Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Interview & Giveaway: Jennifer Estep

UFI welcomes Jennifer Estep Author of Mythos Academy, Elemental Assassin and Bigtime. Thanks for Joining us!!

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

JE: Well, I’m a total geek. I love mythology, fairy tales, superhero stories, spy thrillers, and more, and I like playing Dungeons & Dragons and other games. Football is my favorite sport. I love the James Bond books and movies, watch way too much TV, and wish that I had more time to read. Some of my favorite musicians include Jimmy Buffett and The Killers. I also like to make people laugh, whether they are reading my books or talking to me in real life.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

JE: I love to read, watch TV/movies, spend time with family and friends, and just relax.

What is your favorite part of writing?

JE: Finishing the latest book I’m working on. LOL. It always gives me a sense of accomplishment (and relief!) when I can type “The End” on a manuscript. I let myself enjoy the feeling for a few days before moving on and starting work on my next project.

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

JE: I have a system that works for me. I’m a panster so I don’t really do detailed outlines, character sketches, or anything like that. Instead, I just think about my main heroine, her magic, and how she can defeat the bad guys with it, then I sit down and start writing.

I try to write about 2,000 to 3,000 words a day until I have a rough draft of about 50,000 words or so. That takes a couple of weeks. Then, I let the draft sit for a few weeks before going back to it and seeing if the story, characters, etc. hold together and what changes I might need to make. Then, I start working on my second draft, adding in more description, dialogue, action, etc. I do that a couple of times until the book is the best that I can make it and about 95,000 words or so (or about 90,000 words if I’m writing a young adult book).

I also need quiet to write, and I don’t listen to music or anything like that when I’m working on a book.

What are some of your favorite books or authors in the urban fantasy/paranormal genres?

JE: There are so many great books for adults and young adults in the urban fantasy and paranormal genres. It’s a great time to be a fan of the genres right now.

Some of my favorite young adult books are Graceling by Kristin Cashore; The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins; Beastly by Alex Flinn; and Beauty by Robin McKinley.

As far as adult urban fantasy/paranormal authors and series go, I like the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole. I also like fantasy authors like Alex Bledsoe, David Eddings, Scott Lynch, and many, many others.

How would you pitch The Mythos Academy series to someone who has not heard of it before?

JE: I would say that the Mythos Academy series features myths, magic, monsters, and mean girls.

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

JE: The series focuses on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more.

So the world is mythology-based, and the two main gods featured are Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, and Loki, the Norse trickster god. Nike, Loki, and their followers have been locked in battle for centuries, and Gwen soon finds herself in the thick of things.

Do you have a favorite scene in KISS OF FROST?

JE: I really like the scenes with Gwen, my heroine, and Logan Quinn, the cute Spartan guy that she has a crush on. Logan knows how Gwen feels about him, and he seems to care about her too, but he’s dating another girl in Kiss of Frost. There’s one scene where Gwen and Logan argue about their feelings for each other that I like a lot and hope that readers will too. I also really like the big fight scene between Gwen and the Reaper bad guy near the end of the book.

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

JE: I enjoyed writing Vic, Gwen’s talking sword, who is really bloodthirsty and determined to kill Reapers of Chaos, the bad guys. Vic says some outrageous things, and he’s full of opinions and attitude. He was a lot of fun for me to write.

I would say the hardest character to write was Nickamedes, the head librarian at the Library of Antiquities. Nickamedes is a character who’s a stickler for following the rules. He’s not a villain per se, but he and Gwen don’t really get along. Sometimes, I think it’s harder writing a character your heroine dislikes rather than a villain who’s out to destroy her.

What other projects can we look forward to reading from you?

JE: Dark Frost, the third book in the Mythos Academy series, will be out in June 2012. Crimson Frost, the fourth book, is tentatively scheduled to be published in January 2013. Right now, I’m under contract for six books in the series.

Visit for free short stories, excerpts, and more. Happy reading, everyone! ;-)


Jennifer Estep writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more. 

Touch of Frost, the first book in the series, was published today, July 26. First Frost, a prequel e-story to the series, is available now as a 99-cent download. Kiss of Frost, the second book, will hit shelves on Nov. 29. Visit for excerpts and more information.

Find Jennifer and her books

Kiss of Frost
Mythos Academy #2
November 29, 2011
Logan Quinn was try­ing to kill me. My Spar­tan class­mate relent­lessly pur­sued me, swing­ing his sword at me over and over again, the shin­ing sil­ver blade inch­ing closer to my throat every time. A smile tugged up his lips, and his ice-blue eyes prac­ti­cally glowed with the thrill of battle...

I’m Gwen Frost, a second-year warrior-in-training at Mythos Acad­emy, and I have no idea how I’m going to sur­vive the rest of the semes­ter. One day, I’m get­ting schooled in sword­play by the guy who broke my heart—the drop-dead gor­geous Logan who slays me every time. Then, an invis­i­ble archer in the Library of Antiq­ui­ties decides to use me for tar­get prac­tice. And now, I find out that some­one at the acad­emy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead. I’m afraid if I don’t learn how to live by the sword—with Logan’s help—I just might die by the sword...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Update to Piper Maitland Post from 11/25

Due to some untimely computer issues and it being around a holiday I did not receive Piper's Guest post for her 11/25 post date. I have since received Pipers Guest Post and have updated the original post. You can now read and enjoy A Different Look at the Mythology of Vampirism

Review: Watched by Sharde Richardson

Author:Sharde Richardson
Release Date: May 30, 2011
Publisher: Jolt
Watched Book #1
ISBN:   0983149801
ISBN13: 9780983149804
Genre: Young Adult
Review Copy Source- Teen Book Scene

Mikayla doesn't want much: just to rock out to her favorite band, become the next Kwiki Stop video gaming champion, and keep her Q-tip habit under control. What she does want is the sight of the sudden inexplicable dark auras around everyone to stop. Problem is, those auras are demons and Mikayla is the last trait holder with the power to ban them. Which is a total buzz kill.To make matters worse, the town folk of Sulphur Springs don't look the same, and her classmates are a little dark in the eyes. There are murders, suicides, reckless skinny-dipping, gratuitous use of Q-tips, and newfound powers that Mikayla must learn to control.
Her past becomes present when a shape-shifter tells her what her true identity is, and how to keep the demons of Hell from nipping at her Converse. Through him she'll discover who to trust, who to kiss, and how valuable her abilities are to the right beings. Because the evils of Hell aren't staying down without a fight...
Or without her soul.

Mikayla is an average girl that doesn't remember anything before she woke up alone in a hospital room at the age of 13. On what she thinks is her Seventeenth (which she finds out later is really her Eighteenth) Birthday she is attacked and almost killed after ice skating at night by herself and from the moment she again wakes up in a hospital room her life is not the same.

I found Mikayla to be annoyingly stubborn at a lot of turns and it made me want to knock her upside the head and tell her to open her eyes and cut the crap. She put things off because she didn't want to believe them which ended up making things worse. After everything she has been through in the book some of the easiest most logical things were the hardest for her to digest. Like I said, annoyingly stubborn. I like Lucas, he is mysterious, dangerous and all around knight in wolf armor. He is Mikayla's Sentry and wants to keep her safe even though Mikayla does everything to make it difficult. There isn't any romance in WATCHED but I'm hoping the next book will get into a more romantic state between the two of them.  I enjoyed finding out the secrets that were Mikayla and her past. I was a little frustrated at times that more wasn't revealed. Even at the end of the book there is still a ton of mystery and not a lot of answers. Even after saying that I still found the book fascinating and want to know more about Mikayla, her skills, her past and where she goes next with hopefully Lucas by her side.

I gave it 3/5 stars

New Releases Nov 27- Dec 3

Tues Nov 29

Acquainted with the Night by Piper Maitland
Let me know if you see something missing or see a mistake. Happy Reading =)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Interview & Giveaway: Marjorie Liu

UFI welcomes Author Marjorie Liu . 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?

That’s always the hardest question for me to answer, because despite my presence on Twitter and my blog, I’m a rather private person. Also, I just can’t imagine I’m all that interesting. I knit, sometimes. I like to cook. But that’s not terribly exciting.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

The danger of this answer is that if I don’t elaborate it all sounds like a cliché, but what I love is to read, travel, and just putter around the house. Really, whatever strikes my fancy. That’s the beautiful part of making my own hours.

What is your Favorite part of writing?

There’s a burst of excitement and emotional resonance that hits when you start writing a book or short story. It’s a rush, some kind of high, centered right in your heart. Like falling in love, maybe.

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

None. The most important thing is to just sit down at the computer and set the wheels in motion.

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

I love so many. Just to name a few: Eve Silver and Lynn Viehl; Clay and Susan Griffith; Lynn Kurland; Patricia Briggs; and Laini Taylor.

How would you pitch the Dirk & Steele series to someone who has not heard of it before?

A detective agency filled with creatures out of legend – mermen, gargoyles, shape- shifters, psychics – use their gifts to protect others from powerful forces of evil.

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

It’s the same as our contemporary world, but with a magical underbelly that most people aren’t aware exists.

Do you have a favorite scene in Within the Flames?

I actually enjoyed myself while writing this book, which makes it difficult to pick out a single favorite scene. I can tell you, though, which scene was the hardest to work out – and that’s when Eddie and the heroine, Lyssa, meet for the first time. First meetings in my romance novels are always difficult to write, because so much rides on that initial chemistry. This time was no different.

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

Again, I’m a sucker for Eddie…but the heroine, Lyssa, who is a dragon shape-shifter, might beat him in the race for my favorite character to write about in this novel. Her vulnerability and strength, her fear of hurting others…spoke to me during the creation of the novel. She endures a terrible amount of isolation because she doesn’t believe she’s strong enough to control her own dangerous strength – and that lack of confidence in one so powerful fascinates me.

Within the Flames is the 11th book in the series. Have you found it harder or easier to write the books as the series gets longer?

That depends on the characters. Eddie and Lyssa’s story wasn’t nearly as difficult to tell as Dean and Miri’s (from The Red Heart of Jade), but Dela and Hari in Tiger Eye were probably the easiest of all to write, so far. I’m not sure why. Perhaps because it was the first book, and there was no pressure.

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

Besides the comic books (X-23, at the moment), which are released monthly, the next Hunter Kiss urban fantasy novel will hit shelves at the end of December. The Mortal Bone opens with Maxine celebrating her recent marriage – a celebration that lasts until tragedy befalls her. The ‘boys’ – demons who live on her skin as tattoos – are suddenly ripped away, bonds broken, leaving her defenseless and heartbroken. Zee and the demons are not just weapons, they’re family – and Maxine is forced to question whether or not their bonds of family are real, based in love – or just the product of their forced imprisonment on her skin.

To celebrate The Mortal Bone my publisher is releasing one of the Hunter Kiss novellas, “Armorof Roses”, as an e-special – bundling it with an original, never-before-published short story told from Grant’s point of view.

Grant, for those unfamiliar with the series, is Maxine’s husband – a man who has his own unique powers that he still struggles to control. His origins, too, remain a mystery. He’s not from this world.


I was born around Philadelphia, spent my formative years in Seattle, and now reside in the Midwest. I went to Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, for my undergraduate studies, majoring in East Asian Languages and Cultures, with a minor in Biomedical Ethics. I then attended law school at the University of Wisconsin, graduated in May 2003, and was admitted to the bar a couple weeks after. I loved law school. Did not like being a lawyer. Which is why I decided to become a writer.
I’ve studied and traveled extensively through Asia, and spent some time working at the US Embassy in Beijing. I love to read, I love to write, but what I love best of all is proving to myself that dreams do come true.
Oh, and I like poodles. And cats.

Find Marjorie and her books

Within the Flames
Dirk & Steele #11
November 29, 2011
Eddie is a pyrokinetic, a former car thief, and an agent of Dirk & Steele. He’s also recovering from a terrible illness that nearly killed him, and destroyed almost all his hard-won control over his powers. When he’s asked to go to New York City to investigate a string of murders, Eddie’s reluctant until he learns he’s also to search out a young woman who they suspect has similar powers over fire.

Lyssa is a shape-shifter, on the run for nearly a decade since her family was murdered. Afraid of hurting others with her wild flashes of power and magic, and in hiding from those who killed her loved ones, she has kept to the shadows living in the old tunnels beneath the streets of New York City. But when some of the homeless in her territory begin disappearing, Lyssa can’t let that slide. As she begins to look into the disappearances, she learns that her magical hunters are closing in, only this time, they’ve got help. And Lyssa has no one at all.

Until Eddie finds her. Uncertain she can trust him, Lyssa nonetheless finds herself drawn to Eddie, who offers not just his protection and friendship, but training in the use of her gift. But the price is steep. Being near her makes him a target. And not just him, but the entire Dirk & Steele agency.



Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week in Review 11/20-11/26

Books Ive Bought/received

*Surrender by Lee Nichols- Signed- For blog tour review

* Everneath by Brodi Ashton- Arc- From Shelfawareness

* Beauty Dates the Beast by Jessica Sims- ? Not sure exactly why I got this, probably for review? 

Books I read

Watched by Sharde Richardson
Surrender by Lee Nichols
Revenge is Sweet by Misty Evans

Reviews posted

Fate's Edge by Ilona Andrews
Killing Rites by M.L.N. Hanover
Cold Fire by Kate Elliott


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

* A promo post with Giveaway went up Friday for Acquainted with the Night by Piper Maitland

* I hope everyone that celebrates Thanksgiving had a fantastic day.

* Want to Swap books with me?

*If you see something on my books Ive read list that you are dying to know about let me know I'm back logged on reviews and can move it up on the list if I know people are wanting one.

* I love comments so if you see something you like (or not) please comment away and let me know.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Promotional Post & Giveaway: Piper Maitland

UFI Welcomes Piper Maitland Author of Acquainted With the Night

A Different Look at the Mythology of Vampirism

When I was a tiny girl, I watched Dracula on The Late, Late Show, and I got so scared, I slept with a crucifix and garlic pods. I’m not kidding. I felt safe in daylight, but I kept a stash of holy water in my bedroom drawer, just in case I ran into an immortal. For years, until I discovered boys, I thought vampires might exist, and I wasn’t taking chances.

Years later, when I was working on Acquainted With the Night, I wanted to address the myths—the blood drinking, the aversion to crosses, shape-shifting, and the inability to walk in sunlight—and give them a biological foundation.

The main character in AWTN, Caro Clifford, didn’t believe in vampires until her beloved uncle was murdered at an archeological dig site in southern Bulgaria:

One week ago, Caro’s biggest problem had been juggling her tour guiding job. Now her uncle was dead, the Kardzhali police thought she’d murdered a man, and she was stuck in a  town with (maybe, possibly) vampires and a mad (but mortal) scientist named Jude.

“Isn’t there another explanation for the blood drinking?” she asked. “Like porphyria?”

“No, it’s vampirism,” Jude said.

“I’ve been bitten once,” Caro said. “In horror movies, it takes three bites, and that’s it, you become a vampire. So I’ve got two more bites to go, and I’ll turn into a ghoul?”

“It’s not the number of bites. It’s the number of stem cells that pass from the vampire’s body into yours. And how your immune system reacts.”

Caro shuddered. Best-case scenario: Somebody was making people act like vampires, and a crazy man was trying to protect her from them.

My vampires can venture outside on overcast days, but they must wear sunblock and protective gear—and they can’t stay outside for extended periods. Their immune systems are hyperactive. Their ketonin is sensitive to ultra-violet rays, and any direct exposure to the sun will cause second and third degree burns. Also, light affects the eyes; it causes corneal abrasions— even blindness.

I have a BS in nursing. Years ago, I was a chemotherapy nurse. Now, I write full time, and I’ve lost my medical edge. Fortunately, I live with two scientists—a physician and a biochemist. Our dinner table conversations center around cloning, stem cells, MRSA, and H1N1. When we’re around our medical friends, the talk often turns to the future of science—and also
 the history of diseases. For a writer, this is great fodder for a paranormal novel.

Early on, I decided that I wanted to honor the myths, but I also wanted to give them a twist. Like most predators, the vamps in AWTN have a biological edge. They are physically attractive. Their brains are more developed than a human’s—some are quite gifted with telepathy. They are physically superior. They run faster, never become ill, and heal at an extraordinary rate.

Jude Barrett is a biochemist—a book nerd and vampire hunter. He’d worked at a pharmaceutical company in Yorkshire:

“I harvested stem cells from mouse embryos,” he said. “The marrow is a rich site for hematopoietic stem cells. I made them grow into anything I wanted—skin, muscles, nervous tissues, livers I also induced mutations, which corrupted the genetic code. The mutated mice grew into adults. They were aggressive. Sensitive to light. Wouldn’t eat or drink—except they craved blood. The mutated mice bit the normal ones. Within hours, the bitten mice became like the others. I thought it was a virus. So I sedated the mice and took biopsies from various organs. I examined the tissues under the microscope. Nothing seemed out of order, except the specimens were loaded with stem cells.”

But that’s not all. Every part of a vampire’s physiology is significant. They possess a unique hidrosis, which is the Greek word for perspiration. They emit an odor—some smell of ketones and others smell like menthol. It’s not a pheromone, but it mimics one. The odor affects a human’s brain chemistry, relaxing their muscles and generating a sense of calmness. It also has a bit of an aphrodisiac effect. This is, of course, helps them subdue their prey.

Here, Jude explains it to Caro:

“It’s similar to a terpene,” Jude said. “I’m sure you’ve heard of Nepetalactone?”

“Catnip?” Father Aeneas asked.

Jude nodded.

“That would explain the aphrodisiac effect,” Father Aeneas said.

“But my tabby was immune to catnip,” Caro said. “Uncle Nigel was always setting out little herb-filled toys for Dinah. She ignored them.”

Jude touched his nose. “Perhaps she lacked the olfactory receptor. Some felines have it, some don’t. It’s genetic.”

Caro smiled. “What does bat-nip do to humans?”

Jude’s face went slack, as if he was offended by the comment. “It depends on the concentration,” he said. “In large quantities, the molecule causes sedation and numbness, followed by euphoria and hypersensitivity.”

“But I thought a vampire’s saliva had a toxin—one that caused paralysis in its prey.” Caro wiggled her fingers, remembering how they had gone numb after she’d been bitten. “Surely I wasn’t anesthetized from breathing these souped-up ketones.”

“I agree with Caroline,” Father Aeneas said. “If the catnip theory is true, then people would faint whenever they got near a vampire. Sidewalks and train stations would be filled with paralyzed humans.”

Jude lowered his eyebrows, flashing his I’m-Not-Good-at-Explanations look. “When the chemical is excreted by a vampire’s sweat glands, it evaporates and diffuses into the air and becomes less potent,” he said, his clipped, controlled voice barely containing his passion for science. “If humans inhale it, they feel relaxed. But it’s fleeting. A high concentration of this molecule is found in a vampire’s blood and saliva. That’s why Caro was temporarily paralyzed. She was prey. And predators are made for survival. They stalk, pounce, restrain, and feed.”

“Why don’t vampires succumb to their own chemical?” Caro asked. “Why doesn’t it paralyze them?”

“Is a spider killed by its own venom? Jude lifted one eyebrow. “An effective predator isn’t harmed by its own methods of predation.”

Of course, I added more to the mythology. I wanted to explain why vampires are so attractive to prey. As an example, I compared them to cone shells (Conidae are very beautiful, but they’re also toothed and impale their prey, infusing them with venom). I also explain the origin of vampirism by comparing it to the emergence of Methicillin-resistent Staphylococcus Aurea—better known as MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant bug.

“I’ve been thinking of ways to explain the science of vampirism,” Jude told Caro.

A shy grin flitted across his lips, as if he were giving her a bouquet of wildflowers instead of simplified information about stem cells. She hid her smile by taking a sip of tea..

“To create a strain, all you need is a petri dish filled with staphylococcus,” Jude said. “Add penicillin. It will kill ninety-nine percent of the staph. Take the surviving one percent and culture them. You now have bacteria that are resistant to penicillin. Actually, the bacterium’s resistance is a defense mechanism. If you put the penicillin-resistant strain into a petri dish and apply erythromycin, the antibiotic will kill a majority of the bacteria. Culture the survivors, and you have an organism that’s resistant to penicillin and erythromycin. If you repeat this process ad infinitum, adding various antibiotics, you will eventually create a superior organism—one that’s resistant to all antibiotics. And it’s indestructible.”

“You’re saying vampirism evolved like MRSA?” Caro set down her teacup harder than she’d intended and it clapped against the saucer.

“It’s evolution. Survival of the fittest. Vampires began in small numbers and multiplied. They’re adaptive. Strong, hard to kill. And they destroy the competing organism. Also, they’re still evolving.”

