A Bond Of Venom and Magic
by Karen Tomlinson
(The Goddess and the Guardians #1)
Publication date: October 14th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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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 saviour, 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 Guardians and The Goddess.
The window warrior spun swiftly in front of the door, facing Hugo with his sword drawn. Clearly he wanted to give his lord time to escape, even if that meant his own death. Before the door banged shut downstairs, Hugo stormed forward. The warrior flicked his wrist. Diamond gasped. Red magic. No Avalonian had red magic anymore. It ripple across the room like a wave of shimmering heat. Hugo roared, but not in pain.
Leaning into the onslaught of power he grinned with fiendish delight, darkness rippling around him. A shroud of silver-flamed shadow devoured the red wave, even as his powerful body charged forwards.
The warrior swore, desperately raising his sword in defence. Clearly he had expected a different reaction to his magical attack. Hugo’s wrathful bellow filled the room as he drove his sword down. Metal jarred and sparked.
“You took her from me! I can smell her blood. Now you will die!” he promised, his voice nothing like his own. It was more animalistic than Diamond had ever heard.
The warrior blocked Hugo’s blade with skill and precision. Red magic meant the ability to control heat and fire. Hugo’s blade began to glow as the other fae heated it like it had come out of a furnace. Hugo grunted but did not let go. The white-hot metal did not burn him through the glove of darkness rippling around his hand.
“Stop this, commander! We are not your enemy,” the warrior panted, blocking and spinning away from Hugo’s blades with utter confidence and no small amount of skill.
Hugo did not answer, his only response was to blast the red magic away with a veil of darkness, parrying a strike and bringing his other blade down with such force the window warrior stumbled, almost driven to his knees. Hugo blocked the warrior’s sweeping sword strike and stabbed him through the shoulder, before mercilessly slashing across the male’s thigh. A move meant to incapacitate. The warrior dropped to one knee but somehow still managed to block Hugo’s killing blow.
“Commander! Stop! She will be safer with us. If you take her back to the palace, the Queen will kill her! You know she will! We need Diamond to live! All of us do!” he panted, desperation in his voice now.
Diamond gasped as she saw the warrior’s hand drop to his boot and grasp the handle of a small concealed knife.
“Hugo!” she yelled, fighting her bonds with all her might. Pain screeched through Diamond’s wrists as the silk tightened. She screamed. It was going to cut off her hands!
Instead of killing the warrior, Hugo kicked his assailant in the chest sending him sprawling. There was a solid thud as the warrior’s head smacked into the wall and he stilled. Hugo immediately twisted to Diamond, dropping to his knees in front of her. Blood ran from her wounds, dripping down the chair arms.
“Keep still,” he ordered, pulling a dagger and slicing through the silken rope.
Sobbing with relief, she sagged against him before the pain started in earnest. Her fingers burned as blood rushed back in. Diamond whimpered, not sure what to do with herself.
Thoughts of the window warrior escaped them both. Hugo quickly slashed strips of material off his tunic. Dropping his blades he firmly bound her wrists, trying to staunch the heavy flow of blood. For a moment he leaned his forehead against hers and gripped each wrist as she fought to control her panicked sobs.
“Shh. It’s alright. You’ll be fine now. Breathe, Diamond. In…out…with me. That’s it.” Slowly her mind returned to her. With her head leaning against Hugo’s, they shared the same warm breath. She closed her eyes, her body responding to his. Her breathing slowed until it mirrored his own and she could swear she heard the distant beat of his heart.
The scuff of boots on the wooden floor had Hugo on his feet in front of her, blades ready. Diamond looked on as he faced the bleeding warrior, his face icy and calm.
“We are not your enemy,” the warrior panted. Equally calm and with slow intent he sheathed his own blades.
“Kill me if you must. But you know if you take her back to the palace, the Queen will destroy her. Let her come with me, commander. Please. I give you my word I will keep her safe,” the warrior appealed, holding his bloodied hands out to Diamond.
Hugo looked down at her, his brow bunched. Diamond shook her head frantically and grabbed at his tunic. He couldn’t be considering it.
About Author Karen Tomlinson:
Karen Tomlinson is the author of The Goddess and the Guardians series of Young Adult fantasy books. Book one A Bond of Venom and Magic will be released October 14th 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 being thirteen, likes walking, mountain biking and (for something completely different) cake decorating. She is currently working on book two in The Goddess and the Guardians series.
About Me! From Karen:
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 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 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 anything and everything I could get my hands on back then, I now have an eclectic taste in books. I will read anything that catches my eye and absolutely love illustrated book covers! In my late teens I discovered fantasy and that genre 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!