2014 Is Here…So What’s Next?

2013 is gone and 2014 is just beginning! I’ve had some amazing things happen in 2013 that I’ll never forget, but the most memorable was publishing my first novel. Back in 2008 when I began writing Awaken, I never would’ve thought I would call myself a published author.  It’s an incredible feeling! I’ve worked many years for this accomplishment and I have many of you to thank for making my dreams become a reality. Thank you to all my fans, friends and family who keep me going everyday and who love my story as much as I do.

So the big question is…what’s next for 2014!?

A LOT! I have a lot of goals and visions for this next year! Of course the first on the list is finish Lost and publish it! For those of you who don’t know I’m editing Lost right now and I hope to publish in the spring. If you haven’t picked up a copy of Awaken (the first novel in The Awaken Series) you can CLICK HERE to get your copy on Amazon or CLICK HERE for B&N.

I’m going to be sending my novel off to some publishers who have expressed some interest in Awaken. **Dramatic pause, as I bite my nails** And one of my goals of this year is to possibly query some agents and publishers and see where that takes me. This will be my first time doing all of this so wish me luck!

Another resolution that I have (something that I’ve neglected in 2013) is blog more! This sounds easy, right? WRONG! Scheduling times to sit down and blog is a lot of work and it’s not always easy. I do miss writing out what’s happening in my life and talking about where my novels are at. However, marketing and blogging is a full time job and sometimes it’s really hard to find the time. I’m turning it around and you should see more of me this year! So I better here from you as well! 😉

2014 I’ve told myself that I will start to do book signings. I’ve had to turn many of them down last year (life was just getting in the way) but I do plan on attending book signing and I’ll let you know when and where I’ll be so you can come out and see me!

Something else that I’ve told myself will happen this year is have book 3 (in the Awaken Series) all done and edited. I know it’s a lot but I think I can do it. I have so many novels in my head and I can’t wait to start writing them but I need to focus on this first series before I start diving into more novels! However, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t begun to write some of them last year *wink, wink*

And last, is read more this year! You would think that all I do is read, but that’s not the case. As much as I love reading (and as big as my TBR List is) finding time to read is very difficult to do when I work full time, write my novels and have a family. Time is scarce. However, I’ve already started on my reading list and I can’t wait to read all the novels that I have on my bookshelf!

So that’s it. That’s some of my goals for 2014. I’d love to hear your goals! Make sure you comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

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The Reviews Are In!!!

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The time has come for my first round of reviews for my debut novel! These reviews are coming from my first beta test group that I’m very excited to share with all of you.

Disclaimer: The Beta Readers have not been compensated in any form and their reviews are true testimonies of what the reader thought about my novel.

Alysa
Alysa:
“I could NOT put this book down!! It has action, suspense and romance! Everything you could ask for in a great read:) I can’t wait to read it again and to get the whole series! All I have to say is KEEP WRITING because I want more!!!
P.S. I need to know what happened to Collin!! Dying here!! Get the second book out soon! I LOVE this book!”
Jenn
Jennifer:
“This story is unique and interesting in many ways. It is energetic and unpredictable, I found the pages turning faster as I followed Breanna’s unfolding life. Everyone must learn to balance responsibilities and desires and this book reminds us of the choices we make everyday that guide our lives. The plot is very intricate and takes some unusual turns that readers will not have seen before.  A well-written story that young adults will love! This book was full of energy and well-developed characters, it goes quickly and will leave eagerly awaiting the next installment. Highly recommended!”
Chris
Chris:

“I have just had the opportunity to preview the book that Jaime Guerard is about to publish…WOW!  I was so impressed with her ability to tell a story.  Her writing style keeps you intrigued and certainly keeps you guessing.  There is no predictability in the story line. Throughout the book, she constantly introduces new elements, with twists and turns.  Good luck trying to figure out where she is going with the story.  You will find out only when she wants you to know.

This is a book that will not only be enjoyed by young people, but people of every age.  I can’t tell you how much I loved this book.  I anxiously await the sequel!”

TinaTina:

“It is rare for me to find a book that I can’t put down.  Jaime’s novel has been a great read; exciting, even frightening at times, but also innocent and sincere.  The story weaves together perfectly always leaving me wondering… what will happen next?”

KatieKatie:
(Seen synopsis only – Katie is in 2nd beta group)

“Each time I find out a new detail of the story it leaves me wanting more! I can’t wait to get my hands on this book and put all these “details” together!”

AmyAmy:

“Couldn’t put it down! Excitedly awaiting what happens in the rest of the series! A healthy mix of suspense, danger, romance and just a great plot make it a must read!”

Here are the next beta test readers. After they finish my MS I will post their reviews for all of you to see.

 Beta Group

The Next Step…

Here’s another exciting post that I get to write. I’ve been waiting patiently to get to this point, and now, It’s finally here!

Group of people readingThe next step is sending my MS out to a beta testing group. For those of you who don’t know what a beta group means, it’s where you send out your manuscript to a group of people (like pilot-test of a product/novel) and those people will read the novel, make comments, suggestions, give you insight as what they did or didn’t like and of course rate your novel.

This is both exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Exciting because I get to experience how others react to what I’ve kept so close to me for so long but terrifying because “putting yourself out there” is a scary thing.

I have randomly chosen a lucky group of people who will get to have the “first look” (beta test) into my novel! If you are chosen I will send you an email within a week. So check your emails often.

DISCLAIMER: The group for my beta test is a random pick and am not accepting submissions at this time. In no way are any of these beta testing individuals compensated in anyway and are doing so at there own will.

I will be posting a testimonial section on my blog after I receive back all submissions. This process will take a little bit of time so please be patient and I will update you all once those testimonials are up.

HOWEVER…I have had the first round of beta testers (6 different individuals) read my earlier writings of my novel (some have read the whole novel, others partial & some only sent out the synopsis & mockup cover design). I will release those reviews soon. So be on the lookout for that!

Between The Pages

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To become immersed in a story that is not your own, whether it be in a book or a movie, is like finding a small place – in a little piece of heaven. It’s as if submerging yourself into a whole new world and cast away the chaos that surrounds us everyday, even if it’s fiction, is something that I truly crave and need. When reading I find myself sinking into the core of who the characters really are and really feeling every emotion. Taking in what they go through and almost living their story. That’s the sign of something great.

For me, reading is where I find myself dreaming. For my imagination lives and breathes between the pages.

Photo created by SusanSpinolaPhotogrpahy.com

Sneak Peek!

Deep within Southern Oregon, right in the center of Medford and Grants Pass, lies a small town in which most people would take one glance and move on. No reason to stop. This town of Rogue River has many aspects to it that on the surface you could say, is just another town. However, that’s where you’re deceived. Hidden behind it’s beautiful landscape, thick trees and tall mountains, lies a secret that only one knows about and can’t escape from. For this secret is hidden deep within, and the forest that surrounds hides dangers that will terrify you.

To everyone who is eagerly awaiting my debut novel to be released, here is a little sneak peek into the depths of where I have plotted out my story. Let me give you a little insight as to why I have chosen this particular place and why it is perfect for my book.

First, I want to center my story in a place that I knew very well. For a brief time, back in 2004, I lived in Rogue River Oregon and when I got the concept for this story line, I knew right away that Rogue River was the place. It had all the aspects that I needed, small town, simple way of life and a thick forest that provided the best atmosphere for many of the scenes.

Another reason why it was perfect was the surrounding communities. Right next to Rogue River is Medford, Grants Pass, Ashland and Wimmer. All of which, gave amazing depth to the story. So much imagination came from specific places within those towns, that helped grow the story into something amazing! Most of the streets and details about the town are exactly how it is, with only a few variations. I wanted to describe the town in a realistic true-to-life-way.

Subscribe to my blog for future sneak peeks, giveaways and release information! If you would like to see what my beta readers thought about my novel click HERE.

I Have To Say This…

Alright, so here’s the deal… if you read my blog post titled “What’cha Reading” I commented on the book that I was reading called Matched by Ally Condie. If you would like to read that post so you know what I’m talking about just click here. Anyway, I finished the book and I have to say this. It took a very long time to get into it but by the end of the book it finally started to get interesting. Now I find myself needing to find out what’s going to happen. I’m still on the fence about it and I am very hopeful that the second book, Crossed, is more of a page turner but I just wanted to give you my thoughts about it.

If you have read the book tell me what you think. Just please don’t give away anything in the second book, I still have yet to read it.
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What’cha Reading?

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One of the many suggestions that other authors give young aspiring writers is to READ and read A LOT! Which for me, is something I truly love to do! If I could, I would sit and read all day long if I had the time.  But between working, being a mom, taking care of the house and writing, sometimes it just doesn’t allow for the time. But I try to sneak it in whenever and wherever I can.

Some of you have asked what I’m currently reading and if I have any good suggestions on books. So here you go!

I have been reading a lot of YA (young adult) books. I figured since I’m writing in this genre right now I should be reading up on all the bestsellers. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have some other thrillers, mysteries and romantic fiction in my “wish list” on my nook.

The book series that I’m on is Matched by Ally Condie:

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Book Info: In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow — between perfection and passion.

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So far I’m about half way into the first book and I have to say; I’m not as impressed with it like I had hoped to be. I don’t find myself needing to read it but I will pick it up at night and read another chapter or two. Now, just because it’s not on my “favorites list” doesn’t mean that you wont like it. I mean it is a NY Times Bestsellers for a reason. So if you are into reading what’s popular then give it a try and then tell me what you think. I will continue with the series and finish it.

The book that I’ve really enjoyed and that I’m patiently waiting for the final book to come out is the Divergent series. Now this is a book (like Twilight) that had me hooked and couldn’t put down!

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Book Info:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

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If you want to read a good book that is well written and a page turner then Divergent is for you!

My books to-read list:

  • Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • Delirium series by Lauren Oliver
  • Easy by Tammara Webber
  • Switched series by Amanda Hocking
  • The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
  • Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
  • My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

That is just the short list of books that I have yet to read. I will be updating you on what books I liked after I finish them. I would love to hear what books you are reading so don’t forget to write a comment or message me in my contacts page to let me know of the books you suggest. So until then happy reading!