Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Promo + Giveaway: Shattered Pack by Aileen Erin

Shattered Pack
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: March 28th 2017

Meredith Molloney never thought she’d find a mate, let alone someone like Donovan Murry—one of the most powerful Alphas alive. Now that she’s no longer cursed and the evil Luciana Alvarez has been taken care of, she thinks life will finally settle down. Boy, has she never been so wrong.

In the middle of the night, Donovan gets a call telling him that his pack has gone to pieces. The news that his second in command has been found brutally murdered has Donovan packing his bags for Ireland, but the last thing Meredith wants to do is leave Texas. She’s heard about how the Celtic Pack are with outsiders. And Donovan has more than a few exes in the pack that will be less than friendly.

Meredith’s never let a few angry wolves stop her, and she’s not about to start now. She’s faced down much worse the past few months. But when she gets there, she finds that it’s not just a few exes who stand in the way between her and her Full Moon Ceremony with Donovan.

Meredith is thrust in to a deadly game of pack politics, one the fey have happily joined in on. When the dust settles, she knows she’ll either have everything that she wants or lose it all.

A few months ago, I was still cursed. No guy in his right mind would agree to go on a date with me, let alone be my mate. Even if female Weres were rare. I was so thankful to Tessa for breaking the curse. I owed her my life. Because of her I had control over my change, and I could actually think about having a full life as a Were. And I couldn’t—
Suddenly I was airborne.
I tucked, quickly rolling as I slammed into the wall with a crunch that would’ve hurt a lot more if I were anything but werewolf.
The TV flashed brighter in the darkened room and I could just make out a blond form standing above me. I took a whiff. “What the hell, Max! Another fight? We’re too old for these games.” At least I was too old for them.
Max started at me again, and I rolled, grabbing his feet as I went. He fell to the ground and then it was on. We wrestled until sweat poured down my face, blurring my vision. My muscles ached, and I wondered when one of us would finally cry uncle and end this.
As the thought crossed my mind, I knew it couldn’t be me. I wouldn’t give in. Not again. Not when I’d been fighting for them to leave me alone all week.
You’re just playing with him, Donovan said through the bond.
Playing? My brother’s foot dug into the small of my back as I tried to wiggle out of the current hold. The oldest of my siblings had way more than a handful of inches on me and a ton of muscle. He’d passed his Cazadores test a few decades or more ago, and had only gotten better—stronger, leaner, faster—over the years. There was exactly zero competition. Max knew it. I knew it. But somehow my mate was oblivious?
You’re not using what’s available. Donovan sounded bored.
Perfect. Now I was getting critiqued by my mate. Only he couldn’t see how badly my ass was getting handed to me. Max is the best fighter in the pack. I can’t win against him. I growled as Max wrenched an arm behind my back to the point where I was sure he was going to tear something. Not that it wouldn’t heal as soon as he let me go, but the pain…
I bucked, trying to get him to loosen the hold, but it wasn’t working. At all.
Being old has some advantages. I can pass you a bit of power. Not much until we have our ceremony, but it should be enough to turn the tide for you. You just have to take it. Donovan opened up the bond, and I finally realized what he was saying. The bond might be puny, but it was just strong enough for me to use it against my brother.
Game changer.
I took all the alpha power the bond could hold—which wasn’t much more than a trickle—and used it. As the power burned through my skin, I knew Donovan was right. Even though our bond was still thin, he could pass me more than I needed to stop this stupid game.
Max let out a hiss as I used the alpha power to fuel my strength. I bucked hard, freeing myself from his hold, and flipped him over. I threw my forearm over his throat. “Submit.”
He struggled for a second. Max was more alpha than me. Not by a ton, but it’d been enough for a long time. Which meant he wouldn’t give up until he was really sure he’d lost. His wolf wouldn’t let him back down until it was satisfied this was a clear loss.
I pushed harder, and a gurgle slipped from Max’s throat. I was choking him, cutting off his airway. “Come on. Don’t be an idiot. Submit.” The last word was an order, backed with Donovan’s powers.
He started to say something, but I couldn’t make it out.
I let my arm up just enough.
“Fine,” Max’s voice rasped. “But I want the remote.”


Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican and 100% nerd-from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.

Find Erin and her books
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Review: Dauntless by Shannon Mayer

Release Date: November 29, 2016
Publisher: HiJinks Ink
ISBN13:  9781987933222
Genre: Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Author
*RE-RELEASE: “The Nevermore Trilogy” Anniversary Edition. Now a full length novel. Brand new scenes, additional points of view and 35K extra words all breathe new life into the first series ever published by USA Today Bestselling Author Shannon Mayer.*

"My name is Mara, and I want desperately to become a mother."

All of my dreams were dashed when the world was promised hope but instead became a place of danger, death . . . and monsters.

When we arrived at the compound, we believed we had found our safe haven at last. For the briefest of moments, their medicine and science lulled us into a false sense of security. But within the bowels of this haven, where the cure for Nevermore is being developed, there lurks an evil which is far worse than anything we've already encountered.

Sebastian is used as a test subject, a process that instead of curing him, is slowly killing him. As his heart falters, mine must draw upon new strength if I am to fight our way out of the compound.

If we can escape, the journey will still not be over. I will have to protect Sebastian, a vial with a possible cure and our final secret.

But before safety, that vial must first make it out intact even with the knowledge that it may very well kill Sebastian, before saving the others.

I was anxious when I started reading DAUNTLESS. I really enjoyed SUNDERED, but couldn't get into BOUND so I wasn't sure what DAUNTLESS was going to bring.

For the most part, I enjoyed DAUNTLESS almost as much as I enjoyed book one. There is a lot of action and suspense involved in Mara and Sebastian's journey to safety and it was nice to have an old ally along for the ride. With Sepastian having had the cure and converting back towards the side of human, the lovey scenes were easier to take. Things definitely got interesting when it came to the Nevermore though now that he isn't really one of them anymore.

Not everyone makes it to the end of DAUNTLESS, but I expected that. What I didn't expect was the way some of them were lost. I don't want to go into it due to spoilers, but one death in particular really bothered me. I thought that it was selfish of Mara and Sebastian to let it happen after everything, but I can honestly say that if I was in their position, I probably would have made the same choice so who am I to judge? It was still hard to read though.

The ending felt really abrupt. After all the things the couple has been through I was hoping for more when it came to their happily ever after and the last few paragraphs made me think that their should be more to their story. They got their happily ever after, it just seemed like the ending was rushed and I would have loved to sit and savor it more. Overall though, I enjoyed Mara and Sebastian's story.

I gave it 3.5/5 stars

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

New Releases: 11/27-12/3

Tue. Nov. 29th

 Normal by Warren Ellis
 Scythe (Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman
Winter Moon by Dannika Dark 

Happy Reading!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Black Bullet by L.D. Rose

UFI welcomes Author L.D. Rose. Thanks for Joining us!!

10 Reasons Why I Love The Paranormal  
by L.D. Rose (Part 1 of 2)

Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog! My name is LInda (writing as L.D. Rose) and I'm a doctor by day and author of dark PNR/UF by night. Since I'm a big fan of everything dark, sexy, and creepy. I figured I'd share my top 10 reasons why I love the paranormal. ;)

On this here blog will be part one, and part two will be at another stop later on this crazy tour. :D

  1. I was accused of being a vampire in the first grade.
Yep. That’s right. I went to an all-girls Catholic school for kindergarten and first grade (my mother yanked me out before second grade for acting out—oops!). My classmates already thought I was weird since I spoke broken English (my first language was Portuguese and I didn’t go to preschool; I learned English from Sesame Street!). All of us kids were playing a game of tag at recess and I tripped on a rock and sliced my finger open. I immediately put my hand in my mouth to suck the blood away (c’mon, didn’t you do that when you were a kid?!). The girls freaked out and ran away from me, screaming “vampire.” I guess it didn’t help that I had a widow’s peak, dark hair and pale skin. I had no idea what a vampire was, but my feelings were hurt and I cried.

This was obviously quite traumatic since the concept of a vampire invaded my brain and I became obsessed with learning (and writing) about them!

  1. I grew up in a haunted house.
Yep, that’s right too! My family was poor growing up and we bounced from apartment to apartment when I was a toddler. My parents bought a house when I was about five, both of them incredibly excited to have a home.

Too bad it was haunted, haha!

My parents’ little Cape was over a hundred years old and two ghosts apparently haunted the premises (an eight year old boy and an elderly woman who died in the upstairs bathroom; later, my deceased German Shepard made a few ghostly appearances too). I never actually saw them, but their roaming footsteps, cold patches, whispers, and little games such as dropping the blinds, turning off the radio, and the occasional “push” made their presences unmistakably clear.  I have no doubt there’s a ghostly world among us, no matter how much my logical doctor brain wants to argue it.

Do you believe in ghosts?

  1. My first memorable books were horror stories.
Thanks to my vampire accusation, I began to read horror stories—a lot of them! My favorite books as a kid were the SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK series by Alvin Schwartz. I couldn’t stop staring at the creepy images and rereading the melodious yet disturbing passages. I used to sing THE HEARSE SONG constantly while jumping rope outside like a freaky little kid (THE HEARSE SONG also makes an appearance in BLACK BULLET ;)). As I grew older, I transitioned to R.L. Stine, Clive Barker, and Stephen King, then it was all downhill from there.

See, kids? Be careful what you call your classmates!

Do you have a favorite scary story?

  1. Naturally, my favorite movies were horror movies.
Gremlins. Ghostbusters. Poltergeist. The Exorcist. Friday the 13th. Nightmare on Elm Street. Halloween. Jaws. The Shining. Silence of the Lambs. CLASSICS! Although the horror movie industry has sorely disappointed me as an adult (although THE CONJURING movies were actually pretty good!), these were my most memorable films. My parents would let me watch a few of the more “benign” ones, but I usually snuck out of my room in the middle of the night (or hit the theaters) to watch the more graphic movies.

What’s your favorite scary movie?

  1. My first writing ventures were horror stories.
Surprise, surprise! I’ve been writing for as long as I remember. The first actual “story” I wrote was on a typewriter at ten years old. It was called "The Secret Door", about fifteen pages long, and starred a haunted house that held a portal to another dimension. My first ever publication is a short story in an anthology called “Horrors of History” (Fey Publishing) and it’s about two depression-era gangsters who get more than they bargained for during a bank heist (two words: zombie cops). Now, you can download the story for free if you sign up for my newsletter (I know...shameless plug, I’ll stop)! I plan to do a lot more with these two fellas in the future, since I loved writing them so much. Every story I’ve written has a preternatural edge to it—I just can’t help it, it’s part of who I am.

That’s all for now! Stay tuned for part two in the series on Dec. 2nd. :D


L.D. Rose is a neurotic physician by day, crazed writer by night, and all around wannabe superhero. She writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but she's been known to delve into horror, sci-fi, and medical suspense on occasion. L.D. Rose is a PAN member of the RWA, FF&P, NEC-RWA and CoLoNY. She currently lives in Rhode Island with her studly hubby, her hyperactive boxer, and her two devious cats. 

Sign up for her newsletter for the latest on the Senary, sneak peeks, giveaways, and other fun stuff:  You'll receive a free horror short story with sign-up! 

You can also join her street team on FB for more shenanigans. DEVOUR THE NIGHT:

Find L.D. Rose and her books

Black Bullet
The Order of the Senary #2
Amazon Goodreads
Fledgling vampire Jonathan Kerr has just met his match.

Not even his past life as a former Marine and FBI agent could prepare him for the battle against the monster inside him, struggling to take hold. After an old nemesis of the Senary surfaces in Brooklyn, unleashing chaos and terror in the battered borough, Jon sets out to take him down. Instead, he ends up with far more than he bargained for when he clashes with the beautiful half-vampire hybrid, Lawan Knight.

After escaping near death and suffering unspeakable horror at the hands of vampires, Lawan trusts no one, regardless of species. In between bouts of drunken stupor, her only goal is to exterminate all those who've wronged her, including every member of Jon's vampire bloodline. But Jon's soulful eyes and quick smile crawls under her skin, transforming her black and white world into a hazy shade of gray.

