Monday, January 15, 2018

Promo: Legend by K.N. Lee


Legend
Dragon Rising #1
Amazon

Dive into the world of fallen angels, dragon shifters, demons, and vampires in the Dragon Rising novellas, where one woman must decide if she is content with hiding, or if she will grab her sword, shield, and armor to fight the evil destroying our world. Fans of The Vampire Diaries and True Blood will love Legend.
An angel. Two dragons. A demon. Rae must confront her past to protect her future. But, how can she fight evil when its so intriguing?

Once a general in the Divine Army, Rae now spends her days masquerading as a human. Falling in love with the handsome surgeon in her hospital was dangerous enough. But, when her demon ex-boyfriend starts stalking her, he is the worst of her problems. A powerful dragon shifter wants her in his harem, and will do anything to get her, even destroy the world to win her heart.

New York Times bestselling author, K.N. Lee presents a unique urban fantasy world that mixed sword and sorcery with paranormal romance. Download your copy of this fast-paced novella serial today!

Trigger Warning: Adult situations, violence, cliffhanger ending. For mature audiences.
THIS IS A SERIAL/SERIES OF NOVELLAS. EXPECT SHORT, ACTION-PACKED FANTASY
 
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K.N. Lee is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. When she is not writing twisted tales, fantasy novels, and dark poetry, she does a great deal of traveling and promotes other authors. Wannabe rockstar, foreign language enthusiast, and anime geek, K.N. Lee also enjoys helping others reach their writing and publishing goals. She is a winner of the Elevate Lifestyle Top 30 Under 30 "Future Leaders of Charlotte" award for her success as a writer, business owner, and for community service.

She is signed with Captive Quill Press and Patchwork Press.


Find K.N. Lee and her books
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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Week in Review: 1/7-1/13



Books Received for Review

The Myth Manifestation by Lisa Shearin
Judgment Road by Christine Feehan

Books I've Read

The Emerald Lily by Juliette Cross
How to Save an Undead Life by Hailey Edwards
How to Claim and Undead Soul by Hailey Edwards

Reviews Posted

The Collectors' Society Series by Heather Lyons

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

* Monday- I want to know....What books are you most excited about in 2018?

* Wednesday- DNF's of 2017

* Friday- Guest Blog + Giveaway for Storm Crossed by Dani Harper

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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, January 12, 2018

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Storm Crossed by Dani Harper


UFI welcomes Author Dani Harper. Thanks for Joining us!!

Did you ever think of the setting of a story as a character by itself?

Palouse Falls becomes a faery portal in Storm Crossed Photo credit: Bigstock.com

Imagine it -- the smells, the sounds, the sights, the feel. The direction and strength of the wind, and the long light cast at sunset that caresses the land just so. The brick face of an old downtown building that’s still radiating the heat of the day after dark. There’s a tangible chemistry there that’s almost a presence.

I’ve been fortunate to live in some amazing places, so it’s been very natural for those places to appear in my paranormal novels. My first wolfen shapeshifter series took place in northern Canada and Alaska, for instance. Not only did I write my surroundings into my stories, my surroundings often inspired the stories.

There are two main settings for my new Grim Series. One is the immortal faery realm beneath the country of Wales. For that, I resort to a wealth of old legends, stories I was told as a child, my imagination and dreams, and occasionally Google Earth.

But the magical realism in any of the Grim novels—comprising most of the story—is firmly set in present-day eastern Washington State. This is where my mountain man husband and I landed when we left Alaska. I’m fascinated by the arid landscape around me, a combination of jutting rock and rolling hills, enormous boulders and silver-green sagebrush. This land was scoured by the torrential flooding of ancient inland seas and monstrous glaciers, then blanketed with soft windblown silt that grows just about anything. It’s a wonderland of fascinating geographic features in unexpected places.
And a vast new faery territory lies beneath it...

In Storm Crossed, my latest standalone in the series, the spotlight is on the incredible Palouse Falls. There, the water freefalls about 200 feet into a great round rock basin of blue-green water – a perfect portal for the fae! It’s a place I visit frequently. Sometimes for picnics, sometimes for research, but more often just to walk around and allow my characters to talk to me.

Fortunately for me, they talked a lot for this book! As in the old legends, actions in the immortal faery realm impact the mortal world. And in Storm Crossed, modern humans are not only affected but actively involved. I love to place ordinary people into extraordinary situations, and see how they respond – in fact, I think that’s why I love writing paranormal and fantasy romances so much. What do you do when the impossible is standing in front of you? Is your life changed for good or ill? Are you changed?

With this story, things have been turned around a little… What effects could a mortal have on a fae? 
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Legend, lore, love, and magic. These are the hallmarks of Dani Harper’s transformational tales of faeries, shapeshifters, ghosts, and more, for a mature audience. 
A former newspaper editor, Dani’s passion for all things supernatural led her to a second career writing fiction. There isn't anything she likes better than exploring myths and legends from many cultures, which serve to inspire her sizzling and suspenseful stories.

A longtime resident of the Canadian north and southeastern Alaska, she now lives in rural Washington with her retired mountain-man husband. Together they do battle with runaway garden gnomes, rampant fruit trees, and a roving herd of predatory chickens.

Dani Harper is the author of Storm Crossed, Storm Warned, Storm Bound, Storm Warrior (the Grim Series), as well as First Bite (Dark Wolf), for Montlake Romance. She is also the author of a Yuletide ghost story, The Holiday Spirit, plus a popular shapeshifter series, which includes Changeling Moon, Changeling Dream, and Changeling Dawn.

Find Dani and her books
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Storm Crossed
Grim #4
Amazon
The latest stand-alone novel in Dani Harper’s Grim Series will delight old and new fans alike, transporting them to the ancient fae realm beneath the modern human world, where magic rules and menace abounds…

Heir to a noble fae house, Trahern is forced to watch helplessly as his twin brother is cruelly changed into a grim—a death dog—as punishment for falling in love with the wrong person. Trahern doesn’t believe love exists, but he will do anything to keep his brother alive—even join the Wild Hunt and ride the night skies of the human world.

Lissy Santiago-Callahan believes in love but has no time for it. She’s busy juggling her career as an academic and her home life as a single mom to a young son with Asperger’s. Her hectic life in sleepy Eastern Washington is made even more chaotic with the sudden arrival of a demanding fae and his unusual “dog.”

Mortal and immortal have nothing in common, and the attraction between Lissy and Trahern surprises them both. But when their desire places Lissy and her child in the path of a deadly faery feud, will the connection last, or will their separate worlds prove too great a divide?

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Series Review: The Collectors' Society by Heather Lyons

The Collectors' Society
Hidden Library
The Forgotten Mountain 
The Lost Codex
Publisher: Cerulean Books
Genre: New Adult Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Purchased


This series was recommended to me when I asked for suggestions on Facebook. It took me a while to start them, but once I did I didn't want to put them down.

THE COLLECTORS' SOCIETY was a great introduction to the series. I loved the alternate take on the different fairy tales and the way the author brought them to life.

THE HIDDEN LIBRARY started off  a little slow, but kept me guessing. I enjoyed diving more into her character and learning more about her past. I have to admit that I was truly heartbroken to learn all that Alice has had to give up and endure. 

THE FORGOTTEN MOUNTAIN wasn't my favorite of the series. A few things got a bit tiresome and boring at times and I didn't feel like there was a lot of progression in book three.

I can't say the series ended like I expected in THE LOST CODEX, but it totally worked.  I would love to read more in this world, but it ended well.

I loved all of the characters. Again, I found it so neat the way the author made their stories and characters come to life and the different spins she put on them. The romance was great. I have to admit that once I found out about the White King I was kind of sad that him and Alice had to part and was kinda looking for a way for them to be together again. BUT I really fell in love with Alice and Finn and couldn't imagine either with any other characters.

This is one of those series that I would love to see come to life on the big screen. I would pre-buy my tickets and be in the first showing.

I gave the series 4/5 stars

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

DNF's of 2017



 I really hate to give up on books so it isn't often that I mark a book as Did Not Finish (aka DNF). I only marked 3 books as DNF in 2017 and here is why. 
 

New York 2140 
by Kim Stanley Robinson

Marked DNF about 3 chapters in, I just couldn't connect with the story. The dialogue did not flow well and I just couldn't get into the characters. I was just plain old bored out of my mind and didn't see any reason to continue being bored.


Magic Fire 
by Catherine Vale 

The cover drew me in, but I didn't make it far into the book before I gave up. Things happened a bit too fast and I didn't 'feel' anything the characters were supposed to be giving out. I didn't care for the way the main character talked which made me not like her very much. If you don't like the main character what is the point of continuing to read? I think I made it through 4 chapters.


