Saturday, January 31, 2015

Review: The Dragon Conspiracy by Lisa Shearin

The Dragon Conspiracy
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Ace
SPI Files Book #2
ISBN:  0425266923
ISBN13: 9780425266922
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Publisher
After solving The Grendel Affair, the agents have another SPI File to investigate...

We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. We battle the real monsters of myth and legend, but this Halloween, we’re searching for diamonds…

A gala opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has attracted the upper crust of Manhattan—and thieves. A trio of vile harpies attacks the crowd and steals the stars of the exhibition: a colorful cluster of seven cursed diamonds known as the Dragon Eggs.
In the right mage’s hands, each stone can pack a magical wallop. Together they have the power to “cure” the supernaturals of the tristate area—but for many of those vampires and werewolves, that means turning into dust.

I’m Makenna Fraser, a seer for SPI. With the help of my partner, Ian, and the other agents, I have twenty-four hours to prevent total global panic, find the diamonds, and save the supernatural community. No biggie...

THE DRAGON CONSPIRACY continues the action, investigating and adventure that started with THE GRENDEL AFFAIR. I think you would benefit from starting with book 1 so that you can learn the characters and world of the SPI Files series.

I really like Mac, she isn't a tough girl, but she wants to be and is working hard to prove to her partner that she can be. I like how she fights for what she wants and doesn't give up just because something is hard. I was a little surprised by the love interest of book 2. I could have sworn I saw something sparking between Mac and Ian. Don't get me wrong, I kinda like the other guy, I just felt like I missed something which I might have. This is an Urban Fantasy so there really isn't any romance, but it seems like there might be in the next book. I like romance so I'm excited.

One of my favorite parts of this series is the supporting characters. We learn a little more about them in each book and they all add something 'more' to the story. One thing that kind of bothered me about THE DRAGON CONSPIRACY, or I should say writing, is that I sometimes couldn't tell who was talking. I had to go back more than a few times to re-read a few sentences because I thought someone else was talking when in reality it might have been Mac or vice versa. It was confusing. The story had a nice pace to it, and I was never able to guess what was really happening until it was revealed, I like a good reveal and I got that. Shearin does a good job of throwing in twists and turns when you least expect it. I will definitely continue reading with book 3.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

A Night Shift Sale

Join the Night Shift for a SALE!

 February 2 – 4, get Sanguinary for $.99 and Bound by Blood FREE from Amazon!

Night Shift Novel 1

Only fifty years left before vampires rule the world.

When Dallas police detective Cami Davis joined the city's vampire unit, she planned to use the job as a stepping-stone to a better position in the department.

But she didn't know then what she knows now: there's a silent war raging between humans and vampires, and the vampires are winning.

So with the help of a disaffected vampire and an ex-cop addict, Cami is going undercover, determined to solve a series of recent murders, discover a way to overthrow the local Sanguinary government, and, in the process, help win the war for the human race.

But can she maintain her own humanity in the process? Or will Cami find herself, along with the rest of the world, pulled under a darkness she cannot oppose?


Night Shift #2 ~ A Novella

Sometimes the monsters in the dark are real...

As a child, Lili Banta ignored her grandmother's cryptic warnings to avoid children outside their Filipino community in Houston. When many of those other children fell ill, Lili ignored the whispers in her community that a vampiric aswang walked among them.

Years later, Lili returns to Houston to work for the Quarantine Station of the Center for Disease Control—but she is plagued by dark, bloody dreams that consume her nights and haunt her days. When a strange illness attacks the city's children, Lili is called in to find its source, and maybe even a cure.

But in order to save the city, she must first acknowledge the sinister truth: A monster stalks the night—closer than she ever expected....


About the Author

Margo Bond Collins is the author of urban fantasy, contemporary romance, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Sanguinary, Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them—and sometimes fight them.


Connect with Margo

Twitter:  @MargoBondCollin

Goodreads Author Page:


Friday, January 30, 2015

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Savage Bytes by Sarah Mäkelä

Savage Bytes
Hacked Investigations #2
January 21, 2015
If they don’t work together, they may be torn apart...

Private investigator Hannah Franklin has a new partner, her lover and technomage, Ian Bradley. But they may be in over their heads when brought in by their friend from the hospital to quietly solve a case that baffles even the police. The victims are being murdered in a ritualistic fashion with their blood drained and organs removed.

When Ian's attention narrows solely to their work, he'll need to keep their relationship strong, or he could find himself repeating a painful past.

NYT & USA Today bestselling author Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author, but she’s written all over the romance spectrum with cyberpunk, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy...even a sweet contemporary romance!

