Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Promo + Giveaway: Highland Dragon Master by Isabel Cooper

Highland Dragon Master
Dawn of the Highland Dragon #3
Amazon / BN / iBooks / Kobo
 Legend claims
When Scotland fell to English rule
The Highland dragons took a vow:
Freedom at any price.

The war for Scottish independence rages on, but it's only a matter of time before England is victorious. Exhausted and battle-weary, Highland dragon Erik MacAlasdair will face unknown seas to seek the Templar stronghold and claim a power so great it could free his beloved homeland forever.

If only that kind of power didn't come with such a terrible price.

Daughter of a mortal woman and an ancient dragon, Toinette has never forgotten the proud Scot who once stole her young heart—she'll gladly fight at his side. But when dark forces leave them stranded on a cursed island, it will take everything they have to defy their fate...and trust the passion that burns within the heart of every dragon.

“How long has he been with you?” Erik asked as Marcus strode away over the deck.
Toinette hesitated a moment, searching his voice for prying or possessiveness, the sort of quality that would demand a sharp answer. She heard none, only a friendly question. It was a pleasant surprise from a man. “With me alone, these ten years. He sailed with my husband for five years before he died.”
“And he thinks you’re…”
“An adventurous young woman who married an older man. Hardly a creature of myth. He also doesn’t ask inconvenient questions.”
“A good quality in a companion.”
“That it is.” Toinette clasped her hands at the small of her back, lacing her fingers together, and stretched. The surrendering crack of her spine felt good. So did Erik’s eyes on her outthrust breasts.
She’d never been able to be very dishonest with herself. As a boy, Erik had been handsome in a gawky kind of way. He’d grown into himself in the last century, into a long nose and a square jaw, arms that rippled with muscle and thighs that filled his hose nicely. Jaded as Toinette was, she couldn’t stand near him and not feel desire ripple through her.
After Jehan’s death, she’d never taken lovers on board the Hawk, be they crew or customer. Men were too unpredictable, too apt to resent each other’s access to any woman’s bed or to think that their presence there gave them authority. Erik was possibly less dangerous in the second case, but the crew were no less prone to the first.
“What sort of birds are those?” Erik asked, sensing and then breaking the silence before it could become too awkward.
Toinette looked up and out. She spotted white wings, black heads, and a profile she knew well. “Terns. They’ll follow us for a little while, but they don’t go very far from land. Once we get further out into the ocean, we might see porpoises.”
“Do you catch them?”
“No. The men think it’s bad luck. For all I know, they might be right. No sense tempting fate on a voyage like this, is there?”
“Not in the least.” Erik grinned. “I’ve a fair idea of how daft the whole venture makes me sound.”
Toinette glanced back from the water to meet his eyes. “Do you think it’s daft?”
“I don’t know,” he said. “Artair doesn’t, and it’s seldom that he’s far wrong.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment too.”
“You’re very quick to seize those.”
Toinette shrugged. “I’ve an eye for a good thing, and I’ll take what I can get.” She turned back to the waves, watching them rise and fall. White foam broke around the Hawk’s prow, and the boat rocked steadily onward. She could feel the wind as if she were the sail herself.
“Almost as good as flying, in its way,” said Erik.
“Oh,” Toinette laughed, “better to my mind. Much of the time, anyway.”
“Truly?” Perhaps remembering how quickly she’d taken to the air at Loch Arach, Erik sounded completely surprised.
“Mm-hmm.” Toinette turned around again, facing into the wind and taking a deep, salt-scented breath. “Flying, you’re above everything. You see it from a distance. It’s you and the stars and the clouds. The birds if you’re staying low enough. Don’t mistake me, there’s a glorious sort of freedom in all of that.”
“But on the sea, you’re a part of things. You smell the air, you see the way the water changes from place to place, the difference in what you catch for dinner or the whales in the distance. You get to know the ship too.” She smiled. “I wager I could tell the Hawk beneath my feet even if I were blind. It’s a place to come back to, a thing you make and maintain—and I’d say that’s the mark of souled creatures, though I’m no priest. Craft.”
“Earth and water, not air,” Erik said thoughtfully.
“And not fire, God willing. Rather the opposite of your line.”
“Yours too—or rather your blood,” he amended the statement quickly.
“Ah, well, perhaps it’s the mortal in me. Drawn to what will outlast short-lived men and so forth.” Toinette waved a hand in the air.
“That could be on both counts,” said Erik, looking out to the water. The wind played with his golden hair. He had less to disturb than Toinette did, yet it still ruffled in the breeze, and strands clung to his neck. “The Norsemen carve dragons’ heads on their boats, you know.”
“They might just want to frighten their enemies.”
“We are often things to be feared,” Erik agreed, and his smile was devilish.
Toinette returned it. “Some of us more than others,” she said, “and perhaps for different reasons. Depending on who it is we’re frightening, of course.”
For just a moment, before she went to check on Marcus, she let Erik see the veiled challenge in her eyes.
It would be a long voyage. With no privacy, there was also no danger that either of them would get carried away. And few people were more qualified than Toinette to play with fire.


