I’m very honoured to have Lauri Robinson here today as my first guest on the Wild Roses Blog Tour. Lauri has a long list of historical books available through The Wild Rose Press (Cactus Rose and American Rose) and she is also published by Harlequin’s Historical Undone imprint.

Lauri lives in rural Minnesota where she and her husband spend every spare moment with their three grown sons and four (soon to be five) grandchildren. She works part time for the local United Way, volunteers for several organizations, and is a diehard Elvis and NASCAR fan. When asked why she loves to write western historical romances, Lauri says, “Because I know I wasn’t the only girl who wanted to grow up and marry Little Joe Cartwright.”

Lauri, what inspired you to write your first book?

I’ve always been an avid reader, and dabbled at writing for years. I’d sold a few magazine articles and curriculum ideas for teaching manuals, but it was my husband who inspired me to write my first romance novel. It was in 2000 and we were ‘up north’ at the hunting shacks. He and our three sons were going out to their deer stands, and he asked me to come along. I refused, claiming I wanted to finish reading a ‘good’ book. (I’m not a hunter and the only reason I went ‘up north’ was to make sure the kids ate something besides canned chili.) Somewhat sarcastically, (as husbands can be) he stated I should write one since I read so many. I thought, fine, I will. And I did. It took me five years to get it published, and I’ve learned so much since then.

Which character you’ve written is your favourite?

That would have to be a secondary character in A Wife for Big John, Howard. He’s a loveable, yet grizzly old coot that lives for apple pie. From the moment he appeared on the page, he reminded me of my grandfather—a true Northern Minnesota lumberjack. When my mother read the book she said Howard reminded her of her father, right down to the apple pie. This surprised me. My grandfather died when I was sixteen. I never knew he liked apple pie. My mother assured me, just like Howard, my grandfather’d have done anything for a slice of it.

What is the hardest scene you’ve written (published or not), and why?

That would be the scene in An April to Remember when the boat explodes. (This book is based on the Mississippi Riverboat the Sultana. More people perished in that maritime disaster than on the Titanic.) I’m deathly afraid of water, and having both my hero and heroine submerged in the rolling, stormy waters of a raging river had my heart racing. It was very late at night when I was writing that scene and my husband shut down the house and asked if I was coming to bed. I told him I couldn’t. There’d be no way I could sleep knowing both of my characters were in the water. I didn’t go to be until after three in the morning—and had to get up for work at 6:00.

As terrifying as that was for you, I’m sure your readers appreciate the emotion you poured into that scene.

How many books have you written, and which is your favourite?

I don’t know that I have a favorite. Each one is special for different reasons.

Currently, I have 7 full length novels:

A Message of Love (Publish America)

Mail Order Husband (The Wild Rose Press)

A Wife for Big John (The Wild Rose Press)

An April to Remember (The Wild Rose Press)

Shotgun Bride-The Quinter Brides Book 1 (The Wild Rose Press)

Badland Bride-The Quinter Brides Book 2 (The Wild Rose Press)

Boot Hill Bride-The Quinter Brides Book 3 (The Wild Rose Press)

Six short stories: (e-book only)

An Unbelievable Journey (The Wild Rose Press)

Rancher McBride (The Wild Rose Press)

Doctor McBride (The Wild Rose Press)

Kendra’s Choice (The Wild Rose Press)

Wedding Night with the Ranger (Harlequin, Mills and Boon)

Wish Craft (The Wild Rose Press)

Two stories in Anthologies:

Sheriff McBride—in Lawmen and Outlaws (The Wild Rose Press)

A Soldier for Christmas—in An American Rose Christmas (The Wild Rose Press)

And two have been or are being republished in other formats:

Kendra’s Choice has been published as an Audio Book by Audio Lark

Mail Order Husband had been translated into Japanese and will be released in Japan as a trade paperback in 2011.

Japanese? Wow, that must be thrilling! What are you currently working on?

Too many to list! I’ve recently finished the next two Quinter Bride books, and have two stories I’m doing edits on for Harlequin, Mills and Boon’s UNDONE line. I have a couple others in queries to different lines, and have four I’m currently writing. I like to work on more than one story at a time. That way when one story isn’t flowing just right, I can set it aside and keep working on another.

When is your next book due out, and what’s it about?

Guardian Bride—The Quinter Brides Book 4 will be released on October 29th.

I’ve loved writing this series, and think I’ll always be a touch smitten with the oldest brother Kid. This story is about the third brother Snake, aka, Scott.

Here’s the blurb:

Snake Quinter believes he dodged a bullet when he refused to wed the girl Ma was set on hitching him to. Then he wakes up. Not only had he been shot—twice, he and Summer Austin are definitely married.

For over ten years Summer Austin had known her life was tied to the Quinter family—her guardian angel said so. She was willing to do whatever it took to keep her siblings safe, but what would Snake and his family do when they discovered she, a half-breed, was responsible for their father’s death?

Please will you share an excerpt of Guardian Bride with us?

The jingle of harnesses and the creak and clatter of wagon wheels interrupted the casual tweets of the prairie songbirds. Frowning, Snake moved beyond the end of the long rows of wheat. The small plume of dust had grown closer. He squinted. With the force of a lightning bolt, his heart plummeted into a dark, spooky place.

An old mule, wearing a hat that someone had cut long slits in the brim so the animal’s ears could stick out and full of purple and pink flowers, trotted along the trail. Dust rose into the air in the animal’s wake. Two women sat on the seat of an odd shaped, little wagon. He began to shake. They didn’t need to come closer for him to know who they were. The driver wore a hat to match the mules, minus the ear slots, and the woman beside her, totted a well-used shotgun.

Fear like he’d never known raced over his body, and he scanned the vast ground, erratically trying to figure out which way to run.

Just as he hefted a leg, which felt like it weighed three hundred pounds, a rough voice sliced the air. “Don’t move! I got you in my sights!”

“Aw, shit!” The two women—together—could only mean one thing. Turning back to the wagon, he shouted, “Put the gun away, Ma, you ain’t gonna shoot me.”

“You don’t know that!” she reiterated.

On second thought, a good round of buckshot wouldn’t be as bad as the alternative—marrying the woman who sat beside his mother, glowering at him like he’d just killed her mule, hat and all.

Summer Austin flinched as the gun in the woman’s hands clicked. Out of the corner of her eye she checked if the woman sitting beside her had cocked the trigger.

Stephanie Quinter had. Moreover, one gnarled finger was set to pull the lever back the rest of the way.

Summer swallowed, stirring up the bile that already churned in her stomach. Marrying Snake Quinter wasn’t necessarily what she wanted, but he was her ticket out of Dodge, and she had to take it. Another option wasn’t likely to come along and time had run out.

Thanks for stopping by here today Lauri. If you’d like to find out more about Lauri’s books, you can visit her blog  at http://LauriRobinson.blogspot.com