A life-long paranormal fan, she still sleeps with a night-light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies (and Ghost Adventures), and plays computer games with her
husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.

Find Sarah and her books


Hannah Franklin froze in the doorway of Ian Bradley's weight room. Ian lay shirtless on the bench as he pressed the bar into the air over his muscular chest. With each rep he did, the muscles in his chest rippled deliciously. She licked her suddenly dry lips and cleared her throat.

His gaze caught hers, and he smiled. He rested the weight on the stand. "Hey, is everything okay?" He sat up and wiped his palms on his khaki cargo shorts.

"Yeah, we just received a call about a new case." She still found it hard to believe how many people had wanted to hire them after going against MAX Home Security. Sometimes, they actually had to turn people away. What a feeling.

Ian raised an eyebrow at her. "Tell me more. What is it about?"

"It's Leon. He wants to meet with us at St. Gregory's hospital in a little over an hour. He seemed pretty stressed." She leaned her shoulder against the doorframe, and a frown tugged at the corners of her lips.

Ian stood and then crossed the room to her. His hands cradled her neck, and he pulled her in for a warm kiss. His lips brushed hers, and she opened her mouth to him, allowing his tongue to stroke hers and fan the burning flames within her body.

Hannah gently pushed away after a moment. "I said we would be on our way." She raked her gaze over his firm, sweat-slick torso. "Besides, I think you need a break from working out."

Ian grinned and reached for his white towel. "I'll go hop in the shower real quick." He wiped off his face and hung the towel around his shoulders as he sauntered away.

Hannah's life had been a roller coaster after reuniting with Ian, her once ex-boyfriend. Now he was her partner in their private investigation company, Hacked Investigations, which specialized in technology-related crimes. The clientele so far had kept them busy, with common requests that involved backtracking various network intrusions to their point of origin and leaving the rest to the customers. Others required mundane tasks such as verifying the authenticity of gray-market implants and other upgrades not sold in broad daylight.

Up until recently, they'd been financially stable. The last two weeks had been slower, and their bills this month were a lot higher than expected. It didn't help that the silly gnome was as ravenous as ever.

She sighed and returned to Ian's small home office to retrieve her jacket. The weather outside was fine, but it could change so quickly, especially this time of year.

"Hey, if you're going out anyway, bring me back a bag of those chocolates I like! We can't all live on coffee, pasta, and CONDOMS, you know?" An obnoxious voice came from the kitchen before she had an opportunity to see the loud-mouthed gnome it belonged to.

"Nice to see you too, Bernard. Finished with the garden so soon?" Hannah forced a smile. "We're heading out to interview a client. Leon called, and we're going to see if we can help him," she said.

Bernard wore classic lederhosen and had a maniacal grin on his face. "Well, the garden can take care of itself for a while. So, why are you heading out to see that flamboyant rainbow-licking nurse? Unless, of course, he wants to trade make-up tips," Bernard said. A devious glint lit his eyes.

Hannah sighed. She could only take so much from the gnome today. Ignoring the other foul comments, she shrugged into her jacket and walked by him. Water sounded from the shower behind the bathroom door. She'd love to join Ian, but they'd be going nowhere fast if she did.

Instead, she sat in Ian's favorite recliner. A quick glance proved the gnome had vanished, giving her a moment's peace.

During their struggle against MAX Home Security, Leon had played a crucial role in getting past security guards and helping them talk with Senator Kendall, who cleared their names after the police had suspected them of attacking the senator. Leon lost his boyfriend, Rich Granger, due to MAX's overeager employee termination program, and he'd been more than willing to help them take MAX Home Security down.

The lack of background noise alerted her to the fact Ian was done in the shower and would be ready to go soon. She glanced in the mirror to reassure herself that she looked professional enough, and then she crossed the room to her safety box for her gun and a clip of ammo. The streets were more dangerous than ever now that MAX Home Security had restrictions placed on them by the legal system. Despite their corruption, MAX held low-level criminals under better control than what the police were capable of.

Ian entered the doorway, dressed in jeans and a polo shirt that revealed enough of his build to make her gaze linger over his toned body.

"Shall we?"
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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Lion’s Share by Rachel Vincent

Lion's Share
Wildcats #1
Publication date: February 23rd 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal

Abby Wade has a dangerous secret.

Two months ago, she disobeyed an order, but instead of kicking her out of the Pride, Jace offered her a job. Since then, she’s been battling a completely inappropriate crush on the young, hot Alpha. But when accepting his job offer seems like the only way to keep her skeletons safely in their closet, Abby doesn’t hesitate.

