Wednesday, September 21, 2022

NBtM Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Chasm by Branwen Oshea @BranwenOShea @GoddessFish

The Chasm

by Branwen Oshea

GENRE: YA Science Fiction/Fantasy


They thought the biggest problem they faced was each other.

After Bleu, Rana, and their new friends narrowly prevent war between the star beings and humans, they hope the upcoming negotiation will secure the peace. Newly emerged from their subterranean haven, the Northern Haven humans are clearly not suited to Earth’s ice age, and require assistance from the enlightened star beings to survive long term on the Surface. But Commander Savas doesn’t trust the suspiciously kind star beings and their unexplainable abilities. When both sides reluctantly negotiate a joint mission to find the other Havens, Bleu must somehow cooperate with the manipulative commander to keep his friends safe.

As their team confronts unexpected dangers, Bleu and his teammates begin to suspect the star beings don’t know as much about the Surface as they claimed, while Rana is torn between remaining true to her nonviolent ways or becoming more human to survive. When an unnatural predator attacks, even the nearly all-knowing Kalakanya can’t explain it. Now the team must pull together or their new discovery will pull them apart, limb by limb.

Purchase The Chasm (Book 2) on Amazon

Purchase The Calling (Book 1) on Amazon

Purchase The Cords That Bind (Book 1.1) on Amazon



Savas grinned. “Think of it as research. They’re a new species. You’re doing field observation.”

I don’t think she eats at all.” Atsushi frowned. “None of the Crowned Ones seem to. They go to the gathering hall to socialize.”

You do realize that’s impossible, right? They’re alive. They need an energy source.”

Kalakanya said she eats air or something.”

Savas snorted. “Well, be curious. Ask Kahali when you’re alone. Later, ask the others. We’ll compare answers.”

Atsushi grimaced. “They’ll know what I’m thinking. I don’t want to upset them.”

No, you don’t.” If he had another Medicci device to block mindreading, he’d offer it to him. There must be something the boy could do to stay safe. A tiny, guilty voice rose within him at exposing the boy to the dangers of mind-control. No kid should go through that.

What if you keep that chant Kahali taught you running in your head? Maybe then they won’t catch on?”

Maybe.” Atsushi was silent. “I’m supposed to be chanting that all the time, but I’m horrid at remembering.”

Then work on that.”

Atsushi nodded and then glanced toward the fire, where the star beings suddenly sang more loudly. “You still don’t trust them, do you?”

No, I don’t.”

But why? They’re so nice.”

There used to be a fish that lived in the depths of the ocean. It evolved a beautiful light that shone magnificently in the darkness. Other fish would swim close, mesmerized by the beauty, feeling completely safe. And then the light-bearing fish would tear them to pieces.”

Interview with Branwen OShea

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your


I’ve always been interested in conflict resolution, nonviolent movements, and how entire cultures work to overcome past traumas. I love researching and having deep discussions on how humanity can possibly change from its millennia old patterns of war and conflict. And my favorite fiction trope is when enemies are forced to work together to survive.

I started this series over a decade ago at the height of the popularity of dystopian books. My day job involves working with teens, and many were telling me that they could no longer imagine a positive outcome for humanity and our planet. I looked around and realized a great deal of our stories are all based on how stuck we all are in certain patterns of war and destroying the environment. After meditating on this for about a week, I had a set of powerful dreams where one of the star being characters, Rana, introduced herself and showed me the entire series in dream format. The overall Finding Humanity series is about how humans, desperately searching for other human survivors of a future ice age, discover their own true humanity along the way and finally get their act together as a group. No chosen ones—everyone has to be involved.

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

This particular book, The Chasm: Book 2.0, was originally nearly 800 pages long, and at that length would have been nearly impossible to physically print and sell. It tells the story of the first joint human-star being expedition and the huge threat to all of them that they uncover. Every scene was crucial to the story, so I couldn’t simply cut scenes to make it shorter. I ended up splitting the book into the second and third books of the series. This allowed all the character arcs and reveals that were needed for later in the series, while keeping both books a manageable size for readers. The next book, The Ruined: Book 3.0, will contain what was originally the second half of this monster-sized book.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

The hardest part was splitting the book. It meant I had to make sure each of the five points of view (two human teens, two star being teens, and the villainous Commander Savas) all had complete character arcs and that the story had an appropriate overall storyline and pacing. The general story didn’t change, but it took a ton of tweaking to get it the way I wanted it to be.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

My favorite part of writing any book is the character conflicts and personal developments, and this book had tons of that. Every one of them is challenged to see things differently and take risks both on the mission and emotionally that they wouldn’t normally take.

In The Chasm, there is an especially fun dynamic between Kahali, a fun-loving star being teen, and the manipulative human Commander Savas, both of whom see each other as their worse nightmare. In the first book, Commander Savas had a huge role in seriously injuring and traumatizing Kahali. Star beings are nonviolent, forgiving, and strive toward enlightenment, so in The Chasm, Kahali’s elders insist he spend more time with his enemies and overcome his fears by joining the expedition with Savas to find the lost humans. But Kahali’s trauma has made his usual psychic development a bit chaotic, and Savas already fears the advanced spiritual powers of the star beings. When the two of them become isolated and under siege by a new threat, their conflict and distrust were both heart-breaking and an absolute blast to write.

Were there alternate endings you considered?

Because the original book was split in half, I couldn’t really change the ending. I did have a choice as to a few different places to split the book, though. I can’t say more without giving spoilers, but I think I found the perfect spot.

Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

The advanced helicopters that Northern Haven uses to fly around the future ice age world took a lot of research. The main problem I had was navigating without satellites (none survived the ice age) and having the helicopters and weaponry work under frozen conditions. I spoke to several incredibly helpful engineers and scientists who work on such things, but because some of them work in industries that are somewhat protective of their tech, they asked not to be named. I will add that the tech ideas in the book were mine (nothing top secret, lol), I just wanted to make sure they were as realistic as possible.

What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

I primarily read all types of science fiction (I grew up on Isaac Asimov and love Octavia Butler), epic fantasy (all kinds, but especially YA), and paranormal romance and adventures (mostly ghost and werewolf books). Though my series is primarily sci-fi, I’d say it has a little bit of all these genres in it. If any of you read it and would want to share, I’d love to know what genre you consider The Chasm. The easiest way to reach me is over Twitter, and I love hearing from readers.

Thank you for the interview. :)

You're welcome!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

As a young girl, Branwen wanted to become an ambassador for aliens. Since the aliens never hired her, she now writes about them.

Branwen OShea has a Bachelors in Biology from Colgate University, a Bachelors in Psychology, and a Masters in Social Work. She lives in Connecticut with her family and a menagerie of pets, and enjoys hiking, meditating, and star-gazing. Her published works include Silence of the Song Trees, The Calling, The Cords That Bind, and The Chasm.

Connect with Branwen OShea

Website ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Facebook ~ TikTok ~ Amazon


$30 Amazon/BN GC 

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Rita Wray said...

I liked the excerpt.

Sherry said...

I love the cover and think the book sounds interesting.

Dana banana said...

What is your favorite comfort food?

Stormy Vixen said...

I enjoyed reading the interview and getting to know a little about your, Branwen, I enjoyed the excerpt as well and The Chasm sounds like a fascinating read and I know that my granddaughter will love it!

Thanks for sharing it with me and have a spectacular day!

Dana banana said...

Are you excited for all things fall and pumpkin spice

Dana banana said...

Do you have any exciting plans for the weekend?

Ally Swanson - FAB said...

Great post!! I have added this book to my Goodreads TBR List and look forward to checking it out!!