The River of Souls nominated for two Next Generation Indie Books Awards

This is turning out to be a great Christmas, and it’s not even December! My latest book, The River of Souls, was nominated for two Next Generation Indie Book Awards, for best novella and fantasy. The Next Generation Indie Book Awards is the largest International awards program for indie authors and independent publishers. In its sixteenth year of operation, the Next Generation Indie Book Awards was established to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books in 80+ different categories, for the year, and is presented by Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group  in cooperation with Marilyn Allen of Allen Literary Agency.

First off, a big thank you to my poet, Ashley Valitutto, for adding her wonderful poetry to my story. Second, none of this would have been possible without the love and support from my publisher, Curious Corvid Publishing. Ravven White and her team made my dream of publishing with an actual publisher a reality, and The River of Souls is my first step into a new journey as a published author with plenty more to come.

As a bonus, The River of Souls picked up another FIVE STAR Amazon book review! And you can listen to an excerpt of my fantasy novella as read by voiceover artist Teri Schnaubelt on my new YouTube channel.

“This is not my usual genre…but maybe it should be! I absolutely loved this. Now I have a new author to follow and keep up with. I am a sucker for an authentic and genuine love story, and this delivered. I can tell I’m going to be thinking about this story for years to come. The morals and messages are timeless. A treasure.”

Aimee N Curran, Verified Amazon Review

If you want to get your hands on a signed copy of The River of Souls, hop over to the Curious Corvid shop for my novella and check out the other great books and merchandise from CCP. Or, if you’re in the Virginia area, I’ll be attending the last 2nd Sundays Williamsburg Art and Music Festival on Sunday, December 11, on North Boundary Street in historic Williamsburg, Va. So many great things happened at the end of 2022. I can’t wait to see what 2023 brings me!

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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.

Cross over The River of Souls in my first 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.

Congratulations to THE RIVER OF SOULS and THE LAST MAGUS on their recent book awards

The River of Souls from Curious Corvid Publishing, Speak-Up Talk Radio 2022 Firebird Book Award winner.

I love getting good news . . . and I love sharing it even more! My fantasy novella The River of Souls won two awards in the 3rd Quarter of 2022 from Speak-Up Talk Radio Firebird Book Awards: 1st Place for Novella and 2nd Place for Fiction Book Cover. I want to thank Ravven White and Curious Corvid Publishing for their support of me and my writing, Ashley Valitutto for contributing her beautiful poetry to my story, and Mark Alexander McLish for the cover. He took my ideas for the front cover and brought them to fruition. This novella was a great collaboration, so I accept these awards as a team effort.

The Firebird Book Awards are unique in two ways. They are judged year round to give authors a chance to submit their novels into more than a hundred different genre categories. Lastly the entire entry fee is a donation that supports the women and children’s shelter renovation and transformation project, in conjunction with Enchanted Makeovers 501(c)3. They send handmade one-of-a-kind fun and colorful pillowcases and children’s books to homeless shelters – naming the author as the donor.

The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart from lulu.com, multiple award winning steampunk fantasy in 2022!

I received more good news just last night as my steampunk fantasy, The Last Magus: A Clockwork Heart, won 3rd place for Fantasy – Magic, Myths, and Legends from The BookFest book awards for Fall 2022. This is the third award for The Last Magus, and I can’t tell you how great it feels to be recognized by your peers.

The BookFest Awards honors authors who create outstanding works of fiction and nonfiction. Books are judged in categories based on genre, theme, and aesthetics.  Entries will be vetted by an initial team, then the final places will be determined by an elite group of experts in the literary and entertainment world. The awards can be viewed on The BookFest YouTube channel.

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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.

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!

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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.

Cross the eternal cosmic lifestream and wade into the river of souls from curious corvid publishing

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

This is the moment in an author’s life that we live for. Getting your book in the mail and seeing your words in print is one thing, but when the book is finally published and “live,” it’s a whole new experience. I have gone through this four times now, and the fifth one is just as sweet as the previous four . . . if not sweeter! This is my FIRST book published through a publishing house—Curious Corvid Publishing. I’ve submitted many of my manuscripts to publishers and agents for consideration. The River of Souls was the first time someone said YES to me!

This was not a single piece of work. I had the pleasure of collaborating with a wonderful poet, Ashley Valitutto, to help tell the story through her poems. The idea was that war, strife, and bigotry weighs heavy on a person. For many people, poetry is a way of expression and therapy in hopes of dealing with pain. Her words brought my story together better than I could imagine.

I also want to thank Ravven White and Curious Corvid Publishing for taking me on as one of their authors. I met Ravven over a Zoom call, and we talked for more than an hour about my writing career, previously published books, and my works in progress. After she told me all about Curious Corvid, she offered to bring me on board. I wanted to jump out of my chair and scream to the highest mountaintop. After more than ten years of wandering the wilderness as a self-published author, I made it to nirvana. If you get a chance, visit Curious Corvid Publishing to and check out the myriad of authors writing fantasy, sci-fi-, horror, paranormal, and poetry “from the dark side” of literature.


Across The River of Souls, the boundless cosmic lifestream that connects all worlds, a young man lay dying underneath a crumpled automobile. He hears a voice crying out for help, begging not to be left alone. Desperate to make something of his life, he offers himself to God to be there for her.

On a distant world, Malcolm Seger, a human, and his wife Alyssa, a dragonkin, moved to the parish of Fairhaven to begin a new life together after serving in what the people of Fawleen called “The Endless War.” But just when they settled in, Malcolm succumbs to deadly “dragon dust” and lies near death. Grief-stricken, Alyssa uses her magic to save her true love through the spell of restoration, powerful magic combining two souls into one. He died in one world and was reborn in another.

Now begins their new life together in a land filled with distrust, bigotry, and hatred between races. Can two people from different worlds find love and peace to show what lies beyond The River of Souls?


The River of Souls officially releases on Sunday, August 21, but you can pre-order it now at Amazon. Pick up your copy or download the ebook today!

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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.

Check out an early preview of The River of Souls next weekend at 2nd Sundays Williamsburg

Stop by my booth at 2nd Sundays Williamsburg Art and Music Festival on Sunday, August 14, from 11am to 5pm to check out the debut of my fantasy novella The River of Souls from Curious Corvid Publishing

In case you missed it, I did an unboxing video of the arrival of my fantasy novella, The River of Souls, on TikTok. I’m taking copies of my latest novel from Curious Corvid Publishing to the 2nd Sundays Williamsburg Art and Music Festival on Sunday, August 14, on North Boundary Street in historic Williamsburg, Va., for the last festival of the summer. This will be your opportunity to get your hands on this new fantasy book a week before its planned release.

Across the river of souls, the boundless cosmic lifestream that connects all worlds, a young man lay dying underneath a crumpled automobile. He hears a voice crying out for help, begging not to be left alone. Desperate to make something of his life, he offers himself to God to cross The River of Souls to be there for her. Now begins their new life together—a human magi-gunner and Dragonkin oracle—in a world filled with distrust, bigotry, and hatred between races. Can two people from different worlds find love and peace to show what truly lies beyond . . .

The River of Souls by Mark Piggott, poetry by Ashley Valitutto, from Curious Corvid Publishing

2nd Sundays Williamsburg Arts and Music Festival on North Boundary Street in historic Williamsburg, Va., is Virginia’s only ALMOST Year ‘Round Arts & Street Festival! This Street Fair of over 115 unique artisans, musicians, street performers and food vendors in six blocks along N Boundary Street from Richmond Rd to Lafayette Street, along Scotland from Armistead to N. Henry and in the 400 block of Prince George Street. You can usually find me on the corner of N Boundary Street and Prince George Street.

Come to Colonial Williamsburg for the sun, fun, music, arts and crafts, and plenty of books right near the College of William & Mary. I’ll have all of my award-winning fantasy and steampunk novels for sale, and I will personalize and sign it for you. This is my last event of summer 2022 so I hope to see you there!

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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, coming soon from Curious Corvid Publishing, along with the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky PiratesThe Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series and The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel are future installments of his current fantasy book series, plus so much more new fantastic stories coming soon.

Cross over The River of Souls, coming August 21

My fantasy novella “The River of Souls” with poetry by Ashley Valitutto from Curious Corvid Publishing.

We are a month away from the release of my next novel, The River of Souls. This is my first novella, but it was not the length of the story but how I told it that was important to me. I wanted to include poetry in the story to give it some breadth and a deeper meaning to the themes behind the story itself. Thankfully, I met a great poet in Ashley Valitutto who saw my vision behind the story and wrote some wonderful prose for my novella. It was a collaboration that brought this story to life, and it was this story that brought me to the attention of Ravven White and Curious Corvid Publishing. This is my first step in being a published author, not a self-published author.

Official trailer for “The River of Souls” from Nights with Ebon Pinion YouTube page.

From award winning author Mark Piggott comes a dark fantasy novella of love and triumph . . .

“Reach beyond heavens veil; do not let death prevail. Instead, open the door through God’s grace; let this not be his final resting place!”

Fawleen and Drogon fought what people called “The Endless War,” as it went on for more than 300 years. The humans of Fawleen and the Dragonkin of Drogon clashed over borderlands, water rights, trade disputes, and the biased views of leaders on both sides of the conflict. Four generations fought and died in the war. That all changed when one sect of Drogon—the Oracles of Delphis Kai—joined Fawleen against their people and worked to end the war. The Oracles were healers and pacifists, the opposite of the Acolytes of Hecat Tei and their dark chaos magic that ruled Drogon. In the end, it was the deciding factor that brought peace to the troubled land.

Malcom Seger, a human Magi-Gunner, and his wife Alyssa, a dragonkin of the Oracles of Delphis Kai, moved to the parish of Fairhaven to begin a new life together. But just when they were getting settled in, Malcom succumbs to deadly “dragon dust” and lies near death. Grief stricken, Alyssa uses her magic to save her true love through the spell of restoration, powerful magic combining two souls into one.

Across the river of souls, the boundless cosmic lifestream that connects all worlds, a young man lay dying underneath a crumpled automobile. He hears a voice, crying out for help, begging not to be left alone. Desperate to make something of his life, he offers himself to God to cross the river of souls to be there for her.

Now begins their new life together in a world filled with distrust, bigotry, and hatred between races. Can two people from different worlds find love and peace to show what truly lies beyond THE RIVER OF SOULS.

From Nights with Ebon Pinion YouTube page

Sign up for the Curious Corvid newsletter and follow me, Ashley, and CCP on social media for updates on this epic adventure!

I will be hosting a special preview for The River of Souls on Sunday, August 14, at 2nd Sundays Williamsburg Arts and Music Festival. I hope to have some of the first copies of my new book (fingers crossed) at the festival, so please stop by and pick up a signed copy!

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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 as a paperback/ebook at iUniverse Publishing,  Amazon, and other booksellers. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series, is available 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 River of Souls fantasy novella, coming soon from Curious Corvid Publishing along with the steampunk historical fiction, Corsair and the Sky PiratesThe Prometheus Engine: Book 4 of the Forever Avalon Series and The Last Magus: Dragonfire and Steel are future installments of his current fantasy book series, plus so much more coming soon.