About Me

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Hi, I'm Jamie. I'm a writer, reader, and huge TV junkie. I just might post about all three here on this blog. Have a look around. And if you want, drop me an email and tell me what you think. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm award-winning!!

Okay, so I have to say a massively huge thanks to Rachel Morgan over at Rachel Morgan Writes for bestowing upon me my first ever Blog Award!

It's so exciting! So, I'm more than happy to pass this wonderful award along to 15 bloggers I've met...thanks Rach!

Go visit these guys...they're great!

Quinn @ seeing, dreaming...writing
Carol @ Carol's Prints
Elizabeth @ Elizabeth Mueller
Serena @ I see you see
Roland @ Writing In The Crosshairs
Summer @ My Inner Fairy
Elena @ You're Write. Except When You're Rong
Kathi @ Kathi's Writing Nook
Rachael @ Rach Writes
Sharon @ Random Thoughts
Suzy @ Suzy Turner
Talei @ Musings of an aspiring scribe
Erica @ A Novel...Hypothetically Speaking
Shannon @ Book Dreaming
Bekah @ Bekah's Stories

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

and the NEW winner is...

Since I never got in touch with the 2nd winner of my giveaway, I've chosen another name to get a signed copy of Airhead by Meg Cabot...and that person is...

Congrats, Bekah! Email me at jmanni32 at yahoo dot com with your address!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

contest winners!

So my first contest was a great success (IMO)! I've made contact with Jen and she's excited she won Will Grayson, Will Grayson!

Unfortunately, I can't find an email address for Melissa J Cunningham to let her know she's won (and apparently she hasn't been by my blog yet!) So, if anyone happens to know how to contact her, could you help me out? You could give me her email, or simply let her know she's won and tell her to stop on by.

I'll give her til tomorrow morning before moving on to the next name I drew from the list...and thanks again everyone!

Monday, September 27, 2010

my 1st giveaway winners!!

Yay! I've had my first (very successful) giveaway! I'm so excited about this as you can probably tell. I set my contest at 20 followers, with the option of a second signed book giveaway if I hit 30 followers. Well, I hit 40! It's just crazy to me that you guys came out and read my blog and decided to follow me - and some of you even made some very nice comments on some of my posts (thanks for that!).

So, as promised, I've chosen two names to be lucky winners here today. The first winner will get a signed copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan. And just to prove that yes, it is signed...here's a quick pic.

and the winner is...

Congrats, Jen! Email me your address so I can mail you your prize!

And my second choice is Airhead by Meg Cabot. It's a great little book by an awesome writer...and it's signed (see?)!

and the winner of this one is...

Congrats, Melissa! Email me your address so I can mail you your prize!

A huge thanks to every single one of you who found my blog and decided to follow me...it really makes me happy! And if you didn't win, don't worry. I'll be having another giveaway when I hit 50 followers (which is only 10 away, so it could be very soon!)

top 5 of 2011!

There's a cool contest over at Princess Bookie that you all should check out. It's really easy and it'll be cool to see everyone's Top 5 Picks for books coming next year. So click here and check it out!

So here is my list of the Top 5 2011 YA books I'm eagerly awaiting...enjoy!

Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz - I am so looking forward to this one coming out (hurry up April '11!) I've devoured Hannah's blog and website and I absolutely love her style of writing, so I know this one is gonna be great!

Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard - Another one I can't stand waiting for. Kirsten's writing sucks me in and doesn't let go (see for yourself) and I'll be anxiously waiting at my local bookstore for this one!

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare - Oh boy, I can't hardly wait for this one! I absolutely love The Mortal Instruments series, so the fact we're getting a 4th installment? Oh yes, I'm excited!

Divergent by Veronica Roth - This one sounds really cool (and it's gonna be a series, which I love!) and with a cover like that? Yeah, cool.

Awakened by PC & Kristin Cast - I can't make a list like this and not have at least one vampire book on it...so I chose this one. I love this series and it comes out a week before my birthday, so I'll definitely be treating myself to a birthday gift!

Of course there are countless more books than what's listed here that are coming out between now and the end of 2011, so join us in creating these lists and get the word out there about these great books!

Friday, September 24, 2010

writing compelling characters

So unless you've been living beneath a Blog Rock for the past week or so, you've already heard of The Great Blogging Experiment being hosted by Elana J, Alex C, and Jennifer D (holy links, Batman!). Today these three outstanding blogs - and about 175 more - are all discussing something that I'm sure every writer on the planet has struggled with at one time or another...writing compelling characters. So, I thought why not? I'll join in the discussion and throw my .05 cents in. Bare with me, folks.

Writing Compelling Characters
There have been books written that have less-than-thrilling plots and those that have high-action, never-let-up plots. But the one thing in all those books that pushes them over the line of success is their characters. The characters reach inside us and never let go, pulling us along on their journey to the point where we feel what they feel as they experience whatever is in their path.

Everyone says that characters have to be human - complete with emotions and reactions and yes, even flaws. And I 100% agree. But I also think there's an element to characters that humans typically don't have that draws a reader in - their ability to say and do what we all only wish we could.

So my advice on creating a compelling character is to make them better than us. Make them stronger, weaker, more in-tune, more capable, nicer, meaner...you get the idea. Like Elana J says on her blog today, exaggerate their humanity. Your character needs to feel things and express things and experience things in a way that we would either a) love to or b) hate to. The person reading your story wants to root for your character (or despise your villain)...and you want that person to imagine themselves in your story. Having a character who exemplifies humanity in every way will certainly achieve that.

But this is just my opinion...what do you think?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

let's try this again!

As I'm sure you can see, my very first giveaway attempt a few weeks ago was a rousing failure. But I had a sudden surge in followers yesterday (thanks Alex J Cavanaugh!) so I've got the giveaway fever again.

So tell your friends and followers to come visit my blog (I know it isn't as fancy or filled with useable info like some blogs, but I'm working on it!) and follow me. Once I get to 20 followers (only 3 to go, thanks new guys!) I'll be giving away a signed copy of...

Will Grayson, Will Grayson!


It is signed, guys. I just don't have a photo of that because the book is at home and I am not. But both John Green and David Levithan have put their John Hancock right in the front pages, so this is a real winner! So remember, get me up to 20 and it could be yours.
The rules are super-simple...simply comment on this post and tell me what YA book you are most looking forward to coming out. It can be something hitting bookshelves this year or next (or even further if you know about it.) And that's it! Simple, right? 

I'll leave the giveaway open till midnight on Sunday, September 26th. So on Monday, I'll be randomly drawing a winner (probably from a hat since I'm not technically advanced enough to use that randomizer thingy).

So spread the word, folks, and get me to 20! And if by some miracle I hit 30 before Sunday night, I'll throw in an additional signed book and AN ADDITIONAL WINNER! (not sure which book that would be, but it'll be a good one, I promise!)

ADDENDUM! **  Changing the rules a bit. You don't have to comment on this or any of my other posts - just be a follower of my blog and you're name is in for this giveaway!

Monday, September 20, 2010

my first blogfest!

Okay, so I've been on Blogger for a few months now, and I'm always seeing people joining "Blog hops" that look like so much fun. I've wanted to join in on some of that fun (honestly I have), but I just haven't had the time to invest in the process.

Well, all that changes today. I've finally done it...I've joined my very first blogfest! Yay for me!

Okay, so the joyous music playing loudly across the land is only in my head...but feel free to join in the craziness.

But anyway, I've decided to participate in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Top 10 TV Shows Blogfest! It's very simple (probably the main reason I decided to hop on), and you can always go here to join in the fun.

So without further ado, here's my Top 10 Favorite TV Shows - living and dead...


I know it's super-cheesy and trashy and downright ridiculous, but this show was great in its day! Catfights, explosions, intense drama and over-the-top characters...I loved it!


I so miss this show. The writing was so funny and the actors did such an amazing job...too bad it was shifted around the week until it was canceled.  Please bring Betty back!


I'm so glad this show is still on the air. It left NBC and was quickly snagged by CBS, so we all still get to enjoy creepy storylines and Patricia Arquette...yay!


This was probably the best show of my childhood. It, too, was cheesy and overdone like Dynasty, but it was MacGyver, people! MACGYVER! What do I hate about it? It's not on the air anymore. What do I love about it? Richard Dean Anderson, yum.


This has to be one of the best on TV right now. The chemistry between the two stars of this show is unbelievable...it's like these two actors were born to work together. And Nathan Fillion (yum, too!) is so hilarious that regardless of the lackluster plots some episodes, it's always a joy to watch!


Another best that's still on the air. And another perfect pairing of actors. Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni are two of the best, and they play off of each other so well that you feel like you're watching real cops at work.


Oh this show is so funny I'm laughing just thinking about it...and it comes back tonight!!! Another one with outstanding writing...and such a large group of supporters that kept it on the air (I ate my share of Subway sandwiches, too). And Ryan McPartlin (wow yum!) is just delicious, muscular icing on the cake!


Okay, I am a HUGE vampire fan. I'll watch any movie or TV show or read any book dealing with vampires, so me watching this one was a given. But it's actually pretty awesome. It has that unavoidable cheese factor (I think cheeziness in vampire shows is a must, really) but it has so much of the vampire stuff I love (fangs and blood and fights, oh my!) that Sunday nights were a treat! 


See the vampire love? I just can't help myself! This one, like True Blood, has the vampire things I love so much (fangs and killing...I mean, isn't that why we love vampires?)...plus, is it just me, or does it look like Mystic Falls has THE HOTTEST MEN? There's way to many to list here (well, I just have to mention the hottest, Ian Somerhalder), so tune in!

And my number 1, all-time favorite show? 

1.  LOST

Oh yes, LOST was a game-changer for network television. It was basically a movie split into 6 years that told such an amazing, awe-inspiring tale that after watching Jack close his eyes in the last shot I felt like I had lost a piece of myself. There is way too much about this show to go into here (I could do an entire series of posts on this one). But I will say this...if you haven't watched it yet, get thee to a store and pick up the DVD boxed sets NOW!!
And since there are no laws in Blogland, I've decided to add an 11th show to my list - because I can! This show ties with LOST as my all-time favorite, because it shows that being different and doing what feels right to you is what makes you special...so don't hide it, jump up and sing about it! So, my pick for the newly-minted position of Favorite Show #1.2 is...

1.2  GLEE

And there it is, folks...my take on the top ten greatest TV shows ever. I doubt most of mine will show up on other lists, but that's cool. I like what I like, as should everyone else.  So which shows would make your list?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

awesome giveaway!

Okay guys, head on over to The Undercover Book Lover and enter their awesome giveaway...but don't be too sad when I win!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

guilty much?

So Labor Day weekend just passed and it was a good one. It was so nice to have an extra day off work to do with what I pleased. I spent 99% of my weekend working on the house I moved into about a month ago, so my days were spent out in the extreme heat painting and landscaping and such. Oh, joy.

The one thing I didn't get to do - that I really wanted to - was writing. I suppose I could have stayed awake longer than I did and put in some writing time, but I honestly thought that the words I would have produced in my sun-drenched, overly-fatigued state would have been utterly worthless, so I opted out of that choice. I know, people always say "even poor writing is good writing if you do it every day".

Which brings me to my question: "Do you guys ever feel guilty for not writing daily? Excluding, of course, those unforeseen things that happen in life (death, natural disaster, etc), do you feel like you aren't worthy if you give up writing to do other, perhaps less important, things? No matter what, do you try and write something every single day?  I'm wallowing in a bit of guilt this morning, so I'm looking to see what others think about this...and thanks for listening!