Friday, March 23, 2018

Promo + Giveaway: The Heart Forger By Rin Chupeco

The Heart Forger
The Bone Witch #2
Amazon  BN  BooksAMillion  Indigo  IndieBound
In The Bone Witch, Tea mastered resurrection―now she's after revenge...

No one knows death like Tea. A bone witch who can resurrect the dead, she has the power to take life...and return it. And she is done with her self-imposed exile. Her heart is set on vengeance, and she now possesses all she needs to command the mighty daeva. With the help of these terrifying beasts, she can finally enact revenge against the royals who wronged her―and took the life of her one true love.

But there are those who plot against her, those who would use Tea's dark power for their own nefarious ends. Because you can't kill someone who can never die...

War is brewing among the kingdoms, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.


He does not look so formidable, I lied to myself, staring at the warped, decaying body before me. I can defeat his will. I will break him. It is a wonder what Mykkie had ever seen in him.
It was not the first time I had deceived myself in this manner. Neither was this the first time I had raised King Vanor from the grave. But if I repeated that mantra enough times, I thought I could finally believe my words.
The dead king refused to look at me, his eyes distant. The royal crypts were built to strike both fear and awe in those who visited, but I had grown accustomed to the stone faces looking down at me with quiet scrutiny from their high precipices. But King Vanor’s continued silence unnerved me every time—more than I cared to admit.
“A wise philosopher once said,” Fox drawled from the shadows, “that doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result is the mark of a fool.”
“Why do I bring you along?”
“Well, a wise philosopher once said—”
“Shut up.” My brother had no need to tell me my quest was hopeless. Numerous Dark asha, all more experienced than me, had made the attempt. But I had to do something.
“You’re in a worse mood than usual. Did Kalen chew you out at practice again?”
“If you don’t like it here, why not find some women in the city to flirt with instead?”
“Not in Oda—” He caught himself. “None of your business. Can we get this over with?”
I turned back to the corpse. “Where are you keeping Mykaela’s heartsglass?”
No answer. The colossi statues guarding the catacombs were likelier to respond than this infernal sod of a king.
“Answer me! What have you done to her heartsglass? Where did you keep it? Why do you hate her so much?” My headache worsened. Somewhere in the back of my head, I was aware of a shadow thrashing about, sensing my anger. I saw a vision of water, green and murky, before it faded out of view.
I took a deep breath and let it out carefully. The ache lightened and the shadow retreated as I recovered my calm.
“This is a waste of time.” Fox folded his arms across his chest. My brother looked to be in peak physical health, though he was no more alive than the royal noble standing before us.
Their similarities ended there; there was barely enough skin and sinew clinging to Vanor to pass for human. That was my doing. The first few times I resurrected him, I had been respectful, taking great pains to restore his body to how it appeared when he was alive.
Now I allowed him only enough muscle and flesh to move his jaw.
“He’s not going to talk, Tea. You know that, I know that, and he definitely knows that.”
“I will make him talk.” Many years ago, my sister-asha had fallen in love with this wretched excuse of a ruler. In exchange for her unwavering devotion, he had taken her heartsglass and hidden it so well that no one had been able to find it.
And now, more than a decade later, Mykaela was dying. She could no longer return to Kion. Her health had deteriorated to the point where she had to remain near her heartsglass, still hidden somewhere within Odalia, here in the city of Kneave. It was hard enough to be a bone witch; that she’d survived for this long was a miracle in itself.
I grabbed what was left of the king’s shoulders, pulling him toward me. He reeked of death and obstinacy. “Answer me!” My voice echoed off the columns. “Didn’t you love her even a little? Or are you so petty that you’d allow her to suffer for the rest of her years? She’s dying. What grudge do you harbor to hate her this much?”
I froze. So did Fox.
I had told no one else about my weekly excursions to the royal crypts. Not my friend Polaire, who would have boxed my ears if she’d known, nor Mistress Parmina, who would doom me to a life cleaning outhouses. Only Fox was privy to my secret, which he had agreed to keep despite his own misgivings. And Mykaela was the last person I wanted to find out.
She had aged more rapidly during the last few years since she had taken me under her wing. There was more gray in her golden hair, more lines on her face. Her back stooped slightly, like she struggled under a heavy burden. She had taken to using a cane everywhere she went, unsure of her own feet.
“Mykaela,” I stammered, “you’re not supposed to be here.”
“I could say the same for you,” she answered, but her eyes were fixed on King Vanor, her pain obvious. He watched her gravely, without shame or guilt, and my anger rose again. How many raisings had my sister-asha endured, forced to watch while this king refused to speak?
I raised my finger to sketch out the rune that would send Vanor back to the world of the dead, but Mykaela lifted a hand. “Vanor,” she said quietly, “it’s been a while.”
The decaying figure said nothing. His eyes studied her, savage and hungry and ill suited for such an impassive face.
“I apologize for my wayward apprentice. She has been willful and intractable since her admission to my asha-ka and has shown little improvement since. Please return to your rest. Tea, let him go.”
Mykaela’s words were a steel knife through my heart. Stuttering apologies, I completed the spell and watched as King Vanor’s body crumbled back into dust in his open coffin. Even as his features dissolved, King Vanor never once looked away from Mykaela’s face.
“Close the lid and move the stone back in place,” she said. I could detect the anger behind her calm. “I would tell King Telemaine to seal his coffin, but even that might not stop you. Whatever possessed you to let her do this, Fox?”
Fox shrugged, grinning like an abashed schoolboy. “I’m her familiar. It comes with the territory.”
“Being her familiar is no excuse for being an imbecile! And you! What possessed you to summon dead royalty in the middle of the night?”
“I wanted to help.” The excuse sounded weaker when made to Mykaela than to Fox. “I thought that I could control daeva now! You said no Dark asha’s ever done that before! That’s why…why I…”
Mykaela sighed. “And so by that logic, you think you are different from Dark asha of the past? What you have in ability, Tea, you lack in wisdom. You cannot compel the dead if they are not willing. Wasn’t that the first lesson I taught you after you raised Fox from his grave? Arrogance is not a virtue, sister.”
I looked down, blinking back tears. Was I arrogant to want to save her? Unlike Fox, Dark asha and all those with a silver heartsglass cannot be raised from the dead, and that permanence frightened me. “I’m sorry. I want to help. But I feel so powerless.”
I heard her move closer, felt her hand on my head, stroking my hair.
“It’s not such a bad thing, to feel powerless sometimes. It teaches us that some situations are inevitable and that we should spend what little time we have in the company of the people that matter most. Do you understand me, Tea?”
“Yes.” I wept.
“Tea, I’m not dead yet.” A finger nudged at my chin. “I would appreciate it if you stopped acting like I was. I do not give up so easily, but we must adopt other means.”
“I’m sorry.”
“It is only an apology if you mean it. This is the last time you will be summoning anyone in the royal crypts, no matter how noble you think your actions are. Promise me.”
“I promise,” I mumbled.
“The same is true for you too, Fox.”
“I promise, milady.”
“Good. Now help me up the stairs. My legs aren’t what they used to be.”
Fox reached down and scooped Mykaela into his arms. “It’s the fastest way,” he explained. “You’ve expended enough energy yelling at us.”
The older asha chuckled. “Yes, that’s always been rather tiresome now that I think about it. Perhaps you should direct your energies toward more productive tasks so I can tire less.”
“How did you know we were here?” I asked.
“I’ve taken to wandering at night. I looked in on Tea, but her room was empty. I detected a shifting of runes nearby and merely followed it to its source.”
“I didn’t mean to make you worry.” The staircase led back to the Odalian palace gardens. For the past two months, Fox and I had been King Telemaine’s guests, traveling the kingdom and tending to the sickly. Most of the people here fear and dislike bone witches, though with lesser fervor than before. It is not easy to hold a grudge against someone who has nursed you back to health.
At the king’s invitation, Mykaela had taken up residence in the castle indefinitely. But every day finds her weaker, and I feared the palace would serve as her hospice.
“There are many other concerns, Tea. Likh has a new case pending, hasn’t he?”
The asha association had rejected Likh’s appeal to join, but Polaire had dredged up an obscure law that permitted Deathseekers to train in the Willows until they turned fifteen, which was Likh’s current age.
Mykaela glanced over Fox’s shoulder, back at the catacombs, then turned away.
She still loves him, I thought, and fury burned through me like a fever. “I’m really sorry, Mykkie.”
She smiled. “As I said, only if you mean it, Tea. Get some rest. We’ve got a busy day ahead.”
* * *
I listened until my brother’s footsteps faded before sneaking out of my room a second time. I opened the doors of my mind to welcome the hidden shadows; they wrapped around my core, creating a barrier that had for many months prevented Fox from discovering the other sentience I hoarded away, like a sweet vintage I had no intentions of sharing. I couldn’t. Not yet.
Chief waited for me at the stables. A lone woman on a horse caused no outcry, and we rode undisturbed out of the city, into a copse of trees that hid us further from view. I climbed off my stallion, told him to await my return, and moved deeper into the forest, into a small clearing that served as a rendezvous point.
I reached out once more to the moving darkness. The scar on my right thigh was hot to the touch. It burned in the cold air, but I felt no pain.
Despite its size, the beast was made of stealth and shadows. Where there was once nothing, it now stood beside me, as if summoned from the air. Three pairs of hooded eyes gazed down at me, forked tongues dancing. Its wings extended, and twilight rolled over me, soothing and pleasant.
Master? It was a voice but not in the manner we think of voices. Our bond gave us an understanding that went beyond language.
I reached out. Its scaly hide was a combination of coarse bark and rough sandpaper.
Play? It sat, unmoving, as I climbed up its back.
In the blink of an eye, we were soaring across the sky, rolling meadows and fields of green passing below us. Turn, I thought, testing the limits of my control, as I have over the last several months. The azi complied, wings curving toward the horizon. I laughed, the sound joyous and free against the wind, and one head dipped briefly to nuzzle at my cheek, purring.
This is not selfishness, I told myself, but a responsibility. Mykaela was partly right; I was arrogant and overconfident, but I was not like other Dark asha. No other Dark asha had been able to tame the azi. And riding with it on quiet nights meant it was not rampaging through cities.
But I also knew I had to keep my companion a secret. Raising a dead king was a far lesser sin than taking a daeva as a familiar. I shall conquer this, I thought and, in doing so, sealed my fate.
Why are we at Daanoris?” I asked again when she paused. “Why won’t you tell me?”
“Because I need you as a witness as well as a storyteller, Bard. You will not remain unbiased for long if I supply you with foresight.”
“You summoned me. I travel with you. My opinions will make little difference.”
“You have a reputation for impartiality, Bard. I trust your judgment and my prudence. And here in Santiang, there is someone I would like you to meet.”
“They call him the Heartforger.” She flashed me a quick mischievous grin. “I find it difficult to believe you will be so eager to rule in my favor after the endless stretch of corpses I summoned in my wake. Or after informing you of my intentions to take Daanoris. It is not easy to mask your repugnance. Why have I come to Daanoris? Perhaps simply because I can. Has that not crossed your mind?”
“Tea,” Kalen admonished, his voice low and amused.
She laughed. “Let me continue my story while we still have the luxury.”
The shadows grew across the trees. The daeva melted slowly into the forest, moving silently despite their sizes. No other sound passed through the woods—no chirping of birds nor chatter of squirrels. There was only the wind whispering through the leaves, the crackling of fire, and the sound of the asha’s voice.


Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She's been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Review: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

To Kill a Kingdom
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel Friends
ISBN:   1250112680
ISBN13: 9781250112682
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

I wasn't really sure about TO KILL A KINGDOM after reading the blurb, but it didn't take me long after starting to get into the story.

I didn't think I was going to like Lira, but once her story started unfolding and we really started getting to know her it was easy to like her. Elian I liked right away. He was honorable, determined and is a prince to boot so what wasn't there to like? There wasn't an instant love between the two—which was fantastic—in fact, they tried to kill each other at first sight. The romantic feelings between the two were slow to form—REALLY slow—and they both tried to fight the feelings. When it mattered, they were both on the same page.

I enjoyed the world of TO KILL A KINGDOM. I like the way the story unfolded and the pace was easy and smooth. The secondary characters were lovable and brought a lot to the story.

My only real complaint after reading TO KILL A KINGDOM was that I wish we would have gotten more at the end. We get a glimpse of the aftermath, but I wouldn't have minded seeing more of it. I love a great epilogue. That didn't distract from the great story though.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Review: Veiled Enchantments by Deborah Blake

Veiled Enchantments
Release Date: March 20, 2018
Publisher: InterMix
Veiled Magic Book #3
ASIN:   B0738MHYH8
Genre: Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

In this exciting novel in the Veiled Magic series, Witch and police officer Donata Santori travels to Maine to help solve a deadly mystery, where her magical abilities are tested like never before.

Still reeling from her unwitting involvement in murder and subsequent break up with a half-Dragon art forger, Witch-cop Donata Santori is grateful for the distraction when her ex-lover requests her help. Not only are Magnus's beloved dead suddenly haunting the Ulfhednar shapechangers in his tiny rural hometown in Maine, their patron god Odin has turned his back on them, and the members of their once tight-knit enclave are at each other's throats. Literally.

