Tag Archives: Anthology

A Symphony of Dragons, A Winter’s Romance, and Human 76 – Christmas Book Choice

Books are the perfect gift for Christmas
Short stories are ideal because they fit into your life
and you get to discover new authors to thrill you!

Symphony Dragons - Winter's Romance - Human 76 - Lisa Shambrook

Short stories are the perfect way to find new authors, to discover new favourite stories, and to see who you want to read next… No matter which genre you love one of these three books will hit the spot, either for you or for the bookworm in your life.
Three collections of short stories guaranteed to delight you.

Symphony_of_Dragons_Lisa_ShambrookIf you adore dragons and an eclectic choice of stories my latest release: A Symphony of Dragons contains seven stories that are linked through the theme of dragons.

Soar on dragon wings within a collection of fantasy, contemporary, romance, steampunk, and post-apocalyptic tales composed with the gossamer threads of dragon fire.

You’ll find yourself lost amid a lyrical quartet of seasons as you discover the dragons that bring you Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Read a short steampunk tale of magic and love potions… My sweet, icy romance (also found in A Winter’s Romance and too good to leave out of my own book!). A beautiful conclusion to my Hope Within novels, find out what happened to Freya, Meg, and Jasmine. Witness the passion of dragons as they twist and soar through a glittered sky. My longest story (also found in Cutthroat and Curses) will entrance you with steampunk pirates raiding to save their lives, and the last post-apocalyptic tale will introduce you to The Seren Stone Chronicles and a whole new future…and you will find dragons in every tale.

AD A Symphony of Seasons - A Symphony of Dragons - Lisa Shambrook

You can buy A Symphony of Dragons, featuring my own cover art, in eBook or paperback at most online stores. You can also buy a signed paperback (at a discount price) in my Etsy shop Amaranth Alchemy.

A Winter's Romance BHC PressIf you are looking for romance, this is a beautiful book to cosy up with this winter: A Winter’s Romance by BHC Press. A Winter’s Romance – When winter and romance mix, the elements are anything but predictable…

This book gives you 19 beautiful stories from amazing authors. Tales that will enchant you, and stir you and some that will terrify you. You’ll get dragons, music, and thrillers, history, and laughs. You’ll shiver and tingle and giggle and smile. You’ll get a whole variety of short stories and the one thing I can promise you is that you won’t regret reading them!

A Winter’s Romance features authors: J.S.Bailey, LaDonna Cole, Drea Damara, Sara Daniell, Natalie Gibson, Bibi Hamblin, C.R.Hiatt, Kaite Jennings, S.R.Karfelt, D.M.Kilgore, Alice Lakewood, Elise Manion, Emmie Mears, Melissa Hladik Meyer, Tom Mohan, Patricia Paris, Lisa Shambrook, Hannah Steenbock and A.D.Trosper.

My own tale Between Ice and Fire is a captivating chance meeting on an icy winter’s morning – and you’ll want to know what sends shivers down Laine’s spine…You can find

AD Between Ice and Fire -Lisa Shambrook - A Winter's Romance AD

A Winter’s Romance in a gorgeous Paperback and Kindle on Amazon. And find it at all online stores at BHC Press.

Human 76 - Lisa Shambrook - Michael WombatAnd if you prefer adventure, the brilliant post-apocalyptic thriller: Human 76 put together by myself and Michael Wombat is perfect.

Human 76 – An unprecedented set of stories set in the fragments of a fractured world…

You can read about how this collaboration came to be in two of my blog posts: Human 76 – Ghabrie is on her way… and Human 76 Release as this is a project very close to my heart having been inspired by a photograph of my own daughter on our family post-apocalyptic photoshoot!

15 stories from 14 authors written without knowing how they would intertwine. Ghabrie loses her little sister in a raid and sets out to find her. On her journey she discovers eclectic communities, enemies and allies. Ghabrie and her search is the theme that threads through the book, but what you get is a gorgeous vignette of many lives, some struggling and some prospering, in the Post-Blast world.
What leads them to Ghabrie? How do they meet her? Does she affect them? How do their stories impact hers? You’ll have to read them to find out.

Human 76 features authors: Lisa Shambrook, Michael Wombat, Alex Brightsmith, Denise Callaway, KJ Collard, Alison DeLuca, Michelle Fox, Rebecca Fyfe, Jeff Hollar, Nick Johns, MS Manz, Julia Rios, KR Smith and Steven Paul Watson.

My own tales Leaving the Nest and We Make the Future open and close the book and you’ll need to read it to discover how all the tales entwine in the most amazing way…

AD Ghabrie Intro Human 76 - Lisa Shambrook

Human 76 is available in Paperback and Kindle on Amazon UK and Amazon US and your own Amazon store, and in Paperback and Download on Lulu. All proceeds from this book go to Water is Life (a global charity that provides clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene education programs to schools and villages in desperate need worldwide.)

