Category Archives: News

Keep Your Toga On!

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Toga! Toga! Toga!

Toga - Arca Book 5 - By Karen DiemAs of May 5, 2020, Toga is loose and running free, throwing laurel wreaths and available for purchase at every major retailer. Don’t myth this one! The ebook is $3.99 USD or the equivalent, and most major ebook retailers should be more than happy to sell it to you.

Paperback versions will follow in a few weeks, but the 6×9″ books will be bursting with historical inaccuracies, lame jokes, and all the Arca you expect and then some. I’ll comment below when that happens. In the meantime, you can get a quick glimpse of the first chapter here.

And yes, this notice is late. It’s one of many things running sideways right now. Hope your Cinco de Mayo was a happy one!

For Your Free Viewing Pleasure

Bored? Stuck at home obsessing over that thing you meant to do that didn’t turn out quite right or perhaps never got started?

Let me help you procrastinate.

I’ve started attending and serving on panels at (virtual) cons. It’s great. I get to show off my invisibility superpower and be that mysterious voice that comes in from offscreen with the awesome jokes and everyone else gets to practice making faces at said comments.

Anyway, on April 28, 2020, I was on the Superheroes panel of QuaranCon 2020. We talked about superheroes we’ve known and loved (from afar, well outside of restraining order boundaries, I swear!), as well as small bits here and there about our own writing. The other panels at the convention were also entertaining; I particularly enjoyed the one on fight scenes.

This week, I’ll be attending the Superhero-Fiction Con and speaking on TWO panels, despite the con organizers having been with me on the QuaranCon 2020 panel. That con will have one panel every weekday from May 18 to May 22 at 6PM EST. I’ll be speaking on the Tuesday (May 19) panel on creating the powers behind the heroes, and on the Friday (May 22) panel on superhero origins.

After that, I’ve got no more virtual conventions planned for the moment. That’s subject to change if and when I get asked to do a sufficiently interesting one again. If they’d like to PAY me, that’d be even better. Cash dollars, Paypal, or homemade chocolate chip cookies only.

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Concrete, Quarry, and Chronology

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Long-haired daschund in a santa hat
Photo by Arlette Rieken on Unsplash

Every year, I’m between a rock and a hard place. I try to release a short story to my mailing list as a thank you and holiday gift at least once a year. The problem, however, is whether to deliver it before the new year so they can have something short and fun to curl up with when they need a break from celebrating, or after the new year when money is typically tight and a free story would be a good way to unwind from all those resolutions.

This year, I came up with a good solution: two stories, Concrete and Quarry. One delivered before the holidays, and the other after. In both, Zita’s trying to live up to her social obligations when something goes wrong (she IS a superhero, after all). Both stories occur between Monster and Toga.

Quarry, released January 2020, covers Zita-as-Arca hanging with a friend not long after the events of Monster. Here’s the description:

Some people dig up trouble everywhere they go, even when they’re literally in a hole in the ground.

Zita Garcia’s one of them. The part-time superhero has to step up–or climb down–to save the day yet again.

Concrete, released November 2019, covers Zita-as-Zita on yet another successful (-ish? Close enough.) blind date a few days before the events of Toga. Here’s the description:

Never stand between a woman and her snacks. Everything would’ve been fine, if the robbers had just left the snacks alone.

Sometimes, a woman has to take action, even if she’s pretending not to be a superpowered vigilante.

Just wait until she tries to attend a party someday. Both stories and their descriptions are listed on the Books page.

Additionally, I’ve added a chronology page to this website so that those who prefer to read their books and stories in order now have a reference without needing to read through the descriptions of each story.

Happy holidays and may 2020 be kind to you.

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Hunt Down Monster!

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Monster is on the loose! The fourth book in the Arca superhero urban fantasy series released today, May 5, 2019. What happens in this one? Here’s a quick description:Monster by Karen Diem

When the authorities abandon the search for a serial killer targeting Zita Garcia’s family, the sometime superhero will do whatever it takes to find him. If finding him means fighting literal monsters, wrangling glitter-obsessed vampires, or going to nightclubs, she’s in, even if the undead and line dances make her skin crawl. She needs to solve this fast—before things go from bad to hearse.

Here’s where you can find Monster:

Amazon

iTunes

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Smashwords

Paperback versions will follow in a few weeks, but I can tell you that the 6×9″ books will have 322 pages filled with adventure, lame jokes, and all the Arca you expect. I’ll comment below when that happens.

To celebrate the release and readers who’ve stuck around for the past three books, I’m releasing the ebook at $2.99. After a week or so, the price will go up to $3.99 USD (or equivalent). I have no current plans to put it on sale again this year, though that decision is subject to change.

Need more info? Check out the full description or the first chapter!

AND… Super will be on sale for 99 cents USD (or equivalent) in all stores until May 15 for readers who like to start from the origin story and work their way up to the latest adventure. See the Books page for the store links.

NOTE: I am an Amazon affiliate, which means if you purchase an item at Amazon following a link on one of my pages, I may someday receive a few pennies from them.

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And Now For Something Completely Different–Or Not

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Roses in December, an Arca World Story by Karen Diem cover, showing a young masked woman with magic in her hand.

On December 7, 2018, readers opening my newsletter got a copy of my latest free short story, Roses in December. Chronologically, Roses follows Pie and precedes Monster (May 2019). It includes no spoilers, but references information in the Arca novels. Check the sweet cover out!

Unlike the rest of my books and stories, Roses is an Arca World story—it’s in the same world as Arca, but focuses on a character other than Zita. In this case, it’s all about Wyn.

Description

When her aunt with dementia is taken on a disastrous day trip, research librarian Wyn will have to step out of the stacks and get down and dirty to save her.

Even if that means hiking.

This story has no violence or sexual innuendo, though there’s danger, damsels in distress, heroic heroines, and perilous peril. Zita has a cameo, so there is also one Spanish obscenity, free of charge. It touches on adult topics though, so still not a story for children.

Availability

Roses is free, but only available to newsletter subscribers, both new and existing. While the December newsletter had the first link to it, the January newsletter will include the link again for those too inundated with holiday sales notices to catch it the first time. Subscribers will also have periodic chances to download all the short stories for free during the year.

Arca World vs. Arca

The Arca series will continue to be my focus. However, since the world isn’t about any one person, however interesting and awesome they consider themselves, my work isn’t either. Arca World stories are about all the other people and events. Many thanks to the readers who wrote in asking for more Wyn—Roses is for you!

So, if you have a favorite you’d like to see more of, let me know. I’m always happy to hear from readers and that character might be the hero or heroine of the next Arca World story.

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Top Secret Super Power Of Ten: Heroes & Villains

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An image of the cool Heroes & Villains collection as a box set and the logos of the stores that love it
Look at that sexy, sexy box set picture. Don’t ever say I don’t let you see the good stuff.

Heroes & Villains… My goodness, is that a… SECRET PROJECT? WHAT?
 
Why, yes, yes it is a secret project, if you discount the fact that I told Mr. Diem and my entire newsletter mailing list about it in advance. Anyway, I’m very happy to announce that it’s here!
 
The Heroes & Villains ten ebook set is now available for purchase at Amazon, iBooks, Nook, and Kobo! It includes TEN novels for $2.99 USD (or regional equiv), all of which are full-length novels and the first in their respective series.
 
Here’s the complete set list in the order they appear in the book. My favorite is obviously my own, but it’s really a great set. Each one has a slightly different take on superheroes, whether it’s dystopian or noir or lighthearted urban fantasy (*cough*) or young adult or … you get the idea. Anyway. I’ve already got my copy. Get yours before it goes away in mid-September.
  • Serpent’s Sacrifice by Trish Heinrich
  • Morning Sun by Jeremy Flagg
  • Action Figures by Michael Bailey
  • Supervillain High by Gerhard Gehrke
  • Origin by David Neth
  • Sidekick by Christopher Valin
  • The Kota by Sunshine Somerville
  • Super by Karen Diem
  • Wearing the Cape by Marion G. Harmon
  • Hero Status by Kristen Brand

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Power’s Out!

FacebooktwitterpinterestDon’t stumble around in the dark! Get a copy of Power today! The third book in the Arca superhero urban fantasy series, Power, released today, May 5, 2018.

Karen Diem - Power - Arca Book 3In this book, Zita Garcia is trying to be good and return to her normal, quiet life of extreme sports, secret vigilantism, and scrounging for a paycheck. Unfortunately, nobody told her least favorite supervillains, and now she’s got to stop them before more people die. Even if she doesn’t know what they’re doing, other than it involves Brazil… and dinosaurs?

You can find it at major book retailers including:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Kobo

Smashwords

To celebrate the release and readers who’ve stuck around for the past couple of books, I’m releasing the ebook at $2.99. After a week or so, the price will go up to $3.99 USD (or equivalent). I have no current plans to put it on sale again this year, though I’ll revisit that decision in the fall.

Paperbacks should be available within a week for $14.99 (or equivalent). I have a copy in my printer ink-stained hands and am checking it now to ensure no errors have crept in and multiplied while I wasn’t looking. As errors do.

Want more information? Check out the full summary, or the first chapter or even two cut scenes on my site.Facebooktwitterpinterest

The Right Start To A New Year — Free Books!

FacebooktwitterpinterestOnce the ball drops/bell tolls (for thee)/clock strikes midnight/old man 2017 is replaced by the bouncing bundle of 2018, you should do a couple of things:

Fantastic Voyages - Free Sci-Fi and Fantasy Jan 1-15 banner

First, finish that drink and get some sleep. You’ll need it.

Second, go check out this massive collection of free books and stories. Seriously, it’s over 140 different free books and stories, all in sci-fi or fantasy genres. All are complete stories in and of themselves, no previews or partial books, all available from January 1-15, 2018. Pick out the one(s) you like, and download them. They’re free, completely legal, and cover a huge variety of genres, cross-genres, and hard-to-find subgenres.

https://books.bookfunnel.com/freefantastic

What’s the catch? For most of these books, you are signing up to that specific author’s mailing list when you download their story. Only that author. If you download one book, you join one list. If you download twenty… you’ll have a lot of reading material, and be subscribed to twenty lists.

My Arca superhero short story, Tourists, is one of the stories in this promotion. If you don’t want to bother with the promo or missed it, you can always join my mailing list. The link to do so is at the bottom of every page of this  site.

Whether you download anything or not, may you all have a smashingly wonderful new year (preferably filled with books)!Facebooktwitterpinterest

Cut Me A Slice of That Sweet Pie Story

FacebooktwitterpinterestOn November 3, 2017, I released the latest Arca short story, Pie. It’s approximately 11,750 words long and takes a little more serious tone than most of the rest of the series. While it occurs following the events of Power (currently scheduled to release May 2018), Pie does not include any spoilers for the novel, though it does reference eventsKaren Diem - Pie- Story Cover occurring in both Super and Human.

As usual, Zita is a fan of immoderate language, so some cursing is included, free of charge.

Description

Zita Garcia is a superhero with a plan. While on a multi-day road trip to their mother’s home, she’d bring up her brother Quentin’s recent bad behavior, he’d see reason, and everyone would be happy in time for Thanksgiving. Since neither one of them wants to incur their mother’s wrath, he can’t kick her out of the car and she can’t do any spinning drop kicks when he annoys her.

Of course, Zita isn’t known for her diplomacy, so her plan began unraveling even before the teary teenager and the rampaging pink monster showed up.

Good thing she’s got all her wits, and some pie. Or at least the pie.

Availability

This free short story is only available to newsletter subscribers, both new and existing. Anyone who joins the newsletter will also receive links to Tourists and Washout, as well as any future freebies, sneak peeks, etc.Facebooktwitterpinterest

Dead Tree Doorstops

FacebooktwitterpinterestThe other day, I noticed that my readers were missing something important… Doorstops!

So of course I leapt into action to help solve this terrible problem! (In actuality, it may have been more of a frantic typing and mousing action, but I digress.)

As a result, both Super and Human are now available in paperback format.
Super and Human paperbacksThese are good-sized 6X9″ paperbacks, light enough to read through comfortably, yet hefty enough to hold open a small, but feisty, door. They’re made with the finest standard paper and are just as huggable and readable as you would expect. Both should be available for order at most major bookstores. Sadly, those bookstores aren’t stocking their physical shelves with my books yet, but one can hope that someday, J.K. Rowling will cede some shelf space in the Fantasy/Science Fiction section to me. For now, the books are $12.99 USD.

You can find them at most major book retailers, including:

Power and other full-length novels in the Arca series will also be available in paperback format around their respective release dates.

NOTE: The Amazon links are affiliate links. I might get a few cents eventually if you purchase something.Facebooktwitterpinterest

Human Release! ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

FacebooktwitterpinterestWhat’s the best way to celebrate the famous win of Mexican underdogs against overwhelming forces? For me, it’s to run around like a crazy woman announcing the Human release! In your case, have some awesome Mexican food, relax, and pick up a copy of Human to enjoy while you munch.

For those contemplating following me on Twitter, I generally don’t tweet links to buy my books other than on a release or sale date. On May 6, I should return to my usual tweet habits.

About HumanHuman by Karen Diem

Death? Acceptable risk. Taxes? No problem. Ancient magical cutlery of mass destruction? Bad, very bad.

Following a brief foray into the world of superpowered vigilantism, extreme sports enthusiast and halfhearted tax preparer, Zita Garcia, wants her old life, her shiny new abilities, and none of the consequences. She’s even willing to hide her powers since the alternative means endangering her family and living life as a literal lab rat.

Unfortunately, villains are searching for the pieces of a decrepit magic dagger, hurting innocents and fueling nasty anti-super protests. Her close friends, who helped before, are barely speaking to her, and one of them stands in the path of the violent hunt for the knife.

Zita better dig out her mask—fast.

Human is the second in the Arca superhero urban fantasy series, and as a movie would be rated “R” for immoderate language, lame sexual innuendo, and comic book violence. While Human can be read as a standalone, it contains minor spoilers for the first book in the series.

Human Release Availability

Human is currently available on Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords and most major book retailers in both ebook and paperback format. To avoid boring people to tears, I’ve only listed the most popular places. If you’d prefer, you can read the first chapter before purchasing.

NOTE: I am an Amazon affiliate. If you make a purchase from an Amazon link on my site, someday I may earn a few cents from it.Facebooktwitterpinterest