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Blog Tour, Excerpt, Giveaway, and Review: Capturing the Captain

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Capturing The Captain (American Pirate Romances Book 1)Capturing the Captain (America Pirate Romance #1)
by C.K. Brooke
Genre: Adult Historical Adventure Romance
Release Date: April 26th 2016
Limitless Publishing
Summary from Goodreads:
In 1720, it’s a pirate’s life for Abigail Clear, daughter of a notorious colonial pirate captain…

But when a rival crew invades Abigail’s ship, she is taken prisoner. Now aboard the enemy vessel, she must contend with its formidable captain. But who is the real captive?

Locked away in the belly of The Indomitable is no place for a woman…

Captain James Morrow is more than displeased to discover his sole captive to be none other than an untamable young lass who will earn him no bounty. Yet if he can soften the little rogue, she just might switch her loyalties to him, and reveal the whereabouts of the infamous thief who sired her—and his stolen treasure. But two can play that game, as Abi is equally inclined to charm the dogged sailor off her father’s tail.

Might she and Captain Morrow run the risk of falling for their own charades?

They dance about their disguises as genuine developing emotions clash against deeper motives, and suspicion runs high. When the captain finally steals a first kiss, Abi decides it’s high time to make her escape—fleeing not only his vessel, but her fondness for the man who intends to see her father hang.

The high seas heat up as Captain Morrow’s quest to recapture Abi is halted by her pirate father, Captain Clear. Will James succeed in pursuit of his captive love, or will his desires conspire to make him a captive himself?

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Buy Links
Excerpt:

“Well, don’t just stand there, gaping like a codfish,” snapped the captain, the corner of his mouth twitching. “I want my decks shining by noon.”

If Abi had been gaping before, now her jaw truly dropped. “You want me to wash your decks?”

Morrow stepped in. Nearby, more sailors looked up from their labor to watch. “Scrub it spotless,” he growled.

Abi rested her hands on her hips. “I’m no one’s swabber. I did no such task on my father’s ship, and I sure as hell ain’t doing it on yours.” She shook her head. “Clean an enemy vessel,” she scoffed, turning back.

A large, cool hand gripped her arm, just above her elbow. Abi had to stop. “Excuse me.” The captain reeled her in, speaking under his breath. “But do ye notice anyone absent here? None of my crew is above maintaining the cleanliness and orderliness I expect. Least of all, you. Pirate.”

Abi knew he must have meant it as an insult, the way he spat the last word. And yet, her pride couldn’t help but inflate. “You’re right.” She looked him square in the eye. “I am a pirate. Which means I’m not part of your crew.” She whipped her arm out of his hold. “And I don’t have to answer to you.”

About the Author
ck brookeC.K. Brooke is a 2015 Shelf Unbound Notable Indie author with a five-star rating by Readers’ Favorite. She holds numerous fantasy and romance publications with 48fourteen, Limitless Publishing, and Elphame Press. Her lifelong passion is books – reading, writing, editing, publishing and blogging about them. When not blissing out in literary land, she enjoys info-tainment podcasts, singing, songwriting and playing the piano. She lives
in Washington, Michigan with her husband and young son. There’s tons to check out at the new CKBrooke.com, so come and see what she’s up to! Check out her V.I.P. Readers Club (Subscribers get a free eBook!)
Author Links:
Giveaway
Subscribe to the author’s newsletter (www.ckbrooke.com/vipclub) and get a free eBook!

bookreview

4.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: well-crafted, gorgeously-written historical fiction; pirates! because who doesn’t love pirates?; complex, intriguing, well-rounded characters; action and adventure; forbidden/star-crossed lovers; C.K. Brooke has captivated me once again

Huge thanks to C.K. Brooke, Limitless Publishing LLC, and YA Bound Book Tours 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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I would wax poetic about how much I adore C.K. Brooke and her mastery of the written word…but I feel like I do that every time I review a book from her, and you guys have GOT to have gotten the point by now, right? If you haven’t picked up a book from this author, I just… WHY NOT?! Go do it. Seriously, she knows how to write characters, her plots are always complex and action-packed, and I swear you are bound to fall in love with everything she writes. I know I have, and continue to do so.

