Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review: Drakon's Plunder by NJ Walters

Drakon's Plunder
Release Date: July 3, 2017
Publisher: Entangled: Otherworld
ISBN13: 9781640631724
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

Life is not going well for archaeologist Sam Bellamy. She's stuck in the middle of the ocean on a salvage boat with people who want her dead. It wasn't her gift for being able to sense objects of power that got her here, rather her need to make a secret society called the Knights of the Dragon pay for killing her mentor. Sam doesn't believe in dragons, but the Knights do, and if she can get one of the sacred artifacts they're searching for away from them, she'll consider it payback.

Ezra Easton is content to run his marine salvage company and live alone on his private island. He may be a four-thousand-year-old water drakon, but he's civilized enough to know just because he pulls an injured woman from the ocean, doesn't mean he gets to keep her...

When she wakes up, she has a few tall tales to share, and it seems the Knights are after her. But this drakon won't give up his treasure.

DRAKON'S PLUNDER is book three, but it seemed to follow the same timeline as the previous two books in the series.

Although Ezra and Sam have just as strong of a connection and the bedroom scenes are just as hot as the previous two couples, I will admit that I got bored more than once while reading.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the couples of this series, but I would love to see more outside interaction. Besides book one, the couples are always on their own in a little bubble having lots of sex with little outside interaction except for one, maybe two, action scenes. I would like to see some more relationship development to go with the insta-lust the couples all seem to have had. I would like to see some more action with the Knights of the Dragon. Besides one big conflict that is always instigated by the Knights, I would like to see some development in the Drakons beating them back. I really just need more at this point in the series to keep reading.

From the ending of DRAKON'S PLUNDER I have high hopes that book 4 will have two of the brothers together again in the same book for more than a chapter which I am hoping will heat the series back up for me. Fingers crossed.

I gave it 3/5 stars

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Promo: No Good Deed by Kara Connolly

Girl power rules supreme when a modern girl finds herself in the middle of a medieval mess in…

No Good Deed
Fans of Dorothy Must Die will love this reimagining of the legend of Robin Hood. Girl power rules supreme when a modern girl finds herself in the middle of a medieval mess with only her smart mouth and her Olympic-archer aim to get her home.

Ellie Hudson is the front-runner on the road to gold for the U.S. Olympic archery team. All she has to do is qualify at the trials in jolly old England. When Ellie makes some kind of crazy wrong turn in the caverns under Nottingham Castle—yes, that Nottingham—she ends up in medieval England.

Ellie doesn’t care how she got to the Middle Ages; she just wants to go home before she gets the plague. But people are suffering in Nottingham, and Ellie has the skills to make it better. What’s an ace archer to do while she’s stuck in Sherwood Forest but make like Robin Hood?

Pulled into a past life as an outlaw, Ellie feels her present fading away next to daring do-gooding and a devilishly handsome knight. Only, Ellie is on the brink of rewriting history, and when she picks up her bow and arrow, her next shot could save her past—or doom civilization’s future.
“This cheeky take on the Robin Hood legend is pure fun. Connolly’s swashbuckling debut will satisfy any adventure fans.” –Booklist

“This fresh take on the Robin Hood mythology...is well worth it.” —Publishers Weekly
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KARA CONNOLLY loves history, though she's never time traveled. She lives and writes in Arlington, Texas. To learn more about Kara and her books go to karaconnolly.wordpress.com or follow @karaconnolly4 on Twitter and @readkaraconnolly on Instagram.
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Monday, July 17, 2017

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Illumination by Susannah Sandlin

UFI welcomes Author Susannah Sandlin. Thanks for Joining us!!

The Challenges of Ending a Series
Susannah Sandlin

Okay, I’ll ‘fess up here. I love series. Love reading them and writing them. I fall in love with the characters and it’s had to say goodbye to them.

Sometimes, however, it’s time for a series to end—either because the planned story arc has come to a logical conclusion or because the publisher decides it’s time. And so, for both reasons, I found myself faced with writing ILLUMINATION, which brings the primary story arc of The Penton Vampire Legacy series to an end.

There are challenges to writing the end of a series that you don’t have to worry about in an ongoing story. In a paranormal romance series, each book generally focuses on a single couple where either the hero or heroine are part of a larger group. In the case of the Penton series, the heroes have all been residents of the vampire enclave of Penton, Alabama, engaged in a war for survival as vampires starve following a human pandemic whose vaccine rendered the blood of vaccinated humans poison to vamps.

I had several major challenges in writing ILLUMINATION.

First, in the last book, ALLEGIANCE, I introduced a couple of shapeshifters and a human Army Ranger into my vampire story. The Ranger was the one I wanted as the hero of the last book, and the heroine is human. What kind of vampire series has humans as the h /h of its final book? Well, there’s an obvious answer to that problem, but I’ll say no more.

Second, I had my new hero and heroine—Nik and Shay—for ILLUMINATION, but since this would be the final book in the series, I wanted readers to be able to see what the previous “supercouples” were up to. Aidan and Krys had an ongoing storyline, but I also wanted Mirren and Glory, Will and Randa, Melissa and Mark, and Cage and Robin to be really involved in the storyline….without losing track of Nik and Shay’s growing relationship.

