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About Astrid V.J.
Award-winning and USA Today Bestselling Author, Astrid V.J. was born in South Africa. She is a trained social anthropologist and certified transformational life coach. She currently resides in Sweden with her husband and their two children. In early childhood, she showed an interest in reading and languages—interests which her family encouraged. Astrid started writing her first novel at age 12 and now writes fantasy in a variety of genres, exploring her passion for cultures and languages. When she isn’t writing, Astrid likes to read, take walks in nature, play silly games with her children, do embroidery, and play music.
Astrid writes transformation fiction: incorporating transformation principles in novels, rather than writing another self-help book. She loves exploring the human capacity for transformation and potential to achieve success in the face of adversity. Astrid is interested in minority group questions, considerations on social standards of beauty and the negative consequences these have, and would like to make the fantasy genre accessible to people of non-white, non-Christian backgrounds. Astrid feels the fantasy genre has become too restrictive with limited representations of race, ethnicity and culture. She seeks to explore other paths on this writing journey, incorporating her background in anthropology and psychology to create engaging experiences, which also provide food for thought on the diverse topics she finds most important. These include: racism, minority rights, cultural diversity, culture change, intolerance, humanity’s environmental impact, the representation of people on the autism spectrum in among the general populace, the human capacity for transformation, and much more.
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Titles By Astrid V.J.
The Alchemist meets fantasy with a splash of space opera.
Viola Alerion, a renowned storyteller in the Haldrian Empire, wants to be left in peace. For years, she’s been hounded by her past, never to find a moment’s rest. Then she meets a boy who wants to become her apprentice. He refuses to take no for an answer, and she reluctantly yields, even though she knows taking him with her could endanger his life. As their journey progresses, Viola begins to understand she’s not the only teacher in the equation. The nameless boy also has something to teach, but Viola makes for a reluctant student.
Can she give way to possibility and embrace a future in alignment with what she’s always wanted? Can she find the courage to embrace the principles that will transform her life? Can she overcome her circumstances and face her past? Or will she keep on running with nowhere to hide?
And what of the boy who guards untold secrets and exhibits mysterious powers that defy belief?
The e-book of The Apprentice Storyteller also includes exclusive access to "Viola's Guide to Achieving the Impossible". This workbook to help guide you through the first steps towards achieving your own dream is based on key transformational principles from the DreamBuilder™ Course and is not intended for publication. The workbook is only accessible through The Apprentice Storyteller e-book. The link to Viola's Guide to Achieving the Impossible is embedded in a concealed place. This is a treasure hunt. Good luck!
This book is accompanied by The Wordmage's Tales, a series of novellas based on the tales the apprentice learns from Viola Alerion in this story. The Sewing Princess is exclusively available to my newsletter subscribers and Dragons' Daughter is available to pre-order.
You’d better not go alone…
Discover the secret world between the trees where fairies, unicorns and even monsters dwell. Take a stroll through enchanted woods and dance with pixies and dryads by the light of the stars. Escape Baba Yaga and fall in love with a prince in disguise. Taste the fruit at the goblin market and be whisked away on a magical adventure.
Among ancient trees, find beauty, danger and adventure in these enchanting short stories by award-winning, best-selling, and up-and-coming fantasy authors.
Enchanted Forests is fully illustrated by the talented Elena Shelest.
All profits from this anthology will be donated to Rainforest Foundation who support indigenous and traditional peoples of the world’s rainforests in their efforts to protect their environment and fulfill their rights.
Gems of Fae and Foolery - Alice Ivinya
The Lucky Tortoise - Ben Lang
Feather Green - Jennifer Kropf
Apple and the Dead Forest - Xander Cross
To Snare a Prince - Sky Sommers
Blood of the Unicorn - N.D.T. Casale
Dimension of the Sasquatch - Donna White
The Fern Flower - Elena Shelest
Willow Daughter - Astrid V.J.
One Fair Eve - Lyndsey Hall
Dive into our magical collection of short stories written by award-winning and up-and-coming authors and follow the ocean’s call. Meet murderous kelpies, hear the mermaid’s song, find a kidnapped prince, and explore the beautiful underwater kingdoms. Befriend selkie royalty, break fearsome curses, and swoon as you fall in love. This book is fully illustrated with stunning paintings by Helena Satterthwaite and Elena Shelest.