Jace Hammond has a big problem.

A rogue is slaughtering humans in his territory, and he must eliminate the threat before the entire shifter species is exposed. There could not be a worse time for Abby to accept a job he only offered as a boost to her confidence. Abby is smart, beautiful, and resilient—more than enough to distract any man from the mission. Unfortunately, she may just be the worst enforcer ever to hold the title.

As they hunt the killer, Abby’s secret becomes a threat to Jace’s authority and to her own life. But the real danger is the grip she has on his twice-shy heart.

Rachel Vincent is the author of the Shifters series and the Unbound series for adults, as well as the Soul Screamers series for teens.

Rachel's next young adult book is THE STARS NEVER RISE, coming from Delacorte in June of 2015, and her new series for adults will debut with MENAGERIE, coming from Mira books in the fall of 2015

Rachel Vincent is a former English teacher and an eager champion of the Oxford comma. She shares her home in Oklahoma with two cats, two teenagers, and her husband, who's been her # 1 fan from the start. Rachel is older than she looks and younger than she feels, and she remains convinced that writing about the things that scare her is the cheapest form of therapy--but social media is a close second.

Find Rachel and her books

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Review: Her Sexy Sentinel by Jenn Burke

Her Sexy Sentinel
Author: Jenn Burke
Release Date: January 26, 2015
Publisher: Entangled: Covet
ISBN: 1633751937
ISBN13: 9781633751934
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: Publisher
The most dangerous thing they could do is fall in love...

Callie Noble fled to Ottawa to escape danger. But she is far from safe. Overwhelmed by a strange new power she can't control, Callie is terrified and painfully incapacitated. Her only hope is to seek the help of the one man who broke her heart...

Derrick Llewellyn is one of the Sentinels charged with the protection of the city's mysterious secret. Seeing Callie again is a shock enough, but the electricity between them is stronger than ever. Still, loving another marked individual is forbidden, and Callie needs his help—not romantic complications.

But there are forces at work in the city, and Callie finds herself inexorably drawn into a world filled with danger and untold magics. A world where loving Derrick isn't just's the surest way to drive them both mad.

Although the storyline was enjoyable, I had a hard time connecting to the main characters. Callie knows nothing of magic and when something crazy happens she calls Derrick thinking he would help her, he of course does. They have a history and their last meeting didn't end well so there's tension. I found both of them to be kind of frustrating while they worked with their feelings as well as their new relationship towards each other in a business sense. The chemistry was there, I just didn't fully fall into their relationship.

The story had a decent flow to it, It was easy to understand and I didn't see a lot of things coming, which is always nice. I'm not sure if I would read another book if this was part of a series. It would have to be a pretty awesome characters to get me to pick it up, I do have someone in mind so I will keep an eye out.

I gave it 3/5 stars

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

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Interview & Giveaway: The Dragon Conspiracy by Lisa Shearin

UFI welcomes Author Lisa Shearin. Thanks for Joining us!!

What did you like to read when you were growing up?? 

I read fairy tales and mythological stories. For mysteries, all we had was Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. And for romance for teens, Victoria Holt was almost the only game in town. It was the literary equivalent of “back in my day, I had to walk to school uphill in two feet of snow.” There was no such thing as YA. If I’d had the abundance of paranormal thrillers and romance that there is now, I’d have never have left my room. I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula when I was in the 4th grade. It was the only vampire book that there was. I have a teenage niece, and when I take her to a bookstore, I tell her that she’s living in the Golden Age.

Has your taste in books changed over the years?? 

I write urban fantasy, but I read mostly paranormal thrillers. I absolutely adore James Rollins, David Golemon, Greig Beck, and Jeremy Robinson. And I’m a huge fan of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s Agent Pendergast series.

Is there a book being released in 2015 that you’re looking forward to? 

James Rollins has the third book in his Order of the Sanguines series, Blood Infernal, coming out. And David Golemon has the latest Event Group thriller, The Mountain, in August.

How would you pitch your SPI Files Series to someone who has not heard of it before? 

It’s like Men In Black except with supernatural creatures rather than space aliens.

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

It’s set in the present time, and at the moment, in New York. I have plans in future books for Mac & Company to need to do some traveling. In The SPI Files’ world, dimensions are all that separate us from the realms of elves, goblins, creatures out of fairy tales. Magic exists along side of science, but it and the creatures who wield it are unknown to the majority of humans. To avoid a global panic, it’s the job of SPI agents to keep it that way.

Do you have a favorite scene in The Dragon Conspiracy

Yasha stepped down into the boat, tipping it sharply to one side.

In addition to hairier and taller, the Russian had become heavier. 

“No werewolves,” Rake said flatly. 

“He’s on our side,” Ian said. 

“Define our.” 

Yasha’s eyes were now bright gold and were boring into the goblin, like he was wondering what side dish would go best with him. 

I hated to admit it but Rake might have a point; it’d be counterproductive to have our werewolf car driver eat our goblin boat captain. 

Our as in he’s going with us.” The intensity of Ian’s green eyes easily matched Yasha’s I-could-go-moon-crazy-any-moment peepers. “He’s ninety-six . . . and he’s a friend.” 

In other words, the man/wolf is going to die in a little over an hour if we don’t stop the Dragon Eggs from being activated at midnight. Don’t be a heartless putz; give him a chance to save thousands of lives—and his own. 

Rake sighed and regarded Yasha solemnly. “If he goes fully wolf on my boat, he leaves.” 

Ian chuckled darkly. “If he goes wolf on your boat, you’re welcome to tell him.” 

Rake Danescu’s dark eyes flashed in the dim light of the boat’s dash lights. “There will be no telling. I have not survived so much for this long to be torn apart by an overgrown barbarian mongrel.” 

Yasha growled, Ian came out of his seat, and Rake took one hand off the wheel. It was glowing. 

“Boys.” I said it like I’d heard my grandma say it many times—long, drawn out, and low with warning. Grandma Fraser had always been ready and willing to back up that word with a switch, the business end of a broom, or the flat of a cast-iron skillet. Grandma said that a skillet’s good for three things: frying chicken, baking corn bread, and going upside an obstinate man’s head. 

I didn’t have a switch, broom, or skillet. I only had an appeal to their good sense; hopefully at least one of them still had some. My money was on the werewolf. 

“Let’s see, we’re going to an island with a criminal mastermind, a gorgon, harpies with hand grenades, and who the hell knows what else? We need everyone on this boat, especially the werewolf. I can vouch for him,” I told Rake. “Unless you act like a royal jackass, he won’t rip your face off.” 

I would have asked Yasha to actually promise Rake he wouldn’t rip his face off, but Yasha’s muzzle had grown a little long for small talk. 

Do you and Makenna share any similarities? 

We’re both Southern girls from small towns in North Carolina. And while we wouldn’t mind being kickass, we’ve accepted that we’re not. ; )

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

It’s true what they say that villains have more fun. I’ve always loved my villains. In my Raine Benares series, I absolutely adored writing Sarad Nukpana. Yes, he’s evil, but he has so much fun doing it. I also love my goblins and other characters whose moral leanings are more toward the grey end of the spectrum.

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

I’m writing three books this year, so 2015 is going to be busy, but in the best possible way. First is the third SPI Files book, The Brimstone Deception, which I’m writing now. When that is finished on March 1, I’ll be returning for a while to the world of Raine Benares with two more books: the first will be a followup to the events of the sixth Raine book, All Spell Breaks Loose. For Raine, there’s only one thing scarier than taking on the world’s top assassins—meeting her future in-laws. Yep, Raine and Mychael finally get married. Naturally, events aren’t going to go without a hitch. Let’s let Raine tell you herself; she does it better than I could. ; )

With the destruction of the Saghred and a new (and non-psychotic) king on the goblin throne, an elf/goblin peace treaty is being negotiated on the neutral ground of the Isle of Mid. For as long as history has been written down, elves have hated goblins and goblins have despised elves, with humans just trying not to get caught in the middle. 

Over a thousand years of hate isn’t going to go away overnight just because some royals get together and sign a piece of paper. Ink scratched on parchment isn’t a guarantee of anything, not even good penmanship. When the goblin ambassador is found with an elf dagger sticking out of him, soon followed by an elven noble sporting goblin steel, there’s way too many suspects and far too few clues.      

As a seeker and new Guardian, my job is to find the assassins before the rising body count derails the negotiations and the assassins’ victims become merely the first deaths in the next racial war. 

As a bride-to-be, my job is to introduce my pirate family to my Guardian fiance’s aristocratic parents without having a panic attack. In addition, I have to ignore that my pirate cousin Phaelan and my former-almost boyfriend and goblin royal emissary Tam are in charge of the bachelor party. Last, but certainly not least, I have to foil the attempts of Tam’s spellsinger and exotic dancer son Talon from showing up as the entertainment at my bachelorette party.   

And I thought assassins were going to be my biggest challenge. 

After that book is finished in the early fall, I’ll be writing my first book from a man’s POV. My readers have been asking for it, and I’m going to deliver. It will be the first book in a Tamnais Nathrach series. My goblins are tall, dark, and sexy, and their fangs aren’t for decorative use only. Tam is a fan favorite (and one of mine), so we’ll be going to the goblin court. Here’s Tam to tell you about it:

My name is Tamnais Nathrach. In my past, I was the chief shaman and magical enforcer for the goblin queen Glicara Mal’Salin. I had the job for five years, apparently setting some sort of Mal’Salin dynasty record. The lifespan of a chief shaman tends to get cut short. I left that life behind—along with the highly addictive black magic I had used—and became a businessman, owning a pair of nightclubs and gambling parlors in cities far from the goblin court. But my past didn’t go anywhere; it was waiting for me. Patient. Confident. Knowing that I would return. Not caring that it wasn’t by choice. Personal experience has taught me that the past cares for nothing except spotting its next chance to bite you in the ass. My posterior now sports more than its fair share of teeth marks.

The king I now protect and serve, Chigaru Mal’Salin, has proclaimed me his heir until he and his queen, Mirabai, have their first child. Chigaru didn’t give me the title of prince. He wisely took prudent—and well-founded—precautions. Some called it paranoia; I called it self-preservation. Precautions like not giving one of his nobles, regardless of how trusted, a title that eventually will have to be given back. The children of Chigaru and Mirabai will be princes and princesses. I will not. The king need not worry about me returning what was never mine. I don’t want a title; but if I am to be his heir, even temporarily, I have to have a title higher than any other at court. An annoyance? To say the least. The reasons are political. And complicated. It seems my present is conspiring with my past to make my life as uncomfortable as possible. They have succeeded. Admirably. 

Daily life in the goblin court consists of conspiracies on top of plots, woven together with ruthless ambition. Treachery is a full-contact sport, and fatalities are merely a way to rearrange the game board in your favor. I expected attempts on the king and queen’s lives—and mine. The nobles of the goblin court haven’t been a disappointment. They more than lived up to my expectations, and a few of the more creative efforts even earned my admiration.   

Despite my every precaution, Chigaru and Mirabai have been poisoned. A healer managed to hold off death until myself and a pitifully small number of mages I still trust put the royal couple in stasis, keeping them barely alive until an antidote is found. 

Everyone is a suspect. One name would have been at the top of my list, except he’s dead. Though that’s never stopped him before, and my last view of him was being carried, screaming, into the Lower Hells by a demon yours truly summoned. Screaming, but still very much alive. However, there were ample rotten apples sharing Sarad Nukpana’s tree. His absence created a void that many are eager to fill—beginning with the more powerful members of the Khrynsani, an ancient goblin secret society and military order. The Khrynsani, with Sarad as their leader, nearly succeeded at wiping out the Mal’Salin dynasty and seizing the goblin throne. Chigaru disbanded the Khyrnsani and imprisoned those we could catch. We did not get them all. The most dangerous enemy is one who has nothing left to lose. 

There are a few goblins who I can trust, most notably my old teachers, Kesyn Badru and A’Zahra Nuru, whose efforts to cure me of my black magic addiction at least allow me to consider myself rehabilitated. I call on my friends, the Guardian paladin Mychael Eiliesor and new Guardian and seeker Raine Benares. There has yet to be a situation dire enough that we can’t overcome. Of course, there’s a first time for everything.    

To find the antidote, I have to make a deal with a devil from my past, a past that, as a practitioner of black magic, nearly cost me my immortal soul. I’ve always been a gambler and never minded high stakes. When I win—and I always have—the payout is worth it. But if I lose, I’ll spend eternity paying . . . and paying . . . and paying.    

I’ll be starting a monthly newsletter to keep readers up-to-date with publication dates, writing progress, contests, and more. Anyone who would like to be added to the distribution list, just send me an email at with your name and email address, and I’ll sign you up.

Contrary to popular belief, most authors do have day jobs just like everyone else. Lisa’s happily freelancing for an advertising agency as an editor and proofreader. In her previous corporate life, she’s been a magazine editor, advertising copywriter, and writer of corporate marketing materials of every description.

Lisa is the national bestselling author of The Raine Benares novels, a series of six comedic fantasy adventures. Her second series—The SPI Files—is an urban fantasy that’s been described as Stephanie Plum meets Men in Black.

Lisa is a voracious collector of fountain pens both vintage and modern. She lives on a small farm in North Carolina with her husband, three spoiled-rotten retired racing greyhounds, and enough woodland creatures to fill a Disney movie.

Find Lisa and her books

The Dragon Conspiracy
SPI Files #2
 After solving The Grendel Affair, the agents have another SPI File to investigate...

We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. We battle the real monsters of myth and legend, but this Halloween, we’re searching for diamonds…

A gala opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has attracted the upper crust of Manhattan—and thieves. A trio of vile harpies attacks the crowd and steals the stars of the exhibition: a colorful cluster of seven cursed diamonds known as the Dragon Eggs.
In the right mage’s hands, each stone can pack a magical wallop. Together they have the power to “cure” the supernaturals of the tristate area—but for many of those vampires and werewolves, that means turning into dust.

I’m Makenna Fraser, a seer for SPI. With the help of my partner, Ian, and the other agents, I have twenty-four hours to prevent total global panic, find the diamonds, and save the supernatural community. No biggie...

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Launch Day Blitz: Blind Faith by Rebecca Zanetti

UFI welcomes Author Rebecca Zanetti. Thanks for Joining us!!

Top 5 Urban Fantasy Female Characters
A big thanks to Urban Fantasy Investigations for having me over to play today! I love tough female characters, and I love smart female characters even more. Add those two elements, and you have a pretty awesome combination. So, I was asked to name my top five urban fantasy female characters, and I had to stop and take a moment to narrow the list to five. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. I mean, how can you not love her? She sacrifices and takes on the bad guys for her family, and she’s smart. I like smart.

2. Eowyn, Lady of Rohan – Lord of the Rings. I like that’s she’s brave, tough, and somehow graceful all at once.

3. Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood. Sookie is one of a kind, and while she’s sweet and southern, that girl has bodies buried, now doesn’t she?

4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I loved Buffy. Loved that she picked the bad boy every time, that she tried to remain true to who she was, even with the prophesies, and still let herself grow throughout the series.

5. River Tam from Firefly.  She’s young, she’s wounded, and she’s a weapon.  Even though that, and trying to save herself, she tries to be human and one of the Firefly family.

New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner - only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She is a member of RWA, has won awards for her works throughout the industry, and has a journalism degree with a poly sci emphasis from Pepperdine University as well as a Juris Doctorate from the University of Idaho.

Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day-or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.

 Find Rebecca and her books

Blind Faith
Sin Brothers #3
Amazon B&N BAM IndieBound iBooks
A betrayal he couldn't forget . . .

For Nate Dean, love is a four-letter word. As part of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be ruthless soldiers with an expiration date. They were loyal only to one another . . . until Nate laid eyes on the woman who stole his heart and blew his world apart. Now, years later, his family is still paying the price for his mistake. But as time runs out, there's only one person who can save his family: the very woman Nate swore he'd never trust again.

A love she couldn't deny . . .

The moment Audrey Madison spies Nate across a crowded ballroom, she can barely breathe. He's just as undeniably sexy as she remembers, yet there's an edge to him now that's as irresistible as it is dangerous. When he asks for her help, Audrey can't refuse. But she has secrets of her own-secrets that, if Nate ever discovers them, may cost them both their lives . . .

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New Releases: 1/25-1/31

Mon. Jan. 26th

Tue. Jan. 27th

 Chaos (Fates #2) by Lanie Bross

Happy Reading!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Interview & Giveaway: Forged in Fire by Juliette Cross

UFI welcomes Author Juliette Cross. 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 a high school English teacher for seventeen years and loved every minute of it. I still miss engaging with my students on classic literature and how it reflects our world today. I had the fortune to teach some amazing kids and still keep in touch with them.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time? 

My husband and I are Netflix addicts. Seriously. We should be on a 12-step program. Any time we can squeeze in time and the kids are doing their own thing, we’re hunkered down with some red wine watching Peaky Blinders, House of Cards, Ripper Street, etc. Our latest favorite is Marco Polo.

What is your Favorite part of writing?

The very beginning and the very end of the editing process. I love that time where the story and characters are percolating in my mind and the thrill of starting that new WIP. And then after all the arduous work of the editing process is complete and I send back my galley copy to the editor. Those moments are both my favorite.

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

Not really. When I write in the mornings, which tends to be every weekday, I just have to rise super early before the kids and get right to work. When I’m writing on the weekends, I need my headphones and Pandora to block out the insanity that is my house. Four kids—ranging from 18 to 4—tend to make a bit of noise.

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

Ahh, this is an easy one. Hands down, Nalini Singh’s Guildhunter and Psy-Changeling series are my favorites. Also, Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series is the ultimate. I’m DYING to read BURNED just around the corner.

How would you pitch Forged in Fire to someone who has not heard of it before? 

Forged in Fire is a cross between Constantine and Buffy the Vampire Slayer where a sexy-as-sin demon hunter becomes guardian to a snarky heroine who’s being hunted by every demon in the underworld, including a demon prince with a fancy for violent sexual

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

Set in present day New Orleans, our heroine Genevieve discovers there is a host of demons living among humankind, tempting them toward sin, and even possessing them—body and soul. They are called the Flamma of Dark. It is the duty of the Dominus Daemonum—Flamma of Light—to rein in all demons breaking the rules on earth and expel them back to hell. A Vessel holds a special place in this world with the ability to awaken extraordinary power, but only if she can withstand the temptation of a demon prince. So far, no Vessel alive has been able to do so.

Do you have a favorite scene in Forged in Fire

Hmmm…probably the first kiss. Genevieve is under the misconception that her attraction to Jude is one-way only. Jude proves her wrong in an intense, bone-melting display of his feelings.

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

This is SO tough. Since I’m a rule-bender, I’m going to give you my top three:
  • Hardest AND Favorite—Jude Delacroix (Forged in Fire)—His dark and brooding demeanor and haunted past was inspired by Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre), my first book boyfriend from way back when.
  • Favorite—Kol Moonring (Waking the Dragon)—Physically and mentally stronger than most men, his forthright honesty sets him apart from the game-players and little boys of the world.
  • Favorite—Moira Cade (Waking the Dragon)—Her courage despite the threats to her own life in order to seek justice raises her to noble and admirable heights. 

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

For 2015, I have five more releases after Forged in Fire:
  • Windburn (Feb)
  • Sealed in Sin (April)
  • Waking the Dragon (June)
  • Bound in Black (July)
  • Nightbloom (September)
Since most of these are nearly through the production process, my next WIP will be Hunting the Witch, book two in the upcoming Vale of Stars series, and I’m dying to get started.

Thank you so much for having me today, UF Investigations! It’s always a pleasure to be here. (

Juliette calls lush, moss-laden Louisiana home where the landscape curls into her imagination, creating mystical settings for her stories. She has a B.A. in creative writing from Louisiana State University, a M.Ed. in gifted education, and was privileged to study under the award-winning author Ernest J. Gaines in grad school. Her love of mythology, legends, and art serve as constant inspiration for her works. From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance--brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes. Even then, she not only longed to read more novels set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own.

Find Juliette and her books

Forged in Fire
The Vessel Trilogy #1
Available at Amazon BN Kobo
 She never knew this demon world existed. Now she just wants to survive it.

Genevieve Drake never needed a man to come to her rescue. Not until the night of her twentieth birthday, when some dude nearly chokes her to death in an alley behind a New Orleans Goth club. And a hot stranger splits the guy in half, rips a monster from inside, and incinerates it into ash.

The hunky rescuer? Jude Delacroix—Dominus Daemonum, Master of Demons, now her guardian, whether she likes it or not. But she’s seriously beginning to like it.

Her would-be murderer turns out to be only the first of many minions of the demon prince, Danté, who has all kinds of lascivious and sadistic plans. Which means when the formidably beautiful Jude offers his protection, Genevieve has no problem accepting it.

For Jude and his fellow demon hunters tell her she is a Vessel, one who is born to serve the Light, but can be corrupted into a weapon of darkness. And to survive, she must trust a man whose unearthly eyes promise heaven…but whose powers unleash hell.
Warning: Contains a dark and brooding demon hunter who harbors even darker secrets, a snarky heroine who’s being hunted by every demon in the underworld, and a sadistic demon prince with a fancy for violent sexual encounters. 


I’d parked illegally on the street, knowing full well I’d probably have a ticket on the windshield when I returned. Campus cops were like sharks in bloody waters, sniffing out offenders with notorious stealth. You never saw them but sure as hell felt bitten when they got you. Dreading to see that I’d been attacked by one of these predators, I rounded the corner, and my heart stopped.

Propped beautifully against my silver 350ZX was my rescuer, R-and-B from last night. Faded jeans fit snugly on his hips, and a gray T-shirt accentuated a perfect upper body. His black hair fell just right across lovely dark eyes. With casually crossed arms, he watched me approach.

Heart, please stop pounding that way before he notices.

This was no accident. He’d found me somehow. Should I be afraid? He didn’t look dangerous. Well, not in a serial-killer sort of way. Hell, he looked good enough to eat. Totally faking bravado, I stopped in front of him with one hand on my waist.

“Are you stalking me?”

