Cover Reveal: UNDER MY SKIN by Laura Diamond

Today is the cover reveal for author Laura Diamond’s young adult contemporary, UNDER MY SKIN. The Ebook is coming April 12, 2016 by Swoon Romance.

UnderMySkinCoverBe sure to add UNDER MY SKIN to your Goodreads page, check it out out on Amazon where it’s available for preorder (or your fave retailer), and follow the author on the web (she’d love to hear from you!).

Blurb for UNDER MY SKIN

Bookish Brit Adam Gibson is one wonky heartbeat away from a fatal arrhythmia. But staying alive requires Adam to become keenly focused on both his pulse and the many different daily medications he must take in exactly the right dosages. Adam’s torn between wanting to live and knowing that someone else must die in order for him to do so. He needs a new heart.

The pressure is getting to him. Adam stops talking to his friends back home, refuses to meet kids at his new school, and shuts his parents out entirely. His days are spent wondering if can cope with having a dead man’s heart beating inside his chest, or if he should surrender to the thoughts of suicide swirling around in his head.

And then a donor is found…

Outspoken artist Darby Fox rarely lets anything stand in her way of achieving her goals . Whether it’s painting, ignoring her homework (dyslexia makes a mess out of words anyway), kissing a hot boy she doesn’t even know, or taking the head cheerleader down a peg , no one has ever accused Darby of being a shy. She also happens to be the twin sister to a perfect brother with good looks, good grades, manners, and the approval of their parents – something Darby has never had.

Darby’s always had bad timing . She picks the worst time to argue with her brother Daniel. In a car with bald tires, on an icy road in the freezing cold, the unthinkable happens. In a split-second, everything changes forever.

LauraDiamondAbout the Author

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 her quirk, 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.

Buy Links

Amazon eBook     •     Goodreads     •     iTunes/iBooks     •     Barnes & Noble NOOK

Social Media Links

Website     •     Twitter     •     Facebook     •     Tumblr     •     Pinterest

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My Short Story Anthology Cover Reveal!

After attending the Utopia Con (formerly UtopYA Con) in June 2015, a group of inspired and eager authors (including me!) set in motion not just one but a five book anthology series to showcase the togetherness and inspiration that Utopia Con (unaffiliated) brought them, called the Debut Collective Anthologies.

HTO

With a line-up of 15 stories per book, there’s even an entire crew of amazing volunteer editors, formatters, cover designers, and branding staff.

I’m so excited to share the cover of Hostile Take Over (Book Three), which includes my short story Unholy Ground. Check out The Act of Bravery (Book One) and Under Dog (Book Two) covers here.

Learn more about contributing authors through author spotlights on The Debut Collective website and be sure to stay in touch for upcoming cover reveals.

Stay in touch with the Debut Collective…

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Cover Reveal: Regress by SF Benson

Title: Regress
Author: SF Benson
Genre: Mature YA Dystopian Thriller
Cover Designer: Regina Wamba at Mae I Design and Photography

 

Blurb:
Tru Shepard is a teenager committing acts of treason living in war-torn New Detroit circa 2025. The New Order, a government run by scientists and technologists, has banned creativity in favor of STEM education. In the eyes of the American Republic’s leaders, creativity is a waste of time which doesn’t foster a strong society. Besides Creatives have a tendency to speak out against the government.
Tru gambles with her life every time she steps foot in the Underground, a restricted warehouse district where Creatives congregate. She breaks the city-wide curfew to hang out with friends enjoying banned music and expressing herself on ancient sketchpads. Recently, the New Order has issued sweeps of the sector to find renegades.
But being picked up by the NDPD, New Detroit Police Department, is the least of her concerns. In ten days Tru will be seventeen, the age scientists consider a government-mandated inoculation to be totally safe. Although officials claim the vaccine is the country’s best defense against another worldwide pandemic, stories circulate amongst Creatives about individuals who lose their abilities after its administration.
Tru has her Inoculation Day orders. Failure to report is punishable by death, but if she can’t express herself artistically, she’d prefer dying.
Just when she despairs on what to do Zared Aoki, someone from her past, enters her life. He may be just as dangerous as the vaccination Tru needs to avoid. He claims to know the real reason behind the vaccine—a government project tampering with the fundamental design of humanity.
The two set out to prove the true nature of the vaccine and alert the public to its devastating effects. But is the world ready to listen?

SF Benson resides in Georgia with her husband, a human daughter, and a couple of miniature fur kids (two female short-haired guinea pigs). At one time she wrangled a household which included three Samoyeds, saltwater fish, a hamster, and three guinea pigs. When she’s not busy playing Doctor Doolittle, she enjoys answering the question “what if” by writing mostly Dystopian/science fiction and paranormal stories for young adults and new adults. And if a spare moment happens, she morphs into a bookworm and devours a few books simultaneously.

Author Links:
Facebook     •     Twitter     •     Pinterest     •     Website     Instagram: @authorsfbenson



I lost track of how much time passed. A pleasant warmth, cozy and inviting, replaced the cold. My head jerked back. Zared sat beside me with the blanket draped around our shoulders. When did he move? It didn’t matter. I won.
            My half-open eyes met his. “What are you doing?”
            “Dealing with it.” His voice sounded scruffy.
            “No funny stuff.” It was more of a personal warning. My gaze fixated on his mouth. As a kid I never had the opportunity to kiss his perfectly shaped lips—slightly full with a deep dip on the upper lip. Would they be moist and soft? Or hot and spicy? Would it be possible to reignite feelings I’d forgotten about? When we moved away I thought my crush disappeared as well. Wrong.
            “I don’t plan on it.”
            I reached around inside my purse. My hand landed on the leather sheath containing the double-edged knife I always kept with me. What if he told the truth about living on the streets? A hard life changed people. I pulled it out and tucked the weapon into my waistband.
            Zared’s eyes followed my movements. “The latest in fashion accessories?”
            I winked and patted the blade. “I don’t leave home without it.”
            He raised his eyebrows. “Can you use it?”
            I grinned. “Care to find out?”
            “Not particularly. Y’know, you never answered my question.”
            “Which one?”
            “Will you help me?”
            “Can’t we talk about something else?”
            “Do I have your help?”
            He didn’t know how to change a subject. I played with my jacket zipper. “With what?”
            “Exposing the New Order.”
            I folded my arms over my stomach. “Did I hear you right?”
            His brown eyes locked on to mine. “Yeah. You in or out?”
            “Seriously?”
            “Seriously.” He leaned closer brushing against me. The heady scent of sandalwood drew me to him like the first notes played on a Stradivarius. Intriguing. Arousing. A tingle raced down my spine.
            “What makes you think we can do that?” Good looking and dumb. Questioning the government was stupid. Challenging it was a death wish. Now I sounded like Ko.
            “Trust me. It’s possible.”
            I shook my head. “No, no, no. Exposing the government will take a lot more than trust.”
“I know things. Valuable things. We can do this. Together.” Listening to him speak reminded me of a small kid with a new toy. Enthusiasm shone in his eyes like a Fourth of July sparkler.
            How do we do the impossible? He must have watched too many movies. We were teens. Just a couple of kids. We challenged our parents, our teachers. Not the leaders of the country.
            “I don’t know.”
            His smile revealed deep dimples. Sorry gorgeous, my help required a lot more than devastating looks.
            “Promise me you’ll think on it.” His voice was smoky, suggestive. Just what did he want me to think about?
            He had a crazy, somewhat credulous idea. But, what he contemplated was dangerous. Riskier than anything I’d ever done. People who went against the government were traitors. They were tortured and killed. We couldn’t do this. It gave a whole new meaning to the word wrong.
            “I’m going to sleep.”
            “Tru?”
            “What?”
            “Will you think on it?”
            “Fine! I’ll think on it. Go to sleep.”
#
I’d left the warehouse district an hour ago. My shoes echoed on the deserted rain slicked sidewalk. The quiet night air was cold and smelled of moist dirt. Once again, I’d missed the train and had to walk home. Big mistake on my part. Sure, I had protection but it wouldn’t stop….
The familiar electronic hum approached from behind me. I was out in the open with no place to hide. Without any warning, the air above me filled with drones coming from every direction. I had no choice but to surrender. I knelt on the wet asphalt with my hands up.
The police dragged me into an unfamiliar, abandoned building. The walls and floors gleamed white. I gagged on the smell of fresh chlorine. My eyes stung from the intense, white lights. Fiery pain ripped through my arms. Smoke escaped my lips. So cold. My teeth chattered. My body kept shaking.
I lifted my head. A man in the trademark navy blue suit of the CHA stood in front of me. My insides quivered. A metallic voice announced I was a traitor and a danger to society. But it offered me a choice—immediate administration of the vaccine or death.
It didn’t matter. Either way killed a Creative.
Someone held a syringe filled with a golden liquid.
A flash of dark steel. The cold barrel of a gun pressed against my temple. If I chose me, my family would be heartbroken. If I…too late. Someone else made my choice. I didn’t get a say in the matter. A man pulled the trigger.
            I woke up sweating and shaking. My vision blurred. I blinked. My knife pressing against my side reminded me of my surroundings. I had fallen asleep with my head on Zared’s shoulder. I sat up and inched away from him.
            “What’s wrong?” He rubbed his eyes.
            “Nothing.” I found my voice. “Just a bad dream.” Understatement. It was my frequent nightmare about the vaccine. It began a year ago. The closer I got to my birthday, the more frequent the dreams got. Now they came every night.
            Exposing the government might not be such a bad idea. With exposure, nobody else would face another Inoculation Day. All Creatives would be safe, and my nightmares would end. But, it was risky. Death would be our reward if we failed. Well, Zared would face certain death. Me? There would be a syringe with my name on it. Failure was not an option.
            “You okay?” He tapped my knee.
            I flinched. “I’ll be fine.”
            “Do you want to ta…?”
            “No.” I stared at the floor. Was he a moron? Talking about my dream might make it happen. Yes, it was superstitious, but I was clinging to it. I had ten more days of believing whatever I wanted. Ten more days to be me. I swallowed a sob.
            “Tru?”
            “What?” I turned my head.
            “I’m not selling you out to the authorities.”
            I searched his face for a trace of sincerity. “Seriously?”
            “Seriously.”
            “I hope not. I have problems with liars.”
            “I’m not lying. I won’t turn you in.” He spoke so low, forcing me to move closer. “Your nightmare was about Inoculation Day?”
            “How did you know?”
            “Your file.”
            Of course, my artistic ability was in a file. Color me stupid. The learning center administered annual behavioral and intelligence tests. The tests pinpointed Creatives. Remember, I said dreams have a way of becoming reality. I knew what was required of me.
            “Zared?” My stomach twisted and turned.
            “What?”
            “I’ll help you if you help me.”
            His body stiffened. “With what?”
            “A way to avoid my Inoculation Day.”
            “Done.”
            “Are you sure? It won’t be easy.”
            “I know.”
            “So you’ll help me?”
            He touched my arm. “Yes.”
            I raised my head. “Now, what’s your plan?”


 

New Release: Bean Counting for Authors

Takeover Blog Post by Christina Mercer

CoverBCFAAuthoring books is amazingly fun and creative and never, EVER dull . . . However, along with all that imaginative wonderment, Authors come closer to becoming mini-accountants than they realize. Why? Because once anyone becomes an official business owner, he/she crosses into the realm of accounting and taxes.

Oh, the horrors of it, right? But never fear!

When Authors Mean Business, they have propelled themselves from merely writing for “fun” to reaping well-earned monetary rewards. AND THAT IS A GOOD THING, RIGHT? Authors are not only wand-waving story weavers, but also real-world professionals running businesses that earn money. And, yes, along with that comes accounting and taxes. If that causes some of you Authors out there to squirm, just remind yourselves that it’s a sign of monetary success if your books are earning ENOUGH profits to generate said taxes. And you don’t have to figure it all out on your own!

In order to help fellow creatives with all of this business and accounting stuff, I offer a handy little guide with some important must-knows of accounting, taxation, budgeting, and planning for the future. Learn the differences between a hobby and a business; get a handle on different business structures; learn about proper bookkeeping, sales tax, common and complex tax deductions, retirement options and more!

BEAN COUNTING FOR AUTHORS-Helping Writers & Creative Business Owners Grasp Accounting & Taxes
NOW AVAILABLE on Amazon!!

Counting each and every “Bean” earned may not be the idea of fun and adventure for most, but having lots of beans in the bank is a pretty great way for Authors to keep on doing what they do love most—WRITING BOOKS! And understanding some important business and financial basics is a big step toward making that happen.

OChristinaMercernce-upon-a-time, Christina Mercer worked as a CPA. Though she retired that formal hat, you can still find numbers buzzing around her head. She is also an award-winning author of fiction for children and young adults. She currently resides in Northern California enjoying life with her husband, sons, pack of large dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees.

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5 Places to Look For A Writer’s Critique Group

  1. startup-593341_1920Check your local library. Most libraries host events for writers. These are great places to meet other local creative people who may belong to smaller writer’s groups.
  2. Check your local colleges and/or universities. Search local colleges and universities that offer continuing education creative writing courses. If you find one or more you’re interested in taking, it will not only enrich your craft, but also provide an opportunity to meet other people who love to write. On campus classes are a great place to find and network with other local writers.
  3. Local writing centers and communities. A quick Internet search with your city and “writing groups” will yield some results. If you find something that fits your schedule be sure to attend the group, meeting, or class a few times to see if it feels like a good fit.
  4. Writing associations. Depending on what genre you write, you may want to seek out professional associations such as Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction Writers of America and/or Mystery Writers of America, which have chapters throughout the country. The site’s directory should list places to find other members in your area.
  5. Social media. Social media is a great way to connect with like-minded individuals. You might also locate potential online writing group members in places such as Facebook Groups for Writers, Goodreads Writing Groups and Twitter Lists for Writers.

Are you part of a critique group? Where did you find yours?