#ReadOrWriteAnywhere Monster Giveaway!!!

 

Summer is about to begin! 

But just because it’s summer doesn’t mean we should stop reading and writing. I’ve teamed up with the YA Chicks and many participating authors on a global campaign to encourage readers, writers, students, and teachers to share pictures all of the places—both ordinary and extraordinary—where they are reading and writing. This is open to all readers/writers of both middle grade and young adult books!

You can also take part in…

A MONSTER GIVEAWAY! 

32 Readers Will Win A Book!

32 Readers Will Win A Book!

I’ll be giving away ONE PAPERBACK EACH OF 18 THINGS, 18 TRUTHS, & 18 THOUGHTS!!!

That’s my ENTIRE TRILOGY!

And there’s more! Authors participating in this campaign aren’t just giving away books, but critiques, swag and/or Skype visits, too!!!

So are you ready?

Drum roll….

20150516_133907

Can you guess where I am?

Here are my 5 clues:

*It’s adjacent to the Caloosahatchee River

*There are lots of bamboo trees around (extra hint: used in light bulb filaments)

*One of the most visited historic home sites in America

*You’ll find the Botanic Research Corporation Laboratory on the property, which was constructed to help discover a rubber tree plant that could grow more quickly in the U.S. (extra hint: think tires)

*Open to the public since 1947, visitors can tour the gardens, the lab, the estate, as well as the museum, which features lots of inventions!

Once you’ve figured out where I’m reading, head over to the YA Chicks site and:

  1. Officially enter the giveaway by inputting each author’s name and your guesses about our locations. Every author location you guess correctly increases your chances to win.
  2. For even more chances, post a picture of yourself reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag).

For writer prize packs:

  1. Post pictures of yourself writing in a fun location on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere. Then follow the directions on the Rafflecopter giveaway to let us know you did it.
  2. For even more chances, gather your writer friends together and post a group shot with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag). And hey, since you’re already together, why not host a write-a-thon?

For teacher prize packs:

  1. Post pictures of your class reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag).
  2. Then let us know you did it when you enter the Rafflecopter. If you don’t have a Twitter or Instagram, you can email your picture directly with the picture pasted directly into the email (no attachments–we won’t open them) AND the subject, “Read or Write Anywhere.”
  3. You can also check out the YA Chicks Read or Write Anywhere lesson plan, available on their site.

We will keep the giveaway open from 9 am on May 22nd– 12 pm on May 31st so entrants have plenty of time to hunt for clues.

And I also have an exclusive giveaway here on my blog today! 4 complimentary copies of my 18 Thoughts audiobook! You need to be registered at Audible/Amazon to redeem your prize – if you aren’t, you’ll be prompted to register prior to redemption – but you do not need a paid membership plan.

How do you claim your prize?! Just make sure you like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, then leave a comment below . . . first 4 people to do so get the prize :-) (If you’re already a follower, please share this blog post and tag me). Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and READ OR WRITE ANYWHERE!

 #ReadOrWriteAnywhere

Wholehearted Thanks

For those who have spent a good amount of time writing, editing, researching, polishing, marketing, querying, emailing, networking, sweating, crying, hoping, praying . . . one thing is abundantly clear: Being a writer is not a job for the weary.

Despite the massive amounts of coffee and chocolate I consume on a daily basis to combat tiredness juggling being an author & an English teacher (not to mention a mom and wife), I have moments of absolute cartwheeling, unicorn-over-the-rainbow joy, and one of the them came this past weekend.

It’s not nice to boast, and please don’t think I’m trying to do that. I’m here to say THANK YOU to those who’ve supported me since I first started writing in 2009

Thank-You

. . . and to give encouragement to those who think they’ll never sell any books. I’ve been you.

Soooo imagine my surprise when I discovered I sold a total of 25,679 books sold in ONE MONTH! WHAAAT?!

I know many authors wouldn’t ever think of that number as being a big deal, especially when one considers it’s the result of sales from 18 Things, 18 Truths, and 18 Thoughts combined, not just one novel. But honestly? It’s more sales in one month than all two years of sales combined for me, and it’s a lot better than selling eight copies a month (my all-time low).

