We’re All Mad Here

There’s one movie release I’ll be counting down the days to all year . . . it’s just 9 months away (274 days). Can you guess what it is? I’ll give you a hint: I make multiple references to it in 18 Things, 18 Truths, & 18 Thoughts!!!

Force Awakens

It even comes out on my favorite day . . . the 18th!! And some people think there’s no such thing as fate! Blegh.

Today I learned that for those who don’t know a thing about basketball, there’s now a fun little play on March Madness for the geek in all of us! This Is Madness: The Star Wars Character Tournament! You can check out the details here. I’m too late to make my own bracket, but you can bet I’ll be ready to win some awesome prizes next year! Plus, if you’re late to the game like me, you can still vote daily for your Light & Dark Side matchups! Seriously, how did I not know about this before? Apparently the good people of Wookieepedia have done this for the past two years!

One more movie I’m mad about is Insurgent, which features my three favorite words in the English language: Theo James Shirtless!!! And this one comes out this weekend!!

 

Of course, the preview looks like they’ve completely swayed from the book, but as we know, the BOOK IS ALWAYS BETTER! So I’m putting my stick down because that horse is dead. I’ve already bought my ticket to see it tomorrow at 8pm (the AMC here always shows it a day early, which is very nice of them). Besties, Popcorn with sprinkle cheese, and Theo James Shirtless?! What more could a girl ask for?

Do you feel me? Are you counting down the days till the Force awakens? Will you see Insurgent? Does the sight of Theo James make you swoooon?

Teshelle Combs Is Here! (And my book playlist)

 

Today I’m switching blogs with another YA Author, Teshelle Combs. You can check out my post about the songs I chose for my 18 Thoughts playlist here.

Before Teshelle takes over, some introductions are in order:

Teshelle

Teshelle Combs is the YA author of the Core series and The System. She’s one of those crazies who majored in English in college and works as a full-time writer. She grew up in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and currently lives with her composer and voice actor hubby, Nate Combs, and their new baby boy, Jaxter, in Cape Coral, FL. Their house is generally filled with epic film themes, video game scores, and the sound of chattering keyboards.

Hi to all Jamie’s wonderful followers and fans! First of all, congratulations to Jamie on finishing her awesome series with her final book, 18 Thoughts! I feel very privileged to know such a cool, warm, and colorful person. If you haven’t read her work, you should!

 

Today, I’m going to talk to you about my Core Series! It’s about dragon shifters, it’s YA, and it’s filled with thrilling and emotional character development.

core-new-ebook-cover-page-001

But just as important as who my character are…is what my characters are wearing! Let’s have some fun! I want all of you to pick your favorite outfit. Who would you want to look like if you were going out for a night of partying at the best dragon hangout spot, the Cave?

 

Onna – It’s all about bold colors and sophisticated fashion for this red dragon. She’s in a skintight red dress with killer heels. Literally. Right inside her heels are six-inch dragonblades. No one, not even a siren, dares pick a fight with Onna.

 

Ava – Ava could not care less about what people think of her. She wears a white tank top that just happens to show off her chiseled arms, and a tattered pair of skinny jeans with her faithful pair of black and white chucks. Ava is always ready to throw down, human…or not. Don’t cross her.

 

Myra – Dark and edgy. Myra is quiet red dragon, but she’s fierce. She wears leather skinnies and a matching top and heeled combat boots that could put someone’s eye out. Her platinum blonde hair is pulled into a high bun and her makeup is smoky to the max.

 

Juliette – A sweet and sophisticated red dragon. Juliette wears hand-carved beaded jewelry and a summery white dress that’s cut to show off some of her soft back. She wears dragon-forged brown leather boots. Her hair is in a simple side braid. She seems innocent, but she’ll do anything for the people she loves.

 

Ima – Luxury and elegance is all Ima cares about. Her long shimmering dress is slit high enough to reveal perfect thighs. The back swoops low and the fabric of the dress is infused with diamond and ruby dust. She powdered her silver hair and pale skin with the same dust. Her heels are made of real crystal and her jewelry is twisted from marbled rose thorns. Think Elsa, if Elsa was cold-hearted grey dragon.

 

So, tell me who you’d rather be! And please take a look at my Core Series! Book 4, LACE, comes out in just a few weeks!

 

Heeelp Me, Please . . . Somebody, Anybody??

Imagine upon meeting someone for the first time, you divulge your entire life story (actually, just the top 5 most horrifying/embarrassing/frustrating moments) in about ten sentences, then ask them to be your best friend.

That's highly illogical.  (Still missing Nimoy)

That’s highly illogical.
(Still missing Nimoy)

Yeah, I tend to suffer from verbal diarrhea so I’ve actually done this a few times, but so far it’s only resulted in another restraining order filed ;-)

But that’s basically what a query letter to an agent and/or editor is. Because these gods people receive hundreds of daily submissions, there’s no way they can read everyone’s manuscript, so you send this thing called a query letter. Something I totally blow at writing. And I haven’t had to in almost three years, when my YA trilogy got picked up by a publisher. But now I’m in the thick of writing a new YA novel, so although it’s terrifying, I’ve written another query letter, and I need your help.

I know it’s not as tight as it should be, but I also don’t know how to fix it. But hey, this isn’t Pottery Barn. Here at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, we’re not all: You broke it, you buy it!!

I’ll leave out all the intro and credential stuff and just give you the meat and potatoes. The working title is Random Lee Chosen and it’s a satirical multicultural coming of age love story. Here goes nothing:

Seventeen-year-old Danielle Harris had a plan. Top of her class at Ballet Tech, she was on her way to being the first African-American female to earn the title of principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre. Forced to live with Dad in Hick Town, USA in the middle of her senior year? Never once had Danielle jotted this down on the kick butt to-do list for her life. When she last visited Dad five years ago, an old white dude assaulted her. Danielle pointed out the Florida cracker, but Dad didn’t have the balls to do anything about it. And that’s just not something a girl can forgive and forget.

Now her entire world dissolves into a tornado of upheaval, and she’s left with nothing but her As Seen on TV obsession and Mom’s credit card to console her (you know you’ve hit rock bottom when the Home Shopping operator recognizes your voice). That’s when Random Lee (weird name, long story) steps in. Random dresses to please himself in funky hats, fluorescent tennis ball shoes, and alien themed pajama pants. Oh yeah, and he may be hot, but he’s also a hippie trying to save the planet. Dating a white dude who’s also a tree hugger? Definitely not part of the plan.

Danielle manages to survive various disasters, like dancing for a less than subpar ballet studio, enforced Daddy/Daughter dates, her first job as a waitress at the local tiki bar (where there are actual monkeys), and falling for Random, the biggest weirdo she’s ever met (coming from New York, that’s really saying something). Just as she’s coming up with new goals for herself, she gets into a blowout fight with Dad on her eighteenth birthday and takes off in the convertible Mom bought as an ‘I’m sorry I ruined your life’ consolation prize. Not having a license kind of becomes a problem when she gets into an accident with the same racist she encountered when she was twelve, who also happens to be Random’s father. Danielle doesn’t know their relation yet, and her actions that night are full of irreversible consequences. As she’s brought face-to-face with her deepest anxieties, she must learn to accept herself and even find a little compassion (for once in her life) to accept others if she’s to have any future at all.

