Psst -Free Box Set Promo this weekend!

A quick heads up that both The Firebird Fairytales Boxset and The Western Wars Boxset will be Free on Amazon this weekend so its a perfect time to check them out and leave a review! They are also on Kindle Unlimited if you are a part of the program…Check out descriptions below x

The Firebird Fairytales is a fresh Nordic Paranormal Fantasy series that breathes new life into Ancient myth

Cry of the Firebird
Born on the crossroads between worlds Anya’s Gate Keeper magic is buried under grief and rage until one fateful night a firebird hatches on her farm who is sharing its body with the fabled Prince Yvan. With Yvan’s dark magician brother Vasilli and other powerful enemies closing in around them, Anya has no choice but to sober up, follow Yvan into Skazki and hope that she can learn how to control her awakening magic before it destroys her and any hope of keeping the gates to both world’s safe.

Ashes of the Firebird
Branded as Rogues and hunted by the supernatural world Anya and her companions flee to Budapest, a place of new allies where they will be safe. They begin the search for Yanka, Anya’s ancestor and the only person in history with enough power to change the tide of the brewing war. Her relationship with the Thanatos Trajan is made complicated when he accidently feeds off her and trouble finds them when Aleksandra saves mysterious demon hunter Mychal from an attack, bringing new monsters and threats to Anya’s door.

Rise of the Firebird
Travelling from the battlefields of Skazki to the Underworld of Tuonela, Anya and her companions encounter the vicious dark goddess Louhi and gain two magician’s, the mad hero Kullervo and Eldon Blaise – apprentice of Merlin himself. As devastating secrets of history and the heart are revealed, Anya must fight the darkness within her and rise up to be a symbol for the Neutral rebel army that rallies under the banner of the firebird. Ready to restore the balance at any price, the final battle of the three armies will shape the worlds forever.

Free Here 

 The Western Wars is an epic fantasy series with loads of adventure, magic and romance

Eastern Gods – Book One

‘Come to me and I’ll whisper secrets that will shake the worlds. ‘

When a spy from the mysterious Eastlands is caught in his kingdom, Haldirian is sent to the only reliable scholar of the East left on the continent of Elindor. With her help, he’s determined to stop the fear of war spreading, but as the first female heir in history, highly intelligent and carrying a warrior swagger Aláenor isn’t what Haldirian has learned to expect from royal princesses. But Aláenor isn’t as confident as she appears as she’s haunted by the memory of her dead mother and plagued by a man whispering in her nightmares.

The spy claims that Mordecai, dark magician and Emperor of the East sent him to scout their kingdoms for an invasion, but it’s the threat of unknown magic that forces them to act. The West turned their back on magic hundreds of years ago, and they will have no way to stand against it if the mysterious Emperor decides to make war.

Together, Aláenor and Haldirian will journey to the other side of the world to learn the truth, but nothing is as it seems, and the East will reveal secrets to Aláenor that will shatter her world, question her loyalties, and forge her into the queen she must become.

The Golden Queen – Book Two

Scholar. Warrior. Lover. Queen.

Still recovering from her imprisonment in the Red Fortress, Aláenor travels to the northern city of Anan in search of new allies in her war against the Emperor Mordecai.

Anan has more than one surprise for Aláenor, and as she comes to terms with the magic awakening inside of her she will need Haldirian’s support to make it back to the West.

Aláenor has been raised to believe that Mordecai’s family line were traitors, but history is written by the winners and she will discover she has more in common with the enemy than she thinks.

Free Here

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May Update

Hey Everyone,

Do you guys have months that are always out of control no matter how well you plan them? Every year it seems to my May. I had it all perfectly planned then it exploded and I’m running about like a head with its chicken cut off.

First things first…KINGDOM is DONE. Well, the first draft is anyway. Hurray! I’m currently reading through it, making lots of notes where I seem to have forgotten to write needed scenes and adding in descriptions that I left behind. Every book I write is different and KINGDOM has had its own set of challenges including an ending that wouldn’t stop changing. Its on track to still be released at some point this year but I’m not committing to any date until I have a draft I’m happy with.

