Spotlight & Excerpt: Divinity’s Twilight: Remnant + Giveaway

Divinity's Twilight Remnant blog announcement

Cover - Divinity's Twilight Remnant
Divinity’s Twilight: Remnant
by Christopher Russell
Published: September 14, 2022
Series: Divinity’s Twilight #2
Genre: Epic/Steampunk/Military Fantasy
Intended Age Group: Adult
Pages: 650
Publisher: Illyrium Publishing

Divinity’s Twilight: Remnant is the much-anticipated sequel to the multi-award-winning epic fantasy novel, Divinity’s Twilight: Rebirth.

Power is a curse.

As Vallen and his fellow cadets flee fallen Darmatia, he is forced to confront the ghosts of his past. The friend who perished that he might live. The girl whose smile haunts his nightmares. Now, a third voice joins them—something dark, something ancient. And the more Vallen uses his magic, the stronger it becomes.

Tools exist to be used.

The flames of Sylette’s vengeance are all but quenched. With each passing day, the dominion of the Sarconian Empire grows, and her treacherous father’s throat drifts further from her reach. Sylette’s last hope is a coded message, one that promises a growing resistance against the Empire. But even if she gains the means to avenge her mother’s murder, one question remains: how many ‘tools’ is she willing to sacrifice to see her vengeance through?

What color is love?

Renar has learned to hide a great many things: his emotions, his art, and one truly devastating family secret. But when he must face the man who’s controlled his life from the shadows, will he choose the family he’s always known, or the dysfunctional crew he’s been shackled with?

For every ending, a beginning.

Embers of conspiracy flare in Nemare and Sarconia. A resurrected Sarcon plots to reclaim his imprisoned flesh. As the winds of war swirl and forgotten myths rise, the choices these cadets make could save their country . . .
. . . or unleash something far, far worse.

The Empire Strikes Back • Portal, Portal on the Wall, Don’t Show Me My Past, Lest I Fall • Ice Queen of Hearts

Universal Link

Content/Trigger Warnings:

Shown on Page (things clearly told to the reader):

Fantasy violence and death
Mild gore
Child abuse
Fade to black sex
Drug/alcohol abuse
Magic-induced suicide

Alluded to (things only mentioned in passing or hinted at):

Animal cruelty (mythical creatures)


Chapter 9:  “What’s Best”


Charkur 3, 686 ABH

Nemare, Royal Capital of the Kingdom of Darmatia


“Whoa there!”
With a screech of iron on cobbles, the carriage lurched forward, then settled to a stop in front of the broad steps of the Heronah mansion. Renar Iolus hurriedly hid his silver pocket knife inside the sleeve of his fine coat. He’d altered the hem just enough to conceal it against his forearm, though the resultant wad of scratchy fabric chafed miserably against his skin.
He shifted to the left on the velvet padded seat, leaning against the window and feigning that he’d been staring at the passing city sights during the ride. When the cab door opened, he favored Ral the coachman with an innocent smile.
“Here already?”
The dusky-toned, bare-scalped courtier bowed at the waist, his twinkling black eyes a match for his impeccable servant’s garb. “Yes, Young Master. Didn’t you see us pass the estate gates?”
Renar scampered down the hanging carriage steps. At the bottom, he strained skyward, standing on his tiptoes to reach the second gold button above Ral’s waistband. Ha! he thought. I’ll be taller than him in no time!
“Obviously, Ral,” Renar replied, waving the arm that didn’t hide the knife. “The jalliper berry bushes lining the drive are in full bloom, their mauve buds contrasting beautifully with the thin sheathes of ice encasing their branches.”
Ral’s dark gaze flashed concern. He ducked into the carriage, and when he reemerged a moment later, he held a lace embroidered pillow. The same pillow Renar had used to cover up the carving he’d been etching into the interior paneling of the carriage.
“What is this?” Ral asked, tone accusing.
“A pillow?”
“Indeed. A pillow which you used to cover up vandalism of the Colonel’s prized carriage.”
Renar bristled. “Vandalism? My art is an improvement on the drab ornamentation my father thinks passes for culture in military circles.” He jerked his arm toward the coursing waterfall scene he’d etched into the wood.
The wrong arm—a horrible mistake. Before he could snatch back the limb, Ral grabbed his elbow, pinched it hard enough to make Renar’s eyes water, and rolled up the sleeve to expose the outline of his knife. Two tugs at the hidden pouch sent the blade tumbling toward the ground. Graceful as a sweeping brush stroke, Ral caught it between two fingers, raising it above his head which Renar couldn’t reach even if he jumped.
“Colonel Iolus gave this to you as a gift.” Disappointment etched Ral’s hard features, but Renar heard something odd in his voice: an almost wistful sadness.
“Am I not free to do with father’s gifts as I please?”
Ral inhaled sharply. ” . . . No. This is a combat knife.” He traced the tapered blade and tapped the channel meant to drain blood away from the cutting edge. Revulsion twisted Renar’s stomach. Fighting disgusted him to the point of sickness. “You should not be using it to draw—”
Carve,” Renar insisted.
“—on the Colonel’s carriage. You know how he views your . . . hobbies.” Ral chose his final word carefully, kindly. Far kindlier than Renar’s father, Colonel Hardwick Iolus, would have.
The boy’s throat constricted, going dry as the desert wastes beyond Nemare’s walls. “Will you tell him?” he whispered. Somehow, speaking the words aloud made Renar believe they’d come true.
Flicking his wrist, Ral tossed the knife into the air, catching it by the blade in his other hand on the way down. He passed it back to Renar—hilt first—but the wide-eyed lad was lost in thoughts of how to sketch the skilled attendant.
Charcoal for the skin, rubbing it in after application for a smooth finish. Long lines for the blade toss. Have to give the impression of motion, as Gabonni’s Ten Techniques suggests. Highlight the gleam in his gaze by making the area around the eyes darker, and . . .

Renar blinked. The mansion’s thick double doors were open before him, letting blocky shadows and the early spring chill into the grand, marble-floored foyer. Ral was at his side, and two similar servants flanked the opulent elegoras-crafted doors.
The courtier chuckled. “The Veneer took your senses again, Young Master.”
There was no reason to argue. Whenever the compulsion to draw, carve, paint—any type of creation—hit him, Renar lost all awareness of where and what he was doing. This time he’d merely pocketed his knife and climbed the estate steps in a daze, but at other times he’d disappeared from the Iolus estate or fallen down the manor stairs.
Unfortunately, his clumsiness was the least of his father’s reasons for despising the pursuits that brought him joy.
“What was it?” Renar asked. Their host, the daughter of the Heronah family, had yet to appear. “I’m curious what gave me away. Father took my last sketchbook, and you had no reason to suspect I had anything else to work with.”
Ral chuckled. “Your description of the julliper berries. Spring comes early in Nemare. There’s no ice left on the bushes.”
The colorful curse building in Renar’s throat was stilled by the sunflower bouncing down the steps. Dainty slippers on pale legs carried a beaming girl in a yellow smock down the sweeping staircase before them. Golden light, slanting from the stained glass window on the landing behind her, bathed her in a radiant glow that perfectly complemented her bouncing flaxen curls and choice of dress. Renar had scarcely a second to appreciate her radiance before she hurled herself into his arms.
“Rennie!” she cooed. “I’m so glad you could come. I have so, so much to tell you. More than is written in a library worth of books . . . probably.”
“You’re choking me, Angelie,” he managed through her tight embrace. Angelie, a name derived from the angelic Veneer themselves. Like the lilac scent of her hair, it suited her well.
“Oh! We wouldn’t want that.” She danced back with agile steps, then clutched Renar’s hands and began dragging him from the room. “Come, come! There’s something in the ballroom for you, but you must promise not to peek. Oh!” She exclaimed again, pointing a finger at Ral. “You can stay here, Ral. I know he doesn’t like to fight, so I’ll protect Renar if any bad guys attack. Have scones with Maja, or something.”
“I can’t refuse a command from my future mistress,” Ral soothed with an exaggerated bow.
“Good. We’ll call for you when we’re done.”

Author Bio & Information:

Author Photo - Christopher RussellChristopher Russell (native of Williamsburg, VA) is a 29-year-old mechanical and aerospace engineer (graduate of the University of Virginia) who has loved reading since the day he picked up a book and writing since he could scrawl his first letters. After voraciously consuming titles from every genre—ranging from Star Wars to Lord of the Rings—he decided to combine the expertise from his professional education, passions, and Christian faith into a fantasy epic bridging the gap between magic and science. He currently resides in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his loyal dog, Vallen, named after the protagonist of his first work. For behind-the-scenes information on all of Christopher Russell’s works, visit



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Starts: September 22, 2022 at 12:00am EST
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Spotlight, Excerpt & Author Interview: Starbinder + Giveaway

Starbinder blog announcement

Cover - Starbinder

by Mark Timmony
Published: 2016
Series: The Eye of Eternity #.5
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Intended Age Group: Adult
Pages: 114
Publisher: Ravenhawk Press (Self Published)

Forged in betrayal. Tempered by the stellar winds. Chosen by the stars.

For five hundred years since the Sundering, the order of the Shaluay Starbinders has been dwindling. With their Starwells lying dormant, key artefacts of their order lost and their seers driven mad by the powers that broke the world, only one hope remains to the man who leads them; a fifteen year old girl.

Born to a clan of Wanderers, Reiana has been raised by a harsh grandmother who blames her for the death of her daughter, Reiana’s own mother. When bandits attack the clan’s camp, Reiana leaves the safety of the caravans to pursue the abductor of her younger cousin, heedless of the dangers.

But when a creature of the Void takes notice can Reiana’s own untapped abilities save her, or will the truth of a betrayal see her lost forever?

Starbinder is an action-packed prequel novella to The Blood of the Spear. If you like flawed heroes, fast-paced storytelling, and intricate world-building, then you’ll Love Mark Timmony’s character-driven introduction to the epic fantasy series, The Eye of Eternity.

This is Your Life • Waiting for a Star to Fall • Never Enough

Content/Trigger Warnings:

Shown on Page (things clearly told to the reader):

  • Suicide
  • Gore
  • Child abduction

Alluded to (things only mentioned in passing or hinted at):

  • Child murder

Book Links:

Amazon (PB) / Amazon (HB)

You can also get this at The Broken Binding and get a signed bookplate too:

Broken Binding  (PB) / Broken Binding (HB)




When I first came upon the Face, I was newly raised to the rank of Seer. My cora’stone was still uncoloured, though as much a part of me as the air within my lungs. 

As an initiate, I had not known the depths of Arleth’taur nor the secrets we Shaluay Starbinders kept. I had learnt of the outer world, the stars around Sobia and the history of the realms. As a Seer, I had been presented before the Probability Matrix, deemed worthy and given access to the libraries to better research and understand what I Saw.

But books are not the only thing of which the Ardes Librantus are conservators. The world within Arleth’taur, the Cradle of the Stars, contains histories as well as prophecies, works of art as well as books and scrolls, nightmares as well as dreams. 

And daemons.

My daemon was trapped within the Face.  

I did not know its nature when first I saw it. The quantstructs of the Shaluay often mimic life, and intelligence. I found the Face—an enormous head sculpted from metal—in a room of water, the floors and walls running with it. It rested on the floor, untouched by rust, staring at a dark ceiling and weeping red tears. 

I was not meant to be in this room, but having been born to the Imperial family, I had been denied nothing and thought I knew better than my teachers. 

The levels that were forbidden in Arleth’taur are the ones I sought. It was only after I Fell that I understood they were restricted with good reason.

Its voice was soft, gentle. It reminded me of the mother I had lost long ago. It enticed me, lowered my defences, and baited me with the tiniest hint of the knowledge I craved. 

There is a reason the Shaluay keep their initiates sheltered, just as the Ciralys do for those who can see the Light of the Eye. But I was strong, the strongest my teachers had found in a hundred years, though in the end, I was not so strong as she who came after. 

Pride. It is ever the downfall of humanity. The daemon in the Face spun its web to entice me, and I was caught without protest. I let it in, and it would not leave. It did not force me; it didn’t have to. I worked with it willingly. I wanted power, and it offered that to me, as long as I allowed it to use my body, as long as I gave it the freedom to work the will of its Daemon Queen by my hand.

But it is not my story you come seeking, oh no. It is hers. She who found the Empyros and returned the Summoners to our world. She who reforged the Shaluay and reignited the Starwells. She who discovered the truth of my captor and returned it, and me, to this Face that had been built to contain it. Leaving it—leaving me—trapped here forever, a warning, a cautionary tale, that the denizens of the Void do not just seek to possess those who can wield Asai.

But it is her story you want. Not mine. No, never mine.

Come then, stranger. Sit and hear the advent of the Queen of the Stars.

Author Interview:

1. Tell us a little about how this story first came to be.

Starbinder began life as the first piece of writing I ever did for what became The Blood of the Spear, Book One of the Eye of Eternity. It was originally the prologue. But as time went by, I set it aside for other ideas as the world and the story took greater shape in my mind. But I always came back to the story and the events in Starbinder, and I wondered if I couldn’t use them in some way to write a novella. So, after finishing The Blood of the Spear I turned my attention back to this old prologue and started rewriting the story to bring it more firmly into line with events in BotS, and the lore that had refined itself with the writing of book one and fleshed out the events – as well as adding new scenes and characters to the work.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?

Hmmm, I’m not sure I learnt anything specific. I think I’m finding the more I write the faster I am getting. I noticed that I was picking up errors in prose, or that I needed to create tension in scenes, as I was writing them where previously I’d catch it in the second draft. I count that as personal progress.

3. What surprised you the most in writing it?

The thing that surprised me the most was how easily the story I had originally written was able to be expanded. I had never planned to do more with the original prologue yet when I started writing it, I found it naturally lent itself to a larger story than had been intended.

4. If it’s not a spoiler, what does the title mean?

A Starbinder is a member of the order of Shaluay Starbinders, an organization of people with mage-like abilities who powers are sourced from the stars.

5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?

No, my characters may have characteristics lifted form people I know in real life, but they are creations of my own, not based on real people.

6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?

Not really. I mean it might be in there somewhere, but I don’t consciously think of these things when I am writing.

7. What is your favorite part of the book?

That’s like asking apparent who their favourite child is. I have a few favourite parts, but I’ll leave you to read the book and determine your own.

8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?

I didn’t have any particular difficulty with any of the characters. They come pretty easily and I am able to get into their mind without too much trouble.

9. What are your immediate future plans?

To get The Pillars of the Sky, Book Two of the Eye of Eternity written. I’m hoping to have it out by mid next year.

Author Bio & Information:

Mark Timmony was born in Sydney and grew up on the Northern Beaches. He’s wanted to write for as long as he can remember and has several notebooks filled with illegible scribblings from childhood to prove it. The desire to write led to work as a bookseller and he spent almost a decade working as a genre specialist in Sydney.

Author Photo - Mark Timmony

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