Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Launch Day Blitz: Blind Faith by Rebecca Zanetti

UFI welcomes Author Rebecca Zanetti. Thanks for Joining us!!

Top 5 Urban Fantasy Female Characters
 
A big thanks to Urban Fantasy Investigations for having me over to play today! I love tough female characters, and I love smart female characters even more. Add those two elements, and you have a pretty awesome combination. So, I was asked to name my top five urban fantasy female characters, and I had to stop and take a moment to narrow the list to five. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. I mean, how can you not love her? She sacrifices and takes on the bad guys for her family, and she’s smart. I like smart.

2. Eowyn, Lady of Rohan – Lord of the Rings. I like that’s she’s brave, tough, and somehow graceful all at once.

3. Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood. Sookie is one of a kind, and while she’s sweet and southern, that girl has bodies buried, now doesn’t she?

4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I loved Buffy. Loved that she picked the bad boy every time, that she tried to remain true to who she was, even with the prophesies, and still let herself grow throughout the series.

5. River Tam from Firefly.  She’s young, she’s wounded, and she’s a weapon.  Even though that, and trying to save herself, she tries to be human and one of the Firefly family.
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New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner - only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She is a member of RWA, has won awards for her works throughout the industry, and has a journalism degree with a poly sci emphasis from Pepperdine University as well as a Juris Doctorate from the University of Idaho.

Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day-or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.

 Find Rebecca and her books
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Blind Faith
Sin Brothers #3
Amazon B&N BAM IndieBound iBooks
A betrayal he couldn't forget . . .

For Nate Dean, love is a four-letter word. As part of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be ruthless soldiers with an expiration date. They were loyal only to one another . . . until Nate laid eyes on the woman who stole his heart and blew his world apart. Now, years later, his family is still paying the price for his mistake. But as time runs out, there's only one person who can save his family: the very woman Nate swore he'd never trust again.

A love she couldn't deny . . .

The moment Audrey Madison spies Nate across a crowded ballroom, she can barely breathe. He's just as undeniably sexy as she remembers, yet there's an edge to him now that's as irresistible as it is dangerous. When he asks for her help, Audrey can't refuse. But she has secrets of her own-secrets that, if Nate ever discovers them, may cost them both their lives . . .
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New Releases: 1/25-1/31


Mon. Jan. 26th


Tue. Jan. 27th

 Chaos (Fates #2) by Lanie Bross

Happy Reading!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Interview & Giveaway: Forged in Fire by Juliette Cross

UFI welcomes Author Juliette Cross. 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 was a high school English teacher for seventeen years and loved every minute of it. I still miss engaging with my students on classic literature and how it reflects our world today. I had the fortune to teach some amazing kids and still keep in touch with them.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time? 

My husband and I are Netflix addicts. Seriously. We should be on a 12-step program. Any time we can squeeze in time and the kids are doing their own thing, we’re hunkered down with some red wine watching Peaky Blinders, House of Cards, Ripper Street, etc. Our latest favorite is Marco Polo.

What is your Favorite part of writing?

The very beginning and the very end of the editing process. I love that time where the story and characters are percolating in my mind and the thrill of starting that new WIP. And then after all the arduous work of the editing process is complete and I send back my galley copy to the editor. Those moments are both my favorite.

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

Not really. When I write in the mornings, which tends to be every weekday, I just have to rise super early before the kids and get right to work. When I’m writing on the weekends, I need my headphones and Pandora to block out the insanity that is my house. Four kids—ranging from 18 to 4—tend to make a bit of noise.

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

Ahh, this is an easy one. Hands down, Nalini Singh’s Guildhunter and Psy-Changeling series are my favorites. Also, Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series is the ultimate. I’m DYING to read BURNED just around the corner.

How would you pitch Forged in Fire to someone who has not heard of it before? 

Forged in Fire is a cross between Constantine and Buffy the Vampire Slayer where a sexy-as-sin demon hunter becomes guardian to a snarky heroine who’s being hunted by every demon in the underworld, including a demon prince with a fancy for violent sexual
encounters.

