Book sale! Breed by Niki Cluff

Who doesn’t like a good book sale?

Breed will be on sale Feb 25th thru March 1, 2019

BREED is a YA Dystopian that depicts a comet hurtling towards earth. Kyle Singer leaves home when offered the opportunity to save earth from an impending comet, but the government program isn’t what she expects and she finds herself a candidate in a breeding program.

The book was released through EvernightTeen last year.

Pick up Breed here:

Check out Niki’s website here:
Follow her on Instagram:@nikicluff_books
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Tuesday Tip: The “Show Don’t Tell” Lie

So well said!

A.S. Winchester

We’ve ALL heard it. “You have to SHOW don’t TELL when you write”. Who else is getting REAL tired of hearing that phrase? Show of hands… yeah, I didn’t think it was just me.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s actually some real validity to the concept, but it gets taken way too far. Have you ever read the work of someone who took it too literal? It’s like reading a descriptive word VOMIT. Drives me nuts and adds too many pages.

So, where’s the balance between showing and telling?

In the spirit of a mom who has a toddler seeking more and more independence, I found something interesting on pinterest for my own amusement. Instead, I found something that made perfect sense:

I’ll leave that nice and big so it’s easy to read.

There it is. My absolute favorite breakdown of “show don’t tell”.

Show us emotion. Tell us feelings.

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First-round draft edits and other musings

I first published A Raven’s Touch in 2015 and it’s so hard to believe it’s been 3 years since I first saw it go live. I’ve begun work on my first draft edits and it’s a humbling experience. One can hardly expect to do anything right on the first try and I fully expected my manuscript to look like a red bloodbath, and it does. Writing is a personal experience in itself. To actually put words to paper and have others a) read those thoughts, b) understands those thoughts (as intended), and c) praise those thoughts, well, that’s the perfect storm.

So far, I’ve been lucky enough to have over 50 Amazon reviews and I’m hoping for at least 100 (for A Raven’s Touch). I anticipate those numbers will grow once A Raven’s Revenge is complete.

The plan is to have three books. A Raven’s Touch is an introduction to Justice, Moira, Tom, and Darien. I built a world where angels and demons exist, vampires, elves, and magic are very real.

In A Raven’s Revenge, the foursome go on an adventure through Hell (literally) to help Justice avenge her parents. This mission from God will test them and push them to their limits. Is justice served? Do they make it out alive?

The third and final book, A Raven’s Wrath, is going to be a fantasy epic battle. When I say epic, I mean heaven, all the angels, all the demons, and every creature in Acana fighting to save the world from being invaded. Things are going to get crazy. Decisions will be made, lives will be lost, and in the end, someone has to win, but which side triumphs?
Lots to go through, lots to write, and as usual such little time. Is this all worth it? But of course darling, of course, it is. All the pain and suffering, the life questions that arise, the self-doubt that creeps up at the worst moment. Ah, where would I be without these horrible work crippling thoughts? Why, I’d be happy that’s what, but who needs that when you’re a writer?
This is my dream after all and I should be so lucky to do it. I truly do wish, more than anything in the world, to be a writer. Though writing fiction isn’t my full-time job, I’m still doing it and that in itself is a dream come true.


Win and Review Contest! (5 copies to give away)

My friend DL Blade is looking for more reviews and needs your help! Why not have fun in the process and enter to win a copy of her debut novel, The Dark Awakening.


How to enter:

1. Comment below, “I want to win and review!”


Contest runs from November 17, 2018 – November November 19 @ 10am EST

Books will be provided in Nook, iBooks, Google Play or Kindle format for free.

Contest winners MUST review on Amazon and Goodreads by November 30th or December 1st. 

Time for the handoff

So, I finished my first draft of my sequel to A Raven’s Touch a few months ago. I let a few beta readers check it out and they gave me some rather interesting points to ponder on. Based on their suggestions, I made a few adjustments and low and behold there you have it, I’m FINALLY ready to hand this puppy off to an editor. Now, the first book was 104,000 words. The sequel is only 54,000 words. I figure in the first book, I did a lot of world building and I set up things to go down fairly well. I left so many threads hanging loose. In book two, A Raven’s Revenge, I’m going to dangle a few more threads. I plan on wrapping all of that up in book three, A Raven’s Wrath.

This SHOULD be the final book. Should. I’m not sure if I’m going to focus another set of books based on the secondary couple Moira and Tom. It seems like everyone who has read A Raven’s Touch (and my beta readers for A Raven’s Revenge) love this couple. Mind you, I love them too. I mean, how could you not? Moira is hilarious, Tom is loveable and a stands up kind of guy, the two of them are mushy gushy melt your heart magic.

While Justice and Darien have this serious bond going on, there’s a sort of pressure with being the chosen one. Readers feel they can relate more to a shy girl who gets the guy. It’s funny to me how this turned out, as that’s not at all how I pictured things, but hey, I’m not bothered by it.

Goodbye YA, hello NA

A Raven’s Revenge is going to deal with a lot of issues that really makes me feel that I’m stepping away from the YA category and going straight into NA.
For instance, there’s male rape/servitude (not sodomy), suicide, hints at child molestation, violent death scenes, hints at graphic sex, a curse word said in a fit of anger, and thoughts of hopelessness.
the old justice is dead
Mind you, the characters are literally going through Hell, so I couldn’t exactly let them off the hook and escaped unscathed. Every character is going to feel their own worst pain and that in itself is what I was going for in this story.
If you thought A Raven’s Touch was harsh, oh, this is probably not going to be the book for you. I don’t know how I’m going to get people to read it with so many warnings, but this is the story I want to tell so let’s see what happens.
The story is also one of courage, strength, and friendship. Friends who slay together stay together. ❤
If you haven’t picked up A Raven’s Touch here’s what it’s about:

Bullied through high school, seventeen-year-old Justice St. Michaels is grateful for the help of her best friend Moira O’Fhey. Their only wish is to graduate high school, leave the sleepy town of Fallingbrook and all that happened behind them. The Heavens have other plans. Between late night sleepwalking and being involved in explosive school fights, nothing seems to make sense. When an unexpected encounter with Darien Raventhorn causes worlds to collide it exposes the truth about Justice’s real identity. To avenge a family death, Justice must embrace her birthright, and slay a demon before all Hell breaks loose.

I wrote it with elements of Sailor Moon in mind, specifically Sailor Mars’ firepower. The characters stand up for themselves, kick ass, and fight for justice. I wanted a character who stood up to bullies and decided she wasn’t going to take it anymore.
Someone once told me that the first half of the book has nothing to do with the second half. I kind of think of it as Act 1 and Act 2. In the first act, Justice is dealing with school and normal issues, but when she finds out who she is, it’s all a rollercoaster ride of non-stop action. Act 2 is her dealing with her new identity and the role she has to step into as per God’s mission.
If you pick it up, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Share your Amazon review URL below!

Am I cheating on my story?

The more I write in The Time Runner, the more I feel like I’m cheating A Raven’s Revenge from being published. Sigh. I’m so close to producing a polished second draft with A Ravens’ Revenge. It would be a shame to let the story linger on hold while I chase down another story. Honestly. I hate being so torn.

This morning, I was thinking about the movie Constantine and I remembered how much I loved the Tilda Swinton character, Gabriel. Mind you, I loved the whole movie, but that one scene in particular when Gabriel meets Lucifer really gets me.

Just the way Lucifer walks in, and how he reacts to Gabriel calling him, “Son of perditionLittle HornMost unclean!

UUUUGH. It kills me. Tilda is PERFECTION when she throws her fist and calls for her “Father?”

THEN HER WINGS! Uuuuuugh. I just die. It’s such a moving scene for me. I pay homage to this scene in A Raven’s Revenge when Justice meets Lucifer.

As you can see, I have many feels about this scene. And such a spark is hard to let go. So… guess who is going back to working on A Raven’s Revenge? Ah, why do I do this to myself? Because I’m a writer and I’m fickle. There. I said it. Bah.

Either way, this will make me happy, so bring it on!