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My Big News

After a year and a half of writing non-stop (I’m currently working on my SIXTH manuscript) I am THRILLED to announce that one of my books will be available to the masses! I’m self-publishing my quirky southern mystery, TWENTY-EIGHT AND A HALF WISHES.

And my release date is July 12.


TWENTY-EIGHT AND A HALF WISHES will be available as a soft cover book and as an eBook at Amazon (Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook) and Smashwords (Sony, and other formats.)

This wasn’t an easy decision. Many people in the writing world look down on self-publishing (or indie printing) and with justifiable reasons. There’s a lot of junk out there. Lots of people think they can just write a book, slap on an image for a “cover”, and put it up for sale. The truth is a lot of people don’t spend much time on their book editing and revising after writing a first draft and it shows. There’s a reason why those people couldn’t get published in the traditional publishing world.

But sometimes, a book comes along that agents or editors aren’t sure what to do with. Traditional publishing likes neat genre packages and TWENTY-EIGHT AND A HALF WISHES doesn’t fit that mold. Its part mystery, part paranormal, part romance, with a touch of woman’s fiction. I sent out over fifty query letters to agents (rewriting my letter three times) and got only a handful of requests. And the ones who read part of it said it had a great “voice” but it wasn’t for them.

So now you’re saying “Isn’t that a polite way of saying it sucks?” and I’d be inclined to think so if I hadn’t won The Beacon 2010 Unpublished Division, Mainstream category. Obviously the writing is good, the voice is good and I have about 30 beta readers and critique partners who tell me that the story is good. Some, who’ve read everything I’ve written, say it’s their favorite of my manuscripts.

I had two choices. I could let TWENTY linger on my external hard drive for eternity or I could send it out into the world on my own, without the help of a traditional publisher.Here’s what finally pushed me over the edge: the world of publishing is changing since the birth of eBooks. I learned with financial investing that it’s best to diversify. You spread your money out in several different investment areas. With the changing landscape of publishing, why not apply that same principle? I still want to be published with a traditional publisher. I still want an agent. But my writing career is just like financial investing. I’m investing in my career.

But all that aside, I believe in this story. I LOVE this story. It won’t be for everyone and that’s okay. NO book is for everyone.

So how is my book going to be better than a lot of the other self-published books out there?

1) I didn’t write this book, immediately fit it into the proper eBook formatting and upload it all over the place. I’ve spent hours on this book. No, wait. That’s an understatement. I spent hours, and hours and HOURS on this book. I spent more time editing and revising than I did writing it. A conservative estimate is approximately 700-800 hours. And yes, some of those hours were in VERY long days. During first draft, one day I started writing at 9 am and finished the next morning at 4 am. (Yes, that did include breaks for kids, eating, etc. but for those who are writers, it was a 10K day)

2) My book is being professionally edited. I don’t want people to be distracted by typos or misplaced commas. It’s my hope that readers won’t be able to tell it didn’t come from a legacy publisher.

3) My cover will be made by professionals. The saying people judge a book by its cover is true. Even my 13 year old daughter notices book covers and has on more than one occasion NOT bought a book based on its cover.

4) My characters are very well developed and real. I love Rose, the main character. She’s sweet, innocent, funny and once she decides to live her life, she embraces it to the fullest.

We have an exciting two months ahead of us! I’ll have some giveaways. TWENTY-EIGHT AND A HALF WISHES will be part of a book blog tour. I’ll be revealing the cover in about a month.  And hopefully you’ll love it too.

So what’s this book about? How about I show you the blurb on the back of the book?


“It all started when I saw myself dead.”

For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn’t enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect.

Rose realizes she’s wasted twenty-four years of living and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things she wants to accomplish before her vision comes true. She’s well on her way with the help of her next door neighbor Joe, who has no trouble teaching Rose the rules of drinking, but won’t help with number fifteen– do more with a man. Joe’s new to town, but it doesn’t take a vision for Rose to realize he’s got plenty secrets of his own.

Somebody thinks Rose has something they want and they’ll do anything to get it. Her house is broken into, someone else she knows is murdered, and suddenly, dying a virgin in the Fenton County jail isn’t her biggest worry after all.


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10 years ago

Wonderful news! I can’t wait.

10 years ago

I’m SO excited for you! And for all the people that will finally be able to read the story of Rose.

J. Koyanagi
10 years ago

Eee! Congratulations!!! What a huge step. This is very exciting and I’m looking forward to purchasing it. :)

Kristen Yard
10 years ago

I’m soooo proud of you! You’ve done your research and I know you will be a success! I can’t wait to buy a copy :-)

10 years ago

Yay! Can’t wait!

10 years ago
Reply to  Jules

Thanks, Julie!

Trisha Leigh
10 years ago

I’m so proud of you and think that its a well thought out decision paired with a fantastic book – how could you lose? :)

10 years ago
Reply to  Trisha Leigh


LK Gardner-Griffie
10 years ago

I can’t wait until this is pubbed and you hold the first proof copy in your hands. It’s a feeling like no other. Aaaaannnnd I can’t wait to place my order for it.

I’m proud of you and look forward to your continued success.


Wendy Webb
Wendy Webb
10 years ago

I am so excited for you!!! Rose is wonderful and everyone should get to know her! :) Can’t wait to get my copy!!


ashelynn hetland
10 years ago

ooh, I AM EXCITED. Congrats, Denise! That is awesome and I hope the very best!

10 years ago

I look forward to reading it, Denise! Congrats!

10 years ago

Yahoo! Here’s hoping it goes really bodacious for you! You are afterall, “the swank”.

Trish McCallan
10 years ago

Whoot!!! As usual I am late to the party. But congrats! I have a friend who has been self pubbing and loves it. If you want her email to pick her brain about any possible pitfalls ahead, just let me know.

Alicia Dean
10 years ago

Congratulations, Denise. I think you’ve made a wise decision. I’m published but I have a few books that don’t fit the ‘mold’ traditional publishers seem to be looking for and I am planning to self-publish them. You’re right, in this day and age, ebooks are changing the face of publishing and it’s no longer looked down on to indie pub a good book. :-) Can’t wait to read it!

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