11:05 AM

This Week's in the Author Spotlight:
Shiela Stewart

AL: Thank you so much Shiela for joining me today. I’m thrilled that you could interview for the “Year of the Blog”.

SS: Thank you Ann for having me. I have to say, I absolutely love your blog!

AL: Tell us about your Dark Series? It’s set in the future and all sorts of things are going down.

SS: The Darkness series is set in 2025, the not so distant future and for the most part, things are relatively the same as they are now, except for a few minor details. Technology is a little more advanced in that some things are more computerized. Originally when I wrote the first book, it dealt with the eclipse of the sun and the story evolved around it. After a few rewrites, I changed a few things, but the eclipse is still the catalyst to bringing the once evil king of all vampires back from his confinement in the Realm of Dark Mystics by sacrificing five virginal girls during the eclipse. Trinity Ford and her once lover, Basil Hawthorne, want to stop it. What ensues in the following books is the desperation from these two to bring back the sunlight that was cloaked during the ritual, and protect the city they call home. Of course, love blossoms even in the darkest times and in each of the eight books, a relationship blooms and has a pivotal part in the stories.

Charming the Darkness is my current release and is the fourth book in the Darkness series.

AL: Do you have any new or upcoming releases you’d like to fill us in on?

SS: Tempting the Darkness is the next book in the Darkness series. It’s the fifth book in the Darkness series and is due for release in March. On a personal note, this book was one of the hardest I have ever had to write. I’d had the premise for the story outlined in July and began writing it in the beginning of August. The premise of the story is “If you could save a loved one from dying, would you do whatever it took to save her?” Cooper Hawthorne has been with Basil since he was a boy. After rescuing him from his father, they set out on a life of their own. When Cooper met and fell in love with Gabriella, he vowed to keep her safe from his life as a vampire. Including keeping her a secret from the man he considers his son. When Gabriella’s cancer returns, Cooper puts her into a comatose stases for twenty years before he wakes her with the sad news that no cure has been found. Because he can’t live without her, he does what comes naturally to him, and turns her into a vampire.

The reason this story was so difficult was because a week into writing it, my father was hospitalized with pneumonia. Four days later he died of lung cancer which no one in my family knew he had aside from my mother. Having to write a story about a cancer victim at that time was very hard for me as I dealt with my own grief and shock. I finished the book and I think it will always hold a special place in my heart simply because I was so close to scrapping the idea and starting over but I didn’t. I plugged on and I am proud I did.

Here’s a glimpse at Tempting the Darkness:

Keeping secrets is never easy, but for the past twenty years, Cooper Hawthorn has managed to hide his perfectly well. Until love entices him to reveal it all.

Despite the darkness still encasing the city, love is in the air and one by one, Cooper watches his friends fall head over heels. Longing for what he once had, he makes a critical decision. Waking his wife from her comatose sleep…and turning her into a vampire.

Waking after years of sleep, Gabriella Hawthorn is relieved to see her beloved Cooper. But when he informs her that her cancer has not been cured, she fears he’s woken her to say goodbye. Until he betrays his most sacred promise, and makes her one of his kind.

For so long he’d kept his wife and his life with her a secret. Cooper realizes what he is risking by waking her and turning her into a vampire. What he doesn’t expect is for everyone he loves to turn their backs on him. Including his wife. Devastated, Cooper is tempted to use his powers of mind control, a gift bestowed to him from being created by the king—another secret he has kept.

Will he be able to see the light, or will the darkness capture his soul?

AL: When did you know you had to be a writer?

SS: Gosh, I’ve always written in one form or another. Even as a child I would write tales or tell my cousins elaborate tales. I loved to fantasize. It had always been a part of me. But it wasn’t until after one particularly bizarre nightmare that the need to “write” became so gripping I was compelled to do it. A lot of my stories come from my nightmares. After putting it to paper, my husband read it and insisted I start looking for a publisher. I laughed it off, thinking there was no way I was good enough to be a published author. With his persistence, I began looking into publishers and after several rejections, I was finally accepted. And here I am now, and author with nine books published and contracts for four more. Not bad I guess, for a woman who was nicknamed “The Dreamer” in school. LOL

AL: Who inspired you to follow your dream of writing?

SS: My husband has always been a huge supporter of mine. If it hadn’t been for him, I wouldn’t be talking with you today. If there is one author that I would say inspired me to write it would be Nora Roberts. After reading one of her books for the very first time I decided this is what I wanted. I wanted others to read my stories.

AL: Who are some of your favorite authors?

SS: As I stated above, Nora Roberts is definitely on the top of my list. Her Alter ego, J.D. Robb would be second. I also love J.R. Wards Brotherhood series.

I’m a big paranormal nut and I love a good, seat gripping suspense.

AL: Valentine’s Day is around the corner is there anything special you and your significant other plan for that day?

SS: Hmmm…nothing so far. I must admit, I’m not big on Valentine’s day. As long as I’m with the man I love with all my heart, I’m happy. J

AL: Do you have a favorite sport, &/or team that you follow?

SS: I’m not a big sports nut, but I do enjoy watching my hubby and sons play soccer. One of my sons was also in wrestling and though I tried to be a supportive mom and watch a few of his matches, I did it with tense muscles and held breath. I’ve seen plenty of boys come out of it with concussions and broken bones.

AL: What favorite movie; or T.V. show makes you hunker down on the sofa and settle in for the night?

SS: Wow, there are several actually. Monday nights are my big, TV night. I love Heroes, How I met your Mother, CSI Miami, Bones, Eleventh Hour, CSI Vegas. But my all time favorite show right now would have to be The Tudors. I’m a big fan of the royal Tudor family and can’t get enough of their stories.

AL: Please share a favorite quote, or any quote that means the most to you.

SS: “It’s a dog eat dog world and I’m wearing Milk Bone underwear.” A line from the eighties TV series, Cheers quoted from Norm. Anyone ever watch it? I loved that show and Norm was so right. I feel that way sometimes. I guess every wife and mother does at some times. Hell, who doesn’t feel that way sometimes. J

AL: Thank you so much Shiela for participating in the “Year of the Blog”. I do appreciate it.

SS: Thank you Ann for this wonderful interview and for having me on your blog.

Now I’m off to finish up Surviving the Darkness, the last book in the Darkness series.

Charming the Darkness
Available now from Linden Bay Romance

Danny Vega had never been comfortable as a human, unlike his twin brother. When he was offered a new life, Danny took it. As a vampire. Turning his back on his family, he welcomed the darkness. But when Chaos, the one man he has always looked up to most goes missing, and Danny is shunned by his kind, he decides to leave Jacobs Cove.

That is, until he’s run off the road.

As a witch, Starla Raine is fascinated by the ritual used to cast Jacobs Cove in darkness and decides to check it out. Entering the city she’s mesmerized by the blanket covering the city, and accidently runs someone off the road. When she discovers the man behind the wheel is connected to the spell that cast a shadow on the city, she decides to hold him captive until he agrees to help her find the spell book. And she’ll use any means possible to convince him, including seducing him.

Annoyed at being held against his will, Danny caves to Starla and agrees to help her find the ritual as long as she helps him find Chaos. He doesn’t mind using her magical abilities, or her body, for his own gain. Sex is just sex, until his heart gets in the way. But when she pushes him to make amends with his brother, or lose her, he finds letting her go isn’t that easy.

Can he open his heart to the light, or give in to the darkness once more?


“You’re a vampire?” She backed away from him, her brown eyes wide.

“Well…yeah. What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I move?” It was like his brain had lost communication with the rest of his body. Yet he could feel everything.


I froze you. You were going to bite me.”

“Once again, yeah. Vampire here. And what do you mean you froze me?” He was straining so hard to move that if he wasn't careful he was going to drop a load in his pants.

“I’m a witch.”

“A what?”

“A witch.”

At least he could use his face and, frowning at her, said, “You’re a witch?” She folded her arms over her chest and cocked her hip to the side. He corrected his earlier thought. She wasn't just hot. She was damn hot!

“Yeah, what’s wrong with being a witch?”

“Nothing wrong with it. You just don’t look like a witch.”

“Why, because I don’t have a green face and a pointy nose?” She rolled her eyes.

“No, because…well, you’re hot!” There was no denying it, the woman had curves in all the right places and that tight, black, v-neck t-shirt she wore teased of ample breasts. Never mind the blue jeans that looked painted on. “Only children think witches look like that. I’m not that stupid.”

She planted her fists on her hips and gave him an indignant look. “I don’t like your attitude.”

“No problem. Unfreeze me or whatever you need to do to give me back the power of my body and I can be on my merry way. Killer, hurry your ass in there already!” Where was that cat anyway?

“Killer? There are more of you in here?” She spun around, facing towards the entryway to the kitchen. Oh, this was too perfect.

“Oh yeah, there’s a whole bunch of us here and we’re all going to take turns sucking the life right out of you.” She glared as she turned to face him. Maybe he should have used less sarcasm.

“I don’t believe you.”

"Suit yourself. Come on out, guys!” This was too much fun. Then Killer walked in, meowed, and wound his body around Danny’s legs. How was he supposed to pretend to be mean when the cat was cuddling up to him?

“There’s no one else here, is there?”

“Sure there are.” He was losing her rapidly.

“I don’t think so.” Daringly, she inched towards the doorway, peering around the corner. Danny just couldn’t resist.

“Get her!” She jumped, spun around in some sort of karate kick, her fists raised and ready. It was the hottest thing he’d ever seen.

“I knew it! There is no one else here.” She spun back towards Danny. “You lied.”

Can’t blame a guy for trying. All right already, Killer, go lay down on the sofa or something.” The cat was annoying him only because he was tickling Danny’s shins and there was nothing he could do to stop it, being frozen and all.

“Killer? That’s Killer?” she chuckled as she made her way to the cat, scooping him up. “You don’t look so fierce. Come here pretty girl.”

“He’s a guy.” The nerve of her assuming Killer was a girl!

“Aren’t you a sweetie pie?” She nuzzled her face into the cat’s fur. “Yes, you are.” Killer was loving every minute of it.

“You wanna unfreeze me now?”

“Right, because I look stupid.”

“Well—” “Don’t.”

“You walked into it, toots.” She narrowed those big, brown eyes at him.

“Don’t call me that. If I let you go the first thing you’ll do is jump me and bite my neck.”

"Doesn’t have to be the neck and I’d probably do more than just jump you.” Her eyes narrowed a little more.

“What does that mean?”

“Just forget it. If I promise I won’t bite you, will you let me go?”

“Sure. NOT!!” She laughed at him then took a seat on the sofa with the cat.

“What’s a pretty kitty like you doing with a big, bad vampire?” Her head jerked up and her eyes went wide making them look even bigger than they already were. “Oh my Goddess! You don't drink from him, do you?”

That was just the most appalling thing he’d ever heard. “What? No way. Killer and I are tight. We’re pals.”

“You’re pals?” “

"Yeah, I saved him from a bunch of hungry dogs a few weeks ago and we’ve been roomies ever since.”

“You’re roomies?” Her lips twitch with a grin.

He wasn't impressed. “What’s wrong with that?”

“That’s sweet. You have a kitty as a pet.” Snuggling the cat to her face, she flashed a huge smile at him.

“Wanna release me now?” He didn’t like the way she was looking at him or being called sweet. He was anything but.

She leaned back and Killer made himself right at home on her lap. “Not yet. So why were you leaving—I don’t even know your name.”


“Cool. I’m Starla Raine. So why were you leaving?”

“Starla Raine? What kind of name is that?”

“It’s a perfectly fine name. Starla was my grandmother’s name.”

“So Raine is your last name?”

“Yes. Why were you leaving?” she repeated, gently stroking the cat’s head.

Maybe if he played nice and gave her what she wanted she’d release him and then he and Killer could go on their merry way. “I’m tired of this town.”

“I would think someone like you would love living here where there’s no sun to burn you up.”

“The sun doesn’t kill us. That’s just a myth. But it does give us a nasty third degree burn. I’ve spent twenty years learning to live with the sun, doing so now won’t be any different.”

“Twenty years?” She frowned. “How old are you?”


“Get out? Wow, how old were you when you were taken?”

“Thirteen. I answered your questions, so you wanna let me go now.” His body was starting to cramp up and it was not a good feeling, especially since he couldn’t rub the tightening muscles.
“The response you gave to my question was lame. Now tell me the real reason you and Killer,” she smiled down at the cat on her lap, “were leaving.”

“Why does it matter to you?” She was pissing him off now.

“Just curious. What’s the real reason?”

She just wasn't giving up. “If I tell you the truth, will you please release me?”

“You bet.” She kicked her legs up onto the couch and Killer stretched out, placing his paws and his face on her knees.

“You are just loving this,” he growled at Killer. “Okay, I’m kind of an outcast here. I used to be part of the group of vamps that started this whole darkness crap, but I disobeyed the leader and so he kicked me out. Now no one wants to hang out with me even though Chaos has been taken hostage and is hidden somewhere. So why stay where I’m not wanted?”

“Chaos was the leader?”

“Yeah. Now you know the truth you can let me go.”

She stood up holding the cat in her arms. “I don’t think so.”

“What? You said you would?” This was bullshit!

“Yes, I did, but that was before I knew you were connected to the darkness.” She walked right up to him, her face a breath away. “I came to Jacob’s Cove to find out everything I can about the ritual that cast the city in darkness. I’m thinking you might come in handy.”

She walked off towards the kitchen, the cat in her arms.

“What? No way! Get back here. Did you hear me, Starla? Get your ass back here now!” If he had the ability to chase after her she would so be on her face right now. “Damn it, Starla. Let me go!”


J.K. Coi said...

Wonderful interview, ladies.
Your series has been great, Shiela and I can't wait for the next instalment.

Shiela said...

Thanks Ann for having me today and thank you J.K. for popping in.

I've had such a crazy day today that this has been the first chance I've had to check in.

Ann Lory said...

It's been crazy on this end as well. I tell you what, Shiela, I think we're on the same crazy roller coaster and we need to push each other off so we can stand still for a moment. LOL!

And you're welcome. Thanks for interviewing.

Shiela said...

I'm ready to push anytime you are, Ann. :)

I actually had to ask Crissy for an extension for my last book in the Darkness series. Though we've had to push the release date back, I have a bit more breathing room and what a relief it is.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...



Ann Lory said...

Hi Linda!

Thanks for stopping by. Shiela does a great job pulling you in with that excerpt. Her Darkness series is good. I'm already hooked and I'm in the middle of the first one.

And I'll keep that heart swirlin'. :-D

Shiela said...

Thanks Ann, I'm so glad you're enjoying the book. This series has drained me but I do love it. :)

Charlie Cochrane said...

Great interview, Shiela. I have great admiration for how you carried on when your dad was so ill.


Shiela said...

Thanks Charlie. We do what we have to do.