The
                Angel Brings Fire... Original Science Fiction / Modern
                Fantasy / Superhero Novels, By Marcus Shields The Future Burns Bright
 
And introducing the first epilogue to these novels...

Bonnie's New Auntie


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The Angel Brings Fire Blog


The Angel Brings Fire

The Angel Brings Fire (series #1 in the tale of the "Storied Watcher"), tells the unique and exciting story of an alien goddess' first encounter with human beings... and of the critical role that she must play, in the very survival of human-kind, itself!


 The Angel Brings Fire Book # 1 : Angel of Mailankh
Cover illustration by Val Fullard (www.valfullard.com)

The Angel Brings Fire 

Book 1 :

Angel of Mailànkh

Earth's second manned expedition to Mars lands safely enough, and is looking forward to a historic expedition of science and exploration.

But the enthusiasm of Commander Sam Jacobson's 5-person crew is about to be severely tested : news arrives that Earth is under threat of annihilation, due to an impending collision with a comet named "Lucifer".


None the less, the crew of the Eagle II Mars lander have a mission to complete; so, with heavy hearts, they set out to explore the surface of the Red Planet.

Little do they know that the fate of their entire home-world, will shortly rest on the slender shoulders of an enigmatic being... who lies asleep... and... awaiting!


The              Angel Brings Fire Book #2 : Doubt Me Not
Cover illustration by Val Fullard (www.valfullard.com)

The Angel Brings Fire 

Book 2 :

Doubt Me Not

The Destroying Angel, Karéin-Mayréij, has crashed to Earth after a near-fatal encounter with a Doomsday comet. She has saved the planet from total destruction... but only at a fearful cost, for the fall has left her dazed, crippled and, most of all... alone.

Doubt Me Not describes the adventures of a now-humbled "Storied Watcher", as she learns how to survive in the paranoid, oppressive United States of the near future.

But Karéin-Mayréij isn't the only one whose life has been forever changed by her appearance upon the face of the Earth... history will never be the same!


The Angel Brings Fire Book #3 : Angel And The Empire
Cover illustration by Val Fullard (www.valfullard.com)

The Angel Brings Fire 

Book 3 :

Angel and The Empire

Having saved the Sun's third planet from a Doomsday comet, Karéin-Mayréij, the alien 'Storied Watcher', finds herself in the declining, undemocratic United States of 2040.

All's not going well : her new, adopted family has just been kidnapped by parties unknown, and the U.S. Air Force, among others, is trying to kill her.

But Karéin-Mayréij isn't known as the 'Destroying Angel' for nothing, and the U.S. government is about to find out why. Her lethal supernatural abilities are returning, and her friends and family are starting to inherit super-human powers of their own.

And the President of the future United States is about to learn the truth of the saying :

"Never get on the bad side, of a fallen-angel."


The Angel Brings Fire Book #4 : Children Of The Fire
Cover illustration by Val Fullard (www.valfullard.com)

The Angel Brings Fire 

Book 4 :

Children of The Fire

The fourth and final book of The Angel Brings Fire series!

As her two adopted "families" of friends and acquaintances fight an unequal, last-ditch battle for survival, deep underground in a distant, secret prison-facility, Karéin-Mayréij travels across America, recruiting a new group of super-human followers along the way.

She's desperate to rescue both the Billings and Jacobson parties, but distractions (like street gangsters, rogue nuclear weapons, double-crossing Presidents and the U.S. Air Force) have a bad habit of getting in the way.

Time's running out on all fronts... especially for the United States of 2040, which risks annihilation at the hands of an angry, guilt-ridden alien mother, who's searching for her adopted son!






The Future Burns Bright


The Future Burns Bright (the second series of the narrative), picks up where The Angel Brings Fire, left off : the undemocratic, authoritarian United States of 2040 has the tables turned on it, as the followers of an alien goddess, set out to teach the government a thing or two about "antagonizing people with superhuman powers"!

Don't miss this exciting conclusion to the story of Karéin-Mayréij (the "Storied Watcher"), upon Planet Earth!


The Future Burns Bright Book #1 : Storm In The North 
Cover illustration by Val Fullard (www.valfullard.com)

The Future Burns Bright 

Book 1 :

Storm In The North

The desolate, windswept Alaskan island of Amchitka is the scene of a desperate and fateful conflict, as the Storied Watcher – Karéin-Mayréij – and her super-human followers, use their formidable supernatural powers to resist and defeat the murderous attacks of the U.S. government.

After the battle, the alien-girl and her coterie of fugitive “more-than-humans” gather in the woods of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Unbeknownst to the President, they are there to decide the long-term fate of the United States – not to mention, of the world itself.

The subtle, semi-divine hand of Karéin-Mayréij is now well at work as two super-human teams, led by Minnie Chu and Sam Jacobson respectively, embark on competing quests… to save the United States of 2040, from itself.

Who will prevail?




The Future Burns Bright Book #2 : The Race
Cover illustration by Val Fullard (www.valfullard.com)

The Future Burns Bright

Book 2 :

The Race

The super-powered FBI Team-Leader Minnie Chu (chief detective of the search for the Storied Watcher on Earth) and the equally-powerful Commander Sam Jacobson (hero of the Mars mission that freed Karéin-Mayréij), each lead independent teams on competing missions, for and against the government of the United States.

As they travel across the country without the help of their alien mentor, the Chu and Jacobson teams each encounter their own challenges, including being hunted by the U.S. military and the CIA; but other dangers – like stolen nuclear weapons, ready to detonate at any time – threaten the country.

Meanwhile, a power-struggle paralyzes the Presidency, as America’s former leader (having earlier been overthrown in a coup d'état engineered by the corrupt Vice-President and the sinister Agency director),  tries to regain his office and stabilize the government.


Must Jacobson, Chu, the imposter-President and the real President, confront each other… and what will be left of the United States, if they do?



The Future Burns Bright Book #3 : Against Time
Cover illustration by Val Fullard (www.valfullard.com)

The Future Burns Bright

Book 3 :

Against Time

Continuing the narrative from the last book in the series, Against Time opens with the legitimate President of the United States trying to wrest control of the government from his corrupt, cruel former Vice-President, who – along with the Director of the CIA – is obsessed with murdering the Storied Watcher (Karéin-Mayréij) and her “New People”.

The sinister plans of these two conspirators appear to be succeeding, as they place the Sam Jacobson (“Mars Gang”) and Minnie Chu teams – along with their families and friends – in mortal jeopardy.

And they aren’t the only ones thus endangered. The aircraft in which Chu travels, contains a nuclear weapon smuggled aboard by the fanatical “Brother” Harold Crowford, of the “Klan of Jesus Christ”; and yet another nuke has been launched by the Agency director – its bulls-eye set squarely on Karéin-Mayréij, who has finally returned to the United States to confront the President in the Oval Office.

The lives of millions of innocent people in the Washington, D.C. region hang in the balance, as the Storied Watcher and her super-powered followers fight desperately for survival!




The              Future Burns Bright Book #4 : The Future Alight
Cover illustration by Val Fullard (www.valfullard.com)

The Future Burns Bright

Book 4 :

The Future Alight

The fourth and final book of

The Future Burns Bright

series!

Karéin-Mayréij (the “Storied Watcher”) and her “New People” have survived a perilous quest to save the eastern United States from nuclear annihilation, but their trials and tribulations are far from over. Not only is a third nuclear weapon, smuggled into the United States by terrorists some time ago, about to destroy Los Angeles; but many of the Storied Watcher’s own, super-human followers have gathered at the White House… with some intent on killing the President, and others pledged to defend him to the death.

The U.S. leader will need all his political and management guile, now – not only to soothe the anger of Sam Jacobson and his super-powered “Mars Gang”, but also to overcome the final, murderous plans of the “Klan of Jesus Christ” and of the CIA director!

Don’t miss this exciting conclusion to the saga of the “Guardian Angel” – Karéin-Mayréij – on the Earth of 2040!



And Introducing...


Epilogue #1 to The Angel Brings Fire and The Future Burns Bright Book : Bonnie's New Auntie
Cover illustration by Val Fullard (www.valfullard.com)

Bonnie's New Auntie

An Epilogue to

The Future Burns Bright

Meet Bonnie Billings : a 16-year-old “C” student with “D” looks and an “E” future ahead of her, living in a “C” household in the Phoenix, Arizona of the 2040s.

A lot’s been happening “out there” lately, but neither Bonnie nor her family pay much attention; they’re too preoccupied with keeping up with the Joneses and – in Bonnie’s case – in surviving non-stop bullying from the “in-crowd” at her dreary, run-of-the mill, suburban high-school.

This evening, her father’s younger brother – one “Bob Billings” from Tucson – is coming over for dinner, after a prolonged, unexplained absence.

Uncle Bob’s bringing his whole clan, but Bonnie despises boring family get-togethers… and her uncle has a new trophy girlfriend, who’s everything that Bonnie had forlornly hoped to be, but came in “last in class” about. And what’s even worse (so she’s been told) is – adding insult to injury – this way-too-young-looking woman is now going to be Bonnie’s “Auntie”!

The Billings teenager hates Uncle Bob’s new “squeeze”, sight-unseen; but Bonnie’s new “Auntie” is unlike anyone who has ever set foot on Planet Earth… and Bonnie’s “C” lifestyle is in for a big change!







