I'm still halfway back in San Diego, except I'm drunk with the beautiful sight of our green hills in Northern California Wine Country. The grasses are still short, and the green is way longer than it usually is. In a month it will all be brown. I kind of enjoy that too.
Birds are out in earnest, making nests and soon I'll have little families popping up all over my porch overhangs. My garden is being weeded and worked on starting tomorrow. I'm going to be frugal this year, because other changes are in the wind. More about that at a future date.
I head off to Milwaukee to the Barbara Vey Reader Weekend, seeing lots of old friends and meeting new ones. Last year I tried the sausage over a bed of fried macaroni and cheese. I'm passing on that this time. (LOL).
But my new tat is the highlight of my spring, lovingly applied by Mike, the former SEAL who charmed me with stories about his days twice as a SEAL with a ten year hiatus between them. He became a biker and then returned to the SEALs ten years later.
He makes a pilgrimage to the Wall once a year, to visit some fallen brothers. Then he stops off in the midwest to visit a few friends he cultivated during his biker days. Some of them are in prison. But he makes that pilgrimage anyhow. A SEAL is a man who doesn't leave anyone behind, alive or passed over. He honors that commitment with solemnity.
I have little in common with such a man, except to say that I admire his service, which is still ongoing. I have a pretty much cream puff life, compared to his. I'm living the life men died to protect. It never gets old to say that, or to wipe my eye when I think of it.
As I said last month, life isn't perfect, but it's life and it's my life. I get to write the stories of my heart and visit with fans and people from all walks of life. We have far more in common than we have things that separate us.
If we just look for it. Wait for it. Embrace it.
Oh yes. Did you preorder SEALed At The Altar? You know you want to! Enjoy your Sunday, and your week. Safe travels to those who I'm going to see in Wisconsin later on!
I'm still here in San Diego, after the book signing yesterday at the Hard Rock Hotel. What a place. I didn't know what a Saturday beach party on top of deck 4 of the hotel, looked like. I do now! The crowd of 200 wore less fabric than I have currently in my hotel room closet. Drunk bodies everywhere. Had a lovely breakfast with readers yesterday, and again today with two special people over at Buster's. And OMG discovered people collect Hard Rock pins. My nemesis. Now I have to start doing this, in addition to my Disney pin collection. I'm so bad, I should be locked up.
Tonight I'm having dinner with family friends, and then tomorrow over to see Mike and get my new tat. Yes indeed!! I get a new one, to balance out the other shoulder. And catch up (I'm 8 books behind) on my frog prints on my forearm (one for every book).
Gave away some new patches, some I can't show here. Met some great bloggers and promoters and made some fun plans you guys will love coming up – including an event in Wine Country for next year (fingers crossed).
So, I came with no expectations, and walk away with pure love in my heart for all of you. I love the music here as I'm writing this. Did you know that it helps if you do music on repeat? Helps you concentrate when you hear the same thing over and over again? I love the purses I lust after but won't buy this time – maybe next. I loved the walk through the gas lamp district. The cheer groups at the Convention Center (brings back memories of Volleyball tournaments). The huge boats I'll never own, with names like Norma Jean and PayChex, from all over the world, including St. Thomas.
I recalled the day my son talked me into skydiving, and sat near the table we all sat at that one Sunday after his graduation. I showed the park where several of my couples have had sex. Had a nice long conversation with my dear best friend. I won't make it so long next time.
Oh, I need to ask, have you preordered SEALed At The Altar yet? You won't regret it. Working on finishing the chapters and adding some jewels this weekend. Getting some information from Mike tomorrow (2 X SEAL buddy).
Life is not what we make it, but what we want it to be. I love living in this imperfect world where all I have to do to get happy is to imagine it. If I jump into one of my stories, I'm there.
What could be better? What about you?
Had a magical week at Disneyland with three of my six grandchildren. It was the baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom. Waking up in a bed with a baby beside me is something I haven't done in years, so even that was magical. But the best thing about the whole vacation was the look in her eyes as she watched the brightly colored images in the Little Mermaid, and Small World rides. Later in the day, she was smiling to herself and talking, as if she was recalling all the fun.
We met friends of my daughter and son-in-law's, and relatives from his side of the family as well. We discussed the magic of romance and love stories. I laughed as I told them, “I don't mind being the drug of choice” for my readers. I think they came away with a deeper understanding of why I enjoy writing romance, and why readers need their daily dose.
I got melancholy on the way home, and once I got there, I actually felt a little lonely myself. Disneyland is for kids and their parents, for couples and for families getting together. I enjoyed seeing all the colorful shirts and ways people expressed their celebration. You'd think the world was a perfect place just by judging the smiles from all the faces I met.http://sharonhamiltonauthor.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/czV83zxRe2kS4sG04y1g.mov
I have listened to a close friend of Mr. Disney, discussing the creation of the Pirates ride, and Walt Disney's vision for what he wanted to achieve with the park in the first place. As a young father, he used to take his girls to a local park, and sometimes the horses on the carousel didn't work and the paint was chipped. That became a motto for him, I was told, a place where, “everything works and there's no chipped paint.”
But he didn't say anything about solving all the problems of the world. He just wanted to give us the experience of The Happiest Place On Earth, and for a few short hours, or days, we could forget all our other troubles. I think that's what I do as well with my romances. As I was telling my son-in-law's mother, “I write what could be, in our dreams.” I don't see any harm in doing so.
I have a good life, and not a perfect one. I have great days and very sad days, just like everyone else. Some days I regret that I won't have in reality the Happily Ever After that I find in my books. But that's all the more reason I should write them.
Because it's a gift to myself. And I deserve it.
I wish every day was a Disneyland day. But even if it's not, at least I can dream, which is the most healthy thing I can do on a day when I'm needing a little cheering up. Nothing, not even Happily Ever After, is impossible, because we make it so.
I love living in the magic of love, even if it's in my own books.
What about you?
I've loved writing SEALs ever since my first novel in 2012. At the time, my son was serving as a SEAL, and I had been very moved about his service, how he had changed from a boy to a man, and how he was committed to such a program at such a young age. Most of us don't find out life's passion until we are well into our 30's. He did a little interview with me for a mastermind group of high-powered real estate professionals, and said, “I feel so fortunate to have found something I love so early in life.” That was when he was a new “tadpole”, and single. Now, with a wife and family, of course I've seen his priorities change.
This is what inspires me about writing. We take the everyday, and we make stories about it. None of what happens in my books really happens in real life. You readers don't look for detailed accounts of perhaps things that shouldn't be written about SEALs. I write fiction, and romantic fiction at that. Everything is seen through my rose-colored glasses. My stories are about finding love, sometimes losing it too, but mostly the Happily Ever After. My SEALs are the vehicle I use to tell those stories.
So it would come to me, as I see the journey of some of these men I've met, as they age and go on to other careers, so too do my characters. And the Bone Frog Brotherhood was born. My new release tomorrow, SEAL My Love, explores my older characters as they also find true love.
Gretchen is Kate Morgan's older sister. Many of you will remember her from SEAL Of My Heart, when Kate and Tyler fall in love on an airplane from San Francisco to Portland. This was based in part on a true story. I met a young marine coming home for Christmas from Vietnam, and we made one of those connections in the stars. At the time, I was not free to accept his beautiful letters and the flowers he sent afterward. And it wasn't until years later that I got to see him again, and I apologized for having to break it off when he went back to Vietnam. I was delighted to hear that he had survived. “Yours was the face I was coming back to. It didn't matter.”
So this became part of my story. What if I had gone a different path, followed his invitation and spent a life with him? Just before I released this book, I tried to look him up, and sadly discovered that he had passed away the previous summer. Gretchen says a prayer to her father, that marine in my story, in much the same way as I have prayed to him for the safety of my then-serving son as a SEAL. He would have been proud to know I had a son who went into military service. He was the first in my immediate family to do so without being drafted during either WWII or Vietnam.
So Gretchen has had three girls, and decides to take an adventure with Kate and Tyler and a bunch of their SEAL buddies and families. And that's where she meets Trace, an older SEAL, just attached to Team 3 from an east coast team, after a messy divorce. His wife ran off with another SEAL from another east coast team. Unfortunately, I have also heard that this happens in real life. So, it goes into my story.
These two mature, slightly damaged people find a way to fall in love again like it was the first time. And I believe I do show that this love is the forever love they never had before. I hope you'll enjoy their satisfying story.
My new release in April will be the continuation of my Bone Frog Brotherhood Book 1, the novella that started with a new years wedding and one-night stand that becomes something else. More to come on that later. But here's the cover reveal below.
Thank you for following me on these Sundays with Sharon. I love to hear your comments. I thank you for your readership. We all celebrate together the miraculous healing powers of true love.
Romance readers get to do things on Sundays other people never do. They get to travel with Navy SEALs, conquering bad guys and falling in love with strong, courageous women.
They get to travel back in time with warriors of immortal and noble lineage.
They get to live in palaces with knights, kings, princesses and handsome princes.
They get to fly with vampires under the full moon.
They know about all the great spots to have a Sexy Sunday Picnic.
Flowers are brighter to romance readers. Kisses are slower and more sensual. Sex is beautiful. Talk is sometimes cheap and dirty. Sometimes it's passionate. Rain is sexy. Eating ice cream can be orgasmic.
Good wine flows at all the right times. They share sunsets with handsome heroes.
Romance readers get to turn off the news more. They turn on their devices and get transported anywhere else with a listen to an audio book. They are often seen smiling, in the middle of traffic. They sometimes don't even mind that it takes them longer to drive somewhere.
They get to fall in love every day. They discover new stories and authors all the time. They explore new worlds with heroes who have super powers.
They think reading is sexy.
What are you doing this Sunday?
I came across this little article in my Brain Pickings newsfeed (always something I look forward to reading, and it's a treat when I look up from my computer, take a break and read them). “Words mean. Words point. They are arrows. Arrows stuck in the hide of reality.” –Toni Morrison
Lately I've explored my theory of Fierce Writing now that I am, once again, up against a deadline. I love deadlines and I hate them. The Fierce Writing makes me do something I want to do and love to do, but forces me to do it, in a type of BDSM world where I wrestle with my own talent, ego and time module. I do see this life as a time module. What will I accomplish in this lifetime, this module?
In between books I have to wander, change my focus, interact with different people, and sometimes get a healthy dose of aloneness. It must be like dealing with the butterflies for an actor before they go on stage. It's deeply personal, and everyone goes about it differently. Toni Morrison's quote is important to me, although probably not in the way she envisioned it when she gave her Nobel Prize acceptance speech. I am not an activist in the common sense of things. But I am a romance writer, and that makes me an activist for love.
Like others who are activists in a minority cause, romance writers often stem the tide of criticism from the literary world, where it's not all about book sales or the money. It's almost like the whole world is twisted these days: people talk about being decent and honest to one another, but downgrade Love and Romance as valid themes or “values” in our everyday lives. I suggest more romance, more love would make the whole world a better place. Romance readers know this. But I can't tell you how many times I've had to defend that theory.
My mind is inspired as I finish these next 2 books. My hands are like sandpaper as the result of some gardening projects I'm doing. I've transplanted more than 200 seedlings in the past week, negotiated some old contracts and bills, and helped with some family issues (big families sometimes have big issues, right?). All of this has made me a better person, writer, mother, partner and friend. Can you hear me singing? I'm dawdling again, getting pumped up to a whole day of writing. The chill is in the air but my heart is burning like a furnace. The pots of water are on my wood-burning stove. The dogs are sleeping and dawn has just broken over my hill revealing all the white frost over new bright green grasses. The birds are beginning to look for nesting places and yesterday Rosa found a huge gopher (and promptly ate it, giving her a stomach ache) that was clearly over 2# in weight.
And I'm about to birth another great book for all of you. I can hardly wait to send out “there” SEAL My Love. Like every book I write, I attempt to show the healing power of true love. This is all about finding love a bit later in life, and how sweet it can be when you've gone without it for so many years. I know you'll love it.
How lucky I am!
Santa Rosa, California
Those of you who follow my newsletter know that my new series will be the Bone Frog Brotherhood.
I decided to show some older men, former SEALs, based on the audience response to my newest full-length novel, Bachelor SEAL. Men of Valor, men in action often choose careers where they can stay on the cutting edge of the action their whole lives, even after they migrate from the Teams. Talk to any sports hero, actor or industry titan just after they've retired, and you will find a little piece of their heart attached to that old personna. In these Bone Frog Brotherhood stories, I hope to explore this, and the life that comes after for these honorable men.
Aging in romance is something new to me as a writer. I know some have been doing it for many years successfully, but this begins a new foray for me. A new mission! I'm also going to explore heroines who are less than perfect.
I got the idea by polling my reader group, and several mentioned they'd love to see other types of heroines other than Barbie Dolls. In real life, many SEALs are handsome, in fact, I would say that most of them are. Physically, they are about as fit as they can be, or they wouldn't be on the teams. They do deal with injuries, and some of these are career-ending ones, which I've written about. My SEAL Zak, in the True Blue series is injured on his very first deployment, an eye injury which ends his life as an elite warrior. But his desire to serve and be part of the brotherhood doesn't diminish.
I remember hearing a conversation between two former SEALs, one older, one younger, and there was expressed emotions, and the obvious questions asked back and forth, “Do you miss it?” The age-old question really is, “What Do I Do With The Rest Of My Life?”
For those of us who are fairly mature, we don't worry about these things, except when they occur to members of our own family or close friends. We have found a meaningful way to live, express ourselves and give back by stumbling around a bit, but ultimately finding the right field of endeavor. But for a younger man, who is still vital and full of passion, perhaps he wonders if he will still have “it”. Could he still compete if all the chips were down? It's a sensitive issue for some. More for others. And some men never stop being grown up kids. They find the Boy Scout in everything they do, regardless of what their families might want or need.
Tucker and Brandy are looking forward to becoming part of your lives, and blending in with the other wonderful characters in the SEAL Brotherhood I've created. Hope you'll join me.
QUICK UPDATE FEBRUARY SIGNING:
Are you going to be in the Sacramento area on February 9th? Come see me at the Love And Fifty Author/Reader event here:
Fifty Shades of Grey #3 is coming! I'll be signing books, and you can preorder books to bring to the event for me to autograph. Preorder here: http://bit.ly/2oito5r
For event info, Go here:http://bit.ly/2CK5T0B
MARK THE DATE AND SIGN UP EARLY FOR VALLEY FORGE IN AUGUST:
??MILITARY AUTHORS & READERS??
Salute with Love Military Romance Author Event 2018
This event will be held at the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, 1601 Valley Forge Road, Phoenixville, PA 19640 (Martha Washington Building next to the Gigantic flag)
Hosted by Authors Renee Lee Fisher and Sharon Hamilton, we have the date set for August 18, 2018!! ?
Readers there are LIMITED V.I.P tickets.. get them now before there GONE!!
AUTHORS WE HAVE LIMITED TABLES AVAILABLE GET YOURS NOW!
?Intrest doc ~ https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSd1_DOBOJ7OLJj1BF…/viewform
?FB group for readers https://www.facebook.com/groups/1175125239241447/
NOTE: once you commit to purchasing you table through Eventbrite it is nonrefundable.
What a great way to visit some Early American history, while we celebrate and enjoy meeting the best military suspense authors on the planet! Don't be missing this one. It's the first time we're doing this, and the only one of its kind. See you there…