Friday, June 28, 2024

Blog Tour, Author Interview & Giveaway: Resurgence of Dawn by Brett Armstrong

Resurgence of Dawn JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Resurgence of Dawn by Brett Armstrong hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Resurgence of Dawn

Title: Resurgence of Dawn
Quest of Fire #5
Brett Armstrong
Expanse Books
Release Date:
December 12, 2023
Christian, Epic/High Fantasy, Young Adult

Haunted by tragedies and failures, Anargen and Jason each struggle to find their way. Night has fallen in the Lowlands and neither teen has an easy road ahead. In Anargen’s Era, Monarch Ilyron’s powers and influence grow, forcing Anargen and his dwindling list of allies to travel the length of the Lowlands in a desperate attempt to keep the Quest and all they hold dear from falling into ruin. 

Jason meanwhile must find Aria and her grandfather to help unite the Knights of Light from across the Lowlands against his brother, Dorian. But agents of darkness and painful vestiges of his past mix with vindictive new enemies to make the hope of seeing the dawn of the longed-for King’s Day ever so faint. If either teen gives in and surrenders, doom will come swiftly on their world.  

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | BookBub


Interview with Author Brett Armstrong

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Okay, well, I’m a Christian, a husband, and a father. Drawing, reading, gardening, and gaming are some of my hobbies. I’ve lived in West Virginia my entire life, mostly in a small suburb of the capital, Charleston. I work a full-time job during the day and do my writing at night so I’m also usually super tired. But really grateful, because it helps me to focus on writing as a way to give over being a source of income.

I got my start in writing by going to the library with my mom. When I was nine, I was in the middle of reading about the Aztec Empire and somehow it just came to me to write a story about a man who was enslaved when his tribe was conquered by the Aztecs and he escaped being sacrificed as a slave and hid, posing as an Aztec and gradually rising through societal ranks till he was in the position to get his revenge. After that writing my own stories became part of me.

As I got older, I was worried that writing wasn’t something I could do seriously, so I tried to walk away from it. But in college, I took a creative writing class for fun and wrote a story about a Roman Senator who was a Christian in secret and who lost everything when that was discovered. Through the story he wrestles with his desire for revenge and his growing conviction that he should forgive those who wronged him knowing full well they may never stop trying to hurt him. Forgiving as Christ forgave. The reaction my secular class had to the story really encouraged me. Soon after, I realized that having those writing classes had felt like a breath of badly needed air and made me realize that this was the path to which the Lord was leading me. In all the ups and downs since, the Lord has kept me moving forward.

Regarding my philosophy as a writer, my first unique story I'd ever written and what became my first novel are both about men who were wronged and lost everything to those who hated them, but the difference in what came after was Christ. Which is paralleled in how faith in Christ shapes every part of my life, including my writing. My chief desire as a writer is to be a brush in the Master Artist's hand.

What do you do besides writing?

For my day job I’m an informatician and database administrator for the state of West Virginia specifically working with public health datasets. I try to create programs and processes that help epidemiologists and others within the public health workforce to more seamlessly analyze and interact with their data. I also advocate majorly for using that data to help pass along the story the data is telling. To help make it real for the people my position and those I work with serve, which is the people of West Virginia.

For fun, I have a third grader who is an avid gamer and generally a bundle of energy and creativity, so he keeps me pretty busy finding new things to play either virtually or around our house. I also really enjoy drawing, though I haven’t been able to do it as much as I would like lately. We’re also raising our yearly garden and it’s really rewarding getting to see the plants grow (plus watching my son get super excited about some of our exotic plants like blue pumpkins and beans).

What was your favorite part of researching for this book?

One of the most fun things about Quest of Fire’s dual timelines is getting to have traditional fantasy elements (knights, swords, and monsters) with a 1910-1920’s setting which the Modern Era parallels. So, there are airplanes and telephones in some areas of the story world, the Lowlands, at that point. It was a lot of fun exploring what kinds of advances in aviation and automobiles would be reasonable to include. Though to be honest I enjoy research for books, because I invariably go down rabbit holes and find out things that are completely askew from where I started but could be useful in future stories. Especially if it's something small, something innocuous that just adds to the depth and character of a story world’s cultures.

Do you have images you can share that come close to how you picture your characters? Do you like to find visual inspiration for your characters before or during your writing process?

