Release Day Diamond Giveaway + 2 FREE books

dj-promo-blockI always get excited, and nervous, the day before a release. I wonder if I had done enough promotion, what additional avenues are available to reach my readers, and then there is the standard author paranoia…will they like my book?

prologue-coverDouble Jeopardy released on Tuesday, January 10. Click on the picture to BUY NOW!

The book was part of a boutique series created by Hildie McQueen based on Indulgences Resort, sort of a Panamanian fantasy island. My book was one of thirteen stories.  Click on the cover for an immediate download Indulgences the Prologue FREE.

uncaged-love-highresAs I fretted over yesterday’s release, I was also editing Uncaged Love, my mid-February release. What had started as an edit has turned into major rewrites. I find it astonishing that my writing style has changed so much in a mere three years. Although the base of the story will not change, nor the hero and heroine, characters from my Black Swan series will play a larger role, primarily in the backstory.

susan-stoker-caroline-coverRight on the heels of Uncaged Love, and directly related to that story, Rescuing Melina will released in March as part of Susan Stoker’s Special Forces: Operation Alpha Kindle World. If you are not familiar with her two military series, you can grab Protecting Caroline for FREE by clicking the cover.

2015-10-06-09-55-28As always, a KaLyn Cooper release means diamonds! The contest for the diamond necklace continues until January 15. Please check my Facebook page for multiple ways to enter. Answer the question below for Double Entries!

>>> Would you rather travel to a Panamanian island to fulfill a fantasy, go to Cancun for an exciting vacation, or take a staycation at home? <<<

Tami Lund Doesn’t Do NaNo

It’s National Novel Writing Month, or, more commonly known as “NaNo.” For the three of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a commitment to write 50,000 words during the month of November, preferably all in one novel.

True confession: I can easily write 50k words in November. I probably have, for every November since 2009, when I began writing with vigor after taking a nearly twenty year hiatus from it (you know how it is: college, partying, dating, marriage, kids…).

November is a sort of in-between month. It’s after the hubbub of back-to-school and football season. It’s before the chaos of the holidays. And, in my case, deer hunting season drops in there (check out my funny blog post about being a hunting widow and inconvenient pooping HERE), which allows me even more time to dedicate to writing than usual. It’s really the perfect month to commit to writing an entire novel in thirty days.

And once again, I’m not participating.

Wanna know why? It’s because of the pressure.

Yep. It’s the pressure. The commitment. You must do this, no matter what the hell else happens in your life. Day job. Kids. Dog. Clean house. Husband. None of it matters, if you haven’t reached your word count.

Okay, okay, I’m blowing this way out of proportion, and yes, I’m fully aware I am.

But that’s how my brain works.

If a story idea pops into my head and it’s so insistent I can’t help but sit down and write it, I’ll get 20k words down in a weekend. I’ll do exactly what I mentioned above—forsake all else—until I reach a point in the story where I am comfortable taking a break (or the weekend ends and I have to get the kid off to school). But that’s a different kind of pressure. There’s no real commitment to that pressure. If I don’t finish the novel, I don’t finish it. I haven’t promised it to anyone; I haven’t put it up for pre-order on Amazon; hell, I probably haven’t even posted snippets on Facebook yet (I tend to do that, a lot). I just decided to write, and so I did.

But if you tell me I have to write—it’s a whole different story. For example, I’ve been invited to participate in a Valentine’s Day Anthology. I’m supposed to contribute a 15k word short story with some pretty basic parameters. Fifteen-thousand words, when I have a couple free weekends and a story idea rolling around in my head, is a piece of cake. Usually. Until someone gives me a deadline and asks me to commit. Then I find myself sitting, sometimes for hours, staring at a computer screen that looks like this:

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So yeah, I’m not participating in NaNo. But I am writing. So rest assured, there will be something new available to read soon. Maybe even that Valentine’s Day short…

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Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, award winner, and writing-commitment-phobe. She also has a vampire novella releasing next week, if you want to grab it for 99 cents on pre-order (because it’ll be $2.99 after it releases): RESIST – A Vampire Blood Courtesans Novel

Tami Lund & Eminem, They’re Tight *In Her Mind*

Maybe I should clarify that title. I’m actually referring to the character Eminem played in the movie 8 Mile. Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith. Remember him? He was the poor white kid from Detroit who was going nowhere fast, despite his dreams of becoming a famous rapper.

So how are we so tight? Well, we have a few things in common. Okay, maybe only a very, very few things. Maybe two.

First, we both came from poor, single-parent households in Detroit. Okay, okay, in Michigan. I was actually raised in mid-Michigan, although it was an ethnically mixed, solidly blue-collar, factory town. And I lived in a trailer park for a minute when I was in sixth grade.

But I live in Detroit now. Okay, okay, in the ‘burbs. My version of Detroit involves the DIA, the Riverfront, The Whitney, the Renaissance Center, Eastern Market, Fox Theatre, Ford Field, and Tigers Stadium (okay, Comerica Park, but I’m plenty old enough to remember games at Tigers Stadium — not to mention Joe Lewis Arena, which isn’t going away like Tigers Stadium did, but it’s the last season the Red Wings will play there). How about Belle Isle, Hitsville USA, and the casinos? Oh, and Greektown and Mexicantown. Speaking of awesome restaurants, how about Roast, Punch Bowl Social, The Rathskeller? The list goes on, much like the beat…

Wait, I’ve completely digressed from the purpose of this post. I was trying to show you the connection I feel with Jimmy Smith from 8 Mile. It’s more than just our poor roots and undoubtedly shared favorable opinions about all those cool places in Detroit. (For the record, I have no idea if Jimmy, or Eminem for that matter, like any of those places I noted; I’m making a biased assumption based on the fact we all live in the Detroit area and take a bit of pride in our hometown.)

Anyway, what really helps me feel connected to Jimmy is … that award I won on October 8th, for my book, UNDERCOVER HEAT!!!

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undercover-heat_cover

 

**Author pitch here: It’s a super awesome book about two broken people who are forced to figure out how to get along and then end up growing as individuals and having super steamy sex. Many times. So it’s practically the perfect romance novel. Just sayin’. **

 

 

Never have I felt so connected to Jimmy Smith as I did on the Monday after winning that Rone Award at the InD’Scribe Conference. (Read my funny blog post about what it was like to be a first time award winner here.)

We both, ultimately, won the award, reached the pinnacle… And then went back to work afterward. Work, as in the job that paid the bills, the one that had nothing whatsoever to do with those dreams floating around in our heads.

On that Monday morning, as I sat in my car, creeping my way through rush hour traffic, all I could think about was that scene in 8 Mile, when Jimmy wins (oops, spoiler alert!) and everybody’s celebrating, and for a minute, he’s king of the world….

And then the DJ tries to convince him to stay, to be a host at the club, and Jimmy says nah, I gotta get back to work. Not only does he need to continue to earn a steady paycheck, but he had asked a friend to cover his shift for him, and he couldn’t let that guy down, either. So altruistic, so brave, so deserving of that award. And someday, so big, so successful; finally breaking free of that poor, sometimes seemingly hopeless life.

Okay, we don’t quite yet have that in common. I mean, sure, I’ve moved beyond my poor roots, without a doubt, but I’m no Eminem.

Maybe someday.

Until then, I’ll smile every time I walk past that award on display in my dining room (deliberately, I might add), I’ll giggle every time my husband manages to work it into yet another seemingly unrelated conversation, and I’ll keep writing. And dreaming. Big dreams. Huge dreams.

I’m ready to lose myself.

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, a wine drinker, and an AWARD WINNER. She’s pretty damn giddy about it, can you tell?

