Monday, March 5, 2018

Serious About Series - Pikes Run by Kara O'Neal

As the magazine’s publisher, I am happy to promote our very first Serious about Series feature! And as a reader, and a big fan of romance series, I’m excited to discover a new series.

Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Kara O’Neal’s Pikes Run series. Kara is sharing the inside scoop on Pikes Run, where you’ll find not two or three, but ten books...and more to come! These historical romances are filled with compassion and passion. They’re family-oriented and character-driven with honest feelings for true people who put others first. The heat level in the Pikes Run series ranges from sweet to steamy and are available through Resplendence Publishing.
Saving Sarah – Prequel: September 17, 2014
Welcome Home – Book 1: September 18, 2013
The Sheriff’s Gift – Book 2: December 18, 2013
The Cowboy’s Charms – Book 3: February 23, 2014
The Miller Brides – Book 4: July 2, 2014
The Soldier’s Love – Book 5: March 24, 2015
Love’s Promise – Book 6: March 26, 2016
Love’s Redemption – Book 7: October 10, 2016
The Editor’s Kisses – Book 8: March 29, 2017
The Ranger’s Vow – Book 9: September 27, 2017

Kara found the in inspiration for this series by wanting to write stories about a primary family in a small town. Growing up on Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables, Kara loved those stories and wanted to create something similar. “They had timeless and complex characters which helped create a familiar feeling of home,” Kara said. She really enjoyed that about those books and always felt like she was part of the family. These books also created opportunities for different kinds of characters, and the reader got to know them, got to see them grow and change. Kara learned so much from Laura and Anne and their family members. Kara is also in love with love, so her stories reflect plenty of romance.

With so many books in a series, coming up with titles couldn’t have been easy. Kara says each title of her books match a major theme or event in the book. Most of them also are possessive, “which was an accident,” she said. Kara was trying to decide on a title for book four when one of her critique partners pointed out that it might need to be possessive, as well. Kara went with it, and now all titles, but the first and the last one, which will be book number seventeen, will be possessive in nature.

While Kara writes romance, and the stories center around love and marriage, she wanted to create a familial feeling. She wanted readers to spend a lot of time with her characters, to delve into who they are and have hope for their futures. “I think it’s wonderful when we can watch characters grow up and change, make mistakes and try to do better,” Kara said. “I hope my series captures a feeling of triumph over uncertainty and fear, of the hero/heroine trying to be the best version of themselves.”

Pikes Run is located in Texas, a small town northeast of Houston, primarily in the Piney Woods region. The quaint and busy Main Street is surrounded by farms of cotton, wheat or corn. Located in the Piney Woods region, there are spots that are heavily forested, and the San Jacinto River runs perpendicular to the town. Two decent-sized creeks, Pikes Run and Glebe Run, border it to the east and west. The town was named after one of the creeks.

When you arrive in the quiet and quaint town of Pikes Run, you’ll get a sense of togetherness and community. The townspeople have their fair share of trials and heartache, but there is a support system that highlights the familial aspect.

Each book in the Pikes Run series can stand alone, so there is no specific plot that spans all the books. However, there are characters in multiple books. They create havoc and others characters bring peace to the chaos.

Some of the characters you’ll meet in the Pikes Run series are:

In Saving Sarah you’ll meet Michael Lonnigan and Sarah Kerry. Michael is a farmer looking to move to Texas. He is strong, smart and very stubborn. Almost too stubborn. Sarah is trying to save her father from a newly learned secret. She is caring, and willing to lose everything for those she loves. She has an inner will that keeps her going through some very tough times.

In Welcome Home you’ll meet Kyle Lonnigan and Emma Prescott. Kyle is a cotton farmer, and like his father, he is stubborn to a fault. His pride almost causes him to lose Emma. Emma is on a crusade to earn Kyle’s forgiveness and becomes a cotton farmer herself to prove she’s changed. She is lively, impulsive and courageous.

In The Sheriff’s Gift you’ll meet Conner Lonnigan and Alice Parker. Conner is the the sheriff of Pikes Run. He is patient, sees himself as a servant to his fellow man, and longs for a family he believes he’ll never have. Alice is the new schoolteacher, and while she has no intent to fall in love, she does. She is strong, wise and a leader.

