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Today I’m absolutely honored to welcome Sharon Owen, who has in turn honored me with an extremely generous giveaway to go with her visit. I hope you’ll stay with us until the end to see what she has to offer, but I will say this now: it’s probably the most unique assemblage of prizes I’ve ever had the opportunity of announcing. And with that, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Sharon Owen.

**Giveaway closed** Please see comments for a list of winners! ;c)

Welcome, Sharon, and thanks for joining us! Before we talk about THICKER THAN WATER, I just wanted to tell you the photo of yourself on your blog is just so beautiful, and I truly enjoyed your bio. You speak lovingly of your maternal grandfather, a natural story teller, and it seems as if writing is very much a part of your blood. What made you decide to write your first novel?

I have always been intrigued by family history and connections. I already had an image of a talented independent singer/songwriter/musician who wanted to establish her music career without help from her wealthy influential family. Then, I wondered what it would take to make her choose family over career.

That’s such a great plot trigger! THICKER THAN WATER is the first novel in the Brands Crossing Series. Can you tell our readers a bit about the story?

Thicker Than Water (Brands Crossing Series) is the first in a series of novels set in Brands Crossing, Texas. It chronicles the lives of the Kincaids, a prominent family in this mythical town, and focuses on a mystery that extends back to the mid-eighteenth century and the young Texas Republic.

In Thicker Than Water (Brands Crossing Series), the protagonist KATE O’DONNELL has to make a choose between continuing to pursue a music career and a promising romantic relationship in Nashville and returning to Texas to help solve the mystery surrounding her grandfather’s fatal car crash. Family trumps career and romance and Kate heads for Brands Crossing where she searches for missing documents, investigates a centuries-old feud and is stalked by an anonymous, rose-sending admirer.

Girl, you are SO speaking my language! I how the past and present collide with an old feud and a new mystery, and for the pull to be great enough for Kate to give up her career and a new romance makes the story all the more enticing. Just … WOW! While we’re in the heart of the story, Sharon, here’s a related question. With which of THICKER THAN WATER’s plot threads do you most closely identify? Are any pulled from your own life experiences?

I have always loved music and enjoyed singing. Unfortunately, I don’t have the musical talent to take that career route, so I live vicariously through Kate O’Donnell.

I have lived most of my life in north Texas and have experienced both city and rural lifestyles there. My family structure is similar to Kate’s and I have both academic and corporate career backgrounds. I brought all those experiences into the novel.

It sounds as if this is one story you are well equipped to write from the heart. ;c) What might readers be surprised to learn about the plot or characters of THICKER THAN WATER?

When I began the novel, Kate O’Donnell and her grandfather were the only fully developed characters I had. I did have an idea about the villain and who it would be. As the novel developed, characters I expected to fill supporting roles began to take over the book. Phillip Norwood was not the anticipated love interest but he took on that role. Claire Kincaid became such a strong character I had to promise to write her book next to keep her under control. The villain changed as well, developing a history and character traits that made him more sympathetic to the reader.

I’ve said it before but I don’t mind saying it again: when an author creates characters who ultimately make demands such as those, it’s a strong testament to the author’s skill at character development! Let’s have some fun with THICKER THAN WATER. What’s the first sentence?

Like a modern Persephone, eight-year-old Katy O’Donnell sprinted out of the woods with her rescued victim and called out for justice from a higher power.

Wow, that’s an attention grabber! What’s your favorite line in the book?

She’d roared into Nashville—eighteen and green—with little more than a guitar, a couple of college scholarship, and the determination to carve out a successful recording career without relying on family money or influence.

And that sure says it, LOL. How about an excerpt … three sentences long! Yep, that’s it. Three!

All their lives, Claire had punched holes in the illusions Kate preferred over reality. First, she’d outed Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Then, she’d unmasked Zorro, Bat Man and the Power Rangers. Finally, she’d stripped Lancelot, Prince Charming and Galahad down to their dirty underwear.

LMAO! That’s FABulous. (I can see now how Claire might have started making demands for her own story, too, LOL.) Which scene of THICKER THAN WATER was most difficult for you to write? Why?

The hostage scene where Kate and her young cousin are held at gunpoint by one of the conspirators. The scene involves Phillip, Kate’s brothers and the local police in negotiations with the captor who is not only desperate but under the influence of alcohol and drugs. There are several viewpoints shown in this scene and the logistics and choreography were complex. There was also a need to keep the emotional  level intense and believable.

I can certainly understand where you’re coming from there. That sounds like an intense, highly charged situation! Which scene of THICKER THAN WATER would you most like to experience for yourself? From whose POV?

The musical performance in Chapter Three. Although the venue was a small club, Kate’s performance electrified the crowd and inspired Phillip to write a scene for the goddess in the screenplay based on his computer fantasy game. Of course, I would want to be Kate.

Oh, wow. *Swoon.* It would be incredible to experience something like that! While I’m dreaming (LOL) how about a scoop. What are you currently working on? 

I am completing the second novel in the Brands Crossing Series titled Whatever Goes Around. This is Claire Kincaid’s book. Claire is a young, goal-oriented  career woman who wants it all: glamorous career, an attractive, fashionable, refined appearance for both herself and her home and a perfect husband and father for her future, exceptional children. While concentrating on her personal goals, she finds time to examine her sister’s and cousin’s personal and professional challenges and decides to micromanage these family members’ lives into more productive channels. Inadvertently she guides them into dangerous situations and discovers that she may not know all the answers as she had thought.

I love your plots, Sharon! They certainly aren’t the same old ones recycled again – that’s fantastic! ;c) Okay, back to the featured title. Let’s take a look at THICKER THAN WATER and learn more about you through your bio, then we’ll share the details of that awesome giveaway of yours.

THICKER THAN WATER | blurb & links

As a child, KATE O’DONNELL spends summers at her grandparents’ estate in Brands Crossing, Texas where she  battles make-believe monsters, rescues endangered victims and a saves a mythical kingdom.

At twenty-five Kate is a singer/songwriter living in Nashville and pursuing a promising relationship with computer game designer PHILLIP NORWOOD. There, her only battles are fought in Aidenne’s Revenge, Phillip’s online fantasy game based on her childhood adventures.

When her grandfather is critically injured in a suspicious car crash, Kate  abandons career and romance to return home to solve the mystery. There, she  searches for incriminating documents, investigates a centuries-old family feud and confronts an anonymous rose-bearing admirer who stalks Kate in both real and virtual universes.


SHARON OWEN | bio & links

I am a fiction writer, a university professor, a copy editor and an online writing teacher. My first Romantic Suspense: Thicker Than Water (Brands Crossing Series) was published in 2011 and the second book in the series, Whatever Goes Around, will be published in March, 2012.

My short stories and poetry have been published in Descant, Concho River Review, Iron Horse, American Literary Review, Trinity Writer’s Workshop newsletter and collections of Christmas stories.



Hang on to your hats, guys. Lot of freebies up for grabs!

* 3 kindle e-book versions of THICKER THAN WATER *

* 1 print copy of THICKER THAN WATER (U.S. addresses only, please) *

* 3 free memberships to Sharon’s online creative writing class: Simply Creating Fictional Characters *

I know, right? INCREDIBLE! To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. Please specify if you are eligible for the print copy of THICKER THAN WATER  and also if you are interested in the membership to Sharon’s writing class.

Sharon, I’m so thrilled with your generous prizes and I’m sure my readers will be as well. Thank you so very much! Readerly folks, thank you for being here today, and please tell your friends about Sharon’s giveaway using the share buttons following the post. Your participation is greatly appreciated. Everyone have a wonderful day, and good luck!