Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Meet Sharon Donovan!

And the WINNER IS:  
Linda Swift - Congratulations Linda!!

     I'd like to welcome everyone and thank you so much for joining us! Today I'm proud to introduce you to Sharon Donovan and her new psychological thriller. She and I have become close friends even though we are fifty states apart! I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Sharon on her blog site yesterday and the interview is still up for those who'd like to pop over and read it. Sharon, you are a delight to know and talk with; I'd like my visitors to know you as well. Thank you for taking the time to be with us today.
Sharon: Thank you for having me on your blog today, Deanna! It’s a pleasure to be here.

Deanna: Tell us a bit about you as a person that our readers might not know.

Sharon: I’m blind. I lost my vision ten years ago after a long battle with diabetic retinopathy.

Deanna: What happened in your life that made you want to become a writer?

Sharon: Prior to the loss of my vision, painting was my passion, my life. Devastated when I could no longer pursue this dream, I needed to channel my creative muse elsewhere. Here’s a brief background. I began hearing the frightening phrase diabetic retinopathy at the age of six when I was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic. During a routine visit to Children’s Hospital when I was twelve, a doctor predicted I would be blind by time I was twenty-five. His harsh words echoed in my head to the point of obsession, affecting every major decision I made for years to come. But even though these words haunted my subconscious, I never spoke them aloud. Then they might come true. The closer I got to twenty-five, the tighter the noose around my neck, sucking the life out of me like a garrotte. I worked as a legal secretary at the Court of Common Pleas where I prepared cases for judges in Family Court. But painting was my passion. I spent my weekends painting picturesque scenery, the ruins of ancient Rome and reflections on the water. Through my artwork, I escaped to a place of peace and tranquility. No more heartache. No more pain. But one day while painting a Tuscan landscape, I had the first bout of blindness. And for the next two decades, my vision came and went. Now you see it—now you don’t. And after a rocky road, ten years ago, I lost the battle, losing all hope and my will to live. But through an organization for the blind and visually impaired, I found the courage to face a sighted world I was once part of. Some of the curriculum I endured for eight grueling hours every day for sixteen weeks was mobility training with a white cane, group therapy to deal with anger issues and the use of a computer with adaptive software. It was a heart-wrenching journey filled with endless challenge. Part of the reason I was reluctant to enroll in a program for the blind and visually impaired was because I thought clients would be uneducated. I was a professional, after all. What could I possibly have in common with “Those people?” I was wrong. I met doctors and nurses, teachers and engineers, all with one common thread. We were all facing vision loss due to circumstances beyond our control. Some had the extra burden of facing a marital problem because a spouse could not or would not accept the blindness. We laughed and we cried. We connected in a way words could never express. I was one of the lucky ones. What didn’t kill me made me stronger. And after a long and winding road, a new dream resurrected. Today, instead of painting my pictures on canvas, I paint my pictures with words.

Deanna: Is there a certain type of character that is easier to write than another?

Sharon: First of all, let me explain to the readers that I write in two completely different genres: Sweet Inspirationals and Suspense. Given all I’ve been through in my life, I feel the need to inspire others through my writing by offering hope. I live by this motto: “Never give up on a dream”. Go after your passion with both barrels blazing. On days when I’m feeling Less than inspirational, I simply run out and kill someone in the wonderful world of fiction. LOL To answer your question, Deanna, I find romantic heros the easiest to write about. What woman doesn’t want to be swept into a happily-ever-after? We all love a good romantic read and I’m no exception.

Deanna: Do you have a favorite type of character that you enjoy writing about?

Sharon: Indeed, yes! I love to write about characters with psychological disorders. I took psychology classes for this very reason, to study the complexity of the mind. It can bend. It can break. It can snap. Why? This inquiry mind wants to know. I have the insatiable need to dig deep and uncover the layers that would cause a person’s psyche to crack and unravel to such extremes.

Deanna: Can you tell us about one such character?

Sharon: I’ll be happy too. In my newly released psychological thriller, Mask of the Betrayer, Michael DeVeccio is the most complex character I’ve written about to date. He’s a cold-blooded serial killer and has been getting away with murder for years. Outwardly, Michael is devastatingly handsome, 180 pounds of raw, sexual energy with brilliant blue eyes that have a hypnotic affect. He is suave and debonair and is sole beneficiary to a billion dollar enterprise that builds luxury resorts all over the world. He manipulates and controls people by zeroing in on their Achilles heel and using it for his own gain. In a word, Michael is a sociopath. Even though he is highly intelligent and charismatic, he has a chronic inability to feel guilt, remorse or anxiety for any of his actions. The end will always justify the means because he is  a master at the game.

Deanna: Why would such a character interest you?

Sharon: I’m a huge fan of profiling. What is it about some of the serial killers of our time that fascinate us? Take Ted Bundy, for instance. Or Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahmer. What could have happened in their lives to make them do such heinous crimes with no remorse or regret? According to psychologists, something so dark happened in their childhood, causing them to dissociate in order to block out the incident. But the inner demon continues to peck away at the subconscious, causing the victim to strike back in unspeakable ways. But even though I like to explore these inner demons in my books, never fear. I always have a romantic hero come to the rescue to save the heroine of the book. In Mask of the Betrayer, Margot is the heroine and Diego Santiago is the hero.

Deanna: Tell us a bit about the heroine and hero of Mask of the Betrayer?

Sharon: Margot Montgomery is head curator of a art museum in Chicago. She is pretty, with high moral standings. When she meets Michael, she is swept away in a heartbeat. She marries Michael after a whirlwind romance. But shortly after a romantic Tuscan honeymoon, Michael shows his true colors. He demands she give him a son to propagate his family name and business. And if she doesn’t, she may become the next victim. Margot realizes a little too late, she has just married the serial killer stalking the foothills of Red Rock Canyon. Diego Santiago, a streety homicide cop with a “don’t mess with me attitude,” is the officer investigating the case. As he and Margot work together in close contact to trap a killer, they fall in love. But before they can find their happily-ever-after, Margot must face the man behind the mask. Will Diego save her in time? Well, I guess you’ll just have to read my book; Mask of the Betrayer is on sale for the entire month of May at Whimsical Publications:

Deanna: What are your hobbies?

Sharon: I love to collect things, including legends and superstitions from different cultures. Being a wee bit Irish, I’m extremely superstitious. For instance, I wear a pink tourmaline gemstone ring because it is said to stir the creative muse of the writer. Laugh if you will, but one week after I bought it and rubbed the stone, I got my first contract with Wild Rose Press.
Another passion of mine is collecting face masks. Masquerades fascinate me. I have a Cleopatra mask, a red feathered mask, a purple peacock, a gold butterfly, and a black and white pearl face to name a few. I also have a full feathered headdress. I love masquerades so much that I wrote one into Mask of the Betrayer, and a lot of my masks are featured in the chapter. Zoro is a big part of the suspense, and you guessed it! There is a murder at the masquerade and Zorro is found dead in a makeshift coffin in an upper wing. Who did it? The serial killer, of course. The woman portraying Zorro is Michael’s ex-wife.

Deanna: Where can readers find you?

Sharon: My website where you can sign up for my newsletter. Right now, I have a Zorro Contest running. I’m giving away a deluxe Zorro cape and jeweled clip to one lucky winner:

My blog where I do author interviews on Wednesday Spotlight. If you haven’t met my sexy cyber butler Oliver, you are in for a real treat. Talk about eye candy!

Or write to me. I love hearing from readers!

Deanna: And once more, where can we purchase Mask of the Betrayer?

Sharon: Mask of the Betrayer is on sale for the entire month of May at Whimsical Publications. Now is your chance to purchase it at a discount.

Thank you so much for having me as your guest today, Deanna!

I'd like to let our guests know that by leaving me a comment on today's interview or my book, will put them into the drawing for a print copy of  Mask of the Betrayer! The drawing will be Friday or Saturday and I'll email the winner so be sure to leave your email addy. Thank you all and good luck. I look forward to answering all the comments I can.

Deanna:   Sharon, it's been a true delight having you here and again, thank you so much for talking with us today. Readers, if you'd like to leave a comment for Sharon, she is still around to answer questions today. Thank you to each one of you for joining us today! Remember, by leaving a comment and your email address, you'll be entered in the drawing for Sharon's new book!


  1. Good morning Sharon! I wanted to be the first to welcome you today. Since you're on the east coast, I won't be here until at least noon east coast time. No! It's not noon where I'm at!

    Everyone, please enjoy yourself, stick around awhile and chat with Sharon. Thank you all for stopping in!

  2. Hi Deanna and Sharon

    Fascinatng post, Sharon. You know how I love and admire you and your work. I've just started reading 'Mask Of The Betrayer and it's wonderful!

  3. Good morning, Deanna! Glad to be here, girlfriend. Thanks for having me as your guest today. I'm excited to chat about Mask of the Betrayer!
    Lyn, hello, another one of my best gal pals dropping in for a chat. I'm so glad you are enjoying Mask of the Betrayer. It's my first suspense novel, doncha know. Michael is a real looker and a charmer, but look out. He's a devil in disguise. Diego, on the other hand, mmmm...has it all...looks, integrity and a Latin lilt that drives women wild. But he only has eyes for Margot, his sweet Margarita. He is a hopeless romantic beneath the rough exterior, and writes a beautiful and sentimental love song for her. Sigh.

  4. Good Morning Deanna and Sharon! What a great interview!

  5. Good Morning my friends at Coffee Time Romance & More! Thanks for stopping by and for the compliment!

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  7. Hi Lyn, so glad you stopped in to join us! It's always good to see you.

  8. Coffee Time Romance - how nice to see you and thank you for taking the time to stop in with us today! What a great surprise!

  9. Great post ladies. Every time I learn a little more about you Sharon.
    You are not complex, you are just plain wonderful and so are your books!

  10. Thanks, Mary. You always make me smile! Meeting friends like you is the best part of writing.

  11. I thought I'd entice you with a little more about Diego Santiago He falls in love with Margot when he is investigating her husband (Michael DeVeccio) for the recent serial killings. He is caught between duty and desire, knowing if he lets his guard down for one second, he could lose his sharp edge. He is part Spanish and part Navajo Indian, wears his long, mahogany hair in a ponytail, and sees things other cops miss. He has the stealthy moves of a panther and is determined to bring down the smug billionaire and then move in on Margot.For you hopeless romantics, Margot runs to his home one day and watches him through the window as he strums away on his Spanish guitar, a beautiful love song he has written straight from his soul. "My Sweet Margarita."

  12. Hi Sharon, My you are getting around the loops right now. I can scaracely keep up with you and I always try to catch your interesting guest blogs where I always learn something new. And today I finally learned there is a Deigo. I kept wondering how you were going to resolve Margo's relationship with that serial killer and turn him into a hero. What a relief to know you aren't. Now I want to read the book
    So here's my email addy. I might get lucky and win it.

  13. Hi Linda, thanks for stopping by. You can rest easy. LOL You know even though Mask of the Betrayer isn't strictly romance, what kind of romance writer would I be if I didn't create a hero for Margot? Sadly, there is no real cure all for sociopaths. They are so destroyed by something dark and sinister that they simply feel no remorse or guilt. So having Margot and Michael rebuild a relationship is out of the question. I think all the romantics out there will be cheering Diego on to find a way to rescue Margot from the manipulative hands of a madman. That is what Michael is, oh be it a very handsome madman. LOL

  14. I think that is an important point here Sharon, there is a hero!
    Diego is her hero, and rescuing her is the whole idea.
    The journey and the resolution. You're getting into the mind of a normal looking, handsome, no to mention Wealthy, man. Who is a bad boy. Margot needs saving. It's not just about a serial killer.
    It's much more than that.
    And I think people are getting stuck on the murderer thing, that is the tip of the iceberg.

