Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.
I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, author friend, Kara O’Neal…
My Secret Rose:
My name is Corinne Taylor, and when I was twelve, I was given a piece of land near an offshoot of Pike’s Run, one of the rivers that runs through my hometown. I’ve always loved nature. Its beauty has helped me escape a strained and unloving environment. And this tract of land is surrounded by pine, oak and maple trees. It’s magnificent. It’s inspired me to create, to nurture, and in this idyllic space I made a garden of roses. Over time it’s grown into an ethereal hideaway with numerous paths of all different types of roses. Ones that climb, ones that sit low, ones that stand tall. Pink, white, purple, peach, yellow, every bush is a surprise of color, and has turned my garden into a riot of exquisiteness.
I didn’t know I had a talent. It came from love, from a yearning deep inside me to be my own person. My mother is stifling and does everything within her power to control me. She even chooses my fashions, which are ruffled monstrosities. I can’t explain to you why I can’t break her hold over me, but at least I’ve found a way to be happy.
I’ve learned so much about roses. There are many different breeds, and each has its own identity. My favorite are the Madame Hardy, from the Damask family. Mr. Hardy bred them for his wife and named the white flower after her. Every time I see the blooms, I think of the love he had for her, and it warms my heart. I hope I’m as lucky as she one day.
Right now my garden is hidden away from the world. Only a select few know about it, which is very wrong. I should share it, and I long to do so, but as soon as my mother finds out about it, I know she’ll do everything in her power to rip it from me. One day, I’ll be strong and fight her. One day, I’ll share my love with all of my friends and the town. For it deserves to be seen in the light.
My roses. So beautiful. And I can make them grow.
Corinne Taylor has a secret. And it must be protected. If her mother discovers what Corinne has been hiding, Hell will not describe the place in which she will find herself. Beulah, Corinne’s mother, has proclaimed herself “queen” of Pike’s Run, and no one crosses her, especially not her daughter.
And while Corinne does what she can to guard her secret, her best efforts aren’t enough. War comes to Pike’s Run and the Taylor household when Beulah learns of her daughter’s betrayal. The battle that ensues forces Corinne to seek help from a new arrival.
Jonathan Pierce, a successful lawyer, has come to Pike’s Run looking to find solace from his past. When Corinne asks for his support, her innocence and bravery call to the needs within his broken spirit, and he can’t turn her down. She is capturing his heart, but if she ever learns of his cowardice, she will reject him, killing any hope he has left of finding love.
She let out a slow breath then drew in another deeply. After a few moments, she lowered her arms to her sides and lifted her chin. “Would you like to see them?”
Pleasure spread through Jonathan. “Of course.”
Aware she gave him an opportunity only a handful of others had experienced, he didn’t dare turn down her offer. He should, though. In fact, he should be going on his way, putting distance between himself and a woman who tugged at his basic needs and protective side.
But instead of heeding good sense, he followed her.
When hedgerows appeared, she unlatched a gate and let him in. He hadn’t gone two steps before amazement struck him. He stopped in his tracks and stared at the beauty.
Was it acceptable to even breathe amidst this labor of love? The blooms were open to the five o’clock sun streaming in. The bright orange light danced off of shades of purple, pink and red. Yellow dazzled the eye, along with peach and white.
He felt a nudge at his elbow. He looked down, and the smile directed up at him put the flowers to shame.
“You can walk around. You won’t hurt them.”
The teasing glint in her eyes made his mouth tip up at the corners. He couldn’t stop himself from glancing at the luscious curve of her lips. Warmth spread through him, but he turned away, avoiding the lust curling inside. Instead of a reply, he went down the stone walk, allowing the glory of her handiwork to delight his eye.
He paused at different varieties, noting the shape of the petals or how they lay against each other. Their fragrance wafted around him, making him want to sit and soak up their loveliness. Which was odd.
When he reached the center, he turned and found her several paces behind him. She hadn’t said a word as he’d explored. He could only describe the expression on her face as one of pleasure. She seemed glad she’d shared her haven with him.
“You did all this?”
She nodded, a blush staining her cheeks.
Even standing amidst the evidence of her talent, modesty enveloped her. He couldn’t help the slight smile that formed. “It’s magnificent.”
Should he venture into her world and help her? If he did, he feared the safety of his heart.
Born and raised in Texas, the state had to be the setting for my first series. From the food to the fun, like floating the rivers, it is the fire in my blood that inspires me. My family and friends take center stage in my books. My sisters and best friends are my heroines, and my husband created my favorite hero. Love and family are the point of my stories, and I seek to entertain, relieve stress, and inspire people. Books can take one on a journey that one can relive over and over. I am extremely grateful to those authors who did that very thing for me. I learned and I fell in love with their words and characters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Please visit me at www.karaoneal.com.
Social Media Links:
Website – http://www.karaoneal.com
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