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 […]
June 1, 2012

The Chosen Summer Shorts– #1 Emergence

Emergence, the first short story for The Chosen series is now available on Amazon for $0.99.  The good news is that newsletter subscribers get to read it on my website for free! The newsletters for June, July and August will include a link to that month’s story on my site, along with a password. The story is in a PDF file. All of the stories are prequels to Chosen and the first one is Emma’s story.  It starts three years before Chosen, when Jake began to get visions and the Bad Men first showed up. I’ll be honest. I really, really love this story. I neglected my children and wrote it in less than twenty-four hours. It’s 10,000 words, forty-two pages long, so you know I spent most to that time with my butt firmly planted in a chair. But I couldn’t help it. Her story just rolled right out of of me. When I finished, I attached it to an an email and sent it to my crit partner Trisha Leigh. Trisha’s always been a Will fan, but she told me she LOVED it and said this story gave her an entirely new perspective on Emma. July is Will’s story. […]
May 21, 2012

100K Reader Appreciation Giveaway

Yesterday, I hit 95,000 in total book sales!!! How surreal is THAT? When I published my first book, Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, last July I hoped to sell 1000 books by December 31. That was dreaming big to me. Seriously. The truth is, I’ve sold so many books because of my readers. If you all hadn’t bought my books, then told your friends, I’d be lucky to sell my original goal of 1000. You all have no idea how much I appreciate you! I worry that every time I tell you all thank you, you’ll think it’s disingenuous.  And it’s not. I love you all so much! When I realized how closely I was getting to selling 100,000 books, the first thing that popped into my head was: I want to thank my readers. And the best way to do that is to have a giveaway!!! This contest will be open immediately. I will close the contest as soon as I find out I’ve sold 100,000 books. At my current rate of sales, I should hit that within two weeks, however, my sales are slowing down, (these things are cyclical) so it could be three or four weeks. Or even […]
May 19, 2012

The Amazon Book Popularity List

Sometimes I keep on top of where my books sit on lists and other times they escape me. In fact, this past February I had no idea that Chosen was #1 in all of Science Fiction and Fantasy in the entire Amazon store. Print, audio and eBooks. I would never have known if Ashelynn from Gypsy Book Reviews hadn’t notified me. I was playing around on Amazon last night and I checked out the Science Fiction and Fantasy list:                         Chosen has been in the top 100 of Science Fiction and Fantasy for 145 days and I didn’t even realize it. *head desk* Maybe I should pay more attention to these things. Part of the reason I was looking was because of the recent rumors are floating around that Amazon has changed their algorythyms again. This time they are playing with the popularity list. Did you know Amazon has a popularity list? Honestly, I often forget about it, which is bad on my part. Readers often think the popularity list is the best seller list, so a  book’s ranking on the popularity list can be a huge factor in sales. […]
May 18, 2012

The Chosen Series Summer Shorts

I’ve been playing with the idea of a novella prequel for The Chosen series (Emmanuella, Raphael and Alex from very early in the game) as well as several short story ideas. So, after some thought and multiple, somewhat needy discussions with some friends, I’ve decided to release one short story every month during the summer. June will be about Emma when Jake was two years old and began to have visions. July will be a story about Will and his life before his court marshal, showing who he used to be. And August is really fun. You get to decide. My June poll will list several story ideas and you get to VOTE on which one you want me to write. The winning story suggestion will be the story for August. Here’s the best part:  I’ll have the short stories available on Amazon for $0.99,  but if you’re on my email newsletter list, you get a link to read the story for free. You read that right. You get to read it for FREE! This is my thanks to YOU for reading my books! Now I have to come up with ideas for you all to vote on…  
February 3, 2012

Picturing Characters in my Head

When I write characters I usually have clear pictures of them in my head. In The Chosen series, I can see Will, Emma and Jake perfectly.  The problem comes when I try to find pictures of models who come close enough to what I see in my head.  Sometimes I hit it exactly. I found this picture of Jake two years ago while I was writing Chosen and nothing else has ever come close. But Will and Emma are harder. Recently I found the PERFECT picture of Emma. You have no idea how close this comes to how I see Emma in my head. I mean, it’s like I saw this picture before I wrote her. At the moment, I’m looking for photos to use for romance trading cards to take to RT Booklovers Convention. No, problem. I have the perfect picture! Awesome, right? Wrong. I found this photo on Tumblr and while I’ve contacted the photographer to see about purchasing rights to use it, I have yet to hear from him. So my search continues. Will is also hard. The closest I’ve come is the picture I found when I made the book trailer two years ago– my reward for […]
December 7, 2011

Dreaming Big

I’m so stinking excited!!! Chosen has hit its highest ranking yet– #130 in the Kindle Store. Out of one million books, only 129 are selling more books than Chosen. This blows me away. How many books do you have to sell to reach this ranking? It changes day to day, hour to hour, depending on how many overall books are bought and sold through Amazon. (I find Sunday to be the biggest selling day, Tuesday is often the slowest.) Yesterday, I sold 325 Kindle books. In one day. It took me a month and a half to sell that many Kindle books of Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes.  It took me three weeks to sell my first 300 copies of Chosen but only six days to sell 300 of Hunted. (Chosen was selling over 100 books a day when Hunted released and since Hunted is the second book of the series, I don’t necessarily find this surprising.) It’s taken a month to sell 300 copies of Here, BUT my blog review tour doesn’t start until next week.  (A blog post on the effectiveness of blog tours will be coming soon.) Who knows what will happen. I may have peaked out […]
August 5, 2011

