Get Lost in the story Once an Heiress by Renee Ryan

I’m thrilled to welcome my good friend, Renee Ryan back to the crew today! She’s here to tell us about her new release, ONCE AN HEIRESS, book three in her Gilded Promises series. Plus, she’s giving away three e-books to one person who comments. So, be sure to read to the end so you can find out how to win.


Renee 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 has published over 24 titles and currently writes 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.

Boston society darling Gigi Wentworth leaves behind everything she holds dear for the sake of love—only to learn that the man with whom she’d planned to elope is nothing but a thieving scoundrel. Abandoned in New York City and saddled with debt, Gigi must sell a prized family heirloom, but even that sacrifice isn't enough to get her home. Her determination drives her to take on work as a lady’s maid, keeping her identity a secret…until she’s discovered by a former friend with a hidden agenda.
Although dealing with his own serious family issue, Christopher “Fitz” Fitzpatrick sets out to return the missing heiress to her rightful place in society. But the more he interacts with this new Gigi, the more shocked he is to find her so changed. Gone is the frivolous beauty in expensive gowns. In her place is a woman he could grow to love. When secrets are revealed, will Gigi and Fitz find the trust they need to confront the past and open their hearts?


A stand-alone book with multiple POV characters.


Gilded Promises, Book 1

Gilded Promises, Book 2



Nancy Robards Thompson: Hi, Renee, I’m so glad you could be here today.

Renee Ryan: Thanks for having me today.

NRT: You just got back from a dream vacation. Would you care to share?

RR: Yes! My husband and I went to Ireland. 

NRT: That sounds heavenly. What was your favorite part? If it’s possible to only choose one part.

RR: I loved the Cliffs of Moher. As a Florida girl who grew up on the East Coast I was in awe of the terrain. I’m used to a long, uninterrupted beach, with sand and sawgrass and shells. I’ve played beach volleyball, surfed, attended bonfires and gone on long walks. I’ve never seen rocks tumbling straight into the ocean. Scary. Breathtaking. Plus, I’m a huge Princess Bride fan (Who isn’t?). I discovered that the filmmakers used the Cliffs of Moher for the Cliffs of Insanity. How cool is that? 

NRT: That’s very cool! I hope to visit one day. Until then, I’ll dream. But for now, we have to get back to real life… or at least back to storyland.  On that note, how often to you get lost in a story?

RR: I’ve found my reading taste has changed lately. I don’t know if it’s something to do with years of writing (and reading) only romance or just a newfound need for a creative break, but I’ve been losing myself in big, sweeping Women’s Fiction stories that cross into Mainstream. I’m especially partial to English period pieces set in pre- and post-WWI through WWII with several narrators who give lots of descriptions. I love the imagery and am inspired the beauty of the writing. My roots will always be in romance and my stories will always, always include a strong romance thread. However, I’m finding myself wanting to push the boundaries a bit in my own writing.    

NRT: Where do you read and how often?

RR: Due to unexpected life events hitting all at once my schedule has become incredibly full, which means less time for reading. As such, I’ve become a huge fan of audio books. Whenever I’m in the car I listen to a book instead of the radio. If I go for a walk, I listen to a book instead of music. I even listen while getting dressed for the day. This has revolutionized my “reading” without compromising deadlines or getting my other tasks done in a timely manner.

NRT: I love audio books, too. So, I totally get it. Besides the narrator’s voice, what other sound or noise do you love?

RR: I’m a new grandmother. My granddaughter was born in May and has simply stolen my heart. I love the sound of her laugh, so innocent and pure and full of the joy she feels for just being. Her name is Harvest, which has come to have new meaning for me. Every time I hear the sound of her laughter I understand the bounty that comes from a good planting season. I’m getting teary-eyed typing this, so next question, please.

NRT: I’ve seen pictures of her. She is precious, but I don’t want you to miss her too much. So, changing the subject now, what was the first story you remember writing?

RR: Ah, the memory. I was given a chance to take a creative writing course in fifth grade. It was optional, but one of those “special” programs that got me out of math class once a week. We were reading Huckleberry Finn in class, so I wrote an adventure story that took Huck and me on a wild ride down the Mississippi. We encountered bandits, solved mysteries and promised to be true to one another until the day we died. I guess I was romance writer long before I knew it.

NRT: And a very talented one at that. What is your biggest vice?

RR: Some probably wouldn’t consider this a vice, but I love Diet Cola—or as my husband likes to call it, liquid poison. I can’t get enough of it. I drink way too much and am desperately trying to conquer the habit. Studies have proven the downside, yet I still drive to the convenience store and fill up a 32-ounce cup several times a day. I’m open to any suggestions on how to beat this savage addiction of mine.

NRT: Let me think on that and I’ll get back to you. In the meantime, what’s something you’d like to tell your fans?

RR: The very hardest question you can ever ask me is: Where do you get your ideas? The short answer is: I don’t know. I seriously don’t know. Stories unfold in weird, unexpected ways and never the same way twice. The longer answer is: Everywhere. I can find inspiration in a current event, a magazine article, a newspaper story, a tidbit I happen to come across while researching another book, people I meet, books, television, movies, the weather channel, church…you get the idea. The sources are endless.

NRT: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?

RR: I go to the movies. By myself. I buy popcorn, candy, diet coke and let myself get lost in the drama playing out on the big screen.

NRT: What are the next five books on your ‘to be read’ pile?

RR: A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas (a reimagining of the Sherlock Holmes character)

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (currently my favorite author, I’m devouring her books)

All the Stars in Heaven by Adriana Trigiani (a fictionalized tale of the romance between Loretta Young and Clark Gable)Persuasion by Jane Austen (my favorite of her stories, I reread it at least once a year)

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (a Pulitzer Prize winner set in WWII, ‘nough said).

NRT: Those are great choices. Let’s talk about your books. What has been your most rewarding publishing moment?

RR: I’d have to say my first sale was my most rewarding moment. I sold back when there were very few options for aspiring authors. I entered a contest run by a romance magazine and a traditional publisher that is, sadly, no longer in business today. I entered because the winning entry was to receive a publishing contract. Not only did my manuscript win, but I found out my book was going to be published by a New York house at the magazine’s national conference. The editors revealed the winner by unveiling the book cover on stage in front of thousands of attendees. I can’t imagine a better way to find out.  

Renee is giving away 3 eBooks to one person who answers the following question in the comments below:

Are you a romance purist or do you read other types of books? If the latter is true, what type of books do you gravitate toward and why?

| Twitter @ReneeRyanBooks
| Newsletter Signup


UP NEXT ON GLIAS: Cherime MacFarlane
Get Lost on Facebook   @GetLostInAStory  #GetLostStories
AND OUR NEW Facebook Group: The Readers’ Spot


National bestselling author Nancy Robards Thompson lives and writes in Florida, but her imagination transports her all over the world. She has found Nirvana doing what she loves most – writing romance and women's fiction full-time. After hanging up her press pass, this former journalist and two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart struck gold in July 2002 when she won the award. Since then, she’s gone on to sell more than 40 books, which critics have deemed, “…funny, smart and observant.” You can connect with her at NancyRobardsThompson.com; on Facebook at Nancy Robards Thompson Books; follow her on Twitter at @NRTWrites; and connect with her on Instagram @NancyRThompson.


  1. Good morning! To Nancy, and the rest of the fabulous writers on this blog, I thank you so much for having me today! I'm excited to answer any questions, so fire away. I'm giving away a copy of each of my Gilded Promises books to one lucky winner. Cheers!

  2. read anything that sounds interesting

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  3. I like the romance books but then always like to add a little bit of mystery also .Thank you for coming today to GLIAS and your answers were so good! ptclayton2@aol.com

  4. I am not a romance purist. I didn't discover romance reads until I was in my late 40's or so. I enjoy suspense/mystery/intrigue stories. They were the first types of books I read. I enjoy biography and nonfiction books on history, science, and culture. About the only things I don't read are erotica, horror, and BDSM. I have always been curious about the world around us and want to find out as much as I can. I love children's books and try to keep up to date on the trends in junior and young adult reads (I was a children's librarian for years.)