Isabel Cooper lives in Boston, Massachusetts with her boyfriend and a houseplant she's managed to keep alive for over a year now—a personal best. By day, she's a mild-mannered editor at a legal publishing company. By night, she's really quite a geek: polyhedral dice, video games, and everything. She only travels through time the normal direction, and has never fought any kind of demon, unless you count younger sisters. She can waltz, though.

Find Isabel and her books

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

New Releases: 2/25-3/3

Tue. Feb. 27th

 Blade and Bone (The Book of the Black Earth #3) by Jon Sprunk
 Cadaver & Queen by Alisa Kwitney
 Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King #2) by Tricia Levenseller
 Everlife (Everlife #3) by Gena Showalter
 Hawkyn (Demonica Underworld #5) by Larissa Ione
 Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
 Memory's Blade (Starfire #3) by Spencer Ellsworth
 The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro, Daniel Kraus
 The Tangled Lands by Paolo Bacigalupi, Tobias S. Buckell
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman 
The Traitor's Game (The Traitor's Game #1) by Jennifer A. Nielsen
 Witch Creek: A Wildlands Novel (Wildlands #4) by Laura Bickle
 Wraith by Helen Harper

Happy Reading!!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Guest Blog: Bitter Harvest Series by Ann Gimpel

UFI welcomes Author Ann Gimpel. Thanks for Joining us!!

Real Bodies in an Airbrushed World 

I can tell you roughly how many calories are in practically anything I eat. Not in a restaurant, but I'm good at estimating things in my refrigerator or pantry. When I was growing up a long time ago, nearly everyone was "normal" weight. No one bothered with calories or went to a gym. But there were some major differences.

1. No computers. There was television, but people mainly watched a couple hours at night.
2. We walked, rode bikes, and played outside.

3. Food was mostly grown locally, and we ate what was in season.

4. There were fewer "convenience" appliances. Washing dishes by hand burns more calories than tossing them in a dishwasher. Ditto for hanging clothes on a line versus chucking them in the dryer. You can see where I'm going with this line of thought.

Obviously, there's no way to roll the clock back half a century, but there's more emphasis on appearance today than ever before. There's also a "fix me, but don't make me change" mentality that’s spawned an entire industry of weight loss products and bariatric surgery. Despite the fact that radical surgeries, which short circuit a person's digestive tract, carry a significant mortality risk, people sign up in droves. Obviously, they don't mind risking death, if they can only die thin.

We live in an, "I want it, and I want it now," society. The only sure cure to body image issues takes time and a commitment to wanting something different. There's no easy way to lose weight. It took time to build up and it takes the same time to come off. The good news is while you're learning how to eat differently and get out and about with exercise, things change in your brain. It no longer feels good to veg out in front of a screen. You find you want more from life.

Women come in all shapes and sizes. We're not all a size 0 or even a size 6. Furthermore (and this may surprise you), even size sixes can have body image issues. I'm always wanting to lose five pounds despite my clothes fitting fine.

Where does that come from? This always wanting something other than what we have. Partially from the media. Look at the plethora of magazines like Shape, Runner's World, Mountain Biking, and Men's Journal. Even Ladies Home Journal always has articles on getting (or staying) in shape.

Learning to love who you are is an art. You're just as valuable as you'd be if you were twenty pounds thinner--or even fifty pounds. Once you come to terms with that, it's easier to give yourself permission to make the changes you want in your life. When we come into something from a perceived "one down" position, we add an emotional component. When we're feeling emotional, we comfort ourselves--usually by eating. The trick is to see exercise as comfort (it actually is, since it pushes endorphin production). So next time something goes awry, a brisk walk is a much better panacea than a donut and a calorie-laden latte.

It's important to come to terms with the core human you are. We all age. None of us are young and beautiful forever. There's nothing sadder than an aging diva who only had her looks. Once they're gone, as far as she's concerned, there's nothing left. (There are men who fit this description, too, by the way.) Just remember, there's always someone younger and prettier waiting in the wings for their fifteen minutes of fame. What you want isn't fifteen minutes based on your looks, but a lifetime of feeling good about who you are.

Get in touch with what you love about yourself. Don't wait. Do it today.

Any stories you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them.

Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.

Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.

In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.

Find Ann and her books

Bitter Harvest #4
Amazon Kobo Author Store BN Google Play iTunes
Breaking the world is a hard act to follow.

Karin’s watched magic ebb and flow over her long life. A healer by nature, as well as a wolf Shifter, she fixes what she can and buries her personal needs deep. In a race against time, she and a small group of Shifters and humans are sailing toward a gateway in the Arctic. If they can’t close it, Earth will be doomed, but getting that far is proving tricky.

Daide’s a scientist, first and foremost. Once a world-renowned expert on treating cetaceans, his skills are rusty. Ten years as a Vampire altered a whole lot, and he’s still exploring his brand-new Shifter magic. Karin caught his eye before they left Ushuaia, but she seems to be in love with a dolphin Shifter. Immersed in jealousy, Daide considers walking away, but he can’t give up. The only woman he’s ever loved is worth fighting for. Consequences be damned.

Vampires, Witches, high-handed gods, Kelpies, and a host of others all want either the ship or the Shifters’ magic. Even the simplest tasks develop thorny edges, and misunderstandings threaten to destroy everything.

Bitter Harvest #3
Amazon Google Play BN Kobo iTunes
Magic crushed the world, but the worst is yet to come.

“Provocative and engaging. A fast-paced, supernatural ride.” Michelle Fox, NYT Bestselling Author

A handful of Shifters. A hardy ship. An upside-down world where evil runs rampant and none of the old rules apply. Taking a stand against the Cataclysm solved a few problems. Others rushed in to fill in the void.

Recco misses his cozy lab and well-organized veterinary clinic, but ten years as a Vampire stripped him of any illusions. Life is done handing him everything he wants. He could rail against fate—which never bought him much—or suck it up and keep going. Defeating the Cataclysm broke Vampirism’s hold on him, though. Even better, it threw Zoe square in his path.

When Zoe left Ireland for a visiting professorship in Wyoming, she assumed she’d be home in a year. That assumption swung around and bit her in the ass. The Cataclysm, a spell trapping her in Ushuaia for a decade may be gone, but it left a hell of a legacy. One that’s far from done pursuing her.

Darkness stalks the ship. Evil that will stop at nothing to protect itself.

Bitter Harvest #2
Author Store Amazon BN Kobo iTunes Google Play
Magic broke loose, but the worst is yet to come.
“Provocative and engaging. A fast-paced, supernatural ride.” Michelle Fox, NYT Bestselling Author

A small group of Shifters sails south from Ushuaia, determined to assess what’s left of the world. A Vampire attack, a possessed priest, and a gateway to Hell mean fallout from the spell gone bad that pinned them in Ushuaia for years is far from gone.

Back on a ship again, Juan reconstructs what’s always been a comfort zone. The sea is the only life he’s ever known—if you don’t count the ten years he spent as a Vampire. His new magic, fueled by a bond with a mountain cat, brings its own set of challenges, but they pale in comparison with the white-hot need knifing through him whenever Aura is anywhere close.

A historian by trade, Aura deals in prophecies for her Shifter pack. Attraction for Juan ignited when they fought the Cataclysm, but she figures he left a string of broken hearts during his years as chief navigator on cruise ships. They have to work together. A self-indulgent affair could ruin everything. She does her damnedest to keep distance between them, but the ship’s not big enough to escape yearning for a future together.

Bitter Harvest #1
Author Store Amazon BN Kobo iTunes Google Play
Magic broke loose, but the worst is yet to come.
“Provocative and engaging. A fast-paced, supernatural ride.” Michelle Fox, NYT Bestselling Author

The sea may have been a harsh mistress, but Viktor longs for the challenges of wind and weather, for the sound of waves crashing over his hull. Turned by a Master Vampire, he hates what he’s become, but there’s no escape. Not from Ushuaia that’s turned into a city of bones, or from the Vampire who rules him.

Ketha and eleven other Shifters traveled to Ushuaia to harness the power of an eclipse and were trapped there when the world turned upside down. Ten years later, they’re staying one step ahead of Vampires who blame them for the cataclysm.

With her luck running low, Ketha turns her badly depleted magic on the Vampire assigned to lock her away and gets sucked in by her own spell. Maybe magic can’t save the world, but love might be able to salvage what’s left.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Week in Review: 2/18-2/24

Books Received for Review

Nothing this week....

Books I've Read

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Gaslight by Dannika Dark

Reviews Posted

Fire and Bone by Rachel A. Marks
The Myth Manifestation by Lisa Shearin
Shadow Hunt by Melissa F. Olson


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

* Monday- Cover Reveal for Unraveled by Kate Jarcik Birch

* Friday- Guest Blog + Giveaway for Dead Girls Don’t Sing by Casey Wyatt


* 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, February 23, 2018

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Dead Girls Don’t Sing by Casey Wyatt

UFI welcomes Author Casey Wyatt. Thanks for Joining us!!

Don’t be Boring And Other Advice, By Cherry Cordial 

Hey everyone!

Cherry Cordial here. I snuck onto my mortal servant’s laptop and erased the tedious blog post she’d written. She seems to have forgotten my number one pet peeve – don’t be boring.

Normally, I would never presume to tell someone else how to live their life but because I’m basically immortal, I’ve learned a thing or two. Plus, when you live on Mars with a colony of  undead space nerds, these ground rules make the time pass more smoothly.