He didn’t answer, eyeing me from bottom to top. His gaze paused at my throat, then finally made its way to my eyes. Still mute. I hated awkward silences.

“Didn’t your mother ever teach you it’s not polite to stare?”

That seemed to jar him a bit. He straightened, his expression grim at best.

“I apologize. I was—”

“Checking me out. Yeah, I got that loud and clear.”

Damn, I was brave. He cleared his throat, hiding a smile now.

“I was going to say, examining you.” He gestured to my neck.

“Examining? Why? Are you a doctor?”

“Of sorts.”

“What sort of sort?”

“I have a doctorate.”

No way. He seemed too young to have a PhD.

“A doctorate in what?” I asked skeptically.


“Your expertise?” I asked, noting the rather sarcastic lilt in my voice. He didn’t bat an eye.

“My thesis was on how weapons reflect the savagery and sophistication of a culture.”

That accent again. Definitely European. But what country?

“Well, a PhD in weaponry may give you some idea how to inflict injuries, but it doesn’t qualify you to examine and diagnose them.”


Ha! One point for me.

“So…” I let the word hang. “How could you possibly have a PhD in anything at your age?”

“I’m older than I appear.”

A slow, slow devastating smile. A fluttering in my stomach felt like a frantic flock of blind birds. Re-lax, Gen. Thank God he spoke, because for the moment, my lips had completely forgotten how to form words.

“I simply wanted to determine whether you’d recovered from last night’s attack,” he said, pushing off my car and coming closer.

Oh no. He was going to touch me. Genevieve Elizabeth Drake, do NOT faint. He reached out and gently folded back my hoodie. He lifted my chin and angled it so that he could see the marks I knew were purpled along the left side. Why was I letting this stranger get so close? Even if he was picture-book gorgeous. I pushed his hand away and stepped around him to my car.

“I’m fine,” I mumbled, pulling the keys from the front pocket of my backpack. “What I want to know is how you knew where to find me. And why are you following me? It’s a bit creepy, even if you did save my life last night.”

We’d now switched places. I leaned back against my car. He stood there, examining me again, thumbs hooked in the front pockets of those yummy jeans.

“Yesterday was your twentieth birthday, wasn’t it?”

Okay. Double creepy.

“How did you know?”

My question confirmed whatever idea he had in his head. I could see it in the nod and drop of his perfect cleft chin.

Two girls flitted by, engrossed in a conversation. One nudged the other when they caught sight of him, ogling shamelessly. They giggled. Couldn’t blame them, but it pissed me off for some reason. R-and-B gave them no real notice, turning back to me.

“I think we should go somewhere private to talk.”

Said the creepy man to the little girl with a lollipop and a white van waiting around the corner.

“Um, I don’t think so.” I crossed my arms. “I don’t know you. And no matter what you did for me last night, at this point, I don’t trust you.”

He shifted weight to his other leg. “As you wish. We’ll talk here.”

“Not that I’m ungrateful, but why were you following me last night? Into the alley?”

“I wasn’t following you. I was following the demon.”

“Fair enough. How did you know it was my birthday?”

“Last night, I wondered but thought it impossible. I had not thought to meet another like you in all my time as a…” He paused, glancing around and lowering his voice. “As a Dominus Daemonum.”

I shook my head. “Okay, hold up. Met one what before? And what the hell is a dominus da-whatever-you-said?”

Dark enchanting eyes kept me still, even with my saucy attitude. A face chiseled in stone regarded me with care. I would never admit it, but I was afraid to move. Something in those almost-black depths warned me what he spoke of now would change my life forever. What’s more, I knew those words. They were Latin. But the translation in my head didn’t make sense.

“The what is a Vessel,” he finally said. “And a Dominus Daemonum is a Master of Demons.”

“Do you mean like a…a demon hunter?”

He nodded. No smile.

“That is what I am,” he said.

“And what’s a Vessel?”

“That is what you are.”
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Week in Review: 1/18-1/24

Books Received for Review

- The Apollo Academy by Kimberly P. Chase- eARC- NetGalley

- Changing Nature by April White- eCopy- Author

- Heir of the Dog by Hailey Edwards-eARC- Author

Books I've Read

Bind the Soul by Annette Marie
Changing Nature by April White

Reviews Posted

New World Order by S.M. McEachern
White Knight by Kelly Meade


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

* Tuesday- Interview & Giveaway for Grave Vengeance by Lori Sjoberg

* Thursday- Giveaway for Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers

* Friday- Interview for Sugar Dust: Slippers and Chains by Raven ShadowHawk


* 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.