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Friday, November 6, 2015

Spiritual-themed Romance Novels

By Judith Ashley

While I’ve done some reading this year, unfortunately I’ve not read a holiday themed romance novel. And this time of year when people see “holiday themed” romance novel, they often think the holiday will be Christmas.

All of my books in The Sacred Women's Circle series include one or more of the Sabbats, holidays that celebrate the turn of The Wheel of Life:

10/31 - Samhain

12/21 - Yule/Winter Solstice* this date does move because it is the longest night

02/01 - Imbolc

03/21 - Ostara/Spring Equinox* date also moves because days/nights are even

05/01 - Beltane

06/21 - Litha/Summer Solstice* date also moves because it is longest day

08/01 - Lammas/Lughnasa

09/21 - Mabon/Fall Equinox* like Ostara the days/nights are even

Did you know that the Christian Easter’s date is determined by when Ostara falls? Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after Ostara which is why it is celebrated in late March or sometime in April depending on the moon’s cycle.

For many people who follow earth-centered spirituality, The Wheel starts at Samhain. For Lily Hughes, the heroine in the first book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series, The Wheel starts with Yule or Winter Solstice. She marries her hero on the Summer Solstice or Litha.

Elizabeth Elliott, the heroine in the second book in the series, marries on Yule.

Diana Pettybone makes a momentous decision about her marriage and her relationships with her women’s circle. Marking her journey using The Tarot along with the Sabbat’s she finds her happily-ever-after on Lammas.

Ashley Kenner’s fight to survive a bout with recurring breast cancer is supported by her animal totem, the dragonfly. Struggling with the effects of chemotherapy, she finds solace in celebrating Samhain and Yule and marries on the Spring Equinox.

Hunter Compton thinks she’s lost everything when her daughter Logan runs away. Instead she finds love again. She and Grant find their way from the past to the present and marry on Mabon or the Fall Equinox.

The first five books are available through major distributors, my website and Windtree Press. The next two books will be in 2016.

Gabriella Montcrief struggles to overcome an abusive childhood believing no one would want her if they knew. With the support of her sacred women’s circle, she does find her way out of the darkness and is able to marry her hero on Imbolc, the Sabbat of light.

Sophia Stewart has always loved life, loved her garden, loved her work and loved her friends. When she lost her husband in a senseless traffic accident, she knew she’d never love again. Since I write romance novels, you know she does find her own HEA. Fittingly, Sophia marries on Beltane.

As you can see, although my stories are not traditional holiday-themed romances, each does include one or more of the Sabbats. My version or understanding of the Ceremonies surrounding these sacred days are included in each book. In addition you get a peek at how these women celebrate them. And if you read the series starting with Lily, you’ll have information to create your own sacred women’s circle.

Questions? Just ask.

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

You can find Judith on Twitter: JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s website.

Judith has an author page at Windtree Press.

Judith posts every Monday here.


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6 comments:

Paty Jager said...

Judith, I find your stories about the Sacred Women's Circle interesting because I've not heard or learned much about the seasons, events you talk about in the books.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Sounds like a great series, Judith!

Maggie Lynch said...

Thank you for sharing the nature-based holidays. You are right that most people think of Christmas or think of the Christian holidays (at least here in the U.S.) when they think of holiday stories--particularly at this time of year.

I've written two holiday themed stories--neither a Christmas story. One is a New Year's story and the other, coming out in a few days, is a Thanksgiving story. There are many holidays at this time of year. I suspect based on your spiritual beliefs, your location and culture, there are many holidays most of us don't know. One's I haven't seen stories on, but would love to see are: Rosh Hashanah (start of Jewish New Year--this year in September); and Yom Kippur, Jewish day of atonement and abstinence; Hijra (Islam New Year); Bodhi Day--Rohatsu, Buddist; Chalica, a week long celebration of the Unitarian Universalist principles; Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan. 1) honoring the values of ancient African cultures, and each day honors a different principle; and there are many Hindu holidays this time of year that I can't keep track of them all. One of the ones I really love is Navaratri which celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

I know I am leaving out many other spiritual holidays because there is so much I don't know. I would love to see good stories for all of these.

Judith Ashley said...

Paty, thanks for stopping by. The US is a very spiritually and religiously diverse country. While I may highlight the traditions of earth-based spirituality, your "Spirit" series sheds light on the traditions of the Nez Perce. I do believe the more we understand and respect the beliefs of others the more peaceful our world will be.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks, Lynn. And each book has been fun to write!

Judith Ashley said...

Maggie, I love your "The Hogmanay Stranger". Romance novels are a great way to share various traditions and beliefs. I, too, would love to see more stories centered around different traditions.