Harlie here: I read all four books. Yes, all four and I admit that I don’t read fantasy. I will briefly give my impression of each book below. Overall, I really enjoyed the series. Grant is like James Bond/Peter Quill/Indiana Jones all rolled into one character. I loved that books have an overall arc to them. Each stands alone (somewhat) but it is best to read in order. If you are looking for romance, stop. There are like two women in the whole series that have anything substantial to do or say in the book (other than being underused secondary characters). That said, I fall in love with Grant. He’s a good guy that is mixed up in some weird stuff that had this reader entranced and thrilled. There are plenty of thrills, adventures, and humor to keep you reading. Oh yes, I couldn’t put the series down. I HAD to know what was going to happen next and you will, too.
The Unlikely Spy (Adventures of Grant Scotland, Volume One)
The Adventures of Grant Scotland series is an entertaining mix of fantasy, mystery and espionage featuring a hero whose many faults provide almost as much challenge to him as the formidable obstacles he must face as he attempts to impose sanity upon a world rapidly descending into chaos. Collected in this volume are the first three books in the series: Spy for a Dead Empire, Spy for a Troubled King and Spy for a Wayward Daughter.
Spy for a Dead Empire (Adventures of Grant Scotland, Book One)
AELFA, THE GRAND CAPITAL of the once mighty Aelfan Empire, has fallen. Barbarian war parties and nomadic tribes harass the retreating and broken legions that once overawed them. All that stands against them now is the city of Zyren, the last bastion of Aelfan rule.
Acting as a spy for Zyren is Grant Scotland, a man leading a double life because his own had been taken away from him by the very people he serves. An unwilling recruit into the business of clandestine missions and deceit, he searches for anything real to cling to as the world around him devolves into insanity. And when an old friend shows up asking him to help save his family by delivering a mysterious book to a shadowy figure, Grant’s two lives collide and he is thrust into an even stranger world than he had known; one where ancient magic is wielded by deadly players who compete against one another for a prize greater than simply the rotting carcass of a dead empire.
Like I said above, the reviews now will be my overall impressions of each book. I loved Grant. At times, I felt like he just wanted to chuck it all and just forget about what he needed to do. He had been betrayed and I could definitely see him doing that but not Grant. He’s a good guy with an even bigger heart and knew that he had to finish what was started. I will caution you though, the book has lots of world building and back story. At times I felt like Mr. McClure could have spread out Grant’s back story through the series but that’s just me. Overall, I really liked the set up of Grant Scotland. 😉
Spy for a Troubled King (Adventures of Grant Scotland, Book Two)
AMONG THE ASHES of the mighty Aelfan Empire, the House of Gregyan seeks to forge a new kingdom—one where both Huthan and Aelfan alike can prosper. But old prejudices and ancient traditions and an exiled enemy threaten the peace. Caught between compassion for his home and allegiance to his fallen empire, Grant Scotland finds himself trapped in the turbulent machinations of enemies and friends. As he works to uncover mysteries about his father’s treachery and confront new threats to his future, he moves perilously close to revealing his identity and losing everything.
Spy work is never done for Grant. In this installment, he gets beat up, the secondary characters take hold and the political intrigue is ratcheted up a couple of notches. The book never stops. I swear I needed a nap after reading it. I was spent, excited and tired. Tired? Oh yes, this series is like the medieval version of a James Bond movie and/or Indiana Jones, with the dry sense of humor. This installment is grittier, rawer than the first one. Very noir. Loved it.
Spy for a Wayward Daughter (Adventures of Grant Scotland, Book Three)
AS THE GREGYANS MARCH TO WAR and his handler takes a trip to Zyren, Grant Scotland, spy errant of the Aelfan Empire, gets ready to pursue a lead on finding a man who might be able to tell him the truth about his father’s treason. Old friends, new enemies and hidden dangers soon confront him on his quest, but when he enters the dark world of another family’s intrigue, he finds that not even the frontiers of the Aelfan Empire are far enough away to escape the dangers of fortune and fate.
Okay, this book is a bit slower than the second. I could actually catch my breath. Grant doesn’t have much harm coming to him and he just keeps on spying while trying to figure out about dear old dad. Again…you just have to read the books. There is adventure, intrigue, a main character that I fell in love with, enough dry humor to keep you going, and the fantasy element? I’m there and I don’t read the genre. 🙂
Spy for a Greedy Villain (Adventures of Grant Scotland, Book Four)
RACIAL TENSIONS IN AELFA simmer and threaten to boil over when the harbormaster is found dead and the Huthan oppressors threaten to crack down in the Lower Docks. As Grant Scotland finds more questions than answers in the journals of Berthul Magnussen about his father’s treachery, he is drawn into a murder investigation, a kidnapping plot and the nefarious machinations of the city’s biggest crime lord—Mr. Quinn. In order to stop Quinn’s plans and save the city from being thrown into open revolt, Grant prepares to take his biggest gamble yet.
Okay. Caught my breath…finally. This installment is much slower that all the previous ones. Now we are dealing with murder and a crime lord…fantasy style. Oooo, this one had to be my favorite. I liked how Mr. McClure is finally putting all the pieces of the puzzle together now. Like I said above, there is an overall plot arc to the series and I’m beginning to see the bigger picture. Again, fantasy is not my thing but I will keep reading about Grant Scotland until the end and be sad when that happens.
Spy for a Dead Empire (Adventures of Grant Scotland, Book One)
Everything that ever happened to me since I was a kid played out in my mind and I was eagerly explaining every moment and why it was important to the foot of the table near my head as I regained consciousness. Unfortunately, my mouth wasn’t cooperating, so I’m fairly sure the only sound that came out was “Mmurfermumf?” The foot of the table had no response. I didn’t blame it. I’m the same way. I get embarrassed when I’m around people who talk about themselves too much, too.
I tried to get my hands up under me and push to get up, but I didn’t even get half of that done before I decided to knock off and maybe try again tomorrow. My head felt like a lead weight and a constant ringing was filling my ears. After a few minutes passed I decided I could maybe twist around a bit and get on my back, which I managed to do with all the speed of a garden slug.
My vision was slowly clearing and sharpening and I could tell I was in a dark room somewhere with dim light coming from partially shuttered windows. Suddenly I remembered the horse and the rain and the door and looked around quickly to see if my assailant was nearby.
I deeply regretted that action as blood roared in my ears and a wave of nausea almost overwhelmed me. I choked and screwed my eyes shut and stayed perfectly still and after a time I was able to breathe and open my eyes again. Good thing whoever hit me wasn’t still around. If they were, I’d have given them what for by throwing up all over their shoes.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Writing stories infused with the smoky charisma of classic film noir mixed with the pulse-pounding excitement of adventure fantasy and the cagey class of suspenseful espionage, Dan McClure brought the best parts of all of our most cherished pulp together and added his own signature brand of wit. He currently lives, writes and works in and around beautiful and historic Arlington, Massachusetts.
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Buy Link: Amazon – See below for sale dates on the books
Title: Time War
Author: Amanda Kay
Genre: Young Adult, Time Travel Romance
Published: January 17, 2017
**The First Time Travel Book From Amanda Kay**
**Suitable for 15+ with parental approval as the book does contain some language**
What if you could travel back in time?
What if you met the love of your life in the past?
December 20, 1961
Well, I am officially heading to Vietnam. I’ll leave for basic in just a few weeks and then it’s off to another world. My mom cried when I chose to enlist. It’s not the most popular decision in some places, but other places aren’t my little town. Here, I’m a hero. Here, I stand for something. My only wish is that I get to see her before I leave. It’s weird, I’ve described her to everyone but no one knows who she is. To me, she’s mine, but I know there is a story she’s not yet ready to tell me. I’m glad she’s in my life, though, because she’s gotten me through some rough times. Well, that’s my story today. KJ
When Willow Davidson is suddenly uprooted from her big city life and tossed into a small town, she struggles to find where she belongs. That is until she finds his journal and suddenly, finds herself in the past. 1958 to be exact. It’s there in the past that she meets Keagan. He’s handsome and funny. He captures her heart, but they are fighting an uphill battle. She’s from the present and he’s from the past, but the time war they face doesn’t stop her from falling in love.
It had been two weeks since we moved into our new house. I still didn’t know anyone. Mom and Dad said that was because I spent my days sulking; maybe they were right. I was sitting in my room looking around, when I realized I had barely left this room since we got here.
“You’ll never make friends this way,” I scolded myself.
I decided it was time to mingle. I walked downstairs and outside at the same time as my neighbor. She looked about my age, so I walked toward her driveway. “Hey,” I called.
She looked my way and waved, “Hi.” I smiled at the return greeting.
“I’m Willow,” I called, not as loud since I was now closer to her house.
“Lydia,” she replied. A car came speeding down the road, stopping in front of her house. “Got to go,” she waved before jumping into the car.
I sighed as I watched it speed away. “That went well,” I mumbled, returning to my house and my room. This was bullshit. I wanted to go back to my old city.
Sitting on the bed, I debated calling my Aunt Kari. Surely, I could live with her. Then I could attend my high school, with my friends. I absently looked around my new room. It was a nice setup, much like my old room, but it wasn’t my old room. A loose floorboard caught my eye.
“Great, the house is broken,” I chuckled, leave it to my parents to buy a house without looking at it up close. I got up and walked over to the loose board. If I pulled it up, I could show Mom and Dad how wrong this house is.
Under the floorboard was an old leather book. I pulled it out, Property of KJ. Sitting on the floor, I opened it. Who was this KJ? July 22, 1958 Well, it’s official, high school begins in September. I’m not looking forward to it at all. I really couldn’t tell you why either. I’m fifteen and nothing about this life excites me anymore. I’m not really living. Isn’t life supposed to have a purpose? I’m not sure what mine is. That’s my story today, KJ
I sighed, I knew what this KJ felt like. What is my purpose in life? Before the move, it was friends and boys. Makeup and clothes. Malls and movies. Now, I wasn’t sure. Closing the journal, I carried it over to the bedside table. Maybe a nap would help.
I only closed my eyes for a minute, but when I woke, it was late afternoon. Damn, I didn’t want to take a nap. I walked downstairs, the house was quiet. “Mom, Dad.” They didn’t answer. I glanced out the window and their car was gone.
Oh well, I walked out the back door, anxious to explore the area around the house. I walked down the pathway and noticed a pond, but my parents had mentioned that. What caught my eye about the pond was the guy sitting on the edge of the pond.
“Hello,” I called out freezing my steps as he turned around to face me. He frowned and I wasn’t sure why.
“Hi,” he called back and I walked toward him. He looked around my age, which I thought was nice. At least I’d make a friend.
“What are you doing on my property?” I asked, not sure why that tumbled out of my mouth first. Smooth, Willow. Bite the guy’s head off.
He frowned more and scratched his head, “Last I checked, it was mine and I don’t have a sister.” It was my turn to frown. His?
I looked around and tried to think of a response. “KJ?” I questioned barely above a whisper. It was likely that he didn’t hear me.
“That’s what my friends call me. I’m Keagan,” he smiled.
“Willow,” I rasped. Where was I? What year was it? “What year is it?” He stared at me and then broke into a roaring laugh. I felt so stupid.
“1958, same as it’s been for seven months.” He was still laughing hard so his words were breathless.
“Oh God,” I gasped and his laughing stopped. When I chanced looking his way again, he was staring at me with concern. His green eyes searing my heart.
“You’re not from around here, are you?” How did I answer that question?
“I’m new in town,” I muttered quickly.
“And somehow, my property became yours?” He smirked.
“It’s complicated,” I dismissed. How the hell did I end up in 1958?
“Well, it’s a story I’ll look forward to,” he smiled.
“One day,” I said softly. He continued to smile at me and then he patted the ground next to him.
“So, Willow, how old are you?” I laughed at the simplicity of his question. This felt unreal.
“Fifteen and you?”
“Fifteen.” I nodded and he took my hand, “You’ll be going to St. Paul, right?”
I swallowed, “I will.” It was an honest answer, right? That was the school I would be attending but not until 2016. God, what the hell was this?
“That’s cool.” He smiled as he took my hand. My heart stuttered and began to hammer in my chest. I ran my other hand through my hair. “I won’t bite, Willow,” he whispered.
“Maybe I will,” I shot back, hoping to calm myself down with some banter.
He laughed again, “I doubt that.” He dropped my hand casually and I was able to exhale.
“I should be going,” I muttered, quickly standing.
“Yeah, okay.” He sounded sad and suddenly I felt guilty.
“Are you okay?” I asked, looking down at him.
“I don’t really want to talk about it,” he dismissed.
“I understand.” He smiled at me again and I smiled back before turning to walk away.
“Will I see you again?” he called after me.
Would he? “Maybe I’ll visit in your dreams,” I chuckled.
“I’ll wait for you there,” he answered and my heart raced again.
“Bye, Keagan.” I waved and then trotted off quickly. I could feel his eyes on me, so I went around to the front of the house before entering. Racing to my room, I scooped up his journal and flipped through the pages. The blank pages.
I am a Paranormal/Fantasy Adult and YA Romance Author
(M/F, F/F, & F/F/M stories)
I am a Florida girl at heart, but since getting married I have lived in Washington, South Carolina, and our latest move Connecticut. I hold a B.A. in Multimedia Journalism with a minor in Political Science from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.
Writing is something I love and since I am blessed to be a stay at home mom I thought I would try my hand at getting the stories in my head out and see how far I could go. I tried a few years ago to go through a Literary Agency, but it went nowhere. The self-publishing market was just starting to get hot so I self-published two books mainly for family and friends. I then discovered the world of New Adult. I wanted to stick with my paranormal roots and began thinking up story ideas that took on not only a paranormal element, but a fantasy element as well.
So, that is me in a nutshell. I am a little crazy and simple and I love my life and my family.