IWSG-Do I Belong Here?

I’ve been chained to my laptop since March 16th, trying to finish up the last installment of my trilogy, 18 Thoughts (can’t wait to show you the gorgeous cover!!!) . . . so I sorta forgot today was the first Wednesday of the month until I checked my inbox when I got home and saw Alex J. Cavanaugh’s blog post. Oops!

IWSGHEADER

And I really wanted to tell the Insecure Writer’s Support Group all about my experience at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival, so I’m taking a quick break from writing to blog. When my publisher submitted my name for this festival, I never actually thought they’d accept me. They always bring in HUGE authors for the super Saturday event held every March. This year was no different . . . W. Bruce Cameron, Sue Monk Kidd, Julia Quinn, Jill Shalvis, Rick Yancey . . . the list goes on and on, including . . . Jamie Ayres?

I attended the Friday night Evening With the Authors reception the night before, and Melody Carlson and Tyler Whitesides sat at my table!! Every kid I know is obsessed with Tyler’s Janitors series (I read the first book to four of my classes) and Melody Carlson has written over 200 books, won the Rita, and had one of her books made into a major motion picture. It was her novel, Diary of a Teenage Girl, that motivated me to write inspirational fiction for teens! Hubs had to keep kicking me under the table so I wouldn’t fangirl too much.

Then I got to the festival the next morning and caught Sue Monk Kidd’s speech before heading over to my tent. And it was, as Oprah would say (since Oprah did pick her latest novel, The Invention of Wings, as her book club pick), it was A*M*A*Z*I*N*G!!!

But as I walked to my tent, fear and worry gripped me. I would never speak as eloquently as Sue did and bring in the type of crowd that becomes standing room only, never have Oprah pick my book, never have my book chosen as a Sunshine State Read (as Tyler’s did), never have my novel made into a major picture, never win a national award. WHAT AM I DOING HERE? I’ll be the embarrassment of this festival and never invited back again. I bribed hubs and daughters to pretend they didn’t know me and to ask questions so it’d look like I had three fans at my tent.

Guess what? I had 103 people show up to my tent! By comparison, Ricky Yancey had 131, so I’d say that’s not too shabby for my spot at the Young Adult stage! FYI, I’m reading The 5th Wave by Yancey now, and it’s absolutely awesome. Now I certainly didn’t speak as eloquently as Sue Monk Kidd, but I realized God didn’t need another Sue Monk Kidd. He needed a Jamie Ayres to speak to whoever was destined to be there that day. And afterward, I had an actual line at the autograph table. How freakin’ cool is that! I didn’t even bribe the people to be there 🙂

So if you get invited to an event that’s just a tad bit out of your comfort zone? Don’t let your feet tread easily on the well-worn path and stay in your little box. “Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Don’t know who said that, but it’s on a picture in my dining room, and it’s a darn-good quote! Believe all things are possible . . . hey, maybe 18 Things, 18 Truths, and 18 Thoughts will be made into movies one day. If so, I vote for Theo James to play the angel, Riel!!! Touching his bicep has been added to my bucket list of things that could possibly earn me another restraining order but is totally worth it 😉

P.S. This Saturday, I’ll be in Orlando at the UCF Book Festival from 9-3:30pm with a few other authors at the Curiosity Quills table . . . stop by if you’re in the area–I’d love to meet you!

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Fate, Truths, and Worms

Today Author Elizabeth Seckman and I are swapping blogs . . . you can check out my guest post about fate on her blog here. If you’re looking for my Wormfest post, scroll to the bottom 🙂

Hi Jamie!!!     elizabeth seckman

Thanks for swapping blogs. I think I like you side bars better. So neat and tidy…amazing you trusted my sloppy self to take over!

Don’t worry, I’ll clean up when I go 😉

Congratulations on your new book, 18 Truths! Love the title, btw.

I missed the opportunity to join the 18 Truths blog tour, so I am so happy to get a second chance to finally tell some truths…

 

1. I’m afraid of going into the basement alone at night. Dittos on the outside. My imagination starts creating evil creatures in unlit corners and I can’t take it. 

 

2. I couldn’t read proficiently until I was in the third grade. 

 

3. I failed kindergarten. 

 

4. I almost failed the first and second grades. (I probably could have been diagnosed with a phobia, but that wasn’t as cool in the seventies as it is now!)

 

5. I was an extremely shy child. If a stranger talked to me, I would hide. 

 

6. I hated school until my best friend, Kelli, moved to my town in the third grade.

 

7. By the fourth grade, I was repeatedly put in the corner for talking in class.

 

8. I wrote my first “book” in the sixth grade. (a two page novel…LOL)

 

9. My first kiss was with my husband. I was in the seventh grade; he was in the eighth.

 

10. By the time I was in the eighth grade, I was so good at faking book reports I am almost ashamed. I would win prizes for so many books read…only half of them actually existed.

 

11. By the time I hit high school, few people would have ever guessed I was shy. I still loathed new situations and public speaking, but I was content and happy in my little pond. 

 

12. My freshman year, my husband asked me out on a date and I asked, “Why?”

 

13. I once called my husband ignorant in front of our entire history class. He still reminds me of the moment. 

 

14. My high school did compatibility matches and my husband ranked as my #1 match and I was matched in the top 5 on his. Would I maybe want to go out on a date? No. Told him if he was the last guy on earth, I’d possibly become a lesbian.

 

15.  I asked my husband to prom because I didn’t want another girl to have him. In college I told him he was going to marry me. (You’re seeing I have some serious issues, right? Yes, he is a very patient man.)

 

16. My husband and I were married for ten years before I told him what he did in high school to make me so vengeful. To this day, he says, “Seriously? That made you THAT mad?” (It was a comment not fit for a nice blog like Jamie’s!)

 

17. I have a potty mouth. I’m banking on Jesus getting my fractured self into Heaven.

 

18. I only do my hair when I am going “out”. I rarely ever go “out”.

Fate Intended is the third book in the Coulter Men Series.  Trip is the last of the Coulter sons to find love. He’s a handsome man with all the skills a young spy needs to succeed. But when it comes to love, he misses the target. Jane is a sweet beauty who may or may not be wanted for murder. She’s hiding out as a cleaning lady when chance brings her and Trip together. It looks like a happily ever after is in the cross hairs until reality tries to destroy what fate has intended.

Fate

Elizabeth Seckman is a simple chick with a simple dream…to write stories people want to read.

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In honor of Wormhole Week, Stephen Tremp, Alex J Cavanaugh, and L. Diane Wolf are hosting this blogfest:

Wormfest

Name one thing where science advances mankind, and one where technology with unforeseen consequences will go too far and set mankind back. (And they can be the same thing.) Example: De-Extinction, or bringing back extinction species through back breeding, genetic engineering, and cloning. With all the breakthrough discoveries mankind is on the cusp of, are we playing God? 

I’m going to go with artificial limbs and medicines for science advances. And for going too far I’d say Big Bro watching us. After the Edward Snowden incident last year, the Obama Administration and the “Intelligence” community (HA!) have been under fire for reading emails and monitoring the Internet of regular citizens with no cause–essentially invading our privacy and throwing our rights out with the baby in the bath water or whatever. I’ve never been good with idioms 😉

How would you answer the above question? Do you believe in Fate? Did you LOVE Elizabeth’s 18 Truths as much as I did?! If you’re in the Fort Myers area this Saturday, I hope you’ll come hear me speak under the teen tent at 12:45pm at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival 🙂

The Luck of the Irish Brings you 18 Things for 99 Cents (and much more!!!)

Not only does the Kindle e-book for 18 Things go on sale today for 99 cents, but it was just an overall AWESOME week to be an author! A new local bookstore opened up in my town, and I also got to participate in the Southwest Florida Reading Festival yesterday. I sat at a vendor’s table with my local Romance Writer’s group from 10-4pm and actually sold 17 books! I know that’s not breaking any records, but I’m always humbled anyone wants to read my book! Annnd, while I was there, I got invited by the Lee County Reading Council to be the guest author speaker at their End of Year banquet next month *squeeee*

Plus, people left me warm fuzzy messages this week after finishing 18 Things. On Twitter, Cheryl had this to say: “Just finished 18 Things. Way to reinforce my belief in God and life. It was much-needed. I feel whole again after reading your book.” Isn’t that the greatest DM ever?! Thanks for letting me share, Cheryl!

Also got this message on FB from a middle school Language Arts teacher: “I ordered one of your books from amazon and all my students want to read it at the same time. Just placed another order for several copies.” LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!

And finally another FB message from a coworker: “Tomorrow we will be able to check off running a 5k – thank you Jamie Ayres for motivating me to finally do something about my bucket list!” WOW, can you see the HUGE smile on my face from where you are sitting?!?

If that doesn’t make you want to read 18 Things, then you just might be a broken person. Well, okay, I am too . . . that’s why I wrote 18 Things! So let’s get down to the Nitty-Gritty!

99 cent Lucky Book Sale

For the 99 cent sale, several of us at Curiosity Quills Press wanted to do some kind of shared giveaway on our blogs. The point of the giveaway is to call attention to the 99 cent sale and get people to spread the word (via rafflecopter). We figured it didn’t make much sense to give away our 99 cent ebooks, but we could all put in toward a Kindle Fire or Amazon gift card. Who wouldn’t be interested in that, right? WordPress doesn’t support rafflecopter *shakes fist in air* but you can enter the giveaway on Sharon Bayliss’s site! (The link should be live sometime soon–thanks for helping to spread the word!) Here’s the list of participating books:

18 Things by Jamie Ayres *Woot, wOOt!!*

Once Upon a Changeling by V.J. Chambers
Cappuccino Heaven by Michelle Wright
The Space Whiskey Death Chronicles by William Vtika
The Charge by Sharon Bayliss
Ever by Jessa Russo
Blow up the Roses by Randy Attwood
Theocracide by James Wymore
Fade by Ayden Morgan
The Green Man and Other Short Stories by Rand Lee
The Gathering Darkness by Lisa Collicutt
Sanity Vacuum by Thea Gregory
Legasea by Krystalyn Drown
The Devil You Know (Nick Englebrecht Trilogy Book 1) by K.H. Koehler
Death, the Devil, and the Goldfish by Andrew Buckley
Nefertiti’s Heart by AW Exley
Paradise Earth: Day Zero by Anthony Mathenia
Death by Chocolate by Johanna Pitcairn
Bone Wires by Michael Shean
Shadow of a Dead Star by Michael Shean
The Green Eyed Monster by Mike Robinson
The Prince of Earth by Mike Robinson
Danger in Cat World by Nina Post
One Ghost per Serving by Nina Post
The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse by Nina Post
The Last Donut Shop of the Apocalypse by Nina Post
Wilde’s Fire (Darkness Falls Series Book 1) by Krystal Wade
Wilde’s Army (Darkness Falls Series Book 2) by Krystal Wade
World’s Burn Through (Chronicles of Nowhere Book 1) by Vicki Keire
Shadowed Ground (Chronicles of Nowhere Book 2) by Vicki Keire
Wet Dream by Rod Kierkegaard, Jr.
The God Particle by Rod Kierkegaard, Jr.
The Department of Magic by Rod Kierkegaard, Jr.
Christmas in the Morgue by Rod Kierkegaard, Jr.
Family Cursemas (The Megamillionaire Murders, Vol 1) by Rod Kierkegaard, Jr.
Dinosaur Jazz (Jurassic Club) by Michael Panush
El Mosaico, Vol. 1: Scarred Souls by Michael Panush
The Stein & Candle Detective Agency, Vol. 1: American Nightmares by Michael Panush
The Stein & Candle Detective Agency, Vol. 2: Cold Wars by Michael Panush
The Stein & Candle Detective Agency, Vol. 3: Red Reunion by Michael Panush

That’s a whole enchilada of awesome books!!! I’m hoping to see 18 Things trend in the top 100 in a few categories again and create some much-needed buzz, and would really appreciate it if you helped spread the word in your realm of influence!

Here’s an easy Tweet you can copy: The Luck of the Irish brings you the YA coming of age love story, 18 Things, for 99 cents! Happy St. Patricks’ Day #99cents #Kindle

Okay, before I go I just have to share my 9yo daughter’s funny relationship with Siri. She saved and saved for an iPod Touch 5 and finally bought it on Thursday. My hubs and I don’t have Smart phones, so this was her first introduction to Siri.  On Friday morning, I got out of the shower and heard Ashley talking to somebody. Me: Who are you talking to? Ash: Siri! Can you believe she’s never had pizza? I told her to try CiCi’s. Me: Um, you do know Siri is a computer, right? hahahahahaha! Then this morning hubs and I are talking and Ashley goes, “Shhh, I just asked Siri a question and she needs to concentrate!” LOL. And if you haven’t asked Siri who let the dogs out, Ashley highly recommends it! I do love how Siri is helping my kid with her speech problems. She has to speak clearly in order for Siri to understand her, which leads me to wrap up my St. Patrick’s Day announcement with this:

Siri St. Patrick's Day