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, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight with Maureen A. Miller

Hello and welcome to Wednesday Spotlight! I have a very special treat today for lovers of Romantic Suspense. Maureen A. Miller is in the house! When the doorbell rings, the musical chimes floating through the mansion, Oliver swaggers down the corridor, a bouquet of freshly-cut red roses in hand. Answering the door with an appreciative smile, he presents the flowers and escorts Maureen to the parlor to join Sharon.

Designed with a distinctive New Orleans flair, feather face masks and faded murals accent the walls. From satire and humor to fantasy surrealism, the art decor evokes the essence of the time-worn French Quarter. A cherry wood log snaps in the hearth, the rustic scent permeating the air. Two silk chenille chairs face the fire, the blazing flames taking the chill out of the crisp autumn day. A cornucopia embellished with colorful acorns, pomegranates and gourds decorate the coffee table.

Sharon: Have a seat and make yourself comfortable, Maureen. How are you?

Maureen: Hello Sharon, I’m so happy that you invited me over, and I’m so grateful for the fire…it must have dropped to 40 out there!

Oliver appears, pushing a sterling silver butler’s caddy brimming with coffee, tea and pink party cakes. With a wink and a smile, he takes a sweeping bow. Ladies, refreshments are served. Would you care for anything from the bar?

Maureen:Coffee, Oliver, thank you, and no need to bow.

With a mischievous wink, Oliver pours coffee into two china cups.

Sharon: I am so thrilled to chat with you about my all time favorite genre, romantic suspense. I can’t tell you how excited I was to learn about your blog; in fact, that’s putting it mildly! Stumbling upon JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE was like receiving an unexpected present. Tell us all about it.

Maureen: JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE was born from a random internet search. I am a big fan of the genre. (Don’t roll your eyes, Oliver.) So one day I did a search for romantic suspense authors, and I found so many varied results. Romantic Suspense authors by publishing house, by RWA Chapter, by political party, suspense writers, mystery writers…but I wanted to find just romantic suspense. As a reader, I wouldn’t want to have to search all of these sites for one morsel of information. I would want all that information accessible to me in one location.  And that is my goal with JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE.

Sharon: Kudos to you, Maureen. With the onslaught of  so many cross genres  taking the nation by storm, is it just me or is romantic suspense taking a back seat to the darker, the bolder, the more erotic?

Maureen: I’ve heard rumors to that effect. Perhaps I’m a tad biased when I say the rumors are not true. The bold and the dark will draw attention just by the sheer nature of the beast, but the romantic suspense fans are a strong and resilient crew. Romantic Suspense has not sat idle over the years−with the damsel in distress running along the edge of the cliff. The genre has evolved with women who are strong, smart, and determined. The hero is now gritty and patriotic.

Sharon: Very well put. Tell us what draws you in to a romantic suspense?

Maureen: I am a romantic at heart, as most of us are. It is the complexity of the relationship in Romantic Suspense that draws me in. External forces enhance the interaction of our characters. A kiss is wonderful, and an act that makes us all sigh and feel warm inside. A kiss when your life is on the line is intense and desperate and full of a passion.

Oh dear, I do believe Oliver has turned a tad green in the face.

Sharon: He’ll get over it. LOL You know long before I began writing romantic suspense, I was influenced by many books and movies that fed my addiction. What authors and or actors influenced you?

Maureen: Initially I was riveted by gothic romances. Victoria Howard−even the Brontes. Then I read an Elizabeth Lowell novel and my metamorphosis began.

Sharon: Tell us about WIDOW’S TALE?
Maureen: Would you believe WIDOW’S TALE was an 8 page short story back in high school, a million years ago?  The setting of Victory Cove and the characters stayed with me for all those years until the novel was born. Serena Murphy is a woman who is at her lowest, and in that respect some might feel she is not too strong. Yet, aren’t we all a tad quiet until someone threatens those we love? When that happens, do we not possess superhuman strength?

Sharon: My goodness! A romantic tale that took such a strong hold is one that needed to be told. The thought of Serena standing on the deck of a tavern every night, looking for a sign of her husband’s body gave me chills, drew me right in. As a reader and writer, what elements do you look for in a romantic suspense?

Maureen: Call me strange, but I like the atmosphere of cold and stormy settings. ENDLESS NIGHT is another novel set in Victory Cove, with yet another storm. (chuckles) I wrote JUNGLE OF DECEIT in Guatemala just to warm up!

Sharon: I know exactly what you mean about storms creating atmosphere. Counts in her head. Yes, I do believe there’s a storm in all my books. Smiles at Maureen. Before you go, can you share a blurb and excerpt of WIDOW’S TALE with us along with a buy link and your contact information? Thank you, Maureen, for a delightfully intriguing interview. Chatting with you has been a pleasure. Wishing you and JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE the best of luck.

Certainly…if you let me have one more of those little pink cakes. Thank you so much for having me, Sharon. You have a lovely house.

WIDOW’S TALE (Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble)
Come visit Maureen A. Miller at her website.


Serena Murphy was losing her mind. 

Every night Serena stood on the deck of O'Flanagans Tavern, searching Maine's rugged coast for a sign of her husband's body. Though he was pronounced lost at sea, Alan Murphy still haunted her as only his malevolent spirit could. In the loft above her tavern, Serena hears footsteps pace across her living room floor, yet when she turns, no one is there. 

Alan would not let a little thing like death stop him from tormenting her. If she could just find his body, surely this torture would stop. 

It had been ten years since Brett Murphy saw his sister in-law, although the separation was by design, to avoid temptation. Now Brett was in Victory Cove, not to declare his feelings for Serena, but to discover the truth about his brother's death. In doing so, he must battle Serena's ghosts, both real and contrived.


For a moment, time seemed suspended. Brett was lost in the shadows at the far end of the deck, and the ocean stopped its assault long enough to allow her to stand. There was a perverse sense of calm as the screeching gale winds grew faint.

Using the rail for leverage, Serena forced her numb feet to cooperate, and managed a few awkward steps.

Something made her stop. That prickly sensation at the back of her neck—the same paranormal awareness that occurred just before her ghosts arrived.

Under the beacon atop the bordering trawler, Serena traced the arc of light. In horror she watched the surging black wall of water that came straight at them.

Her scream was severed by its impact.

Launched from the deck into the frigid void, suspended in churning darkness for an eternity, Serena surfaced, choking. She squinted against the onslaught of the storm and located the trawlers, shifting shadows several feet away. She struggled to kick her feet, and flailed her arms to keep above the waves.

Cruelly, Serena’s mind flashed to the past. She felt the weight of Alan’s hand on her head. Sputtering for breath, she tilted her neck back so that only her face reached the cold night.

Two kicks.


Serena’s legs ceased moving. With a last twitch of strength, her arms fell still.


Maureen's illustrious writing career started in the fourth grade with the blockbuster hit, Super Watermelon Man. Many years later, Maureen evolved into a full-fledged Romantic Suspense author with her first novel, WIDOW'S TALE, which was nominated for a Golden Heart by the Romance Writers of America.

A fan of gothic romance, Maureen enjoys the formula of danger, romance, dark cliffs, and sinister houses-aspects that she probably acquired from watching too much Scooby Doo. All these elements can be found in her latest thriller, ENDLESS NIGHT. Although, there's no accounting for her new novel, JUNGLE OF DECEIT, which is an adventure in Guatemala's humid jungle. :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight with Raven Kelly

Hello and welcome to Wednesday Spotlight! It is my pleasure to have the Diva Queen of Vampires in the house today. Hearing the raven chimes, Oliver, dressed in flowing black cape, glides down the corridor, eyes gleaming. Answering the door, he presents his guest with a bouquet of double-dipped chocolate covered strawberries. He escorts her to the Gothic-inspired parlor and seats her on the pink satin settee. A bottle of pink champagne sits on ice in a silver bucket on the coffin table. With a wink and a smile, he pops the bubbly and pours into two fluted goblets. To a backdrop of bleeding roses and violin music, the phantom’s voice floats through the parlor.

Do you have a day job? If so what do you do?

My name is Raven Kelly, I'm from Canada, and live in the beautiful province of British Columbia. I read and review paranormal and vampire books as a hobby, and I absolutelylove it. My fiance and I have our own Internet company together. He truly is my soul
mate, my best friend and the other half of me. I'm also the mother to four loving
fur babies named Blacks, Bouncer, Priscilla Pussycat Presley and Tili.

How did you become interested in vampires? What are your favorite vampire and paranormal romance books and/or authors?

I have always been interested in Vampires and Witches from a young age. I started reading Twilight (yes I know what you are thinking), and that ignited my interest in vampires again.

WOW, that is hard question to answer. I don't want to be biased, but some authors that instantly come to mind are Lyndsay Sands, Katie MacAlister, Christine Freehan, and Tabitha Shay are a few authors that I really enjoy.

Why did you decided to establish a book review site?

I read a few books in the vampire and paranormal genre, and soon after decided thatI wanted to give other Vampire and Paranormal fans like myself a heads up on good Vampire and Paranormal Romance books to read.

What is your favorite color?

I absolutely love the color pink. I wear at least one piece of clothing that is the color of pink every day. I even have pink streaks in my hair.

How many pieces of jewelry do you wear on a daily basis?

I wear at least seven pieces of jewelry. One bracelet, four to five rings, and one necklace.

What is your favorite junk food?

CHOCOLATE, I love chocolate. Anything that has chocolate on it, I'm eating. My fiance has to hide chocolate from me because I would eat it all day long.

What is your favorite movie?

Oh my, I can not just name one movie, I love watching movies. Here are some of my favorite movies that come to mind are:
- Twilight Series
- Star Wars
- Lord of the Rings Trilogy
- Braveheart
- Underworld Series

Please tell us about your various website's, blog, etc., and how authors and readers can get involved.
I'm the webmistress for four websites.,, and I review vampire and paranormal romance books. I also post author Interviews on, and would love to have any authors who would love be interviewed be part of my website. I hope everyone enjoyed learning a little about me, I enjoyed sharing myself with you all.
Please check out my website's here by visiting these URL's below.
My Blog:
Twitter Page:
ParanormalRomance Facebook Page:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011



Surrounded by flickering candlelight, Oliver stands before a bubbling cauldron, stirring the many names in the pot. After thirteen stirs, he pulls out the thirteen winners. With a wink and a smile, he turns to the audience. Good Evening! Thank you all for attending our Halloween Fest. With great pleasure, I present the winners. Drum roll. And the winners are:

VICTORIA RODER wins a PDF of The Wolf's Torment by Stephanie Burkhart!

SUE BRANDES wins an autographed copy of HER BIGGEST FAN by Sharon Donovan!


BIANCA SWAN wins a print copy of CROSSED LINES by Pat Dale!


Barbara Edwards wins a print copy of ABSOLUTION by P. L. Parker!

PAT DALE wins a print copy of TRIPPING THROUGH TIME by Mary Ricksen!

MONA RISK wins a t-shirt from Oliver!

Thomas olbert wins an autographed copy of MASK OF THE BETRAYER by Sharon A. Donovan!

WICKED LEANORE wins a pdf of TWO VAMPIRE TALES by Tony-Paul De Vissage!

SARAH J. MCNEAL wins a pdf of DANCING WITH FATE by Hywela Lyn and a $6 WILD ROSE GC!

CALISA RHOSE wins a box of Autumn Leaves Yankee Candles Scented Tea Lights, a Panera GC and a bag of chocolate by Stephanie Burkhart!

HYWELA LYN wins a critique for a partial manuscript by Lori Graham!