Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Quick Thought Review: Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym Martineau (@maxymmckay, @SourcebooksCasa)

*Sometimes I read a book where I just don't have a lot to say about it. Hence the name quick thought reviews. This will be short and sweet.

Kingdom of Exiles
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Publisher: Sourcebook Casablanca
ISBN:  1492689386
ISBN13: 9781492689386
Genre: Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

Fantastic Beasts meets Assassin's Creed in this epic, gripping fantasy romance from debut author Maxym M. Martineau.

Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts on the black market—an offense punishable by death—and now there's a price on her head. With the realm's most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes him an offer he can't refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.

If only it were that simple. Unbeknownst to Leena, the undying ones are bound by magic to complete their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood of assassins...not even to save the woman he can no longer live without.

Great characters, great settings and a great story are all involved in the making of KINGDOM OF EXILES.

KINGDOM OF EXILES started off a little slow, but I had no problem getting into it with the great world building and action packed storyline. There was plenty of mystery and some romance as well. I really enjoyed learning about the different beasts and their roles in Leena's life. 

I will definitely read more.

I have it 4/5 stars

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

Monday, July 29, 2019

Promo + Giveaway: The Gossamer Mage by Julie E. Czerneda (@julieczerneda, @dawbooks)


The Gossamer Mage
Amazon
From an Aurora Award-winning author comes a new fantasy epic in which one mage must stand against a Deathless Goddess who controls all magic.

Only in Tananen do people worship a single deity: the Deathless Goddess. Only in this small, forbidden realm are there those haunted by words of no language known to woman or man. The words are Her Gift, and they summon magic.

Mage scribes learn to write Her words as intentions: spells to make beasts or plants, designed to any purpose. If an intention is flawed, what the mage creates is a gossamer: a magical creature as wild and free as it is costly for the mage.

For Her Gift comes at a steep price. Each successful intention ages a mage until they dare no more. But her magic demands to be used; the Deathless Goddess will take her fee, and mages will die.

To end this terrible toll, the greatest mage in Tananen vows to find and destroy Her. He has yet to learn She is all that protects Tananen from what waits outside. And all that keeps magic alive. 
__________________________________

Julie E. Czerneda is the author of the Species Imperative trilogy, the Night's Edge fantasy duology, and the Stratification novels. She is a multiple Aurora Award winner, and was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award and the Philip K. Dick Award. Julie lives with her husband and two children in the lake country of central Ontario, under skies so clear they could take seeing the Milky Way for granted, but never do.

Find Julie and her books
__________________________________
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You could win the Julie E. Czerneda Library!

To celebrate the publication of Julie E. Czerneda's new book, GOSSAMER MAGE, we're giving away 18 signed books!

One lucky winner will received SIGNED copies of the following:

  • A Thousand Words for Stranger
  • Ties of Power
  • To Trade the Stars
  • Reap the Wild Wind
  • Riders of the Storm
  • Rift in the Sky
  • This Gulf of Time and Stars
  • The Gate to Futures Past
  • To Guard Against the Dark
  • The Clan Chronicles: Tales from Plexis
  • Survival
  • Migration
  • Regeneration
  • In the Company of Others
  • Beholder's Eye
  • Changing Vision
  • Hidden in Sight
  • Search Image


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Week in Review: 7/21-7/27



Books Received for Review

Dead End by Debbie Cassidy

Books I've Read

Descended from Shadows by D.G. Swank
Dead End by Debbie Cassidy
Shadow Frost by Coco Ma

Reviews Posted

Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout ( @JLArmentrout , @InkyardPress)
Dead Sea by Debbie Cassidy (@amoscassidy)

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

* Monday- Promo + Giveaway: Fate of Dragons by Alisha Klapheke (@alishaKlapheke, @XpressoTours)

* Thursday- Cover Reveal: Kingdom of Thorns & Dreams Boxed Set (@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, July 26, 2019

Review: Dead Sea by Debbie Cassidy (@amoscassidy)

Dead Sea
Release Date: July 2, 2019
Publisher: Self-Published
ASIN:  B07QDK9YXS
Genre: Reverse Harem
Paranormal
Review Copy Source: Author

When war knocks on the door, burying your head in the sand won’t make it leave.

