Monday, September 9, 2013

The Sensor Series ~ #Book Tour ~ Darkness Haunts and Darkness Taunts by Susan Illene ~ #Paranormal #Urban Fantasy

Darkness Haunts
The Sensor Series 
Book One
Susan Illene

Genre: Urban Fantasy

ISBN: 1481861182

Number of pages: 387 pages
Word Count: 92,000 words

Book Description:

Melena Sanders faced her fair share of danger with insurgents and terrorists when she served in the U.S. Army, but now she is about to go up against a new threat. Her best friend, Aniya, has disappeared while on a trip to Fairbanks, Alaska—a supernatural haven. Most humans have no idea darker races lurk amongst them. Mel knows better. If she wants to get her friend back, she’s going to have to go in alone—but not unarmed.

Melena has a few special skills the Army didn’t provide, but the odds are still against her. She’s got to come up with a plan fast that doesn’t involve her, or her friend, dying. But danger likes to play it rough. A war for power is about to rise in Fairbanks and if she wants to get Aniya back, she’s going to have to step right into the middle of it.

Amazon      BN    Kobo

This review for the book tour is going to be for both books, but mostly on book one, so not to spoil anything in book 2. I will highlight some great stuff, and just give my overall opinion for you. I will put separate full reviews of each of them at the various places like Goodreads and Amazon soon. I just finished book 2 today, and absolutely loved it, as well as book one.
In book one, do not expect any romance, there is none at all, not even a kiss, but there are hints of some to come as the series progresses. This is true as I read book 2, but I didn’t mind the no romance in book one, as I do not feel I need all the extra steamy scenes for sex and all that. Just is not my thing. For me, too many sex scenes gets me feeling uncomfortable, and takes away from the story, so book one was perfect in that area.

I really liked the main character Melena, she was tough with a military background that I found fascinating. I liked that she was a true tough girl who can hold her own pretty good.

I didn’t know what to think of Lucas, but I felt the mystery around him and it had my curiosity up and had me wondering what he was all about.

Derrick I liked too, he became a friend when she needed one, and I felt bad for him and his past too.

Here is a short teaser with him and Mel I loved has to do with a large bull Moose in the front yard in book one:

“Fine, we can’t hurt the moose. I get it, but can’t you at least scare it off?”
Derrick leaned back against the door and gave me an incredulous look.
“What would you have me do? I assume you know I can’t shift during the day. Attempting to scare a twelve hundred pound bull would most likely result in serious injury, for me.” He pointed a finger at his chest.
I sighed, realizing he wasn’t going to budge on the matter. In the last few days we had learned to set aside our differences and get along. Neither of us wanted to be stuck in these circumstances, so a truce had been called. I didn’t really want to see him get hurt. The man had been a lot nicer to me than expected. Besides, if he was injured, it might be a while before he could cook again.
“Sorry, you’re right,” I said. “We’ll wait it out.”However long that took.

Nik was pretty cool; he is quite the character too.

These books are written very well, the characters are very well developed. I only had one little issue, is at times in book one, it felt like lots was skipped over and then we had Melena looking back on  the events, which just made me feel like I missed something and was reading the recollection from her. But it wasn’t too bad, still got the info.

I really enjoyed these books, and highly recommend them. We have all kinds of supernatural’s in them both; we have the fae, pixies, vampires, werewolves, mystics, and more.

I give both books 5 out of 5 stars. I am a paranormal nut, so of course this was right up my alley, lol.

I loved these covers too, it’s what first attracted me to these books. Covers are what will first get my attention, so for me they are very important.

Check out the cook excerpts below, there are a few for book 2, as they were both so good, and this one for book one I liked too, hope you do as well.

Excerpt From Book One, Darkness Haunts

The next day I was browsing online when a flash of golden light sparked from behind me. I almost choked on the immense power that flooded the room. The presence it indicated was not one I wanted to face right now, or at any other time for that matter. I turned to glare at him.
He reclined on my bed with his arms behind his head and legs sprawled out on my navy blue comforter. He must have lain in that particular spot to provoke me. My jaw clenched. There would be no escaping this sup.
He was my angel of death—compelling and dangerous. His looks would captivate most women. He had broad shoulders and well-defined muscles. Golden tones tinted his skin and short hair, along with a slight glow that always seemed to be emanating from him. Enough angelic blood ran through his veins to give him a stunning aura of power. In general, nephilim were not a race to be messed with, but at twenty-five hundred years old he could put up a serious fight. My senses hadn’t encountered many who were stronger.
I had learned firsthand how he could use his strength. He had been the one to kill Wanda. Why he hadn’t chosen to do the same to me remained a mystery. The man continued to disturb me with his presence, whenever the urge came for him to do so. Because of him, I couldn’t relax, not even in my own home.
The grudge I held against him burned deep inside, with no way to lessen it. It might have been a quick death, but Wanda had known the terror of seeing him come at her with a massive sword. The blade had cleaved her body in one stroke and given me nightmares for years afterward. I’d had enough other bloody memories added since then my mind had begun locking them away in a box for my own mental protection. That one scene tended to crop up more than the others, though.
Before her death, she had warned me there were two races a sensor needed to fear more than any others—nephilim and vampires. That day this man proved her right about one of them. He became a sporadic presence in my life from that point forward. In the beginning I feared him, but that emotion turned to resignation over time. He would kill me someday, I had no doubt. It was what his kind did to mine. Lucas just wanted to draw it out and make me squirm.
"Come to finish me off, Lucas?”
"It seems you’re doing well courting death without my help, sensor.”
I coughed. "What’s that supposed to mean?"
His eyes reflected the cold intensity I had grown used to seeing. "I know about your run-in with the witch."
It didn’t surprise me. Lucas always appeared to be aware of what went on in my life. Nephilim kept their unique abilities well guarded, but he’d revealed a few things during the time we’d known each other. I had learned he could teleport wherever he wanted and track my activities without me even knowing it. How that was possible with my immunity to magic, I didn’t know, but it appeared he had a way. I was half-tempted to get a full body scan done to see if he hadn’t somehow managed to implant a tracking device on me.
"What do you want, Lucas?"
He ignored my question and came over to peer at my computer screen. His body moved without a sound. I reached to shut off the monitor, but he grabbed my hand before my finger could graze the switch. His grip was tight and unyielding, much like the man.
"Booking a flight to Fairbanks?” he said close to my ear. “Interesting. You do have a death wish.”
I managed to jerk my hand free. Of course, it worked because he allowed it. He straightened to a full standing position, forcing me to lift my head up.
"I’m not sure I know what you mean.” I scooted my chair back a few inches. “But one of my best friends is in trouble. Someone has to check on her and there is no one else who can do it. Not that it’s any of your business.”
Why was I even bothering to explain this to him? Lucas always had a strange effect on my sensibilities.
His eyes glinted as if he knew what I was thinking. "You do realize Fairbanks is a supernatural haven? They will not respond well to your presence."
"A haven?” I asked. “Like a hot spot?”     
His face reflected disgust. "Of course. Though not all of them stay for the summer months, there are still enough to be a threat to one of your kind.”
I focused on a bare spot on the wall to avoid his all-knowing gaze. “Then I’ll have to make sure they don’t discover what I am.”

Darkness Taunts
The Sensor Series
Book Two
Susan Illene

Genre: Urban Fantasy


Word count: 101,000 words (approximate)

Book Description:

Melena Sanders has managed to avoid all things inhuman for most of her life, but after coming to Fairbanks, Alaska to rescue her best friend from supernaturals she hasn’t been allowed to leave.  That is, until her long-time nemesis comes to collect a favor she owes him.  Lucas might be half angel, but he’s all bad as far as she’s concerned.

Paying him back might get her out of town for a while, but her new destination will be anything but enjoyable.  Mel’s got to help the nephilim take care of a demon possession outbreak in Juneau.  Although something like this hasn’t happened for thousands of years, Lucas is certain Melena’s rare abilities are the key to solving the problem.

With violence in the capital city growing, she’s going to have to figure out how to stop it fast before the trouble spreads to other places.  Not only that, but working closely with Lucas is changing the dynamics of their hate-hate relationship—worrying her even more than the demons.  Getting back to her captivity in Fairbanks never looked so good.

Amazon    BN   Kobo

Excerpt One for Book 2 Darkness Taunts
A vampire guard stood at his nighttime station inside. He would’ve seen me through a side window next to the door, and heard me coming before that, but it wasn’t until I entered the house that he grabbed me. I really wasn’t in the mood to deal with his crap. We’d had problems with each other ever since he’d taken the position a few months ago.
I glared at him. “Let me pass, Hagan. I have to talk to Nik.”
He tightened his fingers on my arm. “The master’s busy.”
“I’m sure he is,” I said through gritted teeth. “But this can’t wait.”
“Yes, it can.” He shoved me. I had to take a step back to keep from falling. “He shouldn’t tolerate you or any of your kind…sensor.”
Another shove and I went flying across the foyer. My head slammed into a set of medieval armor hanging on the wall. Pain exploded through my left cheek where it collided with the metal shoulder joints. It cut into my skin, not deep, but a trickle of blood came away when I pressed my hand to it. The vamp would pay for that. He’d been undead for over fifty years—too strong for me to fight hand to hand, but there were other ways.
He clucked his tongue. “Oh, did the little sensor get hurt?”
“Fuck you,” I said, stepping away from the fallen armor.
A couple of young werewolves came into the foyer to watch the show. Very few of the sups around here liked me. They knew exactly what I was, though they were compelled to keep it to themselves. Nik had imposed a policy forcing them to tolerate me, but they made their feelings known every time he wasn’t around.
I could sense the master vampire in his bedroom across the house. He’d had it soundproofed. Even with his enhanced hearing, he wouldn’t know what was going on. I’d have to resolve this problem without his help. It was about time these guys learned a lesson, anyway.
I grabbed an expensive vase Nik had bought on a recent trip overseas and threw it far right of Hagan’s head. He dove to grab it. Yeah, he’d be in big trouble if that thing broke. I whipped my gun out at the same time. A vamp will never stand still for you to shoot them, but provide a little distraction—Hagan caught the vase a full foot before it would have crashed onto the shiny wood floor.
He turned over to find my .45 Sig pointed at him. I pulled the trigger. The hollow-point bullet went straight through his left eye and exploded, leaving bits and pieces of him all over the floor and walls. I tilted my head. Vamp brains looked basically the same as a human’s. Who’d have guessed? The vase fell from his limp hands, but it was sturdy enough not to break as it rolled away. At least I wouldn’t have to explain that later.
The werewolves across the foyer stood gaping at me. This was the first time I’d pulled a gun inside the house. I’d had more than enough of being bullied by these fools because of their stupid prejudices against my kind. They needed to learn there were consequences. I aimed the weapon at them next. They lifted their hands up and backed away a couple of steps.
“We don’t want trouble,” one of them said. The other guy nodded.
I glanced at the vamp on the floor. He was starting to heal, but he’d be out for at least an hour. If I shot the weres in the head they’d probably die and they knew it. Their healing abilities weren’t as good as a vamp’s while in human form.
“Then get out of my way.”
They took off without another word.

Another Excerpt for Book 2 Darkness Taunts
Lucas climbed into the passenger seat. Though his large frame took up a lot of space, he still looked comfortable, in control. There were no delays leaving the airport. The whole thing had been arranged for a quick and smooth pick-up. I wasn’t used to him being so accommodating.
“Did you eat?” he asked.
“Yeah, Emily and I went out to a restaurant earlier.”
He glanced over at me. “You didn’t feel like poisoning her with your cooking before you left?”
I fiddled with his navigation system—might as well get the lay of the land. “That joke got old a long time ago.”
“I wasn’t joking,” he said. “Leave the GPS alone.”
I switched to browsing his iPod. He had Daughtry and Nickelback on there, as well as a few other bands I recognized. Maybe he wasn’t a complete lost cause. “Where are we going?” I asked.
He nudged my hand away. “Sensor, do not touch that.”
“Why? I let you touch mine.”
He gave me a wicked grin. “I’m not sure ‘let’ would be the appropriate word. You didn’t have much of a choice.”
I rolled my eyes and made a mental note to avoid saying anything that could be misconstrued as a double entendre. Apparently he and Nik were hanging out more, lately.
“You still didn’t say where we’re going. A little information would go a long way, Lucas.”
“To my cabin,” he said. “We made some progress during your absence. I want you rested and ready to assist me with interrogating a demon first thing in the morning.”
A thrill went through me. My job in the military had been as an interrogator and I was damned good at it with my lie detecting abilities. Plus I’d gained a lot of experience during my combat tours. “You got one?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said. “I’ve worked on him already, but he hasn’t revealed anything of value…yet.”
I shot him a disgruntled look. “You should have waited for me.”
“Time was of the essence, sensor. You’ll get your chance to help.”
“Then why not go talk to him tonight?” I asked.
“Demons are at their strongest during the hours of darkness. We’ll have better luck after dawn.”
“Fine.” I sat back and tried to admire the mountains rising up to the east of us. They would be easier to see during the day, but the moon lit them up enough for me to make them out through the darkness. The car bumped over some of the rougher parts of the road. Plows could only keep so much of the snow off of the highways when it came down so often.
“Sensor,” Lucas broke the silence. “The next time I call…pick up the damned phone. Do not make me come in person to speak with you.”
“That’ll give me incentive,” I muttered. The pompous ass. He wouldn’t threaten me and get away with it. I let a couple of minutes go by.
“Do you know why I’m glad you never call me by my real name?” I asked.
We were stopped at a traffic light. I’d waited for that. He turned to look at me and raised a blond brow. “I suppose you’re going to tell me.”
I studied my fingernails. “Yesterday, when I heard you say Melena for the first time it gave me chills. It was like the devil himself had walked over my grave and spit on it. I’d rather you not say it again.”
The light turned to green. He jerked his attention back to the road. Lucas was a master at keeping his emotions in check, but he still gripped the wheel a little tighter than before.

About the Author:

Instead of making the traditional post high school move and attending college, Susan joined the U.S. Army. She spent her eighteenth birthday in the gas experience she is sure is best left for criminals. For eleven years she served first as a human resources specialist and later as an Arabic linguist (mostly in Airborne units). Though all her duty assignments were stateside, she did make two deployments to Iraq where her language skills were put to regular use.

After leaving the service in 2009, Susan returned to school to study history with a focus on the Middle East. She no longer finds many opportunities to test her fighting abilities in real life, unless her husband is demanding she cook him a real meal, but she's found a new outlet in writing urban fantasy heroines who can.

This book tour is brought to you by Bewitching Book Tours, you can see the rest of the blogs in this tour, Here.


  1. your welcome. sorry I posted a few days early, your top post again for the date that I was supposed to be on, ( 9th) so you got some extra exposure, which is good too. Loved the books, thanks for stopping by.