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The Sword of Oz announced for PC, Wii, DS, PS3, PSP and iPod

Best Selling Fantasy Author Darren Reid Announces a New Interactive ebook Prequel to the Wizard of Oz for PC, iPod and Next Generation Consoles

Darren Reid, author of the best selling fantasy novel The Lord of Darkness and Shadow, today announces the release of The Sword of Oz for PC, next generation consoles and iPod on January 19 th, 2007 . The Sword of Oz is based upon L. Frank Baum's masterpiece novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its sequels and creates an interactive book which explores Oz's tragic past.

The Sword of Oz is the first part of a planned trilogy of interactive ebooks collectively known as The Dark Witches of Oz . The interactive ebooks have each been optimized for various formats including PC and Nintendo's Wii and DS plus Sony's PS3 and PSP consoles, all accessible through their browsers. A separate version is also due out for Apple iPod.

The Sword of Oz is an epic fantasy adventure which tells a part of Oz's history that has thus far not been chronicled. Written as a companion piece to the original L. Frank Baum novels, The Sword of Oz chronicles Oz in the days before the wicked witches overthrew the old king of Oz and created the world Baum describes in his original works. Arthur Gale (the future grandfather of a rather famous citizen from Kansas ) is the character through which this new chapter in Oz's history is experienced. The Sword of Oz is a multi-branching adventure in which the reader can choose which adventures they wish to see Arthur embark upon. The different paths through the narrative vary widely but are also closely connected so that events not directly experienced by a reader in one sitting still affect those in the adventure they choose to experience.

Two further episodes are planned in the Dark Witches of Oz trilogy and have been given the working titles The Lion of Oz and The Rise of the Dark Witch of Oz. A novelised version of these stories and the series has been mooted as possibility by Reid in the future. A spin off PC adventure game entitled The Sword of Oz: The Emerald Ring is also in development and when a suitable publishing partner is found further announcements will be made about this upcoming project.

The Sword of Oz joins the growing free library of literature offered by best selling fantasy author Darren Reid. Reid began his free ebook library at the end of 2006 releasing versions of a free prequel novella to his bestselling Chronicles of the Shadow series across PC, iPod and next generation formats including the Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3. So far the library has been a great success and Reid plans to release a number of titles throughout 2007. The Sword of Oz heads up the release schedule in January with Two Wizards: A Chronicles of the Shadow Prequel and Xevicom Forever (a graphic novel) due out in February and March respectively.

Darren Reid is a Scottish fantasy author whose first novel, The Lord of Darkness and Shadow: The Chronicles of the Shadow Book One , was released at the beginning of 2006. This book was the first in a series of fantasy/science fiction cross over novels that fused fantasy with science fiction, horror and simple human drama. 2006 also saw the first media adaptation of one of Darren's work with the release of Cell . It was developed by Parsec award winning audio-book creators Variant Frequencies and is currently in negotiations to be turned into a comic book.

To celebrate the release of The Sword of Oz Darren has written and released a short essay entitled On Oz which explains The Sword of Oz 's place in the wider continuity of the series.

Regarding the coming release of The Sword of Oz Darren said "I cannot wait to share this vision of Oz with the world. The Sword of Oz is a great epic fantasy take on one of the original all time classic fantasy novels and explores stories that were only hinted at by L. Frank Baum in his original series."

When asked whether The Sword of Oz and its related stories may appear in other formats Reid commented "It would be wonderful to see a definitive novelized version of the story appears and it is something I am considering. Also, there is a PC adventure game spin off in development but both projects would require the right publishing partner to bring to their fullest potential."

Currently Darren is working towards the release of several new titles in 2007 including the much anticipated follow up to The Lord of Darkness and Shadow. The new novel, The Brotherhood of the Shadow , is tentatively due for release in Q2 2007. Another title which has been eagerly awaited, The Half Broken Crown , is also due for release in Q1 2007.

The Sword of Oz will be released on January 19 th 2007 on www.NextGenBooks.com – a new website for PC and console (Wii, DS, PS3 and PSP) users to access Darren Reid's free ebook library. The Sword of Oz will be availably exclusively on this site. As a special preview, the prologue to The Sword of Oz is out now on this website. There is also a press section which includes screenshots and links for interview requests and advance review copies.

For more information including screen shots, interview requests, an exclusive preview of The Sword of Oz and the short essay On Oz please visit www.NextGenBooks.com or Darren Reid's official website at www.DarrenReid.co.uk

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