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!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Advertisements

Tidbits From UtopYA Con 2014

IWSGHEADER

They say knowledge is power. I learned so much at UtopYA Con that every Wednesday this month I’ll be posting about it. Today, I’ll recap a few things our keynote speakers said.

First up is Sylvia Day with “What I Wish I’d Known Then.” She said writers make bad business decisions because they are afraid, seeking validation, or because they haven’t done their due diligence. Um, yes, yes, and yessss!!! Don’t be afraid to be a publishing whore & try everything! Also, don’t let deadlines dictate the quality of your books. Readers will wait for a good book, but they will drop you like a hot potato for a bad book. And read everything- things you don’t even think you’ll like. Finally, Dream Big & Plan Smart!

On Saturday, we heard from Gennifer Albin, who spoke on Empowering Female Writers & Readers. Her message revolved around a blog post she did on Hope (which you should read. WARNING: grab a box of tissues). Some thoughts that stuck for me during her speech:

Dreams don’t always fit in convenient boxes during life allotted stages. Art isn’t always meant to be created in quiet moments alone. There will always be naysayers- often these are the ones who should be offering us support. But use your words when you feel crippled.

I’ve been holding onto her words about hope. Sales for my sequel, 18 Truths, have been way down. I crunched some numbers & discovered I sold 1,582 ebooks of 18 Things the first year it was out. Since 18 Truths came out in January, I’ve sold 210 ecopies 😦 At this point, I’m wondering why do I even publish the last novel in the trilogy, 18 Thoughts, if nobody is going to read the darn book?

This has been a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Sign up if you’re looking to offer some encouragement or need to be encouraged.

Some peeps at UtopYA-recognize anyone you know?

Some peeps at UtopYA-recognize anyone you know?

 

Spreading Good News and 3 Parts To A Kickbutt Love Triangle

It’s Sunday! I hope you remembered to count your blessings today 🙂 Here are some of mine from this week:

  • 18 TRUTHS released on Tuesday to instant best-selling status on Amazon: #3 in Coming of Age, #3 in Children’s Paranormal, #9 in Children’s Sci.Fi. It’s still trending in the top 40 in the first two categories. Hoping it never leaves the top 100 as people remain faithful to share its message with others!
  • 18 THINGS has also trended in the top 100 for Coming of Age and Paranormal with its 99 cent Kindle sale, going on through Tuesday, Feb. 4th
  • So far, all the reviews have been 5 stars on Amazon, Goodreads, and B&N.com (only one on there, but still). And yesterday, my publisher forwarded me my first end-of-book survey. The reader rated everything excellent and left me a message at the end: ‘Jamie, this book was a wonderful piece of literature. I enjoyed 18 Things but 18 Truths was way more than I expected. I was glad that the book left me satisfied but still wanting/waiting for more. I loved how you kept God at a true state in most teenagers minds. They have questions, confusion and searching when it comes to finding, relying, and trusting God. Any young person reading this book may feel relief. It’s never too late to find the truth and believe. When my daughters are older this is a definite read for them.’ . . . how awesome is that?!
  • 18 TRUTHS blog tour kicked off to an awesome start, with posts continuing through Feb. 17th! Incase you missed it, on Wednesday I posted an exclusive interview with Nate on Katie Teller’s blog. On Thursday, it was another exclusive interview with Conner on T.F. Walsh’s blog. On Friday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Conner and Olga together over at Tara Tyler’s blog. Then yesterday, I shared my 18 Truths playlist on Teshelle Comb’s blog.
  • My former student and my daughter’s BFF, 9-yo Makenzie Lawrey, also released her book, Mighty Mito Superhero, to instant best-selling status. On release day, she trended in Amazon’s top 500 in the whole store! And in her first 4 days of release, she sold over 500 copies! That’s more than I can say! The best thing? ALL the proceeds from her book go toward the United Mitochondrial Foundation in honor of her little brother, Gavin. Please share about her book and/or buy yourself a copy to help her reach her goal of raising 1 Million Dollars!
  • The 18 Truths Rafflecopter Giveaway has over 130 entries now! You can enter at the top right of my blog ^ until Feb. 17th for the chance at winning one of eighteen wonderful prizes donated by fantastic people! One of those fantastic people happens to be EDC Johnson, and today, she’s visiting my blog! YAY! Take it away, Elizabeth!

EDC Johnson

Three Main Aspects That Make a Good Love-Triangle

There are three main aspects that make a good love-triangle:  both of the potential romantic leads need to have contrast, there must be both pros and cons for the protagonist to be involved with either choice and finally the protagonist must be riddled with indecision.

In my novel Moonflower, the two love interests, Lucius Conrí and Donovan Conrí, are brothers with very different personalities.  Not only is Donovan the older brother, he was raised to be the next heir as Marquess.  He serves in the military and takes his future very seriously.  In great contrast Lucius, as the younger brother, knows that he is not destined for greatness like his brother.  He did not have the luxury of countless tutors preparing him for his future.  Konrad, an old alchemist, was his only teacher but also became a mentor and friend.  He is a hard worker but focuses his energy in the here-and-now.  These qualities present two distinct choices, no Ménage à trois in this YA book.

For a love triangle to truly sizzle the characters need flawed realism.  If any character is too good to be true then it gets annoying and pointless.  Donovan has some in-your-face pros and cons.  At first the reader may not be sold on him as a possible love interest.  Although he is smokin’ hot, Donovan’s demeanor is judgmental, exclusive and self-important.  Our heroine, Josephine Woods, has to peel away his layers to discover his inner self.  His confidence, maturity and passion make him a total babe.

Lucius is the younger energetic brother with a bit of growing up to do.  He wears his heart on his sleeve and acts impulsively.  Despite his weaknesses he has lots of love to give and a kind heart.  He wants the best for all the people in his land.  Lucius is crazy about Josie and, hey, what girl doesn’t like that?!

These amazing qualities and intriguing flaws makes it difficult for Josie to decide which brother is the one for her.  Throw in her desire to return home, away from them altogether, and she becomes apprehensive to invest too much into either of the two boys.  The inner struggle Josie has debating between Donovan and Lucius is the crown to this royal affair.  The suspense and the process excites the reader and allows them to develop a favorite brother to root for.  Team Donovan or team Lucius, which will you be?

Moonflower Cover

EDC Johnson grew up in the Midwest, graduating from Michigan State University with her BFA in Art Education and her MA in Art Education from Western Michigan University. She currently lives with her husband and daughter in Palm Harbor, Florida. Her decade of experience as a public school art teacher has inspired her to write fiction novels that will entice young readers. You may see some of her illustrations in
Renee Mallet’s: Fairies, Mermaids, and Other Mystical Creatures.

You can find more information about EDC Johnson and her novel Moonflower at:

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Moonflower-EDC-... (KINDLE SALE NOW FOR ONLY 99 CENTS!!)

Website:  http://www.edcjohnson.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/EDCJohnson

*What are some blessings your thankful for this Sunday? Rooting for the Broncos or the Seahawks tonight? Read 18 Truths or Moonflower yet? Do you agree with Elizabeth’s thoughts on love triangles? See you on Wednesday, when I help co-host for the IWSG!

Cyber Monday Blowout!

Post-Banner-Cyber-Monday-Blowout-513x255

The holidays are in full swing – which means it’s time to start shopping! For the first time EVER, Curiosity Quills Press is offering deals on the biggest online shopping day of the year. On Monday, December 2nd (and extending through December 3rd), prepare for savings you’ve never dreamed of.

Now is the time to add some of our best-selling titles to your bookshelves for jaw-dropping, heart-stopping, world-rocking low prices. You can read the best in science-fiction, horror, mystery fantasy and paranormal fiction by authors like A.K. Morgen, Aidan James, A.W. Exley, James Wymore, Katie Hamstead, and of course, Jamie Ayres for only 99 cents!

Here’s the link for 18 THINGS . . . it’s rocking the top 100 today in the Coming of Age category, but I’d love to see it in the top 50, or 20, or 10 (then it really would feel like Christmas)! Why not be a secret elf & gift someone an early Christmas present to their Kindle?!

P.S. You don’t need to own a Kindle . . . you can download the app onto your phone, iPad, laptop . . . for free!

P.S.S. I’ll see you Wednesday for my regular scheduled programing with Insecure Writer’s Support Group!

P.S.S.S. You should check out my friend’s Fairy Tales Out Loud podcast. His new comic fantasy novel STILTSKIN arrives in just 7 days! The unique world and writings of Andrew Buckley are highly entertaining!