Friday, April 15, 2016

Meet Ryleigh Renee, author of Keep Your Enemies Closer

Today I would like to welcome Ryleigh Renee back to the blog. You may remember seeing her books Land Lover and Keep Your Enemies Closer on the blog in the past several weeks. Now you have the chance to get to know her and her series a little bit better.

What was the inspiration behind this book series? 
I hadn't originally intended for this to be a series. Land Lover was a stand alone book I wrote originally many years ago (30). Readers of that book fell in love with the Land Lover minor character Todd Michaels and asked if he could get his own story. With Todd Michaels being such a playboy, I didn't know if I could come up with something for him. I figured out how to give him a story, but it couldn't be in the same timeframe as Land Lover.
Which character spoke to you the most? 
I loved writing Todd as a secondary character in Land Lover. I could see why people wanted him to have his own story.
What is one of your favorite scenes? 
In Keep Your Enemies Closer, because it is really 2 stories. Jessie Moore (another secondary character from Land Lover) discovering who her secret lover truly is was one of my favorite scenes. The other is Todd, ultimate playboy that he is, feeling love for the first time and not knowing how to deal with it.
This is the second book in a series of five. Can they be read as standalones or do they need to be read in order? 
Yes, they can be read as stand alones. Since Land Lover (the first in the series) was intended to be a stand alone in the beginning, it doesn’t set up any of those that follow. Keep Your Enemies Closer references the love story of Land Lover, so it may inspire readers to want to read it.
When can we expect the next installment? 
I am still working on books 3 – 5. They happen in the future of Keep Your Enemies Closer, and they aren’t lead into it with this one. 3 – 5 will be connected.
What can you tell us about the rest of the series? 
Books 3 – 5 will be for Philip and Randi’s children. They are in Keep Your Enemies Closer, but again they are still children.
If you could be one of the characters, which one would you choose and why? 
Randall Pierce Michaels. She’s the matriarch of the series. She’s a strong woman who has found her great love.
What makes your series stand out in the crowd? 
When writing these books, I tried to not have them be “typical” romance books. I’ve read romance novels for decades, and they always seem to have the couple fall madly in love within hours. I wanted my books to be a little more realistic and have the couple fall in love over time. And, of course, go through conflict and make their way back to each other. I’m hoping readers can relate better to the characters since they go through the journey with them.
What else have you written?
I have another book titled “Racing Hearts” releasing June 1, 2016. This is another book written a long time ago, revamped to make it current.
On what other projects are you working? 
I have another book, “Broken Wings” ready to go to publish yet this year. And, I still have the Michaels’ Legacy books to finalize.
What was the last book you read? 
I just finished a romance series based on Cold Cases. 
Currently reading?
Have over 100 books in my kindle and need to decide which to pick up next. I enjoy series novels the most.
What drives you as a writer?
I’ve been reading romance novels since I was a teenager. In writing Racing Hearts and Land Lover (originally 3 decades ago), I wanted to bring my ideas to paper. When an idea comes to mind and it just flows, it’s fun for me.
What was the best writing advice you ever received? 
“Your writing is good. Don’t give up because Harlequin didn’t accept your manuscripts.”
What advice do you have for aspiring writers out there? 
I’m too new to give advice. If it’s something you like to do, go for it.
What is your writing routine?
I don’t have dedicated time to it. I work a full-time job, have 4 children, and write when inspired.
When not writing, what can you be found doing? 
I’m a crafter. I can typically be found crocheting on the sidelines of my boys’ soccer and baseball games.
What is something from your bucket list that you are willing to share with us?
I’d like to travel more. When I wrote both Land Lover and Racing Hearts, I’d never been to Minnesota or Georgia. Now, I live in Minnesota, and last summer took a trip to Georgia and was surprised at how well I was able to catch the essence of it with never having visited before.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Great Britain. Love the accent!
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
Maybe not dinner, but a glass of wine or 2 with Debra Webb. I’ve loved reading her Colby Agency books over the years.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a woman who loves to read, write, crochet and cheer on her children. God has blessed me with so many wonderful things. Without Him, I wouldn’t be able to do all that I do.
How can readers get in touch with you?
I have a website:
Is there anything else you would like to share? 
I’d love to grow my reader fan base. I’m grateful getting books out there in eBook form allows me to do this economically. When I originally published Land Lover 10 years ago in hard copy, it was a costly venture. A friend of mine who read my manuscripts and convinced me to get them out there (she’s the acknowledgement in Keep Your Enemies Closer) said she’ll one day say she knows a famous author; I’d love to make her wish come true.
Thank you so much for your time!

Land Lover

Philip Michaels has one task. Travel from Texas to Minneapolis and purchase land his father wants for a company expansion. A task that should be simple. However, upon meeting the land owner, Randall Pierce, his task becomes more difficult.

Randall Pierce is a woman working in her former fiancé’s family company. His death five years earlier just prior to their wedding has her focusing all her time and energy on the job. She doesn’t like the feelings a stranger invokes in her when they meet. The last thing she wants is to fall in love again.

As the feelings Philip and Randi have for one another grow, the purchase of her land becomes more challenging. This lack of success is uncharacteristic for Philip when he’s on a mission for his father. Not seeing results, Philip’s father enters the picture and sets off a myriad of events for this couple. Justin Michaels is a man used to getting what he wants and Randi is giving him a run for his money as Philip loses control of this business deal gone bad while still having strong feelings for her.

Can this couple get past brutal business tactics and family secrets and find each other again? Is what they see the real picture of what’s going on? Or can these two get past hurt and anger and find love?

Keep Your Enemies Closer

Todd Michaels is the billionaire playboy of the Michaels family of Austin, Texas. For almost two decades, he’s successfully run the Midwest branch of his family’s business when he unexpectedly encounters Samantha “Sam” Winslow, a relentless, surprisingly astute up and comer in Minnesota, who’s hell bent on one upping Todd.

Almost too coincidentally, a media storm begins accusing Todd of having an affair with his brother’s wife, and Todd assumes Sam is behind the attacks against him. What better way to get answers from his attractive adversary than to do what Todd Michaels does best? See if she’ll confess during a little pillow talk.

Jessie Moore is a new junior executive in her aunt’s company. After her mother passes away following a battle with cancer, she finds information leading her to believe the one person she has always idolized is not who she appears to be. Hurt and betrayed, she sets out on a mission to forget her pain, even if it's in the bed of her distant uncle Todd (Michaels). After all, Todd’s a no-commit kind of man. Just what she needs. A little fun with no strings. After Todd’s initial rejection of her idea, she takes it upon herself to show him they can both enjoy each other. However, one night in Todd’s bed isn’t enough. She finds herself falling for him. As the truth of who she is comes to light, she is shocked when it turns out she wasn’t climbing into Todd’s bed night after night after all.

Shane Sullivan is Todd Michaels’ young protégé. He’s been working with Todd for almost two years. However, whenever Jessie Moore makes a visit to her uncle’s office, his attraction to the young woman is usually doused quickly with her constant teasing and put downs. She makes sure Shane knows she’s out of his league. She was born to be in this business. Finding out he was the one she was spending glorious nights with puts Jessie over the edge, trusting no one. When the media storm hits her family, her first thoughts are Shane Sullivan is the anonymous source providing all the sordid details to the media … details only he could possibly know. She sets out to prove the truth and protect her family.

More and more secrets are revealed, and this family has to stand together to survive. The next chapter in the Michaels’ Legacy may prove their failure or survival, if they can come together as a family.

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