Sharon Hamilton

Author Archives: Sharon Hamilton

10

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON: Writing Books is Like Quilting

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON:  STRINGING TOGETHER STORIES IS LIKE QUILTING.

My daughter just finished our giveaway for this month's Newsletter. We incorporate some of my SEAL book covers in it, and use the same Alexander Henry Pursuit of Happiness background, showing off George Washington, Abe Lincoln and other's abs like you've never seen before.

Writing stories, especially stories for different venues, is very much like piecing together a fine quilt.

Quilting and gardening are two things that bring me solace. Yes, I do enjoy reading while exercising and I've been doing a lot of that lately (trying to get caught up on some new projects I'll be involved in this year). Just like reading, quilting puts me in a “zone” similar to meditation or listening to wonderful music. We spend so much of our day “doing” things, showing up for events, communicating with readers and other authors, and running our businesses, sometimes it's just good to have “screw around time” planned into the schedule. When I used to coach Realtors, I always made my clients schedule “just daydreaming” time. I had a couple Realtors who were shopaholics and we had to plan their vices into their schedule, because it would creep in anyway – better to have planned it.

So when I'm quilting, I think up stories. In high school I made all my own clothes. I used to think about romances while I was sewing as a girl of 14-17, with hunky men who would sweep me off my feet. Little did I know how important “daydreaming” would be, nor how important those themes in the stories were.

Last night I was plotting a new story. I was supposed to be working on another one, but this new one just came in and took over. I know better than to try to push my muse to the side. It dresses up like a bright drag queen and sings drunken pirate songs of love until I have to pay attention to it. Still not sure whether my muse is male or female. One thing is for sure, it likes to sing and dress up in bright colors, including wigs. LOL. More than you ever wanted to know about me, right?

I started with a color: Navy Blue. And the symbols: The Trident. And some heroic traits, and voila, I was off and running. I've got 3 in the works already and I'm excited to say I'll be starting to write the first one this afternoon.

After launching a book I dearly loved writing and nearly wrote itself, I can't wait to get good and steeped in this one. The hero is already whispering in my ear. The heroine is a real randy spitfire, so I guess I'm getting to relive my 20's again…lol…He wants to come out and play hard and love harder. {{{sigh}}} Duty Calls.

Have you seen my new book trailer on YouTube?
Have you subscribed to my YouTube channel?
Have you signed up for my newsletter for the chance to win one of my quilts?

4

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON: Living The Dream

Sometimes we aren't thankful enough for our successes. The world has gotten to be a strange and dangerous place. In my talk yesterday, I discussed how now is the perfect time to be a writer. And who can forget the 2008-2009 time when we were worried the stock market would crash and there'd be war right around the corner? Some writers wrote their best works, and great movies were produced during another dangerous time.

Here's what was happening some 70+ years ago:

Major Political/World Events:
            General
Franco and his Nationalists won the Spanish Civil War
            Germany and
Italy sign the “Pact of Steel”
            Germany
annexes remaining Czech territories, Czech Republic is dissolved
            Italy
occupies Albania
            Soviet-Japanese
border war erupts
            Nazi-Soviet
pact formed
            Germany
invades Poland (beginning WWII)
            Britain,
France, India, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany
            US decides
to remain neutral, but begins to arm for war to help ease
                        effects
of the depression
            USSR
attacks Finland
            USSR is
expelled from the League of Nations (precursor to UN)
Albert Einstein writes letter to
FDR about the possibility of an atomic bomb
and the Manhattan
Project is launched

Other background for those times:
World Leaders are:
            USSR:              Joseph Stalin
            UK                   Neville Chamberlain
            USA:                Franklin D. Roosevelt
            Japan:             goes through 4 in less than 8
months
            Australia:        goes through 4 in less than 5 months
            Germany:       Adolf Hitler
            Italy:               Benito Mussolini
And then some major accomplishments:

            Gone With
The Wind is made from Margaret Mitchell’s book in 1936
            Heinkel He
178 is the first jet aircraft to fly
            John
Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath
            Of Mice and
Men was made
            The
Jefferson Memorial is started in Washington, DC
            Hewlett
Packard is formed
            The first
air conditioner is offered in a car: Packard
            New York
World’s Fair is hosted by US
Here’s what things cost:
            Average new
home price: $3,800.
            Average
wages per year: $1,730.
            Cost of a
gallon of Gas:  10 cents
            Average
cost to rent a house:  $28. Per month
            Loaf of
bread:  8 cents
            1#
Hamburger:   14 cents
            Average new
car:  $700.
            Toaster:  $16.
            Due to
increased usage, cost of electricity is cut ½ in 10 years
Do you know that people thought publishing houses and the movie studios were done? That no new books would be printed, movies made?
They were wrong then. They are wrong now. Keep Writing!! 
8

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON: Celebration of Fathers Everywhere

Today we celebrate fatherhood. It takes a lot to be a father, and not much of it has anything to do with blood or actual paternity. A real father is one who sacrifices much for the care and protection of his children.

I think it is the greatest test of a man practicing fatherhood. It is a somewhat difficult job at times, often thankless and unnoticed. We make a big deal about motherhood, and I think fatherhood is often missed or glossed over.

And it shouldn't be. I am so fortunate to have had my husband of 44 years right along side me as we raised our 4 great kids. I'm sure their lives wouldn't be the same without his guidance. Men and women bring balance to the partnership of parenting. I know my husband's different style is often ten times more effective than mine.

I can remember once he came home to find our son, aged about 10, just getting ready to jump from our second story master bedroom window onto the trampoline he'd pulled over. “Watch this, Dad,” was his comment. Don said he was afraid to stop him, and just watched as our son did a somersault and spiked a perfect landing on the trampoline, a skill he'd obviously been practicing all afternoon when he was left unsupervised by his older brothers and sisters. And his comment afterwards? “Well that's fine. Just don't do that in front of your mom.”

One of my favorite things to do is to go to Disneyland and watch fathers and their children, sharing the happy memories of their childhood with their kids. You see dads in Mickey Mouse ears or Goofy caps, skipping, singing, eating ice cream or holding a child who has gone “comatose” in front of the light parade, fallen asleep from overload.

I think of the Navy SEAL dads and how they are known for “wrestling with their kids in their batman pajamas.” I think any man who has opened his heart up to not only a life partner, but a child, has a special place in Heaven. Falling in love and being the hunky sexy hero of a woman's fantasy is one thing that probably stems from genetics and the basic sexual drives of our species. But being a father is something learned, practiced. It isn't always a natural act, and you get better at it the more you do it. Notice I didn't say it got easier. You just get better at it.

So, fathers, I salute you. I love who you are and what you stand for. It takes unselfish courage to be a true dad to a child, to stand for something, and stand with them when they need it. My own dad was a remarkable man, and the first man I ever loved.

12

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON: Not Missing The Dance

I've heard some beautiful recordings of this song. Garth Brooks recorded it. So have many others. I've had this song sung to me live, once on stage, recorded for me, dedicated to me on a radio station once. It's a song that means a lot to me for a lot of reasons. Old boyfriends, new friends, people I've loved and love still, people who I knew that have passed on, people I loved who were killed in battle, or at home fighting the fight at home.

