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15 April 2012

A tribute to Sharon Donovan, author and friend

Last week the world and I lost a very special person. It's taken me a few days to post this - partly because it's such a hard thing to write about the loss of a much loved friend, and partly because I can still hardly believe she's no longer here.

Sadly, despite a tremendously brave fight and iron will and determination, our beloved Sharon passed away on Wednesday evening, 11th April.   Many prayers had been said for her recovery, but it seems God in his wisdom decided her poor body had had enough, and Heaven needed a new angel.

I loved Sharon as a sister, even though we had never met in person. We first started corresponding when I dropped her a line after reading an interview about her where she talked about how she had turned to writing when she could no longer write after losing her sight. I was so impressed by her strength and determination in the face of her lifelong fight with diabetes and the fact that losing her sight did not deter her froim sharing her wonderful imagination with the world.  As she said, now she 'painted with words instead of paint.'  Her touching  Inspirational stories for the 'White Rose' line of the Wild Rose Press  were beautifully written and included 'Lasting Rose,' 'The Claddagh Ring'  and 'Touched By An Angel.'

We corresponded regularly, after that first exchange, and one of my dearest possessions is a little gold Claddagh Ring with an emerald
stone, which she sent me. She loved animals and roses (especially yellow roses, and the beautiful deep red Lasting Rose which inspired her Easter story.) She shared my love of horses and used to ride before she lost her sight. She also talked a lot about the little black cat she used to have.  I hope they've now met up over the Rainbow Bridge where I'm sure he waited patiently for his mistress.

I was happy when she asked me to help her illustrate her her delightful, witty blog posts.  Then we got together with Mary Ricksen and started a weekly 'fun' blog 'The Author Roast and Toast,' and were later joined by Patsy Parker. The trio now became a quartet and we had a very special friendship.  We four wacky hostesses had such fun being outrageous and not acting our ages, all with the object of promoting our weekly guest of honour in an offbeat, and hopefully amusing, way.  In case you are wondering, 'The Roast' will go on, for the time being at least.  We have guests scheduled whom we won't let down - Sharon wouldn't have wanted that, she loved the 'Roast' and although it will never be the same without her, she would have wanted it to continue.

When  Sharon produced her wonderful creation, the flirty  devastatingly handsome and charming 'Oliver', who was her butler by day and a private detective by night, I had the task of 'dressing' him for his appearances on her blog, and also for when he 'moonlighted' with us on the Friday 'Roast'. Oliver then starred in his own story 'Charade Of Hearts' which Sharon wrote as part of the  Jewel Of The Night' series, and it won the Predators and Editors Award in January, and although she was in hospital at the time, her sister Mary Beth was able to tell her that her story had won the award and that must have made her so proud and happy.

Among her other published books, was her memoir, 'Echo Of A Raven' written to help other people cope with diabetes and sight impairments and to know what help is available, and also to raise money for child diabetes research, which was something close to her heart, Her thrilling romantic suspense novels includied 'Mask Of The Betrayer' and 'Her Greatest Fan',

I was planning to fly out next month, and visit her with Mary , but it was not to be, although I will still make the trip and Mary and I will meet her sister and family, and see some of the places Sharon loved. My heart is full of tears, but also full of wonderful memories.  Sharon will never be forgotten, and her wit, wisdom and love will live on, forever, in her books. We love you, Sharon.

On Wednesday, April 11, 2012, Sharon A. Donovan, 56, of Avalon, beloved daughter of James and Pearl Donovan of Avalon, beloved sister of Thomas (Priscilla) Donovan of Milwaukee, WI, and Mary Beth (Mark) McCauley of Mars; beloved aunt of Kendall and Connor, also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends. Sharon was very giving and loving, and a great inspiration to all.

She was an accomplished author and will be dearly missed. Friends received on Sunday from 1:00-3:00 p.m. and 6:00- 8:00 p.m. at the Lawrence T. Miller Funeral Home, Inc., 460 Lincoln Avenue, Bellevue. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Monday at 11:00 a.m. in the Church of the Assumption. Contributions may be made to the Diabetes Research Institute, 200 South Park Road, # 100, Hollywood, FL 33021. http://www.diabetesresearch.org/

If you would like to send flowers or find out more about her services, click here.

Links for Sharon's books can be found on her website: http://www.sharonadonovan.com/