Monday, April 29, 2019

Promo + Giveaway: The Trouble With Vampires by Lynsay Sands (@puretextuality, @avonbooks, @LynsaySands)

 The Trouble with Vampires 
Argeneau #29
Amazon  |  Avon Romance  |  BN  |  Google Play  |  iBooks
Irresistible desire and thrilling suspense combine in this electrifying new Argeneau novel from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands.
For close to three thousand years the imposing, impossibly handsome Santo Notte has fought in armies across the world and battled his own, more personal enemies. Of all the places he might expect to encounter his life mate, a quiet corner of upstate New York doesn’t seem likely. But as soon as he makes contact with history professor Petronella Stone, while hunting down a suspected rogue immortal, he knows that she will be the greatest adventure of his eternal life.

He expects her to be surprised, confused, even overwhelmed. What he doesn’t expect is that Pet has a secret history of her own. There’s no mistaking the mind-blowing, mutual pleasure they share. But as Pet struggles to protect her nephew from a danger lurking too close to home, Santo realizes there’s another threat to her safety—him. And claiming their passionate future will be impossible until he leaves his past behind, forever…


“911. What’s your emergency?”
“Hi . . . um . . . I’m not sure if I should be calling you or the police.”
“Is this an emergency?”
“It might be. I’m not sure . . .”
“Just tell me what’s happening, son. Is someone there sick or injured?” When the boy didn’t respond at once, the operator asked, “Are your parents arguing and it’s scaring you? Are they getting violent?”
“No! No. It’s our neighbor. Well, not really our neighbor, but his cousin who’s visiting. He . . . er . . . he’s sick . . . I think.”
“You think?”
“No. He is. He’s sick. And I think he may be dangerous. I’m afraid he’ll hurt Mr. Purdy.”
“Mr. Purdy?”
“My neighbor.”
“Right. And you think this cousin who is visiting him is sick and dangerous?” the operator asked, doubt obvious in her voice. “If so, why hasn’t this Mr. Purdy called instead of you?”
“I’m worried maybe his cousin won’t let him.”
There was a long pause, and then the operator sighed and asked, “What kind of sick is dangerous, son?”
“He . . . er . . . I think he might be suffering from Renfield syndrome.”
“From what?”
“Renfield syndrome,” the young voice repeated reluctantly.
“What’s that?”
“It’s . . . er . . .” The boy paused, and when he continued, there was a grimace in his voice. “It’s a sort of vampire personality disorder. The—”
“Vampire!” the 911 operator squawked. “You think your neighbor’s a vampire?”
“No! No, I think his visiting cousin thinks he’s a vampire. That’s what Renfield syndrome is and—”
“Honey, there is no such thing as vampires,” the 911 operator said over the boy’s explanation.
“But he—”
“There’re no buts here, kiddo. You need to cut the nonsense and get off the phone. You can get in a lot of trouble for crank calling 911. There are real people out there who need help and calls like this might prevent them getting through. Someone could be dying while you’re wasting our time with this prank.”
“This isn’t a prank,” the boy said earnestly. “I really think he thinks he’s a vampire. He has fangs and—”
“And I really think you need to stop watching horror movies and take yourself to bed. I’m writing down your number, boy, and if you call again, the police will be dispatched to your house and they could arrest you for this. Don’t call again.”
A sharp click sounded. It was followed by a dial tone.


LYNSAY SANDS is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there’s occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. Please visit her on the web at

Find Lynsay and her books
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

Tour Wide

To celebrate the release of THE TROUBLE WITH VAMPIRES by Lynsay Sands, we’re giving away a paperback copy of Vampires Like It Hot!
GIVEAWAY TERMS + CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Vampires Like It Hot by Lynsay Sands.  This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 5/5/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address.  Duplicates will be deleted.  

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Week in Review: 4/21-4/27

Books Received for Review

The Girl in Red by Christina Henry
A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth
Verify by Joelle Charbonneau

Books I've Read

Pack of Vows and Tears by Olivia Wildenstein
Mimic by C.L. Denault
Marked Paradox by Heather Renee
Prime by Carrie Whitethorne

Reviews Posted

Deadworld by Debbie Cassidy (@amoscassidy)
The Devil's Own by K.A. Fox (@PublishingAcorn)


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

* Monday- Guest Blog: Unhuman Light by Chris Stoneheart (@RoxanneRhoads)

* Thursday- Cover Reveal: Blood of a Huntsman by May Sage (@XpressoTours)


* 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 26, 2019

Review: The Devil's Own by K.A. Fox (@PublishingAcorn)

The Devil's Own
Author: K.A. Fox
Release Date: October 14, 2019
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Murphy's Law Book #1
ISBN13: 9781947392489
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

Delaney Murphy has always known she's the Devil’s daughter. And although the title itself is a burden, she never expects to inherit all her father's infernal abilities. When her newfound magic begins to poison the people closest to her, Laney must make a choice. To protect the world from the worst she can do, she leaves everyone she loves behind and builds a new life for herself, alone, in a place where she can control the urge to give in to the magic living within her.