Seriously, you cannot go wrong with any of these book, so, order a paperback and slip it into a loved one’s Christmas gifts, let them discover a great read in their Santa Stocking, preload a Kindle, or buy it and give yourself a well-deserved treat!

L_Shambrook_The_Hope_Within_Novels

You can also pick up my Hope Within novels… available on Amazon and online bookstores. Beneath the Rainbow, Beneath the Old Oak, and Beneath the Distant Star are books that will lift your spirit and steal your heart. All three are available as signed paperbacks at a discount in my Etsy shop Amaranth Alchemy.
Beneath the Rainbow signed 1st edition paperback is currently priced at only £2.50 + P&P a true bargain at Amaranth Alchemy!

So, find your Christmas books, your gifts, and your next read, and enjoy!

 

 

 

Paroxysm – Steampunk, Passion and Pirates

Pistons, passion, pirates and petulant dragons!
Steampunk Pirates – what more do you need?

Paroxysm - An Anthology of Pirates, Lisa Shambrook, The Anthology Club, Steampunk pistons passion pirates and petulant dragons,

Spring is upon us and signs of passion and renewal everywhere – so I thought I’d share a snippet of my steampunk tale, Paroxysm, found within Cutthroats and Curses the Pirate Anthology from The Anthology Club.

Captain Jericha Blacklocke’s bid to survive both catch twenty-two and a vengeful dragon to save her crew aboard The Paroxysm. A story thick with emotion and tension, corsets and longing, goggles and jewels, and a desire to survive and atone…

This story and many others will have you hooked – see what I did there?

Cutthroats and Curses, An anthology of Pirates, The Anthology Club,

Cutthroats and Curses

My favourite tale is: Roaring Dan Seavey Proves He Ain’t The Man Some Folk Think Him To Be by Beth Avery, which blew me away!  You’ll have to let me know your favourite, because you’ll definitely have one!

Enjoy the eclectic mix of writing from some amazing authors: Michael Wombat, Lisa Shambrook, Boyd Miles, Marissa Ames, Bryan Taylor, Beth Avery, Matt Jameson, Eric Martell, Michael Walker, Stephen Coltrane, and Alex Brightsmith, there’s something for everyone.

Reel in this intriguing eBook at Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon Canada or any other Amazon near you!

If you read the book and love it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.

Between Ice and Fire – A Winter’s Romance

When winter and romance mix,
the elements are anything but predictable…

Between Ice and Fire - A Winter's Romance Anthology Snippet - Lisa Shambrook - BHC Press

BHC Press recently released an anthology which discovers what happens when passion and winter collide… You get 19 stories from some amazing authors. Tales that will enchant you, and stir you and some that will terrify you. You’ll get dragons, music, and thrillers, history, and laughs. You’ll shiver and tingle and giggle and smile. You’ll get a whole variety of short stories and the one thing I can promise you is that you won’t regret reading them!

Between Ice and Fire - Lisa Shambrook - A Winter's Romance an Anthology - BHC PressMy own tale is a captivating chance meeting on an icy winter’s morning – and you’ll want to know what sends shivers down Laine’s spine…

This is a beautiful book, which will be a delightful addition to any reader’s library, whether Kindle or physical. Treat yourself and enjoy the pleasures of A Winter’s Romance.

$1.00 from the sale of each book will be donated to Forgotten Harvest (A member of Feeding America).

Inside you will find stories by these very talented authors: J.S.Bailey, LaDonna Cole, Drea Damara, Sara Daniell, Natalie Gibson, Bibi Hamblin, C.R.Hiatt, Kaite Jennings, S.R.Karfelt, D.M.Kilgore, Alice Lakewood, Elise Manion, Emmie Mears, Melissa Hladik Meyer, Tom Mohan, Patricia Paris, Lisa Shambrook, Hannah Steenbock and A.D.Trosper.

Blue Harvest Creative the mind behind BHC Press is offering the book in a giveaway from 10th through 14th February…see here for details and how to WIN

Don’t miss out!

If you read the book and love it, and you will, please consider leaving a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.

You can purchase A Winter’s Romance – an Anthology from your local Amazon or from BHC/Amazon Store

Great Books – Buy Indie this Christmas…

With Christmas coming, I’m sharing my favourite Indie reads…
So if you want to share the love and read some amazing books –
take your choice from a great mix of genres.
There’s something for everyone!

indie-support-the-last-krystallos-titleThe most important thing you can do to help an indie author or creative, is to support them by buying and reviewing their product, and then sharing and spreading the word as much as you can. I’m not asking you to shout about every book you read, but if you love it, then share the love and tell people – we’ll love you forever!

My_Name_Is_RowanMy Name is Rowan – Tracy Hewitt Meyer
Young Adult

This three-in-one book compiles all three Rowan Slone novels, so you get great value and a fantastic YA story.
This book has a depth and raw edge that many YA novels don’t, dealing with real teen issues and no sugar coating. Tracy Hewitt Meyer‘s writing is authentic and her words draw you right into Rowan’s life. The characters are so well drawn that I was still considering their arcs days after finishing each book.  It’s a story of damage and abuse, loss and despair, but ultimately of absolution and trust, hope and strength.
This book is a real page-turner and its heartfelt beauty will draw you in as you find out if Rowan can get her life back on track…

Dead_Sea_Games_J_HazzardDead Sea Games – Zombies – J. Whitworth Hazzard
Horror/Zombie

If you like stories about survival, about beating the odds against the flesh-eating hordes, then ‘Dead Sea Games’ is the book for you! J. Whitworth Hazzard’s Deathwish will keep you biting your nails as you urge him to outlive the forces against him…
I was gripped from the very first page of this harsh tale of life in a post-apocalyptic world, where the city’s surviving inhabitants live in tower blocks and stay away from the streets below. As the stakes rise, the characters are thrown into life and death situations, and this brilliantly disturbing series will stay with you…and you won’t want to put it down!
*Includes adult language

Wind Chime Cover_5Wind Chime Café – Sophie Moss
Romance

Whenever I visit Heron Island, I feel like the wind whispers through my hair, and I can taste salt on my lips, and hear the ocean lapping at my feet… If you love romance then Sophie Moss is the writer for you – she has a way with words that will draw you deep into life on the island and connect you with her characters. Gorgeous detail and imagery bring her stories to life setting you right there making you twirl like a butterfly as the tale infuses your senses. Taste the ocean, see the colours and inhale the aroma of sweet cinnamon rolls. You’ll hear crashing waves and the story will touch you, leaving you wanting more…

Orison-Cover-daniel-swensenOrison – Daniel Swensen
Fantasy

Captivating, riveting, fast-paced fantasy – ‘Orison’ enchanted me. Daniel Swensen is an intelligent and delightful writer, and if you haven’t read ‘Orison’ yet, you absolutely should.
From the beginning I was caught up in Story’s tale, as she leapt from rooftop to rooftop and several times, thanks to the author’s superior description, my heart was in my mouth. Swensen intertwines his characters and their individual tales so well, you won’t predict the plot, but you’ll be waiting for them to overlap, and you won’t be sorry when they do! Each character, from the quietly rebellious Story, worn-down Wrynn and loyal Ashen, weaves through the background of Calushain and an epic tale unfolds…you will be bookmarking this author for more.

cover front04 mainYou’re Not Alone – An Anthology
Mix of Genres

This anthology was put together by Ian D Moore and a group of authors who wanted to make a difference, all proceeds go to Macmillan Nurses as they help in the battle against cancer. Many of the authors have first-hand experience of cancer or know someone close who’s suffering, and were delighted to contribute to this book.
You will be whisked into a magical world of remembrance with Sylva Fae’s gorgeous tale ‘Lilies for the Mantel’, enchanted by my own fairytale ‘Love’s Silent Ache’, have your heart stolen byNico Laeser’s ‘No Longer Broken’ and stirred with ‘A Year Afterwards’ by Lesley Hayes. Throw in a great mix of stories including Max Power’s ‘Babes’, ‘Last Goodbye’ by Paul Ruddock, ‘If the Shoe Fits’ by Katharine E. Hamilton and ‘Ooh Air Margrit’ by Rebecca Bryn, and you’re onto a winner. These are just some of my favourites and there are plenty more!
The tales are a wonderful mix of genres and beautiful writing from great authors.

228148_417400521642905_511546514_nOceanswept – Lara Hays
Historical Romance

Swashbuckling pirates and romance on the high seas… I got caught up and swept along in this period pirate romance. I enjoyed Lara Hays‘ intricate and beautiful description and very much felt as if I was there on the ocean myself.
Tessa Monroe is lost at sea and rescued by pirates. On the ship, she finds herself in all kinds of trouble with only one protector, the dashing and mysterious Nicholas. She finds herself falling for this dark and enigmatic man in a way that she tries to fight, but as he consistently defends her honour he earns her respect and admiration. Tessa is a feisty lead and is a good match for Nicholas, but can they find happiness aboard a pirate ship?

EW-Cover-for-eboo-nEdgar Wilde and the Lost Grimoire – Paul Ramey
Young Adult

This story held my attention and delighted me with its wonderful description and characters. This is a tale of gothic fantasy and contemporary relationships which will intrigue you.
Edgar is a teenager with an obsession for graveyards and history. He very soon finds himself in direct competition with the local society of ladies hunting down the fabled lost grimoire. Some fabulous characters emerge, one of my favourites being Corinthian, the cemetery attendant, who helps Edgar in his search. Edgar enlists the help of fellow teen Shelby and they get wrapped up in a beautifully described relationship and detective work.
You will love the history intertwined with the contemporary setting and a tale that will both delight and enchant you. I am looking forward to reading much more from Paul Ramey and Edgar Wilde!
*Includes adult language

lizzie-koch-adventures-of-katie-button-2015The Adventures of Katie Button – Lizzie Koch
Chick Lit

If you’re looking for a fun read, you’ll have just that with Katie!
Katie has a dilemma, two brothers, both vying for her attention…and her choice is made all the more difficult as she’s dreaming about one of them. As her dreams begin to collide with reality, scatty Katie must make a decision, but will it be the right one? Katie’s dreams begin to affect her work and she needs to find an answer…
Lizzie Koch writes with a sassy and fun attitude and Katie will warm your heart as she struggles to make her way through the day without making a faux pas. Katie Button is a character you’ll relate to and  and this chick lit book will both delight you and make you laugh.

MinstrelMinstrel – Marissa Ames
Historical Fantasy

A riveting tale of medieval intrigue. A powerful and captivating story set in medieval Tir Athair. Strong, fully-fleshed characters drive this tale, drawing you into a world where everything is about to change. Subterfuge and mistaken identities abound and you will be enthralled as you begin to follow frustrated Liam, feisty Molly, and formidable royal twins amid an intense power struggle.
The strength of Marissa Ames’ writing lies within beautifully realised characters, well-developed world building, tightly drawn politics and authenticity. This is a delightful and intriguing story that will keep you reading, and leave you wanting more from Tir Athair.

10898273_1521902424750674_3752184837970645176_nSkin Cage – Nico Laeser
Contemporary Fiction

An intriguing and enchanting read… The stylish cover piqued my curiosity, along with the idea of being trapped within one’s own body, and I knew I wanted to read this story. It’s an absorbing tale of a young man imprisoned inside his paralysed body, and his struggle to be heard. It’s one of those taboo subjects, and something that horrifies us, to be caught still totally lucid and alive, but frozen and unable to be heard.
Nico Laeser takes us through the inner workings of Danny’s mind with such fluidity and believability; it’s hard not to believe the author’s already been there himself. His language and writing and imagination creates an authenticity that drew me right in.
The beauty of Laeser’s writing kept me reading, particularly at the end, where it brought me to tears, leaving me wanting more and keen to read further works from this talented author.

12140898_1912278298997938_6642693972730892579_oThe Drowned Phoenician Sailor – Lesley Hayes
Contemporary Drama

I’m only 20% through this book, but it’s written with such beautiful prose and style that it has to be included… I’m hooked and intrigued and keen to see where the author is taking me. This is a character driven story and the protagonist is both flawed and fascinating. One of the best things about a story is the ability the author has to take me on a journey, and this one is exhibiting twists and turns, and a title that just makes me want to read on… Fynn is in therapy, but right at the start, her sessions are rudely interrupted by fate. You will want to know more, and as I know several readers who rate this book, and its author, incredibly highly, I know I’m going to enjoy it!

Final-Front-CoverThe Complicated Geography of Alice – Jules Vilmur
Autobiographical

There are stories in life that should be told, that need to be told, and this is one of them. Alice is alive with the fire of life, a yearning to be who she is and to be accepted, and my heart ached for both Alice and for her family. Teenage years are stormy for most, but for a transgender teen, life can be almost impossible. However, this book presents an honest portrayal of a family trying to cope through times of helplessness with humour, love and compassion.
The tears I shed for Alice and her family were genuine and heartfelt, as were the words tying this story together. Alice’s mother shares her story and writes with raw emotion, truth and grit. This story is a tough read, but one of the most rewarding you’ll find. I hope you will come away, like I did, with both greater understanding and compassion.
*Includes adult language

Cutthroats and Curses - An Anthology of PiratesCutthroats and Curses – A Piratical Anthology
Pirate

Ahoy there shipmates! If you’re looking for a swashbuckling, piratical tale…you need look no further…for ‘Cutthroats and Curses – An Anthology of Pirates’. Featuring eleven great writers: Michael Wombat, Lisa Shambrook, Boyd Miles, Marissa Ames, Bryan Taylor, Beth Avery, Matt Jameson, Eric Martell, Michael Walker, Stephen Coltrane, and Alex Brightsmith, there will be something for everyone!
My tale is a Steampunk tale of Captain Jericha Blacklocke’s bid to survive both catch twenty-two and a vengeful dragon to save her crew aboard The Paroxysm. A story thick with emotion and tension, corsets and longing, goggles and jewels, and a desire to survive and atone…
However, you’re going to love the eclectic mix of fantastic writing from some amazing authors.

There’s definitely something for everyone here! 

Click on the book or the title and find the Amazon.co.uk link…
to find your local Amazon replace the .co.uk with your own country link eg: .com .fr 

You’re Not Alone: Anthology in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support

‘You’re Not Alone’ has now been officially released,
so if you’re looking for some short tales to escape
into a world of vastly differing relationships
(the theme of this collection), then look no further.

You're not alone charity anthology for macmillan cancer support,You will be whisked into a magical world of remembrance with Sylva Fae’s gorgeous tale ‘Lilies for the Mantel’, enchanted by my own fairytale ‘Love’s Silent Ache’, have your heart stolen by Nico Laeser’s ‘No Longer Broken’ and stirred with ‘A Year Afterwards’ by Lesley Hayes. Throw in a great mix of stories including Max Power’s ‘Babes’, ‘Last Goodbye’ by Paul Ruddock, ‘If the Shoe Fits’ by Katharine E. Hamilton and ‘Ooh Air Margrit’ by Rebecca Bryn, and you’re onto a winner. These are just some of my favourites and there are plenty more!

You're Not Alone - Indie Anthology for Macmillan Cancer Support

You’re Not Alone – Indie Anthology for Macmillan Cancer Support

I was happy to add my own story to this collection, since cancer has reared its ugly head in my own family, time and time again. I understand its ravaging pain and legacy, and truly wish to contribute something to the fight to beat it.

Love's Silent Ache by Lisa Shambrook for You're Not Alone...read more inside the anthology...

Love’s Silent Ache by Lisa Shambrook for You’re Not Alone…read more inside the anthology…

When we were given the theme relationships, I chose to write a fairytalea story of love trapped within the grasp of an evil power that refused to let go. Cancer is often unseen to begin with, something that grows and develops on its own into a canker that finally reveals itself. I hope and pray that one day, cancer and myriad other diseases that befall us will be eradicated, it’s only through research that this can be achieved. While we wait, there is an army of nurses who refuse to let cancer win, giving of themselves to help those afflicted to stay as healthy and strong as they can, while they can. I applaud these nurses, who help make cancer bearable for the sufferers and their families.

Macmillan Cancer Support

Macmillan Cancer Support

Each of the authors have been touched in some way, by cancer and when invited, wanted to help give something back. This anthology was thought up by author Ian D. Moore, after losing someone very dear to him, and he soon rallied the support and help of his author friends to put this book together.

All net proceeds from this book will go to Macmillan Cancer Support via the Pamela Winton Fund and you can also donate directly to The Pamela Mary Winton Tribute fund. This fund is in Pamela’s name but all donations go to Macmillan Cancer Support. Any kind donations are gratefully received.

You're Not Alone - Macmillan Cancer Support

You’re Not Alone – Macmillan Cancer Support

Read more details about the conception of this book and support in my previous post.

In this collection you’ll find short stories to thrill you, they’ll scare you and leave you looking over your shoulder as you head back from your lunch break. There are stories of hope, stories of courage and stories of sheer determination, much like the very story that created this work to begin with.

This link will take you straight to your local Amazon store where You’re Not Alone is available in both paperback and eBook.

Only £1.99 for eBook and £8.99 for paperback. 
Treat yourself to some great stories and all in a great cause!

You’re Not Alone: an Indie Author Anthology for Macmillan Cancer Support

When I was afforded the opportunity to contribute a short story to an indie anthology, in support of Macmillan Nurses, it was a pleasure to be involved. My own experience with cancer, as with many others, is varied. I know people who’ve suffered, those who’ve survived and those who didn’t, and my own children have two grandparents fighting the disease. I help my beloved father as he cares for my mother now suffering with secondary breast cancer within her bones and insidious dementia. I know the intrinsic value of Macmillan nurses, and the intensive support they offer.

If I can give something back, I will.

You;re not Alone an indie anthology, macmillan cancer support, book, charity book,

Ian D. Moore, author of ‘Salby Damned’ wrote about the beginning of this book: ‘This Anthology began with a single thought…You’re Not Alone. Faced with the realisation that I was witnessing the beginning of the end of a fight with cancer that had raged for eight years in someone very dear to me, I felt powerless to do anything to thwart the inevitable. It was in the final days of Pamela’s life that I realised the potential that myself, and my writer friends possessed, that would enable us to make a difference.’

He then proceeded to rally his friends and fellow authors and created something special, of which I am grateful to be part.

Please read his articles: You’re Not Alone – An Indie Author Anthology for Macmillan Cancer Support and Vision to Fruition – With A Little Help From My Friends to learn more of the process and read testimonials from each of the 27 authors as to why they became involved. It will touch you.

The front cover art work was created by the very talented artist Christine Southworth and Nico Laeser turned her sketch into a beautiful cover wrap.

You're Not Alone: an Indie Author Anthology for Macmillan Cancer Support

All net proceeds from this book will go to Macmillan Cancer Support via the Pamela Winton Fund (see below), and you can currently pre-order the eBook today: £1.99 UK or $3.11 US, this link will take you to your local Amazon site.

A paperback version will also be available once the anthology is released on 11th July 2015.

You can also donate directly to The Pamela Mary Winton Tribute fund. This fund is in Pamela’s name but all donations go to Macmillan Cancer Support. Any kind donations are gratefully received.

You're Not Alone: an Indie Author Anthology for Macmillan Cancer SupportIn this collection you’ll find short stories to thrill you, they’ll scare you and leave you looking over your shoulder as you head back from your lunch break. There are stories of hope, stories of courage and stories of sheer determination, much like the very story that created this work to begin with.

What can you do?

Be ready to buy or reblog/share what you’ve found, help us to help those in need.

And join our Facebook Page: You’re Not Alone: An Indie Anthology and help to spread the news!

If you or anyone you know has been touched by cancer,
help us to do something to give back to those who give all to help…

The Extraordinary Art of Writing Short Stories

Tips to help you write extraordinary short stories.

I love dipping into an eclectic mix of short tales. Picking up an anthology or collection of shorts whilst waiting in the car for my kids, or reading while working out on the elliptical with my Kindle app on my phone, delights me and utilises what could be wasted time!

Books containing great short stories...

Books containing great short stories…

There’s an art to a short story, and it takes a well-practised writer to get it right. There’s nothing worse than dipping into a tale, finishing it in a few pages and having no reaction. That meh feeling just doesn’t cut it.

You need to be short, sharp, and succinct, and have enough story to make the tale worth telling.

A short story needs to tell a tale in very few words, it needs to grab you and not let you go, it needs to pull you in, swirl you about and throw you back out again! It needs to elicit a reaction. Very often that reaction will either be a smile, a laugh, or a shock, but it has to be a reaction nonetheless. It’s dreadful to read a short and feel you’re just dipping into someone’s high school level homework. Don’t make short stories ordinary, make them extraordinary!

If you’re writing romance, boy-down-the-road meets girl-up-the-road… Shake it up. Don’t give me four or five pages of boy thinking about girl, meeting unexpectedly, and falling in love right away. Shake it up, turn it around…maybe the boy is blind, maybe she walks by every day, she might like him, but not be confident enough to speak – then one day she trips and knocks into him, he recalls her scent and catches her hand… Make me breathe their attraction; make me feel their confusion and their nerves…let the story catch fire!

If the story’s been done before – and let’s face it, most have – what can you do to change it up, twist it, make it different, make it new and inspiring, turn the cliché upside-down? What’s your USP (Unique Selling Point) or as I like UTP – Unique Telling Point! What’s your style?

I honed my writing skills writing Flash Fiction and I hugely recommend it. You learn a vast amount by reading flash fiction, and then by writing it. Most Flash Fiction prompts are words, photos or music. You’re given a set of rules to follow and you create a piece within a particular number of words. It teaches brevity and that every word counts, editing skills, the importance of content, beginnings and endings, grammar, and basic story-telling to name but a few.

I’ve taken part in a variety of flash fiction, and still do. I delight in both writing to a set prompt, expanding my voices and genres, and sharing my work with those around me. My short flash fiction, shared on my blog, serves as an advert for my novels.  If you like my flash, read my books!

Take a look at these short tales on some of my favourite blogs, see how the stories work, how they elicit a reaction, and you’ll see why you need to read more from these writers! Tinker My Heart – A Jar of Fireflies, Dancing at Whitsun – Cubic Scats, Duty – One More Leaf, The Apothecary’s Art – The Last Krystallos, Uninterrupted – Jo Cannon, and At the Museum – Searching for Ingleside. (Several of these pieces are Flash Fiction contest winners)

A short story collection or being included in a compendium or anthology can be great for an author especially an indie author. It’s a way for readers to get to know your writing, your style, without needing to buy your full length novels. This is also a major reason why getting the short story right is so important. If you write shorts badly, they may never move on to your other writing. Share whatever you want on your blog for free, let readers taste your writing, but only put your best work into a collection. If you’re publishing make it worth the money your reader is spending!

Don’t write ordinary tales, make them extraordinary!

When you’re choosing a collection of tales, don’t just read the reviews, make the most of the preview of the book that Amazon allows you to see…take a look at the writing, see if it’s for you..

Cutthroats and Curses a Pirate Anthology, The Anthology Club

Cutthroats and Curses

If you want to read some amazing collections – try these, tried and tested and brilliant works, and something for everyone. And I’ll stick my neck out and say of you want to read a fantastic short pick up ‘Cutthroats and Curses’ and read Beth Avery’s ‘ Roaring Dan Seavey…’, that’s how short stories should be written!

Once Upon a Time: A Collection of Unexpected Fairytales – SJI Holliday and Anna Meade

Finding  a Voice – Jeffrey Hollar

And the Angels Cried and Other Short Stories – Annette S. Thomson

Once Upon a Time, Finding a Voice, And the Angels Cried, Through the Portal, Anna Meade, SJI Holliday, Annette S Thomson, LaDonna Cole, Read Write Muse,

Once Upon a Time, Finding a Voice, And the Angels Cried, Through the Portal

Cutthroats and Curses: An Anthology of Pirates – Michael Wombat and The Anthology Club

Through the Portal – LaDonna Cole and Read Write Muse

Tales by the Tree, In Creeps the Night, Here be Dragons, Moonbeams and Fairies, JAMes Press, Hannah Steenbock, Rebecka Vigus,

Tales by the Tree, In Creeps the Night, Here be Dragons, Moonbeams and Fairies

Tales by the Tree: A Christmas Collection – J. A. Mes Press

In Creeps the Night: 50 Flash Fiction Horror Tales – J. A. Mes Press

Here Be Dragons – Hannah Steenbock

Of Moonbeams and Fairies – Rebecka Vigus (Childrens Tales)

Darrion, Burn, Moth Girl Versus the Bats, Marissa Ames, Daniel Swensen, Michael Wombat,

Darrion, Burn, Moth Girl Versus the Bats

Darrion – Marissa Ames

Burn – Daniel Swensen

Moth Girl Versus The Bats – Michael Wombat

And if you want to try, and read, some Flash Fiction…click on the sites below or my side bar, check out my Blues Buster stories which you can find a quick link to in my Categories.

Five Sentence FictionBlues BusterVisual DareThree Line ThursdayFlash! FridayHorror Bites

So, do you love short stories? What are your favourites and what makes them special?

Are you a Flash Fictioneer? If you want to know more of my Flash Fiction beginnings read:  Being a Flash Fictioneer (like a writing Musketeer…or something similar…). What’s your favourite site for Flash?

Through the Portal – Read Write Muse

This collection of stories really caught my attention and grabbed my emotions…if you’re looking for a book of poignant short stories, this could be it.

The collective of authors over at Read, Write, Muse got together to write about the theme of ‘portals’ and they created a beautiful book that touches your heartstrings! 

Through The Portal by a collective of authors at Read, Write, Muse

Through The Portal by a collective of authors at Read, Write, Muse

Sometimes it’s the most simple of stories that hit you. Rob Holliday’s Hotspots did just that, such poignancy and sadness edged with beautiful description of love and a story that will stay with me. As with The Bridge, by D.M. Kilgore, again something simple, and for a moment I thought too saccharine sweet, but it pulled at my heartstrings and took me to a beautiful place, resonating with me, because my first novel also touches on very similar places.

L.E. Custodio’s poem With Heaven as my Guide …took me to a place of wonder as references made me smile and I was right there lost within those stories.

S.R. Karfelt’s brilliant opening line of Portal Potty grabbed me with such intensity that I couldn’t stop reading and when I did, my heart broke. My heart also wept for the true stories shared, emotions that again resonated as I’ve suffered that demon depression and been touched by the sadness of cancer in my life.

This is a collection, from poetry to flash fiction, short stories and novellas to non-fiction that offers you something of everything. Whatever your favourite genre, you’ll find something here. A teaser for LaDonna Cole’s Torn series has beguiled me and I am looking to discover more from several of these authors.

I’ve only touched on a few of the stories here, you’ll have to buy the anthology to choose your own favourites!

A tender set of pieces coming from pain and suffering, but then its only through the pain and opposition in life that we get to appreciate the best of life! Tales of love, of battle and of a will to triumph…

Find it on Amazon UK, Amazon US in eBook and paperback, and on Goodreads.

And for the first year Read, Write, Muse will donate $1 per book sale to a cancer related charity.

Cutthroats and Curses…ahoy there!

Ahoy there shipmates! If you’re looking for a swashbuckling, piratical tale…you need look no further…for ‘Cutthroats and Curses – An Anthology of Pirates’ is now out!

Cutthroats and Curses - An Anthology of Pirates

Cover art by Kit Cooper. Her art is also available to buy!

Featuring eleven great writers: Michael Wombat, Lisa Shambrook (yes, that’s me!), Boyd Miles, Marissa Ames, Bryan Taylor, Beth Avery, Matt Jameson, Eric Martell, Michael Walker, Stephen Coltrane, and Alex Brightsmith, there will be something for everyone!

My tale is: Paroxysm

A Steampunk tale of Captain Jericha Blacklocke’s bid to survive both catch twenty-two and a vengeful dragon to save her crew aboard The Paroxysm. A story thick with emotion and tension, corsets and longing, goggles and jewels, and a desire to survive and atone…

Pick up this intriguing eBook at Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon Canada or any other Amazon near you!  

Go on, me hearty, put it on your Kindle, or phone, or Ipad – something to read in the sun, or the rain this Summer, depending on where you live!

And, before you landlubbers leave, check out The Anthology Club‘s excellent debut release ‘Soul of the Universe’ with reviews such as:

‘This collection was absolutely breathtaking, and has introduced me to some new genres I wasn’t overly familiar with, and showed the extraordinary range of writing styles that all bring their own meaning to a story.’ – Sorcha

and: ‘Soul of the Universe is a collection of stunning short stories that can leave you smiling, crying or just in a state of wonder.’ – BekahCat

 

Rebirth: Resurgence

My second tale of rebirth for J.A.Mes Press Rebirth Anthology. All proceeds will go to a UK Stroke Charity.

Title: Resurgence
Author: Lisa Shambrook
Book: Yes

Ocean Girl © Lisa Shambrook (All Rights Reserved)

Resurgence

Alice went to the beach with one intention.

Not to return.

Her heart thudded painfully, constricting inside her chest, as she walked. She pulled at her soft cotton cardigan sleeve, tugging threads, watching as the slight strands drifted away on the breeze. She sniffed, remembering his scowl, and hurriedly wiped away tears as she approached the dune. She stood atop the shifting sands, amid tall wiry grass, and stared at the sea for a moment letting the breeze lift her hair from her face.

She dropped to her knee and untied her trainers, kicking them off and leaving them behind, just as he’d done to her. She stepped forward, barefoot. Her toes wriggled as hot sand trickled through them, raising a momentary smile, but her vision blurred again as her bottom lip trembled, her tiny cry of despair drowned by the cackling seagulls down by the shore.

The breeze picked up, as did her pace, wafting her skirts around her legs, the gossamer material fluttering like butterflies against her skin. She stopped and hugged her arms to her chest shivering despite the heat of the late sun. Her shoulders shuddered as silent sobs built, rising in her throat, fighting for release, but she pushed them down and tilted her head. The sun’s rays kissed her closed eyelids and dried the tracks of her tears. Alice opened her eyes, lowering her face, gazing across the empty beach. Miles of sand stretched either side of her and her arms dropped to her side.

Her cotton dress floated about her as she shrugged out of her cardigan and let it fall to the sand at her feet. The breeze rolled across her bare shoulders and the material rippled across her breast and stomach. She instinctively brushed her dress down, her fingers lightly smoothing over her chest and lingering at her belly.

The ocean rolled in, wave after wave, never ending, and she tightened her resolve with a deep sigh.

She stumbled towards the shore kicking up clouds of sand that swept across the beach behind her. Her legs, now heavy and awkward, propelled her on across the tide line, across the mounds of wet seaweed, and the sand firmed beneath her toes. She jogged, her feet slapping the glaze of water, wet sand splashing up her legs and tears welling again behind red eyes. The waves ebbed and flowed, the gentle rhythm matching the leaden beat of her heart, as she waded into the sea.

She stopped again, the water lapping at her ankles and closed her eyes, allowing the gentle gusts of wind to caress her face, one last pleasantry, and she tried to calm her hammering heart. She braced, inhaling the ocean air, tasting the salt tracing her lips. She listened to her grief, to her despair and stepped forward.

A squeal of delight startled her and her eyes fluttered open as a young girl raced past, plunging into the water. The girl ran, giggling as she leaped over waves. The girl hitched up her shorts, already splash darkened, and stopped.

Knee-deep, Alice watched as the small girl in the orange shirt threw out her arms with abandon and turned her face towards the glorious evening sun, enjoying the simple delight of waves dancing around her legs, wind on her arms and the warmth of the sun on her face.

Alice felt tears spill as she backed out of the water. Her heart hammered and knots of tension loosed. Goosebumps erupted from head to toe and she sank to the wet sand, her hands trembling as the surf gently embraced her. She watched the blur of orange and denim and newfound innocence engulfed her. Her eyes shone as a slow smile curved and shaky laughter rippled from her lips, and her fingers trailed, tenderly, across her newly rounded stomach.

(638 Words)