde.

That begins to cover it, I guess :)

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that The Dastardly Miss Lizzie is set in?

It's a quasi-1860s steampunk England, where science is strictly regulated and magic is forbidden. Trouble is, no one really knows where magic ends and science begins. SO anything strange or wonderful is fraught with danger – which makes life very difficult for Eliza Jekyll, who's trying to forge a respectable career as a police physician in a time when women doctors were a curiosity at best. And she's always afraid that Lizzie will burst out without warning.

Do you have a favorite scene in The Dastardly Miss Lizzie?

In this book – the third in the trilogy – we get to learn a lot more about Lizzie's origins, which have been shadowy until now. There are some lovely suspenseful scenes in which we discover what happened when Eliza was a teenager, and her troubled relationship with her father, Mr Hyde.

There's also kissing. Just so you know.

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

The parts where Eliza and Lizzie interact – is it real, or just in Eliza's head? She's not sure – are always great fun. Remy, Eliza's love interest – presently her fiancé – is fun to write about, too. He's clever and amusing and desperately romantic, but he always calls Eliza out on her bullshit. And I have this appalling character named Mr. Todd, a razor murderer who's obsessed with Eliza. He sees himself as a tragic artist, but … well, you'll see.

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

I have a few secret projects on the go – stay tuned! I also write UF action, space opera and paranormal romance as Erica Hayes (www.ericahayes.net)
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Viola Carr was born in Australia, but wandered into darkest London one foggy October evening and never found her way out. She now devours countless history books and dictates fantastical novels by gaslight, accompanied by classical music and the snoring of her slumbering cat. She likes steampunk, and thought it would be cool to investigate wacky crimes with crazy gadgets…just so long as her heroine was the creator of said wacky gadgets: a tinkerer, edgy, with a dash of mad scientist.

Find Viola and her books
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The Dastardly Miss Lizzie
An Electric Empire #3
Amazon     BN     HarperVoyager     BD    Kobo     iBooks

Dr. Eliza Jekyll must turn to her dark side, Miss Lizzie Hyde, to stop a madman targeting London’s most important scientists and sorcerers terrorizing the city with dark magic in this third Electric Empire novel—a dazzlingly original steampunk fantasy set in the gritty world of alternate Victorian London, with echoes of H G. Wells classic, The Time Machine

Being two people in one body isn’t easy. Metropolitan Police crime scene physician Eliza Jekyll is trying to maintain a semblance of control, even as her rebellious second self, Lizzie, grows increasingly wild—threatening the respectable Eliza’s reputation and her marriage to Remy Lafayette, the Royal Society investigator and occasional lycanthrope. With England on the brink of war, Remy’s away in sorcery-riddled Paris on a secretive mission that grows ever more sinister. Has he been an enemy agent all along? Or is coping with Eliza’s secret divided self finally driving her mad?

Eliza needs her mind clear and sharp if she’s to catch an evil genius who is killing eminent scientists. The chase uncovers a murky world of forbidden books, secret laboratories, and a cabal of fanatical inventors whose work could change the world—or destroy it—and who may hold answers to Eliza's past.

As sorcery-wielding terrorists attack London, Eliza discovers her own enemies are closing in, driving her to desperate measures—enlisting the aid of the wily, resourceful, mercurial Lizzie—to thwart the killer. But Lizzie’s got her own life now, and true to her nature, will resort to the devious and diabolical to keep it. Even if it means throwing Eliza to the wolves, and letting the world burn. . . .
 

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Review: Drakon's Prey by N.J. Walters

Drakon's Prey
Release Date: April 24, 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen
ISBN13: 9781633759336
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Valeriya Azarov turned her back on the family business to write and illustrate children’s books. But with a sister who leads the Knights of the Dragon, it’s impossible to get away from the secret society whose mission is to destroy and enslave dragons. When information falls into her hands along with the opportunity to save at least one of the ancient creatures, she can’t turn away any longer.

When a woman moves into the cabin above Tarrant Cooper’s secret underground lair, he’s both suspicious and intrigued. He hasn’t lasted four thousand years being careless, so when he suspects her of being a part of the Knights, the plan is to kidnap her and find out how much the organization knows about him and his brothers.

