Friday, January 20, 2012

GUEST LYN HORNER SHARES HER LOVE OF TEXAS

By Caroline Clemmons

Jeanmarie Hamilton had surgery this week, so please help me welcome Lyn Horner who is graciously allowing me to repost and earlier interview with her from my own blog. To show her appreciation for her readers, one lucky person who leaves a comment today will win downloads of both of Lyn's books!

Author Lyn Horner
Lyn, please tell us about growing up.


Lyn: I’m an only child. Born in San Francisco, I was raised in Minnesota, my mother’s home state. My father was a Texan and it’s from him that I inherited my love of the Old West. I’m married to my high school sweetheart. We have two grown children, six grandkids and a passel of cats.


Caroline: I love cats, but only have two. I notice that you also have a memoir titled SIX CATS IN MY KITCHEN. Would you like to give us a small peek at that book before we go on to DARLIN' DRUID?


Lyn: Thank you. I invite you to try my memoir, SIX CATS IN MY KITCHEN. Six special cats are the headline-grabbing stars, but I touch upon subjects such as grieving the loss of loved ones, living with a disability, and coping with major life changes.


Quoting reviewer Todd Fonseca, “Through her prose, Horner’s love of life, cats, and wonderfully engaging humor comes through in this high energy memoir. Reading Horner’s story is like chatting with a best friend over coffee on a Sunday afternoon – few things in life are better.



Caroline: Your book sounds inviting. Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?


Lyn: Diana Gabaldon is my favorite author. I adore her Outlander series. I also like Linda Howard and Iris Johansen. As you might guess, my favorite genres are historical romance (especially Scottish, Irish and western romance) and contemporary romantic suspense.


Caroline: We share a love of the same genres. Isn't Diana Gabaldon a lovely person as well as a great writer? How many books do you read a month? What are you reading now?


Lyn: I don’t read as much as I used to because I’m busy writing. Such a burden!  Even so, I read five or six books a month. Right now I’m re-reading KINSMAN'S OATH by Susan Krinard. When I find books I like, I often read them again and again.

Lynn's Memoirs
and her 6 cats
Caroline: So do I, and each time I get something new from them. When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? I know you love your cats, but do you have any hobbies?


Lyn: Let’s see, I love to read of course, and I love movies. Some of my favorites are the "Lord of The Rings" trilogy, "Avatar," "Gladiator," "Last of the Mohicans," and "Red River" (the original black and white version with John Wayne and Montgomery Clift.) Gardening is my only outdoor hobby.


Caroline: At our house we're very grateful for Netflix so we can watch our favorite movies and TV series. Describe yourself in three or four words.


Lyn: Determined, imaginative and somewhat reclusive.


Caroline: Would you like to share any guilty pleasures that feed your muse?


Lyn: Dark chocolate, Celtic music and steamy hot baths. Oh, and an occasional margarita.


Caroline: You and I have a great deal in common! How long have you been writing?


Lyn: I’ve always enjoyed writing, but from the time my folks gave me a rudimentary oil painting kit, I set my mind on becoming an artist. I got my bachelor of fine arts and worked as an illustrator and art instructor for several years. Then I had two children, we moved, forcing me to quit work, and I found myself isolated at home with two small kids. To save my sanity I began to write as a hobby. That was well over twenty years ago. The ups and downs since then could fill a book.


Caroline: Writing does have a lot of ups and downs that mirror life. Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?


Lyn: I work on a laptop. My favorite places to write are in my recliner or on our bed with books and research notes spread around me. If I’m writing a blog or answering interview questions I can do it with the TV on, music playing, or my husband talking to me. But if I’m working on a book, I need quiet. Solitude is best.


Caroline: Are you a plotter or a panzer?


Lyn: I’m a plotter. I use stickum notes to work out major plot points, then develop a loose outline. It undergoes changes as a book progresses, but having a plan keeps me on course toward my goal.


Caroline: Same here. What on earth did we do before Post-It notes? Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?


Lyn: I am very often inspired by real events in my western historicals. For example, I use the Chicago Fire and our country’s first transcontinental railroad in DARLIN' DRUID. Most of my characters are purely fictitious, although I did include the real commander of Camp Douglas, Utah, as a peripheral character in DD.


Caroline: Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you set goals? Do you write daily?


Lyn: I set goals but don’t always meet them. I write nearly every day, starting by 6:30 or 7 a.m. First I check email, comment on some writing forums, and maybe write a blog. When all the “fun stuff” is done, I go to work on my current project. With interruptions for household chores, it’s more of the same until late evening, sometimes into the wee hours of morning.


