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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: The Dragons of Nova

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Dragons of Nova CoverThe Dragons of Nova
(The Loom Saga #2)
by Elise Kova
Fantasy / Steampunk / New Adult
488 Pages
Keymaster Press
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

Cvareh returns home to his sky world of Nova with the genius crafter Arianna as his temperamental guest. The mercurial inventor possesses all the Xin family needs to turn the tides of a centuries-old power struggle, but the secrets she harbors must be earned with trust — hard to come by for Ari, especially when it comes to Dragons. On Nova, Ari finds herself closer to exacting vengeance against the traitor who killed everything — and everyone – she once loved. But before Ari can complete her campaign of revenge, the Crimson Court exposes her shadowed past and reveals something even more dangerous sparking between her and Cvareh.

While Nova is embroiled in blood sport and political games, the rebels on Loom prepare for an all-out assault on their Dragon oppressors. Florence unexpectedly finds herself at the forefront of change, as her unique blend of skills — and quick-shooting accuracy — makes her a force to be reckoned with. For the future of her world, she vows vengeance against the Dragons.

Before the rebellion can rise, though, the Guilds must fall.

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The other LOOM SAGA books:

The Alchemists of Loom

See my review for THE ALCHEMISTS OF LOOM (THE LOOM SAGA #1) by clicking here!

About the Author:

Elise KovaElise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media.

 

Find her on:

Goodreads | Twitter | Website

Giveaway Details:

· Hard cover copy of The Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova and a swag pack

CLICK HERE to go to the giveaway!


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4.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: YESYESYES let the sparks fly!; I love the dual-setting we have happening here, and how juxtaposed (yet so similar?) the settings are; so much danger and suspense!; I feel Ari lost a bit of her snark somewhere on the flight; Cvareh is still just as adorable as ever

Huge thanks, once again, to Elise Kova and Keymaster Press for sending me a gorgeous softcover ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review, and to Chapter by Chapter Book Tours for taking me on as part of this tour! This in no way altered my read of or opinion on this book.

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Once again, we return to the battle between Loom and Nova…and the battle is only just beginning, Penguins, let me tell you! In this sequel, we journey to the skies and the world of the Dragons–which, honestly, is almost more confusing than the world they overlord. While Elise Kova dips her pen in gold and weaves gloriously brilliant, beautiful imagery…I find that sometimes, my brain can’t quite follow the path she leads me down. I have a hard time actually SEEING the world I’m being thrust into. Which is depressing; as vibrant as Elise Kova writes, I wish I could better put myself into the settings.

 

However, these characters are just as snarky and entertaining as they were in the first book. I really, REALLY adore the growth we see throughout–not just from Ari, but from all the main players. I also really love that we’re given a glimpse into enemy minds; this really helped to ground me in the drama and strife. I was better able to “get” the motivations from each side, selfish as they seem at times. This also helped to answer some of my more prominent questions. Ari seems to have lost a bit of her snark and spunk somewhere, though–while her words and quips still bite deep when she lets them loose, I felt she was holding herself back in this particular journey. Cvareh, on the other hand, shows a ton of growth and adorable vulnerability. And Ari DOES show signs of vulnerability, as well, which only helped to endear me to her–though I did sort of miss her hardcore, stubborn spunk.

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I absolutely ADORE the worlds of Loom and Nova, and love how Elise Kova paints each–individually, yet somehow both juxtaposed and similar at the same time. Because honestly, these worlds are both facing the same struggles–a fight for ultimate power, a showcasing of foolhardy strength, a match striking into flames. So while they’re juxtaposed–in the sense that Loom is darkness and oppression, and Nova is light and “freedom”–they’re also surprisingly (or, perhaps, NOT so surprisingly) fighting the same battle. Sort of. Kind of. It might be a BIT of a stretch but it’s there, okay?! SO GO WITH IT!

 

I just…. AHHHHH! I am definitely hooked (even though let’s be honest, I was hooked from book one page one so this shouldn’t be a shock to anybody) and I NEED BOOK THREE GIVE ME BOOK THREE! These characters are quirky and snarky and so well-written. The growth we see in a lot of (or all?) these characters is just entertaining and astounding. AND CVAREH AND ARI MAKE THE CUTESTESTEST COUPLE EVARRRRR I NEED MORE OF THEM IN LOVE IN MY LIFE! I definitely recommend this series to lovers of steampunk/fantasy, unique worlds, and dragon-y dramatics (is that a thing? that should be a thing. let’s make it a thing.) We’re taking to the skies, Penguins; are YOU ready to soar?

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review — Time Weaver: Heart of Cogs

 

Time Weaver: Heart of Cogs
(Time Collector #1)

by Jacinta Maree
Publication date: February 21st 2017
Genres: Steampunk, Supernatural, Young Adult

I have a clock for a heart…and the man who put it there tried to take it out.

Time Collectors are modern day genies capable of exchanging wishes for time. Elizabeth Wicker lives within a steampunk world riddled with the supernatural. Among the stories of witches, Bacts, and other monsters, Time Collectors remain as the greatest hushed secret among the noble families. They are temptation’s greatest tools. A contract with a Time Collector is a guaranteed death sentence, and for some the price isn’t worth the prize. But when Elizabeth is struck down by a fatal heart attack, she finds herself trapped beneath a Time Collector’s blade. With no time left to offer, she makes a desperate sacrifice for a second chance at life. If there’s only one truth, it is a Time Collector will always come back to collect.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

 

Author Bio:

Born in Melbourne Australia, Jacinta Maree considers herself a chocoholic with an obsession with dragons and Japan. Published in 2012 to USA publisher Staccato Publishing, Jacinta writes a variety of genres from YA paranormal, steampunk, horror and fantasy. Winner of 2014 Horror of the year and best selling author, Jacinta writes to answer all of her absurd questions and to explore themes and characters not often seen in main media.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


bookreview

4.25Penguins
Quick Reasons: welcome me back to steampunk!; awesome, thrilling adventure; these characters are complex and astoundingly vibrant; Elizabeth has a bit of the “special snowflake” happening, but I didn’t care; fun, whimsical, dark read akin to The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart

Huge thanks to Jacinta Maree, Ragnarok Publishing, and Xpresso Book Tours for sending me a free digital galley 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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Steampunk, my love, I have missed you SO! I am so happy that you can overlook my unavoidable on the side relationships with other genres and accept me so quickly back into your life; I don’t know what I would do without you. Although I don’t seek you out very often, I want you to know that you still remain my FAVORITE genre…and it’s for this reason that I only read you once every few months. Don’t tell the others–I need to keep them in my world so I always know just how much better you are!

Okay, I know that might be going a LITTLE too far–don’t get me wrong, I love all the other genres I read equally. But steampunk… there’s just something special about steampunk that I cannot, for the life of me, bring myself to examine too closely or ruin by reading too much of it. I cannot risk going down the path of no return only to realize that the magic fades…which is why, while I ADORE steampunk so much every time I pick it up, I often go months between readings of the genre. The return is always SO much sweeter than I expect it to be, which is exactly the case with this title!

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These characters are well-rounded and so vibrantly written, I found myself living in their heads for the duration of the journey. Elizabeth almost immediately called to me–I mean, aside from the fact we share a name, there’s an edge to her that I wasn’t expecting going into this read. She is not as soft as you’re initially led to believe; she has spunk, and intellect, and knows how to fight for herself and her loved ones with aplomb. I admired her strength throughout this journey–especially in those moments when I might have otherwise simply given up. The rest of the cast are just as endearing and, in most instances, wholly redeemable.

The plot is fast-paced and enthralling. I found myself whisked away to another world and plopped down in the middle of the excitement. There’s a bit of a nod to The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart, though this novel is a lot less whimsical and a whole lot darker. The world-building is so well-done, I didn’t find myself questioning anything or becoming confused. Jacinta Maree did an amazingly beautiful job of putting me into the heart (clock though it might be!) of this story, and I cannot WAIT to see what happens in the coming installments!

I definitely recommend this to lovers of steampunk, stories with a focus on time, and entertainingly stubborn characters! Jacinta Maree stuck me straight into the story and ensnared me there between the tocking hands with her vibrant personalities, fast-paced plot, and beautiful world-building. My heart ticks with steampunk, penguins; maybe you should take a chance to find out why with this gorgeous read!

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Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway: The Alchemists of Loom

 

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The Alchemists of Loom  (Loom Saga #1)
by Elise Kova
Publication date: January 10th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ
market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and
her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon
oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter
an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to
navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she
brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

 

elise

Author Bio:

Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the upcoming Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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4.25Penguins
Quick Reasons: interesting, though slightly confusing, world-building; I had trouble picturing the characters; some of the rules of the world were unclear; fun, entertaining, super snarky characters; not quite like anything I’ve read before

Huge thanks to Elise Kova, Keymaster Press, Netgalley, and Xpresso Book Tours for granting me early access to a 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–let’s talk. This book? Super entertaining! It’s clear that Elise Kova spent a lot of hours crafting and imagining the worlds of Loom and Nova. Every page is full of action, snark, and discord. For a whole poised on the brink of war, this helped set the tone and put me in the middle of the action.

However, some of the world-building was confusing. We know the dragons reign over the skies and set the laws of the ground, but we aren’t told exactly what the laws entail. We know the people of Loom (the Fen, the Chimera) are required to take skill tests and are tattooed with their guild, or–if they fail–are killed off… But we aren’t told exactly how the Dragons above oversee this. I have a LOT of questions, actually, revolving around the laws of the world and how they’re governed or enforced. Dragons don’t leave the sky often, so how do they keep the people of Loom in check? Are there people hired to enforce said laws for the Dragons? I mean, they’re little details, sure…but they left a lot of room for confusion.

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The people/Dragons were also confusing, and hard for me to “imagine” in full detail. While we got bits and pieces along the way–each Dragon’s blood smells differently, and their skin color varies depending on their house; Dragons bleed gold; the people of Loom are grey, unless they’re Chimera, and then they’re varying colors….. But we aren’t ever given ENOUGH description to form a full, completed picture. I don’t know, for instance, exactly what the Wraith looks like–we know she wears white, she has a blue dragon ear, she has purple eyes… But hair color? Height? Facial structure? Nothing. I don’t know. I also can’t tell you if the Dragons have scales or wings, or how tall they are, or if they have tails. I just… I couldn’t SEE the characters.

The snark and dialogue are on point, though. I absolutely ADORE how much attitude we get from the White Wraith. Her interactions with and reactions to Cvareh are both tense and super amusing, especially as Cvareh begins to experiment and play with his own sass. I also love that we can see their relationship shift and change as time passes. Cvareh’s reactions to Loom, and the people living there, were also super entertaining. While it’s clear at the start he’s prejudiced against the Fen, you can see this change the longer he stays with them and interacts with them.

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This was a SUPER fun, snarky read–though a bit confusing on some of the finer details. I loved the dialogue, but wish I’d been better able to “see” the characters. Here’s hoping the next book will help clear things up for me–I cannot WAIT to lay hands on it next year! I recommend this read to lovers of fantasy, dragons, and steampunk. The White Wraith crawled under my skin and stuck there; maybe you should join the rebellion, too!

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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:

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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!

3

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…

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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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Cover Reveal: Extracted

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Extracted
Sherry D. Ficklin & Tyler Jolley

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(The Lost Imperials #1)
Publication date: September 8th 2016
Genres: Steampunk, Young Adult

Two opposing factions of time travelers vie for
control of the future in this thrilling steampunk series opener dubbed “Interesting” and
“Unexpected” by Kirkus Reviews.

Lex and Ember—two time travelers with no memories of their lives before being
recruited into the time war—are torn between the factions. When Lex accepts a mission
that lands him deep within the heart of the Telsa Institute, he meets Ember, and the
past that was stolen from them comes flooding back. Now armed with the truth of who
they were, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for
time destroys them once again.

Website / Goodreads / Amazon

 

 

Sherry - Copy  Author Bio:

Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she
lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and
house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can
often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one
hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at
which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

Author links:

Website / Goodreads
/ Facebook / Twitter

Tyler Tyler H. Jolley is a sci-fi/fantasy author and full-time orthodontist,
periodontist (see: Overachiever). He divides his spare time between writing, reading,
mountain biking, and camping with his family.

Author links:

Website / Facebook / Twitter

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6

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!

8

A Review of Vinyl (The Vinyl Trilogy #1), by Sophia Elaine Hanson

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Legend meets Leviathan in this gritty steampunk fiction by debut author Sophia Elaine Hanson. Charged with fear, heavy with heartbreak, and stitched with unexpected moments of joy,Vinyl is perfect for fans of Cinder andDivergent.

