Sharon's INSPIRATIONAL Short stories of Faith and Romance can be found HERE or visit her
Facebook Page, which also has the links in the comments.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday Spotlight with Deanna Jewel

Hello and welcome to Wednesday Spotlight! My featured guest today is friend and fellow-author Deanna Jewel. Deanna is here to chat about her newly released book No Turning Back.

In keeping with the theme of the book, we have been transported
back in time to North Yorkshire, England, 1775. We’re sitting in the Victorian parlor overlooking the gorgeous English countryside where a cascading waterfall gushes over the cliffs of the woodlands. With a clomping of horse hooves crushing through the underbrush of the thicket, Lady Deanna dashes out of the clearing on Caesar and
tethers her horse to a branch.

Sir Oliver struts off to answer the door, cradling a bouquet of fragrant orange roses. When he thrusts open the heavy mahogany door, Lady Deanna saunters in on a gust of jasmine-scented air, looking lovely in a dark green silk gown. Extending his arm, Oliver escorts her into the parlour where Lady Sharon sits, donned in a brushed copper gown with black beaded applique. The women hug and air kiss as they exchange greetings. Slipping into Queen Anne chairs in front of a crackling fire, they catch up.

Sharon: How are you, Lady Deanna?

Deanna: Lady Sharon, I’m so excited about this book but first I want to thank you for having me here today. The setting is gorgeous and so are the orange roses! You’re so thoughtful.

Sharon: Oliver, I dare say we’re ready for refreshments.
Oliver struts off, pumping his biceps. In no time flat, he returns, white Russians and hot buttered popcorn poised above his head on a silver tray. With a sweeping bow, he presents the drinks, scooping up a handful of popcorn and feeding it to Lady Deanna with a wicked wink.

Deanna: Oh my, Oliver, you are wonderful to bring in my favorites. *licking the butter from my lips and taking more popcoren*

Sharon: That will be all, Oliver. Lady Deanna, do tell us about the setting of No Turning Back and how you researched this particular era in time.

Deanna: I’ve always loved reading historical and love England. Growing up, I read Victoria Holt novels and as you know, those were set in England, Johanna Lindsey and Virginia Henley used England for many of their novels and those authors are my favorites. So when I decided to write, I had to do my novel in England and include the ships and pirates and sword fights. *sigh* I just love them and I hope the readers love my settings. I do take Nathan and Vanessa on a few adventures, that’s for sure.

Sharon: I love the name Vanessa. It’s old-fashioned with a royal ring, yet timeless and romantic. Do you have any personal ties or connections to this name?

Deanna: No connections, I’ve just always liked it.

Sharon: Being an avid horse lover and former rider, isn’t it interesting that women horse breeders were socially unacceptable in London during that era. Tell us about that and how Vanessa deals with it in the story?

Deanna: I think that was part of the fun of writing Vanessa. She goes against society and does what she wants, though she still dresses proper for the balls. Her maids had an awful time with her when they helped her get dressed because she would take the breeches and put them on anyway, which made sense if you’re working with the horses. She also knows how to use the whipcord! I wanted to give her a few special talents!

Sharon: And how does Nathan feel about a woman who marches to the beat of a different drum?

Deanna: Ah, Nathan….mmmmm……oh, I’m sorry! Nathan loves a strong woman who also knows how to be a woman when the time presents itself. Vanessa has a mind of her own and uses it to continue the business and stand up to those who get in her way, which gets her into trouble also.

Sharon: And for the true romantics out there, this book is all about second chances. How do you feel about that?

Deanna: I had to write about second chances because I had my own second chance at love and now - I live in my own fairytale. Those who know me will attest to that! *big smile* But there are so many men and women out there who lose the love of their life and think they will never again find that one special person who makes life worth living again and that’s just not true. If nothing else comes through in my novel, I hope the reader takes that note with them – love will happen again for them. I’m also a firm believer in the concept of ‘attracting what you think’. I didn’t come up with that line but there is so much truth to it. I’m writing a short book on that which should be available in a month or so. If one wants to be happy, one can not depend on others to make them happy. It has to come from inside! But I ramble on…..I just feel very strong about that.

Oliver saunters into the room, treating Deanna to a beguiling smile. With great articulation, he sets down a tiered mint green candy dish overflowing with lemon bars. After freshening her drink, he plucks up a pastry and feeds it to Deanna, watching her eyes glaze over.

Deanna: Oliver, those are to die for! I commend you on your talents. Lady Sharon, how to you stand it with such perfection in his culinary talents?

Oliver removes his copy of No Turning Back. If I might be so bold as to ask for your autograph, Lady D?

Deanna: Thank you, Oliver, I’d love to sign that for you. I do hope you enjoy the story. You’ll make some lucky woman a wonderful husband with your talents in the kitchen.

Sharon holds up her empty crystal glass. I wouldn’t mind a refill, Oliver…or do I have to “duke” you?

Oliver pours, his eyes on Deanna.

Sharon picks up her copy and reads the blurb and excerpt whilst Deanna signs Oliver’s copy.

Blurb – No Turning Back

While avenging the death of his fiancé years earlier, Nathan learns that he can love again but is he willing to chance another broken heart? Will the woman he wants also open her heart again?

Vanessa is heartbroken over recent events in her life; she’s also head-strong, flaunts London aristocracy and takes on breeding horses, something unheard of in the society circles of London. She finds herself trying to put the pieces of her life back together, but can she do it alone? With a child on the way, she is forced to do just that - their future depends on her strength. Then a friend offers to help. Dare she trust a man sworn to carry out a vow taken on a death bed? She refuses to accept that his love is true when his honor of sticking to his word is also at stake.

North Yorkshire, England, 1775

Michael ‘Nathaniel’ Clairmont, the Fourth Duke of North Yorkshire, crumpled the missive he’d received from his fiancĂ©e’s parents as he raked his fingers through his shoulder length hair. Fear tightened his chest as he stepped to the door and called to his squire. “Prepare Caesar, now!”

Stepping back into the room, he addressed his longtime friend, Anthony Faulkner. “I’m going to see Lady Stockholm’s parents. Clarissa is missing. Are you with me?”

Faulkner jammed his tricorn hat atop his head. “Bloody right I am!”

Moments later, after meeting with the Stockholm’s, Michael urged his bay Barb to greater speed along side Anthony’s. An unnatural scattering of branches and leaves strewn about the road ahead caught his attention. He reined Caesar and dismounted for a closer look. Footprints of horses and men marred the dirt and led deeper into the woods where the underbrush lay trampled and broken.

After tethering Caesar to a branch, he motioned for Faulkner to follow him along the path. A piece of green silk shimmered atop a briar bush, and Michael grabbed up the soft material. It was the color he’d last seen on Clarissa. The fragrance of jasmine assailed his senses. His eyes widened in recognition of the scent...the same one Clarissa wore!

He gripped the material in his fist. Bile rose in his throat as fear knotted his gut. Though afraid of what he’d find ahead, he pushed forward; low-hanging branches slapped at his face and caught at his shoulder-length hair. He pushed the foliage out of his way and tromped the underbrush in his desperate search.

When he reached out to block another branch, a silk stocking skimmed his face and he grabbed the stocking for inspection. Michael looked at Faulkner’s worried face, swore under his breath and moved on but a foreboding feeling ate at his senses, almost like being watched.

He couldn’t miss a gown strewn atop the bushes. The shock that tore throughout his system stopped Michael dead in his tracks, his muscles recoiling in reaction. Meticulously arranged over the waist-high bushes, as if in preparation for wear, lay a dark green silk gown, a vicious tear low in the neckline. His gaze moved slowly over the material. Tightness gripped his chest, feeling as though someone had reached in and squeezed his heart, the pain so intense it burned. He touched Faulkner’s arm, and gritted his teeth. “It’s the gown Clarissa wore at the ball last night,” he said in a gut-wrenching rasp. His gaze searched the area until the very thing he wanted to avoid seeing lay before him. His body froze.

A bare, delicate ankle peeked from beneath the underbrush.

Lunging forward like a wild beast, ravaging the area, throwing branches and uprooting ferns, he uncovered her body...clad only in her white satin chemise, splattered with her own blood.

His tortured scream echoed throughout the surrounding forest as he fell to his knees beside her battered body. Praying she might hear, he whispered her name. Touching her bruised cheek--he found it still warm. A flicker of hope ignited within his heart as he pressed his fingertips against the slim column of her throat. Moments later, finding no trace of a pulse, that slight flicker of hope extinguished itself. His mind was a whirlwind of thoughts at who could be her killer.

Thunderous applause explodes through cyber space.

Sharon: (Holds up her copy) This is a wonderful and intriguing book, Lady Deanna. Congratulations! I just love it!

Deanna: You are too kind, but thank you. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Lady Sharon.

Sharon: What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Deanna: Writing the book was fun but the hardest part was the editing. This was the first novel I’d written, though it got published second because there were so many things that had to be ‘fixed’ because I’d learned so much writing this. I took it out of the drawer so many times in the last ten years that I lost track of the number of times. I got discouraged that it couldn’t be fixed and would put it back in the drawer, yet something kept taking me back to the story. Maybe the characters wouldn’t let it die, who knows, but finally it did make it past the edits, got fixed and here it is.

Sharon: And the part you enjoyed the most?

Deanna: The love between the characters, setting the sexual tension and the attraction….mmmmm……I do love sexual tension in a novel. Without that, there would be no reason to continue reading!

Sharon: Sadly, Lady D, our hour is nearly up. Parting is such sweet sorrow. But before you go, you must treat my fetish for collecting legends or superstitions from my guests. Do you have one to share with me?

Deanna: Hhmm….that’s a tough one. Can ghosts be a superstition? Because I do believe in ghosts, that they are around us all the time. Some of us have the ability to sense them and some don’t and that leads me to my next novel that includes a ghost in an abandoned lighthouse who takes on the task of bringing two lovers together who were lovers in a past life.

Sharon: And finally, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Who would you like starring as Vanessa and why? And last but not least, who do you fancy playing the role of Nathan and why?

Deanna: Perhaps I would like to try the English countryside in a castle of my own, but let’s include running water for baths and showers! Haha! Who would play Vanessa and Nathan in a movie? I haven’t really thought that far – maybe Julia Roberts for Vanessa? Now Nathan….maybe Hugh Jackman? I’ll have to give that more thought or your guests can leave their recommendations! *wink*

Sharon: Tell readers where they can get in touch with you and where they can purchase No Turning Back.

Deanna: I love to hear from readers and fellow authors and they can email me at and my novels are available on my website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and I’m sure many other online bookstores out there.

Sharon: Thank you so much for being my featured guest today, Lady D! It’s been great fun! And as a special treat, Lady D is graciously giving a copy of her book to one lucky blogger. So don’t forget to leave a comment!

As The Power of Love by Celine Dion plays on the Victrola, Oliver sweeps Lady Deanna into his arms as they glide across the burnished cherry wood floors, their feet never touching the ground.

Author Biography

Deanna Jewel, formerly from Saginaw,Michigan, currently lives in Lewiston, Idaho, has been writing since 1991. She has completed one time travel and one historical novel and has several others in the works. NEVER SURRENDER, her most recent time travel romance, is now available in print version and e-book for download to your electronic readers. This novel won an Honorable Mention in the 2008 Quill Awards at Her second novel, released in April 2010, is titled NO TURNING BACK, and is also in print and e-book for download to your electronic readers. Hard at work on the edits for her next novel, she hopes to have that available in early 2011.

She is married to a retired captain of the fire department who has also owned his own businesses for 28 years and they have two Siamese cats: Zoie and Sinbad. She has a grandson in Idaho, two daughters still living back East, one granddaughter and another due in November. Deanna has enjoyed reading historical romance novels for over thirty years, camping with her family, and traveling. A trip years ago to Dubois, Wyoming, south of Yellowstone, inspired her time-travel novel. The landscape and town locations described in NEVER SURRENDER are real. Jon Daley, a professor at Boise State University, translated the Shoshone language that you will find in the book.
Her writing goal is to draw the reader into the story to experience what the characters feel, to show both the hero's and heroine's points of view, and to take the reader away from their every day stress to a place not yet visited.


Witchy Woman said...

Those lemon bars do look heavenly, maybe I'll just have one. Hi Oliver, Sharon, and Deanna. What a lovely morning! I'm looking forward to reading all about Vanessa and Nathan. :)

Sharon Donovan said...

Hello, Witchy Woman. By all means, sit down and have some lemon bars and allow Oliver to get you a drink while we wait for Deanna to grace us with her presence.

Catherine Bybee said...

*waving - I've had your book on my TBR list forever. I do hope to catch up on that list over the summer.

Sherry said...

Great interview it was very interesting. Your book sounds really good and is on my to buy list.

Deanna Jewel said...

Witchy Woman, Sharon, Catherine and Sherry - thank you all for stopping in today! I'm glad I can share this day with so many friends! I'll be in and out today. Sharon, your parties are always so much fun, thank you for having me here today!

Sharon Donovan said...

Lady Deanna! Oliver rushes over with a white russian. Welcome! Hello to Catherine and Sherry. What would you like to drink? Grab a seat and let's chat with Deanna about her amazing book.

Deanna Jewel said...

Aaahh...refreshments! Thank you, Oliver, you're such a dear, Lady Sharon is so lucky to have you with her!

I enjoyed writing No Turning Back so much. It put me right there in England! As readers, I know we all understand that living back then certainly wasn't as romantic as the novels portray it, but we love the English villages and countrysides. I would imagine riding through Hyde Park on a beautiful warm summer morning would be so wonderful, talking with friends, stopping for tea...mmmm. I hope my writing can do that for those who read my stories!

Sharon Donovan said...

That's why we embellish, Lady D! To romantisize the ordinary into the extraordinary! Sigh, yes I fancy myself on a gorgeous horse riding through a meadow of fragrant lavenar into the sunset with my gallant knight in shining armor!

Linda Swift said...

Hello Deanna, Sharon, and Oliver.
Your book sounds interesting and I will want to read it as I've lived in Yorkshire a few years ago and I love everything English. It was fun dropping by, as always. Ummmm. lemon bars. My favorite.

Witchy Woman said...

Oliver, may I have a glass of iced-tea, please. Thank you! This takes me back to my youth, when I would go horse back riding with my cousins. Haven't been anywhere near a horse in ages. Might have to use my magick, and conjure one up before I'm too old to do it,lol. On another note, I've never been to England; my vacations are all in the states. Is England beautiful?

Hywela Lyn said...

Hello Deanna and Sharon - oh and of course Oliver!

*waves to Witchy Woman, Catherine, Sherry and Linda*.

Mmm, your book sounds wonderful, Deanna and Nathan seemslike a charismatic hero. I love historicals (even thoguh I write futuristic)and of course having horses in a story is an added bonus for me!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Linda, welcom to Deanna's party! Come sit with us and chat about romantic heros and horses. Oliver, more refreshments...if you please...

Sharon Donovan said...

Witchy Woman, of course you can have some ice tea. Oh, Oliver! I've never been to England, but I have been on a horse and adore the gorgeous creatures. Where is Lady D?

Sharon Donovan said...

Lady Lyn, come join us. Oliver some Earl Grey, please. I agree that this book is packed with the best in romance and horses and romantic England. I'm reading it now! Oliver, I do believe I'll have a glass of chilled white wine please.

Deanna Jewel said...

*scurrying back in, another white russian in her hand*

Hi Ladies! Lyn and Linda, I'm so glad you stopped in. Are those lemon bars to die for or what? Linda, I do hope I've captured England the way it should be. I would love to tour a few castles and one day , I may get the opportunity.

I was out at the stables trying to talk Nathan into coming in for a bit! I hope he decides to later. I he such a gentelman to talk with and that smile of his...mmmm.

Mary Ricksen said...

Pass the popcorn will you Sharon, I gotta get my copy signed by Lady Deanna. Ouch, I'm sorry, Lady Sharon, that hurt. Mary rubs her arm where she got punched.!
Hey Witchy Woman who are you??? You sound familiar. Hmmmmmm.
Great interview ladies, nice to let us come!

Linda Swift said...

Deanna, you would have to ask some native Brits or Hywela about "getting it right" as I am just a star-struck American who never got tired if visiting castles and great houses and minsters and cathedrals every weekend for almost two years. A never to be forgotten experience. I wish you much success with your book. Linda

Witchy Woman said...


Your jesting with me? And does that popcorn have melted butter? Yummm!

Nathan said...

(shakes hands with Oliver and takes the Jack on the rocks from him)

good evening pleasure (he bows over each hand, kissing the back as he goes down the line, ending at Deanna)

Nathan said...

Witchy that's an interesting name. *wink*

Lady Sharon - It's nice to make your aquaintance.

Mary and Lyn....I knew you two were fun as soon as I saw you!

Nathan said...

Lady Sharon...I'm glad you enjoy romantic heros. I certainly hope I fall into that category for you. Perhaps later we can take a look at the horses together. I'm sure Oliver will trust me with you.

Deanna Jewel said...

(stepping back into the room)Nathan! I'm so glad you could make this evening! Ladies, is he not gorgeous? And more handsome still when he blushes.

Oliver might trust you with Sharon but I'm not sure I trust Sharon with you! Oh my! Sharon, you're sitting a bit too close to him there...but you must see the Arabians out there!

Witchy Woman said...

Sitting next to Sharon, bumping her with my hip to get to Nathan.

Nathan said...

Witchy....England is indeed beautiful! but the best from the deck of my ship. *wink* The sunsets are breathtaking from out in the harbor and as the sun sets it creates a new palette of colors along the shore line and the wharf. You must visit us one day.

Sharon Donovan said...

Sharon swoons as she drifts a bit closer to Nathan. Mmmm. You certainly do, and I would love to take a moonlit stroll to the stables with you. Oliver, go away!

Sharon Donovan said...

Deanna, quit nudging me in the ribcage with your elbow. Didn't your mama ever teach you how to share? Sharon bats her eyes at Nathan...about that moonlit stroll, love?

Sharon Donovan said...

Mary, dig into the hot buttered popcorn. It was freshly popped over the hearth and is to die for. Yes, we would all love to know more about the mysterious and enchanting Witchy Woman.
Lyn and Linda, so glad you're still here. I just love it when we all get together for these parties. And what an added bonus to meet the handsome and gallant Nathan. Very nice, Lady D...very nice indeed. Oliver, do splash some more Jack in his glass.

Deanna Jewel said...

Lady Sharon, you're blushing! Nathan, take her out to the gardens on your way to the corral and I WILL give you a quiz on the horses later just to be sure you DID go there, Lady Sharon!

I'm so glad so many of you stopped in to visit with us, thank you everyone!

Hywela Lyn said...

Lyn has been mezmerized by the dashing Nathan for - oooh - so long she's forgotten where she is. (Sorry Oliver, you have competition!)

Oh I'll just have to read No Turning Back now, won't I!
Hmmm, Nathan - England is charming and beautiful, but have you ever seen a Welsh sunset over the sea? From the back of a horse? No? I bet you haven't visited a Welsh castle either set in the majestic and rugged Welsh Mountains either. One day I'll have to take you on a guided tour of my homeland!

Sharon Donovan said...

Lyn, that sounds like such a pretty picture, and oh, so romantic. Nathan appears to a trance!
I would like to thank everyone for joining me today for another Wednesday Spotlight. A special thank you to my featured guest Lady Deanna. Deanna, what fun! Thank you for gracing us with your royal presence! Nathan, sigh and swoon...I'll hold our moonlit stroll near and dear to my heart forevermore. Sharon whispers in his ear. And you must give me a quick description of the Arabians should Lady D quizz me later. Wink wink.
As always, a special thank you to Hywela Lyn for decorating my blog with such finesse. Thanks, Lyn. Fine job, m'lady!
As a special bonus, Lady Deanna has invited me to be her guest today. Hope you can join us at her blog studio where I'll be chatting a bit about my latest suspense. Mask of the Betrayer. See you there!

Until next time, may the luck of the Irish be with you as you travel through life.

Love and Blessings,

Witchy Woman said...

Oh, you were serious? You gals are so nice; here, let me take off my witch hat. I review romance novels over at Love Romance Passion. I also have a private blog site called Book-Hoarder. (Those are my hobbies.)

Sharon Donovan said...

Witchy Woman, how fascinating. We would love to have you as a guest at the Author Roast and Toast. If interested, shoot me an email at
We promise to make it fun!!

Anonymous said...
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MaryAnne said...

What a great post! You two made me feel like I was there listening to a radio interview. Your books sound wonderful. I'd love to win one of your books!

Sharon Donovan said...

Thank you so much, MaryAnne! I enjoy these interviews very much and Deanna is a lovely guest. Her books are the best! I only wish it was a radio chat. What fun!

Deanna Jewel said...

Hi MaryAnne - thank you so much for your kind words! Sharon is very easy to talk with; I'm glad you enjoyed the blog. My website has a Bookbuzzer link to read two chapters of both my books, should that interest you. I'm glad you stopped in yesterday!

Sharon Donovan said...

And we have a winner...MaryAnne!
Congratulations, MaryAnne! You have won an autographed copy of No Turning Back. Please shoot me an email