Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Guest Blog & Giveaway: Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher

UFI welcomes Theresa Meyers Author of The Truth About Vampires. Thanks for Joining us!!


Thank you for having me over today! When I received the list of topic ideas, "Character's Book Picks" immediately caught my eye. GHOST PLANET's reviewer from RT Book Reviews noticed and mentioned the homage I'd paid to other authors, and I realized that I tend to do this in all my work. I thought it would be fun to talk about how and why specific book references ended up in GHOST PLANET.

Early in the book, my heroine (Elizabeth) finds herself bound symbiotically to the hero (Murphy), which means she's trapped in the same apartment with a man she barely knows -- and who completely ignores her. One morning as she sits next to him on the sofa, trying to work up the nerve to negotiate a bit of freedom in her oppressive situation, she examines a stack of “antique” books on his coffee table.

PHINEAS FINN by Anthony Trollope
First, I love Trollope, and this is probably my favorite book of his. Second, the story is about a young Irishman from the country who makes good in the British parliament. Murphy is a young Irishman from the country who makes good as a psychologist on Ardagh 1 (the “ghost planet”).

PAINGOD by Harlan Ellison
This is a short story in a collection I read many years ago. It's about an alien being whose job it is to dispense suffering to humanity, the premise being that we cannot experience pleasure and joy without pain as a foil. I thought of it because of the questions the heroine is asking at this point in the story: Is there a being or entity responsible for her reincarnation as an alien? What is the true nature of her existence? Has she been created only to suffer?  

SOLARIS by Stanislaw Lem
The ghost-aliens in GHOST PLANET are reincarnated beings who are triggered by the colonists' connection to dead family and friends, similar to the aliens in this sci-fi classic. Before writing my book, I saw, and was very moved by, the Steven Soderbergh/George Clooney film adaptation of Lem's novel. I then read the book, which takes less of a romantic approach, but was fascinating. I took these concepts further in GHOST PLANET, creating a symbiotic link between ghosts and colonists, and between the ghost/colonist pairs and the planet itself. I also wrote it from an alien’s point of view, and gave her the smarts and determination to overcome her victim status.

WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams
This was my favorite book as a teen (though it's not a YA novel). It's about a group of rabbits who abandon their warren based on a premonition that it's going to be destroyed. The story follows their quest to find a new home. It's loaded with politics, conflict, and poignant emotion. The rabbits consider joining two warrens that turn out to be frighteningly unsuitable, and I wove characteristics of both into Devil's Rock, the rebel camp where Elizabeth and Murphy take refuge.

Shortly after the sofa scene, in a moment of feeling particularly oppressed by her status as a "ghost," Elizabeth writes a line on the wall of the closet she's sleeping in, "Don't let the bastards grind you down." The line is from:

THE HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood
This grim tale made a huge impression on me. The heroine (Offred) is forced into this biblically inspired role of "handmaid," which is a euphemism for reproductive slave. Offred sleeps in a small room in the house of her master (Fred), much as Elizabeth sleeps in the closet-bedroom of Murphy's former ghost. One night Offred discovers that the previous handmaid carved the Latin version of this line into her cupboard.

Finally, I slipped another of my favorites into the story as Elizabeth reads to a cranky Murphy in an effort to distract him from the immobility required by broken ribs. He smugly guesses the book is PRIDE & PREJUDICE, but it's actually:

JANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte
It would be a stretch to try and tie this to GHOST PLANET, although now that I think about it both novels have a big mystery with a supernatural flavor. But I included JANE EYRE because it was my "gateway" classic English novel -- it drew my attention to a whole new category of books that brought me countless hours of happy reading.

How about you? What books have inspired you to create, or have somehow changed the way you look at the world?

SHARON LYNN FISHER is the author of GHOST PLANET, coming from Tor Books on Oct. 30. The book -- a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist -- is a sci-fi/romance blend that offers a "fresh and fascinating take on the human-alien problem" (says author Linnea Sinclair). She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is hard at work on her next novel and battles writerly angst with baked goods, Irish tea, and champagne.

Find Sharon and her books

Ghost Planet

Indiebound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion, Powells
 Psychologist Elizabeth Cole prepared for the worst when she accepted a job on a newly discovered world—a world where every colonist is tethered to an alien who manifests in the form of a dead loved one. But she never expected she'd struggle with the requirement to shun these "ghosts." She never expected to be so attracted to the charming Irishman assigned as her supervisor. And she certainly never expected to discover she died in a transport crash en route to the planet.

