Animation by Kayelle Allen at The Author's Secret

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Wednesday's Writer - DONNA FASANO

What an honour it is this week for me to have USA Today best-selling author Donna Fasano as my guest. Donna  is a three time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, and a Golden Heart finalist. Her books have sold nearly 4 million copies worldwide and have been published in two dozen languages.They have made the Kindle Top 10 List, the Nook Top 10 List, and the iBooks Top 10 List. She has so much to tell us and there's so much I want to ask her, so let's get up close and personal without any further delay.

Donna, What attracted you to writing in the first place?

I came to writing from my love of reading. While growing up, I lost myself in books in order to escape an unhappy childhood.

How very sad.  Can you tell us how your upbringing influenced your writing?

I think authors who face a lot of pain and anguish seem to write stories with great depth, with honesty and compassion. It could be that dealing with trauma brings out the best (or worst) in people. I believe that losing my mother at such a young age had a huge impact on me not just as a writer but as a human being. I became, I don't know, more maternal towards my family, my friends, heck, towards everyone I meet... more giving of myself, I guess you could say. My mother's death could have made me bitter and angry. I'm just so grateful that the exact opposite seems to describe me.

I still find it painful to talk about losing my mother, so I can identify with that.  What genre are you most comfortable writing?

Romance. I wrote for Harlequin for 20 years, writing sweet romance (as Donna Clayton) and women's fiction (under my own name). I have self-published some of my books. The Merry-Go-Round was my first indie-published book. Reclaim My Heart is my very first Montlake publication. I am proud and excited to have been picked up by such a prestigious publisher.

That must be fabulous.  Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from?

My mind is always on the alert. The writer in me is inspired by everything I see, hear, read, and experience. I have been known to take a snippet of conversation overheard in an elevator and turn it into a book (Return of the Runaway Bride), or from a location (His Wife for a While), or from a person I met (Taking Love in Stride). So be careful! If you interact with me, you might end up in one of my novels. 

Lol!  We'll all take note of that.  What about places, what’s your favourite place in the entire world?

I have visited so many beautiful places. The South of France, the rolling mountains of Italy, the Mediterranean Sea, the cobbled streets of Brussels, the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, beautiful Morro Bay, California, and I spend lots of time in Ocean City, Maryland. I obviously can't pick a favorite. Besides, there are so many places waiting to be seen!

I agree - and you've named some of my favourites ones too.  What was your favourite part of this book to write? Which part was the hardest?

I really enjoyed writing the love scenes. In my sweet romances, all the 'spice' takes place behind closed doors. So this was very fun. And which part was hardest? The "kitchen love scene" (naughty pun intended!).

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

I wanted to be a teacher. My aunt attended college and earned her teaching degree. I always idolized her. I've dedicated Reclaim My Heart to my Aunt Dot.

How lovely.  If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?

Elementary school teacher. I love children, and I often include them in my stories. I always say that children are very innocent and outspoken. Kids inject a great deal of fun into a book with their in-your-face honesty.

Too true.  I love reading about the world of childhood.  If you could live inside the world of a book, which book would you choose?

Pride and Prejudice. Love that Mr. Darcy!

Ahhh, don't we all?  Returning to earth, give your fans three fun facts that they may not already know about you.

I love to cook! (I often post recipes on my blog.)
My reading tastes are crazy-eclectic. I read anything and everything.
I'm a little on the chubby side. 

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

I put my heart and soul into Reclaim My Heart, and I think it shows… in the story but especially in the characters.

I think it's time to wind this down so I can get onto reading it.  So what’s next for you as an author? Any last words?

I'm thinking of writing a book that revolves around three friends in different stages of marriage, but I'm not sure yet. I've worked very hard on Reclaim My Heart and I'm going to take a few days off. Then I'll get back to work!

Reclaim My Heart - Blurb

Sixteen years ago, Tyne Whitlock cut all ties to her past and left town under the shameful shadow of a teenage pregnancy. Now her fifteen-year-old son is in trouble with the law and she is desperate for help. But reaching out to high-powered attorney Lucas Silver Hawk will tear open the heart-wrenching past in ways Tyne never imagined.

Forced to return to the Delaware Indian community where Lucas was raised, Tyne and Lucas are tempted by the heated passion that consumed them as teens. Tyne rediscovers all the reasons she found this man irresistible, but there are scandalous secrets waiting to be revealed, disgraceful choices made in the past that cannot be denied. Love is a powerful force that could heal them both—if the truth doesn't rip them apart.

