Which Way to Go?

Have you ever been at a crossroads in your life and didn’t know which way to go? Both paths have their positives and negatives, and your mind and heart are battling, so they aren’t helping either. When that happens, I pray for a sign of God’s will for me. I pray he’ll guide me to the one path that’s truly for my highest good and the good of those around me. I pray I’ll have the courage to follow his lead.

Two weeks ago, I was at a friend’s house. I’d never hung out at this friend’s house before, but this friend is also a teacher and works at my dream school doing my dream job. Her assistant principal called while I was there, asking if she knew of anyone who’d be interested in teaching tenth grade English for their international baccalaureate (IB) program (she teaches twelfth grade IB).  My friend asked me if I was interested. I was, but I kind of laughed at the offer. After all, I’d only been teaching middle school Language Arts for three years. She convinced me to at least take an interview, so we scheduled one for the next morning.

I was contemplating the new job offer all day, and then my mom showed up at my doorstop around five o’clock. My beautiful cousin, Angie, age forty-one, was dead. She’d traveled 14 hours by car a couple weeks earlier, and unbeknownst to her, a blood clot formed in her leg, eventually traveling to her heart and killing her.

Angie and me

Angie and me. She was a teacher, too. There were 400 people at her funeral. She made quite the impact.           R.I.P.

 

This was the third family member I’d lost in seven weeks. It’s hard to suffer the loss of someone you love, but I also know this is part of God’s plan, too. We’ll all die one day. None of us escapes it. Knowing we’re all part of some bigger destiny takes away some of the pain for me. As I stayed up late that night, too anxious and heartbroken to sleep, I realized the way to move beyond fear is to go through it and trust whatever is meant to be will be. The only reason I didn’t jump at the new job opportunity right away is because of my old anxieties, but God has steadfast belief in the abilities he’s given us, even when we doubt ourselves.

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My new classroom at Cape Coral High School, my alma mater!

I know this blog post isn’t focused on writing, but I think a lot of us, especially in the publishing world, tend to think of success in terms of how talented we are compared to ________ (insert favorite author’s name here) or how much money we make with our books (newsflash: I made $323 last month off 18 Things, so yeah, I’m not quitting my day job any time soon!).

But I think if we’re willing to seek the path the universe lays in front of us and keep moving forward through all the good days and not-so-good days, then that’s the true measure of success.

This has been a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, the brainchild of Head Ninja, Alex J. Cavanaugh. Feel free to join us the first Wednesday of every month! Purpose: To share and encourage.

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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 🙂

3 Books Sooo AWESOME You Won’t Believe It!!!

Two years ago in May, I entered a contest on a blog that changed my life forever. The blog was Sharon Bayliss, and the result was a publishing contract for my trilogy! On Sharon’s blog, I read about another success story from her contest. Her name was Jessa Russo, and I remember falling in love with her voice on her celebration post and wishing she lived in Florida instead of California because I knew we’d be great friends if she did. Who knew that a year later, she would be my new editor for the second and third installments of my trilogy! And by publishing my books, who knew I’d help inspire a dear friend named Tiffany Pastor who I met in college a long time ago in a galaxy far away (okay, not that far away, but the year 2000 does seem like forever ago) to write and publish her own book!

I owe these three ladies sooo much, so I wanted to highlight their new releases on my blog today!

First up is Sharon’s book, Destruction.

Destruction-Sharon Bayliss

David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn’t a choice.

Eleven years ago, David’s secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without. 
 
Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David’s wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.  

Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.

She had me at wizard!

Next up is the wonderfully talented Jessa with DIVIDE!

Divide cover

From senior class president to dejected social outcast, with just the flick of a match.

After accusations of torching her ex-boyfriend’s home are followed by the mysterious poisoning of her ex-best friend, seventeen-year-old Holland Briggs assumes her life is over. And it is. But not in the way she thinks.

As Holland learns the truth about her cursed fate—that she is descended from the Beast most have only ever heard of in fairytales—she unites with an unlikely ally, good-looking newcomer Mick Stevenson. 


Mick knows more about Holland’s twisted history than she does, and enlightening as it is to learn about, his suggestion for a cure is unsettling at best. Holland must fall in love with Mick in order to break the spell, and save their future generations from repeating her cursed fate. Having sworn off love after the betrayals of her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, this may be difficult to accomplish. 

