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text 2016-06-05 04:51
Sunday Snippet: "I didn’t think this whole plan through."

 

It's been a busy week! I'm posting early because I'm preparing for a long weekend vacation with my friends, a cover reveal in a couple hours (and likely live, depending on where you are in the world!), formatting, completing a first draft of a novel, and planning another series. I'm going a little out of my mind with all I need to do. But, first things first– Weekend Writing Warriors! My 8-10 sentence snippet for this weekly blog hop continues a little while after last week's cliffhanger post, since so many people asked for it to continue. So in this snippet from Damnation's Door, releasing on Tuesday (woo hoo!), main character Constance Ramirez gets into trouble, and has to fight her way out of it...

 

Admittedly, I didn’t think this whole plan through. Seeing the man who murdered my mentor, kidnapped my sister, tortured and tried to kill me sparked my already short temper. So it wasn’t long before they got their shots in.

 

The man on my left jabbed his fist into my ribs. I winced, giving the man on the right the chance to loop his arm around my throat. I was pinned to his back, my neck straining painfully as he wrenched it up. I used one hand to claw at the meaty arm on my throat, leaving my front completely exposed to the second man. He grinned, thinking he was going to get some revenge on me for the sake of his employers.

 

Stupid bastard forgot I was still armed.

 

 

Demons are free. Angels are fallen. Hope is dying...

Constance Ramirez and her adopted sister, Andromeda, have stopped Lucifer’s plan– They have closed the Heaven Gate and kept the demons out. But their choice came with brutal consequences, and now every angel on earth is trapped in their mortal body.

All that remains is closing the Hell Gate and establishing a balance once and for all. That means returning to the city of Constance’s nightmares, which has become a haven for murderers and monsters. But even more dangerous than their hunt is that Andromeda’s powers and instincts are turning darker, and this time Constance doesn’t know how to protect her.

Constance is ready to fight for her life, but her enemies have plans she can’t begin to imagine, and they’re prepared to make her suffer...

Trust is lost and hearts are broken in the epic conclusion in Amy Braun’s Cursed trilogy...

 

Media Kit

 

Chapter One

 

Pre-order it here:

 

Amazon Kindle Paperback | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Nook | iBookstore |  Goodreads | Smashwords |

 

There've been some great reviews of the final Cursed novel lately, including one from WeWriWa's very own Christina Ochs, who just released her own brand new novel that you all need to buy! Seriously, get it, it's freaking amazing! In addition to reviews, One Book Two currently has a giveaway for the whole Cursed series! You can find out more details here, and there's still a ton of signups that all book bloggers are welcome to:

 

Sign Ups:

 

Book Blitz for Damnation's Door
Release Blitz and Blog Tour for Damation's Door

Cover Reveal for Midnight Sky

Review Opportunity for Crimson Sky and Midnight Sky


Now, in writing news. While Midnight Sky, the second Dark Sky novel is just about to have its glorious cover revealed to the world, I'm still working on the final formatting for both the printed and ebooks. I'm still working on figuring out Scrivener (the compile feature is what I want to use most right now, hence why I can't get it to format without doing weird things), but I'm hoping to have it sorted out by next week so I can send out all the details for reviewers and bloggers and begin its promotion. 

 

I'm crushingly close to finishing the second Areios Brothers novel (only half a chapter!), and wanted to get it done today, but I don't know that I'll have time or wakefulness on my side. *cries* That said, I'm taking my laptop with me to my friends cabin (and before you protest about what a horrible friend I am, all six of them plan to play a round or two of Magic The Gathering, a game I know about as much of as I do astrophysics), so I'll get a little more work in during that time. 

 

Once that's over, it's on to plotting and working on The Iron Gargoyle. I'm expecting a little more edits to return my way and will focus on Damnation's Door and Midnight Sky more than anything (seriously, thank God for blog tour companies and ebook promotion services– I think I would actually have to quit my Real Job if I had to do literally all of this by myself), but I'm going to need something to write when I have a moment or two to spare. 