There also was the big story arc that needed to reach a plausible conclusion—the looming civil war between the Penton vampires (i.e., the good guys) and the Vampire Tribunal leader (i.e., the nasty, evil guys).

And finally, I wanted to leave the door open to use these characters in a different series or standalone if I want to and if the fans want it.

Did I meet all the challenges of ending the Penton Legacy series?

Well, it’s a good month to try it and see! The first four books of the Penton Legacy series are currently on sale for 99 cents each for Kindle; add ILLUMINATION for $4.99 and you can read the whole series for less than $10. Happy reading!
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Susannah Sandlin writes award-winning paranormal romance, including the popular Penton Legacy series for Montlake Romance, and romantic suspense and thrillers, including two series, The Collectors and Wilds of the Bayou, also for Montlake. Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she writes the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series for Tor Books. Suzanne grew up in Alabama halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis’s birthplace and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years, so she has a refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of college football and fried gator on a stick. She currently lives in Auburn, Alabama, where she is a full-time author who does copy editing on the side through Reedsy.com.

Find Susannah and her books
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Illumination
Penton Legacy #5
Goodreads

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

He came to Penton seeking peace. Nik Dimitrou joined the Army to escape his family curse, only to have his psychic abilities exploited as a weapon. Now, as a civilian, he turns to the bottle to veil the images that come unbidden whenever he touches anyone–except vampires. With them, he has finally found a respite. But as Penton moves into open warfare with the Vampire Tribunal, Nik finds himself deep inside the conflict, not to mention fighting a transformation in his own body more frightening than anything he’s faced.

She wanted to change the world. Shay Underwood watched her Peace Corps parents move from one third world country to another, helping others–until both died following an outbreak of Dengue Fever. Driven to pursue a career in tropical medicine, Shay works in New Orleans to cure the disease that killed her parents–until a careless weekend outing draws her into a world far more dangerous than the diseases she studies: a desperate vampire society engaged in human trafficking.

Two cities, two strangers, one world. With Penton rebellion leader Aidan Murphy making risky choices and chief vampire lieutenant Mirrren Kincaid forced to take a leadership role, it will fall to two outsiders, Nik and Shay, to find a way for Penton–and themselves–to survive.
 Excerpt:

“Right then. We have an obscenely large vehicle on the other side of that brick wall,” Cage said. “Archer or Nik should be able to help you over. Once I’m sure you’re in the car and locked up tight, I’ll collect Robin and Glory from the cemetery entrance and we’ll all be on our way back to Penton.”
Shay bit her lip. She had absolutely no reason to go to Penton, wherever the hell it was. 
Her home and life and work were here in New Orleans. She knew she’d have to be careful, but now that the breeding house was broken up and Jonathan was dead, the vampires and their minions had no reason to come after her. Whatever feelings Shay had nursed for Nik Dimitrou in high school, they were long dead. Gorgeous only took a person so far. Besides, he was a vampire.
She’d wait until they got her out of this cemetery, though, to decline her visit to Vampire Central. Maybe the handsome cat boy would drop her off somewhere. But where? She had no money or identification with her. She didn’t even have the keys to her own apartment or lab.
Maybe a police station. They could come up with a plausible story for her disappearance. Maybe even name Simon as her kidnapper, and the warehouse location. Let the authorities make of it what they would.
Shay was distracted by the sight of Archer leaping to the top of the brick wall behind the Le Boeuf crypt, followed closely by Nik. Her old classmate might be injured and hungry, but that wall had given him no challenge. Shay wasn’t sure she could climb over it without a sturdy ladder on a good day. Today had not been a good day except that she hadn’t died.
Nik reached down and motioned to Shay. “C’mon, let’s get out of here.”
Shay looked at the wall, at Nik, and back at the wall. “I don’t think you can lift me. You’re hurt.”
“Trust me.” Nik grinned, giving Shay a glimpse of an older, even more handsome version of the boy she’d known so many years ago. She’d thought she loved that boy; this man, though….was a vampire. Don’t forget that, idiot.


 She nodded, dried her hands on her jeans as much as she could, and reached up toward Nik. He leaned over, wrapped strong fingers around both of her wrists, and lifted her to the top of the wall with what seemed like little effort, setting her down beside him.
“Swing your legs over, and I’ll lower you down the other side. Or I can leap down with you in my arms.” His grin widened, and her heart beat double-time when their gazes locked. Vampire. He’s a freaking vampire. He’s a freaking vampire involved in a war with other freaking vampires. You cannot trust him. Lust, yes. Trust, no.
“Whatever you do, would you please move your arses?” Cage stood beneath them. “I’m getting soaked and—”
A loud pop sounded from the Washington Avenue end of the cemetery, followed by a splintering noise and another pop pop. Shay had lived in New Orleans long enough to recognize the sound of gunfire.


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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Week in Review: 7/9-7/15



Books Received for Review

Nothing this week!

Books I've Read

Wolf's Mate by Celia Kyle
Ashes by Suzanne Wright
Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine
Shadows and Gold by Elizabeth Hunter

Reviews Posted


Fury of a Phoenix by Shannon Mayer
Fallen Flame by J.M. Miller

  ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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

* Monday- Guest Blog for Waking for Winter by Katherine McIntyre

* Tuesday- Promo + Giveaway for Tales from Harborsmouth by E.J. Stevens

* Friday- Interview for The Rift Uprising by Amy Foster

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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, July 14, 2017

Interview: The Rift Uprising by Amy Foster

UFI welcomes Author Amy Foster. 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 am a hardcore knitter. I have been knitting for fifteen years and I knit EVERY day. Even if it’s just one row.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time? 

Apart from the knitting?! I read a lot. I work out every other day (I hate it, but I like to eat). I watch a lot of TV. Basically, I have the opposite of ADD. I can sit in the same position doing nothing for hours. Like a cat.

What is your Favorite part of writing? 

For me it’s about the story. I have an over active imagination so writing the story down is like letting the pressure out so I can fill it back up again with more crazy plot ideas.

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

I bought a condo ten minutes away from my house. This is my own private place (visitors are highly discouraged) where I can write for hours at a time uninterrupted. It’s not a routine exactly but, it’s become a necessity.

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

Terri Windling, Charles DeLint, Stephanie Meyer, Laini Taylor, Victoria Aveyard, Danielle Page, James Dashner and William Ritter.

How would you pitch The Rift Trilogy to someone who has not heard of it before? 

It’s about a teenage super soldier guarding a portal to the multiverse and her ever growing awareness that she and all her fellow teenage soldiers are probably the last people on (this) Earth who should have such an important job.

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that The Rift Trilogy is set in? 

Well, it’s not Dystopian. It really irritates me when people call it that! It’s Crypto Historical which is a great genre term that people don’t use enough IMHO. Basically, it means that everything is business as usual in the world except there is this whole other thing that’s going on that no one knows about- sort of like Harry Potter. The first book in the series is about the protagonist uncovering a portion of the truth about her origins. In the second book, Ryn goes through the portal and into the multiverse and the book kind of switches things up and becomes more fantasy. The final book is about how she’s going to get her life back and how far she’s willing to go to do that.

Do you have a favorite scene in The Rift Trilogy ? 

In the second book, The Rift Frequency, Ryn lands on an Earth where the Roman Empire never fell. That was a blast.

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

Ryn is always going to be my favorite. She’s like another daughter to me which is why it was EXTRA weird when I had to write the sex scenes- So while I do believe the sex scenes ended up being pretty hot, it was just awkward to write them. I would like, blush, leave the room, scrunch up my eyes, cover my face…

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

I’m working on another series but it’s early days and I don’t want to jinx anything!
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Amy S. Foster was born in Victoria, Canada to singer B.J. Cook and legendary record producer David Foster.  But Amy opted out of a career in music and chose international business instead.  While going to American University in Washington DC, she took a course in creative writing with renowned poet Ann Darr that would change the direction of her life.  After graduating, Amy moved to London to hone her literary skills, determined to get a collection of her own poetry published.  It was there that she met producer Martin Terefe (Mike Posner, Shawn Mendes, James Morrison) who asked her if she wanted him to put some music to her poetry.  The two made a ground breaking spoken word record which turned Amy’s focus entirely to music and from there, the progression to becoming a lyricist was natural.  Since then, artists have sought out Amy’s easy, conversational style of writing and her uncanny ability to help them tell their own stories.  She has penned four number one hits with Michael Buble (Home, Everything and Haven’t Met You Yet, Beautiful Day).  “Home” has also been covered by Westlife and Blake Shelton which gave Amy her first country Number One.  She has worked with artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Destiny’s Child, Solange Knowles, Eric Benet, Diana Krall, Josh Groban, One Flew South, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, John Paul White of The Civil Wars, RyanDan, Who is Fancy, Chris Mann, and most recently a collaboration with Michah Wilshire of the band Wilshire. The two have formed their own group called QOINS .

“When Autumn Leaves”, Amy’s first work of fiction was published by The Overlook Press in September 2009.   Currently, Amy lives in Portland, OR with her husband Matt Freeman and their three children, Mikaela, Eva and Vaughn. Her next release is, the first in The Rift Trilogy, for Harper Collins is coming to a bookstore near you in the Fall of 2016.

Find Amy and her books
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The Rift Uprising
The Rift Uprising Trilogy #1
Heroine Ryn Whittaker isn’t like other teenagers who Instagram and binge-watch Netflix. She’s a genetically modified gun-toting take-no-prisoners super-soldier, designed to protect The Rifts, a series of fourteen mysterious portals that lead to a billion alternative Earths. Foster’s fantastical narrative both transports and inspires - it’s imaginative and challenging, with a badass, brilliant, break-neck heroine expressly created for the authors’ daughters. She’s chockful of character traits YA readers will both adore and adopt, using her innate combat skills to guard, and fight, whatever materializes out of The Rift, from mutants to advance humanoids.

Then there’s the guy thing…. When otherworldly Ezra Massad appears, he pierces her emotional armor.  He also turns her worldview on its axis, questioning The Rifts themselves, and the entire structure of their society, leading to uncomfortable, even dangerous answers. Ryn and Ezra are pivotal in starting a coup; in the ensuing fray, he vanishes back into The Rift. Ryn launches a plan to rescue him. But he could be anywhere in the world… on millions of worlds…  Here Foster delivers an incredibly cinematic, pulsing book with a breakneck pace, with unforgettable action sequences led by an unforgettable leading lady.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Review: Fallen Flame by J.M. Miller

Fallen Flame
Author: J.M. Miller
Release Date: June 19, 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
Fallen Flame Book #1
ASIN:  B072KNSWZD
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

Nineteen years ago, on the island kingdom of Garlin, a girl was born. With charred skin as rough as rock, Vala was instantly feared. For how could one be scorched by magic when it had perished ages before?
Recognizing an asset, the royal family welcomed her on their Guard. Her detail: the prince.
To watch. To protect. She has grown with him, lives her life for him.
When the high kingdom’s princess comes to assess the prince, assassins of rival courtiers come to claim his life. One nearly succeeds in his mission. But with shadowy movements and charred skin like her own, Vala knows he is not like the rest.
As threats to the prince continue and questions about Vala’s life begin to rise, she faces a fear worse than fire or water, worse even than losing him.
She fears finding out who she truly is.

I picked up FALLEN FLAME from Netgalley on a complete whim and I'm so glad I did. The story was easy to follow, the pace was nice and the characters and their development kept me reading.

I loved Vala. She is a mystery to those in Gala and even to herself, but she has made a good life for herself and lives to protect the prince. I found Vala to be strong, loyal and willing to get her hands dirty to protect those that needed protecting.

There are a two love interests in FALLEN FLAME. I liked prince Caulden when he was introduced and was rooting for things to work out between Vala and him, but I slowly lost respect for him as the book went on and by the end knew that even if they could have been something, they weren't right for each other. Xavyn was a huge mystery when he was introduced, but was very open with Vala and really opened her eyes to the world outside of Garlin and how she could fit into it. Although nothing happened romantically between them in FALLEN FLAME, I look forward to the time when something does.

The plot was interesting. Some things were predictable, but I still very much enjoyed the way things were revealed. The mystery surrounding Vala and her birth was very intriguing and made the plot even more exciting. Vala is a true fighter and I enjoyed the action throughout FALLEN FLAME. There is zero doubt in my mind that I will be grabbing a copy of book two when it is out. In fact, I am stalking the author's pages in hope that there will be information about it soon.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Review: Fury of a Phoenix by Shannon Mayer

Fury of the Phoenix
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Publisher: Hijinks Ink
Nix Book #1
ASIN:   B06ZYBFVVN
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Author

"I knew the sins of my past would call to collect what was left of my soul. If I'd known the price I'd pay, I would've sacrificed more to stay hidden from the magic." 
 
In the middle of Wyoming--away from the abnormals of the world--I thought I was free and clear. I started a new life. Found a love I'd never known in a husband, and a son who was my everything. 
 
And in a blinding instant, that life was stolen from me. 
 
The rage of a grieving mother is an ugly beast. More so when she has the skills and killer instinct to back up the wrath and the knowledge that an accident was anything but. 
 
Once more, I will pick up my guns. This time to hunt those who took my husband's and son's lives.
 
Let them see the assassin, trained to kill abnormals, stalk the shadows again. 
 
Let them see the Phoenix rise from the fragments of a broken life as she burns with a fury that cannot be contained.
 
Let the killing games begin.

Shannon Mayer is BACK with a brand new urban fantasy series. I haven't loved the last couple books that Mayer has put out, but Nyx knocked my socks off.

I'm not sure if it's because I'm a mother or just the fact that it was such a young life lost, but the death of Nyx's son tore me apart. The blurb tells us that it happens, but it didn't make it any easier to read about. Mayer did a really good job at conveying the level of grief that would come during this kind of tragedy and I felt like I lost Bear right beside Nyx.

FURY OF THE PHOENIX isn't all sad moments. Nyx is pretty bad-ass and can kick butt like no other. She doesn't let her grief drown her, instead it helps her do what needs to be done. The cast of characters was another interesting part of FURY OF THE PHOENIX. I didn't know who to trust and even when I thought I knew, something threw a wrench into the mix and showed me I was wrong.

There are quite a few questions left unanswered and lines left open at the end of FURY OF THE PHOENIX. I'm very excited, to be excited, to read the next book in Shannon's new Nyx series.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Promo + Giveaway: Tales from Harborsmouth by E.J. Stevens


Happy book birthday, Tales from Harborsmouth! We're celebrating the new Ivy Granger Psychic Detective book release with a party and a giveaway. Keep reading for a chance to win an Ivy Granger Prize Pack, including a flashlight keychain, button, glow-in-the-dark fangs, and a collectible Passport to Ivy Granger booklet signed by the author.

