In Disobeying the Marshall, while chasing down the Winter gang, Marshal Cord Donovan is injured and nursed back to health by a beautiful young woman. Three months later he learns Florie is the widow of one of the Winter brothers, but it’s her other secret that defies all the rules of a lawman. Book two, Testing the Lawman’s Honor, is about El Dorado’s deputy, Spencer Monroe, and the widow, Della Cramer. Years before, Spencer had stepped aside, thinking that would be best for Della, but this time around he’s determined he is what’s best for Della, but convincing her is harder than he ever imagined.Lauri has always been an avid reader, thanks to her mother, and was rarely without a book in hand. Her husband, however, inspired her to start writing.
"In 2000 while up north at the hunting shack with my husband and our then young sons, my husband asked me to join them in the woods. First off, let me explain that the property the hunting shack is on borders Canada, and November in northern Minnesota is cold. Second, hunters leave the shack early in the morning, and third, I had no desire to join them at all. Never have. Never will. I just went along to make sure the kids ate regularly. Therefore, my answer was, 'No, I have a good book I want to finish.' I did have a good book to finish, and a warm bed to snuggle in while reading. My husband replied in a somewhat sarcastic tone, as spouses are known to do at times, 'Well, you should write one, you’ve read so many of them,'" she explained. "As they left, I thought, 'Fine, I will.' And I started it that very day. It took five years of polishing to get it published, and I’ve loved every minute of the journey since that day. In reality, my husband’s statement that day was just what I needed. I’d always loved writing, and secretly wanted to try it, having ‘him’ suggest it was all I needed to do so. My dream was to become a Harlequin Author, and it’s been even more wonderful than I’d ever imagined."
Lauri has twenty-four books on the market, three more that will be released this year, and two more under contract. I asked her which was her favorite.
"Each one has an aspect that is special, but I can’t say I have a favorite. A Wife for Big John is set in a lumber camp in Minnesota in the 1890s, and my dad helped me with research on that book before he passed, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. And my mother said I could write a hundred books and Guardian Bride, the Quinter Brides book 4 would always be her favorite. She died last summer, so therefore that book will forever remind me of her. An April to Remember came about when my husband took me to Memphis for our 25th wedding anniversary. The trip was a complete surprise. I didn’t know anything about it until a week before we left. Wedding Night with the Ranger was my first book with Harlequin. My Oklahoma story will always remind me of my nephew and his help. Wildcat Bride, the Quinter Brides book 5 is dedicated to my wonderful sister-in-law. My brother gave me the idea of a lady pig farmer for Nights with the Outlaw. And so on and so on."
Her Oklahoma story is part of a two book contract for Harlequin's historical series line—stand alone stories with the titles still to be determined; one set in a gold mine in the Rocky Mountains and the other set at Fort Sill in Oklahoma territory.
"We took a vacation that included Colorado last summer at which point I did research for the gold mine story, but it’s been years since I was in Oklahoma. When it came time to start working on that book, I called my nephew in Oklahoma City, and bless his heart, he visited Fort Sill and emailed me pictures as well as found the answers to several questions I had of the area. The heroine of that story is Millie, who travels to Indian Territory to visit her Army Major brother-in-law; however, she goes posing as her sister Rosemary," Lauri said. "Major Seth Parker can’t figure out why his ‘wife’ all of sudden decides to travel from Virginia to Fort Sill. Their marriage was a sham from the beginning, and though it’s been five years since he’s seen her, his feelings haven’t changed. She’s a conniving little snit who’ll do anything to get her way. However, he’s soon questioning his memory. Rosemary is nothing like he remembers. Even before she arrives, Millie is afraid she won’t be able to behave as rude and selfish as her sister is, but once she meets Seth, it becomes even more difficult. Yet a baby’s life depends on her, so she has no choice. Falling in love with her brother-in-law is the last thing she expects, but it happens, about the same time he learns the truth—she’s not Rosemary, his wife. I think of all the characters I’ve created over the years, Millie and Seth are my favorite. Or at least will be until I start the next book."
Characters are, to Lauri, the most important part of good writing. She likes being introduced to people she can take to heart. They don't have to be the most gorgeous, she told me, or most popular, or successful in all they do, but she does have to become close to them.
"Actually, if I don’t fall in love with a character while reading a story, or at least really, really like them, it doesn’t matter what happens, I’m not going to care about them," she admitted. "I used to have to finish a book, it was like going to be with dishes in the sink, I just couldn’t do it, but the past few years, I’ve gotten over that. Both finishing a book and leaving dishes in the sink. If I’m not rooting for the characters, it doesn’t matter how action-filled the story line is, I’m not going to spend my time finding out what happens to them. And I’m a romance reader. Period. I have to have a happily ever after ending. I don’t want a happy for now, or heaven forbid, a death at the end of the book. I want to close the book knowing these two people grow old together, and I love knowing they’ll leave a next generation that I’ll be able to read about in other books."
"How do you come up with the titles to your books?" I asked.
About the Author:
Lauri lives in rural Minnesota where she and her husband spend every spare moment with their three grown sons and five grandchildren. She volunteers for several organizations, including her local library, and spends most fall weekends filling the freezer with homemade foodstuffs from the bountiful harvest of her husband’s green thumb. She’s a diehard Elvis fan (yes, she’s been to Graceland), and loves to spend Sunday’s watching NASCAR, either live or on TV. However, she says her favorite weekends are spent in the woods of northern Minnesota on the land homesteaded by her great-grandfather.
Check her out online: http://www.laurirobinson.blogspot.com/