Team Urban: 100 Words on Why Urban Fantasy is Awesome from Entangled Authors

Team Urban: Why I Love Urban Fantasy!

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Brenda Drake – Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2):

I’m such a fan of Urban Fantasy for many reasons, but mostly because writers can take our normal world and, either secret or not, add a dash of the fantastical to it. With mystical creatures hiding from humans or living side by side with them, deliciously nefarious things can happen. There’s just something extraordinary about urban fantasy. It’s the ability of the writer to look at something normal in the human world and mix it up. Changing a simple book into something that can transport someone from library to library or hiding a zoo of magical beasts in a common suitcase.

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Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens. Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.

And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.

Guardian of Secrets

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Chris Cannon – Fanning the Flames (Going Down in Flames, #4):

1. There are no maidens that need to be rescued in urban fantasy. More than likely the females are the ones kicking ass.
2. I love the snarky banter that occurs when you throw modern day characters into strange/magical/supernatural circumstances.
3. Anything is possible in urban fantasy. There are no rules about what types of paranormal creatures you can have. If you want to create dragons that breathe fire, ice, wind, sonic waves, and lightning, you can, just like I did in Going Down In Flames *cough cough shameless self promotion

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She isn’t afraid of anything…except losing the knight she loves. Bryn McKenna has it all, including her smoking-hot knight turned live-in boyfriend, Valmont. Even though she’s a hybrid dragon, she’s finally fitting into the new shape-shifting dragon world that’s become her own. But her grandparents want to ruin everything by making Bryn’s nightmare of an arranged marriage to Jaxon Westgate a reality. It doesn’t help that Jaxon’s father is on a witch hunt for Rebel sympathizers and Bryn finds herself in his line of fire.

If she doesn’t say, “I do,” she’ll lose everything. Good-bye flying. Good-bye best friends. Good-bye magic. But if she bends to her grandparents’ will and agrees to marry Jaxon, she’ll lose the love of her life—her knight.

Fanning the Flames

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Shonna Slayton – Spindle:

Urban fantasy reminds me that our own world is magical. We are so used to the way our world works that we take for granted how incredible it is that our heart beats, our brain imagines, that our eyes see color.

As a writer, urban fantasy allows me to open up my imagination on multiple planes. I still work with the real world, but I get to add layers onto that. It’s like going from black and white TV to color. Like Dorothy in dusty old Kansas stepping into the colorful land of Oz.

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In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger…

Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?

When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness…and Briar’s not immune.

If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.

Spindle

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Tara Fuller – Inbetween (Kissed by Death, #1):

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Death doesn’t fall in love. Usually. Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky—and unending—lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.

Inbetween

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Danielle Ellison – Salt (Salt, #1):

Whether it’s witches, demons, ghosts or other types monsters, there’s nothing like escaping the sometimes mundane reality of our world, or giving what we know every day a spice of fantasy. Filled with kick-ass heroines who aren’t afraid to fight for what they believe in (and hot, just-as-fierce love interests) Urban Fantasy inspires you look beyond what you see and be more than you think you can be. Plus, life is more with some magic: more dangerous, more unpredictable, more chaotic, more fun.

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Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find “her” demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.

Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.

Salt

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Rachel Harris – My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, #1):

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On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits…right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century

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Gloria Craw – Atlantis Rising (Atlantis Rising, #1):

I love Urban Fantasy because it infuses normal life with myth and magic. It’s so exciting to have something in common with a character who finds a magic object, special ability or a secret origin. The possible ways her courage and passion might be tested are endless. When she does triumph against fantastic odds, I’m left feeling inspired and reassured that I can overcome great obstacles in my everyday life too. Urban Fantasy reminds me that the ordinary in us can sometimes be…extraordinary.

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We’ve stayed hidden too long… I am different. I have always been different, but no one can know or my life will be in danger. So I hide in plain sight, wearing drab clothes and thick glasses and trying to be invisible. I’m so good at hiding, no one has ever noticed me. Until Ian…the mysterious and oh-so-cute boy I know I need to avoid.

Now I have been seen. And more terrifying still, I am wanted—by those who would protect me and those who would destroy everything and everyone I love. But if they’re all terrified about who I am, wait until they see what I can do…

Atlantis Rising

Fantastic reading, 

Jordan

Dual Release Party: The Reapers & Flirting with Death-Ali Winters

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synThe balance of life and death must be kept at all costs.

Having been a reaper as long as she can remember, Nivian knows that what she does is essential in maintaining balance. After being assigned to a rushed mark she finds that there is more to this human than any other she has encountered.

Kain had been living an ordinary life without a second thought until he meets Nivian who turns his world upside down. He is thrust into a world of hunters and reapers. The keepers of life and death have been feuding for centuries over a reason no one can even remember.

