ASTRID'S JANUARY NEWSLETTER
Here's to a new year and a new decade!
And what better way to start than hitting the ground running?
This month I submitted Gisela's Passion for a cover contest and it's currently ranked 3rd! Please would you help me get it to first place so my designer can get the recognition she deserves for this fabulous cover. All you have to do is vote (click on the image) and if you're feeling generous with your time, you could share the link and encourage your friends to support it too.
Don't miss this month's great romance book sale! Tons of great books at awesome prices. I've read some of them and they've been pretty good if you enjoy romance reads.
My book recommendation for this month is
The Intimidation Game by C.L. Stewart
This book is so deep and pays great attention to human psychology. C.L. Stewart has taken a really tough topic and fictionalised it in a moving and thought-provoking way while also remaining deeply respectful of abuse victims.
Nikki is a South African IT program developer, but she’s stuck in a toxic, abusive relationship with Mike. The Intimidation Game opens with her taking her life back into her own hands and doing the bravest thing she’s ever done: leaving Mike. She travels to the United Kingdom where she’s found a new job and she hopes the distance will be enough to truly get away, but breaking away from Mike’s mental shackles is going to be the true test of Nikki’s strength.
What's new for 2020?
The Wishmaster series
It’s a new year and a new decade and I’m embarking on a writing project I am super excited about. If you’ve read The Siblings’ Tale, you’ve already met the main character for my new series: Viola Alerion. In The Apprentice Storyteller (Wishmaster Series Book 1) she is an itinerant storyteller who travels from town to town, gathering stories and weaving tales for the entertainment of others. Then, she meets a young boy who wants to become her apprentice and everything she thought she knew about the workings of the world is turned on its head. In a funny twist of fate, the apprentice she reluctantly takes on (only because he refuses to take no for an answer) becomes the teacher, showing Viola that the life she’s lived so far is a shadow of her true possibility, because, even though she’s spent her life weaving dreams with words, Viola has never taken the time to dream up her own life. Everything she’s ever done is a reaction to what happens to her.
In this first book of the series, Viola embarks on a journey of discovery where she learns that she has the power to transform her life if she so chooses. Her apprentice leads the way and shows her what is possible.
This first book, along with a series of novellas, The Wordmage’s Tales, engages with core conecepts from transformational life coaching and illustrates how these transformational principles work. The book is structured to mirror the DreamBuilder course developed by Mary Morrissey from The Life Mastery Institute and the idea is to take the core concepts from two other courses offered by the institute and develop them into Book 2: Becoming Spellwright and Book 3: Master Wordmage which follow the apprentice’s journey of ultimate transformation to become a wordmage, a very powerful and rare type of magician who can bend time and space to suit him and will achieve success with everything he endeavours. This series is a true alchemical journey of turning the leaden life of the average person into a golden life of opportunity, using fiction as a tool to illustrate how this works in real life and how it can apply to every one of us.
I hope to publish the first book in the autumn of 2020. In the coming months I’m going to start a Wattpad account to put up this content as I self-edit it. Watch this space for my Wattpad release, cover reveals and release dates!
There’s self-doubt and those feelings of not being worthy, the terror of getting into a similar situation, the fear of being hurt or used again, the need for personal space and the constant rationalising that pushes a possible better future away out of fear, and Stewart brings it all together seamlessly. Another really important point illustrated in this book is how we have a tendency to gravitate towards the devil we know rather than facing the great unknown because, for some reason, our psychological processes allow us to feel that, although a situation might be bad (say like an abusive relationship), we are more comfortable on this side of the fence and we hesitate to cross over, even if it means we’ll actually be safer. This is why I find the ending of this book so poignant, because it explores the true nature of our inherent psychological weaknesses and every cell in my body screamed at Nikki not to go through with it even as my rational brain chimed in that ”this is how people are”, and I know that if I had been in Nikki’s shoes, I could quite easily have made the same choice she did.
Thankfully, The Intimidation Game has a happy ending which makes up for all the heart-wrenching twists and turns and allows you to breathe easy again. It was undoubtedly a really satisfying ending.
All of this comes wrapped in the trimmings of a lovely romance with Dan, Nikki’s unconventional boss at her new workplace. It is a wonderful story, great for any lover of romance. However, I truly hope it can reach women who find themselves in similar situations to Nikki in the hope it might inspire them to put themselves first and escape from those who intimidate and belittle them instead of loving and respecting them as they deserve. And, of course, it gives those of us who have never experienced such things, an insight into what such relationships do to our sisters and what we could do to help those who have survived such horrors.
I would like to thank the author for bringing such an important topic, which is often overlooked, into popular literature and, especially, into the romance genre. By doing so, she offers something unique and meaningful to the genre.