Monday, February 24, 2014

Author, Lyn Horner

Lyn Horner is an author who not only brings the west alive, she makes you think you are there even after reaching the end of her book.  She is one of many outstanding authors who have pooled their talents for an upcoming anthology.  Just wait until you read a sample of her short story.  You will be anxious for more.

A little background…

Lyn resides in Fort Worth, Texas – “Where the West Begins” – with her husband and several very spoiled cats. Trained in the visual arts, Lyn worked as a fashion illustrator and art instructor before she took up writing. This hobby grew into a love of research and the crafting of passionate love stories based on that research.

Her Texas Devlins trilogy blends authentic Old West settings, steamy romance and a glimmer of the mysterious. This series has earned Lyn several awards, including two Reviewers Choice Awards from the Paranormal Romance Guild, the most recent for her 2013 release, Dearest Irish. She is now at work on her next book.

Carol, thank you for having me here today. I’m delighted to have this chance to talk about our upcoming anthology, Rawhide ’n Roses.

Being a contributor to this collection of short stories has been a real learning experience. I thought it would be fun and wouldn’t take much time. Right. The problem is I don’t often write short stories. How was I going to tell a complete story, a romance no less, in two or three thousand words? Most chapters in my novels are longer than that. What had I gotten myself into?

Well, I quickly learned the key is to cut out all “fluff”. I ended up cutting at least a third of my first draft, a painful process as you know. We authors don’t enjoy dumping sentences, paragraphs, even whole scenes for the sake of brevity, even if it does improve the story. Now I’d like to share a snippet from my short story.

The Lawman’s Lady
by Lyn Horner


Marshal Trace Balfour doesn’t care for schoolmarm Matilda Schoenbrun’s straight-laced attitude. However, a few moments alone with the spinster lady makes him realize she isn’t quite what he expected. It also makes him curious. Why doesn’t she like to be called Mattie? Most of all, what would she look like without her specs and with her hair down?


“Move aside,” Marshal Trace Balfour ordered, pushing through the noisy throng gathered in the street outside the Golden Slipper Saloon. Their shouts and laughter had drawn him from his office up the block. Among the crowd, he saw the local Methodist preacher, the undertaker and the owner of the mercantile across the dusty street. Several ranch hands, in town on their day off, made most of the racket.

Trace also noticed the schoolmarm, Matilda Schoenbrun. With her brown hair wound in a tight bun at her nape and wearing a drab calico gown of the same color, she brought to mind a brown jay such as he’d seen as a boy in south Texas. When she spotted him, she threw her shoulders back and narrowed her lips, looking down her bespectacled little nose, setting his teeth on edge.

“Marshal, please put a stop to this!” she demanded in a haughty voice.

“Ma’am, that’s what I aim to do.” Touching his hat to her, he shouldered aside a pair of cowboys whose laughter and catcalls almost drowned out the shrieks coming from a pair of females rolling in the dirt. Trace recognized them as saloon girls form the Golden Slipper. With red and purple skirts bunched around their knees, they fought viciously, scratching, biting and pulling each other’s hair.

He’d rather face a gang of bank robbers than deal with these snarling wildcats, he thought grimly.

* * * *

Dearest Irish, book three in Lyn Horner’s Texas Devlins trilogy, is the recipient of a 2013 Reviewers Choice Award from the Paranormal Romance Guild (historical category.)

Book blurb:

Set in1876, Dearest Irish stars Rose Devlin, the youngest of three psychic siblings who hide their rare talents for fear of persecution. Gifted with the extraordinary ability to heal with her mind, Rose inadvertently reveals her secret to Choctaw Jack, a half-breed cowboy she finds fascinating. Unfortunately, she harbors another, darker secret that threatens her chances of ever knowing love.

Choctaw Jack straddles two worlds, dividing his loyalties between his mother’s people and the family of a friend who died in the Civil War. Like Rose, he keeps shocking secrets that could cost him his job, even his life. Yet, he will risk everything to save his dying mother, even if it means kidnapping Rose.


Rose regained her senses slowly. Feeling herself rock to and fro, she groggily recognized the loping gait of a horse beneath her. But how could that be?
She forced her eyes open, taking in the starlit sky and the dark landscape passing by. Blinking at the sight, she realized she was seated crosswise on the horse – in a man’s lap. Just like that, the scene in her bedroom with Jack came back to her, and she knew whose chest she leaned upon and whose arm was locked around her.
Panicking, she cried out in fright. Pain lanced through her jaw, reminding her of the blow her teacher-turned-abductor had delivered just before she’d sunk into oblivion.
“Easy now,” the brute murmured. “You’re all right. Nobody’s gonna hurt you.”
She threw her head back to see his shadowed features. “I’m not all right, ye . . . ye kidnapper!” Cupping her painful jaw, she demanded, “Take me back this instant!”
“Can’t do that, Toppah.”
“But ye must! Tye and Lil will be looking for me.” Catching the odd word he’d spoken, she repeated it. “Toppah? What’s that?”
“It’s you. It means yellow-hair.”
“Oh. Well, don’t be calling me that again. Now turn this horse around and take me back,” she again demanded.
“Nope. We’re heading for the Nations. You might as well relax and enjoy the ride.”
“Enjoy the ride, is it? You’re daft!” She pushed at his steely arm and attempted to twist free, but, although his hold caused no pain, it was unbreakable. Feeling smothered and panicky, she shoved at his chest, managing to create a small space between them.
“Be still,” he ordered sharply. “Do you want to fall off and break your neck?”
Before she could reply, another man’s voice sounded nearby, speaking in an unfamiliar tongue. Unaware of his presence until that moment, Rose uttered a frightened cry and instinctively shrank against Jack. His arm tightened around her for a moment. He said something to the other man then spoke softly to her.
“Don’t be afraid, Poe-lah-yee. That’s only Tsoia. He is my friend, my blood brother. He won’t touch you as long as he thinks you’re mine.”
“Yours! I’m not yours!” she shrilled, once more stiffening against him.
“You might not want to let him know that.”
Twisting her upper body and craning her neck, Rose caught a glimpse of the other Indian’s shadowy form. He rode near them and, unless she was mistaken, he led another horse.
“What did he say?” she warily asked.
“He said you screech like an owl,” Jack replied, a grin in his voice.
Rose huffed in annoyance, not liking the comparison. After a moment’s silence, she asked in a softer voice, “And what did ye call me a minute ago?”
“Poe-lah-yee. It means rabbit.”
“Rabbit! I told ye before I’m no scared rabbit.” Although she did feel like one just now, she privately admitted. “Oh, and my hair’s not yellow, ’tis strawberry-blonde. That’s what they’re calling the color back in Chicago these days.”
“That right? Well, I guess I could call you Poe-aye-gaw. That means strawberries.”
“For goodness sake, can’t ye call me by my proper name?”
“I dunno,” he drawled. Poe-aye-gaw is kinda nice, or maybe P’ayn-nah. That means sugar. Yeah, I like that one.”
Sugar? Did he think her sweet? And what if he did? It made no nevermind to her. Snorting in disdain, Rose squirmed uncomfortably in his lap.

Buy Dearest Irish here:

Find Lyn Here:

Monday, February 17, 2014

Author Rain Trueax

Growing up on a farm at the edge of wilderness and writing since childhood impacts my view of life as well as my creative work. All my romances emphasize the values of self worth, hard work, nature, and community. Through my characters, I especially like to show how our choices, good and bad have consequences. Some of our greatest growth comes through our intimate relationships where the challenges can be the most painful or joy filled.

Married with two grown children and four grandchildren, I work from our Oregon sheep and cattle ranch, a Tucson desert home, or on the road in the inter-mountain west. I have now published eleven contemporary and two historical romances along with two novellas (plus three as yet unpublished Oregon historical romances). 

When I began considering what might make an interesting short story, for our western writers anthology, Rawhide and Roses, I decided to use secondary characters from an earlier book. I thought I’d enjoy taking a character I had liked and letting them have their own story. To me secondary characters in any book are the key to the book working. I’ve had some great ones, a few that readers have related back how much they enjoyed anytime the characters appeared—me too.

Deciding my character should be from the historicals, I first opted for a hunky young buy and intended to give him a romance. As soon as I realized with whom he would fall in love, I knew that was too complicated for a short story (going to be a novella or book by summer). That led to choosing a little older character, also fromTucson Moon, who I had particularly liked—Connie Sicilla.

Connie is a natural psychic. She was taught by her mother and grandmother, with similar gifts, to accept hers as a responsibility, one from which she was never to use for profit. I’ve known a few like her. It’s rather amazing what they can see, but they do face problems because of a paranormal gift that some fear or misunderstand.

With her husband, faro dealer, Del Sicilla, Connie had left Tucson near the beginning of Tucson Moon. They weren’t driven out by word getting around of her readings, although that had also happened, but rather by his feeling there were greener pastures. The two, married over twenty years with no children, are still passionately in love and supportive of each other. What happens to them in a California mining camp is told in—Connie’s Gift.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Author: Rhonda Kulczyk

If there is one word to describe Christian Romance Author, Rhonda Kulczyk, it would be genuine.  Although quiet in nature, her love and devotion for those around her is very obvious.  Thankfully for you and me, she also brings this quality to her writing.  When you read her books, not only do you get to know her characters, you get to know Rhonda.  How nice is that for us!

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I was introduced to historical fiction by my grandmother.  For my eleventh birthday she gave me ‘Love Comes Softly’ by Janette Oke and I fell in love with the time period.   In 2001 I decided to try writing my own book.  What began as an inquisitive adventure became the development of a lifelong dream as friends and family compelled me to publish Freedom to Love.  It was released in 2009, followed by Freedom to Live, Freedom to Surrender, and Freedom to Forgive.  I am presently working on the fifth book in the series, Freedom to Endure.

For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
Freedom to Love is set in 1858.  And each book thereafter is set just a few years later.  My books portray the hardships of the rugged west.  I invest much of myself into the main characters of my books.  Many of their struggles were my own at one time.  Their experiences, good and bad, are experiences I myself have faced during my own life.  I’m most assuredly a romantic at heart, a trait inherited from my grandmother on my father’s side of the family, so my books definitely reflect this.

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
Candice (Andi) from Freedom to Live is most definitely my favorite.  I based much of Freedom to Live off of my own life and it was a difficult book to write, and yet at the same time liberating.  Andi finds herself forced into an unhappy marriage.  She desperately tries to make the best of it, while every day dying a little more inside.  What do you do when the man of your dreams is not the man you have married?

A little of my current work:
Taken from Freedom to Forgive, which released just a couple weeks ago.
They rode in silence for quite some time, enjoying the peaceful evening.  Even the wind was still.  After circling the town of Sheridan once, Jude found himself riding toward his place.  He purposefully took the trail bypassing the houses and they rode up the hill where he finally stopped.  He studied her expression as she took in the scenery below.  The full moon allowed more light than usual and the cattle grazing below were noticeable.
            “You’ve done well,” Katrina said, her voice full of feeling.  She turned her head but not before he saw the tear drop to her cheek.
            “Does that make you unhappy?” Jude questioned.
            “Of course not,” Katrina replied.  “I couldn’t be happier for you.”
            “Then why the tears?”
            “This all confirms my reason for leaving.  You were better off without me.”
            “What good is all this without someone to share it with?” He turned his horse and followed the trail into the trees.  Is that why she left?  Did she honestly believe he was a better man when she wasn’t a part of his life?  If that were the case, she had no idea how lonely the last two years had been.  Sure, his cattle business had thrived because he had poured his entire life into making it a success; working had helped him live without her.  He heard her horse following.  A few minutes later they ran into the stream and he followed it upriver.  Finally he stopped and dismounted.
            “The waterhole?” she hesitantly voiced as her eyes adjusted to their surroundings.
            “Our waterhole,” he replied huskily.
            “Are you going to throw me in there?” She wore a smile on her face.
            “Now there’s an idea,” Jude replied with a lopsided smile.  He tethered his horse and walked toward her, stopping just beneath her horse.
            “I’m not sure if I should make an escape or not,” Katrina stated. 
He reached out his hands for the reins.  “I want to show you something,” he said softly.  She placed the reins in his hands and stepped down.  Her horse secured next to his, she followed him closer to the stream.  He stood in front of a big oak tree waiting for her to join him.  When she stepped up next to him she could see what he was staring at.  The bark had been stripped away from part of the tree.  In the wood were tally marks, so many it would take her several minutes to count them all.
“It’s marked for every night you’ve spent away from me,” he finally spoke.  “Seven hundred twenty-five if you count tonight,” he stepped toward the tree with a sharp-edged rock intending to scrape another mark into the tree.
“Please don’t mark it,” she wept.
The rock fell from his hand into the dry dirt below and he turned to face her.  Tears streamed down both her cheeks, her eyes searching his for acceptance.  He strode toward her and cradling her face in his hands, he kissed her gently on the lips.  “I love you,” he whispered against her mouth and then he kissed her again, deeply, passionately.  Tasting the saltiness of tears he stepped back and realized they were his own.  “Why did you leave?”  The question had haunted him for two years.  He wouldn’t be able to rest until he knew.

Where can readers find more information on you?
For more information about my books please visit: