Monday, June 04, 2012

Guest - Shannon Donnelly

Good morning everyone! Today's guest is Shannon Donnelly. Shannon's writing has won numerous awards, including a RITA nomination for Best Regency, the Grand Prize in the "Minute Maid Sensational Romance Writer" contest, judged by Nora Roberts, RWA's Golden Heart, and others. Her writing has repeatedly earned 4½ Star Top Pick reviews from Romantic Times magazine, as well as praise from Booklist and other reviewers, who note: "simply superb"..."wonderfully uplifting"....and "beautifully written."
Her latest Regency Historical Romance, Paths of Desire, can be found as an ebooks, along with her Regency romances. Shannon is a regular speaker at writing conferences, and will be speaking at the 2012 RWA  National conference in Anaheim. She gives online workshops and is the author of Story Telling; Story Showing, an ebook that compliments her popular online class Show and Tell: An Interactive Workshop. She can be found online at,, and

Shannon is offering ebook giveaways of her Paths of Desire to two lucky commenters (please include your email address so she can contact you)



I’ve been watching a lot of movies about family lately, and some about family which don’t really seem to be about family, but really are. As in The Avengers, which is all about family.

What!—you say. But that’s an action movie! Yes, it is. However, at its heart, it’s all about family. My favorite kind of family, in fact—the kind that bickers, fights, argues, tears itself apart, but which bonds together against any outside threat. (That was also me and my brother when we were growing up, which is probably why I’m so fond of that kind of family.) Critics have already noted the dysfunctional side of The Avengers—and other Joss Whedon shows, which is why I love Joss. I relate to dysfunctional. That also makes for the best kinds of stories.

Family, in a novel, gives you some of the best conflict and story ever. When in doubt, bring in the family. Any romance writer knows this. And readers love it, too. Yes, there are a lot of “orphan” stories out there, but you’ll notice the orphan doesn’t stay on her own for long. Soon, the family of choice shows up. That’s the great thing about family—they don’t have to be tied to you by blood. They can be tied by preference, circumstance, or just because you happen to see the world from a similar outsider view. I’ve used that trick in most of my books, including the latest, Paths of Desire, where family turns up when you least want them and where they are most annoying. And the heroine ends up making a family of misfits like herself—because we all need family. We need to share our world.

Readers and writers are all family—we bicker, fight, tear at each other. But we’re also bonded. We love our books, our stories—we love talking about them, pushing the best ones onto each other, gasping when other readers don’t love our favorites with the same insane passion. We bond over books. We’re every bit as dysfunctional as The Avengers—well, maybe not quite that super-powered, but close (including the costumes hanging in the closets). That shared love is one of the great joys of life—and all writers are readers. Books bond us. We love words and stories and characters. We read because life would be flat and unbearable without that escape. Stories make sense of our lives. And that’s why we write—because we want to share even more and so we dive into the deep end on things.

So—authors, next time you bash readers for not “getting” your story, stop and remember, that’s your brother and sister out there (yes, I know, you bash them, too, but do so with love). And, readers, next time you’re about to savage a book with harsh criticism, remember, that’s your sister in words who wrote that, and your brother, so put in some humor and respect—okay, maybe you don’t use that with blood kin, either, but this is your ink kin we’re talking about. Go ahead and hit hard—then, like that great fight scene in The Avengers, after knocking each other around, offer a hand up and know that while you may come to blows occasionally (just to test each other and prove who really can dish it out), we’re all a family of readers out here.  You may not like everyone in your family, but they understand you like no one else in this world.


The newest Regency Historical from award-winning author and RWA RITA-nominee, Shannon Donnelly.

She wants a rich lord for a husband—she won’t end like her mother, abandoned and broken.

He wants to prove to his friend she’s the wrong woman—he knows too well the pain of a bad marriage.

The last thing either wants is to fall in love, but when desire leads to a passion that won’t be denied, how can the heart do anything but follow?


                Leaning forward, he cupped her face and kissed her, hard and deep. She held still under his touch, but her lips parted, her tongue met his. Her hand stole up to clutch at his coat collar. He moved his hand from her face to her breast. Kissed her until he had no breath. He pulled away while he still could and leaned his forehead against hers, breath mingling in matching ragged gasps.
                “I don’t know what you do to me—I’ve not looked at any woman in months. Not had one for longer. I’d convinced myself I’d had no need for this.”
                “I’m not doing anything!”
                “You are—just by existing. I’d forgotten the joy of bringing a woman pleasure. I’d forgotten too much.”
                She turned away and pulled her cloak tight. “I’m not looking for pleasure—I’m looking for a husband.” He gave a laugh, and she turned to him. “You wouldn’t laugh at a lady who said as much—and you wouldn’t handle a lady as you have me!”
                “No—thank merciful heaven for that. But I want more than to touch you.”
                “Go away—and stay away!’re a distraction! An arrogant, conceited distraction. And—”
                He caught her wrist. “Don’t lie to me. Don’t lie to yourself. This doesn’t end here between us.”


Linda Andrews said...

I like to be in families where we swap those costumes in the closet. Loved the post and excerpt. Is this book part of a series?

Shannon Donnelly said...

I am planning a sequel to Paths of Desire that takes up with the hero's son, Griff.

Christine Ashworth said...

Shannon, I find the writing community to be as you say - a big family. I don't know what I'd do without it, to be honest.

The book sounds terrific, and I'm glad you're doing a sequel.

Cheers hon!

bn100 said...

Congratulations on the book! I enjoyed the excerpt. The book sounds good.


chey said...

Congrats on the book! Great excerpt!
chey127 at hotmail dot com