Monthly Archives: May 2012

In The Shadow of War

My guest today is author Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy with her new book, In The Shadow of War. Welcome, Lee Ann. Tell us a little about the time period of your story and how you came to write it.
understand why I find the 1940’s and the World War II era so romantic, you’d
have to hear a little family story. 
It begins sad, as so many stories do.  My grandmother was widowed in 1943 at the age of
twenty-eight with four children, two boys, two girls.  Her cousin and some of her friends encouraged her to begin
dating within a reasonable time frame. 
Since she already wrote to her many cousins serving in the war, one of
her friends suggested she write to one more, the friend’s uncle, a man just a
few years older than they were.  So
my grandmother did and a relationship grew as the letters written on the
brittle Air Mail paper of the time flew back and forth between St. Joseph,
Missouri and the Philippines.  
the time the war ended, she and her soldier wanted to meet in person but just
because the war was over didn’t mean everyone got to come home
immediately.  They continued to
write and when he was discharged, the man I grew up knowing as Grandpa came
back to my hometown of St. Joseph. 
He arrived late at night and when he walked to the address where he’d
sent all those letters, everyone was in bed.  So he decided to just wait until morning.  Despite the autumn chill in the air, he
rolled up in his Army overcoat and slept on the front porch.  When my grandmother came out to get the
milk – delivered by the faithful milkman – she discovered the soldier she’d
been writing to in person.  They
were married a few months later.
Lee Anne, I love this! Not something that would happen today, would it? Really brings back the magic and simpleness of that period in time. How fragile life was, and still is. How miracles can happen when we least expect it. What a good man to father those kids, and be a husband to your grandma. Although I was born after the war, my parents and grandparents told me similar stories. But this has to be one of the most beautiful ones I've heard.
isn’t it? I always thought so. 
Their story isn’t the story told in my new historical romance from Rebel
Ink Press, In The Shadow of War, but
the love story between Bette Sullivan and Private Ben Levy is just as poignant,
as sweet.  Here’s the details, the
blurb and a little taste:
In The Shadow of War
Rebel Ink Press May 17 2012
206 pages
ISBN # RIP0004104
great-granddaughter wants to know if Bette remembers World War II for a school
project and her questions revive old memories….
town school teacher Bette Sullivan's life was interrupted when the Japanese
bomb Pearl
Harbor on
December 7th 1941 but her world changed forever when she met Private Benny
Levy, a soldier from the Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York stationed at Camp Crowder,
the local Army base.
attraction is immediate and mutual but as their relationship grows their love
and lives are shadowed by World War II. As the future looms uncertain the
couple comes together with almost desperate need and a powerful love they hope can
weather anything, including the war.
missed you, doll,” he said afterward. “God, I missed you.”
                   Warmth blossomed within her chest and
she smiled at him. “I missed you too, Benny. Saturday seemed so long and I
didn’t know if you could come this morning. I worried you might not make it.”
too,” he said. “I almost missed the bus anyhow because the company sergeant
griped us out because the barracks weren’t neat enough to suit him.  Yesterday turned out lousy, all day.”
she asked. “What happened?”
didn’t?” he said. “Jeez, they made us go on a long hike through the back
country, for hours in the heat.  I
picked up every tick and chigger in the world, I think, got mosquito bit, and
worn out.  Two of the guys fell out
with heat exhaustion and ended up at the post hospital.  My feet and ankles itched me like
crazy. Even the darn Army boots didn’t help me from getting eaten by the
insects.  I swear the buggers
crawled into my boots.”
honey, I’m sorry,” Bette said, using the endearment for the first time. “Do the
bites still itch?”
so bad,” he said. “Back in barracks, some of the guys said to soak my feet in
bleach water so we begged some from the laundry.  It helped.  Then
after dinner they called me over to the motor pool to fix a jeep and I got to
bed late just before final lights out. 
I’m beat and that’s a fact.”
paused and faced him. “Would you rather go rest or something?”
sugar, I’m fine.  I need some Joe
and I’m hungry, too.  I just got a
couple of hours so let’s go eat and spend a little time together, okay?”
fine with me,” she said.
ate at a different café and she introduced him to biscuits and gravy, something
he vowed he’d never eaten before but said he liked.  Afterward, with time passing too fast, he suggested they
walk down to Big Spring Park again but she had another idea.
look so tired,” Bette said.  He did
with dark smudges beneath both eyes. “If you want we can go sit in the porch
swing at Aunt Virgie’s or in the front room.”
shook his head. “I’ll catch a nap later this afternoon, if I’m lucky.  I’d like a few more kisses and I doubt
your parents would like us spooning out on the porch.”
forgot they’re there,” she replied. “So, okay, let’s go to the park.”
couple beat them to the grotto, so they wandered around the park until they
found a vacant bench in the shade. 
A few kids played on the teeter-totter and swings, their happy babble
setting a bright mood.  Benny put
his arm around her and Bette snuggled against him with a contented sigh.  For a few minutes they sat, comfortable
with the pose and content with each other.  She’d already come to associate his scent with security and
she inhaled it, saving it up for when she’d be alone.  As they rested in easy silence she savored the harmony and
as they lingered Bette noticed their breath came in tandem, in and out with the
same rhythm as if they were one, not two.
as she opened her mouth to remark on it Benny took her face and turned it
toward him.  With slow deliberation
he kissed her, unhurried with such sweetness she forgot to breathe for a few
seconds.  His lips caressed her
mouth with a fine light touch, as soft as hair blown across her face with a
gentle breeze.  Such tenderness
evoked the same within and yet triggered desire, too.  Benny cherished her mouth with his, his lips sending shivers
through her body despite the hot day, little spirals of chill strong enough to
make goose pimples erupt on her flesh.
responded with her mouth, a hankering for something deeper and more intimate
rising in her with the force of a rising wind.  She sensed how great it would be to lose her consciousness
by drowning in her senses, by molding her body into his.  Bette, virgin as the mother of God,
ached now for the pleasures of the flesh. 
Every old wives tale ever heard about sex being dirty or painful or
nasty evaporated faster than snow in March and for the first time in her life,
she decided sex could be wonderful.  
kisses stirred Bette’s body even as they induced emotion, too sweet to be
sinful.  Her body responded to his
mouth the way a good corn crop ripened beneath the sun’s warmth.  As her limbs relaxed she leaned into
him, one hand holding tight to his arm so she wouldn’t lose balance to tumble
from the park bench onto the grass. 
The kiss lasted forever, but not quite long enough when Benny paused so
they could both breathe again.
she said with wonder. “Benny, that’s nice.”
she says,” he responded with mock outrage. “Just nice? I call it splendid,
fantastic, superb, supreme…”
Thank you, Lee Anne, for stopping by today. Hope everyone will stop by again.
Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.
Heavenly Lover ** Underworld Lover ** Honeymoon Bite available now at Amazon/B&N
Accidental SEAL coming soon!


Just Isn’t Fair: I Get to Live In California

I know, call me crazy. But I do love this whacky place. Every time I think about leaving, I wonder if anywhere else would just seem, well, dull.

I have never had to work so hard for so little here, too. But I do enjoy the people. Some of the people anyway. I love street faires, farmer's markets, craft faires.

My husband and I took all 4 of the kids on the Golden Gate Bridge the last time there was a celebration–and the span between the two towers literally flattened. By the time we all realized it, there was such a crowd, we couldn't get off the structure. A big black guy shouted ahead of us, made a space so we could walk through the crowd behind him with our double stroller.

I've walked on Doyle Drive, named after a businessman from Santa Rosa, who was one of the top hats you see pictured on the Opening Day almost 100 years ago.

Last week we had the AmGen tour start here in Santa Rosa. Today, it was the Bay to Breakers. Northern Californians are a different lot. We don't need much to celebrate. In fact, we don't need to wear much clothing, either! I digress.

Back to the Amgen day on Mother's Day. I had a blast. From the guys blending their own smoothies with their Safeway Trainers in tow, to the odd Pedal Cars and Paella Guy, it was a feast of the senses. And that was before the cyclists (sorry about the hairy guy's arm. I'm not a professional photographer, can you tell?).

Yes, we are an eclectic group, a huge financial disaster looming right on the horizon. Real Estate prices at historic lows (we can help you there), and our governor we used to call (in the day), Governor Moonbeam.

On the brink of disaster, we have Facebook's IPO, and a Silicon Valley that is going strong, despite rumors of it's demise.

I just found out we have a local Roller Blade team, and one of the gals is a tenant of mine! I can see a romance novel brewing.

After all, in this place of so many contrasts, it is perfect fodder for my writer's brain. So next time I consider leaving, would you please spank me?


Accidentally Married To A Vampire!

Mimi Jean Pamfiloff's
2 in her popular “Accidentally Yours Series”, recently hit #34 on the
NYTimes Best Seller List (Fiction
eBooks)!! “VAMPIRE” has also
earned a well-deserved spot on both the Amazon and USA Today Top/Best Seller lists! To
celebrate, Mimi Jean is giving away an eBook copy of not only
in the “Accidentally Yours Series”, as well, to 20–yes, you read
that right, 20–lucky winners!
Accidentally in Love With…a
(Book 1, Accidentally
Contemporary Paranormal Romance by
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
“4.5 out of 5 Stars
for Accidentally in Love With…a God? (Amazon)!”
Twenty-two-year-old Emma Keane has a secret
friend. He’s powerful, mysterious, and devastatingly handsome. In her dreams,
In real life, he’s an enigma. Maybe just a
teensie jealous. Definitely overbearing. He’s also a voice only she can hear.
So who or what is he? He won’t say. But if
she wants to be free, to be normal, Emma will have to trek to the jungles once
ruled by the Mayans and find the forgotten ruin holding the answers.
However, the ruthless deity she’s about to
unknowingly unleash on the modern world might not be so easily extracted from
her life. Bottom line, he’s got enemies, and now, so does she.
With his golden face beaming, the man
smiled as he stroked my sopping wet hair and cradled me against his warm,
smooth chest. “I love this dream,” I said with a breathy voice, then stretched
my arms above my head, gazing happily into the most striking set of
luminescent, turquoise green eyes I’d ever seen.
To boot, they belonged to a breathtaking,
masculine face, a face one would expect to see on the cover of a magazine named
something like, I’m Way Too Hot to Be Your Man, or In Your Dreams,
Oh, yeah. Without a doubt, I’d topped
myself this time. Sculpted cheekbones, thick dark lashes, chiseled jaw, and
lips so full they simply had to be meant for kissing or eating something really
juicy. He was way hotter than the specimen of perfection from my last dream,
and bonus, he didn’t have that scary vibe. I reached up and ran my fingertip
along the ridge of his hard-lined warrior nose.
“Emma, what in the name
of the gods’ creation are you doing?” he scorned. “We really don’t have time
for your immature little fantasies. We’re in the middle of a crisis. Do you not
I blinked and slowly moved my eyes from
side to side.
Jungle? I was in the jungle. And my clothes
were wet. Come to think of it, for a dream, I didn’t feel so hot. My lungs
burned, my body felt like it’d been chewed up, and my head was throbbing. So,
aside from the perfect man with long, damp, wavy black hair holding me in his
arms, none of this felt like a dream. It felt…
“Holy Mother!” I pushed myself away and
rolled into the dirt, pointing in disbelief. “Wha—you—you—?”
“Aaah. So eloquent as always, my sweet. It
is astounding; you actually have a college degree, yet cannot find better
words.” He pushed himself up off the ground.
As he rose, my heart stopped, started, then
went into overdrive. His legs and spine straightened into a towering mass of
unforgiving muscles. With shoulders like a lumberjack and thick, powerful
thighs, I didn’t know if I wanted to run away or climb him like a tree. He was
utterly enormous. Jolly Green Giant enormous. Except, obviously, not green.
More golden brown. He was a gorgeous, towering mass of golden brown perfection.
No. Definitely not a
cave-dwelling, wart-infested troll. Great. Just great.
  Now I knew I wasn’t crazy—Guy was
definitely real—but now I also knew I was way over my head. He was gorgeous.
I stood in awe, my mouth gaping as my eyes
attempted to register every rope of muscle, every capacious curve packed with
power. Christ, he had to be at least seven feet tall.
“Six nine, actually,” he said, guessing my
“This can’t be possible,” I whispered, my
eyes continuing to dart up and down the length of his body, stopping right on
dark trail of hair that started just below his navel and continued down, down,
down to his enormous beast of a—“Oh! You’re naked.” I turned sharply, but only
to stop myself from reaching out to touch it; no man could be
that…that…endowed. Wow. “This can’t be happening.” I covered my face.
“Emma,” he moved behind me, placing his
powerful hands on my shoulders. A jolt shivered its way through my body.
I was wrong about the vibe. Way wrong. This
man, or whatever he was, radiated hazard. He should come equipped with a set of
blinking lights or flares. He was…“Bad. Very, very, bad,” I mumbled, pinching
the bridge of my nose.
And pathetically, after everything that had
happened, all I could think about was this naked, hard-bodied, glorious “man”
who’d just permanently seared his image inside the storage compartments of my
female DNA. All men from this day forward would have to survive a mental
side-by-side comparison against him. They’d all lose.
Available for ONLY $0.99
Accidentally Married to…a
(Book 2, Accidentally
Contemporary Paranormal Romance by
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
“4.5 out of 5 Stars
for Accidentally Married to…a Vampire? (Amazon)!”
“If you love her, set her free. If
she comes back, she’s yours. If she doesn’t…Christ! Stubborn woman! Hunt her
down, and bring her the hell back; she’s still yours according to vampire
–Niccolo DiConti, General of the Vampire Queen’s Army.
The Determined Vampire:
Niccolo DiConti has faithfully served as
leader of Her Majesty’s army for over a millennium, but he’d rather sunbathe in
the Sahara than spend another grueling day under his demented queen’s command.
However, no one has ever left her side and lived to tell. So when a powerful
goddess prophesizes he will meet his salvation—a human woman he must turn into
a vampire with her consent—he eagerly rises to the challenge. After all, how
hard could it be to seduce a human female into taking the immortal plunge?
Harder than he thinks. Because his mate won’t be born for another three
centuries, and when he wakes up in the goddess’ tomb, not only is his life a
mess, but his destined female isn’t about to settle for a coldhearted vampire.
Can he win her over before it’s too late? Not if his enemies have anything to
do with it.
An Unwilling Bride:
On the night Helena Strauss meets the
fierce, devastatingly handsome vampire who saves her life in the jungles of
Mexico, she knows her world will be forever changed.  Because an attraction this mind blowing only comes along
once in a lifetime—or existence. 
And when he claims she is his one true mate, destined to be his for all
eternity, it’s a fairytale come true. 
So what if her knight in shining armor is a vampire?  Nobody’s perfect. But discovering the
powerful, overbearing immortal doesn’t “do love”?  Deal breaker. 
Helena will flee and set out to accomplish the impossible…sever the
otherworldly bond between them. And it turns out, Helena is just the leverage
Niccolo’s enemies need to break the mighty warrior and wipe out his people.
What the hell is this
Then Helena’s eyes focused on something
else she couldn’t quite grasp. In the middle of the room, lying across a stone
altar, was a naked man with dark symbols tattooed down the length of one arm.
But he was not just any man. He was a male so perfect that words would catfight
each other just for the honor of describing him. He was a
god. A bona fide deity. He had to be. Because a normal man
wouldn’t give her the urge to fall to her knees and worship at his feet. Or
The torchlight licked his sculpted
cheekbones, angular jaw, and full, sensual lips. Every capacious curve and
ripple of hard muscle looked to be packed with raw power, and his size left no
doubt that he’d been built in another time. A time when giant warriors roamed
the earth, looking to rescue lame tourists wandering the Mexican jungle at
In my dreams. Wait…this is a
dream! It has to be.
“Move closer my sweet, delicious
The deep voice radiated from every direction, filling the
Helena’s blood pressure crashed to the
floor. She gasped as the weight of her body slammed back against the cold
chamber wall to keep from falling.
“Hel-hello? Can you hear me?” Fists
clenched, Helena waited for a response, her eyes continuing to soak him in.
Every inch of him.
Was he real? No, he must be a
statue. Too perfect.
His full lips were built to nuzzle a woman’s
neck. Specifically, her neck. And that hair—thick, long waves of black
satin—was the kind a woman could grab fistfuls of while being driven insane by
those lips.
Then there were the diamond-cut grooves of
his abs, his perfectly shaped navel, the fine dark hair adorning his lower
belly that trailed down to his awe-inspiring man-gear. The size and thickness,
even in its slumbering state, was something women dreamed of and scores of
artists throughout history attempted to immortalize in marble. He was every
woman’s fantasy, she thought. And by every woman, she meant
hers…’Cause I’m not gonna share.
“Kiss me, Helena,” the
seductive voice rumbled.
Had the man said her name? No. Clearly, his
lips hadn’t moved. The margarita amoebas were attacking her brain and she was
losing her mind.
“Kiss me, woman. I command
the voice echoed, this time compelling her to obey.
Helena’s survival instincts gave her a hard
kick, jarring her back into the horrific reality of the situation. But as she
tried to regain control of her body, her tongue slipped from her mouth and wet
her lips.
Traitorous tongue. Backstabbing
lips. What the hell are you doing?
Her body inched closer.
“Sì, that is it, my love. I can
smell your blood.”
Blood? What the…?
Every nerve in her body fired on all cylinders, but she couldn’t run even if
her hair had been on fire. It seemed the harder she fought, the stronger the
force controlling her became.
“Brush it against my lips, my
love. I want to taste you when you kiss me.”
Without realizing it, her hand stretched
down to coat her fingertips with the thick, nearly dried blood from her knee.
Trembling, she smeared it over his lips.
“Now, kiss me, my love. Awaken me,
my bride.”
“No! No! Let me go!” Helena struggled, but
her body’s betrayal persisted. Her head dipped, and her lips rested on his sensuous
mouth. In that instant, the compelling force dissipated and her entire body lit
up into one glorious pyre of life.
Had she been asleep the last twenty-four
years? Because she could swear she’d just taken her first breath. Ever.
Holy hell, what was
The torches flickered, and the wind kicked
up around her.
The altar was empty.
She crumbled to the cold, dusty floor. A
pair of strong hands gripped her shoulders from behind.
“Oh, Christ. You…you’re behind me, aren’t
you?” she whispered.
The deep dark voice replied,
, my love. Stand, and let me see my mate.”
Helena slowly rose to face the naked god
behind her.
Available for ONLY $0.99
One hundred percent
(100%) of all royalties received from the sale of Accidentally Married
to a…Vampire
from both B&N and Amazon THIS SUNDAY will be
donated to The Breast Cancer Foundation.
Sun God Seeks…
(Book 3, Accidentally
Contemporary Paranormal Romance by
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Twenty-four-year-old Penelope finds herself
in all sorts of hot water, vaporous and otherwise, after agreeing to become a
surrogate mother for an eccentric, wealthy, and devastatingly handsome man who
isn’t exactly a man.
About the Author:
Before taking up a permanent residence in
the San Francisco Bay Area, Mimi spent time living near NYC (became a
shopaholic), in Mexico City (developed a taste for very spicy food), and
Arizona (now hates jumping chollas, but pines for sherbet sunsets). Her love of
pre-Hispanic culture, big cities, and romance inspires her to write when she’s
not busy with kids, work, and life…or getting sucked into a juicy novel.
She hopes that someday, leather pants for
men will make a big comeback and that her writing might make you laugh when you
need it most.


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Leave a comment and some lucky person will win a copy of these books. Winners notified by Friday, May 11th. A reminder of this giveaway will follow other blog posts until then…
Good luck…
Sharon Hamilton

Z is for Zone

Welcome back to the last day of the A-Z Blog Challenge. This April has been the Letters of Gratitude. Some of you have stopped by every day. I owe you a badge! Others are new friends we have picked up along the way. Very excited to have all of you, both old and new friends.

Z is for zone, as in writing in the zone.

There are many things that put me in the mood. I subscribe to a number of travel blogs. I love looking at the gorgeous pictures, and fantasizing about a story that would take place there. Especially a steamy romance. Something created where the odds were not in the couple's favor, but survived and thrived in spite of the odds. Almost seems like it should be illegal, I'm having so much fun.

Right now I'm listening to Green Meadow by pianist Denise Young. Music puts me in the mood. With my Dr. Dre headsets, I can write just about anywhere. Tomorrow, as I travel home, I will be spending about 3 hours in airports on layovers.

I've spent the last 3 days in an intense class, learning about one aspect of the Real Estate market I wasn't versed in.

The gentleman I took the class from has a unique perspective on family. He grew up in an orphanage run by Catholic Nuns. He had an older brother who was in a different section of the orphanage. On occasion, his mother would come visit him for a weekend, he says when her conscience got the better of her. So, even in the pecking order of the orphanage, he wasn't a “true” orphan, because he had a mother. She just didn't want to visit very often. So, the better socks and clothes went to the “true” orphans, the ones who had no one.

He became a successful man, worked hard and didn't expect he'd ever have a family because he had no concept of what that was about. But then he met Her, and without any training, without anyone to model after, without the loving guidance of a sister, or mother or grandmother, he fell in love with this young woman. And his life has been enriched beyond his wildest dreams.

His story touched me yesterday when he told me about it. Today, at the end of the day he teared up, as we were preparing to go. He spoke of how lucky he was to have found her. 

“Whatever does she see in me after all these 50 years? I will never be able to figure that out, Sharon.”

I thought about this. Looked him in the eyes, and said, “Your heart. You have a heart of gold, and always have. That's what she sees.”

I find inspiration for love stories in unlikely places, from unlikely people, doing unlikely things. For, as powerful or successful as we all are in our lives, I still think the greatest thing is to love and be loved in return. My favorite line from Moulin Rouge.

I'm grateful for the gentle guidance others have given me, not only in how to make a financial success in this world, but how they share their love stories.