Posted by Lena Diaz
When I first started writing, I was fortunate to meet and become friends with several writers who became my mentors and helped set me on the “write” path. One of the most influential was Gail Ranstrom.
Gail, aside from being one of the nicest people I know, is an incredible writer of emotional, unique, suspenseful historical romances. I am honored to welcome her today on Kiss and Thrill.
Passion and deadly secrets…
On the run from British troops, American Revolutionary War spy Ryan Straughn forces Emily Nevins to hide him on her English farm. But Emily already keeps secrets that could mean her demise if discovered. Nevertheless as the long night wears on, attraction sizzles and they give in to unexpected passion, sure they’ll never see each other again…
Deception and desire…
A chance encounter in London society stirs heated memories of their sensual night together. They begin a heady dance of suspicion and desire. Though sympathetic to the struggling Colonists, Emily cannot trust a traitorous spy who may expose her dangerous intrigues. And Ryan risks his very life by trusting a woman privy to his true loyalties. But they are unable to deny their need for one another, even as Emily’s secrets are about to be exposed, and the noose around Ryan’s neck grows tighter. Betrayal and love…
And now someone has discovered both their secrets. The price of silence? Betrayal. Of their causes, their love, their futures. In the end, lives will be lost and sacrifices made. Their choice is impossible. Which will they surrender—their lives…or their hearts?
(shiver) Doesn’t that sound awesome? At the end of this post is an excerpt to whet your appetite for this delightful story even more, but for now, let’s get to know Gail a little bit better. And if you happen to notice a couple of gorgeous outdoor pictures sprinkled in the interview, they are from Gail’s home in beautiful Montana.
Lena: Your website describes you as an author of “Regency Noir”. Can you tell us a little bit about what you mean by that?
Gail: I’d love to! Traditional Regencies are shorter, sweeter and more about life, customs, manners and courtship in ‘polite’ society from roughly 1800 to 1820. Most often the plot revolves around misunderstandings and very sweet romances—the bedroom door is closed very tight. Regency Noir, or dark Regencies, deal with the grittier side of the Regency period—the side that was rarely spoken of or acknowledged in ‘polite’ society. The ‘real life’ that played out in the shadows. My stories deal with mystery, suspense and romance about people who walk the fine line between these two worlds. Occasionally polite, rarely sweet, and always dangerous.
Lena: (I can personally attest to the gritty, suspenseful nature of Gail’s books since I have read ALL of them. They are truly awesome.) Your newest release – SWEET TREASON, is a bit different from what you’ve written in the past. What inspired you to write a historical with an American Revolutionary hero?
Gail: It is different. But after writing in the Regency era with characters who are British to the core, I yearned for a bigger conflict. What could be more different than an American spy and a privileged English farmer’s daughter? The conflict could not be more fundamental than one’s core beliefs. Examining and adjusting those beliefs can be both dangerous and painful.
Lena: (I can’t wait to read this book!) Your website lists a series called the Wednesday League, and another one about the Hunter Brothers. Can you tell us a little about these series and whether they are connected?
Gail: Yes, all the novels are somewhat connected. They all stand alone, but they take place in the same world with characters who may (or may not) reappear. The first four books are the Wednesday League novels, about a group of women who, pretending to be a book club, secretly aid other women who have been somehow ‘wronged’ by society achieve some sort of justice. The Hunter Brother novels deal with the brothers of one of the women from the Wednesday League. They are involved in service to either the Home Office or the Foreign Office, and their stories tend to deal with the London underworld.
Lena: (The Wednesday League is such fun and includes bow street runners and clandestine meetings in the backs of milliner’s shops. LOVE these books.) What’s the next project readers can expect from you?
Gail: Back to the Regency. I’ve had reader requests for Lord Marcus Wycliffe’s story, and I’m well under way with that. I think, no matter what I may branch out to do, I’ll always come back to the Regency. I feel at home there.
Lena: Have you ever been to England? Tell us about it.
Gail: Yes! England is wonderful, and best of all, we speak the same language (sort of) and the natives are friendly. My ancestral roots are there. My brother lives in Oxfordshire. I intend to go back as many times as I can. There’s always something new to see or do. Every time I’ve gone, I’ve made little side trips – once to Ireland (St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin—what a party! I marched with the Sullivans in the parade) and another time took the fast train to Edinburgh for the MiltaryTattoo (there’s just something about bagpipes and a man in a skirt). Next time I’m going to take the Chunnel to Paris. Fun, eh? And there are so many sites that it makes my head spin. Bath, Stonehenge, Winchester, Penzance, Mousehole, St. Ives, Avesbury, Brighton, I could go on and on. But I think my favorite excursion was to a little village called Great Tew, where I stayed at the Falkland Arms (http://www.falklandarms.co.uk/index.htm#), a thatched roof public house in operation since the time of Henry VIII. Good friends, good food, good beer. Can it get any better? I actually wrote the Falkland Arms into one of my novellas, A Christmas Secret in the anthology, A Christmas Visit.
Lena: Are you a Downton Abbey fan? If so, who are your favorite characters? And what have you found to be the most shocking or surprising thing in the series so far?
Gail: I loved it. I watched Season 1 faithfully, then the first few episodes of Season 2, then was traveling for the rest and sort of fell off the grid. I have promised myself I’m going to get all the seasons and re-watch Season 1 and continue through 3 this winter when the Montana snow is flying outside my window, and before Season 4 premiers on January 5th. Until then… I think Mary is my favorite with Mr. Bates and Cora running close seconds. Matthew, though, was rising in my esteem when I left off. As for shocking…that whole debacle with the Italian count…need I say more?
Lena: (I won’t spoil Gail’s enjoyment of Downton Abbey by telling her there is something far more shocking in a later season that happens to Matthew – ARGH!) Is there any other genre you write or would like to write in the future?
Gail: I’m playing with an idea for a contemporary series featuring women with superhuman skills—not supernatural or paranormal, but heightened natural powers. Those of you who watch Stan Lee’s Superhumans know what I mean. For those of you who don’t, http://www.history.com/shows/stan-lees-superhumans/about .
Lena: What would surprise readers the most about you?
Gail: I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon and I’m a damn good shot! (Bear spray only works when you’re up-wind! Did I mention I live in Montana?)
Lena: (Remind me to always be nice to Miss Ranstrom and her concealed weapon!) Quick question/answer drill follows…
Lena: Cats or Dogs? Gail: Dogs
Lena: Beaches or Mountains? Gail: Beaches
Lena: Favorite food? Gail: Chocolate
Lena: Favorite TV show? Gail: Argh! NCIS? Castle? I can’t decide.
Lena: Chicken or Steak? Gail: Chicken
Lena: Favorite book ever? Gail: THE SOURCE, by James Michener
Wasn’t that fun? I hope you enjoyed getting to know Gail Ranstrom a little better. Buy links and an excerpt for SWEET TREASON follow, along with all of Gail’s contact information. But first, she has a question for readers. One lucky commenter will receive either a Nook or Kindle copy of SWEET TREASON (see Contact tab for details).
Is the romance, the mystery or the suspense most important to you when reading Romantic Suspense?
SWEET TREASON Excerpt:
The stranger lowered his head further to leave a path of soft insistent kisses from her earlobe to the well of her shoulder blade. The sensation was like nothing she’d felt before—intimate, urging, almost desperate. Heaven help her, Emily wanted more. He slipped his hand down her back, molding her against him. The hot, hard bulge pressing against her belly ignited an answering heat in hers. Naughty. Wicked. Exciting…
He asked a question, his voice a deep vibration that reached to her toes. Her very flesh tingled, sending shivers of delight through her. Her breasts ached and became exquisitely tender. She gasped as he drew her even closer, his large hands moving along her spine.
“Yes…,” she sighed, affirming her suspicion that this man’s arms would be heaven.
“Sweet…” His voice was hoarse with desire as he lifted his head to speak as he brushed across her lips. “Are you the most courageous woman I know…or the most reckless?”
Reckless. Unconscionably reckless…
He nudged her robe open with his chin and lowered his mouth to the slope of one aching breast. She caught her breath and choked back another gasp when he captured one tingling crown with his lips and tugged gently. She tangled her fingers through his dark hair to hold him close. The sensation was so foreign, yet so completely delicious, that she wanted it to go on forever. She sighed. “Tell me your…name, sir, that I…may know who my dreams…”
“You mock me?” he growled.
She gave a soft, husky laugh at his pretended outrage.
The deep vibration of his voice against her skin sent shock waves along her spine.
“By all that is holy…I must be mad! Were it any night but tonight, I’d sweep this desk clear and take you here and now.”
Emily fervently wished it were any other night. She’d have yielded him anything—everything—when he nibbled a greedy path back up her neck and cherished the tender flesh at the hollow of her throat before lifting his head.
He brushed tendrils of hair back from her cheeks with this thumbs. “Now that you’ve seen my face, my only safety—and yours—lies in the fact that you do not know who I am.”
She did not bother to deny his accusation. But betrayal had been the furthest thing from her mind. She caught her breath on a gasp as he slipped his hand up her bare thigh, exposed in the gap of her robe.
She struggled free of his arms and moved away, fighting to regain her composure and recall the true nature of this man.
Blood-red splotches on his shirt sleeve reminded her that this man had murdered someone this very night. She would be fortunate if she escaped with her life. She pushed him away to gather her robe more closely around her. This had to end before she forgot herself again. She was breathless when she spoke. “Your ten minutes are up, sir. If you are a man of your word, you will leave.”
SWEET TREASON Buy Links:
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/kbfoh8p
Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/n6l6zrj
Gail Ranstrom’s Contact Links:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/GailRanstrom Handle: @gailranstrom
Rafflecopter code – http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1cb554152/