Renee Ryan Shares Inspiration!

Renee Ryan is a multi-published, award-winning author best known for her fast-paced, character-driven romances. She sold her first book by winning the inaugural Romantic Times New Historical Voice Contest. She currently writes contemporary and historical Inspirational Romances for Harlequin Love Inspired and Amazon’s Waterfall Press. An empty-nester, Renee lives in Nebraska with her husband and a large, fluffy cat many have mistaken for a small bear. 

Her latest release is THE MARRIAGE AGREEMENT, Book 9 in the Charity House series.

Always the dutiful daughter, Fanny Mitchell surprised everyone when she broke her engagement. Now she's working at the fancy Hotel Dupree—and falling for the mysterious, handsome owner, Jonathon Hawkins. But when she and her boss are caught in an unexpected kiss at a ball, will her reputation be tarnished forever?

The son of a woman of ill repute, Jonathon knows that gossip can destroy lives in an instant. And he won't allow sweet, lovely Fanny to suffer the consequences. When he proposes a marriage of convenience, Jonathon believes he can keep his heart to himself. But the more time he spends with Fanny, the more he realizes he may just be in love—with his wife… 
Read a little...buy the book

Jan Schliesman: How often do you Get Lost In A Story?
Renee Ryan: Nearly every time I open a book set in another time period. I certainly enjoy modern romances. I even write contemporary stories for Love Inspired. But there’s something truly magical about getting lost in another time, when the world was simpler and right versus wrong was easier to discern. 

Jan: How long have you been writing? What was your first Big Break?
Renee: I started writing when my oldest son started middle school. As a high school teacher I’d watched good kids fall into bad crowds due to a lack of adult supervision. I vowed that wouldn’t happen in my household. Being a stay-at-home mom wasn’t easy at first. I was lonely. It was my chance to try writing a story like all the ones I loved to read. Four years and five manuscripts later I sold my first manuscript by winning the Romantic Times New Historical Voice Contest. That book was a 2001 Leisure Books release. It took me five more years to sell book two. I’m currently working on my twentieth published novel.

Jan: You’ve published 18 books with Harlequin’s Love Inspired line. Why is it such a good fit for your style of writing?
Renee: Because the Love Inspired books are “clean,” I’ve learned to go beyond simple attraction and create situations that give my characters a strong foundation based on their faith in one another and in God. I truly believe creating these types of love stories has taught me how to dig deeper into the emotions of my hero and heroine and has made me a better writer. I love the challenge.

Jan: You grew up in Florida but currently reside in landlocked Nebraska. Do you miss the sand and sun? What about those Nebraska winters?  

Renee: Although I really miss the ocean, and its many moods, I definitely DON’T miss the Florida heat and humidity. I’m sure anyone who’s suffered a Florida summer can relate. As far as the Nebraska winters, call me crazy but I love, love, love snow. Maybe it’s because I grew up on the beach, but there’s something calming about a snowfall. My favorite thing to do on a cold, winter evening is sit by the fire and read.

Jan: It was love at first sight when I met my Mr. Wonderful. How did you meet your husband?
Renee: I met him at a tailgate party outside the Florida State football stadium. We were introduced by mutual friends, but they’d invited him there to meet someone else. We immediately hit it off and the rest is, as they say, history. Two kids and twenty-two years later, we’re still going strong. By the way, that “someone else” still isn’t talking to me.

Jan: What’s your favorite summertime beverage?
Renee: A nice cold glass of Pinot Grigio. I’m normally a red wine drinker, but there’s something about a crisp white wine in the summer that works for me.

Jan: What’s the most difficult part of the writing process for you?
Renee: Getting words on the page is excruciating. I hate the blank page. I think it’s because I’m not a natural writer. I’m a storyteller, which is very different. Getting the initial story out of my head and onto the page takes time. However, once I have something to work with I’m in the zone!

Jan: You serve on the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Board of Directors. What has surprised you most about the experience so far?
Renee: It’s been a pleasant surprise to see how hard the board works and how serious each member takes the assigned task of steering RWA into the future. Prior to serving, I wasn’t aware of the arduous process the board goes through when making a decision. Every issue brought to the table is argued vehemently from all sides. No final decision is made until all voices are heard. 


Renee’s GOTTA ANSWER: I love the coffee flavor most, which is ironic since I HATE coffee. J

Twitter: @ReneeRyanBooks

A Western Christmas: Yuletide Lawman

A Christmas to remember—that's what Ellie Wainwright wants to provide for Sheriff Caleb Voss's little girls. But she can't agree to a marriage of convenience. Ellie wants nothing less than real love. Caleb long ago gave up on love, yet sweet Ellie's kindness to his children could make a believer of him again. 

Wagon Trail Proposal was a June 2015 release.

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.

Thank you so much, Renee, for sharing a little bit of your writing world with us! 

Since THE MARRIAGE AGREEMENT is book 9 in the Charity House series, Renee Ryan would like to give away a copy of the book to one reader (anywhere in the world) and a set of all 9 books to another (only US readers). Please click the comment button below and tell us if you prefer:


Note: Please leave an email address for notification. Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address. 


  1. Welcome to the blog, Renee! Loved hearing about your road to publication. And even though I'd never eat coffee ice cream (or drink coffee), I will agree that I enjoy snowy days better than the beach!

  2. Hi,

    a lovely post thank you.

    It does not snow where I live, but on those hot summer days I find myself wishing for some. I do love the beach though, so sand it must be.


    1. Hi Mary! Yes, if you love the beach then sand is definitely a must! ;-)

  3. Good morning! I'm having a time trying to post my comments, so let's try this again. Thank you for the warm welcome, Jan. Your questions were so much fun to answer. ;-)

  4. Welcome back to GLIAS, Renee !
    Thanks for sharing today.

  5. sand

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  6. Congrats on book 9 and all of your other books! As for sand or snow... I actually prefer snow, but have not seen any in years. greenshamrock at cox dot net

  7. Loved reading about how you got started writing! I'm from Iowa and sure do love a good winter with lots of snow too! :)