Death called and I answered. Now Genesis is coming for us. But with the council making every excuse not to listen to my warnings, there’s no other option but to plot behind their backs.

Time is limited.

The sea kingdom awaits, and the sea king isn’t the kind of man to accept a rain check. It means the guys and I will need to hold fire on our plan to pinpoint Genesis’s location.

Let’s just hope that the shit stays away from the fan until my return… Let’s hope it doesn’t follow me.

A Post-Apocalyptic Urban fantasy world with a slow burn Whychoose Romance

DEAD SEA felt like it flew by. Everything happened at a fast pace with a lot of action.

As the hive continues it's downhill slide, Echo is sent to the sea kingdom. I really enjoyed the world development of the sea kingdom. I could visualize as the story progressed and it made it that much more enjoyable to read about it.

The harem seems to be moving along. As for the addition to the harem, I'm not sure about it yet. He seems like a nice guy, but I wish we could have learned more about him and got to know him better before he was thrown into the mix of men. The way he was added works in his favor though.

DEAD SEA wasn't my favorite of the series. Some of the events that took place didn't feel like they were leading anywhere. I am hoping book four clears that up for me.

I gave it 3/5 stars

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

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Cover Reveal: Kingdom of Thorns & Dreams Boxed Set (@XpressoTours)



Kingdom of Thorns and Dreams Boxed Set
Publication date: October 15th 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, New Adult
Pre-order
    Sleeping Beauty, but not how you remember it…
    Sleeping Beauty, but not how you remember it
    One kiss.
    That’s all. Just one kiss and the curse will be broken.
    But is love’s true kiss a myth and will it be strong enough to break the curse that’s held her in its grasp for a century?
    The compelling tale of a young princess fated to sleep forever and the prince destined to save her retold in this spellbinding collection by USA Today and Amazon bestselling authors.
    One click now for your happily ever after.

    One click now for your happily ever after.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Review: Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout ( @JLArmentrout , @InkyardPress)

Storm and Fury
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Publisher: Inkyard Press
The Harbinger Book #1
ISBN:  1335218793
ISBN13: 9781335218797
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…

I enjoyed falling back into the The Dark Elements world with STORM AND FURY.

Trinity was an interesting characters. We get little sneak peaks to show us why she is special, but it's a nice slow reveal to find out what she truly is. I found her to be pretty kick butt. I loved seeing Zayne again and I loved his role in both Trinity's life and the story overall. Layla and Roth are part of the story as well and they all worked really well together considering their past.

The romance: Lot's of ups and downs, but I really like Zaybe and Trinity together. Not a ton happens between the two because of issues, but I can see a really strong relationship in their future.

Armentrout did a great job with the mystery and bad guy reveal. I was NOT expecting the outcome that came to pass. I was shocked, but then again It made total sense.

I really liked meeting Trinity and getting to see Zayne, Layla and Roth again. I will keep my eye out for book two.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Monday, July 22, 2019

Promo + Giveaway: Fate of Dragons by Alisha Klapheke (@alishaKlapheke, @XpressoTours)


Fate of Dragons
Dragons Rising #1

     An Earth Queen desperate to wake her magic.

    An elven prince fighting a ruthless betrayal.


    A flood is coming. The Sea Queen has a mad plan to drown the world.

    Only the magic of the Earth Queen can stop her. Vahly, the last human, was born to fill that role and wield the power necessary to battle the rising oceans and save the dragons and elves.

    But Vahly is the world’s biggest disappointment. She possesses no magic whatsoever.

    When she finds an ancient scroll that mentions a human power ritual conducted deep in the homeland of the elves, she gathers her dragon allies and journeys to see the king of that great forest-dwelling race.

    Welcomed by a handsome royal cloaked in dark magic, will Vahly find answers or will a twisted and powerful elven lord destroy her chance at saving the world?
Only 99¢ for a limited time!
 
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When USA Today Bestselling author Alisha Klapheke isn't busy creating new fantasy worlds, she teaches martial arts (specifically Muay Thai kickboxing, Krav Maga, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), loves on her two amazing kids, and travels the world with her ninja husband. *Alisha made the list November 2, 2017


Find Alisha and her books
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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Week in Review: 7/14-7/20



Books Received for Review

Nothing this week!!

