Jen: Today we are pleased to welcome Sharon Ashwood to Romancing the Book. Sharon, will you share a short bio with us?
Sharon: Sharon Ashwood is a novelist, desk jockey and enthusiast for the weird and spooky. She has an English literature degree but works as a finance geek. Interests include growing her to-be-read pile and playing with the toy graveyard on her desk. As a vegetarian, she freely admits the whole vampire/werewolf lifestyle would never work out, so she writes her adventures instead.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Sharon: This is a series of four books about supernatural spies. They have code names: Death, War, Plague and Famine after the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Two books are out this year and two next. The entire series involves a royal wedding between two tiny Mediterranean countries that have been rivals for centuries. The wedding, which is a love match, will bring peace, but there are factions who don’t want that. Our heroes (three vampires and a werewolf) are a special ops team from a supernatural spy agency. Their job is to make sure the wedding goes off without interference, but the more they get involved, the more tentacles of a huge plot emerge. There are four self-contained adventures, but they paint a larger picture that comes together in the last book. It has been huge fun to write.
I structured the series around the idea of a wedding—it’s happy and full of promise—and one day I was watching a wedding party drive by and thought, yes! One of those pompoms the use to decorate cars fell off and landed at my feet and I took it as a sign from my muse. I still have it on my desk for good luck. As the stories went along, the prince and princess going through this royal marriage emerge as strong recurring characters. My hope is everyone will be rooting for their happy ending right along with the characters.
Possessed by a Warrior (Pub date May 1)
A dazzling dress is wreaking havoc—and costing lives…
The violent death of her uncle sends Chloe Anderson reeling—and rushing to his estate. As coexecutor of Jack’s will, she assumes that he has left her something. What she doesn’t expect is a bejeweled wedding gown with a note warning her to trust only his business partner—dark, mysterious and sexy Sam Ralston.
Chloe’s been burned in love, but never bitten, and there’s something about Sam that keeps drawing her in, despite her fears. The attraction is mutual, intense, and it takes all of Sam’s willpower to hide his fangs. With Chloe’s career at stake and murderous thieves hot on their trail, the vampire vows to protect her. But can he save her from himself?
From Possessed by a Warrior: The heroine is looking at a spectacular wedding dress she’s inherited and that has been at the center of a series of murders. The hero comes in, hoping to win her confidence so that he can question her…
Chloe was standing in the middle of the room with her back to the door, looking sleek and polished from her high-heeled shoes to the twist in her dark blond hair. She was staring at the dress. It was hooked to the front of a huge, mahogany wardrobe, the dark wood showing off the white foam of lace.
Sam knew nothing about gowns, but he was pretty sure this one was exceptional. There was something in the proportions and detailing that said this wasn’t some off-the-rack number.
The same could be said for Chloe. The curve of her spine drew his eyes, his gaze lingering on her exposed neck. Ever since he’d arrived at Oakwood, she’d drawn him. Sam desired women and had them, well and often, but few provided more than a moment’s interest. War was not prone to the softer emotions—they were anathema to everything he was.
This woman, though, brushed his senses like the scent of a delicate perfume. She was pretty, but it was a sense of poised energy that made her remarkable—like an arrow about to fly. He couldn’t help watching, expectant for the moment, wondering what would happen if she finally sprang loose.
Sam imagined that release of energy, feeling it with his whole body. It would be exquisite. The thought made his fangs descend, and he quickly began thinking of dull paperwork instead. She’s not for you. Women like her die around creatures like you.
She turned, her brows drawing together when she saw him there. “Something I can help you with?” Her words were quiet and low, but her voice resonated right through him.
You have no idea. A sudden stab of hunger pushed to the fore, reminding him again of what he was: a weapon meant for blood sports. She looked soft and delicious, as if she would taste of summer. Once again, his body tightened in anticipation.
Sam swallowed hard, wrestling himself as he had Kenyon’s wolf, holding back the snapping jaws of the beast. Small talk. Make small talk.
Possessed by an Immortal (Pub date June 1)
Can a mother in jeopardy melt the heart of a jaded vampire?
After witnessing a murder, Bree Meadows is on the run with her young son. But the bad guys are in hot pursuit. Dropped in the middle of nowhere amid a torrential thunderstorm, things look pretty grim. To make matters worse, her son is in desperate need of medical attention.
Mark Winspear has been alone for too long. When the vampire senses a gorgeous female nearby, he discovers that her swift, selfless courage pulls at his instincts. The doctor has history with the same men who are after Bree—and he’s ready for revenge. Working together now, they discover an attraction that might save them both—if they’re lucky.
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Sharon: Some of each. I need to figure out the story structure early on to make sure I’m making it strong enough, but I like to leave room for surprises, too. Sometimes interesting twist come along that are too good to ignore.
Jen: Describe your writing in 3 words.
Sharon: I like to think it’s emotional, action-oriented, and layered—but I’m not sure authors are the best judge of their own work!
Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Sharon: I have a large piece of brown paper on my hallway wall, and I put sticky notes on it as I walk by. Later on, I organize all those ideas, but it’s the one place I can guarantee the note won’t get lost. My desk is like something out of Warehouse 13—it has the power to devour anything set on its surface, never to surrender it to the light of day.
Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there one you’ll probably stay away from? Why?
Sharon: I’d like to write a proper mystery, maybe a historical or amateur-detective type so I don’t have to deal with all the modern policing issues. I’d like to be clever enough to figure out that kind of plot. As to what I would not write—I never say never. I could trumpet that, “I’ll never write cowboys!” and then my muse will send me a great cowboy character just to be perverse.
Jen: How do you come up with characters names?
Sharon: They usually come with their names. Sometimes we have arguments about it, but the characters usually win.
Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?
Sharon: In this series, it’s my jewel thief-turned chef-turned spy werewolf, Faran Kenyon. He’s the comic character of the bunch and turns up in all the books.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Sharon: Right now, my goal is to finish the fourth Horseman book and then take a summer holiday!