Tag Archives: Texas

#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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Filed under Author Blog Post, Hobbies...Careers...Passions

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.

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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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May Featured Books – Find New & Amazing Authors!!! #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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Xi San saved the life of a mysterious girl one night in his ravaged San Francisco neighborhood. He can’t get her out of his mind, but believes that she’s lost to him.

Lin Kwan came to America to bring her scientist father Chinese medicinal herbs, hoping to stop the virus that killed most of the world’s Caucasians before it mutates to infect the rest of the world. On her way to finding him, she meets again the man who once saved her, a man she can’t forget.

With a diverse group of fellow travelers, they head for St. Louis, where civilization is being rebuilt. Between them and safety, danger lurks—Gabriel, a self-styled religious leader and white supremacist, who has organized his army from Upper Midwest survivalist and militia followers, determined to take revenge for the white man.

But Gabriel isn’t their only enemy. Before they reach their destination, they will battle nature, prejudice and even those hidden among them who wish their destruction.

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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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When three people’s lives collide in a perfect storm of heartbreak and ruin, betrayal and love, will they be destroyed or transformed by their fate? They are drawn to coastal South Carolina to an oceanfront Victorian B & B inn, fleeing their former lives of heartbreak, betrayal, anger, racism and grief. Jade Armstrong from Santa Barbara is newly divorced and left with nothing by her treacherous, lying ex-husband. Gabriel Montoro of San Antonio is reeling from a cheating wife and loss of his young daughter who moves out of state. Rick Stirling owns the inn and has suffered a devastating personal loss.

Jade vows revenge while believing she deserves a new life. Gabriel believes a good life is only for fairytales and something he’ll never have. He vows to break hearts and spirits as his own have been broken. Rick’s life is one of purely work with no room for anything else but sorrow. None of them want love or relationship, but as they move into and through the emotional storm of their lives, destiny brings them together in an extraordinary way in the quaint beach town of Golden Shores.

Through work and friendship, their inner conflicts extend to each other while vying for the need for survival, healing, attraction and love. The plot twists keep the reader guessing if and how they resolve their issues, and if they move on separately or together.

The story takes place in the Grand Strand region of coastal South Carolina providing a restorative, inspiring seaside setting. A charming oceanfront inn complete with mystical, enchanting elements lifts the characters’ spirits and helps them on their journeys. Their passionate triangle must be broken for them to move on with their lives, but who ends up with whom, or do they, and when?

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

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

 

Should she live in fear, or turn to the man who she once rejected?

Lady Pamela Manning has happily made her home in Bath after several disastrous Seasons in London. Although she sings like an angel, Pamela cannot complete a full sentence without stuttering.

The life of a social recluse with two friends whom she adores is fine with her, and she easily dismisses the attentions of Mr. Nicolas Smith, the owner of an exclusive gambling club in Bath. However, something strange is going on in the boarding house where she lives, and she is afraid she has accidentally stumbled into a dangerous situation.

Who else can she turn to, except a man who grew up on the streets and the most likely person to help and protect her?
Mr. Nicolas Smith.

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They had no idea how much their lives would change…forever.

Imani Karunzika is fiercely independent and refuses to be forced into a loveless marriage with the domineering man her parents want for her. When her friend Crown Prince Wasim al-Hassan of Barrakesch learns he’ll be passed over for the throne because he has no wife, she suggests a plan where they enter into a fake engagement. He can then secure his birthright, and she can get her parents off her back.

But the marriage must proceed as planned. Wasim becomes the king, she becomes the queen and is now under the rule of a man whose power and authority is unmatched. But Imani’s greatest struggle lies not within the walls of the palace, but inside herself as she fights to keep the ultimate secret—that she’s madly in love with the king.

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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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This is the telling of Hashké and Arianna.

Arianna Galloway is having a hell of a day. From being so excited about a new job, to being stranded alone on a desolate road in New Mexico. A lover of hiking, she decides to embrace the unexpected free time she now has and explore the area. She’s lured into a cave by the trickster Navajo god, Coyote, where she accidentally discovers a portal and is thrust into the past.

Hashké, a Navajo warrior, is forced into a life of a cowboy instead of the warrior he is meant to be. He must wrangle mustangs to help his brothers buy back his sister, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. In the midst of a hunt, he rescues Arianna from being torn apart by a wolf pack. Now he must decide if he will go along with the Navajo ways and help someone in need or stay true to his baser feelings of hatred toward the white people who have murdered his parents and let this white woman die.

Arianna’s eyes are opened to the ways of native American healing as Hashke’ nurses her back to health, and Hashke’ learns that not all white people are evil. Arianna embraces the Navajo culture and the unconditional love of Hashke’ and her new place in time and space. Settled and happy, Arianna’s contentment doesn’t last as they hear of the horrible conditions the captured Navajo are being held in. She knows that her warrior and his brothers must act to save the Navajo tribe from withering away in internment. Can they make it out of this time alive?

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Bio-terrorists release a plague in the United States that spreads to kill most of the world’s Caucasian population. As the deadly virus mutates, Tzu Shin, a renowned medical doctor and biologist, defects from China to help develop a cure. His only daughter, Lin Kwan, is left behind in Hong Kong with her aunt.

Then Kwan’s father summons her from across the sea to bring him Chinese medicinal herbs he needs to develop a cure. Lonely and missing her parents, she accepts the challenge, traveling with her sensei Li Zhong to the New World.

But a Chinese assassin is on her trail, determined to kill her and Li Zhong, and when Kwan discovers her father has disappeared, she sets out on a journey to find him and deliver her precious cargo, a quest that she may not survive.

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A devastating earthquake that rocked Southern California turns Jill Cassidy’s life upside down, but the quake is nothing compared to what looms on the horizon. Armed with determination and an incomplete graduate degree in geology, Jill embarks on a dangerous journey through a world of elves and monsters she had no idea existed.

Fae-prince Alden watched in horror as one of his own people released the Kolgardi, a hive intelligent race of monsters. Now the ancient evil roams free, feeding on humans and gaining in strength. Despite a judgment laid against him for a crime Alden didn’t commit, he is willing to risk execution to right the wrong and stop what awaits humanity.

Together, with a cynical reporter, Thomas Rainer, the unlikely trio stands together, determined to stop the Kolgardi. Can they save mankind from extinction?

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March Featured Books – Find New & Amazing Authors!!! #BookWorm

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

Beth Leighton moved to Scotland to marry the love of her life. But then he betrays her and she is fatally shot. However the Archangel Remiel interferes, and she awakes to find herself in 18th century England. Alive but confused and lost, she wants to go home. Despite a roguish and handsome highwayman.

Christopher “Kit” Locke is haunted by his past mistakes and lives on danger’s edge, not caring if he lives or dies. He will leave that choice to Fate. Intrigued by the spirited Beth, he is drawn from his spiraling descent and is enlisted to help steal an evil artifact, the Viper’s Eye, a demonic soul-stealing jewel.

While the Archangel and the Duke of Hell battle it out, both Beth and Kit must also fight evil. When the stone seeks Kit’s soul can Beth’s love keep him from falling victim to the Viper’s Eye or will she lose Kit to Hell’s fire?

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Caryn Orlane has law enforcement in her blood; her father was a cop, and his father, too. She’s a federal agent in northwest Montana, protecting the old forests and keeping the peace.
Levi Bradshaw also believes in protecting the forests, but has a very different MO. He’s the leader of a group of eco-warriors, determined to save the trees of the Bitterroot by legal—and illegal—means.
When they meet in the woods at gunpoint, their encounter ignites a spark of interest, despite operating on opposite sides of the law. When their worlds turn on them, they only grow closer. If they don’t work together, can either survive?

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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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1972 – Vietnam, the pill, upheaval, hippies.
Wyoming rancher Cooper Byrnes, deeply attached to the land and his way of life, surprises everyone when he falls for vagabond hippie Cassie Halliday. Fascinated and baffled, he cannot comprehend his attraction—or say the words she wants to hear.

Cassie finds Coop intriguingly different. As she keeps house for him and warms his bed at night, she admits to herself she loves him but she misinterprets Coop’s inability to express his feelings.

Parted, each continues to think of the other, but how can either of them reach out to say, “You were ‘always on my mind’?”

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In the sleepy coastal Maine town of Penhallow, a stranger dies on a train, drawing Historical Society Director, Rachel Tinker, and curmudgeonly retired professor, Griffin Tate, into a spider’s web of archaeological obsession and greed. With the help of the victim’s rival, they set out to locate the Queen of Sheba’s tomb. Their plans are stymied when a tug of war erupts between the sheriff and a state police detective who want to arrest the same man for different crimes. It’s up to Rachel to solve a mystery that includes two more murders, if she wants to unlock the soft heart that beats under Griffin’s hard crust.

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February Featured Books – Find New & Amazing Authors!!! #BookWorm

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

Princess Marina Hersher is on her way to marry the prince of Brenalin when her caravan is attacked. Dressed as her servant, she decides to keep her identity a secret from the attackers. She is knocked unconscious and is rescued by the dragon, Narud. He is a creature not seen on Feldsvelt for thousands of years. During the days that follow, Marina learns more about the dragon, and finds companionship.

Duran Abass is the high prince of Brenalin and can go no farther than the dragon’s lair. Dragon and man hold a silent battle for control of their shared body in the cave where Narud intends to keep the princess. The princess knows nothing of this struggle or the dragon’s intent, but learns to love them both.

Together, Marina and Duran and even the dragon, Narud, join forces to battle against the sorceress for their lives and love.

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Eleven-year-old Jillie Ross escapes the vicious relatives threatening to flush away her beloved sister’s ashes if she doesn’t lead them to her dead father’s rumored treasure.

Determined to find her sibling’s ashes and honor them along with their parents’ remains, the feisty orphan must endure harsh weather, escape a stalker, and hide from the police. But how long can she survive when at least one family member wants her dead?

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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.

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Simon MacKay, the last Earl of Cleitmuir, was murdered two hundred years ago because of his family’s dangerous legacy. Alone and cursed he haunts his home in order to protect the lost treasure. A pastime that leaves him angry and embittered until he meets a feisty American Tourist. Not only is Laurel sexy and beautiful, she can also see him in his ghostly form.

Antiquities expert, Laurel Saville, leaves Chicago to visit her best friend in the romantic Scottish Highlands. She is saved from a tragic fall by the ghostly Simon. Once she realizes she is not crazy, she pledges to help him find his family’s missing artifact. A pledge hindered by treasure hunter Alex Mackenzie, a descendant of the clan that murdered Simon.

Laurel risks everything, including her life, to help Simon resolve the issues keeping him earth bound. But will she lose him forever or is there a way Laurel can keep him with her on this earthly plane?

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#HobbyCareerPassion: My Secret Rose by Kara O’Neal

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.

 

Blurb:

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.

Excerpt:

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?”

“Your roses?”

She nodded.

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.”

“Thank you.”

Should he venture into her world and help her? If he did, he feared the safety of his heart.

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. Please visit me at www.karaoneal.com.

 

Social Media Links:

Website –  http://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

 

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“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Min Edwards ~ New Release: Precious Stones, Book 4 in the High Tide Series

#AHAgrp

Please help me welcome author friend Min Edwards with the moments that changed her life, and her latest release, Precious Stones, Book 4 in the High Tide Series

Hi, Alicia and thanks for having me on your blog. Today I want to tell you about the 10 moments that changed my life. Actually, the title is daunting. How to pick just 10 moments in the long life I’ve lived so far. But here goes:

1) The first I guess should be when my Aunt Corina came to live with us before she married my Uncle Don. Corina Montez, a gorgeous young woman from Cochabamba, Bolivia. Her heritage was French and Bolivian, and she grew up in the upper echelons of Bolivian society. Her father was in government, a railroad commissioner: Her grandfather was as well… one of the many early 20th century Presidents of Bolivia. She left all that behind and came to the states when I was a very small child, bringing hand embroidered baby dresses from the nuns who schooled her and adored her. She taught me Spanish before I could speak any recognizable English. I’ve loved her throughout my life.

2) My mother’s disappearance into the hospital the early part of my 1st grade year. I say disappearance because I only knew she was gone but I didn’t understand where or why. In those days small children weren’t allowed on to Patient floors. She was gone the entire school year except for a few short and scary returns. In just a few days, I remember my father picking her up and taking her away again.

3) The return of my mother in the summer after my 1st grade. I couldn’t believe she was home. My mother would be waiting for me with cookies and love every day during my 2nd grade and throughout my schooling. I can’t believe that was all I was thinking about. But she was home and our house seemed right again. It took her a while to get her strength back as she’d been bedridden and recuperating from numerous surgeries for months. But by the fall and the beginning of school she was an active young woman again.

4) When I was in High School my grandmother came to live with us. Of course, our house wasn’t big enough for everyone, so my father rented her a small cottage across the street, just steps away. She was a seamstress and though she was retired, she began taking in sewing again. Before too long everyone was raving… Page is so talented. Don’t use anyone else to sew for you. She’d been the head of the alterations department in a very large department store in Tulsa, Oklahoma for years… and she didn’t know how to retire.

The only draw-back to this change in our family dynamics was the tension between my grandmother and her daughter (my mother). It colored my life for years, even on my wedding day. I didn’t understand the tensions between these two loving women, and it wasn’t until my mother was elderly that she told me the reason. Then I understood, but I loved them both so much.

5) Going away to college… Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas… the most gosh-awful, sandy, windy, tornado-ridden place on the earth, or so I thought at the time. But the campus was beautiful, the college football team was fun to watch, the quarterback was gorgeous, and I was majoring in Mechanical Engineering… all those boys! It was too much to bear. But I slowly over several years changed my major to Architecture, then in my Junior year to my great love, Anthropology/Archaeology.

6) My marriage in my Junior year at Tech was pretty life changing and probably not in a good way. I was way too young as was my husband. But my wedding was nice. Of course, the tension was still in the air between my mother and grandmother and they each made me a wedding dress. My grandmother’s dress was elegant (she was always trendy), white, short and very simple but very 60s. My mother’s contribution was elegant as well (she was as talented a seamstress as her mother), but long, ecru with a trailing French lace veil in a shaded ecru… I have the veil to this day. My grandmother didn’t come to the wedding because she caught the flu. She finished the dress though… what a trooper.

7) My arrival in the Philippines. My first visit to a 3rd world country and I wasn’t prepared. The country however, was beautiful, the people were so helpful and friendly, but the politics were brutal. One Sunday my husband and I went to the cockfights just a few blocks from our compound… and ate wonderful barbequed chicken (the losers in each fight). The next Sunday we stayed home, and a rival political group swept into the arena and killed many of the opposing party right where we were sitting just a weak earlier… it was like a 1920s crime wave! Lots more happened in the two years I lived in Angeles City, 50 miles north of Manila, and I’m sure the stories will creep into my books in the future.

8) Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: I spent four years here and had my son at the Naval Hospital. This was very life changing. I’d waited almost a decade for him through 4 miscarriages and moves around the world. This was long before Guantanamo was the terrorist prison it is today. Then it was an American leased property, estranged from Cuba by a tall razor-wire topped fence. In fact, one of my favorite beaches was watched over by a Cuban guardhouse peopled by Cuban snipers with guns pointed our way and an American guardhouse with equally scary guns pointed at the Cubans. Our base commander said that our guard tower was there to protect the swimmers from sharks… but that wasn’t a very believable story to any of us.

9) Moving from my home of 30 years to property I’d owned since the 70s outside the most eastern town in the U.S. It’s 9+ acres of Maine waterfront… towering Spruce and Fir trees, groves of Birch and Poplar, lush meadows and abundant raspberry bushes and blackberry canes… and apple trees… everywhere! It’s beautiful but I still haven’t recovered from leaving all my friends behind in Texas.

10) My life as a single mother raising the most precious son that ever lived is my No. 1 most important Moment in my life. Most of his upbringing was in Texas but when I retired I moved north, to a piece of property I’d owned since before he was born. He was bored with Austin, Texas and wanted a change so he came along. The first couple of years were a little dicey but he’s now comfortably situated as an IT Tech for the University of Maine System… The village misses him enormously, but he likes the steady paycheck, the benefits and the work. He’s been wonderful throughout his lifetime: No drinking, no drugs, no jailtime, no divorces. Really, I’ve been blessed. Raising him to be the man he is today has been my most rewarding accomplishment.

 

Wow, Min, fascinating! You’ve had quite an interesting life. I’m so envious of where you are now. I’ve always wanted to live in Maine. Thank you so much for sharing!

Precious Stone

Book 4 in the High Tide Suspense series

by Min Edwards

 

Collee McCullough is the beloved town baker in Stone Bay, Maine. She’s always ready to serve you a luscious treat or offer you a helping hand, but very early one morning trouble comes to call. Two men, in suits—no one wears suits in Stone Bay—asking questions about her great grandmother and something she brought from Russia.

Just as Collee decided to pull out her shotgun which she kept behind the pastry counter, her brother, Nick, the Chief of Police arrived for his morning coffee. Of course, all hell broke out because her brother was her protector even when she didn’t need him. But today, he was needed.

After the melee was over, a jogger stopped by, also for morning sustenance. He, Jake, took one look at Collee… and her shotgun and named himself her knight in shining armor much to the chagrin of her brother, Nick.

And so begins the story of Collee, Jake, Russians and Collee’s mysterious great grandmother. Follow along from the Maine coast to the Dordogne area of France and then to the Highlands of Scotland. I promise you a wild ride!

 

And follow me on my Amazon Author Page to see other books in the High Tide Suspense series as well as my upcoming prequel to Precious Stone, The Russian Phoenix,

Coming in the fall of 2018

 

An act of bravery, a gift of unimaginable worth.

But the outcome haunts a young Russian girl through the years.

The Russian Phoenix is the story of Collee’s great grandmother Natasha, the Russian noble women who was kidnapped on the eve of the last ball of the Romanov’s Jubilee Celebration of their 300 years of rule. Natasha was taken on a mad dash across Russia and into the east German woods. Her adventure continues across Europe on the brink of war and the English Channel to Scotland, a place she’d never imagined. Join me on her journey.

Website

http://www.minedwards.com

Facebook

www.facebook.com/AuthorMinEdwards

Pinterest

www.pinterest.com/MinEdwards

Amazon Author Page

http://amzn.to/2bHJ1kb

 

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Filed under 10 Moments that Changed My Life, Author Blog Post, New Release

Crime Time ~ Forbidden: Dying For Love ~ The Shame of the Father

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean

Forbidden: Dying for Love, Season 1, Episode 1 – The Shame of the Father  

Irving, Texas, 2005.

Amina Said met Joseph Moreno at a Taekwondo class when they were 15, and they soon fell in love. Amina’s father was from Egypt, and he was very strict. He wouldn’t allow Amina or her sister Sarah to go to the mall, wear makeup, and especially date. Her father planned to take the girls to Egypt after they graduated and marry them off to Egyptian men. Oddly, Yaser’s wife, Amina’s mother, was an American woman. But she bowed to Yaser’s wishes, even allowing him to abuse their daughters.  Because of Yaser’s strictness and violent temper, it was too dangerous for the young teens to communicate via cell phone, so they used notebooks to express their love to one another. Amina always left her notebook at school, to keep her father from finding it. The teenagers talked of getting married, and even chose names for their children.

Joseph’s mother and Amina’s great aunt were interviewed on the show and provided details of how the events unfolded.

One day, Amina accidentally brought the notebook home and her father found it in her backpack. He read the notebook and became enraged. She told him that she was writing about an imaginary boyfriend, that it was just her daydreams, and he wasn’t real. He said if he found out he was real, the consequences would be dire. In their culture, girls who behaved against the family rules were killed. He planted a listening device in her car and overheard her talking to her sister about how she couldn’t believe she was dumb enough to take the notebook home, she’d been so careful to keep in in her locker. She came home from school that day and her father had all of her notes and items from her locker spread out on the table. Amina was terrified. She knew her father would kill her. He played the tape he’d gotten from bugging her car.

Joseph stopped hearing from Amina. Weeks, then months went by. He could not reach her by phone. There was no sign of her anywhere. A few months later, Joseph received an email from her. She told him that he’d gone ballistic that night. He beat her up and demanded to know how to find Joseph. She made it clear that her dad was on the hunt for him. Joseph’s mother found the email and, concerned for her son’s life, she didn’t tell him.

Through continued emails from Amina, Joseph’s mother learned that Amina’s father had put her under house arrest. He watched her every move. Joseph’s mother chose to keep the information from him, trying to protect her son. But, but after a while, she could see the life force draining from him. If he couldn’t be with Amina, he was barely surviving. She arranged for them to get together. Joseph bought Amina a pink cape and said that was her coat of armor. Anytime she was afraid, she could put the cape on and know that he was with her, and that they would be together forever.

In 2007, Amina got an acceptance letter from UT. Her father said her husband would decide if she went to college. She said “I don’t have a husband.” Her father said, “You will soon. It’s all been arranged.” He’d found a 47 year old man in Egypt for her to marry. Amina said she wouldn’t do it, she was an American and she would not marry him. Her father grabbed a gun and threatened her with it, while her mother and sister watched in horror. Amina told him to go ahead and kill her, she would rather die than marry the man he’d chosen for her. Her mother and sister begged him to stop, and he finally put the gun down. He told them that if they wanted to be American, that was fine. He gave them money and told his wife, Patricia, to take them to the convenience store and buy them anything they wanted to eat. He said it’s what Americans call the last meal that they give to prisoners on death row.

In the car, Amina begged her mother not to take her back, she said he would kill her. Patricia called her aunt who lived in another state and told her they were coming there, that she was leaving Yaser. Amina texted Joseph and said they were going to Kansas, they were getting away from her father and she and Joseph could finally be together. Patricia and the girls arrived at her aunt’s house, and Amina was thrilled to finally be free of her father. The plan was that Joseph and his mother would come to Kansas and get a place.

That very night, Patricia announced that they were going back to Texas. She said it was the anniversary of her mother’s death and she wanted to go put flowers on her grave. Amina and Sarah begged her not to make them go, but she insisted. She promised they’d come right back. The aunt felt bad that she let them walk out of her house that day, but she didn’t believe it would end the way it did.

Even though Patricia promised they wouldn’t go near the house, she pulled into the neighborhood and told the girls that they were going home to talk to their father. She said that he had forgiven them and everything would be fine. Amina begged her not to. She said, “He’ll kill me.” Her mother made her go. At that point, Amina gave up. She knew her fate was sealed. Joseph and his mother were waiting to hear from Amina, letting them know she was ready for them to join them in Kansas. When Joseph got the call, Amina told him they were back in Texas, that they were going back home. Joseph begged her not to go back. She said, “No, it’s over. I can’t fight him anymore. There’s no way out.” Joseph begged her over and over, but she said she had to go. She said that she wished her father could be in her shoes for one day and see the love they shared. She hung up the phone, with him crying and pleading with her. Then, she went into the house.

On New Year’s Day, 2008, a 9-1-1 call came in:

“Irving 911. What is your emergency?”

“Help, help! My dad shot me, my sister, I’m dying, I’m dying!”

The girl screaming on the phone was Sarah Said. By the time the police found the taxi where the sisters had been shot by their father, they were both dead, and Yaser had fled.

Articles about the case gave a slightly different account. They stated that Patricia and the girls moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma and set up an apartment. And that they chose to go back so the girls could finish school, and to put flowers on Patricia’s mother’s grave. The father offered to take the girls to get them something to eat, then shot them to death. The articles also state that in addition to the physical and mental abuse, he sexually abused his daughter.

