Saturday 15 April 2017

Author/Novel Spotlight: Brett Armstrong

Today I am highlighting Christian novelist, Brett Armstrong. He contacted me through this blog to review his new novel, Day Moon (Tomorrow's Edge, Book 1). I readily accepted as the description grabbed me. Upon investigating Brett on his Amazon Author page, I discovered he has a previous novel, Destitutio Quod Remissio (translation: And removing the Remission) which has rave reviews. 

I offered Brett this Author/Novel Spotlight to promote his new novel, Day Moon, which was released on March 26, 2017.

So without further ado, sit back and explore the world of Brett Armstrong. 

First off, a little about Brett: 

Brett Armstrong, author of the award-winning novel, Destitutio Quod Remissio, started writing stories at age nine, penning a tale of revenge and ambition set in the last days of the Aztec Empire.  Twenty years later, he is still telling stories though admittedly his philosophy has deepened with his Christian faith and a master’s degree in creative writing.  His goal with every work is to be like a brush in the Master artist’s hand and his hope is the finished composition always reflects the design God had in mind.  He feels writing should be engaging, immersive, entertaining, and always purposeful.  Continually busy at work with one or more new novels to come, he also enjoys drawing, gardening, and playing with his beautiful wife and son.

Let's have a look at Brett's debut novel, Destitutio Quod Remissio:

For decades, Roman Senator Marcus Servius labored to become a wealthy and admired patrician man. But now, his world is shattered. After he is exposed as a Christian during a time of intense persecution, his home, wealth, and prestige are stripped from him. The most painful loss of all is that of his beloved wife, Cassandra. Destitute and wary, Marcus prays he will be delivered from his enemies’ hands as he struggles to realize a new path.

In desperate need of help, Marcus disguises himself and embarks on a dangerous journey to find Benjamin Truvias, the leader of a hidden church and the man responsible for Marcus’s conversion. After Benjamin offers aid, Marcus’s life finally finds needed direction. Yet, the more he helps the church through persecutions, the closer he comes to finding who betrayed him. Caught in a maelstrom of intrigue and deception, should Marcus discover the awful truth of who caused his fall, he must choose between vengeance and forgiveness—a decision that will affect the fate of all the believers in Rome. 

Destitutio Quod Remissio is the timeless epic tale of a man’s struggle to rebuild his life amid ancient Rome after he loses everything he loves and his faith is tested in ways he never imagined.

The Editorial Reviews are very encouraging: 

"Destitutio Quod Remissio by Brett Armstrong had a definite wow factor to it. It's a strong story about a subject that is perhaps a little too close for comfort right now, given world events, but I have to say Mr. Armstrong has done a fine job here. It's a really well-written book, clearly the product of a great deal of work and research and it shows. It was one of those books where you put it down at night wondering what's going to happen next and where the book is going to take you. Amazing story, excellent writing."  - Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

"Armstrong paints his scenes with brilliant figurative and sensory brush strokes. The reader feels the depravity and the fear of the characters among the multitudes in Rome. This effect is balanced by the depiction of immense wealth and beauty of the affluent. Armstrong illustrates the narrative with strong and insightful metaphors and analogies." - Cheryl Rodriguez for Reader's Favorit

"Set against the background of ancient Rome, Destitutio Quod Remissio by Brett Armstrong tells a compelling story about a man's loss, suffering, betrayal, faith, self-rediscovery, and purpose. The plot is thick with tension, mystery, and suspense, delivering a gripping historical novel that had me reading non-stop in a bid to see how it all played out. "  - Faridah Nassozi for Readers' Favorite

"...Armstrong does a skillful job of mingling a plot about the testing and strengthening of Marcus Servius's faith with a plot about him eventually discovering who it was who exposed him in the first place. The book's period details are unobtrusively well-researched, and the dialogue has a natural feel to it... On the whole, this is solid, meaty work, and the climactic courtroom scene is well-handled."  - Joanna Uruqhart, The Historical Novel Society

Now, let's investigate Brett's latest release: 

Day Moon (Tomorrow's Edge, Book 1)

In A.D. 2039, a prodigious seventeen-year-old, Elliott, is assigned to work on a global software initiative his deceased grandfather helped found. Project Alexandria is intended to provide the entire world secure and equal access to all accumulated human knowledge. All forms of print are destroyed in good faith, to ensure everyone has equal footing, and Elliott knows he must soon part with his final treasure: a book of Shakespeare’s complete works gifted him by his grandfather. Before it is destroyed, Elliott notices something is amiss with the book, or rather Project Alexandria. The two do not match, including an extra sonnet titled “Day Moon”. When Elliott investigates, he uncovers far more than he bargained for. There are sinister forces backing Project Alexandria who have no intention of using it for its public purpose. Elliott soon finds himself on the run from federal authorities and facing betrayals and deceit from those closest to him. Following clues left by his grandfather, with agents close at hand, Elliott desperately hopes to find a way to stop Project Alexandria. All of history past and yet to be depend on it.

Brett has a book trailer to further pique your interest: 

I asked Brett why he wrote Day Moon and whether there are any Biblical themes:

There were a number of reasons, but perhaps the most relevant is I feel like, to an extent, western society is regressing socially and morally to ancient Greco-Roman paradigms. My previous book, Destitutio Quod Remissio, was set in 4th Century AD Rome and a lot of the themes and nuancing is similar in spite of the vast setting differences. Rome had a problem with indulging in a theatre culture. If I may, I’d like to apply the term “surreality”, to this practice. It’s the idea that we foster a surreal or surrogate reality in the public sphere and rather than face the true world, we focus on this foster world. Every day we’re making choices and advancements in society that have consequences, but we don’t necessarily weigh in the balance the costs associated with these choices. We prefer to live in our perceived reality rather than calculate the sums of our decisions. Day Moon features a kind of extrapolation of that behavior and one example is in the self-driving cars in the novel. There are essentially no accidents, everyone is free to relax and do whatever they please while riding to each destination, and it is much faster. However, the unaccounted costs are a loss of freedom to choose our path so to speak. Not to mention a loss of awareness of the world around us. It just seemed like in all the dystopian literature I’ve read, the dystopia is imposed on the people. Through catastrophe or governmental edict, etc. In Day Moon, the world is as it is, because the world has chosen this path and people are blissfully unaware of what they’ve given and really don’t want to think they shouldn’t be content with how things are turning out.


I feel like as western society moves further from toleration of Christianity, Christians need some encouragement to stand against the tide. I feel very strongly that what we read and watch can and will influence how we behave in our real lives, so Elliott really struggles to do just that. He knows resisting the current is far from the easiest path available to him and that it could well end in his death, but he persists. And he does so following clues left by his grandfather whom he knows well, but cannot communicate with face-to-face to know he’s right about what he’s doing. Elliott has doubts about himself, his grandfather’s intentions, whether all of it is worth it. It’s somewhat like how we interact with Christ. We know Him and have guidance He has left for us, but most of us will never get to look into His eyes this side of eternity and draw our reassurance from there. We have to walk by faith and Elliott from one terrible setback and betrayal to another has to choose to keep pressing forward.

There are some other allusions as well. Project Alexandria hearkens back to the world just before the Tower of Babel dispersion. The temptation to pursue a desired cause without considering the consequences is a huge theme of the book and the creation of Project Alexandria by Elliott’s grandfather is reminiscent of Adam and Eve’s fall.

If what you have now read has whetted your appetite for more, here is an excerpt and Brett's reason for choosing it: 

I chose the following passage because it gives a quick glimpse into the tension amongst the protagonists and Elliott’s continual struggle to sort out who he can trust. Every decision he makes seems like a wrong turn, so he really has to work to keep pressing on. His faith is fragile but holding him on a steady course, even if he doesn’t know where it is leading.

~~~~~~~~~~~~Start of Excerpt~~~~~~~~~~~~

Minutes later, John was out of sight and Elliott and Lara were almost to the library. Lara finally spoke up. “So, looks like we’re trusting him after all, huh?”

“As much as we can,” Elliott responded, feeling his chest tighten. This wasn’t a pleasant conversation from the tone of Lara’s voice. 

“We just gave him my car,” she stated, her voice as sleek and blunt as a baseball bat.

“To be honest it’s better if we don’t have your car anymore. They know we’re in the area. Terrance couldn’t have found us and the authorities remain in the dark.”

“You don’t know that. Maybe John tipped Terrance off.”

“I tipped Terrance off when I checked your phone,” Elliott answered, his voice low.

“Why did you by the way?”

“I just felt like I needed to.”

“You don’t trust me either.”

“No, I trust you, but… I don’t know what to think anymore. Everywhere I look there’s some kind of trap or clue to a puzzle I never meant to try to solve.”

“I guess I can understand that,” Lara said, a grimace on her face. 

“Are you sure?”

“No, but I like you enough to give myself time to figure it out.”

Elliott’s cheeks grew rosy and he wanted to apologize, to erase the hurt in her cocoa eyes, but he couldn’t begin to frame it in a way that would cover it justly. 

He couldn’t let it end on that note. He had to turn it in the right direction. The words came to him in a rush and, like a wave crashing on the shore and then receding, they escaped his grasp again. The only person I trust right now is Christ, but you’re the closest anyone else could come.

Those words remained out of his grasp because vexation descended upon him as he wondered at the truth of the words. Am I really trusting Christ? Grandpa used to tell me, “Perfect love drives out fear,” but that certainly doesn’t look anything like how I act.

More than Lara’s ire, this realization hurt him. He was truly failing everyone.

Before him stood the doors to the library. Elliott noticed Lara’s arms were crossed and tense. Grasping the door, he pulled it open and said, “Lovely ladies before bumbling, and apologetic, boyfriends.” The taste of iron drifted faintly onto his tongue as he bit down on his cheek in horror at what he had just said.

Lara rolled her eyes, but her posture relaxed as she strolled in. Elliott couldn’t be sure, but he thought she wore the ghost of a smile as well.

Inside the library, things looked much like their last visit, largely empty with lights dimmer than most buildings of similar purpose in more developed cities. Behind the circulation desk, Elliott caught a flicker of motion, as Rosalyn saw them and stiffened as if they were specters rather than patrons. 

Shooting Lara a quick glance, Elliott shrugged. Lara shrugged back and mouthed, “Go ahead.”

By the time the pair made it to the desk’s edge, Rosalyn had regained some of her composure. The librarian’s discomfort was seemingly displaced by confusion…and annoyance?

Before either teen could speak, she addressed them both in an even, but clearly strained tone. “Why are you both here?”

“We ran into some…complications following the tips you gave us,” Elliott replied, trying not to sound abashed over circumstances that were not his fault.

“And you think I can do something about it?”

“No,” Elliott rejoined, “but you can give us some answers. Like, what is going on, and what my grandfather was trying to clue us into.”

Rosalyn’s arms were perpendicular to one another and she rested her head in the palm of the vertical. A faint moaning sound escaped her lips. “You both think you can find answers here? Wonderful. We’re all as good as dead.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~End of Excerpt~~~~~~~~~~~~

You can find out more about Brett and his novel at the following social media platforms:

Brett has very kindly offered a Giveaway of one kindle copy of Day Moon to promote its release. See below for details to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Readers and reviews are an author's best asset, so I encourage any reader of Christian science fiction and fantasy, Christian inspirational, to consider reading Day Moon and submit a review on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest (or any other social media you subscribe to).

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this author review. How can one not desire to both read the new book, Day Moon, and try to encourage a fellow author at the same time. We need authors who share the idea of writing about Christian themes, especially in this manner. Thanks again. Now I'll have another book to my list of reading.
    Author Terry Palmer


Thank you for your comment. It is awaiting moderation.