What I'm Writing: January 2020

unsplash-logoDana Marin

So for the last few years I’ve been mostly in the habit of posting a weekly update on my writing progress on the fanfic side, because that’s generally been where I’ve been doing most of my writing. In 2019 especially, I did almost no writing on original projects, because that is the kind of year 2019 was.

But! RIP to 2019, 2020 is (so far) different! I’ve found my focus shifting back to my writing as Dessa Lux (and possibly Dira Lewis?) and that’s where I did… 84% of my writing, according to my trusty word count spreadsheet, so I figure I might as well update you on how that’s going instead!

Words written this month: 9,592 – objectively not a lot but still better than I did with original writing in any month of 2019 (any month since finishing Omega Wintertide), so I’ll take it!

Works currently in progress:

Wolves in the World #3 (Ethan & Declan’s book): 947 words this month, 20,553 words total, currently working on Chapter 4 of 20-ish. 

I’ve been working on this since late 2018 and, haha, turns out this is a complicated book and a little bit difficult to write! I really, really want to get Ethan’s story right, which meant starting the book much earlier than I originally and naively imagined. Which means writing about Ethan before he’s named himself Ethan or told anyone that name or his correct pronouns, which means I love my sensitivity reader very much and also keep not showing them things because I am determined to get it right first, which is a bit like cleaning before someone comes to clean your house and… clearly not very efficient. Also, Chapter 4 in particular has a lot of the thing that’s hardest for me to write, which is a different POV on events that we already saw in a previous book. Sooooo that’s… happening. Slowly. I am hopeful that someday when I get out of Chapter 4 (and actually get my shit together and show Chapter 3 to anyone) things will move along a little more easily. 

ETA: Late this year or early next, probably?

M/M historical fantasy in an AU of 1834 with magic soulbonds and gay marriage: 1,172 words this month, 11,807 words total, currently working on Chapter 3 of about 13. 

I suspect that I will come back later and laugh and laugh at the idea of finishing this in 13 chapters but that’s what the outline says right now so LET ME DREAM. They kissed! A little! But they are still very sure that They Can Never Be Together Because Entailments And Dastardly Cousins And Whatnot. Please do not ask me how many books I currently have plotted out in this series, because it is about what you’d think and I really need to focus on writing the first one first.

ETA: ?????

M/M contemporary sugar daddy romance: 2,428 words this month, 4,315 words total, currently just starting Chapter 2 and I have no outline and also technically the main characters haven’t met yet but I am still cherishing the hope that this will be a totally reasonably mid-length book! SHHHH. 

ETA: Sometime in 2020 I hope?

M/M contemporary holiday single dad romance: 5,045 words this month,  4,621 words total, frozen at the start of Chapter 2, but I DO have an outline, sort of, even if it includes a lot of question marks and caps locking and no notions of chapters. But this could ALSO be a totally reasonable length and I’m hoping that starting writing on it immediately after Christmas 2019 gives me a reasonable shot of putting it out by Christmas 2020?? 

ETA: November 2020, I mean it.

Some M/M romance novel recs!

The last time I meant to post book recommendations I wound up procrastinating for, uh, approximately eleven months because I got fixated on Doing It Right, so… here are an arbitrary number of recommendations for books chosen unsystematically from things I’ve read in the last year or so, that aren’t as detailed or thoughtful as the books probably deserve, because the perfect is the enemy of the good and all that.

All of these are M/M, with a range of gay/bi/pan character identities.

Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch – YOU GUYS I LOVE THIS ONE SO MUCH. I don’t think I’ve actually read the text version of it yet but I’ve listened to the audiobook narrated by Joel Leslie (available through Hoopla!) twice and this book is! so!! great!! It’s set just after the Great Exhibition of 1851–working  magician John Blake helped secure the structure of the Crystal Palace, and Thornby, who is mysteriously trapped on his father’s estate in Yorkshire, is livid at having missed the whole thing. Also oh my god this one goes HARD on the hurt/comfort, like I think there is swooning-from-injuries and being-cradled-in-the-other’s-arms in Chapter Two. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH.

How to Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton – This is the first book in a series based on the premise that dogs who are sufficiently loved by a human, who then are left behind when their beloved human dies, can become Quickened–sentient, and able to shift into human form. So brace yourself to cry about sad dogs but on the bright side NONE OF THE DOGS DIE, JUST HUMANS. Now if you think this premise through for a minute you will realize that this could lead to some super hinky situations, because an adult dog, shifting into an adult human, is like… as little as three years old? and brand-new as a human? So you will be glad to know that this first book introduces you to the whole idea with the least-hinky possible version of the story: Tim is a human who comes to live in a town of Quickened, and Lance, the local sheriff and also a border collie shifter, is a third-generation Quickened, so he has grown up in a totally linear fashion. Books 2 through 4 then proceed to explore progressively more, uh, delicate permutations of the idea, but they are all great I swear. 

The Werewolf’s Fae Mate & The Broken Faewolf’s Mate by Liv Rider – I read the second book of these first, because I could not resist the premise of a werewolf who’s been stuck as a wolf since childhood suddenly shifting back to human when he meets his true love (who has werewolf blood but is determined never to lose control and shift into wolf form). Both books are delightful and do werewolves without the whole a/b/o situation, building a whole rivalry between fae and shifters.

How to Bang a Billionaire (trilogy) by Alexis Hall – This is very much like 50 Shades of Gray but a) good and b) gay and c) Arden has a much better instinct for self-preservation than Ana and is willing to say “um you’re treating me like shit and I don’t care about your money more than I care about my own happiness, so I’m out.” Also the kinky sex is something they work up to over time, because of reasons. Lots of delightful secondary characters and a really lovely development of their whole relationship. 

Briarley by Aster Glenn Grey (aka @ospreyarcher​) – A Beauty and the Beast fixit set during World War II, where the country parson trespasses on the beast’s manor and then, when the Beast demands that he exchange his daughter for his freedom, says, “Uh, no, I’m not going to do that to my daughter, you lunatic, and also she has important war work to do” and stays put and makes the Beast adopt a disabled dog in order to learn what love is. And also the Beast is a fucking dragon and it’s great. 

Seven Summer Nights by Harper Fox – Set just after World War II, with both heroes coping, with varying degrees of success, with their combat traumas. Rufus is an archaeologist and a war hero, but he’s missing the memory of the events that left him with his scars and medals, and attacks a colleague on a dig during a flashback. Archie is a small town vicar who’s lost his faith but still believes in looking after his people–and his church, which seems to have a really unusual history. Rufus is sent to Droyton Parva to investigate the archaeology of the church and to hide from his ruined career, and he and Archie run headfirst into some of the last remnants of magic in a mostly-mundane world. Amazing supporting cast of women (and one trans guy who gets a great happy ending although bits of it were… not written in a 21st century way which makes sense for characters in 1946 but, you know, it might be jarring. Also, content warning for offscreen death of an infant.) Mostly this is a story about finding, and creating, and protecting, the spaces where you can be who you are with the person or people you love, and, you know, also some weird magic? It’s great.

(Also I am just permanently recommending that you go read everything by KJ Charles, Cat Sebastian, and Keira Andrews, I have not gone wrong with them yet.)

Anyway, if there’s a particular kind of book you’re looking for, ask and I’ll see what I can come up with! And if you have if-you-liked-x-you-should-read-y suggestions related to the above, I’d love to hear about them!

[Cross-posted from https://dsudis.tumblr.com/post/190404256154/mm-romance-novel-recs]

Cover Reveal: Omega Defiant

Omega Defiant (Wolves in the World #2), aka Casey and Adam’s book, has a cover now!

omega defiant final cover image

An omega who wants nothing to do with alphas…

An alpha who wants to save omegas, but never meant to fall for one…

And a thousand-mile roadtrip that will change their lives… if they don’t kill each other first.

Omega werewolf Casey Niemi has grown up in the safety of his adopted pack. He can’t remember what took him from his original family–and he doesn’t want to, even if it might explain why getting too close to an alpha makes him panic. He’s moving on with his life and totally has it under control–until a new alpha shows up and throws Casey’s world completely off kilter.

Alpha werewolf Adam Vinick wants to improve the lives of omegas through the power of rigorous scientific research. After the death of his omega dad, he left his father’s pack and has never looked back. But he’s been having a hard time finding omegas for his study, and his life’s work may be cancelled if he can’t show results soon. When he turns to the Niemis for help, he’s not expecting an omega like Casey.

Adam and Casey have instant chemistry–the kind that explodes on contact. When the Niemis send Casey to assist Adam on his research trip, enemies become reluctant allies and it doesn’t take long for them to argue their way into each other’s beds.

But can their long road lead them to each other’s hearts?

~

OMEGA DEFIANT will be out November 29!

You can join my mailing list here to be notified when it’s available!

If you haven’t read Book 1, Omega Required, it’s available for Kindle or paperback on Amazon!

If you’d like to check out my other books, you can find descriptions and previews here: http://dessa-lux.tumblr.com/books

If you’d like to support my efforts to write increasingly weird and ridiculous gay werewolf romance as an actual job, you can buy me a coffee.

If you’d like to see OMEGA DEFIANT described in the form of AO3 tags, that post is here.

Coming Soon: OMEGA DEFIANT (Wolves in the World, Book 2)

The follow-up to OMEGA REQUIRED, aka Casey and Adam’s book, is in the final-ish editing process, so I feel like I can tell you all that it exists, and will be out in a month or so! 😀

The AO3 tag description would be something like…

Omegaverse, Werewolves Are Known, Mating Cycles/Heat, Knotting, A Dash of Mpreg, Enemies to Lovers, But like the soft-ish version, I tried you guys I’m not good at writing enemies, Definitely a lot of arguing though, Including arguing about whether to have sex, Ahem, What Else, Road Trip, Drug Use, Wolfsbane Is Literally Anything I Want It to Be, Separatist Werewolf Cult, Tragic Backstories, Dead Parents, Past Violence, Past Suicide, Childhood Trauma, Awkward Hurt/Comfort, A Bit of Peril, Brief Graphic Violence, Werewolf Science, Worldbuilding, Werewolf Culture, Dessa steals stuff from her own Teen Wolf fanfic, Look I’m just firmly convinced that that’s the Werewolf Mythology now, Omega Genetics, Omega Gender Stuff, Omegas Are Intersex, Omegas dealing with stuff that’s kind of like intersex & trans identity in real life, Except with a fictional anatomical situation and within a fictional culture where that anatomical situation is considered normal, Omegas dealing with imposed/enforced female identity, but that is a problem getting solved, Happily Ever After

…So that should give you the general idea. 😀

It’s a bit shorter than Omega Required, probably coming in at around 115,000 words after this set of edits, (but I’m writing a little holiday novella to hopefully make up the difference.)

If you’d like to make sure you’re not at the mercy of Tumblr’s dash algorithms to know when the book comes out, you can sign up here to get an email: https://t.co/f0uOnxHqR0

If you haven’t read Omega Required, you can get it in ebook or paperback on Amazon!

If you’d like to check out my other books, you can find descriptions and previews here: http://dessa-lux.tumblr.com/books

If you’d like to support my efforts to write increasingly weird and ridiculous gay werewolf romance as an actual job, you can buy me a coffee.

And if you’d like that book description in slightly more actual words…


An omega who wants nothing to do with alphas…

An alpha who wants to save omegas, but never meant to fall for one…

And a thousand-mile roadtrip that will change their lives if they don’t kill each other first.

Omega werewolf Casey Niemi has grown up in the safety of his adopted pack after the horrific events that took his first family from him when he was a child. Casey has never been able to remember what happened–and he doesn’t want to, even if it might explain why getting too close to an alpha makes him panic. He’s moving on with his life, and he thinks he has things under control until a new alpha shows up and throws Casey’s world completely off kilter.

Alpha werewolf Adam Vinick wants to improve the lives of omegas through the power of rigorous scientific research. He left his father’s pack–which he’s always blamed for the death of his omega dad–as a teenager and never looked back. But Adam’s lack of experience with pack life is making it hard to find omegas for his study, and his life’s work may be cancelled if he can’t show results soon. When he turns to the Niemis for help, he’s not expecting an omega like Casey.

Adam and Casey have instant chemistry–the kind that explodes on contact. But the Niemis decide it’s time for Casey to leave the nest and he hasn’t got much choice but to join Adam’s research trip. When enemies become reluctant allies, it doesn’t take long for them to argue their way into each other’s beds–but can their long road lead them to each other’s hearts?

Zoe Chant’s Shifter Summer Sale!

As I’ve mentioned before…  somewhere…  I am one of the group of writers who collectively write (het) paranormal romance as Zoe Chant. So I wanted to let you guys know that, today and tomorrow, a bunch of Zoe’s book collections are on sale (including one of mine!) These are bundles of 2-4 standalone novellas, and they’re all available at just 99 cents today and tomorrow (August 21-22).

GraysHollow-Box-1

This one is mine: Gray’s Hollow Dragon Shifters #1, featuring the first four books of my dragon shifter series for just 99 cents!

Several other collections (by other pals writing under the Zoe name, and featuring similar alpha-but-not-asshole shifter heroes) are also on sale!

Fire & Rescue Shifters Collection 1 (Books 1-3)

Shifting Sands Resort Collection 1 (Books 1-3)

Protection, Inc. Box Set 1 (Books 1-3)

Enforcer Bears Box Set 1 (Books 1-3)

Cedar Hills Lions Box Set 1 (Books 1-2)