Police were unable to find him. He’s still at large and was on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list for a time.

How disgusting is it that a depraved, evil, coward like that is free after what he did to his beautiful, innocent daughters? Some people think Patricia should have been charged as an accomplice, and I agree. What do you think? Patricia’s aunt claims their mother knew their father was going to kill them. Authorities found no proof of that, but even so, as their mother, it was her duty to protect them, not force them back into the monster’s lair.

 

 

[I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts. Let me know if you’ve seen the episode and, if so, what you thought about it.]

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“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Kara O’Neal ~ New Release on July 10th: The Cowboy’s Embrace, Book 10, Pike’s Run Series

#AHAgrp

Please help me welcome author friend Kara O’Neal with the moments that changed her life, and her new release, The Cowboy’s Embrace, Book 10, Pike’s Run Series…

10 Moments That Changed My Life by Kara O’Neal

  1. When I was in second grade, I read “Little Women”. The story enthralled me. I loved the close relationship between the sisters. But this is when I learned that “happily ever after” doesn’t always mean that everyone stays together. It was a sobering moment for a second grader!
  2. Let’s jump a decade to my senior year in high school. One of the many books I read that year had an ending that was highly disappointing. This had happened before, of course, but I was especially irritated by the way this story wrapped up. My sister told me to make up a better ending. Seemed like a good idea. I followed her orders, and thus began my love affair with crafting my own “happily ever afters”! (I credit my sister with my writing career. Alice in The Sheriff’s Gift is based off of her.)
  3. August 22, 1994 – This is the day I met my husband. I knew as soon as I saw him that he was my “happily ever after” guy. (He didn’t think I was his “happily ever after” girl until the next day.)
  4. July 18, 1998 – We got married! We will be married 20 years in a little over a week. Even though I knew he was the one for me right off the bat, I still can’t believe it’s been 20 years. Marriage is hard, but I’ve discovered that as long as you work to grow together, it absolutely can feel like a “happily ever after”.
  5. The summer of 2000 – I sat down and wrote my first book. The writing was pretty horrible. But, I didn’t let go of it. I couldn’t. I had found the work of my heart, and even if I never saw words of mine published, I was going to keep writing.
  6. November 14, 2000 – Our first child, a daughter, was born on this day. She is going to be a senior in high school this year. My heart can’t take it. Even so, I’m extremely excited to see what she does with her adult life. She is talented, bright, and a sweetheart. She NEVER gives up on anything. She is one of the bravest people I know, which has made her one of my heroes.
  7. November 17, 2002 – Our second child, a son, was born on this day. He is a carbon copy of his father – quiet, kind, talented, and as calm as the day is long. He’s a sturdy rock who is a friend to all. He will be a sophomore this year, and the world is absolutely his oyster. He can draw and sing and act. He does all of this with a kind smile and never a boastful attitude.
  8. September 16, 2006 – Our last child, a son, was born on this day and now our house is filled with laughter because of it. He’ll be in sixth grade this year. He is also very talented – he is a wonderful artist, but he has this sense of humor that keeps us in stitches. I don’t know where he gets it. Here’s a joke he made up when he was in the second grade: “Do you know why there are no male teachers? Because it’s teacher not teachim.”
  9. May of 2013 – I received the communication all writers want to hear. Resplendence Publishing wanted to publish my book. It had taken 13 years, but I finally got it right. Welcome Home, book 1 in the Pike’s Run Series, had been through many revisions. But all that sweat, blood, tears, tears and more tears paid off. And now I can’t stop!!! The Cowboy’s Embrace, book 10, will be released tomorrow, Destiny’s Secrets, book 11, is going through the critique process, and Pierce’s Hero, book 12, is finished and waiting its turn with my critique partners.
  10. November 22, 1998 – My grandpa gave me the best advice on this day. He told me that marriage is 100/100. Not 50/50. He asked me why I would ever only give half of myself to the person who would be my partner in life. It made so much sense. So, ever since then, regardless of what my husband does for me, I give him as much as I possibly can. Is it working? I think so. Am I always successful? NO. It’s hard, of course, but I don’t believe I’m here just to see what others can do for me. My helping hands and loving heart shouldn’t be contingent on what others do for me. I’m so grateful I got to spend time with my grandpa on that day. It was the Sunday before Thanksgiving of 1998. He died on Thanksgiving Day that year. His entire family was there. He’d been diagnosed with cancer in January. He was given 6 months. He lived for 11. I think of him every day.

 

Blurb:

Lily Spero is searching for her stolen heritage, for a place in the world that is all her own. Sixteen years ago, she lost her parents and siblings to a villain on a white horse. Since, she’s hungered for family, for that love she’d once known. When she visits the Swinging A Ranch, her past collides with her present, opening wounds long buried and shockingly creating hope where none had been before.

Deacon Tolbert is the foreman and a contributing partner to the Swinging A Ranch. He’s carved a niche in the world all his own, finally feeling worthy of the goodness he’s found for himself. But when Lily Spero arrives, the girl he abandoned years ago, he’s forced to face the most gut-wrenching moment of his life.

Despite the pain, love surprises them and blossoms, bringing hope for the future. But the villain from the past comes to haunt them, to steal what they’re trying to build. Deacon and Lily must brave vile evil in order to stay together, and fight with all they have to keep the promises they made to each other.

Excerpt:

“I thought you were dead.”

Deacon paused in restacking the woodpile outside his home. Lily.

His hand hovered over the cut tree, and it took every ounce of strength he had to remain upright. He swallowed. He should have realized she’d have enough courage to face him. She’d always been like her mother.

When her friend hadn’t shown this morning for her cowboy education, he’d thought the pair had gone home. He’d thought he’d been saved from confronting the worst moment of his life. But here she was. Lily.

He couldn’t tell her to go. And he wouldn’t pretend not to know who she was. Slowly, muscle by muscle, he straightened to full height.

“Or captured,” she continued.

He closed his eyes.

“I thought…no…I tortured myself with images of the ghost coming to get you.”

Ah, God. Pain tightened his chest. He couldn’t turn around.

Some beats passed, accompanied only by the noise of cicadas. “But…now…I fear you abandoned me of your own volition.” Tears thickened her tone. “Did you choose to leave me?”

He had. And the action had haunted him every day.

A groan of frustration came from her. “Are you going to stand there and say nothing? After all these years, after what we went through, you won’t talk to me? You can’t even look at me.” Her voice broke. “Was I that much of a problem? Did I cause you so much trouble I’d become a burden?”

Her questions lashed his skin, making past wounds crack open and run down his flesh. God, how he wished he’d been able to stop the villain on the white horse.

Another sob from her had him clenching his hands into fists. He could face her. He could. With slow movements, he turned.

And the beautiful creature before him proved that sixteen years had passed. His heart constricted that he had caused this beauty so much suffering. Guilt pressed on him, and he couldn’t move, couldn’t make his mouth work to speak.

She was Lily. He could see it. But she’d transformed into a picture of grace and strength he had no business being around. He’d added to her grief and owed her an explanation. If he could find his courage, he would apologize.

Her watery gaze glittered with gut-wrenching pain. Disbelief.

“God,” she choked out. “You’ve changed so much.”

He was a rough cowboy now. One who chose to avoid the sweeter side of life for reasons he refused to explore.

“I should know your face,” she accused, lifting her chin. “You should be as familiar to me as the backs of my hands. We were supposed to be together…to be each other’s family. You promised.”

 

Buy Links:

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-cowboys-embrace-kara-oneal/1128974490?ean=2940161996683

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cowboys-Embrace-Pikes-Run-Book-ebook/dp/B07F2NHCJB/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1530393747&sr=8-2&keywords=kara+o%27neal

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kara_O_Neal_The_Cowboy_s_Embrace?id=MTJiDwAAQBAJ

 

Contact Links and Social Media:

My website: www.karaoneal.com

My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/

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

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor

 

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Filed under 10 Moments that Changed My Life, Author Blog Post, New Release