About the Book:
Wanting to start fresh, Cassie Evans relocates to the small town of Passion where she moves into the home of her dreams, complete with dreamy next door neighbor, artist, and handyman Thomas Healy. The only problem is, the house she bought just might be haunted.Thomas Healy lives a life of solitude and that suits him just fine. Then Cassie Evans moves in next door and begins to turn his peaceful live upside down. He tries to ignore her, but ignoring a woman as beautiful as Cassie isn’t so easy, especially when she shows up at your door, naked, begging for you to paint her. Thomas’ first mistake was to agree to it, his second was to take Cassie to bed, now she’s all he can think about.
When their blossoming love is overshadowed by a ghostly haunting, the curious Cassie launches an investigation into the life and death of her home’s previous owner, uncovering a mystery and attracting the attention of a killer. Where will Cassie’s discovery lead her, to the love of her life or to death itself?
Welcome to the town of Passion.
Hi Shiela Stewart
Welcome to Paperback Writer
It’s my pleasure and thank you for having me here today!
Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book?
Discovery in Passion, the tale of a haunted house, comes from a home I lived in when I was eight years old. I didn’t learn a great deal of details until years later and pieces of it have wound its way into my story.
The house I lived in was rumored to be haunted by a woman who…things get sketchy here…either was starved to death by her cruel husband or died from a long suffering illness. Either way she dies, the rumor was, she remained in ghost form long after her death. Tales of her range from her ghostly image having coffee or tea in the early morning in the kitchen, her banging around in the kitchen, opening and closing cupboard doors, opening the living room curtains to let in the early morning sunlight, and supplying my baby sister with her mid night bottle.
Did I ever see the supposed ghost? I did indeed, on the day the house went up in flames due to faulty wiring. She stood with me and my little sister and kept me calm while everything I knew and loved went up in flames. My family was saved, but our belongings were not. That woman stayed with me then and has been a part of me ever since.
And so, Discovery in Passion was born.
I mirror the house in Discovery in Passion after that house I lived in during the first part of my childhood. Before the fire I have a great deal of pleasant memories. Times my siblings and I would run and play on the large yard, when my baby sister and I would dress up baby pigs in doll clothes, watching my parents tend to the many cows and pigs that earned them their living. The fire was a traumatic time in my life, one that took years for me to overcome. I always found writing was a form of release for me, and so I sat to write her tale.
I took the idea of a ghostly woman, haunting her home and embellished it. I created Luanne Talbot with her in mind, changing the circumstances of her death to murder suicide which has always been attributed to her son. Because I never really knew how the woman in my house died, my mind raced with ideas. I wanted to create a haunting story that would intrigue the reader and keep them turning the page for more. But more so, I wanted to give the reader a love story that develops around the haunting.
Everything in our life happens for a reason, or so I believe. Through the trauma of a horrific ordeal in my childhood, I’ve created something beautiful.
Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it?
I’ve done both, actually. There have been times when I’ve thought of a good idea for a book and jotted things down. But I usually stray halfway through the book and change things up and by the time the story has concluded, it’s completely different than the original plan. Mostly, I fly by the seat of my pants. I’ll get an idea for a story then just sit down and write. Quite a few of my stories have come from my dreams. I usually keep a pad and pen by my bed for those occasions and quickly jot down the idea. Then, when I wake up, I get started on the story. Or…if the story nags at me too much I’ll get up and start on it.
Do you know the end of the story at the beginning?
I have a rough idea how I would like the story to end. Because I write romance, there is always a happy ending which means the hero and heroine will come together in the end. But everything in between has to work its way out before the end is concluded. Not always do I know the specifics, but I have a general idea. When I get in the story, really into it, everything just works its way out by the end.
Do you have a process for developing your characters?
I’m kind of an oddball as a writer. I don’t really plot out my story lines and I don’t plot out my characters. When an idea for a story comes to me, it’s so clear that the characters already have their own personalities. As soon as I give them a name, they are their own beings. Each one is unique in their own way.
It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be?
Oh sure, there is definitely parts of me in all my characters. For instance, the hero in Discovery in Passion has a lot of me in him. Now, some may think it’s odd that I wrote myself into a male character but there you go. I’m odd. LOL
Thomas Healy is an artist. I love to create. I have a talent for drawing, painting and sculpting. I’ve painted some beautiful murals in my home that I’m quite proud of. So Thomas got my talent.
Cassie, well, she got my sense of humor and the blonde hair I once had. I also incorporated my ability to be a real tease when I want to be. I only wish I had a figure like her. Cassie was modeled after Marilynn Monroe, and woman that has always fascinated me.
Victor Davis in Escape in Passion, book two in the Passion series has my sense of humor where Julia Wilson, the heroine, got my once boyish figure.
Beth Healy in book three of the Passion series has the part of me that closes off her emotions when in the face of danger or emergency in order to get the job done. Feelings come later.
In my latest’s release, Seducing the Darkness, the lead heroine, Trinity Ford has some of my attributes. Her red hair, her take charge attitude and the fact that she’s more comfortable around men than she is women are all aspects of me.
What is your most favorite part about this book?
I wouldn’t say I have one specific favorite part in Discovery in Passion, more so I would say there are several. For example, some of my favorite parts are the moments between Thomas and his best friend Vic and how close they are. This is one of my favorite scenes.
Thomas rested his beer on the coffee table before walking to the living room window. There had never been any secrets between him and Vic, but to tell him that his girlfriend thought her place was haunted, and he believed her, might be a bit too much for Vic to handle.
Or…he could go with it and deal with whatever came at him. Turning, Thomas faced his friend and let it roll.
“Her house is haunted.” The snort of laughter from Vic was completely expected. “And I’ve seen the proof.”
“You’re worrying me, pal.”
“Edward Talbot was laying face up, his eyes wide, his chest covered in blood from the gunshot wound that entered right below his heart. His wife, Luanne, was beside him, her left arm draped over his abdomen; she was face down, gunshot to the face which blew out the back of her head.” He saw it register on Vic’s face.
“Edward wore a faded red plaid shirt and dark blue jeans.
He was wearing scarred work boots in tan. His hair was brown and graying at the temples. His wife—”
“How the hell do you know all of this?”
“I saw them.”
“In the crime scene photos?”
“How the hell would I get the crime scene photos? In living color—well, they weren’t alive—but it sure seemed like I was there. I saw them, Vic, on the floor in Cassie’s house, and it scared the living shit out of me.”
“Should I call a shrink?”
“I’m not crazy. How long have you known me?”
“Since we were two; so, twenty eight years.” Vic supplied.
“Then you know I wouldn’t lie to you about this. Her place is haunted by the Talbots.”
“No fucking way.”
Thomas simply nodded.
“Shit.” Vic wiped a hand across his face. “Okay, this
I have to see. But first, I need the little boy’s room.”
Thomas moved to the window, wondering how
Cassie was doing and decided he needed to go over and make sure she was okay. He was about to call out to Vic and tell him he would be right back when he heard Vic let out a loud whoop.
“Jesus, man, you are one lucky son of a bitch.”
“Where are you?” Thomas followed Vic’s laughter and entered his office studio. And then he saw what his friend was preoccupied with. “Oh, shit.”
“Sweet God, she is one fine looking woman. Damn, you’re lucky.”
Thomas hurried to the nude portrait of Cassie and quickly draped a cloth over it. “Stop drooling.”
“Oh, I’m doing more than drooling, pal. I am so damn jealous. Does she have a sister?”
“No.” He looked at Vic, his eyes narrowing “Stop thinking about her; just wipe her out of your mind.”
“Can’t. Oh, am I going to have pleasant dreams tonight.”
“Victor,” Thomas warned.
“Come on, one more peek.” He reached out for the cloth and received a nasty slap to his hand. “Party pooper.”
“Damn straight. She’s mine, and don’t you forget it.”
When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher?
I’d already had two books published with Linden Bay Romance when I began rewriting Discovery in Passion. I’d written Discovery several years ago and it was in need of a thorough work over in order for it to be published. I knew I wanted the book to be published, along with its partners in the series, Escape in Passion and Mercy in Passion and Linden Bay was the first publisher that came to mind, since I’d already had two books through them. I knew what they wanted in a story and I reworked Discovery to fit their criteria. There was never any question that they would get first dibs on it.
What struggles have you had on the road to being published?
Oh, there have been plenty. My lack of knowledge in regards to the proper etiquette of writing was a major struggle. I’d had no formal training and knew very little of what a true novel required. I wrote plenty of tales in my lifetime, but they were very raw in grammar and plotline. My lack of education showed in my work. But then I stumbled upon Linden Bay Romance and the senior editor, Barbra Perfetti sort of took me under her wing, showed me how to mold my story into a great read, gave me plenty of suggestions on reading material and websites to hone in on my skill and with her patience, I’ve learned a great deal in the two years since I was first published.
What has been the best part about being published?
Holding my very own book in my hand. There is nothing can that compare to that. I never thought I had what it took to become and author and with the not so gentle coaxing of my husband, I finally began submitting my work. Never did I imagine I would be holding one of my very own books in my hand. And it is an utter joy to hear a person speak of my books and talk about looking forward to my next novel.
What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your novel?
All I can really hope for when a reader closes the book after reading “The End” is to feel warmth and joy at having read my tale.
Do you have plans to write another book?
There is always another book in the works for me. My brain never lets up. I have over fifty novels, hand written, still waiting to be brought to life on my computer. So even if I dry up, I have something to fall back on.
Right now I’m working on book four in my Darkness series. It’s a tale of vampires, their friends and the city they live in that’s been encased in darkness due to an evil vampire’s ritual to raise the king of all vampires. In total there are five books in the series but with me, who knows. The sixth one is already tickling my brain and begging me to get started on it.
Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you?
Dorothy Thompson is a peach! I’ve been working with her for a few months now. I run a blog that hosts other author’s book covers and information as to where they can be purchased. It’s called, Book Cover Lovers. http://bookcoverlovers.blogspot.com/
Dorothy has been gracious enough to include me in her list of places to send authors for their book tours. So when the opportunity arose for me to take part in the virtual tour, I was pleased to be once again, working with Dorothy. She is a delight and makes my job as an author trying to promote myself so much easier. She’s been so patient, even through the struggles of our mail servers despising each other. J
Where can readers find a copy of your book?
If you’re in the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan area, my books can be found at McNally Robinson in the romance section.
Do you have a website for readers to go to?
I most definitely do have a website and I’m proud to say I created it and maintain it all on my very own. It’s another one of my passions. You can find it at: www.shielasbooks.ca
Thank you, Shiela Stewart for sharing your book and characters with us today. It has been a pleasure and I hope you have had a successful virtual book tour.
Thank you very much for hosting me today!