Here goes, or as the good Doctor says, “Geronimo!”
  1. Don’t write about bananas. No one cares. My human, Casey Wyatt, tried to do that and I wouldn’t stand for it. I refused to cooperate until she cut that crap out. You can thank me later for not having to read about them!
  2. Stop with the “science” explanations. I don’t want to hear an hour-long dissertation on the effects of random events on the space-time continuum. Just get to the point already.
  3. No one wants to see you in your underwear. I’m looking at Jay, my best friend. Some things are best saved for alone time. In the privacy of your own room.
  4. Don’t choose Truth or Dare on game night. If you do, be prepared to “sing” with your butt cheeks.
  5. When a woman is giving birth, stay the hell out of her room. I seriously can’t believe I have to say that out loud.
  6. Never accept the truth from your lying, former vampire sire. Chances are high that he or she is keeping secrets.
  7. Snoop often (see above). Locked desk drawers are a minor inconvenience. Don’t judge. How else can a gal learn the truth?
  8. I know why the dead girl sings. If you want to know too, then you need to check out my latest adventure, Dead Girls Don’t Sing. Did you catch what I did there? Which leads me to the last bit of advice.
  9. Be a shameless self-promotor. Be your own number one fan because life’s too short to care about what other people think. Especially for you mortals.
Sorry (not sorry) if I’ve purposely left some of my tips vague but I don’t want to give away any spoilers from my latest adventure (Psssst – that would be Dead Girls Don’t Sing!).

Thanks for listening and thanks to Urban Fantasy Investigations for hosting me. Do me a solid and let’s keep this a secret between us. Casey doesn’t need to know I erased her stuff.

If you have a question fire away in the comments section.


Casey Wyatt grew up in a mid-size Connecticut town where nothing exciting ever happened. To stem the boredom, she read fantasy and sci-fi stories, imagining her own adventures in her head. Not much has changed since she’s grown up, only now she's a multi-published author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels. In her spare time, she loves all things geeky, hangs out in museums, and collects stray cats.

Visit Casey on the web: You can also find Casey on Facebook and Twitter (@CaseyWyatt1).

To receive advance notice about new releases and special sales, subscribe to Casey's Newsletter at

Find Casey and her books

Dead Girls Don't Sing
The Undead Space Initiative #2
Amazon BN iBooks Kobo Books2Read
 When former vampire stripper Cherry Cordial settled on Mars with her undead family, she thought she’d left her chaotic past behind her. After finding her mate and becoming the first vampire to give birth, she’s hoping to lead a drama-free life.

Naturally, the universe has a different plan. When mysterious undead space travelers arrive, an ancient Martian plague is released, infecting the undead. To find the cure she must return to Earth. All she needs to do is travel into the past, confront her own tangled history, and not break the space-time continuum. But if Cherry’s learned anything, it’s that her life is never that easy.

Tiny pokers stabbed my eyes.
Another body, warm and hard, spooned against my backside.
Ian always felt so good, comforting and real.
His hand wrapped around my waist, cupping the underside of my breast. A cool sheet slid off my bare shoulder.
I was naked and in bed. A snippet of memory interrupted my appreciation of my husband’s hand.
Wasn’t I running from something . . .?
Fingers trailed along my spine, heading south. The touch was wrong, unfamiliar and rough.
Hold on. That wasn’t Ian. I shouldn’t feel the warmth of sun against my skin either. We lived on Mars, where it was colder than a witch’s tit.
If not Ian, then who was touching my inner thigh?
My eyelids snapped open like a shade on a spring. Bolting upright, I bared my fangs and grabbed the man’s wrist.
Oh, holy hell. I was in bed with another man. I rolled away and slammed into a different body. Shit, make that two other men. Two eye-poppingly gorgeous men.
Hey, I might be dead, but I’m not dead dead.
“Mistress? Have I displeased you?” said the man whose wrist I was about to shatter. Stunning blue-gray eyes. Dark stubble lined his chiseled jawline. His dark hair was mussed and complimented his swarthy skin tone. Dried blood smeared his neck. A red trail led to puncture marks.
The other man’s brown muscled chest rose and fell in rhythmic sleep. His body was fully exposed on the white sheet. Puncture marks lined his neck, his groin and his very erect penis.
My cheeks heated like a furnace. Clearly, we’d had a good time.
“No. Leave me. Both of you go to your rooms.” I dropped his wrist. The man woke his drowsing companion, and they left as I’d commanded.
Damn. I wished I could get the other men in my life to be so compliant.
Other men? There were other people important to me. Why couldn’t I remember them?
I’d kill Jonathan if he was messing with my mind again.
But yet... that idea didn’t feel right.
Somewhere in a dead corner of my memory, this moment seemed familiar. Jonathan, sensing my unhappiness with our “arrangement,” had spent the early years of our relationship attempting to please me.
This must have been my slut phase, where we’d bring home gorgeous men and I would feast and fuck while he watched. I enjoyed knowing it bothered him that I wouldn’t sleep with him. Only the mortals that we found in gaming dens, brothels, even at society events. The only other thing I would take from Jonathan besides his money was his blood, and only out of necessity.
Fucking hell. Ian’s go-to phrase—I remembered him now—helped resurface the reason why I was reliving this not-so-proud moment in my past.
The plague. The Lost Ship. The time stream. My daughter.
Oh, dear God. I hoped she was safe.
“Good morning, my pet.” Jonathan read a page of the morning newspaper while sipping tea from a dainty cup. He sat on the balcony situated outside my bedroom. From his vantage point, he could view the bed and my doings in Technicolor glory.
My heart lurched at the sight of his arrogant beauty. I had forgotten how full of life he’d been, especially in this time period. And, oh, how handsome he was. His raven hair glossy with blue highlights sparkled in the early morning sunshine. The strong line of his jaw and perfect Roman nose coupled with full lips made it hard not to stare at him. He hadn’t yet acquired the weariness that having a Family would place on him.
In later years, after much bitterness between us, I no longer saw him anymore. The beauty was tarnished, and we became as passionate as two coworkers passing the time until their shift ended. He had become someone I had to endure rather than enjoy. Not that I ever really “enjoyed” him because of the circumstances surrounding our sham marriage.
The horrid image of his death, when he’d knelt, offering Thalia his head, shattered the peaceful moment. With a plaintive look, he commanded that I accept his fate and mine. We both knew that Thalia, the dead queen’s heir apparent, was a vindictive bitch. She blamed me for her mother’s death and Jonathan refused to bow down to her. So, he did what he always did. He protected his Family by sacrificing himself so we could escape. In his last moments, regret had filled his eyes. The wish that we could have been different together had been silenced forever.
Seeing Jonathan again and remembering was worse than reopening a wound and rubbing salt in it with a lemon juice chaser. If only I could apologize to him for how awful I’d been. I hadn’t been blameless in wrecking our relationship. I could have tried harder to accept my fate instead of punishing him at every turn.
The temptation to blurt out the truth bubbled inside, until I had to force myself to look away from him. Would this Jonathan be willing to help me? Or would he use my current predicament to his advantage?
No. I couldn’t, wouldn’t chance it. Not with the entire colony’s lives hanging in the balance.
Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve. Sew it on a patch and you’d have my life’s motto.
Yup. Regrets sucked.
Jonathan placed the teacup down and smiled. “Did you enjoy yourself? You seemed a bit surprised when you awoke.”
Surprise didn’t cover how I felt. That word was too puny, too inadequate. After a few seconds, I found my voice again.
“Yes, we had a good time. Thank you.” It sure looked that way.
He acted like finding his wife in bed with other men was no big deal. It wasn’t like I would keep them. To him they were more like pets or meals with legs.
But now, with a century of wisdom tucked under my belt, instead of relishing in his annoyance, I realized something. He was sad. With himself or me, I wasn’t sure. And it didn’t matter. I had a mission to accomplish. A future to save.