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

Set in present day New Orleans, our heroine Genevieve discovers there is a host of demons living among humankind, tempting them toward sin, and even possessing them—body and soul. They are called the Flamma of Dark. It is the duty of the Dominus Daemonum—Flamma of Light—to rein in all demons breaking the rules on earth and expel them back to hell. A Vessel holds a special place in this world with the ability to awaken extraordinary power, but only if she can withstand the temptation of a demon prince. So far, no Vessel alive has been able to do so.

Do you have a favorite scene in Forged in Fire

Hmmm…probably the first kiss. Genevieve is under the misconception that her attraction to Jude is one-way only. Jude proves her wrong in an intense, bone-melting display of his feelings.

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

This is SO tough. Since I’m a rule-bender, I’m going to give you my top three:
  • Hardest AND Favorite—Jude Delacroix (Forged in Fire)—His dark and brooding demeanor and haunted past was inspired by Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre), my first book boyfriend from way back when.
  • Favorite—Kol Moonring (Waking the Dragon)—Physically and mentally stronger than most men, his forthright honesty sets him apart from the game-players and little boys of the world.
  • Favorite—Moira Cade (Waking the Dragon)—Her courage despite the threats to her own life in order to seek justice raises her to noble and admirable heights. 

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

For 2015, I have five more releases after Forged in Fire:
  • Windburn (Feb)
  • Sealed in Sin (April)
  • Waking the Dragon (June)
  • Bound in Black (July)
  • Nightbloom (September)
Since most of these are nearly through the production process, my next WIP will be Hunting the Witch, book two in the upcoming Vale of Stars series, and I’m dying to get started.

Thank you so much for having me today, UF Investigations! It’s always a pleasure to be here. (
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Juliette calls lush, moss-laden Louisiana home where the landscape curls into her imagination, creating mystical settings for her stories. She has a B.A. in creative writing from Louisiana State University, a M.Ed. in gifted education, and was privileged to study under the award-winning author Ernest J. Gaines in grad school. Her love of mythology, legends, and art serve as constant inspiration for her works. From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance--brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes. Even then, she not only longed to read more novels set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own.

Find Juliette and her books
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Forged in Fire
The Vessel Trilogy #1
Available at Amazon BN Kobo
 She never knew this demon world existed. Now she just wants to survive it.

Genevieve Drake never needed a man to come to her rescue. Not until the night of her twentieth birthday, when some dude nearly chokes her to death in an alley behind a New Orleans Goth club. And a hot stranger splits the guy in half, rips a monster from inside, and incinerates it into ash.

The hunky rescuer? Jude Delacroix—Dominus Daemonum, Master of Demons, now her guardian, whether she likes it or not. But she’s seriously beginning to like it.

Her would-be murderer turns out to be only the first of many minions of the demon prince, Danté, who has all kinds of lascivious and sadistic plans. Which means when the formidably beautiful Jude offers his protection, Genevieve has no problem accepting it.

For Jude and his fellow demon hunters tell her she is a Vessel, one who is born to serve the Light, but can be corrupted into a weapon of darkness. And to survive, she must trust a man whose unearthly eyes promise heaven…but whose powers unleash hell.
Warning: Contains a dark and brooding demon hunter who harbors even darker secrets, a snarky heroine who’s being hunted by every demon in the underworld, and a sadistic demon prince with a fancy for violent sexual encounters. 
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Excerpt: 

I’d parked illegally on the street, knowing full well I’d probably have a ticket on the windshield when I returned. Campus cops were like sharks in bloody waters, sniffing out offenders with notorious stealth. You never saw them but sure as hell felt bitten when they got you. Dreading to see that I’d been attacked by one of these predators, I rounded the corner, and my heart stopped.

Propped beautifully against my silver 350ZX was my rescuer, R-and-B from last night. Faded jeans fit snugly on his hips, and a gray T-shirt accentuated a perfect upper body. His black hair fell just right across lovely dark eyes. With casually crossed arms, he watched me approach.

Heart, please stop pounding that way before he notices.

This was no accident. He’d found me somehow. Should I be afraid? He didn’t look dangerous. Well, not in a serial-killer sort of way. Hell, he looked good enough to eat. Totally faking bravado, I stopped in front of him with one hand on my waist.

“Are you stalking me?”

He didn’t answer, eyeing me from bottom to top. His gaze paused at my throat, then finally made its way to my eyes. Still mute. I hated awkward silences.

“Didn’t your mother ever teach you it’s not polite to stare?”

That seemed to jar him a bit. He straightened, his expression grim at best.

“I apologize. I was—”

“Checking me out. Yeah, I got that loud and clear.”

Damn, I was brave. He cleared his throat, hiding a smile now.

“I was going to say, examining you.” He gestured to my neck.

“Examining? Why? Are you a doctor?”

“Of sorts.”

“What sort of sort?”

“I have a doctorate.”

No way. He seemed too young to have a PhD.

“A doctorate in what?” I asked skeptically.

“Philosophy.”

“Your expertise?” I asked, noting the rather sarcastic lilt in my voice. He didn’t bat an eye.

“My thesis was on how weapons reflect the savagery and sophistication of a culture.”

That accent again. Definitely European. But what country?

“Well, a PhD in weaponry may give you some idea how to inflict injuries, but it doesn’t qualify you to examine and diagnose them.”

“True.”

Ha! One point for me.

“So…” I let the word hang. “How could you possibly have a PhD in anything at your age?”

“I’m older than I appear.”

A slow, slow devastating smile. A fluttering in my stomach felt like a frantic flock of blind birds. Re-lax, Gen. Thank God he spoke, because for the moment, my lips had completely forgotten how to form words.

“I simply wanted to determine whether you’d recovered from last night’s attack,” he said, pushing off my car and coming closer.

Oh no. He was going to touch me. Genevieve Elizabeth Drake, do NOT faint. He reached out and gently folded back my hoodie. He lifted my chin and angled it so that he could see the marks I knew were purpled along the left side. Why was I letting this stranger get so close? Even if he was picture-book gorgeous. I pushed his hand away and stepped around him to my car.

“I’m fine,” I mumbled, pulling the keys from the front pocket of my backpack. “What I want to know is how you knew where to find me. And why are you following me? It’s a bit creepy, even if you did save my life last night.”

We’d now switched places. I leaned back against my car. He stood there, examining me again, thumbs hooked in the front pockets of those yummy jeans.

“Yesterday was your twentieth birthday, wasn’t it?”

Okay. Double creepy.

“How did you know?”

My question confirmed whatever idea he had in his head. I could see it in the nod and drop of his perfect cleft chin.

Two girls flitted by, engrossed in a conversation. One nudged the other when they caught sight of him, ogling shamelessly. They giggled. Couldn’t blame them, but it pissed me off for some reason. R-and-B gave them no real notice, turning back to me.

“I think we should go somewhere private to talk.”

Said the creepy man to the little girl with a lollipop and a white van waiting around the corner.

“Um, I don’t think so.” I crossed my arms. “I don’t know you. And no matter what you did for me last night, at this point, I don’t trust you.”

He shifted weight to his other leg. “As you wish. We’ll talk here.”

“Not that I’m ungrateful, but why were you following me last night? Into the alley?”

“I wasn’t following you. I was following the demon.”

“Fair enough. How did you know it was my birthday?”

“Last night, I wondered but thought it impossible. I had not thought to meet another like you in all my time as a…” He paused, glancing around and lowering his voice. “As a Dominus Daemonum.”

I shook my head. “Okay, hold up. Met one what before? And what the hell is a dominus da-whatever-you-said?”

Dark enchanting eyes kept me still, even with my saucy attitude. A face chiseled in stone regarded me with care. I would never admit it, but I was afraid to move. Something in those almost-black depths warned me what he spoke of now would change my life forever. What’s more, I knew those words. They were Latin. But the translation in my head didn’t make sense.

“The what is a Vessel,” he finally said. “And a Dominus Daemonum is a Master of Demons.”

“Do you mean like a…a demon hunter?”

He nodded. No smile.

“That is what I am,” he said.

“And what’s a Vessel?”

“That is what you are.”
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Week in Review: 1/18-1/24



Books Received for Review

- The Apollo Academy by Kimberly P. Chase- eARC- NetGalley

- Changing Nature by April White- eCopy- Author

- Heir of the Dog by Hailey Edwards-eARC- Author

Books I've Read

Bind the Soul by Annette Marie
Changing Nature by April White

Reviews Posted

New World Order by S.M. McEachern
White Knight by Kelly Meade

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

* Tuesday- Interview & Giveaway for Grave Vengeance by Lori Sjoberg

* Thursday- Giveaway for Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers

* Friday- Interview for Sugar Dust: Slippers and Chains by Raven ShadowHawk

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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.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Interview: Sugar Dust: Slippers and Chains by Raven ShadowHawk

UFI welcomes Author Raven ShadowHawk. 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? 

That’s a tricky one. Hmm. That wouldn’t show up in another interview, eh?

Well I touch-type. It’s something I learned in secondary school and I can say, quite honestly, that is the ONLY practical skill that I value above all the knowledge I attained. My brain moves so fast that I can’t keep up with a pen, the only way to keep pace with the madness of my brain vomit is to type it. That’s why I always write my first drafts straight onto a word processor.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

What’s downtime?

Heh, I’m only half kidding there. I have two young children, so true downtime is a thing of the past. But I do enjoy catch up with old TV shows. Buffy is the most recent one. I realized that the show first aired when I was 13 years old. 13!!! And I still love it. Yes the acting is poor and the effects are dated, but who cares?! It’s about a tiny blonde girl who kicks the crap out of bad guys and doesn’t need help from a man. What’s not to love?

What is your Favorite part of writing? 

The first draft. That utterly free and limitless thrill of putting my fingers to the key and letting my brain go. Yes, I utilize outlines these days (I have to with all the projects I have on the go) but it’s still very open. Earlier I called my words ‘brain vomit.’ Gross as that sounds, it really is the best way to describe my writing because before the editing begins, that’s exactly what it is.

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

I have a very strict editing process that involves multiple reads on different platforms (computer screen / hard copy / Kindle). But there are small things I do like play a certain music track while working (it’s this www.youtube.com/watch?v=emlP2o41Qxw if you’re curious) and having the curtains closed to the outside world. Small things, but when I set those things up around me, I know that it must be writing time.  I’m even getting better at ignoring the Facebook ‘ping’ and the Twitter ‘tweet’ while I’m working. Yey me! ;-)

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

I guess I’m going to spout all the clichés now but I adore Laurell K Hamilton and anything at all by Kelley Armstrong. Anything by these two is on my ‘Love’ list or ‘About To Be Loved’ list. I’m yet to read a book by either I didn’t enjoy.

How would you pitch Slippers & Chains: Sugar Dust to someone who has not heard of it before? 

I love this part. Okay, I’ve been working on this for a while and if I were stood beside someone in the queue for the ladies’ loos I would pitch it like this:

Do you like Fifty Shades? Do you like Friends? Do you like Eastenders? Okay, imagine all of those mashed together and you’ve got the Slippers & Chains series, the funny, the mundane and the sexy, all mashed together into series of four novellas. 

Ha, go me. ^_^

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

Unlike many of my other projects, it really is just the world we live in today. Contemporary Leicester (East Midlands UK) with all the things that go along with it: modern TV, family feuds, occasional over-attempts at political correctness and a vibrant kink scene. Honest, visit Leicester any time in the next few years and it won’t be too much different to what you’re reading about.

Do you have a favorite scene in Sugar Dust

Actually yes. ^_^

Karen is talking to her housemate Cindy about her relationship with Dan. She and Cindy are completely open with each other so there’s no need to beat around the bush when discussing the BDSM aspects of the relationship. Cindy is low and depressed because her girlfriend insists that she comes out to her parents and Karen is low and depressed because Dan won’t say he loves her.

The scene includes a fabulous line by Cindy where she expresses her caring nature in the only way she knows how: "No, he's hurting you. And if he keeps it up, I'll break his legs. But talk to him first, okay? Sam can't keep blagging me out of trouble."

Which character was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about? 

My favorite has to be Cindy. She’s just so crass and foul mouthed and fun. I often feel guilty about all the swearing in my books, but not when I write about her.

Hardest to write about was Dan. Though I have a reasonable grip on the dynamics of a BDSM relationship, I don’t for a moment believe that every relationship is the same. So I know that my portrayal of Dan as a Dominant figure won’t match the expectations of some. Nor will my portrayal of Karen as a submissive. I guess the hardest part is knowing that I can’t possibly please everyone.

All I can do in that regard is be as honest with the characters as I can and I do that by staying true to the people I know them to be, regardless of the BDSM dynamic.

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

Next up on my ‘to do’ list is the second Slippers & Chains story called Second Base. Karen and Dan up the stakes by changing their living arrangement and discuss bringing more people into their relationship. Then, under the name Ileandra Young I’ll be working on a trilogy of vampire books that mingles adventure in contemporary Leicester with events in Ancient Egypt at the time of Cleopatra VIII and Mark Antony in 36-30BC.
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Thirty-*mumbles* year old Raven ShadowHawk lives in Leicester (UK) with her twin sons (Sprog1 andSprog2), her partner (The Funk Master) and a stubbornly barren dwarf lemon tree.

She turned to writing erotica when she realized that many of the stories told by her friends were just too good not to share (and after realizing, after seven years, that working in finance was far too boring and far too comfortable a career to maintain forever).
Raven's unique humor, sauciness, well-observed realism, and unforgiving sass, gives her a brand of erotica she calls Smut With Brains.

Under the series title Meeting Each Other, Raven has released a mini series of six short stories through her imprint Little Vamp Press. Future projects include fantasy and/or horror based collaborative efforts with her “other half” Ileandra Young.

Find details of Raven's other works on her website and for monthly updates and regular freebies, join her mailing list. If you fancy a chat, find her lurking on Facebook, or Twitter  sharing—or arguing—with her other half.
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 Sugar Dust
Slippers and Chains #1
Buy Link
After an unwelcome family visit highlights romantic insecurities, Dan takes Karen to exclusive fetish club, Sugar Dust. Will the trip rescue or destroy their relationship?

Dan loves submissive women and longs to build a harem of willing females to fill what he lovingly calls his "Slave Library." He shares his plans for sexual bliss with Karen, the first of his submissives in both his mind and his heart. But when an unexpected visit from his mother leads to uncomfortable questions about his ex, Dan realizes that past mistakes are catching up to him, faster than he can run.

The first D/s relationship to blend comfortably with her vanilla life is the one Karen shares with Dan. She treasures the freedom in the act of submission and wants nothing more than to share it with her Master for as long as possible. Why then does he insist on bringing other women into their beds? And why can't he say he loves her?

As Dan battles his inner demons, Karen hopes a sexy mini break at the exclusive fetish club, Sugar Dust will allow them time to relax and reconnect. There she meets Beth, the personification of Dan's past, storming in to demolish her present. Can Karen show Dan that their relationship is strong enough to break the chains of his past, before Beth drives an immoveable wedge between them with her tales of what once was?
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Excerpt:

After an unwelcome family visit highlights romantic insecurities, Dan takes Karen to exclusive fetish club, Sugar Dust. Will the trip rescue or destroy their relationship?

Dan loves submissive women and longs to build a harem of willing females to fill what he lovingly calls his "Slave Library." He shares his plans for sexual bliss with Karen, the first of his submissives in both his mind and his heart. But when an unexpected visit from his mother leads to uncomfortable questions about his ex, Dan realizes that past mistakes are catching up to him, faster than he can run.