How to purchase these books (and other interesting stuff) :


The easiest way (by far) to order a copy of these books is simply to search for the author's name on Amazon.

Amazon's search results are often somewhat inconsistent, but really all you need to do is to find one book authored by Marcus Shields (any one will do); after zeroing in on that one, subsequent searches will likely find the other books in the series.

Be advised, Amazon has a rather odd way of managing "series" of books as well as "downstream distribution" (that is, to Amazon U.S. subsidiaries such as amazon.ca, amazon.uk and so on). It would take several books'-worth of prose to explain exactly how this works (or... doesn't...) but suffice it to say that not all content that is available from the Amazon "master" site in the United States, is always immediately available on the "downstream" sites.

If you are trying to purchase a copy of one of the books in your local Amazon subsidiary site and they aren't showing up (or, more often, it looks as if one or more volumes is missing), please contact us by e-mail and we'll try to steer you in the right direction.


Obtaining The Angel Brings Fire and The Future Burns Bright in paperback format :

If you want the paperback (hardcopy) version of any volume of either series of novels, you'll have to order it from Amazon, as (so far as we're aware) this is the only on-line distributor that can ship you a good old-fashioned paper version of the book. However, don't forget that you can always go in to a B&N and ask them to order a paperback copy to be delivered to the store, for your later purchase, since B&N is a downstream distributor for Amazon.


Obtaining The Angel Brings Fire and The Future Burns Bright in e-Book format :

The on-line POD publishers frequently change their searching methodologies and algorithms. We do try to keep on top of this and update the links provided below as necessary, but it is possible that one or more of these URLs may not work. If that happens please contact us and we'll investigate.

With that said, users with e-Books have considerably more flexibility in terms of where you can buy the product.
  • If you have a Kindle e-Reader, or need to get a copy in .MOBI format, probably the easiest source is Amazon's Kindle Store.
  • Those of you with an Apple iPad, iPhone or MacOS-based computer will likely want to order an .EPUB version from Apple's iTunes Store.
  • Those who just want to read the book on a Windows-based PC, a Linux-based PC or an Android-based smartphone or tablet may want to purchase an Adobe Acrobat-based (.PDF) version from Google's Play Store.
  • Alternatively, if you'd like to access the .MOBI or .EPUB (e-Reader) versions of the book on your Android-based device, you may want to install an e-Reader program such as Moon Reader (one of the best ones that we've so far seen) from the Play Store. That way, you can use either or both of the Kindle or iTunes versions of the book. There are also e-Reader applications (other than the all-pervasive Acrobat Reader) available for the Windows, MacOS and Linux platforms (one of the best is Calibre) which can enable reading of .MOBI and .EPUB-based e-Books on a PC; if you want to share an e-Book version of the book between your PC and tablet, you might want to consider installing one of these programs.
  • If you have another e-Reader such as a B&N Nook or a Kobo Reader, you can order the .EPUB version of the book from Lulu, and it should work with your e-Reader or tablet. (Note : Lulu can be a little odd in how it services queries. If you have already done a query for any volume of The Angel Brings Fire, it will pre-pend that to whichever one you are doing now... so if you are for example searching for Angel and The Empire and you have previously searched for Doubt Me Not, you will see Doubt Me Not displayed first on the Lulu page. Don't worry... Angel and The Empire is there, you just have to scroll down the Lulu search results page to see it.
  • If absolutely everything fails and you can't find any version of these books that will work with your e-Reader (rare, but it does happen), please just send us an e-mail. We will try to point you in the right direction.

Things to consider about ordering different versions of these e-Books :
  • None of the e-Book (softcopy) versions of the book are "encumbered" with DRM ("Digital Wrongs Management") copy protection, as the author is personally opposed to this type of anti-consumer "anti-feature", and is trusting his readers to "do the right thing" and pay the relatively small amount of money that is being asked for. In the new era of digital distribution of intellectual property, honesty, content quality and reputation (as opposed to simple availability and control of the chain of distribution) have to be what motivate people to pay for things; this is a radically different model from the top-down, authoritarian schemes being championed by entities such as the movie and recording industries.
Please help me make this new model work, by paying for these books, if you think they're worth reading!

Special notes regarding e-Books downloaded from Apple's iTunes and Google Play Store : It has come to our attention that apparently (despite our clearly-stated requests to the publishers involved), even though we have been very careful not to enable DRM at any time during the e-Book publishing process, Apple and Google have elected to apply some type of DRM to e-Books downloaded from iTunes and the Play Store.

The symptom is, when attempting to open the e-Book on anything other than an "approved" Apple device (e.g. an iPhone, iPad etc.), the user is confronted with an error message like "Locked With DRM, Cannot Open Book" (or words to that effect). With Google the situation isn't as clear but is likely to be annoying in a similar way.

