About the Book
Book: Shadows at Nightfall
Author: Brett Armstrong
Genre: Christian, Epic Fantasy
Release date: September 14, 2021
The shadows of Jason’s past have caught him. Having stepped into the Quest of Fire, Jason is pursued by a league of assassins formed of pure darkness. To his horror he discovers these creatures also were contracted to eliminate Anargen and his friends as they sought to understand the Tower of Light’s oracle. To unravel the mystery of who wants him dead and how he fits into the ages old quest, Jason must travel the lengths of the Lowlands. In the Ziljafu deserts a secret awaits him that will shake him to his core. He’ll have to move fast and cling fiercely to hope, as Anargen’s story twists down a bleak path to almost certain failure.
The creatures of darkness in the Lowlands have long waited for men to spurn the High King’s laws. With few concerned for the light and everything falling apart around them, Jason and Anargen will face the shadows of night’s falling as their world hangs in the balance.
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Brett Armstrong has been exploring other worlds as a writer since age nine. Years later, he still writes, but now invites others along on his excursions. He’s shown readers haunting, deep historical fiction (Destitutio Quod Remissio), scary-real dystopian sci-fi (Day Moon and Veiled Sun), and dark, sweeping epic fantasy (Quest of Fire). Every story is a journey of discovery and an attempt to be a brush in the Master Artist’s hand. Through dark, despair, light, joy, and everything in between, the end is always meant to leave his fellow literary explorers with wonder and hope. Always busy with a new story, he also enjoys drawing, gardening, and spending time with his wife and son.
More from Brett
The Lowlands are on the edge of dramatic changes. In every era, warriors for the High King must rise to keep the light burning and hold back the beasts of the darkness that most believe only myth. But those creatures of lore have long waited for the hour of shadows to arrive and with it all the horrors they have schemed.
The protagonists of Quest of Fire saga—Anargen and Jason, don’t realize how great a change is upon them. Anargen’s experience in defending Ordumair from the Grey Scourge and his army of werebeasts have opened his eyes to realities of the Lowlands, but neither he nor his friends nor even their mentor Sir Cinaed understand the Oracle they found within the vaults of Ordumair. It foretold a looming struggle against the forces of darkness that gave rise to the Grey Scourge. The question of how to stop it as the shadows lengthen all around divides the group.
Jason has been running from the darkness in his past so long he only looks to his next step, never what’s coming ahead. He certainly didn’t see stopping at the Black River Inn to hear old Cinaed the Storyteller tell tales of a long past knight named Anargen as life-changing. Until he witnessed the old storyteller do battle with a creature straight out of his stories. Now he feels himself being drawn into the Quest of Fire as Anargen was, but his new found purpose is far from the safety and ease he’s been hoping for.
One of the most exciting aspects of writing Shadows at Nightfall was showing through sweeping epic fantasy the way Anargen does not forsake his allegiance to the High King. The Quest of Fire saga is in part a story about storytelling and that is reflected in the way Jason is shaped by the tale of Anargen’s failures and faithfulness. Much like the Apostle Paul’s exhortation that “…these things were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11) Though not the only spiritual theme woven into the stories, Shadows at Nightfall invites readers to journey with these characters to the brink, risking their lives, growing from the examples passed down to them, and find there the greatest gain.
“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” —2 Timothy 2:1-4
Author Interview with Brett
How do you select the names of your characters?
It varies pretty widely from story to story and particularly within Quest of Fire. Some names, like Anargen, are close to actual words in other languages, or are from other languages and their meaning is very explicitly tied to the character’s nature, like Count Eidolon. Others are names that sound appropriate in a fantasy story or a Lowlands society has cultural overtones borrowed from the real world and naming of characters is similar to those cultures. Still others I had a little help. My son gave me the name for one character in Shadows at Nightfall, Professor Goulder came from my son as he was playing with his toys one day. I liked the sound of it and it stuck.
What was your hardest scene to write?
The most technically difficult scene to write was probably the battle that occurs atop the reservoir’s retaining wall. It’s near the end of the book so the action needed to be quick and final, but it also had a lot of logistical considerations, like the wear on the characters to that point, their physical location in the battle, their opponents and their positions, and confines of the space they were in. It has a pretty dramatic end as well, so there was the temptation to totally zoom past it to the conclusion, but all of the fight had to play out to set up the conclusion, so it was just a bit more of a battle (pun intended) than I normally face. I will say that the most emotionally difficult scene to write was the tragedy that takes place at the end of that scene, because it involves the loss of a character who was loosely based on a family member I loved very much who never got to see these stories be published.
What is your favorite childhood book?
I’m terrible at picking outright favorites. I read a lot of the classics as a kid and so many of them—Shakespeare’s plays, War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, Call of the Wild, The Red Badge of Courage, Ivanhoe, Around the World in Eighty Days, and Le Morte d’Arthur are extra memorable. I think it would probably be easier to name what my favorite book was when I was my son’s age than to pick one looking back. When I was five or six, without a doubt my favorite book was Wobbles the Witch Cat. Why is a bit tricky to say. I loved cats and the book was written by Mary Calhoun, which was my maternal grandmother’s name, so I think my mom poured a little extra love and enthusiasm into reading it to me. Whatever the case, I checked the book out of our local library pretty much every time it was available. So often, in fact, that when the library retired the book, they gave me their copy. My mom still has it and one of the greatest treats of being a dad was hearing my mom read the book to my son and seeing his delight in it.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
It depends but what most consistently comes first for me is kind of a snippet of a scene. I wouldn’t quite call it the plot and it often includes a major character, but it’s more about the visual I have and the questions it generates. Like my first published novel, Destitutio Quod Remissio. I knew I wanted to write a story set in ancient Rome but wasn’t sure what story to tell. Then I had this picture of a man standing on the road distraught as he watches a building burn. The sky was gray and there is high swaying grass all around. So, I started asking questions. Who is he? Why is he sad about the building? Where is he? What else might he be feeling?
And that process of being gripped by an image is usually how it starts for me. I ask questions that reveal more and more of the story to me and eventually get hooked. Sometimes it’s what becomes the opening scene, like Destitutio Quod Remissio, or as is the case in my upcoming Quest of Fire novella it’s the last scene. And anywhere in between. The key is to have something that stirs me.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Most of my time outside writing is spoken for, either through my day job (I’m an infectious disease informatician for my state) or family time. Family time means playing a pretty wide assortment of board games, video games, and games outside of my little boy’s imagining. We do grow gardens outside each year (and have hydroponic ones indoors). This year we’re being a bit adventurous and trying half yearly favorites and half new experiments like aji charapita pepper, gianthead kale, and komatsuna. We’re excited to see how it goes.
Thank you for taking your time and letting us get to know you better!
Through the Fire Blogs, March 17 (Author Interview)
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 17
Texas Book-aholic, March 18
Inklings and notions, March 19
For Him and My Family, March 20
deb’s Book Review, March 21
Simple Harvest Reads, March 22 (Author Interview)
By the Book, March 22
Locks, Hooks and Books, March 23
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 24
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 26
Artistic Nobody, March 27 (Author Interview)
Blogging With Carol, March 28
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 29
Guild Master, March 30
To celebrate his tour, Brett is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, copy of Shadows at Nightfall, and digital extras (exclusive map and music)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.