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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Review: Fire and Bone by Rachel A. Marks

Fire and Bone
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Publisher: Skyscape
Otherborn Book #1
ISBN:  1503946754
ISBN13: 9781503946750
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

In Hollywood’s underworld of demigods, druids, and ancient bonds, one girl has a dangerous future.

Sage is eighteen, down on her luck, and struggling to survive on the streets of Los Angeles. Everything changes the night she’s invited to a party—one that turns out to be a trap.

Thrust into a magical world hidden within the City of Angels, Sage discovers that she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess, with powers that are only in their infancy. Now that she is of age, she’s asked to pledge her service to one of the five deities, all keen on winning her favor by any means possible. She has to admit that she’s tempted—especially when this new life comes with spells, Hollywood glam, and a bodyguard with secrets of his own. Not to mention a prince whose proposal could boost her rank in the Otherworld.

As loyalties shift, and as the two men vie for her attention, Sage tries to figure out whom to trust in a realm she doesn’t understand. One thing is for sure: the trap she’s in has bigger claws than she thought. And it’s going to take a lot more than magic for this Celtic demigoddess to make it out alive.

Although it took me a little bit to get into the story, FIRE AND BONE ended up being entertaining.

I almost gave up on FIRE AND BONE when I first started reading, but decided to keep going. I ended up enjoying the world, the mythology and the characters. Sage had a lot of mystery to her. She doesn't know much about herself and we learn about it along with her. I will admit that a lot of things were confusing until more was explained—which could be frustrating—but I' glad I stuck with it.

I can't say the romance was my favorite part of FIRE AND BONE. It isn't heavy on romance, but the romance that does take place happens to be a triangle. Ugh a triangle. As with most triangles, I like one and don't care for the other.

With slow reveals, interesting characters and a unique storyline, FIRE AND BONE was a great start to a new urban fantasy series.

I gave it 3.5/5 stars

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Review: The Myth Manifestation by Lisa Shearin

Lisa Shearin
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Publisher: NLA Digital LLC
SPI Files Book #5
ISBN:   162051270X
ISBN13: 9781620512708
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Author

The agents of Supernatural Protection & Investigations (SPI) protect people from predatory supernaturals. This time, we’re the ones who need protection.

New York is one of the most popular convention destinations in the world—for humans and supernaturals. Every hundred years, rulers of thhe world’s supernatural races come together to negotiate and renew a peace treaty. Meeting in the same hotel are the governors of our world’s goblin and elf colonies. SPI is saddled with the security nightmare of keeping the living delegates alive and the undead delegates from becoming permanently deceased. We’ve got our work cut out for us.

I’m Makenna Fraser, seer for SPI. Our security nightmare becomes real when monsters from the delegates’ mythologies begin mysteriously appearing in the flesh to hunt delegates from every side of the debate. And when the hotel gets sucked into another dimension, there’s no escape.