Books I've Read

Wishful Thinking by Helen Harper
The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken
Shards of Frost by Suzanne Wright

Reviews Posted

Untamed Delights by Suzanne Wright (@suz_wright)

  ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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

* Monday- Interview + Giveaway: Stranger Rituals by Kali Rose Schmidt @kalirschmidt, @XpressoTours)

* Wednesday- Interview + Giveaway: Midnight’s End by Jill Ramsower (@JRamsower, @XpressoTours)

* Friday- Promo + Giveaway: Lineage by C. Vonzale Lewis (@cvonzalelewis, @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, July 19, 2019

Promo + Giveaway: Lineage by C. Vonzale Lewis (@cvonzalelewis, @XpressoTours)


Lineage
    Smart-mouthed Nicole Fontane has a way of getting herself into trouble. She’s been fired from every job she’s had but still refuses to work in her father’s apothecary shop because of his practice of Earth Magick. On Tulare Island where Nicole grew up, Magick has always been a way of life—one she’s determined to avoid at all costs.

    With less than two hundred dollars in the bank and rent due, Nicole is forced to take a job at Tribec Insurance as a last resort. Little does she realize, the moment she sets foot inside the building, she becomes a pawn. A sinister force has set its sights on her and will stop at nothing to use her in a sadistic game.

    Tribec’s proprietors, the Stewart family, are curiously preoccupied with the Naqada, the mysterious pre-dynastic Egyptian society. Nicole finds it creepy, but on the bright side, the job reconnects her with her estranged friend, Marta. Yet the eerie atmosphere, disappearing Magick wards, and the smell of blood inside Tribec bring Nicole to a startling conclusion—the Stewarts are practicing Blood Magick, the deadliest of the Five Principles. By the time Nicole uncovers the truth, Marta and her four children have gone missing, and all signs implicate the Stewarts and an archaic blood ritual to an Old One, a Naqada god imprisoned on Tulare Island.