  15. Thanks, Mary. You are so right. I realize Mask of the Betrayer is advertised as it is, a psychological thriller. But I must say that even though I find the mind and mental disorders quite fascinating, I could never write a story that is pure evil that would leave the reader unsettled. I would classify this as romantic suspense but for the fact Margot is married to the villain, which defies the guidelines of romance writing. This is the reason it is classified as suspense thriller and not romantic suspense. Rest assured for those who love romance...there is plenty of romance in Mask of the Betrayer. All is not murder she wrote. LOL

  16. Thanks to all who have popped in so far! Don't forget to leave a comment and your email to be in the drawing for a print copy of Mask of the Betrayer...drawing will be Friday afternoon.

  17. What a great interview. Sharon, your understandings create complex and deeply interesting characters. Also, the masthead on your website is fantastic!

  18. Leigh D'Ansey! Hello! Thank you so much for the wonderful compliments. I appreciate
    them so much. I really wanted to get deep inside the characters to show the different
    layers of the mind and how easily they can unravel when cracked. Some of my research
    was taking psychology classes about mind control and chatting with a homicide detective
    who made me realize real life crime is nothing like it's portrayed on television.
    Thanks so much for dropping by to chat!

  19. Deanna and everyone! What fun it has been chatting with all of you about Mask of the Betrayer and the complex characters I've created for book one. Just a bit about Margot for those of you who haven't read the book. She is pretty and sophisticated, but not flashy or money hungry like the other women Michael has always ben attracted to. He recognizes her inner beauty as well as her outward, and with her knowledge of artwork and her education, he chooses her as the "Perfect woman" to give birth to his son, the heir to his kingdom. But when she falls from grace, the things he does to her are unspeakable. And Diego Santiago, the hot looking homicide cop who is investigating her husband for the serial killings, is the only one who can save her. What fun it was writing this book, and I am hard at work on the sequel. Remember, leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win an autographed copy. Good luck!

  20. Sharon and Deanna, What a great post. I can hardly wait to read Mask of the Betrayer. Of course, I'd love to win a copy. Hint, hint.

    Thanks also, Sharon, for having me as an authorsroastandtoast guest on Friday, June 4th. I'm looking forward to visiting with you lovely ladies then.

  21. Hi Caroline! Thanks for stopping by to chat. Deanna is such a gem. Oh, I'm so happy you like the teasers for Mask of the Betrayer. I'm breaking into a new genre here with suspense and romantic suspense and am searching for new readers! They have always been my favorite type of book since like....well...forever.
    We are so looking forward to your roast next week. We promise to make it a fun day. We're having a Hollywood gala today and are dancing with the Donald! Hush hush...we all had botox to fit in with the chic of Hollywood. Drop on by if you want to be seen! And Oliver has made some great food.

  22. Hi Sharon,
    I know why you can write inspirational books's because you are inspirational in the way you live. Lovely blog!
    I'll check out your books.
    Hugs Mimi

  23. Hi Mimi, what lovely words. Thank you so much. Inspirational books will always hold
    a place near and dear to my heart because they convey hope and portray the message
    of never giving up. But suspense books are good for making me think! LOL thanks for
    dropping in to chat.
    Hugs Back,

  24. Hi Sharon and Deanna, A delightful interview with two interesting upbeat women. I think everyone masks their emotions at one time or another but I'll look forward to reading Mask of the Betrayer.
    My best to both of you,
    Charmaine Gordon

  25. Hi Charmaine, what a lovely name! Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, we all mask our feelings to a certain degree, hopefully, not to the degree of Michael DeVeccio. LOL I would love to hear what you think of the book. Enjoy the summer,