Caroline: I'm so not a morning person and tend to be more creative late at night. What do you hope your writing brings to readers?


Lyn: Most of all, I hope to give readers a rollicking good adventure that draws them in and won’t let go of them until the very last word.


Caroline: What long-term plans do you have for your career?


Lyn: I will continue to write my stories and publish them as ebooks. If I’m lucky enough to build a loyal following of readers, I will be proud and grateful. Beyond that I’ll take one day at a time.


Caroline: Well said! Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?


Also now available
Lyn: Sure. I’ve just finished writing book II in my Texas Druids series. Titled DASHING DRUID. This is the story of Tye Devlin and Lil Crawford, troubled souls who find both comfort and conflict in each other’s arms. Like his sister Jessie, the heroine of DARLIN' DRUID, Tye possesses a psychic gift inherited from Druid ancestors. He can experience other people’s feelings – he’s empathic in modern terms – an ability that may save those he loves or get him killed. Now I'm at work on book three in the series, DEAREST DRUID.


Caroline: What advice would you give to unpublished authors?


Lyn: Learn your craft, research settings and time periods carefully, and write the best book you can. Join a critique group and edit, edit, edit! Be persistent. Don’t let rejection letters stop you. Keep writing, keep submitting, and consider publishing your own eBooks. They are now outselling all forms of print books.


Caroline: Tell us about the first in this series. In any series, even if they're stand alone books, I like to begin with the first book. 


Lyn: If psychics live among us, if they existed in ages past, is it possible such gifted beings also inhabited the American Old West? They do in my Texas Druids trilogy. Meet the Devlins, whose hidden talents lead them across prairies and mountains, into the land of cowboys and Indians, with consequences not even a Druid seer could predict.


Set in 1872, DARLIN’ DRUID is a blend of epic adventure, stormy romance and family strife, peppered by flashes of Druid magic. Jessie Devlin, daughter of Irish immigrants and survivor of the Great Chicago Fire, is descended from the “Old Ones,” her mother’s name for their ancient Druid ancestors. Gifted with visions of the future, Jessie dreams again and again of an unknown man who saves her from death. A prophetic vision convinces her the man is real and sends her west in search of him. But will her quest lead her to love or into a deadly trap?


Caroline: You've hooked me! I do believe in psychic abilities and several people in my family are psychics of one type or another.


Lyn: Here's the excerpt:


A woman’s shriek rent the air, interrupting his ruminations and jerking him to attention. The sound had come from inside the depot.


“What the devil?” he muttered. Cutting a path between startled travelers, he shoved open the door and stepped into the building. The stuffy interior reeked of tobacco and sweaty bodies. Finding a gap in the crowd, David caught sight of a red-faced young corporal. The trooper bobbed and weaved, arms raised to fend off blows being rained upon him by a woman in a brown poke bonnet. Her weapon was a heavy looking black reticule.


“Scoundrel! I’ll teach ye some manners, I will!” she vowed in a furious Irish brogue. Swinging wildly, she sent the corporal’s blue cap flying.


“Take it easy, lady!” he cried. “I didn’t mean no harm.”


Wondering what offense the man had committed, David shouldered his way through the crowd until he stood directly behind the woman. Slim and a head shorter than himself, she wore a calico gown, the same drab color as her bonnet. Some settler’s wife, he assumed. But where was her husband?


“No harm, indeed! Stand still, ye heathen, and take what’s comin’ to ye,” she ranted. As she spoke, the yellow-haired corporal spotted David’s uniform and threw him a desperate look.


Feeling duty-bound to step in, David cleared his throat loudly and said, “Excuse me, ma’am, but perhaps that’s enough. The corporal might be needed in one piece when he gets back to his post.” His remark drew laughter from several bystanders.


The woman snorted angrily. “Indeed? Well, I don’t give a fig whether the lout is in one piece or twenty!” So saying, she landed a solid whack on the corporal’s noggin that made him yelp.


“Get ’im, darlin’!” a man in the crowd shouted, egging her on.


Afraid the young soldier might retaliate, David reached out to grasp the woman’s arms, stopping her in mid-swing. “Ma’am, if you’ll just settle down . . . .”


“Let me go!” she shrilled, attempting to wrench free.


He should have complied with her demand, but some primitive instinct made him slip an arm around her and haul her back against him. A sweet scent of lilacs and woman washed over him, and he instantly grew aware of her feminine curves.


She gasped indignantly. “How dare ye? Bithiúnach! Muclach! Take your filthy hands off me.”


Glad he didn’t understand Irish, David cursed under his breath when she rammed her heel into his shin. It didn’t hurt much thanks to his leather boots; nor did the small fists pounding on his arms. But her frantic twisting sent the wrong signal to his male parts.


“Calm down, you little wildcat!” he growled. Releasing her, he stepped back before he humiliated himself.


Whirling around, the woman drew back her arm as if to slap him, only to freeze when their eyes met. A choked sound escaped her lips and the angry color drained from her cheeks. Seeing her sway, David grasped her shoulders to steady her. Her hands clutched his forearms as he returned her wide-eyed stare.


Her eyes were sapphire blue, so dazzling that he had trouble breaking their hold upon him. When he did, he noticed how young she looked – eighteen or twenty, he guessed – and what a beauty she was.


His gaze wandered over her smooth, creamy cheeks and dainty nose then lingered on her pink parted lips. Forcing himself to look elsewhere, he noted the dark auburn curls framing her brow. Her ugly bonnet hid the rest of her hair, but he bet it would look like silk when she let it down.


Then he noticed how rapidly her breasts rose and fell, and desire surged through him, swift and strong. He felt a loco urge to pull her into his arms and kiss her. Reluctantly dragging his gaze back to her sapphire eyes, he wondered what had come over her. A moment ago, she’d been mad as a hornet. Now she stared at him as if she were seeing a ghost.


Dazed by the sight of him, Jessie wondered vaguely if she was having one of her visions. Her gaze kept returning to his gray-green eyes. Crowned by dark brows with an eerily familiar slant, they matched those she’d so often seen in her dreams. Could this tall, uniformed stranger be the man she had left home to find? She hadn’t expected her quest to bear fruit so soon. And the longer she studied his sun-bronzed, square-jawed face, arrow-straight nose and unyielding mouth, the more she doubted he was the one.


Those rakish features were hard, not gentle, and his hauntingly familiar eyes did not caress her like the ones in her dreams. Instead, they devoured her, making her stomach flutter and her heart race. When he boldly stared at her breasts, they tingled as if he were actually touching them. Stunned by her reaction, she inhaled sharply, catching the scent of shaving soap and virile male. She wondered if he would kiss her.


Caroline: Intriguing excerpt to add to the blurb. I'm sure they've made readers want to read the book. Where can readers find DARLIN' DRUID?


Lyn:
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004ASNDES


Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/product.aspx?ean=2940012184290


Caroline: Anything else you’d like readers to know?


Lyn: See my vision of my book:



Caroline: How can readers learn more about you?


Lyn: My home page: http://texasdruids.com//


Blog site: http://texasdruids.blogspot.com/


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lyn-Horner/161787403863487


Thank you, Lyn, for sharing a new type of western historical with us today. Continued good luck with your writing career!


Thanks to you, readers, for stopping by.



7 comments:

  1. Lyn, thanks so much for filling in for Jeanmarie today.

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  2. Hi Lyn. So nice to meet you today. I also believe in the psychic abilities and think some of the plots I come up with are shared with my by my great, great grandmother who is reported to be the first woman to have stories published in a magazine. Otherwise, I wouldn't have anyone to thank for giving me great plot ideas. :)

    There are so many great events to build our historicals around. Lucky for me, I live where my stories are written.

    Your excerpt was great. Good luck with lots of stories sold.

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  3. Hi Lyn:
    Loved the excerpt. I'm not psychic, but I think we all possess some intuitive ability. Not sure if this is because we pay more attention to what's going on around us or not. However, I had a friend who had a twin and she knew when her sister was going to call. When the phone rang, she would say,"That's Jane." It certainly made a believer out of me.

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  4. Lyn and Caroline,

    I enjoyed the interview so much. Thanks for filling in for me. And congratulations on your writing career!

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  5. Caroline, I'm very happy to be here. Jeanmarie, I'll fill in any time you need me. :)

    Paisley, I think we've "met" before. Your name is so unique! Nice to see you here. Sounds like you come from strong writing stock.

    Ruby, glad you enjoyed my excerpt and that you're a believer. I've believed in psychic gifts for many years, ever since I was pregnant with my first child. On three occasions I experinced prophetic dreams that came true -- in rather strange ways. I've since read that such dreams are not uncommon among pregnant women. I imagine they're due to hormone changes and the way they affect our brains. Hmm, that could make an interesting blog.

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  6. Ladies, very lovely article.It's so nice to visit with you on a saturday morning. Lyn, I'm glad you came to Texas and stayed!! See you soon, Carra

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  7. So nice to meet you , Lynn. I just love the fusion of Druids and Texas. The excerpt rocked.

    Best wishes for more great books.

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