Wednesday, June 6, 2018

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of SPARROW HILL ROAD

Seanan McGuire was born in Martinez, California, and raised in a wide variety of locations, most of which boasted some sort of dangerous native wildlife. Despite her almost magnetic attraction to anything venomous, she somehow managed to survive long enough to acquire a typewriter, a reasonable grasp of the English language, and the desire to combine the two. The fact that she wasn't killed for using her typewriter at three o'clock in the morning is probably more impressive than her lack of death by spider-bite.
Often described as a vortex of the surreal, many of Seanan's anecdotes end with things like "and then we got the anti-venom" or "but it's okay, because it turned out the water wasn't that deep." She has yet to be defeated in a game of "Who here was bitten by the strangest thing?," and can be amused for hours by almost anything. "Almost anything" includes swamps, long walks, long walks in swamps, things that live in swamps, horror movies, strange noises, musical theater, reality TV, comic books, finding pennies on the street, and venomous reptiles. Seanan may be the only person on the planet who admits to using Kenneth Muir's Horror Films of the 1980s as a checklist.
Seanan is the author of the October Daye urban fantasies, the InCryptid urban fantasies, and several other works both stand-alone and in trilogies or duologies. In case that wasn't enough, she also writes under the pseudonym "Mira Grant." For details on her work as Mira, check out MiraGrant.com.
In her spare time, Seanan records CDs of her original filk music (see the Albums page for details). She is also a cartoonist, and draws an irregularly posted autobiographical web comic, "With Friends Like These...", as well as generating a truly ridiculous number of art cards. Surprisingly enough, she finds time to take multi-hour walks, blog regularly, watch a sickening amount of television, maintain her website, and go to pretty much any movie with the words "blood," "night," "terror," or "attack" in the title. Most people believe she doesn't sleep.
Seanan lives in an idiosyncratically designed labyrinth in the Pacific Northwest, which she shares with her cats, Alice and Thomas, a vast collection of creepy dolls and horror movies, and sufficient books to qualify her as a fire hazard. She has strongly-held and oft-expressed beliefs about the origins of the Black Death, the X-Men, and the need for chainsaws in daily life.
Years of writing blurbs for convention program books have fixed Seanan in the habit of writing all her bios in the third person, so as to sound marginally less dorky. Stress is on the "marginally." It probably doesn't help that she has so many hobbies.
Seanan was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and her novel Feed (as Mira Grant) was named as one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2010. In 2013 she became the first person ever to appear five times on the same Hugo Ballot.
Keep up with Seanan online at her Website, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram and on GoodReads.

TODAY'S FEATURE:

SPARROW HILL ROAD
Ghost Roads Book #1
Original Release Date: 5/7/14 
Re-Release Date: 6/5/18
ISBN: 0756409616

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Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.


It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.

They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her. 

You can’t kill what’s already dead. 


Our Review by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Chelle:
If you're a fan of ghost stories, creative worldbuilding, and fun, quirky heroines, you'll want to check out SPARROW HILL ROAD. 

Rose Marshall is a sixteen-year-old from the 50s, killed nonsensically on prom night and taken from her one true love. For over 60 years, she has performed the job given to her by the Lady upon death, and has traveled the roads as a hitcher, helping other ghosts that die on the road get home--one way or the other. But she has one other driving purpose: find and eliminate the jerk who killed her. Bobby Cross. 

Told as a series of interconnected snippets jumping from past to present in her encounters with other ghosts and witches and the living, SPARROW HILL ROAD is a very creative tale that engages and entertains. It can get a little confusing at times if you're not thoroughly invested, as McGuire uses small chapter flashbacks to help drive the tale and there is lots of random character interaction for different purposes depending on the ghost story she is attempting to tell, but the creativity that went into the creation of this world and its characters was a breath of fresh air.

SPARROW HILL ROAD







[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of The Hills Have Spies


Mercedes Lackey entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70’s she worked as an artist’s model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts & Music, a small recording company specializing in science fiction folk music.

“I’m a storyteller; that’s what I see as ‘my job.’ My stories come out of my characters; how those characters would react to the given situation. Maybe that’s why I get letters from readers as young as thirteen and as old as sixty-odd. One of the reasons I write song lyrics is because I see songs as a kind of ‘story pill’ — they reduce a story to the barest essentials or encapsulate a particular crucial moment in time. I frequently will write a lyric when I am attempting to get to the heart of a crucial scene; I find that when I have done so, the scene has become absolutely clear in my mind, and I can write exactly what I wanted to say. Another reason is because of the kind of novels I am writing: that is, fantasy, set in an other-world semi-medieval atmosphere. Music is very important to medieval peoples; bards are the chief news bringers. When I write the ‘folk music’ of these peoples, I am enriching my whole world, whether I actually use the song in the text or not.

“I began writing out of boredom; I continue out of addiction. I can’t ‘not’ write, and as a result I have no social life! I began writing fantasy because I love it, but I try to construct my fantasy worlds with all the care of a ‘high-tech’ science fiction writer. I apply the principle of TANSTAAFL [‘There ain’t no such thing as free lunch’, credited to Robert Heinlein) to magic, for instance; in my worlds, magic is paid for, and the cost to the magician is frequently a high one. I try to keep my world as solid and real as possible; people deal with stubborn pumps, bugs in the porridge, and love-lives that refuse to become untangled, right along with invading armies and evil magicians. And I try to make all of my characters, even the ‘evil magicians,’ something more than flat stereotypes. Even evil magicians get up in the night and look for cookies, sometimes.

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

TODAY'S FEATURE:


THE HILLS HAVE SPIES
Valdemar: Family Spies Book #1

Release Date 6/5/18
ISBN: 0756413176

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In this new series, set in the bestselling world of Valdemar, Heralds Mags and Amily must continue to protect the realm of Valdemar while raising their children and preparing them to follow in their footsteps.

Mags, Herald Spy of Valdemar, and his wife Amily are happily married with three kids. The oldest, Justyn, has the Gift of animal Mindspeech--he can talk to animals and persuade them to act as he wishes. Justyn's dream is to follow in his father's footsteps as a Herald Spy, but has yet to be Chosen by his horse companion.

Mags is more than happy to teach Justyn all he knows. He regularly trains his children, including Justyn, with tests and exercises, preparing them for the complicated and dangerous lives they will likely lead. Justyn has already held positions in the Royal Palace as a runner and in the kitchen, useful places from which he can learn to listen. As the next stage of Justyn's training, Mags proposes that Justyn joins a group of traveling players and musicians, to get experience away from home and out in the world. Justyn joins the troupe, and he starts collecting information for his father. And the patterns he finds are unsettling....

During the troupe's travels, Justyn witnesses growing rural unrest about an indigenous community of Valdemar, known as Hawkbrothers. When the troupe settles for a season at a fortified manor of a local lord, Justyn watches the unrest grow increasingly hostile. The manor lord dismisses Hawkbrothers as inhuman--and has a local militia to back up his hatred. When a child goes missing, the locals immediately blame Hawkbrothers, and Justyn finds himself in a dangerous position.

He enlists the help of a local stray dog, who knows a lot about the town's goings-on, despite being a bit...odd. Justyn must find the missing child and warn the Hawkbrothers community of the trouble headed their way--before tensions turn deadly.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Scholastic Siren: Sara: 
This is the start of a new mini-series set in Valdemar and its surrounds. Whether you are familiar with Valdemar or not, this is a great story. Feel free to start here.

This story takes place around fifteen years after the last series. Mags and Amily have three kids, the oldest of whom--Peregrine--is the main player in this book. Perry is training in the family business: espionage. He’s quite good at it, even though he is just thirteen years old. His training gets accelerated on a father-son trip/mission for the crown. Perry learns to hold his own and that adults aren’t always perfect. The mission is interesting, the characters are well developed, and the story wraps up nicely. I’m not big on cliffhangers in YA.

I never think of Valdemar as young adult, but it is. The main characters are usually in their teens, although not always. I started reading Valdemar and Ms. Lackey when I was a teen and continue to auto-buy the hardcovers on release date. I highly recommended this one!

THE HILLS HAVE SPIES


Friday, April 27, 2018

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Twisted Prey


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.



Twisted Prey
LUCAS DAVENPORT #28


Release Date 4/24/18
ISBN-13: 978-0525593782

Lucas Davenport confronts an old nemesis, now more powerful than ever as a U.S. senator, in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling Prey series

Lucas Davenport had crossed paths with her before.

A rich psychopath, Taryn Grant had run successfully for the U.S. Senate, where Lucas had predicted she’d fit right in. He was also convinced that she’d been responsible for three murders, though he’d never been able to prove it. Once a psychopath had gotten that kind of rush, though, he or she often needed another fix, so he figured he might be seeing her again.

He was right. A federal marshal now, with a very wide scope of investigation, he’s heard rumors that Grant has found her seat on the Senate intelligence committee, and the contacts she’s made from it, to be veryuseful. Pinning those rumors down was likely to be just as difficult as before, and considerably more dangerous.

But they had unfinished business, he and Grant. One way or the other, he was going to see it through to the end
.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Scholastic Siren - Sara:
In Twisted Prey, Lucas Davenport is still working for the Marshall service when Senator Porter Smalls is run off the road and nearly dies. Smalls is sure it’s an assassination attempt and pulls some strings to get Lucas to investigate. 