As the days rapidly grow darker, Jon and Lawan turn to one another, but their inner demons threaten to tear them apart. The only way either of them will survive is if they overcome their greatest fear--Love.

Jon only had time to take a single breath before a dark boot materialized in front of his face, the heel aiming straight for his throat. He snatched it before it made contact and twisted hard, thrusting it away from him. The limb yielded beneath his grip as his attacker collapsed beside him, metal clattering nearby. He levered to his feet, pulling a KA-BAR from his boot as pain lit up his nerves, setting his teeth on edge. His attacker was already standing, the blade of a gorgeous double-edged Kris sword pointed at his throat.
Holy shit.
His opponent was female, wearing a slim-fitting black battle uniform and carrying enough artillery to outfit a small army. Her jet-black hair was tied in a long braid and a black mask covered the lower half of her face. Her dark, almond-shaped eyes revealed her Asian heritage, her skin the color of caramel. A scabbard stretched across her back, strapped to her chest, along with the M16 she’d used to tear up the warehouse.
Jon took a step back, but she didn’t hesitate, launching at him with the blade. Metal clashed and sparks flew as he parried the long sword’s quicksilver arcs with his dagger. Although she limped from her injured leg, her strikes were hard, fast, and precise, each blow intended to kill. He nearly tripped over the pirate’s body as she backed him against the wall of the refinery, and he ducked as the blade screeched along the brick.
Before Jon straightened, he jabbed the butt of his KA-BAR into her knee and she yelped, stumbling backward. He slashed at her and caught nothing but air as she lurched away from him. She swung the Kris at his head and he raised the KA-BAR to engage and bind the sword. Both of their weapons trembled as their eyes locked on one another across the tangle of deadly metal.
And as her smoldering gaze drilled into him, he smelled it.
Dama de Noche.
The Lady of the Night, a nocturnal blooming flower he’d first smelled years ago in Nepal, when he was a human soldier. The scent was unmistakable, underlying the incense of vampire. The stench of leech didn’t belong to her, but the floral aroma was all her own.
She’s not a vampire.
Stunned by the revelation, Jon wavered, and she quickly took advantage of him. She sidestepped and lunged at him, sinking the blade in his shoulder. He shouted, dropping his KA-BAR as pain erupted from his dominant limb. Moving lightning fast, she yanked the blade out and sliced an arc across his chest. Luckily, she only scored his Kevlar, and as the sword swooped around again, Jon caught it with his gloved hands, silver biting into leather.
“You’re a hybrid,” he ground out. “I’m on your side!”
She pushed hard against him, drawing blood. “Bullshit.” Her voice was a rich contralto, edged with a growl. “You reek of Temhota.”
The Dama drew back and chopped at his belly, but Jon blocked her with his forearms, metal jarring against his bones. Finally, he managed to kick the blade out of her grip and it spun away, clattering to the ground. She somersaulted backward to retrieve it, but Jon caught hold of her braid in mid-air and wrenched on it. She cried out and landed face-first on the pavement, her breath audibly whooshing from her throat.
Jon wound her braid around his hand like a rope and straddled her, pinning her down. He tore the M16 off and tossed it as she writhed beneath him, fighting hard. Yanking her head up, he leaned close to her ear. “I’m not your enemy,” he hissed.
Her already shallow breath quickened and her struggles intensified, her sweet scent pumping from her pores in cloying waves. Panic. Fear. Restraining her like this completely terrified her.
Jon let up, knowing it was a mistake, but the shred of humanity still left in him couldn’t resist. The Dama slammed the crown of her head into his face and his retinas exploded in a staggering palette of reds, whites, and grays. His nose caved in, but not so far as to bury the bony shards into his brain. Blood poured out of him like a leaky faucet as he fell back, propping himself up on the wall of the refinery.
She was on him in an instant, chopping the edge of a flat hand into his trachea before smashing a fist in his ear. She wobbled to her feet as he struggled desperately to breathe—remember Jon, you don’t have to—and she gave him a vicious kick to his solar plexus, doubling him over. The pain was terrific, a cacophony of agony echoing from every corner of his body.
