Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remembering 9/11

I wrote this several years ago, but I decided to share it again in remembrance of September 11, 2001

Sometimes I forget how it was on that clear warm day on September 11, 2001. I was at work in the ER when word came that the towers had been hit by airplanes in New York City, then that the Pentagon had been hit followed by news that a plane had gone down in a field in Pennsylvania. People were dying and families were weeping for their lost loves. The ER went on lock down as we waited for what would come next. We called our loved ones and talked to them just in case we forgot to tell them how much we loved them and might not get the chance again. We wept and we prayed.

In the days that followed, images of the towers collapsing, people searching for their families and friends hoping they were still alive and weeping, so much weeping played out on the news. Day after day, firemen and policemen searched relentlessly hoping to find someone alive and emergency personnel waiting in the emergency rooms for recovered victims that would never come.

I shall never forget the members of congress who gathered on the steps of the Capital Building and spontaneously sang America The Beautiful or the senator who wept unabashed during the memorial service in Washington, D.C.

We hear the stories of bravery that occurred during this tragic episode in American history and we honor them and those that we have lost. Years later, we remember that day and we pray that maybe some day we will feel free and secure from harm and that there's a chance we can find peace once again.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I'm practicing with graphics

I hope I can get this small enough to use on my email. Karen Michelle Nutt made this graphic for me when I changed my website image.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Prairie Rose Publications is having a Christmas in July Sale this week.
The stories included in the Christmas Anthology, WISHING FOR A COWBOY, are now available individually for 99cents. My contribution is A HUSBAND FOR CHRISTMAS.

A night of horror… a wish for a new life...and a secret love


Jane Pierpont and her son, Robin, survived the Titanic, but her husband went down with the ship and the emotional scars of that night have kept her and her son locked into that frightening event years later . Robin is terrified of deep water and Jane has nightmares and survivor’s guilt. She yearns for a family, a loving husband and maybe another child, but she feels disloyal to Michael’s memory whenever Teekonka RedSky comes near her.

Teekonka RedSky loves Jane and her son, but all his efforts to help them past their painful memories of the night Michael Pierpont died have been unsuccessful. Unwilling to give up, can his Lakota beliefs help him bring peace to Robin and free Jane to love again?  


Teekonka let go of the latch and stepped back into the room. He took Jane’s hand in his, its warmth radiating into her chest. “I wondered if you and Rob would attend the festival with me.”

Jane felt confused. “The hotel is just down the street from here. We can manage to get there quite well on our own.”

He shook his head and squeezed her hand. “You don’t understand, Jane. I’m asking you and your son to go with me because I want to court you.”

Jane pulled her hand free. Self-reproach engulfed her. Before her stood a handsome, strong man who wanted to court her and include her son, but she couldn’t. It wasn’t right. Surely, Michael’s spirit was close by, and he would never approve. He couldn’t help dying. “I…I’m flattered that you should ask, but I can’t. My husband—”

Teekonka’s jaw clenched. “Your husband is dead. He’s been dead for seven years.” He stepped back from her. A frown turned his firm lips down. After he walked to the door and lifted the latch, he turned to her again. “I’m sorry. I apologize for reacting so angrily.  You still love your husband. I understand.” The door closed, and he was gone.

Jane stood alone in a room that had suddenly grown cold and dim.

A Husband for Christmas
To buy the Christmas Anthology, WISHING FOR A COWBOY:
Available in digital and paperback

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

CAST AWAY HEART releases July 10, 2014

 CAST AWAY HEART releases July 10, 2014. You can win a copy by commenting on my blog at Prairie Rose Publications.
Cast Away Heart releases July 10. It will be announced on the Prairie Rose Publication BlogSpot. Come on over and comment for a chance to win a copy just for commenting.

An abandoned piano, rejected love, and hope

After her fiancé humiliates and breaks her heart on what was to be their wedding day, Ella Dubois has vowed never to open her heart again.
Nickoli Vesa, a Romanian pianist, has loved Ella for years, but she sees him only as her best friend.
How can an deserted piano heal a shattered spirit and inspire it to sing again?

