IN SEARCH OF TRUTH has finally arrived!

I’m so excited to announce that IN SEARCH OF TRUTH, the third book in the Deadly Force series, came out on Tuesday!

 

“This breathless romantic suspense novel provides equal amounts of heat and intrigue.” – PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY

“Twisty plots, fantastic characters, and pitch perfect pacing. Fabulous!”—ALLISON BRENNAN, New York Times Bestselling Author

“Sexy Green Berets, dark secrets, and sizzling chemistry!” ~ CHERRY ADAIR, New York Times Bestselling Author

“Fast-paced…intriguing, with steamy romance and forbidden love.” ~ FRESH FICTION

Amazon |  Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million | iBooks|  Google | Kobo | IndieBound | Audible


The Deadly Force series is about a team of ex-Special Forces soldiers, accused of vicious war crimes and determined to prove their innocence, who are desperate to find the enemy who wants to destroy them. Before time runs out and the enemy attacks again.

As these men struggle to rebuild their lives and redeem their honor, it’s the women they love who teach these alpha males that Grace always defeats Reckoning.

So far the stories have taken place in Savannah, Georgia and a fictional outlying sea island known as the Isle of Grace. But this story takes our hero Zack Tremaine from Iron Rack’s, the run-down, pirate-themed gym in the not-so-nice part of Savannah, to historic Charleston and then on to sultry New Orleans. 

IN SEARCH OF TRUTH is about a widowed anthropologist named Allison Pinckney who inherits a key to a seventeenth-century pirate cipher that makes her the target of two brutal arms dealers. Now, to save those she loves and discover who murdered her husband, she must solve the cipher. But as this mission becomes more and more dangerous, she reluctantly seeks help from a handsome man from her past. A man who’d once been her best friend, ex-Green Beret Zack Tremaine. The problem is that if she admits the secret life she’s been living, and gives into her long-buried feelings for Zack, it could cost them their lives.

Years ago Zack Tremaine betrayed his men and lost Allison, the only woman he ever loved. Today, those regrets are destroying him. And now that his men are caught in a fierce rivalry between two deadly enemies, his only hope to fix what he did wrong is to help Allison find her husband’s murderer. When he discovers Allison holds the secret to a pirate treasure, a treasure that may help him save his men, he ignores orders and gives up everything to help her search for an infamous pirate–and the woman who’d been accused of witchcraft in 1704–who both died three hundred years ago. Despite the deadly risks, Zack has one last chance to save his men and redeem his honor. Even if the woman he loves breaks his heart…again.

This book is titled IN SEARCH OF TRUTH for a reason. It’s not just about two people who are searching for the truth about the death of Allison’s husband and the reason Zack’s Green Beret unit was dishonorably discharged. It’s also about the destructive nature of fear. Throughout the book, Allison and Zack must face the realization that the choices they made because they were afraid brought them to this place of desolation. They learn that decisions based on fear never work out. In fact, decisions based on fear make everything worse. 

In this book, Zack and Allison have made terrible choices based on fear. But they’re not the only ones. And the cumulative effects of people acting out of fear almost costs them their lives. It’s only when they accept the truth of your their past choices, and then forgive themselves and others, can they find their Happily Ever After. 

I hope you love this book as much as I loved writing it! Click here for a FREE PREVIEW!

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Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Amazon bestselling Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets meet their match in smart, sexy heroines who teach these alpha males that Grace always defeats Reckoning.

Her bestselling debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife. It’s available at:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBoundKobo|  Google | Books-a-Million | Audible

Her second book, ONE DARK WISH, a passionate redemption of Othello with a HEA, is about an ex-Green Beret who must give up the woman he loves in order to redeem his honor and save the life of his men. It’s available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million | iBooks |  Google | Kobo |IndieBound | Audible

Her third book, IN SEARCH OF TRUTH, is about an ex-Green Beret desperate to win back the woman he loves and save the men he betrayed, even if he must make the greatest sacrifice. It’s available at: Amazon |  Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million | iBooks |  Google | Kobo | IndieBound | Audible

A Deadly Force Primer Part 1: The Fianna

To celebrate ONE DARK WISH‘s recent release, I’ve put together a primer about the Deadly Force Series. In today’s post, I’m discussing a secretive group of men that is threaded through these stories as both friend and foe of the ex-Green Beret heroes who populate the series. This group is known as the Fianna. 

In all of the Deadly Force books, the Fianna are led by a man known as the Prince. The men in the Fianna come from every army in the world. For personal reasons, each man leaves his men and his family and tithes to the Fianna where they then undergo extreme training for missions that are not sanctioned by any government. This army has more money than most nations and works completely on their own.  They are known for their assassinations although they perform many other missions that protect the innocent and bring justice where there was none previously. Governments and their armies stay out of their way.

But the idea of a secret army, that undergoes pagan-like training (including running naked in the woods during winter and speaking only in memorized Shakespearean verse) is not made up. My fictional army is based entirely on the life and history of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, the hero of the Fenian cycle of Celtic Poetry. According to the exploits of Fionn and his men, they lived in Ireland prior to the Roman Invasions of Britain. As Rome expanded their empire, Fionn gathered men, trained them hard, and attacked the Romans before they could get a foothold in Ireland. Irish storytellers (and some historians) believe that Fionn’s army is the reason why Rome never settled Ireland.

These Irish fairytales about Fionn and his men are, of course, loaded with fairies and magic and druid priests, but there is some written historical evidence about a fierce tribe of young men who traveled from town to town, protecting them from all invaders—from Roman to Viking. The stories themselves are so much fun to read and the men, when they’re not fighting or falling in love, think up more and more brutal ways to train. The key thing about these men is that they are required to give up everything that ties them to this world—all their worldly goods and the people whom they love and who love them back.

So, as a fiction writer, I took all of these myths, and legends, and gossip and spun it into my books, adding my own tidbits along the way. Below is a list of terms used throughout the series to describe my fictional version of the Fianna.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Prince:
 The leader of the Fianna. Any Fianna warrior can become the Prince if he challenges the current Prince  The challenging warrior must defeat the standing Prince in armed combat (of the standing Prince’s choice) and then complete his walk through the Gauntlet. If a warrior survives both, then the Council holds a vote of confidence. If the vote is unanimous, the warrior becomes the new Prince.

Warrior: A man who goes through the Fianna’s recruiting requirements and successfully becomes a foot soldier. In order to become a full-fledged warrior, a man must pass four stages of training, each one harder than the last, culminating in his Tithe. It could take up to two years to become a full-fledged warrior.

Recruit: A man going through the brutal process of becoming a warrior.

Pair: Fianna warriors always work in twos, also known as hunter/killer pairs. Once two men are paired, they stay together for life. If one dies, then the other takes another partner or may be given the option of becoming a Ghost.

Ghost: A seasoned warrior who no longer works in hunter/killer pairs and works on his own under the Prince’s direct command. A Ghost has more options and flexility with how he runs his operations.

Prince’s Second: the warrior who is the Prince’s second-in-command. This warrior is in charge of recruitment of potential warriors and all Fianna training.

Council: A group of ten warriors, chosen by the entire Fianna army, who sits in judgment of rogue warriors who’ve broken the honor codes. The Council also votes on the new Prince. A new council is chosen every two years and any warrior in good standing may run for a seat.

Misericord: All warriors carry a misericord which is a thin, very sharp retractable sword. When retracted, it’s is about ten inches long. Made of steel, it’s a deadly blade that when slipped beneath the armpit can pierce the heart. When slipped behind the ear, it takes out the brain stem. It’s a fierce, silent weapon that leaves a small entrance wound and little blood behind.

Intellectual Training: The first of the four stages of Fianna training. All recruits learn how to speak Latin, memorize all of the words in Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets, learn to speak in verse from these plays and sonnets, keep a nightly diary in Latin, pass exams to prove advanced proficiency in math, science, and languages. All recruits must know all military history and memorize strategy.

Physical Training: The second of the four stages of Fianna training. All recruits undergo a brutal, medieval form of training including: fighting naked in the middle of winter, being hunted through the woods by other warriors, sword/misericord training, sniper rifle training, small arms combat training, urban fighting techniques, hand-to-hand-combat including knives, rocks, etc., must be able to swim five miles in a freezing cold lake, and various other horrible things I don’t want to add here.

