Karen Ranney Guest Blogs…

Today my guest is one of my favorite authors…Karen Ranney!

Karen’s latest release, A Scotsman in Love releases next month!


scotsmaninloveHere’s a blurb:

For three years, Margaret Dalrousie was the darling of the Russian Imperial Court, a painter renown for her ability to grant any subject beauty. When forced to flee Russia for home, she found refuge in a cottage on the edge of the abandoned Highland estate of Glengarrow.


Robert McDermott, Earl of Linnet, had remained in France following the deaths of his wife and daughter. Duty finally called him home to Scotland, but when he arrived, it was to find that not only had Glengarrow been allowed to fall into disrepair, but a strange and annoying woman insisted on disturbing his peace.


A Scotsman in Love is the tumultuous and passionate story of how two disparate souls find acceptance, then friendship, and finally love.


For an excerpt click here.


And now here’s Karen…




What makes a good book? 


To me, it’s a plot that makes sense.  I’m a very pragmatic person, so if the heroine does something foolish, I instantly find myself distanced from her.  If the hero does something stupid, I find it difficult to think of him as a hero.


The heroine has to be someone with whom I can identify.  Is she human?  Does she have flaws? Okay, she might be pretty, but does she sweat?  Please tell me she sweats, because I’ve actually known women who were perfect at all times, never even sweating in a south Texas summer in a car with the air conditioning on the fritz.  I hate women like that.


The hero has to be someone with whom I could fall in love. He can’t be foolish or cruel, and please don’t let him be stupid.  Does he blame all women for a woman betraying him ten years ago? Please.  Does he hate all women because his mother was a ho?  Please.  In other words, if he has a conflict issue, is it reasonable?  Or is he Peter Pan?  (Never going to grow up.)


Is there a long separation?  People aren’t butterflies flitting back and forth.  I like books where the protagonists are together.  Frankly, I also like books where the emphasis is on the main couple, and not oodles of secondary characters.


The love scenes have to advance the story.  I, frankly, love dialogue during sex, and not just what you would think (yeah, baby, yeah).  I’ve always said that it’s easy to write a sex scene, but damn difficult to write a love scene.


Is the conflict real?  And is it solved in a realistic fashion?


Do the characters grow during the book?  Have they learned anything? 


I don’t think I’m any more demanding than the average reader.  We all want to be entertained, maybe informed, and if we’re inspired along the way, so much the better.


Now, as far as A Scotsman in Love: Margaret Dalrousie isn’t interested in love and she’s got enough flaws to render her totally human.  But she learns, and she grows from her experiences.  Robert McDermott is surfacing from a grief that nearly destroyed him, and learning to live again is a painful process, made both easier and more difficult by Margaret’s presence in his life.  They’re forced together, and find themselves passionately attracted.  Love, however, unexpectedly comes to each of them, changing their lives, and giving them a future about which they never dared to dream.


If you get a chance to read the book, please let me know what you think – karen@karenranney.com


Thanks, Karen!

Readers, you can learn more about Karen and her books at:  http://www.karenranney.com

And while you are there be sure to enter her website drawing which can be found here.


In the meantime, Karen has donated a great prize today to one lucky commenter.  One winner will receive a copy of A Scotsman in Love (May, 2009) and a travel mug.


I’ll randomly select and announce the winner tomorrow (April 24) so leave a comment below and be sure to return to see if you won!


So Karen shared what makes a good book to her, what makes a good book to you?


22 Responses to Karen Ranney Guest Blogs…

  1. Pam P says:

    I’m a longtime fan of Karen’s books, too. For me in romance reading, it’s all about the hero and heroine and their chemistry, the dialog (love scenes and other), seeing the relationship develop through the interactions as the story progresses.

  2. For me its the connection to the characters. Do they have the same faults, the same ambitions, the same desire to reach and overcome adversity. If a writer can connect to me and speak to that inner self, then she has me hooked. After reading this blog, I’m definitely going to be looking for these books. Today is nice might be a great time to go out to the local bookstore purchase a copy then sit on the deck and have some “me time”.

  3. Crystal B. says:

    What makes a good book for me, is sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine.

  4. Roberta Harwell says:

    Hello Karen,

    Loved this post and the descriptions of the hero and heroine. They are the kind I like to read about. If a character doesn’t have flaws, what’s the point of reading about them. Have a great day.

  5. ruth says:

    Wonderful characters who lives matter to me and a beautifully written story. That would make the book captivating.

  6. RobynL says:

    a good book is where the hero and heroine are believable people with real life problems, down to earth and feel and love like we do.

  7. ann marie says:

    Hi Karen,
    Thank you for the post. I agree with everyone as above. What also makes a great book is the involvement of the secondary characters as well. Do they help advance a story or do they hurt it. Have a great day. 🙂

  8. Teresa W says:

    I love a book that captures me from the beginning and keeps me guessing till the end!

  9. Fedora says:

    Karen, I completely agree with your post–those things make a good book for me, too. I want a story where I care about the characters and what happens to them, and where I feel like the plot and character development are believable. And I like it to be well paced so that it doesn’t drag AND so I don’t feel like the end is just quickly tacked on. That’s not so much to ask, is it? 😉

    BTW, I really enjoyed The Devil Wears Tartan–that was a good book!

  10. Maureen says:

    The characters definitely have to make sense to me and I have to like them. When I start disliking the hero or heroine I know it’s time to put down the book. I will definitely be looking for this one.

  11. Pam P says:

    Fedora, The Devil Wears Tartan is a favorite for me as well; also, Till Next We Meet.

  12. cheryl c. says:

    Karen, this new book of yours is one that sounds like “a good book.” For me, a good book has a strong hero and heroine who have a special chemistry. Each has to have weaknesses or vulnerabilities that I can relate to. The plot has to be believable, easy to follow, and entertaining. I also enjoy some humor splashed throughout the story. When I finish a book, if it has touched my heart in some way, then it is a good book.

  13. Naomi says:

    I enjoy being able to ‘feel’ that the main characters belong together. Sounds weird, but if I have a hard time believing the two have things in common from the get-go, it’s difficult for me to invest time in the book. If, when I’m done with the book, I’m sad it’s done, and try to imagine what happens with the characters after

  14. Helen says:

    Thank you so much for having Karen visit today Jennifer.

    Hi Karen
    You are one of my favourite authors you are on my autobuy list and I have loved all of your books that I have read My Beloved is on my TBR pile waiting for me to read,
    I totally agree with you Karen on what makes a great book they take me to places I will probably never visit and the journey to the HEA keeps me enthralled and entertained I love them.
    I have ordered A Scotsman In Love and should have it in the next couple of weeks and am really looking forward to reading it

    Have Fun

  15. Lori Ann says:

    I enjoy books with good dialogue and character growth. Also for romances, I have to believe in the love story. I want to see why the two leads love each other and why their relationship will last over time. Their attraction has to be based on something more than just the physical aspect of their relationship. I like for characters to have some depth to them.

  16. karenranney says:

    Thank you all for your lovely words!

    I forgot to tell you that you can read Till Next We Meet for free on Avon’s Love Gives Back page until the end of April, I think. Here’s the link: http://www.harpercollins.com/Imprints/Avon/features/lovegivesback/index.aspx

    Also, they have a special sneak peek for several Avon books, among them A Scotsman in Love.


  17. Helen says:

    I loved Till Next We Meet so if anyone hasn’t read it yet you are in for a real treat

    Have Fun

  18. Quilt Lady says:

    Hi Karen I have never read your books but would love to. What makes a good book to me is one that catches me right off the bat and I set up until 3 am reading. That’s a good book. Historical are my favorite and then romantic suspense! I love getting into a book after about a chapter!

  19. Jane says:

    Congrats on the upcoming release. A good book has a great plot and it moves the story along. A good romance must show the emotion between the hero and heroine.

  20. Caffey says:

    Hi Karen! I so love reading historicals, especially those set in Scotland (and Regency and etc, LOL). They really just a wonderful comfort reads for me. I love to get lost within them! I haven’t had the joy to read yours yet but I so much must change that soon! I was recently chatting in a group and they were telling me all I was missing from some historical authors and yours was one of them! So good to chat with you!

  21. Lynda says:

    What makes a good book for me really depends on my mood and my expectations. The last really good book I read was a historical. Part of what made it good was that it was origional. The heroine starts out volunteering to settle a bet over which of two friends it the better lover. I won’t give away the plot but it had twists to it. In the end everyone has a HEA.

    For your books, Tapestry is my favorite.

  22. Penney says:

    Hi Karen, a good book to me is when the kids are in bed asleep and I can sit back in my recliner with a glass of ice tea and read without being bugged!
    Congratulations on your new book it sounds great I love the cover

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