Friday, January 12, 2018

Saving Money, Writing, and Other Random Thoughts

My backlist is increasing, and along with that is the need to handle a few things solo.  Banners, Facebook posts, and Logos. Well, I've found the perfect tool to help me with those, so I'm sharing it. It's Canva, and it's so easy to use.




I've used Canva to create banners for Broken Pieces











And for Getting There










Postcards




And my favorite Canva production today? 


My new logo!

Isn't it gorgeous?
Now, for the story.
My beautiful hubby created the old one for me. 


At the time, I had no idea what I truly wanted. I like frogs and writing. So, book with a frog and my initials? Well, he did the best he could with the little I gave him. It's not bad. It's just not what I wanted. It was also when I was with a different publisher and in the very beginning of my writing career.  I just needed a logo, any logo. 

Well, today I was sitting at home on a snow day, and I thought about it. I could do my own logo. I checked to see if that's an option on Canva, and it is. They have the pieces. You put them together. It's all mostly free except for the heart that cost a dollar. (I had to have the heart.)

Considering that I tried getting a new logo made, and they were all $100 or more? No way could I afford that right now. I have two kids and need to save money for what they require as well as the house hubby says he wants someday. So money? Definitely an object! 


I love the new logo. The Pride colors, the symbols, and my initials. Bright, bold, and still simple. It's gorgeous and a true representation of me as a writer of m/m romance. It makes me happy just looking at it. Hubby likes it, too. Hm. Tattoo? I'll have to give it some thought. 



Now, I'm not trying to hawk Canva. I'm just trying to tell you what's working for me in this area. I've even used Canva for making Girl Scout Cookie ads to post online. I'm telling you. Try it. 

As for other things, Broken Pieces, Getting There, and Song of the Siren were all released in December. Each of these works is with Extasy Books. Links? Hang on a sec!

Broken Pieces

A detective and the future leader of a deadly coven. What can go wrong?
Extasy Books: http://www.extasybooks.com/deja-black/broken-pieces/

Amazon US (pre-order): https://goo.gl/RpKojM
Amazon UK (pre-order): https://goo.gl/xDbm4k

Getting There

Can a broken-hearted professor be taught how to love again? Can a business-minded surfer handle the task? Can they both survive the one man willing to kill to tear them apart?
Available now! Only 4.99!
On Extasy Books now!

Song of the Siren

A broken soldier, a siren, and a pastor. Sounds like an intro to a bad joke, but it’s the Christmas story of how a siren’s song can heal.    
Extasy Books: https://goo.gl/GZQTqM

I'm currently working on the edits for the sequel to Song of the Siren. The title is The Guardian's Prize, and it's Kamau's brother Batair whose arrived in Charleston, South Carolina. He's here for his mate, and he has no idea what's waiting for him. His mate doesn't want him, doesn't want anyone. And, Batair's mate, Anoki, has a few surprises of his own. 

I'm writing two anthology pieces, one for Extasy Books Spring Fever and the other for their summer one. The Spring Fever title is Wink, and I'm playing with a monster that will require a little more research. 

Then, there's the summer anthology piece which will include the circus. I think I'm going to have to see The Greatest Showman to really help that come to life. Okay, maybe I'm just making excuses, but Hugh Jackman? Come on. Who wouldn't want to see him? Have you seen the trailers? That movie is going to rock. I'm so there this weekend!


As for my random tidbit, my little one is selling Girl Scout Cookies. The Girl Scout Troop leader says the quota for each girl is 250 boxes. Swear, she actually used the work quota. I had no idea how much of a business Girl Scouts is, but my little one loves it. That means Mommy is selling those cookies. 


When I reach said quota, I am done. That mermaid blanket she wants? I'll order it from Amazon. 





Saturday, December 2, 2017

Broken Pieces - The First Review! Check it out!

Release Day Review ~ Broken Pieces (Broken Book #1) by Deja Black

Release Day Review ~ Broken Pieces (Broken Book #1) by Deja Black


Broken Pieces (Broken Book #1)
By Deja Black
Published: December 1, 2017
Pages: 234
Amazon  Goodreads

A detective and the future leader of a deadly coven. What can go wrong?
Remi Devereaux is a Louisiana born detective working murder cases in Louisville, Kentucky. While shopping for game-day with the guys, he spots the most amazing person he has ever seen. Peter is a man Remi wants with his whole being, a man he just can’t let go.

Peter Romanoff is a photographer who possesses the spirit of two creatures. Two beings that are slowly tearing him apart. He needs a Supruga, a mate, to help give him balance. When he meets Remi, there is a magnetic pull he can’t deny.

The next in line to lead a powerful coven, Peter is hunted, and the people he knows and loves are being killed. It will take Remi’s love and Peter’s skills to combat the enemy after them. Can Remi be the balance Peter needs before the coven destroys them both?







4.5 Stars!

Detective Remi Devereaux is finally getting his footing here in Louisville, Kentucky after leaving Louisiana and his family behind. He never expects his world to be turned upside down by a beautiful blonde he spots in the grocery store, especially since that blonde happens to also be a man. But for some reason, gender doesn’t seem to be of any concern to him because every part of him says this man is the one.

Unfortunately, getting to know Peter Romanoff isn't as easy as Remi would’ve hoped. The watchdog/bodyguard aka best friend Caleb seems to thwart Remi whenever he can. Demi’s not sure what’s going on and he won’t let anything stop him from pursuing Peter. Even a sick and twisted killer who may be killing people who’ve had intimate relationships with Peter.

Remi has no clue that a beautiful photographer like Peter is struggling to control the two beasts trapped within him. Or that Peter’s future is to lead his late father’s large and powerful coven. Peter is definitely going to need Remi.

What I Loved: I am a huge fan of Paranormal books so I was super excited to check this one out after I saw the amazingly beautiful cover and I read the blurb. Of course, it also helped that I have become a fan of Deja Black’s stories. I’m glad I had this opportunity because the story didn’t disappoint.

Broken Pieces was very well written and intriguing. It possessed humor, suspense, action and some pretty sexy between the sheets action. I thought Peter and Remi had incredible chemistry and a great connection and thought they worked well together. I’m hoping to see more of them in the future.

I also loved Reno’s partner and best friend Kaden. He brought the comic relief to the story and had me smiling more than once. I loved the relationship he had with Remi and enjoyed their banter.

What I Liked: I honestly liked the way we saw the crimes and investigation through Remi’s eyes. It added an element of creepiness to it all. It fit with the idea that while the paranormal world doesn’t reveal itself to human, humans still find themselves in the middle of it without ever knowing it.

What I Didn’t Like: So I am probably going to be part of the minority but I found myself lost or confused a few times. The world we are shown is detailed and well thought out, but it is sometimes almost too much. I found myself having trouble following the fact that there’s a Coven, a Coven leader and all the things that have to deal with that. Then, there’s the Pack and the Pack Leader. It all became a jumbled mess in my brain in the beginning.

There’s also the matter of Kaden and Caleb. While I loved Kaden and didn’t care for Caleb, I repeatedly confused the two.

Overall, I’d say that this is a really great read and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading paranormal stories with magical elements.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.***

Buy Link:

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Why Do I Write about Guys Who Love Guys? Oh, and other Completely Random Thoughts

I was just asked by someone the other day why I write about guys loving guys. Why? Because I love the idea of two strong men together, who have the right to love each other. Better question? Why the fuck not? If I wrote about a man and a woman, no question. If I wrote about politics? Same. If I decided to write about religion, there would be no end to my support. But, I write about men who love men, and the furtive looks begin.



Have you ever truly looked at a list of gay historical figures? The scores of men who have loved other men either in secret or openly? You've only to look up the topic, and the names would astound you.

http://stars.topix.com/slideshow/16611 - Here's a list of historical gay and lesbian people that may surprise you.



Is it a sexual thing? No, but I'd be lying if I said the idea of two men in a heated embrace leaves me cold.



Is it because I want to stand up for gay rights? I want to stand up for everyone's right to be happy, to not be persecuted because of the person they've chosen to love. I want people to embrace each other and stop the hate. If thinking of my writing inspires change, I'm proud to be added to the number of people trying to make this world better.



Is it because of something in my past? Maybe I should see someone about that. Yes, I've actually heard those words. Honey, I've been writing about gay love since I was in high school. I'm in my forties now. It's a permanent thing for me. When I think of the past, I think of ways to make my future writing better. I think of what my men may have faced in their own past and how I can make their present better.



For me, the next amazing story is right around the corner, that happy ending I can't wait to write.




For me, I just want to write, and I want to write about men who love men.




Thinking about writing, I'm working on a few things.

Broken Pieces
It's finally releasing. That book and I have been through a lot together. The cover is a thing of beauty! Angela Waters, Art Director of Extasy Books, employs the greatest people. Erin Dameron-Hill did a marvelous job of capturing all the elements that make this story for me. Check out the cover:


Here's the blurb:
A detective and the future leader of a deadly coven. What can go wrong?
Remi Devereaux is a Louisiana born detective working murder cases in Louisville, Kentucky. While shopping for game-day with the guys, he spots the most amazing person he has ever seen. Peter is a man Remi wants with his whole being, a man he just can’t let go.

Peter Romanoff is a photographer who possesses the spirit of two creatures. Two beings that are slowly tearing him apart. He needs a Supruga, a mate, to help give him balance. When he meets Remi, there is a magnetic pull he can’t deny.

The next in line to lead a powerful coven, Peter is hunted, and the people he knows and loves are being killed. It will take Remi’s love and Peter’s skills to combat the enemy after them. Can Remi be the balance Peter needs before the coven destroys them both?

Right now, it's available for pre-order. It's actually the second book in a series I started with Dreamspinner Press. The first book then was Broken Bones. I was a new author and knew absolutely nothing about promoting, so not enough read. My fault, not the publishers. Now, I'm better, understand the business more. Still learning, though. It's a great book and worth your time.

Give it a read. (See image below.)

Pre-order Link:
Extasy Books  https://goo.gl/z3zUGY
Release Date: December 1st




Blurb for that one?
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.

Buy Links
DSP Publications: https://goo.gl/jDHV5P



Other works?
Getting There - Expected to release in December
No cover yet. Here are a few images that come to mind for this story:





The blurb?
Can a broken-hearted professor be taught how to love again? Can a business-minded surfer handle the task? Can they both survive the one man willing to kill to tear them apart?



Lucas Masterson’s life turns on its head when his long-time lover leaves him for his teaching assistant. Lucas is devastated, and the only person who seems able to help him live again is Creed Hamasaki, his brother’s best friend, who doesn’t waste any time staking his claim. But can Lucas and Creed’s love survive a return visit from Lucas’s ex who’s willing to kill to get him back? Even more so, can Lucas?





Song of the Siren - A part of the Christmas Anthology by Extasy Books - Releases 12/20/17!
No cover here, either, but let me give you an idea of this one. 





The blurb?
A broken soldier, a siren, and a pastor. Sounds like an intro to a bad joke, but it’s the Christmas story of how a siren’s song can heal.


Graham is a broken soldier in body and soul. With no place to go, he moves to the coast to live with the only relative who loves him. Lost and without hope, Graham is not sure how he can get his life back. That is until he hears the song of the most gorgeous man he has ever seen.
Kamau is a siren who lives part of his life with his siren mother the other part with his human father. Dutiful son to mother and father but never true to himself. That is until Graham walks into the church and Kamau realizes he has found his mate.
Jonah Anderson is the pastor who relies on his son’s gift to grow his church. All is going well for him and the church. That is until he sees the way Kamau looks at Graham.

At a time when Christmas presents are given for the holiday, will Graham and Kamau receive the gift they’ve dreamed of for a lifetime? Each other.


Hope one of those sounds like a good thing to you.

More?
In the meantime, I've begun the sequel to Song of the Siren. The title for that one is The Guardian's Prize. It's planned for the Summer Anthology by Extasy Books. Then, I need to finish Flirty and Red, the next book in the Broken Series which will focus on Kristoff, and a story I've been writing in my head. After that, it's back to the mermen.




You know, my little guy just became a mascot. I'm pretty pumped about that. Me? I hate them, but you should see the way he does the cheers and his enthusiasm. I'm definitely going to share some videos when he begins. Now, he's in Tae Kwon Do, dance, a mascot, teaches martial arts, competes, and ushers for the church. This spring he's doing basketball again.



My little girl? She's in Girl Scouts, in the choir, and in Tae Kwon Do. She's started hinting about cheerleading. I'm pretending like I don't hear her until I can't pretend anymore.

Hubby's taking classes to finish a degree along with working and is flying planes (the expensive toys with remote control kinds). Oh, yeah. Drones, too. He's got the boy into that now. Oh, and let's not forget that archery class he wants him to take.



Me?

That's it for me. Hope all is well with you. Feel free to share anything new.
Hit me with a few of your random thoughts.

Love,
Deja

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Mr. Mom

I've been playing with the idea of mpreg, men having babies. I'm not at the point where I want to describe the process. For Song of the Siren, I just gave the hint. In the next story, The Guardian's Prize, when Batair finally wins Aoki, there will be more.



Why mpreg? I don't know. I think for the merman series, it just adds more for me. It fell into place naturally, and I went with it.



Cardeno C placed a question about mpreg on Facebook this summer and the responses, all 327 comments. were varied. Some love the idea, and some don't. No surprise there. It's like reading book reviews and wondering if the readers all read the same book. They're that vast in the spectrum of their opinions.

Interested in checking it out?
https://goo.gl/QCZ3cE

[By the way, the URL for this was forever long. I used Google Shortener to fix it. It's my favorite for making those things shorter because Facebook doesn't stalk them as much.] 

Along with her question, there are mpreg groups, pages, videos and a true following.

Here are two videos that I found interesting:


Compilation of the best Mpreg Videos from Film911
https://goo.gl/ENF3Vp



Mpreg Seahorse - A young man is pregnant, not a seahorse.
https://goo.gl/LGCmwC


I found this article for those of you who've never heard of mpreg. Read through. It's interesting. This is more about the community of Mpreg than writing.

What Exactly Is Mpreg? A Male Pregnancy Enthusiast Explains

https://goo.gl/VmuqdA


I tried finding articles on writing mpreg, and the ones available are mostly forums and from writers of fanfic. But, I did find this one. It's worth checking out.

It's from Livejournal.

Workshop: "Writing MPREG" by Sasha_anu


http://superhero-muses.livejournal.com/21537.html

I think Sasha did a great job explaining what a writer needs to consider if they're interested.

As for me, I'm taking the dramatic/not so dramatic route that she refers to. I want my men to have their own children for the mermen series, and I want the emotional complications that occur with it. I want their lives uprooted because they've made the choice to bring life in the world and to have to make the decisions that accompany them. No, I'm not going through the month by month thing.
I'm more or less envisioning rounded bellies, twinges, the warmth of having a life within and later children. That works for me.



Now, it won't be easy. My mermen are going to have trouble convincing their men, especially Batair and Aoki. Aoki is half human/half dragon shifter. The idea of family does not appeal to him. Batair is a guardian, a merman whose not used to being told no. it's going to take him learning a different approach to have Aoki in his life.

In the end, though, they'll get their Happy Ever After. 

I'm still new to the writing world and am still exploring. I wonder if my small gathering of readers will be willing to explore with me. 

Love,
Deja