Hello and welcome to Wednesday Spotlight! The tables are a bit turned today, and Oliver, my sexy cyber butler, will be interviewing yours truly. We are chatting about my newly released thriller from Whimsical Publications, MASK OF THE BETRAYER, book one in the sequel series. So grab a seat and make yourself comfortable. Oliver has plenty of coffee, tea and pastries lined up on the side board in the parlor. And you know the rules, the bar is always open. Belly up and Oliver will be happy to mix your favorite poison.
With the raw beauty of the Red Rock Canyon as the backdrop, Oliver pours a cup of coffee and presents Sharon with a bouquet of yellow roses.
Oliver raises an eyebrow and winks. Because you made me rehearse my lines to the point of obsession.
Sharon: Moving right along. Are those blueberry muffins I smell, dearheart?
Oliver: But of course, boss. Coming right up. He struts off, pumping his biceps, muttering something about high maintenance. He returns, pushing a silver caddy, places the succulent muffins bursting with berries on the coffee table. With great theatrics, he lavishly butters one and breaks a piece off, popping it into Sharon’s mouth.
Sharon: Mmm. Delicious. Sharon winks and rolls her eyes. I suppose this is where I faint and clutch my heart and pant, Oh, Oliver. Almost as delicious as you, loveboat!
Oliver smirks and takes a seat on the wing back chair. So about this thriller, Mask of the Betrayer. Is it the one I star in? Where I get to be the romantic hero?
Sharon: No, Oliver. As we’ve discussed several times, that would be Charade of Hearts, coming out in November as part of the Jewel of the Night series. Mask of the Betrayer is book one in the sequel series, my debut thriller about a serial killer.
Oliver: Now my interest is perked. I adore suspense books, and as you know, my real job is a detective.
Sharon: Yes, Oliver. So you tell me daily about your “real job” but let’s stick to Mask of the Betrayer for today, shall we?
Oliver: By all means, Toots.
Sharon: Knock it off, Oliver. Remember, I write your script.
Oliver smiles a beguiling smile. How could I forget when you constantly remind me, boss? Why don’t I hold up a copy of the book and read a blurb and excerpt?
Sharon: That would be great, Oliver. I was beginning to think you forgot your line.
Sharon smiles and quietly sips her hazelnut coffee.
FROM WHIMSICAL PUBLICATIONS
MASK OF THE BETRAYER
BY SHARON ANN DONOVAN
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.
Michael DeVeccio had it all. A billion dollar construction company that built luxury resorts all over the world, a twenty-four room mansion with servants at his beck and call, the most dazzling club on the Vegas Strip, a fleet of outlandishly expensive sports cars, a private jet—and more money than he could use in ten life times. He had it all with the exception of one thing, a son, an heir to his vast domain. And once he found the perfect woman to produce his heir and propagate the family business, the DeVeccio Empire would rule the universe. He envisioned the ideal woman to produce his heir being flawless in every way. Her inner beauty would shine as bright as her outward appearance, she’d have proper etiquette with impeccable manners, and she’d be cultured in fine arts. His perfect woman would be well educated on current events when hosting extravagant parties and galas for his business associates. She’d be honest and sincere and loyal to him and only him. And she would not be a woman beguiled by his wealth and fortune. Yes, he mused, the time had come to find that woman. And it would happen. He ruled it so.
Thunderous applause explodes through cyber space.
Sharon: Oliver, isn’t this the part where you beg for my autograph?
Oliver: What’s that? Oof, watch your elbow, boss. No need to poke me in the ribcage. Here’s a pen.
With great ceremony, Sharon plucks up the fountain pen and signs Oliver’s copy. There we go.
Oliver swoons. Thank you, I’ll cherish it forever…that is…until my book comes out, Charade of Hearts where I get to be the main man.
Sharon: Soon, Oliver, in November.
Oliver: So, tell us about Michael DeVeccio, the main character. He’s a trained serial killer and has been getting away with murder for years. How so?
Sharon: Michael is the most complex character I’ve written about to date. I wanted to portray the complexity of the mind in this novel. It can bend. It can break. It can snap. For many years, Michael DeVeccio has been getting away with murder. As with most serial killers, the profile suggests something so traumatic happened in his childhood, the mind dissociates in order to block it out. If you enjoy getting inside the head of characters, you will like Mask of the Betrayer. What could have caused a sweet blue-eyed boy who loved and adored his parents, parents who instilled good moral standards in their son, to grow up to become one of the decade’s most cold-blooded killers?
Oliver: Hmm. Sounds like you did your research, boss. What kind of research did you do?
Sharon: I studied everything I could about sociopaths and psychopaths. What makes them so chilling is that they hide it so well. It’s almost as if they are programmed to say and do what people expect of them, but inside the darkest recesses of their mind, ugly thoughts and schemes lurk.
Oliver: Such as?
Sharon: While they appear to be charming, they are actually hostile and domineering. They see their victims as instruments to be used to reach their own selfish goals. The end will always justify the means. And this is what Michael does. Outwardly, he is devastatingly handsome, charismatic and wins people over in the blink of an eye. But inwardly, he finds their Achilles heel, uses it for his own gain, and then disposes of them with no remorse. Michael is a psychopath and has no emotions. His charm is superficial and he is the master manipulator.
Oliver: What drives him?
Sharon: Absolute power. He has to be the best at everything, and if anyone gets in his way, they will be disposed of. Permanently.
Oliver: You said that he was a normal and healthy child with parents that adored him and gave him a good moral upbringing. What would cause a seemingly normal person to go so wayward?
Sharon: Mind manipulation from a higher force, someone cunning and cold. This would be Michael’s uncle. You see, when Michael was a boy of twelve, his parents were killed and his uncle took him in and raised him as his own son. But his uncle was one of the biggest leaders in organized crime, and was training Michael to take over his billion dollar construction company and all its enterprises. Carlos taught Michael to kill the betrayer, and cover the corpse with a death mask. Michael was so traumatized by this that he dissociated and eventually was programmed to kill.
Oliver: But what is it that he really wants?
Oliver: But what happens:
Sharon: Obviously, you’ll have to read the book, Oliver. But I’ll leave you with this. Margot falls off the pedestal Michael places her on. And when she does, her life becomes a living nightmare. The things that Michael does to her are unspeakable.
Oliver pulls out his book and begins reading.
Thank you all for visiting. Have a glass of champagne and some chocolates. Hope I’ve enticed you to run out and buy Mask of the Betrayer.
This contest will run for the entire month of May!
It’s a masquerade ball in the grand ballroom. At the stroke of midnight, all the lights go out during a blackout. Zorro is the belle of the ball, dancing footloose and fancy free with every man at the party. But when the lights go out, one of the masked guests thrusts the Zorro sword straight through her heart.
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.
Print and Ebook when available
Send me an email at
Put Zorro Contest in the subject line and answer the following:
QUESTION: Who spotted Valentino stealing the sword from Zorro?
PRIZE: Deluxe Zorro cape and jeweled pin. Good luck and happy reading! Don’t forget to read the excerpt for a sneak preview of the murder during a blackout!