Tag Archives: urban panther

Thank you and a Visit from Amanda Arista!

Many thanks for all your kind words on taking a break! I’ll be getting to e-mails tonight and will write you all! The writing is going really well and I’m excited at how the story is shaping up. I just had a breakthrough this morning about how to reinforce the conflict and am pushing onward!

As promised, I’ve got a guest blog from a fellow author, Amanda Arista! You may remember Amanda from when she visited to tell us about the first book in her “Diaries of an Urban Panther” series. Well Amanda is back with more for us today. So here’s a little teaser and excerpt for you this Wicked Wednesday morning.


Violet Jordan Rule #2 of being a superhero: Find reliable sidekicks

Dear Diary,

Once I took down Haverty, the Primo of the city, I thought life was going to get better. After four assassination attempts, I’m thinking not so much. Haverty’s pack needs a new leader and I’ve just about run out of reasons why I’m not right for the job. Besides, having loyal followers would definitely help me fight off whoever’s out for my blood. Especially since my boyfriend is always busy playing White Hat to every Wanderer except me.

So now I just need to figure out how to mentor new shifters, run a pack, keep my “real” job, and have some sort of personal life. I guess it’s all in a day’s work for this writer-by-day / panther-by-night.


Chaz put the glass into the sink and reached out to pull me to him. “Tonight, I get you. Sacred Destinies be damned.”

“Oh, please don’t say that.”

Now that the words were out in the air, I was looking into every shadow and jumping at every random noise, just sure that is was another attack. I winced through stop lights on the way to the restaurant and jumped at a slammed car door in the parking lot.

“We’ve been out before,” he said as he opened the car door. “Even if something does happen, then we will take care of it together.”

I sighed. “Guess I can’t argue with that.”

He wrapped my arm around his as we walked into the restaurant. It was just a family style place, nothing special. I had suggested something populated. Using a crowd as a shield had become part of the life recently, which meant that usually we had screaming children running around us at romantic dinners.

We were seating and as usual, I got the seat with the kid on the other side kicking my booth.

“Its not exactly Nine steakhouse, I know, but…”

It finally clicked: the date offer and his newly washed jeans. “Is this an anniversary dinner?”

The corner of his mouth turned upwards. “Maybe. Try again.”

I looked around at the red glittery décor and my face hit my palm. “Valentine’s day? Chaz, I would have suggested something a little more …”

He laughed. “It’s okay. Almost past me by as well. I’m just glad that we’re together.”

I sighed and looked through my fingers. “I suppose that we do have that to celebrate.”

The kid kicked the seat again.

As soon as the waitress took our drink orders, both our cell phones rang.

We both sighed and reach for our respective phones.

“Hello,” I answered to the unknown number. Might as well, right? Not like any one can kill me through a phone, but that was a pretty good movie idea.

“Miss Jordan, its Tucker Briggs.”

I turned away from Chaz when I recognized the voice. “Tucker? What can I do for you?”

The kid behind me kicked the seat again and I frowned.

“I wanted to see if we were meeting on Sunday like you said.”

“That was the plan. Did Shadow find you?”

“Yes, Ma’am.

“Are you guys okay?”

“Fine. He also told us of your kindness.”

I snorted. “I gave him leftovers.”

“You don’t understand Miss Jordan…”

I couldn’t let him finish. “Tucker Briggs. Take care of yourself for the next two days and you can explain it to me then.”

The kid kicked my booth for the fourth time, and then a tuff of yellow hair stuck out around the edge of the booth.

“Good bye, Tucker.”

I snapped the phone closed and stuck my head around the edge of the booth to be nose to nose with the little tyke with a foot like Landon Donovan. Just for an instant, I let the panther slip through into my eyes and let out a little growl.

The little boy slipped back into his booth and began to cry. Satisfied, I went back to looking at my boyfriend.

Chaz stared back at me with an arched eyebrow.

“What?” I asked innocently.

He leaned across the table and dropped his voice. “I don’t think that the Powers gave you this gift to scare children.”

The family behind me got up and took their screaming child with them, leaving Chaz and I alone in this small section of the restaurant.

“I’d like to think that I have earned having a quiet dinner with my boyfriend.”

About Amanda

Amanda was born in Illinois, raised in Corpus Christi, lives in Dallas but her heart lies in London. Good thing she loves to travel.
During the summer after second grade, she read every book in the young adult section of the library, much to the surprise of the local librarian. So she started making up her own stories and hasn’t stopped.

She has a husband who fights crime, one dog who thinks he’s a real boy, and another who might be a fruit bat in disguise. She spends her weekends writing at coffee shops, practicing for the day that caffeine intake becomes an Olympic sport, and plotting character demises with fellow writers Wolvarez, Killer Cupcake and Keith (names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent).

Random Facts:

Amanda is adopted and loves to share that story with others to promote adoption.

Amanda has a collection of turtle figurines that collects on her travels.

Amanda has a strange love of cheesy horror movies. She prefers demons and witchcraft to slasher films.

Amanda is a really good bowler and completely rocks at croquet.

To find out more about Amanda, you can visit her at:

Twitter: @pantherista

Diaries of an Urban Panther by Amanda Arista & Giveaway

We’re very luck today to have a visit from Amanda Arista whose new release DIARIES OF AN URBAN PANTHER is one of Avon Impulse’s new digital releases.

Amanda was born in Illinois, raised in Corpus Christi, lives in Dallas but her heart lies in London. Good thing she loves to travel. The summer of second grade, she read every book in the young adult section of the library. So she started making up her own stories and hasn’t stopped since. She spends her weekends writing at coffee shops, practicing for the day that caffeine intake becomes an Olympic sport, and plotting character demises with fellow writers Wolvarez, Killer Cupcake and Keith (names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent).

Amanda is generously donating a $25 Amazon or B&N gift certificate to one lucky person who leaves comments on the various blog tour stops which you can find at Goddess Fish Promotions. For more on Amanda, you can visit www.amandaarista.com, follow her on Twitter at @Pantherista or visit her Facebook Fan Page.

Without further ado, here’s Amanda to share more about her writing and her release.

At what age did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?

In the back of my head, there has always been a little person declaring herself a writer. I really did read every book in the kids section the summer after second grade and I finished my first story in 3rd grade. I’ve been writing ever since but I dared not say the word writer out loud. The first time I felt like I had the right to use the word was when I finished my first novel. It was no longer a strange hobby, something that I did, but something that I was.

Tell us a little something about the novel!

Diaries of an Urban Panther is a fun little experiment in which we take a nice normal girl and throw her into a situation in which she has to adapt or die. The fun part about Violet’s story is that she doesn’t adapt like everything thinks she should. Violet’s story is a fresh approach to the paranormal romance genre because the heroine is a writer, not a vampire hunter or necromancer, and the reader explores this treacherous and fantastical world through her guarded and very quirky heart.

Tell us a little something about the heroine!

Violet Jordan is a writer for a cheesy movie company called Cloak and Dagger productions. She polishes scripts for them as well as writes articles for a few e-zines in order to pay the rent, which seems to always need paying. She describes herself as the Velma, the sidekick in the movie of her own life, and really was just stuck in a rut until the incident in the back alley that turned her fuzzy once a month. She’s flawed and stubborn and is very hard on people and the most important thing to her through this whole ordeal is that she own this curse and refuses to let it control her life.

Are you a plotter who lays out everything in detail as you write or a pantser who lets the story unfold on its own?

I don’t outline until I know who the character is, which means that I’ll write out a couple of scenes in my head and then figure out who they are and what tortures I’m going to put them through.

And then I do try to plot. But mostly the characters take me where they want to go and highlight where they do not want to go, which means I force them in that general direction. Let me tell you how much the ending of Diaries changed when I found out the Jessa didn’t want to die in the first few scenes. There was no planning for that.

I knew it was going to be a romantic ending, but until I was half way done, I didn’t know what Violet could live through and what she would need in her romantic lead. I didn’t know that her biggest hurdle was going to be seeing her self as sexy and powerful in order to accomplish her mission. Until I knew Violet, I couldn’t predict what the plot needed to be.

Where is your story set and does that influence the plotlines and characters in your stories?

I live in Dallas and not too many books that I had read had captured the true urbanite quality of the city. It’s got everything that NY and Vegas have: dark alleys, interesting night clubs, just with bigger cars and less smog. You can drive 10 minutes and be in a vibrant down town or drive 30 minutes and be out in open land with cows. And let me tell you about a good pair of Wranglers.

Also, it fit Violet. She didn’t want to go to any place that reminded her of what happened in LA, so Dallas was a good choice. It’s not too chic, but neither is she. It does have a hometown feel to it, and she secretly wants a home. But it still has a coffee shop on every corner.

What is your writing schedule like?

I have a full time job, a husband, two needy dogs and am getting a graduate degree. Needless to say, I have to be a stickler about time. On weeknights, I set an egg timer. One hour for being Wife Amanda, usually include dinner, errands, laundry. One hour for Student Amanda, homework, readings. And one hour for Writer Amanda, type as furiously as I can for one hour.

Saturdays are the exception. On Saturday mornings, I get up and join my writers group for 4 hours. It’s more of an accountability group than a critique group, but all four hours are for typing and then I try to just be free the rest of the day. The brain must take a break at some point.
Of course, sometime when the muse strikes, you can stop writing, and, frankly, that’s what the coffee is for.

What are you working on now and what will readers have to look forward to in the future?

I’m currently working on the second book in the series. Poor Violet. I’m putting her through hell now that she’d proven she can take the heat. Expect to see the second diary in December 2011.

I’m also putting together another darker series called the Daughters of Chaos. It’s a new challenge that is proving very interesting and just a little steamy.

Thank you so much, Amanda! We wish you all the best of luck with your release. Don’t forget to leave a comment either here or on one of the various blog tour stops which you can find at http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2011/06/virtual-tour-diaries-of-urban-panther.html.