Friday, May 3, 2013

Dearest Druid by Lyn Horner: Interview and Excerpt


Hello Lyn!  I am so happy to have you back on my blog.  This time we'll be chatting about your newest book.  So....Tell us about your current release.


Dearest Druid -- Texas Devlins, Rose’s Story, has just come out. This is book three in my Texas Devlins trilogy (formerly Texas Druids.) Although the story begins in Bosque County, Texas, where the first two books both end, much of this western/Native American romance takes place in the Indian Territory, ca. 1876. It offers a glimpse of reservation life and features an unusual medicine woman. I’ll tell you more about it a bit later, okay?


What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?


I’m really fortunate to have my family’s total support for my writing. They all read my books and seem to enjoy them. In fact, my husband reads each chapter as soon as I finish it and pesters me for the next one. He likes action/adventure which I love to write, and I think he kind of likes the love scenes. Grin! Whichever, I’m not complaining.


Do you have critique partners or beta readers?


I have both. Currently, one of my longtime critique partners is dealing with health issues. Char, I miss you! But my other CP, Carra Copelin (soon to be published) has been indispensible. She brainstorms plot problems with me and is always ready to read and edit for me, as I do for her.


I never sought beta readers until this latest book. Now I have two. One is my daughter, and you know what, she’s great! She isn’t afraid to tell me when a scene doesn’t ring true. I think I’ll keep her. LOL


How do you describe your writing style?


That’s really a two pronged question. When it comes to the mechanics of writing, I’m obsessive. I hate it when I make spelling or grammar mistakes. If they slip past all the edits, I want to kick myself when a reader or reviewer points them out to me later. Since I want readers to enjoy my books, I try to make them as error free as possible.


As for the writing itself, I think I have a fairly gritty, down to earth style, or voice if you prefer. It’s important to use vernacular that fits whatever time period an author writes about. Since I’ve concentrated on the Old West so far (expect a change soon) some of the dialogue gets pretty salty at times. My job is to draw a mind picture for readers. That requires realism in my opinion.


What songs are most played on your Ipod?


None. I’ve never owned one. Nor do I own an iPhone. My cell phone is an old flip-top model. I don’t keep it on, a fact that annoys my kids no end. My toy of choice is the laptop to which I’m semi-attached.


What would we find under your bed?


Ha! Nothing exciting, I’m afraid. Flat plastic bins full of books I never have time to read and dust bunnies made up mostly of cat hair. I have three of the furry darlings. One is currently snoozing by my feet on said bed, where I often hide out to write.


If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?


That would have to be Jessie Devlin from Darlin’ Druid. Why? Because I fell head-over-heels in love with her main squeeze, David Taylor while writing their story. David is gorgeous, complicated and not easy to get along with at times, but he’s one hundred percent male with a capital M. And he’d die for Jessie. Come to think of it, he nearly did.


Entice us, what future projects are you considering?


I have two projects in the works and, as I hinted above, they’re both departures from my western romances. One does involve Druids, but in a modern setting. This will be a series of short books, possibly novellas.


My other project is something I’ve had on the back burner for years. It’s another historical, but this one takes place in Ireland in 1798, “The Year of Liberty.” Based on the Irish uprising that lit a fuse leading to Ireland’s modern fight for freedom from Britain, this manuscript is almost half finished. I hope to complete it sometime in 2014.


Oh, and sometime in the future, I hope to write about the next generation of Texas Devlins. Time will tell.


Rose Devlin, like her older siblings, possesses a psychic talent inherited from a secret line of Irish Celtic Druids stretching far back in time. Rose has the extraordinary ability to heal with her mind, a gift that has caused her great pain in the past. She also keeps a terrible secret about herself that not even her brother and sister know.


Choctaw Jack, a half-breed cowboy introduced in Dashing Druid (Texas Devlins, Book II) hides secrets of his own. If they ever come to light, he stands to lose his job, possibly his life. Yet, he must risk everything to save someone he loves, even if it means kidnapping Rose. The greatest risk of all may be to his heart if he allows himself to care too much for his lovely paleface captive. 

In her rush to get going, Rose arrived at the corral earlier than usual. Jack wasn’t yet there. Hearing a clang of metal striking metal, she thought it came from behind the barn. Curious, she strolled in that direction and found a large, open shed, from whence came the metallic hammering. It was a blacksmith’s workshop, she realized. Acrid heat struck her as she approached the open portal.

Wearing no shirt, the smith stood working at an anvil with his back to her. Even so, she recognized Choctaw Jack by his long, midnight black hair, tied back with a leather thong at his nape, and by the healed red scar across his left shoulder blade. But what was he doing here, working in the smithy? No one had ever mentioned he was a blacksmith.

Coated with sweat in the heat from the forge, his muscular arms and torso gleamed like molten copper. Rose stared in awe as he skillfully wielded his hammer and tongs. A strange excitement curled through her insides at the sight. She must have made some sound, for he stopped in mid swing and pivoted to face her. A startled look crossed his face; then he pinned her with his black stare.

“Miss Rose,” he said with a nod. “Didn’t think it was time to meet you yet.”

“Uh, nay, ’tisn’t. I’m early. I-I heard the hammering.” She gestured toward the heavy tool in his hand. “I didn’t know ye were a blacksmith as well as a cowboy.”

He shrugged one shoulder and mopped his face with the bandana draped loosely around his neck. “Pays to know more than one way to earn my keep.”

Nodding, she cleared her throat nervously. “No doubt my brother and the Crawfords set great store by your skills.”

“Saves them a trip to the blacksmith in town,” he replied with another one-shouldered shrug. “While I’m here.”

“Mmm. And what are ye working on?” Rose asked, hoping her questions didn’t annoy him.

