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We all have addictions. Some are healthier than others. Some have horrible consequences. Some we say are benign but really aren’t.

Here are some of mine:

  • Food. This has been my most challenging addiction. It’s hard for folks to understand if they’ve never fought with the scale, but even after losing almost 90 pounds, I still struggle with it. I love sweet (ice cream!!!!) and salty (French fries) things–a double whammy in my book.
  • Books. My wish list is well in the dozens. I buy a stack of books whenever I visit a bookstore. I’m tempted to one click on Amazon daily. I had to build bookshelves in two rooms to carry my collection…this is in addition to my library upstairs.
  • Sleep. It’s my favorite hobby. Yes, even above reading. Gasp! If given a chance, I can sleep 10-11 hours a day. How horrible is that?!
  • Coffee. You might lump this in with food, but my addiction is so strong I have to count it separately. I like hot coffee, iced coffee, coffee ice cream, lattes, flavored, unflavored…it doesn’t matter, I like it all!

My addictions could be a lot worse, of course, and I’m thankful they’re not, but they do remind me that too much of anything, even if it’s good, can be bad.

How about you? What addictions do you have?

Book News!

A few months ago the rights for my YA dystopian duology were returned to me. I was bummed about my book babies leaving the virtual bookshelf, but also excited at the prospect of breathing new life into the series.

Last week, something wonderful happened–Endure & Evoke got a second chance to greet the world!

Vicki Merkiel, the Acquisitions Editor at Curiosity Quills Press, offered contracts for both books…and I accepted. (Yay!!!)

The Publisher’s Marketplace announcement: 

 

“Laura Diamond’s ENDURE, about a seventeen-year-old who must try to save his kidnapped sister from an immortal race of aliens known as the Vie, while keeping the Vie from draining his anemic blood and using it as a drug, and EVOKE, to Vicki Merkiel at Curiosity Quills Press, for publication in Spring 2016.” 

I’ve got some plans on how to revamp the duology, adding twists that weren’t seen in the first version, so it looks like I’ll be busy over the next few months refining the prose, solidifying the world building, and brightening the characters with the goal of bringing you a new and improved dystopian tale of survival and sacrifice. (Double yay!!!!)

And the series will likely get new titles too, so stay tuned. (Triple yay!!!)

I can’t thank Vicki and the wonderful team at Curiosity Quills enough for the opportunity.

THANK YOU!!!!!  *** group hug ***

I’m late posting this week because I waffled on sharing family photos. Most of are rather private folks, so…yeah. Ahem. So I’ve decided to share some highlights because we’ve been planning Gramma’s surprise party for months, part of which included renovating the dining room (!!!), and how could I not share something??? Plus, the finished product was so nice that I could hardly stand it! 

Anywho, the theme was the roaring twenties. Gramma and her sister wore red feather boas, the ladies wore beaded headbands, & the fellas dressed up in suits and bow ties. Crystal beads were draped on the walls, table, & chandelier, roses adorned the table, and my aunt baked & decorated the most delicious cake!

My gramma can be a bit stoic, so I wasn’t sure if she liked it. (She was gracious, of course, but you know…) Thankfully my aunt told me Gramma talked about the party for the entire trip home, so I’ll call that a success! 

Cheers!

 

(You can see how thrilled Gramma is, right? ;p) (And yes, that’s me double fisting champagne in mismatched wine glasses, a la chabby chic.) 

PS: Stay tuned for my next blog post where I share some more good news. (I think I’ll need to buy more champagne to celebrate.) 

I watched Insurgent yesterday (YAY!) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it’s better than Divergent turned out, though I really enjoyed it too.

The book Divergent was the reason I saw the movie. 

I cannot say the same for Insurgent. For whatever reason, I just couldn’t get into the book and gave up 40 pages in (something I rarely do). That didn’t deter me from watching the movie and I’m glad it didn’t.

So what happened? Is the movie really better than the book? Is Insurgent the exception to the rule (where the book is always better) for me?

Looks like.

Honestly, I’ll prolly try reading Insurgent again at some point…I just can’t give up on the story. Nevertheless I still feel the film was fantastic.

  

Interestingly, I’m also reading Shutter, a new YA book about the descendants from characters in the novel Dracula (Harker, Stoker, Helsing, etc). They fight paranormal creatures like ghosts, zombies, and vamps. It’s a good book, however, I’m struck with the thought that this may be another case of the film having the potential to be better than the book. Now, this book isn’t being adapted to film as far as I know, but if it was, I’m sure the special effects would be beyond cool to see. 

  

Gosh, I can’t believe I’m saying this! 

How about you? Have you ever experienced a film that’s better than the book? Do tell! 

***Warning*** Before embarking on this blog post, be aware several selfies are lurking ahead. Proceed with caution and at your own risk. ;p

I’ve been cleaving to my long hair for years, equating long hair with beauty. Plus, people often gave me compliments, thereby perpetuating the idea.

Furthermore, it was virtually maintenance free for me. All I did was wash and go. No blow drying, no products…no style. lol!

I was okay with that for a looooong time. Too long, like my hair. Recently though, I realized I wasn’t really doing anything with it…except letting it get scraggly on the ends. Yuck. 

My solution to that? Well I tossed my hair back into a messy bun, of course!



Easy peasy!

And boring.

Confession: I’ve long admired pixie cuts. They seem sassy, fun, modern, and retro all at once. I envied the women who could sport them. I never thought I could pull it off.

Now, I’ve made a lot of changes in my lifestyle over the last couple of years that’s allowed me to lose 84 pounds. (Thank you, Weight Watchers!) With the weight loss, I’ve gained some confidence, I’ve embraced my fashionista side (shopping is FUN, gasp!), and I’ve realized my face (which I heretofore considered way too fat and moonlike for a cute haircut) has thinned out quite a bit. (A friend even pointed out my cheekbones; I’m not sure I believe him yet, but don’t tell him, okay? It’ll be our little secret. *wink*)



(Left: before; Right: after)

It occurred to me (finally) that I didn’t need to hang onto a tired, drab style anymore. I could break out of my rut and try something new. 

So I did.

I embraced change with abandon. Instead of trimming or cutting a few inches off, I dove straight into a pixie cut. 

And I love it! 



(Before, obvi.)











(After: SQUEE!)

Here are some extra selfies of the process:



(Bye bye hair!)





(Mid way)



(Over 26 inches waiting for donation. SA-WEET!!!)

How about you? Ever take the scissors to your hair? What to you prefer for yourself–long or short? 

Distant Relatives?

When I found Julian Alexander at the Renaissance Faire a couple of years ago, I thought I’d found a truly original, fantastical, magical creature. He was so fantabulous, that he earned a cameo in The Zodiac Collector. (Both sisters, Anne and Mary, have a Drabbit-like creature.) Drabbits are part dragon and part rabbit. Interested in more info? Check out this website HERE, where Drabbits are born.

Julian is refined, intellectual, and driven. 



Today, I met Julian’s distant cousin, Labbitus Tigrus Rotundii, AKA the Labbit.



Mustachioed, chubby, and prone to binge-watching Netflix, the Labbit tends to be more of a wallflower than the Drabbit, but you must admit, he’s just as fantastical.

So, what say you? Are these animals distant relatives or utterly and entirely independent species?

Reading Jag

I’m a book binger. Stick a pile of books in front of me and I’ll binge on them like a food addict at an all you can eat buffet. I can’t help it. I can’t stop myself.

This past week has been a particularly productive binge. (Doesn’t help that I’ve shopped at the bookstore like three times in the past couple of weeks!) 

So what have I read?

SOLD by Patricia McCormack. Soon to be a film, it captures the life of a Nepali girl sold into sex slavery in India. A tragic story; an excellent book.



FIRE AND FLOOD by Victoria Scott. The first book in the series, it shows how far someone will go to save a loved one. I picked up the sequel straight away because I enjoyed it so much!





THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir. I’d give this a hundred thousand stars if I could. It’s about an astronaut who gets stranded on Mars and how he struggles to survive. This one is also going to be a movie and I can’t wait to see it!!!



HOLLOW CITY by Ransom Riggs. This is book two in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series. I love how the author includes old, strange pictures and weaves them into the plot. 



A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by VE Schwab. Magic, intrigue, & multiple Londons–AWESOME! I just started this one & I’m in love! 





What are you reading these days?

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