11/18 – Jan’s Paperbacks Book Signing – 11 – 2 p.m. One free Sacred Bundle kit with every purchase!

11/29 – All day Facebook Event with Arte Soleil.

12/02 – Author Event at Arte Soleil. Details forthcoming.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Who Comes First?

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.
Who comes first?

If we don’t unconditionally accept, support and love ourselves, putting someone else’s needs ahead of our own is at best challenging and at worst impossible.

And, even when we do love ourselves, depending on what is asked of us? 

Well, that can bring a different challenge.

Friends grow and change, get married, move—each of those life events means changes on some level in our lives.

In my case I’ve two long-time friends who have dementia. As their memory diminishes and our shared adventures fade, it is even more important for me to stay in a neutral place, to ask myself what can I do to unconditionally support and love them through this phase of their lives.

My choices are made taking into consideration where they are in their life journey. I accept there isn’t anything I can do to change their situations. Their brains are damaged.

In all of my books, I show women who unconditionally accept each other –foibles and all.

At some point in their story, each woman faces a choice that will be life altering (and some face those decisions more than once).

What is important is they are not alone.

The Circle is there. The Circle offers them a haven and support. The Circle does not have an expectation for what their members Will Do or Must Do but, instead waits to support what each woman decides to do.

Do they wait in silence? Sometimes.

But they will also offer a perspective, usually in the form of a question.

A favorite question I use that I learned as a student of Dr. William Glasser’s Choice Theory, Reality Therapy and Lead Management is “If there was a way to ???? and ???? would you be interested in  exploring that?”

Elizabeth is asked “If there was a way to marry Michael in Ireland and stay in The Circle in Fremont, OR would she be interested?”

When Logan does not want to see her mother, Hunter is asked what is more important, knowing her daughter is safe and protected or being there with her?


Sophia is a widow who falls in love with Cam Mitchell who works in law enforcement. Her question? Is it better to live with love in the Now than to live without love into the future?

It isn’t that when the question is asked each woman automatically is clear on the answer.

Doubts surface. Questions that start with words like “But— How” are asked. Because they have the support of their Circle Sisters, they find a way past the doubts and fears!

One of the things I’ve learned in my own life and in writing these stories is that there are times when we need to focus on the What and trust that the How will reveal itself.

Your free copy of Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl is waiting for you.

Go to JudithAshleyRomance.com and sign up for my occasional newsletter “Connections.” Follow the prompts to download your own digital copy of the first book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series.


Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series at JudithAshleyRomance.com

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.

 You can also find Judith on FB!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Unconditional Love - Romantic Love

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.
Since I write romance, there are people who assume that when I’m talking about “unconditional love” I’m referring to romantic love. However, unconditional love is so much more. It encompasses all of our relationships: family, friends, pets can all be recipients of our unconditional love. And the opposite is also true—they can be the givers.

I’ve friends who only experience unconditional love from their pets.

I’ve other friends who, over time, have created unconditional love in their marriages.

I’ve also other friends who grew up in families where love was conditional, given only if they met the approval of the adults.

During the years I was a Child Protective Service worker I listened to many parents explain that the harsh discipline they meted out “hurt me more than the child” and what they did in no way compared to what was done to them as a child.

As I listened, I had dual emotions fighting within me.

Looking at the bruised and battered 5 or 15 year old and accepting the parent’s truth – what they endured was worse?!? A profound sadness that that person had been treated that way, lived with that horror. Turning my head so I saw the child, heated anger would course through my body. How could anyone do that to a child regardless of what it was that child had done or not done.

Not an easy job but a very rewarding one.

What I always remembered as I did that job and others where I saw the worst side of folks was “this was the best this person could do in this situation.” I couldn't begin to imagine living a life where being an abuser was the best I could.

A simple truth is: it may be best for them but that doesn’t mean it is “best” for the people around them.

Find Love in My books
Unconditionally accepting that this was their “best” allowed me to feel compassion. If this was their “best” how hellish must their lives be!!!

Unconditionally supporting them to make changes came next. Because first and foremost, the people around them deserved to feel safe, to live fear-free lives.

Back to that simple truth. We can unconditionally love someone and yet know that we cannot spend time with them, or not much time with them, or not alone time with them. Unconditional love does not mean we put someone aside. It means we accept them as they are, support them as appropriate and continue to love them.

Another example: I know several families who have a family member who is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. The family unconditionally accepts this person understanding that addictions are part choice and part physiological. They know that using drugs and alcohol is a sign that person is in “pain” of some kind.

However, they do not support the person’s addiction.

Instead they support that person’s sobriety. They welcome their family member into their home when they are clean and sober. The door is always open to them, their love does not waver. If asked, they will offer advice, suggestions on getting help but they do not nag, criticize, threaten and NEVER withhold their love until their family member is clean and sober.

Your free copy of Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl is waiting for you.