He’s drawn to Valeriya, but trusting her could get him killed. Even if she’s a pawn in the war between drakons and Knights, giving her his heart would mean forever.

I enjoyed DRAKON'S PREY just as much as I enjoyed DRAKON'S PROMISE. If you didn't read book one, make sure to read it before jumping in, you won't want to miss the backstory.

The Knights are after a Drakon and the sister of their leader has set out to warn him. DRAKON'S PREY starts off right were book one left off. Sarah and Darius are safe with another brother and Tarrant is in his home when a woman starts sniffing around the cabin and eventually ends up moving in.

I absolutely love watching an alpha male get wrapped around a woman's finger, especially when they don't see it while it's happening and don't care when they realize it happened. The connection between Tarrant and Valeriya is pretty much instant, but both of course fight it a little before they fall into bed with each other. Even after jumping into bed they don't trust each other, but feel very protective of the other. It was entertaining watching them try to hold themselves back and frustrating when their lack of communication caused hurt feelings.

Not a whole bunch happened with moving along the Knights of the Dragon storyline, but I didn't much notice with all the hot romance going on. I'm ready to meet another brother and watch him fall in love with his perfect match. I also want to see the Knights go down, so bring on book three!

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Promo + Giveaway: Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons



Dating the Undead
V-Date.com #1
Buy Link
It’s Bridget Jones with vampires in this fresh and funny paranormal romance from debut author Juliet Lyons

When Silver Harris kisses sexy Irish vampire Logan Byrne on New Year's Eve, she knows other humans just won't suffice. Convinced she'll never see him again, she joins the uber-popular vampire dating site, V-Date.com.

What Silver doesn't know is that the site is more dangerous than she could ever imagined, and soon she's in over her head. When Logan returns, sparks fly and attraction sizzles, but they'll have to escape some very real demons if they have any chance of lasting forever.


30 Worst/funniest clichéd lines from dating profiles

To a vampire slayer: Is that a stake in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?

Human seeks vampire: Must have a sparkling personality.

Vampire, social drinker, seeks adventurous mortal with type O neg blood group.

You must be exhausted, because you’ve been running through my mind all day.

Want to grab a bite?

Are you a witch, because I’m pretty sure I’m under your spell.

Man, you’re so hot, I’m burning up faster than I would in a midday sun.

Your coffin or mine?

Get your cloak, Dracula, you’ve pulled.

I’d love to take you to dinner… If you’re okay with being the main course…

I have to say, you are looking fangtastic tonight.

You slay me in every possible sense.

I love your outfit. It would look even better on my bedroom floor.

If it wasn’t for the fangs, I’d think you were an angel sent from heaven.

If I said you had a gorgeous undead body, would you hold it against me?

Smoking hot male vampire seeks special someone—mere mortals need not apply.

Mortal woman seeks wealthy vampire man. Must live in a castle and travel by horseback.

I can’t offer you sunshine, but I can offer you eternity.

Vampire seeks female companion for moonlit strolls. Must like bats.

Seeking a partner in crime. Literally. Immortals only.

Male Vampire seeking a special someone to share his life—or death depending on how you look at it.

If anyone asks, we met in a bar.

She-vamp searching for her knight in shining armour… I turned this hot dude from the round table a few centuries back and I haven’t heard from him since.

No baggage here! My family died in the French Revolution so if you’re down on mother-in-law’s I’m your guy (vampire).

I enjoy hanging out with my friends, particularly in bat form.

I’m a travel junkie. (If I don’t move on every 10-15 years people start to notice I don’t age).

I’m an old-fashioned gent (156 years old) who knows how to treat a lady. Though not on a
full moon… obvs.

I don’t bite, unless you ask me to.

Thank goodness I heal fast, because you are too hot to handle.

