I am thrilled to not only be interviewed by Arial Burnz over at PNRRadio.com but to also be joined by JD Hart, my brilliant narrator. You can listen in on our chat about all things romance by clicking on the pic below:
In partnership with ILoveVampireNovels.com, author Arial Burnz is the host of the podcast PNRradio.com, where she features entertainment that goes bump in the night. If you love paranormal and fantasy books, TV shows and movies, you’ll love PNR Radio! Guests include bestselling authors e.g. Nalini Singh, Kami Garcia, Kelley Armstrong, Sharon Hamilton & Patrick Rothfuss and celebrities from TV shows like Supernatural and Dracula, and every show has a giveaway.
My son needed a car for work some years ago and, since my husband is the resident expert on cars in our family, he agreed to take him down to the local auction yard to bid on a couple of cars there. These are vehicles siezed in drug busts or otherwise impounded or found abandoned. Although we've bought cars there from time to time, I've never known one of these to be a real barn-burning steal. But it's hard to tell a 20 year old male eager to get his first car, or his father, who desperately wants to prove his value to his son.
They missed the evening before to go check out the vehicles, so they arrived early the day of the auction to scope everything out, and selected five or so to bid on. As it turned out, all the cars they liked came up towards the beginning, and the prices seemed a little higher than they wanted to spend. At last, the final car they were interested in came up, and they were the successful bidders. Upon going over to the office to complete the paperwork and pay the fees, they learned this particular car, costing about $200, came with it some $120 of fines and tickets that also had to be paid off before they could take title. They were to find out this was the least of their problems.
I was at work (this was prior to writing) and was expecting a call around noon with the news. When I still hadn't heard anything, I left a message for my husband around 2 PM again without a returned call. I made several other calls to his cell without an answer. I figured out about the fourth or fifth call that he was trying to figure out a story I was going to be told.
Around midnight, a taxi delivered my husband and my son home, which was the best decision they made all day. I'm still learning details of their car buying caper, and it's been several years. I doubt I will get the whole story anytime soon. Men are like that. When their projects go haywire, they carefully bury it, thinking no one will remember to ask them about it later. Like sticking your head in the sand, butt fully exposed, thinking you're hiding.
So, near as I can get to the truth, here is what happened. After paying all the fees, they went to drive the car home, my son following my husband. The auction yard is about 45 minutes south of where we live. They stopped to pick up gas and some waters, and that's when they discovered the car had no reverse. And the heater was stuck on “on”. They manually backed the car up and went back to the auction and I guess were greeted with smiles and nods of the head, and looks like, “You honestly think we care?” The car, they were told, belonged to my son, and that was that. No exceptions. No refunds. Have a nice day.
They drove it home to Santa Rosa and decided to get some things for dinner. This wouldn't be the celebratory dinner they'd hoped (I'd hoped), but along the way they found another car for sale by owner at the supermarket. The owner came and after a test drive, they decided to buy it. They even threw in the old car purchased at the auction yard, since the person selling the vehicle was raising money for a church. The lack of reverse was thoroughly disclosed, and, although the church group didn't really want the car, they didn't decline it. My husband left the keys in the vehicle in the Safeway parking lot for the group to pick up the vehicle later on that night.
Of course, the story continued. On the way home, the new car overheated and something terrible happened. I believe the term is called a cracked engine block. It involved a lot of smoke. It would turn out to be a repair cost far in excess of the value of the vehicle.
I believe it was at this time, nearing the dinner hour, they wanted to rid themselves of the reality of now two bad decisions, so my husband drove them to a nearby brewpub to perhaps lick their wounds, leaving the smoking second vehicle at the side of the road. A few beers later, neither one of them could or should drive. A few friends came down to add their condolences to the $200 car that had now cost close to $1000 and became two, and neither one of them was worth the original $200 estimate.
Meanwhile, I continued to wait. Around midnight they returned home. My son wanted to go straight to bed. My husband was left with telling me the story. I think I was in shock. And yes, his car was safely down at the brew pub and could be retrieved the next day.
The next morning, we drove by the Safeway parking lot to discover the first vehicle had indeed been picked up. We called the wrecking yard to pick up the second car and thought we'd done our duty. My husband's vehicle was successfully retrieved. All was well.