Magnus is relying on Donata's experience in dealing with the gods, along with her magical ability to summon the dead, to help him unravel this mystery in time to save his clan. Donata only hopes to survive the ordeal so she can return home to the city and her quiet job at the precinct.

But first, she must discover who or what is behind the terrible attacks on the Ulfhednar. And the clock is ticking, in more ways than one...

Magnus shows up on Donata's door asking for help and although she is apprehensive she accompanies him to Maine. 

I honestly don't have a whole lot of feedback when it comes to VEILED ENCHANTMENTS. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but most of what I have to say would spoil things for someone and nobody wants that. I thought Donata was appropriately apprehensive when it came to Magnus after everything she has already been through. I felt the storyline really highlighted the mysteries while also focusing on what Donata wanted in a relationship. There was a good balance. 

Wow Donata and Magnus' connection really flourished in VEILED ENCHANTMENTS. I felt like I really got to know Magnus more in the environment of the book. I liked him before, but I loved him after VEILED ENCHANTMENTS.

We meet a lot of new characters in VEILED ENCHANTMENT and most take a while to really grow on you, but I really enjoyed Magnus' mother. She was so warm and loving in moments where everyone else was anything but to Donata.

I really want more Donata! I hope that this series isn't over, but if it is, it ended well.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Monday, March 19, 2018

Interview + Giveaway: Awakened by D.C. Gambel

UFI welcomes Author D.C. Gambel. 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 a dog lover. I can quote to you every line of the Trolls movie.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time? 

Reading. Spending time with my daughter. Finding other creative outlets such as crafting.

What is your Favorite part of writing? 

Quieting the voices. At any given time I have about five ideas floating around in my head. Emptying my mind and then reading what came from it is the best part.

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

Not really. Every book is done differently. The one thing that is a must have though is coffee. It’s the true inspiration.

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

I really enjoyed the Black Rose series by K.L. Bone and the Vampire Mage series by C.N. Crawford. I’ve read most of what both these authors have written.

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

Awakened is about a girl, Evie, who discovers she’s one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Instead of being sent to end the world, the horsemen are a safety feature in the seals to stop the apocalypse. Evie has gone her whole life not being able to be touched until she meets the horsemen who are the first people she’s met that her particular gift doesn’t affect.

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

The world for the Horsemen Chronicles is set where supernaturals are still hidden but are not quite in the dark as we might think. They’ve infiltrated our world and are blended into society.

Do you have a favorite scene in Awakened

I have a few. I think my favorite is when Evie get’s her first kiss.

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

Out of all my books? My favorite was Shawn from The Edge of Forever series. He was fun and made me laugh. The hardest was Cam from Awakened. I needed the right balance of jerk and caring.

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

Well, I’m finishing up with my Edge of Forever series. The final book, The Prophecy, is due out April 17th. I’m in the process of writing book two for The Horsemen Chronicles, Obsidian. I don’t yet have a release date. After that, I’m not sure. I have dozens of ideas floating around. I have been considering taking another dip into the Edge of Forever world again. Until I’m closer to completing the Horsemen Chronicles, I just don’t know. Although the idea of playing around with the Fae has been something I’ve been considering.

D.C. Gambel is a mother, army wife, and a hopeless romantic. Romance has always been her genre of choice whether it’s contemporary, historical, paranormal, or even pushing towards erotica in both reading and writing. When she first decided to try her hand at writing, romance was the obvious choice. Getting lost in a different world, living unimaginable lives is something she strives for, even if it’s just a temporary enjoyment.

Find D.C. and her books

Horsemen Chronicles #1

Evie has lived most of her life as a recluse, terrified that she might hurt someone. On her twenty-first birthday she meets Derek who informs her there’s a reason behind her gifts.

As someone that had to spend her entire life avoiding human contact, learning the truth about her origins as one of the Four Horsemen was a hard pill to swallow. Especially once she realizes that her fellow Horsemen are the only people she’d ever met that can withstand her touch.

The struggle to overcome her seclusion becomes very real when Evie discovers an attraction has sprung up between herself and one of her fellow Horsemen. Nothing good can come from pursuing the allure, especially when she knows that it not only would jeopardize her team, but her heart as well.