I’ve heard women like bad boys… With my murderous past I’m just about as bad as they come…


Excerpt:


I freeze in terror. What a waste of Dad’s money those self-defense classes turned out to be. 
“Silver, it’s just me,” a lilting Irish voice says at my ear, the hand dropping from my shoulder.
I turn around to find myself nose to nose with my vampire from New Year’s Eve, his bright green eyes piercing mine.
I’m struck by several conflicting emotions all at once—anger, relief, and in a tiny measure—happiness. Anger wins out. On impulse, I slap him hard across the face, pointing with a white, clenched hand to the garden I’ve just sprinted across.
“I thought I was about to be murdered, asshole,” I hiss through my teeth. “I ripped my coat. My heels are ruined. All because you thought it might be fun to follow me home.”
He smirks, nonplussed, sliding his hands into the deep pockets of his navy pea coat. “I wasn’t following you,” he says, eyes twinkling.
“Oh, that’s right,” I say, voice dripping with sarcasm. “You were just walking me home again. Except this time from fifty yards behind and without me knowing.”
Before he has a chance to reply, the front door flies open and my landlady Vera emerges in a long, silky, oriental dressing gown. She is wigless for once, a Pucci scarf twisted into a makeshift turban covering her head. In her right hand, she holds a meat cleaver.
“Step away, you rapist bastard!” she yells, holding the large knife shakily aloft.
I glare at the vampire, expecting him to either throw his hands in the air or take a step backwards. Instead his brows knit together and his mouth drops open. “Etta Marlow?” he asks, staring at her as if she just walked on water.
The meat cleaver lowers a fraction. “What’s it to you?” Vera demands, her voice losing some of its previous menace.
I roll my eyes. Of course he remembers her. He’s probably seen all her films.
“It is you!” he erupts, wagging a finger in her direction. “You’re Etta Marlow! You played Susie De Sousa in Girl Uptown with Gregor Lane. I love that movie.”
The meat cleaver drops, forgotten, to her side as she pats her turban, eyelashes fluttering. “Fancy you recognizing me,” she mutters happily.
“Excuse me, Vera,” I interject, “but there’s still a potential rapist on your doorstep here.”
Vera looks back to the vampire, who shakes his head, smiling. “A misunderstanding, Etta. I was making sure Silver here made it home safely. She got the wrong end of the stick.”
Vera, or Etta as she was once known, glances over at me. “Do you know this charming fellow, dear?”
I scowl at them both. “Well, yes, but— “
“Well then, you must come in, dear boy. I could show you my Oscar, if you like?”
The Vampire looks as if he’s about to pee himself with excitement. “You mean the one you got for Days Like These with Vic Stevens?”
She holds out a thin hand towards him, gold bangles jangling on her wrist. “The very one, dear. Come, come in.”
I watch, stunned, as he takes her hand, green eyes lit up in excitement.
Before stepping through the door, he hangs back. “Ms. Marlow, I’m afraid it’s only courteous to let you know before I enter that I’m not human. I’m a vampire.”
Vera’s tinkly laugh echoes around the street like a bicycle bell. “Oh, you’re so sweet. Didn’t you know I’ve met dozens of vampires? They’re two a penny in Hollywood, darling.”
Following her across the threshold, he flashes the cockiest of grins. “Coming, Silver?”
My jaw drops in disgust. I’m tempted to sulk off to my basement flat, but instead, I trail after them and slam the door.
We follow Vera along an elegant gold and cream hallway into her immaculate, monochrome front room. Even though I’ve been here on numerous occasions, I’m always
mesmerized by the sheer extravagance of the place—buttery white leather sofas, cream fur rugs, one wall is painted black and white to resemble piano keys. It should look tacky, but somehow, it works.
“You two make yourselves at home whilst I go and make myself presentable.” Vera says. “Then I’ll dig out that old Oscar of mine.”
I know, of course, the Oscar will not have to be ‘dug’ out of anywhere. It’s always on display in the den, alongside her film stills and other memorabilia.
“I didn’t catch your name,” she croons to the vampire before she leaves.
He puts a hand on his chest. “Forgive me, I should have introduced myself. Between the meat cleaver threat and getting slapped by Silver here, I seem to have forgotten my manners. I’m Logan. Logan Byrne.”
For strange and unfathomable reasons, my stomach flips. Logan. It suits him.
“Charming,” Vera says. “Don’t you go anywhere, Mr. Byrne.”
As soon as Vera disappears from the room, Logan collapses into one of the white leather arm chairs and puts his crossed feet onto the cut glass coffee table.
I’m still standing, one brow arched, arms folded across my chest. “So, Logan,” I hiss. “What the hell is this?”
He grins, dimples putting in their first appearance of the night as he gazes up at me. “Did anyone ever tell you, you’re particularly beautiful when you’re angry?”
“Oh, cut the crap,” I say, ignoring the hot flush climbing my neck. “Why did you follow me?”
“Like I told Etta, I wanted to make sure you got home safely, that’s all. Though I’m a little confused as to why you have three houses.” He holds up fingers to count. “The one I left you at on New Year’s, the one Nathaniel dropped you at, and now this—cohabiting with an aged 1940’s screen siren.”
“It’s none of your business,” I say, chin in the air. “And anyway, how do you know Nathaniel?”
He shrugs. “I know most of the vampires in London.”
I humpth. “I bet you do.”
In the blink of an eye, he is towering over me, face inches from mine. I inhale his clean, masculine scent like a drowning person coming up for air, and as he leans closer, I find myself gravitating towards him—a flower reaching for sunlight.
He pulls the collar of my coat aside and peers into the gap. As his fingers brush my jaw, an uncontrollable shiver zings through me. I disguise it by stepping out of reach and batting his hand away.
“He did a messy job on your neck,” he says, in a low voice.
“What’s it to you?” I snap.
Before I realize what’s happening, he closes the gap between us. One hand cupping my cheek, he bends over, lips brushing the place Nathaniel bit me, tongue gently swiping the puncture holes.
“That should stop the bleeding,” he says, pulling away. “But you’ll still have a bruise in the morning.”
I rub my neck and look at my fingers. No blood. “So, you can heal wounds? Just another of your unique skills along with beating up drunk men and following young women home for kicks?”
He sinks back into the armchair. “You’re a sexy girl, Silver. I’m glad we’ve met again.”
I snort incredulously, trying, without success, to forget the warmth of his hand on my face. “Well, you certainly made sure we did.”
“And of course,” he continues, pretending to examine a photo on the coffee table. “I’m hugely flattered I’ve managed to turn your head towards my kind.”
“You didn’t turn anything,” I say tartly.
He cocks a brow, gaze burning through my clothes like a laser. I feel a sharp twitch between my legs, as though he’s controlling my private areas by some invisible string. “Are you sure about that?”


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JULIET LYONS is a paranormal romance author from the UK. She holds a degree in Spanish and Latin American studies and works part-time in a local primary school where she spends far too much time discussing Harry Potter. Since joining global storytelling site Wattpad in 2014, her work has received millions of hits online and gained a legion of fans from all over the world. When she is not writing, Juliet enjoys reading and spending time with her family. Visit: www.julietlyons.co.uk


Find Juliet and her books
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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Promo + Giveaway: Snared by Jennifer Estep


Snared 
Elemental Assassin #16
Amazon / BNBooks-A-Million / IndieBound / KoboiBookAudible
If you don’t know Gin “the Spider” Blanco, you don’t know dangerous female heroines.

Irony 101—The Spider herself snared in someone else’s web…

Another week, another few clues trickling in about the Circle, the mysterious group that supposedly runs the city’s underworld. Gathering intel on my hidden enemies is a painstaking process, but a more immediate mystery has popped up on my radar: a missing girl.

My search for the girl begins on the mean streets of Ashland, but with all the killers and crooks in this city, I’m not holding out much hope that she’s still alive.

A series of clues leads me down an increasingly dark, dangerous path, and I realize that the missing girl is really just the first thread in this web of evil. As an assassin, I’m used to facing down the worst of the worst, but nothing prepares me for this new, terrifying enemy—one who strikes from the shadows and is determined to make me the next victim.
Excerpt:

I stopped in front of a photo of Maria Rivera, a beautiful woman with long, golden hair, brown eyes, and red lips. In the photo, she was smiling and standing in between Damian and his father, Richard Rivera, with a dour-looking Bruce Porter hovering behind them in the distance. I raised my phone and snapped a shot of the picture—

“You’ve been in there a while now,” Finn’s voice sounded in my ear. “Does that mean you’ve finally found something good?”

“No,” I muttered. “Just a lot of liquor, antiques, and photos.”

“What kind of liquor?” Finn chirped with obvious interest. “Anything I would drink?”

