Tuesday, August 13, 2019

AWEN RISING - 5-Star Reviews

On his site Writing in the CrosshairsAuthor Roland Yeomans reviewed Awen Rising comparing it to - of all things - GAME OF THRONES! Yeeehaaaa! Thank you, Roland!!

My Beautiful Cousin Torrie with Her Copy
Sales have slowed down, and I'm counting on you to give them another surge. If you haven't already purchased your copy of Awen Rising, or downloaded it for free under Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program, I hope you'll go ahead and do that now. If you're still on the fence, the following 5-star review should help.

With a long book – such as Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, you immerse yourself in a world that is enveloping, absorbing, that takes you on a long journey. You get your money's worth.
More and more, long books in print use tiny fonts. But not Awen Rising. Its font is large and readable. The latest trend is to read books around 200 pages -- something you can digest in an evening. But that is hardly worth the effort of page turning, is it?
Game of Thrones taught us the pleasure of immersing ourselves in a complex, magical world of conflict, ambition, and dueling strong-willed characters. Want dragons? Awen Rising has them. ... and reptilian adversaries on par with the danger of the White Walkers...
To read the rest (and you'll want to, it gets better), click on over to Roland's post.

And, yeeehaaa, William (Billy) Willey also gave Awen Rising a fabulous 5-star review on Amazon. I'll leave it here so you can read it, too.










After reading these glowing reviews, I know you want to buy your very own copy of Awen Rising. Here's a link to the paperback, and a link to the ebook. At some point, soon I hope, the two will be joined and one link with suffice. Amazon seems to move slowly in some areas. This is one. Goodreads members can find Awen Rising here.

All in all, the first two weeks since Awen Rising's release have been better than a ride on a world-class roller coaster. Roland's 5-star review thrilled me to no end, causing a sleepless night because of my excitement. Then, Billy's came in on Roland's heels.

But, you guys. Gals. Please boogie on over to Amazon or Goodreads. I'll meet you there.

If you would like a preview first, here it is.

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

GIVEAWAY CONTEST IS COMING! To stay abreast of O.J.'s latest and be eligible for upcoming giveaways of free books, gift certificates, etc, subscribe to Muse & News, a monthly (or so) "news"letter.

O.J. Barré is the author of the Awen trilogy, a druid science fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) debuted August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for release May 1, 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives May 1, 2021.


Friday, August 9, 2019

My Heart (and Eyes) Runneth Over

So much has happened in this last week, so much I want to say. Each topic could take an entire post, and I was planning for that. But this, I need to say. Right now.

I just found out that one of my writing mentors, Eric Trant, died last June.


My heart is broken and the tears come and go. I knew I hadn't seen him around in a while, but I was on a Facebook hiatus for a year or more and what's a year amongst friends? A lot, apparently. I happened to notice it was his birthday in April. Even posted a birthday greeting on his wall, not knowing. What an idiot I am.

Eric was an early beta reader for Awen Rising. He always gave back, though he was crazy-busy with his job, a wife and children he adored, a blog, and writing and publishing his own books. I wanted to send him a signed copy of Awen Rising and went to his Facebook wall today to send him a message requesting his address.

Imagine my surprise as I read the posts. All the messages from his wife Amanda, and so many friends. Tears flowing, I read through them in shock, all the way back to a day or so before it happened. All the way back to Eric's posts. They were classic Eric. Silly things. Yet full of meaning. A tribute to his wife. Another to his favorite (I assume) beer.

It seems a little silly that the death of a person I knew so little could shake my world so much. But the truth is this: when I began writing That Rebel with a Blog, Eric was one of the first writers I connected with. I think because we were both from the South. He generously offered encouragement and advice. I looked forward to his posts at Digging with the Worms and to his wise comments on mine. Eric's wit could cut, but his heart bled out into every word he ever wrote.


That is what is so powerful about Eric Trant's work. That huge Texas heart that he let hang out without apology, or caring who saw. I learned a lot from Eric's honest, direct style. Back then we were all blogging fairly often. Eric led by example, and always had a kind word to spare.

Eric's passing leaves a hole in my writing world. For ten years, I've been looking forward to the get-together we'd planned as a group long ago. Eric. Elliot Grace. Roland Yeomans. Me. All in New Orleans for some big writing shindig, where we'd be famous Southern writers and the stars of the show.


I'd not thought about New Orleans in a very long time. But our group get-together was one of the first things that came to mind when I learned Eric was gone. Now to honor him, we'll have to have an empty table piled high with Eric's books. And a drink for him afterwards at Meliori's, where Roland's lyrical prose will protect us from the local spirits.

Now I must track down Elliot Grace, another gifted Southern writer with a silver-tongued pen. It's been longer still since I've seen Elliot around. I checked his old blog So Close, But. A sad post from March. I'll wait a while before reading that. Or maybe I should dive in, since I'm already sad. But it's good to know he's okay. I am grateful that Roland, another writing mentor, is still a rare blood courier in Lake Charles, and now has some forty-one books published.

As the last of us four Southerners to the published-author table, I'm as proud as punch to have finally made it. But the victory is less sweet without Eric.

Rest in peace, my dear friend. Your presence is missed in a world that needs all the help it can get.

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

GIVEAWAY CONTEST IS COMING! To stay abreast of O.J.'s latest and be eligible for upcoming giveaways of free books, gift certificates, etc, subscribe to Muse & News, a monthly (or so) "news"letter.

O.J. Barré is the author of the Awen trilogy, a druid science fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) debuted August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021.


Monday, August 5, 2019

A Cup of Conversation, Interview

On August 1st, Author Soulla Christodoulou published an interview with yours truly about Awen Rising. With Soulla's permission, I am posting her intro and the first question here. To read the remainder and the original article, please click the link to be taken to her website.
"Hello and welcome to A Cup of Conversation where I am joined by debut author Olivia J. Barre who has just released her book Awen Rising. I've got a copy of the book and can't wait to read it...it has the most beautiful cover too! In this interview Olivia reveals her writing process and her experience of letting go of her first book. She shares her plans for the rest of 2019 and how she wishes she could do more to support her fellow writing community than she already does. It's hard keeping up with it all, that's for sure! So thank you for joining us and I hope you enjoy this week's A Cup of Conversation. 
BIO
O.J. Barré hails from the lushly forested, red-clay hills near Atlanta, Georgia where this story takes place. From birth, O.J. was a force of nature. Barefoot and freckled, headstrong and gifted, she was, and is, sensitive to a fault. Books became her refuge as a young child, allowing O.J. to escape her turbulent alcoholic home on adventures to untold places and times. Her daddy’s mother was a Willoughby, making O.J. a direct descendant of William the Conqueror. Her Awen series is a love letter to that distant past. 
1. When did you start writing creatively?

I started writing creatively as a tween – mostly poetry and letters with friends out of state. In high school, an astute English teacher told me I had a gift. But it never occurred to me to pursue writing until the early 90’s when I began journaling as part of my recovery from alcoholism. With the advent of the internet, various and sundry friends told me I should be a writer, that I had a way with words, a way of putting things so that they GOT IT. Even vague, hard-to-grasp issues. 
Still, not until the beginning of the millennia did I act upon that. After moving to the California coast, I bought my first laptop and began writing a fictionalized memoir. It was both cathartic and healing, but 30 days and many words in, the Gateway’s hard drive crashed. I hired a pro to retrieve my ms, but all he could rescue was gobbledegook. From that, I learned to save hard copies of my files, and now I email them to myself on a regular basis. But losing that ms broke me in every sense of the word & I gave up writing. 
Until one day, sitting on a bench on the Ventura promenade, I saw a seagull fishing with a pelican. I found it curious, but thought nothing more until a day or so later when I watched a repeat performance. It was such an odd sight that my imagination kicked into overdrive and a children’s book was born: Frank & Ernie Find Home. I had a blast writing F & E and even queried some publishers – with good feedback – then my mother died in 2006 and threw me into a 3-year downward spiral. During that time, I wrote nothing, other than daily journaling and a tiny Squarespace blog that I need to rescue from the obscurity in which it languishes..." Click to read the remainder of the interview.
This is the first of many questions about Awen Rising and the writing thereof. Please click here to read Soulla's entire interview.
Soulla Christodoulou is the author of three women's fiction novels, with a fourth on the way. To read more about Soulla, check out her website, or find Soulla and her books on Amazon.
Thank you, Soulla. And thanks to all of YOU for reading her interview. Please leave a comment for us below. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.
WE DID IT Y'ALL! I. AM. STILL. SOOOOO. EXCITED!! Thank you for having faith in me.

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

GIVEAWAY CONTEST IS COMING! To stay abreast of O.J.'s latest and be eligible for upcoming giveaways of free books, gift certificates, etc, subscribe to Muse & News, a monthly (or so) "news"letter.

O.J. Barré is the author of the Awen trilogy, a druid science fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021.
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