Speaking of releases, Eastern Gods will be out on the 30th of May. I’m not doing heaps of promo around it because it is a re-launch but the date is set, pre-order pages are  up. The Golden Queen (book 2) is getting its final proofread completed and I should have a pre-order page up for it shortly. Ideally I’d like to release them both on the 30th but I’ll see how I’m tracking. Before I forget…the paperback is not being released for another little while but I’ll keep you updated on it. In their first draft format, these books were written before The Firebird Fairytales series (10+ years ago). This is why the discerning reader will pick up references to a particular magical wood mentioned in Rise of the Firebird that are the same trees in Eastern GodsIts taken me forever to get to a point that I’m comfortable sharing them but I feel like its time. It’s a BIG world with lots of characters and potential for more stories in the future. It wraps up neatly but I’ve purposely left space for more books because it’s such a fun world to play in. It is aimed at a young adult/ new adult audience but I’ve had lots of adult beta readers enjoy the series so check it out if you like adventurous, epic fantasy with a fun bit of romance thrown in.

I’ve tentatively started writing book 2 of SECRET PROJECT which hopefully won’t need to remain a secret much longer. I’m trying to clear my editing plate before I really sink my teeth into it because this particular series always takes longer to write due to the research involved. Expect announcements in this space soon. Trust me, as soon as I get the green light I seriously won’t be able to stop talking about it.

Stuff I’m Reading: 

If you follow my social media you would’ve seen that I’m FINALLY catching up on my Sarah J Maas TBR pile. I love both of her series and I’ve been about four books behind for a while now. I’ve smashed out the Court of Thorns and Roses series and now about to start the last two Throne of Glass. I’ve said it before but I really wish these books were around when I was a teenager. I got so sick of only reading fantasy books with male protagonists that I decided to write my own series…and The Western Wars series was born. I can’t wait to get stuck into Throne of Glass…Aelin is my fave!

My obsession with L.H.Cosway is continuing this month as I get stuck into this beauty. I’m not a huge contemporary romance fan but I seriously love her books. Not only are they hot (so hot) they are HILARIOUS and all of the characters seem like people you could hang out with that have relatable problems.  I’m a sucker for a man with a stringed instrument so I’m enjoying the hell out this one.

Thats all from me for the moment, but I’ll put up another update if I get any newsworthy news.

Ames xo

 

Posted in Amazon, fairytale, fantasy, Indie Publishing, magic, Novels, Romance, Writing | Tagged , , , ,

April Update #Iamdying

Greetings from crazy writer land,

I am on the last 10-15k words of KINGDOM and I am super fried but trying to end strong. It has come together in a weird and wonderful way that I didn’t plan for but somehow works better. This always seems to happen, my writing structural plan more or less hits its original high points but how I get to them always happens in a random organic fashion. I’ve learnt not to stress too much when things go a bit haywire but I tell you, sometimes its hard to relinquish control. It’s fairly different from the other two of The Blood Lake Chronicles as most of the action takes place in Faerie, where we learn HEAPS about the Seren Du family origins and all sorts of shenanigans happens. I’m going to be a little bit (a lot) nuts by the time that it is done but I’m feeling good about it so thats a good sign. I do have plenty of the usual impostor syndrome voices going on but trying to do my best not to feed that troll.

 

The writer brain and anxiety has been a lot less this time around because I am simply managing my shit better. ‘My shit’ being my mental health in this case. I’m pretty new to yoga (only been practicing for about 10 months) but its seriously helping me keep calm and also provides a good way for my to untangle plots while I move. Sitting still is really hard for me so the concept of a moving meditation has done me wonders. I highly recommend Allie- The Journey Junkie on Youtube if you are a newbie and want to learn some yoga. Shes a great teacher and the online community is a good support. I also have had my first go of a sensory deprivation tank this  month and I can’t recommend it enough. I love a long bath and this was the bath experience heightened to perfection. I’m big on meditation and this gave me the deep calm of a really good meditation session. It helped clear a lot of the screaming in my head and general feelings of being over whelmed that comes with tying up a book.

Speaking of books (and this is SO overdue) but I have decided that I am going to do a relaunch of my Western Wars series. So, some of you might remember last year I ran a promo through Kindle Scout for a YA fantasy called ‘Eastern Gods’…it didnt get picked up and I did release it as per the Kindle Scout rules, but then I took it down again after a month. WHY you might be asking? Well, a few reasons, some professional, some personal, but mainly I wanted to get it re-edited with US grammar (I’m Aussie so our grammar is different) and also I wanted to release it with the second book. The second book needed to be edited heavily and when I came to do it last August I was just too burnt out and wanted to throw the whole lot into a fire. Last year, I was mentally and emotionally burnt a lot and its taken me nearly 8 months to bounce back. Anyway, book  2 has sat there until the last month when I got some sound advice from a friend who really believes in the series (hey Kathryn) and convinced me to suck it up, do the work and get it released. As a result of this lecture, I have been doing edits on the second book when I’ve needed a break from KINGDOM. It’s come together in a way that I’m finally happy with which is great, and while it does need to go off to the line editor, both books are scheduled to be released digitally this year. For a paperback edition I’d like to combine the books as it is one continuous story, but I’ll keep you all posted on that. They are written in a different sort of style to my other books (they are epic fantasy after all) but I hope you will enjoy them if they sound like your thing.

