A Gift

Thanks for all who entered The Zodiac Collector Tour! I hope you enjoyed learning about my favorite witch-y type movies and about how astrology inspired me to write the story.

I’ve emailed the winners, so be sure to keep an eye out for it.

As mentioned during the tour, I’m gifting an e-copy of my shifter short story, TSAVO PRIDE, to everyone who purchases The Zodiac Collector. Simply send proof of purchase to authorlauradiamond@gmail.com and I’ll send an e-copy of TSAVO PRIDE.

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Buh bye 2013, Hullo 2014!

Phew, 2013 is almost over! Gotta say, it’s been a pretty tough year on multiple fronts. BUT, it’s ending on a high note–YAY!!

After several months of negotiating, I’ve started a new day job. It’s been a huge shift moving from a job where I had to juggle acute inpatient stabilization of folks, outpatient medication management, hospital psychiatric consultation, and mental health medication management in collaboration with the HIV specialists to a more focused role working with patients in the crisis intervention unit and crisis inpatient unit. It’s a different aspect of the continuum of psychiatric care and I see people in the most acute (high level of symptoms) stages of their illnesses. Since my first year of residency (8 1/2 years ago!), I knew I wanted to do Psychiatric ER work and I’m finally able to do it!

My new schedule (second shift, AKA evenings) allows me to be free of the alarm clock (except for Saturday mornings, LOL) AND I have more energy to write in the morning. After only a couple weeks, I feel much more refreshed and energized. Talk about a relief!

On the writing front, I struggled with burn out. Like SERIOUS I’m-gonna-quit-writing burn out. It was after writing and re-writing THREE novels in a FOUR month period of time. I met all my deadlines and polished up the manuscripts until they sparkled, but by the end, all my creative juices had been used up. *sad face*

Looking back, I can say the hard work paid off. But LORD, I wouldn’t want to have to do it again!

Anyway, born out of this revolving door of drafts, edits, and copyedits are:

TSAVO PRIDE (a self-pubbed, YA paranormal romance/horror short story spin-off to NEW PRIDE and SHIFTING PRIDE)

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ENDURE ( YA Dystopian pubbed July 2013)

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EVOKE (YA Dystopian; sequel to ENDURE; coming January 20, 2013 by Renegade YA)

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THE ZODIAC COLLECTOR (YA adventure coming May 2014 by Spencer Hill Press)

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PLUS, I have an essay in the Indie-pubbed collection titled: INDIESTRUCTIBLE: INSPIRING STORIES FROM THE PUBLISHING JUNGLE. 100% of proceeds are donated to BUILDON.org, a movement which breaks the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education.

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So, what’s in store for 2014?

  • I somehow got my writing mojo back in late 2013 (like Nov/Dec late, LOL!), so I’m not quitting. 😉
  • EVOKE and THE ZODIAC COLLECTOR will hit the virtual shelves as E-books and paperbacks.
  • SUNSET MOON, a YA novella, will go through editing and polishing for a LORE anthology.
  • BEAT, a YA thriller will be drafted (hopefully I’ll finish it by the end of February).
  • I *might* try querying agents again. *bites fingernails*
  • I NEED to get through my gargantuan (and still growing) TBR pile.

Ok, so it’s your turn to share. How was your 2013 and what’re working on in 2014?

Vision by Lisa Amowitz

My pub sista, Lisa Amowitz, has a new book coming from Spencer Hill Press and I’m super stoked to share the cover. Ain’t it awesome?

Congrats, Lisa!!!

 

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Vision blurb:

The light is darker than you think…
When seventeen-year-old Bobby Pendell begins to have blinding migraines followed by frightening hallucinations, he fears there’s something wrong with him. Then murder rocks his sleepy town and the visions that put him on trail of a killer—also make him the prime suspect.
Lisa Amowitz
Author bio:
Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. A lot. She is a professor of Graphic Design at her beloved Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly seventeen years. She started writing eight years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children. Lisa is represented by Shannon Hassan of Marsal-Lyon Literary Agency. shannon@marsallyonliteraryagency.com
BREAKING GLASS, released in July, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press, is her first published work. VISION, the first of the Finder series will be released in 2014.
Lisa Amowitz is available for guest appearances, Skype visits, school visits, libraries & interviews. Please contact her for scheduling.
Website:
Social Media:

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PS–I wanted to give a BIG THANKS to all the folks who downloaded Tsavo Pride during the free promo days. It made it to #15 in young adult horror! Woot!

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Berfday Prezzies For All!

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My birthday is this week, so I’m celebrating with all y’all by having some FREE days for my short story, TSAVO PRIDE. That’s right, Tsavo Pride can be yours for FREE. The promo runs from October 14 to October 16th.

Woot!

Tsavo Pride is a spin-off short story about the lions of Tsavo. In my story, these man-eating lions are shapeshifters, fighting for their land.

I hope you enjoy!!

Download on Amazon

Don’t have a Kindle? You don’t need one! Just download the free Kindle app and enjoy this quick read. Here’s the link.

 

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Description:

Rogue shapeshifters, Santamo and Legeny, believe they are kings blessed with the power to shift into lions. Using that strength, they brutally defend their land from the British building the Ugandan Railroad that threatens their way of life. On a particularly ruthless raid, Santamo meets his match—Naserian. He spares the girl’s life, a move that fractures his relationship with Legeny and blurs his visions of cleansing his territory of invaders.

While the pile of bones in Santamo and Legeny’s cave grows, so does Santamo’s attraction to Naserian. When she challenges him to give up his murderous ways, will Santamo stay on the path of death he believes is his duty, or will he choose Naserian, and love?

SHIFTING PRIDE PAPERBACK IS HERE!

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Hey gang!

I’m super stoked to share good news with ya’s!

SHIFTING PRIDE is now available in PAPERBACK!!! WOOT!!!!

Can’t wait to hold my debut YA novel in my hands. My fingers be twitchin’!

***SQUEE!***

Tell me friends, what’s it like when you hold your book baby in your hands? 😉

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Amazon UK

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****To celebrate, I’ve decided to GIVE a PDF copy of my spin off short story, TSAVO PRIDE, to every person who purchases a copy of Shifting Pride (ecopy or paperback)!****

Send proof of purchase to: laurabdiamond@yahoo.com 😉

Please spread the word–It’s MUCH APPRECIATED!

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Come back on SATURDAY, May 25 when I help Heather Van Fleet celebrate the release of her latest YA contemp romance, When It’s Least Expected! 😉

Mental Health Monday–Welcome to DSM 5 (Plus a giveaway!)

First, I’d like to draw your attention to Elle Casey’s Springtime Indie Book Giveaway. You can choose from over 190 titles–including my short story, Tsavo Pride! Click HERE to sign up–you have until WEDNESDAY MAY 15th. 😉

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The next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual comes out this week. It’s been about 13 years since the DSM-IV-TR was published, outlining our current system of diagnosing various mental disorders. As its previous version (DSM-IV and DSM-III), it divided mental illnesses in categories such as Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, Affective (or Mood) disorders, Anxiety disorders, Personality disorders, Substance Use Disorders, Somataform disorders, and others. It used the Multi-Axial System, detailing information on five major axes. (Axis I includes the above mentioned disorders, Axis II includes Mental Retardation and Personality Disorders, Axis II includes pertinent medical issues, Axis IV describes stressors such as relationship strain, financial strain, homelessness, etc, and Axis V gives a Global Assessment of Functioning, which is a 0-100 scale that gives an idea of how a person is functioning.)

(Phew, and that was the SHORT version!)

I haven’t seen the DSM 5 yet, but there are some drastic changes…which means mental health clinicians need to learn a new “language” of describing diagnosis, not only to one another but to their clients.

For instance, Roman numerals are no longer being used in the title.

(WHOA. Like, for real? Yeah…

Ahem.)

The Multi-Axial System is GONE. Disorders are no longer categorized as above, but are broken into 20 chapters. Categories include Bipolar and other mood disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Trauma and Stress Disorders (essentially, PTSD has been removed from the Anxiety Disorder category and given its own chapter), and more.

(It’s going to be an interesting time for mental health and we’ll likely experience technical difficulties in converting to this new system, so we appreciate your patience and will strive to return you to your regularly scheduled program. ;p)

In what instances have you guys had to learn new nomenclature or a new way of conceptualizing information and how did you get used to it?

TSAVO PRIDE BLOG BLITZ–Going Full On Indie ;)

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HI GANG!

I’m soooooo excited to share my new short story, TSAVO PRIDE. It’s a spin off based on the man-eating lions of Tsavo, so it has a decidedly horroresque bent. For those of you who read Shifting Pride, you know that the lions of Tsavo made a cameo appearance. Now, they have their own story.

Here’s a teaser trailer on YouTube:

Blurb:

Rogue shapeshifters, Santamo and Legeny, believe they are kings blessed with the power to shift into lions. Using that strength, they brutally defend their land from the British building the Ugandan Railroad that threatens their way of life. On a particularly ruthless raid, Santamo meets his match—Naserian. He spares the girl’s life, a move that fractures his relationship with Legeny and blurs his visions of cleansing his territory of invaders.

While the pile of bones in Santamo and Legeny’s cave grows, so does Santamo’s attraction to Naserian. When she challenges him to give up his murderous ways, will Santamo stay on the path of death he believes is his duty, or will he choose Naserian, and love?

TSAVO PRIDE is NOW AVAILABLE via Amazon for $0.99! Amazon Prime members can borrow it for free. 😉

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Several blogging buds are helping me spread the word, so I’d like to thank them by linking to their sites. Feel free to check ’em out.

Do check out Danielle Fine’s website. She designed the cover and edited Tsavo Pride. Thanks, Danielle!

I have a special interview post on Gareth Young’s blog. It was a lot of fun to put together, so head on over to learn more about me and my writing. 😉

Links to my blogging buds:

Karen Y Bynum

Lydia Y Kang

MPax

VB Tremper 

Ally Shields

Dani Lyn Alexander

Theresa McClinton

PT Dilloway

LM Preston

Lynn Rush

Lacey Wolfe

Elizabeth Arroyo

Catherine Cavendish

Ellie Garratt

Catherine Johnson

As a final send off, this Wednesday is another edition of the Indie Life. I’d just like to point out that I would have never attempted to self publish anything if it weren’t for this fabulous group of authors. They took the plunge into the deep, vast waters of publishing and have steered their own course to success. Thanks for being an inspiration! 😉

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What is Indie Life?
How: Sign up on the Linky at the bottom of this page
When: Post on the second Wednesday of the month (starting 1/9/2013)
What: Write anything indie related: something that will inspire or help a fellow indie; something that celebrates a release or a milestone; something that talks about the ups and downs, joys and heartaches of Being Indie.
Grab: The banner above to include in your posts!

Because being Indie doesn’t have to mean going it alone.

Flake-out Friday–February First

That’s one heck of an alliteration in the title there, eh? I couldn’t resist.

Anyway, I’m commenting on it being February solely because I can’t believe how fast January has gone by. I mean, seriously, wasn’t it just Christmas, like, five minutes ago? (Yes, I said that in a Valley Girl voice.)

At the beginning of the month, all the insulation in the attic had been removed (it was vermiculite–a substance often contaminated with asbestos) and I was freezing. Let me say that again. FREEZING.

Four weeks later, the entire house is fully insulated (walls and attic), and now I’m sweltering. YES. SWELTERING.

LOL!

Construction continues as a crew works to re-side the house. It’s hard to see maybe in these pics, but here’s the work in progress:

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The circular holes are where the insulation was blown in.

This area has been fully sided.

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I had the choice of like 30 siding colors. Because the house is Greek Revival, I fully intended on keeping the white. When I informed the fella directing the project of my plan, he was like, “Well, keep the samples, think about it for a few days. You could have different colors for the soffets, corners, molding…it’s all up to you. There’s lots to choose from.”

I chose white. For everything. (The shutters, when fixed, will still be black.)

siding in progressWhat I like most is how the siding really keeps to the style of the house.

Although, I’ll prolly have to replace all the windows next. They look kind of…old, LOL!

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As for writing, I’m editing my short story, TSAVO PRIDE. I have a trailer and a cover–WOOT!–so hopefully things will be in line for an early spring release. I hope you guys like it. It’s horror, which is different from NEW PRIDE and SHIFTING PRIDE, but it’s based on some folklore in SHIFTING PRIDE. 😉

I’m also slowly drafting the sequel, FRACTURED PRIDE. It’s gonna be good, folks, I pwommiss.

How was January for youse guys? What’re your plans for February? Whose gonna see WARM BODIES? And what about BEAUTIFUL CREATURES??? 😉

Flake-out Friday: First Impressions and Kerri Cuevas Cover Reveal!

Authors Dianne Salerni and Marcy Hatch are hosting me today. They have critiqued the first page of my spin off short story, TSAVO PRIDE. Pop on over to see their thoughts–AND add your own! 🙂

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A long-time writer pal, Kerri Cuevas, is sharing the cover of her debut YA paranormal romance, DEADLY KISSES, and I’m super stoked to take part in the celebration. Congrats, Kerri!!!! You’ve got a gorgeous cover! 🙂

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Blurb for DEADLY KISSES:

Aiden Grant is seventeen, has a killer kiss and a boss who used to be President, back in the old days. You see, Aiden is a grim reaper and his kiss welcomes the newly dead. But Aiden’s pleasant grim reaper lifestyle is in jeopardy. And it’s not only because Honest Abe keeps throwing out history lessons with reaping assignments just to confuse him. It’s because Aiden’s next assignment is to reap the soul of Bee, the only girl he has ever loved.

When Aiden’s kiss of death fails, intertwining their souls, Bee is still very much alive and they are both in trouble. The ancients want Bee, who has special powers of her own, and they’ll do anything to get her.

Some rules are meant to be broken, even if that means Aiden must bargain with his own soul to save Bee. Who knew the afterlife could get so complicated?

kerri’s bio:

Kerri Cuevas was born and raised in Rhode Island. She moved to New Hampshire with her husband, three kids, cats and a rabbit named Hercules in 2005. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing chickens on her small farm or searching for the ultimate mac-a-cheese recipe.

 
Kerri went to college for Early Childhood Education but now writes books for young adults full-time. Her storytelling stems from watching too many horror flicks as a teen, but she no longer needs to sleep with the lights on.

Here’s more info about Kerri and her debut novel:

2012 Wrap Up! News and Looking Ahead

Whee, 2012 is almost over! Dear friends, what have you in store for 2013?

  • I plan to write the sequel to Shifting Pride, tentatively titled, FRACTURED PRIDE. I’m about 10,000 words into it, so, YAY! LOL!
  • I am editing TSAVO PRIDE, a short story spin off to Shifting Pride. It’s going to be a self-pubbed FREEBIE, so STAY TUNED! 😉
  • I’ll be editing ZODIAC COLLECTOR in the coming months so it’s ready for publication next winter.
  • I’ll be editing various other projects to shop ’em ’round.

I’d like to give a BIG THANKS to all the blog tour participants for both New Pride and Shifting Pride. I’m honored and thrilled that you’ve dedicated your time and efforts to help me spread the word about my debut series!

Because of you guys, Shifting Pride almost broke 10,000 on the Amazon sales ranking (at 13,620). Woot!!!

I’m also totes stoked about Shifting Pride hitting #6 and New Pride hitting #24 on the Goodreads Best Unknown YA Books listopia! Thanks for your votes–and keep ’em coming! 😉

Before I go, I have a question/request.

Would any pubbed author–self, small press, traditional, etc–be interested in a review swap? I’m game to swap novellas or novels with you in an exchange for a review on Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, and/or blog!

EDIT: PS–Sizzling Hot Books reviewed New Pride, the prequel novelette. Check it out! 😀