Soar to Forever Avalon with a new book cover

Forever Avalon by Mark Piggott, cover at by Mark Alexander McLish (IG @markmakesart247)

I want to start by saying that I’ve always loved my original cover for Forever Avalon. Since it was first published in 2009, the artwork done for my cover brought my story to life. Seeing the flying ships I dreamed about, which I wrote about in my first fantasy novel, was breathtaking. It made the story real to me.

But since I’ve started attending festivals, conventions, and other book signing events, I realized that my first covers were “cartoony” in their appearance. My wife told me that repeatedly, but I fought her on it. Then, when a few people stopping by my booth wondered if Forever Avalon was a children’s story, I changed my tune. If I’m going to sell my books, it makes it less of a “drawn out” pitch when I don’t have to repeatedly explain that it’s not a children’s book. So, I am happy to reveal my brand new cover for Forever Avalon by artist Mark Alexander McLish.

The cover still evokes my dreams of Avalon . . . the flying airships, the floating dragon island of Emmyr, dragons flying around the sky, and the city of Port Charles inviting the ships into port. It’s a perfect vision for my new cover, and great to debut a new edition of Forever Avalon. Now, it’s available as a hardback novel for purchase. The first book I published is now a hardcover, a paperback, an ebook, and an audiobook. This is so special for me, and it’s amazing to think about where I started and am today.

I really want to thank Mark Alexander McLish for the great cover design. I met Mark through our publisher, Curious Corvid. He is an award-winning novelist and an incredible artist. He not only redesigned my cover for Forever Avalon, but he also did the cover for my new fantasy novella, The River of Souls.

So, you can buy Forever Avalon on Amazon in all four formats or, come out to one of my future events to pick up a SIGNED copy from yours truly. The Williamsburg Book Festival this weekend was postponed due to Hurricane Ian. Keep an eye out on my Events for when they reschedule the festival. If you can make it, I’ll be at the 2nd Sundays Williamsburg Arts and Music Festival on Sunday, October 9, and at the Southern Maryland Comic-Con at the Capital Clubhouse in Waldorf, MD, on Saturday, October 15. I hope to see you there.

In the meantime, get started into your next fantasy book series with a copy of Forever Avalon.

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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!

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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.

Grab a FREE copy of FOREVER AVALON this weekend!

This weekend, Sept 18-21, I am giving away FREE ebooks of my first novel, FOREVER AVALON! These ebooks will be available to download through Amazon! I hope you take this opportunity to experience the world of FOREVER AVALON from the beginning! It’s “captivating and addictive” and a “new spin on Camelot” for any fantasy reader! CLICK HERE to get your copy today!

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TAKE AN ADVENTURE THROUGH TIME! 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.

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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.

Positive reviews of THE OUTLANDER WAR keep rolling in!

This has been another stellar week for the Forever Avalon series, in particular for The Outlander War: Book 3 of the Forever Avalon series. I received some great reviews and I wanted to share them with all of you!

First is from Jennie Rosenblum at jenniereads.com. Now, Jennie’s from New Jersey, like me, so we have a lot in common. Her website says it all about her as a book reviewer. “This is to answer all those requests for my opinion on books.  I read, I suggest, I review and I BLOG.  My reviews, as you will read, are a little different.  It really irks me to see reviews that are a page summarizing the entire book and then giving very little comments on the book.  My reviews are more along the line of – well written – great characters that seem like real people – plot made sense.  One thing you will not find on my blog is me trashing a book.  Authors work really hard creating their books and I respect their work.  It’s like telling someone their kid is an awful creation – even if he/she is tearing apart your living room – you just don’t use those words.”

She has reviewed the entire Forever Avalon series, and her review of The Outlander War is no exception.

“From the moment I got this book into my hands, I knew the author had upped his game.  The cover is intense and eye-catching.  And then I started to read—–  I have enjoyed this series from the first book.  I would hand it to anyone over the age of 13 that wanted a great adventure, escape, or to travel to another land.  In this, Book 3 – Avalon has entered the real world.  The conflict and discourse of the two worlds were realistically portrayed.  What happens when your world conflicts with another or totally changes, how would you react?  The reader gets to experience several different reactions as well as processes that the characters go through to deal with their new situations. “ — Jennie Rosenblum, jenniereads.com

Next is a young lady going by the name NewBookReviewer from Mumbai, Maharashtra in India.It’s amazing the people you meet on social media. Her Amazon profile says it all about her. “I’m just like any other girl who is trying to be a bibliophile. I love reading books, as I find myself lost in them and I create a whole new world in my head by reading what the Author has described. I think having a hobby helps you to cope with the work and family pressure. I sometimes read just to escape reality. 🙂 I have read many books and most of them had good reviews and it helped me to choose and read them, but recently I came across a new book without any review, at first I was not sure if I should read it or not, but being a book lover you cant really stop your curious self, so I read it and I found myself amazed. The book was great. So after reading it I saw there were many other new books with interesting stories and covers. So I started this blog so that I could post and review about the new books released and motivate the new Authors to write more, as there are some book lovers like me, who value writing and content.”

She reviewed all three books in the Forever Avalon series and I appreciate her kind words and appreciation of my series. It means a lot coming from someone from a different culture and history who recognizes the story behind the myths and legends.

“The story has an amazing start, which starts with a mysteries and attention-grabbing dream and once you read it you will know that you have picked the right book that’s going to be adventurous. The story is filled with a fascinating adventure to a magical island that is shielded from the outside world for 3,000 years frozen in time and space. The book contains from Kings to knights, from magical creatures like elves to dragons, from wizards to dwarves, from adventure to mystery, from action to drama, from suspense to truth the book is a captivating and addictive storyline.”NewBookReviewer.com review of FOREVER AVALON

“The story is continuous of the first book, and the way the author has maintained the flow of the storyline it’s commendable. Author Mark Piggott is a talented writer and you can see his hard work and passion for writing through this series. A truly amazing and must-read book. The highlight of the book is, the grasping storyline, as soon as I was done reading the first book I couldn’t wait to continue reading with the next book. The author has done tremendous work in describing characters, from their feeling to their personalities, every bit of their nature is described in detail and expressed beautifully.” NewBookReviewer.com review of THE DARK TIDES

“The Outlander War is the 3rd book in the Forever Avalon Series written by Mark Piggott and its a series that you will never find anything thing like it. What would you do if you find a magical island that is frozen in time and space for more than 3,000 years and you soon accept it as your new home, but suddenly the real world comes knocking, ready for war; A war is fixed but whose side you will be on? Well, the answer to this is in the book The Outlander War. This is the third book in the Forever Avalon series, that I m reading, and I m just obsessed with the storyline and the expressive writing skills of the author Mark Piggott.” NewBookReviewer.com review of THE OUTLANDER WAR

This is genuinely humbling for me to receive these wonderful accolades and feedback on my novels. It’s expressions like this that make he happy that I chose to be a writer and share all my stories with people. That’s why I am a writer!

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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.

Coming soon… The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series

I am updating my website to include the synopsis of the next book in the Forever Avalon series, The Prometheus Engine.  This is the start of the next and final trilogy in the series, picking up five years after the end of The Outlander War. I will warn you of SPOILERS ahead if you haven’t finished reading The Outlander War. You have been warned…

SPOILERS!

BEWARE! 

SPOILERS!

In 3…

2…

1…

Last chance…

Five years have passed since Avalon suddenly returned to the real world and faced, not only the loss of magic, but an invasion by the modern, technological might of the United States and Russia. It was through the efforts of the Gil-Gamesh, Lord Bryan MoonDrake, Champion and Knight Eternal of Avalon—along with a great sacrifice by the Elves of Alfheimer—that Avalon disappeared once again from the real world, hidden away behind a magical barrier that separated the two. However, that victory came with a great cost.

Avalon was torn asunder, shattered from a giant land mass into an archipelago of islands. It was at this moment of weakness that Mordred, the immortal bastard child of Morgana le Fay, usurped the throne from King Bowen Pendragon, the boy king and rightful ruler of Avalon. With an army of undead wraith knights at his command, and the children of the Lords of Avalon at his side, it was child’s play for Mordred to take the granite throne and become King.

The only thing that stand in his way of total domination were the children of the Gil-Gamesh:  Hunter, Rose and Ashley. Since the death of their father during Avalon’s Reclamation, these three have resisted Mordred’s reign at every turn from their new home in the ruined Elven city of Alfheimer. Along with the Shield Maidens of Avalon and the Hîldrägo Boquè, an elite corps of Elven warriors, they fight to reclaim the throne for King Bowen 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. Now, Hunter and his siblings’ race across the archipelago to uncover the secrets of the engine and discover the truth behind Avalon’s Reclamation.

The story continues in THE PROMETHEUS ENGINE: Book 4 of the FOREVER AVALON Series, coming soon!

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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.

King Arthur is the legend that lives in all of us

“Yet some men say in many parts of England that King Arthur is not dead, but had by the will of our Lord Jesu into another place. And men say that he shall come again, and he shall win the the Holy Cross.”~Sir Thomas Mallory, Le Morte d’Arthur

The legend of King Arthur, Camelot, the Knights of the Round Table, Merlin, Morganna le Fay, the Lady of the Lake and Excalibur… These stories are at the heart of the fantasy genre, the myths and legends we cling to in our stories. It can be found in books, movies, television, comic books, and anime from the United Kingdom, to the U.S., and Japan. The story of honor, courage, magic, and mystery is deep within the psyche of every human being. 

We love the tale of the boy king pulling the sword from the stone; the romantic triangle between Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot; the magic of Merlin and Excalibur; and the evil of Morganna le Fay and Mordred. These are legends ingrained in us that, in one way or or another, we can all relate to.

Image result for the sword in the stoneI first learned about the legend of King Arthur as a boy. Like any child of the 60’s and 70’s, it was taught to me through the magic of Disney. The Sword in the Stone (1967) is an animated classic, telling the story of Arthur and Merlin with a witch named Mim thrown in for good measure. It is a fun movie that taught this classic tale to kids like me. 

I think my exposure to the legend of Camelot was first done through movies, classics like Prince Valiant (1954) and Camelot (1967) to Excalibur (1981) and First Knight (1994), even Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975). There has been so many re-imagining takes on this timeless story in so many forms. That’s what makes it such an integral part of the fantasy genre.

Image result for saber arthur and mordred fateMost recently, you can find the enigmatic King Arthur, Mordred, Lancelot, and Merlin as “heroic spirits” in the Fate anime series. Arthur and Mordred are gender-swapped as powerful women, both of the “Saber-class” of heroic spirits. Although it was weird at first, they actually kept the legend intact through this twist. The conflict between these two is better explained in this anime than in any other story I’ve read or watched. It’s an amazing conflict that brings out the vulnerabilities in these characters.

I used the legend of King Arthur and Camelot as the basis for the Forever Avalon series. I took the approach of “what happened next” in the story, looking at it from the perspective of our world today. The idea started with a simple question… What happened? What happened to all the magic, the mythical creatures and monsters? Where did it go? Why did it disappear from our world? The answer, in my mind, was Avalon.

Avalon has always been a place of eternal magic that will never die. Sir Thomas Malory, in his fifteenth century epic Le Morte d’Arthur, tells of King Arthur’s final moments. Bedivere took the King upon his back and carried him to the water’s edge, and there was a little barge floating there with many beautiful ladies in it. “Comfort yourself,” said the king, “and do the best you can. I can no longer help you, for I must go into the vale of Avalon to be healed.” Collins English Dictionary defines Avalon as “an island paradise in the western seas” and derives it from the Old Welsh word “Aballon” for Apple.

There are other accounts of Avalon in literature. According to Geoffrey in the Historia, and much subsequent literature which he inspired, Avalon is the place where King Arthur is taken after fighting Mordred at the Battle of Camlann to recover from his wounds. Welsh, Cornish and Breton tradition claimed that Arthur had never really died, but would return to lead his people against their enemies. Historia also states that Avalon is where his sword Excalibur was forged. This is the part of the legend I tapped into to begin my story.

tow ad7But what happens when Avalon is forced back into the modern world of today? You’ll have to read The Outlander War: Book 3 of the Forever Avalon Series to find out!

In the end, it all started with the legend of King Arthur. His story, whether based on fact or fiction, myth or legend, rings true in the mind of a writer like me. It is the stepping stone that brings you into my world. Take the journey and believe in magic again!

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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.

Why is the King Arthur legend timeless and why do we care?

king-arthur-tapestryThe story of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, Merlin, Guinevere, and Excalibur are timeless reminders of a world lost in time. Goodreads shows more than 720 assorted novels based on the Arthurian legend, including my own, Forever Avalon and The Dark Tides. This doesn’t include a hundred or so plays, operas, comic books, films and television series based on the legend.

The question remains as to why the story of King Arthur still resonates today? Winston Churchill said, “It is all true, or it ought to be; and more and better besides.” That’s how many of us feel when we read or watch something based on the legend of King Arthur. He wasn’t just a story, he was a man who brought us the code of chivalry, united a kingdom and marched toward a new beginning.

There are many things that point toward the fact that King Arthur was a real person, not just a legendary figure. Archeologists recently discovered what they believe is the round table mentioned in the mythos. There is even a website dedicated to listing dozens of artifacts with some history related to the Arthurian legend. And let us not forget that the monks of Glastonbury Abbey are said to have discovered the remains of Arthur and Guinevere in the churchyard of St. Dunstan in Glastonbury.

Many believe in the legend of King Arthur so much that they believe he will one day return to lead England. Thomas Mallory wrote in Le Morte d’Arthur that, “Yet some men say in many parts of England that King Arthur is not dead, but had by the will of our Lord Jesus into another place; and men say that he shall come again, and he shall win the holy cross.” All of this just adds more credence to the mythos of King Arthur.

So what do we know?The first mention of King Arthur is in the History of the Britons, penned in 830, and attributed to an author called Nennius. A more elaborate tale of King Arthur came about in the 11th century when Geoffrey of Monmouth published his book The History of the Kings of Britain. Arthur’s entire life is outlined for the first time in this work, right from his birth at Tintagel, to his death, and the legendary figures of Guinevere and Merlin are introduced.

The consensus is that Arthur probably did exist, either as an individual or a composite of several others. Many of the Dark Age heroes were real men upon whom mythical talent and position were often thrust by storytellers. So there is a possibility that Arthur was a Celtic warrior from which the rest of the mythology was formed.

These are just a few examples of the combination of fact and fiction that molded the legend of King Arthur as we know it today. It is that unknown factor that makes this legend so memorable to many and inspires writers like myself. The legend of King Arthur is just the beginning of a story yet to be told. It is as immortal as the man himself.

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51nd6H6sATL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_SKU-000941753Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iUniverse.