Happy*New*Year’s*Eve*Treat!!!

Ten hours until 2015 and counting!! And I have 2 things to celebrate.

#1: My publisher, Curiosity Quills Press, is hosting a side-wide sale from January 1-3, with a whopping EIGHTY-SEVEN! titles discounted to just 99 cents! 18 Things is included in this sale, the first book in My So-Called Afterlife Trilogy. And with the last book, 18 Thoughts, releasing on January 27th, NOW is the perfect time to purchase and read if you haven’t already done so (I know some of you stubborn readers wait until a trilogy is completed before reading).

CQ sale

Which leads me to #2 . . . the trailer for 18 Thoughts is here! Check it out and let me know what you think. I made it myself, and I mainly use it for my school visits.

 

See you next Wednesday for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group post! Until then, I’ll be wearing my party hat because 2015 is going to be the B*E*S*T year yet!

This Is War!!

Today I interrupt my regular scheduled programming to feature a wonderful fellow blogger, Mara Valderran. Be sure to check out her new book and I’ll be back next week with some pictures of our new house. Right now, I’ve got some more boxes to unpack & final edits to finish for the last installment of the 18 Things trilogy . . . I’ll be visiting blogs again soon, I promise!!! ❤

 

ABOUT HEIRS OF WAR:

The NA fantasy series Heirs of War has taken Wattpad by storm with over one million reads, and the second installment has arrived. Catch up on Heirs of War (#1) for just 99 cents now!

Heirs of War #1:

When seventeen year-old Zelene finds herself thrust into a world of magic and prophecy, she discovers fighting destiny might not be the toughest battle she has to face. Now she must join with three other girls, complete strangers linked only by blood relation, to fight a war they know nothing of and rescue the twin sister she’s never met.

Add it to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

The adventure continues with Heirs of War, Crown of Flames

 

Heirs of War, Crown of Flames

Heirs of War #2

Mara Valderran

Cover Art by Gretchen Byers

 

Weeks have passed since Ariana and Alec escaped from Kellen’s dungeon, but danger isn’t far behind them. The guilt of his past weighs heavily on Alec’s shoulders, and his secrets only push Ariana further away. As they travel through unknown lands and encounter multiple threats, their biggest challenge might be trusting one another.

The world appears to be going on regardless of the risks Ariana faces. The Duillaine insist that they are doing everything they can to find Ariana, but their actions betray that claim. Despite the danger and the war closing in around them, all of Anscombe seems to be more interested in the upcoming Imbolc festival and Terrena’s betrothal than rescuing Ariana.

Well…not everyone.

Tired of waiting for the Duillaine to help her twin, Zelene starts plotting on her own and finds a surprising ally in Rhaya, even as the Cynewards prepare to make a move of their own. But Zelene’s plans go awry when she finds herself with a new ability, a mysterious new friend, and more enemies within the walls of Anscombe than she thought.

Add it to Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Mara Valderran is an author of young adult and new adult books, but she’s more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She is an avid reader and fan of all things sci-fi and fantasy. She loves roller skating and movies, though typically not together. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and demanding cat. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or counting down the days until DragonCon.

 

Find Mara Online:

Sign up for Mara’s newsletter so you don’t miss news on new releases and fun contests!

 

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Gwen Gardner: Demon Holes vs. the Knight Bus

Today you’re in for a treat because Gwen Gardner is here to guest post, woot woot! I first came across Gwen on the blogosphere because we both had our debut into the publishing world around the same time, her with Giving Up the Ghost, and me with 18 Things. I’m pretty sure it was our Ninja Captain that brought us together. If you don’t know Gwen yet (go ahead & slap yourself), allow me to introduce her.

Gwen Gardner author photo

Gwen Gardner is a native Californian living in sunny San Diego, where her love of reading and writing led to a BA in English literature. Life is now complete with her husband, two dogs and a daily call from her daughter.

Since ghosts feature prominently in her young adult Indigo Eady Paranormal “Cozy” Mystery series, she has a secret desire to meet one face to face – but will run screaming for the hills if she ever does. Gwen adores travel and experiencing the cultures and foods of different countries. She is always up for an adventure and anything involving chocolate – not necessarily in that order.

Knight Bus vs. Demon Hole

Thanks for hosting me today, Jamie!

I know Jamie is a Harry Potter fan and so am I! We’re both still waiting for our owls from Hogwarts with our invitations to attend. Well, Jamie would be one of the professors, for sure. Probably Muggle Studies, because she’s so good at human nature. I’m sure I’d be sorted into Griffindor where I’d excel at Defense Against the Dark Arts. At least, my characters might or might not agree with that.

I mean, I get them into dark and dangerous situations, but I get them out again, don’t I?

Indigo Eady is a ghost-whispering teen psychic and the protagonist in my Afterlife novella series. In Second Death (book I), I did sort of have her sucked down into a demon hole. She later compared it to that scene in Harry Potter’s The Prisoner of Azkaban where Harry inadvertently hails the Knight Bus.

The Knight Bus rescues witches or wizards in trouble and takes them where they need to go. There’s a scene where Ernie Prang is driving and throws a switch to maneuver between two muggle buses and so the Knight Bus shrinks to about six inches wide, squeezing all on board into a fun-mirror deformed version of themselves.

Well, according to Indigo, that’s what it feels like getting sucked down a demon hole. Sort of like being squeezed through the gullet of a snake. Slow, arduous and suffocating.

But that’s where the similarity between the Knight Bus and a Demon Hole ends. The Knight Bus is completely dangerous, true. It averages about one accident per week. None of the seats or beds is bolted down and so they slide all over the place. And being squeezed like that can’t be good for the mind or body. But at least they offer beds and hot chocolate!

Demon Holes–well, you can imagine what a nightmare they are. Indigo hasn’t quite forgiven me for the following scene, where she found herself all alone in the cemetery… at night…

Second Death cover

 

I reminded myself we were still in Gertrude’s Garden. We’d already seen how easy it was to go from one dimension to another without even trying. Yeah, maybe that was it. I should wait right there for Badger and Simon to get back. I folded my arms over my chest. Clamped my teeth together to keep my chin from wobbling. “Yeah, I’m just going to wait right here,” I spoke aloud, continuing to scan the area. “Sounds like a good plan, Indigo,” I answered myself. I glanced left and right. “I’ll just sit and wait,” I mumbled, backing up to the Earl’s headstone and sliding down into a sitting position. I waited and waited. And waited some more. I’ll admit that patience wasn’t my best virtue.

I changed position, using my left hand to shift to a more comfortable spot. That’s when I felt it. A general tugging sensation, followed by a swarm of orbs swirling up my arm. A squeezing numbness encompassed my body, like I was being swallowed whole by a boa constrictor, suffocating slowly, inch by inch, while contracting muscles pushed and sucked me further and further down into the bowels of…

SPLOT!

I lay on my back, no idea what had just happened, only that I couldn’t breathe. Panic was about to set in when my lungs finally expanded. I sucked in air like a fish gasping for water. Scrambling to my feet, I found myself in a narrow, dusky corridor, lit intermittently by orblight sconces along the walls. The floor and walls were uneven and dirt-packed, with roots protruding, some big, some small. The impression of being deep underground clung to me, like I’d been buried alive. I struggled to control my breathing, which threatened to turn into full-on hyperventilation.

You really landed in it this time, Indigo Eady. Under the freaking cemetery! I whimpered, which echoed and dwindled to silence down the corridor.

What do you think? Has Indigo forgiven me?

Thanks, Gwen! I loved your HP analogy, & this book sounds A*M*A*Z*I*N*G!!

Don’t forget to follow Gwen on social media! She’s a hoot!!

Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Amazon / B&N

You can buy her book now on Amazon or iTunes!!

Jamie Ayres In The News!!!

Hi, all!

Sorry I haven’t been around as much to comment lately . . . A LOT of stuff happening. A big part of that is three kids, ages 13, 12, and 9, moved in with us last Tuesday. Helping five kids with homework takes a lot of internet time away, lol.

5 kids

But I wanted to share something exciting! Florida Weekly interviewed me for their paper last week. You can see the online version here.

FL Weekly

I like that I’m above all those best sellers, hahaha!

What have you been up to? Hope to catch up soon 🙂

Amazon Marketing 101

When I was trying to think of what to blog tonight, I realized I never posted about the marketing tips I learned from Quinn Loftis, Ella James, and Eva Pohler at the UtopYA2014 conference in June. My notes are somewhat scattered (just like their owner!), but hopefully this info will help someone!

How to hit the Top Rated Lists without much effort and minimal sales:

Do a soft launch of 48 hrs- have a team of people buy it to start ranking & post reviews but the big Facebook & Twitter party is 2 days later-also helpful to make sure the manuscript looks right if you’re self publishing. Hint: Every time you have to reload your book on Amazon, you loose rankings. Refreshing also hurts ranking- use rank obsession.com– updated more frequently than other sites- & will send you new reviews. Tip: Don’t release on weekends & Tuesdays because Tues is when big houses publish & can’t compete with that & people are busy on the weekends.

 How to use tags and categories properly:

Amazon keywords: put them in your blurb- i.e. YA Romance, YA Trilogy. Google key words to find most searched keywords. If it’s already in your author bio, pick something else because it’s already metadated. Some things like paranormal romance will have way too many books to get noticed so be more specific. “Google ad words.” Optimize website with key words, too.

The importance of pricing:

Indie prices typically do best between 99 cents & $3.99- trainings readers to take a chance on you. Indies, you can make book free on Kindle if you make it free somewhere else like B&N & then they’ll price match. Once the last book in your trilogy or series is published, it’s a good idea to make your first book free through a bookbub ad. Keep your finger on the pulse by looking at the top 100 books in your categories.

Free advertising:

The best kind of free marketing is not advertising at all but just being present on social media sites with authentic interactions.

Have Calls to Action- 90% chance of people responding. Ex: Laura Howard’s Q of the Day on Facebook.

On Facebook- don’t just post blog automatically to your page- insert image and then write 1-3 lines of text with link at the end, because FB drives more traffic to you if you post like that. Also 30 second videos rank higher than anything else. Post natively to Twitter as well- will see a difference with your blog. Don’t pay to booster posts because then FB knows they can get you to pay instead of having them booster it for you.

Google Hangout for book club discussions and school visits around the country, etc: in it’s simplest form it’s a live YouTube. Under your Google Plus account, look at the button for it. Use Twitter hashtag for questions during the hangout – it can also be embedded to watch later. Under your Google pic in the box put your Twitter name & hashtag you’re using. It’s kind of like doing the author FB party but one step up. Do a theme for the hangout: like wearing your pj’s, Star Wars, or anything fandom your fans would get excited about. You should be a fan of what your readers are fans of & interact with those hashtags on Twitter. For example, you can tweet during the favorite TV shows but remember time differences and don’t give away spoilers.

Facebook, Tumblr, & Twitter are the big social media forums right now. If you’re new to Tumblr (like me, follow me here), look at YA authors Cassandra Clare & John Green– rock stars at Tumblr!! All YA authors should be on it. Be creative and have fun! Example idea: Costume ideas for your book characters. Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest are also great sites for interacting. Just remember that social media is to congratulate, celebrate, & “Wow look at this!” Not for “Now hear this!” Stay away from religion and politics when you’re in author mode.

Love it or hate it, Amazon is the world’s largest bookstore. What do you do to market your book?

By the way, thank you for all the tweets last week while 18 Things had it’s 2-day 99 cent sale! When my publisher ran a 99 cent sale six months ago, it got down to #114 overall on all of Amazon and was #1 in 3 categories! Not quite as good this time around, but #169 overall & #1 in 2 categories isn’t too shabby (and still holding there since Thursday)! And it’s given a boost in sales to 18 Truths as well! Muchos gracias, for my early birthday present, amigos ❤

1 best seller in YA Paranormal

Performance Task Writing . . . What It Means For Kids

This past week as summer vacation ended, I had to switch my mind from writing mode to teaching mode. Although I do teach writing to middle school students, it’s a lot different than the type of writing I do for my books, 18 Things and 18 Truths. I realized that many of you probably have children and may not know the new College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing that our nation adopted, so I thought I’d list them here. Of course, the devil is in the details and what these standards mean exactly differs for each grade level, but it’s still good to familiarize yourself.

Text Types and Purposes:

1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

Production and Distribution of Writing:

4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

5. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or typing a new approach.

6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge:

7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Range of Writing:

10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single setting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

What does all of this mean???

It means the days of having cold writing prompts are over. No more writing a story about a strange green light you saw when you took out the trash or why Florida is a nice place to visit. Instead, students will read a complex text such as a poem, an excerpt from a memoir or a nonfiction article, and they’ll have to respond to that piece with a specific task.

For example, students read “O Captain! My Captain!” and analyze how Walt Whitman used allusion, analogies, and word choice to write an elegy for Abraham Lincoln.

This way, we’re not expecting students to bring a whole lot of background knowledge to the table with a ‘cold’ essay prompt, because background can vary greatly from kid to kid. It also means we’re connecting reading and writing in a more meaningful way since they are already so intricately connected. The new standards are definitely steering students more towards college writing, where you write research papers for almost every class as if your life depended on it . . . and it’s always connected to your reading for the course.

The sad part for me is it takes away a lot of the creativity in writing. Granted most of these students aren’t going to grow up and become published fiction authors. I get that. And the new series my district adopted is fabulous, sooo many great resources! But it also feels like teaching for dummies. There are anchor texts that I must teach from. In previous years, we didn’t have a textbook for Language Arts. We had academic plans that told us what skills to cover each week, but the way we taught those skills were up to us! I brought in novels from the best modern day authors and let classes vote on which one they wanted to use that quarter and our writing took off from there. I read a different novel for each class period all quarter long (so I read a total of seven novels at once between my 150 students). With the  new curriculum, I doubt I’ll even get to read a novel with my classes because this new stuff in their textbook is so complex. If I do read a novel, I have to pick from a list of ones written by really old dead white dudes that probably won’t interest my students.

I thought I’d have a break from this with a Creative Writing elective, which would be great because those aspiring authors could take my class and we could delve into more creative writing in there. But like a lot of electives, it got cut from the schedule in favor of me teaching more core classes.

But I’m still super excited about the new school year because I know I can make this work. Why? Because I bring the awesome. You can laugh, but I know I’m a great teacher! The fact is, the problems we have in education will NEVER be solved by paying millions of dollars to adopt the latest series aligned to the newest standards. Those teachers who failed to succeed at teaching the old series will probably fail at this one. Programs don’t determine a student’s success, teachers do. Programs aren’t the be-all and end-all of education. Teachers are the problem, and teachers are the solution. I guarantee you that even with this wonderful new series, the same teachers who sucked before will still suck.

What we need in education are more teachers like these . . .

 

I’d like to add that I work at the top performing middle school in our county, and what makes our school great are the teachers! I feel so lucky to collaborate with them on a daily basis 🙂

What about you? Do you think a new program could ‘fix’ the worst teacher you’ve even known? If you have children, are you happy with the writing curriculum at their school?

 

Are Two Better Than One?

Four years ago, I got the chance to attend RWA Nationals after the venue moved from Nashville to Orlando due to unfortunate flooding. To save money, I planned on staying with a friend who lived forty minutes away from the Disney Swan & Dolphin Hotel, where the conference was held. Then I discovered Marisa Cleveland, a buddy who I’d met three months earlier at my local RWA chapter meeting, had a room in the hotel all to herself. Being the Reigning Queen of Awkward Situations, I crashed her room & took the couch. Little did I know Marisa was a natural introvert & too terrified of me to say no.

Risa & me at RWA Nationals

Risa & me at RWA Nationals

That’s how a beautiful friendship was born 🙂 Now that I’m done with writing my 18 Things trilogy, I’m forcing her into another situation that seems just as counterintuitive to sharing your hotel room with a stranger. Cowriting a novel! Authors are known for being control-freak Jedi masters of our fictional universes. That’s why when I attended utopYA2014, I made sure I attended the panel with Melissa Pearl & the mom and son author duo C.A. Kunz. Here are some of my notes in case, like me, you think cowriting could be a fun, refreshing process that yields a unique story.

TIPS:

Pick someone who is at similar points in terms of both their craft and career & treat each other as equals.

Be honest if there’s something you don’t like. We take criticism personally, but that has to take a back burner in the interest of writing the best story possible.

Make sure you know the other person’s writing style well so the reader doesn’t feel pulled out of the story with two very different tones-different than having two distinct voices, which can work very well because that can be attributed to the characters.

CHALLENGES:

If one person is waiting to hear back for next chapter, but their co-author is too busy and is left waiting when they are ready to move on with the story, it can cause friction. Make sure to set up a writing schedule & stick to it!  Equal commitment & a compatible writing pace is a must. Also helpful are similar tastes. For instance, do you bond over the same books, movies, music, and celebrities (like drool swoon-worthy Theo James)? That’s a good start.

