Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Promo + Giveaway: The Last Wolf by Maria Vale

Dear (Potential) Reader, 

There is so much vying for your attention, I'm grateful you’ve read even this far.
I know I’m asking a lot from you.

I’m asking you to take time with a new writer when there are so many great ones already out there.
I’m asking you to take a chance on a new direction in a well-loved genre, in which the wolf is not a vicious beast to be subjugated and feared, but rather the human form is a useful tool for protecting the wilder self.

In this reworking, werewolves fall into two categories: Pack, who must be wolves for three days out of every thirty—self-aware wolves, but not magic, any bullet can kill them. And Shifters, who don’t have to change and so remain human, the apex predator, rather than wolf, the maligned and despised outsider. 

Still like any romance, its foundation is in the growing love between two characters: the worldly half-Shifter Tiberius who hates the wolf inside him as bestial and monstrous. And the unworldly Silver, who is fully Pack and believes her wild self to be sacred. 

Silver is a runt with a displaced hip when she is a wolf and in a society that determines position by fighting wild, this means she is at the bottom of the hierarchy—the last wolf.  Tiberius, however, discovers real strength in her perseverance and fierceness. For her part, Silver recognizes something about him: that by denying his wild, Tiberius has sown the roots of despair.

But this is not only a love story between two people, it’s also a love story about the Great North Pack, because despite our fascination with lone wolves, it is the pack that really defines this most social of all animals.

 I imagined the Great North as something beyond family or community, something tight- knit and loving and brave and frightened. And intensely vulnerable. I imagined, like most embattled societies, the pack would be very conservative, with a traditional culture, a history, a language that was part of its identity. I chose to base that culture loosely (very loosely) on the world of 9th century England, partly because I love the sound of the language of Beowulf. To me, it is gruff and beautiful and haunting, like a wolf’s howl. But also because 9th century England was a place of great insecurity. One never knew when Northmen might show up and destroy everything you loved.

It was the Great North’s first Alpha, Ælfrida, who forced her pack to change. With humans decimating the forests of England, she dragged her pack from the Old World to the vast forests of northern New York, she re-wrote laws in order to allow new wolves to join their bloodlines, she forced her wolves to leave their isolated territories, so that they could learn human ways and protect the Pack using human law.

What results is a society that is both human and decidedly not, both harsh and loving, severe and tender.  The way I imagined wolves fighting daily for their lives would be.

I have loved every minute of researching and writing these books. I can only hope that you will enjoy reading them. 

Stay wild,


The Last Wolf 
The Legend of All Wolves #1
Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Chapters | iBooks | Indiebound

For three days out of thirty, when the moon is full and her law is iron, the Great North Pack must be wild.

If she returns to her Pack, the stranger will die.
But if she stays…

Silver Nilsdottir is at the bottom of her Pack’s social order, with little chance for a decent mate and a better life. Until the day a stranger stumbles into their territory, wounded and beaten, and Silver decides to risk everything on Tiberius Leveraux. But Tiberius isn’t all he seems, and in the fragile balance of the Pack and wild, he may tip the destiny of all wolves…

The day of the first waxing crescent of fall is when all of the wolves who live on the Homelands traditionally run the perimeter and make sure that our land is properly marked before the ground freezes and damaged posts become hard to replace.
The entire Pack is wild. Barking and wagging tails, they lick each other and jump around each other, their ferocious jaws open and gentle. They chase mice through windrows, their hind legs scratching leaves into a brightly colored explosion high in the air, so that the pups can twist and turn and catch them in snapping teeth as they spiral down.
Not me. I have to pull on heavy muck boots over thick socks with jeans shoved inside. And I won’t mark our territory the way wolves are supposed to. I will mark it on an iPhone 6 Plus, crammed into the big pocket of a thick orange vest. All because Ti refuses to phase and John doesn’t like it.
“He tells himself he’s human,” John says. “But if he lies to himself, what makes you think he’s not going to lie to us?”
So because I am Ti’s schildere, I have to stay in skin too. Keep an eye on him.
“I mean, what were you thinking?” I ask as Ti fits the Outlast cap over his clipped skull. “When you came to a bunch of wolves asking for protection. That you’d just keep on being a human? Was that your grand plan?”
“I didn’t have a grand plan. What I had was a hole in my stomach, a vague set of directions to my mother’s pack, and a need to survive. I changed long enough to fight; I never thought you’d be asking me to give up my humanity.”
“No one’s asking you to give up your humanity, but if you refuse to admit what you are, it is going to rise up and bite you in the ass.”
“Well, how about you?”
Me? I love changing. I—”
“I know you love changing. You do it all the time. The second Sten doesn’t need your thumbs, you evaporate, and there’s nothing left but clothes hanging from a branch. I may be a crappy wolf. But you… You’re a crappy human.”
I cringe, because he’s right. I’ve never been happy in skin, but then those stupid fire fairies burrowed into my body all those days ago, and that spark has caught fire and burns so fierce that now when I walk beside him and hear his quiet, low voice or look into those gold-flecked black eyes, my tendons strain and my muscles coil and my lungs open up and my blood beats hot and fast. The only way I know how to deal with need is to run hard and far until I collapse, unable to feel anything at all.
A brindle pup barks worriedly at my feet. All of the other wolves have disappeared, fading like a whisper in the woods.
“I know, Leelee. We’re coming.”
“She’s going with us?” Ti asks.
“We’re supposed to take her along. Help her learn the farther reaches of the Homelands.” Leelee scampers on ahead, leaping awkwardly over a huge downed log and sliding down the other side, her fur covered in the sooty brown decay.
Ti clears it in one stride and stands close, not helping me exactly, but I know if I falter, his big shoulder is there for me to grab on to. I make it by myself, but I appreciate his silent gesture.
Leelee watches, her head cocked to the side, as I take a running jump over one of the numerous small, mucky streams that crisscross our land. I slip down the other side, my foot sinking into a soft bruise in the moss. She yips and worries, waiting for me to pull my boot out with a dull sucking sound.
I lift her up and give her an open-jawed kiss on her ear, but she sees a squirrel and won’t stop squirming until I set her down.
“No farther than the Stones, Leelee.”
When we finally catch up, she’s clambering over the variously sized rocks that form rough circles around the ancient central stones. Over the years, the circle has encroached farther and farther into the forest, surrounding the trees.
Leelee marks one of the stones.
“What is this?” Ti asks.
“It’s, um…the Gemyndstow? The memory place? But we just call it the Stones.”
“Like a graveyard?”
“Graveyards are for bodies, aren’t they?”
“So, no. Coyotes eat our dead. That’s why we call them wulfbyrgenna. Wolf tombs. The stones are only for wolf names and the date of their last hunt so that we can remember.”
When Ti crouches down and looks at one near the front, Leelee runs up to him and looks too, trying to figure out why it is so interesting.
As soon as he stands, she marks that one too.
An ill-advised squirrel runs across the outer rim of the Stones, and Leelee turns quickly to run after it, the wind tickling her fur and the scent in her nose. I know that feeling of taking it all in—moldering pine needles, owl pellets, borer beetle, tree sap, two-year-old porcupine den, sassafras bush—until the scent of prey hits you right in the back of the throat and everything tenses and you chase, even if your tummy’s little and full and all you really want is for the thing, whatever it is, to escape so you don’t have to eat it, but still you can’t help but hunt.
She peels off after her squirrel, looking behind to make sure we’re watching.
The squirrel chitters at her from the safety of a maple. Ti stares, his hands fisted by his sides, as Leelee scampers and bounds and falls on her back and twists her little legs in the air, her belly dotted with leaf litter. A tiny furrow cuts through his usually impassive brow, and his mouth, while still tightly closed, turns down a little at the corners. His wild—that seductive scent of crushed bone and evergreen—radiates thicker now, and when I touch his arm, he jolts as if from a waking dream and blinks down at me, looking in this moment like a lost boy.


Maria Vale is a journalist who has worked for Publishers Weekly, Glamour magazine, Redbook, the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a logophile and a bibliovore and a worrier about the world. Trained as a medievalist, she tries to shoehorn the language of Beowulf into things that don't really need it. She currently lives in New York with her husband, two sons and a long line of dead plants. No one will let her have a pet.

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Monday, January 29, 2018

Cover Reveal: True Storm by L.E. Sterling

Let us know what you think of the cover for True Storm (True Born Trilogy, #3) by L.E. Sterling, which releases May 1, 2018! 

This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled Teen.

True Storm 
True Born Trilogy #3

If you can’t beat them, change them.

Lucy’s twin sister, Margot, may be safely back with her—but all is not well in Plague-ravaged Dominion City. The Watchers have come out of hiding, spreading chaos and death throughout the city, and suddenly Lucy finds herself under pressure to choose her future: does it lie with her handsome new friend Alastair; her guardian, the enigmatic True Born leader Nolan Storm; or the man who makes her heart trip, her savage True Born bodyguard Jared Price? But while Lucy ponders her path, fate has other plans. Betrayal is a cruel lesson, and the Fox sisters can hardly believe who is behind the plot against them. To survive this deadly game of politics, Lucy is forced to agree to a marriage of convenience. But is the DNA of her will stronger than the forces opposing her? Can she turn the tide against the oncoming storm?

As they say in Dominion, can rogue genes ever have a happy ending?

Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of True Storm (True Born Trilogy, #3) by L.E. Sterling today! 

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled Publishing


L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance to which she remained faithful even through an M.A. in Creative Writing and a PhD in English Literature - where she completed a thesis on magical representation. She is the author of two previous novels, the cult hit Y/A novel The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick), dubbed “the Catcher in the Rye of a new generation” by one reviewer, and the urban fantasy Pluto’s Gate. Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario, L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van with her father, a hippie musician, her brothers and an occasional stray mutt - inspiring her writing career. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Find L.E. Sterling and her books

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

Drakon's Past
Release Date: January 29, 2018
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
ISBN:  164063469X
ISBN13: 9781640634695
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

Constance Owens has a gift for finding unique items in the most unlikely places, which comes in handy since she buys and sells artifacts and antiques for a living. When she purchases a set of four dragon statues, she has no idea just how unique they are, or that finding them will thrust her into a world of secret societies, men who think nothing of kidnapping and murder to get what they want, and dragon shifters.

Nic hasn’t survived for four thousand years by letting his guard down, and he doesn’t trust anyone except his drakon brothers. The loneliness haunting him has been getting worse since all his brothers have found their mates. And when he finds the woman his drakon recognizes instantly as his fated mate, he doubts he’ll ever have what his brothers have, because it seems she’s involved with the secret society of hunters who have been hunting and capturing his kind for hundreds of years.

DRAKON'S PAST was by far my least favorite book of the series.

Since this series is all about the romance I will start there. The insta-love between Constance and Nic was a little too unbelievable and there was no real bonding time involved before they jumped into bed. I never really felt the connection that was supposed to be there which made it hard to root for them to become a couple.

The situations they were in was also a little too much. Constance's reactions didn't always seem to match the situations. One minute she is ready to murder Nic because she thinks he has her sister and the next she is all gaga over him. She is told not to do something yet she does it anyways and ends up in trouble. It was extremely annoying.

One thing I did like about DRAKON'S PAST was the information we got about the Dragon's Guard.  Now that all 4 brothers have their mates this might be the way the author plans to continue the series.

I have really enjoyed most of the past love stories and books in this series, but DRAKON'S PAST was a bust for me and I don't feel like it added much to the series.

I gave it 2.5/5 stars

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

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Week in Review: 1/21-1/27

Books Received for Review

Natural Witch by K.F. Breene
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Guardian's Bond by Rhenna Morgan
Veiled Enchantments by Deborah Blake
These Rebel Waves  by Sara Raasch

Books I've Read

Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett
Natural Witch by K.F. Breene

Reviews Posted

Emerald Lily by Juliette Cross


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

* Wednesday- Guest Blog + Giveaway for Ages of Invention Series by S.B.K. Burns

* Thursday- Promo + Giveaway for Unchained by a Forbidden Love by Felicity Heaton

* Friday- Interview for The Continuum by Wendy Nikel


* 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, January 26, 2018

Interview: The Continuum by Wendy Nikel

UFI welcomes Author Wendy Nikel. 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 don't think I've mentioned anywhere else that, like my main character in THE CONTINUUM, when it comes to technology, I'm always a little behind the times. You won't find me with the latest phone or tablet or computer gadget; I'm usually perfectly content with the "outdated" ones I have. In fact, usually, my husband has to convince me to upgrade my old, slow, half-broken devices before they become obsolete. My agent at the time, who first sent this book out on submission, wanted me to change Elise's cell phone because it was a flip phone and, according to her, no one used flip phones in the year 2012. I guess she didn't realize that I had!

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

Besides reading and writing, I enjoy genealogical research, hiking, drinking coffee, playing board games, and taking road trips. Photography is one of my favorite hobbies, and because of that, I'm a sucker for any place that has unique or dramatic scenery. Oh, and even though I joke about how much I don't care for sports (I usually don't), I'll probably be spending most of February watching the Olympics.

What is your Favorite part of writing? 

I love solving the myriad of puzzles that come up in writing. In a way, it's sort of like time travel. Changing plot points or character reactions have effects that ripple out across the rest of the story. To me, revisions are like going back into the past, working through what I already know from what comes after it in the story, and figuring out what must have happened to reach that point. Working out inconsistencies and plot holes can be a great mental exercise.

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

Not really. I'm a homeschool mom, and as such, I've learned to be flexible with my writing, because I can't always rely on the same routines every day. My writing sessions are often ten or fifteen minutes at a time, wherever I happen to be when I find I have a few minutes to spare.

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

One author you should definitely check out if you haven't already is S. L. Saboviec. I may be a bit biased because she's one of my critique partners, but her Guarding Angel series is a fresh and fascinating take on angels and demons as they interact with people throughout various historical eras.

How would you pitch THE CONTINUUM to someone who has not heard of it before? 

A travel agency that specializes in vacations to the past sends their best time traveler into the future to hunt down a secret agent who's gone AWOL.

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that THE CONTINUUM is set in? 

THE CONTINUUM mostly takes place in our world, though in my book, there's a certain travel agency who — unbeknownst to most people — has the ability to send people on vacations in the past, so parts of it also take place at the turn of the twentieth century as well. Over the course of the novel, our protagonist, Elise, discovers that travel to the future is possible as well, and we see what society may be like a hundred years from now.