Needless to say, this is a very unwelcome development that we obviously had no hand in implementing, but we'll try to help sort it out if it happens to you. If you purchase one of our e-Books from iTunes or Google and want to use it in a way that Apple and Google, in their infinite wisdom, have elected not to "approve of", please send us an e-mail and we'll send you an "unlocked" (non-DRM'ed) version of the same e-Book.

We apologize for this problem, which is unfortunately out of our control to completely resolve... all we can do is complain, which we're definitely doing!

One other thing about iTunes : It has also been noted that the iTunes application is highly resource-intensive and it has a number of bugs that can make trying to access content, including but not limited to e-Books, quite challenging. In particular, some of our readers have repeatedly encountered a "Timeout Error" when trying to download copies of our e-Books, from iTunes.

There is no single solution to this, but here are some suggestions : (1.) Upgrade to the latest version of iTunes (this worked for us); (2.) Upgrade your Microsoft Internet Explorer to IE11 or later; (3.) Disable any software firewalls on your PC while you're trying to download (please immediately re-enable the firewall when you're done) and (4.) Failing all the above, do a search for "iTunes time-out error" on Google; you will find more potential work-arounds, there.
  • "Look and feel" of the novel, when in e-Book format, is strongly influenced by the capabilities of the softcopy format and reading device being used; some are relatively more sophisticated, some are less so.
Generally, we have found that .MOBI (the Amazon format) and .EPUB (the iTunes / Sony / Kobo format) are best at retaining the look and feel of the original (paperback) manuscript... so we'd recommend that you use one of these two formats if your e-Reader can interpret them.

As another example, the .PDF format does not generally allow "on-the-fly" hyphenation, so the book may look somewhat strange if you try to read it in this format after setting very narrow right and left margins; also, although the novel has been rendered to .PDF using a pretty standard-looking Serif font, Acrobat Reader isn't that good at font substitution (and is not very flexible in allowing the user to pick a different body typeface), so here again, "what you see is what you get, whether or not you like it".

In a similar vein, while we have done our level best to make the Table of Contents work for all e-Book versions, due to differences in formats and implementation between different e-Readers, we cannot make any hard and fast guarantees. (Speaking of .PDFs and Tables of Content... one very odd thing that we have recently noticed is that the TOC of the .PDF versions of these books seems to render perfectly in some third-party .PDF readers, for example Evince under Linux... but it doesn't work at all in certain versions of Adobe's "standard" Acrobat Reader... we have no idea at all why this is!)

The best way in which to deal with such issues is just to become familiar with the capabilities of your own e-Book reader... for example, if you don't like the default font size or typeface, most e-Readers will allow you to change this fairly easily.
  • The Angel Brings Fire and The Future Burns Bright are most cost-effectively enjoyed in e-Book format. With that said, the author is aware that the world still possesses some science fiction enthusiasts who, frankly, would rather have their fingernails slowly pulled out, than have to read a good novel on "one of those new-fangled e-Reader thingies". Furthermore, a good, old-fashioned paper book never gives you DRM errors, runs out of battery-power or changes all of its typefaces into Chinese when something goes wrong with its RAM memory-chips. For these excellent reasons, you can indeed order a copy of the book in conventional, paper format, from Amazon (only... if for whatever reason you cannot access Amazon, please send us an e-mail and we will try to find some way to accommodate you).
  • ISBN Fun : For reasons that are "baroque in their complexity", the various editions (e.g. conventional paperback, .PDF, .MOBI, .EPUB etc.) of each book in the series, may or may not share the same ISBN numbers. Generally speaking, we try to keep this as straightforward as possible, but due to publisher and distribution limitations, you may indeed encounter situations where (for example) the some e-Book versions of a particular book share the same ISBN, but others have a different number. If this becomes an issue with ordering (it shouldn't), please send me an e-mail and we'll explain in more detail.




Marcus B. Shields, on a sunny day!

About the Author

Having been an avid consumer (and part-time supplier) of science fiction and fantasy content is nothing new to Marcus Shields, who has been partaking thereof since he was old enough to read (modesty precludes the author from revealing exactly how long ago, that was).

Shields is responsible for a large number of creative works, including the Shakhan series of pen and paper fantasy role-playing games. And, of course, he's the author of the Angel Brings Fire, Future Burns Bright and Bonnie's New Auntie series of science fiction / modern fantasy / superhero novels.

Marcus Shields resides in beautiful Ontario Cottage Country, where he shares a comfortable home with his wife, daughter and the memory of a beloved but now departed, puppy dog.

If you want to comment about The Angel Brings Fire or just want to contact Marcus Shields, this is the e-mail link to use.


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