With Kain having been marked for reaping, and Nivian being hunted, they forge a friendship and together must find the truth in order to keep balance in check. Wrong choices could destroy everything.

As they journey they discover hidden histories, powers, and lies and truths that have been spun since the beginning of time. The consequence of failure, unimaginable.

ExcerptNivian leaped over the edge of the bridge and landed with a soft tap on the surface of the water. She reached down, pulled the soul of the driver up by the collar of his shirt, and stood him up next to her on top of the water. She took the driver’s hand, palm up, in hers and waved her other hand over his.

Pinching the air, she pulled and lifted up to expose his life thread. His wide eyes stared unblinking, hypnotized by the glowing string of light. Nivian reached behind her and grabbed the scythe strapped to her back, and swung. With a slow, deliberate movement, Nivian sliced the human’s life thread. The light formed into a ball and hovered between them. She pulled out a small pocket watch and guided the life energy down to the watch. It sunk into it and disappeared.

She snapped the watch closed and returned it to her pocket. “You should know better than to drink and drive. You could’ve seriously hurt someone.”

He gaped at her, his mouth opened and closed like a fish. “Yes, you really are dead,” she confirmed and gave him an apathetic look as she turned away.

“Are you … the devil?” he managed to sputter.

“No, of course not. I am just the natural order of things,” she said, looking back over her shoulder. “Wait here. Your spirit counselor will be here soon to guide you to your afterlife. I have other jobs tonight.” She spun on her heel and walked away, as she pulled her hood back up over her head and vanished.

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synBeing a reaper has its perks, but also its downsides.

While on an assignment, Evander is caught of guard by an unmarked human. Captivated, he is unable to tear himself away.

This is why reapers don’t associate with mortals.

Piper was ordinary, just a girl looking for love. And all she knows is that her current boyfriend isn’t it.

An unfortunate incident and a series of remarkable events turn her world upside down. But what she finds is the last thing she ever expected—She finds herself falling for the least likely candidate.

Excerpt“Stop. He is gone.” Evander said calmly.

Why would she waste so much energy on someone who had no chance.

“Don’t tell her to stop,” Tony snapped.

Oh, right. That guy was still here. Where was a spirit counselor when you needed one? And at that moment, she showed up.

“Yeah, yeah, I know. Don’t tell me. I’m late, am I right?”

She waved a hand in the air dismissively. “I should have known it would be you, Cassandra. Please take him.”

“Don’t boss me around, you fancy assassin. I know how to do my job.” She bit out, then turned to her assignment. “Come on, life loser, this way.”

“I’m not going anywhere with you.” Tony backed up and stepped on his body, trying to slide back in. Evander’s gaze flicked upward, the difficult ones always tried to return to their bodies.

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authAli grew up in the Pacific North West. She attended Oregon State University for photography. After many adventures, she moved to Colorado, earned a second degree, and met and married her husband. She currently lives in windy Wyoming with her husband and two dogs. When not writing, Ali is either, photographing, knitting, reading, dancing, or staying inside where it’s warm with a hot cup of coffee. She dreams of traveling the world someday soon.

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Happy reading, 

Jordan

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: So Shall I Reap by Kathy-Lynn Cross

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So Shall I Reap (The Unseen Series, #1)- Kathy-Lynn Cross

Published:  June 30th, 2015  

Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing

Genre:  YA Paranormal

Content Warning:  Violence and adult language

cooltext1889161239 copyThere is no protection from the Unseen.

Las Vegas, Nevada can’t contain Alexcia Crystalline Stasis, who is living the ideal teenager’s dream as the school’s elite socialite. That is, until a fatal car accident changes everything. Now Alexcia’s emotions are on the verge of combusting. As if mourning the loss of her boyfriend isn’t enough, she is also dealing with extreme night terrors that leave her wondering if she just might need to be fitted for a straightjacket.

Tevin isn’t your normal daemon. He’s the leader of his clan, and he also happens to be a very active Grim Reaper. He never wanted to be charged with babysitting the one girl who can sway Creation’s Balance. Tevin has known and kept Alexcia safe most of her life. Now that he has to become even more personally involved in her protection, Tevin finds himself having a hard time separating his sworn duty and pure curiosity. What does make Alexcia tick?

Will Tevin be able to keep Alexcia safe from the Unseen? And will Alexcia’s emotions eventually help Tevin attempt to understand what being human is all about? Or will the entities and assassins’ of the Unseen get what they want … her dead.

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Flames and darkness served as a reminder of the future we faced. Resting both forearms around my middle and feeling defeated, I shuddered. Filling in my view with his unreadable stare, he then glanced away briefly and whispered, “I wonder if a soulless creature is worthy to be bound by a heart, tied to a soul? Yet, as you stand there looking at me, I continue seeing the eyes of the child I once knew. Do you still want to offer me your soul?”

Without hesitation, sorrow for him exploded inside my chest. Thin lines of ink trailed down his cheeks, and I reached up to caress this face while pulling him closer for a chance to kiss his lips. Even for a moment, to give him a taste of my soul.

How did I know him?

I hadn’t grasped the words he spoke, let alone the feelings I had for him. Without conscious control over my voice, it answered him for me, “I can only choose what is right and pure. This is my only function. My heart is all the power I can give you right now.” I was unsure what I meant, but he smiled at me. The creatures formed a tighter circle around us and their wings appeared to be dripping hot silver acid that melted into what looked like cloaks made of the same black mist rising from the ground. Without notice, I found myself wrapped within two massive wings.

His wings sizzled as he pulled me into his icy embrace, leaning in to whisper against the inner part of my ear, “They say love knows no bounds. Death only has one boundary, and you cross over it when your heart stops. But written on the Unseen scrolls, it states this one emotion will last even after the breath ceases.”

With his trail of words still lingering against the inside curvature of my ear, my composure disappeared. The blankets were wrapped tight around me like a cocoon. If I didn’t know better, I would have sworn it had snowed in the room overnight. Shadows were thick and barricaded the bedroom and closet doors. No escape from the nightly terrors. Rubbing the grit from each lash, I unwrapped from the cocoon of covers, followed by flopping one leg at a time to the floor. My mind was clouded in the thick fog making it difficult to push off the bed. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever been so weak and chilled from sweating. An overwhelming need washed over me to open the drapes and cleanse the bedroom from the unknown with the glow from the streetlights. His presence remained in the room with me. Turning slowly from the window, it felt as if I were wearing lead shoes. Pushing their weight toward the mirror, I was horrified at the face gaping back at me. I leaned closer to try and comprehend what the glass was telling me. Two small, dried streams of red gleamed on my cheeks. I was frozen in a nonexistent moment of time. My breath caught as I gasped… and woke up.
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Born in Pomona, California, Kathy-Lynn Cross lived there for twelve years until her family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada—where she resides still to this day. Inspired by the backdrop of Sin City, Kathy-Lynn took her English professor’s advice and wrote about the hometown that she knew.

Kathy-Lynn wasn’t always a writer. In 2008, when her niece was hospitalized, Kathy-Lynn decided to do something special for her so she wrote a short tale for her to read. After devouring it in a single day, her niece and the nurses in the pediatrics wing quickly asked her, “What’s next?”

That was when a new chapter in her life opened up, and Kathy-Lynn realized that she wanted to become a Storyweaver.

Kathy-Lynn loves the color red and obsessively uses it in everything, including her bottle-blonde hair accented by red highlights. She has a knack for baking and cake decorating—that is, when her fingers are not busy writing mayhem. When recharging, you could find her curled up with a cup of coffee and a good book or spending time with her hubby of nineteen years, two kids, four cats, and the family dog.

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Clean Teen Publishing Links:
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There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following: A bookmark swag pack, winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook, and a $15 Amazon gift card. Giveaway is International.

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Happy reading, 
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ARC Review: Descent-Tara Fuller

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cooltext1889161239 copyEaston doesn’t believe in love. He believes in Death. Darkness. Sin. As a reaper for Hell, it’s all he’s known for over four hundred years. When he gets slapped with the job of training the boss’s daughter, an angel who knows nothing but joy, he knows he’s in for a world of trouble.

Though he’s made it clear he wants nothing to do with her outside of work, Gwen would do anything to get closer to the dark and wounded reaper—even taint her angelic image and join the ranks of her father’s team of reapers. But in all her planning, she forgot to factor in one thing—how far the demons Easton doomed to hell would go to get revenge.

When the dangers of the Hell threaten Gwen, Easton will do whatever it takes to save her. But as the darkness closes in on them both, will he be able to save himself?

cooltext1889171582 copy3.5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Entangled: Teen.

Descent is a scorching inferno of lust and redemption. A perilous journey through Hell, Descent is a rush of terror, longing, and sweltering heat between a jaded Reaper and charismatic angel. 