Do you have a favorite scene in THE CONTINUUM

I do! I've always been fascinated with the history of the Titanic, and when I sat down to write a time travel story, I knew I wanted to include it in some way. My favorite scene takes place on the ship with a secondary character who's just been dealt a major blow. His brother is traveling with him and tries to cheer him up, but their conversation doesn't quite have the outcome he intended. It was fun to write, both because of the characters and their relationship and because of where it takes place.

Which character was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about? 

I have a lot of favorite characters in this book, but if I had to pick one, it'd be the secret agent whom Elise goes to retrieve from the future. He's not at all what she expects, and I enjoyed writing their dialogue.

Earlier in the story, we meet a character named Marie. At this initial meeting, she isn't quite herself, and I found it was rather difficult to write a character who doesn't know who she is.

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

World Weaver Press recently acquired a sequel to THE CONTINUUM, which is slated to be published in fall. This one, entitled THE GRANDMOTHER PARADOX, takes place about a year after the events of the first book and is from the point of view of one of the first book's secondary characters as they go back in time to the year 1893 to protect Elise's great-great-grandmother.

Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she's left her cup of tea. Her short fiction has been published by Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, Daily Science Fiction, Nature: Futures, and various other anthologies and e-zines. For more info, visit or subscribe to her newsletter here

Find Wendy and her books

The Continuum
Amazon  BN  iTunes
Elise Morley is an expert on the past who's about to get a crash course in the future.

For years, Elise has been donning corsets, sneaking into castles, and lying through her teeth to enforce the Place in Time Travel Agency's ten essential rules of time travel. Someone has to ensure that travel to the past isn't abused, and most days she welcomes the challenge of tracking down and retrieving clients who have run into trouble on their historical vacations.

But when a dangerous secret organization kidnaps her and coerces her into jumping to the future on a high-stakes assignment, she's got more to worry about than just the time-space continuum. For the first time ever, she's the one out-of-date, out of place, and quickly running out of time.
Nikel is a solid writer with vivid description, an imaginative future, and a command of accurate historical speech.” —Unreliable Narrators


“The spinning slows. Suddenly, everything stops.
My legs flail, searching for solid ground, until I plunge abruptly into dank, smelly water. I gasp, and my mouth fills with brine. I'm being dragged in one direction, but instinct pulls me the opposite way. I kick against my heavy skirts and break the surface. For one dizzying moment I'm utterly confused. The concrete slabs of the nearby docks sharpen my fuzzy memory.
The Titanic.
I Extracted while on the gangplank—a gangplank that doesn't exist in 2012. This is exactly why our travelers are encouraged to use pre-approved Extraction locations. The Wormhole dumps travelers at the same place they've left from, which can make for some awkward (or dangerous) entrances.
Across the way, Marie does a frantic doggie-paddle towards the steel rungs leading up to the dock. With labored strokes, I swim after her, clutching the sphere in one hand. When I reach her, she's still clinging to the bottom rung, too exhausted to climb to safety.
"Hang on." I slip my Wormhole Device into my handbag and pull my dripping body up to the dock. Water streams out around me, forming a dark puddle on the concrete. The evening sun, balancing on the very edge of the horizon, casts an eerie glow on the water.
"Okay. Come on up—"
My encouragement is drowned out by the sound of retching. Lovely.
I clench my jaw to stop my teeth from rattling and focus on retaining my professionalism—not easy, considering the mucked-up circumstances.
Finally, Marie starts up the ladder, ascending tentatively, with gasping breaths. When she's close enough to grab my forearms, I pull her up with much grunting and tugging. Her eyes widen as she takes in the industrial warehouses, giant cranes, and sprawling parking lots that seem to have appeared instantaneously.
"What have you done?" Her voice rises in pitch with each word.”

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Promo + Giveaway: Unchained by a Forbidden Love by Felicity Heaton


Unchained by a Forbidden Love
Eternal Mates #15
Lost to the darkness, Fuery wages a daily war against the corruption that lives within him, constantly in danger of slipping into the black abyss and becoming the monster all elves fear. Work as an assassin gives him purpose, but what reason is there to go on when he killed the light of his life—his fated mate?

Shaia has spent forty-two centuries mourning her mate. Tired and worn down, she agrees to wed a male of her family’s choosing, following tradition that has always bound her as a female and hoping she will be able to gain just a little freedom in return. But as she resigns herself to being the mate of a male she could never love, fate places an old friend in her path—one who tells her that her lost love is alive.

Will Shaia find the courage to break with tradition and leave the elf kingdom in search of her mate? And as a ray of light pierces his soul again, can Fuery find the strength to win his battle against the darkness or will it devour him and that light of their forbidden love forever?

Book 1: Kissed by a Dark Prince (FREE AT SELECT 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
Book 14: Treasured by a Tiger
Book 15: Unchained by a Forbidden Love


It had been the third time he had seen Prince Vail.
Fuery didn’t remember much about their first meeting. Not how he had found Prince Vail’s location, or his arrival at the small countryside cottage in rural England. He had only fragments of the time he had spent with his prince and commander, scattered pieces that felt more like a dream than memories.
Hartt had assured him the meeting had happened, and Fuery was inclined to believe him since he definitely recalled his friend coming to find him, and taking him back to the guild.
A lingering sense of warmth returned whenever he thought about seeing his prince again for the first time, a sensation that had built inside him during his time at the cottage. He had felt safe.
He hadn’t experienced such a feeling in a long time, and it disturbed him now, because home was an impossible dream.
He couldn’t turn back time to when he had been another male, one free of the darkness.
Prince Vail believed it possible though, and Hartt held on to that hope like a male possessed, or possibly obsessed, had spoken of it to Fuery more than once since that first meeting, encouraging him at every turn.
Fuery had no such hope, but he also didn’t have the heart to tell his friend he was dreaming, and that reality was a far darker beast, one without mercy and light. There would be no saving himself.
He doubted Hartt would listen even if he did voice his thoughts.
His friend insisted he continued what he had started with Vail, allowing the male to assist him by attempting to bring him back into touch with nature in the hope it would lessen the burden on his soul and clear some of the darkness from it. Vail’s connection to nature was strong. Despite the darkness he still held within his heart, Vail had a stronger connection to it than his brother, Prince Loren, the ruler of the elves.
Fuery’s own connection to nature was so severely diminished by the darkness that it was almost non-existent. He couldn’t remember how it had felt to be connected to it, to feel life flow through his veins and light fill his soul, and to take pleasure and comfort from being surrounded by pure, untainted nature in all her glory.
The garden of Vail’s mate, the fair witch Rosalind, was beautiful, filled with colours that Fuery found dazzling, almost breathtaking, and Vail was convinced that it had helped him fight the darkness and claw his way back towards the light.
But Vail had retained his connection to that nature.
The same nature that had rejected Fuery, left him alone in a dark world without her light to guide him.
Hartt had taken him back to visit Prince Vail twice since that first meeting, convinced that it was doing him good and that it would help him as it had their prince, and eventually nature would begin to welcome him again, would open her arms to him once more.
Fuery wasn’t so sure.
The sensation of home he had experienced during his first visit was fading with each subsequent one, like the light in him. It felt weaker with each trip to the cottage, and the calm and peace he had felt on first spending time with Vail in the garden surrounded by the trees and flowers, and the endless blue sky, was slipping away with it.
There would come a point when he would feel nothing again, when visiting his prince would give him no benefit.
Would Prince Vail and Hartt suffer when that happened? Would it pain them to know that there was nothing they could do for him?
Would they give up on him?
Like he had given up on himself.
Gods, he didn’t want to disappoint them, even when he knew it was inevitable, so he went to see Prince Vail whenever Hartt wanted it, and he would continue to do so until they both realised there was no saving him.
It was no hardship for him.
The cottage was a beautiful place, nature condensed into a small area that made it feel like a bubble, a haven, a place removed from the world. He could see why Vail benefited from it, but he was sure it wasn’t only that stunning pocket of nature that was restoring his prince’s light.
It was the beautiful witch who lived there with him.
His prince’s mate.
Darkness stirred in his veins at that word and crawled through his soul at just the thought of her, and it whispered at him to stay away from Prince Vail and that cottage.
Stay away from her.
He didn’t need to be around females who belonged to another, and didn’t need a mate of his own either. He didn’t want a female in his life, despised how other assassins at the guild brought them into his damned home and paraded them in front of him, or how Hartt would sometimes make him speak with female clients. He wanted nothing to do with them. Mates. Females.
He closed his eyes, drew down a shuddering breath and held it as he wrestled with his darker urges as they rushed through him, stirred to a frenzy by the path his thoughts were travelling.
Pain shredded his insides, anguish ripping at his heart. Memories flickered and his veins went as cold as ice. His claws lengthened, razor sharp and itching to tear into flesh, to spill blood and cleave bone as the darkness surged in response, a need to lash out flashing through him. He needed someone to take out this aggression on, to satisfy this terrible dark need to purge the pain from him.
Fair Rosalind danced into the black abyss of his mind and he snapped his eyes open as his breath gushed from him.
He would never hurt his prince’s mate.
He would never harm a female. Not again.
Rosalind had been kind to him, sweet and caring. She had taken care of him whenever he had visited, knowing when to show herself and speak with him, and when to leave him alone with her mate as he struggled with his black urges, on the verge of losing himself to the darkness.
He had come close to losing his fight against it the last time and had left before Hartt was due to come for him, muttering some sort of excuse, although he didn’t recall the exact words he had used. Scattered ones had filled his mind, a collision of excuses that had fought to be the one to leave his lips. He might have muddled them, because Prince Vail had looked confused in the heartbeat of time between him speaking to the male and somehow teleporting.
That teleport had drained him, left him weak and shaking, the black tendrils of the dark beast that lived inside him snaking over his vulnerable body and seeping into his heart.
It was always dangerous to attempt a teleport. All of his powers were unpredictable, but teleporting was the biggest drain on his strength, because he had to force it to happen. It had been a long time since he had been able to control a teleport too. The only time he managed to teleport, it was because he was desperate for some reason, driven by a base instinct to escape that ruled him.
If his powers failed during a teleport, there was a danger he would end up somewhere that might kill him, or worse, would be lost in the infinite darkness that waited in the space between disappearing and reappearing. That space was cold now, like ice, and stabbed at him with frozen needles that punctured his flesh and dug deep to chill him whenever he passed through it. It was tainted by the darkness inside him.
Darkness that was growing stronger by the day.
Nothing Vail did would change that.
He needed to stay away. Hartt would press him to return, and Prince Vail would be upset if he stopped visiting, because both of them wanted him to get better. Both of them needed to believe they could save him from the darkness before he was lost.
He couldn’t risk it though.
As much as he wanted to be there, as fiercely and desperately as he wanted to believe they could save his black soul, he had to stay away.
He wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he did something to Rosalind.
It would break him.
Every inch of him tensed and stilled as a sensation went through him, a feeling that something wasn’t right and he needed to leave.
It was a feeling that often struck him now, and one he knew the root cause of even if he didn’t want to acknowledge it.
He looked back in the direction of the guild, aware of where it was, always aware of it, no matter how far he travelled from it.
It was the same sensation he had whenever he was in that building now, one that stirred whenever Aya was staying with her mate, Harbin, in his quarters.
His home was beginning to feel like a prison.
A nightmare.
He shook it off and focused back on his work, scouting the lamp-lit black cobbled streets below him as he crouched on the dark pitched tiled roof of a two-storey inn in a large town near the borders of the free realm. Mountains rose beyond it, forming a steep barrier between the free realm and the land of the dragons. A final outpost for fae, travellers and mercenaries.
The last town.
Beyond the mountains, the valleys were deep and numerous, with only a handful of villages nestled in a few of them, none of which welcomed travellers or those outside the dragon species. Not unless they had gold anyway.
The sky glowed dim amber in that direction, the fires of the Devil’s lands burning hot, and his sensitive ears picked up the distant sounds of the black earth cracking and splitting as the lava broke to the surface, forming new valleys and mountains.
Fuery chuckled low in his throat.
He had half a mind to venture there, to pit himself against the strongest male in Hell.
The chance of him winning was slim, but gods, it would be a glorious way to go. If by some miracle of the gods he won, he would take his place on the black throne and rule the strongest realm in Hell, legions of demons at his command.
A fitting role for a creature like him.
Whatever evil and darkness lived inside the Devil, it beat within him too, a drum that he marched to and embraced. He bent it to his will and wielded it like a weapon.
A blade more devastating than any made of metal.
Voices dragged him back to the town, ripped him from his fantasy of ruling Hell and bloodying claws and fangs on the battlefield as he swept across the lands like a black shadow with an army at his back, subjugating all who didn’t fall to his blade.
He gritted his teeth and screwed his eyes shut, and fought back against the whispers in his mind, the ones that urged him to go through with it. Fight the Devil.
Rule Hell.
He had been a protector once. He had fought to defend his homeland, and its people. He had been good.
He opened his eyes and stared at his hands, at the long black claws his armour formed over his fingers. They flickered between clean with the town people blurry beyond them, and drenched in blood, glistening against a gory backdrop of carnage.
He had been good.
He breathed through it, each inhale and exhale making the timing shift, so his claws were clean for longer, and the sight of them bloodied grew shorter, until it was only brief flickers and then faded completely.
His claws were clean.
But not for long.


 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
If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

Find Felicity and her books
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Enter the grand tour-wide giveaway to win an Amazon Kindle Fire HD plus books 1-7 of the Eternal Mates series in e-book or audiobook at the Unchained by a Forbidden Love book page. This giveaway is international and open to everyone, and ends at midnight on January 28th.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Ages of Invention Series by S.B.K. Burns

UFI welcomes Author S.B.K. Burns. Thanks for Joining us!!

My hobby is taking pictures of the moon.

An excerpt from my second book FLY LIKE AN EAGLE (Philadelphia, 1824), from a scene where tomboy Samantha hikes out into the briars to see why her nesting hawks are in such a commotion only to observe Migizi (Eagle) swooping over the hills in his da Vinci-inspired hang-glider. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know what it is, doesn’t know it’s him:

The full moon, just rising and reflecting off the clouds, backlit the scene as the giant avian-like creature flew above the hill and into the moon’s disk, across Tycho’s crater, down over the distant clouds, and up again.

Below its wings—no, it couldn’t be—it looked like it had captured something in its talons. She distinguished what she thought might be a human silhouette each time the harpy crossed the moon’s bright disk.

Unable to get enough air into her lungs, she lowered the glasses and returned them to the pocket. Stepping back into the briars she heard a monstrous rip of fabric and nearly fell.

“Samantha, come back. Where have you gone?”

“Aunt?” The spell of the mystical bird broken, she’d never felt so overjoyed to hear her aunt, tipsy or not.

Barbs dug into her ankles and hands.

Her curious mind had gotten her into this state of confusion. And now she’d seen things so unbelievable, if she shared them, no one would ever take her, or her scientific ideas, seriously. Like that young British woman, Anning—she thought that was the scientist’s name. The discredited girl had claimed to have discovered enormous fossils from some monstrous creatures.

Perhaps the water Samantha had recently swallowed was infected.

Yet, her observations had always been sound.

There is no monster. There is no monster, she thought, attempting to quell her anxiety.

But there was a monster. She’d seen it.

She let her breath out slowly, almost afraid there’d not be enough air outside to take another.

In the fuzzy distance, the moon had risen higher. Hands shaking, she fumbled into another pocket for her wire-rimmed spectacles and nervously placed the stems over her ears to stare one last time at the scene, maybe to convince herself she hadn’t dreamed the giant bird.

No birds, but a tiny oval skimmed slowly across the face of the moon, disappearing into the darker evening sky. Shaped like an egg, it lacked wings. Without wings, how did it not plummet to the earth?

The paleontologist of the early eighteenth century Samantha refers to in the above excerpt, Mary Anning , discovered the existence of dinosaurs, but wasn’t given credit until much later. In this way, I emphasize how women contributed to our scientific knowledge in my AGES OF INVENTION series of novels.

One morning I went out on my deck and looked with my large binoculars toward the Pacific. The full moon as it set was bright orange and, like the sun upon setting, changed its shape as its image refracted in the atmospheric layers above the ocean. I’ve set up a series of my moon photos (using my Dobsonian telescope, my Nikon camera with a 400 mm lens, and my large binoculars) on their own Pinterest page, so you can see how my moon-shot hobby has developed when I’m not writing.

Both romance and science have been central to the life of S.B.K. Burns (Susan). As a teen, she wrote romantic musicals between quarterbacks and cheerleaders. After a career as both a science teacher and advanced degrees in science, she began a ten-year journey of paranormal romance novel writing. Her ten books include two series: LEGENDS OF THE GOLDENS (about psychic vampires that protect humans from the baddies, even when the humans are not too keen on getting saved) and AGES OF INVENTION (alternate science history/steampunk: where Electress Sophia of The House of Hanover (ancestor to today’s British royalty) runs a time machine where she helps our heroes and heroines save the great scientists of history.

Find S.B.K. Burns and her books

Ages of Invention #1
She’s Hume’n, a member of the lower class, with one chance to change her life…

In an alternate, twenty-first century Boston, Dawn Jamison is a hair’s breadth away from earning her doctorate degree—a degree that would allow her entrance into the upper class, to become the unemotional and self-disciplined Cartesian she is now only pretending to be. To reach her goal, all Dawn must do is overcome her forbidden attraction to the Olympic-class weightlifter Taylor Stephenson who’s just crashed her lectures on past life regression. She must also teach her group of misfit students how to travel back into their past lives—and, oh, of course, figure out how to save the great scientists of the early eighteenth century before they’re inextricably caught up in a time loop.

He’s Cartesian, a member of the upper class, and supposed to know better…

Coerced by his politically powerful, wheelchair-bound brother into spying on Dawn’s past-life regression classes, Taylor knows better than to give into his desire to claim Dawn as his own. But his past-life entity, eighteenth-century Colin, has no such inhibitions. When Taylor and Dawn meet up in Scotland in the 1700s, all the discipline he’s forced on his twenty-first-century self disintegrates in the past, leaving only his overwhelming lust for Dawn’s past-life double, Lily. Unable to escape their sexually obsessive past, Dawn and Taylor find themselves in a race against the clock at the epicenter of a world-altering time quake of their own making.

Before Dawn had finished the second suggestive sentence of her self-regression, she was here in the misty Lowlands of Scotland, not far outside Edinburgh. As on her previous trips, she was literally in Lily’s body, experiencing all the woman’s senses and emotions, but none of her thoughts. So frustrating.


Fly Like an Eagle
Ages of Invention #2
It’s 1824 Philadelphia at the opening of the Franklin Institute of Science, and one of its founders, Samantha’s father, wants her to marry his business partner, a much older man, to keep their war industry dealings secret.

Looking for a way out of the arranged marriage, tomboy Sam finds it in Eagle, the half Native American son of the man she is to marry.

Eagle brings Samantha into his spiritual world, his bimijiwan, in order that she might stop their father’s preparations for an ironclad Civil War at sea. To do this, Sam might have to convince Benjamin Franklin to abandon his kite experiment.