How’d I do? *puts on big girl panties*

This has been a post for IWSG, the brainchild of Head Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh (and he let me crash his blog on Monday. Let me take you Back to the Future here . . . thanks again, buddy!) We post the first Wednesday of every month, so please join us by posting your own thoughts on your blog :-)

IWSGHEADER

 

In Memoriam, 18 TRUTHS just 99 cents today, & Other Updates

Whew! What a week! But before I tell you what I’ve been up to, I want to pay tribute to a very special lady who influenced me in a wonderful way. Many know that my main character in my trilogy, Olga Worontzoff, was named after my grandmother. She passed yesterday, but we rejoice. At 97, she had already buried a son & was ready to go & she went peacefully. As I do author school visits, I’ll be thinking of her as I discuss the fictional Olga, nowhere near as cool as the real one. R.I.P. GG.

My sisters & I with GG and G'pa . . . being silly (always)

My sisters & I with GG and G’pa . . . being silly (always)

I’m so glad she lived a long life, long enough to see herself immortalized in my trilogy, which thrilled her to no end. One of those books is 18 TRUTHS, the second book in my trilogy, which is just 99 CENTS on the Kindle in her honor. 18 Truths was dedicated to her & you’ll find this inscription at the front:

“For GG, the real Olga Worontzoff. You are one of a kind. I’m sorry I never learned to count in Russian, but I hope this makes up for it in some small way. xoxo”

99 cents is the lowest price I can make it. Today & tomorrow only –you can pick it up here  :-)  If you could spare a tweet or Facebook shout out, I’d appreciate it:

Retweet Link or cut & paste: 2/26 & 2/27 only, 18 TRUTHS!! “An achingly beautiful story of life, loss and hope.”

Facebook: Meet the fictional Olga Worontzoff to honor the real one. 18 Truths just 99 cents today & tomorrow only: http://www.amazon.com/18-Truths-So-Called-Afterlife-Book-ebook/dp/B00I34D1GU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424927626&sr=8-1&keywords=18+truths

Thanks, friends. And now onto some happy news . . .

Friday night was a visit to a book club! It was bittersweet because they’ve hosted me every February for 18 Things, 18 Truths, and now 18 Thoughts. I told them I’d continue to crash their February meeting even if I didn’t have a book out :-)

Sue Book Club

Saturday I was a presenter and vendor at the Lee County Reading Council Conference, where people not only showed up to my class, but I sold out of books . . . like all of them! Check out my fancy new banner below that my publisher sent me (does that make me legit now?!).

my banner

 

Then yesterday was the young adult author conference at my middle school. From left to right is Amy Christine Parker (Gated, Astray), Teshelle Combs (Core series, The System), Eliza Tilton (Broken Forest, Wicked Path), Me (in the SW dress & tights, duh!), Krista Rausin (Mystic), Vivi Barnes (Olivia Twisted, Paper & Plastic), Jeff Strand (I Have A Bad Feeling About This), Trish Doller (Where the Stars Still Shine), Lynne Matson (NIL), & Christina Farley (Gilded & Silvern).

GMSYAC

 

Today & tomorrow I’m at the Riverdale Literacy Festival, which includes a Barnes and Noble panel and signing with fourteen other YA Authors on Thursday night in Fort Myers. Thanks sooo much to Morgan and Fallon from Seeing Double In Neverland for putting this together!! Stop by if you’re local!

B&N Event revised

 

*What have you been up to this week???

 

 

 

 

 

18 Things FREE + Yours Truly on The Morning Blend!!!

I’m posting a day early this week to let you know that the first book in my trilogy, 18 THINGS, is completely FREE on Kindle until midnight.

As if that weren’t enough excitement, I was featured on a local talk show called The Morning Blend today. Check out the clip below.

 

Also, my blog tour is in full swing. In case you’re interested, you can check out my true life story on instalove over at the Paisley Reader (posted just in time for Valentine’s Day . . . hope everyone had a lovely weekend).

And on Monday, the awesome Gwen Gardner had me share a paranormal scene from my latest novel, 18 Thoughts.

Tomorrow, I’ll be featured on Writerly Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Crystal Collier . . . see if you can guess my lie to win the ebooks of my trilogy!

Finally, if you’re free from 4-5pm on Saturday, join me and several other Curiosity Quills YA Authors for the online #ReadOn Event:

ReadOn Review 2

Author Elizabeth Seckman Shares 18 Thoughts Defying Reason

Hi, I’m Jamie today!

Okay, not really. I’m still Elizabeth…I’m just here swapping blogs and thoughts with Jamie. You can find her on my blog today sharing 18 Reasonable Thoughts. She’s in the midst of her new book launch; I’m on the eve of mine. Defying Reason releases tomorrow! I know I’m excited. I had fun writing this book- having the mindset of a twenty-something again was refreshing. I won’t tell you many decades separate me from my twenties, but when doctors start mentioning words like perimenopause? It’s time to walk down memory lane and enjoy the scenery.
Jamie’s book is 18 Thoughts and mine is Defying Reason…soooo, I thought I’d combine the two and offer up 18 thoughts that make my brain go hmmm….
1.
The 3 D copier. A copy machine that can spit out clothes? A gun? Can’t wrap my brain around that.
2.
Mean people. Who wakes up and thinks, “Who can I hurt today?”
3.
Dogs.
They are awesome. Probably God’s best work.
4.
Microwave ovens. I remember what it was like to bake a pizza roll in the oven. Nuking
things is way more awesome.
5.
Algebra.
Still hate it. Still don’t know why I had to learn it.
6.
Pregnancy.
Amazing how many perfect babies are born. It’s a complicated process. If it
were a recipe I had to follow, I’d mess up at least half the time.
7.
Kids.
They see the wonder in everything; we just need to listen.
8.
Internet shopping. I can buy just about anything and have it delivered right to your my
door.
9.
C-Span.
Watch your government in action and you’ll wish laws were made by
pre-schoolers.
10.
Fiber cookies. What a delicious idea they were.
11.
Sunsets.
Better than anything you’ll see in the Louvre and still completely free.
12.
Water.
Amazing stuff. It can be used to cleanse, as transportation, as recreation. And
it can bring life. Or it can bring death.
13.
Animal instinct. Amazing how beavers know how to build damns and birds to go south for
the winter.
14.
Parents.
We willingly give up our time, money, and sanity just to enjoy hugs and back
talk.
15.
Capillaries.
Those tiny little vessels are everywhere!
16.
TV.
Still amazed how a signal turns into so much fun. No, I don’t still think people
live in the set.
17.
Talent.
From athletes to math geniuses…amazing what extraordinary things people can do.
18.
Love.
It’s a glorious thing
!

The Blurb:
Jo Leigh Harper comes from a long
line of trouble-making, white trash stock.
Tanner Coulter comes from a longer
line of wealth-creating, blue blood stock.
Jo graduated college top of her
class, moving toward a future full of possibilities.
Tanner dropped out of college,
trading a law degree for drinking games and one night stands.
A family crisis
throws the rich party boy and the poor genius girl together. The attraction is
immediate, though neither one is a heart-in-the-sand-drawing believer in true
love. But as the summer sun heats up along the shores of the Outer Banks, so does the connection between them. Maybe, just maybe, they can win at love by defying reason.
 
 
Author Bio:

 

Elizabeth
is a multi-published author of books for people who are believers in happily-ever-
after, true love, and stories with a bit of fun and twists with their plots.
The mother of four young men, she tackles laundry daily and is the keeper of
the kitchen. She lives along the shores of the Ohio River in West Virginia, but
dreams daily of the beach. 

FacebookBlogWebsiteBuy Link

 

What are some thoughts that you think defy reason? Comment for a chance to win Elizabeth’s ebook for Defying Reason!

Books Turn Muggles Into Wizards (Kind of)

Hubs & I pimping our ride!

Hubs & I pimping our ride!

