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Monday, May 27, 2013

After Math by Denise Grover Swank ( Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Denise Grover Swank, author of After Math!

Author Guest Post

How Do You Decide What To Write?

I’m fairly prolific author. In less than two years, I’ve published nine books with my tenth to be released June 10, and an eleventh completed and contracted with 47North for a November release. Those eleven books fall into four genres: urban fantasy, rom com mystery, YA sci fi romance, and new adult contemporary romance.

That’s a pretty big freaking range of work.

A lot of readers are curious as to why I write such a broad range and the best answer is because I read a broad range. I read pretty much anything and everything with the exception of true crime novels and lactation erotica. (Did you know there was such a thing? I accidently stumbled up on it on Amazon one day. And then I bleached out my eyes. But hey, to each his or her own.)

Story ideas hatch in my head, but sometimes they roll around in there and wait months to transfer to the page. My upcoming urban fantasy from 47North, The Curse Keepers, first came to life in my head in March, 2012, but I didn’t start writing it until late December, 2012. I was excited to write it, but I had to fit it into my schedule.

I’m currently writing Thirty and a Half Excuses, the third book in the Rose Gardner Mysteries. While I’ve had four books in the series plotted out since August 2011, I only write one book a year. Why? To put it bluntly: Sales.

I love Rose, the main character in the series, but I’m also a full time author, not to mention a single mother. The sales of my books pay for my kids clothes, their food, the electric bill. I’ve sold a lot of books over the last year, but I’ve also added employees. I have a part time assistant who works at my home fifteen hours a week, and I’ve recently hired a virtual assistant to help with other things. That doesn’t even count the editors, the cover designers, my graphic designer, and the host of other professionals I use to publish my books. My assistants and my graphic designer count on the monthly income I provide for them.

Just like Big 6 publishers, previous book sales help determine what I write and when I publish books. I love my YA sci fi series, On the Otherside. I poured my heart into There, the second book of the series. It took three months of a lot of hard work to get the book published. I’ve sold about 5000 copies in six months. Believe me; I’m grateful for every single sale of that book. I’m incredibly proud of There, and I fell in love with a secondary character, even announcing that I’d write a third book in the series, a companion book from the secondary character’s POV. But I’ve sold nearly five times as many copies of After Math in two months.

Which sequel do you think I wrote next?

Obviously, I still write books I love. I can honestly say that I love every book I’ve written. If I have a book I really, really want to write, I’ll write it. But alternating books that might sell well, with books from series that historically have sold less copies, makes business sense.

About The Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

After Math by Denise Grover Swank ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours

Book Review

After Math by Denise Grover Swank
Book 1: Off The Subject series
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: March 12, 2013
Format: Paperback - 250 pages / Kindle - 623 KB / Nook - 540 KB
ISBN: 148265864X
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

BUY THE BOOK: After Math

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description: 

Scarlett Goodwin’s world is divided into Before and After.

Before she agreed to tutor Tucker Price, college junior Scarlett was introvert, struggling with her social anxiety disorder and determined to not end up living in a trailer park like her mother and her younger sister. A mathematics major, she goes to her classes, to her job in the tutoring lab, and then hides in the apartment she shares with her friend, Caroline.

After junior Tucker Price, Southern University’s star soccer player enters the equation, her carefully plotted life is thrown off its axis. Tucker’s failing his required College Algebra class. With his eligibility is at risk, the university chancellor dangles an expensive piece of computer software for the math department if Scarlett agrees to privately tutor him. Tucker’s bad boy, womanizer reputation makes Scarlett wary of any contact, let alone spending several hours a week in close proximity.

But from her first encounter, she realizes Tucker isn’t the person everyone else sees. He carries a mountain of secrets which she suspects hold the reason to his self-destructive behavior. But the deeper she delves into the cause of his pain, the deeper she gets sucked into his chaos. Will Scarlett find the happiness she’s looking for, or will she be caught in Tucker’s aftermath?

Book Excerpt:

“Tucker, what’s your major?”

His face lifts, confusion crinkling his eyes. “History.”

“Why history?”

His mouth opens to say something then he unconsciously licks his lower lip. I’m sure most girls would drool over it, but I see a guy who’s suddenly lost his shield of confidence. Still, I can’t ignore the slight stir in my emotions from the movement. Finally, he shrugs. “I like history.”

His answer is a lie, but I don’t see what good will come from pointing it out. “So what exactly do you like about history? It’s full of dates, which are numbers.”

He shakes his head. “Not the numbers. They get scrambled in my head. That’s the hardest part.” He pauses. “I like the stories. People who did extraordinary things and people remember them. They’re not forgotten and lost forever.”

I watch him as he speaks, the pain that flickers in his eyes.

“Do you like soccer?”

My question catches him by surprise. He blinks and sits up slightly. “Yeah. I’m good at it.”

“I know you’re good at it. I asked you if you liked it.”

His gaze turns out the window, and his mouth turns to a slight frown. “Do you know you’re the first person to ever ask me that question?”

I realize he hasn’t answered, and although I’m curious, I refuse to invade Tucker’s personal life any more than necessary. “I’m trying to figure out how you learn. Some people are auditory learners, while others are kinesthetic. Most guys are visual.”

He shoots me a wicked glance, and to my surprise, I’m happy to see his cockiness return. Sad Tucker makes me feel too personally involved.

I lean forward, my forearms on the table. “I think there’s more to learning than just the senses. If we can tie learning to something we love, we can remember it, and it sticks in our heads longer. So then when we retrieve the information later, it’s easier to find. Does that make sense?”


“So what do you love? What excites Tucker Price?” As soon as the words leave my mouth, I realize I’ve set myself up for a raunchy response.

He ignores it. His jaw works, and he leans back against the seat, stretching his hands across the table. I notice the multiple scars on his knuckles and the back of his hand. “No one’s ever asked me that before either.” His gaze returns to the gray sky.

While I wait for an answer that never comes, it occurs to me that he doesn’t know. As he shuffles through his thoughts, I search my own and ask myself the same question that no one has ever asked me.

I press my head into the seat, stretching my hands out on the table top, and close my eyes. I’m surrounded by people every day, yet I always feel alone, no matter how hard I try to connect. It’s as though a veil has been thrown over my heart, and no one has ever been able to tear it down. Until this boy. This unattainable, untouchable, unreliable boy.

My eyelids flutter open, and I see the despair I’ve stirred in him. My fingers flex, millimeters from his hand, his palms splayed on the table.

For the first time, I feel genuinely connected to another human being and just my luck, it turns out to be
Tucker Price.

And that’s the saddest fact of all.

My Book Review:

After Math is the story of two people overcoming their difficult pasts, while learning to put their trust, faith and love in another person.

Scarlett Goodwin is a junior mathematics major who suffers from an anxiety disorder that cause panic attacks when she is in a social setting. She has learned simple breathing exercises and immerses herself in math problems to relax. She escaped from her difficult past by making plans for her future, she dreams of working for the CIA or DOD analyzing data. She doesn't want to end up like her alcoholic mother living in a trailer park and in dead-end relationships with smooth talking men.

Tucker Price is the star soccer player for Southern University who has his own demons to overcome. His self-destructive behavior and bad boy reputation as a womanizer and hardcore partying has gotten him in serious trouble with the university. He has been placed on academic and behavioral probation, and if he can't pass his algebra class, he will lose his full scholarship. His difficult past has caused him to live a complicated life where his public persona is a weak facade as he keeps his true self hidden under many layers.

Can the tutoring sessions between two broken people bring them together and teach them to let go of their pasts and conquer their personal issues, while learning to live their lives by being their true selves?

In After Math, author Denise Grover Swanks weaves a poignant tale told in the first person narrative by Scarlett Goodwin, who describes how her life was changed when Tucker Price came into her world, and how together they found what they needed from each other. This is so much more than your typical good girl falls in love with the bad boy love story, it an emotional story where two young people learn to overcome their troubled pasts and discover their ability to trust and love another person while achieving personal growth.

I loved the chemistry between Scarlett and Tucker, this unlikely pair fit together perfectly. Their relationship starts out as a friendship which slowly builds into something more. I loved how they were total opposites yet they had so much in common, the way they understood each other and learned to face challenges together was amazing. They developed an intense connection where they learned to trust each other and share things that they have kept hidden from everyone else. The common thread that connects Scarlett and Tucker is that she provided an honest and calming effect and saw him for who he is on the inside instead of his public persona as the university soccer star, while he gave her the confidence to discover and believe in herself. They were simply meant to be with each other!

After Math is an emotionally charged and intense story about self-discovery and romance that leaves the reader wanting more.


After Math - Book Trailer

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $20 Amazon Gift Card

Contest Dates: May 13 - June 3, 2013

Everyone who leaves a comment on After Math by Denise Grover Swank ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of After Math before June 3 and sends their receipt to, will get five bonus entries.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

May 13 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
May 14 – The Book Bag – Review
May 15- Books and Insomnia – Guest Post & Excerpt
May 17 – In the Name of Books – Review & Excerpt
May 19 - Book Whisperer - Review
May 20- eBook Addict – Guest Post
May 21- Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
May 23- Chrissy McBookNerd – Review & Excerpt
May 23 - Chick Lit Plus - Cover Reveal
May 24 – eBook Addict – Excerpt 
May 27 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
May 28 – Lavender & Camomile Press- Excerpt
May 29 – Mrs. Mommy Booknerd Book Reviews – Review & Guest Post
May 30 – For the Love of Film and Novels – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
May 31- eBook Addict – Review
June 3 – Every Free Chance Book Reviews – Review & Guest Post


  1. An interesting book. In my case it was high school and also getting through algebra, and geometry... never did. By the time I needed it for college it was removed as a prereq at the college.

    1. Hi Nora! I struggled through math courses in HS and college ... ugh. Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate it. :)

  2. Replies
    1. I love her Rose Gardner Mysteries, but I really loved her first foray into New Adult Contemporary Romance with After Math. I am looking forward to reading the sequel. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.