This is a solid entry in the series. Most of the books are stand-alones with common history; this one is not. This is a more like a sequel to Silken Prey, book #13, that was released in 2013. If you already love the series, by all means, buy this book. If it’s new to you, I would suggest that you pick up an earlier installment--they are all fantastic. 

Some of my favorite newer characters come back in this book; we get to see Bob and Rae again. I hope they are becoming permanent fixtures... This book takes place in DC because Lucas is a Marshall now, and I think we might get a new city in every upcoming book. No matter where they take place, the books are both thought-provoking and full of action.




Monday, June 5, 2017

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Fearless



Scott Prussing was born in New Jersey, but was smart enough to move to beautiful San Diego as soon as he received his Master's degree in psychology from Yale University.  

In addition to writing, Scott enjoys hiking, riding his bicycle near the beach, and golf. 



Website / Facebook / Twitter / GoodReads




Fearless

BLUE FIRE SAGA Book #4


Fearless is the fourth book in the paranormal romance series The Blue Fire Saga. Books one, two and three are Breathless, Deathless and Helpless.

Fearless continues the story of college freshman Leesa Nyland and her supernatural vampire hunter boyfriend Rave. After rescuing her brother from the clutches of vampire coven in Breathless, Leesa was hoping to return to her normal, boring life. Trying to figure out how to kiss Rave without his magical fire burning her to a crisp is all the adventure she wants. But in addition to hungry vampires, there are evil wizards and a Necromancer who must be stopped, and it turns out Leesa may be the key to defeating them. Now if she can just stay alive long enough to learn how to control some special powers she never knew she possessed, and if the dead will just stay dead…

Fearless is filled with the same passion, suspense, supernatural danger and warm humor that readers loved in the first three Blue Fire Saga books. Don’t miss out on this next installment of this fun, fast-paced adventure.

Our review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle:
~Format: Audible

It was so nice to once again be immersed in the wonderful world that is the Blue Fire Saga! I had forgotten just how wonderful these books are, and how much I adore this cast.

After the happenings of the first three books, Fearless picks up where things left off and begins immediately with the introduction of a new character who will immediately have you wondering which side he or she is on--something I adore in my paranormal reads.

With a powerful necromancer wreaking havoc on their small town, and the dark wiziri hell-bent on revenge and destruction, all the supe groups have to take a stand in their own way and join forces when necessary to battle the evil, even as Leesa continues to discover herself and what she's capable of. Add to that, the fact that there is a primal power disrupting magic in and around Leesa's and Rave's home, and you get a sexy, action-packed thrill ride of a novel with characters you can't help but root for. I adored the first three books of this series, but this may be my favorite one yet.

Highly recommended. The next books can't come out in audio soon enough so I can continue the journey.

Fearless




Sunday, May 21, 2017

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Dark Contender



HD Smith is a software developer by day and an author of kick-ass Urban Fantasy at night. She grew up in South Carolina, but has called the Sunshine State home since 1997. She has a Masters degree in Computer Science, but her love of writing has really unleashed the creative siren in her soul. 






Dark Contender
The Devil's Assistant Book #4


One final contender stands between Claire and claiming the Fallen Throne—but Faith isn’t giving up without a fight. Defeating Faith and taking her blood isn’t all Claire has to worry about. She must find the last few drops of her own original blood—before the big three usurp her realm and end any chance of her completing the prophecy.

Mace offers a strong shoulder, but as long as Claire aches for the missing Thanos, she can’t let herself lean on it.

Meanwhile, the Oracle has emerged from a 500-year hiatus to gleefully fling monkey wrenches into Claire’s timeline. Claire loses several hours to one of the hag’s schemes, resulting in Faith getting away with the Prince of Time. Which definitely isn’t part of the prophecy.

Putting the Time King back together again won’t be easy. Even if Claire manages to gather all the parts, nothing fits like it did before. The cracks expose the truth that will change everythingincluding who’ll be the last man standing by Claire’s side. 

Our review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle:

~Edition: Audio book
In the riveting conclusion to H.D Smith's unparalleled Devil's Assistant series, Dark Contender brings everything together. It answers all of those little questions that popped up throughout the series, and takes you on yet another thrill-ride with the wonderfully constructed characters and arc that we've come to know and love through the last 3 books.

First, let me say that this series brings about some of the best worldbuilding I have ever encountered. These are not for speedy surface readers. There is too much depth and way too much going on for anything other than an involved pleasure read.

As an add-on to the worldbuilding, the mystery is incredible. The twists and turns keep you guessing, and I can guarantee, that nine times out of ten, you won't be right. I figured out part of the twist in this last installment, but even somewhat knowing what would be coming, H.D had me surprised.

It's almost impossible to write reviews for these books, as I found out with the last few. But in generalities, I can tell you that if you like paranormals with large-scale worldbuilding, characters that you will care about--both positively and negatively--mystery, suspense, action, and yes, even some smexy romance, you simply must check out these books! Leave your life behind for a bit and get lost in the in between, you won't be disappointed.