The good news is it means you’ll definitely get three books out of me this year; Eastern Gods, The Golden Queen, and KINGDOM.  I don’t know if the Mychal spin off book will be ready to go as it still needs a bit of re-writing and perfecting but I want to try and do this work as a palate cleanser between KINGDOM and the starting of book 2 of NEW SECRET PROJECT.

I’m sure there is other stuff I’m forgetting to add in this update, but I’m too off in writer land to remember everything at the moment. I’m sporadically on social media but mostly hiatusing until the book is finished.

See you on the other side,

Amy x

 

Posted in fantasy, Indie Publishing, Life, magic, paranormal, Upcoming Projects, Writing | Tagged , , ,

Bad writing day and advice- via Chuck Wendig

There are days when being a writer makes you feel like you are a Creator God, Designer of Worlds, Breaker and Maker of Destinies. But some characters, like man, are prone to do, they turn around and say, “Fuck you Creator God, I’m gonna do what I want!” and they destroy that perfectly structured PLAN that you lovingly designed for them. I guess what I am trying to say is.. “Fuck you, Merlin! Do as you’re told!….please?”

Note: My Merlin is nothing like the above Merlin character. My Merlin is a temperamental lovable psycho like Alucard from Hellsing crossed with a magical reprobate. It’s just therapeutic for me to watch ANY Merlin get slapped today.

Whenever I am having a bad writing day, I go back and read THIS by Chuck Wendig… but this paragraph in particular is resonating hard with me today:

“Consider: the act of telling a story is you CONJURING AN ENTIRE UNIVERSE INSIDE YOUR MIND and then using words as knives to CARVE THAT UNIVERSE INTO REALITY SO THAT OTHERS CAN VISIT YOUR IMAGINATION. “Today I am going to make a world out of my brain that you can go to in your spare time,” you say aloud, hopefully realizing that this is far more significant and far more bizarre than tying your shoes or blowing your nose. Creating whole worlds is pyroclastic. It is volcanic. It’s heat and fire, it’s molten rock, it’s lightning inside black smoke amid the nose and clamor of thundering earth and boiling air. It is an astonishing, generative act.

And it’s sometimes hard.

Sometimes what we do is stage magic. Sometimes the magic is sacrificial.

Stage magic requires hours of practice where you get it wrong.

Sacrificial magic requires blood on the altar.

In both cases, the magic — be it trick or spell — is hard as hell.

As it should be. As it must be.” 

I love writing, and if it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be fun OR worth it.

Okay, bitching over. I’m off to be a vengeful God. xo

 

Posted in Art, fairytale, fantasy, Life, magic, Novels, paranormal, Upcoming Projects, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Jesus wasn’t white: he was a brown-skinned, Middle Eastern Jew. Here’s why that matters

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

File 20180326 188628 rjgyj4.png?ixlib=rb 1.1
Hans Zatzka (Public Domain)/The Conversation, CC BY-ND

Robyn J. Whitaker, University of Divinity

I grew up in a Christian home, where a photo of Jesus hung on my bedroom wall. I still have it. It is schmaltzy and rather tacky in that 1970s kind of way, but as a little girl I loved it. In this picture, Jesus looks kind and gentle, he gazes down at me lovingly. He is also light-haired, blue-eyed, and very white.

The problem is, Jesus was not white. You’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise if you’ve ever entered a Western church or visited an art gallery. But while there is no physical description of him in the Bible, there is also no doubt that the historical Jesus, the man who was executed by the Roman State in the first century CE, was a brown-skinned, Middle Eastern Jew.

This is not controversial from a scholarly point of view, but somehow it is a forgotten detail for many of the millions of Christians who will gather to celebrate Easter this week.

On Good Friday, Christians attend churches to worship Jesus and, in particular, remember his death on a cross. In most of these churches, Jesus will be depicted as a white man, a guy that looks like Anglo-Australians, a guy easy for other Anglo-Australians to identify with.

Think for a moment of the rather dashing Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ. He is an Irish-American actor. Or call to mind some of the most famous artworks of Jesus’ crucifixion – Ruben, Grunewald, Giotto – and again we see the European bias in depicting a white-skinned Jesus.




Read more:
Friday essay: who was Mary Magdalene? Debunking the myth of the penitent prostitute


Does any of this matter? Yes, it really does. As a society, we are well aware of the power of representation and the importance of diverse role models.

After winning the 2013 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 12 Years a Slave, Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o shot to fame. In interviews since then, Nyong’o has repeatedly articulated her feelings of inferiority as a young woman because all the images of beauty she saw around her were of lighter-skinned women. It was only when she saw the fashion world embracing Sudanese model Alek Wek that she realised black could be beautiful too.

If we can recognise the importance of ethnically and physically diverse role models in our media, why can’t we do the same for faith? Why do we continue to allow images of a whitened Jesus to dominate?

Jim Caviezel in Mel Gibson’s 2004 film The Passion of the Christ.
IMDB

Many churches and cultures do depict Jesus as a brown or black man. Orthodox Christians usually have a very different iconography to that of European art – if you enter a church in Africa, you’ll likely see an African Jesus on display.

But these are rarely the images we see in Australian Protestant and Catholic churches, and it is our loss. It allows the mainstream Christian community to separate their devotion to Jesus from compassionate regard for those who look different.

I would even go so far as to say it creates a cognitive disconnect, where one can feel deep affection for Jesus but little empathy for a Middle Eastern person. It likewise has implications for the theological claim that humans are made in God’s image. If God is always imaged as white, then the default human becomes white and such thinking undergirds racism.

Historically, the whitewashing of Jesus contributed to Christians being some of the worst perpetrators of anti-Semitism and it continues to manifest in the “othering” of non-Anglo Saxon Australians.




Read more:
What history really tells us about the birth of Jesus


This Easter, I can’t help but wonder, what would our church and society look like if we just remembered that Jesus was brown? If we were confronted with the reality that the body hung on the cross was a brown body: one broken, tortured, and publicly executed by an oppressive regime.

How might it change our attitudes if we could see that the unjust imprisonment, abuse, and execution of the historical Jesus has more in common with the experience of Indigenous Australians or asylum seekers than it does with those who hold power in the church and usually represent Christ?

The ConversationPerhaps most radical of all, I can’t help but wonder what might change if we were more mindful that the person Christians celebrate as God in the flesh and saviour of the entire world was not a white man, but a Middle Eastern Jew.

Robyn J. Whitaker, Bromby Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies, Trinity College, University of Divinity

And just because this article made me think of it…here is ‘American Gods’ talking about the many Jesi, cos there’s a lot of need for Jesus so there is a lot of Jesus. 

Posted in Ancient History, Art, History

March Update

I’m running a bit late this month with the update but I am here! Finally!

Last month was HUGE both professionally and personally. I spent time as no #1 in respective Amazon categories for both Wylt and Cry of the Firebird which has brought many more readers into the Firebird Fairy tales world – Welcome! As always, I’m crazy grateful for everyone who buys, reads and reviews my books. I wouldn’t be doing this without you!

Okay, to the stuff:

  • Work on KINGDOM is progressing at a fast pace. Now that I’m on a uni break and have locked away other projects and distractions (social media has been cut WAY back), I’m really hitting the word count hard. I’m about to hit the half way mark which is exciting and nerve wracking as I tie up a bunch of story arcs. It’s been fun refreshing myself in Celtic myths and experimenting with different gods and characters. I’ve always found writing the Blood Lake Chronicles to be so therapeutic to my writer brain and this one is shaping up to be no different.
  • While I cant say anything too much, my SUPER SECRET UNNAMED PROJECT that I spent most of last year working on is almost ready to announce. SO much exciting stuff happening that I cant wait to tell you all about. I can say that it is based in a different ‘world’ to the Firebird / Blood Lake books which is exciting and nerve wracking but omg guys, I am so in love with it and I hope you will be too. At this stage its got three books planned (yeah I seem to move in threes, I know) and once KINGDOM is wrapped up I can really throw myself into it. Eek.

What I’ve been reading:

  • L.H. Cosway!! Guys. Why didn’t you tell me the HEART series existed?? I mean illusionists and fire eaters? Hot romance? Engaging plots? GUYS WITH TATS. I read the first one Six of Hearts in a single sitting and consumed book two Hearts of Fire straight afterward. They were AMAZING and highly recommend if you are after a romance.

