Tuesday, January 20, 2015

In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams by Karen Ranney - Excerpt, Guest Post & Giveaway

Avon is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a $50.00 eGift Card to Choice Retailer

In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams
The MacIain Trilogy #1
By: Karen Ranney
Releasing January 27th, 2015
Avon Romance 

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...

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?

His chuckle annoyed her because he wasn't fast enough. She put both hands on either side of the placket of his shirt and pulled, feeling the buttons give. She scratched his skin, stretched her arms around until she felt his back, fingers splayed to feel all of him. It wasn't enough.
Her breasts pressed against the hard planes of his chest as her hands wrapped around his neck.
She blinked open her eyes to find him smiling down at her, his gaze intent. 
She only smiled back at him and rained kisses over his chest. 
His indrawn breath made her want to laugh. Good, let him feel a fraction of the wildness racing through her.
She grabbed his head and held him still for her kiss, wishing he could erase all the loneliness of the past years. She wanted to pull off his clothes, tear them if she must, do something improper and wanton. She was not herself, but that was a lie, wasn't it? 
This was the woman who'd always been tamped down, pushed to the back, and ignored. Richard had never seen this creature. The only person who ever really knew her was Lennox. 
She wanted him in a way she'd never wanted any other man. He was hers and he had always been hers since she was a child and first saw him.
His clothes were too concealing for this summer night with its warm air and soft scented breeze.
A tide was rushing in to nearly drown her.
She needed her clothes off. She was too hot, too constrained. 
If she’d felt any modesty before he arrived, it was gone now, buried beneath a need racing through her like lightning. 
His lips on her throat accelerated her pulse even further. She shivered, gripping his shoulders as he unfastened the bow holding her nightgown closed. 
Her knees weakened as he pushed the garment open. His fingers danced across her skin, hesitated at the top of her breasts. 
“Yes," she whispered. Yes, oh yes.

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.

Mary Sue - A Hidden Inspiration

I was terrified of my great grandmother, Mary Sue, absolutely scared dry-mouthed speechless. She was a character even in her nineties. I remembered two fascinating things about her: although dirt poor, she married the only son of a wealthy family and her father had served in the Civil War.

I was nine the last time I saw her. She was in a nursing home by then, and had a way of being charmingly ruthless even in her nineties. She knew her own mind and she was determined to get her own way, whatever it took. She would cheerfully mow you down to do it.

Mary Sue had twelve children. One of them was my grandmother. One day, in my twenties, I sat down and began to record my grandmother’s stories. What did she remember of her grandfather? What would she say about her mother? I taped hours and hours of her memories, but I have to admit her stories about Mary Sue fascinated me the most.

This is part of what she remembered about Mary Sue talking about the Civil War.

My great grandchildren never could understand why I didn’t save mementoes from the Civil War. They didn’t understand, either, why we never called it the Civil War. It was the War of Succession or Abe Lincoln’s War. Anything we chose to save was like as not a bad, sad memory, like an etching of a gravestone or a uniform jacket or a comb a loved one used. Not things we might sell later or auction for a lot of money. Our letters were kept because of the love and longing on the pages, not because of what they might bring fifty years later. 

Mary Sue’s been on my mind in the last few months. Maybe she was there as I was thinking about writing the MacIain trilogy. My research revealed that the Civil War affected more people than simply Americans. The Scottish textile industry almost failed because of their inability to acquire cotton from the southern states. English peers went to war on a lark, only to find that the battlefield was a dangerous place.  

The heroines of the trilogy were firmly fixed in my mind before I ever began writing. They were as strong as my great-grandmother and maybe as ruthless, but used charm instead of brute force.

Still, Mary Sue is there, just beneath the surface, telling me when I have it right and when I’m wrong.

I wouldn’t expect anything else from her. 


  1. I'm a day late, but I'd also like to say thank you!

    Warm fuzzies!


  2. I once read a book that had in it only a story from excerpts of Civil War letters. And now I can't recall the author or name of the book. Wah! How awful. I'd love to dig it out again and read it with a different perspective this time since so many years have passed since I read it the first time. I'd love to find out what ancestors of mine participated in some fashion in the Civil War. I only know my paternal grandfather fought in The Great War (WWI). Someday I intend to do some ancestral digging, like the reviewer has done. Good for her to know about her grandmother and to have recorded some of her stories! Thanks so much for this post. jdh2690@gmail.com