Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wednesday Guest- Lauri Robinson

The Baby of the Family

Thanks, Paty, for inviting me over today! I love reading your blog, and am honored every time I get to appear here. Today I’d like to talk about my upcoming release, Wildcat Bride. This is my eighteenth novel/novella, and just like children, each one is just as exciting and memorable as the first. I live in Minnesota, where my husband and I are now empty-nesters. Our ‘baby’ (i.e. youngest son) married last summer and has two dogs, our middle son has two daughters, and our oldest son has one daughter and two stepsons. (In other words, our nest sometimes overflows into a full house, which we love.) While growing up, our three sons tested sibling rivalry and birth order personalities to the hilt. And now it’s appeared in my books as well…

We’ve all known them—the baby of the family. They often have a reputation of being spoiled, obnoxious, the center of attention, or even loathed by older siblings. This by-chance position in the family status can even manifest into a condition known as the “Youngest Child Syndrome.”

The qualities mentioned above don’t seem like they’d add up to make the best hero, but the baby of the family is the hero in the fifth Quinter Bride book, Wildcat Bride which will be released by The Wild Rose Press April 1st. Bug, aka, Brett Quinter is the youngest of the five Quinter brothers, raised by an over-bearing mother on the Kansas prairie in the 1880’s.

When I started writing this series, Bug was a young kid, idolizing his oldest brother, Kid, and willing to help his other brothers, Skeeter, Hog, and Snake, in whatever way he could. In his spare time he sought out the oil seeps around the state, dreaming of the day he’d become an oil man like Rockefeller, the founder of the Standard Oil Company.

When it came time to put Bug’s story on paper, I was surprised to find how much he’d matured, and how dedicated he was, not only to his goals, but to his family. Bug may have been the youngest, but the position allowed him to gain knowledge, watching the trials and errors of his brothers, as well as character and grit. Within the first chapter I realized it wasn’t going to be easy going for Bug, his heart was too big, and trapped him at every turn. I knew Bug’s soul mate was Eva, a young orphan introduced in the first book, but I didn’t know Eva’s journey to happily-ever-after would be just as long and tortured as Bug’s.

Writing Bug and Eva’s story was a wonderful experience, it gave me the opportunity to re-connect with all the brothers and their families, but finishing this story, was difficult, for it brought an end—albeit HEA—for all the Quinter brothers and their brides. Yes, there’s the next generation, and the next, but these brothers started it all and hitting that final period was tough. I’m excited to see the book hit the market, and look forward to hearing what fans of The Quinter Brides Series think of it.

Bug may have been the ‘baby of the family’, but he’s a member of an elite group. Mother Teresa was the baby of the family, so was Harriet Tubman, as well as Eddie Murphy and Jay Leno. Maybe the youngest ones do strive to be the center of attention, but they also have made contributions to our world their older siblings couldn’t. I, for one, love those family babies. I cry every time I hear Blake Shelton sing “The Baby”.

Here’s the story blurb: Seeing his long time sweetheart after a long separation, Bug (Brett) Quinter is determined to claim her as his wife. But first he has to wrangle his way out of a New York City jail and travel across the nation on an orphan train. His arrival in Kansas finds his mother and her trusty shotgun are opposed to his wedding plans.

Even with an illustrious career as an artist, the only thing Eva Robertson has ever wanted is Bug Quinter. She’s as shocked as Bug when Ma Quinter refuses to allow them to marry. Not willing to revert to the meek girl the Quinter's first met, Eva must reveal to the entire clan the wildcat buried deep inside her.

And an excerpt from Chapter One:

The driver shrugged his shoulders. “I’m sorry, Sir, I’m not at liberty to say.”
“Not at liberty—”
“Brett, get down from there!” Jenny interrupted, now tugging on his pant leg.
“Sir,” the driver said while Bug tensed his leg, wanting to shake off Jenny’s hold. “Sir. Please, you’re holding up traffic.”
The noise of the city penetrated his thick skull. Shouts and curses, as well as all consuming sounds of traffic and folks in general. More people graced the city streets and boardwalks than Bug figured lived in the whole state of Kansas. All in all, it reminded him of just how much he missed the peace and quiet of home.
“Brett, get down!”
“Sir?” The driver, though not sounding nearly as annoyed as Jenny, looked at him questionably.
Bug glanced left and right, acknowledging the traffic and ignoring it at the same time. He set his stare back on the driver. “Just tell me, was that woman Eva Robertson or not?”
“Sir, I’m not—”
“I know,” Bug said, “at liberty.” He settled his eyes on the man, and wished like hell he hadn’t complied when Jenny said he had to leave his Peacemaker back at the hotel. Didn’t matter though, he didn’t need the pistol. Bug fisted his fingers into the front of the driver’s starched collar. “Let me tell you about liberties, Dodge City style.”
The man’s eyes bulged out of their sockets, and his Adam’s apple bobbled against Bug’s knuckles. There was something about Dodge City that caught an Easterner’s attention every time. They were either as curious as a cat about the cow town and those who lived there, or scared witless. He’d go for witless with this driver.
“Was that Eva Robertson?” he asked again.
“Yes,” the man mouthed.
He knew it! Though he’d barely got a glimpse, something deep inside him said the woman he saw was his… Clearly defined memories of him and Eva spun in his head faster than a Kansas dirt devil. Eva was his what? She was Ma’s neighbor, a family friend, but he didn’t have a claim on her. Well, sure she was his friend, too, but it wasn’t like he could say she was his…As in his. Yet he had—for years—and probably always will.
Bug let go of the driver’s shirt, and patted the white material back in place for good measure. “Thanks,” he offered, jumping down the ground. What the hell was Eva doing in New York City?

You can find Lauri here: www.laurirobinson.blogspot.com
And her books here: The Wild Rose press


Margie Church said...

Lauri, congratulations on finishing this amazing series and best wishes for truckloads of sales. After all the times I've sat with you, it seems surreal to "read" you. LOL Fun!


Lauri said...

Thanks for stopping by Margie! Best wishes to you, too!

Tanya Hanson said...

Great excerpt, Lauri. Congrats on the new release, and 18th book. Yowza!
Paty, thanks for the chance to get to know Lauri better.

Good job, ladies.

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous interview. Congratulations on a great series. Onward!
Liz Arnold
Message to Love
The Wild Rose Press

Anonymous said...

This sounds really interesting. I'm always in awe of someone who gets to the end of the series and still has a great story to tell. Congrats on that. I'll have to go pick it up. If Paty recommends it, I figure it must be good.

Lauri said...

Thanks, Tanya, Liz, and Maggie for stopping by. I so appreciate your encouraging words!