Guest Author Donna Fasano in the Lair!

Please welcome our guest best-selling author Donna Fasano to the Lair today!  Donna is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, whom you can learn more about here:

Hi, Donna.  It’s good to have you visit us today!

Donna Fasano

Let’s start with a basic question most readers want to know about the writers they enjoy.  What attracted you to writing in the first place?

I came to writing from my love of reading. While growing up, I lost myself in books in order to escape an unhappy childhood.  I suffered a lot of tragedy while I was growing up, the worst of which was the death of my mother just as I was entering my teens.

I felt as though I went from 13 to 35 overnight, and when my friends were off having fun, I was cooking and cleaning and helping my little brother with his homework. Romance novels were an escape for me. The Wolf and the Dove, The Far Pavilions, Whitney My Love, Rebecca, The Thorne Birds… if the book featured one man and one woman falling in love, I read it!

Romance novels offered me hope for a happy future filled with love (hokey, maybe, but I was a naïve teen). As a young wife and mother, I discovered Silhouette Romance Novels. These books were short and sweet and uplifting. Each and every story put a smile on my face, and the happily-ever-after endings always boosted my spirits.

 What sub-genre of romance are you most comfortable writing?

I wrote for Harlequin for 20 years, writing sweet romance (as Donna Clayton) and women’s fiction (under my own name). I have self-published some of my books. The Merry-Go-Round was my first indie-published book. Reclaim My Heart is my very first Montlake publication. I am proud and excited to have been picked up by such a prestigious publisher.

How has your life experience influenced your writing?

I think authors who face a lot of pain and anguish seem to write stories with great depth, with honesty and compassion. It could be that dealing with trauma brings out the best (or worst) in people. I believe that losing my mother at such a young age had a huge impact on me not just as a writer but as a human being. I became, I don’t know, more maternal towards my family, my friends, heck, towards everyone I meet… more giving of myself, I guess you could say.

My mother’s death could have made me bitter and angry. I’m just so grateful that the exact opposite seems to describe me.

What’s your favorite place in the entire world?

I have visited so many beautiful places. The South of France, the rolling mountains of Italy, the Mediterranean Sea, the cobbled streets of Brussels, the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, beautiful Morro Bay, California, and I spend lots of time in Ocean City, Maryland. I obviously can’t pick a favorite. Besides, there are so many places waiting to be seen!

Tell us a little bit about Reclaim My Heart.  

Reclaim My Heart

Sixteen years ago, Tyne Whitlock cut all ties to her past and left town under the shameful shadow of a teenage pregnancy. Now her fifteen-year-old son is in trouble with the law, and she is desperate for help. But reaching out to high-powered attorney Lucas Silver Hawk will tear open the heart-wrenching past in ways Tyne never imagined. 

Forced to return to the Delaware Indian community where Lucas was raised, Tyne and Lucas are tempted by the heated passion that consumed them as teens. Tyne rediscovers all the reasons she found this man irresistible, but there are scandalous secrets waiting to be revealed, disgraceful choices made in the past that cannot be denied. Love is a powerful force that could heal them both—if the truth doesn’t rip them apart.

What was your favorite part to write? Which part was the hardest?

I really enjoyed writing the love scenes. In my sweet romances, all the ‘spice’ takes place behind closed doors. So this was very fun. And which part was hardest? The “kitchen love scene” (naughty pun intended!).

What’s next for you as an author?

I’m thinking of writing a book that revolves around three friends in different stages of marriage, but I’m not sure yet. I’ve worked very hard on Reclaim My Heart and I’m going to take a few days off. Then I’ll get back to work!

I want to thank you for hosting me, and I want to thank your followers for taking the time to read about Reclaim My Heart.

Donna is giving away an electronic download of Reclaim My Heart to one lucky commenter, so be sure to respond to the post.

And Donna has a question for our readers:  If YOU could live inside the world of a book, which book would you choose and what character would you want to be?

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  • Helen says:

    Is he staying with me ?

    Have Fun

  • Helen says:

    Hi Donna

    I loved that post it is so moving I lost my mother after I had children of my own I don’t know how I would have coped if I had lost her at that young age one of my friends lost her Mum when she was 12 and it was just so heart breaking. I love the sound of this book I must add it to my TBR pile 🙂

    A few years ago I only read historical and a few Mills and Boon books but these days I read all the romance genres and love them all so I am not sure if I could choose just one to live in or even one character I so love them all I know I would have to be a heroine and I would want to be a strong one with a great hero who cares deeply for me 🙂

    Have Fun

    The GR must have really enjoyed the Tim Tams yesterday and the hot weather

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Ah, that’s what’s drawing the rooster to your house, Helen — Tim Tams! I should have known!

      I think it must be horrible to lose your mother just as you’re on the cusp of womanhood. My granddaughter Elie lost her mother summer a year ago when she’d just turned 13. It’s been hard for her; there are so many things a mother teaches you during those teen years.

    • Donna Fasano says:

      Helen, thank you for your kind words. Losing my mother made me a pretty strong person. I also believe the experience made me very compassionate. As a kid, I often felt like I was dying inside while no one seemed to notice. So now, as an adult, I’m very aware that others may be going through very bad times that I know nothing about.


  • Hi Jo! Hi Donna! Donna, congratulations on all your success. RECLAIM MY HEART sounds fantastic. What sort of research did you do into the cultural aspects of the book? They sound fascinating. I must say I love research – one of the perks about writing historicals!

    I think I’ll go obvious and say I’d like to be Lizzie Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. Hey, I get to flirt with Mr. Darcy and then I get to live at Pemberley. Not much to whinge about there!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Elizabeth Bennett is going to be a perennial favorite, I think, Anna.

      I wondered about the Native American aspect of the research, too, in Donna’s book. Did you have to do much research for that aspect of the book, Donna?

      I love cross-cultural love stories. There’s so much conflict inherent in them that the h/h have to really work to be together.

      • Jo, I love cross cultural stories too – so much conflict based in strong emotion. Barbara Samuel/O’Neal/Ruth Wind (she writes under a few names) writes great ones!

    • Donna Fasano says:

      Caren, I have nearly a dozen non-fiction books on Native American culture. Also, there are many websites with information. As a writer, I’ve found that people are VERY eager to talk about themselves, their jobs, their culture. I think I received the best information from real people.


      • Jo Robertson says:

        That’s interesting, Donna. Does the Native American culture play a large part in the story of RECLAIMING MY HEART? Is the son involved with a tribunal counsel with his getting in trouble?

        I’m very intrigued with this story premise. I have to have a copy!

        • Donna Fasano says:

          Jo, the teen in the story gets himself in trouble with the US juvie court and his father takes him back to the Lenape community where he (the father) was raised. That’s where the Native American culture comes into the story.

  • Anna Sugden says:

    Welcome to the Lair, Donna! I think we all relate to reading being an escape from the hard parts of life. I’ve always love romances, but during my own dark days, they became a life-saver!

    I love all those small town stories, so I’d like to live in Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold. Or, complete opposite, in JD Robb’s New York and be part of that circle of friends. Of course, I’d love to be Eve and have Roarke all to myself, but I’d be happy to be in that world!

  • Shannon says:

    I felt like I grew up when my mom had cancer in my early teens, doing the groceries, cooking, and cleaning. Afterward, they sent me one summer (for a month?) to Minnesota to hang out with my cousins and be a kid again. It was great, my cousin Tim had a girl friend and a speed boat. They’d drop me at the beach with a romance and then take off somewhere else.

    Right now I’m re-reading science fiction, the Flight of the Phoenix. (I decided to re-read because I could put down the book easily because I knew what was going to happen. Hah!) I’d like to be one of the the nobles (Doulai) watching Brandon rise from rift-skip to Panarch, maybe Vannis, but she is not important until later in the series. She in the end doesn’t get Brandon but one of his intriguing Rifter buddies.

  • Becke Turner says:

    Congratulations on your success. Great teaser and cover for Reclaim My Heart. However, most of us are wondering about that kitchen scene!

  • Caren Crane says:

    Donna, Reclaim My Heart sounds like just my kind of great, emotional read! I am most excited about delving into it. 🙂

    As for book worlds I would love to inhabit, there were so many that I wanted to live in as a teenager that I had them sort of prioritized at one point. Now that I’m older, I’m not sure how I’d fare in many of those worlds, since the characters all had fairly adventurous lives!

    I would probably choose Anne McCaffrey’s Pern to inhabit, though. I would love to be a cotholder on the Southern Continent. Far away from the politics and escapades, having to watch for Threadfall and wild animals and whatnot. Close to the sea where the fishing is great and I could learn to talk to the dolphins. 🙂

    I think, in that world, it would be good to be Sharra, though she had a rather tragic past. Once she hooked up with Jaxom, though, things improved for her dramatically. Plus, she was a healer, which would suit me, and went off on treks to find curative plants all the time. 😀

    • Jo Robertson says:

      PERN is a great world to inhabit, Caren, and Sharra a fascinating character. I like the healer aspect too.

      With so many kids and grandkids, that’d be a wonderful power to have. Plus I like the natural healing aspect. I love aloe vera!

    • Donna Fasano says:

      Caren, I appreciate your stopping by!

      I love emotional reads…a story that picks me up and sweeps me away.


  • Hi Donna –

    Great name BTW 🙂 Loved the premise of RECLAIM MY HEART. Very intriguing.

    As to the story world – as long as it’s a romance, you can plop me down as the heroine (I want the hero) in any book, as long as there’s hot water and indoor plumbing (I can live without cell phones and cars). In a romance I know that though there’ll be tough spots – it’ll all work out in the end – so put me in a romance. No Horror – definitely no horror…and I’m not sure I can handle an erotica. I’ve got great fantasies but I think living them might be something else 🙂

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Thanks for joining us on this busy Saturday, Donna. It was a pleasure to have you in the Lair.

  • bn100 says:

    Alice in Alice in Wonderland

  • bn100 says:

    a tale of two pities