#HobbyCareerPassion: “A Passion for Horses” ~ Author Kara O’Neal ~ #AHAgrp

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, Kara O’Neal…

A Passion for Horses:

My name is Sarah Kerry, and I live with my father and step-mother in Asheville, North Carolina. We have a profitable farm, with well-stocked stables. I spend my days with our horses.

Horses are beautiful creatures. They understand people much better than we do and respond to a person’s mood in ways that have always fascinated me. I respect their judgment and pay attention to their reactions around others.

Nothing is better than an early morning ride, and I must admit, that I love to race. So does Anthem. That’s my horse. He’s gorgeous and spirited and likes reckless rides as much as I do.

When a person from my past, a person I thought was my friend, showed up, I should have followed Anthem’s instincts. Liam Devlin has evil in his veins, and he wants nothing more than to abuse the power he holds over me.

Anthem knew. When I introduced him to Liam, he tossed his head and backed up. I realized Anthem didn’t like Liam, but I kept quiet, afraid to be rude. I let Liam into my home, and now my life is in shambles.

But at least I have Anthem, and he takes me away from all of it. We ride over the fields, the wind whipping over us, and for a brief moment, I’m safe.

An Excerpt:

The river rushed before her, strong and free. What she wouldn’t give for the ability to run unchained, to grab the happiness she wanted and never look back. She exhaled deeply and closed her eyes.

Michael Lonnigan stepped closer, the warmth of his solid frame seeping into her. “Tell me,” he urged. “Who is the man who stalks your every step?”

As she looked up, an image of her predator flashed before her. “He is…no one.”

“No one?” His voice grated on the phrase. “He had his arm around your waist in church today.”

She clenched her teeth, keeping the bile down as the memory of his touch plagued her.

“If I didn’t know your true feelings,” Michael continued, “if I hadn’t seen you step away from him, I’d think you didn’t love me.”

His hands came up to rest on her shoulders. “Tell me who stands between us. Why have you turned away from me and gone to him?” he begged, his tone rough and seared with pain.

She ached to tell him, to lay her burdens at his feet, but no one could know her family’s shame and peril. To confess her hell would be to betray her father, and she couldn’t do that. “Please,” she urged, her voice wavering, “you must let it alone. We can’t be together anymore.”

He gripped her tighter, pulling her back against his chest. She allowed the intimate embrace, needing his touch, for it was her life’s blood. He ran his hands down her arms and circled her waist. As he buried his face in the crook of her neck, he breathed in deeply.

Yearning centered inside her, making her heart pound. One month of precious courtship, thirty days of happiness, thirty nights of sweet longing, gone now. Obliterated by her dead mother’s hand.

Michael Lonnigan, the man of her heart, could never be hers. Tall, broad shouldered, dark haired, brown eyed and with a smile true and honest, he would not belong to her. She had to leave him, to set him free. It would kill her to do so.

His arms tightened so firmly, she feared he might carry her off. Pushing at his forearms, she yanked herself from his solid hold. “I have to go.” Her knees shook as she took the necessary steps away from him.

“I can’t accept this,” he called after her as she walked swiftly down the path through the swaying pine trees. “I can’t let you go.”

Tears formed in her eyes.

“I love you, Sarah,” he cried.

Sobs clutched her chest as she picked up the pace, branches snagging at her skirt. Her life had been ruined, her dream crushed, and her sweet love could do nothing about it.

Blurb:

Sarah Kerry’s world is shattered when a man from her past, Liam Devlin, shows up with proof that, if shared, would send her father to the noose. In order to keep Liam quiet, she must break her young courtship with Michael Lonnigan and marry Liam instead.

Michael is crushed and angry when Sarah abruptly ends their courtship, but he knows something isn’t right. He’s seen the new man hanging around the Kerry family and believes the man is blackmailing the woman Michael loves. Unwilling to let her go, Michael will do whatever it takes to save Sarah and make her his own.

Saving Sarah is $0.99 and is available here:

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087CG14JC/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=kara+o%27neal+saving+sarah&qid=1587507691&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saving-sarah-kara-oneal/1129607915?ean=2940163902194

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/saving-sarah-19

Apple – https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1506428776

Bio:

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.

Social Media:

Website –  www.karaoneal.com

Bookbub –  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kara-o-neal

Amazon –  http://www.amazon.com/Kara-ONeal/e/B00FL19TH8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1465007993&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble –  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/kara+o’neal?_requestid=845025

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/

Twitter –  https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor

Pinterest –  https://www.pinterest.com/karaoneal7/

Goodreads –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7278350.Kara_O_Neal

Blog — http://www.karaoneal.com/blog

Blog – The Story Continues — http://www.karaoneal.com/the-story-continues

 

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June Featured Books – Find New & Amazing Authors!!! #AHAgrp #BookWorm #AmReading #Ebooks

Looking for something new and fabulous to read? Try these…

With her stepfather’s sudden death, Lady Anastasia Covington goes from living a privileged lifestyle to selling vegetables in the village marketplace in the blink of an eye. Alone and at the mercy of her nefarious stepsister, she yearns for love and acceptance.

Disguised as a simple soldier, Prince Percival catches a dark-haired emerald-eyed beauty in his arms. He is bewitched. The more he sees her, the more intrigued he is by her contradictions. Forced to keep his identity a secret, he must somehow convince Lady Anastasia he is the right man for her.

But time is running out. Lady Anastasia’s mother is determined to find a proper suitor and see her wed –and someone wants her dead.

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After a family crisis, Katie Hathaway must return home to help out in the family’s ice cream shop. She leaves behind her dream job of teaching ballroom dance to spend her summer scooping ice cream and mixing milkshakes.

Chaz Hollander, Katie’s high school crush, has also returned to town to work in his family’s business. After Katie treats him to a blueberry swirl sundae, he invites her to the town’s upcoming dance. The only problem is he has two left feet.

When Katie starts giving Chaz dance lessons, their chemistry ignites, and the postponement of her dream doesn’t seem as ominous. But financial woes and a suspicious business deal cast a shadow on their budding relationship.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After one concussion too many, Ben Leit is done as the NFL’s golden boy quarterback. Then his father, who was about to expose a bombshell sports scandal, is murdered.

Mimi Fitzroy, CIO for Rex Sports International, panics as she discovers thousands of stolen emails that prove Rex is breaking federal laws—big time. As Ben and Mimi work together to find a killer, they also find a connection they weren’t expecting and didn’t want.

They are headed for an explosive showdown in Seattle…and not everyone will walk away.

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If you’ve never lost a loved one, it’s hard to imagine the excruciating pain that goes along with it.
When a parent or someone close to you is sick, dying or has passed away, it’s agonizing, painful and hard to navigate the details that lie ahead.
We’re normally not educated on the process of handling these types of tasks because it isn’t something that happens frequently.
After sharing my journey with close friends, I learned many of them had never been through this before and had no idea about all the details involved.
I kept a log of every single task my husband and I took care of during the entire time Mom was sick, until she passed away, and afterwards, and the list was quite large.
I recapped my own experiences and compiled a list of questions and checklists that quite frankly would’ve been helpful for me. I’m hoping that what I’ve created will help you plan for when a parent or loved one passes. The questions and checklists are meant to help the ones left behind and are located at the end of the book.
For instance, I had no idea what a financial power of attorney was or that it had an expiration date.
I also didn’t know exactly what hospice did or what kinds of services were offered in an assisted living facility, nor how to place an obituary or even how to write one.
Going through loss is a terrible experience but having some insight, checklists and questions to ask might make your process easier.
This book is helpful for:
•Senior citizens who have done no planning or have health conditions.
•Midlife parents who haven’t started planning yet.
•Young parents who want to plan early in life.
•Young adults who may have the unfortunate task of handling a parent’s estate.
•Anybody wanting to make their sure assets are protected.
The information provided is meant to get you thinking about planning for the future. It isn’t meant to make you uncomfortable or scare you.
I hope you find the book and the tools helpful.

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#HobbyCareerPassion: “A Passion for Purses” ~ Author Wendy Kendall ~ #WRPbks #AHAgrp

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, Wendy Kendall…

(I’m proud to say that I was Wendy’s editor for Kat out of the Bag – and I love her book!)

A Passion For Purses

by Wendy Kendall

I have reveled in a passion for purses many years. I enjoy all kinds. You name it and I’ll claim it. My curiosity and wildly growing peronal collection led me to investigate the world of purses. That resulted in my new mystery novel Kat Out of the Bag, introducing Katherine Watson celebrated international purse designer and amateur sleuth.

Why do women love purses? I had my suspicions, of course. I followed many clues. I devoured everything there was to read about designers. I researched art appreciation. But it was when I interviewed every day women about their favorite purse, and learned about their incredible lives and families that I knew I was hot on the trail to uncovering the mystery of a passion for purses.

I met with a variety of women who enjoyed purses. Their favorite purse, the one they told me all about,  was often a special gift, maybe a family member, loved one, friend, or mentor. Sometimes their purse was a style similar to another woman’s who they’d known. Often it evoked a cherished memory, like an aunt who had a purse pocket with surprise candy treats for kids. There was a sisterhood here.

For some women their favorie purse represented a cause that they supported wholeheartedly. They were wearing their heart on their arm, or sometimes crossbody.

No matter how contemporary, these stories had roots in history. Yes, a woman’s purse tells a story, that’s unique and at the same time shared. The final piece of the puzzle fell into place. I traveled from Seattle, Washington to Little Rock, Arkansas to visit one of only three purse museums in the world – Esse. The ESSE Purse Museum does not simply showcase accessories. It makes HERstory tangible and familiar. ESSE is focused on honoring women, artisans and the stories that make us unique and connected.

Mystery solved! And my novel underway, about Katherine Watson the purse designer. She creates purses because it was a passion that her great grandmother had shared with her when she was a young child. It was then she learned  inside every purse there’s a treasured story of the woman who carried it, and those stories are important. When Katherine ends up temporarily back in her hometown of Bayside, she decides to create a purse museum in honor of her great grandmother, and all the women who’s stories would be told in the exhibits. Never did she imagine that the mayor would be murdered at the Gala Opening.

My character Moonjava is a fan of the hippies of the 1960’s. She’s also the museum historian. She loves the idea of showcasing history in creative exhibits. She shares a daily meditation with anyone who will listen, often with interesting repercussions.

Amber is the college student who manages the museum gift shop. She’s a wristlet gal. She stumbles on her own cold case mystery when she and her boyfriend Michael find a note in a donated vintage purse.

While Michael and Amber partner on their cold case, Katherine finds herself investigating the murder with, and sometimes at odds with local cop Jason Holmes and his K-9 partner Hobbs. Jason ends up learning some things about purses as the mystery deepens.

I wrote Kat Out of the Bag for the fun of mysteries, for the fun of creating the characters, for the women who are making history right now, and to honor memories of the women who have gone before.

Kat Out of the Bag is available on Amazon

Book Blurb –

When celebrated international purse designer Katherine Watson hosts a gala for her Purse-onality Museum, she never expected the next day’s headline to read: ‘Murder at the Gala Prmiere.’ But after a dead body is found during the event, that’s exactly what happened.

Working to solve the murder, Katherine matches wits with local cop Jason Holmes and his K-9 partner Hobbs. Although Holmes and Watson disagree often, they discover an undeniable attraction building between them. But they’ll have to put their feelings on hold and focus on solving the murder, before Katherine becomes the killer’s next knock off.

Excerpt –

“There’s an officer nearby. We’ll alert him. Hold the line.”

Katherine was worried by the operator’s monotone. Did she understand the urgency? Katherine watched in disbelief as the shadow figure moved toward the shed attached to the waterwheel. Too late, she thought to get a picture after the person disappeared inside the shed.

“Oh no,” Katherine muttered. She spoke into the phone, “Hurry, I think it’s the killer, maybe looking for something left behind? Hello?” Had the operator hung up?

“Yes, the officer is on the way. Please stay on the line.” The operator’s voice now sounded bored.

A sharp ray of light from inside the shed cut through the darkness. The light jumped around. Sweat collected on Katherine’s upper lip as she imagined the killer looking through her things for something, maybe critical evidence. Fear gave way to irritation at the invasion. Irritation gave way to anger. Someone had to stop that killer from removing whatever incriminating thing was so critical it had driven a return to the scene of the crime. Katherine wanted to scream. Where were the police? Maybe MJ was right about them. She pressed against the french doors. The light in the shed went out. Her breath caught in her throat. The silhouette walked out of the shed toward the alley leading to the maze that burrowed throughout Bayside and beyond.

Katherine spoke gruffly and fast, “Hello. Where’s your officer? The suspect is getting away.”

“Ma’am, please stay calm and hang on the line. They’re on the way.”

Katherine unlocked the door to the yard and whispered to the 911 operator, “I’m in pursuit.”

 

Author Bio –

Wendy Kendall has a passion for purses and stories of the women through history who carried them. Her cozy mystery Kat Out of the Bag is the first book of the In Purse-Suit Mystery series.

Wendy is a blogger, editor, speaker, project manager, and syndicated columnist. Catch exciting author interviews on her podcasts. She loves her two sons, Alex and Brad and lives near Seattle.

Website – Wendywrites.org

Blog – ApassionForPurses.blogspot

Facebook– Wendy Kendall, Mystery Author

Twitter – wendywrites1

Podcasts – Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries . . . A Novel Talk . . . The Cozy Mystery Quartet

Columns – Recommended Reads and Kids Are Bookin’ It

Esse Purse Museum

 

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#HobbyCareerPassion: “Bear With Me” ~ Author Marilyn Barr ~ #Strawberryshifters

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, Marilyn Barr…

Dear Readers,

It has been a difficult few months on the job but I have finally found my bearings at Bergan Pharma.  Despite my multiple FDA filings for innovative drug products and tireless hours working for pennies, nothing prepared me for the unique (dare I say supernatural) challenges as their Director of Regulatory Affairs.  My new coworkers have worked their magic to take the world stage as the leader in biologics despite choosing to have their headquarters in the middle of nowhere: Strawberry, Kentucky.  I have three new biologic drug products to bring to market in the coming months and if we work around the clock, the company will make more money then we can spend in a lifetime.  It is these leadership qualities they wanted when they hired me.  No one can drive a pharma company like me.

It was a hard sell to my wife and son, but eventually, they saw the benefits of living over an hour’s drive from the nearest school or town center.  I am so excited they are moving into our new home tomorrow.  I can hardly stay away even though I relocated to Strawberry Kentucky alone months ago.  Gifting my wife a giant plantation home with acres of gardens was a stroke of genius on my part.  No more sensory overload from her job at the garden center.  She can manage her sensory processing disorder in isolation.  I assume it is what she wants but our truce right now is shaky at best.  It is my hope that a new town and a fresh start will bring us back from the brink of divorce.

Perhaps she will be happier with no more meetings with the principal about our son’s disciplinary problems.  He will be homeschooled by her.  I am grateful to Brad and the Board of Directors of Bergan Pharma for their generous signing bonus, so I could make this happen, including my new BMW.  They simply made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.  If only I had known the unwritten job duties and how they would turn my world upside-down, when I signed on.  How did I score such a deal?  I explain it on my drive home through the hills of Kentucky in Strawberry Shifters Book 1: Bear with Me:

“It had been an early Christmas present when the head-hunter called me about Bergan Pharma. They needed someone to get their products approved by the FDA, which is my specialty. You could say I possess a certain set of skills coveted by the industry, but less James Bond and more Bob Cratchit. Up until that call, I hopped from one slave driver to the next. Every company promised innovations but really, they were all the same.

First, a trust-fund kid parties through undergrad who uses a nerdy “friend” to barely slide through with a degree in something dumb like underwater basket weaving. Next, they build a start-up pharma company and the nerdy friend drives a group of employees into the ground for the success of “their” invention. Finally, the partners have a happily ever after of saving a little slice of the world while making the big bucks.

They marry and have kids to start the cycle over. It’s my job to make all the bar napkins, lab books, scrap paper musings, and alcohol-fueled business models into a cohesive professional package. Sometimes I am assigned a minion to help me, like a blue-haired neighbor or barely legal “friend” of the boss to manage the dozen boulder-sized binders.

I have over forty New Drug Applications— miracle-working piles of binders otherwise known as NDAs—somewhere in the FDA pipeline. They have been filed with five different companies. My name is all over their site as a name for inquiries only, never profit share. My bosses have always obliged with a signature for that part.”

My wife asked that I learn to listen to her in our months apart.  When she arrives in Strawberry tomorrow, she will see I’m a changed man.  No more struggling to get by, no more putting work before her, and no more tuning her out.  I have it all: the dream job, the flashy car, the plantation home, and a fresh start for my family.  What could possibly go wrong?  Follow my family on their adventure in the wilds of rural Kentucky in Strawberry Shifters Book 1: Bear with Me.

Best regards,

Grant Luther

Amazon Buy Link:    Amazon

Author Bio:

Marilyn Barr currently resides in the wilds of Kentucky with her husband, son, and rescue cats. When engaging with the real world, she is collecting characters, empty coffee cups, and unused homeschool curricula.

She has a diverse background containing experiences as a child prodigy turned medical school reject, biodefense microbiologist, high school science teacher, homeschool mother of a savant, and advocate for the autistic community.

She would love to hear from readers via her website: http://www.marilynbarr.com.

Author Social Media Links:

website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Amazon author profile

Goodreads

BookBub Author Profile

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Wondering about the recent posts?

Hi all…if you are curious about the recent password protected posts, let me explain. I am offering a novel writing course through Chapter Buzz, and we have set up the lessons as password protected blog posts. The first module is free but only for those who sign up through the Chapter Buzz site. More info can be found here: https://www.chapterbuzz.com/course

Feel free to comment with any questions you might have.

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Protected: 12 Week Novel Course: Week 1 Lesson 5 – Questions?

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Protected: 12 Week Novel Course: Week 1 Lesson 4 -Tips for developing a daily writing habit

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Protected: 12 Week Novel Course: Week 1, Lesson 3 – Tips to turn off your editor and free creativity

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Protected: 12 Week Novel Course: Week 1, Lesson 2 – Story Questions

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Protected: 12 Week Novel Course: Week 1, Lesson 1 – Intro & Initial Questions

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