Jesus Christ, she was beating the shit out of him.
The Dama stood there, shaking, the fabric of her fallen mask fluttering to the ground. Jon blinked, trying to clear his blurred vision as she picked up her sword. He stole a glimpse of her face as she flung the mask up with the blade and caught it. A tattoo marked her cheek, the black symbol unmistakable but jagged, as if she’d thrashed during the process.
The same mark he’d painted on his chest lay branded on her face—the emblem of the Temhota.
Jon yanked down the neckline of his shirt, much like he had with the pirate, but this time he wiped at the mark, smearing it. The Dama paused in front of him, eyes narrowed, a gash marring her forehead. Even with the mark of his enemy on her face, she was breathtaking, and he didn’t have much breath left to spare.
“Not real,” he said past swollen lips, lifting trembling fingers stained with both paint and blood. “No mark.”
“But you are a leech.” She pointed the serpentine blade at the hollow of his throat.
He nodded, swallowing iron. “I work with the Senary. I used to . . . I used to be human. I’m not what you think I am.”
“You stink of them.” Her lip curled in a snarl.
He nodded again, every muscle in his body screaming. “Because I’m one of them. Yet I’m not.”
Brilliant. Maybe a few of those bony shards made their way into his brain after all.
She flipped the sword deftly and held it in a two-handed grip, the sin qua non of impending decapitation. Her dark eyes didn’t have the cat-like gleam signature to vampires, but hate and anger bled through them anyway.
“Makes no difference to me.”
400 word:
Snapping into action, she sprinted as fast as her legs would carry her, taking sharp turns and cutting across debris-ridden alleyways. She leapt over dumpsters, scaled chain-link fences, and stomped over the carcasses of long dead cars. The blood gave her an extra boost as she blew past the library—bookless, thanks to her—and blazed a trail through Coffey Park, heading straight for her church.
The presence faded as soon as she passed the decrepit playground. Hope swelled in her chest. Maybe she lost them. Maybe they kept going down Dwight Street instead.
Her blessed church came up fast and Lawan didn’t slow down as she jumped the iron fence and burst into the side door. She skidded to a halt on the crimson carpet, practically tumbling into the main room in front of the ambry. Doubling over, she struggled to catch her breath before she sat down hard on the floor. She slipped off her bag, pulled off her mask, and flopped back, chest heaving as she stared up at the vaulted ceiling.
Oscar trotted over, purring loudly and shoving his furry head into her hand. She couldn’t even speak, her breath sawing in and out of her lungs as she closed her eyes with relief.
Yes. She made it.
For the second time that night, Lawan let her body settle down as Oscar nuzzled her hand and licked her fingers, the same fingers she’d lapped at earlier. Her bag rested beside her and she patted it, feeling the cold blood through the nylon.
“That was a hell of a run for getting nowhere.”
The all-too-familiar timbre stabbed Lawan’s eardrums and wrapped around her throat, yanking her into a seated position. The leech who wasn’t a leech, the hybrids’ vampire stood at the archway, leaning against the jamb. He wasn’t fully geared up, wearing plain clothes and an exposed shoulder holster beneath his open bomber jacket.
His obsidian eyes sparked with amusement as she swiftly pulled her nine and aimed it at his forehead.
“Glad I wore my sneakers,” he added, not the least bit perturbed.
Lawan gaped at him, slack-jawed and stupid. Oscar leapt between them and hissed at him, black fur raised along the length of his spine and claws digging into the carpet.
A vampire had just strolled into her sanctuary, onto hallowed ground. Impossible. Unbelievable. Unreal.
Oh my God. He really isn’t a leech.

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Week in Review: 11/20-11/26

Books Received for Review

Pamela by Shannon Mayer
Legend of Love by Lisa Kessler

Books I've Read

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Overtaken by K.F. Breene
Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Reviews Posted

The Operator by Kim Harrison


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

* Monday- Interview + Giveaway for Children of the Veil by Colleen Halverson

* Wednesday- Promo + Giveaway for Alien Nation by Gini Koch

* Thursday- Happy Turkey Day!

