Saturday, October 10, 2015

Review: Blood Magic by Jennifer Lyon

Blood Magic
Release Date: October 5, 2015
Publisher: Re-release as a Self-Published
Wing Slayer Book #1
ISBN13:  9780988792371
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

A dangerous curse…

Axel Locke is the sinfully sexy leader of the Wing Slayer Hunters–a group of supernatural witch hunters who have vowed to never give into the curse driving them to slaughter innocent witches. But when his little sister is death-cursed by a demon witch, Axel will stop at nothing to save her. He rescues a beautiful witch from a killer, intending to force her to magically cure his sister. The only problem? She has no idea what she is.

A deadly passion…

Darcy McAllister grew up knowing she was different, but she never imagined she’s a witch. With the life of a child at stake, she agrees to work with the hot, compelling hunter to gain control over her newfound powers. But an irresistible attraction crackles between them, creating a dangerous dilemma—can Darcy trust the man hexed to crave her blood to satisfy her aching desire?

Will their forbidden love destroy them?

As Darcy and Axel race against the clock, their explosive passion deepens to a fiery love. But when Darcy attempts to heal his sister makes her a target for a demon’s revenge, Axel will sacrifice anything, including his immortal soul, to save her.
With a great cast of characters and an interesting storyline, BLOOD MAGIC was a fast paced read that was easy to enjoy from front to back.

Darcy has always felt different and the night she's attacked she finds out why. She has a really hard time believing that she is a witch, but she can't deny it for long. She doesn't appreciate being kidnapped, but she wants to help Axel's little sister and she also wants to learn what she can really do. I thought she was a pretty strong individual considering what she was going through. She didn't sit in the corner and cry, she did what she needed to do.

It took me a bit to get a good feel for Axel. I could FEEL his struggle with his curse and the pull he had to Darcy. He wants her to save his sister, but I really felt that he wanted to be saved too and he just didn't know it. He has a really hard time trusting his feelings as well as Darcy since she is a witch, but he does pursue his feelings for her and when they are together, they make a really good team.

I truly enjoyed reading BLOOD MAGIC and thought that the introduction to the world and characters of the Wing Slayer series was well executed. I really liked getting to know both the main characters as well as the secondary characters. You could tell that they were all going to be important to the series and I definitely have a few that I want to read more about. I look forward to reading book two!

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Friday, October 9, 2015

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Pale Moon Walking by Paula Altenburg

UFI welcomes Author Paula Altenburg. Thanks for Joining us!!

Wild Wild West Meets Cowboys and Aliens

Hi, everyone!

I’m Paula Altenburg, and I’m so happy to be here today. I write paranormal and fantasy—as well as short contemporary—romance. Pale Moon Walking is my seventh paranormal, (eleventh overall), although it’s more a hybrid mix of historical western, science fiction, and romance. It’s got a female sheriff who’s a retired gunfighter, a US federal marshal who has super powers, there are outlaws, and best of all, aliens. Everyone’s got secrets.

Think Wild Wild West 
meets Cowboys and Aliens.

Sounds like fun, am I right?

And anyone who knows me knows my heroes are usually based on Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. It doesn’t matter how I describe them in the story.

I’ve written paranormal westerns for a while now. My last series with Entangled Publishing, the Demon Outlaws, involved demons taking over the west, creating a dystopian future with a Wild West feel to it. I think it’s fairly safe to say I have a thing for outlaws and cowboys. Add in a few super powers and I’m all over it.

Believe it or not, giving a character super powers is a tricky thing for a writer to do. Protagonists have to be fairly well-balanced with their antagonists, or the story’s either over too soon, or it lacks credibility. In fact, the antagonists should even be a wee bit stronger.

In Pale Moon Walking, I gave the hero, Sam, the ability to create illusions, which doesn’t really sound like much of a super power, so I gave him the home team advantage, too. I also gave him Libby Mayden, who’s killed six men in as many shootouts, and knows how to kill aliens. (I bet you’d love to find out how she discovered that little detail, wouldn’t you?)

Apart, Sam and Libby each have their weaknesses. Together, they’re unstoppable.

Here’s a little secret. If you were to ask me who my favorite superhero is, I’d have to say Hellboy. 
Ron Perlman might have a lot to do with that. I love the attitude so, so much.

If you had to choose a favorite superhero, who would it be?

Thanks for having me here!

Paula Altenburg lives in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, with her husband and two sons. Once a manager in the aerospace industry, she now enjoys working from home and writing fulltime. Paula writes fantasy and paranormal romance, as well as short contemporary romance.

Find Paula and her books

Pale Moon Walking
Goodreads Amazon     BN     Entangled
Where the outlaws are out of this world...

US Marshall Sam Kyote has been sent to the dry old town of Coyote Bluff to recuperate from a top-secret government experiment that's left this law man a little...well, different. But Sam's about to find out that the town of Coyote Bluff has a whole lot of secrets. Most of which lead to Libby Mayden-the sexy, long-legged, and tight-lipped sheriff who saved his ass from an alien ambush.

The last thing Libby needs is a US Marshall poking around her town, especially one who's hotter than the Nevada desert sun. She can't let Sam find out most of her town are wanted outlaws. Between the aliens, the gunfighters, and a searing sexual attraction to Sam, she's in a whole heap of trouble. And Libby'll stride both sides of the law-and Sam-until she's forced to choose between self-preservation...and her heart.
Libby took off like a rabbit as soon as she heard the crack of the bat. She approached first base at full speed, saw no one coming at her, and didn’t slow down. She rounded the base and headed for second.
From the corner of her left eye, she spotted a fast-moving blur. Sam had the ball, and rather than give it up to the second baseman, he was pursuing Libby himself, planning to cut her off before she could reach safety.
She judged the distance between Sam and second base, and the space she had left to run. She never slowed, but instead, dropped onto her right calf and thigh in a long slide, folding her left leg and throwing her hands high as she did. She kept her attention focused on touching the base with her foot. Nothing else mattered. Either he caught her or he didn’t.
She felt her foot connect with Sam’s ankle at the same time he reached second, knocking him off balance as she finished the slide. He threw his arms up, just as she’d hoped. He windmilled in slow motion, unable to regain his footing, and toppled on top of Libby, knocking the air from her lungs with his weight.
He brought his arms down on either side of her face. His chin connected with her forehead and she heard the faint click of his teeth striking together.
He grinned down at her, the gold flecks in his eyes sparkling. He touched the ball to her collarbone, just below her jaw where he knew it was sensitive, and Libby’s toes burst into flames. “You’re out, Sheriff Mayden.”
“In your dreams, Marshal Kyote,” she wheezed back. “If you check, you’ll find my boot’s on second base.”
Sam didn’t budge. “We’ll have to consult the umpire. Oh, wait. That would be you.” His grin widened, and now Libby couldn’t breathe for a whole different reason. “How are you planning to call it from this position?”

The Demon Outlaws Series
Book 1 The Demon’s Daughter
Book 2 Black Widow Demon
Book 2.5 The Demon Lord (novella)
Book 3 Demon Creed
Tour Wide

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Quanta by Lola Dodge

UFI welcomes Author Lola Dodge. Thanks for Joining us!!

Teenage Garage Sale 

I have to start out by warning you that I was a teenager in the 90s, so this is going to be a super 80’s/90’s adventure. The scariest thing is that I actually still have a lot of this stuff in my parents’ attic… Oops. Please don’t judge me for my bins of stuffed animals. I promise, I’m an adult now (somewhat).


1. Legolas life-sized cardboard figure
I was obsessed with the Lord of the Rings movies when they were still coming out and I had this guy in my bedroom for a few years. He was 50% for the elvish eye candy and 50% for hiding around the house to freak out my family members.
Okay. Maybe I’m not ready to part with him.

2. Used lacrosse gear
 I played lacrosse from middle school until after college, and wracked up a ton of battered sticks and goalie gear. You know you want a gently used pelvic protector in your life. Or a funky chest pad? Dented helmet?
Price: It’s free! Please take the stinky things away.

