Tuesday, February 11, 2014

First Kiss: Sarah McNeal shares a Sneak Peek at Robin wooing Ms. Lilith! @KMNbooks @Starcriter #firstkiss

Karen: In a sneak peak of Sarah McNeal's upcoming release FLY AWAY HEART, Robin must woo Ms. Lilith and he does so with a toe curling kiss! Sarah McNeal will be giving away a digital copy of HEARTS AND SPURS Valentine anthology to one lucky commenter!

First Kiss from FLY AWAY HEART 
by Sarah J. McNeal

Robin stepped into the foyer greeted by the smells of baked ham, bread and pipe tobacco. He always felt at home when he entered the Wildings’ house. In a polite gesture, he removed his Stetson and nodded his head. “Good evening, Mrs. Wilding, Miss Juliet.” He felt his face grow hot as he added, “I’ve come to see Miss Lilith, if I may.” 
Lola hugged him as soon as he entered the house.  For as much as some said Lola Wilding was “an odd sort” because of her uncanny predictions about future events, Robin always liked her and found her a kind-hearted, generous woman who just happened to make some very accurate assessments about the future of the world. She was smart and strong and he loved that about her—just as he loved those same traits in her oldest daughter.
Juliet called up the stairs. “Come on down, Lilith, Robby’s here.”

From above stairs came the terse reply, “I’m busy.”

Lola stood with one hand on the newel post of the stairs and gave him a searching gaze. “Is something amiss between you and our Lilith, Rob?” 
Rob glanced up the stairs and then met Lola’s gaze. “Yes ma’am, I’m afraid so. I haven’t been very understanding or kind to Miss Lilith of late, and I’ve come to apologize to her.”

Juliet giggled. “Lilith is easy to anger these days. Best to watch your step around her. She can be a real tiger when she wants.” She turned and headed toward the back of the house in the direction of the kitchen but tossed her head and threw a few parting words to him. “Good luck, Rob. God knows you’ll need it.”

Lola smiled as she watched Juliet exit. “Not to worry, Rob, I know Lilith cares a great deal for you. She’s just stubborn like her daddy. May I trust you to remain a gentleman if I let you go up to Lilith’s room?”

“Yes, ma’am. I would never abuse your trust in me.” He hoped she didn’t think about the incident at the party that started this whole mess in the first place.  “You must know, Lola...I mean Mrs. Wilding, that I did not accost Lilith that night in the garden. I would never hurt her.”

Lola smiled and patted him on the cheek. “I know, Rob. We discussed all that the day after and we all understand exactly what happened. Your mother and Teekonka raised you to be a gentleman. If your father were alive today, he would be very proud of you for the good man you’ve become.”

The mention of his father brought back the memory of that terrible night when the mighty Titanic sank and his father died. A stab of sorrow and residual fear ran though him before he quickly regained his composure. “Thank you for that.”

She waived her hand toward the stairs. “Go on, Rob. Make your peace with her. I’m sure she’ll listen to reason eventually.”

He ran up the stairs taking them two at a time then slowed as he approached Lilith’s open door. He knew she had been listening to him and her mother as they spoke downstairs. He said a silent plea that he would find the right words to make amends to Lilith.  He rapped his knuckles on the doorframe. When he lifted his gaze, he saw a vision of an angel standing before the open window where a column of heavenly light radiated the spot where Lilith stood. The rosy glow of the fading sun illuminated her silhouette, her dress as good as transparent.  He knew he should turn his gaze away but he stood transfixed by the sight of his goddess.

“Well? What do you want, Rob? Are you just going to stand there or will you speak at some point?” Lilith’s harsh tone broke the spell.

Typical Lilith. He knew her well enough to know she hid other feelings beneath her bluster. Robin couldn’t hold back the grin that rolled up from his insides. “I’ve come to apologize, Lilith.  I’m afraid I’ve been in a bad mood of late and took it out on you.”

He had removed his Stetson when he entered the house and now twirled it with his fingertips unable to keep his hands still. Did she have to keep standing in the light like that?  He tried with all his might to fasten his eyes on her face, but he couldn’t help allowing his gaze to take in her feminine figure silhouetted in the light. Now would not be a good time to snatch her up in his arms and kiss her.
Lilith threw her hands up in the air. “What’s wrong with you, Rob. You said you came here to apologize, but you keep grinning like a jackass.”

“Blast woman, it would help things a bit if you would move out of the light where you’re standing. The sunlight behind you makes you look as good as naked beneath that thin dress, for God’s sake. You can’t expect a man to keep his attention elsewhere when you’re showing off your figure like that.”

Lilith yelped and leaped from the spot where she stood. He noted the crimson tide that rushed up her neck and into her face. Things just seemed to be getting worse.

Robin tossed his hat onto the bed and took a step toward her. His words came soft and soothing as if he were talking to a nervous horse. “Lilith, you’re probably right about me; I am a jackass. I’m not a smooth talking dandy that’s for sure.” With another step he ventured a little closer to her. He was close enough now to reach out and touch her but he fought against it. This was delicate business and he didn’t want to mess it up.

“I wasn’t making fun of you or trying to act a fool that night in the garden, in spite of what you may think.” He swallowed hard. The truth wasn’t as easy to say as it ought to be. “I had the stupid notion that, if I allowed your parents to believe I had been the one to assault you, that your father’s old fashioned sense of honor would make him demand a marriage and force you into accepting my proposal.” A sigh escaped him and he shook his head. “I should have known that you’re not the kind of woman to be forced into anything, even if it’s something you want.”

 Her brows knotted in the middle as she frowned at him. “So you think I’m just playing hard to get.”

“You know that’s not what I meant, Lilith.  You didn’t want anyone to tell you what to do. That’s all I meant.” His hands itched to touch her and it took every ounce of will not to do it.

“Okay, then why have you been acting so mean to me lately if you understand I was just trying to keep my own decisions for myself?” Her hands drew into little fists that rested on her hips.

“Because you refused me. A man usually likes to think the woman he asks to marry him will say yes, but not you. You turned down my proposal and then you insulted me with plenty of kinfolk and friends to witness my rejection and disgrace.” He knew he said it badly when her frown deepened.

“Most men are sincere when they propose to a woman.” She tapped her foot and her lips thinned into a scowl.

Robin took the final step toward her, reached out his hands and clasped her upper arms. “I was sincere, Lilith.” Driven by desire, he could no longer control, Robin leaned his head down and captured her pouting lips with his. He expected her to push him away and give him what for, but instead, she softened beneath his kiss. Her hands moved and planted themselves into his hair pulling his head down closer to hers. With a little coaxing as he ran his tongue along the groove of her lips, 

Lilith opened to him and he moved his tongue inside her mouth and tasted her.

He put his hands to her waist and pulled her closer. Want and longing ran through him heating up his insides and making him hard with need. Her breath came fast as he thrust his pelvis forward allowing her to feel his hardened yearning for her. Eagerly, he deepened the kiss and felt her melt into his arms. His breath quickened. His core tightened. When Lilith’s breath hitched, he knew he had gone too far. Just minutes ago he had promised Lola he would be on his good behavior and now here he stood about to transgress.  Gently, he withdrew from the kiss and loosened his hold on Lilith.

His voice sounded rough and breathless to his own ears. “I have to stop, Lilith. If I don’t, I won’t be able to keep from taking you right here in your father’s house.”

Lilith stepped back. Her green eyes were wide and her bosom rose and fell rapidly. She didn’t speak. He wasn’t sure she could. Robin held her, unable to let her go and gazed into her eyes.

FLY AWAY HEART will be available very soon from Prairie Rose Publications. 

The Great Depression…Rum Runners and Old Fears…Love Against the Odds

Lilith Wilding can’t remember a time when she didn’t love the English born Robin Pierpont, but she knows he loves another so she hides her feelings beneath a hard veneer of self-protection.

Robin Pierpont dreams of flying airplanes and winning the heart of the one he loves, but when he gets involved in illegal rum running to help a friend, those dreams seem to turn into just a fantasy. When he is called upon to face his worst fear to save Lilith’s life, his fate may be sealed in death.

In the meantime, I have a short story, HOLLOW HEART, just released in the HEARTS AND SPURS Valentine anthology.

Just released--9 sensual western romances by 9 veteran authors from Prairie Rose Publications.
Blurbs from all the authors:
“The Widow's Heart” by Linda Broday
Skye O’Rourke thinks her imagination is playing tricks on her when she sees a man emerge from the shimmering desert heat. No one would willingly take a stroll under the scorching sun with a saddle slung on his back. She’s shocked to discover it’s Cade Coltrain, a man she once gave her heart to only to have him give it back.

Can she trust him not to abandon her this time? Yet, trusting each other is the only way they can survive. And love might just save them if they believe….

“Guarding Her Heart” by Livia J. Washburn
Julia Courtland was on her way west to marry a man she had never met. Henry Everett, the marshal of Flat Rock, Texas, was the grandson of her uncle's best friend. It seemed like a good match for both of them, and the wedding was scheduled to take place on Valentine's Day.

Grant Stafford thought the young woman who got on the stagecoach at Buffalo Springs was the prettiest thing he had seen in a long time. She wasn't too friendly, mind you, but she was sure easy on the eyes. Not that Grant had time to worry much about such things. He was the shotgun guard on this run, but more than that, he was an undercover Texas Ranger on the trail of the vicious outlaw gang responsible for a string of stagecoach robberies.

Fate threw Julia Courtland and Grant Stafford together on a cold February day in West Texas, but it also threw deadly obstacles in their path. A runaway team, a terrible crash, and bullets flying through the air threaten to steal not only their lives but also any chance they have for happiness. If they're going to survive, they will have to learn to trust each other . . . and maybe steal their hearts back from fate.

“Found Hearts” by Cheryl Pierson
Southern belle Evie Fremont has lost everything—except hope. When she answers an advertisement for marriage to Alex Cameron who lives in the wilds of Indian Territory, she has few illusions that he could be a man she might fall in love with—especially as his secrets begin to unfold.
Ex-Confederate soldier Alex Cameron needs a mother for his two young half-Cherokee sons more than he needs a wife—or so he tells himself. But when his past threatens his future on his wedding day, he and Evie are both forced to acknowledge their new love has come to stay—along with their FOUND HEARTS.

“Open Hearts” by Tanya Hanson
To honor her brother’s last request, Barbara Audiss takes on his identity. Letting loose her secret will land get her arrested. But keeping it prevents her from giving her heart to handsome sheriff Keith Rakestraw.

Furious at “Judge Audiss’s” latest verdict, Keith discovers she’s a fake and consequences seem easy: toss her in jail. Instead, he finds himself eager to give her his heart.

“Hollow Heart” by Sarah J. McNeal
Madeline Andrews is a grown up orphan. Sam Wilding made her feel part of his life, his family and swore he’d come home to her when the war ended, but he didn’t return. With the Valentine’s Ball just days away, the Wildings encourage Madeline to move forward with her life and open her heart to the possibilities.  But Madeline is lost in old love letters and can’t seem to let go.

“A Flare of the Heart” by Jacquie Rogers
Celia Valentine Yancey has no illusions she’ll ever enjoy wedded bliss, so chooses marriage over spinsterhood even if she has to marry a man her father picked.   On the way to meet her groom, she endures armed robbery, a stagecoach wreck, a dozen hungry baby pigs—and an incorrigible farmer.  Ross Flaherty retired from bounty hunting to become a farmer but now Celia has brought his worst fear to his door—in more ways than one.  A ferocious wolf-dog and a dozen piglets are no match for this determined lady.  Which is more dangerous—the Sully Gang or Miss Celia Yancey?

“Coming Home” by Tracy Garrett
Sometimes it takes two to make dreams come true.

When a man who believes he’ll never have a home and family…
Former U.S. Marshal Jericho Hawken should have been shepherding a wagon train to new territory, but he unwillingly left them vulnerable to a vicious raider. The murder of the settlers he was supposed to be guarding is the hardest thing he’s ever had to face…until he meets the sister of one of the settlers.

…finds a woman who has lost everything…

Instead of a joyous reunion with her brother, Maryland Henry has come to River’s Bend to take responsibility for her three orphaned nieces. Fired from her teaching position and with no other family on whom to rely, Mary believes Jericho Hawken is responsible for all her woes. Or is he what she’s been searching for all along?

It takes a lot of forgiveness and a few fireworks to realize that together their dreams can come true.

“Tumbleweeds and Valentines” by Phyliss Miranda
When Amanda Love finds a tumbleweed lodged against her fence with an invitation to a Valentine Day dance stuck to it she thinks someone must be playing a joke. No one would invite her. No one ever had. Besides, she has no time for such things. She has a candy store to run. Curiosity gets the best of her though. Finding her name scrawled on it as bold as can be sends ripples of surprise through her. As she embarks on a quest to find the sender’s identity, she examines herself and the secret dream she harbors of having a husband and children.
Maybe, just maybe, someone had seen the yearning in her heart.  But who?
"The Second-Best Ranger in Texas" by Kathleen Rice Adams
His partner’s grisly death destroyed Texas Ranger Quinn Barclay. Cashiered for drunkenness and refusal to follow orders, he sets out to fulfill his partner’s dying request, armed only with a saloon girl’s name.

Sister María Tomás thought she wanted to become a nun, but five years as a postulant have convinced her childhood dreams aren’t always meant to be. At last ready to relinquish the temporary vows she never should have made, she begs the only man she trusts to collect her from a mission in the middle of nowhere.

When the ex-Ranger’s quest collides with the ex-nun’s plea in a burned-out border town, unexpected love blooms among shared memories of the dead man who was a brother to them both.
Too bad he was also the only man who could have warned them about the carnage to come.


Sarah McNeal will be giving away a digital copy of HEARTS AND SPURS Valentine anthology to one lucky commenter! Good luck!

About the Author:

Sarah McNeal is a multi-published author of several genres including time travel, paranormal, western, contemporary and historical fiction. Sarah is 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 her website at http://www.sarahmcneal.com    

You may find Sarah at the following places.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?&new_box_added_id=7100654162#
My Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/sarahmcneal


Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you so much for allowing me to post on your blog, Karen. I have enjoyed reading these First Kiss blogs. It's so much fun. What a great idea.
All good things to your corner of the earth.

Kathleen Rice Adams said... Best Blogger Tips

Sarah, this is quite an excerpt! Poor Robin really gets himself into a sticky wicket with both the bad guys and his heroine in FLY AWAY HEART, doesn't he? I haven't quite finished the book yet, but I'm so enjoying watching that little boy we met in "A Husband for Christmas" all grown up and romancing a heroine of his own.

All the best to you, dear lady! :-)

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

So glad you could be part of the First Kiss Event! Your stories never disappoint!

Savanna Kougar said... Best Blogger Tips

Sarah, loved your descriptions of Lilith, and that was some kiss! There's something so down to earth and wonderful about that time in history... that way of life. I feel as though folks were more real with each other.

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Kathleen, I'm so happy to know you're reading Fly Away Heart. Robin Pierpont first appears in For Love of Banjo after the factory fire. Banjo saved Robin, his mother, Jane, and their cat, Smokey. Maggie, Banjo' s heroine, takes Jane and Robin back to Wyoming so she can help them get a fresh start. In our Christmas anthology, Wishing for a Cowboy, Jane and Robin begin their new life.
Thank you so much for your lovely comment and for your constant support.

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

I so appreciate your kindness, Karen. You are so accommodating to the PRO and PBRV authors.

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Savannah, I like the slower pace and the deep connection between friends and neighbors in the Great Depression. I loved to listen to my parents when they talked about those days. No TV, no computers,no cell phones, just face to face conversation and involvement in the community. As a small child I remember some of those things like church picnics, ice cream socials and going to Kanoble' s amusement park. There was so much fun just visiting other families and playing with their kids. Quieter, more peaceful times, at least from my perspective.
Thank you so much for coming by and leaving such a kind comment.

Cheryl Pierson said... Best Blogger Tips

Sarah, you know how I love this Wilding bunch of yours! Great scene! And I'm looking forward to what's coming next in the Lassoing a Bride anthology in May!

Tanya Hanson said... Best Blogger Tips

I love this, Sarah. Rob can have my heart any day. xo

Debra St. John said... Best Blogger Tips

Sarah...great excerpt. Makes me want to find out what happened to put these two on the outs. And to dig deep in Lilith's head to find out why she said no to Robin's proposal!

"Hearts and Spurs" sounds like an anthology jam packed with fabulous authors and stories.


Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

I hope I get my computer fixed soon so I can get back to work on that story, Cheryl. What a bummer. I love my Wildings, and there's sure plenty of them.
Thanks so much for coming by and leaving that nice comment.

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Hey Tanya. Wow, we sure have been a busy group these last few days. Thanks for your nice words.

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Debra, I hope you get a chance to read the Hearts and Spurs anthology and maybe even my book, Fly Away Heart. Polity does have reason to doubt Robin's sincerity and she is a very proud and self-reliant woman.
Thank you so much for taking the time to come by and comment.

bn100 said... Best Blogger Tips

Interesting stories

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Bn100, thanks. I sure hope they're interesting stories, 'cause interesting stories is what we strive for.
Thank you for coming by.

Sara Barnard said... Best Blogger Tips

Beautiful scene, Sarah! Whoo whoo @ Rob!! <3 Perfect Valentine, in my opinion!

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Sara, thank you for your kind words.
I really appreciate that you dropped by.

Gerald Costlow said... Best Blogger Tips

I always enjoy your writing! You know how to write some hot scenes.

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Gerald, what a pleasure and an honor to have a visit from you. Thank you so much for your kind comment.

Diane D White said... Best Blogger Tips

Very sensual, very sweet! My kind of read.

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, Diane. I'm glad you dropped by. I appreciate your kind words.

Sarah J. McNeal said... Best Blogger Tips

Debra St. JOHN IS the winner of the Hearts And Spurs anthology. Congratulations, Debra.