Quest of Fire: The Gathering Dark
by Brett Armstrong
Genre: YA Epic Fantasy/Christian Fantasy
Release date: April 2019
Jason is an expert at running from his past. When it catches up, he finds himself hiding in a peculiar inn listening to a tale from centuries past.
The story is Anargen’s, a teen who is pulled from all he loves to follow his oaths of loyalty to the fabled King of the Realms. Together with his mentor, Cinaed, he rides north on a special quest to mediate peace talks between ancient foes–the men of Ecthelowall and the dwarfs of Ordumair. Nothing goes as planned. Many on both sides of the dispute despise Anargen’s Order. Worse, an arcane evil has returned to the North. This “Grey Scourge” seeks to ruin the peace talks and ensure a lost treasure held by the dwarfs is never found by those for whom it is meant.
As Anargen’s story unfolds, Jason begins to wonder whether it is truly just a fable. He soon finds himself drawn into the conflict Anargen faced–a battle which has shaped and can destroy his world.
Anargen ducked a low hanging tree limb. As he passed under it, he felt its gnarled branches rake over his back like fingers through hair. Spurring his horse on a little faster, he worked his way past the offending tree. Rain continued to fall on the stand of trees in a steady downpour. It was as though the Knights were walking through curtains of rain suspended before them rather than it simply falling from the sky.
After days journeying across a rolling plain of tall, verdant grasses, Anargen should have been glad for this forest. It was, after all, far more evocative of the home he’d left behind. Before entering it, however, the wind took on a boisterous bluster, buffeting them as if trying to push them back to the coast. Then came the rains, which persisted ever since. Today marked a full day of rain. A full day of rain in a wood lacking most of the beauty to which Anargen was accustomed. This stand of spindly ironwoods and other gangly trees was bereft of most of its leaves already. Coarse bushes and thorny vines filled out the spaces and complicated the passage. The scent of multi-flora rose was heavy here, almost sickly sweet.
Somewhere in the distance a limb broke loose and crashed with a muted cry to the ground below. Anargen wanted to spur his horse on faster, but the forest passage was too narrow.
At the head of a single file column, Sir Cinaed cut the path. Into the dark, he trilled the notes of a song.
“Will you be home, will our wait ever end?
What friend may we seek, for our hearts’ rends?”
Cinaed’s voice was clear and mellifluous, the best Anargen had ever heard. But the song was about a family waiting for a father who would never come home. It was the saddest song Walhonde’s mountains ever bore.
“When all our journeys’ ways mend,
Will you be home again?
Will you be home again?”
The songs words pierced between the plates of Anargen’s armor. Passing his mail coat unopposed to strike his heart. Memories of a fire, warm and low in his home’s hearth beset him. His father’s laughter as he told familiar stories with fresh mirth. Mother cooking a savory stew from the autumn garden gleanings.
Then there was something new to the scene. Seren’s smile. Her hand soft and sure in his own as they sat by the fire. It was no longer memory but a longing. Hiraeth. Cinaed’s song was more than words now, it was in his very bones.
Anargen shook his head and refocused his thoughts on where he was. In the unfamiliar wood, dark and cold, riding to the unknown. The storm masked the sky and only the luminance of their armor afforded any light.
Amidst the sea of dreariness, the rain drops sticking to their armor did not extinguish the faint flames. As the drops slid down, they glowed. Ahead, Sir Cinaed looked like a body of earthbound stars gliding through the ebon night.
Of a sudden, the song and stellar migration halted, hovering in wait. Sir Cinaed had reached a wider point in the path. The sound of rain striking the softened soil was like the roar of a small waterfall. Over it, Sir Cinaed boomed, “We’re only a mile or so from a village. We’ll stay there the night and head out tomorrow. Pair up so you don’t get lost, the path becomes rather winding soon.”
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About the Author
I’m a Christian, a writer, a full-time programmer, a husband, a dad, and quite often sleep-deprived. Not necessarily ranked in order of importance, except #1.
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The Thirteenth Guardian
by K.M. Lewis
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Apocalyptic Fantasy
Release Date: June 11th 2019
Da Vinci’s secret pales. Michelangelo concealed an explosive truth in his famous Creation of Man fresco in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. Everything we have been taught about Eve is wrong—she didn’t cause the fall of man. Instead, Eve carried a far more devastating secret for millennia; one that will change the world forever.
