And By The Way for FREEEEE

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International cover

To celebrate the global launch of The Butterfly Novels, the first in the series, And By The Way is freeee for a limited period. Please do help yourselves and share with anyone you think might enjoy. Just click here:

amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009SMWI6K
amazon.co.uk – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009SMWI6K

Here’s what the critics say:

‘Deegan nails Alex’s caustic teen voice and leaves the reader rooting for her heroine throughout…’ IRISH INDEPENDENT

‘This is a gem of a book; intriguing, deep and thoughtful. Alex is a feisty heroine, and her voice rings strong and true. Teenagers – and adults – will adore this book. It kept me up half the night.’ IRISH EXAMINER.

‘An engaging and emotional read that leaves you wanting more – bring on the second installment.’ RTE GUIDE.

‘It was such a powerful, emotional, beautiful book, one I loved to pieces and gobbled up as fast as I possibly could. I just can’t wait to read more by Deegan – it was just so freaking amazing!’ THE BOOK ADDICTED GIRL.

‘Let it be known, there is panty melting.’ FOREVER YOUNG ADULT

‘I was expecting romance, aw, and good writing. All those things are in there but this book is so much more… This book has everything you could possibly want in a contemporary title… And By The Way is amazing in the way it is so believable. Alex’s actions make sense even when they are breaking your heart.’ LUNA’S LITTLE LIBRARY

‘We can’t explain our fascination with the spawn of the rich and famous but it won’t go away. AND BY THE WAY… is our latest addiction and it’s the first title in the new BUTTERFLY NOVELS series….super compelling.’ KISS MAGAZINE

‘AND BY THE WAY… is a journey through grief, love and self-discovery. It’ll break your heart and make you laugh – both at the same time. And by the way…you’re going to love it.’ DUBRAY BOOKS, Staff Recommended Reads.

‘I absolutely loved it. I was so engrossed in it that my family started pulling it out of my hands.’ AUTHOR, KERIS STAINTON.

‘This book was amazingly good.’ BOOKFLAME

‘And By The Way is an amazing, heartfelt book that’s perfect for fans of YA contemporary! … Denise Deegan sure knows how to pack in suspense to say the least! … Deegan’s writing was also fabulous! She truly captured Alex’s voice to the point where I felt like I was reading a real teen’s diary at times…. Thrilling, unique, and nearly flawless, And By The Way is a surprising new contemporary read that will have readers with one last demand at its finale: Where’s the next one? Highly recommended. Grade: A’ LAUREN’S CRAMMED BOOKSHELF

‘You know that little percentage at the bottom of your e-reader that tells you how much of the book is left. Let’s just say I was sweating this one out until the very last few percentages! I really don’t know where this book has been hiding… I’m sad it’s over as I feel like I could read about Alex forever.’ BURIED IN BOOKS

‘This is an absolute gem of a series.’ I WANT TO READ THAT

Butterflies go global…

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Delighted to announce that my contemporary, Young Adult series, The Butterfly Novels is now available globally – with gorgeous new covers that I love, love, love.

AND BY THE WAY (Butterfly #1)

Alex: “Six months ago, I lost my mum to cancer and my dad, ‘The Rockstar’, to work. Now, I don’t do close. That way I won’t get hurt. My friend Rachel won’t let give up on me. And that’s a problem. So is David McFadden, a guy in my class who says he wants to help. Six months ago, he could have but didn’t. Now, it’s too late. The last person I’m going to listen to is McFadden. When he calls me Ice Queen, I’ll show him just how right he is.”

Amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009SMWI6K
Amazon.co.uk – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009SMWI6K

AND FOR YOUR INFORMATION (Butterfly #2)

Sarah: “My friends, Alex and Rachel are minted. My money runs out. All the time. After Alex’s mum died, Rachel knew how to help. It made them closer. They don’t mean to leave me out. And I try not to mind. I have a sort-of boyfriend. We don’t talk about stuff that matters. But it’s better than nothing, right? I’m not even going to mention my family. Shoplifting wasn’t on my list of things to do before I die but it makes me feel amazing. In control. Until I’m caught. And my life, weirdly, begins.”

Amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009UAGE92
Amazon.co.uk – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009UAGE92

AND ACTUALLY (Butterfly #3)

Rachel: “When I first met Alex and Sarah they treated me like I was normal. A human being. They actually liked me – though it took a while to trust that. I’ve never told them about my life before I met them. I wanted a new one. A fresh start. Now, they think I’m the strong one, the one with all the answers, the guru. No clue why. When I get a part in a TV drama, it’s all my dreams come true. It’ll also bring me face-to-face with someone from my past. But I’m a different person now. And I’m sure Rebecca is too. No matter what, there’s no way I’m going to let my past destroy my future.”

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009T9TVK8

Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009T9TVK8

 

International Award Win

 

ebook-cover-with-sealOverjoyed that Through the Barricades has won the international SCBWI Spark Award. As someone who has huge respect for SCBWI, I’m humbled and honoured. I’m also INCREDIBLY HAPPY!

To celebrate, Through the Barricades is 99c on Kindle until the end of January. Yaay!

You can get it here…

amazon.com, click: here

amazon.co.uk, click: here

Surprise Appearance by my Hero

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As someone who has watched Forrest Gump at least fourteen times (I had to stop counting at some point), you can imagine the excitement when he appeared in this lovely quote on Through the Barricades by the, very generous, Martina Reilly:
 
book-flatlay-for-denise‘Things I look for in a good book – character, plot and the author’s ability to make me care. Denise Deegan does this in spades in Through the Barricades. OK, the historical backdrop lends itself to a pacy narrative – Ireland from 1914 to 1916 – a tumultuous time in her history – but it takes a clever writer to weave the history and not let it get in the way of the plot.
I fell in love with Maggie, Daniel and their friend Michael from their first introduction. I loved Maggie’s fire and Daniel’s devotion to her. I loved how their relationship developed and I enjoyed the almost Forrest Gump-ness of the book as Maggie interacted with important Irish figures. The pieces written about the trenches in the First World War were really moving as was the devotion Maggie’s family had to each other. Bravo Denise.’ (Martina Reilly, best-selling author of Proof)
 
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More on Through The Barricades here:
Now I’m off to make it fifteen times. A very happy 2017 to you all.

how I got stuck…

book-flatlay-for-deniseI didn’t get stuck while writing, Through the Barricades. That happened after. I explain all in an article published on writing.ie, a great resource for writers. In the meantime, here’s an edited version:

Traditional wisdom advises sticking to your genre and building your audience. It makes sense. To me, though, writing is about the very opposite of sense. It’s about sharing the stories that come my way. They are gifts to me. That’s how it feels. I’m not writing, I’m channelling. The stories are coming from somewhere else. Somewhere magical.

Through the Barricades is my first historical novel. I have written contemporary family dramas under my pen name, Aimee Alexander. I have written for young adults under my own name, Denise Deegan. Switching genres has never bothered me. A story arrives, I write it. I’m not restricted by how it will be categorised. I do that, I get bored. I get bored, my readers get bored.  The End.

Through the Barricades is a story of duty, love and sacrifice. Maggie Gilligan, driven by the weight of expectation from her dead father’s last request, tries to ‘make a difference in the world.’ Not an easy thing to do in 1913 Dublin. Maggie is frustrated, angry and passionate. Daniel Healy is one of the few people who understands her. Each is prepared to die: Maggie for her country, Daniel for Maggie. Their mutual sacrifices put them on opposite sides of a revolution that alters the course of history.dd_tb_bk1_final-3d

If a story like this arrives to you, you don’t walk away. You open your arms wide. You immerse yourself in research. You try to get it right. You try to understand all those people who risked their lives for what they believed in – whether it was fighting in the Great War or becoming rebels and rising up for Irish freedom. I read, watched, listened to everything I could from that era.

For me there were two research highlights. One was finding a book written in 1917 that recorded what happened my beloved Irish regiment when they arrived in Gallipoli in 1915. It would break your heart. The second was reading actual witness statements from people who were involved in the Irish revolution that became known as the Easter Rising. Here were people I had read about in books, now recounting in their own words what had happened.

For two years, I lived in the early 1900’s. I occupied a world of war and revolution. I saw it, smelled it, tasted it, touched it, heard it. Breathed it. This went beyond research. I was in the trenches with the men in Gallipoli. I felt their fear, their boredom, their homesickness, their thirst, their optimism and pessimism. I was in the trenches again on St Stephen’s Green on a chilly April night as gunfire exploded from a nearby hotel wakening rebels to the treacherousness of their positions.

With Gallipoli in particular, I felt a real connection to those young Irish men in the trenches. I still do. Some day, I will visit those ghostly Turkish beaches. There will be tears. There is no question about that.

I did not think of genre. I let Daniel and Maggie (and Lily and Patrick and Michael and all the many others I have grown so fond of) take me along with them wherever they needed to go.

Then it finally came time to publish the book. That’s when things got real. 

You can read more by visiting: writing.ie.

On being Irish

bfdc0971fc4fa8903cefb433eb5c75d0I’m an Irish writer. I knew that obviously! I’d just never given it any thought – at least not until the very lovely book blogger, Linda Hill, invited me to write about that very subject on her blog, Linda’s Book Bag. And it really made me think.

Here’s a little snippet:

When Linda – kindly – invited me to do a guest post she said:

‘I feel there is something very special about the literature that comes out of Ireland. Is it the sense of community there? Is it the legacy of great Irish writers? Is there a history, culture and tradition of tale-telling? Is there something about the Blarney Stone tradition tied up with the concept of narrative perhaps? Is it the rain which means finding indoor pursuits is a necessary evil? Are the Irish obsessed with stories?’

I blame the rain – for everything. The End.

OK, that wasn’t the end. It was the beginning. And you can read my – actually very considered – answers on Linda’s blog – because I’d like you to visit it! It’s a great blog. Just click: here.

And huge thanks to Linda for really making me think about what it means to be Irish and writing.