love pen book tea - Author Lorraine Ambers fantasy writer

Being a writer takes guts, so own it.

Four years ago, I join a creative writing class and started my first novel. Back then, I would never have imagined myself as a blogger, of having a platform of this scale, and I certainly didn’t see myself as being an author.

I would have blushed and mumbled that I was taking a writing class, whilst secretly writing a book. And in private I would aspire about being an author.

The Magicians - Quentin meme

If this is where you are, stop! You’re not aspiring to anything… if you write, you’re a writer. It takes blood, (probably from a paper cut, but still) sweat and tears to pour your heart and soul into your work. It takes dedication and sacrifice, to set aside time to write away from family and work commitments.

It deserves acknowledgment, and not from an outside source:

Oh, when I get good feedback I’ll feel successful – no you won’t.
But, when I get an agent or a publisher I’ll feel validated – no you won’t.
If my social media hits 10k+ I’ll feel amazing – no, No and NO YOU WON’T.

The Magicians - Margo Meme

Because until you make the choice to feel those things now, in this moment, to own your creativity as a writer. To validate your achievements, no matter how small. To know that even if you don’t get an agent, a publisher or make a healthy amount of sales on amazon – YOU ARE STILL AN AUTHOR! And heck, I’m proud of you.

It’s important for you to realise is that it’s ok to dream big. The next time someone asks you what you do, say: I’m an author and smile. Own that feeling of pride. Most people dream of writing a book, but do they have the stamina to stick with it. Who knows, but guess what? You did! You’re the one revising, editing and repeating.

This isn’t a hobby, a whimsical what if.

If you’re in it to win it, own it. Because you deserve it! You’re worth it!!

The Magicians - Alice Meme

Be the High Queen or High King of your destiny. Have faith in your future and walk tall knowing that every small step you take, is carrying you towards a future of infinite possibilities. Enjoy the process, reach out and make connections with your fellow writers, interact with your followers and take a moment to truly relish in your unique ability as an author.

 

The Magicians High king and Queen meme

Be brave my fellow authors and seize the day.

Yes, I’m a huge Magicians geek. The show and books it’s based on are fantstic. Have you watched the show? If so, who’s your favourite character. I’d have to pick Margo.

As always thanks for stopping by. You know I love your comments, so tell me; are you still hiding in the shadows, or have you decided to own your place as an author?

Until next time: Much Love.

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

 

Dream Big and Let Nothing Hold You Back

Dream Big and Don’t Hold You Back

When I started on my journey as a writer, I never imagined I’d be where I am today. I have two complete manuscripts; I have made great friends with some amazing bloggers, critique partners and fellow creative writers. I’ve watched them grow and flourish, just as I have.

Becoming a writer was a challenge for me. I had to channel my daydreaming energy into something tangible. I needed to focus and direct my energy into what I wanted most.

Girl Butterflies Chase your Dreams

I’m not the first, or last to be daunted by trying something new. To move away from the comfort of their current position and pursue a passion. To push themselves to achieve more. It’s scary starting out!

I had to overcome my negative thought patterns and self-doubt.

  • Where would I find the time?
  • Family comes first – I’m being selfish.
  • What if I’m not good enough?
  • What if I fail?

Do any of them sound familiar to you?

Inspirational quote

In the end I simply started. I joined a creative writing group and wrote a little each day. Ten minutes a day grew to half an hour or more. Two years later and I’d finished the first draft of my first book. Then I dipped my toe into the sea of social media. And began blogging, and two years later I’m still here, still persevering.

Believing that my dreams, to be a traditionally published author, will come true. Even when my fears creep in, trying to drown me in doubt, I ignored them and carried on. Why? That’s simple… I love writing! And you know what, your five minutes a day could flourish into something too.

You’re allowed to start a new hobby, or learn a new craft. You’re allowed to make mistakes, you’re human after all. The beauty of failure is that’s how we learn and grow. This is your life; it’s time to live it.

So give it a try… what do you have to lose?

I believe in dreams, fantasy, reality and all things in between. Follow your passion. Do it today. Make the choice to change, and know that from this moment on, every step you take will lead you towards a brighter future. If you’re brave enough to follow your dreams, they will start to come true.

Tell me about your dreams and aspirations. Or about any dreams you’ve already acomplished. As always, thanks for reading. Much Love x

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.

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Love Heart Hope Fantasy romance writer author Lorraine Ambers

Positive quotes: Don’t Fear

Everyone needs a little boost. A dose of positivity, and a reminder that no matter what your dreams are – you can do it! Here are this weeks 3 inspirational quotes biased on the theme: Don’t Fear. Enjoy!

Thank you message in a bottle

“So please ask yourself:
What would I do if I weren’t afraid?
And then go do it.”

– Sheryl Sandberg.

Conquer fear Author Lorraine Ambers

“Even the greatest was once a beginner.
Don’t be afraid to take that first step.”

-Rita Ghatourey

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“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, to stumble and fall because most of the time, the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare us the most.
Maybe you’ll get everything you wished for.
Maybe you’ll get more than you ever could have imagined.
Who knows where life could take you.
The road is long and in the end, the journey is the destination.”

-Unknown

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

Thanks for stopping by. Do you have a quote  based on the theme – Don’t Fear?`If so, please share it. You know I love hearing from you. Until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.

 

The Obsidian shard by Kristy Nicolle

COVER REVEAL: THE OBSIDIAN SHARD BOOK 3 IN THE ASHEN TOUCH TRILOGY

This week I have the pleasure of introducing author Kristy Nicolle’s (professional mermaid/destroyer of worlds) third book in the ASHEN TOUCH TRILOGY.

You can read Kristy’s guest post HERE, From Whispers to Roars about building your online presence.

The Obsidian Shard – Book 3 in the Ashen Touch Trilogy.

Cover reveal THE OBSIDIAN SHARD

One month has elapsed since Pandora turned out the sun, and things in the Mortal World are shifting as though something dark is just on the horizon. Sephy has been patrolling the streets, preventing demon attacks when she can, but things at the estate fall deeper into chaos with every passing day.

Luce is beyond reach, consumed by both grief and the darkness, and while Xion feels like he owes her the help she once gave him, he’s beginning to wonder if she’ll take it. Then, with the discovery of a solution to tame Lucifer’s darkness emerging from their joint past, the cogs of fate begin sputtering into motion.

For you see, Pandora might have the throne, but she still doesn’t possess the undying loyalty of the Demon Lords, and with an unexpected visit from the Higher Plains, Pandora begins to realise she needs power of her own to truly grasp her revenge.

Will Sephy, Xion, and Luce thwart her pursuit of the destruction of all they hold dear? Or is the sacrifice they are expected to pay to maintain the balance of worlds just too great?

The Obsidian shard by Kristy Nicolle

I’ve had the pleasure of reading Kristy’s earlier novels in the Infiniverse series. You can pop over to her website www.kristynicolle.com to check out her other titles, or take a look at her Author Interview to discover a little bit more about this indie author.

GRAB BOOKS 1 AND 2 @ https://amzn.to/2Lmc8Li

Thanks for stopping by. Have your read any of the fantasy novels for the Infiniverse?`If so, please share your experience. You know I love hearing from you. Until next time, Much Love.

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.
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5 ways to fuel inspiration

In this week’s post, I’ll be sharing the top 5 ways I find inspiration for my flash fiction, novels and short stories. So let’s dive straight in.

Inspiration butterflys Pexel-image

  1. Music is a huge source of inspiration. I make workout playlists that motivate me to move. I make playlist that my husband and I can reminisce over. Our kids hate it when we blast out old-school hip-hop. And I make playlists that resonate with my characters, their goals, hopes and fears. All types of music can ignite inspiration. Either from their lyrics or from the feelings the melodies evoke.
  2. Movies, T.V shows and novels. I admire well-written stories and while I don’t plagiarise their work, I do learn from them. The stories form or how they reveal plot and develop characters. Or my favourite thing is admiring how they pull of clever ploys, tracing back the foreshadowing and wishing my brain was that clever. There’s a lot of inspiration in curiosity and wonder.
  3. My own past. It’s not pretty; it’s downright brutal and traumatic. However, I have a treasure trove of experiences to pull upon. That in its self is my inspiration. I take something ugly and weave it into beautiful prose, to take my readers on an authentic journey.  Yes I did called my abuse a treasure, because I’m stronger for it. And I love myself for how far I’ve come.
  4. The world around me. Nothing beats a stroll on an empty beach, or sitting beside a river under the umbrella of trees. It revitalises my soul. And while I’m there I listen, touch, smell and try to describe those senses. Then I take all that recharged energy and ideas and place them in my stories. Voila!
  5. The people around me. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a script, a history and a set of beliefs. Sometimes, I imagine writing them as a character. I identify their goal, dreams, hopes and fears and false beliefs. I empathise with them. And yep, I use that as inspiration. Fear not friends, you’re not in my stories… yet! Ha-ha.

There you have it, a tiny glimpse into my take on the world. Tell me friends; do you use any of these to fuel your inspiration? Or perhaps you have another way. Don’t be shy, share it with me. You know I love hearing from you. Until next time, Much Love.

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.

 

 

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J.Maas

Review: A Court of Frost and Starlight

Blurb

A COURT OF FROST AND STARLIGHT BY FANTASY AUTHOR SARAH J.MAASA companion tale to Sarah J. Maas’s #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series that takes place several months after the explosive events of A Court of Wings and Ruin

Told from the perspectives of Feyre, Rhys and other key characters, this story bridges the events in A Court of Wings and Ruin and the upcoming novels in the series.
Feyre, Rhys and their companions are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated – scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their court.


I award this novel 4/5 stars

Review

This is a beautiful rendition of the winter solstice and makes a stunning, festive story. The world-building and characters have already been developed in the previous stories, A Court of Thorns and Roses, then my all-time favourite novel A Court of Mist and Fury and lastly, A Court of Wings and Ruin. If you haven’t read any of the series yet, and you’re wondering if you might like them, then take a look at my previous reviews.

What I loved about this short story.

Feyre and Rhysand are a gorgeous couple, they make my heart melt with their affection for each other. They are content; it’s refreshing to read a story where couples are happy together, without relying on chaos between them to drive the stories tension. Because there’s plenty of that building between other characters.

Sarah J.Maas takes us through the Night Court, showing us the carnage and grief left by the war, but also the spirit of the people and the determination they have to rebuild and enjoy the festivities.

In this story we delve into Mor and Cassian’s POV, Its a pure teaser. We get a glimpse at their demons, hopes and desires. It quite simply left me wanting more.

Soo frustrating! I can almost taste the looming tension.

And that is what I hated about the story…. It’s meant as a bridging tale, ready to delve into the journey of Mor and Cassian. And how long do I have to wait for that??? It was a warm tale of family and friendship, whilst revealing the hidden scars which have yet to heal. It didn’t go far enough for me, which is why I didn’t give it the full five stars. I want to read those stories, the heart wrenching, angst of ACOMAF. I have a feeling that will be the next instalment. I can’t bloody wait!

Have you read this book yet? If so, what did you think of it?

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.

 

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3 Ways to Keep Track of Your Stories

I’m currently tying up loose ends in my two novels before I continue writing the third novel in the Shadow Knight Series. After being away from my second WIP – Mischief and Mayhem to tighten up the premise of the first novel – Secrets and Shadows, I’ve come across a problem.

I’m struggling to remember tiny details about the different realms. And as the series develops not only is the world-building expanding, but changes continuously evolve.

This is also true for my characters. Remembering eye and hair colour is easy enough. And I’m confident in remembering my MC traits and personality types. The trouble lies with minor characters. Plus changes in hairstyles and costumes in particular scenes are starting to become problematic.


So today I’m considering different methods to store all the relevant details for your stories.

pexels- ideas, pin-board, character files, novels, writing

  1. My good friend and creative writing tutor Judith Barrow is an advocate for the Pin-board Method. Above her desk, directly in line of sight, Judith uses notes and images to mind map her novels. A quick glance forward and all the information is to hand. Dates, Places and characters… whatever information deemed necessary.

book pen artist writer author Lorraine Ambers fantasy romance novel YA

  1. Some of us aren’t lucky enough to have a cosy desk. So, for the more technological-minded writers they can use apps compatible with their computer or tablet. Similar to the Pin-board Method, except all the information can be stored in one easy accessible space. Great if you’re a writer on the go, maybe you write in a cafe or at your work during your lunch break. Carrying notebooks and files everywhere is impractical and a nuisance. Why not try one of the following?

OneNote – Notepad Classic – Code Writer – Sticky Notes – Evernote Touch

maps-desk-notes writing novel ideas

3. My current method, The File System. Many authors love printable lists or a one page character summary. Where they can jot down character attributes, personality traits, fears, goals and flaws.

And they’re great to get the ball rolling, but I needed something a little more intricate. So I’ve been compiling information about individual characters. Copying descriptions and quirks from my novels and pasting them onto a document. These are then printed off and filed. So the next time I need to jog my memory about a setting or character, Instead of trawling through my novels using the find feature, I can flip open the relevant section of my folder and have instant access.

I’ve also discovered that by having bullet-point sections listing the descriptions, I can maintain continuity and eliminate plot holes.


Which of the three methods do you prefer? Or do you have another method? If so, why don’t you share it with me? You know I love to hear from you.

Until next time, Much Love my people.

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.
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Top 3 Blogging tips

It’s my 2 year anniversary this week. Yay!!!

I’m so grateful to all my followers and readers. I’m truly humbled by this fantastic community. You’re all supportive, encouraging and willing to connect. And that’s a big deal for me. I adore being an author, spending hours at a time immersed in my imagination, but it’s vital for my sanity to know that you guys are just a few clicks away.

Thank you message in a bottle

Here are my top 3 blogging tips that have helped on my journey so far…

  1. Consistency. Be realistic with how often you can post. It’s all well and good having the intention of posting 3 times a week, but if life gets in the way blogging will be the first thing to slip. So be honest about how much time you can dedicate. I knew that after family and work commitments my writing came next. That’s why I choose to post once a week and its been maintainable. It’s also been rewarding, beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve made some great friends like Ari Meghlen. Her blog is full of writing, blogging and platform building tips. Check her out.

2. Connect.  This is a two-way network. So reach out to fellow bloggers. Read their posts and leave a comment, its more personal than simply liking a post. Although I love it when anyone clicks on the little star.

This week I’ve found two new beta readers K.M. Allen and Uninspired writers.  Ladies, welcome to my realm. Take a look at their fantasic blogs full of writing tips.

3. Schedule posts. This tip is for me too. I really need to take my own advice. Organise post in advance. That way when something unexpected crops up, you’re covered. It’s easy to do: Open post settings. Under Status, click on the arrow next to Publish Immediately and a calendar opens up. Then you can set a date and time. When you’re happy with your choice hit the blue Schedule button and you’re all set.

Alternatively, why not re-blog one of your fellow bloggers posts. It’s a great way to stay consistent with your blog and helps to build connections with your bloggers.

Do you have any great tips to share? Let me know in the comments, you know I love to hear from you. Till next time, Much Love. Xx

 

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desk writing novel author Lorraine Ambers

Top 5 things I need to write

I’ve spent the past week learning new payroll software, filing VAT returns, writing GDPR policies for my 3 businesses and redeveloping the website for my welding and fabrication business. YAWN!

During that time I’ve missed writing. And yes, my sanity has suffered for it. I’m amazed to discover that even editing my MS helps my anxiety and stops me from plummeting into depression. And the more of my blogging community I discover and supportive you all are, the less embarrassed I am about my Complex PTSD.

Alice in Wonderland. Have I gone Mad?
Image from Pinterest.

So, without further ado here are my top 5 writing essentials I need for working on my WIP.

  1. Tea and lots of it. A good old fashioned mug of builder’s brew and the stronger the better.
  2. Peace and quiet. I can’t write with people around and I don’t have the luxury of an office or even a desk. As there’s just no room in my bungalow. And so I’ve commandeered the dining room table, it’s home to an extension lead, work files, lots of USB sticks, many notebooks and two laptops. One has an antiglare screen for working on my MS and the other has all the tedious software for running the other businesses.
  3. Music. I know I just said peace and quiet – I guess I meant people. I usually play the radio or music channel. Anything with upbeat tunes. I use it as a motivator and a way to cancel out the unnecessary chatter of my mind. It focuses me. I’m listening to Coldplay’s – In a sky full of stars. I get to channel my voice through words, while dancing in my seat. Life doesn’t get any better than this.
  4. My dog. Pulling my attention away from my laptop and getting out in the fresh air is essential. It recharges my batteries and increases my creativity. Yes, I moan about taking my beagle Dexter out, but I always feel better for it. Particularly if I head to the beach or take a river walk.
  5. Lastly, but most importantly is a functioning mind. I skirt a fine line between holding it together and tumbling into despair. And I can’t write when I’m depressed. While it’s not my fault I have psychological wounds or that I’m regularly triggered. Staying on top of the things that help me, is in my control. Things like, exercise, meditation, writing and therapy.

And I’m going to add a 6th. A cat because it’s finally time to bring another one into my life after losing Jasper. While I still hope he returns home, it’s been 8 months and this writer needs a kitten.

And so, there you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed taking a sneak peek into my life. What’s your number one writing need. Share it with me, as I love reading about you too.

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.

 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer Novel

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Blurb

Cinder by Marissa Meyer NovelA forbidden romance.
A deadly plague.
Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.


I love the idea of a fairy-tale retelling and the stories original take on the story was intreiging. I thought it was fantastic that Cinder and one of the sisters had a geniune bond. this added depth the complexety of the families situations.


Review

I award this novel 3.5/5 stars

From the first chapter we’re introduced to the concept of the deadly virus, the prince’s determination to find a solution, Cinder’s difficulties as a cyborg and the prejudices she faces. I was instantly hooked.

I loved the clever twist on the shoe that only fits her and how that played a part in the final scenes.

This is going to sound ridiculous, but I was shocked to discover the existence of a lunar race and how they impacted the story. Yes, the set is called The Lunar Chronicles so I should have anticipated it. It seemed to come out of nowhere, but played a huge role in the story. Perhaps I missed a vital bit of foreshadowing in the first chapter, there was already a lot going on.

The city of New Beijing was incredibly detailed; it was full, vibrant, noisy, chaotic, and hot. It would be a nightmare destination for someone like me. Give me an empty beach in the middle of winter and I’m happy. That being said, the palace with its cherry blossom trees and lanterns was beautifully detailed.

Cinder’s and Kai’s blooming relationship was believable and engaging. I was eager to read their story and how they’d eventually get together.

Queen Lavana was a flat character, hell bent on world domination. She’s already overthrown her own predecessor and now wants planet earth. But why? Being evil and desiring power was all I got from her.

I’d already read and reviewed Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I had great expectations for this novel. Unfortunately, the story’s ending was a huge let down. Romance novels have a certain expectation, but Cinder and the prince did not get together. I understand it’s a hook for the rest of the series, but not fulfilling a stories plot is one of my pet peeves. Romantic involvement or romantic sacrifice is a must. It annoyed me so much that I’m considering boycotting the rest of the series. Hence the low rating.

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

As always, thanks for reading.

Have you read the rest of the series? Is it worthwhile continuing?

I love your comments, so please tell me what you thought of the book.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.