My guest sharing her five photos with me this week is award winning author, Hywela Lyn. Lyn, as she is known, spent most of her life in Wales, and the beautiful countryside and legends were what inspired her to write. Although she now lives in a small village in England, she is very proud of her Welsh heritage and background. She enjoys weaving romantic tales of the future, and distant, mysterious worlds, stories she hopes will truly take you ‘out of this world’and beyond. Over to you, Lyn.
I love Sharon Booth’s five photo series, and am delighted to be part of this great feature this week. My only problem, like a lot of Sharon’s guests, was which five photos to choose? I have so many photos, both in albums and on my hard drive, Kindle and phone. I felt I should pick one with my husband Dave, but he doesn’t like having his image in the ‘public gaze’ so in the end I chose these five because they either bring back lovely memories or just make me smile.
My first photo is me and my friend Mary Ricksen. One of my favourite things about writing is the wonderful friends I’ve made with other authors. I’m published in the US, and when I first started writing, before I joined the R.N.A., I knew more writers in the US than the UK, although now I have a lovely network of UK author friends too. Mary and I met online and then corresponded almost daily. Mary says I am her best ever sister friend –and the feeling is entirely mutual! We were a ‘threesome’ with another friend, the late Sharon Donovan, who had a wicked and very witty sense of humour, and a handsome virtual butler by the name of Oliver. Sharon had Type 1 diabetes and had been blind since her twenties, but wrote wonderful Inspirational and Romantic Suspense.
The three of us ran a virtual party on a blog called The Author Roast and Toast. Every Friday, together with a succession of supporting ‘hostesses’, we featured a guest author, and while the idea was to promote them and their books, there was a party atmosphere with virtual food, lots of photos, tricks and mischief, while Oliver, courtesy of Sharon, flirted shamelessly. I was responsible for illustrating the post each week, and the other hostesses took turns to write a short, humorous sketch. Mary was extremely mischievous and our hapless victim – er, I mean guest – never quite knew what she would say, or what virtual predicament she would put them in, but it was all in good fun.
We were desperate to meet in person, and eventually we planned that I would travel to the States, and Mary would fly from her home in Florida, and we would meet in Pittsburgh where Sharon lived. Sadly, a month before I was due to fly, Sharon passed away, having suffered complications with a delicate heart operation. Although devastated, we knew she would have wanted us to continue with our plans. While in Pittsburgh, we went to Sharon’s home and met her lovely family. Mary and I felt as if we had always known each other and this is a photo of the two of us taken by the spaceship at Mars, where Sharon’s sister, Mary Beth and her family lived. That was a special holiday I’ll never forget.
I love all animals, but especially horses and dogs. My second photo, of Sally, my little endurance mare, brings back fond memories of my homeland, Wales. I loved riding in the rugged Welsh mountains, and one of the things I especially enjoyed was endurance, or long distance riding. Sally was a real character, and when I first had her she used to rear up and spin around until we reached an understanding, and then she worked her socks off for me.
I converted from English to Western riding some years ago. It is a lovely, relaxed way of riding. The saddle spreads the weight over the horse’s back, so although it looks much bigger and heavier than an English saddle, it is actually very comfortable for both horse and rider, although I used a lightweight, synthetic version for endurance, which was very easy to clean after a hard day’s ride.
HARRI AND T’PAU
Photo No. three is my black Welsh Cob Harri and my Paint/Quarter horse mare Flying T’pau. (Excuse me featuring horses twice, but they have always been a major passion of mine. I can never quite make up my mind whether Harri is trying to kiss T’pau or sticking his tongue out at her in this photo. T’pau really does take after the matriarchal character in Star Trek after whom she was named, and has a bossy streak. She used to herd Harri around like a real boss mare until he got fed up and would walk away, leaving her with a look on her face which seemed to say ‘What did I do now?’
On a sad snowy day before Christmas last year, I lost Harri to arthritis, having to make the heart-breaking decision to help him cross the Rainbow Bridge rather than let him suffer. He and Sal are both immortalised in my fantasy novella, Dancing with Fate. T’pau, I’m glad to say, is still doing well and has a horse and two ponies in the paddock next door for company.
My fourth photo is Choccy, my rescue dog. I’ve had dogs all my adult life, and prior to that, growing up we always had dogs, mainly Welsh Cardiganshire Corgis.
After my last rescue, a sweet and loving previously abused Jack Russell called Bouncer, passed away, I decided I would not have another dog unless it was another rescue. So hubby and I went to a nearby rescue centre and came back with Choccy, another terrier, but with legs like a greyhound and the speed to match. He had been shut up for the whole of his first two years, never played with or taken out for walks, so he didn’t know what another dog was, and would bark and spin and go frantic when we saw another canine while out walking. I began to give him a treat whenever we met another dog, so that he would associate them with something good. Gradually he learned to trust me and to realise other dogs were not to be feared. Now I no longer have to grit my teeth and get ready to apologise, as he now walks up to doggy friends, wagging his tail. Then he looks at me as if to say ‘Right, where’s my treat?’ and of course he gets one! Despite his bad start, he is the sweetest, most loving little dog, and loves to curl up behind me when I’m at my computer, writing.
MY BOOK’S HERO
My final photo is of Jimmy Thomas, the cover model for the third book in the Destiny Trilogy, Beloved Enemy. When I was writing Beloved Enemy, I had a vision in my mind of my lead character, Kerry Marchant, and when I came across Jimmy Thomas’s website and found a photo of him, looking mysterious and brooding, it was as if my hero, Kerry had come alive. I was thrilled when my cover artist, Rea Monet, agreed to use him on the cover, together with a red haired, female model who was perfect for the heroine, Cat.
Thank you so much for having me, Sharon. I’ve loved being part of this great feature.
Thank you for taking part, Lyn! I love horses and dogs so it was a real pleasure to see the pictures of your lovely four-legged friends.
About Hywela Lyn
Horse and dog lover, romantic, virtual star traveller and author, Hywela Lyn lives in a small village in England, with her long suffering husband Dave, although her heart remains in her native rural Wales, which inspired so much of her writing.
Although most her writing tends to be futuristic, the worlds she creates are usually untainted by crowded cities and technology, embracing the beauty and wildness of nature. Her characters often have to fight the elements and the terrain itself. Her heroes are strong and courageous, but chivalrous and honourable – and of course, handsome and hunky. Her heroines are also strong and courageous, but never lose their femininity. However difficult the journey, love will always win in the end.
She is a member of The Romantic Novelists’ Association (UK) and Chiltern Writers, her local writing group.
A keen animal lover, she has a mare with attitude, called Flying T’pau, a semi-feral stable cat, Dusty, and a rescued terrier, Choccy, who manages to twist her round his little paw. When she is not writing, she can usually be found enjoying the outdoors with the horses and dog – or just eating chocolate!
Come join her in adventures beyond the stars, where new wonders await, or travel back to a time where the world was greener and less frantic, to a time where myths and legends merge and legendary heroes shape the future.
The Destiny Trilogy – Book 1
When Jestine Darnell is rescued from her sabotaged starship by the crew of the Destiny her only objective is to complete her mission and keep her promise to save a world from slavery. Love is the last thing on her mind. However, she has not counted on losing her heart to Kerry Marchant the ship’s second in command, who makes his distrust of her painfully obvious, despite the chemistry between them. The completion of her mission has consequences that neither of them could have foreseen.
Enter Dahll Tarron, who becomes involved in a long and dangerous quest to find the Destiny. Fates become intertwined, perils shared, culminating in the realization that sometimes love may be so close that there is a danger it will not be recognized until it is too late…
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
The Destiny Trilogy – Book 2
CHILDREN OF THE MIST
Two minds united against a common foe. Two hearts afraid to show their love: Long ago Tamarith fell in love with a man she can never have, and is convinced she will never love another. However, she cannot help but be intrigued by a handsome stranger whose psychic powers exceed even her own. Vidarh seeks only to find his true purpose in life and to win the regard of his father, who eschews his son’s psychic abilities.
Thrown together by a common threat to their planet, then torn apart by an evil greater than any they could have imagined, can Vidarh save the lovely Nifl woman who has captivated him, before it is too late? Will Tamarith and Vidarh overcome the deadly enemy who threatens to destroy all they know and love?
Will they find the happiness they both seek? Or are they fated to live their lives alone?
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
The Destiny Trilogy – Book 3
Shortlisted for RoNA (RNA) Awards 2017, Runner up in the RONE Awards and Winner of ‘Best Banter Contest’ 2017
Cat Kincaid is obsessed with killing the man she believes is responsible for the torture and death of her sister, but when she eventually catches up with him, survival becomes a greater priority than revenge.
Kerry Marchant, haunted by memories, regret and self-blame, shields himself from the pain of the past by committing himself totally to the starship, Destiny, of which he is part owner. However, the beautiful, red haired woman who reminds him of his lost love, and who he suspects is working for a corrupt regime, represents a possible threat not only to the ship, but to his heart.
Marooned on an inhospitable planet, they need to work together to stay alive, fighting not only unknown assailants, but their growing attraction. But how can they learn to trust each other when he has vowed never to get close to a woman again, and she made a solemn pledge to destroy him?
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
(Each book can be read as a ‘stand alone’ although best read in order, and the first two books are now also available as audio books, with Beloved Enemy currently in audio production.)