Monday, November 17, 2014

Ten Thanks for November

A big thanks to all of our Romance Realm readers, bloggers, and subscribers for helping to make this an incredible year. To kick off the upcoming holiday season, I am sharing my 
2014 Thanksgiving List.
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I am thankful for:

My hubs -- active duty, U.S. Army Medical Corps -- for serving in Operation Desert Spring, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Meghan Trainor for making me feel beautiful despite the extra pounds I'm always trying to shed. If you haven't yet watched her performance on The Ellen Show via YouTube, you're in for a treat!



My favorite authors (way too many to name) who released so many incredible books this year!

      
Available at Amazon.
Available on Amazon.
Available on Amazon.














Astraea Press for publishing the second book in my Lost Colony Series:
Available on Amazon

My kiddos for making me smile every day and occasionally driving me out of my mind.

The world's best cat who is sprawled lazily over some part of my lap, feet, or keyboard at all times when I am writing.

The Writers Group of Ansbach for their endless laughs, inspiration, and whip cracking to keep us on track with our goals.

My friends, fellow readers, and writers who stay in touch over social media and send me awesome inspiring pics from sites like Emergency Kittens (@EmrgencyKittens) to brighten my day.

Lady Gaga for taking us down memory lane via YouTube with her hit single YOU AND I -- gorgeous duet with Sugarland.


David Letterman and Lee Levine whose brilliant turkey-baking tips offer more questions than answers via YouTube.

David Letterman: "I mean, how hard can it be?"



Lee Levine: "Why not roast a different bird this year?
Ever tried penguin?"



Happy Thanksgiving!
Jo

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Time to Say Good-Bye

I've been a part of this post for I think almost 5 years now. I was an original member, the only one except Louisa, who was and is still here.

There are cycles to everything. I've enjoyed my time here. I have several other blogs I now write for, and am managing (some would say that's an exaggeration) a successful writing career. When I began with this group, the idea that I could actually live off my writing income was a dream I had that I was sure I would achieve some day. My expectations have been wildly met, and yet there is so much more to do, and so little time to do it in.

While being part of this blog I have written 12 books, hit the NYT 3 times, USA/Today list 5 times, written in 7 anthologies, participated in 10 podcast interviews, collaborated with my best friend and magical storyteller, J.D. Hart, 11 audio books, and I have given away over 15,000 red wristbands to help honor the military on Fridays as we wear red. I've donated some of my proceeds to Wounded Warriors and the Navy SEAL/UDT Museum in Florida. I've seen 5 grandchildren born. It's been a productive time in my life, and, for the most part, a very happy one.

I guess I can say it best by quoting my hero in SEAL's Promise, which releases this Tuesday, on Veteran's Day. T.J. Talbot is thinking about the fact that he was the one who remained alive after the deployment, when his best friend, Frankie, perished, leaving behind a beautiful pregnant wife and devoted family. T.J. was a screw up and never new family until he found the teams.

Won't you help me celebrate Veteran's Day by either buying one of my books or one of the authors I will be featuring on the Launch Party, or another author who writes military romance? That would be a very patriotic thing to do. I like to think we help heal old wounds by telling stories of sacrifice, honor and the Happily Ever After we always have in romance.

Happy Veteran's Day, early!

(Excerpt SEAL's Promise):
It wasn’t fair, but then death was indiscriminate. He knew that, but it didn’t make it any easier to take. Frankie was the one who’d gotten the pretty girl, the good grades, made his parents proud, dutifully knocked up his wife right away, which was the way it was supposed to be done.
T.J., on the other hand, had broken a lot of hearts—foster parents and girls he’d known, teachers who’d believed in him, employers, coaches whose teams he’d had to walk off of because he had to work, or because his grades made him ineligible—he broke everyone’s heart, and more than once too. He wasn’t any better at the second chances than he was at the first. He was the one who should have bought the farm. Not fuckin’ Frankie.
Everything fit into his buddy’s duffel and one shoebox. That box had a collection of letters from Shannon. Frankie had read some of them to the guys. God, the lady could write damned sexy things, and everyone got revved up whenever Frankie got a love letter. He’d sit down as soon as those letters came, glued to the paper, that silly, shit-eating grin on his face, pink cheeks like the bottom of the daughter he’d never see, half embarrassed, but incredibly grateful for his life. That was the thing that separated them. Frankie was grateful for his life. T.J. was out to grab as much of it as he could before the bell rang.
T.J. had stitches in his thigh, on his forearm, and a couple of stitches on his left butt cheek he wasn’t sure he really needed but was given anyway by an overzealous corpsman. That was the part that itched like hell, and he was halfway of a mind to rip them out with surgical scissors. They were damned annoying, and he hoped they didn’t leave a scar he’d forever have to explain.
He swung the duffel over his right shoulder, cradling the shoebox in his left hand while he made his way to the pickup. He tossed the duffel in the second seat of the 4-door truck, and set the shoebox beside him on the bench seat in front.
Looking down, he pretended Frankie was inside that box, maybe done up in miniature like that movie he’d seen as a kid about the guy named Tom Thumb.
“You’re gonna have to help me here, Frankie. Shannon doesn’t want to see the likes of me. I can’t just show up without calling first, but I did sign a paper saying I’d return your stuff to her, so send me a sign, would you? I’m in need of assistance.”
He pretended Frankie said something nasty, which he most certainly would have, if the man had been alive.
Fuck! He punched his steering wheel and then pressed his forehead to the top of it, gently banging it against the black leather padding.
This is totally messed up.
In the silence of the truck cab, he thought he heard Frankie laughing at him. Big, tough SEAL, afraid to talk to a woman. But she was Frankie’s woman, and she was six months pregnant. The facts were stacked against him. She was fragile, so he couldn’t tell her off if she took it out on him, which he was sure she would. She’d lost her husband, so she didn’t deserve to be treated in any way other than like the lady she most certainly was, so why did he have to be the one to take Frankie’s stuff to her? She hated T.J. with everything in her soul because of all the shit he had caused her and her dead husband.
Maybe he should get Lansdowne to have one of the other Team guys return Frankie’s belongings. Would it have been any easier to give it to Frankie’s parents? That he could probably have done without any trouble at all, but Shannon? Shannon didn’t deserve this.
He dialed her number and hoped like hell she wasn’t home.
But he wasn’t that lucky.
“Hey, Shannon. How’re you holding up?” His voice was raspy, and it cracked like a boy of seventeen.
“How do you suppose I’m holding up, T.J.? You calling to say you’re sorry or to give me a hard time?”
Her abruptness was her method of keeping her distance from everyone. He’d heard the other wives talk about how they had trouble getting close to her.
“No, even I wouldn’t do that.”

“Well, the day is young. Give it time. I’m sure you’ll figure out a way to be an asshole before you go to bed.”

Thank you all. Don't forget me. Don't forget our men and women in uniform. Don't forget to wear red on Fridays. Remember Everyone Deployed.


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



Saturday, November 1, 2014

Shades of Fall

Happy Saturday, Romance Realm readers!

Hope you had an awesome Halloween with plenty of this:


And this:


And maybe a little of this to balance it all out:


These are just a few of the pics from our party last night. I ate WAY too much, but I had to because it was Halloween and well...look at the pictures!!! A girl only has so much will power. The real trick for me will be keeping my hand out of the candy bowl tomorrow and the next day and the next.

October New Release

Ten authors put out a Fall romance anthology called AUTUMN'S KISS, which happened to include my totally new VIKING FOR HIRE short story. At least it's kind of short at a little over 17,000 words. Here's the kicker. At the suggestion of several readers, I am expanding it into a full blown Viking Series. More deets soon.

Here's the VIKING FOR HIRE blurb:
Branwyn O’Tyre is convinced her estranged brother plans to arrest her for witchcraft, so she drinks a protection potion before he arrives. A Viking sea captain, living under a curse, witnesses her magic and offers her an escape if only she will help him. The hitch? If she fails, Branwyn's heart will be his forever. 
And here's the trailer for the whole anthology:




Current Rafflecopter giveaway:

To thank my readers for more Facebook likes, Twitter follows, tweets, and new subscribers to my newsletter, I am raffling off a piece of Waterford crystal in the shape of a Maltese Cross. This is an important symbol in Lost Colony Series Book #2 TRAIL OF CROSSES (historical romance). Here's the blurb:
Jane Mannering can shoot a rifle and handle a knife as well as any Englishman. However, she is no match for the red-painted warriors who ambush her section of a Colonial caravan the moment she and her comrades reach the shores of Virginia.  
Jane plots their escape during a forced march inland, leaving a trail of maltese crosses carved on the trees – their pre-agreed upon signal of distress. All the while, she fumes over what interest their captors could possibly have in a twenty-three-year-old spinster and a rugged band of brick masons, sawyers, and farmers.  
When the ruthless Chief Wanchese intercepts them at the crossroads of the Great Trading Path, Jane is shaken to discover their greatest enemy plans to keep her for himself. It’s a pity he’s the only man on two continents who’s ever stirred her heart. Alas, she has an entire colony to save, and capturing his attentions is not part of their escape plan.  
Here's the picture of the crystal cross:



Best wishes on winning and wishing you a fabulous November!

Cheers,

Jo