Author Awareness Day – Ramblings of a modern druidess

So this entire weekend is #Awethors weekend. Yesterday twitter and facebook both exploded with the awethor-logo and posts using the hashtag #awethors It was wonderful to see, though I’m sure some of my facebook friends who could care less when I write my next book, were slightly annoyed with all the #awethors posts. My apologies. Just one more day and then everything will be back to normal. We can all enjoy another round of food, cat and dog spam 😉 And just a heads-up, this is going to be a very long blog, with lots of authors being mentioned, so if that’s not your thing, you might as well give up now.

Still reading? Nice, but remember, there actually is an ‘I told you so dance’. Fair warning.
It all started on April 12, when we held the first Get Down With The Awethors event. Well, in truth, it started before that, but this was the first big event we hosted as a group. It was an amazing day and a very long day. I was both ecstatic and exhausted.
I met so many wonderful people since I took my first baby steps in the world of writing. 

Jack Croxall, author of The Tethers Trilogy and Wye, was there at the beginning. Always willing to give me feedback and guide me on my way. His writing has inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and write my first short-story. 

Holly Martin, author of The Sentinel Series and One Hundred Proposals, is another author who I could rely on for solid advice and a friendly word. Even now she’s a best-selling author, she still finds the time to connect. Such a friendly spirit.

Then there are the two ladies who expanded my own reading. Natasha Ahmed and Michelle Diana Lowe. Strong women who are not afraid to write about cultural differences and the problems we have and face in today’s society. Butterfly Season and Unshatter Me both took my breath away. Natasha’s blog Dear Rumi is really something else and Michelle is just the epitome of love. She’s got such a big heart.

Mikey Campling, a very talented author and always the gentleman, helped me on my way with the do’s and don’ts on twitter and how to present yourself to the public. He has some very helpful thoughts on this topic. His series, The Darkeningstone, is mind-blowing. And did I mention on sale the next couple of days. 

Last, but certainly not least, DM Cain and Stewart Bint. Always there when you need them, whether it’s for advice, proofreading or just to talk, you can rely on them. And I’ll never take it for granted. It always amazes me how much time and effort they put inti the world of writing, while living such full and busy lives. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Now, only a few months later, we have hundreds of authors in our group and our first anthology will see the light of day this November. It’s great to see how these things work. The #IndieBooksBeSeen movement, set up by the wonderful Mark Shaw, is another example of how things can take a spin and really achieve something.

It’s not always easy, this whole world of (self-) promotion. When is it too much? Or, as some people claim, is it never too much? 

My promotion campaign would be nowhere without the aid of those wonderful people I refer to as the ‘reviewers’. Some are authors themselves, some blog, some are on YouTube, some do all of the above. And I feel very lucky to know some of the best. To name but a few; RC Bean, Janet Emson, Erin’s Choice, Victoria Loves Books, and a special mention to Benjaminoftomes, who supported me from the beginning. Without reviewers, we authors would be nowhere. They are like our oxygen. Without it, we can’t live or breathe. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

On that note of self-promotion…. Coincidentally (there was nothing coincidental about it, just careful planning, I confess) my new booktrailer for The Elemental saw the light of day as well. Now how to make a YouTube trailer go viral? That’s a tough order. One can always ask for help though. So that’s what I’m doing. Be a dear and like the trailer. Yes, liking this post is also nice, but it won’t help the trailer. So please like the trailer. Leaving comments will also help. Good or bad. It doesn’t matter. I learned a long time ago that bad publicity is also publicity 😉
Sharing the trailer, obviously. You’ll have my undying devotion. Anywhere will be fine. I’m very curious to see how far it can go. Help me out? Pretty please? Love you so much! Okay, enough with the sucking up. 
Without further ado, the trailer. Drumroll please…..

DM Cain – A Chronicle of Chaos. Review time!!!

Us few lucky devils (pun intended) got to read DM Cain’s A Chronicle of Chaos before its release date and I feel very privileged to be among them.

Cain has embarked on a rather unique endeavor with this fantasy-fiction saga. One might go as far to call it her life’s work, as she spent many, many years creating this world, building layer upon layer. I’m sure even Cain herself still has moments when her own characters surprise her, but the future has been set. She knows it and we don’t. Not yet, anyway. With A Chronicle of Chaos we get a first glimpse of that future and I for one can’t wait to read the other books.

Without further ado, the reviews! Enjoy them and if you decide this is the book for you, you can pre-order it here

A Chronicle of Chaos

Normally when I’m confronted with so many books up front, I think: “That sounds like a lot of work.” Cain, however, has created such an interesting concept, it pulled me in from the start. A Chronicle of Chaos is part of a series, yes, but it can also be read as a stand-alone. Just like all the other books that will follow and you can read them in any particular order. How refreshing! There’s only one book which doesn’t comply with this feeling of freedom and that’s the final book, which will have to be read, like the title implies, last.

Chaos, our main character in this book, is a bit of a spoiled brat, in desperate need of approval from his grandmother Callista, the ruler and matriarch of his people. You do feel for him though, as does his father and his own regiment, and you want to know more about why they have such faith in Chaos, who is destined to fulfill an important prophecy and only too happy to believe that himself.

When Chaos receives yet another scolding from his grandmother before the council, he flees the city to gather his thoughts of humiliation and anger. Crossing their boundary lines he meets a stranger in a bar who seems to be struggling with the exact same things. Chaos learns and grows a great deal, basking in the knowledge there is someone else who really understands him. Anathema and Chaos develop a friendship, fighting each other, sharing stories and something stirs within them both. Something more than friendship.

The only problem is, Anathema is a demon in human form. And though both may not know it now, his mission will soon read: Destroy Chaos and his people. When the clock is ticking and everybody is looking to you for answers and salvation, do you follow orders or do you follow your own heart? And will you be able to face the consequences?

Lisa – author of The Elemental

IMG_1384.JPGThis opening book in DM Cain’s epic Light and Shadow fantasy series certainly plunges us in at the deep end.
A Chronicle Of Chaos sets the scene for a centuries-long battle for dominance between The Children of Light and The Brotherhood of Shadow, introducing us to a number of humans, angels and demons.
The premise behind what will become DM Cain’s multi-book story spanning thousands of years, is that each novel tells the tale of one character – and its unique aspect is that they can be read in almost any order. Each one will be self-contained, with the underlying story arc flowing through it, as the protagonists choose which side to take, building the tension towards one final Armageddon.
Throughout much of this first one, our hero, Chaos Lennox, is seen as more of a petulant anti-hero as the reader comes to terms with his immaturity and stubbornness (despite his great age by our standards and the success he has achieved before we meet him).
While it begins as a classic opening for traditional good versus evil, it quickly develops into a book of two distinct threads. The first introduces us to Callista, the matriarch whose family dynasty rules the land of Alcherys; to a group of demons who are freed from Hell to give the Brotherhood of Shadow a helping hand; and to the angels who turn up to level the playing field. The second thread graphically describes a series of battles with horrendous consequences, while interweaving a dangerous love story – dangerous because it is not only same sex love, but between different species. While there is nothing explicit or graphic in the sex aspects, DM Cain masterfully sets the ultimate dilemma for the two lovers – should they sacrifice everything for each other?
The characters in this novel are finely written, both those representing the good side and evil – you’ll wonder how Callista rose to her position of supremacy, and who the malevolent Bavelize is. You’ll marvel at the wonderful power and goodness of the angels while weeping at the fate of some of them. You’ll gasp in horror at the ruthless brutality of the demons as they unleash their horrors upon hordes of innocent villagers, as well as on the angels and Children of Light. And you’ll be perplexed at Mikhail’s stunning ability. Don’t expect to find all the answers in A Chronicle Of Chaos. We’ll have to wait for each character’s own novel to tie up the loose ends.
But the heart of this first book – its true essence – is prejudice and love, persistence and stubbornness. The love aspect is certainly not for the faint-hearted, showing just how blind that most powerful and raw of emotions can be. I was left wondering all the way through how it could possibly end – it has to end badly for one or both of the lovers, doesn’t it? Sorry, I’m giving no clues as to the outcome, other than saying you’ll have to wait until the very last sentence to find out.
Roll on The Shield Of Soren – book number two in what promises to be a fascinating and awe-inspiring series.

Stewart Bint – author of Timeshaft

The first book from the Light and Shadow Chronicles series called A Chronicle of Chaos sets up a fantastic world of fantasy and adventure. The main character, Chaos, is a young man in a group called Nightfall. He is destined to be a great fighter and is eager to fulfil his destiny.

He meets Anathema, a young man who is also feeling he needs to prove his value to his group. The story continues as Chaos and Anathema become closer and closer neither realising they are enemies and that Anathema and Chaos are on opposing sides.