Check them out HERE.

I had to ‘rest’ the series because I seriously wasn’t getting anything done. Definitely an author I’ll binge read as soon as KINGDOM is sorted.

 

  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – Okay. I will be the first to admit I’m not on a YA fantasy bender at the moment (I tend to go through stages) but I’ve waited ages to get my hands on this one. Holly writes incredible dark fairy worlds and this reverse changelings of humans raised in Faerie is no exception. There were things I really loved about it (the Court, general world building) and things that I felt a bit meh over, namely the many bullying scenes and highschool vibe in some sections. I fully understand its target market is YA but as someone who hated school and was bullied a lot it got old for me quick. The main story arc and character development is really great and you can tell that the series is gearing up for something BIG which will ultimately keep me reading. Definitely in the ‘introduction to a bigger story arc’ book category for me because I was only really getting into it before it was over.

Next on the reading list is Elizabeth Hunter’s new one INK, which might have to wait til next weekend because she is a writer I DON’T STOP READING once I start. A book store and tattoos in one book? Yeah I’m so not going to put it down. Also, this is clearly a sign I need another tattoo…Right? In all seriousness, give her a shot if you are after solid storylines with awesome world building. Her Irin Chronicles? Seriously don’t even get me started on how much I love them.

Check her out HERE

Okay so that’s all for me for the moment, go watch Black Panther if you haven’t already, it was fantastic. Also, expect me talking about Tomb Raider next update because I CAN’T WAIT for the new film to be released….Amy x

Posted in fantasy, Indie Publishing, Life, magic, Novels, paranormal, Reviews, Upcoming Projects, Writing

February Update

Hi Everyone,

Where did January go??? Got a not so crazy feeling that this year is going to be full on!

Things are going down in the weird writing world of Amy. So far this year I have:

*Completed another re-write of Jael/Mychal book. I have a draft that I’ve proof read and while it still needs more work I feel like its FINALLY heading in the right direction. Exorcists are bitches to write. It’s really one of the stories I’ve had serious doubts over but it has refused to let me go and that is generally a sign I should keep working on it. Once I finish the next round of changes it will go to the wise beta readers for plot/sensitivity/wtfAmy comments.  I have a pretty exciting ending that leaves it way open for more stories.

*I’ve submitted a final assignment for uni which means that I’m now on a break for a whole semester (at least) and can have some breathing room to get more writing done.

*Today I’ve cracked out 1500 new words of Chapter Seven of KINGDOM,  Book Three of the Blood Lake Chronicles. If you follow my social media you would have seen me lamenting yesterday about how my characters have already messed my structure up. This is pretty typical of this group to be honest. They like to surprise me and make work around them. In saying that its been FUN so far. It always takes me the first 20k words of a book to really find my groove but it is coming together. Hopefully I will get it finished during my uni break time. That’s the plan anyway. There is lots of magic and ravens and wolves and cities inside trees and magical swords…all the good stuff.

 

*I have a New Release Mailing List! Hurray! Draft2Digital has been amazing so far and they also have a nifty feature of creating a sign up list for readers. If you want an email notification of when I release a new book please sign up here. At the most I release two books a year, so don’t worry, you aren’t going to spammed.

I’ve recently become obsessed with ( and HIGHLY recommend) the following:

*Ancient Magus Bride – This anime has knocked my socks off. Celtic myth, cool mages, DRAGONS, NORDIC MAGIC…I am so in love.  Its like a Studio Ghibli created a whole series. Funimation has the English dub, Crunchyroll has subtitles so pick your poison and give it a shot.

*Uprooted – Naomi Novik. I know I’m the last person reading this. Its been on my TBR since it was released but I finally got a hold of the Audible version in January. It was on a Friday. Saturday I bought the book. Sunday I finished it. I LOVED IT SO MUCH. Russian Fairytale vibe, beautiful perfect story. If you havent read it, give it a shot. It came along right when my creative well was bone dry and filled me up with magic and wonder and Dragons and forest magic.

 

That’s pretty much all from me. A reminder that WYLT is Free for Valentines Day so if you want a bit of hot gothic fae romance in your life pick yourself up a copy here.

Posted in Art, Demons, Exorcist, fairytale, fantasy, Indie Publishing, Jael, magic, Novels, paranormal, Romance, Upcoming Projects, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , ,