Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Terrific Tuesday with Lynn Hones:)

Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release. Please tell us a little about yourself.
First of all I’m a wife and mother. I have two beautiful daughters adopted from China and am still, to this very day, amazed that I’ve been blessed with them. They are first and foremost the world to me. I hope they feel the same, however we have a running joke in our house, which is, “reason number 1,416, they’re grateful not to be my biological offspring.” This is usually said after I pay for our McDonalds at the drive-thru window and pull away without our food. Or, as I trip in the aisle of the local grocery store, and fall into the display of stacked cans knocking some of them down. (I’m a bit of a klutz.) It’s also hard being blonde with two black haired beauties constantly reminding me of such happenings.
My book is a paranormal romance. My great, great grandfather was a guard at a Confederate prison. I got to thinking about what a great ghost story it would make.

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
No, but I do have a pretty bizarre mind and some of the stories I think of scare me before I write them, so I don’t.

Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
Yes. My brother’s dog, Vinnie, is in my book, Those Who Wait. Also, I went fishing once and described it in my book. My heroine catches a Walleye and freaks out, not knowing what to do.

How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
I do research at the end of my books when I’m cleaning them up.

Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
I guess that ghosts were once people with personalities. My ghosts are friendly and have something to say before they go to the light.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
I am a panster, but I’m seriously going to work harder on making an outline for my next book. The reason I want to outline is because my books always take on a life of their own and get me sidetracked.

How long did it take for you to be published?

I kept all my rejection letters and told my kids that I won’t be a real author until I have over one hundred rejections. I was close.

If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
I’m still new to this, so I sure wish my aged, more informed self would come back and tell me something now. Does that make sense?

Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
When I started I was pen and ink and thought I’d always do it that way, then I came to my senses. I am now laptop. My must haves are my reading glasses, a cup of iced coffee and gum. I also love to have my cats sit with me.

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
My fave would have to be Stephen King. I’d say he influenced me the most.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
When I chew gum I can’t do one piece. I usually put the whole pack in my mouth at once and have a great big glob of it and blow bubbles constantly.

For Fun:
What is your favorite love scene to write or read? (ie: First kiss, passion after a fight, reunion)
I’d have to say reunion. In my book, Those Who Wait, there’s a wonderful reunion in the end and I went all out. Something about wanting and waiting for the one you love and finally seeing them, wow…there are no words. (But, I obviously find some.) I volunteer at a USO in an airport, too. When those wives and girlfriends see that man they’ve been waiting for, there’s not a dry eye around.

What is your favorite Valentine’s Day memory?
Probably today. Today is Valentines Day and my husband went out at the crack of dawn and bought my two daughters and I, candy, cards and balloons. He also buys the girls stuffed monkeys every year because he calls them “his monkeys.” He’s very sweet like that.

Sweetest gift ever given to you?
Wow, that’s an easy one. My two daughters are adopted from China. Nothing will ever top having them handed to me in the orphanage. My first daughter was given to us on Valentines Day and the news made a big deal of that when we got home.

And since I originally sent you the wrong questions, I'm including two of the January ones!
What are your goals for the coming year?
To have a couple more books published.

What is your favorite New Years’ Eve memory?
My husband and I spent the night in an old hotel slated to be torn down. We dressed in jeans and t-shirts, planning on ordering room service and watching the ball drop on TV. They discontinued room service and we were starving. We finally found a restaurant that would seat us, but everyone was dressed to the nines. Ball gowns, tuxedos. They didn’t care and we danced and drank all night long with these strangers, who quickly became friends, even though we looked like bums.

Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
Go to www.devinedestinies.com for purchasing information. You can go directly to http://tinyurl.com/ye24bmc to purchase also. Check out my website, www.lynnhones.com, and if you have time, check out www.lynnhones.blogspot.com and read my blog about sea glass. Take care, and have a great day.

Raised in a convent, shy and beautiful Simone O'Henley is innocent in her understanding of men. When she meets handsome, self-assured Jackson Taylor while resting at a friend's remote cottage, he leads and guides her to trust him. She trusts him enough to fall in love, and in her naive way, hopes he feels the same way as he brings her to wants and needs she never knew existed in her small, secular world. When phantom voices and groans come from a grove of nearby trees, she's relieved to have him by her side. However, it's the day he disappears without a word that has her terrified. Did he love her? Was he a land developer the locals told her he was, or simply a caretaker of the property nearby? Join Simone as she travels far and wide looking for the only man she has ever loved and watch as she discovers the truth. A truth that turns her simple world upside down and into the winds of thought and reason.

Here’s an excerpt from my e-Book, “Those Who Wait.” Published by Devine Destinies. As a special thank you, to anyone who buys my book, I’m sending a pair of earrings and matching sea glass necklace. Not sure what sea glass is, check out my website at www.lynnhones.com.

Leery of the grove, she slowed and bent between two branches to look inside. She chewed on a hangnail as she tucked her head through, and deemed it safe to go in. Cold drops of rain fell on her head when she moved intermingled branches to clear a path. The quiet calmed her fear and knowing her Vinnie lay peacefully among the trees, also helped quell her trepidation. Careful, because the storm uprooted a few smaller trees, she stepped gingerly and pushed aside the young, wet twigs not yet ready to succumb to the strong spring winds.

Beyond Vinnie’s grave, she came upon a tangle of branches from the fallen tree. Amazed at the immensity of the trunk, even lying on its side it reached to her shoulders. Abandoned squirrel and bird nests, made of dead foliage, hid among the lifeless branches. Where the old tree once stood tall and proud, the roots jutted to the sky like an old woman’s dark, arthritic hands, reaching out for help. Close to two hundred years old, the ancient oak left a huge crater where it pulled from the earth. In the raw hole, now filled with muddy water, leaves and sticks floated around something shiny that stuck out of the dark, gray clay.

Holding onto one of the slimy roots, she bent for a closer look. Large worms, busily burrowed their way back into the soil, but that didn’t stop her from using only her hands to dig around the object. She leaned in and tried desperately to extract it from its home. Her fingers eventually dug deep enough to pull free a gold box. She fell back onto the wet earth and the cold water soaked through her pants, but mesmerized by her good fortune, she didn’t feel a thing. She rose and sat on a nearby log, enchanted by the rectangular shape in her hands. Covered in mud, she wiped it off with the sleeves of her sweatshirt until the moldings of old showing through. After a few more wipes, she tried to figure out how to open it. The stuck lid proved her new treasure wouldn’t be easily persuaded to relinquish its hidden cache. She grabbed a nearby stick and scraped mud off the crevices and tried again. Slowly the hinges squeaked painfully open, a strong musty odor assailed her nostrils.

Excited the contents survived a long burial near the tree, she carefully pulled out a brittle, yellowed envelope. Mud covered her hands, so she quickly put it back, not wanting to harm the items in any way. Another storm loomed beyond the horizon and she didn’t want to get stuck in the middle of the grove when it came. She closed the lid, hugged the box to her chest and jumped up to hurry back to the cottage, momentarily forgetting Jackson. Changed and cleaned up, she excitedly brought the box over to the couch and put it in front of her on the
coffee table. She cleaned the outside with a wet rag and again opened the lid. The musty aromas of age hit her with full force, setting the mood of a time long gone. She tenderly took the envelope out and ran her fingers over the brittle paper. She put it on the table and her gaze fell upon a brooch hidden underneath. The artfully sculpted piece of ancient jewelry fascinated her as she scrutinized it. Holding it gingerly, her nail softly picked at the inlaid pearl design. She trembled somewhat from the wet and cold, but mostly from anticipation at what other marvels the box held.

She put the brooch on the table, then noticed the clasp on its side and picked it up again. It’s a locket! She clicked the gold clasp, the locket sprang open and a lock of baby fine, blonde hair fell into her hand. The dainty curl, tied with a minute black ribbon, could have been cut yesterday it was so well preserved. Carefully she placed the treasured curl of hair back
into the locket and clicked it closed. Enthralled in her discoveries, deeper in she went. An antique handkerchief, the letter A embroidered on it in fancy script, amazed Simone with its intricacy and she pictured a woman from another era, a tiny needle in her hand, taking hours to create the silken letter. Underneath, a toy horn made of brass and turned green with age, surprised her most of all. Why would there be a toy? But, then she remembered the little curl
that obviously came from the hair of a baby or small child. Simone placed these items next to her and dug deeper. A tintype photo of a family formed the corners of her lips into a smile. An extremely handsome man in a confederate uniform, stood behind a woman of extraordinary beauty. Regally posed in an ornate chair, two small children leaned into her lap. A girl of around three, dressed like her mother, was possessed of blonde ringlets that circled her chubby face. A boy about five, stood next to her. No one in the picture smiled, as the fashion of the day dictated, but the woman’s face held something. A visible projection of peace and serenity, the look of a woman steeped in tranquility, shined out at Simone through the centuries.

A small bible, the last item she took out, the spine crumbled with age, seemed the worst for the wear. She didn’t want to harm it any more than it was, so she closed it, but before she did, a small item dropped into her lap. A tiny bouquet of flowers, so old they disintegrated right in front of her eyes held her spellbound. Lily of the Valley. These are my favorite flowers. She smiled and remembered how they grew around the convent and the sweet May alters she’d make with
them. How odd that well-over a hundred years ago, someone placed these little lilies in this book. They meant something to somebody at one time. She thought back to the flowers Jackson gave her on their first real date and her mind went momentarily back to him. Where is he?

She took the rest of the petals, slipped then in between the pages of the bible and laid it down.
Gingerly, she picked up the envelope and took out the letter. Old paper covered in the handwriting of someone schooled in the art of lettering over a century before, greeted her eyes. The fancy flourish of a pen dipped in ink had small blue stains surrounding the words.

My dearest Ezekiel,
Our little lamb has gone to the Lord. A valiant fight she
maintained to the end, but alas the sickness was too great a
foe and Boo succumbed to its torrents of horrifying and
unyielding tenacity. God alone knows the suffering I am
enduring while you are absent from me. I surrender to the
fierceness of this most awful, bitter tragedy alone. I asked our
faithful neighbor, John, to bury her in the garden behind the
main house, until a more suitable place of rest will be found
for the precious body that was our daughter. Our little girl is
no more. She so wanted her daddy to come home, her last
breath whispering his name. I do believe she clung to the
hope of you walking in our front door, but she could endure
no longer. In her frail, pale hand she held this shiny horn,
waiting to blow it in the great merriment, when her Papa,
the big, brave soldier gallantly rode home to us. I send it to
you now, in the anticipation it will give balm to your heart,
knowing the precious hand that held it, left her life’s imprint
upon it.
Your dearest little, Zebulon, is in superior health. He has
weathered this sickness like a courageous soldier, like his
father and only stands firmer and stronger for the good of it.
My heart aches so Ezekiel. I feel your arms around me in the
night and then I awake and find myself unaccompanied in
our bed. You are the solace needed to soothe my aching heart.
I love you my darling and I miss you so. I will never be at
peace until you are back with me on our land. Promise me,
oh my sweet darling, pledge to me you will come back to me
rapidly. Come home to me, come home, come home. All my
heart and love is yours now and for all eternity.
Your Loving and Devoted Wife, Arabella.

Simone couldn’t put the note down. Emotions she hadn’t foreseen hit her hard. This is priceless. She reached for the locket, opened the latch and took out the blonde curl. It’s from the little
girl in the photo. Boo is the child who died. I’m holding a memento of her life. Part of her. The curl, silky and smooth, broke Simone’s heart. This man, whoever he was, must have held tightly to this box and the treasures it contained. How on earth did it end up in this grove? She shook her head trying to figure it out. The wrath of the waves that crashed vengefully against the shore pulled her out of her complicity. Another storm headed in and she gathered the items she found and placed them into the box and closed the lid.

Olympic Update:
Men's Downhill:
Gold: Switzerland
Silver: Norway
Bronze: USA Bode Miller:) (placed 5th in Torino)

Men's Snowboard Cross:
Gold: USA Seth Wescott
Silver: Canada
Bronze: France

Pairs Figure Skating Long Program/Final:
Gold: China (First ever!)
Silver: China
Bronze: Germany


Amber Skyze said...

Love the excerpt and the premise of the book. Enjoyed your sea glass. Beautiful!

Molly Daniels said...

Thanks for stopping by Lynn:) I also enjoyed learning about you!

Regina Carlysle said...

Nice interview, Ladies and terrific excerpt.

Molly Daniels said...

Hey Reg:) Good to see you! Lynn's website is awesome:)

Ashley Ladd said...

Great interview.

I have 5 biological children and only two have my hair color and none have my eye color. Sometimes they think they wish they didn't have my genes as I can be a klutz and have a bad memory. :)

Bottom line, we love our kids, right? They love us. Family's wonderful.