Monday, December 19, 2011

Promotional Post & Giveaway: Rachel Firasek

UFI welcomes Rachel Firasek Author of The Curse of the Phoenix series. Thanks for Joining us!!

The Last Awakening Excert

Grey propped himself against the inside of the door. He'd given her a few minutes alone after work while he grabbed his bag from his car. In fact, he'd spent at least a good ten convincing himself he could do this. Now, he wasn't so sure, but he would still fix her door before he left. Damn woman hadn't even locked it. He'd knocked twice and stepped inside when she didn't respond.


No answer.  

He'd wait. Through the paper-thin wall he listened to the shower and then the light patter of dainty feet running across her room. This really was the worst apartment he'd ever seen. Worse than some of the military tents he'd lived in. 

He sat his bag beside him and tapped his fingers along the door. Any day now. Her bedroom door flew open, and she rushed out. He'd imagined her in silk pajamas with beaded nipples teasing him and begging for his taste--not the sweatshirt or the flannel bottoms. They weren't bad either and actually may have added to her
appeal--there was something highly erotic about wondering what was beneath.   

She sagged a little and dropped a hand across her chest. The smile she'd met him with slipped. “What?”

“You're beautiful.” Damn, if he didn't stop putting his foot in his mouth.

She blushed, painting her cheeks with the prettiest shade of pink before she ducked away from him. “What's in the bag?”

“You need more protection.” He pulled out his wallet and fumbled through the slots for a business card. She leaned in closer and stood on tiptoe, watching his every move. “Nosy?” 

When he handed her the card, she frowned.  

“What did you think this was?” he asked.  

She didn't answer, but her pink cheeks shouted it loud and clear.  

“Did you think I was going for a condom?”
She turned away, sank down onto her sofa, and pouted.
Surely she didn't think…nah, no way could she want…He burst into a fit of laughter. Christ, how long had it been since he'd laughed? Really laughed? She was feisty as hell. He wanted more than anything to snatch her up and carry her to her creaky bed and let Mike--and whoever else wanted to--listen through her walls as he connected with her in the basest of ways. But first, they had things to get out in the open. 
“Don't laugh at me.” 

He chuckled harder and moved closer to her. “I'm sorry to disappoint you. I brought some locks over.

Before I leave, I'll install them.” 

“You don't have to.” 

“I want to.”  
She sputtered. Her eyes sparked for a moment, and when she blinked a soft cloud covered the amber. Shit. Smoke floated across her eyes like something straight out of a B movie. He shook his head and pinched the tender skin above his brow. Damn hallucinations. He thought he was past them. “Are you okay?”
“You laugh at me and then want to know if I'm okay? Really?”
“Your eyes. I thought I…never mind.” Shut up, man, before you show her what a fucking freak you are.  
Ari spun away from him. She gathered deep breaths, stretching the muscles in her back tight. “I'll be in my room while you do whatever it is you're going to do. Come get me when you're done and can remember your manners, s'il vous plait.”  
She didn't stop for him. Damn, he'd been an ass. Exactly what he said he wasn't going to do. His plan had been to fix her door. Maybe have a beer with her. Find out how she was dealing with what happened, and possibly share some of his sorrow. But he'd think twice about the drink if he was going to start seeing shit. He'd had all the flashbacks he wanted in a lifetime, but to actually start hallucinating was too much. The alcohol was screwing with his head. Might be time to cut back
He installed the new deadbolts and loaded his tools. The bedroom door remained shut, but the light peeked from beneath it. He crossed to knock softly on the thin wood. “Ari?” 
No answer. 
“I'm done. I'll let myself out…come lock up after me.”
Yeah, he'd screwed up and he'd be lucky if the one person he could connect with, who'd understand, ever talked to him again.      

Rachel Firasek grew up in the South, and despite the gentle pace, she harassed life at full steam. Her curiosity about mythology, human nature, and the chemical imbalance we call love led her to writing. Her stories began with macabre war poems and shifted to enchanted fairy tales, before she settled on a blending of the two.

Today, you’ll find her tucked on a small parcel of land, surrounded by bleating sheep and barking dogs, with her husband and children. She entertains them all with her wacky sense of humor or animated reenactments of bad Eighties dance moves.

She’s intrigued by anything unexplained and seeks the answers to this crazy thing we call life. You can find her where the heart twists the soul and lights the shadows…

If you’d like to request a Kindlegraph of any of my books, please visit here
Find Rachel and her books


Early Review: Shadow City by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Shadow City
Author:Diana Pharaoh Francis
Release Date: December 27, 2011
Publisher: Pocket
Horngate Witches Book #3
ISBN:  1451613857
ISBN13: 9781451613858
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Publisher

The world is falling apart. The magical apocalypse has come. Now is the time to guard the covenstead against both raiders and refugees. But Max has been stolen by a powerful demi-god who is determined to force her to find a way to use a magical power she never knew she had—even if it kills her. Meanwhile, back in Horngate, a Fury is birthing. When the creature breaks free of the fragile bonds that enclose her, her rage will scour the covenstead from the earth.
Max finds herself in the Shadow City, a place of mysteries and magic, where she must battle for her freedom or become a slave to creatures of dreadful greed and power. Back in Horngate, Alexander must swallow his anger and pride if he hopes to defeat the Fury, a creature that no one has ever successfully fought before.
In the end, it will be courage, friendship, faith and loyalty that win the day. Or else so one will live to see tomorrow.

I honestly had no clue what to think of the situation at the end of CRIMSON WIND. I didn't think Scooter was out to get Max hurt or do anything bad with her but I never expected he was looking for her help in saving his life either. I was very frustrated that Max and Alexander hadn't hooked up, the sexual tension was seriously at an all time high, and I couldn't imagine how book 3 was going to play out with her being gone from Horngate. I really thought that some of my favorite characters might not be in SHADOW CITY.  What I ended up getting in CRIMSON WIND was worth the frustration of my ever turning thoughts. It brought the same amount of action that I loved from the previous books. The romance was HOT, finally went somewhere instead of around in frustrating circles. Unfortunately we do lose some more characters =( I hate when that happens. We gain a few new friends and Diana brought us a whole new world to explore. 

Alexander and the rest of the crew left at Horngate are on their own for a good portion of the book while Max is off with Scooter. The POV switches back and forth to keep us up to date on what is going on in each situation. It was kinda nice seeing Alexander take control of a dire situation without Max there. We got to see another side of Alexander as the "Alpha" and I think them together will continue to make a great team on more of a balanced field in the future. Surprisingly the witch we love to hate ends up making some changes to herself and her beliefs and we see a whole new side to her as well. I liked Scooter before now but I really enjoyed getting to know his past and learning about his world and the people in it. The world was creative and really complemented the situation that Max was put in. I also liked seeing Max work with someone else (don't worry just as friends). In the previous two books she started fitting herself in a little more instead of trying to be a loner and it really helped her with the situation she is in in SHADOW CITY. The whole Horngate team with their new allies finish off the book with some great action. I'm excited to see where Diana takes Max and the gang next. We got some great leads at the end of the book pointing us towards what might come. The Horngate Witches series is a favorite on my book shelf.

I gave it 4/5 stars