Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Interview with Lyn Cote: HER ABUNDANT JOY

When Lyn Cote became a mother, she gave up teaching, and while raising a son and a daughter, she began working on her first novel. Long years of rejection followed. Finally in 1997, Lyn got "the call." Her first book, Never Alone, was chosen by Steeple Hill for the new Love Inspired romance line. Since then, Lyn has had over thirty novels published. In 2006 Lyn's book, Chloe, was a finalist for the RITA, one of the highest awards in the romance genre. Lyn’s brand “Strong Women, Brave Stories,” always includes three elements: a strong heroine who is a passionate participant in her times, authentic historical detail and a multicultural cast of characters.  Now living her dream of writing books at her lake cottage in northern Wisconsin, Lyn hopes her books show the power of divine as well as human love.

What caused you to choose early Texas as the setting for your "Texas Star of Destiny" series?

I enjoy writing about locales and periods where several groups come together for a sharp culture clash. Conflict is the essence of a good story and many different people trying to get along or not get along sets up a story rife with natural conflict.

Starting in 1821 Stephen Austin brought in Anglo-Americans to settle Spanish and the Mexican-held Texas. Eastern Texas became the setting where Native Americans, mainly Comanche, Mexicans, and blacks (slaves and runaways), and Anglos clashed over who would be in control of the land. Part of my brand, "Strong Women Brave Stories" is that I like to write a multicultural cast. In this third and final book in the series, I stir German immigrants into the mix.

How do you handle the 19th century political incorrectness?

I resist the pressure to sanitize history. If I portray the 19th century as it really was, it is difficult not to offend the 21st century reader. Yet I still endeavor to portray the low status of women and racial prejudice of the 19th century. I had a reader say in a review that my stories had 21st century values. That's not really correct. My stories have characters who are at odds with their times, another characteristic common to my historicals. My heroines are usually crusaders far ahead of their times who won't cave in to the pressure to conform (another source of conflict). I don't like historical novels that don't even try to show how society was different in the past.

What was the most interesting fact you didn't know about Texas BEFORE you started writing this series?

I hadn't realized that over 30,000 Germans immigrated to Texas in the mid-1840's. The area around New Braunfels, Texas, still celebrates this German heritage with some original stone houses, German food and polka bands—really!

What do you hope your readers will take away after reading this book and the first two in the series?

Her Abundant Joy features a German widow Mariel Wolffe. She is a heroine who will tug at a reader's heart (I hope!) And her hero, Carson Quinn, the son of the hero and heroine in the first book, is a man that should melt hearts. He's not just a handsome face. He has faced frontier life and learned to survive with honor, no small accomplishment.

They find themselves--just as we do today in the face of terrorism--in the middle of a war. Their personal desires and plans must give way to the winds of war. But God is still there with them. I gave my editor a choice of two titles taken from Psalm 37 (all 3 titles are). She chose Her Abundant Joy. The other was Her Man of Peace. I think that this reflects the theme of the book. Carson longs for peace but is forced into war.

The humble shall inherit the earth; and
shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace....
Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright:
for the end of that man is peace. Psalm 37: 11, 37

In 1846, young German widow Mariel Wolfe comes start a new life in the "promised" land of Texas. Texas Ranger Carson Quinn is responsible for leading her party of immigrants through dangerous Comanche-held territory. As he watches Mariel hold her head high, he will stop at nothing to protect her. But war is brewing: Mexico will not accept the U.S. annexation of the young Texas Republic without a fight. Honor bound to fight for Texas, Carson's deepest longing is to lay down his rifle. As Mariel and Carson fall deeply in love, could her painful past or this new war destroy all their hopes?
Lyn features stories of strong women both from real life and true to life fiction on her blog 


  1. Thanks for having me as a guest, Cher!

  2. I had no idea so many Germans immigrated to Texas! (Beautiful cover - BTW).

  3. Me neither. I thought they were all in Iowa. At least it looks like that at my husband's family reunions. lol

  4. Thanks, Cheri. It certainly surprised me. And the Germans expected to be immigrating to the separate country, The Lone Star Republic of Texas. They weren't too happy to find out upon arrival that the US had annexed TX. But what could they do?

  5. Your books sound wonderful, Lyn. I appreciate when history isn't made so PC...we need to NOT forget where we came from. Erasing the past doesn't change it--but can lead us to repeating our mistakes much too often.

    Well, where did that little soap box come from? :)

    and isn't it so often those strong women who lead the changes?

    Makes me wonder if any of my German ancestors moved to Texas. I know in the early 1900's my great grandfather was involved (unknowingly--he was a dreamer) in a land scam for pecan orchards in Texas. He wasn't German. LOL

    Thanks for sharing with us, Lyn!

  6. Lyn, I love the cover of your newest release. The colors are so warm and inviting and the images are great. I applaud you on trying to tell your story as accurately as you can. I hate this new political correctness that has invaded our fiction and diluted our stories. History wasn't all nice and neat. Bad things happened and we can't pretend otherwise. We can't sanitize the past or whitewash our mistakes.

    Good luck to you. I wish you lots of success.

  7. oooh, i love the cover too!
    just added some of your books to my "to buy" list...
    i too am glad you stick to how people were and not what's "correct" now

    ps--i'm one of those iowa germans...well mostly german anyhow :)

  8. Hi Lyn, what a great post and cover. And story. As a new Texas fan (My first visit in May LOL) I'll be getting this for my Kindle! I only just learned about the many German settlers, even in San Antonio. Auf wedersehen.

    Thanks Cheryl, for featuring Lyn today! oxoxxo

  9. Ladies, your comments are so encouraging! I will continue to fight for what was real, not go for sanitized history.

    I've actually had a copy editor (NOT my main editor) suggest that because I portrayed racial prejudice that was somehow endorsing it. I just shook my head.
    Thanks again for dropping by!