Saturday, May 14, 2022

Howdy, y'all! Awen Rising is officially entered in SPFBO 8

Read Awen Rising

"What is that," you ask?

Good question. It stands for Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off

2022 is SPFBO's eighth year and as the title implies, it is open to self-published fantasy books (stand-alone or first in series). The competition lasts for a year with the final winner chosen from a field (this year) of 300 fantasy books. And mine is one, yippeeeee!

Now, I am praying that the blogger/reviewer who is assigned Awen Rising will love it enough to read it cover to cover and recommend it to the other nine blogger/reviewers for the final round.

Here's hoping!

Your prayers, well-wishes, good thoughts, positive juju - ALL are welcome. I will keep you apprised of the progress as I learn more details.

Happy Weekend!

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

O. J. Barré is the author of the Awen Trilogy, a fun, fast, and epic urban fantasy set in 2042 Atlanta. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising, debuted July 2019. Book Two, Awen Storm, released May 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, is on preorder and will release in 2022. All are (or will be) available in both paperback and ebook, and the hardback versions will be available in 2022.

O. J.'s Awen Prequel novelette, The Druids of Marduk, Part I, is also available as an ebook - for purchase on Amazon (or free by signing up for her newsletter). The second installment, The Druids of Marduk, Part II: UnderEarth, is an ebook novella also available on Amazon. Part III: AboveEarth, is scheduled for a 2022 release.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Coming Down from the Cross

To those who celebrate, Happy Easter. I am home alone with Rambo, and my sister is in Cheyenne with her grandbabies. I did watch Pastor Derek's live online service. And I will spend time in nature thanking God Almighty.


But I have been suffering, and what better time to lay down my cross?

I am weary, exhausted, stressed to the max, riddled with anxiety, my health is declining, and now, my brain is a quivering mass of misfiring neurons. I am depressed, in pain, and did I mention thoroughly panicked?

As a result, I will miss Awen Tide's May 17th preorder deadline.

I am sorry, y'all. I feel awful. I even delayed telling you in case a miracle occurred. But I can procrastinate no longer - keeping quiet is making me sicker still.

To the amazing readers who had already preordered Awen Tide, I am sorry. You should get an email from Amazon once the order is canceled. You will not be charged, and you can order the book as soon as it's released - hopefully later this year. 

Please accept my sincere apology from the deepest, squishiest part of my heart. I am sorry I disappointed you. And I pray that the benefits gained by delaying publication (a richer, meatier, more fulfilling story) will outweigh the cost.

I could write a dissertation outlining why I am a despondent, broken failure. But suffice it to say that it began with my brother-in-law's stroke in 2018. Then was worsened by Covid and all the ramifications of the pandemic. And finally, it was shoved into high gear when Don died at the end of 2020.


Now for the last fifteen months, I've been barely hanging on while wallowing in my own grief. Grief over losing a beloved brother, but also the grief of losing my Self to a pandemic that forced me, along with the rest of the world, to give up my freedom and cower in my home.


Thankfully, I did manage to write and publish the first two parts of the Awen Prequel in 2021. And Awen Tide is half-written.


But it will NOT be ready for the May 17th preorder deadline. Or even a June or July 17th one.


Unless a miracle happens.


Like stumbling across some of those "Limitless" pills that allowed Bradley Cooper's character to write his novel in four days. But without that, this author will not be meeting Awen Tide's preorder deadline.


What does this mean?


It means I have failed you my readers, and the 25 people who have already preordered Awen Tide will instead be getting emails from Amazon. The email will tell them their order has been canceled because the book is not available at that time. And it also means Amazon will bar me from setting up any new preorders for a year.


That I'm not too worried about. But disappointing and possibly losing cherished readers slays me. And admitting failure and defeat isn't all that comfortable either.


On a brighter note, I may have pinpointed the culprit behind the latest uptick in faulty brain activity. TDS recently installed fiber optic cables in our subdivision and in the ones surrounding us, and though they are supposedly safe (yeah, sure, we've heard that before), the most significant brain decline began about the time it went online.


So, I started researching and found out there are 48 towers and 241 antennas within three miles of my house. Yes, you read that right. And they all transmit electromagnetic frequencies that affect all living things. Especially when stacked one atop another.


It's like adding sticks to a camel's load. The more you add, the heavier the camel's burden becomes. Until eventually, that last stick brings the camel to its knees. TDS fiber is my last stick.


So, yesterday, I ordered an EMF filter for the house and paid for expedited shipping. I'm praying the filter works to relieve my body and brain of this huge, invisible load. Enough so, that I'll be able to think again and put two thoughts together. And of course, the ultimate goal is diving back into my writing passion.


I'll let you know how it goes.


Until then, take care of yourselves, Rebels. Maybe check out your own EMF load.


Happy Resurrection/Easter Sunday,

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

O. J. Barré is the author of the Awen Trilogy, a fun, fast, and epic urban fantasy set in 2042 Atlanta. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising, debuted July 2019. Book Two, Awen Storm, released May 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, is on preorder and will release in 2022. All are (or will be) available in both paperback and ebook, and the hardback versions will be available in 2022.

O. J.'s Awen Prequel novelette, The Druids of Marduk, Part I, is also available as an ebook - for purchase on Amazon (or free by signing up for her newsletter). The second installment, The Druids of Marduk, Part II: UnderEarth, is an ebook novella also available on Amazon. Part III: AboveEarth, is scheduled for a 2022 release.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Looking Forward to Spring

Hello, March! It's almost Spring!

In the Southwest corner of Idaho, Spring comes late. But its first signs are everywhere.

Nampa, ID - March 4th - Sap Rising

The sap is rising in the trees and bushes, coloring their branches yellow, red, and other hues of spring. And some have even pushed out leaf buds, like the Roses of Sharon in the downtown lot where I park for work.

Yesterday, I searched our backyard and found the hyacinth bulbs and daffodils planted last summer are beginning to stick their distinctive green heads above the ground. And last year's crop of long, skinny cones has begun dropping from the Weeping Norway Spruce trees guarding the front of the house.

Weeping Norway Spruce at NE Corner

Now, this morning, I spotted my first two robins of the season perched on the neighbor's roofline. Robins rarely visit bird feeders, but they were eyeing ours, so I suspect they had come to see what all the fuss was about.

And while I am enjoying the warmer weather and the signs of coming spring, I am also a bit apprehensive. Heck, I may even be in pre-mourning for my sister and my writing partner, both of whom are leaving me (and Idaho) behind for a spell. My sister (and roommate) will be gone for two months; my writing partner, a whole year.

Rare Selfie with Rambo
Meanwhile, I'll stay behind in Nampa, where I will finish Awen Tide, then move on to complete Part III of the Awen Prequel, The Druids of Marduk, AboveEarth.

And then?

Hmm...

Should I tell you about that? It's not really a secret. Should I? Shouldn't I? Should I? Shouldn't I?

Hmm. Alright. I will.

Once the trilogy and prequel are completed and published, I plan to explore a new skill. 

SCREENWRITING. 

Yup, dear Rebels. You read that right. Yours truly is going to try her hand at writing a screenplay.

And if/when I get good enough at it, I plan to turn the Awen Trilogy into a screenplay. Starting with Awen Rising. Who knows how long that might take. But in the not-too-far-out-there-distant future, you will be able to see the Awen Universe at the theater or on TV!

Can I get an amen?

Y'all keep reading, and I'll keep writing!

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

O. J. Barré is the author of the Awen Trilogy, a fun, fast, and epic urban fantasy set in 2042 Atlanta. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising, debuted July 2019. Book Two, Awen Storm, released May 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, is on preorder and will release in 2022. All are (or will be) available in both paperback and ebook, and the hardback versions will be available in 2022.

O. J.'s Awen Prequel novelette, The Druids of Marduk, Part I, is also available as an ebook - for purchase on Amazon (or free by signing up for her newsletter). The second installment, The Druids of Marduk, Part II: UnderEarth, is an ebook novella also available on Amazon. Part III: AboveEarth, is scheduled for a 2022 release.

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