The Power of Story

Here’s a sneak peek from my guest post at International Christian Fiction Writers

I had the privilege of being the speaker at a holiday camp last weekend, though at first I admit I was a little terrified apprehensive at the prospect. While I regularly teach Sunday school, I have, on average, only fifteen kids in my class who I know and whose parents I know. The kids are used to me, and we always have a good time. Plus I keep my pockets stuffed with lollies to bribe them for good behaviour.

But how would a room full of fifty-five 8-12 year olds react to a stranger? That age group is notoriously challenging. Not to mention wriggly and easily distracted. Could I be engaging enough? Funny enough?

And how on earth was I going to fit the whole gospel message (without being too preachy) in two half-hour evening sessions and one breakfast devotion?

It turned out better than I expected in that wonderfully chaotic way only God can orchestrate.

Read the rest of this post here


Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity,
stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest, and her flash fiction ‘The Stone Veil’ is published in the July 2017 issue of Havok. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.


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3 Reasons Why I Cherish My Wonderful Writing Community

For the most part, writing is a solitary pursuit. Writers think of an idea (alone), madly type away on their computers (alone), and wrestle with themselves to make it better (alone). This task of getting words to paper can be frustrating, heartbreaking, and full of discouragement.

If you’re a writer, you know what I mean.

Sometimes, you open another rejection letter and think, ‘I can’t keep doing this.’ Sometimes, you stare at the words on your screen and wonder how on earth you can come up with a story that’s fresh and original. Especially if you’ve written yourself into a corner! Sometimes, on those rare occasions when you have broken through writer’s block or come up with a great plot twist or have a short story accepted into an anthology, you want someone to celebrate with.

That’s when surrounding yourself with a fabulous writing community becomes essential.

I’ve been blessed to find myself smack-dab in the middle of a supportive group of fellow writers who commemorate and cheer on every achievement (no matter how minor), reassure me when things go woefully pear-shaped, and provide much-needed critiques to keep my writing at its very best.

This didn’t happen by accident…

Check out the rest of this post on Quills & Inkblotts


Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity,
stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.

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I give away an e-book in each one!

I’m Giving Away a Copy of Bellanok!

I love sharing awesome books I’ve read with other people. And what better way to do that than to give one away!

My latest book-crush is the fantasy Bellanok by Ralene Burke.

Here’s a little blurb to whet your appetite:

A haven for myths and legends . . . until evil discovers a way in.

With evil darkening the mountains to the north, the fairy queen, Fauna, must journey from the island realm of Bellanok to the modern world to find the man the Creator appointed to save their kingdom. A man she has been dreaming of her whole life.

Brian is a down-on-his-luck pastor on the verge of giving up on God. He’s tired and frustrated–a failure. No sooner does he make a decision that jeopardizes his career than an unusual blonde woman shows up and tries to convince him he is some kind of savior.

Fauna must open Brian’s eyes to a different reality, and Brian needs to embrace the haven’s secrets. If neither of them succeeds, Bellanok will succumb to evil and the world will lose all trace of innocence.

Believe me, the storytelling is as good as the premise!

If you’re intrigued and want to be in the draw for a Kindle copy of Bellanok, all ya gotta do is sign-up for my newsletter which goes out TONIGHT (midnight NZ time), and the giveaway (via the awesome and amazing Rafflecopter) will be waiting inside the newsletter for you to enter.

My newsletter goes out every few months, and I find some delicious book to give away in each one. Plus, you get all my writer-ly news about my journey toward publication.

–> –> Yes, please! Sign me up! <– <–


Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity,
stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.

Stories of the Stars: Sci-Fi & Fantasy Flash Fiction Contest

Whether it’s reading or writing it, I adore a finely-crafted flash fiction story. What do I love about them? Every word counts. There’s no room for flowery descriptions, unnecessary dialogue, or extraneous characters. And flash fiction that’s speculative in nature? I only wish there was more of it out there.

So what better way to promote flash fiction than to host a contest?

I’ve joined forces with fellow spec-fic writer and blogger, Sheri Yutzy, to organise Stories of the Stars Sci-fi and Fantasy Flash Fiction Contest.

We’ve got some great prizes lined up:

1st place:

Havok July

2nd place:

Submission instructions:

Deadline: Friday, October 20, 2017

Submit to: sheri.yutzy@sheriyutzy.com

Length: 700-1000 words

Genre: Speculative fiction

Theme: Stars—your story must mention stars in some way.

Submit your story as a separate document. Please include the title of your piece, your name, and contact information in the heading of your document. If your story does not fall within the speculative fiction genre, it will be disqualified.

  • No excessive violence or language
  • No erotica

Winners will be announced November 3rd

What are you waiting for?

Get writing!


Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3

Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.

Have you signed up for my newsletter? I give away an e-book in every one!

 

 

5 Fantastic Reasons to Love Realm Makers

It’s hard to believe it’s been six weeks since the Realm Makers writers’ conference.

After it was over, I spent almost a month visiting friends and family in sunny California. I’m finally back in New Zealand (with spring right around the corner), and I’ve had some time to reflect and collect my thoughts about the experience.

And what a wonderful experience it was! For starters, check out the beautiful graphic designed by Kurt DouPonce from Dog Eared Design.

Realm Makers conference

Is that mermaid gorgeous, or what? As soon as I saw her, my expectations were raised. And I wasn’t disappointed.

I don’t know how to fit it all in without rambling on for pages(not to mention exhausting the world’s supply of superlatives),so I’ll confine myself to a countdown of 5 fantastic reasons why I loved Realm Makers–with a heaaaaaap of pictures 😉

Head over to Quills & Inkblotts to read the rest of this post


Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity,
stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.

Have you signed up for my newsletter? I give away an e-book in each one!

Who’s a Reader And a Writer?

I’ve been participating in a great blog-hop.

Bloggers from all over have asked and answered questions about my favourite topic:

BOOKS!!

Is there anything better than a good book-

We’ve been visiting all back and forth on one another’s blog and asking everything under the sun about books and more books.

Now it’s my turn to ask the question: how many of my fellow bloggers are readers and writers?

To answer for myself…I definitely do both. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to read and write. Books on every topic captured my fancy, and I enjoyed writing as well. I recently discovered writing after a very long hiatus (which I talk about here). And while I’ve only had a short story published in a speculative fiction magazine so far, I’m pleased to report I’ve got an agent interested in my current WIP (work-in-progress). Fingers crossed that something comes of it.

What about everyone else? I got some lovely answers to the question. Here they are:

Leslie ConzattiLeslie Conzatti www.upstreamwriter.blogspot.com

I am proud to say that I am currently an author! I have one novella released, titled Princess of Undersea  and it is a fantasy retelling of “The Little Mermaid.” While I had not planned for it to be a series, I am not opposed to writing a sequel (should interest prove high enough) but in the meantime, I’m participating in a couple anthologies potentially to be released later this year, and I’m working on deciding which of my long list of other projects will become my next published work!

TabithaCaplingerTabitha Caplinger www.tabithacaplinger.com

While I still feel weird calling myself an author I am indeed published. I have written a YA urban fantasy/paranormal trilogy complete with demons, girls with swords, sassiness, and a love of pie!  The first two books of The Chronicle of the Three Trilogy have been released and the third will hopefully be coming soon. (www.tabithacaplinger.com/mybooks)

 

Jordan 300dpiJust B. Jordan www.JustBJordan.com

The writing came long after the reading, but yes! I am the author of fantasy novel Never To Live (Enclave Publishing), and I have had several short stories published in magazines.

 

 

 

Jo LinsdellJo Linsdell www.JoLinsdell.com

Yes. I am a multi genre author, and have published poetry, non-fiction, and children’s books. I’ve also illustrated numerous books for other authors, and also work as a book cover designer. My most recently published works are from my serial fiction KOSMOS. The first book in the series came out in February this year, with a new episode being released on the first of every month since then. There will be a total of 12 books in the series. I also have several novels in progress including, YA, thrillers, and romance.

BelindaBekkersBelinda Bekkers www.belindabekkers.com

I have published one book under a pseudonym. I am currently planning out all my writing projects (which is a lot!) to start publishing more frequently. Earning a living from my creative endeavours is the only way I can see spending my future.

 

 

Laurie Lucking Author Headshot

Laurie Lucking www.landsuncharted.com

I do! Though I thought I wasn’t good at creative writing when I was younger, so it came as a surprise later in life 🙂 I write young adult fantasy with some fairy tale romance, and my debut novel, Common, will release from Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing in early 2018!

 

 

 

vljauthorpicV.L. Jennings www.virginialorijennings.com

Sure! I’ve already had two books published. I have a sequel to one of the books that I’m working on and another coffee table humor book in the works as well. Most of what I write is science fiction though I am dabbling a little into the fantasy genre. I love to write- it was my love of reading that inspired me to write. My publisher closed the 15th of this month though so I am currently trying to find a new home for my previously published books. In the meantime I release short stories on my blog for the fun of it.

SkyeHegyesSkye Hegyes www.skyehegyes.com

This is a confusing answer for me because, yes, I am technically a published author, but by the end of this month, my publisher will be reverting the rights of my two novels back to me, and I will be looking at becoming an indie author next year. So, yes, I’m still an author, but I plan on making a better comeback when I re-release my novels sometime (no timeline yet) next year.

 

Thanks for participating everyone! Looking forward to following the rest of the blog hop!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Book Lover’s Blog hop below:

1st August www.JoLinsdell.com
2nd August www.skyehegyes.com
3rd August www.katherineapisana.com 
4th August www.upstreamwriter.blogspot.com
5th August https://bookenthusiast2016.wordpress.com
6th August www.BelindaBekkers.com
7th August www.brandypotterbooks.com
8th August www.BelindaBekkers.com
9th August www.casiaschreyer.wordpress.com
10th August www.katherineapisana.com
11th August www.virginialorijennings.com
12th August www.virginialorijennings.com
13th August http://www.cjbrightley.com
14th August www.JustBJordan.com
15th August www.saderena.com/blog
16th August http://www.angelaguidolinauthor.co.uk/blog
17th August www.tabithacaplinger.com
18th August www.skyehegyes.com
19th August www.landsuncharted.com
20th August kmcarrollblog.wordpress.com
21st August www.upstreamwriter.blogspot.com
22nd August www.JoLinsdell.com
23rd August www.belindabekkers.com
24th August www.fabianspace.com
25th August http://theliteraryapothecary.blogspot.com
26th August www.JustBJordan.com
27th August www.jebraunclifford.com
28th August www.brandypotterbooks.com
29th August www.skyehegyes.com
30th August www.brandypotterbooks.com
31st August www.landsuncharted.com


Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3

Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.


Have you signed up for my newsletter? I give away an e-book in each one!

The Remarkable Story Behind ‘White Wolf & the Ash Princess’

And it’s that time again to participate in another blog tour.

Yeah!

White Wolf and the Ash Princess Blog Tour Banner.jpg

I never get tired of being part of introducing a brand new book to the world. It’s so fun to see the unlimited creativity that’s out there, and this book by Tammy Lash is no exception.

Even more extraordinary, however, is the story behind the story. Every author receives inspiration, that little spark that brings an idea to life. But Tammy’s story goes deep.

She shares her heart here in this post, and I applaud her bravery for choosing to use her pen to heal rather than harm.

Without further ado, I’ll let Tammy share in her own words:


What was the inspiration behind White Wolf and the Ash Princess?

I get asked this a lot—and I’m sure every author is asked the same question. I wonder if they struggle to find the right words as much as I do?

I debated long and hard on what to write for this blog post. So hard, in fact, my eyes have become blurry from my hour-long stare at the screen. My family and close friends know what the under-structure of White Wolf looks like—but no one else does. I really shouldn’t have wasted so much time squinting at the screen. I know what I need to share—I have a promise to keep.

I don’t know how old I was when I prayed the words. I just know that I wept them to Him in a ball on the floor “after”. I told Him that if he were to help me survive to be “old” (twenty)—and if He could please somehow cause some man love me—truly love me (the broken, icky, monstrous me)—I would find a way to help another one like me. No, not just one—as many I could. I knew there were lots of “me’s”. I heard the numbers in school. One in five.

I counted off the kids in class the day my teacher brought up the topic of sexual abuse. My heart dropped when I saw how many that was. I didn’t know how I was going to do it—how I was going to reach them—talk to them. I was a shy girl with stomach aches. How would I ever fulfill my end of the deal if my husband should come? I didn’t worry about it much. I was young—and twenty was forever away.

The Lord kept His promise from that night. My abuse was to last eleven years. He helped me survive it. My family and I began to attend a new church the summer I turned 19. I met my husband there. We were married when I was twenty.

Underneath the flesh of a story is the skeletal structure of a book. That’s where you’ll find the writer. That’s where you’ll find the “little” me in White Wolf. In the story itself, the story of love, forgiveness and the journey to get there—that’s where you’ll find the “adult me”. It’s my journey of healing in story and it’s meant to be a letter. A letter that has helped me keep my end of the promise.

White Wolf is a love letter to my husband

Izzy says it best…

“Keeping a secret is like raising a dragon. They start out innocent enough but they grow. Wicked teeth grow from naked gums, claws grow from tiny fingers and whipping wings grow from infant sails.”

I had a dragon and I didn’t tell my husband. My dragon caused all kinds of havoc in our marriage until I finally let him go on our tenth anniversary. I was finally free—we—were finally free. I could at long last fully love my husband in the way he desired. My husband waited for me those first ten years of our marriage, and that will forever bind me to him.

The Native American legend, The White Wolf and the Ash Princess, is the book’s pulse and it was written for him. This beautiful legend, meant to be told to the rhythm of a drums heartbeat, is our story.

White Wolf is a thank you letter to my “Papa”

I accepted Christ when I was five—near the time when the abuse began. Jesus and I forged a special relationship, and I asked if I could call Him “Daddy”. I was no longer alone. I would crawl into His lap and talk to Him until my heart stopped aching and I found sleep.

To me, “Daddy” is a term of endearment that is used to show a close relationship. In the book, I use “Papa” instead. “Papa” is the ever-present, yet unseen character with a “plan”. The Lord was there for me, too, even when I couldn’t see Him. Why didn’t He stop the abuse? He could have—but He chose not to. The story of Joseph tells us why the Lord sometimes allows bad things to happen. Genesis 50:20 says, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

The Lord could have stopped both of our injustices, but He chose to let them go forward. My “Daddy” had a plan. Joseph’s trials made him into a man of great power to help his people. My experience gave life to White Wolf and the Ash Princess. Without my past, there would be nothing to write. White Wolf is part of His plan to help me keep my promise to Him to reach my “one in five”.

White Wolf is an encouragement letter to my readers

I had no need to worry when I was little. Jesus found a way for me to reach others who have suffered just like me. My hope is that my story—as well as Izzy’s in White Wolf—will be of an encouragement to my readers.

White Wolf and the Ash Princess is a testimony of survival and finding joy after the pain. I found it a privilege to go back and revisit the flames that burned me when I was a girl. The Lord is good—even in the bad—and my goal is for my readers to discover that, too.

White Wolf and the Ash Princess is a testimony of survival and finding joy after the pain..png

The White Wolf challenge:

Do you have a secret? Are you harboring a dragon of your own? It’s exhausting work carrying around a dragon. Seek rest from your burden and let it go to the One who wants to free you from it.

“Come onto Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”Matthew 11:28 (ESV)

Don’t delay any longer. Crawl onto His lap and find rest today.

White Wolf and the Ash Princess (1).jpg

About White Wolf and the Ash Princess

Eighteen year old Izzy’s limited world begins to feel cramped after she completes her self-appointed book dare. After reading two-hundred and fifty books, a thought that had been once tucked away as tightly as the books on her library shelves becomes too irresistible to ignore…”Who am I?”

Memory loss prohibits Izzy from remembering her life before age seven when she was injured in a fire. Fifteen year old Jonathan Gudwyne and his head housekeeper rescued her and took Izzy in as their own, but who did she belong to before Jonathan took her in?

Crippling panic keeps Izzy from wandering beyond the stables but Tubs, the Gudwyne’s thirteen-year old stable boy, encourages Izzy to go beyond the property’s rock wall to a world that promises possible answers. A scorched castle in the woods and its mysterious cellar reveal secrets that push Izzy beyond her discomfort to embark in a journey to the New World with her young friend.

Here, she finds love and a home in the most unexpected of places.


Giveaway

Tammy has generously offered to give away a signed paperback of White Wolf and the Ash Princess, birch bark bookmark, and necklace (three winners). US only.

White Wolf Giveaway Banner (1).jpg

Enter the giveaway here!

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 7th

Tuesday, August 8th

Wednesday, August 9th

Thursday, August 10th

Friday, August 11th

Saturday, August 12th

 


Tammy Lash (1)

Tammy lives in Lower Michigan with her husband and her three children. Izzy’s home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Munising) is where she and her family enjoy exploring. Tammy enjoys hiking, kayaking, beach wandering, “hunting” for birch bark and hopes to someday find a porcupine quill. White Wolf and the Ash Princess is her first novel. She is published in Keys for Kids and has been in children’s ministry for over twenty years.

 

Social Media Links

Website // Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest


Thanks for joining me in welcoming a great new book into the world!

Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity,
stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet?