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.

Vote for THE LAST MAGUS in allauthor.com July Cover of the Month contest and help an Indie Author

Cover art by Anna-Lena Spies, Eerilyfair Design

They say not to judge a book by its cover but I need you to do just that. If you liked the cover of my book, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart, please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com!

I’m getting closer to clinch the “Cover of the Month” contest on AllAuthor! I’d need as much support from you guys. Please take a short moment to vote for my book cover, beautifully designed by Anna-Lena Spies!

CLICK HERE TO VOTE!

And after you vote, pick up a copy of The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart at Lulu.com and through other online booksellers. Thanks for your continued support of this independent author.

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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.

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.

“The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart” is now available for your reading library

Art by Anna-Lena Spies, Eerilyfair Design

I am not one for fanfare or release parties or countdowns, so here it is. My latest fantasy novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart, is now available on Lulu and other online booksellers. I finished the final proof review and, thanks to Lulu, its now available as a paperback or ebook.

This novel has been a work in progress for more than two years. It started out as a simple story that blew up into a 200,000 word book, that I cut into two novels. This is the first one.

Animation by Morgan Wright

The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart tells the story of Marcus Gideon, who 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. The Magus were the protectors of magic, armed with a magic caster’s power and the strength of a warrior. They were able to summon various magical weapons from specialized caches they wore as an armored pauldron known as an Armory of Attlain. They were legendary among the people of Attlain, until the Magus Rebellion. When a few Magus decided they should lead the people instead of protecting them, they rebelled; but the insurrection ended from within the Magus ranks. However, the rebellion already did the damage. The Magus were cast out, 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 landscape of Attlain.

Henry Botàn was 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.

A special thanks to Anna-Lena Spies for the great cover she did for my book, and Morgan Wright for the animation! I hope you will take a chance on this exciting new novel, and please, leave a book review for a independent author getting his footing the publishing world. Good or bad, every bit of feedback helps.

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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.

From Marvel to DC to anime, the idea of parallel dimensions is a great tool for writers

Dark Nights: Metal — the DC Universe of your wildest nightmares - Polygon

The Multiverse… The concept that there exists alternate realities across the dimensions has been written about for years. It’s more prevalent now with the emergence of the multiverse in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and DC television (in The Flash TV series and all their annual crossover events). The comics have done a great job of setting this concept up for us, for example DC’s latest run with “Dark Knights: Metal” and creating probably the scariest version of both Batman and The Jokers, The Batman Who Laughs. Then there’s the “Spider-verse” in Marvel Comics with everything from Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, a Spider Punk, and more. And don’t forget the sci-fi TV series Sliders, which made crossing into alternate universes a weekly episode.

“The multiverse is a theory in which our universe is not the only one, but states that many universes exist parallel to each other. These distinct universes within the multiverse theory are called parallel universes. A variety of different theories lend themselves to a multiverse viewpoint.”

The Theory of Parallel Universes for Dummies (Yes, that’s a thing!)

The concept is simple. One world where things are slightly different than the world we know. I like the worlds where the Nazis win and how it changes the origins of heroes as we know them: Earth-X with the kick ass Uncle Sam and the Freedom Force! That’s how to do it! But there’s so many different possibilities. That’s what makes it not only enjoyable to read and see but to create as well.

The idea of a multiverse, parallel dimensions, or alternate realities (whatever you want to call them) makes it easy for a writer to let their imagination run wild. I mean, you can create practically anything. Nothing is off limits or out of bounds in the idea of the multiverse. It takes the whole “time travel can rewrite history” concept and turns it on its head because, you’re not creating a new timeline but rather a new reality. Even scientists are now saying that the theory is more than science fiction, it’s a possibility. Think of the universe as a deck of cards…

“Now, if you shuffle that deck, there’s just so many orderings that can happen,” physicist Brian Greene says. “If you shuffle that deck enough times, the orders will have to repeat. Similarly, with an infinite universe and only a finite number of complexions of matter, the way in which matter arranges itself has to repeat.”

A Physicist Explains Why Parallel Universes May Exist, NPR.org

To me, a great example of the parallel universe if Star Trek and its “Mirror Universe” episodes. Each series did it’s own tale within the parallel universe where the Federation was a conqueror and not the benevolent organization as its portrayed in . I love the goatee Spock, bad yet still quite logical, and the scheming Sulu in all his glory. It seems all the really good alternate realities and parallel universes are the ones where the heroes become the villains. In DC, Earth-3 and the Crime Syndicate are a great example, and the “Age of Apocalypse” X-Men event in Marvel. It gives you such a unique perspective into characters we know and love.

I will admit that it has been slightly overdone lately. You see it everywhere nowadays. It’s no longer a something like Philip K. Dick’s “Man in the High Castle” where multiple realities exist, but rather, the idea that one decision creates multiple versions of yourself. However you interpret it, the possibilities are endless.

“In the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, every decision I take in this world creates new universes: one for each and every choice I could possibly make. There’s a boundless collection of parallel worlds, full of innumerable near-copies of me (and you). The multiverse: an endless succession of what-ifs.”

“Multiverse me: Should I care about my other selves?” from NewScientist

I think that comic books is the best place to see the endless possibilities of the multiverse. In Marvel, they even have their own group of heroes protecting the multiverse (The Captain Britain Corps) which is near and dear to my heart since it involves Merlin and Avalon. DC did it so perfectly with the “Elseworlds” graphic novels. “Gotham by Gaslight” is still my favorite, although “Kingdom Come” is a close second. These books take us to new possibilities and that’s always good to read. Sometimes, the stories become stale and twists like these help refresh the fruits of the imagination.

However, we need to be careful of redoing things too much. In the past 20 years, DC and Marvel both have redone their line ups and universes several times, i.e. “New 52” and “BattleWorld” for example. Yes, it has given us new versions of classic characters, but it changes so much it becomes confusing. That’s the grim reality of the multiverse idea for writers. You have millions of possibilities to create using the multiverse theorem, but what is unique about your idea and has it been done before?

World building is an essential part of the craft as a writer, especially a fantasy writer. Building a world from the ground up is one of the hardest parts of the job. The idea of the multiverse gives us the tools to create world based on our own. I’m doing that with my upcoming novel, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart. I created a world where a single event recreated our world as we know it into a land of magic and fantasy. It’s a reimagining of North America into something totally unrecognizable except maybe for pieces of the map. I wanted to use some names associated with cities and places in the U.S. and change others into something new. It made for an exciting challenge as I created my fantasy dystopia. I took inspiration from the great Terry Brooks for this new fantasy adventure.

So while we ponder what we would be like in hundreds of different parallel universes, let’s look at our own reality. Escapism is a good thing to have at hand, but our own reality, our own world, is always a good starting point. Take it from there and the possibilities are endless.

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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. His next two fantasy novels, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart and The Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series are being released in 2021.

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.

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.

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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.