Monday, July 07, 2014

Cast Away Heart Soon to Release

CAST AWAY HEART (once titled Bitter Notes) is now contracted with Fire Star Press, an imprint of Prairie Rose Publications, has been completely revised and is scheduled to release on July 10, 2014.

An abandoned piano, rejected love, and hope


After her fiancé humiliates and breaks her heart on what was to be their wedding day, Ella Dubois has vowed never to open her heart again.
Nickoli Vesa, a Romanian pianist, has loved Ella for years, but she sees him only as her best friend.

How can an deserted piano heal a shattered spirit and inspire it to sing again? 


There it stood like a brave soldier, silent in its despair and covered in snow.  One of the ornately carved legs had rotted away and lie on the ground beside it causing the piano to list to that side.  It resembled an old ship that had taken a huge wave and, as the water began to fill its hull, was sinking slowly into the sea.  The wooden underside of the keys had begun to swell and dislodge from the smooth white pads.  The black keys had eroded into splinters and the top of the piano had caved in on the piano wires.
Ella choked back a sob at the sorrowful sight.  How could that awful man watch this happen to such a beautiful instrument? The piano could have brought the joy of music to so many.  How much hatred could he possibly have to find delight in watching the destruction of his wife’s piano?  What a despicable human being.
Nickoli drove the car to the side of the road and stopped.  He turned to Ella and gathered her up into his arms.  “You must stop mourning, inima mea.  Until you stop longing for things to be different, you cannot change your future.  You cannot let happiness in.  You understand, yes?”
She knew he was not talking to her about the piano.  He was talking about Mark.  There was no way for him to understand the pain she still felt from Mark’s rejection.  The memory of her standing there at the front of the church with her friends and family all present as her father announced there would be no wedding that day was still sharp enough to cut into her heart.  “I need time, Nick.  I can’t just let it go like it never happened.”  She pushed back from his embrace and met his eyes.  “It’s the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
He did not take his eyes from hers.  Removing his hands from around her, he moved back into his seat.  “All is required, you let go.  Stop looking back or you cannot see where you are going.”

BUY Links will be added as soon as I have them.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Happy 4th of July

Have a wonderful 4th of July. My AC is out of order--again, but I'm still going to celebrate. I hope you will all stay safe and have some good times.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I wish you all a happy Father's Day, whether you are a dad or you want to celebrate your dad. 

I know we often write about our own experiences and the influences of others in our stories. This is very true of me. Without thinking about it a great deal, I know that I put my dad in many of my stories. I was the only one in my family who called our father "Pop." He called his father Pop as well and this is the same reference I use for my characters. It wasn't until I began writing about the Wilding family of Wyoming that I purposely changed and had my characters refer to their father as Daddy or Dad. Just the same, I use many of my father's characteristics Wilding men. 

 In fact, my dad comes up in a character in almost every story I've ever written, but none as much as THE VIOLIN. I wrote THE VIOLIN for my dad. It's about his middle brother John. The boy, Jimmy, is a character based on my father. Pop banned birds as a kid, had a dog named Guess and a red tail hawk whose wing was broken. He fixed his wing and, when it was healed, forced himself to let the hawk go free.

I also included my dad in my story, Heart Song, about a young man suffering with cancer who finds hope in the form of his father's spirit.

Joe Wilding's son, Joey is a young veterinarian who hands out advice to his sisters and has many character traits I took from my dad. Joey appears in several of the Wilding stories and will have his own story in The Beast of Hazard for the Autumn anthology. 

Today, I think of my dad and the gazillion things he taught me, most of them by his own example, some by explaining to me how the world works. He had a great respect for nature and was a conservationist before it was popular. So, in gratitude, I just want to say to Pop wherever he is in the universe, I love you. Thanks for everything.
Sarah McNeal