Thursday, October 13, 2011

BBT: Chosen Book Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway

We are today's stop on the Chosen Virtual Book Tour today. We welcome author Denise Grover Swank who has provided us with a wonderful guest post on writing and an excerpt from Chapter 1 of her novel. She will also give one commenter an ebook of Chosen.

Book Blurb: Everything Emma Thompson owns fits in a suitcase she moves from one roach infested motel to another. She and Jake, her five year old son who can see the future, are running from the men intent on taking him. Emma will do anything to protect him even when it means accepting the help of a stranger named Will. Jake insists she needs Will, but Emma’s never needed help before. And even though she’s learned to trust her son, it doesn’t mean she trusts Will.

Mercenary Will Davenport lives in the moment. Hauling Emma to South Dakota should have been an easy job, but his employer neglected to tell him about Emma’s freaky son and the gunmen hot on her trail. Instinct tells him this job is trouble, but nothing can prepare him for Jake’s proclamation that Will is The Chosen One, who must protect Emma from the men hunting her power. A power she doesn't know she has.

Will protects Emma and Jake on a cross-country chase from the men pursuing them, while struggling with memories from his past, his apprehension of Jake, and his growing attraction to Emma. Will’s overwhelming urge to protect Emma surprises him, especially since it has nothing to do with his paycheck and possibly everything to do with the tattoo Jake branded on his arm. Rich and powerful men are desperate to capture Emma, and Will must discover why before it's too late.

Chosen was winner of The Beacon-- 2010 Unpublished Division, Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal category.

Guest Post: Making Time to Write 

I’m the single mother of six kids. They range in age from twenty-four to four. I can hear you asking, “Are you crazy?” Of course, I am. I’m a writer. Enough said.

I became a single mother almost six years ago when my husband died from burn injuries he sustained in a single engine plane crash. When he died, I had four children. The oldest three are biological and the youngest at the time, was adopted from China. My husband and I had talked about adopting again and I decided just because he died didn’t mean all of our dreams had to die with him. So when I announced to my friends and family that I was going to adopt as a single parent to my surprise I received nothing but support. Still, I think they were all shocked when I announced I was adopting another child several months later. But that’s another story.

I love children and for a good portion of my life, I devoted myself to my kids and my husband. But after Darrell died, I began to reevaluate everything. Who was I? What was my purpose? In a previous guest post, I talked about deciding to follow my dream and write a book. I also said that once I completed my first novel, I was hooked. Writing was the profession for me.

Which sounds nice, doesn’t it? I’m an author.(My older boys would now pretend to peck at their imaginary laptops with their index fingers.) The reality is that I have four kids from age fourteen to four living in my house. We have dance lessons and voice lessons, piano and violin. Play practice, Wednesday night church. Soccer. T-ball. We’re a busy household and I’m running these kids around pretty much by myself. (My two older sons often help if I ask for it.) That doesn’t leave a lot of time to write.

I try to write three books a year, but that doesn’t happen by just fitting writing in where I can. I have to schedule my writing time. I have to make it a priority. Sometimes that means taking a laptop and head phones so I can writing in a waiting room or car while my kids are at activities. Or sometimes it means telling my kids that I can’t cater to their “need” to go to the mall because Mommy has to work. Often it means starting to actually write after my kids go to bed, writing from 9 p.m. to 2 or 3 a.m. (You’d be amazed at all the non-writing things authors do.)

Once I decided to declare myself an author, I had to become serious about making time for it to happen. Sometimes, especially when I’m close to a tight deadline, I have to say no to things that make my children unhappy. Or I have to work after dinner when I’d rather be watching TV with my kids. These are choices I have to make to meet my deadlines. Even if they are self-imposed. Being self-employed often means working harder than you would at a 9-5 job, and writing is no exception.

I know mothers who feel guilty taking time from their kids to write and I used to be one of them. But not anymore. My kids might not realize it, but sitting in front of my computer is working. I’m not playing solitaire or Bejeweled. I may be on social media, but that’s work, too. (Self-promotion, connecting with readers) Any small business owner will tell you that when you start your own business, you spend a lot of time working to get it going. The same goes for writing. If you want to be successful, you have to produce. And if you want to produce, you have to make the time to do it.

It finally hit home with my older kids this summer when the proof of my first published book came in the mail. My kids held my book in their hands and scanned the pages, their eyes lighting up with the realization—Mom wrote a book. They looked at me with a whole new respect. Not only was all that work paying off, literally, with the book in their hand, but they also saw that Mommy had a dream and she worked her ass off to get it. The door to possibilities for them flung wide open. If Mom could achieve her dreams, so could they.

What better example could I show them?

About the author: Denise Grover Swank began writing her first novel in the fourth grade, stopping at page seventy on her wide ruled spiral notebook. She continued writing in high school and attempted several novels in her twenties before life got in the way. In the fall of 2009, she participated in National Novel Writing Month, which led her to completing her first novel, a book which shall be eternally chained to a pillar in her external hard drive. Denise released her first published book in July, 2011, a southern mystery titled Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes. Denise lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She has six children, two dogs, and an overactive imagination. 

You can find out more about Denise and her other books at and you can connect with her on Twitter

Excerpt from Chapter 1:

When she smiled, Will almost lost his composure. Her face completely changed, catching him off guard. After watching her for twenty-four hours, this was the first time he had seen her smile. She was attractive enough, lean but with curves in the right places, and long brown hair she pulled back in a ponytail. Looking at her now, he lost himself in her deep, dark brown eyes. But when she smiled, the tension in her face fell away, leaving an ethereal beauty he didn’t expect.

“Who were those guys?” he asked, trying to refocus.

Her smile disappeared. “No one you want to know.”

“What do they want?”

If possible, her face became even harder. “We need to get you back to the motel.”

“Don’t you want to call the police?” He had no intention of calling the police, but it sounded like the right thing to say.


Getting information out of her was trickier than he hoped. “What are you going to do now?”

She turned to look at him, the loose strands of long brown hair dancing in the breeze around her face. She looked wild and ruthless. “Look, we can take care of ourselves.”

This turn of events had completely changed his plans. Of course, nothing about this job was what he expected. They never told him she had a kid and he’d complained bitterly when he found out. He didn’t do kids. He was explicit about that. But the group who hired him said they didn’t care about the kid. They wanted her and raised their offer. It was hard to refuse. Somewhere along the path of their self-destructive course he thought of a Plan B, which was much better than his original plan. Maybe things were turning his way. “Let me help you.”

She pulled up to a stop sign at the four-lane highway. “No, thanks, we’re good.”

“We can trust him,” a small voice in the back said.

She looked up sharply and spun around to look at the kid in the back.

Will turned, too. The boy looked like a cherub out of one of those Renaissance paintings he had studied back in his college art appreciation class. Short blond curls framed his face of pale skin with rosy cheeks. Big blue eyes with long dark eyelashes. Will thought the kid’s beauty was wasted on his gender.

“We can trust him,” the boy repeated.

She turned to look out the windshield and hung both of her arms over the steering wheel. “Are you sure?” she asked, staring straight ahead.


She rested her chin on her hands and closed her eyes. He decided she must be trying to figure out how to deal with this change of events. Personally, Will thought it was going too far on the permissive parenting scale letting a preschooler make a decision like that, but hey, it worked in his favor. He sure wasn’t going to protest.

“Okay,” she finally said, sitting up. “I need to leave town. They know we’re here so we’ve got to leave as soon as we can.”

“Who exactly are they?” Will asked. As far as he knew, he was the only one on this job. He’d be pissed if they hired someone else as backup.

“You don’t need to know that,” she said, turning at the corner. “How do you plan on helping us?”

“I can help you leave town.”

“Why would you do that?” Her eyes narrowed as she looked behind for signs of the SUV.

Will had seen the damage. The SUV wasn’t going anywhere. Where the hell had she learned a move like that?

He gave her his rugged, bad boy smirk and shrugged. “What can I say? I’m a sucker for a damsel in distress.”

“Do better than that,” she snorted.

He liked that she wasn’t easily snowed, even if it made his job more difficult.

“Let’s just say I’m hoping to get lucky, and maybe if I’m nice enough, I will.” He gave her a slow, lazy smile as he leaned against the door, crossing his arms.

She rolled her eyes. “Don’t count on it.”

“Don’t crush a man’s hopes. Just wait and see. I might grow on you.”

Raising her eyebrows, she twisted her lips into a wry smile. “That’s what I’m afraid of.”

Denise Grover Swank will give one ebook copy of Chosen to a commenter below. Please leave your email.

We thank Denise Grover Swank and Bewitching Book Tours.


  1. this book looks very interesting and I'd love to win it!
    msmjb65 AT gmail DOTcom

  2. Six kids? The idea alone makes me want to hide. I have one and he's enough for me. I couldn't imagine six times the energy and mess.