3. Tacky costume earrings
At the height of my awkward phase, I was wearing windpants everyday, but my momma taught me that you can still be feminine as long as you’re wearing cute earrings. I interpreted cute as bulky, dangly, and tacky as anything. Realistic popcorn, present boxes, gold stars that dangled to my shoulders.
Price: Also free. Take them, or I’m going to start wearing them again.

4. Care Bears
 You’d think I would’ve gotten rid of these before, but I have really a lot of them. Like… hundreds? Or I did at one point. Now I have at least one of each bear/cousin in mint condition in storage. It’s totally normal. TOTALLY. NORMAL.
Price: Just kidding. You can’t have them.

5. Super 90’s T-shirts
When you’re wearing wind pants every day, you really need to pick a stylish matching top. Luckily the 90’s were big on ridiculous T-shirts. Aussie T’s were my favorite (TEN DAYS WITHOUT SOCCER MAKES ONE WEAK), but my collection has a wide range of gems like Peace Frogs and Just Hafta play lacrosse.
Price: $1/shirt. No sizes smaller than XL because baggy is fashion.

6. So many paperbacks
 I don’t want to give away books, but that bookshelf isn’t doing much good while I’m traveling around Asia. I’m a Kindle convert until I move back to somewhere permanent, but I have no idea when that’s going to be. In the meantime, help yourself to my collection of YA fantasy, romance, sci-fi, and fun non-fiction.
Price: Free to a good home if you promise not to bend the spines.

7. ALL THE 90s MUSIC (Why did I think that CD subscription was a good idea?!)
Stacks and stacks and stacks of CDs.
Stacks and stacks of CDs. Jock Jams (Volumes 1 to Infinity), *NSYNC, Sisqo, Usher, TLC, Limp Bizkit, The Fugees, Britney Spears, Destiny’s Child, No Doubt, Alanis Morisette. AND MORE!
Price: I’ll pay you not to tell anyone about this.

::author photos:LOLA DODGE.jpgLola is a compulsive traveler, baker, and procrastinator. She earned her BA in English from Stonehill College and MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University—and hasn’t stopped moving since. When she’s not on the road, Lola spends her time indoors where the sunlight can’t melt her, writing or bingeing on anime and cherry soda. She can be summoned in a ritual involving curry, Hello Kitty idols, and a solid chocolate pentagram.

Find Lola and her books

The Shadow Ravens #2
Just because Quanta can see the future doesn’t mean she can change it. She’s spent most of her life imprisoned, feeding her captors information to keep herself alive, but she’s finally reached the endgame and her death creeps closer by the moment.

The son of two senators, Altair Orpheus leads a life of privilege that provides the perfect cover for his side job: working with the rebel Shadow Ravens to undermine the ruling Seligo government. Everything is running like clockwork until he crosses paths with Quanta. As he watches her deftly maneuver through life in a perverse prison, his plastic heart melts. A jailbreak would be suicide, but Tair is willing to sacrifice everything to give her a chance at happiness.

Now Quanta senses a terrifying new future brewing. She and Tair are bound together, but every image of them kissing, snuggling, and acting knee-weakeningly happy is balanced by a much darker possibility. They’ll be picture perfect together, but only until time rips them apart. How can she follow her heart when she’s seen how their love plays out?

Altair’s POV

Mother smiled like a cat, full of ambition and smugness. “Someone wants to meet you.”
Someone? Suddenly, I knew where this was going. “Mother—”
“There are the Astors.” Mother gave a demure wave and started gliding toward a trio standing near an ice sculpture. Her fingers clamped my arm, dragging me along. Father walked on my other side, sandwiching me in place.
No way to run without making a scene. Senator Astor and her husband stood waiting with their daughter.
A set-up.
My free hand bunched into a fist, but I tucked it into my pocket. I couldn’t make a mistake in front of this audience.
Mother exchanged greetings, then made a sweeping gesture. “This is my son, Altair. Altair, this is Layla Astor.”
Layla’s blonde hair tumbled in artful curls and braids. She wore tasteful neutral makeup that emphasized her full lips and emerald green eyes, but a hint of darker eyeliner smudged like a leftover from some previous night’s debauchery; that was half of what I needed to know to escape the conversation.
And I would escape. I had no interest in these shallow romances meant to gain my family position.
“It’s so nice to meet you, Altair. I knew your sister at academy.” And that was why Cass had been invited. Some common bond to me to a potential future mate.
Good thing Cass had stayed home. She’d hate the situation as much as I did.
The girl extended her arm, flashing her Green Helix and I couldn’t avoid the handshake. “Likewise.” Layla’s rough fingertips gave me the last clue I needed. Calluses from playing an instrument. Between that and the eyeliner, I had an excellent guess at how to get rid of her. Rather than sell her out in front of her parents, I offered her an arm. “I was just about to admire the ice sculptures. Would you care to join me?”
“I’d love to.” She smiled and placed delicate fingertips on my arm.
Our parents grinned conspiratorial smiles as we strolled away. No doubt they’d already picked a wedding date. I waited until we were out of modified earshot to speak. “How upset would your family be if I mentioned that you play in a band?”
“Very.” Layla tensed, and her expression and tone shifted from vapid politeness to shrewd consideration. “Not that you should know.”
I shrugged. “I won’t say a thing as long as you don’t press an engagement.”
“Thank God.” Layla shuddered. “Our mothers schemed this one. I thought you were in on it.”
I grinned. I didn’t often stumble onto others faking their way through Helix life, but every so often an ally dropped in my lap. “Should we small talk for a few minutes and then pretend to offend each other?”
Layla pressed her lips together, eying me up and down. “If you’re up to it, I have a better suggestion.”
“Oh?” I handed her a drink taken from a passing tray. Our parents still watched from across the room.
“Let’s meet for coffee. We could draw this out for months.”
“A faux courtship?” It had promise, although there were certainly risks.
“You’re the first guy they’ve set me up with who’s not a self-centered ass.” Layla’s mischievous smile made her eyes sparkle. “My girlfriend would love you.”
Her voice was clear of subterfuge and I found myself smiling back. “Next week? I’m sure our parents already exchanged our contact information.” And faking a relationship would save me getting blindsided at every event.
“Call me.” She finger-waved and then headed for a crowd of friends, who proceeded to glance my way, slipping a few quickly smothered cackles. I nodded before heading off to work the crowd.
Despite my parents’ efforts, the night was going better than expected.

Tour Wide

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Promo + Giveaway: Divine Vices by Melissa Parkin

Divine Vices
Divine Vices #1
Amazon US  Amazon UK
The last thing sixteen-year-old Cassie Foster needs is trouble, but that doesn’t stop him from finding her.

Nine months after the tragic accident that killed her mother and sister, this high school junior just wants a fresh start. Settling down in the quiet town of New Haven, Maine, she’s found peace at last…until the new resident bad boy, Jackson Matthews, comes into the picture. Arrogant, sarcastic, and devastatingly sexy, he’s the very last thing Cassie wants to entertain. Romance was never part of the plan. But when terrifying circumstances drive these two together, she finds herself further in over her head than thought possible. As local girls begin disappearing, Cassie can’t help but wonder if it’s just a coincidence that everything started when this blue-eyed Casanova strolled into town. Will falling into Jackson’s arms mean she’ll be falling victim to a real lady-killer…or worse?

The answer will open the door to a world she never thought possible.

Melissa Parkin is a Chicagoland native who feels weird referring to herself in the third person. When she's not binge reading, taking photographs, breaking the first rule of Fight Club, or playing music too loud, she's writing young adult paranormal romances.

Find Melissa and her books
Tour Wide

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: The White Rose by Amy Ewing

The White Rose
Author:Amy Ewing
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
The Lone City Book #2
ISBN:   0062235818
ISBN13: 9780062235817
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Review Copy Source: Edelweiss
Violet is on the run. After the Duchess of the Lake catches Violet with Ash, the hired companion at the Palace of the Lake, Violet has no choice but to escape the Jewel or face certain death. So along with Ash and her best friend, Raven, Violet runs away from her unbearable life of servitude.

But no one said leaving the Jewel would be easy. As they make their way through the circles of the Lone City, Regimentals track their every move, and the trio barely manages to make it out unscathed and into the safe haven they were promised—a mysterious house in the Farm.

But there’s a rebellion brewing, and Violet has found herself in the middle of it. Alongside a new ally, Violet discovers her Auguries are much more powerful than she ever imagined. But is she strong enough to rise up against the Jewel and everything she has ever known?

The White Rose is a raw, captivating sequel to The Jewel that fans won’t be able to put down until the final shocking moments.

You couldn't help but want to know what would happen next for Violet after the ending of THE JEWEL. It will come to no surprise after reading the blurb that she makes it out of the Duchess of the Lake's clutches, but it isn't easy and she learns a lot along the way.

I thought Violet was strong in the first book, but she really showed how strong she could be in THE WHITE ROSE. She also stepped up to be a leader when she needed to. There wasn't a lot of romance between her and Ash in THE WHITE ROSE. I don't know if it was because there was just so much going on or if maybe they will be growing apart, but I was a little disappointed in the lack of progression on that front.

It was great following Violet and her friends as they escaped the Jewel. There was a lot of suspense as the characters escaped danger at pretty much every turn, as well as some interesting characters that were met throughout the book. I won't say who, but one secondary character in particular ended up really surprising me (in a good way) and I ended up really enjoying their growth into someone I was invested in knowing more about.

Like THE JEWEL, THE WHITE ROSE ends on a cliffhanger. I wasn't really surprised with the Duchess of the Lakes move at the end, I kinda saw that move coming. You will be left with questions and you will wish that book 3, was out and ready to read.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Sins of Long Ago by Naomi Bellina

 UFI welcomes Author Naomi Bellina. Thanks for Joining us!!

What super power would you chose? 

Let's pick a super power. Do you remember playing that game when you were a kid? Okay, a few of us still play. Several times a day, sometimes. Is that bad?  ☺  So let's see, what would I select if I were suddenly granted a choice? How about super strength? It would be cool not to have to ask for help opening pickle jars, and be able to leap over tall buildings. Invisibility? Nah. I can't really think how I'd use it except to spy on people now and then. Mind reading? Same thing. Honestly, I don't really want to know what most people are thinking. What about some of the cool powers, like the X-men have, to be able to freeze objects or whip up a storm, or start fires?

I think I'd chose the power of flight. Best reason? To avoid airport security! I'd be able to visit my family out of state more often. It would give a whole new meaning to the drop in visit, 'cause I'd land right on the roof!

Vincent and his werewolves have power. They're strong, healthy, and as Gen finds out, wicked good in bed. Not really super powers, but these guys have a butt-load of fun and use their talents to help others.

What super power would you like? Enjoy the excerpt and thanks for reading.

Naomi lives in sunny Florida with the love of her life and a magical calico cat. She writes for various fiction and non-fiction markets but is drawn to romance because her characters insist on canoodling and falling in love. So she lets them. Her interests include dancing, motorcycle riding, drumming and creating healthy meals. She takes the opportunity to play whenever possible.

Her motto:  Never pass up the opportunity to have an adventure!

Find Naomi and her books

Sins of Long Ago
Nocturne #2
Liquid Silver Books All Romance Amazon BN
Kobo Google Play  iTunes Amazon UK
Werewolves and humans don't mix. Until danger forces an alliance and desire demands satisfaction.

Leading his pack of werewolves keeps Vincent plenty busy, and now with a predator out to harm them, life is more perilous than ever. The last thing he needs is a woman to complicate matters, especially one who sets his body and soul on fire. She's a human and a witch — totally the wrong woman for him. Even if he could take a mate for his own, he refuses to put her in the danger his life has become. No way can they ever be together. Werewolf-style love is fine anyway. No permanent partner, no bullshit, no heartache.

Genevieve has never known true love. Cursed by an enraged woman long ago, females in her family are doomed to go insane if they fall in love. Life has been fine without a man around-- until a hot werewolf drops in and captures her heart. Though they have plenty of obstacles to overcome, Gen knows they can work past them. Tell that to Vincent, as he struggles with old pack rules about love, sex, and consorting with humans.

As Vincent searches for a killer, deals with death among his own, and tries to keep his hands off Gen, she attempts to end her family curse. Together, they must find a way to break free from the sins of long ago.

Heat level: 3 out of 4

Excerpt #2 (Rated PG):
Lying in bed with a pleasant wine buzz, she was almost asleep when the sounds of Sally and Greg making love pulled her back to consciousness. She smashed the pillow over her head, but it was no use. Passionate moans filled the air, reminding her of what she’d almost had hours before. Gen tossed and turned, twisting the sheets into a knotted mess. Her skin still smelled of wood smoke, even after a shower, and she could swear the faint aroma of Vincent clung to her body too
The noise finally stopped but, wide awake now, Gen pulled out her phone to read a book, hoping to lull herself back to sleep.
Nope. After twenty minutes of reading, her brain refused to quit. The more she thought about her present situation, the angrier she became. Though it had been brief, the intensity of passion she and Vincent had ignited burned like the embers in the fire. Screw it. Some asshole had spoiled her evening; she’d be damned if she would let him ruin the rest of her night. Her heart and her body demanded satisfaction. She got out of bed, dressed quietly, grabbed her things, and crept down the stairs to call Vincent. He answered on the first ring, and she spoke in a low tone.
“I know this is silly, but…”
“I’ll be at your place in ten minutes.”
“What? Ten minutes? Where are you?”
“I just left Nocturne. I took a sniff around, watched your shop for a while to see if the robber would come back, then went to your apartment to look around. Go to your place. If you get there before me, wait outside in your car, don’t go in.”
“You’re being mighty presumptuous. You don’t even know what I want.”
“I know what you want.” His deep voice sent the same intensely pleasurable shudder through her body his thumb on her cheek had earlier.
“I’ll be there soon.” Two hours. He’d hung around Nocturne for two hours. For her.
She found a piece of paper and started to scribble Sally a note. What could she say? Got horny and left? Thanks for the wine and movie? The kitchen light flicked on, and Gen jumped.
“Hey, Sally, just getting ready to write you a note. I’m going to…”
“I know where you’re going. You’re going to hook up with your hot man.”
“Uh, yeah. How did you know?”
“The way you two looked at each other. I could have fried an egg on your head. Why didn’t you just stay with him tonight?”
“I thought it would be presumptuous to ask and anyway, we don’t know each other all that well. I don’t know how he feels about me.”
“Are you kidding? That wolf has it bad for you. He’d walk across broken glass to get some of your lovin’.”
Gen’s mouth fell open. “You know he’s a werewolf? How do you know that?” Her eyes narrowed. “You’re some kind of magic woman, aren’t you?”
Sally laughed. “Yes, I am kind of magic. I’ve got this weird telepathy thing, where I can read other people. I keep it turned off most of the time, but I did a quick scan of Vincent in your shop. He sent out powerful vibes, and I wanted to make sure he was safe for you. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to violate your privacy.”
“No problem, I guess. What did you pick up from him?”
“He’s wildly crazy about you. He might not even know it yet, but he is. Then I saw his wolf side, trying to get out. He’s got control, but the animal is there, right beneath the surface.”
Gen shifted her feet around. Crap. Did she just get Vincent in trouble? “You can’t tell anyone, about him. Promise you won’t.”
Tour Wide

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Releases: 10/4-10/10

Mon. Oct. 5th

 Wicked Ever After (Blud #4) by Delilah S. Dawson

Tue. Oct. 6th

 A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
 Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith
 It's a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt
 Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis 
 Undead and Unforgiven (Undead #14) by MaryJanice Davidson 
 Wild Sky (Night Sky #2) by Suzanne Brockmann, Melanie Brockmann

Happy Reading!