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Literary Las Vegas: Valerie L. Diamond

Valerie L. Diamond left a job in banking and took up exotic dancing to help pay her family’s debts after her mother’s death. After retiring from the dancing life at 45, Diamond was inspired to write as a way to shed light on the industry.

Literary Las Vegas: Matthew Kadish

Las Vegas author Matthew Kadish published his novel “Earthman Jack vs. The Ghost Planet” to the Amazon Kindle store with the intention of making it available to family and friends who had been bugging him to read it. He went on vacation and returned home to find he had sold more than 1,000 copies and debuted on five of Amazon’s top 100 lists. The author is now at work on the second book in the series, “The Secret Army.” The sci-fi adventure follows teen slacker Jack Finnegan, whose average life is interrupted by an alien invasion. The secret to defeating the attacking force is an ancient spacecraft that can be flown only by Earthmen. For more information on the author, visit matthewkadish.com.

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Literary Las Vegas: Andrew R. Nixon

In “50 Shades of Grades: My Journey Through Wacademia,” Las Vegas author Andrew R. Nixon traces his life path beginning as a mediocre student and navigating through academia to obtain “the ultimate degree in education,” the Ph.D. Nixon was a reluctant student, hardly what he or his teachers considered university material. Yet, his father was determined to push him into college. When a classmate said she was going to Brigham Young University, Nixon devised a scheme to thwart his father’s wishes. For more information on the book, email arn@50shadesofgrades.com .

Literary Las Vegas: Benny Perez

It was a few days before Easter, 2010, and Church of South Las Vegas senior pastor Benny Perez’s life was at a high. His wife was pregnant and the church was prospering and poised for expansion. That’s when the storm hit. Perez lays out his troubles from the flatlining of his baby’s heartbeat during a routine ultrasound and the near loss of his wife to the financial crisis’ drag on the church and its members in “More: Discovering the God of More When Life Gives You Less.”