Deena Remiel's Place

Author of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance


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It’s All About the DASH…

I had a great conversation with my aunt and mother the other day. We were talking about how many kids today have no direction, no goals, and plenty of apathy. We were at the dinner table, and discussing the successes of my two daughters- terrific grades, honors bestowed at school, and knowing exactly what they look for in a close friend vs acquaintances. I was so very proud as I listened to Youngest tell me she wants to go into Psychology, and I see that as a perfect fit. She’s reflective, sensitive yet practical, and motivated to helping others.

While privately reflecting on the many conversations I’ve had with students regarding life skills, The Habits, and such, my aunt proceeded to tell us what she has been sharing with her students when she substitutes in classrooms. She asks a kid for their birth date and writes it on the board. Then she leaves a bit of space and puts a question mark as the death date. Then she speaks to the point that it’s not so important when we are born or when we eventually die, but what lies between those two points. She draws a DASH between the birth date and the question mark and says, “It’s all about the DASH. What are YOU going to make of the time you have in between? It’s all up to you.”

I wanted to stand up and applaud right there at the dinner table! We may say, it’s all about the journey, but I LOVE how she worded it. My daughters are making the most of their DASH. They are taking school seriously, they have learned through trial and error and much coaching from me how to develop friendships that last or how to let the toxic ones go, they are grasping life by the collar and saying, “I’m all in!”

My husband is a prime example for our kids. After things went south with the economy, and a fortuitous interview with a university, he landed a job that gave him a free college education, from an associate’s to a bachelor’s degree, and eventually there will probably be a master’s. All this accomplished while working full time. Was he scared? Hell yeah! But he went for it, dove in, and never looked back. His DASH is all about doing what he’s never done before and making the best life possible for himself and his family.

For me, I started out my life very shy and sickly, but loving my life. As I grew, I made sense of what I could by making decisions that felt right. Some worked, others didn’t. I didn’t regret any decision, I simply learned from them. As an adult, I learned to take risks and not fear them. I decided that being a Cinderella and waiting for things to happen was not how I wanted to live my life. Now, I’m reaping the benefits of those leaps of faith and determination. I’m not afraid to put myself out there and see who or what comes around. My DASH is all about deriving pleasure from accessing my creative and intuitive sides. It’s also about seeing what I got inside, my “moxie,” and how I can use it to enhance our family’s life as well as my own.  My husband and I have a great life as a couple and with our kids. We are not afraid to take our family and our lives on the adventurous pathways that lead us to new understandings of what makes us work and a happier life. We’re doing what we’re meant to do.

So I share this golden nugget with you today. What are YOU doing about YOUR DASH? 

 


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MY WRITING PROCESS BLOG TOUR

I’d like to thank TM Williams for tagging me in this fun blog tour. I love talking process. I am a teacher, after all. So talking about my affair with the writing process  is what I call a great time. So let me begin… 

1) What am I working on?

Maybe I should ask what AREN’T I working on!

I am currently in the processing of releasing two novellas in a series called, Love Among the Ruins. The first novella, Immortal Dance, just released this past week, and the next one, Burning Sage, will release soon. They both are set in mysterious or mythological places and ar very romantic! I’ve  been working on a novel I’m getting the rights back to soon. I’ve freshened it up, added bonus material and had fun creating a new cover with my awesome cover artist. I returned to my romantic suspense WIP that I am submitting to a publisher. Once I push send and I’m waiting for paperwork and such, I’ll go directly into writing the next Book Waitress book, Rock-a-Bye Demon. I’m hoping to start my fourth Brethren novel, Angel Rising, later this summer. 

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

When I started out writing the Brethren Series, I decided to make them less like fallen angels and more like superheroes with issues. There is no question who’s on the side of Good in my novels, even if Satan makes it extremely difficult along the way!  When I created the Book Waitress Series, I asked a curious and scary  “what if” and answered it with a unique and terrifying situation involving a socially awkward librarian. I asked, “What if during a near death experience, instead of seeing a bright light, a family member who’d passed, or angels, we saw Satan coming for us?” My librarian, my Book Waitress, answers that question.  I team her up with a quirky crew to fight against Satan’s return for her and for the sake of the world. What makes the Book Waitress Series different, as well, is that I release a new novella in the series every four months. Every three novellas is combined into a seamless full-length novel.

3) Why do I write what I do? 

I have a fascination with Good versus Evil and the idea of immortality. I think it comes from all the horror movies I watched as a kid AND listening to the news, hearing about all the sick, twisted things people do to each other. I figure there MUST be something evil within these people to behave so depraved.  All of my books dip into the dark realm of a human’s (or immortal’s) capacity for evil. 

 

4) How does your writing process work? 

I usually come up with a seed of an idea, let it percolate in my brain for a bit, and then it’s marathon time! I tend to come up with a loose sketch, a few sentences about the story on the whole, then I go deeper. I create character bios, and spend a lot of time molding them so that they are as real as can be. Then I focus on the setting. I research these places so that I can bring it to life for my readers. Finally, I write a short synopsis, a paragraph or two to keep me on track, however, I don’t feel married to it. It’s only NOW that I can begin to write my story. I’m a linear writer, so when I begin, I write sequentially, as opposed to other authors who can write scenes here and there and patch them together. I usually revise what I’ve written the day before and move on. When I’m finished with the first draft, I go right back and start from the beginning to revise and edit before sending my work off to be edited. Finally, while waiting, I do what any author would do… write some more!

 

I hope you enjoyed seeing into my writing process. Take a look around the site at the fruits of my labor. I wish you all well on your own writing  journeys!


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To be “Bossy” or not to be “Bossy” … a rebuttal

 

 “When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead.” ~ http://banbossy.com/

I’m a huge proponent of equal rights and fair treatment of all. Ask those who know me. Look at my body of work as a writer and a teacher. You’ll see. So when I came across an article regarding the use of the word “bossy” and wanting to BAN it from conversation, I had to dig deeper. 

At first, I thought, YES! I agree with the above statement. When men speak up and take control, they’re considered leaders. Watch a woman do the same thing, and she’s considered a bitch. 

Now, don’t go raking me over coals, but I must take umbrage with the above statement. Let me explain.

I agree fundamentally with the statement above, BUT it is too simple and misleading. There are layers to understand here. A bit of psychology, if you will. BOYS, GIRLS, MEN, and WOMEN CAN ALL BE CONSIDERED BOSSY. What makes BOSSINESS different from being a leader is NOT gender. It’s PERSONALITY.

A LEADER is respectful. He/She knows how to delegate, to get people to rally together and work hard by using empowering words, to give the team a sense of a common goal for the good of all,  to listen,  to compromise, and pitch in just as much as the rest. A BOSSY PERSON does not respect his/her team and rules like a tyrant, demands, is inflexible, doesn’t listen, and ultimately believes he/she is above the rest. These are personality issues, NOT gender issues.

So, I take issue with this new movement the Girls Scouts and Lean In is promoting. I think it’s the wrong way to approach the problem. YES, let’s teach our girls to be EFFECTIVE leaders. Kids will NOT call a girl bossy at school if she’s practicing the skills effective leaders use. It won’t even enter their minds. How do I know this? I’VE SEEN IT IN ACTION IN MY CLASSROOM! In fact, I’ve heard a team complain about a BOY who was their team leader being bossy. I asked them why they thought so. It all boiled down to his inability to communicate effectively as a leader. Another team complained about the girl in charge being bossy. SAME problem. And then there were the other four groups who had very successful experiences with their team leaders. What made THOSE teams work so well? Their leaders, both boys and girls, led with respect and used effective communication and leadership skills. Simple as that.

I implore all adults who work with our children, as I do, to stop pointing the finger at GENDER BIAS and get down to the real issue. We can teach any child, girl or boy, effective leadership skills. It will be their personalities that will ultimately dictate how successful they are at using those skills to be LEADERS rather than MR./ MISS BOSSY PANTS.


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MANDAY HOTTIES at the OSCARS!

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I’m celebrating the Oscars today with some MANDAY HOTTNESS! Enjoy MY wishlist of Oscar-winning BODIES…

 

Michael Fassbender

 

Chris Hemsworth

 

Channing Tatum

 

AND CONGRATS TO MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY!


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Arizona Livin’ the Dream…

deenaremiel:

I think this post got lost in the “server maintenance” ethosphere, so I’m reblogging in the hopes it makes it to the people I care about.

Originally posted on Deena Remiel's Place:


It’s hard to believe that only seven years ago I moved to Arizona. Even more incredible is that within those seven years I’ve become a multi-published author of best-selling romantic fiction. Who would have thought?! Certainly not me. Well, that is, the OLD me would never have thought it, but the NEW me couldn’t think of any other way to live the rest of my life. The OLD me was looking at plateauing in my career and yearning for something more. The OLD me had no time or money to seek out anything different. The NEW me felt invigorated, energized, as if all things were possible now that I’d moved to my paradise. The sun, the warmth… and how could I not get swept up by the lore of the Superstition Mountains and come away with no stories of my own? The landscape, the weather, the people all swirled together to…

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Arizona Livin’ the Dream…

It’s hard to believe that only seven years ago I moved to Arizona. Even more incredible is that within those seven years I’ve become a multi-published author of best-selling romantic fiction. Who would have thought?! Certainly not me. Well, that is, the OLD me would never have thought it, but the NEW me couldn’t think of any other way to live the rest of my life. The OLD me was looking at plateauing in my career and yearning for something more. The OLD me had no time or money to seek out anything different. The NEW me felt invigorated, energized, as if all things were possible now that I’d moved to my paradise. The sun, the warmth… and how could I not get swept up by the lore of the Superstition Mountains and come away with no stories of my own? The landscape, the weather, the people all swirled together to mix the perfect cocktail that I drank til I was drunk. And I’m not finished yet! I am absolutely, undeniably LIVIN’ the DREAM!

Writing stories has become as vital to me as the air I breathe. Arizona is what brought that passion out in me.

So what’s with the banner up above?  It stands for ARIZONA DREAMIN’ ROMANCE READER EVENT. This event and the woman who thought up this wondrous idea, KRIS TUALLA,  are what have changed my world forever in the most miraculous way. For three years running, and now in my fourth, I have been blessed to know a spectacularly smart and savvy woman who has changed the landscape of conferences for romance readers. She’s created an event where readers have unprecedented access to favorite authors and new favorite authors in a series of book clubs, lunch and dinner events, and downright solid fun before, in between, and after. I’m honored to be Kris Tualla’s co-chair since its inception. It’s what brings me such joy, knowing that I’m a part of bringing all the magic to our romance readers.

When people come, maybe they’ve heard a tale or two about us. By the time they leave, they’ve made plenty of tales of their own, and tons of friends for life. Ask anyone who’s been. They’ll tell you they are repeat attendees. I invite you all, then, to come experience ARIZONA, ARIZONA DREAMIN’, and start LIVIN’ the ARIZONA DREAM with me! Click on the button below to start YOUR DREAM!


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Second-string Characters Rock!

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I think it’s pretty clear, from watching football all season, that the second-string players played a crucial role in the team’s success or failure. With all the injuries the starters faced, many thought this season would suck. I think it gave opportunity to those players who would otherwise languish in the shadows. But wait. Why the heck am I talking about football when my latest book’s cover is staring you in the face? 

Well, I think the same could be said about the secondary characters in my stories. Camille Dutton has a lot on her plate, and if I’m not careful, winds up in scene after scene without a break. That puts her more at risk for a quick, not-so-good ending then sending Satan in the ring. So, to make sure she has a breather between death-defying antics with beasties, the Dark Lord, and knock-your-socks-off love-making with JaxSynn, I focus attention on the other characters, the “second-string” if you will, and develop their story lines. 

Mind you, this is not artificial. These secondary characters have lives of their own making, simple or complex, that are hopelessly intertwined with our heroine’s. In A-Hunting We Will Go, you’ll find Derek, Mallory, and Arnie’s personalities and relationships are exploited for our benefit and to much of our pleasure. You even might find you’ve come to like, hate, love any or all three. The point is, this series has a long way to go, and we have people involved who are in it for the long haul. We ought to get to know them, see how they operate under pressure of total annihilation, and how their relationships develop for better or worse.

I hope you enjoy reading the repartee between Arnie and Mallory, as I’ve grown to love their banter. As for Derek, I have a soft spot in my heart for him, and we’ll just have to see how the cards play out if he gets the girl in the end. Well… he might get the girl, but it’s a matter of WHICH girl… *wink, wink*

EXCERPT (the second-stringers)

After paying the jovial cabbie, Derek hoisted his backpack on his shoulder and led the crew inside the hallowed grounds. “Mallory, see if there’s a guide to well-known gravesites. This place is huge. We could be here forever looking for the right plot.”

“I’m on it. Wish their online service was more user-friendly for our needs. It would have been so easy.”

“Haven’t you learned, Mal? Nothing about this mission has easy written on it.”

“Bite me, Arnie.”

“Don’t mind if I do!” He opened his mouth wide and leaned over to bite her right on the ass. Mallory swatted him away and laughed.

“Arnie! Don’t you dare!” She ran away to the office and Arnie preened like a peacock.

“You got nothin’ on me, dude. She’s in love with this prime piece of meat.”

“Oh, yeah. I totally see that.” 

CLICK HERE FOR PURCHASE: A-HUNTING WE WILL GO

99 cents INTRO PRICE!!!

 

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