Thursday, September 18, 2014

Interview & Giveaway: Broken Soul by Faith Hunter

Q&A with Faith Hunter

1.  How did you come up with the plot line for BROKEN SOUL?

The premise of the series is a Cherokee skinwalker, a Paladin-style rogue-vampire hunter. Throughout the series, Jane has been introduced to supernatural sentient beings. But what happens when one attacks her—and current boss, Leo Pellissier—but it’s one that no one can see? A simple question that I just have to answer!

I like to throw things, dangerous things, at my characters and see what happens. It’s a kind of laboratory of torture only it’s inside my head. Yeah. Kinda scary now that I think about it.

2.  How does BROKEN SOUL connect to the short stories you’ve done that fit in between the books?

You noticed! Yes, most of the short stories I write take place in the in-between spaces of books. I love to show what was going on in the between times, the things that make a relationship or doom it. So I wrote Beneath a Bloody Moon and Black Water, showing that things were not yet impossible between them. That there was hope.

But then, Rick screwed up so badly and took off with Paka in one of the books, ruining any hope Jane had that they would find a way to make things work in their bizarre personal, professional, and romantic lives. Yeah. It was kinda awful. Jane’s heart was still open to him when Rick made his massive boo-boo.

The shorts also show the direction he’ll go off in the new series. (Did anyone hear me say a new series? Shhhh. {whispering} With Rick as a major secondary character…)

3.  Which do you find harder to write, shorts or novels?

I get asked this often and the answer keeps changing. Once upon a time I was terrified of the shorter format of stories.  Now that I’m used to them, the shorts give me a break from novels (which can sometimes feel like work) and a chance to recharge my creative energies. In many ways, shorts are much easier simply because they don’t have to be so intensely plotted or so interwoven. But the drawback is that they fit into the reading order of the series and don’t always stand out as must-read entities and so fans who miss the shorts miss the interconnectedness of the plot and the relationships! 
4. You recently edited (and contributed to) the anthology KICKING IT. And you mentioned the shorts Beneath a Bloody Moon and Black Water. Though all are shorts, the format is different. Share with us those differences.

KICKING IT was all about boots. Killer boots. Our working title was, “These Boots Were Made For Stalking!” which became the tag line on the cover. The writing part for me was the easy part, just write one story, set in Jane Yellowrock’s world, but not specifically about her. In case you missed reading it, Jane appears as a secondary character in the story and the readers get to see her from the outside, from other characters’ point of view, which is always fun! But on KICKING IT, I also had to do the editing, which including approving contracts, getting the other writers, and dealing with the agent of record (who also had a story in it!), as well as doing the actual editing of the other stories. It was work! Black Water is all me, in Jane’s world, even though the story is not from her point of view. So, I’d say that overall, Black Water was easier. Certainly less time consuming.  

5. Tell us a little about your next book coming out.

BROKEN SOUL! I adore this book. SO much happens in it! Yes, I know I always say that. But this time it’s totally true. The book blurb is: Jane Yellowrock is a vampire killer for hire—but other creatures of the night still need to watch their backs....
 
When the Master of the city of New Orleans asks Jane to improve security for a future visit from a delegation of European vampires, she names an exorbitant price—and Leo is willing to pay. That’s because the European vamps want Leo’s territory, and he knows that he needs Jane to prevent a total bloodbath. Leo, however, doesn’t mention how this new job will change Jane’s life or the danger it will bring her and her team.

Jane has more to worry about than some greedy vampires. There’s a vicious creature stalking the streets of New Orleans, and its agenda seems to be ripping Leo and her to pieces. Now Jane just has to figure out how to kill something she can’t even see…
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New York Times bestselling author Faith Hunter writes dark urban fantasy and paranormal thrillers, including the Skinwalker series, featuring rogue-vampire hunter Jane Yellowrock, and the Rogue Mage series, a post-apocalyptic, alternate reality series, featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage. She has a new series under wraps.


Find Faith and her books
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Broken Soul
Jane Yellowrock #8
 Jane Yellowrock is a vampire killer for hire—but other creatures of the night still need to watch their backs....

When the Master of the city of New Orleans asks Jane to improve security for a future visit from a delegation of European vampires, she names an exorbitant price—and Leo is willing to pay. That’s because the European vamps want Leo’s territory, and he knows that he needs Jane to prevent a total bloodbath. Leo, however, doesn’t mention how this new job will change Jane’s life or the danger it will bring her and her team.

Jane has more to worry about than some greedy vampires. There’s a vicious creature stalking the streets of New Orleans, and its agenda seems to be ripping Leo and her to pieces. Now Jane just has to figure out how to kill something she can’t even see….
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Review: Rebel Wing by Tracy Banghart

Rebel Wing
Release Date: February 2, 2014
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
ASIN:  B00LXCMU8O
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Review Copy Source:NetGalley
The Dominion of Atalanta is at war. But for eighteen-year-old Aris, the fighting is nothing more than a distant nightmare, something she watches on news vids from the safety of her idyllic seaside town. Then her boyfriend, Calix, is drafted into the Military, and the nightmare becomes a dangerous reality.

Left behind, Aris has nothing to fill her days. Even flying her wingjet—the thing she loves most, aside from Calix—feels meaningless without him by her side. So when she’s recruited to be a pilot for an elite search-and-rescue unit, she leaps at the chance, hoping she’ll be stationed near Calix. But there’s a catch: She must disguise herself as a man named Aristos. There are no women in the Atalantan Military, and there never will be.

Aris gives up everything to find Calix: her home. Her family. Even her identity. But as the war rages on, Aris discovers she’s fighting for much more than her relationship. With each injured person she rescues and each violent battle she survives, Aris is becoming a true soldier—and the best flyer in the Atalantan Military. She’s determined to save her Dominion . . . or die trying.

This is a new release of the previously self-published title Shattered Veil.

I was in the middle of a Dystopian kick when I requested REBEL WING from NetGalley and I am so glad I found this new gem of a series. I weigh my decisions on what to read on not only the blurb and cover of the book but also Goodreads reviews and REBEL WING had all three in its favor (A new cover was recently revealed but this one was the one that was on the book I requested and I actually find it more appealing)!

There is two things Aris loves, flying and Calix. She has a happy life in their little town and soon her and Calix will start their engagement and she will continue to fly over her family's fields. When Calix is drafted into the military it throws her plans into a tailspin and when she is offered the chance to go to war with him as a pilot she jumps at the chance. The only problem? She's a girl and they only allow boys to be drafted so she has to disguise herself as a boy and no one can know what she's really doing.

I really enjoyed watching Aris grow as a character. The only reason she agrees to join the cause as a pilot is because she is promised she will be able to see Calix. Things don't really turn out the ways she expect though and she ends up growing a lot while fighting to find him.  Her beliefs in things change, her priorities change and eventually she turns into the person she never knew she was meant to be.

The secondary characters brought a lot to REBEL WING and I am excited to see them in future books. I'm especially excited to see Aris and Milek come back together (hopefully) in book 2. Their part of the story was left unfinished and I can't wait to see what ends up happening between them. The story itself did start out a bit slow. There is a lot of buildup until the action actually starts, but once it does things move along much faster. By the end of the book I just wanted more. It's super emotional and I had no problem feeling the emotions for the characters as they were feeling them. I am really excited about book 2 and I hope I dont have to wait a long time before it comes out.

I gave it 5/5 stars

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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Interview: 'Ailani: The Last Warrior by A.J. Llewellyn


What can you tell my readers about yourself that they might not know from looking on your bio or reading in another interview?
 
Hmm...well, Urban Fantasy Investigations, thank you for having me here! I think many readers might not know I have a seriously unhealthy addiction to computer games. I am hopelessly attached to a Facebook game right now called Pearl's Peril. I've learned a lot from it such as history and geography and the graphics are gorgeous, but I spend more time decorating my island than I do my own home. Talk about an urban fantasy!

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?
 
I read, I hike with my dog, I swim, and I um decorate my island! Did I mention it isn't real??

What is your Favorite part of writing? 
 
The research. I love that part. I think that's why I enjoy Pearl's Peril so much. She is an adventuress in 1900...she goes to amazing places that used to exist...old, historic places steeped in myth and fantasy. I particularly loved the portions set during Atlantis and the mythical kingdom of Shambala. Amazing stuff! I Googled everything mentioned in the game and it's all there.

