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 Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest, and her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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Cover Reveal of ‘Alara’s Call’

It’s time again to reveal the cover of a soon-to-be-published book!

This one is a fantasy…um…my favourite…by Kristen Stieffel titled Alara’s Call. 

Here it is in all its gorgeousness:

Alaras-Call-Kindle.jpg

Love the dress, love the hair, love the opulent background! What could this amazing looking book be about? Well, I’m glad you asked because I’ve got a back cover blurb to keep you drooling:

Tales are often told of heroes who fulfill ancient prophecies. Alara’s Call is the tale of a woman who gives new ones.

Alara sees visions of other’s futures, but never her own.

A young clergywoman with a fiery passion for her Telshan faith, she has been assigned to a mission abroad but longs to lead a congregation in her homeland. Her father, the prime minister, jeopardizes her dream and her safety when he coerces her into what he calls a diplomatic mission.

But it’s a ruse.

The trip is meant to end with her marriage to the crown prince of a foreign nation, where members of Alara’s faith are persecuted and women oppressed. All for a trade agreement her father is desperate to enact.

But her mentor intervenes and takes Alara to Dorrel, the suitor she left behind. They
believe they are safe, but foreign soldiers are under orders to bring Alara to the king’s
palace…by any means necessary.

 

 

I’m not sure if we can wait for its release date of September 19, 2017, but we’re just going to have to!!


Kristen Stieffel is a freelance editor and writer who specializes in speculative fiction. Although she edits projects in varied genres for both the general market and the Christian submarket, she is a novelist at heart. Member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and Christian Editor Connection, mentor with Word Weavers International, and on the planning committee for Realm Makers, Kristen stays busy doing what she loves most. She is also the associate editor of Havok, a flash-fiction magazine focused on science fiction and fantasy.

 
Website|Blog|Amazon|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads|Pinterest


 

Thanks for joining me in admiring the cover of Alara’s Call!

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.

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16 Breathtaking Reasons to Love ‘Ending Fear’

I’m thrilled to kick off the blog tour for fellow speculative author, Deanna Fugett. Her debut YA dystopian, Ending Fear, is finally here!

I remember critiquing her story on the main ACFW critique group years ago, Scribes, and in just a few short days, I get to hold a beautiful copy in my hands.

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Until then, I’ll have to content myself with my Kindle copy (not quite the same) as well as devouring all the blog posts after mine.

I’m going to her Facebook party July 20th too! There will be heaps of prizes and a good time had by all! Don’t miss it!

–> –> party here! <– <–

And now, Deanna gets to introduce some inspiring pictures and graphics (16 of ’em 😉 ) that give some background to Ending Fear as well as giving you, dear reader, an opportunity to connect with this talented author and win yourself some lovely book swag.


Here are some cool pictures telling a little bit about my story Ending Fear. I had fun making and finding these, and I hope you enjoy them and they make you a bit more excited about my debut novel coming out July 18th.Defeated.png

Fear is a slave. A slave to her family who show her no compassion. A slave to the Uppers who force the Downers to do their bidding with the threat of laser guns in the hands of the Sentinels. She’s strong, but you can only push a person so far.EF meme.png

When Fear finds a new family, they treat her with kindness. Something she’s never experienced. She’s not quite sure how to deal with it.The triplets.jpgThese three may look alike as far as the red hair goes, but their personalities couldn’t be more different.

I can’t wait for you to meet them on the pages. Especially Trouble. He’s named that for a reason.

Ending Fear.png

The harems are not a place anyone wants to end up. When Fear’s little sister is taken there, she must make a choice. Rescue the girl at the risk of death, or let her fear take over?


Here’s a behind the scenes look at the characters of Ending Fear as imagined by author, Deanna Fugett:

Fear Fear. She’s my MC. She’s pretty awesome. At least I like to think so.

 

CourageCourage. He’s smart, and a bit overconfident because of it.

 

HateHate. He’s the antagonist of the story. Tortured soul and evil go hand in hand.

 

CharityCharity. The Upper servant who takes Fear, Courage and Trouble under her wing.

 

TroubleTrouble. His name says it all. Biggest flirt ever. You can’t help but love him though.

 

ManlyManly. He’s the dreamboat. Hehehe. Come on now, every YA has to have one. It’s a rule, you know. 😉

 

MelodyMelody. She’s the friend. She’s a bit serious at times, but she’s kind.

 

HarmonyHarmony. The snob of the group. If she’s not horseback riding you can find her doing her hair or nails. Or possibly criticizing someone.

 

HappyHappy. Never short of spunk, this little one can sass you and still make you fall in love with her. She’s got talent.

 

FaithfulFaithful. Rotten in the kitchen. Really good at whining.


To further whet your appetite…check out the back cover copy:

Fourteen-year-old Fear learns she was a parachute baby, dumped over the edge of the Gliding Lands as an infant. Fascinated by the floating cities in the sky before, now she’s desperate for answers. But a slave isn’t likely to get those answers.

When her abusive Downer family throws her from their hovel, Fear takes refuge with a family who shows her love for the first time. Surely they can’t be trusted. Years of abuse has taught her that.

Then her brother discovers where she’s hiding and tries to kidnap her. Fear will never let him touch her again. Her new family conceals her at The Fallen, a ranch that hides parachute babies from the Uppers who discarded them.

Just as she’s beginning to embrace yet another home, Fear’s new little sister, Happy, is kidnapped and taken to the Uppers’ temple harem. Fear must go against her namesake, find a working hoverpod, and journey to the dreaded Gliding Lands before the little girl’s innocence is ripped from her forever.

Can she save Happy in time?

And will she find answers to the burning question of why anyone would throw her away?


Deanna’s also looking for people to join her street team!

Street Team.png

I would love some more Dorks to join my street team. If you love YA dystopia and/or want to help promote my books, join the rest of us Dorks on my street team by signing up here. I will love you forever and always!


We’re having a scavenger hunt to celebrate this new release. All you have to do is visit each stop on the blog tour, collect that stop’s clue, and put together the mystery sentence to enter. One lucky participant who correctly answers the question will receive (drum role, please): a signed paperback of Ending Fear and a coloring book (US only) or an e-book of the novel only for international entries.

–> –> Scavenger Hunt Form<– <–

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Don’t forget to collect ALL fourteen words! You can find them at the various blogs below:

Are you as excited as I am for the debut of this fabulous story? 

You can purchase it directly from L2L2 Publishing’s website!


Deanna

Deanna Fugett’s heart belongs to writing. Author of edgy YA Dystopian fiction with an underlying message of hope, this stay-at-home mom of four focuses on writing as much as humanly possible. She was published at the young age of six in a local newspaper and is excited to be published again. It only took twenty-six years. She enjoys the thrill of writing fiction that deals with intense topics and prays it will impact people for the better.

 

 

 

Social Media Links:
Website|Blog|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads|Pinterest

Thank you for joining me in welcoming Ending Fear into the world!


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!

26 Excellent Flash Fiction Stories!

Remember that flash fiction challenge I was part of a few days ago? And more importantly, do you want to read more?

26 Excellent Flash Fiction Stories.pngWell, Rosalie over at Penprints just compiled all 26 of them together in one glorious wrap up post on her blog! People wrote fantasy stories, science fiction, contemporary…you name the genre, you can probably find it.

So if you’re curious about flash fiction, check it out here –> –> –> 26 flash fiction stories 

 

 


Which story is your favourite?

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 yet? I’ve got a giveaway in each one!

Imaginary Friends & Other Such Misfits

This has been a great week for my blog. Earlier in the week, I got to write about Desiree William’s new book Illusionary, and today I get to share another awesome new release: Kara Swanson’s YA urban fantasy, The Girl Who Could See.

I think I say this every time. But seriously. Look at this cover. I mean. Really. Perfection.

The Girl Who Could See

It sums up everything bold and beautiful about this novella.

I got to chat with the author and ask her a few questions to get to know her better.

Jeb: I’d love to know about your experiences growing up in Papua New Guinea. 

Kara: Where do I even start? I spent my childhood in an exotic place that only a handful of eyes had ever seen. I ran barefoot through glistening jungles, learned to swim in the river that ran past our house, climbed trees like a monkey, and raised all kind of unique pets. From wallabies (mini kangaroos) to Cockatoos, Hornbills (like a Toucan without the colorful beak), and singing Dingo dogs.

Jeb: Sounds amazing! What’s it like being a third-culture kid? How does that contribute to your storytelling?

Kara: Growing up in a third world country, I learned how to make do without a lot. My imagination became my greatest plaything. And that definitely impacted my writing. I also knew what it was like to live in two very different worlds. I related to characters who didn’t quite fit in anywhere, and had a perspective on life that was hard for anyone else to grasp. I felt like the Pevensie children, returning from Narnia, trying to find a way to have England be home again. Writing soon became a place to expel all the pent up emotion and the many worlds swirling in my mind!

Jeb: Well, all that emotion and all the worlds combined into something beautiful in The Girl Who Could See. Give me some background on this story. What was your inspiration for it? 

Kara: I’ve always had imaginary friends. As a child, I played with them. As I got older, they became the characters of my stories. So when the idea popped into my head of a girl who’s imaginary friend never left—and isn’t imaginary—I just had to explore the possibilities.

I'm the girl who can see through worlds.png

Jeb: I love that! an imaginary friend who never left! Did you have a favourite character?

Kara: Tristan was my favorite character to write, as he was this snarky, strong character! ❤ His perspective was so unique, and how he messed with Fern.

Jeb: Haha, yup, Tristan was a lot of fun. If you were going to sit down with him at a cafe, what hot drink would you order?

Kara: Mmmmm a good mocha Frappuccino!

Jeb: Good choice! What you do to overcome writer’s block.

Kara: I don’t actually get writer’s block. I have so many ideas. If I do slow down, generally I can just sit on the idea for a while and it works it’s way out…

Jeb: Well, that’s completely not fair! 😉 But I do appreciate you answering all my questions and best of luck with your new book baby.