    Battling the evil of Blood Magick will demand Nicole to confront a hidden past and unlock the Magick buried within. But can she set aside her deep-rooted fears to work with a team of vigilante Mages? Or will the clock run out on Marta and her children—and on Nicole?
Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE:
Looking for bright, responsible, career-oriented, self-motivated individuals who have excellent people skills and are able to take high volumes of calls while maintaining a positive attitude. Ability to work with others is a must.
I glanced down at the advertisement in my hand. I had none of those qualifications according to my last employer—and pretty much all my other previous ones as well. I was, however, a “foul-mouthed, bad-tempered, under-performing”—still didn’t understand that one—“sarcastic, waste of space.” Although, to be fair, only one of the previous employers actually called me a waste of space, and that was because I had stopped sleeping with him.
This unfortunate lack of options was the reason I stood in the parking lot of Tribec Insurance, smoking the last of my apple-flavored cigars—a habit I learned from my father—wearing a cream-colored dress suit and a pair of matching pumps. I couldn’t afford either of them, and I really hated pumps. But I needed the job, so I dressed the part of the career-oriented, self-motivated candidate the ad was searching for.
Most of the jobs in the area required a college degree, or at least several years of experience. I had no college degree, and the longest I’d ever been employed at one job was six months. Thankfully, Tribec Insurance was always hiring and had no such requirements—a rarity in the uptight community of Alice where Tribec was located.
Through a ring of cigar smoke, I took in the phallic structure that was Tribec Insurance. My eyes landed on the small, stone, pyramid-like shape at the top of the building. It reminded me of an Egyptian Obelisk—a symbol to the god Ra. The Egyptian word for it, “Tejen,” meant “protection” or “defense.”
Why would the occupants of Tribec Insurance erect a symbol of protection or defense on top of the building?
A slight breeze blew over my bare arms, carrying the salty scent of the ocean and stirring the beads of sweat that had formed on them. My new blouse had molded to my back, and my feet had started to sweat. I was generally used to Tulare Island’s oppressive heat, but the anxious jitters in my stomach had caused my skin to flush.
I tried to dispel the nervousness in my stomach. Despite the obvious, I didn’t want to show that I was desperate. My best friend Kara spent most of last night trying to prep me for the interview. She advised me to not ask annoying questions, make sarcastic comments, or let my disgruntled attitude show.
Essentially, she advised me to not be myself. There was a message in there somewhere, but I was choosing to ignore it.
Out of our original group in high school, Kara was the only one who was still in my life. The only one who actually gave a damn about me. Marta and I hadn’t spoken in years, and as for Steve… Well, it was a long time ago.
I glanced at my watch. Damn. I guess I had procrastinated long enough. I put out my cigar, grabbed my blazer from the front seat of my car, shoved the advertisement back in my overly large purse, and headed for the building. As I walked, I attempted to wrap my head around the fact that I was essentially asking Tribec Insurance to let me spend my days chained to a desk, listening to complaints from strangers.
Maybe I should look into prostitution. At least I’d enjoy the job.
Kara also told me to smile a lot, so I pasted one on, pulled open the glass door, and stepped inside. Only to stop dead in my tracks at the entrance.
The walls—painted a burnt gold color that reminded me of the sunset—were lined with Egyptian art. Four glass displays, filled with half-head replicas of deities and artifacts, sat in each corner of the room. Green foliage hung from black ceramic pots near the entrance and the elevator. Something was off about the elevator. It wasn’t stainless-steel. No, more like marble. Black marble with gold striations that, at first glance, appeared to be moving. Odd.
And everything, including the guard station—which sat sunken into the foundation in the middle of the floor—was set up in a spherical configuration. Directly behind the guard station was a set of mahogany double doors, with gold Egyptian hieroglyphs carved around the frame. They were also etched around the guard station.
Most people on Tulare Island either practiced one of the four principles of magick or knew someone who did. There was, however, a small group of people who, despite the evidence, still refused to believe in magick. They usually carried picket signs outside of herbal and occult shops, telling people they were going to burn in hell, not realizing they were actually practicing faith magick every time they went to church.
Judging from the set-up of the room, and even the obelisk on the top of the building outside, I could hazard a guess—more like an assumption—that the occupants of Tribec Insurance practiced magick.
Despite my assumption, I couldn’t figure out which of the four principles—earth, elemental, mind, or faith—the people at Tribec used. There was, however, a fifth principle—blood—that to my knowledge, no one practiced anymore. And sadly, I didn’t know enough about it to recognize any symbols associated with its practice. Yet, symbols from the other four were etched all over the walls. Odd. Especially since people only had the ability to practice one. Not all four.
If it was a job requirement for me to use magick, I was running the hell out of here. I would live in a cardboard box before I got involved with magick. And if I didn’t get a job soon, that was exactly where I’d be living. Especially since I refused to move back in with my parents. I had to grow the hell up sometime.
I moved farther into the lobby; the scent of desert sand wafted around me. It had that baked-on smell that emanated off the ground when the sun was at its peak. It was unusual, but the d├ęcor could explain the smell. Especially if they added sand to some of the displays for authenticity. The odor that was definitely out of place was the one directly underneath it.
Blood. It was faint. I could almost chalk it up to imagination. Almost. If it wasn’t so overpowering.
I moved forward cautiously, my heels clicking on the white-tiled floor, as I tried to pinpoint where the scent was coming from. But the farther away from the door I got, the less I smelled it. I turned and started back toward where I’d first detected the smell. A chair creaked, stopping me in my tracks. The space between my shoulder blades started to itch. I turned.
The guard behind the desk was watching me.
I stood there, debating whether or not I should just leave. Yes, I was desperate, but the smell of blood? Was I imagining it? I pulled in a deep breath, trying to find the scent again. Nothing.
Get it together, Nicole.
After a short pause, I shook myself mentally, and continued toward the guard station with the guard’s black eyes boring into me. Sizing me up.
“Can I help you, miss?” He rose to his feet and crossed his arms across his chest.
I placed him in his late twenties. He had a solid frame, close-cropped black hair, deep set black eyes, and no facial hair. The dark brown suit he wore looked as if it had been poured onto him. Had to be ex-military.
The gold tag on his shirt read “Oliver Strong.” It suited him.
“Yes, my name is Nicole Fontane, and I’m here for an interview with…” I set my purse on the counter, ignoring his pointed glare, and pulled out my tattered notebook. “…a Francine Delaporte at eleven.”
“Have a seat. I will call someone down to escort you.” He inclined his head in the direction of the red leather couch on the right.
“Okay, thanks,” I said as I mentally extended my middle finger. Everything about him rubbed me the wrong damn way.
I sat and placed my purse beside me on the couch—the damn thing weighed a ton—and picked up one of the brochures for Tribec Insurance. While I sat there leafing through it, another security guard walked up and blocked my view of the sun. Well, he would have if there had been one inside the building. This burly bastard had tree trunks for arms and a head that resembled a boulder. Did they chisel him from a mountain?
“Ms. Fontane?” the guard grumbled. It sounded as if his voice came from a gut full of rocks.
I stood, which put me at eye level to his massive chest and the name tag pinned to his shirt that read “Duncan Glass.”
Maybe when they hired their guards, they assigned them names as well.
“Yes.” I tried to push myself up a few inches more. I was already wearing three-inch heels, bringing my total height to five nine, yet this massive behemoth still towered over me.
“Follow me.” He spun around abruptly and led the way to the elevator.
I was tempted to salute him, or give him the finger—the damn bossy bastard.
Calm down, Nicole. You need this job.
Duncan pulled a card from his pocket and inserted it into a slot located on the right side. I guess that answered my question about the oddity of the elevator. Besides the strange composition, they didn’t have a call button. They sure did have a high level of security for an insurance company. Maybe they denied more claims than they approved. Greedy bastards.
When the doors slid open, Duncan extended his arm out. “Ms. Fontane.”
I stepped inside.
Once the doors were closed, he inserted his card into another slot, and a display lit up with a list of floors.
The number thirteen was among them.
I had once read somewhere that all older buildings either omitted the thirteenth floor or renamed it. It all stemmed from a superstition that the thirteenth floor was unlucky. I wasn’t superstitious, but I did find it interesting they chose to include it.
“They have a thirteenth floor,” I said.
“It comes after twelve.”
While I was no stranger to snide comments I really didn’t like others using them on me. Bastard.
A few moments later, the elevator doors opened and, thankfully, deposited us on the seventeenth floor. I followed Duncan to a set of offices in the center of the floor. He stopped at the first door in a row of three that faced the elevators. The silver name plate affixed to it read: Francine Delaporte. After he rapped on it three times, he planted his feet a few inches apart and placed his hands behind his back.
Maybe Duncan thought he was still in the military.
I took in the room while I waited. Cameras inside small black orbs dotted the ceiling. A hazy gray tint covered the windows, allowing minimal light to filter into the room. Industrial gray walls sported a few framed “inspirational” quotes that referred to “teamwork” and “having a positive attitude.” They even had the stupid “Hang in There” poster with a cat hanging off a wire.
Even the partitions that divided the employees’ desks were gray. The only break up in the ashen color were the fake wood desks.
It reminded me of a mental asylum.
The majority of the people in the office were women, with a few men thrown in here and there. Did they believe women were more suited to talking on the phone? Either way, everyone in the room was pasty, their eyes sunken in, wearing expressions that suggested they had given up on life. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they were all former tenants of the asylum, dressed up in over-sized clothes and forced into the role of “employee.”
The fact that no one looked up when Duncan and I got off the elevator supported my theory. They just sat there in their little black chairs, talking into their headsets, all repeating what sounded like the same practiced spiel in monotonous tones, a few minutes behind one another. Like a rolling set of waves crashing against the most boring shore imaginable.
I turned back to Duncan. He still stood at ease in front of Francine Delaporte’s door. What the hell was taking this woman so long? My feet were killing me. Like an idiot, instead of breaking the shoes in after Kara left last night, I had curled up on the couch with a bottle of Samuel Adams, contemplating my limited options. My little pity party of one ended at midnight when I realized my only option was one I wasn’t willing to entertain.
As I switched my purse from my right shoulder to my left, I caught sight of a faint circular line drawn around the cubicles. I stared at the ground, unsure if I was seeing things, or if there really was a line drawn on the floor. I straightened and moved to the left, trying to follow it. As I stood there transfixed, someone brushed their frigid hand across my exposed neck.
Coldness raced down my spine, and the scent of sand filled my nostrils.
I whipped around.
Duncan was gone.
In his place stood a woman wearing a red paint suit. Given that she was at least five feet away from me with her hands down at her sides… Who the hell had touched my neck?
Francine extended her hand and smiled. “Hello. Ms. Fontane?”
I stepped forward, my legs suddenly weak, and took her hand. “Hi.” I cleared my throat. “Yes, I’m Nicole Fontane.”
“I’m Francine Delaporte. Let’s get started.” She let go of my hand and walked into her office.
I rubbed the back of my neck, trying to warm the sudden chill that had settled there. I glanced around the room. The employees remained at their desks, staring rapt at their computer screens.
A cool breeze circled the room, pulling my gaze toward the ceiling. An air vent sat directly above me.
Before I entered Francine’s office, I glanced down at the floor. The markings were gone. Maybe I had imagined them. And maybe the air-conditioning explained the feeling of someone brushing their fingers across my neck.
Yes—for sanity’s sake, I was going to go with that.
Just my overactive imagination.



__________________________________

My name is Carla Vonzale Lewis and I like my martini’s shaken…never stirred. I was born in Georgia but please don’t mistaken me for a Georgia peach. I’m more like a prickly pear. Speaking of being born, someone asked me recently if I remember my birth. And I have to say, yes, I do remember that handsy doctor pulling me out into the cold. Right Bastard!!!

Despite being born in the South, I grew up in the North. California to be exact. Every once in a great while we get to experience all four seasons. But mostly, it’s just heat. You should see our electric bill in the summer! I like the beaches, but not the sand. I enjoy being outside, but the sun gets on my nerves. Does it really need to send its death ray to a single spot on my skin! (I told you I was a prickly pear) And don’t get me started on the traffic.

The first part of my life, I worked in customer service. This line of work led to the discovery of my favorite drink, or, rather, several favorite drinks. I could list the many concoction but that would go on forever!

Needless to say, it wasn’t an easy job. But I did enjoy talking with people. And when it came time to develop my characters, I drew on those experiences.

I have a degree in Fashion Design. Don’t ask. The only thing I gained from those wasted two years of my life, is being introduced to the love of my life, Bobby. He is truly my rock.

Why do I write? Well my first book, LINEAGE, answered the question, “What does the big boss actually do all day?” I might have gone a little dark with my answer, but it was fun answering the question. But mainly, I love writing because it gives me power to create. And it also gives me the power to fix this broken world.

Truthfully, I’ve always loved the written word and the way a good book could take you to another place and time. Instead of hanging out in the lunchroom, I would go to the library and create stories or bury my head in a really good book.

I started writing my first novel in 2014 and 30 days later I had a collection of scenes that needed some serious revision. And that was where the fun came in. Over the course of several years my novel went through final draft after final draft until I finally came to…you guessed it, the final draft.

When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, binge watching shows on Netflix, and trying to convince my husband that getting a dog is a wonderful idea.

And one day, I will discover how many licks it actually takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop. 


Find Caela and her books
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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Review: Untamed Delights by Suzanne Wright (@suz_wright)

Untamed Delights
Release Date: July 16, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance
ISBN:  1542009685
ISBN13: 9781542009683
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

Return to the sensual and feral stirrings of the Phoenix Pack as a woman who’s already bound to one man is tempted by a wolf who’s bound only to his nightly desires.

Cat shifter Mila Devereaux can’t help but see it as a betrayal. That her one true mate imprinted himself on another female was hard enough to accept. Struggling to be at peace with her loveless fate, she doesn’t fight the suggestion of entering an arranged mating. Then she meets Dominic, a pack enforcer with a notorious reputation. It’s in his very scent. This irresistible playboy—and delicious badass wolf—is making Mila’s fantasies come alive again.

Alarming, compelling, and heady with sensual energy, Dominic is an expert at making women shed their inhibitions. Now everything about him—his killer smile, his perfectly sculpted body, and his smooth-as-honey voice—is drawing in a captivating new catch. But for the first time in his life, Dominic is feeling more than a fling. He finds himself tantalized by a female who makes him think of forever. He wants all of Mila and won’t be satisfied until he has it.

As the passion grows wild, so does the risk. They’re falling in love in the shadows and secrets of their pasts. And it’s threatening to destroy everything Mila and Dominic are fighting for. And are destined for.

I'm slightly devastated that UNTAMED DELIGHTS is the last book of the The Phoenix Pack series.

Each of the Phoenix pack books has had plenty of danger and action and UNTAMED DELIGHTS is no different.  There are actually a few different mysteries and dangerous situations coming from different directions in the story which made it that much better. 

The romance between Dominic and Mila was one of those slow build situations and I enjoyed their give and take with each other. I really enjoyed the way that Wright built their relationship around them not being each others fated mate after so many fated mate pairs. I also enjoyed that Mila didn't pine after her fated mate after he unknowingly rejected her. She really stood up for herself and it made me like her and her strength even more.

I really enjoyed witnessing Dominic's HEA. Both him and Mila really deserved each other and the life that they ended up in.  Again, I hate that this is the end. I love all the characters and I love seeing them and how their life is going along in every book. I did really enjoy the end jump ahead though and appreciated seeing how everyone turned out. This was a great series that I thoroughly enjoyed following.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Interview + Giveaway: Midnight’s End by Jill Ramsower (@JRamsower, @XpressoTours)


UFI welcomes Author Jill Ramsower. 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 do all my own graphics—teasers, banners and ads. I’ve spent many an hour watching YouTube videos learning how to work photoshop. It was a pain in the rear, but now that I’ve caught on, I love having that creative freedom to make certain my graphics accurately represent the feel of my novels.


What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

Down time? Ha! The life of an indie author rarely allows for down time. If I did happen to have time to kill, I would read or do crafts. I also love traveling, so even if I’m not on the go for a book signing, I plan trips for fun as well.


What is your favorite part of writing? 

The plotting/planning! I love crafting the story, figuring out what twists and turns will unfold. I am a big plotter, so by the time I get to writing, I’ve envisioned the story all the way through and can struggle with getting distracted by the next story.


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

Not really. I get my best work done early in the morning, so I’ll sneak into my office and write in my pajamas before the rest of the house is up.


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

My all-time fave is the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. Her work inspired me to write The Fae Games books, and I aspire to write as well as she does. I also love: Amelia Hutchins’ The Fae Chronicles, Julie Kagawa’s The Iron Fey, Karen Lynch’s Relentless series, anything Kresley Cole, Sarah J. Maas, or Cassandra Clare—really I could go on and on.


How would you pitch The Fae Games Series to someone who has not heard of it before?

The Fae Games books are urban fantasy meets contemporary romance—all the action and intrigue that comes with magic, paired with just the right amount of angst and passion. The most important component of these books is the characters, which is why they are the primary focus. Rather than excessive world-building or drawn-out action sequences, I write realistic characters who will become tangible to the reader. Some you will come to love, and some you will hate—in Midnight’s End, you’ll learn some characters stand solidly in both categories.


Can you tell us a little bit about the world that The Fae Games is set in? 

The books are set in modern-day Belfast, and at times, the world of Faery. The portals between worlds have been closed for centuries, and the existence of the Fae is unknown to humans. Only a handful of Fae are allowed to cross over to Earth, and they keep their powers a secret. The wild, uncivilized Unseelie caste of Fae are never allowed on Earth or on Seelie Lands, which begs the question—what would happen if they did manage to escape their containment?


Do you have a favorite scene in Midnight’s End?

I guess I’d say the cave scene where Knight and Morgan have been drinking. It was light and flirty, and I loved their interaction.


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

I think Morgan and Knight in Midnight’s End have been my favorite, perhaps because I’ve gotten to know them so well through their appearances in the other books. I loved showing a different side to each of them and giving them shape. Cat in Born of Nothing was definitely the hardest to write about. I knew my readers would probably be upset that she went through such a harrowing trial, but that was her path as I saw it in my mind. I had to be true to her story.


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

I recently announced that I will be setting aside fantasy romance for the moment and doing a mafia romance series that I’m super excited about. I was lucky enough to be invited to the Shameless Book Con in October, so I’ll get the first book in the new series out just before the event. 
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Jill is a Texan, born and raised. She manages the hectic social calendars for her three active children and occasionally spends an evening with her dashing husband. Aside from being an author and a mom, she’s an attorney, travel junkie, and voracious reader.

Find Jill and her books
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Midnight's End
The Fae Games #5
Goodreads / Amazon
Sorceress, enchantress, deceiver, murderer—I’ve been called all those and more, some that might make you blush. Lucky for me, I couldn’t care less what people think about me. I’ve had my sights set on one thing for the last thousand years, and that’s all that matters. I’ll do whatever it takes to find the cauldron, even if it means taking on a partner. They call him a knight in shining armor. For me, he’s my golden ticket. He fell into my lap, quite literally, and now he’s going to help me get what I want.
I don’t play particularly well with others, but he’s the best shot I’ve got, so I’ll hop on that train and hope it gets me where I need to go. He thinks he’s going to crack my shell and see what’s on the inside, like maybe there’s a warm, gooey center to make up for the hard exterior. He’s in for a world of disappointment. Everything soft and delicate about me became rough and hardened a long time ago. I’m Morgan Le Fay, and I’m the villain in this story.

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Tour Wide


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Monday, July 15, 2019

Interview + Giveaway: Stranger Rituals by Kali Rose Schmidt @kalirschmidt, @XpressoTours)


UFI welcomes Author Kali Rose Schmidt. 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’m covered in tattoos. Including a tattoo of a man with horns inspired by Stranger Rituals. I love art, and I include tattoos in that.

I also like to spend most of my time outdoors, in the woods.


What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

Reading! Or writing. Even though writing is a job, and I include reading as part of it, it really is the best job in the world. Other than that, hiking through the woods or playing on a beach are some of my favourite things.


What is your favorite part of writing? 

Going to another world, exploring it, making friends (and enemies) in it. I also love reading up on history of elements in my books (for example, Elves, etc.).


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

Yes. I listen to music 100% of the time, mainly metal, and usually Zeal & Ardor. For emotional scenes, I listen to the same song on repeat until I’m done with it (and usually crying, too).


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

V.E. Schwab and Sarah J. Maas, along with Holly Black, are my top three favourites.


How would you pitch Stranger Rituals to someone who has not heard of it before?

Adult dark fantasy about a blood mage running from a curse to stop a holy war.


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

It’s very, very dark. There’s a holy war coming up, and people are dying in the streets, in a rather gruesome fashion. Blood magic and elemental magic abound, and there is a lot of occult elements in the world in general.


Do you have a favorite scene in Stranger Rituals?

Yes. When Scarko is in a prison cell, alone, but I won’t say more


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

Vojtech from Stranger Rituals was my favourite. He’s awful, really, but he doesn’t wish to be, and writing his motives (which show up more in book 2, coming in the fall) and backstory was fun and a little painful.

Scarko was the hardest to write, and being that she is the protagonist, a lot of the book was hard to write. Her backstory is tragic, but she hasn’t become bitter. Instead, she uses dark humor to get through the day-to-day, which in some ways, is even more tragic.


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

Shadow Palace (Stranger Rituals II) will be coming in the fall. I also have a completed series called All the Dead Souls, if you’re into vampires and warlocks.  
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Kali Rose Schmidt is an author, mother, and villain lover. She likes bloody tales of monsters, yoga with the lights off, and anything that goes bump in the night.



Find Kali and her books
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Stranger Rituals
Stranger Rituals #1
A fighter with a venomous grudge.
A monster with an immortal curse.
A girl with a terrible gift.

All three out for blood in a land torn apart by harsh gods and holy wars. Each entwined with the other, on their own quests for vengeance, and yet held together by strange links to sinister pasts. As their fates unravel, a dangerous romance blooms, and violent darkness beckons.

At turns both darkly humorous and utterly morbid, STRANGER RITUALS is the startling first novel in Kali Rose Schmidt's dark new series.

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Week in Review: 7/7-7/13



Books Received for Review

A Pack of Love and Hate by Olivia Wildenstein
Wishful Thinking by Helen Harper
The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken

Books I've Read

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy
Verify by Joelle Charbonneau
A Pack of Love and Hate by Olivia Wildenstein

Reviews Posted

Rogue by Debbie Cassidy (@amoscassidy)
A Fierce Princess by S.E. Rose (@seroseauthor)

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

* Monday- Promo + Giveaway: Wolf Instinct by Paige Tyler (@PaigeTyler, @SourcebooksCasa)

* Friday- Guest Blog + Giveaway: Magic Heist by Mary Karlik (@MaryKarlik, @InkyTheMonster, @XpressoTours)
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* 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.