Do you have any certain routines you must follow as you write?
 
Yes. I am very superstitious so I observe little rituals. Don't laugh but I never wear red on Friday's. If I do, it's a bad, bad thing. This comes from my time on newspapers. I was a journalist for many years and the legend was if you wear red on Fridays you get fired. So I never wear red when I write on Fridays. :)

What are some of your Favorite books or Authors in the Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Genres?
 
I love J.K. Rowling's books but I am not so keen on the new Harry Potter blog on her Pottermore site. Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games books are some of my favorites. I love Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series. and of course, I adore the Sookie Stackhouse series.

I absolutely love Marion Zimmer Bradley. She was at the forefront of fantasy fiction and The Mists of Avalon was one of my cherished books to read over and over again. I got to work with her on Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine. I cherish the experiences I had with her. I learned so much from Marion. I also love Mary Calmes. Her fantasy M/M stories are gorgeous. Mercedes Lackey was an early influence for me.

How would you pitch 'Ailani: The Last Warrior to someone who has not heard of it before?
 
This is the story of a young man whose world crumbles when he finds out his boyfriend has been cheating on him. He's forced to move out of their apartment and even loses his job. Sometimes when doors close, others open. For Lio, those doors open him to a whole paranormal realm he never knew existed. That realm is Hawaii before we all came. Before the explorers came and the world found it. A time when he was 'Ailani, the last warrior to work with the ill-fated King of Oahu.
'Ailani had magic and extraordinary power. He comes to the present to help Lio right wrongs and solve crimes the police in Honolulu never even know are going on. He's a Hawaiian superman!

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that 'Ailani is set in? 
 
I am obsessed with ancient Hawaii. I've read so much about it. It was paradise. I had so much fun recreating my idea of this time and place. A time when good magic and bad (the ancient Hawaiians called it Lua) existed.

Do you have a favorite scene in 'Ailani?
 
What a great question! I think it's when he and his new lover Kord first realize they want to be together...except they are dealing with an issue of fleas. Yes. Fleas :)

Which character was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about?
 
I love Lio! He is the kind of character I like to write about. I like to write about men who are dealt a bad hand and I love to help them get out of it. I like imperfect men who learn and grow and find true love. Love conquers all. Even death.

What Other Projects can we look forward to reading from you?
 
I have several books coming up and I am excited about all of them. I have two more books in The Last Warrior series coming up and Breathless Press is releasing my Haywire series co-written with my frequent co-author, D.J. Manly. That's a fantasy/paranormal set of two stories that we loved writing.

Please check my website www.ajllewellyn.com for updates, free short stories, and free blog stories.
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A.J. Llewellyn is an author whose obsession with myth, magic, love, and romance might have led to serious stalking charges had it not been for the ability to write. Thanks to the existence of some very patient publishers, A.J.'s days are spent writing, reading, and dreaming up new worlds. A.J. has definitely stopped Google-searching former boyfriends and given up all ambition to taste-test every cupcake in the universe to produce over 150 published gay erotic romance novels.

A.J. wants you to read them all.

You can find this author lurking on Facebook and Twitter—part-time class clown being another occupation. When not writing or reading, A.J.'s other passions include juggling, kite-boarding, and spending a fortune buying upgrade apps for Diner Dash.

Find A.J. and her books
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'Ailani
The Last Warrior #1
Buy Link
After a bad breakup, Lio rents a cheap house with magical views. It seems the perfect solution, but the house has a haunted connection with an ancient statue. Once unearthed, it gives Lio the power of...THE LAST WARRIOR... 

When Lio's lover cheats on him, he's forced to give up what he thought was the idyllic romance he's lived with Maks, including their stunning, scenic Waikiki apartment. He rents a cheap house with magical views on the other side of the island. So why is it so cheap? 

He soon becomes haunted by dreams in which a fearsome yet sexy Hawaiian man begs him to rescue him. Lio is certain he's going nuts until one night in the midst of a tropical rainstorm he follows the man's urgings and digs a hole in a church graveyard. He finds a gigantic, ancient stone statue with scary eyes...that soon gives Lio the power of...THE LAST WARRIOR...
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Excerpt:

We shared a slice of the pie I'd never tried before. It was like eating a giant orange Creamsicle. That's when I remembered why Hau'ula was familiar. I'd come here many, many years ago on a school excursion. 

"Isn't there a great trail into the rainforest around here?" I asked him. 

"Why, yes." He grinned at me. 

I recalled quite clearly going with my class. We'd bought ice creams from a portable ice cream stand as we were leaving. Orange Creamsicles. 

"Do you hike much?" I asked. 

"Every chance I get." 

"Wow, that's great." 

"You like to hike?" he asked, pushing the last bite of pie toward me. 

"Yeah, my ex hated it, though." 

"I'm always up for a hike," he said. "Give me a shout some time." 

Speaking of shouting, the volume rose considerably with some newcomers so we gave up our table. Outside, I inhaled a mouthful of sweet night air. 

He was giving me so many mixed signals, or so I thought. Sometimes he reached out to me, then pulled his hand away. I was certain he was staring at my mouth in a hungry way. I sure as hell wanted him to kiss me. He smiled at me a lot. Maybe he was being kind, but I felt certain we were on a date. When he took me to his own home, I didn't think I was wrong. His beach cottage sat right on the reef, and I was stunned by his uninterrupted view of the ocean. 

Kord's life seemed to be straight out of my childhood. Everything on the walls and sideboards was found art. He'd discovered gigantic shells, sea glass balls, bleached pieces of driftwood that almost looked like antlers. He'd even made a hammock out of an old fisherman's net. 

He showed me his home office, which took up most of the space. He pointed to the garage. "That's where I build stuff." 

I had a sense he didn't bring many people here. I almost felt glad I didn't see any chick stuff. His home spoke of a solitary existence. 

"Take a seat." He pointed outside. I swung in one of the aged rocking chairs on the lanai as he brought me a beer. Longboard. My favorite. 

"You had a recent breakup too," I said. "Isn't that what you told Marcella?" 

"Sure. It never works out for me with women." He scowled. 

"Why's that? You're a great guy. Handsome, hard-working—" 

"Thanks. That's part of the problem. I love to work." 

The words swayed between us like a coconut palm. "I have a hard time with women because...because..." 

He didn't finish the sentence. He didn't want me to know he was bi. I sensed he didn't want to give me ideas. It was okay. I didn't need any. I was too busy licking my own wounds and couldn't have handled any confusion. 

When he dropped me home and kissed me on the lips, I felt my spirit and my body reacting. 

"Have a great night," he said, then watched as I let myself inside Dad's house. 

As I closed and locked the door behind me, I felt something shifting. I couldn't explain it as I leaned with my back against the blue stained-glass mermaid and felt her coolness seep into my hot skin. 

Aaaahhh...something had changed. Something good. I touched my lips. We'd had a great date. No, not a date. He was being kind. 

So why did he kiss me? 

We'd had a swell time. A gentle time. I hadn't had such a sweet evening with a man in a very long time. When I'd cleaned my teeth, I fell into bed. I could almost feel his dark hair on my face, his lips on mine. I tasted salty tears. Yeah...something was changing. I didn't know what.
I dreamed of fishermen's nets, mad laughter, and mud. 

At around three o'clock in the morning, I awoke from a strange dream. 

No. They were not coming back. I wouldn't allow them to come back. Not the dreams. Not those ones. I closed my ears to the voices whispering... 

Remember...remember...
 
I worked very hard to forget. To think of nothing but the soft press of Kord's lips, wishing for more. So much more.
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Early Review: High Moon by Jennifer Harlow

High Moon
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Publisher: Self-Published
ISBN:  0989394468
ISBN13: 9780989394468
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Author

CLASSIFIED: A F.R.E.A.K.S. LOVE STORY

Telekinetic Special Agent Beatrice Alexander has fought hordes of zombies, psychotic vampires, and even a troll. But now she faces her greatest challenge: love.


Fully recovered from her holiday from hell, Bea has returned to the F.R.E.A.K.S. with a mission, to gain the love of her werewolf teammate, Will Price. Of course nothing is ever easy when it comes to love and war. And when the killing fields of a pack of murderous werewolves is discovered in the wilds of North Carolina, the situation goes from complicated to deadly. Because though Bea always seems to get her man or beast in the end, this time she isn’t sure she will survive with her love intact. Or with her life…

I was emotionally drained after finishing HIGH MOON. How can the series possibly go on after the events of book 4? How can I possibly write a review about HIGH MOON without giving away some sort of spoiler.

I must be honest, Beatrice ended up annoying me quite a bit in the beginning half of the book. It's easy to understand her feelings, but she seemed to not care about anything besides getting what she wanted and I hated witnessing it. I still like her as a character and it got better as the book progressed but the total lack of caring about others feelings really bothered me.

A lot happens with Beatrice and Will in HIGH MOON, but I will have to leave it at that. Surprisingly Oliver ended up making me like him even more. He had a really hard time with things, but I feel like he didn't act AS BAD as I thought Beatrice was making it out to be.

I honestly don't know what else to say. This is a fantastic series, but I have NO clue what could possibly go into book 5. Hopefully Jennifer has some surprises for us.

I gave it 3.5/5 stars

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

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week in Review: 9/7-9/13


Books I've Bought/received

- Black Widow by Jennifer Estep - eARC- NetGalley

- Burning Desire by Donna Grant - eARC- NetGalley

- Firebug by Lish McBride - Publisher

- Reckoning by S.J. Harper - Publisher

- Dying for a Living by Kory M. Shrum - Author

Books I've Read

A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
Black Widow by Jennifer Estep
Forged in Fire by Juliette Cross
Gray Bishop by Kelly Meade
All Bets Are On by Cythia Cooke

Reviews Posted

House Immortal by Devon Monk
Night Unbound by Dianne Duvall
The Witch with No Name by Kim Harrison

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

* Monday- Guest Blog for Chandrea: The Return of the Avatar Queen by Marlene Wynn

* Tuesday- Character Interview & Giveaway for Wounded by Shannon Mayer, Guest Blog & Giveaway for Promise of Magic by Melinda VanLone

* Thursday- Promo for Mind Sweeper by A.E. Jones

* Friday- Interview for Carlos and Casey by Ember Leigh

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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.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Review: House Immortal by Devon Monk

House Immortal
Author:Devon Monk
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher:Roc
ISBN:  0451467361
ISBN13: 9780451467362
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source:Publisher
One hundred years ago, eleven powerful ruling Houses consolidated all of the world’s resources and authority into their own grasping hands. Only one power wasn’t placed under the command of a single House: the control over the immortal galvanized....

Matilda Case isn’t like most folk. In fact, she’s unique in the world, the crowning achievement of her father’s experiments, a girl pieced together from bits. Or so she believes, until Abraham Seventh shows up at her door, stitched with life thread just like her and insisting that enemies are coming to kill them all.

Tilly is one of thirteen incredible creations known as the galvanized, stitched together beings immortal and unfathomably strong. For a century, each House has fought for control over the galvanized. Now the Houses are also tangled in a deadly struggle for dominion over death—and Tilly and her kind hold the key to unlocking eternity

The secrets that Tilly must fight to protect are hidden within the very seams of her being. And to get the secrets, her enemies are willing to tear her apart piece by piece.…
 Devon Monk brings us a unique new series with intriguing characters, a power hungry villain, and an original, well built world.

Matilda (aka Tilly), is a pretty awesome heroine. She knows her way around protecting herself, and has no problem telling people what she thinks. I liked that she accepts herself. She was born a normal human but circumstances have changed her into something that shouldn't be possible. When she is discovered, she of course protects herself and is apprehensive about those that want to use her, but she also steps up to her new role while also trying to protect those she is loyal to. I never liked the Neds, they just rubbed me wrong, but I instantly liked Abraham Seventh. I was a little bummed that the romance between him and Tilly never really developed. Their attraction was apparent and there was some mutual relationship type things, but their relationship didn't go anywhere.

There is a ton of mystery involved with this story. Mystery surrounding Matilda, her parents, her brother, the stitched, the Houses. Lots and lots of questions and slow answers that kept you gripped in the story, wanting more. I enjoyed the twists and turns that the author threw out and the world building was well done. I think HOUSE IMMORTAL had more of a science-fiction with a hint of dystopian feel to it and I really didn't want it to be over. The book ends during a pretty hectic part of the book, so you can't help but want more and fast. March is too far away ...

I gave it 4/5 stars

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