Behind the Story with guest blogger Renee Vincent

 A Little Retrospection

With a new year turning over, I can’t help but look back and think of how fast time has flown. Honestly, it truly amazes me.

Three years ago, I had self-published my first romance novel, Ræliksen, and not because I was repeatedly rejected by publishers. In fact, I never pursued them. Not once. I simply wanted my story out there for the whole world to read, and to see my late sister's name, Lindsey, next to my name in print. Nothing more.

But then the book started to get great reviews and ratings. So, for the first time, I actually gave thought to submitting to publishers and agents, and making this into a career. Sure, when I was a little girl, I always dreamed of being a writer, but never gave thought to what it would take to truly be an author, or the steps necessary to get there. I talked to many author friends and gathered as much advice as I could, not really knowing if I would ever get that contract.

And in 2010, I did—a three book contract for my Emerald Isle Trilogy.

Now look where I am. It's only been three years and I currently have two published titles under my belt, with another to release in a few months. I have fans all over the world and the most supportive friends and family a girl could ask for. I will be going to Ireland this summer to finally get to see, with my own eyes, where my heroes, Dægan Ræliksen and Breandán Mac Liam, both stood with Mara on the island of Inis Mór. I will finally get to see the famous forty shades of green and all the beautiful places I wrote about in my series novels. And I will be having a book signing in Scotland as well.

I couldn't be happier.

Now, I know I've said this before, but I'll say it again: I would not be here, doing any of this, without the help of my beautiful sister’s words of encouragement before she left this earth. I owe all of this, and what's to come, to her.

Believe it not, this brings me to my point.

It has already been more than five years since her passing. Hard to believe…
And so, I just wanted to slow things down a bit, and give her a little moment of recognition for the happiness she has helped me to find, the dreams she has reminded me to chase, and the moments she has given me to treasure. Here's to you, my dearest Lindsey.

Places to find Renee Vincent
Deep In The Heart Romance

Book 1 of the Emerald Isle Trilogy

Mara, the daughter of an Irish clansman, was raised to believe the men of the North are heathens - murderous pagans without a moral bone in their bodies. Despite warnings of the Northmen's raids, and the growing threat of another incursion, Mara is continually drawn to her favorite place - the River Shannon.

Dægan Ræliksen, a wealthy chieftain from Norway's frozen fjords, secretly discovers Mara at the water's edge. He is charmed by her beauty and sensuous grace. As the days pass, his contentment with simply watching her grows thin. He can no longer deny his unabated desire for the young maiden. His search for a wife has ended.

However, Mara and Dægan come face-to-face in a time when Ireland is in turmoil - when every Irishman is being called up to fight against the Nordic foreigners. In these times of upheaval, how can Dægan make peace with Mara's father and acquire the woman he treasures? Furthermore, can Mara move past her fears and find the noble man within the savage?

Book Two of the Emerald Isle Trilogy

A tortured soul…
Breandán Mac Liam, the strapping young hunter from Ireland’s lush forests, is in love with Mara, an ineligible beautiful princess. For seven long years, he has been vividly haunted by her memory, taunted by the throes of his heartache. And not even the thought of her marriage to a Northman can extinguish the fierce, burning desire running rampant through his heart and soul.

An innocent heart…
Mara, the spirited Connacht princess, has no idea she is the object of the Irishman’s longing. She is living out her days on Inis Mór, raising a troubled son and trying to endure the cruel loneliness that afflicts her.

A deadly secret…
Ordered by the king on his deathbed, Breandán must return to Mara and bring her through the perilous lands of Connacht to fulfill her father’s last dying wish. But as their worlds collide, Breandán not only finds himself wrapped in the arms of Mara’s embrace, but thrown into a struggle to defend his honor.

With Mara caught between the family she loves and the father she knows, can Breandán uncover the mystery of her past and still protect her from a secret that threatens them all?