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Monthly Archives: January 2014
4

2013 The Year of Collaboration

When I look back on 2013, I think the most remarkable change in my writing has been the collaboration I did with other writers, and other artists. This Valentine's Day we are launching SEALed With A Kiss, an all-SEAL anthology (I believe the first of its kind) with writers Marliss Melton, Stephanie Tyler, J.M. Madden, Delilah Devlin, Elle James, Gennita Low, Teresa Reasor and myself. You can sign up for the event page here.

This came about as several of us participated in the highly acclaimed anthology, Uniform Desires, which hit the USA Today lists. Other authors participating in this anthology are: Melissa Schroeder, Elle James, Delilah Devlin, JM Madden and Cat Johnson. By the way, this anthology will not be here forever, so if
you have not purchased your copy yet, get it now before it's gone forever. We achieved our goal of hitting bestseller lists, but also of promoting our other works. Again, this was an all-military anthology, and the only one of its kind released in 2013. I think we were at the cutting edge, one of the first to do this type of boxed set.

I also participated in Dangerous Attraction, which hit the USA Today and the NYT Bestseller lists. Award-winning authors in this anthology of full length novels are: Kaylea Cross, Jill Sanders, Dana Marton, Lori Ryan, Toni Anderson, Patricia Rosemoor, Marie Aston, Rebecca York and myself. This anthology was featured in several USA Today articles and national review sites.

Many of these authors were Rita or Golden Heart winners or nominees, or had received other industry-related awards of excellence. We estimated the authors' estimated writing years to be in excess of 100, which is a lot of talent, millions of words written, with hundreds of thousands of books sold.

Early in 2013, I participated in the multi-genre anthology The Wrong Guy with talented authors Belinda Boring, Lizzy Ford, Morgan Kearns, Deena Remiel, Kris Tualla and myself. This was our first experiment with doing a collaboration with other authors, and I think worked well. Mine was the only military romance (and from the reviews, I guess the scorcher in the group). Again, we were pooling our  fan bases and cross promoting one another. Our thought was that some readers of paranormal or
historical would migrate to the other genres. And I think to a great extent, it worked.

Writers write. But they also collaborate, learn from each other, and work on their craft and learn how to market, expose themselves and get “out there.” I attended ten conferences in 2013 all over the country, and plan on another 8 this year, including the Women's Fiction Festival in Italy in the fall.

People are always asking me how I have gotten so successful. Do you understand how much work it is to write over 500,000 words in one year, attend 10 conferences, maintain a social media presence, collaborate with other authors on 3 anthologies and manage to have a life? We even managed a 30 day vacation, taking a cruise from Italy to Brazil, partly to work on my next book, Cruisin' For A SEAL, which will come out in February 2014. Even that was a collaboration of sorts as I visited places I'd never been before from North Africa, to South America, and just about every island in between.

 Accidental SEAL

Also new for me was producing audio books of my SEAL Series, with the wonderful talent of J.D. Hart as my narrator. We discussed the creative process on a blog post in RB4U recently. Working with J.D. has brought an added dimension to my books, as I can hear the characters voices, not just read them or imagine them in my mind. In the above article, we discuss the fact that the narrator becomes another character in the book, which was unexpected and fascinating to discover. We have completed the first four of the SEAL Brotherhood Series and plan to do more.

SEAL Under Covers

                        SEAL The Deal

It has been a very exciting and productive year. This next year, as I focus more on getting out more writing, expanding my genre base both in new books to add to the SEAL Brotherhood Series and the paranormal Golden Vampires of Tuscany series, I also have two time travel romances and several other projects I'm not ready to discuss. I plan to release more audio books, do more book trailers, and continue learning by attending conferences.

No writer can just go to their cave and write, any more than any artist can do their art without the collaborative works of others. I plan to explore new things to bring new ideas and stories to life. I've never worked longer hours nor worked as hard. But the fulfillment of a life-long dream of becoming a successful author who can support herself, is being realized more every day.

I have to say thank you to all these writers who have been on this journey with me, thank you to all the readers and fans who bought my books, and to my creative coaches and artists I had the privilege to work with and for over the past year. I feel like we've only just begun!

Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.

Honeymoon Bite

Honeymoon Bite

The Golden Vampires of Tuscany Book 1

honeymoonbite1000

Published December 19, 2013Genre: Paranormal RomancePrint Length 223 PagesFormats: Ebook, AudiobookBook Summary:

Anne caught her husband cheating with the maid of Honor before their wedding cake was cut. She decided to take her planned and paid for honeymoon in Tuscany, alone. On the evening of what was to be her wedding night, she gets bitten by a female vampire.

Marcus Monteleone has waited three hundred years to find his fated female, only to discover her dying in his arms. He saves Anne's life by turning her, and then works to gain her trust, to cope with being a newly-formed golden vampire.

But when Anne finds out Marcus has not been completely truthful about his past, she vows to live as a human, and shuns the vampire world. Alone and unprotected, she falls prey to the very villainess who took her human soul, and who now takes the only man she’s ever loved.

Which lover will have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the other before they both are lost?

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 Excerpt

“Does your husband know about your appetites?” From behind Anne came a gravelly male voice that sent shivers down her spine. The screams of the Starbuck’s espresso machine made her wonder if she’d really heard the voice. But the male scent of him was impossible to miss. The hairs at her neck stood at attention, telegraphing urgency. The urgent sensation extended well beyond her waistline. Time stood still before she could bring herself to turn around and fall under the warm gaze from this tall dark male that covered her. 

Not man. Male. 

He held her gaze as she stood, transfixed, unable to move or to speak. That was the way it felt. Being held. “I’m sorry?” she blurted out finally. 

“Don’t be sorry, my dear. It’s a simple question.” The ends of his lips curled up at the corners. When he inhaled, his chest extended, and he appeared several inches taller. Then he exhaled and she was covered with the same musky scent, incapacitating her, wrapping around her like a warm shroud. It was familiar. 

She heard mournful viola music drip with slides and rifts that pulled on her heartstrings. She felt dizzy. Did she hear him murmur a groan? Or maybe it was a small earthquake? Probably an ordinary person wouldn’t hear or feel it. But she did. 

Anne was on alert; this male took liberties with her feelings. 

What a crazy thought. Ridiculous. 

He leaned forward, grazing just the edge of her forearm with his warm hand. An electric spark pricked her. He leaned against the counter and looked at the barista, not her. “I’ll pay for the lady’s drink.” 

She noticed the strong pulse at his neck. Healthy. Smells wonderful. 

“And what would you like, sir?” The young barista was pert. Anne didn’t like her perfect white teeth. That and the fact the girl’s shirt was made for a ten-year-old, showcasing her pierced bellybutton. 

“I have all I need.” The rumbling words sparked shivers again down Anne’s spine. He said it just next to her ear, barely touching touched the small of her back . . . He was facing the barista, but deep inside Anne knew the words were meant for her ears only. 

“You didn’t have to do that.” Anne suddenly found the urge to speak. 

“My pleasure.” He removed his hand and gave a slight bow. 

A bow? No one had ever done that before. Anne had just fed. She wasn’t hungry enough to play the game this afternoon, having gorged herself on a salesman who liked to eat garlic fries. His blood was thick with fat globules she could almost see as well as taste. But it went down smooth. 

So maybe she would play along. This stranger might be a good candidate for a snack tomorrow. She had never fed twice in one day. She wondered what being too full would feel like in her current state. It would probably make her horny. Well then, maybe she should reconsider. She should do a wet feeding. That way she wouldn’t have to be too careful, could gorge herself on him. He’d be wonderful to look at in the shower, and his hands might do something unexpected to her. Something memorable in a string of unmemorable feedings. 

His hand gently touched the small of her back again, and she allowed herself to be ushered to a corner table, flanked by two purple velvet overstuffed chairs. They sat, facing at right angles to each other. The counter girl called out Anne’s drink. He was up and walking over to pick it up for her before she had a chance to react. 

She watched him cross the coffeehouse like a thirsty traveler eyeing a pitcher of water. He was probably six foot six. His dark hair was pulled back in a short ponytail. His black leather bomber jacket showed his nice ass and those long lanky legs that went all the way to Heaven. Even for his size, he appeared graceful. Unassuming. Confident. And the nicest looking male from behind that she had ever seen. 

And then he turned, holding the little white paper cup with two fingers, the other ones splayed out, large as antlers. She could see how long his fingers were, how substantial. She envisioned what those hands could do to her. But as sexy as he was, he also made her mouth water to feed. 

His prominent jaw line sported blue-black stubble. His strong pulse would be no problem at all, but she would have to bite a little harder to crack the skin. Maybe he would let her take him slowly. Then she could kiss other parts of him in between while his heart pumped more of the blood she craved. His lips were bright red and full. She would enjoy sucking them, licking them. Perhaps biting them. 

His eyes found their way to hers, and when she met his gaze, she became self-conscious of her thoughts, as if she knew somehow he could read her mind. Anne told herself it was her craving for blood that caused the almost sexual attraction for this male. After she fed, surely she wouldn’t feel this way, she thought. 

He delicately deposited the white cup delicately in her hands. One finger touched and almost seemed to rub against hers. She thought she was imagining the touch, of course. Between her legs, a warm pool had formed. It was a curious place to feel hunger, a hunger of another kind. She blushed at her erotic thoughts. 

“You like cappuccino?” He seemed intrigued by the idea. 

“Yes. I need the caffeine in the afternoon.” 

“And here I thought your cheeks were flushed and ripe from a good meal.” Those black eyes peered right to her soul. Almost as an afterthought, he smiled, and the dark became brown, ringed with a coppery color that drew her in. 

I’ll play your game. 

“Yes. After a big meal, I get tired sometimes.” 

He nodded. “I remember that.” 

Anne looked out the window. This was beginning to feel dangerous. She grabbed her drink and stood. He stopped her by placing one hand on her wrist. His action was soft, but deliberate. This male won’t be denied. 

“Please, sit just a little longer. Then I’ll let you go home to your husband.” 

“Go? You’ll let me go? What kind of talk is that? I think . . .” She began to rise again, but his firm grip on her forearm stopped her. 

“Hear me out just a bit.” He did appear to be begging. Could it be she saw a flash of pain there? No way. 

“How do you know I’m married?” she snapped out, letting her impatience show. 

“You wear a wedding ring.” He fingered her ring slowly, sensually. She let him touch her, perhaps a bit too long. She was going to correct his misconception but decided to leave him thinking she was protected by another man. Safer that way. 

But was she looking for safe? 

There was an obvious physical attraction between them. She had not felt this before, not since before she was made. 

“Do I know you?” she asked, ignoring the comment about her marriage. 

“No. Ask it another way.” The huskiness of his voice made her ears buzz, like he was brushing his lips across them, like they were in bed whispering unmentionable things to each other. 

“Do you know me?” Her eyebrows rose at the ridiculous suggestion. 

He very lightly nodded. “Oh, yes. I have waited a long, long time for you.” 

“Okay, that’s it. I’m outta here.” Anne jumped up, her coffee in her hand. She slung her purse over her right shoulder and stormed off. He followed her outside, keeping pace like they were walking in unison. She stopped suddenly. 

“Look. Whoever you are, I will call the police if you don’t leave me alone.” 

“And tell them what?” 

“Tell them there is a very strange male following me, bothering me.” 

He groaned again. The ground beneath her feet rumbled when he did that. “I like that you say male.” 

She backed up, raising her palms up and out in his direction. “Please, please leave me alone.” 

“Agree to meet me here tomorrow at this time and I won’t follow you.” He smiled. “I promise.” He held his hand over his heart. Anne felt a small tug at her own. 

“Alright,” she said, fully intending never to come back to this place again. “Tomorrow at four. But I will call the cops if you don’t stop this, this, way you are being—” 

He grabbed her upper arm and pulled her close his chest. She struggled, but he held her tighter the more she wiggled. The spice on his cheeks was a familiar scent to her and, relaxed her just enough so she wouldn’t collapse entirely being so close to him. He leaned down and whispered into her ear, “Go for now, little one. But as for leaving you alone, there isn’t a chance in Hell that will ever happen. See you tomorrow.” 

And then he was gone. Just gone. Nowhere to be found. She turned around and around and there was no trace of him. No car leaving the parking lot. No door being opened. Just the normal day all around her. 

She was hungry and, scared. She liked feeling both emotions equally. 

She knew it was going to be forever until four o’clock tomorrow. 

A feeding would take up the next hour. Only twenty-three more to go.

Radio Interviews with Arial Burnz

Sharon Hamilton and JD Hart Speak with Arial Burnz

http://ilovevampirenovels.com/podcast/sharon-hamilton-jd-hart-giveaways/

Sharon Hamilton Speaks With Arial Burnz

http://ilovevampirenovels.com/podcast/sharon-hamilton-viola-rivard-giveaways/

4

Saying Goodbye

I am moved by events that happened today to some dear friends who experienced a tragedy. I know they are struggling with the pain that they must bear very privately, and how I wish I could take some of the burden from them. But I cannot. 

So I thought I'd do a post on the daily inspirational message I read every morning, but on this particular morning, had such a profound impact on me. I hope that it finds its way to your heart somehow, either now, or when you stumble upon it some days or weeks or years from now.

JANUARY 20

The pain of leaving those you grow to love is only the prelude to understanding yourself and others. 


I next read the message at the bottom of the devotional so I know where the message is taking me, and it read, “Today will bring both good-byes and hellos. I can meet both with gladness.” 


I wasn't sure I was going to like this passage today. But I read on:  Life is a process of letting go, letting go of conditions we can't control, letting go of people–watching them move out of our lives, letting go of times, places, experiences. Leaving behind anyone or anyplace we have loved may sadden us, but it also provides us opportunities for growth we hadn't imagined. These experiences push us beyond our former selves to deeper understandings of ourselves and of others.  


So often those experiences that sadden us, that trigger pain, are the best lessons life is able to offer. Experiencing the pain, surviving the pain that wrenches us emotionally, stretches us to new heights. Life is enriched by the pain. Our experiences with all other persons thereafter are deeper. Instead of dreading the ending of a time, the departure of a loved one, we must try to appreciate what we have gained already and know that life is fuller for it.


My grandfather, who was probably the greatest man I have ever known, the handsome preacher who called on people to rise up above themselves, out of the flaws of this world for the possibility of a more perfect world yet to be, conducted  my grandmother's funeral and called it a Victory Memorial. I can't quite go there today, especially in light of what my friends have had to bear today. But what he meant was that death wasn't the end of things.


It's a doorway to the next thing. We each see that doorway, depending on where we stand in connection to it, so that every person has their own perspective of it, experience of it uniquely their own.

My grandfather's message to us was that there were other doorways, and everyone has one we will enter when that time comes. Until then, life is to be cherished. Every minute of it. That we feel pain is evidence that we are alive, lucky to be alive, living amongst each other, and that there is sunshine ahead.

Some day. 

Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.

Accidental SEAL

Accidental SEAL

Book 1 in the SEAL Brotherhood Series

AccidentalSeal_600x900Published June 18, 2012

Book Summary:

Christy Nelson embarks on her new career in Real Estate by holding her first open house. Entering the wrong house, by accident, she finds the nude sleeping body of a young man.

Navy SEAL Kyle Lansdowne, on a mission to find his AWOL Team buddy, is staying at his buddy’s home while investigating the disappearance. When someone breaks in, he takes protective measures. He doesn’t expect to find that a beautiful young woman is responsible for his teammate’s abduction.

What starts out as a meeting by accident becomes a hot affair neither one is ready for. Kyle is conflicted about getting Christy involved in his mission, but his hand is forced when he learns the same San Diego gang responsible for his teammate’s abduction has kidnapped her.

Battling a cadre of dirty law enforcements hell-bent on getting military equipment, especially state-of-the-art firepower, Kyle is forced to admit that he would die to protect her.

Buy Links:

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Book Trailer

Sample Read

Excerpt

The house appeared nicer than he’d described. The advertised price, he said, was the lowest in the neighborhood, going back ten years. Hopefully she’d pick up a young couple out looking for their first home, complete with good credit and a wad of cash from Mommy and Daddy. Wouldn’t it be great to make a sale on her very first day on the job?

She parked in the driveway, popped the trunk, and brought out three sandwich signs with the Patterson Realty logo, on loan from Wayne. He was out with his family today. She hoped the Somervilles didn’t stop by since she’d feel uncomfortable looking into the eyes of Wayne’s wife, a woman he probably cheated on and would again, if he got the chance. One of Christy’s other rules: no married men. She wasn’t about to change that, either.

A perfumed late spring breeze blew softly against her face and neck, sending a thrill up her spine. The air ripened with possibility. This was her favorite time of year.

The walkway looked freshly swept. After placing one sign in the front yard, she stacked the other two beside the front door and inserted Wayne’s key. While the lock accepted the new shiny silver metal, the tumblers stayed in place, frozen.

Way to go Wayne. Waste my time and give me the wrong key!

Irritation bubbled, ruining her cheerful, spring-induced mood. She yanked on the front handle and pushed against it out of frustration. It opened.

“Anybody home?” Her voice wavered like that of a small child. She waited. No answer.

Christy stepped inside, onto a striped cotton rug lying cockeyed behind the front door. The smell of fried food hit her. She walked across the wooden floor of the living room, her stilettos clacking. She cracked open a window. Air scented by fresh blossoms poured in, diluting the smells of ordinary life. She grabbed the newspaper tossed on top of an ottoman and folded the crinkling pages under her arm, aiming for the kitchen to find a trashcan. She passed the dining room table, which was strewn with a map of the area, a couple of felt-tipped pens, and a letter-sized yellow lined tablet. She collected these items as well and made her way to the kitchen.

Christy threw the tablet and newspaper onto the tiled countertop and placed her hands on her hips to assess the scene before her. She squinted at several days’ worth of dishes piled high in the sink. Next to it, a large stainless steel bowl sat encrusted with dark green and purple leaves at the bottom, evidence of a salad—several days old.

Maybe Wayne had neglected to tell the sellers about the open house. She decided it was entirely possible. “How can you expect to sell a house this way?” she muttered, then sighed and removed her jacket, slinging it over the back of a clean-looking kitchen chair. She decided to take a tour of the place, checking for other things to clean or straighten before she’d be ready to hold it open.

But this house was such a mess, an uneasy darkness chilled her. She tiptoed down the carpeted hallway, feeling like an intruder, past empty rooms, to a closed door at the end.

Probably the master bedroom.

Something about the whole scene was strange. These people left without cleaning up dinner from several days before, in a hurry. She’d been told short sale houses rarely showed pride of ownership, but this felt absolutely creepy, like she’d stepped on someone’s grave. The hair at the back of her neck bristled as she gripped the doorknob. She lightly tapped with her other hand, and then opened the door.

A naked body lay on the bed.

Holy crap.

Hesitant to look at first, she pushed through her fear. She saw movement. Tanned skin, a muscular male chest that rose and fell. Earphones were wired to a phone balanced on his open palm. The man was very much alive, and healthy. Her eyes drifted further down to a dusting of dark brown hair that led to an impossible-to-miss erection. His penis stood at attention, like a deep rose-colored light standard under a matching fireman’s hat of deeper pink.

Blood pumped to her ears, making them ring, as her heart raced. A wave of anger coursed over her at the realization she had been the victim of a very sick joke perpetrated by Wayne and one of his disgusting friends.

Christy silently closed the door and tiptoed back down the carpeted hallway, her three-inch heels wobbling on the thick, padded surface. Her knees knocked against each other as she picked up speed, her anger building. She grabbed her jacket, keys, and purse, and crossed the living room, headed toward the front door. She was almost free.

Christy wouldn’t give the prankster the satisfaction of knowing she had even seen him. She wanted to stomp her foot and kick something through the window. This was Wayne’s doing.

That sonofabitch and his lopsided plugs will pay for this.

She pulled the door handle and was rewarded by the smells of a warm spring day bleeding through the inch-wide crack she’d created. An enormous hand and forearm came from behind her and slammed the door shut. She saw a familiar blue-green tattoo of some animal tracks on his muscled forearm just before his other hand gripped her mouth. Callused fingers pinched the sides of her cheeks. The grip hurt.