Thursday, June 11, 2015

Renee Ryan Book List

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Interview with Renee Ryan
If you got your choice to live in a big city or a small town, what would it be?
 Can I choose something in between?  You know, say a college town or one with about 250,000 people.  Okay, I know, that would be cheating.  If pressed, I’d have to say big city.  I especially love New York City.  Whenever I visit I never get tired of the constant activity, the bright lights, the anonymity, always having something to do within walking distance.  Sign me up! 

Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
For the record, I always tell fellow authors to ignore reviews, especially online reviews.  Having said that, yes, I read reviews of my books.  I try not to look for them, but I seem to be one of those people who stumbles across them when I least expect it.  If it’s a good review I smile, sigh happily, pat myself on the back and then let the glow last as long as possible.  If it’s a bad review, I agonize.  I obsess.  I get mad.  I sometimes cry.  I am not a pretty crier. Hence my advice to other authors to avoid reading reviews.  Most of us just aren’t made for that much negativity thrown our way.  I recently came across a very ugly thread about one of my books, purely by accident of course.  It’s not important what the discussion was about or whether the readers had a point.  What stunned me most about the whole experience was that a well-known author, one I’ve always admired, joined in the rant.  It was very hurtful and completely unnecessary and has made me reassess how I feel about this person.  I stick by what I tell my fellow authors.  Ignore reviews!   If I say this often enough maybe one of these days I’ll follow my own advice.

What’s in your refrigerator right now?
Several bottles of water, milk, eggs, stale bread, a two-year old lean cuisine, iced tea, lemons, apples, diet coke and beer.  Now that my kids are out of the house, and my husband doesn’t come home until late, I no longer cook.  It’s very freeing.

I’m a genie, and I’ve just granted your three wishes.  What are they?
I would love to give humble answers, you know, like world peace and salvation for all.  But I’m going to go with something a little less serious today.
1.    Anything with chocolate, whether solid or liquid, has zero calories.
2.    I’m a perfect size 4 without diet or exercise.
3.    I have a permanent, live-in maid and chef.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
My grandfather was a great storyteller.  He could tell the same story over and over again and still make it seem fresh every time.  I never thought I would be able to do that, not without a lot of training.  Add to that, my only C in college was in my first (and only) Creative Writing course.  I never thought I’d acquire the necessary skills to pull off a career in writing, at least not where I would be able to produce the kind of books I loved to read.  But with a lot of persistence, workshops and rejections, I sold my first book to Dorchester through the inaugural New Historical Voice contest.  Now I’m working on my fourteenth contracted book.  A big dream has come true.  BIG one.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing/researching a book?
I knew, but didn’t really know, that the Jews weren’t Hitler’s only victims.  He sent other people groups, the mentally ill and many dissenters to the death camps to die right along with the Jews.  I feel as though many of those voices were truly silenced.

What question are you never asked in interviews, but wish you were? 
The names of my two cats, because there’s a story there.  My cats are Reggie and Leroy, thank you for asking, Judy.  They were named after two famous Green Bay Packer football players: Reggie White and Leroy Butler.  My husband and son brought the baby kitties home from the shelter but didn’t think to ask their gender.  Nor did they think to check.  A few months later, they took the “boys” to the vet to be neutered.  Both cats came home spayed!  Reggie and Leroy are girls.  We didn’t have the heart to change their names once we found out.  It’s all very confusing at our home.
The Charity House Series
Book 1: The Marshal Takes A Bride
 U.S. Marshal Trey Scott is fixin' to walk down the aisle just as soon as his stubborn bride-to-be agrees to say “I do.” Katherine Taylor's five-year-old sister and an orphanage full of children are depending on her. So why won't the pretty schoolteacher marry him to save her tarnished reputation? Granted, Trey isn't willing to abandon his quest to avenger his first wife's murder. His name alone will protect Katherine until he returns, but she thinks he should leave vengeance to a higher power. Will the sacrifice demanded by the woman he loves be too great to bear... or will it be Trey's ultimate redemption?
Book 2: Hannah's Beau
Hannah Southerland was disowned and asked to leave her legalistic father's home five years ago. Now that she was an actress, the good Reverend would have more reason to have nothing to do with her. Hannah was blessed that she had found herself in the presence of Patience and Reginald O'Toole all those years ago. They taught her acting, money management and to stay focused on the Lord. Their rogue of a son, Tyler,  was a bit more rebellious. When her twin sister, Rachel, came to see her Hannah hoped they could finally resolve the past. Hannah had always covered for Rachel and took the blame for her actions, which had her disowned. Instead of reconciling her sister takes off with Tyler the second day she is there. With the O'Toole's overseas Hannah's only choice is to search out their son the Reverend Beau O'Toole to help find the rebellious couple.
Beau has been sitting with his mother's old friend, Jane Goodwin. Once a beautiful actress now dying in a brothel. When the beautiful Hannah Southerland appears he can only see her as an actress with Jane's future and treats her so, condemns her to a life like Jane's before he knows her at all.
When they see how the other acts at Charity House, a home for children of the prostitutes, they each see a different side of the other. And after searching for their errant siblings other ideas come about. Beau thought he needed a steady old fashioned wife to fit in with his perfect church. Hannah could see the ministry he already had going to the saloons, brothels and other places those deemed non-sinners should not go to. To top it off, his new church that was to be built in Greely was in the hands of her father, the Reverend Thomas Southerland.
Two people floating through life, judged by not being as people thought they should be, can their faith anchor them and can they see what they are searching for in each other? 
Book 3: Loving Bella
Isabella Constance O'Toole is from a talented family. Unlike her brother, Beau from Hannah's Beau, the rest of the family went into the theater. Bella was moving up the ladder as an opera singer. While in London she had a Viscount for a suitor. On the night she thought he would ask her to marry him, she finds out he only wants a mistress. She runs away to Denver to be with her brother Beau. Bella keeps it to herself what happened with William, though as she feels everyone would look down upon her for not seeing through the mans true character and that she still had feelings for him even after she found out all the truth.

Dr. Shane Bartlett needed an assistant. His practice was growing so rapidly. Between the children of Charity House and the brothels, saloons and mining camps he needed help. Only all the nurses were appalled to think he dare ask them to work with sinners. Shane was raised by only his mother and he watched her die when he was sixteen and helpless, he would not turn away anyone who he could help now. When young Ethan Scott was hurt playing outside Charity House, Shane found himself an angel and an answer to prayer in the young woman who jumped in to help however she could.

Shane & Bella both had a past holding them back from the future, and maybe their future together. Bella just could not let go of her shame or share it with anyone that might help her. She found comfort in Maddie Silks brothel as she seen herself as soiled.

This is such a good series. Renee brings the characters from the early books back to visit in each book and also there are many life lessons. We don't know how some people have ended up where they are in life but we are called to share God's love with them and our own.
Book 4: The Lawman Claims His Bride
Logan Mitchell has returned to Denver after being in San Francisco for the past five years. Logan became a lawman to prove he was a better person than his brother Hunter who was an outlaw. He returned to claim Megan as his bride. She was too young when he left and he had some growing up to do as well. When he gets to Denver it is too find Megan in jail for murder. Logan does not believe for a minute that his sweet Megan could kill someone but it seems she has lost her memory. She cannot give any details of what happened and why she was at the house of ill repute.

Megan has been waiting for Logan's return for five long years and now that he has come back here she is in jail with no memory of what happened to her. She was a young woman of seventeen when he left and now she is more mature and a wiser woman and more in love with him than ever. Will their love have a chance or will she be found guilty.
Book 5: Charity House Courtship
Laney O’Connor has started Charity House for herself and the children like her….those who’s mothers were or are prostitutes. She wanted a home for them to live in rather than the brothels or saloons many were being raised in. Laney was determined to keep Charity House open, even when threatened with foreclosure. Seeing men in the negative sense growing up, Laney struggles to trust them. Even the very handsome hotel owner.

Marc Dupree had been duped by one woman five years ago. After she stole every penny he had he knew another woman would never get the best of him. Finding a woman of questionable character in his hotel he’s torn between hoping she’s really different and the memories from before where he never wants to trust another woman.

This is the 5th book but it brings us back to the beginning where Laney O'Connor meets Marc Dupree. A woman who don’t trust men and a man who don’t trust women….what does that equal? A very intriguing story. If you enjoy books within series, the previous four books in this series are good as well. The series is in the following order: The Marshal Takes A Bride, Hannah’s Beau, Loving Bella and The Lawman Claims His Bride. Going back to the beginning is always fun to me as I enjoy seeing a different side of the characters I already met in their own books.
**Received through NetGalley for review
Book 6: The Outlaw's Redemption
Hunter Mitchell has not lived a good life. Like the prodigal son he left home at a young age to find something he thought was missing. All he found was danger and the wrong path. After killing a man and serving two years in prison, he finds out he has a daughter. With the Lord back in his life and his past behind him, Hunter returns to Denver to start over, as a father.

Annabeth has been running from who she is most of her life. Using the name Smith when really she is Annabeth Silks, illegitimate daughter of the most infamous madam in Denver. After discovering she has a niece, she has made her home at Charity House as a teacher and to be with Sarah. When Hunter comes to town to claim his daughter, Annabeth plans to do what she can to stop the handsome outlaw from taking her only family away.

Charity House series continues with another heartwarming story of redemption and forgiveness. We meet Hunter in Book four, The Lawman Claims His Bride, where the two Mitchell brothers, Logan and Hunter, are on each side of the law, one for and the other against. A really good series. Charity House is an orphanage for the children of prostitutes, those not welcome anywhere else.
**Received through NetGalley for Review
Book 7: Finally A Bride
Molly Taylor Scott has loved once and lost. He chose leaving for school over her. Since then she’s had two failed engagements and is whispered about through out Denver. What chance did she ever really have being born of a mother who worked in a brothel and later became a madam? And what about the little lies and secrets she is keeping?

Garrett Mitchell wanted to be known as more than just another Mitchell boy who made his way as a lawyer because of his family. Yet, here he is back in Denver, by his family. And his one and only love, Molly. After six months of doing his best to keep his distance, her employer throws the two of them together. When Beatrix Singletary decides something, it happens. And she has decided that Garrett and Molly belong together.
A really good series that is worth reading from book one.
**Received through NetGalley for review
Book 8: His Most Suitable Bride
Callie Mitchell has been hiding herself for years, hiding her true beauty. She was fine staying on the sidelines until her new employer decides that as her companion Callie needs the nice clothes and hairstyles. The woman has also pushed Callie into helping find a wife for Denver’s most eligible bachelor. Her sister’s ex-fiance.

Reese Bennett Jr. has it pointed out that his reputation is in need of softening, something a wife would help with. He will not marry for love and thought he had chosen a suitable woman, but he had been wrong. Now he has Callie helping him to find a wife and somehow she is more beautiful each time he sees her. But Reese is a man in control and he has his lists. Including a list of what he wants in a bride and it does not include a blond with sea green eyes. Or does it?
Book 9: The Marriage Agreement
Charity House is a home run by the Dupree’s and they take in the unwanted children of prostitutes. Each book in this series has characters somehow connected to the home. I have enjoyed getting to know all the unique characters and the author continues with her intriguing stories in this book. Looking forward to the next story already.

Jonathan Hawkins is a rags to riches story. The rags part of his life is what rules him, his past. Because of that past he has vowed never to marry or have children. But if he was a different man with a different past, he knows just the woman he would want in his life.

Fanny Mitchell had always been known as the beautiful Mitchell daughter. She pleased everyone. After breaking her marriage engagement and causing a scandal, she had run away. After returning a year ago, she has reinvented herself. With all the work she has done at the Dupree Hotel, people will see her with new eyes when they attend the charity ball. Oops, things don't quite turn out as she hoped.

I love this series and couldn't put this book down once I started reading. The Charity House is a home for children who aren't quite orphans, they are children of prostitutes. Jonathan was one of those children, his character really grabbed my heart. Each book is stand-alone but if you enjoy series, I encourage you to read the previous eight stories as well.

**Received from author for an honest review
WWII Books
Not a series
Book 1: Dangerous Allies

This book takes place in Nazi, German from November 1939 to February 1940. Renee's writing brings you to be part of the espionage, slinking through enemy territory, watching every dark corner and every word spoken. Never knowing who is friend or enemy and knowing all the walls have ears.

Jack Anderson is an American working with the British. Freidrich Reiter was sent to kill Jack and impersonate him but the table turned and now Jack is undercover as this soulless killer Herr Reiter. He no longer believes that God loves him, how could He after the life Jack has lived the past two years even if it was to save lives. Jack is now on his next mission. He is not sure who to trust, is he being set up and is this beautiful actress friend or foe. He can only move forward with caution.

Katarina Kerensky is a Russian princess. Her genes have blessed her with beauty and poise. She seen her father die when she was a young girl and now her mother, Elena, Katia were in exile here in Germany. They had a deep secret that if found out would mean their death. That is why Katia is working with the British to conquer the Germans and to get her mother out of this place. She has become a famous actress. People love to come and see her die on the stage every night. Tonight she will meet with her new contact.

Katia and Jack were ready to meet in her dressing room when her mother shows up. Something she has never done before. Elena'a escort was Hermann Schmidt, a strong Nazi who followed all the rules. Seeing him made Jack more suspicions of Katarina. It made Katia wonder why her mother would be with such a man.

Katarina's acting abilities help her seem like a ditsy woman. It comes in handy often. Jack sees through her though and within the three days they must work together they start to trust each other. Through Katia's bravery and courage Jack starts returning to his Christian roots as does Katarina.   
Book 2: Courting the Enemy
The setting is June 1943 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Savannah Klein Elliot had been betrayed by her husband and then he died. She returned to her parents and now they were throwing her a party at the Country Club. How could people celebrate when there was a war going on? It seemed they removed themselves from it just because it was not happening here on their soil. She was also uncomfortable because this group knew when Johnny died in a car crash and he was not alone in the car.

She was planning on leaving when her father requested she at least dance one time, unfortunately he wanted her to dance with Peter Sorensen, her father's assistant who she did not trust one lick. William Klein had changed the last few years under Peter's influence. She did dance with Peter and then with a new arrival, Trent Mueller.

Trent Mueller, a spy for the US, has come to gain Savannah's trust. She was suspected as a sympathizer as her father was. They knew there was a plan to destroy several businesses in this area that were important for the war against Hitler. Savannah worked at one of the shipyards, a job her father got for her, most likely to help in their plans to destroy it. When Savannah's friend and Trent's partner, Kate, pointed out his query while they danced, Trent thought she was one of the most beautiful women ever, still she was just part of his mission, nothing else. He kept trying to convince himself of that as he danced the next waltz with Savannah.

Savannah knew after Johnny's betrayal she should not trust a handsome, smooth talking man but she could not help but be drawn to Trent. He seemed to be hiding something but she kept setting it aside as the cynical person she became since the accident six months ago. Within a few days she was already falling in love with him despite all her warnings to herself.

Trent continually reminded himself of his mission and that he still did not know if Savannah was innocent or not. Within war times trust was a tough commodity.

Operation Pastorius was a real plan to sabotage key targets in the US in WWII. Two of the men involved were Americans who sympathized with Hitler. Their plans failed.

Book received through NetGalley for review.
Village Green Series
Offering love, faith and a place to call home in Colorado
Book 1: Claiming the Doctor's Heart
Unexpected Love 
After losing her high-powered job, Olivia Scott finds herself back home in Colorado. She never imagined she'd be taking care of kids, let alone being the nanny to longtime crush Dr. Connor Mitchell's adorable twin girls. But what began as a favor to the handsome widower is growing into something more. Connor's confused by his growing feelings for his best friend's little sister. She's become a beautiful woman with a caring soul, but he can't risk his—or his girls'—heart. Olivia's planning to head back to her city life. Unless this small-town doctor can convince her to stay…forever. 
Stand Alone Book

Homecoming Hero
 Hailey O'Brien plans on being a missionary in the Middle East. Her brother Clay had fought in the war there and after his vehicle came under attack he lost his life. Hailey wanted to do her part by bringing the Gospel to the people her brother fought to help.

Ty Wolfson, or Wolf to his friends, held his friend Clay as he lay dying. Clay's last request was to go to his little sister and talk her out of going to the mission field alone. From the picture Clay carried of his sister Wolf figured she must still be a teenager and was surprised to find a green eyed beauty instead.

Wolf cannot easily talk Hailey out of the mission trip so he goes with her to the classes and volunteers to train the group in survival tactics. JT Wagner is the missions pastor and even though Wolf don't want to get close to him, or God, he ends up opening to JT, who was also in the war and understands what Wolf is going through. The guilt of surviving when their men did not is tough on these men.

Wolf takes Hailey to the areas near her own Savannah mansion to show her the needs of people. The soup kitchens and homeless people within walking distance. Wolf hopes to convince her not to feel the need to go further.  

Multi-Author Series
From: After the Storm: The Founding Years
Book 2: Heartland Wedding
 Rebecca Gunderson is treated rudely just because she is from Norway. She and her brother have lived in High Plains, Kansas for awhile now and she has made only a few friends.

Pete Benjamin has been mourning and living in guilt for a year now. His wife Sarah died in childbirth as well as his son.

As the tornado hits Rebecca

The nasty and gossipy mercantile owner's wife, Matilda Johnson, has a hate for Rebecca

What happens in most of the book is related to the nasty women gossip.
Irish Brides Series

Book 2: The Mistaken Bride by Renee Ryan
The Wrong Bride..the Right Woman?
When William Black's mail-order bride fails to appear at the Boston docks, he's relieved when beautiful, vibrant Bridget Murphy steps in. However, she has a surprise in store. She will be a temporary nanny to his young twins...but she will not marry without love.
Faith Glen, Massachusetts, is worlds away from the poverty Bridget knew in Ireland. And William Black couldn't be more different from her faithless ex-fiance. Yet that integrity Bridget so admires binds William to a promise that could keep them apart forever. In this new land of opportunity, does she dare to wish for a happy ending?
Journey West Series
Book 3: Wagon Trail Proposal
For the sake of his children...
A marriage of convenience? Rachel Hewitt couldn't possibly accept. Not even for the sake of three adorable little girls who desperately want a new mother. Sheriff Tristan McCullough offers Rachel a home and family, but not the one thing she truly seeks--someone to love her for herself.

Tristan McCullough hoped to find a wife on the wagon train, not a nanny. The hardworking widower wants a marriage without emotional risks. But independent Rachel intrigues him. One minute she's winning over his shy little girls, and the next she's tackling danger head-on. She might just be Tristan's unexpected second chance at happiness...if he'll risk his wary heart again.
Lone Star Cowboy League: The Founding Years -  Book 1: Stand-in Rancher Daddy


  1. Hi Judy,

    WOW, thank you for putting up my book list. I hope you enjoy Courting the Enemy. I really love the WWII setting, mainly because my father is a WWII vet. Talk about fun research. I get to sit around and listen to his stories (p.s. he's a great storyteller)!



  2. It runs in the family than Renee, you tell your stories very well too, even if they are more fiction than your fathers!

  3. What a fun and unique interview.

    Sadly, I am EXACTLY the same way with reviews. I tell everyone to never read them, but inevitably, I end up reading more of mine than I want to. I used to really obsess about the bad ones and I remember one day curling up into a ball and thinking my writing life AND my actual life was over. There was just that much venom in it. But then I realized, what the heck am I doing? The best revenge on a bad review is to write another best seller! Works every time.

    1. Rose, what a great way to look at reviews. Write another best selling book!

  4. Laura AKA Loves 2 Read RomanceJanuary 10, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Thanks for sharing with us Renee! I would love to win any of the Charity House books since I don't have any of them. Cute story about the cats. My Uncle had a cat named Nada as in Nada girl like they originally told him. I try as a reader not to write nasty reviews. Just because I don't like a book doesn't mean someone else won't love it. We all have different tastes in what we read. I get annoyed when people bash a book because it's "religious" or go off on an author for not catching the villain. Did they ever stop and check to see if the book was part of a series or research the publisher to see if the book series is going to have a religious undertone?

    1. Laura, book 4 in the Charity House series is free at Amazon right now. The Lawman Claims His Bride.

    2. Laura AKA Loves 2 Read RomanceJanuary 11, 2014 at 8:35 PM

      Thanks for the info. I don't have an e-reader but maybe I can have my brother download it to his and let me borrow his device. Also I totally forgot to put my e-mail address.


    3. Laura, I love, love, love that cat name...Nada girl is adorable! I have a writer friend who says once the book is published it belongs to the readers not the author. I think that's very wise. I don't expect every reader to love my books. I even expect some to hate them. That's why it's best to send my baby out in the world and avoid reading reviews. ;-)

  5. If I can't find anything positive to say in a review, I won't leave one. And it's one thing to not enjoy a book and leave a low star, but the issue these days is more like the reviewer is out to destroy the author. They condemn the author themself not the book. As a reviewer, my reviews have been attacked. I must be a friend or relative because this person hates the book (and author it seems) so everyone must, meaning my reviews (to them) are not truthful. Some people just have way too much time on their hands. Grrrr. Off my soapbox.

    1. Judy, well said! I believe you can never be too nice or smile too much.

  6. I love the sound of all of these books! I am going to have to check them out. I love writing reviews for books I've read, but I could not imagine writing a negative review. If I don't like a book, I won't leave a review. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean someone else won't.
    tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

    1. Sally, that's so true. Fiction is sooo subjective.

  7. ooo I haven't read any of your books ...YET... but I've got at least 2 in my que on my Kindle... and they are coming up SOON to be devour! Can not wait to read The Marshall take a Bride and next up will be The Lawman Claims his Bride! Thanks to Judy's page.. I found you!

    1. Hello, Scottishmistinmass (love that name!). I hope you enjoy the books!

  8. I am right there with you for Wish #3! That truly would be great, it would leave me way more time to read my ever growing TBR list! I got "The Lawman Claims his Bride" before I saw you here, with many of the others on my wish list. Wonderful interview- love the cat story.

    1. Hi Lisa! Thanks for stopping by. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could read all day long????

  9. Renee is a new author for me. And I like several of these books! Love finding new authors! Thanks Judy!!

    1. Hi Donna! I'm a reader, too. And I agree. Nothing more exciting than finding a new author!

  10. I love your wishes mine would probably be the same except I would have to change one to living somewhere warmer. My kids are all finally gone too but I still have to cook because my husband doesn't come home from work that late. The series of books you are giving away sound awesome. Thanks for the giveaway and good luck everyone. I have never read any of your books before so I will have to look for copies of your books. Have a great day everyone!

    1. Hi Gail. We just left Savannah, GA for Nebraska. Since I love, love, love snow I'm excited to be here. Of course, if I'd spent my entire life up here I might think differently. For now, I'm enjoying the weather.

  11. Just a reminder that if you don't use your full name to where we can find you on the Facebook party page, then leave an email or some way to contact you if you win. Thanks.