Please welcome our guest, Donna Shields!
Out Now at Soul Mate Publishing: The Swan Cove Murders: Where the dead speak to her, danger finds her, and love saves her.
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 until Lena and Nicholas prove it. The skeptic in Nicholas believes Lena has 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?
KD: Congratulations on the release of your book, The Swan Cove Murders from Soul Mate Publishing. Tell us a little bit about the book.
DS: Thank you so much for having me here today. The Swan Cove Murders is about spirit writer/psychic Lena Dixon and her deceased fiance’s brother, Nicholas Hunter. As they investigate a murder, they are court ordered to live together for 30 days. And each is contacted by a ghost. Nicholas by his dead brother and Lena by the dead accused serial killer. As they come closer to figuring out whom the true killer really is, their love for one another strengthens. But, the murderer has different plans for Lena. Nicholas has to race against the clock to save Lena from the crazy killer.
KD: What did you enjoy most about writing Lena and Nicholas's story?
DS: Nicholas’s ghost encounters with his brother, Earl, because these open his narrow-minded thinking.
KD: The Swan Cove Murders has romance, mystery and paranormal all blended together. How difficult was it to blend those three elements and which one do you think stands out most?
DS: Very hard as you have to keep all three going throughout the story. I think they are all equally distributed for the most part. If I had to pick, I’d have to say the paranormal.
KD: Blended genre books often have a hard time with traditional publishers. How difficult was it to get this book published?
DS: It was difficult. But, luckily I found an editor who took a chance on me and The Swan Cove Murders. She loves it.
KD: Soul Mate Publishers is a fairly new epub and trade paperback publisher. How has your experience with them been? Would you recommend other authors to submit their work there?
DS: My experience has been wonderful. Debby is an awesome editor and I would highly recommend everyone to at least give her a shot. She responds to me practically instantly on anything I may need clarified or issues or cover art. Really anything.
KD: You write suspense and paranormal. Have you always liked reading these genres? What is it about them that draws you in as a reader? As a writer?
DS: Oh yes, I’m a huge fan of both. As a reader, I love being on the edge of my seat wondering what’s going to happen next and find out half the time I’m wrong, lol. As a writer, I like being able to find that slightly different edge for a story and leaving my readers hanging until the end.
KD: Tell us a little about your background. What was it like growing up? Were you a good student in school?
DS: I come from a large family. I’m the 9th and the baby of the group. I led a pretty active childhood with a very active imagination. We were always thinking up something new to play – like pretending we were Charlie’s Angels - and when I hit middle school, it was all about the ghosts in and around my mom’s house. That wasn’t my overactive imagination. We found out some interesting information about the history of the land and the house. We’d ‘investigate’ and pull out the Ouija Board. That was until a Bible went flying across my bedroom and that ended that! I was a good student in school up until I hit high school. Then it went downhill. I don’t regret the mistakes I made as I can’t change them anyway. Besides, every path I walked down and every decision I made led me to who I am and where I’m at in my life now. I can say my life has not been dull by any stretch of the imagination.
KD: What was your time-frame for writing The Swan Cove Murders? Was this book the first manuscript you completed?
DS: Not my first one to be started, but yes the first one completed. My rough draft was written in 35 days thanks to Savvy Author’s May Bootcamp. Then, I had to edit and that took about another 1 ½ months. Then came the pitching Savvy Author had in July. That was a nerve-racking time. Debbie, my editor, wanted to see the first 50 pages and the rest is history. The total time of writing and editing before the pitching was roughly 2 ½ months.
KD: Tell us a little bit about your writing process. Do you write every day?
DS: I try to, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Now that I have a full time job along with promoting The Swan Cove Murders and other volunteer obligations, there’s not much time left over for writing. But I do try to write on the weekends. My writing process is I’ll make a rough outline of a couple chapters and then buckle down and write. Sometimes I’m thwarted by my characters when they pull ‘This is what needs to happen here’ and it will be four chapters ahead of where I’m at.
KD: Thanks so much for visiting Write About, Donna! Readers, read on for a great excerpt, a short bio on Donna and links to find Donna on the web.
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, Lena had 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 of South Carolina with 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 and Jamaica.
Purchase links for Donna's book:
Soul Mate Publishing http://soulmatepublishing.com/the-swan-cove-murders
Finding Donna on the web:
Soul Mate Authors Group Blog: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/