So throw your virtual hands up in the air and have a dance party with me, knowing we CAN succeed if we never give up, never lose hope (and maybe consume an unhealthy amount of caffeine). And with my whole heart, I thank you for your support. <3 <3 <3

IWSGHEADER

This has been a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, the brainchild of Head Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh. Join us the first Wednesday of every month and post your own thoughts!

What I’ve Been Up To

Wow . . . it’s funny how I can give myself a break to not blog for a week & then my lazy butt can immediately turn that into four!! So sorry I’ve been MIA, but I know many of you are doing the A-Z challenge and probably haven’t even noticed I was gone.

So what have I been up to? Well, I went on a road trip with the fam for spring break. First stop, Universal’s Mardi Gras! Since we are annual pass holders, we decided to stop in Orlando for a butter beer, the parade, the Cajun food, and the Phillip Phillips concert. We watched him when he won on American Idol, and one thing you wouldn’t be able to tell from that show, is he really likes to jam with a band! I think I would’ve preferred to watch him in a small, hip bar somewhere instead, but it was still a good show.

You don't want to know what hubs did to get all these beads

You don’t want to know what hubs did to get all these beads

Next stop, Charleston, South Carolina. It was our first time there, and we weren’t disappointed! Unlike a lot of other big cities we’ve visited, we felt safe walking around, and it was gorgeous! We could’ve spent all day at the museum we went to if we had the time, and our admission also included touring a historic house across the street, which was very cool. My favorite part was visiting Sullivan’s Island because it meant we got to eat lunch at Poe’s Tavern before visiting Fort Moultrie (the entire family got in for $5–what a steal!). Now, if you’re like me, you’re wondering why this famous American poet had a pub named after him there. Well, after a brief stint at the University of Virginia, Poe enlisted in the army under the pseudonym Edgar Allan Perry and was stationed at Fort Moultrie for thirteen months beginning November 18,1827.  His time on the island inspired “The Gold Bug,” a story about a mystical beetle that led to buried treasure. Anyway, very COOL décor, quick service, and delicious burgers!

Poe

I ate the Tell-Tale Heart!

 

Last top was Asheville, North Carolina (where 18 Truths was partially set). My sister was getting married in Black Mountain at Lake Tomahawk . . . check out the awesome view! (This lake is used for the scene where Olga meets Sam & negotiates the terms of their agreement)

Lake Tomahawk

Even though we’ve been to Asheville twice, we never had time to visit the Biltmore Estates so we made sure to leave a spot open for it on this trip. If you don’t know, Biltmore is the largest privately owned home in America, still owned and operated by George Vanderbilt’s descendents. It has 250 rooms, and you can tour 47 of them. Two of the rooms were my favorite: the library, which houses over 10,000 of the 23,000 books in the Biltmore House collection and contains an impressive eighteenth-century canvas on the ceiling; and the banquet hall. With a table that seats 64 and a ceiling that arches 70 feet into the air, the hall houses five sixteenth-century tapestries, flags to represent the original 13 colonies, three fireplaces, and a huge pipe organ in the balcony.

We're thinking of buying this place for our summer home

We’re thinking of buying this place for our summer home

So that was my trip! Since then, I’ve done loads of writing on my WIP. What have you been up to?

By the way, if any of you are interested in ready my latest YA novel, 18 Thoughts, then please consider signing up for the review tour The Fantastic Flying Book Club is putting on from June 15th – June 21st . . . that gives you two months to read the book!

Flying Book Club Banner

These ladies, Patricia Lopez & Anasheh Satoorian, bloggers at The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club and at A Reading Nurse, own the book club, and they are certainly fantastic to work with. And Lord knows I could use some more reviews for 18 Thoughts. It came out on January 28th, but it only  has 23 reviews . . . 4.9 out of 5 stars though, and it hasn’t stopped trending in the top 100 in Amazon’s coming of age category! So if you like that sort of story with a paranormal twist, then please consider signing up here for the review tour :-)

Next week, I’ll post about my first visit to a virtual school.

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