 

Seriously, Jamie? This is getting ridiculous. I will let you touch my bicep if you leave me alone.

Seriously, Jamie? This is getting ridiculous. I will let you touch my bicep if you leave me alone.

Good idea to pick a person who has a final say in different areas, like grammar, fine-tuning of the plot, and research details. It’s like a choose your own adventure story! If you get stuck, have a bowl with worst case scenarios and pull one out & have that happen to your character.

If you are discussing something serious with the book, do it in person or Skype so your partner doesn’t misread what you’re saying. Email, text, or phone call at least once a day to ensure continuity and the development of a solid story arc, especially as you work toward the finale.

Have you ever thought about working with a partner? What do you think the pros and cons would be?

P.S. Speaking on Cons, I didn’t get the coveted tickets for the “Open At the Close” event at LeakyCon in Orlando on July 30th since they sold out in 5 minutes. If you dress up as a creepy/scary clown in your spare time, or know someone who does, please message me. I’m looking to hire one to chase a ticket holder around until they fork over their pass. Thanks for your help in this matter.

scary clown

 

TFIOS Feels, ReadOn, Audible, and UtopYA Con

Let me first start off by saying that The Fault In Our Stars movie, based on the bestselling Coming of Age love story about two teens who just happen to have cancer by John Green, was AMAZING!!!

I took my 13yo daughter and her bestie to a special “Night Before Our Stars” event that was held at 600 theatres around the country the night before the official release. We each got a commemorative bracelet and autographed poster and afterward, you could tweet questions to the author, director, producer, and the three main characters of the cast. They did the live simulcast from a movie theatre in Atlanta (more on that later). There were sooo many feels while watching this film. I LOVED the book, but I don’t remember laughing and crying so hard (and simultaneously) when reading the novel. Something about seeing it brought to life on the big screen made it much more emotional for me. It’s not a movie I could watch over and over again because it’s so heartbreaking, but I do think it’s trying to send the same message I try to send with my 18 Things trilogy. Love is stronger than death in the end. It’s hard to tell someone that when they’ve just lost the most important person in their life (and I wouldn’t recommend it), but after time, I do think most come around to that realization. Anyway, I think the movie and the two main actors, Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, deserve Oscar nominations. Doubt that will happen, but I’m sure they get the reward in the hearts of young adults (and wannabe YA like me) everywhere!

TFIOS Swag

TFIOS Swag

 

Other things I’ve been up to this week . . . I did my first live web appearance ON CAMERA for Jessica Porter, a book reviewer I’d met at a B&N event back in March. Check out the ReadOn with me (I’m up first), Leila Howland, Lindsay Cummings, and Amy Christine Parker (LOVE HER!).

readon

Then yesterday, Audible set me up with a local studio to record special features for my audio books of 18 Things and 18 Truths. I walked in and was met by a familiar face . . . I’d actually graduated high school with the owner! So thankful I knew him a little because I was really nervous and he immediately put me at ease. It took about 2 hours to record the Author’s Note, dedication, beginning chapter quotes, acknowledgements, and Literature Circle Questions for both books. He said I was a natural . . . I think I probably sounded like a dork. We’ll let you decide when it’s all finished! If you’re in the Southwest Florida area and need a studio, check out Paul L. Marshall Productions.

Jamie Recording

Other than that, I’ve been planning for my trip next week! I’m off to Nashville for the UtopYA Con (the Con for Women Writers of YA & the fans who love them). Super excited to meet up with my publishers sisters, Sharron Riddle Houdek and Krystal Wade, there (as well as blogger buddy Pk Hrezo). If you’re going, stop by Area 51, table 24! My daughter is coming with (who will turn 14 that weekend, sniff sniff) and she’s an aspiring author, so I’m psyched to have her come along and be inspired. On the way, we’re stopping in Atlanta because for some reason, we’ve never been! Lots of fun planned there too, including hunting down Theo James so I can touch his bicep (it’s on my bucket list). He’s filming Insurgent there along with Shailene and Ansel. How cool would it be to actually stumble upon them?! Keep your fingers crossed and if you’re in the Atlanta area, let me know if you spot any “Mineral” signs (code name).

"Now, now Jamie, you could get arrested for this." *lunges at Theo*

“Now, now Jamie, you could get arrested for this.” *lunges at Theo*

What have you been up to this week?!

What’s Your System?

