About Once Upon a Word: We're a large group of multi-talented authors working together, to bring you the best romances. Please, stop by our websites and check out what we've been up to: Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery and Victory Tales Press.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


It’s been quite some time since I posted anything about myself and I’m certain new people have come to Publishing by Rebecca Vickery either authors or readers. So, let me reintroduce myself to you.
My name is Sarah J. McNeal. I have no pseudonyms in any of my books or short stories. Everything I write is under my real name.
Although I was born in the tiny college town of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, my family moved to Charlotte, North Carolina when I was 5. My parents raised my sister and me in a Yankee kind of culture, but we turned out southerners in the end. I’ve been married and divorced, and then settled down with my rescue pets. I have Lily, rescued when she was 4 months old from the Golden Retriever Rescue Club of Charlotte, and my cat, Liberty, who was hit by a car in front of my veterinarian’s establishment on 9/11/2001 when she was just a kitten.

I play several instruments: the violin, bag pipes, guitar, and harmonica—none of them very well. I enjoy music and I find playing musical instruments brings me peace and helps me get centered.
I have been actively writing since I was 13 years old when I submitted my first short story to Seventeen Magazine. That story was rejected and for good reason. I wasn’t good enough yet. Mine was a rather bumpy road to publication. I wanted to be an English major, but my post depression era father was devoted to practicality and would only pay for a college education in some medical profession. To allay his fears that I wouldn’t be able to take care of myself independent of my parents, I became a nurse. It was a long road to becoming an RN, but I am not going to bore you with those details. I worked as a critical care nurse for 47 years before I finally retired in 2009. Love retirement. I finally get to devote my time to what I really love—writing.
The thing is, I never quite writing in all the years I had to focus on my education and then work at a nursing profession. Sometimes I had to put it on hold while I accomplished other goals for the sake of making a stable living. Ugh!
I eventually sold 5 short stories in 1996, and then wrote longer works which became published. Several publishers later, here I am.

I write in different genres, but for my lengthier work, they are mostly under the name of a series such as LEGENDS OF WINATUKE, a trilogy of fantasy novels published by Publishing by Rebecca Vickery which includes Dark Isle, Lake of Sorrows, and The Light of Valmora, or The Wildings series, my western romances published by Prairie Rose Publications. I have short, paranormal stories in PbRV’s 2011 FALL COLLECTION (Curse of the Amber Tomb), the 2012 CHRISTMAS COLLECTION (Gifts From The Afterlife), and this year’s Autumn anthology, MYTHS, LEGENDS and MIDNIGHT KISSES (Pennytook). One of my favorite stories is a paranormal piece about a young musician fighting for his life against cancer titled Heart Song

I am offering this story from my publisher as a FREE story. I would love it if you got this story and read it. It’s a story that means a great deal to me personally.
Gideon thought he had the perfect life as a musician with a beautiful model as his girlfriend, until he was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Ashamed and afraid he may die, Gideon hits bottom when his girlfriend dumps him for a “real” man.

Hope comes in the form of his father’s ghost and a person he has just met. Can he beat the odds and survive? And if he does, can he ever find happiness again?

Here’s the link if you would like a copy:

For the anthology MYTHS, LEGENDS, AND MIDNIGHT KISSES, I wrote the story Pennytook. Pennytook has always been a special character for me. He is the funny, party loving Gypsy with mystical knowledge and common sense advice who has appeared in all three of the LEGENDS OF WINATUKE books. Early on he suffered the loss of his wife and baby son to the Witch Queen, Mahara. Things changed for him as the trilogy progressed, but finally, I got to write a story in which Pennytook could find love.
Myths are supposed to be false…but some are terrifying and true.

Pennytook is a war weary Gypsy who longs for peace from the past and wants something meaningful in his life.
Esmeralda, a Gypsy trick rider, has harbored a deep affection for the chieftain, Pennytook, for many years. But her dark secret will never allow him into her life.
A mythological creature is about to unleash its horror and change the destinies of Esmeralda and Pennytook.

A deep ache spread through Pennytook's chest as he walked beside Esmeralda to the shelter where the horses rested. Something was very wrong and it filled him with dread. The night air had grown cold. He wanted to tuck his woolen cloak around her shoulders, but he knew she would refuse. The music of the tribe and the Chergari were distant now as if it were the music of the spirit realm. He shivered at the thought.
Buy Link for the anthology:

Before I wear out my welcome, I’d just like to say thank you for allowing me to tell you a bit about me and I look forward to getting to know all of you along the way.

Sarah J. McNeal
Author of paranormal, time travel and western romance

Sunday, February 7, 2016

31 Clever Valentine Sayings @KMNbooks @RebeccaJVickery #valentine #romance

Do you remember passing out Valentine cards when you were in school? I couldn't wait to pass them out to all my friends. Some of the sayings were funny and some down right corny. Here are some of those silly Valentine sayings. Do you have a few you'd like to share?
1. Map/ globe: You mean the world to me
2. Chap stick: Read my lips, Valentine…I’m yours
3. Cookie cutter: You’re a cut above the rest
4 Socks: We're the perfect pair  
5. Google Eyes: I’ve got my eyes on you
6. Crazy straws: I’m crazy for you
7. Sewing kit: You’re sew special to me
8. Band Aids: I'm stuck on you
9. Magnet: Can’t resist your pull
10. Friendship bracelet: Our class would knot be the same without
11. Candle: You light up my life
12.Dry erase/ chalk board: I’m never board when you’re around
13. Socks: You knock my socks off
14. Watch: You make my heart go tick tock
15. Light bulb: I love you a whole watt
16. Paper/electric fan: You blow me away
17. Toothbrush: I can’t smile with out you
18. Painted twigs: Stick with me, Valentine
19. Typewriter doodle: You’re just my type
20. Sheep doodle: I love ewe
21. Owl doodle: Owl be you’re friend forever
22. Star Wars: You’re the obi-one for me
23. Clothes pins: I’d love to hang out with you
24. Rocket ship: You’re outta this world
25. Owl doodle: You’re a hoot
26. Deer doodle: You’re a deer to me
27. Maze: I think you’re a-maze-ing
28. Flower: I’d pick you any day
29. Thumbprint: Thumb-body loves you
30. Pixie sticks: Stick with me, Valentine
31.Chocolate coins: Don't ever change Valentine 
32. Gum: I chews you as my Valentine
33. Mints: We’re mint to be
34.Tootsie rolls: Happy Valentine, toots!
35. Pop Rocks: You rock, Valentine
36. Krackel chocolate bars: You krack me up
37. Snickers: Thanks for making me snicker
38. Hot tamales: You’re one hot tamale
39. Butterfinger: Life is butter with you in it
40. Any candy: You’re sweet
41.Blow pop: You blow me away, Valentine!
30. Hershey kisses: A kiss for my Valentine
31. Life Savers: Valentine, you float my boat

Meet the authors from the Be My Everything, 2016 Valentine Collection

Barbara Miller author of Hearts as One (Contemporary romance with a slight paranormal element- Haunted Inn and scrumptious treats has the hero wanting to book a room indefinitely.)
Barbara Miller teaches in the Writing Popular Fiction graduate program at Seton Hill University and is Reference Librarian at Mount Pleasant, PA Public Library. She has published historical and contemporary romances, mysteries, young adult books, a storybook and a paranormal novel. Two of her plays have been performed at the Pittsburgh New Works Festival. You may email the author at scribe@fallsbend.net or visit her Website.

Lindsay Downs author of A Valentine Wedding (Regency/ suspense. A lovely damsel seeks a brave hero to be her champion in this regency romance.)

Lindsay has been an avid reader ever since he was old enough to hold a red leather The Lady of the Lake in my lap.
bound first edition copy of Sir Walter Scott's

So it only seemed natural at some point in his life he took up pen and paper to start writing. Over time his skills slightly improved which he attribute to his English teachers.

His breakthrough came about in the mid 1970's when he read a historical romance written by Sergeanne Golon, Angelique. This French husband and wife team opened his eyes to the real world of fiction. Stories about romance, beautiful damsels, handsome heroes and plots, which kept him, hooked. Of course, being a man, he had to keep his reading hidden from others as that wasn't appropriate reading for men.

His debut regency romantic suspense was released in 2012.
He lives in central Texas, and is a member of Romance Writers of America and their local chapter.
You can find the author on the web: Website / Facebook  / Facebook Pages  
Rebecca J. Vickery author of Clint's Choice (Contemporary Romance. A runaway bride returns home, but can the handsome cowboy convince her not to run again.)
Rebecca J. Vickery has been married to the same very patient man for quite a while now. She has one son, a special daughter-in-law, and three wonderful grandchildren.
She lives in South Carolina, USA, and slips away to go camping at Myrtle Beach whenever possible. Long walks on the beach help her to unwind and often ignite her imagination with new stories.
She enjoys the challenge of adding a special twist to her stories of romance. Usually they involve the paranormal, mystery, adventure, suspense, or a bit of fantasy along the way to a happy ever after ending.
Mrs. Vickery also branched out into speculative fiction and has several short stories published in that genre. She owns Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery, a small independent company, and also Victory Tales Press, where invited authors share their stories in various anthologies.
You may visit Rebecca at these sites online:
She loves to hear from readers and fellow authors.

Cecilia Corona author of Afterlife (Paranormal mystery/ Got ghosts? This psychic medium has her hands full when an ex-boyfriend, now spirit, seeks her help.)
Cecilia Corona is a massage therapist by day and enjoys the adventures of writing by night. When she's not sitting at her computer plotting her next tale, she's enjoying the Southern California weather. She loves movies, animals of all kinds, especially her three dogs, and she's a big fan of mermaids. When she was young and saw the movie Splash for the first time, she believed sprinkling salt in the bathtub would magically allow her to grow a tail. She was sadly disappointed when the experiment didn't work. If she can't be a mermaid, then maybe she'll just have to write about them.
Visit Cecilia's Website / Facebook

Denise Stout author of A Latte Love (Contemporary Romance- You'll be charmed by this sweet hometown tale. Coffee and romance to go, please.)
Denise Stout dreamed about writing from a very early age, guided along the way by some special teachers who took interest in her writing and encouraged her to pursue her words in print. She loves to write stories about strong women who strive for the best in life, sometimes faltering, but who always have the fortitude to pick themselves back up again while finding love along the way.

A frequent contributor to FindSubscriptionBoxes.com, she also reviews books, movies, and products. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Delaware. When not driving carpools, watching her boys play sports from the sidelines, volunteering or other activities, she loves to read. And write. Or watch Jane Austen adaptations. Denise lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and three sons. You may email the author at: denisestoutauthor@gmail.com

You can find the author online: Amazon US Author Page /Amazon UK
 /Facebook / Pinterest

Karen Michelle Nutt author of Heart of the Sea (Contemporary romance/mermaids: They're from different worlds, but this lady of the sea is about to find out the hero has a little magic of his own.)

Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband, three fascinating children, and houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.
When she's not time traveling, fighting outlaws, or otherworldly creatures, she creates pre-made book covers to order at Gillian's Book Covers, "Judge Your Book By Its Cover". You can also check out her published cover art designs at Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery and Highland Press.
Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.

Friday, February 5, 2016



Welcome to Once Upon a Word, offered to you by a group of talented authors who wish to inform and entertain you. Watch for new blogs by authors you may know well, or new-to-you authors.

Celia Yeary
Romance, and a little bit of Texas.