PS – She’s participating in a Halloween Facebook Hop this week – go to her Facebook page to check out the deets and win PRIZES:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTamiLund/

 

 

Tami Lund Talks the Birth of a (Published) Book

A little over three years ago (holy wow, it’s been that long?), I came across an anthology call from a reputable (and rather well-known) publishing company. They were looking for novella length stories, roughly 20k words, paranormal, based around an urban legend, to be published in the fall. At the time, I’d already bumbled through my first attempt at self-publishing and really wanted to find a publisher for the security, the confidence, the professionalism. I still had so much to learn about this writing gig, and I believed getting picked up by a publisher was the way to do it.

I googled “urban legends” and thanks to Wikipedia, came across the Legend of Bloody Mary. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Mary_(folklore)) A girl looks into an enchanted mirror and sees the face of her future husband. It appealed to me.

I mulled over it for a few days, working out the girl’s history, the guy, the reasoning why it would take a magical mirror for the two of them to come together. I had a healthy obsession with gypsies, which fit with the enchanted mirror idea, so I determined I would work the Romani cultural into the story.

And then I decided it should be a comedy, and after purchasing a birthday card for a friend, decided a key secondary character would be fashioned after Maxine from the Hallmark cards, except she’d be a gypsy. With the same sagging boobs, though.

After that, it sort of fell together as I wrote it, as my books usually do. Plotter, I am not. I do best when I simply… write.

Six months later, I sent Mirror, Mirror to that publisher and then held my breath, crossed my fingers and toes, and said a few prayers to a variety of shooting stars and some nature-inspired deities.

Only a few short weeks later, I received a reply. “Can you turn this into a full-length novel?”
Can I?

Hell yes! Excited beyond excited (ohmigod, this is it, this is finally it!), I fervently pounded the keyboard, hammered out words, sentences, paragraphs, and tripled the size of that novella. The basic guts were still there, but it had turned into a completely different story. It wasn’t the original, fun-loving novella, but I was still pleased with my work.

Once again, I sent it off to the publisher and held my breath and performed various luck-enhancing rituals.

And then I waited. And waited.

And waited.

Periodically, I received email updates. “We need a little more time.” “We’re still reviewing your manuscript.” And the guilt-ridden one, “I haven’t forgotten about you, I promise!”

A year later—yes, you read that right—a year later, I received that ever-dreaded rejection. “We apologize for taking so [insanely freaking] long to get back to you, but unfortunately, we don’t think this will be a good fit for us. We do like your writing style, though, so please consider submitting to us again in the future.”

I wasn’t crushed, as you’d expect (although hell no, I’ll never submit to them again). I was annoyed, though. Especially because the book was a Halloween-themed story, and they’d finally gotten around to giving me an answer in September. Regardless of what I decided to do with this book, it would be another year before it would be published, and that’s what irritated me the most.

Because I. Love. This. Book.

I sat on it for a while. Contemplated what to do. Should I leave it in my computer to collect dust with the six dozen other unnamed novels that were essentially practice for all those I’ve since published? Start the query process all over again? Self-publish?

Self-publish?

By that point, I’d been published with three other publishers—Crimson Romance, Liquid Silver Publishing, and Soul Mates Publishing. I was pretty confident Crimson or Soul Mates would be interested in this book. And I knew it would sell as well as the other books they already had.

I also knew I wouldn’t have control over pricing, over the cover, over marketing, over royalties. If I self-pub’d, I could price it at 99 cents or even a buck ninety-nine, and I could even drop it to free on occasion, if I were so inclined. I could put it up for pre-sale as soon as my editor and I were done polishing, and my fave cover artist came up with yet another spectacular creation. I could even include it in a future anthology or boxed set, if I wanted to.

So tempting.

Let me back up here. I am not against signing with publishers. I already mentioned I’ve signed with three. And while I admit I’ve thought about pulling one of my series from one of them, mostly due to what I consider too-high pricing, I’ve been largely happy with my publishers. I like my covers. I like the authors I’ve met. I like the people I’ve dealt with. I’ve liked most of my editors. I’ve even adopted one of them as my go-to whenever I put out a self-published book. I really appreciate the confidence building emails like, “I love this book, when can you get us another?”

Buuuuuuut… I have to be honest. At 99 cents or even a buck ninety-nine, royalties are pretty miniscule when you split them with someone else. And yes, I realize there’s the huge benefit of not paying for editing and a cover up front.

At this point in my career, I’m not making money on this writing gig. Everything I make goes right back into the business, mostly toward marketing. But, I am bringing in royalty checks each quarter (or monthly, for my self-pub’d books), and it’s enough that I can afford to pay my favorite editor and my favorite cover artist. When you look at it that way, I’m starting out ahead even if I’m paying up front. At this point, I’m confident I can make more on this book by doing it myself, than by sending it off to a publisher to “own.”

Because I’ve decided this book needed to be published. It’s funny. It’s entertaining. I especially love Vivienne, the kooky old lady with the magical mirror.

Cinderella

So therefore, three years after the first draft was written, Mirror, Mirror is finally seeing the light of day, er, is now available on e-readers pretty much everywhere. I think you should give this book a try. It’s been waiting to be read for three years, after all.

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, and an advocate of funny romance reads. If these things appeal to you, you should join her newsletter list: HERE.

 

Chef Holley’s Recipe for Writerly Disaster

Okay. That headline is a little dramatic, but seeing as how I nearly had a blubbering meltdown over the weekend, it seemed appropriate.

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One of my writer friends, Anya Breton, e-nagged me about the importance of BTSU (Backing that Shit Up) for basically eons before I got into a routine of actually hooking my external drive into my laptop at the end of every work day. And I do it without fail every night so I can sleep well.

Maybe I’m still slightly Luddite, but I just can’t trust cloud storage. I need A THING that I can see and yell at, and so far, that system of pre-bed backup has worked out pretty well for me. It saved my biscuits last year when I had to send my laptop off to have the something-or-other replaced.

Well. Right after that, my computer fell out of warranty—which is usually the universe’s way of telling me to squirrel some pennies away to buy a new one—and my power button said, “Hey, you’ll be fine without me, right?” It decided it didn’t want to work anymore. So, basically, up until this weekend I hadn’t turned my computer off in months because the chances of me getting it back on were slim to none (unless I wanted to resort to a risky hot-wiring maneuver I saw on the Internet that involved opening up my computer and pressing the end of a staple in between a couple of metal bits).

On Friday night, I took my laptop to bed with me to do some admin or something, and had a sudden revelation that, “Oops. Uploaded the wrong file to Amazon! Better fix that first thing in the morning.”

The next morning, I rolled over, grabbed my laptop, fixed my file, got distracted by Chopped or something on Food Network, and then my computer lost its charge while I was trying to talk myself into getting up to go pee.

Picture an hour of me repeatedly pressing the power button, plugging in and unplugging, shaking my fist, swearing, and panicking.

You see, I didn’t back up my computer before taking it to bed. It wasn’t the computer itself I was worried about, but the hours and hours of unsaved work on it from Friday.

🙂

🙂

The cloud’s not sounding so bad all of a sudden, right?

As of the time of me typing this post, I don’t have my computer. I took it into the fruit-named store on Saturday and HipsterHelper said problem was probably one thing. HipsterTech called on Monday and said, “Nah, IDK. We’ll have to send it out and let you know or whatever.”

HipsterTech was basically unmoved by my “HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WORK?!” ranting and raving. “Yes, we all depend on our computers a lot,” she said.

If I hadn’t been talking to her on expensive fruit-named phone I had to pay out of pocket to replace the screen on last year, I might have thrown it.

I suppose my new lesson isn’t to just BTSU, but, also, BTSU to multiple places and also having a way to access all your important software in case you have to temporarily work on other machines. Of course you’re on deadline, right? Of course.

