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$100 Amazon Black Friday Give-away

November 21, 2014

Because Jaded releases 100 days from today,

I’m giving away a $100 Amazon gift card to one lucky fan.

Jaded gift card jpeg

I’ll draw from my newsletter subscribers,

so if you’d like to enter for a chance to win,

subscribe to my newsletter HERE.


FYI: I only have 36 subscribers, so the odds are in your favor.

And you can get multiple entries by sharing this blog post on social media websites

(but be sure to tag me so I’ll see them).

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+.

Enter as many times as you like.


Update: Congratulations to the winner, hollyjmon!

Happy Black Friday shopping, Holly!

A Glimpse at What I Write and How I Write It

July 7, 2014

My friend and agency-mate, Amanda G. Stevens, tagged me in a writers’ blog hop. Amanda is the author of speculative fiction, and her first book, Seek and Hide, will be available in September. Thanks for the tag, Amanda, and here’s my input:


What am I currently working on?

Right now I’m editing book two in the Mended Hearts series. It’s titled Justified, and is the sequel to Jaded. The plot revolves around Fawn Blaylock, a pregnant college girl who gradually learns that God loves her in spite of her flaws.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

My books fall solidly into the contemporary romance category, but the deep struggles of my characters are similar to those in Women’s Fiction. In fact, I had a difficult time deciding how to market my books, but as it turns out, they have much more romance than a typical women’s fiction read.

Why do I write what I do? 

Two reasons. First of all, I love a good love story and that tickly feeling I get behind my heart. Second, I hope to make a difference in the lives of readers by describing issues that many women face. Sometimes it’s encouraging just reading a made-up story where things work out in the end.

How does your writing process work?

Typically my stories start with a single scene that churns around in my brain until it grows into two scenes, then three, etc. Next, I think about my main characters: what motivates them? What kind of hang ups do they have? What do they need to overcome or learn? Once I know those things, I usually have enough fodder to complete the rest of the plot.

When I’m plotting the book, I staple a big sheet of paper above my desk and sit in front of it with a pad of sticky notes. I scribble scenes, character traits, and setting ideas and plop them all over the wall. Then I move them around until they make a story. This takes weeks, but it’s a lot of fun for me because this is where I begin to “see” the story like a movie in my mind.

Varina Denman story board

Next, I go to the keyboard and draft the story as fast as I can. I do it quickly because I don’t like this part. It’s icky. And my writing sounds like a fifth grader. And if I slow down, I’m likely to get distracted by Pinterest, or accidentally paint my office, or fall asleep on the couch next to my desk.

Once the manuscript is drafted, I’m home free because I enjoy the editing process. On the first edit, I change the story where needed, beef up the emotions, tweak the metaphors and sensory details, and generally re-write the whole thing so it reads like a book instead of a rambling journal entry.

Then I edit it again. And again. And again. And my agent edits it. And my friends read it. And I edit it again. And again. Then send it to the publisher. And they read it. And their editor hacks at it. And I edit it again. And again.

And again.

Then I take a long nap on the couch next to my desk.

Varina Denman nap couch


Next Monday, click through and read about the writing processes of three of my friends.

Amy Matayo is a graduate of John Brown University and holds a degree in Journalism. After graduation, she went to work at DaySpring Cards as Senior Writer and Editor. After the birth of her first child, she became a freelance writer for David C. Cook before pursuing novel writing full time. She is the author of The Wedding Game, which won the 2012 ACFW Genesis award for Romance, and its sequel, Love Gone Wild.

Linda Rodante has always loved reading—especially mysteries and romantic suspense novels. She speaks and works against human trafficking with the Tampa Bay area’s Task Force, and her blog highlights human trafficking, sexuality in America, and her mother’s missionary trips to Israel and Indonesia. She has been a finalist in the ACFW Genesis contest two years in a row for her Christian Romantic Suspense novels.

Terrie Todd has been trying God’s patience since 1959. She is an award-winning author who has published seven stories with Chicken Soup for the Soul, two stage plays with Eldridge Plays and Musicals, and writes a weekly Faith and Humor column called Out of My Mind for the Central Plains Herald Leader. Terrie’s novel, The Silver Suitcase, was a finalist in the 2011 and 2012 Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel contest. In 2010, she served on the editorial advisory board for Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada.

Photo Credit:, Gualberto107

vvdenman newletter sneak peek

So This Is What It Feels Like To Have a Book Cover!

July 1, 2014

After spending so much energy writing a book,

I’ve sorta got nothing to show for it but a stack of paper.


If I had created a painting, I could stand back and admire it. If I had written a song, I could listen to it on my ipod.

But no.

It’s not like I can quickly read 300 pages for a warm-fuzzy at the start of each day.

But now I have a cover! Something I can SEE and ENJOY, even if I can’t listen to it.

