Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Terrific Tuesday with Lyn Armstrong:)

Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
Hi Molly, thank you for having me here. My name is Lyn Armstrong and I’m an Aussie author living in Florida. I write historical erotic romance with paranormal elements. So there is something for everyone. My latest release is “Witch Hunter”—the fifth and last book in the Celtic series. You can read it with the Celtic series, starting with “The Last Celtic Witch”, or by itself. I loved writing Witch Hunter as I was able to research the history and prosecution of witches in Scotland. Their stories moved me so much, I dedicated “Witch Hunter” to all the innocent people accused of witchcraft, tortured and sentenced to death. I added real names of those who went through witch trials in 16th century Edinburgh to give the story a sense of dark reality.
Witch Hunter has received the Reviewers Recommend Award from Coffee Times Romance along with five star reviews.

WITCH HUNTER
Entwined Fates…Forbidden Love

Commissioned as an Inquisitor, Lord Lachlan Fairbairn is a skilled Witch Hunter feared throughout Scotland. When King James VI sent him to investigate a noble lady with wild golden hair and an untamed spirit, his instincts warns she is guilty of witchcraft. With mystery and intrigue surrounding the beautiful lass, he could not resist her luring charm beneath her protected heart. Torn between his forbidden desires and royal duty, can he make the impossible decision?

Outcast from her clan, Lady Rhiannon Campbell struggles with conflicting powers. Half good witch and half evil sorceress, she battles to control the darkness within for fear of plunging Scotland into chaos and death. With time working against Rhiannon, she has to rid herself of the seductive Inquisitor or face the horrific torture of the King’s dungeons. Can she endure a broken heart and a gruesome death to save her family? Or will she protect her enchanted secret and force herself to slay…the Witch Hunter?

I hope you all enjoy reading Witch Hunter as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
I haven’t written a story which scared me, but the research for Witch Hunter haunted my dreams. I can’t imagine how a person dealt with such gruesome torture in Scotland dungeons.

Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
I get a lot of people asking me if any of the love scenes were based in reality. Unfortunately, very few are. I guess that is why I have a great imagination. Tee Hee.

How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
I do heaps of research. Especially since all my novels are set in history. I try to be authentic to my characters. Sometimes, researching a book will take longer than writing the book itself. I don’t mind. I love history and its people. Why they did the things they did, why they dressed in those clothes and had certain beliefs that didn’t always make a lot of sense. It’s like unraveling a time-old mystery.

Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
Good question. I would like the reader to walk away with a little more knowledge on how people lived in history and be thorough engrossed with the fantasy of an era gone by. As well as enjoying the love scenes. It’s awesome when a book spices up your life and makes you feel alive.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
I am both. LOL. Sometimes I plot my story, then sit down to write. Other times I just sit down at the computer with an idea I got from a dream and start typing, allowing the characters to speak to me. However, there is one thing I do every time. I find a picture of my characters on the internet or magazine and stick them up on the wall next to my computer. These pictures come to life as real people with real issues, conflicts, inner demons, hopes and dreams. If I am stuck for dialogue, I would look at my picture and ask myself, what would this person say or do in this situation. And the answer would come instantly.

How long did it take for you to be published?
I was writing and learning the craft full time for four years before Resplendence Publishing offered a contract for The Last Celtic Witch. I had written three manuscripts before The Last Celtic Witch. However, those “practice” manuscripts will never see the light of day. LOL.
There is a funny story on how I was “discovered”.

I met the Resplendence Publishing editors in a bar at a writers conference and I didn’t know who there were. A few people in the group started to talk about my “love scenes” and how much they enjoyed reading them. I nodded my head at them with resignation and said, “From your lips to the editors’ ears.”

Little did I know, those editors were sitting right next to me. LOL. They asked me about my manuscripts. I thought I was talking to just another author until one of them gave me their business card and asked me to submit. I did and a week later, they called and offered me a contract.

If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
Good question. I wouldn’t change a thing, because every lesson I learned helped me to be a better author. I guess I would say never give up hope no matter how dark it seems. Just keep writing and you will become better with each manuscript. It’s inevitable.

Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
I do both. I use pen and paper to plot. I use the computer to write, revise and edit. When I cannot edit anymore and I feel I am about to pull my hair out, I print the manuscript on recycled paper, grab a red pen and re-edit the hard copy.

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
My favorite authors tend to change a lot. LOL. In the beginning, I was a huge Joanna Lindsey fan for historicals. I also love Sherrilyn Kenyon, Angela Knight, Connie Mason, Lyn Armstrong (lol, just seeing you were paying attention). But I would say an author who influenced me greatly was Nancy Friday. She doesn’t really write fiction, but collates erotic fantasies from women and men. Her books really opened my mind to writing erotic romance novels. She taught me it is not only okay to be sexual, but it is very normal to have a freaky imagination. LOL.

Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
Thank you for having me, Molly. ;0)

You can find the Celtic series on ebooks at Resplendence Publishing or on print at www.Amazon.com.