We discover that we’re all pieces in an elaborate and deadly game. A game about to spill out into the real world. Failing to escape is game over and not an option. We have to save the world—but first, wee have to save ourselves.

THE MYTH MANIFESTATION was another great addition to the SPI Files series.

Get ready for action, mystery, and drama with a little side of romance in THE MYTH MANIFESTATION. We get visits from old friends—even some crossover from the Raine Benares series— and learn a lot more about what lives in the world that makes up the series. Mak seemed to be on her own quite a bit in book five, which I found a little odd. I really like her partnership with Ian and wasn't understanding why they were separated so much, but I still enjoyed watching her work through clues.

One thing I would really like to happen is more insight on Mak and Rake's relationship. I would love for the author to reveal more about them together. I feel like a lot happens off page and then I'm a little lost as to what is happening. I think if we got more in-depth with them, I would love them more as a couple instead of just liking them.

The SPI Files has been a fun series so far. I enjoy the characters, the settings are always interesting and the plots never disappoint. I look forward to seeing where Lisa Shearin takes Mak and her friends next.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Monday, February 19, 2018

Cover Reveal: Unraveled by Kate Jarcik Birch

Let us know what you think of the cover for Unraveled (Perfected, #3) by Kate Jarvik Birch, which releases April 3, 2018!

This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled Teen.

About Unraveled:

Ella isn’t anyone’s pet anymore, but she’s certainly not free. After exposing the dark secrets about NuPet’s breeding program, forcing them to repeal the law that allowed genetically modified girls to be kept as pets, she thought girls like her would finally be free. She never dreamed that it would backfire. NuPet may have convinced the public of their intentions to assimilate pets back into society, but Ella knows it’s a lie. They aren’t planning mass rehabilitation...they’re planning a mass extermination. Now, with the help of a small group of rebels, Ella and Penn, the boy she’d give up her life for, set out to bring down NuPet for good. But when her group gets implicated in a string of bombings, no one is safe. If she can’t untangle the web of blackmail and lies that extends far beyond NuPet’s reach, she won’t just lose her chance at freedom, she’ll lose everyone she loves.

Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Unraveled (Perfected, #3) by Kate Jarvik Birch today!


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

About Kate Jarvik Birch:
Kate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist, author, playwright, daydreamer, and professional procrastinator. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be either a unicorn or mermaid. Luckily, being a writer turned out to be just as magical. Her essays and short stories have been published in literary journals, including: Indiana Review and Saint Ann’s Review. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and three kids.

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Review: Shadow Hunt by Melissa F. Olson

Shadow Hunt
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: 47North
ISBN13: 9780765328083
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

For years now, Scarlett Bernard has counted on two things: her ability to nullify magic, and Shadow, the bargest who guards Scarlett with her life. But after a sudden revelation turns Scarlett’s world upside down, she panics and leaves town without warning, leaving Shadow with her partner, Jesse. In the chaos that follows, the bargest is stolen—and Jesse nearly dies from a brutal psychic assault.

It seems that an old enemy has returned for revenge…and the attack on Shadow was only the beginning. As Scarlett races home to find the bargest and rescue her friends, she is dragged deeper into a terrifying legend that has somehow found its way to present-day Los Angeles.

Now she will have to recruit every possible ally for a battle that will test her null ability to the limit. Scarlett has been in over her head before, but now she risks losing everything—and she’s never had more to lose.

I just can't seem to get enough of Scarlett and her friends.

A lot happens in SHADOW HUNT to wrap up the storyline that has been building in the past two books. If you have not read book two, BLOOD GAMBLE, do not continue to read my review as there will be spoilers for that book included.

As we know from the ending of BLOOD GAMBLE, Scarlett brought a little something home with her from Vegas. SHADOW HUNT sends her on the hunt for answers about what the future will hold for her child. I loved watching Scarlett and Lex work together and it was neat seeing their worlds collide.

I think those that have been frustrated with Scarlett and her choice of love interests in the past will be happy with the developments of SHADOW HUNT. Scarlett ends up with who I have always wanted her to be with and they're finally on the same page at the same time.

The pace in SHADOW HUNT follows the same flow that we have always enjoyed from Melissa Olson. I was very happy with how things turned out with Scarlett and hope that we get to see more of her in the future of this world.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Week in Review: 2/11-2/17

Books Received for Review

Dimension Drift by Christina Bauer
Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton

Books I've Read

Protector of Midnight by Debbie Cassidy
Guardian's Bond by Rhenna Morgan
Veiled Enchantments by Deborah Blake
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

Reviews Posted

The Last Wolf by Maria Vale


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

* Monday- Interview for Custodian by Montana Ash

* Wednesday- Guest Blog + Giveaway for Enchanter Redeemed by Sharon Ashwood

* Thursday- Guest Blog + Giveaway for Hexcommunicated by Rafael Chandler


* 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, February 16, 2018

Review: The Last Wolf by Maria Vale

The Last Wolf
Author: Maria Vale
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1492661872
ISBN13: 9781492661870
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: Netgalley

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 LAST WOLF wasn't an instant hit for me and I still can't decide if I would want to read more.

