January 31, 2013

Forbidden Alliance Review & Giveaway

Hello Everyone! I have a review of Forbidden Alliance by Danae Ayusso and a giveaway for 3 ebook copies of the book. Now on to the review!!

Forbidden Alliance
By Danae Ayusso

A New Adult Werewolf/ Vampire romance: filled with intense emotion, strong stubborn possessive characters and a whole lot of secrets to be revealed! 

This is a story of Jay Dee, A 17 year old girl who was orphaned at an early age. She has lived with the local pack alphas most of her life, while they have accepted her for being different, the other pack members have not. Her life changes dramatically when vampires move to town. Secrets are revealed, memories resurface and true love is found. 

I would like to thank the author for giving me this book for my honest review. This book...I am at a lose for words, I so enjoyed it and all that the plot entailed. I almost think of this book as being two different stories: it starts with the budding romance between a werewolf teen and a vampire ancient; sounds similar to other stories but I can honestly say it is not. While Jay Dee is still a teen she is strong, powerful and never whiny. She is a tomboy, growing up with little so she appreciates everything she has and is stubborn, never asking for help. She has a kind heart and truly loves her family, protecting them when necessary. The vampire that soon becomes her world only makes her life better; the chemistry is instant and amazing even though they are complete opposites. I found myself sighing, overwhelmed with the emotion flowing between Jay Dee and the Vampire. It was intense, pulling you in almost experiencing it yourself! The love builds and heat then ensues...

The second half of the book was focused more on the plot and how things are not what they seemed. Dreams start to occur, secrets start to be found out and the plot starts to thicken. I was at the edge of my seat, watching the page numbers mumbling "It can't end here, it better not end now"...until it did end with a cliff hanger making me want to beg for book two. 

One of the best parts of this book is how it is written in both vampire and werewolf POV. You get to hear and see the interaction from both sets of eyes, feel their individual emotion and fall completely in love with both of them. The secrets that are revealed makes reading book 2 a necessity. I give this book a 4 out of 5, I suspect this series is just going to get better and better and I want to be along for the ride that's for sure! 
4 out of 5 Bats~Candace

Now for the giveaway just enter the easy rafflecopter below and good luck!!

January 30, 2013

Oxford Whispers Tour- Review & Giveaway

Hey everyone! Today we have a stop on the Oxford Whispers Tour. I have a review for you all and there is a giveaway for you to enter. I would like to thank AToMR tours for letting me be a part of this tour and Marion Croslydon for letting me read this book.

Title: Oxford Whispers (The Oxford Trilogy, #1)
Author: Marion Croslydon
Release date: October 8th, 2012
Genre: Paranormal 
Age Group: New Adult

Book Description:


Madison LeBon is dead set against the dead. She has vowed to ignore her Voodoo-stamped heritage and the psychic gift passed down through her Louisiana family. The world of the living is where she wants to belong. 

But her resolution shatters when the tragic lovers in a painting—the subject of her first history class at Oxford—begin to haunt her. The lovers warn her against their own nemesis, a Puritan from the English Civil War. 

College becomes more complicated when Madison falls hard for Rupert Vance, a troubled aristocrat and descendant of one of the characters in the painting. With the spirit of a murderer after her, she realizes that her own first love may also be doomed… 


{Upper-YA/New Adult - Recommended 17+}
My Review
This is a very intriguing book. You get a wonderful blend of now and the past and you can tell the author knows the places you visit and has done her research. You actually feel you are in Oxford or even in Louisiana. The author does a fantastic job as well with the way the characters speak. Madison our leading lady has some fantastic lines that I love and are now some of my favorite quotes. The book every now in then does slow down but it doesn't happen often and the rest of the time it stays a good pace.

I did enjoy the characters even at times I wanted to smack them. Madison is very smart, has powers she doesn't want and fights her attraction to Rupert. She is a good character and easy to remember. I love the way she talks. Rupert is the sexy guy who even tho you know you shouldn't you want any way. He has a haunting past and doesn't want to let go of it. He also has a snobby girlfriend that his father just loves cause she is from the right kind of family. That is bad considering you can see the chemistry between him and Madison. Sarah,Peter and Robert I will let you read the book to see about them but I do want to mention Pippa Madison's friend. This is the girl I wanted to smack. While she was a friend of Madison she doesn't care one but to sleep with whoever she can and doesn't seem to care what anyone thinks about it. She just got on my nerves but she does add her own flair to the book.

The plot is a great one. A painting intrigues Madison and she must find out more about it. It also seems to trigger her powers to see dead people and she gets sucked into a past love story that seems similar to her own. It also seems to drive a dead person to want to kill her and someone she cares about. She has to figure out the mystery behind the painting and try to stay safe. She is also fighting her attraction to Rupert the whole time and not really wanting to use her powers. Using her powers may be the only choice she has tho. This book combines different times in a way that goes very smoothly and makes it a joy to read. This is a little different paranormal book and a nice change. I will be checking out more of this authors work.

4 out of 5 Bats~Pam

About the author
In addition to being an author, I work as an entrepreneur, wife and mother-of-one but spend a good deal of time with books, DVDs and listening to my mp3 player; all for the sake of inspiration, of course. 

My debut series, The Oxford Trilogy, has been a blast to write because I can indulge in my favorite types of music: Country and English rock.

My main goal as a writer is to make readers dream bigger and cause their hearts to beat a little faster. 
Since my writing is all about sharing dreams and stories, I love connecting with fellow readers and authors.

Links to find the book: 

(1) Print Copy of OXFORD WHISPER - International, and (8) eBook copies of OXFORD WHSIPERS - International

Tour Schedule

January 29, 2013

Revenge of the Mad Scientist Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway

Hey everyone! Today we are taking part in the tour for Revenge of the Mad Scientist by Lara Nance. We have an excerpt, review and giveaway for you all.

When Lady Arabella Trunkett’s father, the High Lord Minister of Urbannia is kidnapped, all clues point to the mysterious country of Gandiss and the world is thrown into political upheaval.

Arabella is convinced the more sinister nation of Carabarras is to blame, urged on by a mad scientist seeking revenge. So, she sets out on a perilous airship journey across a variety of exotic locales to save him, and halt the potential world war.

But airship pirates, secret assassins and slave traders aren’t her only trials. The fickle hand of fate has made the captain of the only airship available for charter, the man who left her at the altar. For eight years she's wished him dead. Now he's her only hope.

My Review
Lady Arabella Trunkett’s father, the High Lord Minister of Urbannia is kidnapped during a party. Arabella or Belle as she goes by is convinced the country of Gandiss is not to blame as everyone likes to think. She knows someone doesn't want a peace treaty signed and this is a great way to stop it. Belle also receives a message and a ring from Lord Ismatan the ruler from Gandiss. He lets her know he had nothing to do with the kidnapping and gives her the ring in case she needs his help. Belle must go on a journey to find her father and stop a war. She will need some help and that help is in the form of Rett the man who left her at the alter. Belle will face many challenges to save her father.

Belle is a very amazing character. She is smart, sweet, very head strong, doesn't give up no matter what she faces and has that soft side that knows she needs help. I enjoyed reading about her adventures and getting to know more about her character. She will stay in your head.

This book is a fantastic addition to the steampunk genre. The author does a great job describing the world she writes. From fancy balls, to a desert, to airships you find yourself in many different places. The airships sound awesome and make me want one even if I don't like heights. There is a lot of mystery that keeps you guessing just who is the bad guy and who is being truthful. I love that it keeps you on your toes. If you have never read steam punk you may want to pick this one up to try. It is a great book that introduces you to a wonderful world. Lots of action, adventure, mystery and more await you!

4 out 5 Bats~Pam

“Benji I have to go after him. I have to find my father. The authorities are off on a wild goose chase and I can’t get to Her Majesty to explain for three days. Time is running out. By the time I get in to see the queen and convince her of the truth, the trail will be cold.”

Benji straightened his collar and cravat. “Then we have no t, t, time to lose.”

Belle stood. “Benji, I can’t take you with me. It wouldn’t be fair to put you in danger. Besides, I’m not really your legal guardian.”

“Blast it all, Belle. I’m seventeen. In a y, y, year I won’t even need a guardian.” He crossed his arms over his chest. “Besides, you c, c, care more about me than my bloody family ever did. You’re going to need my help and I won’t let you g, g, go without me.”