J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter fantasy series gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, and sold more than 400 million copies. In fact, the Guinness Book of World Records lists Harry Potter as not only the best-selling book series in history but the highest-grossing film series in history. Only the Bible has more translations. And I should probably mention she became the first billionaire author on the entire freakin’ planet. As I walked around Universal Studios for the Harry Potter Celebration this past weekend, on the heels of my 18 Thoughts release, all of those ‘thoughts’ on her instant success made this struggling author wonder if Jo really does know magic. I mean, she was the same as me when I started . . . an unpublished nobody. No connections in the business. No money to hire an editor to proofread her work or a publicist who could reveal the secret to marketing success. So, how did she do it? Well, I did some recon when I returned for my trip, and it turns out, Rowling and I started out differently in a HUGE way. *Confession time* My name is Jamie, and I’m a pantser. Rowling, on the other hand, planned Harry Potter for FIVE YEARS after she first birthed the idea during a train ride. Have you heard of the 10,000 hours of practice theory? Author Malcolm Gladwell says it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. You can read more about his theory here. If I divide 10,000 by 5 years, I get 2,o00. Then if I divide that number by 52 (# of weeks in a year), I get 38.5 . . . assuming Jo put that much time in every week working on HP (and judging by most Neurotic Authors like myself, I’m betting she did), she meets the criteria of putting in 10,000 hours of ‘practice’ before becoming a worldwide phenomenon. I started writing in the summer of 2009. I finished the last book in my trilogy in the summer of 2014. I’ve put in the practice. And now . . . I’ve actually planned out my next book! Success is always a struggle. My recent release left me feeling depressed. But I’m not going to think about the sales. I’m going to be laser focused on my writing this next year. I know it’s unrealistic to think I’ll be the next JK Rowling (and really, the world doesn’t need another JK Rowling . . . we are each created to do our own unique thing in this world), but I don’t believe in magic (okay, let’s be honest, I’m still holding out hope for my letter to Hogwarts). I believe in hard work. It’s the only way to get to where you need to go. And I don’t care if it takes me another five years . . .

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”–J.K. Rowling One nice review of 18 Things (the first book in my trilogy) by blogger Bruce Blanchard really encouraged me this week, so please stop by & show Bruce some love if you can! He’s over at darkenwulfbytes. Coincidentally, 18 THINGS IS STILL JUST 99 CENTS! Not sure how long that’ll last (maybe my publisher forgot to change it back to $4.99?), so snatch up your Kindle version while you can! Make sure you check out other blog posts for the monthly edition of IWSG, the brainchild of A*W*E*S*O*M*E Head Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh. Buccaneer Blogfest and IWSG As a sidenote, thank you to all the bloggers who participated in my “Share Your Thoughts” bloghop. You are eligible to win a prize (I’m looking at you TF Walsh, Kristina Stanley, Stephen Tremp, Head Ninja Captain, Michael D’Agostino, Roland Yeamans, Diane Wolfe, Susan Kane, Tonja Drecker, Sherry Ellis, Tangent Shell, Carrie-Anne, & L.G. Keltner)! Some of them have already been snatched up, and the early bird gets the worm! So email me at info@jamieayres.com to tell me what prize you’d like before they’re all gone. 1) Catch Me When I Fall paperback by Vicki Merkiel 2) Core ebook by Teshelle Combs

3) Core ebook by Teshelle Combs 4) The System ebook by Teshelle Combs 5) The System ebook by Teshelle Combs 6) $10 Amazon Gift Card from Eliza Tilton 7) Ever ebook by Jessa Russo 8) Evade ebook by Jessa Russo 9) Divide ebook by Jessa Russo 10) The Charge ebook by Sharon Bayliss 11) Destruction: The December People, Book One ebook by Sharon Bayliss 12) Watch Me Burn: The December People, Book Two ebook by Sharon Bayliss 13) The Undead ebook by Elsie Elmore 14) The Undead ebook by Elsie Elmore 15) Butterman Time Travel ebook by Pk Hrezo 16) Bella’s Point ebook by Elizabeth Seckman 17) Kiya ebook by Katie Hamstead 18) 18 Things paperback by Jamie Ayres *Also, if you’d like to enter ANOTHER GIVEAWAY (and if you wouldn’t, go ahead & slap yourself), then check out my Rafflecopter at the top right on this blog. Here’s what’s up for grabs: $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card+$25 Starbucks Gift Card+18 Things & 18 Truths signed paperback+ an Alice in Wonderland Hot Topic Tank+Star Wars journal *You can also enter to win 1 of 10 18 THOUGHTS paperbacks my publisher is giving away on Goodreads! Finally, I leave you with a special treat. A little clip from A Celebration of Harry Potter at Universal this past weekend: Behind the Scenes Film Talent Discussion– What’s Your Favorite Spell? (I think Dumbledore might’ve been drunk for this discussion . . . toooo funny!)  Have a magical day :-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k8tf442UNo

18 THINGS FREE + Caleb’s Crusade

Free 18 Things

They say nothing in life is free, but that is a lie! Because for today & tomorrow,  for the first time ever, 18 Things (book #1 in my trilogy) is TOTALLY FREE on the Kindle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why would my wonderful publisher, Curiosity Quills, do such a thing? Read their message below:

“To round off our ‪#‎18Thoughts18Days‬ promo – in which you could win a $50 amazon Gift Card – and to celebrate the conclusion of the Amazon bestselling YA coming-of-age paranormal-romance My So Called Afterlife series, with the release of book three, 18 Thoughts, on January 27, 2015, we’re offering the first book in the series,
18 Things for free between 01.25.15 – 01.27.15!”

 

That’s right! The final installment of my trilogy releases TOMORROW! I’m so so sooo excited, you guys!!! My “Share Your Thoughts” bloghop is still going on through Wednesday, and it’s not too late to sign up! If you participate, you’ll be eligible to win one of fabulous 18 prizes, and so far, I’ve only had 9 participants, so what are you waiting for? Here’s the linky link:

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…


18thoughtsbanner

Today is also the last day you can tweet or FB the “thought of the day” for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card from my publisher. Click on this link for the Rafflecopter on their site (again, there’s only 130 something entries, so there’s a good chance at winning!).

You can retweet this status, then enter: https://twitter.com/jamiemayres/status/556937501232078848

Share on Facebook, then enter: https://www.facebook.com/CuriosityQuills/photos/a.385312724855334.97616.176690689050873/782716198448316/?type=1&pnref=story

Okay, now that I’ve gotten all the announcements out of the way, I want to share about a family & their charity that’s near & dear to my heart. Monqiue Whan and I were classmates in the same graduating class at Cape High, and I reconnected with her in August 2008 when I signed up to run a marathon to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through Team In Training. Afterward, her and hubby, Rob, started their own charity. And on release day, when you download or buy a paperback of 18 Thoughts, all of my royalties will be donated to their organization. But first, let me introduce ya’ll to this wonderful family.

Tell us a little bit about your family and your journey.
Rob and I had a family we always dreamed of, a boy and a girl. Sadly, our dream for a perfect little family quickly turned into a nightmare when our 3-year-old son, Caleb, was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2007. Bella, our daughter, was just 2 months old. Caleb underwent 7 months of treatment before he lost his battle 11 days after his 4th Birthday in 2008. Since then, Rob and I still keep up the fight. We fought so hard for those 7 months, we just couldn’t give up. Bella helped us a lot in the healing process. She was just 9 months old when her big brother passed away. We feel she helped us to do the simple things in life, like getting out of bed and making new memories. It has been almost 7 years since Caleb’s passing. One thing I can say is it never gets easier; you just get better at living the life of a grieving parent.

