The Old Dragon’s Head by Justin Newland Book Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway { Ends June 6}

May 11, 2023 | 2 comments

Book Details:

The Old Dragon Head Book CoverBook Title: The Old Dragon’s Head by Justin Newland
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +), 257 pages
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Supernatural Thriller
Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd.
Release date: November 2018
Formats Available for Review: print (softback) (internationally), ebook (MOBI (for Kindle), EPUB, PDF)
Tour dates: May 10 to May 30, 2023
Content Rating: PG-13 +M. Mild sex and cruelty. Mature themes.

Book Description:

The Great Wall of China may be constructed of stone and packed earth, but it is home to a supernatural beast – the Old Dragon. Both wall and dragon protect China’s northern borders from Mongol incursion. Just beyond the fortress of Shanhaiguan, the far eastern end of the wall protrudes into the Bohai Sea – that’s the Old Dragon’s Head.

​Bolin, a young man working on the Old Dragon’s Head, suffers visions of ghosts. The local seer suspects that he has yin-yang eyes and other supernatural gifts. Bolin’s fief lord, the Prince of Yan, rebels against his nephew, the Jianwen Emperor. In the bitter war of succession, the Mongols hold the balance of power. While the victor might win the battle on earth, China’s Dragon Throne can only be earned with a Mandate from Heaven – and the support of the Old Dragon. In every era, a man endowed with the powers of heaven – the Dragon Master – is born. Only he can summon the Old Dragon, providing he possesses the dragon pearl. It’s the year 1402, and neither the Old Dragon, the dragon pearl, nor the Dragon Master, has been seen for twenty years. Bolin’s journey of self-discovery is mirrored by that of old China, as both endeavors to come of age. When Bolin accepts his destiny as the Dragon Master, heaven sends a third coming of age – for humanity itself. But are any of them ready for what is rising in the East?

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Guest Post:

Author Justin Newland

The preface to my novel, The Old Dragon’s Head, is taken from a book called The Great Ming Code and depicts a real event that took place in Nanjing, China. The image below shows the Forbidden City of Nanjing.

Here is the preface….


“I, Zhu Yuanzhang, have expelled the Mongol invader. For too many winters, we have suffered at the hands of the barbarian.

I will restore the greatness of China both in Heaven and on earth.

While my followers exhorted me to grasp the Mandate of Heaven, I dared not do so without a propitious sign. Five days ago, on a cold, snowy day, I erected an altar of worship to the Supreme Cosmic Deity. I prayed that if the Lord on High approved of my new ruling house, then the appointed day of my enthronement – 23rd of January 1368 – would be a bright day.

Today is that day and, miracle of miracles, the warm rays of the sun pierce the gloom and have melted the frozen earth. The Lord on High has heard my supplication. The Yang exerts itself upon the Yin. The order of the Tao is restored. Thus, I take my seat on the Dragon Throne.

As a bright day in Heaven means a bright day on earth, I name this the Ming – the Bright – Dynasty.

Zhu Yuanzhang, the Hongwu Emperor (shown in the image below).

The Great Ming Code.”



Zhu Yuanzhang is the victorious warlord who has freed China from the Mongol scourge. His generals urge him to grasp the Mandate of Heaven, or, in other words, become the first Emperor of the new dynasty.

Most people in his position would don the emperor’s robe emblazoned with the five-clawed dragon and humbly step onto the Dragon Throne. Not Zhu Yuanzhang. No, he refuses the mandate and demands a higher one – he wants a visible portent that his reign is in harmony with the will of Heaven.

His feet crunch on the snow and ice as he walks solemnly towards the Nanjing altar. There, he declares that if his mandate is acceptable to the gods, then, in five days’ time, the snow will have melted. This would be a sign that the natural order of things – in which the bright, warm Yang influence overcomes over the dark, cold, Yin influence – is restored. NB The image of the Yin-Yang symbol is shown on the right.

And in five days, this is exactly what happens.

The Great Ming Code served as a moral textbook to ensure “all under Heaven” were aligned to that cosmic order.

Its statutes applied to everyone from the lowliest peasants to the merchants, the magistrates, and the mandarins.

It is probably the last time in history where a nation attempted to harmonize their people, through the instrument of its statutes, with the will of heaven and the spirit realms (image shown to the left).

I felt this preface brilliantly highlighted the mind-set of the Chinese living at the time.

In the novel, I tried to imagine what it would be like to live under the auspices of Heaven.

The question is, why would they do that?

To find out more, read The Old Dragon’s Head.



Justin Newland the author of the Old Dragaons Head

Meet the Author:

JUSTIN NEWLAND’s novels represent an innovative blend of genres from historical fiction and crime, to supernatural thrillers and mystery. His stories deal with the themes of war, religion, and evolution and speculate on the human’s spiritual place in the universe.

Undeterred by the award of a Doctorate in Mathematics from Imperial College, London, he found his way to the creative keyboard and conceived his debut novel, The Genes of Isis (Matador, 2018), an epic fantasy set under Ancient Egyptian skies.

Next came the historical fantasy, The Old Dragon’s Head (Matador, 2018), set in Ming Dynasty China in the shadows of the Great Wall.

His next historical fantasy, The Coronation (Matador, 2019), speculates on the genesis of the most important event in the modern world – the Industrial Revolution.

His fourth, The Abdication (Matador, 2021), is a supernatural thriller in which a young woman confronts her faith in a higher purpose and what it means to abdicate that faith.

His work in progress is a two-book series, The Island of Angels, set in Elizabethan England, and is an epic tale of England’s coming of age. The first novel, The Mark of the Salamander, travels with Sir Francis Drake across the wide open seas of discovery from 1577-1580 and is due to be published in September 2023. The second, The Midnight of Eights, culminates in the repulse of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

He regularly gives talks to historical associations and libraries and enjoys giving radio interviews and making podcasts. Born three days before the end of 1953, he lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.

connect with the author: website twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram pinterest ~ bookbub goodreads

Tour Schedule:

May 10  Cover Lover Book Review  book spotlight / giveaway
May 11 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
May 12 – My Reading Getaway – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 12 – 
FUONLYKNEW – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 17 – Liese’s Blog – book spotlight
May 18 – Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
May 19 – Kim’s Book Reviews and Writing Aha’s – book review / giveaway
May 22  Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
May 24 – Authors on iTours: Let’s Talk Books – book review
May 25 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 26 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway
May 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
May 29 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
May 30 – The Book Countess – book review 
May 30  
Diane’s Book Journal – book review / giveaway
May 30 – Splashes of Joy – book review / giveaway

Giveaway Details:

Win signed copy of THE OLD DRAGON HEAD by Justin Newland (one winner) (ends June 6)

Enter the Giveaway  on the Rafflecopter  below:

THE OLD DRAGON HEAD Book Tour Giveaway

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  1. Justin Newland

    Thanks for hosting this stop on the iRead Book Tour of my novel. Best wishes, Justin.

  2. Anne

    Captivating and fascinating novel. A real treasure to enjoy.

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