“I’m making up extra horseshoes. We’ll need them on the drive to Kansas.”

“Ah, I see.” Feeling awkward, she stammered, “Well, I-I’m sorry for disturbing ye.” She ought to turn and leave, but her feet seemed rooted in place. Her gaze skittered across his broad, glistening chest then darted uncertainly to his chiseled features.

He cocked a raven eyebrow and laid aside his tools. Setting hands to his hips, he sauntered forward until he stood no more than three feet away from her. His mouth curled into a smile. “I don’t mind being disturbed by a pretty lady.”

“Y-ye flatter me, sir.” Flustered by his compliment, so unusual coming from him, she fiddled with the open collar of her shirt, touched her cross and stared at the ground.

“No. Just speaking true.”

Intimidated by his male scent and sheer size, she backed away a couple steps. She peeked at him from beneath her lashes, seeing his smile give way to his usual expressionless mask.

“You afraid of me?” he asked, tone hardening.

“Nay, I-I . . . .” Hunting for an excuse for her nervous behavior, she blurted, “I need air is all. ’Tis hot in here.”

He crossed his arms, muscles bulging. “A smithy has to be hot.”

“I know.” Rose cleared her throat again and licked her dry lips. “But I’m not accustomed to the heat.” Which was true. Extracting a handkerchief from the cuff of her sleeve, she dabbed at her damp forehead.

“If you can’t take heat, Texas isn’t for you,” he said in a challenging tone.

Miffed, Rose met his onyx stare and snapped, “I’ll get used to it. Excuse me. I’ll go wait by the corral.” She started to turn away, but his voice stopped her.

“You sure you still want to ride out with me?”

“Of course.” Her pulse pounded in her ears. In truth, she was a wee bit afraid to be alone with him, away from the safety of the house – perhaps more than a wee bit – but she couldn’t bring herself to admit it. Besides, she dearly wished to take Brownie for a real ride. “I’ve looked forward to this day,” she added, lifting her chin.

He stared at her for a moment and said, “It’ll take me a few minutes to finish up here. Then I’ll clean up and fetch the horses.”

“Fine.” Nodding, Rose swung on her heel and hurried away.

Jack watched her hasty retreat. She might deny it, but she was afraid of him. Once again, he wondered if it was his being an Indian that spooked her. Scowling at the thought, he reheated the horseshoe he’d been forming and hammered it into shape, reminding himself that he wanted nothing to do with the red-blonde girl with shy blue eyes. Eyes that reminded him of beautiful blue agates he’d once seen mounted on an ornate cross.

Award-winning author Lyn Horner resides in Texas with her husband and beloved cats. Trained in the visual arts, Lyn worked as a fashion illustrator and 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 hobby, soon discovering a love of historical research and the crafting of passionate romances based upon that research.

The author says, "Writing a book is much like putting together a really big jigsaw puzzle. It requires endless patience and determination to see your ideas come to life. Once hooked on the process, you're forever addicted."

A member of Romance Writers of America, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, Hearts Through History RWA, and Yellow Rose RWA, Lyn is active on several blog sites, author forums and Facebook. Her debut novel, DARLIN' DRUID, won 2nd place in the Paranormal Romance Guild 2011 Reviewers Choice Awards. Late that same year, she published DASHING DRUID, the second volume in her Texas Druids trilogy. This book won 3rd place in its category of the 2012 Romance Through the Ages Contest.The author has also published a short prequel to the trilogy titled WHITE WITCH. This novella showcases one sibling's clairvoyant ability, a gift Lyn has experienced herself.

Lyn is now at work on an Irish historical, working title Irish at Heart.

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Buy my books here: 

Amazon – Kindle & Print

Barnes & Noble – Nook



Lyn Horner said...

Laurie, Thanks so much for having me back on your beautiful site. It's a pleasure sharing my new book, Dearest Druid, with you and your readers.

Paty Jager said...

Fun interview and intriguing excerpt!

Lyn Horner said...

Glad you like both, Paty. Thanks for stopping by.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Lyn, this was a terrific interview. I'm fascinated by your mention of the 1798 Irish uprising, as my husband and I have discussed it frequently. He's convinced his ancestor was involved. LOL

Mel Comley said...

I absolutely love Lyn Horner's Druid series. She is a very talented writer who draws the reader in from the very first page.

Lyn Horner said...

Caroline, so good to see you here! You and your husband should see my books about 1798. Maybe you'd like to borrow some. I will contact you direct.

Lyn Horner said...

Mel, you are a dear! Thank you for your words of praise. It's great to know you enjoy my writing.

Ruby said...

Great interview! As an historical writer, how do you stay focused on the story and not get bogged down in the research?

Gretchen Craig said...

Hi, Lyn. That is the sexiest cover I have seen in a long time. I'll want to hear where that came from (and where that guy came from).
Gretchen Craig

Lyn Horner said...

Ruby, that's an excellent question and a problem authors all face, no which genre we write. Sometimes I do get bogged down in research because it's so fascinating learning about other times, places and cultures. I really have to tell myself to keep my eye on the goal, find what I need and get back to writing. It ain't easy!

Lyn Horner said...

Hey Gretchen, long time no see. The cover came from little old me. Yes, I design my own covers. The guy is famous cover model Jimmy Thomas -- altered to fit my character, Choctaw Jack (who's actually half Kiowa. Shh, that's a secret Rose doesn't know until after Jack kidnaps her.) ;)

I had fun giving Jimmy long hair, removing his jeans (I'm wicked!) and putting him in a breechclout.

Note to self: Send Jimmy this cover to post on his site.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful interview and excerpt. I tweeted.

Lyn Horner said...

Hi Ella, thanks for tweeting! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.