In The Cowboy’s Charms you’ll meet J.T. Davis and Angelique Morgan. J.T. is a farmer, who inherits fifteen hundred head of cattle. He becomes a rancher, and his will, teasing nature, and strong work ethic see him through to the end. Angelique is the daughter of a wealthy man who also happens to be J.T’s rival. She doesn’t let that stand in her way and marries J.T., becoming a rancher’s wife determined to match her husband’s enterprising spirit. Her will surpasses any other character Kara has written. Angelique is smart, but unsure of her abilities, but she doesn’t let that stop her from succeeding.

In The Miller Brides you’ll meet Richard Morrison and Eulalie Miller, Brady Callahan and Susannah Miller, Harold Dawson and Lucy Miller. Eulalie, Susannah and Lucy are sisters who are seen as spinsters. Eulalie is the protector of her siblings, and she’s really too protective. She is afraid of being hurt by a man and avoids them at all costs. Therefore, she makes sure her sisters aren’t sought out by men, as well. Susannah is rebellious. She loves Eulalie, but she wants her own life. Susannah is also feisty and brave. Lucy is the caretaker of the trio. She is kind, loving and wants everyone to be happy. She’s also the romantic one. All three help their brother in his General Store. Then there’s the men...Richard is intelligent and shy around females, but he is loyal and unafraid to take on Eulalie’s formidable personality. He owns the bank in town. Brady owns the saloon, and has a “devil-may-care” attitude. He’s flirtatious, likes to tease Susannah, loves a good time and hates handling the books. Harold is a recent widower and the town lawyer. He is smart, a good father, and longs for a woman who will truly love him, unlike his deceased wife.

In The Soldier’s Love you’ll meet Frank Dawson and Jane Lonnigan. Frank is a soldier, but only because he is trying to escape a painful rejection. He is prideful, honest, and when he falls in love, it’s for forever. Jane is the teacher who broke his heart. She is kind, daring, and family-oriented. She lost her parents when she was fourteen and raised her brother while running her cousin’s house.

In Love’s Promise you’ll meet Reverend Thurston Black and Eliska Spencer, Thomas Miller and Cora Ann Carter, Jonas Boswell and Sugar Freemont. Eliska, Cora and Sugar are friends who were forced into prostitution. They’ve escaped and have opened a bakery in Pikes Run. Eliska is a leader, a good cook, and spiritual. Cora is sassy, pessimistic, and has a quick wit. Sugar is cute, sweet, bubbly, and despite her past, is an innocent at heart. Reverend Thurston Black is the pastor of First United Methodist and is kind, helpful, and a servant to his community. Thomas owns the General Store and is cranky, witty, and determined not to fall in love. Jonas is a carpenter who is charming, has a good heart, and craves a family.

In Love’s Redemption you’ll meet Lonnie Davis and Willa Kramer. Lonnie is a wrangler on the family ranch, and he is strong, smart and determined to be the man Willa needs. Willa is tough. She has a past that would make many run for the hills, but she sticks. She’ll do anything for her family at the expense of her own life. She is loyal to a fault.

In The Editor’s Kisses you’ll meet Stephen Dawson and Constance Forrester. Stephen is the editor of the newspaper. He is sweet, calm, and patient. “Truthfully, he’s too patient,” Kara said. Constance is a seamstress in her family’s tailoring business, but she is also a suffragette. She is a fighter, a risk-taker, and not at all interested in falling in love. The Ranger’s Vow you’ll meet Texas Ranger Luke Calhoun and Sherry Forrester Luke is a Texas Ranger with no intent on ever marrying. He is charming, has a teasing nature, enjoys good whiskey and a willing woman. Sherry is feisty, bold, and too daring for her own good. She’s a seamstress in her family’s tailoring business and has no intent of ever marrying, either.

There are several characters with recurring roles throughout the series, and some end up with their own story. “However, Isaac Perkins, the nosy postmaster, makes several appearances,” said Kara. “As does Nestor Collins, the very pale and cantankerous Undertaker. Jessup Fuller, the crotchety owner of the lumber mill is a regular, as is Ebenezer Noblett, who owns the most acres of farmland. Pete Jerkin owns the livery and he’s the town blacksmith. He’s a jovial person that fills in for the sheriff at times. Then there are the “Sister Aunts”, Hazel and Ruth. Prim and shrewd, they are the matriarchs of a community near Pikes Run called Bordersville. They have a cranky ghost who won’t leave them alone.”

The complete cast in Pikes Run are working toward being the best versions of themselves. And, even though some don’t want to, they’re also falling in love. 

But every good series needs at least one villain, and in the Pike Run series there are several villains. But the main villain in town, who happens to cause problems for many characters, is Beulah Taylor. Beulah sees herself as the queen of Pikes Run. She and her husband run a beautiful and immaculate hotel. She is a leader among the ladies of First United Methodist and does everything she can to rid the town of people she sees as inferior. She organizes protests, undermines good intentions if they don’t fit her goals, and tries to keep women in the kitchen.

Kara explained the three key elements in her series are: Love conquers all. Family is where the heart is. And no problem is too big to fix when you have faith, trust and hope.

“I hope my readers learn from my series is that we’re here to help others, and most important is what we bring to this world, not what others do for us,” Kara said. “I hope readers learn that love is all that really matters. And I hope they learn to love often and to love sincerely.”

Kara isn’t stopping Pikes Run at book ten. “Oh, goodness! There are seven more books coming,” she said. “The next book will take the reader back to the ranch owned by J.T. Davis. The hero is Deacon Tolbert. He’s the foreman of the ranch and has a painful past he thinks he’s dealt with. Lily Spero is a part of his past, and when she re-enters his life, they must learn to overcome some very big obstacles.”

Pikes Run is definitely a series worth checking out!

To learn more about Kara and her books, visit:
Web Site:
Blog Site:
Twitter Profile Name: @KaraONealAuthor

Here's a bit more enticement of Pikes Run by Kara O’Neal…
Saving Sarah – A past mistake forces Sarah to reject Michael’s hand, the love of her life, but Michael is determined to uncover whatever secret she hides. No matter the cost…

Welcome Home – A poor farmer holds the heart of an heiress, but can he forgive her for her betrayal?

The Sheriff’s Gift – Forbidden kisses with the sheriff weren’t a part of the schoolteacher’s plans…

The Cowboy’s Charms – She’s his enemy’s daughter, but this cowboy can’t help falling for her…

The Miller Brides – They’re the pitied members of Pikes Run, the “Spinster Sisters”, but love captures them…if they’re brave enough to fall…

The Soldier’s Love – Take one sexy soldier, add the not-so prim schoolteacher who broke his heart, and you have a battle that neither can bear to lose...

Love’s Promise – Three mysterious ladies open a bakery, but more than sweet treats are being cooked up at this pastry shop…

Love’s Redemption – After a five-year separation, Willa is back in Lonnie’s life. But if he’s not careful, he might lose her again. And this time, it’ll be for good… 

The Editor’s Kisses – She's a suffragette with plans. He's the editor with a kiss that could make headlines...

The Ranger’s Vow – He made a long-ago vow never to let love catch him, but fate has other plans…

I want to thank Kara for sharing Pikes Run with us, but before we go, Kara wanted to let readers know her publisher is re-releasing each book in the Pikes Run series. The publication dates will change and new covers will be designed for books 1, 2, 4, and 5.

Purchase Pikes Run at the following sites:
Barnes and Noble


Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Isn't wonderful when the stories just keep coming, Kara?
Good luck and God's blessings with your series

Kara O'Neal said...

Thank you so much, Pam! Yes, I have been blessed that, so far, the ideas have flowed. It's helped that I feel like I really know my characters. I love spending time with them and watching them grow up.

Linda Carroll-Bradd said...

I, too, write series and love creating the interconnections. You are to be complimented on what sounds like an amazing series.

Kara O'Neal said...

Thank you so much, Linda! And thank you for stopping by!

Marissa Garner said...

Sounds like a truly amazing series. I'm adding everything to my TBR list. I better get started soon with more to come.

Kara O'Neal said...

You won't be disappointed, Marissa! Thanks for stopping by!

Alicia Dean said...

Wow, I didn't realize you had that many books in the series.Impressive! I love how the series idea came to be. I've read a few, looks like I need to get busy! :)

Alina K. Field said...

I'm impressed at how many books you have out in this series! The stories look wonderful!

Kara O'Neal said...

Thank you, Alina and Alicia! I've been writing for a long time and I love it so much. These characters really are like a family to me. I have to say "hello" to them every day!