Just like the words say, “Our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance,” our colorful stories are made up of good days and bad days. Strung together like multi-colored beads in a glass necklace, or christmas twinkle lights, chapters of a book that holds our attention, the whispered words of love in a dark night, or memories of those loved and lost, loved and gone away, except for our memory. And we are better for it, right? Some pain, yes, but better for it.

Another haunting song I love by Jimmy Webb, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, I heard again about a year ago at a Pat Metheney concert. Talking about love, love found, love lost, and the journey to and from love. Beautiful, painful, like life itself. Who will forget the wonderful voice of Glen Campbell, now silent, singing this beautiful song.

Experience makes us the people we are, gives us the stories of love and pain, the yearning for something more miraculous than our ordinary lives. Like Liam Neesom's child says in Love Actually, “Let's go get the shit kicked out of us (by love).” Drunk on love, or drunk on the creating the fantasy of love – it's all the same. Drunk on writing is the same as living the experience. I travel all the places my heroes and heroines travel, feel the warmth of arms around me, the love I get to feel and express without holding back. And yes, there's pain too along the way sometimes.

You and I get to dance together for as long as we wish. There is no beginning and no ending. Our capacity expands the more we fall into the twinkling fantasy of what love could be like in it's perfect, most intense form. We're hopeless romantics, you and I. We live in the possibility, in the moment that is miraculous and pure.

And the pain? Well, that's the dance, isn't it? The backdrop for all the miracles that happen. When things hurt the most, especially when someone you love is hurting, all the more reason to cover ourselves in the fantasy of a good love story that heals all. I still believe in love, though I've been hurt. I still believe I get richer, deeper and stronger every day I live.

Because I'm dancing. I'm still here. I'm still dancing.

11

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON: If It’s Sunday, It Must Be Cincinnati

Me with Lori Foster at #RAGT15 in Cincinnati

I had a wonderful time here in Cincinnati at the Lori Foster reader and author get together. This completes my 7th conference so far this year, with 4 (possibly 5) more to go. I'm finally getting the hang of it. The more I do it, the more I enjoy it. Even managed to watch history being made while having a nice dinner with friends. American Pharoah won the triple crown, something which hasn't happened in 37 years and I was there watching the big screens, cheering him on.

There were a lot of personal victories for me this trip. It continually amazes me how as a romance writer, I can touch so many people's lives. I started out this writing journey creating stories for myself that I couldn't find anywhere else. And now I write for everyone else. The more I get to know some of the authors I love to hang with, the more I understand that we all absolutely love what we do. I could never say this about anything else I did, even things I was highly successful at.

I've been working on finishing my SEAL's Code story. Like every story I do, I fall in love with the hero, love to feel the chemistry of the couple and their complete surrender to each other. Hanging around people in my stories who have a happily ever after gives me great satisfaction and pleasure. I sincerely think it makes me a better person, too. Love always triumphs over hate, good wins out over evil eventually and the most unlikely and improbable odds turn out to be what saves the day.

Like my heroes and heroines, I try and fail. Do things I'm proud of and things I'm not so proud of. When I'm done with the story, I do feel like it's the end of a relationship for me, and I do have a hard time letting go. But that only lasts until I get engrossed in the next story, and so on and so on.

Someone at dinner tonight talked about being afraid to show her work, to even read her own work. I completely understand that. My friend Karin Tabke gave me some great advice on that, which I gave to this newbie author: “Finish your story, send it out, put your blood spatter apron on and get ready.”

I told her that the only way we get better is to fail. And if we fail big, we win big eventually. When I think of all the lessons I've learned this year and last year, my biggest failures have also been my biggest wins.

And yes, love conquers all, heals all, enlightens us all and brings us to the most blissful and perfect self we can be. It's the place where the magic happens, where men wear Mickey Mouse ears and dance along little paths through castles, merry-go-rounds and pirate villages. It's the place where people trust and enjoy spending time with each other loosely, unselfishly.

Flying into Cincinnati

Like Walt Disney said, “Where all the animals go up and down and there is never any chipped paint.” We get the prize when we jump in, connect, strap in for the ride of our lives, not knowing the outcome. Where we take a chance on each other.

I decided I'd give you guys an excerpt (very short one) from SEAL's Code. This is not the hero or heroine, but two FBI guys working on a case, minor characters in my story that give color and texture to the fabric of the word weaving. One guy, Cortland Drews, is a huge FBI agent in charge, and is forced to work with his sidekick, Daryl, a skinny agent right out of school. Like my SEALs, I liked their smack talk and banter. I like to watch them squirm and fail a bit, and then pull things out of the fire at the last minute, just like my hero and heroine. Enjoy. Can't wait to let you guys read it. Remember, this is an unedited excerpt, so tread on me lightly. But enjoy nonetheless.

Excerpt, SEAL's Code:

He’d been assigned a kid straight out
of school named Daryl.
            “Cortland,”
Daryl said in his whiny nasal tone, oblivious of how it made him want to grab
the guy by his neck and wring it. “You like anybody we’ve interviewed for
this?”
            He
didn’t want to tip his hand just in case there was a secret mission necessary.
“Not sure yet. I’ve cleared all the women so far and most the tribal men.”
            “Which
leaves me,” Daryl said pointing to his own pigeon breast of a chest, “And the group
from Gallup and Phoenix.”
            “Very
good,” Drews said.
            “What’s
your theory?” Daryl didn’t seem to mind that he was on Drews’ short list.
            “I
smell money.”
            For
being so clueless, Daryl knew when to stop pushing for answers. That made him a
perfect assistant. “Whew. Well, that rules me out, since I don’t have any.” His
half-hearted attempts to crack a joke fell flat at first. Then Drews bellowed
as if it had taken him a long time to catch the subtlety of the joke. He never
left an opportunity unused to demonstrate how slow he was. It gave him an
advantage over everyone if they thought so of him.
            To
their own peril.
            “You
hungry, Daryl?”
            “Does
a chicken have lips? Does a snake chew gum?” Daryl scrunched up the side of his
face, obsessed with his own cleverness.
            “That
fuckin’ doesn’t even make any sense, Daryl. The answer to those questions would
be no, so I guess you’re not hungry. You want to wait in the car then? It’s
only one hundred six today.”
            “Well,
I’ll take some pie for lunch. The lady who bakes here is supposed to be the
best on the whole reservation. Her name’s Emma.”
            Drews
started to relax. Maybe some day he could just have an ordinary twenty-four
hours, so he could walk into a diner, sit down to the counter and order a piece
of pie without seeing body parts splayed over everything and the dark thoughts
of every male in the place. He thought women were the only things that made men
human. He used to tell his friends he thought God figured it out right away
he’d fucked up when he made Adam, or the First Man like the Navajo’s believed.
So he made woman to balance him off, distract him into behaving nicely just
like leaving a little trail of pills for a junkie to find. If he was unlucky to find a bad woman, once the man was trapped,
the woman would tie him up and eat him little bites at a time. Like a frog in
water that was brought to a slow boil, men would think they liked it, until it
killed them and their manhood. Even good women did this to men all the time, he
thought. He didn’t want to change, had no intention of changing anything for
anybody except himself.
            So,
Drews was going to stay free forever. He’d live alone and die alone. He’d make
sure not one piece of his DNA was left behind afterwards. He wanted to be
remembered for the impact he had on the cycle of life and death, how he played
the game, not the life-long friendships and satisfying work everyone else was
seeking. If it was Halloween, he’d dress up as the grim reaper.