Samantha had most probably escaped to the house. Migizi (Eagle) would return her shawl, hoping by the time he caught up to her, she would have put on something a little less fetching.
Her father had been wrong about him. Leaving me alone with Ronaldson’s nubile daughter? Look at her as a sister? He’d have more success taking flight by jumping off a cliff and flapping his arms.

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Monday, January 22, 2018

Early Review: Emerald Lily by Juliette Cross

The Emerald Lily
Release Date: January 29, 2018
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Vampire Blood Book #4
ISBN: 1640634681
ISBN13: 9781640634688
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: Publisher

When Princess Vilhelmina Dragomir is awakened from her hellish sleep with a blood kiss from a handsome stranger, she learns that much has changed while she’s been away. The armies of the Black Lily and the vampire Crown have amassed and are on the brink of war.

No romantic entanglements, no family. Mikhail Romanov, Captain of the Bloodguard, took a vow when he joined the Bloodguard. But he never planned for the gut-punching attraction he would feel for the untouchable princess. He must keep his focus, though. In order to avenge his family, it’s essential he help Mina claim her crown and keep his damn hands off of her.

But Mina sets her heart on the elusive captain, and keeping his focus on the great battle ahead becomes harder and harder. While they're making plans, the evil King Dominik has been making some of his own. This time, he will show no mercy to the Princess…

THE EMERALD LILY was the last book? How did I not realize that going in? We have read Juliette's take on Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White, but are you ready for Sleeping Beauty?

We were introduced to Vilhelmina in The Black Lily and knew that she became a prisoner of Queen Morgrid after the fact. THE EMERALD LILY is the story of her release, love story and her part in the Black Lily.

Mina and Mikhail's sexual attraction was instant. Mikhail awoke Mina with a kiss, how could it not be? W find out a lot about both characters throughout the book and it really did read like they were meant to be together. I can't say I was surprised by Mina's forwardness towards Mikhail, but with all she has been through it made sense that she would go for what she wanted instead of sitting by and letting things pass her by.

It was great to see all the characters together in the final book. The final revelations and battle kinda took me by surprise. The ending circumstances were a nice twist.

Although I totally missed the fact that THE EMERALD LILY was the last of the Vampire Blood series, I was very happy with the way it wrapped everything up. Book one, THE BLACK LILY, was by far my favorite of the series, but THE EMERALD LILY came in second and made me happy that I stuck with the story and saw the series to the end.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Week in Review: 1/14-1/20

Books Received for Review

Everlife by Gena Showalter
Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Books I've Read

Witch's Reign by Shannon Mayer
The Myth Manifestation by Lisa Shearin
Judgment Road by Christine Feehan

Reviews Posted

How to Save an Undead Life by Hailey Edwards
Devil Take Me by Karilyn Bentley


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

* Monday- Promo for Legend by K.N. Lee

* Thursday- Guest Blog for The Dark Proposal by Megan Cashman


* 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, January 19, 2018

Early Review: Devil Take Me by Karilyn Bentley

Devil Take Me
Release Date: January 22, 2018
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Author

A demon attack…

Reeling from a personal tragedy and abandoned by all she loves, the world's newest demon huntress, Gin Crawford, sinks into a deep despair.
She’s forced back to reality by news of a large number of people committing suicide, all on the same night. Suspecting demon involvement, Gin must work with her sexy but estranged mentor Aidan Smythe to track who, or what, is behind the deaths.

Leads to a new discovery…

As they come closer to finding the culprit, they realize their employer, the Agency, is hiding its own secret, one which threatens Gin's very existence. New discoveries reveal that even those dedicated to eradicating evil can be bought. Can Gin and Smythe forgive each other and work together or will they fall under the demon's thrall?

There is a lot I want to say about DEVIL TAKE ME, but I'm afraid I might spoil something for you so I will try to keep this short and to the point. 

Book three, DEMON CURSED left me pretty upset at some people, but still excited to see what would happen next. Gin is in a really bad place at the start of DEVIL TAKE ME and I was glad to see that her brother T, was there pretty quickly to start picking her up.

I enjoyed both T and Eloise in DEVIL TAKE ME. They are taking a bigger role in the overall storyline and I like all that was revealed about them. I also like the idea of a relationship between them and look forward to seeing how things might progress with them and where they end up.

Zagan continues to be a huge mystery to me. We do learn a little more about him in DEVIL TAKE ME, but I think at this point I might need a little more info to chew on to keep me interested in this part of the storyline. I'm all for little tid bits, but the tid bits are a little too little for me at this point.

I didn't feel like Aidan really made his temper tantrum from the last book up to Gin and I'm having a hard time liking him again. I mean, he left her when she needed him and put her in danger. He is supposed to be her protector, and he let her down. I just need more groveling I think. I understand he has issues, but he didn't seem as sorry as I wanted him to be. In fact, I got the vibe that he didn't really think he did anything wrong. He's still on my shit list.

DEVIL TAKE ME wasn't my favorite installment of the series, but it was still a good addition. 

I gave it 3.5/5 stars

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