Tuesday, 29 May 2012


Hello everyone!

I'd like to welcome Sarah J. McNeal to my Secondary Characters- Tuesdays in May blogs. She's brought with her a couple of fabulous covers and some very interesting reading about how she developed a secondary character into a very handsome hero! 

And make sure to read on at the end to find out a little bit more about this cheery Western author...

Secondary Characters
When I wrote Harmonica Joe’s Reluctant Bride, I originally intended to include a bewhiskered old prospector who frequented the Iron Slipper saloon and bordello where the heroine, Lola works concocting extraordinary cocktails from her twenty-first century recipes. But something happened—something magical straight from my muse and I changed the crusty old codger in for a homeless sixteen year old boy named Banjo by his surrogate mother who worked cleaning the bar and doing laundry.  She died when Banjo was ten and he learned to survive in the streets by doing odd jobs.  Belle, the owner of the bordello, allowed him to sleep in the tiny storage room behind the saloon.  He possessed a gift for inventing mechanical things and, when Lola needed an ice crusher for one of her delicious creations, Banjo volunteered and made her one from spare parts and junk.

Because of his circumstances, it was only natural that he fell into some bad ways in his youth.  Banjo drank whiskey, smoked cheroots, gambled and enjoyed the pleasure of the Belle’s “soiled doves” who were eager to teach him the bedroom arts of pleasuring a woman.  He was courageous, smart and hard working.  He saved Lola’s life from a murderous brute and helped Joe and Lola rebuild after their house was set on fire.  It became very clear to me that Banjo needed his own story.

The timing for Banjo’s story as an adult fell into the World War I era and loved that I could include such a rich chunk of history into his story.  Of course, Banjo is a westerner through and through.  He grew up in the fictitious town of Hazard, Wyoming with a love of wild, open spaces and horses and has a heart as big as the sky.  To increase the story intensity, I sent him off to New York City to find his absentee father and make something of himself in order to ask for the hand of his fair love, Margaret Ann O’Leary.  Maggie is no shy, reclusive girl but a iron-willed woman who can run a ranch and has a mind of her own. When she begins to doubt Banjo’s faithfulness, she sure as Hades isn’t going to sit in her rocking chair and knit.  No sir, Maggie intends to get to the bottom of things and Banjo best be prepared to give her an accounting.

For Love of Banjo:
Deceit stands between Banjo Wilding’s love for Maggie O’Leary and his search for the father he never knew.
Banjo Wilding wears a borrowed name and bears the scars and reputation of a lurid past.  To earn the right to ask for Margaret O’Leary’s hand, he must find his father and make something of himself.
Margaret O’Leary has loved Banjo since she was ten years old but standing between her and Banjo is pride, Banjo’s mysterious father and the Great War.
Will either of them find happiness?    

Why was he being so stubborn?  Their time together was about to end.  The moments grew precious and she didn’t want to waste one second.  The scent of soap and leather radiated from him.  She wanted to remember everything about him, the way he looked and smelled; the sound of his voice and the way his hair gleamed in the sun. 
Sunset spread like liquid gold across the horizon.  The golden light glinted off his spectacles, making it impossible for Maggie to read his dark eyes.
 Her lips pressed together in hurt. “There’s nothing wrong with you, Banjo Wilding that a good slap across the face won’t fix.”  He grabbed her wrist in his long fingers and held it in his firm but gentle grasp.
“First you want me to make love to you—in sin I might add—and next thing comes out of your mouth is sass.  Making love to you might prove a dangerous undertaking for any man.”  He smiled when he said it.  He let go of his hold on her wrist and opened his arms to her.  His dark eyes drew her to him.  She gazed into those magnetic eyes, felt her heart turn over and hurried into his warm embrace.  Banjo pulled her in close and kissed the crown of her head. 
The Earth paused as she stood in his arms.  Minutes passed.  Banjo took in a ragged breath and Maggie knew what he would say next.  She dreaded it.  He loosened his hold on her and stepped back.  The awful moment had come.  

For Love of Banjo BUY LINKS :
Lulu :
Monkey Bars :

Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride by Sarah McNeal
Western Trail Blazer Novels

A haunted house, a trunk and a date with destiny.
Lola Barton discovers a warp in time in an old trunk when she falls into 1910. She finds herself married to Joseph Wilding, a stranger shadowed by secrets. Mistaken for Callie McGraw, a thief and a woman of ill repute, Lola finds her life is threatened by a scoundrel. Joe stands between her and certain death. With danger threatening all around and secrets keeping them apart, can Joe and Lola find their destiny together? Or will time and circumstance forever divide them?

Buy Links:
(Available in digital and paperback)

And now...who is Sarah J. McNeal? 

                I became interested in writing at a young age.  My parents didn’t allow us to have a television so my sisters and I became avid readers.  We read everything from Shakespeare to my mother’s True Detective Stories that, by the way, scared the hell out of me.  I submitted my first story and received my first rejection when I was thirteen years old.
                Along with writing, I have a deep love of music and play the violin, bagpipes, guitar and harmonica. 
                I live with my two cats, Acorn and Liberty and my golden retriever, Kate.  I feed the wild birds around my house but there are way too many to name.  I enjoy all wild creatures and am a member of The Defenders of Wildlife and The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as well as The Humane Society of the United States.
                I am particularly drawn to writing fantasy and time travel/historical romances.  I have created a magical place called Valmora where winged people with various magical abilities are in constant struggle against the evil forces of the Dark Isle. 
                 I also write time travel novels and love doing the historical research for them.  I am also writing a series of musical instrument stories inspired by my love of music and playing musical instruments.
                Until recent years, I wrote short stories, two of which were the early inspiration for the Valmora series and three other stories that were sci-fi and paranormal.
                I have also written nonfiction including an article in The Charlotte Observer and a monthly newsletter from the emergency department of CMC Mercy Hospital.
                You can also find blogs and more information about me at my website:  http://www.sarahmcneal.com
                Writing brings me a joy and fulfillment that nothing else can.  I love creating magical worlds and people who want to make a difference.  I hope that anyone who reads them will love them, too.

Where you can find Sarah J. McNeal:

Sarah’s Provocative Ponderings:  http://pasttheprint.blogspot.com/
My Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/sarahmcneal

Thank you for coming to visit today, Sarah,  and for introducing your handsome hero-Banjo.  Best wishes for great sales!



  1. Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Nancy. I hope all is well in nyour world.
    I'll be in and out checking on commenters and respond to all of you throughout the day.
    I hope ya'll enjoy my blog on Secondary Characters.

  2. Hi Sarah! I'm glad you could join me today.

  3. Talk about enriching a story! You've given us a good lesson on how a master storyteller weaves a throwaway character into a story and brings him to life. That he became hero material is even better! Great post, Sarah. :)

  4. Hi Jacquie. Nice to meet you. Sarah will be pleased to read your comments re; bringing more life to a character. You're right that what seems like a minor character can become a major.

  5. Jacquie, thank you so much for your kind and supportive words. I really appreciate it.

  6. To sleep, to dream... Time for me to sign off, Sarah. I'll catch up tomorrow morning!

  7. Thank you for allowing me on your blog today, Nancy. It's been a plasure.
    I hope some late commenters will still drop by and cheer me up with some comments.

  8. Hi Sarah. It's a new day and a new post is about to come. good luck with banjo.

  9. Hi Sarah. As always, a fetching blog. I enjoy yours every time, and I need to review Harmonica Joe one of these days when it's convenient for you. I love a good read.

    I did get a contract for Miss Havana's third novel, "The Training Bra", and have a cover now. Editing will start soon. In the interim, I am working toward a story staring a secondary character, Lilith, the daughter of Lucifer and Miss Havana. The next book will be "The Trophy Wife", and then "Sisters." Lilith will take the staring role in "Sisters." I hope that works out and the mainline religions don't take out a contract on me. I still want to exchange blogs with you!!!!


  10. Hello James. Nice of you to drop in. I hope all the secondary characters you mention will become fully fledged some day soon.

  11. James,it's so wonderful of you to drop by.
    I was wondering if you were going to use Lilith as a main character and I'm glad to hear that you have one in development. I wish you great success with that.
    It's always so pleasant to hear from you. I really appreciate that you came by.

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