Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dashing Druid by Lyn Horner - Guest Post

Dashing Druid continues Lyn Horner’s unique Texas Druids saga. This western romance stars Tye Devlin, the eldest of three psychically gifted siblings. Descended from legendary Irish Druids, Tye is a sensitive, an empath in modern terms. He “feels” other’s emotions. Over time, he has erected mental barriers to block out most of the “racket” in order to save his sanity, but when he meets Texas cowgirl Lil Crawford, her troubled feelings easily breach those barriers.

Unlucky in love, Lil sees herself as a gangly old maid. She guards her bruised heart behind a tough façade, working alongside her father’s cowhands. When a handsome stranger with an Irish brogue calls her beautiful, she thinks he’s mocking her. Learning he’s the brother of the woman who wed her lost love, Lil tries to put Devlin out of her mind, yet she can’t help wishing such a man might truly find her beautiful.

Tye Devlin’s flashing smile conceals a painful burden. A failed prospector and silver miner, he’s left with nothing but guilt over a friend’s death and nightmarish memories of a mine cave-in. Seeking peace, he’s come to visit his sister and her husband on their Texas ranch. They convince him to remain with them, and while learning to ride and rope, Tye becomes fascinated by Lil Crawford. The daughter of a neighboring rancher, the part Cherokee beauty attracts him with her golden skin, dark flashing eyes and slim, feminine curves, but it’s her bravery and hidden sorrows that capture his heart. He realizes they’re kindred spirits. However, her parents regard him as a no-good Irish Yankee. They order her to have nothing to do with him.

Set against a backdrop of Texas ranch life, an iconic cattle drive, and feuding families, this action packed story delves into Tye's painful empathic ability and the impact it has upon his life and those he loves. As he and Lil struggle to survive raging rivers, hostile Indians and a vicious, gun wielding enemy, they must face their personal demons and decide if love is worth the consequences. Explosive surprises will determine their fate.


Enter to win a digital copy of Darlin' Druid AND Dashing Druid
 (Books 1 & 2 in the Texas Druids Series)
 "Like" Lyn Horner on Facebook for a bonus entry.
This giveaway ends January 21st at 11:59 PM Central Time.

Imagination Is Not Enough
by Lyn Horner

When I dreamed up the idea of Druids riding the range in the Old West, it raised some eyebrows. How could there possibly be Druids in 1870s Texas? Had I been nibbling locoweed? No. I simply wanted to try a fresh approach for my western romances, and when an idea takes hold in my imagination, it’s impossible to shake it loose.

However, there’s more to writing than scribbling far out ideas. A well written book requires clear, intelligible language, a fast-paced, dynamic plot that holds a reader’s attention, character internal conflict and growth, a powerful love story in the case of romance, and thorough research – the backbone of any novel. To prove the latter, I’m going to share with you some of the research that went into Dashing Druid, book two in my Texas Druids trilogy.

First, let me set the stage. The premise of the series is that if psychics live among us today, if they existed in ages past, a few such gifted folk probably lived in the Old West. The books focus on three siblings. Children of Irish immigrants, they are descended from the “Old Ones” – their mother’s name for their Druid ancestors. Each possesses a unique psychic gift. Their stories blend epic adventure, passionate romance and family strife, driven by flashes of Druid powers.

I won’t take time to talk about book one, Darlin’ Druid, except to say Laurie read and reviewed it shortly after it came out. I treasure her glowing review. Thanks, Laurie!  Breaking News! Darlin' Druid has been nominated as a 2011 Best Read (Reviewer's Choice Category)  Woo! Woo!

Dashing Druid continues the saga. Recently published, this book stars Tye Devlin, oldest of the three siblings. Tye is a sensitive, an empath in modern terms. He “feels” others’ emotions. Over time, he has learned how to block out most of the “racket” as he calls it in order to save his sanity. However, when he meets Texas cowgirl Lil Crawford, her troubled feelings break through his mental barriers as if they didn’t exist.

Unlucky in love, Lil sees herself as an old maid. She guards her broken heart behind a tough façade, dressing like a man and working alongside her father’s cowhands. When a handsome stranger with an Irish brogue shows calls her beautiful, she thinks he’s mocking her. Learning who he’s related to, she determines to put Tye Devlin out of her mind. Haunted by his own demons, Tye faces an uphill battle in his pursuit of Lil. His “gift” plays a vital role as the two fight their inner battles and decide if love is worth risking the consequences.

Set against a backdrop of Texas ranch life, an iconic cattle drive and a side trip to Colorado, this story required considerable research. The fictional ranches are located in Bosque County, northwest of Waco, Texas. I’d already researched the area for book one. Nevertheless, I did more reading and made another trip south from Fort Worth to view the landscape again and revisit the award-winning Bosque Museum in Clifton, the county’s largest small city. Bosque isn’t “big” ranch country as in south or west Texas, but there were enough moderate-sized ranches located there in pioneer days to make it a feasible setting for my stories. The Chisholm Trail also runs through Bosque County, a big plus for the cattle drive in Dashing Druid.

Speaking of which, I did more research for the cattle drive than any other portion of the book. Over the years I’ve collected hundreds of books on history, geography, Celtic myth and legend, etc. Books about Texas, Oklahoma and Native Americans occupy several shelves in my crowded little library. They provide a wealth of information, yet sometimes the only way to find answers to specific questions is to go to a direct source, meaning phone calls and travel.

Several years ago, when Tye Devlin’s story was still a twinkle in my eye, a good friend who loves helping me research accompanied me to Nacona, a town of over 3,000 residents near the Red River, the border between Texas and Oklahoma. There, we met with an elderly gentleman named Glenn Wilson whose father lived in the area during the trail drive era. I was referred to Mr. Wilson after calling various museums, and I’m grateful beyond measure for having met him.

Acting as our guide despite being legally blind, this kindly man directed us to the exact place where Texas herds crossed the Red into Indian Territory (Oklahoma.) He told us why this bend in the river was so popular as a crossing point, describing how the river current carried cattle toward the north bank as it rounded the bend and pointing out the low, accessible banks on both sides of the river. I used these facts for staging the cattle crossing in Dashing Druid.

Mr. Wilson also guided us to Panther Creek, a grassy, overgrown little stream that served as a holding area while herds awaited their turn to cross the river. It got its name from the panthers (cougars) often lurking nearby in the old days, when they still ranged all over the western United States. One of the big cats causes Tye some harrowing moments.

More travel was involved when it came time to research the Colorado segment. On that occasion I accompanied my husband on a business trip to Denver. While he worked I spent my days in the amazing Denver Library, going through books, maps and precious microfilm records from the 19th century mining days. Then hubby took a day off and we headed west into the mountains, where we visited Georgetown, once dubbed “Silver Queen of the Rockies.” With its brightly painted Victorian homes, some the former abode of mine owners and managers, this picturesque town was a lovely surprise. Then we continued up the road, and I do mean up, to Silver Plume. Love that name! This is where the silver miners – the hired help – once lived. Nowadays known as a “sleeping town” because so few people live there year around, it’s built on the side of a mountain, with steep paths leading up to the tiny house built virtually into the rock. Walking the one actual street running through what’s left of the business district, we saw empty saloons and storefronts dating back to the boomtown days, as well as a stone jailhouse built in 1875 that looked big enough to house one, maybe two prisoners.

I’ve gotten longwinded, so I won’t go into all I learned in that quaint little town. Let’s just say I came away with of info and a love for those towering mountains. Ah, such a hardship, this research!

Darlin' Druid       Amazon  |   B&N

Dashing Druid     Amazon  |   B&N

Six Cats In My Kitchen   Amazon KDP Select book


Lyn Horner is a baby-boomer born in San Francisco, raised in Minnesota and now residing in Texas with her husband and an ever-changing band of cantankerous, beloved cats. Trained in the visual arts, Lyn first worked as a fashion illustrator in Minneapolis, and later as an art instructor for Art Instruction Schools (famous for their "Draw Me" heads.) After quitting work to raise her children, she took up writing as a creative outlet. This hobby grew into an enduring love for historical research and the art of crafting stories out of that research.

A member of Romance Writers of America, Lyn is a former vice president of North Texas Romance Writers and a semi-finalist in the prestigious Orange Rose Contest in 2008. Her first Kindle book, DARLIN' DRUID, has received glowing customer reviews. This epic western romance features a heroine with the gift of second sight. The author knows such a power truly exists, having experienced incidents of clairvoyance herself.

Lyn’s Website is http://texasdruids.com and her blog is http://texasdruids.blogspot.com/ .

Also Find Lyn on  Facebook.



nightclub guest list said...

Thank you for your great work and… this Blog is a really pleasant surprise! Keep up the good work!

nightclub guest list

Rosanne Dingli said...

Very unusual, Lyn, and rather enticing, with that cover.

Paty Jager said...

The first book is on my kindle I just haven't had time to get to it. The second book sounds just as interesting.

Alison E. Bruce said...

What I wouldn't give to have had your research opportunities. Although, in fairness I've had plenty for my mysteries, just not my westerns. For those I rely on books and the oh-so-useful web and it's access to university collections.

Great post, Lyn.

Lyn Horner said...

A big Texas howdy, ladies!

Rosanne, that's what I was going for -- unusual. Glad the cover entices you. I put together a couple paid model photos, added the background and the signature Celtic cross I'm using on all my Druid books.

Paty, I hope you enjoy Darlin' Druid when you find time to read it. I have a sample of your Spirit of the Lake on my Kindle which I also hope to read soon.

Alison, if you ever get down my way I'd love to research with you. It's one of my favorite parts of writing. Oh, and I've started reading Under a Texas Star. I'm loving it so far!

Thanks for stopping by, friends.

mountainmama said...

Great feature, Lyn! I hope to get a chance to read your book before much longer!!

Lyn Horner said...

Hey mountainmama, good to see you! I have M.O.D. on my Kindle and also hope to read it soon. The trouble is there aren't enough hours in a day anymore. I think you know how that goes.

Lyn Horner said...

Laurie, I've loved being with you today. Your site is always a pleasure to visit, and I enjoyed writing a post for you. Thank you for inviting me. Lyn

Darlene said...

That cover is yummy! Thanks for the giveaway!

Carra Copelin said...

Lyn, I enjoyed your article today. I also remember a trip we took to Clifton in Bosque County, gathering research for your Druid series.

You're right, researching is great fun. I've read and enjoyed both Darlin' and Dashing Druid and eagerly await Mary's story!

Lyn Horner said...

Grins, Darlene! I confess to liking the cover too. Good luck in the drawing.

Carra, I remember our trip to Bosque County very well. It's beautiful country, especially in springtime when the bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush turn the land into a patchwork of bright colors. Hmm, maybe we should plan another jaunt down there. I could count it as research for book three. Hehehe!

Laurie said...

Lyn, you are the best! It's always a pleasure to have you as a guest!!

Kate Rigby said...


Great to put a name to your face and to read all about your writing!

Kate (aka Bubbity)

Lyn Horner said...

No, you are, Laurie! :)

Hi Kate. Same here. I hope to get to know you better.

Lyn Horner said...

Laurie, I hope you won't mind if I mention that Darlin' Druid has just been nominated for the 2011 Reviewers Choice Award by the Paranormal Romance Guild. The winner will be determined by readers' votes. Voting opens at 9 a.m. EST on Friday, January 6th at [ prg.contest@gmail.com ].

Unknown said...

Lyn, I am so happy to have found another new to me author! Let alone one that writes Paranormal mixed in with cowboys!! Oooh, laa laa, I'm in heaven *swoon*

These books are going on the top of my wishlist! I gotta have 'em! The covers alone make my mouth water, LOL!

Thank you so much for the giveaway opportunity!

I hope 2012 brings you every happiness and golden opportunity!

Gena Robertson

Lyn Horner said...

Hi Gena. Aren't you sweet! I'm glad you're wishing for my Druid stories. I'll soon publish a novella that introduces Jessie and Tye Devlin. Titled White Witch, this little book caries them through the horrific Chicago Fire and shine the spotlight on their psychic powers, especially Jessie's gift of second sight. Look for soon on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

I wish you the same for 2012!