Why do you write?

Oftentimes, the conscious act of writing is personal. Our minds can become heavily trafficked by every day problems and life:

* Something you did didn’t go to plan and you start fretting.
* Someone else’s stress starts affecting you.
* Marital issues become unbearable.
* Lack of money and an increase in bills have you panicking.
* Your boss dumps a huge pile of work on your desk at 3pm on a Friday, expecting it to be done by Monday, yet you have plans to take the kids away to a theme park.

Daily struggles have a way of consuming our thoughts with loud chatter, and as humans we often need an outlet, a medium to voice the craziness in order to clear the clutter. For many, the choice is to sit with a cuppa and vent, let it out to those closest to you. For others, they choose to write it down. Whether somebody else sees it is irrelevant, the aim is to empty the mind.

This is why writing is often personal; it’s a kind of therapy.¬†
You bare all your darkest secrets, desires and fears on the page because you know it won’t judge you. There’s no reply. No criticism. It’s your sanctuary to explore your current journey.

Sometimes, you write to understand what you’re thinking. It’s a logical thought process that enables to get you from A to B in order to find the solution.

“The written word, in all its forms, holds tremendous power.”
Hrvoje Butkovic

However, I write to quieten the madness inside me, to give structure and purpose to my every day musings. It’s there I’m most objective; I see what’s going on around me as if through a filter lens.

“I write to give myself strength.
I write to be the characters that I am not.
I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.”

Joss Whedon

I write to mould words into life, to give credence to what I observe. It isn’t easy to write coherently, to have readers sympathise with your characters, but the joy of fitting sentences together like the pieces of a jigsaw is undeniably satisfactory. Yes, it’s a long, lonely road filled with a constant battle between doubt and glee, but the gratification of a completed project makes it worthwhile. Your efforts will be rewarded eventually.

“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold;
they change the world into words.”
William H. Gass

I made a deliberate decision to write publicly:

* To open myself up to new opinions and thoughts in order to grow.
* To view the Universe through another’s eyes.
* To learn.

I will never know enough about this craft to honestly profess I need not study anymore. Writing evolves every day, making it more exciting and challenging, forcing me to work harder.

I might never reach the status of Writing Queen. But that doesn’t stop me from trying. When passion, determination and ambition collide, magic happens. Don’t let fear get in the way of your dreams; you deserve what you’re willing to work for.

“You can make anything by writing.”
C. S. Lewis


Struggling with being a writer in the age of social media? Check this article out. You’re not alone.


Finally, last call to submit your questions to me in my open Q&A session. All entries must be given in by the end of Saturday 4th February 2017. The giveaway is also open internationally. Read this short post for more information.

Happy New Year

justine-winter2

I do desire we may be better strangers.
William Shakespeare

Happy New Year, Wolves!
I know, doesn’t that seem strange reading those words so late in January? But I’m sure you’ve noticed a considerable amount of silent treatment on my end the last few months. Sometimes, life has a funny way of creeping up and consuming you. Even in my absence I didn’t stop thinking of you, and I’ve been writing. I’m constantly writing, it’s just not what I always want to write. I’m looking at you, Uni assignments. However, my intentions and goals for this year are pretty humongous – both personal and professional.So, why am I quoting Shakespeare today? Well, it’s pretty simple. I’m well overdue a new Vlog – that’s a video blog btw, you know, in case you’re not down with the kids. (I can hear my younger self tutting and shaking her head in disapproval at that. When did I get old? Scratch that question, I don’t think I’d like the answer, it’ll probably have something to do with grey hairs. Yes, I have them. A LOT OF THEM. Gone are the days of snipping one or two. Anyway, I’ve digressed…)

The last time I created a video I’d only just started out in this Author ShowBiz back in 2014. Everything was all new back then! If you haven’t seen it, please cringe along with me here. But now, I’m ready to dive back into the swing of things, and that means keeping in touch with you about words I’m finally going to publish this year. Want to know more? Then ask me. That’s right. I want to know what you want to know from me – sorry, this isn’t supposed to be some riddle you have to solve before you get the prize. Basically, I’m going to answer all your questions in a video. Whether they’re about my books, what I’m working on, what I’m currently doing with my weird life or even who my favourite superhero is. Actually, no, please don’t ask me that. I don’t have an answer! What I’m suggesting is you have carte blanche. Go crazy! All you have to do is comment below with your question. And what’s more, one lucky inquisitor will win a mystery prize. Game on?

Let’s do this!
Speak soon,
Alpha J – XO

Sacrifice

remembrance-day

 

Empty shells dress the ground at my feet,
Echoing in my mind as I blast each lethal sweet.
My targets they wait, hiding down below,
Cowering behind ruins as they run out of ammo.

My breathing remains even despite my pounding chest,
I inch forward slowly, testing my armoured vest.
Bullets hurtle all around, terrified shouts fill the air,
Red pools soak the ground; a poignant outcome of warfare.

My comrades take cover at the howl of a grenade,
We wait out the blast, gearing up to invade.
Sweat trickles down my neck, the burning heat sears my soul,
Yet I trundle ahead, towards the emerging black hole.

I wish for my home, for the strength of my wife,
For the press of her lips as she gives me new life.
But as we scout out the zone, danger sparks up anew,
At this moment I know, I won’t make our rendezvous.

Slowly, I fall, time disappears from me completely,
I ignore all the pain, taking my enemy with me.
My army brothers lean down as I pat my left pocket,
A goodbye to my love with her favourite sonnet.

Though it is day, darkness closes on my eyes,
I take my last breath, envisioning the sunrise.
As my essence drifts away, I have only one regret,
There’ll be no more ‘I love you’, and too much upset.

Lest We Forget.

r-day

October – Paranormal Takeover

It’s officially one of my two favourite months of the year – the second being December. I’m not sure why, but every year when October comes around I get really excited. Maybe it’s the longer, colder evenings, the mass amounts of hot chocolate I consume or perhaps that my birthday happens to fall towards the end of the month. Whatever the cause, I know I get ridiculously happy. And I want to share that with you by tickling your supernatural senses. If you love Paranormal Romance as much as I do, you’ll want to check out this phenomenal giveaway hosted by Pure Textuality PR and Paranormal And Urban Fantasy Book Bargains. There are FOUR Kindle Fires up for grabs PLUS lots more! Head to the rafflecopter link to find out how to enter. Not only could you win a fantastic prize, you might also find a new favourite author. What have you got to lose?

A little while ago I mentioned about putting the Nature’s Destiny series into paperback. For the first time you can officially hold a physical copy of each novel. And though I’m probably biased, I think my cover designer did an excellent job. They’re so beautiful! Check them out down below if you don’t believe me ūüėČ If you fancy getting your hands on one, head over to Createspace or Amazon.

As for me, I’m heading into the writing cave. I’ve got a bunch of Nature’s Destiny short stories to complete before I’m buried under my Master’s Degree.
Have a great week, Wolves!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00033]

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00032]

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00026]

0001

The Nature’s Destiny Series Is Officially in Paperback!

Series: Nature’s Destiny
Books: Nature’s Destiny, Sapphire’s Divinity, Guardians Dynasty, Warriors Duty
Author: Justine Winter
Genre: Paranormal Romance
NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK
My life was changing, morphing into something greater than I could have anticipated. I was becoming something I didn’t recognise as myself anymore. A Werewolf. 
I was different. 
Bitten. 
‘Hybrid’ was what they called me, and the weight that rested against that one word was crippling. They depended on me to bring them safety. What made me so special? 
Oh, that’s right. My destiny. 
I was sucked into a world I’d had no idea existed. Twenty-one years as a human, and this was what I found out. 
My travelling plans, my writing degree, all of it was gone within one night. One evil night that robbed my humanity. 
I wasn’t completely sour. Life had been unfair a while ago, only now I’d had something worth fighting for besides myself. Something to live for. 
I was afraid for the others. I couldn’t let them down. I wouldn’t let them down. 
I’d gone to bed a human and woken up a Werewolf. 
A special Werewolf. 
A Hybrid.
 
