Tuesday, November 29, 2011

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Supernova

C.L Parker is a mother of three living near Louisville, Kentucky. Born in Los Angeles, California, her parents decided to move back to their native town just two weeks after her birth. There, Parker grew up with her three sisters, and they remain inseparable to this day.

After graduation, she enlisted in the United States Navy and was stationed at the Norfolk Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia where she served a two year enlistment. Due to a family tragedy at the time, she chose to return home to Kentucky instead of re-enlisting.

Parker eventually ventured into the world of writing. An outlet for her overactive imagination, it quickly grew into a passion that could not be ignored. Having a fascination for the paranormal, it didn’t take long to decide what type of book she would really love to write. She went to work on her first novel intended for publication, Supernova. There are plans to write two additional books creating the Supernova Saga.

Once the Supernova Saga is complete, she will start a series of seven books, which will eventually spin-off into another series. All of these will be in the paranormal romance genre.

Parker’s reality is that she is easily lost to a world of fantasy, driven to bring her characters to life if only in the pages of a book, for their story is one that must be told.

Supernova, Book #1 of the Supernova Saga
Author:  C.L Parker
Synopsis:  As part of a chosen bloodline, Kerrigan Cruz has inherited a gift: supernatural powers which give her the ability to protect a person's free will from those who wish to alter destiny for their own design. After her grandmother's passing, Kerrigan meets Dominic Grayson, an alluring stranger with a secret of his own. Dominic has been cursed, touched by both darkness and light, and Kerrigan is the only one who can save him. In their world, only three things are certain: His curse. Her gift. Their destiny.
Our Review [by Michelle L. Olson – LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha]:
Supernova is a beautifully woven tapestry of storytelling, with past, present, and future threads overlapping wonderfully.

The characters, both main and supporting, are easy to attune to, making it virtually impossible not to love or hate them as C.L intended. 

Kerrigan is a strong female lead who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to obtain it.  She’s thrown in a world of craziness after a devastating loss and handles it like a pro. 

Dominic is *sigh* the perfect guy.  Tough, sensitive, virile, drop-dead-gorgeous, and not afraid to give his heart and soul to the one who deserves it. 

Gabe, Kerrigan’s best friend, is the funniest character I have ever come across in a written work.  He’s completely hilarious and you will find yourself needing to know what he might do or say next, but he’s also loyal to a fault, a trait endearing in itself..

The emotion of the tale was gripping and real - even in a Fantasy setting - and lent well to immersing the reader in the character’s lives and their mystery. 

With just enough mystery, suspense, intrigue, romance and wit to keep you reading and wanting more, Supernova is a wonderful addition to the ranks of Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy alike. 

LITERAL ADDICTION gives Supernova 4 Skulls, and would recommend it to Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy readers far and wide, and anyone who wants a fresh take on the paranormal genre. 

I would have loved to have given it more than 4 Skulls, but having met, gotten to know, conversed with, and seen other written works by C.L over the past 9 months, I feel that she could have given just a little bit more in certain areas of the book.  Whether or not the decision not to was hers or someone else’s I’m not sure, but what I am sure of, is that I’m dying to read Cataclysm,  Book #2 of the Supernova Saga, because I have a feeling that I won’t feel this way at all with the next installment. J  


Sunday, November 27, 2011

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Black Heart Loa

Adrian Phoenix lives in Oregon (with three cats), travels to New Orleans (whenever possible), and writes passionate stories and novels.

Black Heart Loa, Book #2 of the Hoodoo series
Author:  Adrian Phoenix

 “An eye for an eye is never enough.”
Kallie Rivière, a Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a bent for trouble, learned the meaning of those ominous words when hoodoo bogeyman Doctor Heron targeted her family for revenge. Now, while searching for her still-missing bayou pirate cousin, Kallie finds out the hard way that someone is undoing powerful gris gris, which means that working magic has become as unpredictable as rolling a handful of dice. The wards woven to protect the Gulf coast are unraveling, leaving New Orleans and the surrounding bayous vulnerable just as an unnatural storm—the deadliest in a century—is born. As the hurricane powers toward the heart of all she loves, Kallie desperately searches for the cause of the disturbing randomness, only to learn a deeply unsettling truth: the culprit may be herself. To protect her family and friends, including the sexy nomad Layne Vallin, Kallie steps into the jaws of danger . . . and finds a loup garou designed to steal her heart—literally.
Our Review [by Michelle L. Olson – LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha]:
I’m a huge Adrian Phoenix fan, and have devoured all of her Maker’s Song books and the 1st book of the Hoodoo series, Black Dust Mambo, with gusto. 

Black Heart Loa picks up where Black Dust Mambo leaves off, with Kallie in a jam, her best friend, aunt, and love interest at her side – though dealing with their own dramas – and more upheaval than should be possible for 1 person.  In a nutshell, this installment was as brilliant as expected, and an amazing page turner from beginning to end.

In true Adrian Phoenix fashion, the characters were intense and deep, instigating a relationship with the reader from the very first introduction.  Not only do we get a return of all of our favorites from Black Dust Mambo, but we’re introduced to an entire cast of amazing new characters as well.  The only problem was that when the book ended, I  desperately wanted book #3 so I could find out what happens next, and what will happen to everyone.

Everything I look for in a fantastic Urban Fantasy was present in Black Heart Loa and more.  It had intrigue, mystery, suspense, deceit, romance, magic, mayhem, and action, all wrapped up in a beautifully written storyline  that hooks you, reels you in, and keeps you lusting for more. 

Three cheers for Adrian Phoenix and the Hoodoo series.  I actually find myself hard pressed to decide which of her series I like better now after reading Black Heart Loa.

LITERAL ADDICTION gives Black Heart Loa 5 Skulls, and would recommend it to all Dark Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy & Adrian Phoenix fans, as well as Paranormal Romance readers since this book had it’s fare share of hot and steamy moments.  I wouldn’t suggest trying to read Black Heart Loa as a stand alone, however.  You really need the build up and introduction that is offered by Black Dust Mambo, Book #1 of the Hoodoo series, to properly guide you into Black Heart Loa.  Believe me, you will not be disappointed that you waited to read it in order to read Black Dust Mambo first; it’s an incredible series and should be checked out by everyone! 

Black Heart Loa:

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Unturned Stones

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.

Unturned Stones
Author:  Scott Prussing

Synopsis:  Detective Robert Foster has been forced to resign from the San Diego Police Department for what his superiors call “insubordination.” Foster prefers to call it “thinking outside the box.” Either way, his days on the force are over—until he makes a surprising discovery. While surveying recent police incident reports provided to him by his ex-partner, he stumbles across three seemingly meaningless random assaults: a woman’s hand is amputated, a man’s leg is broken, and a transsexual is knocked unconscious and one of her breasts is burned off. As Foster looks more closely at the details, he recognizes something his former colleagues all missed—these attacks are SO different they must be related. “Planned randomness,” he labels it. The paradox intrigues him, until the violence escalates. When it begins moving closer and closer to home, Foster finds himself pulled into a stunning cat and mouse contest with a mysterious foe who seems to be every bit as clever and imaginative as Foster, if not more so!

Our Review [by Michelle L. Olson – LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha]:
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed both Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy and straight up Contemporary Romance from Scott, I was more than willing to take a chance on his mystery/suspense, especially since it had been way too long since I enjoyed a good murder mystery.
The first thing I’ll say, is that even though  I had read 3 books by Scott prior to Unturned Stones, reading this was like discovering a new favorite author all over again. 
The first thing that gripped me was the depth of character.  Without a lot of back story, Scott was able to weave a web of leading characters and their supporting cast that prompted an instant sense of bonding.  You knew, without a doubt and immediately, the characters that you were going to love, and those that you were going to love to hate (except when there was a twist thrown in where you weren’t sure you should be loving a certain character, as they just might be the bad guy). J 
The characters were very ‘real’ as well.  Heroes with very human quirks and weaknesses that just served to make them more endearing, heroines with independence and strength of character that made their relationships with the hero all the more enjoyable, etc.
Now, the story… I’m a connoisseur of James Patterson, Jeffrey Deaver, Iris Johansen, and several other incredible mystery/suspense authors, and this was one of the most unique plotlines I have ever encountered!  The thought that had to have gone into the intricacies of the mystery lending to the suspense and action was amazing.  Add in the psychological overtones and the impact of human psyche on an already incredible plot, and you have a hands down winner.  I think I changed my mind at least 4 times during the course of the story as to who I thought the bad guy would end up being, and when the last page was turned and the mystery was solved, I was still surprised, though I found myself thinking…”why didn’t I think of that!?”. That in itself is a testament to a fabulously written murder mystery.   J
LITERAL ADDICTION gives Unturned Stones 5 Skulls, and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a gripping read chocked full of mystery, suspense, & intrigue, all wrapped up with a psychologically thrilling bow.  Unturned Stones was in a word… fantastic! 

Unturned Stones:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Deathless

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.

Deathless, Book #2 of the Blue Fire Saga
Author:  Scott Prussing
Deathless is book two in The Blue Fire Saga, a paranormal romance series filled with passion, suspense and supernatural danger. Summary:

After rescuing her brother from the caverns of a vampire coven and helping to cure her mother of a vampire bite, Leesa Nyland hopes she’s done dealing with all things supernatural. All she wants to do now is enjoy college life—and to figure out how to kiss her vampire hunter boyfriend without his magical fire burning her to a crisp. She doesn’t think that’s too much to ask.

So she’s not too happy when she begins dreaming of rotting bodies emerging from their graves, and she likes it even less when the terrifying dreams begin to come true. When objects around her start moving seemingly on their own accord, she figures that’s more than enough. It’s a good thing she doesn’t know about the powerful vampire who has sworn vengeance against her…

Our Review [By LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha – Michelle L Olson]: 
Having quickly gotten over my apprehension about the series being, as I lovingly called it in my Breathless review, “a paranormal romance said to straddle the line between YA and Adult written by a dude”, I jumped into Deathless eagerly needing to know what was next for Leesa, Rave, Stefan and the crew.

Scott didn’t disappoint, and in my first sitting with Deathless, I was up until 4:00am and counting down the time at work in the following days until I could pick it up and finish it. 

Deathless, like Breathless, was wonderfully written and gripping, but I found myself even more captivated by the story since I was now invested in the characters and their story.  In addition, Deathless adds a whole new spin to the series that wasn’t really even hinted at in Breathless, and makes the reader want Helpless (Book #3 of the Saga) immediately upon finishing the last page – in fact, I outwardly groaned when I clicked my “next page” button on my Kindle and there was no ‘next page’ to be had.
Deathless is an exciting, surprising, romantic, funny read, and a fabulous 2nd installment to the Blue Fire Saga.  I personally can’t wait for Book #3, Helpless, and eagerly look forward to my copying arriving for the Holidays. 

LITERAL ADDICTION gives Deathless 5 Skulls and definitely recommends it for anyone who started the Blue Fire journey with Breathless.  We also recommend it for both Young Adult and Adult Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance lovers who want a light-hearted, unique Paranormal read.

For those of you that do not know, Scott also has a short romance out called Mine:  A Love Story, and a murder mystery/suspense called Unturned Stones (which I’ll be digging into next!).  Having read Breathless, Mine, and Deathless, I have to say that being a Scott Prussing fan and book connoisseur is like playing Where’s Waldo combined with a rousing match of Memory.  There are small scene/character/reference cross overs in the 3 books and it’s been fun to try to remember and decide where and how I saw it before.  It’s like a literary scavenger hunt with a dose of déjà vu.  J

Saturday, November 19, 2011

LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Supernaturally Kissed

Stacey Kennedy loves the paranormal genre and loves a series even more!  Nothing can hook her more than adventure and one that keeps on going. 
Her novels are lighthearted fantasy, heart squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even a good chuckle every new and again. 
She’s not a planner, she doesn’t write with a set idea because no matter what she plans, the characters’ voices always come through and demand that she listen to them. 
Her journey as a writer began when she was a teen and wrote poetry, which still to this day she pulls out for a good laugh.  Later, she tried a couple of times to put together a book with no luck until she was exposed to the paranormal world and the ideas came quickly. 
She’s a thirty one year old wife, mom, house cleaner, cook, teacher, play-doh extraordinaire, swing pusher, toddler chaster after – who loves outdoors, curling up with the latest flick and if she’s not plugging away at a new novel, she’s not her nose buried deep in a good book. 

Supernaturally Kissed, Book #1 of the Frostbite series
Author:  Stacey Kennedy

Synopsis:  Ghosts harass and annoy Tess Jennings to save their souls. Sometimes she helps them. Other times she ignores them. But one ghost will give her no choice.
Kipp McGowen, a cop with the Memphis Police Department, will stop at nothing to gain her help, including using his ghostly charms to seduce her.
Tess must help solve the five year old cold case of Hannah Reid, because solving the case will save Kipp. But a bigger problem presents itself. Tess is falling in love with a ghost. Now she must decide. Keep Kipp forever or find the killer…

Our Review [by Michelle L. Olson – LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha]:
I’m a lover and follower of Stacey’s work, and I had thought that I had read pretty much everything she had out there until I discovered that Stolen Dreams was rewritten as Supernaturally Kissed and was given the opportunity to read and review it.  I had also thought that I had a lockdown on my favorite Kennedy Hunk, and that he had no competition… boy was I wrong!

With Supernaturally Kissed, Stacey hooks  you less than 5 pages in and doesn’t let go, well… ever, because when you finish the last page you will be yearning for Book #2 to be in your hands immediately. 

Tess is an extraordinary female lead that I had no problems identifying with immediately despite her unique gift.  She’s sassy, spunky, smart, brave and just the right amount of insecure.

