Debut author special event


OMG! (for those who don’t know- the ‘G’ stands for Gosh) I am so, so excited today! My critique partner of nearly two years is here on the ranch. Welcome my dear friend and awesome author, Don-na Shi-el-ds!!!!! (Yep, still Oprah today. Don’t ask. :))

This is so very special for me since we joined our CBC crit group within a short time of each other. Neither of us published, very few submissions or rejections under our belts at that point, raw newbies basically. And yesterday…yesterday… her first book was released with Soulmate Publishing!

I can’t express how thrilled, how proud (or how jealous of her Jimmy Thomas cover!) and just how WOOOHOOOO I am of her! I had the chance to read this story before it was sold. From the first tentative words I was hooked.

It takes some of my favorite ingredients and makes a great story. Hot detective, misunderstood psychic, ex-fiancé and a ghost. Ok, those last two are one in the same. That’s what makes it such a great read. Not convinced? I’ll let Donna tell you about her journey and The Swan Cove Murders. Grab a coffee and a gooey cinnamon roll, or chocolate éclair if you prefer (I’m still looking for my own chuckwagon chef) and get cozy. It’s all yours, Donna.

My first sale. Wow. I’m still in awe over it. It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride, that’s for sure. I think fleshing out the idea for The Swan Cove Murders might have been the easy part. Okay, maybe not. There really is no ‘easy part’ at all. No sugarcoating it here! But, with all the hard work, some sleepless nights, great criticism and lots of endless hair pulling, in the end it was all well worth it.

It all began with that spark of an idea – spirits communicating those final words. A simple ‘I love you’ or ‘I’m okay’ or even ‘Leave my home’. Well, in the case of my story, my ghosts are a bit more complicated. One is a murderer and the other is my heroineLena’s fiancé and also my hero Nicholas’ brother.

Then came Savvy Authors May Boot Camp, much like NaNo only in May, lol. I signed up. I struggled. I yanked my hair out. I even wanted to throw my computer out the window. And it wouldn’t be an experience without my hero and heroine wanting their story ‘right now’. But, over that 31 day period, I wrote that first rough draft.

Next was June Revision Hell at Savvy Authors. The same scenario but amplified by a hundred times. Again, I pushed myself to do it. One in particular, Barbara Rae Robinson, kept encouraging me and vice versa throughout June. Even into July. She was a pretty solid rock for me.

And then came the pitches over at Savvy. Talk about tough competition. Lots of writers had some great pitches going on. And I didn’t think anyone would even remotely take on my story. It’s blended genres after all. From what I hear, it’s hard to get into traditional publishing companies with these. Finally came my chance when Debby Gilbert from Soul Mate Publishing wanted to read my first 50 pages. Off I sent my baby and I was scared to death. I thought for sure she would hate it. She shocked me when she asked for the entire manuscript. Of course I figured: Great, I hooked her and she’ll hate the rest of the story.

But I got THE email (kind of like THE CALL) saying she was offering me a contract for The Swan Cove Murders and I cried. Yup, sure did. No pride here. When she told me over and over again every time she read it for edits, semi-final galley, and final galley that she loved reading it each time, the tears fell, but of course for joy.

That’s pretty much it. Within a week, I had my cover book art. And that even blew my mind away. It came out better than anything I could have dreamed of. Since Wednesday, I’ve been on cloud nine and I don’t want to ever come back down.

Available NOW: The Swan Cove Murders: Where the dead speak to her, danger finds her, and love saves her.

Coming in December: Secrets of Jenkins Bridge
Soul Mate Publishing http:/


As if the violent murder of Lena Dixon’s fiancé hadn’t been bad enough, now his brother, Nicholas Hunter, is court ordered to live with her for the next thirty days. And to top it off, the murderer’s ghost is asserting his innocence and refuses to leave untilLenaand Nicholas prove it.

The skeptic in Nicholas believesLenahas lost her mind until he witnesses some unexplainable events and is forced to believe in her psychic abilities and his heart’s desire.

As their sexual chemistry heats up, so do their guilt levels. Can they make their newfound relationship work, or will it be too late when the real killer comes calling for her?


The door slowly opened, and she slid through the slim opening. The purple smudges under her beautiful hazel eyes spoke volumes to him, crushing his heart. Be strong.

“What do you want? The sheriff already delivered the papers.” The glare radiating from her hazel eyes spoke of wanting to set him on fire, burning him alive. She’d been crying.

“I know.”

She crossed her arms over her chest. “Well, you also know Earl left me the house.”

“A small technicality which will be fixed the day after tomorrow in court.”

She sighed. “Then what do you want today of all days?”

“I would like to get into my attic.” When she didn’t answer, he smiled. “Please.”

Suspicion crept into the fiery gaze. “Why should I let you?”

“I have a key. I can come and go anytime I please.” Vixen. “I thought I’d be nice and ask, before forcing my way in.”

“You certainly aren’t winning me over.”

He put his hands together as if in prayer. “Please. I just need the trunk.” His and Earl’s trunk. After the funeral,Lenahad insisted Nicholas take the treasure trove with him, but the memories inside had been too much to handle at the time.

Her swollen eyes softened a little. “Well…” She pushed open the door and waved him in.

He made his way through the foyer, pausing when he spotted the family photos hanging on the wall. “I see you haven’t changed anything.” He hadn’t been inside the house since Earl’s death.

“Why would I?”

His eyes caught the flower arrangement on the side table near the staircase along with the card sticking up in the middle. “Secret admirer?”

Her face flushed. “How about none of your business? Do you want time with the trunk or what?”



Donna Shields grew up on romance and scary stories. With her love for suspense and the slightly unusual, she enjoys tying these elements together to create stories full of love, danger, and the paranormal.

She lives in the beautiful upstate ofSouth Carolinawith her husband, her children, and some great haunts. She’s a mom, a ‘gramma’, a wife, a friend, an avid reader and writer. When she’s not occupied with all that, she loves traveling to Playa del Carmen andJamaica.

For one lucky commenter she’s offering an ecopy of The Swan Cove Murders! Yep- and if you just can’t wait, you can buy it now.

Also available at Amazon:

Find Donna Shields at any of these (non tropical but just as lovely) locations:
Soul Mate Authors Group Blog:

Donna, I wish you many wonderful sales and future successes!

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered for the copy of her book.


About Calisa Rhose

I'm a mother of three daughters and wife to a wonderful man of 35+ years. I'm also an avid seamstress, polymer clay artisan and die-hard crafter, always coming up with things to make with, and for, my six granddaughters and two grandsons. Check out my craft site when you have a moment. I'm also a small online business owner of Okie fLips on Etsy and Poshmark (eBay/Merkari coming soon), and I'm a published author of sensual romance. I write about stubborn men and women who don't take no for an answer, and there's always that golden HEA. Cowboys and first responders are my favorite contemporary heroes to write about. My light paranormal heroes are strong men ready to protect their women--not that they need protecting, since they are capable of caring for themselves.

Posted on 11/11/2011, in Promotion, Welcome and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 64 Comments.

  1. Congrats Donna!
    Wishing you many more releases!
    That said, I will go and snuggle up by the fire and read my copy of Swan Cove Murders!



  2. Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank you Donna and Calisa!! Can’t wait to read it!!


  3. Good luck and thanks for being my guest, Donna! See you on the loop. 🙂


  4. Congratulations LaVerne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I sent you an email. 🙂


  5. And the winner is……LaVerne!!!! Congrats. Shoot me an email at
    Truly, thank you everyone The response has been so positive. And of course, thank you Calisa for having me here and all your support.


  6. Donna,

    Thanks for sharing your journey to publication. Nothing quite beats the excitement, the thrill of the first book. Your story sounds intriguing, and your cover is a real eye-catcher. Best of luck!


  7. Congratulations again, Twink-girl and thank you so much for letting me host you on such short notice! (I asked for her post Wednesday night and got it around 9 last night. She rocks!) I am really looking forward to your next offering! Can’t wait to see what you have simmering in that brilliant mind of yours. 🙂

    Tomorrow! We will see who gets the ecopy of Donna’s book and the winner will be announced here. Check back in case we couldn’t get the winner through email.


  8. Wow. I’m so overwhelmed with the responses. Will choose a winner in the morning if that’s alright with Calisa. Harry Potter’s calling me.


  9. OMG what a warm welcome! It is such a wonderful feeling to come home to this. Thank you Calisa for having me here. She’s one of my Twinkies!!

    I am going to reply to each one of you individually as there are so many replies.


  10. Don-na Sh-ie-lds! Whoo Hoo! I love that Oprah motif you’ve got going on, Calisa.
    *A round of applause for Donna*
    Donna, I’m sooooo happy to meet you and incredibly jazzed for you and your first release! Yay! Yay! You captured the excitement, the disbelief and awe, the fear and general freaked-outtish-ness that accompanies that first release perfectly in your post. Hopefully this will be the first of thousands!! Okay, hundreds? (I tend to exaggerate.) And that cover — I must confess, I tried to enlarge it, so I could see Jimmy’s chest better. Hubba Hubba. Very nice.

    Congrats, and here’s to a boatload of sales!!


    • I miss Oprah.

      Say hi to my lovely AJ, Donna. You really want to read her book Jezebel’s Wish. Oh- and she LOVES paranormals so your book is right up her alley!

      I tried to enlarge the photo, too to post it here but that’s the only size I could get it to. Must watch Jimmy’s website for her cover and see if it will enlarge there. lol

      Thanks for stopping, AJ!


    • Oh wow. I’m in awe with all the responses. Thank you. I don’t know about thousands. But hundreds maybe, lol. Thank you so much 🙂


  11. Congratulations, Donna! Sounds like an intriguing story. I love ghost stories. 🙂

    Wishing you huge success!


  12. Wow! What an amazing first book this sounds like! No wonder you grabbed the attention of the editor – I want a copy too! Cross fingers I win, but I’ll be getting a copy one way or the other.

    Congratulations Donna – Much like a first love, you’ll never forget this feeling. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next : )


  13. Looks great, Donna! Best of luck!


  14. Congratulations on your release. The blurb definitely hooked me, not to mention the excerpt. Hope you have lots of sales.


  15. Congratulations, Donna! I am so damn happy for you! 🙂 Love the excerpt too.


  16. Love the tagline, and the book sounds amazing! That’s it, I am going to buy a Kindle right now…
    Good luck with sales!


  17. Congratulations on the release of your book, Donna. It sounds fabulous and I can’t wait to read it. Calisa – thanks for making me crave a chocolate eclair. And it’s lunchtime, too. Must go check the pantry for something with chocolate…


  18. It’s an amazing feeling when your first ever book is released. Congrats, Donna! Savor the moment and have a ball. My eyesight is getting bad reading all the great books I’ve been introduced to recently…and this sounds like another one to add to the TBRs. Maybe not to be read in the wee sma’ hours if its …a bit spooky though!


  19. If she can sneak away from the new day job she might Callie. lol I think she’ll be in later. Of course, with that week old grandbaby I’d never be online! How is Joshua, Donna?

    Thank you all for the wonderful support for her!


    • I wish I could have. I really tried. I was at least able to take a quick peek at the responses as of lunch, but was unable to respond. My little monkey (Joshua Jr.) is doing okay. Bouncing all over NICU as he ended up with a bacterial infection. But the doctors say he’s starting to improve again. 🙂


  20. Congrats Donna! The cover is amazing … so simple so seductive! Luv it! Good luck!


  21. Congratulations! It all looks very intriguing…


  22. Very nice excerpt, Donna. You’ve got a great career ahead of you.


  23. Awesome blurb, and cover! Sounds like a wonderful read!

    Congrats on all your hard word and your new release!


  24. Callie Hutton

    Congrats, Donna. All your hard work paid off! Good luck, and many, many sales.


  25. congrats on the release, Donna! Love that excerpt (still)!! 🙂


  26. Hey Calisa and Donna! What a beautiful cover and exciting blurb. Good luck on sales wishing you a million!


  27. Thanks for letting me blow your whistle today Donna! You already know I love this story. Congrats sweetie!

    Thanks for stopping by Cheryl. You will love this story. And yeah, gotta love JT. 🙂

    Hi Neecy! It’s so great to see so many of my other cps here. Thanks!

    Gale- Love seeing you today. Thanks for coming over! I know how busy you stay with your blog guests and your wonderful writing!


  28. Happy Release, Donna. Your book sounds like a great release. And the cover is hot! Wishing you many sales.


  29. Nice to meet you Donna! As an aspired author myself, I love to read the road to success stories. It gives me hope…. Congrats!!! Your cover is gorgeous. 🙂
    Your book sounds very intriguing, and your excerpt caught my attention.. It will definitely be on my books to be read shelf.
    Great interview, Calisa.


  30. Hi Donna. Congrats on your book. I love the cover and when I read LIsa’s intro, I need I had to have this book in my collection. Love psychics and detectives. Here’s to many sales!

    Hi Lisa, I’ll just have one of those cinnamon rolls. Don’t tell Chef, you know how jealous he gets. Oh and I brought you a cheesecake.


  31. Cheryl Yeko

    Congrats on your new release Donna. And, of course, your hot Jimmy Thomas cover…whoo hoo!

    I can’t wait to read his book. It sounds really good. I’m going to hop on over to Soul Mate and get it right now.



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