I can’t even . . . can’t even imagine. How did you find the strength to move on and start up Caleb’s Crusade?
Faith helped a lot, knowing that God is in control of our lives more than ever. We fought for 7 months next to our son. We saw him go through unimaginable treatment; he endured so much for such a young child. When Caleb passed, we still had a small fight in us. We still wanted to fight for him and other children who were fighting cancer. Maybe it was the anger we felt inside that our little boy died? When you witness children dying from a dreadful disease it is heartbreaking. No child should have to endure that. We saw our son take his first breath, and sadly, we saw our son take his last. We cannot give up on our children. It could be your child who is next, and we want you to know we will be there right with you fighting.

I remember when my cousin’s young son relapsed. You and Rob were the first ones to call to say Caleb’s Crusade would be there to help with anything they needed, and I was so grateful. How does Caleb’s Crusade differ from other cancer charities?
Caleb’s Crusade is pretty hands on, we are available to our families 24/7. We not only provide the financial support, but we also are there for emotional support too.We take our jobs of childhood cancer leaders very seriously. We know how devastating it is when you hear the words your child has cancer. Rob travels to DC and is a voice for our children; he fights for more federal funding for childhood cancer research and legislation that helps bring drugs to market for these sick and dying kids. On the national level, childhood cancer only receives pennies on the dollar. We just try to do as much as we possibly can. Yes, it is tiring and emotional, but we feel as though this is what Caleb would want us to do.

What a great way to honor him & leave a lasting legacy in his name. I know he’s smiling down from heaven at you and Rob for sure.

To learn more about Caleb’s Crusade, or to even donate, visit their website. And please, if you already plan on purchasing 18 Thoughts (& why wouldn’t you!), consider purchasing it on release day (which is when? TOMORROW . . . you guys are so good!) to benefit this wonderful organization. Also, did you know about shopping on Amazon Smile? Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice (*coughs Caleb’s Crusade). AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. So support your charitable organization by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com.

 

Thanks for all your marketing help & enthusiasm! I’ll probably post again tomorrow because I’ll be up all night anyway, obsessively checking my Amazon rankings . . . I really can’t help myself sometimes. Self-control really isn’t my thing *opens mouth, inserts chocolate* Be sure to download 18 Things on your Kindle, too . . . what have you got to lose at FREE? It’s the BEST PRICE EVER!!!

Share Your Thoughts Bloghop

To celebrate the release of 18 Thoughts, the third installment in my My So-Called Afterlife trilogy, I’m hosting a bloghop!

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If you missed the Linky Link sign up (and most of you did because it wasn’t working–DOH!), here it is again! PLEASE join in the fun . . . only have 4 people signed up & 18 prizes to give away!

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Here’s what’s up, guys: Each person participating will post a thought (belief) that has defined their life, their way of thinking. Post up to 18 if you’re feeling adventurous, and be sure to post the badge below and link to this post as well! You can post any time between Jan. 21st and Jan. 28th. Then visit other participants to comment and connect with fellow bloggers/writers. I’ll pick 2-3 winners each day and keep this post updated as to who the winners were and what prizes are left (winners chosen through random.org)

Okay, so here’s my thought:

Day 10 Thought

Most of you know I’m an English teacher by day. When the students returned from Christmas break, I had them journal some New Year’s resolutions. Looking over the entries, I wasn’t surprised that most of them were self-centered. The next day, I showed them some resolutions from a hundred years ago, back when people focused on helping their country and community. And the resolutions that were focused inward were things like no flirting, no jealousy, no anger (which were considered vices in those days). It got us into a debate if those things were still considered immoral sins in today’s world. The flirting and jealousy were easy to disregard for most students because flirting is harmless (their words) and jealousy is something you can’t help, whether you’re a good person or not. But we had lots of different views about anger.

I will tell you this. I have noticed an alarming increase in the number of parents who encourage their teens to fight to ‘work out their problems.’ I get that when we’re angry, we get this primal feeling that rises up in us that’s out for blood. I’ve always had very strong opinions in life, and sometimes it’s difficult for me to control my emotions. So mustering up some righteous anger when the need arises without being cruel can be a challenge. Somehow though, I’ve avoided raising my fists to anyone in the past thirty-five years of being on this planet.

I’m a firm believer that, whether we agree with someone or not, we should honor their dignity. Love your neighbor and all that jazz. I remind myself that if they’re on God’s earth, then he cares about them, and so should I, even if they infuriate me.

While watching Obama’s State of the Union address, I was reminded of how easy it is to get wrapped up in the politics of polarization, to find myself shouting across the picket line (or the TV) . . . to draw that line in the sand and say I’m right, you’re wrong. But really, our love for our fellow man (or woman) should reach across lines and instead of distributing cruelty and harsh judgments, we should humble ourselves and dispense grace instead (IMHO).

What about you? Will you share your thoughts with me? Plleeeaaaase?! (After all, you don’t me to go all Hulk on your *#! . . . kidding, kidding).

Oh, and if you’re interested in winning a $50 Amazon Gift Card, simply share one of my thoughts of the day on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest up until release day, January 27th, and enter the rafflecopter (only about 100 entries here, so the odds are in your favor).

 

 

Will You Share Your Thoughts With Me???

To celebrate the release of 18 Thoughts, the third installment in my My So-Called Afterlife trilogy, I’m hosting a bloghop! On top of that, you have the chance to win one of 18 wonderful prizes donated by some terrific people just for playing!

1) Catch Me When I Fall paperback by Vicki Merkiel

2) Core ebook by Teshelle Combs

3) Core ebook by Teshelle Combs

4) The System ebook by Teshelle Combs

5) The System ebook by Teshelle Combs

6) $10 Amazon Gift Card from Eliza Tilton

7) Ever ebook by Jessa Russo

8) Evade ebook by Jessa Russo

9) Divide ebook by Jessa Russo

10) The Charge ebook by Sharon Bayliss

11) Destruction: The December People, Book One ebook by Sharon Bayliss

12) Watch Me Burn: The December People, Book Two ebook by Sharon Bayliss

13) The Undead ebook by Elsie Elmore

14) The Undead ebook by Elsie Elmore

15) Butterman Time Travel ebook by Pk Hrezo

16) Bella’s Point ebook by Elizabeth Seckman

17) Kiya ebook by Katie Hamstead

18) 18 Things paperback by Jamie Ayres

Those are some great prizes, right?! So let’s get this party started! If you don’t know what 18 Thoughts is about, here’s a little sneak preview:

Now, here are the dets for the bloghop! Each person participating will post a thought (belief) that has defined their life, their way of thinking. Post up to 18 if you’re feeling adventurous, and be sure to post the badge below and link to this post as well! You can post any time between Jan. 21st and Jan. 28th. Then visit other participants to comment and connect with fellow bloggers/writers. I’ll pick 2-3 winners each day that week and keep this post updated as to who the winners were and what prizes are left (winners chosen through random.org)

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Sound good? Or confused? Let me share some thoughts with you as examples. My publisher created an AWESOME countdown campaign last Friday, which marked 18 days until 18 Thoughts releases. Each day, they’ve been sharing a ‘thought’ on their social media sites with the hashtag #18days18thoughts & asking people to share. Each day that people share, they can enter the Rafflecopter on Curiosity Quills website for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!  Take a look at their fine examples (and nooo, you don’t have to include a fancy graphic in your post).

Day 17 Thought

Day 16 Thought

Day 15 Thought

Day 14 Thought

And of course, I’d love it if you got in on the action & shared some of the daily thoughts wherever you hang out online. Only 13 days away until release, woot woot!

The Sign-Up Link is below for the bloghop! I sincerely appreciate your support in helping me end this series with a bang!

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P.S. 18 Things is just 99cents for the Kindle, and 18 Truths (book 2) is reduced to $2.99 for the Kindle for the FIRST TIME EVER! They’ll stay that way through the countdown :-)