Complicating things further for Holland and Mick, time runs out, and Holland’s change begins way before schedule. With Holland quickly morphing into a dangerous mythical creature, Mick struggles to save her. 

Should they fail, Holland will be lost to the beast inside her forever.
Who doesn’t love a YA Fantasy/Fairytale Redux?!?

DIVIDE: Goodreads | Amazon 

And last but not least is Tiffany Pastor, who really is a pastor! She married one of my good buddies in college & nobody wears that last name better (my daughter was even a flower girl in their wedding . . . didn’t use all her petals by the time she reached the alter, so she dumped her basket right there, lol). Her book, CHILDREN of the CITY, is a novel about child trafficking in America.

COTC cover
COTC tells the story of suffering through fictional characters and introduces the reality of darkness that so many people face every day. Research and statistics of atrocity are now given a face, given a name.BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANT than the nuts and bolts of the plot is the “WHY” behind the story. This is MORE than just book sales and bestselling lists! This is an opportunity for people to UNITE and make a difference since 40% of her proceeds go back to freedom fighting organizations!COTC empowers people like you and me to rise up and partner with freedom fighters all over the world.

DON’T THESE BOOKS LOOK AWESOME!!! I hope you’ll check them out, and I hope you’ll forgive me for neglecting to visit your blogs the past month while I finished 18 Thoughts. Good news is I sent it to my CP’s last night! It is finished . . . until they rip the manuscript to pieces. A little warning: the series didn’t end the way I planned. My characters changed their minds with 3 chapters left. Don’t you just love it when they do that?!?

 

In Rememberance and Why Books Matter

This past Saturday a twelve-year-old boy in my Language Arts classes died unexpectedly. I’m heartbroken, I’m ripped apart, I’m still in shock. But I’m also comforted. I’m going to share this story to illustrate how fictional books CAN and DO make a difference, because I know what a lonely profession this can be sometimes.

My student drowned in a canal near his home. His brother and neighbor tried to save him but were unable to revive him. For those that know my novel, 18 Things, it’s about a girl who tries to save her best friend from drowning but can’t and the book is her dealing with the guilt over that experience. My student who died went through books like water, a rare thing for a middle school boy. In fact, the first day of school, after telling me to sit him in the front because he was very hyperactive and wouldn’t pay attention otherwise (HA! LOVED his honesty!) . . . when I introduced myself and told them I’m an author, he immediately asked where he could get my novel. Two days later, he proudly carried 18 Things with him to class and told me it was his new favorite book.

When 18 Truths came out a month ago, he quickly grabbed a copy to read. A couple of weeks later, he ran to class. I told him, “Slow down!” He apologized and explained he wanted to be the first one there because he wanted to ask me some questions about my new book. I said, Ask away! I expected an interrogation about the plot twist at the end (he was quite angry with me for not having book #2 out right away after the plot twist in book #1 . . . did I tell you this was a boy after my own heart?!). You can imagine my surprise when he started asking me all these questions about God. Book #2 takes place in the Underworld . . . a recent book reviewer called it the Christian version of Percy Jackson. My student wanted to know if I made all of it up or if it was in the Bible. I told him I made it up, that’s why it’s in the “Fiction” section in the bookstore.

B&N placement

But I told him I definitely focused on the goodness of God because I think of that as a universal truth. Yes, I know we’re not supposed to talk about God in public schools, but he brought up the subject and I can’t explain things any other way except that the conversation felt right. We talked about how a lot of books that take place in the Underworld don’t mention God at all. Or how many characters act like they don’t believe in God or don’t know if He exists, even ones that have angels and demons in the plot (City of Bones comes to mind, as that’s one of the 8 books our students are encouraged to read this year for school). It was a great discussion, and then the bell rang and that was the end of it.

Then two weeks ago I announced to my classes that we were going to study Romeo and Juliet. Of course I was instantly met with groaning and gnashing of teeth. But the discussion that followed about modern-day examples of groups of people not getting along got very heated.  My student mentioned the holocaust, and much to my surprise, not only did he know practically EVERYTHING about it, my other students knew virtually nothing. It was then that I realized he (the boy who died) is Jewish. The class was riveted listening to him. Anyway, at the end of class, he told me the lesson was epic, he’d never forget it, and that when he was older, he wanted to be one of those Jewish Christians but he didn’t want to tell his parents because he thought they might be mad. I told him I thought that already thinking about such things at age twelve was very impressive, and he said, “Well, I’m a very curious kid.” I laughed and agreed with him. Then he dropped this on me: “Actually, it was your books that got me thinking more and more about God.” Can you say tears? He thanked me for the lesson, told me to have a good afternoon, and was on his way. That was the type of boy he was. Well-mannered, kind, curious, generous, always a smile for everyone, an “underdog.” He classified himself as one since he was small for his age, but always said what he lacked in size he made up for with his big personality. I couldn’t agree more.

I’m honored to have been part of his journey, though I’m terribly sad tonight. When brainstorming ideas with his class about ways we can memorialize him, they mentioned naming one of my book characters after him in the last installment of my trilogy since he loved to read and loved my books. I thought the idea was perfect.

Today I attended his funeral. As I looked at the destroyed faces of his parents, I was humbled by how easily our babies can be taken from us at any time. Even though right now I’m still questioning God about why this happened, I’m comforted that in the midst of mourning, He comes to us. In the darkness, His spirit moves. At the point of our deepest despair, He is closest. If you pray, I’d ask that you keep his family, friends, classmates, and teachers in your thoughts this week as we figure out how to move on without him.

I will say I don’t question my purpose in being an author anymore. Yes, it’s tough work, but if the sole purpose of my books was to touch this young man’s life and draw him closer to God before he died, then that’s all the reason I need to know publishing this trilogy was the right decision.

The TRUTH Comes Out!

Last week I posted “2 Truths and a Lie” about myself as part of the blogfest I hosted in honor of my sequel, 18 TRUTHS, coming out.

Well, today is my book birthday! Yay! Putting on my party hat and doing the happy dance around my living room. Also, it’s time to reveal the LIES so we can celebrate the TRUTH today!

truth

The options were:

1) I met my husband when I was 14, heard a voice in my head that said I would marry him one day, then actually married him when I was 18 years old.

2) I’ve been on two international mission trips and on one in Jamaica, I randomly met Queen Latifah, and then met Chris O’Donnell in Ireland on the other one.

3) This is my 13th year teaching public school, and I once had to save a child’s life who was choking on a mint in my classroom.

And the lie is . . . *imagine dramatic drumroll*

#2! I tried to hide the truth in a half lie, like most talented pathological liars 😉 I did meet Queen Latifah in Jamaica when we took one fun day on our trip and went to a waterfall. It was a secluded waterfall, not a heavy tourist attraction, but that was exactly what Latifah was looking for. She was hung over, so wouldn’t allow pictures, but did indulge people with autographs when asked. Very nice lady!

And I did kinda ‘meet’ Chris O’Donnell, but not in Ireland, although I thought I’d fool you with his Irish heritage! He also has family in Michigan, just like me! Last time my whole family went to MI, he was on our departing flight! I kept telling hubs it was him, but he wouldn’t believe me b/c he traveled alllll the way in the back, right behind us, without any fanfare. So when he passed our seats, I asked him, “Are you Chris O’Donnell?” He nodded and said, “Yes, I am.” I then hit hubs on the arm and yelled, “Told you so!” like any mature wife would 🙂 Then hubs wanted to bother him for an autograph, but he was with his rather large family and I told him we shouldn’t. Our kids were excited since they love the American Girl movie, Kit, in which he played Kit’s dad. (RANDOM SIDENOTE: I’m watching Jimmy Kimmel now & Chris O’Donnell is on . . . I’m taking this as a good sign, right?! Too funny!)

We had some really good lie detectors in our group! I didn’t announce this before, but if you guessed my lie correctly, you’ve won an ecopy (Kindle or Nook) of 18 Truths. I think there were at least a dozen of you . . . just email me through the Contact Me button at the top of the page ^ with the email you’d like me to send the file to!

THANK YOU to everyone who posted, played, and donated 18 prizes . . . I counted 44 who participated through blogs or Facebook, but I probably didn’t see all of Facebook. I’ll keep the Rafflecopter going while I’m on my blog tour. It’s at the top of my page to the RIGHT. And the tour has already started! Yesterday, I visited our Head Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh to discuss what Darth Vader taught me about failure. Today I’m at Teacher Writer’s blog, posting about a book ending I wish I could change.

I will say this. If you already plan on purchasing 18 Truths, will you consider doing so today? We’re going to try and push 18 Truths to the top of Amazon with a book bomb!

A book bomb means coordinating hundreds of sales on Amazon.com on one particular day (January 28th) for one particular book (18 Truths). It’s a great way to get a copy for yourself (ebook or paperback) at a great price, while raising money for a good cause! Because all the money from opening day sales will go to Gulf Middle (the school where I teach–and our library is in desperate need of an upgrade) and the United Mitochondrial Foundation in support of a local 6-year-old boy named Gavin Lawrey suffering from Mito disease (you can also purchase Mighty Mito Superhero, written by 9yo Makenzie Lawrey, who is a former student of mine. ALL her proceeds from her book will also go to UMF).

Can an ordinary middle school Language Arts teacher make Amazon’s Top 100 Best Selling List?

Most Super Big TRUTH ever: YES! But I will need to sell at least 500 books in the first 24 hours to do so. If this happens, I’ll donate my royalties from the entire first week to Gulf Middle and the Mito Foundation!

I want the younger generation to break free from low expectations and believe in impossible dreams—like their ordinary teacher making the New York Times Best Selling List! I hope it’s your heart’s cry to inspire the next generation as well. I also think 18 Things (Kindle book on sale for 99 cents this week!) and 18 Truths contain a powerful message for today’s youth. The trilogy is my humble attempt to put into words the message of a powerful work God did in me. Yes, it’s a fiction book, but at its core, it celebrates our significance to God. We are not forgotten. He collects our tears in a bottle. And going through hell is worth it if it leads us to the place God has. I hope my trilogy will not only entertain, but serve as a reminder of these timeless truths during this generation’s teen years—and throughout life (my oldest reader is 96).

If you want to help, the most important thing you can do is to help us spread the word and download a copy of 18 TRUTHS for  yourself today!

Together we can do this! Let’s push 18 Truths to the top and believe impossible dreams!

And if you still don’t know what 18 Truths is about, here’s the synopsis:

18 Truths high resolution image

 Lying is unbearable, betrayal is inevitable, and choosing which path to take is impossible.

Olga Gay Worontzoff ended her senior year as an eighteen-year-old girl totally in love with Nate, enjoying their new romance and about to attend the university of her dreams. Now she’s spending her summer in the weird subculture of the Underworld, with charmingly witty and powerful angels, and problematic demons, trying to rescue Connor, the best friend and secret crush she was unable to save during a freak accident.

But Nate has other things on his mind, mainly Grace. She’s their first assignment as joint spirit guides, and Olga’s feeling hurt and jealous. His mysterious behavior has Olga questioning everything she believed about him and now she must decide whether to stick to their plan, or follow her heart. Unfortunately, a series of mistakes threatens everyone around her and plants Olga in the center of cosmic events much larger than she ever imagined.

Only one thing is certain: the chilling truths uncovered during her journey will leave no one untouched.

Can’t wait to see how many lies I guessed correctly! See you around the blogosphere and THANK YOU for your support 🙂

The 12 Books of Christmas! Holiday Buyers Guide for YA Book Lovers!

 

holiday pic

My two favorite young people

Sometime during the Christmas season, you’ll probably be shopping for a young adult in your life (or if you’re like my husband, shopping for your wife who still acts like a young adult). You might be scratching your head at what to get someone between the ages of 13-19, but have no fear, Jamie is here! I scanned my Goodreads log and picked out 12 YA books I read across the genres this year, ones that I would for sure recommend to anyone age 13 and up!

On the 12th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . A Fractured Fairy Tale.

Alice in Zombieland and Through the Zombie Glass

This is a great modern-day twist on a beloved story! You can’t buy one without buying the other because you’ll want to read the sequel right away!

On the 11th, 10th, and 9th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Historical Fiction.

A few picks on this one:

The Book Thief (World War II-era story . . . yeah, you’ve heard the story, but not from Death’s POV)

The Red Umbrella (Cuban politics and history . . . I know it sounds boring, but it’s totally not! EVERYONE should read this!)

The Infernal Devices (England during the Victorian era–this is an admixture of the real history and the unreal since it features paranormal elements. This trilogy is a prequel to The Mortal Instruments books, which if you didn’t read, you might’ve seen the movie this year!)

On the 8th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Paranormal Romance.

Ever and Evade are another two-for-one deal in the same series. Get your pot of coffee ready when reading this one because you’ll want to pull an all nighter, but so much more fun than studying for exams!

On the 7th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Inspirational Romance.

KIYA: Hope of the Pharaoh. This book was put out by my publisher this year, and it was one of my favorite reads. It could also fall under historical fiction. What a fun way to learn! Book #2, KIYA: Mother of a King is sitting on my Kindle, waiting to be read over my Christmas vacation!

On the 6th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Mythological Fiction.

Tangled Tides. Love the tag line: Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters–until she becomes one. This book is so good, seriously one of my 13yo favs!

On the 5th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Magical Realism/Adventure Fiction.

Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game. Of course, if you’re feeling like winning the title, “Aunt of the Year” then go ahead and buy all 5 books in the series for your tween/teen, but all of the stories can also stand alone. Who doesn’t love the idea of Disney characters coming to life, no matter what age you are!

One the 4th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Fantasy Fiction.

Core. This is the debut novel by a talented writer and friend who attends the same church as me. I have one word for ya: Dragons. Really, what more do you need?

On the 3rd Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . . Sci-Fi/Dystopian Fiction.

Under the Never Sky and Through the Ever Night. Yep, another two-for-one deal here. Can’t recommend these books enough. Out of 5 stars, I’d give them 10! If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, this is a must read! And since it’s told through dual narrative, the hero and heroine’s POV, it offers broad appeal.

On the 2nd and 1st Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Contemporary Coming of Age Fiction.

The Moon and More. I’m in love with Sarah Dessen. She is my literary girl crush. I could read nothing but her books for the rest of my life, and I’d be in heaven!

18 Things.  I may be biased here, but this is one heck of a book! Hahaha . . . could also fit under Inspirational and Paranormal Romance, but the overall arc of the series is definitely first and foremost a coming of age tale.

I could go on and on . . . why did the song have to be the 12 Days of Christmas?! So many books, so little time. Some other honorable mentions are the 4 novels I’m reading with my Language Arts classes right now: The Girl Who Threw Butterflies, Legend, Janitors, and Cinder.

*What about you? What books would you recommend buying as gifts for the holiday season, YA or otherwise? Read any of these books? Yay or Nay to my picks?

Help Me With My Blurb, PLEEEAAAASSSSE!!

Many of you doing NaNoWriMo know that writing 50,000 words isn’t easy . . . but guess what’s harder? Summing up your novel in ten sentences or less! Now if you’re smarter than me (and I’m not too proud to admit that most of you are), you’ve already written the blurb before you began writing. Well, not only have I not done that for the book I’m writing in November (my third book in the 18 Things Trilogy), but I haven’t even perfected the blurb for the second book, even though 18 Truths comes out at the end of January! Eeep!

So with 2 1/2 months before my book birthday, my publisher asked me for the blurb to put it up on Goodreads so people can add it to their TBR shelf (well, hopefully they will). Which led me to go hide in a corner and ask, “Oh, was I supposed to have that finalized already?” Oops!

Which really translated to . . . I haven’t even written the blurb AT ALL YET! So I sat down October 30th, before Halloween and this whole national write a novel in a month stuff began, and I wrote my blurb. But I haven’t had time to perfect the darn thing. I know it’s toooo long, but I can’t figure out what to cut, so I’m asking ya’ll to wield your literary swords and help me cut this down a bit. I’d truly appreciate any feedback. Here it goes:

Olga Gay Worontzoff ended her senior year as an eighteen-year-old girl totally in love with Nate, her new boyfriend, and about to attend the university of her dreams. Then her therapist delivered the mind-blowing news that changed everything.

Now she’s spending her summer in the weird subculture of the Underworld, where there’s charmingly witty and powerful angels, along with some characteristically problematic demons. But the strength of Olga and Nate’s own personal demons are the greatest of all. Nate’s still grappling with the destruction he left behind and Olga’s haunted by the memory of Conner, the best friend and secret crush she was unable to save during a freak accident. Olga’s one hundred percent convinced Conner is somewhere in the Underworld. Driven by a mixture of guilt and curiosity, she sets out to unlock the secrets her therapist has kept hidden so she can have her second chance at rescuing her first love.

But Nate wants nothing to do with Olga’s hidden agenda. He has other things on his mind, mainly Grace. She’s their first assignment as joint spirit guides and Olga’s feeling a little hurt and—ahem—jealous. His mysterious nature has Olga questioning everything she ever believed about him and now she must decide whether to stick to their plan, or follow her heart. Unfortunately, she makes a series of mistakes that threatens everyone she has come in contact with and unknowingly plants herself in a center of events much larger than she ever imagined.

Lying is unbearable, betrayal is inevitable, and choosing between which path to take is impossible.

Only one thing is for certain: the truths that are uncovered during her journey will leave no one untouched.

*What do you think?

18 Things List for Clara from Champion in the Darkness!!

Hi,  ya’ll! And Happy Over-the-Hump Day! I have a very special treat for you! You may recall my cover reveal for Tyrean Martinson’s Champion In The Darkness a couple of weeks ago. I’m not exactly sure on what blog Tyrean and I first met, but I LOVE her! And today, she’s baaack, with a very creative list of 18 Things. Her tie-in made me smile . . . Enjoy!

*Thanks, Jamie*

Inspired by Jamie’s book 18 Things, I thought it would be fun to create an 18 Things list for my main character, Clara, from Champion In the Darkness. I imagine that these are Clara’s 18 Things from the beginning of her story. Unlike Olga, I think this is Clara’s lifetime list. She doesn’t necessarily get to fulfill all of them in the book, but she gets in a little less than half of them. (I won’t say which ones)

Clara’s 18 Things:

1. Enter the Chamber of Swords, and choose a blade of power, the kind only carried by Sword Masters in the land of Septily.

2. Become a Sword Guard like her mom, or a Sword Scout like her unofficial mentor, Stelia.

3. Sneak into the castle and gather information about the King’s Shadow Guards, a mercenary group he hired to replace his Sword Guards.

4. Spar with her friend Salene nearly every day of her life.

5. Be the best Sword Master she can be.

6. Learn how to play an instrument like her dad.

7. Find out about her mom’s secretive past.

8. Protect her country from any outside attack, especially from the Drinaii army and the Dark Sisterhood led by Kalidess.

9. Travel to all seven districts of Septily to complete her training.

10. Go sailing.

11. Travel to the Far Isles, to Destiny Island, and the Trader’s Cove.

12. Swim in the ocean by the Far Isles.

13. Visit Aerland, the country of the griffins and the griffin riders.

14. Fly on a griffin.

15. Haggle with a Trader from Trader’s Cove.

16. Go on a quest.

17. Play the most memorable prank in Septily, ever, but not something that would get her in trouble or cause any damage.

18. Fall in love.

If you want to know more about Clara and which of these 18 things she gets to do, check out Champion In the Darkness.

And I highly encourage you to read Jamie Ayres’ 18 Things. It’s an inspiring book!

*Awww, thanks girlfriend!! And I highly encourage YOU to read Champion In the Darkness!! Can I just say that my favorites from Clara’s list were: #18, #17, #16, and #10! Thanks for sharing, Clara!*

Champion in the Darkness Cover

The Blurb:

Clara is younger than most trainees, but she is ready to hold a Sword Master’s blade. While visions and ancient prophecies stand in her way, they also offer a destiny unlike any other. Clara is aided by a haunted mentor, Stelia, whose knowledge of their enemy Kalidess is both a bane and a blessing. As evil threatens their land, Clara and Stelia must find the strength to overcome the darkness.

*Champion in the Darkness is YA Christian Fantasy, and is the first book in the Champion Trilogy*

Tyrean Martinson

Tyrean Martinson lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest, encouraged by her multi-talented husband and daughters. She likes to write, read, teach, ski, bicycle, walk, and sometimes she likes to sing and dance in the rain.

Using her degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English, Tyrean homeschools her two daughters and teaches writing and literature classes at a homeschool co-op.

Tyrean has been published in e-zines like Every Day Poets, Every Day Fiction and Mindflights, and a few print anthologies like The Best of Every Day Poets and Sunday Snaps: The Stories. Champion in the Darkness is her first book, but she plans to write many more.

Champion in the Darkness can be found at these links:

Amazon for paperback and kindle  

Nook

Kobo

Smashwords

Goodreads

Tyrean Martinson can be found at these links:

 Blog  

Twitter

Facebook

Thanks so much, Tyrean! And now, completely off subject . . . I know this video has been going around the web for the past month, but I just got the chance to watch it today and wanted to share the Pep Talk from Kid President (AKA Soulpancake).