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5 December 2012

Release of Kiss Of Death by Sharon Donovan, and a very specal guest

I'm thrilled to announce the release of my dear friend, the late Sharon Donovan's, newest and sadly, last, book Kiss Of Death, starring her best loved creation, the gorgeous Oliver.

Sharon was working on this story before she tragically passed away in April 2012 following further heart problems and complications. Her editor, The Wild Rose Press's Lori Graham has worked closely with her family and friends to get the finished story edited and published as part of the Wild Rose Press Red Christmas series, and we are thrilled that after Lori's hard work, it is released just in time for Christmas, a wonderful gift for a friend or family member's Kindle or book reader - or for yourself.

I am delighted to have Lori herself on my blog to tell us a little more about Sharon and her writing. 




HL: Good morning Lori.  It's such an honour to have you here today to talk about Sharon's new book. I'm curious to know, how did you first come to be Sharon's editor? 

Lori: Sharon first came to me with a short story she had written for an inspirational line.  She was surprisingly timid in her approach.  The piece she had written had a lot of technical issues but the plotline was so cute, I couldn’t resist.  It took us longer to finish that story than I anticipated but when she submitted again, I was happy to contract her again.  Sharon was so creative and so eager that working with her was a joy.  We worked on a couple of short stories with her confidence increasing with each story.  It wasn’t until she came to me with the idea to do Her Biggest Fan that we started to talk about personal things and I came to know her.  I was shocked to discover she was blind but it also explained so many things I had wondered about during our editing phases.  Because she was so determined and the storyline was very inventive, I couldn’t resist taking on the challenge and partnering with her in that first full length novel.  We had our bumps but, it was such a fun journey, I have never regretted it.

HL:   What it was like to work with her, especially considering how much she had to cope with, and did her zany sense of humour come across .

Lori:  Like I said, for a long time, I had no idea what she coped with. Her upbeat attitude overrode everything else around her.  I always loved hearing from her because that positivity made it a joy to simply talk to her, let alone work with her.  During the course of time, Oliver was introduced into our lives.  This “concierge” on her website truly is the picture of her humor.  His clever quips and blatant innuendos were a joy and I can’t tell you the number of times I laughed out loud when I would “visit” her there. 

  
Oliver - (c) Sharon Donovan


HL: Oh yes, Oliver *sigh*. He had all the ladies who visited her blog in a swoon with his shameless flattery, and yes, who could help but smile at his "naughty but nice" comments and innuendos. (And I had the enviable job of "dressing" him for the blog.)  What an amazing character she created!

I'm sure everyone would love to hear more about any funny things that happened or were said between you.

Lori: I can’t even begin to count the number of times she cheered me up, whether it was her personally or her wit and caring through Oliver’s “voice.”  The thing I will also remember about her, though, was the caring she shared.  The first time she was in the hospital for the heart issues, I had been sending her flowers, cards and notes (knowing her family would share them with her).  Because she was in ICU for so long, it never occurred to me to do anything else—until the day I picked up the phone and heard her voice.  With everything going on for her, I could hear the smile on her face as we talked.  We talked several times after that.  The funny thing is she made the comment she was only in the hospital to gather information for a new suspense idea she had.  I sure wish we could have seen Oliver as a doctor.  I can only imagine how wonderful he would have been in that role.

HL:  Ah, Dr Oliver wouldn't that have been something! And yes, I know just what you mean about  the smile in her voice.  I was lucky enough to speak to Sharon on the phone myself a few times, and  her voice was like the sun coming out from behind a cloud! What do you think readers will love about this book?

Lori: Kiss of Death…oh my where do I start?  It might surprise you to know I actually rejected this story the first time around.  Let me surprise you further by saying she thanked me for doing so.  I hated to reject it. However, it just wasn’t quite there and I was pretty detailed in the information I sent her.  It was what she needed, though, to get the creative juices flowing and flesh out some areas that needed some work.  It occurred to me after she died that I would never get to see what she did with it.  I was so thrilled when I talked to her family and they asked me to finish it.  I feel so blessed and honored to have been allowed to play a role in the final phases of Kiss of Death.  While there were areas that I had to write and do the editing work without her, it definitely stays in her voice and you can feel her presence on every page.

Normally, when it is time for a manuscript to go to format/galley/publication, I am pretty ready for it to move along.  (By that time, an editor has read the story multiple times and is ready for a new challenge.)  With this one, it was really hard to let it go.  It actually took me two days to hit the send button but, in the end, I knew we had a deadline we had to meet to get it out this Christmas.

I truly hope you enjoy this last installment of Sharon’s journey with Oliver.  I know how much Sharon valued each reader who came through her life.  I can’t tell you the number of times she shared how humbled she was when people actually read what she wrote.  So on her behalf, thank you and I hope you enjoy Kiss of Death.

HL: Lori, thank you so much for sharing your lovely memories of Sharon with us, and I can well imagine how hard it was to finally let this story go. I'm sure Sharon is looking down from Heaven smiling and wishing she could send Oliver round with a tray of champagne, so before we find out more about Kiss of Death let's raise a toast to Sharon Donovan and Oliver,  and  to Sharon's wonderful editor Lori Graham!

KISS OF DEATH


BLURB:

Santa Must Die.The words in Camille Lafayette's dream are a chilling prelude of events to come. She sees herself as the killer, and when the murder is actually committed, she becomes the prime suspect.

When handsome Detective Oliver Sharone turns up at her New Orleans family home, he is searching for answers. The evidence against her seems damning. An image captured on the victim's camera resembles Camille, and the red feather mask worn by the murderer came from her shop.The instant chemistry between Camille and Oliver is an added complication, which grows deeper as they work together to discover the truth. It becomes a race against time to find the real murderer before he not only loses his heart completely, but the killer strikes again. And this time the victim could be Camille herself.

Excerpt: 


He flashed his badge and offered a cheeky smile. “Detective Oliver SharonĂ©, New Orleans P.D., Homicide. Are you Camille Lafayette?”

Lulled by the patois of Cajun French in his voice, Camille just stood there, mouth agape. Now that she could clearly see him, he had the most dazzling smile she’d ever seen.

“Ma’am?” His lyrical voice was music to her ears. A rush of hormones surged through her, leaving her weak in the knees. Feeling a burning gush of desire, she forced herself to nod, running her tongue through a very dry mouth and pushing out the words.

“Yes, I’m Camille Lafayette. Is there a problem, Detective?”

Thunder and lightning crashed and collided, wilder and wilder, echoing the primitive beat of her heart. Silhouetted by roiling thunderclouds, Detective Oliver SharonĂ© looked like a dark and dangerous warrior. Dizzy and lightheaded, feeling drunk with emotion, Camille was as highly charged as the electrical storm. “May I come in for a moment, Ms. Lafayette? I would like to ask you a few questions in regard to a murder I’m investigating.” Camille’s breath caught in her throat. A bolt of panic surged through her. Shaken by the impact, she stammered for words and said nothing. Her pulse fluttered wildly in the hollow of her throat. This sexy cop was about to turn her world upside down.



More details on The Wild Rose Press Site HERE

Sharon was one of the authors on The Author Roast and Toast
Her blog is http://sharondonovan.blogspot.co.uk/
Her website is http://sharonadonovan.com/

***********************
CONTEST

To win a copy of 'Kiss Of Death' just answer this question in the comments section.
Where does Camille Lafeyette live?
(The answer is in the post)

The winner will be announced on 10th December

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(I'm also featured on Nancy Jardine's Blog today with a little more about Sharon)
http://nancyjardine.blogspot.co.uk/