Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ice water, baby!

I took the ALS ice bucket challenge to help raise awareness of the horrible disease.

For those who don't know, ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) is a disease of the brain and nerves which affects the spinal cord and muscles. The nerve cells waste away and die, thus they cannot send signals to those muscles we normally have control over. When the chest muscles stop working, it becomes impossible to breathe. I became aware of ALS when a member of our community fought hard and lost the battle. Since then, I've learned that more and more people are afflicted and to my knowledge there is still no cure.

May all those participating in the ALS ice bucket challenge and those donating to the cause, bring attention to this disease and help those suffering. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Undiscovered Angel by Sharon Saracino (Book #1 - Earthbound series)


It's a pleasure to welcome gifted author, Sharon Saracino to my blog with an interview. She's a sweet friend who writes awesome stories. Grab a cup of coffee, tea, or whatever you consider nectar of the gods and settle in to learn more about this talented author. *Psst! We're also going to help her celebrate the release of her new book -- UNDISCOVERED ANGEL*

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Happy to have you here, Sharon! Would you like to share your bio and then tell us something we would be surprised to know? (Folks, you'll be able to say you heard it here first *grins*)

First of all, thanks so much for having me, Jan! It's always such fun to visit with you!, I was born and raised in the anthracite coal region of Pennyslvania and I still reside there with my long suffering husband, funny and talented son, and two insane dogs. When I'm not reading, writing, or enjoying photography and genealogy, I brew my own limoncello, dream of moving to Italy, and work as a Certified Registered Rehabilitation Nurse. I plan on winning the lottery just as soon as I remember to buy a ticket! (although I'm pretty sure that surprises no one!)

How would you define your writing style? What genre is your specialty?

I'm not sure I actually have a writing style. Does flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants count as a writing style? I write primarily romance, usually with a touch of the supernatural or paranormal thrown in.

When you're laying the groundwork for your stories, do you outline or make notes that will lead you from beginning to end? Do you research details ahead of time or as your story grows?

I don't outline at all. Please reference the above flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants response. I usually start with a character who's floating around in my head...sometimes the germ of an idea with absolutely nothing fleshed out...and occasionally, even just a single line that strikes a chord. As for research, it really depends, though usually I research as the story grows since I generally have no idea where I'm going until I actually get there.

Setting is so important. It puts the reader right there with the characters. You've chosen Italy as a big part of your Earthbound series. The city of Rome figures prominently in the second book, Angel Unbound. Italy is known as the Land of Love. You've been there and are scheduled to return later this year. Can you tell us what you love most about Italy.

The food. Seriously. But also, it's a completely different pace there, a true sense of la Dolce Vita. And the history! I've always been a history nerd and would love to write a historical some day. Italy in general, and Rome in particular, exudes such a sense of what's come before, so much of the past still existing in the present, all layered and melded and co-existing everywhere you look. Not to mention the beauty of the language. Let's face it, a tall, dark, and handsome Italian can be explaining how to clean a sewer, but in Italian? Even that sounds romantic!

I've read your work and I have to say that you have a keen sense of your characters. Tell us a little bit about UNDISCOVERED ANGEL and introduce your characters.

Thank you so much! I've always been fascinated by the unsolved nature of Jack the Ripper murders and the many theories as to who he might have been. Then I wondered, what if the murders had never been solved because Jack the Ripper wasn't even human.

Undiscovered Angel (Book #1 in my Earthbound series) is the story of Katrina Shepard, a woman with psychic and empathic abilities who's struggled her entire life with powers she doesn't understand. She spends most of her time alone, preferring solitude to the constant battering from the pain and emotions of others.

Kassian McAllister is a wealthy publishing tycoon who also happens to be an Earthbound angel, with inexplicable powers of his own. He's hardly looking for a relationship. The only thing he is looking for is Jack the Ripper, an evil Fallen who murdered his sister over a century ago.

At a party she reluctantly attends in honor of her best friend, Kat intercepts the malevolent energy of a woman's murder, and Kassian is compelled to act, forcing her under his protection. Kat awakens emotions he thought long dead and as they grow closer, he struggles with his sense of responsibility and she discovers an unexpected truth about herself and a chance for belonging she has always craved.

But Jake the Ripper is still out there, and Kat has now become the ideal target.

What is your tagline for Undiscovered Angel?

Tormented by guilt, consumed with vengeance, will the arms of an angel be enough to save him?

Care to share a snippet to whet our appetites for more?

"Look, I'll make a deal with you." He knew they were attracting more attention than he'd intended, but Kassian found it inordinately refreshing to have a woman up in his face instead of falling at his feet. "You stop trying to get into my head and I'll stop trying to get into yours and we'll just agree to have a nice, normal conversation."

"Why?" She regarded him with narrowed eyes.

"Why? What do you mean, why?" Had she looked in a mirror recently? Why would she think he was any different than the next poor schmuck? Not to mention the telepathy thing and the fact that she'd actually tried to read him; that would have guaranteed his interest even if she looked like Janet Reno. She was obviously uncomfortable with her abilities. He found himself not only moderately entertained, but unwillingly curious. 

"I mean, why would you want to have a nice, normal conversation with me? There are plenty of people here tripping all over themselves to get your attention. You don't even know me. I'm sorry if I'm being rude, but honestly, I was getting ready to leave when you came over. Did you want something?"

His eyes did a quick once-over, missing nothing. Hell, yeah, he wanted something, but he knew instinctively that she wasn't the anonymous-quickie-in-a-bathroom-stall type. He could have any woman in the room. That wasn't conceit talking, it was just a fact, a fact about as impressive to him as dry toast. And the only woman in the room he found remotely interesting was wishing she was anywhere but here with him. She wasn't flirting or making any effort to impress him. He suspected she would be more relieved than disappointed if he walked away right now. It was a completely new experience for him. And given his extensive experience that was saying something. She rubbed her forehead as though she was in pain. He wondered if trying to hold her shields securely while engaging in verbal repartee with him in a crowd was causing her discomfort. Maybe he should tell her to relax? She really wasn't blocking him very well anyway.

"Why were you leaving? Do you have to be somewhere?"

He surreptitiously glanced at her left hand. Katrina Shepard had piqued more than his physical interest, although she was certainly no slouch in that area. He couldn't remember the last time a woman had done that. He wasn't quite ready to relinquish her company to whoever might be waiting for her at home. After all, they were simply conversing in a public place; it should be harmless enough. 

"No," she replied levelly, "and please don't take it personally, I don't really care for crowds. I only came for Elle's sake, and only planned to stay for a short time."

Kat rubbed her forehead again. He hadn't intended to make her uncomfortable; well, not physically at any rate. He was about to withdraw when he hesitated. Her mind suddenly descended into turmoil, her thoughts becoming increasingly scattered and disjointed. He realized it was more than trading banter with him, more than the crowd.

Something was wrong.

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It's been a joy having you here today, Sharon! Come back anytime and keep writing those incredible stories. Wishing you much success with UNDISCOVERED ANGEL and the rest of your Earthbound series.

I also wanted to congratulate you on your Max Logan series. Your female character in that series -- Maxine Logan -- is a snarky, refreshing, take-no-prisoners kind of gal that I enjoyed reading so much in:  Death Benefits and again in, Life After Death. I'm anxiously awaiting book #3, Smitten with Death.

Love your books and your characters!  

Thank you so much for having me, Jan! It's always a blast coming over to hang out with you and your readers!

Easy buy links for Undiscovered Angel:

Wild Rose Press


Barnes and Noble

You can follow Sharon here:

Twitter - @SharonSaracino

Blog -

Website -

Goodreads - https;//

Amazon Author Page -

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