Monday, April 3, 2017

Meet An Old West Editor

. . . 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 peeked 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…

This week, Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome back an old friend and frequent visitor to the blog: Kara O’Neal, author of The Editor’s Kisses, latest in Kara’s Pikes Run series. She’s brought Stephen Dawson who will go first.
Hello, Stephen. Tell us a bit about yourself, like where you’re from. Pikes Run, Texas.
Tell us a bit about The Editor’s Kisses. I had this great idea. I decided to step out with Constance in order to make the girl I thought I loved jealous. Constance agreed because I promised her she could write for my newspaper if she helped me. One night we got stuck in a broom closet, and I kissed her. And figured out I’d been completely wrong about love.
What did you think the first time you saw Constance? Can’t say as I remember. The first time I saw her was when we were children. But she was always my friend, and she was a determined person. She had a lot of goals even as an adolescent.
What was your second thought? She was persistent.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? No. It was more like “love at first kiss”.
What do you like most about her? She has dreams. She doesn’t compromise on who she is or what she wants to be.
How would you describe Constance? Strong in mind and spirit.
How would she describe you? Calm. Steady. And she’d probably say that, while I was quiet about my plans to start a newspaper, that I’m just as determined as she is.
What made you choose running a newspaper for a career? Communication is important in order to open doors and stimulate ideas. Newspapers and the stories within them are catalysts for learning about people and the world. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your parlor while discovering a new idea.
What is your biggest fear? Losing my family. My mother passed away when I was seventeen, and it was difficult. I hope I don’t have to experience something like that for long time.
How do you relax? Read, play with my children, talk with my wife.
Who is your favorite fictional character? I prefer reading the news, but I do have a favorite fictional character. My sister-in-law has written a series of children’s stories centered around Sir Pendergast. I enjoy the fun-loving knight.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? My mother knew I’d given my love to the wrong girl. She warned me, but instead of listening I spent the next five years trying to win her over. I sometimes wonder if she pushed me toward Constance from her place in Heaven.
Thanks for giving us a picture of yourself as well as Constance. We wish you well with the newspaper. Now it’s time to speak with Kara.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? 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; 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? I established a connection to this story through Constance. She’s a suffragette. She has dreams and plans and sticking to them can be hard. It took thirteen years for me to be published, and it was hard to keep writing when it took me from my children and family at certain times. If I hadn’t had support from my husband, family and friends, I wouldn’t have kept it up. So, I felt a kinship with Constance. I understood her.
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’m currently working on The Ranger’s Vow. It’s the ninth book in the Pikes Run Series. It’s about Sherry, Constance’s sister, and boy howdy was Sherry fun to write! She’s daring, I tell ya!
What's up next for you? More Pikes Run! I’ve got nine more books coming in this series. I love this little town I’ve made, and the families who live there.

Kara brought along an excerpt from The Editor’s Kisses:

     “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.

If the interview with Stephen and Kara, then the excerpt intrigued you as much as it did us, here’s where you can purchase The Editor’s Kiss:

To learn more about Kara and her other Pike’s Run stories, go to:


  1. Wow, Kara, sounds like another great Pike's Run book!
    Good luck and God's blessings with it

  2. I, too, loved the Anne of Green Gables series and read all of Louisa May Alcotts' books over and over as a child before graduating to Jane Austen. The Editor's Kisses sounds divine! Best wishes for continued success.

    1. Thank you! And I love finding "kindred spirits"!

  3. Hi Kara: Sounds like an interesting read. Best of luck.

    1. Thank you! And thanks for stopping by!

  4. Loved the sentence "love at 1st kiss." Anne of GG has always been one of my fav books. I read my mother's copy when I was a kid, have a hard copy plus all the Anne books on my Kindle. Best wishes, Kara.

    1. Yes, Anne is very special to me. I have always seen myself in her. And thank you for stopping by!

  5. A big thank you to Wild Women Authors for having me today. I love your blog and all the character interviews. It's a lot of fun!

  6. Great interview Kara! Loved the excerpt. Best wishes for many sales!!

  7. Thanks to all who responded so quickly to Kara's visit. We love having you with us because Pike's Peak has become one of our favorite series!
    Kat and Veronica

  8. Sounds like my kind of story. The excerpt piqued my interest.

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