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Friday, January 30, 2015

Guest Post with Karen Ranney and Giveaway

Karen Ranney wanted to be a writer from the time she was five years old and filled her Big Chief tablet with stories. People in stories did amazing things and she was too shy to do anything amazing. Years spent in Japan, Paris, and Italy, however, not only fueled her imagination but proved that she wasn't that shy after all. Yet she prefers to keep her current adventures between the covers of her books. Karen lives in San Antonio, Texas, and loves to hear from her readers at

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My Favorite Parts of In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams

Frankly, I like it when characters are flummoxed, when they’re on the verge of panic, when they’re floundering. You can see to the core of the individual: what motivates them, what charms them and what keeps them going. I have lots of favorite parts in In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams. Here are three of them:

When Lennox and Glynis first meet after a separation of seven years:

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.

She’d grown up.

She needed to say something to ease his intent look. Some words to make him stop staring at her as if he were comparing this Glynis to the impetuous, reckless girl she’d been.

Did he think she appeared older? When she smiled, the skin at the corners of her blue eyes crinkled, the only sign that seven years had passed.

“Do you find Glasgow changed?”

Thank heavens he eased the silence with an innocuous question, one simply answered. She was capable of prattling on for hours about places, countries, people, or the recent weather. Ask her something personal, however, and words left her.

“Yes, I would say so. Your firm seems prosperous.”

Was that an adequate word? Duncan said that a dozen docks along the River Clyde bore his company’s name.

“We’ve been fortunate.”

His shipyard was famous even in Washington. Members of the War Department said Cameron and Company affected the outcome of the war by aiding the enemy.

Lennox wouldn’t care if the world talked about him; he’d continue to do what he wanted. Such bravado might be laughable in another man, but this was Lennox.

“Thank you for coming. My father will appreciate it.”

“Duncan told me of his blindness. How horrible for him.”

He nodded. “You’ll find he’s sanguine about the accident. He’s just grateful to be alive.”

A comment necessitating only a nod and a smile.

“Your husband died,” he said, the words stark.

An odd way to offer condolences.


An accident, they said. What a terrible and senseless tragedy, and his wife so young.

He pressed her gloved hand with his. Her fingers were icy. Did he feel them through her gloves? Or suspect her lips were numb?

They were strangers and yet not. They never would be. They’d shared their childhood and too many memories.

He stared down at her. A woman could get lost in his eyes. Unless, of course, she was wiser, older, and tested by experience.

She pasted a formal smile on her mouth, a similar expression to one she’d worn when introduced to the matronly harpies in Washington. This occasion seemed no less important.

He dropped her hand. She almost sighed in relief, but restrained herself.

One must not attract attention.

When Glynis is about to tell Lennox the secret she’s been hiding:

Please, don’t let him hate me.

She had been without Lennox’s good opinion of her for seven years. Why did it seem to matter so much now? Was it because he was the only person who truly knew her?

He’d witnessed most of the embarrassing scenes of her childhood. He’d helped her up when she’d been knocked from her horse, laughed at her when she was drenched in mud, and looked away when she’d fallen from a tree and torn her dress.

Yet he’d never seen her in all of her finery in Washington, with her hair arranged by an expert at the task. He never witnessed her making an entrance into a Washington ballroom, conscious of men’s admiring glances. Not once had he heard all the fulsome compliments paid to her.

Or if he does hate me, let it be of short duration. Or, if that cannot be arranged, then help me not to care. Let me consider his good opinion of me as worthless as Richard’s had been.

Every time Richard had approved of her, he was really congratulating himself for picking her as his wife. He’d created a poised puppet who could enter any room filled with important people and hold her own in a variety of conversations. She could converse with a lecherous German, a fawning Frenchman, and discuss history with a Greek.

If Lennox did hate her, she would have to bear it somehow.

The rain drummed on the street in a heavy rhythm, then light, like a child making too much noise and cautioned by his parent. A moment later the sound would increase again, then slow to a patter.

Despite her umbrella, droplets found a home in the back of her collar, ran down her face, and soaked her stockings. She sneezed once, shivered with a summer chill, and drew her elbows close to her body. The wet wind carried a cooler layer beneath it, a hint of winter not far away, a caution to enjoy these days of warmth before they disappeared.

After Lennox learns the secret:

He wasn’t a violent man, but ever since Lennox had learned the truth, he’d entertained thoughts of dismembering Matthew Baumann limb by limb. His ancestors had come from the Highlands. The blood coursing through his veins meant he was a Scot: capable of great pride, prowess in battle, and the ability to cling tightly to that which was precious.

The idea of Glynis being alone in Washington, at the mercy of a husband who cared nothing for her, was not one he easily tolerated. She’d been helpless and desperate, and Baumann had taken advantage of her.

Since she’d been gone, he had tried, very hard, not to think of her at all. But there were times when he was catapulted back into the past by something Duncan said or the sound of female laughter. Instantly the sprite who was Glynis danced through his memory.

Fate, that fickle bastard, had changed the course of his life, bringing her back to him. Now she was his wife. He was damned if he was going to allow Matthew Baumann to hurt her again.

He went to the address Charlotte had given him. The lodgings were run by a very pleasant woman who informed him that Mr. Baumann was not currently home. Did he wish to wait? He did. An hour and a half later he realized that Baumann had probably recognized his carriage and wouldn’t return until he left.

He thanked the landlady for her hospitality, the jot of whiskey she’d offered, and her plate of scones, and made his way back to the yard.

There was more than one way to capture a skunk.

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?

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Special thanks to the Karen Ranney & Tasty Book Tours for sponsoring this tour-wide giveaway!
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  1. Thank you for hosting and Karen, fabulous post!!

  2. I just caught the comment that Karen had used Big Chief tablets to write in when she was young. I remember those big tablets with the red covers very vividly...and I used them to draw and write letters. Fond memory. And I liked Karen's listing of her three fave story parts. But I still do not know, however, what the "secret" was that Glynis kept from Lennox! What a tease! I guess I'll just have to read the whole story to find out ... Thanks for the post.