But when she recognizes a familiar pattern in a string of murders, Laney leaves her peaceful, isolated life behind and goes on the hunt, unleashing a threat she never dreamed possible. Confronting this menacing specter could mean giving in to temptation and becoming the one thing she fears most. Will she use her magic to do the right thing, even if it means hurting the ones she loves?

I'm a little on the fence about this one. On one hand I liked it, but then again, it didn't blow me away.

I think THE DEVIL'S OWN started off strong, but didn't really keep me in the zone. The heroine starts off as a bad ass which was great, but we don't get a lot of badass moments for her to really shine through. The story had a really interesting premise, but it felt rushed to me. I would have liked a little more development of the story, world and characters.

THE DEVIL'S OWN was a bit on the short side, so I think I will give book two a chance to blow me away like book one didn't do.

I gave it 3/5 stars

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

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Cover Reveal: Blood of a Huntsman by May Sage (@XpressoTours)

Blood of a Huntsman
After Darkness Falls #2
Publication date: May 23rd 2019
The vampires have always feared the first of their kind and his descendants. Now all immortals know there’s a new Eirikrson threatening their way of life.
And they don’t intend to let her.

Catherine Stormhale has spent decades trying to crawl out of her family’s shadow. Now they’re calling her back home, to serve their clan against her new friends, and she has a choice to make.

Bash used to know who he was. A protector. A provider. A huntsman.
After being bitten by a feral vampire and turned into a blood-craving thing, he’s lost everything. Family, purpose, honor.

When students are attacked outside of the Institute, all warriors are called to help secure their borders.
Bash and Cat sign up for the same schedule. He’s a newborn vampire with no control over his thirst and she, a princess born to this life.
Neither knows what they’re in for.

Sequel to:

May is a USA Today Bestselling Author living in Windsor, Berkshire, with a german shepherd, a moggy and two savannahs. She writes every sub genre of romance, from fantasy to contemporary. You're signing up for strong, sassy, kick-ass women and swoon-worthy male protagonists. Enjoy the ride!

Find May and her books


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Review: Deadworld by Debbie Cassidy (@amoscassidy)

Release Date: April 23, 2019
Publisher: Self-Published
ASIN:  B07N8K555W
Genre: RH Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Author

Humans weren’t meant to live underground, but then artificial intelligences weren’t meant to feed off souls. Shit happens.

Being a Potential is an honor. It qualifies me for the mandatory Run, the chance to become a Guardian and wield one of the only weapons that can disable a Genesis scout. It also means I’ll have to leave the safety of my underground home and go topside, where the possibility of death goes up by eighty percent.

Badges of honor mean nothing if you’re dead.

I’d rather steer clear of any place where soul sucking AI roam. I’d rather stay safe in the Hive and hangout with my wolf-shifter co-worker. I’d rather work on the mechanical heart that keeps the Hive running and spend time with my enigmatic nephilim mentor. Heck, I’d rather be doing anything else. But I’ve made a promise to my best friend, a promise to get her to the finish line in time to win a spot as Guardian. How hard can it be, right? We have a plan. So why do I feel as if something is about to go seriously wrong?

It’s a game. Just a game.

Or is it?

First came Chronicles of Midnight, then came Chronicles of Arcana, and now we have Chronicles of Deadworld. Set a hundred years after the events of its predecessors Deadworld takes you into a Post-Apocalyptic Urban fantasy world with a slow burn Whychoose Romance.

You don’t have to read the previous series, but man, if you do the thrill ride will be unlike any other.

Debbie Cassidy fast forwards into the future of the Chronicles of Midnight and Chronicles of Arcana worlds with Chronicles of Deadworld.

I enjoyed both the previous series in this world, but I must say I am liking Deadworld a tad bit more after reading just the first book. Now, you don't have to read the past series to jump into this one. You won't be confused or feel lost, but there are some name drops and it's nice to have the history behind the world and some of the characters that are introduced.

DEADWORLD was pretty character driven so I will take a moment to talk about them. Echo is our main character and she is easy to like. She doesn't like what fate has in store for her, but goes along with it anyways and ends up being a pretty big deal in the end. I wish there would have been a little more focus on her siblings and her role as their caregiver as they are a pretty huge part of her life. Maybe they will be more featured in the future.

From what we know about the men so far, I am happy with all of them. They are all likable and mesh well with our heroine. Don't expect much romance in DEADWORLD—or maybe even book two—as Debbie REALLY takes joy in the agony a slow-burn romance brings her readers.

The world was very interesting. We get to see both the new world the author brings us with the underground portion of the story and the future of a world we already know, but have to relearn on the surface. 

There's still a lot of mystery about the main character and the world after finishing DEADWORLD. DEAD CITY is due out at the end of May and I already have it on my wishlist.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Monday, April 22, 2019

Guest Blog: Unhuman Light by Chris Stoneheart (@RoxanneRhoads)

UFI welcomes Author Chris Stoneheart. Thanks for Joining us!!

