Monday, July 8, 2013

Sharon Saracino - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Sharon Saracino. She writes lightly humorous paranormal romance. She is the author of DEATH BENEFITS.

Author Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Contemporary

Website: Sharon Saracino
Author's Blog: Sharon Saracino
Twitter: @SharonSaracino
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
Sharon Saracino was born and raised in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania and resides there with her long suffering husband, funny and talented son, and two insane dogs. When she is not reading, writing, or enjoying photography and genealogy, she brews limoncello, dreams of moving to Italy, and works as a Certified Registered Rehabilitation Nurse.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your novel: DEATH BENEFITS. Great reviews. I see you have two more books coming soon (referenced in book list below) titled Undiscovered Angel and Life After Death. Can you tell us the timeline for their release and maybe a glimpse of what is next?

Thank you so much, James, and thanks for having me today! I don’t have definitive release dates for either Undiscovered Angel or Life After Death as yet, but I anticipate somewhere near the end of 2013 or early 2014. I currently have a few WIP...a third Max Logan book, a second book in the Earthbound series, an a single title ghost story. I also have a sexy vampire tale in the works.

You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?

I think social media is a must for any author. Not only is it a platform for promotion, but it opens the door to networking and learning from other authors, as well as providing a means for fans to express their opinion.

You do some book signing, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? When and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

I’ll be doing some book clubs in the near future and will also be appearing at Hallowread in Ellicott City, MD in October. It’s shaping up to be a really fun weekend with some wonderful featured authors. Upcoming events can be found on my website.

Today there is a buzz in the industry about high rankings on retailer’s lists because of the use of on-line advertising sites. Have you ever promoted your books with paid advertising? What has been your experience?

I really haven’t as yet. Death Benefits is my debut release so I’m still learning about the business and marketing in general. I won’t rule it out, but haven’t taken advantage of paid advertising so far.

Death Benefits have a great cover. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach?

Thank you! With Death Benefits, I provided the art department at Whiskey Creek Press with some basic facts. The cover artist then came up with a draft cover and we worked together to finalize the design. The cover artist was wonderful to work with and was very open to my suggestions.

What writer support groups do you belong too? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?

I currently belong to Pennwriters, Romance Writers of America and its Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter, as well as Maryland Romance Writers. I would say they absolutely help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process in that each organization is comprised of writers in many different stages of their careers which makes for a wonderful environment for sharing ideas and learning from those who have been around the block, so to speak. Some of the members of these groups have been my most ardent cheerleaders!

Between your book writing, blogging, marketing, family, your day job and the dogs, how do you manage your time? Do you have a set schedule or do your sort of play it by ear?

Honestly, I sort of play it by ear. Also, I’m a pantser as opposed to a plotter, so I do go through periods where I feel like I’ve run into a brick wall. I think that’s part of the reason I usually have more than one WIP going at a time...if I get stuck on one, I can move on to another.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

I haven’t been involved in a lot of free giveaways. As I mentioned earlier, Death Benefits is my first release, so I’m still on a learning curve. I have given a few away in hopes of getting the book out there and maybe generating a little word of mouth. One of my publishers has been running some free days to generate sales, so I expect I will have a little more experience with it to speak of in the future.

Have you ever done a book tour? If so, did it contribute to the success of your book sales? What was your experience after the tour was over with your sales?

I haven’t...but I think it would be a lot of fun!

Well your bio got to me. I do confess I take an occasional nip. But I had not heard of limoncello. Google to the rescue. So do you make the Italian lemon liqueur from Naples because you are dreaming of Italy or is it just a refreshing drink?

Probably a little of both! I first heard of limoncello in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun (one of my all-time favorites) I purchased some that was commercially made and found it has a bit more bite and a lot less sugar than I like. I experimented for a while and came up with a recipe that has a little more sweetness and goes down a lot more smoothly. Of course, I’d gladly suffer the added bite to be sipping it in a piazza in Rome.

Author's Book List
Death Benefits
Max Logan’s insecurities have consumed her to the point that she has allowed them to skew her perceptions of people and circumstances. She has grown progressively more bitter, sarcastic, and solitary since her divorce and feels as though she has spent a lifetime getting the short end of the stick through no fault of her own; still she trudges on. Things can always get better, right? Of course, it’s hard to cultivate optimism when she finds herself dead, the victim of a D.I.E (Death in Error) caused by an overeager Grim Reaper in Training. She brokers a deal to be sent back to Earth as a temporary substitute for the Superintendent of Spiritual Impediment. Can a woman who won’t recognize her own problems rectify the issues of the living impaired? Or will she discover that concentrating on their issues gives her a new perspective on her own?

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Life After Death
Coming Soon From Whiskey Creek Press!

I’d never shared my life after death after life experience with anyone; not even Roger. First of all, even I wasn’t completely convinced the entire episode was real after the fact. In the first place, my black Italian marble shower with the Chastings Corque Corian Square Ceiling Mount Showerhead and I came together quite dramatically in a completely involuntary manner that cracked my skull hard enough to scramble my brain into a convincing three dimensional hallucination that could be misinterpreted as a near death experience. Secondly, who in their right mind would believe me? Sure, I’d emerged from the experience a kinder and gentler Max Logan, filled with insight and forgiveness, ready to own up to my own part in the misery that had become my everyday existence, but those who knew me best were far more likely to attribute it to a temporary psychotic break than any supernatural intervention.

Max Logan is back!
After artfully arbitrating her return from the dead, Max Logan considers her experience with the afterlife a thing of the past. But Max’s success as a temporary Superintendent of Spiritual Impediment was no accident as she discovers when the permanent SSI shows up in the middle of the night to reveal that Max has a genetic predisposition to a supernatural calling. When Max’s ex-husband and current boyfriend, Roger-the-Proctologist is lost in a plane crash due to an inept Reaper gone rogue, Max has no choice but to venture back into the sweet hereafter in an attempt to rescue him. Throw in a freak blizzard, a hot Grim Reaper, and the last person on Earth Max would choose to save, and Max will be lucky to escape before her time runs out and she becomes a permanent resident of the Between.

Undiscovered Angel
Coming Soon from The Wild Rose Press!

The atmosphere still felt heavy and oppressive with something dark, though it was less pronounced now. He tucked the blanket more closely around the motionless woman in his arms. In sleep, she looked like a child, young and defenseless, her fisted hand resting quietly on his chest, her thick lashes forming dark crescents against her pale skin. Her intricate hairstyle had come loose and wisps of spun silk tickled his neck as Jerry cranked the heat and opened the rear vents. He absently stroked the softness of her cheek, his long fingers brushing a wayward strand of hair behind her ear and she curled into him like a lost kitten. He felt something heavy settle in his chest, a temptation in the air that had nothing to do with evil, but everything to do with sin. Damn, this was so not on his agenda.


Empath Katrina Shepard spends most of her time alone, preferring solitude to the constant battering from the pain and emotion of others. When she meets publishing tycoon Kassian McAllister at a party in honor of her best friend, Kat finds that she isn’t the only one with strange psychic powers. That night, Kat intercepts the malevolent energy of a woman’s murder, and Kassian is compelled to act, taking her under his protection. A quest for vengeance has been this Earthbound angel’s closest companion for the last century, but Kat reawakens emotions he thought long dead. As Kat and Kassian grow closer, she discovers the truth about herself and sees a chance for belonging she has always craved. But Jack the Ripper is still roaming the Earth and Kat has become the ideal target. Will Kassian finally have his revenge on the Whitechapel killer or lose yet another woman he loves?

Author Recommended by: Jan Romes
Jan Romes writes Romance fiction novels. She is a member of Romance Writers of America.
Check out Jan's Author's Spotlight.


  1. Great interview, Sharon and James! :-)) I love Sharon's writing style and I know Death Benefits will be a huge success!!