The first D/s relationship to blend comfortably with her vanilla life is the one Karen shares with Dan. She treasures the freedom in the act of submission and wants nothing more than to share it with her Master for as long as possible. Why then does he insist on bringing other women into their beds? And why can’t he say he loves her?

As Dan battles his inner demons, Karen hopes a sexy mini break at the exclusive fetish club, Sugar Dust will allow them time to relax and reconnect. There she meets Beth, the personification of Dan’s past, storming in to demolish her present. Can Karen show Dan that their relationship is strong enough to break the chains of his past, before Beth drives an immoveable wedge between them with her tales of what once was?
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Giveaway: Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers

Unbreakable
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Tor Books
The colonists of the planet Montana are accustomed to being ignored. Situated in the buffer zone between two rival human empires, their world is a backwater: remote, provincial, independently minded. Even as a provisional member of the Republic of Aligned Worlds, Montana merits little consideration—until it becomes the flashpoint in an impending interstellar war.

When pirate raids threaten to destabilize the region, the RAW deploys its mechanized armored infantry to deal with the situation. Leading the assault is Marine Corps Lieutenant and Montanan expatriate Promise Paen of Victor Company. Years earlier, Promise was driven to join the Marines after her father was killed by such a raid. Payback is sweet, but it comes at a tremendous and devastating cost. And Promise is in no way happy to be back on her birthworld, not even when she is hailed as a hero by the planet's populace, including its colorful president. Making matters even worse: Promise is persistently haunted by the voice of her dead mother.

Meanwhile, the RAW's most bitter rival, the Lusitanian Empire, has been watching events unfold in the Montana system with interest. Their forces have been awaiting the right moment to gain a beachhead in Republic territory, and with Promise's Marines decimated, they believe the time to strike is now.
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One
 
OCTOBER 17th, 86 A.E., STANDARD CALENDAR, 7:30 a.m. LOCAL TIME, GRATION FAMILY HOMESTEAD, IN THE HIGH COUNTRY OF MONTANA

Fresh air spilled into her upstairs bedroom through an old wooden window. Promise inhaled the smells of an early autumn shower, which normally calmed her, but not today. She scanned her room in frustration. Anyone walking into it might have thought a vandal had tossed it looking for valuables. She pinched her nose and scrunched her eyebrows, just like her father did, then slowed her breathing and counted to seven, just long enough to temper her words. She rarely let her father see her perturbed and had no intention of doing so today.

“Dad! Where’s my comb?” Promise closed her eyes. I really did try not to yell. “You know,” she said as she forced her shoulders to relax, “the one Mamma gave me for my birthday?”

“Try your nightstand, dear.”

“Right.” The lamp stood alone, a sea of nicknacks swept to the floor beneath it. Promise imagined her father seated in his hardwood desk chair, sighing in resignation. She didn’t even try to keep the edge from creeping back into her voice. “I know it’s not approved by the elders, but it’s from Mamma, and it’s one of the few things I have left.”

“Yes, I know,” Morlyn Gration answered with a maddening degree of patience, but without ceding the point. “Try not to obsess about it.”

“Try some compassion,” she muttered under her breath. Remember, P, he misses her, too—cut him some slack. Just not too much.

Promise knew her father was hard at work and that she had interrupted him over what he considered to be a trivial matter. She pictured his study vividly: a modest flattop desk, on the right of which sat a pad of paper and a gravity-fed pen because Morlyn Gration refused to use a smartpad or a sensible backup. Rows of calculations foretold the size of the coming harvest and the profits it would net. On a shelf above his head sat a seldom-used book of genealogy. Behind him stood a narrow shelf of books neatly filled with volumes on herbals, horticulture, and husbandry. All very boring in her opinion.

Her family was small and proud. They’d come to the planet Montana many generations ago, on the tail end of the Third Diaspora, which had come to a close with Earth’s death. As planetary deaths went, it had been a particularly bad one. Time reset itself, A.E. this time instead of C.E., to keep the homeworld’s memory alive, of course. But after one hundred years, no one cared anymore.

The lucky ones had left before “The Event,” drawn to Montana by its distance from Holy Terra and their separatist Luddite zeal… and just in time, too. Thank God.