That being said–this book managed nothing less than I was expecting. When I first discovered this book tour, I was super excited. I mean, why wouldn’t I be–there are pirates, and a love arc, and adventure, and… WHO could say no to all the awesome that this book’s blurb promises? I certainly couldn’t–and I wasn’t disappointed in any way. Abi is exactly the sort of strong-willed, powerfully independent woman I was hoping for going into this read. Her interactions with and reactions to the rest of the characters that come gallivanting along were realistic and, at times, super entertaining. There were so many moments I found myself awing over her level-headed fierceness, and wishing I could be friends with her in the real world. Seriously, the girl is a tiger–I could learn a lot from her.

As always, the plot was engaging and action-packed. C.K. Brooke has a mastery over weaving complex, exciting adventures that will leave you on the edge of your seat, thirsting for more. She also knows how to write realistic, believable romances into the mix–and how to do so subtly, with a focus on relationship growth that not many authors think about while writing. I adore how easy C.K. Brooke makes reading her books seem–the pages fly by me seemingly without a breath, keeping me enthralled and pushing forward without realizing the passage of time. Seriously, once I dive into one of C.K. Brooke’s novels, I lose track of everything–except what’s happening in the book.

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As always, this was another adventure-packed, complex read from an author high on my favorites list. The characters are realistically-written and entertaining; the prose is authentic to the time period; and the journey is fast-paced and, at times, heart-wrenching. I definitely recommend this title to readers of pirates, historical fiction, and star-crossed lovers. C.K. Brooke wields her words like a pistol; perhaps you should take a bullet and let her set your reading world aflame.

Blog Tour Organized by:
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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.

Add to Goodreads

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.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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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!

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Blog Tour, Teasers, Giveaway and Review: Amber Sky

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AMBER SKY is the first prequel novella preceding the adventurous steampunk horror tale CRIMSON SKY, and tells the story of Nash before he joined the Dauntless Wanderer when his only means of survival was to fight to the death, and how he was forced to make a choice that would change his life forever…

Buy it here: Kindle | Kobo | iTunes | Smashwords | Goodreads

Press-ganged into servitude by a ruthless band of marauders who survived the devastating Storm, Nash has grown tired of his career– the young, undefeated champion of the Stray Dog fighting pits. All he longs for is a place to live where his family is not his enemy.

When his captain gives him an assignment to embed him deeper into the crew, Nash attempts to refuse, until the life of his friend is threatened. Determined to save her, Nash embarks on the mission to subjugate and control a supplier. But the supplier has other clients, one of which could be the son of the most feared pirate captain in all of Westraven.

And if Nash plays his cards right, the key to his deeply desired freedom, if he can live with the consequences of his choice…

Set two years before the events of CRIMSON SKY, this prequel novella tells the story of how Nash and Sawyer crossed paths– and fists. While best enjoyed before reading CRIMSON SKY, this bonus story can be read at any time or enjoyed as a standalone.

About the Author:

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, 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.

Social Media Links

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

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HALLOWEEN THEMED GIVEAWAY!

Click above if you’re interested in being entered to win:  One Ebook of AMBER SKY, One Paperback Copy of THAT HOODOO, VOODOO, THAT YOU DO, and Swag!

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3Penguins
Quick Reasons: I agree, this should be read BEFORE Crimson Sky; love the glimpse into Nash’s past, and how his relationship with Sawyer was forged; the characters felt a bit stiff at times; this wasn’t quite as engaging a read as the full-length novels have been; a good dose of sass, a good amount of action

HUGE thanks to Amy Braun for sending me a copy of this novella 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 feel…a bit let down by this novella, unfortunately. I’ve had the opportunity to read both full-length novels in this series so far, and LOVED them to pieces–but this one fell a bit flat, in my opinion. I feel like a big part of this falls on the storytelling and characterization–there is SO MUCH focus on getting this story told within such a short amount of time, I’m not sure the characters were allowed to show their true colors completely. Having read the rest of this series, I’ve grown to know and adore these characters as older versions…and I didn’t see much of those men in this novella. They aren’t as well-rounded.

I did, however, appreciate the backstory that this novella provides. We were given a glimpse at these characters from BEFORE–and that’s not often something readers get the chance to see. I especially enjoy that we see more of Nash–while he’s just as integral a part of the later series as the rest of the crew, I feel he sometimes slips off to the sidelines to observe. We were put right into his head for this read, and I loved that shift in perspective–the chance to see Nash in his element, instead of through someone else’s eyes.

