Thursday, October 31, 2013

And the Title for Fae Book 2 is...

As the Witching Hour draws closer, a special message from Colet and Jasmine Abedi, better known as C.J. Abedi, authors of the young adult bestselling novel Fae.

We are so excited to be in the middle of Fae Book 2. While there are many details to be decided on as these characters evolve in our minds, one thing is certain…the stakes are definitely ratcheting up as the Dark threatens to completely overcome the Light. Devilyn has crossed over to rule as King of the Dark Kingdom and Caroline will be left to struggle with the reality of her lineage and what will inevitably be her fate if she is to follow her heart and be with Devilyn. So we are calling it (drum roll)… THE DARK KING. It’s been a totally different experience for us writing this book – because Fae was an instant bestseller we want to make this even better for our fans and can’t wait to share it with all of you.

Keep following Diversion Books for the latest news about The Dark King and other hit young adult books.

NaNoWriMo 2013 Writing Advice from Indie Authors

Happy NaNoWriMo Eve! While the rest of the world fears ghosts and goblins today, the intrepid writers who are about to embark on a month-long sprint to a 50,000 word novel have much scarier specters looming in front of them: writer's block, empty coffee pots, and massive word count goals!

So if you're looking for some last minute advice or need a pep talk to get you started, here is some advice just for NaNoWriMo writers from some of your favorite Diversion Books authors.

Pushing New Adult by Mia Thompson
New Adult books are what close the gap between YA and Adult novels, where the protagonists are generally set at ages 18-25. The genre has been known to focus mainly on Romance, but have started to branch out into all sub genres massively in the past few years.

My New Adult books, Stalking Sapphire and its sequel, Silencing Sapphire, both have the sub genre Thriller/Mystery.

Before I sit down to write my series, I ask myself two questions: What do the NA readers expect? And, what experience do they wish to have? To answer these questions, I think of who my readers are.

They are the 20-Somethings; they’re past their childhood stage, but haven’t figured out who they are as adults yet. They are ALL about experimenting and rebelling against the restrictions they had as teens.

Since my readers push boundaries, so should I. The characters, narrator, and plot should mirror that boldness and push the envelope on absolutely EVERYTHING.

To me, NA is not only about emphasizing the matters that were banned in YA, but also about reflecting on the questions that arise after someone has soared past the point-of-no-return of childhood, and are hanging in suspension before they enter the absolute madness that is adulthood.

Mia Thompson is the author of the new adult thriller series Stalking Sapphire and Silencing Sapphire - both now available for all eReaders.

Writing YA in a Month by Suzy Vitello

Writing a YA novel in a month is totally doable! The first draft for my debut, The Moment Before (out this January) was written in a little over two months (not during NaNoWriMo, so I set a slightly different word count goal). But here’s my advice on marathon drafting: find a voice that will go the distance through those long hours, and take five-to-ten minute walk/stretch breaks every hour.

The other thing I did with this book that I’d never done before is plot it out. Normally, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool pantser. However, once Brady’s voice and the setting came to me, I knew I needed to figure out the plot to make sure my narrator wouldn’t take me on a wild goose chase of language and rumination. The main thing I did to that end was to make sure that every chapter finished on a somewhat suspenseful note. Here’s a blog entry I wrote back when I was drafting the book (which had the working title, Raising Cheer).

Suzy Vitello's debut novel The Moment Before releases in eBook and paperback on 1/14/14. You can read more writing advice at her blog.

NaNoWriMo: Why It Works by Kathryn Johnson

"Why should I sign up for and participate in NaNoWriMo?" "If I'm going to write a book, can't I just rent a cabin in the woods somewhere, hunker down and write in blissful solitude?" "Isn't it counter-productive to write with thousands of other writers looking over my shoulder?"

These are the kinds of questions new and lightly experienced authors of novels ask me. Honestly, there is no reason why you can't fly solo. For some writers, that works beautifully. But for many of us, writing without emotional and intellectual support results in stalled books. We zoom through the first chapter with enthusiasm, then run out of steam. We start questioning ourselves and have no one to turn to for encouragement. We begin to nitpick at our manuscript, fussing over individual sentences or words. And finally, we just give up in frustration.

This is why some authors are still agonizing over the same story after fifteen years. It's why writing fast, chasing down a first draft in just a few weeks, works. When you shut down your internal critic and let your subconscious do the heavy lifting, you can blast out a very rough but complete version of the full story without worrying about the fine tuning that can come later--like spelling, punctuation, or setting details. All of that can be saved for later revisions. If you find yourself succumbing to the temptation to fuss over the perfect word for a sentence in Chapter 1--and thereby lose momentum--there are opportunities for others, who know full well the traps we fall into, to dig you out of that hole you've tumbled into and set you back on task.

November is one month out of your life. Challenge yourself to write as much as you can, as fast as you can for four weeks. Make your writing a priority for four weeks and celebrate as the pages accumulate!

Kathryn Johnson also writes as Mary Hart Perry and is the author of Seducing the Princess for Diversion Books. She'll be doing a series of seminars in Washington D.C. on Saturday to help writers plan for and jump into NaNoWriMo. More information is available at the Smithsonian Associate program.

Writing Epic Fantasy: Start with Your World! by Garrett Calcaterra

Michael Moorcock cranked out some of his classic Elric novels in three days. J.R.R. Tolkien, on the other hand, took twelve years to write Lord of the Rings. While their approaches to the writing process couldn’t be further apart, the one step both of these fantasy greats had in common was that they created a fully thought-out fictional milieu before they began writing. Taking a lesson from the masters, here’s four tips for developing your fantasy world:

Start with the Fantastical Part – What makes your story a fantasy story? Is it the presence of mythical beasts? Is there magic? Determine the premise of your fantasy component and then use it to determine how civilization evolved based on the presence of your fantastical element.

Chronicle the History of Your World – Just like our characters need back stories in order for us to understand their motivation, our fictional world needs to have a history. Are your denizens indigenous to the land or did they migrate from somewhere? What wars and catastrophic events shaped civilization? What religions emerged? Was there a golden age of civilization that your denizens look back upon fondly? What menace is now present in your world?

Draw a Map – Most fantasy novels involve a quest of one sort or another, and that entails travelling. To help you visualize the landscape, create a map of the world you created. Name the cities and towns. Name the forests, mountains and seas. In addition to being fun, this will also help you further understand your world.

Set Your Characters Loose – Your characters now have a rich backdrop in which to be themselves—put them into action! Only a small portion of your world building will end up on the page, but having gone through the world-building process will expedite the writing process. Plus, the tidbits of exposition sprinkled throughout the story will make the reader feel the weight of your vast world even though they only see small portion of it through your characters’ eyes.

Garrett Calcaterra is an author of dark speculative fiction, including Dreamwielder for Diversion Books.

Whether you're a pantser or a plotter, writing poetry or hard boiled mysteries, all of us at Diversion Books wish you luck on your quest in November. Write on!

And if you're celebrating Halloween rather than preparing for writing a new novel, don't forget to check out Diversion Books' selection of horror and thriller titles. There's a scare for everyone!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New eBook releases 10/29: Horror books just in time for Halloween!

Arriving this week from Diversion Books are two horror sequels that are perfect to give you a fright this Halloween!

Adults will enjoy the conclusion to the sizzling relationship between music journalist Dawn Emerson and rocker Sage Knightly in The Devil's Reprise, the sequel to The Devil's Metal. Sage and Dawn are reunited when he invites her to cover his first solo tour in Europe. But nothing is as easy as it seems as they must negotiate with the mysterious new photographer, as well as vindictive promoters and demonic groupies they thought they'd never see again. Because this time, it's Dawn who made a deal with the devil...and she doesn't remember how she's supposed to pay it back.

Karina Halle is the USA Today bestselling author of The Artist's Trilogy and the Experiment in Terror Series. If you're new to the world of the Devils series, the first book The Devil's Metal is available for just 99 cents for a limited time! Pick up both books today for your favorite eReader.

Younger readers (and the young at heart!) will be thrilled and chilled by Geoffrey Huntington's Blood Moon. The third book in the Ravenscliff series, the mystery of the Tower at Ravenscliff is finally revealed, as Devon March deals with issues from the mundane (girl problems!) to the deadly (a savage monster plagues Misery Point). Devon's only choice is to take another trip down the Staircase Into Time, emerging at the Ravenscliff of thirty years ago, when his guardian Amanda was a toddler, and the Madman, Jackson Muir, is still very much alive.

Geoffrey Huntington has written a Craft of Writing post for Adventures in YA Publishing on Blood Moon's path to publication and the process of updating a YA series that was originally written 10 years ago. How have Twitter and cell phones changed the landscape? And if you haven't already, you can start the Ravenscliff series with Sorcerer's of the Nightwing, and continue with Demon Witch.

Diversion Books has a wide selection of horror and thriller books for every age and taste! Don't forget to check out our Featured Reads for our favorite chilling books: from Silencing Sapphire for New Adult fans, Slumber for Dark Fantasy YA fans, and Gary Grossman's frightening political reality thrillers starting with Executive Actions, there's something for everyone!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New eBook releases 10/22: New Adult Thriller and Western Romances

This week's new releases include the highly-anticipated sequel to the bestselling new adult thriller Stalking Sapphire, and eight classic comedic Western romances from Raine Cantrell.

Silencing Sapphire has Beverly Hills heiress Sapphire Dubois once again going undercover, this time as a penniless stripper to lure the serial killer dubbed the "Stripper Slayer." But she walks a fine line between her double lives, as her family and friends expect her to walk down the aisle with Beverly Hills' most eligible bachelor, while handsome Detective Aston Ridder is rapidly closing in on her identity as the Serial Catcher. While Sapphire struggles to keep the chaos at bay, another serial killer from her past is watching her and determined to seek his vengeance.

Silencing Sapphire is the sequel to the bestselling new adult thriller Stalking Sapphire. Stalking Sapphire is available in book club format on Wattpad, and is also 99 cents for a limited time at your favorite eBook retailer.

+Mia Thompson is celebrating the release of Silencing Sapphire with two online appearances this week! Tonight, Tuesday October 22nd, she'll be hosting an online release party via Google Hangouts at 8 PM Eastern. Follow Mia on Google Plus for the link when the Hangout goes live tonight. Additionally, she'll be a guest on the #NALitChat Twitter chat on Thursday, October 24th, at 9 PM Eastern.

Thrillers aren't your thing? How about funny and romantic Western romances? Raine Cantrell, who also writes as Theresa DiBenedetto, releases eight of her charming and warm Western romances today. From the fierce and funny battle of the sexes in Calico to the tender romance of Whisper My Name, there's a romantic classic for everyone from Raine Cantrell. Check out Diversion Books' romance page for more from Raine Cantrell and other popular historic and contemporary romance authors.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

National Work and Family Month - An Excerpt from Turning the Pyramid Upside Down

October 2013 is the tenth annual celebration of National Work and Family Month, an initiative of WorldatWork's Alliance for Work-Life Progress to "encourage employers to think strategically about family-friendly policies and work-life benefits." Management consultant, and Diversion Books author, Marilyn D. Jacobson has long been an advocate of such policies and benefits. In her book Turning the Pyramid Upside Down: A New Leadership Model she profiles successful business leaders, and includes the research that proves why they were successful. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter Eight, From Waste to Wellness, and be sure to read through to the end for a chance to win a paperback copy for yourself.

I  have followed Jenny Gumm’s passage from a young woman with great promise to an exceptional team leader who discovered the productivity possible with a confident and committed group. Advancing in hierarchical companies, she showed concern for people and created opportunities for their development.

Jenny joined Waste Management in 1988 as a financial analyst. She then was selected to be the Assistant Controller for an operating location. When she was appointed team leader of a group that was charged to bring all the accounting locations into a single center, she learned how meaningful teams can be and how to lead a team entrusted with a monumental task. This led to the complete reengineering of the IT Systems. Her title changed to VP of Information Systems and Reengineering for Waste Management. After Waste Management merged with USA Waste, she outsourced all of IT and enabled most people to stay with the outsourced organization.

Jenny’s next position was CIO at GE Capital Rail Services. Her timing was fortuitous, immediately following Y2K. There was tremendous pent-up demand for IT. She restructured the department and created the position of Relationship Manager to ensure that each part of the business received the assistance needed. As her focus shifted to E-commerce, she found ways to provide exemplary customer service. The existing GE Capital leadership program, which rotated senior managers, was a plus for managers but left those in divisions without the same opportunity to be promoted. She recognized and rewarded those in IT and helped them attain visibility that was previously lacking.

She was asked to serve on a team for GE Capital that led to her award as an “Outstanding Person.” In her first year she had been nominated as one of GE Capital’s top 1-2 percent.

A hiatus after leaving GE Capital allowed her time to reprioritize. She had experienced the command and control style at Waste Management and from project experiences learned what people can accomplish when they are engaged.

Her strong emphasis on the people side of business led her to start an Ed.D. program at Pepperdine University. Not surprisingly, work on her Ed.D. dissertation is about wellness and corporate America’s need to appreciate the value of health and work-life balance.

Her research and personal experience has enabled her to see the connection between stress and both physical and mental health. She maintains that the corporate world denies the fact that work is draining, and that in dealing with their workforce organizations, they must see and care for the whole person. The cost of mental and physical breakdown is high. Attention to wellness, she says, can lead to more creative, innovative, and less stressed employees. She is currently starting a wellness business and has completed a pilot program.

The January/February 2012 issue of Harvard Business Review is dedicated to wellness. A number of points of view are explored, including degrees of happiness. Jenny has made wellness a personal priority as she establishes the link between being healthy in mind and body and increased effectiveness on the job.


“The Happiness Factor” article, part of an issue dedicated to The Value of Happiness: How Employee Well-Being Drives Profits starts with the obvious question: “Why write about happiness when so much of the global economy is still in a funk and people are manifestly unhappy across the world?” We have become accustomed to metrics based on revenues and profitability. If we step away from GDP as the baseline for measuring success and start to think forward to a more holistic approach to profitability, then health, education, and political freedom become critical parts of the equation.

If we could take another step forward, we would include the work of behavioral economists, psychologists, and original thinkers, such as Daniel Pink who forecasts the emergence of right over left brain thinkers. There is no denying a link between performance and happiness. But even as we agree there is a connection between happy workers and the bottom line, we can also predict that the profit motif will not diminish. Therefore, the task is to demonstrate that by helping employees thrive everyone benefits. There still remains the nagging question: How do we make employees happy?

Valuing happiness is gaining importance in other countries. In 1972 the King of Bhutan announced that gross national happiness is more important than gross national product, and that happiness is more important than prosperity. With forty-one countries engaged in measuring happiness, the topic is likely to have an impact.

According to HBR authors for the Happiness edition, the answer for U.S. companies is to involve employees in decision making, sharing information, and minimizing incivility. The first two are evident and discussed in other examples in this book. Incivility is not new and rarely talked about but gaining in strategic importance. Incivility in this context applies to leaders exercising power by berating employees publicly and similar humiliating acts. The most egregious is utilizing the fear factor of threatening dismissal.

Flatter organizations will go a considerable distance from merely overcoming incivility in order to engage, encourage, and energize employees. Instead of being construed as a negative, speaking up is actually appropriate if employees are to act responsibly by challenging everything.

Marilyn D. Jacobson has extensive experience as a management consultant and currently as an executive coach helping senior leaders build a highly engaged and motivated workforce. Her emphasis on leadership development has evolved to coaching leaders for the changing world market. Assessments, 360 profiles, development plans and coaching advance personal and organizational goals. She is the author of Turning the Pyramid Upside Down: A New Leadership Model, available in both print and eBook formats from Diversion Books.

Win one of five paperback copies of Turning the Pyramid Upside Down in our Goodreads giveaway, now through November 7, or purchase today for your favorite eReader.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New eBook releases 10/7: Regency Romance

This week's new releases bring back ten classic historical romances from Katherine Kingsley.

Katherine Kingsley is the bestselling author of seventeen novels. She's received two Romantic Times Career Achievement awards, four Reviewer's Choice Aawards, and is a two-time Romance Writers of America RITA finalist. We're thrilled to release ten of her lush historical romances as eBooks today, from a romantic Irish retelling of Cinderella in Once Upon a Dream to the wild romances in exotic locales of the Pascal trilogy: No Greater Love, No Sweeter Heaven, No Brighter Dream. As the weather begins to turn colder, stay inside and curl up with a great romance!

In the mood for a scare? Don't forget to check out October's featured eBook titles for all of the thrills and chills you could ask for in a Halloween eBook - from dark fantasy to chilling political thrillers, there's a scare for everyone.

What are you reading this week?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Remembering Tom Clancy

The literary world lost one of the greats this week with the passing of legendary thriller writer Tom Clancy at the age of 66. Some of Diversion's own thriller authors wanted to share their stories about this luminary in the field.
It was the America Online era of the internet, the tender pink dawn of electronic communication. I happened upon Tom Clancy’s email address and drafted an email with the subject line: Electromagnetics & Wave Theory. In retrospect I’m not sure why I chose that. I guess I wanted something more interesting than “I LOVE YOUR WORK!!!!!! ZOMG!!!!”, even if the body of the email basically conveyed that message.

To my delight and surprise, he wrote back. And so began a two-year correspondence with an American master. I was writing a book that would become God’s Country – a still much loved and still unpublished book. I spoke about it humbly with Tom, giving him the basic outline: “A US spy plane crash lands in a militia compound.” He said it was actually a great premise for a book. Every time I wanted to quit, I would think of him saying it was a great idea. It powered me through several years of false starts and endless revisions. I would think, “If Tom Clancy thinks it’s a cool idea, the world needs it.”
He was more kind than he needed to be. A class act. I will miss him.
-Cara Ellison, author of At Any Cost 

We owe debt of gratitude to Tom Clancy. He opened our minds to the clear and present dangers that exist in the world beyond James Bond; the world of real madmen and political terrorists, unthinkable threats and unfathomable dangers.

I inhaled, consumed and embraced Tom Clancy’s work. He created remarkable heroes with moral fortitude whose ideals embodied America’s place in the world and our place in America. And he literally wrote the book on how we must deal with the frighteningly new normal that reveals itself with the day’s news.
The clock was always ticking at breakneck speed in Tom Clancy’s novels. I wish it had slowed down for him in life. Now, more than ever, we need his perspective on things as they are and things to come.

Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October was the first thriller I read. What was most interesting the Naval Institute Press out of Annapolis that published military topics was the publisher. I sat down the night I bought it and couldn't stop reading. The detail, the pace, the characters hooked me. Mr. Clancy's novel started me on my journey and I'm sure many other writers of suspense. Farewell and thanks fellow writer.
-Arthur Kerns, author of The Riviera Contract, and the forthcoming The African Contract 

Sometimes –often, in the darkest of dark moments—writers tend toward an odd sort of refuge in dark humor. For what I’d hope is one example, there’s the kneejerk reflex from Gore Vidal, who —upon hearing of the death of his longtime literary “frenemy,” Truman Capote— was reputed to have remarked “good career move.”
Hard to compete with that one. 
Wednesday morning —upon hearing of the death of thriller-master Tom Clancy—all I could muster was a weak-by-comparison “too bad Clancy had to live long enough to watch Ben Affleck massacre Jack Ryan.”
I like to think Clancy would have chuckled at that snarky wisecrack.  From his writing, from the interviews with him that I’ve read… well, Clancy seems the kind of guy who would have done so —and would have come back with the kind of writer’s-conference insider-jibe that would have had everybody at the table in stitches.
Too late now.  Too late to do anything but imagine that scene. That’s another way writers deal with bleak events. 
They’re dying young these days, it seems; the kings of the thriller genre, I mean. Clancy was 66 –and if you think that is elderly, you probably came into the fold of Clancy-fandom relatively late in the game. Four months earlier, Clancy had seen another talented writer of the genre --Vince Flynn, who oft cited Tom Clancy as his own inspiration to take up the thriller-trade—die at age 47.
Naturally, in my imagination, Flynn would have been at the table too; he and Clancy would have had much in common, a lot to talk about. Oh, sure: both men would have shown respect to the old guy at the head of the table —Elmore Leonard, of course. But Leonard, for all his own mastery, painted on a smaller canvas than did Clancy and Flynn.  I image that when Leonard spoke —short, succinct comments, leaving out all the stuff readers skip past— both men would have nodded deferentially.
But then, I suspect, Clancy and Flynn would have leaned close together, murmuring about geopolitical threats, looming apocalyptical plots, and comparing notes on the latest otherwise-Top Secret tips that the brotherhood of intelligence insiders —Clancy/Flynn fans, all— had slipped to them.
Oh, to have had a seat at that table! Even at the farthest, below-the-salt chair. What wonderful things to be overheard; what a marvelous tutelage to be had.
As I said, too late now.
Except, perhaps, in the world of the imagination, a kingdom where all three men reigned during their lives. And except —and this is certainty— in their books, where they will reign for as long as any reader seeks out true thriller-writing mastery. 
Now, in my own imagination, I hear a rather comforting sound: it’s not unlike that of a chair being pulled out, perhaps in a conference-hotel bar. And now two men —one older, one younger— are cheerily welcoming a third to their table.
Oh, to hear what they’ll say next! 
Rest in peace, Tom Clancy.  I’m going to miss your work. We all will. 
-Earl Merkel, author of Dirty Fire, Final Epidemic, and Fire of the Prophet

Thank you to Arthur, Cara, Earl and Gary for sharing their memories of Tom Clancy. What will you remember most about Tom Clancy? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

10/1 New Release Plus October Thrills and Chills

Another week brings more new releases from Diversion Books! This week's new eBook release is to get you in the mood for the 2013-14 NBA season with a look back at a legendary team from the NBA's golden age.

Cover of Unfinished Business: On and Off the Court with the 1990-91 Boston Celtics
Sports writer Jack McCallum is one of the leading voices in basketball reporting and longform writing today. His book Dream Team is one of the defining looks at the 1992 Olympics Team USA basketball, but it's today's eBook that Grantland and ESPN's Bill Simmons calls "One of the five best NBA books ever." Unfinished Business: On and Off the Court with the 1990-91 Boston Celtics centers on a crucial year for a team in transition. From the back-room planning on draft day to Larry Bird's unforgettable postseason efforts, Jack McCallum chronicles the glorious highs and devastating lows for this iconic team.

In addition to the start of basketball season, October is filled with thrills and chills of quite a different sort - Halloween, of course! Diversion Books is getting into the spirit with our featured titles for the month highlighting thrillers and horror novels to keep your heart racing all month long. It'll all culminate with the release of two eagerly anticipated horror-themed titles: The Devil's Reprise, the sequel to Karina Halle's The Devil's Metal, and Blood Moon, the long-awaited English release of the third book in Geoffrey Huntington's Ravenscliff series.