Tag Archives: Romantic Suspense

Pepper O’Neal Needs Some Cheering Up

Pepper is another of those wonderful writers I met through Black Opal Books In fact she helped with the cover for My Killer My Love. She’s here today to share thoughts on the emotional roller coaster we feel once the book is done and out of our lives.

Okay, Now I’m Depressed

I know a lot of authors who, when they finish a book, go out and celebrate. The months or years of intense work—writing, revising, editing, and proofing—are finally done. They’ve sold it to a publisher and those edits are done, they have their cover, and all they have to do is sit back and wait until it’s released. They should celebrate. They’ve certainly earned it!

So what’s wrong with me? When I finish a book, after all the work is done, and I’m waiting for its release, I feel a little depressed. I’ve spent the last 6 months thinking about little else but my book and its characters. I’ve been intensely involved in their lives and escapades. I’ve shaped them, molded them, cajoled them, even screamed at them on occasion, struggled—sometimes for hours—picking just the right words to describe their emotions, thoughts, and actions, and now, suddenly, they no longer need me. It’s like waking up from a trance and wondering, Where am I? I have a bad case of “empty nest” on a huge scale and no longer know what to do with myself.

My new book, Black Ops Chronicles: Dead Men Don’t , which comes out on June 28th, is Levi’s story. Levi is one of my favorite dmd-200x300characters from the first book in the series, Black Ops Chronicles: Dead Run. He’s a British black ops specialist. And he’s fun. I love his sense of humor and the way little things don’t faze him. So I really enjoyed writing his story. But now that it’s done and my days aren’t filled with the details of his life and adventures anymore, I miss him. I feel kind of like I’ve lost one of my best friends.

And when I sit down at my computer to write, I face a blank page instead of a developing story or one that just needs to be polished. Oh, I know that I’ll meet new characters in my next book and get to be involved in their lives. But I don’t know them yet, so I feel like a new student on the first day at a new school. What if nobody likes me? What if I can’t keep up? What if I’m not good enough to tell their story? What if…what if…All the doubts and insecurities, that I successfully buried to write the last book, bubble to the surface again and I have to force them back down, which is almost as hard as writing the darn book!

True, I do get a sense of accomplishment from seeing my new book on the shelf with the others. And I get a warm glow of pride if the reviews are good or one of my readers emails me that he/she loved the book and couldn’t put it down. But I know in my heart, that I’ll never leave “well-enough alone.” I have this compulsion to write fiction. And I can’t shake it. Already I can sense the characters from my next book knocking at my brain and telling me to get on with it. They want their story told, too. So now I get to face the months of intense work ahead of me to just to get the first draft done. And if that’s not bad enough, once I finally get the story to where I really like it and I’m excited and happy about it, it will be finished and, once again, I’ll be depressed. No more shaping, molding, cajoling, screaming, or struggling. My baby will stand on its own and it won’t need me anymore. Didn’t I just leave this party? Doesn’t hardly seem fair, does it?

And then I’ll get to start all over again on the next one. Is it any wonder I’m a little depressed?

NOTE: We can cheer ourselves up knowing Dead Men Don’t will be available in just a couple days…maybe even now! What a great way to spend the weekend!


PepperO'Neal_Author Badge 300x300Award-winning author, Pepper O’Neal is a researcher, a writer, and an adrenalin junkie. She has a doctorate in education and spent several years in Mexico and the Caribbean working as researcher for an educational resource firm based out of Mexico City. During that time, she met and befriended many adventurers like herself, including former CIA officers and members of organized crime. Her fiction is heavily influenced by the stories they shared with her, as well her own experiences abroad.

O’Neal attributes both her love of adventure and her compulsion to write fiction to her Irish and Cherokee ancestors. When she’s not at her computer, O’Neal spends her time taking long walks in the forests near her home or playing with her three cats. And of course, planning the next adventure.


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Wednesday Prawns on the Barbie with Maggi Andersen

We’ve been dealing with serious cold winds here this week.  Had one day when the ‘lukis could all dash around for hours, otherwise it’s been put the dogs out, put the dogs in all day long.  How lucky Maggi is going to make brunch for us!

Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Mona.

Hi everyone,

I raise my teacup to you. I’m an inveterate tea drinker and have tried many exotic brands. I’ve settled on Rooibos for the moment, which is a healthy alternative, because I drink a lot!

But for brunch why not a glass or two of Champagne and orange juice and throw a prawn on the barbie?

Celebrating the release of Murder in Devon, I’ve prepared a simple, tasty, pre-lunch snack of lemon grass prawn sticks.

We Australians enjoy a hot – normally dry climate – although we’ve had a lot of rain and flooding in the last year. And we spend a lot of time out of doors, camping or at the beach, where we whip something up on the barbeque. We love our seafood. This is a recipe which can be made on the Webber barbecue or in the oven at home. I like this one, because it’s quick and easy for when guests drop by. I’m not a keen cook these days, as my husband and I are empty nesters. I’d rather spend time at the computer.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Plus marketing time

Cooking time: Barbeque setting 2 to 4 minutes

 4 sticks lemon grass

12 king prawns, shelled, tails left on


1 cup olive oil

2 bird’s eye chillies, seeded and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, pressed

2.5cm piece ginger, peeled and grated

½ cup soy sauce

4 tablespoons fish sauce


Cut the lemon grass to make skewers. Skewer 3 prawns onto each stick.

Combine all the marinade ingredients.

Place skewered prawns into the marinade for ½ hour or more.

Cook on pre-heated grill for 2 minutes per side or until the flesh just turns white.

 We shall enjoy these with friends on our back verandah overlooking the stream at the bottom of the garden where wild ducks gather and a riotous flock of magnificent sulphur-crested cockatoos call from the trees. What could be nicer?

 Murder in Devon is out now at Black Opal Books


She wants the truth, but it may cost her more than she thinks…

An ex-patriot-American living in England, magazine reporter Casey Rowan wakes to find one best friend murdered and another seriously injured. Casey is determined to find the killer, despite running afoul of the detective in charge of the case—a blue-eyed Scot named Rod Carlisle, who considers her a prime suspect. As Casey gets closer to the truth, losing her heart to the sexy cop isn’t the only thing she risks. Now her life is danger, too.

He wants her, but he may have to choose between love and duty…

Rod has no patience with civilians who interfere in police matters, even hot little numbers like Casey. Though he tries to keep things professional, Casey’s beauty and spunk are hard to resist. He warns her that what she’s doing is dangerous, but he only succeeds in alienating her. She refuses to listen and goes off on her own with disastrous results. Now Rod’s in a race to find the killer before the woman he loves becomes the next victim.

Website: Maggi Andersen Author


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