Writing Paranormal: Do You Believe What You Write?

Hi, ya’ll!

It’s been a whirlwind week since my debut novel, 18 Things, released last Thursday. Terrifying and thrilling all at once! I’ll go into more details on next Wednesday’s post for the IWSG.

But today, I’m guest blogging at Gwen Gardner’s site, a wonderful YA Fiction Author and half of the Indies 4 Hire business. The topic is Writing Paranormal: Do You Believe What You Write? My post focuses on angels, and I share my personal encounter with one when I was eleven years old.

This is just one of 18 blogs I’m stopping by during my six week blog tour! Here are some others in case you missed it:

Stop 1: Ciara Knight’s blog (1/21) My Mash-Up of YA Awesomeness guest post

Stop 2: Laura Jordan’s blog (1/22) My School Visit Outline

Stop 3: Krystal Wade’s blog (1/24) *This is my wonderful, steadfast editor who talked me off the edge a time or two*  I answer the question: What part of me is in Olga?

Stop 4: Alex Cavanaugh’s blog (1/25) My super shout-out from the Head Ninja Master!

Stop 5: Ayden Morgan’s blog (1/28) 10 Rues for Creating Bucket Lists

If you’ve read the book, created your bucket lists, and acknowledged the vast empty hole in your heart that is exactly Jamie Ayres shaped, I hope you’ll recommend it to others and share your thoughts about 18 Things on Amazon, Goodreads, or Barnes & Noble *which you’ll find yourself wanting to do—Jedi Mind tricks were included in your purchase, so I left you no choice*  The sales have stayed in the top 100 books on Amazon in one category or another (and those categories are a hoot!), until today *wipes tear* So now it’s up to word of mouth to push it forward.  

I’m really BLOWN AWAY by your support. Kimberly at Art of Infiltration shared twenty-two books she enjoyed reading last year (or wanted to read this year) with her seventh grade class. She said the kids were excited about three books – Possession by Elana Johnson, CassaStar by Alex Cavanaugh, and 18 Things!!! WOWIE, WOW, WOW!!! Kimberly, can you see my HUGE grin all the way from Florida? 

Well, I hope to see your beautiful faces around the blogosphere during the 18 Things tour!  And if you have a book coming out, please let me know. I’ll gladly return the favor and be your biggest cheerleader! I’m really good at those high kicks;-)

18 Things cover print sample

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18 THINGS IS HERE!!!

Jennifer Eaton reminded me that in all my excitement for release day, I neglected to post a new blog. I updated last week’s post, but forgot that wouldn’t send out new notifications to my followers! DOH! *smacks forehead*

So . . . Amazon Kindle links are live to purchase 18 Things! And for print! Or for your Nook. Yay–Happy Book Birthday to me:-) Thanks for your support! I also did a guest post on my editor’s blog today!

Here is a sample tweet for all your busy peeps who like to copy and paste:

18 Things by Jamie Ayres now available!! If you like YA love stories that inspire and are geek friendly, check it out: http://www.amazon.com/18-Things-ebook/dp/B00B53VJ38/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359069761&sr=8-1&keywords=18+things+by+jamie+ayres …

Even if you’re not buying, please hit the “Like” button under the title on Amazon to give it a boost! You can also add it to your Goodreads.

I hope you enjoy 18 Things if you do check it out and will recommend 18 Things to others. If you don’t love it, please feel free to share your thoughts with me through email. Constructive criticism is always welcome, and I want the sequel, 18 Truths, to be even better:-)

I will update this post with the full tour info ASAP, and here is the post for the blogfest incase you’re still hopping away or looking to claim your prize. I had 50 people participate, and I have 18 stops booked for the blog tour, which goes through the end of February *squeeee*

Cheers and Happy Reading~Jamie

18 Things cover print sample

WHat ARe yOUr 18 THiNGs? Blogfest (kinda) Signup! Not just for bloggers anymore!

Amazon links are live to purchase 18 Things! Yay–Thanks for your support!

Update: This just in! Tyrean, Laila, Penny, and Tonja Drecker  are my Thursday and Friday winners! Pk Hrezo and Sharon Bayliss are Saturday’s winners! Danielle Bailey and Carrie-Anne are Sunday’s winners! Tangent Shell and Lynn Lovegreen are Monday’s winners! Darlene Steelman and L.G. Keltner are Tuesday’s winners! Julie Myers and Vicki Trask are Wednesday’s winners! Stephen Tremps, Morgan Katz, Kirsten, and Lencre are Release Day Winners!

YAHOO! You helped bring 18 Things to a place of influence today–#3 in paranormal fantasy hot releases, #9 in Coming of Age hot releases, and #36 overall!!! 

Winners, just use the contact button above ^ and tell me which one of the fabulous 18 prizes you’d like:-) If it’s crossed out, that prize is taken (duh! LOL) and Congrats!!!

18 Things  releases in ten days. Can you believe it? You may have to pinch me! It’s been 7 months since I signed my contract, and it really is scary how time flies! But we’re back from our FREE Disney cruise (yes, feel free to slap me out of jealousy), and feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to do this thang!

So, I have a one week blogfest planned with lots of giveaways and then blog tour posts planned from January 21st through the end of February! (Full tour info to come, and contest giveaways list is at the bottom of this post.)

Beginning January 17th until release day, January 24th–I’ll be hosting the What Are Your 18 Things Blogfest. This is something anyone, anywhere can participate in.

jamiebucket

All you have to do is blog about things on your bucket list.  If you don’t have a bucket list, you should, and now is the perfect time to start! If you’re not sure what a bucket list is (blasphemy!), it’s something completely personal that each person should do (IMHO). It’s a great reminder that gives an extra boost to live life to the fullest and keep us looking forward, even when life wants to drag us down sometimes. Finish a marathon? Read the top 100 books?  I’m looking for fun, heart-pumping, poignant, or inspirational things that you want to want to do, or maybe already crossed off your list. And it doesn’t have to be 18 Things . . . it can be anywhere from 1-18 things (I just needed my title to get out there. Marketing trolls said so!)

Anyone who posts their 18 Things between January 17th-24th can enter to win a number of prizes, including:

*$10 Amazon card from Lindsey Loucks

*$10 Starbucks gift card from Marisa Cleveland

*Signed paperback copy of 18 Things, donated by Marisa Clevleland

*Contemporary Thriller Book, Dead Witness, from Joylene Nowell Butler

*YA Urban Fantasy book, Reaper’s Novice, from Cecilia Robert (2 copies to give away)

*a set of bookmarks, also from Cecilia

*First page critique from Nancy S. Thompson

*ebook copy of Nancy S. Thompson’s contemporary thriller book, The Mistaken

*First page critique from Tonya Kuper, agent intern for The Seymour Agency

*Krystal Wade’s signed copy of Wilde’s Fire

*Jessa Russo’s ebook of her YA Paranormal Romance novel, Ever

*First page or query critique from PK Hrezo

*An 18 page document on Inspirational Tips and Advice for Creative Writing by Taylnn (A.K.A. Ink in the Book)

*A set of inspirational bookmarks (donated by moi)

*an ebook copy of 18 Things

*First page, query, or synopsis (up to 3 pages) critique from Jamie Ayres

*Critique of first 20 pages of W.I.P. from Jamie Ayres

Yes, there are 18 terrific prizes! This is just my way of saying THANK YOU to all you wonderful peeps out there:-) I will use RANDOM.ORG to pick 2 winners each day (4 winners on January 24th–release day!), and winners, you get to choose your prize. So, early bird gets the worm, my friends!

I can’t wait to visit each blog and read your “18 Things.”

Now to the (Kinda) part of this post: Don’t blog? Put the cover of 18 Things or the bucket badge ^ from above up on your FB wall and post your bucket list item under the photo, or pin it on Pinterest with your bucket list item in the comments, or tweet one of your 18 Things. Use the words “18 Things” somewhere to go with the picture and link back to this blog wherever you decide to post. All non-blog entries will still be available for the awesome prizes! Just remember to link to me so I know you participated!!

Bloggers, sign up NOW for the blogfest in the LinkyTool below (and make sure you grab the 18 Things badge to put on your blog). Let’s get this party started!

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

18 THiNGs bOOk bomb!!!

Hi Everyone,

The release date for 18 Things is almost here! You guys have already helped me soooo much over the past 2 1/2 years, but I can’t stop my quest for world domination now;-) Especially with the Little Blue Lady from Jennifer Eaton’s blog trying to stop me! Sooo . . . On January 24th we’re going to try and push 18 Things to the top of Amazon—and I need your help!

This book has a message that obviously, I think, teens (or anyone over the age of 12) need to hear. Many would say an inspirational young adult book put out by a small publisher isn’t supposed to do well. So . . . wouldn’t it be cool to drive 18 Things to the top on January 24th? Will you join me in being part of a grassroots success story? I don’t have the money or resources to rely on slick marketing or targeted ad campaigns— instead my sales have to be driven by ordinary people like you spreading the word in your circles of influence. Here’s how it works: Every book on Amazon.com has what’s called a “Sales Rank” which is updated hourly. Because these rankings update every hour a book can drop quickly out of sight—or come soaring to the front. The Book Bomb will coordinate hundreds (maybe thousands) of people ordering 18 Things on the same day (January 24th) instead of sales being spread out over months, and raising it to a place where tens of thousands of new people will see it.

The book bomb is a great chance to get a copy for yourself (plus one to give away) at a great price—and help get the book in front of thousands of new people—all at the same time! Now, you might be asking yourself these questions:

Why Amazon?

  • Small Publisher: Since I signed with a small publisher, 18 Things won’t be sitting on bookshelves across America. It may be stocked at a few local bookstores in Lee County and in Grand Haven at best. Amazon.com is the easiest way to order 18 Things from wherever you happen to be on January 24th, whether it’s an ebook for $7.99 or a paperback for $12.99.

Why 2 copies?

  • Free Shipping on Paperbacks: If you order two or more copies you get free shipping because your grand total will be over $25. Just make sure you click on the Free Super-Saving Shipping option at Checkout

Who would you give your extra copies away to?

  • Local Library/School/Youth Groups: Order an extra copy to donate to your local library, school, or someone in your church youth group. Did you know that 80% of book sales happen via word-of-mouth? This would help create some great buzz!
  • Birthday Present: Yes, Christmas has past, but I’m sure there’s a young adult in your life with a birthday coming up (maybe even their 18th birthday!)
  • Graduation: Looking for a graduation gift for the young adults in your life (whether it is high school, middle school, or even college)? Order 18 Things! It may not be for another 3-4 months, but that doesn’t mean you can’t order it on January 24th!
  • Friends can order together: Maybe you can’t think of anyone to give your extra copies to. But remember, when you spend $25 or more on Amazon, you get free shipping! So order with a buddy!

In addition, I know many of you have asked when you can get your autographed copy. If you’d like your own copy autographed but don’t live in my area, email me through my website at jamieayres.com and I’ll send you an autographed sticker you can place inside your book! Or, can I just say Southwest Florida makes a great vacation spot, so come on down and I’ll sign it in personJ

Finally, please do not feel obligated to participate. It would be easy (and understandable) for you to view this as very self-serving on my part. After all, I’m the author and I’m asking you to buy copies of my book! But being self-serving is not my intention. I’m only asking that if you already planned on buying my book, please do it on release day verses another day. My motivation for the book bomb is the same one that drove me to write the book: to inspire others. Think back to your own young adult days of reading, even if it was you as a very young adult, a long, long time ago in a galaxy far away.

I can testify that stories made me a better person growing up. I’ve always lived in two worlds. One is the world where I actually live, and the other is where I took up residence in Narnia and Hogwarts, sailed the raft with Huck and Jim, laughed at the absurdities of life with Yossarian, ate green eggs and ham with Sam I Am, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew, wept over injustices with Scout Finch, craved romance with Miss Elizabeth Bennet, and learned about being a good friend and a good writer from a spider named Charlotte. These characters made me believe in a world where I could go anywhere and be anything I wanted to be. Why do I love to read stories? Because I love to know I’m not alone, I want someone to understand me, they remind me of my past, they instill in me a sense of pride in my fellow citizens of the world, they give me a new perspective, they make me laugh and entertain me, and sometimes they make me feel emotions I wish I had in my everyday life. But they always challenge me to become like the characters in the books that inspire me. They challenge me to get out of my hiding place and step out in faith, and to not give up so easily. That’s the heart of 18 Things, and my whole trilogy, and I want to share it.

sm18-things

Do you want to share it too? Do you have any tips on how to plan for success? Do you plan on buying 18 Things on January 24th? Help spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, or on your website or blog? Let me know in the comments so I can give you a HUGE virtual hug:-)  Two weeks until the Amazon links go live on release day! We don’t have much time!

Your Excited and Extremely Grateful Blogger Friend,

Jamie Ayres

P.S. Stop by next Wednesday for the dets on “What’s Your 18 Things?” blogfest! A TON of giveaways, including books, giftcards, bookmarks, and critiques!! My way of giving back to all you wonderful peeps~Love you guys!!

OH, CRAP! Insecure Writer’s New Year’s Post

HaPPy*2013*Awesome*People!!!

When I look back at my 2012 resolution, it was to get my YA novel, 18 Things, published.

But honestly? I never thought this day would come! Nooo, not because I’m wacky enough to believe Dec. 21st was going to be the end of the world (well, okay, some nights when I had way too much chocolate and a gallon of coffee, I might’ve listened to my brother’s entertaining conspiracy theories). But I’m talking about the day I finally announce the release date for my novel.

JANUARY 24TH!

Sure, I prayed for it, counted minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, 3 years off my calendar waiting for the day when I could finally call myself a published author. Now it’s here. And I know 13 is an ‘unlucky’ number, but I’ve got a feeling 2013 is gonna be a good year, a gOOd, GooD year (I always liked an underdog!).

BUT OH, CRAP! THAT’S JUST 22 DAYS AWAY!! AHH!

I’m so blessed I cringe at the thought of asking for anything from anyone. But another blogger reminded me today that God’s blessings aren’t limited and someone isn’t lacking because I’m not. So I’m putting this out to the universe . . . would any of you be interested in an interview, a guest post by me, a book review, or maybe just featuring my cover image, promotional blurb, and author bio on your site? Your interest and support really mean a lot to me. If you’d like to help, please let me know in the comments below, or email me through the Contact Me tab above^ (P.S. If you’re visiting for the first time and have no clue what 18 Things is about, you can also visit the About Me tab for the dets ^)

Getting my book out there is just a small part of what I hope to accomplish in 2013. I’d also love to be a blessing to other bloggers, so please know I will pay it forward. It may take me awhile to repay everyone, but I promise to do it sometime in 2013! And the first person I’m starting with is Sharon Bayliss, my publishing sister who hosted the contest on her blog that led my editor to my book. Today, Sharon is revealing the cover for her debut novel. Here it is *drumroll please*

The Charge Cover copy

Really draws you in, doesn’t it? Yes, we both have a fondness for blue and lightning, lol! Here’s the blurb . . . you’re gonna want to add this to your TBR list!

What if Texas never joined the United States, and instead became its own nation? 

In The Charge that’s exactly what happened. In the 1830s, the Republic of Texas was taken over by a dictator with superhuman powers who named himself the first King of Texas. Eighty years later, the Texas Empire has fallen into ruin, but the story of the Texas royal dynasty is far from over.

College freshman Warren King wants nothing more than to enjoy a beer by the pool on his summer break…but that’s not what fate has in store for him. When Texas soldiers kidnap his little brother, he embarks into a still-wild West to save him.  While fumbling through a search attempt in the lawless Texas Empire, he makes a discovery that changes his life forever. He and his brother are estranged members of the Texas royal family and the King wants them both dead.  Now Warren must save his brother and choose whether or not to be King, follow a King, or die before he can retire his fake ID.

The Charge was a quarterfinalist for the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and won a Publisher’s Weekly review:

“A solid cast of well-developed characters, including a “super-tall” royal Texan family, stars in this thrill ride of a novel teetering between sci-fi adventure and alternate historical epic…Easily shifting between characters’ perspectives, and relentless in its action, well-placed humor, and suspense, this manuscript is a delight.”

The Charge will be available in digital and print formats from Curiosity Quills Press on Texas Independence Day, 3/2/13. Go to www.facebook.com/thechargebook for updates.

So friends, what are your goals for 2013? Maybe read more YA books? (Hey, they have lots of inspiring heroes! I’m not just throwing this out there b/c I write YA novels. No, no, no, that would be self-serving. At least I didn’t suggest that one of your goals should be to read 18 Things *coughs*) 

Ha! Whatever your thoughts are for 2013, don’t let unfinished goals from 2012 hold you back. A lot of times our dreams aren’t fulfilled not because of our performance, but because of timing. We don’t know the details of our lives, so we have to step out in faith. Have faith with me that 2013 will be a lucky year!

If you’d like to join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group with our head Ninja Captain, visit Alex J. Cavanaugh!

IWSG