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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: Forgotten

 

Forgotten
(The Deception Game #2)

Kristin Smith
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

The epic tale of Sienna Preston continues in this second installment of the exhilarating Deception Game series.

Seventeen-year-old Sienna is no stranger to heartache and loss. But this time, it’s different; someone―or something―has tampered with a loved one’s memories, and she’s determined to get answers.

The trail leads her to the glittering skyscrapers and modern luxuries of Rubex, the Capital of Pacifica, where she infiltrates the government’s Agency for Intelligence and Genetics. But answers are not always easy to come by, especially when her own memories may have been altered. Luckily, Zane Ryder is there to help her put the pieces back together, his devotion and concern muddying the waters between friendship and something more.

When Sienna gets too close to uncovering dark Agency secrets, she’s framed for the murder of a prominent government official, sending her on the run. Sienna’s heart may be torn about who she loves, but none of that really matters anymore―because the only thing that awaits her now is a death sentence.

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EXCERPT:

“How do you know so much about motorcycles? Did your dad ride?”

She laughs outright at my question. “My dad on a motorcycle? No way. Dad was a mixture of leather, coffee, and books. Not oil, sweat, and grease.”

After lying down on her back, she scoots up next to the bike, checking the rims and spokes to make sure there’s no damage. “It kind of became a hobby of mine after my dad died. Do you know the junkyard off Chantilly? Never mind, of course you don’t. Anyway, I found Harley there when I was looking for some old furniture to decorate our trailer with.” She looks up at me. “We didn’t always live in a trailer, you know.”

I try to hide my surprise. I assumed the opposite. “What happened?”

“After Dad died, Mom became sick. We couldn’t afford to live in our house in the suburbs anymore, so we sold it and everything in it, and found the trailer on the outskirts of town. That’s when I dropped out of school and started taking on odd jobs.”

She says it all with such a matter-of-fact tone, but I sense the truth. It was hard for her. It was more than any teenage girl should have to deal with. But she’s too strong to admit it.

“I don’t know how you did it,” I say.

She sits up, wiping her hands on her shorts. Unconsciously, I find my eyes shifting to her bare legs.

“I didn’t have a choice,” she says. She rises to her feet, straddles the bike, and bounces up and down a little. I can only assume she’s checking the chassis to make sure everything is working properly.

“Anyway,” she says. “When I found Harley, I took her home, researched antique motorcycles, and fixed her up. There’s a shop near the Hollow that sells parts, so that’s where I headed after I got my first paycheck.” She pats her bike fondly. “Never regretted it.”

I watch as she turns the key and the engine roars to life, bringing a brilliant smile to her face. I want to tell her all the ways I think she’s amazing, how she’s unlike any girl I’ve ever met, how I find her beautiful, resourceful, intelligent, and intriguing, but she doesn’t want to hear those things. Not from me anyway.

Ive never been a fan of shopping

Author Bio:

Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at kristinsmithbooks.com.

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And the only thing I can hold on to (1)He is a desert rogue

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Terrence

 

Terrence: A Short Story
(Under Ground, #0.8)

Alice Rachel
Publication date: May 15th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult, Romance

Bullying is nothing new to Terrence Young. The teasing and harassment are constant. His family is less than understanding as well. To them, Terrence chose to be gay and complicate their lives. Their little rejections sting and cut him deeply.

But when the Deviance Act is passed, Terrence’s life takes a turn for the worse overnight. Under the new law, a mere look, a simple touch, or a small kiss in public could mean death. Terrence attempts to hide his orientation to survive. That is until a gang attacks him in a bar and Chase Martinez interferes.

Chase is gorgeous, kind-hearted, and he’s a rebel in the Underground—all qualities that attract Terrence so much there is no stopping the fall. Loving Chase might be dangerous, but Terrence is done living in fear and letting others dictate what is right for him.

*The author pledges to donate 100% of sales revenue from “Terrence: A Short Story” to The Ally Coalition

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EXCERPT:

“So you decided you like girls now or something?” Gerald asked.

I gave him a double-take. “What?”

“Yeah, you’re gonna date girls now? Like, you’re straight or something? Or are you bi? Or what?”

“I never said I wasn’t straight.”

A laugh gurgled up from his throat, and it grew louder and louder until his narrow shoulders shook and he slapped his knees. “You’re funny, you know that?”

Yeah, real hilarious!

I narrowed my eyes, and he chuckled again. Then he shot to his feet so quick, he was standing in my face before I could move.

“I caught you checking out my ass more than once, man. Ain’t no need to pretend ’round me. You’re about as straight as a circle.”

My cheeks instantly got red, and I tried to hide them by pulling my hood down over my face. But Gerald took another step forward and slipped his hand through my light brown hair. His eyes followed the movement of his fingers, and the hood fell down on my neck.

“It’s too bad, you know. ‘Cause I like you. But if you’re sure you’re into girls now…Well…” He made a sad face, sticking his lower lip out like he was real disappointed.

 

Author Bio:

Alice Rachel is the author of the YA Forbidden Romance/ Dystopian Romance Series “Under Ground.”

Her time is divided between teaching French, writing, reading, drawing, and spending time with her hubby and guinea pigs.

Alice loves talking to readers, so send her a message…

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: July Thunder

 

July Thunder
(Bad Bloods #3)

by Shannon A. Thompson
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 10th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

From best-selling author Shannon A. Thompson comes an exciting new duology in the Bad Bloods universe.

Fourteen-year-old Violet has been called many things: a bad blood, a survivor, an immortal…now she has a new name–citizen. But adjusting to a lawful life is not easy, especially when she must live under the rule of the same officers who justified the killings of her flock only eight months earlier.

Segregation of bad bloods and humans is still in effect, and rebellious Violet steps into a school where she is not allowed. When the police get involved, things deteriorate quickly, sparking a new revolution at the wall separating the Highlands from the outskirts.

That’s when Caleb steps in. He might appear to be an average sixteen-year-old bad blood, but he has secrets, and Violet is determined to figure them out. Caleb knows who’s attacking the wall and why, but his true identity remains a mystery–and how he relates to Violet could shake the threatened city to its very core.

Together or not, a storm will form, a rally will start, and shocking truths will be revealed.

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EXCERPT:

While the Northern Flock had to be quiet to survive, the herd played music in order to live.

Caleb’s hand found mine. “Dance with me?” he asked, but I hated my answer.

“I can’t.” My confession came with my wrecked knee. With one gesture, Caleb seemed to understand, but as he turned his eyes to his herd—to Britney prancing around with Plato, to Kat covering her ears, to Yasir holding Hanna with his protective gloves between them—Caleb pulled me up to my feet.

“Let me do it for you,” he said, and then, he lifted me up and placed me on the tops of his boots.

As he swayed, I saw the sunburn on the tops of his cheeks, the sand in his hair, the sea salt on his skin. Then, his chapped lips as he managed a shaky smile. For once, Caleb looked disheveled, and I had never liked him more.

“That’s some crew you have,” he said, but I hadn’t noticed anyone else in the world around us until he spun.

Life-sized shadows—dozens of them—danced all around us, and I recognized their shapes as people I would always know. Blake and his teddy bear. Floyd’s stretched limbs, and Ami’s swinging braids. Even Adam’s speed.

Alive or dead, the shadows of every member of my own flock joined in on the dance of a herd, and my heart fluttered at the sight.

Losing control had never felt so great.

Neither had a storm descending down upon us.

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Author Bio:

Shannon A. Thompson is a young adult author, avid reader, and a habitual chatterbox.

As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat, Bogart, named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Her other two cats bring her coffee. Between writing and befriending cats, Thompson graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, and her work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies. Represented by Clean Teen Publishing, Thompson is the best-selling author of The Timely Death Trilogy and the Bad Bloods duology. When she is not writing, she is climbing rooftops, baking cookies, or watching murder shows in the middle of the night, often done with her cats by her side.

Visit her blog for writers and readers at http://www.ShannonAThompson.com.

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Release Day Blitz and Teasers: Something Blue

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SOMETHING BLUE– A DYSTOPIAN ROMANCE
FROM AUTHOR KRISTY NICOLLE
COMING APRIL 2017

SYNOPSIS

In the city of Monopolis, where happily ever after is just a scientific formula away, Valentine Morland has been waiting nine years for her day to come. Now it’s here, and she will marry the man of her dreams, a stranger to her, before being swept off to life of carefree luxury and bliss, courtesy of the Jigsaw Project. However, all is not as Valentine imagined as her new husband is quickly discovered as not the man of her dreams, but one who claims he isn’t capable of love at all. Harbouring an intense paranoia for the system, which upholds the very idealist fantasy that Valentine holds so dear, Clark threatens to throw her into a world, not of bliss, but of scary consequence where her every emotion is under scrutiny. Can it be that the scientific formula with a 99% success rate got it all wrong, or is everything in the world of Bliss Inc. more sinister than it seems?

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Perfect: Brilliant Covers, Genius Series

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Perfect (Flawed, #2)

Celestine North lives in a society that demands perfection. After she was branded Flawed by a morality court, Celestine’s life has completely fractured–all her freedoms gone.

Since Judge Crevan has declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with Carrick–the only person she can trust.

But Celestine has a secret–one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground. A secret that has already caused countless people to go missing.

Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save just herself or to risk her life to save all Flawed people.

And, most important of all, can she prove that to be human in itself is to be Flawed?

Flawed, Book 2
Dystopia / YA 

352 Pages
Feiwel & Friends/McMillan Children’s Publishing Group
Expected Publication Date:  April 4th, 2017
Preorder a copy here!

See my review of Flawed (Flawed #1) by clicking the cover below:

Flawed (Flawed, #1)

5Penguins
Quick Reasons: this series has RUINED me; life-ruiner; my poor penguin heart is still pitter-pattering; emotional, dramatic, and horrifying; the moral implications are just spot-on; whoever designed these covers is BRILLIANT; I need this duology on my physical shelves

Huge thanks to Cecelia Ahern, McMillan Children’s Publishing Group, and Netgalley for sending me a free digital ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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Okay, penguins…. can we just TALK ABOUT the choices the cover designer made for this series?! I mean seriously…these covers? Say SO MUCH about the story without really saying anything until you’ve read the books. For Flawed, we see Celestine from the mouth down. She is sort of bland, an unknown from the beginning–until she steps up and sparks a revolution. In Perfect…she IS the revolution, so we see her from the neck up. The colors also sort of play on this. She was perfect, “pure”…until she was found NOT to be. It’s just…. GAH, whoever designed these covers? Did a fan-fracking-tastic job of it.

 

And this book? The closure to this poignant, powerful, intense duology? Delivered a hundred percent what I’ve been hoping it would. There are SO MANY moral and societal implications explored throughout each of these reads, but this second book brings everything to a head and makes readers STOP, SIT DOWN, and THINK about what’s going on. It horrifies; it disgusts; it wrenches and tears in two every thought, every assumption, every feeling a reader could possibly be having at any point in the read. Everything is examined; everything is called into question, and then studied more, and then flipped on its head. And there was a LOT of head-flipping in this book; I think I gave myself whiplash trying to keep up with all the rapid changes and out-of-nowhere twists.

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This is an intense read, though. The moral implications, the examination and redefinition of “society”….there are some tough, mature themes happening throughout this book. There is abuse of power. Obsession. Determination to “hide” or “right” a mistake. There is judgment, segregation, and political motivation/power struggles. All of this comes together in a fast-paced, important revelation. The characters are strong-willed and head-strong, the plot is heavy and nonstop, and the ending…while perhaps a bit TOO tidy…a poignant powerbomb. I just… I am in awe, and need this duology on my bookshelves PRONTO.

 

Overall, my first and second foray into Cecelia Ahern proved some of the best decisions I’ve ever made. These books changed my outlook on a lot of things, and are so, SO important in the messages they carry. This is a series I am proud to have picked up and fallen in love with, and I definitely recommend it to lovers of dystopians, political agendas, and intense reads. Perfect is bound to brand you, penguins–grit your teeth and wear the mark with pride. I know I will.

3

November Snow: This Battle for Equality is Cold

 

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November Snow (Bad Bloods, #2)

When Daniel and Serena unite, their accidental relationship becomes the catalyst for a twelve-year war to continue. Exposing the twisted past of a corrupt city, Daniel, Serena, and everyone they know will come together to fight. But Serena has another battle.

After a political rumor threatens their lives, Serena must leave her family and join the political front against her will. To survive apart, Daniel has to separate his love from his hatred and join forces with his worst memory to secure Vendona’s war. But very few of them will survive to see the last day. Bad blood or human, a city will burn, snow will fall, and all will be united by catastrophic secrets and irrevocable tragedy.

Bad Bloods #2
Dystopian/Fantasy/Science Fiction
275 Pages
Clean Teen Publishing
Publication Date: September 19th, 2016
Get a copy here!

See my review for November Rain (Bad Bloods #1) HERE!

4.25Penguins
Quick Reasons: strong characters; fast-paced, heart-stopping action; the ending resolution seemed very quick; lots of societal and moral lessons; I found myself racing through the pages; suspenseful, thought-provoking, and heart-wrenching; I’m only sad so many characters were lost


Huge thanks to Shannon A. Thompson and Clean Teen Publishing for sending me a copy of this title free in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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I finished this sequel last night and just… Oh, my penguins, guys. I think if my heart continues cracking, I will be starting the new year with a bunch of pieces and shards. These characters leaped off the page in book one….but stole my heart away in this second half. Every character is individualized, unique, and given their own quirks and voices. Shannon A. Thompson put a lot of time and effort into making this cast of personalities–and their reactions to the world around them–wholly realistic and believable.

 

The plot is fast-paced and full of action. We start off right in the thick of things, and aren’t allowed to relax until the very end. Shannon A. Thompson knows how to write a heart-stopping scene–and she proves it, with several of the most intense action scenes I’ve read in recent months. I found myself holding my breath, clenching my fists, and hoping for things to just work out for the characters–even though I knew at least a few of them would be inevitably lost.

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I was a bit surprised at how quickly the resolution came, though. It seemed like a very large portion of this series was spent focusing on fighting back, taking a stand, and showing the world how wrong it was. For things to just magically, within a couple of pages, be “better” seemed a bit unbelievable for me as a reader. Sure, most of the people were probably hoping for just this resolution…but the resolution seemed TOO quick, TOO easy, for a book that was full of so much division and struggle.

 

Overall, this was a fast-paced, heart-wrenching, climactic read! The characters are realistic and believable in their actions/reactions, the plot is quick and full of action, and the ending is just a little bit on the “unbelievable” end for me personally. I definitely recommend this to lovers of dystopian fiction, strong characters, and a world filled with chaos and divisive thinking. I was swept right into the middle of this world–you should dive in, too!

6

Cover Reveal: Something Blue

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SOMETHING BLUE– A DYSTOPIAN ROMANCE
FROM AUTHOR KRISTY NICOLLE
COMING APRIL 2017

SYNOPSIS
In the city of Monopolis, where happily ever after is just a scientific formula away, Valentine Morland has been waiting nine years for her day to come. Now it’s here, and she will marry the man of her dreams, a stranger to her, before being swept off to life of carefree luxury and bliss, courtesy of the Jigsaw Project. However, all is not as Valentine imagined as her new husband is quickly discovered as not the man of her dreams, but one who claims he isn’t capable of love at all. Harbouring an intense paranoia for the system, which upholds the very idealist fantasy that Valentine holds so dear, Clark threatens to throw her into a world, not of bliss, but of scary consequence where her every emotion is under scrutiny. Can it be that the scientific formula with a 99% success rate got it all wrong, or is everything in the world of Bliss Inc. more sinister than it seems?


Can we just talk about how GORGEOUS this cover is?! I mean, this particular penguin isn’t big on fancy shoes–I have enough trouble controlling my waddle wobble as it is!–but this cover….there’s just something here that speaks to me.  Maybe it’s the colors.  Maybe it’s ALL THE BLING?!  Maybe I just love it because it’s preeeeeeeetty.  Whichever the answer, I’m super intrigued!


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Cover Reveal: Obsidian Sky

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Obsidian Sky (Dark Sky #3), by Amy Braun
Publication date: February 7th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult

The final struggle against the Hellions has arrived. A trapped
engineer and a desperate marauder scramble to fight an enemy with unspeakable
power on its side. Time is running out, and one world will be destroyed…

After sacrificing herself to save the lives of her friends and family, Claire Abernathy
struggles to outwit her Hellion captors. They torment and terrify her into working on a
weapon with the sole purpose of obliterating the world, friends, and love she has
struggled to save. If Claire has any chance of saving those she loves, she must delve
deeper into the Hellion world, and witness nightmares she could never imagine.

In Westraven, Sawyer Kendric is desperate to find the woman he loves. To do so,
he must finally embrace his family’s atrocious past and heal the wounds it has caused.
He will be forced to make new allies, uncover secrets that change all he knows, and find
the courage to lead a ragtag crew into the darkest, deadliest battle of their lives.

