Monthly Archives: August 2012

SEALing the Deal – Finding Your Soulmate

Today I am pleased to introduce to you a new author friend of mine, Marilyn Baron, announcing her new release, Dead Mix. She's prepared a post you are going to love. So appropriate to the SEAL theme of the last few weeks.

By Marilyn Baron

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had our own private matchmaker to help us find our soul mate? In my newly released humorous paranormal e-short story, Dead Mix, villain Devlin Burns tries to turn the tables on hero Daniel Craig (not 007) and heroine Tia Stavros in their hunt for lost souls, as he engineers a match, not exactly made in heaven. In my e-short story Follow an Angel, Eden Eastman despairs she’ll ever find her soul mate and flees New York City, the Land of Bad Dates, for the Atlantic coast of Florida, where she hopes to pick up the pieces of her broken heart. When an angel on a mission drops into her 5th floor beach condo, all Heaven breaks loose. In both of these stories, a higher power (Angel or Devil) intervenes in the love match.

I had the pleasure of meeting a real live matchmaker from the province of Quebec in Canada on a recent trip to Spain and the privilege of interviewing her aboard the AVE, the high-speed train from Cordoba to Madrid. She is a lovely woman with a spiritual gift for helping people find each other. She offers some great real-world advice about finding your soul mate.
Why did you become a matchmaker? And how long have you been in the business?
The Matchmaker: I became a matchmaker about 44 years ago because I like people. I’m very outgoing and sociable – an extravert. I was a girl among nine males in the family – cousins and brothers – and I was very comfortable with males. I had no problem approaching them and I wasn’t reticent about asking them to meet my unattached girlfriends. I had a lot of confidence, being the eldest in the family. If I wanted to meet someone, I would use that skill set on my own behalf.
Do you believe in soul mates?                                                                                                             
The Matchmaker: I don’t believe there’s only one person for everyone. That’s too romantic a concept. I feel there’s someone for someone at 20, someone for someone at 35. As you age and other people age, you become interested in different kinds of people at different stages of your life as you experience different situations and life’s changes.
How much do you charge for making a match?                                                                                      
The Matchmaker: I don’t do it for money. I do it for a “mitzvah,” the Hebrew word for an act of human kindness. I ask people to donate to a charity of their choice and to do it on my behalf. I want to pass the goodness on. I usually get my clients through referrals.
Can you explain the matchmaking process?                                                                                              
The Matchmaker: I have to meet the person who wants to be fixed up. They have to contact me and I meet them most often in a food court or public place or if it’s a friend of a friend, I invite them to my house for tea. I have to like them. I have to feel a good vibe. They have to be a good person.  After the date, I like them to call me and give me some feedback, and if that person was rude or mean, I won’t introduce them to anyone again.
I’ll talk to them and write down information on index cards. How tall is the man? What age person is the client interested in meeting? Have they been married before?  Are they divorced?
Sometimes, men are charming and wonderful and kind and funny with me. But when they’re on the date, they behave differently. They don’t show off their best qualities.  I ask people to try to give it two to three dates. Sometimes, on the first date, people are nervous. So give it a chance.
I might not think it will be a perfect meeting between Mr. A and Miss B. But it’s like opening up a window on the world for you to meet other people through the people you date. Say Mr. A invites you to a party or asks you to play tennis with another couple. And you’ll meet other people at that party or on the court. That’s how I met my husband.
How many marriages have you arranged?                                                                                              
The Matchmaker: Twenty-six marriages. Of those 26, only one couple got divorced.  I’ve had people who have been together into their late 70s. Some don’t live together but they stay together for four or five years, take cruises together, take extended vacations. Some stay together for 13 years so they feel married. I mainly fix up people up I know who are my age. I’ve matched up most of my girlfriends.
I remember the wedding of a couple of longtime friends I had fixed up. They were in the 55 age range and had never been married. The man was having trouble making up his mind. He was a perfectionist. I was afraid he was going to be a runaway groom so I held the wedding in my house. I had planned a lovely outdoor wedding to be followed by a luncheon. It was overcast and I was afraid it was going to rain on the wedding day, so I said to God, “Let’s have the chuppah (a wedding canopy) outside, please don’t let it rain.” When the rabbi came out looking for me, my husband took him aside and said, “Give my wife a moment. She’s talking to God.”
I remember another man. He was 62, had never been married. He was a tough SOB. He told me what he wanted – that his partner had to be a triple black diamond skier. I paired him with a woman who just wanted a friend to ski with. I knew she was looking to get rid of her husband, who was a terrible mate. She wanted him out of her life. But she wasn’t looking for another husband. They skied together for three years. Then she had an accident. He visited her in the hospital and he was so sweet that their friendship turned into a love affair and they got married and are very happy.
What is the secret to a good match?                                                                                                         
The Matchmaker: A willingness to accept a person as an individual, not want to make that person over. Don’t take an ABC and try to turn them into a DEF. Instead, say, “This is what I bring to the table; this is what you bring to the mix.” Even if someone is finicky, crazy, a fussy eater, or an introvert, if you can add something to the mix, you could be good together.
One man was a 55-year-old architect who had been very attached to his elderly parents. My friend, who liked the arts and sciences, took care of him. She likes to bake, cook and clean, so it worked out nicely.
Sometimes, I’ll take someone on, a lovely person who needs a makeover. One woman always wore the wrong colors, style and makeup. I have a friend who’s a fashion stylist and I referred her to this person. She looks so much better now, she went from unflattering colors and style to accenting and working with her features and she met somebody on her own.
Do you believe in love at first sight?                                                                                                       
The Matchmaker:  I don’t believe in love at first sight. That’s like opening a package on Christmas. It’s wrapped in red and gold paper and a big gold bow. You open it up, expecting an ermine stole and you get a pair of oven mitts. Maybe the ermine stole was in a plain brown bag. A person doesn’t have to be perfect as long as he or she has a good soul, is deep thinking, and has good character and values you can respect.   

In Dead Mix, the devil goes down to Georgia. Roswell, Georgia, and more specifically, The Lion’s Den music store. Enter at your own risk. The proprietor there specializes in mixing music to die for…on CDs that are guaranteed to knock you dead by the final note. As the citizens of Roswell go missing, one man, Daniel Craig, ventures into town on the hunt for lost souls, a search that will change his life, forever.

To read a free excerpt of Dead Mix, or purchase a PDF eBook file or find a Kindle, Nook, OmniLit or Smashwords link , visit TWB Press at Or find Dead Mix on Amazon:  or
Hope you’ll give Dead Mix a spin.
Find Follow an Angel on TWB Press or links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords at
Georgia Author Marilyn Baron, a public relations consultant in Atlanta, writes humorous women’s fiction, humorous paranormal short stories and romantic suspense. Her latest release, Dead Mix, was released July 25 from TWB Press at; Amazon and Barnes & Noble read more about her women’s fiction, “The Edger,” which received a 4 ½-star rating in RT Book Reviews’ September 2012 issue, visit her blog at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales at; Find her angel stories, “A Choir of Angels,” “Follow an Angel,” and “The Stand-in Bridegroom, “ at TWB Press: Find her on Facebook at!/pages/Marilyn-Baron/286807714666748 and Twitter at Her next book, “Under the Moon Gate,” a romantic thriller set in contemporary and WW II Bermuda, will be released from The Wild Rose Press in spring 2013. Marilyn is a member of Romance Writers of America, Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) and Marketing for Romance Writers. She is a finalist in the GRW 2012 Unpublished Maggie Award of Excellence in the Paranormal/Fantasy category for her manuscript, “Sixth Sense.”


Being Grateful for the Long Path

I am filled with gratitude. Great friends. People around me willing to join the journey, lending me a hand, giving me encouragement. Family living as examples. I'm at a doorway. A changing of the guard. Almost feel like I'm walking along a garden wall and can see both sides. They are equally lush and inviting, and I cannot decide which place to go, so I keep walking.

We are living in a time of great change. I have hope for where we are going. There isn't anything I have to do, but be present. Someone much wiser told me, “Your job today is to feel, Sharon.”

Today, I get to have a full day of writing. I have to pinch myself I'm so happy. Settle into my favorite leather writing chair, and compose. No places to go. Listen to the sounds of the world coming alive. The moon is a bright orange orb in the early morning sky as I look West. Someone has blogged that it's called a Blue Moon, and hasn't happened since the 1960's, also a time of great change.

I'm looking forward to stimulating conversations over coffee, and the sharing of ideas that help make this world a better place. Here's to choice. And living.

And, of course, love.


Going and Coming: Life

A visit to the doctor reminds me of how fragile life is. I'm well. But I get to see a lot of not-well people. And right now experiencing some un-wellness in my immediate family. Along with new birth. I guess I've begun to get it, now that I am 6 decades old: life goes on. I can scream and yell and protest its passing, but it still goes on as if I never said anything.

I guess that's why writing has become so important to me. Taking stories from real life and weaving them into other worlds is what we do as writers. And we take the pain, the emotions, from those life events, and use them. I blogged today about Editing Woes over at RRR, and one of my points was that the reader reads for the emotions in the story, the emotions of the characters, the love scenes, not just the description of what went on and who did what to whom.

We are cheering Ethan's birth and how strong he is, while we are saying goodbye to my dad, who has lived a wonderful life, and been the best dad a girl could ever want. Good time to remind myself it's not all about me, but the people around me. My job is to feel. Sometimes I run away from my feelings because they are just too much to handle. But my job is to feel, and then write them down.

We don't get do-overs like some of our characters get in our stories. Actually, that would make an interesting story concept. Life is not permanent. Neither are feelings. What we do about it is. We love babies because we know we are only going to be around long enough to perhaps see them get married and perhaps have children and grandchildren of their own. These little ones, in the beginning of their lives, will know us, the older ones, at the end of our lives. We each get to discover what the world is like before or after the loved one has been born, or passes on.

It's a pea soup kind of day here in Sonoma County, which is good for the grapes. This misty fog means I can be a bit lazy with my watering, I'm tempted to make a fire, but know my house will heat up like a firecracker soon enough. My hubby is away getting inspiration from a mastermind meeting, and I anticipate seeing lots of friends at the Silicon Valley Romance Writers meeting tomorrow, where I will be a panelist and hopefully will give some nuggets of things I've learned along the way.

Book sales are going well. Accidental SEAL has been in the top 100 for Amazon Kindle paid sales for 9 weeks in a row and made some serious money. Over 13,000 people downloaded Honeymoon Bite on a free promotional 4 day blog, and it shot to #1 for Fantasy Romance for 3 days in a row. Same thing happened in June for Heavenly Lover. So, despite the occasional stinker review (which doesn't affect sales at all) people are liking my books. I don't go trolling for the 300+ reviews like some do. I have a problem with faking things to look like they aren't. Just being honest and taking my lumps as they come. And writing is the best cure for anything that ills me. Anything.

My family is safe for now. Prayers go out to those that have suffered with loss of life: the SEALs and other military men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice recently, and all their families who proudly bear the mourning. The people who have lost their life in senseless acts of violence, and their families. My shock and dismay at the truth being distorted so much in our political campaigns, and all the hate it spews. How people fall like lemmings after slogans and catch phrases like “war on women” when we have more opportunity here than anywhere else in the world. And people have died to make sure it stays that way. I was thinking we were going to take the higher road this election season. I was wrong.

So I guess with this theme of what I have and don't have, in the going and the passing of life, what I'm feeling today is being connected.

And that's a good thing.


Walking on Water and Other Delights

I love the Sonoma County Fair. I used to go to gawk at the diverse (not in the political sense, please) population of the fairgoers–everything from bikers, young couples, old hippies, awkward teens and teens trying to look like street walkers. Maybe everyone's fair is like that. How would I know?

But our fair has really upgraded. We have a large 4H group and I enjoy watching the young kids who work so hard on their animals. I don't want to know what happens to them afterwards, which is why I could never get my kids into 4H when they were at home. I evaluate the chickens and bunnies and donate to the bird rescue. My granddaughter and I peered into the baby chick hatchery and watched those fuzzy little yellow things cling to life and then start to run around an hour later. Fascinating.

This year they had a display of recycled things. I think I'm a recycled thing, so I spent a lot of time there. Lord knows I have enough junk around the property, if I ever gave up writing, I could become a junk sculptor. I'd be careful. With my history around fires, safety would be No. 1.

In my garden, I have two “flying pig” sculptures made from recycled oil cans. They stand guard, along with my Dobermans. There is a local artist who does huge sculptures out of recycled metal things, using washing machines, hubcaps and old lawnmowers–turns them into arcs and animals and characters. I'm excited when I see things being reused, like we did on the siding for our house.

Makes a good case for hoarding. Uh Oh. I'm still trying to get rid of books…Big trouble.

In the Arts and Craft Palace this year there were quiltmakers doing zombie quilts. Next to the two guys who demonstrated making bugs for fly fishermen.

There was a dress made from old maps. Garden bench made from the tailgate of an old Ford pickup. A fish made out of beer bottle caps.

And pedal cars made from everything you can imagine, even toaster ovens!!

I doubt I could ever make a zombie drive-in movie miniature like these creative artists at the fair. But I celebrate their creativity. I can see how they put together things to come up with an image, a story, if you will.

Just like a writer. We put together phrases, “tone poems” of words and ideas on the page. We surprise, and hopefully, engage the reader.

And show them something new from something old. Something that wasn't before we put our hands on it. How inspiring!


End of Summer

I admit to mourning the end of summer. But not for long. The fall in Sonoma County is absolutely beautiful. Time for a writing weekend at the Kenwood Inn and Spa. Expensive, but worth it, I have a gift certificate from a grateful client.

We usually rent a room up top, where we walk out of the heavy metal doors, can sit out on a tiled patio and overlook about 300 acres of turning vineyards. My favorite time of year here. The days are warm, the nights starting to chill but still sweater weather, and the colors of the valley floor are spectacular.

We usually leave the heavy curtains over the door, but leave the door open so we can hear the waterwheel churning all night long. We ask for extra wood for the fireplace. When I've stayed here by myself, I write sometimes all night. It is the setting for my time travel romance. I have a steamy scene in this very pool which finaled in an erotic contest in 2010. My heroine goes for a midnight swim in the nude, comes upstairs to her room, and watches the man of her dreams materialize in the mist at the pool's edge.

Some places are just conducive to writing. Some are not. And it changes, for me.

This time around, I'm going to focus on finishing Fallen SEAL Legacy. The story is really starting to excite me again. I love it when loose ends start being clipped or woven into the story, and the whole piece becomes a rich tapestry.

I love the great quote I just got from award-winning author of SEAL Team Twelve series Marliss Melton:

“Fans of Navy SEAL romance, I found a new author to feed your addiction. Finely written and loaded delicious moments, Sharon Hamilton’s story-telling satisfies like a thick bar of chocolate.”

This means a lot more to me now that chocolate is no longer in my food plan. Did I tell you how much better I feel without flour and sugar? It has literally changed my life. But I get the quote. Being compared to rich chocolate is not a bad thing at all.

Yes, I will mourn the loss of summer. Time to get ready for the deluge of plans I have for the new release. A book trailer coming up. We're trying to organize a trip back east to be with my son and his family there. Want to visit the SEAL museum in Florida and maybe rent a house on one of the outer islands for a week.

Lightening up our load here in California (getting rid of the chickens, the koi and being less fussy with the gardening this year) has given me more free time to do other things. Writing is one of them. Like an old friend, it welcomes me. And now I have a best-selling book to boot. Accidental SEAL has been in the top 100 Amazon Kindle Store for 6 weeks in a row. I'm stoked.

Life is good. Very good!

Sharon Hamilton

Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.
Accidental SEAL   SEAL Encounter    all available through Amazon


And the Winner of the Kindle Fire is……?

We had 109 comments left, and 13 reviews (which counted double). 14 people started following my blog. The odds of winning the Kindle Fire were pretty good.

Several of you did everything I asked to win this. Special thanks to all my regular readers and other writers who stop by my blog and post every time.

Wanted to give a shout out to BN 100 who didn't win the Fire, but who has won just about every book I've written from previous contests. Need your address so I can send you a little extra. Please email me at sharonhamilton2001 (at) gmail (dot) com so I can get your prize off to you.

But the winner of the Kindle Fire is the person I picked at random. Yes, this was totally at random. I gave every comment/review/entry a number and drew Number 57.


CONGRATS, Judy. I need your address where you want the Fire sent. Please email me at sharonhamilton2001 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thank you everyone for a great month+ of blogging and sharing our stories. I've had a blast. Accidental SEAL has remained in the top 100 in Romantic Suspense for Kindle for almost 5 weeks in a row! 

I'm thrilled.

Sharon Hamilton

Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.
Accidental SEAL   SEAL Encounter    all available through Amazon