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9

Fallen SEAL Legacy Cover is Here!

Just got this an hour ago from the talented Kendra Egert. It's finally coming out. Soon, my friends, soon!

You are going to love Cooper and Libby's story.

Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.
Accidental SEAL   SEAL Encounter    all available through Amazon
2

On The Road Again

What was supposed to be a romantic weekend in Monterey with my husband has turned into something else. I've done a lot of adjusting these days. And gracefully. He came down with a bug, and, rather than expose me and others to it, decided to stay home.

I'm here to hear my friend, Tina Folsom, speak to the Monterey RWA chapter today. And, as luck would have it, we are going to be able to spend a little more time together, which I love doing with this prolific and creative writer who has inspired me greatly.

I was on my way last night to Moss Landing, and got lost, which is where all the real adventures lie, don't they? Between rows of brussels sprouts and lettuce, dodging the big trucks and farm workers finishing out a week of toil in the fields, I felt lucky to be alive and able to watch, life just go on. Don't know what excites me so much about brussels sprouts, but those beautiful plants did it for me. Row after row of perfectly formed, dark leafy green goodness, appearing to lack the aphids my plants often have. I sometimes wonder if it is worth it to even grow them in my garden. I've invested in scores of ladybug tubs, and though voracious eaters, I'm still stuck with those stubborn aphids. I refuse to spray.

Had dinner at Haute Enchilada, which was a really fun place, and managed to have an abstinent seafood dinner with local vegetables done to perfection. I picked out a dark corner, got out my laptop and worked on some social networking things.

I'm trying to finish my next SEAL book, Fallen SEAL Legacy, and I'm still about 20k from the end. I have about 40k words I won't be using, but can use on other books. Not since my first book have I had to re-write so many chapters, but I've strengthened the story, and some things just take longer. I'm relaxing into that.

And what has happened? You can guess, if you know me well. Another story has come over me, and I'm taking notes so I don't forget key points when I get ready to write it, which won't be now until next year. It is another contemporary series, but with older H/H, and involves a heroine on a road trip after the death of her husband. No, this is not in any way biographical. My husband is, thankfully, very much alive. But I got to “feeling” this story as I listened to a lot of Pat Metheney, some new music by Lyle Mays and other things on the Sirrius Satellite network, which is the best thing about my new car.

Road trips give me time to think. So, while there was that momentary “aw shucks” when my husband told me he wouldn't be going, I knew I'd make something productive and fun out of it. Have laptop will travel. I write well on the road, unlike lots of other writers. I don't like everything in its place. I like variety, and get inspired by new places. And then I come home, for what I hope will be a home stretch where I can really polish up and finish this puppy.

These are pictures and a little of the feel of this area. No, there are no pictures of the looming power plant. Makes the growing brussels sprouts, art galleries and eclectic places like The Whole Enchilada or Haute Enchilada even more special. After all, we don't live in a vaccuum. And I'm very grateful for the electricity which allows me to write, and to have readers find me.

I can't imagine a life of standing by the side of the road hawking my books to bicyclists or horse and buggy goers. Life would indeed be different. I won't have time to stop by again on my way to the meeting. I'm sure today will be just as filled with great memories.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend, wherever you are.

26

Welcome Cathy Mann and Joanne Rock

What a fantastic lineup we have today! Critique partners Joanne Rock and Catherine
Mann stop by for a visit while they discuss their September releases- GUARDIAN
for Cathy and FULL SURRENDER for Joanne.
Tell me how you got started writing military
romance? How many books have you written?
CM: Hi Sharon!  Thanks so much for having us here today to visit on your
blog!  In answer to your questions,
my hubby served in the Air Force for over 20 years as an aviator.  So USAF heroes are a natural fit for
me.  I’ve written over fifty novels
for Harlequin, Berkley and Sourcebooks.
JR: I started penning military heroes when
Harlequin Blaze began their popular “Uniformly Hot!” miniseries. I’d been a
little in love with Cathy’s military heroes for years and thought I’d try
writing one of my own. She has been a wonderful resource for me. I’ve written
over sixty books in a variety of formats counting digital releases (like
Harlequin Historical “Undone” stories) and novellas.
Why do you think these Alpha military heroes (and
heroines) are so popular? What makes them heroes?

CM: Alpha military heroes are the go-to guys in a
crisis, the ultimate protectors. 
Yes, they can be a bit arrogant with their swagger and confidence needed
for extreme circumstances.  But
that makes finding the marshmallow side of any alpha hero oh-so rewarding and heart
melting!
JR: I think military heroes have experienced a real
surge of interest as so many of our friends, family and neighbors have spent
time in deployments in the last decade. They are heroes because of their
selfless service, and reading their stories is a way to celebrate all they do
for us.
  
How do you compliment the heroine to a strong alpha
military guy? Do you write them strong? Compliant? Kick-butt?

CM: Absolutely the heroine must be equally as
strong, but her strengths may be in other arenas.  Dare I say it…? 
They complete each other.
JR: What Cathy said! I like looking at character
profiles like horoscopes, enneagrams or
even Myers-Briggs
personality indicators to remind myself what “types” of characters complement
others. I find it fun to play with those types to see how one bolsters the
other. 
Do you like writing in series, or single?

CM:  I
definitely lean toward writing connected stories.  That’s also another reason it’s awesome to have such a
stellar long-time critique partner like Joanne.  She knows all my stories and all my characters.  While I don’t expect her to remember
every detail, it’s very helpful that she’s familiar with the “world” I’ve built
in a series.  Joanne is a
brainstorming maven and I’ve been the lucky recipient in many a looooong phone
conversation!
JR: I don’t have the same long standing connections
in my books that Cathy has created, mostly because I am continually charmed by
new kinds of stories (suspense one day, a time travel another) and that makes
longer series more difficult to pull off. But I do love connected books. FULL
SURRENDER is loosely linked to several other stories following the Murphy
brothers.
Who is your favorite character you've created? Why?

CM: 
How about I choose some of my favorite couples in Joanne’s books?  I especially enjoyed the chemistry
between Navy Lt. Brad Riddock (explosives expert) and Nikki Thornton (professor
chronicling her aunt’s erotic diaries) in HIGHLY CHARGED.  And Joanne’s book UNDER WRAPS has awesomely
crafted secondary characters as well – a rocking awesome strength Joanne brings
to her stories.
JR: How cool for you to remember those secondary
characters in Under Wraps, Cathy!! I
particularly enjoyed Cathy’s risk-taking “Postal” Ruznick and Dr. Grace Marie
Lanier in BLAZE OF GLORY
because of the way they balanced each other out (and I love a hero who’s “on
the edge”). But I also loved Kate Harper in HIS THIRTY-DAY FIANCEE,
who scales the hero’s mansion walls for a photo op. I wish I’d written this
gutsy heroine with so much at stake!
If you could have a date with one of your
characters, which one would it be and why? Where would you go?

CM: 
I’m going to flip the question again and choose one of Joanne’s
heroes.  I adore Lucian Barrett in
her medieval historical THE
WEDDING KNIGHT
. I fell in love with that hero from the first line and
adored him through every stage of his character’s healing and redemption.  I would go ANYWHERE with a man like
him. J
JR: Oh this is fun. I’m going to ask for Hugh
Franco from HOT ZONE
because underneath the darkly magnetic charm, he is so selfless and dedicated.
This is true of so many of Cathy’s heroes, but with Hugh, I felt like we got a
glimpse of his heart early on and I loved that.
Tell us something about you that most people
wouldn't know or guess about you?
JR: I am a soft spoken girly-girl who likes pretty
things, but I am married to an earthy man’s man who is an extroverted, noisy
sports fanatic. He is the most surprising thing about me!
CM:  I
love to swim – pool, river, ocean – but I do not dive.  The thought of plunging head first into
the water freaks me out. And while Joanne says there’s nothing surprising about
her, I’m not letting her off the hook that easily!  I know that on vacation she once trekked a narrow rocky path
along a cliff wall behind a waterfall. 
She’s FAR more daring than I am!
JR: Only because
my husband coerced me into it!!
What have you read recently that you enjoyed?
JR: I adored Winnie Griggs’ HANDPICKED HUSBAND (HQ
Love Inspired Historical, September 2012) and Maya Rodale’s THE TATTOOED DUKE
(Avon, Feb. 2012).
CM: One of my favorite parts of being an author is
getting ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) from other authors.  Over past few months, I lucked into
three really wonderful ARCs I highly recommend:
Julie Walker’s HELL ON WHEELS(Aug 2012), the launch
book for her “Black Knights, Inc. series.
Virginia Kantra’s first “Dare Island” book,
CAROLINA HOME (July 2012).
And just this week I read the latest in Holly
Jacob’s “Everything But…” series called EVERYTHING BUT A DOG (Dec 2012).
What are you working on now?

CM: 
LOL!  Today, I’m a bit
scattered, juggling a bunch of different projects at once – plotting a synopsis
for my next “Alpha Brotherhood” book, writing my next “Elite Force” PJ book,
and working on a super-secret project I’m not talking about yet. 😉
JR: I’ll let you in on a not-so-super-secret
tidbit… Cathy’s “scattered” days are more productive than most people’s average
days! She is a creative force to be reckoned with and I love to hold out a net
and catch the ideas that spark whenever she’s around. As for me, I revised a
Blaze (with Cathy’s final tweaking help!) and submitted it to my editor for
release next June. It’s a bit different for me because while the hero’s point
of view is told in traditional third person, we get to meet the heroine via
first person. It was really fun to write.
CM: And Joanne’s latest Blaze was really fun to
read!  How cool that I get an
advance peek at her stories and can call that “work”!  (Okay, I know technically I already answered this question
but I just had to pop in after Joanne’s last post.)
Thanks again for having us here, Sharon!  Your questions were great fun!  And for the folks visiting today,
what’s something we would be surprised to learn about YOU?  One lucky commenter will be chosen at
random to win a copy of both FULL SURRENDER by Joanne Rock and GUARDIAN by
Catherine Mann.

Ladies, it's been my complete pleasure having you here today. I'm a gushing fan, and I agree these military alpha heroes are the best of the best. I share your joy that we get to write and celebrate these wonderful men and women.

Please be sure to leave your comments below with your coded email so you can win these fantastic reads. And let's show these ladies some love!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
USA Today bestselling
author Catherine Mann writes military romantic suspense for Berkley and
Sourcebooks, as well as steamy romances for Harlequin.  A RITA Award winner (and six time RITA
nominee) Catherine lives in the Florida panhandle with her flyboy husband,
their kids and a menagerie of shelter pets.

Joanne Rock writes contemporary romance and medieval historicals for a variety
of Harlequin lines. She looks forward to the release of a Young Adult romance
series in the summer of 2013 under the pseudonym JK Rock with her
sister-in-law, Karen. When she’s not reading or writing, Joanne is on the
bleachers cheering for one of her three sons who are continuously involved in
sports too numerous to mention.
CONTACT:
Joanne Rock
Catherine Mann
28

