Saturday, January 16, 2010

Preview of Chosen

As you all know, I've abandoned you for far too long lengths of time working on my "babies." And for weeks I've teased you all with peeks yet failed to deliver. So, against my better judgment, I'm giving you a chance to read the first chapter of my new book Chosen. It's kind of long so I've broken it up into 2 parts.

Part One can be seen here
Part Two can be seen here
Or view them both together, you can just go here and scroll down, Part One is above Part Two.

But before you go running over there (at least I hope you want to go running over) just be warned that this book has a PG-13 rating. Curse words are used. Liberally. But my characters are damaged and flawed. To not have them use them would be unauthentic.

I'm not sure how long I'll leave them posted so read them while you can.

Friday, January 15, 2010

So Maybe I Am A Little Crazy...

Interested in seeing what my kids are really like? I have a vlog posted on my writing blog-- go check it out!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Winner of Misfit McCabe Giveaway

The winner of the Misfit McCabe book giveaway is: Lorie from The Princess and The Ladybug

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-01-10 14:53:56 UTC

Congrats Lorie!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Giveaway: Misfit McCabe

It's been a long, long time since I did a giveaway and honestly, I really miss them. I love giveaways. So I've decided to combine two things that I love: giveaways and reading. I'm going to giveaway books that I love.

For my first book giveaway, I'm sharing a book that Julia and I fell in love with: Misfit McCabe by LK Gardner-Griffie. Misfit McCabe is the first book in a Middle Grade/ younger Young Adult series. Fourteen year old Katie McCabe is sent to live with her uncle and his family. Katie's mother died when she was a baby and her father is seriously ill and is hospitalized for tests. Upset that her father sent her to Uncle Charlie's, Katie struggles with her resentment over the situation and her desire to be accepted. She soon meets her new nemesis, Harvey Jr. and it doesn't take long to for Katie to get into trouble, something she's all too familiar with. Poor Katie finds out that her entire world is about to be turned upside down.

I'm a sucker for YA books and I loved this one. It was a fast read and drew me in on page one. I'm also sentimental and cried multiple times over this book. But as my kids are quick to point out and (tease me mercilessly about), I cry over Hallmark commercials. (So, sue me.) The real test was that Julia cried. Several times. And Julia never cries. Julia loved this book. I would find her reading it anywhere and everywhere. I've heard her tell her friends about how much she loves this book. And that just doesn't happen.

I must also confess that I know LK. Not personally, we've never met nor talked on the phone, but we share a friendship on Twitter. I'm the first to admit that I never thought this possible. How do you develop a friendship in 140 character snippets? Believe me, it's possible. I met LK the first of December using the hashtags #amwritingparty and #WIPfire. She has shared her wisdom, her support, her soapbox and her friendship. I'm honored to say I know her.

So now I can't wait to share LK and her book with one of you! I'm giving away a copy of Misfit McCabe to a lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment. No other rules, just leave a comment. If you want to have two chances to win, go over to my author blog Denise Swank and leave a comment there. You could potentially win two copies. (in the chance that that should happen, I could send you LK's second book Nowhere Feels Like Home instead.)

You can leave comments from now until Saturday, January 9 9:00 pm CST. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Now Hiring Out: Child Slave Labor (Only I Don't Think You Want to Hire Them)

With all this free time from Christmas break and endless snow days, it's time to put them to work. Last week, I taught Julia how to do laundry and she and Jenna washed all their clothes. (They put them away too) But cleaning up after dinner... long time readers know this has been a continual battle.

Tonight, Trace decided that Julia and Jenna should clean up the kitchen after dinner. I wasn't sure this would work, but when I tried to help I was yelled at and told to leave. Hey, no arguments from me! Imagine my surprise when I went into the kitchen after they were done.

The kitchen counter. What? We're supposed to wipe that off? We might want to eat those mini marshmallows later.

Mess? What mess? No one said we had to wipe off the stove.

What? These dishes? I can't believe you noticed them, Mom.

I'm now hiring my children out as indentured servants. Only serious applicants need apply

And a Happy New Year to You Too

When we last heard from our neglectful blogger, she was >>this close<< to finishing her first novel. What gives?

Yes, I did complete my first novel, So Much To Lose, coming in at a whopping 95,000 words and 375 double spaced pages. What does that look like? Why, I'm glad you asked.

Yes, a tree sacrificed its life to print my novel.

The last week I was writing 10-12 hours per day trying to get it done and when I typed the words THE END, I cried. I couldn't believe I had done it. I couldn't believe it was actually done. I couldn't believe that I didn't have writing to absorb every spare moment of my time. I knew I had to wait 2-6 weeks until I could begin to edit and revise.

I promptly fell into Post Novel Depression. I wandered aimlessly trying to figure out what to do with my time. All my writing friends told me to start a new book. I thought they had lost their minds. But I brainstormed and before I knew it, I had a new plot. The week before Christmas, I started my second novel, which amazingly enough already had a title, a theme, subthemes and a bare bones plot. While So Much To Lose (my novel) took 6 weeks to write 26 chapters, the first chapter of Chosen took one week in itself.

The week after Christmas, I pulled So Much to Lose down from it's shelf, excited to begin editing. I started to read it and wanted to cry. It sucked. I knew that was okay. First drafts often suck. The problem was the first chapter of Chosen didn't suck, in fact, several people told me it was good. I was torn between putting a lot of work into a bad first draft or continuing on with a pretty good first draft. Which would you choose? Yeah, me too.

I've put So Much To Lose to the side and I'm working on Chosen writing a chapter a week. A much slower pace but I'm getting quality words. I've started an author blog in a few days I'm going to post part of chapter 1 of Chosen so you can decide for yourself.

Christmas. What about Christmas?

Christmas was quiet for us, just the nine of us. It started snowing on Christmas Eve so Cody and Gauge had their first white Christmas, much to Cody's excitement. I don't have any pictures because I can't find the charger to my camera battery. Ugh. I refuse to buy a new one because as sure as I do, the old one will turn up. The kids were supposed to return to school on Tuesday but got a snow day and then one today. It's snowing again.

As I was uploading this picture, I got the call from school saying there is no school tomorrow or Friday. Three weeks of Christmas break and Mom is going nuts. I love my children but it's easier to love them when they go to school, especially when they're cooped up in the house 24/7.

Pray for me.

Are you giving up your blog?

No, I'm really sad that I've neglected my blog so much. Ryan said something cute a couple of weeks ago and someone asked me if I journaled the cute things my kids did. I told her that I put them on my blog and then realized I hadn't been doing that for some time. I hope to make the time to put those funny stories on here. One of the main reasons I started my blog was to have a chronicle of my kids and the funny things they do.

Any resolutions for 2010?

Nope. Other than to be a better blogger, finish my second novel, try to get an agent, drop 2 dress sizes and run a 5K this spring, I don't have any resolutions this year.