Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Losing My Mother

Me and Mom

43 years ago on the day after Thanksgiving, November 29, 1974, my mother died. I was 27. It was a long time ago. Some might think the painful loss of a mother would soften with time…but it doesn’t. The time between feeling the sharp edge of that loss becomes longer, but when I feel it, it seems I lost her only yesterday. It is as intense as it was that night when I stood at her bed and watched her take her last breath in on Earth and knew she inhaled her next breath in Heaven.
Mom made Thanksgiving and Christmas special. She loved to cook up those holiday feasts and looked forward to watching us open our presents. Even after we were all grown and flung far away, she loved when those of us who could, came home to spend the holidays. I remember she was particularly fond of peppermints and hard ribbon candy (don’t know who among you remember that ribbon candy).
This year I miss her with that deep feeling of loss which I think many of you who’ve lost your mothers have felt. So, I wanted to help myself get through it by paying this tribute to her and sharing it with you. She meant the world to me.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Have a safe and joyful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 17, 2017

BIG Holiday Sale at Prairie Rose Publications

Today From Prairie Rose Publications:

Newly Released anthology, SWEET TEXAS CHRISTMAS, is now only 99 cents on Kindle

Christmas in Texas couldn’t be sweeter than these stories of lost love found and new love discovered at the most joyous time of the year! SWEET TEXAS CHRISTMAS is a boxed set of Christmas novellas that will warm your heart and keep you reading long into the night to see how these couples find their happily-ever-after ending!
With the holiday season in full swing, these western heroes and their ladies come together in a delightful collection of four deliciously sweet Yuletide stories you’re sure to love and remember. Authors Stacey Coverstone, Cheryl Pierson, Sarah McNeal, and Marie Piper have penned these scrumptious Christmas tales just for your reading pleasure, along with a special surprise in each story!

Each of these holiday tales includes a delectable dessert recipe guaranteed to bring an added measure of Christmas sweetness your way! There’s nothing quite like a SWEET TEXAS CHRISTMAS!

My Contribution/A Christmas Visitor

Sterling Thoroughgood was Matilda Barton’s first and only love, but he left her three years ago to seek his fortune in Wyoming. And now he’s come back with a puzzle box as a gift with a secret inside. But as far as Matilda’s concerned, it’s three years too late.
Is love lost forever or does the mysterious puzzle box hold the key to happiness?


“Don’t you even think about stepping up on this porch, Sterling Alexander Thoroughgood, or I’ll shoot a hole in you big enough for a team of horses to jump through.” The woman wearing a faded blue calico dress aimed the shotgun straight at his heart…and sometimes his liver since she wasn’t holding the shotgun all that steady.
Sterling raised his hands in the air. His bare hands were practically numb from the cold. He glanced up at the slate gray sky. Snow’s comin’. Then he grinned at the woman holding the shotgun. “Merry Christmas to you, too, Matilda.”
She dipped the shotgun for just a moment, but raised it again as if on a second thought. “What do you want here after being gone for three years? Did you break some hearts up in Wyoming? Maybe you have some fathers and brothers gunning for you and you thought you’d come running back here to hide.”
Well, there it was. He’d hurt her when he left and she wasn’t about to let him forget it. 

Another Christmas anthology, WISHING FOR A COWBOY, FREE on Kindle
Cowboys, kisses and love in the holiday air make for a special recipe in each of these wonderful new stories. Christmas miracles can happen when you're WISHING FOR A COWBOY!

My Contribution/A Husband For Christmas

Teekonka Red Sky loves Jane and her son, but all his efforts to help them past their painful memories of the night Jane's husband, 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?


He laughed, the sound rich and deep, interrupting her. “I know your name…Jane.” He spoke her name softly, reverently as if it were a treasure.  He chuckled a little. “My first name’s about as long as my last.”
“Does Teekonka mean something in Lakota, like brave or warrior, or some such thing?”
“It means ‘talks too much.’ Figures, doesn’t it?” He did laugh then, and Jane couldn’t help laughing along with him.
He touched her face at the corner of her mouth with his finger. “Your face brightens when you laugh.”
Jane backed away. “You’re just flirting with me now.”
He flashed her a wide grin. “Yes ma’am, I am, but I also mean it. You are very pretty.”
She stood speechless unable to respond to him. She couldn’t remember the last time a man complimented her, let alone blatantly flirted with her. It felt good, like a warm hug on a cold day. He bent his head and kissed her. His lips, warm and supple, took hers in a tender way, so sensual, yet asking nothing more. Jane’s heart beat against her ribs, and heat flooded her core. All too soon, Teekonka pulled away and grinned.
“I best be gettin’ back to the gas station. Mr. Anderson brought in his tractor and, with this snowstorm coming, he’ll be needing it to plow the snow from his drive. He and Ben are going to help keep the streets in town clear, too. We could all be grateful for that.” Teekonka buttoned his coat and replaced his hat, covering his shaggy length of thick, black hair.  

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

My New Slogan and Graphic

Thanks to Kaye Spencer, a friend and colleague helped me with this graphic. Also, thanks to my Facebook friends and authors, I now have a new slogan that defines my multi-genre stories more than my previous slogan.
As an author I have responsibilities beyond writing stories which include promotion, establishing my brand and platform. I don't mind really. I just want to do a good job with it.
So I really appreciate how my writer friends came to my rescue. Thanks y'all! 

Monday, November 06, 2017

Building An Author Brand: Creating A Slogan

In the beginning of my career I only wrote paranormal and fantasy romance. Coming up with a slogan that defined my brand was simple. It read, “Romance out of this world.” My signature was Sarah J. McNeal, Paranormal and Fantasy Author.

Well, over the years, things have changed. I have written contemporary romance, straight up with no chaser, and in recent years I have devoted my writing to western romance, both historical and contemporary.

So coming up with a short slogan that defines my brand is more complicated now. After Deborah MacGillivray’s article last week, I got in touch with Donna Gilanti, a best-selling author and speaker who has a website and free downloads of information about building platforms for writers.

She talked to me about writing a slogan to define my brand and suggested I tie together my multiple genres into one brand with something like, “Author of romance across the ages” or maybe “Romance across time and space.”

I’ve only come up with one lame slogan: “Romance bridging time and place.” As you can see, there is nothing that indicates my western romances. So I need some help.

I would love it if my writer friends would tell me their genres and their slogans so I can get a clue about what I should create for my own brand. I should would appreciate you help.