“I have been passionate about hockey (playing, coaching and umpiring) for more decades than I care to remember! I truly believe that my involvement with the sport has changed my life for the better. One of the main inspirations for writing ‘Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past’ is to share my love of team sports: hockey, lacrosse and rugby all feature in the plot, as well as every dragon’s favourite sport, laminium ball. Why not treat yourself to a great read? If you love team sport already, you’ll be able to identify with the positive values of friendship and teamwork which sport promotes. If you’re not already a team sport fan, this book will win you over! Either way, why not share my love of reading and try this gripping, action-packed fantasy adventure, sprinkled with humour and imagination. If you’re anything like me, you can check out the interviews with other great authors on this site, to fuel your reading addiction.” Paul Cude
The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse is an original and unique fantasy adventure, which will appeal primarily to older children and teens, but also adult readers who like a bit of escapism. It is the story of three ordinary children, Emma, Megan, Scott and their pet dog Bones in their quest to find their father, who has been missing for nearly a year.
The story is based on an ancient Welsh legend which has been kept alive by bedtime stories for countless generations. The two sisters and their brother unravel the riddle of an ancient scroll. This helps them find the gateway that leads to a 6th century Welsh kingdom in search of their dad. The scroll states that anyone who stays in the kingdom for more than a year can never leave. The journey through the gateway is a mini-adventure in itself; involving finding their way through a maze of caves, and ends with them entering the magnificent medieval Castell y Mynydd.
In this extract, Emma, Megan and Scott witness an attack on the castle.
Emma, Megan and Scott looked out, trembling with fear; compelled to watch, even though they really didn’t want to. They wondered why the defending army had been deployed in this way. They didn’t have to wait long to get an answer to that question. The soldiers started tipping hot, steaming black liquid from numerous pots over the sides of the walls and instantly they heard the most unearthly, terrifying screams. Moment’s later, swarms of small, monkey like creatures started pouring over the top of the back wall; and within seconds, over the right and left walls too. They carried no weapons and moved with amazing agility, leaping upon anyone in their paths.
The creatures were no more than three feet tall and although they resembled monkeys in shape and size, that was where the similarities ended. They were completely jet black in colour, with four long, razor-like claws on their hands and feet and equally long and sharp canine teeth, which they used to rip apart their victims. There was one similarity with the flying demons; evil green eyes glared out from sunken eye sockets. These new demons slashed at faces and necks, inflicting hideous wounds on their prey. For the second time in the few short hours they’d been here, the three siblings were witnessing another horrific massacre.
A loud klaxon blew three times, and suddenly the soldiers retreated quickly down the steps and at the same time, the archers on the front wall aimed their arrows at the invading demons. This seemed to repel them long enough for the soldiers to reach the ground level, pick up huge shields and gather in a circular formation. The skilful archers were sending volleys of arrows across the castle every seven to eight seconds.
Emma saw Owain running along the ramparts in the direction of the tower, his basket empty. As he approached she could see the terror in his eyes. Evan was nowhere to be seen. Owain was no more than ten paces from the tower, when a demon leapt on his back and dragged his claws along Owain’s throat. Emma turned her head and screamed his name, “Owain!” She looked away, unable to watch, sinking to her knees.
“What’s happening?” Megan asked apprehensively from her window across the room.
“It’s Owain. The demons have got him. I think he’s dead!”
Megan and Scott ran to Emma’s window and could see Owain bleeding on the floor, with no sign of any demons.
Before anyone could stop him, Scott pulled open the heavy door and ran the few paces to where Owain lay. He somehow found the strength to drag the much heavier boy to the safety of the tower, into the centre of the room. Before he was able to close the door behind him, the crazed demon bounced in, with Owain’s blood still dripping from his murderous claws.
Scott was kneeling over Owain, checking for any sign of life as the ferocious creature leapt toward his back, claws primed for the kill. Megan snatched an arrow from the nearest container and jumped into the path of the beast, which crashed into her and they both fell to the floor; the demon landed on top of her and pinned her down. Megan was almost overcome with nausea, as she felt the demon’s stinking breath on her face and she stared closely into his vacant green eyes. She tried to drive him off, but could only manage to push him a few inches away from her.
Megan knew she was sure to die, as she saw the beast raise his clawed hand and aim a blow at her. A feeling of sickening dread gripped her already queasy stomach, as she agonisingly awaited the killer strike. Powerless to save herself, she turned her head away, unable to look. She saw Bones haring towards them, trying to save her. For a moment her heart almost leapt out of her chest, she was going to be saved, but she realised, with an unemotional resignation, that he was too far away to stop the beast from completing his task.
But Scott left Owain and he was able to grab the beast from behind. He was surprised at how easily he was able to pull it away from his heroic sister, as the demon’s claw swung towards her, missing her throat by inches, but cutting deep into her shoulder. Megan didn’t let out a scream; she’d already accepted her fate and now only felt an icy chill running down her spine.
Scott used all his might to throw the beast into the hard wall and there was a sickening thud as demonic bone hit solid stone. The demon stood motionless for a moment, its back to the wall, and only now could they see the arrow shaft protruding from its chest. The evil beast stared at them for a few seconds, before sliding down the wall, a malevolent smirk spreading slowly across its face. A single, unintelligible sigh emanated from the creatures lips as it searched for a last breath that it couldn’t find.
Emma, Megan and Scott watched as the creature slowly died, the life draining from its evil eyes. Then, before their very eyes, it miraculously vanished. There was a clatter, as the arrow which had pierced its chest, fell freely to the stone floor, still covered in fresh green blood, and that was the only trace left behind.
Richie Earl is the writer of fantastical fantasy adventures. Earl’s first series, Tales of Finndragon, is a two part adventure which started life as a bedtime story for his three children, who nagged him so much that he finally agreed to write a book. Only one book was intended, but Earl came to realise that a second was required.
Earl was offered a publishing contract from a small Welsh press, but after much deliberation and discussion with the publisher, decided not to accept the offer. This proved to be a shrewd move, as he later discovered the press was struggling to meet the costs of publishing and have since moved its business solely into the field of printing.
Earl is currently working on two projects, a young adult paranormal mystery and another fantasy adventure, which may turn into a trilogy.
Amazon – for kindle
The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse: http://viewBook.at/FinndragonsCurse
Return to Finndragon’s Den: http://viewBook.at/ReturntoFinndragonsDen
Lulu Publishing – paperback: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/finndragon
Tales of Finndragon revolves around two sisters and a brother, Emma, Megan and Scott Davies, (based upon Earl’s own children) whose father has mysteriously disappeared. They live in a Welsh valley town called Crafanc y Ddraig.
For centuries, the inhabitants of Crafanc y Ddraig have been brought up on a local legend involving a wizard called Finndragon and his master, Dafydd the Defiant, who once ruled the Kingdom of Morgannwg. Dafydd had built a magnificent castle on Finndragon’s advice.
The castle withstood all enemy attack, and Dafydd’s reign as king of Morgannwg was a prosperous one – until he fell out with Finndragon. Dafydd banished Finndragon from his kingdom, and the wizard in turn took revenge on his master by making his kingdom and all its inhabitants disappear into the bowels of the earth. It is believed locally that Dafydd’s kingdom still exists intact in the belly of the earth, where Dafydd is eternally plagued by Finndragon’s demons.
Emma, Megan and Scott one day find an ancient scroll, and soon realise that it is a map to the lost kingdom. They also realise that their father has ventured off in pursuit of the lost Kingdom of Morgannwg, and as they gradually unravel the secrets of the ancient scroll, they follow in their father’s footsteps, until they eventually find their way to the lost Kingdom. And now, their true adventures are about to begin.
Three children racing against time, desperately searching for their missing father.
A medieval kingdom cursed by an evil wizard.
An ancient legend beneath our very feet.
The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse is the first book in a unique, two book fantasy adventure series and is a fast paced, engaging and thrilling page turner. The story races along with plenty of twists and turns as it heads for the prophesized confrontation between the children and the evil Finndragon himself.
Combining wizardry and magic with modern technology and containing magical animals and terrible demons, The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse is a rollercoaster of emotions that will make you laugh out loud and then fight to hold back the tears, as the children race against time to rescue their father. In doing so they have to kill Finndragon and put an end to the dreadful curse.
A young adult adventure that is sure to be enjoyed by all ages.
One Thousand Worlds in One Thousand Words
In September 2013, Earl launched a blog featuring fantasy and science fiction authors. One Thousand Worlds in One Thousand Worlds spotlights and promotes Indie authors, and aims to connect readers and writers.
One Thousand Worlds in One Thousand Words blog: http://onethousandworlds.blogspot.co.uk/
Tales of Finndragon Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/finndragonscurse
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6523833.Richie_Earl
Twitter (@finndragons): https://twitter.com/finndragons
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/gXeh-pzIHSI