Friday, November 15, 2013

A new look for some older titles

It took a comment on one of my Amazon reviews to spur me to action but I'd always intended to create new covers for self published books. It's just at the time of publication, I could find nothing that suited me, so I painted my own. I'm going to keep the cover of Sarah's Brass Token as is as that one holds special meaning. However, the rest all have new looks.

I kinda wanted to keep the old cover of Texas Forged but I recognized I had problems with some of the perspective so I went in search of a stock photo I thought might work. I found several I really wanted from Inmagine so I sent them a simple query. I wanted to know licensing information in terms of e-book covers. All they had listed were terms for print covers. Everything else was in legalize I didn't fully understand. Their answer was to ask me which photos interested me? Okay, I'll bite so I sent them a list. Their new response was to set me up with an account manager. Hmmm, I just wanted a simple question answered. Needless to say, I did not register with them and their handling of my question spurred me into looking at a different avenue. At this point I could go with or

I admire Jimmy Thomas and the work he does, but I felt like I had more variety with Hot Damn Designs. The hardest part for a historical western romance writer is finding images where the cowboy is dressed in period clothing. I think I may shoot them both a note with regards to this. I also had a difficult time finding a male cowboy model with red hair for Eliza's Copper Penny. I figure for this cover, there's enough shadow that hides the model's true hair color.

One would think the stock photo sites would offer writers more choices when it comes to models for our covers. On the other hand, I'm so very glad they do have sites and images for our use.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Meet Lyn Horner, "western meets paranormal" author

Lyn, I had the pleasure of reading the first in your Texas Devlins trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed it. That said where did you come up with the idea?

First of all, thank you so much for having me here today, Ciara. I’m glad you enjoyed Darlin’ Irish, book one in the trilogy. The idea for the heroine, Jessie’s clairvoyant ability grew out of my own prophetic dreams years ago. As you might guess, that experience stuck with me, so when I chose to include a paranormal element in Jessie’s story, it was a no-brainer to give her dreams and visions of future events. From there, I decided she and her two siblings would be descendants of a secret line of Irish Celtic Druids, from whom they each inherited a unique psychic gift.

How did you get your start as a romance writer?

Well, I have always loved reading historical romances, and years ago I decided to try writing one. After many false starts, I finished the first version of Darlin’ Irish, joined Romance Writers of America and a local chapter in North Texas. Urged on by other authors, I submitted my manuscript to a New York publisher. It was rejected. I re-wrote it, did a lot of cutting, and signed on with an agent. He sent my baby off to several publishers. One kind of liked it but none bought it. I wrote a sequel, Dashing Irish, under a different title (I hadn’t yet added the paranormal elements) and went through the whole process again. This took place over a period of years, since I’m a slow writer and publishers are also notoriously slow to reply. Growing discouraged, I pretty much gave up writing for a while. Then Amazon started their Kindle Direct Publishing program. My friend and critique partner, Sharla Rae, nudged me in that direction and in November 2010, I self-published my first book. I’m happy to say it received some great reviews, and I’ve now published a total of six books.

Can you describe your “writing cave”?

LOL! My cave is mobile since I work on a laptop. Often, I park in my recliner in the living room; other times, when I want peace and quiet (my husband loves to watch TV) I move into our bedroom and set up camp on the bed with papers and research books spread out around me. Mind you, I do have an office with a nice big desk and shelves full of books, but since getting rid of the old desktop computer, the office just isn’t “home” anymore.

What can readers expect of you next?

So glad you asked! I’ve started a new series title The Scrolls of Danu. It’s contemporary rather than historical, but again features a paranormal theme. The series will consist of nine or ten short books, each a separate story, yet bound together by a larger ongoing plot. I had hoped to have the first book out by now, but four trips within the past few months and promotional efforts have bogged me down. It now looks like Beyond the Darkness (book one) may hit the virtual shelves in mid November. I hope!

Do you work on more than one project at a time?

Not as a rule until, but I do have three books in the new series going at the same time now.

Just for fun, which do you prefer most and why? Popcorn and a football game or a picnic by the lake?

Picnic by the lake, definitely. I’m not much of a sports fan, although I do love popcorn.

Please share with readers an excerpt from your most current work.

Love to! This is an excerpt from Dearest Irish, Texas Devlins - book three.

Setting the scene, Choctaw Jack has kidnapped Rose Devlin from her brother’s Texas ranch. He knows of her ability to heal with her mind and is whisking her north to the Indian Territory, hoping she can save his dying mother.

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.

List a link for your book, any other links where we can find you.

My pleasure, Ciara. Readers can purchase Dearest Irish here:
         Kindle & paperback
             Nook at Barnes & Noble
Readers can find me here:


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Word Fun - Looking for antiquated

How 'bout the word - CUCURBITARING? A mouth full isn't it? It means to decorate with pumpkins or other gourds.

So I found a new blog the other day that tickled me pink. I was looking for SAT words to use as prompts for my studio AP art kids when I stumbled upon A Lackadaisical Lexicon for Laggard Logophiles.

This site specializes in words we rarely use anymore or maybe words that are only used in special settings. Anyway, I discovered that a lot of the words, while still in the dictionary, are pretty Victorian and no longer used in contemporary dialogue.

For those of us that like to write in the historical genre, I think this will be a great resource for making our Victorian dialogue more authentic. Clearly, we used the words at some point in history and while this particular site doesn't go into the etymology of the word, one can probably do a bit more research by using the etymology dictionary to discover if the word was used in the time period for which a writer needed it.

I also love that this site has art associated with the word.