Welcome Trish McCallan: Forged In Fire

Welcome Trish McCallan, who writes thrilling Romantic Suspense using Navy SEAL characters, with a paranormal twist. Her new series, beginning with Forged In Fire, is one of the most successful and fastest selling to date. Welcome Trish!
FULL CIRCLE by Trish McCallan
I discovered the internet during the winter of 1996.
At the time, MSN was running a crafty deal (if you signed up with them for 2 years, you got a $400.00 rebate on whatever computer you were buying). I wanted a computer, and that $400.00 instant rebate cut the cost in half,  so  I signed up with MSN as my internet provider, and bought my first computer.  And that’s when I discovered this entirely new world called the internet.
 By the mid 1990s, I’d been an avid romance reader for years, but I had nobody to discuss my beloved romance books with. My family were big readers, but they didn’t read romance and while they never said anything, I always got this subtle sense of contempt from them in regard to my reading tastes. The town I lived in had all sorts of book clubs, but none that read romance, so I craved the chance to discuss my favorite authors and books with other romance lovers. The first thing I did, on that very first trip online, was search for romance reading groups.
I found them by the dozens. Groups, bulletin boards, and message forums for every sub-genre of romance you could imagine. I was in heaven. I read pretty much everything, so I jumped right into all those enticing book discussions. 
My favorites were romances that had elements of suspense, so I gravitated toward discussions about that sub-genre.  I used to haunt the local bookstore, just waiting for the Silhouette Intimate Moments (SIM) to come out.  And it was through one of these SIMs in the summer of 1996, that I discovered this amazing, riveting, incredibly sexy warrior called a SEAL. The book was called Prince Joe, by Suzanne Brockmann, and it turned me into a lifelong Brockmann fan, and a SEAL devotee.
Of course the various bulletin boards and forums I was on were buzzing about Prince Joe, and that buzz just got stronger when Brockmann released the second book in her Tall, Dark and Dangerous series.  Someone on one of the bulletin boards started up a Tall, Dark and Dangerous fan group on Yahoo, which I joined.  
 Joining that yahoo group probably had the most impact on my writing career since becoming part of the internet, because it introduced me to an aspiring romantic suspense writer who was writing a SEAL series of her own. This author’s name was Jenny Low, and the book she was posting chapter by chapter, to the yahoo group was titled Kissing Games. Through Jenn I was introduced to an entire community of writers, including Patti O’Shea who became a longtime critique partner. This interaction with writers rekindled my own interest in writing.
The funny thing is that back then I wasn’t writing military romantic thrillers.  I was writing romantic suspense that featured law enforcement heroes.  While I loved reading about SEALs, I had no interest in writing them.  Jenn Low eventually sold her Kissing Games (which was retitled Into Danger) as well as the rest of her SEAL series to Avon and began publishing under Gennita Low. I kept plugging along with my cop heroes.
Until one cold February Night in 2010 when I had a horrifying nightmare.  The nightmare was about a plane getting hijacked and all the passengers slaughtered.  And the men trying to stop the carnage were Navy SEALs. I woke from that dream driven. I couldn’t get those hunky SEALs out of my head. They were so real, so alive, and so insistent that I write their stories. 
Suddenly I found myself switching focus completely and writing a military romantic thriller series.
 I self-published Forged in Fire in September of 2011 and later sold the series to Montlake romance. They’ve republished a new, revised edition of Forged in Fire and have the rest of the series scheduled to release every six months.
It’s funny how things work out. I’d lost touch with Jenn Low years ago, but with the release of Forged in Fire, the first book in my Red-Hot SEALs series, we reconnected. Turns out she’d received the rights back to the SEAL series she sold to Avon all those years ago, and self-published them . . . at the same time I’d self-published Forged in Fire.  
Weird, huh?
It feels like I’ve come full circle. 
EXCERPT:
Chapter One
Lieutenant Commander Zane Winters shifted uneasily against the grungy white wall across from gate C-18’s ticket counter. He felt naked without his Glock. Exposed. An itchy, irritating prickle of vulnerability tightened his skin and knotted his muscles. Which was ridiculous. They were on leave, for Christ’s sake, booked on a civilian flight.
Yeah, he and Cosky and Rawls had to check their weapons with their luggage, but so what? They weren’t facing deployment to some godforsaken foreign jungle or burning swath of sand.
“Did they have to pick Hawaii? We have the same blue sky and warm weather in Coronado. And without the tourists.”
Zane barely heard Cosky’s disgusted mutter through the drone of excited voices surrounding them. With a grunt, he massaged the back of his neck and surveyed the growing crowd. More passengers were arriving by the minute. There were already too many people to keep an eye on. Too many jackets and pockets and purses. Too many places to conceal a weapon.
A stacked brunette across the gate area caught his gaze and offered a sultry smile. Zane turned away.
“Jesus.” Rawls’s lazy grin was a slash of white in his sun-bronzed face. “You two need to get off base more often. You’re as hinky as a pair of hounds during tick season. Those are civilians y’all are glaring at, not a room full of terrorists.” Bright blue eyes zeroed in on the brunette across the room. “What you need is some of that. Sun, sand, and sex. All the fixin’s for a memorable vacation.”
Cosky shot his teammate a derisive glance. “When did you become so fond of sand and sun? Sure as hell not last month, judging by your nonstop bitching.”
Rawls flipped him the finger. “It’s that third s, Cos. Makes all the difference. You should try it sometime, but without that blow-up Barbie you keep stashed beneath your bunk.”
Shrill laughter erupted across the room. Zane tracked the sound, skimming an abandoned stroller and clusters of luggage. When the brunette tried to catch his eye again, he swore beneath his breath. Shifting against the wall, he gave her his back.
“See? This is why I like hanging with you, skipper,” Rawls drawled. “You attract the little darlin’s over, and when you turn that cold shoulder on ’em, they start buzzin’ round Cosky and me.”
“Leave me out of it,” Cosky said. “Unlike you, I don’t need to surf Zane’s wake for a hookup.”
“A hookup?” Rawls shook his head and smirked. “Is that any way to talk about your hand?”
Bracing his elbows against the wall behind them, he tilted his head and studied Zane’s face. “Seriously, skipper, you should take her up on that offer. It’s not like—” He broke off to scan Zane’s face more intently. Suddenly he frowned. “You’re shittin’ me. That’s some prime real estate over there, and you don’t have any interest in her? None at all? That just ain’t…natural.”
Rawls was right. She was prime. A real looker. Long, thick mahogany hair. A tight, curvy ass. Stacked across the chest. Enough flare through the hips to hold on to. She was the kind of woman who’d give wet dreams to any straight male between puberty and death.
Which must mean he was dead. Because he was way past puberty, yet he didn’t feel even a twitch of interest. No chills. No thrills. No goose bumps.
She could be his great-grandmother, for all the attraction he felt.
Every year the numbness dug a little deeper, spread a little further. He’d been warned about this particular side effect of the family gift—or curse, depending on who was talking. But knowing about it, and living with it, were completely different animals.
“Let’s hope that woman of yours shows up ASAP. Much more of this drought and you won’t remember what to do with her.” Rawls reached over to punch Zane’s shoulder.
The moment Rawls’s fist made contact, every muscle in Zane’s body clenched. He froze, his breath locked in his throat. His vision blurred.
Click.
It was a subtle sound. A switch flipping inside his head. An image flashed through his mind. Quick. Brutal. Ugly.
Rawls sprawled across a bank of narrow seats. His blue T-shirt splotched with black. Blood dripping from limp fingers. A fixed stare glazing his blue eyes.
The vision vanished.
“Son of a bitch.” Sheer disgust vibrated in Cosky’s gritty voice. “We’re on stand-down. This is a civilian flight. Regardless of that all-too-familiar look on your face, we cannot be in any goddamn danger.”
Zane knew he wouldn’t get anything further from Rawls, so he turned to Cosky instead and clamped a hand on his lieutenant’s bicep.
This time he was expecting the vision. He tensed anyway.
Click.
He strained to capture as many details as possible as the new vision flashed through his mind.
Gray eyes locked and empty, already filming with the unmistakable haze of death. Black hair saturated with blood. Hands clenched. He was splayed across a narrow aisle, dark-blue upholstered seats rising on either side of his head.
When the image vanished, he released Cosky’s arm and wrestled air back into his lungs.
“Tell me this is a joke,” Cosky demanded.
Zane shook his head and gripped the back of his neck with both hands.
“What did you see?” Rawls finally asked.
Zane drew a shallow breath. “You dead. Cosky dead.”
“From boredom?” Cosky asked dryly. “We are going to a wedding.” A quick glance at Zane’s face, and a glint of steel darkened his gray eyes. “Where’s this going down?”
“On the bird.” Zane frowned. “Couldn’t tell whether she was in flight. Didn’t get a good enough look.”
Cosky turned to study the boisterous crowd. “When do you ever?”
Zane scrubbed his palms down his face and forced back a surge of frustration. The flashes never lasted long. No more than two or three seconds. Just enough to warn, without giving details. Just enough to raise guards, but not enough to mitigate the danger.
“Which bird? Over or back?” Cosky braced his hands on his hips and studied Zane’s face. “Either fits the three-day window for those flashes of yours.”
“Today.” Zane nodded toward Rawls’s blue-clad chest. “Same clothes.”
Cosky grunted. “I don’t suppose you saw who killed us?”
“When have these damn things ever been that accommodating?”
“Fuck.” With a disgusted shake of his head, Cosky dropped his chin and scowled at the worn carpet. “What about the wounds?”
“Lots of blood. Could be a gun. Or a knife.”
“A crash?” Rawls broke in quietly.
“Doubtful. Neither of you were burned. We’re looking at some kind of weapon.”
Cosky frowned. “It would be easier to smuggle a blade through security, but few people are good enough to take us on with a knife. Chances are it’s a gun.”
Zane pushed away from the wall. “Whatever’s going to happen is bad enough to take the three of us out.” The flashes never centered on him, but if Cosky and Rawls were in danger, he was as well. “We need to get hold of Mac.”
As the officer in charge of SEAL Team 7, Commander Jace Mackenzie had the pull to get the plane grounded and the passengers searched.
“Question.” Cosky’s attention zeroed in on Zane’s face. “What are we going to tell him? We don’t know what’s going to happen, who’s behind it, or what kind of weapons will be used. If Mac gets this bird grounded only to have nothing show during the search, the backlash is gonna be a bitch.”
“What are you suggesting?” Zane cocked an eyebrow. “That we skip the wedding, keep our mouths shut, and let events play out?”
“Don’t be an ass. I’m saying it would be handy to have some solid intel to pass on for a change. Why can’t you ever pick up more information if you touch us again?”
Zane shrugged. Just because he suffered through the visions didn’t mean he understood their properties. “We’ve got some time before boarding. Maybe one of the passengers will stand out.”
A wave of heat suddenly rolled through him. It started at his scalp and flowed down—a tide of molten fire that left chills in its wake. A tingling, numbing sensation followed, as though he’d been hit with an electrical shock.
“What’s wrong?” Cosky’s question came from a distance. Muted and warped.
Zane turned, searching for…something. The gate area spun in slow motion. That strange, electrical tingling raised the hair on his arms and down the back of his neck.
He found her in the mouth of the waiting room. She was blonde, slender. Perfect. Her cream-colored slacks and ivory blouse glowed beneath the harsh fluorescent lights, as though she stood squarely in a spotlight—lit up to catch his attention.
Her chin lifted, their eyes connected, and that strange, pulsating current shot straight to his cock. Electrified him. His libido, numb for years, reared up and howled. He took one long step toward her.
Cosky grabbed his arm and hauled him back. “Goddamn it, Zane. What’s wrong?”
Zane shook his head, tried to clear the fog from his mind. The tug toward her was incredibly strong, like she was a magnet and his bones were metal. He took another step forward, his body vibrating at some strange frequency.
Cosky’s hand tightened with brutal force around his forearm, piercing the primal urge to claim her.
Zane drew a shaky breath. His muscles were rigid. A vicious ache had seized his groin. His skin must have shrunk at least three sizes.
Holy shit.
It had to be her.
After all these years of waiting…this had to be her.
To go from nada to nuclear in the blink of an eye…yeah. He drew a slow, burning breath, grappling to drag his body back under control. This had to be her.
From listening to his brothers’ stories about meeting their mates, he’d expected a strong reaction, but nothing like this whirlpool of hunger.
And he hadn’t even touched her yet.
“Who is she?” Cosky demanded. “Did you see her in one of your flashes?”
The question snapped the world back into focus. The memory of those damn visions flooded his brain.
He watched, frozen, while she headed toward one of the plastic benches strewn throughout the waiting room. She was apparently booked on his flight.
His chest seized. His skin started to crawl. Christ, he couldn’t breathe.
Of all the bad timing.
He’d finally found her. His soul mate. At a time when he couldn’t afford the distraction. When the slightest mistake could get her killed.
Order your Forged in Fire in Kindle Version or Paperback from Amazon.com.
BIOGRAPHY:
Trish McCallan was born in Eugene, Oregon, and grew up in Washington State, where she began crafting stories at an early age. Her first books were illustrated in crayon, bound with red yarn, and sold for a nickel at her lemonade stand. Trish grew up to earn a bachelor’s degree in English literature with a concentration in creative writing from Western Washington University, taking jobs as a bookkeeper and human- resource specialist before finally quitting her day job to write full time. Forged in Fire came about after a marathon reading session, and a bottle of Nyquil that sparked a vivid dream. She lives today in eastern Washington. An avid animal lover, she currently shares her home with three golden retrievers, a black lab mix and a cat.

WWW.trishmccallan.com

What do you think? Do you like your SEALs with a dash of paranormal? Do you believe in fated love at first sight? One lucky commenter will win a free copy of Trish's new book. Be sure to leave your email address (in code).

Thank you, Trish. Good luck, readers!
23

Welcome Marliss Melton – Bestselling Author Team Twelve Navy SEALs

I am thrilled today to welcome Marliss Melton, the bestselling author of the Team Twelve Navy SEAL Series. I asked her to give us a glimpse of this outstanding series, and what she's working on now. So, Marliss, what are you up to these days?

Tens of thousands of readers read and loved my Award-winning Navy SEALs which carried them through seven books, starting with FORGET ME NOT and ending with SHOW NO FEAR. (It isn’t too late to read them if you missed out). While it’s natural for me to write about Navy SEALs (my husband is US Navy retired), I took a slight detour lately with my newest Taskforce Series, expanding to an Inter-Agency Counterterrorist Taskforce group that is headed up 

by a Navy SEAL.
In Book #2 of the Taskforce Series, The Guardian (Amazon or Barnes & Noble), FBI Special Agent Jackson Maddox goes undercover into a prisoner reintegration program believed to have ties to terrorists, only his cover is about to be blown by a bombshell of a journalist, Lena Alexandra, who keeps sticking her nose into his business. To learn more about THE GUARDIAN, read the blurb next to the book cover.
This book is currently available in Ebook format at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.com and is coming out in hardback in October, 2012.
So, what are you working on now, Marliss?
Book #3 in my Taskforce Series is THE ENFORCER, which features fun-loving ATF Special Agent, Toby Burke, who goes undercover into a militia in West-by-God Virginia to find evidence that its leader, Dylan Connelly, a former female Army officer, is guilty of plotting violence against the current administration. This 
is going to be one of my best books yet!
But, Marliss, are you going to go back to writing your Navy SEAL books?
I get this question all the time, and the answer is a resounding yes. If you were able to read my short story “SEALed by Fate” in the SEAL OF MY DREAMS ANTHOLOGY, then you’ve essentially read the prologue to what will be my next Navy SEAL book. It may be Book #8 in my Team Twelve Series, or it may prove to be the first book of a new series, altogether. (I’m thinking of doing a DEVGRU series). DEVGRU is the name given to SEAL Team Six, and we all know that they are considered the cream of the crop, the ones who got Bin Laden.
This is so exciting, Marliss. I loved the Anthology and read so many great authors there. Proceeds were donated to veteran's charities, I understand.

And DEVGRU! The professional team of the SEALs. That sounds wonderful. Can hardly wait. What else can you tell us about what you're working on?

So, now you’ve got the skinny on what’s in my head for the future.  In the meantime, though, don’t miss out on my Taskforce Series:  THE PROTECTOR, THE GUARDIAN, and THE ENFORCER.
For those of you who couldn’t/can’t get enough of my SEAL Team Twelve Series, though, I have a treat in store for you! Look for a novella coming this fall entitled LONG GONE. It is based on the secondary love story in TOO FAR GONE. (Remember Drake Donovan, the FBI special agent who fell in love with Skyler Dulay, only she had to go into witness protection and they never got their happily-ever-after?)  Here’s a peek at the cover. Look for LONG 
GONE coming this Oct/Nov, 2012.
Wonderful news. I will be one of the first to buy it when it comes out. 

Thanks for stopping by and telling us about your must-read military romances. Marliss has been generous to offer a giveaway to a lucky commenter. Please leave your email, example: SuzyQ(at)gmail (dot)com in the body of your comment. And don't forget to come back and visit with military authors next week.
Leave a thoughtful comment and you may win a free digital or paperback copy of THE GUARDIAN! 

Summary, The Guardian:
When a highly esteemed prisoner-reintegration program falls under suspicion of being a terrorist training ground, the Taskforce sends Special Agent Jackson Maddox undercover to investigate. Going by the name Abdul, Jackson fits right in, until his cover is threatened by a sexy journalist taking his picture. If his mission weren't so critical, he wouldn't mind being the object of her fixation.  But when he confronts her, the hot-as-hell bombshell denies everything before slipping through his fingers.   
Crime journalist Lena Alexandra isn’t going anywhere. One of the parolees at the program murdered her sister a decade earlier and got away with it.  Determined to send the killer back to jail, Lena secures a job at a nearby convenience store and sets about interviewing parolees for a book she’s allegedly writing. Her objective— to use her astute interviewing skills and stunning sex appeal to get the killer to confess.  Dangerous plan?  Yes, but not even the gorgeous ex-con named Abdul can derail her, not even when she finds out who he really is.
As the summer nights heat up, Jackson’s probe reveals startling evidence that could endanger the nation’s capital.  He can’t battle his desire for Lena and subdue a fanatical leader at the same time. And Lena can’t corner her sister’s killer as long as an undercover FBI agent persists in trying to protect her. As peril looms for both of them, Lena and Jackson must learn to trust each other with their secrets . . . and their lives.

What about you? Do you love a man in (or out of) uniform? What do you love best about reading military romances? Any favorite hunks?

8

9-11 Thoughts and Remembrances

My son went to New York at the end of August, 2001, to attend NYU as a film student at the Tisch School of the Arts. Being a native of Northern California, like both my husband and myself, and both our dads, it was a big adjustment. So, my husband flew out with him to help get him settled. Our son wanted to be “at the center of the world,” and he felt NYC was the place to be.

After helping him get set up in his apartment, there were still things to be completed, so my husband considered staying another week, but decided at the last minute to let our son make those decisions himself.  So, Don came back on the Newark to San Francisco flight on Monday morning, 9-4-01, instead of the Newark to San Francisco flight on 9-11.

Early Monday morning on 9-11 our son left a voice message, telling us how clear and beautiful New York City was at 6 AM. He'd had a party in the apartment the night before, and there had been thunder and lightening all evening. But this day was clear and “perfect.” He luckily decided to go back to bed, rather than get up early to head downtown as he often did. His apartment was about 20 blocks from the World Trade Center.

What occurred later we all know. We talked to our son on his cell while he watched the second plane hit the WTC from his room, as we were watching it on TV. We watched the buildings collapse. Over the weeks that followed, many of the NYU students gave blood, donated water and sandwiches from the cafeteria, and my son thanked rescue workers, saying, “This is from my parents in California.”

The following Spring, Don and I went to New York to visit our son. We wanted to see the 9-11 makeshift memorials springing up all over the area: posters on iron fenceposts with letters from school children and pictures of loved ones lost or never heard from again. There had been some extra “walls” created so people could express themselves, leave mementos and just read the posts and feel a part of the experience.

While we were waiting in line to visit the Ground Zero site, there was work being done to clean up the white chalky debris still left behind after 5 months, righting flattened tombstones that had stood for a hundred years or more, cleaning up piles of twisted metal. We stood beneath a tree that was trying to send out new green shoots. Building material was still stuck in its branches. When I looked more carefully, the twisted pieces of metal that looked like cream-colored oversized bunches of grapes were actually mangled miniblinds whirled in a twisted sculpture. And the mossy-like substance that hung from the branches? Shredded upholstery fabric and pantyhose.

I would learn years later that the valedictorian of my graduating class in Palo Alto was giving a presentation for a non-profit Jewish organization helping young women to become successful. She was hosting a luncheon at the “Windows On The World” restaurant at the top. Her name was Naomi Solomon.

Several years later, another member of our graduating class, an exchange student from Algeria, told me at our 40th reunion party, when he brought his wife, children and his parents, introducing them to our class, that the year he spent in California was the greatest year of his life. He told me he carried a deep love of our country with him back to Algeria, where he worked for the U.N. there. Where his wife worked at a school for girls. A year later, he was killed in the 2007 suicide bombing of the U.N. Refugee Relief center. His name was Chad Hamza.

20% of the people in the U.S. knew someone who lost their life on 9-11. Citizens from more than 40 countries were represented among the dead and dying. The average age of the loss of life was between 30-39. Thousands of pints of blood were collected and less than 300 were actually used.

There are thousands of stories told by millions of people. We wish the world was a safer place, but wishing it doesn't make it so. We have a lot to be thankful for. We have a lot to love. We have a lot to protect.

And may we always remember.

8

No Easy Day: Book Review and Comments

No Easy Day, the compelling book by former Navy SEAL Mark Owen, just released last week, is hard to pick up, and hard to put down. It recounts the events, including the almost 10 years of training, intelligence gathering, and coordination of hundreds of personnel who helped SEAL Team Six carry out the successful mission to kill Osama bin Laden.

But more importantly, it gives us a private glimpse into the lives of those elite warriors, who do so much and ask so little in return. He says in the dedication:

My hope is one day a young man in junior high school will read it (No Easy Day) and become a SEAL, or at least live a life bigger than him. If that happens, the book is a success.

His words so beautifully illustrate what the SEALs symbolize: young men who are living a life bigger than themselves. They are trained to do what is required to get the job done. Do it quietly, with humility, and unemotionally. To set aside personal feelings, to stay alert to danger so that they can protect the lives of everyone on the mission, and the innocent.

He recounts how his upbringing in Alaska prepared him for his journey. How his parents at first didn't want him to put himself in harm's way and how he got his college degree first, but still had that burning desire, forged when he was a young teen, to become one of these elite men.

I enjoyed hearing stories of what the SEALs did to take their minds off the stress of waiting for orders to do dangerous things. The pranks they played on each other, and the close bond formed between brothers who would lay down their lives for each other without hesitation. Deadly serious, I've also read in other SEAL books about the special underwear with Superhero logos, or other cartoon characters they wear. Owen talks about playing fantasy football in the Afghani desert.

The author chronicles how he trained to become part of the elite Green Team, Seal Team Six, or DEVGRU.  He also describes how he almost didn't make the team. Only one out of a thousand regular Navy men is able to even try out for the teams. And of those who have completed two deployments, some are invited to try out for the Green Group, where you are on call almost 24/7, without the time offs and vacations with family. Hard on loved ones, but it's what is required to be a part of this special unit.

There are less than 2000 active SEALs currently. DEVGRU is the professional team to the varsity team of regular SEALs. They are responsible for the high profile “snatch and grabs”, the team who rescued Paul Schoon, the governor-general of Grenada, who was facing execution. They were responsible for capturing Manuel Noriega during the invasion of Panama, capturing the Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid and Bosnian war criminals, including Radislav Krstic, the Bosnian general who was later indicted for his role in the Srebrenica massacre in 1995. They rescued Jessica Lynch and conducted the daring rescue at sea from Somali pirates. The little picture I've seen of a disheveled Saddam Hussein in handcuffs is posted on a bulletin board in a SEAL bar in San Diego and speaks volumes.

Like all things in life, everything is connected. He says this book was written because he decided to put his Trident away and return to civilian life this year. And his reasons are personal. He and the publisher originally wanted this book to be released on 9-11, in honor of the anniversary of that tragic event. But as he states in the book, this was not written from a particular political viewpoint.

We are all red, white and blue, in my opinion, and Mr. Owen makes this point very well. The color of our blood is red, though our opinions, political affiliation, background and skin color vary. As he says, you don't run to your death. A bullet doesn't know how to discriminate a rich kid from a poor one, a Democrat from a Republican. Their SEAL training just makes them “the guy who can get it done.”

I doubt this fine young man ever would do anything that would harm a fellow in the brotherhood of warriors. He's mentioned several times that if one wanted to look for military secrets, his is not the book to read. But, I'm not an expert. Others that are far more knowledgeable than I will have to weigh in on this.

No Easy Day reads like a good suspense novel, except we know in advance how the story ends. But, unlike most stories we read, what happens in the middle is what we didn't know about until now. I came away with a renewed respect for these men, and for the hard work that goes into the training to become a SEAL.

I ask myself every day if I would have the guts to ever do anything so brave.

So, what did I find was the most enjoyable aspect of this book?

It knocked 50 Shades from the #1 Spot.
It told the truth.
And there was the delicious absense of spin.
All this week we are talking about heroes. I have several award-winning bestselling authors visiting here this week, next week and the week after. Won't you come join in the conversation? There will be some great giveaways, and the chance to chat with your favorite authors who bring us those wonderful heroes.
Jennifer Kamptner   9-12-12
Marliss Melton        9-14-12
Elle James               9-17-12
Trish McCallan       9-18-12
Cathy Mann and Joanne Rock    9-21-12
Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog, a personal experience with 9-11.

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
14

Labor Day Blog Hop – Come join the fun!

Enter the Labor Day Blog Hop by pressing the link at the right. More information below. 

Here is an excerpt from Accidental SEAL:

Chapter 1

Christy Nelson worked to keep her breakfast down when Wayne Sommerville came lurking around her cubicle. He’d pestered her every day since she’d been introduced as the newest agent at the Patterson Realty sales meeting three days ago. His soft, flabby torso was repulsive, and those distinctive hair plugs, installed at an angle on Wayne’s shiny salmon-colored forehead, were distracting. Her gaze followed rows of black dots receding into his dyed-black hair. A life-sized version of Mr. King’s Chuckie.
Wayne winked at her again, and her blood turned to ice.
His horse teeth and foul breath could raise the dead. He’d made it clear he wanted to mentor her, but she suspected he had more in mind than real estate contracts and short sales. He was persistent, though. She’d give him that.
He draped his bulky frame against the back of her chair. She wanted to duck for cover. The eerie need to protect her neck put her radar on high alert as she visualized violence and fangs.
“I’ve coached quite a few of the new agents over the years.” Wayne’s look lasted too long—hungry and inappropriate. Christy didn’t trust one single hair plug.
“Well,” she said, resisting the urge to escape, “I do need a good open house.
Now, why did I say that?
“I’ve got the perfect one! Great little short sale.” Wayne launched into his routine, oblivious to the fact she’d become dizzy from the smell of the garlic fries he’d apparently had for lunch. “The house is a little rough around the edges, but in a super neighborhood. The sellers are about to lose it.” He threw her a mock frown. She could see him singing a hymn, asking for money on TV.
Perhaps a second career.
“No sign on the lawn yet and it’s not even on the computer,” he continued. “You can snatch all those buyers for yourself.” He leaned in and whispered like it was a national secret. “And I could help you with the paperwork. You know, show you how it’s done.”
Male alert. If he touches me, he’ll get a knee to his groin. She swung her chair to angle for quick action.
He stepped back just in time. She exhaled, grateful for the distance.
“Doing short sales is a real art,” he added with a frown, stiffening. His shiny suit fit like one of those unfortunate animals in a teddy bear factory, stuffed into its fur. The silver glint of the fabric reminded her of fish scales.
Run, Christy, run. You could be the one who got away…
She had never in her life paid a favor with sex and wasn’t about to start. She would hold his new listing open, but only if she could do it without owing him.
Besides, she had to do something to drum up business. Her move to San Diego marked the beginning of her new professional career as a Realtor. Being the top salesperson at Madame M’s lingerie boutique on Maiden Lane in San Francisco had only barely paid the bills. She’d loved Madame and had thrived as a sales clerk, but had recognized the time for a real career and had trained in Real Estate, then moved to San Diego after her mother had passed on and left her condo to Christy.
Though she’d been comfortable selling to the rich and powerful of the City by the Bay, Wayne, even if he was half the success he claimed he was, made her nervous.
This is a very bad idea. Just say no.
“Fine.” It sounded like it came from the cubicle next to her.
But then she spotted Wayne’s dimples and canines.
Oh. My. God. I’ve just said yes.

Christy’s red Honda looked like a wet cherry lollipop, polished to perfection. Cute and shiny on the outside, but hot and sweltering on the inside. Sitting in the cramped front seat, she stopped and squinted to make out house numbers, comparing them to the address Wayne had minutely scribbled on the back of his business card. Then she found it.
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.

Come join the fun and meet lots of other great authors. Loads of freebies. Great blogs to visit!

One lucky commenter on my blog will win:  Poster Accidental SEAL signed by Jimmy Thomas himself! One free Accidental SEAL book in Kindle format (2 winners for this prize). Also, every commenter will receive a Kindle version of the prequel to Accidental SEAL, SEAL Encounter – free. Be sure to leave me your email address.

Leave a review and send me a link, and you can win another one of my posters, signed by Mr. Thomas. 

Contest ends Monday, September 4th at Midnight.

18

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 http://www.twbpress.com/deadmix.html. Or find Dead Mix on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mix-ebook/dp/B008P4LFI4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1343310620&sr=1-1&keywords=dead+mix  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 http://www.twbpress.com/followanangel.html.http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mix-ebook/dp/B008P4LFI4/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1346254005&sr=8-6&keywords=Marilyn+Baronhttp://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mix-ebook/dp/B008P4LFI4/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1346254005&sr=8-6&keywords=Marilyn+Baron
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 http://www.twbpress.com/deadmix.html; Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Mix-ebook/dp/B008P4LFI4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1344028502&sr=1-1&keywords=Dead+Mix and Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dead-mix-marilyn-baron/1112257979?ean=2940014991049.To 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 http://www.petitfoursandhottamales.com/marilyn-baron/; Find her angel stories, “A Choir of Angels,” “Follow an Angel,” and “The Stand-in Bridegroom, “ at TWB Press: http://www.twbpress.com/achoirofangels.html. Find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Marilyn-Baron/286807714666748 and Twitter at https://twitter.com/MarilynBaron. 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.”

8

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.

12

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.

7

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!

8

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

4

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.

JUDY TAYSOM!!!

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
16

Unlucky With Weather. Lucky In Love

My critique partner's daughter got married last summer. I think this is one of the funniest YouTubes out there. It went viral, wound up on America's Funniest Home Videos, the Ellen Degeneris show, and one guy from Africa pirated it and almost won second place in a wedding photo contest.

I do have permission to post this. But after all the attention last year, it was taken off for a bit. Well, now it's back. And I'm thrilled the couple allows us to share this with you. I wish all things on the internet were like this. But yes, I understand the rules.

It isn't a perfect world, is it? I watch this video and I'm reminded of my writing journey. Reminded of my 41 year marriage. Reminded of the ups and downs of raising 4 children. Reminded of all the best things in life, and all the little detours and unexpected paths that give us all that richness and meaning.

I've learned not to react so much. Oh, but I still do now and then. I've learned that I'm human, not perfect, and not going to ever have a day where everything goes 100% the way it should.

I do know that my life is pretty darned good. That most people would trade places with me. That looking across the dining table at my 3 year old granddaughter, who has just spilled her Lucky Stars soup all over my tablecloth and my Persian rug, I know the most important thing about this moment is her beautiful smile. Devilish as it is.

So I guess being unlucky sometimes means I enjoy the lucky things even more. What about you?

4TH of JULY CONTEST: LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS BLOG POST FROM NOW THROUGH JULY AND BE ENTERED TO WIN A NEW KINDLE FIRE ON AUGUST 1ST. You can also get 3 extra points for leaving a review on either/or Goodreads or Amazon or any other review site, and send me the link to that review. You can get 2 extra points for following this blog.

Happy reading. Happy commenting. Happy reviewing.
And thank you!

Sharon Hamilton

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

Accidental SEAL   SEAL Encounter    all at Amazon

11

Research Takes Over

I couldn't understand my historical writer friends who said they would get so caught up in the research, it would put a major crimp in their daily writing.  One friend said she spent about three hours in research for every one hour of writing.

Now I get it. It's been happening to me.

We are so lucky to be living in the digital age, where things are available with the click of a button (or two). We get impatient with sites that aren't intuitive, and we leave, because there are ten others we could use as a resource. If a web page doesn't load in three seconds, we're off to the next one that will.

I've been doing lots of research on Navy SEALs for my series. I've subscribed to some loops for families of military, as well as some facebook pages that post information, and great pictures. I've made the mistake of reading some of the comments. And it distresses me a little.

Is it just me, or is everyone going bonkers all of a sudden? Or was it always this way, and I'm just now sensitive because of the election? Regardless of what side of the spectrum we are, there are some really mean, hateful people haunting certain groups or pages. And, like driving past a bad accident, I sometimes have a hard time not reading the comments. There are some seriously disturbed people out there. And the rumors! Yesterday someone commented that the government had killed the entire SEAL Team  6 in a secret helicopter crash. There's a novel in there somewhere…

I guess there will always be conspiracy theorists. Men and women fought and died for our freedom to express ourselves, to live the open and wonderful lifestyle we now have. So I guess we all have to put up with the crazies. God forbid anyone would label me such.

I have no problem turning off the TV or the radio. None whatsoever. For me, the ads are what I cannot handle any longer. I listen to Sirrius Satellite as much as possible.

That's why I like to write fiction, romance in particular. Fantasy. Make believe. Where everything has a  happily ever after, and I can clip or trim the dialogue of my characters to my own choosing without causing a stir. The opinions expressed are entirely my own. Heaven help us if I would get to be Queen of the World. Now that is truly a dangerous thought!

What about you? Do you get sucked into doing too much research, or reading too many “other” opinions it interferes with your real life? Your writing life? How do you cut it off?

Some great research books on the Teams below. Amazon spiders must have found me out!

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 
by Marcus Luttrell, Patrick Robinson 

Price: $8.99 

Learn more
Add to wishlist
Service: A Navy SEAL at War Service: A Navy SEAL at War 
by Marcus Luttrell, James D. Hornfischer 

List Price: $27.99 
Price: $16.59 
You Save: $11.40 (41%) 

Learn more
Add to wishlist
The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen 
by Brandon Webb, John David Mann, Marcus Luttrell 

List Price: $26.99 
Price: $15.33 
You Save: $11.66 (43%) 

Learn more
Add to wishlist
Seal of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Lt Michael P. Murphy, Usn Seal of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Lt Michael P. Murphy, Usn 
by Gary Williams 

List Price: $18.95 
Price: $10.98 
You Save: $7.97 (42%) 

Learn more
Add to wishlist
The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 
by Dick Couch 

List Price: $15.00 
Price: $10.20 
You Save: $4.80 (32%) 

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Add to wishlist
SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper 
by Howard E. Wasdin, Stephen Templin 

List Price: $15.99 
Price: $10.87 
You Save: $5.12 (32%) 

Learn more
Add to wishlist
Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy Seal Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy Seal 
by Chuck Pfarrer 

Price: $7.99 

Learn more
Add to wishlist

4TH of JULY CONTEST: LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS BLOG POST FROM NOW THROUGH JULY AND BE ENTERED TO WIN A NEW KINDLE FIRE ON AUGUST 1ST. You can also get 3 extra points for leaving a review on either/or Goodreads or Amazon or any other review site, and send me the link to that review. You can get 2 extra points for following this blog.
Happy reading. Happy commenting. Happy reviewing.
And thank you!

Sharon Hamilton

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

Accidental SEAL   SEAL Encounter    all at Amazon

17

Balancing Serenity and a Busy Life

Why isn't everything just perfect all the time? Perfect balance. You either have all the time in the world and no money, or all the money and no time. Walking that tightrope, getting that perfect balance is something that eludes me.

Recently, I've been busy with the success of my new book, Accidental SEAL. I am thrilled with how well it's doing. And it has helped me in writing the second one, just knowing I can sell that one too. I think about all the angst and worry over its acceptance, which I think every author does, and when you press the “enter” key and it's uploaded, there you are, exposed to everyone in cyberspace. Will they like it? Will it take off? Will it slowly grow? Will it pop and then fizzle? Who knows?

I guess what sustains me is I just keep writing. And I write things I love to read, and to write. I keep connecting. I've been reminded very nicely I need to keep my blogging up, and I go hot and cold with this. Hardest to do when I am busy, but when I'm busy, that's when I need to do it.

So then I have to look at all the other things I can cut out. Water the garden? No. Feed the dogs? No. Critique Group? No. Writer's Meetings? No. Office Meetings? No. Client Meetings (I still sell real estate)? No.

Ah!!! I HAVE IT!!!!!

HOUSEWORK?  Y  E  S !!!


4TH of JULY CONTEST: LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS BLOG POST FROM NOW THROUGH JULY AND BE ENTERED TO WIN A NEW KINDLE FIRE ON AUGUST 1ST. You can also get 3 extra points for leaving a review on either/or Goodreads or Amazon or any other review site, and send me the link to that review. You can get 2 extra points for following this blog.
Happy reading. Happy commenting. Happy reviewing.

And thank you!

