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Upcoming Books/Survey Results: What do you want to read next?

Image result for SURVEYI created a survey a last year asking you guys what you want me to write next. Thank you very much to everyone who responded!!! It looks like I have my work cut out for me over the next 2-3 years. Here are the results of the survey:

Answer Choices Responses
More books about Crystal, Juda and the team 70.71%
A series like the Beauty for Ashes Series (Lexi & Jace) 47.47%
A completely new romantic fiction series 39.39%
Something with supernatural elements like the Crystal series 38.38%
A series about Luke Lincoln’s other sons 30.30%
A standalone book that isn’t part of a series 28.28%
A series like the Pure Passion Series (Lust, Bondage & Purity) 19.19%
A series like the Drew Ashley Series (Breaking Point & Blurred Vision) 16.16%
Something with no supernatural elements 12.12%

Just in case you’re wondering, the results add up to more than 100 because you were allowed to select more than one option 🙂

I’ve decided to do anything that’s gotten over 30% of votes because that’s roughly a third of my readers and a third is still significant.

So…I cannot believe that 70% of you still want to read more about Crystal and her buddies. I wasn’t entirely sure anyone would make it through the whole 9 books of the Crystal series, never mind wanting more.

Here’s what’s going to happen:

More books about Crystal, Juda and the team (70% of votes)

I’ll be writing a season 2 series. You know the way TV shows are in series? Well I’ve decided that the Crystal series is just season 1. Season 2 is tentatively titled The Crystal Chronicles. I’m excited about it because I’ve been brainstorming and I already have some awesome ideas and a rough overview of what each book will be about. It won’t be out for a while though. I think we all need a little break so that when season 2 comes out it’ll be nice and exciting for us (absence makes the heart fonder and all that 🙂 ) Besides I need time to write it. I’m going to keep brainstorming, but I’ve scheduled the actual writing of the books for next year. I’ve already done my writing schedule for 2017 which is really exciting. I’m hoping to get all the season 2 books written next year then release them all in quick succession in 2018.

A series like the Beauty for Ashes Series (47% of votes)

This one is pretty easy. I figured I could dash it off without too much trouble so I’ve already written book 1. It’s called The Dare. It has a lot of the same elements as the Beauty for Ashes series, but it’s also pretty different, and a lot more gritty (I think). Apart from the drama in the main relationship in the book there’s drama with the hero and heroine’s parents too. I’ll tell you more about this series soon, since the first book is already in editing and will be out pretty soon.

A completely new romantic fiction series (39% of votes)

I’m really excited about this one. I don’t want to say too much, because it won’t be out for a while, but it’s in the works.

Something with supernatural elements like the Crystal series (38% of votes)

This one is very exciting. For someone who can’t stand to watch or read anything ‘scary’ or too intense, I can’t believe how much fun I have writing this supernatural thriller stuff. Obviously I wouldn’t have so much fun doing it if it wasn’t deeply romantic too :-). This one is set in the world of the Crystal series and stars Angel, one of Yelissa Neir’s protégés. You met her in Legacy (Crystal 9). I think Trixie, Crystal’s awful ex-best friend, is going to feature as one of the villains.

A series about Luke Lincoln’s other sons (30% of votes)

This is in the works too. In fact I’ll be ready to release book 1 soon. It’s a prequel that introduces you to all the brothers. Each brother is going to have his own book. Think the current billionaire bad boy romance trend but with a big dose of Jesus and some supernatural elements 🙂 I’m being careful not to make the boys all clones of Juda. Jared, the eldest, is pretty similar to Juda (before Juda was saved) but the other boys have their own personalities and are very different. I’ll blog more about this series over the next few weeks and should be able to do a cover reveal for the first book, The Lincoln Manifesto, very soon.

***

So, I hope you’re satisfied that I listened to your opinion and will act upon your feedback. It’s going to take me a while to get through all these projects, but rest assured that they’re coming.

God bless,

Dayo xx

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Cover Reveal: Delirium (Crystal 5)

Happy New Month Everyone!

Delirium2c The release of Delirium is fast approaching. I was thinking July 1st, but it might even be before then 🙂 I’m a little apprehensive about Delirium because readers finally get into Alejandro’s head, woohoo, and it’s a pretty weird place. Alejandro is a womanizer with a one track mind, but this series is still supposed to be ‘clean’ and Christian, lol.

Delirium follows Crystal and the team as they create an antidote to the drugs in the water and then try to get their antidote released to the nation. It also follows Alejandro as he tries to seduce older married women, including Crystal’s mom, Lexi. The challenge when I was writing this book was to keep Alejandro’s character authentic without going too far, since he’s not a Christian, he can be pretty crude, and he thinks about sex pretty much constantly. I think I did an okay job and managed to strike the right balance. I’m sure you’ll all tell me if I didn’t, lol. But you have been forewarned. There’s nothing graphic so don’t worry. Anyway, here’s the synopsis:

A frantic race against time

A cocktail of dangerous SOT-made drugs has been released into the water supply, and everyone is going nuts…

The SOT’s plans seem to be coming together nicely, while nothing that Crystal’s team is doing seems to work. With the opening of new ‘spirit centers’ all over the country to ‘combat’ the effect of the contaminated water supply, America is falling prey to the SOT’s agenda. Can Crystal and her team create an antidote before it’s too late?

***

Over the past two weeks I’ve been back and forth with my poor cover designer. I’m actually very easy to please when it comes to book covers, but I didn’t have any clue what I wanted for this book. Then when I got the cover with the girl in pink with New York City in the background, I really liked it, but Crystal’s skin is a lot darker than that girl’s, so I had to go back to the designer about it. You can see the transition below.

Delirium

 

 

 

 

 

Delirium2 Delirium2b Delirium2c Delirium2d

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve been reading the Crystal Series, or if you read the Beauty for Ashes series, you’ll know

Cmillian that Crystal has a drop of Cuban in her. It’s not a big deal, but I do want the girl on the cover to be true to the description of Crystal in the book. I imagine her skin colour to be similar to the gorgeous Christina Millian (right).

I think I’ll be going for the third version of the second cover.

What do you think?

Dayo x

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Cover Reveal: Insurrection (Crystal 3)

InsurrectionOoh, I am loving this cover so much. I got it on Friday and I was so excited, but my weekend was really busy so I’ve only just managed to sit down to blog about it. It was my husband’s birthday yesterday so Saturday was spent getting his present (I need to stop leaving everything ’til the last minute), and I took him out yesterday. He says he enjoyed his day so I feel like I did a good job 🙂

Anyway, so back to Insurrection. It’s about Crystal and her team trying to bring down the SOT. If you’ve read Surrender (Crystal 2) you know who her team is.

I send my books out to a few people before I publish them, and they give me feedback, so I’ve been reviewing their notes on Insurrection. I’m shocked at how much my beta readers like Juda in book 3. Every one of them want Crystal and Juda to be together. I didn’t see that coming, since Juda is what he is and he does some pretty awful things in this book. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I thought people really wouldn’t like him. Here’s the synopsis for Insurrection (Crystal 3):

Crystal has survived eighteen months of trauma at the hands of the SOT. She now has two options: she can either fade into obscurity, or fight. She chooses to fight—along with her team of unlikely alliances. But as their plans come together, doubts are never far away. Can she really trust her team, or will they give up at the first hurdle? And, are they on a suicide mission, or can they really bring down the SOT?

I’m hoping to get it out before the end of the month. If you haven’t subscribed to my new-release list yet, Click Here so that you’ll be notified the minute it’s out.

If you would like to be one of my beta readers and read my books before they come out, send me an email (dayo.benson@ymail.com). You need to be good at spotting plot holes and pointing out things that need to be improved.

Blessings xx

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Out Now: Surrender (Crystal 2)

Surrender (Crystal 2)Hi everyone,

Surrender (Crystal 2) is out now: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Smashwords (it’ll be everywhere else soon). I love how the final cover turned out.

I’m feeling pretty festive, so if you post a book review for Searchlight (Crystal 1) on any of the online bookstores or review sites (Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, etc.) I’ll send you a free PDF of Surrender. Just email me and let me know that you’ve posted a review. My email address is dayo.benson@ymail.com.

(By the way the first book, Searchlight, is free in some places, like Smashwords).

People (readers) tell me I’m no good at writing book descriptions so I hope you guys have noticed that I’ve actually put in more effort with the book descriptions for this series, ha ha. I’ve read that the description should sound like a movie trailer (huh?). To be honest, I find writing these little descriptions harder than writing the actual book 🙂

Here it is:

Everyone has a limit…
…and Crystal is steadily getting closer to hers. She thought she could escape the SOT, but now they have her and there seems to be no way out. Some people think she has everything, but she knows she has nothing. Is she ever going to break free? And is the mysterious Juda a friend or foe?

Everyone is scared of something…
…and fear is the worst enemy of all. Crystal wants to hold on, but her fears enable the SOT to drag her to darker depths than she ever thought possible; depths from which she must claw her way back if she is ever going to regain her freedom.

The pressure is on, and Crystal must either fight or be broken. It all comes down to one question: Who will she surrender to?

Get your copy at Amazon UK, Amazon US & Smashwords.

Blessings,

Dayo.

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Cover Reveal: Surrender (Crystal 2)

Surrender2bI’m so excited today because I just received an ‘in progress’ version of my next book cover. I think it’s fab. It’s not the final version, as the designer is still working on it, but the final version won’t be hugely different. I think the model’s face might just be shadowed more as I like to leave how my character looks to the reader’s imagination.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to message me about ‘Searchlight’, I really appreciate it because Crystal’s series is a new direction for me. If you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for? It’s on Amazon UK, Amazon US and B&N (and lots of other places).

Surrender will be out once the designer finishes with the cover. Here’s the synopsis:

Everyone has a limit…

…and Crystal is steadily getting closer to hers. She thought she could escape the SOT, but now they have her and there seems to be no way out. Some people think she has everything, but she knows she has nothing. Is she ever going to break free? And is the mysterious Juda a friend or foe?

Everyone is scared of something…

…and fear is the worst enemy of all. Crystal wants to hold on, but her fears enable the SOT to drag her to darker depths than she ever thought possible; depths from which she must claw her way back if she is ever going to regain her freedom.

The pressure is on, and Crystal must either fight or be broken. It all comes down to one question: Who will she surrender to?

By the way it’s Christmas next week. Are you guys ready? I still have presents to buy; never organised, *sigh*.

Blessings.

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Cover Reveal: Searchlight (Crystal 1)

searchlightSo, I finally have cover for Searchlight (Crystal 1). I didn’t want a bright cover because that could cause people to think they’re getting a light ‘easy’ read when the book is actually pretty dark in places.

Searchlight should be out over the next few days. If you’re on my email list you’ll get an email alert. If you’re not on my email list Click Here and sign up so that you’ll get the alert.

I’m sending book 2 in the series to my editor tomorrow. I finished my own ‘self-edit’ of it yesterday and I asked myself: if someone else wrote this, what would my verdict be? And guess what, I really couldn’t answer. If I hadn’t written it, I would have been scared reading it because there are some intense scenes and I’m a bit of a wimp (seriously I can’t even watch anything above a 12a). So, I honestly don’t know how I can write dark stuff.

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself talking about book 2 when I haven’t even published book 1 yet. Book 1 will be out this week.

What do you think of the cover?

Blessings xx

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Announcing…Searchlight

SearchlightGuys,

I’ll come to what the picture to the left represents in a minute. First a quick update: I haven’t been blogging much because I’ve been doing so much writing. I’ve noticed that when I’m writing a lot, I blog less. I guess the writing fulfills my need for creativity and I have nothing left to put into a blog. I’ve hit a few 10,000 word days over the past two and a half months. My record is 11,352 words in a day 🙂 I’m so loving it.

Anyway, I finished 4 books, and I started the fifth book, then stopped and thought, ‘I need to publish the first four’. My husband was like ‘yes, stop writing and start editing the books you’ve written and get them out there.’ So that’s what I’m doing.

I was editing Pressure (Book 4 of Pure Passion Series), but I’ve put it aside. Something is just not going well between me and that book. The last book I was like this with was Blurred Vision (Drew Ashley 2). I’m just not feeling Pressure. I think it’s a good book, and the message behind it is strong, and the character arc (the transformation the main character goes through) is heavy. And the male lead is lovely. But, I’ve set it aside for when I have the mental strength to face it.

So, I started editing ‘Searchlight’ which is book 1 of Crystal’s books. The image above is the image I think my husband is going to use for the books cover–I absolutely love it because it really represents the book. Remember Crystal? Lexi’s daughter? She was a child in the Beauty for Ashes series, but she’s grown up now. I have written the first three books of her series, and I’m 18,000 words into book 4. I’ve decided to stop and get books 1 to 3 out. I finished editing book 1 on Saturday and I’ve sent it to an editor, so it should be out in November.

Let me just warn you. Crystal’s series is dark. Searchlight (Book 1) is dark-ish. Surrender (Book 2) is extremely dark. I haven’t read Surrender yet, so I might change my opinion when I do that. But writing it was hard, and slightly painful. But I didn’t hold back because there are people out there who go through worse things that what Crystal went through. Don’t worry, it’s not domestic abuse like what Lexi went through. It’s SOT- related.

When I finished writing the Beauty for Ashes series, I got a number of emails from people wanting to know more about the SOT. Crystal’s series is all about the SOT. If you remember her as a toddler in Red Carpet and Refiner’s Fire, she liked to sing. Well, now she’s 18 and she’s in a band, and the SOT want her. Book one of the series is about the SOT forcing her to join them. Book two is about her trying to get out of the SOT. Books 3 – 7 are about her, and a bunch of ex-SOT members that leave with her, trying to bring down the SOT. The series is cross-genre: YA, NA, action/adventure, romance, suspense. It will be a gritty read.

If you’ve read Bondage (Pure Passion Series, Book 2), I kind of wrote that in preparation for writing this series. I wanted to see how people would respond to the cult and the dark themes. Crystal’s series is a bit similar to Bondage.

Anyway, I’ll stop going on about it. Here’s the synopsis for Searchlight (unedited):

A heart-rending tragedy. A passionate love. A firm resolution.

Ambition
For as long as Crystal remembers, she has wanted to be a singer.
For as long as she remembers, her parents have feared the SOT, a celebrity cult that will make you famous, but destroy you in the process.
When Luke, leader of the SOT, sets his sights on Crystal will Crystal have the courage to stand her ground, or will she give in?

Destruction
After the SOT deal a deadly blow, Crystal has no choice but to obey their orders to sign up for Searchlight. Searchlight is the biggest talent show on TV. With the SOT’s backing, Crystal could win, but is she willing to pay the price? When she unexpectedly finds love, she is afraid to pursue it for fear that darkly handsome Juda could become an SOT target, too.
At Searchlight, her dreams and nightmares collide. According to Juda, it’s the darkest places that need light the most, but the SOT is much darker than Crystal imagined.

Heartbreak
Not everything is what it seems to be, and not everyone is who they say they are. Crystal is tough, but she’s only human. There’s only so much heartache and betrayal one girl can take.
Then she is tested, and she is forced to make a choice.
It’s a choice between light and darkness.
Good and evil.
Faith and despair.
But choosing God, might mean choosing death.

The SOT is back, and this time they mean business! Lexi escaped. Will her daughter, Crystal?

***Fans of the popular Beauty for Ashes Series, by the same author, will love this new novel, which focuses on supermodel, Lexi Washington’s daughter.***

You will be shocked. You will be drawn in. You will be entertained. The only thing you won’t be is bored.

Let me know what you think guys. I get told that my book descriptions are boring, so we tried to switch things up a bit for this one. Tried to make it sound more like a movie trailer, lol. Does it work?

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The Making of Beauty for Ashes

Before I give you all the juicy behind the scenes info that I’m sure you’re dying to read, let me just say that the characters from Beauty for Ashes have been living in my head for SIX YEARS and I am so glad I am finally done with them and can start thinking about new books and new characters! Yay!
Writing Timeline

I don’t know why Raw Deal took me so long to write and rewrite. I worked on it for five years, adding things, cutting things, and trying to make sure that it laid a good foundation for the series. Even now I’m not really satisfied with it as it’s still too long, but I guess I just need to stop obsessing.

Red Carpet took me about a month to write, maybe a bit more. I wrote the first hundred pages about four years ago and didn’t finish it because I was so hung up on Raw Deal. Anyway, when I got back to it a few months ago I just picked up from where I left off and decided that it was going to be written and I wasn’t going to obsess about it.

Refiner’s Fire was probably the least stressful. It was written in three weeks. I should say four but for one of those four weeks I had really bad writers block and couldn’t write, and started panicking thinking I wouldn’t be able to finish it. I know that sounds really dramatic, but the writers’ block was pretty serious. Someone needs to develop a medication for writers block, I swear! I knew everything that was going to happen in the book, but I just couldn’t get the words down. I’m not really sure why. Anyway, I drove my husband crazy about it and he was just like ‘well take a break from it’ but I didn’t want to. I wanted to get it written. Well, I took a break from it and a week later my creative juices were flowing again. Praises be!!!

Character Names

I am not good at finding names for characters. I tend to find out as I’m writing that I’ve given three characters the same name, or that some characters have the same surname and they’re not related. Anyway, Lexi Dixon was originally white, blond-haired, and blue eyed, and her name was Jessica Anderson, but I realised that she wasn’t edgy enough and I didn’t really care about her when she was Jessica Anderson. I have to care about my main character or I just get sick of writing about them and start trying to tear my hair out. You have my friend Elizabeth to thank for the fact that boring blond Jessica Anderson became exotic Cuban Lexi Dixon. She read half of one of the very first drafts of Raw Deal and went “Why is she so…” and I was like “so…what?” and she was like, “So…” So I thought I’d better do something about her.

Jessica Anderson was also British, and I realized that things would just get too complicated, because she and Monica wouldn’t have any history and she’d have to journal about her old friends in England and call them from time to time to make it realistic. And I didn’t feel like writing about old friends in England. So I made her American, but said she’d lived in England.

Another name that changed was Jace’s. He was originally Joshua. But I thought I’d call my next leading man Joshua (that’s a different book), so I just plucked a name out of the air.

Then there’s Jay (James) Black who I had to change to Dan Black because Jay was too similar to Jace and I didn’t want readers getting confused.

When I was writing Red Carpet I realized that there were three Williams: the youth leader in Bridge Community church, Lexi’s dad, and the male model that Lexi shoots a Diamond Parlor commercial with. So the youth leader became Mike, and the male model became Phil. Then I realised there were two Mikes, so Lexi’s mom’s new man became Sean. Then I realised there were two Seans. So Sean Cassidy became Dale Cassidy. And just when I thought the name drama was over. I realised that Xena Hurst and Gage Hurst might look like they’re married, so Xena Hurst became Xena Westwood. And that was that!

Oh yeah, the Glacier Hotel was originally the Diamond Glacier Hotel. I have no clue what I was thinking. Then I realized that it didn’t need to be called the Diamond Glacier,  it could just be called the Glacier. And just for the record, I have no clue what the S.O.T. stands for. They are a secret society and since I am not a member, I don’t know. Sorry, but I wanted them to be a mystery to me as well so if you were expecting a lofty philosophical explanation email me and I’ll make one up for you J

I was going to make Lexi’s Dad Will Dixon an S.O.T. grandmaster. Lexi was going to find out in Refiner’s Fire that he’d faked his death so that he could get more occult powers and rule world and become the antichrist. Lexi and her mom were going to be so heartbroken and their lives would’ve been endangered. Hmm, maybe another book.

I will add to this article as and when I remember any other juicy tidbits about the writing process for this series.