Friday, April 13, 2012

Guest Blog & Giveaway with Ashley Robertson

Ten Urban Fantasy Books I Couldn’t Put Down
By Ashley Robertson

  • Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (Adult)
    This is where it all began for half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her full-blooded vampire lover, Bones. It wasn’t easy for Cat to admit she’d fallen in love with a disgusting bloodsucker—the very species she hunted and killed simply for existing, but once she realizes Bones is different (and it’s not just because he’s drop-dead -gorgeous), —the beautiful red-headed heroine opens her heart to loving him and for the first time experiences being accepted for who she is, not the woman others expect her to be. There’s a ring of dangerous vampires kidnapping young, pretty human girls, then selling them for blood and sex to the highest bidder, and Bones needs Cat’s help to bring down the bad guys, shaking up the foundation of their relationship and ultimately putting Cat’s life on the line. This book is action packed with lots of mouth-watering romance that will leave you breathless until the very end. Halfway to the Grave is the first book in the Night Huntress series, and all of them are fantastic.
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Young Adult)
    This is the first of six books in a dynamite series where there are two types of vampires. Moroi are mortal vampires that survive on a mixture of blood and human food for nourishment. Strigoi are the evil vamps that kill for blood and never die. Lissa is a moroi princess that best friend, Rose—a dhampir: half human, half moroi—must protect from the strigoi at all costs. After fleeing from St. Vladimir’s, the private school both girls attend, they live amongst normal people for a couple of years before getting caught and dragged back to the academy. But there’s a reason they fled, something dangerous is after Lissa, and it’s up to Rose to not only keep her best friend safe, but also uncover what the threat is. Cute guys, lots of gossip, typical high school drama, and keg parties bring distractions for both girls, and it makes Rose’s job that much more difficult—and juicy for us to read. 
  • Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning (Adult)
    Another fabulous series of six books, and I read all six of them in about a week. Our protagonist, MacKayla “Mac” Lane, starts out very young and na├»ve and a little Barbie-ish, but unusual and horrific circumstances mold her into a loveable heroine. A disturbing phone call from Ireland changes Mac’s world forever. Her older (and only) sister is dead, and her dying last words were for Mac to come to Ireland and find the Sensar Dub. Once over seas, Mac meets the hot and steamy Barrons, who is also looking for this mysterious book. But our soon-to-be heroine quickly learns that she’s different, and can see monsters known as Seelie (light fae) and Unseelie (dark fae). Barrons seems to know more about Mac than she does, so the quest for answers soon becomes as important as finding the one book that should solve the reason her sister died—and it’s looking more and more like murder with every answer Mac uncovers.
  • Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh (Adult)
    Exemplary story telling, fast-paced mystery, and loaded with hot & spicy love scenes. What else could you ask for? How about a world where vampires serve angels and archangels are the most powerful (and dangerous) immortals of them all. The Guild is a special agency for the hunter-born—humans born with the ability to sniff out vamps, and they’re stronger than average humans too. Angels hire the services of the Guild to retrieve rogue vampires that have fallen off the radar and most likely gone killing innocent people. There’s a new job for hire and archangel Raphael needs the best hunter available, only when Elena—the stunningly beautiful vampire tracker the Guild sends him—learns she’s not tracking a vamp, but another archangel who’s in blood lust and killing dozens of innocent lives, she must push her abilities to the max to help stop one archangel gone bad, while fighting her lust for the very sexy and very dangerous Raphael, who wants Elena in his bed.
  • Darkness Unbound by Keri Arthur (Adult)
    Risa part aedh, part werewolf— can see the souls of the dead and the Reapers who come to claim them. When her mother asks her to visit a young girl in a coma, Risa reluctantly agrees, but what she discovers is something she believed impossible—the soul of the little girl is gone with no Reaper to guide it to the gray fields. Now, between running a restaurant with her two best friends—one a horse shifter, the other a full-blooded werewolf—and dodging the sexy Reaper, Azriel, who seems more than just fascinated with her, Risa is on the hunt for this abominable soul snatcher. Darkness Unbound is the first book in the Dark Angel series. So far, all of them are excellent, with one more installment coming out this summer.
  • Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton (Adult)
    This is the first of many books in the ongoing Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. The first three books are the cleaner, young-adult approved novels, and honestly, they’re my favorite of all the ones I’ve read (about a dozen or so). Guilty Pleasures introduces Anita Blake, the butt- kicking, zombie- raising, vampire- slaying heroine that is one of the toughest female protagonists I’ve ever read. Sometimes I want to flick her on the head when it comes to personal decisions, and, of course, her love life, but it’s hard not to love her and root for her in all her battles. In Anita’s world, vampires, zombies, and werewolves are all legal citizens of the state, and killing one of these preternatural beings is murder, unless the government has authorized the hit. But when a serial killer starts offing vamps, the most powerful vampire in town needs Anita to help bring in the killer. Yet she quickly learns that working for a vampire is far more dangerous than her main profession of being an animator, where she raises the dead for mourning relatives. This book is super fast-paced with lots of twists and turns.
  • Storm Born by Richelle Mead (Adult)
    There are four books in this Dark Swan series, and I enjoyed all of them. Eugenie is a shaman-for-hire who banishes fey and spirits from our world. Then she takes a job finding a teenager who was kidnapped and taken to the Otherword, and her whole world unravels. Eugenie learns of an ancient prophecy that claims her first-born son will destroy the world, and now everyone is out to either impregnate her or kill her. Her sexy lover, Kiyo, and a powerful earth magic fairy king, Dorian, vie to help keep her safe, along with the aid of her spirit minions who are bound to serve her (though one of them would prefer to kill her), but Eugenie quickly learns that what threatens her most is the dark magic inside her she never knew she had.
  • Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost (Adult)
    Written with the characters from the Night Huntress world, this novel focuses on Mencheres, the oldest, most powerful vampire and grand sire to Bones. Mencheres has grown weary of living and sets up the perfect suicidal situation with a group of vamps anxious to kill him, but he wasn’t expecting the beautiful, Kira to stumble on the scene, ultimately claiming the fatal injuries he’d been seeking. But he can save her—a few drops of vampire blood heals human injuries and makes them person temporarily stronger—and by doing so will have to postpone his death mission and bring her back to his private estate. Only when he attempts to erase her mind, he discovers she’s too strong to bend to his will, and it’s too risky to release her with everything she’s seen about his kind. Yet even in captivity Kira is certain Mencheres won’t hurt her, and she becomes intrigued to know him better. But his dark past still haunts him and may be the only thing that keeps him and Kira apart, and may finally take his life and give him the peace he’s so desperately sought.
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
    (Young Adult)  At first thought, I wasn’t going to put this novel on my list, the movies were worse than horrible and have pretty much ruined the beauty of what I read in the books. With that said, I must admit that when I remove the damage of the movies from my mind, there is still the romantic love story of Bella and Edward—the very story that captivated me several years ago so I couldn’t put the book down until I finished it. Bella relocates to a small town in Washington State to live with her police-chief father. She’s a bit of a tom girl with a cuteness factor that claims the attention of a couple of high-school guys. One of them is your typical football- player type with good looks and minimal brains, and the other guy is Edward—the hot, sexy, mysterious vampire. But even after learning what Edward really is, Bella is unable to stay away from him, and not only does Edward share this infatuation, he must also fight his raging blood thirst, because one bite from this vamp and you’re either dead…or become one of them. The Twilight “saga” is a series of four books and all of them were good, the second book, New Moon, being my least favorite.
  • Crimson Groves by Ashley Robertson (Young Adult)
    Of course I had to pitch my first urban fantasy novel, which is book one of The Crimson Series. Abigail Tate was a normal human girl until the day Bronx the vampire barges into her life and turns her against her will. Held captive while forced to deal with never-ending cravings for blood, Abby prays for a way to escape. Only when an opportunity arises, it's with the aid of an innocent human named Tyler—except vampires are forbidden to interact with the unbitten. But Abby quickly learns this human has secrets of his own...secrets that can either help her or get her killed. As Abby soon discovers, however, she is the one with the biggest secret of them all, and it could change everything for the entire vampire race. The second book, Crimson Rain, is on schedule for a 2013 release. More info at:

            Crimson Groves is available in paperback and ebook formats.

            Where to Buy:
            Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Indie Bound | Smashwords

            Thanks to Ashley I have (2) digital copies Crimson Groves to giveaway. To enter leave a comment with your favorite Urban Fantasy book along with your email address. Open to Everyone!  The winner will be announced on April 18th. Good Luck!


            1. I'm so excited that you love Vampire Academy!! I was obsessed with the series and it's one of my faves!
              email: cruz0042 at

            2. With so many favorites, it's hard to just pick one. I'm glad to see Twilight up there. Twilight was my first YA read and it made a good impression on me. I love Kresley Cole's work. I'll be adding Crimson Groves to my wish list.

            3. hmmm, I have so many favorites that it would be crazy to list, however, I am probably one of the biggest fans of Laurell K Hamilton ever (I'm still a die hard fan) as well as some new ones, like Rachel Vincent, Chloe Neill, Keri Authur, Gena Showalter, Jennifer Estep, oh my, this list could go on (really I have a giant excel page of lists, it's like 20-some-odd pages LOL) but thanks for the giveaway and I'll definitely be checking out Crimson Grove ASAP now :)


            4. Twilight is my favorite book. Please enter me in contest. I would lvoe to read this series.

            5. I loved
              Kelley Armstrong - Otherworld series
              Carrie Vaughn - Kitty Norville series (although I haven't gotten to them all yet)
              And anything by Nalini Singh (is she considered urban fantasy? I get confused by that since there are ongoing characters throughout her books)
              lostime4me at msn dot com

            6. I read Twilight, Darkfever and all of Nalini Singh's books; great books you have there!

              dsadler53 at yahoo dot ca

            7. I loved the twilight series of course, but my ultimate favorite was the Vampire academy series by Rachel Mead, started it over the Thanksgiving holiday, and read the entire series. Excellent writing.

            8. Thanks for the AWESOME giveaway! I really liked Twilight but my favorite would probably be The Vampire Academy series by Rachel Mead. Amazing books!! I'm a new blogger and everyone in the book blogging community is so nice. :) I'm a new follower and I love your blog!! I would LOVE to win Crimson Groves...


              -Riya (The Teen Book Guru)



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