by Lyn Horner
Romancing The West welcomes award-winning author Lyn Horner, who 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.
RTW: We'd love to know more about the Texas Druids series, specifically the featured book today, Dashing Druid. Could you please tell us about your book?
LH: Glad to, Jacquie. Tye Devlin is empathic. He “feels” others’ emotions. Although he’s learned to block out most of the “racket,” he has no defense against cowgirl Lil Crawford’s hidden pain, for it echoes his own. Healing each other will be no easy task for these two wounded souls. Set in the 1870s, against a backdrop of Texas ranch life and an iconic cattle drive, this story pits Tye and Lil against dangerous enemies, feuding families and their own personal demons. Love may carry a deadly price.
Dear RTW fans, Lyn will give away a free copy of Dashing Druid.
Please see details at the end of Lyn's interview.
RTW: Why do you write Westerns? What aspect of life in the Old West intrigues you the most? Did you work that into Dashing Druid?
LH: I take after my dad. He loved stories of the Old West. I watched dozens, maybe hundreds, of westerns on TV with him, and he introduced me to authors like Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour. Eventually I started reading western romances. When I began writing, I naturally gravitated to that genre. Cowboys and cattle drives have always intrigued me most. My favorite TV western was Rawhide, and to this day I love Red River, the original black and white movie with John Wayne and Montgomery Clift. This epic tale of the (fictional) first trail drive from Texas to Kansas led me to feature a cattle drive in Dashing Druid.
RTW: If you lived in the 1870s, what would you visit first? Is there some place you researched where you might like to live?
LH: Gosh, I'd surely like to visit Wichita, Kansas, where my trail drive concludes, and watch the cowboys drive a sprawling cattle herd straight through town. Since I live in Fort Worth, I'd also like to see “Cowtown” in the old days. First, though, I'd probably visit Bosque County, Texas, home to Tye and Lil. It would be fun to see if the area looked as I picture it back then.
Choosing a place to live is easy. It would be Georgetown, Colorado. How my characters get there, I won’t say, but living in such a picturesque location would be a joy. Surrounded by mountains, the town is charming with its Victorian homes and old time storefronts. However, I'd spend winters in Texas. I grew up in Minnesota. No more snow and ice for me!
RTW: If a person who had never read a Western Romance asked you for a recommendation, what novel or movie would you recommend and why? What makes the story special for you?
|Lyn Horner, author|
LH: Well, as I mentioned before, I love the movie Red River, so I'd recommend that. Not only is it a wonderful adventure tale, but it also includes a touching love story. Two actually. One is the romance between Montgomery Clift's character and a woman he meets along the trail (can't recall the actress's name, sorry.) The other is the unspoken love between the father figure (John Wayne) and his adopted son (Clift.) It's their relationship and the pain it involves, that always tugs at my heart. It also has a happy ending, always a winner in my opinion.
Now, if we're talking books, my first favorite western romance was Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers. Yes, it's a bodice ripper, but what a ride! I've never read anything to top the page-turning pace. Among later authors, Linda Lael Miller can't be beat. I love her time travel stories, especially Sierra's Homecoming, because it's so unique. Having two heroines living in the same house but on different timelines, and the way she connects them, is a brilliant idea!
RTW: Why must Tye Devlin take this particular story journey? What does he have to prove? How does Lil Crawford affect his journey?
LH: Tye’s story is one of redemption as he struggles to put his ghosts to rest. He must prove to himself, as well as to Lil and her family, that he's worthy of her. Drawn to her by his empathic ability, he finds in her a new reason for living. She, in turn, must come to believe she's not the unlovable old maid she thought herself to be.
RTW: Would you like to share an excerpt from Dashing Druid?
LH: Absolutely. In this scene, Tye and Lil are at a Saturday night social. She is escorted by Frank Howard, a friend of her family, who she doesn’t like. Tye has just asked her for a dance.
Lil stiffened. “Listen, I agreed to dance with you to show Frank he doesn’t own me. That doesn’t give you the right to nose into my business.”
His mouth curved downward briefly, but then he nodded. “As ye say, colleen.” He tilted his head, studying her. She was about to tell him to quit staring when he spoke. “And will ye also object if I simply ask whether Lil’s your full given name?”
She blinked at his unexpected change of subject and shrugged. “It’s Lily, but nobody ever calls me that. It doesn’t suit me.”
He laughed softly. “Ah, but I think it does, for you’re as beautiful as your namesake.”
Lil forgot to breathe for a moment. Was he mocking her the way he had that day last summer at the creek? Or . . . was it possible he really meant what he said, both now and back then? Suddenly unsure, she felt herself blush and sent her gaze skittering away like a terrified rabbit searching for a hidey-hole.
“Y-you must be addled. I’m not even pretty.”
He sighed and murmured in a deep, husky tone, “Lily, Lily, ye know not your own worth. You’ve the face of a Greek goddess I once saw pictured in a book. Your skin glows as if kissed by the sun, your brown eyes spark with fire when you’re angry and call out to me in my dreams. And your hair . . . ah, colleen, it makes me think of moonlight on dark water. My dearest wish is to bury my face in it and drink in your sweet scent.”
Never had a man said such things to Lil. Melting warmth enveloped her as she lifted her head and got lost in Tye’s radiant blue eyes. She parted her lips, but no words came out. Instantly, his gaze swooped down to her mouth, and it shocked her to realize she wanted him to kiss her. What was left of her rational mind cried out in protest.
“Don’t talk nonsense,” she whispered, sounding breathy and unconvincing even to her own ears.
“Nay, Lily, ’tisn’t nonsense, ’tis the simple truth. And there’s more, much more I wish to say . . . and do.”
She gasped, suddenly fearful.
“Ah, luv, don’t be frightened,” he said quickly. “I’d never hurt ye, I swear.”
♥ ♥ ♥
Dashing Druid can be purchased at Amazon.
RTW: What’s next? Where does Dashing Druid number in the series?
LH: Yes, it’s the second volume in my Texas Druids trilogy. I’m hard at work on the third book, Dearest Druid. In it, Tye’s little sister Rose is lassoed by an Indian cowboy and puts her healing touch to good use.
RTW: Anything else you’d like to add?
LH: I would like to briefly mention Darlin’ Druid, the first book in this series. Available in Kindle format and in print, this book won second place in the Paranormal Romance Guild’s 2011 Reviewers Choice Awards. It stars Tye’s sister, Jessie Devlin, and her hunky dream man David Taylor.
Your Chance to Win!
RTW: Okay, give. What contest are you offering this week?
LH: Okay, readers, here’s the scoop on my giveaway. It’s simple. Just leave me a comment here on RTW, including your email address so I can contact you if you win. (Or, if you prefer, email it to me: email@example.com.) The entry period ends at 9:00 pm on Saturday, March 10th. The prize is a Kindle copy of Dashing Druid.
Thanks, Lyn, for joing RTW this week! RTW readers, be sure to enter her contest by leaving a comment with your email address, and join us in Thursday for Lyn's western article. You won't want to miss it.