As the modern-day world suffers the cataclysmic effects of the “Plagues of Egypt”, Avery Fitzgerald, a statuesque Astrophysics major at Stanford, discovers that she is mysteriously bound to five strangers by an extremely rare condition that foremost medical experts cannot explain. Thrust into extraordinary circumstances, they race against time to stay alive as they are pursued by an age-old adversary and the world around them collapses into annihilation. Under sacred oath, The Guardians—a far more archaic and enigmatic secret society than the Freemasons, Templars, and the Priory—protect Avery as she embarks on a daring quest that only legends of old have been on before. Avery must come to terms with the shocking realization that the blood of an ancient queen flows through her veins and that the fate of the world now rests on her shoulders.
As he approached the Sant’Angelo Bridge, he stopped for a moment and looked left at Castel Sant’Angelo, which was once the tallest building in Rome. Castel Sant’Angelo was built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, around 125 AD, as a mausoleum for him and his family. At the top of the castle is a statue of the Archangel Michael—renowned for leading God’s armies against Satan’s army in the final battle in the Book of Revelation.
Something about standing in the shadow of the Archangel Michael this evening caused Eli to stop and stare at the statue. He noticed, for the first time, that Archangel Michael appeared to have just unsheathed his sword—as if the time for that final battle, prophesied in the Bible, had finally arrived. Eli observed that Michael had a calmness etched on his face that evoked both sadness and resolve.
This book is on sale for $0.99 throughout July 2019!
Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PNDJ7TW
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- Tell us about your writing process. Do you aim for a daily word count, page count, or a couple of scenes each day?
I travel a lot for work. A LOT. So I do most of my writing on the move. When I write, I have the story saved in the cloud – so I will start a new chapter on my MacBook at 5am in my hotel before I head to the airport to catch a flight. I will pick up the writing on my iPhone in the back of an Uber—sitting in traffic—or waiting in a long airport security line, and then finish the chapter onboard a long flight. One of the chapters in the book was started in a hotel lobby in central London, finished somewhere over the Atlantic and spell checked in an Uber from JFK in New York.
- What gave you the inspiration for your book (and the series)?
I have always been intrigued by Bible and religious mythology. For many years, I have wondered if the apocalyptic events described in the Bible (past and future—i.e. Revelation), were/will be caused by a physical catalyst. What is absolutely fascinating to me is that many of the apocalyptic events described in the Bible appear in several other religious texts from around the world, and also appear in the earth’s historical record. For example, the story of Noah and the Flood is almost precisely similar to flood myths from China, India, Polynesia, Mesopotamia and many other communities around the world. Many of these myths involve a huge global flood and a group of people that were saved because they somehow knew the flood was coming and built some type of boat to save their family. They also stored grain and brought some animals along for the ride too.
I tried to ignore the obvious questions for years but they kept nagging at me. So, I finally decided to start reading and digging. And whoa! Our history may be much more interesting than we have known. The Thirteenth Guardian Trilogy is a fictional account that explores some of what I found over the last ten years of looking.
- What sort of research did you do for this book?
Over the years, I have visited many of the locations featured in the book – The Vatican, The Capitol Building in Washington DC, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Salt Lake City, Tokyo, Rome, The Greenbriar Resort; and more. The descriptions of these locations are based largely on my experiences when I visited those locations, and also reading up on them in detail to make sure that all the details captured are as accurate as possible. I have also read A LOT about world myths and religious beliefs, and I have spent quite a bit of time researching ancient religious texts and artifacts e.g. Hindu, Egyptian, Mayan etc. There is so much rich information that is available to anyone who wants to dig into this topic – you can spend weeks and weeks, reading up.
- Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?
A Panster. Many of the scenes that I think are the most compelling in the book unfolded as I wrote. I had no idea how the chapter would end as I wrote the first word in the chapter. I wrote the first book really fast – it just kept pouring out, and I could not go to sleep until all the thoughts were on paper. So I would just start writing and see where things would go. At the end of some of the chapters, I would stand up, look back at the computer screen, and think, “OK – where the heck did that come from?!”
- Do you prefer a certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence?
I always write listening to musical scores. For some reason, the genre clears my mind and opens up a channel into my mind. I am a big fan of Hans Zimmer when I write – so I put on my head set and just go to his Pandora or Slacker channel and start typing on my Mac or iPhone.
- What book(s) are you reading now?
I have re-read a couple of Dan Brown’s books, and I have Michelle Obama’s book sitting on my table staring back at me. I really need to find the time to read it.
- Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently?
Huge fan of GoT. But not for the reason that most people love the show. I think there is a much deeper layer to the show that struck me as soon as I started watching it. Has to do with ancient knowledge and the cycle of ancient history that always seems to repeat itself – Samuel Tarly is the one character that touches on it a bit in one of the seasons. If you read the Thirteenth Guardian, you can almost see the parallels.
About the Author
K.M. Lewis has lived in multiple countries around the world and speaks several languages. Lewis holds a graduate degree from one of the Ivy League Universities featured in his book. When he is not writing, Lewis doubles as a management consultant, with clients in just about every continent. He does much of his writing while on long flights and at far-flung airports around the globe. He currently resides on the East Coast of the U.S with his family.
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Legend (Dragonrider Legacy 3)
by Nicole Conway
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
In a war of gods and tyrants, the will of the dragonrider must never falter.
Captured and tortured by the brutal tyrant, Argonox, Reigh’s worst fears have now been realized. Argonox has successfully twisted his mysterious dark power for a truly evil purpose—reanimating the long-deceased legendary dragonrider, Beckah Derrick, and her monstrous king drake. But Argonox’s cruelty won’t end there, and Reigh fears the worst is yet to come. Rescue is unlikely as the Tibrans prepare to make their final strike, poised to break Maldobar’s ranks of proud dragonriders once and for all.
With many of its cities already captured by the Tibran Empire, all hope now rests with Jaevid, Princess Jenna, Phillip, and their mismatched band of dragonrider allies to lead the last stand and save their kingdom. Even in such frightful times, Jaevid may find he still has a few old friends ready to take up their weapons and stand at his side again. But facing down Beckah is perhaps the one thing that might break Jaevid’s resolve. Can he really strike down the woman he used to love in order to save the kingdom?
One final battle will decide the fate of our heroes. Can the strength dragonrider prevail once again? Or will the Tibran Empire become Maldobar’s new legacy?
“Bravery is not an immunity to fear—it is rising up to meet it with the hope that nothing is impossible.” — Sile Derrick, FLEDGLING
1. Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?
A bit of both – sort of. I tend to write out scenes in little paragraphs sort of like storyboarding a movie. Then I shuffle things around as needed. I don’t like going into too much detail because then, honestly, it’s boring. I like having some freedom to let the story take on a life of it’s own.
2. Do you prefer a certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence?
I can write with silence, but I prefer to have music. I have playlists for various “moods” during certain points of the story. For instance, LEGEND has a lot of battles, so I listened to my “fight scene” playlist a lot … which consists of Sabaton, Skillet, and some movie soundtracks.
3. What book(s) are you reading now?
Right now I’m reading The Stolen Throne by David Gaider. It’s a “backstory novel” from the video game series I’m madly in love with called Dragon Age. I adore everything about those games and the world, so it’s been a fun read to learn some of the history.
4. Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently?
I just finished Death In Paradise, a British TV-mystery series, and I really loved it. I like a lot of BBC shows like that. The character and plot development tends to be a bit more … cerebral than what you find in a lot of American shows. But there are a few I like. I re-watch The Office, Breaking Bad, and House M. D. about once a year. I love those shows!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
NICOLE CONWAY is an author from North Alabama. She graduated from Auburn University in 2012, and has previously worked as a graphic artist. She is happily married with one son.
by Susan Antony
Genre: YA Romance
Release Date: January 2019
The Wild Rose Press
When Ace leaves home to spend the summer in Cherokee, North Carolina the last thing she expects to find is a boyfriend until she meets Cherokee Tribe member John Spears. As Ace and John’s friendship blossoms, they find their life experiences mirror each other and they fall in love. Despite hurdles thrown by well-meaning family members and jealous frenemies, the star-crossed lovers remain committed to their mutual belief that the universe has drawn them together. However, when Ace sends John a strange text and then suddenly disappears, the two must rely on their trust in each other to save both their lives and their love.
About the Author
Susan Antony is an IT by day, hip-shaker and writer by night, artist whenever possible, and an internet addict. She lives in the sunny south with her teenage son and two Cairn Terriers.
Author Links: Twitter www.twitter.com/susanantonycs
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Lucid (Lucid #1) by Kristy Fairlamb
Publication Date: April 23, 2019
Publisher: Lakewater Press
A terrifying power. A horrifying curse.
Lucy Piper lives a lonely existence on the precipice between life and death. She possesses the horrifying ability to resurrect real-life tragic events in her nightmares, reliving over and over, as if she were there, the last few moments before the victim takes their final breath. Car accidents, drownings, plane crashes – Lucy has seen it all. No one understands what it’s like living death by night and fearing sleep by day.
When Tyler Sims and his family move to town to escape past traumas, Lucy is drawn to him. The two of them are linked through their dreams, and with Tyler’s trust and friendship, hope for a brighter future returns to Lucy’s world. But Tyler’s presence awakens something else in Lucy, and with this new knowledge, she will be forced to make impossible decisions. Decisions that will change history, and the future.
Chilling, haunting and compelling, this novel is the first in a two-part series for fans of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and The Hidden Memory of Objects that will leave you breathless for days.
1. Tell us about your writing process. Do you aim for a daily word count, page count, or a couple of scenes each day?
When I wrote my first book, Lucid, I didn’t know what I was doing, or even if I could write a book. So, I just took it as it came, and it took me a year to write. The following two novels I wrote, the sequel to Lucid and a stand alone, were both written during NaNoWriMo, or at least started, I never finished them within a month, but I came close. I aimed for around 2000 words each day, sometimes getting a bit more, other days falling short. I change my schedule during the first draft writing stage. I wake at 5am and before I’ve even had a coffee, I sit and write. That way, most days, I have a good chunk written before my family wake up.
Editing is less structured, I pretty much fit it in where I can.
2. What gave you the inspiration for your book (and the series)?
I think it all started when I would talk about my dreams with my daughter each morning. And wondering what it’d be like to live with nightmares that were way more serious than anyone else could truly understand? And what if they were more than just nightmares. From that surfaced a character and one thing led to another until eventually LUCID was born.
3. What sort of research did you do for this book?
Not much to begin with. I like to write first, edit later. Eventually my research for this book involved a strange mix of things; what it’s like to die a certain way, concussion, certain medication side effects, causes for a plane to realistically crash, specifics on Queen Victoria, and how Jet is made.
When things got serious, I called in the experts. A doctor friend of mine helped make a particular series of events more believable, and a contact through a writer’s group was an expert on aeroplanes so he came in very handy.
4. Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?
Mostly plotter. I plot out most of the book and create the characters enough that I know who they are and why they might act a certain way. But I get to about ¾ of the way through the plan and then I just want to write. I usually know the ending but not those last scenes that get me there. But this works really well, because as I write, the story often changes, especially as I near the end. This allows me to know what’s going on at the same time as having the freedom to go where the story takes me.
5. Do you prefer a certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence?
I like both. Sometimes I accidently write a tonne of words and only when I’m done do I realise it’s been complete silence the whole time. But I do love music too. I have a writing playlist I’ve created on Spotify
It’s a mix of all sorts of songs that I like but have no lyrics.
6. What book(s) are you reading now?
I’ve just started The Year After You by Nina de Pass. It’s set in a Swiss boarding school and is about a young girl who’s struggling to come to terms with the loss of her friend 9 months earlier. I’m enjoying it so far.
I’m also about half way through A Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzie Lee. I loved A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and couldn’t wait for this one to come out about Monty’s sister.
7. Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently?
I don’t watch a lot of T.V. but there are certain series that I stop life for. Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, and Outlander are my current loves.
And I love going to the movies. I recently saw Five Feet Apart with my daughter. I may have shed a few tears.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristy Fairlamb is an Australian author of the Young Adult Lucid series coming out in 2019.
She spends her days drinking coffee and torturing her characters with loads of tension – both love related and the nail biting kind.
Long before her days of writing began she spent half her childhood in a make believe world; daydreaming about growing up, falling in love, and travelling the world.
She’s worked as a nanny in country England, a junior matron in a boy’s boarding school south of London, a governess in East Timor, and made coffees and cleared tables in the New South Wales snow fields.
She lives with her husband, teenage daughter, and two sons in the beautiful Adelaide Hills where they’re lucky enough to get occasional visits from the local koalas.
She’s terrible at gardening, likes her bookshelves sorted by colour, and recently checked off a lifelong dream of jumping from a plane.
When she’s not writing or daydreaming about her stories you’ll find her reading, cooking for her family, or doing anything to avoid the housework.