Mirabelle looked up into a pair of bright green eyes with a wince. Oh, Lord, now she’d have to make polite chit-chat for the second time today. Only this time, she also had to deal with the sudden tumble of her belly and the way her pulse quickened beneath his grass-green gaze. Not what she’d prepared for at all.
He grinned. “That’s quite a line, isn’t it?”
Stumbling to recover, she nodded. “Yes, indeed, it is.”
Low and resonating, his chuckle thrummed through her, soothing down her nerves. Unable to resist the beckoning of his warm smile, she gave in to a light laugh, and a little of the tension hovering in the air dissipated.
“I don’t recall if I introduced myself to you in the taxicab, but I’m Kevin Porter.” He reached across the table to shake her hand.
With some difficulty due to the crutches she’d propped up against the right side of the table, she extended her hand. “Mirabelle Levange.”
Clumsily, he half-grabbed her fingers and squeezed them. Poor man. A successful businessman, as he no doubt was, he must have been expecting a full-palmed handshake. Instead, here she sat, twit of the world, offering him a limp, flaccid hand. Thoroughly shameful. Didn’t people judge others by the firmness and quality of their handshakes? Didn’t it mean something awful, terrible even, when a person couldn’t give another human being a full-bodied handshake? A flush crept into her cheeks. Good grief, could this get any worse?
You just read an excerpt from:
Today, we’re here with published author, Denise Gwen.
Denise Gwen:At one point, I thought I was a young adult novelist, but now I’m not so sure. I do have one YA out, through The Wild Rose Press, a novel called House of Wacks. This novel is published under the pen name of Denise Gwen. The novel that came out recently, Judge Not, again through The Wild Rose Press, is in a genre that appears to suit me much better, the genre of contemporary romance. I also write erotica! My first erotica, Fantasy Daze, was published by Liquid Silver Books under my pen name of Gwen Williams, on October 1, 2007.
Kage: What happened to the first book you ever wrote?
Denise Gwen:II wrote my first book, The Old Homeplace, during my three years of torture and horror known as law school. It ended up running over a thousand pages long!!!! I wrote and re-wrote and re-edited and re-wrote it, until I finally gave up on the poor thing. It sits on a shelf in the upstairs hallway, collecting dust. I was heartbroken when I finally set it aside. I thought it was my great American novel. It incorporated elements of Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft and Shirley Jackson. My mother mentioned it to me a few a months ago, wondering if I’d thought of revisiting it. I kind of did, with a YA novel I have written and am attempting to secure an agent for, a story called The Well.
Kage:What’s your backlist and coming soon bookshelf look like?
Denise Gwen:My backlist includes House of Wacks, Judge Not (pen name Denise Gwen), and under my erotica pen name, Gwen Williams, my backlist includes Fantasy Daze, Rose Red and Black Bear (eredsage.com), and a soon to be released, Snow White and Bluebeard.
Kage:So, what story are we going to talk about today?
Denise Gwen:Judge Not, which was released by The Wild Rose Press
on September 17, 2010. It is a contemporary romance novel under the Champagne Rose line. It’s a story about an insecure young lawyer(!) and a soon-to-be-appointed federal judge and their relationship. It’s terribly romantic, in my opinion.
Mirabelle Levange, a recent law school grad, is dreading the holidays. It will mark the first Christmas without her parents. Then she's involved in a caraccident and breaks her leg. Can her life get any worse?
Then she meets Kevin Porter, a man with his own secret sorrows. A handsome lawyer just starting as a federal judge. He offers Mirabelle a job as his law clerk.
As Mirabelle and Kevin get to know one another, their secrets spill out, and they learn how important it is not to judge. But will it be enough to sustain their love, and make a life together?
Kage: What would the story be rated if it were a movie?
Denise Gwen:Depending on how raw it got, it might have an R rating if they went all the way with the sex scenes. If they toned it down a tick, it might pass a PG-13..
Kage:If you HAD to fit this story into a cliché, which one would it go
Denise Gwen: Love always finds a way!
Kage:Okay, now that we have a general idea which class to fit this story under, what makes this book so unique from every other book outthere?
Denise Gwen: I wrote something near to my heart and something that is a little bit controversial. I wrote a story about a heroine struggling with depression. In earlier drafts, she’d actually attempted suicide, but wiser writer friends suggested that I steer away from that course and make the heroine just depressed, something that every woman and writer can relate to! And the heroine actually enters into therapy following a stay at a sanatorium. On her way home from the sanatorium, her taxi is involved in an accident and she sustains a broken leg. She is taken back to the hospital and the broken leg is set. On her way home from that hospital stay, she meets the hero. She conceals her condition from the hero, and that becomes the conflict of the story. Does she reveal to him that she has mental health issues? And what will he think of her when he finds out?
Kage:What was the easiest part to write?
Denise Gwen:Dialogue, I’d say. I also write plays and dialogue comes easily to me.
Kage:What do you like most about the main character(s) and what do you like least? Did you learn anything from them?
Denise Gwen:I love my characters. I liked the idea of a man who looks as if he’s got everything going for him in his life, partner in a high-powered law firm, more money than he can spend, etc., but with a surfeit of emotional availability. I liked the idea of my heroine being the one person he meets who helps—and kind of forces—him to open up to intimacy. I loved my characters. There wasn’t anything about them that I didn’t like.
Kage:Denise, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to wrap things up?
Denise Gwen:I sent this story to Tori Spence and I crossed my fingers. I knew it might be a tricky sell, a heroine suffering from depression, but Tori accepted it and became my editor. God bless her, I’m so grateful.
Now that Denise has totally made us want to buy her book, she was kind enough to provide us with a a buy link to Judge Not: eBook
If you're still curious about Denise, here are other places to find her on the web:
The main page for The Wild Rose Press: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/
Denise Gwen website: http://www.denisegwen.com/
Gwen Williams website: http://www.gwenwilliams.net/
First erotica novel at red sage publishing: http://www.eredsage.com/store/Fairy_Tale_and_Mythology.html
Erotica novel at liquid silver books: http://www.king-cart.com/cgi-bin/cart.cgi?store=linda018&category=Gwen+Williams
My YA free read, How to Get a Date to the Prom: http://twrpclimbingrose.blogspot.com/