Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Guest Blogger, L. Diane Wolfe

Please join me in welcoming author L. Diane Wolfe as the guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress as she kicks off her virtual blog tour.

Diane is touring blogdom during the coming weeks to announce the upcoming release of her latest book, “The Circle of Friends, Book V … Heather.”

Diane, thanks for stopping by and now I’ll turn it over to you.

Thanks for letting me visit today, Mason! Let me give your readers a little info about me and my next book.
 
Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” I’m a member of the National Speakers Association. “Overcoming Obstacles With SPUNK! The Keys to Leadership & Goal-Setting”, ties all of my goal-setting and leadership seminar’s information together into one enthusiastic package. My YA series, The Circle of Friends, features morally grounded, positive stories that appeal to both teens and concerned parents.

Ten years associating with a motivation training system and experience as a foster parent gave me the in-depth knowledge of relationships, personality traits, and success principles. I travel extensively for media interviews and speaking engagements, maintain a dozen websites & blogs, manage an online writer’s group, and contribute to several other sites. Originally from Oregon, I now reside in North Carolina. “With a positive attitude, any goal can be achieved!” www.thecircleoffriends.net, www.spunkonastick.net www.circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com 

My March 16th release is the final book in my YA series. Described as “encouragement personified”, this five-book Southern-based series portrays love and friendship overcoming all obstacles. The Circle of Friends follows a group of friends from high school through college, and each book can be read on its own as well.
 
THE CIRCLE OF FRIENDS, BOOK V … HEATHER
BY L. DIANE WOLFE
 
When confidence turns to frustration…
A new beginning awaits Heather Jennings. The position at Clemson means she will finally realize her dream of coaching basketball. Heather is ready to focus on her duties, using sheer force if necessary to prove her independence.

Sadly, her triumph is hampered as her father and greatest advocate lies dying of cancer. Battling her grief, she must also deal with a sister who appears incapable of responsibility or achievement. And once basketball season begins, a talented but cocky player who resembles her in every manner challenges all that remains of Heather’s patience.

Heather’s life changes when she encounters a man capable of handling her bold and feisty attitude. Straightforward and smug, he entices her to date him, and despite his gruff nature shows a great capacity for compassion. However, the last thing Heather needs is a serious relationship with a man equally fixated on work and opposed to marriage…
 
Release date: March 16, 2010, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
$19.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 282 pages, Fiction/YA
ISBN 978-0-9816210-5-0 / 0-9816210-5-8
 
Heather’s my tough cookie. She’s dominating, assertive, and driven to perfection. Her choleric personality means she is tough on lesser souls who don’t measure up to her expectations. Basically, she’s a royal pain! Portraying her as a sympathetic character that readers would like was a challenge. However, this caused Heather to feel more real.

It received a 5-Star rating from Teens Read Too, and the reviewer stated she liked this book and character the most. I pondered how I’d accomplished this feat, too! I’d struggled with this story from day one. Heather is the complete opposite of me and it was difficult to identify with her motivations and behavior.
 
And therein lays the answer! Heather was so different. She was not my favorite character by any means. I’d adored my other characters, but Heather? There were days I didn’t even like her! Since I was not as wrapped up in this character, I was able to step back and view Heather and her story objectively. If that’s truly the secret, guess I need more ornery characters like Heather! If I don't strangle them first, of course.
 
I’ve spent so many years with these characters and it’s sad to see it end. But I’m proud of this final book and feel it will be a great sendoff for The Circle of Friends!
 

Links to purchase:
 
 
Dancing Lemur Press L.L.C. : http://www.dancinglemurpress.com/id18.html
 
Reviews:
“Heather deals with real life and real situations.” 5 Stars
- Teens Read Too
 
“Curl up onto your favorite reading spot and journey along with Heather as she seeks the balance of family and work relationships. Be prepared to be pulled into Heather’s world and you will find yourself cheering her on and wanting to scold her at the same time. L. Diane Wolfe has created amazing characters with believable attributes and flaws; making Book V in the Circle of Friends series a true gem.”
- Donna M. McDine, Write What Inspires You Book Reviews
 
“Even after reading the novel, I am haunted by these characters… These characters are real to me, living breathing people that I now feel like I’ve known for years. This is the power of Wolfe’s writing.”
- The Book Pedler 

Thanks Diane for stopping by and sharing this information with us. The Circle of Friends series sounds like a must read for adults of all ages (young and old alike). Wishing you much success on your blog tour and I appreciate you kicking it off here today.
 *****
Side note: Tetewa is the new winner in the giveaway for Judi Fennell's "Catch of a Lifetime." Please e-mail me with your name and address so we can get the book in the mail to you. Joanne of Whole Latte Life was an earlier winner, but had already purchased the book and asked that we select another winner.



20 comments:

  1. Mason - Thanks for hosting Diane : ).

    Diane - I give you so much credit for creating YA fiction! It's during the teen years that most of us form our adult reading habits, and I truly admire those of you that encourage young people to read with high-quality stories like this : ).

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  2. Diane, I can only imagine how you feel about ending this series. Characters are real to the writer and the reader. Your book sounds very interesting.

    Mason, thanks for turning us on to these wonderful authors.

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  3. Thank you for hosting me, Mason!

    J. Woman, it was sad to see it end. These characters will be with me for a very long time.

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  4. Diane - great post! It must be tough finishing off the series, but you'll be looking forward to the next set of characters too :) You are one busy lady!

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  5. I don't know what I'd do if I finished a series. I'm switching after 3 to a new series, but fully plan on going back and writing more in the first. Hoping to alternate the two for a while.

    And congrats to Tetewa for (finally!) winning a copy of my book!

    *waves hi to Mason

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  6. I discovered YA late last year and can't get enough of it! Your series sounds wonderful.

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  7. That's SO hard to be finishing a series after so many years! I bet it was a different experience, writing a protagonist that you didn't always enjoy or identify with.

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  8. I have to agree that Heather's character and subsequent experiences really adds dimension, meaning and has such an impact on the overall story. Makes the ending so much more triumphant!

    The book covers the full spectrum of emotions and is a very compelling read, with a wonderfully powerful message.

    I was sad to see the story end, but elated at the *surprise* ending itself. (Even the ending messed with my emotions!)

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  9. Making those characters sympathetic, having the readers really care about them, is so important. It sounds like you've done this with Heather, with her quirks and all. Her personality traits seem like they make her more endearing as she makes her way.

    Thanks Mason and Diane for your thoughts!

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  10. Thanks, Mason, for hosting Diane. And Diane, congratulations on this launch. It's interesting to hear an author talk about the challenge of creating a difficult character that is so unlike herself. I can't imagine letting go of characters who have lived inside you for so long.
    Karen

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  11. Mason, thanks for hosting Diane and starting off her tour right.

    Diane- like you I didn't feel I had a connection with Heather in that I don't think I'm like her at all, but I loved her character and this last book the best! Can't wait to see what you do next!

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  12. Hi everyone and thanks for dropping by. I'm more than glad to help Diane launch her blog tour. I'll be away for awhile today (work), but I hope everyone has a great day.

    Diane, thanks so much for kicking off your tour here. Wishing you much success with it and your latest release.

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  13. Diane- I didn't know you were/are a foster parent, and this makes me respect you so much more. It must also (have?) given you so much insight into the minds for which you are writing.

    So this is the last in the series--what is next for you? More writing? More YA? Ready to tackle another genre?

    Mason- Thanks for another great guest blogger!

    Michele
    SouthernCityMysteries

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  14. I am indeed ready to move on...

    Thanks for your interest, Deb!

    Heather was just my polar opposite. Probably why I saved her for last. She was messed up in ways I never want to be!

    Crystal and CC - woo-hoo!!!

    Karen, letting them go is so hard...

    Michele, being a foster parent really taught me a lot! And I do have plans, both for another non-fiction and a ficiton book.

    Thanks again, Mason!

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  15. Interesting post, Diane. I enjoyed learning more about you and your characters. Best of luck with your books.

    Beverly

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  16. Books like this are so important if they can be well written and believable and fun to read. I have to admit that at 63, I still read teen literature and am currently reading a teen book on Gauguin, so I may check this out. Great smile and wonderful hair.

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  17. Thank you Beverly!

    Good for you, Mary! My oldest confrimed fan is 89, so you're never too old for YA. And thank you - I am a natural redhead.

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  18. I'm glad my characters weren't such pain in the butts! Hope that doesn't end up working against me, though.

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  19. I am picking up this series for sure - maybe if I put in a request from a whole bunch of proxy accounts, they will stock the book in Indian stores too?

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  20. Rayna, that would be wonderful!!!

    There's always eBooks, too.

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I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.