Black Dawn
by Malory McCartney
 
     I marked this DNF after about 6 chapters. I didn’t understand the world, the characters are kinda just thrown around with no real explanation of who they are and the storyline had yet to really kick in. I just needed more than what it gave to keep my attention.


Have you read any of my DNF marked books? Did you mark any books as DNF in 2017?? 

Monday, January 8, 2018

I want to know....What books are you most excited about in 2018?


These are in no particular order, but here are some of the titles I'm most excited to read in 2018. 
*Contains spoilers from previous books*


Dark Queen (Jane Yellowrock #12) by Faith Hunter


I always know Jane is going to be kick ass and I want to see what will happen now that the European vamps came through and caused havoc.


Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) by Ilona Andrews


I love anything Ilona Andrews and look forward to reading about what will happen next now that Kate is pregnant. 



Shadow Keeper (Shadows #3) by Christine Feehan


I loved book one, book two not so much, so I'm very interested to see where book three will fall for me. 


A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Sabaa Tahir


I picked up An Ember in the Ashes on a whim and totally fell in love with the world and characters. I have been waiting for book three for a while. 


Wild Hunger (Heirs of Chicagoland #1) by Chloe Neill


This is the spin -off to her Chicagoland Vampire series. Will Elisa live up to her mother? I sure hope so. 


Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep


I have really enjoyed this author's work. Her Elemental Assassins series is one of my fave so I like to give her other books a shot when they pop up. 


Untitled (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas


The LAST book in the Throne of Glass series. I feel like I have been waiting forever and I hate to see this fantastic series end, but I know it's going to be epic.


Untitled (Charley Davidson #13) by Darynda Jones

Another series I don't want to see end. 12 was a doozie and I need to know what is happening. I imagine we will get a spinoff with Charley and Reyes's daughter? Hopefully?


Night and Silence (October Daye #12) by Seanan McGuire


Will October and Tybalt finally get married? 


As She Ascends (Fallen Isles #2) by Jodi Meadows


I was really surprised with how much I enjoyed book one. I'm hoping book two lives up to it. 



Sunday, January 7, 2018

Week in Review: 12/31-1/6



Books Received for Review

Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett
Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire

Books I've Read

Guilty by Association by E.A. Copen
Blood Debt by E.A. Copen

Reviews Posted

Everless by Sara Holland
Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet

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

* Monday- Happy New Year...2017 in Review!

* Wednesday- Promo + Giveaway for Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet

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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, January 5, 2018

Review: Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Heart on Fire
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN:  1492626074
ISBN13: 9781492626077
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

The riveting conclusion to the Kingmaker Chronicles, available January 2018!

Who is Catalia Fisa?
With the help of pivotal figures from her past, Cat begins to understand the root of her exceptional magic, her fated union with Griffin Sinta, and Griffin's role in shaping her destiny.

Only Cat holds the key to unlocking her own power, and that means finally accepting herself, her past, and her future in order to protect her loved ones, confront her murderous mother, and taking a final, terrifying step--reuniting all three realms and taking her place as the Queen of Thalyria.

What doesn't kill her will only make her stronger...we hope.

A PROMISE OF FIRE reeled me in and BREATH OF FIRE kept me wanting more, but if HEART ON FIRE wasn't the last book in the trilogy I might not have picked up the next book.

One of the things that drew me to this series was Cat and her kick-ass attitude and way of doing things, but I actually found her to be whiny and annoying at most times throughout HEART ON FIRE. I honestly felt like I was reading about someone else, because this was not the Cat I fell in love with.

The plot, what the heck happened? Everything dragged so much that by the time it got to the meat of any situation I was just ready for it to end. We hardly see any of our favorite secondary characters as there is a lot of alone time with Griffin and Cat. In previous books, that might have been fine, but with HEART ON FIRE, I was just bored without them. Everything about HEART ON FIRE was off to me. 

My final let down of the final book was the fact that that there is no HEA epilogue after all that has happened in this series. It was very disappointing to make it through the final book with it's issues and not even get that. I'm sad that a series with such a promising start, crashed and burned in the end.

I gave it 2/5 stars

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

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Review: Everless by Sara Holland

Everless
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Harper Teen
Untitled Book #1
ISBN:   0062653652
ISBN13: 9780062653659
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Edelweiss

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

I really enjoyed EVERLESS. I found it to be imaginative, compelling, and enjoyable. The characters were interesting and the storyline was spellbinding.