Dark Contender


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Golden Prey

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.


Golden Prey
LUCAS DAVENPORT/PREY #27

Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo 

Lucas Davenport’s first case as a U.S. Marshal sends him into uncharted territory in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling series.
The man was smart and he didn’t mind killing people. Welcome to the big leagues, Davenport.
Thanks to some very influential people whose lives he saved, Lucas is no longer working for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but for the U.S. Marshals Service, and with unusual scope. He gets to pick his own cases, whatever they are, wherever they lead him.

And where they’ve led him this time is into real trouble. A Biloxi, Mississippi, drug-cartel counting house gets robbed, and suitcases full of cash disappear, leaving behind five bodies, including that of a six-year-old girl. Davenport takes the case, which quickly spirals out of control, as cartel assassins, including a torturer known as the “Queen of home-improvement tools” compete with Davenport to find the Dixie Hicks shooters who knocked over the counting house. Things get ugly real fast, and neither the cartel killers nor the holdup men give a damn about whose lives Davenport might have saved; to them, he’s just another large target.

Filled with his trademark razor-sharp plotting and some of the best characters in suspense fiction, Golden Prey is further reason why “Sandford has always been at the top of any list of great mystery writers” (The Huffington Post).

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Scholastic Siren - Sara:
What can you say about book 27 in a series? You hope it will be new, different, exciting. Well Golden Prey was all of these! Lucas is now a federal marshall with free reign to investigate whatever strikes his fancy. The problem is, nothing is speaking to him. He doesn't have his network of informants anymore, so he isn't hearing about anything big. In the midst of helping out an investigation he hears about a guy who was thought to be dead but just committed murder, and not for the first time. This book is full of action and some hard core violence. It's very much Lucas and still very new. I really enjoyed it. I can't wait for 28!


Golden Prey





Saturday, March 18, 2017

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Lifeblood

Gena Showalter is a New York Times and national bestselling author of more than thirty novels in a wide range of genres. Her fiction has appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazines as well as on MTV, and has been nominated for the prestigious RITA, as well as the National Reader’s Choice Award. 
She has always believed in love... An avid romance reader, she decided to try her hand at a story of her own, and is now the author of a multitude of white-hot paranormal romances, sexy contemporary novels, and thrilling young adult titles.
Gena’s wildly sensual page-turners have a mix of humor, danger, and wickedly hot sex – a combination that is sure to enthrall! After all, she is universally known to be “made of awesome”, and we couldn’t agree more!


Find her online: Website / Facebook / Twitter / GoodReads






Lifeblood
Everlife book #2

Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo

*Edition read: Audible


The harder you fight, the more you bleed.

Lifeblood, an Everlife Novel

**

"Lifeblood ramps up the action "Ten"fold--don't miss this exhilarating sequel to Firstlife!" --#1 New York Times bestselling author P. C. Cast

It’s time to do what I was born to do. It’s time to arise and shine.

Whatever I face—be it war, persecution, hunger, simple threats or my Second-death—I will not be deterred. Night will be replaced by day, and those who cry in the dark will rejoice in the morning.

The day is about to dawn. Time is short. Let the battle begin.

**

"My Firstlife is over, but my Everlife is only now beginning."

With her last living breath, Tenley “Ten” Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences.

Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future—and the enemy wants her neutralized. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must learn about her realm from the ground up while launching her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die. No pressure, right?

But Ten's competition is Killian, the boy she can’t forget—the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she’s never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice. Loveor victory.


Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle:


Firstlife was amazing. Utterly unique and captivating, but I knew that Lifeblood would be incredible. And boy was it ever…

Lifeblood starts right where Firstlife left off so I wouldn’t recommend this book to readers who have not read book #1. But for those of us who have, it immediately grabs you. 

One of the things I found the most fascinating about these books are the tiny details. Everything, and I do mean everything means something. And it’s all so very well thought out. The world building is some of the best I’ve read, and the characters are very well developed and instantly loveable. 

Lifeblood showed a lot of character growth. For all of our main characters and some of our supporting cast, as well. And some of the things that happened were the perfect conflicts to drive that growth. 

One thing I will say about Lifebloodit’s sexy! My brain was thinking YA as I went into it despite knowing that even Firstlife had its moments of maturity, but while there’s no sex, it’s very, very sexy (and utterly wonderful). :)

It was also surprising in the most delicious of ways. I was shocked at times. I raged at others. I cheered a lot. I gasped, as well. It was an emotional roller coaster that I ate up hour by hour, and Emma and cast did an incredible job of bringing the characters and the story to life.

I highly recommend the Everlife series. Gena never lets me down.


Lifeblood