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 5, 2010

Wednesday Spotlight with Sharon Donovan

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.

Sharon: Thank you, Oliver. Aren’t they fresh and lovely. However did you know these are my favorite flowers?

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.

Oliver holds up the book and announces, "And with no further ado, here is a teaser from Mask of the Betrayer"




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.


Flaming copper finials bordered the entrance of DeVeccio Plaza, drawing guests in with its regal appeal. Standing tall and mighty in a sky of midnight blue velvet, the flaming torches gleamed like shooting stars with tails. The interior of the grandest resort on the Vegas Strip gave chase to marble staircases with elaborately turned balustrades and high end sculptures behind beveled glass enclosures. Rushing down the corridor after procuring the mural she’d bid on, Margot fought the urge to kick off her high heels and walk barefoot down the plush, red carpeting.

The beckoning wail of sax drifted out of the piano bar, the bluesy sound of jazz bristling beneath her skin. After spending the better part of the afternoon negotiating at an art auction, unwinding over a chilled martini sounded like utter bliss. Seduced by the sound of sax, she sauntered up the three steps leading to the mezzanine and ordered a Pomegranate martini.

“You got it, doll,” the bartender winked.

“Whatever the pretty lady wants is on the house,” the man approaching the bar said in a buttery soft voice. “And give me a bourbon on the rocks, Jazz.”

Margot turned around and came face to face with the billionaire tycoon of DeVeccio Plaza. His shocking blue eyes left her breathless. With his sharply defined features, full sensual lips, and all that black wavy hair, he reminded her of one of the sculptured Greek gods she’d featured last month at her gala.

“Allow me to introduce myself,” he said. “I’m Michael DeVeccio. Welcome to my palace.”

Every pulse in her body was as charged as an electrical current. Michael DeVeccio, legendary for building luxury resorts in every continent, exuded strength and power from every pore. His world renowned success preceded him. And here he stood in front of her in all his glory, one hundred and eighty pounds of raw, sexual energy. Mesmerized by his hypnotic blue eyes, she met his gaze. “I’m Margot Montgomery. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Your resort is everything it’s rumored to be, simply breathtaking.”

“Thank you.” he edged a bit closer. “I’ve always fancied it to be the jewel of the Strip. I didn’t think anything could outshine DeVeccio Plaza. But I was wrong. Nothing could possibly hold a candle to the sparkle in your emerald green eyes.”

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?

Sharon: A son. Michael has it all with the exception of one thing, a son to carry on the DeVeccio Dynasty. And he is on the hunt for the perfect woman to bring his heir into the world. And he finds that woman in Margot Montgomery. She is the perfect woman and for the first time in his life, Michael comes close to love.

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.

Sharon: Oliver, how about corking the bottle of chilled champagne for the guests. And while you’re doing that, I’ll tell them about the contest. One of the scenes in Mask of the Betrayer portrays a lavish masquerade party in the grand ballroom of the DeVeccio mansion. It’s a huge ball and everyone is dressed for the nines. But at the stroke of midnight, the power goes out, and a murder takes place.

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.

Contest rules:

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

Whimsical Publications, LLC

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!


Sharon Donovan said...

Welcome to my release party! Have some champagne and chocolates or belly up to the bar where Oliver will mix the perfect martini! One lucky commenter will win a Zorro mask. Good luck and welcome to my release party for Mask of the Betrayer!

Linda Swift said...

Good morning Sharon and Oliver. What a great interview (and interviewer) This book sounds like a real page-turner. I am heartbroken that Michael is for real a serial killer but then, that's what makes a plot, isn't it? I predict a bestseller here. You grabbed me with just this short excerpt. Now, please don't pout, Oliver. I'm sure "your" book will be equally good and I know for certain all your many fans will flock to buy a copy for you to autograph. Linda

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Linda, thanks for coming to the party! It's a wee bit early for champagne, but Oliver will be happy to whip you up a mimosa or coffee or tea or soft drink. Have a seat and study the masks.
A special shout out to Hywela Lyn who decorates my blog. Doesn't she rock? Thanks, Lyn. Lovin' it girlfriend!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Sharon,
Great interview. Michael sounds devishly ruthless, pity a man with so much can be so bad.
Another best seller coming up.

mowriter said...

Congratulations, Sharon. Sounds like a great book! Michael seems to have it all, but I suspect his obsession with having a son is all about his own life and what was taken from him early on. As is often said, words mean things, but it is how the words are spoken that tells us more about the speaker than the words themselves.
Enjoyed the party, champagne and all. LOL
Best wishes for a great launch.
Dale Thompson

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Sharon and Oliver

Mmm, thanks Oliver, I will have one of those sumptuous looking chocolates, thank you.

What a rivetting excerpt and I agree, with the others - Michael sounds like a very charismatic character, it is a pity that he's a psychopath, but as Linda says, that's what makes the story.

Brilliant interview, I really enjoyed it - and I loved adding the illustrations. (blush)

Miss Mae said...

Decidedly creepy indeed! Gives me shivers on top o' me goose bumps!

No, Oliver, I don't mean YOU! *Miss Mae gives him a hefty swat with her fan*

I'm so excited this book is now released, Sharon. I know how long you've waited for this day. Congrats, and good luck, it really does sound like it's going to be a huge best seller!

And Lyn, great work on the graphics! :)

hotcha12 said...

puuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrr MOVE OVER SHARON AND LET ME AT THAT HOTTIE!! WOWZA!

Debra St. John said...

Great fun for Oliver to take a front seat, so to speak.

Sharon, I still say your book sounds bone-chilling!

Oliver, hugs and kisses, darling!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Margaret, have some bubbly and chocolates. Yes, Michael is too good to be real in the true sense of the word. Pure evil lurks behind his handsome facade.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Dale, thank you so much for coming to the release party for Mask! Yes, you are so right and you sound like a psychologist. Very true and certainly food for thought. According to the profilers, the vast majority of serial killers suffer from a deeply hidden childhood trauma that they just can't deal with. It cracks the psyche and leads to destruction of the mind. Such a tragedy, really. Thanks, Dale. More bubbly?

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Lyn, thank you so much. Oliver, do bring Lyn some chocolate and some champagne to celebrate. Yes, Michael is a master manipulator and his wheels are always turning for self gain. Pity is right. Oliver, I think this bottle is empty. Keep the bubbly fountain flowing!

Sharon Donovan said...

Oliver pouts at Miss Mae's words. But not for long. He struts off to pop the cork off the new bottle of bubbly. Here we go! And more chocolates and even succulent strawberries. Miss Mae, thank you so much for dropping by. And for your encouraging words about Mask. Indeed, yes. It's been a long time coming. And who says seven years flies! That's right folks, Mask of the Betrayer has been in the works for several years. My first writing instructor said the first book written is seldom the first book sold. Truer words were never spoken. I am beyond thrilled for its opening debut. Here here!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hotcha12! He is lovin it! He is a hottie, isn't he just. Down, , Oliver, down boy!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Debra, welcome! Thank you so much, and yes, this is a bit of a bone-chilling thriller. Ever since Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Night Gallery and The Hitchhiker, I loved being scared to death. Oliver blows kisses. Have some bubbly!

Anne Patrick said...

Awesome interview Sharon & Oliver! This book does sound like a real winner. I know how difficult it is to write from a serial killers VP. It's creepy, yet fascinating.

Best of luck to you, Sharon. And Oliver when your book comes out you'll have to pop on over to my blog and let me interview you.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Anne, yes we seem to share a fascination about serial killers, don't we? Ever since Jack the Ripper, The Boston Strangler, and who could forget Charles Manson, I needed to know what could make a person kill with such violence. Digging into the mind and what makes it tick is something I never tire of. Oliver is all smiles and is blowing you a big kiss. He is so looking forward to his debut in November with Charade of Heart, part of the Jewel of the Night series by the Crimson line of Wild Rose Press. We are thrilled with all of our suspense stories coming out! He will shamelessly do an interview. LOL Now sit down, Oliver. You have six months to wait for you day in the sun. In the meantime, you can keep the bubbly flying.

Mary Ricksen said...

Oh Oliver behave. Sharon is not only your boss, but your best friend. You wouldn't exist without her!!!

You know I can't wait to read all of your new up and coming releases!
Sharon you are the very, very, best. I am crazy about you as a person and an author! Take that!

Deanna Jewel said...

Hi Sharon! What a great excertp! It's an attention getter for sure and I hope your sales skyrocket! I know I'll be getting my own copy for sure. Best of luck with the release, you've got a great story here!

Ginger Simpson said...

Sharon, you definitely have the most interesting interviews, and I love your humor and style. Your book sounds simply fascinating, and I plan to get a copy as soon as I can so I can read and review it for my column. I'm always looking for new and exciting reads. Thanks for the champagne. *raises glass* Here's to you and success.

kerribookwriter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharon Donovan said...

LOL Mary! you make me laugh and bring tears to my eyes at the same time. You're the best and you rock, girl! Never change. Have some bubbly and some chocolates. Oliver insists...

Sharon Donovan said...

Hey, Deanna! Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed it, girlfriend. Now, sit down and have some bubbly and here comes Oliver with more chocolates and strawberries. Mix and mingle, my friend!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Ginger, thank you so much for your kind words. I would love to be reviewed by you and would consider it an honor. Oliver is coming your way with a glass of champagne. Here here!

Sharon Donovan said...

Kerri! Big hugs, my friend. Thank you for visiting and supporting Brenda's auction and buying a copy of Echo. I do so appreciate it. I know how near and dear finding a cure for type 1 diabetes is for you with your daughter and my sweet pal Brooke. I've been a type 1 since the age of six and it is high time to find a cure. You rock, Kerri. Have some champagne and chocolates and stay a while. How's the wee one? Keeping Mommy busy?

Laurean Brooks said...

Ha-ha-ha! Sharon, you've outdone yourself. This sounds awesome!

But it sounds like Oliver is manuevering the spotlight to focus on him. "Tsk-tsk." Better take that big boy to task.

Congratulations on your new release!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hey, Laurie! Thank you so much. yeah, yeah, you know Oliver. He loves the spotlight and will find a way to have it shine on him. But today is for Mask and here he comes with a glass of the bubbly. Mix and mingle and check out the Venetian masks. I love masquerades.

Kathleen said...

Champagne is definitely in order to celebrate such a fabulous story. Congratulations, Sharon on your new release!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Kathy, thank you so much. And your wish is Oliver's command. Here he is at the ready with a flute of champagne. Cheers and thank you for attending my release party for mask!

EA said...

Wonderful release party. Oliver certainly comes in handy, bringing you flowers, aiding in showcasing your work. The book sounds fantastic! I expect great things.

Sharon Donovan said...

Thanks, E.A.! Yes, I am thrilled and Oliver comes in quite handy! Have some bubbly and chocolates and sit with us for a while.

Lori, Sr. Editor for Wild Rose Press said...

Great party, Sharon, and Oliver, could you refill my champagne please?

Having read Mask of Betrayer, I would definitely recommend it. Interesting reading!

You will also all want to check out Oliver's story later in the year! :)

Ah, thanks, Oliver. Don't go too far with that bottle.

Sharon Donovan said...

Oliver dashes over to Lori, blowing kisses and pumping his biceps before refilling her flute of champagne. He feeds her a strawberry and winks, counting the days for his release party with Charade of Hearts where he is the romantic hero in the Jewel of the Night series by Crimson to be launched in November.Lori, thank you so much for coming to the release party for Mask and for your kind and encouraging words. Mix and mingle. Sharon clinks her glass to Lori!

Julie Robinson said...

Hellooooo??? Is anyone still here?
Sharon? Silence greets me.
No, apparently the hostess has left.


Feeling on wall for light switch, I push it up. Light floods a room of abandoned disorder.

Wait! Is that . . . yes! It is Oliver asleep in an upright kitchen chair. Opening one unfocused eye, he smiles with with the lazy indolence of a well satiated male.

The empty drink glasses on the table tell me the real reason for his grin.

"Is, Is Sharon still here?" I clear my throat. "I just got her message."

"Who? Oh! You must be Julie!" Oliver opens both eyes, then leaps up with the enthusiasm of a child with a new toy.
Bowing before me. he asks for my drink order. "Sharon is going to be so happy! She's been waiting for you all day."

"I know," I mumble. I had a busy day.

"She's still around here somewhere. Let me get that drink for you. " He runs off to the bar yelling for Sharon.

I sit down to wait, hoping that I'll be able to congratulate my friend on the release of her new book and to thank her for the contest and discount notice which I will be taking advantage of.

Julie Robinson said...

Gee, I hope Sharon doesn't notice that I wrote in a hurry and didn't edit . . .
I was so anxious to visit!

Sharon Donovan said...

Sharon slips out of the darkness to find Oliver lighting candles. Wow, some electrical storm. It knocked out power right at the stroke of midnight. Wait, sounds familiar...just like the scene in Mask of the Betrayer when there is a murder during a blackout. Julie, is that you? Why are you holding the Zorro sword? Oh, no, could Julie be the killer? Yes, folks, she is! And if you need proof, just look at her Zorro mask and bandana, the one she won for being the midnight caller! Sharon hugs her friend. Thanks for the well wishes, my friend. And congrats for winning the Zorro mask to celebrate my release party. I hope you like it. Now, let's go sit at the bar and have a nice chat and catch up. And who says it doesn't pay to crash a party at the midnight hour!

Sharon Donovan said...

A heart-felt thank you to one and all for dropping by to celebrate the release of Mask of the Betrayer. I hope you all enjoyed the party as much as Oliver and I did. You are all so very special to me and have made the party a smashing success! Stick around for coffee and blueberry muffins, fresh out of the oven.
Until next time, may the luck of the Irish be with you as you travel through life.

Love and Blessings,


Sharon Donovan said...

Oliver has an announcement pertaining to his leading role in Charade of Hearts, part of the Jewel of the Night series. One contract will be chosen at randam and will be showcased in November. The rest of the contracted stories in the Jewel line will be launched at a later date not yet determined. Stay tuned for coming attractions. Be the first to know when Oliver's release party will take place!

Diane Craver said...

What a fun and enjoyable interview and great excerpt!

Congratulations, Sharon, on your new release!

Sharon Donovan said...

Thanks so much, Diane, and thanks for dropping by. Have some coffee and muffins and check out the Venetian wall masks. Aren't they awesome?

Julie Robinson said...

laughing hysterically with Zorro sword in my hand, -"IT wasn't me, officer." I push the Mask onto my forehead to gaze up at Oliver dressed in his cop uniform. HOnest!" I bat my eyes at him, hoping to convince him of my innocence,. I couldn't help but notice how he filled in that uniform.

Spying Sharon, I rush over to encase her in a waqrm hug. "Congratulations, my dear friend! I am so happy for you. I got my copy of Mask of the Betrayer last night."

Sharon giggles delightedly and smiles her thanks, while I gush my thanks for winning the Zorro mask and bandanna. "Oliver the Officer was, ahem, investigating me.'

Linking arms with Sharon, I hand the sword back to Oliver. Using the other hand to give the sword back to Oliver, "Thanks for playing charades all night." Oliver tries maintains his officer's persona before a sharp look from Sharon has him scurrying to the bar to make coffee. Sharon and I sit at the bar, eager to catch up. :-)

Julie Robinson said...

Obviously I need coffee sBEFORE i write!

Sharon Donovan said...

Julie! This is great and the perfect grand finale to my release party for Mask. Thank you so much for playing along and for purchasing the book. I hope you'll like it and congratulations on being the lucky winner of the Zorro mask. I'm sure you will find something clever to do with it. LOL Sharon and Julie walk off to the bar for coffee and muffins, their laughter echoing through the hallway.