December 11, 2016

My Highlights of 2016

Merry Christmas wishes from us to you & your loved ones!

2016 is coming to end and I must say it was a productive year as an Author as well as a blogger and designer. I interviewed fascinating and inspiring personalities: Authors, Actors, Musicians, and Artists from England, the USA and Australia. If you have missed my interviews, don’t worry! The links to each of my inspirational interview partners will stay on the side-bar of my blog.
I have published three books in 2016. The second part of my Children’s book series “Bon Voyage, Monsieur Jac & Lily travel to Europe” was published in September and I even received a Thank you letter from the Chancellor of Germany and from Kensington Palace because Angela Merkel, Prince George and Princess Charlotte are one of my many personalities that Monsieur Jac & Lily meet while they’re discovering the beauty of Europe.

My first Illustrated Fiction Book “America’s Royal Family” was published in October and this time I received a Thank you letter from Prince Harry because he is one of the celebrities that Lisy meets in America, while she is looking for America’s Royal Family. And no, I will not reveal who America’s Royal Family is. You have to read the book to find out yourself.

And last but not least my Memoir “The Lily Amis Story” which includes the first two parts of my Trilogy “Destination: Freedom” and “Definition of Freedom”. The first part “Destination: Freedom” was nominated twice in 2016 in the Non-Fiction Category, which was amazing. Being nominated along talented and successful Authors from all over the world was a great experience and personal achievement. Thank you for all the votes!

2016 was also a meaningful year for me as an Artist. After years of working, waiting, and researching my mum and I finally managed to bring our designs into Life. Thanks to the Artist platform we have created 12 Collections! And we're currently working on many more gorgeous and lovely designs.
We also came up with the idea to support other Independent Artists, Authors & Musicians and will be offering a brand new Service4Indies” in 2017. If you are interested please check out our Website !
I like to use this opportunity to thank a few people that have supported and/or inspired me during in this year:
A huge thank you to the wonderful and inspiring British Author and Blogger Annelisa Christensen for interviewing me this year. It was an honor to have you as one of my inspirational interview partners on my blog as well. I’m going to spoil myself with a copy of #ThePopishMidwife for Christmas and can’t wait to write my review.

A huge thank you to the wonderful and talented American Author and Blogger Bibiana Krall for featuring “America’s Royal Family” on her blog and making me a part of her Indies Spotlight Family. You are an inspiration. Please keep up the good work & remember when you become a best-selling Author worldwide don’t forget me! :-)

A huge thank you to the California based artist Michael Alvarez. Thank you for inspiring me with your art. Thanks to you we discovered the Artist platform and were finally able to produce our own collections. Keep up the good work & God bless you and your loved ones.

A huge thank you to the multi-talented Swedish singer, songwriter& actor Carl Lindquist for his kindness. May all your goals and wishes come true. Best of luck with your upcoming Solo-Album! God bless you and your loved ones.

And finally A MASSIVE THANK YOU to ALL my inspirational interview partners. Keep up the good work and may you continue to inspire more people with your love and passion for art, music, movies and literature.

In my entire Life, I have never taken anyone for granted. I always say kindness & selfless support is a God-given blessing! Either you have it or you don’t! And the older I get the more I’m grateful for honest, respectful, caring and loving people in my life.
Some people are just there for you in their Free time. And others take the effort to make time for you despite their busy schedule! Those are caring people who help or care for others not because they expect a reward, but because it is natural to them to show kindness. It is natural to them to be loving and caring. So thank you to those who made the time to be there for me despite their busy life and work schedule, time difference and distance.

And thanks to all the pretenders. You made me realize once again that money, success and fame does change people. Remember you can fool trustful, naive and genuine people, but you can’t never ever fool God. Money can buy you fame, success and a false image. But money can’t buy you personality, honesty, kindness and humanity! Thanks to fake pretenders I appreciate the RIGHT, NICE and REAL people with a sincere heart even more.

God bless you all. Merry X-Mas and Happy New Year!

December 06, 2016

Book Reviews - Authors need your support!

I recently asked you my fellow Authors not to sell yourself short by offering your book titles for FREE! I also asked our readers to respect the hard work we put in our books for months or even years.
When you download a book for FREE or for only 0.99 $, the least you can do as a reader is to write a short review. As I always say being kind and respectful won’t kill you. Don’t be afraid of being kind. Trust me it is a wonderful feeling and you won’t regret it! Try it and you will be surprised! :-)
Each one of us has a busy schedule. We all have our daily responsibilities and priorities but saying THANK YOU is the least we can do in our daily lives. So why not saying THANK YOU to the Author? Especially to Indie Authors who offer their hard work for FREE or only 0.99 $!
Honestly, there is no excuse for not writing a review. Not writing a review after reading a book is in my eyes disrespectful and ungrateful. You basically let the Author down instead of encouraging the Author to continue her/his path. Trust me it is extremely hard and challenging to keep on going when you feel you're getting nowhere with your writing. It is a daily struggle. Your Author's mind says: Why am I doing this when no one cares? But your Author's heart says: Keep on writing. The day will come when readers appreciate your work and you will be rewarded. 
So do you understand now how important it is to write a review? Many readers simply read the book for its own sake, and forget that an Author is a person who's trying to be seen in the world. What readers also don’t realize is that writing reviews can be live changing for Authors, especially for Independent Authors.  Often the only way to be seen in the book world is to have reviews & ratings! Catch 22. You don't get the reviews unless people read the reviews and take a chance on the book!

So my message @Readers, @Reviewers and fellow Authors is:
The next time you download an e-book or buy a print book please remember to say THANK YOU to the Author afterward. If you don’t have much time at least score the book with stars! But if you have the time please leave a helpful comment for other readers. If you liked the booklet the Author know. Your Review is your way of applauding the Author. Constructive criticism is more than accepted and appreciated.

Speaking of criticism if you didn’t like what you read, please don’t attack the book or the Author. You are entitled to have an opinion. But remember that everybody is different with different tastes. Just because you didn’t like the book it doesn’t mean that it was a bad book. Leaving negative reviews or insulting the Author with a one-star review makes you look frustrated and unhappy about your own life.

If you are a professional editor or publisher - who was politely asked by the Author to write a review - you know very well how much time and effort an Author invests in his/her baby. So don’t make yourself look like a frustrated human and an unprofessional editor who’s only looking for a platform to express her/his dissatisfaction. If you don’t like a book or find it boring, don’t leave a review at all. Be kind, be professional and most importantly be respectful. Contact the Author privately with your critic, but don’t insult the Authors work publicly with a one-star review.

The reason why I’m mentioning this here is because I recently saw a one-star review for one of my favorite Authors work and I was and still am shocked! I can’t believe how rude some people are. In this case it was a review by a so-called “professional and experienced author, editor and reviewer” who in my eyes behaved totally inappropriate, uncooperative, unprofessional and unkind.

What annoys me the most is that women should always support each other. But this Lady has clearly and sadly never heard the expression “Girl-Power”! She only made a fool of herself by leaving a one-star review! Why? Because all other readers including myself praise the story, the hard work, and the passion of the Author for her amazing book! 

Just recently a female fellow Author send me a message and told me that she was interested in reading my memoir. But she would only buy it and review it if I would buy her memoir and review it as well. Seriously? What is this attitude! I only help you if you help me! This attitude brings us nowhere. I buy and read what I want to read and not what people force me to buy and read just to get reviews for my book. Again being kind and respectful doesn’t kill you. Try it! ;-)

Thank you for your time and please remember to say Thank you to the Author of your current book! Leave a Review on the Website where you purchased your book, but also on Author platforms such as Goodreads and Amazon!
Thank you very much for your kindness & Support. Remember being kind is a God given blessing. When you give Love you get back Love!


November 30, 2016

The Lily Amis Story (2 in ONE) is out now!