Claire and Sawyer fight to save their broken world in the final installment of the epic
DARK SKY trilogy.

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Previous books in the series:

Image result for dark sky series amy braun Image result for dark sky series amy braun Image result for dark sky series amy braun Image result for dark sky series amy braun

 

 

amyAuthor Bio:

Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around
monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and
never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense
action. She is the recipient of April Moon Books Editor Award for “author voice, worldbuilding
and general bad-assery,” and the One Book Two Standout Award in 2015 for
her Cursed trilogy. She has been featured on various author blogs and publishing
websites, and is an active member of the Writing GIAM and Weekend Writing Warrior
communities. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos,
gaming, and struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction.

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Release Day Blitz: Chameleon Assassin

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Book Title: Chameleon Assassin
Author Name: B.R. Kingsolver
Genre: Urban Fantasy, science fiction, post-apocalyptic dystopian
Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours

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Blurb:

Libby is a mutant, one of the top burglars and assassins in the world. For a price, she caters to executives’ secret desires. Eliminate your corporate rival? Deliver a priceless art masterpiece or necklace? Hack into another corporation’s network? Libby’s your girl.

Climate change met nuclear war, and humanity lost. The corporations stepped in, stripping governments of power. Civilization didn’t end, but it became less civilized.

There are few rules as corporations jockey for position and control of assets and markets. The corporate elite live in their walled estates and skyscraper apartments while the majority of humanity supplies their luxuries. On the bottom level, the mutants, the poor, and the criminals scramble every day just to survive.

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↓Buy Links↓

Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/gp/produc
t/B01N2NVWP5

B.R. Kingsolver.jpg
Author Bio:
I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a
master’s in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, a teacher, and
somehow found a career working with computers.
As to my other interests, I love the outdoors, especially the Rocky Mountains. I’ve skied since high
school, with one broken leg and one torn ACL to show for it. I’ve hiked and camped all my life. I love
to travel, though I haven’t done enough of it. I’ve seen a lot of Russia and Mexico, not enough of
England. Amsterdam is amazing, and the Romanian Alps are breathtaking. Lake Tahoe is a favorite, and someday I’d like to see Banff.

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8

Blog Tour, Press Release, Spotlight and Review: Smoke Sky

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The DARK SKY Series:

Amber Sky (#0.25) — See my review HERE!
Smoke Sky (#0.5) — Review to follow below
Crimson Sky (#1) — See my review HERE!
Midnight Sky (#2) — See my review HERE!


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SMOKE SKY is the second prequel novella preceding the adventurous steampunk horror tale CRIMSON SKY and centering around a young thief named Gemma––not yet a member of the Dauntless Wanderer crew––as she was forced to choose between freedom from a twisted family, and forsaking the only people who have ever shown her kindness…

Buy it here:
Kindle | Kobo | Smashwords | Goodreads

To survive in a horrific world overseen by bloodthirsty monsters, young thief Gemma will do whatever she must to see another day. Even though that means working for a damaged man convinced to make her a permanent member of this thuggish family.

So when her employer tells her that he’ll release her from his clutches, Gemma is obviously skeptical. Especially since the job is easy enough– recruit the two marauders that the gang has been spying on to take her place.

But as Gemma lies to Nash and Sawyer, she commits the greatest mistake a spy can make–– she begins to see them as friends, and perhaps more. Soon, she will have to choose: Sacrifice two strangers to ensure freedom from a brutal future, or risk her life
to save them…

Set two years before the events of CRIMSON SKY, this prequel novella tells the story of how Gemma met Nash and Sawyer, and what prompted her to chose their safety over her own. While best enjoyed before reading CRIMSON SKY, this bonus story can be read at any time or enjoyed as a standalone.

Press Release:

SMOKE SKY is set two years before the first novel in the DARK SKY series, CRIMSON SKY, and takes place shortly after Captain Sawyer Kendric and his first mate Nash meet AMBER SKY. The story is told from the perspective of Gemma, the future master gunner and rigger of the Dauntless Wanderer. Before she became a marauder, Gemma was a thief working for a sadistic and morally damaged man named Fletcher, who formed a “family” with three young men named Boyd, Tyler, and Morris. She longs to escape their horrible plans for her future, but to do so, she must take one last job: Trade her life for the lives of two young marauders named Sawyer and Nash to take her place in their family. But when
Gemma integrates with them, she realizes they are good men and develops strong feelings for them, especially charming, kind-hearted Nash. Soon she is torn between sacrificing her freedom, and her morals and sanity.

