Friday, March 23, 2018

Promo + Giveaway: The Heart Forger By Rin Chupeco

The Heart Forger
The Bone Witch #2
Amazon  BN  BooksAMillion  Indigo  IndieBound
In The Bone Witch, Tea mastered resurrection―now she's after revenge...

No one knows death like Tea. A bone witch who can resurrect the dead, she has the power to take life...and return it. And she is done with her self-imposed exile. Her heart is set on vengeance, and she now possesses all she needs to command the mighty daeva. With the help of these terrifying beasts, she can finally enact revenge against the royals who wronged her―and took the life of her one true love.

But there are those who plot against her, those who would use Tea's dark power for their own nefarious ends. Because you can't kill someone who can never die...

War is brewing among the kingdoms, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.


He does not look so formidable, I lied to myself, staring at the warped, decaying body before me. I can defeat his will. I will break him. It is a wonder what Mykkie had ever seen in him.
It was not the first time I had deceived myself in this manner. Neither was this the first time I had raised King Vanor from the grave. But if I repeated that mantra enough times, I thought I could finally believe my words.
The dead king refused to look at me, his eyes distant. The royal crypts were built to strike both fear and awe in those who visited, but I had grown accustomed to the stone faces looking down at me with quiet scrutiny from their high precipices. But King Vanor’s continued silence unnerved me every time—more than I cared to admit.
“A wise philosopher once said,” Fox drawled from the shadows, “that doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result is the mark of a fool.”
“Why do I bring you along?”
“Well, a wise philosopher once said—”
“Shut up.” My brother had no need to tell me my quest was hopeless. Numerous Dark asha, all more experienced than me, had made the attempt. But I had to do something.
“You’re in a worse mood than usual. Did Kalen chew you out at practice again?”
“If you don’t like it here, why not find some women in the city to flirt with instead?”
“Not in Oda—” He caught himself. “None of your business. Can we get this over with?”
I turned back to the corpse. “Where are you keeping Mykaela’s heartsglass?”
No answer. The colossi statues guarding the catacombs were likelier to respond than this infernal sod of a king.
“Answer me! What have you done to her heartsglass? Where did you keep it? Why do you hate her so much?” My headache worsened. Somewhere in the back of my head, I was aware of a shadow thrashing about, sensing my anger. I saw a vision of water, green and murky, before it faded out of view.
I took a deep breath and let it out carefully. The ache lightened and the shadow retreated as I recovered my calm.
“This is a waste of time.” Fox folded his arms across his chest. My brother looked to be in peak physical health, though he was no more alive than the royal noble standing before us.
Their similarities ended there; there was barely enough skin and sinew clinging to Vanor to pass for human. That was my doing. The first few times I resurrected him, I had been respectful, taking great pains to restore his body to how it appeared when he was alive.
Now I allowed him only enough muscle and flesh to move his jaw.
“He’s not going to talk, Tea. You know that, I know that, and he definitely knows that.”
“I will make him talk.” Many years ago, my sister-asha had fallen in love with this wretched excuse of a ruler. In exchange for her unwavering devotion, he had taken her heartsglass and hidden it so well that no one had been able to find it.
And now, more than a decade later, Mykaela was dying. She could no longer return to Kion. Her health had deteriorated to the point where she had to remain near her heartsglass, still hidden somewhere within Odalia, here in the city of Kneave. It was hard enough to be a bone witch; that she’d survived for this long was a miracle in itself.
I grabbed what was left of the king’s shoulders, pulling him toward me. He reeked of death and obstinacy. “Answer me!” My voice echoed off the columns. “Didn’t you love her even a little? Or are you so petty that you’d allow her to suffer for the rest of her years? She’s dying. What grudge do you harbor to hate her this much?”
I froze. So did Fox.
I had told no one else about my weekly excursions to the royal crypts. Not my friend Polaire, who would have boxed my ears if she’d known, nor Mistress Parmina, who would doom me to a life cleaning outhouses. Only Fox was privy to my secret, which he had agreed to keep despite his own misgivings. And Mykaela was the last person I wanted to find out.
She had aged more rapidly during the last few years since she had taken me under her wing. There was more gray in her golden hair, more lines on her face. Her back stooped slightly, like she struggled under a heavy burden. She had taken to using a cane everywhere she went, unsure of her own feet.
“Mykaela,” I stammered, “you’re not supposed to be here.”
“I could say the same for you,” she answered, but her eyes were fixed on King Vanor, her pain obvious. He watched her gravely, without shame or guilt, and my anger rose again. How many raisings had my sister-asha endured, forced to watch while this king refused to speak?
I raised my finger to sketch out the rune that would send Vanor back to the world of the dead, but Mykaela lifted a hand. “Vanor,” she said quietly, “it’s been a while.”
The decaying figure said nothing. His eyes studied her, savage and hungry and ill suited for such an impassive face.
“I apologize for my wayward apprentice. She has been willful and intractable since her admission to my asha-ka and has shown little improvement since. Please return to your rest. Tea, let him go.”
Mykaela’s words were a steel knife through my heart. Stuttering apologies, I completed the spell and watched as King Vanor’s body crumbled back into dust in his open coffin. Even as his features dissolved, King Vanor never once looked away from Mykaela’s face.
“Close the lid and move the stone back in place,” she said. I could detect the anger behind her calm. “I would tell King Telemaine to seal his coffin, but even that might not stop you. Whatever possessed you to let her do this, Fox?”
Fox shrugged, grinning like an abashed schoolboy. “I’m her familiar. It comes with the territory.”
“Being her familiar is no excuse for being an imbecile! And you! What possessed you to summon dead royalty in the middle of the night?”
