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

GETTING TO KNOW YOU by Sarah J. McNeal

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.
Blurb:
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.
Logline:
Myths are supposed to be false…but some are terrifying and true.

Blurb:
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.

Excerpt:
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



18 comments:

  1. My goodness Sarah, I had no idea you had so many books out there and I am sure they are all wonderful stories. It is great that you are getting to live your dream now that you are retired. I suspect your training as RN in a Critical Care Unit added flavor and depth to your writing.

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    1. This may surprise you, Barb, but I don't write that much about medical things. You'd think I would be all about that, but no. Maybe nursing traumatized me. LOL One thing nursing did do, it showed me how devastating it is for patients and families when they face life threatening situations. You'd be amazed how courageous people can be.
      Funny how a writer just writes and writes, getting stories out into the world, and rarely do we stop and think about all the work we've done. Maybe we don't notice because we are having such fun doing it.
      Thank you so much for coming to visit me and for your positive comments, Barb.

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  2. Sarah,
    Always enjoy all your tales. Love being swept away into one of your worlds.

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    1. Karen, thank you for your kind words. I appreciate all the kind and generous things you have done for me along the way. You're such a wonderful person. I really appreciate you.

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    2. Thank you, Sarah. I feel fortunate to have met you via online. I appreciate your friendship and support, too. :)

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  3. wonderful getting to know you a little bit

    Denise

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    1. Thank you, Denise. I appreciate you commenting.

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  4. Hi Sarah! Thank you for sharing more about yourself. I love all your stories and your determination to write after retiring from a successful career. Please keep writing and your fur friends are welcome on our blog anytime.
    Becca

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    1. Thank you so much, Rebecca. I hope you are doing well. My furry kids are little devils--be careful with those invites because they'll take over and ransack the place. Thank you for taking the time to visit my post.

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    1. Hey Paula! I'm so glad you came to visit me here.

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  6. Well, I thought I knew you, but nope...didn't know everything. You know I love your Wilding Series--and that you have a new one in the works. Maybe just in your heart right now, but I have no doubt you'll get that one written, too! Best of luck!

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    1. Celia, I always look forward to your comments along with your wealth of wisdom.
      I do have a new Wilding story on Cheryl's desk right now. Of course, I'm working on a new one and have an outline for another. The Wildings are always nipping at my heels.
      I have a couple paranormal stories in mind for Victory Tales Press, but it's difficult to find the time to get them outlined. You know how that goes.
      Thank you so much for coming by and for always being such a constant support for me, Celia.

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  8. Okay, I'll try again. Had a typo and couldn't figure out how to correct it here. As I was saying... Good blog, Sarah. It is always interesting to learn more about our PbRJV authors, even those I already know. And it is nice to retire TO something and not FROM something, which we both have done. I wish you continued success with all of your books.

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    1. I've never figured out how to edit comments here either. Thank you for your kind words and your encouragement. I know what a busy lady you are these days, so I truly appreciate you taking the time to come and leave a comment for me.

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  9. Sarah, I too have enjoyed your Wilding series and look forward to adding this paranormal as I enjoy all your stories. It's so nice to know a bit more about you. We're both easterners, of course your more southern, we are both retired nurses, both love and play music on various instruments AND we both are authors.Oops, forgot we are animal lovers and mamas to rescue animals. I must give you a call when in Charlotte the next time. Thanks so much for sharing more about you with us. I'm sure Heart Song will pull at my heartstrings. Wishing you much success as always. Hugs to you, Lily and Liberty.

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    1. Wow Bev, I had no idea how much we have in common. What instruments do you play. I hope you're better at it than I am. LOL Where do you live? Is it in NC or further north?
      My paranormal stories are very different from my westerns. Heart Song means more to me now than when I first wrote it. You know how it is, real life imprints on us how lucky we are to still be living here on the earth. I hope you like this story. I'm glad I have it to give away.
      Thank you so much for dropping in and having such positive things to say in your comment.

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