Here’s my guest blog on Gerri Brousseau’s Nights of Passion site from today. It includes talking about my debut novel, MUSIC FOR MY SOUL, as well as an excerpt and a Q&A:
Lauren, please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
Gerri, I appreciate the opportunity to visit with you and your readers on your blog today.
Music For My Soul is the story of Madeleine Bouchard, the only woman troubadour in England, and Lord Garrett Montayne, the man who falls for her – despite the fact that he thinks she’s a thief! Describe the genre of this particular title, and is it the only genre you write in?
Music For My Soul is a medieval historical romance, which is one of my favorite time periods to read and write about. My other favorite era is the American Old West, especially during the 1870s. Right now I’m focusing on those two eras in my historical romance writing.
How did this story come to be?
There aren’t many medieval historical romances out there, and I found myself wishing I could read another one. I finally decided to make a long-time dream come true and just write one myself! I enjoy books and movies that have characters go on the road and get a little out of their comfort zones. I decided my heroine would be a woman on the run and have to reinvent herself in order to survive. In those days, it was assumed that all traveling troubadours would be men. I thought I would have Madeleine become the only woman troubadour in all of England.
What is your writing routine like?
The routine is that there is no routine! If I have a block of time carved out and have scribbled a few plot points on my handy yellow legal tablet, I’m off like a racehorse. Sometimes I might only have half an hour to devote, and that’s when I’ll go back and re-read a previous day’s work and do some tweaking.
Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?
I find it deeply satisfying to know I’m able to share “my people” and their stories with readers who live everywhere. My characters grew from a tiny seed of an idea to full-blown people, and they are as real to me as anyone I know. To have others “meet” them and then also live (and love) with them is gratifying, rewarding, and a little mind-blowing.
What’s next for you?
Soul Mate Publishing will be releasing two of my western historical romances in the upcoming months. The first will be Outlaw Muse in October, which is the story of an English playwright who stumbles upon a woman about to be hanged while he’s visiting the American West. He rescues the woman, and they take off running from the crooked sheriff who’s framed her for murder. Along the way as he tries to find proof of her innocence, he discovers she’s the muse to inspire his work and he loses his heart to her.
A Game of Chance will be released next January. It’s a western set in cosmopolitan San Francisco, where two twins are literally separated at birth and know nothing of each other – until they cross paths. Throw in a little revenge, mistaken identities, and the most famous whorehouse in the city, and you’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg.
As the third wife of an abusive French vineyard owner, Madeleine Bouchard hasn’t produced the expected heir after three years of marriage. Fearing he plans to kill her, she flees during a trip to England. Unable to make her way home, she joins a troupe of traveling mummers and reinvents herself as the only woman troubadour in the land, captivating audiences with both song and story.
Nobleman Garrett Montayne’s fascination with Madeleine causes him to pay the troupe to bypass their next stop in order to journey to his estate. Though he suspects Madeleine of being a thief with dark secrets, love blossoms between them under the magical moon of summer solstice.
But Madeleine’s past is about to catch up with her, as her husband is set to arrive to conduct business with Garrett. Madeleine determines to free herself from her loveless marriage and make a new life with Garrett, no matter what the cost.
A little bit about the author.
As a child, Lauren Linwood gathered her neighborhood friends together and made up stories for them to act out, her first venture into creating memorable characters. Following her passion for history and love of learning, she became a teacher who began writing on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of teenage hormones.
Lauren’s novels place her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire and yearning for one another grows into the deep, tender, treasured gift of love.
Lauren, a native Texan, lives in a Dallas suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress by alternating yoga with five mile walks. She is thinking about starting a support group for Pinterest and House Hunters addicts.
Keep in contact with Lauren through her various sites:
Garrett peered into the angry face of the woman who haunted his dreams by night and left him absent-minded by day. Their encounter had been brief, but he doubted he had ever met a more remarkable woman. Not even his petite Lynnette had brought such a sweet longing to his loins as did the bewitching creature before him.
Her honeyed hair, loosened from its intricate braid, curled around her shoulders. Tiny beads of sweat had formed just above her upper lip. Without thinking, Garrett reached his thumb towards her and wiped it away. She flinched slightly, her dark, amethyst eyes glowering up at him.
Garrett smiled in spite of himself, offering her a hand to pull her to her feet. He had forgotten how very tall she was as she stared at him, her cheeks flushed with anger.
“Perhaps we could arrange a trade?” he suggested.
She eyed him suspiciously. “I’m not sure if I could trust you, my lord,” she countered.
“Trust me?” he sputtered. “This, from the woman who traipsed about the countryside claiming to be my wife?”
She shrugged nonchalantly, an almost Gallic air about her. She didn’t sound French, but there was an unmistakable manner to her movement. Garrett spent enough time in France to recognize the behavior. However, when she spoke, he quickly put it from his mind.
“I chose a bloody awful name to scare away anyone who accosted me on the road! How was I to know I’d run into you?” She snorted in an unladylike fashion. “I had heard tales of the wicked Lord Montayne, how he frightened old and young alike and gobbled up babes for his dinner. Why, the very mention of his name would cause grown men to plead for their lives and their loved ones. Oh, no, my lord, I was an honest liar. You were the one who resorted to trickery and hid your true identity from me.”
Her accusation so startled Garrett his jaw flew open. No sound came out for a moment. The woman lifted her chin high and turned on her heel. That brought Garrett into motion.
He grabbed her elbow and pulled her around to face him. “Not so fast, my lady.” He studied her a second. Her eyes narrowed at him, but she remained silent. Finally faced with her visage square in front of him, Garrett was at a loss of what to do. His emotions swirled out of control as he spoke.
“’Tis curiosity,” he sputtered.
She looked puzzled. “Curiosity?” she echoed.
He nodded, his words spilling forth rapidly. “I know not who you are, nor where you come from. I’ve dreamed of you since that night only to awaken to an emptiness.” His voice became low and tinged with sadness. “I don’t even know your name.”
How can my readers buy your book?
It’s a Kindle Select, only available at Amazon:
Just a few fun questions to answer if you don’t mind.
1) What is your favorite color? Red
2) What is your favorite season? Autumn
3) Coffee or Tea? Hot, herbal tea – three times a day!
4) Who is your favorite author to read? Harlan Coben
5) What is your favorite thing to eat? Dark chocolate (seafood is a close second)
6) Movies-Drama or Comedy? Dramadey – I like to blend both
7) Coke or Pepsi? Coke
8) Ice Cream-Strawberry, Chocolate, or Vanilla? Chocolate, though a swirl is nice at times
9) Hotel room or tent in the woods? Hike through those woods and then come back to a nice hotel room with indoor plumbing, A/C, and HBO