I feel like everything we take in reading, watching, seeing, hearing, etc. get built into the fabric of your storytelling repertoire. Kind of added to the palette you have to work from so to speak. So, what usually ends up happening for me is I'll get a visual still of a scene in my head that’s kind of a composite of multiple things I’ve been exposed to over time and I cling to that image and that helps me to build the scene's events from there. Sometimes I draw those scenes or characters from them. With Resurgence of Dawn what really drove some fun storytelling was sketching out the rest of the Lowlands map for the Middle and Modern Eras. That was so much fun and led to so many fun bits of lore and culture and characterization that got worked into the book. Little details that I feel like really helped to make the story feel more vivid and vivacious. The world around the characters then gives me a sense of who can live there. What they should be like. A great example being the Yusbilsi and Kazim Cuzibaum, Defender of the West Central Realm. It might seem strange but drawing out the Yusbilsi region, thinking about its history and topography helped me to imagine Kazim and build his character from there.

What are some songs that you listened to or inspired you while writing your book?

I have a pretty long playlist that I tend to listen through that's got a pretty wide mix, but there were a few songs and pieces or music that I feel like really placed me in the right mindset/mood for writing a Quest of Fire book as I was working on Resurgence of Dawn. In particular, “Love Broke Thru” by TobyMac. Some of the lyrics really parallel what happened to the Modern Era protagonist Jason in the preceding book:

“You found me in the darkness
Wanderin' through the desert
I was a hopeless fool
Now I'm hopelessly devoted
My chains are broken
And it all began with You
When love broke through”

Every time I heard it, it kind of grounded me at where Jason was coming from for this book. Another TobyMac song, “Beyond Me”, also captured how completely overwhelmed I felt leading into writing Resurgence of Dawn and how after I had prayed and handed it over to God I felt so much peace and the book just came together in a way I'd never experienced before:

“You take me to the place where I know I need You
Straight to the depths that I can't handle on my own
You take me to the place where I know I need You
So take me to Your great ...
Take me to Your great unknown”

And then, of course, I have to mention the theme music/song for Quest of Fire I made in collaboration with the music director at the church I attend. Hearing it always brings me back to the Lowlands like nothing else.

What message would you like readers to ultimately take away from the book?

There is a lot of chaos and noise in our day-to-day lives and the world in general. It’s not something to ignore, but it isn’t something that should define and dominate our hearts and minds. Every day we are challenged to turn back, to give up and give in to those pressures on us. The challenges Anargen and Jason face are more dramatic and acute in Resurgence of Dawn, but I hope it inspires readers with how they faced them, how they persevered through them. We don’t always know the impact our actions will have, whether in our seeming failures and present suffering that there is any good. But “…for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”*
In Resurgence of Dawn, Jason benefits Anargen’s perseverance. Anargen couldn’t know that, all he could do is follow the High King and stay true to his oaths even through his failures and disasters all of which seemed to indicate there was no point to continue and no hope. Likewise, we are heirs of all those who came before us and must make the same choices to stand firm: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”**

In short, my hope is that readers will reach the last page and carry it with them. So that the next time they face a trial in or challenge to their faith, they do so with more confidence and resilience. There is so much chaos and noise that comes at us every day and seeks to wear away at our faith. I hope that Resurgence of Dawn helps readers to trust the True High King, knowing that the Lord is there with us, working in and through us.

* Romans 8:28, ESV
** Ephesians 6:13, ESV

What can we look forward to coming from you in the future?

Well, this September the next book in the series, Quest of Fire: Devastation, releases. Quest of Fire alternates novel releases from the major story arcs with novellas that zoom in and tell more personal stories for a character and locality that help fill in some context for the major story arcs at the same time. Devastation is the last novella/short novel release so it sets up everything for the final book (Lord willing releasing in 2025). It was a hard story to tell because the protagonist of that book, Thomas is the returning from Desperation and Resurgence of Dawn and things start off looking great. But more than a year has passed and he and those closest to him are about to be hit with some hardships and challenges that take him to the breaking point physically and emotionally. The title is Devastation after all. But more than what tries him, that story is about who is holding him up in those trying times. Finding the High King was beside him through it all, even in the moments where he felt alone.

Devastation completes some thematic arcs across all three novellas and creates a nice inverse picture of things between Succession and Devastation. So, as a writer and as a believer it's been a really satisfying book to work on and I hope readers find it to be so as well.

More Books in This Series

    Shadows at Nightfall  Quest of Fire: Desperation

About the Author

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 (Tomorrow's Edge), 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 at to follow him on social media and sign up for email updates.

Tour Giveaway

(2) winners will each win a $25 Amazon gift card, a print copy of Resurgence of Dawn, and a digital poster of the Lowlands!

Resurgence of Dawn JustRead Tours blog giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight June 24, 2024 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on July 1, 2024. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

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