Friday, January 29, 2021

The Bridge of Magic Trilogy by Robert E. Balsley Jr. Genre: Fantasy


  • Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author? 

I’m a long-time Dungeon and Dragons player. The first few games I was prepared as the Dungeon Master (DM) came from existing modules that can be bought from most book or gaming stores. But as I matured and gained more confidence as a DM, I preferred writing my own games using my own ideas. Using experience gained as a technical writer in my civilian job with the USAF, my games were extremely detail orientated, original, and offered up adventures that were tailored around the players themselves. My modules were standalone… but they were also built to serve as steppingstones in a much larger storyline. It wasn’t long before my players – my friends – were saying I should write a book. After I retired, I set out to do just that. The genesis of The Salvation of Innocence came from a storyline in one of my games. And every one of my D&D friends are characters in the books (trilogy, actually). It was easy to develop their personas because I’ve known them for decades.  

  • What is something unique/quirky about you? 

I refuse to watch any live game on TV that one of my favorite teams is playing in (particularly Oklahoma University football). I consider myself a jinx. This goes back to the early eighties. My wife reports to me during the game with scores and updates. I won’t even watch another game because of the scores that scroll along the bottom. I’m not just quirky, I’m weird. 

  • Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you! 

It was 1993 and I was a First Level Supervision at Tinker AFB. Part of my responsibilities was the management of all the communications records for all Air Forces bases and sites worldwide. There was a near-fatal accident at Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, when a project installation team member went into an electrical manhole instead of a communications manhole. Part of the accident findings referenced faulty records. I was sent to help resolve any of the issues within my purview. While there I was able to take a tour of “the Mountain”, a huge complex built underneath an actual mountain. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

  • What are some of your pet peeves? 

Hypocrisy. Double standards. The phrase “At the end of the day.” (Though I’ve caught myself saying it every once in a while.) Lying. Messiness. 

  • Where were you born/grew up at? 

I was born in Sioux City, Iowa. (My father was stationed there while he was in the Air Force. It’s where he met mom.) When I was about four, we moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where dad was from. A little while later we moved about forty miles east to the town of Fayetteville, Ohio. We lived there until I was about twelve, then we moved back to Cincinnati. 

  • If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day? 

With family. I’d also smoke a few cigarettes. I quit a little over twenty-five years ago and still miss them from time to time. 

  • Who is your hero and why? 

The easy answer is dad. Though my family wasn’t rich, we always had what we needed, including an example of how we should live our lives. I also had a boss with whom I worked for many years. A lot of my ability as a writer is due to his tutelage. Then there’s the American veteran, especially the combat veteran. Two words sum up “Why?” Our freedom. 

The Salvation of Innocence
The Bridge of Magic Trilogy Book 1
by Robert E. Balsley Jr.
Genre: Fantasy

A young woman embarks on a harrowing journey to save her world's last vestige of magical healing in Robert E. Balsley Jr.'s epic new fantasy novel, The Salvation of Innocence.
Althaya, the goddess of healing, wishes to share her ability to help those in need, providing "empaths," which give clerics the means to magically heal others-a means that some people fear and wish to destroy. In response, a dark magic known as the Purge is created to seek out and eradicate all empaths.
But one lone survivor remains, spirited away by Althaya and hidden in a magical stasis field. There, the last empath must remain alive until the time comes for rescue-but the Purge will not rest until the last empath is found and killed.
Three thousand years later, Kristen Rosilie Clearwater is only beginning to realize her destiny. Having been brought to the island of InnisRos as an orphan, she has long felt a "tug" toward something she can't quite understand. But when she begins experiencing the dreams of a young child, Kristen knows that the two are somehow connected-and that the fate of the world, and the future of healing magic, rests on.

The Struggle For Innocence
The Bridge of Magic Trilogy Book 2

In this suspenseful sequel to The Salvation of Innocence, the war against evil rages on. This time good must fight on two fronts to stop a great evil-one strong enough to commit genocide-or their world will be changed forever.
After barely escaping death at the hands of the vampire Lukas, Emmy still faces an even greater threat. The Purge is approaching. Emmy and her comrades' only chance is to get help from the sentient city of Elanesse and commit the first assault.
Far way, another conflict is brewing. Father Horatio Goram must face off against the power-hungry First Counselor Mordecai Lannian, whose demonic concubine pushes for war, but the odds are against him. Emmy's fate rests on this struggle, and this determined priest will do anything to win.
In a realm where healing magic relies on a single emissary's ability to commune with the gods, Emmy's death would have wide repercussions. This sensational thriller reveals the destructive power evil will use to achieve its dastardly ends-and the depths to which good must go to stop it.

The Loss of Innocence
The Bridge of Magic Trilogy Book 3

War has come to InnisRos!
The Ak-Séregon Stone, stolen by the demon Nightshade, has been used to force open a corridor between Aster and the Svartalfheim, the home world of the Dark Elves. The Dark Elf army, led by Nightshade's father, Aikanáro, marches on InnisRos. Only Father Goram and his allies, with Queen Lessien's army, can close down the corridor and break the stranglehold the Dark Elves have on the island of the Elves of Light.
But the Dark Elf invasion of InnisRos is only one phase of Nightshade's design. To ensure InnisRos' human allies stay on their side of the world, she blackmails Lord Ternborg, leader of the Draugen Pesta, the Black Death, to invade the mainland from the east. Forced to collaborate with the mercenary cities of HeBron and Madeira, Lord Ternborg reluctantly leads three armies into the Forest of the Fey and the surrounding valley to capture the sorcerer stronghold of Havendale. Tangus, Kristen, Emmy and the humans now have their own war to fight on the mainland.
Meanwhile, deep below the surface, a new threat arises. The sylph are awake and moving from the depths with one goal in mind... destroy all life on Aster.

Robert E. Balsley, Jr honed his fantasy writing skills as a game master in Dungeons and Dragons over twenty-five years. During that time he developed the thoughts and ideas that turned into the Bridge of Magic series. The Salvation of Innocence is the first book of that trilogy and Robert's debut novel. Robert graduated from Elder High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. He served in the US Air Force for six years. After his discharge, Robert started working at Tinker Air Force Base in Central Oklahoma where he's been an engineering technician, first-level supervisor, and lead technician. Robert retired in late 2014. He left Oklahoma and currently lives in Burlington, Kentucky. He and his wife have three children, three grandchildren, and three dogs.

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