Tag Archive | adventure

The Onyx Crown: Excerpt + Giveaway

The OnyxCrownBlitz

To celebrate the release of Alan Hurst’s debut novel, The Onyx Crown, we are having a week-long book blitz! There will be an exclusive excerpt reveal, and a chance to win a digital copy of the book at the bottom!

Front CoverThe Onyx Crown #1

Publication Date: January 27th, 2019

Genre: Fantasy/ Adventure

The Onyx Crown is an exciting foray into the world of African fantasy. From the searing heat of the desert to the vastness of the savannah, it tells the story of three children–Sania, Gesi, and Jorann who grow up in a pre-medieval era of wars and successions, not fifteen years after the greatest king in the history of the continent has been deposed and assassinated. They must overcome the traumatic circumstances of their birth as well as many dangerous trials to fulfill the destiny bestowed upon them as infants. Can mere children use their courage, wits, and uncanny abilities to defeat legendary warriors, entire tribes, provinces, and kingdoms–allowing them to lead the worthy to the greatest prize of all, the Onyx Crown?

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Excerpt

For the next few days, the three of them did virtually everything together, including games, horse riding, and spear training with the First Knight, who seemed to be getting sterner and tougher on them with every lesson. The First Knight, whose given name was Jorell Boro, was famed throughout the fourteen provinces as one of the best living warriors of all time. He’d made his name fighting for the upstart Regent Okon in his war of usurpation against the High King Toloron.

After Toloron was defeated, the regent rewarded Boro with the titles of First Knight of the Crown, Protector of the House of the First Prince, and the moniker “the Bloodless Death,” because supposedly his bladed spear could kill a person so quickly and with such precision that they would be dead before any blood was even visible.

Okon, along with the ruling conclave, also granted a treaty to Pala Jorell’s home kingdom of East Rhydor, including a guarantee that no Numerian troops would invade as long as the East Rhydor king or his son, the prince, were in power.

The First Prince had asked Pala Jorell to begin instructing Zadeemo in the ways of knighthood, and also Gesemni himself, most likely reasoning that Zadeemo would need a sparring partner when the First Prince was absent.

The First Knight had been reluctant to train a “commoner” in the higher arts of warfare but, at the insistence of both the First Prince and Zadeemo, had relented. Still, one could tell he took The Onyx Crown -26- great pains to make sure that Zadeemo understood some of the finer points of the moves he instructed, while not deigning to help Gesi.

Luckily for Gesi, he had tremendous aptitude and seemingly a womb-borne comprehension of instinctual combat. As such, he rarely needed the extra tutoring that Zadeemo couldn’t seem to do without. On this day, the two of them were instructed for quite some time on hand-spear counters, an ancient method of grappling that involved an unarmed warrior wresting the control of spears and other long objects away from their adversary. It was an extremely rough and unpolished method of fighting, and the First Knight took the better part of the morning explaining it to them.

Finally, the paladin suggested they work the puzzling elements out with a few rounds of sparring. Boro handed him a bladed spear and marked out a circle four en-yawo in diameter with his carving knife. Zadeemo was given a pair of lyocell gloves, which felt like silk but were made from the toughest fibers in existence. These were to be used to protect his hands from blade cuts.

Gesi shifted nervously. Always when they’d fought before they’d both been armed. Oddly, there’s a certain amount of safety involved when two weapons compete against each other. But with Zadeemo being unarmed, Gesi felt he’d have to be very careful. He was also very conscious of Zoe sitting on her tilbury, watching them both amusedly.

“Engage!” The First Knight’s voice rang out through the square as the boys stepped into the circle. Zadeemo immediately lowered his stance, thrusting the heel of his boot inside Gesi’s left calf to disrupt his balance, simultaneously snatching at the bladed spear handle.

Shuffle-stepping to counter, Gesi twisted the blade ninety degrees, forcing Zadeemo to withdraw his hands. He knew he was supposed to be nothing more than a punching target for Zadeemo, but in situations like this, his stubborn, competitive imoya always got in the way of things, and yes…he also wanted to show off a bit in front of Zoe.

Surprisingly, Zadeemo must’ve anticipated his counter because he nimbly moved to his left, crashing his knee into Gesi’s right thigh and causing him to grimace. Ducking underneath the spear, Zadeemo swung his right elbow fiercely into Gesi’s solar plexus. The few servants and townspeople who were looking on cheered loudly, including Zoe.

At that second, he felt like he was going to black out. Zadeemo may have been slower than a stuck rhino, but he had strength far beyond what most twelve-year-olds could muster.

Instinctively, he twisted his bladed spear to block the next grasping move he felt was coming, slid his left knee under Zadeemo’s right, and reverse-swung the spear in a sweeping arc toward Zadeemo’s chest. The cheering stopped, followed by a deathly silence as Zadeemo crashed down to the dirt awkwardly. Everyone was staring at Gesi. Some looked angry, some fearful, some puzzled. Even he didn’t know how he’d won.

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About the Author

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Alan Hurst is an author and entrepeneur. Hurst who spent most of his childhood reading Asian wuxia fiction, Marvel comics and encyclopedias is delving into trilogy territory with THE ONYX CROWN. He briefly studied religion at Harvard. Later, he settled in Washington, DC where he founded a software consulting firm, hosted the Urban Nation Radio podcast, and occasionally played the World Series of Poker. When not writing or enjoying time with his family, he prefers to take his Ducati motorcycle out for the occasional spin!

Alan Hurst | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Review: Second Star

Title: Second Star

Author: J.M. Sullivan

Date of Publication: March 5th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Wendy Darling worked her entire life to rise through the ranks of the prestigious Londonierre Brigade. Now as a Captain, she has everything she’s always wanted, including a ship and crew of her own. But when the Brigade receives a strange transmission from the legendary James Hooke, lost a hundred years earlier in uncharted space and presumed dead, Wendy is willing to risk it all to rescue her hero. She races to the planet known only as Neverland; her mission to find the long-lost crew and bring them home.

But there is more to Neverland than meets the eye, and more to Hooke than what was written in history books. When Wendy crash lands on the ominous planet, she quickly discovers Neverland’s dark secret; a malevolent being known as The Shadow that’s looking for a host body to escape its eternal prison. To fulfill her mission, Wendy must decide whether to trust the dashing Hooke or the mysterious Fleet mechanic who goes by the name of Pan–and she has to decide quickly…

Before the darkness consumes them all.

My Review:

All you had to tell me before reading this book was Peter Pan and retelling! From the opening page you get to meet Peter and Tinc, and because this setting has Space vibes, Tinc’s character was pretty dang cool! Honestly, I was a little scared about the space part, because I’ve only really liked the Lunar Chronicles. Other Sci-fi books have been too wordy and talk about crap I don’t know! But fear not, dear friends, this is a fun space ride.

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Also, you don’t only get Peter’s POV but Wendy’s. And let me tell you right now, Wendy isn’t like they frilly little girl in the movie, she’s a Captain! Yes, there’s some swoony moments. Yes, you get to hear Peter crow. Yes, you get to see some awesome side characters and an awesome scene with mermaids!

The writing was great, characters were fun, and the book kept me on my toes! The ending isn’t a bad cliffhanger, but I need the next book, like now! So let’s just say this was a fun space ride!

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The Last Dragon Rider: Excerpt + Giveaway

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Genre: Fantasy/ Adventure/ Romance

Novella Release Date: August 9, 2017

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Blurb

Trained as an elite warrior from childhood, the elven crown prince Flintathriël fights to bring a stop to a war that began before he was born. With the aid of his betrothed Sairalindë, a skilled mage and dragon rider in her own right, they must find the Book of Souls – an ancient and mysterious tome rumored to have belonged to the god Hath’Raal.

When the missing book turns up in the hands of Mnuvae, the bastard child of the dead king, Flintathriël finds himself fighting to not only save his people from this new threat but also trying to keep Sairalindë safe when Mnuvae takes over the dragons in her attempt to win back the kingdom she believes is rightfully hers.

The love Flintathriël and Sairalindë share shines pure and true, but when the smoke of the battle clears, will their hearts survive the aftermath of war or will their love become a casualty that cannot be revived?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35090656-the-last-dragon-rider?ac=1&from_search=true

 

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Author Bio

Errin Krystal is a fantasy romance writer who has been writing since she was a small child. Her head has always been full of stories. She began work on her first novel when she was sixteen.

She lives with her family in regional Victoria, Australia, and works as a chef. In her quieter moments, she loves to indulge her passion for storytelling, basking in the joy that comes from creating vibrant characters, fantastical worlds and all manner of magical creatures. Dragons and elves, mages and warriors, troubled princes and beautiful princesses, romance, magic, and adventure can all be found in her writing.

