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34

Is It A Battle or A Marriage? Creative Brain vs. Logical Brain

She's in the fantasy of the story. He eats cake.

I always told myself that I loved writing my stories so thoroughly that I would never experience burn-out, or need a break. I told myself that was what other authors did who perhaps had overwhelming things come up in their lives: family concerns, economic downturns or just life in general, and this somehow wouldn't apply to me. Because none of these things would happen to me. I always thought of myself as bullet-proof. Unstoppable. I'm a great one for giving this kind of advice too. Just ask me.

And then June-July of this year happened. I can't say what it was. I knew something was up (still in denial mode) when I knew I shouldn't read my reviews and couldn't stop from doing so, when friends who had phenomenal success suddenly made me feel like a loser, or when I made up stories about the significance of book sales, how fast people got back to me, and on and on and on it went. You know the drill. Your mind goes on a dribble like chasing oversized zucchinis down a hill. These lumpy thoughts felt like my brain was filled with busy little ants trying to make a kingdom of my gray matter.

Seeking vehicular meaning. Not.

Every one of my calendars was still on July, until last week. My desk looked like a hamster was nesting there. I hated to check social media, stayed off Facebook and especially Messenger, but a few got through. When people started thinking perhaps I was dead, I had to laugh. Even then I didn't respond sometimes. I know. It was selfish, self-absorbed, poor manners. But I needed a break.

This December 15th it will be ten years since I started writing. It will be eight years since I published my first little novella, and five years since I published my biggest seller, Accidental SEAL, my first book to take off and begin to make some serious money. I've taken roughly sixty online writing classes, attended about a hundred RWA Chapter meetings, attended probably close to that number of book signings and online FB events. I have a huge following and newsletter list, and lots of adoring fans who fill me with delight. So, what's the problem?

The emergency brainectomy of life.

At first I thought I'm boycotting social media because, after all, this last election cycle had to be one of the nastiest one in our history. I was so disappointed to read how my very good writer friends had positions I thought were crazy, or how they thought my positions were. I stopped talking politics except at home, but I should have stayed out of it there too. There was nothing redeeming on social media and I felt like a mouse in that enormous flywheel, running, running, running to catch up. I still missed things, deadlines snuck up on me, and others I had to just walk away from.

But social media wasn't the reason for my situation. Amazon wasn't the big bad monster interfering with discoverability and book sales. I wondered if my Red-White-and-Blue-Rah-Rah-Love-The-Military themes in my books were getting shoved down in the algorhithms. Was there too much competition? Or, did I not work hard enough? Did I believe in myself enough? Where was God, my family and my friends and how come they couldn't fix me? Help me?

I expected to look 20 when I peeled this off.

Facials and massages didn't work. The soapmaking classes, collage classes, walks in the park, gardening, starting a new business, traveling to Mexico, didn't work. I dyed my hair red, and that made me laugh, but it didn't put the fire in my soul. I listened to music, burned a ton of candles, stayed out in the sun as much as I could stand, and even tried to go vegan for awhile. I tried to read and couldn't get through any of the first chapters. I got more sleep than I've had in years. I cancelled seven events, dealt with a blood clot to my leg and a minor stroke my husband had. Everything is fine. No life-threatening things on the horizon then or now.

So, what was it?

It was my logical mind trying to do a BDSM session with my creative mind. It took special glee in whipping and tying my creative self up with “that doesn't works” and “you are so stupid” comments, humiliating that part of me where all the magic lives. And the longer it went, the more my logical mind tried to be in control. I was trying to figure it all out.

I love the story about the two dogs. One dog is the vicious, fearful one, and the other dog is the excited, loving and creative dog that loves affection, connection and that sense of coming home. That famous Native American story goes that we have to decide what dog we feed.

Word.

The only way through it is to give myself over to the Creative Brain. There is no real control, is there? We don't know why music fills our soul, or why flowers make us happy, or why sun brings us some sort of divine energy from the Heavens. Our creative side has no limits, no borders, no barriers and no regrets.

And it's a choice. That's what I've chosen.

Will I go back to being a social butterfly? No. I'm going to be careful. I'm going to pace myself. I'm going to be careful who I hang around, who fills my day. But I'm going to make most of it filled with my characters from the books. I've been missing them.

And unlike real life, I can have as many lovers in my fantasy life as I choose. I guess what I found, after all this wandering is not my brain, but my heart. Writing stories is the most enjoyable activity in my life. That's the dog I'm feeding.

What do you think? I'd really love to hear it…(kiss, kiss).

11

SEAL BROTHERHOOD, Band of Bachelors is here! SUNDAYS WITH SHARON

Releases tomorrow!

My new release, Band of Bachelors: Lucas, will be here tonight at midnight. I've loved writing this story from beginning to end. The idea first came to me when our son moved from New York City, to Park City, Utah, and then home to California. I go into this in depth in my Newsletter this month. Be sure to sign up, if you're not already a subscriber.

We get our stories from real life. You've all seen the tee-shirt: “Be nice to me or I'll put you in my book,” and for some, this can be dangerous. For others, it could be flattering. I'm working on a new story this week for another anthology I'll be in that's due early November, and I've promised the real person I'd make a character that was as yummy as possible. You can bet I'll be taking all the good, and making up the bad.

DJ's experiences living with a household of bachelors in Park City was life changing. I can say here what I couldn't say in my newsletter (did you subscribe? LOL), that in addition to the fact that these men were older and divorced, they were also excommunicated (if this is the correct term) LDS members. I presume that's because of the raucous activity they participated in, namely the use of alcohol. But I imagine their language, general lifestyle and the use of “professionals” for their dating needs didn't ingratiate them to the church. It almost certainly made the possibility of a reconciliation with their wives a zero percent chance of success, on purpose. I certainly couldn't use any of that in the book, not that other authors don't, but I don't believe in knocking anyone's beliefs, whether they be traditional or otherwise. Besides, this has nothing to do with religion, but a lack of faith in something greater than themselves. My hero, Navy SEAL Lucas Shipley, eventually parts ways with them, just like DJ did.

My son came home with lots of material, and we actually had fun thinking up how we could turn this experience into some kind of TV show. The bachelors were always giving him horrible advice. Very bad advice. Being single and young, he knew he had to leave when, as he says in his words, “Mom, I'm starting to believe them.”

And that's the kernel of what began to grow when I thought about the Band of Bachelors. The book trailer J.D. Hart, my awesome Storyteller and best friend, captures it perfectly.

It's always kind of cathartic when I finish one book. I never really want to say goodbye to my characters. So I try to weave people from one book into another, but not leave a future reader lost if they haven't read the whole series. It rewards the repeat and returning reader by allowing them to experience the whole chain of events, the arc of the whole team, from the first book, Accidental SEAL (still free) to the current one, Band of Bachelors: Lucas. Little novellas or boxed sets with other material are branches off the main tree of my Brotherhood. I want that tree to grow wide, have many strong arms and branches, and grow forever, or as long as my fingers and brain hold out.
So today, I prepare for my launch day. I'm not doing the crazy big parties I used to do, just trying something more generic and sane. Doing some promo today, tomorrow and during the next 2 weeks. I'd love for you to join me from 7-8 PM tonight, where I'll be at Authors Appreciation facebook event where I'll answer questions and we'll do some prizes and giveaways, and I'll also be at a live chat (my first one) from 9-10 PM Eastern at Writer Space here
Well, if you and I get to talk at a conference, or online, or in a chat, or by email or anywhere else you channel me, perhaps one day you too will become part of my story. I've been known to bend some rules and make my friends into dancers, heroines and heroes and everything in between.
Enjoy your Sunday, my friends. 
5

GOING AND COMING: Life

Going and Coming: Life

Ethan Aged 1 hour
Ethan's birthday was yesterday, and I had to miss it because I've been sick in bed for the past 3 days. Getting better, but still too sick to be around a group of little ones. I'm reposting this from the week of his birth. The theme still holds up today. Enjoy

A visit to the doctor reminds me of how fragile life is. I'm well. But I get to see a lot of not-well people. And right now experiencing some un-wellness in my immediate family. Along with new birth. I guess I've begun to get it, now that I am 6 decades old: life goes on. I can scream and yell and protest its passing, but it still goes on as if I never said anything.

I guess that's why writing has become so important to me. Taking stories from real life and weaving them into other worlds is what we do as writers. And we take the pain, the emotions, from those life events, and use them. I blogged today about Editing Woes over at RRR, and one of my points was that the reader reads for the emotions in the story, the emotions of the characters, the love scenes, not just the description of what went on and who did what to whom.

We are cheering Ethan's birth and how strong he is, while we are saying goodbye to my dad, who has lived a wonderful life, and been the best dad a girl could ever want. Good time to remind myself it's not all about me, but the people around me. My job is to feel. Sometimes I run away from my feelings because they are just too much to handle. But my job is to feel, and then write them down.

We don't get do-overs like some of our characters get in our stories. Actually, that would make an interesting story concept. Life is not permanent. Neither are feelings. What we do about it is. We love babies because we know we are only going to be around long enough to perhaps see them get married and perhaps have children and grandchildren of their own. These little ones, in the beginning of their lives, will know us, the older ones, at the end of our lives. We each get to discover what the world is like before or after the loved one has been born, or passes on.

It's a pea soup kind of day here in Sonoma County, which is good for the grapes. This misty fog means I can be a bit lazy with my watering, I'm tempted to make a fire, but know my house will heat up like a firecracker soon enough. My hubby is away getting inspiration from a mastermind meeting, and I anticipate seeing lots of friends at the Silicon Valley Romance Writers meeting tomorrow, where I will be a panelist and hopefully will give some nuggets of things I've learned along the way.

Book sales are going well. Accidental SEAL has been in the top 100 for Amazon Kindle paid sales for 9 weeks in a row and made some serious money. Over 13,000 people downloaded Honeymoon Bite on a free promotional 4 day blog, and it shot to #1 for Fantasy Romance for 3 days in a row. Same thing happened in June for Heavenly Lover. So, despite the occasional stinker review (which doesn't affect sales at all) people are liking my books. I don't go trolling for the 300+ reviews like some do. I have a problem with faking things to look like they aren't. Just being honest and taking my lumps as they come. And writing is the best cure for anything that ills me. Anything.

My family is safe for now. Prayers go out to those that have suffered with loss of life: the SEALs and other military men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice recently, and all their families who proudly bear the mourning. The people who have lost their life in senseless acts of violence, and their families. My shock and dismay at the truth being distorted so much in our political campaigns, and all the hate it spews. How people fall like lemmings after slogans and catch phrases like “war on women” when we have more opportunity here than anywhere else in the world. And people have died to make sure it stays that way. I was thinking we were going to take the higher road this election season. I was wrong.

So I guess with this theme of what I have and don't have, in the going and the passing of life, what I'm feeling today is being connected.

And that's a good thing.

15

A is for Another SEAL Book

A lot has changed since I last did the A-Z Blog. Some four years ago, when I did my first one, I was still shopping my Accidental SEAL out there, looking for a home. I had written three paranormal romances, books I loved, and I was hopeful that if I continued to write, at about book 4 or 5, I would start to get traction.

And that was right.

Today, as I begin this A-Z Blog challenge again, I have a total of 14 books out there. Nine in the SEAL Brotherhood Series, five paranormals. I have been on the New York Times and USA Today lists multiple times, and I'm happy to say I could live off the earnings I make with my books.

This isn't meant to brag. Just to perhaps give hope to those who have the dream of following their dream. This has all happened in less than 5 years. And I didn't begin this journey until I turned 60 years of age.

A writer writes until he/she gets noticed. Very simple plan, really. No gimmicks to it. Just write things people want to read. That's my advice:  Never Give Up.

#SEALAudioSALE! Accidental SEAL Audiobook on SALE!

#SEALAudioSALE! Accidental SEAL Audiobook on SALE!

Great News SEAL Romance Fans!  Accidental SEAL, in audio format, is on sale for a limited time only!
Don't miss this chance to get your own copy of Accidental SEAL, narrated by the fabulous J.D. Hart!

[button link=”http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Accidental-SEAL-Audiobook/B00GS21TNQ/” type=”big” color=”red” newwindow=”yes”] Buy Now From Audible![/button][button link=”http://www.amazon.com/Accidental-SEAL-Brotherhood-Book/dp/B00GSL9SUS/” type=”big” color=”red” newwindow=”yes”] Buy Now from Amazon![/button]

To listen to an audio teaser from Accidental SEAL and other Audiobooks from Sharon Hamilton, visit the [button link=”http://www.authorsharonhamilton.com/audio-books/”] Audio Book Page[/button]

Accidental SEAL on #SALE, THIS WEEKEND ONLY!

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 die to protect her.

Accidental SEAL is on sale through this weekend only, 99 cents!  Hurry and Grab your copy today!

Fool For Love

I have been this. In fact, I don't think I have ever spent much time being alone ever since I discovered the opposite sex. I mean, why? Things are so much better.

I'm thinking of all the lines about Love and Sex I've used over the years. Here are a couple of them that stand out to me:

1.  “I was looking for Mr. Perfect and forgot to look for Mr. Right.”  SEAL The Deal

2.  “I am still willing to be your meal.”   Honeymoon Bite

3.  “He had the brass band, the pom poms and the cheerleaders all working for him now.” SEAL My Destiny

4.    “Sometimes things that are oh so good for you are also bad for you.”  Fallen SEAL Legacy

5.    “Too small,” he whispered. When she turned to look, his eyes focused on her lips. Her knees were shaking. She melted when she heard him murmur, “But it will have to do.”     Accidental SEAL

6.    “Life is full of complications.”      Heavenly Lover

7.    “I like entangled. I like rich and deep and I like to be sorely missed when I'm gone.” SEAL My Destiny

8.    “I'm entranced by your scent. Do you taste as good?”   Mortal Bite

9.    “Because,” he grabbed her hand and pulled it to his mouth, kissing her knuckles, “she won't be afraid to tell me what I need to do to please her, with or without the pajamas.”  SEAL Under Covers

And to wrap up, here is an excerpt from one of my favorite books that gets little love. So, today, won't you love a tiny bit of it? It is the meeting between Josh and Melanie and sets off the uncontrollable craving of the Dark Angel for the human woman who runs a flower shop.

It involves the crushing of some beautiful red roses. How perfect for Valentine's Day. Enjoy:

Excerpt from Underworld Lover:

             Josh
then walked briskly across the street, dodging traffic, toward the gated
opening. Music was playing in the background, laced with birdcalls. Colorful
birdhouses of various shapes were affixed to poles grounded in large
earth-filled pots.
 Homes and castles for the fine-feathered
things I hate
. Josh saw
them as nuisances and impediments to his late morning sleep. He didn’t think it
was natural anything could be that happy all the time.
            Pots of large showy pink and purple hydrangeas
along with lemon bushes overloaded with deep yellow fruit and fragrant white
blossoms formed the next line in front of the birdhouses. On the floor, tucked
away randomly, were shallow pots filled with blooming spring flowers in all the
colors possible. Josh’s nose itched. He hadn’t seen so much blooming color
since his last trip to the Farmer’s Market to visit his friend Simon, the
electric cellist who liked to play his sad music and pick up girls.
            She’d
probably like one of Simon’s CDs.
He made a point to get one to her right
away. Embedded in the music was a very subtle NLP message a human could not
hear except subconsciously; praying for sex, praying for death.
            Josh walked through the entrance and
was assaulted with a big bouquet of red roses that was moving so fast he was
unable to stop before impact. Immediately he felt the crush of the delicious
red flora. They emitted their syrupy sweetness through petals that fell on the
shoulders and blond head of a beautiful young woman with light pink skin. She
looked up at his face, hers registering shock. Her eyes were wide and deep blue
as the sky. He was drowning—his heart stopped for a second. The scent of thyme
herbal hand cream, fresh lemon soap, and lip-gloss infused with a cherry flavor
filled his nostrils. He knew that if he willed her, he could make her stand in
front of him, raise her chin, part her lips for him, and beg he claim her.
And, as gratifying as it would be, he
didn’t want to make her do it. At last, he shared something in common with
Felix.

            He wanted to keep her from being captured.

Send me proof that you've purchased SEALed With A Kiss and have also shared that purchase on FB, and I'll gift you one of my audio books of your choice.
Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.

6

Thankful For A Great Adventure

Tomorrow we start our great adventure on the cruise ship that will take us from Italy to Brazil. Part of this will be a fact-finding mission, since my next story takes place on a cruise ship.

I haven't been to Italy in ten years. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy being here. I love the language, the romantic timbres and staccato bursts of passion. Everyone thinks of Paris as the place for lovers, but I think Italy would have to be my first choice.

Maybe it's the coffee, or the anticipation of the voyage, but I've had a hard time sleeping. My internal clock doesn't know what time it is. Lots going on, I admit. My Book 4 of the SEAL Brotherhood, SEAL The Deal is out as of tomorrow officially, but came out last night. My narrator, JD Hart, even managed to find the time to create the amazing trailer for this new release:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxsteiBlsQ0&feature=youtu.be

JD also did the audio version of Accidental SEAL. What a labor of love that has been. One of the best parts of my cruise will also be to listen to the chapters in Fallen SEAL Legacy he has completed so we can have this out to everyone before Christmas, God willing.

While one door opens, another has closed. I'm really feeling this next book, and it started yesterday as I was wandering down the cobblestoned alleyways in Savona, sipping cappuccino and loving the sounds of accents all around me.

My husband is studying his Portuguese for Brazil. I've made a study of Richard Burton (the explorer) for an upcoming time travel romance. The way he studied languages back in the 1860's, when he self-taught 27 languages good enough to be mistaken for a native, is what they teach at Penzler. Oh yes, I can feel him now in the archways and streets here he frequented.

Lots of luscious images and thoughts spinning around in my head. My SEALs will start their journey here, and, just like today, will be buying Ferrari jackets and warm clothes in preparation for their shipboard adventure. I'm right there with them. I can hardly wait.

 Ciao!!

7

Putting My SEALs in Audio

I've been spending the last two weeks working on my audiobook version of Accidental SEAL. I've learned so much in the process. My narrator, J.D. Hart, is an accomplished actor, recording artist and spokesperson for Chevrolet and other campaigns. I am so fortunate to have stumbled upon him, and quite by accident. Just like in the book, the things that have happened by accident have turned out to be the things I've needed the most. I listened to an interview with him from a Nashville Podcast and have permission to share it with you.

Fate works in strange ways. His story is laced with things similar to mine, although his was music/entertainment and my trajectory was toward going for a big Big 6 contract. I'm proudly an Indie Author, not because I wasn't good enough for New York, but because I followed the path, like JD did, of being true to myself. What works for me might not work for everyone. And I certainly don't have nearly all the answers. Like I used to say to my Real Estate coaching clients, “I know what I think I know but I can put it aside for what I have yet to learn.”

Listen to him talk about being authentic and following his passion. Talks about what he wanted to do, and how his “hats” have changed over the years. Fascinating story. Listen to how he continually tries new things, hones his craft and is true to himself. How he works so hard getting noticed, connecting with good people all around him. His reading my audio book is more than just an accident, Deepok Chopra would call it Syncrodestiny.

He does all my characters. In fact, I didn't realize I had so many characters until I started listening to him narrate. I know, you're shaking your head, saying, how could she not know, but I didn't even think about it. He “gets” them so that I get to hear these guys out loud just like I've heard them in my head. Only an author who has done this knows what this feels like.

The whole process, for my first time, has been nearly seamless. Big learning curve for sure. But I willingly embark upon the next great adventure as we bring to you Fallen SEAL Legacy.

http://musiccitysocial.net/jdhart/

We've even added my favorite clip from Two Steps From Hell, Undying Love (by permission) to the audio book. Enjoy!

4

SEAL Brotherhood Continues!

SEAL Under Covers is Book 3 in my SEAL Brotherhood series. I knew when I wrote Book 1, Accidental SEAL, that the missing SEAL, Armando Guzman, would have his own book eventually. Book 3 is his.

He was born in Puerto Rico, and his father, a good cop, was gunned down on the job, so his mother brought young Armando and his sister to Los Angeles to grow up. He got involved in some unsavory activity, but the Navy has smoothed out some of his wrinkles. In fact, due to his model good looks and luck with the ladies, the other guys on my fictional SEAL Team 3 call him Armani.

Here's the blurb:

Navy SEAL Armando Guzman is trying to help his sister clean
up her life, but he is unprepared for the chemical attraction of his sister’s
new best friend.

Gina Mancuso is working her first under cover detail for the
San Diego Police Department. She didn’t expect that the man of her dreams would
be the brother of the woman she’s planning to arrest.
I had written a big portion of this book before I went to the Writer's Police Academy this Fall. I was worried that perhaps I would find some huge flaw in the story, and grilled the police and DEA agents there, especially the ones who went deep under cover, to see if I got the details correct. Relieved to discover I had not only done it right, I had actually made up scenes in my own head they had actually experienced in their years in law enforcement, I felt like a mystic, a clairvoyant.

Armando is his LPO's best friend and swim buddy during BUD/s. As many of you know, the BUD/s training is so grueling, and encompasses such a variety of skills that test their physical and mental abilities, friendships and alliances are formed that last a lifetime. Kyle and Armando both credit the other for having survived and passing the training, to go on to SQT, and then to get their Trident.
Here is an excerpt from SEAL Under Covers:
That left Armando holding the door open to the old beater
truck. Damn, but the guy was cool. The happenings in the strip joint hadn’t
seemed to ruffle him one bit. He’d have been just as comfortable getting black,
blue, and bloody. Gina wondered where he would draw the line.
Do I know where to draw the
line?
Well, his was
personal. Hers was her job. But it was definitely fucked that her ex-boyfriend
had to land himself in the middle of her professional world too.
But that’s what kind of a
choice you made, Gina.
Always
making the wrong choices when it came to men. In a way, very much like Mia.
She watched Armando standing there, waiting for her. The
other car was waiting for her as well.
Never waste an opportunity
to make another bad decision.
Her
roommate in college used to say that every day, while at the same time managing
to bed most of the football team and as many of the soccer players as she could
get. Gina always waited up for her, just in case she needed a ride or got too
drunk. Just like she was now trying to do for Mia. It was the reason she became
a cop. Another bad decision? Well, it certainly was something that had been
locked and loaded way down inside her soul after she got the call from the
police that fateful night. That night when her roommate became someone’s victim
and Gina had sat waiting for a call that would never come.
She wondered what would ruffle this man of steel, amazed
that he could make choices so quickly as he had just now. Was he ever afraid in
his job like she was in hers?
What threshold am I walking
through tonight?
She leaned over to look around the SEAL, checking on Mia in
the passenger seat of her own car. Of course she would be safe with the little
warrior, a guy who would probably die trying to protect her, from what Mia had
said. But this one standing in front of her, balancing on one hip, leaning
against the door, his muscular arms worthy of any Popeye character, was
dangerous.
To her heart.
“Do I have a choice?” she said to him, watching that smirky
little smile and sexy eyes making fun of her while her heart did flip-flops.
She’d been close to peeing on herself while she sat and watched her
ex-boyfriend nearly call out the brother—the SEAL brother of the woman they were working. It had been wrong on
so many levels, even the Pope couldn’t dish out enough forgiveness.
“Get in.” It was a command that made her tense, but the
smile he flashed afterwards made her panties wet. Suddenly her ankles wobbled
and she nearly fell, which would have been totally uncool. And damn, if he
didn’t reach out and put a strong, muscled arm around to steady her. He let her
go after he gave her one hurried squeeze, just tight enough for her to learn he
was aroused.
Another footnote to a
perfectly fucked evening.
Her
mission was nearly blown. Why did she feel guilty for that? They were supposed
to be hanging out with the gang by the stage. Well, she couldn’t help it if Sam
and the rest of the crew had decided to pull a game change on her. As she slid
onto the torn leather seat of the old truck, she smiled at the recollection. It
had been damned satisfying, slapping Sam and tossing the drink into his face.
She’d stared right back at him when he showed his anger. And she didn’t flinch
or cower this time. She was filled with pride. She’d stood up to him, finally!
But now what? On any other evening, getting into a truck
with a SEAL would be a no-brainer. Nothing wrong with a night of sex with a hot
guy, if that was where he was headed. She wasn’t completely sure, but she
wasn’t that rusty that she couldn’t
recognize a good, clean come-on. The fact that he was the brother of their
party of interest and it was totally forbidden only heightened her
anticipation. But decisions like that were never good ones. She had to put a
stop to this somehow.
Tell that to my body. She watched him walk around the front of
the vehicle and, yes, she squeezed her eyes shut and imagined him naked.
Get a grip, Gina. As much as she hated to admit it,
something about the man set her insides on fire. He was all the right kinds of
dangerous for her. A hero. Breathtakingly good-looking in that Latin Lover way
she loved in men. Shiny black hair worn a little too long. Tanned complexion
with just a hint of stubble. Body well-honed and disciplined. He knew what he
wanted and wasn’t afraid to go after it. And he loved his sister, which was the
biggest heart-snag of all.

He got in the driver seat, slammed the rickety door closed
and sighed.

Did all the air just get
sucked out of the truck?
It
seemed like minutes as she watched him blankly stare through the windshield,
his face illuminated by the red taillights of Mia’s vehicle, now pulling away
in front of them. Those dark eyes with long lashes and succulent, full lips.
She shouldn’t have stared so long, but she couldn’t help it.
He tilted his head and turned in her direction. The eyes
didn’t lie. He had the fire inside that his sister had, but in all the right
places, not the wrong ones, like Mia. She let him appreciate the red fuzzy
dress with the scoop neckline. She didn’t care if her chest got blotchy with
nerves or if her cheeks flushed. And, of course, her nipples perked right up
“So how is this going to work?” he asked. The words slid out
like satin sheets.
“I’m not quite sure I know what you mean,” she heard herself
say in response. She made a point to beat the waver from her voice.
“I take you to your place, or to Mia’s?”
“Mia’s.”
“Your car there?”
“No, I took a cab.”
“And so how would you get home?”
“You assume I want to go home. Maybe I’m going to stay
over.”
“I don’t see a pajama bag.”
The crease at the side of his mouth dimpled and she watched
the tip of his tongue running across his bottom lip. The words “pajama bag” had
never sounded so sexy.
She stuck her chin out, looking back at him with
heavy-lidded eyes, and whispered, “I don’t wear pajamas.”

Common to both these books is the character Calvin “Coop” Cooper, who has been one of my fan-favorite SEALs. His story is Fallen SEAL Legacy, and is included in the Dangerous Attraction. Book 4 in the series, due to come out in late November. The anthology comes out November 10th.

I hope you will continue the ride with me for the rest of the SEAL Brotherhood series.

You can listen to the music I listen to every day when I write these books:

No military men or women were harmed in the making of this blog post, nor in the creation of my stories. Enjoy!

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

19

B is for Blue Angels

 I've always been fascinated with the Blue Angels. Their death-defying feats have thrilled crowds for decades, flying sometimes within 2′ of each other.

My friend, Tina Folsom and I had just returned from a Monterey RWA meeting, and as we drove down 19th Avenue in San Francisco, the Blue Angels zoomed overhead, stopping traffic and all pedestrian activity. A rare thing of beauty.

I rushed to get Tina home to her place, knowing she had a balcony upstairs where we could watch these guys perform. It was a clear blue day without a cloud in the sky. I quickly parked my car, and we raced to the upstairs just as the Angels were swarming overhead. I missed the first fly-by, but thought I caught them on my iPhone the second pass.

I am a writer, and not a photographer. If you can bear the pain, go ahead and playback my memorialization of the beautiful Blue Angels. If you dare.

Don't forget to catch the other A-Z Blog participants by clicking here.

165

Happy New Year – Love Those Navy SEALs!

Welcome everyone to the New Years Blog Hop. There are a ton of prizes you can win, which I've described below. In addition, someone on this blog will win a set of dog tags (3 covers of my SEAL books) and my new release, Fallen SEAL Legacy.

But that's not all. EVERYONE who leaves their email address wins something: either SEAL Encounter, the prequel/short to Accidental SEAL, or SEAL Endeavor, the prequel/short to Fallen SEAL Legacy. Yup. Everyone!

Your mission, if you so choose, is to leave a comment here on this blog, with your email address. We're sorry, but the Grand Prize #3 SWAG Pack offered on the site that is won internationally may have postage charges added.

You have a lot of other great blogs to follow and enter for freebies, so this post will be short. Here are the 10 things a Navy SEAL would NEVER SAY.

1.  Let's go hang out at the mall.
2.  I'm not a risk taker. I like it safe.
3.  I'm not really a great swimmer and don't much care for the water.
4.  I have a replica DOR bell on my keychain, just to bring back the fond memories.
5.  Getting wet and sandy is my idea of fun on a Saturday night.
6.  I sometimes have trouble making quick decisions.
7.  I can't live without 8 hours sleep every night.
8.  I'm just as happy reading a book as getting into a fight.
9.  Will you pack my chute for me? I'm just too tired.
10. I don't ever think about the sacrifices my family makes for me at home.

Can you add to this list? Which one is your favorite?

Good luck with the grand prizes, listed below:

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $300 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more! 

Join the other blogs to sign up for more freebies and enter for Grand Prize drawing here

2

Fallen SEAL Legacy is now here!

So excited to get Book 2 of the SEAL Brotherhood up on Amazon as of this morning: Fallen SEAL Legacy. The prequel to this full-length book, SEAL Endeavor, is also live.

I wrote the prequel so readers could meet my hero and heroine, just before the love story starts. So no, they don't really meet, but you better believe they've felt the sparks!

This has been a labor of love for me. Hope you enjoy both Book 1 and Book 2. The next one will be based on the character Armando Guzman, who is LPO Kyle Lansdowne's best friend on SEAL Team 3.

You can order your copies here:

Fallen SEAL Legacy, Book 2 of the SEAL Brotherhood.
Accidental SEAL, Book 1 of the SEAL Brotherhood.

Prequel/shorts:
SEAL Endeavor (prequel to Book 2)
SEAL Encounter (prequel to Book 1)

My Personal Blog Winner

And the winner is:

Dita Skarste from Latvia! Congratulations, Dita.
Your packages are on their way. And you'll get them before Christmas. Her name was chosen at random from over 80 entries. She gets a paperback version of Accidental SEAL, and a book cover poster signed by Jimmy Thomas (the hunk on all my covers).

Thanks again everyone for participating. I hope you come back again for the new release of Fallen SEAL Legacy. I'll be on another blog hop December 14th (Twelve Days of Christmas), so look for that announcement coming up, plus another one for New Years.

Did you sign up for my newsletter? One will be coming out before Christmas. Don't miss it.

Sharon

148

Black Friday Blog Hop

Welcome to the Black Friday Blog Hop event. This day is about you: the freebies, the swag, the new authors you'll get to discover. And you don't have to get out of your house or brave the long lines and crowds to do it.

I want you to be able to stop by and see all the other authors participating too, so my post will be short (for those that know me, you're gonna say, “wha?”)

Here's to all the men and women who serve our great country. Let's remember to say thanks for all they do, and remember they need our love and support – and a little romance in their day. Can we make this friday a No Dear John Letter Day?
GRAND PRIZE:
We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!
Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $75 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

In addition, and exclusive to just this blog site, one commenter will be chosen at random on this site to win a free autographed copy of my PRINT BOOK: Accidental SEAL, and a poster, signed by Jimmy Thomas. Remember, to be entered in either the grand prize or my giveaway, YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT.
You have 200 chances to win, plus all the other author freebies. 
Have a great Black Friday Blog Hop. Enjoy!

7

New Cover for SEAL Endeavor

Just like when I released Accidental SEAL, I created a short, SEAL Encounter, a prequel to the full length book. It has sold almost as many copies as the Accidental SEAL. This book was 12 weeks in Amazon's top 100 for Romantic Suspense. I have been a top 100 Amazon Romantic Suspense author almost every day since they started the program in September of 2012.

I'm doing the same promotion for Fallen SEAL Legacy. The new prequel for this one is SEAL Endeavor. Isn't the cover wonderful? I have dog tags and bookmarks for the new book, too. Posters signed by none other than Jimmy Thomas.

Edits have taken a little longer than I wanted, but that's my fault, not anyone else's. We've been a busy family over the last 2 months. And family comes first. Always.

Hopefully, the first week in December SEAL Endeavor will be out. Can you tell Cooper and Libby almost meet at the Monterey Bay Aquarium?

I hope you'll continue the journey with me. There will be some fun prizes and swag. Oh yes, I take care of you big time. Stay tuned for the big day!

128

Heroes of Every Genre: Who’s the Best?

What is your favorite thing about Alpha Heroes? Well, we authors are ready to share our favorite Alpha Males, our favorite things about them, and everything sexy and heated about those Alpha Males you can think of. *wink* Starting on Friday and ending on Oct 22nd, over 200 Authors and Bloggers will share their favorite things about those sexy men we know and love.
And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.
But that's not all….
We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!
Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!

So, here's my blog and giveaway, and you have until October 22nd to leave your comments. If I had a big Highland Games event and I invited all the heroes of the six books I've written, who would win? Yes, I want you to pick the winner, after I give the evidence. And I'll even make it more fair. You can pick a hero from someone else's blog or book and vote for them here too.

Every comment gets entered into our Grand Prize giveaway, and every commenter will receive something, and YOU EVEN GET TO CHOOSE. Now, when were you ever given the choice of prizes on a blog hop? Be sure you follow the instructions at the end of this post.

We have 6 Alpha Heroes: Daniel DePalma, Joshua Brandon, Marcus Monteleone,  Paolo Monteleone, SOC Kyle Lansdowne and SO Calvin Cooper. You get to vote for one of them (or another hero, if you must), by leaving a comment and telling us all why you think they should win, and what would you do with them to celebrate?

So, since this is election season, here are the descriptions of the candidates, and their Hollywood likenesses:

Daniel DePalma: Brazilian-born painter of colorful wall-sized jungle prints. He does not know his best friend, posing as his agent, is a dark angel who has hooked him up with a very bad girl. The relationship nearly destroys him. Not realizing there are forces of good and evil at play, a guardian angel comes to his rescue. He falls in love with her in spirit, until he falls in love with her in the flesh. He is willing to spend his life separated from his angel lover just to see her safely home.

Joshua Brandon: A colorful dark angel who was looking forward to an eternity of partying with his former best human friend, Daniel, bedding women in the Underworld as well as “on top” in the human world, until the guardian angel intervened. He has a fondness for redheads, especially redheadded guardian angels. He hates birds and detests order and rules. But he soon finds that, among other things, he has grown a conscience and finally meets a soul he cannot claim. He faces the ultimate sacrifice when he is asked to deliver that very woman to the Director of the Underworld to become a concubine. He discovers there are rules worth dying for.

Marcus Monteleone: A 300-year old golden vampire, has spent most of those years searching for his fated female, only to find her dying in his arms. He saves her life by turning her, only to be enjoined by the rules of his breed, to not interfere with her once human life. He does not believe he has fathered a child by a half vampire half witch/villainess, but he feels an obligation to take responsibility for the boy.  In the end, he is willing to spend eternity without her if it means she will be safe from the jealous mother of the boy.

Paulo Monteleone: Brother to Marcus. He loves human women, and, unlike his brothers and sisters, does not take golden vampire mates and chooses to marry outside the fating, resisting a fating that went terribly wrong. He falls in love with a professor of legend and myths, who claims she knows everything about the “non-existant” golden vampires of Tuscany. He finds he is willing to sacrifice his immortal life to rescue his human lover from those that want her silenced.

Kyle Lansdowne: SEAL team leader sent on a mission to find his AWOL swim buddy, who has been kidnapped by a drug gang. The gang's intent is to get weapons and equipment from the SEAL community for their illegal use. By accident, Kyle runs into a newbie Realtor, and he finds in her the woman he has always wanted, just when she is nearly taken from him forever. He is forced to choose between her and his SEAL team buddy's life.

Calvin Cooper: Nebraska farm boy turned U.S. Navy SEAL. A specialist with gadgets, a medic and one of the tallest SEALs to ever graduate BUD/S. He is ordered to meet the family of a fallen SEAL medic, to help him heal the loss of his own family in a tornado. He helps a prominent psychiatrist protect his family, including his lovely daughter, from a psychopathic killer bent on revenge.

Now for your choice:

1. Dog Tag from Accidental SEAL
2. Amazon Kindle version SEAL Encounter.

Be sure to leave your name, AND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, and please do so in code like: Jane Doe (at) gmail (dot) com.

Have fun, and good luck!!

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

Accidental SEAL Book Trailer

Go to another blog here.

14

Labor Day Blog Hop – Come join the fun!

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

Here is an excerpt from Accidental SEAL:

Chapter 1

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

Christy’s red Honda looked like a wet cherry lollipop, polished to perfection. Cute and shiny on the outside, but hot and sweltering on the inside. Sitting in the cramped front seat, she stopped and squinted to make out house numbers, comparing them to the address Wayne had minutely scribbled on the back of his business card. Then she found it.
The house appeared nicer than he’d described. The advertised price, he said, was the lowest in the neighborhood, going back ten years. Hopefully she’d pick up a young couple out looking for their first home, complete with good credit and a wad of cash from Mommy and Daddy. Wouldn’t it be great to make a sale on her very first day on the job?
She parked in the driveway, popped the trunk, and brought out three sandwich signs with the Patterson Realty logo, on loan from Wayne. He was out with his family today. She hoped the Somervilles didn’t stop by since she’d feel uncomfortable looking into the eyes of Wayne’s wife, a woman he probably cheated on and would again, if he got the chance. One of Christy’s other rules: no married men. She wasn’t about to change that, either.
A perfumed late spring breeze blew softly against her face and neck, sending a thrill up her spine. The air ripened with possibility. This was her favorite time of year.
The walkway looked freshly swept. After placing one sign in the front yard, she stacked the other two beside the front door and inserted Wayne’s key. While the lock accepted the new shiny silver metal, the tumblers stayed in place, frozen.
Way to go Wayne. Waste my time and give me the wrong key!
Irritation bubbled, ruining her cheerful, spring-induced mood. She yanked on the front handle and pushed against it out of frustration. It opened.
“Anybody home?” Her voice wavered like that of a small child. She waited. No answer.
Christy stepped inside, onto a striped cotton rug lying cockeyed behind the front door. The smell of fried food hit her. She walked across the wooden floor of the living room, her stilettos clacking. She cracked open a window. Air scented by fresh blossoms poured in, diluting the smells of ordinary life. She grabbed the newspaper tossed on top of an ottoman and folded the crinkling pages under her arm, aiming for the kitchen to find a trashcan. She passed the dining room table, which was strewn with a map of the area, a couple of felt-tipped pens, and a letter-sized yellow lined tablet. She collected these items as well and made her way to the kitchen.
Christy threw the tablet and newspaper onto the tiled countertop and placed her hands on her hips to assess the scene before her. She squinted at several days’ worth of dishes piled high in the sink. Next to it, a large stainless steel bowl sat encrusted with dark green and purple leaves at the bottom, evidence of a salad—several days old.
Maybe Wayne had neglected to tell the sellers about the open house. She decided it was entirely possible. “How can you expect to sell a house this way?” she muttered, then sighed and removed her jacket, slinging it over the back of a clean-looking kitchen chair. She decided to take a tour of the place, checking for other things to clean or straighten before she’d be ready to hold it open.
But this house was such a mess, an uneasy darkness chilled her. She tiptoed down the carpeted hallway, feeling like an intruder, past empty rooms, to a closed door at the end.
Probably the master bedroom.
Something about the whole scene was strange. These people left without cleaning up dinner from several days before, in a hurry. She’d been told short sale houses rarely showed pride of ownership, but this felt absolutely creepy, like she’d stepped on someone’s grave. The hair at the back of her neck bristled as she gripped the doorknob. She lightly tapped with her other hand, and then opened the door.
A naked body lay on the bed.
Holy crap.
Hesitant to look at first, she pushed through her fear. She saw movement. Tanned skin, a muscular male chest that rose and fell. Earphones were wired to a phone balanced on his open palm. The man was very much alive, and healthy. Her eyes drifted further down to a dusting of dark brown hair that led to an impossible-to-miss erection. His penis stood at attention, like a deep rose-colored light standard under a matching fireman’s hat of deeper pink.
Blood pumped to her ears, making them ring, as her heart raced. A wave of anger coursed over her at the realization she had been the victim of a very sick joke perpetrated by Wayne and one of his disgusting friends.
Christy silently closed the door and tiptoed back down the carpeted hallway, her three-inch heels wobbling on the thick, padded surface. Her knees knocked against each other as she picked up speed, her anger building. She grabbed her jacket, keys, and purse, and crossed the living room, headed toward the front door. She was almost free.
Christy wouldn’t give the prankster the satisfaction of knowing she had even seen him. She wanted to stomp her foot and kick something through the window. This was Wayne’s doing.
That sonofabitch and his lopsided plugs will pay for this.
She pulled the door handle and was rewarded by the smells of a warm spring day bleeding through the inch-wide crack she’d created. An enormous hand and forearm came from behind her and slammed the door shut. She saw a familiar blue-green tattoo of some animal tracks on his muscled forearm just before his other hand gripped her mouth. Callused fingers pinched the sides of her cheeks. The grip hurt.

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

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

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

Contest ends Monday, September 4th at Midnight.