Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Holiday Message

The older I get, the faster time seems to go by. Wasn't it just yesterday that we were welcoming 2008? Now, in what seems like just the blink of an eye, we're ready to say goodbye.

As with any other year, 2008 passed with all of us experiencing both joy and sadness. We were once again reminded nothing lasts forever, and even though it might not seem like it at the time, life does go on.

The message I'd like to send everyone this holiday season has to do with only one word. Love. Sometimes it's simple...other times it can be the most complicated, confusing four letters in the alphabet.

And while some associate Love more with Valentine's Day, I prefer to link it with the holidays.

To me, love is more than a word, it's an emotion. It's the flutter in your stomach every time you look at your significant other...the overwhelming emotion when your child wraps their tiny hand in yours...and what tugs at your heartstrings when your friends are hurting.

Love is family, whether you're blood related or not. It's selflessness, generosity, understanding.

In these difficult times, my wish is for everyone to take a minute to think about what really matters in life. Material things are nice, but they can't make you laugh, hold you when you cry, or pat you on the back for a job well done.

This season, please take the time to let your family and friends know not only HOW much you love them, but WHY you love them. Too often we forget to mention why people are so special to us.

In closing, I would like to wish all of you a happy and healthy holiday season. And whether you're spending a lot of money on gifts this year or just a little, I ask you to remember it's not quantity that's so important, but quality...for love, the most precious gift of priceless.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Call

No, not THE call.

Not yet, anyway.

I'm talking about the unexpected phone call that warms your insides from the roots of your hair to the tips of your perfectly pedicured toes.

I got one of those yesterday, and I'm still smiling.

Right in the middle of what looked to be the Redskins second loss of the season, the phone rang. I wondered who dared to call me in the middle of a football game (solicitors don't give a damn if you're in the middle of screaming at the TV because Jason Campbell just threw another incomplete pass). I checked the caller ID, prepared to let the machine pick up.

I was a little surprised to see who was calling. Allowing my curiosity to get the best of me, I answered and greeted the caller happily, even though, by this time, the Redskins were falling so far behind the Saints, my mood was halfway to I-can't-believe-they-let-these-guys-play-in-the-NFL-ville.

Anyway, the caller greeted me and quickly launched into their reason for contacting me on what I consider the most sacred day of the week from September through the first weekend in February.

For no other reason than just being kind, the caller and her husband wanted to let me know they'd decided to do something nice for me and my books. In the past, they've complimented my books and told me how much they loved the stories. This time, they also complimented me personally, as a writer.

For a while now, I've questioned my writing career. Although I love what I do, I have to admit, if there's anything in this world that's eventually going to teach me patience, it's being an author. No instant gratification here. This is a hurry up and wait business; complete torture for a girl who wants what she wants NOW. I'm still waiting for agents to call, for the next book plot to pop into my head, and for my books to end up on the NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller List. I've often questioned whether or not to just give it up all together, wondering if I'm wasting my time.

Today, I decided I'm not. Why?

Because of that football-game-interrupting phone call. That's why.

Maybe since I've yet to receive a comment or review for The Long Road Home , or because I've hit a temporary road block in my current work in progress, or because lately I've literally been questioning the reason for my very existence...I've lost sight of things.

Until yesterday, I'd forgotten how much enjoyment I get from good it feels to sit down lose myself in a story only I have the power to create...and how much several people have, in the past, told me how much they love my books.

That call yesterday put it all in perspective. It made me realize all that matters is my work is loved and appreciated by two very special people who took the time to tell me so.

The Redskins beat the Saints 29-24 in the final minutes of the game. Looks like we both found something that was missing, at just the right time...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The more things change...

The more they stay the same.

How many of you remember where you were and what you were doing when you realized exactly how true that statement is?

Okay, so it's not anywhere near as momentous an occasion as 95% of the other events in your life.

BUT, it is an important one.

I've always been under the impression that each new, unique thing you experience, new friend you make, and goal you reach, makes you a better, more well-rounded person. Occasionally, I simply thought to myself, 'Wow!'

But today, I had a light bulb moment. You know, when something so simple, something you never saw coming, blindsides you with a realization so powerful it knocks the wind out of you. Stunned, you find yourself replaying it in your mind while staring absentmindedly, nodding your head. Two things happened this afternoon that finally helped me realize the more things seem to change, the more they really do just stay the same.

Without going into details, I'll say I also realized I'm a better person than I thought I was. In this case, 'better' has two different meanings. But I won't go into detail about that, either. Instead, I'll share a few other thoughts that crossed my mind today:

1. My grandchildren might have grandchildren by the time the Redskins have another winning season.

2. Trashy people will always 'stink' no matter how much they try to cover it up.

3. Just when you thought the past was gone, there it is staring you in the face every time you turn around.

4. There's something special about a person when just thinking about them makes you smile.

5. No matter how far you roam, nothing feels better than knowing you can always go home, even if you're not quite ready.

What can I say? It was a slow day...lots of time to think.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Oh, what the hell...

When I decided to blog, my original plan was to NOT talk about writing and my books.
However, since I kind of blew that out of the water with my last blog, I decided just this once (well, technically, this will be twice), I'm going to talk about writing and said books.

Although at present time this writer happens to be stuck at her desk because her laptop died a tragic, untimely death last spring, it hasn't stopped me from writing.

One of the questions I get most frequently is, "Why?" Another is, "How do you come up with the stories you write? And the characters?"

Call it over-active imagination, but I've never had trouble coming up with stories or characters. Female character names, yes. Book titles, yes. Really big words to describe what I'm trying to say, yes.

But never stories.

I've been writing since I was about thirteen. But long before I even put pen to paper--and eventually, fingertip to keyboard--I had created several characters and stories in my mind. In fact, that's something I still do. I think about them when I'm driving, sitting on the tractor cutting the grass, and even in the shower.

Now you know my secret. I plot books in the truck, on the tractor, and in the shower.

To date, I'm most proud of my four-book, Hagerstown, Maryland based McCassey Brother's Series. Of course, it never started out to be a series...or even a sequel. Then, my publisher emailed me to say not only did she love NO WORRIES (the first book), she hoped I was writing Rebel's two brother's stories.

With itchy fingers, I emailed her right back and said, "Of course!"

That's how the series was born. Well, back then, it was only going to be a trilogy. Rebel McCassey has two older brothers, Blackie and Judd. NO WORRIES, THE DEVIL'S CANDY, and DUSTY ROSE. Three books. That makes it a trilogy.

Then, as if nothing else in the world was more meant-to-be, I woke up one morning with another McCassey sibling on the brain. I couldn't ignore the book's pleas to be written, so I ran the idea by my critique partners, who loved it. Then I pitched it to my publisher, who REALLY loved it.

So, after vowing I was finished with the McCassey clan (really, how many different stories can one be expected to come up with for such a tight-knit family in a tiny little town???), I found myself writing yet another one. Damn muse. Most of the time I couldn't get it to hit me when I needed it to if I put a softball bat in it's hand. With this book, it wouldn't leave me alone.

Now, with the release date of that forth and final book, THE LONG ROAD HOME, looming on the horizon, I find myself unwilling to let go of my beloved McCassey boys. Blackie, Judd, and Rebel have been part of my life for so long--nearly five years--that I feel like they're real. One of them even has his own MySpace page. (

In order to give the boys a proper send myself move on and be able to dive deeper into my current work in progress...I've shared their book covers with you above, and blurbs for those books below. If you're interested, you can even read the first chapter of each book for FREE on my web site,
Enjoy them. Love and take care of them as if they were your own family, for they will always be part of mine.

'Night, boys...

NO WORRIES (The McCassey Brother's Series: Book 1)
Back Cover Blurb

Witnessing her mother's murder put a label on Gypsy Lance that few people overlooked. Raised in foster homes, she spent her childhood yearning for love and acceptance. Nearly penniless, she arrives in Hagerstown, Maryland looking to put down roots and outrun a past she fears is about to catch up to her. . .
Blue collar bad boy Rebel McCassey knows what it's like to try and escape your past. No longer the hellion he once was, he's never been able to shake his family's bad reputation. When he finds Gypsy lost in the woods, her unconditional trust and refusal to judge him by his infamous last name touch Rebel in a place he didn't know existed. . .his heart.
When the demons chasing Gypsy are caught lurking in the shadows, Rebel vows to keep her safe; even if it means slipping back into his old ways. . .

* * * * * * * * * *

THE DEVIL'S CANDY (The McCassey Brother's Series: Book 2)
Back Cover Blurb

Behind Angel Shelby’s dancing eyes and mischievous smile, lie the razor sharp tongue and fearless attitude that have helped her conceal painful secrets. However, they aren’t enough to save her this time—as she’s issued a shocking ultimatum.
Nicknamed, The Devil, Blackie McCassey’s violent past keeps most people exactly where he likes them…at a distance. Sacrificing his freedom to repay an old debt, he agrees to marry Angel in name only, watch over her, and play peacemaker in the uncivilized bar she runs.
Along with unexpected happiness, marriage brings surprises. Once wild and reckless, Blackie suddenly finds himself in the unfamiliar position of keeping someone else out of trouble…his wife.
When a murder occurs, Blackie’s forced to face his past one last time, risking his life to put an end to the chaos disrupting their lives. Unfortunately, victory comes at a price…

* * * * * * * * * *

DUSTY ROSE (The McCassey Brother's Series: Book 3)
Back Cover Blurb

Dusty Zamora and her close-knit sisters were young—but far from innocent—when they abruptly left Hagerstown, Maryland ten years ago.
Now, Dusty has returned. Alone.
Judd McCassey spent most of his thirty-six years side-by-side with his brothers and cousins…on the wrong side of the law. His one regret…being powerless to help the only woman he ever loved when she needed it most.
Judd knows they’re headed for trouble when Dusty rides back into his life on a stolen outlaw biker’s motorcycle, and is shocked when she refuses his help.
Finally realizing that hiding her deadly secrets are harming—not helping—the man she loves, Dusty opens up to Judd, dropping a bombshell that sends him reeling, and her fleeing.
Not until Dusty vanishes does Judd discover her deception was well-intended. Now, he must find her before its too late for all of them…

* * * * * * * * * *

THE LONG ROAD HOME (The Final McCassey Book)
Back Cover Blurb

Nineteen-year-old Georgia survived four years of forced prostitution and drug addiction by clinging to the false hope that her brothers—unaware of her existence—would one day rescue her.
The last thing Blackie, Judd, and Rebel McCassey expect to discover when they catch a young girl loitering in front of their garage is that she's their younger, half-sister.
Immediately, they want to help Georgia overcome her addiction and bring her into the family fold, despite her adamancy that she isn’t good enough to be a McCassey.
Used to handling things their own way, the brothers soon realize that this time, they can't fix things by throwing powerful right hooks, firing semi-automatic weapons, or simply saying, ‘no worries’.
This time, they need an outsider’s help.
But Georgia’s skeptical, and doubt consumes her as her strength and confidence falter.
Georgia knows her brothers will fight for her…but will she fight for herself?

* * * * * * * * * *
No Worries, The Devil's Candy, and Dusty Rose are all available at and

The Long Road Home will be available beginning September 1, 2008.

Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments at:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Toot, toot!"

Did you hear it? That was my own horn :)

I received a review this morning for my most recent release, DUSTY ROSE (The McCassey Brother's Series: Book 3), and just had to share!


Genre: Romance Suspense

EBook formats ISBN: 978-60313-090-5
Trade paperback ISBN: 978-60313-089-9

4 out of 4 roses

The McCassey Brothers plus the Zamora Sisters always equals trouble.

"Dusty Rose" is as raw, edgy, and tough a romance you will ever read. There's no handsome rich hero sweeping the frail damsel out of harms reach. In "Dusty Rose" the guy would be lucky not to be shot by the girl…actually, he nearly is, shot that is, the verdict on lucky is still out.

"Dusty Rose" is one of the best romance suspense eBook I've read. Dusty Zamora, our heroine, is hard as nails, fast with a gun, has carried and protected herself while riding with an outlaw biker gang and she's grown into one beautiful lady.

It's Judd McCassey who first spots the female form riding the Harley Davidson Fat Boy, just one of the surprises this Zamora sister has in store for him.

Neither the McCassey brothers or Zamora sisters had it easy growing up, but the night the sisters killed their stepfather for raping and killing their youngest it was those brothers they ran to for help. Now, ten long years later, she's back home, in Hagerstown, Maryland, hoping the McCasseys know where her last remaining sister is. Jessie's on the run from the brother of the man she killed, too bad the man had killed Jessie and Dusty's sister first.

No, "Dusty Rose" isn't your garden-variety type romance/suspense story. There's grit in this story. There's meanness and ugliness in it, too. There is also heart, loyalty and family.

Ms. Sharman writes with an unconditional honesty, she pulls no punches and for that I thank her. I need to read the first two McCassey Brothers stories, NO WORRIES (Book 1) and THE DEVIL'S CANDY (Book 2). The fourth and final book, THE LONG ROAD HOME comes out September 1st.

"Dusty Rose" is a story you won't soon forget.

-Chris, Reviewer

Friday, June 27, 2008

Make new friends, but keep the old, some are silver and the others gold...

I learned that song when I was 8...the one and only year I was a Brownie.

Back then, it was nothing more than something we sang at the end of each meeting.

Today, I'd classify that verse as words to live by.

I'm proud to say I still talk to my very first best friend. Deanna and I met thirty-three years ago in preschool...when we were 3. I've known her longer than I've known my own sister, who wasn't born until a year later.

Deanna's in almost every one of my 'best' childhood memories. Our friendship has never been plagued by pettiness, jealousy, or drama. And although we lost touch for a while after high school, when we did finally connect with each other again, our conversation was as friendly and comfortable as if we'd never been apart. She lives in the mid-west now and we have to squeeze in short visits when she comes home to visit her family. But I know if I ever want or need to talk to her, all I have to do is pick up the phone.

Girl 'friends' are a funny, confusing bunch. I often find myself wondering why friends--particularly the female ones--tend to drop in and out of our lives as often as the weather changes. One day they're there, the next, they're gone. Then, if you ever see them again, they hand you one of the two most overused excuses in the book, 'Oh, I've just had a lot of stuff going on'. Or, my favorite, 'I'm going through some changes and trying to find 'me' agian'.

Well, that's interesting. *she says sarcastically*

Now we're supposed to ignore or dump our friends in our times of need instead of leaning on them for support? Funny way to make yourself feel better. And the same goes for when we're feeling lost. If I suddenly felt like I had to go in search of myself, and the 'me' I found was someone who'd dumped good friends along the way, I'd sit myself down and give me a good tongue-lashing for the way I'd treated people...and hope they could find it in their heart to forgive my insensitivity.

Has friendship lost it's formerly priceless value? Or have we simply forgotten that in order to HAVE a friend, we have to BE a friend?

Visit me at

Friday, June 20, 2008

I do...or maybe I don't...I don't know.


You either love them or hate them.

If you're anything like me, you cringe when you open your mailbox and pull out an over-sized envelope with big heart stamps and decorative calligraphy on the front, because you know it's a wedding invitation.

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against the institute of marriage. I'm happily married and would remarry the same man again in a heartbeat. And, unless I have a prior commitment, I attend the weddings I'm invited to. My problem with said institute is that people will spend tens of thousands of dollars to enter it.

Apparently, I was absent the day they taught, 'bigger is better', since I'm still of the mindset that you exchange vows for the simple reason you love someone and want to spend the rest of your life with them.

Interested in a few thoughts that went through my head when a close friend asked me to help plan her wedding? Here they are:

Yes, that dress is exquisite, but the price tag has as many zeros as my monthly house payment Flowers cost what?!??!? Yes, they are pretty, but they're going to shrivel up and DIE...quickly. You want to spend how much on a block of ice carved into a swan? What are you trying to do, repay all the artist's culinary school student loans in one shot?
The whole process eventually got to the point where I'd just nod my head and give her the opinions--and the answers--she was looking for. And since I know you're wondering, YES, the wedding went off without a hitch. And YES, 11 years later, the couple is still married...a fact I would've lost my aforementioned house on if I'd been a betting woman back then.

But what about the other couples? The ones who, according to statistics, equal HALF the amount of people who enter marriage today; the divorced folks who spent nearly everything they ever earned to pay for their wedding? I wonder if they regret getting caught up in the moment and spending too much. If they're gritting their teeth thinking about how much more well spent the cash would've been if they'd used it to invest in a house, stocks, or retirement fund. Or, maybe, I'm way off base. Maybe they sit around in those uncomfortable chairs at other people's weddings and say things to themselves like, "I may be divorced, but my wedding is still one of the best, most treasured memories."

Back in the 60's, my grandparents gave both my mom and her sister a choice: Have a small wedding and we'll give you the money we would've spend on a big one so you can have a head-start in life. Or, have a big wedding, and the only thing you'll have to fall back on is that squeaky, old, full size bed you've had since junior high school; the one you and your husband are going to be forced to try and squeeze yourselves into because you don't have enough money to buy a new one.

My aunt chose the big wedding and was divorced by her mid-30's. My mom chose the small wedding that came with the green stuff. She and my dad used a chunk of the money my grandparents gave them to buy some household items, including the nice, durable furniture set they still have today, 39 years later.

Luck? An omen? Who knows. I'm sure there are plenty of people who had big, expensive weddings and are still together. Although, every time I think about it, Prince Charles and Princess Di's wedding comes to mind, and we all know how that turned out. But on the flipside, there are plenty of couples who've had small, modest weddings and gotten divorced.

My husband and I said our 'I-do's' in Las Vegas in front of a few family members. I wasn't one of those girls who'd been reading Modern Bride Magazine and planning my wedding since I was 8, and didn't need to be the star of a show. We both simply knew we loved each other, wanted to be together for the rest of our lives, and didn't feel as though we had to bury ourselves in debt to prove it. Almost ten years later, we still feel we made the right decision.

My point? If putting on a show your great-great grandchildren will still be talking about long after you're gone is your goal, then by all means, go for it. Hopefully, you'll be married long enough to begin the process that will give you those great-great grandchildren. Hopefully, you hired a photographer smart enough to use the kind of photo paper that won't turn everyone in the picture green after twenty years.

Hopefully, at some point, you'll take a moment to step away from the hype and chaos, take a deep breath, and remember the reason for planning a wedding in the first place.
What was that The Beatles said...All you need is love.