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Blog Tour, Promo Post, Teasers, and Review: Freeze

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Freeze (Midnight Ice #2)Freeze
(Midnight Ice, #2)
by Kaitlyn Davis
280 Pages
Fantasy / Paranormal / New Adult
Publication Date:  July 11th, 2017
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

Locked up doesn’t mean locked in.

Pandora Scott is in jail…again. Everyone she once loved betrayed her…again. And some of the most powerful people in the world want her dead…yes, again. Sound familiar? But if there’s one thing Pandora is good at, it’s wriggling her way out of life or death situations, and this time is no different. Armed with her ability to disappear and aided by the mysterious Sam, Pandora’s got a plan. Escape the most secure prison in the world. Evade the most powerful trackers on the planet. Forget every word that Jax has ever told her. And figure out how to change one teeny tiny thing—fate. Easy, right? Well…doable, at least.

Freeze is the second book in the thrilling Midnight Ice series–the brand new spinoff to Midnight Fire, a bestselling paranormal romance with over 200,000 copies sold and over 5000 5-star reviews on Goodreads!

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Other books in this series:

See my review for FROST (MIDNIGHT ICE, #1) by clicking here!

FROST (MIDNIGHT ICE, #1) is currently on sale for only 99 CENTS!  Get a copy now by clicking here!!!

Kaitlyn Author PhotoAbout the Author:

 

Bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie.
Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. When she’s not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found indulging in some puppy videos, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family. If you have any questions for her–about her books, about scheduling an event, or just in general–you may contact her at: KaitlynDavisBooks@gmail.com
To stay up-to-date with all of Kaitlyn’s new releases, sign up for hernew release newsletter here: TinyLetter.com/KaitlynDavisBooks
Author Links:

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Post of Favorite Quotes

Ooh, I hate doing favorites. I find it so tough to narrow any topic down to a top ten or top five when there are so many amazing things in the world. But for you, I’ll try!

Here are my top five (non-spoilery) quotes from the first two books in my new series, Midnight Ice!

Normally, Pandora preferred to steal for a good cause, more of a supernatural Robin Hood, some might say. Blonder of course, with a much better ass.

“You look good enough to eat,” a sultry voice whispered in her ear.

Pandora whipped around lightning fast, flashing her fangs. “I bite.”

The man smiled, lips practically dripping with sin. “Me too.”

“It’s okay—“ Pandora was cut off by the crash of water against stone as the wave broke and shot toward them like a tsunami, defying gravity as it rolled up the ramp, racing closer. “Impossible odds and near-death experiences are my specialty.”

One way or another, she’d steal the secrets hiding in his smile. She did, after all, have an uncanny knack for thieving.

A thousand lifetimes ago, maybe she needed a man to define her. But she didn’t anymore. And that was just fine with her.

And a bonus line, because I love this scene in FROST J

“Don’t mind me,” he responded merrily, eyes closed. “I’m just warming up in the sun, getting my tan on, displaying my forbidden fruit…”

And here are my top five favorite quotes from other amazing young adult books!

[She] had always suffered from a vague restlessness, a longing for adventure that she told herself severely was the result of reading too many novels when she was a small child.

—Robin McKinley, The Blue Sword

Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears. ‘After all this time?’ ‘Always,’ said Snape.

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.

—Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park

Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.

—Natalie Babbit, Tuck Everlasting

Hope? Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.

—Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke and Bone


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4.25Penguins
Quick Reasons: YAYAYAY I’ve returned to this awesome world and these entertaining characters!; I’m not sure how I feel about all the secrecy surrounding Pandora; Sam is a complex, secretive character…but somehow I found myself really loving him; fast-paced, satisfying journey; I can’t wait to see what happens next

Huge thanks to Kaitlyn Davis 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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I really adore the world that Kaitlyn Davis has crafted so far in this series! The magic makes sense and is fitting. Kaitlyn Davis has put a lot of thought and care into making this world enthralling and believable; each time I step into her pages, I feel like I learn just a little more about the characters and their callings…and step just that much farther into Kaitlyn Davis’s mind. The scenery is brilliantly imagined, I could “see” everything that was occurring and every place our characters transported us to, and THE GROWTH JOURNEY! I swear, every time I think I know everything I possibly could about Pandora, something else slips from the shadows and presents itself, and I have to reconsider.

And these characters–oh, my penguins! They don’t give up their secrets easily, let me tell you–in fact, they hold on ever and ever tighter the closer to the ending we get! Which is both a beautiful and frustrating thing, because as the pieces fell away, more pieces were rooted in cement. Kaitlyn Davis knows how to weave an intriguing, entertaining story while still maintaining an air of mystery and suspense. (Now, mind you, I am doing my absolute very best to impart how much I adore this world without ACTUALLY giving away any major spoilers, because I’m just that awesome. And I loathe spoilers as much as the next pebble collecting penguin, so there’s that too.)

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Also, if the above isn’t enough to tempt you to dipping your toes in these rippling waters… the plot is fast-paced, and the action is FULL of suspense, complexity, and mystery. While these characters are on a journey to finding (or, in some instances, rediscovering) themselves, readers are ALSO on a journey–filled with snark, magic, and the fantastical.

I had such an awesome time returning to Kaitlyn Davis’s world of monsters and mayhem, and cannot WAIT to see where the journey takes us next! I definitely recommend this to lovers of redemption journeys, snarky personalities, and super complex back stories. Break the chains binding you, Penguins; the fun is only just beginning!

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: Damned Either Way

 

Damned Either Way
(The Harker Trilogy, #3)

Erin Hayes
Publication date: May 31st 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

The thrilling conclusion to The Harker Trilogy

I’m finally free of my family’s curse.

Except now, the world is ending. FML.

Anthony, the vampire that killed my sister and my brother-in-law, has won. I’ve lost everything. I no longer have my powers. I have no idea where Amelia is. And the vampire I love has surrendered to the hunger that is throwing the world into chaos.

The worst part? I can’t do anything about it, because I’m no longer the Harker. Sure, I’m not dying anymore, but I’m barely living at this point.

But there may be one last chance to save us all. If only I can find it in me to make one final sacrifice.

Goodreads / Amazon

The complete trilogy is on sale for only $0.99 until June 5th!

Previous books in the series:

SEE MY REVIEW FOR:

Damned If I Do
Damned If I Don’t

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EXCERPT:

The Twinkie is mushed and some of the cream is coming out, but as I pull it out of the wrapper, I can’t help but be gentle.

I found the single-serve pastry in a hollowed-out convenience store in downtown Birmingham a few days back. It’s the only thing resembling a cake that we’ve found on

our way to Austin. In the aftermath of the apocalypse, all the grocery stores are empty as everyone panicked and stole every little thing they could get their hands on. Many of them are now hiding out in their houses during the night.

Those that are alive anyways.

I could make a cake myself, but we are never in one place long enough for me to find an oven and make one. With one arm, it’s a little…hard.

Besides, this is just a small ritual that I want to do myself. I don’t need to decorate it. I just need to…pay tribute. With the only kind of food that would survive the apocalypse.

I light the candle that I stuck in it, its soft glow flickering in the dying light. I give a small smile, feeling my heart break.

“Happy birthday, Amelia.”

 

Author Bio:

Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books.

She works as an advertising copywriter by day, and she’s an award-winning New York Times Bestselling Author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.

You can reach her at erinhayesbooks@gmail.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Street Team / Newsletter

 

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8

My Viking Vampire: Lackluster Plot, Intriguing Characters

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My Viking Vampire (Sanctuary, Texas #1)

Bailey Ross’ world is crumbling around her. Her abusive ex, a human, is closing in on her again, and to make matters worse, a new enemy, a djinn, is stalking her. This supernatural being takes great pleasure in human pain, something Bailey has in excess thanks to her ex. If she’s caught by either, she’s as good as dead.

Backed into a corner and desperate to escape, she does something she swore wouldn’t ever be possible again –trusting a man. And he’s a vampire.

Protection via the sexy vampire Erick Thorson may prove to be a little more than she bargained for. Sparks fly between them and she finds herself agreeing to more than just protection. Though he has promised not to let anyone harm her, the small west Texas town is more than it seems and he may not be able to make good on his vow no matter how hard he tries.

Will Sanctuary be the home Bailey longs for or will she have to die to find out?

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Sanctuary, Texas #1
Paranormal / Romance / Fantasy
400 Pages
KS Publishing
Publication Date:  August 25th, 2014
Get a FREE copy here!

3Penguins
Quick Reasons: interesting premise; random POV shift at the very end?!; definite sense of insta-love; interesting exploration of BDSM and boundaries; some heavy, mature themes; the audiobook of this was entertaining and fun; intriguing, well-rounded characters

Okay, penguins. I am, once again, TRYING to read more books via my EARS and not my eyes. Therefore, this review will also include my thoughts on the audiobook, because…YAY audible listening!

Can I just take a moment to rant a little bit? Because… this book? Had a sudden POV shift at the very end, and it drove me absolutely BONKERS. Don’t get me wrong, okay. Sudden POV shifts are the best surprises ever sometimes–but…at the end of a book? Randomly? With seemingly no true purpose behind it? That just bothers me. In this instance, Erick’s POV I could have done without honestly. The language was different, his thoughts were a lot more…crude? and I just couldn’t get into his character. I’m not sure what it was, exactly, but something about him bugged me, and being thrust so suddenly into his head for only a few short pages did nothing for me but make my thoughts on this book drop a bit. It felt like Krystal Shannan switched up the language–made it harsher, more graphic, more crude–to make it fit her idea of what men think about…and that didn’t work for me. At all.

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Aside from that, I had fun listening to this audiobook! While the characters and plot felt a bit flat at times, there was plenty of action both in and out of the bedroom–though I admit I was much more into the action OUTSIDE of the bedroom than in it. Something about these characters just didn’t mesh well with me. Bailey, while scarred emotionally from an abusive past relationship, seemed TOO open–until it came to exploring BDSM. Erick, on the other hand… while his accent was sexy, I couldn’t get a real great sense of “him” from the read. This led to me not really being able to properly form a connection to the characters, or to truly believe them as a couple. Still, the read was entertaining, and Bailey had a few awesome moments of snark. A few of the other characters also stood out in my mind, and I’m curious to see if Krystal Shannan reintroduces them later in the series.

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I was a bit disappointed in the “insta-love” aspect of this read, though I suppose I should have expected it. Also, Bailey seemed like some sort of drug for the supernaturals–they all wanted her?! Which made close to zero sense to me, because…I mean…why would they all be fighting over ONE girl? The fact that she later has a sort of “special snowflake” destiny just irked me further. Authors, I promise, the world’s not going to end if your character isn’t the most perfect of perfect of perrrrrfect! The fact that there was very little explanation to or exploration of this theme in the book… Well, needless to say I sort of shoved that information to the back of my head until writing this review. So, yeah–that happened, too.

Overall, though, this was an entertaining book to listen to. There were some sort of steamy moments, I loved that BDSM was explored in a safe and consenting manner, and the characters were intriguing enough that I’m interested in picking up the next book in the series (which is good, because it’s already on my Kindle shelves). I’d recommend this to lovers of steamy reads, paranormal/supernatural elements, and a few heavy-handed subjects. This was a walk on the supernatural side, penguins; maybe you should see what the fuss is about!

5

Blog Tour, Teasers, Giveaway, and Review: Frost

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Frost (Midnight Ice Book One)
by Kaitlyn Davis
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance
Release date: January 26th, 2017
Summary from Goodreads:
Even the hottest love can turn a girl cold-blooded…

Life’s tough for a vampire thief on the run—just ask Pandora Scott, she knows. Four years ago she ran away from home after everyone she loved betrayed her. But now her annoyingly grown up (and handsome) ex boyfriend is stalking her, begging her to return. A mysterious vamp with a particularly dangerous (and sexy) stare keeps popping unexpectedly into her life. The extremely powerful head vampire of New York is hunting her down because she may or may not have broken into his highly-secure, highly-secretive personal vault. And the fate she’s been trying to outrun? Well, it’s about to catch up. Because even a super-speedy vamp with the ability to disappear can’t escape her own destiny.

A brand new spinoff to the Midnight Fire series! Fans will enjoy special appearances from Kira, Luke and Tristan while falling in love with the new characters and new adventure of Midnight Ice.

*Please note, you do not need to read the books of Midnight Fire to enjoy Frost (Midnight Ice Book 1). They are two standalone series with character crossover.

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Available from:
Amazon | Apple | B&N | Google Play | Kobo | Smashwords

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If you haven’t read the bestselling Midnight Fire series, you can get the first two books free when you buy the entire series at once!
**Over 200,000 Copies of the Midnight Fire Series Sold!**
**Over 5000 5-Star Reviews on Goodreads!**

Kira Dawson has the power to burn vampires to a crisp. The problem is, she doesn’t know it yet. The even bigger problem is, she’s dating one.

When Kira Dawson moves to South Carolina, she meets Luke, a blond goofball who quickly becomes her best friend, and Tristan, a mysterious bad boy who sends shivers down her spine. Kira knows they’re keeping secrets, but when she discovers Tristan’s lust for blood and her own dormant mystical powers, Kira is forced to fight for her life and make the heartbreaking decision between the familiar comfort of friendship and the fiery passion of love.

From bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis comes a paranormal romance perfect for fans of Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Ignite is the first book in the Midnight Fire series and it is approximately 65,000 words.

Books included in this bundle:

Ignite – Book One
Simmer – Book Two
Blaze – Book Three
Scorch – Book Four
Burn – An Anniversary Novella

Available from:
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Rave Reviews for the Midnight Fire series!
“The writing is effortlessly mind-blowing. I could not put this entire series down.”
                                               – Happy Tales and Tails Blog
“Read the books. Do it.”
                                – Urban Girl Reader
“Some of the best action scenes I have come across in a young adult book.”
                                                   – Reflections of a Bookworm
“I was riveted throughout … there was drama, danger, action and romance that was wonderfully detailed and described.”
                                             – Obsession With Books
“You’ll make friends with Kira, choose sides with Tristan and Luke, and fall in love with the story at heart about a girl with so bright a future…even shades aren’t gonna cut it.”
                                                                         – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
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kaitlyn-davis-author-photoAbout the Author:

Bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie.
Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. When she’s not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found indulging in some puppy videos, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family. If you have any questions for her–about her books, about scheduling an event, or just in general–you may contact her at: KaitlynDavisBooks@gmail.com
To stay up-to-date with all of Kaitlyn’s new releases, sign up for hernew release newsletter here: TinyLetter.com/KaitlynDavisBooks
Author Links:
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GIVEAWAY

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4.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: LOVE the snark; awesome world-building; great use of dramatic mystery; the memory-loss trope has never been so well-written; I am spell-bound; Pandora is an entertaining, strong-willed, complex character; I didn’t see that ending coming

Huge thanks to Kaitlyn Davis and YA Bound Book Tours for sending me a free digital 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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Okay, penguins–I’m HOOKED. And I don’t mean just hooked in an, I want to know what happens next, sort of way. I mean I am drooling for the rest of this series…and to pick up the series that this is apparently a spin-off for. I need–NEED–to know these characters better. And not just one of two of them, but all of them. Which…is bad news for my wallet, because that’s more money out of my pocket for more books. But I don’t care, penguins–I must read them all (I mean, you know…when I get the chance to).

Let’s talk nitty gritty, yes? Starting with characters. Pandora is, without a doubt, one of the BEST uses of the memory loss/amnesia trope I’ve stumbled across in my reading career. I particularly enjoyed, as well, how snarky and vibrantly written she is. There were so many moments I found myself giggling at her reactions and antics. For a character with a type of memory loss, she doesn’t let it hold her back–instead, she embraces life head-on. And she’s SO strong-willed… she really helped to make this read an entertaining and mysterious journey for me! Of course, the rest of the characters are no slouches–each one is just as complex, pertinent to the story-line, and humorous to read about.

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The plot is action-packed and FILLED with drama. There were a few inconsistencies in terms of age in regards to Pandora, which both confused and sort of bothered me, but they weren’t glaring enough to put much dent in my reading. The world-building is also complex and vividly rendered. While I have some questions–mostly about how the “magic” of this world works–I feel I was given sufficient enough information to understand what was happening. I imagine that, were I to pick up the original series right now, the questions I do have might be quickly answered, so this doesn’t bother me too much.

This was, in the end, a snarky, action-packed, and entertaining read! The characters are vibrant and complex, the word-building is vivid, and the plot was a race to the climax from start to finish. I cannot WAIT to pick up more books from Kaitlyn Davis in the future, and definitely recommend this read to lovers of urban fantasy, memory loss/amnesia tropes, and widely humorous reads. The frost bit me deep, penguins; take off your gloves and feel the chill!

Blog Tour Organized By:
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3

Cover Reveal: Obsidian Sky

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

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

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

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

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

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Previous books in the series:

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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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8

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

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The DARK SKY Series:

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


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

Buy it here:
Kindle | Kobo | Smashwords | Goodreads

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

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

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

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

Press Release:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DARK SKY
CRIMSON SKY | MIDNIGHT SKY | AMBER SKY

ENGINEERED DECEIT (In GHOSTS GEARS
AND GRIMOIRES)

STANDALONE NOVELS AND NOVELLAS
STORM BORN
PATH OF THE HORSEMAN
NEEDFIRE

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


bookreview

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

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

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

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

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

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

2

Damned If I Don’t: These Vampires are not Vegan

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Damned if I Don't

I may be a vampire hunter.
But I’ve single-handedly screwed up big time.

After botching our chance to cure vampirism and the infection that’s killing me, I’m at a loss. My cousin Carl won’t speak to me. The bastard who killed my sister is still alive. And Jude, the amnesiac vampire, says he’s in love with me.

What’s even more shocking is that I love him back.

But the more Jude learns about his past, the more it will tear our relationship and our lives apart. I’m running out of time to find a new successor to become the new Progenitor. Because when I die, it’s game over for all of us.

The Harker Trilogy, #2
New Adult/Romance/Urban Fantasy
292 Pages
Publication Date: March 2016
Get a copy here!

See my review for Damned If I Do (The Harker Trilogy, #1) RIGHT HERE!

 

4.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: well, THAT was not the ending I expected; I need book three, someone GET ME BOOK THREE!; I cannot even explain; character love, plot adoration, I am hooked; these vampires aren’t shy about biting; watch out for gore; this book hurt my heart so hard

Huge thanks to Erin Hayes and 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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Oh, my. OHHHH, my penguins–this book! This book knocked me backwards, guys; I’m not sure I’m strong enough to pull myself back up. This book just… Gah. I am so, so sorry I didn’t read this sooner…and yet not, because I need book three, and book three isn’t even a THING yet. Someone, please, get me book three? You’ll be my hero for the rest of forever. Also, someone PLEASE tell me the romance between Edie and Jude finally eventually at some point becomes a REAL THING and not just a danced-around concept, because I mean… THESE TWO! These two characters are just…they’re total romance #goals for me right now, okay? And they need a happy ending. They need…they NEED TO BE. #sobsforever

Let’s start with first things first: these vampires? Are not shy at all about biting. About killing. About being VAMPIRES, because who ever heard of a vegan vampire anyway? (Please don’t answer this, it’s a rhetorical question) The only one who’s partially shy about being who they are, is Jude…and he gets a pass in my mind because amnesia. This plot is FULL of action, battles to the death, and gore. If you’ve got a weak stomach or are easily disconcerted by blood and violence…don’t–I repeat DO NOT–pick up this book, because there’s a LOT of blood and ick and grossness, especially near the ending. (Though I mean, really, if you’re disgusted by gore….why?!?!?! are you reading a vampire book to begin with? They’re not all fluffy ponies, you know!)

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These characters continue to thrive and surprise me–not necessarily because what they DO is surprising, I guess, but because they continue to push forward and retain their…er…optimism? Despite the many trials and tribulations they face? Despite the consistent amount of times they get knocked down? Seriously, someone needs to bottle the optimism some of these characters hold, so I may drink it and be inspired in my own life. MAKE THIS A TEA, penguins! Optimitea, for the win!?!?!

I just… This book. This series. The characters are snarky and snippity and perfect; the plot is fast-paced and action-packed; and danger lurks around every corner. Literally. If you LOVE vampires (and who doesn’t?!), a graphic amount of gore (yas, BLEEEEED!) and a burgeoning romance that has no room to spread wings because END OF THE WORLD HELLO!?…I’m willing to bet you’ll love this series. SO GO PICK IT UP!

7

Dear How-To Penguin… (#1)

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Dear How-To Penguin:

I just moved into a new apartment with a new friend, and I’m SO confused!

Every morning, she comes home and locks herself in her room.  Her clothes are always smeared with grime, her makeup is always smudged halfway down her face, and she’s usually bleeding from at least one new wound!  Every evening just after the sun sets, she locks her room and leaves the apartment.

She swears she’s going “clubbing,” but I’m worried!  Is she a creature of the night?  Should I invest in garlic and metal collars?!  Please, help me–how do I proceed?

Sincerely,

Is My Roommate a Vampire?!

Dear Searching for Fangs–

Relax!  There’s no need to panic yet.  There are many reasons your roommate is acting shady, so let’s consider these first.

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Maybe your new friend really IS going clubbing!  After all, break dancers and perpetual klutzes alike spend a majority of their time on dirty floors.  This could explain the grunge and grime–dust and sweat make for a messy end to the evening!  And hey, don’t worry that she’s spending all night out on the town–those disco balls are hell on a person’s internal clock!

Or perhaps she’s caught in a modern day, star-crossed love affair!  Forbidden trysts almost always happen at night–there’s less chance the family and enemies will see them meeting up!  Keep an eye out for weird colored liquids and strangely shaped daggers; be ESPECIALLY wary if she begins talking in iambic pentameter!

Or she MIGHT be the hero, instead of a villain!  Does she sneak out with a cape and a big glittery letter hidden under her clothes?  Does she often pop into telephone booths only to disappear into thin air?  Has she taken on a freelance job at the local newspaper office and turned in some awesome up-close captures of the local do-gooder?  Take note, if so.

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Still concerned?

Here are some questions for you.  If you say “no” to all of these, your roommate is probably not a vampire.

Does her tongue unfold into a mosquito needle stinger snake creature of horror?  (see The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, or the Dark Sky series, by Amy Braun)

Does she turn into a bat and fly off into the darkness of night? (see Dracula, by Bram Stoker)

Do flowers and plants wither and die when she’s around? (see the Dark series, by Christine Feehan)

Is her humanity switch flipped off?  (see The Vampire Diaries)

Do you live in Forks, WA?  Are you best friends with a wolf-shifter?  Are you pregnant with a half-demon child?!  (see The Twilight Saga, by Stephenie Meyer)

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Are you STILL feeling wary?  Pick a number between 1 and 5…and then do as instructed.

–1 Set off the fire alarm–the brighter the sun is, the better!  Even the most novice vampire can’t handle more than a few minutes in sunlight.  If she turns to dust, problem solved!  Just sweep her up and tell nooooobody what happened.

–2 Cut yourself, leave a blood trail all over the apartment, and knock on her door!  I mean, she might eat you, but at least you’ll have your answer.

–3 Break into her room and stake her.  She’ll be dead!  And…nothing can hurt you in prison, even if she’s human.  Right?!…

–4 Yank out all of her teeth.  I’d recommend heavily drugging her first, just in case.  Also, invest in some of those rubber fake teeth.  If she’s human…apologize profusely and then knock her out until she heals.  If she’s vampire…well, no one’s ever been gummed to death!

–5 Shrug it off.  After all, she hasn’t bitten you yet!  If she IS a vampire, she’s either finding her meals outside the apartment or she’s on a hunger strike.  Don’t push your luck!

Happy Hunting!

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2

Cursed by Fire: Sometimes, You Gotta Burn

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Cursed by Fire (Blood & Magic, #1)

It has been six years since the Awakening and peace in Spokane, Washington is still tenuous at best. The vampires and shifters are all vying for control of the city and the humans seem to be the ones suffering the consequences, or so it seems.

Aria Naveed has spent the last two years of her life fighting to make the many wrongs of the world right, but soon finds out that the humans aren’t as weak as they appear and may be a more terrifying foe than any of the other races combined.

When a stranger rolls into town with trouble on his heels, Aria finds herself trapped in the middle of a battle that could cost her more than she has bargained for as a fight for justice turns into an unexpected fight for her life.

Blood & Magic #1
Urban Fantasy/Magic/Paranormal
202 Pages
Publication Date: January 28th, 2015
Get a copy here!

3.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: entertaining, awesome paranormal read; love the magic built into this world; vampires and shifters and magic, oh my!; the MC is stubborn, fiercely independent, and just a bit naive; fast-paced, action-filled read

Huge thanks to Danielle Annett and the crew at Bookmarks & Tours for sending me a copy of this title free in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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First and foremost: this was SUCH an entertaining, magic-filled read. Our main character, Aria, made for one stubbornly loyal and fiercely independent woman, and I adored everything about her. She is a bit naive about certain things, but overall, she is endearing, easy to connect with, and SO full of snark–I couldn’t help but love her. Of course, the rest of the crew we meet in this book are just as individualized and fun to read! Melody, the harpy, is another of my personal favorites, though I wish we saw a bit more of her in this book. She seems like an important character, but she takes a back seat to the story being built.

And what a story this is! There is SO MUCH to the magical aspect of this world, I feel like we’ve only just brushed the surface of a very long and complex history. I’m still not sure I fully understand all of the backstory or pertinent information–what they call The Awakening seems a bit vague overall. I wish we were given more information on how the magic in this world works, instead of being expected to just accept it up-front as we are.

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The plot is fast-paced and seemingly never slows down; we hit the ground running from page one, and are expected to keep the pace as Aria and those surrounding her rush headlong into danger and darkness unknown. The blending of lore–vampires, shifters, and “psykers”–is both interesting and entertaining, though at times feels like a bit TOO much magic for one world.

In the end, I had a ton of fun stepping into this world, and will be immediately jumping into the next book in this series. Danielle Annett built a world of magic and mayhem in these pages, and kept me enthralled throughout. I definitely recommend to lovers of paranormal fantasies, power struggles, and a mishmash of supernatural lores. This is going to be a fun series to read, I can tell–and I’m super excited about it!

7

Kingdom of Ashes: A Change in the Wind is Coming

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Kingdom of Ashes (Nightfall, #1)

Nightfall #1
Fantasy/Paranormal/Dystopian
540 Pages
Publication Date: October 30th, 2016
Get a copy here!

Myra never witnessed the Nightfall. She has only heard stories from the eldest among them; tales of the Old World and of the scientists who invented the WeatherWizard—a technological innovation that controls the weather. Unfortunately, the device also gave an ambitious vampire prince the means to cover the world in impenetrable clouds, allowing his armies to crawl out of their caves and conquer all.

Vampires rule over the New World, breeding humans for food. After fifty years of guerrilla warfare, the Resistance is fading, its supplies dwindling. They must rally and succeed—and soon—or all hope of restoring human civilization will be lost.

When Myra goes on a desperate mission to help the Resistance, she ends up a captive in the vampires’ palace. With time running out, she must find a way to stop Prince Vladimir, and every wrong step leads to the death of innocents. Her battle abilities prove useless, but Myra discovers she has another skill that can give her an edge over her captors. Now, Myra must defeat the vampire leader at a power game he has been playing for almost two millennia.

4Penguins
Quick Reasons: vampires! I rather love vampire stories; this is also dystopian, which works for me; Myra is a bit naive and a lot annoying at times, but I loved her mostly; the characters are complex and well-written; the relationships are believable and realistic; the world-building is great; overall, an entertaining read

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

 

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This book is LONG, penguins–but such a quick and entertaining read! I found myself, through many parts of the journey, wondering if perhaps there were many more fairy tales Elena May drew inspiration from then she lets on. The biggest one, I believe, is Beauty and the Beast–I am almost positive that several of the plot points woven throughout this story support this theory. I won’t bore you with the details, though–I’ll let you find them on your own. Just trust me: there are TONS of references and inspiration laced throughout this journey. I doubt even I found them all, honestly–mostly because I wasn’t actively seeking them out until much later in the read.

 

 

 

Elena May crafted a believable, action-packed dystopian world. While there were moments I found myself struggling to suspend my disbelief, these were all in regards to one character specifically and not due to the plot or world-building. In fact, I adore the world-building of this book–I feel we’ve only just begun to skim the surface of this future, but already know SO MUCH about it. I really like that we are taken in a much different direction than I expected when setting out on this read. I LOVE that technology, in the end, is what caused the downfall of humanity…though not in the way I’d have ever thought. It was so seamlessly done, and brilliant–I am bowing down at Elena May’s feet.

 

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I was a bit disappointed in Myra, honestly, though I rather adore her character arc. While she starts this book out very naive and rather silly…she comes a long, long way. I definitely empathized with her throughout, and found myself wanting to shake her many times. I think a large part of this has to do with my…uhm…soft spot for anti-villains, though, and not to do with her as a character per se.

 

 
 

 

I was intrigued that there was very little romance in this book when it came to Myra. In fact, not once does it say–anywhere!–anything about her being even remotely interested in another human or vampire, aside from in an inspirational way. She observes, she watches and judges and changes…but never once does she seem interested in romance. There IS a couple in this read, but even then, the focus is not really upon the relationship. I am not sure if this was done on purpose, but I’m not complaining either–I love that Myra does, in the end, find a way to stand on her own two feet…and do it alone. The addition of a romance, in this story, would have detracted from the plot and character growth, I feel–I am glad there wasn’t one.

 

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In the end, this was an entertaining and surprising read! I cannot wait to see where book two leads us–I imagine there’s still so much left to tell, so many adventures to leap into. Also, obviously, I cannot wait to see how Myra’s current plan works out. I recommend this to lovers of dystopian fantasies, vampire lore with a twist, and unique world-building. Elena May took me on a wild ride with this book; I can’t wait to see what she does next!