Conceived in Fear, Born of Hope

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes book birthday isn’t even one month old yet, but I’m hard at work preparing my next book Chosen  for release in September. Each of my books are like my children. While I love them all, they each have something different that tugs on my heart. With Twenty-Eight it was Rose. What’s not to love about Rose?  When I think about Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes it fills me with hope and happiness. Chosen was conceived and gestated in fear. When I wrote my NaNoWriMo book that kick-started my writing career, it was a fairly easy going romantic suspense (full on love scene and all– it took more than a few glasses of wine to write that one) until I got to the end. Then the last two chapters were this dark gritty scene that came out no where.  I’ll be honest and admit it scared me. What made my mind wander that direction? As I waited to edit the previous mess, a new book idea came to me, innocently enough.  One night I was cooking dinner and my son’s girl friend told me she’d been counting with my then four-year-old son Ryan. If Ryan touched […]
October 29, 2010

Hi, I’m Denise and I’m a Pantser

I’m gonna confess right up front that’s not entirely true. It’s a huge debate, a line drawn in the sand. It’s like a team rivalry — are you a MU or a KU fan? (Sorry, I’m from Kansas City, it’s a HUGE deal here) I’ve noticed the same thing with writers. Which are you? A Pantser or a Plotter? And depending on where you fall, you’ve got an ally or a rival, because one type has trouble understanding how the other functions. I want to know why we have to choose? The truth for me is I am both. Don’t get me wrong, I could never snowflake and an outline seems way too much like eighth grade English class. *shudder* But I don’t sit down at my laptop with one line “It was a dark and stormy night” and expect to get an entire novel out of it. Sure, it takes one idea to get a novel started, and with me one idea can be a combustible tangent– the idea gets started in my head and explodes into a story in days. And I suppose I do plot, in my own way. The flow chart for CHOSEN* *don’t look too […]
August 20, 2010

Theme Song for Rose

When I wrote Chosen, I had songs that related to different chapters and scenes, but with Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, I didn’t have the same experience. I’m sure it’s partially because it just tumbled out so quickly. Or maybe it’s because TEHW is a different kind of book, lighter and quirkier. I listened to a lot of Evans Blue and Death Cab for Cutie while I wrote, but when I edited I discovered Sky Sailing. The lead singer and creator of Sky Sailing is by Adam Young, the lead singer of Owl City. They sound a lot like Owl City but with less electronic key board and more acoustic guitar. I’d be embarrassed to tell you how many times my iTunes says I’ve listened to it, but I’ll admit it just broke three digits. Sky Sailing’s CD An Airplane Carried Me to Bed is light, sweet and a little bit wistful. Like Rose. A lot like Rose. So I found that the entire CD is a fitting playlist for Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, as weird as that is. But here’s what’s weirder: Rose has a theme song on the CD. The words aren’t necessarily appropriate to her character […]
July 28, 2010

OMG Stick a Fork in My WIP– It’s Done!

On Monday June 28, I started a test project that didn’t have a title for and the barest of ideas, created mere days before. I decided to write and see what happened. What happened is short of amazing, to me anyway. I ended up with a 102,000 word manuscript that not only had a plot, but two subplots, all well woven in a funny, sentimental and thrilling mystery with twists and turns my alpha readers never saw coming. Some I didn’t even see myself until I wrote them. What I experienced the last 30 days is nothing short of magical. I never forced it, rarely planned much, had a general idea of where things were going (knew the mystery and details in my head, let them come out where necessary) and just let it go. I sat down and the words FLEW out of my fingers. And I never had more fun writing. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Wow, 102,000 words in thirty days? That must be a lot of CRAP!” But at least six hours a day of those thirty days, if not more (probably twelve on Saturday when you take into account I wrote until 4 a.m.), […]
July 7, 2010

Something New

I have started a new project. Hot on the heels of the rejection of my full of CHOSEN, and facing the possibility that CHOSEN might be unsellable in the current market, I thought it best to stop writing the sequel and start something new. Its a daunting task, starting something new. For one thing, you need an idea. Lots of authors keep notebooks and scraps of papers filled with potential story ideas. I don’t. Maybe its because I can only let my mind loose on one idea at a time, although its safe to say I currently have three WIPs in various states of progress, so maybe that *law* doesn’t apply to me anymore. ANYWAY, I was about 33K into the sequel to CHOSEN when I got that rejection and honestly, I was floundering a bit, unsure I was taking it in the right direction. So I decided what I really needed was a fresh start. Something new. This was on a Saturday night, June 26. I. Had. Nothing. Although on the Thursday before, I had gone to the DMV with my son and mentioned to him that a job working at the DMV would be a cool for main […]