“Perhaps it may have been stay and face the bombing in our hometown, rather than endure a permanent fight for acceptance and dignity in a foreign country. From childhood through to my adult years, my freedom was stolen from me, just so that I could remain in Switzerland. This was my emotional suicide.” Lily Amis

In summer 2015, the refugee crises became a global issue. However, I have already experienced war as a child in the Eighties, growing up in a war zone and living from one day to another. However, my exposure to war and daily bombings seemed nothing compared to what I was faced with, living as a refugee in Switzerland for over two decades! Rejection, humiliation, discrimination and constant fear of existence were a living punishment - from the moment we entered the country as a war-refugee until today, where I am now a Swiss Citizen. A life without human rights, freedom and dignity is really worth nothing!

The Lily Amis Story includes the two first published books of my memoir trilogy. Part One: Destination: Freedom and Part Two: Definition of Freedom.

Living in a war zone from one day to another is one of the most horrifying experiences in Life, whether you’re an adult or a kid. As a kid you don’t really understand what’s going on because not even the adults know how to deal with this life-changing situation. I still remember and feel the uncertainty, insecurity and fear of death. Your daily life and the behaviour of the adults changes drastically. All of a sudden, people that gave you comfort and security are helpless too. Every moment can be the last, and you are totally conscious of that when you clearly hear the bombings day and night. Despite this experience and a horrible emotional-setback by my father, who left us when I was just five years old, I had a lovely childhood. I grew up in a home and neighborhood filled with love and harmony. 

Leaving our hometown with only two suitcases and fear, my mom and I hoped for a safe and happy future in Europe.  But the escape was only the start of a new set of problems. The journey was only the beginning of a lifelong misery. My childhood was immediately over and I had to grow up fast in a country, where I felt unwelcomed and rejected from minute one. 

We see the images of the refugee’s journey these days, thanks to the media coverage, which is heart-breaking. But the actual tragedy begins from day one when you officially register as refugees in your new country. Dealing with bureaucracy is a nightmare. I wish the governments would stop treating refugees like numbers of annoying folders on their desk. Behind every number is a destiny. And, for the love of God, Life is too short and precious to make it miserable for others.

I started with writing about ten years ago because of long-term Unemployment. Writing Destination: Freedom and Definition of Freedom were both kind of a self-therapy during extremely difficult and challenging times in my life. When you feel lonely and totally helpless the only person you can rely on is you and no one else. Writing really helps healing and I always felt that it is my duty to share my story. Not only to help myself but also to help others with the same or similar Life struggles. Until then painting and drawing were my way of self-help. But writing my two memoirs made me realize that I have to write. There is so much that I want to share or as I call it entertain and educate readers about.

So therefore in Definition of Freedom, the follow-up story, I openly shared my experiences as a foreigner in Switzerland, where my life was constantly overshadowed by discrimination and social isolation. My mom and I lived in fear of deportation for the following years. We had to fight for acceptance and pure survival for almost two decades. So we missed out on Life. We really did. I feel as my whole childhood, teenager hood and adult hood was stolen only in order to be allowed to stay in Switzerland.  I was so busy with the bureaucracy nonsense that I have neglected the really essential and valuable things in life. When the government tells you to your face, after a decade, to either marry or leave the country, and you marry the wrong guy for the wrong reasons, your whole future is screwed. During the twenty-seven-year period waiting for my naturalization I experiences set-backs, betrayal and depression caused by unemployment and bullying. Despite everything, my mom and I emerged stronger from every defeat and always fought for our rights!

The Lily Amis Story is brutally honest and I seek acceptance and tolerance for all refugees entering Europe. This is my message to the world.

“The war-refugees didn’t choose to become refugees. None of them created war. They are only helpless and innocent victims of people in power, who make a fortune selling weapons and destroying countries and families. Instead of toying, support these refugees and include them, rather than isolate them. Refugees are not a disease; they are human beings with the same desires as everyone else. Give them a life; give them the chance to build independence with dignity. Give them a future. Treat them the way you’d like to be treated in desperate times! Respect, acceptance and tolerance are the magic words of kindness!”
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November 22, 2016

The Swedish sunshine Carl Lindquist is back!

