Good Morning Everyone and a big WELCOME to our Guest Author today, Laura Diamond!
Here is a brief Author's Bio on Laura:
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 in the CARNAGE: AFTER THE END Anthology Volume One by Sirens Call Publications. Her Young Adult Paranormal Romance novelette NEW PRIDE and novel SHIFTING PRIDE debuted late 2012 from Etopia Press. She has just signed with Pugalicious Press to publish another Young Adult novel, ZODIAC COLLECTOR, due late 2013/early 2014. 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.
And now Laura is going to give us a "crash course" in shape-shifting, much the way the main character from her latest novel (Nickie Leone in Shifting Pride) received. Please take center stage Laura.
Thank you very much, I will! Here is what I call: Shape-Shifters 101:
If Nickie Leone’s dad hadn’t gone missing, she’d have been brought up in the shifter world the right way. She wouldn’t have had to follow a vague string of clues mixed with veiled and not so veiled threats. She wouldn’t have had to get freaked out by the blue-eyed panther that seemed to find her at every turn. She wouldn’t have had a panic attack when whiskers sprouted from her face.
Here’s an excerpt capturing Nickie’s first lesson in the crash course, Shape-shifters 101 (which, by the way, occurred in the library. How apropos.):
I slapped my cell phone shut and left the suffocating room to weave my way through the stacks to Tiffany. Halfway down a row, a shiny trinket caught my eye. I paused for a closer look. On the third shelf down, sixth book over, a small, silver panther’s head rested on the spine of a frayed-edged, cloth-bound text. At first I thought the metalwork floated, impossibly suspended without an anchor. I fingered the gumdrop-sized figure and discovered it was attached to a supple piece of brown leather.
Dragging the book off the shelf, I inspected the title. Half-human, Half-cat: The Life of a Shape-shifter.
The title, gilded in golden lettering, burned into my brain. The sensation of Mentos mixed with soda popped in my gut.
Below the title was a figure of a squatting, fur-covered man. He clutched a clawed hand to his chest, and his tail wrapped around his left flank. Only his face lacked hair, but he did have whiskers and pointed ears. Freaky.
I opened the book, and a piece of paper slipped out, fluttering silently to the floor. I picked it up and unfolded it while holding the book to my chest.
I crunched the paper in my hand and took a better look at the page.
An exact replica of the wood-burned picture at home stared at me. Half-woman, half-feline in form, she bared her teeth and fangs. Her tail curled into an S behind her. The woman-cat’s rage sparked off the page.
The caption below the picture read: Pyrography from late 1870s depicting a werecat.
Werecat. I flipped the page, searching for a clue. Though, what type of clue eluded me.
My lips moved as I read the text.
Shape-shifting can occur in an unsuspecting individual. It usually starts after puberty or during a time of extreme stress. The transformation itself can be triggered in several ways and is relatively simple.
Early signs of a pending transformation include: fatigue, new cravings, and uncanny coordination. Those prone to accidents will suddenly become graceful.
Eyes, ears, hands, and hair are the first to change once the prodromal period is over. This is usually followed by the growth of whiskers and a tail.
If the victim is not properly inducted into the world of shape-shifters, they will often be confused, frightened, and impulsive. This can lead to extreme violence and death.
I snapped the book shut. If someone was messing with me, they were doing a damn good job. But how’d they know I’d walk down this aisle and see this book? And now of all times? Seriously, I’d wandered all over these rows since I was a little kid. I opened my palm, focusing on the scrap of paper I’d squished. Maybe the message wasn’t meant for me. Pfft. Right. I sighed and carried the book to the table. My hand shook when I set it down.
Tiffany sat up straight. “You look kind of freaked.”
“I need to talk.” I sat next to her, nearly frothing at the opportunity to purge. Yet I hesitated at where to begin. All the cat clues of the past few days were more than significant, sure, but I just couldn’t force myself to seriously consider werecats as...real. That was crazy.
Thank you very much - we learned something new today - always a good thing! Now please share some info. on Shifting Pride.
I'd love to! Here is the Blurb for Shifting Pride:
Curiosity brings out the Kitty...
Sixteen-year-old Nickie Leone has proof her father is still alive. His watch arrives in the mail, with a note telling her to “keep it hidden,” and her curiosity is piqued. She obeys the request, even keeping it hidden from her mother. But when an email from her father disappears before her very eyes, she begins to question her own sanity.
And things get even more complicated when she meets Xavian Katz, the blue-eyed, blonde hottie whose contagious smile and ridiculous sense of humor make her want to tell him all her secrets. But there’s a current beneath his charm that she can’t quite read. He’s hiding something.
When Nickie grows pointed ears and whiskers…and then a tail!...Xavian (who always seems to knows the right time to be around) seems unsurprised. He’s a shapeshifter too, a coincidence that Nickie can’t deny or ignore. She needs his help to master her new abilities, because her father’s rival, Derek, wants her to join his tribe. The last thing she wants is to be under his rule, but Derek’s got something to do with her dad’s disappearance—she knows it. And maybe letting herself be captured is the best way to find out…
"Fasten your seat belts! Laura Diamond has created a thrill ride of a story with twists and turns I never saw coming." Mary Lindsey, author of SHATTERED SOULS
And the all important question: Where can we purchase Shifting Pride?
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shifting-pride-laura-diamond/1113910152?ean=2940015803587
YouTube link for the official book trailer of Shifting Pride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2mViVxhOx0
Where to find Laura Diamond on the web:
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLauraDiamond
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Diamond/e/B009Y7L432/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1353277817&sr=1-2-ent
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5815639.Laura_Diamond