Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mini-Review + Giveaway!! A Bond of Venom and Magic, by Karen Tomlinson (YA Bound Book Tours)

Welcome to the tour for
A Bond of Venom and Magic,
sponsored by
YA Bound Book Tours!!

For my stop, I'm featuring a mini-review and excerpt.
There's also a tour-sponsored giveaway!!

A Bond of Venom and Magic
(The Goddess and The Guardians, Book 1)
Karen Tomlinson
Trade Paperback, 302 pages
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
First Edition
September 17, 2016
(Digital Release: October 14, 2016)
Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult Fiction

The Wraith Lord is hunting; his prize, the key to unleashing darkness and Chaos upon the eight Kingdoms. For Diamond Gillon the war raging in the south seems a remote danger until her home is brutally attacked. Having lost everything she holds dear, Diamond is catapulted into a terrifying new world in which legendary beasts arise, magic is condemned and half blood fae, like her, have no rights. Despite her growing feelings for her savior, Commander Hugo Casimir, he remains a paradox - not only is he a heartless killer, he is owned by the cruel immortal fae queen; a queen who will murder her own people for magic. As Diamond's circumstances become ever more perilous she is drawn deeper into Hugo's world and discovers the lengths to which he will go to save what he holds dear. Will Hugo become her friend, her protector, or - an enemy not worthy of her trust? A Bond of Venom and Magic is a tale of two people bound by magic and secrets, but trapped in the complexities of love and betrayal. It is the beginning of an epic journey, one that will test Diamond's resolve and determination to battle an evil that threatens not only her world but that of Eternity, the land of The Goddess and the Guardians.

The first thing that caught my eye about this book was, of course, the cover. I LOVE it! But all of us readers have seen lovely covers with contents that have left us cold. Not the case here! Especially not in the excerpt below. Diamond, the female protagonist, refuses to back down when Hugo apparently attempts to dominate her. I say 'apparently', because, at one point, the author makes me wonder if he's really making sure that Diamond has not lost her spirit. And he did save her life. However, I still really enjoyed how she stood up to him! I LOVE it when a female protagonist does that! No 'damsel in distress' here!! KUDOS to Tomlinson!!

Fuming at his touch, Diamond rubbed her arm when he let go. With flushed cheeks, her bejeweled eyes only served to enhance her beauty. Hatefully, she cursed him under her breath. Jerking her, he shoved her down onto her chair, a bitter taste coating his tongue. He shouldn't have expected anything else. He had practically delivered her to the Queen, then stood by while his subordinates beat her and then he, not them, had threatened to throw her in the dungeons.

"It's not polite to call names," he snapped under his breath, raising his eyebrows in warning.

"It is if you deserve it," she shot back through gritted teeth, her back straight and her chin angled defiantly.

"Why? Because I brought you here? Diamond, I saved your life. Do you think there was another choice?" he asked bitterly. Instantly his magic flared to life, reacting to her stormy emotions. He growled. This was an unbearable situation. It was always exhausting hiding his magic when he was with others, and right now, trying to curb the angry waves of energy pouring from him was nearly impossible. "Do it again and I'll spank you like the ungrateful child you are," he fumed.

"Really? What, right now? I doubt that," she sneered. "It would degrade you too much, especially in front of these small-minded morons -- and those guards who, correct me if I'm wrong, are your inferiors. And what about your Queen? You wouldn't dare demean yourself in front of her. Would you?" Challenge laced her voice. "No, you'll wait until we are alone again and then attack me. Or perhaps, commander, you'll let your friend Attion do it for you. Maybe you'll let him do more than just grope me with his filthy hands while you grovel on your knees for your Queen," she jeered, disgust and shame pulsing from her.

Hugo's heart briefly stopped as he digested those words and her emotions slammed into him. 

Attion had done what?! Rage fueled a sudden surge of heat that seared his blood and pounded through his head. Hugo stared at her, his nostrils flaring as he fought for control, but he did not give in to his magic's demand for release; instead he mastered it, rolled it into a tight ball and thrust it into a cage, not forgotten or extinguished but saved -- for later.

Hugo took some deep breaths, fighting to keep his face neutral in the onslaught of his feelings and hers -- confusion, hurt, fear -- but even they were overshadowed by her rage at him. Suddenly, he wanted to take her up on that scornful challenge. She did not understand that bringing her here had been the only way to save her. 

In a flurry of twinkling gossamer material, Diamond twisted to face him and he released a large, relieved breath, making it sound like an angry huff. Her defiance in the face of all that was happening to her lifted his heart. Her fear of him, and this court, wasn't so great it had curbed her spirit; if anything, she was more defiant. Using his best dominant stare, he fixed a glare on her, then suddenly, out of nowhere, despite her taunts and the anger pulsing against him, he had an urge to laugh.

Even the shadow of his Queen and the sadistic Lord Commander Ream could not prevent the corners of his mouth from twitching up at the thought of throwing her over his knee and spanking her perfect rear until she squealed. He cracked a wider smile when she snorted her irritation and crossed her arms over her chest, giving him the cold shoulder.

"Go to hell!" she hissed, clearly furious. "None of this is funny!"

He coughed, bringing his amusement under control. His voice softened and he gently touched her arm. "No, it isn't," he agreed. "But I'm not laughing at you, Diamond. I'm just happy you can still find it in you to tell me to go to hell after everything that has happened today."

Those amazing violet eyes flicked to his and he saw her hesitant smile, then felt her desperate need to believe him. "Are you?" she asked softly.  

Purchase Links

Print Edition

Digital Edition

Karen Tomlinson is the author of The Guardians and The Goddess series of Young Adult fantasy books. Book One, A Bond of Venom and Magic, will be released in digital format on October 14th, 2016. It was first published as a trade paperback on Sept. 17th, 2016.

Karen has always been an avid reader. Her taste in books is eclectic, but she likes nothing better than an exciting fantasy set in a new and magical world. She lives in Derbyshire, England, with her husband, twin girls and her Dalmatian, Poppy. Karen trained as a nurse and currently works as a resuscitation and clinical skills trainer; this involves training a wide variety of health care professionals and medical students in acute patient care. In addition to writing, and reading whenever she can, Karen likes to keep active. She has been training at Shotokan karate since she was thirteen, likes walking, mountain biking and (for something completely different) cake decorating. She is currently working on Book Two in the Guardians of The Goddess series.

About me!

As soon as I could read I spent hours getting lost in the new worlds books could give me. Spending my pocket money had to be done (obviously) but not on sweets, well, not many…I spent my money on books. Back then it was Enid Blyton’s Famous Five children's mystery series, which sparked my young mind. I didn’t rest until I had the whole set, then I migrated to the secret seven… ( there was no Harry Potter around then). As a teenager I would trawl through all my mum and dad’s discarded books. It was probably highly inappropriate for a thirteen -year-old to be reading swoony Mills and Boon romances followed by Ian Flemming, Alistair Maclean and Wilbur Smith!

Because I read whatever I could get my hands on back then, I now have an eclectic taste in books and will read anything that catches my eye. I absolutely love illustrated book covers!

In my late teens I discovered fantasy and that has stayed my firm favourite. I am and will always remain a complete sucker for a fantasy with kick ass characters, and worlds steeped in magic and romance!

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  1. The cover is great! You had me at Wraith Lord. Looks exciting!

    1. Hi, Penny!

      Yes, the cover is DEFINITELY great!! And, as you say, it does look exciting!! The excerpt makes that VERY clear!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!! :)


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