Archive for April, 2009


Aldwin Treynarde is ordered by his lord Geoffrey de Lanceau to retrieve a stolen ruby pendant before it falls into enemy hands.  If Aldwin excels in his duty, he might be awarded knighthood and even be welcomed back into the family he disgraced years ago.

Lady Leona Ransley wants only to trade the pendant for the reward and vanish.  When she arranges a meeting in a seedy tavern, she never expected to face Aldwin, a childhood playmate who almost caused her death.  Not recognizing Leona, and believing her to be a courtesan with information on his lord’s enemies, Aldwin takes Leona hostage and spirits her away, meaning to deliver her and the pendant to de Lanceau.

She, however, fights him at every chance.  Aldwin desires his warrior captive more than any noble lady he’s ever met; when he discovers who she really is, he knows he has one last chance to protect her life.  Only by resolving the past and fighting side by side can Aldwin and Leona defeat the conspirators and surrender to their greatest temptation: love.

I’m very excited to be here to chat about my latest release, A Knight’s Temptation, Book 3 of my award-winning medieval Knight’s Series.

I loved writing A Knight’s Temptation, and not just because I was able to further indulge my personal fascination with the Middle Ages.  I adored my leading characters.  There’s something really invigorating about writing scenes between a duty-driven alpha-male hero and a heroine who refuses to do as he expects.  The push and tug between Aldwin Treynarde and Lady Leona Ransley made for some pulse-pounding, sizzling, poignant, and downright funny scenes.  There were times when sparks practically crackled across my keyboard.  Whew!

Aldwin is not the naïve young squire readers first met in A Knight’s Vengeance (Series Book 1)  He’s a hardened warrior who’s had to live with the dishonor of shooting Geoffrey de Lanceau with a crossbow bolt (from A Knight’s Vengeance).  By succeeding in his important quest for de Lanceau—retrieving a stolen ruby pendant that de Lanceau’s enemies would sell to finance an uprising against him—Aldwin hopes to earn knighthood.  Achieving that honor is his greatest temptation.

That is, until he meets my heroine, Leona Ransley.  She’s far from the delicate, perfectly-mannered lady Aldwin idealized in his younger days.  Risking her own safety, she snatched the pendant from her drunken father’s safekeeping at Pryerston Keep and arranged a meeting in a tavern to exchange the jewel for the reward.  She’s very devoted to her father—but smart enough to know his guests, who gave him the pendant, are up to no good.  Readers of A Knight’s Vengeance will be familiar with Baron Sedgewick and his wicked lover, Veronique, who have returned to Moydenshire to overthrow de Lanceau.  Veronique is now the mother of a little boy, de Lanceau’s illegitimate son he doesn’t know he fathered until well into this book.

When Aldwin meets up with Leona to get the pendant, he doesn’t recognize her—although she definitely recalls him.  Years ago, when they were children, he ordered her tied to a tree in a game of “rescue the damsel,” not realizing she was standing over a bees’ nest.  Stung many times, Leona almost died.  But she survived, and now, realizing her father and the good folk of Pryerston need her help to oust the conspirators, she’ll do all she can to ensure that happens, while being careful not to implicate her sire as a traitor.

Aldwin, however, senses she knows more about the pendant than she’s willing to admit.  He takes her hostage, planning to deliver her to de Lanceau for questioning.  Determined to escape, Leona refuses to cooperate.  As I said, the sparks were a-crackling.  J Meanwhile, with Veronique and the baron trying to get back the pendant, the scenario makes for (I hope) one thrilling, romantic adventure in the Middle Ages—an era I gladly venture into again as I write the next series book.

Warmest wishes,


*****Leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of A KNIGHT’S TEMPTATION. Good Luck! 🙂

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Running from their pasts

Margaret Dalrousie was once willing to sacrifice all for her calling. The talented artist would let no man interfere with her gift. But now, living in a small Scottish cottage on the estate of Glengarrow, she has not painted a portrait in ages. For not even the calming haven in the remote woods can erase the memories that darken Margaret’s days and nights. And now, with the return of the Earl of Linnet to his ancestral home, her hopes of peace have disappeared.

From the first moment he encountered Margaret on his land, the Earl of Linnet was nothing but annoyed. The grieving nobleman has his own secrets that have lured him to the solitude of the Highlands, and his own reasons for wanting to be alone. Yet he is intrigued by his hauntingly beautiful neighbor. Could she be the spark that will draw him out of bittersweet sorrow—the woman who could transform him from a Scotsman in sadness to a Scotsman in love?

When I first came up with the idea of A Scotsman in Love, I kept getting flashbacks to my childhood. My mother was an artist, someone who had numerous shows throughout the country, and one in Paris.  Despite this, she never had much self-confidence about her work.  In addition to painting – she used oils, predominantly – she also took up photography and went on to win awards for her black and white photographs.

As a child, I can remember her standing in the den, or the living room, or whatever room had the best light at the time. As Air Force dependents, we were forever moving, so the locale always changed. She would stand and stare at the canvas, as if willing the images to appear. She did the most beautiful character studies of people. She enjoyed painting the elderly because, as she said, “their lives show on their faces.”

When Margaret Dalrousie was born in my mind, I couldn’t help but remember all those occasions watching my mother. She was so immersed in her work, so totally taken by it. I have often thought that I’m a writer because she was an artist. I, too, have that sense of time standing still. It’s nothing for me to be immersed in writing and look up to find that morning has faded into night.

Another thing we have in common, that I never realized until I became a writer, is the fact that her self-doubt mirrors mine.  I think, perhaps, that doubt is a job requirement for artists and writers.

Strangely enough, Margaret Dalrousie  does not doubt her own talent.

In fact, she’s probably arrogant about it. It’s something she’s always had, like the color of her eyes, and when she loses it, she’s devastated.

A Scotsman in Love is the story of two people who don’t particularly care about love, or perhaps they simply don’t believe in it. Each of them comes to rely on the other, and the passion, then the love they feel makes each a better person.

If you get a chance to read A Scotsman in Love, I hope you’ll tell me what you think.

Excerpt can be found here.

Drawing can be found here.

Warm fuzzies!

Karen Ranney

Web site: www.karenranney.com
Warm Fuzzies! Blog:  http://karenranney.wordpress.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KarenRanney

*****Leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of A SCOTSMAN IN LOVE and a travel mug from Karen! Good Luck! 🙂

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It was whispered all through London Society that he was a murderer, that he’d spent his youth in an asylum and was not to be trusted — especially with a lady. Any woman caught un his presence was immediately ruined. Yet Beth found herself inexorably drawn to the Scottish lord whose hint of a brogue wrapped around her like silk and whose touch could draw her into a world of ecstasy. Despite his decadence and intimidating intelligence, she could see he needed help. Her help. Because suddenly the only thing that made sense to her was The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie.

As most readers know by now, my May 2009 release, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, features an unusual hero. Ian Mackenzie has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is considered to be high-functioning autism. Traits include the inability to make eye contact, trouble with nonverbal cues and subtext, obsession with detail (but missing the “big picture”), and others. Not everyone who has AS exhibits the same traits, and the syndrome tends to present differently in men than women.

I’ve been recently praised for the risk I took writing Lord Ian. Which surprises me a little (though I don’t mind the compliments!), because when I sat down to write the story, I never thought: “Hey, I’m gonna go out there and take a risk! I’m going to do something different.”

The idea if Ian—the four-book arc about the entire lovable, dysfunctional, Mackenzie family, in fact–came to me and wouldn’t let me go. I daydreamed the series for a years before finally getting the opportunity to write it.

When I was deep in the story, it didn’t occur to me that it was risky. I loved this family, and I thought other people might, too.

Luckily for me, my editor didn’t cringe (too much) when I told her what I was working on. Luckily for me, when I turned it in, my editor loved it. Luckily for me, readers so far are liking it too.

All four Mackenzie brothers are messed up, tortured, gorgeous, uber-sensual men with whom I’m having a marvelous time. I hate turning in the manuscripts (and authors love getting manuscripts off their plates, believe me)—that’s how wrapped up I am in these guys.

The Mackenzies aren’t the only unusual heroes I’ve written. If you’re an Allyson James fan (which is me in disguise), you might have read the Tales of the Shareem books I wrote for EC. Futuristics about men created in a genetics factory, bred for one purpose and one purpose only—to pleasure women. Now they’re outlawed, the factory shut down, and women come to them in secret for sensuality that is forbidden in their society.


The Shareem. Males created to be tall, muscled, sexy, and…enhanced. They come in one of three levels—pure sensual pleasure, games and wicked fun, or the ultimate barbarian complete with whip. They know how to bring a woman to ecstasy and exactly how to keep her there.

When Lady Talan d’Urvey reads the diary of a woman who spent one wicked week with a Shareem, she longs to experience the same carnality in one last fling before she takes her vow of celibacy. She goes in search of a Shareem and finds Rees, tall and blond, with Shareem-blue eyes. Just looking into those eyes makes Talan wild with need.

But Rees is a Shareem experiment that never should have been made. Rees is all the Shareem levels rolled into one, and then some. Rees is uncontrollable, Rees is unpredictable. Even Rees’s creators could never, ever be sure exactly what he would do…

When I started writing the series, I thought, “What am I doing? No one will want to read about these guys because they’re not powerful, rich, in-charge men. They’re little better than slaves with no rights and no money.” But the characters had grabbed me, and I wanted to write about them. Result: The Shareem is my most popular EC series, and copies have continually sold since early 2005. (Fans: I’ve just finished TOTS: Calder.)

Other unusual heroes: The Pirates. I think The Pirate Next Door made my career, even though it had a tiny print run and made no major lists. But an awful lot of people seem to have read it. When I started the series, most romance pirates were aristocrats in disguise—men who had taken to piracy because they were kidnapped, or their dads kicked them out, or they wanted revenge, or something. In other words, they were pirates for a reason.

I decided to write about pirates who were pirates because they liked it! They had checkered pasts, but they’d been buckling the swash all their lives and were prepared to pillage and plunder until they died. With the exception of Grayson Finley, who inherited a title unexpectedly from his cousin, these were not high-born men. In fact, Christopher Raine (The Care and Feeding of Pirates) was the son of a pirate and a pirate’s captive.


What is a proper English lady to do when a pirate moves next door?  Add the newly titled viscount to her list of possible suitors?  Take his wildly eccentric young daughter under her wing?  Let the outlandish rogue kiss her with wild abandon?

As everyday etiquette offers no guidance, Alexandra Alastair simply sets aside her tea and follows her instincts — whether that involves rescuing her new neighbor from hanging, fending off pirate hunters, plotting against aristocratic spies, or succumbing to a little passionate plundering.  Forget propriety!  No challenge is too great and no pleasure too wicked, for Grayson Finley promises the adventure of a lifetime.

Again, I thought—bad idea; readers want aristocrats! Wrong. The series was popular, made my publisher happy, and boosted my career up the next rung. (Since then, I’ve noticed that many romance pirates are “real” pirates. I don’t have the ego to think that was my influence; I think writers had the same urge I did; and Jack Sparrow didn’t hurt!)

In conclusion, I’ve learned my lesson. If an unusual, buck-the-trend kind of hero comes to me, I write him!

Over to you blog readers: Who are some of your favorite unusual heroes? There are great ones out there! Talk about them!

I’m doing a giveaway (of course), pulling a random name from the comments to win a copy from my backlist under any name I’ve ever written under. Say howdy to win.

And I hope everyone enjoys my unusual hero in The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. You can read the first chapter here:

Lists of my novels are at the following:




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Another new to me author, Shannon K. Butcher. Just added BURNING ALIVE to my shopping list. Isn’t the cover awesome? Comes out May 5th.


First in an all-new paranormal romance series

CAUTION : readers MAY feel the heat coming off the pages.

They are the Sentinels…

Three races descended from ancient guardians of mankind, each possessing unique abilities in their battle to protect humanity against their eternal foes—the Synestryn. Now, one warrior must fight his own desire if he is to discover the power that lies within his one true love…

Helen Day is haunted by visions of herself surrounded by flames, as a dark-haired man watches her burn. So when she sees the man of her nightmares staring at her from across a diner, she attempts to flee—but instead ends up in the man’s arms. There, she awakens a force more powerful and enticing than she could ever imagine. For the man is actually Theronai warrior Drake, whose own pain is driven away by Helen’s presence.

Together, they may become more than lovers—they may become a weapon of light that could tip the balance of the war and save Drake’s people…

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Demon slaying powers should come with an instruction book …

Seriously. Why does a new hair dryer have a twelve-page how-to manual, but when it comes to ancient demon-fighting hocus-pocus, my biker witch granny gives me just half a dozen switch stars and a rah-rah speech? Oh, and a talking terrier, but that’s another story. It’s not like my job as a preschool teacher prepared me for this kind of thing.

So I’ve decided to write my own manual, The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, because no one tells me anything. Dimitri, my “protector,” may be one stud of a shape-shifting griffin, but he always thinks he can handle everything by himself. Only he’s no match for the soul-stealing succubi taking over Las Vegas. If I can’t figure out how to save him – and Sin City – there’ll be hell to pay.

