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 Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest.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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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.

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My Flash Fiction Story is Published!

A few months ago, I entered a fantasy flash fiction story called The Stone Veil to Splickety Publishing, hoping to final in their mythical mash-up short fiction contest.

My story was selected (yay!) and then came the nail-biting wait for publication.

That wait is over.

You can find the July issue of HAVOK at magcloud or on Kindle at Amazon.

Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!


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!

5 Successful Strategies to Soothe the Sting of Rejection

I’m blogging over at Quills & Inkblotts today about how to turn around those awful feelings that come over us when we’re rejected.

Here’s a sneak peek:

Let’s face it. Rejection sucks.

No one ever likes to hear, “nope, sorry, your manuscript/project/idea/fill-in-the-blank just isn’t good enough.”

But, unless you’re living somewhere on a deserted island, there’s no escaping rejection.

I recently entered a story in a contest and found myself on the receiving end of some less than complimentary criticism.

To put it bluntly, one judge hated my manuscript. I was accused of having monochromatic characters, stray conversations, and no clear conflict. I even got marked down for grammar.

Me. I love grammar. I mean, I love grammar.

Instantly, I was back in high school that time I told a guy I liked him, and did he like me back, and he said, ‘ya know, I’m concentrating on school right now, and I’m not really looking for a girlfriend.’ And then literally two days later…read the rest 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. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.


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How to Stay Authentic in a Counterfeit World

Guest blogging over at International Christian Fiction Writers this morning, but here’s a sneak peak…

There’s something attractive about authenticity.

People crave the real thing.

Being real is engaging. Being real is endearing. Being real is essential.

But at the same time, another force exists. Working against authenticity, against real, is another concept.

Imitation.

I see this battle between real and imitation at the grocery store.

At the back of the store, in the refrigerator section, sits a wonderful concoction made of real milk carefully cultured and aged into a magical substance called cheddar cheese. It’s beautifully tangy and sharp and tastes delicious sliced onto crackers or sprinkled over nachos. Melted in a toasted cheese sandwich. Whisked into a sauce to pour over broccoli or other vegetables (can you tell I was hungry when I wrote this post?!?).

On the other hand, sitting somewhere sad and lonely, is a particular product.

In a can.

Bland.

Soulless.

Fake.

This…stuff…thinks it’s cheese, but we all know better. It’s mostly salt, oil, and artificial flavouring with a leetle bit of dairy thrown in as an afterthought—and if you’re a lover of cheese-in-a-can, then I apologise for maligning your very poor taste in snacks. But I gotta ask, why would you choose the imitation when the real thing is so much more…real?!?

Authentic- true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character. Sincere with no pretension (1).png

The battle between the authentic and the counterfeit area extends to other arenas, too.

Every day, we experience pressure to take the easy way, the fake way. So how can we stay authentic?

For the rest of this blog post, go to –> –> –> ICFW


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 give away an e-book in each 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!

The Irresistible & Amazing World of Illusionary

One of the best things about writing and blogging is all the fantastic people I meet along the way.

And all the amazing books I get to read.

The Amazing Illusionary

Desiree Williams’s Illusionary is no exception. Her YA fantasy was released into the wild a wee while ago, and I get to be part of the blog tour introducing it to the world.

Illusionary Blog Tour Banner.jpg

First of all, the cover is gorgeous. All pink, and glow-y, and, well, gorgeous!

Illusionary cover.jpg

So what’s this story about? Well…here’s a little description to wet your reading appetite 🙂

Dorothy got sucked into a tornado.

Alice fell down a hole.

Wendy flew to Neverland.

Kamryn? She tripped down the stairs.

Dorothy got sucked into a tornado. Alice fell down a hole. Wendy flew to Neverland. Kamryn- She tripped down the stairs.

Now, Kamryn Kensington finds herself in a strange new world. Within minutes of her arrival, she dodges an archer’s arrow and avoids getting sliced up by a cosplay reject holding a dagger to her throat. And that’s before the storyteller’s breath brings stories to life.

Home is the mission—to return to her family and pursue her life’s dream of art and travel. Yet the longer she’s in the Land of Ur, the harder it is not to feel for the people she meets. Even her artistic side can’t help but breathe in the beautiful wonder and magic of this new world. So when the Oracle hands her a different quest, she takes it on the condition he sends her home afterward.

No one thought to warn her of a jealous queen and her dragon minions. Or that, by helping her, the cute storyteller would go crazy. Or that her heart would rip in two when she left. Those would’ve been great facts to know ahead of time.

Considering that nothing in Ur is what it seems, the mission proves to be more than she ever imagined. But more than her own future will be in jeopardy if Kamryn doesn’t succeed.

What did I think about this irresistible story?

I loved it!  Kamryn is such a fun heroine. Even though she’s been thrown into a strange land, she rises to the occasion with determination and a saving sense of humour. And I enjoyed her artistic bent that sees the beauty in everything around her. And Reese? What a swoon-worthy hero. The romance was satisfying without being too sentimental or mushy.

The imaginary Land of Ur was also well-developed. I had no problem imagining it’s forests, castles, Jolly Harbor, and other places (don’t want to give away too much!) because of all the descriptions that kept my mind spinning.

Beautiful truths like sacrifice, bravery, and true love just add to this wonderful story.

If you love fantasy, romance, and adventure, then you will enjoy this book!


Desiree has put together an amazing prize package to celebrate the release of Illusionary. Look at all this swag!

  • “Make everyday an adventure” pillow
  • “Don’t Grow Up! It’s a Trap!” metal sign
  • book cozy
  • signed paperback of Illusionary
  • notebook with pens
  • sketch book with colored pencils
  • “Eat Cake for Breakfast” travel cup

Illusionary blog giveaway.png

Enter to win right here —> —> —> Illusionary giveaway

winner will be selected Monday, Jun 12th at approx. 9 AM (EST).


Don’t forget to check the other blog tour stops!

June 5th

June 6th

June 7th

June 8th

June 9th

June 10th


Desiree WilliamsDesiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.

You can find out more about Desiree and her books at www.desireewilliamsbooks.com

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Purchase Links

Check out more about Illusionary on Goodreads


Put Illusionary on your TBR pile today!

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.


Sign up for my newsletter. There’s an e-book giveaway in each one!