            Every
day.

4

Red Friday Post – This Is Why We Wear Red on Fridays

Bruce, Kally, J.M. MSgt Leroy Petry and Sharon, in Cincinnati

I'm at Lori Foster's Reader/Author event #RAGT15 in Cincinnati. It's the first time I've been here. Met up with good friends J.M. Madden, Bruce and Donna MacDonald, Karen Henderson, April Allen, Sabrina York, Darynda Jones, Kallypso Masters and the lovely Charlotte, and many many others. If I try to name them all I'll forget one and it will ruin my night.

Bruce met and introduced us to Master Sergeant Leroy Petry, a proud veteran now a motivational speaker, who is a common man who did uncommon things. In fact, he was so uncommon, he was awarded many ribbons and medals, including the Army Commendation with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Purple Heart, Bronze Star with a bronze Oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, and The Congressional Medal of Honor.

Code Talker quilt



If you read about him in the link provided, you will find he also attended Indian school near Santa Fe, New Mexico. A statue of his likeness is located today at the Pojoaque Pueblo. I believe this fine warrior is Native American.

As I read further, I found this:

Tattered but still there
A Taliban fighter threw a grenade at their position which landed 10 meters from them; it detonated, and the blast knocked the three soldiers to the ground, wounding Higgins, and further wounding Robinson.[3] Shortly thereafter the three were joined by Staff Sergeant James Roberts and Specialist Christopher Gathercole. Another grenade was thrown by a Taliban fighter which landed a few feet from Higgins and Robinson. Petry, knowing the risk to his life, moved toward the grenade, picked it up, and attempted to throw it in the direction of the Taliban.[7] Petry later recalled his immediate reaction was “get it out of here, get it away from the guys and myself. And I reached over, leaned over to the right, grabbed it with my hand, and I threw it as hard as I could, what I thought was at the time. And as soon as I opened my hand to let it go, it just exploded instantly. And I came back, and the hand was completely severed off.”[8] The detonation amputated his right hand, and sprayed his body with shrapnel.[9] In throwing the grenade away, Petry likely saved the two other soldiers from serious injury or death.[10][6]
Petry placed a tourniquet on his right arm.[1] Roberts began to fire at the Taliban fighters, suppressing them in the courtyard. An additional fighter on the east end of the courtyard fired, fatally wounding Gathercole.[3] Higgins and Robinson returned fire, killing that fighter.[1] They were then joined by Sergeant First Class Jerod Staidle, the platoon sergeant, and Specialist Gary Depriest, a medic. Directing the medic to treat Gathercole, Petry was assisted by Staide and Higgins to thecasualty collection point.[3]
There are no accidents. I was meant to meet this fine young man who sacrificed himself that day to save others, and who fought to protect our way of life. What I didn't know until I got up in my room and began to read the information on Petry was that he served with a young man our family knew from Sonoma County, Chris Gathercole. Every time I mail a package to some one of my fans, I see Chris's picture on the wall at the Santa Rosa Main post office, along with the other dozen or so brave young men who lost their lives and are honored there. 
And next week when I go home, and mail my next package, I will look at Gathercole's picture, and I will silently thank him again, and let him know his teammate fights on for all of us. Because although Petry is now retired from active duty, there is still much work to be done amongst the community. My job is to watch, pay attention and record or bring light to it.
And to enjoy my life to the fullest. Thank you, Staff Sergeant Petry, and Specialist Chris Gathercole, for protecting my freedom with your precious blood. 
12

SUDAYS WITH SHARON: REMEMBERING VETS ALL OVER THE WORLD and (GULP) Some Numbers

I try not to listen to the news, but most days I can't seem to avoid it. Even going for coffee I'll stumble upon the headlines in our local paper. My eyes drift off toward that first page as if it was a new erotic thriller. Human nature, I guess.

We hear about the explosion of bad deeds, both in the name of religion and in the name of some nationalistic cause, and we sometimes wonder who we can trust. Can we trust our world leaders? Do we have to put up with dishonest dealings and back room deals? Do we have to tolerate our fine men and women being sent in to do jobs and then neglect to take care of them after they are back? And do we forget to say thank you?

Oh yes, we do. Our need for the smutty and salacious is overwhelming, like how my eyes wander to the headlines. Truth is, we've been fairly well insulated from most of the bad things of this world because there are men and women who laid down their lives so we could live the life we have, relatively unfettered. I guess that's why I don't like to hear about how bad things are. Things for you and I and most the people reading this post, are pretty darned good. And someone else paid for that freedom. There are those doing it still today.

Every death in battle, every innocent death, every death due to lack of services or neglect or ignorance is one death too many. Today we remember those who fought and died during times of war. It crosses all races and religions, all nationalities, both sexes, all ages, all economic levels and all languages and cultures. Our war heroes and those that support them come home, remembering those who did not. Our uniforms are bloody, our hearts weep, and our flags are frayed. But the cost is worth it.

Something someone once showed me made a big impression, and I guess that's the lesson in today's post. I pass this knowledge on to you, just in case you didn't hear it. For however you may think about what's been going on recently in the war arena, here are some facts you might want to remind yourself of.

You can read the whole article here. It only covers American lives lost during conflicts from the Revolutionary War to today. But here are a couple of startling things to remember. During the first 100 years of our country's existence, 683,000 Americans lost their lives (91% of that during the Civil War). During the last 100 years 626,000 Americans died (WWII being 65% of that figure).

Revolutionary War                25,000

War of 1812                          20,000

Mexican-American War       13,283

Civil War                            625,000
WWI                                   116,516
WWII                                 405,399
Korean War                         36,516
Vietnam War                       58,209
Persian Gulf War                     258
Afghanistan (13 yrs)             2,356
Iraq (9 yrs)                            4,489

Since 1945, the end of WWII, Americans have lost 102,264 lives. Yes, it should be zero. One is too many. We want them all to come home and come home whole. But there's a reason we've lived in relative safety. Our men and women in the military all over the world are the biggest reason. They don't make policy. They do what they're told. And they pay the price for us.

Thank You


17

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON: Wrapping Up My RT Convention

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON:  Romantic Times Convention and what I learned.

My Pirate Storyteller, J.D. Hart
I've filled my calendar with travel this year, and have loved meeting new readers and getting to meet face to face with readers I've seen only online. I think writers in general are a giving people, always helping each other. This convention's good will and positive energy starts from the top. Kathryn Falk and Ken Rubin, who run this with their stable of wonderful volunteers, share the same caring and positive attitude. Makes such a difference to me as a writer, to be in the company of people who like being with each other.
My Hunky Heroes quilt raffle.
I learned I could travel with wine in my boots – literally. What a great way to store these bottles. We had 2, and I sent the other 2 home to my pirate and his lovely wife to enjoy.

My quilt was a hit, and the lovely Kathryn Falk won the raffle. We raised $323, which will be sent to the UDT/Navy SEAL Museum in Ft. Pierce, Florida when I get back Monday. Thank you everyone who donated. 

I wrote myself into a box a bit with my timing, and so didn't get in on the parties much this year. I think that was a mistake I made, and next time, I think I'll stay more involved. Even J.D. said I should have tried riding the mechanical bull. I know some line dancing, and I think I could have brought a costume. So, next time, that's what I'll do. I still didn't get all the writing I wanted to do, and I missed some great get-togethers. But I also got some much-needed words down, and had a nice balance between meeting fans and getting re-connected with my writer peeps. This was a measured trip, not throw all caution to the winds. But that's the way I wanted it. Focused. Maybe next year I'll let my hair down a bit more…who knows….

Sylvia Day and Karin Tabke at RT
My storyteller, J.D. Hart, came to help me, and what a Godsend he was. Not only physically helped me with the books and SWAG for the book signing, but was there to meet readers and help me sell my brand. Came all the way from Nashville with his pirate outfit, which was awesome. We got a lot of attention with his unique brand of eye candy at my side, and helped make this convention a success for me.
View from The Tower at Dallas Hyatt Regency – it revolves!

Now, as I sit here and look out my early morning window, thunder and lightning brightening the sky (and yes, drowning out the couple next door again…lol…did a whole FB post on this last night), I'm just very grateful I get to spend so much time doing what I love to do: being a full time writer.

Being successful does mean you have to write good stories. But without getting out there to promote them, and be a face behind the stories, even a good writer will falter. It's a joy to be able to support our family with something I love so much. My goal is to retire my husband within 3 years, after his many many long years of hard work. And to leave a legacy of great stories hopefully generations to come will enjoy. 

The pirate and me at the book signing
Thanks for being on the journey with me.
Military Tribute with fans and Susan Stoker
Boots package wine quite well!
7

RED Friday Reads

Got a sexy Red Friday Read for you today. This is from SEAL's Code, my third book in the Bad Boys of SEAL Team 3, the SEAL Brotherhood series. I love the chemistry between these two. It was hard to distance them, alienate them, but you know that has to be done in a good book, right? Interested to know what you think. This is not a PG excerpt, just warning you.

Excerpt SEAL's Code (not PG folks):

           “There’s no rush, little fox.” He
watched her as he dipped his tongue down for another taste.
            Luci
was wild with need and understood he was deliberately slowing things down.
            “You
thrash like an injured deer,” he whispered to her sex. “She knows what’s coming
next, yet is powerless to stop it,” he said as he scanned the juncture between
her legs eagerly.
            Am I injured? It was a totally curious
thing for him to say. He had become the hunter of her soul, but was it a death
she sought, or freedom from her earthly body she craved? But yes, it was
dangerous. Wreckless.
            And
the only thing she wanted.
            The
voices rose in a chant, a chorus of angst and pain, passion and desire so
fierce it would scare off anyone but the most fervent. As those ancient voices
began to screech and crescendo out of control, he climbed atop her, spreading
her thighs wide open, positioning himself for unfettered entry. His left hand
gripped her chin, forcing her lips to pucker as he covered them, his tongue plunged
inside her mouth as his cock found it’s home.
            Silence
followed, the chanting cut off mid-stanza, startling her. She heard the sound
of a large bird of prey flying through the sky, as if marking his territory
with his calling, his whistle just barely discernable above the rush of the
branches in a deep forest underneath. Maybe it was the waves slapping
themselves on the shore. Maybe it was the sound of a cloud of black starlings
twirling like smoke up through the sky to the heavens. Whatever it was, the
silent force of nature hit her in the middle of her chest as she watched him
root deep, command her body to rise up out of the ashes of her cold past and
come alive. Had she ever felt this way before?

            She
gave herself to him with complete abandon, and it scared her. Whatever remained
of her previous life was left torn apart and dead like an old skin, lying in a
heap at the side of the bed. In her new persona, the uncontrolled intensity of
something so fantastic flowed into every cell of her body, and she began to
cry.
4

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON: In Graton, California for Mother’s Day

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON: Graton, California

We sort of have a tradition of going to the Wildwood Cafe in Graton for special events. I'm late because I've spent the morning eating way too much, with syrup and butter and all kinds of unmentionable things like bacon and french toast – things I don't eat very often. But I ate light yesterday, planning for this event.

It's special being a mom, missing my mom who has gone now for over ten years, and having a daughter who is a mom of her own twice over. Watching the next generation has become one of my favorite pasttimes. Those that said being a grandparent is more fun than being a parent didn't lie.

 My husband is planting some roses I bought online (recommended by a reader), and I'm finishing up packing. Just sent a load of books, posters and SWAG to April and Christopher, to prize winners and street team members – the post office ladies love me because I bring them tee shirts occasionally, and books, of course. These will be mailed by my husband because I'm going to be on a plane to Dallas tomorrow, on my way to RT.

 I've cleaned up my sewing mess, shipped everything I could, gotten out my clothes, so I'm pretty good to go. A meni/pedi is coming up in a couple of hours, then hopefully an early trip to bed as I catch the 3 AM Airporter for SFO airport. Don't ask me why I decided to travel on a Monday, but guess what? I managed to pick the one day out of the week with sunshine, so I guess I must have known. I will be holed up in the hotel writing tomorrow night and Tuesday, as well as evenings and times when I'm not involved in something at RT. This will be a working vacation, and I do it well. I actually write well on the road.

 I got my crown (people have been giving me tiaras and crowns lately) this morning at breakfast and wore it until the trip home. We took pictures. I'm amazed my 2 year old grandson can use an iPhone to take selfies and decent pictures. They both learned to watch things on their iPads before they could even talk. What an amazing time we live in.

Yes, that's me with the crown.

Hope your Sunday was special. There are a lot of moms out there who have given us way more than they received. Probably more than we deserved. They give us the gift of their unconditional love, and it transcends everything and extends to us long after they pass on.

I have thoroughly enjoyed being a mother. Yes, every minute of it. It's been an honor.

4

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON: S IS FOR SISTERS EVERYWHERE!!!

S IS FOR SISTERS! SUNDAYS WITH SHARON! SISTERS ON THE FLY. SIN CITY SISTERS! SOMETHING DIFFERENT. SO HAPPY TO BE WRITING. SO HAPPY TO BE ALIVE!!!

Spent this morning having a very naughty breakfast with my son. It was naughty because I’m sure it was about 1500 calories. I had a waffle with real maple syrup, applewood cured bacon hand harvested/cured just over the freeway by an artisan butcher, good cappuccino, and fruit. Then the table next to us had these chocolate looking things covered in powdered sugar and I had to have an order of that, too. I ate one, brought the others home for a late night snack, with the homemade berry jam on the side. Our favorite restaurant for this mother-son bonding time is Spinster Sisters.

On the way, I opened up a packet I’d gotten yesterday in the mail, and low and behold, my Sisters On The Fly membership certificate, card, patch (you know I love patches, right?), my blue bandana and newsletter arrived. I’m so excited to join this group. Next year, on my bucket list, is to buy an Airstream trailer, deck it out with red romancy things and take it on the road

with these gals for a few weeks. The rules of this group:

No men. No children. No pets. Play nice.

I am so in this group. I am going to have a ball traveling with these ladies. Here’s what their newsletter says:

Our purpose is really very simple: to re-introduce the idea of making girls out of women in glamorous camping and outdoor activities.”

Formed by two real-life sisters and honoring the amazing mother they were fortunate to have, Mazie, they named their group Sisters On The Fly because they like fly fishing (Ask me if I know how. Ask me if I care. Ask me if I’m going to learn) and they were never home. The more I read about the Amazing Mazie and her “sense of style including her red cowgirl boots and her evening martini, cigarette and occasional cigar” who passed on two days before her 95th birthday last year, the more I was hooked. My granddaughter’s middle name is Mazie. I own the red cowboy boots. The rest are just details.

Our Mission Statement

“Offering empowerment and sisterhood through exceptional outdoor adventures.”

As a group of women, we challenge ourselves in all that that we set our mind to. There is no age, color, religion or political group. All women who want to share in the adventures of “sisterhood” are welcome. This “sisterhood” has grown to over 4,000 women since its inception in 1999:

“WE HAVE MORE FUN THAN ANYONE”
We encourage you to join us on one of our adventures and let yourself be spoiled rotten, learn to fish, to be a real Western Cowgirl, run rivers, and enjoy pure highway traveling fun. The best part is meeting all those new sisters you didn’t even know you had. Our members range in age from 21 to 94, with most being in between. And just remember , our rules are simple…

“No men, no pets, no kids… and be nice.”

“See ya’ there!”

Can you see a romance: Travels With Mazie? Can you imagine what my romance-themed red interior Airstream will look like? Oh I do wish I could spend the entire day thinking about all this, but I have to get back to SEAL’s Code.
If someone had told me that life after 60 was going to be better than the first 60 years, I might not have believed them. And it doesn’t have anything to do with hospitals, walkers or wearing purple. It’s about romancing the life that I was fortunate to be given. Loving the people I’m fortunate to call friends. Write the stories of my heart and grow young. I love this philosophy of making girls out of women. What an adventure, and thank you all for coming along with me! Are you game for some fun!

Over and out. Permission to come in HOT!! Sister #5799, also known as Sharon Hamilton.

17

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON – I Will Miss Nashville

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON: I Will Miss Nashville.

My plane doesn't take off for a few hours, and already I'm teary-eyed. I've been attending the Day With The Authors here in Nashville, organized by Sandy Sullivan, and I have to say it has been one of the best conferences, as a writer, I have attended this year. I nearly sold out of all my books.

Something about being in this part of the country tugs at my heartstrings (I guess that was a play on words). I know it isn't always green and warm, but Friday morning my storyteller, J.D. Hart, and I drove through the countryside and had an early breakfast at Loveless Cafe. Surrounded by pictures of stars from the 1950's on, I loved partaking of the biscuits, the bacon, sausage and ham with the baked cheese casserole hash browns, peach preserves and gravy. I don't eat like this in California, and even if I wanted to, there'd be no place like this. They were stoking up the BBQ in what we would call a summer kitchen outside the main restaurant.

Last night we went to a world class steak house, where I was surrounded by the gentle conversation washing over me like a light warm rain. People smile, they look you in the eyes, and they are gracious. As I said in my talk yesterday, there must be a Southern bone in my body somewhere, even though I've been born and raised in Northern California. They are an endearing kind of warm that really grows on me.

Today we visit Arrington Winery. But it's just a day to hang with my best friend, the man from Tennessee, and yes, I am his number one fan. I'll probably become incoherent by the end of our day together, so I'm bringing my Kleenex.

This trip has been inspiring. I've gotten way more out of it than the energy I've put in. Looking out at the sea of people as I gave my little talk, I felt honored and loved, truly loved. I like small, intimate gatherings where we can tell stories and just hang with our reader fans. The community of writers I've been privileged to get to know well is a family that will sustain me for the rest of my life.

This great country of ours is made up of different regions, each with its own special gifts. But leaving Nashville will be hard today. Going home will be nice, but I will miss this place, and the good friends I leave behind.

Until the next time!

11

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON: N is for NO PLACE LIKE HOME!

SUNDAYS WITH SHARON:  N is for NO PLACE LIKE HOME.

A friend of mine reminded me about writing caves and now the new trend, “She Sheds” and I got inspired again. I've still not given up hope that some day soon I'll have a writing cave of my own. I'm not complaining, but grateful for all I have, but the idea of having a place just for me, some place cozy and single-purposed, like for writing and messing around with my muse in private (like it was illegal or something) excites me.

I write now at a desk that also serves as a bill paying station, a catch-all for anything writing related. Bad news is that it's a mess most times, and I usually go off to bed without straightening it (bad habit). Good news is that if it is writing related, it's there. Might be under something, but this sacred space I don't even let the housecleaners mess with.

I once watched a video of an author building her writing cottage and she made the point that writing should be done in an uncluttered, free place where only that is done. She separated her space from reading area, writing area (with a view that inspired her – mine was to look over my garden and flower gardens which have not been returned yet) and then an “office” desk for all the business of writing, so the two don't get mixed up. I have no trouble focusing on bills and schedules and planning. My writing muse is something I have to guard carefully. She's a fragile angel of a thing, a lady, and very sensitive, as I want her to be.

I can write in coffee shops and cafes, at the airport (watching people), over a glass of wine or margarita at my favorite Mexican place, in fact, just about anywhere, especially if I have my headphones. Right now, I write on the “bridge” upstairs in my house, which is open down to the two story living room and near the stairs, so the dogs, my husband, anyone who passes interrupts me. Just hearing the paper shuffling downstairs in my husband's office (my old writing area I gave back because I found the view of the unfinished construction/driveway not inspiring), or the kitchen activity or TV downstairs is a distraction. Beauty of living in a church-like structure with 24′ ceilings and skylights is it's wide open and light. We have a 13′ glass garage door on one wall of the dining room. But everything echoes.

Writing cozy is beter, methinks. And some day, I'll have that. Thank you, Cherokee Hart, for reminding me of some of the ways I can inspire myself!

What about you? Do you have a craft room? Reading room? Writing area or “muse-inspired” place? Love to hear about it.

1

M is for Leslie Moon

M IS FOR MOONDUSTWRITER. Part of the reason I love the A-Z blog is all the new friends I make. I would not have met these people otherwise. We practically have nothing in common, except that we are poets, writers and just crazy people who like to share the connection. We are more connected than we are separate, did you know? There are those that don't want that secret to get out. Shhhh!! Leslie's post is not something I normally write about, but her words need to be heard. Enjoy, and thank you, Leslie, for stopping by my blog today.

Never Together by Leslie Moon #atozchallenge

2 Votes

newcago paper

I remember the first time we saw each other – We hadn’t seen each other since we were kids out in the country.

Then everything went haywire. Caesar took what he wanted including the lives of my parents.

At 17, I fled – their night screams chased me for years.

I was entranced by New Cago; she beckoned with her dazzling lights and her rich satins. I didn’t know about the slime underneath until it owned me.

Sam didn’t know how I was making it, I didn’t have the heart to tell him.

 When I wrote,  I told him I had a job and my own place.

Yeah, some call  it a job. The men liked my blue eyes ‘that girl has spirit!’

 But what the hell there was money and a bunk.  I wasn’t locked up in someone’s vault and the temple goons stayed away.

Caesar was murdered and we all celebrated in fountains of bubbly. Within days, the gangs took over and I learned to shoot a gun.

A gang lord wanted to claim me as “property rights.”

Sam showed up just when they were forging my personal chain.

Sam  always could look straight down to my heart. He knew but never said a word.

Sam was something those gangsters were not and they feared him.

Evil never sleeps though and on my birthday someone took a lucky shot.

Dog gone, I’ve pulled Sam into this rotten city and now I’m dead.

 My real name is Lucerne which means ‘Life.’  My blood is a type of antidote Medicago they call it. That’s why when the bullet passed through me and into Sam he didn’t die.

Sam, do what you’ve gotta do – my blood will keep you alive.

 

 

 

Image attribution:”75 Medicago sativa L” by Amédée Masclef – Atlas des plantes de France. 1891. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:75_Medicago_sativa_L.jpg#/media/File:75_Medicago_sativa_L.jpg

Did you know there are more than 10,000 children orphaned by Ebola in West Africa? Many of these children have nothing and are stigmatized by their communities (and extended family). We are trying to find a way to raise funds to help. More info here.

fill logo

9

L is for Lake Ozette

L IS FOR LAKE OZETTE

Have you ever taken a hike or walk through the forest and been so moved by the power and beauty of nature that you literally broke down and cried? I did.

The rainforest in the Olympic Peninsula up in Washington State is what I would call a little piece of green paradise. A number of years ago, I took a drive up to see my old roommate in college, and friends of hers described this trail that led through the forest of ancient trees, down the beach and up the other side on another trail. It was and still is approximately 3 miles each segment.

I believe the road to the campground is paved now, but at the time it was some 5 miles of dirt road with tons of potholes that took over an hour.  I was driving a 1947 Oldsmobile turtleback 4-door, which was the most reliable car we owned at the time. My rear seat cushion lifted up and I had the compartment filled with good Canadian beer I planned to smuggle home on my brief trip to Vancouver the day before. I took this walk on my birthday, alone, in late April. I didn't encounter a single person all the way down to the beach. Just me and the forest.

I understand this is where part of the Twilight forest scenes were to have been shot, but, during the filming, there was a freak snowfall and they couldn't access the area.

Winding down through these tall giant trees, I'd been told to watch for bears, as this was the time they'd come out of hibernation, and would be hungry. I found several trees with their trunks scratched by powerful claws as new mothers and hungry bear fathers began foraging for food. Oddly enough, I wasn't scared. I walked the entire distance to the beach on cedar planks lovingly laid by several boy scout troops and Rotary clubs, so the integrity of the forest floor would remain intact.

I like things that move me without trying. The trail awaits my return and some day, and I say this every April, I want to return there and take the hike on my birthday. Some day, I'll fulfill that promise. In the meantime, the beauty of this green temple to mother nature herself, awaits, like a lover gone too soon.

2

K IS FOR KILL OFF YOUR OPTIONS

KILL OFF THOSE OPTIONS!! Get rid of the choices and things become simple in a hurry!

Sometimes getting to the bottom can be a good thing, because it eliminates your choices. On the floor, only way to go is up. Everything is an improvement if you're not falling. Being at the bottom of the barrel takes away the fear of making the wrong choices. Of course, you give up peace of mind, and you are blown about by the wind of society. But your decisions are easy because you have less of them.

When you think of all the words that end in “cide”, like pesticide, suicide, homicide, we understand it means to kill off. But we don't think about that with the word decide, which mans to kill off your choices, your options.

But that's exactly what deciding is. We choose one course over another and forever altering our trajectory, our path in life.

I've always struggled with problems relating to concentration, because I have a touch of ADD. I was on a schedule to make so many cold calls and expired calls every morning, and nothing, except for a burning building, was supposed to interfere with my 3 hour block of sacred calling. I did it for nearly 20 years. But it never was easy, and I always struggled with my staying on task, focus. 

My staff knew their salaries depended on me making my calls every day, so they bet me, and it was a lot of money too, so that I would stay and do my calling, not pop out into the reception area to ask about a phone call I overheard or remind them to do something I'd tasked them to do. I wound up paying the fine so many times, they felt bad about it and we abandoned the practice. The money meant very little to me then. But my pride and vanity did.

So, they came up with another idea. I had to wear my bathing suit in my office, and they'd lock the door on the outside. When I was done with my calling, I'd knock on my own door and they'd hand me back my clothes. This actually kept me on track for several weeks.

Until they all left early one day, left me locked in my own office, with my clothes on the outside of the door. I was forced to climb out of a window, in my bathing suit, and face the steady stream of customers walking past, watching me crawl out of a window in my bathing suit. Yes, I was the top-producing Realtor in Sonoma County at that time, and I was in a bathing suit, crawling out of a window. I had to go to the main office waiting room in my bathing suit, ask to use the phone to get my husband to come down to the office, unlock it so I could get keys to get my clothes back.

I have hundreds of stories about those years. I was so driven I was nearly crazy with that competitive spirit. The discipline I learned in those early days have helped me be a productive writer today, even though I still struggle with my focus and is probably the reason I have so much trouble reading manuals. I'd rather go to get a root canal than read a manual. Even the “Dummies” books are way too complicated for me.

Love to hear if you have some strange way to overcome some behavior you want to alter. I've spilled my guts. Now you spill yours! I have a free Punisher Tee shirt (inspired by the movie American Sniper), for one lucky commenter!

If you want to follow along on the A-Z blog challenge, click on the blue sunflower button to the right and it will direct you to the blog lists of those still in this game. We are nearly half way, and I'm on track! Go follow or read someone else's blog and maybe you'll find a new friend!

8

J is for Junk On My Computer, SUNDAYS WITH SHARON

J is for Junk On My Computer!  I had a lot of extra files on my computer and yesterday I cleared out 120 Gigs of junk. I feel squeaky clean! Our family Apple Expert, Mario, came over and spent about seven hours with us both. Mine was the most difficult and detailed. But what I have now are 19 separate folders containing everything about my books. I have 14 novels, 2 Novellas and 2 of my own bundles, or boxed sets.

I had snippets everywhere, blog posts and guest spots, interviews and faq sheets filed sometimes by name, sometimes by kind of file, sometimes random, and then those dreaded “X Novel – FINAL FINAL FINAL” files. Some files were separated from others because one way editors or my formatter would send them without spaces, some with dashes between the book and the date of the edit, and others in all caps or upper and lower case with or without spaces. I was holding all this in my head, and boy was my head hurting. I had to remember which ones were which (oh yes, that was a novella of the same name, oh yes, that was the correction I made that came in late, etc.) 

In short, I was an accident waiting to happen. This morning as I wake up and go to the computer, my desktop is clean, organized and I know where all my important papers are. A good friend of mine used to look at my lists of “versions” of my books, and shake her head, “Sharon, you've got to get this fixed.” That was about 4 years ago. Did I mention sometime before I'm stubborn?

Now some of you saw the word Junk and were thinking of something else. And for you, all I have is a picture. Enjoy the view…the part that I can show! Enjoy your day.

If you are want to follow along in the A-Z Blog Challenge, just clink on the button at the bottom with the sunflower on it. You will be directed to a list of some 2000 other bloggers who have taken the challenge. This week, I'm number 573. Some are dropping out, so this number could change, but tell your friends about it. Enjoy!

6

I is for I Smell Sheep

I IS FOR I SMELL SHEEP!

Welcome back to the A-Z Blog Challenge, those of you who are playing along this game. I've met some wonderful people so far and followed some awesome blogs.

I did an interview with a pair of bloggers, who just tickled my funny bone. Their blog is called I Smell Sheep, and ewe are in for a treat! Because they did such a great job with the Q&A I sent them, I'm going to just repost that interview, along with the quirky pictures they provided. Enjoy! And all of you who blog or like to follow fun things, (I mean why do the other stuff anyway?) here they are (used with permission):  Sharon and Katie.

  1. What kinds of books do you review and why?

Katie: First, thanks so much for having us over! We review paranormal romance and urban fantasy the most, but anything in the speculative fiction arena we will take a look at! Plus we review comic books and interview both authors and actors!

We're at comic book conventions and readers gatherings. The Sheep are taking over the world!

Sharon: I personally prefer dark urban fantasy, but I dip my toes into the paranormal romance pool occasionally…as long as there are monsters involved. I adore horror comics that have a dash of campy humor too.

  1. Do you review audio books and why?

Katie: We don't review audio books right now, but maybe in the future!

Sharon: I haven’t reviewed any because I don’t have slots of time conducive to listening. I can read faster than I could listen.

  1. Give us a little rundown on the blog's history: when formed, how it grew, how you helped make it grow and where you are headed in the future?

Katie: I started the website 5 years ago, after my Mom pretty much forced me to finally start writing down all my random and at times off-beat opinions. I'm not a strong writer by any means and totally admit that! I try and write from the heart and make, not only my writing tone colorful but add some facts along the way.

Not long after the site started, I reached out to some folks who were leaving comments and the first guest reviewers came on board. About a year into the site Sharon Stogner burst into the scene. She's now a huge part of what we do, while it's a collective, Sharon keeps us all in line and on track to meet deadlines. We wouldn't be where we are as a site today without her.

I don't know what the future holds for the Sheep, but I'm excited to find out!

Sharon: Don’t let her fool you…her writing style is truly unique and her enthusiasm, when she writes about a book she loves, is infectious! We also have some devoted followers who spread their love of all things sheep. The I Smell Sheep Facebook group is where the crazy happens. Everything from the reviews to the interviews to the guest post topics is quirky and fun. You never know what you will find each day when you visit us. But behind the scenes, we are serious about what we do and our professionalism when dealing with authors, publishers and readers has helped us become what we are today.

  1. How many followers on each post do you get per daily average?

Katie: It depends on the post and honestly we try not to focus on the day to day numbers of visits. For those out there needing a number, we have an average of 50,000 page views per month.

  1. In your opinion, why is your blog so successful? Why did it win the awards it has? 

Katie: I think the website has been successful from all our hard work. Through marketing on other online sources, creating a Facebook and Twitter page. Social media has really helped us spread the word about I Smell Sheep. Though it could also just be that we are something a little different. Strange even. Offbeat and proud of it. We are weird and we are proud to be this way. Normal is scary to us.

We recently won the Preditors & Editors Readers Poll for Best Review site 2014. That's still shocking to say, we never in a million years thought an award this big would come our way!

Sharon: Katie developed, before I came onboard, a quirky style for interviews. Authors/actors often thanks us for the atypical questions. We also have unusual guest post topics and features. We also try to be flexible when working with others. And under all the fun and quirkiness we have built a foundation of trust and integrity.

Shout out to our followers who voted for us! Big sheep kisses to everyone. It is quite humbling.

  1. If you could give advice to a struggling blog, or someone wanting to start blogging, what would you advise, based on your experiences.

Katie: I would say, do whatever you love. No matter what it is. Don't hold yourself back or shut any doors with inner thoughts of doubt. Be realistic though, there's a very slim chance you'll make enough money to blog for a living. But if you want to find another way to be creative, then go for it and don't look back!

Sharon: There are a lot of bloggers out there willing to help and give advice. Visit blogs you admire. Talk with the people behind the scenes and ask questions. We have an amazing network of blogging friends. We help each other out. Integrity and trust is crucial to success in blogging. You can’t build trust overnight, you have to earn it from readers, other bloggers, publishers and authors. Break that trust and you are done.

Thank you so much. Here's how you can stay in contact with Sharon and Katie. Ewe won't regret it! 

I Smell Sheep emails:

If you would like to follow the A-Z Challenge, click the button at the side/bottom of this blog page and you'll be directed at random (how fun!) to another A-Z Blog Challenge poster. Enjoy your ride. And may the sheep take over the world!

3

H is for Heroes In Uniform and Hearts In Danger

I'm lucky I get to participate in several boxed sets this year. I said I would never do it again, but I guess I lied. I've worked with about half of these ladies on other projects. We are always coming up with things to cross-promote each other.

A good example of cross-promoting was today's launch for Sabrina York and her Sabrina York's Stone Hard SEALs Release Celebration (which is still going on until tomorrow, btw). We stop by, we have our fans stop by, we give away things and we generally have fun, sometimes we learn a thing or two. Great way for readers to find new authors.

These boxed and bundled sets are the same way. Both these sets are going to be awesome reads, with authors either already established, or up and coming ones you'll learn about soon. We pool our resources and release a set at a deep discount, so readers get a chance to sample several new authors without a huge commitment of $$. One set I participated in last year sold over 28,000 copies in its first week alone.
Heroes In Uniform:

Book Description

Publication Date: June 9, 2015

Ten full-length books and one novella from NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors

A Romantic Suspense and Military Romance boxed set of 11 Sexy Contemporary Alpha Heroes, featuring Soldiers, SEALs, Spies, Agents, Rangers and Cops.
Brand-new, never-before-published stories: a novella from Gennita Low and a full-length novel from Nina Bruhns.
KAYLEA CROSS–Danger Close. With his cover blown, former undercover CIA agent Wade Sandberg finds himself, and an innocent woman, the number one targets of the world's most dangerous terrorist.
PATRICIA MCLINN–At The Heart's Command. Colonel John Griffin Jr. is a good and honorable soldier who faces the toughest mission of all when he returns home to Wyoming: Protect the woman he's always loved – especially from himself.
GENNITA LOW–Dangerously Hot. While working undercover, looking for his missing brother, Luke meets the mysterious Nina who appears to know more than she's saying. Can Luke charm the sexy and dangerous Nina into assisting him?
CARIDAD PINEIRO–Sins Of The Flesh. Ex-Army Ranger Mick Carrera has been hired to hunt down a woman who is nothing like he expects. As passion erupts between them, danger threatens from those who want to end Mick and Cat's lives in order to safeguard their secrets.
SHARON HAMILTON–Cruisin' For A SEAL. What starts out as a cruise vacation for 9 Navy SEALs and their wives, winds up a full scale Team operation, as they save the passengers from terrorists.
KAREN FENECH–Snowbound. FBI Agent Mallory Burke, injured and on the run for her life, is stranded in a snowstorm with a reclusive and secretive cop she's not sure she can trust but is falling in love with.
TONI ANDERSON–Her Last Chance. Eighteen years ago the Blade Hunter found his first victim on the streets of NYC. Now, unless FBI Agent Marshall Hayes can stop him, he's back to finish the job.
NINA BRUHNS–Barely Dangerous. Blue Wolf Cooper has a bear problem–as in, he suspects the pretty new USFS fire spotter is part of a vicious bear poaching ring he is trying to shut down. Margarethe “George” Johansen has a bare problem–as in, she keeps dreaming the sexy Fish and Game warden who's been following her around sneaks up into her isolated tower, strips her bare, and makes incredible love to her…right before he kills her.
LORI RYAN–Everlasting. Katelyn Bowden never imagined coming home would dredge up a twenty-four year old murder and put her life at risk. She also never expected the man to come to her rescue would be the one man she'd resented for years. The one man she wanted nothing to do with.
CRISTIN HARBER–Garrison's Creed. An injured CIA agent runs into the only man she can never see again–her first love, the one who “buried” her years ago.
DANA MARTON–Deathblow. Former small-town football hero turned cop, Joe Kessler never met a linebacker, perp, or a woman he couldn't handle. Then a troubled single mom walks into his life, and the only place this hot jock will ever see ‘easy' again is in the dictionary.

HEARTS IN DANGER:  

Book Description

Publication Date: June 2, 2015

FOURTEEN stories of thrilling romance to benefit the American Heart Association. These full length, Romantic Suspense stories come from NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, AND NATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHORS!
Accidental SEAL by Sharon Hamilton: Newbie Realtor Christy Nelson holds her first Open House but is given the wrong address, and finds a hot naked SEAL in the master bedroom.
Pick Your Poison by Roxanne St. Claire: Meet Benjamin Youngblood – he’s sexy, smart, spectacular and … about to lose his job for the best security firm in the world. He’s got one chance to prove himself and nothing will stop him. Not even a flower farmer.
Protective Custody by Paige Tyler: Someone is stalking reporter Paisley McCoy, and police detective Gray Beckham is the only man who can protect her. And while she might be sexy as hell, there’s no way he’s going anywhere near the captain’s daughter.
Hot Pursuit by Lynn Raye Harris: When someone starts shooting at Evie Baker, there's only one man dangerous enough to help her–the man who broke her heart ten years ago. Hostile Operations Team soldier Matt Girard uses all his considerable black ops skill to protect Evie.
SEAL's Honor by Elle James: Two Navy SEALs jeopardize their lives and hearts in a battle-torn land when they vie for the love of one sexy Night Stalker helicopter pilot.
Against The Dark by Carolyn Crane: Angel is an ex-safecracker forced into one last heist. Cole is an undercover agent with big plans for his gorgeous thief—he'll make her pose as his girlfriend to help with a dangerous mission.
Hidden Prey by Cheyenne McCray: Tori is in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnesses the execution of a Federal agent by the son of the head of the Jimenez Cartel. Special Agent Landon Walker rescues Tori and sets out to protect her, but soon protecting her isn’t enough.
Dangerous Curves by Nina Bruhns: A spec ops transporter for STORM Corps takes on drones, bad guys, and car chases on the coast of Italy—and falls for a beautiful scientist whose curves are far more dangerous than the road!
Deadly Pursuit by Misty Evans: When Londano escapes a maximum security prison and begins picking off Celina’s friends and coworkers, everyone she knows becomes a target. Including DEA agent Cooper Harris, the man who once broke her heart and is now assigned to be her bodyguard.
Protecting Caroline by Susan Stoker: Caroline helps foil a terrorist plot when she finds herself on a plane that’s hijacked (with the help of three members of a SEAL team), but after she gets home she finds herself still in the sights of the terrorists. She can only hope Wolf and his team will be able to save her in time.
One Night Stand by Parker Kincade: Amanda Martin decides to have a one-night stand. No relationship, no promises just hot, indulgent sex. What she doesn’t anticipate is meeting a handsome-as-sin stranger who gives her pleasure unlike she’s ever known. A stranger with a deadly secret.
Brody by Mandy Harbin: Brody thinks the skittish Xan is sexy as hell, but it’s not her hot body that has him rocked to his core. He knows her from somewhere, and in his line of work, that’s a dangerous thing. Following orders have never been this hard, but when he finds out she’s his next assignment, he will protect her at all costs.
Enemy Mine by Megan Mitcham: Born in the blood of Sierra Leone's Civil War, enslaved, then sold to the US as an orphan, Base Branch operative Sloan Harris is emotionally dead and driven by vengeance. With no soul to give, her body becomes the bargaining chip to infiltrate a warlord's inner circle.
Caught in the Crosshair by Barb Han: On a tropical island with a hurricane brewing and dangerous men closing in, private security firm owner Jaden Dean will need to work side-by-side with Lauren James to survive and find her brother. He will have to use all his specialized training and risk everything, including his heart, to outwit the deadly group and keep Lauren safe.

I see some serious reading in your future, don't you? Ladies, start your engines!

6

G is for GETTING GREAT

Getting great happens when we keep working. Giving. Going. Webster's uses terms like, ample, being beyond average, mighty and intense. I love intense, can't you tell? I also love fun.

A fellow traveler told me, “Do what others won't do for the next five years and live how others can't for the rest of your life.” I like this, because it's simple. We burn the midnight oil at night. We play hard, and long. We enjoy things along the road, but we play hard and we play for keeps.

I used to wonder why people, even when given the keys to the kingdom, wouldn't take the chance to push themselves just a little bit harder. And pushing myself sometimes means I have to push myself to be emotionally balanced, mature. I can fly off the handle or misread something, and all I cause is pain to myself. I cause misunderstandings when I meant none. Being an adult sometimes is a lot of work.

I used to tell agents I trained that the winning lottery tickets are right in front of you, right within your grasp. You just have to pick them up and cash them in. How funny people hesitate to do that, again showing their fear. And it is a lot of hard work, too. Cashing in those lottery tickets means not doing something else, making a little sacrifice. Sometimes it means a lot of hard work. Doing what others won't do. That's how we get great.

If you want to follow along with the A-Z Blog Challenge, drop to the bottom of this page and click on the A-Z button, and be directed to another blog at random! You never know who you'll get to meet or what awaits you!

1 5 6 7 8 9 26