Spotlight, Author Interview & Excerpt: Awakening + Giveaway

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Awakening
The Inner Compass, book 1
by Abby Wynne
Genre: Magical Realism

When Marissa’s fiancé leaves her unexpectedly, she is left trying to put the broken pieces of her life back together again. The magical years of her childhood are now lost or long forgotten and, trapped in a downward spiral of worry and anxiety, nothing seems to be bringing the magic back any time soon.
Training to become a therapist, Marissa discovers an unforeseen talent for helping others and, for a while at least, she puts her own needs and concerns to one side. An unexpected windfall prompts a spontaneous trip to Peru, and an encounter while she is there triggers an astonishing series of events. Shaken but excited, Marissa embarks on a wonderful journey of revelation and adventure – after which, her life will never be the same again.

Marissa’s story is your story, is my story, is everybody’s story: we each must find our own true path through life, our one true way.
Abby Wynne, author and Shamanic Psychotherapist, brings all her wisdom to bear on Marissa’s amazing tale of discovery and healing. A catalyst for people’s healing processes, Abby is a problem solver, a creative artist, an alchemist, a healer, a mother, a daughter, a lover of life – and it shows in this, her first novel.


Excerpt:

She went back to room number three and was surprised to discover a woman standing inside the door.

‘Hi, I’m Mandy,’ said the woman, smiling at Marissa.

‘Hi, I didn’t see you come in.’ Marissa became quite flustered and pulled out her list of clients for the evening. Scanning down through the names on it she saw that Mandy was her second client, but they weren’t supposed to start until 7pm.

‘I know, I’m quite early,’ said Mandy. ‘Sorry.’

‘Yes, you are half an hour early, it’s only 6:30. But my first client didn’t show up, so I suppose we could start our session now, if it suited you.’

‘That would be great, thanks. I thought I’d have to wait around ‘til 7…’

‘Well, if the first client had shown up, then you would have had to wait…’ said Marissa, feeling a little irritated at Mandy’s lack of boundaries.

‘Oh dear, well, the door was open and nobody was here, so I thought I could just come in.’

She sighed. ‘It’s okay this time, yes, as there was nobody here, they didn’t turn up, but maybe next time they will.’

‘That happens here a lot,’ said Mandy, taking off her coat and hanging it on the hook behind the door. She chose a chair and sat down in it, putting her handbag on the floor beside her. She was about twenty, not much younger than Marissa. Her hair was dyed dark red, (some of the dye was on her scalp) and she had dark eye make-up. She had a tattoo of a rose on her left wrist, which took up most of her forearm, and she had three earrings in one ear and none in the other.

‘Have you been here before?’ asked Marissa, taking the cushion from her own chair onto her lap as she sat into it.

‘Yeah, I came before, a few times last year, and then last Christmas when my father died. And then before that too, when I was 19 when my brother killed himself.’


Author Interview:

1. Tell us a little about how this story first came to be.
I’ve written more than 10 self-care books, the marketplace is cluttered with them now. I felt that to write another one wouldn’t be adding value, so I took a step back and went inside myself to see if I could merge my life-long wish to write a novel, with the information that I want to share with the world – which is, we are not alone, and there is more to us, and to this reality than meets the eye.

I had read Isabelle Allende’s book ‘The House of the Spirits’ many years ago and was inspired by how she illustrated the main character’s ability to see the dead, while everyone else was unable to. That’s a little like the world of healing. I came up with a main character, Marissa, who was like me but enough unlike me to not be a straight autobiography. And the story came together from there.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
I learnt how much I enjoy writing books! This book was such a joy to write, I let it speak to me when it was ready. I worked energetically with it, as if it was it’s own being and waited for it to crawl up and sit in my lap and whisper to me. It did. And I enjoyed following Marissa’s adventures as much as I know some of my readers have, because I didn’t honestly know what was going to happen next!


3. What surprised you the most in writing it?
What surprised me was how it all came together, and how real the characters became to me. I didn’t mock up anyone, they all formed before me as I wrote them. For example, the clients. These are minor characters in a way, but they do shape how Marissa sees herself as a therapist, and are a useful vehicle to impart some wisdom to the reader. When it was time for Marissa to meet a new client, so I would sit with her and wait with her in her therapy room, just as interested as she was in wanting to know who would show up at her door. They were always interesting, each of them had a different issue so the reader won’t be bored with repetition, and many of them made progress, which I think would inspire people to do their own inner work. I hope it does, anyway!


4. What does the title mean?
Awakening is about spiritual awakening. Marissa, the main character, goes through a spiritual crisis in the books and we follow her through her awakening process, then to transformation (which is book 2), and then expansion (book 3, which I am currently writing.) The Inner Compass Trilogy, well, Inner compass is your intuition. You’ve got to keep your inner compass clear and then you can always find your way home. Where home, is your heart.

5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?
There’s one real person in the book, and she has her right and proper name, and she knows! Everyone else is an amalgamation of someone that I know, or is completely unique to the book. One of the main characters is based on archetypal energies, I have a feeling there are a few people who will see themselves in the book but I can assure you, it’s not them! Ha ha!


6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
Yes most definitely. It’s about good and evil, why we are here, finding out who we are, and why we need to heal. And it’s about becoming empowered in your life, and allowing magic in. So many lessons are woven in, I don’t think any of them are hidden, or preachy. I do like to let the readers make up their own minds.

7. What is your favorite part of the book?
I think in Awakening, one of my favourite parts is her trip to Peru, when she connects with the force that drew her there in the first place and realizes that there are more beings in the world than just human beings.


8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?
Séamus was definitely challenging because he is wise, but funny, a showman and a teacher who has a big heart. Or does he? You’re left wondering… You’ll have to read the book to find out more.


9. What are your immediate future plans?
I’m currently finishing book 3, then I think I’ll take a break, write some poetry, and make space for the next book to come in, whatever that may be.


About the Author:

Abby Wynne is the bestselling author of the “One Day at a Time Diary”, “How to Be Well” and “Energy Healing made Easy.” The Inner Compass Trilogy is her first novel, weaving her knowledge of shamanism, psychotherapy and energy healing into an exciting, fast-paced story which spans across many dimensions. Abby’s based in Ireland and lives with her husband, 4 children, a dog and a cat! Abby offers many ways to feel supported while you are on your path of healing; her mission is to empower people by teaching them how to heal themselves.

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You can find Abby on either of her websites: here or here.
You can listen to her podcast Healing for Healers.
Instagram
Facebook
YouTube

You can buy The Inner Compass Trilogy on all good online bookstores.


 

Giveaway:

Abby Wynne will be awarding a International – €50 off any of the digital products on the author’s website www.abbysonlineacademy.com to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Love and Other Monsters in the Dark, by K.B. Jensen

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Love and Other Monsters in the Dark
by K.B. Jensen
genre: magical realism,  dark fiction, short stories
releases July 1st

Strange Stories That Linger in the Shadows

Readers will encounter serial killers, alien creatures, and dark angels, as well as more “normal” narratives about the horrors of everyday love. Love and Other Monsters in the Dark features a genre-hopping blend of contemporary fiction, noir humor, speculative fiction, and horror, with an undercurrent of love and the relationships that bind us together in the darkness. Among others, the cast of characters includes a catfish and her victim, creepy dolls in prayer, an arsonist housewife, an elderly bank robber, and a “teacup” pig. Some just can’t take it anymore.

From an award-winning story of a woman who turns into her grandmother overnight, to a narrative about facing relationship complications during a zombie apocalypse, this collection offers laughter and tears, playfully packaged in and out of flash fiction.


Excerpt:

Eating the Storm

Standing at the edge of the field, staring into the horizon, Sara swallowed the approaching storm. She unhinged her jaw and swallowed wide, dislocating it. A shooting pain crept up her face. The gray storm clouds tasted salty in her mouth. The condensation slid down the back of her throat, a downpour that threatened to drown her. Her belly swelled, swirled, distended with a hard rain.

A control freak, always trying to please other people. Now she was trying to control the weather. What would her therapist think?

Sara furrowed her brow, clamped her teeth together despite the shooting pain. She was afraid that it would escape. That it would hurt all the people she loved, so she held it in.

The hair on the back of her neck rose, the hair on her arms too. Tiny, fine, blond hairs. She stared at them with wild wide eyes. Afraid if she spoke, the opening of her mouth would release it. She whimpered slightly, but no one was there to hear her.

Sara pushed back the urge to vomit and felt the storm churn within her. Her shoulder-length hair now stood on end. She reached up and tried to pull it back down, to no avail.

Her arms and legs swelled. Her feet and hands bloated. Blood vessels blossomed red across expanding skin. The dress she was wearing stretched and constricted her growing frame. The threads broke, shredding across her chest.

Watching her arms and legs balloon, she was afraid she would pop.

She remembered what her therapist had said, “Depression is anger turned inwards.”

You’d think these words could have helped her stop it, to let it go, but they didn’t.

The thunder rumbled through her internal organs, shaking her liver like jelly, while the lightning sizzled her brain. When they found Sara later, she was never quite the same. Her jaw made strange clicking noises, for one.


About the Author:

Photo Credit: Kelly Weaver Photography
Photo Credit: Kelly Weaver Photography

Award-winning Author K.B. Jensen’s short story collection, Love and Other Monsters in the Dark, will be published July 2022. She has two novels, Painting With Fire, an artistic murder mystery, and A Storm of Stories, which veers literary. K.B. lives in Littleton, CO., with her family and enjoys skiing. She’s a publishing consultant at My Word Publishing. Visit www.kbjensenauthor.com.

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Twitter @KB_Jensen

 

Spotlight & Guest Post: The Tapestry + Excerpt

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The Tapestry
by Audrey N Lewis
Genre: Magical Realism
Release date June 21, 2022
304 pages

Discover a beautiful and deeply haunting tapestry of love, pain, magic, and healing.

In a single moment, Maia’s life would never be the same. Because when her miraculous virgin birth gifts her a blind, albino hermaphrodite, she never could have foreseen the fate that lay in store for them both. Adopted by a pack of coyotes and seeking refuge deep in the woods, a sheltered cottage and unseen helpers give Maia and her baby Justice a new life together.

But the world of the early twentieth century isn’t kind to unwed mothers or children like Justice… and when they’re forced to leave their hidden cottage, Maia finds herself struggling to survive in a man’s world. Her only solace lies in Justice’s incredible gift – an otherworldly ability to weave colorful tapestries that can predict the future.

But Justice’s destiny will call them, and together they will share her gift, bringing freedom to those whose stories need to be told. And as Justice opens hearts and minds through her magical loom, she discovers the life-changing impact that she was fated to share with the world.

Artfully weaving together a powerful and deeply moving story that touches on profound themes of love, transformation, motherhood and healing, The Tapestry is a magical contemporary fiction novel where the emotions pour out of each page, offering readers of all backgrounds a heartfelt experience that will stick in your mind long after you finish reading.

Pre-Order Ebook: Amazon


Excerpt:

For years I would hear stories of a colorless person who wandered the countryside. A person with wild white hair and glaring red eyes. A person who was full of deceit and magic, playing the part of both male and female. A person who was without sight, but could indeed see. A human chameleon, whose many roles included living forever among those who walked before it, beside it, in front of it and behind it. A person whose challenge it was to live life forever. But then, I have to ask, “What is forever?”


Guest Post: How Did The Tapestry start?

The morning after the shootings at The Pulse in Orlando, Fl. The Tapestry was created. It was as if Justices’ birth gave hope and peace to the thousands of unimaginable deaths that were caused over the years because of hate. I felt as if there was no choice but to write.


About the Author:

audrey for book 6 copyAudrey Lewis is an award-winning author, proud mother, and passionate adventurer who loves to push boundaries, take risks, and inspire others. Whether she’s climbing mountains or camping out on billboards in Times Square, she’s a dreamer and a giver who has proven time and time again that she’s not afraid to break the rules. As the author of the critically acclaimed short story collection “Everybody has a story… These are ours”, Audrey’s work has been featured in hit magazines including Short Story Town, Weird Mask Magazine, Spillwords, Active Muse, Evolving, Dissident Voice and Cephalopress.

Armed with her natural-born creativity and a deep passion for her craft, she enjoys nothing more than sharing stories and providing readers with thought-provoking new perspectives. She’s also the founder of the non-profit Families of SMA (Cure SMA) where she served as the executive director for 23 years. Audrey currently resides in Illinois, where she enjoys spending her free time growing vegetables, beekeeping, designing dream catchers, finding vintage treasures, or enjoying a good game of scrabble. For more information about Audrey and her work, visit her website at audreynlewis.com, Facebook and/or Goodreads.

 

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