Book Highlight: The Onyx Crown

To celebrate the release of Alan Hurst’s debut novel, The Onyx Crown, we are having a week-long book blitz! There will be an exclusive excerpt reveal, and a chance to win a digital copy of the book at the bottom! 

Front CoverThe Onyx Crown #1

Publication Date: January 27th, 2019

Genre: Fantasy/ Adventure

The Onyx Crown is an exciting foray into the world of African fantasy. From the searing heat of the desert to the vastness of the savannah, it tells the story of three children–Sania, Gesi, and Jorann who grow up in a pre-medieval era of wars and successions, not fifteen years after the greatest king in the history of the continent has been deposed and assassinated. They must overcome the traumatic circumstances of their birth as well as many dangerous trials to fulfill the destiny bestowed upon them as infants. Can mere children use their courage, wits, and uncanny abilities to defeat legendary warriors, entire tribes, provinces, and kingdoms–allowing them to lead the worthy to the greatest prize of all, the Onyx Crown?

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Excerpt

For the next few days, the three of them did virtually everything together, including games, horse riding, and spear training with the First Knight, who seemed to be getting sterner and tougher on them with every lesson. The First Knight, whose given name was Jorell Boro, was famed throughout the fourteen provinces as one of the best living warriors of all time. He’d made his name fighting for the upstart Regent Okon in his war of usurpation against the High King Toloron.

After Toloron was defeated, the regent rewarded Boro with the titles of First Knight of the Crown, Protector of the House of the First Prince, and the moniker “the Bloodless Death,” because supposedly his bladed spear could kill a person so quickly and with such precision that they would be dead before any blood was even visible.

Okon, along with the ruling conclave, also granted a treaty to Pala Jorell’s home kingdom of East Rhydor, including a guarantee that no Numerian troops would invade as long as the East Rhydor king or his son, the prince, were in power.

The First Prince had asked Pala Jorell to begin instructing Zadeemo in the ways of knighthood, and also Gesemni himself, most likely reasoning that Zadeemo would need a sparring partner when the First Prince was absent.

The First Knight had been reluctant to train a “commoner” in the higher arts of warfare but, at the insistence of both the First Prince and Zadeemo, had relented. Still, one could tell he took The Onyx Crown -26- great pains to make sure that Zadeemo understood some of the finer points of the moves he instructed, while not deigning to help Gesi.

Luckily for Gesi, he had tremendous aptitude and seemingly a womb-borne comprehension of instinctual combat. As such, he rarely needed the extra tutoring that Zadeemo couldn’t seem to do without. On this day, the two of them were instructed for quite some time on hand-spear counters, an ancient method of grappling that involved an unarmed warrior wresting the control of spears and other long objects away from their adversary. It was an extremely rough and unpolished method of fighting, and the First Knight took the better part of the morning explaining it to them.

Finally, the paladin suggested they work the puzzling elements out with a few rounds of sparring. Boro handed him a bladed spear and marked out a circle four en-yawo in diameter with his carving knife. Zadeemo was given a pair of lyocell gloves, which felt like silk but were made from the toughest fibers in existence. These were to be used to protect his hands from blade cuts.

Gesi shifted nervously. Always when they’d fought before they’d both been armed. Oddly, there’s a certain amount of safety involved when two weapons compete against each other. But with Zadeemo being unarmed, Gesi felt he’d have to be very careful. He was also very conscious of Zoe sitting on her tilbury, watching them both amusedly.

“Engage!” The First Knight’s voice rang out through the square as the boys stepped into the circle. Zadeemo immediately lowered his stance, thrusting the heel of his boot inside Gesi’s left calf to disrupt his balance, simultaneously snatching at the bladed spear handle.

Shuffle-stepping to counter, Gesi twisted the blade ninety degrees, forcing Zadeemo to withdraw his hands. He knew he was supposed to be nothing more than a punching target for Zadeemo, but in situations like this, his stubborn, competitive imoya always got in the way of things, and yes…he also wanted to show off a bit in front of Zoe.

Surprisingly, Zadeemo must’ve anticipated his counter because he nimbly moved to his left, crashing his knee into Gesi’s right thigh and causing him to grimace. Ducking underneath the spear, Zadeemo swung his right elbow fiercely into Gesi’s solar plexus. The few servants and townspeople who were looking on cheered loudly, including Zoe.

At that second, he felt like he was going to black out. Zadeemo may have been slower than a stuck rhino, but he had strength far beyond what most twelve-year-olds could muster.

Instinctively, he twisted his bladed spear to block the next grasping move he felt was coming, slid his left knee under Zadeemo’s right, and reverse-swung the spear in a sweeping arc toward Zadeemo’s chest. The cheering stopped, followed by a deathly silence as Zadeemo crashed down to the dirt awkwardly. Everyone was staring at Gesi. Some looked angry, some fearful, some puzzled. Even he didn’t know how he’d won.

*Available Now*

Amazon | Nook

For your chance to win a digital copy of this exciting new fantasy, click the link below!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Author Pic

Alan Hurst is an author and entrepreneur. Hurst who spent most of his childhood reading Asian wuxia fiction, Marvel comics and encyclopedias is delving into trilogy territory with THE ONYX CROWN. He briefly studied religion at Harvard.  Later, he settled in Washington, DC where he founded a software consulting firm, hosted the Urban Nation Radio podcast, and occasionally played the World Series of Poker.  When not writing or enjoying time with his family, he prefers to take his Ducati motorcycle out for the occasional spin!

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Book Blitz Organized By:

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I also released my second video onto book tube yesterday so feel free to watch it here and make sure to like and subscribe if you like it!

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Author Interview: Shelby Eileen

What is new with my favorite bookworms? I was perusing Twitter, doing Twitter things when I came upon a post about another blogger that wanted to do guest posts and in general just connect with other bloggers. So I reached out to her and am glad I did because she is an amazing person and super nice. It is always great to make new blogging friends.

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Shelby Eileen is a queer Canadian writer in a perpetual state of stress concerning her unmapped future. Eileen studied at Brock University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature. She uses the knowledge and skills gained from her degree throughout her daily life, even if others hardly notice that she does so. One of her many dreams is to live alone in a little apartment with a cat and good writing energy. Her published works include; soft in the middle, sunfish, Sunshine, Sadness, and other Floridian Effects, and Goddess of The Hunt. In her free time, you can find her listening to audiobooks, crocheting, or sending pictures of corgis and Jake Gyllenhaal to her friends. The next thing she hopes to tackle after another poetry collection or two: romance novellas! Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram. Her handle is @briseisbooks.

We conducted a Q&A with her as she is a budding author with her poetry collections and we wanted to learn more about her. Without further ado, here is our Q&A session!

Author Q&A

What is your top read of 2019 so far? 

Definitely, without a doubt, The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty.

What is your favorite book friendship? 

Ginger and Daniel from 2 of my favorite romance books by Roan Parrish- Small Changeand In The Middle of Somewhere.

Most anticipated book release of 2019? 

Oof, there’s many, but The Fever Kingby Victoria Lee, I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver, and If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann.

How many books are in your TBR Pile? 

TOO MANY (definitely 100+).

Who is your favorite author? 

Madeline Miller. She writes my favorite Greek myth/historical fantasy books; The Song of Achilles and Circe.

How did you start writing? 

I’ve always taken advantage of writing classes if they were offered at school – in high school and university. I recently did a creative writing workshop, which was amazing and helped me get in touch with how fun and therapeutic writing is. I think what got me into writing in a more serious way was the drive to depict the under-represented parts of me; my queerness, my religion, and my fatness.

Where is your favorite reading spot? 

My bed.

How long have you been an author? 

I’ve been a published author since December 2017.

What do you like about reading? 

I love how much I learn through reading, the community that comes with it, and how sentimental and comforting certain books can be.

If you had to describe yourself in a book title, what would it be?

Let’s Talk About Love (by Claire Kann) … I think I just read so much romance it kind of permeates my brain lol. Also, as a writer and a human, it’s so important to me to distinguish different types of love (romantic, platonic, familial, etc), and lift them all up as being equal and significant.

Great answers Shelby! This interview was an amazing success. I am always joyed to connect with book lovers of all ages, sizes, and sexual orientations. This book blog is about honesty in reviews and having an open dialogue with other bloggers/authors. I strongly encourage you to go follow Shelby on social media to stay up to date with her books that she is writing!

Shelby was nice enough to send me copies of her poetry books for a giveaway! So if you would like to enter, just click on the image below. We will be announcing 2 winners in 1 week. Good luck!

Surprise! Sale


There is a new book on the block that I am promoting. This one is called Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi. Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. You can get it here: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1785358766/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_ca-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641

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Giant Book Haul

So this weekend started off with a little shopping at Chapters and I went a little crazy. I bought a bunch of books for my giveaways that I like hosting. I have been thinking about the giveaways and how much fun they are to host so I think I will start doing them weekly. This is more of an update post to show you guys the giant pile of books and to also let you know to be prepared for awesomeness! I will be starting a giveaway tomorrow so keep your eyes peeled.

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I’m currently doing a buddy read with Joe Martin for Armada by Ernest Cline and am also reading Lure by Jeff Marschall. Which means there will be 2 more reviews coming at you soon.

I also created a Youtube page where I will start doing video reviews so if you haven’t already, you should g subscribe. I believe I will have my first video up sometime this week. Anyways, talk to you later bookworms!

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There is a new book on the block that I am promoting. This one is called Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi. Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. You can get it here: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1785358766/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_ca-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641

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Kobo Canada

Giveaway Winner

Our February giveaway has come to an end and we have randomly selected a winner!

Congratulations to Faith (@xPhantomessx) on winning the book and sticker pack!

We are so glad you entered and look forward to hosting more giveaways in the future. Enjoy your prize and let us know what you think of the book when you are done.

Keep up to date with us at Breakeven Books as we host 1 to 2 giveaways each month. Talk to you later bookworms!

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Book Giveaway!

Hey bookworms! It has been a while since I have thrown a giveaway with you lovely readers so I decided to do one for the month of February. This is to show some love and support back to the bookish community and give someone another adventure to dive right in to.

The prize pack is a paperback copy of The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines and of course some fun stickers to go with it.

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To enter the giveaway, you need to do this:

  • Comment on this post
  • Be following the blog (either through WordPress or email)

For extra entries, you can go to the Link below and do those extra steps (stuff like follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram):

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5760930a6/?

We look forward to seeing all the entries and will mail out the prize to the winner. The giveaway is open internationally so everyone should enter. Good luck and I hope you win!

Your favorite girls deserve the best in bridesmaids gifts, and My Wedding Favors feels the same way! A bridesmaid gift from My Wedding Favors will exceed all their expectations and, after all, isn’t that just what you want?

Giveaway Winner

So I wrote this whole post, saved it, scheduled it and then went back to it to find out that the entire thing had been erased. Here I am rewriting the giveaway winner post……fun. Anyways, The giveaway winner of Tiger in Trouble by Eric Walters and some fun cartoon stickers is…..

Jose Maria Hazan

Congratulations on winning your prize. I will be in touch to get mailing information. Stay tuned for more fun contests that will be happening this month.

If you haven’t checked out my review for Trailer Trash – an 80’s memoir by Angie Cavallari yet, go read that post. She was a really fun author to review for.

Talk soon bookworms.


Today's Bestsellers in Books!

Loop Giveaway

Hey everyone!

I am part of a loop giveaway that is being hosted on Instagram so if you have that app, go and check out this giveaway!

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Here are the full rules to enter:

It’s FriYAY also known as Friday to some! So in honor of surviving yet another week, I have teamed up with 11 amazing people to offer you 12 awesome prizes to 12 lucky winners!  I am giving away a free book that the winner will select from some options.

How to enter:
1. You must follow @breakevenbooks and all 12 people in the loop.

2. Like this photo, comment “me” and like and comment on the photo from the other accounts. “That’s your entry!” Psssst- you can tag 2 friends for extra entries 😉

3. Tap this photo to see where to go next in the loop.

4. When you get back to this page you’re done and entered in all 12 chances to win!
The giveaway ends on Sunday at 8pm EST. Winners will be announced within 24 hours.  Your account must be public for the entire duration of the contest to play. Good luck!

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Please note that this loop is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Instagram,Inc. By entering, you are confirming that you are indeed 18+ years of age, release Instagram from any and all responsibility and you are adhering by Instagram’s term of use. Spam and ‘giveaway accounts’ will not be counted.

Good Luck everyone and make sure to check out all the cool shops that deliver handmade bookish stuff!

Free Shipping on Orders Over $25!

Giveaway Winner and Update!

Hey there bookworms! The giveaway for All is Assuredly Well has drawn to a close and we have a winner. It was a fun contest and this one had the most entries to date! I also came by a bunch of books from some friends that were going to bring them to the used bookstore. So now I will be hosting more giveaways with goodies and free books 🙂

Without further ado, your winner of the giveaway is…

Alena Svetelska

Congratulations on winning the giveaway and I will be in touch to get information for where to ship the prize to. The next giveaway will be hosted in a week and I will give you a hint that the prize involves heros that one might call… super 🙂

In other news, I have a review coming for you guys tomorrow. So keep posted!


Deals of the Week: New deals every week, online only!

New Giveaway Alert!!

I have been talking with many authors and receiving so many requests to review books lately and it has been a blast. There will be a lot of interesting reviews coming down the line! But for now, I am hosting a giveaway. You may have remembered me doing a book highlight for Star City by Edwin Peng. Well, they sent me an extra copy of the book to host a giveaway 🙂

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All you have to do is like this post and share it on social media! Don’t forget to tag @BreakevenBooks in your post so I know that it was posted and to add your entry into the draw.

I also linked up with thisiswriting.com to promote some books. They have The Ultimate List of Fiction Books You Should Read At Least Once in Your Life and it has some good ones on it. Make sure to check them out if you get a chance!

Also excited to share some reviews from others that are helping me out with the blog. I will be posting their reviews once they are done the books I assigned to them.

Alright well, make sure to enter the giveaway and good luck bookworms!

Giveaway!!!

Hey Bookworms! I have decided to do a small giveaway since I have been having so much fun with book blogging and have enjoyed many conversations about books with the blogger community. So I am giving away a copy of a mystery Hardy Boys novel (which is what I read a lot as a kid)! All you have to do is follow Breakeven Books and share this blog post (you can also do it on the other social media channels for extra entries).

Winner will be announced on October 31st so better get your entries in quick! I will be doing more giveaways as the year goes on so stay tuned for more 🙂