Today my guest is one of my favorite authors…Karen Ranney!
Karen’s latest release, A Scotsman in Love releases next month!
Here’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?
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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?