New Art for The Outlander War from Ari Brodeur

“The Three Dragons” art by Ari Brodeur . . . Ashley St. Johns, Sorceress Magnate of Avalon; Sir Hunter MoonDrake, Gil-Gamesh of Avalon; and Rose O’Brien, Shield Maiden and Dragon Queen.

Check out the new art for The Outlander War on the fan art page from artist Ari Brodeur. I met Ari through a Fantasy Author Support Group on Instagram and loved her art style. I wanted to create the MoonDrake children as they assumed the mantle of their father’s legacy at the end of The Outlander War, and she captured my vision perfectly.

As I mentioned her previously, the characters for the MoonDrake family in the Forever Avalon series are based on my own. It was easier for me, writing my first novel, to incorporate my family, their characteristics and traits into these characters. Of course, the comparisons between my children and their fantasy counterparts are leaps and bounds apart, but it’s still fun to write them in my stories. It’s like I’m taking my children on an adventure even though they are all grown up.

By the way, if any authors or anyone else out there wants to inquire with Ari about commissioning her for an art piece, use my referral code “ABAPIGGOTT” and get $10 off your booking price with Ari. This, in turn, gets me a $10 voucher toward a future project with her. It’s a “win/win” for both of us and it supports an independent artist and author, like me! You can email her at aribroart@gmail.com. Remember, we are a strong independent community and I’ve met so many wonderful authors and authors both online and at the conventions. I will be displaying her work, and the art of the other artists I’ve worked with, at my upcoming book signing event at Katsucon 2022.

The Outlander War: Book 3 of the Forever Avalon Series, 2021 Firebird Book Award winner (2nd Place) for Fantasy from Austin Macauley Publishing is available as a book or ebook on Amazon and through other online booksellers.

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy/steampunk novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers.

Get ready for the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates, coming soon from Revolutionary Press; and The River of Souls novella, coming soon from Curious Corvid PublishingThe Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series and The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel are future installments of my current fantasy book series, coming soon.

Looking back at 2021 and ahead to 2022 with weary yet open-eyed optimism for the new year

I can honestly say I have mixed feelings about 2021. I think its one of those years I can’t wait to put behind me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no 2020. My God, that year will forever burn on the ash heap of life. I have a lot of memories of 2021, some good and some not so good.

First, the good . . .

I published my fourth book in 2021, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart, beginning a new fantasy/steampunk series under my pen (or rhetorical keyboard). Not only did I spend most of 2021 finishing this book, it was also the first work of mine where I hired and editor and a cover artist. This book means a lot to me, and winning first place in the 2021 Firebird Book Award for Steampunk was a big deal. Being recognized by your peers cemented my career as a writer.

Speaking of awards, The Outlander War: Book 3 of the Forever Avalon Series, won second place for fantasy in the 2021 Firebird Book Awards. Again, it was wonderful to be recognized by your peers and I really want to thank my publisher, Austin Macauley, for all their support in 2021. This book was released just as the COVID pandemic hit, so promoting it was next to impossible beyond social media. I’m just so happy they continue to work with me.

Williamsburg Arts and Music Festival, November 2021

The great thing about 2021 was that I was finally able to go out and meet people in public. I attended book fairs, book signings, comic-cons, and arts festivals, talking about my books to those interested and even selling a few along the way. Thanks to the Moravian Book Shop, Fredericksburg Independent Book Festival, Southern Maryland Comic-Con, and 2nd Sundays Williamsburg for their support. It was great that, after nearly two years in hibernation, I could tell my stories to anyone interested. I sold more books in 2021 at all these combined events than I did since my first book was published in 2009. That shows how much effort independent authors have to put in beyond social media! I am looking forward to doing even more events in 2022.

The last good event of 2021 was having my short stories published through The Publishing Room and being signed by two great independent publishers, Revolutionary Press and Curious Corvid Publishing. The Publishing Room published two of my short stories for their fantasy and horror anthologies, Of Distant Worlds and From Dark Corners. Revolutionary Press will be publishing my steampunk/historical fiction novel, Corsair and the Sky Pirates, in 2022. Curious Corvid will be publishing my fantasy novella, The River of Souls, which I wrote with poet Ashley Valitutto. I am looking forward to working with these publishers in the coming year and beyond!

