Writing

One MILLION views? Really! Let’s give some stuff away!

I’m still sitting here in shock looking at this.

Almostonemillion

We’re ThisClose to getting to 1 million views for my series video on Facebook. That’s so stinking crazy! I keep falling out of my chair!

So I’ve got a BUNCH O’ GIVEAWAYS!

Giveaway ONE is for the BIG READERS to buy whatever books they want.

  • Kindle Fire!
  • Amazon Gift Cards!
  • iTunes gift Cards!

Giveaway TWO is for DEANNA FANS.

  • Rare swag set with a one-of-a-kind bracelet with a miniature Forever Innocent book and a sterling silver butterfly.
  • Complete signed set of the entire Forever series.
  • Signed set of the first book of FOUR Deanna series under all her pen names!

Feel free to enter both — I separated them so that the big fans would get a better shot at the swag and book one! Can’t wait to see that bracelet on somebody! <3

GIVEAWAY ONE: Kindle Fire and Gift Cards

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GIVEAWAY TWO: Bracelet, rare swag, signed books!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Did you miss the VIDEO?

HERE IT IS! 🙂

 

 

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Kindle iBooks Kobo Google Play Nook

Forever Innocent

Book 1 of the USA Today bestselling seriesweb-Forever-Innocent-3D

Have you ever heard a really sad song and know it describes your life exactly?

That’s me.

But it’s not just one. It’s every sad song. The one where you plan a lifetime with your absolute soulmate, then he leaves you.

The one where you’re making your way in the world, then everything shatters.

And the one where you love a tiny little person with all your heart.

And he dies.

I wish I could say I don’t blame Gavin for leaving when things got hard, but I do. He took off during our baby’s funeral and I didn’t see him again for four years.

But when fate throws us back together, despite everything — his mistakes, my secrets, our failure — one thing is perfectly clear.

Our love song still has one more verse.

Five full-length novels

Forever-series-hardcovers

“A remarkable story about love, loss, and moving forward.”
— Burning Impossibly Bright Blog

“An everlasting hope that love can conquer all.”
— Hesperia Loves Books

“Put this on your TBR list and bump it to the top.”
Eat Sleep Read Blog

eBook downloads 

Kindle iBooks Kobo Google Play Nook

Paperbacks

Amazon Barnes & Noble Powell’s Books A Million

Okay, this one’s gonna end in tears

In the summer of 2013, I had a problem. Kurt and I had just given up on getting pregnant and I had two surgeries in a row sealing the deal. No babies for us. Not biologically ours, anyway.

We started looking into adoption. We knew it was expensive. We were solid financially, but finding another $30k was gonna be tough.

I was still doing photography and had published a few books — Baby Dust was out, and did all right, but nothing that would pull in that kind of money. I wrote two romances but they flopped totally and went in the red.

I was fortunate at that time to make a couple really important friends. One was Mimi Strong, who I’d met on Kboards. Another was HM Ward, who had a similar background as me, photographer turned writer, and also lived in Texas.

Mimi had some big success with a billionaire series she had written and took me under her wing. We looked at my current fan base, all baby-loss moms, and where to go to expand. She told me new adult romances, set at college age, were the big thing.

Well, I had tried new adult already, twice, and those were flops. But she insisted I had done it wrong. So she coached me. Mimi made me sit down and come up with a college romance that hadn’t already been done but would have a very strong hook. Something only I could write.

Well, of course I knew what it had to be.

The character of Corabelle came first. Her baby had died. To make the story happen in college, she had to be a teen mother. Then Gavin, her boyfriend. He had to have something in his past that made him take off when the going got tough, even though he had loved Corabelle.

And I had to find a way to get them back together that wasn’t too hokey. And I had to keep them apart enough to make a book.

Into the fall we worked on the book, Mimi reading my work and telling me what I was doing wrong. When it came time for covers, Mimi was insistent I have the right look. We pored over images, trying to find something that wasn’t overused but still affordable since I had such a low budget (although the moment mine came out, the same image popped up everywhere.)

Here are the couples who didn’t make the cut (and I know what you’re thinking — no way any of those were Corabelle and Gavin!)

old-fi-cover-mocks

We did everything we could think of for the book release. Blog tours. Goodreads giveaways. NetGalley. A book trailer. Mimi was pushing it out to her fans.

And it was doing much better than my other books. Way better. But after a week, it just started to dive. If it was over now, that was it. It would earn out its costs, which were a lot more than my other books had been, but that was about it. Kurt and I talked about me going ahead and going back to work, even though I’d have to quit when we got the children. But at least to earn the fees.

