Monthly Archives: January 2010

Renee Vincent returns — and brings her hero!


Please welcome back author RENEE VINCENT, who has brought a guest with her!

Renee: Thank you, Anya – I was very excited when you asked me back.  I know that Dægan was excited  as well, considering this is his first official interview. I just hope he gets here soon.

In the meantime, we can go ahead and begin with the questions that don’t revolve around him.

Anya: Tell us more about RAELIKSEN.

Renee: Ræliksen is about a Norse warrior who has fallen in love with an Irish maiden whose very father—an Irish King—is hell-bent on ridding Ireland of her pagan foreigners. And that includes the ruggedly handsome hero of the story, Dægan Ræliksen.

(Note: Some say Dægan bears a strong resemblance to a well-known Scottish actor. I don’t see it myself.)

While the story may seem like the typical Romeo & Juliet—a powerful love forbidden by many—the reader will soon find out that it is nothing like the Shakespearian tale.

Ræliksen is indeed a sensuous love story between two people of opposite worlds, but it also incorporates a lot of action, while stringing along interesting details of the past, ensnaring the reader in a web of complex plot twists. Ræliksen will not fail to bring the reader full circle in the end.

Dægan: Certainly there is more to the story than that.

Renee: Well, hello Dægan. It’s about time you got here. (clearing her throat inconspicuously) You are very late.

Dægan: My horse can only carry me so fast, as opposed to the three hundred and fifty horses you have under the hood of your truck. Which, by the way, still baffles me.

Renee: Dægan, I don’t literally have that many horses under the hood of my truck, it’s just the amount of horse “power” it has. Oh, never mind. Can we just get back to the interview?

Dægan: Of course.

Renee: So, what is it you think I have failed to mention about the story?

Dægan: Did you tell the readers about the “first kiss”?

Renee: I didn’t tell them about that, but I was contemplating about posting that very scene in the excerpt at the end.

Dægan: Oh, good choice. I especially enjoyed that scene.

Renee: I’m sure you did. And as I recall, you didn’t exactly baby-step your way into Mara’s heart.

Dægan: She was frightened…

Renee: And angry.

Dægan: Aye, but being the…what’s that strange term you authors use…Alpha male?

Renee: Yes, that would be the term.

Dægan: So being the Alpha male, I had an obligation to show Mara that there was no reason to be frightened or angry with me, and that oft times requires a bit of blatant forwardness.

Renee: That kiss was blatant and forward all right.

Dægan: It was certainly a good start, but what really set the forward motion of the story was how I saved Mara from a fleet of other Vikings coming ashore for the war with the Irish, which, I might add, I had no fight in.

Renee: Well, there is that.

Dægan: And…that my spineless twin brother was leading that fleet!

Renee: Dægan, I really didn’t want to go into that since that was part of the intricate web the readers were supposed to find out on their own.

Dægan: Indeed, but I was under the impression that we were to present a high level of intrigue for those who have not yet picked up your book. Do you not think the conflict with my brother, alone, greatly instills that?

Renee: Yes, it does, but the point was to let the reader find out for themselves that your twin has a part in this tale.

Dægan: Hmmm…I suppose I have given that away. My apologies, Renee.

Renee: No worries. But you may need to apologize to Anya for being tardy. She is a busy woman.

Dægan: Of course… (reaches out and takes Anya’s hand, kissing her knuckles warmly while uttering his apologies and how beautiful her name sounded on his lips.)

Renee: (rolls her eyes) Could we please?

Dægan: What? I did as you suggested.

Renee: Yes, while laying it on a bit thick, don’t you think?

Dægan: At no fault of my own…you made me charismatic and undeniably charming. I am just staying true to my character.

Renee: Very well. Next question, Anya.

Anya: What was the hardest thing about writing RAELIKSON?

Renee: Not being able to write as fast as the scenes were playing out in my head. I lived and breathed this story, and admittedly Dægan consumed me.

Dægan: Really?

Renee: As if you didn’t know. I mean look how many late nights you and I spent together—very late nights. And even when I wasn’t writing, you were always there. You would even invade my dreams, melting my heart with your words…

Dægan: (narrows his eyes) You sound as if you were in love with me.

Renee: Doesn’t every reader fall in love with the hero?

Dægan: I haven’t the slightest notion about that. Remember, this is the first romance novel I’ve been in.