Go to JudithAshleyRomance.com and sign up for my occasional newsletter “Connections.” Follow the prompts to download your own digital copy of the first book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series.

Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series at JudithAshleyRomance.com

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.

You can also find Judith on FB!

Monday, November 6, 2017

What is Unconditional Love?


Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.

That's a million dollar question!

One answer I've heard from people talking about their childhoods. "No matter what, I always knew I was loved." Translation? I screwed up and sometimes really screwed up but never did I doubt that I was loved (by the adult figures in my life - could be mom, dad, grandparents, etc.).

When I was raising my son, one of the best pieces of parenting advice I got was to always separate the deed from the doer. What that meant was I was clear in my communication that it was what was done that was the problem. And when it is a deed/task, it can be fixed, repaired or mended.

At one point in my life I was in an abusive marriage. At that time I thought I'd done something wrong and that was why I was being abused. It was also a time when there was no domestic violence and women were considered chattel of their husbands in some parts of the country.

Find Unconditional Love in my books
When I look back on that time period I know it really wasn't about me. It was about him. He lashed out physically because in his world, the man is the boss and the woman was the servant (I didn't do servant very well). And, he didn't want to appear "hen-pecked" so, of course he couldn't do something I asked him to do. It was his "job" or "role" to "teach me" to be a "good wife" so he was just doing what he had to do.

Now at this point in my life I know that it isn't about me at all. Each of us is always doing our best to take care of ourselves.

That doesn't mean that we stay in relationships that are harmful to us. The first person to be unconditionally in love with is ourselves. When we love ourselves, we will not stay with someone who harms us.

Here is an exercise to try on to see how unconditionally in love you are with yourself.

Find a mirror. One where you can see your whole face.
Hold the mirror (or stand in front of it) and look yourself in the eyes.

Keep your gaze fixed on yourself while you say aloud "I love you"

Monitor how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally as you repeat "I love you."

Do you look away? Do you glance up or down? What do you feel in your body?

What does your mind say? "Yes!" "So True!" or is it something negative.

What about your emotions? Some people find they tear up during this exercise, some cry, some feel despair. What do you feel?

Check out Louise Hay's "You Can Heal Your Life" for other exercises and affirmations you can do until you say with joy in your voice and heart "I Love You!"

Your free copy of Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl is waiting for you.


Go to JudithAshleyRomance.com and sign up for my occasional newsletter “Connections.” Follow the prompts to download your own digital copy of the first book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series.

Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series at JudithAshleyRomance.com

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.


You can also find Judith on FB!


Monday, October 30, 2017

Practicing What I Teach Or Is It Preach?



Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.
Unconditional support has been the topic this month. It isn’t always easy to take care of yourself and there are times when you may decide on a short term basis (as in a few hours or maybe a day or two) to put the other person’s needs ahead of your own. But the bottom line remains: taking care of ourselves is primary if we truly want to be at our best in supporting the people we care about.

This month I’ve faced that test several times and, to be honest, have not always practiced what I “preach”. However within 24 – 36 hours I’ve reminded myself of the truth of what I teach.

When I don’t take care of myself, I really am not at my best and therefore I truly am not able to support my friend(s) in the way I most want to.

Without sleep, my energy is low and my mental acuity isn’t at its sharpest.

Without eating properly, my energy is low and my brain functioning suffers as do my reflexes.

Combine the two and my mood suffers. My ability to “go with the flow” and interject the appropriate response to difficult behavior is disruptive. At its worst I become part of the problem instead of part of the solution.

Upon reflection I can see I'm my own best advertisement for following my advice to Take Care Of Yourself First!

Next month I’ll be sharing ideas on creating a life with Unconditional Love flowing through it. In the meantime, consider as we head in to the holiday season that is usually fraught with peril (I love that phrase), what your plan is to take care of yourself.

As always please share!

Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series at JudithAshleyRomance.com

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.



You can also find Judith on FB!

Monday, October 23, 2017

One More Time

Good Morning! This post is way outside the norm for me.

Why? There are several reasons but the one that counts stems from last week's post "A Tale of Two Friendships" and unconditional support.

In an hour I'll be heading out to pick up the accessibility van so I can move my friend. He will have his own room and be with other veterans. He will have nursing care just outside his door. He will have other amenities like physical therapy and a barber shop just down the hall.

Today I'm putting aside my own advice to take care of oneself first. I'm coming down with a cold and it most likely would be best if I stayed home and kept warm and dry, drank plenty of fluids and took some 'warding off a cold remedy'.

However, that's not happening.

Once my friend is moved, I'll have the rest of the week to take care of myself instead of knowing I still have the move to do.

We are on an adventure today!!! One that will improve both of our lives.

Wish us well!

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Tale of Two Friendships

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.
This week I want to share a story with you. It isn’t about any of my books or even a topic I’ve dealt with in any of my books or short stories – maybe someday but not yet.