I was a hybrid werewolf with a secret destiny shadowed by a prophecy the Ancient Guardians foretold. The same Ancient Guardians that had organised the annual Alpha summit Riley had been summoned to. 

Since Jackson’s demon threat everyone was powered up on overtime at the gym. Train, sweat, repeat. Train, sweat, repeat. 
But all that rage-filled preparation wasn’t enough. We were being targeted by something new, and it didn’t stop there. 
The summit was proving to be my nemesis. Egotistical morons challenged me with threats to the one I loved, and I knew I couldn’t endure a life without Riley. 
Besides all of that, there was one thing I was finally understanding about the supernatural. Nothing was as it seemed. 
Not even me.

I was dying.
Every minute I wasted without a mate, my mind became more volatile. I was unbalanced, stronger than I was capable of handling alone.
Supposedly, I was destined for greatness, but apparently I had to overcome another task first.
A mating.
Riley was my one true love. I was sure. However, that didn’t necessarily mean I was his. Complications, it seemed, were becoming my forte.
Despite my personal problems, the demons emerged, offering little hope and even less mercy. With my mind preoccupied, I wasn’t ready for the attack heading our way.
The pack needed me now more than ever, but the demons were cunning, thwarting my plans and upping the stakes each time.
I was letting them down. We weren’t ready. I wasn’t ready.
Darkness descended on Nature’s Destiny, and sadness was sure to come.
War had begun.

Death. Destruction. Demons.
War was officially declared.
Blade’s rebirth into the world became something we truly weren’t prepared for. And I felt guilty. Blaming myself for not getting to Lara in time.
She was gone. Nature’s Destiny was grieving.
In the midst of our woes the battle was brewing. Incubi kept coming. Hell beasts were slaying. And the demon master was another step closer to winning.
With an army of supernatural beings in my arsenal I was optimistic that we were enough. We had the prophecy and my fortitudo on our side.
Whatever happened there was one thing I knew for certain.
The end had come.


 
I’ve always lived a life based on my imagination, from hopeless dreams of romance to concocting alternate realities involving supernaturals. I’m completely fascinated with anything hero-related, and often speculate which superpower I’d possess. I haven’t settled on one yet.

I was born in England, and currently reside in Wales, UK. I love to write, and most days you’ll find me happily tapping away at the computer whilst in my pyjama-clad bubble. I also spend my time reading, and if that isn’t enough I’m often in the kitchen baking up a treat.

Good News & Giveaways

The Bank Holiday weekend is here!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a pretty darn epic week. Good news hit me on Monday and I’ve been surfing the happy wave since then. Last month I applied to do a MA in Creative Writing due to start this October. I know, several people do the same thing every year. So¬†why¬†is this such a big deal for me? I don’t have a bachelor’s degree.¬†But why should that stop me, right?
The optimist in me hoped every day that I’d get an acceptance letter through the post, but the realist side of my brain knew my chances were slim despite my self-publishing experience. BUT. . .

I GOT IN!

So please join me in celebrating by entering for a chance to win a handmade Nature’s Destiny inspired bookmark. I’ve recently rewritten the first book of Luna and Riley’s series, and you can still get it for FREE if you haven’t already. Otherwise, just update the version on¬†your device.

More news to come from this and the release of ALL 4 PAPERBACKS in the series soon! Can I get a woop woop?

IMG_3346Here’s what you need to know to enter this giveaway. Follow this¬†rafflecopter link and instructions will await you there. You can even enter every day to increase your chances of success! And, as always, my giveaway is open internationally!

Good luck!

P.S. I made this bad boy! ūüėČ

20ca4-amazon57f6e-amazon2bukd2174-itunesdbb89-kobof48d9-barnes2band2bnobledownload

Secret Project? Tell me more. . .

Happy ¬†1st ¬†July! And ¬†what ¬†a ¬†great ¬†Friday ¬†it’s ¬†going ¬†to ¬†be ¬†because ¬†I ¬†have ¬†a ¬†treat ¬†for ¬†you. ¬†Since ¬†finishing ¬†the ¬†Nature’s ¬†Destiny ¬†series ¬†I’ve ¬†been ¬†asked ¬†what ¬†I’m ¬†working ¬†on ¬†next ¬†and ¬†when ¬†the ¬†bloody ¬†hell ¬†am ¬†I ¬†going ¬†to ¬†release ¬†said ¬†book?

