Starting with my 4th book in the SEAL Brotherhood Series, my fictional characters in SEAL Team 3, based out of San Diego, have gotten involved in two wineries in Sonoma County. In SEAL The Deal, Mark Beale comes back to Sonoma County to help his dying sister sell her nursery business. And the romance begins when his sister’s dying wish is that he date her best friend Devon, who has also been asked to help dispose of the property.
Of course, they decide to keep the nursery and turn it into a world class winery, with the help of some investors from the Teams. And so we have Sophie’s Choice Winery, named after Nick’s sister, Sophie.
The winery makes a great backdrop for weddings for other members of the SEAL Team 3, and you know what happens at weddings! In subsequent books, the SEALs purchase a run-down winery in the Dry Creek Valley, and befriend the neighbor, a former Hollywood Director of zombie movies. This wild and creative secondary character has been a fun addition to my series. So now we have Frog Haven Winery.
Well of course the SEALs would want to make beer, and this being natural hop-growing heaven, they develop Frog Piss Beer, “Because Drinking Beer is Better Than Pond Scum,” as the label motto goes.
I’ve had fun with these, even created labels for the winery and the brewery, which I’m showing here. Oh yes, and then I had to make tee shirts.
Now, one of these days, I need to get back to my writing and stop running an advertising agency!
One commenter will win a Sophie’s Choice tee shirt, chosen at random. I’ll keep it open all weekend, and announce it back on Sunday night. Best of luck!
Sharon Hamilton is a NYT and USA/Today bestselling author most known for her SEAL Brotherhood series. She also writes a Golden Vampire and Guardian Angel series.
A lifelong organic gardener, Sharon lives with her husband in the Wine Country of Northern California, where most of her stories take place. When she’s not writing, she’s getting verra verra dirty in the mud, or wandering Farmer’s Markets looking for new Heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers.
Life is one fool thing after another. Love is two fool things after each other.
After participating in these anthologies I decided that one day, when I was ready, I would edit an anthology for CT. Earlier this year, Coming Together put out a call for volunteers to come up with/edit new anthologies for publication in 2016. I decided to take the plunge.
Coming Together: Under the Mistletoe is the result of that plunge. My anthology benefits Project Linus, who provide homemade blankets to children in crisis. “Through the donation of new, handmade blankets and afghans, we are able to bring a little comfort, a little warmth and love to a child in need. We can’t cure the disease, we can’t mend families, and we can’t undo the abuse. But we can help, in the way of a warm hug when it is most desperately needed. As of October 2016, Project Linus has donated over six million handmade security blankets to children across the USA.” If you are a crafty person, you can make blankets to donate to Project Linus and give it to your closest local chapter (there are over 300). If not, they also accept monetary donations.
My eldest daughter nearly died at the age of a week old on November 10, 2008. She received a blanket from Project Linus while in the ICU. It was a moment of warmth and kindness in a time of darkness. We didn’t know if she would survive, if her illness would leave long term health concerns, or what the future held. For nearly a month my husband and I barely left our daughter’s hospital rooms at Mass General Hospital in Boston. When we entered the hospital, Halloween candy was half off. The first day that my daughter wasn’t attached to IV’s and cords 24/7 was Thanksgiving. When we left the hospital on December 3, 2008, Christmas was in full swing everywhere we looked.
For me, Christmas isn’t a religious holiday. But December and Christmas represent the moment when we left the hospital and finally felt hope again. In that spirit, I decided to edit an anthology set during the month of December.
Under the Mistletoe is a celebration of December first through the thirty-first, from the North Pole to the Antarctic. You’ll meet couples changing up the meaning of spin the dreidel, deciding the fate of their marriage on Hogmanay, and finding new love in a dystopian future, among many more. The poets will make you laugh, and maybe even cry.
As for my daughter? We were incredibly lucky. My daughter lost a kidney to her illness, and needed a helmet and corrective brace when she learned to walk, but you would never imagine her history if you were to meet her. She just finished second grade at the local public school here in Singapore (we’ve been abroad since 2010) with straight A’s. She loves ballet, gymnastics, and Indian Dance. She alternates between being her younger sister’s best friend and worst enemy. She’s hoping Santa will bring her a bike this Christmas.
Rather than excerpt one of the erotic stories, today I’d like one of my favorite poems from the anthology with you.
By Corbin Grace
I awoke from a slumber but sleep’s fog prevailed
And stepped from the house to see what had been mailed
Awareness arose from the bite of the wind
For I wore naught but slippers, apart from a grin
My icicle dangled; my spirits dismayed
For the knob wouldn’t turn as the lock had engaged
To gaze out their windows the neighbors might swoon
From seeing before them, a wintry pale moon
I reached for my phone before palming my head
For he hasn’t pockets, who wears not a thread
December had blessed us with snow’s frosty falls
But my only concern ‘twas to warm my snowballs
I wished, for a second, my wife would come back
From visiting family while I’d had a nap
But pictured—all year—that she’d laugh to disclose
I’d been redder than Rudolph and not just my nose
And then on the driveway, her headlights appeared
On Flasher, you Vixen, caught like a reindeer
Back in the house, she wiped tears as she laughed
And as quick as a send, I appeared on snapchat
To make matters worse, came to mind a detail,
That today it was Christmas, there wouldn’t be mail
Autumn is my favorite season of the year for several reasons:
The colors. All the reds and golds and oranges of the leaves turning colors are simply breathtaking. I live in North Texas, where only a few variety of trees actually change color in autumn. I’m surrounded by mountain cedars and live oaks, which stay green all year long. But those trees that do turn color are spectacular.
The cooler weather. Our summers are hot and humid. Most of us breathe a sigh of relief when the weather starts to turn cooler. Finally, we can walk outside without feeling as if we’re hit in the face with a wet washcloth!
Football. And no, those tight pants the players wear have nothing to do with why I love the sport. Okay, maybe a little.
Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas. (I know Christmas is technically a winter holiday, but don’t burst my bubble.) Those holidays mean fun for the kids, togetherness for family, lots of good food, and laughter. Who doesn’t love watching a child open a present on Christmas morning?
Autumn also means more time inside for reading. I love to curl up in my recliner with a cup of hot tea and an afghan thrown over my lap while I get lost in an author’s world.
I hope you’ll get lost in *my* world and enjoy one of my books. Here’s a little taste of Vella’s Viking, the sixth book in my Anything Goes series.
* * *
He stared into her eyes, and Vella returned his look. She couldn’t remember ever experiencing such a strong attraction toward a man. She’d known desire many times, especially since starting to work at Anything Goes, but not this…this…
She didn’t even know how to describe it.
His good looks drew her, no doubt about that. He had the broad-shouldered build of a swimmer. She guessed his height at about six-two, which made him five inches taller than she. Their heights seemed perfect when she’d looked at him while holding his phone. She’d seen awareness in his eyes and had held her breath in anticipation of his kiss.
A kiss that hadn’t happened. Damn it.
He wore a polo shirt that matched the color of his eyes, and beige khakis. His pants didn’t hang on him and hide the shape of his legs or ass, the way khakis usually did, but molded to his lower body as if specifically made for him. A nice bulge pushed against his fly.
To get her mind back on business, she located the other two new houses in the storage drawer. “Okay, new ones taken care of. What other two do you want?”
“Which ones do you like?”
Vella smiled to herself. She recognized the ploy. So often, men came in to purchase a gift for their loved one without any clue what to buy. “My taste and your mother’s might not be the same.”
“She’ll probably have all of them eventually, so I think I’m safe in letting you pick.”
“Let me see the photos again of the houses she already owns.”
Jonas removed his cell phone from his pocket, handed it to Vella. Their fingers brushed. A zing passed all the way through her body and settled between her thighs.
His nostrils flared, his eyes heated. Vella thought something had passed between them when her mom first asked her to help Jonas, then again when their gazes met when she finished looking at the pictures on his phone. The way he stared at her now, as if he’d like to take her against the wall, made her realize she hadn’t been mistaken.
Being taken against the wall sounded really good.
* * *
More information about Vella’s Viking and all my other books on my website:
When people learn I’m an erotic romance author, I’m not surprised when they ask, “Have you done all the types of sex scenes in your books?” I’ve gotten that question a lot and usually answer with a wink and something like: “Pretty much. I especially liked the space travel to another planet and the ménage with the shapeshifting dragon. That was really hot!”
What does surprise me is when people ask me for advice about their love life and sex live. Really, you’d be surprised both men and women ask me. As if writing kinky romances gives me the expertise of a therapist. Ah, no, it doesn’t, but I’m flattered that they feel comfortable enough to ask. I started wondering what types of sex scenes do my readers like the best in my books. I write lighter sex scenes, (straight, ménage, BDSM, etc.), and a few more intense or edgier scenes.
Recently, I gave a free copy of Steel Reflections, a BDSM short story, to my newsletter subscribers. I later poled them and asked if they prefer the lighter BDSM story or the more hardcore story. I was surprised by their answers, and I received quite a number of responses.
The vast majority said they enjoy both light and hardcore BDSM, as long as there’s a good emotional connection and love story. Some like it on the lighter side and others the edgier the better. One sweet lady even emailed me after reading the story and said she didn’t realize I wrote such kinky stories. Nothing wrong with that, she said, but it wasn’t her taste. She wished me the best with my writing, but wanted to let me know since she prefers the sweet romances, she would be unsubscribing. Some readers even shared the particular lifestyle they live in their own personal lives. From please don’t tell my husband I read these books, with a smile icon, to a reader who lives the BDSM lifestyle 24/7. I love the openness about sex talk.
Sex is fun, a wonderful life experience and expression of love. I believe with a little imagination, or research, you can always turn your love life up a notch, and heat up the romance. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. At the end, I’ll tell you where you can find more ideas if you like. My number one tip before reading any of these would be communication. Talk to your partner about your fantasies, concerns and desires.
7 Sexy Romantic Tips:
Read romance books, the hotter the better. Of course an erotic romance author has to suggest this. Great sex needs two things: intimacy and some imagination. Well maybe it’s not quite that simple, but if you’re lacking in imagination, read the hottest scenes from a romance novel for a few ideas. Read it to your lover, or ask him/her to read a passage. Then act it out.
Some lovers are turned on by visuals. Give an adult movie a try to add sizzle to date night. If soft porn is out of your comfort zone, try a few sexy/romantic ones: Bitter Moon, 9 1/2 Weeks, 50 Shades of Grey, The Dreamers, Last Tango in Paris, Unbearable Lightness of Being, Deception. Just to get you started.
Might have to be careful about where and when, and of course never sext and drive! And always, always double check who will be receiving your sexy text BEFORE hitting SEND! A surprise naughty text or email can heat things up for what will come later.
Change up the routine. Try having sex at a different time, morning, afternoon, middle of the night…And different local, the den, the shower, kitchen, maybe even outside during a mountain hike?? A midnight swim?? How daring do you want to be?
Shop together at an adult store for a new toy. Sometimes it’s all about the O. Too shy to walk into a store? There are plenty of places online. Lelo is one such adult online shop to check out.
Want to heat up your love life and relieve stress? Eliminate distractions. Turn off the TV, silence the phone, shut down the computer, and turn the clock around so you aren’t thinking about what you should be doing, or will be doing after. Focus on the moment, your partner and each other’s pleasure.
And sometimes it’s not always about the big O. Enjoy the pleasure of exploring each other’s body, touching, sensual massage, talking about fantasies and desires. It may lead to hot, orgasmic sex, or the stress relief may leave you satisfied and draw you into an comfortable, naked embrace and restful sleep.
Want more ideas? In Kathy’s monthly newsletter, Kathy’s Hot News, she has the Sexy Tips and Steamy Romance Column for subscribers, and a monthly drawing for a gift card. Sign up and also receive a Free copy of STEEL REFLECTIONSClick HERE to sign up
Kathy Kulig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of erotic romance. She writes erotic contemporary, paranormal and suspense. Her latest book, Secret Escort, is available on Amazon now. It’s book 2 in her Sins of Odyssey series. Mariko’s kinky fantasy comes true with two hot strangers. A chance for a one-night-stand at a billionaire’s home maybe what she needs, what they all need, to satisfy extreme tastes and bone-deep passions, but what happens when past regrets and love gets in the way?
While you’re reading this, I’m making the two-day trip back to Arkansas from Virginia. No doubt by tomorrow, I’ll be all kidded out! Can you imagine taking a car-trip with a 12-year-old, a very loud 7-year-old, a six-year-old, and a three-year-old? Oy! I’ll be so glad to get back home where I can settle into my quiet living room and enjoy the silence! Be thinking of me…
I always say that there is nothing like a man in uniform – I’m sure most ladies agree. One Memorial Day weekend when I was in New York City, it was “Fleet Week.” Amidst the crowds of people, who stood out the most? The men wearing sharp looking military uniforms. I think the reason why I like men in uniform so much is they appear to be “squared away.” Whether military or law enforcement, their uniforms are usually pressed and depending what they are doing, they may wear medals, etc.
The point of being “squared away” is to intimidate and to impress, to draw respect from the public. For example, a person is going to respect a police officer more if his appearance is neat: his duty belt polished, his uniform pressed, his hair trimmed neatly, his badge and/or nametag straight. It’s truly an officer safety issue.
By the way, I have the utmost respect for the men and women who serve our country either here on home soil or overseas, be it military or law enforcement. They truly help keep our great nation safe.
On a more personal note, I have both my AA and my BS in Criminal Justice, I used to be an emergency dispatcher, and also have law enforcement training. In addition, my significant other has been a in law enforcement for 24 years, and is currently a Captain. So my life revolves around police.
If you can tell, I love all aspects of law enforcement. I love to write stories about law enforcement males because they’re usually Alpha. And I love Alpha men, how about you?
So far, my contemporary erotic romances include Alpha males in two types of uniforms: law enforcement and football.
The Rip Cord trilogy (football) m/m erotic romance:
JEANNE ST. JAMES is an erotic romance author who loves an Alpha male (or two). She was only 13 when she started writing since it gave her an escape from teenage angst! Her first paid published piece was an erotic story in Playgirl magazine. Her first erotic romance novel, Banged Up, was published in 2009. She is happily owned by farting French bulldogs. She writes M/F, M/M, and M/M/F ménages.
From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving! I know that not all of you are USAers, but I’d love to hear what you all give thanks for today. For my part, I’m thankful to be with both of my children and all of my grandchildren this holiday. Can you believe I have seven plus a step?! I got pregnant in kindergarten.