Kara: Thanks so much for having me, Jebraun! I so enjoyed it ❤

Everyone should have the chance to live.jpg

In case I haven’t convinced you yet, here’s a summary of TGWCS:

All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?

Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.

Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.

Doesn’t this sound amazing? Check out more on Goodreads and then run, don’t walk, to buy your copy of the book today!!

Are you ready for your next clue? Yeah? Here it is!

Clue 11 TGWCS Blog Tour Clue

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour from The Girl Who Could See to find all the clues for the scavenger hunt!

JUNE 1ST:

(Release Day/Blog Tour Kick Off Post)
readwritesoar.com

JUNE 2ND:

emilybergstrom.com

writeremilymundell.blogspot.ca

JUNE 3RD:

tabithacaplinger.com

A Little Thought Garden

JUNE 4TH:

northernbellemeg.com

The Simmering Mind

JUNE 5TH:
annie-louise-twitchell.blogspot

gabriellaslade.com

JUNE 6TH:

theleft-handedtypist.blogspot.com

Godbooksandchocolate.blogspot.com

jebraunclifford.com

JUNE 8TH:

zerinablossom.com

JUNE 9TH:

rosalievalentine.com

thefandomstudio.wordpress.com

geekychristianblog.wordpress.com

FINAL TGWCS BLOG TOUR HEADING.jpg

When you’ve collected every clue, go to –> –> –> TGWCS ~ Release day scavenger hunt


Kara SwansonAs the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent sixteen years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre. At seventeen, she released a fantasy novel, Pearl of Merlydia. Her short story is included in Kathy Ide’s 21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom. She has published many articles, including one in the Encounter magazine, and she received the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer award in 2015.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website


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.


Sign up for my newsletter! I giveaway an e-book in every one.

3 Crazy Reasons Why I Love to Write

I could tell you I’m mildly interested about writing. But that would be an understatement. If I’m really honest, I’d have to admit I’m passionate about writing! I love to write!

There is almost nothing I like better to do than sit down in front of my laptop and type away at a new story. Or a blog post. Or even a grocery list!

3 Crazy Reasons Why I Love to Write

Words are awesome!

Words have captivated me for as long as I can remember. For much of my life, I kept a journal (which is way more interesting-sounding than a diary!), I scribbled out plays and stories in elementary school, and I took as many short story, technical writing, and composition classes in college that I could squeeze in.

Now I’ve written 2 3/4 novels, and my brain is teeming with a zillion other ideas.

So what’s with my fascination with words? Why do I love to write so much?

Well, since you asked 😉

#1 Writing takes me to a magical place

Remember those old Calgon commercials? The one where a woman is trying to make dinner, and the phone rings, a houseplant gets knocked to the ground, the dog barks, and the pot boils over? She puts her hands to her head and says melodramatically, “Calgon, take me away!” Next minute, she’s blissfully soaking in a tub full of bubbles.

While I don’t want to escape from my ‘real life’ (I like making dinner!), something extraordinary happens when I tap on my keyboard: I’m transported to a faraway land full of endless possibilities.

I  create scenarios for my characters, develop their personalities and quirks, and choose how they react to challenges (though, truth be told, any writer will tell you our characters sometimes have minds of their own and aren’t as cooperative as we’d like them to be!)

It’s a lot of fun to set an impossible problem for a hero or heroine to face and then watch them rise to the occasion.

I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.

Stephen King

It’s so satisfying to close up a ginormous plot-hole, edit an ungainly sentence (or paragraph or chapter!) into a thing of grace and beauty, and experience that ah-ha moment when the corner you’ve written your hero or heroine into suddenly becomes a wide-open space with a clear and purposeful direction.

I tell you, story-telling is magical!

#2 I get to share crazy ideas when I’m writing

Yes, it’s true. I have some interesting (some may say crazy!) ideas about life and friendship and identity and purpose. What better way to indoctrinate encourage the world than to put those thoughts and ideas into stories to share?

When people–especially young adults as that’s my genre–read the things I’ve written, I want them to come away believing their life has meaning, that they are valuable, and there is always hope! Isn’t that a worthy goal and a good reason to write?

There are a lot of people who are working (be it by writing or preaching or painting or dancing!) to make this world a more love-soaked place. And I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

#3 I couldn’t stop writing if I tried

Okay, maybe this one is a bit of a cheat. But I don’t know how else to explain it. The last crazy reason I love to write is because I love to write. Writing is in my blood, in my soul. Writing pulls deeply at me, even when I sleep. I literally dream about writing.

Sometimes I think about putting the words down, ignoring the stories, not writing. And my throat closes, my mind panics, and I have a mini freak-out and consume copious amounts of dark chocolate. After I recover from the foolishness–the silly maybe-I’ll-stop-writing bit, not the consuming-dark-chocolate bit–I go back to, you guessed it, writing.

I believe we all have purposes for our life, things we’re meant to do. And while writing is not the thing I’m meant to do, it is one of them.

So thanks for hanging in there with me and visiting my brand new website. Hope to see you around more often.


What do you love to do?

And why? Share with me in the comment section below


About Jebraun Clifford

Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3Jebraun 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 Redwood trees 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 their 2016 Genesis contest in the YA category. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.


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