Gauntlet: The third of the four stages of Fianna training. When a recruit has completed the first two stages, he must suffer the Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is an alley with forty full-fledged warriors (twenty on each side), each one holding a weapon. The recruit must fight his way through this column of forty men. If he makes it to the end, and is still alive, he can go on to the fourth stage.

Tithe: The fourth stage of Fianna training. If a recruit makes it through the Gauntlet, he is given the choice to make his tithe. The Prince chooses an individual tithe for each recruit. A tithe can be a gift from the recruit to the Prince, or is a promise to give something up for the Fianna. Each warrior’s tithe, though, strips him of the thing that he loves most in the world, the thing that ties him to the world. It could be a demand for a warrior’s life-long celibacy or the demand for poverty or a demand that the warrior leaves behind those he loves forever. Whatever the tithe is, it will cut each warrior off from what he loves most in the world. Thereby tying the warrior to the Fianna brotherhood forever.

Name: After a recruit makes it through the four stages of training and becomes a warrior, the Prince will give him a new name derived from one of Shakespeare’s works or the original Fenian Cycle of Irish poetry.

Tattoo: After a warrior is named, his left arm is tattooed with a sword piercing a heart. His new warrior name is inked below the pierced heart.

Honor Codes: A list of rules all Fianna warriors live by based on the original rules Fionn Mac Cumhaill required of his own men in old Ireland.

Ember Runs: Four times a year, during the Ember Days that separate the seasons, recruits are stripped naked, their hair (which has grown longer) is braided, and they’re hunted through the woods at night by seasoned warriors. Each recruit must run until he is captured. If he makes any noise (breaks twigs, grunt, etc), or if one hair is out of his braid, points are deducted. Once captured, they’re buried in a hole in the ground with only one arm free and holding a stick. With this stick, he must fight off the warriors who captured him until he can no longer defend himself. He is then given points based on how far he ran before his capture, given points for how long he fought with one arm, and given points for how many warriors he took out on his own. If a recruit doesn’t get the required minimum points, he must leave the training program and will never become a warrior. If he succeeds, he’s allowed to continue the training program.

Next month, part two will introduce the heroes of the Deadly Force Series!!


Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets meet their match in smart, sexy heroines who teach these alpha males that Grace always defeats Reckoning.

Her acclaimed debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife.

Her second book, ONE DARK WISH, will come out September 24, 2019 and is available for preorder here: Amazon |  Barnes and Noble Books-a-Million | iBooks |  Google

EVERY DEEP DESIRE is available on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBoundKobo|  Google

Fun Facts About ONE DARK WISH

ONE DARK WISH, the second book in my Deadly Forces series just released this past Tuesday. ONE DARK WISH has an action-packed, National Treasure-type plot with lots of romance and intrigue. But because I do so much research for this series, I thought I’d share some fun facts. Because the stories aren’t all about racing from villains and having sexy times. 🙂

Fun Fact #1: The truth about the Fianna

One of the villains in the Deadly Force series, and ONE DARK WISH in particular, is a fictional secret army of assassins known as the Fianna. The Fianna are led by a man known as the Prince. The men in the Fianna come from every army in the world. For personal reasons, each man leaves his men and his family and tithes to the Fianna. They then undergo extreme training for missions not sanctioned by any government. The Fianna army has more money than most nations and works completely on their own.  They are known for their assassinations although they perform many other missions that protect the innocent and bring justice where there was none previously. Governments and their armies, as well as the ex-Green Berets heroes in the Deadly Force series, stay out of their way.

But the idea of a secret army, that undergoes pagan-like training (including running naked in the woods during winter and speaking only in memorized Shakespearean verse) is not made up. My fictional army is based on the life and history of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, the hero of the Fenian cycle of Celtic Poetry. Fionn and his men lived in Ireland prior to the Roman Invasions of Britain. As Rome expanded their empire, Fionn gathered men, trained them hard, and attacked the Romans before they could get a foothold in Ireland. Irish storytellers (and some historians) believe that Fionn’s army is the reason why Rome never settled Ireland.

These Irish fairytales about Fionn and his men are loaded with fairies and magic and druid priests, but there is written historical evidence about a fierce tribe of young men who traveled from town to town, protecting villagers from all invaders—from Roman to Viking. The key thing about these men is that they were required to give up everything that tied them to this world—all their worldly goods and the people whom they loved and who loved them back.

Fun Fact #2: Pirate Ciphers

ONE DARK WISH is a romantic suspense story, with a National Treasure-type plot. The heroine, Sarah Munro, is a historian who specializes in 17thcentury pirates. Her hero, ex-Green Beret Nate Walker, has just been released from the U.S. Army’s secret prison hospital in Maine.

When Sarah and Nate meet in a remote colonial-era cemetery outside of Savannah, GA, and they’re threatened by a Fianna assassin, Sarah and Nate realize their very different lives are somehow connected.

Unfortunately for them, that connection is a 17thcentury unsolved pirate cipher.

17thand 18thcentury pirates were known—paradoxically—for both their brutality and their fairness. While movies and books treat these men as mindless beasts, the opposite is true. Many pirates were educated and smart, often having been officers themselves once. In order to hunt down well-armed ships, and out-maneuver senior naval officers, they also had to be clever in their tactics and communications. One way pirates secretly communicated with each other was with ciphers.

From the 15ththrough the 18thcenturies, pirate ciphers used two-part substitution encryption. The first part is a code, like a poem or a page from a book. This part is known as plaintext. The second part is a key that pulls out the message from the plaintext. It wasn’t sophisticated, but if you didn’t have both parts the message would never be revealed.

A popular type of plaintext would be a common poem even an illiterate man could remember, like one of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Then the key would pick specific letters in each sentence. When you string those letters together, you have your message. It was crude but effective. So effective in fact that, during the Revolutionary War, George Washington adopted this technique to communicate with his officers in the field.

Fun Fact #3: Herbal remedies do work!

I used to work as a chemical and patent librarian for a major pharmaceutical research lab. During our weekly meetings, we often talked about whether or not herbal remedies worked in a more complex, modern world. We had one lab that only studied chemical properties in common herbal cures like peppermint tea, dandelion flowers, elderberry syrup, etc. While the cost of researching herbal cures was too expensive (considering the potential future profit), they discovered that herbal remedies used during the 17thand 18thcenturies, especially in the colonies, had some positive effect on mild illnesses. It wasn’t enough of an effect to be worth the cost of developing a new drug, but we all started making homemade elderberry syrup to ward off the flu and drank ginger lemon tea to help with headaches.

In ONE DARK WISH, Sarah inherited a recipe box on her 16thbirthday. The box, from her grandmother, was filled with 17thcentury herbal remedies and is one of the things that made Sarah want to be a 17thcentury historian. When the story starts, Sarah has spent years reformulating these recipes and has come up with an herbal tea to help her father with his migraines. Then she meets Nate who is suffering from serious headaches from his time being tortured in an Afghan POW camp. When she encourages him to drink her headache tea, he reluctantly agrees. It works but it has a disgusting taste and he hates it. As they fall in love, solve ciphers, and outsmart villains, she has to find alternate ways to get him to drink it. Then she starts to blackmail him into drinking it—in those special, sexy ways known to romance novel heroines. J


Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Amazon bestselling Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets meet their match in smart, sexy heroines who teach these alpha males that Grace always defeats Reckoning.

Her bestselling debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife. It’s available at:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble |iBooks | IndieBoundKobo|  Google | Books-a-Million | Audible

Her second book, ONE DARK WISH, a passionate redemption of Othello with a HEA, is about an ex-Green Beret who must give up the woman he loves in order to redeem his honor and save the life of his men. It’s available at: Amazon |  Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million | iBooks |  Google | Kobo|IndieBound | Audible

Celebrating a Milestone- Anniversary Edition #amwriting #Romance @jacqbiggar

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Celebrating a Milestone

Five years ago, I decided to quit feeling sorry for myself and do something about it. You see, I’d recently moved away from home and was lost and lonely.

But, I had a dream.

One I’d carried in the back of my mind for years. I wanted to write a book. Deciding the genre was the easy part. Romance. I was an avid reader of romance novels. They took me to faraway places, fed my spirit and thrilled my heart.

Yep, romance it was.

Okay, now what?

I had a computer that I used for my bookkeeping, but had no idea how to use it as a writing tool. I needed to learn though, my lefty handwriting was atrocious- that wouldn’t work.

I searched online and found RWA® Romance Writers of America, a group of thousands geared toward helping authors better their craft. I also managed to find a local writing group and gathered up the courage to go to one of their meetings where I immediately felt at home. I joined both and began to take classes to learn the art.

It took time (I’m still a work-in-progress) but finally, FINALLY I published my first book in September of 2014.

Pride.

I could barely contain the excitement blooming in my chest to see a book with MY name on it for sale. But then came the realization. People were going to read it. My heart and soul on those pages and they were all out there– I felt sick.

The reviews trickled in, some good, some not so much, but the addiction was born. I loved to write!

This week I’m celebrating that momentous moment by sharing my first book with you- free!

Jan 11-15

Click the picture to go to Amazon

Excerpt

Nick jogged through the early morning streets, Jake trotting by his side, enjoying the peace and quiet before the town woke for the day. Little songbirds greeted him as he passed a cedar hedge on his way to the park. The air was fresh and cool at this hour. He was glad his strength had returned, his breathing even and stride long. It’d been an uphill battle. For a while after the ambush he’d shut down. Closed everyone out. He wished now he’d made it his business to keep in touch with all his old teammates. The faint sounds of a dog’s bark had Nick looking down at Jake, loping alongside. He’d healed up well, and only flinched at sudden loud noises these days. His hip had taken the brunt of the damage. When the explosion had thrown them, Nick worried he’d need to put him down, but he’d pulled through. Tough mutt.

After his run, he would head over to Sara’s and have a look at those files, see what they were looking at here. Nick had a bad feeling that Tommy boy was into some heavy shit. They needed to solve that first, before there could be a chance for him and Sara.

A sudden sharp pain stabbed him behind the eyes, causing him to falter. Jake whined, sensing his distress. Squinting through slit eyes he spotted a nearby bench, and slumped onto the seat. He pushed a shaky hand through his hair, and then using his thumb and middle finger squeezed in towards his nose, relieving the pressure. “It’s okay, boy. I’m fine. Let’s just take a little break, hmm.” The doctor had explained in excruciating detail while he lay in that hospital in Germany, how lucky he was. The explosion had hit him and sent him flying right up against the stone wall of a nearby house. Shrapnel had gouged a deep line on his forehead, right above his old bullet wound. A centimeter farther to the left and it would have been lights out, of the forever kind. Unfortunately, it’d taken his short-term memory away from him. He’d been told it would come back in dribbles, or one big slam––or maybe not ever. Nice. It angered him that he couldn’t break through the fog to discover the truth of what happened to him and his team. There was something there he could feel it.

He supposed he should be grateful he could remember his childhood, though those memories he could have lived without. Years of mental and physical abuse at the hands of his old man had sent him down nothing but a path of trouble during his high school years. Alcohol, substance abuse, vagrancy, you name it he tried it. His motto had been if you’re not living on the edge, you’re just taking up space.

Then he’d met Kendra in one of the few classes he’d decided to show up for and they’d fallen in love. She’d been the only child of lawyer parents, sweet and innocent. The odds had gone against him when they’d had unprotected sex on a hot summer’s night. She’d gotten pregnant. At least he’d done the right thing and proposed. And though her parents of course hated him, they agreed the marriage should take place. Maybe if they’d stopped it, or if he’d just walked away, Kendra and his son would still be alive today.

They’d been too young, and in the end, it tore them apart. He couldn’t even recall what the fight had been about––no doubt his lack of a ‘respectable’ job. He’d been working at a local garage at the time––all he did remember was getting up to answer the door, only to see two uniforms on the other side. Devastated, blaming himself, he spent the next couple of months shit-faced drunk. Coming out of an alcohol-induced daze one day he saw a poster for enlisting in the marines. Not caring much whether he lived or died at that point, he’d signed up. They sent him to Lackland Airforce Base in San Antonio, where he met Jake. They’d been inseparable ever since.

The searing pressure eased enough for him to open his eyes. Jake sat with his head cocked to the side, his ears laid back in commiseration. Nick nudged him with his knee and gave his sides a good hard rub, Jake groaning his thanks. “Okay, big guy, what do you say to finishing our run?” He’d learned a long time ago that pushing through the pain was often the best medicine.

He had that in common with Sara. She’d gone through both a physical and a mental trauma that would have crushed most. She was doing great, but he bet a violation like that was something from which no woman ever fully recovered.

It humbled him that she had trusted him enough to allow him to make love to her last night. Nick would never hurt a hair on her head, but there was no real way for her to be sure of that. He hoped and prayed no one would ever crush her again, and swore to do everything in his power to make sure of that, starting with Sheridan. If those files contained half of what Sara had intimated they did, he’d need some help. Checking to make sure no one was around, he pulled his cell out of his sweats and made the call.

“Hey, Chief, how are you? It’s Nick, Nickolaus Kelley. Long time, sir, too long. Shit, I’ve missed the team. How’s the whizz kid?” A big grin split his face as he listened to Frank describing Jared’s latest and greatest.

“No kidding, trust Martin to take the term, Land of opportunity, to a whole new level, right?” He laughed. Man, it was good to talk to the chief again. Why did people always let the important ones in their lives fall to the wayside, while they went about the business of life?

He could well believe Jared had almost shut down the strip; the man was scary good with electronics. “I understand that you’re out of the loop these days, sir, but I was hoping I could ask you, and Jared if he’s still with you, for a helping hand. I have a situation here and could really use your input.”

Relief coursed through his veins at the quick response to his plea. “I’ll tell you all about it when you arrive. Tomorrow then, and thanks—Frank.”

Every Deep Desire was Born . . . and Now It’s Time to Let Go

It’s been almost a week since EVERY DEEP DESIRE entered the world, and I’m back at work revising book 2 in the Deadly Force series, ONE DARK WISH and writing book 3.  And I’m exhausted. The kind of exhaustion that  comes after having a baby or moving to another country (both of which I’ve done). It’s not just a lack of sleep kind of tired, but an emotional withdrawal. After so many wonderful notes, emails, tweets, etc., I feel this intense need to crawl into bed and hide under the covers.

I wrote for a long time (14 years) before seeing my book on a bookshelf in a store, and I thought I understood all that would mean. But I’ve realized in the last week that the writing and getting published–while hard–isn’t the hardest part. The hardest part is letting go.

This book is no longer mine. This book now belongs to the world. This book now belongs to the reader. And how the reader interprets the characters, and brings the world of this series into their mind and heart, is an intensely personal experience. An experience that allows no room for the author.

And somehow my heart missed the message. Yet, as a long-time reader and librarian, it makes perfect sense. The story was only mine while I was crafting it, and now it’s yours to interpret as you wish.

That’s the incredible thing about the imagination: I write something and someone else feels something. Yet, while I can control (somewhat) what I write, I can’t control how anyone else feels. And, as an author, that’s hard. I want everyone to feel sad during the “sad scenes” and happy at the end, but that’s not my job. Nor should it be. My job as the author is to present the story with all of its beauty and warts (because there are always warts) and let you, the reader, do with it what you will.

Which means it’s time for me to take a deep breath, take a long walk, and hope that you enjoy this story as much as I loved writing it.

So now I’d like to introduce the Deadly Force series: Where ex-Green Berets and their smart, sexy heroines redeem Shakespeare’s greatest love stories.

The series is about a team of ex-Special Forces soldiers, accused of vicious war crimes, who are desperate to prove their innocence and find their enemies before they attack again. As these men struggle to rebuild their lives and redeem their honor, it’s the women they love who teach these alpha males that Grace always defeats Reckoning.

EVERY DEEP DESIRE , the first book in the series, is a contemporary retelling of Romeo and Juliet that takes place in Savannah, GA. The story answers the question of what kind of marriage the lovers would’ve had if they’d won their happy ending.

My main characters, Rafe and Juliet, were married young until Rafe abandoned Juliet and deserted his Green Beret unit to work for a secretive army known as the Fianna. Now, eight years later, he’s been released from prison and needs to win Juliet’s trust if he’s to save everyone he loves. He knows she’ll never forgive him—or love him again—but he’ll do everything in his power to protect her.

After eight years away, Rafe returns and Juliet learns that Rafe went AWOL and abandoned her to work for the Fianna—a mysterious group of assassins who trace their lineage back to pagan Ireland. Now, one of Rafe’s old enemies wants something hidden on Juliet’s land or bad things will happen.

Except Rafe has been gone a long time and Juliet, who’s rebuilt her life, has no interest in having her heart broken again. No matter that he’s returned a fully-grown, sexy man who still loves her. What she doesn’t realize is that if she helps him, and if they succeed, they won’t just save those they love—they’ll be separated forever.

Thank you for taking this journey with me, and hopefully sticking with me as I continue. There will be fumbles and missteps, but also love and laughter. Which pretty much describes all of our lives! 


Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets and their smart, sexy heroines retell Shakespeare’s greatest love stories.

Her debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife.

It’s available on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | IndieBound

Adding it to your Goodreads TBR list is also always appreciated!

You can find Sharon on:

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads |  Bookbub | Amazon 

How A Visual Journal Led to Sharon Wray’s Every Deep Desire (and a Goodreads Giveaway!)

Vision Board for Every Deep Desire

Although I’m a published author, I wasn’t always. Once upon a time, I was a Chemical/Patent Librarian, an Art Librarian, an Archivist, and . . . a wedding gown designer. It wasn’t until I had my twins, and left my librarian and dress-making worlds behind me, that I started searching for my next creative outlet with a book by Julia Cameron called The Artists Way.

In her book, Ms. Cameron offers different exercises to help uncover “stuck” artists. I wasn’t stuck as much as shifting gears. My life had changed, and I was ready for something new. One of the exercises in the book is daily journaling which I’ve always found more of a chore than a way of freeing my mind. So instead of a diary, I bought an artist’s notebook with thick paper that could handle markers and rubber cement. Then I started my visual journal–a book where you add photos, draw pictures, etc. to the page and write around the images. It suited my need for visual representation.

Vision Board for Every Deep Desire.

After nine months, I re-read what I’d cut, pasted, and written about and realized that I wanted to be a writer. This exercise of visual journaling gave me a literal vision of a potential future. The only problem was I’d no idea how to write anything other than grant requests and thank you notes. I’d always told stories to myself, and to others, but since I didn’t know how to write a book, I thought I’d bring the ideas in my head to life visually.  So I swallowed my fear and kept up the visual journal. If this is what I was supposed to do, then I figured my muse would meet me half-way.

Visual Journal for Every Deep Desire

Then the learning years started. I was still unsure about what I should write about and where to find the creative well for this endeavor. Writing was so different than designing and sewing, and I was lost. One day, as I was in a writing craft session taught by Jenny Crusie, she mentioned her “Girls in the Basement”, aka muses, and how when she needed to contact them, she’d build a collage.  Remembering my visual journal, I thought “I’ll contact my muse visually too!” So I bought posterboard and more rubber cement and magazines and made collages of all of the books in my head. It helped me figure out what I really wanted to write about. Too bad I still didn’t know how!

Visual Journal for Every Deep Desire

As the years went on, I kept learning and writing. I wrote a new manuscript every year followed by more rejections. Then a friend of mine mentioned Pinterest and how it was digital version of my visual journals and my collages. Intrigued, I joined Pinterest and rebuilt my collages for all of my books, keeping my new boards secret, of course.

More years went on and, twelve and a half years after I started writing, I sold three books to Sourcebooks in my Deadly Force Romantic Suspense series. My first book, Every Deep Desire, comes out March 6 (in a few weeks!) and I just turned in revisions on book 2. And one of my marketing/promo things on my to-do list was to clean up my Pinterest board.

As I was getting ready to make the board public, I pulled out my old visual journal and collage for this story and was shocked at how many similarities there were between the original themes, colors, and ideas that ended up in the finished book–a book that was revised many, many times. Even though I’ve been working on this series for years, my “Girls in the Basement” were busy guiding me even though I’d no idea at the time what the end product would be. If I’d known, maybe I wouldn’t have spent so much time worrying.

Then again, maybe not. LOL.

Vision Board for Book 2 in the Deadly Forces Series (Title TBD)

Every Deep Desire is a contemporary Romantic Suspense re-telling and redemption of Romeo and Juliet. After a metaphorical death–the demise of Rafe and Juliet’s young marriage–the lovers are held apart not just by their families, but by a vicious arms dealer, a secret army of assassins who speak in Shakespearean verse, and a group of ex-Green Berets who believe the hero is a traitor.

Rafe Montfort is taking it all back
His honor, his freedom, and the woman he loves

Rafe Montfort was a decorated Green Beret, the best of the best, until a disastrous mission and an unforgivable betrayal destroyed his life. Now, this deadly soldier has returned to the sultry Georgia swamps to reunite with his brothers, and take back all he lost. But Juliet must never know the truth behind what he’s done…or the dangerous secret that threatens to take him from her forever.

It took Juliet Capel eight long years to put her life back together after her husband was taken from her. Now Rafe is back, determined to protect her at any cost, and it’s not just her heart that’s in danger. The swamps hold a secret long buried and far deadlier than either of them could have imagined…

So just in time for my debut in a few weeks, here is a link to my Every Deep Desire Pinterest Board.

 

There’s also a Goodreads Giveaway for a free copy of Every Deep Desire going on until the book’s release.


Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes novels of suspense, adventure, and love. The author of the Romantic Suspense Deadly Force Series, her debut book Every Deep Desire releases on March 6, 2018 and is still available for pre-order.

It’s available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and iBooks.  And adding it to your Goodreads TBR list is also always appreciated!

Older Characters

What do I mean by those words? For some people, 35 is older. I’m sorry, I really have a hard time wrapping my mature mind around that concept. 40? Yeah, I can go there. Except I was really in my prime during my 40s and 50’s. I ran for the school board for the first time when I was 40. (and lost–not fun, but ran again when I was 44 and won. Much more fun. 😊)

IMG_3312 kids hate this pic.:)

I was in my 50’s when I went back to school to get principal certification. And I didn’t begin writing until I was in my 60’s. Maybe I’m just a late bloomer? Well, yeah pretty sure. But I’d argue age and our perception of age has changed. Even for women.

Women in the real world anyway, perhaps not in Hollywood. But the last I checked, I don’t live there. 😉

I write romances with heroes and heroines in their 40-s and 50’s. Second chance love, but always with danger thrown in. My tag line is “Romance, Suspense, Second Chances. Experience Required.” My stories almost always have the parents of the main characters in them, too, as supporting characters, so folks in their 70’s. I like the generational thing.

I remember attending my first RWA convention. It was in Dallas, and I’d just retired from being an elementary school principal. I went not knowing a soul, not even belonging to a local chapter. Everyone was welcoming and friendly. One of the sessions was put on by Harlequin, I think, and they were touting their new line of romance with older characters. I can’t remember its clever name, but I do remember thinking, Yea! There’s a place for me. LOL Remember, I was very green.

I didn’t even know that I don’t write category romance. I believe that line fell by the wayside. But as we’ve all grown older (a thing, if we’re lucky. we do), the idea of reading about folks who are closer to our own age falling in love and solving problems and getting into scrapes and getting out of them has grown in popularity.

On Facebook, I belong to a group for writers of Seasoned Romance. I understand at RWA this summer there will be a panel on this subject as there was at the recent RT conference.

This makes me happy. Partly because maybe there will be more readers for my books, but also because there will be more books for me to read.IMG_3926

My husband read a recent NY Times article about the importance of reading and raising kids to be productive adults. The author accepted a challenge to read 100 books a year—of all kinds. He and his wife challenged their teenagers to accept the challenge. They haven’t yet made it, but that’s one of those goals that even if you don’t make it, you accomplish a whole lot with the attempt.

I confess to not reading a wide variety of books, but even when I was laid up all last summer with my broken ankle resting above my heart, I didn’t read 100 books in that year. That’s a huge goal, but a worthwhile one for a person of any age to set.

So, where do you fall in your reading? Only read books with younger heroes and heroines? Do you read multiple genres? How about the number. Are you in the 100 Club?  Love to hear from you.

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