Monday, March 23, 2020

A Name is a Name is a Name is a ... Baby, You Get It! Let's go!

And Now the Name....


So on the last post, I wasn't sure what my mystery guy's name is. If you didn't read that one, I've started Broken Dreams. It's after Broken Promises. Not familiar with that book? Hang on a second. 

Looking. Looking. Looking. 






Now, if you haven't read this, and that's okay because it just came out, here's the blurb:


A widowed alpha is finally ready to love again, but his rejected mate left to protect his heart.

Beta Kristoff Dumanovsky has loved his alpha, Jeremiah Tolliver, for years. However, Jeremiah wasn’t ready to move on from the love he still had for his dead wife. When tragedy struck, Kristoff blamed his focus and left not only the Iroquois Pack but Jeremiah as well.

When Stefan Mukhankin, an enemy from Kristoff’s past threatens his safety, Jeremiah uses this as a reason to try and bring Kristoff home. It won’t be an easy battle.

Kristoff’s survived before and feels he’ll survive again. He was trained to elude the enemy even if it’s the man he loves, so Jeremiah is in for the fight of their lives.

Can an alpha help his mate believe their bond is true, or will his mate find yet another place to run?



Now, why am I talking about this? Well, it's in the book near the end that Samuel is mentioned along with Darren. And those two are in the new book that I'm currently working on. Broken Dreams. 



Now, Broken Promises wasn't the first book where you meet Samuel and Darren. You would actually have met Darren in Broken Bones. It's number one of these with Dreamspinner Press. New cover (with a couple), added storyline, more content, and it was reborn as the prequel with Extasy Books. Why Extasy Books? Because they welcomed me home, and I'm here to stay.


Here's the blurb just in case. Never know if you might be new to me. 

Dan Tolliver, the adopted son of Alpha pack leader Jeremiah Tolliver, has suffered his last moment of abuse by his lover Keith Mulligan and finds himself in the hospital. There he meets dark and sharp-tongued Dr. Aiden Kavanaugh, who believes Dan needs some of his straightforward kind of medicine. Still, there is something different about the doctor.

Aiden is a sandman, a weaver of dreams, and has been on Earth far longer than even he knows. He's at the end of his time, ready to transition, and needs a human mate to keep him connected to the world he's grown to love. Only he hasn't found a special person who makes him want to stay. He doesn't despair, because not every Sandman has the chance to choose, but he knows if he doesn't find a partner, he will soon lose his physical form and exist only in dreams.

When Aiden realizes Keith is a far greater monster than Dan has any idea, they grow and work together using the support of the pack―and Dan's inner strength―to overcome impossible odds.

Back again...

Now, it's Broken Bones where you first meet Darren, poor Darren who has trust issues where Sandmen are concerned, and rightfully so. Later, Darren is no longer poor Darren but powerful, hot Darren who still has trust issues. Still, rightfully so. But, he's about to have his life take a spin that could only make Samuel a very happy guy.

And that's where the mystery man comes into play. Let me tell you. Coming up with a character's name is not easy for me. It probably should be, but I am looking up name meanings, making sure they fit the character, checking to see if it sounds okay if you scream it in passion.

Oh, _____, yeah, baby! More! 



I'm trying to make certain it's original enough but not a distraction for the reader. I don't want the reader struggling to pronounce a name then giving up when they can't. Sure they could just change whatever the name is to Paul, but why should they have to?

This time, after requesting some help on Facebook, I was given tons of names by my people that I will certainly be using in the future. The one that finally grabbed me? Walker!

Looked up Dream and found about three I liked: Lorien, Dailon, and Reve.

Fell in love with Dailon. Talked to my editor.

And now we have it.

Dailon Walker. (Dreamwalker)



And this right here will be my first triad, people. First ever!  And you know what else? There's going to be a little bit of a Daddy feel going on. No diapers. Just two guys who will have to find a way to each other in order to take care of the man they love. Samuel's not going to make it easy for them. He can't. He wouldn't be Samuel if he did. 




A Little Research 


Since finding names is a problem for me, I decided to take a look and see if anyone else has this issue. What do they do? 

Found one right here!


https://characternames.com/

10 TIPS FOR CHOOSING CHARACTER NAMES


This article by Jennifer Moss has plenty of awesome advice that I sure needed to read and will definitely use when I decide on names the next time. A couple I knew, but the others? Worth the read. 


Then there's this one! 

How to Choose Character Names

A little more technical but a great read as well. Most importantly, I don't feel like I'm alone in my quest to find the perfect name. 


So tell me, how do you find your names? 

What's Happening Now

Well, besides prepping for Broken Dreams, I'm considering writing for an Open Call by Extasy. Why do I do these things to myself? I already have enough to do, but it seems so interesting. 
Moving House and Hearts. 
I mean, I recently moved before the plague of Covid 19. Here we are. New house, new neighbors, and new plague. Yes, people. It's new. 19 is anyway. 
I am truly close to saying yes. 

What else? Trying to determine how to let my kids have a life but keep them safe. So fucking hard. We have neighbors who have kids. I have to constantly tell my kids to wash their hands when they come in. I'm trying to let them play, but then I'm scared to death. 





We are living in a time I never saw coming. Sure George Carlin did. Look it up. He totally saw this, but me? Nada.

I'm just trying to make sure my kids wash their hands, I clean the doorknobs, and make sure they stay six feet apart from their friends. I also space the time out that they play. It's tough. My husband and I readdress this every day and night as to if we're doing the right thing.

I just don't know.

Be careful out there, people.

Oh, and if you want an article about keeping your family safe during Covid 19, here goes.
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/03/17/817251610/its-time-to-get-serious-about-social-distancing-here-s-how

It's Time To Get Serious About Social Distancing. Here's How


Love,
Deja



Saturday, March 14, 2020

Back in the Saddle

On to the Next One

Well, it's time for Broken Dreams now. That's the third book with Extasy Books and the fourth after the original. The men in this one? Samuel, the crazy little minx at the end of Broken Promises and mentioned in Broken Pieces. Then there's Darren. He's appeared in Broken Bones and Broken Pieces. Finally, we have the mystery guy. Why do I say mystery, you wonder. (Maybe you don't, but let's play pretend.) He's a mystery because I don't even know him yet. What I do know is he's the guy that will balance the two of them out. 

Darren needs some help with Samuel. The job's too hard to handle alone. So, where's his mystery man? Well, now. That's what I'm working on. And boy, I don't know if Darren will like the form the mystery guy's going to take. Darren's been avoiding this fate for far too long. It's going to grab him by the balls. 

And that's exactly what he needs. Our guy's a planner. Time to throw him totally off his game. 

You know me. I'm inspired by pictures, so I'm currently building the Pinterest board for this one. 
Here are a few of the pictures I've been considering. 







It's 

I'm trying out a few new things for me here. Not sure how they'll go across or even if I'll follow through. Depends on where the muse takes me. 

What Have I Learned?

Well, it's not exactly a new thought here, but more or less a reminder. I have learned that I have my own style. I know, right. That should be a given after about thirteen books, but I can't help myself sometimes. I read another author and I break one of the writer cardinal rules. You know the one.

Thou shalt not compare one's writing to another's. 

I know better, but somehow I fall in the trap of wondering if I'm a good writer because I don't write like the books I enjoy reading. But you know what? Someone enjoys mine. After questioning myself yet again, a good friend gave me a Gibbs verbal smack (Think NCIS) on the head. 

She said people read different types of books for different reasons. She reads mine for pleasure. She tells me I'm a good writer, and I believe her. My editor says so. Another good friend does, too, no matter how many times I tell myself I'm not. My reviewers do. The messages I get from readers do, too. So, maybe I'll just write the way I write and watch my writing grow. 

You do the same.

Don't believe me? Been doubting yourself as well? Check out these articles. They could help. 


Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Writers

by Aaron Charles


This one is definitely worth a read. There were quite a few moments where I wanted to applaud and others that reminded me of why I started writing in the first place.


Want to improve, but you're not sure how?

https://www.enchantingmarketing.com/stop-comparing-your-writing/

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: Here’s How to Improve Your Writing Skills Without Getting Frustrated

On the Homefront

Just like the rest of you, we're washing our hands at home and everywhere else, too. This is a scary time as we see more and more businesses close, school close, and tension everywhere. We're finding reasons to smile, though, and other reasons to laugh. We're also being grateful for the time we have together.

Meals are happening at home with all of us around the table, and I don't have to force the kids to take their medicine.



If this craziness has taught me anything, it's how much more I value my family, how important it is to keep lifting others up, and that if you use sanitizer, follow it with lotion. My hands. The Sahara has nothing on them.

Wash those hands.
If you're hoarding tissue, stop it.
Lastly, keep smiling.

Love,
Deja.




 




Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Dusting the Blog Off

Dear Reader,
This blog is under construction.

For now, here's the latest review from Bayou Book Junkie for Broken Promises:

Oh, the cover? Let me find it

Here it is! 

And the blurb? 
Here goes! 

A widowed alpha is finally ready to love again, but his rejected mate left to protect his heart.

Beta Kristoff Dumanovsky has loved his alpha, Jeremiah Tolliver, for years. However, Jeremiah wasn’t ready to move on from the love he still had for his dead wife. When tragedy struck, Kristoff blamed his focus and left not only the Iroquois Pack but Jeremiah as well.

When Stefan Mukhankin, an enemy from Kristoff’s past threatens his safety, Jeremiah uses this as a reason to try and bring Kristoff home. It won’t be an easy battle.

Kristoff’s survived before and feels he’ll survive again. He was trained to elude the enemy even if it’s the man he loves, so Jeremiah is in for the fight of their lives.

Can an alpha help his mate believe their bond is true, or will his mate find yet another place to run?


I'm Back

This book was a long time coming. I was going through some ups and downs, more downs than ups. When I finished this one, it was like a prayer answered and maybe a few realizations, too. A lot is happening in our community, struggles and loss. I was starting to feel like there was nothing I could add, nothing I could do. Why even write? But you know what? A friend reminded me that my writing serves a purpose. It gives hope. 

So. 

I write. 


There. I just needed to put that out there. 
Need a few words from some famous writers to endorse this? 

WHY I WRITE: 23 FASCINATING QUOTES FROM FAMOUS AUTHORS


Check out this article. It's filled with reasons why to write. If you need a little encouragement to keep going, check it out. 

Oh, the review. Hang on a sec! 




4 Stars!
What do you do when your Alpha and Mate is still in love with his late wife? Kristoff had to leave him and his pack and be on his own. But a year later, Jeremiah shows up at his door with no intention of leaving without him.
What I loved: Now, I’m a huge fan of the whole Mate thing (it’s my favorite) but I absolutely cannot stand when one mate denies the other. It drives me bonkers, I mean, you’re mates. You are literally destined and meant to be together. You are perfect for one another. Why do you fight it? Of course having said that, I’m also a sucker for angst and what better angst than that of two people who are meant to be unable to be together?! So yeah, I was all over this book. Add in the fact that I’m a fan of Deja Black, well, let’s just say I pretty much dove head first Broken Promises.
Deja is amazing at creating a story that stands out and gives us something different. I love that, it’s not the same old same old when she writes a story. I love her voice and always find myself wanting to see what she’ll do next. This one gives us plenty of action, some good suspense and a pretty entertaining villain. Of course on top of that you get the romance and sexy times that we expect.
What I Liked: I liked Jeremiah (even if he made me mad, which is probably why I can’t put him in the love column) he was written in such a way that I could picture him vividly.
What I Didn’t Like: I honestly did not care for the emphasis on their Positions/titles of Alpha/Beta. I felt it took them off of equal footing as Mates/Lovers/Partners. I almost felt like they could’ve just replaced it with Sir and boy. As a matter of fact, I felt that dynamic throughout much of the story and had I been prepared for that element, I’d have been fine but instead it came as a surprise to me.
I also did not care for the fact that Jeremiah denied Kristoff for so long only then to change his mind (come to the realization that he could no longer deny his feelings for Kristoff) but everyone expected Kristoff to just bend over and present his a** for Jeremiah because they were mates. His former Alpha actually made it seem as if Kristoff was in the wrong for not wanting to instantly jump in Jeremiah’s arms.
Quote:
“…And I feel for you and for the nightmares you must have because of this, but it is not your right to deny your mate.”
“When he has rejected me again and again?”
“He grieved. The pain of loss makes the vision cloudy at times, Kristoff Dumanovsky…”
Ugh, this made me mad.
Luckily, things turn around and Jeremiah seems to show that he is aware of the mistake he made. I just wish it wouldn’t have made me feel bitter towards him in the beginning. Other than that, though, I really enjoyed the story and I can’t lie, delving into the POV of Stefan (AKA the villain) was quite entertaining. I would wholeheartedly recommend Broken Promises.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***


Check their website for more goodies. 

And welcome back! 
Love, 
Deja






Saturday, May 4, 2019

Mini Update and Yasso Bars

Mommy Writer Has a Plan

So I've been thinking about a new plan of action when it comes to writing.

"What's that?" you say.

Well, I have to figure something out, so after talking with a friend, I've got an idea. At night, at 9 o'clock, I'm working on writing. Whatever that may be, the planning or the actual chapters, that's what I'm doing.

I even have a sign.


I had a different one, but it turns out that one actually meant nursing, and I'm too old and never want to again. Yeah, mother/baby closeness and all that, the soreness is not one I want to revisit. Wouldn't trade those times for anything else in the world, but I'm glad we're able to hang out and do things that don't require being attached to my boob. Just sayin'!



The first night was interesting because after preparing every member of my family for the closing of the door, the very moment I closed the door, there was a request for a Yasso bar.



After that, it was about more food. Now, I tried giving the benefit of a doubt because maybe they were actually hungry. So, I stopped, fed them, and went back in the room. One or two more stops and then solid.

I think if I can get them into the pattern, the door closed means let me work, see the sign🛑, maybe they'll let me. Also, if I can ensure all needs are met prior to that, it will help.

Now, this doesn't mean I'm sacrificing family time. After all, by 9 they should be in the bed or on their way to it. What it does mean is that I focus on getting them there ahead of time which is hard enough in itself. You probably know how many things kids can suddenly need when it's time to go to bed. 🥛

Friend of mine suggested a three day write, a two day off kind of thing. She says this way they don't hate my writing time and they'll be happy when I take a couple days off.

This way I can do the homework, get the clothes done, clean the house, run the errands, make the practices, work, and basically do all the things mommy writer has to do as well as write, too.🕛🕧🕐🕜🕖🕡🕕🕞🕔

Let's see how it goes!

What am I Writing? 

I'm currently working on an anthology piece in the Fever series from Extasy Books. Here are the first two:




If you know nothing of these two, hang on a sec. Let me find the blurbs.  Rummaging. Rummaging. 

Here they are! 

Spring Fever 🔥

Where restless wolves and excited shifters of all kinds expect to fall head over heels in love due to Spring Fever.

Spring Fever - where emotions and happiness come alive following the harsh winter to melt our hearts. The Spring Fever anthology features six shifter stories from some of eXtasy Books' top authors, all-encompassing awakening love and in many cases a little bit of Spring lust!

Winter Magic❄️

Sequel to the Spring Fever anthology these six stories bring you shifters seeking warmth and cheer with a little Winter Magic thrown in for this festive season.

Winter Magic – where warmth and cheer and all good things associated with the festivities of this magical season are set to make your hearts glow. The Winter Magic anthology features six shifter stories from some of your favorite eXtasy Book authors. Let romance work its magic for you this winter.

Both can be found most anywhere and include some fantastic stories. 

Plug intended! 🔌😊


So, there are two left in the series. The first is Autumn Feast, and the other is planned for summer. 🌞

For the Autumn season one, my short story will focus on Calyx and Trey and will include bits from Eric and Dimitri as well as Trey's cousin Kindling. Now, Kindling has eyes for Haru, the goblin high lord and Calyx's and Dimitri’s father. Haru's trying to keep some distance between himself and the young wolf, but Kindling has his mindset. No one less than the high lord himself will do. 

The other piece I'm working on is Broken Promises which is the next book in the Broken series. This one is Kristoff's story. Kristoff is the mate to Jeremiah, alpha of the Iroquois pack. I've been asked many times for his story which made me doubly nervous about writing it.  But, you know I had to one day. He refused to be ignored, and now we're about halfway done with finally giving him and Jeremiah what they both need. Each other. 

After that, it's a griffin story. Oh, a continuation of the Merman series which is a third of the way done. 

I really think this 9 o'clock writing time is going to help! 

Let's see what the experts say!🗯️

The Daily Writing Habits Of 10 Famous Authors


This article shares the writing schedules of prolific writers of the past and present. There are some great names in there. They did it. We can, too. 


How Do You Find Time To Write?

This article keeps it real, working mommy writer real! I love Joanna Penn's suggestions.



With this tried and true information and new strategies, tonight we're trying it again. Only, we're about an hour late after a date night which included my son and then hubby running off to drive Uber.


Third time has to be the charm, right? 

Love, 
Deja

(Oh, and it's Derby Day here in Louisville, so Happy Derby Day!)

Inspire me! 







Monday, April 8, 2019

Nervous as Hell, But I'm Doing it Anyway!

What am I Doing, You Ask? 




Well, I'm going to do an Author Takeover spot on Book Carousel, a Facebook group by Extasy Books. Whew! Those things make me

NERVOUS!

Why? I guess because, like most writers, I'm introverted. It doesn't stop me from talking to others, hanging out with friends, but I need to do those things in my own time.

So, there are times I find myself in the dark.


But that's okay because that's where good things occur. That's where you get those ideas after you've crawled under warm covers to sleep, then...

BOOM


Ideas happen.

Well, your readers want to know what those ideas are, the driving force that leads to writing stories where you write for hours and hours to gift them with a world from your mind.

The reader wants to know how your brain works. 

Why not tell them? Why not answer a few questions? Why not step into the light? 


Well, that's the plan. 

Next week, I'm doing Meet the Author Monday, April 29th in the Book Carousel Facebook Group from 8-9. Every now and then I get questions in my messenger wanting to know how, when, and where. That would be an awesome time to hit me with what you want to know, what you're interested in me writing more of, and for us to chat. 

Link for the group? 

I'm doing a little research on how to make it fun and interesting. 

Here are two links I found!







A Guide to Facebook Author Takeovers


Stephanie Ayers has great ideas worth checking out. I plan on following her word for word. 






And this other thingee is just a plethora of questions I plan to use as prompts. 

What's Happening in My World Other Than This?

Well, the little girl is getting help with her learning. I'm truly grateful about that because it's been difficult finding the best way to help her. The most important thing? Putting my own needs aside to focus on hers especially the ones that tell me to internalize what's happening here. Isn't that what we do though as parents? Internalize? That's poison. Finding a solution is more important. It's vital.


Love and taking care of my family. 

That's my world right now. 

Oh, yes. 

&

Writing! 

I'm writing Broken Promises right now, Kristoff's book. A little off, a little on. 


&


I participated in a contest with Queeromanceink! Keep your fingers crossed. 

People, let me tell you right now. A 300-word limit is torturous! 


&


 I'm actually getting messages that ask me to write more.


And that's what I'm trying to do!


So, put me in your Happy Planner, your calendar, your notebook, or whatever it is you use and check me out.

With love,
Deja















Sunday, December 9, 2018

Shameless Plug (Not that kind) and Random Thoughts

Thinking about plugs. Did you know there's a plug flute? Like how does that even work? Do you pop that bad boy in and blow? The visual images! Goodness! Is that even a thing?

Sorry there. You know me. I flit here and there, all over the place sometimes.

First off, the actual plug!



Guess what's available for preorder!


Sequel to the Spring Fever anthology these six stories bring you shifters seeking warmth and cheer with a little Winter Magic thrown in for this festive season.
Winter Magic – where warmth and cheer and all good things associated with the festivities of this magical season are set to make your hearts glow. The Winter Magic anthology features six shifter stories from some of your favorite eXtasy Book authors. Let romance work its magic for you this winter.

****************************************************************************
Included in this amazing read is my story Challenge the Sun:

A Tengu Goblin finds his mate, but the hair consultant is broken, or is he? What will it take to give these two the perfect Christmas?

Dimitri Akiyama arrives in Louisville, Kentucky with his brother and his brother’s mate to celebrate the Christmas holiday, and he’s not happy about it.

Little does he know he’s about to get his own Christmas gift in the form of a human hair consultant named Eric McAlary.

The problem?

Eric’s injury from a military past and Dimitri’s belief that a Tengu demon can’t have a mate who’s broken.

It will take a little intervention to help these two find a love so great that they will challenge the sun.
Go ahead and pick up your copy today!


I'm excited. There's a bit of something unusual in Challenge the Sun, me playing with ideas I've been considering and possibly venturing off to do a bit more. We'll see. Crossing my fingers it's well received. Winter Magic releases December 14th.

Shameless plug over.

Works in Progress

It's been an awful few months for me as of late. One of the recent mass shootings was here in Louisville, and one of the deaths hit close to home as a student who I consider a part of my family lost a member of his own. It was hard, and I started thinking that my words had no value. Why write? What was the point when there have been at least 307 mass shootings and other atrocities? What could I say or do that would be worth putting out there? Who would even care to read it?

Well, that's when my support system kicked in. My family and my friends, in particular, Erika who told me about her own suffering and dark times and how she used books as a means of escape, that what I write could actually help others. She challenged me to get back out there. I can appreciate that. I needed that. 

So, here I am. 

Now, I still have dark moments. Every night before I go to sleep, I remember the unfortunate people who were killed just because of their race and wanted to go to the store. I remember my student and his pain. I remember hearing about the way the gunmen went to a church with the intent to kill everyone inside. I am fearful of where I go, who I see, and the darkness that exists in the world.

Then I take a deep breath, I pray, and eventually, I go to sleep. 

And, when I wake up in the morning, I write.



Currently, I'm working on Broken Promises, the third book in the Broken Series. The first one, Broken Bones, can be found on Dreamspinners. The second, Broken Pieces, is on Extasy Books. This one picks up where Broken Pieces left off, with a missing Kristoff. Jeremiah, alpha of the Iriquois pack, is going off to find him. Finally, these two will come together. There's someone hunting them and family issues to overcome, like how does one convince an ancient race of vampires to accept a leader who is half wolf and mated to a human? It won't be easy, but it will be totally worth it in the end.


Thinking of Broken Bones. Extasy Books picked up that one with the new scenes I added. I'm excited about that. Edits start after the holidays. Keep an eye out.

And, after Broken Promises, I have a griffin book that needs my attention.  Oh, and a merman story.

Wow, I've got work to do! Feel free to read them when they're done!


In other news...



Well, 'tis the season of Girl Scout Cookies right around the corner. It's funny. I remember the troop leader saying she wasn't ever selling cookies again. Well, here we are. Again. Can't start until January 13th. Apparently it's among the Rule of the Cookie Sales. There's a pretty intense list of rules.

And if you break a rule, you'll have to answer to this!


Maybe not, but from the way she was doing her drill sergeant routine, that's what I felt like.

Oh, well.

Happy Cookie Sales!


School is almost halfway over, and something unusual happened. I have this class that's been hell since they were freshmen. Now, they're juniors. Well, let me tell you, the things they have done have been enough to make me want to pull my hair out. My students are actually considered the best ones out of the junior class, though. No lie. Anyway, my birthday was last week. They bought an ice cream cake, put together a party, and even prayed before they ate, inviting me in with them. To say I was shocked wouldn't cover it. 

Anyway, I joined in, and I've been working on my perspective. I'm trying to see them and not their behavior, to love them and teach them. It's not only my job. It's who I am. By doing this, I can send more good out into the world. That's the goal.

Life. You have to look at the little things. Let those moments inspire you. Sometimes those little moments are all you have. 


Love,
Deja