This is part of the book blog tour for Witchling by Ari Harper, organized by Shane at Itching for Books.
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?
As a blog tour host, I’m going to share an excerpt with you today.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.
Excerpt from Witchling
By Ari Harper
from Chapter Four
“Would you like a demonstration, Nera?” Bones asked.
“Yes, I would.” I could feel the excitement building up inside me, and I handed Jasper his sword before backing up to the chairs to keep out of their way. Hugo was at my side, my earlier bad mood disappearing.
They took their stance, and holding the longsword in both hands, Jasper attacked first. Bones stepped back and blocked the blow, then swung his sword down and sideways.
It was almost beautiful to watch. Their swords clashed, and the sound resonated around the garden. It was like a well choreographed ballet, the way Jasper and Bones parried and cut. I sat mesmerized while they displayed the lost art of longsword fighting.
I was disappointed when they finished. They laughed and slapped each other on the back while sauntering toward me. I could see the love the two of them obviously had for each other, and a warm feeling settled deep in my stomach when I looked at them both. I felt I had fallen even deeper over that cliff than before. If Jasper put so much faith in Bones, who was I to push him away?
They came to a stop in front of me, placing the points of their swords into the grass and leaned on them, breathing heavily.
“Would you like to try, Nera?” Bones’s voice was no longer cold and indifferent.
I could make this easy, or I could make this difficult. Whatever came to pass, I needed to keep these two men close to me. That I knew. At least until I could figure out if this was indeed the path that had been written for me. I made my decision.
“I would love to try, thank you.” I got up from my chair and accepted Jasper’s weapon.
He guided me while Bones acted as my sparring partner. The sword felt cumbersome in my hands, and if I had to rely on my athletic skills alone, I would have been dead inside the first five seconds. But a thrill raced through my body with the weapon in my hands. The two men patiently took me through the basic steps and cuts. As fit as I was, I was not anywhere near sword fit. It took a totally different set of muscles and actions to anything that I had done before. After a bare ten minutes, I was begging for a break.
I sat with a cup of tea, marveling at the feel of the longsword in my hands. The muscles in my arms and shoulders were screaming from holding something so heavy and different. I felt a lot steadier now that I had accepted what was to be inevitable, according to Jasper and my protector anyway.
“That was totally awesome, I must say. Even if it wasn’t part of your culture, I would want to learn it. Brie and Sully would love to try too. Would you mind?”
Bones face blanched when I mentioned Brie’s name. The other day must have scarred him for life. If he had indeed been around me since I was born, he should have had a good insight of what she was like.
“Sounds wonderful, girl dear.” Jasper laughed at Bones’s reaction. “Toughen up, Bones. She really is harmless.”
“Like a viper is harmless,” he said, his face grim again.
“She is not that bad,” I said, protecting Brie. “She is just in love with love. Is that a crime?”
“No, but it makes me feel uncomfortable,” he replied.
I glanced over at Jasper who was trying his best not to laugh at his nephew’s discomfort. “Get over it, Bones. I will bring them over next weekend.” I sipped my tea. A small spark of satisfaction took hold in my mind. “The holiday break is coming up soon too. We’ll get plenty of training in then. What do you think, Jasper? Up for it?”
I laughed at the look on Bones’s face and shared a glance with Jasper.
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