In the heart of the once powerful nation of Arutia lies the reclusive city state of Revinia. All citizens within its soaring black walls have metal Singers grafted into their skulls at birth. The parasitic machines issue a form of auditory hypnosis called The Music, which keeps their minds malleable and emotions flat. All artistic expression—especially real music—is strictly prohibited.

On the edge of the city, nineteen year old Ronja struggles to support her family. Plagued by migraines and haunted by prejudice brought on by her mother—a ‘mutt’ genetically twisted as punishment for crimes unknown—Ronja is hanging by a thread. Then, a chance meeting leads to her kidnapping by the Anthem, an underground resistance working to snuff The Music and preserve the human spirit. Violently severed from her Singer by the brash young agent Roark, Ronja revels in her newfound freedom…until she returns home to discover her family has been taken as a result of her disappearance.

The first in a trilogy, Vinyl is a story of loyalty, passion, trauma, human connection, and the extraordinary power of real music.

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Rating: 5/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: future readers be warned: 77% is a life ruiner moment; this book is gritty, unique, and all sorts of epic; I’ve never read anything QUITE like it; I need book two like yesterday; awesome characters; “the chosen one”…but not really; all-around wonderful

I should probably begin with the thing everyone’s thinking, probably. Future readers, beware: that 77% mark WILL stop your heart. It is the plot twist from hell. It will rip it into teeny tiny pieces and scatter them to the four corners of the world. It will laugh in your face and refuse to back down. Please—breathe through it. Don’t hyperventilate. Don’t throw your book across the room, because that will only hurt your book. DON’T set your book aside in a fit of anger. This, too, shall pass. Maybe.

Moving on. Sophia Elaine Hanson, you’ve just become my newest favorite person ever—and not just because you took my random fits of twitter rants in stride. Those were by and far ugly; I blame my heart giving out at the earlier stated plot-twist from hell.

“The Music was not crafted to protect the people of Revinia from their demons. It is a muzzle, one that purges all powerful emotions and rebellios inclinations, prevents tumult in the face of Bullon’s injustice. It exchanges your natural-born passions for a single thought: Be loyal to The Conductor.”

This book? Is steampunk dystopian like you’ve NEVER seen it. I know, you probably hear that every time someone recommends a new book for you to read, but trust me: I’m not lying, I’m not exaggerating, I’m singing these praises loudly but only because I stand behind them completely. The ideas in this book are so unique. And the writing?! is absolutely gorgeous. This book is dark, and dreary, and just the right amount of spine-shuddering creepy. When you crack this book, you will feel like you’ve stepped immediately into the world—it breathes, sings, and screams into life around you. It haunts you. It kidnaps and forces you to watch as it unravels and laughs as it shatters your hopes again, and again, and again…

Sophia Elaine Hanson knows how to write a world, is what I’m saying. She starts you off in the middle, as is the way…but wraps you in so much world-building, you’ll feel as if you’re not only watching from the sidelines, but are privvy to your own set of headphones and dome-like movie theater. You will see this world as if in 3D. The characters will grip your fingers, claw their way down your spine, and settle somewhere around (or on top of) your heart. They will build themselves a home inside your ribcage and then trample all over it—and you’ll LOVE every second, I promise. Ronja is just the sort of strong-willed, sassy MC I love reading about. The rest of the characters, as well, have a tendency to wrap themselves around your little finger and pull you along where they want to go.

“The Music is a beast, Ronja. A living, breathing beast that has its claws on your pulse. When your heart races, it clutches you harder.”

The plot is linear…but there’s an interesting experiment with varied perspectives going on throughout that I found not annoying, but intriguing and well-done. There aren’t so many that it gets confusing—the main perspective generally remains with Ronja—but there’s enough of a draw-back to open up book two to some interesting possibilities in regards to viewpoint. With everything that happens at the end of the read, I imagine this will be coming into play in said next book.

Overall, this was an amazing, life-ruining experience and I am SO so glad I picked up this book on the whim that I did! The only problem is…book two isn’t even finished yet. Someone remind me why I do this to myself? I think I’ve forgotten in the echoing heartaches this read left me with. I definitely recommend this to lovers of steampunk, dystopian, and uniquely amazing world-building! This just soared to the top of my “new favorites” list; I can’t wait to see what’s in store come book two!