“Break it down for us, Cam.”
“I met my informant last night,” he said, leaning between the opening of the front seats. I angled myself to face him so I could hear him better. “He claims that Axel Reese, pack alpha of Summery, was contacted by Asmodeus.”
There was a swirl of profanities, but I was clueless to why. So I asked.
“Asmodeus is one of the seven princes of hell. He’s also the prince of lust. Apparently they were rumored to have met the night the succubus attacked the fraternity party,” Cam went on to explain.
“I’m sure that was no coincidence,” Tyler muttered. “I thought the succubi broke off from Asmodeus decades ago when he started demanding that they worship him as a god.”
“They did, but with the seals being broken the demons of lust are returning to their master in hopes he can protect them from the apocalypse. They don’t even realize that he’ll use them a cannon fodder to save his ass. If Axel really did meet with Asmodeus we need to be prepared for a shift in the packs loyalty.”
“Why not just go to Asmodeus first?” Derek asked keeping his eyes forward.
“Axel would be a lot easier to handle then walking in to Phoenix.”
“Phoenix?” I asked.
“It’s a demon club,” Tyler answered. “We don’t get the warmest reception. Asmodeus owns it.”
“Stole it is more like it,” Derek chimed in. He glanced at me. Seeing the quizzical look he elaborated. “It used to be a safe haven for the powers of good. Demons attacked it as a distraction for whoever is breaking the seals. The club has been in demon hands for almost three decades after two centuries of it being in the hands of good. Only positive thing is the demons can’t put up their wards to keep us out.”
“They’ve tried,” Tyler announced.
“Yes they have,” Cam agreed. All three men chuckled and I felt like I was being left out of the joke.
“Hair of the dog?” I asked when we pulled up outside the dive bar. “I thought you were joking.”
Cam chuckled. “They’re not the most creative bunch.” His hand found the small of my back as we headed to the door. I could feel its warmth seeping though the fabric of my shirt almost like it was melting it away until his skin touched mine. I shook my head subtly clearing those thoughts. “You stay near one of us and we’ll make sure no one touches you. What skin is exposed no one should be touching anyways unless they’re looking for trouble.” The other two nodded in agreement.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Week in Review: 3/11-3/17

Books Received for Review

Secrets of Midnight by Debbie Cassidy
Immortal by Kristin Ping
ISAN by Mary Ting
True Storm by L.E. Sterling

Books I've Read

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton
Everlife by Gena Showalter
Champion of Midnight by Debbie Cassidy
Secrets of Midnight by Debbie Cassidy

Reviews Posted

Guardian's Bond by Rhenna Morgan
Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
Lake Silence by Anne Bishop


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

* Wednesday- Guest Blog for Shadow of the Moon by Kwen D. Griffeth


* 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, March 16, 2018

Review: Guardian's Bond by Rhenna Morgan

Guardian's Bond
Author: Rhenna Morgan
Release Date: March 12, 2018
Publisher: Carina Press
Ancient Ink Book #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

For decades, he’s been alone.
Now, she’s here. His fated mate.
His to win. To protect.
To provide for and pleasure.

Priest Rahandras has lived with the darkness trapped inside himself for years. Betrayed by his own brother and forced to watch his clan’s brutal annihilation, the only thing Priest wants more than to escape the curse that haunts him—as both man and beast—is to rebuild.

Until the mate he’s longed for walks into his life with an elder from his past. She’s everything he’s wished for, and the key to the clan’s very survival.

Kateri Falsen is a woman of logic and facts. While Priest’s cat can sense her arousal, telling her they’re fated won’t be enough. He’ll have to show her his love: with his words, with his actions, and with his body.

Protecting Kateri from the evil trapped inside him is paramount. But when lost clan members are systematically murdered, he’ll have to choose between exposing his mate to his black magic, or risking her as the next victim.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed GUARDIAN'S BOND.

Priest has finally found his mate, but she knows nothing of the clan ways so he has his work cut out for him to win her heart. I liked Priest. He has a lot of life experience and seemed to have a pretty level head. He is very protective of those he considers part of his family. Kateri doesn't believe in anything that doesn't make sense and Priest and the way she feels about him doesn't make sense. Katy didn't grow up knowing about the clan world. On top of that, her father hated who he was, so he pushed his 'logic and fact' life on her from an early age and she is having a really hard time finding a way to let that go. Katy was very stubborn and I wanted to just squeeze some sense in her a few times, but I understood where she was coming from and I had a hard time holding her stubbornness against her. I was very frustrated with her though at quite a few moments.

The romance was slow, but burned bright. I enjoyed watching the characters learn each other. The world was interesting and I enjoyed the pace at which information was given out. The characters are easy to like and learn about. Priest and Kateri's relationship is a big part of the story, but so are all the characters and the journey they are on.

New mates are introduced at the end of GUARDIAN'S BOND and it once again deals with a character that grew up knowing about the world and one who didn't believe in it, so I'm sure book two will be just as interesting. I look forward to reading more.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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