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Quest of Fire: Shadows at Nightfall Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway


Shadows at Nightfall JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Quest of Fire: Shadows at Nightfall by Brett Armstrong, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Shadows at Nightfall
Title: Shadows at Nightfall 
Series: Quest of Fire #3 
Author: Brett Armstrong 
Publisher: Scrivenings Press 
Release Date: September 2021 
Genre: Christian Epic Fantasy

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. 

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Brett Armstrong

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.

CONNECT WITH BRETT: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Bringing the Lowlands to Life: On Fantasy World Building
by Brett Armstrong

I’m going to do my level best not to ramble on for too long about this, but world-building is something I’m pretty passionate about. My view of crafting any story world—whether it’s cozy, contemporary romance or a pulse-pounding space opera—is that each story has three primary elements. A plot (events), characters, and the story-world (setting). Each shape and inform the others as the story progresses. A setting should to a degree dictate what events can and can’t happen (no one can hear you scream in space, right?), likewise certain characters are more believable in a setting than others (mermaids in the deserts of Tatooine wouldn’t be too happy). Over time characters begin to shape the setting affecting it and events begin affecting the landscape too (like the Field of Dreams). Those interactions influence the tone, pace, themes and motifs, and direction the story takes.

Developing a story world like the Lowlands starts with capturing a single instant from the story mentally and scrutinizing the image. It’s more than just seeing what’s in the background, because those characters in the foreground and midground are an important part of building the story world. Who they are will impact what the plot is and where it goes so I try to learn as much as I can about the characters I imagine in an initial scene. In Shadows at Nightfall, there were a couple scenes that really kept me anchored to the story and set up the world. I can only share one because the second would be too much of a spoiler, but the first is of a festival on a summer night. There are people reveling in the balmy evening air and no one notices the little points of light that begin to fill the space between the trees just beyond the festival’s perimeter. Not until it’s too late and flaming arrows are loosed.

Within that scene are several of the book’s protagonists, other characters they know and care about, and the villains, all wrapped together in plotted conflict. Why are the villains doing this? Who are they? Where do they fit into the bigger world? I’m a history nerd, and feel very strongly that past has a heavy hand on the present. In building the Lowlands, I want to imbue it with a rich history that would help shape the cultures and thereby influence the characters and how they relate with both their quest and those they encounter along the way. That includes villains and their motivations and schemes. I have hundreds of years of back history written up for the dwarves of Ordumair and men of Ecthelowall that lead them in my mind to where they’re at for Quest of Fire’s opening.

Very often with world-building you want to populate the space with things people are familiar with because it one saves you time describing things, but it also makes the fantastic things, the unique things, stand out more. Quest of Fire is a dual timeline saga with both strands of history being told simultaneously. A big part of doing that is giving little clues to hopefully drive people’s imaginations to fill in blanks. Mentioning a newsboy cap and flivvers hopefully instantly conjures an early 20th Century landscape for people. Just like the Knight chapter houses and baroque architecture along with bows and early guns hopefully directing readers to imagine an early Enlightenment-late Renaissance period.

To compress my point that I know I’m meandering way to slowly towards, building a fantasy world like the Lowlands is very much like building any other story world. You let the characters, plot, and setting interact and shape each other. You remember that everything and everyone in the story came from somewhere long before page one and let that participate in crafting the landscape. And then you populate the space with things that are familiar enough that readers can fill in the backdrop with less detailed items so that the new and fresh stand out starkly against that backdrop and hopefully make the story world like the Lowlands come to life. 

(2) winners will receive a $10 Amazon gift card, print copy of Shadows at Nightfall, and Quest of Fire digital exclusives (map, theme music, and digital making of the direnoir poster)!

Shadows at Nightfall JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight September 20, 2021 and last through 11:59 PM EST on September 27, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


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