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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

{BLOG TOUR: Guest Post + Excerpt} After Math by Denise Grover Swank

Welcome to my tour stop for After Math Blog Tour! This tour is hosted by CLP Blog Tours and runs until June 3rd. Featured on the blog today is a guest post by author Denise Grover Swank and an excerpt from the book. But first, let's find out what After Math is all about.

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 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?
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A Day in Life of Denise Grover Swank

You would think a writer would spend most of her day writing, but I often find it difficult to squeeze writing time in. I tell people that I have two fulltime jobs. One is the business side of being an author and the second is the actual writing. Unfortunately, the business often encroaches on the writing time.

My workday usually starts before I even get out of bed in the morning. When my alarm goes off, I grab my phone and start checking my emails to see if anything needs my immediate attention. If something is pressing, I set my laptop on my kitchen counter and try to address it while getting my kids ready for school. Otherwise, I’ll let things wait until after I take my daughter to preschool. I try to keep my mornings delegated to business, then spend a minimum of two hours in the afternoon writing, but more times than not, it doesn’t work that way.

My kids come home from school and we plow through homework, afterschool activities and dinner, and I’m usually found working on my laptop while my kids watch TV. Finally, after my kids go to bed, I can settle in to write. So, my second job—the one that necessitates the first—starts about 9:30 at night. I write until 1:00-3:00 in the morning, often getting anywhere from 3000 to 8000 words a day.

I’ve found I’m most productive writing at night. The internet, meaning Facebook and Twitter, are quieter and my kids are in bed so there are fewer distractions. When I have a pressing deadline, it’s not uncommon for me to take a thirty minute nap around 10 to 11 p.m.

Most people are surprised to find I work seven days a week, holidays included. When I get immersed in a book, it’s not uncommon for me to write 50,000 to 70,000 words from two to three weeks.


So Tucker is a melancholy drunk. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. The person I see every time I tutor him isn’t the person I see in class or on campus. There are two sides to this mercurial boy, and I fluctuate between being intrigued and wanting to run. I cast a glance to the person trying to walk a straight line for the two blocks to my apartment, and I want to take off in a sprint.

Sometimes being responsible sucks.

We walk an entire block in silence. The only sounds are the click of my boot heels and Tucker’s awkward breathing which comes out in gasps and huffs. He releases a groan, then leans over and vomits on the street.

I scrunch my eyes closed and breathe through my mouth, trying to settle my now-queasy stomach.

After several seconds, he wipes the back of his hand across his mouth and resumes walking again.

“Do you do this often?” I ask.

He laughs. “Yeah.”

I think about the nastiness he left on the road behind us. “Why?”

“Why not?”

“Maybe because barfing in the street doesn’t sound like my kind of fun.”

His eyebrows rise and fall in a playful manner. “What is your kind of fun, Scarlett?”

I don’t answer, knowing he’d think me even stranger than he already does.

“Well?”

I had hoped he’d be too drunk to press the issue, but the walk seems to be sobering him up. “You wouldn’t understand.”

“Try me.”

I inhale through my nose and imagine my nervousness leaving my body with my exhale. “Math. I like doing math problems.”

We walk several steps in silence before I sneak a glance at him. He’s watching me with a strange look in his eyes, devoid of amusement or malice. Curiosity. “Why?” he finally says.

“They calm me.” Why I answer truthfully is beyond me. I find myself incapable of telling Tucker Price falsehoods, which seems irrational. Tucker Price seems like the kind of person who is used to hearing and speaking mostly lies all day long.

Maybe that’s why I feel compelled to tell him the truth.

“Your major is math. You tutor several days a week. I can’t even imagine how many problems you must do. What makes you so anxious that you need that much calming?”

I’ve been truthful up to this point. Why lie now? “Life.”

He doesn’t respond.

I wait for the familiar rush of panic and adrenaline when I’ve embarrassed myself, but it doesn’t come. Why? My eyes shift to him, and the look on his face isn’t just sympathetic. It’s as though he really understands.



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 in 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.

You can find out more about Denise and her other books at:


I hope you all enjoyed the guest post and excerpt, loves! ^__^ Be sure to follow the tour schedule and visit the other tour stops for reviews, Q&As, and more guest posts and excerpts. You can also enter the giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card by leaving a comment on the tour page. And if you purchase a copy of After Math before June 3, send your receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com and you will get five bonus entries. Sweet!

Thanks for dropping by and have a great day!



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Julie @ Books and Insomnia

Julie is a Filipina blogger who pretends she has insomnia so she can stay up late reading. When she's not buried in books, she can be found watching anime, drinking chocolate-flavored instant coffee, lurking on the internet, daydreaming and talking about herself in third person. She loves purple and anything sweet!

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