Friday, November 27, 2015

MY CRAZY HOLIDAY

You know you're totally PC when you feel guilty celebrating Thanksgiving. US history seems like one great big bloody stain between what we did to the Native Americans, Slavery, turning away Jewish Refugees, Japanese Internment Camps, waging wars over oil and religion... I try to tell myself it's a holiday about thankfulness, but there's an empty feeling in my gut that only Tofurky can fill. LOL

But I digress. My crazy holiday began at 1:00am November 26th, Thanksgiving morning. I'm at work, hoping to soon clock out so I can get back to making my yummy Carmela Apple Pies!


The new girl at work and I had just finished setting up the dining area for breakfast, when we noticed a man sleeping on the couch in the hotel lobby. I asked him if he was a guest and he said yes. He seemed intoxicated but friendly at that moment.

His name (Christopher Gledhill) wasn't in our system, nor had it ever been in our system. He was certain that he was a guest at our hotel and handed me his credit card. There was no record of his credit card in our system. He said he checked in earlier that morning, 8:00am 11.25.2015...But I found no record of anyone checking in then, 

At this moment 3 police officers approached my desk because apparently another actual guest (Kerry Friendly) had called the police to dispute a transaction on his credit card, the transaction being him having to pay for his room, which he didn't feel he had to even though it was a prepaid for reservation... The police said that Kerry wasn't well in the head and moved to leave, when Chris told them they'd be back because he was going to press charges on us if we couldn't find his reservation...Chris was right, but he wasn't the one to call them.

Up until that point I was prepared to check him in anyway. My main concern had been that he was at the wrong hotel in town and I wanted him to be sure he was at the right place, but pressing charges against us? Suing us? What the heck? I told him there was nothing I could do for him. We have no record of him in our system whatsoever, and his attitude had destroyed any compassion I had for him.

He pulled out a knife! I didn't see it at the time, but my coworker did. Yeah, still no. I was not checking this guy in, no way, no how.

He then said he was actually a secret shopper and I was in huge trouble...A secret shopper at now 2:00am on Thanksgiving morning? HA! It was incredibly hard not to laugh at him. I just smiled and said, "Nope." Maybe I did laugh a little...I asked him to leave, just leave. He wanted my name and my manager's card. Yeah, buddy, take what you want. 

When he finally did leave, I locked the doors behind him but he was soon back. He begged to be let in for a while and then decided he'd take himself a nap beside our doors, so we called the police. The local police are amazing, so nice and very fast to respond. They were there in minutes and called the guy a cab home. But first we had him sign a notice of trespassing. 

Then I went home to bake! I got two hours of sleep, and then I was up and getting ready for Thanksgiving! Cooking, Cooking, Eating, Eating, napping and then back to work again. 


A few hours before I would leave for home, Mr. Friendly (the guy that didn't want to pay for the room he already paid for...) came to the front desk to argue about how expensive our ice cream is. He came back later to say he bought some cheaper ice cream at the grocery store, but then ended up buying half the store, but that's okay, because he's a billionaire

"Why argue over $5 ice cream if you're a billionaire?"
He's a trillionaire, actually. He was born into riches. 
"That must be nice. I was born into the opposite of that." LOL
He's royalty, actually. 
"Oh, wow. That will do it."
He says he's the King of Washington State! 
There are no kings in America. (other that movie stars and CEOs)
He says, he's THE MESSIAH. He's the king of kings (in all seriousness)
I said, "Well that changes things" LOL

He goes on to weave this fantastically, if not a heaping butt load narcissistic and absolutely delusional tale. You see, he is Jesus and God. He found out 19 days ago when God physically came to him and told him he's royalty and has all the money in the world, and complete rule over all the universe. 
As a decedent of Sampson (the murderous biblical douche bag with super human strength...until you cut his hair. Then he was weak...until it grew back, then he was a murdering super human again), Friendly's father was not born of a woman (no details given) but his mother was just 4 years older than himself (white with blue eyes and blond hair), and a direct decedent of Lucifer himself, who also had blue eyes and blond hair, because obviously all white people came from Lucifer and all Black people came from Jesus. That's why all white people are evil and all black people are good. Duh. :-P

Oh, did I forget to mention that I was meant to be his queen? Yup, the whole point of his nonstop nonsense was to convince me that God wanted us to be together, forget that I'm married. God loves me and wants to bless me in the privacy of Mr. Friendly's room. Insert here disgusting horny facial expressions and sounds, and a plethora of not cool sexual comments. He wanted to bless me all night...so gross... He went on and on about how much money I will have and what God wanted to do to my body, 3 times a day, every day. I tried to keep it professional, to be politely pleasant, but I couldn't stop being incredibly sarcastic.But, my semi-regular outbursts of funny went unnoticed.

