Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Author Guest Post + Giveaway: Denise Grover Swank

Please help me welcome Denise Grover Swank to The Book Nympho today.
She has stopped by today to give us some insight to her
playlist while writing Chosen.
We all know that music can help set the mood for a lot of things.
Denise has as offered up a chance to win an ebook copy of Chosen.
Make sure you fill out the form at the bottom to be entered. 

The Book Nympho's REVIEW


The Playlist for Chosen

Music is as important to my writing as my laptop. Total silence drives me batty and I often need the noise coming from my headphones to block out the screams, err I mean enthusiastic shouts of joy from my children. 

Here’s something you should know about me: I’m not the quiet, easy listening music kind of girl. I guess it stands to reason since Chosen is a thriller. It’s full of non-stop action from the car chase that begins on the third page to the big ??? at The End. (You didn’t really want me to tell you, did you?) Maybe it says something about me, that I’m drawn to writing and reading those types of books. But somehow, Jack Johnson singing Banana Pancakes while I’m writing a shoot out just doesn’t work for me. (Maybe it works for you and more power to you!) The music I listen to is integral to setting the theme and tones for the scenes I write.

Okay, confession time. Before I began writing full time two years ago, and before I realized how important music was to my process, I was musically illiterate. Sure, I took Music Appreciation 101 in college, but they don’t spend much time discussing alternative and rock bands. And with a car load of kids I ended up listening to Radio Disney and Barney Sing-Alongs. (Which explains so much about me if you give it some thought.)

Somehow, somewhere, as I wrote my first book (which will never see the light of day. It was my stereotypical throw-away book.) I discovered Linkin Park. Yes, this was two years ago. To be fair—to me—it wasn’t like I’d never heard of them and I knew a few of their songs, but I didn’t have their CDs. So I downloaded Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory and told my two older, then teenage boys, “Linkin Park is so good!”

To which they burst out into hysterical laughter and choked out through their tears. “Yeah, you’re about a decade late there.”

Better late than never, right?

And obviously, I get no respect from my children.

When I started the first chapter of Chosen, I knew I needed a strong beat so Linkin Park was my go to source. I usually tune out the lyrics and only hear the instrumental music, but at some point I listened to the lyrics to “Papercut” and about fell over. It was the theme song for the first chapter.

As the book progressed, other songs fit other scenes. Nickelback’s “Follow You Home” for chapter three. Foo Fighters “Come Alive” for a key scene in the middle of the book. “Meet Me on the Equinox” by Death Cab for Cutie of another key scene. As the book grew, so did the playlist. Now when I hear the bridge in “Papercut” and hear the words “The sun goes down, I feel the light betray me” I ALWAYS see Emma driving down a deserted country road and feel the wind rushing in her open windows.

And it still gives me goosebumps.

The Playlist for Chosen:

1. Linkin Park “Papercut”

2. Linkin Park “Faint”

3. Nickelback “Follow You Home”

4. Foo Fighters “The Pretender”

5. Linkin Park “Easier to Run”

6. Nickelback “Animals”

7. Foo Fighters “Stranger Things Have Happened”

8. Death Cab for Cutie “Meet Me On the Equinox”

9. Anya Marina “Satellite Heart”

10. Foo Fighters “Come Alive”

11. Lupe Fiasco “Solar Midnight”

12. Muse “Resistance”

13. Story Side B “You’re Not Alone”


Chosen (Chosen #1)

About the Book:

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.

Buy the book:
Amazon | B&N 


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.”


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.

For more information on Denise and her other books, visit her at:

To see the full blog tour schedule visit HERE.


  1. Well, I do like the sound of that, sounds like its gonna have all the main ingridents, suspense, action, alittle comedy and romance,,sign me (oh I did thay myself)
    thanks for sharing

  2. It sounds fantastic! Thanks for the chance.


  3. Fun playlist. Thank you for sharing today and for the awesome giveaway opportunity. I would love to read Chosen.

  4. I can so relate to you with the whole music thing! Sometimes I drive myself crazy hunting for that elusive "perfect" song to write to just so I can get to work, but Pandora and Digitally Imported have definitely been my friends there.

    Thanks for sharing!


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