Friday, December 9, 2011

Sequel to 'A Diamond in my Pocket' --Now Available

A Diamond in my Heart release date-- January 31st

**Spoiler Alert**
 If you haven't read A Diamond in my Pocket don't read further 
lest ye be spoiled! 
FYI: A Diamond in my Pocket is currently FREE on Amazon

Book two in 'The Unaltered' series
A Diamond in my Heart description:
Calli's life back in Ohio is as normal as can be expected. Well, if you consider that she has a piece of a magical diamond inside her heart which infuses abilities such as mind reading, future sight, healing, super speed, and super smell; all of which must be kept under wraps. Calli awaits Maetha's training and tries to blend into the world around her, a world she will never view with the same eyes again.

She meets a strange man who can communicate telepathically and possesses all the powers of the Sanguine diamond... and he knows Maetha. He brings an offer of freedom and a warning concerning Maetha's plans. Calli's crazy world is jumbled even further with the realization that this stranger also carries a diamond, as does Maetha. But that's only the beginning of Calli's adventure.

*A mysterious new power, one not contained within the Sanguine diamond, emerges in one of Calli's classmates and Calli is assigned to investigate and teach this person about his new world.
*Someone is systematically kidnapping each of the amulet wearers within the clans.
*Calli's future vision of meeting Chris is realized, but it's not what she thought it would be.

I can't wait to hear back from you about the book. Please send me a note using the contact me page.

A Diamond in my Pocket- FREE
A Diamond in my Heart- $2.99
The Diamond of Freedom- $2.99

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Where are the Rolaids?

When you've put yourself out on a limb, the anxious feeling that arises in your gut can be quite nauseating.

For example:
-Being the first to say, "I love you," in a new relationship not knowing for sure if it will be reciprocated.
-Asking your boss for a raise, and he doesn't reply. He just sits there with a blank expression twirling an overly sharpened #2 between his fingers.
-It's me or the dog!  Suddenly your clothing starts shooting out of the closet as it's ejected in reply to your demand.
-An Indie author listing an ebook on knowing it will be cut apart, chopped up into itty-bitty pieces and launched out of a cannon.

I fall into the last example listed.

Indie authors, or self-published authors, open themselves up for criticism when they list their books on the internet as most haven't had their books professionally edited; myself included.

I put myself out on that limb a few weeks ago when I listed my three ebooks online.  I've worried incessantly about the coming reviews, knowing my books weren't perfect, hoping I'd have thick enough skin to handle the objections to my style of writing.  Needless to say, I've crunched many-a-Rolaids.  The tropical flavors are my favorite.

When the reviews started coming in for A Diamond In My Pocket, my skin thickness was called into question.  The feedback I received initially was that the story was good but the book needed editing.

So, I had it edited.  The book could now be critiqued for its plot and characters, description and fluff; you know, the normal stuff.

The reviews are flowing in:

Amazon 9 reviews, averaging 4 stars:
"I really enjoyed A Diamond in My Pocket. I read it in one sitting without even realizing that time had passed. It is a YA Paranormal, although I think this book will appeal to any age..." Amazon

"I felt myself totally consumed in it, and felt like I was in the book as a character."  Amazon

Smashwords 2 reviews, averaging 5 stars:
"Brilliant, would love to read a sequel...or more." Smashwords

"This one was easy to shuck off reality and fall into the world that the author created." Smashwords

iTunes 62 ratings, averaging 5 stars
"It is very interesting and keeps you turning the pages and wanting more." iTunes

"I really,really enjoyed this book! It was interesting,well written, and had great characters. I would love to read a sequel!" iTunes
What exactly is the hype about?  Here's the book description for A Diamond In My Pocket: 
     When Calli Courtnae breaks the World Record for the 100m, she is invited to Montana to prepare for National tryouts. However, upon arrival using her lip reading ability she realizes she’s been lied to, or at least not told the whole truth. She's a superhuman, a Runner, and her new world includes transporting packages for other supernatural groups.
     She's paired up with an overly anxious Gothic roommate, is continuously glared down by the gorgeous top-dog, Chris, who feels she doesn't belong, and is placed on a delivery team to transport a valuable magical diamond to a clan of terrorists who can kill with their thoughts.
     Chris, the team leader, is given the diamond, but Calli secretly receives the real stone along with a vision of the future and an explanation of why she was hand-selected to carry out the mission. Almost immediately the hidden diamond oozes unprecedented additional powers and abilities into Calli making her more sought after than the diamond itself.
You know, going out on that limb was the riskiest thing I've done but I did it anyway!  I didn't want to let more and more years pass and regret not acting on this.  I hope I can be an inspiration to someone else who's clinging to the tree trunk, worried about going out on that limb; no matter what it is they're afraid of doing.  You never know what you can accomplish until you try!

A Diamond In My Pocket -FREE

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Ebook Exploded

In a 25-hour period, the Amazon book rankings for A Diamond In My Pocket dropped from 161,359 to 471 and I sold over a thousand copies. 

I’ve been writing for a couple of years now and tried to find an agent or publisher for my work to no avail.  So I did what so many Indie authors are doing right now; I launched my ebooks on the world-wide-web.  I dabbled with, and; all of which gave positive feedback for my free ebooks. However, the big turning point for me was when I read John Locke’s book, How I sold one million ebooks in 5 months.  I decided to implement his marketing techniques beginning with changing my free price to $0.99 for each book.  Immediately, the downloads ceased!  Whoa, what happened?

I began building my reputation and seeking out my target audience hoping the overall plan would work.  I kept waiting for to send my books to but it just wasn’t happening fast enough; so I did it myself.  I listed all three for $0.99 and then went back to work building my customer base and writing blogs.  Little by little, single digit sales began to trickle in.  I’d get excited when I’d refresh and see an increase of one download.  It was like Christmas morning!

Then, to my horror, my book was reduced to FREE by Amazon!  I remember feeling gut-shot at the realization that some Amazon cheapskate didn’t want to shell out a buck when other online stores were offering the same book for free.  Clearly, I’d been flagged as ‘cheaper somewhere else’.  I searched the forums and found a posting of several books, including my Diamond book, as newly listed for free.  Well, so much for following in John Locke’s footsteps.  I had so much hope for my books to sell but this setback really took the wind out of my sails.

I refreshed my sales page and my 6 downloads for Diamond jumped to 28.  Oh, great, well maybe they’ll like it and check out my other books in the Scars of Defiance series, I thought to myself.

My Diamond book went free the evening of Aug 8 with an Amazon ranking of 79,563.  The most downloads I’d had on Smashwords was 1,200 in four weeks.  By the following evening I had 3,389 new downloads and ranked #39 in the Top 100 Free Kindle Store!  By 6 o’clock on the 11th I’d reached #19 in the free store with 6,227 free downloads.  I hit the 10,000 downloads mark in the late evening on the 13th, but my rankings were dropping; now I ranked #57 in the Free store.

By this time some reviews were trickling in and they weren’t necessarily good.  The lowest were 3 stars and pointed out multiple grammar and sentence structure issues.  The general consensus was the storyline was good but the typos made it difficult, if not unbearable, to read.  I had my editor work up a revision and uploaded it, but it usually takes 24-hours for it to go ‘live’.

Time was of the essence.  I knew once the other online stores updated my Diamond book to $0.99 Amazon would also.  I definitely wanted the revision to be ‘live’ when that happened, but I was too slow.

At 8:20 pm, on Monday the 15th, I noticed my book was no longer free.  Uh oh.  Now people were actually paying for ‘difficult, if not unbearable, to read’ and, even though it’s only ninety-nine cents, I felt certain the 1 and 2 star reviews were on the way! 

I watched the numbers climb through the night.  My Amazon ranking came in at 10:00pm on the 15th; #161,359.  That’s a far cry from #19 on the free list!  But now I was playing with the big boys and there is a lot more of them than the free crowd.

Aug 16th, at 8:15am, I’d sold 315 downloads in twelve hours.  Cool, but the new version wasn’t ‘live’ yet, so the panic was mounting.  However, my Amazon ranking was now #880 and I was #23 on the Kindle store’s Fantasy Contemporary list.  By 10:00am I was on the Mover’s and Shaker’s list with a rank of #670.  By 10:00pm my ranking had dropped to #471.

Basically, in 25 ½ hours, I dropped from 161,359 to 471 and sold over a thousand copies.

This morning, Aug 17th, I’m on the Most Popular List along with John Locke’s ‘The Love You Crave’.  Who would have thought that?  I mean, really, my book goes free and gets downloaded oodles of times; that’s easy to understand.  But continuing to leap forward after getting the ninety-nine cents price-tag?  I never would have thought that would happen.

It’s been just over eight days and I went from 6 downloads to 13,485; and they keep coming.  I owe my current popularity to my ebook becoming FREE for that short stretch of time; but my future successes will follow John Locke’s strategy.

John Locke, here I come.

August 17th, 2011, on the same page as John Locke:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Where Have All The Good Guys Gone

Where have all the good guys gone?  Why are they so hard to find? 

Here’s a joke: What do Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy and a romance novel’s alpha-male hero have in common?----They are all fictional.

Many novels feature an alpha-male type hero, and I must admit I like reading those books too, but let’s face it, that kind of hero isn’t the sort of guy you’d take home to mama.  He’s the type of guy you dream about, but know you’ll never meet.  Why? Because he doesn’t exist in real life.  Women wish he did, all muscle, brawn, compassion and tenderness, and sublime sexuality.  Perhaps that’s why romance books sell, but in actuality, females close their novels and go back to their boyfriends and husbands who are so far below the fictional bronzed Adonis she’s freshly read about, who I don’t need to remind you doesn’t exist.

What we need are more believable decent good guys in novels.  Stories with a believable hero who doesn’t let others walk on him?  A man who is compassionate and feels the need to relieve suffering, yet doesn’t like showing mushy emotions—but will at all the right moments.  A good guy who accepts help when he knows he’s in over his head and learns from his mistakes.  A man who would stop to help if you were stranded on the side of the road, and a good guy who is able to control his manly tendencies—not ruled by them.  Also, a man who is angered when those he loves are threatened or harmed and doesn’t have a problem defending himself in a fight.  And is handsome to boot!

I’m an author who writes about everyday good guys in extraordinary circumstances.  My fictional hero, Paul, from Scars of Defiance is one of them.  He’s inexperienced with life and girls, loves his mother, tries to be responsible, is compassionate, abhors mistreatment of women, learns from his mistakes, and doesn’t even think twice about putting his own life on the line for those he loves.  He’s all man with normal arousal, yet puts his own gratification on hold at a moment when the Bronzed Adonis wouldn’t have.  Paul’s example of a good man came from his father Zachary, and he from his father.  Paul will pass his good guy qualities down to his sons who are featured in The Dictator’s Daughter, book two in the “Scars” series.

I’m fortunate to have been married to a “Paul” for 22 wonderful years.  My good man is Larry.  He’s not perfect, but he’s a damn good man and a fantastic example to my son who is a good man too.  Goodness gets passed down from generation to generation, I know, I’ve seen it. 

What I’ve also witnessed are boys who haven’t had good examples in their lives rise up and become good men due to outside influences.  An example of this is a man I’ve known for fifteen years who grew up in an abusive home, yet mastered his temper and raised great kids to adulthood.  Two are men now and good men at that.  I don’t know what his driving force was exactly, but something or someone pushed him along a polar opposite path and he’s succeeded in life.

Where have all the good guys gone?  Nowhere, they’re right before our eyes, we only need to realize it.  Most men out there are good men with great qualities.  They don’t stack up very well to the alpha-male found in romance novels, nor should they.  They’re not perfect and they do make mistakes, but the same goes for most women.  Us women need to become aware of our significant others qualities and strengths and try to make an extra effort to show appreciation.  If the good man in your life is your father, tell him.  If it’s your son, tell him too.  It might be an uncle or brother or grandfather, all of which need to hear from the girls and women in their lives that they’re appreciated.

Maybe, just maybe the everyday good guy hero will become increasingly popular in the fiction world giving girls, who haven’t had a good male role model, a fresh type of hero to crave.

Scars of Defiance and The Dictator's Daughter ebooks found at:

Kindle Editions available at
Nook books available at Barnes &
Multi-format downloads at 

Scars of Defiance review:  "I really didn't know what to expect when I started, but Lorena hooked me on the first page. The characters have depth, and the world she created has such texture that I even found myself thinking about it when I wasn't reading it." 5 stars from Carolyn Arnold-author of Ties That Bind

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Everyday Heroes and Heroines

      The best heroes and heroines are those who rise above insurmountable odds displaying bravery, courage and sacrifice, even in the face of death.  They are the examples we admire, the protagonists we emulate—but wait, I’m not talking about fictional heroes and heroines, I’m talking about the real people in the real world.  They are far more motivating and inspirational.
Larger than life heroes rise up and take a stand, making it into our history books.  Average everyday heroes make it into our hearts.
Take my friend ‘Pam’ for instance.  She and I were enjoying a glass of wine on a beautiful summer day talking about mundane everyday topics.  ‘Pam’ reached for her glass which rested nearby and my eyes were drawn to the scars on her arms.  Years ago she was in an abusive marriage held in place by traditions and the needed financial support for her children.  She bears many more scars that most people will never see due to conveniently placed clothing.  Each permanent mark has a violent story behind it representing physical struggle and never ending pain, and yet the deepest scars are emotional, leaving no visible marking for people like myself to notice.
If she’d been a fictional character in a novel, some hunky hero would have swooped down and rescued her in the midst of her darkest days.  Unfortunately, ‘Pam’ lives in the real world and no one came to rescue her.  So, what did ‘Pam’ do?
She rescued herself.
It wasn’t easy, and it took a hell of a long time, but she rose above her traumatic past, shucking off the ‘damsel in distress’ mode of thinking. Many of her scars, like the ones on her arms, are from surgeries needed to repair the damage sustained during her ‘submissive life’.  They are her scars of defiance, reminders of what she now fights against.  Her negative experiences in the past have made her who she is today; a strong woman.  Years down the road, I’ll bet she leaves behind a legacy of helping others in similar situations.  She’s already on that path.
She’s a hero. 
She’s ‘been there, done that’, and she’s the first person to jump and help others.  ‘Pam’s’ fighting spirit is the inspiration for the strong women in my Scars of Defiance series.  My heroines emulate her!  
“No one is born a hero. A hero rises from the ashes of subservience.”—author unknown.
But, why do some people rise above oppression while others languish beneath it?  It’s the million dollar question, really.  If we had the answer, there’d certainly be less suffering in the world, and fewer bullies.  I believe we need more examples of real life heroes to teach us how to be strong.  We need support groups to foster change, and we need courageous heroes like ‘Pam’ to prove it can be done.
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.”—Mark Twain.
As ‘Pam’ and I sat there sipping our wine, I mulled over the long difficult journey she’s been on. “You’re a hero, ‘Pam’.”
She knew what I was talking about, knew I was looking at her scars. “I’m not,” she said on an exhale, “I’m just a survivor.”
I rest my case.

Scars of Defiance and The Dictator's Daughter --ebooks 1 and 2 of the "Scars" series are available in multi-format on 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How YOU can help aspiring authors

I heard once 99% of all authors will never be published.  It was quite a let down, I must admit, but that was several years ago, before the world wide web became a major player in the literature arena.  In today's day and age, an aspiring author can post their work online on sites such as,,,, giving avid readers more to choose from, and quite often a free read.

I would hazard to guess most readers don't understand the process of becoming a published author.  In a nut shell, authors submit query letters to agents describing their work.  If an agent is interested, they request more material, if at that point they are still interested, they may request the entire manuscript, if they are impressed and feel they can successfully represent the author's works they take the author on as a client.  The agent then proceeds to present the work to publishers in the hopes of landing a deal.

Let's jump back to the query letter stage.  Most authors never get past this hurdle, and rejection letter after rejection letter discourages some to the point of quitting.  The determined author takes rejection in stride and continues to persevere.  Often, family and friends are supportive, absolutely sure the book will be a best seller someday.  Yet, until the work is read by unbiased third parties and well received, the author truly doesn't know how their work stacks up.

Here's where YOU come in, yes YOU.  When you read a novel online from one of the many outlets for unpublished authors, leave a review, an honest review.  This helps in more ways than just one.  It will help the author improve their work, correct errors, and gain an overall idea of how the real market views their book.  An honest review gives other readers a better idea of what to expect, and if websites have a 'highest rated' category, you could help boost an author to a level where a large following could develop and they just might be recognized by an agent or publisher. 

I believe the world of publishing is evolving.  Hardcopy books will never go out of style, but electronic books will become more and more popular.  Reader's online reviews and inclusions on social networking sites could very well transform the industry even further.