Free Download – Beyond the Shadows

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Beyond the Shadows is FREE for a limited time only!

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Blurb

If your shadow was trying to consume you, how would you run from it?

What if you were afraid of something you could never escape?

Selena Parker’s journey into the unknown begins in her dreams, but the consequences are carried back into her conscious life and she soon realises paranormal forces are at work. Her shadow has become more than just an image, it is a gateway to a sinister new world where mysterious creatures roam and she is confronted by danger that challenges her will to survive.She finds the man whose fate is linked inexplicably to her own but she knows nothing of him and doubts his true nature. Her only option is to place her life in his hands while they search for a way to stop the shadows claiming them forever.

Download Links

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/1LUaM6o

Amazon.co.uk http://amzn.to/22UeIrT

Amazon.ca http://amzn.to/22UeGjH

Amazon.com.au http://bit.ly/1WSJPjZ

About the Author

Anna_Hub_Profile_PicWhen I was a child I wanted to be an author, it seemed like a perfectly attainable dream to me then, but of course I grew up and realised that writing was not the best way to make a future for myself. So I discarded the idea and decided to do something normal.

When I studied nursing I thought I’d found a place for myself, but within six months of working in that field I knew I needed more. So in July 2007 I bought myself a lap top and started writing in my spare time. It took me two years to complete my first book and by the time it was finished I felt as though I’d learnt enough to pursue the dream.

My love for writing has grown rapidly since then and now I know that it’s something I can’t live without. It’s a place where there is no limit, no exact destination and my mind is free to exist in many worlds.

It’s a beautiful sanctuary.

Find Anna Online

Facebook http://bit.ly/25stvMt

Twitter http://bit.ly/1RKmpiD

Blog http://bit.ly/1URpU7a

Mailing List http://bit.ly/1WSLXIq

Instagram @annahubbooks

 

New Release – The Truth About Jarrod by L R Perie

The Truth About Jarrod

LR Perie

BOOK 2 OF THE GENES INHERENT SERIES

Release Date 18th March 2016

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BLURB

A book which transcends borders, and brings the past into the present.

Renee has survived the entanglement with crazed murderer Cooper Mohanigan, and in doing so, found love with Luka Stevens, the brother of murder victim Laura.
But is it enough? Renee is unable to forget that Cooper’s final victim – Sheryl – has never been found. The knowledge weighs heavily on Renee’s conscience, and in a bid to ease her guilt for the part she and Luka played, she sets out to discover the truth.
A truth which can only be divulged through confrontation with Cooper.
Cooper Mohanigan is incarcerated in a Zimbabwean prison, alone in his madness and driven by the crazed voices in his mind. One of those voices, the instigator of Cooper’s violence, is his ancestor, Jarrod Mohanigan. Renee realizes the key to the answers she seeks, may lie in unlocking the real story behind Cooper’s ancestor and she sets out to find the truth.
She must leave Luka in strife torn Zimbabwe, as he strives to conquer battles of his own, and travel to the sunny shores of Perth, Australia, to follow the trail – a trail which leads to the truth about Jarrod.

BUY LINKS

http://amzn.to/1UCEEW9 Amazon.com

http://bit.ly/1SVCp0d Amazon.com.au

http://amzn.to/1TQWlCv Amazon.co.uk

The Making of The Ninth Hunter

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I’ve recently published my fifth novel. It’s no longer an idea, a dream, a goal or (and I hate to admit this) a frustration. It’s a book. I can hold it in my hand and flip through all those pages—the thousands of words neatly printed, side by side, barely representing the agony I went through to get them there.

Now that it’s over, I can finally sit back and congratulate myself for making it. Because until publication day—the finish line—everything else is just one tiny step in an impossible journey. And no matter how many times you’ve done it before, it doesn’t get easier. Of course, there are elements of certainty that only experience can bring. Like knowing you have the resilience to make it through the drafting phase and various edits, but with that experience also comes expectation. Because you’ve done it before, you expect yourself to do it faster, you want your characters to be stronger and your plot to be a thousand times more intriguing. But realistically, every book is different and they can’t be written the same way.

If I’d gone into this book with that in mind, perhaps I would have saved myself a lot of frustration. But if I’m being honest with myself, there’s truly no point working within your capabilities. How will you ever grow if you don’t stretch yourself?

Where it all began…

So back on June 6th 2013, I started working on my humble little ghost story. I’d recently fallen in love with ghost stories and plots that moved away from the mainstream concept. Like Anna Dressed in Blood and the Graveyard Queen Series. I took inspiration from those stories and set to work on my own book, using the well known concept of ghosts and twisting it into my own unique mythology.

I didn’t want to write about ghosts of dead people who linger around earth until their unfinished business is settled. What if instead, ghosts were an extension of the human psyche? Ghosts of the living, who have the power to manipulate and destroy human lives. Wouldn’t they be far more terrifying?

I wrote extensive notes about world building and really focused on creating a strong main character with an intriguing struggle. Daniel Barrow, a young man with a sad past, who’s evolved into a ruthless ghost hunter. I fell in love with the idea of a character who could be a complete badass and a competent killer, but who also has a unique vulnerability. He’s done terrible things but ultimately has good intentions, and he’s fighting for a noble cause.

Out of all the characters I’ve written, Daniel instantly became my favourite. Although I can’t directly relate to the horror of his past, I think we’ve all felt trapped by some element of our lives before. And while he accepts his dark fate, it’s his ongoing struggle for identity that really brings him to life.

When it got tough…

I’ve drafted novels in as little as four months before, but this book, this neat little package of pages, took a whopping 2.5 years from concept to publication. And to be honest, I truly resented the time it took while I was stuck in the middle. But now that I’m finally at the end, I can see that it took so long because it’s far more than one novel. It’s an entire education. I learnt so much in the process of creating this piece, from the fortnightly critiques from the ever inspiring Ellenbrook Writers Group, the seven beta readers who pulled this book apart and helped me glue it back together, the professional content editor and the TWELVE rounds of editing it took to get to the finished product. In the process of writing this book, I became a real writer, and there’s a whole team of people who supported the process. They know who they are, and I’ll never forget their lessons!

Aside from the technical elements of writing, I had a few personal speed bumps along the way too. And I can assure you, dealing with a complicated mythology is hard enough when you’re spending regular time working on it, but any extended breaks you have, make it virtually impossible to remember your place and they’re a huge step backwards! So add into the mix, a year of living packed to the rafters with five adults and a baby (let me add, it was a beautiful distraction to be surrounded by family and to watch my niece growing into a little lady), a house move and six months of hideous migraines, I lost my place time and time again and there were days where I really didn’t know how this book would ever be finished. But I slowed down and stopped expecting so much from myself. Gradually life got easier. I chipped away and I called in encouragement whenever I needed it. I finally finished this book and proved to myself that being passionate about something is always stronger than any obstacle.

The result…

The Ninth Hunter ebook cover

Before I started this book, writing had always been a solo venture, but thanks to my writers group, I’m now surrounded by a wonderful group of extremely talented authors. These amazing people taught me how to use the English language in ways I hadn’t thought of before, they allowed me to understand how readers really think, they encouraged me when I struggled and were hard on me when I needed to be shown the truth. They’ve made me tougher, and wiser and one billion times better at doing what I love. And six weeks post publication, the response to The Ninth Hunter has been overwhelmingly positive. Every time I read a review that talks fondly about Daniel and his struggle, I smile and think, that’s my struggle too.

 

Totally Starcross’d by SD Wasley – Release Day

What if Juliet could tweet? What if Romeo was a connoisseur of latte art? What if the Capulet and Montague feud played out on the field of politics?

Today marks the release of Totally Starcross’d, SD Wasley’s romance novella! Totally Starcross’d is a retelling of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy Romeo and Juliet.

Romilly Montague and Julian Capulet are struck with a deep mutual attraction … before they find out each other’s names. But their dads are about to slug it out for Governor of Verona City. This makes the course of true love a lot more complicated.

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Blurb

“Why does she have to be Romilly Montague? Any other name on the planet. She’d be just as pretty and cute and clever—just as perfect—but she wouldn’t be Romilly Montague. Then I’d have a chance with her.”

Romilly longs for the freedom to live her own life … but her dad is Alan Montague, hot contender for the job of Governor. And the bigger he gets, the more protective of Romilly her parents become.

Could Julian Capulet’s luck be worse? As if being born into the most conservative family in Verona wasn’t bad enough, the girl of his dreams is the daughter of his father’s biggest adversary in the upcoming election. His embarrassing family—especially his troublemaking younger brother—seem set to totally ruin his chances with Romilly.

For Romilly and Julian it’s never been truer that you can choose your friends but not your family. Will this story end in woe—or can there be a happily ever after for this modern-day Juliet and Romeo?

A modern day retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

99c on Amazon or Free on Kindle Unlimited

Excerpt:

I hovered before the Picasso. It wasn’t one of his famous cubist works. It was quite a sad painting of a woman with a child.Totally5

“I wonder what made him start experimenting like he did,” came a voice beside me.

“Not sure,” I said, glancing around. A young man was standing a short distance away, gazing at the painting. I made a brief assessment: neat clothes—jeans but dressed up with a jacket. Top knot in his golden-brown hair. I dropped my gaze. Uh, flip-flops? Hmmm, hipster styling, knew about Picasso. Montague supporter for sure.

“You’re missing the debate,” I said.

He gave me a quick smile. “Am I? That’s a shame.”

I laughed. “Dragged here by your parents as well?”

He nodded, losing interest in the Picasso and coming closer. “I was only ever in it for the caviar-topped blinis.” He said this with just the right amount of irony so I knew he meant it but he was also laughing at himself. Cute and smart.

“They certainly know how to cater these political things, huh?”

“Conservatives always cater well. Making a good impression is of prime importance. Campaigning 101.”

I cocked my head. “And the other guy?”

“The other guy should know that the caviar isn’t dolphin safe and the wait staff are underpaid.”

I burst out laughing this time. “I hope you’re joking. I don’t want to be eating something that hurts dolphins, or accepting service from exploited workers.”

He shrugged. “I may have made up the dolphin thing. But you should probably tip the waiter generously.”

I appraised him again. This guy was intriguing. He couldn’t have been much older than my sixteen years but he conversed like a much older man. And now he was closer I saw how cute he was. Dark blue eyes, tanned skin and gorgeous angular cheeks. He investigated my face with similar interest.

“What’s your name?” he asked me unexpectedly.

I didn’t particularly want him to know I was Alan Montague’s daughter after his snappy political commentary of a few moments before. I snatched at the first thing that came into my head. “I am the girl who wanders galleries at night.”

He cracked up laughing this time. “Mysterious, indeed.” He stuck out a hand for me to shake. “Hello, Girl Who Wanders Galleries at Night.”

“Girl Who, to my friends,” I said. “Nice to meet you, Guy Who Came for the Caviar Blinis.”

“Guy Who,” he said, nodding gravely. Then we shared a grin.

Through the glass foyer walls I saw a sight that made me roll my eyes. A leggy blonde was climbing out of a sleek car in front of the gallery. “Oh, god. It’s her.”

He followed my gaze. “Her?”

“Paris Addison. In the Capulet camp,” I explained. “Her dad owns half the coal mines in the state and when she’s not tweeting about her dog or Instagramming her nail art, she’s schmoozing with the conservatives on her father’s behalf. Her dad’s trying to get a major new mine through environmental planning so the Addisons are being pretty friendly with the party most likely to help them out.” I made a face.

I’d meant it as a joke but his face fell slightly. Perhaps he was more serious about politics than I’d realized.

“Hopefully Capulet keeps his ethics in check long enough to get through the election,” he said.

I gave him a dubious glance. “Uh-huh. Let’s see how that works out.”

 

Pick up your copy of Totally Starcross’d on Amazon or read free on Kindle Unlimited!

New Release – The Ninth Hunter by Anna Hub

NEW RELEASE

The Ninth Hunter – A Standalone Paranormal Thriller

Anna Hub

Limited time release price – 99c. Read it for FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

The Ninth Hunter ebook cover

These weren’t ghosts of the dead with unfinished business. They were something far more sinister.

Daniel Barrow is a ghost hunter bound to a life of misery; protecting the world from ghosts by killing their human hosts. He knows the rules: mark the targets, plot the crime scenes, and then murder those beyond saving. Daniel’s safe in his rituals—until he meets Faye Michaels.

Faye isn’t his average target and her ghosts threaten to destroy everything he has worked for. When his ritual goes wrong, Daniel must create an uneasy alliance with the woman he intended to kill. But the deeper they dig, the closer they get to a dangerous secret that will change their lives forever.

Daniel must make a choice: fulfil his duty, or turn his back on those he has come to trust. Can the truth lead him to salvation?

Excerpt

This was uncharted territory. In all his years of ghost hunting he’d always taken solace in the fact that the ghosts couldn’t physically reach him. Now the rules didn’t stand and he had to be prepared for anything.

Daniel shut the door gently in the hope they wouldn’t be interrupted. He took a mirror from his pocket and searched for the ghosts. They had to know he had arrived but there was no sign of them yet. Perhaps they had a more calculated approach this time. One thing was certain—they wouldn’t let him kill Faye without a fight.

A groan sounded behind the curtain and his throat dried out. He’d never had to face a victim after he’d attacked them and it wasn’t just that he feared the girl’s reaction; he didn’t know exactly how it would make him feel.

He dropped the tablet into the medicine cup and pulled the curtain aside. Faye was asleep with the bed propped up to prevent her neck extending too far. A thick bandage covered her wound. The surrounding skin a mix of yellow and purple. Daniel remembered the way her skin had split beneath his knife, the thought creating a sense of heaviness in his chest.

Faye’s eyes shot open, almost as though she sensed his anxiety, her breath rapid in the otherwise silent room. At first, Daniel couldn’t move, sure she was about to scream. Instead she blinked, her eyes glassy from medication.

He swallowed. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Could he pull his blade out faster than she could call for help? She stared and he waited, each beat of his heart emphasising the slow seconds as the pressure in Daniel’s throat built up, spreading all the way to his jaw. He had to distract her, but the sight of her blue—and somehow bottomless—eyes froze him.

For one small moment he was moved. He wanted to whisper an apology, to have her know she hadn’t done anything wrong—it wasn’t her fault she was haunted. But there was no space for thoughts like that; he had to concentrate on his task.

He forced a smile to his lips. “I’m on a medication round, thought I’d see how you were.”

Faye didn’t answer. She looked to the window, the reflection showing two ghosts hovering on either side of her.

“Do you feel okay?” he asked, searching for a clue of what might be going through her head.

Faye’s voice came out hoarse. “A little sick.”

Perhaps she didn’t remember him after all. Daniel tried to relax his posture as he took the chart from the end of the bed. Hopefully the drug he was about to give her wouldn’t interact too badly with the morphine recorded on her medication chart. Still, he had to take the chance. He didn’t want her revealing anything to the police—sometimes the smallest piece of information was all they needed to catch a killer.

“This tablet will help with the nausea.”

Faye watched as he poured water into her cup, her expression filled with turmoil. He’d always found it easy to play whatever part he needed, but this situation was like nothing he’d experienced before. He’d never felt more like a killer. If she had her wits about her she might have recognised his discomfort but he forced a smile once more and pushed the cup closer. She looked at him, her eyes cautious before she swallowed the tablet and took a drink.

Daniel picked up the water jug. “I’ll fill this up.”

 

He turned the tap in the bathroom and lifted his gaze to the mirror, startled to see a ghost standing right behind him. Despite the bristle of hair and the deep-rooted feeling that he wasn’t safe, the energy reminded him of what it was like to be human. The rest of the time he was just a shell.

Opaque skin barely covered the ghost’s veins and her detailed form made her more human-like than the others. Her eyes weren’t the regular white, but rather the deep blue of night, and her hair a harsh white instead of mottled brown. At first he was bewitched, her edges shimmering as she leaned in and brushed against his shoulder. He jolted; disturbed by the distance she’d travelled away from Faye. This must have been what Lamont spoke about. They weren’t bound by rules anymore. Daniel turned to the side, keeping his eyes on the mirror as the hair on his arms lifted and he thought about all the times a ghost had pulled him through the veil. He couldn’t let that happen now; these ghosts were too powerful to risk entering their realm.

He pressed one hand against the knife at his waist as he reached out to touch her. A chill spread up his hand before the creature flashed and disappeared. He waited to see if she would come back, but the mirror showed only his own pale face and an empty bathroom behind him.

