IWSG: Making Amends

Hi *waves & shouts Happy Hump Day!* My name is Jamie Ayres and I’m a bookaholic. If you are too, then you’ve come to the right place!


My friend, Amy, shared this with me on FB–too funny!

*Clears throat and adjusts microphone on the podium* One great thing about life is that it’s full of second chances. This is a brand-new day, a whole new beginning, and I’m lucky to be able to call upon friends and family to support me!

I have to confess . . . the release of my debut  coming of age novel, 18 Things, did not go as well as a I hoped. So now, eight months later, when my publisher offered to make some amendments to it, including clickable links at the end of several chapters, I was very excited! There are ten quotes they picked out to be featured at the end of some chapters, and you can click on a link in the ebook that posts it directly to either Twitter or Facebook!

The chapters  without a quote to share still had a page break between each chapter that looked a bit jarring, so we took some of the Literature Circle Questions from the back of the book and added them to the back of the corresponding chapters. As much as I try to turn it off, I was and still am a teacher first. I know firsthand how hard teachers work to provide the most engaging novels they can find, and I wanted to make their job a bit easier with these questions. Of course, even if you aren’t a teacher or student, I hope these questions provide the perfect bonus material for making your 18 Things journey a thoroughly gratifying, enriching, and most of all, interesting read. If you’ve read 18 Things, you know how much I adore quotes. One of my favorites is by Harper Lee: “The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think.”

So, now I have a few favors to ask . . . if you’re not too sick of me yet! *Gulp* I created an Accelerated Reader quiz for 18 THINGS, but it’s only available at the middle school where I teach now. In order for it to be a national quiz, many many people have to request it on their site. It’ll literally only take you a minute! If you’re not a teacher or don’t have a kid in school, please put “Gulf Middle”  when it asks for a school. Here’s the info and the link: Quiz Type: Reading Practice. Series: 18 Things. Publisher: Curiosity Quills. Interest Level: Middle Grades Plus. Year Pub’d: 2013. ISBN: 978-1-62007-151-9 . . . (if you’re not familiar with the AR program & you write MG or YA, make sure you peruse the sight to see about requesting your book as well).

Now that the book has been updated and book #2, 18 Truths, has been written and going through edits, I need blog reviewers for a blog review tour to create some buzz before the sequel is released! If you’ve already read 18 Things, I hope you’ll send me your details so I can have my publisher’s tour organizer hook you up! If not… jump in! I’ll supply you with an e-copy for your Kindle or Nook, and you will go in the running to win autographed paperbacks of both 18 Things and 18 Truths with some cool swag when it releases!

If you don’t have a blog, but you’re reading mine (thank you), would you be willing to post a review on Goodreads if you’re a member or even Amazon or Barnes & Noble?

And finally, if you’ve already reviewed 18 Things and hope to review 18 Truths BEFORE it releases, please let me know that as well 🙂 It won’t release until January 2014, but if you suffer from bookaholism like me, then you also have a MASSIVE pile of books on your TBR list . . . so I’m trying to give you a four month timeframe here. And if you don’t think you can do it by then, well, you’re just sick and you need to get a grip on your TBR problem. Seriously *shakes head in shame*

I’m excited about the release of book #2, but I’m also anxious and afraid. Authors bleed onto the page and live for ‘word of mouth’ stuff. I want my release for book #2 to be bigger and better, so I’m trying to be more organized. Hopefully, I’ve learned a thing or two! Hopefully, you have a tip or two to share with me!! I don’t know everything yet *Hears everyone out in cyberspace yelling one collective “DUH!”*

THANKS ALL, and don’t think I won’t return the favor for any of you . . . just let me know what I can do! After all, that’s why we’re part of the Alex’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. See ya back here the first Wednesday of November! Don’t forget we have our own Twitter hashtag to keep in touch between now & then: #IWSG. Also, who’s excited about the new IWSG website? I know I am!!!

Buccaneer Blogfest and IWSG

P.S. For those inquiring about where the “About the Author” section was, it’s also been added to the back of the book in the new amendment. So now when I see random middle schoolers reading my book at the post office and I tell them I’m the author, they won’t run away screaming from me because I can prove I AM the author. Okay, that’s a lie. They’ll probably still run screaming from me . . . I have that kind of effect on people.

Okay, that’s all. But don’t forget to let me know if you want to review 18 Things or 18 Truths *stares expectantly* Don’t worry, I won’t go all Kayne West on you and start a major twitter rant if you don’t volunteer 🙂 Okay, I really must go now. I’m suffering from major book withdrawal . . . happens after I haven’t read a page for an hour *wipes drool off keyboard*


IWSG–Author Appreciation Day

Wow, I can’t believe it’s May 1st already! That means only 3 weeks left in the school year *squeeee* Sometimes I think us teachers are more excited for summer than the students, lol. This first Wednesday of the month also means it’s time for Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

It’s been 98 days since my debut novel, 18 Things, released. 98 is a lucky number for me since it’s the year hubs and I tied the knot 🙂 But I’d say the thing I was most insecure about these first 3 months is what others would think of my book. Most of my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads have been 4 or 5 stars so far (thank you, Jesus *wipes forehead*), but as my publisher submits 18 Things to Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble for in-store distribution, I sure could use some more reviews! So it seems perfect that Susie Levine is hosting a great blog hop to celebrate authors! Here’s what I read about it on Krystal Wade’s blog today:


Without the ratings, without the few sentences from a happy reader, it makes it harder for a new reader to come along and snatch up the book. How many times have you seen a book on Amazon and not purchased it because it didn’t have enough reviews?

Here you’ll find a link back to her original post and the sign-up code.

Make sure you write a review for a book you’ve read, loved, and never mentioned to your friends or family or Goodreads. Post it on your blog. On Amazon. On Shelfari. Wherever you like to rant and rave.

Authors are sometimes insecure and in need of a pick-me-up. So hug them!

Buccaneer Blogfest and IWSG

I admit I usually star my books on goodreads, but I’m not great about leaving comments. I just went back and updated some of my more recent books to include some kind words, because they go a looong way 🙂 My publisher just sent me two surveys from my book this week, and I wish the readers would’ve posted it somewhere, because they were positive *YAY!* Instead, I’ll share them with you here:
“Great book…very impressed. I normally call the twists early, but this book surprised me. Very refreshing! Can’t wait for the next one!”
“I read a lot of books. YOUR BOOK I got lost in right from the beginning. I couldn’t put it down. It’s now one of my favorites. I can’t wait to read 18 Truths. I love the characters, plot, the quotes in each Chapter, and the flow of the story.
I would love to get this book in hardback, because I think you will be a future Best Seller.”
Awww, pretty cool, right? I seriously appreciate each and every review, even the ones less than 4 stars.
One new release you might want to check out and leave a review for is KIYA: Hope of the Pharaoh by Katie Teller. Click on the link to learn about her awesome blog hop!

You can now buy it on Amazon and Kobo! To celebrate, here’s a quick excerpt from the book:

A smirk spread across his face and he chuckled.

“You are amusing. I hope you let the Pharaoh see that.”

“Oh, I will.” I smiled. “Once I no longer feel he may throw me to the crocodiles for it.”

He folded his arms and grinned at me.

“He needs someone who can make him laugh. He lives a very tiresome existence and never has a moment to relax.”

“Do you wish me to oblige?” I asked.

He nodded. “Oh yes, Kiya. Make him love you, make him hold you in his highest regard. That will humble our Great Queen and remove her from her station, so she no longer feels she and her daughters have a right to the throne.”

I sighed. “Well, I can do my best, but I am not as pretty as many, or as young.”

“But you are honest, and he will appreciate that among all the liars he is faced with every day.”

*Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?!?

And before I go, I just have to brag on my 12yo daughter for a second. Since the last time I blogged, she was awarded First Place for Level 2 entries in the WHOLE STATE OF FLORIDA for the Letters For Literature essay contest. She even won $100 with it! I’d love to share her essay about Lauren Myracle’s book, Thirteen, but it’ll have to wait until after the national judging is over. Keep your fingers crossed for her!

Oh, and if you’ve read 18 Things, you know all about my fictional band, Cantankerous Monkey Squad. My talented friend sang the spoof of the “Good Riddance” song I put in the book: “Ode to a Septic Tank.” Hope you enjoy a laugh, and if you do decide to post a book review, I hope you didn’t think 18 Things was crap! Hahaha . . . .