Diana Castilleja's Blog

February 3, 2012

You know, usually I post fun little things, blow the dust off this blog and maybe run a contest or even write about something writerly. This isn't a daily kind of thing, and I've long since accepted that I just don't have the fortitude to force it to be. I some times even post something funny.

Today, I just can't. Today, I think I've hit my "all I can take" limit.

For two reasons. One because of what I've been reading, and the other because of a very nice young woman whom I met today.

It's no secret that I write under two names, but this isn't about what I write, so much as about the whole misconception that intolerance, discrimination and vile hate is so blase that it has almost--almost--taken a back seat to other issues. You know, like the new kinds of attacks the people stuck in the last century but living in, and screwing up this one, will make. (Seriously, some of them make me shudder, they're so ludicrous and vile. Also makes me wonder how they sleep at night, thinking this stupidity up.)

And see, here's my problem. This is what started my day:

And then there was this:

And this:

So what do these things have in common, at least for me? Simple.

Now tell me something, if there was a sign at any school that said NO BLACKS, that school would be fined, board members and the school district would be taken to task, right? What about NO WOMEN? NO IRISH? NO INDIAN? NO PROTESTANTS? NO ASIAN? NO JEWISH?

Well, of course you don't see these signs or restrictions. But they were once a part of our history. This discrimination against the GLBT community MUST become a page of history. Why?

That first link? Those kids are DYING. They are being trampled by the mindset of those who refuse to accept that they are real people. Not important enough? What if it's your best friend who kills themself in utter hopelessness? Your brother? Your sister? Your son or daughter? When does it become important enough to stop and take notice? And please notice I'm not bringing religion into this. Want to know why?


The reason I'm writing this blog is heartwrenching and long overdue on my part. I'm writing it for B, who was supremely awesome, and for her brother. Who is gay. Who is an undergraduate at a local university. Who is trying to find a way to "fit in".

Tell me something. Why does he have to fight to fit in at all? He's human. He's a student. He's a nice guy from the way B spoke of him. Ambitious and intelligent.

So why is he having to struggle for equal rights? Do I need to repeat the "he's human" part?

Discrimination is being indoctrinated into the next generation as an OKAY ideal. And it's not. It's just NOT. Whether a person is GLBT, or any other aspect that differentiates them from you, discrimination is still discrimination.

I'm not going to go on about hate speech and all the damage that does. I lived with it. Bullying. Not GLBT, but just like the kids in Anoka, I was bullied by students and teachers. And one high school nurse. I have had and probably will always have a low self-esteem from those years of being treated like utter shit. And it wasn't just them. I had major issues with my brother. (That hatchet at least has been buried, and to my mother's relief, not in each other's backs.)

But one thing I do have is my rights. I can marry and divorce as  many times as I want, in any state. I can adopt, I can stay in the hospital with my husband. I get all the tax breaks acredited to a married couple. Why is it such an aberration to some to allow everyone these rights?

It's time to make this issue another page in the history books.

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Published on February 03, 2012 18:24 • 170 views

December 21, 2011

January is my birthday month! Now a gentleman wouldn't ask my age, and I sure ain't tellin'. LOL

But to celebrate it, I want to give away goodies! A swag bag a day. Super easy stuff, right? At the end of the month, I'll be drawing a name for a Kobo Ereader and case. Just in case Santa wasn't listening when you sent in your Christmas list....

Here's how you can win AKA Da' Rulz:
Must be a member of Diana's Sizzlers List. (A low volume Newsletter/announcement list) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Dianas_Sizzlers_List/ One name will be drawn via Random.org every day from January 1st through January 31st. The name will be announced on the loop and direct contact, and the winner will have 48 hours from the timestamp of the sent email to claim their prize or it will be forfeit. All claims need to be made direct via email, not through the Loop or Facebook, or any other extraneous means. Email will be included in the winner's announcement and notification.All registered emails on Diana's Sizzlers List must be able to receive email, as these are the only means all winners will be contacted. Replies must have BIRTHDAY CONTEST in the subject to ensure it is spotted and not dumped as spam. At the end of the giveaway month, a name will be drawn via Random.org from all names registered with Diana's Sizzlers List. The chosen winner will have 48 hours to respond and claim or a new winner will be chosen. Each person is eligible to win one goodie/swag bag. All persons are eligible for the Kobo giveaway.Due to legal issues and book rights, Contest is open to United States and Canadian residents only. Postage is paid by the supplier for all prizes. All winners must have a valid mailing address to receive any and all prizes. Supplier is not responsible for damaged, lost or misdirected prizes. All efforts will be made to ensure you receive any winnings. So now that the legal junk is out of the way, we're going to have a great time come January!
And don't forget, for every twenty readers on the loop, I'm giving away a backlist of any PDF copy of either name to a lucky winner. When we get to 100, I'm drawing for a print book! (Not a part of the Birthday Contest, but heck, who doesn't like free books?)

