I finally have some exciting news to share! The second book in the Shifter Crown Series, titled Realm of Deceit and Peril, is coming soon! Release Day is October 22. Mark your calendars and look out for a preorder link, cover reveal, and teasers to be coming soon.
Full disclosure: I have been working on this piece for months. Parts of it have been there for a long time; parts of it I was still unsure about; and there are parts I wasn’t ready to share with anyone yet. I am ready now. Settle in. This is a bit of a ride, but stick with me.
It’s been a while. I know that. I wish I had something profound to say about my return, but I don’t. My departure from the writing world wasn’t due to some great, mysterious adventure that I can regale you with now. The truth is: I had to step away. Not because I wanted to. Not because I needed a break. Not because of anything related to writing. It was a personal hiatus. You see . . . just when things were going super awesome for me in the indie world, my personal life fell apart. I didn’t disappear on purpose, and I want you to know and understand why I did, where I’ve been, why I have been silent until now, and that I’ve been busting my butt to get back.
Here’s the story, in a nutshell.
It actually all started in 2014, shortly after my twin boys were born and I was writing the third book in The Ignited Series. My husband, son, and I had just moved into a nice, new, big house with an even bigger mortgage in preparation of growing from a family of 3 to a family of 5. We were doing well. My books were selling like crazy, and I quit my job as a physician assistant to write full time and take care of my kids. Hello, dream job!
It didn’t take long to notice the change in my then-husband. He had a history of drug use long before I came along, but it had not been a problem the entire time we were together. It was merely a blip from his past—that I wasn’t even a part of. Or so I thought. Something happened. To this day, I don’t know exactly what. Perhaps it was a pyramid of things, stacked on top of one another, that led to the storm that came next, or it was destined to happened.
No one knew at the time, but from late 2014 until late 2016, I lived a tumultuous life with an admitted alcoholic/drug addict. (And since early 2013 with a man who lied and hid it well while brushing off the red flags that I saw.) I hid his secrets for him. I permitted him to isolate me from family and friends so that no one knew the ugly things that happened inside our home. I later discovered that he was the definition of a narcissist. Everything was my fault. He lied, wasted our hard earned money on booze and drugs, and it was my fault when I caught him. This was the daily routine, and the events that occurred during that time grew more and more severe as his addiction worsened. I became the emotionally and verbally abused wife I never thought I would be. It got bad, but I still managed to pump out those books. It was still my escape, and no one knew that I silently suffered on the inside.
In 2016, I decided to leave him. I didn’t know where I would go, but I couldn’t stay in that environment any longer. I couldn’t expose my children to the toxicity any longer. He found out my plans, and finally decided it was time to change. (I had been promised change dozens of times by this point, so I wasn’t hopeful.) But this time, he entered rehab. In Texas. For 9 months. As relieved as I was that he was gone and no longer a daily threat to me and the kids, the damage to my mental health had already been done. As far as my marriage went, his action to fix it was too little too late. The torment he put me through had damaged me on a deep level that was not easily or quickly repairable. It wasn’t until he was gone that I realized the extent of it. I experienced anxiety, daily panic attacks, and came to discover through therapy that I suffered from PTSD. (I am told that this is actual common among spouses of addicts/alcoholics.)
I struggled to write. I went months without even looking at my computer, let alone consider advertising or even caring to stay visible in the rapidly growing industry. I don’t know how I even managed to finish what I did publish. I guess you could say I “forced” it since it was my only source of income, and I needed to support my kids. But that took a toll on me, too. What was once fun and freeing was no longer either. As my mental health worsened, I found that I could no longer “force” it. I took some time to focus on the kids and my own healing. It is a time I won’t ever regret, because it was absolutely necessary, but my author career suffered as a result. By retreating into the shadows, I became invisible in the indie world.
I could not keep the house intended to be our forever home, but was fortunate enough to have somewhere to go with the kids while I attempted to get my feet back under me. I couldn’t even think about my career as I fought through this dark time in my life. The mental and emotional healing has been a long and hard process, and I’ll spare you the ugly details, but I’m there now. For the most part. I still have bad days (or weeks), but overall, I feel good. Sure, it’s stressful, and I’m not the same person I was before—I never will be. The kids live with me, and the everyday things that go into caring for them fall squarely on my shoulders. As a single mom of three, I struggle on a day-to-day basis, and I don’t have much time to write, but mentally, I’m ready to do it again.
The twins started pre-k this fall, which has freed up time for me to write! Finally, a little weight has lifted off of my shoulders. I am still working on putting the blur of bad memories behind me, and am still getting adjusted to this new life I have, but I am ready to restart the career that was going so well before the storm hit.
This is not my excuse. This is my come back. I hope to see you all there!
It's official, y'all! The final book in the Apocalypse Assassins series is done and coming to your Kindles soon! Hopefully before Christmas, so get ready! To tide you over, here's a little snippet taken from the book. Enjoy!
Copyright 2017 by Desni Dantone
Unedited and subject to change
“You ever think about being a nurse?” I asked as she tugged my jeans up over my hips.
“Hmm.” I stared at her fingers while they pulled my zipper up, and wished they were pulling it down instead. “Because you would make a good one.”
She glanced up at me, brows pinched. “You’re kidding, right?”
I shrugged. “What guy hasn’t fantasized about sleeping with his hot nurse?”
“Jesus, Dylan.” She sighed. “You were just shot. You’ve had surgery . . . performed by a man who isn’t a licensed surgeon, with instruments used for spaying and neutering animals, and you’re thinking about sex?”
“I’m always thinking about sex.” I flashed her my patented grin. It didn’t work.
She shook head, and resumed putting my pants on. “Take it up with Doc, because I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to be doing anything strenuous for a few weeks.”
“A few weeks? Oh, hell no. That’s not happening. Once I can move without gasping for air, we’re going to replay this scenario—only with the clothes coming off.”
The partition snapped open behind me. “That’s nice. I really wanted to hear that.”
“Jake.” I tipped my chin over my shoulder. “Impeccable timing, as always.”
MEET THEA COLLIER - THE ONLY GIRL WITH THE POWER TO TAME ASSASSIN DYLAN ROMERO
IT'S NOT LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT FOR THESE TWO
WARNING: Graphic language
(Copyright Desni Dantone 2016)
Seconds later, the bartender set two matching drinks on the counter in front of the guy from the parking lot.
He wordlessly slid one of the glasses toward me. My eyes darted to his in surprise, and he shrugged. “You look thirsty.”
I picked up the glass with a grateful smile, and helped myself to a sip of the cool liquid. Jack and Coke—exactly what I wanted. He was observant. “Thank you.”
As he nodded, his eyes moved over my shoulder, in the general vicinity of Vivian. A small grin tugged at the corner of his lips. He glanced up at me briefly before giving undivided attention to his drink. “How’s your boyfriend?”
“Who? You mean the guy from earlier?”
“Well, I’m not talking about him.” His head nodded across the bar, where David was doing his best to catch the waitress’s attention. “That poor fucker doesn’t stand a chance, does he?”
“David is my friend,” I responded defensively. “And Kyle isn’t my boyfriend. You’re wrong on both counts.”
His eyes snapped to mine, then slowly lowered. Heat followed his gaze as it swept across my lips before settling on my neck. I was forced to sweep the hair off my shoulders in an attempt to cool off. It didn’t help.
He squinted at my neck like he considered devouring me right then and there. With the hot ball of lava tumbling through me, and ultimately settling in my core, I considered letting him. One look. That was all it took.
No guy had ever . . .
Oh, God. Vivian was totally right.
His mouth curved like he had read my thoughts. Then his hand shot out to mine as he stated, “Dylan.”
I accepted his hand with a smile. “Thea.”
His head angled closer to mine. “Thea?” When I nodded, he leaned back with a smirk. “Are you a librarian, or something?”
“What?” I demanded, suddenly on edge.
“Hot librarian,” he corrected with a lazy shrug, as if that somehow made his comment less insulting. At my unamused glare, he used his hand to cover the smile spreading across his face, and muttered, “I’m sorry. I don’t think I’ve ever met a Thea before. It’s, uh . . .”
“A librarian’s name, apparently,” I finished for him sourly.
He chuckled. “I like it, alright? I do. In fact, you’ve given me a new standard to associate with the name Thea. Next time I hear it, I won’t imagine a ninety-year-old librarian. I’ll picture you instead.”
He somehow made me like the sound of him thinking about me, despite the example he used. Some small, gullible part of me liked it. The rest of me reared back with revulsion.
“Need to picture me to get you through the night, huh?” I quipped.
His lips pursed as he considered my question. Then a broad grin turned his lips up. “Never really gone for a good girl before. Unless it’s an act . . .” His eyes swept down the length of me with obvious interest, and I folded my arms over my chest to interrupt his uncensored gaze. When he finally made it back to my eyes, he hooked an inquisitive brow.
“It’s not an act,” I stated firmly, “and I don’t play games.”
He shook his head at the counter, and muttered, “I didn’t think so.”
“Not like it would matter anyway.” My eyes lowered to his lap in mock consideration, then to the drink in front of him. “You’ve had so many of those, I doubt you could even play your part at this point.”
Dylan’s head rolled back as a deep laugh rumbled through him. I refused to acknowledge how sexy it sounded.
“First of all . . .” He lifted a finger in the air. “I’m always up to playing my part. Got it?” I kept my arms folded, my face unreadable, as he lifted another finger. “Secondly . . . I find it interesting that you know how much I’ve had to drink tonight.”
My arms slowly uncrossed under his amused and knowing gaze. His eyebrows shot up in silent inquiry, and when I offered no explanation, his grin broadened.
“I thought so.” With a flirty wink, he turned in his seat to face the bar.
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I'm excited to announce that I am over halfway through the first book in a new paranormal romance trilogy! This one will be different from Ignited in several ways. For starters, this is going to be a new adult series, rather than young adult. The action is bigger and badder, the characters more rough around the edges, and the romance is scorching hot. Additionally, it is told predominantly through the leading male's point of voice.
Many may question whether or not they want to read an apocalyptic book. I can assure you that this is not a typical apocalyptic book. There's no alien invasion or killer virus dececrating the population. This is a character-driven plot with a doomsday countdown and a host of paranormal elements. There are surprises. There are twists . . . some small, some big, and some hilarious. There will be bad things happen in book one that will set the pace for book 2 and the rest of the trilogy, and I can't wait for you all to see what happens.
Here is a sneak peek at Marked (Book 1 in The Vessels of The Apocalypse Trilogy):
*UNEDITED AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE*
*Copyright Desni Dantone, 2016*
My foot hit the gravel that tended to accumulate on the side of the road, and I slipped as I turned to slam the car door shut behind me. Only the grace of God himself kept me from planting on my ass. Pretty sure I might have dislocated my shoulder though.
“Jesus, Dylan.” Jake rounded the front of the car, his driver’s side door left wide open and jutting out into the road. The dark, narrow, and deserted road.
The quiet before the storm. The end was near. I felt it, I smelled it, I sensed it. I stared into the fading night, trying not to draw the parallels between the two things that came to an end tonight.
I saw nothing but her. Eyes rounded with surprise, then slit in contempt. But it was the transition in between that I couldn’t shake. The one where she looked at me with that nauseating combination of disbelief and disappointment.
“You going to hurl?” Jake asked.
With my hands on the warm hood of the car, head bent over, I waited for the bile to work its way up my throat. But it wasn’t my stomach causing me to feel this way. Something a little higher than that . . .
Jesus. What was next? Turn into a door-opening, hand-holding, poetry-writing pussy? What the fuck was wrong with me?
If only I could get her eyes out of my head . . .
But then she’d never know the truth . . .
She would end up like all the others when the inevitable shit hit the proverbial fan, and I couldn’t . . .
I wouldn’t . . .
I rubbed at the ache to the left of my sternum. “I’ve got to go back.”
“Hmm?” My partner-slash-best friend tilted his head like he hadn’t heard me correctly, because there was no way he could believe that I’d just told him I was going to go back there. Not after what we’d just done, and definitely not when we both knew what was about to happen.
But I was going back. I had to. My mind made up, I turned to face Jake. His mouth worked up and down a few times before he finally managed to make an intelligible noise.
“You said you’re going back?”
My jaw clenched tight. “For her.”
His mouth opened, then snapped shut. He shuffled his feet, stuffed his hands in his pockets, and nodded his head in that way he did when he was trying to decide if I was suicidal or just plain stupid. In our line of work, there were times I could be either.
“Didn’t she tell you to go to hell, or something like that?” he finally asked, as if the reminder of her glaring opinion of me would convince me to change my mind.
If anything, it only spurred me on more. I needed redemption. No way could I go down like this. No way could I let her think the worst of me up until the moment she--
No. I wasn’t going to leave her there. Nothing was going to happen to her. She was too goddamn spunky to go out this way, as evidenced by her final words to me.
“Crawl up my own ass, and die . . . and then rot in hell,” I relayed those words to Jake now with a grin.
“And you want to go back for this girl”—Jake pinned me with the look he gave me when he concluded I was being an idiot—“that obviously despises you.”
“That’s just the thing, Jake.” I patted him on the shoulder. “She only hates me right now, because she likes me.”
His face puckered up in confusion. “I don’t know if I agree with your reasoning. But besides that, you’re missing one very important detail.” He paused for dramatic effect before adding, “If we go back, we’re probably going to die.”
My grin broadened as I moved toward the car door. “Just like any other day at the office.”
I've added the prologue of my upcoming contemporary romance novel, What Comes Next, to the Excerpt and Teasers tab on my website. If you're interested you can go HERE to check it out!
I know I've been silent on my blog for a long time. In my defense, I never claimed to be a good blogger. I figured I should pop in now to answer a few questions I've been getting from you awesome readers.
First, yes, Avenging Heart was the official conclusion, and The Ignited Series is over. HOWEVER, I do plan to write a spin-off which revolves around Alec. Right now, it's only a one book side adventure to tie up the loose ends in HIS story, but we will see what happens when I get into the nitty-gritty of the plot. No promises for more at this time. If you want up-to-date details, and join in on the fun while I'm writing it, consider joining the We Are Ignited Fan Page on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/groups/WeAreIgnited/. It's a good spot for readers to mingle with each other, discuss the books, and talk to me about what's coming next. I will post teasers and offers to "win" free books once I have something to show you.
Okay, that was more like two questions answered as one. Moving on to what is planned next . . .
I'm not going anywhere! I do have several projects planned over the next few years. First will be a contemporary romance duology I expect to be released this fall back to back. This project remains untitled, but I will have covers, titles, blurbs, and everything you will want to know by mid-summer. After that, I will return to the world of The Ignited Series with Alec and Callie, and you will see some of your favorites as side characters in their adventure. The title for this book is tentatively titled, AfterLife, and I *hope* to have it available by late winter/early spring 2017. I'm also plotting a new adult apocalyptic/paranormal romance trilogy after that, so stay tuned, because I'm really excited about this one!
If you'd like to be notified of new releases when they become available, don't forget to sign up for my newsletter. I don't spam. I only send release details when I have them. For more frequent details, and interaction with me and other readers, check out the We Are Ignited Fan Page link above.
Come hang out with me and other readers of The Ignited Series. A safe zone to discuss the books with other fans, get updates, enjoy teasers, and enter a few giveaways!
We Are Ignited is kicking off today! Come join us for some fun!