Lyn Horner is my guest today and she brought her hero along for an interview at my home Ruby On Tuesday. A former fashion illustrator and art instructor, now an author, Lyn writes cross-genre historical romances. Lyn is fascinated by American history, especially tales of the Old West, as well as Irish & Scottish history and mythology. Please join us for a fun interview and don’t forget to leave a comment!
“Lyn, welcome to you and your friend. I’m so happy to see you. Please come in.”
“Ruby, it’s such a pleasure visiting with you today. This is Jack Lafarge. You might know him as Choctaw Jack. That’s what most people called him until recently.”
“Hello Jack. Lyn has told me so much about you. It’s wonderful to finally meet you.”
Flicking back his long black hair, Jack smiles, “Howdy Miz Ruby. It’s mighty nice meeting you too.”
” Come on back. I’ve set up on the patio so that we can view the garden while we talk. Would you like sweet tea or coffee?”
Taking a seat, Lyn eyes the cookies and cakes and replies, “Sweet tea, thank you.”
“I’ll try some of that tea.”
Ruby hands the glass of tea to Jack and offers him a selection of cookies. “Jack, Lyn tells me you were once a Cotton planter’s son. What are you doing now?”
“Yes. I’m a cotton planter’s son, but I’ve done some cowboying since the war. Uh, that’s the War of Secession.”
“Ruby, Jack fought on the Confederate side in the war.”
Ruby turns to Jack, “Isn’t that a bit odd for a man with Indian blood?”
“No ma’am. A lot of us from what you white folks call the Five Civilized Tribes fought on one side or the other. The Choctaw sided mostly with the South and my pa was half Choctaw. When he joined up, I tagged along.”
Ruby offers each a refill on tea. “Very interesting.”
Lyn glances at Jack, “I know you’re a skilled blacksmith. How did you happen to learn that trade?”
Jack shrugs. “Pa was a blacksmith in Louisiana before he moved us to Texas. I learned from him when I was a boy.”
Lyn nods. “Ah, I see. So, would you say your father is the person who most influenced you in your life?”
Shifting in his chair, Jack frowns thoughtfully. “ I’ve never been asked that question before. It’s true Pa influenced me a lot, but so did my mother. She turned my life around after the war when she convinced me to walk the white man’s road.”
“That sounds intriguing, but I won’t ask for details. We don’t want to give away your secrets. Instead, can you tell us about the scariest moment of your life?”
Jack turns pale beneath his natural copper coloring. “That had to be the day my P’ayn-nah, I mean Rose, was bitten by a rattler.” In a choked voice, he adds, “I nearly lost her.”
Lyn looks guilty.
“Oh dear, I’m sure Lyn didn’t want to put the two of you through that.”
Lyn takes a bite of cookie munches a moment then asks, “The experience did bring you closer together, didn’t it?”
Jack scowls, ebony eyes glaring at Lyn. “Yeah, it did, but that doesn’t mean I forgive you for nearly killing off the love of my life.”
Lyn squirms uncomfortably. “Yes, well, on a more pleasant note, Rose, the love of your life is a good cook isn’t she?”
Jack’s angry expression lifts. Crossing his muscular arms, he says. “P’ayn-nah – that means Sugar, by the way – is a pretty fair cook, even if she burns our supper now and again”
Ruby asks, “What’s the favorite food she cooks for you?”
“Her favorite food is Indian fry bread, and I reckon it’s mine too. Leastways, when I get to watch her make it.” He grins, dark eyes twinkling.
Lyn laughs. “On that happy note, Jack, I’ll need to get you back to your Red River home.”
“Thank you both for visiting today. Lyn, good seeing you again, and Jack what a pleasure meeting you. You’re everything Lyn said you’d be.”
Have you ever interviewed your characters? If not how do you develop a character profile?
Now, with Lyn’s permission, here’s a blurb and brief excerpt from her newest book Dearest Irish.”
About Dearest Irish:
Dearest Irish is book three in the Texas Devlins trilogy. Although the story begins in Bosque County, Texas, where the first two books both end, much of this western/Native American romance takes place in the Indian Territory, ca. 1876.
Rose Devlin, like her older siblings, possesses a psychic talent inherited from a hidden line of Irish Celtic Druids. Rose has the extraordinary ability to heal with her mind, a secret gift that has caused her great pain. She also keeps another terrible secret that no one knows, not even her brother and sister.
Choctaw Jack, a half-breed cowboy, introduced in book two of the trilogy, hides secrets of his own. 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. The greatest risk of all may be to his heart if he allows himself to care too much for his lovely paleface captive.
Rose stretched and yawned. Something hard supported her head, and another something lay half across her face. This object felt like cloth and gave off a vaguely familiar scent. Swatting whatever it was away, she opened her eyes and had to squint at the bright sun glaring down at her from on high. In the time it took to blink and shield her eyes with her hand, everything that had befallen her during the night burst upon her like a waking nightmare.
Realizing she lay on the hard ground – she had the aches and pains to prove it – she turned her head to the right and saw Choctaw Jack lying a hand’s breadth away. He lay on his back, head pillowed on his saddle and one arm thrown over his eyes. Where was his hat, she wondered absurdly. Recalling the object she’d pushed off her face, she rose on one elbow and twisted to look behind her. First, she saw that she’d also been sleeping with a saddle under her head; then she spotted the hat she’d knocked into the high grass surrounding them. Jack must have placed it over her face to protect her from the sun’s burning rays. In view of his threat to beat her if she tried to run away again, she was surprised by this small kindness.
A throaty snore sounded from her left. Looking in that direction, she saw Jack’s Indian friend sprawled on his stomach, with his face turned away from her. He was naked from the waist up, his lower half covered by hide leggings and what she guessed was a breech cloth, never having seen one before. His long black hair lay in disarray over his dark copper shoulders.
He snored again, louder this time. Rose’s lips twitched; then she scolded herself for finding anything remotely amusing in her situation. Glancing around, she wondered how far they were from the Double C. Jack had been right to chide her last night. She’d had no idea where they were or in which direction to run for help. Even more true now, she conceded with a disheartened sigh.
She heard a horse snuffle. Sitting upright, she craned her neck to see over the grass and spotted three horses tethered among a stand of nearby trees. She caught her breath. Was one of them Brownie? Aye, she was certain of it. Excited and anxious to greet him, she folded aside the blanket cocooning her and started to rise, but a sharp tug on her ankle made her fall back with an astonished gasp. Only then did she notice the rope tied loosely around her ankle. To her dismay, the other end of the rope was wrapped around Jack’s hand.
“Going somewhere?” he asked, startling her.
“You’re awake!” she blurted, meeting his frowning, half-lidded gaze.
“Thanks to you, I am. You didn’t answer my question. Where were you going?”
“I saw Brownie over there.” She pointed to the trees. “I was only wishing to let him know I’m here, nothing more.” She swallowed hard, fearing he would think she’d meant to climb on the stallion and make a run for freedom – though without a saddle on his back and no one to boost her up¸ ’twould be well nigh impossible.
Staring at her a moment longer, Jack evidently came to the same conclusion. “I reckon he’ll be glad to see you,” he said, sitting up and freeing her ankle. “Go ahead. Say howdy to him.”
She again started to rise, but he forestalled her, saying, “Hold on. You’d best put your boots back on.” Reaching behind his saddle, he retrieved her footgear.
“Aye, I suppose there could be cactuses about,” she said tartly, recalling what he’d said last night. She forced a tight smile.
“Yeah, or snakes.”