Until the police showed up at our door about ten days later. Seems someone else wanted the first vehicle we'd left in the parking lot, stole it, used it in an armed robbery, and, not being able to quickly exit the bank parking lot due to its lack of reverse, hit several parked vehicles before abandoning it and running away on foot. No, we didn't know anything about that, and the police didn't smile much. I'm guessing they did in private.
Did my son ever get a car? Yes, some time later. Did we get in trouble for the “abandoned” car? No. Neither did the church group, thank goodness. But boy what a story to tell the grandkids. Part of the fabric that is our colorful family. Maybe it will wind up in a romance novel some day.
I'll bet you have some stories like this one from your family. I'd love to hear them!
Come and take a step back in time with me at the 2015 Indie Romance Convention (IRC).
2015 IRC is offering you a location that no other romance convention has ever been before. We are going to one of the most secluded romantic places in the US, The Grand Hotel. If you love romance you know the movie “Somewhere in Time” was filmed right in the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
As an author this might be your once in a life time chance to come and be in a unique setting that might inspire your next bestseller or a chance as a reader to go on a carriage ride or a walk by the lake with your favorite author or other reader friends. There will be ballroom dancing with live music and lots more fun and learning with the authors, so don’t miss this opportunity to join in on the fun.
Fun Fact: Mackinac Island is in the top 5 in National Geographic Traveler's Top 20 Worlds Best Islands.
Do not miss this incredibly beautiful venue, it’s truly romance inspired!
In 2015, IRC will be open to Indie and Small press authors so now is your chance to meet your favorite authors and grab a signed copy of your favorite book.
Dates for the Authors and Aspiring Authors are October 13 – 18, 2015.
Dates for Readers are 15th – 18th and you get to enjoy lunch with one of the attending authors. There is also a Readers pass for just the Saturday.
I look forward to seeing you there!
I love how David Letterman always has his Top Ten List Of Things. I've had a lot of fun posting my own version of these over the years. So this is rather tongue in cheek, or foot in mouth, depending on how you view my crazy brain. Remember, as he says, this is just for fun.
Sharon Hamilton's Top Ten Reasons Why This Might Not Be Your Best Writing Year:
10. Your friends do an intervention. They take all your romance books away, dispose of your computer and take you to a bar and try to hook you up with a plumber who wears Aloha shirts.
9. When you turn on your computer, water pours out of the screen, which doesn't bother you until the fish start swimming over your keyboard.
8. You read your manuscript to your dog and ask him if he understands what you've just written, and he answers, “Hell no.”
7. Your $16.35 Amazon royalty check bounces and the bank repossesses your Acer 386 computer.
6. Your editor emails you to say that if she has to read one more page of your drivel she'll refund all your money and put a contract out on you.
5. You discover your daughter got a six-figure advance on a New Adult horror novel based on her childhood.
4. You sit next to a guy on the airplane and open your hot bacon dressing packet for your spinach salad and it squirts all over his lap. (This is a true story)
3. Your computer drains bacon oil for two weeks afterwards. (Also true)
2. It's hard to write sex scenes when your computer smells like a salad. (You got it. True again.)
1. Your publisher wants to change the name of your epic hero's journey novel you've edited 100 times and spent five years of your life writing to: Loser.
On Thursday, January 29th, the Charles M. Schulz Museum is hosting a gratitude reception to thank people in Sonoma County’s literary world for the richness they bring to the community. I am thrilled to be invited and it will be a fun set against the backdrop of the Peanuts in Wonderland exhibition which celebrates the 150th Anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
To find out more about the Peanuts in Wonderland exhibit, click here.
I am celebrating .99c SEAL Friday with… you guessed it….my SEAL ebooks for just .99c! Click on the links below to snap up your copy today.
Audiobooks are also available on all books at Audible and iTunes so why not team the ebook and audiobook together with Whispersync?!
iBooks (Fallen SEAL Legacy is part of a Vol 1-4 boxed set)
Barnes & Noble (Fallen SEAL Legacy is part of a Vol 1-4 boxed set)
Kobo (Fallen SEAL Legacy is part of a Vol 1-4 boxed set)
iBooks (SEAL Under Covers is part of a Vol 1-4 boxed set)
Barnes & Noble (SEAL Under Covers is part of a Vol 1-4 boxed set)
Kobo (SEAL Under Covers is part of a Vol 1-4 boxed set)
iBooks (SEAL The Deal is part of a Vol 1-4 boxed set)
Barnes & Noble (SEAL The Deal is part of a Vol 1-4 boxed set)
Kobo (SEAL The Deal is part of a Vol 1-4 boxed set)
Redwood Writers Fiction Book Club is collaborating with Copperfield's Books in Santa Rosa, CA to offer a monthly book club and Seal of My Heart is the first book to be reviewed in 2015 on January 27.
