Thursday3Some: Saving Sarah by Kara O'Neal

I'm pleased to welcome Kara O'Neal to SlingWords this morning. I've got my mug of freshly-brewed Dunkin' Donuts Coffee so let's chat with Kara.

About Kara O'Neal

Kara was born and raised in Texas. After surviving those awkward years of 7 to 16, she spent two years at Sam Houston State University where she met her husband. One marriage, two certifications to teach Special Education, and three children later, she decided to pursue a career in writing.

With four ebooks published through Resplendence Publishing, she is amazed at her good fortune and hopes the ride never ends!

Find Kara O'Neal Online


About Saving Sarah

Saving Sarah is the prequel to the Pikes Run Series.

Sarah Kerry's world is shattered when a man from her past, Liam Devlin, shows up with proof that, if shared, would send her father to the noose. In order to keep Liam quiet, she must break her young courtship with Michael Lonnigan, and marry Liam instead.

Michael is crushed and angry when Sarah abruptly ends their courtship, but he knows something isn’t right. He's seen the new man hanging around the Kerry family and believes the man is blackmailing the woman he loves. Unwilling to let her go, Michael will do whatever it takes to save Sarah, and make her his own.

When did you write Saving Sarah?

I wrote this story during the spring of 2014. The characters were familiar, and I loved delving into the lives of the parents of my first hero.

What was the spark that gave you the story idea?

My first hero -- Kyle Lonnigan -- tugged at my heart. After writing his book in the Pikes Run Series, I was intrigued by his parents -- Michael and Sarah Lonnigan. I wanted to learn how they fell in love and jumped in with both feet. After finishing it, I decided it should be the prequel to the Pikes Run Series.

Why do readers buy Saving Sarah?

First -- it is a love story. Being a part of someone's journey to forever is exciting and an escape. Second -- my stories contain characters with a strong sense of family. The relationships created amongst my characters strike a chord with readers. They feel as if they're meeting their own siblings, parents, cousins, etc. in my books. And I love that.

Buy Link

Kindle Edition of Saving Sarah by Kara O'Neal: Pikes Run Series Prequel

Takeaway Truth

A little vacation can always be found between the covers of a book. Buy one today.

Puzzling Professional Paths by J. Hughey

Please welcome J. Hughey aka Historical Romance author Jill Hughey. She's written a great guest post that many people can identify with.

About J. Hughey

J. Hughey knows what a girl wants. Independence. One or two no-matter-what-happens friends. A smokin’ hot romance. A basic understanding of geological concepts. Huh?

Okay, maybe not every girl is into geology, but J. Hughey is and, in the Yellowblown™ series, she combines her passion for a timeless love story with her interest in geeky stuff to help Violet Perch get a life, despite an ongoing global catastrophe.

(As mentioned above, J. Hughey is the popular Historical Romance author Jill Hughey so you'll find both the personnas hanging out online.)

Find J. Hughey/Jill Hughey Online

Twitter: @jillhughey

Okay, J. Hughey, take it away!

Puzzling Professional Paths
by J. Hughey

I have a degree in geology. I write romance. Some of you are scratching your heads. There are several possible reasons for your puzzlement, one of which might be the question of what geology is, exactly. Here is a humorous definition from American satirist Ambrose Bierce in 1911.

“GEOLOGY, n. The science of the earth's crust —to which, doubtless, will be added that of its interior whenever a man shall come up garrulous out of a well. The geological formations of the globe already noted are catalogued thus: The Primary, or lower one, consists of rocks, bones of mired mules, gas-pipes, miners' tools, antique statues minus the nose, Spanish doubloons and ancestors. The Secondary is largely made up of red worms and moles. The Tertiary comprises railway tracks, patent pavements, grass, snakes, mouldy boots, beer bottles, tomato cans, intoxicated citizens, garbage, anarchists, snap-dogs and fools.”


I include this partly because it made me laugh, and partly because it might accurately portray the murkiness of most folks’ understanding of geology. My comprehension is only slightly more sophisticated after four years of college way back when. However, one still has to wonder how I graduated with a science degree and ended up as an author—and writing romance of all things—a genre considered as intellectual as mouldy boots in ethereal literary circles where love and happy endings are viewed as pedestrian.

Well, in all honesty, it took me a while to suss out what I wanted to be when I grew up, besides sarcastic. I ignored some directional signs on the way, such as poems I’d penned since elementary school and the creative writing course I loved in college. Of course, I loved my mineralogy course too, and, coming from a family of lifetime-at-one-job type people, had no idea how to make a living at anything with the word “creative” in it, beside it, or even wafting nearby like incense from the writing professor’s office.


I don’t regret my choice. In fact, it makes me very slightly interesting to myself because I’m fascinated by the odd paths professional lives take. For example, once, when out to dinner with the board of a Fortune 500 company…okay, you caught me, it was the local youth soccer league board…anyway, I was sitting across from a soccer dad who lived on the dairy farm on which he’d been raised. Dairy farmer. Easy to peg. When not milking and cultivating, he built signs and framed pictures. Got it.

The real shocker came when he said he was also a gemologist.

For those of you who thought beer bottles were part of the geologic strata, a gemologist handles gems, and a gem is just a really fine mineral. For example, a transparent crystal of the mineral beryl with some chromium atoms cheating in for aluminum turns out green and is called emerald. Needless to say, this whole gemologist gig caught my attention much more than the framing. (See sentence where I said I loved mineralogy.)

Suddenly-most-fascinating-guy-at-the-table goes on to say he’d worked as an independent gem buyer before he got married and had kids and his wife made him quit. Why, one might ask, would his wife make him do that? Imagine the awesome jewelry a gem buyer might cough up on those landmark anniversaries!

Turns out, he wasn’t buying gems on 47th Street in Manhattan. He was traveling, Indiana Jones style, into the regions of the world where the really good stones are, like Kashmir and East Africa. Tucking pouches of precious minerals into a leather satchel slung over his camel, no doubt.

Appearances Are Deceiving

At this point, I found myself staring. This guy went to the same elementary school I did and coached six-year-old girls soccer. He’s a dairy farmer in rural Pennsylvania, for cryin’ out loud. Except he’s not. In his fascinating past, he’s a freaking gem-buyer. I could have picked his brain all night, but no one else found his stories nearly as intriguing as me. His gemless wife was especially bored.

The dairy farmer’s meandering career path makes mine not nearly so disjointed. Geology degree to apple grower (I skipped over that part) to full-time mom to part-time business administrator and self-published author isn’t nearly as bizarre. Or adventurous.

Complete 360

Funny, though, how our lives come full circle. My newest series of books, called Yellowblown™, tells the story of a college sophomore whose existence is upended by the eruption of the Yellowstone volcano. I’ve merged my love of geology with my creative side, and readers are loving that smattering of science as they enjoy the derailment of Violet Perch’s future.

Book 1: Eruption, Excerpt

I’m in the middle of the perfect college semester, hundreds of miles from Mom, with an awesome roomie and my freshman crush finally becoming a sophomore reality—Hotness! I’m figuring out calculus, I’ve got both hands on the handlebars and the wind of freedom in my hair. What on earth could slow my roll?

How about if the Yellowstone volcano erupts for the first time in 630,000 years, spewing a continuous load of ash (crap) all over North America? Think that’ll put a kink in my bicycle chain?

Parting Shot

If you forged a really bizarre professional path or have any questions about mine, leave a comment. It’s been a fun visit.

Thanks for having me on SlingWords.

Buy Eruption: Yellowblown™ Book One by J. Hughey

Eruption is available at Amazon at a discounted price of 99 cents for a short time. Grab it before it goes up to $2.99.

Kindle Edition of Eruption (YellowblownTM Book 1) by J. Hughey

But Wait! There's More

Any new subscribers to my newsletter will have a chance to win some swag decorated with Eruption cover art and Yellowblown series logo charms. You can choose from a necklace, bracelet or bookmark. Subscribe at before September 27.

Takeaway Truth

Jill, it's been a blast. Can't wait to read Eruption. Readers, grab a copy while it's priced low!

Cut the Cable Options: Amazon Fire TV

Welcome to another episode of Cut the Cable.

I've recommended Amazon Prime TV as a viable way of cutting the cable or satellite TV service. I watch Amazon Prime Video Streaming on my Smart TV and on another flat panel "dumb" TV using my Amazon Kindle HD.

A friend recently decided to sign up for Amazon Prime since I recommend it so often. You get a free 30-day Prime trial with unlimited access to all they offer.

You can even get a free copy of What is Amazon Prime?: The Complete Guide to the Amazon Prime Membership so you can learn all about Prime Membership before signing up.

When my friend visited in the spring, he was amazed at Amazon Prime Streaming so it didn't take him long upon returning home to get his own membership. He went a step further and ordered the Amazon Fire TV.

About Amazon Fire TV

In case you're not familiar with this gadget, the Amazon Fire TV is a tiny box you connect to your HDTV. With it you can stream videos from Amazon Prime -- over 200,000 TV episodes and movies, millions of songs,s and hundreds of games -- as well as Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and rent movies, games, music, etc.

It also offers the capability of Voice Search that actually works according to my friend. Just say the name of what you want to watch and it finds it for you in a few seconds.

Check it out for yourself and Compare Streaming Devices. Of course, you don't have to have this gadget. You can use your iPad, Kindle Fire HD, smartphone, and other devices.

Friend's Comments

My friend was disappointed to learn that not all of the 200,000 plus TV and movies are free. (He did not cruise around the Prime Video webpages before ordering the gadget, or he'd have seen that not everything was free. Some movies and TV shows cycle on and off the "free" list.)

My friend said: "As to the Amazon Fire device — the Voice Search works GREAT. No problems there. However, on a Hardware note — it has NO power button (you can’t turn it off … it goes off automatically after a while if you’re not actively streaming a video — I’D LIKE TO BE IN CHARGE OF WHEN IT GOES OFF)."

He also found that the device makes you jump through more hoops to watch Netflix.

"If using the Nexflix App on it (to view a Netflix video), there’s no way to turn-on, turn-off the Closed Caption without returning to the basic app (Amazon Video), and turn it on/off, then go back into Netflix and pick up the video where you left off... seems as though Amazon Fire made it as inconvenient as possible to use Netflix."

That's probably true since they are direct competitors.

He goes on to say: "Voice Search doesn’t work with Netflix … it’ll work, but throws you back into Amazon Video. If you want to search within Netflix, you have to do it the old-fashion way – hunt and peck the letters."

Also, "The remote has NO “Stop” button — None! You can “go Forward, Backward, Pause” … that’s it! You can’t STOP a video. Basically I just hit the Pause then return Home and find a different video. Soooo — there are some things I’d have designed differently with the remote."


He liked the Amazon Fire TV but felt like there were improvements to be made.

Takeaway Truth

Since we cut the cable/satellite last year, saving $100 bucks a month makes up for minor inconveniences.

Flood Prevention

No comments:
Charlie Brown said to Snoopy: "Are you upset little friend? Have you been lying awake worrying? Well, don't worry...I'm here. The flood waters will recede, the famine will end, the sun will shine tomorrow, and I will always be here to take care of you."

I love Peanuts. Just comforting to read sometimes.

My yard flood — which thankfully didn't flood the house — has been taken care of. Not by Charlie Brown but by Raphael Harvey of AAA Irrigation here in Houston. They worked in the rain Friday and Saturday to get the drain system installed. The picture above shows a section of it.

When they finished Saturday, all ditches were covered and grass was rolled back into place with only the emergency drainage trench my husband dug looking as if the yard had been chewed up.

Raphael and his crew will be back today to redo the landscaping.

Takeaway Truth

Even big messes can be fixed by experts.

Armadillos and Coyote Urine

After reading that title you may be saying, "Yuk!" That's what I thought also. Smell a bag of the stuff, and you'll run in the other direction. Yes, coyote urine is sold in granular form by the pound.

Why Would Anyone Want Coyote Urine

Ah, how my life has changed since buying a house in the country. Once upon a time Saturday night was for going out and kicking up our heels. Now? Not so much. I spent last Saturday night online, shopping for the best price on coyote urine.

If you didn't read my blog last summer then you may be wondering why I'm buying and discussing such a gross product.

Simple. Another armadillo has made its home near our house and visits our yard every night in its never ending search for worms, grubs, and bugs to chow down on. Ah, the joys of country life. It's not enough that we have to put up with the skunk family that lives in the brush around an old dead oak across the highway, not to mention the occasional snake and field mouse that finds its way into the garage. I won't even get into the gophers that reproduce so fast that they put rabbits to shame.


I can handle those kinds of varmints, but an armadillo aka Nature's Destructor does exactly that -- destroys your yard. Those critters can even burrow under the concrete slab on which your house is built and undermine the foundation's integrity.

An armadillo is like the shark of the animal world. All it knows is eating. It digs holes and goes after bugs, grubs, and the like -- constantly digging and eating. It can dig holes every night that takes you hours to fill the next day.

There's very little that will stop it short of a 9 mm. bullet, but coyote urine seems to deter it and makes it move to a different area. Of course, the stuff is expensive plus you have to keep it "freshly applied" around your entire house foundation.

Good News/Bad News

Armadillos have very poor vision but enhanced smell receptors. The good news is that they don't like coyote urine, but then who does? Other than other coyotes. You see, coyotes are one of an armadillo's few predators. Even animals don't want anything to do with them. People have learned to leave them alone too. Some years ago, it was determined that armadillo's carry leprosy and were responsible for the spike in cases of that biblical disease in the southwest.

The bad news? Coyote urine works, but it smells awful, just like, well, like a pack of coyotes surrounded your house and had a you-know-what kind of contest. Just retrieving the box from the post office bin was enough to make me gag.

Write What You Know

So what has this got to do with writing or books? Writers write what they know. So how do I use this experience?

I can think of some comical ways like maybe the heroine of a story accidentally sprays her hero with coyote urine. That would cover the comedy part of romantic comedy, but there sure isn't much romance in going around smelling like a coyote urinal. I'll have to give this some more thought while I go sprinkle the urine into the holes the armadillo dug last night.

Takeaway Truth

If you ever want to keep visitors away from your door, just sprinkle a teaspoon of coyote urine granules nearby. People will stand out on the street and yell to avoid ringing your doorbell.

Deirdra Eden & Knight of Light: Blog Hopping Here Today

No comments:
This morning, I'm welcoming Deirdra Eden to SlingWords. Deirdra is the author of The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light.

Deirdra has a video book trailer below to show you what the book is about and a giveaway to promote her new release.

Take a look at the book trailer, read more about the book and Deirdra, and enter the giveaway for a free print copy of the book (10 to be given away) and a $100.00 Amazon Gift Card (only 1 of those lovelies).

The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light

In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity.

Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, demons, and monsters, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.

About The Watchers

The Watchers Series has been described as Braveheart meets Supernatural. The mythology for the series is based on many theological texts from dozens of sects with correlating themes. Ancient writings include The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Traditional Apocrypha, The Pearl of Great Price, and The Kabbalah.

“The Watchers” are supernatural beings in human form whose duty is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, as the Book of Enoch mentions, some of these Watchers go bad.

Although the mythology is based on these texts, Deirdra Eden’s The Watcher’s Series is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl’s discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportion.

Buy Link

The Watchers: Knight of Light, Paperback from Amazon

From Deirdra Eden

My goal in writing is to saturate my books with intrigue, mystery, romance, and plot twists that will keep my readers in suspense. I want to see fingerprints on the front and back covers where readers have gripped the novel with white knuckles!

Aside from writing, I enjoy jousting in arenas, planning invasions, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, and going on adventures.


Deirdra is celebrating The Watchers Series with a really nice Rafflecopter Giveaway so just Click to enter. Prizes: 10 print copies of the book and one $100.00 Amazon Gift Card.

Find Deirdra Online

Deirdra's website






Takeaway Truth

The weekend is here. Grab a great book--perhaps The Watchers: Knight of Light--and prepare to be entertained.

Thursday3Some: Awakened by the Minotaur by Erin Moore

Grab your cup of coffee and say hello to my guest Erin Moore.

About Erin Moore

Erin writes sensuous paranormal romances set in exotic locales. Her latest book, a sexy minotaur shifter story set in Crete, is in the Thursday3Some Spotlight. Erin is a regular blogger for Marketing for Romance Writers as well as Heroes and Heartbreakers which means she is sadly neglectful of her own blog.

She lives in Atlanta with her two little paranormal beings and one unruly husband. She’s also (way too frequently) on Twitter and Facebook. Find her free short story, To Love a Shaman, at her website.

Sign up for her newsletter for a chance to win 1 of 10 critiques of a first chapter that she's giving away. Find details on website or her Facebook page.

Find Erin Moore Online


About Awakened by the Minotaur

Lara Castille always plays it safe in both love and life. But when she arrives on vacation in Crete, she is determined to enjoy herself. Old habits die hard, though. Drawn to her tour guide, the enigmatic and sexy Teo Lambros, she cannot let down her guard—until she takes part in the ancient and sensual rites at the ruins of Knossos. She dreams of the minotaur who takes her upon the altar, and wonders if it could be Teo who brought her to ecstasy. 

A gray haze clouds Teo’s memory of the rites; he knows only that the bull has chosen him for his own. He fears that the land will once again need a sacrifice, as it did when it claimed his fiancée the year before. Though he cannot deny his need for Lara, he knows that protecting her from his desire is the only way to keep her safe. 

As the island’s magic demands everything they have, Lara and Teo must discover what’s real and what’s imagined if they’re to survive the passionate sexuality that draws them together.

When did you write Awakened by the Minotaur?

It was officially finished in March of 2014, but I started it in the summer of 2013 and worked on it on and off between then. There were a few plot issues that had to be worked out, because though I like my heroes dark, Teo was a little too dark for a while there.

What was the spark that gave you the story idea?

I was thinking of places that I had been that would be good for a story, and as soon as I thought of Greece, the story came to me. I had this idea that Teo, my then-unnamed hero, would become a minotaur, but he was never quite clear what happened during those dark times. Which opened up the possibility that he might have killed his ex-girlfriend.

Why do readers buy Awakened by the Minotaur?

Most readers are looking for something different in the paranormal world when they buy "Minotaur". And, while this is definitely still a paranormal, it's not a classic "shifter" novel - there are no warring clans, no different species. There is just Teo on his own, stuck with an ancient prophecy and a desire to protect Lara from it. They both have to learn to compromise before they can really see the other, and it makes for a very different type of novel.

Buy Awakened by the Minotaur by Erin Newman

Awakened by the Minotaur: Kindle Edition

Awakened by the Minotaur: Nook Edition

Awakened by the Minotaur: Kobo Edition

Takeaway Truth

A little vacation can always be found between the covers of a book. Plan your weekend "getaway" by buying a book today.