Friday, September 2, 2022

I'm Walking on Sunshine, Whoa!

Yesterday, I received the link to the Kirkus Review for Awen Rising and have been smiling ever since. I had prayed that the person assigned the review would 'get' Awen Rising. Why? Because there are a few out there who don't.

My prayer was answered. Not only did the reviewer 'get' Awen Rising, they were obviously delighted and gave it a glowing review. I'm pretty sure they left a 5-star rating on Amazon, too. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, dear Reader/Reviewer!

The link at the end of the review will take you to my book's page on the Kirkus site. Please take a moment to click over and give Awen Rising a thumbs up. You will make my day, AND you'll be helping to forward my new marketing efforts. And yes, I need all the help I can get, so thank you!

Now, without further ado, here is the review. 


"When the end of the world is drawing near, an ancient soul must be reawakened and take control of her power to save the world in this trilogy opener.

It’s 2042, and Emily Mayhall is living in Venice Beach, California, and mourning the death of her fiance, Trey, and getting fired by a boss who had blacklisted her in her industry and made sure she’d have trouble getting another job. Then her long-lost, Atlanta-based druid family finds her and brings shocking news: Her mother kidnapped her when she was 4, and her father has been searching for her ever since. Now Emily discovers that she is not only the heir to a long line of druid princesses but destined to save the world. Shalane Carpenter is an evangelical shaman who has hordes of adoring fans and magnificent magical powers but is unhappy. She’s troubled by her friendship with Emily, whom she once had a secret romantic interest in, and is determined not to lose her. Worse, Shalane descends from a magical race of reptilian creatures living below the earth, who seek to destroy all that lives above them in order to conquer Earth, with the sinister General Nergal in command. In order to survive, Emily may need help from a sexy druid priest, his nephew, and their animal Elders. From this setup Barré creates a great fantasy with a memorable cast, a fast-paced plot, and a lot of fun twists and turns, supported by careful and interesting character development. Emily is dealt shock after shock, but her flexibility and perseverance shine in an engaging narrative. At the same time, the story inspires empathy for Shalane and others who have their own trials. This character complexity befits the detailed worldbuilding that gives varied perspectives on the setting. Yet, if the worldbuilding is extensive, it’s woven so carefully into the plot that it never slows the pace of this entertaining fantasy.

A marvelously fun and intriguing first installment of promising series." ~ Kirkus Reviews Click here to give Awen Rising a thumbs-up! 

It's Labor Day weekend in the U.S. If you are wondering what I'll be up to, you will likely find me in my writing cave plugging away at Awen Tide, Book Three of the Awen Trilogy.

What are your plans for this fine, late-summer weekend?

Until next time, 

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, will release in late 2022 or early 2023. All are (or will be) available in both paperback and ebook, and the hardback versions will be available soon.

Free For Subscribers

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 on Amazon. Part III: AboveEarth, is scheduled for a 2022 release.

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