Let's party!

Tales from Harborsmouth Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective Urban Fantasy Collection
Tales from Harborsmouth
Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective #0.5, #1.5, #2.5, #5.5

In Tales from Harborsmouth, readers get to delve deeper into the award-winning world of Ivy Granger.

Ivy Granger is a psychic detective with ties to Harborsmouth's paranormal underworld. Too bad those ties tend to ensnare Ivy and her friend Jinx in the Machiavellian schemes of the city's teeming population of bloodsucking vampires and psychotic faeries.

Tales from Harborsmouth is the first time the Ivy Granger novellas are together in one collection and features two exclusive short stories the series prequel Frostbite and the newest Ivy Granger tale Thrill on Joysen Hill.

Featured in this collection:
     • FROSTBITE (Ivy Granger #0.5)
     • BLOOD AND MISTLETOE (Ivy Granger #1.5)
     • CLUB NEXUS (Ivy Granger #2.5)
     • THRILL ON JOYSEN HILL (Ivy Granger #5.5)

Add to my Goodreads TBR List.

We're giving away fun swag prizes, but first, grab a cupcake and check out these teasers.

Tales from Harborsmouth Teasers

A detective’s job is to take note of the little things, the small details that can break a case wide open, but having anthropomorphic snot treat you like you smelled worse than a troll fart could give a girl a complex.
—Ivy Granger, Frostbite

If a faerie, a vampire, and a demon walk into a bar, you wait for the punch line.  At Private Eye, when a faerie, a vampire, and a demon walk through the door, it’s just another day at the office.
—Ivy Granger, Blood and Mistletoe

Of all the nightclubs, in all the cities, in all the world, the freakin’ demon had to walk into Club Nexus.
—Jinx, Club Nexus - Jinxed

I’d seen a lot in my nine lives, but nothing so strange as Ratfink’s Family Fun Palace and its tone-deaf taxidermied talent.
—Torn, Thrill on Joysen Hill

Want to read more books in this series? You're in luck.

Books in this Series
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Want to win fabulous swag? We've got you covered.

Tales from Harborsmouth Swag Giveaway

We are giving away an Ivy Granger Prize Pack, including:

     • Ivy Granger Flashlight Keychain
     • Ivy Granger "Private Eye" Button
     • Glow-in-the-Dark Fangs
     • Passport to Ivy Granger *signed*

To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL. Giveaway ends July 26, 2017 midnight EST. Good luck!
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New Releases: 7/9-7/15


Tue. July 11th

Thur. July 13th

 Shag Lake by Susan McEachern

Happy Reading!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Guest Blog: Waking for Winter by Katherine McIntyre

UFI welcomes Author Katherine McIntyre. Thanks for Joining us!!

Top Five Paranormal Romance Series
While I’m a paranormal romance addict, the series I read also have to pass the feminist reader test. Are there complex female characters? Is there consent and lack of abusive behavior? Thankfully, a lot of modern books are really getting away from the old issues the genre was mired in, so there’s more selection for the savvy reader. Here are some of my top five series in the genre, even though there’s a whole plethora out there to choose from.
Black Dagger Brotherhood
This is one of those growly alpha male series that I plunged into and wasn’t super thrilled with the first book. However, the writing is SHARP, the story was interesting, and I liked it enough to read the following books. By book two, I was smitten, and book three, Zsadist’s book, is one of my absolute favorites. JR Ward has the sort of urban style I’m completely jealous of, as it leaps off the page to drag you into the world of the broken Black Dagger Brotherhood. Each character was meticulously defined and their backstories and histories made them engaging.
Psy-Changeling Series
Nalini Singh is a master of characterization and sensuality. Similarly to reading Black Dagger Brotherhood, the first book didn’t grip me as much, but the third was what had me committed to the series for good. She spins such an engaging tale, and we get so deep into the character’s perspectives. Nalini Singh isn’t afraid of diversity, of variation in gender roles, and it’s such a relief and joy to see. On top of the unique concept with the Psy, her Changelings are one of my favorite examples of shifters.
The Southern Vampire Mysteries
Despite Sookie Stackhouse coming off like the ‘everygirl’ in the beginning of the series, she has this stubborn practicality I adored. And when dealing with multiple varieties of supernaturals, that sort of pragmatism is something to be admired. The books are short, but they take you for an entertaining ride, and at the time it came out, the series provided a refreshing take from all the urban-centric supernatural stories, providing a real Southern flair.
Kate Daniels Series
Ilona Andrews tends to top the charts for me every time. Not only does this urban fantasy series contain one of the best slow-burn romances I’ve ever read, but also the best female lead. Kate Daniels is a queen in urban fantasy, the sort of take-charge, smart-mouthed merc we can all fall in love with. And the version of Atlanta in this series is both terrifying and entertaining, providing a wonderful landscape as the story delves deeper into Kate’s history.
Hidden Legacy
More Ilona Andrews on the docket? You betcha. This series finishes this year, and already, the first two books take you on one hell of a ride. Nevada Baylor and Mad Rogan have the sort of chemistry that makes you giddy. Nevada continues with their brand of competent heroine, though I really loved the family loyalty she espouses and the big sister attitude. Mad Rogan is layered and complex, a soldier who’s never left the war. And with the interesting system of Primes and magic created in this universe, the story is always entertaining.
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A modern day Renaissance-woman, Katherine McIntyre has learned soapmaking, beer brewing, tea blending, and most recently roasting coffee. Most of which make sure she’s hydrated and bathed while she spends the rest of her time writing. With a desire to travel and more imagination than she knows what to do with, all the stories jumping around in her head led to the logical route of jotting them down on paper. She writes novels with snarky women, ragtag crews, and guys with bad attitudes. High chances for a passionate speech thrown into the mix.

Find Katherine and her books
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Waking for Winter
Philadelphia Coven Chronicles #4
Loose ID
The Philadelphia Coven has thwarted the Order of the Serpent’s every attempt to destroy their city only to draw out the scariest nightmare from the Otherworld, the Caoranach. One of the Coven’s own, Cami Akiyama, has already met this creature—the very monster who tortured her, branding her with a mark. Given Cami’s history with the big bad, the Coven leader assigns her a bodyguard, none other than the gorgeous and lethal necromancer, Dante Martinez, the ex-boyfriend she disappeared on years ago. One conversation confirms the spark between them never died, and based on the way Dante flirts, he won’t allow that flame to extinguish out without a fight.

No one has ever compared to Dante and the incendiary passion he inspired in her, but the Caoranach broke her—Cami’s too damaged for any sort of relationship. Not like that stops him. If anything, he fights harder for the memories of a love that kept her sane on the bleakest nights. And despite every effort to distance, she finds herself falling for him all over again. Except the Caoranach isn’t finished with her—the branded mark holds the secret to the city’s destruction or salvation, and Cami stands in the center of the storm.

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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Week in Review: 7/2-7/8



Books Received for Review

Wolf's Mate by Celia Kyle

Books I've Read

The Hunt by Chloe Neill
A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter
This Same Earth by Elizabeth Hunter
The Force of Wind by Elizabeth Hunter
An Fall of Water by Elizabeth Hunter

Reviews Posted


Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price
Breath of Passion by Lisa Kessler

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

* Monday- Promo + Giveaway for Drakon’s Plunder by N.J. Walters

* Thursday- Promo + Giveaway for Turned by a Tiger by Felicity Heaton

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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, July 7, 2017

Review: Breath of Passion by Lisa Kessler

Breath of Passion
Release Date: May 15, 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
ISBN13:  9780997627442
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: Author

The Prophecy - "Every generation the nine daughters of Zeus are reborn, and with their rebirth are also nine Guardians. They will be marked by the gods, and given gifts to protect his treasure. Their abilities will only be unlocked when they find their muse."

Erica Sterling owns her curves, and inspires passion in every person she meets. It’s the curse of having the Greek muse, Erato, lurking in her soul. After a hot night with a firefighter, she struggles to keep her distance from him. The gods have other plans, but Erica has crossed the line between passion and obsession once before, and she’s never going back. Not even for her Guardian.

No one understands fire and heat like firefighter, Reed McIntosh. After being burned by a bad marriage, he’s sworn off love. But he’s never been with anyone like Erica, and after meeting her, a dormant ability is awakened inside of him, along with the desire to keep her safe.

When a stalker’s threats turn up the heat, Reed will put his life ---and his heart--- on the line. But when the ashes settle, will love be too late?
All the books in the Muse Chronicles have been nice flowing, easy to read romances with a hint of paranormal thrown in. BREATH OF PASSION continues the trend.

Erica houses the Greek Muse of Lyrics and Erotic Poetry so I was expecting things to be a little hotter than past books and it definitely didn't disappoint. It was hot in the bedroom and out with her Guardian being a firefighter. Erica and Reed have a fiery connection and it screams through the pages.

I wouldn't mind a little shake up of the common romance theme of the series. All the characters so far have had major issues with romance, followed by something bad happening that has made them rethink their issues and makes them realize they are madly in love. I am glad that there hasn't been any insta-love couples, but I would like to see one of the couples just be hot for their Guardian/Muse without the pushing away and denial that their past issues bring.  I don't hate it, but it could get repetitive if all the Muse/Guardian romances go this way.

As for the conflict of BREATH OF PASSION. I didn't feel that it was as heavy on the Kronos storyline as the past two books—which isn't good or bad, just mentioning. Kessler throws an obsessed ex-boyfriend turned stalker into the mix of danger. I so wanted the Muses to be able to get a little farther on their theater, but the Order of the Titans seem to have put them even farther behind with the events of BREATH OF PASSION. I can't really see how they are going to get it done now, but I'm sure they will surprise me.

After I finished reading book one, LURE OF OBSESSION, I told myself that I couldn't possibly love the next couple as much as Melanie and Nate. Then I read LEGEND OF LOVE and told myself Callie and Hunter were my new favorite couple. Well, now Erica and Reed are my favorite couple lol. Hopefully the trend continues.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Promo + Giveaway: Turned by a Tiger by Felicity Heaton


Turned by a Tiger
Eternal Mates #12
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com.auiBooks USA | iBooks UK | iBooks Canada | iBooks Australia | iBooks New ZealandBarnes and Noble | Kobo Books | Google Play
On the verge of bleeding out and hunted by his merciless torturers, Talon has no choice but to seek sanctuary at Underworld, a nightclub run by a jaguar shifter liable to kill him on sight for being a tiger shifter male. What he finds in the old warehouse isn’t the grim shadow of Death though but an angel of mercy, one who offers him salvation and revenge—one who happens to be his fated mate.

Tending bar at Underworld is never dull when you’re a mortal surrounded by immortals, but when a gorgeous tiger shifter covered in blood stumbles into the club, and set’s fire to her boss’s temper, Sherry’s entire world is in danger of being turned on its head. Something about the mysterious warrior has her stepping in to save him, something that ignites her heart and stirs her soul, and no matter how fiercely she fights it, she can’t hold herself back.

When Talon reveals the name of his captors, and his plan to head back in to save his friends, will Sherry be brave enough to embrace the feelings he stirs in her and step deeper into the world of immortals? And will Talon be strong enough to resist the lure of Sherry to protect his family’s secret or will he risk everything to claim his eternal mate?

Excerpt:


A wave of dizziness, stronger than before, crashed over him and his knees buckled.
The little human caught him under his arms and steadied him, and he froze with his back pressing against the cold brass bar and her firm body warming his front.
Talon gazed down at her, awareness of the world around him washing away again.
Gods, she was achingly beautiful.
“It won’t happen.” Her soft voice offered the comfort he needed, soothing the raging beast inside him, placating it and subduing him with a speed that left him shaken.
What power did this female have over him?
It was dangerous.
He was dangerous.
As much as he wanted her, as deeply as he needed her, he couldn’t have her.
The sandy-haired shifter casually leaned his left hip against the bar and folded his arms across his chest. “It might if he doesn’t start cooperating… but it will be a jaguar shifter returning him by kicking him out of this club and leaving him on the curb for Archangel to find. I still think he did something to make him deserve being there.”
“No.” He lunged forwards, filled with a need to grab the jaguar and fight him to make him listen and believe him.
He hit an obstacle, a soft wall of feminine curves and enticing scent mingled with comforting warmth that stopped him in his tracks.
His gaze dropped to the mortal’s again.
His strength left him, as if her calming presence sucked it out of him, tearing down the barriers and the need to fight, twisting it into a need to surrender and give in. To let go.
To let her be strong for him.
He shook his head, but he couldn’t shake the memories as easily. They clung to him, refusing to let him go, torturing him with the past.
“I did nothing,” he whispered brokenly, lost in her blue eyes, almost able to feel the warmth of the sun on his bare skin as he gazed into their endless azure depths. “They took me… and others… a night raid… a fae town. The others…”
Darkness closed in around the blue and he swallowed hard.
Her hands pressed against his sides, gentle pressure that kept him with her as she softly said, “Don’t push yourself. You need to rest.”
“The others…”
She slowly shook her head. “There’s nothing you can do for them as you are now.”
He knew that. He had barely escaped with his life, might have been dying on the curb outside if not for the female standing in front of him, gently holding him. He knew it but it didn’t stop the need from ruling him, pushing him to do something, even when he didn’t have the strength.
It would be suicide.
“You going to let it go for now and focus on healing?” She canted her head, causing her long blonde ponytail to sway across her shoulders.
He ached to brush his fingers through the silken threads, lift them to his nose and inhale her scent. Gods, she had such power over him, and he didn’t really know her. His tiger side purred at the thought of rubbing against her hair, smelling it and then lowering his head to tease the nape of her neck with his teeth and lave it with his tongue.
Talon nodded slowly, a little lost in his fantasy, in the seductive proposition of surrendering to her and his animal instincts.
“Are we going, or do you want to go all kitty on her and get it over with?” The sharp female voice snapped him back to the room and he looked off to his right, at the elf where she stood with her hands planted against her hips and a sour look on her face.
How the hell had she known his thoughts?
Elves weren’t psychic.
The hard set of the jaguar’s face said he had picked them up too, or at least knew the look he had been sporting well enough to know what he wanted to do. The male’s golden eyes narrowed on his, filled with a warning and a promise of pain if he dared to lay a hand on the human, let alone run his tongue over the deliciously tempting nape of her neck.
The human blinked at both of them, and then at him, a beautifully confused edge to her expression. He wasn’t about to spell things out for her. If she didn’t know what they were talking about, that was all good with him.
She canted her head again and looked as if she was going to ask.
Iolanthe moved forwards, silent on the dark floorboards even though she wore heeled boots that looked as if they had been made for the express purpose of kicking arse. “You want some blood? It’ll accelerate the healing process.”
She offered her wrist.
The jaguar growled low and bared his fangs, leaving Talon in little doubt that taking the offered blood would end in his death and not his salvation.
He shook his head, politely turning her down, and pretended to ignore that baser side of his nature that growled at him to take the human’s blood instead.
Human blood had no healing properties.
His more animal side didn’t care about such trivial facts. It wanted to bite her. He wanted to bite her. His eyes betrayed him and shifted to her neck, to the back of it, just below her hairline, and he ached inside, burned with a need to sink his fangs in there and mark her.
Not going to happen.
She was human.
“Just need rest,” he muttered and looked down, meaning to check his wounds.
He got an eyeful of cleavage instead. Fuck. He hadn’t realised how pressed up against him the mortal was now as she supported him. The urge to drink his fill of the way her breasts were squashed up in her white shirt, and against him, lasted all of a second before it shattered under the blow of a single realisation.
He was bleeding all over her.
He shifted his left hand, swallowed hard as his fingers pressed against her ribs beneath her right breast and she gasped, a wicked little sound that stirred his blood.
“Bleeding,” he rasped, his words hollow in his ears, distant as he stared down at her and grew aware of every place their bodies touched.
She blinked, looked down at her chest where it pressed against his bare stomach, froze for a second in which he could feel her heartbeat pick up, and then she was two feet away from him and busying herself with her ruined shirt.
Talon sagged against the bar and fought a wave of nausea as he was forced to hold his weight up on his own. Damn. The little human was stronger than she looked, must have been bearing almost half of his weight for him. For a moment, he had foolishly believed he had been regaining his strength.
Fucking idiot.
His knees gave out, the human gasped again, and he grunted as he hit the floor.
“Shit,” she muttered and was beside him in a flash, her hands on his shoulders, pushing him back into a sitting position. “Sorry.”
He wasn’t sure why she was apologising.
She caught him under his arms and tried to haul him onto his feet. He would have helped her, but the world was spinning around him, blurring together into colourful streaks that made him dizzy.
“I’ll send word to my brother,” the elf said and he sensed her moving closer as the ground pitched beneath him. “Prince Loren will want to know everything you have to say about Archangel. If they’re up to something, he won’t stand for it.”
It was a relief to hear that, and not only because the elves being on the side of Archangel would sway the odds in their favour if it came to a war between the immortal species and the mortal hunter organisation.
It was a relief because he couldn’t detect any hint of a lie in what she had said. She was telling him the truth. He always knew when someone was lying. The fact that she wasn’t eased him, taming his instinct to survive and stopping him from viewing her as a threat. She closed in, ignoring the grumbling growls of her mate, and he felt coolness on his wrist and then he was on his feet so quickly the room decided to spin the other way.
Her grip was firmer than the human’s had been, strong and unyielding. Not soft and gentle. Not tender.
Not comforting.
Talon squeezed his eyes shut. “Need rest.”
“You’ll have it,” the mortal’s voice gently washed over him, soothing him and making him want to look at her.
He risked it, opening his eyes little by little, afraid that the room would still be spinning and he would vomit or pass out. Neither of those things would particularly paint him in a good light. He wanted her to see him as strong, the male he normally was on a good day, but she was seeing him at his worst.
One hell of an introduction.
“You’ll be safe,” she whispered as she gazed up at him. “I swear it.”
He believed her. He would be safe with her. Every instinct he possessed screamed at him to stay with her, that she was the only place where he would ever truly be safe.
Where he would ever truly belong.
She had seen him at his worst, and she looked at him with eyes that held compassion, and a flare of desire. When she saw him at his best, as the warrior he was and the powerful male he had been moulded into by his family, how would she look at him then?
Would she want him as fiercely as he needed her?
“The journey might be rough.” Iolanthe grabbed his arm, and tossed a smile at the jaguar. “Be right back.”
Before Talon could ask what she was going to do, she had caught hold of the human’s arm too and darkness swallowed them all, cold and clinging.
Like Death’s embrace.
And all he could think about was that he didn’t want to die.
Not because he wanted to avenge someone, or because he wanted to make Archangel pay, or even because he wanted to free the others and return to his pride.
No.
He didn’t want to die because he wanted to see her again.
His fated one.



BOOKS IN THE SERIES
Book 1: Kissed by a Dark Prince (Only 99c at all retailers!)

Book 2: Claimed by a Demon King

Book 3: Tempted by a Rogue Prince

Book 4: Hunted by a Jaguar

Book 5: Craved by an Alpha

Book 6: Bitten by a Hellcat

Book 7: Taken by a Dragon

Book 8: Marked by an Assassin

Book 9: Possessed by a Dark Warrior

Book 10: Awakened by a Demoness

Book 11: Haunted by the King of Death

Book 12: Turned by a Tiger

Book 13: Tamed by a Tiger – Coming August 2017

Book 14: Treasured by a Tiger – Coming September 2017
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Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.

Find Felicity and her books
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Tour Wide

Enter the grand tour-wide giveaway to win a $25, $50 or $75 Amazon Gift Card at the Turned by a Tiger book page. This giveaway is international and open to everyone, and ends at midnight on July 16th.
 

Enter now:
http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/turned-by-a-tiger-shapeshifter-romance-book.php