Immortal Aliens Book One: Dawn of the Vie, a YA Scifi Dystopian

dawn-of-the-vie-cover

A ginormous THANKS to all who participated in Dawn of the Vie’s launch earlier this month! Over 120 bloggers helped spread the word with the cover reveal and blog blitz. Beyond awesome. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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The Goodreads giveaway for a copy of Dawn of the Vie is still going on. You have until 11:59pm on October 31, 2016 to enter! Click HERE to enter. Good luck!

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Here’s what early reviewers are saying:

“An interesting, fast paced and new idea!” Amazon reviewer

“What a wild ride!” Goodreads reviewer

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The paperback is now available in addition to the Ebook. I’ve included links to Amazon and B&N below…

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Goodreads

Remember, reviews are crucial for authors. If you’ve read Dawn of the Vie, PLEASE consider leaving an honest review on the links above. It only has to be a couple of sentences, but it makes a HUGE difference. Thanks!

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If you’re in the upstate New York area, I’ll be attending the Glens Falls Chronicle Book Fair on Sunday, November 6. I’ll have copies of The Zodiac Collector (now SOLD OUT at B&N in Albany, NY), as well as Under My Skin AND Dawn of the Vie will be making its debut! Hope to see you there! 🙂

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Book Two of the Immortal Aliens duology, Blood Rush, is almost ready. It’s due for release Spring 2017. I can’t wait to share the conclusion of Alex, Justin, and Cara’s story with you. It’s EPIC, I promise. 😉

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As an aside, my dragon story, LEARNING TO FLY, will be hitting the virtual shelves as part of a multi-book anthology. I’ll keep you updated on social media regarding purchase links, publication info, and cover pics.

Here’s a short blurb about the story:

In Ming Dynasty China, fifteen-year-old Jung discovers the nightmares cursing him are really the dreams of the slumbering dragon within. Waking the beast may free him, but taking flight means he’ll have to give up all he’s ever known and loved.

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BOOK BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: IT’S DAWN OF THE VIE’S RELEASE DAY!!!!

Dawn of the Vie
Laura Diamond
(Immortal Aliens, #1)
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: October 3rd 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Since their Arrival less than 30 years ago, immortal Vie rule the planet like the super-predators they are. Enslaved humans are their servants…their entertainment…and their food. Anemies—humans with various types of anemia—are simply exterminated. Their nutritionally deficient blood is useless to the Vie.

Or so it’s thought…

_________

Alex, an Elite Vie, is a bit of a Renaissance Alien. Part scientist, part Raid Specialist, part drug addict, he knows Anemie blood is valuable. Rather than blindly carrying out his boss’s kill order, he convinces some colleagues to spare a few Anemies, not only for study, but also to reserve a secret stock.

The more Anemie blood Alex drinks, the more he slips into delusion, and the more his double life threatens to crumble. But quitting Anemie blood is not an option. Every Anemie has their own personal flavor. Each gives a unique high.

When Alex takes a hit of Justin’s blood, his hallucinations bleed into reality…

_________

Anemie Justin knows his little sister, Sammie, and he are living past their expiration dates. It becomes a guarantee when they’re bitten by a Vie named Alex during a raid. (The bite is fatal, thanks to a toxin carried in Vie saliva.) Alex adds insult to injury by promising Justin a second chance—an antidote in exchange for agreeing to be a lab rat.

And a mule…of his own blood.

When Justin says no, Alex takes off with Sammie.

All Justin has to do is find them, beat Alex, and cure himself and Sammie. All he has is a stake and serious lack of self-preservation.

No problem.

_________

Alex wants Justin’s blood.

Justin wants his sister back.

GAME ON.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I hated afternoons the most. Soon after came darkness—the time when a raiding squad could snatch you out of bed and drain all the blood from your body. It was amazing that any Anemies survived with the extermination campaign ridding the world of us red blood cell-deficient freaks.

I gently squeezed my sister’s hand to make sure she kept up. Dirt caked under her fingernails like it caked under mine. The cuff of her torn sleeve had stains like mine. Her pant cuffs were rolled up six times… also like mine. A younger version of me—mouthiness and all—in girl form. Unlike me, Sammie tended to dawdle, and since we held onto the last rung of the society ladder by the tips of our fingers, giving in to distraction could get us hurt—or killed.

My gaze jumped to the pale, indifferent sky then jittered to the partially constructed biodome edge as I walked. Large, clear panels filled the metal framework in a beehive of hexagons. Eventually, the damn thing would cover the entire city, including the river surrounding the island and part of the ocean capping the south side. The project had been progressing since before I was born.

Once the construction workers completed the biodome, Vie wouldn’t have to fear the destructive UV rays of our sun and could wander freely during the day. We’d have no safe period whatsoever. Vie could get us any time.


Author Bio:

Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist currently specializing in emergency psychiatry. She is also an author of all things young adult—both contemporary and paranormal. An avid fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and anything magical, she thrives on quirk, her lucid dreams, and coffee. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found sniffing books and drinking a latte at the bookstore or at home pondering renovations on her 225 year old fixer upper, all while obeying her feline overlords, of course.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


GIVEAWAY!
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IMMORTAL ALIENS: DAWN OF THE VIE Cover Reveal!

Dawn of the Vie
Laura Diamond
(Immortal Aliens, #1)
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: October 3rd 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Since their Arrival less than 30 years ago, immortal Vie rule the planet like the super-predators they are. Enslaved humans are their servants…their entertainment…and their food. Anemies—humans with various types of anemia—are simply exterminated. Their nutritionally deficient blood is useless to the Vie.

Or so it’s thought…

_________

Alex, an Elite Vie, is a bit of a Renaissance Alien. Part scientist, part Raid Specialist, part drug addict, he knows Anemie blood is valuable. Rather than blindly carrying out his boss’s kill order, he convinces some colleagues to spare a few Anemies, not only for study, but also to reserve a secret stock.

The more Anemie blood Alex drinks, the more he slips into delusion, and the more his double life threatens to crumble. But quitting Anemie blood is not an option. Every Anemie has their own personal flavor. Each gives a unique high.

When Alex takes a hit of Justin’s blood, his hallucinations bleed into reality…

_________

Anemie Justin knows his little sister, Sammie, and he are living past their expiration dates. It becomes a guarantee when they’re bitten by a Vie named Alex during a raid. (The bite is fatal, thanks to a toxin carried in Vie saliva.) Alex adds insult to injury by promising Justin a second chance—an antidote in exchange for agreeing to be a lab rat.

And a mule…of his own blood.

When Justin says no, Alex takes off with Sammie.

All Justin has to do is find them, beat Alex, and cure himself and Sammie. All he has is a stake and serious lack of self-preservation.

No problem.

_________

Alex wants Justin’s blood.

Justin wants his sister back.

GAME ON.

Add to Goodreads


Author Bio:

Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist currently specializing in emergency psychiatry. She is also an author of all things young adult—both contemporary and paranormal. An avid fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and anything magical, she thrives on quirk, her lucid dreams, and coffee. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found sniffing books and drinking a latte at the bookstore or at home pondering renovations on her 225 year old fixer upper, all while obeying her feline overlords, of course.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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Book News!

A few months ago the rights for my YA dystopian duology were returned to me. I was bummed about my book babies leaving the virtual bookshelf, but also excited at the prospect of breathing new life into the series.

Last week, something wonderful happened–Endure & Evoke got a second chance to greet the world!

Vicki Merkiel, the Acquisitions Editor at Curiosity Quills Press, offered contracts for both books…and I accepted. (Yay!!!)

The Publisher’s Marketplace announcement: 

 

“Laura Diamond’s ENDURE, about a seventeen-year-old who must try to save his kidnapped sister from an immortal race of aliens known as the Vie, while keeping the Vie from draining his anemic blood and using it as a drug, and EVOKE, to Vicki Merkiel at Curiosity Quills Press, for publication in Spring 2016.” 

I’ve got some plans on how to revamp the duology, adding twists that weren’t seen in the first version, so it looks like I’ll be busy over the next few months refining the prose, solidifying the world building, and brightening the characters with the goal of bringing you a new and improved dystopian tale of survival and sacrifice. (Double yay!!!!)

And the series will likely get new titles too, so stay tuned. (Triple yay!!!)

I can’t thank Vicki and the wonderful team at Curiosity Quills enough for the opportunity.

THANK YOU!!!!!  *** group hug ***

Mental Health Monday–Developing The Kabrini Message

Marie Carhart is an amazing person. She’s amazing because she took her brother’s manuscript–something he’d toiled over and nurtured–and brought it to life. And now it’s published! How cool is that?

Today, I’ve invited Marie (and she, in turn, invited another crucial player in this MS, Amy Bell) to discuss the development of The Kabrini Message–from hand typed to ebook.

Welcome, ladies!

Unknown

Marie: Thank you for having us today Laura.  I’ve asked Amy Bell of WritePunch Inc. to join me since we will be discussing the process of bringing The Kabrini Message to life, and I could not have done it without Amy.

Amy: Aw, shucks. You are too kind, Marie.  I feel honored to have had an opportunity to work with you—and Joe, at least in spirit.

Marie: As you know, The Kabrini Message is a novel written by my late brother, Joe Egles, back in 1987.  I only recently discovered Joe’s manuscript (hand typed by our mother) in a box in my attic.  It was in a manila envelope labeled “Joe’s Book” in my mother’s handwriting.  You can read the full “story-behind-the-story” in the two-part blog post I wrote:

http://kabrinimessage.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-story-behind-story.html

http://kabrinimessage.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-story-continues.html

But I loved your suggestion, Laura, to take this opportunity to discuss what it was like to bring The Kabrini Message to life and get inside Joe’s head via his manuscript.

First of all, I have to say that I could never have done it alone.  I had a lot of help from a very talented writer, Amy Bell of WritePunch Inc.  I asked Amy to polish the manuscript, flesh out the characters, elaborate on the ending (with more details), describe locations in more detail, etc.  We also needed to update the technology and certain references to the present day.  There were also two areas, as I recall, that Joe had written as the characters discussing what happened after the fact, and Amy revised both of those situations so that the reader is taken through those actual stories.

Amy: As soon as Marie contacted me and described how she’d stumbled across her late brother’s manuscript, I knew I had to take on this project. It was such a compelling, poignant story, and I truly believe that Joe and Marie’s mother led her to his manuscript. Then I actually read The Kabrini Message. I was absolutely blown away. For a book that was written back in 1987, it was incredibly timely and insightful—a unique mixture of buddy comedy action adventure (a la Indiana Jones) and deep space sci-fi.

Uh-oh. Sci-fi. When I realized the book ventured deeply into the sci-fi genre, I was suddenly petrified. Before Marie reached out to me, I had ghostwritten and edited an array of books—everything from religious memoirs to southern fiction novels to business books. But I had never so much as dabbled in the realm of sci-fi. And then, it dawned on me. I happen to be married to a rabid sci-fi fan. My husband Rob has been reading sci-fi books since he could reach his dad’s book shelves, and I can’t tell you how many sci-fi movies he’s dragged me to the theater to see. So, with Marie’s permission, I lent The Kabrini Message to my husband, who devoured the manuscript in one night. He was hooked, and he promised to help me with the project. At that point, I realized there was no way I could turn it down.

Marie: As far as getting into Joe’s head while working on the manuscript, I guess Amy had to do that more than I did – which had to be challenging, since she never met Joe.  Somehow she was able to pull it off, though, because I could not tell who wrote what unless I got out the original manuscript and compared it to the edited chapters as she sent me each one.

Amy: Thanks, Marie. Now I’m blushing! Believe it or not, it was fairly easy for me to mimic Joe’s writing style. That’s because his style is actually quite similar to my own: simple, to-the-point and at times gritty and sharply sarcastic.

Although Joe had not written back stories or detailed physical descriptions for most of the characters, I could imagine who they were, what they looked like and where they’d been simply by reading their dialogue. (As a side note, my husband and I both agree that Joe’s direct, witty dialogue is some of the best either of us have ever read—especially in the sci-fi genre. He was a truly talented author.)

Marie: In fleshing out the main character of Jeffrey Driscoll, most of that is fictional. However, we gave him some of Joe’s background particularly regarding his love of astronomy, building telescopes, and hanging out at an observatory for fun during high school and college years.

Amy: Yes, and we enjoyed imagining Driscoll “as played by” Bradley Cooper. Not a bad vision to have in your mind all day.

Marie: No, definitely not!

Amy: For me, fleshing out the characters and modernizing the story was the easy and fun part. The most daunting task was elaborating on some of the stories and expanding the ending, which involved writing new content from scratch. This included a few chapters and stories that dealt heavily with futuristic technology, deep space realities and other sci-fi topics. That’s where my husband Rob saved the day. Not only is he a self-professed sci-fi nerd, but he’s also a veteran who spent a year in Afghanistan and currently works in federal law enforcement. There’s no way I could’ve pulled off this project without his vast knowledge of military, technology and national security topics. I can’t tell you how many times he researched bizarre tidbits for me, such as “what would happen to a dead body in outer space”? We’re probably on some government watch list after a few of those online searches! Google was definitely our best friend throughout this process.

Rob and I also spent a few nights brainstorming together over cocktails, debating over how to connect the dots and fill in the missing pieces for The Kabrini Message. I could not have done it without him…which is another reason why I think Joe “chose” me, or should I say us, for this project.

After our wine and beer-fueled brainstorming sessions, I would sit down at the computer the next morning and breathe a silent prayer. I asked God to let Joe speak through me. I know it sounds strange, but I was absolutely terrified that I would somehow screw up Joe’s manuscript. I realized The Kabrini Message was unfinished when Marie handed it over to me, and I wanted to stay true to Joe’s original story. I kept thinking, “If I wrote a rough draft of a manuscript and then died, and some random ghostwriter took it over and completely screwed it up, I would be livid! I would come back and haunt them!” Obviously, I didn’t want that to happen to me. So, I literally prayed to get it right, and I also asked Joe for guidance. When I struggled with the new content, I would take pause and ask, “What were you trying to say here, Joe? What the hell did you mean by this? How would Driscoll have handled this situation? How did you plan to connect these dots?”

And miraculously, the words would flow again. I can’t explain how it happened, but it did. Every time I asked Joe for help, the words came to me.

Marie: Thanks to Amy, by the time the manuscript went to the publisher, it was so polished that the only changes the publisher made during final edits all had to do with punctuation.  They really did not change one word!  Wait…I take that back. They did change one word.  Everywhere it said “mankind,” they changed it to “humanity.” I guess “mankind” sounded sexist perhaps?  But that was it!

As far as bringing The Kabrini Message to life, we were diligent to change as little as possible.  We expanded the novel, but really took nothing out.

I couldn’t wait to read each chapter as Amy would complete the editing and send it to me!  I made notations of questions and comments in red and we would go back and forth working on them.  It was so much fun!

Amy: I would wait on pins and needles after sending Marie each chapter. “I’d always wonder, “Is she going to hate it? Is she going to say it sounds nothing like Joe and ask me to rewrite the entire thing?” But she was always ecstatic. Her excitement and enthusiasm was contagious, and I grew increasingly confident that I could actually pull off a sci-fi project.

Not only did I genuinely enjoy working with Marie, but at times we actually read each other’s minds. I would think something like, “We really need to change that one part about the Genie Drug,” and suddenly I’d get an email from Marie expressing the same opinion or idea.

Marie: Yes, the drug Athenium was originally called “The Genie Drug” and it was a serum discovered inside a crystal.  We thought that should be changed, as drugs are not really named “The ‘something’ drug.”  For example, Viagra is not called “The Impotence Drug.”

Amy: Actually, in the example I used, I’m pretty sure I called it “The Boner Drug.” Classy, I know.

Marie: Joe had also written that the drug was a ruby serum inside the crystal stone, but we figured the serum would have dried up after thousands of years. We decided to change it so that it wasn’t the actual serum in the stone, but the directions to make the serum inscribed on the stone. We chose the Tiger’s Eye as the stone itself because Joe described it as a large, football shaped crystal, which is also the shape of an eye.  Also, Tiger’s Eye is one birthstone (in addition to Topaz) for November, Joe’s birth month.

Amy: Yes, that was a pretty major change from Joe’s original story, but we were worried “The Genie Drug” concept might come off as a little hokey in this day and age. We wanted to appeal to a modern audience of readers. I still worry that Joe might be mad at us about that one! After all, I spent this entire project trying to get inside Joe’s head and fill in the blanks in the way he’d originally intended. However, at times, it was challenging to walk the line between staying true to his story and ensuring The Kabrini Message is a huge hit today—25 years after Joe conceived the original manuscript.

Marie: I guess if I was able to get inside Joe’s head at all, it was the fact that I can hear him in the dialogue between his characters.  It’s totally his sense of humor, and the conversations between the characters just sound like him to me and to other family members as well.  In fact, the entire book just sounds like him, and we can hear his voice as we’re reading it!  It was very important not to lose any of that in the editing and revisions, and we were completely successful – it is still 100% Joe’s personality and sense of humor.

Amy: Again, Joe wrote some of the funniest and most realistic dialogue I’ve ever read! As we worked on the book, Marie kept pointing out lines that “sounded just like Joe.” Even though I never met him, I feel like I know him, like we’re old pals. I’d love to sit down with Joe and share a few stories over drinks. Maybe I’ll have the chance one day.

Marie: Joe did weave a few personal things into the story.  For example, Chapter 16 takes place at a radio station called KUX radio.  Joe did work at radio stations and was also into ham radio, and his call letters were K2UX. Also, the character of the news reporter at the station is named Gwen Jones, the name of Joe’s real life wife!

There was a line in Chapter 31 that struck a chord with me, too.  Mark Ranier (the Chief Extrusion Technician), tries to console his girlfriend Marla about the fact that it appears they will be stranded in space for several more years. 

“It’s not forever,” Mark said, lacing his fingers in hers.  “It’s just a continuation of…well…a different part of our lives.  Or something.”  It didn’t come out right, and he knew it was probably of no consolation to Marla.  He hated how every time he tried to be sensitive, it just came across as awkward.

Something about that last line was, I believe, very telling.  Joe was never one to show emotion, even though I know he loved his family very much.  I think that line came straight from the heart.

Amy: I’ve always loved that line. It makes Mark, the ultimate tough guy, seem so vulnerable. When Marie told me it reminded her of Joe, it gave me chills.

Marie: All along, step by step, everything fell into place just as it should and just when I needed it to. There has been a very strong sense of guidance through the whole process—some subtle signs and some not so subtle!

There have been a lot of strange things happening around my house…lights flickering, computers going wacky, etc.  Especially right before publication – that week my computer was going crazy, my fax machine wasn’t working right, my TV upstairs was turning off by itself and my TV downstairs had a picture but no sound on three different occasions! The night before publication, I was reading through the final proof from the publisher, and I remember thinking, “Please don’t mess with my computer tonight, I have to get this done.” I didn’t have one problem. (I guess I should have just asked sooner.)  But as soon as I finished and thought to myself, “I’m done for tonight,” the lights flickered twice!

Amy: My computer also completely crashed a couple of days before publication. I was working on a few final edits to the back cover blurb, and my screen went completely black—something that’s never happened with this computer. I figured Joe didn’t like the direction I was taking with the synopsis. When I emailed Marie with that concern, she assured me that he was just excited.

Marie: Oh, then there’s the author’s photo.  Joe hated to have his picture taken so there are not many of them in existence.  I asked my brother Bob, who has most of the family photos at his house, to try to find a shot of Joe from around the time the book was written.  He managed to find one and tried to scan it and send it to me, but for some reason, it would not scan. Bob said that has never happened before, and he scans things all the time.  The picture looked fine, but when you scanned it looked like a negative.  So Bob physically brought the photo to me, I scanned it and it seemed to work.  Do you know that somehow that photo managed to not make it into the ebook?  The publisher apologized (I’m sure it was not their fault, I think someone intervened!) and promised to make sure it will be in the print version.  I guess we will see who has the last say on that!

What a great chat! I’m so impressed with all the work you’ve done, Marie and Amy. Impressive and such a wonderful tribute to Joe. *applauds*

I’m happy to share pictures of Marie, Amy, and her husband, Rob. 😉

Marie

Marie

Amy Bell headshot 2010

Amy

Amy & Rob

Amy and Rob

To learn more about ghostwriter and editor Amy Bell, visit www.writepunch.com.

The Kabrini Message Blurb:

An alien race. A shocking message…

During an archaeological dig in Greece, Jeffrey Driscoll stumbles upon a miraculous find: ancient crystals with celestial coordinates that will connect humankind with the Kabrini, a highly advanced alien civilization. His discovery leads him on a quest from the jungles of Africa to the

Islands of Greece, from the streets of London to the tombs of Egypt, from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, Jamaica, and Vienna, and finally to the deepest depths of space and Earth’s first global space effort, the Legacy mission.

When Driscoll Mining and the U.S. Army complete deep space construction of the Kabrini communications network, the Legacy mission is deemed a success. But a dangerous terrorist group hungers for revenge, and Driscoll will stop at nothing to save the project. As his obsession with the Legacy mission spirals out of control, he risks losing everything—his company, his grasp on reality, and the one thing he’s ever truly loved: his wife. And when humankind finally makes contact, they discover the Kabrini Message isn’t exactly what they expected to hear…

 

 

Buy Links & Follow Info. For The Kabrini Message.:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Facebook

Blog

YouTube Video Trailer

Pinterest

Twitter

Opal Cover Reveal!

So excited to help Jennifer spread the word for Opal, the third book in the Lux series. Congrats, Jennifer!

Opal (The third book in the Lux Series)
Available in both print and digital version on December 18, 2012
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Official Opal Book Trailer

Check out Jennifer L. Armentrout on the following sites:
Facebook
Twitter
Official Website

Flake-out Friday: Lifted

So, I’ve been delving into writing short stories of late. My short story, City of Lights in Stone in the Day of Demons anthology is getting some pretty positive press (I’ve been asked to sign autographs, LOL!) and I’m working on another for an Apocalyptic anthology.

It got me thinking about how different short stories are from novels. And because it’s Flake-out Friday, I have to put a fun spin on the topic…

Pixar shorts are some of the most fabulous, creative, heart-warming, and genius “short stories” out there.

Here’s one of my favorites (link to original HERE):

 

 

What’s your favorite Pixar short?