October 8, 2012

Chapter One of REDEMPTION

Chapter One   Smoke clung to her nostrils, now an ever-burning constant. Downtown Albuquerque smoldered in the valley below her, but Emma’s more immediate concern was above. Marcus stood on the cliff, the element Water in human form. Emma knew the destruction he was capable of causing, but she’d been searching for him, hoping he would be her savior. Instead, he’d just declared himself to be her worst nightmare. “What the hell?” Will growled, trying to shield her with his body, a difficult task given that they sat on a tree growing from the rock wall. “You told me to save her. Now you’re threatening her?” Marcus leaned over the edge, opening his mouth as though to speak, but abruptly turned and ran out of view. “We have to get out of here.” Will rose to a crouch while he craned his neck to see above. “No kidding,” Emma muttered, searching for an escape as well. The tree trunk they straddled was ten feet down the side of a cliff. The car she had been in lay fifty feet below in the bottom of a ravine. “Shit.” Will growled. Emma could only imagine the lengths Will would go to protect […]
October 3, 2012

Writer Wednesday Welcomes Jill Cooper

  Jill started writing when she was in elementary school and given a creative writing assignment. Once that started there was no looking back. When other kids were out buying makeup and dresses, Jill was saving up for her first word processor WITH a hard drive. She lives in Massachusetts with one dramatic toddler, a wood working husband, and 2 fluffy white cats. She is the author of the YA Series The Dream Slayer. The second in the series is out on October 12th. What was the inspiration for the Dream Slayer series: I really wanted to write a paranormal novel with a teen girl at the heart that wasn’t pretty, popular, or self-confident, no super flowing beautiful hair moments! I drew from my own personal experiences of being bullied or teased for my weight and glasses in school and built the story from there. I wanted to show strength in a normal, almost mundane girl. I want Natalie to be an inspiration to girls that isn’t A Kardashian or Britney Spears, or  (wait for it) Bella. That even a normal girl who isn’t perfectly skinny, or have the best home life can be a hero. Real heroes are born […]
September 26, 2012

We welcome Branli Caidryn to Writer Wednesday

**Today and tomorrow Phoenix Splinter will be FREE on Amazon!!!** Today I welcome  Branli Caidryn as my Writer Wednesday guest. I have no picture of Branli because he has a strict “no photo” policy. He’s recently moved to Seattle and invited me to do Irish Car bombs with him, so my evil plan is to get him drunk and have my way with him. By taking his picture. What did you think I meant? In spite of Branli’s VERY RECENT move, he still had time for our interview.  Branli, is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. The book is about Peekay and his adventures growing up; love, loss, perseverance. He’s orphaned early on, by a mother that’s mentally unstable. He’s picked on at the orphanage. His favorite pet is killed by bullies. And the one person he’s ever looked up to, leaves him. I was able to relate to this character and his many losses growing up. To this day I can’t bring myself to reading it again, the heartache was just too much the first time. Oh, my. Now […]
September 24, 2012

Redemption eBook ARC Giveaway

From Monday, September 24 until Tuesday, October 9, I will be giving away ONE eBook ARC of Redemption a day.  The giveways will alternate from my Facebook author page to my blog to an occasional Twitter post. Winners will be chosen after midnight and at random from comments posted on the announcement that day. ARCs will be available as a Kindle file, an ePub, or a PDF file. Reviews would be greatly appreciated, but are not necessary. It is important to note that the ARC has not been proof read and WILL have typos.Hopefully, they have been kept to an minimum.  If this could annoy you and ruin your reading experience, then you should NOT read an ARC and wait for the cleaned up version that will be released on October 10. The first day of the contest will be on my Facebook author page. You must like my author page and leave a comment. Blog post days will require you to be a newsletter subscriber and leave a comment. Twitter posts will require you to post a tweet with the hashtag #Redemption. More details to follow. I will announce every day on my Facebook author page where that day’s posting will be. https://www.facebook.com/DeniseGroverSwank […]
September 19, 2012

