The Thorn and The Sinking Stone by C.J. Dushinski {Guest Post + Giveaway}

Welcome to the WYCSB stop of The Thorn and the Sinking Stone Book Tour! Learn about one of the warring families, the Black Roses and enter the giveaway!

The Thorn and the Sinking Stone
Thorn & Dagger #1
Publication Date: March 2015
Entangled Teen
Genre: YA  Dystopia, Paranormal
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…
The Black Roses
It is the thorn that pricks, but it is the sword that kills

Heads of the Family

Current: Garrett Hara (the Black Prince) – The current leader of the Black Roses. A cruel, cold-hearted young man with a black streak in his soul and out for vengeance over the murder of his father. A manipulative brother to Valencia, he uses his sister for his own purpose and holds no remorse. 

Deceased: Bane Hara (The Black King) – The deceased ruler of the Black Roses. A large man, with a big-bodied laugh. Well-liked and well-feared, Bane was neither hero nor villain. He ran his empire as it needed to be run, without time for regret, though with thought and purpose and never the intention to be cruel. A good man, if not a perfect one, he was well-respected and well-loved by many. His murder several years earlier brought hell over the streets of Rain City, eventually leading to the shooting of Lucky Leold in retaliation. 

Deceased: Pek Hara – The original leader of the Black Roses, having crossed continental Asia and Europe after the Last War to reach their new home in Rain City. A skilled samurai warrior and talented business man, Pek led the way for the Roses rise to success. 

Notable Members

Valencia Hara (the Black Princess): Young sister to Garrett, the Black Prince, current ruler of the Black Roses. Having been imprisoned inside Hara House for most of her life due to a genetic Curse, Valencia is somewhat naïve, trained to be a ruthless samurai seeking retribution for the murder of her father by rival gang, the Two Daggers. It isn’t until she is exposed to life outside the walls of Hara House that her own views are formed and her world begins to change.

Liam Hara (the Black Knight): The handsome, overconfident, cousin to Valencia and Garrett. Known as the Black Knight and right hand man to Garrett. 

Aston Mori: Family friend and second in command after Liam. 

Godfrey (The Bodyguard): Valencia’s trusted bodyguard. Descended from a long line of Hara protectors, he is sworn to defend her from birth. Best friend and trusted advisor to the deceased Bane Hara. A good man, trusting, loyal, and obedient to his last breath. A giant in his own right, he is among the fiercest warriors of the Black Roses, committed by oath to guard the family from all threats. 


The Black Roses were among the last of the four great Houses to arrive in Rain City. As the Last War raged across the world, the Haras thought they could never be touched on their home of Haha-Jima, a beautiful island off the coast of Japan that was completely isolated from the war over land and still awash in ancient Japanese traditions and the religion of Shinto. But eventually the war did come, slow at first, in the scarcity of goods and starvation.

They were a family of long-standing wealth, business owners, professionals, owning factories that exported textiles and trinkets to the mainland. But Pek Hara was an intelligent man, if not hardened. He saw death at his doorstep and knew it was time to move on. He sent letters to all his highest ranking friends, asking where he should go to begin again, and heard rumors of Rain City. With visions of a great, vast land untouched by war and famine, Pek packed up his valuables and with his family set off on the long road to the rumored city. 

It took nearly two years to reach Rain City on foot. Most others had been there for years already, staking their claim on this bit of city and that. There was only one way for Pek to ensure the survival of his family: to fight for what he believed they deserved. With him Pek had brought his three nephews, nicknamed the Three Thorns. And so, Pek ordered his nephews, trained on Haha-Jima in the art of the samurai, to cut a bloody swath straight to the heart of Rain City. They cut down every adversary in their path. If he couldn’t kill them, Pek bribed them with gold, goods, and promise. It didn’t take long for those who’d previously claimed the East Bank to fall and for Pek to rise, fortifying the position in Rain City for himself. 

Because of this bloody entrance, the Three Thorns earned their place as the most notorious gang in Rain City and all of the Haras were aptly named the Black Roses; a family as beautiful as roses, but sharp as thorns, with souls dark as night. For a long time no one dared challenge the Black Roses and their strange samurai ways, so for years they were able to secure their position in the city. They became vital to the growing economy, though every bit as corrupt as the Daggers across the Rain City River. 

Near a century later, the Black Roses are led by the hot-headed, cruel-hearted Black Prince. The Roses are skilled, deadly, and show little mercy. They used their cunning to rise to the top of the food chain and now fear no one. Heavy with influence, the Black Roses are part of the wealthy few and make their base from Hara House on the affluent East Bank of Rain City, sitting comfortably behind a fortress of guarded walls. No one, not even the City Watchmen, can reach them from their place of glory.
About 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 and 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. 

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