First reviews for The River of Souls are in, plus my review of sci-fi novel Raq by T.K. Toppin

The River of Souls fantasy novella from award-winning author Mark Piggott featuring poetry by Ashley Valitutto from Curious Corvid Publishing

The first book reviews for my new fantasy novella The River of Souls are in and it’s a great start for me under the wing of Curious Corvid Publishing. The first comes from author T.K. Toppin, and its always good to get feedback from your peers. We often support each other with ARC reads to give insight into each other’s work. T.K. has a new book out, which I’ll talk about in a minute.

“This was a delightful and heart-warming novella about the power of love, and how it can stretch and endure through different worlds – even death. A cleverly woven tale mixing fantasy and steampunk, and reflecting on topics that are all too current, from hatred to bigotry and life after war. I thoroughly enjoyed this moving, fast-paced book. Magic, swords, crossing different realms and mystical beings – what more do you need for an engaging read.”

Author T.K. Toppin review of The River of Souls

The next review came from Instagram bibliophile scifiladygj, Geo VanJar. She has previously read my books and reads a multitude of genres. I love when readers who come out to my events continue to support me as an independent author.

@foreveravalon.author is quite the love storyteller. This novella is packed with memories of war and war. But what makes it encouraging is the author’s way of bringing to fore a future out of strife, pain and love. The story tells of the love of human and Dragonkin, which is taboo for most of those filled with prejudice after a 300 year war. But in the end, as it should, love conquers all. The author brought our own world into the fantasy world of Drogon vs human through the River of Souls, which brings home our own reactions to some. This novella is insightful, a bit of steampunk along with a healthy dose of true love. Well worth the read.”

Geo VanJar (scifiladygj) review of The River of Souls

Lastly, I want to give a shout out in my review of T.K. Toppin‘s latest sci-fi novel, Raq, available now in paperback and releasing September 16, 2022, on Amazon Kindle. I was captured after the first chapter. This book reads like an episode of original “Star Trek” written by Gene Roddenberry himself. It had the feel of classic science fiction but still modern to today. I loved the way it switched between the alien to the human perspective throughout. You understood both sides of the story, even though you may disagree with one or the other. It presented all the challenges of a first encounter with a world ending reality. T.K. is one of the great new voices in science fiction writing today. She has an array of novels from sci-fi crime noir to aliens and outer space. T.K. has got you covered. Stop by her Amazon Authors Page and check out all the great books she has to offer!

That’s the thing you have to understand about authors and readers. We look out for each other, we support each other, because we love our stories and what they represent. I know what it means to struggle with writing, editing, publishing, and marketing as an independent author. It’s not an easy path for any of us. Luckily, there’s a great support system out there to encourage our efforts every step of the way. Bonus, readers and bibliophiles LOVE to read and want to dive into your stories. To me, as a writer, that’s a “win/win” situation.

The River of Souls from Curious Corvid Publishing is available at Amazon and other online booksellers. Pick up your copy or download the ebook today! Or, come by my booth at the next 2nd Sundays Williamsburg – Art and Music Festival on Sunday, September 11, in Williamsburg, VA, and pick up a signed copy!

# # #

Mark Piggott is an award-winning independent author of several fantasy/steampunk novels and short stories. A 23-year U.S. Navy veteran, his stories will take you from the shores of eternal Avalon to a dystopian steampunk future and other worlds.

The Forever Avalon fantasy book series—including Forever Avalon, The Dark Tides, and The Outlander War—is available online at Amazon and other booksellers. His fantasy steampunk novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart, is available through Lulu and other booksellers.

Get ready for The River of Souls fantasy novella from Curious Corvid Publishing. Coming in 2023 from Curious Corvid—the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky Pirates, and The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel. Stay tuned for more new fantastic stories from the imagination of Mark Piggott.

Experience the journey to Forever Avalon through my first audiobook as a fantasy author

This has been an amazing new adventure for me and I am so excited to share it with you. Thanks to ACX.com and the brilliant narration of voice artist Traci Odom, Forever Avalon can be experienced in a whole new light. You can listen to the adventures of Lord Bryan MoonDrake, Gil-Gamesh and Knight Eternal of Avalon, and his family on the enchanted, magical island. And to those first few who comment on my blog, I send you a promo code to download a FREE copy of this audiobook.

I never knew what to expect from my experience in turning my first fantasy novel into an audiobook. I searched around through various companies, and ACX was rather easy to work with and navigate through the process. All I did was fill out the form, submit a few pages for a sample script, and soon I had over 30 narrators vying to read and produce my audiobook. I got to pick and chose my narrator, set deadline, etc. It was easier than I thought and, as I listened to my story being read to me for first time, totally worth it!

Traci Odom is a wonderfully talented voice artist. She has more than 220 audiobooks under her belt and it shows in the quality of her work. She carried on conversations in different voices, accents, and characters flawlessly. I was amazed at hearing the variety she was able to conjure up in her performance. I would suspect it was a little magic from the story itself leaking into her production. In any care, I was so happy to be able to work with her. Being a first time audiophile, she walked me through the process and communicated every step of the way, answering all my questions, no matter how insignificant. I would highly recommend her for anyone looking to take their novel from print to audio.

So, to claim your FREE copy of the Forever Avalon audiobook, just leave a comment in this blog post. I will reply back with a URL and code for you to download a copy of the audiobook. Sorry to say, but this is only available in the U.S. and the U.K. So please, take advantage of this limited offer and get yours today!

For more than 3,000 years, the island of Avalon remained hidden from the outside world; a place of eternal magic, where the descendants of King Arthur ruled over a land filled with magical creatures, Elves, Dwarves and dragons. The island was only accessible through a rift in the Bermuda Triangle, where mariners and aviators disappeared throughout history. No one believed Avalon was anything but a myth.

Stephanie Drake and her three children were glad to be alive after a sudden storm slammed their boat onto an uncharted island, but it’s not where they think. They found themselves in another world, frozen in time. However, Stephanie and her children found themselves being hunted by bounty hunters, thieves and brigands…caught in a power struggle between Lord Kraven Darkholm, a wizard descended from the sorceress Morgana le Fay, and Lord Bryan MoonDrake, the Gil-Gamesh and Knight Eternal of Avalon.

Now, it’s a race against time as the Gil-Gamesh must protect these Outlanders—as they are called—and get them home to the outside world. All the while, Kraven Darkholm continued his schemes against the people of Avalon, vying to achieve his ultimate goal of becoming ruler of this enchanted island. Take your first step into the world after King Arthur, Merlin, and the Arthurian legends. Step into Forever Avalon!

# # #

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.

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!

# # #

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.

Double the cover reveal! Double the fantasy!

Brace yourselves for a pair of big reveals this week! I will be revealing the covers for the TWO BOOKS I will be releasing in 2021 through Amazon Kindle Direct PublishingThe Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series and The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart. I spent my COVID-19 lockdown polishing these two novels and now the book covers are ready to be revealed!

If you’re impatient, hop into your DeLorean, kick it up to 88mph, and head to Saturday, April 10, at 8am EST. In the meantime, here’s a glimpse and a preview of my new novels.

Five years have passed since Avalon suddenly returned to the real world and faced the loss of magic and an invasion by the modern, technological might of the United States and Russia. It was only through the efforts of the Gil-Gamesh, Lord Bryan MoonDrake, along with great sacrifice by the Elves of Alfheimer, that Avalon disappeared from the world once again.

However, that victory came at a high cost. Avalon tore asunder, an island shattered into an archipelago. Mordred, the immortal bastard child of Morgana le Fay, usurped the throne from King Bowen Pendragon at this moment of weakness. With an army of undead wraith knights at his command and the children of the Lords of Avalon by his side, it was child’s play for Mordred to take the Granite Throne and become King.

The only thing standing in his way of total domination are the children of the Gil-Gamesh:  Hunter, Rose, and Ashley. Since their father’s death during Avalon’s Reclamation, these three have resisted Mordred’s reign at every turn from their new home in the ruined city of Alfheimer. Along with the Holy Order of Shield Maidens and the Hîldrägo Boquè, an elite corps of Elven warriors, they fight to reclaim King Bowen’s throne and restore Avalon to the people. But even now, Mordred schemes to bring down the resistance through the construction of an ancient magical artifact… The Prometheus Engine. Only the immortal King knows its secrets and the power it will bring him, no matter what the cost. Even now, Hunter and his sisters race across the archipelago to uncover the engine’s secrets and discover the truth behind Avalon’s devastation.

The Magus were the protectors of magic, armed with a magic caster’s power and a warrior’s strength. They were able to summon magical weapons from specialized caches they wore as armored pauldrons known as the Armory of Attlain. The Magus were legendary among the people of Attlain until a few decided they should lead the people instead of protecting them. The rebellion ended quickly from within their ranks, but the damage was done. The Magus were feared and outlawed except for those few who remained loyal to the crown and lived as adventurers. For generations, they had all but disappeared from the world.

Marcus Gideon awoke at the crossroads outside the border town of Armändis. Lost, with no memory of his past life, he was stabbed through the heart and left for dead. His life was saved by a blacksmith’s kindness who replaced his damaged heart with a mechanical, magical miracle—a clockwork heart. The gears clicked, the motor spun, and his heart started beating again, powered by his own 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, 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 for. As Gideon searches for clues to his past, he looks toward his future and his fate in Attlain as The Last Magus.

# # #

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.

“Of Distant Worlds” fantasy anthology released and includes a short story from your truly!

Of Distant Worlds, A Compilation of Tales from ten Writers from The Publishing Room

I am happy to announce that the fantasy anthology “Of Distant Worlds” was released today on Amazon! Thanks to the wonderful people in The Publishing Room, my short story “Demonfall” was selected as one of the short stories included in this collection.

At The Publishing Room, their mission is “to ensure that anyone with a dream in publishing a book can accomplish their goals.” Supporting the independent, self-published author has been the mainstay of their work.

“Demonfall” is based on a fantasy story I am currently working on called The Last Magus. I took an excerpt from a part of this series and submitted it as a short story for the contest. This is the second story I ever submitted to a contest like this and one of the first times I’ve been published without self-publishing (if that makes sense). It’s a basic Dungeons and Dragons style fantasy trope about an adventuring party investigating an unknown dungeon and running into more than they bargained for. It’s a great introduction to this new world I’m creating for this series.

I’ve ordered my copy and I can’t wait to read the other stories in this anthology. So, please check out The Publishing Room for more contests and other publishing services for the independent author and then surf over to Amazon and buy a copy of “Of Distant Worlds” today! Thanks for your continued support! Remember, April is Indie Reads Month so make sure you find books by independently published authors, like me, and give them your love and support!

# # #

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.

Stuck at home? Here’s something to read for FREE

This week, like many people across America and around the world, I was stuck in my house trying to practice “social distancing” from everyone but my wife and my dog. Although, to be honest, my wife is trying to keep me six feet away (joke, honey, just a joke). We are all learning some “new norms” for the next few weeks or, God forbid, months.

While we are all worrying about our stockpile of toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, alcohol and bullets, I thought I would give away something to help people (a) pass the time away, and (b) take your mind off the stock market and getting sick. It’s the least I could do!

From March 19-23, ebook copies of my first novel, Forever Avalon, are available for download for FREE on Amazon. If you’re part of the Kindle Unlimited program, you can already download it for FREE, but for those not in it, this one is for you! Forever Avalon is a journey to the magical island of Avalon as a modern-day family find themselves lost in another world.

As with anything, I only ask that after you read it, please leave a review to help an independent author succeed! And, if you are so inclined, please check out my other two books: The Dark Tides and The Outlander War. They are also available for digital download as ebooks.

Thanks for your support and remember to wash your hands, stay indoors, and don’t hoard all the toilet paper! Leave some for the rest of us!

# # #

SKU-000941753

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

Forever Avalon’s 2nd Edition is now LIVE as a paperback and ebook!

This is going to be short and sweet today. I am happy to announce that Forever Avalon has been rereleased as a 2nd Edition via Amazon. My first publisher, James A. Rock & Company Publishers, went out of business after the death of the publisher and owner a few years ago. Since I retained the rights to my work, I did a rework on the story and published a 2nd Edition via Amazon Createspace online program (now a part of Kindle Direct Publishing) as both a paperback and an ebook. As a reminder, here’s a quick summary:

“Stephanie Drake and her three children were glad to be alive after a sudden storm slammed their boat onto an uncharted island, but it’s not where they think. They found themselves in another world, frozen in time. For more than 3,000 years, the magical island of Avalon remained hidden from the outside world. It was a place of eternal magic, where the descendants of King Arthur ruled over a land filled with magical creatures, wizards, Elves, Dwarves and dragons. On Avalon, Stephanie and her children were being hunted by bounty hunters, thieves and brigands. They found themselves caught in a power struggle between Lord Kraven Darkholm, a powerful wizard descended from the sorceress Morgana le Fay, and Lord Bryan MoonDrake, the Gil-Gamesh of Avalon. The people of this magical isle have been protected for centuries by the Gil-Gamesh, a descendant of Sir Percival Peredyr, the last Knight of the Round Table. But who is Lord MoonDrake and how does he know so much about Stephanie and her children? Now, it’s a race against time as the Gil-Gamesh must protect these Outlanders—as they are called—and get them home to the outside world. All the while, Kraven Darkholm continued his schemes against the people of Avalon, vying to achieve his ultimate goal of becoming ruler of this enchanted island.”

First off, I want to praise Createspace for being easy to use, a helpful staff, and quick action on everything from my queries and questions to shipping proofs. They are great to work with and, to be honest, a Godsend for independent authors like me.

Second, I want to thank artist Dennis Supatra. Dennis did some great character drawings to represent the characters in my first book. He followed that up with a redesign of the cover and interior artwork for the 2nd edition. Check out his work!

This is a big addition to the series, even though it’s my first book republished. It allows people to get into the series again from the beginning. And, as a writer, I’m happy to go through it and correct my mistakes from before. It’s easy to miss a spelling error here and there. Word of advice to any budding authors out there… Spellcheck is not your friend! It doesn’t catch everything and, when you don’t have the money for a professional book editor, you have to do things on your own.

When I first published Forever Avalon in 2009, I sent copies of it out to my entire family. Within a month, I received an email from my mother with two pages detailing spelling and grammer errors she found. That was quite a humbling experience. It also cost me an additional $75 to make the corrections. For a self-published author, that’s adds to the financial burden when you’re just starting out.

So, if you’re interested to start at the beginning (and I hope you are) I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Forever Avalon. And, if you do, help out an author and leave a review! That’s an independent author’s bread and butter! Thanks!

###

SKU-000941753

Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.