June 19, 2012

Twenty-Nine Reasons to Love Rose Gardner: Reason Five

To see the official rules for Twenty-Nine Reasons to Love Rose Gardner, go here. Denise again. Remember how I said it all started with Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes? Well, the beauty of the Rose Gardner mysteries is that each book is a standalone. Much unlike my other books! So a reader can pickup Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons without having read the first book and just be fine. But why miss out on how it all began? Don’t you want to read about Rose’s blind date with the Pillsbury Doughboy!  Or when she bought a nightie Walmart? (Scandalous!?!?) Or Joe teaching Rose the rules of drinking on her front porch…(I think that was my favorite scene to write in the whole book.**) Today’s reason to love Rose Gardner is: An autographed print copy of Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes! Trust me, you’re gonna need to read Twenty-Eight to know the answers for Part Two of Twenty-Nine Reasons to Love Rose Gardener! (And the giveaways in Part One are nothin’ compared to some of the things we’re giving away in Part Two.) Oh!!!!!!!!!!!WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have something else to add! How about….   An autographed print copy of an ARC* of Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons!!! (*ARC: Advanced Release Copy– this book WILL have typos […]
June 18, 2012

Twenty-Nine Reasons to Love Rose Gardner: Reason Four

To see the official rules for Twenty-Nine Reasons to Love Rose Gardner, go here. It’s Denise again! It’s my last day and then Heather’s taking control again! Since we hit a Crappy Doodle theme yesterday, what do you say we keep it going? How about a Crappy Doodles! mug??? (**Laptop not included) The other side, not shown, has the title Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes. I’ll even throw in some tea bags even though I have coffee in the mug in this picture.  And yes, that’s my OWN mug, but I promise to give you your very own unused one. So what’s the question today? It’s no secret that I’m a coffee lover.  If you win this mug, will you be most likely to drink coffee or hot tea out of it? Or maybe hot cocoa?  You have until Wednesday midnight, CDT, June 20 to leave a comment to enter. Winner will be picked with What will you drink from this mug if you win? Denise The winner of our Day Three Giveaway is….Stormy!!  We will be contacting you by email so we can ship your crappy doodles mug.  Congratulations!
June 17, 2012

Twenty-Nine Reasons to Love Rose Gardner: Reason Three

To see the official rules for Twenty-Nine Reasons to Love Rose Gardner, go here.  IT It’s Denise again! (And here I told you all that Heather was in charge of the giveaway!) I hope you’re having fun and I think you’re going to LOVE today’s giveaway item! Your very own Crappy Doodles t-shirt!!! (My beautiful daughter Julia is modeling) Some days are just crappy doodle days, so what better way to tell the world than wear it on your shirt? I have one of these and I love this shirt, and not just because it says Crappy Doodles!  It’s a really soft, stretchy cotton and although it’s fitted, it doesn’t cling. This particular shirt is Bedazzled. You can choose to NOT have your t-shirt Bedazzeled. (Bedazzling courtesy of Julia.)  I have a few sizes at my house BUT I can order a different size.  If you win, I’ll give you a sizing chart to see what works for you. And if you don’t win, don’t be sad. I might be giving another one or two of these away, OR you can buy your own on Zazzle. SO…how can you win? Have you ever said the words Crappy Doodles? Be honest […]
June 16, 2012

Twenty-Nine Reasons to Love Rose Gardner: Reason Two

To see the official rules for Twenty-Nine Reasons to Love Rose Gardner, go here.  Hey, y’all. You’ve got me today because I gave Heather the day off. It’s day two of twenty-nine days of giveaways and today’s prize is book specific. A mug with the cover of Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, along with two tea bags. Wild Sweet Orange seems like something Aunt Bessie would have made Rose when they had their talk in the kitchen on the night of Momma’s wake. And Passion… It’s not the reason you think!  I love Passion tea and drink it hot almost every night in the winter when I’m writing. So to win today’s giveaway, tell me if you have a preference: hot tea or iced tea. You have until Monday night at midnight, CDT, June 18. The winner will be picked by Hot tea or Iced tea??? Denise   THIS DAY IS NOW CLOSED. The winner is #5, Kristi Eggleston! Congrats, Kristi!
June 15, 2012

Twenty-Nine Reasons to Love Rose Gardner: Reason One

To see the official rules for Twenty-Nine Reasons to Love Rose Gardner, go here.    Are you ready? We are! We have spent the last few weeks brainstorming, making lists, laughing, shopping, and scheduling our big month of giveaways, so without further ado we begin our Twenty-Nine Reasons to Love Rose Gardner. Call your friends and schedule a night in on the couch. Today’s giveaway is a collection of must-haves for a great movie night. We’ll supply you with the popcorn, (Barbeque flavored– because we love all things southern!) the candy, a beautiful snack bowl and four great chick-flicks to choose from on one DVD. To carry our southern theme- Hope Floats (yummmmm Harry Connick, Jr.) 27 Dresses, Family Stone and In Her Shoes. How do you win? Leave a comment below and if you feel like it, tell us your favorite southern movie. The contest will close Sunday night, June 17 at midnight CST. Good luck! Heather This day is now closed. The winner was Laura, #19!
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 […]
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 […]
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 31, 2010


In my previous post, I mentioned that I picked up a WIP I had started this summer and temporarily abandoned to write another manuscript, TWENTY-EIGHT AND A HALF WISHES. Last week I revisited HUNTED. Frankly, I expected a complete rewrite with the exception of the first chapter. But when I read, I realized some of the scenes just needed tweaking– cutting things out, changing dialogue, adding things back in. The tone of HUNTED changed, the end point was the same, but instead of taking a Greyhound bus, my characters were taking the Bullet train. And it’s just what it needed. I also posted I had reached the point of running out of old words to use; I’d either used them all or thrown out the rest. It was all blank pages before me. I love me a blank page. I let my imagination loose and scene after scene tumbled in my head and it’s a race for my fingers to get it all down. A burning story is like a new lover– (pft, like I would know…) –you want to be with them constantly. Only real life gets in my way. I have five kids living in the house, four […]
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 […]
August 18, 2010

Query for Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes

Oh, the dreaded query letter, the nemesis of most writers. The one page that can open a door or slam it shut, so much packed into so few words. With Chosen, for some reason I had a hard time boiling my book’s plot down into few paragraphs. With Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, I had a hard time getting the voice, because with this book, the voice is EVERYTHING. I struggled and wrote and rewrote and then I remembered hearing a piece of advice to write the query in character and then switch to third person. (Never, and I mean NEVER send your query as your character in first person. NEVER. EVER. I hope I got my point across.) Okay. So I wrote my query letter as Rose, not hard since I wrote the book in first person anyway. And that right there was the key for me to turn it around. I captured Rose’s voice and then switched all my I’s and me’s to Rose and she’s. The result is what you see below: ————————————– Dear Superstar Agent: For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad enough even before she sees a vision of herself […]