Me wearing a lei from Hawaii

The story behind this picture also has to do with friendships-friendships of the cyber kind. You know, the people you meet through social media from around the world.

Sarah Raplee and I launched Romancing The Genres four years ago May 1. We’ve been fortunate to find authors who are committed to putting posts up at least once a month which means there are twenty of us and we post once a month.

I’ve met some wonderful authors these past four years including Marcia King-Gamble! Check out her website to learn more about her amazing life! And if you click on this link, you can read her June 08, 2015 post.

With twenty (counting me) Genre-istas, why am I featuring Marcia today?

First: she gave Sarah and me and the other Genre-istas a fantastic gift for our 4th Blog-O-Versary and second: she had this lei sent to me.

If you read last week’s post, you’ll know much of May was challenging. To have this wonderful lei arrive a week after I returned was a special gift.

Over the past four years I’ve “met” several other people from around the world who have become friends — not in the sense that we have lunch together or spend the day at a coffee shop for an impromptu writing retreat — but they are people I’ve gotten to know beyond mere superficiality. I know a bit about their personal lives and they know a bit about mine.

Some of them are authors I now read…and some are authors I admire because of the challenges
they’ve overcome. (There are some sub-genres of romance I seldom if ever read even if I know and like the author. Why? Because I’m one of those people who have a difficult time separating reality from fiction to read a horror novel or thriller, a dark paranormal or sci-fi, even some fantasy is beyond me. A week of nightmares is not an enticement to read in these genres, even if they are really good books.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like a bit of suspense and conflict but keep the blood and gore to a minimum. Think Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes – the old Sir Arthur Conan Doyle version.

But I digress.

I’ve made friends over the years I’ve been involved with the Romance Writing Community. Some I hope to meet one of these days. Others will be long distance friends. I’ll see their picture from time to time, I’ll read their books, we’ll exchange emails but the probability of meeting them in person is minimal.

Does that mean I value their friendships less? Absolutely not! Look at my picture and think of Marcia King-Gamble, I know I do!

BTW: Marcia spearheaded Romancing The Genres’ first Facebook event held the last two days in April. We had authors from the UK, North America and Australia. We shared our love of books and travel and had a glorious time. I learned something from Marcia I’ll use when we do this again — she asked for ideas to heighten the conflict in a story she is writing. That’s how I got the lei. Who knew at the time I typed in some ideas how important this flower necklace would be to me!

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

Check out her website for more information on The Sacred Women’s Circle series.

Check out my Windtree Press author page.

Hunter, the fifth book in the series is due out by the end of June, 2015.

And for more about another amazing friend, read my post about Juanita Garnow and her work with Beading The Odds.