Thursday, January 31, 2013

Review: Between by Kerry Schafer

Author:Kerry Schafer
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Ace
The Between Book #1
ISBN:   042526114X
ISBN13: 9780425261149
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Publisher/Netgalley

Vivian Maylor can’t sleep. Maybe it’s because she just broke up with her boyfriend and moved to a new town, or it could be the stress of her new job at the hospital. But perhaps it’s because her dreams have started to bleed through into her waking hours.

All of her life Vivian has rejected her mother’s insane ramblings about Dreamworlds for concrete science and fact, until an emergency room patient ranting about dragons spontaneously combusts before her eyes—forcing Viv to consider the idea that her visions of mythical beasts might be real.

And when a chance encounter leads her to a man she knows only from her dreams, Vivian finds herself falling into a world that seems strange and familiar all at once—a world where the line between dream and reality is hard to determine, and hard to control…

Vivian is an ER doctor who is dealing with some weird things. She has always known she was different but when someone in the ER dies from burning from the inside out after explaining things she saw in her dreams she is sent into a spiral where she learns more about herself and her destiny.  

I had no issues with Vivian as a character. She was real feeling and easy to follow. I had some problems with the whole dream/wake version of Warlord/Zee and their relationship with Vivian. It just didn't grab me, I couldn't connect to it. How can you fall for one version and when that version isn't there be ok with the other? The ex and his dream self, wow. There were some scenes with him i didn't really feel were needed or made big enough of an impact on emotions as they should have on Vivian.  Poe the penguin totem animal was interesting. He "helps" Vivian search for the key and gets her in a bit of trouble at points along the way. He was an entertaining sidekick. 

The world of BETWEEN was unique, the details that went into making the Dreamworld sometimes became a bit overwhelming but It was still easy to imagine it. There was a nice pace from beginning to end and plenty of action to satisfy. The finished result after all was said and done was satisfying but leaves you with some unanswered questions. Unfortunately I will not go out of my way to continue reading the series but I am a bit curious as to what will happen next. Id suggest reading an excerpt or grabbing a copy from the library before committing to purchasing it for your book shelf.

I gave it 2.5/5 stars

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review: Shattered Circle by Linda Robertson

Shattered Circle
Author:Linda Robertson
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Pocket
Persephone Alcmedi Book #6
ISBN:   1451648936
ISBN13: 9781451648935
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Publisher

After her werewolf boyfriend, Johnny, tried to kill her, Persephone Alcmedi finds herself in the comforting arms of powerful vampire Menessos. She’s trying to sort out her feelings for the two men, but not even Seph is above the confusion of tangled emotions. All Johnny wants to do is mend their relationship and reveal the life-altering news he’s recently received, but his new responsibilities as the werewolf king take up most of his time.

Does this mean Menessos can finally make his move?

Meanwhile, unknown to Seph, her beloved foster daughter, Beverley, has been playing with a magical artifact and making dubious friends on the other side. When Beverley disappears, Seph must seek help from a supernatural being so potent that even Menessos fears him...and such aid always comes with a very steep price.

*Contains spoilers about previous books in series*

It seems like every character in the series is drowning in problems individually as well as other issues as a group. Persephone is busy fighting off those out to kill her while trying to live up to the position of Lustrata. Johnny now has another person to protect on top of his new duties as Dom Lup,and oh yeah how does he tell Persephone? Menessos is busy with all the duties that stepping down as leader to his vampires brings. Beverly finds something she shouldn't mess with and goes missing for a bit. A lot is revealed that brings her even closer to the supernatural and piles on the difficulties she was already facing. Creepy is back, wow I wasn't expecting that. I would have never guessed who he really was or what his motives were.  Persephone's romantic life is a bit whacked out. It seems like her and Johnny have grown apart a bit with their different roles to play and then their is Menessos on the sidelines who always seems to be there when she needs him most. By the end of SHATTERED CIRCLE a bit of growth has happened and is seems like they are at least all trying and seem closer then they have ever been. 

I would not start this series from anywhere but the beginning, those that have enjoyed the previous books in the series will be happy with the way things are happening and growing. There is a ton of tension and revelations in SHATTERED CIRCLE and it is not to be missed. Not sure when we will be graced with book 7 but I'm hoping it wont be to far off.

I gave it 4/5 stars

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Promo: Shattered Circle by Linda Roberston


Liyliy, a vampire-harpy, had tried to kill me a few hours ago, and the struggle left me exhausted and sore. That was the reason I was still abed at nearly two in the afternoon. When my satellite phone blared the opening riffs of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark at the Moon,” it startled me, instantly reminding me about all the sore muscles I had.

Mid-reach, I stopped. That was Johnny’s ringtone.

He had tried to kill me, too.

My hand shook as my finger jabbed the Answer button.


“Red . . . I’m so sorry.” Johnny’s voice was barely audible.

I sat up and deliberated whether to play deaf and repeat my “hello” as if I hadn’t heard him. I considered being a jerk and hanging up. I even contemplated ripping him a new one.

Instead, I remained silent.

Two days before, minutes after I’d performed the forced-change spell on him and his loyal pack mates, Johnny had attacked me. He’d always retained his manmind while transformed, but that last time he didn’t—he’d been pure animal. The only reason I was still among the living was because I’d pumped ley line energy into him like a human Taser.


He’d frightened me to my core. The unshakeable faith I’d had in him had been shattered by an emotional earthquake. Damage was done. My fear felt like betrayal.

But . . .

Could going through the forced-change spell repeatedly have an undesired effect?

No. I was sure the whole terrible incident could be pinned on the fact that my mother, Eris, had revoked the tattooed bindings she’d placed upon Johnny eight years ago. He suddenly had access to all the power and potential she’d locked away from him. That was surely a disorienting, difficult situation.

I’d helped him dig up the clues, helped him achieve that goal. Hell, I’d even been a part of the reversal spell. So some responsibility for the consequences was mine to bear.


He rarely used my full given name; he usually called me Red, as in Little Red Riding Hood to his Big Bad Wolf. Or Seph like nearly everyone else. I had to respond.

“I’m here.”

“Then say something.”

Pushing back the covers, I stood and began to pace. “I don’t know what to say.”

He paused. “Can you forgive me?”

I wasn’t sure.

Part of me said I couldn’t allow his attack to be a personal issue because of the fateful trio that Johnny, Menessos, and I forged by binding ourselves magically. The other part argued that no matter the circumstances, attempted murder was very damn personal.

It all happened because Johnny had surrendered to his destiny. His unique ability to transform at will made him the Domn Lup—king of the wærewolves. It was a position with power, prestige, and perks such as a Maserati Quattroporte. Johnny knew his royal place was unavoidable, but he’d fought it and hid from it a long time. He’d finally pushed forward because it was beneficial to our triple union, but kinghood was costing him his dream of being a rock star.

It had been my fear that he’d lose who he was in the course of this alliance of ours. More than ever, it seemed this fear was being borne out.

On the other corner of our triangle was Menessos. He now bore two witches marks—mine, of course. That made him my servant. When Heldridge, his former right-hand man, learned of my authority over Menessos, he tattled to the highest vampire authority, the Excelsior. To protect us against the personal grudge of the truthseeing vampire-harpies sent by VEIN to make formal inquiry, Menessos had allied himself at great personal expense with someone dangerous—a “nameless” guy I had aptly dubbed Creepy.

The secrets he’d wanted to hide from VEIN—secrets even I didn’t know—were apparently safe, but our little who-marked-whom secret was out. Menessos lost his haven and his status as Northeastern Quarterlord. Johnny had accepted great power and lost a lifelong dream. Menessos had lost great power and accepted serious personal risk. It didn’t seem fair.

And what about me?

In the last several weeks I’d learned that I was the longprophesied Lustrata, the Witches’ Messiah, She Who Walks Between Worlds, She Who Will Bring Balance, blah blah blah. As this news spread throughout the nonhuman communities, some scoffed and some believed. I was fine with the scoffers; it was the believers who were dangerous. They wanted to know if I truly possessed the power that accompanied those titles. Yeah, I was a magnet for nasties who either a) wanted me dead to be sure I didn’t have that power, or b) wanted to try to force me to wield power for their gain.

I guess I’d accepted the endless complications of my status and was well on my way to losing all scraps of naïveté.

At that thought, I stopped pacing. As I stared into the nothingness of a darkened corner, it felt like my innocence had slipped from my grasp and I was watching it skitter across the floor, waiting for it to come to a stop so I could reclaim it.

I wasn’t sure it was worth the effort to look for it. Or perhaps it would be impossible to find if I made the effort. Maybe it had rolled into some crack, never to be seen again.

I heard Johnny breathing through the phone.

It wasn’t Johnny who had rescued me last night.

When I defeated Liyliy, Menessos had been there to bring me to the haven. Sure, Menessos had a hand in creating the monster she now was. And it was he who had imprisoned her, creating her need for revenge. But it was me and my marks upon him that had brought her to Cleveland. When she pursued me from the haven—according to the Offerling I’d spoken to—Menessos had sent everyone out to search for me.

Had Johnny even known I was missing?

It was shitty of me to compare the two men in my life, but I couldn’t help myself. Though Menessos had drunk my blood numerous times, he hadn’t tried to kill me.

Yes he did! He nearly killed you not long after you first met.

We were strangers then, I argued with myself. Now, we know each other well.

Better, perhaps, than you should. . . .

Defiantly, I ignored my conscience’s scolding. I will not regret what I did last night. During the predawn hours, reeling from my encounter, I’d kissed Menessos.

Fine, but clearly you were able to forgive him.

That was true. Considering this, I felt hope. I sighed heavily into the phone. My whispered answer was, “In time.”

“There’s so much I need to tell you.” Johnny’s voice was raw, and the rev of an engine punctuated his words. I wondered where he was going. And I wondered if I should tell him about kissing the vampire.

It hadn’t been a peck.

When our lips had touched, I felt the promise and power of a more intimate union. He’d definitely felt it. It wasn’t only the power of the marks between us that had been kindled.

“I don’t know where to begin,” Johnny said.

His voice drew me out from my memory of a passionate moment with another man. Guilt swelled around my heart . . . but not remorse. What am I going to do?

Shattered Circle
Persephone Alcmedi #6

After her werewolf boyfriend, Johnny, tried to kill her, Persephone Alcmedi finds herself in the comforting arms of powerful vampire Menessos. She’s trying to sort out her feelings for the two men, but not even Seph is above the confusion of tangled emotions. All Johnny wants to do is mend their relationship and reveal the life-altering news he’s recently received, but his new responsibilities as the werewolf king take up most of his time.

Does this mean Menessos can finally make his move?

Meanwhile, unknown to Seph, her beloved foster daughter, Beverley, has been playing with a magical artifact and making dubious friends on the other side. When Beverley disappears, Seph must seek help from a supernatural being so potent that even Menessos fears him...and such aid always comes with a very steep price.

Linda Robertson is the mother of four wonderful boys, owns three electric guitars, and is followed around by a big dog named after Bela Lugosi. Once upon a time she was a lead guitarist in a heavy metal cover band and has worked as a graphic artist. She still composes and creates art, when time permits. Linda currently writes and rocks in northeast Ohio. 

Find Linda and her books

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New Releases: 1/27-2/2

Tue Jan 29

A Shimmer of Angels (Angel Sight, #1) by Lisa M. Basso
Asunder (Newsoul, #2) by Jodi Meadows
Between (Between, #1) by Kerry Schafer
Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar (Demon Hunting, #3)by Lexi George
Devilishly Wicked by Kathy Love
The Eldritch Conspiracy (Blood Singer, #5) by Cat Adams
Haunted Moon (Otherworld, #13) by Yasmine Galenorn
The Madmans Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter, #1) by Megan Shepherd
Othermoon (Otherkin, #2) by Nina Berry
The Prey (The Hunt, #2) by Andrew Fukuda
Prodigy (Legend, #2) by Marie Lu
Shadows in Silence (Angelfire, #3) by Courtney Allison Moulton
Shattered Circle (Persephone Alcmedi, #6) by Linda Robertson
Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier (Shadow Ops, #2) by Myke Cole
Shattered Souls (Caitlynn O’Connell, #1) by Delilah Devlin
Stolen Nights (Vampire Queen, #2) by Rebecca Maizel
What the Spell (Life’s a Witch, #1) by Brittany Geragotelis

Happy Reading!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Interview & Giveaway: Twice Cursed by Marianne Morea

UFI welcomes Marianne Morea Author of The Cursed by Blood series. 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?

Everyone knows authors put a lot of themselves into their characters, either their true personalities or traits they wish they had. In my case, my heroines are very much like me. I’m no-nonsense, I have strong opinions, I’m a true 2nd degree black belt in traditional Japanese karate and I’m wicked quick with weapons, especially nunchucks and a bo staff. But what people wouldn’t know about me, is that for most of my life I wasn’t that way. I walked the halls of my High School, invisible. My friends were few, and though I wasn’t bullied, I was ignored…so, of course, that left plenty of time to dream…to create worlds and characters in my head, the way I wanted them to be and the way I wanted myself to be. It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties and had my first child that I realized I needed to change. That I need to cultivate a strong, vital personality in order to teach my daughter to be strong…to lead by example, so she didn’t grow up lonely like me. I wanted my kids to see that anything is possible, and that you’re never too old, or too weak, and that the words ‘I can’t’ shouldn’t exist in their vocabulary. But that was a lesson I had to teach myself, first. My oldest is now sixteen, and she’s a strong, compassionate, determined young woman. You could say we both grew into that, together.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

I read, I love to dance and my family loves to travel. In fact there isn’t a place I’ve written about that I haven’t been to personally. Over the years my personality may have blossomed into that of a strong, independent woman, but the mold was set a long time ago for me to be a dreamer, and that hasn’t changed. So when I experience a new place, the flood gates open and so enter the ‘what ifs’. I’m also a huge ice hockey fan. Go NY Rangers!

What is your Favorite part of writing? 

Falling in love with my characters and living their lives vicariously through the pages I write. I love deciding their fates and letting my own inhibitions,(yes, I still have a few!), letting those stays fall to the wayside and having my characters just go for it.

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

Not really, but I do try to get the bulk of my writing for each day done while my kids are at school. I like to have quiet, and the luxury of privacy when talking to myself and my characters. I know, I sound nuts…but that’s part of my creative process.

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

I have so many, it’s hard to keep track. I love Sherrilyn Kenyon,  KarenMarie Moning, Christine Feehan, Charlaine Harris (I’m a huge Eric Northman fan), Kim Harrison (If I could be any character, it would be Rachel Morgan!), J.R. Ward ( love the names!) and yes…Nora Roberts.

How would you explain the Twice Cursed to someone who has never heard of it before?

That’s a good question. I have found that explaining Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance to people who don’t read the genre to be a relatively daunting task. Most of the reactions I get run the gamut from the disdainful sniff of “you actually write that white noise?” to people whose eyes light up with interest and mischief. Mostly I just explain that Twice Cursed is paranormal urban fantasy…fun, escapist fiction with Weres, Vampires and Sex all wrapped up with a suspenseful plot that includes a twist or two just for fun.

What can you tell me about the world that the Cursed by Blood Saga  is set in?

Everyone knows that New York has a dark side, but the Cursed by Blood Saga is set in the darkest part of that underbelly, and the kicker is that it’s right there under your nose, in the most chic, fashionable places. In this world there are lines drawn and line crossed, intrigues and deception just like the human world, only here it’s infinitely more deadly and cruel…but there are elements of hope and rationale threaded throughout that keep their world looking to the future, looking for more.

Would you recommend starting the series at book 1 or are the books in the series able to be read as stand alones?

I’ve tried to make Twice Cursed a stand-alone book by including as much of the backstory as I could, short of regurgitating the story from book one ( Hunter’s Blood). But like with most books in a saga or series, to get the most out of a story and to understand the nuances and references that may come up, it’s best to read from the beginning. The third book will be called ‘The Lion’s Den’ and I will try to make that a stand-alone, as well, but again, there’s always something lost when you pick up a series in the middle. I would never want a reader to feel cheated, so I would suggest reading the saga from the start.

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

My favorite character to write was Jack Cochran. He is sharp and witty, and the repartee between he and Lily would crack me up even as I was writing it. He’s also one of the hardest character for me to write, but I think the hardest character of all was Lily. She’s my heroine, and there are so many layers to her that she is the quintessential onion. Just when you think you have her figured out, she surprises you.

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

I have  six WIPs planned for 2013/14, including sequels to both my series (Cursed by Blood Saga and The Legacy Series). I also have an Upper YA horror planned for release in the spring. It’s called Hollow’s End, and is a blend of horror, paranormal suspense, and of course, romance.

Marianne Morea is a New Yorker, born and bred, and for the most part her stories and characters embody the grit and complexity of the city. An avid traveler, she uses her experiences from around the world in all her books. There isn’t a place her characters live or travel that she haven’t been herself, and through her words, tries to transport my readers. Like most authors, her love affair with the written word started as a child with the books she read. Even today, she loves to read almost as much as she loves to write. Marianne’s favorite stories are the ones that transport her, that bring her to places and introduces her to characters that leave readers breathless…the ones that spark the fire of her imagination, allowing her to dream in the world of ‘what if?’ She’s always been a scribbler, and from the time she could write her name, Marianne has been making up stories. So it was no surprise to family and friends when she earned degrees in both Journalism and Fine Art, but after working in the trenches of Madison Avenue as a Graphic Artist, she decided to do what she loves most fulltime. Write.

Her dark paranormal romance, Blood Legacy, is the first book in her Legacy Series, and takes you from New York City to the Costa del la Luz in Spain, to foggy London and the romance of Rome. The story also takes you back in time 300 years to a place rife with conflict and brutality, bringing an historical edge to my vampires, their lives, a love that spanned the centuries and the search for absolution and redemption that carries death in its wake. Hunter’s Blood and Twice Cursed are books one and two in Marianne Morea’s contemporary shifter series, Cursed by Blood. The story is set on the east coast of the U.S., taking you from the rocky coast of Maine to the heart of New York City, the NYPD and the vampire underground. Revenge and the struggle for power all play a part in this urban fantasy suspense, where Weres and Vampires are forced to work together to solve the mystery of what’s tearing their veiled world apart from the inside out.

In the meantime Marianne is also a founding member as well as a former President of The Paranormal Romance Guild, a not-for-profit organization for readers and authors of the genre. She’s now a PRG Board Member and Co-Chair of the PRG Event/Marketing Team. She is still writing, and when not sitting ‘bichok’ (but in a chair hands on keyboard), she’s spending time with her husband and three kids, traveling to exciting, romantic places …for inspiration, of course! Who says dreams can’t come true?

Find Marianne and her books
Twice Cursed
Cursed by Blood #2

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 Psychic investigator, Lily Saburi is no stranger to the supernatural. Tough as nails, she’s a hunter in her own right, a once self-proclaimed vigilante that has joined forces with the man she once sought to kill, and now can’t live without. Sexy, Sean Leighton, Alpha of the Brethren of Weres. Their passion surpassed every obstacle set in front of them, yet in the wake of a mysterious virus threatening everyone they love, they are embroiled in an unforgiving scheme of political double dealing, hidden agendas and assassination, with Lily and Sean as primary targets. To stay together, they are forced apart. But treachery follows hard on Lily’s heels when she returns home, to find New York City bathed in a series of bloodbaths. Baffled, the police have no leads, so they call in their last line of defense to work the case. Lily.
Thrown together with homicide detective, Ryan Martinez, dangerous sparks fly as the two uncover the undead truth behind the killings. Long hidden secrets are revealed, as are truths too unbelievable to accept when Lily is kidnapped, and Sean and Ryan have to work together to find her.
Revenge and the struggle for power all play a part in this urban fantasy suspense, taking you from the rocky coast of Maine to the heart of New York City, the NYPD and the vampire underground, where Weres and Vampires are forced to work together to solve the mystery of what’s tearing their veiled world apart from the inside out.

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