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Dark Tidings Front Cover

Dark Tidings – Setting the Scene

In the first few paragraphs of Dark Tidings, I tried to set the scene for one of the threads of the adventure. Tung, one of the main protagonists, finds himself awaiting execution in a medieval dungeon and I wanted to create the sense of utter despair and hopelessness which he felt.

I think it works well as a scene-setter but I often wonder whether there’s enough in it to hook potential readers. Using Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ feature, many people check out the first few pages so grabbing the attention is vital.

The other attention-grabber is the blurb and I’ve included what I use for Dark Tidings below. Again, I wonder if it contains enough hooks to make people want to read more i.e. buy the book.

What do you think?

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Chapter 1 – No Rest for the Wicked

Way back in the medieval mists of time, long before most people counted which century was which, Tung shivered violently on the ice-cold stone floor of the executioner’s dungeon.

Dark, dank and putrid were the words an unscrupulous property merchant might have used to glamorise this miserable dungeon, no words were hideous or nauseating enough to describe the true horror of this dreadful place. To be fair though, it wasn’t all bad, at least the green slime, which oozed like pus from small cracks in the walls, added some colour to the drab greyness.

Tung huddled in the darkest corner of the freezing granite cell wishing he was dead. He wouldn’t have to wait long for his wish to come true because he was due to be tortured to death the very next day. Roll on death, it couldn’t come a moment too soon. He was soaking wet, bruised, starving and parched with thirst. Yes, roll on death.

All he could do was pray for the merciful nothingness of sleep before the excruciating morning. He tossed and turned like an agitated foetus. How could anyone sleep in this frightful place? Hands over ears, he tried to shut out the sounds of torturers’ hammers smashing bones, the metallic clunk of ratchets on the racks and the anguished screams which echoed forlornly down stone corridors. Rank stenches crept under the door to assault his nostrils, the acrid stink of flesh seared by white-hot branding irons overwhelming the other odours of human sweat, urine and excrement. Wails of despair reverberated inside his head. Did these evil tormentors never rest?

By some miracle, his brain dragged his tortured body into an uneasy slumber. Praise the gods for the gift of sleep, at least he still had this last sanctuary. His nightmares replayed his pathetic life as his subconscious tried to figure out how he’d ended up in this pitiful mess. The work of the devil, no doubt – with a little help from his fiends.

Chapter 1 continues in the book.

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As I said, the blurb is another key part of the challenge to attract readers and it also helps set the scene for the story. Here’s what I use for Dark Tidings:

What happens when ancient magic meets the internet? One thing is certain, modern life will never be the same again.

A thousand years ago, a young thief, Tung, and a disgraced wizard, Madrick, are thrust together in an executioner’s dungeon. In the darkness, Madrick reveals an incredible secret about a legendary spell. The great spell helps them escape their prison cell… and eventually their century.

Catapulted into the present day, their lives collide with Michael, a computer hacker who plans to destroy the world’s largest bank. But sinister people are tracking their every move and they will stop at nothing to steal their spell.

Funny and frightening, Dark Tidings is book one of the spellbinding ‘Ancient Magic Meets the Internet’ trilogy.

What do you think about both the opening of chapter 1 and the blurb? Any constructive comments are always gratefully received.

Dark Tidings is available from Amazon.

A Darker Shade of Chocolate

I’m delighted to welcome Rosen Trevithick here on a leg of the blog tour to launch her Chocolate Making Adventures book.

When an author is ‘on tour’ to promote a book, it can be difficult for them to write new and original content, particularly when trying to link the content to a particular theme. Well, I have a lot of wizards on my site and, fortunately, making a wizard is just the kind of thing which her Chocolate Making Adventures teaches you to do.

So without any further introduction, Rosen explains how to make a chocolate wizard from scratch!

How to Make a Dark (Chocolate) Wizard

TrollsFirstly, you need to make your own silicone mould. In my book, I demonstrate using a troll mould as an example, but the same technique can easily be used to create a wizard. Without giving too much away, you need to buy some silicone putty and some oven-hardening modelling clay. You make a wizard from the clay, bake it until hard, then press the putty around it. Once the putty sets, you remove your clay and are left with your very own wizard mould.

The next thing to do, is make some plain chocolate. Yes, I did say make plain chocolate – none of that buying chocolate and melting it down malarkey – this isn’t the 00ies. My book tells you how to make the darkest chocolate in the universe, using cocoa butter, cocoa powder and honey. Making chocolate involves heat, so your chocolate mixture will turn out molten. Pour it into your wizard mould, plonk it in the fridge and wait.

After an hour, carefully press the chocolate from the mould, and there you have it, your very own dark wizard.

If you would like more detailed instructions about how to make your own chocolate wizard, you can buy Chocolate Making Adventures in both paperback and eBook formats.

To see lots of other exciting chocolate ideas why not check out my recipe blog or to find out more about my book please click here Chocolate Making Adventures.

Chocolate Making Adventures

Photo by Claire Wilson lle-photography.co.uk

Thank you and remember to eat chocolate responsibly!


rosen-trevithick

Rosen Trevithick has a variety of books in print including My Granny Writes Erotica – Threesome, Pompomberry House and two Seesaw collections, as well as over a dozen digital titles.

In 2013 she founded the Smelly Troll series – children’s chapter books written by Rosen and illustrated by Katie W. Stewart. The series, which begins with The Troll Trap, has inspired hundreds of children to get involved in creative writing.

Rosen writes in a variety of genres with a strong leaning towards comedy. She has also dabbled in psychological fiction and mystery writing.


 

Dark Tidings Front Cover

Win a free copy of Dark Tidings

Simply pop your name and email address into the box on the right and you’ll be entered into a raffle for free eBook copies of Dark Tidings… book 1 in the ‘ancient magic meets the Internet’ trilogy.

Here’s the blurb…

What happens when ancient magic meets the internet? One thing is certain, modern life will never be the same again.

A thousand years ago, a young thief, Tung, and a disgraced wizard, Madrick, are thrust together in an executioner’s dungeon.

In the darkness, Madrick reveals an incredible secret about a legendary spell. The great spell helps them escape their prison cell… and eventually their century. Catapulted into the present day, their lives collide with Michael, a computer hacker who plans to destroy the world’s largest bank. But sinister people are tracking their every move and they will stop at nothing to steal their spell.

Dark Tidings is book one of the spellbinding Dark Tidings trilogy. It’s funny and frightening… and it will open you eyes to the dark conspiracy which is going on all around us.

Collective Nouns

What do you call a pair of crows? Answer – attempted murder.

This type of joke is from a genre called highbrow humour. Why… because you have to have some specific knowledge before you can understand the joke. In this attempted murder case (pun intended) you have to know that the collective noun for three or more crows is a murder. Ah, now the joke makes sense… and leads us nicely into what this post is actually about i.e. collective nouns.

It never ceases to amaze me just how many collective nouns there are in the English language. For example, we have a murder of crows (you knew that!), a belt of asteroids, a cackle of hyenas, a flight of stairs, a sentence of judges, an impatience of wives and a den of thieves. These ones are fairly normal and, I’d guess, fairly widely known. If you Google ‘collective nouns’ you’ll find a wealth of words describing nearly every group imaginable. Even with the abundance of official collective nouns, there are still a lot of groups which have yet to be allocated their own special word.

Here are a few suggestions which could fill the some of the gaps:

  • A blaze of firemen
  • A smothering of Social Workers
  • A gathering of combine harvesters
  • A shoal of nudists
  • A wunch of bankers
  • A collection of philatelists
  • A camp of bell-ringers
  • A heard of listeners
  • A number of mathematicians
  • A drift of castaways
  • A pouch of Chewbaccas
Any more for any more? For example, what is the above group of collective nouns called?