Hopefully when [if] I get my computer back, the new stuff I’m writing blind right now will match up with the stuff I wrote last week. If not…

*cue nervous laughter*

 

Tami Lund-The Grieving Author Finally Starts Writing Again

As I sit down to write this blog post, I’m debating whether to talk again about the recent tragedy in my life. It would be easy to do. Writing is therapeutic, and when something of such magnitude hits with no warning and no handbook on how to manage my emotions (yes, I know there are plenty of handbooks, but I failed to read them before it happened, because, you know, I didn’t exactly expect to ever have to deal with this sort of thing), it’s easy to get caught up in it, to dwell, to get stuck and not move forward.

And then, one morning, I found myself writing. Not about life, not another blog post, but about the made up world I’d created in my books. I write this series called Lightbearers, and there are currently five published books—a prequel plus four full-length novels. I’ve been working on number five (Or is it six? I’m not sure of the rules when it comes to prequels.) on and off for months, but there’s always been something else pulling at me, demanding my attention, so the process has been a tad slow.

Until the words finally started flowing. The book is roughly fifty-k words with a solid happily ever after. Based on the other books in the series, I need to add another fifteen thousand words, give or take. Assuming the words continue to flow, that should be easy. There’s a drunken sex scene that needs to be fleshed out, and another scene I think needs an entire rewrite.

There are also the descriptions, painting the scenery, letting readers know what the world looks like through my eyes. Usually, I tend to write the basic plot first, then go back (multiple times) and flesh out the details—describing the mansion in which much of the book takes place, the woods where my two main characters escape and fly free for a while (literally, since this is a PNR book and they can therefore do that).

Sometimes, when I reach a steamy scene, I’m not always in the mood to write it (insert jokes here—or perhaps Archer saying, “Phrasing?”), so I’ll tag that section with a note to come back later—when I’m ready to share some sexy times with my characters.

This process tends to be the way I write in general. Many would call me a panster, and that’s a completely accurate description. Here’s my writing process with regard to this series:

Lightbearers-January2016

Came up with the idea for book one, Into the Light. Decided I wanted it to include shifters (because who doesn’t love sexy alpha—and beta—shifters?), but I wanted the other “beings” in the book to be something… different. I love the fae (and they show up in the prequel – which wasn’t written until eleven other books had been started—and are formally pulled into the series in book seven, at which point they stick around for the long haul). But I wanted to try something different.

Okay, I’m not gonna lie. I took an RWA class and the instructor said, If you want your books to sell, give the readers something unique. So Lightbearers were born, arch enemies of those bad, bad shifters, thus forming the Romeo and Juliet concept of Into the Light, book one in the Lightbearer series.

While writing Into the Light, I introduced Finn, a shifter who I initially wasn’t sure would be a good guy or bad guy—or if he would even survive to the end of the book. He did, and ultimately was a good guy, in fact, a strict rules-follower—and the perfect match for feisty Lightbearer, Cecilia, a woman who prefers to break instead of follow rules. Thus, the premise for book two, Dawning of Light, was born.

In Dawning of Light I introduced Carley, Lightbearer chef to the king, and I felt so bad for her plight (her parents forced her into mating with a real asshole of a Lightbearer), I decided she deserved a happily ever after of her own. Oh, and look, Finn had a brother. Reid had a few skeletons in his closet, most of which were completely incompatible with the skeletons in Carley’s closet…Perfect. So Light Beyond the Darkness, book three, was born.

By this point, Lightbearer healer Alexa had shown up in every single book, and I really liked her, so I knew she needed an HEA, too. But how to do it? For years she had been shacking up with fellow Lightbearer Jake, but had refused to commit to becoming his mate, and by Light Beyond the Darkness they were on the outs, and both were hurting but refusing to face their demons.

Sounds like another HEA in the making… Except I wasn’t sure if I wanted Alexa and Jake to get back together or if I wanted to mate her to a shifter, too, like the previous three lucky Lightbearer ladies. And the pack of shifters I had been pulling from had disintegrated by this point, so if I was going to do that, I needed to introduce a new shifter pack. Hence, the Detroit shifter pack, and Josh Tigre, the pack leader who was introduced in the first book, became the subject of book four, Change in the Light. To shake things up a bit, I decided Josh should be paired with a human, but she had to be a badass who was frustrated because she’d been forced into a situation in which she had no control.

As an aside, I had a lot of fun writing Change in the Light, knowing the heroine wasn’t aware of the paranormal world in which she was mingling. I dropped lots of hints and clues, all of which she was completely oblivious to, until the end. In fact, the name of the book stems from a particular scene in which she is beginning to suspect there’s something not quite entirely human about the guy she’s fallen for…

Yes, Alexa’s story is still hanging out there, but for some reason, as I wrote Change in the Light, I totally fell for Matt, Josh’s cousin and beta, and I knew I needed to write his story, too. Now here’s where it gets really wonky: for some unfathomable reason (no kidding; I have no idea how this idea popped into my head), I decided Matt needed to go toe-to-toe with… A Cupid. Yep. Those creatures who help people find love. Because Matt refused to believe he would ever find love. Doesn’t want to. Not interested Nope. Never.

At least not until Adora, his very own personal Cupid, dropped into his life and insisted it’s her job to find him a mate.

This is the one I’m working on now. I’m tentatively titling it Cupid’s Light. Every book’s title is a play on the word “Light” for, you know, the Lightbearers. Into the Light is about Tanner not only discovering Lightbearers exist, but making choices that go against everything he was raised to believe. In Dawning of Light, Cecilia loves to sneak out and greet the sunrise every day, and the dawning of realization she doesn’t have to go through life alone is slow in coming. Light Beyond the Darkness starts with both Carley and Reid in very, very dark places, and of course, since it’s a happily ever after, they manage to find their way to the light, aka, love and happiness. Change in the Light, as I mentioned above, is about a shifter (Josh) and a human (Rachel) figuring out how to make things work despite being two entirely different species, and is also about Rachel learning about this world she never believed existed.

Based on this, I’ve come up with the title Cupid’s Light for the next book, but I’m open if something more descriptive hits me before it’s done. (Or if someone has a better title idea, hint, hint…)

Oh yeah, and Alexa… well, her happily ever after is coming, finally. She’s the heroine in book six, tentatively titled Lost in the Light. She’s going to have a chance to go live with Josh’s shifter pack in Detroit, and will be assigned her own Cupid, Adora’s brother, Shaid. No, the same thing that happened to Matt won’t happen to Alexa. Shaid is, in this book, more comic relief than anything. In truth, Shaid thus far hasn’t been assigned his own HEA, but the more I write of his sister’s book, the more I think I need to do something for him. So if you fall in love with his carefree, sometimes bawdy ways in Lost in the Light, hang tight. I’m working on it.

In the meantime, I’m going to get back to Cupid’s Light. I have a drunken sex scene to write…

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, and writer of happily ever afters. If this blog post has intrigued you enough about the Lightbearer series, the prequel, First Light, is free at nearly every e-book retailer…

 

 

Tami Lund and Taahira and Taavi and… Change

Today I’m blogging about what I’m working on now, and the importance of sharing your writing with others.

So, in between real life and family and editing for others, I’ve tried to slip in a bit of time to work on a fantasy novel I’ve completed, but now needs to be cleaned up and prepped for eventual publication. Part of this process involves sharing this work in progress with others, usually other writers.

Why?

Because they see things the author doesn’t. Think about some of those wrinkly old man baby pics you’ve seen–those parents believe that child is the most gorgeous creature on the face of the planet, but everyone else who looks at the photos (or the kid itself) cringes and forces a polite, fake smile.

“He is gorgeous,” the onlooker assures the proud parent.

“It’s a girl. Can’t you tell?”

“Maybe dress her in pink… for a while,” the friend suggests diplomatically.

That’s what other writers do for the author of the newborn novel. They gently guide the new parent into a better opening or turning the heroine into a strong woman instead of a whiny one or suggest the hero could be a tad… less obnoxious.

Or, in the case of my current WIP, point out the names of two main characters are confusing and I should change one of them.

The book I’m referring to (the first, unedited chapter can be read on my website, if you’re interested: TAMI LUND) is currently titled Brother Mine. It’s fantasy, takes place in a world created all in my head, where the inhabitants have slight magical ability but not too much as to create difficulties for me when I put them into dangerous/horrible situations. It’s about a woman who has been imprisoned in a castle for seven years, forced to be concubine to the king, who calls himself Diktator. Being his concubine involves performing some pretty heinous acts, and Taahira, my heroine, flees her gilded prison and swears she will never lie with another man ever again, for the rest of her life.

Ash_Gable_Inspiration

Borrowed from Pinterest, Courtesy of http://www.peerie.com.

Until she meets Ash, the handsome would-be hero who wants nothing whatsoever to do with being such. Even after that initial spark of desire he feels when he first meets Taahira, he still insists he is no hero.

Time will tell, of course.

(PS – Here’s my inspiration for Ash. You can imagine Taahira’s vow will be challenged, after spending a bit of time with him, eh??)

At any rate, I’ve offered up the first chapter to a few writing friends, to make sure this book is potentially worthy of readers’ eyes one of these days.

Good news: So far, it’s a resounding yes!

Bad news: I need to change one of the character’s names. It’s too confusing. And nobody wants a confused reader, right?

Here’s what I started with:

Taahira – heroine who escapes the castle in the first chapter

Taavi – Taahira’s three-year-old daughter, and the reason she finally figures out a way to escape

Ash – the reluctant hero

Gable – the Diktator

Cachi – the old lady who helps Taahira and Taavi escape

Anybody see where the names might be confusing? Yeah, I know you do. Everybody does. Everybody but me. I just kept thinking Taahira and Taavi – people name their children names similar to their own all the time. Plus, I deliberately chose each name for their meanings.

Taahira means chaste, ironic given she’s had a child out of wedlock.

Taavi means beloved. It seems everyone in the book falls in love with this child for one reason or another.

Ash means happy, another ironic one, given he thinks he is so, until Taahira comes into his life and makes him question every decision he’s ever made.

Gable – okay, I’m not going to lie; I’m not sure what this one means. I think I just really liked this one. Although when I googled it for this post, I found out it means “man of God,” which is also fitting, considering Gable likens himself to the gods.

And finally, Cachi means bringer of peace, and she’s the one who helps Taahira escape.

So I’m sure you can see why I was hesitant to change either Taahira or Taavi’s names, despite friend after friend suggesting just that. I had spent a reasonable amount of time researching these names; I’ve been writing this book for over a year; I had become quite attached to the names I chose.

And let me reiterate: they had meaning. The meaning of their names has been woven into the storyline. A storyline that is currently 90 thousand words long. To make such a change was daunting, to say the least.

Luckily, I’m not a stupid writer. And I’m good at listening to advice and (usually) heeding it.

So name change it is.

I decided to change Taavi’s name. No particular reason, although now that I have, I honestly think I like her name better than Taahira’s. But damn it, I’m not going through this again! Well, not unless someone recommends I do…

I spent some time Sunday morning researching names, trying to find one I liked and that basically meant the same thing as Taavi (beloved). It couldn’t be a typical contemporary name, since this book takes place in a different world, and everyone else has unique, magical-world-sounding names (at least, in my head). Oh, and of course, the name can’t start with the same letter as any of the other main characters, nor can it sound like any of their names.

I found it! I found it! And it’s such a beautiful name, so perfect, that despite my initial reluctance, I’m so glad my friends convinced me to change one of the names.

Priya. It’s an Indian/Hindu name, and it means beloved. And I love it. How about you? Like it? Does it work for you? Read the excerpt on my website and then let me know.

BROTHER MINE – FIRST (unedited) CHAPTER

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund likes to write and drink wine. She also loves romance, and writes happily ever afters, one book at a time. Keep up with her on social media, so you know when Brother Mine releases!