EVERLESS was original and I think that was what drew me in the most. Jules character was well rounded and developed. I had no issues falling into the rhythms of her story and rooting for her to get all she was seeking.

I was surprised many times during the book. From the situations to the bad guys, things happened when I least expected. Although I thought I knew things about characters, I was proved wrong multiple times.

I loved the world. It was hard to imagine when I started reading, but the author did a fantastic job of bringing it to life. I did find a few things a little confusing, but I still very much enjoyed it.

EVERLESS took me by surprise. It was more than I thought it would be and I was left wanting more. I'm sad I have to wait a year to find out what happens next, but EVERMORE is already on my wishlist.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Promo + Giveaway: Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet


Heart on Fire 
Kingmaker Chronicles #3
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks |Kobo | IndieBound

The riveting conclusion to The Kingmaker Chronicles!

GODS. I’M AN IDIOT. 
 Without Griffin—and apparently a few meddling Gods—to push me along, I’d still be telling fortunes at the circus, lying about my past, ignoring my future, and living as far away from my tyrant mother as humanly possible.

True understanding thuds into place. Hope isn’t just an abstract concept; it’s me. Flesh and blood me. Griffin knew it all along. Probably everyone did. I’m an idea in human form.

I have the power of the Gods at my fingertips.
The only thing ever stopping me has been me.
Excerpt #2:

Flynn’s jaw hardens. “You’re putting words in my mouth again.”
“Am I?” Jocasta smiles vaguely and without humor. “I guess you talk to me so little, I’ve started to invent.”
Flynn freezes, staring at her. Emotional conflict makes him shut down completely. With Jocasta, anyway. He’ll get into a roaring good fight with me.
“Cat and Griffin—they listen to people. Take advice,” he finally says in a low, almost toneless voice. “Cat was Griffin’s advisor at first. In a way, she still is.”
If you ask me, Griffin’s the sage one, but Jocasta eventually nods, conceding the point. “I’ll think about it,” she says.
“Thank you.” Flynn seems to relax. “Get yourself a guard as well,” he adds.
“I can take care of myself.”
“I could take care of you better,” he mutters irritably.
Jocasta grips the edge of the table like it’s the only thing keeping her upright. Or like she might heave the whole thing up and over in a fit of rage. One or the other. I can’t tell. When Flynn realizes what he just said, or rather how it could be taken, he pales until his shock of bright-red hair is his only color.
“I mean…” He clears his throat, looking up, around, anywhere but at her. “I mean you’d be twice as safe with a warrior guarding you. Me. Or someone else.”
Jocasta slowly uncurls her fingers from the table. “Someone else?”
Flynn frowns. “I’m leaving today. I won’t be here. You fought well in the arena, but we were all there. That doesn’t mean you’re ready for this.” He waves his hand in an all-encompassing gesture. “Everyday danger? The insidious kind? It doesn’t always come at you with a sword and a snarl. You might not see it coming.”
That vague smile is back on Jocasta’s lips, the one that speaks of utter disappointment. “So that’s what you want? Some man following me around day and night? Sleeping outside my bedroom door? Taking walks with me? Guarding me in the bathhouse?”
Flynn doesn’t answer. He’s too busy grinding his molars to dust.
“Well, I won’t do it,” Jocasta says. “I’m in a fortified castle and don’t plan on leaving it. There are plenty of guards, high walls, and beyond them, there’s a constant, swelling crowd that seems to genuinely love us. I’m not in any danger.”
Flynn scoffs. “There’s always danger. And it’s most dangerous when you don’t expect it. You can’t let your guard down, Jo, especially while we’re away.”
Jocasta pushes the soggy, herb-soaked cloth farther down the table, wiping up a spill. When there’s nothing left to keep her busy, she finally looks up at Flynn.
“Don’t worry about me. Worry about yourself.” She shifts from foot to foot, looking uncomfortable. “I certainly do.”
Flynn leans in, his hands braced on the table again. Their eyes meet. “You do?”
Jocasta swallows so hard I can see it from here. Softly, she says, “You know I do.”
Flynn’s gaze drops to her mouth. Jocasta’s lips part, and her tongue darts out to wet them. He targets the movement with his eyes, tilting his head slightly and suddenly looking like a hungry and very focused predator. She sways toward the man she’s loved for so long, slowly closing the distance across the worktable. Flynn doesn’t back off for once, and I start to feel like the worst sort of thrill seeker, because my heart is pounding for them, and I can’t look away.
Do it. Kiss her. Claim her. It’s all she wants.
Flynn’s head drops a slow inch. Jocasta tilts hers up.
This is finally happening!
Bellanca charges into the kitchen through a side door. Flynn and Jocasta jump apart. I jump, too, my hand flying to my chest where my heart starts kicking like a deranged donkey. Everywhere Bellanca goes, she goes like a bloody tornado. A bloody flaming tornado.
“What in the Underworld is that awful smell?” Bellanca waves her hand in front of her nose, looking at Flynn and Jocasta like it’s probably them. Then she storms over, peers into Jocasta’s bowl, and scowls. “What’s that?”
“It’s going to be a sleeping draught,” Jocasta says tersely.
Bellanca wrinkles her freckled nose. “Who for?”
“For me,” Jocasta answers from between gritted teeth. She’s usually friendly to Bellanca, or at least neutral, so I know her crossness comes from being interrupted before her first kiss ever, and that from the man she’s been waiting for for years.
Bellanca huffs. “You can’t be that stupid.”
Flynn’s brown eyes narrow. The look he turns on Bellanca is truly terrible, but she doesn’t seem to notice.
Jocasta takes a slow breath, her expression suddenly such a careful mask of politeness that I have no doubt she’s erupting underneath. “Excuse me?”
“Why would you want to sleep that heavily? Only an idiot would do that.” Bellanca looks genuinely confused. As usual, she’s oblivious to anyone’s reaction to her…forthrightness.
“Do you suggest I sleep with one eye open?” Jocasta asks coolly. “Or possibly not at all?”
Bellanca reaches between them and grabs an apple that somehow escaped the splattering of herbal sludge. “Good idea.” As she straightens, she knocks Jocasta’s bowl over, giving it a hard enough shove to dump it on the floor. The earthenware vessel shatters into tiny pieces, hopelessly contaminating the concoction.
Jocasta’s mouth drops open.
Bellanca winks. “Eyes open.” She crunches into her apple as she moves backward in a tinkle of gold bangles and a froth of sky-blue skirts.
Flynn steps after her, his voice lowering in pitch. “Did you just threaten her?”
Bellanca stops halfway across the kitchen, looking increasingly surly. She dabs a fingertip to her lips, wiping off a drip. “I’m trying to protect her.”
“Do you know something?” Flynn growls, stalking forward until they’re only a pace apart.
Bellanca takes another bite and then shrugs. “I know lots of things.”
“Like what?” Flynn demands.
“Like potions such as that one are better left alone.”
Jocasta stiffens. “I know what I’m doing. I’m not likely to overdose.”
Bellanca shakes her head. “That’s not what I mean.”
“Then what do you mean?” Flynn asks, menace still heavy in his voice.
“Good Gods!” Bellanca rolls her eyes. “I was just trying to help. I’m going to change and pack.” She takes another bite and then throws her apple at Flynn, hitting him square in the forehead.
I slap my hand over my mouth, stifling a gasp. Laugh. Gasp laugh. I can’t believe she just did that!
Stone-faced, Flynn wipes apple juice from his brow. Jocasta stares in horror. Bellanca whirls on her heel and then stomps from the room, going out the same way she came in—fast and flaming.
As soon as the Tarvan woman is out of sight, I back away from the open door before dissolving into fits of quiet laughter. Soon after, I hear Flynn and Jocasta do the same.


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USA Today bestselling author AMANDA BOUCHET grew up in New England and studied French at the undergraduate and graduate levels, first at Bowdoin College and then at Bowling Green State University. She moved to Paris, France, in 2001 and has been there ever since. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children, who will soon be correcting her French. Connect with her at www.amandabouchet.com.

Find Amanda and her books
__________________________________
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Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year...2017 in Review!



Read 188 books for a total of 52,860 pages

First book of the year I read was Blade Bound by Chloe Neill
Last book of the year I read was Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

The longest book I read was A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
The shortest book I read was Forbidden Hunger by Teresa Gabelman

The most popular (on Goodreads) book I read was Angelfall by Susan Ee
The least popular (on Goodreads) book I read was Demon Cursed by Karilyn Bentley

Posted a total of 333 blog posts
with
88 of those being reviews

First review of the year was Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Last review of the year was Wolf Hollow by Nikki Jefford


Was there anything about UFI in 2017 that sticks out as your favorite? How many books did you read in 2017?

Here's to another fantastic year in 2018!