Morgan O’Neill Weaves Holiday Traditions into Romantic Tales

I am a HUGE fan of Morgan O’Neill ‘s time travel books, so I am happy to announce that both Italian Time Travel books are on sale over the next two weeks. December 16 through 22 The Other Side of Heaven will be 99 cents/pence on Amazon US and Amazon UK.  December 22 though 28 Time Enough for Love will be 99 cents/pence on Amazon US and Amazon UK. Today Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes who write as Morgan O’Neill share how the holidays influenced their novels.

 

Holiday Inspirations by Morgan O’Neill

Have you ever wondered how authors get inspiration for scenes in their novels? What about the holidays? And how do we create sequences that will surprise and engage our time traveling heroines as they seek to survive and adapt in other eras? We, co-authors Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes, have used actual experiences that happened to us and our family members, some of which occurred well before we were born. This became fodder for various Christmastime events in our Elizabethan and medieval Italian series. What time trippy fun!

 

The Thorness Rose_1600One incident passed down in Deborah’s family happened on a wintry day in the 1930s. Her maternal grandfather came home with something hidden beneath his coat, a bulge in his breast pocket. Everyone assumed it was a bottle of “good cheer,” until it started to wiggle. Out popped the head of a dachshund puppy! Deborah’s uncle, then a little boy, promptly called the pup Whiskey. The name stuck, and Whiskey became a beloved family member. Deborah incorporated some of this story into the novels of our Elizabethan series, Begun by Time and The Thornless Rose, in the scenes where Dr. Jonathan Brandon gives a Christmas gift to his fiancée, Catherine, just before he vanishes. The amusing incident takes on poignancy as time goes on and Jonathan doesn’t return, for Catherine realizes the dog was his last gift to her.

 

Begun by Time also gives a nod to one of Cary and Deb’s favorite holiday films, The Bishop’s Wife. In our novel, the heroine Catherine must make a decision that will alter her life. As she sits in an empty theater, lonely and bereft, the movie inspires her with determination and hope for a better future, especially when an angel, played by Cary Grant, steers the humans under his care toward making the right choices in life.

 

TEforLFinally, we move on to more ancient holiday traditions as found in this excerpt from Time Enough for Love, Book Two of the Italian Time Travel Series. In this scene, our twenty-first century heroine, Gwendolyn Godwyn, celebrates her first Christmas season in the past, at the royal court in Pavia, Italy, circa A.D. 925:

 

The room was cozy with the heat of several braziers, the leaded glass of the windows keeping out the chill night wind, the bed laden with furs and made even warmer by the bodies nestled within.

Gwen snuggled next to Alberto with her head on his shoulder, the room lit by the pale shimmer of stars. Her eyelids closed of their own accord, then opened in excitement as she remembered the past week they’d spent together in Pavia, the first, wonderful week of their marriage. Their honeymoon. She stretched and smiled. They’d hardly left their bedroom.

Out in the great hall, the royal court was still celebrating the twelfth night of Christmas and the eve of the Epiphany – January 5, 952!

Gwen grinned, recalling how she and Alberto begrudged the king and queen even those few hours spent away from their room, their privacy, but the evening had been magical.

Candles blazing, music, and feasting, all part of a riotous festival. The Lord of Misrule held sway over the evening, a master of revels bent on turning the world upside down with his comic commands: lords and ladies exchanging roles with servants; cross-dressing by men and women alike, the dances becoming hilarious when the men were forced to curtsey and the ladies got to swagger and lead.

As they watched the fun, Adelaide had exchanged a knowing look with Gwen. The queen’s gentle smile, the warmth in her gaze, signaled that the trauma of their great ordeal had started to fade. For each, the terror had been softened by love and the passage of time.

After the antics and fun, the formal dancing began. Every step was measured, everyone moved in unison as partners ebbed away, then flowed back again, each mirroring the other. Gwen could never have imagined, from the vantage point of her other life, how sensual it was to dance this way with Alberto. The barest touch of his hand, the feel of his warm breath on her lips, so near, and yet… the evening was an agony of desire.

One that was fulfilled at last, sometime well past midnight.

May the holiday season bring you much joy. Thank you––and happy reading! Deborah and Cary ~ writing as Morgan O’Neill.

 

The Thorness Rose_1600The Thornless Rose

An Elizabethan Time Travel Novel

Morgan O’Neill

 

Publisher: Entangled/Macmillan Select Historical

Publication Date: December 29, 2014

Genre: Historical/Time Travel Fiction

 

About the Book:

No one ever knew what really happened to Dr. Jonathan Brandon back in 1945. He simply disappeared from a London pub, leaving behind an unsolved mystery and his fiancée—Anne Howard’s grandmother. Seventy years later, Anne herself is haunted by the strange tale, along with inexplicable hallucinations straight out of Elizabethan England. Including a scarred, handsome man whose deep blue eyes seem to touch her very soul….

 

Anne wonders if there isn’t something more to the story. Is it even possible that Jonathan disappeared into England’s dark past? And why does Anne keep hearing him whisper her name? Because now she too feels the inexorable pull of the past, not to mention an undeniable attraction for a man she doesn’t even know.

 

It’s just a matter of time before Anne will step back into history, and face a destiny―and a love―beyond imagining…

 

Entangled http://www.entangledpublishing.com/the-thornless-rose/

 

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Thornless-Rose-Entangled-Select-Historical-ebook/dp/B00QRW3OH6?tag=entangpublis-20&link_code=ur2&creative=9325&camp=211189

 

iTuneshttps://itunes.apple.com/us/book/thornless-rose-entangled-select/id949899897?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

 

Kobohttps://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-thornless-rose-entangled-select-historical?utm_source=linkshare_us&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_campaign=linkshare_us&siteID=je6NUbpObpQ-WdKIVJZsRKhFaTZKc6Uzaw

 

BNhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-thornless-rose-morgan-oneill/1120872044?cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-je6NUbpObpQ-_-10:1

 

 

BegunbyTime_MorganONeill_1600x2400Begun by Time

The Prequel to The Thornless Rose

Author: Morgan O’Neill

 

Publisher: Entangled/Macmillan Select Historical

Publication Date: August 24, 2015

Genre: Historical/Time Travel Fiction

 

About the Book:

In 1945, a man disappeared into thin air…

In the final days of World War II, Catherine Hastings meets the man she wants to marry. Flight surgeon Jonathan Brandon isn’t just handsome—he’s everything Catherine could hope for in her betrothed. But her dream of a happily ever after is shattered when Jonnie disappears shortly before their wedding…leaving Catherine bereft, broken-hearted, and with a lifetime of unanswered questions.

Arthur Howard is smitten with the lovely Catherine the moment he sees her. He’s certain he’s found the woman he wants to marry. Yet behind Catherine’s sparkling green eyes is a haunted look—the look of a woman who has known loss. But can he love a woman who still grieves the loss of her fiancé? Now Arthur wants answers about the man Catherine intended to marry.

But the truth about Jonnie’s disappearance is far stranger than fiction…

 

Entangled http://www.entangledpublishing.com/begun-by-time/

 

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Begun-Time-Entangled-Select-Historical-ebook/dp/B0122RZM92?tag=entangpublis-20&link_code=ur2&creative=9325&camp=211189

 

iTuneshttps://itunes.apple.com/us/book/begun-by-time-entangled-select/id1021176025?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

 

Kobohttps://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/begun-by-time-entangled-select-historical?utm_source=linkshare_us&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_campaign=linkshare_us&siteID=je6NUbpObpQ-otoWgP7FvFPionsy_wAKeQ

 

BNhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/begun-by-time-morgan-oneill/1122360973?cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-je6NUbpObpQ-_-10:1

 

 

OSH AZ

The Other Side of Heaven

Book One of the Italian Time Travel Series

Morgan O’Neill

 

Publisher: Time’s Arrow Productions

Publication Date: October 8, 2014

Genre: Historical/Time Travel Fiction

 

About the Book:

Californian Gwendolyn Godwyn seeks to learn her family’s history and hopes to restore the bond that once existed between her Italian forebearers and those who live in America. While visiting her ancestral Italian town, Gwen is caught in a violent earthquake and inexplicably thrust through time. At first refusing to believe what has happened, she nevertheless uses her wits to survive, donning a monk’s cowl to hide her identity as a woman. Ripped apart from all she has ever known, Gwen finds herself in the midst of brutal territorial battles in an era she once blithely called “The Dark Ages.” When the golden Italian summer of 951 emerges from the strife and gloom, Gwen joins forces with a cadre of gallant men, allies in the struggle against the evil nobles, Willa of Tuscany and Count Berengar, kidnappers of Italy’s rightful queen, Adelaide. Along with Father Warinus and Lord Alberto Uzzo, Gwen seeks to rescue Adelaide and restore her kingdom. In the midst of this great adventure, Gwen falls in love with the complex and passionate Alberto, to whom she reveals her identity as a woman. But can Alberto learn to love her strong and independent nature and help Gwen in her quest to discover her rightful place in time?

