August 22, 2013

Witchling Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on the Witchling blog tour and scavenger hunt! Today I have an excerpt from the book to share with you and don't forget to scroll to the bottom of the post to enter the giveaway!


Witchling (Curse of Kin #1)
Author: Ari Harper
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Release Date: November 29, 2012
Publisher: Lycaon/Breathless Press

Buy Link: Amazon 

Description:

Nera is a normal teenage girl living in Ireland, or so she thought until she discovers the family secret.. now her world is forever changed.

Descended from a long line of witches, she discovers she is the one who has to stop the curse that has taken the life of every girl before her.

And if that isn't enough, she must learn to use magic from the man called Bones. He is the son of Mari, Queen of the Witches...and a god. It is Bones who has been entrusted to teach her the skills she needs to stay alive, which wouldn't be so bad if he didn't have an uncanny knack for pushing her buttons.

Can Nera succeed and resist the charms of the man who gets under her skin at every opportunity?
  

Chapter One

The smell of smoke pricked at my nostrils and dragged my concentration away from my math test. I looked sideways and watched it swirl over the floor like a silent, deadly serpent, coil-ing around the desks and feet of my classmates. I listened for the crackle that accompanied the smoke and saw the flames licking along the floorboards. Cold sweat broke out on my neck and ran down my spine, galvanizing me out of my chair.
I tried to call out, but my throat was locked. No one seemed to notice the flames creeping up the walls toward the ceiling. I was shaking so hard I could hardly walk. I pushed between the desks toward Mr. Devon at the front of the class. Surely he could see the flames creeping up the walls by now.
He looked up from his desk. “Nera, please go back to your seat and finish your test,” he said, his brow wrinkled in a frown.
My mouth worked as I tried to get the words out, but they re-fused to budge past my burning throat. Changing track, I turned
toward the door in a blind frenzy. I had to get out! Tears were pouring down my cheeks, blurring my vision, and I could hardly breathe for the smoke that surrounded me. I reached for the door handle and jerked my hand away as the hot metal burned my palm.
“Nera, what are you doing?” Mr. Devon hurried toward me.
I slumped to the floor, burned and struggling for breath.
“Brie, get the headmistress!”
I pulled my body into a ball and opened my mouth in a half-hearted attempt to scream. Somehow I knew that the pain in my throat would only get worse if I tried, so I closed it again. The kids crowded around me, oblivious to the flames engulfing the room. Their voices faded away, and I sank deeper into my own little dark hole.
When I resurfaced from my inner retreat, I forced my eyelids open a crack. The voices in the room were loud after the silence of my own mind. I was in the headmistress’s office lying on my side on the old threadbare brown couch, its scratchy fabric prickling my cheek. Dad was kneeling down beside me.
“Nera, honey, are you okay?” he asked as he stroked my hair from my eyes.
“I don’t know,” I whispered, my voice cracking. “I was doing my math test, and things just went a little fuzzy. I couldn’t get out of the classroom.”
I looked at the floor, unwilling to meet his gaze and reveal the untruth of my words. The smell of smoke clung to my hair, and my throat was raw. . My hands were red and angry. I hugged them close to my body so he couldn’t see the blisters.
“You know how teenage girls are now, Mr. O’Reilly,” Mrs. White said. “So dramatic, and it was only a test. Nera could well do with some breathing exercises to calm her down a little. So over the top.” A frown marred her face.
“I know my own daughter, and she is not dramatic. Now, if you will excuse us, I am taking Nera home.” Dad leaned down to pick me up off the couch. The headmistress was brushed to one side as my father walked out the door with me hugging into his chest, the safest place I knew.
Dramatic, my ass. I chewed over her words. I was anything but dramatic, and even if I hated to admit it, I really needed to sort this out. Nightmares in the privacy of my own room were one
thing, but having them during the day scared the crap out of me. For more than three years I had almost talked myself into being used to them but not after today.
Brie and Sully, my two best friends in the world, were hov-ering outside the school building waiting for us. Brie fluttered around me making soothing noises while Sully followed quietly.
“Guys, why don’t you give Nera a call a little later this after-noon,” Dad said, looking over his shoulder at them. “Let me get her home to rest, and we can take it from there.”
They stood looking at me, pale and silent while he belted me in. I saw them get smaller in the side mirror the farther we drove away. I snuck a glance at my father from under my lashes. His mouth was tight, and his eyebrows were drawn together in thought as he drove. He knew I was the level-headed one in the family. Not that I couldn’t throw a hissy fit every now and then, but generally I was a stable type of person, always had been. I could tell he didn’t know what to say to me.
Same here. My God, what am I going to do?
We pulled into the driveway, and Dad parked in the carport that was built on the side of the garage. Dad had renovated the garage into an office after he moved here from Dublin so he could work from home. It was nice to have him around whenever we need him.
He came around to my door to help me out. When he slid his arm out to support me, I stumbled against the door, putting out my hands automatically to stop my fall. I grimaced as my blis-tered palm made contact with the car.
“Are you okay, honey?”
“Fine, just a little fuzzy still,” I mumbled. I hugged my sore hands to my body while he helped me into the house.
He fluffed up a couple of pillows and settled me on the couch before ducking back into the kitchen. Moments later, he returned with a glass. “Water in case you get thirsty, Nera.” Stroking my head again, he dropped a kiss on my hair and promised to check on me later.
I leaned back against the pillows, closed my eyes, and let my mind wander over the morning’s episode. As I waited for Brie and Sully to finish school, I tried to work out how this last episode unfolded. All I could remember was the headache and the smoke. I couldn’t wait until they came over to find out what they saw. 
From what I could tell I had two choices. It was either talk to them about it or let things go on as they had been. But that would mean slowly going insane by myself, and to be honest, I’d rather tell them everything and feel like I was going insane with my friends instead. I really shouldn’t drag them into this. It’s selfish to tell them just because I don’t want to deal with it alone anymore.
The clock ticked on the wall, and I sat quietly a little longer, willing it to move faster. I realized then and there that I was going to tell the truth, regardless of how selfish it felt. Stuff like this was just too big to handle by myself, whether I liked it or not.
They arrived after school like a small whirlwind. Brie ran in and grabbed me in a big hug, squealing as if she hadn’t seen me for weeks. Her eyes shone brightly, and she held her head tilted to one side while she waited for me to spill my guts. Sully was pick-ing at the skin around his fingernails, watching me from under his lashes. His forehead was tight, and he was giving me sympathetic looks.
Brie stroked my arm; that irritated me half to death. She was honestly a sweetheart, but some days she just overdid the whole let-Brie-look-after-you routine. I much preferred to be snapped out of it, not pampered as she was doing now.
“Nera, what happened?” Brie ran her hands down her skirt, smoothing the material over her knees before meeting my gaze again. “We were all doing our test, heads down and really into it when you started acting all weird and tried to get out of the classroom. You had a really desperate look on your face.” She was watching me closely.
I had never been the nervy type, so I knew my behavior was totally out of character and I could tell she was itching for me to fill her in. Brie hated missing out on anything. I hadn’t told her about any of the nightmares. I hadn’t had a good enough reason to until now.
“I really don’t know.” I ran my fingertips through my hair before tugging hard on a lock. “This is the first time I have had one of these dreams during the day.” I glanced between them for signs of disbelief. “But it wasn’t a dream, it felt real.”
Brie’s mouth fell open. Sully shook his head and mumbled to himself.
“What, Sully? Spit it out.” I swung my feet down to the ground. 
“It’s just that, well I…um, I think I know what it could be.” He looked at his hands, then his gaze found mine.
“What? Tell me.” I stood up and started to pace the floor.
“I think you are having premonitions. You know some people can see into the future. Maybe that’s what you are seeing.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Sully.” A small chill ran down the back of my neck. “That’s the sort of thing Brie would come up with, not you. And even if it was, I could maybe understand the fire, but the other dream, the one that I have when my throat is cut with a sword? That wouldn’t happen these days. No way. You are reach-ing there,” I said in reference to the other dream that plagued me.
“It’s not like I don’t believe in magic. I’m Irish too, you know.” Sully crossed his arms and turned away from me, his back straight and stiff.
“Nera, it’s quite possible, you know, what he is saying. You don’t have to be a witch or going insane,” Brie interrupted look-ing back and forward between us, her voice rising. “You hear of people who can see the future, and they seem normal enough. They don’t have pointed hats and broomsticks or anything. It’s just a gift.”
“Why don’t we go and see Jasper?” Sully turned back to me, his eyes lighting up at the thought of going over to my uncle’s cas-tle on the headland. “I’m sure he can help. He knows about most things. You know he won’t say anything to your folks about it.”
“Maybe.” I chewed on my bottom lip while my brain kicked into gear. “We could go tomorrow, it’s Saturday. Dad wants me to stay home today to get over the shock, but it’s more so he can keep an eye on me until Mom gets home.” I considered whether or not to tell my Uncle Jasper while they both looked at me with expec-tation lighting their faces. “Yeah, why not? You guys come over early so we can have the day with Jasper, rummaging through his library and picking his brain. He’s sure to know something. He always does.”
After Brie and Sully left, I went upstairs and snuggled on my bed while I let Sully’s words churn over in my mind. Hugo, my big black Labrador and constant shadow, lay asleep on the rug beside me. The dreams were really starting to scare me now, and with Dad knowing something was going on, I had to find the an-swers before they thought I had lost my mind. Sometimes it felt like I had. If I was honest with myself, I’d admit that these dreams
had not just started three years ago. I’d been having them all my life. Over the years, some of the dreams manifested themselves into my reality—something that I had brushed aside in ignorance or fear. Perhaps a mixture of both.
What if I can see into the future? Would that be a good thing? Or would it be too much for me to handle? Why am I getting these dreams anyway?
 
Ari HarperAri Harper never wanted to grow up.
To offset the limitations of aging ungracefully, she created her own set of unique worlds where she can be and do whatever she wants.

Gods, witches and demons surround Ari while she spins her magic, doing mainly what they tell her to do. Given a chance, she prefers to work amongst chaos, which is good because she is constantly surrounded by children, all clamoring for attention. Some of them end up in her stories, some of them even get to die grisly deaths or be cast away to another realm.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



 

3 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cool excerpt. Thanks for participating :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. My teen likes the sound of this book; it would be her first witch read! Will this be part of a series?

    Barrie

    ReplyDelete