Carl Lindquist, the talented Swedish singer, songwriter and actor and one of my inspirational interview partners in 2016 is back with exciting news. His brand-new Metal/Rock album “EVERLASTING SCARS” was released on November 7. 2016 and I had the opportunity to catch up and talk about his work.

Carl first of all many thanks for doing this update-interview for my blog visitors and congratulations on your new-born baby "Everlasting Scars".
Many thanks Lily, and thanks for this update-interview!

Carl, you and your band “Coexistence” worked for a long time on your second Metal/Rock album  EVERLASTING SCARS”, which was released, WORLDWIDE on NOVEMBER 7th – 2016. What was the most exciting experience for you as the Lead singer during the process of recording it in the studio? overall experience when creating something brand new is always exciting. I love being in the studio, and I love the recording process. But of course it’s always special for me when we start the vocal recordings. I really go into this state of mind, putting aside everything else for a moment, just focusing on what I’m going to do next and how I’m gonna deliver the vocals. Then I really just enjoy the moment. It’s always special.
Coexistence” is a multicultural  Metal/Rock band with members from France, Sweden. So your music is representing the Europe of today. What is your message to the world with your songs? If you had to choose only one title from this album to spread your message which one would it be and why?

As always we want our listeners to feel connected to our songs in one way or another. Our lyrics are usually about personal experiences and real life events, so we hope and we want people to be able to relate to them when listening to our music. If our songs manage to do that, then we have succeeded with our message.

“Everlasting Scars” is about finding a new path in life after experiencing something really dark in your life. I do think that even though you’ve been true real pain, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

The theme we had for this album is “alienation” and it’s a big word for sure, but we wanted to write songs that could all be connected to that one word and that’s what we did. Every song is unique on this album, and every song has it’s own story to tell, but we could have easily named all the songs on the album to “Everlasting Scars” because they are all connected to each other.

If I had to choose one song from this album I would definitely choose “Bring Me Home”, because musically I think it’s the best song on the album, and it’s probably one of the best songs we’ve ever written in our career. It summarizes everything we want to say with this album, and as the storyline goes on it’s really the final redemption - even though the scars will never mend - you will still find a new path in life no matter what - “Unlocking my past, truth be told - what I seek will Bring Me Home”.

I listened to some of the songs from your album and my favourite one is “Bring Me Home”. Is there a special story behind this title that you like to share with my blog visitors?
Glad to hear that you like “Bring Me Home” so much. It’s also my favorite song on the album. The song is connected to the title track, “Everlasting Scars”, where we first follow this girl from her dark upbringing to many years later in her life, which leads us to “Bring Me Home”, where she finally has found redemption and the answers to her questions. The scars will forever be there, but she’s accepted that and she’s now ready to finally go on with her life. “These scars have given me a new sight - now my vision will always be bright”. It’s a special song to us, and it has a very special meaning.

Carl I feel very honored that you & your band allow me to post this beautiful song lyric of "Bring Me Home" exclusively here on my blog. It is much appreciated.

Bring Me Home

 ( Giraudo / Lindquist )

  Years have gone by,
But still the memories.. They haunt me
Will I ever be free from this pain?
 Day and night I’ve endured
this wretched world
My dream of being reborn,
was this just a lie?
 It all comes back to me, shadows beneath the surface
These wounds might never heal,
So I wonder.. Can I suppress what I feel?
 Aching inside, darkness turned to pain
Needs to cease the fire
And let the water rain
It’s time to open up my eyes
See the beauty underneath
What life can bring
These scars have given me a new sight
Now my vision will always be bright
 Hoping to find the answers in time,
the dawn of a new day is coming
 Breaking out from this misery,
Seasons change, winter to spring
I will go on
Unlocking my past, truth be told
What I seek will bring me home
Bring me home
Bring me home
Bring me home
Eternal pain, go away
This is the last time we meet
Forever and ever
These scars have given me a new sight
Now my vision will always be bright
Hoping to find the answers in time,
the dawn of a new day is coming
 Breaking out from this misery,
Seasons change, winter to spring
I will go on
 Unlocking my past, truth be told
What I seek will bring me home
I feel alive again – everlasting scars
Finding my way home – surrender to the pain
Bring me home
Hoping to find the answers in time,
the dawn of a new day is coming
 Breaking out from this misery,
Seasons change, winter to spring
I will go on
 Unlocking my past, truth be told
What I seek will bring me home
 Bring me home

© Coexistence - All Rights Reserved

Beautiful lyrics. As a Lyricist myself I truly can connect to the words and Im sure that many people will love "Bring Me Home" as well. Tell me will you be going on tour and if so when and where?
Yes, we are currently looking into this but nothing is booked or planned yet. For the moment we are focusing on having shows in Europe, but you never know what can happen. We have many devoted fans all around the world, and we really appreciate all the love they’ve given us through the years. We really can’t wait to come to stage near you all very soon! Thanks for your never-ending support!

Get your copy of the album here! The album is available as a physical copy - a beautiful digipack edition with a stunning cover and booklet artwork. The album is also available on all digital platforms like Spotify, iTunes and Amazon. And if you're interested in a copy signed by Carl, please visit this link !

Thanks again Carl and the best of luck to you and your band members Grégory Giraudo, Jérémy Vannereau and Florent Poulhès!
Who is Coexistence?
Who are the band members?
What is your story?
Coexistence is a French/Swedish progressive metal band. Inspired by bands like, Symphony X, Dream Theater, Iced Earth and... many others. It all started in August 2008, when French guitar-player, Grégory Giraudo and singer, Carl Lindquist met online. It happened when Grégory, after two years at the Conservatory for Music and with a Masters degree in Musicology in his hands, found and got seduced by the powerful and unique voice of this young Swedish singer, who was covering famous songs on YouTube.
It didn't take long before the duet started to work together through the Internet, sending song ideas back and forth to each other. Their collaboration gave birth to their debut EP entitled, "Carrion Comfort", released in June 2009.
The 4 tracks EP were well received by numerous websites and magazines, giving one after the other positive and encouraging feedback. Even the famous, Sweden Rock Magazine, praised the potential of the project, and their members. After the release of the EP, the original collaboration between Grégory and Carl gave birth to a real band with the addition of drummer, Jérémy Vannereau and bass-player, Florent Poulhès.
The band, ready and set in motion with these new additions, proved that the musicians had the capability to portray their musical touch and complex songs live to an audience at many times. Their performances were very well received every time they played in front of a crowd. Proof that Coexistence was meant to be more than just a studio project.
In July 2010, the band entered THD-studio in South of France to start recording their debut album entitled, “Flow”. It took them nothing less than an entire year to passionately craft and polish their debut, and a couple of months later the band was offered their first record deal by the American label, CD Inzane LLC. In July 2012, “Flow” was released worldwide, praised by the media with great reviews and feedback all over the world.
But the journey for the band had only started… After playing many shows, and promoting “Flow” across the globe, Coexistence had already started working on a 2nd album. In the beginning of 2013, they entered the studio once again to start the recordings of their new creation.
An album with songs that would be full of melodic rock elements, great guitar riffs, big choruses, emotional vocals, and haunting lyrics with strong connections to the theme, social alienation. A concept that would really define what Coexistence is all about. Brilliantly mastered by Tony Lindgren (James LaBrie, Paradise Lost, Kreator, Katatonia) at the famous, Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden.

Coexistence had given birth to their 2nd and most anticipated album so far, “Everlasting Scars”. The album was finally released in November 2016, and the future is now looking bright.
The band’s next goal is to get to the bigger stages, and to share their beautiful, progressive and well-written music to everyone around the world, and especially to the ones who are still trying to find their way back home. A Fire is Rising…

Who is Carl Lindquist?
Please Read my interview from July 2016 with Carl and find out more about him and his work.Read my interview with Carl to find out more about the Swedish sunshine, his journey, his work and his life.
Socialmedia contact Carl & Coexistence

Source Pictures:
Many thanks @Carl Lindquist, Coexistence, Melissa Sandoval & Roxane Veissère