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Friday, February 21, 2014

Taking tea with... Lyn Horner and some very polite cowboys...

Ty Hardin
A few weeks ago my front hall was crowded with highlanders and today it is cowboys. I love cowboys - does anybody remember BRONCO?  I had a huge crush on Ty Hardin...but perhaps I am showing my age! (See gratuitous image of object of crush!)

My tea guest is Lyn Horner,  hails from Texas and writes Western historical romances with a difference (a touch of the fey!) and hails from Texas. 

Lyn is offering a giveaway (details at the end of the post)

A huge Texas “Howdy” to y'all. (Boys! Watch those spurs on my Persian rug!).  Lyn, are you a tea drinker and if so do you have a preference as to how it is served?

Thank you, Ms. Stuart. I’m delighted to be here and, yes, I love tea. May favorite is herbal mint, but I also enjoy Earl Grey.

At first glance you appear to write Western Historicals, but what I like about your books, Lyn, is that you are yet another of my writer friends who has crossed the genres… Yes, they are Western Historicals but there is a strong element of paranormal.   What have you found are the pros and cons of writing across the genres?

Crossing genres is fun. I love adding a glimmer of psychic magic and Irish myth to my western romances. It lends a sense of mystery to the stories and makes them unique. However, it also makes them a harder sell. Some readers love that dash of something different while others don’t. A few have complained that there’s not enough of the paranormal element. Can’t please them all!d

You have written a series of books (The Texas Devlins) which follow the fortunes (and loves) of three Irish siblings who come to the frontier country, bringing with them a touch of the Irish “faerie”. What was the inspiration behind this series?

True, as descendants of a secret line of Irish Celtic Druids, Jessie, Tye and Rose Devlin
each possess a special psychic talent. Jessie has the gift of second sight, an ability to look into the future. In ancient times she would have been called a Druidess or Vate. In Darlin’ Irish, Jessie heads west in search of a man she’s seen countless times in prophetic dreams. My own experience with such dreams (scary, not romantic) inspired me to give her that gift. This in turn led me to endow her brother and sister with their own particular gifts.

Tye Devlin, oldest of the three sibs, is an empath. He literally feels other people’s emotions, a painful gift he has learned to block most of the time, though not when he crosses paths with a certain Texas cowgirl in Dashing Irish. Tye’s psychic power is straight out of science fiction. An episode in the original Star Trek TV series inspired me to give him that talent.

Baby sister Rose Devlin possesses the most spectacular power. She is able to heal with her mind by laying her hands on the afflicted person. Think of all the reported incidents of such healing, whether true or fake, and you’ll know where I got the idea for Rose’s gift. This ability draws leads a half-breed cowboy named Choctaw Jack to kidnap her in DearestIrish.

You are an indie published author:  What drove that decision and what are main advantages/disadvantages you have found in the experience?

I tried for years to sell my first book, originally titled Darlin’ Druid, to a traditional publisher. I had no luck, even when agented. Disillusioned, I took time off from writing to pursue my interest in genealogy. Then, in 2010, my dear friend and critique partner Sharla Rae urged me to look into Amazon’s Kindle publishing program. I did, and I self-published Darlin’ Irish in November 2010. Dashing Irish came out a year later, a prequel novella titled White Witch in early 2012,and Dearest Irish in April 2013.

The advantages of going indie are twofold. First, I have control over what I write. If I choose to cross genres, I can. Second, there are no gate keepers (editors, agents, publishing houses) to stand between me and the reading public.

Disadvantages are pretty much the same but in reverse. I don’t have an agent or editor to tell me when I take a risky turn with my stories, although I do have fantastic crit partners. Equally important, I’m not backed by a publishing house, meaning I must do my own book formatting, cover creation, uploading to various retail sites and, most time consuming of all, my own marketing. True, I can hire people to do these things, but that costs money and I’d still have to do a lot of book promotion. One thing to keep in mind, though: publishers don’t help much with marketing these days unless you’re a top tier author. (AS: so true!)

I can’t let you go without mentioning cats.  I am owned by two - the Kat brothers, Toby and Oliver, who I adore and like to think adore me but you wrangle six of them, how did you come to be adopted by so many felines and what led to the writing of “Six Cats in My Kitchen”? 

LOL! You got it right, we don’t own our cats, they own us. Actually, I’m mom to only three of the little darlings nowadays. The original six have all gone to kitty heaven, although they live on in my heart. My current brood are foundlings, just as all but one of the others were (AS: All my best cats found me!). What led me to write about them? Well, I carried a lot of built up emotional baggage. Putting it into words while talking about how I came to have six cats, and the role each played in my family, served as a catharsis. Besides, I enjoyed sharing my furry children with readers.
Lyn and her furry companions

Dearest Irish (Texas Devlins, Rose’s Story) is the third book in a western romance trilogy set in the 1870s. This unique series features three siblings who descend from a hidden line of Irish Celtic Druids. Each possesses a rare psychic talent they hide for fear of persecution. Dearest Irish stars Rose Devlin, youngest of the three. Rose has an extraordinary ability to heal with her mind, a secret gift that has caused her great pain in the past. She also harbors another secret, one she can’t share even with her brother and sister, one that threatens her chances of ever finding love.
Choctaw Jack, a half-breed cowboy introduced in Dashing Irish (Texas Devlins, Tye’s story), 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. 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.
As Jack spirits Rose away into the heart of the Indian Territory, she comes to accept his reason for abducting her but fears his nearness and the unwanted feelings he stirs within her. Along the way they’re tested by natural forces and individuals, both white and red, who revile Jack and scorn Rose for riding with him. But far greater challenges lie ahead. Rose’s healing power and courage will be pushed to their limits, while Jack finds the greatest risk he faces is caring too much for his lovely paleface captive.

Lyn Horner 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.
Lyn’s 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. Visit Lyn's Website for more information.

GIVEAWAY:  A free Kindle copy of Texas Devlins 4 Book bundle. This is a boxed set of the trilogy plus the prequel novella. Anyone who would like to enter the drawing should either leave their email address with a comment or contact me direct: