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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Writing About History by Karen Ranney
When writers write, they create worlds, worlds formed by the imagination. Unlike a science fiction writer or a paranormal writer, however, a historical romance writer is confined by history. We can’t make the Regency happen in the 17th century or Pearl Harbor in 1850. We have to abide by the constraints of the facts.
It’s world building with a twist.
It’s fantasy with roots in reality.
Instead of being a constraint, however, I think of history as a treasure chest filled with jewels of information, any one of them sparking the imagination.
The Sinclair series (The Devil, the Witch, and the Virgin of Clan Sinclair) is based on a real fact. A man, schooled in the newspaper business, realized that cleaning type with ether made it cold. He went on to develop an ice making machine. I took that information and had Magrath Sinclair be the entrepreneur who created an empire and a dynasty.
To Love a Scottish Lord grew out of something I read about India and how prisoners were treated in the 18th century.
My Beloved was based on the legend of the Cathars, and misinformation about leprosy.
A Borrowed Scot began when I read something about a Virginian being the heir of a Scottish title.
Last year, I was intrigued by the history of a paddlewheeler on the Mississippi, enough to investigate the shipyards on the Clyde in Scotland. To my surprise, I discovered that they were instrumental in building iron clad ships for the Confederate Navy to run the Union blockade. What would happen if the hero was a shipbuilder and the heroine had just returned from the United States? The Civil War would come to Scotland, in a way. That’s the basis of In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams.
(Did you also know that the only Civil War monument outside of the United States stands in Edinburgh?)
Something I read about an English peer going to fight in the Civil War formed the basis for Scotsman of My Dreams (August, 2015). The way he picked on which side in the fight is also part of history.
In other words, each one of my books has some significant historical detail that begins the writing process for me. It asks the question, “What if?” and makes me answer it.
I once read that we’re all born with the idea that history begins with our birth. That’s as far back as a lot of us go.
Readers of historical romance know that an entire world exists for us to explore, one not limited by history as much as fueled by it.
Thank you, Karen, for stopping by Brooke Blogs today! I really enjoyed your post, and I know my readers will, too. Historical romance is one of my favorite genres to read and I loved reading more about your character and world building.
About the Author
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.