Cynthia P. O’Neill is tonight’s first featured author. She grew up in Clewiston, Florida and moved to Central Florida to attend college. There, she married her friend, love, and soul mate and still resides there with their amazing son, and a feisty, four-legged little boy.
In her books, Cynthia draws on her background in healthcare and business, along with her husband’s engineering knowledge.
Several years after she got married, she started dreaming about the characters in I Remember. It took eight years before she decided that it needed to be told. With the encouragement of family and friends, she decided to bring Jordan and Gregory to life in a series of Young Adult, Paranormal Romances with a Historical bent. I Remember is the first book in the Remembrance series.
Cynthia’s first book is geared towards the Young Adult, Historical and Paranormal Romance fans. She does hope to grow as a writer and write in multiple genres. Her second series; is a steamy romance called Learning to Trust, which released in August 2013.
She tries to make her writing very personal and close to her heart. Regular life is the inspiration for her books, but her imagination takes them to new heights, opening up possibilities that would normally not exist.
To learn more about the author, please visit Cynthia’s website at:
I Remember, Remembrance Series #1
Learning to Trust, Learning Series #1
Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords
Gregory Riley (Worthington), from I Remember, is the ideal, perfect soul mate one could ask for. He is fashioned after my husband and how we met.
Garrett Andrews, from Learning to Trust, is fashioned after some of the greatest alpha male dominants in literature. “I took a bit of Christian Grey, a smidge of Gideon Cross, the smoothness of Brandon Montgomery and a touch of Ethan Blackstone to create an alpha male like no other.”
Excerpt from I Remember – Remembrance Series, Book 1
By Cynthia P. O’Neill
I wandered along a path as the sun began to set across the horizon, lighting the sky with deep hues of orange, purple and pinks. I didn’t know where I was, but the countryside was simply breathtaking.
“Angeline, where are you?” A familiar male voice called out.
“Come find me, Daniel,” she announced playfully, in the distance.
Finding no one else around, I decided to head their way to ask for directions.
“Where are you hiding, my love? You know I will find you; and when I do, I will smother you with kisses,” he responded, full of laughter.
Their voices led me to a beautiful meadow filled with spring flowers and the sound of a river in the distance. They were dressed in Victorian fare, running playfully until Daniel caught the girl who must have been Angeline. They fell to the ground together, laughing, near a tall tree.
As I walked toward them, I watched Daniel lean in to kiss Angeline softly on the lips, her hands circling around his neck and pulling him closer. I stopped in my tracks feeling like I had invaded a private moment, but I still needed directions in order to return home.
“Excuse me, I don’t mean to intrude but I could really use your help,” I stated softly, so not alarm them.
They continued, without even a glance my way. How rude. I cleared my throat loudly and spoke again, but no answer.
I was frustrated. How could they not hear me?
Suddenly, the landscape began to twist and shift into something dark and evil. I tried to turn and run but found myself unable to move. My heart began beating erratically as fear set in.
A tall figure appeared before me with ghostly shadows swirling and moaning around it. It was dressed in the darkest cloak I’d ever seen, with the hood draped in such a way as to cast shadows across the few visible areas of the face, making it impossible to see who or what it was.
An arm rose revealing long willowy fingers, aged and deformed and pointed at me. A sadistic female voice bellowed, “I warn you. Do not seek him out! The prophecy must not come to pass. If you defy me, I will make your life a living hell, taking all that you hold dear.”
That’s when the figure’s head tilted up and her glowing red eyes locked onto mine, sending a chill down my spine. Then the shadows began to swirl around my body, suffocating me.
“STOP!” The scream came from nowhere, catching me by surprise.
“LEAVE HER ALONE!” This time I recognized a man’s voice.
One of the shadows grabbed my arm and a piercing, “NOOOO” sounded, from deep within my chest, echoing off all that was around me.
My eyes shot open, as I bolted upright in bed. I looked around and realized I was in my bedroom.
I reached for the light. Turning it on, I tried to catch my breath. My only thought was that the dreams were back and they were worse. I’d seen a witch spirit previously, but not to this extent.
Wrapping my arms around my chest to calm myself, I felt a sharp pain on my right arm. I looked down to see the reddened hand print, where the dark shadow had grabbed me, slowly fading from existence. What the heck?
Learning to Trust Excerpt:
He pulled his phone from his pants pocket, typed some words rather quickly, and then returned it to his pocket.
“What are you doing?” I wondered aloud. I sincerely hoped that wasn’t about me.
“Nothing you need to concern yourself with. Just had a thought that I’d like to run by someone and wanted to jot it down before I lost it.”
”Just so you know, I don’t like it when people are secretive around me. It makes me nervous and I tend to push people away.” I don’t know why I was being so upfront with him, but, this phone messaging had me on edge. I can’t stand secrets.
He walked towards me with a wry smile and backed me slowly against the wall. He leaned into me, tracing his nose up my neck, and I heard the closet door close. “I like that you’re feisty, Laurel, makes life more interesting.” His hands came to rest on the wall along each side of my head, caging me in, as he continued to trace his nose up to my face, across my chin, and down the other side of my neck. His tone in his voice became sultry. “Do you still trust me?”
The electricity between us hung heavy in the air. It was so palpable you could taste it. My skin was on fire from his touch. Every synapse of every nerve ending was firing off rapidly and my breathing continued to accelerate. Something felt dark and dangerous about Garrett, but at the same time, I’d never desired anyone more. No one had ever managed to elicit the kind of reactions he was driving from my body.
He leaned in closer, his body molding up against mine. “Are you going to answer me?” he whispered in my ear, his voice becoming a little more commanding.
My eyes closed, trying to make sense of what I was feeling. Just his voice and soft touch made my head spin; I was thankful that I had the wall to lean into for support. I finally found the strength to answer. “Yes,” I murmured.
His lips began to nibble on my left earlobe. “Yes, you’ll answer, or yes, you trust me?”
“Yes, I trust you.”
His hand began to caress my face as his lips continued their assault on my earlobe and neck. “Do you have any idea how breathtakingly beautiful you are tonight? You’re driving me crazy.”
My head began to spin as his lips moved up across the side of my cheek to my chin at an achingly slow pace. At the same time, his right hand started to travel down my neck, where his fingers traced the low neckline of my dress.
My heart raced as the palm of his hand brushed gently across one of my breasts. I was surprised by how heavy my breasts felt. I could feel my nipples harden, straining against the fabric of my bra. Soon his lips were pressed hard on my mouth, tugging at my bottom lip. “Ahh,” I moaned as his tongue plunged deeply into my mouth, sending my mind scattering to the heated overload of sensation my body was feeling. Our mouths began to move in perfect unison with one another.
My conscience screamed at me. Tell him to slow down. You know this is moving too quickly. What are you thinking?!
I tried to move away, ever so slightly put some distance between our bodies, but his hips pressed harder, grinding into mine. His erection felt huge, bulging out hard from his slacks and pressing up against my belly. I couldn’t believe how much this man wanted me and was surprised that my body was responding with unheeded desire for him.
Garrett finally pulled back long enough for us to take in deprived lungs full of air. After a few more breaths, I asked, in a rather shaky and exhaustive tone, “Can we please slow things down a bit?”
Both of his hands rose up the wall to rest on either side of my head. He took a few more deep breaths and kissed me chastely on the lips before resting his forehead against mine.
“My apologies, Laurel, I don’t know what came over me. There’s something about you that makes my body respond so intensely. I’m like an alcoholic drawn to your intoxicating beauty and scent; I just can’t seem to get enough. I’ve never had this kind of reaction to anyone before.” He paused for a moment, taking in a deep breath to clear his mind. “I agree, though, we need to take things slower.”
He lifted one of my hands towards his lips and kissed it gently before placing it atop his shoulder. He repeated the same thing with my other hand, indicating he wanted me encircling his shoulders. Then he cupped my face with his own hands and leaned in for a gentle kiss.
The tenderness of this new kiss made me feel more secure in his arms. We continued this way for what seemed like an eternity, until I heard the door open and Hannah walk in calling, “Laurel? Are you here?”
We both pulled away from the wall. He had a quizzical look on his face, as if he’d forgotten we were in the closet in my dorm room. “Roommate?” he whispered.
I nodded in response. What are we supposed to do now? Wait her out?
We waited to hear what she was doing. As soon as we thought the coast was clear, we tried leaving the closet, only to find her standing there with her arms crossed and smiling up a storm, knowing she’d caught us.
She didn’t wait for an introduction, but stuck out her hand to Garrett. “Hi, Handsome, I’m Hannah, Laurel’s roommate. And you are?”
O’Neill explained her love for the genre. She said, “I love romance books. Everyone dreams of their happily ever after, but life isn’t always like that and my books aren’t either. There is chaos and things that have to be overcome to reach a storybook romance. But, I enjoy that in romance, or books for that matter, you are only limited by your imagination; where anything is possible and you can take the story anywhere you want! I just happen to be one who likes affairs of the heart.”
Regarding her methods for ideas, she told me, “Usually an idea pops into my head or I sometimes dream of a specific happenings and they evolve into storylines. I start taking notes on things, character names, what I would like to see happen in the story and then build an outline out of that, before finally writing it. ”
Researching was also discussed. She told me this: “For the Remembrance Series, the first three books will take you on adventures of the past. I make sure to have historical accuracy in terms of events, clothing, etc. of the era.
In regards to the Learning Series, some of the work the characters do is involving medical engineering. I try to be as accurate as possible in terms of healthcare and engineering aspects to make things more believable. ”
This is what she had to say about balancing time: “Very carefully. No, seriously…I am a full-time mom and wife first, then a part-time writer. I’m extremely limited on my time to write, so I take advantage of the time I have. I only have a couple of hours a night and a little on the weekends.”
Authors that inspire her: E. L. James, Stephenie Myer, Kimberly Knight and Raine Miller.
I would like to finish the Learning Series, which will have at least three books, along with the Remembrance Series, which is set to have four books. Once I’m done with them, I have three other, stand alone books, I would like to write.
Marketing strategies include release parties and connecting with various bloggers. O’Neill explained to me that she has been writing for about a year.
Her one wish: “To reach more people. To get my name out there.”
As is true with many of us as writers, we believe in giving back. O’Neill is no exception to this. She told me that she donates to Good Will and participates in canned food drives during the holidays to help with the local Food Banks. When money allows, donations are made to the diabetes foundation and cancer research.
The hardest thing about being an author: “Trying to find the time to write everything. I have so many ideas going on in my head and little time to write.”
The best thing about being an author: “I love it when a reader lets me know, either through a review or contacting me personally on Facebook, that I’ve touched them in some way with my words and that they enjoy reading my books.”
The most important thing O’Neill wants others to know about her: “I put my heart and soul into it. For those who know me well, they will see where I exist within the books.”
Thank you so much Cynthia for sharing with me!