Women Rocking Retirement

About Us

You found us!! 

We’re Anita and Mary Lee, best friends & co-writers who love to talk about all things retirement…and other topics! 

As we prepared for retirement, the majority of information available was on financial stability. Yes, that’s important, but there was more we needed to know. Such as, what’s next, how much time will we really have, how the heck do we navigate Medicare, how does military retirement work with civilian retirement, are we really starting over, how do we keep our minds sharp, how do we keep moving, how do we make new friends, why has my hair changed texture (okay, that was really just an Anita question), and what about all the other woman stuff no one is talking about?

We were full of questions and we were struggling to find answers in one spot. So we created Your Silver Circle, a place where we can help other women navigate the transition from work life to retirement.

We like to say,  “Sometimes we’ll be your inspiration, sometimes a cautionary tale.”

Mary Lee Woods

Mary Lee

Mary Lee recently retired but has not necessarily slowed down. After a 30+ career in local government starting out in customer service and wrapping up as a deputy CIO, Mary Lee seems to be just as busy now as she was then. She happily has more time for family, her husband Tim, two sons & daughter-in-laws, and especially for her six grandchildren. Also, she is thrilled that she now has more time for writing.


Mary Lee writes mysteries both as Mary Lee Ashford and co-writes with Anita as Sparkle Abbey. She is an avid reader, enjoys travel and learning, and hopes to have time for all those things in retirement.


Anita and her husband are on the road to retirement. Her husband retired from the Army Reserves, which was full of hurry-up-and-wait moments. The goal is to retire from the civil careers in early 2026.


In the meantime, she has a successful Virtual Assistant business and co-writes cozy mysteries with Mary Lee under the pseudonym Sparkle Abbey She’s a lover of British TV mysteries and reality TV, an avid reader, and loves to travel. She’s looking forward to spending more time with her four grown kids, son-in-law, and her only grandchild. She lives in Iowa with her husband and their rescue Yorkie, Sophie.

Anita Carter

Our Friendship

There’s something special about female friendships.  After meeting at a writing meeting in the late 90’s, our friendship evolved, grew, and deepened over the years.

And we’ve found our friendship has made us stronger women individually, and even better when we’re together.

If you’re looking for a community of women who will support you, talk about what others won’t, and fill your life with laughter, you’re in the right place.

We hope you’ll join us in rocking retirement!