“I wanted to help.” The excuse sounded weaker when made to Mykaela than to Fox. “I thought that I could control daeva now! You said no Dark asha’s ever done that before! That’s why…why I…”
Mykaela sighed. “And so by that logic, you think you are different from Dark asha of the past? What you have in ability, Tea, you lack in wisdom. You cannot compel the dead if they are not willing. Wasn’t that the first lesson I taught you after you raised Fox from his grave? Arrogance is not a virtue, sister.”
I looked down, blinking back tears. Was I arrogant to want to save her? Unlike Fox, Dark asha and all those with a silver heartsglass cannot be raised from the dead, and that permanence frightened me. “I’m sorry. I want to help. But I feel so powerless.”
I heard her move closer, felt her hand on my head, stroking my hair.
“It’s not such a bad thing, to feel powerless sometimes. It teaches us that some situations are inevitable and that we should spend what little time we have in the company of the people that matter most. Do you understand me, Tea?”
“Yes.” I wept.
“Tea, I’m not dead yet.” A finger nudged at my chin. “I would appreciate it if you stopped acting like I was. I do not give up so easily, but we must adopt other means.”
“I’m sorry.”
“It is only an apology if you mean it. This is the last time you will be summoning anyone in the royal crypts, no matter how noble you think your actions are. Promise me.”
“I promise,” I mumbled.
“The same is true for you too, Fox.”
“I promise, milady.”
“Good. Now help me up the stairs. My legs aren’t what they used to be.”
Fox reached down and scooped Mykaela into his arms. “It’s the fastest way,” he explained. “You’ve expended enough energy yelling at us.”
The older asha chuckled. “Yes, that’s always been rather tiresome now that I think about it. Perhaps you should direct your energies toward more productive tasks so I can tire less.”
“How did you know we were here?” I asked.
“I’ve taken to wandering at night. I looked in on Tea, but her room was empty. I detected a shifting of runes nearby and merely followed it to its source.”
“I didn’t mean to make you worry.” The staircase led back to the Odalian palace gardens. For the past two months, Fox and I had been King Telemaine’s guests, traveling the kingdom and tending to the sickly. Most of the people here fear and dislike bone witches, though with lesser fervor than before. It is not easy to hold a grudge against someone who has nursed you back to health.
At the king’s invitation, Mykaela had taken up residence in the castle indefinitely. But every day finds her weaker, and I feared the palace would serve as her hospice.
“There are many other concerns, Tea. Likh has a new case pending, hasn’t he?”
The asha association had rejected Likh’s appeal to join, but Polaire had dredged up an obscure law that permitted Deathseekers to train in the Willows until they turned fifteen, which was Likh’s current age.
Mykaela glanced over Fox’s shoulder, back at the catacombs, then turned away.
She still loves him, I thought, and fury burned through me like a fever. “I’m really sorry, Mykkie.”
She smiled. “As I said, only if you mean it, Tea. Get some rest. We’ve got a busy day ahead.”
* * *
I listened until my brother’s footsteps faded before sneaking out of my room a second time. I opened the doors of my mind to welcome the hidden shadows; they wrapped around my core, creating a barrier that had for many months prevented Fox from discovering the other sentience I hoarded away, like a sweet vintage I had no intentions of sharing. I couldn’t. Not yet.
Chief waited for me at the stables. A lone woman on a horse caused no outcry, and we rode undisturbed out of the city, into a copse of trees that hid us further from view. I climbed off my stallion, told him to await my return, and moved deeper into the forest, into a small clearing that served as a rendezvous point.
I reached out once more to the moving darkness. The scar on my right thigh was hot to the touch. It burned in the cold air, but I felt no pain.
Despite its size, the beast was made of stealth and shadows. Where there was once nothing, it now stood beside me, as if summoned from the air. Three pairs of hooded eyes gazed down at me, forked tongues dancing. Its wings extended, and twilight rolled over me, soothing and pleasant.
Master? It was a voice but not in the manner we think of voices. Our bond gave us an understanding that went beyond language.
I reached out. Its scaly hide was a combination of coarse bark and rough sandpaper.
Play? It sat, unmoving, as I climbed up its back.
In the blink of an eye, we were soaring across the sky, rolling meadows and fields of green passing below us. Turn, I thought, testing the limits of my control, as I have over the last several months. The azi complied, wings curving toward the horizon. I laughed, the sound joyous and free against the wind, and one head dipped briefly to nuzzle at my cheek, purring.
This is not selfishness, I told myself, but a responsibility. Mykaela was partly right; I was arrogant and overconfident, but I was not like other Dark asha. No other Dark asha had been able to tame the azi. And riding with it on quiet nights meant it was not rampaging through cities.
But I also knew I had to keep my companion a secret. Raising a dead king was a far lesser sin than taking a daeva as a familiar. I shall conquer this, I thought and, in doing so, sealed my fate.
Why are we at Daanoris?” I asked again when she paused. “Why won’t you tell me?”
“Because I need you as a witness as well as a storyteller, Bard. You will not remain unbiased for long if I supply you with foresight.”
“You summoned me. I travel with you. My opinions will make little difference.”
“You have a reputation for impartiality, Bard. I trust your judgment and my prudence. And here in Santiang, there is someone I would like you to meet.”
“They call him the Heartforger.” She flashed me a quick mischievous grin. “I find it difficult to believe you will be so eager to rule in my favor after the endless stretch of corpses I summoned in my wake. Or after informing you of my intentions to take Daanoris. It is not easy to mask your repugnance. Why have I come to Daanoris? Perhaps simply because I can. Has that not crossed your mind?”
“Tea,” Kalen admonished, his voice low and amused.
She laughed. “Let me continue my story while we still have the luxury.”
The shadows grew across the trees. The daeva melted slowly into the forest, moving silently despite their sizes. No other sound passed through the woods—no chirping of birds nor chatter of squirrels. There was only the wind whispering through the leaves, the crackling of fire, and the sound of the asha’s voice.


Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She's been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living.

Find Rin and her books

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Review: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

To Kill a Kingdom
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel Friends
ISBN:   1250112680
ISBN13: 9781250112682
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

I wasn't really sure about TO KILL A KINGDOM after reading the blurb, but it didn't take me long after starting to get into the story.

I didn't think I was going to like Lira, but once her story started unfolding and we really started getting to know her it was easy to like her. Elian I liked right away. He was honorable, determined and is a prince to boot so what wasn't there to like? There wasn't an instant love between the two—which was fantastic—in fact, they tried to kill each other at first sight. The romantic feelings between the two were slow to form—REALLY slow—and they both tried to fight the feelings. When it mattered, they were both on the same page.

I enjoyed the world of TO KILL A KINGDOM. I like the way the story unfolded and the pace was easy and smooth. The secondary characters were lovable and brought a lot to the story.

My only real complaint after reading TO KILL A KINGDOM was that I wish we would have gotten more at the end. We get a glimpse of the aftermath, but I wouldn't have minded seeing more of it. I love a great epilogue. That didn't distract from the great story though.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Review: Veiled Enchantments by Deborah Blake

Veiled Enchantments
Release Date: March 20, 2018
Publisher: InterMix
Veiled Magic Book #3
ASIN:   B0738MHYH8
Genre: Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

In this exciting novel in the Veiled Magic series, Witch and police officer Donata Santori travels to Maine to help solve a deadly mystery, where her magical abilities are tested like never before.

Still reeling from her unwitting involvement in murder and subsequent break up with a half-Dragon art forger, Witch-cop Donata Santori is grateful for the distraction when her ex-lover requests her help. Not only are Magnus's beloved dead suddenly haunting the Ulfhednar shapechangers in his tiny rural hometown in Maine, their patron god Odin has turned his back on them, and the members of their once tight-knit enclave are at each other's throats. Literally.

Magnus is relying on Donata's experience in dealing with the gods, along with her magical ability to summon the dead, to help him unravel this mystery in time to save his clan. Donata only hopes to survive the ordeal so she can return home to the city and her quiet job at the precinct.

But first, she must discover who or what is behind the terrible attacks on the Ulfhednar. And the clock is ticking, in more ways than one...

Magnus shows up on Donata's door asking for help and although she is apprehensive she accompanies him to Maine. 

I honestly don't have a whole lot of feedback when it comes to VEILED ENCHANTMENTS. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but most of what I have to say would spoil things for someone and nobody wants that. I thought Donata was appropriately apprehensive when it came to Magnus after everything she has already been through. I felt the storyline really highlighted the mysteries while also focusing on what Donata wanted in a relationship. There was a good balance. 

Wow Donata and Magnus' connection really flourished in VEILED ENCHANTMENTS. I felt like I really got to know Magnus more in the environment of the book. I liked him before, but I loved him after VEILED ENCHANTMENTS.

We meet a lot of new characters in VEILED ENCHANTMENT and most take a while to really grow on you, but I really enjoyed Magnus' mother. She was so warm and loving in moments where everyone else was anything but to Donata.

I really want more Donata! I hope that this series isn't over, but if it is, it ended well.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Monday, March 19, 2018

Interview + Giveaway: Awakened by D.C. Gambel

UFI welcomes Author D.C. Gambel. Thanks for Joining us!!

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

I’m a dog lover. I can quote to you every line of the Trolls movie.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time? 

Reading. Spending time with my daughter. Finding other creative outlets such as crafting.

What is your Favorite part of writing? 

Quieting the voices. At any given time I have about five ideas floating around in my head. Emptying my mind and then reading what came from it is the best part.

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

Not really. Every book is done differently. The one thing that is a must have though is coffee. It’s the true inspiration.

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

I really enjoyed the Black Rose series by K.L. Bone and the Vampire Mage series by C.N. Crawford. I’ve read most of what both these authors have written.

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

Awakened is about a girl, Evie, who discovers she’s one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Instead of being sent to end the world, the horsemen are a safety feature in the seals to stop the apocalypse. Evie has gone her whole life not being able to be touched until she meets the horsemen who are the first people she’s met that her particular gift doesn’t affect.

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

The world for the Horsemen Chronicles is set where supernaturals are still hidden but are not quite in the dark as we might think. They’ve infiltrated our world and are blended into society.

Do you have a favorite scene in Awakened

I have a few. I think my favorite is when Evie get’s her first kiss.

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

Out of all my books? My favorite was Shawn from The Edge of Forever series. He was fun and made me laugh. The hardest was Cam from Awakened. I needed the right balance of jerk and caring.

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

Well, I’m finishing up with my Edge of Forever series. The final book, The Prophecy, is due out April 17th. I’m in the process of writing book two for The Horsemen Chronicles, Obsidian. I don’t yet have a release date. After that, I’m not sure. I have dozens of ideas floating around. I have been considering taking another dip into the Edge of Forever world again. Until I’m closer to completing the Horsemen Chronicles, I just don’t know. Although the idea of playing around with the Fae has been something I’ve been considering.

D.C. Gambel is a mother, army wife, and a hopeless romantic. Romance has always been her genre of choice whether it’s contemporary, historical, paranormal, or even pushing towards erotica in both reading and writing. When she first decided to try her hand at writing, romance was the obvious choice. Getting lost in a different world, living unimaginable lives is something she strives for, even if it’s just a temporary enjoyment.

Find D.C. and her books

Horsemen Chronicles #1

Evie has lived most of her life as a recluse, terrified that she might hurt someone. On her twenty-first birthday she meets Derek who informs her there’s a reason behind her gifts.

As someone that had to spend her entire life avoiding human contact, learning the truth about her origins as one of the Four Horsemen was a hard pill to swallow. Especially once she realizes that her fellow Horsemen are the only people she’d ever met that can withstand her touch.

The struggle to overcome her seclusion becomes very real when Evie discovers an attraction has sprung up between herself and one of her fellow Horsemen. Nothing good can come from pursuing the allure, especially when she knows that it not only would jeopardize her team, but her heart as well.


“Break it down for us, Cam.”
“I met my informant last night,” he said, leaning between the opening of the front seats. I angled myself to face him so I could hear him better. “He claims that Axel Reese, pack alpha of Summery, was contacted by Asmodeus.”
There was a swirl of profanities, but I was clueless to why. So I asked.
“Asmodeus is one of the seven princes of hell. He’s also the prince of lust. Apparently they were rumored to have met the night the succubus attacked the fraternity party,” Cam went on to explain.
“I’m sure that was no coincidence,” Tyler muttered. “I thought the succubi broke off from Asmodeus decades ago when he started demanding that they worship him as a god.”
“They did, but with the seals being broken the demons of lust are returning to their master in hopes he can protect them from the apocalypse. They don’t even realize that he’ll use them a cannon fodder to save his ass. If Axel really did meet with Asmodeus we need to be prepared for a shift in the packs loyalty.”
“Why not just go to Asmodeus first?” Derek asked keeping his eyes forward.
“Axel would be a lot easier to handle then walking in to Phoenix.”
“Phoenix?” I asked.
“It’s a demon club,” Tyler answered. “We don’t get the warmest reception. Asmodeus owns it.”
“Stole it is more like it,” Derek chimed in. He glanced at me. Seeing the quizzical look he elaborated. “It used to be a safe haven for the powers of good. Demons attacked it as a distraction for whoever is breaking the seals. The club has been in demon hands for almost three decades after two centuries of it being in the hands of good. Only positive thing is the demons can’t put up their wards to keep us out.”
“They’ve tried,” Tyler announced.
“Yes they have,” Cam agreed. All three men chuckled and I felt like I was being left out of the joke.
“Hair of the dog?” I asked when we pulled up outside the dive bar. “I thought you were joking.”
Cam chuckled. “They’re not the most creative bunch.” His hand found the small of my back as we headed to the door. I could feel its warmth seeping though the fabric of my shirt almost like it was melting it away until his skin touched mine. I shook my head subtly clearing those thoughts. “You stay near one of us and we’ll make sure no one touches you. What skin is exposed no one should be touching anyways unless they’re looking for trouble.” The other two nodded in agreement.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Week in Review: 3/11-3/17

Books Received for Review

Secrets of Midnight by Debbie Cassidy
Immortal by Kristin Ping
ISAN by Mary Ting
True Storm by L.E. Sterling

Books I've Read

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton
Everlife by Gena Showalter
Champion of Midnight by Debbie Cassidy
Secrets of Midnight by Debbie Cassidy

Reviews Posted

Guardian's Bond by Rhenna Morgan
Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
Lake Silence by Anne Bishop


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

* Wednesday- Guest Blog for Shadow of the Moon by Kwen D. Griffeth


* 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, March 16, 2018

Review: Guardian's Bond by Rhenna Morgan

Guardian's Bond
Author: Rhenna Morgan
Release Date: March 12, 2018
Publisher: Carina Press
Ancient Ink Book #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

For decades, he’s been alone.
Now, she’s here. His fated mate.
His to win. To protect.
To provide for and pleasure.

Priest Rahandras has lived with the darkness trapped inside himself for years. Betrayed by his own brother and forced to watch his clan’s brutal annihilation, the only thing Priest wants more than to escape the curse that haunts him—as both man and beast—is to rebuild.

Until the mate he’s longed for walks into his life with an elder from his past. She’s everything he’s wished for, and the key to the clan’s very survival.