This harassing went on and on for far too long before our security finally escorted him to his room, which was fantastic because just as the security office came in he was trying to reach over the counter to kiss me....NO!

 As soon as he was gone from the front desk I left! It was all I could do to not speed the whole way home. I needed mass quantities of distance between us to feel better. I got home just before midnight, but I couldn't sleep. I stayed up until 3:00am binging on Netflix, Jessica Jones until I finally felt I could fall asleep, you know, just in time for the baby to wake up. LOL ^_^ 

Yeah, I had a swell Thanksgiving...


I'm not sure if any of this even makes a lick of sense...I still haven't had enough sleep to function at 100%.  2 hours here, 1 hour there...so tired :-P

Friday, November 13, 2015

WOW 4 MONTHS!

That's crazy, right? I haven't written a blog in 4 months...too busy being a mom to a toddler and a new born.

On September 20th, I gave birth to a lovely little boy, named Bram Alexander Graves.

Bram and Morrighan


He was huge, which doesn't make sense... Throughout the pregnancy I was on a strict diet. I always treat my body better when someone else is inside it. I lost 40 lb while pregnant! You would think that would earn me a small baby, and you'd be wrong. He was nearly 10 pounds at birth and two months later he's pushing 15 pounds... all he drinks is breast milk.

In other news, I'm still struggling with Toxic. I'm stuck at chapter 28, and for no good reason at all. I know what's going to happen, I know how it's going to happen...I just can't bring myself to write it. Maybe I'm afraid to say goodbye to Raina, this being the last book and all. I'm rereading all the books with a fine tooth comb, making sure I don't miss a loose thread, no forgotten plot lines, which is easy to do after 4 books.

I've once again redesigned my book's covers. I wanted something more dramatic, something that spoke to the mysterious elements of the book but still felt very Washington, very Pacific North West:


  

  

I'm hoping to get back on track with Toxic soon. Maybe one more read-through is what I need to say goodbye. I'm hoping I'm not suffering from Postpartum Depression again....It was hell with Mo. 

Right now all 4 books are on sale for just .99 cents for November. What the heck, I'm turning 32 years old come November 17th.  


Monday, July 20, 2015

WWP: Writing While Pregnant

I've never tried to write while pregnant before this year. My daughter was born just months before I published the first Raina Kirkland novel, Fatal Retribution... But the novel itself had been written for years before that point. December 2011 was just when I gave up on traditional publishing and took my life into my own hands, but I didn't write a word of Fatal Retribution while I was pregnant...I was too busy working two jobs for most of the pregnancy.

I started writing the 5th and final Raina Kirkland novel, Toxic, in November 2014 and by January 2015 I was nearly a quarter of the way done with the first rough draft. Then I found out I was pregnant. Then 3 solid months of sever morning sickness. I lost almost 30lb through starvation and vomiting. I was good for a couple months after that. I got to the halfway point, chapter 20....Then the cramps and cervix pains began around the 5th month and have steadily gotten worse and worse. I'm at week 31, just 8 more weeks of pregnancy and I'm still on chapter 22 in Toxic...I am fully sure I will not make my publishing deadline of Winter 2015. Sadness

Not only am I in pain and near constant discomfort, but I'm terribly scatterbrained as well. I've spent 4 books setting up all the pieces. This books should be the easiest to write. I'm simply knocking over the pieces and watching them fall. Fun! But, no. I can't focus well enough to actually write well or much. I'm very very certain that once my brain chemistry calms I'm going to have to do a lot of rewriting. The new deadline for Toxic is now Summer 2016...Sorry guys. 


Monday, July 6, 2015

A Thought on The American Prison Industrial Complex

This idea hit me hard after seeing so much suffering first hand. I've seen lives destroyed by our prison system. We must acknowledge how very broken it is. When 1 in every 100 American's is in jail or prison, it's no longer a public service. It's a privately own money making machine in which men and women get in too easily and are terrorized, raped, beaten, belittled and dehumanized for years on end!

Prison should ONLY be for violent crimes. Murder, Rape, Torture, Assault, Armed Robbery....shit like that. All other crimes should be dealt with according to their wrong doing.

A thief should pay for what they took out of their paycheck and do community service on their weekends, like working in a community garden, giving back to the community to make up for stealing from it.

An Alcoholic or drug addict should be forced to seek medical help for their addiction and do community service, like work in a soup kitchen to teach them to not be so selfish.

And no one, not a single person, should be put in jail just because they can't afford bail or some stupid traffic ticket. That shit is outrageously fucked up! Jailed because you're poor? Really?

When we put nonviolent people in jail or prison, we aren't just punishing them. We're punishing their families, anyone who depends on them, and we're pretty much destroying their lives. These nonviolent people are getting beaten and raped brutally every day and night, and for what? Pot possession? Illegal gambling? Stealing? Speeding 10 miles over the limit while being poor? And when they do get out their lives are an uphill battle. They still have to pay restitution and court fines...But how are they supposed to get a job? Not to mention deal with the PTSD they got while in the rape-mill we call the Prison Industrial Complex.

We need a system overhaul. We need to deprivatize prison

Monday, June 29, 2015

Diana Graves: DREAM CAST FOR RAINA KIRKLAND MOVIES

Diana Graves: DREAM CAST FOR RAINA KIRKLAND MOVIES: It may very well be every author's dream to one day have their babies made into moving pictures.  I know it's mine.  I made some pr...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Raina Kirkland Series

I feel like I've written a blog similar to this one once a long time ago, but after discussing the ailments of the world with a coworker, which inevitably brought me back to my books, The Raina Kirkland Series, I can't help but marvel at the progress of Raina's story.



In Book One, Fatal Retribution, Raina is very much a naïve young woman. She has a lot of emotional issues, like feeling less than human, and not good enough, never good enough. She's thrown into a fuck storm of chaos and pain, and yes, she cries, but more importantly, she never stops. She's young and sweet, but she's also head strong.






In Book Two, Mortal Sentry, it's only been a couple of months since holy hell came down on her, and tore away any normalcy she had known. She's hiding from a demon and most likely still dealing with the emotional aftermath of having her family torn apart and having killed a man in cold blood...PTSD seriously...But still, throughout the second book Raina puts other's before herself. Mortal Sentry is a serious clusterfuck, a who's who of shitty situations that never get any better until they get as bad as they could possibly get. Again, Raina is forced to either fall apart or rise to the occasion. Her stubborn heart would never let her let down a single soul. She has such a big heart, no matter her troubles.

I feel like Book Three, Grave Omen, is where a lot of readers become disillusioned with Raina. The entire point to Grave Omen is that something is obviously off, something is definitely not right, but Raina can't see that because her state of mind has been so fully altered, her ability to think is almost completely obstructed by her love for the people in her life. She's pregnant, she's feeling guilty because hundreds of people have died and she feels it's her fault. It's been nearly three years since book two, and her life seemed perfect...and then everything she holds dear, every person she's ever loved is in jeopardy because of what she is...And in the end it was a total Admiral Ackbar moment, 'It's a trap!" It was frustrating writing, so I don't blame readers who dislike book three, but it was a necessary evil.


The Forth Book, Deadly Encounters is be far my favorite. I loved writing it, and I love reading it over and over again. It has everything! Serious character development, vampire society, zombies and apocalyptic shit. In the forth book Raina has become exactly what Alistair had hoped for her, what the demon, Raphael had planned for her. The world is on the brink of total inhalation and only Raina can save it...but it's not that simple. It never is. Like in book two, shit has got to get as bad as it could possibly get before it can get better. I just love how this book flows, the drama and the progress and the ending is just so perfect.


Now on to the Fifth Book, Toxic. Washington State is quarantined from the world, because every single person living there has special super human abilities that can be used for good and bad, but because they came from Raina, they're inherently good, because with the powers gain, so gained was Raina's ability to feel the emotions of others as if they were their own...The story is a complex mix of politics, war, religion and the supernatural. My major concern is that with such serious martial that it might come off as heavy handed. And being pregnant myself, as Raina was in book three, my ability to focus is a tad unpredictable... too much emotional chaos.

 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A NEW NORMAL

#‎TeaserTuesday‬ **Spoiler Alert**
Toxic, the final Raina Kirkland book, is guaranteed to surprise many loyal and first time readers. If you've read the 4th book, you know the world just isn't the same for Raina and everyone else in Washington State. Here's a taste of their new normal:
Toxic: Chapter 6
     I sighed. It was my turn to take off for the day. I was wearing the same sort of tight thin jacket, good for aerodynamics. I put on my hat to keep my face from getting wind burnt, and my goggles. I slid on gloves and made sure my shoes are on tight…I hated losing them in the air. Like with most powers, it begins with a thought. Think light, think up. I could feel a tingling in my body as my insides became weightless before the rest of me. Heartburn. Damn it, I drank too much coffee…again. It took me a moment to change my breathing and I struggled to ignore the feeling of nausea that was inevitable. As my arms moved up I could feel my feet leaving the ground and my first instinct was always to panic. No matter how many times I flew, I always felt the need to panic at first. I used to be deathly afraid of heights, to the point of debilitation. I told myself I was not afraid. That the fear was illogical, but I could feel my spine tingle with adrenaline as I rose above the ground, five feet, ten, twenty, thirty…
     “Come on,” I urged myself. I knew I’d feel better once I started moving forward. I always did.
     Once I reached the proper distance from the ground, I lunged forward to lay out flat and moved along. I'm no superman. There was no fist forward, fast flying with a brave smile on my face. No, my kind of flying was both hands clutching my stomach, periodically checking the GPS on my wrist to make sure I was still on course to Washington’s capital in Olympia.
     As much as I hated flying, I had to admit, the commute had the best view. An endless sea of trees, green lakes, farming fields lush with fruits and vegetables and sapphire snow peaked mountains on every horizon. The rain from last night left the air crisp and clean. I flew over Interstate Five. It was once Washington’s largest freeway, now it was just a crumbling mess of cement covered in green plants. Three years of no use and Mother Nature had all but erased Washington’s mighty roadways. The only roads that were maintained were those in the five major cities; Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Vancouver and Olympia. And only to a point, really. Not everyone lived in the wilderness like Alistair and I. Some still liked the hustle and bustle of city life, they liked to drive and bike and take public transportation, all electric and clean of course.
     I smiled as I came up on the capital of Washington. The grounds were fifty acres of pristine beauty, elegantly arranged flowers and shrubs and a massive variety of old growth conifers, mostly shaggy hemlocks. The men who originally designed the landscape were the very same who designed the look of Central Park in New York City. And as the hub of government and justice, the capital was bursting with people; administrators, civil engineers, mayors and more.
     Flying over, I could see each memorial created to honor great wars fought and lives lost. A bronze statue of an angel guiding a solder, a sailor, a marine and a nurse to victory was built in remembrance of those thousand or so citizens of Washington who never came home after WWI. A field of cast-bronze wheat and five large blades with six-thousand names honored those Washitonians who died in WWII. For those lost in the Vietnam War there was a curved wall on the grassy knoll with more than a thousand names carved into its glossy surface. And as for the forgotten war in Korea, a beautiful statue with five-hundred and twenty-eight names engraved… Each memorial tugged at my heart, but I couldn’t help but feel there was a monument missing from Washington’s capital. But what kind of statue would befit the loss of over three million lives?


Monday, April 20, 2015

Chapter 1 Toxic.


For those who have not read the Raina Kirkland (Paranormal Washington) Series, or have not yet read book 4, Deadly Encounters, Chapter One of Toxic may be a bit of a spoiler... 

However, if you still want to read on, let me catch you up on all things Raina.

Raina is a woman who was born at the  wrong time, wrong gender, wrong race, wrong family, wrong city. Wrong, because all of these things combined made her the perfect candidate for a godly plan to overthrow the statuesque. 

Her infant body was murdered and then brought back from death changed in ways no one could guess until she was 'fatefully' attacked by the undead.

Her life is full of chaos and tragedy at every turn, up until her death at the hands of a demon, or his henchmen rather.

Years pass and finally Raina is brought back from the dead by her brother, who sews her frozen remains together in hopes that her 'changed' soul might find it's way home if her body is in intact, and it works! Just in time, too, because an evil god has set on humanity a devastating virus that only Raina can stop. Raina vs Apollo, with all of humanity at stake!

Once back from the dead, events that had seemed, at the time, random now clearly play a larger role in her life, as Raina comes to realize that her life was never her own. That everything that had ever happened to her and every decision she ever made had been masterfully schemed by the goddess who killed her infant self so very long ago.

In saving humanity Raina inadvertently infects the entire state of Washington with a weaker version of her own 'changed' self, creating a community of Super Human's who are feared by and quarantined from the rest of the world.
A RAINA KIRKLAND NOVEL
Book 5

By Diana Graves

ONE

     I SAT ON my bed with a knot in my stomach while the man I loved slept soundly in the middle of the night. I didn’t know what woke me, but I found myself staring at him. We’d been together for more than three years, but it seemed I’d never get used to the look of him there. His long strong body took up most of our bed. His golden hair sprawled out across his pillow. I traced my hand gently down Alistair’s exposed back before I brought the covers up to keep him warm. He turned to face me, smiling in his sleep. His smile was one of absolute contentment, yet I couldn’t shake this feeling of dread. Something wasn’t right…
     A tapping on the window gave me a start. My eyes shot to the window, but it was only the black ivy that surrounded my house on all sides, thrashing against the window in the wind and rain.
     “Raina?” I heard quietly.
     For a moment I gave the black ivy outside a searching look. Sometimes it felt as if the ivy had a mind of its own, as if it could see me, hear me. It was most likely just my guilt playing tricks on me. It probably wasn’t smart to plant the ivy around my home, but the kids wanted it here. It was the least I could do after their father was robbed from them. The ivy was all that remained of him.
     “Raina?” it came again, this time definitely from the hall just outside my bedroom door. I let out a breath of relief.
     Opening the door, I found my half-sister, Katie, standing there soaked to the bone in a skin tight black jumpsuit with many pockets and straps. Her big brown eyes were drowning in melting black eyeliner and mascara, her sandy blond hair with pink colored tips hung over her shoulders like two thick curtains, dripping water on my hardwood floors.
     “What is it?” I asked her quietly as she walked past me and crossed my dark room, heading straight for the closet. Looking after her I marveled at how much she’d grown. She used to be so damn scrawny. Now she had muscle and curves. The curves were that of a naturally voluptuous woman, but the muscle was hard won. Policing an entire country of supernatural humans is not a job for the weak after all. I guess seeing her so sure of herself and strong was another thing I was having trouble getting used to.
     “Allegory and Luke, again.” She grimaced as she tossed a black cap and pair of goggles on a nearby armchair and took out a long sleeved pink sweater and thick dark coat. Since when did I own a pink sweater? Or pink anything for that matter? She placed them on the armchair, too, and struggled to slip out of her tight wet garments, leaving her bra on. “They’ve put together another mob, bigger than the last. I can’t stop them on my own. You need to come with me.”
     “Well, that explains the sick feeling in my gut. When do we leave?”
     “Right now. They’re meeting in Tacoma, at the old Washington State History Museum.”
     I stifled a chuckle. “Again? That’s the same place you busted them last time.”
     “They’re selling the same story. Are we on the right side of history?” she whispered as she slid dry clothes on. 
     I pulled out a pair of jeans and handed them to her before turning to give her privacy. Preternatural or no, Katie was still Katie. No matter how high she could fly, she’d always be a shy woman.
      “If we’re going back out, why change your clothes?” I asked her quietly.
     “Well, I’m hoping we could just drive there. It’s hard to fly in this weather.”
     I looked back out the long window. Past the thick black ivy the rain poured in sheets and the wind blew hard and cold. It was a fair rain storm. Spring time in the Pacific Northwest. Just lovely.
     “We’re too far from Tacoma to get there in time if we drive. Flying would be faster.”
     “Can't we ask Nicholas?”
     I gave her a frown. Nick was our older brother, and he could get us there in time, but he also sympathized with Allegory’s cause. In fact, the only thing that kept him from joining up was Luke…and his loyalty to me, his beloved little sister. It was because of that loyalty that I gave Katie the go ahead while I got myself ready.
When Katie left the room Alistair sat up in bed. Whispering in a room with a superhuman was sort of ridiculous, but old habits die hard I suppose. I could feel him staring at my back while I pulled clothes from the closet.
     “Why did you wait until Katie left to sit up and open your eyes?”
     “She’s still uneasy around me.”
     It was true. I could hear her heart quicken a beat whenever he entered the room. She was afraid of him, and she wasn’t the only one. A lot of people were afraid of those who were changed the most, blessed with the most profound gifts. Nick, Alistair and myself chief among them. It was because of that fear that I never explored my own powers too deeply in public. As far as anyone knew, I had only a handful of gifts, but I could feel I was capable of so much more, and so could everyone else. The power bubbled underneath the surface, hot and begging to be used. Sometimes I found myself rubbing my hands together, creating small fires or electrical currents between my fingers. Sometimes I dreamed of rain and woke up in a soaking wet bedroom. But Nick and Alistair weren’t as cautious, and for that they had the people’s fear.
     “You can’t always stop them, Raina,” he said. “If it’s not an army led by Allegory, it will be an army led by someone else.”
     I turned with concerned eyes. “The world is against us, but they leave us alone because we’re no threat to them. If I let Allegory’s mob descend on towns outside our borders, the world will stop leaving us alone.”
     “Maybe we should stop leaving the world alone,” he said thoughtfully.
     I was surprised at his candor with the subject. “War? You want us to go to war? I won’t let that happen. I won’t kill another living soul, not one, never again.”
     Alistair moved to the edge of the bed, letting the blankets fall away from his naked body. “They kill every day, Raina. They kill and worse. I can feel it, Nick can feel it. Everyone in Washington can feel the pain this planet is in. But you suffer most of all. Every hour of every day must be agony for you.”
     I gave him my back and pulled a sweater over my head. “It is.”
     The sadness of the world pulled at me, weighing me down. Smiling, laughing, these were things I forced myself to do, because no matter how blessed my life was, it was hard to be overjoyed when somewhere out there men, women and children were being abused. Their fear and pain called to me, screaming for help that I couldn’t give them because we were all stuck behind some not so invisible border. No one comes into Washington and no one leaves…
     “Then let’s stop it. Let’s change the world. Make it a better place for everyone, our children—.”
     “Our children could die in this theoretical war you’re proposing,” I interrupted. “How can you talk about war like it’s even an option? How many wars are going on right now, as we speak? How many children are dying right now, at this very moment?”
     “Too many. Doesn’t the idea of ending that constant suffering interest you? ...It interests me.”
     I sighed and walked to the bed. I sat down and leaned against him, letting him hold me. “Of course, but I can’t risk everyone’s lives here. I’m still working on our public image. If they can see how normal we are in spite of what we can do, maybe they’ll open the borders again.”
     He kissed the top of my head. “You’ve been talking with the UN for years. They won’t change their minds about us. We’re too different now, too powerful. They’re scared of us. They’d bomb us again if they weren’t afraid we’d just grow more powerful.”
     “Fuck the UN. I’ve realized change starts with the people, not with their governments. I have an interview with CNN tomorrow. If everything goes well then—.”
     “Then what?” he interrupted me, “Washington gets its statehood back? We’re all proud Americans again—until one of us tries to stop a legal act of injustice and the persecution begins anew.”
     I patted his leg and stood from the bed. Apparently Nick wasn’t the only Allegory sympathizer. “I’m not going to argue with you.”
     “No,” he said laying back down and making himself comfy. “Save that for the mob.”


So, you can see this book has conflicts right from the first chapter. Raina's people want to leave Washington and heal the world's hurts as only they can, end wars, end poverty, clean the air and water...yatta yatta yatta...But the world doesn't want help. Later on we bring gods and angels into the whole mix and it truly becomes one very fun clusterfuck of thrilling battles, suspense and even a tidbit of romance. Hopefully the book will be released Fall 2015. That's the plan Sam.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Who Wore it Best?



Over the years my books have had many covers. The older the book, the more plentiful the covers!

Please tell me which are your favorite!


Fatal Retribution (Raina Kirkland #1) Published in Winter 2011

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2015 & Current














Mortal Sentry (Raina Kirkland #2) Published in Fall 2012

2011
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Grave Omen (Raina Kirkland #3) Published in Fall 2013

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2015 Paperback

2015 & Current

















Deadly Encounters (Raina Kirkland #4) Published in Fall 2014
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So, who wore it best?














Diana's Seven Deadly Sins:

Something has bothered me for some time. The seven deadly sins. Ever since I was a little girl and I saw the movie, Seven, with Morgan Freeman, Brad Pit and Kevin Spacey, I keep thinking to myself, why are they deadly? 





1 Lust
2 Gluttony
3 Greed
4 Sloth
5 Wrath
6 Envy
7 Pride

In of themselves they are not fully harmful. 

1. Lust is one of the driving forces that encourage us to engage with each other romantically. None of us would be alive today without it!

2. Gluttony is every American Holiday, right? Food is one way we bond...And most of us have sat in front of the computer or television and pigged out on ice cream at least once.

3. Greed gives people drive to do better, to work harder for the things they want. Sometimes greed is good.

4. Feeling lazy from time to time is normal, healthy even. Give yourself a breather, dang...Slothing it on the couch is a mini-vacation!

5. I see nothing wrong with aggressively defending your home and loved ones. Sometimes Wrath is good, sometimes fighting back is necessary. Being mad about the right things is never wrong, and can drive people into action, like peaceful protests and whatnot.

6. Envy, like greed can be a driving force for bettering yourself. You shouldn't feel ashamed or apologize for noticing your neighbor's lawn is greener. Just walk over there and ask her what she's doing different to keep it so lush.

7. Pride is a big one for me. I'm a very prideful person, but I think I mean it different than you might think. When I talk about pride, I'm referring to my sense of self-worth in regards to my personal standards both in appearance and in ethical behavior. I'm talking about social graces and work ethics. Pride for me is a personal contract with myself. Doing things that break the contract hurts. 

It hurts my pride, but sometimes bending personal rules are necessary. Like when I was a teenager taking care of my three younger siblings. I had to break my pride contract, and beg for food for them. That hurt so awful that I'm still feeling the sting of it to this day. 

I get that in excess these behaviors can be bad. If you take these characteristics to a dark place, it can be damaging. 

Too much Lust can destroy your relationships...at least, if your lusting after too many people and you're not in a open relationship...

Too much Gluttony can seriously hurt your health. One ice cream binge a year is fine, but weekly or even monthly binges can kill...

Too much  Greed can hurt you and others. If you're so greedy that you pursue your goals no matter the coasts, no matter who you have to step on, use and abuse, then yeah, you're a douche... 

Too much  Sloth and you might as well be habitually gluttonous, because sitting on you ass every day, all day is just as unhealthy as none-stop gorging... 

Too much  Wrath and you're an ass-hole. Seriously, anger issues are a sickness and I want nothing to do with people who look for conflict just to feed of a hostile environment. 

Too much  Envy can be harmful if it harms your self-esteem, or makes you act out in a dangerous or illegal way, such as theft or bullying. 

Too much  Pride isn't the best, if you're too prideful to do the right thing. If a father is too proud in his traditions to embrace his children's differences, he could destroy his family. If a mother is too prideful to go to the food bank, or apply for food stamps when she's in need, her children go hungry.

But, anything in excess is harmful. Too much water makes you sick, too much air is poison, too much cleanliness makes you vulnerable to diseases, too much acceptance can make you a push over. 

...If you asked me to list seven deadly sins it would be a much more comprehensive list.


Diana's Seven Deadly Sins:
1. Murder
2. Rape
3. Torture
4. Indifference to Suffering
5. Government & Corporate Corruption
6. Warmongering & War-profiteering
7. Taking away my HBO (Comcast learned that one the hard way)



Sunday, April 12, 2015

DAMN PIRATES...OR...DAMN SCAMS....

Sometimes I Google my books just to see what others are saying about them on sites I may not be aware of, and this morning I Googled Mortal Sentry and found this! http://htselite.com/romance/m/mortal-sentry.pdf
It's a website that pirates books! I want to report this but I don't know who would care. They admit that it's been downloaded 27 times already...I felt so violated. frown emoticon

Okay, so I totally freaked out!

I Googled all my books and found about five sites claiming free downloads of my babies! I even found threads started about my books and thieves wanting to know where to find them!  An even more scary idea, I searched on Amazon to see if others had published my books and were collecting the money. Luckily I found no such books, or at least, they changed the title and author if they had taken it...I need to do a quote search on Google. That's where you select a good line from your book and Google it to see if it's out there floating about... That might tell me if someone took Fatal Retribution or one of the others and republished them under a different title, author and/or cover. So scary. 

I kind of went post crazy on Facebook. I was like "SERIOUSLY!" I was just so damn shocked! 

But after much research I've come to the conclusion that these horrible sites likely don't actually have my books. I think they are holding them out as bait so people will push "DOWNLOAD" and screw themselves over. ...which now makes me nervous about my computer's safety because when I found the first site I was so shocked that I actually tried to download the book to see if it was for real. I don't think the connection was made, though, because as soon as I pushed the button I felt a swell of stupidity and closed the page...that fixes it, right? Yikes... 

Please don't visit these websites, or any others that say they have free book downloads. Most authors will gladly give you a free book just because you asked for it, or at least for an honest review on Amazon...We're so easy like that...

http://mngschool.com/…/fatal-retribution-raina-kirkland-1-e…
www.ebooks4free.us/140/book9781492208785.htm
mistystemps.com/fantasy/m/mortal-sentry.pdf
http://htselite.com/romance/m/mortal-sentry.pdf
https://www.waterstones.com/.../diana-graves/9781468913514#

If you simply MUST have my books, just ask. 


Saturday, April 11, 2015

MARCH SADNESS

Damn! Has it really been over a month since I've written a blog? Shit!

Well, that's what happens when a  HUGE bout of depression smacks you square in the face, am I right? I'm right...You loose interest in things that normally bring you joy. Such as writing, blogging, reading even. I'm just now dipping my toes back into the warm waters that is my happiness.

I've always been bipolar. It's just something I've learned to live with. I paint, sing, dance, write and laugh when I manic! And I edit writing, cruelly evaluate my life and cry when I'm depressed...usually each state of mind only lasts a week or so, but the constant UP/down of it all does get tiring. The last 30+ days was the first long depressive spell I've had since I suffered Postpartum Depression after giving birth to my daughter....which took me to dark places. Luckily, my friends in family didn't notice at all. LOL End scene. Great actors never reveal their secrets.

I'm not 100% what caused my "March Sadness" Perhaps it was the two full months of sever morning sickness, medical bills piling, the realization that we wont be able to move into a larger home any times soon and watching one of my best childhood friends go through such hard times from afar. Feeling sick, pressured, cramped and useless might make one a bit sad, yeah....

I'm equally unsure what got me out of it...I never ate much meat, but I've recently decided to become vegan. I just can't stand the way animals are treated in the massive farms and even small farms. It makes me sick. Eating vegan does make me feel lighter, more awake and I think happier.

Here's to being happy, and may-chance more blogs in the near future.



Sunday, March 1, 2015

RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER'S SOUL Anthology REVIEW


5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful & Breathtaking

Not a big fan of poetry usually. A fault all my own. Most often I can’t follow it, or it seems pretentious. And oh the rhyming. But in the end I’m just a lazy reader. I like to be told a story that flows from one moment to the next without analyzing it. It reminds me too much of high school and college. But I truly enjoyed the poems in this book, especially The Caliber of One’s Character, by Nonnie Jules

Many of the stories in the book seem to do a lot of telling rather than showing. Most aren’t dialogue driven, or character driven but dictated. The narrators always seem to be looking back at their lives and telling the reader a story. This might be why a lot of the stories gave me a feeling of nostalgia. I could smell warm summer air and the fragrant scent of rhododendrons throughout much of the book. I could feel grainy classroom chalk on my fingers, feel the heavy stares of judgmental classmates, or a disapproving parent. The shame of being taken by force, abused and overcoming that over time. The authors took me back in time, and made me feel things I hadn’t felt for a while.


Of course, as a sci-fi and fantasy buff myself, I fully enjoyed that section of short stories toward the end.

I love reading other writers reflecting back on themselves, why they write, why they love it, can’t help but pursue it. Maybe it makes me feel less alone. Either way, this is a book for writers and the people who love them. Beautiful, breathtaking, well put.