Hi, Mel. Thank you for having me back on your wonderful blog. I’d like to tell your fans about Rawhide ’n Roses (A Western Romance Anthology.) This recent release brings together 15 authors, each with a different take on the “Wild West.” Composed of short stories great for reading on a lunch break or at bedtime, most are historical, with a few contemporary romances and one time travel for good measure.
Being a contributor to this collection of short stories has been a real learning experience for me. I thought it would be fun and wouldn’t take much time. Right. The problem is I don’t often write short stories. How was I going to tell a complete story, a romance no less, in two or three thousand words? Most chapters in my novels are longer than that. What had I gotten myself into?
I quickly learned the key is to cut out all the “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, even if it does improve the story. For more of what I learned from this project, check out this recent article: http://writersinthestorm.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/ten-tips-for-writing-a-short-story/#comment-24548
Now I’d like to share a snippet from my short story.
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.
“Marshal, please put a stop to this!” she demanded in a haughty voice.
“Ma’am, that’s what I aim to do.” Touching his hat to her, he shouldered aside a pair of cowboys whose laughter and catcalls almost drowned out the shrieks coming from a pair of females rolling in the dirt. Trace recognized them as saloon girls form the Golden Slipper. With red and purple skirts bunched around their knees, they fought viciously, scratching, biting and pulling each other’s hair.
He’d rather face a gang of bank robbers than deal with these snarling wildcats, he thought grimly. Almost tripping over their tangled petticoats, he managed to grab hold of one’s flailing arm and the back of the other’s tightly laced black bodice.
“That’s enough!” he growled, hauling them to their feet. One, a red-haired gal named Nellie, screeched and raked his restraining hand with her sharp nails while the other, a blonde whose name he forgot, slapped his face. Cursing under his breath, he gave both snarling females a hard shake. “I said that’s enough, ladies. Either settle down or spend the night in jail.”
Meet all the Rawhide ‘n Roses authors here: http://rawhidenroses.blogspot.com/
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Dearest Irish, book three in Lyn Horner’s Texas Devlins trilogy, was nominated for a 2014 Reader’s Choice Award by Books and Pals, selected as the Best Review Site by Indies Unlimited. This book is also a Rone Award nominee.
Find Lyn Here: