Over the Broad Earth follows two Celestial brothers, God and Satan, who can only unleash their sibling rivalry when humans engage in combat. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I wanted to explore a different dynamic from the traditional depiction of Satan as a fallen angel or jinn, and therefore inferior to God. Setting the two on equal footing allowed me to pursue a narrative where each side approaches a battle across the millennia with the same advantages and disadvantages. Instead of Satan being a rebel, for this story he has his own plans and claims to authority. I was inspired by Greek and Norse mythology, which contain many examples of competing gods. In those stories, such as the Iliad, gods are invested in and interfere with the outcomes of the mortal world. Much of the course of history has been shaped by wars and conflicts. For a long time humans believed their conflicts were mirrored by warring deities. I wanted the war between God’s and Satan’s armies to occur in tandem with human conflict.
Your characters are unique and have a compelling backstory. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
The characters of Over the Broad Earth live across many different ages. They experience similar situations throughout due to the similarities within warfare, regardless of the era. However, what changes in the course of the novel are the internal mental state and motivations of the characters. They continually vacillate from confidence to doubt, valor to cowardice, selflessness to selfishness, sacrifice to self-preservation, and many other emotions and outlooks. These ever-changing attitudes send the characters down an oft-chaotic and unexpected development curve.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
The search for meaning and purpose in the face of an absurd and meaningless world was a central theme. I wanted to explore sources of motivation; love, lust, recognition, survival, acceptance, power, and hate, and how the pursuit and fulfillment of these motivations can provide a sense of either meaning or emptiness. The Demons and Angels of Over the Broad Earth do not age and therefore have the potential to live forever, however, they can be killed. I did this so they could be comparable to humans. Death is always there lurking and yet we try to push that reality to the back of our minds by focusing on what we want. I also tried to explore what it means to be an individual within a collective. Over the Broad Earth contains a host of characters, some the reader will meet intimately, others briefly. In the same way, the main characters are surrounded by a multitude – they form strong bonds with some – they barely interact with others. Over the course of the story, the characters will influence and be influenced by those around them and are compelled to come to grips with how they intend to fit into the kaleidoscope of which they are a member.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am currently working on And They Marched Up, Volume III of The Saga of Fallen Leaves. In this volume, I explore the stories of some supporting characters from Over the Broad Earth and introduce some new ones. Hopefully And They Marched Up will be available in January 2023.
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The world is falling apart–literally. Martial law has been declared, communication has been cut off, and citizens are being instructed to shelter in place. As the entire country struggles to make sense of what is happening around them, Skylar’s son is worried about one thing and one thing only–his video game. When his ties are severed, he is forced to see the grave reality of their situation. In a world where social media has become a way of life, chaos ensues when every platform collapses and the world is left to pick up the pieces of the destruction that follows.
Operation: Jade Helmet, by Ashely Fontainne, sets a scene of total panic and mayhem all based on the power of social media. When an unnatural heatwave occurs and citizens become increasingly confused, defensive, and violent, it becomes clear that the world is about to undergo a change–and not one for the better. No one is safe, especially gamers. At the top of the list? Those who excel at Operation: Jade Helmet. Skylar’s son, Brandon, is one of them.
Fontainne has managed to meld several different genres and literary elements successfully into one novel. What begins as a straightforward science fiction read soon takes on elements of faith-based work alongside choice bits of fantasy. There is an incredible amount of history woven into the plot, and this is what makes the author’s work as terrifying as it is entertaining. Fontainne has handed readers a book that is a testament to everything that is wrong with our world as we know it, and it makes for quite the ride.
I was blown away by the cast of characters in Operation: Jade Helmet. From those who set the stage in the first few chapters to the main players, Fontainne has done a remarkable job of developing a well-rounded and highly relatable cast to bring the pages to life. I was especially taken with Tyler; he is strong, loving, and full of surprises. He is the perfect addition to this book of mixed genres.
Operation: Jade Helmet is a riveting Christian-based science fiction and fantasy novel. Filled with suspense readers will be on edge following the mystery set out by the author. This thrilling novel will have readers thinking twice about the state of the world today and how social media impacts all of us. Kudos to Fontainne on an absolutely stunning piece!
Pages: 316 | ASIN : B08X1MHHDN
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The Penitent: Part III continues to follow Pall Warren on his quest where he must fight off malign forces to maintain humanity. Were you able to bring the trilogy to a close or do you feel you have more stories to tell in this world?
Yes, I believe that I was able to bring the trilogy to a close. However, like a Matryoshka or Russian doll [a doll within a doll within a doll], the story continues. I hope to create a trilogy of trilogies for The Immortality Wars series. Each trilogy represents a specific reality. The first trilogy, the Penitent, has a medieval setting. The characters, and reader, despite hints given throughout this trilogy to the contrary, believe they are in a time period similar to the Middle Ages.