Now for the bad . . .

I experienced some loss in 2021, especially here at the end. I’ve had friends and distant relatives die, but this year it hit close to home. My dog, Sully, died in July. He was only 13 and our family pet for all 13 years. If you want a great family pet, I highly recommend a West Highland Terrier. They are the best. And just a few days ago, my older sister, Trina, suddenly passed away. It was totally unexpected. She has been fighting illness of one type of another this past year, but she was fighting it so she could retire to Florida in 2022. It’s a terrible way to end the year, especially just days after Christmas. I never saw eye-to-eye with my sister on many things, but she was still my sister and I loved her no matter what. Her death has given me some perspective on my own mortality, to hopefully take better care of myself so I’m there for my family. No more snacking on Twinkies and Pop Tarts for me.

I guess a bad thing professionally would be my email inbox full of rejection letters from publishers and literary agents. I mean, I got two good ones in Curious Corvid and Revolutionary Press this year, but the constant flow of rejection is a little disheartening. It’s like that one bad review your book gets. It just gnaws at you even though its just one in a hundred. I’ve always done what’s best for me and file it away and just move on.

Looking ahead to 2022, there’s so much to look forward to. I’ll be publishing two new books and submitting two more for consideration (fingers crossed). You can find me at multiple conventions and festivals next year, starting off with Katsucon 2022 anime convention at the Gaylord Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland, February 18-20. It’s right in my area so this will be a blast. The only other confirmed event for me so far is the Imaginarium Fantasy Book Festival on Saturday, May 21, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. I’ve waited two years to be at this event so I can’t wait! You can keep up-to-date of my other appearances through my Events calendar.

So let’s end 2021 with this . . .

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of 365-page book. Write a good one.”

Brad Paisley

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy/steampunk novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers.

Get ready for the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates, coming soon from Revolutionary Press; and The River of Souls novella, coming soon from Curious Corvid PublishingThe Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series and The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel are future installments of my current fantasy book series, coming soon.

The Last Magus joins The Outlander War as a 2021 Firebird Book Award winner

The Outlander War: Book 3 of the Forever Avalon Series, second-place winner in Fantasy, and The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart, first-place winner in Steampunk, for the 2021 Firebird Book Awards, sponsored by Speak-up Talk Radio.

The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart was just named as a 2021 Firebird Book Award winner, first place in the Steampunk category. The Firebird Book Awards are sponsored by Speak Up Talk Radio. This is my second book to be recognized by these annual awards. In April, The Outlander War earned second place for fantasy from the Firebird Book Awards.

“Book contests are a proven way to tell the world that you have taken the time and effort to submit your work to scrutiny. An award seal on a book opens doors to interviews, press coverage, and lends additional credibility to writing and artistic careers, and dare we say–can increase sales.

“We chose the firebird to symbolize the award because the firebird is known as a magical helper and is believed to drop pearls from its beak when passing over peasant villages, to give the poor something to trade for food and other necessities. We hope, in some small way, that we too can help others via the donation aspect of these book awards.

“At Speak Up Talk Radio, our mantra has always been this: Speak Up–your words can change the world. You never know how your words affect those you may never meet. And to help you become a magical helper, like the mighty firebird who drops pearls, your entry fee is used as a tax deductible charitable donation to brighten the rooms of women and children in homeless shelters.

“All entry donations fund Enchanted Makeovers 501(c)3 women and children’s long term shelters renovation and transformation project, naming you as the donor.”

Marcus Gideon awoke at the crossroads outside the border town of Armändis. Lost, with no memory of his past life, he was left for dead by brigands… Stabbed through the heart. His life was saved by a blacksmith’s kindness who replaced his damaged heart with a mechanical, magical miracle—a clockwork heart. The gears turned, the motor spun, and his heart was beating again, powered by his magical energy.

Gideon was alive, but his savior was no ordinary blacksmith. Henry Botàn was a Magus, hiding out in Armändis to protect the weapons within his magical armory. The swords, spears, and other-worldly artifacts were potent in their rights, some cursed and even forbidden to wield. His responsibility was to protect these weapons from falling into the wrong hands, but he was old and past his prime. He needed an apprentice, and Marcus Gideon may be the one he waited all these years.

Now begins a new adventure, as Gideon searches for clues to his past, looking ahead toward his future in Attlain as THE LAST MAGUS. The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available as a book or ebook from Lulu and other booksellers.!

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers. Get ready for The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series, coming soon, and the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates.

New Reviews are something every author loves to see so keep them coming

Book reviews are something every author likes to see. Good or bad, it helps inform the author about what needs work in their writing and what they’re doing right. I received some great new reviews for The Outlander War and The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart. The first one comes from Booklife Publishers Weekly. They gave The Outlander War a 6.5 out of 10, and broke it down as follows:

Plot: Despite multiple factions working against one another and duplicitous characters at every turn, Mark Piggott’s plotting is tightly woven and flawlessly plotted. The pacing would benefit from being as even-footed.

Prose/Style: The third installment in the Forever Avalon series paints a vivid portrait of the mythical land of Avalon while still lending itself well to the quick pacing of the plot.

Originality: The Outlander War is a unique spin on the familiar legends of the mythical King Arthur and Avalon, combining elements of many iterations of the traditional tales familiar to readers while featuring new characters and mythological creatures. The appearance of Avalon in the modern world amid US Navy ships also provides fresh perspective on the complexities of international relations and the sometimes competing necessities which arise from globalism versus nationalism.

Character Development/Execution: The strong, self-sure Lord Bryan MoodDrake, the Gil-Gamesh, is sure to appeal to readers, even as he is torn between the life and legacy he’s built in Avalon and the career and friendships left behind in our own world. Secondary characters are well-realized and integral to the plot. Villains range from the understandably revenge-driven Mordred to the evil-for-evil’s-sake Secretary Barry.

Click Here to see the entire report posted at Booklife Publishers Weekly. You can pick up the third book in the Forever Avalon series at Austin Macauley. Use code AUTHOR0721 to get 25% off your purchase!

The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart also received two new reviews to start things off! My first book in a new world, with new characters, got a pair of glowing reviews. Just as a reminder, you can pick up this fantasy novel at Lulu. First, from book reviewer/book blogger Diksha Malik (@book_riot006 on Instagram).

Recently I got my hands on the book The Last Magus:  A Clockwork Heart by Mark Piggott. This is my fourth read from the author and his creativity never fails to amaze me. His writing style is quite impressive and I always prefer to go with more works of him. This book is an assemblage of 13 chapters, I found this book quite a long read but the perfect narration made it easier for me to go through. I was completely hooked till the end. Cover of the book is fascinating and the title of the book goes perfect with the storyline. This makes a book a perfect one to be added to the “tbr” for each one of you. I would highly recommend this book to everyone out there, go and get your hands on this book as soon as possible.  Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to riffle through this masterpiece. 

Diksha Malik (@book_riot006 on Instagram)

The second book review for The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart comes from fantasy author Helen Garraway of The Sentinals Series. It is always great to hear from your peers about the work you do as a writer.

The Last Magus is the first book I have read from Mark Piggott, and I’m sure it won’t be the last! Piggott has created a rich world with strong characters, and an original magic system which is slowly revealed. Gideon is a wonderful character, and adds a nice touch of mystery as we meet him regaining consciousness but not his memory, just in time to get stabbed though the heart. Fortunate for him he is rescued by an elderly man who is much more than he seems. The story line keeps you hooked as Gideon strives to recover and to learn all that his mentor can teach him and his journey to follow his mentor’s instructions after his death. The writer in me wishes Piggott showed us a bit more of the characters experiencing their emotions and reactions rather than telling us, but the reader in me can’t wait to read more. The armoury is pure magic, and I loved finding out about the ‘characters’ of the weapons that they call forth. The relationship between the wielder and the weapon was key for me, and I wish there was more of it! The story picks up once he reaches the Basilon Magical academy and the world and the characters expand. I loved Lady Jacqueline and Wren and Guilfoy who turns into a useful ally at the academy! Overall a wonderful tale and great characters that give us a very enjoyable read.

Helen Garraway (@helengarrawayauthor on Instagram, @HelenGarraway on Twitter)

It is always great to get a review, good or bad, because (a) it tells me that people are reading my novels and (b) the feedback helps me, as a writer, to not only improve my writing style but helps me continue on this path as a writer. So please, remember to always leave a review for any author you read, whether it be an established writer to the independent author. We all need the love and support from our readers!

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon and as an audiobook from Audible and iTunes. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers. Get ready for The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series, coming soon, and the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates.

My first book signing post COVID was not what I hoped for or expected

I had my first book signing of 2021, more than 16 months since The Outlander War was released, and it was not what I had hoped for. Right off the bat, let me say that the staff at the Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem, PA, were phenomenal. They were great in setting it up, advertising, etc. The event just went off like a wet firecracker… Smoke but no bang.

I only signed four books in a two hour period. There was foot traffic through the store, but not a lot of interest. I didn’t mind talking to people about my novel, that was fun to do. Its the people who walked by and didn’t say a thing, or tried to avoid looking at me as if talking to me was a bad thing. Its like I wasn’t even there. I hate that.

I’m not here to complain or vent… Well, maybe just a little. I only have a couple of book signings under my belt and I really don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I mean, the people I talked to about my book listened, asked questions, and a few of them bought my book. Others just thanked me and walked away. It’s really hard when you’re sitting there, offering a fantasy novel to someone, and people are looking in the fantasy/scifi section of the store but ignoring you. That was really confusing.

I know its still early in these waning days of a year of being stuck inside your house, hiding behind a mask, for your protection and others. I mean, I’m fully vaccinated and didn’t wear a mask at this event. I even wore my steampunk goggles to attract attention. I used my own social media platform to advertise the event. I even emailed local newspapers about it since it was held less than 20 miles from my hometown. I thought I did all the right things and yet, four books. That’s it. The royalties from that doesn’t even pay for the gas it took to drive up there.

I guess I’m ranting about a familiar subject… The cost effectiveness of being an independent author. We put ourselves out there, attending book fairs and festivals, setting up book signing events, etc., for the chance at becoming mainstream. As independent authors, most of us are working a full time job while writing, editing, and marketing after that job is done.

I love writing, I can’t stop myself. It’s a part of my DNA. I will continue to write and work toward becoming a full-time author. Things can get discouraging but I’m lucky to have a great support system–my wife, children, family, and friends–to see me through.

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Mark Piggott is an independent author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series and other fantasy novels and short stories. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers. His latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart is available through Lulu and other booksellers. Get ready for The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series, coming soon, and the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates.

Congratulations to THE OUTLANDER WAR!

Congratulations to The Outlander War: Book 3 of the Forever Avalon Series, winner of the 2021 Firebird Book Award from Speak Up Talk Radio in the fantasy category.

I am extremely honored to have my novel recognized for this honor. This is the second award The Outlander War has received since being published in 2020.

At Speak Up Talk Radio, their mantra has always been this: Speak Up–your words can change the world. You never know whom you touch or how your words affect those you may never meet. And to help you become a magical helper, like the mighty firebird who drops pearls, your entry fee is used as a tax deductible charitable donation to brighten the rooms of women and children in homeless shelters. All entry donations fund Enchanted Makeovers 501(c)3 women and children’s long term shelters renovation and transformation project.

“We chose the firebird to symbolize the award because the firebird is known as a magical helper and is believed to drop pearls from its beak when passing over peasant villages, to give the poor something to trade for food and other necessities. We hope, in some small way, that we too can help others via the donation aspect of these book awards.”

— Speak Up Talk Radio

It is an island frozen in time and space. For more than 3,000 years, the island of Avalon remained hidden from the outside world; a place of eternal magic. The island was only accessible through a rift in the Bermuda Triangle. No one believed Avalon was anything but a myth… Until now!

In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, in the heart of a naval exercise, Avalon suddenly reappeared, causing disruptions on both fronts. The US Navy, now circling the mysterious island, wants answers.

The tensions build as modern technology faces off against ancient magic on an island where the laws of magic supersede the laws of science, causing mechanical weapons to falter and shut down. As military forces continue to surround the mysterious island, bringing both sides to the brink of war, an ancient evil arises from within, one that has been seeking the throne of New Camelot for three millennia.

Get your hands on this award-winning fantasy novel today! Click here to buy a book or ebook from Austin Macauley Publishers!

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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers.

See you in Bethlehem, PA, for my first book signing of 2021!

Great news to announce! I will be signing copies of my latest fantasy novel, THE OUTLANDER WAR: Book 3 of the FOREVER AVALON Series, at the Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem, PA, on Saturday, June 5, from 1-3pm.

This event was rescheduled from 2020 when COVID restrictions forced it to be cancelled. I am so happy for the great people at the Moravian Book Shop for rescheduling my book signing!

Avalon returns to the outside world, appearing in the Atlantic Ocean in the heart of a U.S. Navy exercise. Medieval magic clashes with modern warfare as the two sides try to determine a path forward. All the while, an ancient evil rears its head to destroy the line of Pendragon forever!

Thank you for your continued support of this independently published author! I hope to see you there!

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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers.

Presenting “The Last Magus” and “The Prometheus Engine” book covers

THIS IS IT! I am thrilled to reveal the covers for my next two books, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart and The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series. I spent my 2020 COVID-19 lockdown in my apartment in Alexandria, Va., finishing these two books. Although I was not able to find a traditional publisher for them, I couldn’t wait any longer and I will be releasing the books myself through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.

The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart takes you to Attlain, a world where magic and machines are a part of everyday life. It is there you meet Marcus Gideon, a man with no memory of his part and a bleak future, left for dead at a crossroads, stabbed through the heart. He was saved by a mysterious blacksmith with a magical miracle… a clockwork heart, powered by magic, beating strong as the gears turned as the precise mechanics kept him alive. The journey that Marcus Gideon takes to discover his past while looking toward the future begins here.

Special thanks to Anna-Lena Spies, Eerilyfair Design, for her wonderful work on the cover art. Here’s an excerpt to explain this new world of The Last Magus:

Gideon’s Journal – Attlain is a strange world of magic and miracles. It has cities built on the technological might of modern marvels called “Magius Engines” powered by magic, lighting the darkness by electric lamps, connecting the towns in all directions by a network of Magius-powered trains and iron-hulled ships. Many different people filled the world, both humans and demi-humans, from various races—Humans, Alfs, Dwarves, Catsei, and many others. That’s just the basics of what I learned about Attlain from the books I’ve read. Beyond that, I can’t remember who I am or where I came from before I arrived in Armändis. I’m as much of a mystery as this brilliant world.

My past is a clean slate. I remember the ocean, sailing on a warship, but nothing about family or friends. It’s as if the hand of God erased my life. The only possession that provides me clues to my previous experience is a book that I can’t even read. Everything about my past is blank, yet this place seems familiar to me. My memories began at the crossroads outside Armändis on the edge of the forest of Imestrüs, where I died, and then I was saved.

The Forever Avalon saga continues in The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series. The story picks up five years after Avalon’s Reclamation at the end of The Outlander War… Five years into the the reign of Mordred the Immortal. Avalon has become a dark and desolate place where the people live under the thumb of the bastard son of King Arthur. The only thing standing in his way are the children of the Gil-Gamesh… Hunter, Rose, and Ashley. Along with the Holy Order of Shield Maidens and the Hîldrägo Boquè, an elite corps of Elven warriors, they fight to reclaim the throne for the rightful king, Bowen Pendragon, and restore Avalon to the people.

Thanks to Book Brush for Authors and using their cover design program for this cover. Here’s an excerpt from The Prometheus Engine to take you back to Avalon:

The room was filled with the sound of grinding gears, clanging metal, and burning fires. Within the dank chamber, Gnomes worked tirelessly at their tasks, not even aware of Mordred’s presence. Though relatively small in stature, Gnomes were meticulous and inventive and greedy, cunning, and ruthless. Their dynamic nature made them the best workers money could buy. They were shorter than Dwarves, most under three feet tall, with large, bulbous heads and slim bodies. Their tiny hands allowed them to perform precision work, particularly in building small instruments and machines. Though the laws of magic that governed Avalon didn’t allow for many mechanical and electrical devices to operate, Gnomes got around this by using magic to power them.

The Gnomes were all working on a giant engine of sorts. It towered more than 20-feet tall and nearly 40-feet wide. Though the engine was silent, the work was intense. A small army of workers was painstakingly calibrating each gear, pipe, and valve. Gnomes covered the machine—on ladders, on scaffolding, or dangling from harnesses suspended from the ceiling—like busy bees working in a hive. A large crystal mounted on top of the engine resembled a weathervane perched on a rooftop. It’s a marvel that somebody could build such a device on Avalon, but this was no ordinary engine.

The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart will be release in June 2021 and The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series will be released in September 2021. Thank you for all the love and support for this indie author!

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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers.

First artwork for THE OUTLANDER WAR shows the final battle to save Avalon

Half-demon mercenary Abdel Ben Faust challenges the Gil-Gamesh, Lord Bryan MoonDrake, and his Shield Maiden, Amelia Pomodoro, in the Elven Temple of Eternal Starlight in the ancient city of Alfheimer. (Art by Pam Hage)

I am so proud to show you the first artwork based on my third novel, The Outlander War. This is the pivotal fight between Abdel Ben Faust, the half-demon mercenary swordsman, and Lord Bryan MoonDrake, the Gil-Gamesh and Eternal Champion of Avalon, along with his Shield Maiden, Amelia Pomodoro. Thanks to Pam Hage, better known as the Queen of Eagles, for her beautiful artwork! You can check her out on Instagram and on Deviant Art.

Here’s an excerpt from The Outlander War: Book 3 of the Forever Avalon Series to lay out the scene depicted above.

* * *

From the highest points on the mountains flanking the two sides of Alfheimer, the Wrath Legion poured down the mountainside and into the city. Thousands of armoured wraiths ran down the sheer cliffs into the defenders below. The two sides clashed instantly, steel clanging against the phantom weapons of the wraiths.

The shield maidens held their own against the Wraith Legion, living up to their reputation as legendary warriors. The Dragon Guard matched well against the ghostly warriors. Hunter’s spell shot proved most useful against the wraiths, breaking through their armour and shattering their heartstones with a blast of fiery light.

As the battle raged around them, the Gil-Gamesh watched and waited, looking for their leader to appear. The sound of a demon hole opening behind him assured him that his wait was over. Bryan spun around as Abdel Ben Faust lunged at him, bringing his broadsword Deathsong down at the Gil-Gamesh’s head. Bryan crossed his swords and blocked his attack. Amelia stepped in and, true to fashion, used her shield to pummel Faust, hurling him away and to the ground.

Faust got up slowly as he ran his hand under his nose. He saw the dripping blood, caused by Amelia’s blow, and it angered him even more. “You’ll pay for that, you little bitch!” he cursed.

“Take another step closer, braggart, and I’ll knock you down again!” Amelia jabbed back at him. The three circled each other, there in the foyer of the temple, and jockeyed for position.

“I don’t know who or what possessed you to commandeer the Wraith Legion, Faust, but it ends today. You’re putting all our lives at risk from the demon hordes of Hell, and for what? For some foolish master with eyes on the throne of Avalon?”

“You know not of my master, Gil-Gamesh, and when you do…you will only find your death!” Faust lunged at the two again, slashing wildly. Like a precision machine, Amelia and the Gil-Gamesh worked in unison, trading blow-for-blow with Faust. Amelia blocked his attacks with her shield while Lord MoonDrake struck back at Faust.

Bryan knew that the best way to take down a formidable swordsman like Faust was to keep him off balance. The Gil-Gamesh pressed his attack, keeping Twilight high and Dusk low. Faust swung mercilessly at the two of them, cutting out chunks of marble from the floor and columns with his massive broadsword.

When one such blow briefly lodged Deathsong in it, the Gil-Gamesh saw his opening. He leapt into the air and spun, his blades extended. Bryan sliced at Faust’s chest with Twilight and connected. The unearthly dragonfire of Twilight engulfed the broadsword’s blade, hilt and beyond, burning away part of Faust’s tunic, not to mention Faust himself. The half-demon stepped back and snarled in pain. It was then that Bryan saw the source of Faust’s power.

The Gil-Gamesh looked at the heartstone attached to Faust’s chest. It looked just like the ones on the wraiths and glowed with a heavenly light. “You…insufferable bastard,” he said. “You captured the essence of the heavenly host in that stone to control the wraiths, didn’t you?”

Faust spat on the ground and smirked. “Nothing gets by you, does it?”

“But how, how can a lowlife half-demon like you get command of such magic?”

* * *

This great piece of art will have a place of honor in my Fan Art link, along with other great artwork highlighting the Forever Avalon fantasy book series. There is an additional piece of new art on The Outlander War Fan Art page, but it’s a bit of a SPOILER so I won’t post it here. No sense in spoiling things for those who haven’t read it yet.

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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers.

Help “THE OUTLANDER WAR” win AllAuthor.com “Book Cover of the Month” in February

I need your help! The Outlander War: Book 3 of the Forever Avalon Series was nominated as one of the contenders for Book Cover of the Month contest for February at allauthor.com. The Cover of the Month Contest is conducted by AllAuthor every month. The main purpose of this contest is to provide an opportunity for the Authors to promote their book in front of thousands of readers.

The cover looks exactly as I described to the editors at Austin Macauley. It shows the battle between the modern military forces and the Knights of the Round Table, which is at the heart of the conflict in the story. All this is happening beneath the floating island of Emmyr, the Dragon Isle that floats just above Avalon due to the dragons that call it home. Emmyr is one of the first things the U.S. Navy sees when Avalon reappears in the outside world and where the battle between the modern and medieval takes place. These two elements are at the forefront of my book cover and it helps convey the heart of the story.

“The AllAuthor team is working round-the-clock to create a platform for readers to find their favorite authors, discover new books, get to know new authors, find free books and many discounted book deals. Since many of the authors do not write books full time, it proves challenging for them to spend a lot of time in promoting the books that they have so dearly and passionately created. This is where we step in. AllAuthor focuses on the requirements of all types of authors (newcomers, indie, bestsellers) and have come up with ways to help them achieve their promotional goals by supporting them with branding and provides them with various utility and automation tools for promotions. We are constantly researching and getting feedback from our authors to enhance our services so that the authors can comfortably and effectively spend more time writing their books without worrying much over the promotions.”

allauthor.com

The contest has FOUR rounds:

  • First, all the selected entries will contest for the next round. (February 1st – 7th)
  • Second, 100 top-voted covers will compete to enter the third round. (February 8th – 14th)
  • Third, top 50 book covers from the previous round. (February 15th – 21st)
  • Fourth, top 24 book covers will play the last round in the chase. (February 22nd – Month end)

The THREE winners will be announced on the last day of the month.

Help out an independent author and vote for The Outlander War: Book 3 of the Forever Avalon Series as February’s Cover of the Month! Tell your friends, spread the word, and while you’re at it, find some good books to read!

You can vote HERE at https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/11094/!

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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon fantasy book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides: Book 2 of the Forever Avalon Series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from iUniverse Publishing and at Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook from Austin Macauley Publishing, and at Amazon and other booksellers.