Kipp is… to die for. [Hee hee].  He’s everything I would ever want in a man – self assured, sensitive, strong willed, intuitive, honorable, and sexy as sin.

The supporting characters are perfect for the story arc and Stacey places and introduces them at exactly the right moments to make the plot thicken perfectly like a well prepared turkey gravy.

While the story starts out quickly, I never once felt like I was missing anything or wondering about how we got there, and it honestly never slowed down, which made me skip meals, ignore phone calls, and devour the book in one sitting. 

There is a whole lot of mystery, intrigue, and romance in Supernaturally Kissed, which will leave you with feelings of surprise, frustration, shock, tenderness, trepidation, longing, and a whole smattering of other emotions along with plenty of laughter, which makes this murder mystery unlike most others.

LITERAL ADDICTION gives Supernaturally Kissed 5 Skulls, of which it is well deserving in my honest opinion.  We would recommend it to ALL Stacey Kennedy fans (even those who may have read Stolen Dreams), every Paranormal Romance junkie out there, Romantic Suspense lovers and even some Urban Fantasy buffs (if you don’t mind some wicked romance with your dark fantasy).  Honestly, anyone who is looking for a quick paced, emotion filled read with mystery, suspense, romance and humor should read Supernaturally Kissed!

Another standing “O” for Stacey Kennedy.  Supernaturally Kissed was amazing, and I absolutely cannot wait for book #2.

Supernaturally Kissed:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of The Storm that is Sterling


Lisa Renee Jones  is an award winning author that has published more than fifteen novels in several different languages, spanning multiple genres of romance – contemporary, romantic suspense, dark paranormal and erotic fiction. In each book the hero is dark, dangerous, and sexy. She debuted for both, Nocturne and Blaze, on the Bookscan bestseller list.

The Storm that is Sterling, Book #2 of the Zodius series
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
SynopsisHe was created, molded, formed from life, love, and misery… Lethally daring and ruthlessly passionate. He invites death to his door, welcomes it with each breath he draws, each step he takes. And thus, he is danger— a volatile storm that will sweep across the calm realms of humanity and shake it to the depths of its core. And that storm is…
Sterling Jeter, Renegade Super Soldier, is fearless, powerful, and wildly unpredictable. His life-threatening mission is to save the beautiful, brilliant astrobiologist Rebecca Burns from ruthless villain Adam Rain. But their immutable mutual attraction threatens to put them in the path of death… or worse…
Our Review [by LITERAL ADDICTION’s Guest Reviewer – Debbie Talbot]: 
First things first. reading the Zodius series has been my first foray into any of Lisa Renee Jones’s books.  I was asked to read The Storm that is Sterling for my book club. To prepare I started the Zodius series from the beginning with The Legend that is Michael. The series is about a group of soldiers who, being told they were getting a immunization, were actually being forced to participate in a government program to try to make a better soldier. Project Zodius was a Top- Secret Military program that took 200 soldiers and injected them with alien DNA turning them into what they call GTECH Super Soldier. GTECHS are faster, stronger, quicker healing and are all together much, much harder to kill. They can all travel or “windwalk” on the wind, and some are developing other abilities also.  They are charged with protecting humanity as we know it; even if they don’t totally consider themselves as “human” anymore.
The 1st book sets up the series and gives you a strong desire to see these guys rise above all that is done to them and win in that all time struggle between Good and Evil. One thing you figure out is that everything isn’t black and white or good or evil.
When I started the book, The Storm that is Sterling, I had already fallen in love with Sterling. He is 100% my kind of Hero. He is cocky, dangerous and sexy too. His life has been hard. He has lost all of his family. His friends, the other GTECH Renegades, are all he has now and he will risk everything he is in the fight to keep Adam and his Zodius soldiers from trying to take over the world.
Rebecca is a strong independent woman who is used to handling all life gives her without burdening anyone else. She grew up with her Father and Brothers being in Special Forces in the military. After losing them she knows that she doesn’t ever want to feel the fear again that comes from being a wife or child of a soldier.
When Sterling and Rebecca come face to face in the beginning of the book they already have a history together. Since they had grown up in the same town, the leader of the Renegades Caleb sends Sterling to try to get Rebecca to help their cause. She is one of the only astrobiologist’s left in the world that might be able to come up with a cure for the people Adam is selling ICE to. The only problem is the night he finds her Adam attacks them at her house and Sterling is seriously injured. Adam wanting control over Rebecca forces her to take the drug or he will kill Sterling right in front of her. She’s knows that taking it, even one time will make her completely addicted to Ice and to miss even one dose will kill her. What she didn’t know is that the drug that is like a synthetic version of what made the GTECH soldiers also will cure her of the illness that is killing her.
I can say that this book by Lisa Renee Jones surprised me by the range of emotion I felt. I went from biting my nails suspense, to heart wrenching tears, from steam up the windows heat, to laughing so loud I woke my whole house up.  I will be anxiously waiting for the next Zodius book THE DANGER THAT IS DAMION.  As I wait, I plan on reading many more of her books.
LITERAL ADDICTION’s Guest Reviewer gives The Storm that is Sterling 5 skulls and would eagerly recommend the Zodius series to all Paranormal Romance fans or anyone who wants a great emotion filled, action packed read.
The Storm that is Sterling:


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Darkness Rising

Keri Arthur  author of the New York Times bestselling Riley Jenson, Guardian series, has now written more than 25 books. She's received several nominations in the Best Contemporary Paranormal category of the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Awards, and recently won RT's Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy. She lives in Melbourne with her daughter and two crazy dogs.
Darkness Rising, Book #2 of the Dark Angel series
Author:  Keri Arthur
SynopsisRisa will go to any lengths to avenge her mother’s murder—even if it means making a pact with the most evil vampire she’s ever met. Lethal and powerful, Madeline Hunter is leader of the vampire council, and will put her resources behind finding the killer—for a price. The venerable vampire requires the assistance of Risa’s psychic powers. Quid pro quo.

Someone—or something—is targeting the elders of the local council, cursing the immortal vampires to rapidly age, sink into madness, and die. Risa must track down the vengeful being responsible. But Risa’s father, a rogue Aedh priest, also enlists her in a dangerous mission. And not even the great Madeline Hunter may be able to protect her from the shadowy forces that desire nothing less than Risa’s destruction.
Our Review [by LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha – Michelle L Olson]: 
Keri grabbed me quick and hard with Darkness Unbound, Book #1 of the DARK ANGELS series and I boldly stated that I had found a new series to add to my top favorites.  Darkness Rising did not let me down as a follow-up installment and my statement for a new favorite series still stands…
Darkness Rising picks up where Darkness Unbound leaves off of course, with Risa’s emotions in turmoil, her ‘gifts’ in demand, and a need to see her quest to fruition, even if it means working with and for some unfavorable temporary allies and putting her trust in those closest to her to help her through.
The relationship between Azriel and Risa that was introduced in Darkness Unbound gets so much more tangible and complex in Darkness Rising, so much so that it has not only the reader wondering what is actually going on, but Risa and Azriel themselves.  Instead of hurtling two people together as so often happens in Paranormal Romances, we’ve gone through 2 books now with Azriel and Risa and their budding relationship – whatever that “relationship” may be.  What nobody can deny is the magnetic attraction and gut twisting emotion behind whatever is going on with them, and as a reader I’m LOVING the mystery and suspense of it all!
Darkness Rising was an intriguing, action packed, sexy, witty, suspenseful, emotional thrill ride set in a dark, dangerous, sensual, thrilling world, and I didn’t want it to end!
I was physically unable to control my facial expressions and vocal outbursts while reading this book, which for me, is a sign of a fantastic read (and I didn’t even care when I was being laughed at by the people around me). J 
Risa goes through so much in both of these books, but she’s such a strong female lead you know that she’ll come through…some how, some way.  I cried with her, I laughed with her, I wanted to slap several someones with her, I cheered her on, I wished for nothing more than for her to be able to rest… it was truly intense, and as always, beautifully written by the amazing Keri Arthur.
LITERAL ADDICTION Paranormal Book Club gives Darkness Rising 5 Skulls, and it is fully deserving of them.
Like its predecessor, we HIGHLY recommend Darkness Rising for everyone!  Keri Arthur fans will adore this series, but more than that, these books have EVERYTHING you want in a perfectly written Urban Fantasy.  They are dark, dangerous, intriguing, and suspenseful, yet sensual, titillating and gut wrenching enough to keep Paranormal Romance addicts happy as well. 
We definitely recommend reading Darkness Unbound before Darkness Rising to get the full incredible impact of the DARK ANGELS series!  And while it isn’t necessary to read the Riley Jenson, Guardian series first in order to understand and appreciate the Dark Angels series, the supporting characters and historical references (from a book/series standpoint) will mean so much more to you as a reader if you’ve experienced the lives of Risa’s family with them and understand the history of the different supernatural races. 
If you just don’t have time to read the Riley Jenson books first though, DO NOT let that stop you from reading Darkness Unbound and Darkness Rising.  These are incredible books and you’ll be sorry if you wait too long to devour them.
Darkness Rising: