Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Happy Planner - My New Obsession and maybe other things?


My New Obsession: The Happy Planner - Give Me All The Stickers!  (Oh, and a few other tidbits)



So, yeah. I know I'm supposed to write about writing on this blog, but lately I've been obsessed with the Happy Planner. Don't know about it? You have to look this thing up. Do you have a Michael's or almost any office supply store? How about Amazon?




Okay, good. 

These things are great. So, you buy the planner. It doesn't even have to be the Happy Planner. I'm using this spiral planner they sell with the stickers at Michaels. I love this one. I'm all about color, and the size is small enough to carry in my purse. Also, I like the messages at the beginning of each month. 


Then you get the stickers!
 



And, you end up with...Well, I shouldn't say that... I end up with something that looks like this:



The best thing about this to me is being able to reflect. I have these moments where I feel like I've accomplished nothing, where I'm so busy, busy, but what did I do? I can look back at these days and see it, so it becomes more reflective than anything else. My hubby says, "Hey, you can just write that." You know what? I write it, I don't care about it anymore, because it just becomes another list. With the stickers and washis. Oh, the washis. Hang on a second. 

Okay, these things are what you can use to block out weeks, days, or just outline. Just another way to make it fun. 

Anyway, I look forward to my days now. Date nights, dinners, times to write and work, due dates are all made a little more colorful with this. And, I get to look back and see what I've done and smile. 

That makes me happy. 

As far as books? 


Well, The Guardian's Prize is the most recent release right now. Here's the info. 



Aoki Tatsuo, an art teacher who’s half dragon and half human, doesn’t want to be anyone’s mate. Or, at least that’s what he’s telling himself.

When the two first meet the earth trembles…literally.

A merman and a dragon.
One will have to learn patience.
The other will have to learn there’s more than one way to love.
Can the two of them work through the obstacles in their past to find their perfect future?

Extasy Books  https://goo.gl/39ZCFs


And, Stumbling in the Dark is on its way. 

The circus is a place for the unusual, a sanctuary for the wanderer. For the circus knife thrower Jake Gallinari, it was the place he stumbled to as a child. He arrived broken in spirit and body, hungering for affection. He found love, acceptance, and a family to call his own. 

Blaine Leander needed a sanctuary as well. The lion tamer had no idea that he would one day see his mate in the circus, no less. For seven years he’s watched Jake grow into a man, afraid to take the step to make Jake his own.

It’s summer, and with the bright sun and the blue sky, these two men have a chance for life to change. 

Just what will it take to make that happen? 

Release Date (tentative) June 1, 2018

No buy links yet. I'lll keep you posted.

In other news

We survived Girl Scouts.
School is almost out.
The temps have finally cooled down which is awesome because we're still trying to figure out what's wrong with the air conditioning in my car. When that's fixed, I'll be the happiest woman ever! 

Love, 
Deja


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Arc Teams, Instafreebie, and Book Confusion! Oh, my!



Guess what I just learned about? Arc Teams! Did you know about this? You give a team of people, 15 -20, a copy of your book through Instafreebie, and they will review it. And, presto! Reviews! Now, they're honest reviews, so no worries. You can still use them to help your writing, but wow! I had no idea! I'm still learning, of course, so I knew nothing of this! At book 8, I finally see a way to get more reviews thanks to help from other writers. If you're an GLBTQ writer and need help, too, try this group on Facebook. They are awesome!

GLBTQ Writer Support Network



You have a question? They have an answer. They want to help, and there are even questions you can answer, too! The help is out there! Take advantage of it!


Now, I know about Arc teams, Instafreebie, and I absolutely had to share it with you! 

Instrafreebie is easy to use. Google it, make an account, add your books, and create a giveaway. You can choose Arc groups on Facebook or use another social media, but go for it. 

Book Confusion


By the way, there's some confusion with my recent release, The Guardian's Prize. It's Book 2 of The Men of Neptune. The confusion? Book 1, Song of the Siren, is a part of the Christmas release by Extasy Books. The editor mentioned there were questions, so I must clear this up. Below is the information for Song of the Siren and The Guardian's Prize!


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.

Buy Link:


Tetra Batair, grandson of Neptune himself and guardian of the god’s military forces, has arrived in Charleston, South Carolina for his mate. The only problem? His mate doesn’t want him. Now what’s a merman to do?
Aoki Tatsuo, an art teacher who’s half dragon and half human, doesn’t want to be anyone’s mate. Or, at least that’s what he’s telling himself. 
When the two first meet the earth trembles…literally.
A merman and a dragon. 
One will have to learn patience. 
The other will have to learn there’s more than one way to love.
Can the two of them work through the obstacles in their past to find their perfect future?

Buy Links:
Extasy Books  https://goo.gl/39ZCFs


Alrighty! Hope this helps, and my apologies for the confusion!

Love, 
Deja


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Time to Stop Being Afraid, Deja! Write!

It's Kristoff's Turn!

New writer here, so I'm still learning. What have I learned recently? To keep writing! Okay, while that's nothing new, I'm referring to my series. One of them, Men of Neptune has a new book releasing soon! It’s called The Guardian’s Prize, and I am beyond pumped.



It has me thinking. Why haven’t I started Kristoff’s story, Broken Promises? Broken Promises is from the Broken series, one I started with Dreamspinner Press. The first book was Broken Bones.



Then, I moved to Extasy Books, and the first book became Broken Pieces.



Now, the character Kristoff is in both stories and was a favorite side character in each. People often ask me where his story is.



It’s not like I don’t have the storyline ready. I do. It’s been sitting at least a year waiting.


And waiting.


And waiting.



You get the idea.

I think my issue was that I was terrified.  The what ifs were killing me. What if I write his story and everyone hates it? What if he’s different than people expected? What if…



But, there comes a point when a writer simply has to just do it. Just write the story. Just put it on paper.
Okay, maybe not paper, but you know what I mean.



Just do it!


Face your fears, right? I mean, what could it hurt? I’ll never know the readers’ response if I never write the story. And, really? I need to write this for me, and for Kristoff. Pretty sure he’s angry with me. I need to tell his story and conquer my own fears.

I’m ready.



So, Broken Promises? It’s the story of Kristoff and Jeremiah. The guys? Yes, because you know they’re guys. That’s all I write. That’s all I want to.

Ah! Here they are!











Their story?

Kristoff has left Jeremiah’s pack. He feels that somewhere along the line he lost his focus. His need to protect his nephew and his love for Jeremiah has left him vulnerable. He’s failed his nephew and his alpha. He’s failed himself and has moved to Charleston, South Carolina to start over again.

Jeremiah has struggled with his feelings for Kristoff for years, feelings he’s chosen to ignore as he continues to mourn the loss of his mate. When an old enemy from Kristoff’s past resurfaces, Jeremiah decides enough is enough, that Kristoff needs to come home. Jeremiah needs Kristoff where he can see him, where he can keep him safe.

Okay, there’s a ton to go along with this. Shifters and creatures of all kinds. Fighting. Passion. Love. Definitely love. They’ve been waiting long enough. It’s time.



Now, the thing about writing a series is that it’s not easy by any means. How do I reintroduce the characters? How do I continue the story? How do I fit the pieces together without confusing the reader?

I mean, do I want to sound like an old Kungfu movie where the two characters talk, and we know all in a few brief lines?



No, I want the story to flow, to appear natural. Now, there were two great articles I found on this.

How to write a series: 8 novice mistakes to avoid
https://www.nownovel.com/blog/how-to-write-a-series-mistakes/
I like this. It gets right to the point of what doesn’t work. It’s worth a look.


https://nybookeditors.com/2016/11/plan-book-series/
Now, this one has some real meat to it. How to organize the series and what to consider are things I’m interested in, and this seems to be packed full of goodies.

Okay, armed with Scrivener, my notes, these articles, and my betas, I should be ready.
Let’s go!



Coming Soon!

Spring Fever

Wing


Spring Fever features six stories. The one that I wrote is Wink.
Here are the details:
Calyx, a Tengu goblin, has one thing to do, and that’s to get an education that will help him protect his mountains and lakes in modern times.
Trey, a wolf shifter, has always been afraid of being himself and has lived his life according to his mother’s rules, rules wrapped in fear and heartbreak.
But, it’s spring break, and these two shifters have spring fever.
It’s time for everything to change.
Available now!
Buy Links
Publisher
http://www.extasybooks.com/?route=product/search&search=spring%20fever
Amazon
https://goo.gl/uz9MxN
Only 4.99!

The Guardian’s Prize





Tetra Batair, grandson of Neptune himself and guardian of the god’s military forces, has arrived in Charleston, South Carolina for his mate. The only problem? His mate doesn’t want him. Now what’s a merman to do?
Aoki Tatsuo, an art teacher who’s half dragon and half human, doesn’t want to be anyone’s mate. Or, at least that’s what he’s telling himself.
When the two first meet the earth trembles…literally.
A merman and a dragon.
One will have to learn patience.
The other will have to learn there’s more than one way to love.
Can the two of them work through the obstacles in their past to find their perfect future?

Release Date: May 4, 2018
Available for Preorder!
Buy Links:
Publisher
https://goo.gl/39ZCFs

In Other News


School is almost over. Teachers are having a rough time of it in Louisville. Our pensions are being threatened and our retirement limited if we have one at all. And, if that isn’t enough, we just learned yesterday that the state may be taking over our school district. So, while I’m looking forward to summer, I’m more concerned about what will happen in our future.

We’ll have to see.

Love to you all,
Deja











Saturday, February 17, 2018

Embrace Your Dark Side

So, I like my books dark and twisted. Yes, there's a little sweet there, the happy ever after, but I like blood, a scintillating storyline, and that touch of darkness. This year, I've learned the meaning of a new acronym when it comes to describing my writing.

OTT

It's been used to describe two books:

Broken Pieces


and

Getting There

What classifies a book as OTT? Let me see.

Boy Meets Reviews said of Broken Pieces:
"I loved this farcical bit of unreality. Luuuurrved it. It was over the top. It was an over the top paranormal romance mate situation. Did I say it was over the top? Well, it was. There were some beastly aspects of this that were just kind of ... skeery. Yep."

So, yes, Broken Pieces was OTT according to the reviewer. Well, let me tell you, I took that as a compliment because OTT was exactly what the reviewer was looking for. Loved reading this one.

Me? Give me monsters, wings, and creepy things. Give me men taking an alpha role by surprise or totally going beyond the curve. Give me something different. Give me the fantastical and the amazing and lace within it the power of love. That's what I enjoy, and it's what I write.

In fact, this is where I'm going next.


Now, my gargoyles may not be quite this beautiful, but you get the idea. Maybe more like this?


Rawr! Oh, yeah!


The other OTT?
Hearts on Fire Reviews for Getting There:
"While Ira was a little OTT, I didn’t find the story to be and I found it interesting. I ended up really liking Creed and I love Anthony. Recommended."

Okay, Hearts on Fire. Getting There did have an end that was a bit of a shocker. I get it. Not for everyone.

Now, the reviewer rated the book a four, and if I wasn't already thinking of giving Anthony his own happy ever after, I certainly am now.

So, all of that to say what? Well, I had one of those doubting myself moments. You know. We all have them. But, when I asked my editor if I should try to write sweet stories, Debbie Nygaard had this to say:

"I think if you wrote a "sweet" story I wouldn't recognize it - LOL.

Embrace your dark side. It's what your muse inspires, and you do it well."

So, I'm listening. I'm going to embrace my darkness.


Embracing

If you find yourself wanting to read Broken Pieces or Getting There, the blurb and links are below:

Broken Pieces



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?

Extasy Books: http://www.extasybooks.com/deja-black/broken-pieces/
Amazon US: https://goo.gl/RpKojM
Amazon UK: 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?


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?

Extasy Books: https://goo.gl/G55QJa
Amazon US: https://goo.gl/KHuiuv
Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/otUJta


Are you thinking of how to write a dark story? I found two articles that might help with that.

So You Want To / Write a Dark Fantasy


Pretty interesting read here with bullet points that might just lead you in the right direction. It includes tropes and details that are very specific. There are one or two ideas there you might object to, but give it a read. 

Darkness in Fiction: 7 Tips for Writing Dark Stories



Hannah Heath is back with some awesome tips on writing dark stories. It's short and to the point. Definitely worth taking a look. I love this woman. Great articles every time. Now, every story I write will have a happy ending, but all of the others? There!

Random Thoughts
We finished the Girl Scout Cookie sale. Only problem? Snafu on online sales. 



So, yeah. This is me before wine. Yes, I will savor the glass, maybe two. Oh, favorite wine? Let me show you. Hm. It's around here somewhere. 


My favorite and absolutely divine. Wine after Girl Scout Cookie sales.  Absolutely hate Girl Scout Cookie orders. You can't hear the tantrum I'm having, but it's happening. 

Oh, yes. Wine.



In other news, my husband lost his grandmother. She was a woman with a lot of spunk who had a smart mouth that wouldn't quit. Bright, intelligent, and someone who loved to take her family everywhere, she was a great person to know. She is definitely going in a book somewhere. Just wait. 










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.