Monday, January 27, 2014

Rawhide n' Roses Coordinator Susan Horsnell

Hi everyone! I have been invited here to Peggy’s blog to talk about the anthology of short stories myself and 15 other Western Romance Authors are currently working on. Due for release on March 15, 2014, the book is titled:

Rawhide ’n Roses
(A Western Romance Anthology)

Each story in the anthology will be a showcase of the author’s individual writing style and will hopefully encourage the reader to purchase full length novels of the author’s they like. Every story will have a Western Romance theme but there will be everything from old west romance to time travel and contemporary. Something to suit every western reader’s taste. It will also give the reader an opportunity to discover some new authors.
I am privileged to be associated with the very best of western writers and I know readers are going to be very impressed by the high quality of this work. The anthology came about from a comment I inadvertently made on a Western Romance Writer’s forum. From this comment the idea snowballed and I found myself nominated in charge of pushing the project forward. I cannot believe I am in such esteemed company and I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with such talented authors.
Over the next 1 ½ months, the authors will be blog hopping to promote this anthology and their own work. I hope readers will keep an eye out on blogs and social media for the cover release and official book release.
The best part? The culmination of this hard work by so many talented people – The Anthology – will be a steal at just $1.99!
Sit back, grab a coffee and enjoy the excerpt from my short story:

Petticoat Patrol
by Susan Horsnell

“Sissy, for heaven’s sake. Stop that damn wagon!” Lily screeched at the top of her voice. She crouched low over her galloping mare’s neck, reins in one hand and mane grasped in the other. As she drew alongside the wagon, which carried her sisters, she stood up in the stirrups and yelled again. “Stop that wagon now or so help me…”
Melissa, also known as Sissy, pushed her feet down hard to balance as she pulled back hard on the bay gelding’s reins. They all drew to a stop.
Lily lifted the hat from her head and swiped impatiently at the sweat on her brow. It was so hot she thought, if the damn dog was chasing the cat, they’d both be walking. “Why didn’t you stop when I called out?”
“How am I supposed to hear you with the sound of Buck’s hooves and these two tittering in my ear?” Sissy retorted.
The ‘two’ she referred to, as she flung her arm in the air, were their sixteen year old twin sisters – Amy and Emily. They had just discovered the appeal of two local boys and had been excitedly chattering.
“Why are you here, anyways? You’re supposed to be helpin’ Ma put a basket of food together. We gotta spend the night out with Pa watchin’ for rustlers and you know we get hungry.” Sissy pouted. She hated it when she thought her big sister was sent to watch over her. At eighteen years old she felt she was more than capable of doing things without being ‘chaperoned’.
“Ma sent me because she forgot a couple of things when she wrote out the list. It’s taken me all this time to catch up with you.”
“What else does she need?” Sissy enquired.
Lily pulled the list from her pocket and thrust it into her sister’s hand. “I might as well come with you now. It’s only another mile to town and I can help with the supplies.”
Sissy nodded before slapping the reins to get the big gelding moving. Lily urged her mount forward and they began walking at a leisurely pace.
They were in sight of town when a loud crack heralded something had gone terribly wrong on the wagon. Sissy brought Buck to a stop and glanced at her older sister in despair.
As Lily dismounted, the other girls jumped from the wagon. While the older two checked on the suspect wheel, Amy and Emily hovered nervously.
Lily crouched down and shook the wheel. It was looser than a whore in a cathouse. “Almost snapped clean off the axle,” she grumbled as she pushed herself to stand. “Sissy, unhitch Buck and we’ll walk the rest of the way. I’ll drop the horses at the livery and see what I can do about getting it fixed while you pick up the supplies.
Sissy did as requested and the girls began the short trek to town

Please visit Susan on her blog:

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rawhide n' Roses Author Lyn Horner

Peggy, thank you for inviting me to your lovely site. I’m delighted to have you on mine today as well. I hope your followers will stop by and leave you a bushel of comments.

Being a contributor to our Western Romance Anthology, Rawhide ’N Roses, is both a joy and a challenge. I don’t often write short stories. It requires a whole different way of plotting and forces one to cut out any “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. However, tightening our prose usually improves a story in the end.

The first book I wrote was 150,000 words long, way too much! After several edits I got the story down to a manageable level, even after adding a paranormal element -- psychic siblings. There are no psychics in my short story, just a case of opposites attract.

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.

Texas Devlins 4 Book Bundle

Meet the Devlins, a trio of Irish-American siblings blessed with rare psychic gifts. This boxed set combines the Texas Devlins trilogy and White Witch, a prequel novella.

Darlin’ Irish, book one in the trilogy, is Jessie Devlin’s story. Haunted by dreams of a man she’s never met, she believes they are fated to love. A clairvoyant vision sends her west in search of him. Will her quest lead her to happiness . . . or into a deadly trap?

Dashing Irish stars Tye Devlin, an empath in modern terms. Tye literally feels other’s emotions. He has learned to block out most of the “racket” to save his sanity, but he has no defense against a Texas cowgirl’s troubled heart. Feuding families and a perilous cattle drive threaten any hope for love -- unless Tye’s gift proves stronger than hate.

Dearest Irish is Rose Devlin’s story. Youngest of the siblings, Rose has an amazing ability to heal with her mind, but she keeps a dark secret that blights her very soul. Meek and mild, she’s terrified when a half-breed cowboy carries her off to the Indian Territory to save his dying mother. Can she overcome her fear and dare to love?

Find Lyn Here:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Well, today marks the beginning of a new year. I have now been a published writer for two years, and it continues to be an incredible journey for me. Last year I had to say goodbye to my beloved Yellowstone characters, and try to expand my writing into some other stories. Of course, there are certain people (and you all know who you are) who won’t let me forget the Osbornes and Russells, and we continue to discuss them as if they were our next door friends and neighbors. 

