Welcome Sharon Wray, a Firebird Sister and 2014 RS Golden Heart Finalist

Sharon WrayHappy Monday to all our wonderful Firebird blog readers. Today is an extra special treat in our “Meet the Dreamweavers” series. Sharon Wray is our finalist of the day. And it holds special meaning to be able to host her. I met her via the 2012 Golden Heart finalists group. She’s my Firebird sister. And I couldn’t be happier for her. This is her 6th final.

That is amazing–well, that’s no surprise because she is so sweet and amazing herself. It would have to filter into her writing as well.

So, without further ado, here’s a little bit of the 411 on our lovely Sharon Wray.

A librarian/archivist who also studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris, Sharon is a six-time RWA Golden Heart Romantic Suspense author repped by Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency.

As she waits for the “Call”, Sharon writes stories of adventure, suspense and love and blogs at some of her favorite romance sites. In her spare time, she snaps endless photos of her family and her garden while negotiating backyard territory rights with her dog Donut. Sharon lives in Northern Virginia with her three biggest supporters — her amazing husband and twin teenagers.

photo-1See-amazing! Super congrats on your Golden Heart final, Sharon. I’m tickled pink for you. You’ve finaled six (count ‘em people–SIX) times. I love that one of your years was 2012 so we could become Firebird sisters. But what I’m wondering is, is the excitement of receiving that coveted phone call letting you know you’d finaled, the same this time as it was the first time?

I was even more excited this year than in any other year because of the eight manuscripts I’ve written (five of which have finaled in the Golden Heart before), See Her No More is my favorite. It’s also the hardest book I’ve ever written. I was so excited that I can’t even remember who called me!

I love the title and this book is so special to you. It seems like the book that moves us the most is the one that digs deeper into the emotions, drawing out more than we realize until the story is finished. Now, is this finalling entry in the same category as your previous finals? Or do you write in different genres?

All of my finals, including this year’s, have been in Romantic Suspense. I also write YA (near-future adventure and romance), but I have never entered that category.

Please join us over at the Firebirds or click here to read more.  Continue reading

Beautiful Chaos: A Writing Process Blog Tag Post

Last week I was tagged in a blog that’s going through the writing community. The goal is to explore and explain our processes as well as we can (without seeming crazy).

I was tagged by my amazing friend Talia Quinn, a Firebird and Lucky 13 Golden Heart sister, whose next contemporary romance Call Me Saffron comes out June 9th. I can’t wait for this book, the first in her Greenpoint Pleasures series, and I am putting aside some serious time to read it!
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1)  What am I working on?

I am currently revising my 2014 Golden Heart manuscript See Her No More. When a woman determined to protect the life she’s built for herself becomes the target of an arms dealer who believes she holds the key to a 12th Century secret, her only chance to stay alive rests within the arms of her ex-Green Beret husband who abandoned her eight years earlier.

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2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

While the books all have Green Beret heroes, they are all out of the military. And not necessarily by choice. I write military romantic suspense with dishonored men, men desperate to clear their names and regain their honor, men who have nothing to lose. This makes my heroes darker than most, but also more determined to succeed.

My heroines, one the other hand, all have a quiet strength and fierce intelligence. Since the heroes are up against a villain who plays with histories greatest secrets–old conspiracy theories–they need the heroines to help them solve the mysteries. While the men bring their guns, strength, tactical and operational knowledge, the women bring the books and unique intelligence to see obscure clues–clues others miss in their everyday life.

I write about Colonel Torridan’s Black Ops Brotherhood. A group of elite soldiers devoted to each other, determined to seek the truth instead of justice, willing to risk their honor, their lives, and their souls to save themselves and the women they love.

To read more, please join me at at the 2012 Golden Heart Firebirds blog or click here to read more.  Continue reading

War Paint, Fall Out Boy, and Winston Churchill: The Three Things All Writers Need to Win

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“Wait for me!” my niece yells as she runs after the older kids. But her six-year old legs can’t keep up with the other four in the nine-to-thirteen set.

“You’re slow,” the nine-year old yells back and waves her off. “Just wait for us here and we’ll tell you what happens.”

“No!!! I want to be there with you. I want to do it too!” She huffs and puffs and runs. “Wait for me.”

“You’re not good enough, yet,” said the ten-year old. “Stay with Aunt Sharon.”

I follow behind, in my natural position as watcher, bearer of snacks, and on-the-ready first aider and sports agent. Which means I’m carrying the picnic basket, camera, and everything else I thought we might need for an all-day adventure in the canvas bag weighing down my shoulder.

“It’s okay,” I say to the girl who wishes she was bigger. “I’m here with you. And I promise we won’t miss anything.”

“But we will,” she whines. “They’ll give out the best baseball positions before I get there.”

Although tempted to point out that five children do not make a baseball team, I sigh and hand her the bat that sticks out of my bag at an odd angle and keeps hitting me in the head as I walk. “They can’t do anything without the bat. So before you give it to them, use it to bargain for a better position.”

“Okay.” Seemingly appeased with her new source of power, she smiles and takes off. But it doesn’t take long for her to turn around and come back for me.

“They’re gone. And they took the bat.”

“I’m sorry.”

“They just don’t understand.”

“Understand what?”

To read more, please join me today at the GH Firebirds site or click here to read more. Continue reading

Joyful Noise: Lessons Learned from the Yam Girl.

IMG_2069 “Yams? I don’t want yams!” The woman ahead of me yelled at the cashier of my local grocery store. “I want sweet potatoes.” She slammed down a plastic bag and got in the cashier’s pale face. “And I want them now.”

I checked my watch and bit the inside of my mouth until I tasted blood. I was late and my arms hurt from holding two bakery boxes of muffins and a half-gallon of orange juice.

All of the self-checkout lanes were getting their yearly computer upgrades and I was in the “10 items and under” lane which had a short conveyor belt I couldn’t reach yet. So I kept my gaze on a nearby flyer. White paper with black letters that had two words.

Joyful Noise.

“But these are sweet potatoes,” the soft-spoken cashier said. “They are the same thing.”

“Yams are not sweet potatoes,” said the woman I’d just dubbed Yam Girl. “I am a certified organic chef and I want to see your manager.”

“He doesn’t come in until noon.”

Everyone is certified for something these days.

Yam Girl glared at me.

Had I said that out loud? 

Whatever. I didn’t have time for this. I was on my way to a meeting. A meeting for my best friend who’d died days earlier. A meeting to plan her funeral. So I sent back my best death stare.

Bring it, Yam Girl.

Yam Girl went back to abusing the cashier, with a few choice cuss words thrown in, until the bagging man/bouncer came over and asked her to leave. At his arrival, Yam Girl huffed and puffed and went away.

Thank goodness.

To read more, please join me over at the Firebirds 2012 Golden Heart Blog or click here to read more.  Continue reading