Excerpt

She began wrapping the cloth tightly about her, binding her breasts firmly, criss-crossing the gauzy fabric around her torso and across her stomach, tying it off at her hip. She shimmied into a pair of leather leggings and reached for her foot wraps. To other races—like the dwarves and humans—the elves lack of footwear was strange. The elven people had strong ties to the lands, their magic and mystique were inexplicably linked. Even those who did not practice magic felt the connection to nature, and the elven people had maintained the practice throughout their long history.

After binding her feet and leaving only her toes exposed, she tossed an olive green tunic over her head before quickly weaving her tresses into a thick braid.

Sivath was waiting, and Flintathriël was late. Again.

She was reaching for her leather jerkin when he finally appeared in her doorway.

Arms akimbo, he slouched against the frame, all lean muscle and sharp angles beneath his leathers. Silver-white hair fell across his forehead, hiding the dark arches of his brows as he gazed at her with silvery blue eyes. The mop of hair barely touching his shoulders. His coloring typical of the royal family.

Her gaze traced his tattoos. Sweeping vines encompassed runic symbols, curling downward from his bottom lip, winding and weaving their way down his chin and neck. She knew every line that twisted and spread across his shoulders, and across his back. Etchings that disappeared beneath his tunic and reappeared along his arms. She still remembered the day he received the markings, branding him Nuvian. The day she first gave herself to him, the day she truly became his.

Links

Website: http://errinkrystal.weebly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ErrinKrystal/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ErrinKrystal

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/errin.krystal.bookishwriter/?hl=en

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16828644.Errin_Krystal

Blog: https://errinkrystal.wordpress.com/

Facebook Launch Party: https://www.facebook.com/events/1208794462583723/

Amazon pre-order link:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Errin+Krystal&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Errin+Krystal&sort=relevancerank

 

Guest Post

Characters gone wild: How the comic relief became the hero

It’s funny how wildly out of control things can get. I mean, you start out with the intention of simply writing a short 2,000 word character study to help push through the writer’s block you have been struggling with. Short, concise, maybe spend a day or so on it. Just something fresh and new to get the creativity flowing again you know?

That’s not what happened.

What happened was I set aside my novel and spent six months on writing a 30,000 word novella featuring a character who originally only had a small bit part… until I fell in love with him and created a more in depth history.

In his simplest incarnation, Flintathriël, (now the full-fledged hero of The Last Dragon Rider), was basically created to offer snarky and sarcastic comments to the hero and flirt with his love interest. That was pretty much his entire purpose in the beginning. Someone light and fun, someone to stir the proverbial pot.

Until one day his entire past just came crashing through, demanding to be written. So I started jotting down some notes for a short story… It was never meant to be anything serious…

I had this amazing idea, set against the backdrop of an ancient war with love, betrayal, dragons and elves and all those good things. But I only wanted it to be short.

I was determined to finish my other novel in 2015…

I wrote a novella instead…

But Flintathriël was destined to be more than a flat caricature and all too soon he had taken over telling his own story. He wanted more from life so I obliged, turning him into a fully fleshed out character as he demanded, creating something magical in the process.

In getting distracted with my novella, it has enabled me to fill in a few gaps in my novel (which is now book 2). Several characters appear in both stories and writing this novella has allowed me to flesh out those characters and add more depth to a specific story arc.

So while he still maintains that cocky arrogance I originally intended, Flintathriël is now burdened with a few more obstacles and responsibilities (as well as a kick ass love interest), making the transition from comic relief to tortured hero.

 

Giveaway Details:

5 digital copies of the book (Giveaway runs from July 31st to Aug. 9th)

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The Last Dragon Rider Blog Tour Schedule

July 31st

Reads & Reels (Promo) http://readsandreels.com

Nesie’s Place (Promo) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

August 1st

WeeBitWordy (Review) http://weebitwordy.blog

August 2nd

Darling Bear Reviews (Review) https://darlingbearreviews.com

August 3rd

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com

Thoughts All Sorts (Review) https://thoughtsallsorts.wordpress.com

Brizzle Lass Blog (Review) https://brizzlelass.co.uk

August 4th

The Most Sublime (Promo) https://themostsublime.com

August 7th

Literary Dust (Promo) https://literarydust.wordpress.com

Brickley Jules Blog (Promo) https://brickleyjules.wordpress.com

August 8th

The Protagonist Speaks (Character Interview) https://theprotagonistspeaks.com

 

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Review: Obsidian Blade

Title: Obsidian Blade

Author: Morgan Rhodes

Date of Publication: November 15th, 2016

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Goodreads Summary:

Magnus from Falling Kingdoms and Maddox from A Book of Spirits and Thieves are on an epic quest through time in this series-bridging novella.

In a garden of ancient ruins on the cliffs of Limeros, Prince Magnus comes face-to-face with a witch. The old woman incapacitates him with a spell, presses a single object into his hand—an obsidian blade—and tells him to bring it to a woman named Samara before the sun sets and his portal home closes forever.

A flash of dark magic transports Magnus back in time to a Mytica he’s only heard about in storybooks. Lost in this foreign land, Magnus sets out to find Samara. But a chance encounter with the rumored Witch Boy derails his journey. Magnus saves Maddox from a beating, but the cruel Livius is now on their tail. The sun is starting to set. Time is running out. Both boys must fight for their lives.

Follow legendary bad boy Magnus and the enigmatic Maddox as their worlds collide in this high-stakes adventure.

My Review:

I normally do not purchase novellas unless I love the book series, and I love both the Falling Kingdom series and A Book of Spirits and Thieves series. Although, Falling Kingdoms is better in my opinion.

This short novella combines the two and takes Magnus into the past where he runs into Maddox. This novella had me at Prince Magnus. His point of view never fails me, and it didn’t here. Maddox is still my sweet little baby, and there is even a snippet of Cleo from Falling Kingdoms.

The novella wasn’t long, but the bond that Magnus and Maddox shared had me rooting for their friendship. There was action, and I wanted to punch Livius in the face just like I wanted to in A Book of Spirits and Thieves. Anyone who is a fan of Falling Kingdoms and A Book of Spirits and Thieves does not want to miss this.

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The Red Pearl: Review + Giveaway

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The Red Pearl
by C.K. Brooke
Genre: NA Fantasy/Adventure Romance
Release Date: November 2015

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Summary from Goodreads:

Treasure lost… passion found?

Antonia Korelli is on the run from her coven of priestesses. She never desired a life confined to the temple, relegated to chastity and service to the goddess, Azea. Instead, she longs for true love and adventure in the Kingdom of Elat.

Robin Watkins is a fiery dreamer on a mission of his own, to uncover the legendary lost Red Pearl. Only, he must first regain his treasure map, which was stolen by his former best mate and conniving ex-girlfriend.

When Antonia becomes unwittingly entangled with Rob, she’s more than dismayed to find herself stuck on his harebrained hunt. But somewhere amidst their bickering and banter, their plight for survival through desert and tropics, and the joint pursuit of impossible dreams, Antonia begins to realize that perhaps she might have found the unforgettable adventure – and romance – she was seeking.

*Advisory: Contains some sensual/sexual content

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My Review:

While on the run from her coven of priestesses, Antonia meets Robin who has just been betrayed by his best friend and now former girlfriend. His treasure map has been taken by them, and now he demands Antonia to help him.

This book was well done with plenty of action from the very first page that kept me engrossed in the book. The action was the best part for me. The romance was good with cute moments. At some points in the book I did find Rob annoying, but I did like Annie a lot.

I haven’t really read a book about treasure hunting, so I found that unique. The treasure map is to lead to the Red Pearl. This pearl is the largest pearl that is known. The pace was fast, and the writing was really good. I would definitely pick up another book by this author.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Red-Pearl-C-K-Brooke-ebook/dp/B016Z3OP4C/
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-red-pearl-ck-brooke/1122950380?ean=9781937546489
BAM: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Red-Pearl/C-K-Brooke/9781937546489?id=6145510849157
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26917769-the-red-pearl
48fourteen Publishing: https://48fourteen.com/catalog/the-red-pearl/

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About the Author

C.K. Brooke is a 2015 Shelf Unbound Notable Indie author with a five-star rating by Readers’ Favorite. She holds numerous fantasy and romance publications with 48fourteen, Limitless Publishing, and Elphame Press. Her lifelong passion is books – reading, writing, editing, publishing and blogging about them. When not blissing out in literary land, she enjoys info-tainment podcasts, singing, songwriting and playing the piano. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and young son. There’s tons to check out at the new CKBrooke.com, so come and see what she’s up to! Check out her V.I.P. Readers Club (Subscribers get a free eBook!)

 

Author Links:

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GIVEAWAY:

Subscribe to the author’s newsletter (www.ckbrooke.com/vipclub) and get a free eBook!

 

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Top Ten Books I Picked Up On A Whim

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The lovelies over at the Broke and the Bookish host a weekly meme called Top Ten Tuesdays! Here is this weeks topic:  Ten Books I Picked Up On A Whim (however you decide to interpret that (bought or read or something else) — I know most people read based on recommendation but we want to know those books you picked up without really hearing about or knowing much about!)

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Little Reviewer – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

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