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:/ www.soulmatepublishing.com/
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.
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: http://www.amazon.com/The-Swan-Cove-Murders-ebook/dp/B0065M6GNM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320978544&sr=8-1
Find Donna Shields at any of these (non tropical but just as lovely) locations:
Soul Mate Authors Group Blog: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/
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.