Monday, October 7, 2013

Author: Susan Horsnell

I would like to introduce Western Romance Author, Susan Horsnell.

Welcome, Susan.  I'm so excited for you to share information about your latest book.

     For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

Romantic Westerns that are a little different. I still have the goodies, the baddies, the hero and heroine but the stories explore some facts as well as fiction.

How do you balance writing with the rest of your life?

I’m retired, my hubby works very long hours so I can keep house and spend lots of time writing.

Who wouldn't enjoy that!  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

Haha! I don’t have a typical writing day. I let my mood and inspiration dictate.

I like the sound of that, how about your writing space?

My writing space is the dining room come office at our temporary home in Canberra. I refused to furnish such a large house as our home in Qld is small and I wasn’t going to buy furniture I would have to sell in 2 years when hubby’s contract is finished and he retire’s again!

That's understandable.  What are you most passionate about outside of writing?

Animal welfare. All animals. We have two very spoiled dogs, a cockatiel and we sponsor a rescued moonbear in China called Crystal. I loathe cruelty and I am suspicious of people I meet who state “I don’t like animals”.

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

I write Western Romance with a twist of murder or crime. I have a fascination for Texas and the stories are woven from my imagination as well as years of watching cowboy movies with my Dad.  

How interesting.  Do your characters come to you first, or the plot, or the world of the story?

Usually the plot comes first. I then develop it and add the character names and nuances. 

What sets your books apart from other authors?

I like to think my stories are a little different in as much as they twist fact into fiction. I like to start with stories that have truth as a foundation and then S T R E T C H.

How do you go about developing your characters?

Usually I let the ‘guts’ of the story unfold as I write and develop the characters to suit the circumstances.  

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?

My favourite character is Rachel in Blind Acceptance. She was a strong lady who saw past a disability to bring a family back together.

Can you share a little of your current work?

My current work is called ‘Blind Achievement’ and is the sequel to Blind Acceptance. Phillip has now grown up and the next chapter in his life involves moving from the ranch to the city to study a degree. He encounters the love of a woman, jealousy and hatred before achieving all he’d set out to. 

This is fascinating.  Where can readers find more information on you? 

I have a Blog Page:
I am also on Twitter and Facebook
I have a bi-monthly newsletter. To subscribe email me at
and put Newsletter in the subject bar.

Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

My titles in order of release are:

The Glenmore’s: Revenge
The Glenmore’s: Deputy
The Glenmore’s: Laura 
The Glenmore’s: Caught
The Stuck-Up Governess
Mail Order Marshall     
Blind Acceptance          

Blind Acceptance was released on July 21.

Will Luke accept his son, Phillip’s blindness?
When Phillip is injured in a wagon accident and blinded for life; his father must come to terms with the fact that his only heir will be unable to run his beloved ranch unaided.
He struggles to accept his son is still whole; even the beautiful teacher he employs to help Phillip can’t seem to break down Luke’s walls.
Then, without warning, there is an event on the ranch that will change their lives forever.



Braille: A system of raised dots which enables the blind and visually impaired to read.
Developed in France by Louis Braille, in 1824 when he was just 15 years old. Braille writing was taught with the use of a metal slate, paper and a wooden handled awl. Raised dots were pressed into the paper to enable the blind and visually impaired to read.
Louis then developed Braille musical notation and published a book about this in 1829.
This book is a work of fiction and although some details are accurate some have been embellished for the sake of the story.


How about a little taste of what readers will find in "Blind Acceptance"?

“Pa?” His son’s voice was barely a whisper but Luke snapped out of his slumber.
“Phillip, you awake?” Luke sat up in his bed and lifted his son onto his lap.
“My head hurts Pa and I’m thirsty.” Luke gently sat Phillip back on the bed after giving him a hug, stood up and pulled on his denims. He then rounded the bed to where a pitcher of water and a glass sat on the side table. 
After filling the glass to just over halfway, he steadied it in Phillip’s hands and lit a lamp. Phillip gulped greedily and asked for more.
Luke refilled the glass and when he began handing it back he noticed his sons’ hands flailed in the air as he tried reaching for it. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end and he had a feeling of dread in the pit of his stomach.
He held the glass to one side to gauge Phillip’s reaction. Phillip’s eyes were wide open but his son wasn’t seeing. “Phillip, look at the glass, pardner, and reach out for it.”
“I can’t see it Pa. Can you put the lamp on?”
Chills raced down Luke’s spine as he fitted the glass into Phillip’s small, searching hands. “The lamp is on son; what can you see?”
“I can’t see anything, Pa. It’s just real dark and my head hurts real bad. Why can’t I see?” Phillip held out the empty glass for Luke to take from him.
He placed it back on the table before he sat on the bed and pulled his son onto his lap.
“You banged your head real bad son and Doc had to stitch you up. That’s probably got something to do with why you can’t see. How about we get some sleep and I’ll get Doc to have a look at you in the morning if you still can’t see? Maybe you will be able to see when you wake up again and we won’t need him.” Luke snuggled Phillip back under the covers, turned out the lamp, shucked off his jeans and got back into bed.
Phillip felt the mattress give under his father’s weight and he wriggled across. He laid his head on Luke’s chest and with Luke’s arm over his back he drifted back off to sleep.
Luke lay awake listening to his son softly snoring. “Please God, don’t let it be permanent.” he prayed softly but he couldn’t shake his ominous feelings. There were black clouds on the horizon of his sons’ future and he had no idea how either of them would cope. “Stop jumping to conclusions.” he admonished himself. “He’ll probably be fine in the morning and you’ll have been worried for nothing.”
Luke tried hard to get some sleep but the battle in his mind between his son being blind or being able to see turned into a war; for the rest of the night sleep eluded him.
The sun peeked over the horizon as Luke peeled his son away from his chest and climbed out of bed.
He picked up his denims from where he’d dropped them onto the floor earlier, grabbed clean underwear, a shirt and his boots. He padded across to the washroom to bathe and dress.
He had a feeling it was going to be another distressing day. He was just combing his hair when he heard movement outside the door.
Meg had her hand on the doorknob to enter his bedroom and when Luke opened the washroom door she spun around in surprise.
“I was just going to check on you and Phillip. Did he wake during the night?” Meg left the door and walked to where Luke stood.
“Come downstairs and I’ll tell you about it over coffee.”
When the two entered the kitchen they found Nathan and Smoky nursing a coffee. They glanced up at Luke with expectant looks on their faces.
Meg walked to the stove and poured coffee for Luke and herself before joining them all at the table.
“What’s going on with Phillip? You obviously didn’t get any sleep. You look like something the cat dragged in after the dog had finished with it.” Nathan’s tact never seemed to be in sync with his mouth.
Luke grimaced. He knew his brother was telling the truth.
“I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep.” Luke ran his hand through his dark thatch of curls; it was a habit he had when he worried. “Phillip woke up just after midnight. He complained his head hurt and he was thirsty.”
“That’s to be expected. Poor little mite with all those stitches.” Smoky took another gulp of his coffee after he’d interrupted Luke.
“Yeah, I know, but that’s not what’s got me tied up in knots and making me feel like the war is going on again inside my head. When Phillip woke up he couldn’t see. He was blind.”
Meg’s loud gasp made the three men swivel their heads towards her to ensure she was okay.
“It’s probably the bang on his head. I bet he’ll be fine this morning. It’s probably temporary.” Nathan spoke confidently and hoped his words were the truth.
“What are you going to do if he still can’t see Luke?” Smoky asked cautiously.
“If he can’t see when he wakes up again I’ll go and get Doc. Hopefully it will be a temporary thing caused by the bang to his head.”
“No use getting all bent out of shape until we know for sure.” Meg stood up from the table. “I’ll fix us some breakfast.”
Luke let Phillip sleep and it was well after 8 o’clock before the youngster woke up. He had been stretching his legs and admiring the view from the window.
The other men had both left after breakfast to begin moving the cattle. Although it would be slow going without him there wasn’t any hurry.
Luke turned at the sound of his son’s croaky voice. He moved to the side of the bed in a flash and took hold of his hand.
“I’m here son; what do you need?”
Phillip tried to sit up. “Is it still night Pa?”
Luke’s heart slammed against his chest. Just like earlier, Phillip’s eyes were wide open. He appeared to be staring and Luke could see how red and bloodshot they were.
He pulled Phillip out of bed and onto his lap. “No, pardner, it’s day now. I think that bang on your head has hurt your eyes. Tell me what happened yesterday.” He ran his hand up and down Phillip’s back.
“Ma took me to the river and a man called Mr Wright was waiting there. I didn’t like him, Pa, and I asked Ma to bring me home but she wouldn’t. She dragged me to a wagon. Mr Wright found our suitcases where Ma had ‘em hidden in a tree. She dragged me to the wagon and Mr Wright tied his cloth in my mouth because I was crying; I couldn’t call out for you, Pa.”
Luke’s heart broke as he listened to Phillip. His son must have felt so frightened and helpless. Luke had never hated Marie more. He loathed her for what she had done to their son and he was glad she was dead.
“I hit the horse with my fishing pole, Pa, and he ran real fast. I was bouncing around and then I was flying in the air. What happened to Ma and Mr Wright, Pa? They’re not gonna take me away again are they?” He clung to his father like his life depended on it.
“No, son, they won’t take you away ever again. They were thrown from the wagon too and they died” He was concerned with how Phillip would react to the news of his mother’s death. “Son, are you okay?”
“Yes, Pa. I don’t care that Ma is gone. I wish she wasn’t dead but I don’t like her and now she can’t take me away ever again.” Luke hugged his son close and a tear slid from his eye. His son should never have had to experience such sadness.
“Pa, I’m scared. I want to see.” Phillip snuggled into Luke’s chest and as his son began crying, Luke felt the tears well again in his own eyes. He swiped at them with his sleeve and steadied himself before speaking.
“I’ll go and get Miss Meg to come and give you a wash and get a clean night shirt on. I’ll go and get Doc. He can have a good look at your eyes and tell us what’s going on.” Luke settled Phillip back into the bed, rumpled his hair gently and gave him a kiss.
“Okay, Pa” Phillip snuggled back under the covers as Luke left the room.
“Meg.” Meg swung around at the sound of Luke’s voice and wiped her hands on her apron. “Phillip’s awake and he still can’t see so I’m going to get Doc. Could you give him a wash, change him and stay with him while I’m gone please? He’s real scared.”
Meg immediately busied herself dishing up porridge for Phillip. “You go. I’ll feed Phillip and take care of him.”
Luke strode out of the house towards the barn to saddle his horse.
Luke knocked at Doc’s surgery and Doc Kelly opened the door. When he saw it was Luke a wave of concern crossed his face. “Is something wrong with Phillip? Come in, I’ll get my bag. Norah can you ask Smithy to saddle Joey for me please?” Doc’s wife Norah appeared from the kitchen.
“What’s the matter Mark?” she then noticed Luke. “Good morning Luke. Why are you here?”
“Luke’s got a problem with young Phillip” Luke still hadn’t said a word but Doc had swung into action.
“I’ll go and tell Smithy right away” Norah placed her hand on Luke’s arm as she passed. “I’m sure he’ll be fine honey.”
Luke nodded his thanks before he followed Doc out to a room in the back.
“Come on in and tell me what’s wrong while I get my bag ready.” Doc gathered things he might need and placed them into his familiar black doctor’s bag. When Luke didn’t answer Doc stopped what he was doing. “Luke?”
“Phillip woke up just after midnight and again at eight o’clock this morning. He can’t see Doc.” Doc looked closely at Luke He had his head bent and twirled his hat in his hands. Doc placed his hand on his slumped shoulder.
“Don’t jump to conclusions yet. It could be a temporary thing. He took an awful hard blow to the head so let’s just wait until I’ve examined him before we get too worried.”
When Luke looked up, Doc recognized the grief in his eyes. He picked up his bag and glanced around the room to make sure he hadn’t forgotten anything.
“Joey’s ready, Mark.” Norah came into the room just as the two men were ready to leave.
“Thanks, Norah.” Doc leaned over and planted a kiss on her cheek as Luke made his way out of the house. “I’ll be back as soon as I can”
“Give Phillip a big hug and a kiss from me and tell him I’ll be out to see him.” Norah said to her husband’s back as he left. 

Susan, thank you so much for sharing with us today.  Your book sounds fantastic, and I'm excited to read more!


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Susan,
Nice interview. I have always enjoyed western movies, love watching all the old repeats (there aren't enough of them unfortunately.
Having read most of your books, I can certainly recommend them to anyone who wants a great read.



Cheryl Wright said...

Great interview and excerpt, Susan. I must admit I've never read a Western Romance, but your excerpt has me excited to start!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Susan, your new book sounds powerful. Wishing you continued success.

Carol, nice to discover your blog.

Keta Diablo said...

Hello Susan, enjoyed the interview. I'm a huge animal lover/rescuer too. The excerpt from Blind Acceptance was great! I'm in the process of reading your book and have had way too many distractions. But I love what I've read about Phillip's disaster. Keep 'em coming! Didn't know you had so many books out. Thanks much for sharing.


Lyn Horner said...

Terrific interview, ladies! Susan, the excerpt is so great! Your books are on my TBR list.

jude said...

Hey there Susan,
Great interview and you have a book that is sure to be a five-star review getter.
I love animals, too. They can't speak for themselves so we have to speak for them.
Judtih Ann McDowell

Anonymous said...

I can't seem to be able to reply to you all individually so I will thank you all collectively.
I do adore my animals and just can't imagine life without them.
I'm glad you enjoyed my excerpt and Keta, I am pleased you are enjoying reading Blind Acceptance.
Thank you Carol for having me.

Peggy Henderson said...

Great interview, Susan! I can relate about character development. I let the story unfold along with my characters.
Best of luck with the new book!

Ciara Gold said...

Nice interview, Susan. I just started reading Mail Order Marshall. I'm not too far into it, but so far I'm enjoying it.

Rain Trueax said...

I like making a hero have a disability and being able to see past that to the person. A challenge in a world like ours that often operates with the superficial

Cheri Clifton said...

Susan, as a friend from our author forum and FB, enjoyed getting to know you even better through your interview. I just finished Blind Acceptance and enjoyed it immensely. You wrote from the heart and I felt Luke's emotional battle dealing with his son's blindness.
Carol, I do have some of your books on my TBR as well!

Anonymous said...

Cheri, I am so pleased you enjoyed my book. I did write from the heart. After working with the blind and helping them get past their struggles, it was a topic I wanted to explore. Ladies thank you all for your friendship and your comments. I value your support more than you know. You are all very special.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan, Really nice interview. I liked learning about how you work, and admire the way you care about people and animals. Intriguing excerpt - I'm gonna have to read your books!