Monday, August 24, 2015

Spotlight & Excerpt: Begun by Time by Morgan O'Neill

Begun by Time
The Prequel to The Thornless Rose
Morgan O’Neill

Publisher: Entangled/Macmillan Select Historical
Publication Date: August 24, 2015
Genre: Historical/Time Travel Fiction

Available now!

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…

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The next evening, deliriously exhausted, Catherine and Jonnie walked toward the Underground station to take the train to Piccadilly Circus. They wanted to be part of the official celebration of Victory in Europe Day, or as it was starting to be called, VE Day.
They’d gotten home just after midnight the night before and stayed up chatting with her parents until well past two. Catherine managed to sleep until ten, but, as her mother always said, “It’s the hours before midnight that count for sleep.” Although she’d meant it as a warning against high living, today Catherine believed every word. Her legs felt like noodles, and her brain seemed terribly unfocused. Plus, she wasn’t sure if her poor utility suit would ever be dry again.
“I’m as drained as I can be, but we shall remember these days forever, Jonnie.” Catherine looked up at him and grinned. “I’m so glad we’ve the good luck to share them together.”
Jonnie laughed. “And I shall never fully comprehend my good fortune in finding you.”
They arrived at Piccadilly Station. When they got to street level, they were swept into a huge crowd, everyone streaming toward the square. Jonnie held her hand and apologized to strangers as they pushed their way toward the center.
People danced, sang, and rejoiced as Jonnie stopped near a lamppost, then climbed it and pulled Catherine up beside him. With barely a toehold on its base, Catherine clung to Jonnie for support.
Suddenly, a huge roar lifted from the crowd, and they turned to see why. There, on a balcony overlooking the square, was the man of the hour and everyone’s hero—Winston Churchill. He raised his hand and waved to the crowd.
“Oh, Jonnie, there he is!” She pointed.
“Catherine!” Jonnie shouted to get her attention.
She could barely hear Jonnie over the din, but the intensity of his gaze abruptly claimed her full attention.
“Catherine, I love you! Will you marry me?”
The noise, the war news, the whole world fell away in that moment. She gazed at this man she loved, then tilted back her head and laughed for joy. “Well, of course I will! What took you so long?”
He laughed, too, and pulled her close. Their position on the pole was awkward and tenuous, but he managed to give her a quick kiss. As they clung to the pole and each other, they watched Churchill speak to the multitude, thrilled to be witnesses to history.
8 May 1945. VE Day.
And her engagement day!
Catherine glanced up at Jonnie, overcome with joy.

About the Authors:
A 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.

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