Thanks, Donna - it's been a pleasure talking to you.

I want to thank you for hosting me, and I want to thank your followers for taking the time to read about Reclaim My Heart.

If you want to connect with Donna, just click on any of the following links:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Ghost Story - UNWORKERS - Claim your free copy here

Rather than signing up to KDP Select and making my latest novel free for all, I thought I'd offer it exclusively to readers of my blog.  To claim your copy, all you need to do is leave your email address in the comments section, along with your preferred format.

What is Unworkers about?

The lives of five women converge at Chichester Court, an elegant Georgian mansion, now converted into apartments for women in need. 

Anne Baron is currently undergoing an unpleasant divorce.  Anne experiences strange time-shifts in the house, while her six year old suffers terrifying nightmares—though he claims he isn't dreaming.

Joanna Sterne is Anne's oldest friend.  She used to live at Chichester Court and knows something of its strange history.  Her visits there now bring back unpleasant memories and strange voices urging unspeakable acts.  She helps Anne explore the house's past in more detail.

Gemma Peterson is striving to make a new life for herself and her two young children with lover, Andy, but is haunted by a recurring dream and a mysterious woman in grey—not one of the residents—who watches over her children.

Rhia Masterson is Gemma's friend, a striking beauty who seems to lead the perfect life with her perfect house, perfect husband, perfect children… But Rhia is concealing a past so terrible that she has completely suppressed it—until now.  The forces of house exert a powerful influence over Rhia, leading her and new-found friend, Anne, to dabble in a past life regression experiment with curious results.

And finally Paige Hutton, the lonely teenage mother who has become a semi-invalid following an accident on the stairs which she insists was no accident.  Paige and her baby seem to be the chief targets of the more malevolent forces within the house.

Anne is the catalyst who brings the five women together, causing the disturbances at the house to escalate as its spirits clamour for attention and release.  Unworkers is not just a story about a ghostly house, but about five women and their very real struggles to find their rightful place in the world.

UNWORKERS is currently available at Amazon, but if you would like a copy free of charge, please leave your details below and I'll be delighted to send it to you.  

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Killing Jenna Crane - Romantic Thriller - Less than Half Price

This romantic/psychological thriller is now available at its special half-price offer until 15 November.  You can find it at:  
Amazon (US)
Amazon (UK)
Smashwords (use Coupon Code AE28N at the checkout to take advantage of the special offer)

So what's it all about?

Ellis Crawford is a successful, if rather arrogant, young author who shot to fame and fortune writing the Jenna Crane mystery series.  The success of these books amongst young adult readers has led him to international acclaim and a lucrative Hollywood movie deal. 

Vulnerable neighbour, Chloe, out searching for her lost cat, meets and falls in love with Ellis.  A huge fan of the Jenna Crane stories, Chloe soon offers herself, heart and soul, to the author, but Ellis is reluctant to commit himself and the relationship ends in disaster six months later.  

Shortly afterwards, Ellis meets Emily who represents everything he considers perfect in a woman.  But feisty Emily is the polar opposite of gentle Chloe and gradually Ellis comes to realise quite how badly he treated his former girlfriend.  Added to his nagging guilt is the fact that Emily feels nothing but contempt for the Jenna Crane series and believes Ellis is wasting his talents.  
When Emily suggests he kills off his popular heroine to focus on more serious projects and Ellis agrees, he finds himself haunted by memories of Chloe and his idyllic life gradually begins to fall apart.  Then when literary works he has published under different pseudonyms mysteriously become public knowledge, his agent, publishers, devoted readers and even Hollywood all turn against him.  

With his reputation in shreds, Ellis begins to seek answers, but finds these in the strangest places… and they turn his life completely upside down.

Here are just some of the comments from readers:

"I think it is her best yet. Beautifully-written, as I have come to expect from this author, with superb characterisation. But what makes it stand out is the sheer originality of the plot"

"I enjoyed the book for many reasons, and can recommend it wholeheartedly."

"Well worth putting off your to-do list to read it in one sitting! So what are you waiting for?"

"Expect the unexpected. Job well done."

"She kept me guessing until the end with one surprise after another. This is a book that won't disappoint."

I hope you'll grab it while you can - and, more than anything, I hope you'll enjoy it.  Do come back and tell me - I'd love to hear from you.