Thanks so much for having me on the blog today!

I’m so excited the third book in the Chronicles of the Light is releasing, and I’m here to talk about the world this series is set in. It’s our world, except most humans don’t know about all the supernaturals who might be our neighbors, our coworkers, or our daughter’s boyfriend. (And if you have a teenage daughter, that last bit probably sent chills up your spine.)

This world and story has been in my head for decades, in one form or another. When you look at the old mythologies, sometimes you can see how old stories from different civilizations are the same story as seen from a different culture. Jupiter and Zeus are the easiest example, but there are a thousand others. If the old gods are still around, and you ask one of them who he is, and he’s been named something different by a dozen or more cultures, would he give you a list? Doubtful, right? He’ll probably have renamed himself and won’t tell you anything about his history or abilities.

By contrast, some mythologies appear contradictive. The vampire myths, for example. To me, it seems as if there are multiple types of vampire, else the mythologies don’t work. So, my story has three species of vampire. Two of the species “die” at dawn, the other can choose when to sleep or be awake but can’t handle direct sunlight. All of them drink blood, of course. One species is evil — the changing process turns them into a monster. The other two can decide whether to be good, evil, or somewhere in between.

What challenges must the modern day be bringing to vampires, shapeshifters, and other not-so-mythological beings? Nearly every human has a camera phone, and there are security cameras all over the place, and moving every decade or so (before people notice you aren’t aging) isn’t as easy as traveling to another country and buying a house with your suitcase of gold. Today, one needs a birth certificate and social security number at a minimum in the U.S., and other developed countries have identity requirements, as well.

Security cameras, social media, and even satellite images have to be considered at all times. Vampires can’t just pull someone into an alley and drink anymore. Shapeshifters can’t change just because they don’t hear a heartbeat. Even during a huge battle, the participants have to make sure humans can’t obtain proof of the supernatural. No one wants to be questioned by the council responsible for making sure the secret is kept.

The nucleus of the story is Kaitlin, a human who went a little overboard with the whole finding herself thing as a young adult. Now in her thirties, she can  levitate, and has a few other tricks humans aren’t supposed to be able to do. She’s close friends with one of the few remaining dragon shifters, which is fortunate, because when she gets tossed into the world of the supernaturals, it means she has a powerful friend to help keep her alive. But, in the end, Kaitlin has to keep herself alive.

The Chronicles of the Light is urban fantasy, but if you enjoy fantasy of any kind, I hope you’ll take a chance and dive into my world.


Chris Stoneheart lives in a fifty-year-old house smack dab in the middle of The South, with what promises to soon be a full-fledged herd of retired racing greyhounds. Chris read The Hobbit in elementary school, and The Lord of the Rings in middle school, and has been addicted to fantasy ever since. (It’s probably best we don’t talk about what Chris read in high school.)

Chronicles of the Light gives us a world where weredragons, werewolves, werelions, three different species of vampires, and a variety of other mythological beings exist.

Stay up to date on new releases by joining Chris’s mailing list at

ARE YOU STALKING ME? You should be! Come find me!


Find Chris

Unhuman Light
Chronicles of the Light #1
Books2Read Amazon Kobo iTunes
BN Smashwords Goodreads BookBub
Chronicles of the Light, book one…

Bodies keep piling up, but Kaitlin O'Malley refuses to back down, even when threatened by someone once worshipped as a god. Training for a battle between good and evil, she teams up with the Dragon King and a powerful lion, and finds herself protected by a Master Vampire who wants her in his bed.

With a vile enemy ready to destroy her, the men in her life lock her up to keep her safe, but Kaitlin will never let other people fight her battles. She’ll have to break free and venture out on her own, wielding a powerful weapon to protect herself — a weapon her enemies would kill for. To face the enemy alone, Kaitlin must view the world in an Unhuman Light.

In a supernatural battle of magic and strength, can an unlikely human prevail?

“Aery, I need a shot!” I screamed, holding back the energy pulsing at my fingertips until he was out of the way. The instant he maneuvered to give me a clear path, I unleashed the fiery red energy and watched it streak through the air and slice into the grotesque monster who’d been holding his own in a fight with Aaron Drake.
My power drained from me as it hit our foe in the chest, melting through skin, bone, and more. I lifted my arm a few inches and the caustic light streaking from my hand rose like a laser. When it reached the hideous creature’s throat, I moved my hand right and left until he was decapitated, and then watched in horrified fascination while the body seemed to evaporate before my eyes.
My gaze swung to my friend, and I checked to be sure he was okay. I was used to Aaron totally dominating, no matter the species he was fighting, and the fact he’d maneuvered to give me a clear shot told me the ancient dragonshifter wasn’t sure he could’ve won. My heart settled when I saw he seemed okay. He’s hard to kill, but I had no idea what we’d just fought.
As far as I know, I’m the only person who can get away with a cute nickname for the sexy, tough-as-nails, bad-assed owner of Drake Security, but I never do it around other people. I wouldn’t have said it today while battling an unknown monster, but it slipped out. No problem though, the bad guy seemed to evaporate and turn to smoke once the life force left his body. I usually want to cry after a kill — even when it’s a really bad guy — but not having to look at a body made it easier. Either way, I couldn’t give into the guilt and soul searching until the op was over.
“What was that?” I asked Aaron.
“Not sure,” he said, barely out of breath. “I used to see things kind of like him a few thousand years ago, but not since we entered the Common Era. I’ll send a sketch to a few friends and see if they have any ideas. I was about to shift into dragon form and see if my fire would work, but your laser did the trick.”
I took a breath and pulled energy in from the forest around us. I’d used almost all my reserves with that one shot, and I’d be useless if something else came along. I leaned against a tree and tried to relax in the crisp, autumn air. It’s easier to absorb energy when you’re at peace.
Aaron, of course, noticed. “I can top you up. You know I have plenty.”
I shook my head. “I’m not up for pain right now. Just give me five minutes with a few trees.” I could almost always find an old tree willing to give me energy. It might take a little time, but not as long as gathering it from the air around me. A waterfall would be faster, or even a creek or stream, but I didn’t hear running water.
“I won’t push more in than you can take, not during a mission.” Aaron said. “You used it to save me, the least I can do is top you back up.”
“Okay,” I relented, “but into my hands. I’ll route it to the right chakras.”
He didn’t argue, thank goodness, and held his hands out for me to grasp. I dropped my shields enough to let his energy flow out of his palms and into mine, and as it streamed up my arms and into my body, my heart seemed to need less energy to pump my blood.
I initially routed the power he gifted me to my first two chakras, since I primarily pull from those for my weapon, and then filled the rest. He truly does have plenty, but I never want to get used to depending on him.
During the few minutes Aaron’s energy filled me, I was at one with everything around me — totally at peace with the world, the universe, and perhaps even God. All energy is magic, but Aaron’s is a special kind of magic.
If we were romantically compatible, I’d be madly in love with him, but since we aren’t, he’s one of my best friends. I love him, but it isn’t the girlfriend kind of love.
When I was as full as I could get without feeling pain, I gently let go of his hands. When we do this as an exercise and he’s expanding the volume I can hold, he forces it in long past when I would choose to let go. This hurts about as much as I imagine a lightning strike would, and there’s a lot of screaming and crying involved on my part. I hate acting like a girly-girl, but he assures me he screamed and begged when his reserves were being stretched, too. Of course, that was thousands of years ago, so who could say how much he remembered of the pain?
Today, though, I felt warm and full and loved.
“Thanks,” I told him. Words couldn’t adequately thank him, so the single word would have to do. Besides, we were still on our mission and needed to focus, so I asked, “Do we circle back around and try the mystery cave, or try my idea?” I already knew venturing into the unknown cave wasn’t an option, but hoped he’d consider my Plan B. Aaron hadn’t liked it when I’d proposed it a few hours earlier, but we were running out of options.
He lifted his chin in agreement but showed no emotion. Aaron Drake totally rocks bad-ass. “Let’s pull Nathan in to help,” he answered. “I’m not comfortable using you as human bait with just me as your backup.”
I nodded and leaned against a tree, closed my eyes, and made Aaron’s energy my own while he texted Nathan our coordinates. Nathan wasn’t too far away, but was acting as lookout and would need to put someone in his spot before joining us.
We knew women were being kidnapped and taken to these woods just outside the boundaries of Prentice Cooper State Forest. Aaron is a weredragon and has an exceptionally good sense of smell, which had helped him find the women’s scents, but the trail had ended around ten feet from the cave’s entrance. I’d found narrow wheel marks leading towards the cave, and Aaron scented a few non-human male scents in the same area. Aaron couldn’t identify the species of the non-humans by smell, and wasn’t sure about them now that he’d seen one of them, either.
I theorized they might be putting the women into some sort of cart to get them into the cave, but Aaron didn’t want to go in without knowing what we were walking into. I understood the logic, even if it frustrated me. Still, Aaron was thousands of years old and hadn’t made it this far by being stupid, so I generally listened to his advice. Not always, but usually.
My Plan B had been to send me into the staging area as a bumbling, helpless female making a lot of noise, and hope someone showed up so Aaron could interrogate them and find out what was going on.
However, if we happened upon more of whatever we’d been fighting earlier, I wasn’t sure how we’d question it. Aaron and Nathan in human form and working together could probably subdue one of the creatures, but if more appeared they’d likely be forced to shift into their animal forms. Not a problem for Nathan, who shifted into a lion, but Aaron’s gigantic dragon form was hard to hide, as he tended to knock trees down and create a huge disturbance even when he didn’t take flight. He might’ve gotten away with it a hundred years ago, but with practically every American owning a camera phone today, he wouldn’t risk it.
The creature I’d killed had looked like an amalgamation of goat, ape, and the Incredible Hulk — minus the green. It’d been tan and brown, with long curved horns and vertical slitted eyes with flaming red irises where they should’ve been black. Creepy was an understatement, and he’d scared the bejeebers out of me even before I knew he was almost too much for Aaron to take on in human form.
As a human who can’t magically heal like the shapeshifters, I only use my metaphysical laser to kill from a distance. Attempting to wound a powerful supernatural creature would likely only get me killed, once they saw I was a serious danger. I could cut limbs off with my laser, or deliver a kill shot, but couldn’t do much else. However, we’d need to capture the next one so it could be questioned, which meant I could only act if I thought there was no other choice.
I was full of energy now though, and if I portioned it out I could probably kill two with what Aaron had given me.
Nathan, as always, startled me when he appeared in front of me. He walks as quietly in human form as when he’s a lion, and he’s just as ill-behaved, arrogant, and stubborn as any grumpy house-cat, so we didn’t exactly get along. I trusted him with my life on a mission, I just didn’t like being around him. Too bad he’s gorgeous.
Ignoring the fact he’d startled me, I told the men, “I need to hand off my gun and mags to one of you. The goat monsters will probably be able to smell them, and I’ll lose my helpless female vibe.”
Nathan held his hand out, choosing to remain nonverbal as usual when around me. I held my tongue, pulled my nine millimeter from the bellyband and handed it off, then the three extra magazines. He put my weapon in a zippered pocket on the side of his thigh, and slid my mags into slots on the inside of his military style tech-vest.
No matter how much of an ass he might be, he’s still built like my ideal man and I always have to work to keep from lusting after his more-than-perfect human body. He can smell emotions and physical reactions, and I endeavored to give him nothing. It was more likely he didn’t care what I thought or felt, but just in case he did, I wanted to keep as much feedback from him as possible.
We were about a half mile from the staging area Aaron had found, and I started walking to it, knowing Aaron would map out a plan with Nathan and they’d both be in position long before I arrived.
Walking away from them, through the woods, towards danger without my gun was terrifying, but I breathed through my fear and tried to keep my physiological reactions to a minimum. Both for my own pride, to keep Aaron and Nathan from smelling my fear, but also because it wouldn’t do for the goat-people to know I was terrified before I saw them. A lost human can be expected to smell a little scared, but not out-of-her-mind frightened.