The Celtic Series Titles:

The Last Celtic Witch
The Celtic Witch & the Sorcerer
Heart of a Warlock
Lady of the Mountain
Witch Hunter

Daughters of Odin (Released July 6th, 2010 at Resplendence)

For more information on titles and Lyn Armstrong, go to my website.




Witch Hunter

Entwined Fates…Forbidden Love

Commissioned as an Inquisitor, Lord Lachlan Fairbairn is a skilled Witch Hunter feared throughout Scotland. When King James VI sent him to investigate a noble lady with wild golden hair and an untamed spirit, his instincts warns she is guilty of witchcraft. With mystery and intrigue surrounding the beautiful lass, he could not resist her luring charm beneath her protected heart. Torn between his forbidden desires and royal duty, can he make the impossible decision?

Outcast from her clan, Lady Rhiannon Campbell struggles with conflicting powers. Half good witch and half evil sorceress, she battles to control the darkness within for fear of plunging Scotland into chaos and death. With time working against Rhiannon, she has to rid herself of the seductive Inquisitor or face the horrific torture of the King’s dungeons. Can she endure a broken heart and a gruesome death to save her family? Or will she protect her enchanted secret and force herself to slay…the Witch Hunter?

Excerpt for Witch Hunter

Rhiannon spent the eve sitting on cold stones in the king’s dank dungeon, thinking about all things she wished she could change. If she had a chance, she would tell her mother, father and the rest of her family that she loved them. She would apologize to Lachlan for being the cause of his downfall. She never wanted him to be in the middle of the trial, which was why she trapped him in the mountain.

She rubbed her hot hands on her thighs. Since the middle of the eve, her palms constantly burned. There was not much time left before the sun rose and all goodness left her soul. How could she face the look of fear from Lachlan when the hex took effect? If only she were executed yesterday.

A nervous giggle erupted from her mouth. To think she was wishing in her last moments to die earlier.

The door opened, and the repulsive lanky Inquisitor pulled her to her feet. “I can help you escape,” Grigor offered.

Rhiannon stared at him, her heart leaping to throat.

“If you promise to use your powers to my benefit, we can work out an accord.” Grigor cupped her breasts and she shivered.

She spat in his face. “I would rather die.”

He gripped her arm and pulled her up against him, his teeth clenching. “Then I will torch you myself.”

Grigor dragged her along the cavernous hallway. For once, the Inquisitor was silent which terrified her more than his threats.

He placed her in the same cart she took to Tolbooth yesterday. “Where is Lord Lachlan?” she asked.

“You will see him soon enough,” Grigor replied in a scathing tone and sat beside the driver.

Tilting her head up, Rhiannon observed the eve’s fading stars, appreciating the last chance of seeing the sky’s dark beauty. Conflicting emotions tore at her heart. Although she was afraid to burn on the stake, if the dawn came before she died, everyone in Edinburgh was in danger of the evil that simmered beneath.

The cart rumbled out the castle gates and she willed the horse to trot faster.

Perhaps the sorceress would not be up this early.

Rhiannon hopes were dashed when she arrived at the hill outside the castle. Upon a high white horse sat the sorceress in a red gown and hat, her bosom almost spilling out of the exquisite dress. On a black steed next to Torella sat the king, appearing bored and impatient.

As soon as the crowd saw her, they shouted curses. The noise was so loud she wanted to cover her ears, but her bound wrists could not reach far enough. She glared at the hundreds of people who eagerly woke early to witness another witch burning.

The cart halted and Grigor roughly escorted her up the nearest scaffold of four.

Lachlan stood against one of the posts on the platform next to her. His tunic hung open at his sides, his muscled back exposed to the vicious mob.

His head hung low; he appeared defeated.

She swallowed past the lump in her throat.

A heavy-set soldier near Lachlan cracked a whip into the air and the crowd replied in awe, their eyes glistening with blood lust. The man picked up another whip near his feet and held it high for everyone’s pleasure. The claw-like pincers at the end of the whip held bloodstains. Every lash of the cat’s paw would tear Lachlan’s skin like a knife through butter until it reached the bone.

Damn the sorceress for blocking her powers. She could have saved Lachlan from feeling the pain. Allow his soul to escape into a world of bliss.

Grigor bound her to a post, and she peeked below at the pile of dry timber. Her heart felt like it was going to pound out of her chest. Sweat poured down the sides of her face. Her breathing increased.

“I pray you do not burn too fast, witch,” Grigor taunted and left the scaffold. He snatched a fire sconce from one of the guards and waited nearby, his eyes burning with impatience.

“Rhiannon,” Lachlan called to her above the din and she turned her head. “Try to escape if you can.”

She shook her head. “I cannot.” Bile rose in her throat and she swallowed the acidic taste.

Something was happening to her beyond just fear. Her body seemed to blaze from within.

Rhiannon looked at the sorceress, and she held a sinister smile. Torella’s face turned to the east. She was waiting for the sun, for the hex to take place. She whispered into the king’s ear.

King James ordered, “Whip the traitor!”

“Nae,” Rhiannon screamed but it was lost in the mob’s cheers.

The soldier swung his arm to gain momentum then cracked the whip against Lachlan’s back. He squeezed his eyes shut, his body spasm against the pain, but he did not cry out.
Rhiannon struggled against her binds. She had to stop this.

The cat’s claw flicked through the air and tore his skin again. Blood dripped down his legs. The soldier flicked the pieces of flesh from the pincers and whipped him again and again.

“Stop it!” Rhiannon shouted at the sorceress. But she shrugged her shoulders and pointed to the east.

A reddish-orange glow colored the morning sky. The sun would soon appear over the mountains.

“I am a powerful witch!” she shouted as loud as she could.

The crowd hushed down to a whisper, their attention on her.

“If you do not leave this man be, you will all be cursed for the rest of your days,” she warned.

“Nae, Rhiannon,” Lachlan groaned.

The crowd’s faces changed from hatred to panic. They turned to the king.

His Majesty whispered into the sorceress’ ear and she nodded. “Burn the witch!” he ordered.

A mixture of terror and relief filled her being. She did not want to die, but could not allow the hex to darken the world.

Grigor pushed the other guards away and walked forward. Holding the fire sconce in the air, he stared at her with a huge grin on his face. He brought the flame down in an arc, and the timber easily caught fire. The Inquisitor practically danced around her scaffold, adding fire to the pile.
Her steady composure collapsed with the horror of a painful death. The crackling of the flames grew louder, drowning out the noise of the mob. Even Lachlan’s pleas for mercy for her seemed like a whisper.

The spot on her forehead seared the skin, while her insides burned even though the flames had not reached her flesh. She closed her eyes against the sting of smoke, the smell of wood clogging her lungs.

Suddenly, a sense of peace overcame her being. Her limbs instantly cooled and her skin prickled. The beat of her heart and her intake of breath slowed in pace.

She was ready for death.

A piercing light shone from beyond her eyelids and she opened her eyes.

Yellow beams of sunlight shot over the mountain range.


WITCH HUNTER – available on ebook at Resplendence or on print at Amazon.

17 comments:

Lyn Armstrong said...

Thanks Molly for having me. I wish you all a magical day.

Lyn Armstrong
xoxo

heather graham said...

Great interview! My husband is certain the Scots were the most barbaric people ever. (He's Italian!) My dad was from Stirling, so Dennis likes to think that the Italians were far more noble and educated while people in Great Britain was busy NOT ever bathing! That might be so, but they were torturing each other all over the world at that time.Edinburgh offers one of the scariest, most gruesome ghost walks ever, though, I will admit!

Lyn Armstrong said...

Hi Heather, thanks for reading my interview. :0)

I LOVE Edinburgh. I went through their historical dungeons and it was really scary and gruesome.
Not for the faint of heart.
Lyn

Lyn Armstrong said...

Thanks Mona. ;0)

Lyn

Vonnie said...

Great interview, Lyn! I should have known Nancy Friday would be one of your favorites. :) I used to keep My Secret Garden right next to the bed. I wonder where it's gone...

Lyn Armstrong said...

LOL...hi Vonnie. I promise I didn't steal your "Secret Garden". She says, mischievously rubbing her hands together .

Lyn
xoxo

Suzanne Rossi said...

Good interview! I've known and worked on our chapter board with Lyn for several years. She's a truly talented and wonderful person. I'm glad I can call her a friend.

Allison Chase said...

Fantastic excerpt! You really left me on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed your interview, too, and I can tell you have a true passion for history - among other passions, lol!

Kristin W. said...

Ohhhh....Love the exerpt. Very powerful. I too remember you "call" story and it's been fun watching the journey since. Best of luck with this one.

Mary Ricksen said...

What a great excerpt Lyn! and equally as good an interview Mollie!
I think every one of Lyn's books is better then the last!!!
I can't wait to read this one.
The Scots sure were barbaric!
Love the book jacket!!
We love you Lyn!!!

Kenzie Michaels said...

Great interview;)

My sister was studying at the London Center in 1990, so the parents went over for a two week vacation. They went to Scotland and looked up our family crest, plaid, and history. Veeeeerrrrry interesting!!

Lyn Armstrong said...

Thanks ladies for your comments. I'm feeling the luv. LOL.

Lyn
xoxo

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Wonderful interview, Lyn. I'd think just being in a dungeon would be bad enough, never mind the torture. Our witches in Salem didn't fare much better. People always fear what they don't understand or cast blame on those who are different.

April Ash said...

Your story about getting a contract shows you have to be in the right place at the right time...sometimes it really works that way!
Marianne/April

Molly Daniels said...

Thanks for being with me Lyn:) I'm putting this on MY TBB list!

Lyn Armstrong said...

I agree, Nancy. Thanks Molly for having me. It was fun visiting your blog and reading everyone's comments.

=0)

Lyn
xoxo

Ashley Ladd said...

Great job, ladies.

I love the premise and the excerpt.