Writing has been a refuge, a safe haven for me since I started writing fiction in 2002. At that point, I didn’t even have a writing process nor did I have any idea of things like genres or tropes.
What I did have were stories that infiltrated my night and day dreams. Scenes so real I could hear, see, smell and taste the people and food in the stories. My body recognized the emotions of my characters so I laughed and I cried. My jaw clenched, my stomach churned, my lungs seized right along with my characters. And when all seemed lost, the prayers for strength, for guidance, for protection appeared on the page.
The Sacred Women’s Circle series shows the power of spiritual practices to support us on our life’s journey.
What do we do when we are no longer comforted by the religious customs in which we were raised?
Like myself, my characters created their own spiritual path. They took bits and pieces from the religions they grew up with that still brought them peace. But they went a step further and created their own path. Because they are all equal in this sacred circle, they respected each other’s individual practice while forming The Circle’s foundational traditions.
As you read their stories, you’ll see the differences between them, what they rely on during difficult times. You will also have a road map if you want to create your own sacred circle.
What’s the difference between a sacred women’s circle and a women’s circle? Answer this question and you’ll know:
What would your life be like if you were unconditionally accepted, unconditionally supported and unconditionally loved?
What happened to me when I first talked to traditional publishers about my series? The feedback I got that was consistent was that I needed to build conflict in The Circle. In other words, the women had to have disagreements between them. A good old-fashioned fight, with members taking sides, etc. I was told there wasn’t a market for a story where women got along, believed in each other, supported, accepted and encouraged each other. All stories needed conflict. The reality that each of the women had a major life conflict going on in their personal life outside The Circle wasn’t enough.
What battles do these women face? Domestic violence, recurrent breast cancer, spousal abandonment, custodial interference aka child stealing, death of a spouse, conflicted core values, etc. Most of us have dealt with these issues or know someone who has. With that assessment my choice was clear. I became an Indie Published Author.
So I ask again: What would your life be like if, when facing one of these major life events, you had a place where you were unconditionally accepted, unconditionally supported and unconditionally loved?
|My large crystal altar|
Yes, my heroine’s find their happily-ever-after but what’s as important is they come to rely on, to find strength in their spiritual practices and their relationships with each other. That’s why I write what I believe is best called Contemporary Romantic Women’s Fiction or for even more clarity: Contemporary Romantic Pagan Women’s Fiction.
Another of my 2019 goals is to change out the Keywords, etc. on the on-line vendors and my website by the end of January 2019 to more clearly reflect the Pagan Inspirational theme in my books.
Also on my 2019 radar is publishing Ceremonies, Prayers and Resources. CPS is a short booklet of the prayers and ceremonies from this series as well as Visions of Ireland (working title) which is the 9th book in the series. And if all falls into place, I’ll have the 10th book at least in draft form or actually published before the end of this year.
What suggestions do you have for the best way to let people know about my books? And, do contact me at Judith@JudithAshleyRomance.com if you are interested in my doing presentations or workshops on the various practices and concepts included in these stories.
Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic women’s fiction that honors pagan spiritual practices that nourish the soul. The Circle is the haven where each heroine has the support of the others to sustain them as they overcome obstacles and find their happily-ever-after.
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© 2019 Judith Ashley