Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Interview w/ Lydia Tyler from Lydia's Gunslinger By: Julie Lence

Thank you for joining us today, Lydia. Your likeness is to the left, so readers can visualize you as you answer the following questions:   

Where is home? Austin, Texas. Mama and Papa have a grand city house, with a cook and two maids. Mama enjoys socializing with her circle of friends and helping at the church. Papa works closely with the governor. Actually, he and the governor share a relationship akin to brothers. I’ve referred to the governor as my uncle most of my life.        

What is your family like? It’s just Mama, Papa and me, and the servants. Mama is very sweet and has a kind heart for everyone. My growing up years, she and I had tea every afternoon when I came home from school. She taught me to appreciate fine silks and satins, to conduct myself in a manner befitting a lady, and to never look down on someone else.

Papa works long hours and is often called away on business. He’s like Mama in that he has a kind heart and goes out of his way to help those in need. Regarding me, he’s strict, but he’s also loving and indulges my every whim, including my latest quest to find suitable homes for 4 orphans.

What brings you to Revolving Point, Texas? I have failed the children miserably. I asked everyone I know, and could not find homes for them. They are such sweet innocents. Ben’s almost a man. His sister, Abby, is pretty and as kind as Mama. Their little brother is adorable, and Lacy clings to me so much that I fear even if I did locate suitable parents for her, she wouldn’t go with them. Which got me to thinking that maybe they could stay with me. Not at Mama and Papa’s city home. There isn’t room. But an orphanage, with plenty of bedrooms and a long table to share meals…
I’ve scoured Austin for a lot to build an orphanage, but I again failed. Then Papa suggested I didn’t have to build in Austin, that Texas is home to several towns that have space to build an orphanage as grand as I envision. I traversed Texas and settled on Revolving Point. The Rio Grande flows just behind town. I can teach the children to swim, and the land I chose has apple trees and room for horses… a more perfect area doesn’t exist.      

What did you think the 1st time you saw Roth? That he was in desperate need of a haircut. His stringy hair touched his shoulders. Worse was the guns he wore. I detest guns and violence.    

How would Roth describe you? I’m sure he’d say I’m uptight and snobbish, maybe even a prude, and too outspoken, but I have little choice but to present a strong fa├žade. The children are of the utmost importance to me, and I will do whatever is necessary to ensure they have a home… to ensure they know they are loved, even if that means ruffling a few feathers. Now, if I can rid myself of the annoying Mr. Coper, the headmaster Papa hired to help with the children’s education, I just may succeed with all of my plans.     

How would you describe Roth? Now that I’ve had time to get to know him, he’s definitely a menace… on the outside. On the inside, he has a heart worth knowing, worth loving. He cares greatly for the children and abhors Mr. Cooper. If only he’d hold me close to him…    

How do you relax? I don’t. The children and overseeing the building of the orphanage take up so much of my time, as does Mr. Cooper usurping my authority. If I had to venture a guess, I suppose I’d answer with a hot cup of tea at the end of a long day, with my feet propped up on a stool, but those times are rare.     

What is your biggest fear? That Mr. Cooper will ruin all of my plans for the orphanage. From day one of Papa hiring him, he’s tried to wrestle control from me, and has succeeded on a few matters. Most recently, he had a wall built to divide my office inside the orphanage into two rooms. Blessedly, Roth tore down the wall. Guns, danger; he really is a good man.    

What is the best advice someone gave you? A long time ago, Papa told me if something was worth having, then I needed to work extra hard to obtain it and keep it. Roth is worth having, and persuading him to agree a union between us isn’t a bad thing is a challenge I intend to win.      

Sounds like you know exactly what you want and how to get it. Thank you for joining us today, Lydia. It was a pleasure chatting with you. And thank you for leaving us with an excerpt I’m sure readers will enjoy.

To purchase Lydia’s Gunslinger, please visit Amazon here:


He ducked inside the mercantile and waited for his sister to finish with a customer. The woman left and Debra stepped out from behind the counter.
"Where have you been?" she asked, approaching him. "You need to get upstairs. Lydia's waiting for you."
His gut hit the floor at that. Lydia knew he'd left town for a few hours. She wouldn't come here looking for him unless something was wrong. "What happened?"
"I'll let her tell you." Debra touched his arm. "Don't lose your temper, Roth. She's upset and needs your help."
He scrambled out the door, down the side of the building and up the stairs, where he paused and took a deep breath before quietly opening the door and stepping inside. Lydia sat at the table, with her fingers wrapped around a cup and her head bowed.
He shut the door behind him and crossed the floor, gently touched her arm. "Lydia?"
She looked up at him. Tears swam in her cat eyes. "He means to have Papa and the governor take my children from me," she whimpered.
"Who?" He hunkered down beside her.
"Mr. Cooper. He saw me leave the livery with you and said people will question my morals if I continue a relationship with you."
"Sonofabitch!" Roth slammed his fist on the table.
"I can't lose them, Roth." She shivered. "I won't lose them."
"You're not gonna lose anyone." He stood and pulled her into his arms, held her close and petted the back of her head to ease her trembles. "I'm the deputy around here. Some folks respect that. Others…" He shrugged. "I'll stay away. Make things easy for you."
"I don't want you to stay away." She leaned back in his arms and looked up at him. "I want you to pummel Mr. Cooper. Hard."
He couldn't help but grin. She hated his guns. But she wasn't too adverse to him pummeling someone when the need suited her. The thought floated across his mind that he should kill Cooper and put an end to her troubles before they got any worse. But something hinted a bullet wasn't what she needed most from him. "I can beat Cooper to within an inch of his life and run him outta town, but it'll only make matters worse for you." He caressed her cheek.
"You like punching people."
"When I know that will solve the problem. Cooper isn't like that. I shouldn’t have told you he was. He'll take the beating. And then he'll heal and come back." He sat on the chair and pulled her onto his lap. "Short of killing him, the only way to get rid of him is to take away what he wants most."
"My money." She frowned. "I'm not giving up my trust fund. I need that for the children and the orphanage."
"You don't have to," he soothed. "Marry me. You wouldn't agree before. Agree now. Listen," he instructed when she started to object. "We'll move into the orphanage with the tots. Once Cooper realizes he's lost your money to me, he'll strike out against me and then I can pummel him for you." He threaded his fingers through hers. "I'll sign that paper, Lydia. I don't want your money. Or anything else you own. You'll keep everything after we divorce."
She quieted a moment, looked at her fingers laced with his and Roth wondered what she thought.
"Your plan to dismiss him and hire someone else won't work. He'll only make more trouble and force your new headmaster to quit." He tipped her chin up. "I ain't the quittin' kind."
She swallowed hard and searched his features. "You're offering to do this, but you get nothing in return."
I get to see you morning and night. "I get to make Cooper's life a living hell like his uncle made mine." He grinned sadistically.
She smiled softly and touched her palm to his cheek. "You would enjoy that. I would, too."
"Then you're agreeing?"
"I don't know, Roth." She sighed and looked away. "A marriage in name only doesn't seem… satisfying. It seems like a prison sentence. For both of us."
He perused her heart-shaped face and green eyes. "Men would go to the calaboose willingly if women like you were there."
She emitted a small, pitiful laugh. "Somehow I doubt that."
"I don't." He tucked his finger beneath her chin and brought her gaze back to him. "You detest marriage. You told me. But this is the only way to get rid of Cooper."
"I detest being a divorced woman more than I detest marriage." She slid off his lap and onto another chair. "Society doesn't care if a man is divorced, but a woman is shunned and gossiped about as much as those girls you have working for you at Miller's. If I earn the respect of the townsfolk now by marrying you and then lose it later when we divorce, the children will be made to suffer." She entwined her fingers around her cup and stared at the tea. "I won't have my children ridiculed because of me."
Roth sat back in his chair, folded his arms across his chest and thought about what she'd said, and what she hadn't, as he studied the slump to her shoulders and the frown hugging her lips. She cared a great deal for her tots, but they weren't the reason behind her hesitancy. "What's giving you doubt, Lydia?"
"I told you, the children will suffer and–"
"Bullshit. Something else is on your mind. Spill it."


Kristy McCaffrey said...

Great interview and excerpt!

Julie Lence said...

Thank you, Kristy. Glad you enjoyed it.

Elizabeth Clements said...

I love it when the heroine is interviewed. Such fun. Congratulations on the release of your book Sounds like the heroine is going to give Roth a real challenge to win her over.

Beverly Wells author said...

Loved it. I just finished a gunman and deaconess and had so much writing it. I look forward to reading this one soon. Wishing you much success with this one. Nice cover too.