Today, I'm so happy to welcome Kara O'Neal who's here to talk about her new release. Here's Kara to tell us about The Sheriff's Gift.
Texas Brides of Pike’s
Run Series, Book 2
The Sheriff’s Gift was a wonderful book to write. It allowed
me to delve into the lives of the people in the town I was creating. Alice
Parker, the heroine of the story, is the schoolteacher, and Conner Lonnigan,
the hero, is the sheriff. They are highly involved in the lives of the
townsfolk and are often called upon to help. Alice and Conner are strong-willed
people with caring hearts and no-nonsense attitudes. Not only are they perfect
for the town, they are perfect for each other.
The Sheriff’s Gift sets up several other books in the
series. Many of the students, once they are old enough, end up with their own
stories. It has been so much fun watching them grow and change and establish
their futures. Writing is a joy, and I’m so glad I get to spend time with these
Strong-willed and independent, Alice Parker is certain she’s
meant to be a school teacher. She accepts her first position in Pikes Run,
ready to mold the minds of young children, but unprepared to deal with her
attraction to Sheriff Conner Lonnigan. If the board finds out she’s tumbled
into his embrace more than once, she would be fired.
Sheriff Conner Lonnigan is awed by Alice Parker. He falls for her almost
immediately, but the demands at home forbid him from marrying. Conner’s
duties as sheriff control his days, and his mother’s panic attacks control his
nights. He doesn’t have the freedom to devote himself to Alice, but that
can’t stop him from pursuing her anyway.
Alice and Conner fight their love for each other, but the wants of the heart
become too much to ignore. As they battle the demands of their jobs, the couple
finds that ultimate fulfillment can only be found in each other's arms.
“What is it?” Alice asked.
He didn’t reply until she was outside. “I have somethin’ for
She gave him a sideways glance. “I hope it isn’t another
complaint from Beulah.”
He grinned down at her. “Nope.” He jerked his head in the
direction of the yard. “Come on.”
She followed him into the yard and toward the barn. When
they entered the building, the cows lowing and the horses swishing their tails,
he stopped and pulled her into an empty stall.
They were alone except for the animals. This was what she’d
tried to avoid, and here she was, despite her usual unflinching self-control,
in the wrong situation. Though her heart exalted, her mind raced for ways to
get this over with quickly.
He smiled down at her, his hand still at her elbow from when
he’d pulled her over. “You look pretty today.”
“Only today?” she heard herself ask. Oh, dear!
She was flirting.
He chuckled low and deep. “Every day. You’re always pretty.”
In her wildest dreams, she’d never thought to hear a man say
such a thing. “What did you want to show me?”
He flushed beneath his confident smile. “A present. I
ordered it for you.”
Alice’s heart stopped then sped like a locomotive. “Truly?”
“But…but I didn’t get you anything,” she protested.
His smile turned soft, and her knees went to jelly. “Just
havin’ you here is present enough.”
If he said anything else as tender and beautiful, she might
faint from want of him. “Oh,” she murmured.
He gazed at her for a few moments more before reaching into
his coat and pulling out a box wrapped in brown paper. He handed it to her.
Gingerly, she took it and unwrapped it slowly, wanting to
savor the moment. Once the paper was gone, she sprung the latch on the box and
lifted the lid. Her throat ached with emotion when she saw what sat in the
A small ceramic house, the rooftop covered in snow, stared
up at her. It was beautiful. She ran a finger over its smoothness. “Thank you,”
“There’s more.” He took it from her and lifted it out of its
case. “It’s open in the back. You can put a candle here and since the windows
are cut out, it’ll look like there’s—”
“Firelight,” she breathed. Awed and deeply touched, she
gazed up at him. He’d remembered her memory of her mother and bought her a gift
to commemorate the time. “Oh, Conner. How wonderful.”
He swallowed. “You like it?”
She closed her eyes in disbelief then opened them once more
to look up into his handsome, dear face. “I adore it.”
And in that moment, everything she’d ever wanted changed
forever. She loved Conner Lonnigan with all her heart. The emotion stampeded
through her, causing her to tremble with its force. She couldn’t stop herself from
rising up and taking his lips with hers.
Born and raised in Texas, the state had to be the setting
for my first series. From the food to the fun, like floating the rivers, it is
the fire in my blood that inspires me. My family and friends take center stage
in my books. My sisters and best friends are my heroines, and my husband
created my favorite hero. Love and family are the point of my stories, and I
seek to entertain, relieve stress, and inspire people. Books can take one on a
journey that one can relive over and over. I am extremely grateful to those
authors who did that very thing for me. I learned and I fell in love with their
words and characters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Please visit me