Have a look at her recent novel, Lady Flora’s Rescue
By Jeff Salter
When I arm-twisted Lynn Shurr into being my Guest Fox on this Hound Day, I had forgotten she was here at 4F1H just over five years ago. But I’ve checked the earlier blog and there’s hardly any over-lap… so enjoy my interview here today and then click below to read her interview with Tonette from five years ago.
I’ve known Lynn – by another name (Carla) – since 1979 when we served together on a focus group for the Louisiana Governor’s Conference on Library and Information Services. In all the years I interacted with Carla – and all those conferences and committees we participated in – I never knew she was a writer. Didn’t learn about Lynn until I retired.
Blurb: Lady Flora’s Rescue
When little Lady Flora first lays eyes on the Duke of Bellevue’s half-Shawnee son brought from the wilds of America, she isn’t the least afraid. To her, Bear Hug, renamed Pearce Longleigh, represents adventure and freedom. Ten years pass before they meet again.
Flora’s belief that she has met her match is squelched when Pearce offers to return to Ohio Territory with her father to claim land for speculation. She invites herself along not knowing he plans to rejoin his mother’s people. When Flora is taken captive by his tribe, will Pearce see she is returned to her own native land? Love must go to war with Freedom.
(Release date: January, 2019)
Once a librarian, now a writer of romance, Lynn Shurr grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country. She attended a state college and earned a very impractical B.A. in English Literature. Her first job out of school really was working as a cashier in a burger joint. Moving from one humble job to another, she traveled to North Carolina, then Germany, then California where she buckled down and studied for an M.A. in Librarianship.
New degree in hand, she found her first reference job in the Heart of Cajun Country, Lafayette, Louisiana. For her, the old saying, “Once you’ve tasted bayou water, you will always stay here” came true. She raised three children not far from the Bayou Teche and lives there still with her astronomer husband.
When not writing, Lynn likes to paint, cheer for the New Orleans Saints and LSU Tigers, and take long road trips nearly anywhere. Her love of the bayou country, its history and customs, often shows in the background for her books. She also enjoys giving tours at Shadows on the Teche, a National Trust property, where she meets people from around the world.
She is the author of more than thirty romance novels including the popular Sinners sports romance series: Goals for a Sinner, Wish for a Sinner, Kicks for a Sinner, Paradise for a Sinner, Love Letter for a Sinner, Son of a Sinner, She’s a Sinner, Sister of a Sinner, Never a Sinner, The Heart of a Sinner, and the Mardi Gras series: Queen of the Mardi Gras Ball, Mardi Gras Madness and Courir de Mardi Gras. She has also written a contemporary western series: The Convent Rose, A Wild Red Rose, Always Yellow Roses, and The Courville Rose. Her two Cajun contemporary romances are A Taste of Bayou Water and Blessings and Curses. Her stand-alone contemporary romance, A Trashy Affair, was an Amazon exclusive. The single titles, A Will of her Own, An Ashy Affair, and A Place Apart and Putty in her Hands are Lynn’s newest single titles. A new historical series, The Longleigh Chronicles, premiered last year with, Lady Flora’s Rescue. The fourth in the group, The Greatest Prize, comes out December first.
You may contact Lynn at:
or visit her blog – http://lynnshurr.blogspot.com/
She accepts friend requests on Facebook under Carla Lynn Shurr Hostetter. She’d would love to hear from you and have you review her books.
1. How do you explain your early interest in creative writing? Or can you?
[ *** L. S. *** ] — I had early success in writing and starring in a one-person puppet show in the fifth grade. It went on tour of the school. To top that, my poem was chosen to be read at parents’ night in sixth grade. Hey, I discovered something I was good at—because it sure wasn’t math or science. It put what my mother described as my overactive imagination to work in a positive way.
2. You’ve lived in a lot of places: Pennsylvania, Germany, California, Louisiana. What has been the best experience?
[ *** L. S. *** ] — Actually, I love to travel and have new experiences. Every place has its pros and cons. California-lots of free lovely parks and seashore, great for a person with no money. Downside-high cost of living and having my puny belongings stolen three times. Germany-interesting historical places, wonderful pastry and wine. Downside-nearly getting killed on the autobahn and of course coping with a foreign language. While I have settled in Louisiana for a long time, I don’t rule out living elsewhere one day.
3. You’ve held a variety of jobs. Which was your favorite? Which was the worst?
[ *** L. S. *** ] — The worst—definitely working in the burger joint after graduating with my degree in English. The smoke in the air made my eyes water, and I always smelled like French fries. The most interesting of my humble jobs was taking classified ads over the phone. Not only did it hone my typing skills, great for a writer, but you never knew what would come up. My favorite of all: Free mice, great for feeding snakes.
My Bachelor’s Degree was also in English (with minors in History and Speech). I definitely agree that degree was impractical in 1976 and I had basically three options at that point: return to the military, get a masters in English, or go for the library degree. What nudged you (from your other options) toward library school?
I certainly wasn’t going to join the military. I did start an MA in English at UNC but had a professor who started his class by stating, “The only thing you can do with an MA in English is come after my job, so I am going to make you as miserable as possible.” He did, and he was right. I dropped out of that program and wandered a few more years. When living in California on a shoestring, I used the public library heavily. One day, a young librarian said, “You know you can get a library degree in two years and San Jose State is just down the road.” I’d lived there long enough to get state tuition at $300 a semester, and I finished my degree in eighteen months by going summers and at night. Librarianship was a perfect fit for me, but no one had suggested it earlier. Of course, I truly wanted to be a writer, but realized how hard that would be to make a living.
4. You’ve done it all: renovating libraries, automating them, and building them. Which is more difficult? Why?
[ *** L. S. *** ] — The hard part is getting funding, but I’d say renovations. You never know what problems will come up, a retaining wall that can’t be moved, having to shift all the books to the meeting room as certain sections were worked on and still stay open. Far easier to build one according to your plans. As for automation, while my library was the second in the state after New Orleans to move to computers, and I implemented that, I soon hired someone who could deal with them far better than I. Gladly, I turned over my tiny screwdriver to her.
5. If you HAD pursued a career in archaeology, what area of the world would you have most wanted to work in? What time frame of history most interests you?
[ *** L. S. *** ] — I’ve participated in some digs and have realized I really don’t like digging in the dirt in the heat and coping with snakes and mosquitoes. My ideal spot would be Italy as I’ve always been fascinated by ancient Rome and Pompeii. Imagine discovering wonderful treasures and then having a great meal and wine at the end of the day.
I find most historical periods interesting and love doing the research when I am working on a book. Lady Flora carried me to the wilds of Ohio in the late 1700’s, a time I knew little about. I’d started to write a Regency series in which she is a match-making matron. She stole the show, and so I backtracked and gave her an “origin” story as they say of super heroes.
In a single title, Queen of the Mardi Gras Ball, I got to explore the 1920’s, a really fun and fascinating period. That, too, spawned sequels. It’s hard to let characters you love go.
6. What is it about bull-riding that compels you to watch? Have you ever done the riding part?
[ *** L. S. *** ] — I never watched bull-riding until I wanted to find a new kind of hero for my romances. Learning about the sport was very interesting, and I attended several rodeos and followed riders on the PBR circuit as part of my research. Nope, never done the riding part, not even on a mechanical bull. I have no fondness for injuries, and I tell you those guys endanger their lives every time they get on a bull. Most start right out of high school and retire early. The bulls definitely have the advantage. Much harder than football.
7. Recently, I finally read A Trashy Affair — and really enjoyed it. Please share with our readers how your local garbage problem inspired this novel.
[ *** L. S. *** ] — People always ask me where I get my ideas for my plots. Easy, plots are everywhere. Our town got a terrible new garbage collection service where a man bought a few old trucks, low-balled on his bid, and used political influence to get the job. Every bad (though funny) experience Jane has trying to get decent trash collection and recycling happened to me or a friend, like a wheel coming off a cart I’d had to wait six weeks to receive. Despite the title, it is a story about recycling both garbage and people. And no, the hero is not a sexy garbage man. It’s by far my favorite single title, though Merlin and Jane do turn up later in Putty in her Hands as secondary characters. And that one is about restoring old buildings, but is kind of sexy, too.
8. Your descriptions are beautifully done. How do you know how much description is too little, too much, or just right?
[ *** L. S. *** ] — I love writing descriptions. My editor tells me when I’ve gone overboard and makes me cut it back to a couple of paragraphs at the most. I don’t think I’ve ever written too little.
9. I’ve also read at least two of your Sinners series. I can’t remember if this was in one of your titles or in all that I’ve read, but I recall a lot of sensory details about Louisiana foods. Is food one of your special interests?
[ *** L. S. *** ] — To be honest, I’m not much of a cook, but the food in Louisiana is so good and really is an obsession around here. People rarely get together without discussing or consuming food. Again, one of my editors asked if I needed so much culinary description, and I said yes. I’ve had readers tell me they want to come to Louisiana to experience those meals.
10. I didn’t remember this from the Sinners books, but in this recent one I noticed several “bedroom” scenes that didn’t shy away from detail. How would you describe the “heat” level of that book?
[ *** L. S. *** ] — To me, sex is part of life and love, but I rarely receive more than three flames out of five in most reviews. Usually, there are two or three explicit sex scenes, but all are there to move the plot forward, not simply to be provocative. People can always skim them. I’m far better known for my plots and characters than I am for sex scenes.
11. What is the heat level of Lady Flora’s Rescue?
[ *** L. S. *** ] — I’d say it’s a two. They are far too busy with their adventures to have much time for it—and of course there are historical constraints. I did have one reader complain about the lack of sex in the book. My Mardi Gras series has very little sex, but some of the single titles are hotter. It often depends on the character.
12. Lady Flora occupies Book One of the Longleigh Chronicles. How many titles do you predict for this series? How do you decide when a story will be stand-alone or will be part of a larger series? Does this series stop with Book Five, The Greatest Prize?
[ *** L. S. *** ] — For now, The Longleigh Chronicles is projected to have ten titles, one for each of Flora’s offspring. So far, four are in print with number five, The Greatest Prize due out December first. It’s an especially good one. But, as Flora adores match making, it could go beyond that. As I said, I have a hard time saying bye to characters I love. As for deciding which will spin off into series, I need to have a long story line like my Sinners sports romances that follow the career of a quarterback and then of his children. Sometimes, my characters jump into the single titles or another series. One of my bull riders recently showed up in Dream for a Sinner, giving my nerdy hero some macho competition.
13. Do you have a question you’d like to ask our blog readers today?
[ *** L. S. *** ] — Yes. I am far better known for my contemporary romances which sell well. I’ve noticed there doesn’t seem to be as much interest in the historical books. Though I love writing them, they take considerably more time due to the research required. Why do you prefer one over the other?
[JLS # 514]