Monday, June 21, 2010

Sharon Donovan Interview & Book Giveaway

Joining us today is author Sharon Donovan. Here is her bio: Sharon lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her family. Prior to the loss of her vision, she was a legal secretary for the Court of Common Pleas where she prepared cases for judges in Domestic Relations. Painting was her passion. When she could no longer paint, she began attending creative writing classes and memoir workshops. After a long and winding road, a new dream arose. Today, instead of painting her pictures on canvas, Sharon paints her pictures with words.

Sharon writes stories of inspiration and suspense. She has certificates in business and medical transcription. She is a published author with The Wild Rose Press, White Rose Publishing, Whimsical Publications and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Echo of a Raven received a CTRR award for outstanding writing, and The Claddagh Ring is a 2009 CAPA nominee. To read excerpts and reviews of Sharon’s books and to sign up for her newsletter, visit her website:

[Anne] Welcome, Sharon. Why don’t we begin with you telling us about your latest book?

[Sharon] Book one in the sequel series, Mask of the Betrayer is a psychological thriller set in Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. Here is a hook and a brief synopsis:

When the whispers in the night, the whispers of her lover, are the whispers of a killer, will Margot escape before she becomes the next victim?

Deep in the foothills of Red Rock Canyon, a serial killer stalks. He leaves his signature—a skull mask on the corpse. But when the homicide cop realizes the crimes are the reenactment of a case never solved ten years ago--all fingers point to Michael DeVeccio. And when Margot realizes she is married to the killer, her life becomes a living nightmare.

MASK OF THE BETRAYER opens with MICHAEL DEVECCIO (The Hunter) killing his uncle when he learns the man who has trained him to kill is guilty of committing the ultimate crime. As sole beneficiary to the entire DeVeccio Empire, Michael fancies himself king of the world. Determined the DeVeccio kingdom will thrive for generations, he sets out to find the perfect woman to propagate his domain and will demolish anyone who gets in the way of his absolute power. When Michael meets art curator MARGOT MONTGOMERY, he decides she is the woman who will produce his heir.

[Anne] What inspired you to write this story?

[Sharon] The mind has always fascinated me. It can bend. It can break. It can snap. Getting inside the mind of the killer is like dismantling a bomb before it goes off. A disturbed psyche is just that, a ticking time bomb ready to explode. One wrong word can cause it to erupt like a quaking volcano. What could cause some of the most seemingly normal people to do such heinous and unspeakable crimes? This inquiring mind needs to know.

[Anne] LOL. How did you go about researching your book?

[Sharon] I took psychology classes to study behavioral patterns of sociopaths. Outwardly, they are charming and quite convincing. But this is only a fa├žade to mask the inner demons that lurk within. Sociopaths are cold and unfeeling, they lie with ease, and have no guilt or remorse for the crimes they commit. The end will always justify the means. They are devoid of all feelings. According to psychologists, this generally stems from childhood abuse, either sexual or mentally, traumatizing them to the point they block it out in order to survive. But it pecks away at the subconscious as they grow up, causing them to strike back with a vengeance.

I also had the advice of a Pittsburgh homicide detective. He explained to me that getting a confession is nothing like it’s portrayed on television. For the most part, there is no rough stuff involved, unless a weapon is drawn. He told me the best way of getting someone to talk is to sit down and talk to them in their own environment. Sooner or later, once their guard is down, they will let something slip. He also said that some really want to be caught and will wind up confessing to get it off their chest.

[Anne] Do you have anything new in the works?

[Sharon] I am hard at work on the sequel to Mask of the Betrayer. And to not give anything away for those of you who haven’t read book one, my lips are sealed. Wink.

[Anne] Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go? (Okay so maybe this isn’t very likely to happen but since I’m asking the questions…)

[Sharon] Tuscany. I fell in love with the quaint fishing harbor when doing research for Mask of the Betrayer. From the cypress-lined cobblestone streets to the umbrella tables in the courtyards, it offers a taste of old world Italy. Garlic, basil and oregano spill out of colorful window boxes, and flower carts and cafes grace corner sidewalks. Keeping with the age-old custom of long, leisurely lunches, quiet strolls and afternoon siestas, Tuscans maintain a little of yesterday in today’s world. Colorful fishing boats bob in the waters of a working harbor where women wrap the catch of the day in newspapers. Very whimsical and magical.

[Anne] You’ve just been informed that your latest release was a NY Times bestseller and Hollywood wants to turn it into a movie. What actors would you choose to play your main characters?

[Sharon] I’ve recently given that a lot of thought. I’m having a video made for Mask of the Betrayer, using actors from Triad Productions. It’s very exciting, and I get to have a say so in which actors they choose to portray my characters. With the way I’ve described Margot, they’ve chosen a Julie Roberts type and I think Julie would be perfect for the part of Margot. Michael is a tough one. He’s devastatingly handsome with brilliant blue eyes and the face of a fallen angel. But he wears many masks once he begins to snap. I envision a personality like Jack Nicholson in the Shining, but the looks of a young John Travolta or Alec Baldwin.

[Anne] What type of books do you like to read when you’re not writing?

[Sharon] Romantic suspense, suspense and J.D. Robb mysteries. Who doesn’t love Rork?

[Anne] I hear your gorgeous butler, Oliver, will be appearing in one of your upcoming novels. Will you please tell us about it?

[Sharon] LOL, Anne. Oliver is getting a wee bit arrogant, doncha know! The fame has already gone to his head. I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s demanding autographs and making me shake his James Bond martini just so. LOL But, yes. He’s been bugging me for some time now to star as the romantic hero in one of my books. I knew he couldn’t play the serial killer in Mask of the Betrayer. I’d have his countless fans bidding to knock me off! LOL But when I began writing a story for the Jewel of the Night series for the crimson line of Wild Rose Press, I knew our darling Oliver was the man to play the part of the homicide detective. Here’s a teaser for Charade of Hearts

While scuba diving off the coast of Diamond Head with her diving partner on a quest to find a family heirloom, underwater photographer Dominique St. John witnesses his brutal murder and photographs it, ensnaring her in a deadly jewel ring. And when the investigating officer turns out to be her partner’s identical twin, a man she knew nothing about, her life becomes a Charade of Hearts.

Welcome to the world of greed, intrigue, deception and murder. And at its core is a blue diamond worth millions.

As honest as his twin was corrupt, Honolulu Homicide Detective Oliver Carvalho must convince Dominique that her diving partner and best friend was a crook. In a race against time, Oliver must rescue Dominique from a ruthless killer. But his biggest challenge proves to be mending a broken heart torn by betrayal that can only be redeemed by love.

[Anne] Name three things you can’t live without (excluding spouses and family because that’s a given).

[Sharon] Coffee, potato chips and audio books

[Anne] What advice would you give to any aspiring writers out there?

[Sharon] Never give up on a dream.

[Anne] Where can we find you on the web?

[Sharon] My website for releases, excerpts, reviews and to sign up for my newsletter

My blog where you can set eyes on Oliver, sexy cyber butler, happy to stir you up a drink with a wink!

Face Book or write to me at:

[Anne] Where can we purchase your books?

[Sharon] Mask of the Betrayer can be purchased at the publisher, Whimsical Publications

My inspirationals can be purchased at White Rose Publishing

or through my website or online bookstores as Amazon, Fiction World, Smashwords. Her Biggest Fan and Charade of Hearts are coming soon from Wild Rose Press Crimson

[Anne] Is there anything else you’d like to add?

[Sharon] Just a big thank you, Anne. You ask great questions that really make me think. I would like to offer a pdf of Mask of the Betrayer to one commenter, so leave a comment! Thanks for a great interview!

[Anne] You’re welcome, Sharon. I’m thrilled you were able to join us. Your books sound great! They’re definitely going on my TBR list. Good luck everyone!


Hywela Lyn said...

Hi ladies,

Anne, great questions and Sharon, it was fascinating to find out a wee bit more about you and your books (and Oliver of course). Can't wait for 'Charade Of Hearts' it sound like a 'must read'!

I've just read 'Mask Of The Betrayer' and it is a fantastic read. Your gift of description brings the settings vividly to life and I could feel Margo's mounting terror as she realised the man she married is a psychopathic killer. I can recommend this to anyone who likes a truly gripping suspense novel. Congratulations again, Sharon, and wishing you all the success and luck in the world!

Erotic Horizon said...

Hi Sharon..

It was a pleasure to learn more about you..

I fell in love with the cover of this book and the blurb only made it jump a bit higher on my TBR list..

I am a romance suspense reader as well and find I veer more towards the inner workings of the killers mind more than the victims.. (Stalker, derange man on the hunt does it for me)

Toss in a decent connection between the protags and I am good...

Congrats on the release and thank you for a chance to win a copy..


Miss Mae said...

Just have to add my comment in here, though please don't add my name to the pdf contest, as I already have my copy. :)

I will say that this book was a bit hard for me to read as it unnerves me to get inside the darkness of a demented person (think Son of Sam, Charles Manson, Ted Bundy). Sharon's killer, Michael, is evil through and through. I never felt sorry for him even when he had his breakdown. And so much of the story is told from his POV, so you always know what his wicked ways are.

Sharon's descriptions of different locales are so extraordinary that I'm thoroughly convinced I care nothing for visiting the harshness of the Red Rock mountains, or the stark frigidness of the Swiss Alps. Call me a softie, folks, but I enjoy my recliner and coffee right where I am! LOL

But I highly recommend this story for anyone who loves to be scared spitless and craves not sleeping for a week!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hello, ladies. Ann, thank you for your grcious hospitality today. Lyn, dear friend, your accolades always put a smile on my face. So happy you enjoyed reading Mask. I tried very hard to get the facts straight about getting into the mind of a killer and presenting the homicide investigation with accuracy. Oliver is looking forward to his starring role in Charade of Hearts, and so am I. Wink.
E.H. Thank you for dropping by today. The amazing artwork for Mask was designed by Anastasia Rabiyah and she is awesome. I'm a long time fan of romantic suspense and getting into the mind of the killer intrigues me probably more than it should. LOL And, I agree. Add some chemistry and we have a good sizzling read!

Erotic Horizon said...

@Miss Mae

I will say that this book was a bit hard for me to read as it unnerves me to get inside the darkness of a demented person

With a statement like that how can I not want to read this book...

Thank you for the extra info - Anastasia Rabiyah did drop me a line as I have featured this book on my blog a few weeks ago...

She does sound like an awesome person...


Sharon Donovan said...

Miss Mae, I know mask terrified you, and at times while writing it, it terrified me too. When I was studying psychology, it dawned on me that in our lives, we probably will come across someone with a mental disorder. Perhaps not to such depths that they turn to killing for vengeance, but some scars prevent them from developing and growing into a "normal" adult. How very sad. If there were signs, like the bright blazing eyes or frightening grin portrayed in old movies, we would all recognize and stay clear. But that's just it. Sociopaths play on our emotions and do it with a practiced art of deception.
I appreciate your honesty, MM, and your outstanding review posted on Amazon. The dark side of the mind isn't something I have done before, and Michael DeVeccio is the most complex character I have created to date. Would I want to hike the raw beauty of Red Rock Canyon? Not on your life. I'm halfway done with the sequel and not even I, the author knows for sure what has become of Michael DeVeccio (The Hunter!)

Sharon Donovan said...

E.H. Thank you for featuring my cover on your blog! I so appreciate it. I left a comment and remember you saying that you've been reading a lot of romantic suspense as of late. Initially, I submitted Mask of the Betrayer as a romantic suspense, but since Margot marries the villain (Michael DeVeccio) right off the bat after a whirlwind romance, only to learn he is the killer stalking the foothills, she falls in love with the hot looking "Don't mess with me" cop investigating her husband for the recent killings. So alas, this does not fit the guidelines for romance and has been labelled a psychological thriller. But there is plenty of romance in it and plenty of evil that really traces the cracked psyche of one demented man. Thanks for your interest, E.H.

Mary Ricksen said...

I just read Mask of The Betrayer and I LOVED it! I always love to get into peoples heads and Michael's head is spinning with craziness. I think Josh Holloway would make a good Michael, he can be so deviously mysterious and I think he'd be great at it. Julia Roberts yes or even Sandra Bullock, she's so good, she'd kill that role!!
In any case I would love to see this as a movie! WOW! Good reading all around for sure. My husband came up and tapped me on the shoulder while I was reading, I almost jumped outta my chair.

Candace Morehouse said...

I am now thoroughly intrigued by Mask of the Betrayer.

When Mary said "My husband came up and tapped me on the shoulder while I was reading, I almost jumped outta my chair" I just knew I was going to have to read it! And then Miss Mae's description of "But I highly recommend this story for anyone who loves to be scared spitless and craves not sleeping for a week!" made we want to read it all the more. I love being scared!

Sharon is a master at description. I can't imagine that anything she writes is anything less than fantastic!



I read the excerpt and then the comments and now I want to read the book.


Sharon Donovan said...

Mary, a movie of Mask would be a dream come true. Wow, and I like the idea of Josh playing the part of Michael. Someone very mysterious and cunning would have to play his role, complex and complicated. When you said you jumped when your husband came up behind you while reading it, I knew the atmospher I had created for the setting panned out. Thank you, my friend.

Sharon Donovan said...

Candace, thank you for such a lovely compliment. I am truly flattered, coming from such an awesome author as yourself. If you like being scared the way I do, then Mask as I like to call it is the book for you. I've been a fan of suspense and thrillers ever since Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, and Rod Sterling's Night Gallery.

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this fabulous book :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Loretta. Thank you for dropping by and for leaving a comment. Mask of the Betrayer is more about mind control and how fragile the mind truly is when cracked.

Anne Patrick said...

Wow, what wonderful comments! Thank you all for dropping by in support of Sharon. 'Mask of the Betrayer' sounds right up my alley. Can't wait to read it.

Sharon, it looks like you've been having a great time. Sorry I'm just now dropping in. Today was my first day back to work after my vacation so I've been playing catch-up all day. Whew!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Anne, thank you so much for a lovely day and a stirring chat about Mask. Hope your vacation was a great time. The worst thing about coming back is getting caught up. Do we ever get caught up? That is the question. But I trust you are refreshed and ready to write some more amazing stories for us suspense lovers.

Brandlwyne said...

Thank you for talking to us, it really sounds good!!!

Sharon Donovan said...

Karenk and Brandlwyne, thank you so much for dropping in to chat. Everyone, thank you for chatting about Mask and for your feedback concerning my first suspense book. I really enjoyed the day and appreciate your kudos more than I can say. Anne, thanks for featuring me on your blog. You ask great questions that really made me think. Now for the winner of Mask of the Betrayer. And the winner is...EH
Congratulations! Shoot me an email

Erotic Horizon said...

Thank you so much Sharon - I am so looking forward to reading it...

Thank you...


skkorman said...

Sounds like a good read—please enter me to win!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Laurean Brooks said...


I'm sorry I'm so late. But you know how much I love your descriptive writing. Writing that pulls you into the scene, grabs you, and keeps you right there in the action.

Both you and Miss Mae have this gift. Spine tingling, hair-raising plots. Yikes!