As a ghost, Elizabeth is symbiotically linked to her supervisor, Murphy—creator of the Ghost Protocol, which forbids him to acknowledge or interact with her. Confused and alone—oppressed by her ghost status and tormented by forbidden love—Elizabeth works to unlock the secrets of her own existence.

But her quest for answers lands her in a tug-of-war between powerful interests, and she soon finds herself a pawn in the struggle for control of the planet…a struggle that could separate her forever from the man that she loves.
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review: The Shattered Dark by Sandy Williams

The Shattered Dark
Author:Sandy Williams
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Publisher: Ace
McKenzie Lewis Book #2
ISBN:  1937007812
ISBN13: 9781937007812
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Publisher

McKenzie Lewis has a gift. It allows her access to a world few have seen, and even fewer can comprehend. It’s her secret. And it exists in the shadows…

McKenzie was a normal college student, save for one little twist: she’s a shadow reader, someone who can both see the fae and track their movements between our world and the Realm. It’s a gift for which she has been called insane, one for which she has risked family and friends—and one that has now plunged her into a brutal civil war between the fae.

With the reign of the king and his vicious general at an end, McKenzie hoped to live a more normal life while exploring her new relationship with Aren, the rebel fae who has captured her heart. But when her best friend, Paige, disappears McKenzie knows her wish is, for now, just a dream. McKenzie is the only one who can rescue her friend, but if she’s not careful, her decisions could cost the lives of everyone she’s tried so hard to save.

McKenzie is really looking forward to her retirement but when Paige goes missing, McKenzie jumps right into getting her back.

There is a lot of character development as well as getting to know more about their past's in THE SHATTERED DARK. The pacing is nice and fast with plenty of edge of your seat moments. I was extremely shocked by how Paige handled everything as well as some of the parts she played throughout the book. I love Aren and McKenzie together. Some things about Aren's past are revealed that don't sit that well with McKenzie but she works hard to make their relationship work. I do like Kyol but he never put McKenzie first and with Aren you can see he would always do that. A lot happens in this part of the series and once again a lot changes. I don't really know how I feel about the ending. Decisions are made before McKenzie even knows what is happening.  She finally figured out what she wanted and was in a good spot with her decision only to have it all crumble around her. 

I'm stumped on guesses of what will happen next but I'm pretty sure the Fae are not going to let her go that easily and the new twists and turns are going to make for a wild book 3.

I gave it 4/5 stars

New Releases: 10/28-1/3

Tues Oct 30

A Trace of Moonlight (Abby Sinclair, #3) by Allison Pang
Black Lament (Black Wings, #4) by Christina Henry
Chaser (Alone, #1) by James Phelan
Dark Nights (Dark, #7) by Christine Feehan
The Dead of Winter (Cora Oglesby, #1) by Lee Collins
Desperately Seeking Shapeshifter (Midnight Liaisons, #2) by Jessica Sims
Dream Unchained by Kate Douglas
Ghost Planet by Sharon Fisher
Forbidden (The World of Nightwalkers #1) by Jacquelyn Frank
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, #4) by Darynda Jones
Iced (Fever World, #1) by Karen Marie Moning
Midnights Seduction (Dark Warriors, #3) by Donna Grant
Mr. Real (Code of Shadows, #1) by Carolyn Crane
Out For Blood (House of Comarre, #4) by Kristen Painter
Pandaemonium by Ben Macallan
Rebel Heart (Dust Lands, #2) by Moria Young
Shadow Rising (Sisters of the Moon, #12) by Yasmine Galenorn
The Shattered Dark (McKenzie Lewis, #2) by Sandy Williams
Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini
Warrior Reborn by Melissa Mayhue

Happy Reading!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Black Lament by Christina Henry

Black Lament
Author:Christina Henry
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Publisher: Ace
Black Wings Book #4
ISBN:  042525657X
ISBN13: 9780425256572
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Publisher

As an Agent of Death, Madeline Black deals with loss every day. But when tragedy touches her own life, Maddy will have to find the strength within to carry on…

Devastated and grieving, Maddy unexpectedly finds hope with the discovery that she is pregnant. But Maddy’s joy is short lived when Lucifer informs her that he wants the baby, hoping to draw on the combined power of two of his bloodlines. Maddy is determined that her grandfather will never have her child, but she’s not sure what she can do to stop him.

Being pregnant is stressful enough, but Maddy suddenly finds herself at odds with the Agency—forbidden from meddling in the affairs of the supernatural courts. When a few of her soul collections go awry, Maddy begins to suspect that the Agency wants to terminate her employment. They should know by now that she isn’t the sort to give up without a fight…

Even though Maddy has been through hell and lost much she is incredibly strong and level headed most of the time. The Agency is breathing down her neck and the Fae are trying to kill her at every turn. She is pregnant and has lost her husband but she is not alone and with so many behind her she continues to fight against those that are against her. 

Maddy is in a lot of emotional pain throughout BLACK LAMENT. She broke down a few times and was depressing at many points. Madeline acted a bit like a child once or twice and killed without remorse at others. She was kind of all over the place but that should be expected after losing the person she loves and then finding out she is pregnant while dodging murder attempts at every turn. BLACK LAMENT is filled with action and danger. Maddy has grown a ton in her fighting skills and she continues to amaze me when she beats down those that should be stronger than her. Beezle continues to be a constant source of entertainment and comic relief, you never know what will come out of his mouth next. I still have no clue what to think of Lucifer. He seems to genuinely care for Madeline but he is Lucifer and his motives are anything but clear. Nathaniel is back and in the thick of the story again. Not really happy that he is once again getting close to her but I will continue to see where that all leads. 

So much can happen next and I'm to invested in the story and the characters not to pick up book 5. BLACK CITY is set to release in February of 2013.

I gave it 4/5 stars

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Week in Review: 10/21-10/27

Books Ive Bought/received

*Magick by Trish Milburn-eARC- Publisher

Books I Read

Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep
Guardians of Stone by Anita Clenney
Mark of the Witch by Jessica Gibson
Underneath by Jes Young

Reviews Posted

Dark Currents by Jaqueline Carey
Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst


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

* Monday Jessica Gibson author of Mark of the Witch wrote us a guest post. She also is offering up a Kindle!!

* Thursday brought a follower only giveaway!! Go enter now and you just might get lucky.

*Friday Samantha Young stopped in on her Scorched Skies Blog tour with a Guest post and Giveaway.

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

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Winners: This Case is Gonna Kill Me by Phillipa Bornikova

Thank you to everyone who entered!!

Prize: 2 Finished copies of This Case is Gonna Kill Me
The Winner chosen by Rafflecopter is.....
Congrats!! I have emailed winner who has 48 hours to respond with mailing address or I will pick another.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Guest Blog & Giveaway: Scorched Skies by Samantha Young

UFI welcomes Samantha Young Author of The Fire Spirits Series. Thanks for Joining us!!

The Story Behind the Story: What Inspired the Series?

The basic concept of using Jinn mythology came to me when I was thinking about mythology that hadn’t been so widely used in YA. I wanted to write about something different and exotic, and Jinn forced its way to the top of the supernatural list. Once I decided on the concept, I bought non-fiction books on the subject and trolled the internet for information. It was the research itself that inspired the series. I came across a passage about the Seal of Solomon and how King Solomon had been gifted this seal, this ring, that had the ability to command deeds from good and evil Jinn. As soon as I read that, I had that Eureka moment. I knew instantly that the Seal of Solomon was what the series would be centered around, and it was just a case of adapting the mythology and folklore to my characters and my imagination.

Samantha Young is a 26 year old writer who resides in her home county of Stirlingshire, Scotland. She is a self-proclaimed book addict and Kindle junkie, using fantasy, dystopian, sci-fi and paranormal novels to feed her addiction.

After graduating from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in ancient and medieval history, Samantha returned to her main passion, writing, and often incorporates history and mythology into her novels.

Samantha’s first release, The Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy, was followed by a second series titled Warriors of Ankh. At present, she is a full-time writer working on a number of projects for near future release. She is the author of nine novels and one novella. Her young adult paranormal series are Amazon bestselling novels.

Find Samantha and her books

Scorched Skies
Fire Spirits #2
Goodreads, Amazon, B&N
The White King has crossed the line, sounded the horn, sent out the wolves.

When blood is shed and life is lost the reality of Ari’s position as both hunter and prey finally sets in. It seems her father will stop at nothing to force her will to his own and distracted by Charlie’s latest mistake and her seemingly misguided attraction to Jai, Ari never thought to fear anyone else but the Jinn King.

Blindsided and attacked, Ari learns a new wolf has joined the hunt. A dark sorcerer believes he knows a way to bleed the power of the Seal and wield it as his own, and he is even less patient than The White King.

The War for the Seal has only just begun… and it’s time for Ari to turn it on its head.

It’s time for Ari to stop acting like the hunted.

It’s time for Ari to become the hunter.


Tour Wide 
Contest open internationally.

Contest Info: Each tour host will have a daily give away.  Entries into the daily give-away count towards the grand prize give-away of a Kindle Touch skinned in the winner's choice of cover art from the Fire Spirits series!
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