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Welcome Marliss Melton – Bestselling Author Team Twelve Navy SEALs

I am thrilled today to welcome Marliss Melton, the bestselling author of the Team Twelve Navy SEAL Series. I asked her to give us a glimpse of this outstanding series, and what she's working on now. So, Marliss, what are you up to these days?

Tens of thousands of readers read and loved my Award-winning Navy SEALs which carried them through seven books, starting with FORGET ME NOT and ending with SHOW NO FEAR. (It isn’t too late to read them if you missed out). While it’s natural for me to write about Navy SEALs (my husband is US Navy retired), I took a slight detour lately with my newest Taskforce Series, expanding to an Inter-Agency Counterterrorist Taskforce group that is headed up 

by a Navy SEAL.
In Book #2 of the Taskforce Series, The Guardian (Amazon or Barnes & Noble), FBI Special Agent Jackson Maddox goes undercover into a prisoner reintegration program believed to have ties to terrorists, only his cover is about to be blown by a bombshell of a journalist, Lena Alexandra, who keeps sticking her nose into his business. To learn more about THE GUARDIAN, read the blurb next to the book cover.
This book is currently available in Ebook format at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.com and is coming out in hardback in October, 2012.
So, what are you working on now, Marliss?
Book #3 in my Taskforce Series is THE ENFORCER, which features fun-loving ATF Special Agent, Toby Burke, who goes undercover into a militia in West-by-God Virginia to find evidence that its leader, Dylan Connelly, a former female Army officer, is guilty of plotting violence against the current administration. This 
is going to be one of my best books yet!
But, Marliss, are you going to go back to writing your Navy SEAL books?
I get this question all the time, and the answer is a resounding yes. If you were able to read my short story “SEALed by Fate” in the SEAL OF MY DREAMS ANTHOLOGY, then you’ve essentially read the prologue to what will be my next Navy SEAL book. It may be Book #8 in my Team Twelve Series, or it may prove to be the first book of a new series, altogether. (I’m thinking of doing a DEVGRU series). DEVGRU is the name given to SEAL Team Six, and we all know that they are considered the cream of the crop, the ones who got Bin Laden.
This is so exciting, Marliss. I loved the Anthology and read so many great authors there. Proceeds were donated to veteran's charities, I understand.

And DEVGRU! The professional team of the SEALs. That sounds wonderful. Can hardly wait. What else can you tell us about what you're working on?

So, now you’ve got the skinny on what’s in my head for the future.  In the meantime, though, don’t miss out on my Taskforce Series:  THE PROTECTOR, THE GUARDIAN, and THE ENFORCER.
For those of you who couldn’t/can’t get enough of my SEAL Team Twelve Series, though, I have a treat in store for you! Look for a novella coming this fall entitled LONG GONE. It is based on the secondary love story in TOO FAR GONE. (Remember Drake Donovan, the FBI special agent who fell in love with Skyler Dulay, only she had to go into witness protection and they never got their happily-ever-after?)  Here’s a peek at the cover. Look for LONG 
GONE coming this Oct/Nov, 2012.
Wonderful news. I will be one of the first to buy it when it comes out. 

Thanks for stopping by and telling us about your must-read military romances. Marliss has been generous to offer a giveaway to a lucky commenter. Please leave your email, example: SuzyQ(at)gmail (dot)com in the body of your comment. And don't forget to come back and visit with military authors next week.
Leave a thoughtful comment and you may win a free digital or paperback copy of THE GUARDIAN! 

Summary, The Guardian:
When a highly esteemed prisoner-reintegration program falls under suspicion of being a terrorist training ground, the Taskforce sends Special Agent Jackson Maddox undercover to investigate. Going by the name Abdul, Jackson fits right in, until his cover is threatened by a sexy journalist taking his picture. If his mission weren't so critical, he wouldn't mind being the object of her fixation.  But when he confronts her, the hot-as-hell bombshell denies everything before slipping through his fingers.   
Crime journalist Lena Alexandra isn’t going anywhere. One of the parolees at the program murdered her sister a decade earlier and got away with it.  Determined to send the killer back to jail, Lena secures a job at a nearby convenience store and sets about interviewing parolees for a book she’s allegedly writing. Her objective— to use her astute interviewing skills and stunning sex appeal to get the killer to confess.  Dangerous plan?  Yes, but not even the gorgeous ex-con named Abdul can derail her, not even when she finds out who he really is.
As the summer nights heat up, Jackson’s probe reveals startling evidence that could endanger the nation’s capital.  He can’t battle his desire for Lena and subdue a fanatical leader at the same time. And Lena can’t corner her sister’s killer as long as an undercover FBI agent persists in trying to protect her. As peril looms for both of them, Lena and Jackson must learn to trust each other with their secrets . . . and their lives.

What about you? Do you love a man in (or out of) uniform? What do you love best about reading military romances? Any favorite hunks?


No Easy Day: Book Review and Comments

No Easy Day, the compelling book by former Navy SEAL Mark Owen, just released last week, is hard to pick up, and hard to put down. It recounts the events, including the almost 10 years of training, intelligence gathering, and coordination of hundreds of personnel who helped SEAL Team Six carry out the successful mission to kill Osama bin Laden.

But more importantly, it gives us a private glimpse into the lives of those elite warriors, who do so much and ask so little in return. He says in the dedication:

My hope is one day a young man in junior high school will read it (No Easy Day) and become a SEAL, or at least live a life bigger than him. If that happens, the book is a success.

His words so beautifully illustrate what the SEALs symbolize: young men who are living a life bigger than themselves. They are trained to do what is required to get the job done. Do it quietly, with humility, and unemotionally. To set aside personal feelings, to stay alert to danger so that they can protect the lives of everyone on the mission, and the innocent.

He recounts how his upbringing in Alaska prepared him for his journey. How his parents at first didn't want him to put himself in harm's way and how he got his college degree first, but still had that burning desire, forged when he was a young teen, to become one of these elite men.

I enjoyed hearing stories of what the SEALs did to take their minds off the stress of waiting for orders to do dangerous things. The pranks they played on each other, and the close bond formed between brothers who would lay down their lives for each other without hesitation. Deadly serious, I've also read in other SEAL books about the special underwear with Superhero logos, or other cartoon characters they wear. Owen talks about playing fantasy football in the Afghani desert.

The author chronicles how he trained to become part of the elite Green Team, Seal Team Six, or DEVGRU.  He also describes how he almost didn't make the team. Only one out of a thousand regular Navy men is able to even try out for the teams. And of those who have completed two deployments, some are invited to try out for the Green Group, where you are on call almost 24/7, without the time offs and vacations with family. Hard on loved ones, but it's what is required to be a part of this special unit.

There are less than 2000 active SEALs currently. DEVGRU is the professional team to the varsity team of regular SEALs. They are responsible for the high profile “snatch and grabs”, the team who rescued Paul Schoon, the governor-general of Grenada, who was facing execution. They were responsible for capturing Manuel Noriega during the invasion of Panama, capturing the Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid and Bosnian war criminals, including Radislav Krstic, the Bosnian general who was later indicted for his role in the Srebrenica massacre in 1995. They rescued Jessica Lynch and conducted the daring rescue at sea from Somali pirates. The little picture I've seen of a disheveled Saddam Hussein in handcuffs is posted on a bulletin board in a SEAL bar in San Diego and speaks volumes.

Like all things in life, everything is connected. He says this book was written because he decided to put his Trident away and return to civilian life this year. And his reasons are personal. He and the publisher originally wanted this book to be released on 9-11, in honor of the anniversary of that tragic event. But as he states in the book, this was not written from a particular political viewpoint.

We are all red, white and blue, in my opinion, and Mr. Owen makes this point very well. The color of our blood is red, though our opinions, political affiliation, background and skin color vary. As he says, you don't run to your death. A bullet doesn't know how to discriminate a rich kid from a poor one, a Democrat from a Republican. Their SEAL training just makes them “the guy who can get it done.”

I doubt this fine young man ever would do anything that would harm a fellow in the brotherhood of warriors. He's mentioned several times that if one wanted to look for military secrets, his is not the book to read. But, I'm not an expert. Others that are far more knowledgeable than I will have to weigh in on this.

No Easy Day reads like a good suspense novel, except we know in advance how the story ends. But, unlike most stories we read, what happens in the middle is what we didn't know about until now. I came away with a renewed respect for these men, and for the hard work that goes into the training to become a SEAL.

I ask myself every day if I would have the guts to ever do anything so brave.

So, what did I find was the most enjoyable aspect of this book?

It knocked 50 Shades from the #1 Spot.
It told the truth.
And there was the delicious absense of spin.
All this week we are talking about heroes. I have several award-winning bestselling authors visiting here this week, next week and the week after. Won't you come join in the conversation? There will be some great giveaways, and the chance to chat with your favorite authors who bring us those wonderful heroes.
Jennifer Kamptner   9-12-12
Marliss Melton        9-14-12
Elle James               9-17-12
Trish McCallan       9-18-12
Cathy Mann and Joanne Rock    9-21-12
Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog, a personal experience with 9-11.

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

Research Takes Over

I couldn't understand my historical writer friends who said they would get so caught up in the research, it would put a major crimp in their daily writing.  One friend said she spent about three hours in research for every one hour of writing.

Now I get it. It's been happening to me.

We are so lucky to be living in the digital age, where things are available with the click of a button (or two). We get impatient with sites that aren't intuitive, and we leave, because there are ten others we could use as a resource. If a web page doesn't load in three seconds, we're off to the next one that will.

I've been doing lots of research on Navy SEALs for my series. I've subscribed to some loops for families of military, as well as some facebook pages that post information, and great pictures. I've made the mistake of reading some of the comments. And it distresses me a little.

Is it just me, or is everyone going bonkers all of a sudden? Or was it always this way, and I'm just now sensitive because of the election? Regardless of what side of the spectrum we are, there are some really mean, hateful people haunting certain groups or pages. And, like driving past a bad accident, I sometimes have a hard time not reading the comments. There are some seriously disturbed people out there. And the rumors! Yesterday someone commented that the government had killed the entire SEAL Team  6 in a secret helicopter crash. There's a novel in there somewhere…

I guess there will always be conspiracy theorists. Men and women fought and died for our freedom to express ourselves, to live the open and wonderful lifestyle we now have. So I guess we all have to put up with the crazies. God forbid anyone would label me such.

I have no problem turning off the TV or the radio. None whatsoever. For me, the ads are what I cannot handle any longer. I listen to Sirrius Satellite as much as possible.

That's why I like to write fiction, romance in particular. Fantasy. Make believe. Where everything has a  happily ever after, and I can clip or trim the dialogue of my characters to my own choosing without causing a stir. The opinions expressed are entirely my own. Heaven help us if I would get to be Queen of the World. Now that is truly a dangerous thought!

What about you? Do you get sucked into doing too much research, or reading too many “other” opinions it interferes with your real life? Your writing life? How do you cut it off?

Some great research books on the Teams below. Amazon spiders must have found me out!

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 
by Marcus Luttrell, Patrick Robinson 

Price: $8.99 

Learn more
Add to wishlist
Service: A Navy SEAL at WarService: A Navy SEAL at War 
by Marcus Luttrell, James D. Hornfischer 

List Price: $27.99 
Price: $16.59 
You Save: $11.40 (41%) 

Learn more
Add to wishlist
The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest MarksmenThe Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen 
by Brandon Webb, John David Mann, Marcus Luttrell 

List Price: $26.99 
Price: $15.33 
You Save: $11.66 (43%) 

Learn more
Add to wishlist
Seal of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Lt Michael P. Murphy, UsnSeal of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Lt Michael P. Murphy, Usn 
by Gary Williams 

List Price: $18.95 
Price: $10.98 
You Save: $7.97 (42%) 

Learn more
Add to wishlist
The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 
by Dick Couch 

List Price: $15.00 
Price: $10.20 
You Save: $4.80 (32%) 

Learn more
Add to wishlist
SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL SniperSEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper 
by Howard E. Wasdin, Stephen Templin 

List Price: $15.99 
Price: $10.87 
You Save: $5.12 (32%) 

Learn more
Add to wishlist
Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy SealWarrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy Seal 
by Chuck Pfarrer 

Price: $7.99 

Learn more
Add to wishlist

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


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

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

D is for DOR

I have a special connection to the Navy SEALs, and editing my first SEAL romance, writing the second in the series I call SEAL of Honor. We were just in San Diego this past weekend, and I never hesitate to watch the boat crews work on the beach, as a new class is molded, melded and forged in steel. As I have said earlier, many men try out to become a SEAL just to find out where their limits are. You never know until you try.

D is for DOR. It means Drop On Request. There is no shame in trying out for the teams. There is also no shame if a man finds he can't complete the training. Many of them get injured, some seriously, and have to roll back to another class after they are healthy. And some, find out where their limits are.

The reality of that is also just that: reality. Doesn't make you a better or lesser person. It is in the trying that all the courage and mental metal is produced. Many, though disappointed, will say that it was the one thing in their lives they truly were glad they did. Imagine that in this world of instant gratification (a funny spin on the word gratitude, don't you think?). Going through all the grueling training, and failing, but being glad they did.

I interviewed one graduate, who was barely out of high school. He said he felt lucky to have found the SEAL teams at such a young age. He was glad that he didn't have to wait until he was 30, or 40 or beyond in years before he could find out what he loved to do, who he was. Lucky. He felt lucky to go through the harsh training.

There are many great books about the teams. Dick Crouch wrote a compelling book, The Warrior Elite, about one particular class, and in that graduating class, several of the men from Blackhawk Down prepared their way, even though some would not survive. Lone Survivor is the story of one of those boys, Marcus Luttrell.

I'm grateful for many things, especially the men and women who put themselves in harm's way so we can go to the store, to school, to church, so we can spend a leisurely day shopping or just having coffee with friends. Because of the sacrifice of a few we have today and tomorrow as gifts.

I'm also grateful that we get to try, and that we fail, and we get up again and try again. Remember, it isn't in the falling down, or failing that all the miracles come. It is what you do with yourself, how you pick yourself up afterwards that counts. We live to fight another battle another day. One day at a time.

Act of Valor out today!

Whoo Hoo Navy SEALs!

Gotta love a guy in and out of a uniform, but especially SEALs out of uniform!

I'm blogging today over at Ravencraft Romance Realm about the new movie out today, Act of Valor. Get some background information on this fantastic film that is highly regarded by the SEAL community.


Thanks for the Gift of Your Today

I found this inspiring inscription at the Superior Court building in San Francisco. I was taking a tour, with a number of my writing friends. Employees there had created a wall to honor and thank the Vets who served in WWII.

It may be too small to read, but the inscription was credited as being carved by an unknown Marine on a rock outside a temporary graveyard on Iwo Jima.
I remember hearing a speech Colin Powell gave several years ago, when he said (and I paraphrase): “These brave men and women sacrifice much, sometimes all they have. All they ask is for a little patch of ground on which to be laid to rest.”
Kristin Lamb had an inspiring blog yesterday, giving thanks for all the freedoms in her life she is able to enjoy, due to the sacrifice of a few. I think she says it better than I ever could, so I won't try. Memorial Day–To Those Who Give the Ultimate Sacrifice.
We do have a lot to be thankful for. Just being able to post something here and not worry about the boots coming to my door to take me away is huge, especially for a writer. There were times that wasn't always so. Some things are better, and much is still to be done.
Memorial Day is something special in our home because we have relatives in the military. I go to the services at Franklin Park Cemetary where the sounds of flags flying is louder than the din of traffic. There's a board with the picture of those who have fallen during the last 12 months, and a place of honor set aside for the family of that loved one in the front rows–a place I hope never to occupy. I look into the eyes of a grieving family: parents, children, husbands and wives, grandparents, friends. Maybe my being there somehow helps.
And then I vow never to let another day go by that I don't thank them for the freedom and blessings in my own life, paid for by their precious gift.
And go out and live my life to the fullest, which is the only way I can truly honor them. I'm not going to waste their gift.
What about you? Do you have a special someone you thank on Memorial Day?

Warriors All

It isn't a stretch to imagine this little boy growing up to be a superhero in his chosen field. I think they are made inside the womb. Born of a different mold.

Of course, every child is born different, and special. No two are even remotely alike, even though they grow up in the same family. But those that choose a warrior's path, in the traditional sense of the word, are indeed, well, special.
That's why they call it Special Forces.
There's been a lot of talk recently in the media about the role of the SEALs and their job: doing things we sometimes don't want to talk about. Doing things no one else can or would want to do.
I'm a little uncomfortable about all the publicity, and know SEAL families feel the same. They quietly do, are completely dependable, don't boast and don't need the limelight. It isn't their way. Not what they are taught. Not what keeps them out of harm's way. Most of them won't tell you anything, even if you ask. Even if there are things worthy of praise. They don't need it.
We've seen some pretty incredible pictures recently. And we're going to see a lot more. Let's remember that some of these fine military men and women, don't come back. Not every mission is successful. It's easy to have a ticker tape parade when everything turns out great. Harder to be a fan when the mission isn't successful.
Jimmy's grill on Coronado has a wall for the fallen. I hope we never forget to say thank you. Even when things don't turn out so well.


Way To Go SEAL Team 6

Any wonder why these fine men are the true definition of hero? Quiet, unassuming, avoiding drawing attention to themselves.

I can't tell you how proud I am. I'm usually not speechless. But I am so grateful.
I lost the valedictorian of my graduating class in the 9/11 attack, Naomi Solomon. I lost another member in the U.N. bombing in Algeria, Chad Hamza. No one can bring them back, or all the others who have lost their lives all over the world, including the military men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
And we know there will be more.
But today, there is cause for celebration.

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

I loved Galaxy Quest. The law of unintended consequences made this a funny twist on real vs. simulation. The “simulators” became real, actually accomplished in reality what they were acting in the show.

On day “F” I blogged about Failing Forward. Giving up and surrendering is not failing. Failing is trying to do something, and not succeeding. It is as much a part of our every day life as breathing or walking. But giving up and surrendering, well that's a horse of another color.
My first manager in Real Estate used to tell me he could tell when someone had given up. He said they would walk into his office with that imaginary spear through their middle, have the gait and the look in the eye that told him they were quitting. Just couldn't take it anymore. Someone had gotten to them. He used to tell me it made him angry that someone who shouldn't matter, caused a good person to give up.
My SEAL friends know that by the end of their training, just before they graduate, the instructors could ask them to do anything and they'd do it without considering the consequences to their own person, not consider the pain. At a certain point that line is crossed and that person would never quit. Never.
Unlike failure, quitting just ends the game. I think it was Robert Louis Stevenson who said the difference between a published author and an unpublished author is a published author writes until he's published. The unpublished author quits.

Some days it seems like it's hard to put one foot in front of the other, or there are two steps forward and one back. But if we keep moving, keep writing, keep working on our passion, we eventually get there.
Maybe it's just as easy as deciding there isn't anything out there that will make us quit.
So we won't.
What about you?


Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This

Spent all day today driving from San Diego to Santa Rosa. My husband and I finished a book on tape called Vanished, and it was wonderful. A real thriller. Highly recommend the unabridged version. I suddenly feel in awe of this author, doubting myself again. This happens sometimes when I read too much while I'm trying to create. But I wanted to hear the pacing of the tension, the way he chose his chapter hooks (and he did it very well), the complicated plot that was just difficult enough to make it unpredictable, but not too confusing. It was riveting. Testament to that was the number of wrong turns we took. We ignored the very polite woman on the GPS and found ourselves listening to her say, “recalculating” several times. Now, that's a good book, right?

Sometimes you want the reader to know where it's going to go. Like the woman walking down a dark alleyway. We are saying, just like we do when we watch a horror film on TV: “Get out of there right now. Are you nuts?” But no, the writer takes you there, and you just know what could happen, and we are thrilled when it does, but is even better than we had imagined. That is what I call the genius factor.
So, I was thinking about that today, as a big black cloud traveled over our car and seemed to follow us until dark. I knew when I checked on my chickens, cats and dogs, my garden, I'd discover everyone was still alive and in great shape. But I worried about them. Like I sometimes worry about my talent.
Then I remembered something I was told: Talent is Overrated. It's all about the hard work, the focus, singleness of purpose. Plants and animals live. They don't sabotage themselves or talk themselves out of being miraculous. Everything they do is consistent with their lifelong goals. We humans have way more choice, and there's good and bad with that.
The boats. I remembered watching the boats, the crunches, the wet and sandy. The sheer
determination and singleness of purpose.
A young SEAL told me he felt lucky to have found something he truly loved doing at such a young age. He felt fortunate to have the opportunity to push himself, to find out what his limits were.
Suddenly, when the sky turned dark and the stars came out, I followed the highway, and realized, the dark cloud was gone.
And now I'm excited to spend all day tomorrow doing a writing marathon, getting my little boat (my story) over the rocky boulders of doubt and back onto the beach for some editing crunches. And then I'll do it all over again.

Afterall, I don't want to miss this boat. There might not be a second chance at this great opportunity.
What about you? What do you do when you doubt yourself? Did your mama prepare you for days like this?


Keep The Boats Afloat

I got the opportunity to visit Coronado Island and watch as SEAL class 288 was doing their boat crew exercises. Watching them learn to maneuver as a team, hauling those heavy boats up and over the rocks over and over again, I felt exhausted. At the end of their training, the ones that are left, would be a well-oiled machine, operating as one unit. But yesterday, it was obvious to all of us onlookers they were clearly not there yet.

The instructors will guide them with barks and threats of all night wet and sandys, force them through all the pain so they can become the best of the best. Those that can't keep up with it, will drop. And there isn't any shame in that. The rocks and rough surf and cold, sometimes oily water for their long swims, will sort those who can't from those who can.
It takes a lot of training, and cold critiques and edits to make a good writer. Great writers are made from good writers that push themselves to endure the pain. Every time we invest our emotions in a good story, we also have to face the cold reality that to be successful, you can't just be good enough. You have to be great.
There are lots of distractions that sometime get in the way of my productivity. I use self-imposed deadlines, and ask people to hold me accountable, declare myself and my intentions to “train” myself, since I don't have a hunky 200-pound hardbody screaming at me. My rocks and cold waves are the things of ordinary life that get in the way, my obstacles. I don't have to ring a bell to quit. Quitting would mean giving in to the “I don't feel like it” place I could go to. But I do write something each and every day, without fail, even then.
I've met Team Guys who graduated from one class that started at just under 200, only to graduate less than 10. That kind of determination is what I was reminded of, watching those wonderful young men, going for the brass ring.
And I vowed I would be one of those 10 writers who made it. How about you? In your chosen field, do you have what it takes? Are you willing to overcome the barriers to stand with the best of the best?