Lisa Shearin, National Bestselling Author

Surgery & writing updates

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I’m baaack!

It’s been a week and a half since my inner ear surgery (via a craniotomy to get to it). Today is the first day back at my desk. Yay, me!

The autophony that was my worst symptom (hearing my voice in my head) is gone, as is hearing my heartbeat and footsteps in my head. Chewing is still just as loud to me, but my tinnitus is a lot less. I’ve also developed hyperacusis (normal sounds are loud, and loud sounds are jump inducing). All that being said, my surgeon says that there’s a really good chance all of these will eventually go away once the fluid in my inner ear is reabsorbed over the next few weeks. Sometimes, this can take a few months. Either way, I’m thrilled with how my recovery has gone so far.

Yesterday, Derek took the tape off my skull incisions, and I felt like a sheep that’d just been sheared. Suddenly, I wanted to go to the grocery store with him. Don’t worry, I was masked and gloved, and used the grocery cart like walker. ; )  And people are really good around here at wearing masks and social distancing  It was tiring, and I needed a nap when we got back, but I’m glad I did it. It really helped with the grogginess I’d been feeling since the surgery (which is another perfectly normal post-surgical thing).

I’ve been at my desk all morning taking care of bills, and I just printed out what I have so far on The Solstice Countdown (SPI Files 7). I’m about 1/3 of the way through the rough draft. Today and tomorrow, I’ll read through what I have to reacquaint my brain with the book, and start organizing it into chapters. On Wednesday, I’ll get back to writing. I’d hoped to have the rough draft finished by Labor Day, but with the surgery downtime, that might be a little too ambitious. So, I’m bumping that out a month to October 1. I’ll see how it goes. I do know this — y’all are gonna love this book! Plus, it’ll answer a lot of questions you’ve been wanting answered. I already know what I want the cover to look like, so I’ll be contacting Julie Dillon soon to start work on that. 

I think that’s pretty much it. Take care & stay safe!

Lisa 

Having surgery Thursday & a SPI Files update

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I wanted to let you know that I’m having surgery this Thursday (July 16) to hopefully correct a condition I have—Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome (SCDS).  Essentially, it’s a hole inside my skull, below my brain and over my ear canal, which causes sound vibrations to bounce around inside my head. I included a link (above) to a Johns Hopkins article to explain it, and here’s another link to show where the hole in my head is. SCDS is rare with some seriously funky symptoms. The worst for me is autophony, which I started having over a year ago. I had a hearing test, and had some age-related hearing loss, so I thought that was it. Nope. I hear my own voice through my ears AND inside my head. It’s like hearing myself through a blown-out speaker while sitting inside a barrel. The louder I talk, the worse it is. The only level of talking that’s comfortable is just above a whisper. Chewing (especially crunchy food) and brushing my teeth are unbelievably loud, so I can forget trying to hear anyone talk while I’m eating. I’m also hypersensitive to loud noises, have tinnitus, vertigo/dizziness when bending over, and for the kicker—I can hear the muscles in my eyes move, my heartbeat, and my footsteps go boom-boom—all inside my head. At least I can’t hear my stomach digest food (some people with SCDS can).

I was supposed to have surgery in the spring, but Covid got in the way. On Thursday, I’ll have a middle fossa craniotomy which involves cutting a silver-dollar-sized hole in my skull behind my ear, moving the brain aside to be able to look down into the top of the inner ear’s semicircular canal. The surgeon will then use some of the dust from my skull incision to make a bone wax to plug both ends of the canal, and then essentially spackle the surface around it to completely seal the area. They’ll have to shave a little bit of my head on my left side, and I’ll have a bitchin’ scar. ; )  Oh, and I’m bilateral—I have the condition in both ears, but the bone is only thin on my right side; there’s no hole yet. Yay!    

I’ll be spending the first night after surgery in the ICU, move into a regular room on Friday, and if I can walk by myself without falling over, I can go home Saturday. My surgeon told me when I wake up in the recovery room, my world will be a WHOLE lot quieter. I cannot tell you how happy that makes me. Recovery is generally three weeks, with a lot of dizziness as the brain adjusts to having a plugged canal in one ear. Fortunately, Derek is still working from home, so he’ll be taking good care of me.

I’ll go early this week to have my Covid test, and on Wednesday, I’ll get the call for when I need to be at the hospital on Thursday morning.

In book news, I’m 1/3 of the way through the first draft on The Solstice Countdown (SPI Files 7). Even on my dizziest days, sitting at my desk working doesn’t bother me. My plan is to do absolutely nothing for the first week post-surgery, then get back to writing. Don’t worry, I won’t push myself too hard. We’ve moved a small desk into the bedroom, and I do some of my best writing on a notepad sitting up in bed. I’m thrilled with how the book is coming so far. You guys are going to absolutely LOVE this one.   

So, this Thursday, I would appreciate your prayers and positive thoughts for me and my surgical team. I’ll have my phone in the hospital, and if I feel well enough, I’ll post to my Twitter and Facebook accounts as to how everything went. 

Love you all, wear a mask, and stay safe!

Lisa

The Entity Game available May 12!

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Isn’t it gorgeous? An new series in a new genre calls for a new cover artist. James Egan of Bookfly Design hit a home run with this cover! 

Next Tuesday, May 12, you’ll be able to buy The Entity Game in ebook and print from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo. The pre-order links should go live within the next 48-72 hours. I’ll send out another newsletter with all the links once they’re live.

I’ve love thrillers with a touch of the supernatural, and the right idea finally came along with The Entity Game. This is the first book in what will be the Aurora Donati novels. I love these characters and their world, and I hope you do, too!

I’ve started The Solstice Countdown (SPI Files 7) and would really like to have it ready to go by the end of this year. After that, I’ll be diving back into the world of Raine Benares. It’s been way too long since I’ve visited. 

So for the foreseeable future, I’ll be working a rotation of three series: Aurora Donati, SPI Files, and Raine Benares. My goal is to release two books a year.   

Here’s what you can expect Tuesday from The Entity Game: 

A powerful United States senator and his aide die in their office of cardiac arrests. The next day, a second senator dies of an aneurysm. Officials declare their deaths natural causes, but the FBI fears there is something sinister happening on Capitol Hill and looks to psychometric detective Aurora Donati to investigate. Rory’s ability to get information from people or objects with a single touch uniquely qualifies her to explain the inexplicable. Only this time, she begins to wonder if she is up against forces that no one has ever encountered before.

The next attack strikes close to home and turns Rory’s world upside down. She finds herself entangled in a deadly mix of terrorists, corrupt politicians, and secretive intelligence agencies in a web of deception and conspiracy dating back to experiments performed in a Cold War-era Soviet laboratory and perfected by modern science.

Someone else is pursuing the truth: Gabriel Marshall, CIA operative, who has an agenda and abilities of his own. They find themselves locked in a deadly game, stalked by a seemingly supernatural assassin who puts Rory and Gabriel’s abilities to the ultimate test in a deadly duel. Time is running out and Rory must counter each move and play the game to its heart-stopping end in the halls of the US Capitol itself.  

The Entity Game jacket copy, release month & cover artist preview

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I finally finished The Entity Game and it’s gone through my content editor (the big picture fixes), and has gone to my copy editor (grammar & detail fixes). Today, I’m doing a “cover information form” for my cover artist for this new series, James Egan of Bookfly Designs. I’m so excited to be working with them! Check out their portfolio. 

I’m shooting for a mid-June publication date. As soon as I have the date finalized, I’ll send out another newsletter and post on Twitter and Facebook (and my blog). It’s not available for pre-order yet, but as soon as it is, I’ll send out a newsletter, post on social media, etc., etc. Don’t worry, you won’t miss out on any information. I’ll take good care of you. 

Below is the jacket copy for The Entity Game. Let me know what you think.    

A powerful United States senator and his aide die in their office of cardiac arrests. The next day, a second senator dies of an aneurysm. Officials declare their deaths natural causes, but the FBI fears there is something sinister happening on Capitol Hill and looks to psychometric detective Aurora Donati to investigate. Rory’s ability to get information from people or objects with a single touch uniquely qualifies her to explain the inexplicable. Only this time, she begins to wonder if she is up against forces that no one has ever encountered before.
 
The next attack strikes close to home and turns Rory’s world upside down. She finds herself entangled in a deadly mix of terrorists, corrupt politicians, and secretive intelligence agencies in a web of deception and conspiracy dating back to experiments performed in a Cold War-era Soviet laboratory and perfected by modern science.
 
Someone else is pursuing the truth: Gabriel Marshall, CIA operative, who has an agenda and abilities of his own. They find themselves locked in a deadly game, stalked by a seemingly supernatural assassin who puts Rory and Gabriel’s abilities to the ultimate test in a deadly duel. Time is running out and Rory must counter each move and play the game to its heart-stopping end in the halls of the US Capitol itself.  

SPI Files coming next! I have some serious housecleaning to do now that The Entity Game is mostly put to bed, but next week, I’ll start writing the 7th SPI Files book, The Solstice Countdown. I’m going to push really hard to get that one finished (and perhaps released) by the end of this year. And once The Solstice Countdown is in production, I’ll start the next Raine Benares book. I’ve missed those characters so much!      

Our grandparents (or great-grandparents, for you youngsters) had a world war to contend with, with all of its shortages and hardships — without social media and Facetime to keep in touch. We’re strong, we’re resilient, and we will get through this. Be kind to each other and yourselves, and take care of each other and yourselves. Check on your elderly neighbors (and get to know them if you don’t already). Make a grocery store run for someone who can’t. And when you’re at the store, thank the associates who are working long hours to keep the shelves as stocked as they can. Order takeout or delivery from your favorite restaurant. Help the small businesses in your area. People are pulling together. We’ll get through this, and we’ll be stronger and closer than ever before. We’ve got this! : )

Hugs, love, and prayers!
Lisa

News on The Entity Game and online housekeeping

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I hope everyone in the U.S. had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Derek and I hosted the Shearin clan here at the farm, and we’ve recuperated. We’ll probably be hosting the Christmas festivities as well, so the challenge now is to keep the house clean for the next few weeks — and get all the decorations up.

I turn in The Entity Game to my editor on February 1, giving me two months to knock out the second draft. I’m aiming for a June(ish) release date. As soon as I have a definite date, I’ll send out another newsletter. After I get The Entity Game put to bed, I’ll start in on the The Solstice Countdown (aka SPI Files 7). And after that, it’s a brand new Raine Benares adventure.

Now for a little online housekeeping. For the past few years, I’ve had a Yahoo Group fan club called Raine’s Rangers. Yahoo Groups will move from posting on message boards to an email distribution, and the uploading of new content will be disabled. On December 15, all content previously uploaded via the website will be removed.

I’ve decided to go with my newsletter and this blog as my primary point of contact with you, my readers. I’ll be posting this on my Yahoo Groups to tell those registered there to come join us. Whenever I have news, you’ll hear it here first. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, and would like to have my news come straight to your inbox, sign up using this link.

That’s all for now! When I have jacket copy, cover, snippets, etc. from The Entity Game, I’ll send out additional newsletters.

Talk to you soon! Now, back to writing. . .
Lisa    

Upcoming books (yes, plural) in 2020

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It’s time to make my plans for next year, and I’m going to do all I can to get TWO books for y’all in 2020.

First, will be The Entity Game, the first book in my new paranormal thriller series. The first draft is done, and I have feedback from my agent and beta readers. I’ll be incorporating their comments into the second draft which I’m determined to knock out in November. December and January will be for a third draft (if needed), and any tweaks. The finished manuscript will go to my editors on or before February 1. I’m shooting for a June release date. When I have jacket copy written, I’ll send out another newsletter, so you’ll know exactly what you’ve got to look forward to. This book took a long time to write and get right, but IMO, the wait will be worth it. I’m really proud of this one. 

Next will be the seventh book in my SPI Files series, The Solstice Countdown, where Mac takes Rake home to meet her family. I’ve got the plot worked out, and this is gonna be a fun one, with a heaping side order of chills & thrills. The release date for that will be the later part of next year. While I’d love to be able to write three books a year, two is all I can handle.  

And for all you Raine Benares fans, I haven’t forgotten about you! I miss Raine & Company, too. I’m shooting for a new Raine book in 2021. I know that seems like a long ways off, but it’ll be here before you know it.  

That’s it for now. I’ll get back to work.

Your seriously busy author,
Lisa 

Update & MurderCon in Raleigh, NC this weekend

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I’m in the final stretch of writing the first draft of The Entity Game (political thriller with paranormal elements)On August 19, I turn it in to my agent for her input. I hope to get a week off before I have to dive in on edits. After The Entity Game is polished, my agent will be sending it out to potential publishers. Keep your fingers crossed for me! But if it doesn’t get any takers, I’ll be publishing it myself. So one way or another, you’ll get to read it. ; )

After The Entity Game is out on submission, I’ll be jumping into The Solstice Countdown (aka, SPI Files #7). Dang, I can’t believe I’m up to seven books (and one novella) on this series! 

This weekend (well, starting on Thursday, August 1), I’ll be attending the Writers’ Police Academy MurderCon, in Raleigh, NC. I’m just there as an attendee, hoping to learn all about arson investigations, buried bodies, do’s and don’ts of interrogations, blood evidence, biological & chemical weapons, firearms, and lots of other fun stuff. 

If any of you will be there, don’t be shy about coming up and talking to me. I would love to meet you! If you’ll be there, email me and let me know. We can set up a time to chat, have coffee, or even meet up for dinner. 

That’s it for now!

L.

Upcoming books and writing update

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Upcoming books and writing updates  
I’m in the final weeks of writing The Entity Game — the first book in my new paranormal thriller series. It’s due to my agent on August 19 for her initial edit and comments. On June 1, I went from writing five days a week to writing six days a week. In July and until August 19, I’ll be working seven days a week — writing a chapter every 2-3 days. Yep, I’m a busy girl. 

My agent is going to shop this book, meaning after the editing and polishing stages are complete, she’ll submit it to editors at publishing houses who like books like The Entity Game. Since it’s a thriller and not fantasy, it’s not only a new genre for me, but I’ll need to reach readers who don’t necessarily read fantasy, and probably haven’t heard of me. That’s why we would need to sell this to a publisher of thrillers rather than me publish it myself.

All that being said, all of you who read and enjoy my SPI Files and Raine Benares series don’t need to worry — at all. I’ll still be writing those series and will continue to do so for a long time. I’m just branching off in a new direction. You may have noticed that quite a few fantasy authors (Rachel Caine and Charlaine Harris, for example) are doing both fantasy and mystery/thrillers. And some thriller authors are now writing fantasy. I love both genres, and after 17 fantasy books in two series, I want to stretch out and try a few new things.     

And after I put The Entity Game to bed, I’ll start plotting and writing the next SPI Files book — The Solstice Countdown (aka Mac takes Rake home to meet the family at the same time that all hell is breaking loose in her hometown of Weird Sisters, NC.) It’s gonna be so much fun!     

To clear my mind in the evenings from writing all day, I’ve taken up crocheting. I’ve gone from afghans, to scarves and hats, to baby blankets and booties, to hand warmers, baskets, stuffed animal toys, tote bags, and even cardigan sweaters. (When I find a new hobby, I tend to get obsessive.) I was thinking about opening an Etsy store (maybe around the holidays) to sell the things I make. What do y’all think? Is that something you would be interested in?   

Lastly, a message for one of my subscribers, Lydia Broyles: I haven’t been able to reach you for the SPI Files bundle you bid on and won in Read 4 Pixels. Please email me by responding to this newsletter. Hope to hear from you soon!

That’s it for now!
L.

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Writing updates & Read For Pixels fundraising goodies 
WRITING UPDATES: I’ve been working hard on the first book in my new paranormal thriller series. It’s going great! I’m due to turn in the finished manuscript to my agent at the end of June. Edits will follow. By the fall, I hope to be starting on The Solstice Countdown — the next SPI Files book where Mac takes Rake home to meet the family! And for the Raine Benares fans, yes I will be doing another Raine book from her POV set in her world. The plan is to write that after The Solstice Countdown. All that will keep me out of trouble until this time next year.    

ALL OF MY BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON GOOGLE PLAY: My self-published books have now joined my Penguin-published books on Google Play! Self-pub book links are below:
The Myth Manifestation 
The Phoenix Illusion
Wild Card (a Raine Benares novella)
Wedding Bells, Magic Spells
Treasure & Treason
Ruins & Revenge

READ FOR PIXELS FUNDRAISER: This year, I’m participating in The Pixel Project, a completely virtual, volunteer-led global 501(c)3 non-profit organisation whose mission is to raise awareness, funds and volunteer power for the cause to end violence against women using the power of the internet, social media, new technologies and popular culture/the arts.

I’ve joined other award-winning, bestselling women authors in donating exclusive goodies to a RallyUp fundraiser to develop and expand The Pixel Project’s campaigns, programs, and projects to end violence against women and girls. 

The prize packages (called “perks”) are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Go to this page to learn how you can donate and get a perk from one of your favorite authors.  
Scroll down the page to get to my three perks which were posted this morning. They include a Raine Benares bundle and have me name a character after you in my next book! (The SPI Files bundle has already been snatched up. Sorry!) All bundles include a custom crocheted slouchy beanie hat. (I’m seriously into crocheting now. It helps me work my way through plot problems.) The “character name” perk includes a scarf and matching beanie for the donor. 

In addition, today I have an interview on The Pixel Project’s blog. 

That’s it for now!

A brand new series & Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thank you so much for all the emails, comments, and reviews for The Phoenix Illusion! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it!  If you have time (and are so inclined), I’d love for you to leave a review on Amazon or the retail site of your choice. It really helps spread the word about my books.

I wanted to pop in before Thanksgiving (here in the US), and before the rush of the holidays gets into full swing, to let you know what I’m working on now. It’s a new series that’s a little bit of a stretch for me. It still qualifies as urban fantasy, but with a paranormal thriller twist. The series is called Operation Paranormal, and the first book is The Entity Game. More details to come.

Next, don’t worry. I’m still fully committed to SPI Files and the Raine Benares series. I’ve just had this new idea in my head for the past few years, and it’s time to let it out. Rest assured, there’s no end in sight for either SPI Files or Raine. : )

I know everyone’s about to get seriously busy, so I may not send out another newsletter until after the first of the year. I just wanted to thank you all so much for the awesome reception you’ve given The Phoenix Illusion, and to tell you about my shiny new idea.

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and the happiest of holidays!

Love & hugs to you all!
Lisa