Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Isobelle Cate’s character on July 22nd and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Lana K. Dempsey, the author of A Cowboy’s True Colors, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Astrid Angleton, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Lana in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Astrid!
Marie Lavender: Hello, Astrid. Please have a seat.
Character Astrid Angleton: Thank you for having me, Marie.
Marie: Of course! It’s my pleasure!
We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?
Marie: So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
Astrid: I’m about to start college, so my jobs will include eating pizza and hanging out with my hot boyfriend, Victor! Oh, and I suppose some studying would be good too. 😉
Marie: (Laughs.) Yeah, I remember those college days…
Astrid: And yes, I think I’m very good at hanging out with Victor. Ha! Ha!
Teasing aside, I do love to learn. I was lucky enough to take some college courses in high school. Long story short I was able to skip my freshman year in college, which will allow me to move through school very quickly. I’m looking into studying psychology, or something in the sciences. I’ve not decided. So yes, I’ll work hard and play hard as the saying goes.
Marie: Wow! That’s great!
So, tell us…what is your family like?
Astrid: My family is a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, and a whole lot mystical. My mom was raised on Buckshaw Ranch and has more cowboy hats than anyone I know. My dad is a city man, and most likely always will be. This year has been rough. Dad abandoned the family. My sister, Cammie, had moved out prior so Dad being gone isn’t in her face every day like it has been for my brother Luke and me. I’m concerned about Luke; he’s not his usually jovial self. Luke is enrolled at the University of Texas and I’m worried what’s going on at home will distract him from his studies.
Let’s talk about something more positive. One of the best parts of my family is we all have some unique talents. I’ll tell you about mine, I can see emotions. It’s not the same as reading someone’s mind, but I can see what they’re feeling in the form of colors and shapes surrounding them. It can be intense and very personal at times, but it has proven to be very useful and has even helped save my life.
Marie: All right. Hey, that’s a cool power!
Let’s try something else.
If it doesn’t bother you, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?
Astrid: I spent summers and any time off at Buckshaw Ranch, which is a sprawling property not far from Austin, Texas. During the school year we lived in remodeled historic home in Austin’s Hyde Park neighborhood. I loved that house, but with all the changes going on in our family we couldn’t stay there. Anyway, I doubt we’ll stay in Austin much longer. Sometimes things get worse before they get better.
I’m feeling a need to draw the family to Buckshaw Ranch. I think it will bring good things.
Victor and I have yet to decide where we’ll call home, whether it’ll be Buckshaw Ranch or WilLo Ranch, owned by his family. For now, we aren’t really sure.
Marie: I don’t think you’re supposed to know all the answers at that age…;)
So, do you have any hobbies, Astrid? What do you enjoy doing?
Astrid: Did I mention my hot boyfriend? Ha, ha!
We spend weekends either at my family’s ranch or Victor’s family’s ranch. We like being out in the open spaces. I love to read, of course. I’m also taking some cooking lessons from Victor’s brother Reggie. Reggie is Victor’s twin. A while back, there was some crazy stuff happening and Reggie began baking to distract himself. Now, he can whip up a pie like nobody’s business. He’s certainly made that oven his bitch! Ha, ha! Now, we just need to find him a woman.
Marie: (Laughs.) Sounds like a plan…
And what is your greatest dream?
Astrid: I want to find a way to use my talent for reading emotions to help make the world a better place. I haven’t worked out how to do that yet. Of course, it’s not something I tell most folks, so it has to be on the down-low, which is why I’m thinking psychology for a major. Not sure how that’ll pan out just yet, but I’m working on it.
Marie: Psychology always fascinated me too, how people tick. I guess that’s partly why I found myself writing.
So…what kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
Astrid: College is stopping me, and well… I guess it’s starting me too. I mean, I feel impatient having to take the time to finish school. I’m ready to get on with a career and family. Education is important, even if you end up choosing a different path. I want to be independent and contribute to society. Once college is under my belt, then I’ll feel more like my life is beginning.
Marie: That makes sense to feel that way, but don’t forget to have some fun while you’re there too!
I’m going to throw another random question at you now.
Who was your first love?
Astrid: Victor Berenger. He’s hard to miss; he’s the giant cowboy waiting for me outside. See that vintage Ford truck outside? That’s him. He’s on the phone with his ranch hand. Victor’s parents are having him manage WilLo Ranch more and more these days, so he’s on the phone a lot.
Marie: (Waves to Victor.)
Okay, let’s try something else.
What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Astrid: Last year I saw a set of colors with no person attached. It took me a second to realize what I was seeing was a ghost. I never ran so fast in my life! I was terrified that day, but it was nothing compared to the events that would come not long afterwards. Events that almost cost me my life.
Marie: Scary indeed!
[Briefly touches her guest’s hand.]
Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?
Who is your role model?
Astrid: My role model is my mother, Kell. She held us all together when things got rough, still does. My Dad has some addiction issues and for a while there…well, let’s just say my mom rocks! Now she’s following her heart and I’m so impressed. I definitely want to be like Mom.
Marie: Well, I certainly admire the way you feel about your mother…
Sounds like she’s a special person.
All right…now, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question.
Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
Astrid: Myself. I used to anyway. I was very insecure and I faked my confidence level for most of high school. I’m happy to say I’ve matured a great deal in just these last few months. I understand now that love is a complex thing and no one is perfect. I’ve really come to appreciate my uniqueness.
Marie: Lovely to hear!
Can you tell us something else? What is your deepest desire?
Astrid: I want to contribute to the world in some way, but I also want to have a family. I think Victor’s combination of strength, intelligence, and patience will make him a great father. I also want to pass on some of the traditions of Buckshaw Ranch.
There are some other deep desires Victor helps me fulfill on a regular basis as well. 😉
Marie: (Clears throat.) Ah, let’s move on to another topic.
I do appreciate that you want a family with Victor, though. I love romance. ♥
So, how about one last question?
What is your greatest fear?
Astrid: My greatest fear is losing those I love. Victor is the man of my dreams and if something happened to him, I know I would never love like this again. Losing my mom or my siblings would devastate me. I have some really good friends as well, so losing any of them would hurt so much. I want to keep them all safe and protected. It’s all about those we love. Nothing is more important in life than our loved ones.
Marie: You’re right about that.
I think we all have that fear sometimes, to lose the people we care about the most. Perhaps it’s what keeps us from taking them for granted.
Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Astrid. It was so interesting getting to know you! 🙂
(Waves goodbye to her guest.)
Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have author Lana K. Dempsey on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Lana!
Author Lana K. Dempsey: Hi there, Marie, thank you so much for having me. It’s an honor. (Bows pretending to curtsy.) I love your blog!
Marie: Oh, goodness! (Blushes.) Such a magnanimous entrance there. Thank you so much! 😀
Really, it’s always a total pleasure to have you on my blogs.
So, we just got to talk to a female character from your story, Astrid Angleton. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?
Lana: Yes, I’d love to. Astrid is part of a group of eighteen-year-olds who are gifted with above average maturity along with some subtle supernatural talents. They’re drawn together to right a very ancient wrong. She’s very strong and quite often unaware of her own strength.
Marie: All right.
What are your character’s greatest strengths?
Lana: Astrid is humble. Too humble. Victor and her friends have to beat her over the head to get her to take on the role that will one day be hers. She just doesn’t fully grasp her own value.
Marie: Well, I think we all feel that way at times.
And what are some of Astrid’s favorite foods?
Lana: Astrid loves French fries, her mother’s cooking, and Victor’s brisket.
How about another question?
What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Lana: Astrid will be a role model and leader for other women. A few more life lessons and she’ll begin to understand.
Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
Lana: Readers will relate to her as if she’s a friend of theirs. Astrid is a compassionate and loyal ally. You definitely want her in your corner. She’s someone I’d love to know.
Actually, I’d love to BE Astrid! Ha! Victor Berenger would be one hell of a catch!
Marie: (Laughs.) All right.
Now that we have a real taste of Astrid, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.
What first gave you the idea for A Cowboy’s True Colors?
Lana: The story is the beginning of a series of books called The Mystical Traditions of Buckshaw Ranch. I had the basic plot, but when I started writing, the story line for book one popped up first and became the foundation. That happened again when I started book two, WHERE A COWBOY HANGS HIS HAT, which was just released on July 15th. This is also why the characters in the first book are so young.
I have a novella coming out as part of Sable Hunter’s Hell Yeah! Kindle World which will be released on August 11, 2016. It’s a stand alone, but it’s officially a Buckshaw series story, as well. So now, book four is getting started and it should be the final stage in the original story. But, as history has shown, the characters sometimes make other plans while I’m foolishly plotting the story.
Marie: That’s for damn sure! Interesting how the muse works, huh?
Let’s try something else.
What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Lana: Mostly a pantster. I love that word, by the way. However, there is a lot to consider in a series, so I’ve been known to plot simply to keep it all straight. I’m a hybrid, I guess. Hopefully that means I’m good for the environment! Especially the Kindle environment. Ha, ha!
Marie: I am a hybrid as well…I do both.
So, now I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing A Cowboy’s True Colors or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?
Lana: The main thing I would advise is to finish your darn book! I missed opportunities because my book was still in the first draft stage. Also, I think finding a local writers group to help you with beta reading and feedback. Both of those things would have been wonderful to have on the front end. Finally, I would have gotten help earlier with the things I’m not so good at, such as the technical stuff. More than anything, you need support on all levels. You need a community, but I can say that goes for everyone whether or not they are a writer.
Marie: Very true! And I agree completely. So much goes into the process, and we need all the help we can get.
Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story A Cowboy’s True Colors appears to be.
Lana: Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.
Marie: It’s my pleasure!
Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this wonderful yet sexy, new adult Western paranormal romance by Lana K. Dempsey, a very talented author!
Here is the blurb for A Cowboy’s True Colors:
Everyone’s last year in high school is always chaotic. This is especially true for Astrid at White Wood School. As if having a bully, an absentee father, and a best friend with a big problem weren’t enough – she also has to deal with having a secret power. Anytime she sees someone, Astrid also sees a kaleidoscope of colors surrounding them. Each individual’s emotions swirl in a changing pattern, allowing her to know what they’re feeling. This sixth sense complicates her life further, especially when she meets the one person who’s colors she can’t read – Victor Berenger, a tall, handsome cowboy with smoldering eyes. Every time Astrid is around him, she thinks her heart will beat out of her chest. When she finds out he is equally drawn to her, she’s thrilled. The man certainly knows his way around the bedroom. Life seems just about perfect…until the day Astrid’s vision takes a new twist. A set of colors appear on the school grounds–only this time they aren’t attached to a human! A mystery unfolds that threatens Astrid and her friends. To her surprise, Victor holds a piece of the puzzle. Join these two as they learn one another’s secrets, as well as the hidden, magical history of White Wood School.
*Content Warning: Contains explicit scenes and language. Intended for 18+ Audience
Lana is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!
For the briefest moment he stopped his scan of the room and studied her. Or was she remembering that wrong? She was never sure. Either way, his expression didn’t change and he continued his inventory of his fellow classmates. After that, he hadn’t spoken to her until the last couple of days.
“Ah, yes. I’m sorry about that, I was a bit distracted. It wasn’t for lack of interest, I assure you.” Victor pressed himself a little closer to her under the blanket.
“You don’t seem very distracted now.”
This made him laugh. “Honestly, I’ve been worried about my brother. Right now he seems a bit taken with your friend, so I feel a little less guilty about indulging in my own interests.”
“Is Reggie okay?” she asked.
When Victor didn’t answer right away, her mind raced through various possibilities. Maybe Reggie was sick. He hadn’t been to school; they’d only just met him tonight.
“I’m sorry, I really can’t share that with you right now.”
Astrid instantly regretted having asked. The lighthearted mood was gone. Dang it! She chided herself for having brought it up. Then she had an idea. Before she could talk herself out of it she leaned into him and with her open palm drew a long caress down the length of his thigh. She felt him freeze up. Afraid she might have offended him with her forwardness, she paused and tilted her head up a little bit in an attempt to read his face in the dim light.
How wrong she had been.
Victor met her upturned face with the full force of his lips on hers. His leather jacket whispered as he reached around and grabbed her by the back of the neck to pull her closer to him. Despite her heart beating so hard it seemed about to jump out of her chest, she turned into him draping her knee over his leg. She brushed against the bulge between his legs with her thigh. The warmth there and the image of what lay beneath those Levi’s made her melt entirely.
“I’ve wanted to kiss you for so long.” Victor practically growled the words when he finally pulled away from her long enough to speak.
“I want to do more than kiss you.”
The feel of her voice, hot and sultry against his neck, was enough to drive him wild. How had he held this in for so long?
“That can be arranged,” he told her, thinking ahead of places he could get them some privacy. Maybe next time at her house, before her mom comes home, he plotted.
“Where can we go? I’m not kidding, I want you now.” The urgency inside her would not be ignored. This new, demanding part of herself seemed to be taking over.
“Now?” His heart stuttered a beat as he realized she was completely serious. Again he grabbed her by the neck and kissed her long and hard, this time pushing his warm tongue past those sweet lips. Eagerly she responded, pressing her chest up against him and letting out a tiny moan.
That was it, he was completely undone. I will have her now, he said to himself. “This way.” His voice was thick with the ache of desire. Gathering up the blanket he draped it over his shoulder and grabbed her by the hand.
She followed silently, her body alive, vibrating to an age old rhythm. Watching him walk ahead of her, she suddenly felt a proprietary right to watch the roundness of his behind without restraint. It was beautiful and she couldn’t wait to see it in the flesh.
Ooh! So sexy! ♥♥♥
Universal Amazon link: myBook.to/ACowboysTrueColors
We’ll be sure to get a copy of this hot romance! ♥
About Lana K. Dempsey
I’m Lana, a lifelong Texan, dog lover, and writer of sensual romance. When I say ‘sensual romance’ I mean I include real life in my stories, and real life includes sex.
I divide my time between Austin Texas and a small family ranch not far from Shiner. Shiner is the home of Shiner beer, I’ve been known to stop off at their tasting room before rolling up my sleeves to get to work on the ranch. Like many Texans I’ve got a bit of everything in me, German, Native American, and some Creole influence. Nothing like a little spice to liven things up.
Writing is much like reading; I need to feel the story in the same way a reader would. I adore leading men who are strong, but aren’t afraid to love. My goal is to fall in love as I write, it’s the only way my reader will as well.
Come with me and get to know a hot cowboy or two. It’ll be fun!
And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Lana K. Dempsey, here are some author links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Lana-K.-Dempsey/e/B01DWSO7LO/
Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Astrid, a female character from A Cowboy’s True Colors, and Lana K. Dempsey, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was so much fun to have you here!