Hope you are well, healthy and safe?
We here in Melbourne are looking forward to an almost normal Christmas thanks to over a months worth of Double Doughnut Days – that’s what we are calling days with no new cases and no deaths from COVID. It’s so freaking wonderful seeing that ZERO each morning. God willing, this is what you’ll have in your part of the world, soon.
Have you ever noticed how life has a way of shoving little reminders of important stuff into your face gently….gently….until it gets tired of your lack of attention and then smacks it into your face with a hard wallop ? Sometimes it’s about small simple things and other times it’s about major life defining things. I’ve been getting lots of little reminders lately…….here’s a few examples…….
A beautiful hand-drawn picture of a huge angel’s wing that was framed and placed on a wall directly in my line of vision in my bedroom……..fell down one day – frame breaking beyond repair. 😢 I wondered if there was a message in this event. My Angel pic, of all things, falling down? Hmmm. Could be a sign, I think to myself. So, go out and buy a new frame to replace it and rehang it in the same spot only for it to fall down again a couple weeks later at 5am one morning, waking me from my slumber with a damn heart attack and a panicked shriek. Once again, frame broken beyond repair and now I KNOW that’s a definite sign!! Message received very loud and clear, the angels made hella sure to get my attention that time! Needless to say, it took me awhile to get back to sleep after that scare. Lol. And that became my reminder to pay attention – the universe is constantly talking to us in many different ways and we need to stop and listen.
Another recent reminder – ok yes, sometimes the pain levels that I deal with on a daily basis might be too much and I moan and groan about it but there is always, always, someone worse off so “suck it up, buttercup – your life isn’t under threat, is it?” I admit I sometimes need to be prodded that way as I think we all do occasionally. This time the life-prod came through as having a new friend come down with that vile bitch of a virus, COVID-19. Being concerned for them is actually helpful to me and serves as a constant reminder that life is fragile and we should never ever forget that or take it for granted.
Another reminder….. sometimes you have to let go of control of a situation and just give it to the Universe to sort out. I’ve always been a pretty persistent sort of person. I don’t give up easily. However, getting my first book Fractured translated into other languages through the company/system I had been using till now has been a constant frustrating mess with endless problems. The whole process stressed me so much that it was no longer a joy or exciting in any way. So many people had let me down including the company. But, being as stubborn as I can sometimes be, I persisted and persisted till it reached the point where I had to admit that this translation thing wasn’t going to work. I had to give it up. I didn’t want to and I held out as long as I could but in the end, I had no choice. It broke my heart but I couldn’t deal with the ongoing drama anymore (and that was just for my first book, let alone any future ones!). So finally I just threw my hands up in the air (metaphorically) and gave it to the universe to fix. I told my angels that I’d had enough; that I was beating my head against a brick wall and if these translations are meant to be, then they will be but THEY can take over coz I was tired.
So what happened? Almost immediately, I had two people from across the world, out of the goodness of their hearts and pure generosity, take up the translations, their offers coming completely unbidden and unexpected. Wow. 😳 Just like that! A hard reminder that sometimes you gotta let go and give it to your angels. Let it be – let it simmer with your Guides and if it’s meant to be, it will be. And so, this translation thing may still happen, just not the way I had originally planned.
So yeah….some lovely timely reminders that I surely needed and am very thankful for.
And now, the biggest reminder I’ve had recently……
With this blog, I have the absolute pleasure of introducing you to another fabulous writer. This woman not only has a wealth of books already out on the book market with more coming but she is an inspiration. As I said to her when I’d gotten through the interview, the word that came through in neon lights in my head was STRENGTH. Great big overflowing bucketloads of strength and faith. I saw some similarities in her story to my own life experiences and my heart filled with empathy and admiration. I think as you read through her interview, you’ll see, as I did, the sheer resilience of this author, the strong woman and warrior-mother that she is.
Let me introduce you, my dear readers/friends to Ms Sierra Brave…..
Hello. Thank you so much for joining us. Can you tell us about yourself and how you started in writing and publishing.
Hi, Zelly, Thank you so much for having me. I’ve always been a dreamer, thinking up stories to amuse myself, but I didn’t try my hand at being a professional writer until I was in my late thirties. I didn’t know all the ends and outs so I went the traditional route, submitting to publishers. It took me a good year before my first book, Geek Girl’s Romance was accepted.
You have quite a collection of books already published in a relatively short time. Would you say that you’re a speed writer? Or just super organised?
Wow, I wish I was either of those things! It probably only seems like I’ve been around for a short time since I’ve had a few setbacks. In my first few years in the business, I had two publishers close while I was working with them. Luckily, I was given my rights back, but I spent a lot of time getting everything republished.
I was just hitting my stride again when my son came home from college for summer break with what we thought was a little indigestion along with back pain from a recent car accident. The real culprit turned out to be stage IV stomach cancer. I was devastated. At the time, even if I had wanted to, I couldn’t have put my mind around writing anything. I informed my readership of my hiatus online, and I focused on looking after my son and helping my other two kids cope. By the grace of God, the cancer responded to chemo, and as my son began to gain weight and seem more like himself, my passion for creating slowly returned. A year and a half later, we’re still fighting.
Have you always wanted to write? What did you dream of being as a little girl?
As a kid, I wanted to be Wonder Women or at least Smurfette. I didn’t consider writing until much later.
I noticed in your bio that you have an assortment of pets…a couple of little dogs and a feisty orange cat. I’m a cat person by far but love dogs too. Would you say the feisty orange cat is the boss of your menagerie? Do they all get along?
Unfortunately, the bio in some of my books is outdated, and one of my little dogs has passed away. Ten years ago, when we first rescued our short-legged, dwarf-breed kitty, she was more energetic. Now she moves slowly and her preferred activities are sleeping and eating, but she still likes to cuddle. At a whopping five pounds (So tiny!), our remaining dog, an Affenpinscher mix, likes to be in charge. I have to discourage her from using guerilla-warfare, hit-and-run tactics to bullying the much older, heavier, and no-longer feisty cat.
You write romance but in quite a few sub genres like shifter stories and ménage a trois. Do you have a favourite and would you ever try other sub genres?
I wouldn’t say I have a favorite genre. I like to try different things, but for me, it’s all about the characters. I’m very attached to Trisha, Ken, and Tommy from the Triple Passion Play series which is probably why I wrote four books about them. The Horse Mountain Shifters books each have a different hero and heroine, but the characters from earlier stories often pop up in supporting roles. The same is true for my Crystal Coast Romance series.
When you’re not writing or doing any kind of book related work, what does a busy woman with three kids and three animals and a husband do to relax and have fun?
With my son’s health condition, we have to be very careful right now due to Covid-19, so we haven’t been able to get out much. Family movie nights at home or binge-watching a few episodes of Bob’s Burger’s (or whatever show the kids are into that week) allows the whole crew a little together time. We’ve done some baking projects—my youngest daughter has been experimenting with how to make baked goods healthier. We’ve also started a porch yoga regimen to force ourselves to get a little sun and exercise. At bedtime, I like to read to wind down.
Who or what was your biggest inspiration growing up and why?
My life has been touched by love and tragedy, and I’ve taken inspiration from both. I don’t have the fondest memories of my pre-adult life. Most of the time I was just trying to keep my head down and get past the next hurdle. I had a very complicated relationship with my mother up until she was taken away by a drunk driver. I still haven’t worked through all of my conflicting emotions, but a little over twenty years ago, my wonderful husband joined me on my journey and has helped me stay on my path. He and my kids have brought me great happiness.
If you couldn’t write, what would you do?
At one time, I worked in adult education administration. If I couldn’t write, I’d probably look at working for a university again.
Do you still have goals that you’re striving for, whether it’s book related or not.?
Aside from one day wanting to live at the coast, no. I don’t make long-term plans anymore or beat myself up trying to tick off boxes. The biggest lesson life has taught me, quite harshly, I might add, is tomorrow isn’t promised. I want to live in the moment, enjoying whatever time I have with my loved ones as much as I can.
Who would you say is your favourite fictional character? Be it a book or movie or other….And why?
I love Wonderland, not just Alice but the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, and so many more. The idea of falling down a rabbit hole into a shit storm that keeps you jumping from one crazy thing to the next while growing and holding on to the strength to believe in impossible things is a life I can relate to. I started Down the Rabbit Hole: Alice in Shifterland, an erotic and campy serial for fun on Wattpad as a way to relieve stress, but eventually, I’d like to finish the story, clean it up (editing wise – not the heat level) and make it available on more platforms.
Are the family supportive and helpful with your book career?
My husband is very supportive. Some of my other relatives vaguely know that I write, but since I write steamy romance, I try to keep my pen name private from my personal life to avoid any embarrassment for my kids.
Alive or dead, real or fictional, who would you invite to a Brave dinner party? And what would you ask them?
I’d invite Jesus, and I’d beg him to heal my son.
For the benefit of my followers who come from all over the world, and me, an Aussie girl, what’s the “deep, down, dirty South”? Is it as fun as it sounds and is it a real place? Can we visit?
Oh, it’s very real – maybe too real for some people. The Southeastern United States is an interesting place with all kinds, but among some, there is this whole “bless your heart,” politeness. If you read The Help, you’ll understand the back-handed compliments and sideways digs. I grew up in that subset of society, but I prefer the deep, down, dirty south where we mind our own business, keep our mouths shut when that’s the kindest option, and bluntly say what we mean when someone needs to hear the truth.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on finishing and finding the right publisher for my Fated Fairytales series. I have completed the first book and started the second with two more outlined.
Where can readers find out more about you and your books? (Insert all links and pages etc)
Sierra became my reminder that you’re never alone in the challenges that you face….that there are others out there in the world who have or are going through the exact same crapola you’ve gone through and because of that, you’re never really alone…….that you can tap into the shared strength that is out there, that you can connect to others and share your burdens, if you wish. That, while life is definitely ugly/beautiful at times, we can all be more grateful and kind to each other. As they say….”there but for the grace of God, go I.”
Little reminders indeed.
I looking forward to getting to know Sierra more and reading her work and I highly recommend that you grab a book or two or ten of hers yourself.
Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did and an enormous thank you to Sierra for taking the time to join me here.
So, that’s it for now….. until next time,
As always, much love,
Zelly Jordan 💜💚❤️
PS: I too loved WonderWoman. Here’s me dressed as her…….