Beginning January 1, 2013

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Long and Short Reviews is pleased to welcome Lauri Robinson whose newest book Testing the Lawman's Honor is released today. It's the second of a duet (Wild Western Nights) from Harlequin in their historical Undone line. The first one, which was out January 1, is Disobeying the Marshal. Both are set in El Dorado, Kansas, in 1881. I asked her to tell us about the stories.

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.

"I don’t," she said with a smile. "At least not the Harlequin ones. My editor is fabulous, as is her team. They come up with titles and ask me what I think. I name the stories as I’m writing them, usually when I first start it, just so I have something to name my document. Disobeying the Marshal and Testing the Lawman’s Honor were named El Dorado Widow—Florie and Della, while I was writing them. Boring, I know. Many of my Wild Rose Press titles changed during the publishing process as well. Once they were contracted I’d ask the editor for suggestions and we’d usually come up with something we both liked. My next release with them is Sing to Me, Cowboy. It will be released in May and started out as Honky Tonk Devil. Sometimes I don’t even refer to the stories as the titles I’ve given them. They become the Oklahoma story, the Colorado story, the Wyoming story, etc., while discussing them with my critique partners or editors or even family members."

About the Author:
Lauri Robinson’s chosen genre to write is western historical, and when asked why, she says, “Because I know I wasn’t the only girl who wanted to grow up and marry Little Joe Cartwright.”

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:

Twitter: @LauriR


Dawn said...

Your books sound great! And don't blame you..a warm bed and a book vs hunting in the cold! lol...and a Nascar too!! Thanks for sharing!

Lauri said...

Hi Dawn,

Thanks for stopping by! I'm looking forward for to 'Gentlemen, start your engines!'

Thanks to Marianne and Judy for the fun interview, too!


Caroline Clemmons said...

Great interview, Lauri. I love to read in bed, too. Actually, I love to read anywhere!Wishing you continued success with your career.

Joya said...

Hi Lauri,
Great interview! Wow, you have a nice nephew to take photos for you like that. I'll bet it was a big help. Western historicals are an interesting genre. Keep up the great work and congrats on your new release. :)

Barbara Bettis said...

What a neat interview. I really enjoy a good Western historical and yours sound very enjoyable. Looking forward to reading them. Good luck.

Lauri said...

I'm with you, Caroline, I can read anywhere. And do.

Thanks,Joya. Yes, my nephew and his wife are wonderful, and I was so thankful for all their help!

Thanks, Barbara, and thanks for stopping by!

Unknown said...

Wonderful interview, Lauri. I knew you were a prolific author, but I did not know just how much. I enjoyed learning a little more about you, and I do love how you remember each book. Best wishes-

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Lauri, loved the interview. I knew you are a prolific writer, wow. What a terrific list of books. SO glad you decided to read and not go hunting. Ick.

Here are warm wishes for continued success.

Nancy Jardine Author said...

Loved the interview. What a choice for you- writing or the ...alternatives you mention!

Lauri said...

Thanks, Celia, Tanya, and Nancy! I appreciate you stopping by!

ParanormalRomanceFan said...

Lauri Robinson is a new Author to me but her Western Historical Books sound like they should not be passed up in reading.

I really enjoyed the interview & I am definitely going to pick up your books now after reading in your interview that "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." OMG a woman after my own Heart. :)

It's GREAT to meet a fellow NASCAR Lover!!!! We Hubby & I are in NASCAR Withdrawl right now, they say the 1st Step is to admit you have a problem. LOL When you settle for race re-runs on the SPEED Channel just to get your NASCAR Fix, you have a problem. :) LOL

We canNOT wait for Speed Week, I already know the dates by heart. lol The Shootout Feb. 18th, the Dual 125's Feb. 23rd, Truck Series Feb. 24th, Nationwide Feb. 25th, & the Daytona 500 Feb. 26th WooHoo!!! I Know, I'm a Nut. :)

Take care Lauri & Wishing You the Best of Health....& don't forget...Boogity, Boogity, Boogity (inside joke for Race Fans lol),
PaParanormalFan (Renee’ S.)

Lauri said...

Oh, heavens, PaParanormalFan, I am so with you in the withdrawals! Hubby has football during the winter, but it just can't replace "Let's go racing!" for me. Then again, winning our in our fantasy race league last year has me extra-excited for the year to begin again.

Thanks for stopping by!