Friday, April 29, 2016

Review: Artificial by Jadah McCoy

Author: Jadah McCoy
Release Date: April 4, 2016
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
ISBN13:  9781620074930
Genre: Science Fiction
Review Copy Source: NetGalley
She struggles to feel human.

In 2256, the only remnants of civilization on Earth’s first colonized planet, Kepler, are the plant-covered buildings and the nocturnal, genetically spliced bug-people nesting within them: the Cull. During the day, Syl leaves her home in the sewers beneath Elite City to scavenge for food, but at night the Cull come looking for a meal of their own. Syl thought gene splicing died with the Android War a century ago. She thought the bugs could be exterminated, Elite city rebuilt, and the population replenished. She’s wrong.

Whoever engineered the Cull isn’t done playing God. Syl is abducted and tortured in horrific experiments which result in her own DNA being spliced, slowly turning her into one of the bugs. Now she must find a cure and stop the person responsible before every remaining man, woman, and child on Kepler is transformed into the abomination they fear.

He struggles not to.

For Bastion, being an android in the sex industry isn’t so bad. Clubbing beneath the streets of New Elite by day and seducing the rich by night isn’t an altogether undesirable occupation. But every day a new android cadaver appears in the slum gutters, and each caved in metal skull and heap of mangled wires whittles away at him.

Glitches—androids with empathy—are being murdered, their models discontinued and strung up as a warning. Show emotion, you die. Good thing Bastion can keep a secret, or he would be the next body lining the street.

He can almost live with hiding his emotions. That is, until a girl shows up in the slums—a human girl, who claims she was an experiment. And in New Elite, being a human is even worse than being a Glitch. Now Bastion must help the girl escape before he becomes victim to his too-human emotions, one way or another.

I was very skeptical of the blurb for ARTIFICIAL and I actually almost passed it up on NetGalley, SO glad I didn't because it was an enjoyable, unique read with plenty of action and a great cast of characters.

One thing I learned quickly about Syl is that she is loyal, but bored with the life she is living. After an unfortunate series of events leads her to run from her home in the sewers she is taken away and soon realizes that her life will never be the same. Bastian is an android who works in the sex industry in New Elite. We learn about some of the hidden things he supports when he happens upon a human girl that looks like she's in need of saving. Little does he know, his life will never be the same.

I liked both of our main characters. Syl had a tough personality with a bit of fire mixed in. She has no trouble expressing what she's feeling or sticking up for what she thinks is right. Bastian was a bit reserved, but cares deeply about things he shouldn't being an android. I thought both characters worked well together and there was a definitely a spark, but the romance wasn't really a typical romance. I would like to see how it develops more in the next book though.

I really enjoyed ARTIFICIAL. The world was very unique and well built. The storyline was full of danger and suspense and the ending really threw me through a loop and made me want to read the next book in the series. I have no clue when book two will be available, but it will be on my wishlist as soon as I do.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Review: Down the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

Down with the Shine
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN:   0062356046
ISBN13: 9780062356048
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Edelweiss
There's a reason they say "be careful what you wish for." Just ask the girl who wished to be thinner and ended up smaller than Thumbelina, or the boy who asked for "balls of steel" and got them-literally. And never wish for your party to go on forever. Not unless you want your guests to be struck down by debilitating pain if they try to leave.

These are things Lennie only learns when it's too late-after she brings some of her uncles' moonshine to a party and toasts to dozens of wishes, including a big wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was abducted and murdered six months ago.

Lennie didn't mean to cause so much chaos. She always thought her uncles' moonshine toast was just a tradition. And when they talked about carrying on their "important family legacy," she thought they meant good old-fashioned bootlegging.

As it turns out, they meant granting wishes. And Lennie has just granted more in one night than her uncles would grant in a year.

Now she has to find a way to undo the damage. But once granted, a wish can't be unmade...

I wasn't sure about DOWN THE SHINE when I decided to give it a try, but it ended up being a neat and unique story.

I really enjoyed the way that Lennie's magic worked. On top of her neat gift, Lennie was an interesting character and I found her pretty humorous. Lennie's Uncles really brought some more fun to the story. They are pretty crazy, but n a fun way. I enjoyed the overall storyline while Lennie learns how important it is to be careful what you wish for.

So why the 3 star rating? There was a LOT of weird going on. There is some cool mixed in, but there is just too many things that were way out there that made me roll my eyes or make a 'you've got to be kidding me' expression. There was some really odd dialogue is some situations that really didn't need to be in the story. The relationship between Lennie and Smith just didn't do anything for me. There was a lot of on again, off again and just not enough spark. 

All in all though, it was a neat read and I'm glad I gave it a shot.

I gave it 3 /5 stars

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

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Review: Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Release Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN:  006238094X
ISBN13: 9780062380944
Genre: Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Edelweiss
The first in a thrilling new four-book fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima, set in the same world as her beloved Seven Realms series, a generation later.

Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?

Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told that the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.

Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.

I really wanted to love FLAMECASTER, but really only liked it.

What I liked about FLAMECASTER: I enjoyed the fantasy of the story. There were dragons, wizards, healers, a dragon hybrid?—I think we will find out more about that in a later book. I liked most of the characters. They still had some mystery to them to be solved in a future book, but they had some good development in FLAMECASTER and I enjoyed following them. I enjoyed the world. I had no problem picturing the places visited thanks to the world building.

What I didn't like about FLAMECASTER: There were too many POVs. I would connect with one mind and then be thrust into another right when things were getting interesting. Too many changes. The story got a bit boring and slow in many spots and I found myself skimming to get to the good stuff. I think some of the skimming and boring parts came from not loving all the characters whose POVs were included. There is some MAJOR insta-love going on. If that wasn't bad enough there is some weird mystical like connection between them that really wasn't explained that well.

So the big question is, will I read the next book? I honestly don't know. I don't think I will search it out, but if it happens to fall into my lap for review I think I might give it a try.

I gave it 3/5 stars

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Starr Valentine by Wende Dikec

UFI welcomes Author Wende Dikec. Thanks for Joining us!!

A great story always starts with two words.

What if?

People have often asked me how I came up with the story for my newest book, STARR VALENTINE. The answer starts with a warm, spring day and that most important question…what if?

Tennis season had just started for the boys’ team, and I was standing around, waiting for my son’s practice to end. I noticed a woman standing nearby with two girls by her side. I didn’t know her, but she caught my attention because she was remarkable. She had on brightly colored clothing in several contrasting patterns, a head full of curly hair divided into what looked like random ponytails, and a self-confidence that exuded itself in her booming voice and glowing, happy face.

She looked very different from the other mothers, in their yoga pants, designer t-shirts, and color-coordinated tennis shoes. Even the travel mugs they had clutched in their perfectly manicured fingers matched their outfits, but this woman didn’t match. She also didn’t quite fit.

Her clothing was tight, accentuating her generous figure. She didn’t have a tiny butt or toned arms or a flat tummy, but she didn’t seem to care. She loved the way she looked, and seemed to celebrate that fact with every article of her clothing, with every movement of her body.

Next to her stood a young girl who looked just like her, the same colorful clothing, wild hair, and extremely curvy shape. She was smiling, just like her mother, the spring sunshine kissing her face as she lifted it to the sky. They both looked so happy, so completely at ease. And then I noticed the other member of their little trio, a girl shifting uncomfortably from foot to foot as she eased away from the other two. I could feel her embarrassment, a palpable thing, as if she wanted to physically separate herself from them. She had on a very plain navy blue skirt. A white t-shirt. Straight, brown hair. A pretty girl, she looked very…normal next to the other two.

And then I heard the whisper of a story start to swirl around inside my brain. What if?

What if I was looking at a family? What if a mother had two daughters, one who looked just like her and one who was very different? What if the “different” daughter was pretty, normal, and popular, and felt ashamed of her mother and her older sister?

I lived overseas for six years of my life, and during that time, I discovered something interesting. Beauty is something open to interpretation. In Japan the nape of a woman’s neck is considered to be erotic, which is why geishas allow the back of their kimonos to gape, revealing a tantalizing glimpse of skin. It’s the equivalent of a show of cleavage in western culture.

After Japan, I travelled to Turkey and married my Turkish husband. Although Japan and Turkey share a linguistic connection (both are Ural Altay languages and have similar grammatical structures), culturally they are extreme opposites. The idea of beauty is very different in Turkey, too. Although women in Turkey don’t walk around in belly dancing costumes (they dress like everyone else in Europe), this old photo of the legendary belly dancer Princess Banu, does demonstrate one thing. Turks like a woman with curves.

In China small feet have always been coveted. In North Africa the ideal bride has a “bottom as big as the wedding table”. In some tribes in Burma and Thailand, long necks are beautiful, and women create this effect by wearing brass rings starting at age six. Rings are added every year until eventually their necks are incredibly long.

After thinking about all the different forms of beauty I’d seen around the world, I realized that our rather narrow standard in the States put a great deal of pressure on young girls. They are faced with impossible standards, and think that if they don’t fit within certain narrow parameters, they aren’t good enough.

What a sad, sad thing.

And so I wrote Starr Valentine, the story of a beautiful girl who finds out her parents are from another planet. When she moves there, she discovers the standard of beauty is different, and she isn’t pretty anymore.

What if that happened to you? What if you had to accept the way you looked, flaws and all? What if you were able to raise your face to the sun and smile, happy with your body and happy in your skin?

That would be beautiful indeed.

Wende Dikec has spent her life traveling the world, and collecting stories wherever she visited. She writes in several romance genres, and her books are quirky, light, and fun. Fluent in several languages and married to a man from Istanbul, Wende is a trekkie, a book hoarder, master of the Nespresso machine, and mother of three boys. A puppy named Capone is the most recent addition to her family, and she blogs about him as a way of maintaining what little sanity she has left.

Find Wendy and her books

Starr Valentine
Amazon BN Kobo iTunes ARe

What happens when the beautiful swan becomes the ugly duckling?

Starr Valentine has a perfect life in Middleton, Ohio. She was named captain of the cheer squad, her mother finally allowed her to get highlights, and the cutest boy in school asked her to homecoming. But everything comes crashing down when she finds out her parents are actually monarchs in exile from a mysterious planet called Vega. Starr doesn’t want to leave, but loves the idea of being a princess, and decides moving to an alien world might not be so bad. When she gets there, however, she discovers that something is terribly wrong.

Starr has always been the winner of the family, but now everyone is fawning over her chubby older sister, Astra. And everyone, even a handsome and annoying young duke named Julian, seems to hate her. That is when she realizes the awful truth. Astra is now the pretty one. Astra has all the friends. Astra gets all of the attention. And Starr Valentine, voted Miss Perfect, is now the ugly duckling. Her biggest fear is…will she be able to turn back into a swan, or is she doomed to be a loser forever?


We all met in the captain’s lounge just after the transport ship had safely landed. My father wore some sort of military uniform, and he was completely dashing, as always.
“Girls, you both look lovely.”
I smiled up at him. “So do you, Daddy,” I said, and he patted my cheek.
My mom fluttered up to us in a cacophony of lime green lace and feathers. A large gold medallion was pinned to her breast and she had on the crown she’d worn for the nightly news. She reached for our hands, tears swimming in her eyes.
“I have something for you,” she said, her voice trembling. Captain Augustus stood behind her, looking just as handsome as my father. He held open a wooden box. Inside were two small, yet perfect, tiaras.
I gasped. “Diamonds.”
“These are not your true crowns,” my mother explained. “Those went missing during the confusion when we were trying to escape. These are just a substitute until we can find something better.”
I couldn’t imagine something better. The tiaras seemed perfect. I leaned over slightly so my mom could slip it onto my head, glad I’d decided to wear my hair up in a French twist. The tiara was beautiful. I admired myself for a few minutes in the mirror before looking at Astra. She and my mother stood side by side, their hair a riot of dark curls, their dresses positively painful to the eyes, and I sighed. I really hoped they didn’t humiliate themselves too much at the ceremony. They looked like clowns from a circus performance.
My father, of course, didn’t seem to notice. He bowed and kissed my mother’s hand gallantly before linking it through his arm and leading her out the door. I could tell it was a very emotional moment for both of them. They were returning to the home they loved after being exiled for so many years. Even I could feel my throat tightening up.
Astra walked up and took my arm. “Are you ready?” she asked, and I nodded. It was time to face the music, or the Vegonians, as the case may be.
We stepped out into a warm, sultry evening on Vega. Lights had been set up all around the landing bay, and we followed my parents to an elevated platform near the ship. People waited as far as the eye could see, and as soon as my parents stepped up to the podium, the crowd roared.
I stood arm in arm with Astra, taking in the moment. The city of Celesta glittered in the light of the fading sun, just beyond the crowd of people assembled before us. It sparkled like it was made of glass. I could see what must have been the royal palace on one side of the city on top of a small hill, and it made me think of Aladdin’s castle, all gilt and white marble. I decided I could definitely get used to living there.
As I stared at the people in front of me, I started to notice something odd. The women here were not at all what I’d expected. Supposedly the most beautiful women in the universe, they all looked a lot like my mother and sister, with short, oddly shaped bodies and large behinds. They also dressed just like my mother and sister, in a riot of colors and patterns.
A quick assessment told me that I was the only pretty girl around, other than Maya, and definitely the best dressed. Maya had been forced by her parents to wear some sort of Vegonian monstrosity made out of a hot pink iridescent fabric. Torture. I, on the other hand, felt like an elegant swan dumped into the middle of a bunch of plump, gaudy, peacocks.
I heaved a sigh of relief. I’d been a little teeny tiny bit worried when I’d heard about how beautiful Vegonian women were. It was good to realize those rumors had been pure exaggeration. No one in this crowd could hold a candle to me.
Another quick look around told me that there wasn’t a single bad looking guy here. I was completely devoted to Adrian, of course, but I couldn’t help but admire and appreciate male beauty when I saw it. The boys were all works of art. It was as if I’d been dropped into a huge candy shop full of the most delicious boys I’d ever seen, and knew I could have my pick. Of course I would never cheat on Adrian, but it felt like a candy shop here, nonetheless.
My joy proved short-lived. None of the boys even looked at me. At first I thought that several of them stared at me, which made me happy, but soon realized it wasn’t me they stared at. They had their eyes locked on Astra with the same sort of enraptured expressions boys usually reserved for me.
A cold wave of shock crawled over my entire body. Boys never looked at Astra like that, especially when I stood right next to her. Something was very wrong here.
I smoothed my hair, which was perfect and didn’t need smoothing. I stuck out my chest and turned my body so they could see my best angle, but none of them even noticed me. Astra had suddenly become the center of attention.
My mother gave a very lovely and heartfelt speech, which I barely paid attention to. The crowd roared and screamed her name, but I hardly even heard it. People waved and cheered with tears streaming down their faces, but I felt numb to everything.
When we were introduced to various dignitaries, everyone said “lovely,” and “a vision,” when they met Astra. When they saw me, they looked a bit confused and then mumbled something boring like “nice to meet you.” Something very strange was going on, and I had to figure it out.
I searched the crowd for Adrian, but he was nowhere to be seen. One sexy, appreciative look from him might have been enough to restore some semblance of balance and order to my universe. But he wasn’t around and I’d been cast adrift in a sea of beautiful boys to whom I was invisible.
“Art thou okay, Princess Starr?” asked Captain Augustus. “Thou art pale.”
I blinked as I digested his words. The Vegonians spoke English, but a weird form of archaic Elizabethan English mixed with modern slang. The only people who had spoken like that on the transport ship were the captain and the crew. All of the Vegonians who been on Earth for the last fifteen years spoke standard, modern English, although I’d heard a few “thou’s” and “thee’s” begin to slip into the language of the older passengers, including my own parents.
“I’m fine. Thank you.”
As the captain bowed and turned away, I realized I wasn’t fine at all. I stared around at the sea of happy, glowing, faces, including those of my parents and my sister, and understood that suddenly, and without any explanation, I had become the outsider.
“Thou art in hell, Starr Valentine,” I murmured to myself.

Tour Wide

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to be awarded June 1, 2016.
Subscribe to Wende’s Newsletter Here:

New Releases: 4/24-4/30

Tue. Apr. 26th

 Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn 
 Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun
 Kill Switch (Joe Ledger #8) by Jonathan Maberry
 Let the Wind Rise (Sky Fall #3) by Shannon Messenger
 The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater
 Red Knight Falling (Harmony Black #2) by Craig Schaefer  
 The Siren's Dance by Amber Belldene
 Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel 
 Soldier (Talon #3) by Julie Kagawa
 The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi 
  Undaunted (Fetch #2) by Kat Falls

Sat. Apr. 30th

Happy reading!!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Early Review: Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Bright Blaze of Magic
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Kensington
Black Blade Book #3
ISBN:  161773828X
ISBN13: 9781617738289
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Author
Bad Things Always Come In Threes…

As a thief, I'm good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.

Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families--and kill every last Sinclair. What they don't know is that I'm on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I've got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…

What a finale! BRIGHT BLAZE OF MAGIC was a great ending to a great series.