I slid my phone into my jacket pocket and eyed the rows of gleaming bottles behind the bar. “Oh, I think that you would drink it all, especially since Rivera’s tastes are even more expensive than yours. Why, you would cackle with glee if you could see all the spirits he has in here.”

“Well, why don’t you bring me a bottle or two so I can cackle in person?” Finn chirped again. “I might as well get something from standing out here in the cold.”

Even though he was in the woods outside and couldn’t see me, I still rolled my eyes. “I came here for information on the Circle. Not to pilfer daddy’s booze like some naughty teenager.”

“You say potato, I say opportunity.”

I started to respond when a faint creak sounded in the hallway outside, as though someone had stepped on a floorboard. I froze. The creak came again, louder and closer this time, and it was followed by something far, far worse—the distinctive snick of a key sliding in a lock.

“Let’s have a drink,” a faint, muffled voice said.

Someone was outside the office—and he was about to come in.
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Jennifer Estep is a New York TimesUSA Today, and international bestselling author prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. Snared, book #16, will be released on April 25.

Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series. She is also the author of the Black Blade young adult urban fantasy series and the Bigtime paranormal romance series.

For more information on Jennifer and her books, visit www.jenniferestep.com or follow Jennifer on FacebookGoodreads, and Twitter.
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New Releases: 4/23-4/29


Mon. April 24th

 Drakon's Prey (Blood of the Drakon #2) by N.J. Walters

Tue. April 25th
 Dogs of War (Joe Ledger #9) by Jonathan Maberry
 Legion (Talon #4) by Julie Kagawa
 Skullsworn by Brian Staveley 
 Snared (Elemental Assassin #16) by Jennifer Estep
 Walkaway by Cory Doctorow
 Within the Sanctuary of Wings (The Memoirs of Lady Trent #5) by Marie Brennan

Happy Reading!!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Early Review: Blade Bound by Chloe Neill

Blade Bound
Author: Chloe Neill
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
ISBN:  0698180739
ISBN13:9780698180734
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley
The thrilling final installment of Chloe Neill’s New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series sees a sinister sorcery advancing across Chicago, and it may usher in the fall of Cadogan House…

Since the night of her brutal attack and unwilling transformation to vampire, Merit’s stood as Sentinel and protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House. She's saved the Windy City from the forces of darkness time and again with her liege and lover, Ethan Sullivan, by her side.

When the House is infiltrated and Merit is attacked by a vampire seemingly under the sway of dark magic, Merit and Ethan realize the danger is closer than they could have ever imagined. As a malign sorcery spreads throughout the city, Merit must go to war against supernatural powers beyond her comprehension. It’s her last chance to save everything—and everyone—she loves.

The end is here and I'm not ready for the series to be over!

I have enjoyed every moment of Merit's story since she was introduced in SOME GIRLS BITE. Merit is just really easy to like and relate too and the stories are written in such a way that it was so easy to bring everything to life in my mind. I have laughed, I've cried, I've screamed and and I have wanted to throw my book—sometimes at the author even— several times over the series, but I have never wanted to stop reading and finding out more. It has always felt like everything was happening for a reason.

Following Merit and Ethan's love story was just as great. They are such a strong couple and although they butt heads—often—it's clear that they were made for each other. I didn't always love Ethan, but he has grown so much since we first met him and they both make each other better people.

A lot happens in BLADE BOUND and a lot is concluded. Honestly there hasn't been one installment of the Chicagoland Vampires series I didn't love—even though one in particular made me REALLY mad at the author. No matter how you feel about the series, if you have made it this far, you can't stop before finding out how things end.

*Spoiler Alert*
My only real disappointment about BLADE BOUND has to do with the one thing I couldn't wait for since the moment it was mentioned. After all the lead-up to the whole baby thing, I kinda wanted more out of it. I am glad we got a little epilogue, but I would have LOVED to see Merit pregnant and watch the way that Ethan and all the vampires treated her and her response to being handled like a fragile princess. It would have been epic! I am of course very glad that it finally happened and in such a way that made it believable.

*End Spoiler Alert*

All in all, I'm happy with how things ended for Ethan, Merit and the rest of the Chicagoland gang. I don't want to spoil the spin off news for you—so I will let you read what it's about for yourself at the end of BLADE BOUND—but you can bet I will be reading it!

I gave it 4/5 stars

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