Thursday, August 19, 2010

Author Interview - Renee Vincent

 Renee's Winner is......
Tammy Morse....Congratulations!!!

Thank you so much for joining us for the launch party for the much acclaimed Renee Vincent...and the release of Raeliksen! We are taking you back to the 10th century, Ireland to be exact, and thank you for dressing appropriately! Please, carefully make your way up the stairs and our hero will guide you out  to the garden overlooking the ocean for our party! 

Deanna:  Renee, I'm so excited that you're here today. I know you are very busy with the release of this book. Our readers are anxious to get acquainted. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

Renee:  I was born and raised in Kentucky and couldn’t think of living anywhere else—well, maybe Ireland. I have no trouble imagining me writing in a summer cottage off Ireland’s west coast, but only through the months of May, June, and July. Beyond that, I’d be too cold.

I have two beautiful daughters who keep me very busy, but I wouldn’t change being their mother for the world. They are honestly the light of my life. Like myself, they enjoy horseback riding and we often go trail riding as a family.

I live on a hundred acre farm with my wonderful husband of almost seventeen years and it is a great place to find inspiration. Most mornings, you can find me on the shore of our lake just outside our home—with a cup of hot coffee in hand for sure.

Deanna:  What made you want to become a writer?

Renee:  I have always wanted to be a writer, but once I got to college, things changed and somehow, I found myself taking a different path. I acquired a degree in Radiologic Technology and worked at Children’s Hospital for three years on the night shift, which was mostly trauma and surgery given it was a Level 1 Trauma Center.

Once I worked with kids, I knew I wanted to remain in a career that involved children, but a job that was more family friendly. Night shift in x-ray had its perks, but not if you wanted to start a family of your own. At least not for me, anyway. So, I left the medical field and tried my hand in education—teaching pre-school children, that is.

I taught for nine years during which I had my first child. Once my second was born, I became a stay-home mommy. And at that moment I realized this was the perfect time for me to finish a love story I had been working on since I first got married.

Now realize, this story had many versions and many deletions before I sat down to write on it again. In the past, I couldn’t get past a few chapters before I ripped the paper out of the typewriter (yes, that’s right, a typewriter) and threw it in the trash. Later on, it was the delete button as I wrote and saved to a floppy disk.

Anyway, to make a long story short, my little sister was the only one who read the first chapter and she told me to finish it. I never really paid much attention to those words until a few months later when she died in a tragic car accident on the way to college. What made it worse, was she passed on my daughter’s birthday.

We had a difficult time getting through those first few months, but I must say, I did better than most as I had a place for my pain and anguish. I poured all of that into the book as I remembered my sister’s words—finish the love story!

After a year it was complete, but I never submitted to a publisher or agent. It was not about making a writing career for myself. It was about finishing the story and making it available to everyone in the world who just might want to read it.

So I self-published it—Ræliksen—and amazingly, it took off. I have my sister to credit for that. She had lit a spark within me which didn’t fizzle out. I designed a website, blog, and hit all the social networking sites I could, working hard at creating a name for myself in the big sea of authors.

And finally, my hard work paid off. This year I signed a 3-book deal with Turquoise Morning Press which included the re-release of Ræliksen (with a hot new cover), its sequel, Mac Liam, and the third book in the Emerald Isle Trilogy. I couldn’t be happier with this opportunity! And I have my dearest sister, Lindsey, to thank for it.

Deanna:  What an amazing series of events. I’m sorry to hear about your sister, but what an inspiration to finish your novel. I’m sure our readers are glad you finished it also. For privacy issues, some author write under a different name. Do you write under a pen name?

Renee:  Yes, my pen name is Renee Vincent. I took my middle name and my husband’s middle name to form it.

Deanna:  Your characters seem so real, especially your hero, Dægan. Is there a certain type of character that is easier to write than another?

Renee:  Great question, Deanna. For me, I love to write the Alpha Male hero and for some reason, it is easier for me to write that point of view than any other. I guess it’s because I prefer heroes over heroines when I read romances. I can always remember the heroes’ names and rarely the heroines. That’s just me.

In general, I find men to be more interesting—the way they think, react, and the way they love a woman, especially when they are trying hard not to. I love how they stick to a decision and always retain a sense of honor within that choice. And let’s not forget the great physical aspects of the male—their hard muscular bodies. I mean what romance fan doesn’t like a flat, rippled stomach, broad shoulders, and a hard-walled male chest?

Hmm…did I just digress from the question?

Deanna:  Some have said an author shouldn’t read in their own genre for fear of writing like someone else. Do you read in the same genre that you write in?

Renee:  If it’s romance, I read it. Now, I used to only read historical romances since I preferred the sword-wielding, horse-riding, roguish warrior heroes. But lately, I’ve read some really great contemporaries and honestly, I’m suddenly taking a liking to the modern day hero. So much, in fact, that I’m working on a contemporary romance myself. It’s a work-in-progress, but I hope to release it next year sometime with Turquoise Morning Press.

Deanna:  As an author, have you ever experienced writer's block?

Renee:  Many times! But I don’t let it discourage me. I stop writing for a while, whether it is hours, days, or even weeks, and eventually the descriptions or dialogue come to me. I'm never at a loss for words, just sometimes at a loss for the perfect words.

Deanna:  Have you ever given thought to writing in another genre besides romance? 

Renee:  Yes, I have actually—a Children's Chapter Book. My 12 year old daughter has asked on several occasions if I'd write a book she could read. I haven't made any promises, but I'd love to surprise her one day.

Places to find Renee Vincent:
     (opening these links will take you away from this interview. Open in a new tab)

Romance Books “R” Us -  (Blogs on the 21st of every month)

Yahoo! Groups:

Deanna:  I love the story line, the characters and the way you write. OK, I love everything about the book! LOL Without spoiling too much of the story, can you tell us a bit about Ræliksen?

Renee:  I’d love to.

Ræliksen is a romance novel, but we’ve categorized it as Historical Fiction With Strong Romantic Elements simply because it has a surprise ending. As a historical author, I take great pride in my research and wanted to depict the true way of life back in the 10th Century. I wanted to present the brutal yet romantic aspects of European history, while giving my readers a story they would long remember, even after another book is opened.

I strongly encourage my fans to read the new published version of Ræliksen because it has been re-edited in order to tighten the POV within it. Plus, it will contain the first chapter of Mac Liam—which I must admit is very steamy!

For those who have not read the first version of Ræliksen, there are two men who love Mara, my Irish maiden. One, being Dægan Ræliksen, a Norse warrior who saves her life from a group of warring Vikings hell-bent on fighting the Irish kings for control over Dublin’s port. The other is an Irishman, Breandán Mac Liam.

Ræliksen is a love story featuring the Norse hero’s struggle to love and protect Mara, while Mac Liam is the Irishman’s account, only seven years later.

Here is the blurb to Ræliksen:

Mara, the daughter of an Irish clansman, was raised to believe the men of the North are heathens - murderous pagans without a moral bone in their bodies. Despite warnings of the Northmen's raids, and the growing threat of another incursion, Mara is continually drawn to her favorite place - the River Shannon.

Dægan Ræliksen, a wealthy chieftain from Norway's frozen fjords, secretly discovers Mara at the water's edge. He is charmed by her beauty and sensuous grace. As the days pass, his contentment with simply watching her grows thin. He can no longer deny his unabated desire for the young maiden. His search for a wife has ended.

However, Mara and Dægan come face-to-face in a time when Ireland is in turmoil - when every Irishman is being called up to fight against the Nordic foreigners. In these times of upheaval, how can Dægan make peace with Mara's father and acquire the woman he treasures? Furthermore, can Mara move past her fears and find the noble man within the savage?


The door of the bathhouse flung open and the two staggered in from under Dægan’s cloak, locked in each other’s arms. Once inside, Dægan kicked the door closed while still delving into her eager kiss and fumbling to find the cursed lock on the door.

Mara already started feeling the warmth of the wood and stone room soak through her, grateful for the oddity of the Norse’s bathing habits as they had put a stagnant, sweltering atmosphere to good use.

Unable to leave her kiss, Dægan whipped his sodden cloak across the room and removed his boots and kirtle, heavy, too, with rain, dropping them carelessly on the bench behind him. The slapping collapse of his wet garment seemed to slow his wild spontaneity to an attentive act of seduction. The glow of the amber flame, in the corner of the room softened the rigid bones of his face, but it did nothing to ease the callousness of his smile as he circled her.

Her braid, he moved to the side and breathed in carefully the smell of her body, the way the oils from yesterday’s bath harmoniously mixed with the nostalgia of the Erin rain. His breath came soft and hot behind her ear, while his hands snaked tenderly around her throat and down below her chin to undo the two brooches at her chest.

Without her realizing, he had released the jeweled clasp and chain, and let the drenched fine cloak fall heavily to the ground, and then he went to work, undoing the laces of her dress. He was talented with his hands, being able to trace the thin vertical line of her spine that connected her slender neck to her finely widened hips with one, while stripping her from her gown with the other, letting it too, fall to the floor.

He slowly turned her around to face him, not shy in dropping his eyes to her glistening chest. There was another smile on his face, one of kinder birth than before, as he intimately seemed to memorize each curve of her blushing body.

Likewise, Mara let her eyes plummet to his waist, seeing his arousal as visible as a winter moon. But her innocent glance must have become an inseparable stare, for he stepped closer, asking, “Do I frighten you?”

Mara lugged her eyes from his midriff to his face. “Nay, Dægan…”

Her voice trailed as he slowly neared her face, eye to eye, mouth to mouth, until suddenly his lips pressed so gingerly against hers, endearing at first, then greedily as the kiss lengthened. He coiled his arm around her back as his other hand slid over the silken skin of her buttocks, pulling her close enough to nestle his hardened body against the soft of hers.

Dægan fell away from her lips. “May I?”

Mara lifted her brows in wonder. “May you what?”

Without taking his eyes from her, he dragged a bucket of water across the floor with his foot. “May I show you how sufficient a few buckets of water can be?”

Mara hesitated at the thought of him bathing her. It was quite a personal thing to bathe another, more so between lovers, and how difficult it would be to stand there and let it happen. “Dægan…”

He dropped to his knees, sliding his hands down the back of her legs, tarrying around her thighs. “Please?”

A nervous smile crept in slowly. “You make it very hard for me to forbid you of anything.”

Dægan’s reaction to those words nearly sent her heart to slam out of beat as his eyes befit well the scoundrel smile he flashed in response. Before she could even think to change her mind, he dunked the soap into the bucket and lifted her foot to his knee, rubbing her calf and shins with the bubbly lather. After cleaning her entire right leg, he wasted no time in doing the left, and then stood to lather her stomach, breasts and arms, taking great care to be gentle.

And overly thorough.

Nervously, Mara lifted her chin as he crept up her neck and around her shoulders, finding it amazingly difficult to look him in the eye, for having a man actually cleaning and caressing every part of her body without a cause for shame was more than she expected this night. Every sweep and slippery stroke of his hands coerced a desire low in her stomach, an aching that consumed her every thought. She closed her eyes, following the enjoyable play of his hands as he left no part of her untouched.

All too soon, she found him pressed against her soapy body, whisking her near-orgasmic daydream away with one wolfish smile.

“My turn.”

Mara couldn’t breathe, but the lack of oxygen hardly inhibited her mind from inventing an excuse. “Have you not already had your bath this evening?”

“Not by the pleasure of your hands.”

Dægan gathered them, along with the soap, and placed them on his chest. “Come now, love. Touch me.”

Deanna:  Um.....ah....whew! Renee, that was a beautiful piece to share with us. I'm hooked and yes, that took MY breath away. Is it just me or is it getting warm here in the garden? Now, where were we.....(another deep breath) Uumm....Is there something you’d like to ask your readers as you promote this new re-release of Ræliksen?

Renee:  Indeed! I would like to know what makes a book stand out from all the rest in your mind? Is it the hot steamy sex scenes? The plot? The cover? The writer’s attention to detail? You tell me. What makes you, as a reader, remember a book long after it is closed and another is opened?

Deanna:  Readers, there you have it - ask and respond to Renee's request. We want to know your thoughts!

I’m breathless with anticipation to read this book to the end. I love the historical novels from Ireland, Scotland and England! You’ve been commended on the amount of research you’ve done for this series; I also like the way you sprinkle sexual tension throughout your writings. I’m so proud to be your friend and fan, Renee! Thank you so much for being with us these two days.

Renee:  Deanna, I'm honored to be here and share this time with our readers. So many have stopped in to be with us and I want to thank each and every one of you!

Deanna:  Readers, this launch party would not have been a success without your attendance, so both of us thank you for stopping in. We hope you’ve enjoyed your time here. Below are Renee’s instructions for her contest that you will NOT want to miss entering. Here is what’s in store for the winner:

 - signed copy of the old version of Raeliksen
- winner’s choice of the format of the NEW Realiksen
- book plates and book marks
- a Turquoise bracelet specially handmade by Kristy's Kreations for this occasion


- click and you’ll be taken to her website where you will complete the entry form for her contest. Be sure to put ‘blog contest’ in the subject line.