Tag Archives: series

Guest Interview of Kara O’Neal

Welcome to Kara who has several releases of historical romance fiction.

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I’m a teacher. I vowed up one way and down he other I wouldn’t enter into the profession. But God had other ideas. While I hadn’t planned on working in education, I certainly never thought about being an author. My sister challenged me to rewrite the end to a book I hadn’t cared for, and I did. In my head. Which opened up a new world, and soon I had four core families in a tiny Texas town in the late 1800s living in my imagination. It took thirteen years, and lots of rewriting, but I published my first book in 2013 and haven’t slowed down.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

Unfortunately, I don’t have time to do anything else. I’m a mother of a cellist, trumpeter, and baseball player. I’d love to continue scrapbooking, but our children are too busy to allow for that kind of hobby. It doesn’t disappoint me because it’s truly a joy to watch them do what they love, to see them grow and change. I can’t believe I am so fortunate as to know them.

If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.

Well, the music I listen to while writing is whatever chant or cheer are played during an Astros or Texans game. I’m usually watching my favorite teams win, or lose, while I pen stories of romance and intrigue.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

I sure have. I am a native Texan and have traveled all over the state with my husband and children. All of my books take place in Texas, however, the 5th story, The Soldier’s Love, starts in Nebraska (I have been there, too.) and ends in Texas. The fort in my 5th book is based on Ft. Davis in West Texas.

Describe a normal writing day (or period, if you have other employment obligations).

When I get home, I almost immediately start writing. I write while I cook supper. I write in the car while waiting on a child to finish practice, or CCE, or a club meeting. I usually have about 30 minutes in the morning before I have to walk out the door, and I write then, as well. Every free moment I have, I write.

What’s your dream vacation destination?

Ireland. My husband is going to take me for our 20th wedding anniversary. I cannot wait.

In what genre do you read?

I read all books. I’ve read everything from Jane Austen to Tony Dungee (football coach). My absolute favorite author is Jane Austen. She transcends time. My favorite genre is definitely romance, though. I can’t get enough of people falling in love!

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When she was little more than a child, Willa Kramer went to extreme lengths to save her family from their abusive father. After that horrible day, her mother and siblings moved to Tennessee, and Willa had hoped to leave Texas, its memories and Lonnie Davis, the only boy she ever trusted, behind. But fate is unpredictable.

Five years have passed, and Lonnie finds himself reunited with Willa, the only girl he’s ever loved. He’s determined not to let her slip away again, but a figure from the past looms, threatening his hopes for the future.

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Resplendence Publishing

EXCERPT

Lonnie excused himself from Willa’s parents, and despite his silent commands to give Willa space, he couldn’t keep from following the lady who had occupied his thoughts for the last several years. It would be odd not to speak to her. They’d been close. Once.

When he stepped into the vacant kitchen, he caught sight of her form through the screen door. She stood on the porch, her hands lightly gripping the rail, gazing at the outbuildings, field and the trees shading Glebe Run. The breeze caressed her, sending wisps of her hair to float around her face.

He paused. His chest tightened. He’d waited a long time to see her, had wondered if he ever would. Years ago, she’d wrapped him around her little finger, and he’d grown so attached to her, he’d thought about moving to Tennessee to be with her. But then she had stopped writing. To say it had hurt would be an understatement. But he hadn’t been angry. He could never be angry with her. Never. And now she was back and near. It was too tempting.

After taking a deep breath, he moved forward then went through the screen door. Even though it gave a loud creak, she didn’t turn. Did she know it was he who stood behind her?

The light breeze ruffled her skirt. Her long, velvety hair grazed the small of her back. An ache centered in the pit of his stomach. He’d missed her. And now she was here. “Hello, Willa,” he said, hearing the gentleness of his tone.

She tensed before facing him. Her gaze was shuttered, as if she needed to protect herself from him. Was she afraid? Had he said something in his letters that had hurt her? An urgency gripped him.

“How are you?” he inquired, tamping down the questions he really wanted to ask. Instead, he searched her face for clues as to why she seemed guarded. In the past, he’d been the person she trusted, the person she leaned on. What had he done wrong?

“H-Hello, Lonnie. It’s good to see you.”

Was it? She didn’t seem happy. “It’s…really good to see you, too,” he couldn’t help admitting.

“Did you meet my step-father?” she asked.

“I did. Seems like a nice fellow.”

“He is. He makes Mother happy.”

When she didn’t continue, he racked his brain for a response. Nothing came to him. Her upturned face held determined lines, and the barriers in her hazel eyes left him silent.

“Greg likes him,” she inserted into the awkward silence stretching between them.

He linked his thumbs through his belt loops. “I haven’t seen your brother yet. Where is he?”

She nodded her head in the direction of the barn. “Checking on his horse. He brought Tracks with us. He loves that animal too much to be apart from him for long.”

Lonnie understood. He was the wrangler on the family ranch and dealt with horses most of the time. He had a special relationship with the animals. “And Shelby?” he asked, inquiring about her sister. If mundane conversation was what Willa wanted, he would respect that. Besides, did he really want to ask why she’d stopped writing? Did he really want to return to the road that led to Willa Kramer? It had taken a while to stop feeling something whenever he thought of her. And he still thought of her. Every day.

“Married. She lives in Oregon. She hasn’t met our step-father, but I’ve written to her about him.”

Which meant Willa had indicated whether or not she trusted the man. Lonnie figured she did. If the man hadn’t earned the respect of Willa, Lonnie doubted her mother would have married him.

“How was the trip down?”

She shrugged. “As comfortable as possible. I hadn’t ever ridden on a train. It was much better than the stagecoach ride from Texas to Memphis.”

The day she’d boarded that coach to leave Pikes Run had ripped out his heart. He’d watched her go, unsure of what she meant to him, what he meant to her. A week after the Kramer family had left, Lonnie had understood he loved Willa. He’d written. And she’d replied. But then, after the fifth exchange, she had stopped. Without warning. Without explanation. What had he done?

As he looked into her eyes, it was all he could do not to move closer, to cup her cheek with a hand. He was falling again. Or had he ever regained his heart? That invisible tug he’d felt around her had returned. In mere minutes.

He refrained from uttering a curse. It wasn’t her fault he was still drawn to her. He’d probably never been free of her, though he’d worked like hell to forget her. But seconds had destroyed whatever barriers he’d managed to build, and he drowned in her eyes once more. And again, just as it had been all those years ago, he only needed her in order to keep his head above water.

But walls lived in the depths of her gaze. Walls against him. His gut clenched. Hurting Willa was the last thing he’d ever wanted to do, but it appeared he had. The need to apologize burned his tongue.

“Lonnie,” a male voice called.

Lonnie spotted a lankier, taller version of Greg Kramer walking from the barn toward the porch. Gladness gripped Lonnie, overtaking the frustrated helplessness rushing through his veins. He met the younger man in the middle of the yard. They shook hands, grinning at each other. Greg was a welcome distraction.

“It’s good to see you,” Greg said.

“And you. You’re taller.”

Greg laughed. “I can almost look you in the eye, huh? Might be able to beat you at arm wrestling now, too.”

Lonnie lifted an eyebrow, a grin still tugging his lips. “We’ll see about that.” He gestured toward the barn. “Willa tells me you brought your horse with you.”

A sheepish expression came over Greg’s face. “I shouldn’t have asked my step-father to pay to stable Tracks on a train, but I didn’t want to leave him. I just got him.”

Lonnie could feel Willa’s eyes on him. His body tingled with awareness, and if he wasn’t careful, he was going to whip around and jump right over the imaginary fence she’d erected and ask her why she’d stopped answering his letters. He had to put some distance between them. “Can I see him?” he asked Greg.

The young man’s face lit. “Of course.”

As they fell in stride with each other, Lonnie heard the screen door creak. Willa was gone. His heart sank to the pit of his stomach.

Kara ONealKara O’Neal was born and raised in Texas.  After surviving those awkward years of 7 to 16, she spent two years at Sam Houston State University where she met her husband.  He followed her to Texas Tech University and was proud when she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development.  Soon after graduation Kara followed her heart and became certified to teach Special Education.

She married the love of her life in 1998 and had three children.  The happiest times of her life are spent with her family and friends.  Kara is fortunate to be surrounded by the best and most amazing people God put on this earth.

When she was pregnant with her oldest child, Kara wrote her first novel.  And then rewrote it.  And rewrote it again.  She did this while teaching, raising kids, and traveling across Texas with her husband. Thank goodness for spiral notebooks!

WEB CONTACTS

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Amazon Author Page

Barnes & Noble Author Page

 

Guest Interview—Hywela Lyn

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I was born and lived most of my life in Rural Wales, although I have lived in a small English village, since my marriage. I love the outdoors and animals, and enjoyed many happy hours riding in the hills in my native Wales, the beautiful landscapes and colourful myths and legends inspired much of my writing. I have always loved the stars, and although I started out writing Western historicals, I became fascinated by the idea of travelling in space, and exploring distant worlds and began writing Science Fiction Romance – I always say ‘Space Opera’ which is how I would categorize my writing, is really a ‘Western’ in space with starships instead of horses and aliens instead of Native Americans.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Romance that’s ‘Out Of This World’ (although a few of my stories are set on this world but in a distant time either far back in the past, or in the future.)

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

Reading (of course.) As I said earlier, I love the outdoors, walking with my dog and caring for my two horses. Although I learnt to ride ‘English’ style, when Western Riding became more popular in the UK, I bought a Western saddle (from an endurance rider) and changed disciplines. Western riding is so comfortable and relaxed, and my horses converted to it very easily. I completed several endurance rides myself, using Western tack, and even bought a specially reinforced ‘Stetson’ as my mare, T’pau, although sweet, is very spooky an we’ve parted company a few times. At one time I used to sketch and paint, but don’t have time for that any more, unfortunately.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

Usually the characters come to me first, then the setting and the plot sort of evolves around them. I always think the characters tell me the story as we go along.

Do you use visual aids (storyboards, Pinterest, collages) when plotting or writing?

I usually like to find a picture of my hero and heroine and keep it in front of me as I write.  I don’t find a suitable picture I will make a quick sketch, it just helps to flesh out the character in my mind. In ‘Beloved Enemy’ I had already found the male model I wanted for my cover ‘Jimmy Thomas’. The picture I found conveyed exactly the right image for my ‘tortured hero.’ The female model was a little harder to find, but the one I found suited the main character perfectly. I was lucky in that my cover artist used both the  pictures I chose and incorporated them into the cover.

In what genre do you read?

I love reading Science Fiction naturally, but I also enjoy historical Westerns, Romantic suspense, and adventures stories. I will actually read almost anything if it has good characters and holds my attention.

Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?

I couldn’t be without an animal or two. I have two horses, Harri and T’pau.  Harry is a black Welsh Cob and T’pau is a chestnut and white ‘Paint/American Quarterhorse. ‘Dusty’ the stable cat, does the ‘mousework and vermin control.   I also have a rather manic ‘rescue’ terrier called Choccy. He is the sweetest, most affectionate little dog, but unfortunately was kept locked up for the first two years of his life, and as a consequence was never ‘socialised’ with other dogs. It’s taken over a year and a lot of patience, but he’s now reached the stage where he will see another dog and approach it happily, instead of barking furiously and spinning in circles. He’s very clever and learns quickly, and when I’m not out with the horses, I take him for long walks in the woods or across the fields, and he just loves to chase a ball and play ‘fetch’.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I would love to think that readers would enjoy reading about my characters, and be left with a feeling of hope for the future, and the triumph of good over evil, and that they will feel the same sense of satisfaction when the main characters finally get their ‘happy ever after’ as I did writing it.

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Cat Kincaid is obsessed with killing the man she believes is responsible for the torture and death of her sister, but when she eventually catches up with him, survival becomes a greater priority than revenge.

Kerry Marchant, haunted by memories, regret and self-blame, shields himself from the pain of the past by committing himself totally to the starship, Destiny, of which he is part owner. However, the beautiful, red haired woman who reminds him of his lost love, and who he suspects is working for a corrupt regime, represents a possible threat not only to the ship, but to his heart.

Marooned on an inhospitable planet, they need to work together to stay alive, fighting not only unknown assailants, but their growing attraction. But how can they learn to trust each other when he has vowed never to get close to a woman again, and she made a solemn pledge to destroy him?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Amazon UK

The Wild Rose Press

Giveaway

Thank you so much for having me here today – I wonder how many readers think we will one day explore the stars?  I’m looking forward to your views and will give a $6.00 Wild Rose Press Certificate to the most interesting answer.

EXCERPT

Before she could activate the weapon, Kerry let off another barrage of plasma bolts into the river. He leapt toward her and ripped the severed tentacle from her leg. It flapped around on the wet grass. She scrambled to her knees, still slightly winded, and fired at the hideous thing. The foliage around it flared briefly with an eerie green flame, and the tentacle shrivelled into a slimy black mass, emitting a pungent odour and causing her to gag.

“It seems I was mistaken about the creature being dead.” Kerry prodded the smouldering mass with his boot and looked across over the water. “It is now.” He leaned down and grasped her wrist to haul her to her feet. “Are you hurt?”

“No, I don’t think so.” Her shoulder was sore and probably bruised but she’d live.

She tried to control her shivering. The incident affected her more than she wanted to admit. Kerry’s proximity—naked to the waist, his lithe body shining from the water droplets that still clung to his skin, and his legs swathed in tight black leather—did nothing to help. The last thing she wanted was for him to realize how scared she’d been when she thought a snake attacked her.

“Thanks. That was close. It would have been a bit ironic if I’d been killed by the same creature I saved you from.”

She realized he still grasped her wrist. She tried to move away, but he pulled her back, obliging her to turn to him.

“You’re trembling.”

“I’m fine.”

“No,” he said. “You’re not.” He pulled her closer and his eyes softened, his gaze holding her mesmerized. She opened her mouth to try to speak, but in the same instant, he put his hand under her chin and his lips closed over hers.

Snippet from 5 Start Review – Books By Beverly

“Cat comes to Kerry and his party’s rescue. If anyone is going to kill him it will be her.

I haven’t read the first two in the series but Beloved Enemy is a stand alone. A good one!”

Hywela Lyn

Hywela Lyn lives in a small village in England, with her long-suffering husband Dave, although her heart remains in her native rural Wales. Although most her writing tends to be futuristic, the worlds she creates are usually untainted by crowded cities and technology, embracing the beauty and wildness of nature.

WEBSITE  –     http://www.hywelalyn.co.uk

BLOG  –            http://www.hywelalyn.blogspot.com

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/HywelaLynAuthor?ref=hl

                  https://www.facebook.com/HywelaLyn

TWITTER –        https://twitter.com/Hywela_Lyn

GOODREADS –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1422651.Hywela_Lyn

 

Her first novel, Starquest, a futuristic romance released by The Wild Rose Press was followed by a sequel Children Of The Mist. Her recently released third novel Beloved Enemy, continues what has now become a series known as ‘The Destiny Trilogy’.

 

She is a member of The Romance Novelists’ Association (UK)  and Chiltern Writers, her local writing group. A keen animal lover, when she is not writing, she can usually be found enjoying the outdoors with the horses and dog – or just  eating chocolate!

Release Day–Libbie: Bride of Arizona

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to become involved in an unprecedented author event where 45 authors got together to write a mail-order bride story connected to each US state. The collaboration and support from all the authors have been phenomenal.

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Today is release day for Libbie: Bride of Arizona, book #48 in American Mail-Order Brides series.

I had so much fun writing this story of a woman who has been raised in Australia and South Africa with brief visits to Boston—all related to her father’s business pursuits. Libbie is tomboyish and pampered and has three older brothers. So when she’s sent to a woman’s academy in Boston because her mother decides the time has come to learn feminine etiquette, Libbie struggles to discover how she fits in. Then tragedy strikes and she’s forced to answer an ad in the Groom’s Gazette and become a mail-order bride.

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Alone for the first time, tomboyish Libbie Van Eycken accepts a mail-order proposal and travels across country to find a place to call her own. Arizona rancher Dell Stirling needs a wife but didn’t count on the eccentric creature that brings chaos in her wake.

BUY LINK

AMAZON

*The title is also included in Kindle Unlimited program.

The website where information on all the stories can be found is here:

http://www.newwesternromance.com

Plus a Facebook page is devoted to the series:

https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMailOrderBrides

GIVEAWAY

I’m offering the chance for a $15 Amazon gift card to one person who leaves a comment here or on the Libbie’s release day thread on the American Mail-Order Brides Facebook page.