Renee: Well, if you must know, it is very typical for a reader to get so engrossed into the hero’s character, so much in fact, that they subconsciously put themselves in the place of the heroine.

Dægan: Even in the bedroom scenes?

Renee: Especially the bedroom scenes.

Dægan: Is that so? (ruminates over that revelation)

Renee: (sees that Dægan is putting far too much thought into it) Next question.

Anya: What is the hardest thing about writing the sequel, Mac Liam?

Dægan: (sighs) Must we talk about him?

Renee: What’s wrong with talking about Breandán Mac Liam?

Dægan: Do you not remember what happened in Ræliksen? He is in love with Mara—my Mara—and sees fit to tell me about it.

Renee: Love triangles add the necessary conflict sometimes needed in a series.

Dægan: And my twin didn’t give me enough to contend with?

Renee: Hey, I wrote your character to possess a significant amount of resolve and graciousness, even toward those who brought tension and strife into your life. Breandán Mac Liam was not as big an issue as you made him out to be.

Dægan: You realize I am biting my tongue right now.

Renee: I do, and you should be. There is no reason to belittle Breandán. Besides, you know as well as I that he would not act upon his feelings given that Mara already loved you. And do not forget that he ultimately saved your life.

Dægan: (flips his hand in a dismissive manner) I would have found a way out of that predicament.

Renee: Can I answer Anya’s question now?

Dægan: If you feel you must.

Renee: Thank you. (smiles sarcastically) Writing Mac Liam comes with its many challenges, most of which I can hardly talk about as I don’t want to give anything away. But the one issue I have is being completely infatuated with two men at the same time.

Dægan: I beg your pardon?

Renee: It seems the more I write on Mac Liam, the more I start to fall in love with him.

Dægan: Are you trying to break my heart?

Renee: No, of course not. But I can’t help the way I feel.

Dægan: (taps his foot impatiently) What does Breandán have that I don’t?

Renee: It’s not about that. I don’t wish to compare you two and I doubt Mara will want to either when it gets down to it.

Dægan: You mean to tell me Mara is actually considering Breandán?

Renee: (bites her lip and shakes her head) I really can’t say much more on that.

Dægan: (looks directly at Anya) Next question, if you will.

Anya: Have you completed MAC LIAM?

Renee: No I haven’t. But I have high hopes for its release in 2010.

Dægan: That makes one of us.

Renee: Oh, don’t grumble.

Dægan: You have hardly written about me in the sequel.

Renee: Because…the sequel is about the Breandán, not you. Hence the title, Mac Liam.

Anya: Any tips for struggling writers – do’s and don’t’s, or mistakes you’ve learned from?

Dægan: (interjects quickly) My advice would be to not write about love triangles.

Renee: You certainly speak your mind, don’t you?

Dægan: Again, no fault of my own.

Renee: Well, my advice would be to not give up—persevere despite your struggles. That being number one.

Secondly, set your goals to be ‘attainable’, but dream as big as you want. Use each attainable goal as stepping stones toward that distant dream and you’ll get there. It may not be overnight, but you will get there.

Thirdly, gain a thick skin. As your writing is out there for all to see, there will be those who praise it, and those who do not. While their criticism may not be what you want to hear necessarily, it will make you a better writer as you work to improve yourself.

Dægan: And, as I said before, write one hero at a time.

Renee: I think we should leave that up to the discretion of the writer.

Dægan: Indeed. Ill-advised, but, nonetheless, ‘tis the writers’ prerogative.

Anya: Do you belong to writer’s groups, or do you have writer friends who support/critique your work?

Renee: I belong to the American Romance Writers (RWA), the Kentucky Romance Writers (KYWA), and just recently joined the Ohio Valley Romance Writers (OVRWA) as well.

I highly recommend joining writer’s groups as there are many successful authors and aspiring writers who belong to local chapters and give support to those within the group, whether by their own example or by their critiques.

Everyone I have come into contact with in those groups has been very helpful and quite willing to aid their fellow writers in any way they can. You can never have too many friends in the competitive world of publishing.

With that being said, I must add that your friendship, Anya, has been a blessing to me. Thank you again for taking the time to interview me and for allowing me this spot on your blog.

Dægan: That goes double for me, Anya, my dear. (takes Anya in his arms, dips her over his forearm, and plants a big one on her surprised lips.)

Renee: I am so sorry, Anya. I’ve written Dægan to be quite spontaneous and evidently, incorrigible as well. He really needs to remember that he is NOT in a romance novel right now.

Anya: I’m finding it hard to speak, much less think. You know I have an appreciation for finely crafted male chests . . . and biceps and shoulders and all those other good bits.

Dægan seems to have rather a lot of all those things, and I swear he is flexing his muscles on purpose just to watch me drool! Makes it difficult to focus on the conversation, but I’m doing my best!

A huge thank you to you both for visiting with us!

Excerpt: Renee Vincent’s RAELIKSEN


To set the scene, this is a moment when Dægan and Mara are alone in the woods together after he has just saved her from a group of warring Vikings. Mara is still a little unnerved by his precense since she has been brought up to believe that all Norsemen are theives and savages. But Dægan, being the generous man that he is, has built a fire, hunted and cooked their meal, and is now answering Mara’s many questions.

“Who were those men?”

“I do not know,” Dægan stated with a shrug. “Their presence was as much a surprise to me as it was to you. But if you would have listened to me, they would never have known we were there in the first place, nor would you have that nasty bump on your head.”

“So this is all my fault?”

Dægan’s brows kindly lifted. “I know the means by which I saved you from those men was not as noble as you would have liked, but nonetheless, you have been saved.”

“And I suppose you want compensation from my father worth its weight in silver, aye?”

“I want naught from him. Mayhap a bit of gratitude from you would suffice. Need I remind you, if not for my timely presence, you would be a whore for those men on the Shannon. Who knows how many would have had you by now. The way I see it, you are indebted to me for saving your life, not to mention your precious maidenhead.”

She gasped at his arrogance, but could only counter his rude boasts with a gaping mouth and a tied tongue.

Dægan lifted his finger to her chin and closed her mouth for her. “My apologies, my lady. Perhaps, we can start over. Say with introductions?”

She hardened to stone and crossed her arms. “I do not see how knowing your name will help you any.”

“Very well. Then let us begin with yours.”

She turned back to glare at him but his head was tilted benevolently to one side and his eyes were caring and honest, as though he were truly interested in her, and only her. His hair had fallen off of his shoulder and several small braids adorned with silver clips flashed in the firelight. They were minute, but incredibly detailed with illustrious designs. Despite his unmistakably Norse features and what she had been taught to believe, he was well groomed and clean. Quite frankly, he was the most beautiful thing she had ever laid eyes on. He was not at all what she thought the Fionnghaill should look like, or act like for that matter, and she assumed that outlandish lies and exaggerated stories existed only because no one had dared to get close enough. By her own understanding, he was surely more than a savage…but no less than a man, who only inquired of her name. Finally she gave in, for names were harmless enough. “Mara. My name is Mara.”

Dægan smiled at the name given to him, for he thought it a beautiful one. He enjoyed repeating it back to her, feeling it on his lips, calling her by name. In boldly brushing back a lock of her hair, he asked, “Are you hurt anywhere else—Lady Mara?”


“Are you sure?” he asked again, this time looking into her eyes for evidence of a wandering mind. “You took quite a fall.”

“I am fine,” Mara insisted. “‘Tis not been the first.”

“Do you always make a habit of falling from your horse?”

Mara’s mouth naturally curled into a smile, but she forced it away as quickly as it appeared.

“Ah, you find me funny,” Dægan pointed out.

“I find you odd and unfounded. Nothing more.”

“Perhaps I would be less of those things if you knew my name.”

Mara said nothing. Although she was remotely curious, she did not want to give him the satisfaction of thinking that she cared. So she turned away from the draw of his beautiful eyes, and just as she expected, he offered it all the same.

“I am Dægan of Hladir, son of Rælik.”

Mara liked the sound of his name and it fit him well. But yet again, she refused to show any regard, acting as if his name were ordinary, and at best, a name that would soon slip from her mind.

But…his name clung to her thoughts and she found herself almost brooding over it. Every idling recollection constantly revolved around him; his voice as he spoke his own name, his exceptional generosity, his entrancing blue eyes, and what still seemed to be left unanswered—his reason for risking his life to save her.

She felt his hand gently touch hers, a sudden forwardness she hadn’t expected so soon from him. But even as the little voice in her head told her to pull away and run, she couldn’t. Her hand, he turned over, and in it, he placed the silver and gold dagger that once lay at her side.

“You can keep this with you tonight,” he said, closing her fingers around it. “I promise you, I will not give you any reason to use it.”

How could she doubt those words? Those eyes of dazzling blue? They were the inlet to his soul where mystery and compassion were harbored, and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t help but drown in them.

Dægan stood and retreated to the opposite side of the fire, standing massively before her like an old tree rooted in the ground. His arms and legs proved his masculinity and power, and the strength in his jaw accompanied his massive physique. His long golden mane complemented his features well, and his eyes could change like the tides in the sea; stern and intimidating at one glance, and gentle and honest at another.

Whilst she was lost in her thoughts, he suddenly lay down upon the ground and covered himself with his thick bear cloak.

“You are going to sleep?” she asked.

“Aye,” he said, trying to get more comfortable. “Even we Lochlannaigh must sleep, my dear.”

“But I must get home! My father will be worried sick!”

“I will get you home, I promise. But not tonight.”

Mara’s voice rose frantically. “When?”

“When I have an army of men to accompany me. ‘Tis not safe for just you and me.” Her silence, Dægan noted, was long and determinable. “And—” he continued, “put those thoughts of leaving whilst I sleep out of your mind! Even if you left right now, you would not make it back before morn, that is if you did not lose your way in the night. Let us be smart, Mara, and wait until my men can join us before we go traipsing back through hostile territory.”

“I thought your kind always traveled in groups, roving bands of warriors, that sort of thing. Why do you not travel with your men?”

“Because, for what I was doing, I did not need their company.”

“And what may I ask were you doing?”

He sighed and closed his eyes, knowing the conversation at hand would only broaden with each nagging question. “If you must know, I had chosen myself a bride and was going to bring her home with me.”

“A bride?”


Mara’s temperament changed as she gathered the extent of his affections rather clearly through his lingering smiling face. “You are quite fond of her.”


Mara kept watching him, liking the way he held the unknown woman in high regard. She softened a little within her guilt. “Now I feel like I should apologize. Had it not been for me, you would be in her arms right now.”

“Think naught of it,” Dægan dismissed, shifting beneath the cloak. “’Twill all work out soon enough.”

“How did you acquire this woman to be your bride? An alliance?”

“Not exactly. I have chosen her, this is certain, but her father fails to know anything about it just yet.”

Confused, Mara prodded deeper into his personal affairs. “And how do you plan to persuade this uninformed father of hers?”

“Well, I was hoping to offer him a dowry he could not refuse, along with an allotment of seven cows, but it might prove to be unnecessary considering my selfless, heroic measures this fine day.”

Mara’s brows lifted and her words stumbled from her mouth. “You speak of me? And my father, Callan? The King of Connacht?”

Dægan opened his eyes and sat up on one elbow, stunned by the very status of her father’s rank. He had definitely assumed her to be a progeny of some clan nobleman or lesser chieftain, but never had he given thought to her birth being that of the provincial leader himself. With her father being at such a prominent hierarchy, it would surely be a more difficult situation for him to get out of. Yet, to his best ability, he pretended that it was merely frivolous.

“Your Ireland is so overrun by chieftains and all their lessers that ‘tis hard to say if your father is the man I must bargain with. But you, however, I could say with much certainty, are the one of whom I speak.”

Mara stood up, aghast at what he had just said, and walked over to kick him. “How dare you!”

Dægan took the first kick in his side, but caught her foot with the next attempt, lifting it high enough that she lost her balance and fell to her backside. Still holding firmly to her ankle, he dragged her closer, avoiding her little fists that came like madness. He grabbed both her wrists tightly and pulled them to his chest, forcing her lean forward in his direction.

“How dare you!” she shouted again, fighting against his grip. “How dare you belittle my father with your conniving plan! He will not fall for it any more than I have!”

Dægan drew back his face in surprise. “You think this whole day has been naught but a conniving plan?”

“Aye, the men at the river, the chase, the rescue; ‘tis all a farce! I know your kind! You are all the same! Cunning thieves who pilfer from the weak and kill others out of greed!”

“I have never done such things!” he defended.

“Nay, you just look for women who will be naught more than your slaves soon after you take them to your marriage bed!”