PROS:

  • Hell is a terrifying, abysmal place. The imps, demons, and succubi are all horrific, grotesque, and have vices. The scenes of torture, torment, and the overall descriptions are graphic. The heat wave that disintegrates anyone who comes into contact with it is something out of my worst nightmares. The role of angels, reapers, and the hierarchy of both Heaven and Hell are delineated  and detailed. 
  • Every character has a voice and distinct personality. They’re comical, lusty, devious, and joyful. Each character is unique and compelling, you’ll want to know more about them. 
  • Gwen is a light, airy, beautiful angel whose optimism and big heart make up her entire being. She’s confident, curious, and compassionate, she takes risks to ensure happiness for the souls she watches over and has absolute faith in even the worst people. Gwen believes that with a little love, the world could be a better place. Gwen gives so much of herself without thought for her own safety. The travesties of humanity physically hurt her, she weeps openly for the pain and suffering in Hell. Her open naiveté is charming and winsome.
  • Easton’s past is full of sorrow. He will never forget and believes he deserves his cruel fate. Easton is a bog softie underneath his hard exterior. He takes everything so seriously and despite his position in Hell, has a strong moral compass. Easton’s heart though patched and scarred, is huge. Intense, brave, and oh so sexy, Easton is magnetic. 
  • Together, Easton and Gwen are dynamite. Totally explosive. The dueling POVs are perfect. You get all the lust and yearning from both sides, you’ll hunger for them to give into their feelings.

CONS:

  • The ending was resolved too quickly and way too easily. For all of the risk and heartache, the tension between characters and fear of the consequences, the final judgement was lackluster. 
  • How an angel makes it so deep into Hell without getting swarmed by hungry demons is crazy and doesn’t feel realistic. For all Easton’s worries there were few serious threats. The danger to Gwen by riled demons was minimal compared to the overall horrific conditions of Hell itself. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Soul-Screamers-Rachel-Vincent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pleasant reading, 

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Review: A Reaper Made-Liz Long

A Reaper Made
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cooltext1889161239 copyGrace had finally gotten used to her new afterlife as a “Made” – a Reaper who used to be human.

When Made Reapers and souls begin disappearing, however, Grace and her mentor Tully suspect demons. Grace’s worst fears are confirmed when her living family is threatened.

She’ll have to break every rule in the Reaper book to save them, including using a little magic to become temporarily human. With the help of Tully and her witchy friend Tessa, Grace goes undercover to save the fates of kidnapped souls – only to discover that demons aren’t working alone.

Betrayal and distrust runs deep and Grace discovers that sometimes even Reapers are prone to humanity.

cooltext1889171582 copy3/5 Stars

***I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review and in participation in this tour.

PROS:

  • Grace is opinionated, a little bit of a rebel, and basks in her lost humanity. She’s passionate, kind, and has a loving heart that pushes her towards recklessness. Despite warning and risks, Grace puts everything on the line, consequences to the wind, she’s incredibly brave. Grace cracks jokes and tries to lighten things up, she’s sweet and her emotions reel you in. Moments with Matt are adorable and heart-breaking, you’ll ache for her loss.
  • Secondary characters are unique, if a bit in and out of the story. Rhys is a hilarious flirt and one of the most memorable characters. He teases and pops in sporadically, you never know what he’s going to say.
  • The mystery of the missing Reapers is complex and puzzling, as more clues are added to the mix more confusion arises. Scrambling to put the pieces together before it’s too late, the need to solve the riddle is mildly addictive.

CONS:

  • There wasn’t substantial character development before the chaos happened, so that many characters felt disconnected and getting a genuine feel on their relationships was hard. Everything felt muted, the intensity of the emotion and danger wasn’t as strong as it could have been had their been more down time and build up.
  • Some plot points didn’t make sense. After a dire situation that was borderline life and death, while the event itself was action-packed and full of adrenaline, it cut off abruptly and there was not follow up tension. I expected the characters to be freaking out and concerned for their safety but they researched and wandered around. It didn’t add up and chopped up the tone of the story.
  • A major action scene wavered between intense and extremely slow. The lengthy explanations for the situation took away the fear and sense of urgency. Other explanations for things were brief, almost summarized and then never mentioned again, like Alistair’s relationship with one of the other characters. That was a shocking reveal and then never spoken of again. 

cooltext1889178114 copyWebsite/Twitter/Facebook/Amazon/Goodreads

Liz Long is a ridiculously proud graduate of Longwood University with a BA in English. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her fabulous day job as a Social Media & PR Strategist includes writing for LeisureMedia360 (Roanoker, bridebook, Blue Ridge Country magazines) in Roanoke, VA. The Donovan Circus series has best been described as “X-Men meets the circus with a murder mystery thrown in.” Her second book Witch Hearts, is a story about a serial killer hunting witches for their powers. Her newest title, A Reaper Made,

is a fantasy about a Reaper who must work a little magic to save her family’s souls from demons. All titles are available for paperback or ebook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. To learn more about Liz, visit her website.
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