Well,  how  do  we  feel  about  a  first  chapter  reveal  of  my  secret  project  coming  Autumn  2016?

I ¬†don’t ¬†fancy ¬†giving ¬†too ¬†much ¬†away ¬†just ¬†yet ¬†as ¬†I’m ¬†still ¬†in ¬†first ¬†draft ¬†mode, ¬†but ¬†it’s ¬†the ¬†start ¬†of ¬†a ¬†new ¬† paranormal ¬†romance ¬†trilogy ¬†with ¬†the ¬†added ¬†bonus ¬†of ¬†creatures ¬†I ¬†haven’t ¬†written ¬†about ¬†before, ¬†plus ¬†a ¬†leading ¬†lady ¬†who ¬†is ¬†incredibly ¬†important. ¬†Of ¬†course. ¬†And ¬†although ¬†I ¬†have ¬†a ¬†title ¬†already ¬†decided, ¬†I’m ¬†going ¬†to ¬†save ¬†it ¬†for the ¬†next ¬†coming ¬†weeks, ¬†when ¬†I ¬†have ¬†some ¬†more ¬†to ¬†share.

For  now,  I  hope  this  first  chapter  whets  your  appetite.  Enjoy!

*First draft. Content subject to change. Unedited.*

1 – BROKEN

‚ÄúAre¬† you¬† ready,¬† Tiss?¬† Just¬† like¬† the¬† book¬† says.¬† Straight¬† down¬† the¬† mountain,¬† one¬† full¬† turn,¬† and¬† back¬† up.¬† Sounds¬† simple¬† enough.¬† Just¬† gotta¬† try¬† and¬† see¬† through¬† the¬† thick¬† layer¬† of¬† fog¬† first,‚Ä̬† I¬† add.¬†

He¬† ‚Äėhmphs‚Äô¬† at¬† me,¬† blowing¬† smoke¬† out¬† of¬† his¬† nostrils.¬† I¬† leap¬† onto¬† his¬† back,¬† sitting¬† as¬† comfortably¬† as¬† I¬† can¬† between¬† the¬† large¬† red¬† spikes¬† adorning¬† his¬† spine.

‚ÄúAnd¬† whatever¬† you¬† do,¬† don‚Äôt¬† drop¬† me!‚Ä̬† I¬† wouldn‚Äôt¬† die,¬† but¬† it¬† sure¬† would ¬†hurt¬† like¬† hell.

Fortissimus  jumps  off  of  the  top  of  the  highest  mountain  in  Terra  Regnum,  gliding  through  clouds  of  mist  at  a  fast  pace.  We  fly  as  one  being  as  I  entrust  my  faith  wholeheartedly  in  my  dearest  friend.  

Even  with  my  heightened  vision,  I  struggle  to  see  through  the  dense  precipitation  as  the  wind  pushes  against  my  face,  forcing  me  to  lean  backwards.

Tiss  spreads  his  large  wings,  gaining  speed  as  the  ground  draws  near.  He  flaps  harder,  pushing  the  limits.

‚ÄúTiss. . .‚Ä̬† I¬† warn,¬† seeing¬† the¬† speckles¬† of¬† rubble¬† a¬† short¬† distance¬† ahead.¬†

He  doesn’t  slow  down.

We’re  getting  closer.

Closer.

‚ÄúTISS!‚Ä̬†

He  turns,  changes  direction,  and  heads  back  up  the  mountain  as  I  try  to  swallow  my  heart.  My  fingers  cramp,  realising  I’ve  been  gripping  on  to  him  with  more  force  than  I thought. 

Bloody  rascal,  tormenting  me.

‚ÄúLet‚Äôs¬† go¬† home.¬† We‚Äôll¬† talk¬† about¬† your¬† disobedience¬† then,‚Ä̬† I¬† scorn,¬† sitting¬† back¬† a¬† little¬† more¬† relaxed.¬†

We  fly  by  many  snow  covered  mountains,  all  quiet  of  life.  It’s  peaceful,  tranquil  as  the  sun  peeks  through  the  clouds that  are  soon  to  bring  nightfall.

The  temperature  continues  to  drop  though  it  doesn’t  affect  me,  and  frost  covers  the  woodland  near  my  home. 

Tiss  takes  one  large  sweep  around  the  dungeon,  landing  gently  on  the  snow.  I  slide  down,  my  dress  falls  to  my  feet  and  trails  across  the  white  ground  as  I  turn  my  attention  to  my  naughty  dragon.

He  bows  his  head  the  second  we  come  face  to  face,  drooping  his  eyes  as  if  in  apology.  It’s  almost  enough  to  make  me  melt  with  forgiveness.

I¬† sigh.¬† ‚ÄúListen, ¬†you¬† know¬† I¬† like¬† to¬† have¬† fun¬† too,¬† but¬† we¬† need¬† to¬† keep¬† our¬† training¬† on¬† top¬† form.‚Ä̬† I¬† run¬† my¬† hand¬† over¬† his¬† scarred¬† lip,¬† knowing¬† it‚Äôs¬† identical¬† to¬† mine.¬† Over¬† time¬† it‚Äôs¬† faded,¬† but¬† I¬† still¬† remember¬† the¬† slicing¬† of¬† the¬† blade¬† cutting¬† from¬† the¬† right¬† of¬† my¬† top¬† lip¬† to¬† my¬† chin.¬† Fortissimus¬† had¬† been¬† struck¬† by¬† the¬† same¬† blow.¬† ‚ÄúWe¬† can‚Äôt¬† slip¬† up¬† again.‚ÄĚ

Though  he  cannot  talk  I  know  he  understands,  I  can  sense  his  essence  within  me.  He  is,  and  always  has  been,  a  part  of  me.  In  many  ways  we  are  connected.

His¬† large¬† tongue¬† licks¬† my¬† face,¬† catching¬† me¬† unawares.¬† ‚ÄúTiss!¬† That‚Äôs¬† disgusting,‚Ä̬† I¬† groan,¬† using¬† my¬† dress¬† to¬† wipe¬† the¬† slobber¬† dripping¬† off¬† of¬† me.¬† His¬† tail ¬†thumps¬† loudly¬† on¬† the¬† ground,¬† and¬† he¬† snorts¬† almost¬† as¬† if¬† he‚Äôs¬† laughing¬† at¬† me.

‚ÄúOh,¬† so¬† that‚Äôs¬† how¬† it‚Äôs¬† gonna¬† be,¬† huh?‚Ä̬† I¬† tickle¬† his¬† neck,¬† back,¬† legs¬† and¬† tail,¬† moving¬† fast¬† enough¬† until¬† it¬† drives¬† him¬† crazy.¬† ‚ÄúDo¬† you¬† concede?‚Ä̬† I¬† cross¬† my¬† arms.

He  blows  a  puff  of  smoke  in  my  face.

‚ÄúI¬† thought¬† so,‚Ä̬† I¬† smirk,¬† turning¬† towards¬† my¬† home.¬† As¬† the¬† only¬† vampire/werewolf¬† hybrid¬† in¬† all¬† of¬† Imperium¬† I¬† live¬† alone¬† in¬† the¬† dungeon¬† I¬† carved¬† deep¬† into¬† the ¬†mountains¬† with¬† my¬† dragon.¬† Over¬† the¬† eons¬† I‚Äôve¬† embellished¬† on¬† its¬† natural¬† formation,¬† though¬† fire¬† is¬† my¬† only¬† light¬† source.¬† I¬† prefer¬† it¬† that¬† way.¬† Darkness¬† will¬† always¬† be¬† my¬† ally.

Tiss¬† follows¬† in¬† behind¬† me,¬† pushing¬† his¬† ever-growing¬† size¬† through¬† the¬† fire-lit¬† doorway.¬† ‚ÄúIs¬† your¬† bum¬† getting¬† too¬† big,¬† Tiss?‚ÄĚ

He  nudges  me  forward  with  his  nose,  grumbling  to  himself  when  the  mountain  begins  to  shake.  The  ground  vibrates  rapidly  beneath  my  feet.  Dust  falls  from  the  crevices  above.  The  flame  torches  burn  out.

Tiss  pulls  me  into  him  with  his  large  claws,  protecting  me  just  as  I  unsheathe  my  sword  in  preparation.  The  cavernous  walls  tremble  erratically. 

My  body  hums  with  electricity  as  though  the  vibrations  are  passing  through  me.  My  skin  tingles  with  awareness  as  two  white  balls  glow  up  ahead.  What  is that?

They  hover  in  the  darkness,  moving  towards  us.  I  take  my  stance,  sword  forward.  I  feel  Tiss  tense  behind  me.  He’s  ready,  too.

The  circles  of  light  stop,  expanding  into  two  large  doorways  where  the  holograms  of  two  male  faces  appear.

I  relax  my  sword,  realising  this  isn’t  a  threat,  it’s  a  calling.

To  my  left,  a  man  sits  on  his  underwater  throne,  his  long  black  hair  flowing  around  him.  His  head  is  adorned  with  a  gold  crown,  and  his  ironically  sun-kissed  skin  gleams.

To  my  right,  crimson  eyes  glare  at  me.  He  stands  tall  in  his  usual  unnecessary  armour  that  covers  fine,  ebony  skin.  A  crown  of  rubies  adorns  his  black  and  white  dreadlocked  hair  whilst  he  holds  a  staff.  Also  unnecessary. 

They  are  King  Asa,  and  King  Zuriel,  ruler  of  Mare  Regnum  and  Terra  Regnum  respectively.

‚ÄúWhy¬† am¬† I¬† being¬† summonsed?‚Ä̬† I¬† project¬† my¬† voice,¬† enforcing¬† my¬† power.

‚ÄúOur¬† law¬† has¬† been¬† broken.¬† Rebel¬† creatures¬† are¬† fleeing¬† Imperium. . .‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúWe¬† cannot¬† risk¬† the¬† humans¬† on¬† Earth¬† knowing¬† about¬† us.¬† The¬† barrier¬† between¬† our¬† worlds¬† is¬† far¬† too¬† fragile¬† to¬† endure¬† this,‚ÄĚ King¬† Asa,¬† the¬† hologram¬† to¬† my¬† left,¬† finishes¬† King¬† Zuriel‚Äôs¬† sentence.

‚ÄúOur¬† worlds¬† cannot¬† co-exist.¬† You¬† know¬† this¬† more¬† than¬† anyone.¬† The¬† humans¬† are¬† unforgiving¬† to¬† our¬† kind.‚Ä̬† Zuriel¬† continues,¬† ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve¬† tried¬† keeping¬† the¬† peace,¬† but¬† our¬† kingdoms¬† are¬† becoming¬† rowdy.‚ÄĚ

I  listen  to  their  speeches,  plainly  seeing  their  desperation. 

‚ÄúIf¬† we‚Äôre¬† to¬† reign¬† in¬† those¬† who ¬†remain¬† under¬† our¬† authority,¬† then¬† it‚Äôs¬† time¬† for¬† real¬† action.‚ÄĚ

I  nod,  understanding.

‚ÄúWe‚Äôve¬† broken¬† the¬† necessary¬† seals.¬† The¬† veil¬† separating¬† us¬† will¬† release.¬† Do¬† you¬† accept¬† your¬† duty,¬† Oxsana?‚Ä̬† King¬† Asa¬† asks,¬† crossing¬† his¬† large¬† arms¬† across¬† his¬† bare,¬† muscular¬† chest.

Tiss  pounds  his  claws  behind  me,  acknowledging  our  fate.

‚ÄúI¬† do.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúFind¬† the¬† rebel¬† creatures¬† on¬† Earth,‚Ä̬† Zuriel¬† demands.

‚ÄúImperium¬† needs¬† you,¬† Dragonman¬† of¬† War.‚ÄĚ