Monday, November 4, 2013

A Husband for Christmas by Sarah McNeal in WISHING FOR A COWBOY #western #christmas #romance

A Husband for Christmas
by Sarah J. McNeal
a short story in
Wishing for a Cowboy
Prairie Rose Publications

RTW is pleased to host the authors of Wishing for a Cowboy, the debut offering of Prairie Rose Publications.  It's available in ebook at Amazon and Smashwords, and in print at Amazon.

RTW's guest today is Sarah J. McNeal.  Sarah is a multi-published author of several genres including time travel, paranormal, western, contemporary and historical fiction. She's a retired critical care/ER nurse who lives in North Carolina with her four-legged children, Lily and Liberty. Besides her devotion to writing, she also has a great love of music and plays several instruments including violin, bagpipes, guitar and harmonica. Her books and short stories may be found at Publishing by Rebecca Vickery, Victory Tales Press, Western Trail Blazer and Prairie Rose Publications. She welcomes you to visit her at her website or Facebook.

Her story in Wishing for a Cowboy is A Husband for Christmas — A haunting night of horror and a wish for a new life.

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?

RTW: How did Jane Pierpont and Teekonka Redsky come to you? Were they fully formed, or were they stubborn about telling you their stories?

Sarah J. McNeal
Sarah: Jane Pierpont and Teekonka Redsky first appear in the World War I novel, For Love of Banjo. Banjo rescued Jane and her son, Robin, from a factory fire in New York City and Maggie took them home with her and gave Jane a job at the ranch. Teekonka Redsky is Banjo’s uncle, a half Lakota shaman who, like Banjo, is uniquely gifted with a knowledge for mechanical things.

I knew from the first time Jane and Teekonka met they were attracted to one another. Each of them has just what the other one needs.  I had to write A Husband for Christmas included in the Wishing for a Cowboy anthology for Prairie Rose Publications.

RTW: What is it about Christmas that lends itself to romance? How is Gingerbread Boys incorporated into your story and is it a part of your own family lore?

Sarah: Christmas is about love, love of children, love of family and romantic love. It’s the perfect season for lovers to meet and express their love because it’s a time filled with soft lights, beautiful music, the smell of pine boughs and delicious food and a special magic that encourages the belief that anything is possible.

When Teekonka takes Robin to get a Christmas tree for Jane, she has nothing to decorate it with. Inventive Jane uses gingerbread boys, strings of popcorn and pieces of ribbon and cloth to decorate her tree. The smell of gingerbread just says home to me. When I married, my husband loved gingerbread. I could barely cook, but I taught myself to experiment making the things he liked with my McCalls and Betty Crocker Cookbooks that had been given to me as wedding presents. I made gingerbread boys and loved the way they filled the kitchen with their spicy aroma. So, starting with that first Christmas back in 1970, I started making gingerbread boys. Sometimes I actually hung some on the tree, but mostly, I just decorate them and give them as presents.

RTW: If you lived in Jane Pierpont’s house, how would you decorate it for Christmas?

Sarah: Just the way Jane did, I would place fragrant pine boughs in strategic places with lots of candles and I would decorate a tree with cookies and popcorn strings. I would add bows made from old ribbons and scraps of cloth and see if I could find some sparkly crystals from old chandeliers just the way Jane did.

RTW: What other books do you have for our readers to enjoy?

Sarah: The Wildings of Wyoming stories begin with a time travel book that has a ghost: Harmonica Joe’s Reluctant Bride.  Joe and Lola take in a homeless teenager, Banjo. I had to write about this brave boy all grown up and wrote For Love of Banjo.  I am presently working on a story about Lilith Wilding and Robin Pierpont, Fly Away Heart.

I write is other genres as well. In my paranormals, I just had the Legends of Winatuke series released. These stories are filled with monsters, adventure and, of course, undying love.  Dark Isle, Legends of Winatuke (Book 1), Lake of Sorrows, Legends of Winatuke (Book 2), and The Light of Valmora, Legends of Winatuke (Book 3).  I am presently writing a story about Pennytook, the Gypsy who appears in all these books.

Also just released in a single, is a scary love story, The Curse of the Amber Tomb.  Two other short stories are: Gifts From the Afterlife (a contemporary, paranormal Christmas story), and Heart Song (a contemporary, paranormal romance about a man who survives breast cancer).  I am revising Bitter Notes, a contemporary novella with a sexy Romanian hero and a baby grand piano left out to rot in the rain.

And my all time favorite story, a time travel, paranormal, written about a real family tragedy: The Violin.

♥ ♥ ♥
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 

A Christmas Miracle by Phyliss Miranda 
Acceptance comes not through frosty eyes, but from the warmth of loving hearts. 

Outlaw's Kiss by Cheryl Pierson 
A long-ago schooldays crush is rekindled by an Outlaw's Kiss that sparks true love, and a new future for Jake Morgan and Talia Delano. 

A Husband for Christmas by Sarah J. McNeal 
A haunting night of horror and a wish for a new life. 

Peaches by Kathleen Rice Adams 
When a strong-willed schoolteacher invades an irascible rancher's Texas range, not even the spirit of Christmas may be able to prevent all-out war. 

A Gift for Rhoda by Jacquie Rogers 
A mail-order bride disaster! 

Her Christmas Wish by Tracy Garrett 
Her only wish for Christmas was the man who left her behind. 

Covenant by Tanya Hanson 
Can a Christmas blizzard ignite love gone cold? 

Charlie's Pie by Livia J. Washburn 
A wounded man, a desperate woman, a gang of ruthless outlaws... and the best pecan pie in Parker County!


  1. Thank you for having me at Romancing the West, Jacquie. I'm very excited about having a story in the debut book from Prairie Rose Press. Happy times!

  2. Hi Sarah,

    I love your cover and your Husband for Christmas sounds wonderful! Great questions and answers. Hope you have fantastic sales this holiday season and afterwards. A lot of people will get new ereaders and that always helps!

  3. Sarah, I enjoyed your story, Husband for Christmas, and wish you success with this release! All the best -

  4. Sarah--what would we do without our fully formed characters who were mere walk-ons in another book? I have a long list---in the form of a genealogical chart for a large fictional family. I look at the chart sometimes to remember who belong where, and possibilities for a new story. I wonder if we all don't do this. Your stories are so touching, and your secondary characters are memorable, too...and deserve a story also. Congratulation on having a story in the first Christmas anthology for Prairie Rose. What a wonderful group in the book. I know it will be a big seller!

  5. Sarah, I'm so glad you threw in with us for the Christmas anthology! A Husband for Christmas is a truly heartwarming story, and one readers won't soon forget. I love your Wilding family and the branches of their family tree. Can't wait to see what you think up for HEARTS AND SPURS in January!

  6. Thank you for coming by, Diane, and for all your supportive words.

  7. Ashantay, it was so nice of you to come by. Thank you for reading through A Husband for Christmas. I really appreciate your suggestions and comments.

  8. Celia, I do have a family tree chart. I'd never be able to remember who was what age and belonged to what parents if I didn't. I don't know how writers manage to keep track of things without a chart. I often have to make a note of hair and eye color on it as well as their birthdays. I am very afraid I will have someone with brown eyes in one story and blue in the next. Disaster.
    Thank you so much for all your support and kindness, Celia. You always make me feel great.

  9. Cheryl, I feel very lucky to have been invited in on this anthology. It was such an honor. I have a few paragraphs left in Fly Away Heart (Robin's all grown up and in love) which I will be sending to my Beta reader, Ashantay, and then over to you. I have the outline for my Valentine's story, and I'm ready to get started on it as soon as I finish my present WIP. Boy, I better get on the ball, huh? It's always so sweet to have you support my efforts. Thank you for so many things, too numberous to list.

    1. GREAT! I can't wait to see it! And as for the Valentine's story, I'm getting excited about that anthology already, too. I don't outline, but I know what I want to do, and I've "barely" started on it--written about 2K on it. I love the title Fly Away Heart. And "lucky"? No way, Sarah. This anthology wouldn't have been the same without you.
      Hugs, dear friend!

  10. My mom gave me a Betty Crocker Cookbook when I got married, too. New cooks today don't know how great they have it. If they want a recipe, the can search the internet and have a dozen on hand. I had one cookbook for many years, and a few scribbled cards when I could get a recipe from family. I will have to try your gingerbread boys recipe. Wonder if I could make them with coconut flour ...

  11. Thank you, Cheryl. You said before you don't plot. Hard to imagine that. I remember Homecoming, one of my favorites with that surprise ending and think surely you outlined it. I confess, I'm a plotter.

  12. Lucia, does coconut flour taste like coconut? That could be interesting. What made you think of that? I still use my Betty Crocker and McCalls cookbooks. They taught me how to cook. I remember making biscuits shaped like sheep. My husband didn't know what to ma of them, bread or desert. They were hard as rocks, but he endured.

  13. Thank you, Tanya. That is so kind of you to say. I haven't had a chance to start reading them yet. I really want to get started on them. I know they're going to be wonderful. Thank you so much for dropping by.

  14. Finding an anthology with so many of my favorite authors was such a pleasure. I'm reading and enjoying my copy of this anthology now. See me smiling?

  15. Caroline, I hope you enjoy all the stories. Thank you so much for coming by and for picking up a copy of Wishing For A Cowboy. All the best to you.


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