I’ve two friends I met in 1980 who have “memory loss” or “dementia.” They have different forms of cognitive decline. (I learned there are 30 different types of dementia while talking to the primary care doctor of one of them). But back to my story.

I unconditionally accept that both of these exceedingly bright people have dementia/memory loss.

I unconditionally accept that it shows up differently in each of them – but that does not make the diagnosis less accurate.

I unconditionally accept that I will remain their friend until their death even beyond the time when they no longer really know who I am.

Now to unconditional support.

One of my friends lives in the same community I do. When his wife was dying she asked me to watch out for him. I agreed. After her death, he asked me to help him. I agreed. This past year has been fraught with all sorts of challenges as I’ve attempted and at times succeeded in supporting him.

In some ways it is easier with him being nearer. I can stop by and talk to him, see his physical reaction, talk to staff (yes, I assisted him in moving to a protected living situation so he’d be safer). He also says he has dementia and while not thrilled with the diagnosis, he has made peace with it.

Sunset on the Oregon Coast - a place we all love
My other friend lives two thousand miles away. I talk to her on the phone at least once and usually twice or three times a month but I’ve not been back to visit for a little over two years.

We spoke on the phone last night and she was distressed. She’d heard there was a new drug on the market and she’d called her doctor to ask about having it prescribed for her. When she was told there was nothing to be done for her, she told me she cried and cried and cried.

Part of her story was that the receptionist or medical assistant told her in what was, to her, a harsh tone of voice. So, being who I am, I asked her “If it was true that there was nothing that could be done, how would she want that information told to her?”

I ended up asking the question two more times because she just didn’t seem to understand it.

However, when she answered it, I understood it wasn’t her memory loss (that’s the only term she can use to reference her cognitive decline) that was the problem.

She is unable/unwilling to accept that there is nothing that can be done. She believes as long as studies are being done, researchers are seeking cures, there is a chance that the progress of her disease can be halted.

Knowing this, understanding this gives me a different way to unconditionally support her. I won’t be asking her the kinds of questions that create that dissonance for her, the ones where she faces the answer she doesn’t want.

She said “Why would I want to live if I knew there was no hope and I’d become a vegetable, unable to care for myself, unable to enjoy anything?”

Of course she would not want to live under those circumstances and knowing her for 37 years I totally understand that.

Lily helps vulnerable adults
As her memory fails, she is becoming more isolated. I can keep in regular contact with phone calls and cards.

As her memory fails (the past 10 – 15 years have faded to almost nothing). I can listen and reminisce with her about the trips and other events we’ve shared.

As her memory fails, I can remain her friend even when she isn’t sure who I am I can still show up in her life.

These are just two examples of people I unconditionally accept as they are and unconditionally support as best I can.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section so we can have a conversation.

Your free copy of Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl is waiting for you.

Go to JudithAshleyRomance.com and sign up for my occasional newsletter “Connections.” Follow the prompts to download your own digital copy of the first book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series.

Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series at JudithAshleyRomance.com

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.



You can also find Judith on FB!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Unconditional Support is _____?

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.
Back to basics. What does “unconditional support” really mean?

What if we don’t approve or like what that person is doing?

Do we do whatever we’re asked because we are unconditionally supporting that person?

There is a point in Hunter where she, to put it mildly, loses it. Her daughter, Logan, has run away, is on the streets and who knows what danger she’s in. When she learns Gabriella has found Logan and that Logan doesn’t want her to know where she is and therefore Gabriella won’t tell her. To say Hunt has a melt-down is being kind.

The other women in the circle are witnesses to Hunter’s devastation. They want to support her but…can they support Hunter without turning on Gabriella? Can they support Gabriella without turning on Hunter? And if you see both sides of the issue, then what?

Sometimes there appears to be more questions than answers.

But every question does have an answer. It’s just that, as is the case in our own lives, some answers aren’t the ones Hunter wants to hear.

Unconditional Acceptance is about acknowledging that ‘this’ is where the person is right now. Sometimes we even see how they got to ‘this’ place.

Unconditional Support is about showing up even when it is hard or uncomfortable. It’s about speaking the truth in a kind, compassionate and straight-forward manner.

When Hunter is in major drama melt-down mode, Grant (the hero) is the one who steps up and supports Hunter’s higher goal - her daughter's safety —by challenging her.

How is railing at Gabriella, fate, etc. helping Logan? If she had to choose, which is more important – Logan being safe or her being at Logan’s side?

It isn’t that this is necessarily an easy choice, however in some ways it’s often a simple one.

Since I do want this to be a dialogue, please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Your free copy of Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl is waiting for you.

Go to JudithAshleyRomance.com and sign up for my occasional newsletter “Connections.” Follow the prompts to download your own digital copy of the first book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series.

Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series at JudithAshleyRomance.com

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.

You can also find Judith on FB!