Today I have my good buddy, Teshelle Combs, guest posting. She is the award winning author of the YA action/romance novel, The System, and YA contemporary fantasy novel, Core. Take it away, T!!

Tessa's photo

Hey everyone! I’ve launched a brand new series! ‘The System’ is YA, action/adventure, sci-fi/romance. And it’s gooood.
I wanted to share with you what it’s like to release an indie title, just in case you’re curious about seeing the inside of my brain.

6:30 am – Wake up way too early so you can make sure your book is actually up on amazon, even though you checked it 12 times the night before.
7:00 am – Refresh the page and check one more time.
7:15 am – Start tweeting about it for all your UK and EU fans who are probably on their lunch breaks. Freak out when they interact with you because you still can’t believe people think the virtual “you” is cool enough to talk to.
8:00 am – Check on your sales. They’re trickling in now.
9:00 am – Start annoying everyone who was dumb enough to sign up for your book release event on facebook. Tell them obvious things about how you’re ‘so excited.’ What you don’t tell them is that you’re having a series of small panic attacks. ‘What if no one buys anything? What if no one cares? What if they buy my book and they HATE it?!?!’
10:00 am – Eat breakfast, feed your baby, and juggle your phone in one hand so you can refresh you sales page every 30 seconds and see each sale as it rolls in because about now you’re manic and obsessing and you can’t stop checking.
11:00 am – Thank God your baby is napping and now you can get onto your lap and tweet and annoy more facebook and goodreads fans and thank people who are kind enough to retweet and share your book. Check on all the sites that agreed to promote you.
11:15 am – Freak out because you forgot to check your sales and OH MY GOD, some more people bought ‘The System’ and you may not end up being a failure after all!
12:00 pm – Eat before you pass out. Remember to blink. Remember to swallow the food in your mouth. Remember to breathe. Because by now you can see how well you’re ranking well on amazon.com and it’s giving you an aneurism.
1:00 pm – Post too many screenshots of your amazon ranking and beg people to get more copies because you’re DOING IT!
2:00 pm – Scheduled nervous breakdown. Because there’s no way someone can bottle up so many firework emotions for a whole day. Cry a little in the bathroom.
3:00 pm – Text your best friend and have her tell you to stop crying in the bathroom because you’re being ridiculous now.
4:00 pm – Call your mom and have her tell you to stop crying in the bathroom. But she tells you that you’re an inspiring, perfect human being in her eyes and she’s so proud and now she’s crying and you’re crying and everyone’s crying.
5:00 pm – You forgot that most people don’t sit on their phones all day while they’re at work. So now everyone is at home and on twitter and facebook and they’re being sweet and amazing and sales are picking up and you’re ranking number one in a few things.
6-9:00 pm – Keep yelling to your husband that you’re selling more books until he gets sick of hearing it. But you can’t stop yourself. For better or for worse, right??
9:30 pm – Gasp! Remember you’re doing a free promo of your first book alongside your launch of ‘The System.’ Check on the free stats for ‘Core.’ And realize that you’re KILLING IT. Then you start crying because OH MY GOD!
10-11:00 pm – It dawns on you. You’re indie. Which means you did this all on your own. And if it wasn’t for great friends and fans, you’d be nowhere doing nothing. And you go to bed with a smile. This is all you’ve ever wanted to do, and you’re doing it. You’re doing your dream.

The System cover art large

The System

1 + 1 = Dead.

That’s the only math that adds up when you’re in the System.

Everywhere Nick turns, he’s surrounded by the inevitability of his own demise at the hands of the people who stole his life from him. That is, until those hands deliver the bleeding, feisty, eye-rolling Nessa Parker. Tasked with keeping his new partner alive, Nick must face all the ways he’s died and all the things he’s forgotten.

Nessa might as well give up. The moment she gets into that car, the moment she lays her hazel eyes on her new partner, her end begins. It doesn’t matter that Nick Masters can slip through time by computing mathematical algorithms in his mind. It doesn’t matter how dark and handsome and irresistibly cold he is. Nessa has to defeat her own shadows.

Together and alone, Nick and Nessa make sense of their senseless fates and fight for the courage to change it all. Even if it means the System wins and they end up…well…dead.

Find the ebook for only 99 cents on Amazon!

Side note from Jamie: I got to Beta Read the first 5 chapters of The System and it’s AWESOME!
core-paperback

 

Cale can’t lie.

If only he could lie to the girl with the hard eyes and clenched fists, if only he could twist the truth, maybe he’d win her trust. But Cale can’t lie. And the only way to get ‘her’ is to tell her exactly what he is.

Journey through fight clubs, sky dungeons, and the perils of a forbidden world. Join Cale–an eighteen year old with one impossible secret–as he tears through the calloused blockade that is Ava Johnson.

And fearless Ava, buried in secrets of her own, faces the most frightening truth of her dark life.

She must learn to need someone.

Amazon: Also 99 cents right now!!
Another side note: Teshelle did an author visit at my middle school with this book (her debut novel) and the kids went nuts for it! Had to skip over some of the steamier parts when reading it to my class though.

You can connect with Teshelle at any of these places:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teshellecombsbooks

Website: http://teshellecombs.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeshelleCombs

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7038103.Teshelle_Combs

Email: teshellecombs@gmail.com

Thanks for stopping by Teshelle! And to everyone else, thanks for reading 🙂 Did you relate to Teshelle’s experience? I know I went through the same thing when publishing 18 Things and 18 Truths, even with the help of a publisher. If you’re still waiting patiently (HA!) to be published, don’t give up! Everything happens in God’s perfect timing.

News and Books

It’s the end of the school year, which explains why I’m a day late in posting my blog this week. Such a busy time as we wrap things up! I’m looking forward to sleeping in a little bit in just two weeks!

I hope all my friends who are Mom’s out there enjoyed your Mother’s Day weekend. Mine was fabulous! On Saturday, my 10-year-old spawn had her first piano/singing recital, a big milestone for my super shy girl. Then we went to Captiva Beach and ate at a fun place on the island called The Bubble Room, which is decorated like Christmas all year round and has the B*E*S*T cakes in the world!

All of that was enough to make my Mother’s Day complete, but then hubs and kids also bought me a box of my favorite Norman Love Chocolates, a book (the Official Illustrated Movie Companion guide to Divergent so I can drool over Theo James some more),  a Grumpy Cat shirt, and a new Huffy bike! I felt rather spoiled . . . not sure what I did to deserve all that as dinner rarely gets cooked and the house seldom cleaned between writing my 18 Things trilogy and teaching middle school, but I’ll take it 🙂

Mothers Day

On to the book portion of today’s blog . . .  I’d like to feature a novel from my publishing sister, Ayden Morgen. I finally got around to reading Fall, the second New Adult book in her Ragnarok Prophesies series.  The first book, Fade, I read as soon as it was out in 2012 as a way of checking out books Curiosity Quills Press had already published. I wasn’t disappointed . . . read it in twenty-four hours! To be honest, many times sequels fall flat for me, but this one doesn’t! Ayden did an excellent job with her second installment . . . the characters were compelling, the myths and the world she created around them were awesome, and I had all the right feels along the way. A few times I wished there was more dialogue and that the pacing moved along a bit faster, but that’s just my ADHD talking 🙂 Overall, I really enjoyed this story and suggest ya’ll add Fall to your summer reading list! Check out the synopsis below if you still need more convincing!

fall cover

How do you save someone who doesn’t want to be saved?

Those called to stand guard against the end are broken, and Sköll and Hati run free. Now Arionna Jacobs and Dace Matthews face a threat unlike any before. Ragnarök is coming and they aren’t strong enough to stop it.

Arionna thought she understood sacrifice, but she never counted on her destiny tearing Dace apart. Ever since she nearly died, he has been consumed with guilt. Now it threatens to turn him into the monster he always feared.

It’s up to Arionna to stop him before it’s too late, but the path to hell is paved with good intentions, and Dace is hurtling toward self destruction. This time, Arionna isn’t sure she can save him from himself. Can she convince him to let the past go, or is her true destiny to sacrifice her heart in exchange for the lives of the people she loves?

Also, two of my blogger buddies recently released the covers to their sequels . . . be sure to watch for these good reads!

champion in flight cover

Coming June 2nd!!

And PK Hrezo will release her sequel to Butterman Time Travel on August 31st! But you can add it to your Goodreads today!

induction day cover

So that’s what I’ve been up to . . . how has your week been? Wish me luck–tomorrow I chaperone a trip to the local waterpark for our 6th and 7th grade students. I only hope no pictures of me in a bathing suit end up on Instagram *shudders*