Monday, February 2, 2015

Featuring an Unusual Hero

Strong-willed and independent, Alice Parker is certain she’s meant to be a schoolteacher. 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 will be fired. 
Sheriff Conner Lonnigan is in awe of 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.
This week Wild Women Authors welcomes two very special people to our blog: author Kara O'Neal and, you will see as you read on, an unusually sensitive hero, Conner Lonnigan from The Sheriff's Gift.
Where are you from, Conner? Pikes Run, Texas
Tell us a bit about The Sheriff's Gift, please. Falling in love wasn’t something I could afford. But I did it anyway. Pretty much the first time I laid eyes on Alice. She was our town’s schoolteacher and should’ve been way out of my reach. But, I won her over. After I stopped trying to fight it.
What did you think the first time you saw Alice? Think? I couldn’t think. That was the problem. I could only stare and lose myself in her brown eyes. When I finally got my head together, I knew from the start she was smart and a leader.
What a terrific answer. So . . . what was your second thought? That I was in for an interesting ride from Dallas.
Hah! Did you feel it was love at first sight? At the time I didn’t realize it was. I was awestruck by her. Looking back on it, I think the reason I couldn’t get my brain to work was because I’d fallen in love.
What do you like most about Alice? Her strength of character. She never wavers in her beliefs or convictions.
Nice One. How would you describe her? She’s, well…she’s like sunlight. Strong and true. Bright and honest. She gives life. And brings happiness to everyone she knows.
Awww. Do you have an older brother, perchance? Perhaps a young uncle? How would Alice describe you? Ah...well…I think she’d describe me as a protector. It’s what I do. What I’m good at. And she knows I’d give my life for her and our children.
Why did you choose to become a sheriff? I wanted to help people. Keep the peace. Make this world a safer place.
What is your biggest fear? Losing the people I love. As sheriff I deal with bad people, and while I shoulder the burden with the help of my wife, I’m not afraid to admit I’m scared of lettin’ a criminal get past me and hurtin’ one of my own.
How do you relax? I spend time with my family. Eatin’, fishin’, playin’ stick ball, it doesn’t matter as long as I am with them.
Who is your favorite fictional character? Sherlock Holmes. Can’t seem to get away from that investigative side of myself.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? If you do anything, do it well. To the best of my ability I try to live that way every day.
That was something. Now, for Kara: What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? Anne of Green Gables is a major influence on me, as is Little Women, but these came early in my life. As an adult, I found Jane Austen and her novels are truly literary magic.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? It wasn’t an event. It was a person. My sister influenced the story. She is true to herself and others. And she calls a spade a spade. I’ve never known another person who can lead as well as she can. Or anyone who can quirk one eyebrow as high as she can.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? Resplendence Publishing was accepting historicals that weren’t Regency. I write Westerns, so when I saw that they were looking for something different, I quickly submitted. It was the right decision. My editors have made me a better writer.
What project[s] are you working on now? I am currently working on the sixth book in the Pikes Run series. It’s called The Soldier’s Love.
What's up next for you? More Pikes Run! I love these characters and before long every main player will have his, or her, story.
To purchase The Sheriff's Gift, go to:

To learn more about Kara O'Neal and the stories she creates, go to:
Twitter: @KaraONealAuthor

Thanks for joining us this week and thanks to Kara O'Neal and Conner for visiting us! Kat and Veronica


  1. You've created a memorable hero. One of many, I see. Best of luck with all of your books.

    1. Thank you so much! I enjoyed writing Conner. He had so many layers.

  2. I appreciate the same authors you do--they have influenced my thinking and writing. Your book sounds like a great read. Good luck!

    1. Can't do without Jane Austen. She is amazing. Thanks!

  3. I believe this is my favorite book to-date and these 2 characters display the positives of strong personalities in this world. Congratulations on all your success!

    1. Thank you so much! It's wonderful to hear which books and/or characters touched people. It makes a writer think he/she is doing something right.

  4. Another awesome interview. What woman wouldn't fall in love with Conner after this? Love the interview, and love the book!

    1. Thanks, Jenn! He is very loveable!

  5. Thanks to all who have stopped by: Margo, Jenn, Susan and Larae. Kara creates wonderful characters with flaws and feelings. It's such fun having her visit because we always know we're in for a treat!
    Till next time . . .
    Kat and Veronica

  6. You chose a wonderful role model for Alice! One of my favorites! Gram