Then I took a wild chance. I knew HM Ward just a little bit. We’d messaged some. She was huge at the time. Just huge. Her Arrangement series was topping every chart. And I boldly asked if she would share my book with her fans.

She didn’t respond for two days. I thought, okay, I’ve overstepped. No way would she do a favor like that for someone she barely knew. I was a little embarrassed to have asked.

I remember going to a football game that night. My daughter was a freshman and marching at halftime. My parents were in town too, to see her. While we waited for them to come out, I pulled out my phone to see how much farther my book had fallen in rankings.

And almost fell out of my seat.

I had sold 1000 copies that day.

I frantically checked my messages, and sure enough, HM had sent a message. “Posted it. Think I sold a couple hundred. :)”

This visibility set off a chain reaction. The book didn’t fall. I hit #4 on iBooks. Top 50 BN. I came breathlessly close to the top 100 on Amazon.

Over 700 readers signed up for my mail list to find out about my next book. Everyone was asking — what’s it going to be?

And a big chorus was insisting — Corabelle and Gavin’s story isn’t over.

I sat down immediately to write Forever Loved. This book did just as well as Forever Innocent. Sell through was something crazy like 90%.

We had done it.

Now, two years later, we’ve come to the last book. The business changed a lot, and college romances fell out of favor. But I wrote a few more. A set of the first three books hit the USA Today bestseller list last January, a huge accomplishment. I couldn’t be more pleased with how it all went.

Forever-series-hardcovers

I’d love to show you a picture of the two little boys who live with us now, but it’s not time yet. Just know that they are here, and that all you fans were instrumental in getting them here. And that putting this series to bed is like tucking in your child for the last time before they leave home. It’s hard.

But what a journey it’s been.

I will be writing a little more slowly now but plan to have a book out in May and a new series starting in the fall. You can stay in touch with me on the email list.

Enjoy the trailer. I have loved being on this road with all of you.

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Days that make the journey worth it

I take very little for granted these days.

I have two new boys now. They arrived last September. The first three months were really tough. Of course they would be. They’ve had a hard journey making their way to us. We only just turned the corner as a family a few weeks ago, in mid January, into something manageable.

So my own life was set aside for a while. That didn’t mean big things didn’t happen. This for one:

fight-for-her-usa-today-jan-2016

Fight for Her hit the USA Today bestseller list in January at #116. This was my sixth time on the list — second time for my JJ Knight pen name.

I’m so grateful.

I didn’t get a chance to talk about it much, as we were in crisis at home. As so often happens when family comes first, even the big personal accomplishments get pushed aside.

But we’re getting there.

I’m not sure when I’ll introduce our new family to the world. Their safety will come first, even after they are adopted and I am legally free to let everyone see their adorable faces. But know they are here, and my life is far more multi-faceted than it ever was before. I’m not quite as available online or at book signing events as I once was.

If you do want me, the best place is my private Facebook group for book fans. I try to stop by every couple of days to say hello. Click to hop over to it.

deanna-reader-retreat

Forever Bound from the Forever series is here!

ForBoundIt’s been an amazing release for the fourth book of the series-that-I-never-thought-would-be-a-series.

We’ve come so far since that first tentative release of Forever Innocent in October 2013. My life is completely different because of these books!

In Forever Bound, Jenny gets her turn to tell her story. Her meeting with Chance, a singer-songwriter who is hitchhiking across the US, changes everything about her. She goes on a journey to find this mysterious man who was supposed to be just a one-night stand, but ends up being part of her forever.

The amazing Brad Whittington wrote the songs in the book and has even recorded the series Forever song. I hope you’ll go take a listen on his site!

If you missed the release, here are the links:

Amazon ~ BN ~ Kobo Google Play ~ iBooks

 

 

Time for dedications to YOUR MOM to go into my book!

The Facebook fans have decided that the dedications they want to put into FOREVER BOUND will go to our moms and mother figures.

So make sure you fill out the form right away! It will only be open a couple days. (If the form is open, you’ll know. It will not allow entries after I close it.)

 

Forever Bound will arrive July 28, 2015! The dedications will be in both the digital and print versions, just like in Forever Innocent, Forever Loved, and Forever Sheltered.

Preorder information for Forever Bound:

Amazon: http://bit.ly/FBoundZon
iBooks: http://smarturl.it/ForBnd-iBooks
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1MOzznW
Kobo: http://smarturl.it/ForBnd-Kobo
BN: http://smarturl.it/ForBnd-BN

An excerpt from the upcoming FOREVER BOUND

web-Forever-Bound-coverIt’s cover reveal day for my next Forever series book!

And it’s pink-haired Jenny!

Here is an excerpt from the new book. If you want to read the FIRST SEVEN CHAPTERS (YOWSA!) join the mail list! It’s going out in a couple days!

 

FOREVER BOUND
Release date: July 28

The guy I’d been watching walked over to the mike and said, “Hello, I’m Chance, and Paul here has kindly invited this Tennessee boy up to do a number.”

Chance.

His name was Chance.

“Yeah!” Paul bellowed. He lifted his guitar strap over his head and handed it to Chance.

I made it to the base of the stage, where the crowd had left a gap in its disinterest. I wondered if my boy choice was doing to get their attention, or if he would be terrible.

I was rooting for him.

Chance turned to the other band members and nodded his head. The drummer slammed into a driving beat, and Chance spun to the mike, looking out at the crowd. He hadn’t noticed me up so close, practically at his feet.

“This is a song I think a lot of you will recognize, a little ditty called, ‘Let the Good Times Roll.’”

The band crashed into the opening licks, and when Chance started singing, I wanted to laugh out loud with giddiness. His voice was pure magic, deep and edgy.

He moved across stage like a fury, all energy and muscle. I was so close I could feel the wood floor shifting under his feet. His fingers squeezed the guitar in a steady grip. I was mesmerized by every movement. I could already see how his skilled hands would work on me.

I was hooked.

The band wasn’t quite on, as if they hadn’t rehearsed this one much, but Chance made up for it. The crowd began to turn to look at the stage, moving along to the beat, taking a ride on Chance’s fluid vocals.

I felt myself start to unfurl, to loosen up inside. This would be fine. He’d come off stage. He’d see me. The attention would be directed at us long enough to make the point. And the way the focus was shifting to this hot sensation, it would be logical that I fell for him. People here would get it.

Headline: Blues singing rock god seduces movie director’s girl at party.

The song rollicked along for another chorus, then Chance brought them to a strong stop with a motion of his hand.

That’s when he saw me.

He froze a second, as if he couldn’t believe I was so close after he’d searched for me for so long. His smile spread to a wide grin. I’m sure my panties would have gone flying, if I’d been wearing any.

“Thank you,” he said to the crowd, which was actually showing some enthusiasm now. But he kept his eyes on me.

I thought the lead singer would take back over, but Chance turned and stepped close to the bass guitarist, asking him something. The guy nodded, and Chance turned back to the mike. “We’re gonna bring it down for a second. So grab your woman, if you’ve got one, because this one is for all of you lovely ladies here tonight.”

He looked down at me a second, and I was close enough to see his hesitation, as if maybe this wasn’t a good idea. But his gaze went back to the crowd and he seemed satisfied as a few people drew closer together.

The drummer clicked out a simple count, and when Chance played the opening line, I felt my knees go liquid. That song. Whoa, that song. Behind me, I felt the crowd pause, attention trained on this man, as if they were ready to give his guy a chance.

Chance.

He closed his eyes as he prepared for that first line. My breath held. Hell of a standard he was about to compete against. A whole blues legacy.

But here he was.

He belted it out, and my emotion surged so hard, I realized I was seriously a goner after a single phrase. I just let it wash over me.

When a man loves a woman…

Chance opened his eyes then, looking at me. I ignored how it was silly to think he was singing anything to me. It was just a song. A romantic song. We hadn’t even met.

___________________

I hope you’re excited!

Get the first SEVEN chapters just by signing up here!

 

 

 

Believing in a worry-free good

Do you ever doubt yourself when life is good? Like it could all just come crashing down any minute?

I try to resist this mindset, but it seems sometimes it comes unbidden anyway.

Life has been amazingly incredibly good to me this January. For example:

USATodayListJan2015

How crazy is THAT? USA Today bestseller list for the Forever Series? WOW!

The same week, I released a brand new book and this happened:

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So many copies on a brand-new pen name. Crazy!

We definitely had a rough fall. I suppose I could try and shake the worries by saying this is the good stuff that came out of the hard times. Probably most of us are reluctant to get too settled into a happy space out of fear of what might go wrong next.

But I’m going to try and enjoy our peaceful and successful little run here. Selling 20,000 books in one month is no small thing, and I know it. I’ll take these blessings. And work hard to spread the love around.

A new bundle full of enchantment and romance!

I’m so excited to be in the Heroes & Shifters book bundle with 11 other amazing authors!

