Sunday, January 29, 2012

SECRET LOVER—a conversation with Jim and Andi

In the last year Harlequin has reissued 15 of my 21 backlist titles in ebook.  Today I'm talking with Jim Richards and Andrea Sinclair from SECRET LOVER, a mystery romantic/suspense from Harlequin's Intrigue line, originally released in print June 1999 and currently available in ebook.

Good morning, Andi and Jim.  Thanks for joining me today.  Your story is certainly spread out geographically.  It starts in the middle of a snowy winter at an area of summer vacation cabins in the woods on Vancouver Island in Canada and travels all the way down the west coast to La Jolla, California, next to San Diego.

Jim:  Good morning, Shawna.

Andi:  Thanks for the invitation to stop by for a chat.

Andi, you're from La Jolla, a charming Southern California beach town.  And you live in a restored bungalow right on the beach.  Why would you leave such a marvelous location and travel to the Canadian woods in the middle of winter, a time when most people are getting away from the cold, snowy climate and traveling to a warm and sunny place to spend the winter?

Andi:  (chuckles) That's a great question, one I kept asking myself as I looked out the cabin window and watched the snow falling.  I'm an author…mystery novels.  The book I was working on was something different for me.  Instead of creating the plot from beginning to end, I was using a real case from the news that had never been solved, a cold case, as inspiration.  I concocted a similar storyline to the facts of the real case as the back story for my novel and was in the process of trying to bring it forward and solve my similar but fictional mystery.  Unfortunately, I was having a major case of writer's block.  My agent made a reservation for me at the cabin campground hoping the change of scenery and isolation would eliminate any distractions and help me get back on track again.

Jim:  That's where I encountered Andi.  After a year of running, I finally found an out of the way far off the beaten path place in the Canadian woods on Vancouver Island and had worked there four years.  In the off season I was the winter caretaker of the cabins.  We occasionally had someone check in during the off season, but not that often.  So, to have a beautiful woman staying there all alone was far from ordinary.  While bringing in some more firewood for her, I noticed all the crumpled, discarded sheets of paper on the floor and asked her about them.

Andi:  I had so thoroughly researched the facts of the real case, that I couldn't let go of the real man who was the center of the story—a man who had done the right thing in exposing criminal activity and agreeing to testify in court, then an attempt on his life put him in protective custody.  Shortly after that he disappeared from the safe house.  With their key witness gone, they had to drop charges.  That left me with lots of questions.  Was he bought off by the bad guys?  Had they killed him and disposed of the body?  Had he taken off because he changed his mind about testifying?  Everything I had dug up about the missing witness said he was an honorable man.  So what happened?  I couldn't concentrate on my fictional version.  Part of that, I'm sure, can be blamed on the time I spent as assistant to a top investigative reporter.  All my instincts were pushing at me to follow the real story rather than make up a fictional ending.

What about you, Jim?  What went through your mind when you saw her research notes?

Jim:  That's an easy question.  Pure and absolute panic.  My mind flew in every direction at once trying to latch on to anything that made sense.  I even gave a brief thought to the possibility of her being a professional hired killer sent to silence me.  For five years I had been living by my wits…five years since I had been forced to flee the custody that was no longer protecting me.  The only person I trusted was me.

So the two of you formed an alliance?

Jim:  Not exactly and certainly not at first.  Even though I'd seen some of her research notes, it was a little while before she tumbled to my true identity.  That's when the trouble began.

Andi:  Well, the trouble actually began a little before that.  I got a phone call from my agent telling me someone had broken into his office and the only thing they took was his file on me containing my real name in addition to my pseudonym and my address in La Jolla.  At that point it hit me…someone thought my research for my novel had turned up information telling me where the missing witness was hiding and I had probably gone to meet with him.

Jim:  So against my better judgment, we hit the road together making the 1500 mile drive all the way to La Jolla in order to avoid airports where someone might be watching for me.  The theory being that someone looking for me would not be looking for a couple vacationing by car.  But the journey was far removed from being a smooth, uneventful trip.

What happened?

Jim:  In addition to all the pitfalls during the course of those 1500 miles, once we arrived in La Jolla we were faced with a whole new set of dangers including Andi being—

Andi:  Don't give that away.  Save some surprises for them to discover when they read the book.

Uh Oh…you're going to pull that 'you have to read the book' stuff on me?  That has become a repeated pattern with these interviews.

Jim:  (tries to suppress a teasing grin) And that somehow surprises you?

LOL…okay.  Enough questions.  Thanks for being here today.

Andi:  It was our pleasure.


SECRET LOVER, a Harlequin Intrigue by Shawna Delacorte reissued in ebook format.  Available at (do search for author name Shawna Delacorte).  Also available from Amazon for Kindle and Barnes & Noble for Nook.


Andrea Sinclair found herself inexplicably drawn to Jim Richards—mind and body—as if she already knew him. His hair and face were wrong, but there was something about the man… Was he the one she'd been searching for ever since he left the Witness Protection Program with a price on his head?

Jim had been alone for too long—alone and lonely. He couldn't help fantasizing about Andi, though she represented life-threatening danger to him. She knew everything about him—everything he'd carefully tried to erase. Could he trust her to help him find the killer who pursued him…? He didn't have a choice. His heart wouldn't let him leave her.

Inside front cover:

What was there about Jim Richards that seemed so familiar?

Andrea focused on his eyes, his nose, the shape of his face. His athletic build—broad shoulders, long legs and good looks. His bed-tousled hair. She recalled the warmth of his handshake and the moment of poignancy when he had placed his hand on top of hers. A tremor of desire shivered inside her. Why?

The man was an enigma, a puzzle with many layers and facets. Did she have the right to pry into his private life? Her sense of integrity said no, but her instincts kept tugging at her with a different answer. Every instinct she possessed told her he was not who he appeared to be, that he was hiding something.

Andi had to know who Jim Richards really was and why he had assumed a secret identity. The last thing she needed was to become involved with a mysterious stranger.

But she couldn't ignore his allure….

Text Copyright © 1999 by SKDennison, Inc.  Cover Art Copyright © 1999 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Check out my website for more on my Harlequin ebook reissues.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

MUCH ADO ABOUT MARRIAGE—a conversation with Britt and Ashley

Harlequin has reissued 15 of my 21 backlist titles in ebook.  Today I'm talking with Britt Carlton and Ashley Thornton from MUCH ADO ABOUT MARRIAGE, a Silhouette title originally released in print June 1998 and currently available in ebook.

Hello, Britt and Ashley.  Welcome and thanks for taking the time to be here today.

Britt:  Our pleasure.  As I understand it, you want to know about our road to romance?

Ashley:  Road to romance…(chuckles) that was the last thing on my mind when we met.  After a broken engagement to a man who turned out to be cheating on me while I was wearing his engagement ring, I had no intention of giving it another try.  The only thing on my agenda was settling into my new city and my new job so I could make some new friends and start my new life.

Britt:  Romance was definitely off my list, too.  Been there, done that.  I had no use for the concept of a committed relationship let alone where that could logically lead.  I'd been burned before.  No-strings-attached was the only thing I wanted.  But even if I had been looking for that certain someone, (he gives her a quick wink) I have to admit that I made a really bad first impression.

A bad first impression?  That sounds interesting.  How and where did the two of you meet?

Ashley:  I was just moving into my studio apartment, boxes piled on furniture and things in disarray.  I was hanging pictures and suddenly this very rude man was standing at my opened front door telling me to keep the noise down.  Since it was the middle of the afternoon rather than early morning or late at night, I was definitely put off my his attitude.  Not to mention that he looked like he'd been up all night partying.  My first impression was decidedly unfavorable.  Obviously a womanizer…just like my ex-fiancĂ©.

Britt:  I had over indulged at a bachelor party that I wished I could have avoided, but didn't have a graceful way out.  I offered to help her unpack the boxes and even invited her to dinner as a means of apologizing for my rudeness…no ulterior motive, just friends.

Ashley:  I agreed to meet him at his apartment after I showered and put on some clean clothes.  I knew immediately he was the type of man that a woman should not get involved with, the type who would break her heart.  But two friends having a meal together?  No problem…as long as we were just friends.  But what did I find when I went next door to his apartment?

