Sunday, October 27, 2013

Susan Horsnell -- today's guest author

First of all I would like to thank Rain for inviting me onto her blog. I am new to writing and have had a tremendous amount of support and encouragement from established writers such as Rain. For this I am very grateful.

I began writing about 4 years ago when I retired. I had been a nurse for 37 years and although the stories had always been in my head, I just didn’t have time to write them down. Raising 2 boys, working fulltime and having a husband who spent so much time at sea with the Navy was enough of a challenge. 

My first book, The Glenmore’s: Revenge ended up turning into a series–

They are set in Texas and are about 4 siblings in a wealthy and powerful family. I have a little of everything in this series. Murder, Intrigue, Prejudice, Kidnap, Indians and most importantly, Romance. Why I set them in Texas when I am Australian is a bit of a mystery although I do feel an affinity for this state. I have read a great deal about it and I often tell my husband and friends, I must have lived my previous life there. 

My next book was The Stuck-Up Governess about a young girl who was raised to be a lady but treated like a saleable commodity. I loved this story. Two motherless children attempt to bring this straight laced lady and their down to earth father together but it is kidnap and attempted murder which makes them finally realize their love for each other.

I was fortunate to come across Australian author Margaret Tanner after I had written these books and she has been my critique partner, mentor and friend ever since. Thanks to her assistance, the quality of my story telling and writing has greatly improved.

Mail Order Marshall, my next and most popular book, thanks to the drool worthy cover (as one reader put it), is a sweet romance. This brings two people together who are determined never to fall in love or marry. When her life is put in danger, he realizes he has fallen in love and their pretend marriage suddenly becomes real. 

Enter, a book very close to my heart – Blind Acceptance. This is the story of a young boy, Phillip, who is blinded in an accident. I explore the dangers for a 6 year growing up on a cattle ranch when he can’t see the threats. I worked with the newly blind for several years and drew on my experience to convey the anger, frustration and sadness of not only the affected person but also the family. I attempted to show, the blind are not incompetent or a drain on society, they have a great deal to offer. With a little patience and understanding they can be shown to be a valuable contributor to society. 

Unfortunately in the 19th century it was thought if a person was blind they were also an imbecile. For this reason many were closeted away in Mental Institutions where they eventually did become insane. Prejudice against any disability was rife during this time (still is in many ways) and people tended to want the affected out of the way.  Of course, this book is also a romance with a touching relationship between Phillip’s father, Luke, and the young girl he employs, Rachel, to guide his blind son. 

I am currently working on the sequel to Blind Acceptance which is called Blind Achievement. Phillip is now a grown man and he has left home to attend college. It is here he meets the love of his life, Belinda. She harbors secrets that will endanger the young couple and their friends. I am hopeful this will be ready by the end of November. 

All my books are available through Amazon.com at: http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Horsnell/e/B00BXR5FMM
My blog address is: http://susanhorsnell.wordpress.com. You will find interesting articles, all my books with links to Amazon and other authors and their books.
I am also on Facebook and Twitter @susanhorsnell.
Sign up for my monthly newsletter at--  horsnells@yahoo.com.au

I hope you have enjoyed this snippet about me and I hope you will feel encouraged to read my books.

Excerpt from Blind Acceptance:
Braille: A system of raised dots which enables the blind and visually impaired to read.
Developed in France by Louis Braille, in 1824 when he was just 15 years old. Braille writing was taught with the use of a metal slate, paper and a wooden handled awl. Raised dots were pressed into the paper to enable the blind and visually impaired to read.
Louis then developed Braille musical notation and published a book about this in 1829.
This book is a work of fiction and although some details are accurate some have been embellished for the sake of the story.
BRAILLE READING CHART        


CHAPTER ONE
Texas 1869
“Marie, will you please just consider it?” Luke asked for the third time in twenty minutes. He was tired of constantly having the same argument with his wife.
Marie stood with her hands on her hips and pursed her lips as she listened to Luke plead. “For the last time; I am not going to home school Phillip. I have better things to do with my time. If Meg can’t teach him any more then he will go to school.”
Luke watched as his wife stormed from the room. He would not let Phillip be sent off to a boarding school in Austin, he wanted to teach his son about life on a ranch.
It was the life Luke loved and he hoped his son would too. If Marie wouldn’t home school their son then he’d hire someone who would.
Marie was such a restless soul; he should never have brought her from Austin to live on his isolated ranch.
She was city born and raised, the only child of a wealthy banker and his wife, and she was more suited to the contacts and social life the city provided.
In the beginning, because of her loneliness he had encouraged Marie to visit the city, but over the last couple of years he suspected she had a lover.
Their marriage was far from perfect; in fact it was a disaster, but to cheat on him with another man. The pain of betrayal was like a knife twisting in his gut.
Years before he’d fallen in love with her beauty and spirit but it was this very spirit that had begun tearing them apart after only six months of marriage.
They had not shared a bed or a bedroom for years, an arrangement that suited them both, and they avoided each other at every opportunity.
Luke wasn’t sure what he felt for Marie any more - indifference, contempt, sympathy; it most certainly wasn’t love. As the mother of his son he had told her he would give her a home with him for as long as she wanted but he refused to pay for lodgings in town where she might be at the beck and call of a lover.
He’d made it quite clear that if that was what she wanted she would have to find a way to pay for it herself or have her lover pay. Phillip would most definitely not join her.
Marie hated the ranch and she had used every trick at her disposal to try to make Luke sell and take her back to the city. It was all to no avail so she had resolved to stay until Phillip was old enough to be sent to a boarding school in the city; that time had finally come.
She had steadfastly refused Luke’s request to allow him to grow up on the ranch. She had said she would not allow her son to grow up in such a backwards place that afforded him no opportunities.
She knew Luke was tired of arguing over it and the sooner she had Phillip ensconced in his school, the sooner she would be free to settle in the city and begin living her life.
Luke strode into the kitchen and found Phillip clutched tight to the bosom of Meg - his cook/housekeeper, and up until now, Phillip’s teacher.
When Phillip noticed his father he disengaged himself from Meg’s grasp and ran to where Luke had crouched down and now held his arms outstretched. Luke swept his son up and held him close as he stood and walked into the parlour.
“Did you hear pardner?” Luke was becoming concerned with the effect the frequent arguments were having on their impressionable child.
The arguments seemed to be disrupting the household more and more and Luke was grateful that Meg protected Phillip from them as much as she could.
“You arguing again?” his brother, Nathan, asked as he marched into the parlour seconds behind Luke. “I heard you clear on over to the corral.”
“Yeah; Marie is still insisting on sending Phillip away to school but I just can’t let it happen.”
“Big brother, you can’t force her to keep Phillip at home and teach him. She wants to go back to Austin herself, you know she isn’t cut out for this life.”
Luke looked thoughtfully at his brother. Nathan had fallen in love with Marie the first time he'd met her. He had told Luke repeatedly for the first couple of years they were married that if Marie was his wife he would give up the ranch and take her off to a city for the life she so desperately wanted.
If Nathan didn’t love and respect his brother as much as he did, Luke thought he might have saddled up with Marie and headed off to Austin a few years ago.
Fortunately, as Nathan had grown older he’d also grown wiser and he could see Marie now for the woman she was. He told Luke she was everything he didn’t want in his wife.
Luke couldn’t, and didn’t want to, leave the ranch he loved more than anything else in the world; except for his son. His father and grandfather had worked hard to build the Circle J Ranch from nothing when they’d first arrived out west from Tennessee. Luke was convinced it was Phillip’s legacy he protected.
Marie could do what she liked.
He’d gladly give her the divorce she’d been asking for lately, but he would never give up his son.

 **********

As a side note: I would like to add how supportive and generous Susan has been to all the writers from the time she came into the western writer group. Writing can seem a lonely business and she has made it less so with her giving attitude.

12 comments:

Rain Trueax said...

I appreciated having Susan as a guest and learning more about her books. Diversity is the name of romance authors and she proves that.

Peggy Henderson said...

Wonderful post, Susan. I'm going to have to check out Mail Order Marshall! :-)
I already have Blind Acceptance in my TBR.
What a great excerpt!

Lyn Horner said...

Susan, you are a talented writer with so many great stories told and waiting to tell. You are also one of the most friendly, supportive people I've met on the internet. I'm looking forward to reading Blind Acceptance -- soon I hope.

susanhorsnell.com said...

Rain, thank you for having me and for your kind comments.

susanhorsnell.com said...

Peggy, thank you for visiting. I am grateful for your support.

susanhorsnell.com said...

Lyn, thank you for your kind words. I hope you enjoy reading Blind Acceptance when you get the chance to relax a little from your busy schedule.

susanhorsnell.com said...

Lyn, thank you for your kind words. I hope you enjoy reading Blind Acceptance when you get the chance to relax a little from your busy schedule.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Nice to see you here, Susan. Best wishes for your books. So glad to count you as my friend!

Rain, lovely blog. I'll be back.

Keta Diablo said...

Hello Susan and Rain! Enjoyed the interview about Susan. Didn't know you'd written all those books. I also enjoyed reading Chapter One again of Blind Acceptance. A lovely book! Wishing you tons of success on all future writing endeavors.

Keta, http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com

Susan Horsnell said...

Caroline, thank you for coming by. I look forward to meeting you in April 2015. You are a good friend.

Susan Horsnell said...

Keta, thank you for dropping by and for being such a great supporter.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan, Nice posting -- you're a top notch writer with a great heart - one of the best of the best around here!

Chad