Blog Tour for “Darkness Dawns” by Zakarrie Clarke. Rafflecopter Contest Giveaway included.


Book Title: Darkness Dawns

Author: Zakarrie Clarke

Publisher: MLR Press

Genre/s: Contemporary/Humour/MM/Disability (Blindness)

Length: 65 000 words/150 PDF pages

Release Date: February 1, 2019

It’s a novel with a sequel. The first 43 chapters form Darkness Dawns; it concludes on a HFN and the sequel completes the novel.

I’ve written both, but thought it best to split it, or it would be over 140 000 words long.

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Darkness Dawns is a love story. It also tells the tale of one man’s war with himself, brought onto the battlefield of his blindness. Leo Ferrar suffers from diabetic retinopathy and lost his sight two years ago. Unable to bear the scrutiny of strangers or the impact of his blindness on those he loves, Leo has determined on shutting the world out ever since. This is the man Ben meets on his first day at work as Mr Ferrar’s care assistant.

A former heroin addict, Ben was sentenced to six months community service as punishment for his crimes by a judge entitled to condemn him to a seven-year stretch. Far too charming for his own welfare, Ben proves unaccountably brilliant at ‘bulldozing the blind’.

When fate sees fit to dispatch Ben to the home of the man he has dubbed Mr Ferrarcious; it is with the words of the last five unfortunates who’d dared darken Leo’s doorway ringing in his ears. A door that is opened by a man who might be Lord Byron himself. Drop dead gorgeous and as hot as hell, Leo Ferrar has the most beautiful eyes Ben has ever seen.

Never has an irony seemed so cruel. Nor fate so fortuitous.

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Leo knew he should have opted to use the cane, instead of the arm Ben offered him for their unexpected walk. Should. Every time that word left someone’s lips, Leo wanted to scream; fists clenched in a screech of hopeless, helpless rage. The fact that everything he should do was For-His-Own-Benefit, made it so much worse, which was as ludicrous as it was true. Independence was the only thing he had left to aspire to. So, why the fuck did should rub Leo so raw it obliterated any inclination he may have had to do whatever it prefaced? He ought to want to do the things he should. But what if he tried…and failed? What if Leo couldn’t master any of them? Then he would lose even the hope that he might, one day, be able to. Even more galling, that loss would be down to him, because he was so bloody useless. He did want to show Ben that he was quite capable of managing…didn’t he? Very much, although why that mattered, Leo had no idea.

Why care what this latest in a long line of functioning eyeballs thought of him? It was probably more politic to say, ‘visually unimpaired’. Visually Impaired. Leo had to stifle the urge to punch people who described him thus. Impaired? Adj: weakened or damaged. Weak. Weakened. F’fucksakes. He was still chewing that particular wasp when Ben asked for his wrist.

Does he intend to lead me by it, as if I’m a toddler?

Leo found himself holding it out anyway. Christ knows why he was going along with all this. It was just that…being in Ben’s company was rather like sitting in the passenger seat of a snow plough driven by a drunk. Far preferable to standing in its path…and yet, somehow more appealing than staying behind, wherever the hell it was off to.

Nevertheless, he was still relieved when Ben clasped the proffered wrist—not to cart Leo off as he’d feared—but to plant his hand on top of Ben’s head. The fact that Leo could have changed the lightbulb without stretching a whole lot further, did seem to suggest he’d been addressing Ben’s nipples for the last half hour.

Quite how Ben then contrived to claim fault for something that was Leo’s mistake was less clear, but this was pulled off with such disarming charm, it would’ve been churlish to argue otherwise. Why the hell did the notion of calling Ben’s bluff feel as brutal a prospect as drowning his cat? If he had one, of course. Cat? More to the point…nipples?

“Thank you,” Leo managed to mumble, which was something of a result itself. Half an hour with Ben and he’d started to feel several sandwiches short of the proverbial picnic. He’d also begun to suspect that Violet had been a sweet little old lady—and quite sane—when she’d met Ben.

So off they went. The blindingly daft leading the blind off on a stroll around Camden.

In a bid to distract himself from well, pretty much everything he’d thought for the last five minutes, Leo decided to ask Ben to describe himself. For some reason he was intrigued, not only to know what Ben looked like, but to hear the picture he drew. Leo had an inkling this would prove more unmissable than an aural tour around the National Portrait Gallery. Unmissable? It was a bloody masterpiece. There most definitely were not any renderings of Steptoe’s six-four daughter there. The last two years might have felt a damn sight less soul-destroying if Ben had voiced Leo’s DVD visual descriptions.

Walking outside had lost all its appeal when the world became a giant landmine lying in wait to blow up in Leo’s face; every step into the unknown, a potential public humiliation. Despite this, and Ben’s partiality to lamp posts, they somehow arrived in Gloucester Crescent, alive and well. Even more shocking, was that Leo hadn’t fretted about…anything really, along the way. He’d just drifted along, listening to Ben weave words too beguiling to question where embellishment waved farewell to the truth. But who the fuck would want to, when that would feel as blasphemous as punching a fist through a Picasso?

About the Author

When Zakarrie was little and dreamed big, she wanted to be a writer. Just like Enid Blyton. Or p’raps not…having been most remiss on the lashings of ginger beer front. After moving to London at eighteen and flitting about for far too long, she finally settled, as blissy as can be, by the sea. When her castaway dreams resurfaced, they were believed into being by the warm words of friends who breathed life into her own. Her one wish now is that someone, somewhere, might enjoy the misadventures of her miscreants as much as she adores writing them.

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Eric Huffbind

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. zakarrie

    Thank you so much, Eric 😊 X

    1. Eric Huffbind

      Anything for you, Zak. Always happy to do what I can for you….Eric

      1. zakarrie

        Aww…thank you. 😊 As I am for you, if there’s anything you wish me to do.

  2. Eric Huffbind

    Well, actually, Zakarrie, you could do me a wonderful favor. I am planning on a Book Blast. Haven’t set my dates yet, but soon. Would you be willing to promote it a Newsletter Email Blast? I am trying to build up a network of authors who maybe willing to cross promote. By the way, is Zakarrie pronounced like Zachary? It’s such a unique name. Thanks for your consideration, Eric

  3. zakarrie

    Yes, it is pronounced just the same 😊 I’d be happy to…I don’t have an actual newsletter, but I can blog it both here and my website and tweet your book blast with your book/blurb/links/expert/etc. You’re welcome add a guest post if you wish.

    1. Eric Huffbind

      So, you haven’t started an email list yet?

  4. zakarrie

    No! My first novel was released last March…and it didn’t seem likely that I had enough regular followers/readers to warrant one.

    1. Eric Huffbind

      Oh, Zakarrie, you need to build yourself a following of fans, and you create a mailing list at the same time. Email is your #1 most effective advertising. And, building a email list is not difficult, I know it sounds daunting, but it’s not. However, the bad news is in order to build a list and a fan base, you have to give a book away for free as a magnet. It does two things. First, it allows potential readers to learn who you are, and fall in love with your voice as an author. Will everyone love you, of course not, but as people download your book for free, they give you their email address. And thus, you start building a list. No, people will unsubscribe, and that’s fine. You don’t want them. However, if they love your book, you now have their email address to promote to them in the future. Easiest way to do this, is to join a promotional book bundle. I participate in these constantly. Over a year, I have an active list of 2,700. Now, I have had as much as 3,700 on my list, but you dump dead weight and people unsubscribe.

  5. zakarrie

    Thank you so much for your advice…and for sharing your knowhow. Promoting myself is not my very best thing, it must be admitted. It took me about six months to work out what #tags do. Let alone get to grips with social media. You’re right, it does sound daunting, thank you for your reassurances. I find it very hard to think of myself as having one ‘fan’. 😳 So, I guess I figured that I’d move onto that stage when I felt that I had a few regular readers. I will look into sorting it out though…so thank you again for all your advice.✨😊✨

    1. Eric Huffbind

      Well, you’re not the only one who was daunted by marketing yourself. I’m quite sure I’m still figuring it out to a great extent. But if someone has helped me along the way, the least I can do is pay it forward.

  6. zakarrie

    Aw, that’s very kind of you. You seem to be doing a grand job, so far. I hope your novel launch goes splendidly and wish you every success with ‘Surrounded by Silence’.

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