Of all the novellas I’ve written to date, Smoke Sky is one of my favorites. Gemma and Nash have a relationship that I love––they are two characters who could hardly be more opposite, but who fit together so beautifully––and I couldn’t let their story go untold. This is likely the most romantic story in the Dark Sky series and features one of my favorite romance moments, so I hope a lot of readers enjoy it.

Gemma’s past is hinted at in Crimson Sky when Gemma has a conversation with the main series heroine, Claire Abernathy, but at the time, it was something I just threw in there for context. I didn’t really plan anything beyond moving Crimson Sky forward. But when I decided I wanted to do some novellas, I thought it would only make sense to go back to that moment when she was explaining pieces of her past to Claire, and extrapolate from there.

I started Smoke Sky shortly after completing its predecessor, Amber Sky. Because it’s so short, less than 40,000 words, I decided to write it as an ebook only, though it will be included in the Dark Sky Box Set releasing in April 2017. The whole story was a lot of fun to write, but I have to say that my favorite part was building the relationship between Gemma and Nash. Their personalities are so contrasting––she’s brash and fiery, he’s gentler and relaxed––that it was fun just to have them flirt and grow close to each other, while Sawyer grudgingly accepts that he enjoys the challenge of her company, as she’s not afraid to challenge him.

After hard weeks of writing, editing, and gushing over the cover created by Deranged Doctor Design, I worked on setting up my own promotions with Google Forms and contacted book reviewers, bloggers, and bookstagrammers who have helped me with previous releases. They are all fantastic, friendly, wonderful people, and if they’re taking the time to read this, know that I appreciate all your hard work more than I can say.

Though I’m very happy to have the release of Smoke Sky––one of my favorite written novellas to date–– out in the world, I’m eager to get back to working on the final novel in the Dark Sky series, Obsidian Sky. I love hearing feedback from everyone I work with (I really couldn’t have done it without you) and everyone I share my books with, and would love to hear thoughts on this novella and upcoming work.


Q & A: Amy Braun and Smoke Sky– MINOR SPOILERS BELOW.

Q: What inspired you to write Smoke Sky and two prequel novellas?
A: Gemma is one of those characters who you know has a story to tell as soon as you meet her in Crimson Sky. What pushed her to become a thief? Why is she so fiercely attached to Nash? Is it just her personality that causes her to clash with Sawyer more often than not? I love Gemma––she’s exactly the kind of heroine I like reading about and after mentioning a snippet of her story in Crimson Sky, I knew I had to find out more about her. As with Nash, I wanted to tell her story and learn more about the world of Westraven and Aon. I just had no idea that there would be so much to tell!

Q: Why did you choose to tell the story from Gemma’s perspective?
A: For a thief, Gemma is a noticeable character. She’s not quiet and not afraid to speak her mind to anyone challenging her––including her captain. Since I love writing characters who snark and question authority as much as they breathe, it was really a no-brainer to tell the story in her own sarcastic, quickwitted words. Plus, delving into the true depth of the emotions she feels for Nash, feelings she never considered she might have, add another layer to her character and give her an almost vulnerable appeal, something Gemma would never let show if she could avoid it.

Q: Which was more challenging to write: Amber Sky or Smoke Sky?
A: Both of them had their challenges, but if I had to choose, I would say Smoke Sky was harder. There were more settings to construct, a more complex challenge for the characters to overcome, and more world building to do. I also had to answer certain questions about the Dauntless Wanderer and how it was able to be transported to its final location, which was no easy feat. But I also think that because of those challenges the story is stronger. Don’t get me wrong––I love and am very proud of Amber Sky, but there’s more going on in Smoke Sky and that makes it engaging and exciting.

Q: Gemma’s relationship with Nash and Sawyer are vastly different. Which did you enjoy writing more?
A: While I had a great time pitting Gemma against Sawyer and loved writing their barbs and teasing, I liked writing the moments between Gemma and Nash more. I’m a sucker for sweet romances, and Nash is nothing if not a teddy bear. Considering I wanted to tie in events from Amber Sky with Smoke Sky, I thought their scenes flowed wonderfully. Nash is smitten early on but Gemma is a little more hesitant, and watching her test those barriers between them was amazing. There is one particular scene in the middle of the novella that I’m very proud of and sums up their relationship tenderly and beautifully, so I look forward to hearing feedback from readers and reviewers on it.

Q: What can you tell us about the final novel in the Dark Sky series?
A: Obsidian Sky will be the last of the last in the Dark Sky books. I’m currently editing it, and it will be slated for release on February 7, 2017, with a cover reveal happening January 2. The story is told from both Sawyer and Claire’s perspectives, will be full of action, and will vastly expand the world by going way beyond the borders of Westraven. I have some surprises and a lot of excitement planned for this final book, and couldn’t be more excited to share it. I’ll be doing a lot of promotions around social media and my website, but newsletter subscribers will get first peeks at the cover and notifications on the big giveaway I’ll be doing. I can’t wait to share it with you all!

Amy BraunAmy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action. She is the recipient of April Moon Books Editor Award for “author voice, world-building and general bad-assery,” and the One Book Two Standout Award in 2015 for her Cursed trilogy. She has been featured on various author blogs and publishing websites, and is an active member of the Writing GIAM and Weekend Writing Warrior communities. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, and struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction.

Her short stories published by independent houses like Mocha Memoirs Press and April Moon Books, and she has independently published a collection of standalone and series novels including Storm Born, Path of the Horseman, and the Cursed and Dark Sky series. Many of her short stories have been featured in anthologies such as Amok!, Avast, Ye Airships!, and That Hoodoo, Voodoo, That You Do, and Stomping Grounds.

More From Amy Braun
CURSED
DEMON’S DAUGHTER | DARK DIVINITY | DAMNATION’S DOOR | TRILOGY BOX SET

DARK SKY
CRIMSON SKY | MIDNIGHT SKY | AMBER SKY

ENGINEERED DECEIT (In GHOSTS GEARS
AND GRIMOIRES)

STANDALONE NOVELS AND NOVELLAS
STORM BORN
PATH OF THE HORSEMAN
NEEDFIRE

Social Media Links
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon


bookreview

4Penguins
Quick Reasons: awesome action/adventure; Gemma is so snarky and strong-willed, I adore her; YAY to the Sawyer and Nash I fell in love with in Crimson Sky; fast-paced, quick read that starts you off in the middle of the action; I really enjoyed this novella

Huge thanks to Amy Braun for sending me a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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So I’m sure you all remember, I read a different novella from this world– Amber Sky –several months back, and felt overall disappointed in it. I am super excited to say, THIS novella?! set me back on track with this world, and made me fall back in love with Amy Braun.

These are much closer to the characters I grew to know and fall in love with in the two full novels in this series so far. In fact, this novella helped me fall back in love with Nash and Sawyer–their snark, their gentle caring, pretty much their everything shines through so beautifully in this read. Gemma, also, came to life for me–her snark and strong-willed character permeated every page. I really enjoyed watching her react to and change from the shift in the people she surrounded herself with. She makes some admittedly poor decisions…but she carries herself with such sass and strength, I found myself giggling through several very tense moments. Her inner voice is unique and well-crafted; I felt like I was literally seeing through her eyes.

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The plot is fast-paced and full of action and adventure. There are plenty of fight scenes, heart-pounding moments, and Hellion battles. While there are still missing words, missing letters, and weirdly written sentences, I was so captivated by the story being woven around me that I was able to ignore the majority of these–they in no way hindered or slowed my reading progress. Amy Braun knows how to write detailed, finely-oiled action…and she did beautifully in this novella, holding me hostage until the very end. While this IS part of a larger arc, this can be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone–so if you’re not sure you’re ready to commit to such a wide-arcing story, maybe consider picking this up and getting a taste of the world first?

I am LOVING this series, and cannot wait for the third full-length novel to be released. I mean, it helps that these covers are SO super stunning–the steampunk theme is carried into the world-building. And who could possibly say no to pirates vs. vampires?! That’s such a tempting pairing, I can’t imagine any reader who’d snub their noses at these reads. I definitely recommend to lovers of science fiction/fantasy, steampunk, and creeptastic vampire/mosquito hybrids. Trust me–these books are a blast!