“No need to curse, Benji.” She eyed the stubborn tilt of his chin and the mulish look about his eyes and knew he was right. His fountain of knowledge would be indispensable on this trip. Look how much he had already helped. It might have taken her days to figure out the meaning behind that stickpin. She also knew he would stow away or even follow her if need be. So she might as well keep him with her where she could watch out for him. 

She sighed. “Very well. Pack your bags and call us a hack. We’re going to Carabarras.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lara Nance grew up and lived in many cites throughout the South. She loves to write in a variety of genres, but the basis of all of her stories is a great tale that will take you on an adventure of imagination. 

If you want to escape and lose yourself in a novel, you've come to the right place. Choose your genre and settle in to be entertained. From thrilling mysteries and steampunk tales, to paranormal romance and adventure, she's willing to explore a variety of compelling stories full of danger and suspense, along with a touch of romance.

Having been on the fencing team in college and now living on a sailboat convinces her that she was a pirate in another life, or possibly kin to Errol Flynn… However, due to the unfortunate demise of the romantic pirates of the past, she lives out her fantasies, thrills and adventures in her stories. Lara loves to weave interesting true historical tidbits into her fiction which invite the reader to explore further after the novel is finished.

Currently docked in Norfolk, Virginia (until the wind changes) Lara enjoys living on her sailboat and spends time reading, of course writing, indulging a variety of artistic endeavors, cooking and sailing with her husband, Joe and their Yorkie, Rio. 

Link to Website: www.laranance.com
Facebook page:
Buy link at Amazon:

Lara will be awarding an autographed original map of Arabella's steampunk world to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop, and a $50 Amazon gift card and an original steampunk necklace to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. 

If people sign up for her newsletter on her website from Jan 29 - Feb 3, they will be entered for an autographed copy of her book as well as an original steampunk necklace.

Be sure to comment with your email address to enter!! You can find the rest of the stops at the link below to better your chances!
Grandprize Necklace
Newsletter prize!

Author Spotlight with Tina Carreiro

Hey everyone today we are pleased to shine our Author Spotlight on author Tina Carreiro. We have an interview with her and some quotes to share with you all.

What makes your book(s) different from other books in this genre?
Since we’re all different, I would hope my voice alone makes my story unique. I do feel I have something different in my genre, something fresh. I’ve read some comments that indicate this. I’ve always been fascinated with the Men in Black theory. I’ve incorporated my love for that and wrapped it around this whole FBI secret agency, Sector 13, world of vampire cops, weres and shifters. The fact that I try to keep it grounded in a contemporary setting, I feel, is unique. To take it a step further, I like hard-core romances where the chase is just as fun as the capture. I’m not one for overly mushy stuff either so I teeter on the edge of horror. 

How did the idea come to you for your book(s)?
The original idea for Power of the Moon came many years ago while I was riding along with my husband on duty. I love the concept behind a government “task force,” and what elements of control law enforcement would have to possess if given the strength and urges of paranormal creatures.

Are any of your characters like you?
I think I have a little of Mia and Cole in me. :)

What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Controlling all the voices! Other characters who want to be heard often hijack my mind. Other storylines that are begging to be written start weaving themselves into my day of writing. I get excited to start moving on to the next one and I have to remember to pull myself back into the current story. I have at least twenty stories waiting to be written and read.

Do your characters talk to you till you get them out of your head?
Absolutely! Even when I try to sleep, they’re still writing the story. I’ve had many sleepless nights because of their chattiness in my head. 

If Zombies attack which one of your characters would you want by your side?
Cole, Mia, John, Gonela, and Nancy. Oh, and Mia’s mom. Comedy relief in a zombie apocalypse is a must. 

If you were to write a book about your life what would it be called?
Lol… From childhood until now, it would have to be called: Putting Function back into your Dysfunction.

What do you do when you’re not writing?
I work on cars with my husband, play video games with my kids, dabble in jewelry making or just sit, relax and exist.

What is your writing goal for this year?
My goal is to have three books published! Covet the Moon, book two in the Power of the Moon series. The second book in the Darker Side of Blue series by my alter ego T.C. Lee and a new single I’m working on. I’m very excited about them all!

What kind of research went into your book(s)
I’m lucky enough to have my husband as my technical adviser for law enforcement information. I also did a lot of research on auras and the cause and effect of energy. I’ve always been interested in the paranormal so those elements have been with me since I was little.

What was the first book you remember reading?
Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews

Fun Questions
Favorite color: Midnight Blue
Favorite season: Fall
Favorite pet: Cat
Favorite movie: This one’s hard! There are so many movies I love, but My Cousin Vinnie is in the top favorite spot.
Favorite song: Again, this is like handing me the key to a bookstore and telling me I can only leave with one book. Okay… currently on my top favorite list is Try by Pink.
Favorite car or truck: I love my truck, Dodge 1500 and my favorite car is my 1969 Cadillac Hearse.
Favorite food: Steak

Haunted by visions of death, and a past that holds her prisoner, Mia Starr never imagined her life could become even more complex. Untapped psychic powers spark to life, and her chosen solitary existence fills with creatures that shatter her safe reality. Now the very thing she fears the most is the one thing that will complete her in every way possible.

Detective Cole Barnett has mastered the vampire within. It has earned him respect and a position with Sector 13, the hardest job a vampire can hold. When a beautiful mortal is thrown into his investigation, with powers able to subjugate vampires, she tests his restraint.

Cole and Mia's passion ignites, but Mia's fear holds her back and she struggles to forget his touch and possessive kiss. What she doesn't realize is the more she runs from him, the more excited he becomes, and the hunt is something he cannot resist.

Teaser trailer

“When you give yourself to me, completely, I will bite you. Until then, my love, I will only nibble on you.”~Cole 

“I don’t know what circumstances occurred in your life for you to build such a strong brick wall around your heart, but I do intend to tear it down.” ~Cole 

“We all have scars, Mia. They are supposed to make you stronger, not paralyze you.” ~Cole 

“My love, you are playing with a fire you do not fully understand.” His arm, resting around her lower back, tightened. “There are times I may not be able to control myself. I am injured, and I need to feed—this would be one of those times.” ~Cole 

“I hope you remember that you love me when I train you in vampire defense. There’s a lot I need to teach you, and I won’t be easy on you.” 
Mia bent down, kissing him deeply. “I’ll accept that challenge, Detective. And you remember you love me when I’m kicking your ass.” ~Cole and Mia

Gonela’s eyes rolled over her as she locked the door to her apartment. “Would you like to tell me where you’re going—to make it easier on me. Or are you going to try and lose me?” His tone held an edge of agitation.
Mia couldn’t blame him for being annoyed with her. He should be. “I’m going by the Lake Worth beach. Go up to the top, and there is a night club there called—”
"Oh, have you been there?”
“No, but I’ve arrested people that go there.” He grinned. ~Mia and Detective Gonela 

Cole moved in front of her.
“Do you usually sneak up on people, Detective?” She raised her eyes to meet his.
“Do you usually talk to the dead?” he challenged with a wicked grin.
“Why, yes, I do. I prefer the dead over the living.”
With a fervent gaze, he knelt in front of her. “That’s good to know. I’ll remember that.” 
~Cole and Mia 

She picked up the rock in one hand and rolled its jagged shape between her fingers, then read the words on the paper. She couldn’t help but drop a couple of tears, staining the paper where they fell. She read it again, trying to file it into memory.
Here is the first piece of brick we chipped from the wall around your heart last night.
- Cole. 

“I said I would let you live. He’s a different story.” She tilted her head toward Cole. “He’s very hungry, and you…are a very bad man.” ~Mia

Book Links
Buy Links:


We would like to thank Tina for being our spotlight author today!

January 28, 2013

Moonlight & Mechanicals - Review

Moonlight & Mechanicals (Gaslight Chronicles #4)
by Cindy Spencer Pape
Book Blurb
London, 1859

Engineer Winifred "Wink" Hadrian has been in love with Inspector Liam McCullough for years, but is beginning to lose hope when he swears to be a lifelong bachelor. Faced with a proposal from a Knight of the Round Table and one of her closest friends, Wink reluctantly agrees to consider him instead.

Because of his dark werewolf past, Liam tries to keep his distance, but can't say no when Wink asks him to help find her friend's missing son. They soon discover that London's poorest are disappearing at an alarming rate, after encounters with mysterious "mechanical" men. Even more alarming is the connection the missing people may have with a conspiracy against the Queen.

Fighting against time—and their escalating feelings for each other—Wink and Liam must work together to find the missing people and save the monarchy before it's too late...

My Review
I got this book from the publisher and netgalley for an honest review. Winifred "Wink" Hadrian is a smart woman who knows what she wants. What she wants is Inspector Liam McCullough a family friend. The problem is because he had a bad past and believes he may carry bad genes like his father. Being a werewolf is bad enough but he doesn't want to take he chance that he may turn bad on Wink. His solution is to set her up with one of the Knights of the Round Table. The problem is people are disappearing and they have to work together together to solve the mystery. They will have to try to stay safe and fight their attraction to one another at the same time.

Wink is a girl who loves to event things and isn't the normal woman 1859. She is stubborn knows what she wants and will do anything to save her friends and the ones she loves. Liam has a dark past but it just makes you want him more. I love him and all the things he will do to fight his attraction to Wink. There is so many great characters in this book that I can not wait to read more about.

I haven't read the other books in this series but that didn't face me one bit. I wasn't lost and really enjoyed this book. I will pick the others up to read more of this exciting world. This book combines steampunk and paranormal together in an amazing blend. You have werewolves, vampires and so much more. The inventions are amazing and i could picture them in my head. You are kept guessing to the end who is behind the disappearing people, what is happening to them and what will Wink and Liam do. These two belong together you can tell and you really want to shake them sometimes to get them to see what you as you are reading can clearly see. I can't wait to get the rest of this series to see the other characters stories. The author does a great job in writing this book.
4 out of 5 Bats~Pam

Initiation - Review

Initiation (Bonfire Academy #1)
by Imogen Rose
Welcome to Bonfire Academy. Set in the foothills of the alpine mountains in St.Moritz, this exclusive private school caters to a special kind of student. Enter at your own risk... but if you are human, you may not want to enter at all.

My Review
Cordelia starts her 3rd year at Bonfire Academy. She thinks it will be an easy year as she is planning on playing a lot of tennis and spending time with her boyfriend Quinn. Bonfire Academy isn't your normal academy. It is an academy for paranormal creatures. Cordelia is a demon and she is asked to see the student council president. When she meets him she is instantly attracted to Jagger. He is a Fairy and has a job for her. He needs her to mentor and watch over a half human half demon girl named Faustine. She takes on the job not knowing just how dangerous it may be to her life and love life.

Cordelia I love this character!! She is so tough yet she does have that soft side you get to see. The only thing I didn't like about her was the triangle deal but I could see it happening in this paranormal world. Quinn seems like a great guy but I just don't see the two of them being a good match. Jagger is so yummy yet at times mysterious. I could fall in love with him myself. Faustine seems like such a sweet innocent girl she makes you wonder what she is doing there. She totally makes a turn around and i love seeing another side of her. She is one of my favorite characters. I can not wait to read more about her.

As soon as I picked this book up I could not put it down. It is so fantastic. I love the world the author create. It is my first book by her but I plan on picking more up. I love her writing style. The academy sounds like one I would love to go to. The mystery surrounding Faustine keeps you en rapt and flipping pages. You get to see all kinds of paranormal creatures in this book some with a different twist I didn't see coming. If you are looking for a new series to read pick this up. You will not regret it. I wish I could say more but I don't want to give spoilers. This is my first 5 stars of 2013.
5 out of 5 Bats~Pam

January 23, 2013

Author Spotlight with J.K. Zirker

Hey everyone! We would like to welcome Author J.K. Zirker as our Spotlight Author!! We have an interview and quotes on our page through out today. So let's get started.

Tell me about your book(s). How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
I love the paranormal, obviously. I am especially fond of vampires. I have read almost every series out there that includes them. I wanted to write a novel that wasn’t the same as all the others. Yes, they all had their variations, but basically a vampire bites someone and they become one, and so forth. I wanted to put a twist on vampirism that hadn’t been seen before.

The novel is about four families that ruled a city in ancient Greece. One of the wives ends up being betrayed by the other 3. She is falsely accused of a crime and burned to death. Unfortunately for them, she is a witch and she curses them with vampirism. The only way that they can break the curse is through each seventh son of each family and his mate. Each mate will have to have some magical power, too.  They must each go through different obstacles placed before them and trials of faith and even danger, to reach their goal of being human once more.

What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal? 
 I work full time as a crew leader at Dairy Queen, plus being a fulltime wife and mother of 5. I write on my days off and at night. I try to write a little daily if possible.

What makes your book(s) different from others in the same genre?
I think that I’ve put such a different twist on the vampirism that that is why the story will stand out. That and the fact that each family has to seek forgiveness in a way, and be held accountable for what they’ve done. Each family has to find the path that leads to the end of their curse.  They cannot help one another, except for little hints here and there.

What’s the best thing about being an author?
I get to do what I love and have loved since I was a child. I also get to, hopefully, let people escape into a world that will entertain them and let them fall in love or feel a kinship with the characters.  I love to escape into books. That is my way to get away from the stresses of the world and just be someone else for a while.

What do you do when you’re not writing?
Read, obviously. Spend time with my family and friends. I coached softball and volleyball. I used to scrapbook, but kind of got tired of that. Oh, and work….can’t forget that one.

Which one of your characters is most like you?
I have had a few people that know me the best say that they can tell it is my writing because I write like my personality. Not having finished the series yet, it’s hard to say. So far, I think I am most like Valerica in attitude and morals.

What paranormal creature would you be if you could?
Definitely a vampire or a shape shifter of some kind.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I entered and won several writing contests starting in elementary.

How did you come up with the title(s)?
It’ll sound kind of dumb now, but a curse was placed on three families that betrayed Uta Petrov.  Hence, Curse of the Betrayed.

What is the first book you remember reading?
I read my mom’s whole collection of Nancy Drew mysteries.

Fun questions

Favorite color: Emerald Green, Purple and Gold (Go Huskies!)

Favorite author: I think it’s a tie between Laurell K. Hamilton & Christine Feehan. I have read every single thing they have put out.

Favorite Movie: That’s a hard one!  I love movies.  Can’t beat Princess Bride…it’s a classic. Love Dinner for Schmucks and The producers, & Monty Python’s Holy grail. My favorite romances are Letters to Juliet, Mamma Mia, and EverAfter.

Favorite Song: Seriously? That changes all the time. I have a soft spot for Def Leppard,  Europe’s The Final Countdown and anything Josh Groban.

Favorite holiday: Definitely Christmas!

Author Bio:
J.K. Zirker has always been fond of reading and writing paranormal and historical romance stories. She and her husband have five children, and they live in Richland, Washington. Julie is a chocolate aficionado, and in her spare time she loves traveling to foreign lands and gathering historical data.  

Stalker Links:

Quote from:

“I curse you all, who hath betrayed me this very hour. From now on, you will live as you are now—without heart or soul. Forever will you feast on the blood and pain of others as you do at this moment. Until the time comes when the bonded mate of the seventh son of the seventh son can love unconditionally a monster of the undead, and render a willing sacrifice, you will not know justice. So I curse you:
      To the fires of hell your souls shall fly.
              I send them screaming across the sky
                Where they shall endure eternal pain
                And slowly you shall go insane.
                You will live as fate condemns,
                but you will never be true friends,
                and with this curse your soul I bind
                in deepest hell for all of time.”

To see more quotes check out our page Paranormal Reads

We would like to thank J.K. Zirker for being our spotlight author today!

January 22, 2013

Author Spotlight with Laura Diamond

Hey everyone! We would like to welcome Author Laura Diamond as our Spotlight Author!! We have an interview and cover with synopsis. The book sounds good. So let's get started.

Tell me about your book(s).

The Pride series starts off with a prequel novelette, NEW PRIDE. It’s the story of Richard Leone. He’s a prideless shifter in a new town, facing new foes…and new love. It doesn’t take long for him to befriend a rogue (who incidentally doesn’t like the human he’s falling for) and things begin to unravel from there.

SHIFTING PRIDE is my debut novel and follows Nickie Leone’s story. She’s Richard’s daughter, and as such, has inherited some pretty special abilities from him. Abilities she’s not aware of. Problem is, other people know about it and are after her. While she’s searching for Richard (who’s gone missing), she also had to figure out who is sending chilling messages, who is vying for her allegiance, and how the * heck * to be a cat in high school. Lucky for her, a quirkly hottie, Xavian, shows up to help. Or so he says…

How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?

I’ll answer this question in two parts.

Part 1: I always start with a main character, and in this case, it was Nickie. Quite out of the blue, she emerged from my subconscious and extended her hand in greeting. I spent a lot of time with her, in her world, getting to know what she loved, hated, and what challenges she faced. Finding out what’s most important to her was key. Once I got that, then the novel began to write itself.

Part 2: Loving the paranormal genres—urban fantasy, scifi, fantasy, ghosts, werewolves, witches, vampires, etc—is in my blood. I’ve immersed myself in them since childhood. When I approached this novel, I wanted to make sure it had a unique spin. And I’m a total cat lover, so the idea of werecat shape-shifters was born.

The result: Nickie was thrilled to be a shifter. In fact, she couldn’t picture herself being anything else at this point. ;)

What kind of research did you do for this book(s)?

I did research on werecats, primarily where the folklore started and how it varied by culture. I’ve taken liberties with the information, but it certainly helped me form the structure of prides and how the various species interact with each other.

I’ve also spent a lot of time studying animal behavior, which lends a quality of realism to the character interactions when they are in animal form.

What's a typical working day like for you?

I’ve got to juggle a lot of stuff on nights and weekends. Sometimes, the day job takes over. When I have writing time, it’s usually divided between blogging, promoting, reading, and writing. If I have an entire day devoted to writing, I will literally write ALL DAY (taking brief breaks to eat or drink coffee) and will only stop when my eyes are so blurry that I can’t see the screen anymore. Those days are far and few between, but they are TOTALLY FABULOUS. Wish I had more of those…

When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?

I can write anywhere my laptop is. In the summer, I write on my screened-in porch. In the winter, I write on my couch.

I don’t have a daily writing goal. In order for me to stick with something, I’ve got to be flexible with it. Rigid rules don’t work for me. Plus, I tend to write in bursts. I can crank out 10,000 words in two days, or 500 words in a week. Depends on time, inclination, and inspiration. Um, and deadlines, LOL!

What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Finding time! My day job can get pretty intense, so my writing time fluctuates based on when I have a chance to do it. So I guess being away from writing is the hardest thing.

What’s the best thing about being an author?

It’s a BLAST creating new worlds and writing provides an escape like no other activity. Plus, it’s SO awesome to be a part of the writing community.

What makes your book different from others in this genre?

I think a lot of YA paranormal romance focuses on vamps, werewolves, ghosts, reapers, and witches, while Shifting Pride is about werecat shifters. Their world seamlessly blends in with ours. They have a hierarchical system of prides and are of various species, meaning, there are panthers, cheetahs, bobcats, and lions. Actually, they’d scoff at the idea of vampires and werewolves. Just saying. ;p

Shifting Pride, while the romance is definitely there, also has a LOT of action. In that sense, it takes on some thriller and adventure qualities.

Do any of your characters have anything in common with you?

I share Nickie’s stubborn, never-give-up attitude and Xavian’s quirky humor.

Who would play your characters if your book(s) were turned into a movie?

Good question!!! I picture Summer Vlau (if she had green eyes) as Nickie. Alex Pettyfer would be a perfect Xavian.

If you could be what kind of paranormal being would you be?

I’m partial to my werecats, and panthers are my fav. Although, I love vamps too, LOL!

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

LOTS. And over a long time.

You see, Shifting Pride’s original draft took me two weeks to plunk down. That was in 2009. I revised it a bit, sent it to betas, even queried (waaaaay too early, LOL!), then moved on when I fell in love with my next WIP. It wasn’t until early summer 2012 that I dug it out of the “trunked novel pile” and re-read it. There was a lot of dead weight that I cut out and a lot of intrigue that I added before it got to where I was willing to let other people see it. I sent it to Rachel Firasek (editor extraordinaire for Etopia Press) and she LOVED it!

But it was still a far cry from what you see today. Working with an editor felt like boot camp. At the end, I had a polished, strong manuscript, far beyond my original imaginings of what it could be.

Bottom line: Writing a novel takes TIME and having and editor is ESSENTIAL. ;)

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Stephenie Meyer got me interested. I saw how quickly Twilight took off and recognized the merit in it. Then, I realized what a challenge it would be to write a full-length novel. After that, I was pretty much a goner. Once a challenge presents itself, I am powerless to resist it, LOL! So, in my senior year of residency, I began writing. Nights, weekends, any free moment, I’d be jotting down (I hand wrote at the time) paragraphs, snippets of ideas, dialogue, and synthesizing it into a fantasy monstrosity that will now forever remain in a trunk. * giggles *

Thank goodness I kept going, HA!

What was the first book you remember reading?

That’s hard to remember! I’d guess it’s either Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein.

Who is your support system?

My momma has believed in me from day one…though, she may be biased, LOL! As far as writing goes, I have to say authors are the most supportive people I’ve come across, EVER. So, my crit partners, beta readers, blogging buddies, FB pals, Twitter friends, basically anyone I’ve encountered in the writing community—yep, I’d count them all as my support system. 

For fun:

Favorite holiday—Thanksgiving. Hands down. I totally LOVE stuffing and it’s the only time of year that I get the good stuff. LOL

Favorite song--That’s a TOUGH one. I love Evanescence, Breaking Benjamin, Classical (a la Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninoff), and movie soundtracks (LOTR, Harry Potter, The Dark Knight, Halo)

Favorite flower—Rose

Favorite movie—LORD OF THE RINGS! FTW!
Favorite author(s)—Somerset Maugham, Charles de Lint, JK Rowling, Tolkein, Kendall Grey, and soooooo many more!

Favorite food—CHOCOLATE. I’ve become a hot cocoa junkie and have a cup every night while reading, cuddled up in a blanket next to the fire. And coffee. I must have coffee. 

Sixteen-year-old Nickie Leone has proof that her missing (presumed dead) father is still alive. Receiving his watch in the mail is the first in a line of clues bringing her closer to discovering his whereabouts. But clues aren’t the only new thing in Nickie’s life. There’s the Memorial Banquet her mother insists she help prepare for, there’s the new kid/hottie, Xavian, and...well, the growth of whiskers and a tail!

Filled with secrets and a new love of tuna fish, Nickie must partner up with Xavian (don’t you know he’s a shapeshifter too?) to rescue her dad before she loses him forever. Oh, and she needs to figure out how to be a cat, too.

Book Links:

New town, new love, new terror…

Kicked out by his alpha father for nearly exposing their secret, seventeen-year-old Richard Leone is a shape-shifter without a pride. Alone, homeless, and hungry, he forms a tenuous friendship with Derek, a power-hungry shifter from an unstable rogue pride. It’s either that, or starve. Until they encounter a gorgeous brunette, Molly, partying with friends around a campfire. Richard immediately feels a connection with her, and something about her calls to him. Almost as if she was supposed to be his mate.

But when Molly is kidnapped, Richard must take on the entire rogue pride to save her and keep his human town safe from harm. Derek offers him a deal: he’ll help Richard take on the pride to rescue Molly, but only to secure his place as alpha. And once that happens, the humans could be in even more danger…

Book Links:

Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist and author of all things young adult paranormal, dystopian, horror, and middle grade. Her short story, CITY OF LIGHTS AND STONE, is in the DAY OF DEMONS Anthology by Anachron Press (April 2012). Another short story, BEGGING DEATH, is coming soon in the CARNAGE: AFTER THE END Anthology by Sirens Call Publications. Her Young Adult Paranormal Romance novelette NEW PRIDE was published November 2012 and her novel SHIFTING PRIDE is coming December 7, 2012 from Etopia Press. When she's not writing, she is working at the hospital, blogging at Author Laura Diamond--Lucid Dreamer (http://lbdiamond.wordpress.com/), and renovating her 225+ year old fixer-upper mansion. She is also full-time staff member for her four cats and a Pembroke corgi named Katie.

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We would like to thank Laura Diamond for being our Spotlight Author today!