The beginning of THE LAST WOLF was very slow and I just didn't really totally understand what was going on. Even after the opening, I didn't really understand what and who I was reading about until I got to know the characters better.  Silver lives in a world where because she is crippled, she isn't considered an equal, but she is still very loyal to her pack mates.

The world building could have been better. The beginning tells the history of the pack, but It was hard to jump from that into the story as it felt like I was reading about the same character for a little bit. There were some pacing issues and also some things that were explained in weird ways.

Even months later I can't decide if I enjoyed THE LAST WOLF or if I just enjoyed getting through it. There was some good points, but there were also some things that needed some work. I don't think I would read more, but I'm not ruling it out either.

I gave it 2.5/5 stars

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

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Hexcommunicated by Rafael Chandler

UFI welcomes Author Rafael Chandler. Thanks for Joining us!!

Hi there! I'm Rafael Chandler, author of urban fantasy novel Hexcommunicated.
Happy V-Day! That's short for Vampire Day.

First, some music by Dead Cross to set the mood:

Yes, yes, I know, V-Day means Valentine's Day. And hey, call me a hopeless romantic, but I love any holiday named after a 3rd-century Roman saint who was imprisoned and beheaded. It warms my heart.

Anyhow, let's talk about vampires. Specifically, let's discuss my three favorite vampire movies.

1. Near Dark (1987)

Years before The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow directed a gruesome horror movie about a group of nomadic vampires (interestingly, the v-word is never used once in the film). 

Bigelow replaced Gothic trappings with American outlaw style: out west, vampires ride motorcycles and horses; they prowl grimy motels and blast down the highway in blood-splattered eighteen-wheelers. The movie stars Lance Henriksen and the late Bill Paxton, both of whom experienced the ultimate sci-fi/horror trifecta: facing an Alien, a Predator, and a Terminator.

2. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

Admittedly, this is a radical tonal shift from Near Dark, but it's a gem. Co-written and co-directed by Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), the movie also stars the two actors as vampires being filmed for a documentary. Cheerfully gory and rib-crackingly hilarious, this comedy skewers its subjects even as it demonstrates genuine affection for them.

3. Stake Land (2010)

In the aftermath of the vampire apocalypse, a small group of survivors makes their way to a refuge up north. Pursued by feral vampires and human marauders, the survivors must work together as a new enemy reveals itself. Nick Damici is absolutely ferocious as a tough-as-nails vampire hunter in this one. The movie's tone is interesting; at times, it feels less like a horror movie and more like an epic fantasy about the struggle between good and evil. One nearly expects the vampire hunter to lament that "the days have gone down in the West." A grim and violent film, featuring truly repellent vampires (and humans).

And now, my top three werewolf movies. You knew we couldn't leave the werewolves out of this. Wouldn't be right.

1. Dog Soldiers (2002)

Directed by Neil Marshall, who also directed The Descent, and two critically-acclaimed episodes of Game of Thrones. It's about a squad of British soldiers on a training mission, who find themselves menaced by supernatural attackers. This movie does what it says on the tin. You'll never look at super glue the same way again.

2. Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)

Well, it's just another French historical horror martial arts period romance mystery movie that's based on a true story. It stars Vincent Cassel (who played the ballet director in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan); Monica Bellucci, the woman he'd later marry (she was the Bride of Dracula in Coppola's Dracula); and Mark Dacascos (currently on Agents of SHIELD). Based on the true story of the Beast of Gévaudan, a series of animal attacks in the mid-1700s that the locals blamed on werewolves (it's estimated that over 100 victims were attacked, and many of them were killed and devoured).

3. Late Phases (2014)

This one features Nick Damici from Stake Land. A blind veteran is convinced that a murder in his neighborhood was committed by a werewolf, but no one believes him, so he takes it upon himself to find and kill the monster. There's a good bit of sleuthing involved, which is really well-handled. This flick's got a lot of heart. And various other internal organs.

By limiting myself to six, I had to leave out all manner of delightful horror flicks, like Ginger Snaps, Let the Right One In, and Shadow of the Vampire. Alas!

What about you? What are your top three in either category?

Rafael Chandler writes novels (Mask Beneath Her Face, The Astounding Antagonists), video games (SOCOM 4, Rainbow Six: Lockdown), and tabletop role-playing games (Teratic Tome, Lusus Naturae). He's a metalhead, kaijuphile, and gorehound.

Find Rafael and his books


The name is Tepes. Nicolae Tepes. I'm a federal agent with Hex Division. When the sun comes up, the girl of my dreams is going to kill me.

My partner's a werewolf, but we get along okay. We were investigating this murder when we stumbled across a conspiracy unlike anything we've ever dealt with before. Ghostmortems, Scarevoyants, all kinds of freaks.

It started bad and got worse quick: a psychic on our team had a vision of the future. At sunrise, I'll die at the hands of the woman I love, and then a psychotic death cult will deploy a supernatural weapon of mass destruction.

We've got eight hours to prevent this prophecy from coming true, but the psychics of Hex Division are never wrong...

Hands trembling, the cop chased the tip of his cigarette with a lighter for a couple of seconds. Then he saw me and stuffed it all back into his pocket.
I badged him. "Agent Tepes, Hex Division."
The cop straightened. His hands jerked up, then down. He was trying to figure out if he should salute me.
While waiting for him to make up his mind, I pulled on a flak jacket. Partly, I was trying to stay warm, but mostly, I wanted to hide the dried blood on my arms and neck. The wounds had healed up, but I'd need to clean the blood off eventually.
"Relax," I said. "Where's Agent Tambora?"
"Inside." He looked me up and down, then swallowed. Guy probably heard all kinds of rumors about us. The freaks of nature who get deployed into hellholes around the globe. Force Amplified Entities, the army of cyborg monsters who operate in shadow. The FAE, constructed in billion-dollar labs, fighting terrorism with horror.
His suspicions were grounded in fact. We were all of the above, and then some. My team had captured or neutralized dozens of terrorist leaders, drug lords, and war criminals. Everybody has a job to do; mine just involves fast-roping out of choppers with my fangs out and my eyes glowing red.
Mindful of the yellow crime-scene tape, I headed up the driveway, the cop stumbling along behind me. The tiny house crouched on the edge of a patchy beige lawn. Flashlights cut through the dark as cops searched for footprints, bodily fluids, fibers. Peeping from behind torn and faded curtains, neighbors rehearsed their statements: they'd always had their doubts about the guy next door, and this only confirmed what they'd suspected all along: the guy just wasn't right. Feeling the unholy vibe this scene was giving off, they hovered on their porches but got no closer. Crimes like this were rare in the suburbs of North Raleigh.
The cop cleared his throat and tried to man up; he didn't want to look like a sissy in front of the feds. I didn't care how he looked. One of my people was dead.
"Agent Tepes, do you think there's a connection to terrorists? Like Al-Hazred or something?"
"Sorry. Classified."
No one knows what we do at Hermetic Extropy; all they know is, after the slaughter at Providence, we took the fight to the enemy. Like everyone else, the cop was hoping to learn a little more about our operation. Too bad.
The front door swung open. A face-masked forensic tech in paper shoes and blue nitrile gloves was explaining something to my teammate, Adam Tambora. The tech nodded, then shuffled back inside. Adam strode towards me.
He'd grown up in the hinterlands, one of those square states that I always pictured like a Laura Ingalls Wilder novel, but with pickup trucks and high school football. A muscular blonde guy with a recruitment-poster grin, he always got treated like the team leader, even though he's the lowest-ranking member of my unit. But there's a trade-off for those all-American good looks. When I deploy my FAE augmentations, my eyes turn red and my canine teeth extend about a half-inch. Other than that, I look pretty much the same. Adam, on the other hand, undergoes some truly grotesque changes when his Frankenstitch enhancements kick in. I figured the forensic technician wouldn't be so deferential if he could only see what Adam looks like in monster mode.
My petty train of thought was derailed by Adam's firm handshake. "Glad you're here," he said, clapping me on the shoulder. Then he looked past me and frowned.
A few police officers were waving at us from the driveway. We dodged scurrying forensic techs as we crossed the lawn towards them.
Two cops, a male officer and a female detective, shivered next to the SUV in the driveway. I started to address the detective, but Adam cut me off and started talking to the officer.
"What can we do for you, buddy?"
The officer took a small step back, with an embarrassed look at the detective. He felt bad, but it wasn't his fault; Adam was the one who'd made the assumption.
The detective cleared her throat. "We want to jack up this truck," she said. Her face reddened with irritation. She probably got that a lot: guys assuming that she was a subordinate. "We need to see the underside. Looks like it's been tampered with, and our techs want to get a better look. That okay with you?"
Assuming that he was in charge, she addressed Adam. I gritted my teeth and let it go.
"I can do you one better," Adam said with a grin. He shooed her back. Confused, but sharing his infectious smile, she stepped away.
Adam squatted down by the truck, clutched the frame, and lifted. Mouths open and eyes wide, the cops and techs all backed away. The pickup rocked over on its side, glass shattering as the vehicle's weight crushed the passenger-side mirror.
Stepping back, he wiped his hands on his pants. His perfectly even teeth gleamed in the harsh crime-scene floodlights. The audience broke into spontaneous applause.
"How did you do that?" the detective asked. A second later, she caught herself and laughed. "Sorry, I know. Loyalty Act, classified information."
"Can't tell you anything," Adam said. "Above your pay grade. And mine." They smiled. I managed not to roll my eyes. Adam shook a few hands, then he and I headed for the backyard.
"Nick," he said. "I know you disapprove, but these officers worship us like rock stars or athletes. Giving them a little something to talk about is good for morale."
"We're supposed to stay in the shadows." I tried to keep the irritation out of my voice. Sure, I fell off a castle and landed on an SUV in front of a bunch of slack-jawed civilians, and then I stabbed a monster in the neck. But that was all in the line of duty, not showboating.

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