Somebody Like You . . . or Me (Welcome a Contemporary Romance Author with a Southern Flavor)

So I’ve been working hard on the sequel to 18 Things and haven’t felt much like blogging. I’ve wanted to visit other blogs, but I’ve limited myself in order to get some work done . . . hope you’ll forgive me and we can still be friends:-) I just can’t seem to fit social media in and writing *sighs* But this Wednesday I’m back with an interview with a wonderful buddy of mine, author Lynnette Austin, who I met through my Southwest Florida Romance Writer’s Group!

L: Jamie, thanks so much for having me on your blog today.

J: The pleasure is all mine:-) So Lynnette, can you tell us in 20 words or less what your book is about?

L: How about fifty words? I know, I know. That’s bending the rules, but…sometimes you just have to color outside the lines. J

In Somebody Like You, rancher Cash Hardeman loves longneck beers, while heiress Annelise Montjoy prefers champagne. Both have a secret—she’s trying to save her grandfather’s life; he’s trying to save the family ranch. Cash belongs in Maverick Junction, Texas, Annelise in Boston, or could it be they belong together?


J: Sounds fantastic!!! Your book is with Grand Central Publishing. How did your deal come about and how do you like working with them?

L: Nicole Resciniti, agent supreme, sold the three book series to Grand Central. We actually had multiple offers which sure made my heart beat a little faster! After some discussion back and forth between us and the publishing houses, we decided to go with Grand Central. The fun part of this? Our writing group, Southwest Florida Romance Writers, was hosting a conference at the time GCP made their offer. I stopped by Nicole’s, and she shared it with me. We went inside to a houseful of editors down for the conference, all of whom congratulated me on my sale. What could be better?  

I love working with Grand Central Publishing. I made a quick trip to New York City last fall to visit a friend and fellow SWFRW and had the opportunity to have lunch with Lauren Plude, my fabulous editor, and Amy Pierpont, senior editor at GCP. Can you say fabulous? It was really great to visit the office and see, as Amy said, where the magic is made. I also got a chance to meet some of the others who work so hard to bring our books to life.

J: Nicole is agent supreme for sure! I’m looking forward to meeting my editor for the first time in July *squeeee* What does your typical writing day look like?

L: Even though I continuously promise myself I won’t, the first thing I do is check my email to see if there’s anything that needs taken care of, anything that won’t wait. Then I pull up my WIP and get busy. I like to work in the mornings, but with tighter deadlines I’ve found myself working most of the day. At the beginning of a book, I figure how many words per day I have to write to meet my deadline and stay at my computer till I get there.

I generally start by reading over what I wrote the previous day and making light edits. Then I pick up where I left off. A quick tip. I’ve found it works so much better for me if I don’t stop writing at a chapter or scene end. I usually quit for the day right at the beginning of a new scene. I write just enough that when I turn on my computer, I remember where I was headed and can jump right back in. I’ve already set the stage. It can really help eliminate what many call writer’s block. There is no where-do-I-go-today moment. I’m already on my way. Also, my storyboard keeps me on track.

I seldom reread what I write that day. By the next morning, I can see it through fresher eyes and make better decisions. Besides, it’s extremely important to keep the story moving forward. It’s really easy to tweak and fiddle around with what you’ve written, but that’s not going to get you to the place where you can type “the end”.

J: Great advice! Somebody Like You takes place in Texas . . . have you ever visited? What’s your favorite place in the world?

L: I have been to Texas, yes, several times—and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each and every visit. It’s a great state and very unique. I’ve covered the state north to south and east to west, and, believe me, there’s some miles to cover there!

My favorite place in the world. Hmmm, that’s a hard one. I’ve lived in Pennsylvania, New York, Wyoming, Florida, and Georgia and love them all. I’ve traveled in Europe, Africa, Central and South America. In North America, I’ve been in all fifty states with the exception of Alaska and have traveled fairly extensively in both Mexico and Canada.

If I had to choose one spot, though, I’d say Bantry Bay, Ireland. Two friends and I rented a small cottage there for a week and fell in love with the small town and its people. The bread in the market is made daily by a local and brought into the small store. The postmistress couldn’t sell us stamps when we arrived because it was too early, so she shared biscuits and tea with us in her living room. Our kitchen window looked out over the green, green hills and farms, and our living room window looked out over the bay with its beautiful blue water. My dream is to return there. 

J: Hubs and I visited Ireland for 2 weeks in 1999–would love to go back and visit that small town!

What would you like the world to know about you and your books before you leave?

L:  I was a reader long before I started to write. There’s nothing like picking up an incredible book and losing yourself in the story, in the characters and their world. I sincerely hope my books will provide that for readers. A lot of time, thought, and effort go into every single one. I have fun spending time with my characters and hope my readers do, too.

My newest book, Somebody Like You, written as Lynnette Austin, is the first of at least three in the Maverick Junction series. There’s something so sexy about a cowboy, and Cash, Ty, and Brawley, the heroes of the series, have it in spades. Cash and Annie have to fight hard in order to be together. I like strong, independent heroines and a hero that’s every bit as self-confident. The next two books, Nearest Thing To Heaven (June 4, 2013) and Can’t Stop Loving You (November 4, 2013) showcase equally strong heroes and heroines caught in the act of falling in love. Having married my high-school sweetheart, I’m a strong believer in forever love.

I do write under the name Lynnette Hallberg, also. Chantilly Lace and A Pretty Face is a contemporary Western set in Wyoming. Moonlight, Motorcycles, and Bad Boys, along with Just A Little White Lie, are set in small town Georgia. I love to create small towns with all the flavor and quirky characters they seem to grow. Enchanted Evening takes place in Pittsburgh and Night Shadows, a romantic suspense, has that special magic only New Orleans can provide.

I’ve had a great time with you today, Jamie! Thanks again for having me over.


J: Thank YOU! And you’re welcome to stop by any time! If you’d like to get to know Lynnette some more (and who wouldn’t?!), you can find her on FB and Twitter.

*So, are you interested in reading Somebody Like You? It’s only $1.99 for the Kindle version–what a steal! And do you forgive me for being a bad blogger buddy, but a good writer *on hands and knees pleading* Hope to see ya’ll soon~hugs!

Girls Gone Wild Spring Break, Ever’s Birthday, and we have a Grave Winner!!!

I’m baaaack! It was our version of Girls Gone Wild this spring break! We shopped till we dropped on Monday at the Coconut Point Mall and visited the Shell Factory on Tuesday, which included the Nature Center, mini golf (I came in 2nd), paddle boats, and round 2 of Hermit Crab races (my 9yo already won the first race she entered in August, and she picked the winner again). Wednesday was put aside for errands that needed to get done. Thursday we went to Sea World and Friday to Islands of Adventure, where I proceeded to drink 5 frozen butterbeers at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. . . SO?! When I asked Ashley what her favorite part of the trip was, she said the food, lol. We did enjoy eating at Three Broomsticks for lunch and dinner! And the pit stop for brunch at Cracker Barrel on our way home wasn’t too shabby either! Their syrup is to die for.

Another cool thing was hubs booked our hotel through and so he didn’t know what we were getting for the $69 a night deal, but it ended up being the Rosen Centre and the desk lady put us on the 24th floor without charging us extra because she liked my husband’s Star Wars shirt. See . . . it pays to be dorky:-) Check out our view of O-town:



Hogsmeade--Welcome home, Jamie Ayres!

Hogsmeade–Welcome home, Jamie Ayres!

But this blog really isn’t about me. Well, technically everything is about me, lol. But I try to share the love! So today I welcome blogger buddy Lindsey R. Loucks all the way from the Land of Oz! I’m sooo happy to pay it forward to Lindsey today. Not only did she offer up a $10 Amazon gift card for my 18 Things blogfest, but she also hosted an interview with 18 fun questions for my blog tour. I can’t wait to purchase her debut novel, The Grave Winner, when it releases on May 15th. That’s only 6 short weeks away, so please help me today with creating some much deserved buzz for this YA paranormal fantasy romance novel!

Single tree in field during winter 2

OMG . . . is that cover not freakin’ A*M*A*Z*I*N*G!?! Here’s the blurb:

Leigh Baxton is terrified her mom will come back from the dead — just like the prom queen did.

While the town goes beehive over the news, Leigh bikes to the local cemetery and buries some of her mom’s things in her grave to keep her there. When the hot and mysterious caretaker warns her not to give gifts to the dead, Leigh cranks up her punk music and keeps digging. 

She should have listened.

Two dead sorceresses evicted the prom queen from her grave to bury someone who offered certain gifts. Bury them alive, that is, then resurrect them to create a trio of undead powerful enough to free the darkest sorceress ever from her prison inside the earth.

With help from the caretaker and the dead prom queen, Leigh must find out what’s so special about the gifts she gave, and why the sorceresses are stalking her and her little sister. If she doesn’t, she’ll either lose another loved one or have to give the ultimate gift to the dead – herself.

YIKES!! My arm hair is standing up just reading the blurb. Here’s the 411 on Lindsey:

Lindsey Loucks author pic

Lindsey R. Loucks works as a school librarian in rural Kansas. When she’s not discussing books with anyone who will listen, she’s dreaming up her own stories. Eventually her brain gives out, and she’ll play hide and seek with her cat, put herself in a chocolate induced coma, or watch scary movies alone in the dark to reenergize.

As a teacher for the past 12 years, I covet your school librarian job! I aspire to be one myself, and just passed my Media Specialist Certification test *woot, woot! Here’s where you can stalk find more about Lindsey:

Add The Grave Winner to Goodreads.

Check out Lindsey’s website.

Follow Lindsey on Facebook.

Follow Lindsey on Twitter.


You may recall me blogging a couple weeks ago about the lovely and talented Jessa Russo when her debut novel, Ever, was part of the Curiosity Quills 99 cent sale. Well, today Ever is celebrating its 6 month book birthday, so put on your party hat!

Jessa's cover

To celebrate, visit Jessa’s website to enter the rafflecopter. ONE winner will receive this AWESOME Prize Pack, which includes the following:



EVER by Jessa Russo (me!)

FADE by A.K. Morgen



BURIED by Gerilyn Marin

WILDE’S FIRE by Krystal Wade

DARK MATTER (Book Two in the Elemental Enmity Series) by Christie Rich

18 THINGS by Jamie Ayres

THE CHARGE by Sharon Bayliss


DEVOUR by Andrea Heltsley







Query Critique by Sharon Bayliss

One Query + 1st Chapter Critique by Eliza Tilton

*So, how was your Spring Break if you had one? Plan on reading The Grave Winner? Participating in Ever’s half-birthday?