We’re doing a just-for-the-holidays special on it where all 12 books are just 99 cents.

PERFECT for looking through during the holidays when you need a little escape.

Here’s a teaser from one of my books in it!

[Note that this anthology is no longer available, but I will eventually release this one on its own!]

Sexy love couple

Forever Sheltered has arrived — and is already a hot new release!

Forever-Sheltered-release-graphicWell, THAT didn’t take long!

I am humbled and amazed by you fans! Wow! Usually I get a few hours to send out some information on the book before it shoots up the lists!

Thank you. Really and truly. Thank you.

The party is really getting started now! We have giveaways, and I’ll be signing books in San Antonio at the Romance Writers of America Wednesday night! Get the details on the appearances page!

First: LINKS

Amazon: http://bit.ly/Amazon-ForShelt
BN: http://bit.ly/BN-ForShelt
iTunes: http://bit.ly/itunes-shelter
Google Play: http://bit.ly/Sheltered-GP
Kobo: http://bit.ly/sheltered-kobo

Second: Win something! TWO $50 gift cards are up for grabs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for being a part of this release!

I hope to see some of you at RWA this week! I will also be speaking at BookPeople here in Austin on August 9 at 10 a.m!

And…the pink sofa everyone’s talking about…

fs_pink-monster_a

Opening Pages to Forever Sheltered — Get ‘Em Right Here!

JuFor-Shelt-3dst TWENTY days until the release of Forever Sheltered!

If you have a blog or FB page, sign up to be a part of the party here (you’ll get to give away all THREE Forever books to your readers!)

Dedications to go into the back of this book for families affected by cancer will happen next week. Watch the Facebook page for the sign up period or get on the mail list!

Here we go!

______________________________________

Forever Sheltered
Chapter One

Oh, that idiot jerk doctor just walked in here and demanded a favor.

A favor.

Demanded.

He strode into my art therapy room like he owned the place with his high-dollar shoes and custom-tailored khakis and said, “You have to do something for me.”

Right. I have to.

I whirled away from him to pick up a box of tempura paints and clutched it tightly with both hands.

It was either that or punch him in the face.

This was my room at the hospital. Where doctors weren’t the big shots. Where patients came to escape.

My cheeks were hot. “I didn’t expect to see you again,” I said, pointedly refusing to ask what the something he wanted me to do entailed. “You didn’t show up last time you asked to meet with me.

This same doctor blew me off two weeks ago. Set up a meeting and didn’t show.

Like his time was valuable, and mine was not.

I kept my back to him. A long moment passed. He stayed quiet, so I began to wonder if he’d snuck out.

Not a bad idea. Nobody likes me when I’m pissed off.

I checked the paints, chucking any colors that had dried out. I had less than ten minutes until my next therapy group arrived, a set of children from the cancer ward. It often took all my emotional strength to get through that hour. I wouldn’t give the doctor another thought.

Those kids had it so hard. They lost their hair. Threw up spontaneously. Dealt daily with the idea of death. Many were far from home, sent here to the specialty wing for cancer patients after their own hospitals had exhausted all options.

My days felt like battles, miniature war zones.

And yet here was this Dr. Darion Marks, asking me to do something for him.

I was so sure he was gone that I jumped when he spoke again.

“I’m sorry I didn’t let you know I couldn’t make our meeting two weeks ago,” he said.

Still no explanation. I turned a little so I could see the doctor, tall and stalwart in his white coat. He reminded me of a statue, perfect, chiseled, and cold as granite. I dropped the box of paints on the low table with a satisfying clunk.

“Hey.” His voice carried an impatient tone that sparked my anger into rage.

I glared at him. I was ready to give him a real piece of my mind when he switched tactics.

“Maybe we can start over,” he said with a smile I’m sure he thought was charming. “Hello, Ms. Schwartz. Could I ask you to help me with one of my patients?”

I hated him with a fury I usually reserved for people who kicked dogs. And my parents.

I grasped the back of a chair and leaned over it. Menacingly, I hoped.

_____________________________

Isn’t Tina something else? She’s been in three of my books, and it’s finally her turn to get a book of her own!

ALL of chapter one will go out to the mail list subscribers at MIDNIGHT (July 2, CST). Get on the list — if you are not sure you are on it, enter your email — it will tell you.

If you have missed the email, still join up. Just reply to your “Welcome” email and we’ll get you the first chapter. PLUS you’ll get 70 pages of Baby Dust to download — all of Tina’s backstory from when she was 17.

I’M SO EXCITED!!!!

Deanna

 

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