Saturday, 22 November 2014

Blog Tour: Review + Excerpt: Demon's Grip by Tahlia Newland #DiamondPeakSeries

Demon’s Grip

Diamond Peak Series Book #3
By- Tahlia Newland
Genre- YA Fantasy

Ariel thought she knew her travelling companion, Nick, but she discovers that at the University of Sheldra, he’s a respected translator with little time to spare. Now that he isn't at her side all the time, she wishes he was, and when she finally admits her love, powerful emotions sweep her away.

The demon lord Emot takes advantage of her inexperience in matters of the heart and preys on her desire, setting off a struggle with addiction that threatens to break Nick's heart and turn Ariel into the demon's mindless slave. She must reach deep into her soul and find the mystical power she needs to kill the one who promises pleasure but delivers only pain. Fail, and she will lose the one she loves and spend an eternity in the demon's grip.

This book has been awarded the AIA Seal of Excellence in Fiction


Nick drew his sword, sidled along the corridor wall and leapt around the corner. A startled, black-clad Magan in a purple cape—one of Kestril’s clan—drew his sword and stepped back, his eyes on the tip of Nick’s blade pointed at his throat.
Behind the olive-skinned Magan, on the other side of the open double doors, rain fell in silver sheets. Even in the dim light, Nick recognised the black-bearded man. ‘Druid,’ he said calmly, raising his voice over the sound of the rain. ‘Your magic has failed, so tell me who sent you, or this sword will prise the words from your throat.’
Druid’s eyes narrowed and his arm muscles tensed ready to strike. ‘How do you know my name?’
‘I’ll tell you that if you tell me who gives you your orders,’ Nick replied.
‘You know whose side I’m on.’
‘But you don’t see Rasama directly. He’d eat you up and spit out your bones. Lord Menhir is it?’
‘No,’ Druid spat, his face distorted with growing rage.
‘Kestril then?’
‘Him? Pah! Menhir’s precious son who whispers soppy words in his ear? Never.’
‘Then who? Tell me, or perhaps you’d rather be a corpse.’ Nick pressed the tip of his sword into the Magan’s throat.
Druid stepped back. ‘You wouldn’t kill me.’
Nick stepped forward. ‘Are you willing to test that hypothesis?’
Druid stood his ground. ‘Warriors don’t kill men.’
‘That’s a dangerous assumption.’
‘I’ll risk it.’ The Magan darted away from Nick’s blade and struck out with his own.
Nick took a step back, surprised at the ferocity of the Magan’s onslaught, but he parried his every blow and stood his ground. They battled solidly, swords flashing in the grey light that spilled into the entrance hall.
‘Emot is it? Nearby, is he?’ Nick sprang forward, beat down Druid’s guard and aimed a blow at his neck.
The Magan blocked the blow, parried another attack and thrust forward only to be parried in turn. ‘He’s never far away,’ Druid gloated as he thrust again. Sweat dripped from his brow.
Once again, Nick’s quick reflexes blocked Druid’s attack. ‘What does he offer you, Druid? Riches? A bounty for Ariel?’
Druid snorted. ‘Kill you and I take her for myself.’ His top lip curled in a suggestive smirk.
Disgust, fury and a powerful urge to protect Ariel fuelled Nick’s determination and he unleashed his full power, forcing Druid backward. ‘Whatever it is, he won’t pay up. He never does. He’ll keep you hoping, always wanting. That’s what he feeds on. You’re a fool if you think you’ll ever get anything he promises you.’
‘Enough words,’ Druid growled. He stood his ground, maintaining his guard but unable to take the upper hand.
Nick feinted then cut towards Druid’s chest. The Magan parried a little too late and the tip of Nick’s blade scratched his side.
‘Surrender or die,’ Nick said as his sword arced towards his opponent again.
‘And end up in a cell! I’d rather be dead,’ Druid hissed. He blocked Nick’s sword with a clang, then feinted and followed with a vicious chest cut.
Nick slammed the Magan’s sword out of the way. ‘You’re already a slave; a Rasa’s slave.’
Druid merely hissed in reply. Their swords bound and disengaged, thrust and parried. Druid slowed, struggling under the weight of Nick’s superior swordsmanship. Eventually, Nick broke the panting Magan’s defence with a well-timed thrust. He stopped with his sword held steady an inch from Druid’s throat. ‘Drop it or die.’
‘Better I die!’ Druid took advantage of Nick’s pause, mustered his failing strength and knocked the Warrior’s sword away.
Nick sprang back. Maybe he shouldn’t have given Druid a choice. The Magan probably thought Nick didn’t have the will to kill him. A bad assumption for Nick, for Druid was a skilful opponent. A positive outcome was not assured.
‘Gutless wonder!’ Druid sneered. His fight had a desperate quality now and Nick’s second sight revealed a heavy infestation of Serpentine inside him. Grown to overflowing by the Magan’s hatred, black slime dripped from the Magan’s brow, and the beginnings of a Rasa demon grew from his back. It arose, snarling and spitting, devouring what remained of Druid.
In many ways the Magan was already dead, a puppet of the Serpentine. Fully fledged and unleashed, it used the human to do what it could not do alone—kill Nick. But Nick was a Warrior and he gave the power of his Radiance full rein. He didn’t want to kill Druid, but the Magan had chosen his own fate. With the unconfined power of the Radiance racing through it, the Warrior thrust his sword into the Serpentine puppet’s heart.
Druid dropped to the floor with a thud, his sword clattering on the hard stone. ‘As you wished,’ Nick whispered. ‘And I pray it’s quick.’ The Magan’s eyes glazed over.


Another spell-binding adventure that saw Ariel and her friends in an epic fight against the demons of Diamond Peak. This book was a little different as Ariel and Nick settled at Sheldra so that she could train, learn and gain more knowledge. The Emot demon seemed to be more of a threat that the other two she'd had to face, only because he fed off of desires and cravings, and there was so much Ariel craved, whether she was willing to accept it or not.

I have to admit that Ariel was a little annoying with her jealousy over the fact that Nick didn't want to spend every second with her. I had seen so much strength in her in the other two books, and I had been impressed that she didn't allow things to distract her completely, but her feelings and behavior in this book reminded me of just how young she was.

I was particularly looking forward to this book because Emot was the demon that held Nadima captive, so I was eager to see if Ariel would find a way to find her mother. I was quite surprised when Nadima found a way out, and even more surprising was the compassion she showed towards the vile creature that fed off of her, and I believe I wasn't the only one.

I was glad to see that even though Ariel had accomplished what she had initially set out to do, she was still willing to continue onto the ultimate goal of ridding the world of the evil that invaded it. I look forward to reading the final book in this series, and to see both Ariel and Nick fulfill their destiny.


Lethal Inheritance
Diamond Peak Series Book #1
By- Tahlia Newland
Genre- YA Fantasy 
A scream pierces the night. Ariel jolts awake and watches in horror as demons drag her mother into a hidden realm. She finds help and sets off on a rescue mission. But to defeat the demons, who feed on fear and seek to enslave the human race, she must learn a secret esoteric wisdom to awaken the dormant, but potentially explosive, power of her mind.
Walnut, a quirky old wise man, guides her through treacherous inner and outer landscapes, and Nick, the powerful Warrior who travels with them, proves a dangerous attraction. Can Ariel defeat the sadistic demon lord before he kills her and enslaves her mother?
The stakes are high, death a real possibility. Fail now, and she fails humanity.

This book has been awarded the AIA Seal of Excellence in Fiction and the BRAG Medallion for Outstanding Fiction.


Stalking Shadows
Diamond Peak Series Book #2
By- Tahlia Newland
Genre- YA Fantasy 

Ariel hopes that the great library at Sheldra holds the key to rescuing her mother. But in order to get there, she must negotiate a forest of evil spirits, escape a mind-numbing city of sparkling towers, travel through the treacherous gullies of Minion Hills, and avoid an attack by a demon lord intent on killing her.
At the same time, a battle rages between her heart and her mind. A relationship with her travelling companion, the enigmatic Nick, is just too tempting, but can they be together without Ariel losing her focus and falling to the demons? Her life is at stake, but also her heart. She risks encasing it in stone and denying herself the very sustenance she needs.
Will they make it to the safe haven of Sheldra, or will Ariel die at the hands of the yellow-eyed demon?
This book has been awarded the AIA Seal of Excellence in Fiction

**On sale everywhere for the entire month of November for just 99 cents!**


Eternal Destiny
Diamond Peak Series Book #4
By- Tahlia Newland
Genre- YA Fantasy

Ariel and Nick face their deepest fears and their greatest challenge as they search for the Master Demon who holds the key to the future of mankind. Slay him and the world goes free; fail, and it falls irrevocably into violence and chaos.

Guided by a wisdom master of a mystical tradition that uses mind power as the basis of powerful magic, the assault party travels from the ancient granite walls of the Hermitage, up the Steps of Death, and through a labyrinth of shifting gorges to the Palace of Skulls. Even if Nick wins his struggle with the scars of his past and defeats the green-eyed head of the Cogin clan, they still must cross the scree slope, where the bones of Ariel's father lie, to get to the ice caves beneath the summit where the Master Demon awaits.

The journey is extraordinary, the enemies are deadly and the ending is mind-blowing.

This book has been awarded the AIA Seal of Excellence in Fiction


About the Author
Tahlia Newland, author of the multi-award-winning Diamond Peak Series, writes heart-warming and inspiring magical realism and contemporary fantasy. She is also an editor, a reviewer, an occasional high school teacher, and a mask-maker who loves creating digital art and sitting on her veranda staring at the rain forest. 

Tahlia has studied with top Australian editors and has a Certificate in Editing and Proofreading. Before writing full time, she had over 20 years’ experience in scripting and performing as a dancer/mine in Visual Theatre and Theatre in Education. She has had extensive training in meditation and Buddhist philosophy and lives in Australia with a husband, a teenage daughter, and a cheeky Burmese cat called George.


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