Britt:  (groans as if in pain) The first impression I made went from bad to worse.  The couple upstairs had an out of town relative visiting and they brought her to my apartment thinking the four of us could have dinner together.  To say this woman was overly aggressive would be an understatement.  Ashley walked in just as she wrapped herself around me.  Needless to say, Ashley made a hasty retreat.  (a thoughtful expression crosses his face) I'll never forget that look on her face…(he gives her hand an affectionate squeeze)…a combination of disgust and hurt.

And that was strike two?

Britt:  Exactly.  It took some fancy footwork to get all of that smoothed over, but things finally settled down and over the next couple of weeks we became genuine good friends.

Ashley:  And then he ended up with the flu, I took care of him, and to repay me he offered to take me on a flying sight-seeing tour.

You're a pilot, Britt?  Do you work for one of the airlines?

Britt:  No, a private charter company.

You mean like tour groups going on vacation?

Britt:  No, usually business executives and occasionally freight.

A flight-seeing tour sounds like fun.  Seattle is a beautiful part of the country with mountains and ocean as far as you can see.

Ashley:  (laughs) It was incredible…right up until the time the plane ended up in the ocean.

You crashed?  That sounds scary.  What happened?

Ashley:  It was definitely scary.

Britt:  And it's all in the book.

Did that put a damper on your relationship?

Ashley:  No, no…you forgot.  There was no relationship—we were just friends.

Britt:  Yep…just friends.

Well…obviously at some point being just friends wasn't enough.  When and how did friendship expand to include romance?

Britt:  That was a rocky road, too.  I tried my best to deny it...we both did.  And it's all in the—

I know.  It's in the book!

Ashley:  Absolutely…in the book.

Well, it sounds like you're not going to divulge any more of the details.  I appreciate both of you stopping by.  Thank you, Britt and Ashley.


MUCH ADO ABOUT MARRIAGE, a Silhouette by Shawna Delacorte reissued in ebook format.  Available at (do search for Shawna Delacorte author name).  Also available from Amazon for Kindle and Barnes & Noble for Nook.


Britt Carlton wasn't looking to fall in love—he'd been there, done that…and didn't want to do it again! Then Ashley Thornton moved in to his apartment complex, all smiles and sass—and incredibly sexy—and Britt knew there was only one safe course of action: they had to be strictly friends. Nothing more. Uh-uh, no way.


No matter how hard they resisted the pull between them, no matter how vehemently they rejected the idea of love and marriage, Britt and Ashley couldn't get away from one inescapable fact: they might have started out as just friends, but that just wasn't enough anymore….

Inside front cover:

What the opposing sexes say about marriage:

He Says: "Marriage? Forget it. I'll never consider marrying another woman ever again—one broken engagement's enough, thank you very much. No, I enjoy my bachelor life too much to get serious about anyone. Of course, my very attractive next-door neighbor has been causing me some sleepless nights—no, just friends, that's all I'm looking for…"
--Britt Carlton, 31

She Says: "Marriage?! I'm taking a break from dating for the rest of my life. I'm young, I'm attractive…I'm stupid. After all, I was the last to know that my fiancĂ© was the Womanizer of Wichita! Anyway, I'm not bitter, I just want to start a new life…with new friends. Speaking of friends, there's this handsome charmer who lives next door. He could be fun to hang out with—on a strictly platonic level, of course…"
--Ashley Thornton, 25

You'll Say: "Just friends? Yeah, right…"
Text Copyright © 1998 by SKDennison, Inc.  Cover Art Copyright © 1998 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Check out my website for more on my Harlequin ebook reissues

Sunday, January 15, 2012

LOVER UNKNOWN—a conversation with Kyle and Lauren

Harlequin has reissued 15 of my 21 backlist titles in ebook.  Today I'm talking with Kyle Delaney and Lauren Jamison about LOVER UNKNOWN, a mystery romantic/suspense from Harlequin's Intrigue line originally released in print April 1997 and currently available in ebook.

Hello Kyle and Lauren.  Thank you for being here today.  I appreciate you taking time from your schedule.

Kyle:  It's our pleasure, Shawna.  After all (LOL) you are the one responsible for us being together.

Well…(tries to suppress a chuckle)…I can't disagree with that.

Lauren:  What would you like to know?  Did you have a specific topic in mind?

I think for starters, maybe some general background.  Didn't you have some sort of premonition right before Kyle showed up at your door?  Do you have those psychic visions often?

Lauren:  I've had psychic visions starting with my teen years but I never really studied it or tried to harness my natural abilities.  The visions would occur, but I was never sure about what they were trying to tell me.  I didn't know if they were a portent of things to come or something from the past.  That's the way it was with the vision that woke me from a sound sleep that morning.  I saw a man falling from a cliff into the ocean below, but I didn't have a clue what it meant.  And then a few hours later a man appeared at my door, almost as if he had materialized out of the early morning mist.

So even your initial meeting was mysterious?

Kyle:  I didn't think of it as mysterious.  I'd been driving all night.  On the outskirts of town I saw a building with a sign saying tea room and lights on inside the building.  I was hoping for some coffee.  And that's when things quickly turned mysterious.  What I found was this incredibly alluring woman who immediately captured my total attention and left me with a very unsettled feeling.

Lauren:  (shoots a sly glance at Kyle)  He tried to convince me he was a paranormal investigator here to validate the presence of the entity that haunts the old lighthouse, but I didn't believe that for a moment.  He was well rehearsed, knew all the right words, but there was an underlying energy about him that said he was a skeptic.  I had no idea who he really was, but I knew our destinies were somehow woven together.

And you ended up saving his life?

Kyle:  (answers for Lauren)  No question about that.  My initial wound wasn't all that bad, a through and through shot in the shoulder.  But the fall off the cliff into the ocean, battling the cold sea, and dragging myself part way across the bluff definitely put me in extreme danger.  Especially with the blood loss and infection setting in.  I'm very lucky Lauren found me, and that it was Lauren rather than anyone else.

Lauren:  I still didn't know who he really was or what had happened to him.  He made me promise not to tell anyone he was there, not to call a doctor or anyone else.  Logically, he could have been a criminal of some sort who I was protecting, but I instinctively knew that wasn't true.  I agreed to keep his presence a secret and allow everyone to think he was dead.

And that's when he told you who he really was and why he was there?

Lauren:  Yes, but first he swore me to secrecy.  I must admit that I was relieved to find that he was an undercover agent on an assignment rather than a criminal.

Kyle:  Fortunately for me, Lauren proved to be very clever and resourceful.  She was the one who came up with a new identity for me that allowed me to go into town and mingle with the locals without arousing suspicion so I could continue my investigation.

Ah…your investigation.  Tell me about—

Kyle:  (laughing)  No you don't!  Anything more will have to come from reading the book, especially any details of exactly what I was investigating and the surprises I turned up along the way.

Lauren:  Things that had been right under my nose the entire time and I didn't realize it.  Not even a psychic hint.

Are you sure I can't persuade you to tell me about your discovery at the lighthouse or your raid on—

Kyle:  Nope…not even a hint.

Lauren:  You'll have to read the book.

Well, if I can't talk you into revealing anything else, I guess there's nothing left to do but thank the two of you for being here today.

Lauren:  It was our pleasure.

Kyle:  We enjoyed it.


LOVER UNKNOWN, a Harlequin Intrigue by Shawna Delacorte reissued in ebook format.  Available at (do search for author name).  Also available from Amazon for Kindle and Barnes & Nobel for Nook.


Lauren Jamison sensed danger and secrets when Kyle Delaney entered her waterfront store. Not for a moment did she believe the dark stranger was an ordinary man. Instinctively she knew he lived on the edge, belonged to a world of deception. But unable to resist him, she became a prisoner of passion.

Then one stormy night her world shattered when she found his body in the moonlight—shot and delirious from pain. Before he collapsed, he told her to follow his instructions or they'd both wind up dead. Just who was Kyle Delaney? And should Lauren risk her heart—and her life—for a man who might be on the wrong side of the law?

Inside front cover excerpt:

"Who are you?"

"You already know that," Kyle said. "I'm here to—"

She put her fingers against his lips to still his words. "Don't play me for a fool. I did the best I could with your injuries, but now that you're part of reality again, you owe me answers."

His voice was low, soft and very serious. "Lauren, please don't ask. I can't—"

"I don't want to hear I can't." She fixed him with a hard stare. "I want answers, Kyle."

He tugged on her hand until he had closed the last small gap between them. His lips brushed against hers, then he captured her mouth fully in a hot and sensual kiss.

She closed her eyes for a moment, savoring the warmth that flowed through her, until it almost obscured her thoughts. When she spoke, her words were barely above a whisper. "Who are you, Kyle Delaney? Why are you here? And what am I involved in?" She had to ask…but she wasn't so sure she wanted to hear the answers.

He took her hand again, bringing it to his lips. "You have to let this go, Laruen. You can't become involved. You have to trust me—and I have to trust that you'll maintain your silence."

Her voice a barely discernible whisper, Lauran said, "I don't think I can do that…."
Text Copyright © 1997 by SKDennison, Inc.  Cover Art Copyright © 1997 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Check out my Shawna Delacorte website for more excerpts from LOVER UNKNOWN and my other Harlequin ebook reissues

Sunday, January 8, 2012

THE SEDGWICK CURSE—A conversation with Taylor and Donovan

Tuesday, January 17, 2012, is the date Harlequin reissues THE SEDGWICK CURSE in ebook, a Harlequin Intrigue mystery romantic/suspense by Shawna Delacorte originally released in print in May, 2005.  Today we're talking with Taylor MacKenzie and Lord Donovan Sedgwick.

Good morning and thanks to both of you for joining us today.  I think my first question is for you, Lord Sedgwick.

Please call me Donovan.  (pauses) I still haven't been able to completely reconcile being the owner of the title, especially considering the circumstances that brought it to me.

It's a title that's been in your family for a long time, isn't it?  Along with the large estate located in the Cotswolds area of England?

A very long time…for centuries to be exact, starting in the late 1600s after the monarchy was restored to the throne with Charles II.  (brightens as he grasps Taylor's hand)  But on the other side, if my family history hadn't taken a strange twist the way it did along the way I never would have met this lovely lady and would have always felt as if something very important was missing from my life.

So, Taylor…your family history and Donovan's family history were somehow connected?  You're from the United States and had never been to England, is that correct?

Yes, it's now been over a century ago that the connection between our families resulted in the curse placed on the Sedgwick family.  In my correspondence with Donovan's father, I lied about the purpose of my trip to England.  The reality of it was to trace the origins of the crime that had resulted in the brutal death of my great grandmother and great grandfather who were tenant farmers on the Sedgwick estate.  My grandmother was a baby at the time and was whisked away to safety by some of the villagers and eventually arrived in America.

Donovan…you didn't have any idea who Taylor was when she showed up at your front door one night?

(chuckles) I assumed my father had been dealing with a man who wanted to research the annual festival we hold on the estate grounds for a book he was writing on British country festivals.  Our particular festival has been an annual event for over 250 years.

And Taylor was that 'man'?

She didn't fool me for a moment.  I knew as soon as I opened the door that it wasn't a man standing there!  (turns serious) But her timing was terrible.  My father had…uh, he had died a couple of months earlier.  It was the night before her arrival that the century old curse had seemed to come to fruition with the evil of the past turned loose on the present, followed by a string of grisly murders…

(Donovan's voice trailed off and Taylor picked up the conversation).

I had never been as frightened in my life as I was shortly after I arrived at the Sedgwick estate that night.  I felt as if I was being stalked by some evil presence.  Sometimes it seemed so close that I could literally reach out and actually touch it.  Or worse yet, that it could touch me.

Was there someone…or something…actually stalking you?  Was any of it real or merely the result of the centuries-old gothic atmosphere of the older areas of the house?

Oh, it was real…very real.  And so was the resulting danger.

(Donovan jumped in)  There was much more going on than just a malevolent presence playing havoc with everything and everyone.  There was an entirely separate agenda happening at the same time involving blackmail, deceit, and extortion.  All-in-all, a very messy quagmire of conflicting facts and feelings. 

That sounds like quite a tangled web.  Obviously whatever happened was finally put to rest for good and the two of you are now married and still living on the estate.  How did all of that come about? 

(Taylor started to speak, but Donovan got the words out first) For the answer to that one, you'll need—

Ah…I know what's coming next.  You're going to tell me I have to read the book.



THE SEDGWICK CURSE, a Harlequin Intrigue romantic suspense by Shawna Delacorte will be available in ebook on January 17, 2012, at (do search for author).  Also available from Amazon for Kindle and Barnes & Novel for Nook.


To learn the truth behind her great-grandmother's past—and the curse that still surrounded both her family and the old woman's tiny country village—Taylor MacKenzie made her way to England. But from the moment she arrived at her ancestors' manor house, an eerie chill echoed the evil of the past and a shadowy figure seemed to follow her every move.

Donovan Sedgwick, the new lord of the manor, had eyes that pierced Taylor's soul and held her in an otherworldly thrall. But he seemed ravaged by demons of his own—demons that only her kisses were able to calm.

Inside Front Cover Excerpt:

She whirled around, her gaze staring into the darkness of the garden. Someone was watching her, staring from the safety of some hidden place. She gasped for air as if all the oxygen had been taken away from her.

"Who's there? Who…?" The words came out as a whisper then they died in her mouth. Her heart pounded in her chest and the sound roared in her ears. A wall of fear surrounded her. She forced her feet to move, to carry her toward the house. Her plodding steps turned into a run as she headed for the light at the kitchen door.

"Where have you been?" The words came at her from the darkness. A jolt of adrenaline raced through her body before she identified the voice as Donovan's. Then he grabbed hold of her arm and pulled her toward him….
Text Copyright © 2005 by SKDennison, Inc.  Cover Art Copyright © 2005 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Check out my website for more information about my Harlequin ebook reissues.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Famous and Infamous…23 People We Lost In 2011

Twenty-three is not a magic number and far from being a total count.  It's simply the number of names I ended up with after I jotted down a cross section of people who died during 2011.

January 2011:
ANNE FRANCIS—actress probably most famous as one of the first female detectives on television with her series Honey West.
DAVID NELSON—oldest son of Ozzie and Harriet and brother to Ricky Nelson who went on to a career in television as a director.
JACK LaLANNE—fitness guru and pioneer of television exercise shows.

February 2011:
JOHN PAUL GETTY III—grandson of oil tycoon John Paul Getty, best known as a kidnapping victim in Italy in the 1970s who had his ear cut off by his abductors to prove they had him when they made their ransom demand.
GEORGE SHEARING—jazz pianist.
JANE RUSSELL—actress who made her film debut in Howard Hughes' film The Outlaw and went on to a successful career including co-starring with Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Bob Hope in The Paleface.

March 2011:
ELIZABETH TAYLOR—legendary screen star and Academy Award winning actress whose career started as a child star and continued for decades with many memorable film roles who was also famous for her many marriages.
GERALDINE FERRARO—first woman to run for Vice President of the United States as the running mate of Walter Mondale in 1984.

April 2011:
BETTY FORD—First Lady of the United States as wife of President Gerald Ford and founder of the Betty Ford Clinic in Palm Springs specializing in rehabilitation for those addicted to drugs and alcohol.

May 2011:
OSAMA BIN LADEN—terrorist and number one on the most wanted list.
JACKIE COOPER—child star in the 1930s who went on to an adult acting career and also a successful career as a director.
JEFF CONAWAY—an actor best known for his role on the television series Taxi.

June 2011:
JAMES ARNESS—actor best known for his role as Marshal Dillon on the long running television series Gunsmoke and was the brother of actor Peter Graves from the television series Mission Impossible and also Fury in addition to many movie roles.
PETER FALK—actor best known for his rumpled detective in the television series Columbo in addition to many movie roles.
JACK KEVORKIAN—the doctor famous for his involvement with assisted suicides.

July 2011:
AMY WINEHOUSE—the British singer who had an on-going battle with drugs.

October 2011:
STEVE JOBS—computer and electronics innovator and co-founder of Apple.
MOAMMAR GADHAFI—long time dictator of Libya.

November 2011:
ANDY ROONEY—long time commentator on CBS' Sixty Minutes.
JOE FRAZIER—heavy weight boxing champ.
KARL SLOVER—1 of the last 3 remaining of the original 124 actors to play the Munchkins in the 1939 classic Wizard Of Oz.

December 2011:
HARRY MORGAN—a long and successful career as an actor in both films and television who was best known for playing Col. Sherman Potter on MASH.
KIM JONG IL—long time dictator of North Korea.

There were certainly many more people well known in many different fields who left us in 2011.  This is just a random cross section.