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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

BLOG TOUR! Stormling by John Hennesy + Interview & Excerpt

Stormling (Mordana Chronicles #1)
Behind 513 Pages
Released: 1 July 2014
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Buy Me: Amazon
At the Other End:
A Lost Jewel. A World in Chaos. A Quest Unlike Any Other.

When a jewel is lost from the mystical realm of Mordana, and found on Earth, so begins a race against time to ensure the safe return of the jewel to its rightful place. 

With news that the jewel has now been located, two warring factions fight for the control of Mordana. Anadyr, the strongest and bravest of the Stormlings, is sent on a quest to retrieve the jewel, as the survival of his race depends on it, but he finds there are some on Earth that are out to stop him as well. 

On Earth, teenager Ophelia Drewe discovers the jewel. Anadyr needs to win her trust, but the task is made more difficult as Ophelia finds herself in conflict with dark mages, sorceresses, elves, demons, giant-folk, and more.

However....Evil stirs East of Mordana, with the minions of Andus Rey also working together to release The Fourth – the entity who was a good Stormling at one time, but has since turned to darkness.

Even if Anadyr helps to restore order to Mordana, his quest will not be truly complete until he announces his successor from a group of trusted, but untested Stormlings.

The evil in Mordana knows this too, and is just waiting for the right moment to strike, to set in motion a new and terrifying age of darkness....

Shhh... Take a Sneak Peek:

“Father, we can go, can’t we? Please? Don’t you want to see who will win today?”
Aldyr Veroynne knelt down in front of his son, and placed his hands on the boy’s shoulders, squeezing them gently with firm hands.
“Anadyr, please, give it a rest. That would be six days in a row. We know who is going to win, anyway. You don’t need to come along. Just know that the winner is always someone from Mill’An Draythe.”
“Still, the Easterners come,” said Anadyr. “I must go to see how they fight, so that when I have the glory to represent my land, I know how to win.”
Anadyr had been just ten years of age when he became involved in his first fight, against another young Stormling, as it happened. At first, it seemed like the bigger and older Stormling would win, and had far too much strength for Anadyr.
During the fray, Anadyr connected with few blows, but could not knock his bigger opponent down. Then, with a swift kick to his mid-section, Anadyr’s strength left him, and he rolled into a ball on the ground, one hand clutching his stomach, the other, keeping his hair from covering his eyes.
The sun was blocked out by the shadow of the Stormling standing over him, who must was five years his senior.
“Loser?” he inquired.
You wish,” replied Anadyr, who sat up, and clapped his hands three times together before placing them on the ground, one hand either side of him.
“I don’t need applause from a loser,” said the bigger Stormling.
“That wasn’t applause,” replied the young Anadyr.
Suddenly, the ground started to shake all around them, the bigger Stormling’s smug look of apparent victory was erased by the tremors on the ground, and the almost instantaneous appearance of black clouds that filled the sky.
A few moments later, the clouds burst and soaked only the bigger Stormling and his crew of friends, whilst Anadyr stood laughing at them. The group started to run, but the rain lashed them in every way, from both sides, from above, and even as they ran into the ground which became ever more sodden, until they fell face forward.
“Why isn’t it raining on you?” the biggest one screamed. “You’re in league with the Lord of Monus! Say it isn’t so, for Stormlings don’t lie.”
Anadyr smiled and leaned over his sodden nemesis, who he was merely toying with.
“That’s right, Stormlings don’t lie, and I am not in league with anyone. So! Are you a loser?”
The bigger Stormling seethed. “So it would seem. Just make the damned rain stop. Who are you, boy?”
Anadyr clicked his fingers and rested his fists on the top of his hips.
“I am Anadyr Veroynne, and I command the Storms. The wind, the rain, the clouds all answer to me, and as for you….I will have your allegiance.”
The other Stormlings mumbled, saying they would not answer to some preppy brat, but the one who had hit Anadyr, stood up and bowed to him.
“I am good with a sword, but my true prowess lies with the double daggers. My skill is such that I could skim the sweat off a faerie’s wings. If you ever need my help, you shall have it, although…one who can bend the Storms to his will, surely has no need for an edged weapon.”
“Not so,” said Anadyr. “In fact, I practise with a longsword twelve hours a day. What is your name?”
“Kirnosst. Though my sword wielding days are at an end. I’m being sent to Firetop to learn, watch and ultimately take over from Aynara. Unlike us, she’s not an immortal, but I suppose your father told you that already.”
Anadyr nodded emphatically to show he knew about Aynara’s supposed mortality, but no-one knew when her time would end. There were none like her on Mordana.
Aldyr Veryonne was none-too-impressed with his son’s handling of things. “You wanted him to knock you down, so that you could show off, isn’t that so? The truth now, Anadyr.”
“I just wanted to show I wasn’t afraid of them. If I can instil fear into the heart of my enemies, maybe I can bend them to my way of thinking, as easily as I do the storms.”
“You are just a boy, Anadyr. You are too young to have enemies.”
“Didn’t you say that those East of the Wisty River are our enemies?”
“Well, yes, but I don’t see what that has to do with anything.”
“It’s got everything to do with it,” said Anadyr. “That’s why I want to go see the fight today. The Lord of Monus sends a Tryer from the Mordis Mountains, or from the heart of Caldreah itself.”
“Yes, Anadyr, but the point is-”
“The point is, Father, that today’s Tryer is from AnnanGhorst, and that makes things very interesting. I have never seen a ShadowWraith, much less seen you fight one. Tell me you’ll take me, please!”
Aldyr sighed. Putting combatants from the East out of their misery is something he loved to do, but a ShadowWraith of AnnanGhorst was different. Even the weakest of their kind were not to be taken lightly. Even if the Wraith lost, it would be most likely sent to the Island of Dead Skin, where Andus Rey, ruler of Caldreah Monus and a Stormling himself, ran his own sick tournament, where combatants often had to fight to the death.
Having a Wraith enter the fray was no battle at all. Under Rey’s watch, they would win, and win easily. Aldyr let out another sigh. He was considering throwing the match, even though this was illegal.
“Alright Anadyr, I’ll take you. But whatever happens, you come straight back home. That’s an order.”
“I will, Father. I will,” said Anadyr, who could not believe there would be any other outcome but a clear and decisive victory for his father, who was a skilled swordsman and had been known to dabble in magic.
ShadowWraiths were difficult adversaries for all sorts of reasons. Although they were scary to look at, it was more a case of what you couldn’t see, rather than what you could.
There were all sorts of rumours about them, which, outside of AnnanGhorst, became the very fabric of legend.
Some would say that there actually were no ShadowWraiths, but that it was Rey himself, who would come to test himself against the foes of Monus.
Others believed the Wraiths did have a face, but it was one so terrible to view, that one would die of fright from resting innocent eyes on their hateful faces.
Still others believed that the ShadowWraiths could not be killed, and one had to have a death wish if standing against them. But everyone who knew Aldyr Veroynne believed that he must know how to defeat a ShadowWraith.
As expected, there was a great throng of people in the town centre. They gathered round the platform, which stood some twenty feet from the ground. The ShadowWraith was already on the platform as Aldyr and Anadyr arrived.
As they walked, Aldyr beamed smiles and waved to everyone. They had come to see him triumph, which would be his thirty-eigth win in a row. The ShadowWraiths had triumphed every time to date, but the locals felt it was time one of their own succeeded.
The Wraith extended a bony finger towards Aldyr, and beckoned him to stand on the platform with him.
“Remember Anadyr,” whispered his father, “whatever happens, you will return home. Understood?”
“Yes Father, of course,” said Anadyr, who was surprised his father was making so much of this battle. Winning fights is what Aldyr Veroynne was all about. ‘He’s just more fodder from AnnanGhorst, who will slink back to that hellhole when my father’s through with him,’ thought Anadyr.
Whilst Anadyr watched the two men line up, a third man, the one who usually judged the battles, pulled himself up onto the platform, and from underneath his robes he produced a rather large wooden box. An omnious gasp came out from the crowd. “What? What is it?” said the young Stormling. Anadyr craned his neck to see what the commotion was.
The judge extended his arms to the crowd. “Today’s battle is a red match. In this box are two weapons from the challenger’s province of AnnanGhorst. The fighter who represents us has agreed to the terms, and will use the weapon provided to him.”
Anadyr nudged the man next to him. “What is it? What is a red match?”

The man solemnly shook his head. “It means that this is not for children’s eyes. They will fight to the death.”
________________________________________________________________________
Author Bio:
John Hennessy is a young adult / new adult novelist whose works to date have been Dark Winter (published 2013), a paranormal horror thriller, and Stormling, an epic swords and magic (and cookies) fantasy. The first short story he ever wrote brought together Fagan, Lizzie Bennet, Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, which despite impressing his long suffering English teacher, thankfully remains unpublished. For recreation he will visit paranormal hotspots, but prefers to write about ghosts rather than meet them. He also believes almost any problem can be overcome so long as there is an inexhaustible supply of tea and biscuits. He has also written the non-fiction title The Essence of Martial Arts (published 2011), and released The Essence of Martial Arts: Special Edition, in 2014.
Find John:
Blog  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads

Interview:
1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)
My first book was a non-fiction work entitled The Essence of Martial Arts, published in 2011. I released the Special Edition of this book in 2014. Last year saw the publication of my first full length fiction novel, called Dark Winter. It’s the first in a series of three books.

2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?
Actually, I don’t pay attention to that. Writing the first draft is exhausting in itself. After the book has finally gone out there, I believe you have to give yourself time to recover. For me, that means being nowhere near the computer at all.

3. What inspired you to write this novel?
I love fantasy stories and this was intended to be in part a homage to those great stories, but also very clearly defined as something unique, something of my own. I believe I have succeeded in this aim.

4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?
If a negative review is something like ‘this book is rubbish, I hated it’, it is not helpful, and it shouldn’t be classified as review. However, if a negative review has honest critique, I think that is fair enough. Not everyone adopts the same rating. My rating of one modern title of five stars may not put it on the same level as say, Nineteen-Eighty-Four, it simply means that I thoroughly enjoyed the book and it deserved its rating. I tend not to over think negative reviews., and to date, I haven’t had any. I hope I never will, but even the most awesome books in my view are hammered by other people, who are entitled to their opinion.

5. How long was the writing/planning process?
Stormling has been nearly three years in the making. I think the planning process is ongoing because it will span four full books when finished.

6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?
I was astonished by the cover. It really captured what I was looking for in a particular pivotal scene in the book, so of course, I was delighted. I think it just solidified my thoughts, rather than being a further source of inspiration.

7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?
I am currently editing Dark Winter #2, drafting a vampire novella called Murderous Little Darlings. Also I am in the long term project of the follow up martial arts book, and there will be an announcement on Stormling, book 2, once I see how this first instalment is received.

8. Top 5 books

  • Rebecca’s World – Terry Nation
  • The Lord of The Rings – JRR Tolkien
  • Nineteen-Eighty-Four – George Orwell
  • Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
  • Pet Semetary – Stephen King

9. What book/s from other authors do you wish you had written?
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier or The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. I read these books again and again and think ‘I haven’t written a good word in my life!’

10. Why read your novel?

There’s a lot of fantasy books out there. I have read those, and equally, there’s lots I haven’t read. But I think mine is a multi layered, multi faceted story whose characters and plot line will sweep readers into that world, whilst still allowing them to relate to their own world. It is in this view that I feel Stormling unique amongst its peers, but of course, readers will decide if it is or not.



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