After landing, the Grations migrated to Montana’s northern hemisphere, to a parcel of land along the foothills of the Fhordholm mountain range, only a day’s hike from the tree line. They saw four seasons and winters that dipped deep into the minuses, lived close to the land, and dabbled in tradecraft. In less than a generation, harsh Montana winters took their toll, the deaths mounted—so many children, lost unnecessarily—and time-honored traditions crumbled to dust. The Grations became reluctant technophiles of a sort. And why not? That’s what mechs were for, after all. Let them grunt it out for a change. Let the children live.

Big surprise, Promise thought as she kicked a pile of clothes in frustration. Not that using mechs bothered her. It didn’t. But it was the principle of the matter, which brought her back to the comb. He sees the value of machines. I wish I could ask Mom why she fell for him. Dad can be so… so… stubborn! Can’t he see how much this means to me?
 
Promise gave up her search. She walked to her closet, reached up high, and grabbed the handgun and holster off the top shelf, making both disappear. She walked down the hall and descended the stairs, which emptied into a plain room. A few solid pieces of furniture hugged the walls, which supported several acrylic landscapes, soft pastorals full of greens and yellows and browns. Her father’s rocker sat near a bricked fireplace. Her mother’s leather armchair faced to the east. Mount Kinley stood in the distance, a purple dome that had once topped five thousand meters before it blew its top.

“Be back for lunch,” yelled her father.

“Don’t plan on it,” Promise shouted back.

She was already halfway to her ride when she heard the screen door slam shut behind her. Promise swung her leg over the sled and felt her hands mold to the polymer grips. A green light on the steering console came to life and scanned her eyes. Then the sled rose on a platform of countergravity.

Promise glanced behind her and up at her father’s office window. She caught movement and knew he was watching her from above, hoping not to be seen. “He looks. Too bad he never really sees me.” She pivoted, then urged her sled forward and out of sight.
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: New World Order by S.M. McEachern

New World Order
Release Date: January 15, 2015
Publisher: Clownfish Publishing
Sunset Rising Book #3
ISBN13: 9780991733057
Genre: Dystopian/Young Adult
Review Copy Source: Author

The Biodome has been liberated, the slaves have been freed, and a new democratic government has been formed. Yet tensions between the Pit and the Dome have never been higher. With the disappearance of Senator Jack Kenner, the old regime makes a political move to reestablish their government.

In the third book of the Sunset Rising trilogy, Sunny O’Donnell is determined to find Jack and bring him home. With the high-tech assistance of Doc, Sunny and her friends, Summer and Reyes, team up with the Nation to set out into a lawless post apocalyptic world. But as the ruthlessness of the recruiters unfolds amidst the discovery of betrayals within their own group, friends will become enemies and enemies will become friends on a journey that will lead to a New World Order.

*Warning: Hints about events in previous books and minor spoilers might be included in this review*

We were dropped into a cliffhanger at the end of book 2, WORLD'S COLLIDE, and I couldn't wait to see how Sunny would handle getting Jack back while also dealing with the news she received in the last few pages. It's a bit hard to write this review because I don't want to give anything away, but there is still things I would love to talk about.

Sunny and Jack were never supposed to be together, but their love is strong and it's clear they were meant for each other. No matter what Sunny thought, there is still a lot of tension and prejudiced between the former pit and dome residents. She slowly came to realize the issues throughout NEW WORLD ORDER and once she saves Jack things kinda blow up on that front. I don't think the blow up was as big as it could have been, and watching her and Jack work together to resolve the conflict instead of one or the other doing it on their own brought it all together in the end and showed how much each of them have grown since book 1.

The characters were great, the storyline was easy to follow, flowed nicely and kept me wanting more. There was a nice mix of action, romance and suspense.  This trilogy started great and ended great, but I still want more! I thought the trilogy ended really well, but I still feel there is so much to explore and I am sad that this is the end. If you're looking for a new dystopian series to fall into, this is it!

I gave it 4/5 stars

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