 

So yes, that's the big news! Check back in a couple hours for the official cover reveal of Midnight Sky, and be sure to leave some love for the other Weekend Writing Warriors! I'll be posting again on Thursday, so until then, cheers! 
Amy

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review 2016-05-28 15:42
Review: Divine Descendant

It's been a long time since I read the Nikki Glass series by Jenna Black, but I remembered the intense ending and the excitement I felt for the final novel, Divine Descendant. Wrapping up a series is never easy, but I respect it when authors give it their all and do their best to leave fans satisfied while giving the series and characters the closure it deserves. That being said, I wanted more from this finale. Not to say the story wasn't strong and that the characters weren't as memorable as ever, but as I remembered what the Nikki Glass series was capable of, I felt the story was slower and a little more lacking than what I was familiar with. That isn't to say it's bad– far from it. I just think I expected more. Still, if you enjoy urban fantasy and mythology, this is definitely a series worth checking out. Note: Since this the final book in the series, there are major spoilers in the synopsis. I'll keep them out of the review, but be aware. 

 

Sexy cover!

What happens when fertility goddesses go on strike? Nothing much—except maybe the end of the human race.


When private investigator Nikki Glass became immortal as a descendant of Artemis, she never dreamed she’d find herself playing marriage counselor to the gods. But she doesn’t really have much of a choice when the crazed ex-wife of Anderson Kane—a god in disguise who just happens to be the son of a Fury—decides to enact revenge by wiping out all of humanity. Somehow, Nikki must convince the two to kiss and make up, but with Anderson now gone AWOL, she'll have to find him first. To top it all off, the cat’s out of the bag that Anderson killed Konstantin, the Olympians’ deposed leader. Now their new boss—Konstantin’s son—is out for blood.

With every mere mortal’s fate now resting in Nikki’s hands, can she outsmart the gods…or will she be doomed to spend the rest of eternity in a barren and desolate world?

 

***

The third book in the series, Rogue Descendant, ended in a major cliffhanger and despite the three year wait, I didn't forget it or the complications it would bring main character Nikki Glass or the rest of her descendant allies in their battle against the Olympians. The stakes were raised and they grew even higher when Nikki's leader and friend Anderson's past returns with a literal vengeance. 

 

Longtime readers of the series know that Anderson is way more than meets the eye and has secrets we can only begin to comprehend, but the truths we learned about him shocked even me. Black definitely has an understanding of how old gods reacted to indiscretions and slights, and the crux of the story was seriously appalling. It's always refreshing to read about a plot twist that doesn't involve excessive violence, but is nonetheless awful and sinister.

 

From there, the story progressed with a steady pace, though it was slower than previous novels with more talks and negotiation taking place than actual action. There was some, but I never Nikki or the other characters were in any serious danger until the end, and I'll talk more about that later.

 

On a whole, the characters grew very well. Nikki was stronger and braver than ever. I've enjoyed her struggles and determination as a character, and will absolutely miss her more than anyone else. Speaking of anyone else... Jamaal, the love interest. Look, I get that he was consumed with death-magic and had intimacy issues, and I won't deny that his changed attitude stunned me for the better in this instalment. He came a long way and I was proud of him, but I still can't find it in me to like him. He just caused too many problems, was too callous, and wasn't there for Nikki as often as he should have been for me to soften to him. Still, his progression as a character was spectacular and definitely a highlight of the book.

 

Now, onto the tricky stuff. The ending. A bit of a letdown. The main battle had some intense moments, but to be honest, I was expecting way more casualties, possibly even a major character death (a permanent one, if you know what I mean). Instead, the final confrontation didn't involve a lot of action at all. My first reaction was, "That's it?" Following that was a lack of resolution from a pair of characters I'd been rooting for as a couple. They definitely got shafted and I wasn't happy with how their story ended. Finally, the last scene. Though I can see how it would be a resolution for Nikki and closed out a mystery revolving around her past, I couldn't help but feel it was too major to throw at us and not know how it would be resolved. I mean, this is the last book, and you can't put something like that in the finale and not have longtime readers want to know what it means for Nikki's future.

 

But these are my opinions, and like I said, the novel is very good. I was happy to return to this universe and see how the finale played out. Yes, I could have done with a little more of almost everything, but if you're looking for a unique take on the urban fantasy/mythology genre, look no further than the Nikki Glass series.

 

Amy

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-03-05 15:39
Review: Bitter Bite

I love a series that continues to grow. Just when you think a character can't go get anymore insanity thrown his or her way, something like this happens. I've been reading the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep for years, and it just keeps getting better. Every time I think Gin's journey is coming to an end, Estep throws another curve ball that leaves readers begging for more. Bitter Bite is no exception. Though it isn't my personal favourite in the series, it's jam-packed with everything I've come to love about the Elemental Assassin series– a kick-ass heroine, humour, intrigue, surprise, gritty action, and more. There's even a sexy pillow fight! Yup, you heard me, and yup, it's just about my favourite part of the book. Since this is book 14 in the series (yes, #14 with more on the way), I have to put up a spoiler warning for the whole review for all those unfamiliar with Gin and her adventures. Though if you want my recommendation,  I'll say that you absolutely must start this series if any of the previous features peaked your interest. 

 

 

Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship? That’s the question Gin Blanco is asking when a friend’s long-lost relative comes strolling back into Ashland under suspicious circumstances. The unexpected reunion is a surprise for everyone—and a big problem for Gin. Book 14 in the New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series RT Book Reviews calls “unbeatable entertainment!”

 

It’s not easy being queen bee of an underworld abuzz with crooks and killers. Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far—my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in.

 

It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. I’d like to be happy for Finn, I really would. But all of my instincts are telling me that beneath the syrupy sweet demeanor and old-fashioned charm, this sudden interloper is planning something. The whole shtick leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This person might have avoided the grave once, but I’ll put anyone who hurts Finn in the ground—for good.

 

***

 

The reason that this story didn't make the top of my favourites was because I felt as though I'd read it before. In a way, I had. The crime was similar to that of Deadly Sting, while the true cause for concern was reminiscent of Widow's Web, meaning a con snaring someone Gin loves and trying to turn them against her. The target of this story was Gin's dashing foster brother, Finn, and the return of his supposedly dead mother. 

 

This point isn't lost on the story, as there are instances where it's pointed out by other characters, including one particularly tense moment between Owen– Gin's lover– and Finn (I loved how that was finally resolved, by the way). Even though the story was familiar to me, it didn't keep me from enjoying the spike in tension throughout the book until the climax. Most of the story progressed at a steady rate until the middle of the book, since Finn's mother was definitely working hard to wrap him around her finger. 

 

Also, there is one thing that can always be said about Estep and her work: It is never uninventive. She's one of the few authors I know that can constantly come up with absolutely insane fighting scenarios for her characters. Every action scene is different and unique. The battles never feel like they're cycled through. This is one of the reasons she's such a huge inspiration to me, and why I strive to invoke this similar trait in my own writing. Though I wished there had been more of a magical battle, I was in no way disappointed by the physical combat. There were a couple times when I wasn't sure how Gin was going to get out of her latest mess. Not that I ever doubt her.

 

The characters are just as I remember them, and I adored them just as much. There wasn't too much growth (which is fine because this is a series in which characters often need to grow with time, which in turn makes them more realistic), but it has to be said that we saw a different side of Finn. To be honest, I was upset at him for the way he all but disregarded Gin and his friends for most of the book, particularly when it came to his lover (and Gin's sister), Bria. His arc moved pretty quickly, and I'm interested to see where it goes in Unwanted, the upcoming novella. 

 

All in all, this is just what I wanted from the Elemental Assassin series, and as the shocking ending has revealed, it's clear that Gin's adventures are going to continue for a good long while, and that there will be plenty of webs for her to weave for her enemies. 

 

Amy

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text 2016-02-18 16:30
Author Spotlight: Nicky Peacock

A while back, I had the pleasure of interviewing horror author Nicky Peacock and reviewing her novel Bad Blood for the blog in exchange for a review of my novella Needfire. I was happy to hear from her again a couple weeks ago, since both of us are celebrating new releases. While she's featured Crimson Sky in an author spotlight, I'm featuring her brand new novel, Bad Timing, the second in her badass series Battle of the Undead

 

 

Bad Timing – Battle of the Undead #2 by Nicky Peacock.

“You know now that monsters are real. Whether they have recently risen to reach for your flesh, or have chosen now to step from the shadows; you are surrounded by them. You also know that I am one too, but I’m all you’ve got and time is running out…” 

There’s no rest for the wicked, especially in a zombie apocalypse. Britannia has used every vampire skill at her disposal to keep those she cares for safe, but with old enemies and unseen adversaries moving against her, she will have to push herself to both her physical and ethical limits to survive. Britannia is changing, but will it be for the better? 

14+ due to violence and adult situations


Please note this is the second book in a series that should be read in order.

 

Buy Links: Evernight Teen     Amazon US     Amazon UK    Barnes & Noble     Nook     Amazon Canada   Amazon Australia 

 

***

 

 

About the Author:

Nicky is an English author living in the UK. When she’s not writing her YA and adult urban fantasy and horror fiction, she is running a writers’ group and helping local schools with creative writing working shops to encourage the next generation of budding authors.

 

Some random Nicky facts:

 

She loves chocolate and hates fleece.

She loves dogs and hates monkeys (they look too human)

She always has one day a week where she doesn’t have her phone on or touches the internet.

Organising is her ‘thing’ and she hates being late for anything.

Her favourite colour changes depending on her mood.

She tends to write in UK spelling (you may have already noticed that!)

She can’t live without TV but could easily live without social media.

Her favourite food is a roast dinner, but she won’t eat lamb.

She’s weirded out by having to write in the third person – so I’m stopping now!

 

Author Links: Blog: Twitter: YAFacebook Page: UKAmazon Author Page: US Amazon Author page: Good Reads: Pinterest: Tumblr: Authorgraph: Google +: 

 

Nicky will be a guest here again next Thursday for an author interview, and on that Saturday I'll have a review for Bad Timing. I'm really looking forward to it! Thanks for being here, Nicky!

 

Amy

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review 2016-01-23 16:42
Review: Generation V

I never get tired of reading vampire books. Seriously, never ever, ever. Despite how often they're used in urban fantasy literature nowadays, I'm under the belief that they present a challenge for many authors– because they're used so often, it's an effort to come up with a new mythology for the monsters. That's one of the reasons I enjoyed Generation V,  the first of the Fortitude Scott books by M. L. Brennan so much. The hero isn't stereotypical, the way vampires are created is unique, and the extra creatures aren't common (no werewolves in the series– yet). The book was a lot of fun, and despite it's cover, not meant for a young adult audience. The subject matter is darker and more serious than that, but older readers like me will be able to relate to Fort's adventures and misadventures. Definitely an entertaining read, and a series I doubt I'll grow tired of.

 

Great colours on the cover!

 

Fortitude Scott’s life is a mess. A degree in film theory has left him with zero marketable skills, his job revolves around pouring coffee, his roommate hasn’t paid rent in four months, and he’s also a vampire. Well, sort of. He’s still mostly human.

 

But when a new vampire comes into his family’s territory and young girls start going missing, Fort can’t ignore his heritage anymore. His mother and his older, stronger siblings think he’s crazy for wanting to get involved. So it’s up to Fort to take action, with the assistance of Suzume Hollis, a dangerous and sexy shape-shifter. Fort is determined to find a way to outsmart the deadly vamp, even if he isn’t quite sure how.

 

But without having matured into full vampirehood and with Suzume ready to split if things get too risky, Fort’s rescue mission might just kill him.…

 

Right off the bat, we know that Fort isn't a common hero. He's average and forgettable... except that he's transforming into a vampire. Yes, transforming, not simply becoming one. This definitely captured my attention, since with most vampire stories, the character is bitten and infected and turns almost immediately. Not the case here. The process is long and complicated and involves hosts, and the transformation is increasingly unpredictable. It also takes years of experimentation, trail and error, and ultimately causes some derangement in the subjects. This refreshing take on vampire mythology is one of the key elements of the story, and it kept me curious from beginning to end, especially when it was made clear that there's something different about Fort himself.

 

The other element of the story is the uncomfortable part that doesn't make this entirely suitable for younger audiences– the villain is hunting young girls and tormenting them. And I do mean young, and I do mean torment. It makes the villain absolutely abhorrent, and while nothing truly explicit happens, there are some descriptions that might make some readers curl their lips in disgust. While I'm by no means applauding it, the chosen crime in this book does help to further the idea that is a driving force behind Generation V– that the more a human transforms into a vampire, the less value they have for human life, something that Fort is all too keen to avoid.

 

As I said before, Fortitude, his ironic name aside, isn't what I would call a typical hero. You can tell that from the moment you learn he works at a coffee shop that's essentially the cheaper, crappier version of Starbucks. But that lack of awesomeness is perfect, since when he grows and does become a hero, the transition is surprising and enjoyable. It leaves you wondering where his character can go from here.

 

Fort is by no means the only strong character I've developed a new love for Suzume, his kitsune bodyguard with the most hyperactive attitude of anyone I've read in a long time. I love her. She's truly unpredictable, and not someone whose bad-side I would want to encounter. I also love reading about Chivalry, Fort's older brother who cares deeply about him and does all he can to keep him safe. On the villain side, the main antagonist aside, I was truly terrified of Fort's older sister, Prudence. She's about as far removed from humanity as a person can get and still be considered alive.

 

Generation V is a fun book, and I would recommend it to all urban fantasy fans who are looking for some refreshing lore in their vampire books, and who want to see a "real" man develop beyond his pushover demeanour into a strong protagonist you can't wait to cheer for. Now... if only he could get a decent job.

 

Amy

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