Lila has gone from a loner to part of a huge family that she never imagined she would enjoy being part of. Her growth as a character from COLD BURN OF MAGIC until the end of BRIGHT BLAZE OF MAGIC is quite magical. Even better is the fact that her new family enjoys having her as part of their lives as well.

Even though she is no longer with Lila, her mother still had a decent role to play in BRIGHT BLAZE OF MAGIC. I enjoyed the ways that she was present in the final book of the series and I really felt that Lila felt her mother in every thing that she did.

Get ready for some action. There are very few down times in BRIGHT BLAZE OF MAGIC. The mafia war is here and it's time for the final showdown. There was a lot of loss and I wasn't totally expecting that, but I didn't feel like it was an unreasonable amount with the events that took place.

I honestly didn't have any complaints after finishing BRIGHT BLAZE OF MAGIC. I will miss Lila and her crew, but I'm very satisfied with the ending of the Black Blade series.

I gave it 5/5 stars

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

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week in Review: 4/17-4/23

Books Received for Review

Boundary Born by Melissa F. Olson
Smoke and Mirrors by Jess Haines

Books I've Read

Murder of Crows by Annie Bellet
Pack of Lies by Annie Bellet
Hunting Season by Annie Bellet
Heartache by Annie Bellet
Thicker Than Blood by Annie Bellet
Magic to the Bone by Annie Bellet
Smoke and Mirrors by Jess Haines

Reviews Posted

Dragons Among Them by Kyra Jacobs
From the Ashes by Amber Lynn Natusch


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

* Monday- Interview + Giveaway for Melting Shadows by Rhea Rhodan

* Tuesday- Promo + Giveaway for Pre-Order Party for Hound's Bite by E.J. Stevens

* Wednesday- Guest Blog + Giveaway for Dragons Among Them by Kyra Jacobs


* 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.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Review: Dragons Among Them by Kyra Jacobs

Dragons Among Them
Author: Kyra Jacobs
Release Date: April 19, 2016
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN13: 9781619234406
Genre:Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: NetGalley
Prince Zayne Godfrey, heir to Edana’s throne, is betrothed to the lone princess of rival kingdom Forath. While his heart is not in the arranged marriage, he will do his royal duty.

When he finds a beautiful stranger cornered by a pack of wolves, he doesn’t hesitate to shift into his golden dragon form to save her. She thanks him by taking one look at him and fainting dead away.

Photographer Adelaide Miller is in England for a career-making shoot when a bizarre jogging mishap lands her in a dangerous, medieval-like world of royals, wizards and dragon-shifting men. Her first instinct is to find her way back, but the fire-breathing prince intent on protecting her threatens to melt her heart.

Zayne’s burning passion for Adelaide not only jeopardizes the fragile peace between two kingdoms, it uncovers a ruthless plot to destroy his family. Remaining together may change Adelaide’s very definition of home—and expose one searing secret that could forever shift the balance of power in Zayne’s world.
When I saw that one of my favorite authors Juliette Cross gave DRAGONS AMONG THEM 5 stars, I knew I had to read it.

It was easy to connect emotionally with Adelaide. The world she finds herself in is definitely hard for her to believe, but she makes it work for her while also trying to find a way home. I liked how Adelaide was able to connect with the secondary characters in DRAGONS AMONG THEM and win them over even though they weren't very fond of her in the start. There is just something about her that you can't help but like and want to get to know. Zayne is extremely loyal and very protective. It's not hard to imagine why Adelaide would fall for him.

The romance between Adelaide and Zayne had a lot of ups and downs, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. They are highly attracted and drawn to each other, but Adelaide expects to go back home to her world and Zayne has an obligation to his family and kingdom to marry another. They don't stay away from each other long, but there are a lot of up and down feelings on both sides.

DRAGONS AMONG THEM started off the Kingdoms of Fire and Ice series well. I'm hoping that future books will continue to follow Zayne and Adelaide, but either way I look forward to reading more.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review: From the Ashes by Amber Lynn Natusch

From the Ashes
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source:  Pure Textuality PR
Piper Jones can't catch a break. 

After a lifetime of animosity and indifference from the supernatural community, she thought she'd finally found a home with the vampire king’s enforcers. Then the dark and mysterious Merc walks into her life, and it takes a disastrous turn for the worse. 

Now under attack by enemies both known and unknown, Piper has little choice but to flee her refuge—and start over in a place few vampires ever go. Rural Alaska seemed to fit the bill, except for Knox and his crew of werewolves. The pack shares a connection with Piper that few of them can explain, and none of them can escape. With time running out for answers, Piper must fight the demons of her past to ensure her future—or die trying.

FROM THE ASHES is the first book in a new series by author Amber Lynn Natusch.

In FROM THE ASHES we meet and get to know Piper. She has lived with many different factions in the paranormal community, but has never fit in and some of the factions even hate her. She thought she found her home with the vampires, but once again, she was wrong and she finds out she is no longer safe there. Piper thinks herself weak and in need of protection. I did like her and easily connected with her character, but I wish she would have come out of her weak shell a little sooner in the book as I thought she was pretty strong to have survived the things she did. She needed to trust herself more.

ROM THE ASHES wasn't lacking in the danger and action department. Both were around every corner and they were both some of the most enjoyable parts of the book.

One of the things that I wasn't crazy about was the insta-love parts of two different relationships. They both happened really fast and even with the circumstances that had her fleeing Merc and her life, she sure did fall fast for Knox after being so in love with Merc. Love shouldn't be that interchangeable. Now having said that, I did like both men. They both have things I love about them and they both fit nicely with Piper. Speaking of running from Merc, she left the only people she thought of as family without any thought as well and without letting them know she was ok. That rubbed me the wrong way.

All I know after reading FROM THE ASHES is that I enjoyed the story and after the ending events things will definitely be interesting in book two.

I gave it 3.5/5 stars

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Dragons Among Them by Kyra Jacobs

UFI welcomes Author Kyra Jacobs. Thanks for Joining us!!

Hi, everyone! I’m Kyra Jacobs, author of the new fantasy/paranormal romance DRAGONS AMONG THEM. Today I thought I’d share with you 5 facts about my book that just might surprise you. And because I’m from Indiana, I’m going to share David Letterman-style:  in reverse order. Ready? Okay, here we go…

Coming in at #5 today is this little-known fact:  the heroine Adelaide (Addie) Miller and I are both from Indiana. And we both have British roots. She, however, has actually ventured across the pond while I am still waiting patiently for someone to invite me across…

Little-known fact #4:  Addie’s favorite color is purple. And there’s a reason for that, but I can’t tell you without a major spoiler alert. But if you stick around thru book 3, I promise to make it worth your while. ;-)

Fact #3 that might surprise you:  Zayne is not the playboy he’s claimed to be. Yes, he’s doing some sowing of wild oats. But lately it’s been a ruse to delay the arranged marriage his father has sentenced him to. Of course, that was before Addie showed up on the scene…

Fun-yet-surprising fact #2:  Wizards are not to be trusted. Or maybe they are. Or maybe some are more trustworthy than others. Oh, dear. It seems I’m giving away hints for book 2…

And coming in at #1 on facts about my book that might surprise you:  I know all of this because I’m part-dragon myself. Just don’t make me mad—you never know if I’m part of the fire or ice clan. ;-)

So that’s it for my 5 facts about DRAGONS AMONG THEM that might surprise you. Thanks so much for playing along today, and here’s hoping you get a chance to get up close and personal with Zayne and Addie real soon. Happy reading, everyone!

Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who writes of love, humor and mystery in the Midwest and beyond. When this Hoosier native isn’t pounding out scenes for her next book, she’s likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or spending quality time with her sports-loving family. Kyra also loves to read, tries to golf, and is an avid college football fan.

Be sure to stop by her website to learn more about her novels and ways connect with her on social media.

Find Kyra and her books

Dragons Among Them
Kingdoms of Fire and Ice #1
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Prince Zayne Godfrey, heir to Edana’s throne, is betrothed to the lone princess of rival kingdom Forath. While his heart is not in the arranged marriage, he will do his royal duty.

When he finds a beautiful stranger cornered by a pack of wolves, he doesn’t hesitate to shift into his golden dragon form to save her. She thanks him by taking one look at him and fainting dead away.

Photographer Adelaide Miller is in England for a career-making shoot when a bizarre jogging mishap lands her in a dangerous, medieval-like world of royals, wizards and dragon-shifting men. Her first instinct is to find her way back, but the fire-breathing prince intent on protecting her threatens to melt her heart.

Zayne’s burning passion for Adelaide not only jeopardizes the fragile peace between two kingdoms, it uncovers a ruthless plot to destroy his family. Remaining together may change Adelaide’s very definition of home—and expose one searing secret that could forever shift the balance of power in Zayne’s world.

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