Dægan’s face lit up in flames, driven deep into anger by her accusations. “Is that what you think you are? A slave? Odin’s blood, woman! I have been beaten, punched and elbowed in the nose to the extent of bleeding profusely, not for strategy sake, my dear, but to truly keep you safe from the ill-gotten grasps of foreigners on the riverbank! I have gathered wood for a fire so you would be warm! Hunted so you could eat! I have even given you a weapon to keep by your side to protect yourself, and all the while declaring to you my honest intensions of not—ever—hurting you!” He looked away for a quick moment in order to calm himself and back again, throwing her hands at her. “Now tell me again, who is the slave?”

She didn’t answer him, but her gradually thinning stare left him somewhat content that he had gotten his point across.

“I know you are afraid,” he allotted after a much needed sigh, “especially being so far from home with a man preconceived of being a savage. If that is all you think of me from this day forth, then so be it. But I will not let you slander me as being a man without honor or without my kept word. I told you I would take you back home and I will. Furthermore, you are not my slave, nor do I have hopes of it come later. I am a chieftain who already has his fill of thralls and I simply want a wife.”

“You cannot be serious!”

Dægan turned his mouth under in thought. “After what I went through today, I would think there would be no question.”

Mara’s breath drained from her lungs. “This cannot happen.”

“Why not?” he asked leaning in closer.

“My father simply would not allow it.”

“Would you?” he asked, boldly taking her into his arms.

At first, she was shocked at how daring he chose to be by taking away the little comfort of space between them, fighting the affects of his sultry eyes, his rugged aroma, and his breath upon her cheek with all she had. But all in all, she could do little about it. She was torn between the spoonful of endearment being shoved down her throat, and the inviting warmth of his arms.

“You have not answered me, princess,” he teased, wrenching her closer to tuck his head in the crevice of her jaw, where he drew in a deep breath and smelled the oils that settled ideally behind her earlobe.

“Christ, how can I answer you?” she shuddered in response.

“Just open your mouth and speak.”

Before she could even utter one word of resistance, his lips softly closed upon hers. She couldn’t move, for it was the first kiss she had ever experienced in all her nineteen years, as well as the most pleasant of gestures received. Her thoughts whirled around her so quickly. She felt the warm softness of his mouth, the heat that radiated from his skin, and the red-blooded strength of his arms holding her tightly to his chest as the world around her ceased to exist.

Her eyes drew back in their sockets and she fell limp in his arms, finding herself welcoming the gentle caresses of his tongue parting her mouth. He went deeper, tasting her, but never rough or demanding, just easing his tongue in as much as she would allow. He played with her, pulling away tenderly, then delving right back in, taking every sweetened gasp from her like a thief.

She was very responsive to his touch and he continued to kiss her intensely, feeling her virgin tongue beginning to return the kiss as well. He moaned softly in her mouth, a noise hardly to be heard, but it was enough to make her open her eyes and find his to be swirling in drunken lustfulness.

His unashamed forwardness sent her fleeing, but his embrace enveloped her with a passion she had never felt before. There was a strange heat that burned low in her stomach and a cool rush of shivers from the top of her neck down her spine, his kiss feeding both of those glorious feelings at once.

She stared at him, barely being able to breathe as he dwelled near her lips. He was a mountain of strength and an endless vision of beauty; two things that both scared her and kept her leeching for more. She was trapped in his eyes, caught in the very clutches of his hungry stare, and given the circumstances, it was hard to know if it was the pull of sheer attraction that held her motionless, or just blinding fear.

Dægan noticed her statuesque apprehension, a sight quite unlike anything he had ever seen from a woman who had just felt his kiss. “You look frightened…”

Please Welcome Historical Romance Author Renee Vincent!


I’m excited to have a guest visiting today and tomorrow, one of the nicest authors you’ll meet: RENEE VINCENT.

RENEE: Thank you, Anya for allowing me to be here today.

ANYA: Tell us about yourself — also a little about your career, your family, your pets.

RENEE: I am a mother of two beautiful girls and married to the most wonderfully supportive husband in the world – for nearly 17 years. And out of those years, I have been working on my writing career for the majority of the time, while being a Radiologic Technologist at Children’s Hospital for three years, and eventually a pre-school teacher for nine years. All of this included living on a 100-acre farm with horses and dogs, and the time to write was not as often as I’d have liked.

But I did write.

My work involved the same story with the same premise—a “Viking” warrior in love with an Irish princess— though character names and plot conflicts would often change.

In 2005, I had just the right amount of encouragement from my sister, Lindsey, to finish the love story, though it took her voice from heaven for me to hear it – literally. After her passing, I worked on it day and night for months—solely for her—and finally after eight grueling months, I wrote the last line of the manuscript.

But my joy soon faded as I researched publishers’ guidelines. I had written twice the amount of words needed for a romance. I needed to cut out half the story before any publisher would look at it. That, in itself, took another year or so to accomplish. I struggled terribly with removing unnecessary scenes without damaging the natural flow of character development, story pace, and plot twists—not to mention my ‘voice’. But eventually, I was able to do it, creating a better version of the story.

In 2008, with the help of my sister’s words, my dreams came true. My first historical romance, Ræliksen, went into print, and, of course the book was dedicated to her. I hope that I have made her proud as I can boast that my book has traveled to seven other countries.

ANYA: What made you decide to write a book?

RENEE: I guess you could say it all started at the age of five, when my parents had given me a personalized children’s book where I was featured as the hero of the story. I can still recall how excited I was to see my full name in print and know that no one else had a book like this. From that day forth, I dreamed of seeing my name on the cover of a book. And by the way, I still have that children’s book.

ANYA: What are the most important things in your life?

RENEE: My family. Period. With losing my 20 year old sister, I was quickly brought to my knees and yet, awakened. Though we all know that life is short, I don’t think anyone truly understands what that means until they have to say an unexpected good-bye to a loved one.

I have always loved and needed my family, but now, I treasure them. And I try not to take for granted the time I am allotted here on earth.

ANYA: Tell us about your sister.

RENEE: Gosh, where do I even begin when it comes to my sister, Lindsey? Well, she and I are thirteen years apart and as a teenager, I was just the older sister who babysat her and someone she could look up to.

As we got older, and as she got into college, we started to connect. She was going to be a doctor, and was even scheduled to take her MCATs in the spring of 2006, taking some prep courses at NKU while getting her degree in Biology. I even remember her taking me into NKU’s library to help me do research for the book and logging into their computers for added help.

She was a wonderful aunt to my two girls and knew just how to make people smile.

What I’m trying to say is that Lindsey was always willing to help—always willing to give of herself—and even though her time on earth was very short, she touched so many people. Her layout alone was a tribute to that fact as people waited for three hours minimum just to see her and pay their last respects. It was held in the gym of her high school and lasted for nearly eleven hours.

Lindsey was a big advocate of organ donation, and was able to donate her corneas after the accident. A thirty-five year old woman’s sight was restored because of my sister. Even after her death, she was still helping people—still giving of herself, literally. And that is how I remember my sister.

It was a very difficult time in my life when she passed, not to mention having to deal with the fact that she died on my daughter’s birthday. But I don’t dwell anymore on those things. I know she is at peace.

As Lindsey used to always look up to me for being the elder sister, I now look up to her. (Which is why the dedication in the book reads in both Irish and English: I look up to you now.)

ANYA: Would you tell us about the Ræliksen soundtrack?

RENEE: I have met so many wonderful people through the research of this book. I have remained in contact with many of them living both here in the US and abroad. My relationship with these select few has grown tremendously and they are among my dearest friends.

One of them, in particular, is Irish musician, Mícheál Ó Caoinleain. He has arranged and orchestrated the music for my book trailer. After that, he came to me with aspirations of doing an entire soundtrack for Ræliksen. I was ecstatic with the offer, and of course, I accepted. The soundtrack is available in both the US and Europe.

ANYA: Tell us something about your work for Susan G. Komen research.

RENEE: Well for starters, I am a member of the Buffalo Girls Association of Northern Kentucky and for four years they have hosted the TRAIL RIDE FOR THE CURE benefiting the SUSAN G. KOMEN FOR THE CURE (a horse trail ride event).

In the years past, I have raised money for the cause by getting people to sponsor me and my family in the ride. But in 2009, I was a published author and I thought that I could do more to help the cause. So I decided to donate all the proceeds of every Ræliksen book bought between August and October. With the help of my dedicated fans, friends, and family, I was able to write a check in the amount of $600 to KOMEN.

I was very glad to be able to give back to the community when so many had supported me. I am hoping to have another book published in time to do the very same thing for KOMEN in 2010.

ANYA: Where do you live now, and where else have you lived?

Renee: Born and raised in Kentucky—never lived anywhere else. Though, if I had my choice, I would live on the west coast of Ireland.

ANYA: What are some of your favorite books/authors?

RENEE: My favorite author of all time would have to be Emily Brontë with Wuthering Heights. But the authors that I just can’t get enough of are Nora Roberts, Johanna Lindsey, Amanda Quick, Elizabeth Lowell, and Catherine Coulter. Since I’ve been published, I’ve found there are some local authors that have squeezed into my favorites too, like Lori Foster, Shiloh Walker, Maddie James, Jan Scarbrough and Teresa Reasor, just to name a few.

ANYA: Where’s your favorite place to read?

RENEE: In my writing office (which was previously my living room) surrounded by my castle pictures and my Limited Edition Phantom of the Opera painting by Jon Paul Ferrara, lounging back in the reclining couch, with a soft heavy blanket over my legs and a cup of coffee—lots of cream—within reach.

ANYA: What are the books you remember best from your childhood?

RENEE: Oh my goodness. Let’s see…Pokey Little Puppy for when I was a little one, Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls in my elementary years, and Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews in my early teenage life. Those are the ones that I will never forget in my youth.

ANYA: Are there any books that have made a strong impact on you?

RENEE: Well, just to be clear, I have always been intrigued by the Norse and read many research books on the matter for enjoyment. But one book that moved me so much as to want to write a love story about them was the first “romance novel” I borrowed from my mother-in-law. I loved it, and it was very well written from a historical stand point. However, I cannot recall the author’s name, nor the title as it was so many years ago. I only remember the cover. (And many times, I have gone to used book stores to search for it, only to come up short.) But because of that book, I knew what I wanted to write about, and that passion never faltered.

ANYA: What is your favorite genre, time period, setting to read and write about?

RENEE: My favorite genre would have to be historical romance although I have found out lately that I like contemporary as well. I never used to, as I’d rather be taken to a whole different time and place (hence, my tag line…). But I’ve read a few contemporary romances and have found them to be refreshingly different, in a very good way. But as a rule of thumb, I seem to choose historicals for my reading pleasure.

Since Ræliksen is the first book I’ve written in its entirety, and Mac Liam is still a work-in-progress, the time period I write in is 10th Century, though I’m thinking about writing a combination of a historical/contemporary in my next project. No, not a time travel, but something deeper—more intricate. I have visions of a woman with a love so deep in her heart, so close to her soul, it seems it’s almost instinct for her to love him—though he is a complete stranger. That’s all I’m going to say on that.

Renee, thanks so much for sharing so much with us today! Renee will be here to respond to any questions today and tomorrow.

Check back here on Friday, when Dægan, the hero of RAELIKSEN will be present to answer your questions! Be sure to read the excerpt of RAELIKSEN, which can be viewed in a separate post.

You can follow Renee at these links:

Ræliksen is available in hardback and paperback at Barnes &,,, and The Country Heart in Alexandria, KY
* eBook available at

Order Raeliksen from Barnes & Noble

Amazon for purchase of Ræliksen

Buffalo Girls Association of NKY

It’s Complicated . . . And Fun!


I saw this movie over Christmas break and, to put it bluntly, laughed my ass off. Okay, I’m not divorced but so much of the rest of it had a “been there, done that” feel to it. There was even a clip of The Graduate, one of my favorite movies of all time!

I related to this movie on so many levels even, um, the chocolate cake scene. Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin were as wonderful as I expected, and I could hardly breathe I was laughing so hard at John Krasinski’s scene in the hotel (and afterwards).

I doubt if my kids would appreciate this movie as much as I did, but I’m already looking forward to renting it when it comes out on DVD. Enjoy the clip!

Another Kind of Pocket Rocket


When I saw the name on the small box in my Christmas stocking — a box put there by my DAUGHTER — I had to raise my eyebrows. I mean, she knows me well, but still . . .

But, yes, this is my daughter the Make-up Diva. I should have known! Still, it’s not only a pretty lip gloss, it gave me a laugh, too. The first one is the gloss she got for me — um, I guess she really does know me well!

I found these instructions on the web:

“Bringing more than a little fun to the world of lip gloss, the Urban Decay Pocket Rocket makes a playful gift for a hen party, new divorce, naughty colleague, or to fulfil your own fantasies…can you handle them all?

Directions of use:
Flick your wrist to disrobe the boys.
Rub the ink on the tube to release the undetectable smell of sexy pheromones.”