Sunday, April 21, 2019

Week in Review: 4/14-4/20

Books Received for Review

Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford
A Pack of Vows and Tears by Olivia Wildenstein

Books I've Read

Protector by Serena Nova
Shadowspell Academy: The Culling Trials by Shannon Mayer, K.F. Breene
Gypsy Rising by Kristy Cunning
Tales & Time by G. Bailey

Reviews Posted

A Pack of Blood and Lies by Olivia Wildenstein (@OWildWrites)


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

* Monday- Interview + Giveaway: The Lost Lunason Series by Stacie Sultrie (@RoxanneRhoads , @SSultrie)

* Wednesday- Promo + Giveaway: The Perfect Mate Series by Brey King (@puretextuality, @WriterBreyKing)

* Friday- Interview: AetherBorn by Alexis N. Sage (@RoxanneRhoads)


* 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 19, 2019

Interview: AetherBorn by Alexis N. Sage (@RoxanneRhoads)

UFI welcomes Author Alexis N. Sage . 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 am quite manic when it comes to planning and organization, so much so that I actually started designing my own planners and stickers and attend a planner conference each year. If it has anything to do with agendas, I am first in line!

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

Usually when I can carve out some time for myself I either read, take long baths, or binge Netflix shows. More often than not, I try to cram all three in one night.

What is your Favorite part of writing? 

Getting to know my own characters. They’ve become like family members in our house, minus the Christmas presents. I treat every character I write the same way I would real people. Getting to know them well first before I introduce them to the rest of the people in my life. Right now, I’m spending more time getting to know Zag from the book, he’s a blast to hang out with!

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

Of course! I have to start each series with a full timeline breakdown, this way there are no surprises or plot holes in the collection as a whole. From there, I use the three-act process to plot each novel. Once I have that in place, I can move down to the specific scenes. I find that having a structure in place really helps me contain the information and make sure I hit the right beats.

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

I’m currently obsessing over the Caraval series. It’s such a beautifully written story with incredibly intricate nuances that drew me in immediately. For authors, I will always read anything that Holly Black, Sarah J. Maas, and Sarra Cannon put out. They’re all amazing!

How would you pitch The Enuma Legacies to someone who has not heard of it before?

It’s a story about a girl that gets tangled up in an underground world of elemental deities and discovers that she is not just human after all.

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

The book is set in today’s modern society, in the fictional city of Westerlake. I based the city’s feel on Toronto, Canada. Specifically, the southern most parts of it that are closest to the water. Most of the book takes place between Ruby’s apartment and an underground training center for elementals. It was important to me to have the two opposite sets in order to show a vivid change in Ruby’s life when she discovers the elemental world. The world she found had to be right under the nose of the regimented life she was otherwise used to, a fun surprise in a way. Without giving away spoilers, there will be other worlds built in the series that are planned for later books and I cannot wait to write them!

Do you have a favorite scene in AETHERBORN?

I actually have two. I quite enjoyed the opening scene since it was a great way to introduce Ruby and some of her more fun character traits. The other scene I particularly enjoyed was Ruby and Liam’s first kiss (spoiler alert!), I was rooting for them the entire time that I was writing the previous chapters and could not be happier with how it turned out. 

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

Zag is my most fun character to write for, hands down. He’s just such a fully-developed and interesting character that I can picture myself being friends with him in real life. The hardest so far has been the antagonist that I am introducing in AetherQueen. It took me a long time to develop speech patterns and even physical characteristics for this character. I wanted an antagonist that was dark and quite evil but also entertaining to read and finding that balance was a difficult task.

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

The entire Enuma Legacies series for now. I am working on six books in total for this series and will be giving it my entire attention. I have already started planning for possible spin-offs of the world but those will have to wait until the series is complete. 

Alexis N. Sage has spent most of her life waiting to meet a witch, vampire, or at least get haunted by a ghost. In between failed seances and many questionable outfit choices, Alexis has developed a keen eye for the extra-ordinary.

Since chasing the supernatural does not pay the bills, Alexis has dabbled in creative entrepreneurship, marketing and retail management. She spends her free time reading thrillers and binge-watching television shows in her pajamas.

Currently, Alexis resides in Toronto, Canada with her husband who is not a creature of the night.

She is a Scorpio and a massive advocate of leggings for pants.

Find Alexis and her books

The Enuma Legacies #1
There is a world of deities living among us. What would you do if you were the only one who could see them?

Ruby Black, a photography student at Westerlake University, seems to have the typical life of an awkward college kid. She has average grades, does not make friends easily, and is secretly in love with her best friend. Ruby is content with her place in the world. In fact, she quite likes it. That is until a simple incident on a packed, rush-hour subway train shatters her entire reality.

Reluctantly, Ruby finds herself in the middle of a war that has been brewing for centuries. A battle between powerful beings that have been living in secret under Ruby’s nose this entire time.

Will Ruby go back to her familiar life or will she choose the brooding stranger who opens her eyes to a world far more mysterious than she'd ever imagined? A world where her own powers are far greater than she could have known to be true...

Literally the Worst Train Ride Ever

Ruby could feel sweat starting to drip at the base of her back, forming a miniature pool and staining her vintage leather jacket right through her tank. The train had been stuck between stations for twenty minutes and there was no sign that it would start moving any time soon. Ruby was beginning to regret her decision of not snagging the last empty seat when she got on. This is literally the worst train ride ever, she grimaced as she rearranged her camera bag. She cast an eye for another people-free pocket on the train without any luck. Looks like it’s standing room only for the rest of the ride.
Being just a smidge over five feet tall, Ruby could usually sneak by crowds of people without any issues, and on any other day this claustrophobic train would not affect her at all. Today, however, the weight of two cameras in her bag was starting to take a toll, and she could not wait to get a glimpse of the sun again. Her dark, brown hair was starting to get soaking wet from the heat and she was using the side of her arm to side-swipe it out of her eyes.
I think I live here now. Might as well get comfortable. She shifted her weight from left to right and almost knocked over the young girl next to her with the tripod. She had originally strapped it to her back in hopes of taking up less space, but it had since slid down her back and was now protruding from her waist like the end of a bulky musket. Twenty-five minutes and counting.
She lowered her bag to the ground and tried to reach for her camera without causing any harm to anyone in her immediate orbit but the intention failed immediately. As soon as she bent over, the tripod slid up her back, over her head and made a very direct landing on the lap of the older man sitting across from her.
“I am so sorry!” Ruby perked up, and tried to get the three-legged monster off his newspaper, “The stupid thing will not stay put!” Ruby’s usually somewhat pale cheeks were flushed with embarrassment. Her only thought now was a quick getaway.
“It’s no problem, dear.” The man she almost impaled folded his paper and handed her the tripod, “Do you want to take a seat? It might be a while longer, I’m afraid.”
Do I ever! She thought; and honestly, if he had asked her a few minutes later she would have accepted. Luckily for him, she was not yet so tired as to forget her manners entirely.
“Oh, it’s ok. I’m sure it will get moving soon. I should probably take advantage of this anyhow.” Ruby aimed her lens at the man and took a photo. Her airy giggle made him smile, it’s not often a pretty young girl takes your photo.
Ruby clutched her camera lens and started surveying the train. Her eyes darted through the crowd with sniper-like determination. If she was going to be stuck here, she was definitely going to make the best of it!
So far, Ruby’s photography had been, as her professors would call it, an introvert’s daydream. She kept to herself when working, and mainly photographed objects that could not talk back. Her most recent series of rotting fruit had even won her a trip to France, which would have been quite exceptional if she had not been expected to spend ten days with a group of strangers. Unlike her parents, Ruby had not inherited the social butterfly gene and had always preferred the company of books, movies, and photos to actual beating hearts. No one was surprised when she was accepted to the photography program at Westerlake University. If there was a career that would allow Ruby to watch life and not actually live it, she’d be all in.
Her first two years at Westerlake were great. Her professors unintentionally labeled her a “young Man Ray” and she was left to her own devices for the majority of assignments. But this year was different. She had begun to be complacent in her work, and her lack of passion and enthusiasm was starting to get noticed. After their last lecture before Thanksgiving break, her favorite professor asked to meet her in his office.
“Come on in, Ruby.” His tone was different than usual. There was no intrigue, no playfulness. Just a straightforward stare and a beckoning to unchartered scoldings. His pale blue eyes narrowed, and when he took off his reading glasses, she knew she was in trouble. Professor Tremblay saved that maneuver for his troublemakers.
“How are you, Mr. Tremblay?” She brushed loose pieces of hair out of her eyes. The trouble with having mouse-thin hair was in keeping it from looking like an oil-slick all day. Ruby had gotten used to having bangs in her eyes, but something about this moment seemed serious. She tried to look as carefree as possible, but her nerves were coming through every word, “is everything all right?”
Tremblay was leaning forward on his desk and staring directly at her. Despite being quite small in build, his old age gave him a sense of superiority, which was likely why Ruby valued his opinion of her work above all others. You can’t mess up when one of the country’s best is teaching you. “Everything is fine, Ruby. I just wanted to have a quick chat to see what your plans are for your thesis. It seems like it’s shaping up to be quite interesting.”
“It’s going good. I’m still trying to figure out the exact direction I want to take with it...” she lied. She had no direction. She actually hadn’t even thought about it yet.
“May I offer some advice?” He crossed his arms and continued rapidly without letting her answer, “It might be time to try something different. You seem fairly comfortable with your subject matter. I understand that it is easy to get sucked into doing what you’re good at over and over again. But this is a school. This is your one chance to try everything and see what sticks, without repercussions or consequences.”
“Ok...” she had no idea where this was headed.
“I have a little assignment for you for over the holidays. Photograph people. Photograph as many people as you can and forget about the fruit and antiques and abandoned buildings. Can you do that for me?”
Where was this coming from? Ruby had never photographed people. He knew she wasn’t comfortable talking to strangers. Why would he ask this of her?
“You look puzzled.”
“I am, Mr.Tremblay. I just...” she chose her next words carefully, “I’ve never been keen on portraiture, sir.”
“I know. That’s precisely why I’m asking you to do this.” Tremblay leaned back in his chair, his slightly more relaxed posture made Ruby breathe in deeply and lower her shoulders. He’s just trying to help, she thought.
“Are you worried my thesis will not be good enough?” Her hazel eyes started to take on a deeper shade as they filled with water. She might not have had any idea of what her thesis was but that did not mean she couldn’t get defensive over it.
“Not at all! I’m sure it will be as wonderful as the rest of your work! I just don’t want you to graduate without having learned it all. Do you think you can try that?”
How could she not try it? When your favorite professor asks you to do something for your own development, you don’t say no. Yet, here she was now, forcing herself to interrupt the train ride of the strangers around her, sweating buckets and regretting agreeing to this little project in the first place.
Just a few shots and you can put your camera away.
She ran her lens across the crowd. Focusing on each passenger’s face and trying to figure out why they were there. Where they were going? Were they in a hurry? Were they as uncomfortable as she was?
As she scoped the tin tube, her view landed at the back of the train on two men slightly older than she was. Are they fighting? She twisted her lens to sharpen the focus as one of the men leaned in closer to the other. He seemed to be whispering something, something that felt forceful and predatory. His scowling jaw locked tight and his eyes gleamed with pure hatred. He grabbed the man next to him by the shoulders. To anyone else watching it would have looked like a friendly pat on the back but Ruby saw better. She could see the fear in his victim’s face. Something was wrong here.
She tried to move closer to the two, but she was trapped in place by the crowd. She put up her lens and zoomed in. The attacker reached into his pocket. What was he getting? Ruby couldn’t see, there were too many people around. She aimed her camera at his hand as it moved out of his pocket and back towards his train neighbor. Something small. A ring maybe? Whatever it was, he quickly buried it in his palm and placed his hand on his neighbor’s chest. She could see terror forming on the victim’s face. His entire body convulsing with fear.
“Hey!” She screamed as loudly as she could. The entire car now shifted their gaze to the awkward, sweaty girl with the camera. “Stop it!”
She lifted the camera to her face again, what was he doing? Something flashed in the viewfinder. She zoomed in closer. What is that? There seemed to be marks on the attacker’s arms. Some sort of triangles and lines. Glowing blue like a propane fire. What the hell is that?
The train shook a bit as the engines started up again. Some of the lights that were lighting the advertisements across the top of the car flashed briefly and stopped as the train began moving out of the tunnel. Ruby heard a woman’s scream coming from the back of the car. She focused her lens at the crowd standing in a circle. Her gaze shifted down at the train floor. The man she saw being attacked was lying lifeless, face down on the ground. She moved her camera around the train trying to find the attacker. Nothing. How could he get off the train? Ruby lowered her camera to her side. She looked at the old man in the seat across from her who seemed more interested in the crossword in front of him.
What just happened here? What did she just see?
The train slowly inched towards a stop at the next station. The doors stood steady for a brief moment then opened to let air into the train. People rushed out, pushing each other aside. The crowd carried Ruby out of the train like a wave of water, a tsunami really. She stood on the platform and watched as two officers made their way into the car, with the doors shutting tight behind them.
“Attention passengers. This platform is currently closed due to an emergency situation. Emergency responders are on their way. We apologize for any inconvenience.”


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Review: A Pack of Blood and Lies by Olivia Wildenstein (@OWildWrites)

A Pack of Blood and Lies
Release Date: April 18, 2019
Publisher: Twig Publishing
ISBN: 1948463148
ISBN13: 9781948463140
Genre: YA Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

The primal rule of winning: don’t fall in love with the contender.

Three months shy of her eighteenth birthday, Ness is forced to return to Colorado. Even though it’s been six years, and the wolves of her all-male pack don’t recognize her, she recognizes them. People who shun others because of their gender are hard to forget.

Especially Liam Kolane—son of Heath, the crudest and cruelest Alpha to have ruled the Boulder Pack. Liam is as handsome as he is infuriating, as kind as he is punishing, and he makes Ness’s traitorous heart race, which isn’t good. After all, he’s a Kolane. Like father like son, right?

When Heath dies, Liam vies to become the new Alpha and no one dares challenge him.

Except Ness.

Thus begins a treacherous game.

The rules: winner takes all…including loser’s life.

A PACK OF BLOOD AND LIES was one of those books that I really enjoyed reading, but don't have a whole lot to say about it.

The characters: Ness was likable. I enjoyed her fight. I felt for her and what she was going through and rooted for her during her journey. I can't say I always agreed with her, but I understood where her actions were coming from. Liam was also likable. He was hot and cold for the most part, but the more you get to know him, the more he grows on you. The secondary characters were easy to like or dislike. Most of the characters that I started out disliking changed for the better throughout the story.

The romance: There are a few different possibilities. I would find myself rooting for one then switching to the other. Hopefully we will get a bit more romance in future books, but A PACK OF BLOOD AND LIES didn't really focus strongly on romance and that was OK.

The story: The story resolves around how Ness is trying to join an all-male wolf pack as a female and I enjoyed it. The navigation of pack politics was well done and watching her challenge the men in the pack for a spot was entertaining. There were parts of the story that I didn't totally get behind (her signing on to be an escort and the events that took place around that), but again, in the end I enjoyed it.

As I said in the opening of this review. I really enjoyed A PACK OF BLOOD AND LIES and look forward to seeing where Wildenstein takes the story next.

I gave it  3.5/5 stars

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

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Promo + Giveaway: The Perfect Mate Series by Brey King (@puretextuality, @WriterBreyKing)

From Book One...

Destiny's Mate
The Perfect Mate #1
She's searching for her true mate. He's trying to find the true love who's taken over his dreams. Tragedy strikes. Can love bring them together?
Once upon a time...

Destiny is on the run. She knows settling for the shifter that her parents wanted her to mate with, wasn’t going to work for her. Being a wolf shifter, she could feel the pull to her mate. The shifter her parents have picked out is hateful, mean and disrespectful.

As Destiny fought the push from her mother to accept Voss, she knew that she was going to have to leave to find the mate that she has been dreaming of since she was 18. Three years later, she is still searching, but she knows that she is getting closer to finding him.

When she finally she finally sees him across the street she is determined to meet him that very moment.

Luke is the person she has been dreaming about, and he has been dreaming of her too. Yet before they can reach each other...

Join Destiny and Luke as both of their worlds collide, and set in motion a series of events that threaten to tear them apart.

About the Series

The Perfect Mate Series
by Brey King
Paranormal Romance
Urban Fantasy
King Novelettes
Publication Dates
Purchase Your Copies Today!
Series on Amazon
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BREY KING – My life as a passionate writer has been hanging around for a while. However, in 2015, I took the leap and self-publishing my first book. I’m so glad that I did because the characters from my books have come to life for me and my readers.

Key to my writing technique is being open to where my characters lead me when I create my ideal writing environment. I love to build in humor that actually makes you laugh out loud along with a little bit of drama spice. The funnier and dramatic I can make my characters, the better for my books.
My hope is that you will check out my books as they become available and then support me by leaving a review. Your feedback and comments are important to me!

Find Brey and her books
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

Tour Wide

To celebrate the blog tour of THE PERFECT MATE SERIES by Brey King, we're giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!

GIVEAWAY TERMS + CONDITIONS:  Open internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Brey King.  Giveaway ends 4/21/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!