Tuesday, October 18, 2016

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Escape Clause

John Sandford was born John Camp on February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended the public schools in Cedar Rapids, graduating from Washington High School in 1962. He then spent four years at the University of Iowa, graduating with a bachelor's degree in American Studies in 1966. In 1966, he married Susan Lee Jones of Cedar Rapids, a fellow student at the University of Iowa. He was in the U.S. Army from 1966-68, worked as a reporter for the Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian from 1968-1970, and went back to the University of Iowa from 1970-1971, where he received a master's degree in journalism. He was a reporter for The Miami Herald from 1971-78, and then a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press from 1978-1990; in 1980, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, and he won the Pulitzer in 1986 for a series of stories about a midwestern farm crisis. From 1990 to the present he has written thriller novels. He's also the author of two non-fiction books, one on plastic surgery and one on art. He is the principal financial backer of a major archeological project in the Jordan Valley of Israel, with a website at www.rehov.org In addition to archaeology, he is deeply interested in art (painting) and photography. He both hunts and fishes. He has two children, Roswell and Emily, and one grandson, Benjamin. His wife, Susan, died of metastasized breast cancer in May, 2007, and is greatly missed.

Escape Clause
Virgil Flowers Book #9

Whenever you hear the sky rumble, that usually means a storm. In Virgil Flowers’ case, make that two. The exceptional new thriller from the writer whose books are “pure reading pleasure” (Booklist)

The first storm comes from, of all places, the Minnesota zoo. Two large, and very rare, Amur tigers have vanished from their cage, and authorities are worried sick that they’ve been stolen for their body parts. Traditional Chinese medicine prizes those parts for home remedies, and people will do extreme things to get what they need. Some of them are a great deal more extreme than others -- as Virgil is about to find out. 

Then there’s the homefront. Virgil’s relationship wi th his girlfriend Frankie has been getting kind of serious, but when Frankie’s sister Sparkle moves in for the summer, the situation gets a lot more complicated. For one thing, her research into migrant workers is about to bring her up against some very violent people who emphatically do not want to be researched. For anothershe thinks Virgil’s kind of cute.

“You mess around with Sparkle,” Frankie told Virgil, “you could get yourself stabbed.”
“She carries a knife?”
“No, but I do.” 

Forget a storm – this one’s a tornado.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Scholastic Siren - Sara:
Book 9 in the Virgil Flowers series can be read as a stand-alone, the mystery is inclusive, but I think you would miss getting to know all the characters. 

Virgil works for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) which is basically the state version of the FBI. They deal with some very strange cases, none stranger than this. 

Virgil gets a call in the middle of the night about a kidnapping, the victims, two rare tigers missing from the zoo. Personally, Virgil’s life is a little wonky, too, Frankie’s sister moves in with her for the summer causing all manner of upset. 

As always, the story is cohesive and the mystery wraps up in one book, rather violently. 

This series is not for the faint of heart. If you are an animal lover, like I am, this book has a serious rough spot rather early on, once you get past it, it is worth continuing. 

Escape Clause

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Crimson Death

Laurell K. Hamilton is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of two series that mix mystery, fantasy, magic, horror and romance. Her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels from Berkley Books began with GUILTY PLEASURES and continues to thrive with over sixteen volumes to the series and an comic adaptation. There are now more than 6 million copies of Anita in print worldwide, in 16 languages. Hamilton's Ballantine series features Fey princess and private investigator, Merry Gentry and there are now six novels exceeding one million copies in print. She lives in St. Louis County Missouri with her husband Jonathon Green, daughter, two pug dogs and one boxer/pug dog.

Keep up with Laurell at her Website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on GoodReads.

Crimson Death
Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #25

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In her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and necromancer Anita Blake learns that evil is in the eye of the beholder...

Anita has never seen Damian, her vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats. 

And now, with Damian at his most vulnerable, Anita needs him the most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be losing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. And when Anita joins forces with her friend Edward to stop the carnage, Damian will be at their side, even if it means traveling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from...a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin, and a necromancer.


Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Scholastic Siren - Sara:
 This is the 25th entry in a series, I would not start here. However, if you stopped reading a few books ago, which many of you did, start again with DEAD ICE then read this. Well worth your time. 

This was like two books rolled into one, before Ireland and during Ireland. Anita’s triumvirate with Damian and Nathaniel isn’t working as it should and needs to be fixed. This is the first half of the book, and the magic and inner workings of the triumvirate are very interesting. 

The second half of the book, is pure, old-school, kick-ass Anita solving crime with Edward. 

