Monday, December 2, 2019

AWEN RISING Available for Review on Net Galley

Awen Rising is available for review on Net Galley for the next 30 days!

If you are a Net Galley reviewer, you can request Awen Rising at:


For all others: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VMYYS4J


If you think you might know a Net Galley reviewer, please consider sharing this post.

Thanks a million!

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

O.J. Barré is the author of the Awen trilogy, a druid urban 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.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

On Having a "Moment"

Do you ever have "moments" when you're moved to tears, filled with awe, or some other strong emotion?

Today I had one such “moment”.*

No, it’s not a writing-related moment. Well, yeah, in a round-about way it is. But this moment is more a life moment.

Now that I’ve typed that and let it sink in, I’m not sure this qualifies as a “life moment”, either. But to set the stage, after living three and a half years in Idaho, I had yet to replace my writing haunts. Boy have I missed those writing forays.

Courtesy Carlotta Nortaro

Truth is, the coffee shops and restaurants I’ve tried over the intervening years, while charming, just aren’t MY places. Each are inhospitable (to me) in some way. Music too loud, or awful, too cold, too noisy, not enough tables—always something.

I had several mini writing-retreats in Georgia, places to escape the sameness of writing at home.

Johnny’s Pizza is a chain, but has fabulous Brooklyn-style pizza. Not far from my house, the dining room was always fairly empty by 1:30-2:00pm. I could eat and write for a couple of hours without feeling guilty for taking up space. You can thank Johnny’s for the pizza scenes, and Jocko’s Pizza, in Awen Rising.

One of my favorites, Gallery Row Coffee on the Square in downtown Carrollton, has lots of tables, including high-tops with outlets. They serve brewed teas, be still my heart, encourage lingering—studying, writing, creating, meeting friends, business confabs, a quilting club, (I kid you not)—have breakfast and lunch items, delectable gooey delights, and it’s run by my friend Lisa.

For a while, I occasioned Cinema Tavern in downtown Villa Rica for their chicken wings, in spite of the fact that as a bar and grill they somehow manage to get away with indoor smoking. That was the ultimate reason I quit writing there. But thank Cinema Tavern, named after the theater that occupied the space during my youth, for Shalane’s predilection for wings.

There are a few other places I would buzz into. PhatPhil’s, Fabiano’s, Highland Deli, Manuel's Tavern, to name a few. Not on a regular, ongoing basis, but important subs when I got tired of my regular haunts.

My favorite was, and still is, Chat& Choo on the main drag in Villa Rica. It's in the space once occupied by Berry’s Pharmacy, a short walk from my house and office, and a place of which I have fond memories as a child. Mr friends, Mike and Glenn, have retained much of the paraphernalia, and serve excellent, friendly meals, Southern Style.

Which leads me back to my “moment”.

In about an hour, I have an appointment with another new hairdresser. I'm having a hard time finding someone who can release the inner beauty of my curls. Since the salon is in Caldwell, about seven miles from my house, I decided to audition a restaurant.

The name is Mr. V’s Family Restaurant and it’s on the edge of downtown, near the courthouse. I got here late enough that people were leaving and the “Please Seat Yourself” sign faced out. Excellent. I selected a four-top—two-tops are too short to have a laptop and meal side-by-side—and was almost instantly acknowledged by a waitress.

Mr V's - Caldwell, ID

A half-minute later, my waiter let me know he’d be right back. Excellent. He gave me a menu and walked away and as I read through it, tears started bubbling up behind my eyes. This place is clean. Well-loved. Friendly. And it’s been in business in this exact spot since 1975. It holds the current #1 rating on Trip Adviser, and has now earned a slot as my new writing retreat.

But those tears? And the feeling that prompted them?

That was my moment. It came while reading through Mr. V’s breakfast items, which they serve from open to close. Maybe it was reading the word bacon, or maybe it was the home-baked bread toast, but a feeling of belonging welled up inside me that could not be denied.

Finally. A new writing venue. One with decent food, soft classic rock, and people genuinely happy to feed me and let me sit with my laptop for a spell.

What "moments" have you had recently? One that lit you up and made you happy?

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

* This piece was written on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.

O.J. Barré is the author of the Awen trilogy, a druid urban 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.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

October Bits and Bites

Where in the world has October gone? I have so much to tell, yet little time to do so.

In a nutshell:

The Georgia book signings went fabulously! They were well-attended, especially Saturday's. We sold all the paperback copies of Awen Rising, met new readers, and I even did a reading of the storm scene. Fun stuff!

Back in Idaho, I suffered the post-"vacation" blues, and have gotten very little writing done—including the pile of thank-you cards still waiting to be written and mailed.

But I am close to 40 percent done with the last read-through/edits of Awen Storm (Book 2 of the Awen Trilogy) and will be sending it out to beta readers within a week. At this point, I have three or four betas, but could use that many more again. If you are interested, please let me know as soon as possible. Several of the previous betas will be entrenched in NaNoWriMo and unavailable to read until December.

Speaking of NaNo, I have decided to participate again this year, though many of you have heard me (more than once) say I'll NEVER DO NANO AGAIN. Well, guess what? I get to eat a word sandwich. Why? Because I need the motivation and discipline to get my butt back in the chair and be productive.

Lastly, I just entered Awen Rising into my first-ever Book Award contests. Two to be exact. The Indie Diamond Book Awards and Best Indie Book Awards. If you're the praying sort, would you please pray for Awen Rising to be read, loved, and recognized by winning these contests and receiving these awards? Most coveted: the Diamond Debut Award.

To those who celebrate Halloween, today is that day! If, on the other hand, you celebrate Samhain, today is ALSO that day. In fact, Halloween originated as the Samhain festival celebrated by the druids and many others.

Happy Day!

~ 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 urban 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.
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