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The Last Meridian by Joe Hefferon

I recently had the great pleasure of editing a harboiled crime/noir mystery novel by Joe Hefferon, and this is one I really think you’re going to like. Any number of authors come to mind when considering whether this book might be for you: James Lee Burke, Ed McBain, Nelson DeMille, Michael Connelly, Raymond Chandler, Paul Levine, John Sandford, Blake Crounch, Sue Grafton, Robert Crais, (and many others)–fans of all these authors are sure to love THE LAST MERIDIAN.

So let me tell you a little about it….

At the center of it all is the protagonist, Nina Ferrer. She is quite a strong woman, with a sometimes harsh and brutally honest approach to life that is at once a little disturbing and fairly refreshing. If you love great female lead characters, whatever the genre, this book is for you. But she is not alone, of course, and Joe Hefferon does a great job building a supporting cast of characters around her, many of whom are sure to appeal to you. As I’ve written in the past (more than once), the best books for me are those that provide a rich cast of characters that I can love or hate. The Last Meridian delivers that in spades.

Second is the story itself, and here Joe makes what I think is a great choice, taking us back to Hollywood (mostly, but also a bit of Chicago) back in the 1960s. This is really a fun blast to the past, and it provides for great ground to enjoy this story.

Third is the writing itself. As I edited this book, I was struck by how often Joe took the time to wax philosophical, often providing prose that reads practically like poetry. Man, I love that kind of writing! I so appreciate authors who take the time to elevate their prose, and to provide us with some eloquent passages that make you say, “Man, I wish I’d written that.” Joe does so on many, many occasions.

Thus, I’m so pleased to have played my part as editor in bringing this book to publication (available for pre-order now, releasing May 22nd). I can give it a hearty thumbs-up and my highest recommendation. Am I biased? Well… sure… but really, I’m also a reader of this genre, and AS A READER, I can honestly say, “Get this book!” 😀

A little more about the book:

The Last Meridian – crossing it was her only choice.

A telegram sets off a chain of events that destroys five lives, throwing Hollywood insider Nina Ferrer’s life into turmoil. The infant boy she gave up for adoption in Chicago sixteen years earlier has been arrested for murder. A plea from the boy’s adoptive mother pushes her to act, but Nina has a big problem—she never told her husband about the boy.

Nina must come to terms with her guilt, while accepting the reality of her fragile life and her cheating husband, who’s embroiled in another deadly plot. As her life unravels, the boy’s fate grows ominous. Set against the backdrop of the Hollywood heyday of the early 1960s, the quick-witted, smart-talking Nina, a designer for the well-heeled of Los Angeles, hires a private detective to uncover the facts about what happened back in Chicago, and save her boy. Maybe… just maybe… he can save her, too.

Or perhaps Nina will have to save herself, the most frightening prospect of all. To do that, she must cross The Last Meridian, the place beyond which life as she knows it will no longer exist.

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER AT:

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

iBOOKS

KOBO

SMASHWORDS

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Still Here

Yep… I’m still here. I was away from this site for so long, and hadn’t updated the site, that someone snuck in and hacked me… in a friendly kind of way, but still….

Anyway, I have a long TO-DO list, and I include on that re-engaging on this, my author’s website. Yeesh! I really have let it go too long.

Watch for my first new “real” post in a long time to appear next week. It’s on my calendar. 😉

What’s in a Pen Name?

THIS POST IS FOR READERS and WRITERS:

You know me here as Lane Diamond, but my real name is Dave Lane. So why did I decide to write (and edit and publish) under a pen name?

When I first prepared to shop my first book around to literary agents back in 2008, I did what every author in that situation should do: I searched the internet for anyone else who’d published with the same name as mine. Why? Because every author should be unique. Many actors use screen names for precisely the same reason: you don’t want to be confused with another actor, or in my case, with another author. When people search on my “name” as an author, I want them to find my work, not someone else’s.

In my case, there were a few too many Dave Lanes out there in the internet world and publishing world. One of them was some knucklehead aryan race white supremacist out of the UK who’d published several books. Yeah, just what I needed: to be confused with that guy.

So it was settled: I needed a pen name. Now, what should I use? Well, I’d long been known by my nickname of Diamond, which went back to my old band and karaoke days (shortened from Diamond Dave), so it made sense to me to incorporate that. Dave Diamond? Taken. Diamond Dave? Taken rather aggressively by David Lee Roth, formerly of Van Halen. Diamond Lane? Nah, that just sounds off, since Diamond is more of a last name and… wait a second…. Lane Diamond?

And there you have it. You won’t find any others, unless you happen to be looking at an engagement ring, in which case you might purchase a [Neil] Lane diamond. As far as individuals go, I think I cornered the market. That means if you search my pen name in some combination with literary, book, author, writer, editor, publisher, etc, you’re going to find me. Perfect.

Are you an aspiring author? Is your name John Smith, or Jane Doe, or… eek!… Stephen King or Kathy Reichs? Yeah, then you need a pen name. The most important consideration in picking one is NOT some hidden, special meaning to you. It is uniqueness. Period. If you happen to be able to get both, as I did, then good for you.

Oh, and as far as using as a title for your book the same one that’s been used a dozen times by others? …well, that’s for another discussion.

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“The Twisted Mosaic” Is Sure To Heat Things Up

IfYouLoveRead_TTM

If you’re on those oh-man-my-glasses-are-all-fogged-up, heavy-breathing readers, then this erotica series is going to make you all warm and fuzzy.

I know, because I edited the first installment of this series. But really, it wasn’t that bad – just about an 8-cold-shower editing job. 🙂

The series has already picked up a couple awards, and this special omnibus edition is an absolutely fantastic deal.