Angie Fox gets into trouble. Again.

Thanks so much for having me back on Novel Thoughts and Book Talk. I’m really excited to be here and to give away a copy of my new release, The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers.

This book was a blast to write, and I learned a valuable lesson too: be careful what you write…because it may just send you to some, ahem, unusual places. See, I write about a reluctant demon slayer forced to run off with a gang of geriatric biker witches. Add that to the fact that I tend to write what amuses me and you have a recipe for trouble.

When I was writing the end of my first book, The Accidental Demon Slayer, this joke about Las Vegas popped into my head and I thought, “why not?” Lizzie is just about to kiss her man when she’s interrupted and told she and the gang have to head to Las Vegas to save her long lost uncle from marrying a succubus. Kind of fun. At least it made me smile. I was an unpublished writer at the time.

But then the book sold. Better still, The Accidental Demon Slayer hit the New York Times bestseller list. My publisher wanted more. Heck, I wanted to write more. I remember being on the phone with my editor and she said, “so you’re going to Las Vegas, right?”

Oh yeah.

I admit it. I had these images of cool hotels and shows in my head. Then reality hit. I write about biker witches and a preschool teacher turned demon slayer. These folks don’t have a lot of spare cash lying around. This wasn’t my trip – it was theirs. Good thing I like odd adventures. And my friends do too.

One in particular – my friend Aileen – is a sucker for anything strange and unusual. So I talked her into a long weekend and we headed to Vegas to see and experience the biker witch version of Sin City. We stayed in the cheesiest hotels we could find. We ate at Bob’s Big Boy. We even visited a dude ranch with armadillos, a boar and several very old chickens.

We were able to talk our way into some behind-the-scenes places as well. The climax of The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers takes place inside the Hoover Dam, and we were lucky enough to be invited to see first-hand what I’d be writing about. A guide took us far down into the inspection tunnels they used in the 1930’s and 40’s, when the cement was still curing. It was amazing to see the notes these inspectors made on the walls, to hear the stories of those that didn’t quite make it out and to walk the same old metal steps that they did. All of that made it into The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, along with lots of things I had a blast making up (this is fiction after all).

And to celebrate the release of The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, I’m going to give one away. Just take the quiz Are You Part Demon Slayer? and tell us your score in the comments section. We’ll pick one winner at random. Oh and if you post that same score to my author blog, you’ll be entered to win a walk-on role in the next Accidental Demon Slayer book. Good luck!

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I found this book at BAM yesterday. I’ve never read this author but the cover called out to me when I saw it and when I read the blurb, it immediately got added to my other purchases. I came home, was in the middle of reading another book, but this was sitting on my desk and kept calling out my name every time I looked at it. Has that ever happened to you? I finished the Myers book I was reading last night and started ONE DEADLY SIN by Annie Solomon this morning and I’m already about 100 pages into it. It’s riveting, I keep sneaking in page reads in the middle of chores today. Don’t you love it when a book does that to you?



Revenge. Edie Swann has hungered for it since she fled her hometown as a little girl. Now she’s returned, ready for payback. Armed with a list of names, she leaves each one a chilling sign that they have blood on their hands. Her father’s blood. What happens next turns her own blood cold: one by one, the men she’s targeted start dying.

Sheriff Holt Drennen knows Edie is hiding something. She has a haunted look in her eyes and a defiant spirit, yet he can’t believe she’s a murderer. Then the body count rises and all the evidence points to Edie, leaving Holt torn between the town he’s sworn to protect and the woman he’s come to desire. But nothing is what it seems. As long buried secrets surface and fear reigns, a killer won’t be satisfied until the sins of the past are paid in full—this time with Edie’s blood.

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We have a winner! The winner of Robin’s post is………….


Congrats Limecello!!

Please email me your address at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces) so we can get the book out to you.

Winners have 48 hours to send in info or there will be another name picked.

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We have a winner! The winner of Laurie’s post is………….


Congrats Cathie!!

Please email me your address at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces) so we can get the book out to you.

Winners have 48 hours to send in info or there will be another name picked.

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We have winners! The winners of my giveaway of WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS…AFTER DARK are………….




Congrats ladies!!

Please email me your address at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces) so we can get the book out to you.

Winners have 48 hours to send in info or there will be another name picked.

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We have a winner! The winner of Libby’s post is………….


Congrats Kate!!

Please email me your address at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces) so we can get the book out to you.

Winners have 48 hours to send in info or there will be another name picked.

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