Author Renee Ryan & Courting the Enemy (& #bookgiveaway)

My guest today is Author Renee Ryan who is going to tell us how to “strong” up a heroine! Here’s Renee:

“Good morning, Lyn.  Thank you for having me today as your guest.  I always love stopping by and chatting.  Today, I’m going to talk about the heroine in my latest Love Inspired Historical release, COURTING THE ENEMY.  The book is set in 1943 Florida, when the United States was in the heat of WWII.  My heroine, Savannah Elliott, definitely qualifies as a strong woman.  But I’m embarrassed to say she didn’t meet the necessary requirements in the first draft of this book.

COURTING THE ENEMY is about an American woman (Savannah) who finds her loyalties divided when a Nazi war plot to sabotage U.S. shipyards pits the man she calls father against the man she loves.  Neither is who he seems, but only one is guilty of treason.  Lots of conflict and tension, yes? Well, I certainly thought so.

You see, Savannah is the bookkeeper for one of the targeted shipyards.  Surely that was enough to make her a strong heroine.  After all, at the time very few women worked in the male-dominated field of accounting.  Unfortunately, my editor pointed out that Savannah appeared weak in the story.  She had no real purpose.  She was merely floating through life, allowing the events of the story to drive her actions.  After a second glance I realized my editor was right.  Once I gave Savannah a purpose beyond herself, she became a strong heroine.  She no longer reacted to the events of the story.  She took charge and even drove much of the action herself.

When I was rewriting Savannah’s character, I came across the story of Peter’s mother-in-law.  The text reads: Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.  Okay, I don’t know about you but this woman perplexes me.  She’s on her death-bed, literally, and yet after one encounter with Jesus she’s not only healed but she gets right out of bed and immediately begins waiting on Him.  Talk about a strong woman living the kind of victory meant for every one of us.   I could learn a thing of two from this woman.

All too often, I find myself more like my first version of Savannah instead a brave, modern-day version of Peter’s mother-in-law.  I tend to let life happen to me instead of living every day to its fullest. I let life’s hurts keep me from serving my Healer. Finger-pointing, excuse-making, playing the blame game, such easy choices when life gets hard.  The truth of the matter is that we live in a fallen world.  Life here on Earth will never be perfect.  But it took a revision letter and another look at Peter’s mother-in-law for me to learn that Christ wants all of His children to live in victory on a daily basis.  Now if only I could remember that more often.”–Renee

September 2011, the next in my WWII series Courting The Enemy

Mission Irresistible

His assignment: woo the beautiful widow. Savannah Elliott’s father is a suspected Nazi sympathizer. Gaining her confidence could help undercover agent Trent Mueller derail a plot to sabotage the U.S. war machine. With so many lives at stake, the undercover agent can’t afford to feel guilty at his deception. Nor should he find himself captivated by Savannah when her very allegiance is in question…

In war, trust is a luxury. Yet Savannah is appalled to learn that her own father is a suspected traitor. By working with Trent to discover the truth, Savannah hopes to prove her father’s innocence. But if Trent’s hunch is right, can love withstand the ultimate test of loyalty?

Yes, Renee, a good editor is worth her weight in gold! I count on my editor Tina James to help me see what I missed in my own stories. 🙂 What do you think of Renee’s chosen historical setting? Are WWII stories of interest? Why?–Lyn


About Lyn Cote

Lyn Cote welcomes other authors to her "Strong Women, Brave Stories" blog to share stories of women who triumph over the challenges common to all women.
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9 Responses to Author Renee Ryan & Courting the Enemy (& #bookgiveaway)

  1. Ann says:

    Yes, I love reading stories in this time setting. Besides the good reads, it is how I learn history. I did not like history in school with boring books, worksheets, and maps. As I discovered historical fiction, history has become interesting and I have learned so much.

    WWII . . . should always be of interest to us as so many of our great people, our heroes, gave so much during this time.

  2. Valri says:

    I love historical books, no matter the time period but my favorites are the “western era 1800’s” , the Revolutionary War time and the WW II so Renee’s book fits right in! This book looks interresting and I will definitely have to look it up! You had an interesting interview with her!

  3. Liz says:

    WWII stories were part of my childhood and continue to hold a fascination as a continuation of the Franco-Prussian War and WWI and a prelude to the Cold War, the Middle East crises, Viet Nam, and more. Always interested in meaningful books about that era. Please enter my name in the drawing.

  4. Jackie S. says:

    I have not read any of Renee’s books, but would love to. Sounds like my type of book….love the time period. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!!!

  5. Renee Ryan says:

    Oooo, Lyn. Have a great time. Tell everyone hello for me!!!

  6. Lyn Cote says:

    Renee, Thanks for being my guest. I’m at the Am Christan Writers Conference this week and am seeing a lot of other LI authors. Blessings!

  7. Paula Osborne says:

    good interview Lyn, thanks for sharing Ranee about your book, it looks like interesting read. I esp liked your comment about Simon Peter’s mother inlaw’s incident with Jesus, He can heal with just a touch so your story does not surprise me. I had not thought of this passage though and glad you shared it.
    I would like to be put in your drawing for book, Paula O(

  8. Patsy says:

    Oh, I love Renee’s writing. Her books are great! I really enjoy reading books set in an older time period too – anywhere from the 1950s until way back in the 1700 and 1800s.

  9. Renee Ryan says:

    Good morning, Lyn. Thanks again for having me today. I’d love to hear what your fans think of WWII. I certainly love the time period, but does anyone else?