Daniel paused to force away memories from when he was haunted. The ghost had reminded him how it felt to have your every move tracked, the rushing in your veins when you knew they were behind you. He splashed water on his face. Everything about this job felt wrong. He was losing himself, and if he didn’t figure something out soon, Faye Michaels would be his undoing.

 

Q & A with the author

Can you start by telling us what inspired you to write this book?

When I finished working on my last set of books, The Shadow Series, I was looking for a new story to write. At the time I was reading a lot of ghost stories, like the amazing, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, and The Graveyard Queen Series by Amanda Stevens. I really loved their style of combining ghosts with unique plots I hadn’t come across before. That was exactly what I wanted to create; a story that no one had ever read.

Creating my own mythology has been incredibly challenging, but I’m glad this book stands apart from others in its genre.

Why would readers like this book?

I think The Ninth Hunter appeals to a wide variety of readers. Although I classify the book as a standalone paranormal thriller for adults, I think it’s also suited to a younger audience. Young adult and new adult are my favourite to read and that’s what I had in mind when I wrote this book. The characters are a little too mature to fit into that category but younger readers will still be able to identify with the main character’s struggle for identity.

I’m a big fan of mixed genres so this book has something for everyone. It’s a fast-paced, action-packed thriller but I’ve also added a touch of romance, a pinch of horror and an unusual plot, which could almost pass as fantasy.

Who was your favourite character to write?

The main character, Daniel Barrow, wins this hands down! He’s such a complex guy, and probably the first murderer you’ll genuinely feel sorry for. Although he’s done terrible things, he’s trapped in a life of misery and at the core, he wants to do the right thing. He’s an incredibly flawed hero (anti-hero even?), but he’s so good at his job which makes him a complete badass at the same time. While I truly love, Faye, his strong female sidekick, I think her strength somehow adds to Daniel’s vulnerability and that only makes me love him more.

And finally, what does it mean to you, to have this book published?

Although I’ve previously published a set of four paranormal/fantasy novels, this book is by far my favourite. It’s definitely the most challenging story I’ve written and it’s been a long time in the making, but I’m hoping I’ve captured a unique story and created characters that readers will love.

Buy Links

Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Amazon.com.au

Author Links

Website Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads

 

Cover Reveal – Shuffle by Lisa Swallow

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Today we are sharing the cover for SHUFFLE by Lisa Swallow. This is a contemporary romance title and the second book in the series Ruby Riot! The book will be released January 28th and it is available for pre-order now, exclusively through amazon.

 

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Cover Designed by Najla Qamber Designs
Photo by Lindee Robinson Photography
Models: Ashley Patchak and Andy Glass

ADD SHUFFLE TO GOODREADS

BLURB:

 

Will Campbell, Ruby Riot bassist, is back at university and failing badly at everything apart from partying.

With Ruby Riot on a break, Will returns to university to finish his degree. He needs major help if he wants to pass his final year and attempts to join a not-very-rock star study group. Will is horrified to discover the person organising the group is Fleur Roberts, the girl he’s secretly crushed on for two years and who recently threatened him with a restraining order.

Fleur’s rock stars are history academics. She has no interest in any variety of pierced, tattooed slacker, especially not the jackass rock star who humiliated her at a party. There’s no way in Hell that Will Campbell is joining her group.

Faced with losing the easiest way to fix his academic problems, Will has the perfect solution: pretend he’s his twin, Nate. Will and Nate have swapped identities before so nothing can go wrong. Surely.

Fleur is successful academically, but her love life is a failure. Following a number of disastrous dates, she finds herself falling in love with a guy who is lying to her. But Will’s deceit isn’t the only thing about to shatter her world. When another man Fleur trusted betrays her, and she attempts to retaliate, Fleur discovers how dangerous he is. And when Will becomes involved, the repercussions threaten both of their futures.

Shuffle is the second standalone book in the Ruby Riot series and can be read separately to the first book.

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Pre-Order Exclusive to Amazon

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CAN

 

———————

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

LisaSwallowLisa is an author of new adult romance and writes both paranormal and contemporary, often with a side of snark.
Lisa is originally from the UK but moved to Australia in 2001 and now lives in Perth in Western Australia with her husband, three children and dog.

