Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women's Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul.
I picked “love” and it’s off-shoot “romance” as my theme for February.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “love” (n) as strong affection; warm attachment as in love of the sea; strong sexual attraction; a beloved person; and unselfish benevolent concern for others.
As a verb? CHERISH; To Feel a Passion, Devotion or Tenderness for; CARESS; to take pleasure in. (The Caps are theirs).
As an author of romance novels (The Sacred Women’s Circle series), I immerse myself in the finer points of love whenever I write. It is a joy and at times a burden. Why?
Authors are told to never disappoint their readers. And that readers come to expect certain types of stories from an author. So, how to write the story and not disappoint the reader?
I’m not sure I know the answer to that. My goal has become to tell the story that needs to be told through these characters and hope for the best.
Since my books all feature a romance, I’m also to hold to a certain “heat” level. How many love scenes? How explicit? Etc.
I will admit I’ve failed on that account also.
In terms of sex scenes, Elizabeth has the most in number. And to begin with they are more sex scenes as she throws constraints and caution away and embarks on an adventure in Ireland. After all, no one knows her, so why not?
Lily and Diana must overcome the effects of domestic violence and, in Diana’s case, serial infidelity before they can trust enough to allow another man into their lives.
But then we come to Ashley. Ashley is battling recurrent breast cancer. Is she likely to hop into bed when she’s sick from chemo and worry? But there it is. Still a love story.
Hunter is another book where the love scenes are lacking although to be honest, her daughter is drugged and rape.
Gabriella’s sense of self-worth and distrust of men must be overcome before she can ever open her heart to the man who’s waited for her since the first book in the series. Spoiler alert! She does fight her way to healing and love (and there are love scenes).
And last but not least Sophia. How does a widow, who is committed to life fall in love with a divorced jaded police officer? Obviously she does but as they are in their mid to late forties, is their journey any different than that of the younger women?
So readers will find heat levels from sweet to heat but no erotica.
Readers will find continuing characters through all Seven Stories. After all the seven of them do belong to The Circle. And The Circle ties them together. No matter what happens they learn and then grow to know with a certainty that together they can conquer all.
I’m blessed to have been in a sacred women’s circle for over twenty years and that experience has made a significant difference in my life.
Who is your “circle”?
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You can learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.
Check out my Windtree Press author page.
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© 2017 Judith Ashley