The descriptions of the landscape and villages are breathtaking and are so good you can see the scenes in your mind. There are many battles that are tense and really pull at your nerves. The Children of Light call the angels to help fight the group Anathema has after them. All the while Anathema has demons at his disposal leading to some unimaginable battles. A Chronicle of Chaos has a lot of mythology and history that keeps your attention and will set the scene for many great tales in the books in this series.

A Chronicle of Chaos is a story of love, loss, and coming of age all within a wonderful fantasy world. I was thrilled, excited and heartbroken all at the same time. The range of emotions brought me back to D.M. Cain’s first book The Phoenix Project. I’m excited to see the final book and the next book in the series.

David Spell – Reader

In her second novel, D M Cain introduces us to a deep and immersing new world and to a struggle that has been raging for hundreds of years. Told through the experiences of a young man trying to earn his place in the world, and a monster struggling against his bonds, it is an intriguing glimpse into the nature of friend and foe, and into the fragility of absolutes.

Once again Cain manages to subvert our expectations, forcing upon us surprising pathos for the sociopathic, and unreasoning anger against decisions that can only objectively be described as just. I for one eagerly anticipate the next book in the series.

Mathew Gregory – Reader

Ramblings of a modern druidess – The accident

I finally did it. I enrolled in my first debutant author competition in my own country. I seldom write in Dutch, except for my local newspaper and for the music venue I’m working for, but other than that, nothing.

The people can vote for their favourite story and the jury will vote. As it’s all in Dutch and I do need your votes desperately, I decided to translate it for you. So you’ll know whether you like it or not.

Unfortunately it’s a true story. I saw this happen in front of my eyes. The following is my way of honouring the victim.

The accident

It was Wednesday, yesterday afternoon. Around noon, although I never pay much attention to these things. Besides, the weather was dreary. Dry, raining, raining, dry. I’d had a couple of showers already. It happened on the Van Boetzelaerstraat. Maybe I should have paid better attention. Maybe things would have ended up differently, but again, these are not the things I concern myself with.

I did see something out of the corner of my eye, but the crash was unexpectedly hard, nonetheless. I fell onto the road, my head warm and sticky. Voices around me sounded panicky, someone stood beside me and started to make a call. It was bad. But I already knew that. The road beneath my body became colder and colder and my head was starting to float. People around me kept asking questions, but I didn’t hear them very well or I couldn’t understand them. I do remember someone saying I lived across the street and that gave me a strange feeling of comfort. People knew who I was. So the people who loved me would know what happened to me.

I don’t know if you even realize what you have done. You drove on without a single glance. Perhaps your radio was on and you didn’t feel a thing. Didn’t hear a thing. Maybe you would have been shocked if you did notice. Jumping out of your car, your body standing over me protectively, a worried look on your face. You would have stayed with me, till the end. That is how I want to remember you. Not as someone who did a hit and run, because that sounds so cold. As cold as I am now.

But I’m not thinking about that. In my version I was important, with people who love me and that’s my final thought, as I feel my body go up and down for its last breath. I was important, even though I was just a cat.

If you were moved by this story and liked it, please go to this link Editio and press the like button with the little heart. You can also share my story or leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.

The competition ends November 12 and the winners will be announced in February 2015, at the debutant ball! It all sounds very exciting and I hope to be there, but I can’t do it without you 🙂

Ramblings of a modern druidess

“It’s just a game.” That’s what I hear people say the morning after. After we lost, from Denmark. I’m devastated and I don’t even like football! What is it that turns me into a cheering, hopping around in orange fool, every time the European or World Championships shows it ugly face?

As I drive home I pass several cars ‘pimped’ in orange or our red, white and blue, the driver gives my little orange lions a cheery wave and I wave back, a smile appears on both our faces, for one tiny moment, we connect.

Suddenly I realise this is why I love watching the Europian or World Championship, we Dutch rarely go crazy. Our motto basically is ‘act normal, that’s silly enough’. But this brings out the patriot, even in me. Suddenly I want to wave a flag, eat herring and shout at ‘our boys’ to go and get them!

It is kind of sad we have so little to unite over and it might seem silly that we’re able to do just that over a game of sports. But if we have the ability to unite over a game of sports, then surely we must be able to do the same thing with politics, right?

Upcoming September we have to vote for a new government and I hope I’ll remember this moment, that we are capable of uniting, of rooting for our team. Perhaps we can learn to see our government as our team and cheer them on, who knows, they might even lead us to victory 🙂

As for tonight, I’ll be watching with red cheeks and excitement, dressed in orange, of course….