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Operation Red Wings

On June 28, 2005, Operation Red Wings was carried out, resulting in the loss of life of 19 US soldiers. Many of them were U.S. Navy SEALs.

As I have blogged before, the day is chronicled in the excellent book by Marcus Luttrell, Lone Survivor.

Marcus Luttrell (born November 7, 1975) is a former Petty Officer First Class and United States Navy SEAL. He received the Navy Cross for his actions in 2005 facing Taliban fighters during Operation Red Wings.

He has also written a new book, Service, A Navy SEAL At War, an excellent handbook for anyone who has the determination to lead, and lead under pressure.

Regardless of how you feel about political decisions and how they are made, let's not forget the people who made the ultimate sacrifice to help keep us free, and the families who shall forever mourn them. It is sobering. It is sad. But I am so very proud of them. And we should never forget them.

In addition to the giveaways below, one commenter between today and August lst will get the above iron-on patch. All the other terms of the giveaway below apply.

Yes, I want you to get my books. But I want you to read Marcus Luttrell's books, and the other books written about our fine group of men we know as the Navy SEALs. Follow SEAL of Honor on Facebook here for more information on all these men and their stories. You might find ways you can make your voice heard, ways you can give back to their family and friends, in exchange for what you have been so generously given.

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

Sharon Hamilton

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

Accidental SEAL   SEAL Encounter    all at Amazon

Accidental SEAL Book Blog Bang!

Barrage Schedule:

June 28, 2012
House Millar (Review)
Full Moon Bites (Giveaway)
Ramblings From This Chick (Giveaway)
Reading with Holly (Giveaway)
Wickedly Sexy Writers (Giveaway)
Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess (Giveaway/Review)
Bookin' It Reviews (Giveaway)

June 29, 2012
Coffee Beans & Love Scenes (Giveaway)
Sapphyria's Steamy Book Reviews (Giveaway)
Books Read ‘N' Makeup Done (Giveaway)
Redheads Review it Better (Giveaway/Review)

Come join the fun!


Those That Didn’t Make It Home

Tomorrow, June 28, is the anniversary of Operation Red Wings. We lost several SEALs in that raid, which is chronicled so well in Marcus Luttrell's great book, Lone Survivor. Luttrell is also one of the SEALs Dick Couch wrote about in his book about the SEAL training, The Warrior Elite, The Making of SEAL Class 228.

I understand that as civilians, we might not fully grasp or understand, let alone believe, what a man has to do to graduate from BUD/S training. And I've been told the TV documentaries and these books don't show everything, maybe perhaps half of what kinds of endurance is required to graduate. They say the failure rate is 70%-76%, but that only accounts for people who wash out and then are re-admitted, or are rolled back until they heal their injuries. Yes. They break bones. They get Mono. They get shin splints.

They are tested.

Some men don't make it, don't make it through the training. No shame in that. Anyone who would even try is a hero in my book.

But also some don't come back. I've included some pictures of brave young men who did not come back. People you should know about. Good people with lives, parents, grandparents, children, friends and buddies. And while every loss of life in war is a tragedy, we honor those who serve to protect and defend, without questioning the orders given. It does take a special person to do that. They act outside of politics. They complete the mission they are given.

In writing Fallen SEAL Legacy, the second book in my SEAL series, I've had to spend quite a bit of time there, thinking about the ones who didn't come home, because that is the premise of my book. Due to a Fallen, the hero, Navy SEAL Calvin Cooper, and heroine Libby Brownlee, get together in a way that heals them both.

Some days I feel totally ridiculous making romance out of such courage and sacrifice. Feel almost guilty I get to work the rich dark soil and fresh green produce in my vegetable garden. Get to cut the fragrant roses and lilies this time of year. Dead-head the Sweet William and daisies. My ordinary life seems just that: ordinary.

But that's what the stuff of life is all about. Beauty of life and death. Frail exquisite beauty of everything around us, no matter where we live, no matter what our mission. And the mission I was given: bring these and other stories to light. Give a reader a few hours of pleasure, a few hours of fantasy.

Because that's what these brave young men would want.

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

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

Oh The Places You Will Go

It never ceases to amaze me how many worlds we can go to when we read a good book. I have to stop myself when I begin a new story, make sure I have my “reader” hat on, not my “writer” hat. Since becoming a full time writer, it's difficult to read for pleasure. I find little things that bug me, and sometimes it takes me out of a good story.

And I find this with both NYC published as well as Indie published books. Ebooks as well as print books.

So, I have to remind myself, reading is enjoyment. And when I can do this, it works. I like to go where the author wants me to go, not where I necessarily want to. I want to see if she/he will bring me along without breaking the thread of my interest.
I have certain books I've analyzed and highlighted up, chopped and put into spiral books. Some because they are perfect, some because they make some classic mistakes I want to remember NOT to do.
I'm also a very slow reader, so it plays fits with me when I edit. Takes forever. The writing happens fast and fluid, but the editing, it is the bane of my existence, in some cases. So I need to read more. Feel the pulse of the books more. Lightly travel over the plot and the characters rather than hang on every word. Except for the good parts, of course. Just like I hope readers find in my books.
My early fascination with paranormal (and I still love them) was mostly due to the world building. All the characters with their special powers and super body parts. Ahem. Searing hot kisses and nights of lovemaking that can make us weak at the knees. Well, it worked for me, anyway.
But lately, I've been attracted to the military romances, since the release last week of Accidental SEAL and SEAL Encounter. The world building continues, but in a more interior way. Psychological world building into the hearts and minds of these real-life heroes, that I fictionalize. Let me be clear, these guys ARE fiction, pure fiction. But in romance we like to take them over the top and make them almost super human. And then let them play in the real world with ordinary bad guys and the women who come across their path. I love that.
Either way, paranormal or contemporary, I'm all in for the ride. I love to read. I love to write. I want to be taken away to a fantasy land that I've never seen before.
What about you? What kinds of places do you go in your favorite books? I guess the better question is, do you ever come back?
4TH of JULY CONTEST: LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS BLOG POST IN JULY AND BE ENTERED TO WIN A NEW KINDLE FIRE ON AUGUST 1ST. You can also get 3 extra points for leaving a review on either/or Goodreads or Amazon or any other review site, and send me the link to that review. You can get 2 extra points for following this blog.
Happy reading. Happy commenting. Happy reviewing.
Sharon Hamilton

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

Author Interview at Self Publish or Die

I'm being interviewed at Self Publish Or Die today. Come on over and join the fun!


Also, SEAL Encounter has been extended as a freebie through the weekend. Let me know what you think of this short, which leads to the full length novel, Accidental SEAL.

Today is wedding day for my son. I will be off the computer most of the day, but have a great weekend all. The grandkids gave me a doozie of a cold, so pray I get some relief today.

Now back to bed…


Accidental SEAL is out now!

So excited that yesterday Accidental SEAL was up on Amazon. It was my wedding anniversary, my daughter's birthday, I picked up my youngest at the airport for my other son's wedding on Saturday, and my first in the SEAL series went live. Life just doesn't get better than that.

Starting today, and for the next 3 days, SEAL Encounter will be free on Amazon. It chronicles the two primary characters in Accidental SEAL, but comes just short of actually letting them meet. To do that, you have to buy the full length book. Have I hooked you yet?

About Accidental SEAL:
Christy Nelson embarks on her new career in Real Estate by
holding her first open house. Entering the wrong house, by accident, she finds the nude sleeping body of a young man.
Navy SEAL Kyle Lansdowne, on a mission to find his AWOL Team
buddy, is staying at his buddy’s home while investigating the disappearance.  When someone breaks in, he takes
protective measures. He doesn’t expect to find that a beautiful young woman is
responsible for his teammate’s abduction.
What starts out as a meeting by accident becomes a hot
affair neither one is ready for. Kyle is conflicted about getting Christy
involved in his mission, but his hand is forced when he learns the same San
Diego gang responsible for his teammate’s abduction has kidnapped her.
Battling a cadre of dirty law enforcements hell-bent on
getting military equipment, especially state-of-the-art firepower, Kyle is
forced to admit that he would be willing to die to protect her.

Excerpt, Accidental SEAL:

Chapter 1 

Christy Nelson worked to keep her
breakfast down when Wayne Sommerville came lurking around her cubicle. He’d
pestered her every day since she’d been introduced as the newest agent at the
Patterson Realty sales meeting three days ago. His soft, flabby torso was
repulsive, and those distinctive hair plugs, installed at an angle on Wayne’s
shiny salmon-colored forehead, were distracting. Her gaze followed rows of
black dots receding into his dyed-black hair. A life-sized version of Mr.
King’s Chuckie.
Wayne winked at her again, and her blood
turned to ice.
His horse teeth and foul breath could
raise the dead. He’d made it clear he wanted to mentor her, but she suspected
he had more in mind than real estate contracts and short sales. He was
persistent, though. She’d give him that.
He draped his bulky frame against the
back of her chair. She wanted to duck for cover. The eerie need to protect her
neck put her radar on high alert as she visualized violence and fangs.
“I’ve coached quite a few of the new
agents over the years.” Wayne’s look lasted too long—hungry and inappropriate.
Christy didn’t trust one single hair plug.
“Well,” she said, resisting the urge to
escape, “I do need a good open house.
why did I say that?
“I’ve got the perfect one! Great little
short sale.” Wayne launched into his routine, oblivious to the fact she’d
become dizzy from the smell of the garlic fries he’d apparently had for lunch.
“The house is a little rough around the edges, but in a super neighborhood. The
sellers are about to lose it.” He threw her a mock frown. She could see him
singing a hymn, asking for money on TV.
a second career.
“No sign on the lawn yet and it’s not
even on the computer,” he continued. “You can snatch all those buyers for
yourself.” He leaned in and whispered like it was a national secret. “And I
could help you with the paperwork. You know, show you how it’s done.”
alert. If he touches me, he’ll get a knee to his groin.
She swung her chair to angle for quick
He stepped back just in time. She
exhaled, grateful for the distance.
“Doing short sales is a real art,” he
added with a frown, stiffening. His shiny suit fit like one of those
unfortunate animals in a teddy bear factory, stuffed into its fur. The silver
glint of the fabric reminded her of fish scales.
Run, Christy, run. You could be the one who
got away…
She had never in her life paid a favor
with sex and wasn’t about to start. She would hold his new listing open, but
only if she could do it without owing him.
Besides, she had to do something to drum
up business. Her move to San Diego marked the beginning of her new professional
career as a Realtor. Being the top salesperson at Madame M’s lingerie boutique
on Maiden Lane in San Francisco had only barely paid the bills. She’d loved
Madame and had thrived as a sales clerk, but had recognized the time for a real
career and had trained in Real Estate, then moved to San Diego after her mother
had passed on and left her condo to Christy.
Though she’d been was comfortable selling
to the rich and powerful of the City by the Bay, Wayne, even if he was half the
success he claimed he was, made her nervous.
is a very bad idea. Just say no.
“Fine.” It sounded like it came from the
cubicle next to her.
But then she spotted Wayne’s dimples and
My. God. I’ve just said yes.
Christy’s red Honda looked like a wet
cherry lollipop, shined and polished to perfection. Cute and shiny on the
outside, but hot and sweltering on the inside. Sitting in the cramped front
seat, she stopped and squinted to make out house numbers, comparing them to the
address Wayne had minutely scribbled on the back of his business card. Then she
found it.
The house appeared nicer than he’d
described. The advertised price, he said, was the lowest in the neighborhood,
going back ten years. Hopefully she’d pick up a young couple out looking for
their first home, complete with good credit and a wad of cash from Mommy and
Daddy. Wouldn’t it be great to make a sale on her very first day on the job?
She parked in the driveway, popped the
trunk, and brought out three sandwich signs with the Patterson Realty logo, on
loan from Wayne. He was out with his family today. She hoped the Somervilles
didn’t stop by since she’d feel uncomfortable looking into the eyes of Wayne’s
wife, a woman he probably cheated on and would again, if he got the chance. One
of Christy’s other rules: no married men. She wasn’t about to change that,
A perfumed late spring breeze blew softly
against her face and neck, sending a thrill up her spine. The air ripened with
possibility. This was her favorite time of year.
The walkway looked freshly swept. After
placing one sign in the front yard, she stacked the other two beside the front
door and inserted Wayne’s key. While the lock accepted the new shiny silver
metal, the tumblers stayed in place, frozen.
to go Wayne. Waste my time and give me the wrong key!
Irritation bubbled, ruining her cheerful,
spring-induced mood. She yanked on the front handle and pushed against it out
of frustration. It opened.
“Anybody home?” Her voice wavered like
that of a small child. She waited. No answer.
Christy stepped inside, onto a striped
cotton rug lying cockeyed behind the front door. The smell of fried food hit
her. She walked across the wooden floor of the living room, her stilettos
clacking. She cracked open a window. Air scented by fresh blossoms poured in,
diluting the smells of ordinary life. She grabbed the newspaper tossed on top
of an ottoman and folded the crinkling pages under her arm, aiming for the
kitchen to find a trashcan. She passed the dining room table, which was strewn
with a map of the area, a couple of felt-tipped pens, and a letter-sized yellow
lined tablet. She collected these items as well and made her way to the
Christy threw the tablet and newspaper
onto the tiled countertop and placed her hands on her hips to assess the scene
before her. She squinted at several days’ worth of dishes piled high in the
sink. Next to it, a large stainless steel bowl sat encrusted with dark green
and purple leaves at the bottom, evidence of a salad—several days old.
Maybe Wayne had neglected to tell the
sellers about the open house. She decided it was entirely possible. “How can
you expect to sell a house this way?” she muttered, then sighed and removed her
jacket, slinging it over the back of a clean-looking kitchen chair. She decided
to take a tour of the place, checking for other things to clean or straighten
before she’d be ready to hold it open.
But this house was such a mess, an uneasy
darkness chilled her. She tiptoed down the carpeted hallway, feeling like an
intruder, past empty rooms, to a closed door at the end.
the master bedroom.
Something about the whole scene was
strange. These people left without cleaning up dinner from several days before,
in a hurry. She’d been told short sale houses rarely showed pride of ownership,
but this felt absolutely creepy, like she’d stepped on someone’s grave. The
hair at the back of her neck bristled as she gripped the doorknob. She lightly
tapped with her other hand, and then opened the door.
A naked body lay on the bed.
Hesitant to look at first, she pushed
through her fear. She saw movement.
Tanned skin, a muscular male chest that rose and fell. Earphones were wired to
a phone balanced on his open palm. The man was very much alive, and healthy.
Her eyes drifted further down to a dusting of dark brown hair that led to an
impossible-to-miss erection. His penis stood at attention, like a deep
rose-colored light standard under a matching fireman’s hat of deeper pink.
Blood pumped to her ears, making them
ring, as her heart raced. A wave of anger coursed over her at the realization
she had been the victim of a very sick joke perpetrated by Wayne and one of his
disgusting friends.
Christy silently closed the door and
tiptoed back down the carpeted hallway, her three-inch heels wobbling on the
thick, padded surface. Her knees knocked against each other as she picked up
speed, her anger building. She grabbed her jacket, keys, and purse, and crossed
the living room, headed toward the front door. She was almost free.
Christy wouldn’t give the prankster the
satisfaction of knowing she had even seen him. She wanted to stomp her foot and
kick something through the window. This was Wayne’s doing.
sonofabitch and his lopsided plugs will pay for this.
She pulled the door handle and was
rewarded by the smells of a warm spring day bleeding through the inch-wide
crack she’d created. An enormous hand and forearm came from behind her and
slammed the door shut. She saw a familiar blue-green tattoo of some animal
tracks on his muscled forearm just before his other hand gripped her mouth.
Callused fingers pinched the sides of her cheeks. The grip hurt.
Purchase Accidental SEAL full length novel.
Purchase SEAL Encounter short.
 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  and SEAL Encounter available through Amazon

Accidental SEAL is almost here!

This week I'll be releasing my new short story, SEAL Encounter. I'll be offering it for free at Amazon for 5 days.

It is not a complete story, but a tease, a small taste of the two characters in Accidental SEAL, which is the full length novel also coming out this week.

If you like the short, I'm hoping you'll go over and purchase the novel, Accidental SEAL. Although Kyle and Christy get close, they don't quite connect in SEAL Encounter. But O.M.G. do they in Accidental SEAL. I can't wait for you to read it.

So, I'm hardly able to sleep. Still a few posts I have to get done. Family is coming in for my son's wedding, and I'm reviewing the final edits to make sure everything is up to the standards all of you have expected of me.

This will be book 1 of what I hope will be a long and luscious series about these great warriors, and the women who are lucky enough to be loved by them.

Stay tuned!!!

About Accidental SEAL:

Christy Nelson embarks on her new career in Real Estate by
holding her first open house. Entering the wrong house, by accident, she finds the nude sleeping body of a young man.
Navy SEAL Kyle Lansdowne, on a mission to find his AWOL Team
buddy, is staying at his buddy’s home while investigating the disappearance.  When someone breaks in, he takes
protective measures. He doesn’t expect to find that a beautiful young woman is
responsible for his teammate’s abduction.
What starts out as a meeting by accident becomes a hot
affair neither one is ready for. Kyle is conflicted about getting Christy
involved in his mission, but his hand is forced when he learns the same San
Diego gang responsible for his teammate’s abduction has kidnapped her.

a cadre of dirty law enforcements hell-bent on getting military equipment,
especially state-of-the-art firepower, Kyle is forced to admit that he would
die to protect her.

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 and SEAL Encounter now out on Amazon

Always A Marine: Meet Author Heather Long

My pleasure today to introduce you to Heather Long. Please note giveaway opportunities at the end of this post.
Author Interview:

1. How did you get started writing Military Romance?

was actually rather organic with a side of normal.  A friend of mine suggested that I had a great voice for the
1Night Stand line from Decadent. She encouraged me to write a story for it and
after a little bit of research (and reading more than a few of the awesome
books in the 1NS line), I decided to go for it. I’d always wanted to write a
military hero and that seemed to be the perfect marriage of testing whether I
could write a short and writing the kind of hero I’d always wanted to. I sat
down over the Friday, Saturday, Sunday weekend of Thanksgiving and Luke Dexter
and then men of his unit were born.
What makes a military hero special? Different from other alpha male heroes?
Alpha heroes are driven by circumstance or through events, but military heroes
actually just step up. They are the average guy, the high school jock, the
nerd, or the outsider who doesn’t fit into the social pack. These guys
volunteer, they enlist, and they commit years
of their life to serving their country. No matter what their differences
outside of that service, they become brothers (or sisters), and they walk into
some of the most dangerous situations in the world without regard for their own
safety because they are defending their country or their way of life.
Do you base any of the characters in your books on real people you know/have
Fortunately, I’ve met a number of brave and courageous individuals that allow
me an insight into that world.

4. Do you write other genres? Or want to? Or have in the past? (Optional
question – don't answer if you don't want to…)
write in multiple genres including paranormal western romance (think paranormal
cowboys in 1850 Texas), romantic suspense, erotic romance, and paranormal
erotic romance.
What new book are you working on now? In this series? New series?
I am working on a novel that will follow-up Retreat Hell! She Just Got
Here.  I wasn’t done with the
characters of Jazz, Logan, and Zach. Fortunately, my editor liked my proposal
so hopefully we’ll be chatting about that soon.

6. What kind of research do you do for your books? Have you read non-fiction
military history?
talk to experts in their fields whether its munitions, investigators, or active
military to make sure I get the details right. I’ve watched numerous
documentaries, read non-fiction military history in order to give myself all
the facts and then I build my story from there.
What percentage of your readers are now or have been in the military?
have no idea. Honestly. I know I’ve heard from both active and former as well
as the families of those who serve and they have been wonderfully encouraging.
What do you feel is the future of Military Romance?
think it’s only going to grow. We live in an era where we’ve been at war for
more than a decade overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq. We have an entire
generation of children growing up with parents who are serving their country
and military families who are serving by supporting their military family
members. Unlike Vietnam, the public recognizes that our soldiers, Marines,
airmen, and sailors need our support both abroad and at home.  Thankfully, we are supporting them and
if even one person develops a deeper respect or understanding for what our
Armed Forces go through by reading my books, I’ll be deeply proud to have been
able to contribute.

Title: Once Her Man,
Always Her Man (Always a Marine, Book 1)

Author: Heather Long
Publisher: Decadent Publishing (1NS)
Length: 11,000 words
Genre(s): Contemporary Erotic Military Romance
Publishing | ARe
| Amazon
| BookStrand
on Goodreads:
Fulfilling a favor and executing
a business plan, Luke Dexter arrived at Dallas’ Sybarite Club for a one-night
stand. He never imagined that in the darkened club with bluesy strains of jazz
playing he’d come face to face with the woman he left behind a decade earlier.
Rebecca Rainier fell in love with
Luke Dexter in high school and was crushed when he dumped her to join the
Marines after 9/11. Now, waiting for a date her best friend and business
partner set up, she’s unprepared when Luke walks in.
Can Luke and Rebecca
bridge the pain of a decade long abandonment in one cold Texas night? 
Luke’s chest hurt, but he braced
himself against it. Shock wrinkled the line between her brows, the emotion far
more brutal to him than a firefight in Kandahar or Kabul. She didn’t turn to
look at him. But her reflection in the mirror didn’t soften. The familiar,
flirtatious smile fled from the cool, firm line of her lips. Color drained from
the face of the woman who shifted on the bar stool. Movement to his right
caught his attention. A man approached, intent on her, but meeting Luke’s iron
expression, the would-be interloper diverted to another table.
Satisfied, his attention returned
to the girl—no, the woman—gazing at him, pain etching the softness of her lips.
The memory of her lips got him through Paris Island. He’d thought about them,
about her smile, every single, damn day.
“Hello, Luke.” Her voice poured
over him like warm honey.
Life doesn’t always offer second chances….
“May I join you?” He nodded to
the stool next to her.
“It’s a free country.” And just
like that, she turned her back and the warm honey chilled, hardening over his
“Thank you, ma’am.” He tacked the
ma’am on as an afterthought. But the steel wrapped in her velvety voice jabbed
his kidneys. Perching on the edge of the stool, he motioned to the bartender.
“Two more of whatever the lady is having.”
She watched him from the mirror.
Hungriness reflected in the gold flecked, tawny brown eyes, a perfect contrast
to the tight jaw and stiff fingers wrapped around her wine glass. She tossed
back a third of a glass like a shot of vodka.
A shot of vodka sounded like a
great idea. But he needed his wits about him. IEDs laced the battlefield in
front of him and patience and procedure and about eighty-five pounds of
protective gear weren’t handy. But the trick to survival was to examine what
was right in front of him and to react to it. He could do that in the field, he
could do that with her. It was what he did best.
After the bartender served the
drinks and took his credit card, Luke sat sideways, intentionally brushing his
leg against hers. She didn’t recoil—exactly—but did shift away after a few
Definitely treading in dangerous waters.
About the
Heather Long lives in
Texas with her family and their menagerie of animals. As a child, Heather
skipped picture books and enjoyed the Harlequin romance novels by Penny Jordan
and Nora Roberts that her grandmother read to her. Heather believes that
laughter is as important to life as breathing and that the Easter Bunny, the
Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are very real. In the meanwhile, she is hard at
work on her next novel.


Please post your comment here to be entered in the drawing for free books.

For more chances to win, please follow the CBLS Blog Hop here.

Thanks, Heather, for joining us today. Good luck, readers, with the contest and giveaways!

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 June 23! 

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?


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.


Y is for You’ll Know When You Get There

Welcome back to almost the end of the A-Z Blog Challenge. My theme has been the Letters of Gratitude.

Like I mentioned in yesterday's post, I'm in San Diego, taking a class for my Real Estate business. It is 3 intense days from 7:30-7:30 at night. I am exhausted. Not been on the computer much (well, I guess I can do that afterall), and trying to cram all the numbers and ideas into my head. Honestly, I can't think straight.

So, in order to lighten up my day, I'm posting the top ten reasons YOU'LL KNOW WHEN YOU GET THERE.

*****Idiot Alert*****This post has no redeeming value*****

10.  One of the several characters in your head said you'd arrived.
9.    No one else is anywhere around you.
8.    You now know being lost is normal. Being found is close to going to jail.
7.    Your computer keys are worn out and they smell like salmon.
6.    The review you got for your last book made you blush, and then you realized it was written by your father.
5.    You find yourself staring at kissing couples.
4.    You talk to books in the library.
3.    The books talk back.
2.    You're starting to think the garbage men uniforms are sexy.

And the number one reason you'll know when you get there is:

1.    Your dog whispers in your ear, “I always knew you were crazy.”

Humor. Friends. New Words. Good Books. Jimmy Thomas. Great stories. For all these things, I'm grateful!


X is for Xanthoma

The definition of xanthoma, the meaning of the word Xanthoma:  n. – A skin problem marked by the development (on the eyelids and neck and back) of irregular yellow nodules; sometimes attributable to disturbances of cholesterol

Why Xanthoma, you ask? Hear me out a bit.
I'm in San Diego, attending a class. I've been on a special food plan now for about a year, off and on. I'm told often I'm too willful for the program. I don't disagree, but there's been lots on my plate: both good and bad. And that has had nothing to do with eating…
This is the first time I've gone somewhere for 4 days and PACKED ALL MY FOOD. In fact, I checked most of it in my luggage this time. 
Not. A. Good. Idea. 
Perhaps now you are beginning to get the connection with the development of irregular yellow nodules on the skin. Disturbances of cholesterol, they say.
I had packed salmon, chicken, tri tip, cooked brown rice, apples, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, cottage cheese, yogurt and apples. Along with a container of cut pineapple, my oatmeal and flax seed. My menu for 4 days was all beautifully scripted and entered in my food journal. 
Just from looking at the picture above, you can 
imagine what I found when I unzipped the bag. Firstly, the pineapple and rice containers exploded. Thank goodness I had packed everything in an XXL storage bag with the zip-lock top. 
The salmon and chicken? Indistinguishable. The soggy deli boxes are outside my motel room door, along with the remnants of the XXL bag.
And my clothes smell like salmon-cum-pineapple. I've washed my hands 2 times, and I still smell like salmon.
The strawberries I brought I had to hand carry on the plane. But they leaked too. 
So, to tie all this in, I'm thinking I might break out in something that resembles Xanthoma when I wear my clothes tomorrow. 
 Ah! Another adventure to write about. All this from the girl who mailed raspberry ripple ice cream to a friend in college. It was still frozen when I took it to the post office. She'll never forgive me.

W is for Wedding Disasters

Wedding disasters interest me. Don't ask me why. In my romance novelist world of the happily ever after, I guess I just have this sick sense of humor for things that go horribly wrong.

In this case, my post will be short, because the attached Press Democrat article says it all. In the end, it wasn't really a disaster, and I'm happy to report the couple is still married, which is saying something, considering the stats.

One of my critique partners, Robin Moore, shared a YouTube video of her daughter's wedding. It went viral after they posted it, and, unfortunately, is now blocked. It came in second place in a contest, entered by some guy from Africa whom they never met. It was played on the Ellen DeGeneres show. I had it posted on my blog at the side, so I could come back and have a laugh on a day when I sorely needed it. But hey, I understand their need for privacy, and I would feel the same.

Enjoy this article on their wedding disaster. What you cannot see is a huge wave completely overtaking the bride in all her white finery, the rainy day that almost blew all their tents over, and the love that warmed everyone's hearts that day. Needless to say, this photo was taken a few seconds before the big wave. Sort of like God's blessing to them, right?

 I happen to think it was a perfect day.

Couple's Sonoma County beach wedding becomes YouTube sensation

Published: Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 2:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 2:38 p.m.
A couple’s Sonoma County beach wedding video is fast becoming a YouTube sensation, one of those everything-went-wrong, but-it-turned-out-all-right weekends capped by the bride and groom being knocked over by a rogue wave.

Bryan Solari and Kathy Moore.
The video has “gone viral,” with an estimated 500,000 hits from pirated versions on the Internet.
Jay Leno played it on The Tonight Show on Wednesday, and The Weather Channel has too. A Japanese TV show also interviewed the wedding couple, Kathy Moore and Bryan Solari, both former Sonoma County residents who live in Sacramento.
Moore, Cloverdale’s 2002 Citrus Fair Queen, is a speech and language pathologist at a Sacramento elementary school. Solari, a former Rohnert Park resident and Cardinal Newman grad, is working toward his master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Sacramento State University.
They met eight years ago in a weight training class at Santa Rosa Junior College.
The Oct. 23, 2010 wedding at School House Beach, north of Bodega Bay, seemed doomed from the start, with near torrential rain and steady 35 mph winds threatening to blow down the tents.

Forget the leaky tent dripping on the bare shoulder of the bride during the ceremony, or that the groom locked the keys in the RV — while it was running.
And the wedding party even survived the arrival of the fire department and paramedics after a guest hit her head while cleaning up.
Just when it seemed like nothing else could go wrong, the newlyweds returned to the beach — skies now sunny and clear — two days later.
The idea was to have their first dance and pose for photos on the beach. Kathy’s parents, Kevin and Robin Moore of Cloverdale, were there. Mom was shooting the video.
As the camera rolled, the couple, their backs to the ocean, had one more big surprise.
A freak wave rushes in, toppling Moore in her white wedding dress into the water, along with Solari.
“Our plan was to stand near the water. My dress was already sort of damp,” Moore explained Thursday.
The intent had been to capture some flecks of ocean foam in the picture. They had been watching the waves break at what seemed a safe distance.
“It was a one in a hundred wave that comes in and takes off. It really surprised us,” she said.
Solari said he felt the oncoming water hit the back of his feet and thought “crap, this thing’s huge,” as it bowled them over.
“All I could think was “I’ve got to keep Kathy’s head above the water.’”
While it was a humorous moment, the newlyweds also are aware that sleeper waves on the Sonoma Coast have drowned unsuspecting beachgoers.
But fortune smiled on the couple. “It didn’t pull us out at all,” she said.
The dunking ruined Solari’s phone and wrenched off his oversized, new wedding ring. But their crazy luck changed again when they spotted the glint of the gold band in the wet sand.
The 6½-minute wedding highlight video captures many of the setbacks, which the good-natured pair took with a lot of laughs.
The images have the perfect accompanying soundtrack with Dinah Washington singing “(I’m going to love you, like nobody’s loved you,) Come Rain or Come Shine.”
The back-story to the video involves its worldwide distribution. The couple put it on YouTube around Valentine’s Day, basically for relatives and wedding guests to see.
But someone, apparently in Africa, uploaded the wave deluge and sent it to The Weather Channel to enter into a video contest of wild weather moments.
Solari said he spent countless hours this week tracking and trying to remove some of the unauthorized uploads of the video to various parts of the Internet, including strangely enough, its link to adult websites.
Though they’ve gotten some modest offers to sell the video rights to comedy shows, they aren’t really interested.
“Our original intent was to share with friends and family and not make any money on it,” Solari said.
The video remains a testament to when all the things go wrong for two people who actually consider themselves quite lucky.
“There’s nothing you can do to change the weather. So much of it was totally out of our control. We had to laugh about it and look at it like the glass half-full,” said Moore. “I’m glad we got our extreme beach wedding and I’m happy to be married.”

V is for Violas

I love violas. They are cheerful, easy to grow, and make me look like I know what I'm doing as a gardener. They are perfect for filling in a potted grouping – they just grow where there's space and fill in the gaps other plants create. They are like the connectors in the flower container world, like Alyssum, another favorite of mine.

There are many beautiful varieties now. I usually grab them all. Last year I found some that were nearly black in color. Can't find them this year.

Even with all the rain we've had in April, these showy blooms brighten my spirit and tell me there are warm summer days ahead. And that's when they disappear!

I want color year-round, so I'm grateful these guys bloom their hearts out early, as the warm-up act to the showy zinnias, day lillies, roses, snapdragons and sweet williams that bloom for me in the summer.

So, from my garden to yours, have a wonderful April day.


Understanding Balance

I was going to originally title this post: Understanding winning and losing. But that has the wrong connotation, because if someone “wins” that brings to mind someone else “losing.” And isn't life a tapestry of both? And many would say you learn more from your losses than from your wins.

That doesn't mean we should strive to lose, but I once had a great business coach who told me that if you want to succeed, you had to fail faster. I believe it was Earl Nightingale who said, “The degree of success you have is directly related to the difficulty of the questions you ask yourself.” 
Looking at the balance of life lessons as a tapestry, and admitting where we were wrong is a huge part of making the adjustments we need to make to have a fulfilled life.
I spend 1/2 hour every morning in quiet time, and I ask my higher power for guidance. I thank him for my yesterday and pray that today will be a good day for me. I list my gratitudes and ask for strength for my failings. “Bring kindness, peace and light into my soul,” is usually what I end my prayer with. And then I try to remember this during the day. Especially when I fail.
Old patterns die hard. Easy to blame someone else when we caused the “failure.” Sometimes we just had to learn the lesson, like getting burned on the stove when we were little. Like a plant that is grown in a hothouse and then set out in the mid day sun. It will wither, because it hasn't been tested, honed and strengthened by the cold or harsh elements of mother nature. If we were totally protected, or protected our children so that difficulties never came into proximity, we'd be like that withered plant. Not only would we be no use to ourselves, but to the ones we love as well.
I still love the quote: We over estimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a year. Patience. Content with what I do have, not focused on what I don't have. Progress not perfection. Working hard so that when it is my turn, I am fully ready. Making good choices.
I'm grateful that I get to live in a place where I have the opportunity to even think about these things and have so many choices. Millions of people in this world would love to switch places with me. I'm not going to waste this gift.

T is for Tomales

Tomales, California is a great little coastal town, about 50 miles north of San Francisco, in Marin County. We used to take long drives through the countryside when my husband and I were first married, so I've driven these winding roads through forests, grasslands and over craggy outcroppings with stunning ocean views many times over the years.

It's been over 30 years since I started the trip this way. Though I've been a Sonoma County resident for almost 42 years, I've been doing it backwards, not from South to North. Saturday it was like driving on them for the very first time. A different perspective.

Took my breath away.

Before children, a group of us young marrieds would gather together at Marshall or Nick's Cove, and eat oysters (and yes, drink a little bit of vino) until we could barely walk. You could spend $20 on food and drink and not break the bank. Saturday's lunch, for instance, without all the extras, came to just under $100. The cottages they rent are spectacular, and would not have been available to us starving students, but are on my TBD list for later in the year. Things have indeed changed.

But not the stunning scenery, or the beautiful little town.

I grew up in Silicon Valley when Los Altos was dusted with apricot orchards. Moving to Sonoma County felt like stepping back in time about 50 years. I've read stories about Jack London haunting these places, and how he used to steal oysters by moonlight. Robert Louis Stevenson and his new bride honeymooned in parts of the Valley of the Moon. Even Sir Richard Burton made a trek through these parts in 1860, the year before he returned to England to marry Isobel, in his search for the spirit of the west. Among other places, he visited Brigham Young in Salt Lake City and his 17 wives.

The remnants of bawdy roadhouses are now upscale motels and bakery/espresso cafes, perfect for a long meandering afternoon of caffeine, conversation and reading.

I'm a great fan of just getting in the car and getting lost some place. Discovering something new. In this case, re-discovering why it is I live in Northern California, and why it feeds my writer's soul.


S: The Sexiest Man in Print

This is a reprint of a blog I did back in 2010. It was an interview with Jimmy Thomas, cover model, actor, martial arts practitioner and all round great marketing guru. No matter how you slice it, Jimmy Thomas is probably one of the sexiest cover models out there. And the most prolific. I think he's over 2000 covers now, and counting.
And although some people take pot shots at him right and left, I can't help but admire his business accumen and the relentless hard work that has gone into building his career. I don't know anyone else who works so hard at doing what he does.
So, Mr. Jimmy Thomas – you are the Sexiest Man in my book, today. You make my stories sell. I would consider buying any book with you on the cover. I've had friends that think you can't have the same model on every book, and I don't care. I really don't. I like him there. He's on my blog. He's on every cover I have, but one. And guess what – that one doesn't sell 1/10 as many books as the others. I have your autographed calendar, and I love looking at your pictures.
So here's the interview he gave me two years ago. Some of his stats have changed in this period of time since. But not the man. The person behind the picture is still the same. That's why we love him:
Something Tasty This Way Comes: Jimmy
Thomas Interview
This is
a reprint of a guest post I did last November 2010 used with permission. I
interviewed romance novel model Jimmy Thomas, who has graced over 1000 book
covers, on his way to obliterating the competition. He is not only a model, but
is a personal trainer, an actor, and has studied extensively and competed in
several martial arts disciplines.
I wanted
to present a different glimpse of the man, his passions, and some funny stories
about his photo shoots.
What do you look for in a woman?
JT: Confidence, sincerity, non-jealous, respect, beauty. I want
someone who takes care of herself internally (eats healthy) and externally
(exercise or is active in something physical), who is passionate, someone who
loves animals and children. I love women who are fun, adventurous, spontaneous,
easy going, down to earth, a bit tomboyish. Prefer a Cancer, Scorpio or a
Virgo… my most compatible zodiac signs
you consider dating an older woman?
JT: About 50% of the women I date are older than me
What would be your max age difference?
JT: It’s not about age, it’s about maturity, how well they take care
of themselves, how we get along, if we have great conversations, etc.
What would a date with you involve?
JT: Depends on the date, could be dinner and a movie, a day at a
theme park, hiking, camping, a picnic, or cuddling up to a movie rental and a
bottle of wine.
What type of covers/photo shoots do you enjoy doing most?
JT: Sensual and Erotica. They have the most passion in them. 
I’m VERY passionate and love it when a woman expresses her passion in the
physical form and facial expressiveness.
do you like to read and why?
JT: My emails, lol.  I read only one book throughout high
school (Old Man And The Sea), just to see if I could finish. I read Jurassic
Park before the movie came out–was hounded over and over again by a friend that
I read it. I thought it was GREAT.  I’ve never had the patience for reading
though. I’d much prefer watching a movie made from the book instead.  I
read books when I’m on a plane. I’m so busy now with my career, I don’t have
leisure time to pick up a book and start reading it cover to cover. I
nibble on them.
What are your favorite movies, TV shows, types of music, etc?
JT: Action adventure, sci-fi blockbuster thriller movies!  For
TV… House, Chuck, Two And A Half Men and True Blood. I DVR and watch them when
I can. For music, anything upbeat, full of energy, high/fast-paced, dance-type
music. Music like that motivates and energizes me.
What’s the most erotic cover you’ve ever done?
JT: MANY!  Sexathon,
Whenever We Meet, Simmering Seductions, A Christmas Interlude,
Afterlife, many, many more!
Were you ever embarrassed about taking your clothes off, or
nearly naked?
JT: During a photo shoot? 
Embarrassed no, shy? Yes.
Sexiest song?
JT: Chris Isaac’s “Wicked Game”
How did you get started?
JT: My sister did a few photo shoots that came out great and she
suggested I should as well. I thought “Hmmm???… Nah!” My ex-girlfriend taught
Taekwondo and cardio kickboxing classes and we ran into each other. I was
heavy into weight-lifting, mentioned that I wanted to lean-up but hated cardio,
and she suggested I take her cardio kickboxing classes. I thought “Hmmm???…
Then I
was out at a night club and the most gorgeous woman I had ever seen in my
life (still to this day), walked up to be with a huge smile, (I instantly
looked behind me to see who she was looking at, lol…) and her first words were,
“Tell me you model?!?!?”
chuckled, looked behind me again, and said “Ahhh, no. Why?”
said, “You need to and should!”
We hit
it off, began dating. She fell in love with me but, for some strange
reason, I couldn’t fall in love with her… bad timing I guess *shrugs*. But, her
suggesting, or rather insisting, that I model, had me take my ex’s cardio
kickboxing class to lean up. I shot with my sister’s photographer, and that is
where it all began
What is your favorite cover–? Why?
JT: This changes almost monthly as new covers come out (I’m
currently on about 30 new covers each week).  Initially, my favorite cover
was my first one Solar Heat, then Seducing The Sheriff, Lucas.
There have been so many I really liked, but recently I was sent Carly &
the New Foreman
which blew me away. A few more that really stood out: Love
Immortal, Who’s Been Sleeping in Her Bed, Tatiana, Solstice Seduction, Dying
and Araton’s Destiny.
are so many more between the beginning and now, and I know there will be
plenty more. Just like how we all had a favorite movie in high school. May not
be our favorite movie now, but it is still in your “favorites” category. I
could never have just one favorite cover–I’ve been on nearly 800 covers.
Have you ever been so turned on during a shoot you got an
erection? How did you deal with it?
JT: Only if/when a girl is um, groping my junk. Otherwise, my mind
is so much on getting great images. I have to focus on us both being in our key
lights, not shadowing each other. Our hand and arm placement being correct, our
hair not being messed or blocking our faces, her hair length as well as mine
always showing. Wardrobe not being wrinkled twisted or messed up. Our
expressions being together, while still staying in a romantic, sensual,
seductive, sexy character. There’s also stopping often as my photographer
adjusts his lighting when we move into a different position. It’s not like we
turn on a few lights in our direction and he just clicks non-stop as we do
whatever we want.
As for
how did I deal with the times I have been aroused, I simply went with it and
let her do what she wanted to do 
 I’m single, who am I to stop her… she’s in character dammit!
How many disciplines of martial arts do you study? What’s your favorite and why?
JT: Kenpo Karate was my first and foremost style, but I’ve also
studied Jujitsu, Shotokan, Taekwondo and Kickboxing, with Kenpo and Kickboxing
being my favorites!
What makes a sexy cover? Erotic cover?
JT: Chemistry, passion, a strong and real connection between the two
models. It’s not just posing in a position that looks hot. That chemistry can
be shown in the facial expressions, in the body language, hand positioning,
head tilts, etc. So many different variables make up great couples’ images…
those variables I only give away to my co-models so that they do them
What was your most romantic date?
JT: Hmmm, how can I answer this on an “Erotic” blog?    All my dates are romantic. I
don’t label being romantic necessarily by specific things you do that are
listed as romantic (romance 101 things). For me it is about how I converse with
a woman, hold her, look at her, caress her, kiss her and move with her. These
are the reasons why I am told I am romantic, as well as the little things I do;
although those things are then seen more as sweet
makes a woman sexy? At any age?
JT: Confidence! A woman who knows what she wants and voices it, expresses
What about the male form is sexy, in your opinion?
JT: Holding
his sexiness in a great, confident posture. You could be thin and toned or big
and broad, but if you stand and walk with sincere confidence, not arrogance,
then you are very appealing to others.
Can you share with us your hottest or raciest cover? Photo?
JT: I guess that is in the eye of the beholder. Look on my facebook
page in my Cover Albums for your favorite raciest cover (www.facebook.com/JimmyThomasDotCom),
or through all my images on my stock image website www.RomanceNovelCovers.com.  You
tell me    THE
raciest photo of me is not publicly shown anywhere, nor will it be  (Ed note: good answer, Jimmy. He’s such
a politician.)
Jimmy Thomas
Fitness, Print & Romance
Novel Cover Model (794 covers)
NASM Certified Personal
Trainer (since 1998)
Self Defense & Kickboxing Instructor (since
www.modelmayhem.com/jimmythomas www.facebook.com/JimmyThomasDotCom


Q is for Quiet

Welcome back to the A-Z Blog Challenge, and my Letters of Gratitude. Q is for Quiet, especially the quiet hours of the morning.

The favorite part of my writing day is the very early “wee hours of the morning,” as the song says. Before the house wakes up and the activities of a busy family begin, the early morning quiet has always been so important to me.

My husband and I have gotten into the habit of soaking in the hot tub, waiting and watching the sun rise. These days, there is the shadow of a chalky moon in the sky, and the last few stars. I love the canopy of black turn into a deep vibrant blue, and then lighten until everything is covered in a golden glow.

Hard not to be inspired with this splash of color. Nature's bounty. Evidence of a great day unfolding. I also spend a half hour writing in my journal, and reading some select pieces that bring me things that enhance the quality of my life.

But when the owls are hooting and the early birds are just beginning to stir, there is a magic that descends over my laptop. I love the words written then.

What about you? What do you do in the early “wee hours of the morning?”