Amy Konyndyk over at David C. Cook did an excellent job of portraying Ruthie Turner as sad, yet hopeful, reaching for the church.

What do you think?

Will people notice it in bookstores and  libraries?

varinadenman Jaded cover 3d cropped


Don’t be misled by this nifty 3-D image, the actual book won’t be printed for months yet. *sigh*


vvdenman newletter sneak peek

When Your Date Wants To Go Sparking

June 17, 2014

I realize I’m showing my age with a title that includes a slant on the term “parking.”

(My twenty-three year old daughter didn’t completely understand it.)

However, this post isn’t about parking. It’s about sparking, which is different.


RubelRoy Varina Denman

One Friday night long ago, my college roommate went out to eat with a good friend she had known several years.

At the end of the evening, the man leaned across the car and whispered in her ear,

“Do you want to go sparking?”

This caught her off guard.

Did he say sparking? Or parking?

And what did he mean by it anyway? They were friends. Nothing more.

He laughed at her expression. “Don’t worry. I said sparking not parking.”

“Of course,” she answered. (Still confused and possibly a teensy bit disappointed)

“You see it’s like this,” he explained with a chuckle. “When you bite Wint-o-green LifeSavers, they spark in your mouth. But you have to be in a really dark place to see it.”

“Seriously?” she asked excitedly. “Then let’s go to a dark place!”

(Not something she usually said on dates.)

Then they drove to a dark side street and giggled and sparked in the rear view mirror until curfew.

So if anyone ever asks if you want to go sparking, say,


While you’re waiting for that to happen, consider my book, Jaded, in which the heroine is posed with that exact question . . . by the local preacher!

I can’t wait for you to read it!

In the meantime, go buy some LifeSavers.


varinadenman lifesavers

Photo Credit: Boy Friend and Girl Friend © Rubel Roy, LifeSavers – Candy Warehouse

Newsletter sign-up 3

V.V. or Varina? Which Author Name Should I Use?

June 3, 2014

vvdenman vv

When I started writing five years ago, I thought long and hard about using a pen name. I settled on V.V. Denman. (Which isn’t truly a pseudonym since those are my for-real initials.)

It seemed like a great idea at the time.

Reason #1 – People have trouble with Varina and confuse Denman with Denham. But V.V. is super simple.

Reason #2 – Someday, I might be nauseatingly famous and desire a bit of anonymity.

Vanity check on that last one!

Let’s do the math:

Only a fraction of humans actually read books. Of those, a small percentage enjoy inspirational romance, and a mere handful will choose Jaded.

I’m pretty sure I’ll have enough anonymity to stay humble.

And when I asked my writer-people for their advice on real vs pseudo me?

“Varina is more personal.”
“V.V. doesn’t suit the romance genre as well as Varina.”
“It doesn’t really matter. Do whatever you want, girl!”

Problem is, I don’t know what I want.

So, I’m putting it to you. What do you think? V.V. or Varina?

Comment below. Or on Facebook or Twitter or email or carrier pigeon.

vvdenman varina

Click here to read more about my debut novel, Jaded!


Photo credits: V.V. Girl:, stockimages, Varina Guys:, btrfly614

What Was the Title of that Book?

May 20, 2014

vvdenman books

The publishing industry remains a mystery to me, but one thing I do comprehend is that David C. Cook now owns my manuscript and has the right to slice and dice at will.

Sounds ominous, doesn’t it?

Actually this girl is THRILLED, because whatever the publisher changes will make the book stronger. After all, they know what they’re doing and I dont. Eek.

But for now, I’ve been notified they are keeping the title. (Jaded)

This is good news.

It instills confidence in my marketing because I won’t ever be forced to say . . . “You know that book I’ve been telling you about for three years? Yeah, well, just forget that title and try to remember this one.”

It’s official. You can go ahead and remember my title for reals.

What was it again?

Jaded [jey-did], adjective – dulled, worn out, wearied

Look for Jaded January 1 at a bookstore (or e-reader) near you.

(Unless the publisher changes the release and then you can forget that date and remember another one.) I’ll be in touch.

For a blurb about Jaded, click HERE.

Photo Credit:, Master Isolated Images


Do You Recognize This Small Texas Town?

May 6, 2014

vvdenman small town

Unless you’re a native of west Texas, you probably don’t recognize this small town situated on the rolling plains just below the caprock escarpment of the Llano Estacado.

Why does this town interest me? It’s the camouflaged setting of my debut novel, Jaded.

I say “camouflaged” because I changed the name (to Trapp) and some of the specific details (like adding a grain elevator), but I kept the local charm and the geographic location.

Anybody care to guess the real name of this quaint town? If not, you can cheat HERE.


Side Note: If you’d like to read the first chapter of Jaded,

Sign-up for my newsletter, and I’ll send it your way.


Media Credit: Billy Hathorn


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