Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Welcome Sarah J. McNeal

Are you ready for some Christmas?

I’d like to thank  my hostess, Ginger Simpson, for having me on her blog today.  I really appreciate it.
I love to get in the holiday spirit by reading seasonal stories.  I especially enjoy reading anthologies because they give me an opportunity to find new authors.  Because I can get really busy this time of year, I like that I can read a short story in a fair amount of time. 
The holidays are rolling in and it’s a great time to read seasonal stories.  Christmas is the time of year when anything can happen—even miracles.  Have you ever found yourself alone on Christmas?  In my new paranormal Christmas Story, Gifts From The Afterlife, just released in the 2011 Christmas Anthology by Victory Tales Press, I wrote about Lydia Sinclair, a lonely woman who, for the first time in her life, faces spending Christmas alone.

How dark must it get before Lydia sees the light?
Lydia Sinclair’s life has run off the rails.  She has lost everyone she loves and Christmas has lost its meaning.  As Christmas approaches, Lydia wants to go to sleep and never wake up again.  Perhaps an angel, some ghosts and a childhood sweetheart can convince her that life is worth living again.  Can Lydia let go of what once was, renew her joy in Christmas and find the promise of hope for her future? 
He turned his head to peer back at her. "C'mon, Lydia, hop on. We have a dinner in the oven so time's a wastin'."
Careful not to injure him with her elbows or knees, Lydia flattened her body against Austin's back. He felt warm and her position felt oddly sensual, even though they both wore several layers of clothes. She glanced over the top of the hill where they perched. The bottom seemed like a very long way down. She felt her nerves jangle at the prospect of flying down that hill. "You better not get me hurt."
"That is the last thing I would ever want to do." He glanced back at her. "Hold on tight now."
Next thing she knew, Austin had used his foot to shove them off the top of the hill. They hurtled down the slope at what felt like a hundred miles an hour. The cold wind bit into her cheeks and snow gathered in her hair. Filled with exhilaration, fear, and joy, Lydia clung to Austin like a monkey to its mama. Both of them let out bursts of laughter as they neared the neighbor's fence at the bottom of the knoll.
"We're not going to make it, Austin. We're going too fast." Lydia's heart beat wildly against her ribs. He promised he wouldn't hurt her. He promised.
"Trust me," he said in a calm voice.
She wanted to trust him, she really did, but the fence seemed too close for him to stop. Then, all of a sudden, Austin turned the sled and both of them rolled off. He quickly turned his body to face her and gathered her up close as they rolled several times until they came to a stop in a bank of snow beside the fence.
She still held on to him and clutched at his jacket for a few moments after they stopped. He peered down at her, his eyes darker than before and his expression changed from giddy to intense. She knew he was going to kiss her before his lips touched hers, and she didn't want to stop him.
Included in this anthology are stories by other talented authors: Cheryl Pierson, Kit Prate, Stephanie Burkhart and Christine E. Schultze.
Thank you again for having me at your blog today, Ginger.  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season this year no matter what holidays you celebrate.
BUY Links:
Smashwords Ebook ($3.99)

Lulu Ebook ($3.99):
You can find me in the following places:
First Thursday of every month:  http://pasttheprint.blogspot.com/
My website: http://www.sarahmcneal.com
 Hey ya'll.  I am giving away a free e-book copy of the 2011 Christmas Anthology from Victory Tales Press.  My short story, Gifts From the Afterlife  (a paranormal Christmas tale) is included in the anthology along with some other very talented writers.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment and add your email address.


James L. Hatch said...

Hi Sarah. Love your writing. The story sounds great. I miss seeing you around the SASD blog daily. It was always nice to know you were lurking out there in cyberland.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

What a surprise, James. I don't hang around SNSD much any more. I do post at some other sites from time to time though. In order to write, I had to give up something. Unfortunately, I like to yak a lot so I found I was spending my writing time yakking it up in SNSD. It was a lot of fun though and I do miss so many of ya'll.
I really thank you for coming by today and leaving a comment for me.
I always enjoyed your commentary and I loved stirring things up. I hope your writing is going well and that you're having fun on your exciting travels with your wife.
Thanks again for checking in on me today.

Frank said...

How fun, Sarah! I love Christmas stories, and anthologies are always a treat--I so enjoy getting to try different authors that way! Congrats, and hope you're having a lovely week!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Frank, thank you so much for dropping by and leaving a comment. I agree with you about anthologies; it is a great way to become acquainted with new-to-me authors. It's also great when I'm pressed for time to have a short story to read. Have you ever started a book and then had to stop because you got so busy and returned to it totally lost on the story line? I've done that. Of course, that could just be me.
Thanks again for coming by and you are entered in the contest.

Cheryl Pierson said...

Better late than never! Sorry I didn't make it over here yesterday. I love your excerpt. I have not had much reading time lately, but keep that anthology handy so I can read on it every chance I get. I'm so thrilled we are in there together! WHOO HOO!!! Can't wait to be able to just sit down for some "me" time with our anthology!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I know exactly what you mean, Cheryl, about not having much reading time. I'm working on Banjo's edits and wanting to get it right so I'm spending most of my time there and recently with some family drama. The only time I get to read is when I take the dog out back and sit on the deck while she plays (she won't stay out if I go in). Now it's getting so cold that I have to get under a blanket out there. Not to whine, because I think it's a while lot colder where you are.
Any way, it would be nice to have the time read our anthology.
Thank you for visiting me here, Cheryl.

Rebecca said...

I love Christmas and this sounds like the perfect start for getting into the spirit! Would love a chance to read it!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Surprise, surprise--thank you for dropping by, Rebecca.
I read Christmas stories all through the year--whenever I get in the mood for a sentimental story or some cold weather. I especially love Christmas stories from Halloween to Christmas to lift my spirits and help me get in the mood for the holiday season.
I really appreciate that you took the time to come by and leave a comment for me.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Congratulations, Frank, you are the winner of the 2011 Christmas Anthology. I hope you enjoy all the stories including mine.
Thanks to everyone who dropped by and took the time to comment. It means a lot to me.

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