 

Available at:

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Other-Side-Heaven-Italian-Travel-ebook/dp/B00NPC9YMA/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449873118&sr=1-2&keywords=the+other+side+of+heaven

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Other-Side-Heaven-Italian-Travel-ebook/dp/B00NPC9YMA/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1449886147&sr=8-5&keywords=the+other+side+of+heaven

 

 

 

TEFL AZ

Time Enough for Love

Book Two of the Italian Time Travel Series

Morgan O’Neill

 

Publisher: Time’s Arrow Productions

Publication Date: October 8, 2014

Genre: Historical/Time Travel Fiction

 

About the Book:

Through dark magic, Californian Gwendolyn Godwyn has been swept back in time to medieval Italy. There, she finds herself in the midst of a war between Italy’s rightful queen, Adelaide, and those who have kidnapped her and seek to usurp her crown. Risking her life, Gwen elects to play a pivotal role in the planned rescue. In the midst of the chaos, she is drawn to the queen’s champion, Lord Alberto Uzzo, who battles not only their military foes, but also his personal demons. Tested to the limit when he discovers Gwen’s true identity as a time traveler, Alberto nevertheless fights through his doubt and the whirl of superstition that surrounds this intriguing and strong-willed woman. Time is of the essence as the lovers seek to overcome the evil forces rallying against the queen they’ve vowed to save. Will Gwen and Alberto be able to overcome the groundswell of danger to find time enough for love?

Available at:

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NPCGH34/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

Amazon UKhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00NPCGH34/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

 

About the Authors:

DeborahCordesampCaryFratesA chance meeting at a writers’ conference brought Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes together, two award-winning authors who connected because of a mutual love of time travel fiction. Collaboration ensued, the search for a pen name the first step in their working relationship. Their maiden names provided the solution—and “Morgan O’Neill” was born.

Cary and Deborah’s backgrounds are uniquely suited to writing stories steeped in atmosphere and history: Deborah has a Master’s Degree in history and is a dedicated genealogist; Cary is a talented linguist in French and is currently a student of Latin. They’ve traveled to Europe’s ancient and medieval sites many times, with Cary living on the Continent for five years.

The Morgan O’Neill time travel novels have received a number of literary awards, including two finalist wins in the Booksellers’ Best Awards, two semifinalist wins in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, first, second, and third place wins for the Mainstream Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category of the Golden Rose Contest, a top ten finalist award in the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Conference Zola Awards Literary Contest, and a top ten finalist win in the Orange Rose Contest. In 2014, the Oshawa Public Libraries of Ontario, Canada included Morgan O’Neill’s entire Roman series—Love, Eternally, After the Fall, and Return to Me—in their list for Top 100 Romance Novels of All Time.

 

Author Links:

Websitehttp://www.morganoneill.com/

Newsletterhttps://madmimi.com/signups/125219/join

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6423103.Morgan_O_Neill

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/morgan.oneill.books.12

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/authormoneill

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Morgan O’Neill Weaves Holiday Traditions into Romantic Tales

  1. Thank you for hosting us on your blog, Betty. It’s such a pleasure to share some of our holiday stories with you and your readers. And what a kick to weave those tales into our novels. It’s a lovely way to honor our families. I’m certain my grandparents would have enjoyed their dear Whiskey’s journey to the written page. And I blended that story in with my dog Duffy. As I wrote the scene the dachshund turned—voilà!—into a terrier named Mr. McDuff. Happy holidays to one and all!

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      I love the story about Whiskey! And I loved that scene in your book. Always a pleasure to have you visit, Deborah!

  2. Thank you for stopping by, Dottie. One other little tidbit I’ve never told anyone— our heroine Gwen’s last name is Godwyn. We needed a last name that could be used by her when she pretends to be a monk (Gwen, of course, would not work). My mother-in-law’s surname was Godwin, so BINGO! I just changed it to the more medieval-looking Godwyn—and Brother Godwyn was born! 🙂

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