The second trilogy, the Pilgrim, is currently being written. It occurs in another time period, which is actually the “present” within the time frame of the series. The manuscript was started in early July of 2021. I am excited about the story line and how it is unfolding. Pall has a long journey ahead of him…
What were the morals you were trying to capture while creating your characters?
I created this story as a thought experiment. I wondered what humanity would be like 500 years from now. We have the capacity to do incredible deeds for evil and for good. War and peace tug unceasingly at one another. Add in the trajectory of our scientific development and our insatiable desire to acquire power, I wanted to explore where this thirst for control would lead us. What will happen to faith? Will democracy still be a vital source for liberty and freedom? What will we be able to do? Will Earth be left behind in poor condition as the galaxy is explored? What happens between humans and AI?
Also, I thought it would be interesting if I could combine the voices of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lew Wallace, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Lee Child together and see if I could create a unique, epic story with a 21st-century sensibility.
Can faith, reason, and, above all, love survive against a sustained onslaught of evil?
What was your favorite character to write for and why?
That is a tough question for me to answer because I so much enjoyed writing about many of the characters, protagonists and antagonists, alike. Pall Warren, John Savage, Matthew Greatworth, and Evangel (protagonists) are variations on a theme of human goodness, strength, fragility, faith, and loss in the face of suffering. Kosem Mungadai, Ünger, and Commander Gregor Mordant (antagonists) represent our desire for power, as well as our ability to exploit our circumstances and those around us as tools for satisfying our desire for control. Writing about these characters was a blast because they helped fulfill the story’s search for truth.
With this trilogy over, what is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am hoping to complete the first rough draft of book four by next May or June (2022). Perhaps it will be ready for release later on in the fall of that year. I will continue writing books five and six as well.
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Tags: A. Keith Carreiro, adventure, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, christian fantasy, ebook, epic fantasy, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science fiction, story, The Penitent: Part III, writer, writing
The Immortality Wars The Penitent Part III is the epic conclusion of The Penitent Trilogy. In a battle between good and evil, Pall Warren is in the middle of it all, fighting evil demons to save humanity from the tyranny of an occult priest. Set in a world reminiscent of the Middle Ages with a fantasy spin, Pall continues on his quest to reconnect with his friend, John Savage, and find his place in the world.
The story begins with Pall helping Tom in the aftermath of the Ünger attack. He travels with Tom and his daughter to their new home in Gullswater. While in Gullswater, Pall puts feelers out to see where he can find the bowman, aka Savage. Leading Pall on a quest to Seascale, where he joins forces with Mercer, an ex-member of Gregor Mordant’s Marauders.
Once in Seascale, Pall and Mercer begin their mission to track down Savage and quickly find themselves deep in battle. Meanwhile, Savage works with his boss, Peredurus, the King’s Minister of Affairs, to update him on West Fündländ. Savage also alerts Peredurus to his views that Mordant is a traitor to the King. Peredurus begins his mission to validate Savage’s belief. All parties start to build the forces up for the impending war.
What I loved most was the multiple POVs, especially during the battle. I love when authors utilize this writing style as it gives me a better insight into the motives of the characters. A. Keith Carreiro is a strong writer, at times his style is more formal to help set the tone and add depth to the characters personality. I benefited from learning multiple new words as he has an expansive vocabulary.
The Penitent by A. Keith Carreiro is a thrilling adventure novel written for fans of fantasy and science fiction. The author is skilled at world-building and excels at keeping the reader engaged. Overall a strong finish to this riveting trilogy. Readers will enjoy finding out how Carreiro wraps up things.
Pages: 292 | ASIN: B07WCHGRKC
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Haelend’s Ballad is an epic fantasy novel that follows an ensemble cast that are trying to survive in a war torn land where fate conspires against them. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
Definitely history. Our own world is full of war and atrocities, and yet we often only see one side of the story. But when we look at these historical events from various perspectives, we see a much more complex (and often darker) reality. When I decided to write a fantasy, I felt that having a large cast from different backgrounds and perspectives would be the best way to reflect that reality.
Your characters are intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
On one level, I simply wanted my characters to be real. I wanted them to be flawed, multi-faceted, and to sometimes just make really bad decisions. They needed to wrestle with their own sins and as well as the sins other against them, and that, in turn, should impact the choices they make. On another level, music was a big influence that helped shape each of my characters. I listened to a lot of early American ballads and classical composers, as well as more recent musicians such as Mumford and Sons, Radiohead, and Josh Garrels. Every character represented something that spoke to me in that music.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
The biggest theme is probably suffering (how it impacts our worldview, the decisions we make, etc.). Other themes include the consequences of racism, nationalism, and political/economic corruption, as well as the power and freedom found in forgiveness, love, and self-sacrifice.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m currently working on a series of short stories that explores some of the mythology and other events in the world of Haelend’s Ballad. Also, I’ll be collaborating with my cover illustrator at the beginning of next year to create a series of illustrations for a hardback edition of Haelend’s Ballad that I hope to release at the end of 2022.
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Rise of Serpents is the third book in your epic fantasy series and continues to build the mythos and world to even deeper levels. What were some sources that informed this novels development?
The Primeval Origins® story is based on a deep understanding of our ancient mythologies (most prominently Sumerian, Egyptian, and India’s Vedic writings) and our modern religions (Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and Hindu). The story and its background integrates these mythologies and religions into a single story line spanning millions of years of earth’s history. Add to this our modern and speculative scientific and engineering knowledge and new discoveries mainly of the past (in archeology and paleontology) and in the fundamental sciences (physics, astronomy, geology, and many others)…and many elements from Ancient Alien Theory. The Primeval Origins Epic Saga weaves all of this into the story told starting with our oldest creations myths…the creation of the modern earth and of the ancient god’s creation of humans on earth in the ancient story and blends/integrates the ancient story with our modern end-time prophecies in the near-future story told in each book’s prologue and epilogue. The near-future story is a build up to the state and conditions of our world demanding the ushering in of our end-times prophecies, seen through the eyes of the Witness and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Primeval Origins® is an epic saga like no other attempted.
What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?
Simply, telling the Primeval Origins® story in a character-driven experienced tale that readers will enjoy with curiosity and with characters readers will love to love and love to hate. Then, the integration of all the elements identified above into an epic story line spanning 65 million years. It was a challenge taking now over 30 years of research and over 10 years for background mapping of story and characters…and then the experimentation and practice in writing into what has been published in the first three books.
This seemed like a very fun book to write. What scene did you have the most fun writing?
In book three, Rise of Serpents, the prologue and epilogue were fun to write with the more mature and capable Rogaan and Aren kicking butt against hostile forces from multiple factions in our near future. Also, in the ancient story, the ship battle with the first grand description of Agni Powers and the same with the final battle between demigods and the future Horsemen of Revelation. A lot of action driven through the characters and their interactions with each other as they transform from naïve and innocent to becoming experienced and aware of the world they are challenged by.
What can readers expect in book for of your Primeval Origins Epic Saga?
In the future story, the characters will experience a United States and world in political and moral decline. Nikki starts realizing who she is as Rogaan and Aren battle the forces of tyranny aided in the end by the Fourth Horseman…Death. In the ancient story, the Four Horsemen take a major leap into becoming who they will eventually be as they struggle against and battle with the ancient gods, the angelic choir prior to their elevation as God’s messengers, and even more ancient beings…the First Angels.
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Phoenix: Field of Mars (The Phoenix Trilogy Book One) by Jackie Anders is a thrilling time travel romance story. Kyla Marshall, a Public Relations Assistant Director, travels to Israel on a PR assignment for her company’s client, West Bank Labs in Jerusalem. But the space exploration company has discovered something that they do not share with Kyla. While working late one night, she stumbles into a special ops mission to stop a rogue scientist from trying to change the past to cause a domino effect in the present. Kyla finds herself in Rome in 8 AD with a group of modern soldiers, led by Captain Christopher Eriksen. Will the team succeed in their mission? And will Kyla ever be able to return to her own time?
The premise of this gripping story piqued my interest right from the beginning. I enjoyed reading about the time period of Jerusalem in the first century and the ancient Roman Empire. It was interesting to get a glimpse into the day-to-day life of a prominent Roman citizen when Kyla remained with their hosts while Captain Eriksen and his team traveled with the Roman senator. I liked how the different team members of the Special ops unit were all from different countries, and the way they worked together on the mission. Each character felt unique and authentic and always added something different to the situation and dialogue
The ending leaves you desperate for more. There were some unanswered questions, making the follow-up story a must-read. I am definitely looking forward to Phoenix: By the Sword, to find out what happens next in the characters’ journey.
While I enjoyed this adventurous story, I felt that the novel leaned more towards the science fiction adventure genre, rather than the historical fiction genre, which ensures the story is consistently entertaining, but I would have liked more historical accuracy. Time travel come with all sorts of paradoxes, but the author leans into the narrative and keeps focus on the mission and the task at hand rather than the ripple effect the teams presence could cause, but I felt that some mention of it would have appeased the hard core science fiction fans.
Phoenix: Field of Mars is a lively time travel story that will keep readers entertained with its compelling characters and dramatic turn of events in every chapter.
Pages: 211 | ASIN: B07M8CYZJ3
George MacDonald’s Castle Warlock is many things: a mystery, an adventure, a coming-of-age story, a celebration of the beauty of the Scottish Highlands, and a revelation of spiritual truth. At the novel’s center are two unforgettable characters, young Cosmo Warlock and his father, the Laird of Glenwarlock. Michael Phillips captured the essence of this Christian classic when he wrote that “most striking of all is the love which exists between Cosmo and his aging father, in the heart of which pulsed the earliest attraction of the boy toward the heartbeat of God himself.”
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