Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Deep Breath

It seems as though the Christmas season begins earlier every year. Maybe it's just me getting older and time seems to pass so quickly now, but as soon as Halloween ends, the Christmas ornaments come rolling out at all the stores, advertisements and movies about Christmas begin on TV, and companies begin expounding on their Christmas present ads. Sometimes it feels overwhelming.

Most people are out there rummaging the stores for bargains and racking their brains trying to think of thoughtful gifts for everyone on their lists. Believe me, it's not possible to give the perfect gift to every single person on that list.The battle for parking places begins and, on the evening news, the accounts of thieves and muggers escalates. It's dangerous out there. And what about the cost? Many of us are struggling to keep afloat on any given day, let alone attempting to buy something for everyone we know. There is also the inevitable guilt about not being able to afford gifts for everyone.

What about Christmas cards? You try to remember to send them out to all your friends and family, but you already know, you'll forget someone. We all hate it when we feel we've hurt someone by not getting that card to them.

All the magazines and advertisements on TV have beautifully decorated houses and rooms. Some are overdone or garish, to be sure, but many are just right. We try to make our homes like those images we see. It takes energy, money, and time to decorate. No one wants to have the dark house on the block.

And then there's the cooking. We prepare food as gifts. We makes several different kinds of cookies and decorate them, usually the children assist us as best they can. Then there are the cakes and pies and candies to make. Just as we are about to explode with the sugar rush, it's time to prepare that huge Christmas feast--and didn't we just have that big Thanksgiving feast last month? So here we go again, in the frenzy to have all those good eats on the table to celebrate the day.

Now mind you, all these frantic activities are things we enjoy doing to make our families happy and create joyful memories for them, but it's exhausting.

So now we've come to the end of the big celebrations. There are two weeks between Christmas and the New Year when we start the coming year with a clean slate and normalcy returns. This is the time of the Deep Breath. This is when we reflect on the year about to pass, the things we hope to change. This is our quiet time, our time to meditate, to stop talking and just listen to God. We need to rest and regain our strength and perspective.

And so I wish for all of you to take that Deep Breath, come to peace with the year passing away, and fill yourselves with hope for the year about to begin.

Joy, Health, and Peace to you in the New Year.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

HOLLOW HEART, a post World War II story that takes place in 1947, was part of the Valentine anthology from Prairie Rose Publications this year and now it's out as a quick read with it's own beautiful cover created by Livia Washburn. You can preorder it right now at Amazon. HOLLOW HEART will be released on December 11 for only 99 cents.

Lost love and the hope for possibilities


Madeline Andrews is a grown up orphan. Sam Wilding made her feel part of his life, his family and swore he’d come home to her when the war ended, but he didn’t return. With the Valentine’s Ball just days away, the Wildings encourage Madeline to move forward with her life and open her heart to the possibilities.  But Madeline is lost in old love letters and can’t seem to let go.


Madeline folded the letter and slipped it back into its envelope. Her heart ached as she put the envelope back into the box. She placed it with reverence on her dresser beside the picture of Sam and her, laughing into the sun on that beautiful summer day, years ago. She twisted the gold ring with the little heart-shaped ruby around her left ring finger. Sam had given it to her the day he left for deployment to Europe. He said it was a promise ring. The ring would remind her of his love, his promise to return, and his pledge to wed her when the war ended. A sigh escaped her. None of his promises had come true.

Friday, November 28, 2014

PRESENT FOR A COWBOY Christmas Anthology

Present for a Cowboy 
A Christmas Anthology of Western Romances
Now available for sale:



B&N Nook

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Just Released for Preorder: PRESENT FOR A COWBOY

PRESENT FOR A COWBOY, a western Christmas anthology with 5 western romance writers is now available for preorder at Amazon: Preorder at Amazon
My contribution: When Love Comes Knocking

A lonely widow…an indiscretion…a gift for redemption


Penelope Witherspoon was charmed into marriage by Evan Thoroughgood only to learn she loved a philanderer, who gambled away his inheritance and drank too heavily. It came as no surprise that four months after their marriage, Evan was shot dead for cheating at cards. Since his death, Penelope has come to depend on his older brother, Gil. In fact, she has come to love and respect him. No two men could be further apart in character. But, if Gil learns of her secret indiscretion, he will want nothing further to do with her. What is Penelope to do?

Penelope hadn’t seen Gil in three days. She began to worry that something was wrong between them. She tried to go about her work to keep her mind from wandering and thinking about him, but every time she saw the Christmas tree he’d brought her and helped her decorate, her thoughts went right back to the night he left and the strained words at their parting.

Had he guessed at the truth about her and Banjo? Did he hate her now? What could she do to fix things and make him understand?

Thursday, October 09, 2014

October Party Schedule and PRIZES

My October Schedule

I'm gonna be a busy person for a bit. With a paranormal story just out in an anthology, COWBOYS, CREATURES, AND CALICO, Volume 1 from Prairie Rose Publications(my contribution is THE BEAST OF HAZARD), and several other paranormal and time travel books, as well as Halloween treats.  I'm at the places that are all about Halloween.

So here goes...

October 16
I'll be at The Haunt Blog talking about Haunted Amusement Parks. They give me the creeps.

** I will be giving away a digital copy of the new anthology release, Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico, Volume 1 
THE HAUNT  Star-Crossed Romance 

October 27
I will be at Karen M. Nutt's Facebook event at 1 PM PDT (4PM EDT)

** I will be giving away another copy of the Halloween anthology, Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico, volume 1.

October 31
I'll be at 2 places
The Romance Junkies Party

** I will be giving away several prizes: a digital copy of Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico, volume 1, a print copy of Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride (a time travel western with a ghost), and a bag of Halloween treats to the winner of my contest.

also on October 31

I'll be at the Paranormal Monday Party from 1-2 PM PDT
** I will be giving away Print copies of my Legends of Winatuke books (3 full length paranormal books): Dark Isle, Lake of Sorrows, and The Light of Valmora, as well as a digital copy of Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico, volume 1

I hope to see you for the celebrations.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Are you ready for some Halloween Scariness?

Well, hello Halloween! I just got the BUY LINKS for the new Halloween anthology, COWBOYS, CREATURES, AND CALICO, VOL. 1/ The Beast of Hazard and here they are:


And if that's not exciting enough, my Legends of Winatuke trilogy is reduced to only 99 cents for the whole boxed set of 3 full length novels at Amazon. Is that enough scariness for you?


Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Cool Video of Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico Halloween Anthologies

Love this neat video for the COWBOYS, CREATURES, AND CALICO Halloween Anthologies for Prairie Rose Publications. My contribution is is THE BEAST OF HAZARD IN VOLUME 1.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Nice Stuff People Do

Kathleen Rice Adams, a fellow author at Prairie Rose Publications, made this poster for my story, The Beast of Hazard, in the Halloween anthology from Prairie Rose, COWBOYS, CREATURES AND CALICO, VOL. 1. It really made me so happy that someone would just do something nice for me just because. That's so spirit lifting. Here is the great poster she made for my story:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Halloween Anthology Coming Soon

Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico, volume 1 Anthology
soon to be released from Prairie Rose Publications

A Terrorized Town…A Killer Beast…And Deliverance

Joey Wilding isn’t certain what’s killing the livestock in Hazard. Some believe it’s a bewitched beast, others a wolf gone rabid. As the town veterinarian, he’s seen mutilation before, but not like this, as if something enjoyed the killing.

When Clare Beau asks Joey to help her injured wolf-dog, and begs his discretion, he begins to suspect he has found the Beast of Hazard—and its beautiful mistress. But as he walks through the woods after dark, something more ominous than any wolf stalks him from the shadows.


As they stepped out into the dark night, a chill ran down Joey’s spine as he remembered that terrible growl he heard in the woods. He was comforted a little by the light on the barn that flooded the space between the barn and house with a pale light. From off in the distance, a sound came from the depth of the forest that shook Joey to the core.

Claire’s face grew pale and her eyes widened. “We should hurry,” she said in a voice tight with fear. Whatever that thing was out there, Claire must know something about it. The woman who had a huge wolf as a pet suddenly looked afraid of the thing out there. Her response made him very uneasy. Could he trust her?

Will post as soon as available

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

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lassoing A Bride Anthology Released Today

LASSOING A BRIDE Anthology  Released Today

A broken dream…a cancelled wedding…and an unexpected blessing

When Juliet Wilding’s dreams are crushed, she cancels her wedding plans to Harry O’Connor. But Harry is not about to give up on the only woman he has ever loved.  What neither of them expects is the event that will forever change both their lives.


When Harry entered the hotel kitchen, he saw the place was busy with two white-coated cooks and several servers running here and there with trays of food. The pleasant odors of roasted chicken, fresh baked bread, and cherry pie greeted him as he entered. He felt happy—until he saw Juliet’s face as she issued orders and tossed a large summer salad of greens, tomatoes, and other vegetables in a huge glass bowl. Red-rimmed eyes, a thin-lipped frown, and dark splotches beneath her eyes told him all was far from well.

She met his gaze from across the room. The pain in her expression made his gut ache, as if someone had punched him. He hurried to her and took her hand. “Juliet? Are you ill?”

She turned from his gaze. “No. I’m fine. Really.”

Unconvinced, Harry put his fingers beneath her chin and forced her to look at him. The golden flecks that usually shone behind her emerald eyes had faded. “Come with me, Juliet. We need to talk.”

“I can’t. Early supper diners have arrived. We’re swamped.”

“I don’t care. What’s between you and me is much more important than food.” He peered about the kitchen at all the white coats. “I’m sure your staff can handle things for a few minutes without you.”

A moment of hesitation, and then she clasped his hand and led him out of the kitchen and into the courtyard behind the hotel.

Buy Links:


PRETTIEST LITTLE HORSE THIEF (Gail Jenner)................................................. 7
UNEXPECTED BLESSINGS (Sarah J.  McNeal)................................................. 41
NO LESS THAN FOREVER (Tracy Garrett)........................................................ 70
THE BANK ROBBER'S LAMENT (Sara Barnard).............................................. 105
THE BADGE AND THE BRIDE (Livia J.  Washburn)..........................120 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

In Memory of My Mom


To all the mothers and daughters all over the world, I bid you joy and love.

     Until I was twenty-seven years old I took Mother's day for granted. I took having a mother for granted. We did, as most families do on this special day. We gave our mother breakfast in bed, dinners out at her favorite restaurant or had cook-outs in the back yard or down in the orchard. We showered our mother with gifts and we always made her a cake--from scratch.
      Mother's Day celebrations, for us, were intermingled with trips to the hospital, beeping monitors and days when Mom couldn't get out of bed. I was used to these episodes of illness from the time I was five. I never imagined that Mom would go to the hospital one day and never come home again.
That was way back in November 1974. A lot of years have passed since then. But no matter how happy I am on most days of the year, Mother's Day is when I miss my mother the most. It's the one day that makes my heart ache and it doesn't seem to lessen after all these years. So I accept that this one day is probably going to always be the saddest day of the year for me. It's when a mother's unconditional love passed from my life.
So for this one day, I will remember Charlene Hilda McNeal and hold her close to my heart. She meant the world to me.
I love you Mom.



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Revised Edition of Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride

Tomorrow is the relaunch of Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride at the Prairie Rose Publishing Blog. I'll be giving away a FREE digital copy to someone who comments. This book is the beginning of the Wildings of Wyoming stories.  Here's a little something about this time travel, paranormal western.

A haunted plantation…A mysterious trunk…And a date with destiny

When Lola Barton inherits a rundown plantation, she believes her life has finally taken a positive turn. But, when she finds a mysterious trunk in the attic, it takes her into the past and to a man with dark secrets—and she’s married to him.
So, I hope you'll put the date on your calendar and come see me tomorrow. Here's the tag to get there. 

Remember, all you have to do is drop by and comment to enter the contest.

Find Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride at:


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter/Passover

Whether you celebrate Easter or Passover, I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

Part of the family is up in Pittsburg, PA this year. We'll save 'em a little somethin'-somethin' from our Easter feast. After my sister, niece and I eat up our fabulous lunch tomorrow, we'll be off to the movies to see NOAH. Russel Crowe is in it. What more could we ask. I think it's going to be epic. It's gonna be fun.
In the meantime, I'm back to edits on the revised edition of Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride soon to be released by Prairie Rose Publications.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sweethearts of the West

 I just want you to know that every month on the 18th and 19th I write a blog with Sweethearts of the West. It's a western themed blog with posts every day that are interesting, educational and entertaining.

I hope you'll come and check it out.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Valentine Fandango Party

We're having a party ALL DAY Saturday! Be sure to join the Valentine's Day Fandango! Prizes and free books from Sarah McNeal, Kristy McCaffrey, Tracy Garrett, Tanya Hanson, Sara Barnard, Livia Washburn Reasoner, Kathleen Rice Adams, Cheryl Pierson, Linda Broday, Jacquie Rogers. Fandango all day and into the night!

Saturday, February 8 at 9:00am in PST
The party kicks off at my Facebook page at 11:00 am on Saturday. Just click below when you're ready to join the party. I'll be giving away a digital copy of my new release FLY AWAY HEART to a commentor and a print copy of the HEARTS AND SPURS Valentine anthology and a box of chocolate to a second commentor.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

FLY AWAY HEART just released

FLY AWAY HEART, my YA western that takes place in the Great Depression just released and is available in Paperback, Kindle, and all other ebook formats at Amazon and Smashwords. It will also be available at Barns and Noble and other online bookstores any moment. I am very happy this morning.

The Great Depression…Rum Runners and Old Fears…Love Against the Odds


Lilith Wilding can’t remember a time when she didn’t love the English born Robin Pierpont, but she knows he loves another so she hides her feelings beneath a hard veneer of self-protection.

Robin Pierpont dreams of flying airplanes and winning the heart of the one he loves, but when he gets involved in illegal rum running to help a friend, those dreams seem to turn into just a fantasy. When he is called upon to face his worst fear to save Lilith’s life, his fate may be sealed in death.
Buy Links: