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Nell’s Gossip and Book Hunt 7/8/18

Welcome to my Sunday book hunt and author gossip.  Keep coming back for updates on book releases and news from favorite authors.

Back with new releases again… they keep writin’ them, we keep readin’ them!

Thirty years ago, the gods of Greek legend returned to the world. imprisoned in Tartarus, the Olympians now reside in Néo Vasíleio, formerly known as California.

Twenty-four-year-old Derek Aerios is a war scion, a descendant of Ares, the God of War. He and his brother, eighteen-year-old Liam, capture mythological creatures and rogue scions as part of Ares’s elite military force. As he struggles to cope with his violent powers and the scars of a traumatic childhood, Derek tries to keep the two vows he has made: protect his brother, and never kill a human again.

But when Ares forces him to hunt and kill four rogue scions under Athena’s control—by threatening Liam’s life—Derek chooses to go after the scions in order to save his brother and keep his promise to himself.

Yet the closer Derek gets to the scions, the more he realizes that his orders are part of a deeper conspiracy that put him at odds with his mission and his conscience. Athena may not be the enemy, a traitor could be in their midst, and the Titans could be closer to freedom than ever before.

Nell can draw magic from the land around her, and lately, she’s been using it to help the Psy-Law Enforcement Division, which solves paranormal crimes. Joining the team at PsyLED has allowed her to learn more about her powers and the world she always shunned–and to find true friends.

Head agent Rick LaFleur shifts into a panther when the moon calls him, but this time, something has gone wrong. Rick calls Nell from a riverbank–he’s naked, with no memory of how he came to be there, and there’s a dead black cat, sacrificed in a witch circle and killed by black magic, lying next to him.

Then more animals turn up dead, and the team rushes to investigate. A blood-witch is out to kill. But when it seems as if their leader is involved in the crime, the bonds that hold the team together could shatter at any moment.


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Obsidian Sky by Amy Braun

Aliens taking over the world.  Are we going to stand by and let them? Hell, no!!

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

obsidian skyTitleObsidian Sky
Author Amy Braun
SeriesDark Sky #3
Publish Date:  February 7, 2017
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Post Apocalyptic
Cover:  Deranged Doctor Designs
Source:  Author

Publisher’s Description: 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.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*

Nervous_Nellie_100Nervous Nellie says…

“If you take his life,” I said, my voice shaking, “I will do more than take yours.  By the time it’s over, there won’t be a scrap of you left.  You’ll have nothing.  No legacy.  In ten years, no one will ever know you existed.”

Obsidian Sky, suspense is thy middle name.   Holy crap, suspense and don’t forget to put the tissue box close by.  No, I’m not ashamed.  I cried.  The people I root for got hurt…a LOT.  (Spoiler here!) Vesper, the Hellion king, is not a gentle soul nor is he still in existence.  Mwuh ha ha!  Go Team Claire!!  Anyway, this is the last book of the series so there is no cliffhanger.  There is a happy ending and one huge surprise.  No sex but a lot of graphic violence.

I’m sad that this is the end.  I really liked the characters in this book.  The thing I appreciated in this book is that the narrative switched off between Claire and Sawyer so I got to hear what was going on in Sawyer’s brain too.  That was incredibly moving during the battle scene.

This was a page turner, as is all of Amy’s books in this series.  The fight for survival of the world’s inhabitants was kind of on the scary badge5v5side if you were to compare their world to ours.  One of the big surprises that caught me off guard (no spoiler here), was the fact that Sawyer revealed his age.  He is only 18 or 19 in these stories.  I did not see that coming.  He speaks and acts like a man that is much older and battle ridden.  Being 18 or 19 and having his world view really made me think about the whole apocalyptic spin.  I truly thought that Claire was 18 or 19 and Sawyer was at least 30.  Nope, not the case.

This is an incredible series that is alien invasion, post apocalyptic and steam punk all wrapped into one.  I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to what world evolves out of Amy Braun’s mind next.

Our reviews in this series…


…you might try the Cursed series also by Amy Braun.


I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.








Midnight Sky by Amy Braun

2016-standout-award-badge-smallTake a ride to another world where airships control the skies and Hellions are but one step away from painful and horrid death…

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Midnight SkyTitle:  Midnight Sky
Author:  Amy Braun
Series: Dark Sky #2
Publish Date:  August 2, 2016
Genre:  Urban fantasy
Source: Provided by the author

Publisher’s Description: 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…

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Nervous Nellie says…Nervous_Nellie_100

…forcing myself not to think about pale faces with shark teeth smeared with blood, or crimson eyes that seemed to smile as onyx claws sank into my flesh and started to rip it open…

Yes, there is a cliffhanger. I’m getting that out of the way straight out of the chute. It’s not so bad. I could handle it, so I’m sure anyone can. No sex, a little male chest pounding to claim alpha status and lots of death. This is not a stand alone, so please start with book one.

Amy Braun is a storyteller of the highest degree. This series is about one woman trying to save a world that is practically collapsing in on itself. Dauntless may be the name of the airship, but it accurately describes the female protagonist in this book. She is part of a team of pirates that are searching for a lead to help them close the ‘breach’ to another dimension all the while dodging and weaving through dangers that can only be termed as death defying.

badge5v4The characters are vivid and they all have their secrets. The premise of this series is that the human team is fighting the Hellion team.  The humans chose to invade another world and got more than they bargained for. The descriptions of the airships and battle scenes are good. Brother is turned against brother and power is how they all keep score.

I enjoy this author’s work. She writes a face paced, action packed story with a lot of emotion and heart. If you want to delve into a world that is post-apocalyptic steampunk, jump on in.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

What drew me to this book: I love Amy Braun’s work and, having read Crimson Sky, I wanted to find out what happens next!

Why I kept reading: Midnight Sky is full of action, heartache, and betrayal. At the end of Crimson Sky, the protagonist—Claire—has rescued her sister from the clutches of the Hellions along with Riley, a former soldier who had been captured and nearly killed.  They all return to earth and are bunking with Sawyer and his crew on the Dauntless, Sawyer’s airship.

Now they have to face the consequences of breaching the Behemoth, the Hellion ship, to rescue Abby and Riley, making their presence known to the Vesper, a telepathic alien, and his Hellions alike. At the same time, Claire is searching for answers to her parents’ role in creating the breach between worlds and the key to closing that breach. Can they find the answers they need while evading the Hellions who are hunting them?

There are a lot of tense moments in this book, and the cliff-hanger ending provides no relief! But it makes for a great story. We’ll have to hope our characters can find a way out of their many troubles when we rejoin them in February 2017.

badge4v4Why I recommend it: Braun’s Dark Sky series is a great steampunk adventure without the manners and tea. There are machines and electricity and airships, but the feel is decidedly more science-fiction than Victorian British. So if you’re looking for a good adventure without the corsets and goggles, the Dark Sky series is the one you want. Midnight Sky comes out August 2, so if you haven’t read Crimson Sky yet, now is the time.

Our reviews in this series…

If you like this book…

…you might try the Cursed series also by Amy Braun.

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Crimson Sky by Amy Braun

2016-standout-award-badge-smallVampiric aliens, post-apocalyptic steampunk, airship pirates… what’s not to love about Amy Braun’s new Dark Sky series!

Crimson Sky smallTitle:  Crimson Sky
Author:  Amy Braun
Series: Dark Sky Book 01
Publish Date:  February 2, 2016
Genre:  Fantasy
Source: Provided by the author

Publisher’s DescriptionThey’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…

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

“Combining vampires and pirates into a cohesive story is something I’ve wanted to do since childhood.”  –author’s acknowledgements

Crimson Sky has more than just vampires and pirates.  Braun combines these with aliens, steampunk, post-apocalypse, family secrets, and advanced tech in a way that makes sense, is entertaining, and is quite genre-bending.

I think my favorite part of this book is the relationship between Claire and pirate Sawyer.  Both are struggling to keep themselves and those they care about alive.  Both are haunted by their families’ pasts.  They both want to open up, but have learned that doing so makes them too vulnerable and jeopardizes the lives of others.  And both are so afraid of what is to come.

badge5v4If you’ve read Braun’s Cursed series (a One Book Two Standout Award winner), you will feel some similarities between the protagonists.  Both are trying desperately to save a sister, and more, they are trying desperately to stay focused on saving the sister, despite the other things happening to them and around them.  I think Claire is a little more open than Connie; not quite as damaged.  She hasn’t really trusted enough people in her life to feel betrayed by them.

Crimson Sky certainly has elements that should appeal to everyone. As with Braun’s other books, I’m really looking forward to seeing where she goes next in the series.


Nervous Nellie says…

One word to describe this book: “In-freaking-credible”!!  I admit I don’t give out many 5 stars, but this one is it.  It is a “one-sit” wonder.  I started reading after work and didn’t put it down until the very end.

Claire’s world is harsh.  When you think of electricians and engineers, I’m sure you don’t think of wicked evil warlords.  Electricians and Engineers is the primo occupation during this time.  If you control the electricity or can fix any complicated machine, you are fairly safe.  Not entirely, though. Everyone has an agenda and everyone wants to be the king of the mountain.

Claire lives within a colony of humans who lives below ground in very poor accommodations.  Think of peasants in the medieval times with access to small steampunk like tools and generators powering big airships.  The creatures that are the most savage are the Hellions – vampire-like demons that suck dry any human they can find above ground. Claire is vulnerable because she wants to protect her 8-year-old sister (a sister who has never known a world without monsters) so she has to work for the warlord.  The warlord beats her within an inch of her life more often than not, but she can’t run away. Where would she go? The warlord controls food, shelter, electricity – everything. It’s a vicious circle.

The adventure starts when 8-year-old Abby is stolen by the Hellions.  Claire is “captured” by pirates and has to convince this crew of marauders to help her save her sister.  She makes a deal with them and commences the fight of her life.   Her side of the deal isn’t impossible, but what she wants in exchange….wowzer…that in all reality has very slim chances of success.

badge5v4When you start this book, be sure you have time to finish.  It is fast paced and sometimes I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what happened next. Once Abby is taken, the adventure is ON.  I couldn’t look away, I couldn’t get anything to eat.  It was THAT good.  OH, and there is no cliffhanger, but there is an indication there will be more books.  I sincerely hope so, because I have got to know more about…..well……I probably shouldn’t tell you. Get the book.  Let me know what you think – I’d love to discuss this further…

Our reviews in this series…

If you like this book…

…you might try Braun’s other works: The Path of the Horseman, the Cursed series, Needfire, and Call From The Grave.

Amber Sky by Amy Braun


2016-standout-award-badge-smallAMBER 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…

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

amber-skyTitle: Amber Sky
Author: Amy Braun
Series: Dark Sky #.25
Publish Date: October 4, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Cover: Deranged Doctor Design
Source: Provided by author in return for an honest review

Publisher’s DescriptionPress-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.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Nervous_Nellie_100Nervous Nellie says…

This is an urban fantasy set in a post-apocalyptic world with humans and horrible Hellion creatures. There is death and violence, sadness and hope. There is no sex in this book and it could be a standalone; but, be aware that if you start reading one episode from the Dark Sky series, you’ll want to keep reading. 😉

I always wanted to know how Nash Worthington became part of Sawyer Kendric’s crew. Now I know. It was not an easy, “Hey, do you wanna work for me;” it was more of a save each other’s lives kind of proposition.

badge4v4Nash is tough, and I never really realized how hard his life was before Sawyer. The Rabid Dogs marauder clan is as rough as they get—punishing, brutal, and feral. Nash didn’t belong with them, so I was really glad when Sawyer came along at the right time.

This is Nash’s story, and while it is brutal, it makes me respect Nash all the more as the man he really is.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

In the Dark Sky primary books, Nash is a supporting character. The reader knows he’s devoted to Sawyer and exceptional in a fight. But he doesn’t get the spotlight.

Until Amber Sky. In this Dark Sky novella, we learn about Nash’s life post-Sawyer. Nash is a survivor, to a point; but, the ruthless world of Hellions and marauder bands is not one in which he thrives. Nash longs to be compassionate, to love, to be a good person. But as a Stray Dog, his life is one of fighting and dominance and brutality. Meeting up with a young Sawyer, however, gives him a chance to be more of who he really is and changes his life for the better.

badge4v4Amber Sky really conveys the harshness of the Dark Sky world and fleshes out Nash’s character. It’s a great introduction to the Dark Sky series, or a great addition to the series if you’re already reading it.

Our reviews in this series…

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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

Q: What inspired you to write Amber Sky?

A: I’ve always been a fan of Nash, and wanted to tell the story of how he and Sawyer came to meet. They have a good relationship in Crimson Sky and Midnight Sky but it wasn’t always like that. They endured mistrust and battles the same as all sturdy friendships do, even trading blows a couple times. It was a lot of fun to not only tell their story, but to expand on an element of Midnight Sky that I enjoyed—the crew’s journey to the Barren.

Q: Why did you chose to tell the story from Nash’s perspective?

A: In the novels, Nash is a pretty quiet character. He’s often the voice of calm and reason, the one who knows how to relax Sawyer and Gemma. Ironic, since he’s heavily built and muscular. Readers who are familiar with him are likely used to his steady demeanor and know little of the violence he used to be capable of. He’s a lot more complex than you would realize reading Crimson Sky and Midnight Sky, and after I hinted at his past in Midnight Sky, I knew I had to tell his story through his eyes.

Q: Do you find it easier to write a shorter story? Do you prefer it to writing a full length novel?

A: Easier? Yes. Definitely. Amber Sky’s word count is just over 30,000, less than half of what a typical Dark Sky novel will run. I had a simple story line, a “simple problem” for the characters to solve, and no need to tie up a hundred different plot holes.

But, if we’re talking about preference, I actually enjoy writing full length novels more. As an independent author, I’m not hindered by word counts and will write until the story is done. This means that I can experiment and add new elements to a story that I don’t usually get to do in a novella. That definitely doesn’t mean I’ll stick to novels my entire career—every big series I write will likely have at least two or three novellas attached to them—but they are definitely my comfort and creative zone.

Q: There was a serious lack of Gemma in Amber Sky. Where is she?

A: Ah, yes. Gemma. Readers of the novels will know that she’s Nash’s other half, the moon to his stars, the heat to his fire. They will also know that she is most definitely not in Amber Sky. When I planned to write some novellas after Midnight Sky, I definitely had a plan about what those two stories would be about. Nash’s story comes first, because the second novella, Smoke Sky, is all about how Gemma entered the lives of the crew. Her story is one of my absolute favorites, and I knew that her romance with Nash would be a key element. So while she’s not in the picture for Amber Sky, she’ll be entering it soon.

Q: What can you tell us about the next novella and novel in the Dark Sky series?

A: Smoke Sky, which will be released December 2016, will be told from Gemma’s perspective and tell the tale of how she first met Sawyer and fell in love with Nash, and the wild adventures they had before she was accepted to the crew. There will also be a short story told from Sawyer’s perspective called Engineered Deceit, which will be featured in Ghosts, Gears, and Grimoires from Mocha Memoirs Press, as well as my collection for short stories called The Shadow Omnibus by the same publisher. Both will be released in the next few months, before Smoke Sky. The final novel in the series will be released in February 2017, and is titled Obsidian Sky. It’s perhaps my top favorite in the entire Dark Sky saga, as it’s full of action and told from both Claire and Sawyer’s perspectives. I went wild with the world in the third and final chapter of this series, and can’t wait for readers to experience the last adventures of the Dauntless Wanderer.

About the Author

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










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