“Into what?”

“We’ll have to wait and see. If we’re still around.”

Piper Maitland lives on a Tennessee farm with her family. She is the author of the vampire thriller, Acquainted With the Night (Berkley/November 2011). She is currently working on the sequel, A Requiem for Daylight. Piper has also written novels under the name Michael Lee West.


Find Piper and her books

Acquainted with the Night
Night Book #1
 November 29, 2011

The pages of history are written in the blood of the undead…
A woman’s quest for the truth…
A medieval icon that holds the clues…
An ancient book with the power to shake Christianity—and humanity itself…

Caroline Clifford’s bland life as a London tour guide flips upside down when her beloved uncle is brutally murdered at a Bulgarian archeological site. While traveling to recover his remains, she meets a man who corresponded with her uncle. Jude Barrett is a biochemist on a mission—to eradicate the world of vampires…
At first, Caro is dismissive of Jude’s beliefs, but she can’t ignore the signs around her—the human bites on her uncle, the strange men following her, the anguished cries after sundown. Strange anagrams on her uncle’s passport lead her and Jude to a cliff-top monastery in Greece, where a shattering revelation connects a relic Caro inherited from her parents to an age-old text on immortality—and an enigmatic prophecy that pits the forces of darkness and light in a showdown that could destroy them all…

Acquainted with evil…


Winner: Black Suns Daughter Series by M.L.N. Hanover

Thank you to everyone that entered!!

PRIZE: Entire Black Suns Daughter Series by M.L.N. Hanover

The winner chosen by Rafflecopter is…

Winner: Unleased by Nancy Holzner + Debbie Viguie

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PRIZE: One copy Unleashed by Nancy Holzner and Debbie Viguie

The winner chosen by Rafflecopter is…

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!!!

For all of those who celebrate...
Here is wishing that you and your family have a fantastic Thanksgiving Holiday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Review: Cold Fire by Kate Elliott

Cold Fire
Author:Kate Elliott
Release Date: September 26, 2011
Publisher: Orbit
Spiritwalker Book #2
ISBN:   1841498831
ISBN13: 9781841498836
Genre: Fantasy/Steampunk
Review Copy Source: netgalley

Only one thing is certain: when Hallows' Night comes, the Wild Hunt will ride - and it feeds on mortal blood.

Cat and her cousin Bee are caught in a maze of intrigue, treachery, and magic. Everyone seems to want something from them: the Cold Mages are trying to take them prisoner, and the warlord who wants to conquer all of Europa seems sure they have a special destiny to aid him whether they want to or not. Worse, hidden powers deep in the spirit world are rising, and they are the most dangerous of all. Cat must seek allies and figure out who she can trust in order to save the ones she loves. For if she doesn't, everything will be lost.  
I have some mixed thoughts about COLD FIRE. On one hand I love the imagination and the overall storyline, on the other hand although tons of things take place there tends to be many points in the book that go by too slow and I end up being a bit bored at times. The book also jumped around a lot which left me a little bit confused trying to figure out what situation I was reading about and when it was happening. There were points were I was shocked, frustrated, ecstatic and lost but the story has a way of keeping you wanting to read even during the times where you wish something would just happen already.

Cat's character is so complex and full of mystery. She has her faults but she is great with fighting for what she wants and learning from her mistakes. I really fell in love with Vai in COLD FIRE. We get to see a different side of him away from the cold mage's and it really made me understand him more. He really showed himself to Cat and fought for their marriage instead of giving in. I did not care much for Bee in this installment. She frustrated me with her loyalties to what I see as the wrong people. Rory is Rory, he wasn't in a lot of the book but I have nothing bad to say about him. Their are some great shocking revelations, new characters and allies introduced and a heck of a cliffhanger at the end. If you read COLD MAGIC you will definitely want to read COLD FIRE but be prepared for a long ride.

I gave it 3/5 stars

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Early Review: Killing Rites by M.L.N. Hanover

Killing Rites
Author:M.L.N. Hanover
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
The Black Suns Daugher Book #4
ISBN:  1439176345
ISBN13: 9781439176344
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Publisher

Jayné Heller has discovered the source of her uncanny powers; something else is living inside her body. She's possessed. Of all her companions, she can only bring herself to confide in Ex, the former priest. They seek help from his old teacher and the circle of friends he left behind, hoping to cleanse Jayné before the parasite in her becomes too powerful. Ex's history and a new enemy combine to leave Jayné alone and on the run. Her friends, thinking that the rider with her has taken the reins, try to hunt her down, unaware of the danger they're putting her in. Jayné must defeat the weight of the past and the murderous intent of another rider, and her only allies are a rogue vampire she once helped free and the nameless thing hiding inside her skin.

Answers we finally have answers. If you are anything like me you have been dying right along with Jayné from book one trying to figure out who and what she really is. The time has finally come that we have answers. KILLING RITES starts off a little bit after the events of VICIOUS GRACE.  Jayné is beating herself up for the role she played in Chicago and is determined to find out who she really is and what exactly is sharing her body. 

Ex ends up bringing Jayné to some old colleagues and things stack up to send Jayné on the run by herself to prove that she isn't being controlled by her rider. Although I love the whole cast of supporting characters, I actually ended up really enjoying seeing Jayné take care of things on her own. She really takes control of the situation she is in to take care of not only herself but her friends too. Ex plays a much bigger role in book 4 than anyone else. Aubrey and Kim are off trying to make their relationship work after they find out exactly what Jayné's uncle did to tear them apart. Chogyi Jake is off recovering as well as being pushed away by Jayné because she doesn't want to drag him into another possible place where he could get hurt. I missed having him around for the first half of the story but he did end up coming in towards the end and is back in the mix. Ex really is the only one there with Jayné and they end up getting pretty close. She starts seeing him through different eyes and starts thinking about possibilities. I think they could do great things together relationship wise so I'm hoping this develops more. 

KILLING RITES was filled with inner struggles, hard choices and answers. It ended up being a tad bit slower then previous books but I think that it was pretty important information wise. There was still plenty of action and rider drama. The answers wont stop here though there is still plenty to learn and it looks like Jayné will be going home to look for them. 

I gave it 4/5 stars 

New Releases Nov 20-26

Tues Nov 22

Bride of the Night by Heather Graham
Feel free to add anything you see missing or let me know if there is a mistake in the comments. Happy Reading =)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Early Review: Fates Edge by Ilona Andrews

Fate's Edge
Author:Ilona Andrews
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Ace
The Edge Book #3
ISBN:  0441020860
ISBN13: 9780441020867
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: Publisher

Audrey Callahan left behind her life in the Edge, and she's determined to stay on the straight and narrow. But when her brother gets into hot water, the former thief takes on one last heist and finds herself matching wits with a jack of all trades...

Kaldar Mar-a gambler, lawyer, thief, and spy-expects his latest assignment tracking down a stolen item to be a piece of cake, until Audrey shows up. But when the item falls into the hands of a lethal criminal, Kaldar realizes that in order to finish the job, he's going to need Audrey's help...
Audrey is the first of the female heroines of The Edge series to not be close to her family. She was born into a family of thief's and wants nothing to do with them now. She is finally doing what she wants with her life, staying above the law and taking care of herself in a respectable way when Her father shows up one night and talks her into one last heist that pulls her into drama that she wants desperately to get out of and put right at the same time. FATE'S EDGE also takes place a big chunk of the time in the broken. I liked the mix between the Broken and the edge and the mix of magic and non magic.

Kaldar happens to be one of the brothers of Cerise from BAYOU MOON. He is the matchmaker of his family but has never considered taking a wife himself but Audrey catches his eye from the moment he meets her. There is also quite a bit of secondary characters from both book one THE EDGE and book two BAYOU MOON in FATES EDGE. Jack and George the brothers of Rose are a big part of the story with some minor parts from both Cerise and William and Gaston, Cerise and Kaldar's nephew.

For most of the book Kaldar spends his time trying to convince Audrey to take him to bed while Audrey spends her time pushing him away so she doesn't get hurt. There romance was fun to watch and provided plenty of sexual tension. Kaldar was a great flirt and had me laughing at his tactics quite a few times. There are some great action scenes as they are dodging The Hand at every turn. I really felt that Kaldar and Audrey worked well together and meshed well with the other characters of the series. I like that the series is thoroughly connected even though each book has its own guy and gal romance and story. I cant even begin to imagine how Ilona Andrews will end the series but I cant wait to see where Ilona Andrews takes the series next.

