Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Spotlight & #Giveaway: Interview with Karen Ranney

"New York Times bestselling author Karen Ranney's first novel in a brand-new series spins the intriguing story of a beautiful widow and a devilishly handsome shipbuilder..." 

In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams starts The MacIain Trilogy, a historical romance series published by Avon. Join us for a fun interview with Karen, read an excerpt for In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams and sign up for a chance to win $50! 

Follow the rest of the tour here.


Seven years have passed since Glynis MacIain made the foolish mistake of declaring her love to Lennox Cameron, only to have him stare at her dumbfounded. Heartbroken, she accepted the proposal of a diplomat and moved to America, where she played the role of a dutiful wife among Washington's elite. Now a widow, Glynis is back in Scotland. Though Lennox can still unravel her with just one glance, Glynis is no longer the naïve girl Lennox knew and vows to resist him.

With the American Civil War raging, shipbuilder Lennox Cameron must complete a sleek new blockade runner for the Confederate Navy. He cannot afford any distractions, especially the one woman he's always loved. Glynis's cool demeanor tempts him to prove to her what a terrible mistake she made seven years ago.

As the war casts its long shadow across the ocean, will a secret from Glynis's past destroy any chance for a future between the two star-crossed lovers?

“You’ve come home,” Lennox said.

Glynis wanted to pull away but stood still. Precipitous gestures could be misunderstood. Better to allow him to hold her hand than cause a scene, especially when whispers swirled around them.

“It’s the MacIain girl, home after all these years.”

“Wasn’t there some scandal about her?”

“Is this the first time she’s been seen in public?”

Were people recalling those times she followed after Lennox as a child? At five years old she marked him as hers. As a young woman she was prepared to tell him she adored him.

Foolish Glynis.

He must not affect her. She wouldn’t allow it. She was no longer nineteen and desperately in love.

“Why didn’t you come home sooner?” he asked now, still holding her hand.

Instead of answering, she only smiled. The diplomatic ranks did not value honesty and so she became adroit at sidestepping it.

He still smelled of wood and the ocean. Whenever anyone said the word “ship” or she tasted a brine filled breeze, he would appear in her memory with a twinkle in his eye.

The hint of beard showing on this important occasion wasn’t due to any sloth on his part. He had to shave more than once a day to eliminate a shadow appearing on his cheeks and chin.

“I think God wants me to have facial hair,” he said to her. “But God and I are going to disagree.”

He was a foot taller than she was, dressed in black evening wear accentuating his shoulders and height. All his life he’d worked hard and it showed in the breadth of his chest and muscled legs. Something about him, though, hinted at power and always had. In a crowded room people sought him out the way they looked to leaders and confident men.

Lennox Cameron resembled a prince and a devastating Highlander and he’d been the hero of most of her childish dreams.

No longer, however. Too much had happened in the intervening years.

Author Interview:

1. Describe Glynis in three words/phrases.

Survivor, Terrified, Lovesick

2. Describe Lennox in three words/phrases.

Constant, Loyal, Sexy

3. Name 3 fun facts that readers won’t readily know about In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams?

1. I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve seen the Clydesdale horses in Budweiser commercials all my life. I didn’t know they originated near the Clyde River in Scotland. They were used to haul timber and supplies to the shipyards.  Those commercials are the best though aren't they!? I didn't know that myself! Learn some new everyday!

2. Women were employed in large numbers in the textile industry. One mill, for example, employed over seventeen hundred people. Sixteen hundred of them were women. They made 350,000 yards of plain fabric a week or 17,000,000 yards a year.

3. Being sent to the British Legation in America wasn’t considered that good of  a promotion. British representation in the world: 

· Three British embassies (Paris, Vienna, Constantinople)
· Legations in order of importance: 
United States
· General consulates for all other countries

Although there was no British ambassador or embassy, the British Legation was the largest and considered the most important diplomatic mission in Washington. 

4. Do you have a favorite quote from the book to share?

"If regrets were ships, she’d have enough to fill the Clyde". Don't we all have regrets? I can relate to that!

5 I've always loved the setting of the Civil War. What made you combined the Highlands with it?

Until I started researching Scotland’s role in the Civil War, I wasn’t aware of the close relationship. Clyde shipbuilders constructed iron hulled ships for the Confederate Navy. The Glasgow textile mills were so dependent on cotton from the southern states that they almost went under during the war. Both Union and Confederate operatives worked in Scotland to push their agenda. 

Although Queen Victoria had issued a declaration of neutrality, there were Scots aligned for the south and those for the north. In a great many ways, the war stretched across the ocean and made a significant impact in Scotland.  
I have Scottish ancestors myself. It's always interesting to learn more about Scotland. I believe the Scot's commiserated with the Civil War because the wanted their own Independence from England. Sad that they've still yet to accomplish it!

6. What is on YOUR Nightstand at this moment?

My IPad. I’ve been reading almost nothing but research books lately. Sounds like time to relax with a good FUN book :)

7. When you were little, what was your favorite book? Favorite Superhero?

Even as a little girl I was a prodigious reader. I loved every book I read. Reading was magical to me. I do remember two books, however, a huge book of beautifully illustrated fairy tales, and a German translation of very pithy – message laden – stories.  Fairy tales are the best!

I never had a favorite superhero, but I’ve always liked Mighty Mouse. (Or Danger Mouse.) 

8. Are you a morning or a night person?

When I worked in the corporate world, I woke up every morning at 2:00 AM to write for four hours before I had to get ready for work at 6:00. That schedule has permanently messed up my circadian rhythms, I think. Now that I’m a full time writer, I still wake up at 2:00, even thought I tell myself I can sleep later.  Whew with that schedule it's safe to assume an early bedtime right? lol

9. Favorite food?

Blueberries and yogurt. 

10. Favorite Artist/Song?

Too many to list. I love songs I can sing to, though. I sing along too all songs... not well lol but who cares?

11. Favorite Man Candy?

Now here’s where I get weird. I picture heroes in my mind. I don’t want to see a picture of them. It might mess with the mind picture. That's a unique approach! 

12. New Year’s Resolutions? Do you believe in them? Do you have any?

I no longer do New Year’s Resolutions. I believe you can fix stuff any day of the year. All you have to do is one small step each day.  

13. I see you like to combine politics with your romance. How difficult is it to write historical political plots?

I’m fascinated by men of principle. Plus, it was a gentlemen only club, so it’s interesting to see how women were treated by any political body. 

Some confrontations, for example, alluded to in The Witch of Clan Sinclair happened between women who wanted to protest unjust laws and the men of the Edinburgh Council. 

In the Virgin of Clan Sinclair, the hero was campaigning for a position as only one of a few Scottish peers allowed into Parliament. Another instance of history giving me a conflict that he had to solve. 

Sometimes, society doesn’t make changes until they happen politically first. Sometimes, it’s the reverse. Scotland, however, has always been a little fairer in its treatment of women. 

14. You write historical, contemporary and paranormal genres. What is your favorite genre and why?

They all speak to different parts of me. I have a voice for each. 

The historical romances pull on deep emotions and appreciation for the majesty of Scotland. While working within the constraints of history, I can portray people who love with their whole hearts and who challenge life itself for a happy ending. 

The paranormal allows my imagination to be free, wild, and unfettered. The characters can do anything or be anything, limited only by my imagination. 

The contemporary books probably reveal my confusion about the chaos of modern life, feature people who are in the midst of a life crisis, and solve a mystery. 

I love this answer! It's exactly how I feel about reading so many different genres's. They all call to a different part of my imagination!

Karen Ranney began writing when she was five. Her first published work was The Maple Leaf, read over the school intercom when she was in the first grade. In addition to wanting to be a violinist (her parents had a special violin crafted for her when she was seven), she wanted to be a lawyer, a teacher, and, most of all, a writer. Though the violin was discarded early, she still admits to a fascination with the law, and she volunteers as a teacher whenever needed. Writing, however, has remained the overwhelming love of her life.

Find Karen@


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