Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Author Interview & Giveaway: The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle by Sharon Buchbinder

About the Author:

Sharon Buchbinder has been writing fiction since middle school and has the rejection slips to prove it. An RN, she provided health care delivery, became a researcher, association executive, and obtained a PhD in Public Health. When not teaching or writing, she can be found fishing, walking her dogs, or breaking bread and laughing with family and friends in Baltimore, MD and Punta Gorda, FL.

Twitter ID @sbuchbinder


Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

I am a reformed Pantser. I wrote my first book without a plan (or a clue!) After rewriting and revising the book ten (10, not a typo) times, I realized I had to do something different. I took a number of excellent craft courses on plotting and took away a lot from each course. I have settled on Alexandra Sokoloff’s Story Grid, as it suits my writing style best.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

Always. They are the story. Thanks to coursework with Karen Docter, I have Character Worksheets that ask me all the right questions to guide the creation of my Hero, Heroine and Villain. Thanks to Laurie Campbell, I know what my characters’ fatal flaws will be. I spend a lot of time on these worksheets and include lengthy backstory that may or may not make it into my book. As I am writing, I need to know how this character will respond to an event. For that, I go back to my worksheet and see if what I’ve written is in character. If not, why? While characters do change over time in romance, their core characteristics (e.g., integrity, compassion, and need for justice) and flaws (e.g., pride, stubbornness, loyal to a fault) will remain as steady personality traits I can tap into. That said, I can be surprised when a character goes rogue, so to speak. That is part of the fun of discovering how the character acts when set free in a plot and interacts with the other characters.

What is your favourite food?

I love filet mignon, medium rare. That plus a box of Milk Duds at the movies make for a good night. My dentist loves me.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Morning, not-so-early bird. Up by 6:30 am due to dogs needing to go out and I am shot by 10 pm.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

In August my husband and I took an Alaskan cruise, a bucket list item. It was the best trip we’ve had in 40 years—except for our honeymoon, which was a Greek cruise. On our to-do list of cruises: the Panama Canal for the animals and lush foliage and the Mediterranean for the culture and food.

Do distant places feature in your books?

Yes, I live in Baltimore, Maryland, not far from Washington, D.C. For Obsession, the book started in Baltimore, went to Chihuahua, Mexico and ended in Baltimore. The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle takes place in Billings, Montana, still a Wild West kind of area. Kiss of the Virgin Queen takes place in Baltimore and West Virginia in contemporary times and in Israel and Ethiopia in Biblical times. Kiss of the Burmese Prince will take place in Rappahannock County, Virginia and in Myanmar (Burma).

Do you listen to music while writing?

Yes, especially when I’m picking up the pace, either in word count or in the plot. It helps pick me up.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

This short novel gives readers insights into Homeland Security Anomaly Defense Director Bert Blackfeather’s Native American heritage. An in-between book in the Jinni Hunter Series, this is a lighter paranormal tale than the others. Take one Montana innkeeper from an era when men were men and women were glad of it, one sassy hotel inspector with a pug on patrol, and stir in a generous dollop of humor and sexual tension—and you have The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle. Come along to Big Sky Country and enjoy the ride with Tallulah, Lucius, Bert, and his sister, Emma as they join forces to rescue the people and the hotel they love.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

A lot! I have my top ten tips here—please edit as you see fit!

1. Never grow up. Be curious about the world around you and wonder, “What if?” Grownups (i.e., anyone who is done growing) are boring. Childlike curiosity is not childish. It enables you to see the world with fresh eyes and to bring a new perspective to a story.

2. Be yourself. There is only one you, and you have your own voice. Don’t try to be a clone of another author.

3. Get a job that pays. Money. Preferably with benefits. Because you have to have a place to live, eat, and grow into your writing career.

4. Seize the moment. You can write in 15 minute blocks, at lunch, on break, in a fast food restaurant, on a napkin (yes, I’ve outlined entire books on a napkin), before the kids are conscious, in the bathroom, in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep. Carpe diem, carpe noctem, carpe wheneverem.

5. Get rejected. Yes, get rejected. You will learn from those rejections what works and what doesn’t.

6. Have trusted readers. Be brave, get alpha and beta readers and listen to their constructive criticisms.

7. Be persistent. If I hadn’t been persistent, I would have never had the courage to send my work to contests, I would have never won writing awards, I would have never had the chutzpah to send my little story to a small electronic publisher and gotten it published. You must press on.

8. Do not whine. No one, and I do mean no one, likes a whiner. If you get rejected, allow yourself no more than 24 hours to cry, stomp your feet, and have a pity party.

9. Don’t take it personally. While the story of your heart is your baby and you know this is the best (fill in the blank) story ever told, publishing is a business.

10. And finally, if it doesn’t fit, find another publisher--or publish it yourself.  Right now, we have a lot of choices as authors. We have great prospects (with some caveats) to connect with our readers and do what we do best: tell a story.

Is there anything you would do differently?

Before writing my first novel, I would have taken a course (or three or thirteen) on plotting and character development.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

Katherine Neville wrote The Eight, which I have read eight times. It is a cult classic. I wanted to tell a story using her structure of going between the past and present. After writing a lot of short stories, novellas, and several novels, I finally worked up the courage to use this structure in Kiss of the Virgin Queen. Some readers loved it, some found it confusing. I’m working on improving my transitions between eras for my next Jinni Hunter book.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft? 

See my list of tips. Do NOT give up.

What are three words that describe you?

Smart, sassy, bold achiever (Sorry, that was four words.)

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

The Eight by Katherine Neville.

List of previous books:

Some Other Child
Desire and Deception
Kiss of the Silver Wolf
Kiss of the Virgin Queen

Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.

Twitter ID @sbuchbinder


The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle
Sharon Buchbinder

Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Fantasy

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Date of Publication: November 16, 2016

Print ISBN 978-1-5092-1153-1
Digital ISBN 978-1-5092-1154-8

Number of pages: 198
Word Count: 48,000

Cover Artist: Rae Monet

Tagline: The past meets the present when a curse turn-of-the-century man meets a feisty modern day woman.

Book Description:

When hotel inspector, Tallulah Thompson, is called in along with her pug, Franny, to investigate renovation delays, she meets an extremely annoyed and dapper turn-of-the-century innkeeper. The only problem is he’s in limbo, neither dead nor alive, and Tallulah and the pug are the first to see him in a hundred years.

Cursed by a medicine woman, “Love ‘em and Leave ‘em Lucius” Stewart is stuck between worlds until he finds his true love and gives her his heart. When he first sees Tallulah, he doesn’t know what he’s feeling. Yet, her stunning beauty, and feisty attitude pull him in.

With the fate of Hotel LaBelle on the line, Tallulah with the help of a powerful medicine woman turns Lucius back into a flesh and blood man. She and Lucius team up to save the hotel, but Tallulah can't help but wonder if he will ever let go of his past love and learn to love again.

Two sentence blurb: Modern day woman, Tallulah Thompson, is the only person to see lost in limbo, “Love ‘em and Leave ‘em Lucius” Stewart in over a century. There’s a way to release him from the spell, but will reversing the curse make things better—or worse?

Key Words: Ghosts, Native American, Medicine Woman, Paranormal, Homeland Security


A book flew at his head—and sailed through him, bouncing off the wall and landing on the floor.
Mouth agape, the woman stared from him to the book and back to him again. “You’re a ghost.”
“Not exactly. Shall we start over?” He leaned against the wall and folded his arms across his chest. “After a hundred years of being invisible to everyone except you, I’d like to know who you are and what you’re doing here.”
“Of course. Why not? Could today get any weirder?” She sank into the desk chair, shook her head, and sighed. “My name is Tallulah Thompson. I’m a hotel inspector, hired by the current owner as a consultant to find out why the renovations are delayed and what he needs to do to fix it. He’s teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.”
“What tribe are you?”
She jerked her head up and those doggone lapis lazuli eyes of hers sparked as if she’d strike him with lightning and kill him with one look. “No one asks that. It’s not politically correct.”
“Well, I guess you haven’t been talking to the right people. And I don’t know what you mean by that last part. I’ve never been involved in politics.”
“Nowadays, it’s considered rude to ask about another person’s national origins.” She threw her hands up. “Why am I giving a ghost an etiquette lesson? What am I thinking?”

Tour giveaway

10 Ebooks of The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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