 I wrote and published Come Home to Me late in 2012, the first book in a new time travel venture, which took me completely away from the Yellowstone setting. The book was my personal challenge to write about something other than Yellowstone and the characters who were familiar to me. Being a history buff, I chose the Oregon Trail. 

While I was in Yellowstone in the summer of 2012, finishing up Yellowstone Deception, the idea for a story line set in the Tetons came to me (I remember standing in the Jenny Lake parking lot in Grand Teton National Park, gazing up at the mountains, when the idea popped into my head), but I had already started on Come Home to Me, a story idea that came to me from hearing the Eric Church song, Homeboy. 

 The Teton Trilogy, which would again bring me into a familiar setting (sort of my “comfort zone setting”) would have to wait until Come Home to Me was done, but the wheels in my head were already in motion. It’s an annoying habit my brain has to think about a new story while I’m in the middle of a current work in progress. I managed to publish Come Home to Me in 2012, making it five published novels in one year (but I had already written the first three Yellowstone books in 2011, so I didn’t actually write five books in one year, a seemingly impossible task), and couldn’t resist writing a Yellowstone novella that popped into my head during a four day weekend in Zion National Park.

 Finally, in December 2012, I was free to “return” to the mountains and begin the Teton Trilogy! I wrote Teton Sunrise in about eight weeks, because the story just came to me. Although it was sort of a spin-off of the Yellowstone Series, my intent was to make Teton Sunrise darker and more realistic than the Yellowstone books, to depict the harsh life of a mountain man with a bit more realism than what I had done previously, and yet still maintain the romantic aspect.  I wanted a completely different overall tone for the book than what I wrote in the Yellowstone Series. Under no circumstances did I want to clone Daniel Osborne when I wrote Alex Walker.

 I continue to experiment with different types of characters and situations – the anti hero, the tough as nails heroine, the heroine who, as a product of her time and upbringing might come across as weak but finds her inner strength because of the love of a good man, domestic abuse, rape, a bad childhood and rising above it, second chances and redemption, etc. 

 Although I didn’t meet my own goal of writing four books in 2013, I did manage to write and publish three - Teton Sunrise, Teton Splendor, and Ain’t No Angel (a long overdue second book in the Second Chances Series). 

 2013 was a great year in my writing career for many reasons. For the first time, I submitted two of my books, Yellowstone Heart Song and Come Home to Me, for formal review, to InD’Tale Magazine, a  romance publication in the Indie World. To my absolute disbelief, both books received Crowned Heart Reviews. 

 Yellowstone Heart Song remained on the Time Travel Best Seller list on Amazon for a second year. It even made the top 100 overall best-seller list on Amazon for a short time. Come Home To Me became my second best-seller that made it onto Amazon’s top 100 overall, going as low as #62. For me, that was a tremendous achievement. 

 This past year, I also managed to get all my books in print, and started the journey of getting them produced in audio. Hearing my characters come to life through the voices of some great narrators has been a neat experience. 

I’ve met some wonderful new readers this past year. It continues to humble and amaze me that people read and enjoy my books, and some of the emails and messages I receive from readers touch me to the very core, readers who tell me the books inspire them to go see the Tetons and Yellowstone, or have touched them in some other way. There is no greater reward for me than reading these kinds of emails. 

 One of the highlights of 2013 was my annual Yellowstone trip. It would be the highlight of my year anytime, but 2013 was especially great because I got to meet my editor, and two of my beta readers. My husband and family spent two wonderful weeks with my editor and her family, camping and hiking in Yellowstone and Grand Teton. The husbands had a great time kayaking in the Tetons and camping in the wilderness, while us girls enjoyed “girl time” at base camp. We’ll try and forget the near run-in with a grizzly while we hiked the String Lake Trail in the Tetons without bear spray. Of course, the husbands were rather jealous that they missed that experience! (Hey! They had their own adventure kayaking Jackson Lake to camp overnight on Elk Island!) 

 In Yellowstone, I met my head beta reader, who came to Yellowstone for the first time specifically because she wanted to see the park after reading my books. We spent a great day touring the park and a couple of evenings hanging out in camp. As an added surprise, one of my newer betas happened to be in Yellowstone at the time, and I got to meet her, too. 

 For 2014, my first goal is to get Teton Sunset, the final book in the Teton Trilogy, finished and published. I actually started the book right after returning from Yellowstone back in July. At the same time, however, I also started on Ain't No Angel. I can write two books at the same time, right? No problem, right? Wrong! Five chapters in on each book, and I couldn't do it anymore. I had to make a choice, and since it had been so long since the first Second Chances book, I decided to concentrate on ANA, and finish that story before diving into the last Teton book.

Now that I'm getting to know my Teton characters again,  Teton Sunrise is shaping up to be a fun book to write. After that (okay, I’m letting the cat out of the bag), I promised one of my betas I would write another Yellowstone novella. We’ve already been busy tossing around plot ideas for that story for months. Then it’s on to the third Second Chances book. After that, I have a few new projects swirling around in my head. Perhaps I should let my readers decide what to write next. 

 I am also taking part in a western anthology with a dozen other western romance writers, to be published in March of 2014. We’re putting together a sampling of our writing in short story format. I’ve already written and submitted my short, and I will shamelessly admit that I am not a short story writer. 

 One final book-related goal is to get the rest of my books produced in audio this year. All in all, I can’t wait to see what the new year will bring. 

I want to wish all of my friends and readers a happy and healthy 2014!