A sneak peek into my new release, BETWEEN FAITH AND FEAR


Melanie’s cooperation was too important. Her child presented a problem he hadn’t counted on. Something had to change, as this was no longer a simple plan.

Sensing her eyes on him, he turned, regarded her with doubt. Should he? It was never supposed to happen. He shouldn’t put her through that kind of turmoil; it wasn’t fair to her.

But life had handed him a shit-ton of unfair.

Since he’d sent the dog downstairs to keep an eye on Rena, they were alone. Expelling a heavy breath, he moved barefoot over the debris, knowing if she were to close her eyes, she’d never know he approached.

She sat up, her slender shoulders stiff with expectation. He lowered himself before her, mirroring her position with his knees to the floor. They were close. She didn’t budge. The questions must have been compiling in her beautiful head since he’d ordered her to sit down because she whispered…

“You kissed me.”

She remembered. “Yes,” he answered truthfully.

After a moment’s hesitation, she nodded. “It was…familiar.”

Aw, hell. “Just familiar?”

He could hear her frantic heartbeat. It pounded beneath the light cotton of her t-shirt as she hesitantly raised her hands toward the hood covering his face. If he let her do this, there would be no turning back. His dark, possibly limited existence would put a stain on the comfortable life she’d found without him. But, much to his dismay, the decision had been made the moment he took her.

He bowed his head…and waited.


Looking for a great contest to enter?

What sets the Fiction from the Heartland Contest, sponsored by Mid-America Romance Authors, apart from other romance contests? 

There are so many great reasons, we came up with a list!

The September 2, 2013 deadline enables timely results to prepare to for the RWA Golden Heart.
Feedback comes from trained unpublished and published authors. 
You get TWO full pages of critique on entry, including big picture story feedback from synopsis.
And, those who final will have their work in front of fantastic editors and agents. 

Check out our line-up of industry professionals.
Category Romance: Wanda Ottewell, Harlequin
Contemporary Single Title: Kate Dresser, Harlequin
Historical: Leah Hultenschmidt, Sourcebooks
Romantic Suspense: Patience Bloom, Harlequin
Paranormal: Esi Sogah, Kensington
Erotic Romance: Leis Pederson, Berkeley
Young Adult Romance/New Adult Romance: Karen Grove, Entangled
Inspirational: David Long, Bethany House

Shira Hoffman, McIntosh and Otis
Margaret Bail, Inklings Literary Agency
Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency
Deidre Knight, The Knight Agency
Nicole Resciniti, Seymour Agency

So polish up your entry and synopsis, turn in no more than 10,000 words and send in $30 for a chance to receive great feedback, your work in front of industry professionals and fifty dollars and a plaque for the winners.

More information and entry forms at

An Introduction To My Work

All of my novels are true stories based on my own personal experiences.

Ugh, I still can’t say it with a straight face! No seriously, that one was for all my friends, family and neighbors who look at me funny after reading my material. Yes, I really love murdering people, dangling from a cliff, being hunted by masochistic creepers and doing it outside, but only when the moon is full.

Those of you who DON’T know me personally may want to know a little more about my novels so they can delve in with eyes wide open. I am a fairly new author who has decided to brave the often rewarding and sometimes cruel world of self-publishing. I’ve made a career of putting my raw guts on a slab for readers to pick through and comment over on the Goodreads platform. Some say they rightfully draw flies, but most have been very gracious. My solid 4.2 ratings are testament to that, as are the awards I’ve won from multiple writing competitions. And let’s not forget my wonderful agent, Marisa, who believes I’m worth the gamble 🙂

So, let’s start with heat level. Some of the 3-star (and lower) reviews have shown that folks are disappointed with the bedroom scenes of my FLESH series. This is understandable since they are most likely coming fresh off my latest book TRUTH AND HUMILITY. To clear things up, my FLESH series (containing my first two novels, FLESH OF ANGELS & FLESH OF THE FATHER)) is straight romantic suspense with a medium heat level. They are highly satisfying, hot, thrilling and sometimes disturbing love stories that focus more on the ride rather than the resulting hot monkey sex. NOT saying your grandmother would be comfortable reading them, though.

My CAPTIVE series, starting with TRUTH AND HUMILITY, is all that WITH the hot monkey sex. Very spicy, emotional, infuriating, sweet and suspenseful romance with a dash of light erotica. The positive reviews for T&H reflect that I’m somewhat good at it, so I apologize to my readers who started with that one and feel as if they “cooled off” with my older novels. You’ll be glad to know the second installment of the series, BETWEEN FAITH AND FEAR, contains just as much “heat” with a little less “sweet”. Very action-packed, raw, emotional and dangerous. NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!

FLESH series = Medium heat level
CAPTIVE series = Moderate heat level

For those of you who love pointing out the grammatical errors, here is a breakdown.

FLESH series = personally edited a million times.
CAPTIVE series = professionally edited as of the great re-launch of 2013.

If you haven’t guessed yet, my Goodreads reviewers have compelled me to write this article. I appreciate the time you all have taken to show your love, support or even disgust. It means you care which is why they say there is no such thing as a bad review. I aspire to entertain you for many years to come! THANK YOU!!

An interview with the new rising star of romantic comedy, Emily Hemmer!

Emily Hemmer

A little background. Tell us about yourself and what genre you write:   I’m a thirty something wife and mom of two teenagers.  My life is currently being run by hormones.  I’m a very positive person and I’m always spewing things I learned by watching The Secret at people.  I truly believe that if you want something bad enough, you’ll get it.  No.  Matter. What.  I write contemporary romantic comedy with lots of heat.  I love to laugh and I love to get busy, so this genre came very naturally to me.

What made you want to become an author?   I want a big life.  I want a life full of possibility and adventure and I knew that to live fully, I needed to find a way to help support my family in a way that felt honest about who I am and where I want to go.  I’ve always loved to write. About three years ago, I just decided to hell with it, I’m going for it.  I also really love to procrastinate, and thus spent the next two years doing almost nothing with my writing. I got a kick in the butt last May and since then it’s been smooth sailing.

When did you get sucked into smut?   The first smut I ever read was on an X Files fan fiction website.  I’m not proud of it.  I took a long break from smutty reads and just recently rediscovered the genre.  I’m really loving it right now and I think that’s got something to do with where I am in my life.  I’m in my mid-thirties, I’m excited about my future and everything just feels electrified right now.  I recently read a whole bunch of Jess Dee’s stories and she along with Lexxi Cooper are two of my new favorites.

Who are your favorite authors and why?   Helen Fielding, Emily Barr, Sarah Kate Lynch, Jennifer Wiener, JK Rowling, Stephen King…  Each of these writers have transported me and the journey I took with them stayed with me long after I put their books down.  For a story to live in your fantasy is special. For a story to influence your life and dreams is magical.

What book made you fall in love with romantic comedy?   Cause Celeb, Helen Fielding.  I love Bridget Jones as well but Cause Celeb struck a cord in me and I re-read it constantly.  It’s funny, sweet, sad, happy, romantic, scary, etc.  I love it. And I’m a big Rom-Com movie person.  French Kiss, You’ve Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally, Under the Tuscan Sun – I could go on and on.

Would you consider writing in another genre? If so, what would it be?   Yes!  I plan on writing a new adult drama/mystery and I’ve written a children’s book I’d love to publish someday.  Of course, I’ll probably have to use a different name when publishing the children’s book.  Something tells me kids getting Stand Up Stanley confused with my erotica wouldn’t go down well with mom and dad.

Anything in your stories based on real experiences?   Not yet – but I’m sure it’ll sneak in there somewhere.  I had a blind date once with a guy that was seven feet tall.  He looked like Herman Munster and his nickname was Wadeload.  I ducked out of the date early by having a friend page me (yes, I’m old) and I told him I had to leave because my friend’s cousin needed a ride to the hospital.  I would have felt bad about lying, had I not shelled out fifty bucks for our dinner because he’d ‘forgotten’ his wallet.  Pretty sure he’s going to make it into a book somehow.

Toughest criticism? Best compliment?   A judge in one contest told me I was a good writer, but I needed a better story.  I loved that story – so that was a bitter pill to swallow.  Best compliment came from my brother in law who’s an excellent writer in his own respect and pretty much the smartest person I’ve ever met.  He said Chapter 6 in my book was ‘As solid a piece of writing as I’ve seen in any book.”  It may not sound like much, but coming from him it was high praise – and it meant a lot to me.

How do you prep yourself for a sex scene?   I don’t need any prep; I have a very dirty mind.  At work they call me the sex pusher.  I’m not a prostitute.

What other atmospheric things do you do to put yourself in a writing mood?   I listen to music and I like to write outside.  My current playlist has a lot of Pistol Annies, Kacey Musgraves, Lady A…. These books are set in East Texas so country music helps put me in the mood.  I like to write outside because I find nature incredibly calming and that helps to keep me focused.

How does your family tolerate your writing?   They’re very proud of me.  They’re also incredibly annoyed at my constant need to write, promote, research, etc.  One day we’ll find a happy medium.  For now I’ll just continue to write in the bathroom.

Tell us what your current work in progress is about.   Plus None is book 2 in my Dangerously Dimpled series.  It’s about a girl named Charlie Davies who’s been so busy looking after everyone else, she lost sight of what she wanted for herself somewhere along the way. Three years prior to the beginning of the book she has a one night stand with a guy so far out of her reach, he may as well live on Mars (this will be the basis for the prequel novella).  Fast forward three years and her baby sister’s getting married to the perfect man, about to have the perfect life, and all Charlie’s got to look forward to is dodging cousin Barry and his ass-magnet hands at the wedding reception.

When her one-time one-night stand resurfaces as the groom’s Best Man, Charlie will have to decide who she is, what she’s capable of, and if she’s brave enough to get everything she wants out of life.  Spoiler alert: there’s a happy ending.  J

What book would you like to promote in this blog post?   Me!  It’s all about ME!  No, really, I just want people to have the opportunity to get to know who I am, what I’m about and hopefully they’ll like what they see enough to check out my books.  My first priority is connecting with readers and making new friends.

Tell us a little about your future projects.   I’ve got a short prequel novella, Just One, coming out in August for book 2 in the Dangerously Dimpled Series.  Then book 2 in the series, Plus None, will be released in September.  I’m really hoping to squeeze all three of the Dimpled series in this year but I’m a ridiculously slow writer – so we shall see. The full-length romantic comedies are so much fun to write that I plan on outlining a romantic comedy/mystery series for 2014.  I’m also considering administering a Red Bull IV drip to get all of these projects done.

Oh, and I really want to write an erotic novella.  I like my erotica like I like my Indian food; stupid hot.

Any advice for aspiring authors?   Be yourself, don’t wear your feelings on your sleeve, and just as Journey told you years ago, don’t stop believin’.  It’s good advice.

Where can we find you and your books? (links)


A personal note: Ms. Hemmer’s newly released contemporary romantic comedy ‘The Break-up Psychic,’ book 1 of the Dangerously Dimpled series, truly made me laugh out loud. There are big things on the horizon for this new author, so don’t hesitate to download a copy of her first novel before the second one hits the digital shelves!

Dennam’s Cave

Original RomCon blog post from May 17, 2013

This blog post was going to be all about writing action scenes. Because Chapter 12 of my current work-in-progress — where I was when I created this document — is loaded with it. But I am deep in the druthers of my writing cave and have procrastinated all the way to Chapter 17.

It was extremely hard for me to stick my nose outside my story and commit to this blog post. I have burrowed in deep for the duration. This is the problem with writing for me. I can start a story and put it down for a day or two while life intervenes. I can even make it to Chapter 5 without compromising my schedule. It’s tough, but responsibilities still…

Sorry, I checked out for a moment. You see Chapter 17 — where I’m at in my current WIP — has me by the nads (…okay, if I had them.) If some of you buy my next book, Between Faith and Fear, upon its release, you may remember this and say, “Oh, yeah,” * knowing smile, turn page. * But, I’m betting most of you won’t remember, so I’ll keep this in my post and not expect any comments later.

I don’t want to sniff the air. I don’t want to test the climate. I’m perfectly content, safe, and sound in my cozy, exciting, dangerous, sensual, painful, action-packed cave. I know I’m getting myself in trouble, here. Neglect is a nasty thing that compounds the problems I know are building outside. But after I tweak this short little comment uttered by my villain, it will add that extra punch to paragraph 4…

Okay, I’m back. Where was I? Oh, yeah. My to-do list has taken on a life of its own. I have… 693 unchecked emails in my inbox. (Really? Darn you, Facebook!) Marketing has simply gone down the toilet and my agent has probably forgotten I still roam this dimension. Can all of this be fixed later? Because I’m in the middle of another flashback and there’s still 1/3 pot of coffee left. May have to break to the store for more Twizzlers, though, because for some reason those suckers taste real appropriate in my cave.

Sounds. I’ve tried to listen to music while writing, to put me in that proper, scene-writing mood. I love music. Listen to it all the time, but there is simply no place for it in my cave. Have you ever stuck a conch shell to your ear and heard the ocean? That is what I am immersed in the majority of my day. Here’s a hint: ear muffs. The best invention since cotton balls. My four children actually believe they’ve been surgically attached to my head. But I digress…

It’s beautiful in here. I’ve learned to word paint from Google. Every time there is a scene change, I search for that scene, choose one, and keep it in the background. That is the current, precise environment of my cave. I see it, smell it, touch it, sit on it… okay, I draw the line at licking because I’m a bit of a germaphobe. Not that my house reflects that since I don’t clean until the Epilogue and my children… well, they think Windex is a product of Microsoft. And again, I digress…

Since my novels have yielded some success, my husband is now allowed in my cave for regulated visits. Much of my male characters’ dialogue comes from the Steve’s School of Higher Learning. He is a dude to the nth degree and has taught me much in the ways of man. I love writing men. I probably wouldn’t be a very good romance author if I didn’t. But I think understanding them is vitally important in the process of building your swoon-worthy, take no prisoners (okay maybe a few), fire-breathing hunk of burning love. So, if one of them says something to piss you off… welcome to my world, ladies.

Or should I say, “Welcome to my cave.”


So many of you have absolutely fallen in love with TRUTH AND HUMILITY’s H&H, Danny Bennett and Austin Cahill. Their fireworks certainly ignited a few burning bushes and the resulting epiphanies either made us laugh or cry. You will be happy to know Austin and Danny are regular visitors in my cave. A few days ago, a reader of mine asked me to take care of them for her and I just happened to be writing one of their pivotal scenes at the time. I realized how much I love visiting with them again. Austin makes me laugh with his He-Man mentality and Danny… well, her lack of caution continues to drive him crazy. As for some other T&H favorites: Mac. Gotta love the big lug. He’s found a new calling in Between Faith and Fear. And Melanie? She’s flourished under the learning curve of her new responsibilities. Good thing, because she’s going to need a whole lot of strength for what’s coming next.


The Captive Series by J. A. Dennam: 

Book 1 – Truth and Humility – released November 18th, 2012

Book 2 – Between Faith and Fear – August, 2013

Book 3 – Hell’s Hilltop – in infant stage, but growing by leaps and bounds.

Interview with blog host Shandra Miller

Shandra Miller was my scheduled guest blogger today on the tour, but since she has been experiencing technical difficulties, I figured I could post her interview on my blog instead. I’d like to extend a big thank you to Shandra for the questions. If you want to check out her blog, Shandra’s Shadow World, you can find it here at Without further ado…welcome to my blog, Shandra! Ask away!

SHANDRA: Let’s start out with your latest release, or re-release, TRUTH AND HUMILITY. I might be wrong, but this seems to be a story of forbidden love, a hatred between two families keeping, at least trying to keep, two lovers apart. That’s not a new premise – and that’s not a criticism, because I think all writers, to one degree or another, are telling the same stories in a different way. With TRUTH AND HUMILITY, how did you approach an old theme with a fresh perspective?

J. A.: Yes, it has been compared many times over as a “Romeo and Juliette” type of story, but many reviewers express surprise at how different it is. First of all, my story has a HEA ending despite the tragic elements. It is definitely not flowery and there is no swooning involved between my H&H. But I think what really makes it different is the individual characters. They all have such a unique, captivating voice. The setting is also unique. Not many romances are cultivated in the demolition field, which changes things up a bit.

SHANDRA: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is a re-release. When was the original release? Why a re-release?

J. A.: The original version was published on November 18th. The popularity of it gained the attention of my literary agent and I’ve since signed with her. I was very much a hobby writer with no literary background, so she listed a few kinks that needed to be ironed out. Once those changes were implemented, it became a new and improved version. Though the story is the same, there were enough differences to warrant a re-release.

SHANDRA: Can you tell us a little about what moved you to write initially? How long have you been writing?

J. A.: I started my first novel in 2001. I’ve always had stories in my head, but they were very private and used as a tool to combat insomnia when I was a child. I hadn’t had trouble falling asleep for many years, but suddenly this one story was keeping me awake! I needed to purge it! Once I started laying it down, I absolutely fell in love with writing. Over the years, it was treated much as a hobby until I decided to get serious with it and self-publish my work.

SHANDRA: Specifically, what draws you to romance?

J. A.: I’ve been reading romance since I was twelve. I can’t remember, but I think my first one was called “Dreams of Yesterday.” My youthful mind was deliciously scandalized. I’ve been in love with impossible love ever since.

SHANDRA: How did you get into the writing field? At what point did you think this was something to pursue professionally?

J. A.: Halfway through my first novel, I decided to treat it seriously enough to send out some query letters. I had a few things working against me like the fact I wasn’t an educated writer. Knowing how hard it is to get an agent, I figured I was swimming upstream, so I gave it a half-assed effort. When self-publishing became a viable option, I followed that route leaving a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in my wake. At that point, since I was so invested, I figured I’d give it my all.

SHANDRA: Okay, let’s try a few non-writing questions. Rapid-fire style, just reply with the first thing that comes to mind. Ready?

SHANDRA: Favorite television show?  Justified

SHANDRA: Favorite movie?  Raiders of the Lost Ark

SHANDRA: Favorite band (any sort of music)?  3 Doors Down

SHANDRA: If money were no objet, what kind of car would you drive?  1963 Corvette Stingray

SHANDRA: Again, if money were no object, where would you choose to live?  Jackson Hole, WY, Prescott, AZ, AND somewhere in the Cascades.

SHANDRA: If you could have any job in the world, without regard to whether it would be enough to financially support you, what would it be?  Writing novels

SHANDRA: Okay, back to writing. I know you have TRUTH AND HUMILITY available for sale in e-edition and paperback, and you have two other works, FLESH OF THE ANGELS and FLESH OF THE FATHER, available for sale. I also noticed you now have literary representation. Is that new? Can you tell us a little about getting an agent?

J. A.: It certainly wasn’t through the query system! Marisa contacted me through Facebook in January after she read the synopsis of my book on Amazon. It also helped that it was in the top ranking in Romantic Suspense. It was in that position because of a lot of work on my part, though, so it wasn’t an easier route by any means, just a more promising one.

SHANDRA: How has that changed your outlook on writing, marketing, and so forth? Will you be submitting future work to traditional publishing houses?

J. A.: Yes, I’d like to see all of my novels in mass-market paperback. But if it doesn’t happen, I’d still want to self-publish them if I feel they’re worthy. I noticed a lot of popular trad-published authors are still working the social networks to keep things warm, so I’m prepared to do the same no matter what happens.

SHANDRA: I noticed you have a rather active blog tour going on right now for TRUTH AND HUMILITY. How long did it take you to set that up? How much time do you have to spend on marketing your work vs. writing?

J. A.: The blog tour took about a week to set up. I’d like to give myself more time to prepare for the next one, because the crunch was a bit stressful. Marketing for T&H has kept me incredibly busy, so I haven’t moved past the research stage of my next book. I DO need something for my critique group this week, so I will definitely make time to get the first two chapters written. Once it’s started, watch out!! Cuz nothing else is getting done till it’s finished.

SHANDRA: Tell us a little about what’s coming up next, either a work in progress or something you’re kicking around inside your mind?

J. A.: My next book is the companion novel to T&H called BETWEEN FAITH AND FEAR. We’ll get to re-visit some characters from the first book, but this one will be a complete, independent story as well. No cliffhangers, I promise!

SHANDRA: Tell us where we can find TRUTH AND HUMILITY

J. A.: My website,, is a one-stop-shop for purchasing my books. It provides all of the buy links and you can even read free samples of my stories. If you prefer more direct links they are:


Barnes & Noble:


SHANDRA: Anything else you’d like to say in closing?

J. A.: I have a very special unveiling coming up on my blog tour on Wednesday the 27th. Feel free to join the tour any time here:

All are welcome! I try to keep my posts limited to two a day, so I promise your inbox won’t be inundated with event updates 🙂

Truth and Humility Blog Tour Stop – Special Screening


I am so excited about my upcoming reveal, I thought it appropriate to host this segment of the tour on my own blog. My next adventure, as I coast along this eye-opening world of self-promotion, is the making of the book trailer for TRUTH AND HUMILITY. As of three months ago, I never knew book trailers existed. When I learned of them, my first thought was, “Really? What will they think of next?” Then it was, “What the heck does a book trailer look like?”

Needless to say, my reaction was a bit mixed. I mean…I get it. In light of eBooks and electronic screens and digital media, it is an adapted form of advertising. I’ve watched many book trailers since then and found most of them to be like scrolling dustcovers with music, photos and a liberal use of the Ken Burns effect.  But, does that make it high on my priority list? Well…

Which is why it’s taken me this long to tackle one. Now, I love movies. That is no secret. I love adventure and suspense, as my writing would suggest. So, shouldn’t my book trailer suggest it as well? Scrolling descriptions are good, but for some reason I just can’t picture that as an accurate representation of my story. So, mine will be a bit different as I apply the “show don’t tell” method I’ve learned so much about.

I am pleased to announce that on March 27th at 6:00 pm Central, all of my Facebook “Blog Tour and Re-launch of T&H” special guests will be treated to a sneak preview of the new…the amazing…the one and only…(drum roll please)


Cue music

“What Facebook Blog Tour and Re-launch of T&H” you ask? Just follow this link and find out. All are welcome!

So… how does one BLOG?

Okay, I created this blog on December 16th with every intention of tackling it ASAP (note date.) However, with all the Facebooking, Twittering and GoodReading, social networking in general is completely overwhelming. I’m ashamed to admit blogging is a bit over my head. Or is it that I just don’t understand it very well? I do tend to procrastinate with the unknown. Blog hops? Blog tours? Giveaway parties? And what the heck are these things called “rafflecopters”? Do they have anything to do with blogs?

I suppose I could investigate the hundreds of examples that show up on my FB wall, but history proves that method is HIGHLY ineffectual for me. So, anyone out there who is willing to throw me a bit of advice, a kernel of information or even a cut-and-pasted Wikipedia definition, please do. I’ll take anything at this point 🙂

Thank you!

Wait… did I just blog?