Posts tagged with: smart women read romance

2019 Golden Heart Finalist Denise Williams on Life Lessons Writing Has Taught Her!

Today we’re welcoming Denise Williams, another of the fabulous Omegas, a 2019 Golden Heart Finalist in the Best Contemporary Romance category with her book THE OPPOSITE OF ORDINARY.

Denise Williams wrote her first book in the 2nd grade. I Hate You and its sequel, I Still Hate You, featured a tough, funny heroine, a quirky hero, witty banter, and a dragon. Minus the dragons, these are still the books she likes to write. After penning those early works, she finished second grade and eventually earned a PhD in education, briefly setting fiction writing aside to write about her research on Military-Connected College Students. She never let go of happily-ever-afters, though.

​In her day job, she helps college students of color find success, is a diversity trainer, and the co-creator of a women’s empowerment group. She is dedicated to developing flawed, multidimensional characters who struggle with those issues impacting real women in complex and nuanced ways. The Opposite of Ordinary is her first novel. After growing up a military brat around the world and across the country, Denise now lives in Iowa with her supportive husband, wildly manipulative but loving toddler, and two ornery shih-tzus. Like her characters, she enjoys bad puns, frosting-laden corner pieces, and the company of good friends.

Here’s a blurb for THE OPPOSITE OF ORDINARY (Formerly, The To-Do List), which will be available from Berkley/PRH in Winter 2020 (yay!!):

With her flailing department on the university’s chopping block and her last relationship a disaster in the rearview mirror, Professor Naya Turner lets her friends convince her to work on something other than her tenure application. Her new to-do list has a few additions to her ordinary life, like flirt with a stranger, let a man buy her a drink, and have a one-night stand. Jake, a friendly, charming guy in town for work, offers the perfect opportunity to check items off her list. Except nothing can be that easy—Jake makes her laugh, rebuilds her confidence, and soon Naya doesn’t want him to be a one-night-stand at all. Turns out there’s just one problem. That chopping block? Jake’s the one wielding the axe.

 To make matters worse, Naya’s abusive ex—and former coworker—returns to campus threatening to ruin her professional reputation by revealing some of her darkest secrets. With everything she’s ever worked for at stake, Naya must figure out if there’s a way to save her career while staying open to the guy who makes her feel like she’s finally living again. Sexy, poignant, and funny, this rom-com will have you laughing, swooning, and then reaching for a tissue, all while cheering for the heroine who needs to cross “Figure It Out” off her to-do list.

Oh, I adore every word of this!!! I’m so thrilled that I know it’s coming out next winter!!! You have a terrific, warm, witty voice, and I will definitely be watching for this book!

Folks, Denise is here today to share some Life Lessons that being a writer has taught her, and she’s got some great things to say.

Take it away, Denise!!


The Four Life Lessons Learned from Writing (Plus One Bonus Lesson)

Like Naya, my main character, I’m a list-maker. When it came time to craft a blog post, it seemed only natural to make a list. Below are the five most important life lessons I’ve learned from writing. 

Life Lesson #1: Growth mindset is key—I don’t do better because I am great, I do better because I can do better.

Here’s a tightly held secret about academics.

Are you ready? Clutch your pearls, because it’s shocking.

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