The Book Club features fiction published by Redwood Writers and is dubbed “Journey Through the Genres” with different fiction genres explored each month. The group meets the last Tuesday of each month.
If you don't already own Seal of My Heart, books will be on sale at Copperfield's and attendees are encouraged to read it before the Book Club.
I will attend the meeting to respond to comments and questions and the group will be facilitated. RSVP is requested – click here to RSVP.
Book Club Featured Titles:
I look forward to seeing you there!
I am going to join the A-Z Blog Challenge this year in April 2015. It means I will take a new letter evvery day and post something on my blog. There will be links to other great blogs as well. Idea is to create a community of new followers, people who are either enthusiasts or readers from other walks of life.
In preparation to this, I am joining the First Wednesday blog hop, so every first Wednesday of the month, I'll post another link here. You can not only follow my blogs for that day, but some 200 others.
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I am SO excited to be one of the Featured Authors at the 5th annual Arizona Dreamin' on May 29-31, 2015! This reader-focused weekend is always a blast -and it's CHEAP!
Look what you get for ONLY $89:
Hotel rates are just $95 for a SUITE, and include a FULL breakfast for everyone! Hands down, the best deal around.
Go here to buy your Arizona Dreamin' ticket (before this fantastic event sells out ) and be sure to tell them I sent you! http://thedreamsconvention.com/
You know when you are standing in line and the sign at the top says, “No one under this height allowed, or under 4 years of age allowed without parent,” and it says “Pregnant women should be cautious” that the Volcanic Vertical Drop tube slide is going to be a screamer. And it was. Just like the day my family huddled around me and made me, yes, MADE me skydive (or risk humiliation and ridicule for the rest of my life), they once again bunched around me, especially my son-in-law, who loves to see me wiggle and squirm. He's always trying new drinks out on me, even when I tell him I can't mix a thing, and then tells me afterwards I've mixed rum, vodka and God knows what else. All I have to say is, “It's nice,” and another one is served, whether I asked for it or not.
Friday was one of those days when I'd been enjoying a long nap at the beach/pool/hot tub. When the din of children's voices, the spouts of mechanical whales and the waves crashing on the shore were just background white noise that inspired some vivid dreams (well the Blue Hawaiian helped too). I was slimed with water and begged by everyone standing around me, shivering and wet from head to toe, that I had to come enjoy this long dark water slide. Except it's really not a slide. The most important part is the vertical drop at the end. It seemed like 4 stories but wasn't nearly that. Me being me, I had a hard time saying no.
My family knows that when they want something done by everyone, they have to convince me. And then everyone else will come along. It was the same way with skydiving, and I was adamant I was an earth angel and not a faery with wings, but eventually my resistance was futile.
I'm standing in line, and every time I turn around I'm greeted with grins. That means I'm in real serious trouble. Because I'm going, my daughter, my daughters mother-in-law and several others have to go, and they're looking at me crosseyed, with the expression, “Why, Sharon, didn't you just say no?”
I'm asking things like where my hands go, will I get stuck in the tube? How far back do I lean? And then the last one, “Is it safe?” Everyone laughs. They didn't have to say, “You'll see.”
Well, it was terrifying. I couldn't see a thing. I took curves so fast I thought I was going to start cannonballing. At the end of the volcanic vertical drop, I started swimming down, in the wrong direction and yes, needed help to get out because I was disoriented. But I have to say, though terrified and definitely pushing my limits, it was fun.
I love roller coasters. I now love skydiving. I love body surfing on waves a little bit too big for my skill level. I like driving fast at midnight with the top down, the music and the heater cranked up. I guess I can add one more to the list. I now love the Volcanic Vertical Drop.
Many of you know the journey I took to become a writer. We'd driven home from a day in San Francisco. It was a beautiful March day, like we get so often here. No rain. Blue skies and big white clouds. We opted for a simple dinner and so I was munching on a salad when I heard a buzzing sound I'd never heard before. Coming up the steps, there was no smoke, so my husband thought the smoke detector was defective, and bat it down with a broom handle. We went back to our meal. Then we smelled smoke.
It never occurred to us our lives would be so changed that evening. Coming up the stairway, looking into our bedroom, I saw my rose-colored leather recliner was on fire. A perfect circle of fire was on the back, like the hand of God had touched it. Within seconds, it ignited the curtains, then snaked along the ceiling and a thick black smoke rolled toward us like a tidal wave. We knew that toxic cloud wasn't going to be healthy so we went downstairs to get buckets of water, but when we returned, the entire top floor was ablaze.
I was in my nightie, barefoot. We called the Fire Department and they were here within 12 minutes, along with 4 other engines and a crew of men in case our fire traveled up the hill and spread to neighboring properties. I sat on the steps and watched as everything in the upstairs was destroyed, the downstairs was covered with water and carpets to protect some of the furniture. They expected our floor to cave in any minute. My husband drank a beer and smoked one of his Cuban cigars he'd rescued from the refrigerator. I was finishing my salad. It was surreal.
The road to coming back was long and arduous. Our bank was being taken over by the Feds, the County wasn't sure they'd let us rebuild, our insurance company wasn't giving us the money to redesign a new home or start construction. It took us 18 months before we could get cooperation from the parties to even start.
In the meantime, I lived in a little apartment and for the first time in over 35 years, was alone, since my husband stayed up on the property in a trailer to help with our animals, and to stop the steady flow of people who “stopped by” to give us a quote and then helped themselves to our things, I guess thinking we wouldn't mind.
In short, I felt violated on so many levels. All my great grandmother's jewelry, her delicious collection of amber and jade were gone. The box my other great great grandmother brought over with her when she was 14, lovingly made by her father in Scotland, who never saw her again, was gone. Her braid, which was exactly my hair color, was gone. Lizzy, her doll was gone. Pictures the kids had made. Oil paintings we'd bought all over the world were gone. Our computers looked like something from a Dali painting. Here and there something miraculous would be untouched, but 97% of what was upstairs was gone.
Initially, I did the staying up late to watch TV movies, since I didn't have to worry about keeping anyone up but myself. I read Outlander and then read it again. Then I read the Twilight series. I began to have vivid dreams of angels, guardian angels, and I slowly began to believe that instead of being incredibly unlucky, in fact, we were very lucky. We survived. We learned to cope and do things we'd never had to do before.
I am a bit on the obsessive side of the scale. I sat down on December 15, 2008 and by January 15, 2009 I had written 90,000 words, and my first novel. I learned later that was a phenomenal amount of words. But then I didn't know. My story didn't have a villain, didn't have much of a story arc, except I began to think about what it would be like if a Guardian Angel fell in love with the person they were supposed to watch over. Would they be tempted to let themselves be known? Would they want to connect? Would they be banished from Heaven? I rewrote that story 57 times. No, that one didn't get trashed like you hear writers talk about. This one came from my soul, and I could never stop working on it until it was perfect. It became Heavenly Lover, my first book. My second book, Underworld Lover, came to me before I finished the first one. And just now, I have released the third book in the series, Underworld Queen. I continued on with many of the characters so that the villain in Book 1 is the hero in Book 2. The villainess in Book 2 is the heroine in Book 3. Everyone gets a chance to transform, to fall in love with their true love, to have their happily ever after. Everyone has a shot at redemption.
The basis premise is this: Heaven isn't 100% perfect by design. The Underworld isn't 100% evil by accident. Humans walk the fence between the two. It's not a religious book, but there is a good vs. evil theme, which is actually the same theme throughout all my books, paranormal or SEALs.
As I begin a new year, and look at my schedule and what books I want to finish or write this year, I have to remember that sometimes the greatest things that happen to me are just that: things that happen. Not things I planned at all. Or perhaps the better way of saying it is that I plan, adjust, based on what I'm given. Dealing with life on life's terms. Doesn't do any good to cry over what I've lost. I'm also not blonde, 20 years old and a supermodel with an unlimited income.
But I do possess the miracle of being able to take tragedy and make stories out of them. To feel. To be sad some days for sure, but then to rejoice in the little things, like meeting a blue jay that used to greet me every morning at breakfast outside the kitchen window. Writing all night long if I felt like it. Watching my grandkids play and sing, and yes, to have my granddaughter want me to help her write a book. She's 4. Isn't that also a miracle.
So, in 2015 I profess to obtaining and keeping my miracle glasses on 24/7. I've learned I can survive. If we'd lost it all I would have survived. And the other true miracle is that my stories will last forever.