The reason for 4 stars instead of five, the two book feel left me wanting in the beginning, I was ready for the travel and it kept not happening. The ending was a little flat but still satisfying. I really enjoyed reading this, in fact, I devoured it and will read it again, much more slowly, at a later date.  Looking forward to 26!

Crimson Death


Monday, October 3, 2016

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of All the Little Liars

Charlaine Harris has been a published novelist for over twenty-five years. A native of the Mississippi Delta, she grew up in the middle of a cotton field. Now she lives in southern Arkansas with her husband, her three children, three dogs, and a duck. The duck stays outside.

Though her early output consisted largely of ghost stories, by the time she hit college (Rhodes, in Memphis) Charlaine was writing poetry and plays. After holding down some low-level jobs, she had the opportunity to stay home and write, and the resulting two stand-alones were published by Houghton Mifflin. After a child-producing sabbatical, Charlaine latched on to the trend of writing mystery series, and soon had her own traditional books about a Georgia librarian, Aurora Teagarden. Her first Teagarden, Real Murders, garnered an Agatha nomination.

Soon Charlaine was looking for another challenge, and the result was the much darker Lily Bard series. The books, set in Shakespeare, Arkansas, feature a heroine who has survived a terrible attack and is learning to live with its consequences.

When Charlaine began to realize that neither of those series was ever going to set the literary world on fire, she regrouped and decided to write the book she’d always wanted to write. Not a traditional mystery, nor yet pure science fiction or romance, Dead Until Dark broke genre boundaries to appeal to a wide audience of people who just enjoy a good adventure. Each subsequent book about Sookie Stackhouse, telepathic Louisiana barmaid and friend to vampires, werewolves, and various other odd creatures, has drawn more readers. The Southern Vampire books are published in Japan, Great Britain, Greece, Germany, Thailand, Spain, France, and Russia.

In addition to Sookie, Charlaine has another heroine with a strange ability. Harper Connelly, lightning-struck and strange, can find corpses… and that’s how she makes her living.

In addition to her work as a writer, Charlaine is the past senior warden of St. James Episcopal Church, a board member of Mystery Writers of America, a past board member of Sisters in Crime, a member of the American Crime Writers League, and past president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance. She spends her "spare" time reading, watching her daughter play sports, traveling, and going to the movies.

All The Little Liars
Aurora Teagarden #9

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#1 New York Times bestseller Charlaine Harris returns to her Aurora Teagarden mystery series with a fabulous new book featuring the small-town Southern librarian.

Aurora Teagarden is basking in the news of her pregnancy when disaster strikes her small Georgia town: four kids vanish from the school soccer field in an afternoon. Aurora’s 15-year-old brother Phillip is one of them. Also gone are two of his friends, and an 11-year-old girl who was just hoping to get a ride home from soccer practice. And then there’s an even worse discovery—at the kids’ last known destination, a dead body.

While the local police and sheriff’s department comb the county for the missing kids and interview everyone even remotely involved, Aurora and her new husband, true crime writer Robin Crusoe, begin their own investigation. Could the death and kidnappings have anything to do with a group of bullies at the middle school? Is Phillip’s disappearance related to Aurora’s father’s gambling debts? Or is Phillip himself, new to town and an unknown quantity, responsible for taking the other children? But regardless of the reason, as the days go by, the most important questions remain. Are the kids still alive? Who could be concealing them? Where could they be?

With Christmas approaching, Aurora is determined to find her brother…if he’s still alive.

After more than a decade, #1 New York Times bestseller Charlaine Harris finally returns to her fan-favorite Aurora Teagarden series with All the Little Liars, a fabulously fun new mystery.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Scholastic Siren - Sara:
Book 9 in the Aurora Teagarden series was a nice treat. The series last installment was in 2009, so you might need a light refresher. Aurora is a librarian in the smallish town of Lawrenceton, Georgia. She is a widow with no children, although her half-brother, Phillip, is living with her and her significant other, a true crime writer named Robin Crusoe. This book opens a few days after their wedding. Phillip seems to be making friends and fitting in quite well. They are finally a happy family until Phillip and a few other local kids go missing. The police are investigating, but Roe feels she needs to do something, and she has information the police don’t have. The mystery is great and does wrap up in one book. It is also totally plausible, which I really appreciate. This book feels like really good friend coming home. I really enjoyed it.

All the Little Liars

Friday, September 2, 2016

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of The Forbidden Library

Django Wexler graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research. Eventually he migrated to Microsoft in Seattle, where he now lives with two cats and a teetering mountain of books. When not writing, he wrangles computers, paints tiny soldiers, and plays games of all sorts.

The Forbidden Library

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Alice always thought fairy tales had happy endings. That--along with everything else--changed the day she met her first fairy...

When Alice's father goes down in a shipwreck, she is sent to live with her uncle Geryon--an uncle she's never heard of and knows nothing about. He lives in an enormous manor with a massive library that is off-limits to Alice. But then she meets a talking cat. And even for a rule-follower, when a talking cat sneaks you into a forbidden library and introduces you to an arrogant boy who dares you to open a book, it's hard to resist. Especially if you're a reader to begin with. Soon Alice finds herself INSIDE the book, and the only way out is to defeat the creature imprisoned within.

It seems her uncle is more than he says he is. But then so is Alice.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Scholastic Siren - Sara:
If I were ten, this would have been a 5 skull book for sure! Buy this for all your middle-grade readers. It has a few scary scenes, but I would even read this to littles. It is the first book in a series.

It is a fun story about a girl named Alice who finds out magic is real. "Alice always thought fairy tales had happy endings. That--along with everything else--changed the day she met her first fairy." The fairy in question is threatening her father, who disappears shortly after. Alice must go live with her Uncle, who she's never met. She has the run of the house but is told to stay out of the library. Sure, that's going to happen....

The Forbidden Library


[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of The Guns of the Empire

Django Wexler graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research. Eventually he migrated to Microsoft in Seattle, where he now lives with two cats and a teetering mountain of books. When not writing, he wrangles computers, paints tiny soldiers, and plays games of all sorts.

The Guns of the Empire


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As the “audacious and subversive”* Shadow Campaigns novels continue, the weather is growing warmer, but the frosty threat of Vordan’s enemies is only growing worse...

As the roar of the guns subsides and the smoke of battle clears, the country of Vordan is offered a fragile peace…

After their shattering defeats at the hands of brilliant General Janus bet Vhalnich, the opposing powers have called all sides to the negotiating table in hopes of securing an end to the war. Queen Raesinia of Vordan is anxious to see the return of peace, but Janus insists that any peace with the implacable Sworn Church of Elysium is doomed to fail. For their Priests of the Black, there can be no truce with heretics and demons they seek to destroy, and the war is to the death.

Soldiers Marcus d’Ivoire and Winter Ihernglass find themselves caught between their general and their queen. Now, each must decide which leader truly commands their loyalty—and what price they might pay for final victory.

And in the depths of Elysium, a malign force is rising—and defeating it might mean making sacrifices beyond anything they have ever imagined.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Scholastic Siren - Sara:
*Copy received by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

I'm not giving any extra plot overview here, because I don't want to spoil Price of Valor (review can be found HERE).

This book was truly fabulous; the only reason I'm not giving it 5 skulls is it did drag in a few places. Everything is finally coming together, including why Janus really wanted The Thousand Names! The battles are epic, the magic is really interesting, and we get to know our favorite characters even better. Some of the minor characters from previous books have much bigger roles, and this book is chock-full of strong women! I just loved it. My only regret in reading so fast is having you wait a year for the conclusion of the series.

The Guns of the Empire

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Price of Valor

Django Wexler graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research. Eventually he migrated to Microsoft in Seattle, where he now lives with two cats and a teetering mountain of books. When not writing, he wrangles computers, paints tiny soldiers, and plays games of all sorts.

Price of Valor


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In the latest Shadow Campaigns novel, Django Wexler continues his "epic fantasy of military might and magical conflict"* following The Shadow Throne and The Thousand Names, as the realm of Vordan faces imminent threats from without and within.

In the wake of the King’s death, war has come to Vordan.

The Deputies-General has precarious control of the city, but it is led by a zealot who sees traitors in every shadow. Executions have become a grim public spectacle. The new queen, Raesinia Orboan, finds herself nearly powerless as the government tightens its grip and assassins threaten her life. But she did not help free the country from one sort of tyranny to see it fall into another. Placing her trust with the steadfast soldier Marcus D’Ivoire, she sets out to turn the tide of history.

As the hidden hand of the Sworn Church brings all the powers of the continent to war against Vordan, the enigmatic and brilliant general Janus bet Vhalnich offers a path to victory. Winter Ihernglass, newly promoted to command a regiment, has reunited with her lover and her friends, only to face the prospect of leading them into bloody battle.

And the enemy is not just armed with muskets and cannon. Dark priests of an ancient order, wielding forbidden magic, have infiltrated Vordan to stop Janus by whatever means necessary...

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Scholastic Siren - Sara:
*Copy received by the publisher for an honest review

Raesinia Orboan is queen in name, but not so much in power. The deputies-general are running the country, and the country is at war. Raesinia decides to go back to her persona of Raes, a commoner, to help the war effort. Raes and Marcus stay in the city. Winter is off on campaign, the armies are under command of Janus bet Vhalnich, but the deputies-general think they are pulling the strings.

This is a nice steady middle book. There is quite a bit of action and intrigue! The war is interesting because we aren't in the head of the main commander, just Winter and Marcus. I think this read much smoother with only three POV characters and some church interludes. I have to be honest, I did skim through some of the battle scenes, just not my thing. Since the book is about war, I expected that and was not upset by the violence.

Price of Valor

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Blue Moon III: Call of the Alpha

A.E. Via is an author in the beautiful gay romance genre and also founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books. Her writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.
When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children. Adrienne Via has tons of more stories to tell, but she really would like to hear yours. Via Star Wings Books is currently accepting submissions for established and aspiring LGBTQ authors.
Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com  for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.
Keep up with A.E online at her Website, her Blog, on Facebook, on GoodReads, on Twitter, and on Amazon

Blue Moon III: Call of the Alpha

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Book 2 is recommended to read first. 


It’s been a couple years since Commander John Marion – the US Navy’s most decorated SEAL – hung up his dog tags, choosing his cherished Alpha over war.

Call and Alpha have settled comfortably into their carefree lives nestled in the mountains of South Carolina. No more combat for the Commander and no more ordered killings for the deadliest assassin in the world.

However, nothing stays peaceful forever.

When Alpha’s brother Omega comes to their secluded home with a distressing message from their Order, Alpha has to answer the call. But what neither of them expect is for the Order to send them a new assassin, one just as deadly as both of them, to seek their counsel and bring them back Persia.

Lion’s commanding presence was not at all what any of them anticipated. Especially Omega. Lion realizes what Omega is to him right away, but the stubborn man fights his every advance. Lion knows he and Omega have to connect if they’re going to be victorious. He was sent to bring back an army but if he can’t get his cherished to yield to him, they are sure to fail.

Call refuses to let Alpha fight a gang of rebel assassins without him. Omega will fight by his brother’s side, no matter what… and Hawk saw them coming for his help before anyone else. Together they’ll fight the toughest opponents they’ve ever faced. As always… these badass warriors are up for the challenge.

This book ends in an HEA and does not end in a cliffhanger.

This book contains graphic violence.

Our Review of Blue Moon III: Call of the Alpha by LITERAL ADDICTION's Reckless Reaper - Shawnie:

Blue Moon 3 was given to me by the author to do an honest review, the fact that I love the author has no standing on how I felt about the book.
I have been waiting since Blue Moon 2 to read this book and while it wasn't the book I thought it was 
going to be... it ended up being so much more. There was so much depth and emotion with this book and I honestly couldn't have asked for a better read. When I found out about BM3 I thought that it was going to be Call and Alpha's the beginning, but it was actually their dynamic as a couple and how it worked between them. This book was Lion and Omega's beginning and dare I say everyone else were more like supporting characters in a way.

Lion and Omega were hot front the first meeting and you could almost feel the need, the tension, the chemistry coming off the pages between the two of them. Nothing was held back and I think that was an important thing with this book. Nothing was done with these two or any of the other characters in half measures. There was no instant love or anything like that with this book. It was like a slow burning fire that simmered until it couldn't be contained anymore and then it just exploded outward sweeping you up into its flames and burning you alive... but in a good way.
Omega was my favorite because he represented a lot of people in that they tend to fight... I guess destiny in this instance. We know what will happen in the back of our minds but we look for any and everything wrong with it happening when it reality it's what you need and that was it for Omega. He needed it, but had misconceptions about what it would mean for him and Lion. He had so much feeling locked up and pushed away that it all came bubbling to the surface and spilled over. It was raw and it was intense and it made me cry.

Lion... Oh man... He is a new character we are introduced to and he is our Alpha male in this story. Everything about him screams Alpha and its in your face and powerful. I liked that he didn't try to bully Omega into anything and he took his time with the man. It was almost like he treated Omega like he was a wounded animal... except this wounded animal could kill someone without breaking a sweat. He was sweet, yet firm and when he realized what the real problem was he didn't play games, he got right to the point with Omega. No bullshit, no filler. It was refreshing to read.
This book like I said wasn't the book I was expecting, but it was the book we needed as readers of this series. The twist in this book was both heartbreaking and obvious in some instances. But I think a lot of readers will look past the obvious parts because you don't want to believe its true. I am sorry for how she rips those blinders off your faces, but it will get better.

I honestly loved every second of this book.

Blue Moon III: Call of the Alpha