 

 

 

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter | Amazon

 

InkSlinger Blogger Final

‘Writing’ – It’s Not A Dirty Word

SecretsI have an author facebook page, a twitter account, a blog and four published novels—you’d probably feel safe in assuming I love to talk about writing … almost, but not quite.

I view writing as a little gift to myself and I’d been working on novels for years before I made it public knowledge. Initially I was doing it just for fun and didn’t imagine it going anywhere but it wasn’t long before I fell deeply in love and I realised, if I wanted to be an author, it couldn’t be a secret anymore. If I truly wanted to be happy and satisfied with my purpose in this world, I needed to allow this passion to cross-over into every aspect of my life. It was the only way to become the person I need to be.

So I started telling people and slowly let my writing travel a little further towards friends and eventually strangers. It’s been quite a journey to publication and the response from family, friends and random people I meet day to day, has been positive. In fact, overwhelmingly positive! So why do I still cringe when people ask me about my books and I’m unprepared?

I’m not entirely sure but I guess some part of me will always view writing as a secret just for me. Almost as though indulging in conversation about it somehow subtracts from the reason why I write. It feels a bit like I’m seeking affirmation when in fact, it truly doesn’t matter whether people know about it or not, I’ll always be a writer. I think a contributing factor is the enthusiastic reaction I get when I tell people about my books. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an absolutely amazing thing, but people tend to get really excited and throw lots of accidental compliments out there. That’s when I get really shy and self-conscious. Consequently, I’m a bit guarded about my real life. When I meet strangers and they ask what I do, I generally tell them about my day job rather than the thing that really fuels my ambition. Eventually I warm up and tell them the truth, but that could be anywhere from minutes to weeks into our friendship.

Maybe you’re reading this and realising it all makes sense. The way I confessed my love for books to you and then turned bright red and quickly tried to deflect the conversation. But maybe it isn’t as bad as it seems. I’m gradually beginning to understand the reaction from strangers actually has very little to do with me. People don’t gush because of my personal story, they gush because everyone can identify with the idea of following a dream. Isn’t that what we all want out of life; to love something so much we’re willing to sacrifice money, sleep, social interaction or whatever else it takes? People are excited because hearing your story makes them realise you don’t have to be extraordinary to follow your passion. All you need is an idea and to take a chance. Committing yourself to a dream is never self-indulgent it’s enriching and there is no reason I should feel self-conscious about that. Sometimes understanding the motivation of others is all it takes to reverse your way of thinking. So here’s my first step.be yourself

Now the truth is out there but I don’t want people to think twice about asking for an update on my books because of this post. Once the first conversation is out of the way and someone knows my secret I could talk about writing until you fall asleep! I genuinely appreciate the people who continue to show support and interest, and you should know you’re helping me overcome my internal battle and build my confidence.

I Write To Give Myself Strength

imagesIt’s no great secret; I’m not particularly good at dealing with stress. But who is? Maybe some people handle it better than others but for me, it’s a weak point that I’m well aware of. That’s why I’ve tailored my life to a point where I can feel both challenged and controlled.

I’m extremely introverted, so pretty much any social situation comes with a degree of challenge. I absolutely love spending time with my friends and family, and I have a pretty active social life which is really important to me. But four hours is pretty much my limit for social interaction. I can certainly stay out longer but once that fourth hour hits my eyes glaze over and I long to be alone.

I do plenty of other things that are outside of my comfort zone and I embrace and enjoy them as a necessary part of my personal development—but that’s a whole other topic.

To keep my stress levels low I like to stick to a good routine. I practice yoga and I meditate, but most importantly—I write. Over the years I’ve wondered why writing helps me so much and while I know it fuels a passion which makes me feel alive, I felt certain there must be more to it and I’ve finally put my finger on it.

Funnily enough it was a yoga teacher who gave me the insight to recognise it.

Quad+Stretch+Yoga+Pose+Vastus+Lateralis+3I generally practice yoga at home but recently I went to a class and found myself subjected to some philosophical wisdom. During the session the teacher guided us into a difficult posture. It was pretty painful and I can’t remember how long we had to hold it but while we were in place the teacher reminded us to think of the posture as a symbol of the challenges we face in life. Often we shy away from the things we find difficult or painful but it’s important we experience them and learnt to deal with them. The posture is uncomfortable and your body is begging for release but you use your breath to acknowledge the difficulty and build confidence that you can progress through it.

downloadDays later I had a particularly tough day at the writing desk. I’d been working really hard to finalise my editing process when I suddenly hit a wall. Nothing seemed to fit and I felt irritable and frustrated. Then the yoga philosophy ran through my head and the two things clicked into place.

While writing a book, there are days when it’s hard and unforgiving, where progress is slow and success seems too far away. There are problems that need to be solved and solutions where you never expect to find them. There are also moments of pure joy and sometimes days of never ending self-doubt. But you keep going, and after days, weeks, months, years … you realise you’re done. Amongst those pages are all your fears, every tough day and all the happiness you experienced in your life as you wrote it.

Writing is a mentor, a place for you to face your demons in a context you can control. It forces you to acknowledge all that you’re afraid of and find a way to live beyond it. Writing is the teacher who works on your own time, harnessing your insecurities until you’re ready to face them. There are times when I’m tense with action or solemn with the despair of my characters but at the end of the day, all of those things have lived inside of me. I can externalise them in my book and look at them objectively. Although it’s taken me a while to understand how this works, my instinct has been right all along. So if you’ve ever thought about writing a book, you should absolutely get started. It will be the most difficult but rewarding thing you can do for yourself and you’ll come out of it a better person.

I’ve said it so many times before, but I’ll say it again—thank god I have this beautiful thing in my life!

The Cult

cult

I just realised it’s been a full year since I joined my writers group, time for me to acknowledge this wonderful group of people and all they have done for me!

While the group may be small (less than ten members), we make up for it in passion. Ellenbrook Writers Group, also known as The Cult, plays host to both a queen and a princess, someone to rule the land and someone to sweeten the time spent there. We even have our very own Electro-Jesus to fix all IT related emergencies, and as writers, there are a lot of those! We’re a wacky bunch, and sometimes the conversations border on illegal, but this writing family has taught me more about the art of words than I even knew there was to learn.

Now, I’m going to be brutally honest. When I searched for a writers group to get involved with, I was expecting to find pockets of wannabe writers who weren’t entirely sure how to punctuate a sentence. I guess I made the ridiculous assumption that writers of a higher calibre would have no use for a critique group. I’m sorry fellow Cultists, it’s true. But now I want the world to know I was wrong.

The great thing about writers, is they like to help each other. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been writing for two months or twenty years, there is always something to be learnt from a fresh pair of eyes on your work. Allowing someone to read your manuscript and give a fresh opinion is invaluable, if that person happens to be a writer, they will notice things no one else can see. The placement of a comma, the repetition of a word, the inconsistent behaviour of a character and how many dots your ellipses have. Those critiques will blow your mind, making you see both the silly mistakes and the complex ones.

Some of those mistakes you will make time and again, because you’re so used to making them, you think they’re right. These are the things that need to be trained out of you. Let’s face it, an average, read-for-pleasure person, isn’t going to invest the time it takes to snap you out of those habits. But a bunch of writers sitting in a room together will pick those flaws apart, meeting after meeting, until eventually the mistakes don’t need to be edited out, you stop making them altogether! I truly believe I’m ten times the writer I was before I met these people, and I still have so far to go. This blog is just a short appreciation post for the group who inspire and challenge me, their lessons working through the critiques and submissions they share, and the discussions we have around that table.

Here’s to the Cultists, not amateurs but successfully-published, editing-extraordinaire writers. Thank you to the Queen, for bringing this group together, her exceptional punctuation skills and zazz for rational thinking. The princess for being pretty much the cutest person you’ll ever meet, and delving deep into the psychology of every story, telling you things about yourself you didn’t even know. Electro-Jesus for the electro-jesusing, and the creepy but useful knowledge of all things violent. Bec who can spot repetitions from a mile away, and is always searching for ways it could sound better, she pushes you to your limit but never makes you feel like a fool. The Duchess of Cats, who sees the good in everything and is packed full of encouragement. And the lovely Lisa, who always pushes for better descriptions, teaching us how to show rather than tell our readers.

All of you do an amazing job, both teaching and learning, and just being a great bunch of friends! To our newest members, I look forward to sharing the stage with you!