Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chosen Book Review Tour: excerpt and giveaway

We welcome Denise Grover Swank back to our blog today with the Chosen Book Review Tour. Our review is below and there is also an excerpt and giveaway to enter.

Series: The Chosen, Book 1
Author: Denise Grover Swank
Genre: Urban fantasy, romance
Format: Paperback (362 pages); ebook
Publisher: Createspace (
September 13, 2011)

Summary: 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. 

An excerpt from Chosen: 
“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.”

About the author: Denise Grover Swank lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She has six children, three dogs, and an overactive imagination. She can be found dancing in her kitchen with her children, reading or writing her next book. You will rarely find her cleaning. 

You can find out more about Denise and her other books at or email her at

Links: Facebook |Twitter | Website

"Sometimes the choices we make are part of the path that takes us to where we need to be." These words are uttered by Jake, the highly intelligent five year old son of the main character, Emma Thompson (yes, I first thought of the actress) and he's spot on. He's a strange kid, some kind of prophet or oracle who can see the future and his mom listens to him. Sometimes it seems the roles are reversed and he's the adult, Emma the child. Chosen is a fast-paced and I mean fresh out of the starting gate and never looking back type of story that races on, playing like a movie. Emma and Jake have been on the run from bad guys for three years. She is bitter, angry and not trusting of anyone. When she meets Will, a suave, good looking guy with an agenda, and he helps her, Emma doesn't like nor does she trust him.

Will turns out to be an important guy, despite his snark and egotistical manner, he is a haunted alpha male with a past and over time he sees hope for a better future in Emma--if she allows him to get close. There are some romantic scenes but the emphasis in Chosen is in the chase. Stating alive is the name of the game and this unlikely trio join together on the run. There is a war approaching and Emma, Will and Jake will have their roles to play. will with his curved handle tattoo on his forearm, Emma in her infancy with burgeoning powers, and spooky all knowing Jake. Even though this first book creates more questions than answers, I have faith everything I need to know will be answered in the other volumes.

Why do I have faith? Because Denise Grover Swank has proven to me that she can write. I was impressed by the well written and well plotted out scenes in Chosen. The characters have depth, the dialogue realistic, and the story line is very intriguing (even though I am tired of seeing words like 'chosen' overused in fantasy and paranormal novels). My favorite character is Will. Emma is likable but she does come across as weak to me at times with her giving in to her son habitually and letting Will take over and helping her when she gives up later on during the story. Will and Emma did have chemistry and I enjoyed watching them grow closer. I also liked the twists and turns the story took. I did object to Will lighting a fire inside the cabin during the creek scene. For a mercernary, didn't he think the smoke would alert the bad guys to his location? I also know he was desperate to save Emma so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. 

Jam packed action sequences, a supernatural story line, and romance are sure indicators that the Chosen series will entertain any fan of urban fantasy. The next book in the series is Hunted, followed by Sacrifice and both titles are available now.

Rating: 4

Cover comment: I know the art work is significant but I still don't care for the cover.

Book source: Purchased.
Denise will give away a digital copy of her paranormal YA, Here, to one commenter at each stop and a $50 Amazon Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter from the tour. Follow the tour and comment. The tour dates can be found here.


  1. Sounds like an exciting and fun story.

  2. Thanks for taking part in my blog tour today! And thank you for such a well thought out review.

  3. Chosen sounds so fantastic! I loe the cover for Here-- kinda creepy, but intriguing!


  4. I love the cover and know the book will be even better.

  5. Very nice excerpt and review.


  6. I actually like the cover for CHOSEN. Thank you for your review.


  7. I'm looking forward to this!


  8. Sounds like a really intriguing read!


  9. Just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  10. Looks mysterious. I would love to read it.