Sharon Hamilton

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

Accidental SEAL   SEAL Encounter    all at Amazon





25

Coming Home

My husband and daughter are coming home from China on Thursday. Can't wait to hear the stories. My daughter emailed me this morning and said Don has learned to suck the heads off shrimp just like any good Chinese. He's been daring. He's been a good sport.

I knew he would be.

I didn't get nearly enough done while they were gone. I had great plans. There's tonight and tomorrow for some general straightening.

But like I've said before, we do “Hello” very well.

I did okay on my own. Blew a head gasket on my pickup truck. Had to replace a cracked rim on my sedan, and two new tires. Picked up the car two days ago with a big dent in the trunk from the shop they aren't going to take responsibility for. The well went out on the 4th of July, but I got it fixed. Blue got a foxtail in his left eye and had an emergency Animal Hospital visit.

And then there was the dental implant I had completed on Monday which left me “wavythinking” until today. Drove myself to Walgreens to get my meds and scared off the line of patients with my bloody gauze in the mouth.

Along the way I've learned a few things. Adjustments. Recalculating. That's what life is all about, right?

I was on three blogs this week, plus my own twice, and a two-day six-blog tour the week before. I had a ball!

Got my book cover posters I sent to Jimmy Thomas signed by the man himself!! Yum.

Heavenly Lover  made it to the #1 spot for Fantasy Romance on Kindle for 3 days. Over 11,000 downloads taken. Yup. I got a screenshot of that one!

My new book, Accidental SEAL is doing really well, and still climbing the charts after its release on June 18th. The short, SEAL Encounter made it into the teens for part of the promotional giveaway. I made new friends, joined with other authors I'd been reading about for years. Cried on a couple people's shoulders. Got my first really crappy review. My friends directed me to some doozies authors like J.K. Rowling, Tom Clancy, Scott Turow and others have received. My soft little pink bubble is burst, and I'm alive, excited and full of energy!

Life is good. I am surrounded by miracles, when I remember to look for them. When I listen to the stories in my head, and in my heart.

What about you? How has your last week gone? I'd love to hear it. Any of it.

4TH of JULY CONTEST: LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS BLOG POST FROM NOW THROUGH JULY AND BE ENTERED TO WIN A NEW KINDLE FIRE ON AUGUST 1ST. You can also get 3 extra points for leaving a review on either/or Goodreads or Amazon or any other review site, and send me the link to that review. You can get 2 extra points for following this blog.
Happy reading. Happy commenting. Happy reviewing.
And thank you!

Sharon Hamilton

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

Accidental SEAL   SEAL Encounter    all at Amazon

12

Celebrating the Future and the Past


I was getting some photos together for my son's visit from back east, and for my other son's wedding. I have boxes of stored photos in special paper, which turned out to be somewhat of a miracle. The house burned down less than 6 months later, and all these precious photos were miraculously saved. Well, there were the guys in big yellow suits that knew how to cover up antiques and things in chests, but the heat alone could have melted these old photos.

We walked the bridge that day back in 1987 with all 4 of our children. Little did we know that the bridge actually flattened out in the middle. But, by the time we were there, in the middle, no one could move. It took roughly 2 hours to get off at Doyle Drive. Walking through the toll booths was interesting.

I was reminded today about the time our entire family went skydiving in San Diego. All 6 of us in the air at once. And, just like that day in 1987, we threw caution to the wind and risked our entire unwritten family story to thumb our noses at death and soar through the air like the birds we clearly were not.


I wonder about how our lives would have been changed had something very wrong happened. I had trust and faith in the military men who trained us. They did, after all, train some of the best of the elite special forces on a daily basis. In the end, as I stood at the gaping doorway, I just had to jump and trust that my life was not about to end. Even though for just a second, I had to consider the possibility it would.

Looking over all the old photos I'm reminded of choices I made with my life, resulting in the affect it had on those in my whole family. And how one choice added to another, made every day, without really knowing fully what the consequences were, leads to a life well lived. Where there is the possibility of anything happening when we fish the spaces of the future.

And I also thought about how very little of it is of my own control. I truly think that is a good thing.

4TH of JULY CONTEST: LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS BLOG POST FROM NOW THROUGH JULY AND BE ENTERED TO WIN A NEW KINDLE FIRE ON AUGUST 1ST. You can also get 3 extra points for leaving a review on either/or Goodreads or Amazon or any other review site, and send me the link to that review. You can get 2 extra points for following this blog.
Happy reading. Happy commenting. Happy reviewing.
And thank you!

Sharon Hamilton

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

Accidental SEAL   SEAL Encounter    all at Amazon

10

THE BIRTH OF A STORY-Happy 4th of July

This post will probably surprise some of you. My husband's family is related to Alexander Hamilton, our country's first Secretary of the Treasury. He was born on Nevis, an island in the Caribbean. The house is now a museum and island treasure.

Hamilton, the illegitimate son of a Scottish Laird, was the assistant to a merchant's agent, and also helped his mother with her general store. John Adams would some day call him, “the bastard brat of a Scottish peddler.”  Starting to work when he was only 11 years old, he ran the office for several months while the owner was away in Paris. Hamilton might have done business with British ship captains, and possibly pirates looking to sell their booty! Who knows who he could have met?

My Danish relatives on my father's side had a contingent that settled in the Caribbean around that time as well. Ever since I began writing romance, I wondered if a relative of mine could have fallen in love with a relative of my husband's? Possibly the great man himself?

So, I bought a book on the islands, and oddly enough, found an old letter tucked in the pages, from another relative of Alexander Hamilton, asking for the author's help in locating certain family members they'd lost track of during WWI. Sad to say, I don't recognize the names, but a plot was forming in my writer's brain.

An old book purchased online through Amazon. An old letter. A young man who leaves the islands and becomes embroiled in a revolutionary war that wasn't his country's. Who befriends the first President of the United States. Who dies in a gun duel over the honor of a woman.

And then yesterday, I was emailing other authors on a writer's loop, and had a chance encounter with a lovely writer from Nevis. She's written several romances in the Caribbean, and is  somewhat of an expert on Alexander Hamilton. A family member owns property nearby.

I would have never made this connection with her without the writer's loop on the internet. I would have never found this book without Amazon and the online order I placed. What a wonderful time we live in.

So, this 4th of July I'll be thinking about our young country and the many players that sacrificed so much to see to it that we grew into the great nation we are today. There are plenty of other days for politics. We always remember those men and women who serve to protect and have helped us carve this legacy with the blood of their bodies.

But today, I'm thinking about what was, and what could be, and how connected we all are. And what a small world it is, after all. And how exciting to celebrate the birth of a new story.

4TH of JULY CONTEST: LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS BLOG POST FROM NOW THROUGH JULY AND BE ENTERED TO WIN A NEW KINDLE FIRE ON AUGUST 1ST. You can also get 3 extra points for leaving a review on either/or Goodreads or Amazon or any other review site, and send me the link to that review. You can get 2 extra points for following this blog.
Happy reading. Happy commenting. Happy reviewing.
And thank you!

Sharon Hamilton

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

Accidental SEAL   SEAL Encounter    all at Amazon