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Dark Star and the Lure of Alchemy, and a little bit of Yule magic!

I always like to write a blog post on the background to my stories, but I confess I’ve been a little slow to write about Dark Star and White Haven and the Lord of Misrule, my two latest offerings. Before Christmas I was racing to finish Chaos Magic, White Haven Witches book 9, and this carried into the New Year when I carried out the edit. And then I decided to have a few days off. Consequently I’m only now getting round to it, so thought I’d cover both in one post.

Dark Star

When I was thinking of storylines for Dark Star, the third book in my White Haven Hunters series, I knew I wanted to explore more alchemy and occult organisations. I thought involving The Order of the Midnight Sun would be the best way to do that. That’s my version of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, just in case you wondered, a real secret society devoted to the study of the occult and the paranormal. They have existed for years and are rumoured to have had many famous members. Like many secret societies, it has hierarchies and initiations, and there’s lots written about it online.

I always love to delve into the histories of places and people, and play with folklore, myth, and legend – you’ve probably noticed – and I am fascinated by alchemy, although I really don’t understand most of it other than the absolute basics, despite doing quite a lot of reading on it. As Ash, one of the Nephilim, says in Dark Star, it really is “one of the weirdest, most complicated esoteric fields of study I’ve ever come across.” I will confess I am not in the slightest bit scientifically minded, so no wonder I struggle with it!

I decided I really wanted to push the boundaries with what alchemy could have achieved – and who knows, maybe has – and enhanced humans came out of that. The Nephilim are superhuman, and Shadow is fey, so they really needed some worthy opponents. And voila, Black Cronos was born! I had a huge amount of fun creating these alchemically enhanced creatures, with a suitably Machiavellian boss, too.

I also decided I wanted to take the story out of Cornwall, as wonderful as it is, and set part of the story in France, another wonderful place. And seeing as I love fantastic settings, a gorgeous chateau in the middle of a vineyard fit the bill.

The history of the Mithraic religion is as real and varied as talked about in the book, and was a widely followed religion for Roman soldiers. They found a chamber in London in 1954 during the excavations following the Blitz, but it was fully investigated between 2012 and 2014. You can check out the website here. In Dark Star, it was a natural evolution for a Minotaur to be a result of the original experiments.

Astrolabes are quite fantastic ancient astronomical instruments. There are a few different types, and I found a few YouTube videos explaining their complex workings. This a great article on the Smithsonian website: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/astrolabe-original-smartphone-180961981/

As far as the Planetary Parades go, they are distinguished by how many planets are involved, and this dictates their regularity too. As alchemy uses planetary correspondences, it seemed a good combination for my story.

Onto my characters! I couldn’t leave out the fantastically difficult JD, and loved plunging Harlan into the middle of a crisis. And Jackson’s interesting sideline came completely out of the blue, but I’m running with it now! The next book, Hunter’s Dawn, sees the continuation of this story with a whole new twist for the Nephilim. I enjoyed seeing more of Barak, and exploring Estelle’s difficult character. And of course, Gabe and Shadow finally got it together – but don’t think that will stop their bickering. Where would the fun be in that?

I am really enjoying the varied past of all of these fabulous characters, and can’t wait to see what I find out about them next! If you haven’t read it yet, I haven’t revealed too many spoilers. Grab your copy of Dark Star here – it’s on all retailers and in paperback, and audio is coming in March/April: https://books2read.com/dark-star

Hunter’s Dawn is out on May 26th and you can pre-order it here: https://books2read.com/HuntersDawn

White Haven and the Lord of Misrule

Okay! On to my Yuletide novella. I’ve always wanted to write one, and this year I managed to squeeze it between writing Dark Star and Chaos Magic. The great thing is about novellas is that they’re short, so it took me about a month to write.

Seasonal books should be light and fun in my opinion, so although I wanted some tension and mystery, I also wanted a giggle. I loved the idea of the witches, Shadow, and Nephilim, having their magic revealed by various nefarious means. Rupert, owner of White Haven Occult Tours, seemed the perfect bad guy, after all he’s always been a brooding presence. And then Helena reared her head and refused to be put back in the box, and I loved having her cause havoc in Happenstance Books.

Sally and Dan are two of my favourite characters. They are Avery’s steadfast friends who always have her back, and I wanted Sally to have her moment of glory. I won’t say anymore, but having her take on Rupert was awesome fun.

The Lord of Misrule was a real medieval/Tudor tradition. He was appointed to rule over the Feast of Fools and organise the drunken revelries and entertainment. There are a few variations on the theme, and I mixed them up to suit my needs – especially the making the Court of Fools. I almost made Reuben the Lord of Misrule and then I realised that wouldn’t work and switched it to Stan. After that the story evolved quickly.

It is, of course, written out of the sequence of the White Haven Witches books. Chaos Magic, book 9, picks up right after Vengeful Magic, so the novella is a kind of standalone. I purposefully don’t refer to the current storylines, but couldn’t resist having a little interaction between Briar and Newton. That is a work in progress! πŸ˜‰

If you haven’t read the novella yet, it is for sale on all retailers, and you can buy it here: https://books2read.com/white-haven-and-the-lord-of-misrule

I’m hoping I’ll squeeze in another this book this year in between the four planned ones. Check out my planned releases here: https://tjgreen.nz/2022-planned-releases/ I’m itching to do another Rise of the King novel, but we’ll see…

If you want to keep up to date with my news, you can subscribe to my Readers’ Group; follow my Facebook page: or join my Facebook group, TJ’s Inner Circle – just make sure you answer the questions.

If you’ve got any comments or questions, drop them below. Until next time, take care xx

6 Comments

  1. Chrissie says:

    I don’t know how you do all this. I love your books not just because I enjoy reading but because they are like visiting friends and the images your words create make my own private film in my mind.
    Thank you.

    1. TJ Green says:

      Thanks Chrissie, that’s great to hear! πŸ™‚

  2. Barbara Tock says:

    Tj I can’t really add anything to Chrissie’s comment. Just pure escapism and brilliant page turning reads. I love them

    1. TJ Green says:

      Thank you, Barbara! πŸ™‚

  3. Susan Pitts says:

    TJ it’s a great pleasure to read your books, Trouble is that I can’t get anything done or sleep ‘cos once I start reading I find myself drawn into the story and becoming part of it. Fantastic, well done and good luck for the future of all the characters.βœοΈπŸ§™πŸ§ΉπŸ˜Š

    1. TJ Green says:

      Hi Susan, so glad you enjoy them – sorry you get so sleep deprived! πŸ™‚

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