All profits go to Oceana to support their mission to protect the world’s oceans and promote sustainable fishing.
Daughter of the Selkie King - Lyndsey Hall
Merrily Merrily - Jennifer Kropf
The Kelpie of Loch Linnhe - Alice Ivinya
The Bridge - Ben Lang
Kiss the Frog - Sky Sommers
Sea Ghost of the Isle - N.D.T. Casale
The Naiad's Curse - Astrid V.J.
The Arctic Mermaid - N.D.T. Casale
Heartless Melody - Alice Ivinya
The Wishing Well - Elena Shelest
A future torn apart by war…
Adolescence lost to battle…
What becomes of those who lose their childhood to armed conflict?
In this anthology, a diverse group of authors from around the globe bring you a multi-genre collection of short stories about children trapped in war. Includes literary fiction, fantasy, historical fiction and memoir.
In diverse settings of fantasy worlds, Ancient Greece or India and even historical and modern-day Ukraine, explore the lives of children touched by warfare. Some go in search of healing, others are forced to walk in the darkness of guilt and remorse. Each story provides a glimpse of both the horrors witnessed and the potential for redemption. Through the lens of trauma, the authors of this anthology provide not only rays of hope but also powerful messages and much food for thought.
The stories in this collection have been crafted to honor those affected by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and support their healing in the future. No one's potential should be crippled because of trauma inflicted during their most impressionable years. And yet an entire generation of Ukrainians is threatened with just this outcome.
All proceeds of this anthology will be donated in perpetuity to Voices of Children Foundation in Ukraine or another similar charity.
Through Vira’s Eyes by MJ Krause Chivers
Not Dead, Just Sleeping by Darrah Steffen
A Child of Minidoka by Joan T. Seko
Jonah by C. Borden
The Prince and the Flute Player by C. Phillip
The Tarnished Key by Susan Stradiotto
A Mermaid’s Tears by J.C. Seal
The Dragon’s Demise by Daan Katz
The War Legacy by Nandita Pant Joshi
A Vampire’s Heart by I. Vélez
The Curse of Blood by Lauren Lee Merewether
Child of Destruction by Astrid V.J., USA Today Bestselling author
Through the Eyes of a Child by Pam Floyd
The Borrowed Life by Elena Shelest
The cover for this anthology was donated by Pallabi Pattanaik as a contribution toward this project.
This anthology includes illustrations by Ukrainian-American author-artist Elena Shelest.
Due to the nature of the subject matter explored in this anthology, this book is not suitable for sensitive readers with past experiences of trauma. The authors have not shied away from the atrocities committed during wartime and how that affects children because we wanted to honor the experiences of this most vulnerable of population groups whose trauma so often is brushed under the carpet by the adults playing war games. This anthology is suitable for stable individuals 16+ who are willing to step out of their comfort zones to glimpse what is known about how children are affected by violent conflict, whether they are forced to flee their homes, witness atrocities, suffer injuries or lose loved ones.
Specific content warnings are included with the stories that are most likely to trigger a sensitive reader. These are: mention of suicide or suicidal thoughts: A Mermaid’s Tears, The Curse of Blood and The War Legacy; physical violence and torture as well as mention of sexual assault: The Dragon’s Demise; emotional violence: Child of Destruction. Each of these stories includes an individually tailored, detailed content warning.
Can Elaine find herself in the midst of it all, or will she let the stream tug her into yet another life not of her choosing? And what of Raymond Dart, the king's chief investigator with a reputation for being the hardest, most intimidating man in the kingdom? Is the kindness he shows Elaine real or is he acting to get her to confess to a crime she did not commit? Elaine doesn't know what to believe and her life could be on the line if she misses a step.
The Companion's Tale is one of The Wordmage's Tales, accompanying The Apprentice Storyteller. The apprentice has learned from master storyteller, Viola Alerion, and now he performs these classic tales from the Haldrian Empire in his own right.
Double the name and double the magic, mystery, and mayhem
Once upon a time, a fairy tale name generator issued a challenge to a group of authors. Volume Two of these quirky stories brings double trouble.
In this clean YA anthology, spy on thieves discovering their princely identities, accompany villains seeking redemption along with accident-prone geese, and rejoice in the reunion of siblings separated at birth. Side with twins split between good and evil, giggle over mistaken identities, and discover the secrets of royal doppelgängers. When fates are intertwined by a namesake, mayhem and mischief are sure to follow.
Venture into this collection of adventurous stories by award-winning and up-and-coming authors and see if what happens once . . . happens twice!
Pssst…some characters from Once Upon A Name might make a comeback, but the two sets and all stories in them can be read as standalones.
All proceeds donated to charity in support of reading and literacy.
Silver winner of the 2019 Literary Classics International Book Award for Young Adult Fantasy
"A well written and utterly charming coming-of-age tale. With excellent world-building in a realm where magic, elves, and unicorns exist, we are introduced to perfectly flawed and highly relatable characters."
A coven of witches plots to overthrow a kingdom. One brave woman stands in their way.
At her mother’s death-bed, Elisabeth learns her mother’s illness is no accident and that her own life is in danger. Evil witches are plotting to take over the kingdom of Vendale. All alone, naive, and untrained, Elisabeth’s determination is all she has to confront her mother’s murderers as she discovers love at the same time. While Richard’s behaviour sends distracting mixed messages, Elisabeth finds herself stuck in limbo: she is treated like a child but is forced to make adult decisions. Meanwhile, the witches’ plot spins a fateful web around her.
Can Elisabeth succeed in the face of insurmountable odds?
This is the first part of a two-part story.
Becoming, Part 2 of the Siblings' Talewill be available in August 2019.
The e-book of Aspiring, Part 1 of the Siblings' Tale also includes exclusive access to "Nyriana's Musings or The Diary of an Equine Companion". This think piece from Elisabeth's horse's perspective is not intended for publication and is only accessible through this e-book. The link to Nyriana's Musings is embedded in a concealed place. This is a treasure hunt. Good luck!
A Naiad makes an impossible wish, sending a ripple of effect through the land and binding to her magic the people from the nearby mill, and the village beyond. Unexpected twists of fate tie Naiya to Hilda, the miller's unhappy wife and, Amina, the baker's youngest daughter.
Amina is flung into a daring adventure when Naiya's wish ensnares the love of Amina's life. Can she find a way to save Phillip from the watery depths? And what will she have to sacrifice to do so?
Embark on a magical adventure of determination, heartbreak, and transformation. Be enchanted by this retelling of the Grimm Brothers' lesser-known tale, The Nixie of the Mill-pond.
"I had not expected the topic of gender neutral pronouns to pop up. Naiads and some other magical beings are described as without gender and are referred to as "they". I don't think I've ever encountered this in a retelling, I like it!" - Jess
The e-book of Naiya's Wish also includes exclusive access to "Bethany". This short story detailing the life of Naiya's daughter, Bethany, is not intended for publication and is only accessible through this e-book. The link to "Bethany" is embedded in a concealed place. This is a treasure hunt. Good luck!
Warring Lions is one of The Wordmage's Tales accompanying The Apprentice Storyteller. The apprentice has learned from master storyteller, Viola Alerion, and now he performs these classic tales from the Haldrian Empire in his own right.
Please be warned that this book may contain triggers for persons sensitive to warfare and the psychological impact it has. If you experience post traumatic stress as a result of deployment I would highly recommend you read any of my other books. This one is most likely not for you.
The Destitute Countess is one of The Wordmage's Tales accompanying The Apprentice Storyteller. The apprentice has learned from master storyteller, Viola Alerion, and now he performs these classic tales from the Haldrian Empire in his own right.
On a journey that brings painful memories with every step, Silvana must maintain appearances and keep her secrets safe from the imperial prince. Can she overcome her hate? Or will she succumb to the festering desire for vengeance that is threatening to make her as evil as the imperial prince she despises?
Silvana’s Trial is one of The Wordmage's Tales accompanying The Apprentice Storyteller. The apprentice has learned from master storyteller, Viola Alerion, and now he performs these classic tales from the Haldrian Empire in his own right.