Diana Renn

Mysteries that Matter

Author

Well, hello!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here – I’ve been a bit busy! (Excuse me a moment while I dust off this blog and throw open some windows!)

So. I spent most of last year working on a brand new book, False Idols. (Hence the lack of blogging). And I’m thrilled to announce, it’s out today!!!

False Idols tells the story of an FBI linguist named Layla el-Deeb, who is deep undercover posing as an heiress and art collector in Cairo, Egypt. She must infiltrate the highest echelons of society in order to trace priceless relics from their millionaire owners back to illegal digs and the terrorist groups profiting from their sale. Her trouble past and her feelings for an art dealer’s son begin to complicate her judgment, and when she uncovers a terrorist plot that threatens American and Egyptian lives, she must decide where her loyalties truly lie.

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Continuing my series of actual travel photos that inspired BLUE VOYAGE scenes, here’s another!

This is me, in a cave in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. This region is honeycombed with caves and tunnels and entire underground cities, of which this is one. Various civilizations took up residence in these caves in ancient times, one civilization eventually replacing another. People lived sometimes eight stories underground, bringing their livestock down with them. This is one of the coolest yet creepiest places I’ve ever been. At least I had a tour guide and a light, and some air, all those good things. In BLUE VOYAGE, Zan isn’t quite so lucky, and she’s desperate to find her way out! I was glad I had experienced the cave cities firsthand and journaled about it later; when I wrote the cave scenes with Zan, I was able to recall the way the walls felt when you scraped against them, the distinctive odor, and the immense sense of claustrophobia. (Notice I’m not exactly smiling in this picture!)
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An evil eye cake from Ohlin’s Bakery!

It was a busy weekend, celebrating BLUE VOYAGE’s launch! Many thanks to Porter Square Books in Cambridge for hosting the Evening Edition of my two-part release party!

And thank you to Ohlin’s Bakery in Belmont for a glorious and delicious cake! This cake represents a nazar, an evil eye charm to protect against the evil eye, so hopefully we all internalized a bit of good luck.

I know something was working for me on Friday because I got through the awful Friday traffic and found a parking spot right in front of the store!

I chose to have a nazar cake and to give out small evil eye beads for party favors because the evil eye protector is important in Turkish culture and very important to Zan in the book. (When she breaks a nazar bracelet, things start to get really tough for her!) (more…)

Here’s the Blue Voyage Story-Behind-the-Story photo of the day! (Scroll back through this week’s previous post to see my daily photos from a trip to Turkey and the scenes they inspired in the novel!)

This is the roof of a small hotel I stayed at in Istanbul. The rooftop garden and patio inspired scenes in a similar (but fictitious) boutique hotel that is run by Zan’s Aunt Jackie. Zan spends a lot of her down time on this roof looking at the sea on one side and the Blue Mosque on the other — and at an intriguing boy on the rooftop next door!

It’s the day before BLUE VOYAGE hits shelves — I can’t believe it’s finally time to release this book into the wild!

I have some real-life events in the New England/ New York area coming up this fall (including TWO release parties and a writing workshop this week — please see my Events page for details!)

I’m also voyaging through the Blogosphere, chatting with reviewers and bloggers and podcasters, and giving away free copies along the route! Please check back here for updates!

Here are some great blogs to check out that are featuring BLUE VOYAGE today:

Itching for Books kicks off the BLUE VOYAGE virtual tour, hosting a guest post by me about cursed treasure and other archaeological inspirations for the novel. They’re also running a giveaway for two copies of the book! (more…)


I’m delighted to be able to share the book trailer for BLUE VOYAGE at last! Young Adult Books Center premiered it last week, and they are running a giveaway for three more weeks. (If you go to their site, you can enter to win a signed copy!)

Before you view the trailer here, though, I’d like to introduce you to the talented person who put it together! Her name is Yoshi Makishima, and she’s a Boston-based filmmaker, animator and writer. She’s also our Visuals Editor over at YARN (Young Adult Review Network). You can see some of her work across genres at her online portfolio, and, of course, on YARN — pretty much every image you see there was selected or in some cases created by Yoshi.

So you may be wondering (whether you’re a reader or a writer) — why hire someone to do a book trailer? There are lots of tutorials out there for creating a trailer, and even some snazzy trailer templates available on the Mac. If you’re savvy about finding (legal) stock photos and visuals, or talented enough to create your own, you can create a trailer for next to nothing or even free. (more…)