I gave it 4/5 stars

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week in review 11/13-11/19

Books Ive Bought/received

* Killing Rites by M.L.N Hanover- Publisher for review

* Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi-ARC- Win from Darkfairytales

* Chosen by Fate by Virna DePaul- Win from All Things Urban Fantasy

Books I read

Winging It by Deborah Cooke
Killing Rites by M.L.N. Hanover
Cold Fire by Kate Elliott

Reviews posted

Destined Mate by Katie Reus
The Daughter of Smoke and Bones by Laini Taylor
Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Legend by Marie Lu
Drink Deep by Chloe Neill


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

*Thursday I put of a trailer  and Giveaway for Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié newest release UNLEASHED

*If you see something on my books Ive read list that you are dying to know about let me know I'm back logged on reviews and can move it up on the list if I know people are wanting one.

* I love comments so if you see something you like (or not) please comment away and let me know.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Review: Drink Deep by Chloe Neill

Drink Deep
Author:Chloe Neill
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Publisher: NAL
Chicagoland Vampires Book #5
ISBN:   0451234863
ISBN13: 9780451234865
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Clouds are brewing over Cadogan House, and Merit the vampire can't tell if this is the darkness before the dawn, or the calm before the storm. With the city itself in turmoil over paranormals and the state threatening to pass a paranormal registration act, times have never been more precarious for the vampires. If only they could lay low for a bit...
Then magic rears its ugly head when Lake Michigan turns black. The mayor insists it's nothing to worry about, but Merit knows a panic is coming. She'll have to turn to friends old and new to find out who's behind this, and stop them before it's too late for both the vampires and humans. 

Because I try really hard not to reveal spoilers this is a very hard review to write.  I have loved this series from the first chapter of the first book SOME GIRLS BITE. I love that Chloe has added in all these little hints that tell you of things to come and things to look forward to. This is definitely not a series that you can pick up at any book but book 1 so if you have not started the Chicagoland Vampires series yet I would highly recommend starting from the beginning.

As all you fans know there was a HUGE devastating cliff hanger at the end of HARD BITTEN. Hopefully you didn't hold that against the series because DRINK DEEP totally makes up for the absence of Ethan. Will you miss him? Of Course. But the story still rocks. I found the pacing to be slower then previous installments but there is a lot of action and detective work mixed in to everything. We see a lot of Jonah and don't worry all you loyal Ethan fans it isn't bad as you might be thinking. I actually really enjoyed seeing Merit become closer friends with someone outside the house or someone in her normal circle. There were so many surprises and major things that happened in DRINK DEEP that I will end this review with, you really have to read it. All you people that said you were going to stop reading after HARD BITTEN will be extremely disappointing if you don't snag a copy.

I gave it 5/5 stars

Friday, November 18, 2011

Early Review Legend by Marie Lu

Author:Marie Lu
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Legend Book #1
ISBN:   039925675X
ISBN13: 9780399256752
Genre: Young Adult
Review Copy Source: Librarything Early Reviewers 

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.
I am on a bit of a Dystopian kick and LEGEND definitely kept me wanting to read more. There was a lot of action, adventure and entertainment. The story is told from 2 different points of view. June is 15 year old (although she seems way older to me, I had a bit of a hard time picturing her as 15) She is the golden child. The only one in history to get a perfect score on the test everyone takes to determine their future. She is strong, goal oriented, And has a plan for her future (or so she thinks). Day is the is the most wanted criminal. He's just as smart, and focused as June but he failed the test and was sent off to die. Instead he escaped and starting raising heck against the republic. He is loyal, smart, honorable and nothing like June thought he would be like.

I enjoyed both characters POV's they were both well spoken. Like many of the Dystopian's I have read the world building is fantastic. I cant even imagine being as creative as all these fabulous authors are as they write the worlds their books take part in. I am always amazed at how easy it is to picture the places that are described and I loved every minute of the futuristic Los Angeles that June and Day live in. The storyline was filled with great action scenes, romance, kick butt characters and fascinating adventures. If you love dystopian you wont be disappointed in adding LEGEND to your bookshelf. It stinks to have to wait for book 2 to come out.

I gave it 4/5 stars