The Editor’s Kisses by Kara O’Neal

The Editors Kisses TRRThe Editor’s Kisses

Blurb:

She’s a suffragette with plans. He’s the editor with a kiss that could make headlines…

Constance Forrester has no intention of getting married. She is a suffragette and determined to change society. When Stephen Dawson, her school chum, starts a newspaper in their sleepy little town, Constance discovers an opportunity. With confidence and an unflinching will, she asks Stephen to take a risk and employ her as a journalist.

Stephen is stunned by Constance’s impossible proposal and immediately turns her down. But the small moments he’s spent with Constance have piqued someone’s curiosity, and Stephen finds himself sought after by the town princess, Madeline Talbut. Stephen has loved Madeline for years, and when the young lady finally shows an interest in him, he concocts a plan: enter into a fake courtship with Constance in order to make Madeline love him, and in return, Constance can be a journalist for his newspaper. Anonymously, of course.

It’s a chance Constance can’t pass up. So what if she has to attend parties and withstand Stephen’s heart-melting kisses? A suffragette must forge through barriers, break down walls and risk all for the sake of freedom. But Stephen changes the game, and Constance finds herself the object of the editor’s desire…

Excerpt:

“Constance,” he uttered. “I’m gonna kiss you.”

She flinched again.

“I won’t hurt you, I swear it. But if I don’t kiss you…they’ll all question us and our…attachment.” He was an ass. He was using their agreement to coax her into acquiescence, and while he knew it, and was ashamed of it, he continued. “It will only be for a second. I’ll just brush my lips with yours.”

In the darkness, he felt her slight nod against his chin. His heart pounded at her quiet surrender.

When she pulled back as far as the space would allow, and lifted her head to his, heat slashed through him. He’d never needed a kiss as much as he needed hers.

Madeline had kissed him. Once. Behind the schoolhouse when they were sixteen. And that moment hadn’t caused near the anticipation this one was.

He lowered his head and swallowed her gasp. It wasn’t a brush even though he only set his lips on hers. It was a fire. A shot of whiskey that whipped through him and pooled in his gut. He deepened the connection, and she let him, sighing and sinking into him despite already being as close to him as he could get her.

But there was a melting. A need to move to the ground and cover her, press her down and make her his. He used his tongue, tasting her. She capitulated instantly and opened her mouth under his. He took what she allowed without hesitation as his free hand came up to grip her waist.

The damn closet was too small. His left hand was wedged between her side and the slender door. But though he couldn’t get his arms around her, he didn’t stop the kiss. It went on and on, stealing his breath, tightening his chest, and making him doubt everything he’d ever known about his heart.

Rapid footsteps had him surging backward and he knocked his head on the wall.

The door was flung open and cool air blasted his cheeks. He and Constance fell out of the space, their limbs tangling as they tried to right themselves.

Peals of laughter rung around them as Stephen reached out a hand to balance her. She latched on like she didn’t want to let go, and his muscles vibrated with hope she had enjoyed the moment as he had.

It had taken less than a few seconds for him to realize kissing her had been the wrong thing to do. But also the most right, most perfect, most sound judgement he’d ever made in his life.

As those who’d crowded around the entrance to the kitchen went roaring with laughter back into the parlor, he gazed at Constance. And his world tilted.

Her flushed cheeks and bright eyes made his heart constrict with an emotion he was too afraid to name at the moment. But he knew what it was. He knew.

How in the devil had it happened? Was he a fool? A fickle man?

He swallowed. “Do you want to leave?”

And before his eyes he witnessed a transformation that set his blood on fire. Determination changed her expression, and she lifted her chin.

“Certainly not. I’m quite all right, I assure you.” She gave a shake to her skirts. “We’ve a job to do, Stephen Dawson, and I’ll not let you down.”

She exited the kitchen with a swirl of satin, and he followed with less sure steps. She wouldn’t let him down, he was positive. But he was afraid he might disappoint her, for if she knew the direction of his thoughts, she would never forgive him. Constance Forrester had no time for any man. She had plans. Plans that didn’t include caring for the heart of the newspaper editor.

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Editors-Kisses-Pikes-Run-ebook/dp/B06XP8ZQBR/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1512342384&sr=8-6&keywords=kara+o%27neal

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AuThursday – Kara O’Neal

021Please welcome my fellow Resplendence Writer Kara O’Neal to the Clog Blog.  Kara – Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a teacher with three children who are kind people and talented artists. I’ve been married to a wonderful man for almost twenty years, who is also a talented artist. I have always been an avid reader, loving books written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Carolyn Keene, and Louisa May Alcott then on to Jane Austen, Mary Balogh and a plethora of others. My active imagination, which got me into trouble in school because I was often day dreaming, got to work and eventually I wrote my own story. I never thought I’d be an author. It didn’t even cross my mind until after I’d graduated college. But that’s the grand thing about life. A person can decide to do anything at any time. I’m so grateful I’ve had this opportunity.

How do you make time to write?

I write just about anywhere. That’s the only way I get it done. I’ve written in the car, in doctors’ offices, waiting for one of my children to come out of rehearsal, in those few minutes before meetings start, and while I’m cooking supper. Whenever I have a free moment, I’m writing.

What are your current projects?

I have finished the 10th book in the Pikes Run Series – The Cowboy’s Embrace – and I’m preparing to send it to my editor soon. I have also finished my 11th book in the series, but it still needs to go through the critique process. It also doesn’t have a title. (Yikes!)

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

For me, it’s making sure they sound like men. Sometimes I can have a male character explain something with flowery language and several sentences, but when I go back and read it, I realize it’s way too much. Short and sweet – that’s what I say to myself when a male character is talking about feelings or working through some sort of conflict. It usually helps.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?

I’m an introvert until I get to know the person or environment then I’m comfortable and can be the “life of the party”. For the most part though, I’m quiet. Therefore, this makes it hard to talk about myself and to market myself. I don’t want to do it, so I usually steer away from social media and other avenues of a similar nature.

What is your Kryptonite?

Hmmm. Well, with writing it would have to be the television show, Once Upon A Time. If I turn that show on – usually through Netflix or Hulu – nothing will get done. I can’t tear myself away from the love story of Emma Swan and Captain Hook. (Even though I’ve seen the episodes a million times!) And now I’m blushing because y’all know how much I watch it!

So, when it’s time to write, I can’t have that show playing in the background.

My other weakness would be rain. When it’s raining outside, all I want to do is stay under the covers and write or read or watch a movie.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing. Finish the book. Even if you know it’s terrible. The best thing you can do for yourself is finish, because the only way to get better is to edit and revise your current work. If you delete or tear up what you’ve done because it’s awful, you’re only going to be in the same spot you were before. Keep going. Write so you can revise. Then once you’ve finished, find a critique group so they can tell you how awful it is, and you can figure out how to fix it. It’ll be hard to hear, but it’s so worth it.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

A few places! Here are the links:

My website: www.karaoneal.com.

My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/karaoneal7/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kara-ONeal/e/B00FL19TH8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1465007993&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/kara+o’neal?_requestid=845025

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7278350.Kara_O_Neal

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor

Do you have a sexy teaser you’d like to share with us?

I sure do! The following is from Love’s Promise – Book 6 in the Pikes Run Series.

She bit down on her back teeth, needing to find some semblance of control. It was as if she felt his lips running over her flesh, and she had the distinct impression he would lick every part of her if given the chance. And she suddenly wanted to give him that chance.

Join me Saturday when we read an excerpt from Kara’s book THE EDITOR’S KISSES. ~Tina

Saturday Sexcerpt – Love’s Promise by Kara O’Neal

Love's Promise TRR“The following is from Love’s Promise, my most recent release. I absolutely adored writing Thomas Miller. He’s witty and cranky. It was a lot of fun to watch him fall in love. Enjoy!” ~Kara O’Neal

Wednesday morning the ovens were ready, and now Cora entered Miller’s in need of coal. When she looked around, she noticed she was the only one in the store. Well, Eliska had sent her over as soon as the sun rays slashed through the bakery windows. A rummaging sound came from the storage room. Had Mr. Miller not heard the bell?

“Hello?” she called. The noise stopped, then more shuffling came. A loud bang caused Cora to flinch, then she heard a curse. Once the curtain was shoved to the side, a scowling face was revealed.

When Mr. Miller locked gazes with her, the irritation in his expression softened instantly. Her heart skipped a beat.

“Mornin’,” he drawled.

“Good morning. Stub your toe?”

“Naw. I’m not clumsy. I meant for that wash tub to fall off the shelf.”

She chuckled, trying to ignore the way her body tingled at the sight of him. Would her reactions to this man never cease? “Have you got coal? We need several bags.”

He crooked his finger at her. “Come on back. I’ve got plenty.”

As she approached him, he stayed as he was with his lean form pressed against the frame and one hand holding up the green curtain. She drew closer and realized he wasn’t going to move. She might have to stoop under his arm and probably brush his body with hers. The understanding made her pulse quicken but didn’t slow her gait. In fact, she had to keep herself from hurrying. When she reached the entrance to the storeroom, she realized she wouldn’t have to duck to go inside.

With her heart racing faster than a galloping horse and her stomach dipping and swirling, she met his gaze squarely as she went past him. Awareness hung between them. He desired her. He did. And he knew, he had to know, she felt the same. Thomas Miller missed nothing.

Once she was inside the storeroom, the privacy of the area made it impossible for her to remember why she’d set foot inside in the first place. Hopefully he would recall the reason for her presence. He stepped up behind her, and his warmth penetrated her body.

He cleared his throat.

She turned. Her gaze connected with the buttons on his shirt. His chest was broad, strong. He seemed capable. Dependable. Her fingers itched to slide over him and around his shoulders. She shoved her hands into her pockets and tried to find some semblance of control.

“So…coal,” he murmured.

His voice washed over her. Don’t look up, she warned herself. If she met his gaze, she’d be trapped. Controlled. Held captive to whatever it was he wanted. Did he want her?

As she fought the need to discover what was in his eyes, she knew she should back up. Just one step. One step, and she might be able to breathe again.

His scent reached her nose, musky and male and bold. Just like him. Confident and challenging. And he was an honest man. Her head began to spin, her thoughts grew jumbled. She yearned to move closer to him, to feel her breasts pressed against his chest, to have his arms wrapped around her like steel bands. She closed her eyes and let out a slow exhale.

“Cora,” he uttered.

And she was powerless to ignore him. Slowly she lifted her gaze to his. The heat burning in his eyes matched the fire inside of her. A roaring sounded in her ears. She wanted this man. In fact, she needed him.

His hands cupped her shoulders, and her heart leapt. She bit down on her back teeth to keep from exulting “yes”. He pulled her forward, and she did nothing to resist him. Her body pulsed, waiting, needing. He lowered his head and set his mouth on hers.

For a mere second his touch was tender, cautious. But then heat shot through her, and she could no longer remain passive. She opened her lips under his, and it was all he seemed to need to let desire consume him. He ravaged her mouth, pulling and sucking, plundering with his tongue.

When his arms wrapped around her, she moaned, and he reacted by holding her tightly. His grip was so strong, she felt he never wanted to let her go. Need and hunger had her trembling, and she ran her fingers through his hair, her palms tingling at the silky feel.

He picked her up and turned her, shoving her against the wall of the storeroom. His kisses moved to her neck, and she arched to give him access. The nips and bites he gave her flesh set her skin on fire. She gasped for breath as she ran her hands over him, wishing she was touching his bare body. He moved back to her mouth, taking again what she freely wanted to give. When he lifted her leg, helped her curl it around his hip and set himself against her center, she moaned.

Her deepest yearnings lived and needed to be set free. She had to have him. Did he understand? Did he know how much she wanted him? His hands caressed her restlessly, moving over her curves with a boldness she craved. This had never happened to her before. This longing. This deep-seated need to feel a man inside her. And it seemed he desired her just as much.

Cool air touched her shoulders. He’d opened her blouse. When his lips touched her skin, shivers ran along her flesh. Again she ran her fingers through his hair and clutched him to her. His mouth was a fire upon her. She wanted that fire inside her. How could she tell him? How did she let him know what she craved? She’d never been carried away by passion. She’d never been so infatuated with a man. She’d never hungered to be close to the opposite sex. And now, they weren’t close enough.

She pushed her lower half against him, and he made a noise in the back of his throat. He uttered her name as he planted feverish kisses along the tops of her breasts. Would he pull her chemise down? Would he kiss her there? Would he suckle her? Her head swam. A haze overwhelmed any sense she had, and if she knew how to say the words, she’d beg him to take her. But the bell tinkled. And he pulled up sharply.

The sudden loss of his lips jarred her. She blinked. “T-Thomas?” Was that her voice? She sounded desperate. Uncertain. Her heart was racing fast. Too fast.

He squeezed her shoulder then slipped into the main area. With her pulse beating as wildly as a bird’s wings, she leaned her head against the wall. What had happened? What was happening? Control. She needed it.

Forcing slow breaths past her lips, she tried to determine what was going on. And what would she say to him when he returned? Her heart ran cold. What would he say? Her palms grew clammy. This was unacceptable. Unfathomable. What had this man done to her?

Hastily, she buttoned her blouse. The curtain rustled, and instantly the area was invaded by his intensity. He didn’t stop to talk to her. Instead he pulled out a handcart. “So,” he began with his back to her, “coal.”

Noise grew in her ears. He was ignoring her? Why? Shocked and stunned, she tried to gather her wits.

“How many bags?”

How many what?

He turned to look at her. The expression in his eyes was guarded, veiled. Exactly what was wrong with him? Hadn’t he kissed her? Hadn’t he wanted to kiss her? His jaw clenched and unclenched. They gazed at each other for several moments across the expanse of items separating them. She had no idea what to do, what to say.

“I think you’ll need five bags to start with,” he said abruptly.

Without an agreement from her, he stacked the coal on the handcart. He wheeled it past her without so much as a glance. Had she done something wrong? He seemed mad. But should she care? This passionate, mindless embrace she’d just shared with him had not been in her plans. She’d never wanted to experience a man’s touch again.

Anger at herself, at him, grew. She shoved away from the wall then stepped into the main area. He was ringing up her purchase. Without words, she waited for him to finish. The urge to rage, to bolt, festered inside her. Using every ounce of will she possessed, she tamped down the tumultuous emotions.

He named a sum without looking at her. She gave the exact amount then picked up the handle of the cart.

“I’ll do that,” he rushed to say.

“You will not,” she snapped, seething. Her response stopped him before he even had a chance to come around the counter. In fact, he took a quick step back and bumped into the shelves behind him. She had shown so much of herself to him. Too much. Embarrassment flooded her, overwhelmed her. As quickly as she could, she fled from him.

Join me next week when we interview M/M author Lourdes R. Florido. ~Tina

AuThursday – Kara O’Neal

Kara (1 of 1)Please welcome my fellow Resplendence writer,  Kara O’Neal, to the Clog Blog.  Kara,  How long have you been writing?

I wrote my first novel when I was pregnant with my oldest child, so I’ve been writing almost sixteen years.

Q:  Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m not really sure. I write where the characters take me. Sometimes I’m more descriptive than usual or sometimes I find I’m writing wittier conversations. I never know what’s gonna end up on the page.

Q : Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

So far I haven’t faced that terrible situation. I’m sure I will, but right now I’m lucky to have created a town that has a variety of characters. These people keep leading me down roads that allow my imagination to run free. It’s been a lot of fun!

Q: How did you deal with rejection letters, if you received any?

I received several rejections. The first was hard, and the next dozen or so were even harder. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. I’m sad to say I did stop sending my manuscript to people. I didn’t quit writing, but I did quit trying to get published. It was hard to keep submitting when I felt like I was sending out poor material. I finally started entering contests and the suggestions, comments, etc. I received helped a lot. I also found a critique group, which was the scariest thing I’d ever done, but it paid off. I became a better writer because of these things, and it only took one year for me to find a publisher who liked my work.

Q:  Would you tell us your story of getting “the call?”

Oh, what a day that was! When I read the email from Resplendence Publishing indicating they wanted me, me, to write for them, I promise I sat in silence for probably thirty seconds and blinked at the screen. Then I rushed to my husband and made him come read it. I was so afraid I was misinterpreting the communication. When it finally sank in, I called my siblings first. They are my inspirations and my biggest fans. Then I called my parents, and made my dad promise he wouldn’t ever read any of my books. They are romance, after all! (He has completely ignored my command and read every single one of my books.)

Q:  How did you come up with the idea for the PIKES RUN series?

TRR The Sheriff's Gift

TRR CowboysCharmsTRR MillerBridesSaving Sarah TRR

 

 

 

 

I wanted to write stories about a family. One that lived, laughed and loved as mine does. Several of my characters are based off of people I know, and they are perfect models for the Lonnigan and Davis families. Many of my favorite scenes are when they’re sharing a Sunday meal and teasing each other.

Q: To date which of your books was the hardest to write and why?TRR Welcome Home

Without a doubt the hardest to write was my first, Welcome Home, simply because it was my first. I was trying to figure out how to write along with finding my voice. I can tell you it was difficult, but I kept writing. And rewriting. And rewriting some more.

Q:  What are your current projects?

I’m about to send book seven, Love’s Redemption, to my editor and book eight, The Editor’s Kisses, is going through the critique process. I’ll start book nine, The Ranger’s Vow, this week.

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Many places!

My website: www.karaoneal.com.

My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/karaoneal7/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kara-ONeal/e/B00FL19TH8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1465007993&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/kara+o’neal?_requestid=845025

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor.

Join me on Saturday when we read a sexy teaser from Kara’s book Love’s Promise. ~Tina