Sunday, May 8, 2011

Darlin' Druid by Lyn Horner

Darlin' Druid (Texas Druids)Kindle Price: 
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Set in the American West of 1872, Darlin’ Druid is a tale of epic adventure, stormy romance and family strife, sparked by flashes of Druid magic. Jessie Devlin, a daughter of Irish immigrants and a survivor of the Great Chicago Fire, is descended from the “Old Ones,” her mother’s name for their ancient Druid ancestors. Gifted with second sight, Jessie suffers nightmares in which an unknown man saves her from burning to death. A prophetic vision convinces her the man truly exists and to find him she must look west. But will her quest lead her to love or into a deadly trap?

Captain David Taylor is a Texan who sided with the North in the Civil War, earning his father’s abiding wrath. Now serving on the frontier, David longs for home and a family of his own. After a trip east, he encounters Jessie in the Omaha train depot. He’s entranced by her beauty but has no taste for her firecracker temper. She brings to mind a ghost from his past who he would rather forget. As the two journey westward, their clashing personalities war with fiery passion that threatens to overwhelm common sense. Violence dogs their path along the rails and explodes amid the unexpected beauty of Mormon Utah and in an isolated mountain mining camp. Whether love will win the day or be lost forever is a question that hangs in the balance until the terrifying conclusion on the broad Texas plains.

Lyn Horner is a baby-boomer born in San Francisco, raised in Minnesota and now residing in Texas with her husband and an ever-changing band of cantankerous, beloved cats. Trained in the visual arts, Lyn first worked as a fashion illustrator in Minneapolis, and later as an 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 creative outlet. This hobby grew into an enduring love for historical research and the art of crafting stories out of that research.

A member of Romance Writers of America, Lyn is a former vice president of North Texas Romance Writers and a semi-finalist in the prestigious Orange Rose Contest in 2008. Her first Kindle book, DARLIN' DRUID, has received glowing customer reviews. This epic western romance features a heroine with the gift of second sight. The author knows such a power truly exists, having experienced incidents of clairvoyance herself.

What will readers like about your book?
I will let Todd Fonseca of Tag My Book On Amazon answer that. This is part of his review:

I'll admit I was completely thrown by the title of this book. If for some reason you are as well, "fuhgeddaboudit"! This is an engaging, page turning, can't put it down, don't know where the time went, read. In fact, when I received Horner's book I had already started Steig Larsson's "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest"; having finished the first two books in Larsson's series I was anxious to complete the third. But I picked up Horner's book and frankly the pace was so much faster and the book more engaging that I put best selling Hornet aside in favor of finishing Horner's book.

The characters, love triangle and compelling plot line compete with the best in this genre. This is a full force romance novel with some unique twists that readers are sure to enjoy. I encourage readers to give it a try. You won't be disappointed!”

Why did you self publish?
After butting my head against the wall erected by New York publishers, I pretty much gave up trying to sell my cross genre western/paranormals. Then the upsurge in ebook popularity, led by Amazon’s Kindle explosion, caught my attention. I decided to try going it alone, and I don’t regret that decision. My book sales are steadily growing and I’m thrilled with the wonderful reviews.

What is your writing process?
Starting with a core idea, I jot down a few notes and maybe bounce plot ideas around with writer friends. Then I go to my story board, using sticky notes to arrange and rearrange plot points. From there, I develop a loose outline, often including short scenes that come to me as I work. After that it’s a matter of filling out the story, adding meat to the bones, so to speak. Lastly comes editing, an often tedious but crucial stage. I want my manuscript to be as error-free as I can make it.

How long does it take you to write your first draft?
Well, it’s painful to admit, but it took me years to complete a draft of my first historical, partly because it required so much research, but mainly because I didn’t know what I was doing. I made the common first time mistake, writing and rewriting the first few chapters, never completing the whole draft. Finally, after attending several writers’ workshops, I wised up. Now I can complete a first draft within six to eight months. Editing inevitably takes several more months. I’m not a speedy writer and never will be.

What inspired you to write this particular story?
The original idea for Darlin’ Druid occurred to me years ago when I lived near Chicago, Illinois. After hearing about the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, I thought it would be fun to write about a young woman who survived the fire and explore what happened to her afterward. At first, her story was a traditional western romance, taking her west with her prospector brother, pitting her against dangerous characters and leading, of course, to the love of her life. Later, as paranormal romances became so popular, I was inspired to make my heroine a Druid descendent with the gift of second sight – an ability to see into the future. I chose that particular psychic talent because I have experienced it several time myself, mainly in the form of prophetic dreams.


The trooper bobbed and weaved, arms raised to fend off blows being rained upon him . . . .

. . . Afraid the young soldier might retaliate, David reached out to grasp the woman’s arms, stopping her in mid-swing. “Ma’am, if you’ll just settle down . . . .”

Let me go!” she shrilled, attempting to wrench free.

He should have complied with her demand, but some primitive instinct made him slip an arm around her and haul her back against him. A sweet scent of lilacs and woman washed over him, and he instantly grew aware of her feminine curves.

She gasped indignantly. “How dare ye? Bithiúnach! Muclach! Take your filthy hands off me.”

Glad he didn’t understand Irish, David cursed under his breath when she rammed her heel into his shin. It didn’t hurt much thanks to his leather boots; nor did the small fists pounding on his arms. But her frantic twisting sent the wrong signal to his male parts.

Calm down, you little wildcat!” he growled. Releasing her, he stepped back before he humiliated himself.

Whirling around, the woman drew back her arm as if to slap him, only to freeze when their eyes met. A choked sound escaped her lips and the angry color drained from her cheeks. Seeing her sway, David grasped her shoulders to steady her. Her hands clutched his forearms as he returned her wide-eyed stare.

Her eyes were sapphire blue, so dazzling that he had trouble breaking their hold upon him. When he did, he noticed how young she looked – eighteen or twenty, he guessed – and what a beauty she was.

His gaze wandered over her smooth, creamy cheeks and dainty nose then lingered on her pink parted lips. Forcing himself to look elsewhere, he noted the dark auburn curls framing her brow. Her ugly bonnet hid the rest of her hair, but he bet it would look like silk when she let it down.

Then he noticed how rapidly her breasts rose and fell, and desire surged through him, swift and strong. He felt a loco urge to pull her into his arms and kiss her. Reluctantly dragging his gaze back to her sapphire eyes, he wondered what had come over her. A moment ago, she’d been mad as a hornet. Now she stared at him as if she were seeing a ghost.

Dazed by the sight of him, Jessie wondered vaguely if she was having one of her visions. Her gaze kept returning to his gray-green eyes. Crowned by dark brows with an eerily familiar slant, they matched those she’d so often seen in her dreams. She hadn’t expected her quest to bear fruit so soon. And the longer she studied his sun-bronzed, square-jawed face, arrow-straight nose and unyielding mouth, the more she doubted he was the one.

Those rakish features were hard, not gentle, and his hauntingly familiar eyes did not caress her like the ones in her dreams. Instead, they devoured her . . .

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