* Friday- Guest Blog + Giveaway for Belle Chasse by Suzanne Johnson


* 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, November 25, 2016

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Belle Chasse by Suzanne Johnson

UFI welcomes Author Suzanne Johnson. Thanks for Joining us!!

Politicians (and Preternaturals) Behaving Badly
Suzanne Johnson

One of the fun things about writing urban fantasy (other than the chance to introduce some really hot heroes and give them special skills, of course) is the worldbuilding.
In the case of my Sentinels of New Orleans series, my post-Hurricane Katrina hometown was the blank canvas upon which I built the magical world of a young wizard named DJ and her job as sentinel—sort of a border guard between the human world and the preternatural world called the Beyond.  A border, I might add, that collapsed during Hurricane Katrina, leaving New Orleans vulnerable to the flood of paranormal critters that flooded in.
When the hurricane strips away the things DJ has used to define herself—her mentor, her job, her city—she’s forced to step outside her sheltered life and learn more about the world she inhabits. I wanted her to be both a woman fighting for recognition in the male-dominated halls of magical power and someone who respects authority but also isn’t afraid to be a little entrepreneurial in her problem-solving.
For inspiration in forming DJ’s world, I had only to look as far as the TV screen. Let’s see….where do we have leaders of different political persuasions embroiled in constant power plays, bickering, and one-upmanship? Oh yeah, that would be Washington. And note that I wrote even the newest book, BELLE CHASSE, back in late 2014, waaaay before the recent presidential election began. So don’t read anything partisan into this blog post because it isn’t there.
“Politicians Behaving Badly” is bipartisan, and the top group of wizards isn’t called the “Congress of Elders” for nothing.
The Elders are senior wizards who represent four “parties,” or congresses, each with its own partisan interests. The Green Congress wizards, of which DJ is a member, perform geeky ritual magic. Red Congress wizards are flashy physical-magic users, while Blue Congress wizards are the creative types, and the Yellows are the intellectuals.
Reds are controlling bullies; Greens want to take things apart and rearrange them until everyone around them dies of boredom; Blues whine a lot and seek the pity vote; Yellows want to talk everything to death.
    Of course, the preternatural world extends beyond the wizards and their congresses, and once Katrina tears down the borders, some of the other citizens of the preternatural world show up with their own power structures. As they argue over border control, the wizards are forced to join an Interspecies Council—think of the United Nations with fangs and wands and scary brainwashing skills.
There are the Elves, ruled by a four-member Synod and with their own internal power struggles. The vampires have Regents, fanged dictators who allow no dissention within their ranks. The historical undead—famous former humans granted immortality by the magic of human memory—are eclectic and disorganized, which allows the undead 19th-century French pirate Jean Lafitte, their unofficial leader, to do pretty much as he wants. The water species—merfolk and nymphs and naiads—tend to be territorial isolationists.
Into this political maelstrom comes our stubborn, somewhat geeky heroine and her entourage: a smokin’-hot shapeshifter, a troubled rogue werewolf, the ever-helpful undead pirate Jean Lafitte; and an adventurous tattooed Cajun merman named Rene.
As she navigates the twists and turns of her political bayou, DJ’s going to need all the help she can get.

Suzanne Johnson is the author of the award-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series but perhaps is best known for her romantic suspense and paranormal romance books written as Susannah Sandlin, including the Penton Vampire Legacy paranormal romance series, the Wilds of the Bayou suspense series, and The Collectors romantic thriller series. Her awards include two Holt Medallions in 2013 and 2015, a 2015 Booksellers Best Award in romantic suspense, and nominations in 2014 and 2015 for the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award. A displaced New Orleanian, she currently lives in Auburn, Alabama. Suzanne loves SEC football, fried gator on a stick, all things Cajun, and redneck reality TV.

Find Suzanne and her books

Belle Chasse
Sentinels of New Orleans #5
Amazon BN Book Depository Books-a-Million Indie Bound
 With the wizard-elven treaty on the verge of collapse, the preternatural world stands on the brink of war. Unless former wizard sentinel DJ Jaco manages to keep the elven leader, Quince Randolph, focused on peace and not personal matters.

With no one on the throne, Faerie is in chaos, with rival princes battling for power. The still-undead pirate, Jean Lafitte, is building his own army of misfits, and DJ—stripped of her job and hiding in the Beyond to avoid the death sentence handed down by the wizard Council of Elders—can’t get anywhere near her beloved New Orleans or her significant something-or-other, Alex.

It's time to choose sides. Friends will become enemies, enemies will become allies, and not everyone will survive. DJ and her friends will learn a hard lesson: sometimes, even the ultimate sacrifice isn’t enough.

I expected Christof to start a snowstorm above Rand’s head. What I didn’t expect was for the prince to lower his head and charge Rand like a raging bull, head-butting him in the midsection. They hit the ground, and I saw my chance at the same time Eugenie spotted me.
    I motioned her toward the woods where the transport lay. To hell with the Blue Congress wizards. We were going to make a run for it while Christof kept Rand too busy to notice.
    She set off for the woods, and I met her halfway. “My family thinks I’m crazy!” she wailed, loud enough to draw the attention of the tall, skinny Blue Congress wizard with the rooster haircut.
    “Hey, stop!”
    Holy crap. I whipped out the elven staff, paused long enough to aim just to the right of the wizards. They already had their hands up and were doing some of their nifty Blue Congress magic when I released my fire and blew up the tombstone next to them, sending a rain of marble and playing cards onto their heads. Around us, evidence of their magic appeared as tombstones began moving to block our escape route.
    I grabbed Eugenie’s arm and pulled her around a marble stag the size of a small SUV. It had lowered its head and pawed the ground as if to charge. Blue Congress magic was so damned cool— create and re-create.
    “Stop, DJ!” Eugenie grabbed my arm as I tried to race past her. “A sinkhole!”
    I looked stupidly at the ground in front of us, which had opened a gulf big enough to drive a Greyhound bus into. “Go around and run fast,” I shouted, sending another shot of the staff toward the Blue Congress wizards and blowing up a ginormous marble eagle perched atop a nearby tomb.
    We didn’t stop to see if the stag was chasing us, but ran for all we were worth. Finally, at the edge of the tree line, I hazarded a look back at Christof and Rand. The faery stood watching us; the elf had crumpled on the ground. Not dead, though, because in my head, far behind my protective barriers, I heard him yelling my name.
    Christof grinned and motioned for us to move along. He didn’t have to motion twice, because the wizards were chasing us, still chanting and doing their finger dance. The stag was getting way too close.
    I raised the staff and blew a hole in the earth in front of the advancing stag, forcing him to change direction. Luck was on our side for a change— the stag began charging toward the wizards instead, who had to stop pursuing us in order to protect themselves from being trampled beneath marble hooves.
    “Let’s run to the transport before those idiot wizards can get out from under the stag.” I grabbed Eugenie’s hand and we ran to the clearing. “Help me roll this werewolf out of the transport.”
    To her credit, she didn’t ask a single question. We tipped the werewolf onto his side and rolled him outside the interlocking circle and triangle, leaving him at an awkward angle with his
feet in the air. Oh well.
    I touched the staff to the edge of the transport and said, “Winter Palace, Faery” just before the Blue Congress wizards reached the edge of the clearing. I waved at them as the transport sucked the air out of my lungs. They were too late.
    As soon as we materialized on the round floor of ice in the Winter Palace, Eugenie screamed. I figured she was getting her first look at the grisly remains of Faerie Princess Tamara until a blinding light knocked me off my feet and a big crack appeared in the ice between us.
    “Where is my brother?”
    I whirled to see Florian sitting on a block of ice behind us bundled in a heavy coat, a blanket spread beneath him, no doubt to protect his royal assets from getting cold and wet.
    “He’s in Shreveport, Louisiana, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church, having a fi stfi ght with an elf,” I said, pretty confident that of all the things he might expect me to say, that wasn’t it.

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