TheTwistedMosaicOmnibus

AVAILABLE HERE:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Sony

Signed 6″ x 9″ Softcover

 

DESCRIPTION:

Dirty little secrets.

Talia indulges her sexual pleasures, turning her life into a twisted mess. Sleeping with Alex is dangerous and reckless, and she craves that excitement. Loving Will is comforting and safe, and she needs that stability. Why can’t she get everything she wants from one man?

All the wrong reasons.

Alex has everything he wants. He loves the power that comes with his job, and fooling around with his boss provides the illicit kink he needs. He’s in charge and trusts no one.

When Alex’s case forces them back together, Talia discovers she still craves both her former lovers. Can only one love her enough to satisfy her twisted desires and provide the stability she needs?

Love takes an unexpected twist.

Will loves Talia, and he’s willing to give up everything to be with her. Their future hinges on her answer to one simple question. But when he leaves his life behind to pursue her, he’s confronted with choices he didn’t expect.

No more secrets. No more lies. Old love? New love? Or do they have a third option?

It’s Time To Pay More Attention To Me

Well, I have been woefully neglectful of this, my blog and website, for the past few months. In the grand scheme of priorities, it somehow found its way to the bottom of the list. I decided late last night – or perhaps I should say early this morning – that this must change.

One of things I needed to do first was ramp up my motivation, my drive, my sheer enthusiasm for my own work. So I decided to visit my Goodreads page for Forgive Me, Alex and read all those reviews. Yep, that got me pretty well fired up.

Life in general has offered a few distractions as of late, and my work at Evolved Publishing has swallowed up the rest of my time, but I’ve resolved that it’s okay to say to folks, on occasion, “Sorry, I can’t do that.” Scheduling work a little further in advance has become not just okay, it’s become a necessity if ever I’m to write my own books.

Of course, some pretty great things have happened at Evolved Publishing, including an ever-expanding team of talented individuals, a constantly-growing catalog of fine books, a Facebook Street Team that’s both supportive and great fun, and even that terrific new website we have.

Still, my second novel, The Devil’s Bane, simply refuses to write itself. The nerve! And this blog? Fuggedaboutit!

Well… until now. Yep, I’m back, and I mean to stay back if it kills me. It won’t, of course.

We Must Strike a Balance between Writing and Everything Else

If I may resort to a tired old cliché, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for some time now. As an author, I’m always desperate to find time to write, of course. Most of us, as authors, have one big problem to deal with in that regard: the day job. In my case, the day job is Publisher & Executive Editor at Evolved Publishing.

I have it easier than many, however, not having the added responsibility of a spouse and kids, as many of you do. My disadvantage is the sheer number of hours required each week by my day job, which is getting a wee bit nutso.

I scramble every day and every night to find time to get it all done. Yet despite this constant pressure—actually, because of it—I must break away on occasion to refresh. I do that in a couple different ways. I ride a bicycle to get some exercise, and to enjoy the outdoors. (Man! I really must get out of the cave once in a while.) My 20- to 30-mile rides through hilly terrain are always a physical grind, because I’m not just out cruising around—I push it hard. At other times, I just turn on the TV for an hour or two while I take a meal break, or kick on the stereo, crank up the volume, and sing along. Maybe I’ll just step outside and take a walk downtown, stop in at the local eatery, and enjoy some lunch and a beer (uh… that’s one beer).

The point is that I de-stress. Every time I do, I feel better, more energetic, and that makes me more productive. I get more work done as a result, more than I would if I took no breaks at all. That may seem counterintuitive, but I believe it to be true. Burnout is a dangerous thing in our business. It’s so easy to let the time commitment required to become a successful author overwhelm us. The process takes years, so when we grind away, trying to find a few hours here and a couple hours there to pursue those goals, we often become disheartened.

The first thing to do, I believe, is to accept our career goals for what they are. We can’t take shortcuts, which means compromising on quality of work, because that will kill our career before it even begins. Settle in. Accept that you’ve made a long-term commitment. The future will be bright.

The second thing to do is to treat your self to an occasional “mini-vacation” – two or three hours to refresh yourself. I recommend exercise first, as nothing will boost your energy quite that way. But whatever method you choose, don’t feel so pressured to complete that piece right this minute, that you burn yourself out in a devastating crash. Even if you can only eek out a half hour to exercise, do it! You’ll be a better, more productive writer for it.

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Idle Ramblings of a Bad Boy

Why am I a bad boy? Err… well… I haven’t blogged in over two weeks. WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?

I know. Sorry. (Hangs head in shame.)

One of the things that happens when you wear so many hats – publisher, editor, editor, editor, editor, editor, author/writer 

– is that the last item on the list tends to go begging. That’s okay; we all have our responsibilities to juggle, and I don’t mean to complain about mine (well, maybe just a little), I just want to explain why I’ve been such a bad boy.

Is this the part where I get spanked? Is it?

In other news (actually, it’s kind of the same news), we’ve added 3 more authors to the Evolved Publishing team in the past week, and I’ve taken on even more… wait for it… editing! And publishing! I know, I know. Now where did I put that cognac?

Truly, though, it’s an exciting time, one that we’ve worked hard to reach. While I struggle to find the time to work on my own next novel, and even though something as seemingly simple as keeping up with this blog and the one at Evolved Publishing has become a strain, I remain optimistic and just plain stoked about the future.

That light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter and bigger, so bear with me. I’ll offer up a little more content here at Lane Diamond Central one of these days.

No… seriously. I WILL TOO!

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