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Friday, January 18, 2013

 Kame, who has been doing guest reviews here on TBQ's Book Palace for a few months now, recently reviewed, BATTERED NOT BROKEN. Today, Kame and I are interviewing the author, Ranae! 

\

Ranae Rose is a best-selling author of over a dozen paranormal, historical and contemporary romances, all of them delightfully steamy. She lives on the US East Coast with her husband, child, dogs, horses and overflowing bookshelves. She spends most of her time letting her very active imagination run wild, penning her next story. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found in the saddle or behind a good book with a cup of tea.

Where to Find Ranae:


~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~


 Kame: Ranae thank you so much for giving me an ARC of Battered Not Broken.  It is like nothing I have read before.  And looking through the bookshelf on your website it seems a little different from the books you are known for.  What drew you to this story?

Ranae: To say that I write a wide variety of very different romances would be an understatement. I’ve written everything from contemporaries to historicals to a werewolf and werebear series – m/f, m/m and even ménage – you name it. Some of my books are more fantasy than others. Battered Not Broken is a book that was inspired more by real life interests and experiences than my others. I’ve been into MMA (as both a participant and an observer) for years, and I’ve wanted to write a book about it for ages. And I come from a family of marines. So this book was a chance to combine two areas and elements that have shaped my actual life – although there was plenty of imagination involved in the writing, too. (Ally and Ryan’s lives are far more interesting than mine. LOL)


K: Ryan Moore is one of the most realistic heroes I have read in a long time. Was his character defined this way in your mind when you started on the project or did he evolve?

R: A little bit of both. Though my characters come to me as individuals with distinct personality traits and histories, those elements are only partial. The characters get fleshed out as I write, and I seem to discover things about them as I go along. This was true for Ryan.


K: Ally Rivera is not your typical romance novel heroine.  Why a MMA enthusiast?

R: I’ve been learning and practicing several forms of martial arts since I was a teen. Mostly for pleasure and recreation, though I did a little bit of competitive MMA fighting for extra cash during my college years. I always wanted to write about a heroine who was into martial arts, too. Then Ally popped into my head (my characters pop into my mind like real people; it’s strange), and I instantly liked her. I knew I had to write her story.


K: Did Ryan and Ally have to meet at the gym?  Could they have met maybe at a bar and then found out they were both MMA fighters?

R: In my mind, Ally and Ryan would have been unlikely to meet at a bar. Ally is reserved and careful around strange men, due to some things that happened in the past. I can’t see her going out to a bar meet men, or becoming intoxicated in a strange environment.
Since being discharged from the Marine Corps, Ryan has not sought out social opportunities, so I don’t think we’d find him there, either. Besides, TBI migraines and symptoms can sometimes be brought on or worsened by alcohol in some individuals, so I imagine him as a very light drinker.


K: I agree the gym is the only place they could meet. Many romance novels I read have a “rose colored glasses” view of their character’s romance arc.  Ryan and Ally seemed like a real couple.  I enjoyed their dialogue including their arguments.  They both are dealing with some intense issues they keep very private and their characters are more complex than a first impression may give. Were those “invisible” issues (I am trying to avoid spoilers here) an integral   part of each of their characters from the start of did they appear through the writing process?

R: The issues were definitely planned and in the forefront of my mind from the very beginning. I didn’t want to give everything away all at once, or bury the reader beneath exposition. I wanted the issues and histories to come to light naturally, as they would between a real couple. I mean, you wouldn’t just share those kind of things on a casual first date. I hope I succeeded.


K: You definitely did succeed and it was one of my favorite aspects of the book. The title Battered Not Broken can apply to both of them.  It’s the perfect title for the book.  It applies to them individually and as a couple.  Was that always the title for the book?

R: When I started writing the book, I didn’t know what the title would be. Over time I thought about it and kept a list of possible titles. Battered Not Broken was the only one that I really cared for and I thought it really fit the book. It’s kind of weird how it came to me…
While I was contemplating possible titles, a line of lyrics from a song I remember being sung in a church I used to attend as a kid popped into my head – pressed but not crushed. (I believe that’s taken from a scripture.) I didn’t want to use that exactly, but I really liked the feel and ring of it, and thought that Battered Not Broken had a similar appeal and was more appropriate for the book. As for why the church song even popped into my head … divine inspiration, I guess. LOL Really, I have a good memory and lightning-fast stream of consciousness always going on, so who knows why it popped into my head.


K: I know this book released on December 19th, but I looked all over your website to see if there is a follow-up coming.  Can we visit with Ally and Ryan again maybe during Melissa’s story?

R: I do have an idea for a second novel. I thought I’d wait to see how the first was received before saying anything about it, but why not? I think I would really enjoy going back and re-writing the book entirely from Ryan’s point of view. Maybe that’s strange. I thought of including his POV in the first book, but it didn’t seem to fit, because if I included his POV too, the book probably would have ended up being in excess of 200,000 words, which would have been pretty ridiculous. I thought – no, I can’t skimp on his POV because there’s so much content there; if I write his views I’ll have to commit fully and it will have to be his own book.
I’ve also considered that Melissa could have her own story. I don’t know yet whether that’s something I’ll pursue or not.


Kame: Both sound like great ideas and I would pre-order either when available. Thank you again Ranae for giving me an ARC of Battered Not Broken.  I picked it up just to skim it and could not put it down; which says a lot as I had fewer than 100 pages left in the book I was currently reading.  And thank you for agreeing to this interview – I plan on checking out your backlist and adding you to my list of authors to watch!

Ranae: Thank you so much for having me, Kame. I really enjoyed your questions and appreciate the review and interview.


SPEED ROUND:

A day on a secluded island OR a day at the spa?
Secluded island.


Reading a spicy romance novel OR a sweet “my-heart-skips-a-beat” one?
Spicy.


Which would you rather have an affair with: a sexy highlander OR a devilishly handsome English lord?
A sexy highlander, definitely. (Oh yes!)


Hot summer days OR cold winter nights?
Hot summer days – I love to swim.


Where would your dream house be: in the city, where all the action is OR nestled in the mountain where you can enjoy the quiet and the wilderness?

In the mountains with quiet and wilderness, for sure.


If you could live in any time period, past or future, which one would it be?
I would choose to live in the past rather than take a gamble with the future – I love history, anyway. And it’s difficult to choose, but I think I’ll go with living in America significantly prior to the European invasion. That way the quality of my life wouldn’t be a crapshoot determined by whether I was born into a wealthy family or squalor (like most) – I could live in a tribal society where people functioned more as equals instead of having to deal with rigid class structures that left most with miserable lives and little or no possibility for improvement. Plus, I could live in a wilderness environment instead of a city. (Can I please go back to this time with you? I think that would be a wonderful time and place to try!) 


Cover Lover OR Blurb Fan?
Covers may catch my eye, but they can be deceptive. The blurb has much more power over my purchasing decisions.


Steamy Novella OR Sweet Novel? (aka, Quickie or Slow Build Up?)
Sweet novel, I guess, though I read both.




And finally, tell us 3 unique/wacky/fun things about yourself:

  • My first crushes were on Peter Pan (the Disney character) and Rafael the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. (I was about 4.)
  • I have absurdly bad camping luck. It’s like a curse. I hate camping.
  • I used to work at a NASCAR track, where I encountered a leg fetishist who spoke exactly like Dracula – not exactly your typical NASCAR fan, LOL.



The_Book_Queen: Thanks so much for stopping by, Ranae|, and please know that you are welcome back anytime! Do you have any questions for our readers—something to spark a good discussion? :)

Ranae:
Ryan’s military experience plays an important role 

in Battered Not Broken. I grew up in a military family, 

and I know a lot of my readers did too and / or are 

part of one now. Are any of the important people 

in your life active duty service members or veterans?




~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~


Battered Not Broken by Ranae Rose
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Ryan Moore forged his own path when he defied his wealthy family’s expectations by joining the United States Marine Corps as an enlisted man. After a period of service that’s cut short by an IED explosion, the lingering physical and mental effects of war result in an isolated struggle to exist in the civilian world. He throws himself into competitive MMA fighting – the one thing he’s still able to excel at, even if every match is a risk he can’t afford to take.

His first encounter with amateur female fighter Ally Rivera ignites a spark of desire he hasn’t felt since before a bomb left its marks on his life and his body, but his flirtation with her turns out to be anything but harmless. She’s struggling to hold together a family ravaged by violence – a feat that isn’t easy when her father has been imprisoned, leaving her vulnerable to relatives who run a local gang. Can two unrelenting fighters overcome challenges they couldn’t defeat alone, or do the wounds of war and crime run too deep for even love to heal?


Where to Buy*:
 Kindle | NOOK | ARe
More Info:




~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Thanks so much for stopping by today, Ranae! I really enjoyed reading your interview with Kame, as well as the speed round Q's I sent. I cannot wait to read this one, I've been dying to do so ever since Kame sent me her review. Must work through my review pile quicker! LOL. 

Thanks again Kame--you always come up with much better questions than I, for which, I think, our readers will be thankful for. LOL. :) 



Readers, don't forget to answer Ranae's question


Ryan’s military experience plays an important

role 

in Battered Not Broken. I grew up in a

military family, and
I know a lot of my readers did too

and / or are part of one now.

Are any of the important people 

in your life active duty service members or

veterans?


My grandfather was a Marine in Vietnam, and a few of my great-uncles were in various military branches, too. They don't talk about their time in service much, but one of these days I'd love to sit down with all of them and ask some questions! :) 

And I'm totally open to finding my own military man... Just sayin'! 




Enjoy! 


  

Until Next Time,

 Photobucket

*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

10 comments:

  1. Thank you so much Kame for interviewing me (I'll let you know if I discover any time travel methods - maybe before we go back to pre-colonial America we can swing by the Scottish Highlands and see some *ahem* educational, historical sights. LOL)

    And thank you to The Book Queen for hosting the interview!

    I have some uncles who served in Vietnam (my dad is younger than them so he was a Marine during Desert Storm). My grandfather was a Marine during WWII (and my grandmother served in the Navy WAVES then, too). I'll just stop myself there because if I list every family member of mine who is or was in the military this comment will go on forever. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  2. :) Oooh---May I crash the party and join? Pre-colonial America and the Highlands...my two dream places! :D
    Enjoy!
    TBQ

    ReplyDelete
  3. Clearly, great minds think alike. The more the merrier, I say! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great post and interview - sounds like a great book - adding it to my TBR list! Can I join in on traveling back in time to the Scottish Highlands? smiles - oh, right, back to your question... My father was in the army during the Korean war time. I currently have a nephew in the Navy. He flies the planes, a la Top Gun.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Julie!


    Yes, I think it's settled - we should all travel back in time as a group.
    ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you Julie for stopping by - and authors just saying more books with pilots please!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The interview was fun - and I really liked the book! Now for me - I would time travel to the 1890s in the west - I love cowboys!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great interview! "Battered Not Broken" was one of my absolute favorite books of 2012. I loved the characters of Ally and Ryan and the accuracy of the fight scenes. I especially liked the attention paid to TBI. We hear about PTSD all the time with returning soldiers but little if anything on TBI which is more common than I think many realize.

    My grandpa, who turns 92 in Feb, served in WWII in the Army Corps of Engineers and fought during the Battle of the Bulge. I have an uncle who was in the Air Force but did not serve in any active war. I have a former uncle who was a Marine who served in Vietnam. As far as my non-related family, the members of my grandpa's VFW are such an awesome group of men and women. Most served in Vietnam and Korea. The WWII vets are dwindling and the younger Gulf War and Iraq/Afghanistan vets are not as active in the organization yet. I think so many are busy with their families for now. All of these men and women have had a major influence on my life and my beliefs. I am a strong advocate for supporting our troops and veterans and do what I can for that cause.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My great grandfather was in the Army Corps of Engineers during WWII too, Colleen! He passed away 14 years ago. He was one of my favorite people in the world - I have a picture of him in uniform here next to my writing desk. :) In my family we also have a whole bunch of cool stuff of his from the war - uniform, weapons, letters, photos, postcards - you name it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you Colleen - it was a great book and very unique - so glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping by and always giving great feedback!

    ReplyDelete

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