Renee grew up in a small Florida beach town. To entertain herself during countless hours of "laying-out" she read all the classics. It wasn’t until the summer between her sophomore and junior years at Florida State University that she read her first romance novel. Hooked from page one, she spent hours consuming one book after another while working on the best (and last!) tan of her life.
Two years later, armed with a degree in Economics and Religion, she explored various career opportunities, including stints at a Florida theme park, a modeling agency, and a cosmetic conglomerate. She moved on to teach high school Economics, American Government and Latin while coaching award-winning cheerleading teams. Several years later, with an eclectic cast of characters swimming around in her head, she began seriously pursuing a writing career.
Renee sold her first book, EXTREME MEASURES, to Dorchester Publishing by winning the inaugural New Historical Voice Contest in 2002. She eventually reconciled her writing with her faith and began writing Inspirational Romances in 2006. She sold her first Inspirational manuscript to Love Inspired Historical in December 2006. Her first Love Inspired Historical will arrive in stores February or March of 2009.
When she’s not writing for Love Inspired Historical, Renee works part time as a regional makeup artist for an international cosmetic company. She lives with her husband, two children and one ornery cat in Nebraska.
Thanks, Lynette, for inviting me to blog with you today.
I’m here to talk about my latest release, Book Four in the Charity House series, THE LAWMAN CLAIMS HIS BRIDE.
Charity House is no ordinary orphanage, but rather a unique home for the by-blows/mistakes of prostitutes and gunslingers. By its very nature, Charity House lends itself to unique stories.
THE LAWMAN CLAIMS HIS BRIDE is no exception. The book reintroduces two familiar characters, Logan and Megan. Both have been along for the ride since Book One, THE MARSHAL TAKES A BRIDE.
Because my hero and heroine had been around from the beginning of the series I found myself faced with a large problem. Logan and Megan met and fell in love back in Book Two, HANNAH’S BEAU. But Megan was too young and Logan wasn’t ready to be a family man. Well, that’s what everyone said anyway. But no matter what they’re told, they can’t help loving one another.
The reader finds out in Book 3, LOVING BELLA, that Logan has taken a job in San Francisco to make a living worthy of his beloved. He plans to marry Megan as soon as he returns home. There is no doubt these two will end up together.
But therein lays the heart of the problem.
What fun is a romance novel where the hero and heroine are already in love before the book even begins? More importantly, how was I supposed to accomplish the daunting task of writing a full-length novel with zero romantic conflict? Can you say: Boring?
Under the circumstances, I did what any self-respecting writer would do. I started playing the “what if” game.
What if one or both of them is only in love with the idea of being in love? What if they’ve each built up the other in their minds to impossible proportions? What if a newly appointed US Marshal comes home to marry his one true love, only to find her in jail for murder?
Now I had the makings of a story.
But wait. There’s more. Another issue I wanted to tackle was the touchy subject of intimacy between newly married Christians. We in the church tell our youth that a strong physical attraction will translate into a strong sexual connection once vows are spoken, but not before. Never before. Christians, especially Christian women, are taught from a very early age that intimacy is bad, bad, bad. Unless, of course, inside the sanctity of marriage.
But isn’t that sending our girls a confusing, dare-I-say mixed message? For a bride’s entire life she’s taught that intimacy with a man is something to be avoided at all costs. “Don’t even think about it, much less do it,” she’s told. But then, on the night of her wedding, she’s supposed to flip some invisible switch and suddenly intimacy is a good thing.
Want to know how I, as a believing Christian and a mother of a teenage girl, addressed this very touchy issue in THE LAWMAN CLAIMS HIS BRIDE? You’ll have to read the book to find out. ☺
Renee Ryan writes for Love Inspired Historical and Love Inspired. Her fabulous editor is Melissa Endlich. For more information, you can visit Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org
THANK YOU, Rene, for being here today. Readers, run out and get this book! It's awesome! Leave a comment and a way to get in touch with you and you might find yourself a winner of this fabulous story.