Sholes started writing in childhood. “As a kid, I wrote little plays and stories," she recalls. "In times of upheaval in my life, I always turned to writing as a way to deal with things. Writing has taken me through tough times. Some people run, some work out, some knit. That’s their vent. Mine is writing.” After graduating from East Carolina University, she took a teaching job and eventually became a Language Arts trainer for Broward County elementary schools. Currently she is the Elementary Writing Coach for the Citrus County school district.
About 12 years ago, Sholes read an article in Discover magazine that gave her an idea. The article told of an archeologist in Jerusalem who unearthed a cup that he thought might be the Holy Grail. The cup contained a brown residue that proved to be human blood, type O-negative (the universal donor). What if this was the blood of Christ? She discussed the idea with her writing critique group. After a year or so, when she still hadn’t attempted the project, a fellow member of the group, Joe Moore, suggested they write the story together. The result was The Grail Conspiracy, the first in a series of thriller novels with a historical twist featuring Cotten Stone, a young, ambitious reporter with a most unusual heritage that pits her against dark forces. “We liked mixing an ancient artifact, cutting edge science, and spirituality,” Sholes says.
Writing with a co-author was a new experience for Sholes. “At first, our writing styles clashed," she explains. It took three years to get our voices to blend. We had to make sure there were no gaps in the story. We studied each other’s revisions until we got it right. Now we fill in each other’s gaps and make each other better.” The Grail Conspiracy was followed by The Last Secret, The Hades Project, and The 731 Legacy. The 731 Legacy, the tale of a bioterrorist out to bring America to its knees, is also the final installment in the Cotten Stone saga.
While it was difficult for Sholes to say goodbye to Cotten, she and Moore felt the need to stretch themselves creatively. Their most recent collaboration, The Phoenix Apostles, features a new main character – magazine journalist Seneca Hunt. The story begins with Hunt reporting on the opening of Montezuma's tomb in Mexico City when the dig team, led by her fiancé, learns that the remains of the Aztec emperor are missing. Within moments of the discovery, an apparent terrorist attack kills everyone at the site except Seneca, who barely escapes the carnage. Driven to find who is responsible, Seneca soon discovers that someone is stealing the remains of the most infamous mass murderers in history and plotting to slaughter millions in the name of an ancient cult. Seneca needs to prove that the threat really exists while trying to stay one step ahead of those who want her dead. The Phoenix Apostles was recently the Kindle #1 bestselling book in all categories.