Stop by and check out The Thorn and the Sinking Stone by C.J. Dushinski

TheThornAndTheSinkingStone-500x750The Thorn and the Sinking Stone by C.J. Dushinski
Release Date: March 2015  Entangled Teen
313 pages
Summary from Goodreads:
Warring families. Forbidden love. And danger they can’t escape…
Daggers. Roses. Cowboys. Boat Men. Survivors of Earth’s Last War, four “families” vie to rule the dreary streets of Rain City through violence and blood. Valencia Hara, Princess of the wealthy Black Roses, is raised in warrior ways with sharpened steel
. But she is no ordinary Rose. She is Cursed—tainted with the ability to see seconds into the future…
To avenge his father’s death, Sebastian Leold, of the rival gang Two Daggers,must face off against the Black Princess, he with his dagger, she with her katana sword. Yet a secret from a shared past leaves him unable to kill beautiful Valencia; nor can she kill
him. For they once knew each other beyond their blood feud…and they have more secrets in common than they know.
But in a world filled with vengeance and violence, there can be no room for love…

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As a special treat for readers, CJ shares the backstory and development of the infamous Two Daggers, Sebastian’s family gang.
Motto: Honor Your Brothers
Heads of the Family: Current: Kane Leold (The Irishman) – The eldest brother of the Leolds and current leader of the Two Daggers, recently inherited after the death of his father, Lucky. With striking red hair and a brutish build he is often seen as tough, but fair.
A concerned big brother to Sebastian and Callan, he struggles to be all things: a parent, a leader, and a friend. He is honorable to the core and as dependable as a rock but cross him and you’ll live to regret it.
Deceased: Lucky Leold – The Deceased leader of the Two Daggers. A kind and intelligent man; deep thinker and talented businessman. The source of Kane’s red hair and Sebastian’s softer side, he was a leader with a sharp sense of duty, pride, and responsibility.
Deceased: Killian Leold (The Brute) – The Deceased founder of the Two Daggers. A hardened former sheep farmer and sometimes bootlegger.
Notable Members: Sebastian Leold (Leold Brother) – The middle child of the Leold Brothers. A sharp witted, yet troubled, member of the Two Daggers, struggling with a life of violence and searching for deeper meaning in the wake of his father’s murder.
Callan Leold (Leold Brother) – The youngest Leold Brother. A snarky ball of energy, Callan has every comeback on the tip of his tongue. A life of pent up angst over the loss of those close to him, he is swift to attack without consideration. But underneath all the showmanship, he’s still a young boy looking for guidance from his older brothers after the death of their father.
Corduroy Leold – Lucky Leold’s youngest brother and only surviving sibling. He is uncle to Callan, Sebastian and Kane, though acts more as a friend that a parental figure. A cool-headed, bachelor, Corduroy has led his life honorably and with unwavering loyalty to the Dagger’s cause and his nephews.
The Bowler Hat – A stray that Lucky Leold brought in from the streets years ago, scarred with battle wounds he refuses to speak about. A silent and skilled sniper, he is the perfect ally and an enemy’s worst nightmare
The Two Daggers are the most respected gang in Rain City, run by the Leold family. Of Celtic descent, they were one of the first families to arrive in Rain City after the Last War that destroyed modern civilization. The land surrounding Rain City remained fertile after the war, productive, and so hundreds of thousands of survivors over the century since the last bombs fell found their way to the abandoned city to start anew—whatever the place had been before it was no more, budding from the ashes to begin again in a darker time, scarred by a violent past.
Among those first travellers who heard whispers of Rain City’s survival were several families fleeing from war-torn Ireland, drifting aimlessly a long roads from crumbled village to crumbled village in search of a new life. With nothing but the clothes on their backs and a will to survive, the first Leolds crossed thousands of kilometers of land through dead cities and fallen nations to reach the small pearl of hope nestled deep in what was once southern Europe. Borders were no more, fields turned to ash, and the skies near constant rain, as if the very earth were trying to wash the blood away.
After weeks of grueling travel, the Leold family finally reached the rumored city and found assuaging, sad place that once could have been beautiful, but was now tired and broken. With fists and guts, those first Leolds managed to scrape a home from the ramshackled warehouses of the city’s ruined West Bank, the least desirable part of Rain City, half ruined in decay, but ideally located along the river. Recruiting the lost and orphaned into their ranks the Leolds, over time, grew to create their own boarders. With more numbers they could defend their territory against others trying to take a piece of their growing pie. It was a bloody, violent first few years, with men fighting tooth and bloody nail to keep what they’d won. A strong knife was a must to survive, a sturdy dagger did better.
Sebastian’s great-great grandfather, Killian, ‘The Brute’ Leold led the first members, binding them together as family. Together they defended their right to the home they’d made and to the streets and canals that serviced them. To survive the new world, Killian began doing what he had done best all his life: smuggling liquor. And lots of liquor. As much as he could manage over the canals. It took years to build a network of shippers; many more years simply to find anyone who still distilled the stuff. But he did, eventually, as people resettled in a new kind of normal. A few of his contacts from the old country reappeared, scattered across the continent, and began, once again, to thrive. From this Killian began his illegal smuggling ring, which kept his family fed, but not prosperous. The Two Daggers, he called the enterprise, in memory of the Celtic daggers of his heritage…a name that would forever define his children, and theirs, and theirs to come.

Nearly a century later, members of the Two Daggers can often be found on the docks surrounding the shipping canals, watching for their boats coming in with the goods to offload in the warehouses along the Slums. From their lands on the West Bank, the Two Daggers keep an eye north for Cowboys trying to break into their stores, south for the Boat Men looking to intercept a shipment, and east for the Black Roses coming to challenge them to a fight.The Daggers are a hard lot, honorable, but not to be crossed. They know how to use a blade and can throw a mean punch. Above all, they look out for one another, and won’t hesitate to kill if it means protecting their own.

cj d authorAbout the Author
While attempting to navigate life as a responsible human being, CJ graduated from university with a B.Comm and worked her way along as marketer, copywriter, and graphic designer to earn a paycheck while pursing her passion for creating fantastical stories set in dark and wondrous corners of the world. Born amongst the wheat fields and open skies of the Canadian prairies, CJ’s imagination has always run wild, taking her on adventures across the world from modeling in Seoul, South Korea to backpacking through Europe and surfing (poorly) in Hawaii. After wandering through ancient cities and civilizations, learning from diverse cultures, and surrounding herself in new experiences, CJ was inspired a nd began work on her debut Young Adult novel THE THORN AND THE SINKING STONE, to be published by Entangled Publishing 2014/15. CJ currently resides in Calgary, Alberta Canada– home of the Canadian Rockies – and keeps one hand on her passport and pen at all times, ready to pick up, see the
world, and weave her experiences into stories. CJ is represented by Marlene Stringer of the Stringer Literary Agency LLC.
Author Links:  WebsiteTwitterGoodreadsFacebook
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