Check out an interview with the author... Veiled Sun by Brett Armstrong (Interview & #Giveaway) #yalit #scifibooks #christfic @celebrate_lit @CleanReads_

Welcome to my tour stop! Check out an interview with the
author and enter the tour giveaway with Celebate Lit below...

Veiled Sun
(Tomorrow's Edge #2)
By Brett Armstrong
YA SciFi, Dystopian, Christian
Paperback & ebook, 344 Pages
January 21, 2020 by Clean Reads


AD 2040: Every day the world slips further into lies. Seventeen-year-old Elliott knows that better than most. Project Alexandria is rewriting history, shaping the world according to sinister goals. To stop it, Elliott must assemble the "Veiled Sun", a secret program written by his grandfather. The only people he can count on are siegers—outlaws who use their coding skills for purposes almost as nefarious as Project Alexandria. Overcoming the schemes and betrayals all around him, he's the world's best hope to save reality, if he doesn't lose hold of it himself.

(Affiliate links included.)


1. What inspired you to write Veiled Sun?

I was first inspired to write the Tomorrow’s Edge series Veiled Sun belongs to while doing a story elements scavenger hunt for my capstone creative writing course at WVU. We were sent out on the campus to look for people and observe a variety of things to create some notes that would lead to new characters and help build a setting for a later assignment. It was a rainy, overcast day and I ended up on the steps of the English Hall by myself looking out across the campus at the library. It has much more modern architecture than the English hall and I started a character sketch of a student doing the same thing as me—Elliott. I asked myself why Elliott was staring at the library? What was special about the library? That question became a reflection of the contrast in old and new I was experiencing. The bright flashy new library was a shell, because books, periodicals, all writing, were now digital. I began to wonder what would happen in a totally digital dependent world if someone decided to change the digital copies. That world felt very dystopian to me. Being from Appalachia it felt like the ideal location for a conflict with that new order to arise. Applachia sometimes resists the impetus for change the rest of the world embraces and Shakespeare felt like the ideal choice of classical literature to contrast with the tech driven future. Not to mention the betrayals and uncertainty about what is real and what is not is evocative of several of my favorite Shakespearean plays.

When I wrote Day Moon, I had the idea for a character who made his name by developing a technology that lets you edit video to essentially make it appear as though things that weren’t part of the original video had been in the original recording. A couple years later I saw that deepfake is now a real thing and has become elaborate to the point of teams creating alternate versions of real events (a good example came out this year after Veiled Sun was released, MIT created a deepfake alternate Nixon speech on Apollo 11 that said the mission failed). I decided this entry in the series should focus on what happens when augmented and virtual reality is used in conjunction with that kind of manipulation. How do you know what to believe when at any time you could be slipped into a false reality?

At the same time, I read a ton of articles about hacktivists. Hackers that commit cyberattacks in the name of a cause apart from personal or national gains. In particular I remember being stunned by an article about hacktivists who attacked Japan’s government servers because of their decision to remove restrictions on the country’s whaling operations. That’s where a major source of conflict for Elliott comes from, because the hackers (called siegers in the book) he encounters are trying to stop Project Alexandria too, but that doesn’t mean they’re good. With untrustworthy people all around him and reality itself in question, Elliott realizes he has to lean on God to get through it all. Which is really what the series was created to inspire, faith in Christ to help us through the perils awaiting at tomorrow’s edge.

2. Would you tell us a little more about the main characters?

Elliott is a prodigious seventeen-year-old who was working on Project Alexandria as part of his studies at the university. His grandfather was a founder of the project and left him the last print copy of Shakespeare’s complete works left. A little awkward, unassuming, and overly trusting, his world was turned upside down when he began uncovering the clues his grandfather left that led to the truth. He’s having a hard time dealing with his failure to stop Project Alexandria and keeping those closest to him from tearing the group apart. He’s quick to forgive in large part because he feels compelled to as one of the few who openly admit to being a Christian. Elliott is determined to stop Project Alexandria even if it costs him his life, but he doesn’t quite embrace the idea of siding with a lesser evil to meet that goal.

Lara is a clever, determined—Elliott might say stubborn—and fiercely protective eighteen-year-old girl who is in the same advance placement program as Elliott. While Elliott was in it for computer science, she was given an art scholarship and their mutual love of art drew them together. Like Elliott, Lara is very passionate about stopping Project Alexandria’s manipulations but is a little more practical and world-wearier than he is and often forced to try to talk sense into him. She’s also his biggest source of encouragement. Lara tries not to mention it, but forasmuch as she loves Elliott and won’t back down, she misses her normal life lost to their quest.

John is Elliott’s twenty-seven-year-old cousin who tried to turn them all in to the authorities in order to keep them all from being killed. His father died years earlier for exposing the darker plans for Project Alexandria to John and Elliott’s grandfather. He’s protective of Elliott and doesn’t trust Lara. Big, strong, and equal parts stern and sarcastic, he treats Elliott like a little brother.

Agent Amar is the NSA operative tasked with tracking and stopping Elliott, John, and Lara from putting together the “Veiled Sun” program that is believed to be able to take down Project Alexandria. A former student of Elliott’s grandfather’s, he’s intelligent and calculating. He knows about Project Alexandria’s secret purposes, but believes the means justify the ends—namely reducing crime and disorder through tighter controls on the populace. Amar isn’t above hitting below the belt, but doesn’t do so for cruelty’s sake. He’s simply completing a mission that he sees as essential for protecting society.

Kirk and Aryel Swift are the founders of MetaDonia, a rogue group of siegers (hackers) who want to bring the corrupt order down. Existing on the fringes and allied with a large crew of likeminded siegers, they will do whatever it takes to bring down Project Alexandria and the government that supports it. They have a vision for a new future, one in which they’ll be making the rules.

3. Which character do you most relate to and why?

I don’t always relate most with a protagonist but in this instance it’s definitely Elliott. In terms of giving out trust pretty freely and thinking the best of people, I really relate. I’ve also had my share of times where that trust has left an emotional burn and I’ve watched as people I’ve respected and trusted did things I never expected. He’s also a little awkward and doesn’t quite fit into the kind of prepackaged box his world wants to put everyone in. Even before he discovered the Day Moon sonnet and launched on this adventure he already felt out of place. His faith and his preference for art over his engineering studies make it hard for him to feel like he fits in. I was inspired to start this series while doing an assignment for my creative writing capstone course in college while I was dual majoring in computer engineering and computer science. I get that feeling of not fitting in with a well-defined group and of oftentimes being the only Christian in crowded rooms.

4. What one piece of advice/tips would Elliott give?

After what he goes through in Veiled Sun, I think Elliott would probably say never stop trusting God whatever appearances of situations may be. That sounds kind of broad and easy to say, but Elliott lives in a world that is pretty uniform in telling him his faith is foolish and the continual churn of deceit and gaslighting and misinformation makes it hard to find solid ground long enough to make a stand for truth. People betray him and let him down regularly and he has more than once had to consider that everything he is trying to do may ultimately fail. That his world, kind of like the one in Brave New World, may be beyond rescue. But when he leans on The Truth then he finds ways forward and understands his job isn't to secure an outcome but to press on in obedience to the high call he's received. So, it's not concise or readymade, but it's what keeps him from giving up.

5. What part or aspect of this story do you love the most?

I've really enjoyed writing the Tomorrow's Edge books. There are so many places for little touches of new technology, shifts in customs, and kind of exploring the outcomes of choices we're making as a society right now. I really enjoy world-building. But I think the most enjoyable part has been the less overt parts. Weaving in this spiritual journey Elliott is on. He's got these crazy, dangerous, and incredibly depressing things happening around him but he's holding onto his faith and getting through. Not unscathed, but he's determined and getting to tell a story like that and hopefully it being an encouragement to others following Christ is immensely satisfying.

6. What challenged you about writing Veiled Sun?

I think what challenged me the most with Veiled Sun was handling Elliott's interactions with the members of MetaDonia. He had to play along with them and even to some degree sincerely help them while seeing them as terrorists of a sort. Writing that kind of dynamic was really tricky because there's a fine line between cooperating out of necessity and being an accomplice to what they're doing. There’s a tendency to always want to make your characters make the right decisions, but you have to resist that as a writer and go with what would be natural to the character in that situation. I also don't see myself as being particularly beguiling or adept at picking up on ulterior motives in others right away and to write that passage with Elliott being intensely suspicious of motivations and double meanings. To a degree I think my own awkwardness may have worked for the scenes because Elliott was in an awkward situation but man it was tricky. I tried it a couple times before finding a dynamic that worked to me.

7. What’s one of your hobbies or something we might not know about you?

I really enjoy drawing and gardening. For those who visit my social media pages there's some examples of sketches I’ve done in the past. It’s very relaxing to draw even for a little while and it helps me to visualize the characters and settings.

 A little harder to see is how much I enjoy gardening. My dad is a serious gardener and he passed it on to me somewhat. I in particularly like raising pumpkins. In part, because of all the delicious things you can make from them, and in part, because I have a wild and wonderful little boy who loves to watch them grow and carry them around our house.

8. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Be patient, be humble, and be committed. I think the best bit of advice I can give is to take some time to really sort out why it is that you want to write. Whatever the reason is consciously internalize it, because when things get hard you can lean on your reason why. Trying to be a published writer can be stressful and I’m sure just about everyone has considered giving up more than once. When those dark hours come remembering your why can help you press on till things brighten. It’s especially important for Christian writers, because we do everything, whether in word or deed, for the glory of God. Bearing His name means seeking His honor over our own and following wherever He leads.

9. When you reach for a book to read, what genre do you grab and what are some of your favorites in that genre?

Just like I write all over, I read all over the genre spectrum. Sci-fi, fantasy, and historical fiction all top my list if I have to choose. As far as favorites go, I didn't discover C.S. Lewis's books till college, but I’ve re-read The Chronicles of Narnia and the Space Trilogy multiple times since. I suppose it loosely qualifies as fantasy, but I recently finished reading Jason Joyner's book Fractures. It's a YA superhero story that infuses the story with the Faith, which really works. I suppose that's what draws me to Lewis's writing too. I read secular books as well and since my wife is a middle school teacher, I've been exposed to quite a few middle grade books and really enjoyed reading Alan Gratz's historical fiction, the next one up is called Code of Honor.

10. What are you working on next?

A major project in the works is the next and final book in the Tomorrow's Edge series. It’s going to be an intense ride to the end! I’ve got the story outline and the first five chapters written. ds

 Before I can do that though I have a deadline I have to meet for the epic fantasy saga Quest of Fire. The next book, Shadows at Nightfall is due out September 14, 2021 and I really need to focus on finishing it. It’s sweeping and tragic story that will keep fans of the series on their toes.

Once I do, I also have a historical fiction novella to polish for release and a space fantasy story I want to write. It's more projects than I get to as fast as I want to, but having more inspiration than I can handle isn't so bad.

Other Books in the Series

Day Moon
(Tomorrow's Edge #1)
By Brett Armstrong

YA SciFi, Dystopian, Christian
Paperback & ebook, 389 Pages
March 26, 2017 by Clean Reads


In A.D. 2039, a prodigious seventeen year old, Elliott, is assigned to work on a global soft-ware 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.

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author

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 hauntingly sorrowful historical fiction (Destitutio Quod Remissio), scary-real dystopian sci-fi (Day Moon and Veiled Sun), and dark, sweeping epic fantasy (Quest of Fire). Where he heads next is as much a discovery for him as readers. Through dark, despair, light, joy, and everything in between, the end is always meant to leave his fellow literary explorers with wonder and hope.

More from Brett

In the near-future world of Veiled Sun, reality is an endangered species. The erosion of confidence in traditional sources of undisputed truth–media, government, academia and science, religion, family, and friends—forces continual skepticism and self-reliance. At the same time, technology is making it more and more possible to “escape” reality. Virtual reality allows us to trick our minds into thinking we’ve literally stepped into another world and augmented reality brings elements of other worlds into our own. Deep Fake is even offering the ability to change past realities by manipulating audio and video recordings in ways our minds can’t distinguish from the real thing.

1 Corinthians 13 is one of my favorite passages of Scripture and verse twelve is probably one of the clearest places to see a sentiment key to the series:

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.”

Veiled Sun follows a teen who knows that reality is being tampered with for nefarious purposes. More important he also sees beyond the physical reality to the spiritual while handling an attack on both. Believers need to be firmly grounded in their faith in a world that increasingly muddles the lines between real and not real, truth and falsehood. There’s research that suggests our brains interpret what we read in the same way as lived experiences. So, in a sense GK Chesterton and others were right when they told us long ago that what we read becomes a part of us. My hope is readers will be better prepared to weather the storms that will come against their faith and hold onto the Truth even as truth is increasingly difficult to discern from fiction.

Tour Schedule

Texas Book-aholic, January 15
Wishful Endings, January 16 (Author Interview)
Sara Jane Jacobs, January 16
Artistic Nobody, January 25 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Book of Ruth Ann, January 26
Simple Harvest Reads, January 27 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Tour-Wide Giveaway
To celebrate his tour, Brett is giving away the grand prize package of a gift basket consisting of a signed copy of each book, book swag (including specially made bookmarks, story excerpt crafts, and character cards), and a $10 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Have you read this one yet? What did you like about the interview?

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