Writer Wednesday Welcomes Susan Boyer

Today we welcome a special guest to the blog: Susan Boyer Susan’s bio: Susan M. Boyer has been making up stories her whole life. She tags along with her husband on business trips whenever she can because hotels are great places to write: fresh coffee all day and cookies at 4 p.m. They have a home in Greenville, SC, which they occasionally visit. Susan’s short fiction has appeared in moonShine Review, Spinetingler Magazine, Relief Journal, The Petigru Review, and Catfish Stew. Her debut novel, Lowcountry Boil, is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense recipient and an RWA Golden Heart® finalist. Denise: Hello Susan! We look forward to getting to know you better and finding out about your new book, Low Country Boil. What can you tell us about it? Susan: Thank you so much for having me here today, Denise! My debut novel, which was released yesterday, is Lowcountry Boil, the first book in the Liz Talbot Mystery Series. Liz Talbot is a private investigator and a modern Southern belle: she blesses hearts and takes names. She carries her Sig 9 in her Kate Spade handbag, and her golden retriever, Rhett, rides shotgun in her hybrid Escape. […]
September 16, 2012

I Hit the 150,000 Mark in Sales!

A funny thing happened this weekend. I hit the 150,000 mark in sales only I didn’t even realize it until my friend Kay Bratt asked me this morning about my current sales totals. As of last night, my total sales for eBooks, print books and audiobooks is 150,556. I rarely share figures, but I thought I’d share a few to give self-published authors just starting out hope that they’ll start making sales. I published my first book Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes in July 2011. The official release date was July 12, however, I uploaded my eBook formats early, worried I’d screwed them up somehow. (I formatted that first book myself.)  And even though I didn’t really announce the eBooks were available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, some readers still found them and downloaded them. Not that I’m complaining. So the exact number of days Twenty-Eight was available is questionable so we’ll call it the entire month. And in that first month I had 209 sales. A VERY respectable first month. I was told to expect 20. I released Chosen at the end of September, expecting all of those readers of Twenty-Eight to rush over to buy it. Yeah, […]
September 5, 2012

Writer Wednesday Welcomes Patty Blount

It’s my pleasure and honor to host Patty Blount this week for Writer Wednesday. Like a lot of authors I’ve featured, I’ve meet them on Twitter. However, with Patty, I can’t really pin point WHEN I met her. She’s just been there. Patty, do you recall the when we first began to interact? I’m pretty sure we met through Trish Leigh.  *blinks* Um… NO! I can’t remember EXACTLY when we met but I think you’re right, it was through Trisha Leigh and Bill Cameron. I am pretty sure she RT’d a link to your blog, where I read all about your family and that you’re a single mom taking care of six kids and I think I actually took a nap that I dedicated to you for that alone. When I learned you’re also a writer, I did a little fist pump and said, “Woo hoo! More cool stories to read.” I’ve learned that my Twitter pals have the BEST stories.   In any case, Patty is one of the sweetest, most dear people I’ve had the pleasure to meet on Twitter or in person. She’s always so uplifting and encouraging I feel honored to call her my friend. So […]
August 29, 2012

Writer Wednesday- We welcome Larissa Reinhart

I’d like to introduce you all to Larissa Reinhart! Yesterday was Larissa’s book birthday for her debut novel PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY. Larissa, tell us about your debut novel. Thanks so much for having me here, Denise! My debut is called PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY, and stars a sassy, Southern artist named Cherry Tucker. In her hometown of Halo, Georgia, folks know Cherry as big in mouth, small in stature, and able to sketch a portrait faster than buckshot rips from a ten gauge — but commissions are scarce. So when the well-heeled Branson family wants to memorialize their murdered son in a coffin portrait, Cherry scrambles to win their patronage from her small town rival. As the clock ticks toward the deadline, Cherry faces more trouble than just a controversial subject. Her rival wants to ruin her reputation, her ex-flame wants to rekindle the fire, and someone’s setting her up to take the fall. Mix in her flaky family, an illegal gambling ring, and outwitting a killer on a spree, Cherry finds herself painted into a corner she’ll be lucky to survive. Flaky family and quirky southern mystery? Sounds like my kind of book! Now I know […]
August 23, 2012


Coming Mid October   The explosive conclusion to the bestselling series– The Chosen. Four shall fight. Two shall remain. The game of immortal elements has advanced to an unexpected level since Will and Emma have joined. But was their union a part of Water’s careful orchestration? Has the game swung to his advantage? With Emma’s life — and the lives of those she loves — at risk, every move could be deadly. A mother’s quest to protect her son has turned into a fight with eternal ramifications. Realizing she’s the weakest participant in the final version of the game, Emma will do anything within her power to save Jake and Will. Even if it means dying. A man who will do anything to save the woman he loves. As Will struggles with the implications of his destiny, he’s left to question the true intentions of the father he’s never known and what it means to Emma’s survival. The woman he is now bound to for eternity. A boy who is the key. In loneliness and desperation, Jake friends the lurking shadows, and now his heart battles between love and hate. The shadows offer to help him save his mother but […]
August 17, 2012

Fall into the Otherside Short Story Series

Starting with September’s newsletter, I’m kicking off another short story series for  On the Otherside in anticipation of the release of THERE in December. Each story will be a prequel to HERE and give you a little insight to the characters lives leading up to Julia’s accident and the beginning  the book. This will also be a chance for readers of my other series to get a glimpse into the  characters from On the Otherside. While HERE is a young adult book and appropriate for younger preteen readers, it’s not juvenile in its tone or context. It’s a story with sixteen and seventeen year old main characters but the emotional depth you’ve come to expect from my books (at least I hope you have) is still there. In fact,I consider HERE to be my best written book to date if you’re looking for pretty words. I think the story is pretty good too, but then again I’m kind of partial.  In any case, if you haven’t read HERE you can check out the stories and see if it’s a series you want to try. The stories will ONLY be available to newsletter subscribers. I may bundle them together and publish them at some point, […]
August 11, 2012

HERE Will Be an Audiobook!

I’m so excited to share that HERE (On the Otherside #1)will be an audiobook! While I’ve used ACX to find the narrators for Chosen and Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, I went a different route with HERE. I hired an actress. HERE is told in first person, present tense. The book is narrated as it happens. I couldn’t have a woman record the story and make it believable. It had to be a teenage girl. And that seriously limited my choices. I had originally hired a very talented teen actress I knew from when we lived in Franklin, Tennessee. Unfortunately, things fell through– to everyone’s disappointment.  But the actress’s mother suggested someone else, Bryce Hitchcock, and asked if I’d like to have her audition. The beauty of the first actress was that her father has his own production studio.  She was going to  read and he would record and produce the audio.  So while I was eager to hear Bryce’s audition, I wasn’t sure what we’d do if we liked her.  I don’t know the first thing about producing an audiobook. I hire the talent and they deliver a finished product. But Bryce’s mother sent her audition and me and […]
August 1, 2012

Hello, Turkey!

I am so excited!!! I had two professional goals for 2012 and now I’ve met both of them! The first was to get a literary agent and the second was to get a contract with a publisher. When they say publishing is slow, they aren’t kidding. This deal has been in the works for months and was finalized a couple of weeks ago.  What I love about this sale is that the publisher approached ME!  When Chosen was selling well in December,  he sent me an email saying he was interested. Several emails were sent back and forth and I let it sit before he raised his offer and I said deal! Just because you self-publish doesn’t mean that subsidarary rights aren’t possible.  Many self-published authors get foreign deals. movie deals, TV production rights, audiobooks (either producing the books themselves or getting deals with audiobook producers) and/or translating their own works and self-publishing their books themselves in foreign markets. The publishing world is in a HUGE transitional state. There’s no one right way to publish and I hate when I see people draw lines in the sand.  Authors need to decide how much hands on work they want to do on the […]