Kateri Falsen is a woman of logic and facts. While Priest’s cat can sense her arousal, telling her they’re fated won’t be enough. He’ll have to show her his love: with his words, with his actions, and with his body.

Protecting Kateri from the evil trapped inside him is paramount. But when lost clan members are systematically murdered, he’ll have to choose between exposing his mate to his black magic, or risking her as the next victim.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed GUARDIAN'S BOND.

Priest has finally found his mate, but she knows nothing of the clan ways so he has his work cut out for him to win her heart. I liked Priest. He has a lot of life experience and seemed to have a pretty level head. He is very protective of those he considers part of his family. Kateri doesn't believe in anything that doesn't make sense and Priest and the way she feels about him doesn't make sense. Katy didn't grow up knowing about the clan world. On top of that, her father hated who he was, so he pushed his 'logic and fact' life on her from an early age and she is having a really hard time finding a way to let that go. Katy was very stubborn and I wanted to just squeeze some sense in her a few times, but I understood where she was coming from and I had a hard time holding her stubbornness against her. I was very frustrated with her though at quite a few moments.

The romance was slow, but burned bright. I enjoyed watching the characters learn each other. The world was interesting and I enjoyed the pace at which information was given out. The characters are easy to like and learn about. Priest and Kateri's relationship is a big part of the story, but so are all the characters and the journey they are on.

New mates are introduced at the end of GUARDIAN'S BOND and it once again deals with a character that grew up knowing about the world and one who didn't believe in it, so I'm sure book two will be just as interesting. I look forward to reading more.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Review: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Burn Bright
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Ace
ISBN:  0425281310
ISBN13: 9780425281314
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source:  NetGalley

In her bestselling Alpha and Omega series, Patricia Briggs “spins tales of werewolves, coyote shifters, and magic and, my, does she do it well” ( Now mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham face a threat like no other–one that lurks too close to home…

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok’s pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf–but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills–his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker–to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn…

BURN BRIGHT didn't pull me in like the Alpha and Omega books of the past, but still does a good job of continuing the series and setting up the next chapter in Charles and Anna's story.

My biggest issues with BURN BRIGHT was the pace and the way that information was just sort of chaotically thrown around. The pace was slow and I had a hard time getting excited when I just wanted things to happen. It left me a bit bored which made it hard to get into when things actually did start happening. Information was thrown out so willy-nilly that it made things a little confusing at times. Thankfully the plot twists and the action helped me get back into the story.

The plot as a whole was interesting. There was a lot of character driven moments and the mystery actually stayed a mystery. There are some things that are revealed about Mercy's past and some things about Bran that were a bit shocking. I am interested to see if this information comes out again in future stories.

Like I said, not my favorite Alpha and Omega installment, but it furthered the series. BURN BRIGHT definitely ends in a way that makes you want more though so here's to hoping that the next book doesn't have these same issues.

I gave it 3/5 stars

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

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Guest Blog: Shadow of the Moon by Kwen D. Griffeth

UFI welcomes Author Kwen D Griffeth. Thanks for Joining us!!

The Story Behind the Story
Guest Blog – Kwen D. Griffeth 

The most often comment I hear about “Shadow of the Moon,” is “Why on earth would you write a fantasy werewolf story?”

My response always starts with a smile.

A few years ago, I read a trilogy written by a well-known author, and part of the story was the experiences of a female werewolf. Out of all the fantasy stories, i.e., the Mummy, Dracula, Swamp Creature and such, the werewolf has always been my favorite. In the telling of the story I referenced, I felt the she-wolf was cheated.

When in human form, the character was tough, intelligent, educated, and determined. When forced to change by the moon, she became little more than a wild dog chasing rabbits through the woods. Her ability to shapeshift indeed was a curse.

Fast forward several months and the story was still with me, and a nugget of an idea started to form. I decide to write my own story, and I begin by doing weeks of research about the history of the werewolf, as well as the social order of actual wolf packs. My theory was a family of werewolves would fit somewhere within that structure.

You may know that according to legend, Rome was founded by two brothers, Romulus and Remus, who were nursed by a she-wolf. Is it a leap of logic to say these brothers were the offspring of the wolf? It has never been documented that wolves are kind to orphans. Point two, later, Romulus killed his brother and then named the city Rome, after himself. Such actions are not limited to wolves but certainly would fit the violent nature of the animal.

Perhaps the best beginning of the wolf is the story of Lycaon, a Greek, who tried to trick Zeus. As a punishment, Zeus transformed Lycaon into a wolf and forced him to remain so for many days. Later, he changed him back, and the ability to shapeshift was complete and was a gift from a god. Lycaon went on to father many sons, fifty in fact, and he is said to have started the Lycaean Games, which led to the Panathenaic Games and thus the Olympic games.

I particularly like this part. The old man has fifty sons, all of whom needed wives. He doesn’t start a university, as his boys aren’t the brightest. Nor does he build a debating hall, again, the boys are not so articulate. What his boys are, is the biggest, the toughest, the fastest and the strongest of all the men in the area, so Dad starts physical contests in an effort to marry them off.

Accurate or not, such was one side of the story that came to be known as “Shadow of the Moon.” The other side was the social behavior of wolf packs. Lone wolves usually do not survive as the dynamics of the pack determines survival. I took that to mean werewolves have stable, as well as extended, families. The wolf pack is a matriarchal society; so must the werewolf family be.

Last, the werewolf would be conflicted. On the one hand, they would be some of the toughest and meanest of us. They would be athletic winners as well as leaders in combat if they could accept the rules of society. If not, they would undoubtedly be capable of being the cruelest of serial killers. They would be the best of us and the worst of us. Underneath it, all would be the fear of extinction, as they are also the least of us.

“Why would you write such a story?” is the most common question I hear.

“You almost made me believe in them,” is the most common statement.

Winner of Readers' Favorite Silver Award for Historical Fiction/Western, Kwen knew he wanted to be a writer when he was fourteen years old. He felt the urge when he finished Earnest Hemingway’s masterpiece “For Whom The Bell Tolls.” The story touched him in a way no other book ever had. It transported a kid born and raised on a farm and ranch in Idaho to the mountains of Spain. It took him back in time forty years to witness the Spanish Civil War. Kwen knew he wanted to share that wonder with other people.

John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you make other plans.” While Kwen lived a full and varied life, his dream of writing remained in the back of his mind.

Finally, in 2012, he wrote a novella named Dear Emma. He self-published through Amazon and asked people to read it. “The best way to see if I can write is to let people check it out,” he said. Like it, they did. Currently, Dear Emma enjoys a 4.8 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon.

Often asked what genre he writes, Kwen replies he writes stories about people and uses the genre that best fits the story. “I think of the genre, or setting as another character that interacts to help tell the story,” he says.

His most often received and constant comment is how real his characters seem. Upon the completion of his historical fiction trilogy Sam and Laura books, a reader telephoned Kwen and directed him to write more stories about the couple. When asked why the reader was so adamant about more stories, he replied he “wasn’t ready to tell Sam and Laura good bye yet.”

Kwen considers that comment one of his highest compliments.

Kwen’s books are getting some attention from the literary community. The Law of Moses, the Silver Award winner from Readers' Favorite, and The Tenth Nail both received the Gold Award from Literary Titan Book Review. In addition, The Law of Moses was awarded five 5 Star Reviews from the reviewers of Readers' Favorite.

Kwen’s books are available in several formats; e-Book, paperback, and audio. He invites you to check his writings out. Who knows? He might become your next favorite author.

Find Kwen and his books

Shadow of the Moon
Shadow #1
The grisly murder of a diplomat’s son in Central Park draw NYPD Detective Gerald Meeker and FBI Special Agent Andee Trakes into a twisted and confusing investigation. Within hours, the evidence indicates the man was executed in the manner saved for werewolves. Andee Trakes is assigned to liaison with a history professor, who is an expert on folklore and legends.

Professor Alwyn Lloyd, handsome, articulate and successful, not only agrees the method of death was indeed an execution, he claims to be a werewolf. Andee is torn between the desire to date the man and the suspicion to arrest him.

From the initial killing in the park, a bloody spree is ignited that soon has Andee and Lloyd forced to work together to protect themselves and family members.

Shadow of the Moon explores the world of werewolves and paints a picture of what is good about them, as well as bad. The story explains what is beautiful as well as ugly about the wolf.

The story is fast paced and full of interesting characters and several twists and turns to keep both the fantasy as well as the suspense and romance enthusiasts entertained.
Book Trailer:


“I’m Professor Lloyd’s assistant. Is he expecting you?” Her smile never wavered, though the hand dropped to her side.
“No, as I said, I’m with the FBI, and we don’t normally make appointments.”
Miranda, with smile still in place, walked to the door leading to the professor’s office as she said, “Let me check with him, but I’m sure he will be able to meet with you. I keep his appointment calendar, so I know he’s not overly busy.”
“Hey, I was here first, and I’ve waited thirty minutes.”
Trakes turned back to the office and noticed a blonde had stood to announce her displeasure. She tried to show her indignation with the agent, but her glare fell short.
Trakes smiled at the student and held out her FBI credentials for the blonde to see.
“I’m with the FBI, sweetie. We get cuts.”
Behind her, she heard Miranda say, “Sit down, Shelly, you know as well as I do the professor won’t change your grade.”
Trakes turned back to Miranda and waved the credentials one more time.
“These are really the only announcement I need, but thank you. I’ll just pop in. Then the professor and I will get acquainted.”
Before Miranda could object, the agent turned and stepped through the door.
Her first impression of the office was the desk. It was large, made of wood and appeared antique. The floor was wood, with a large rug that covered most of it. Like the outer office, this one was also wainscoted with dark wood paneling. Opposed to the other space, this one was painted an off-white the rest of the way to the 10-foot ceiling. Again, keeping with the theme set by the outer office, this one also had pictures and paintings on every wall. Bookcases, shelves and glass cases flanked the desk, with two chairs centered in front of it. A two-person sofa along the wall to the left and a coffee table finished the d├ęcor. Professor Lloyd sat behind the desk.
He studied papers with his head lowered, and her first glimpse of him took in the breadth of his shoulders and his hair. It was thick and dark, almost black down the center of the head, but shaded to grey by the time it reached the man’s ears. It was combed back, but a natural part down the center caused it to fall to each side. She wondered what it felt like, then forced herself to refocus.
As she stepped through the door, Trakes announced, “Good afternoon, I’m…”
He looked up from his papers.
The eyes were a pale blue. Ice blue. The shade of blue used to sell breath mints, and her intake of air seemed fresher as it travelled to her lungs. The eyes were hard and unwelcoming. Andee wished she had waited to be announced. She stepped into the room and tripped on the edge of the rug. She whispered a curse, caught her balance, held her blush to a minimum and muttered an apology.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have…”
Those eyes, still focused on her, softened enough to indicate his irritation at the interruption had grown into a mild curiosity. As he studied her, he allowed an eyebrow to raise and his head to cant to one side. She suddenly felt exposed, and her blush from the ungainly entry deepened. Her heart paused, and then quickened. Her stomach tickled, then settled into nervousness. Her underarms damped and a question about deodorant flashed through her mind. She tried again to introduce herself, but discovered she had forgotten her name.
“Professor, I’m…a…I’m…”
Her words came in a small squeak. It may have been the squeak a mouse makes when she sees the hawk dive, but it was certainly the squeak of prey. She froze. The corners of his mouth turned.
“Uncle Alwyn, you stop this. Stop it, right now.”
The commands came from Miranda, and the professor looked past Trakes to his niece, who was standing in the doorway. As he broke eye contact, Andee gulped air. She realized she’d forgotten to breathe.
“Uncle Alwyn, I’m ashamed of you,” Miranda continued, and she took Andee’s arm and assisted her to one of the chairs in front of the desk. Andee smiled her gratitude as she felt dizzy. She looked up at the assistant, who smiled down at her.
“Don’t mind my uncle. He does that sometimes. It’s because he is an Alpha.”
“He’s a what?”
Andee felt as if she was clearing a fog.
“He’s an Alpha, and sometimes he takes advantage.”
“An Alpha? Is that a fraternity?”



Monday, March 12, 2018

Review: Lake Silence by Anne Bishop

Lake Silence
Author: Anne Bishop
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Ace
The Others Book #6
ISBN:   0399587241
ISBN13: 9780399587245
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

In this thrilling and suspenseful fantasy, set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, Vicki DeVine and her lodger, the shapeshifter Aggie Crowe, stumble onto a dead body . . . and find themselves enmeshed in danger and dark secrets.

Human laws do not apply in the territory controlled by the Others–vampires, shapeshifters, and paranormal beings even more deadly. And this is a fact that humans should never, ever forget . . .

After her divorce, Vicki DeVine took over a rustic resort near Lake Silence, in a human town that is not human controlled. Towns like Vicki’s have no distance from the Others, the dominant predators that rule most of the land and all of the water throughout the world. And when a place has no boundaries, you never really know what’s out there watching you.

Vicki was hoping to find a new career and a new life. But when her lodger, Aggie Crowe–one of the shapeshifting Others–discovers a dead body, Vicki finds trouble instead. The detectives want to pin the man’s death on her, despite the evidence that nothing human could have killed the victim. As Vicki and her friends search for answers, things get dangerous–and it’ll take everything they have to stay alive.

I put off reading LAKE SILENCE for quite a while. I was scared that I wouldn't love it like I loved the previous books in the Others series with the different setting and characters. I am happy to report that I was worried for no reason and that I loved LAKE SILENCE just as much as its predecessors.

I DID miss Meg, Simon and the rest of the Lakeside Courtyard crew, but Vicki and her new friends—both human and Other—were easy to like, easy to root for and so much fun to get to know. Vicki has a lot of insecurities and doubts throughout LAKE SILENCE. If you're looking for a romance, you won't get it. She isn't ready to trust men romantically yet after the disaster that was her marriage, but she is on her way there.

I loved learning about another part of the world. The town and the people really helped make the story. We don't have that Courtyard feel of the last books, but there is definitely a community.

I would have liked to get to know the Others better. We get a lot of information on the humans of the group, but we only got a few tidbits about the others. Even with not getting to know them, we do get to see what their powers are used for and what they are willing to do for those that have their protection.

After finishing LAKE SILENCE I'm once again excited to continue the series and look forward to seeing what will come next.

I gave it 4.5/5 stars

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

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Week in Review: 3/4-3/10

Books Received for Review

Unraveled by Kate Jarvik Birch
The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

Books I've Read

Blood Oath by Raye Wagner + Kelly St. Clare
Shadow Wings by Raye Wagner + Kelly St. Clare
First Shift by J.L Weil
Unraveled by Kate Jarvik Birch

Reviews Posted

Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire


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

* Monday- Guest Blog + Giveaway for Witch Creek by Laura Bickle

* Thursday- Promo + Giveaway for Flight of the White Wolf by Terry Spear

* Friday- Interview for Daemon Deception by Mariah Ankenman


* 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, March 9, 2018

Interview: Daemon Deception by Mariah Ankenman

UFI welcomes Author Mariah Ankenman. 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 was raised by a professional clown. We have a family photo of us all in our clown costumes.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time? 

Playing my ukulele, crocheting, scrapbooking, and hiking when the weather is nice.

What is your Favorite part of writing? 

Plotting. I love putting a story together, the high you get when all the pieces just fall into place. It’s magic.
Do you have any certain routines you must follow as you write? 

I always plot out a book before I start writing. Right now, I have two kids ages 5 and 2 so I have to wait until after bedtime to write. Plotting out where the story is going helps me avoid writers block since I have a limited window in which to get my word count.

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

Cynthia Eden is my go-to for Paranormal. Kim Harrison’s Hollows Series is one of the best I have ever read. I also enjoy Katie Reus, Kerrelyn Sparks, and Adrienne Bell. There’s a lot more, but then this interview would go on for days ;)

How would you pitch Daemon Deception /The Daemon series to someone who has not heard of it before? 

The things that go bump in the night are real. Hidden in our world is another, one of darkness and shadow. There lie the monsters and the saviors, fighting a never-ending battle for the fate of the world, a battle that has been waging since the beginning of time. Unbeknownst to the humans, their souls are being hunted by the evil Kakodaemons, but the benevolent Euadaemons work day and night to keep back the Kako horde. Only now, the Kako’s have a secret, a new power tipping the scales toward darkness. It’s up to the supernatural council to discover and destroy this new power, before it’s too late for humanity and the world.

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that Daemon Deception/the Daemon series is set in?

It’s our world. Modern times, but the supernatural creatures have always existed alongside us, hiding in the shadows. Much like humans, there are good and bad supernatural creatures. The supernatural council is in charge of keeping evil in check and their existence a secret from the humans, but the dark creatures of the night are tired of hiding. They want to rise up and rule and they don’t care who they have to kill to achieve their goal.

Do you have a favorite scene in Daemon Deception

I love the scene in Clem’s metaphysical shop. No spoilers, but let’s just say I love “first” moments.

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

Krista, in Daemon Reckoning (the third and final book in this series, due out later this year). I loved her spunk and willingness to fight back. She’s so positive through all the devastation life throws her way.

Kayla from my Peak Town, Colorado series was the hardest to write because she is a teacher. She’s very calm and patient, basically the opposite of me.

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

Daemon Reckoning the third book in the Daemon series will be out later this year.

RWA® Golden Heart® Nominated author Mariah Ankenman lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her two rambunctious daughters and loving husband who provides ample inspiration for her heart-stopping heroes. 

Since 2016 Mariah has published seven books and doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon. Whether she’s writing hometown heroes or sexy supernaturals, Mariah loves to lose herself in a world of words. Her favorite thing about writing is when she can make someone’s day a little brighter with one of her books.

Find Mariah and her books

Daemon Deception
Daemon #2
Amazon The Wild Rose Press
As a witch, and one of the smartest scientists around, Celia’s job is to help the Enforcers defeat evil. Her latest task is to decipher the new language of the Kakodaemons. It should be easy, but she finds it nearly impossible with the demanding, frustratingly attractive council head breathing down her neck.

Euadaemon Damien has been called tough, but he’s tasked with protecting the innocent and war is brewing. He recruits Celia Dahl. Though he needs her brain, he finds much more about the sexy woman appealing.

As they work together, they find themselves engaged in more than just a working relationship. But even those closest can hide dark deceptions. Celia and Damien discover sacrifices must be made if there is hope for humanity and love.

“What do you need?” he asked, once he reached her side, bag in hand.
“There’s a vial inside. A potion I made to lessen the effects of the blood curse. I took one before I broke the spell, but I’m not sure it did much good.”
As horrible as her wounds were, he suspected her potion did help. If Racine’s account was accurate, the blood curse could have been a lot worse. “This?” He held up a glass tube with blue liquid inside, so bright it almost glowed in the dark room.
“Yes,” she panted, clearly in pain. “Pour it directly onto my wounds.”
He hesitated. “Will it hurt?”
She managed a small shrug. “It can’t hurt any worse than it does now.”
If he ever discovered the Sorcerer who created this blood curse, he would put him or her in the ground. After he made them bleed, a lot. Removing the stopper, he tipped the vial over her wounds. The blue, shimmering potion dropped into the deep gashes and started to bubble. Celia sucked in a sharp breath.
“Does it hurt?”
She giggled. “No. It tickles.”
Odd, but better than hurting. If he had his way, Celia would never feel any pain again.
He watched in amazement as the potion bubbled and sparked. Before his eyes, her wounds started to shrink. The skin began to knit itself together. In just a few short minutes, those deep, raw cuts reduced to three long, thin scars. The skin remained red and tender, but the wounds had closed.
“Did it work?”
“Baby, you are one amazing Witch.”
A smiled tipped her lips as her cheeks tinged a tempting pink. She rolled to her side, then winced and rolled back.
“Well, it’s better. That’s a start. I guess I’ll have to sleep on my stomach tonight.” She frowned and he found the expression adorable. “I hate sleeping on my stomach. I can never fall asleep that way. It’s so uncomfortable.”
He stood and started to unbutton his shirt.
He didn’t answer, just continued to undress until he was down to his boxers. Then he slipped into bed with her and pulled her onto his chest.
“There. Better?”
She buried her face in his chest. “Much.”
Careful of her back, he wrapped his arms around her and immediately realized his mistake. Celia was naked. He’d removed her clothes himself, but had been too distracted by her wounds to notice or appreciate her nudity. He noticed it now. Silky, soft flesh pressed against every inch of his body. Her firm breasts smashed against his chest, and he felt her nipples begin to harden. One leg draped across his groin, moving slowly back and forth. Yeah, he noticed all right. If the rising tent in his boxers was any indication, he appreciated it, too.