Monday, December 12, 2016

Guest - Judith Ashley

Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women's Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul.

My series, The Sacred Women’s Circle, is about average, every day women from different walks of life who create a Sacred Women’s Circle, a haven from the challenges they face. There aren’t aliens or psychopaths, nor is there a great murder mystery to solve. What these women face are the challenges many women around the world deal with on a daily basis.

Lily believes the ugly things men have said to her. She may be successful in her professional life, but her personal life? When she meets Jackson Montgomery, she is afraid to love him back. How can she trust her heart when her head shouts warnings?

Elizabeth believes The Circle will be broken if she chooses to stay in Ireland with her soul mate, Michael Murphy. These women have become the family of her heart. How can she have it all?

Diana wonders if, after living in a false world of privilege and a cold, loveless and abusive marriage, she is worthy of the love of Matthew Houston, a younger man who wants to be part of her life.

Ashley faces another bout with breast cancer. Her husband leaves her and their three children. Daniel O’Donnell and The Circle show up to help. No longer the young beauty she once was, Ashley doubts anyone could really love her.

Hunter ran away from home rather than submit to the wishes of her wealthy family to either have an abortion or give the baby up for adoption. She’s struggled as a single mother on her own but what she’s dealt with is nothing compared to facing Grant Haywood Parker IV, father of her daughter. To forgive Grant, Hunter must learn to forgive herself.

Gabriella came from the streets. She’s worked hard to build a respectable life for herself. A respectable life that does not include men. And then Giovanni Migliori shows up. How does someone who was abused by men from childhood learn to trust?

Sophia had a loving marriage that ended suddenly when her husband was killed in a traffic accident. She is happy for her circle sisters as they each find a true, lasting unconditional love. When Cameron Mitchell, a member of Fremont’s police force, shows up in her life, the dark aura of death that surrounds him frightens her. How does one learn to love fully when the future is so foggy?

One of the joys of my life has been writing these books. Not only do these women confront the types of problems many women face, but because they are part of a sacred women’s circle they have a safe haven. I know from experience every problem is easier to face if we aren’t alone.

Excerpt from Lily, Book One of The Sacred Women’s Circle series. Lily Hughes is attending the annual Montgomery New Year’s Eve party at the invitation of Jackson Montgomery, Eleanor’s son. Jackson’s best friend, Daniel and an ex-girlfriend, Susannah are also in this scene.

Lily and Eleanor had front row seats before the large flat screen television as the clock began striking midnight. “One minute to go.” Eleanor’s eyes sparkled with excitement. “I love seeing the old year out and the New Year in.” She leaned over and confided to Lily, “every year I feel the power of turning away from the old and embracing the new.”
Suddenly their view of the screen was blocked. Jackson stood before them. Bending over he put his hand on the outside arm of Lily’s chair effectively blocking her from getting up. As the countdown continued he leaned closer to Eleanor, looking at her with such tenderness, saying softly that he was so glad she was with him here in Fremont. As the clock started to strike twelve, he kissed Eleanor on each cheek. His eyes shifted to Lily, his gazed heated and he straightened. While the clock still chimed, he wrapped his hands around hers and pulled her into his arms.
“And, I’m very glad you’re a part of my life,” he whispered as he bent to kiss her. This time it was soft and brief. Leaning back while not letting her go, he looked deeply into her eyes and then lowered his head for a kiss that was no longer soft and brief but hard and long. Lily found herself clinging to Jackson’s broad shoulders, felt his strong arms holding her tightly, pulling her closer until there was nothing between them except fire burning deep inside. She clung to him and as he deepened the kiss, passion’s flame leapt within.
“Really, Jackson! How could you!” the shrill voice shrieked. “You bitch! You think you can get him by being nice to his Mommy? Well, I’ve got news for you!”
Jackson fought his way up from the drugging impact of Lily’s kiss. He turned, effectively blocking Lily from Susannah’s sight.
“Get out of my house, Susannah. Now,” he growled in an ice-tinged voice. When she just stood there, mouth open, staring at him, he pointed toward the door. “Now,” his frost-laden voice matched his frigid glare.
“You can’t mean that, Jackson. Surely you don’t mean you want me to leave.” Susannah tossed her head, her long burgundy-red hair swirling around her, an expression of disbelief etched on her features and mirrored in her leaf-green eyes. “You can’t be serious.” She moved toward Jackson, a look of seduction on her face, her hips tilted at a suggestive angle, her voice a husky whisper. “Remember how it is between us, Jackson? You know how much I can please you.”
“I want you out of my house, Susannah, now.” Jackson’s finger stabbed toward the door, his voice a dangerously low growl. “Now!” His jaw clenched as he visibly held back seething anger.
Daniel stepped forward, took Susannah by the arm and turned her toward the door. “Come on, Susannah. Let’s get out of here. We can find someplace else to party, someplace that’s not so stuffy.” He looked over his shoulder at Jackson and mouthed, “You owe me,” as he led a stunned and uncharacteristically silent Susannah out of the house.
Jackson turned and gathered Lily in his arms. “I’m so sorry, so sorry,” he whispered as he caressed her back and rained soft kisses in her hair. “She crashed, Lily. If I’d ever thought anything like this would’ve happened, I’d have kicked her out when she first showed up.”
“I’m all right, Jackson,” Lily murmured. His large hands ranged up and down her back leaving warmth and flickers of heat behind. “Really, I’m all right.” And, those words were true, she was all right. So lost in their kiss it had taken a minute before she realized what was happening. Staring at his broad shoulders, hearing the steely determination in his voice as he ordered Susannah out of his house was truly a surreal experience. It had always been her job to protect, to put her body between danger and the vulnerable. Safe and frightened. The strange mix of emotions churned through her. In that moment when he’d first taken her in his arms, she had felt safe, safer than she had for almost two decades — truly safe, and — it frightened her.

You can learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.
Check out my Windtree Press author page.
Follow me on Twitter: @JudithAshley19
I’m also on Facebook

1 comment:

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Paty, Sorry I'm so late checking in. Snow, ice and out-of-town company clogged my brain. Thank you for hosting me!