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Published on December 21, 2011 12:46 • 71 views

October 17, 2011

Hey everyone! I know it's still almost a year away, but I wanted to drop a bug in your ear. Authors After Dark 2012 is going to be in NEW ORLEANS!! I know! I'm so excited to be going again next year. I'll be attending, along with 80 other fabulous featured authors! Some New York, some indie, and some small press, so you're going to get a wide mix of what you want, both to read and to learn about.

This con is a great way to rub elbows and just hang out, not only with the authors, but with other readers who share your interests and industry professionals who can give you a behind the scenes low-down on what really happens. Kind of like having the Hollywood backstage pass, this is THE place to be.

There will be panels, and parties and of course the Masquerade Ball. But... BUT!!! It's in New Orleans! The home of Mardi Gras! Can you tell I'm excited? I've never been (driving through and plane changes do NOT count LOL).

So you want more info? Want to know what the 411 is on all of this and more? Check out the website. But don't delay if you want to go. Word is it's already more than 50% sold out. Registration hasn't even been open a full 60 days and we're well on our way to tapping the hell out of this one.

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Want to know who else is going? The list is growing! Want to know what kind of panels there will be? There's an app for that! No seriously! Check out the forum for the details. (If it's not up yet, it will be. It's Guidebook.com) The forum is free and open to the public, not just attendees or authors, though authors have been known to lurk.

So who do you wish you could meet? What kind of costume are you bringing? And what books are you reading to get in groove for AAD? Spill.....

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Published on October 17, 2011 07:47 • 2 views

October 16, 2011

I won't go into details, but life sure does like kicking hard when a girl is down. A lot of people know that my family was affected by the Texas wildfires in September. They're doing well, getting things in motion to rebuild. I'm thankful every day that they are here (Not literally, just that they are well. Can you imagine? My parents here too? Eeep! :) ) and can do this when so many are struggling.
Well, three weeks ago, we had another kick in the teeth happen. This one is personal to just myself and my family and let me tell you, it sucks huge. I've been hiding in my bedroom for three days just because, well, I can. I have my laptop, though for the most part, I haven't been very visible online. I know we'll come out of this spiral. I am not looking forward to the upset stomachs, headaches and uncertainty that is sure to come with it all.

I've dealt with depression before, and I know things will improve, so I'm doing my best to not let it overwhelm me and get worse and make things for me and my family worse all the way around. But I think for the moment, I'm going to stay tucked into bed.

I'm going to end this with an upbeat note because I need some happy. The Texas Rangers are going to World Series for the second year in a row! I have my fingers crossed (When they're not typing. LOL) and I'll  be rooting for the home team!

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Published on October 16, 2011 13:10 • 2 views

October 1, 2011

Thank you to all of you for being the first to join! As promised, I'm giving away an ebook to a lucky winner.

And by Random.org our first winner is...... *drumroll*


Congrats Darcy! Email me direct for your choice.

Ask your friends to join. Another 20 and we'll have a new winner!

Want a chance a free books, contests and announcments for releases? Join Diana's Sizzlers List!

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Published on October 01, 2011 09:29 • 2 views

September 29, 2011

Thanks to all the apps and programs out there, there is now the Kindlegraph, a digital page signing program for ebooks. If you have Kindle ebooks and would like an autograph, or a sentiment page, or a momento... You get it *wink*, then hit this link --> http://kindlegraph.com/authors/DianaC...
It'll take you to all my books. It shouldn't take more than 24 hours for a respone. I'm pretty quick to get these out. And I'd love to get one to you!

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Published on September 29, 2011 06:47 • 79 views

September 26, 2011

A new loop debut!

Hey everyone! I'm debuting my new author's loop DIANA'S SIZZLERS LIST. For the debut, I'm giving away an ebook title for every 20 who sign on, and when I reach 100, I'll give away a print book. So, that's six chances to win just for signing up! Check out the front page for the details of the loop. It's not going to be insane or anything (Well, maybe a little *grin*), but I hope you'll come join me.

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Published on September 26, 2011 09:25 • 2 views

September 22, 2011

Did you hear that sound? It was a loud sigh of relief! Texas has been audtioning for Hell this summer, and I think, if it weren't for the fact that Hades would have to have give up his Otherworldly comforts, Texas would have had the job, hands down. A few other states were in the running: Arizona, New Mexico, but wow.... Just wow.

So the good news is we're done with the high heat. *crosses fingers* I mean really, we're almost to October, right? And please, no more wildfires. I'm so not a s'mores kinda girl. :D

I've been busy this summer with writing, and a few things related to those fires. My parents were affected, as were my brother and sis-in-law. It's been a struggle this month, but it's getting better. I'm trying to stay upbeat. It's all any of us can do. (P.S. If you want to help the many families affected, the RED CROSS has a mobile station in Bastrop, and you can donate to the RC to aid them. www.redcross.org) -- End pitch.

Other brighter, GOOD news... Wolf Brother's Legacy: Resurrection will be available by the end of the month in print. Yes, you read that right. It's only taken.... *mumbled* weeks. And that's been my fault more than anything. There's a step in the process called "proofing the galley", or eyeballing the final print book before it goes public. That is the stage we are in now, and I will have it done, or else. *waggles finger at self* So watch for more news on that front.

Also, I want to wish my Mom a happy birthday. She's going to be a lovely *crackle interference* this Saturday. Probably be taking her out to dinner or something. With the month they've had, a month at a spa probably wouldn't hurt either!

So for now, that's all the news from my corner of the world, AKA my office. Have a great day and weekend!
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Published on September 22, 2011 07:45 • 2 views

September 1, 2011

Hi everyone!

My latest Purple Sword release is WOLF BROTHER'S LEGACY: RESURRECTION. This story was one of the hardest stories I've ever had come to me to write. It originally was written in 2006-07 and discussed at RWA in 2007. After a request, a submission and a full rewrite of the entire story (a large undertaking since I had to change characters around and actually remove a villian *gasp*).... It was rejected. I know... I wasn't heartbroken though. Just kept plugging along on it, until I got it right where it needed and resubmitted it to PSP in 2010.  Let me give you a bit on the book...

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Angie Merrick is dying. Agony unlike any she's known fills her body and steals a little more of her life every day. Not one doctor can help her, but when modern science has failed, a light of an extinct Native American people lures her back to her first love: research of the Jahehn. An ancient talisman was once one of her greatest searches, and becomes the perfect distraction when there is nothing left but waiting to die. With her life being ripped to shreds in more than one way, Angie seeks one last connection with a people she helped to reveal to the scientific world.    Except death is not stalking Angie. A timeless pact created through the spirit world is demanding her compliance and unknowingly fighting it is causing her seizures. The search for the talisman takes her to the one place where she could find answers and possibly not die from powers she doesn't understand.   She could live if those who fear exposure hadn't decreed Angie must die by the very spirit their pact was sworn to protect.

Now as you can guess, it's a shifter book.... Sexy wolves, only it's not what most expect. There's a lot of Native American influence that I took into account when I started this idea. It originated with three brothers, except the brothers weren't the beginning. The beginning started decades before, when they were still babies. Resurrection is Angie's story, the catalyst for the rest of the series to happen. It's the revival of old legends, myths come to life, and challenges to reality that science simply can't explain, and Angie is a scientist at heart.

Also, if you've read any of my Shadowed Souls Vampire books (Kiss Series), you'll have met Houston. This is his background, though he's not in this at all. In fact, unless something really goes haywire in the mixing bowl, no vampires will ever show up in the Jahehn books, but as we've found, they're not shy about popping into other stories.

When I realized Houston was his own world, I wanted to build that world, show his legacy, and that's how the Wolf Brother's Legacy began.
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Published on September 01, 2011 06:30 • 83 views

August 29, 2011

Okay, I'm going to try this again. Hopefully the hackers have found better playgrounds and can leave me and mine alone.

I apologize for the interruption of the truly mundane mutterings of me and my blog. Join me in September for new updates and information.

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Published on August 29, 2011 06:28 • 65 views