Today I am delighted to welcome author Lyn Horner to the blog with a guest post on the recently published collaborative anthology The Posse perfect for romance and western fans.
Sally, thank you for hosting me today on Smorgasbord. I’m grateful for this chance to introduce your lovely readers to THE POSSE, a collaborative anthology containing eight tales of the American Old West.
Early in the fall of 2016 I received an online call for short stories in the western genre to be part of an anthology. The request came from a micro publisher located in Alabama, USA. Eight stories were needed, each to feature a posse. Intrigued, I submitted a story idea, and to my delight, it was accepted.
I’ve self-published twelve books and had stories included in two other anthologies, but this is my first time with a traditional publisher, so I’m quite excited. Finding myself in the company of several acclaimed western authors makes the endeavor that much sweeter.
The project evolved into a western historical romance anthology. Meeting deadlines, editing and collaborating to promote the upcoming book launch on March 15th hasn’t always been easy. Especially while working on my contemporary series, Romancing the Guardians, at the same time. But I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.
My short story, “The Schoolmarm’s Hero,” is set in 1880 Colorado. It stars Mattie Schoenbrun, a spinster schoolmarm, and Trace Balfour, the handsome marshal who sees past her spectacles and drab brown dress to the shy, lovely woman underneath. He has just come to realize how much he respects and desires her when she is kidnapped by a pair of drunken cowboys.
Here is an excerpt to whet your appetite.
Arriving at Sunday’s church picnic on Trace Balfour’s arm, Mattie imagined she floated over the ground. Could this be real? Did she dream strolling beside the most handsome man in town, the man she adored in secret ever since he arrived to serve as the town marshal a year ago? Her emotions reeled as if she lived one of the fairytales her grandmother once enthralled her with as a child.
To please Trace, she wore her hair down, held back by a blue ribbon that matched her blue calico dress, the prettiest one she owned. She’d also left her spectacles in her room at the boarding house where she lived. She needed them only for reading, but wore them every day since accepting her teaching position in Lentzburg four years ago. They made her look more studious, a desirable quality when facing a roomful of fractious students, or their parents. The eyeglasses also served as a barrier between her and the world, a blessing for a shy spinster.
“Where do you want me to spread the blanket?” her tall, raven-haired escort asked.
“Maybe under the trees along the creek?” Away from the people who stared at them, at her, to be more precise.
“Un-uh, we’re not gonna hide. I want to show off my pretty gal. How ’bout over there in that sunny patch?” He pointed to a spot surrounded by picnickers, then led her through the crowd, nodding and greeting townspeople, thereby forcing Mattie to do likewise. She didn’t want to appear unhappy beside him.
Once they settled on the blanket, she opened her picnic basket. She lifted out a tin pan of fried chicken before gathering a clay bowl of potato salad she’d prepared, along with smaller side dishes.
“Mattie, this is a feast,” Trace said, his eyes bright.
“I hope you like it.” Smiling, she loaded a plate, handing it to him.
He bit into a drumstick, closed his eyes, and chewed blissfully. “Delicious,” he declared after swallowing. “Woman, not only are you beautiful, but you can cook. You’d do a man proud as his wife.”
Dumbstruck, she choked on a mouthful of potato salad, dropping her fork on her plate with a clatter. Coughing, she dabbed at her watering eyes with the cuff of her sleeve.
Trace chuckled, patting her back. “Didn’t mean to make you choke, honey.”
I’m sorry,” she wheezed, unable to look at him. “Y-you took me aback. I’ve never thought of myself that way.”
“You mean as becoming a man’s wife?”
Nodding, she retrieved her fork, pushing food around on her plate.
“I don’t know why not.” He used two fingers to lift her chin, urging her to meet his caressing gaze. “You best start thinking about it, Matilda Schoenbrun, because–”
Gunshots rang across the churchyard.
The summary for all the stories in the anthology
“One Way or Another” By Frank Kelso
A bitter water dispute twists two Texas cattle ranches one way or another after the son of one rancher takes a shine to the other rancher’s daughter, new from the east.
“The Schoolmarm’s Hero” By Lyn Horner
The Sheriff leads a posse after two drunken cowboys who kidnapped the spinster schoolmarm. The chase forces him to realize how much he loves her.
“Bad Day at Round Rock” By cj petterson
The pursuit of stolen gold culminates in a “Bad Day at Round Rock”–a story of greed, death, and love torn from pages of West Texas history.
“The Reckoning” by Charlene Raddon
A half-breed boy seeks his place in the world—with the Shoshone who raised him, or his white aunt and uncle where he has been sent for an education.
“Headed for Texas” By Chimp Robertson
Rowdy Hawkins’s been shot, stabbed, and caught in Custer’s attack on Black Kettle, but it’s the first time he’s ever been in love—with Black Kettle’s granddaughter.
“The Savage Posse” By JS Stroud
A death-bringer, neither whites nor Apaches wanted her until they needed one full of venom to lead their Savage Posse in rescuing stolen children.
“Set a Thief” By Chuck Tyrell
The man who stole Kimberly’s prize pinto returns the mare. “Let the man have his say,” her Pa says. “Don’t expect to come courting,” she warns.
“Tibby’s Hideout” By Frank Kelso
After the Civil War, Bess Newcomb, a single mother, wants to remarry, but Tibby, her eight-year old son, isn’t sure he wants a new dad—he decides to hideout.
The anthology has already received some excellent review and here are two of them.
The Posse, An Anthology of Historical Western Romances, by seven authentic western writers, is a romping wild ride into the wide open ranges of America’s west – filled with thrills and romance. Each of the stories in this anthology capture the essence of life back in the wild, as yet, untamed west. The Posse embraces the history of this rugged land and the lifestyle lived, the spirit and courage of the people who tamed its vast ranges, as well as the beauty and color of the flora, the wildlife and the sheer expanse, and even brutality, of its mountain ranges, arroyos and endless desert patches, all of which whisk the reader off to another world.
Each of the eight short stories in this book is unique. In true western style, they pit good versus bad, but they also remind us that this was a challenging frontier and age, and that death was just a gunshot away. The qualities and merits of virtue, nobility, principle and a man’s word are weaved throughout these stories – reminding us that civility and the essence of who we are as people played an important formative role during these rugged times. Pick up the book, read a story a night, and be entertained by great western storytellers, people who know these lands, whose very lineage springs from the great western frontier and who lived to tell the tale. If you like classic westerns with an historical and romantic touch, The Posse is the book for you.
If you like real life western events, this is the book for you. These are rough and tumble old west stories full of the true nature of the people who populated the western frontier before it became a civilized country. People get killed! People get hurt! People fall in love! Men do things out of greed that are incomprehensible. This book is not for the faint of heart. I enjoyed most of it. Some parts are hard to read, others were great. These authors tell it like it is. I’m just a fan of HEA books. This book was given to me. The review stated is my own.
Read all the reviews and buy the anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Posse-Historical-Western-Romances-ebook/dp/B06XCBBCS7
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XCBBCS7
Amazon Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/d/B06XCBBCS7
A selection of books by Lyn Horner
Read the reviews and buy all of Lyn’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Lyn-Horner/e/B004CY506Y
Connect to Lyn.
FB fan page: https://www.facebook.com/Lyn-Horner-161787403863487/
Sweethearts of the West: https://sweetheartsofthewest.blogspot.com/
Pioneer Hearts: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pioneerhearts/
If you have been involved in a collaborative anthology then please contact me and you are very welcome to do a guest post in a similar format to Lyn’s to showcase it. Let’s talk about it first firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for dropping by and please feel free to share. Sally