The action is decently written, though not as high-stakes or fast-paced as the books later down the line. While there are several battle scenes, I didn’t feel as emotionally connected during them as I thought I would I missed the nail-biting anticipation of the other books in the series. I feel like something important was missing in this read, overall–I have a feeling it might be the rest of the crew, all the characters I’ve so grown attached to in the future journey.

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This was, overall, a quick and entertaining read. There are some noteworthy snark moments, particularly from Sawyer (still love Sawyer, guys; I’m obsessed!). The battle scenes were engaging, though not necessarily as emotionally-driven for me as a reader. I appreciated a glimpse at this world from a new set of eyes…but in the end, I’m not sure I really NEEDED this book in my life. Still, it’s a fast-paced, swashbuckling tale of vampires and pirates (er…mostly sans vampires)–and I can’t wait to see where the series goes from here! I definitely recommend to lovers of prequel novellas, backstories, and ruthless daring in the face of life and death. Amy Braun, you know how to keep a reader on her toes–I can’t wait to see what you do next!

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Midnight Sky: I Refuse with that Ending. You Can’t Make Me!

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Midnight Sky (Dark Sky #2)

Dark Sky, Book 2
338 Pages
Expected Publication: August 2nd, 2016
Preorder a copy here!

There are secrets, there are betrayals, and there are sacrifices…

The Behemoth has been destroyed, and the bloodthirsty Hellions seem to have left Westraven. But Claire Abernathy’s mind is not at ease. A terrible disease plagues her sister, appearing to have been brought on the Vesper, the leader of the Hellions beyond the tear between worlds– the Breach.

To save Abby and stop the Hellions for good, Claire must find the machine her parents built before the attacks, and fix it before the monsters return. To do so, she needs the help of her crew, and must ignore the secrets and rivalries between her captain and the man she saved.

Because the Hellions are not the only dangers following Claire. Twisted humans and old enemies surface to stop her and destroy all she loves. While she is determined to endure the trials, a single betrayal could shatter the hope of a better world, and force Claire to make a choice that will cost her dearly…

4.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: OW, MY HEART! No, seriously, I’m pretty sure it just snapped into a trillion tiny pieces; once again, vampires versus pirates!; annoying love triangle used for plot; creeptastic characters and situation; THAT ENDING SHATTERED ME!; the idiot character stops being an idiot only to have the entire world fall to pieces

HUGE thanks to Amy Braun and Xpresso Book Tours for granting me early access to this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my opinions of or read on this book.

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AND I SWEAR, THAT ENDING! I might look calm and collected on the outside, but guys, I am screeeeeeching so loud on the inside right now. I can’t even. I don’t want to. I just… NO. No, give me these cinnamon roll characters and let me hug them close and love them for the rest of forever and tell them everything will be juuuuust fine. Let me do that, won’t you?! Because I cannot even with that cliffhanger ending. I just can’t, and you can’t make me. I refuse.

Seriously though–this series? You NEED this series in your life. Let me just word-vomit a few things here to tell you why you need this series in your life, yes? Okay. Let’s see. Vampires. Pirates. Steampunk. Alternate worlds. Aliens. Vampire aliens. Steampunk pirates. The sweetest love of EVARRRRRR. Strong family connections. SO. MUCH. DRAMA. Action/adventure. …Is that good enough for you yet? No? Well then.

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These characters are sassy, stubborn, and strong-willed. They breathe life across every page. They seep beneath your skin and wrap themselves around your veins. You will be rooting for them before you even realize what’s happening–trust me, this is a thing! These characters are, in my opinion, EVERYTHING I could ever ask for in a book–and more. Of course, there was one character I was very disgruntled with at the end of book one…and for pretty much the entirety of this book…who FINALLY, FINALLY! saw the light and took his head out of his butt, only to have the entire world fall apart around him. Because booooooo, that happens. But YAY for other things that happened before the world blew up! (I know, I know, this literally makes no sense but…SPOILERS!)

And this story! THIS. STORY! It is action/adventure taken to extremes. There is, obviously, a love story happening. There is a love triangle that, sadly, was used to propel the plot further. There is jealousy, and drama, and angst, and betrayal, and battles, and heartache, and…. Gah, pretty much every emotion you could imagine comes into play in these books in some way, and it’s beautiful. Also, they’re very quick reads–I finished both Crimson Sky and Midnight Sky in pretty much one short sitting, and didn’t even realize I was speeding through them until I hit the 90% mark and blinked around like a lunatic.

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Basically, these books are gold, and everybody needs to read them. Because I said so. They’re entertaining, quick to get through, and filled with snarky action scenes. You won’t regret picking this series up, guys, so if you’re into steampunk pirates, alien vampires, and emotionally-charged battles… Well, DO IT! Do it and don’t look back–I certainly won’t be! (But…now I am desperate for book three, and we all know how patient I am. Which is not at all. BOOK THREEEEE, I NEED YOU!)

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Crimson Sky: In this World, it’s the Vampires…or the Pirates

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Crimson Sky (Dark Sky #1)

Dark Sky #1
Goodreads Rating: 4.15 Stars
240 Pages
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2016
Get a copy here! (Also available on Kindle Unlimited)

They’re always watching. They’re always waiting. They’re always starving…

Ten years ago, the sky shattered and the Hellions emerged. No one was able to keep them from destroying the city of Westraven. Now that the bloodthirsty monsters rule the skies and have forced the few remaining humans underground, Claire Abernathy lives in a nightmare. She survives by using her skills as an engineer for a ruthless tyrant connected to her mother and father’s past failure.

Then Claire’s world is torn apart when her sister Abby is kidnapped by the Hellions, and Claire herself is taken by dangerous sky pirates known as marauders. But Claire will not be intimidated by them while her sister’s life hangs by a thread, and so she strikes a deal with them: If they help rescue Abby, she will fix their ship and give them the chance to take the revenge they desperately seek.

As Claire fights for her sister’s life, she begins to realize that the Hellions are not the only dangers she’ll face. Burdensome secrets and devastating betrayals threaten her at every turn, and if she loses herself to them, it won’t just be her life that is destroyed…

4Penguins
Quick Reasons: vampires versus pirates!; steamy, sexy romance turned into icky love triangle–what?!; I mean really, these characters are STUBBORN!; lots of snark and sass, especially between our main duo; interesting, though slightly confusing, world-building; steampunk stacked on horror; special snowflake MC

HUGE thanks to Amy Braun and Giselle @ Xpresso Book Tours for sending me a 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, if you look above to my “quick reasons” blurb, you’ll note that this book had three things that GREATLY intrigued me throughout: vampires, pirates, and steampunk/dystopian. It sounds like an odd mix, doesn’t it? A little bit off-the-wall, perhaps a LOT weird? Well, rest assured, dear penguins: it was all of that, and more…and it was BRILLIANT.

Let me just get this out of the way right quick: this book? is not the easiest of things to read. There are a LOT of grammatical errors/missing words. It didn’t make the book any more difficult to read–it was pretty easy to fill in the blanks and figure out which words were meant to be where, etc….but it did get a bit frustrating, hence the slightly lower rating than I would have otherwise given it. Like I said: not really a hindrance to the read, but an annoyance. Alas, such is how things go, right?!

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But let’s put grammatical issues aside and focus on the things that REALLY count, shall we? This story is SUCH an entertaining, horrifying, interesting read! While I was slightly disappointed with the world-building (like…we know almost nothing about the Hellions, save they came through some sort of gap in space/time and are, at least in my opinion, rather a lot like giant mosquitoes–no, seriously, that’s what I imagined throughout the entire book!), the read itself is fast-paced and easy to fall into. So while some of the finer details slipped through the cracks…in the end, I could NOT put this book down or stop reading to save my life. I was just too interested in finding out what happened next!

The characters are just as vibrant and unique as the rest of the story–with their own mixed bag of secrets and pressure points. I almost immediately jumped on the Sawyer/Claire ship…only to be HUGELY disappointed and full of rage, only to jump back on it…only to be even MORE disappointed and full of rage. These two characters are going to be the end of me, I swear it–seriously, guys, stop being stubborn and let things happeeeeeen! The snark and sass flung between them is electrifying (and not always in a good way); they push each other, they help each other grow… I just. OY with the poodles already!

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Raging love-triangle hormones aside, I had a TON of fun reading this and cannot wait to dive into book two (which is conveniently waiting for me patiently–yay, ARCs!) The characters are bright and individualized, the plot is entertaining (if a bit confusing on the world-building front), and the snark is enough to detonate at least a hundred Hellion airships. This is steampunk/dystopian goodness at it’s best…with pirates and vampires thrown in for good measure. I definitely recommend to lovers of…pretty much anything I said above! Seriously, if this review piques your interest at all, you should let the book speak for itself–you’re bound to love the journey!