Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Regina Richards Gets Inspired by a Coffin


I'm exactly 73% into Blood Marriage. It says so on my Kindle. I can't begin to imagine how this book is going to end. It reads like I'm watching one of those great old 1930s black and white gothic/horror movies, yet it also reads like a resonant regency romance novel too. It's unlike anything I've read before. I'm loving it. But enough of this turning into a gushing review...down to business.    

I'm honored to introduce Get Lost in a Story readers to my friend and RWA chapter mate, Regina Richards. I hope you all remember when her star explodes all over the stratosphere that I introduced her first. Just saying. 

BLURB

LONDON 1813

Elizabeth is dying of the same disease that has decimated her entire family. When a late night walk with a mysterious stranger leads to marriage, she suddenly finds herself in as much danger of losing her heart as her life. At turns fascinated and frightened by the man she has married, Elizabeth suspects her husband is hiding a dark secret.

Still, when he’s accused of a series of vampire-style killings, she finds it hard to believe him a murderer. As the evidence mounts against him and friends and relatives die, Elizabeth must decide who to believe and whether to follow her head or her heart.


EXCERPT


Elizabeth climbed the stairs to the servant's quarters and, shielding the light from her lamp with the edge of her robe, tip-toed down the hall. Margaret had been moved from the doctor's room to a bedroom on the side of the house that faced the stables. No light showed beneath the door, evidence Katie, reassured by Margaret's steady recovery, had finally relinquished her vigil at her friend's side and returned to her own room. Elizabeth slipped inside and crossed to the bed.
Margaret snored softly, her head turned to one side on the white pillowcase. A single neat braid of hair rested over the maid's shoulder covering the side of her neck. Holding her lamp to one side, Elizabeth lifted the braid away to reveal the gauze covering beneath. Her hand hesitated above the bandage. She took a deep breath. Then she carefully eased aside the gauze and bent to examine the healing wound. Her heart did a breath-robbing tumble. The wound was nearly identical to the one she'd discovered on herself in the bath earlier that evening.
"Two punctures, approximately one and one half inches apart." A man's coarse whisper drifted out of the shadows.
Elizabeth spun, nearly dropping the lamp. Lennie sat in a chair in one corner of the room, his feet propped up on a small stool, a pillow at his head, a blanket over his legs, a book in his lap. He appeared to be spending the night.
"What are you doing here?" Elizabeth demanded, willing her pounding heart to slow.
"I might ask the same of you, Lady Devlin." Lennie pushed the blanket aside and stood, holding the book in one hand. He was fully dressed in silver and black livery, right down to his shoes. "I'm keeping an eye on Margaret."
"And I'm checking on her."
"In the middle of the night?" Lennie pulled a fob watch from his pocket and clicked it open. He tilted it to catch the light of Elizabeth's lamp. "One o'clock. Does his lordship know his bride is out wandering at this hour?"
Lennie must have seen something in Elizabeth's expression because his became suddenly more intense. "Or is it his lordship you're looking for?"
"What would Devlin be doing in Margaret's room?"
"What indeed?"
"I came to check on Margaret," Elizabeth insisted, wondering what it was about this burly footman that made her feel she must explain herself. And lie.
She'd visited both Margaret and her mother repeatedly since returning to Heaven's Edge with Nicholas the previous morning. Her mother's condition remained unchanged, but Margaret was recovering well. The maid had been awake and almost chatty. Most of what she said had been about the man standing before Elizabeth now. Margaret had praised Lennie to the sun. So why, at this moment, did Elizabeth feel alarmed at the footman's blunt questions?
Lennie took the lamp from Elizabeth's hand and replaced it with the book he'd been holding. He moved to the room's single window. Elizabeth glanced down at the rough leather-bound volume in her hand. It looked old, its edges worn with time. The title was faded, unreadable.
"So, Lady Devlin, if you are here, then I'm thinking Lord Devlin isn't in his bed, allowing as how I doubt his bride would have left it otherwise." As he spoke, Lennie pulled the curtains away from the window and lifted the lamp high as if he could use its light to peer out into the darkness at the stables below. It seemed an odd bit of theatrics to Elizabeth, strangely out of character for such a stoic man.
Lennie dropped the curtain back in place, left the window, and handed the lamp back to Elizabeth. She offered the book to him. He shook his head.
"Keep it," he said. "You might find the subject interesting. Judging by the number of such books in the duke's library, someone in this household does."
Something in the man's tone disturbed Elizabeth. She wanted to leave the book behind. Instead, she found herself clutching it to her breast. Her hand was on the doorknob when he spoke again in that coarse whisper.
"Where, Lady Devlin, is your husband tonight?"


A BIT ABOUT REGINA


Regina Richards spent a good part of her childhood with her nose in a book. At least when she wasn’t dodging her brothers’ attempts to land darts in her skull or fleeing her sister’s efforts to turn her into a girlie-girl. Growing up in a large family, though sometimes dangerous, was also fun. And those dart-wielding brothers and curling iron armed sister turned out to be surprisingly nice adults. At night, when darkness and responsible parents forced her to set her books aside, she would lay in bed and create stories in her mind’s eye – tales of daring high seas adventures, of cunning escapes from surprisingly inept kidnappers, and of improbable feats of heroism on alien planets.

Today Regina lives in Texas with her husband, three children, and one jolly beagle. She still tells herself a story each night before she goes to sleep, but now she also tells one to the computer during the day. Not the same one of course. Her bedtime stories are her own private world.

Regina is a Hot Prospects winner, an Enchanted Words finalist, a Happily Ever After winner, and a Brenda Novak Mentorship Contest finalist.


CLOVER: How often do you get lost in a story?
REGINA:  Before my children were born I read three to five novels a week. After they came along I was lucky to read two a month. Now they’re nearly grown and I’m happily reading again. On any given day you may find me reading on the front porch with a glass of delicious, curled up on the sofa near a moonlit window, soaking in an afternoon bubble bath, or waiting in line at the grocery store (hurrah for eReaders!). But every day I spend at least an hour reading on my exercise bike because getting lost in a story is the only thing that will keep me pedaling. That and the fact my dog finds watching me endlessly entertaining. Apparently, I’m his personal hamster on a wheel.

CLOVER: Describe an absolutely perfect day.
REGINA: My kids were home for Spring Break so I’ve had several perfect days recently. But one particular day was especially lovely. I got up as I usually do before dawn and did my normal morning routine: prayer, meditation, affirmations, Morning Pages, hamster wheeling, etc. Then my kids got dressed up and we went to Denton Square. It’s one of our favorite places. With one of the many gorgeous county courthouses Texas is so famous for in the background, they had a photo shoot done so I could get a new over-the-fireplace portrait of my  trio. Afterwards we ate just off the square at our favorite Thai restaurant. Later at home they had friends over to watch a movie and I sat with my feet up, – you guessed it – lost in a story, and listening to the happy noise of my house not being empty. Perfect!

CLOVER:  What drew you to write in the genre(s) you do?
REGINA:  I love the spine tingling atmosphere of Gothic Romances. They have the adventure, intensity, mystery, and suspense of multiple other genres but done in a shadowy rather than direct way. Beyond that, Gothic Romance thrives on imperfect but intelligent heroines navigating their way through a series of  psychological obstacles while questioning what is true and what is dangerously misleading. I love all that!


CLOVER’S GOTTA ASK:   What drew you to write about vampires?
REGINA’S GOTTA ANSWER: Most of my stories begin with an object and this question: what is happening around this object and who is present? That was the case with this vampire story. It was the morning after Halloween. The previous night my son had built a cardboard coffin on the front porch and was laying in it dressed as a vampire scaring Trick or Treaters.  As I sat down to write the empty coffin was less than an arm’s length away on the other side of the window. So a cardboard box was the object that inspired Blood Marriage. And if you start with a coffin and Halloween still fresh in your mind…

A few days later I had an amazingly vivid dream about vampires. I won’t go into detail, though I remember the dream clearly still, but it spurred me to write this story.



WHAT DO YOU HAVE COMING NEXT?
Look for Blood Lilly in December 2013 along with an Alternate History Romance tentatively titled The Bull and the Willow.


REGINA IS GIVING ONE LUCKY COMMENTER   a set of rose-tipped gel pens. These are the same type she uses daily. They look lovely in a pen holder and discourage desk raiders (especially the males) from wandering off with them. (North America only.)


Note: Please leave an email address for notification. Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address. 

REGINA’S QUESTION FOR US: 
What object do you keep in a specific place so you’ll always know where it is when you need it? How often has it gone missing when you reach for it? Who’s the usual suspect in its disappearance?
 DON'T FORGET to FOLLOW us on Twitter #GetLostStories or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes.  Be sure to visit with us and Michelle Styles tomorrow Clover 

46 comments:

  1. I bought a copy a couple months ago and have not Ben able to put it down.

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  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. It is amazing the creativity you get from the simplest things. I read Blood Marriage a while back, but I still remember clearly how engaging it was. I cannot wait for the upcoming works!

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  4. I loved it, Regina! Can't wait for your next book, either.
    (jagnikjen@gmail.com)

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    1. Hi Jen. Because I follow your blog religiously, I know that you are never harse and yet you also never offer false praise so I can't tell you how much that means coming from you. Thank you!

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  5. Oh, and in answer to your question...I leave almost everything in a certain place. The thing that goes missing most often however are my earphones and hubby's the culprit despite him having two pair of his own.

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    1. Earphones. Yep, those are hard to keep up with at my house too. I've tried buying everyone their own set, but since I keep mine in a dependable spot, when the kids can't find theirs, they know where to get a backup set. And there they go... :)

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  6. I have my own tool box, my husband has a habit of using my screwdriver or Phillips and not putting them back.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Having your own tool box is a great idea. That would have saved me some searching over the years - assuming of course the tools didn't wander off as so many other things around the house do. But at least if you've got your own set of tools you have a better chance of having a hammer when you need one.

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  7. Hi Regina!
    Wow! What an excerpt! Such vivid descriptions. I felt like I was there in the room. Fantastic! Can't wait to read your book -- which is on my Kindle! It will be my very first vampire story.

    As far as keeping things in their place, I pride myself on being very organized. And I spend as much time keeping things in their place as my family spends taking my things and not putting them back! GRRRR.

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    1. LOL Wendy! I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I feel like I live with a bunch of magpies. Nothing ever seems to be where I left it.

      Thanks for coming by!

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  8. Oh, my goodness, Regina. I loved this excerpt! It transported me to the days I read Daphne du Mauier, many years ago, and what got me started reading romantic suspense. This is delightfully "oohey." Any hope of it showing up on my Nook?
    To answer your question. I lose my magnetized sunglasses. Because I use a variety of purse/fanny packs, depending on whether I'm mall walking or not, I don't have exactly the same place to put them. You'd think I'd just leave them on the glasses, but I don't like to watch TV with them.
    Great inteveiw, Clover!

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    1. Losing track of your sunglasses in Texas is torture! I don't have magnetized ones, just the garden variety sort, but I still guard them like the last piece pie at a family Thanksgiving dinner with my four brothers. :)

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  9. Regina, I'm so happy to host you here today. It's a treat for me. Your's is the book I take with me everywhere and read in doses (It's on my phone via the Kindle App--which, ahem, is a free app so those nook readers can get anything only on Kindle anyway--there's always a get-around.)

    As far as losing things I'd have to say I'm the biggest culprit hiding things from myself or the kids due to thinking I'm clever and will hide something for later, but then forget about it.

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    1. Thanks so much for inviting me, Clover. This is fun!

      Yes, I too sometimes hide things. Then I forget where I've hidden them. I once lost a set of favorite earrings that way and it was 2 years before I found them.

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  10. Hi Regina! I'm in the middle of reading this book, and I love it! I feel swept away by the atmosphere your writing creates. I'll be first in line to get your next book, too.

    The thing I lose all the time is my eyeglasses. They are supposed to be on my side table or on my head if i'm not wearing them. Sometimes they aren't in either place and I have to walk around the house blindly trying to figure out where I left them. I can't blame anyone but myself unfortunately!

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    1. I'm the weird lady who goes to the Tuesday Morning whenever they have a sale and buys a ridiculous number of reading glasses. I tuck them all over the house, in the car, in every bag, purse, drawer. And within a few weeks I still can't find a pair when I need them.

      Although I can't blame that on anyone but myself. I'm the only one who uses those so in this case, like you, the magpie is me!

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  11. Regina,
    Love your interview and your sharing how you use real objects in the world to foster creative ideas. Love Love Blood Marriage!

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  12. Regina,
    Awesome interview and excerpt. Now I need to know where that husband of hers had gotten off to
    A dear friend gave me a worry stone many years ago. He'd been on vacation and bought it at an Indian reservation. The instructions were to put the stone in your pocket when entering tense situations. When you got nervous, you slid your hand in your pocket and rubbed the stone. It took on your worries and freed you of them. I carried that stone on every job interview, and it worked! Even today, if it slides to the back of my jewelry box, I panic!

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    1. Jerrie, you always seem so comfortable and together, easy in your own skin, effortlessly serene. A worry stone. What a great idea. :)

      Oh! and congratulations on the continuing success of your award-winning novel The Green-eyed Doll!

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  13. My keys... I leave them in my pockets or the table and always forget them. I force myself to put it in my purse immediately but I don't always remember...

    Great excerpt! Sounds like a terrific book!

    maybe31 at yahoo.com

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    1. Keys. Definitely. I wonder how much of our lives we each spend searching for those. I bet enough to write half a dozen novels. :)

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  14. Welcome my lovely friend to GLIAS !
    So glad you've let the world have access to your book--it's awesome and the next will be just as well received !!

    Angi

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  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. So why did I remove the comment above? As an author I ought to make up some really interesting story. But the truth is I just put it in the wrong spot by accident. On to more interesting things...

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  16. Wow Regina! This sounds so good! I loved the excerpt! I can't wait to read it!

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  17. Regina. I'm usually not one to read any type of romance book, but I'm glad I read "Blood Marriage" It was hard to put down after I started it and I continued reading it every opportunity I had. I still have those images in my head of your characters and the events they were involved in.

    Congrats on your book interview!

    Steve.

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  18. Nice interview. Put the keys on the desk, so I don't have to look for them

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  19. Fantastic interview! I happen to love Blood Marriage, for any of you who haven’t read it yet.

    Hm… I keep a notepad and (special) pen on my nightstand so I can always jot down ideas I get in bed. It goes missing every time I take it to the office to type up notes but forget to bring it back, but I’m the only one to blame for that! =)

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    1. Are you sure you're the only one to blame? You do have two rather mischievous kitties. :)

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  20. Regina, welcome to Get Lost in a Story. I've been AWOL the past few days and crazy busy. So glad I popped in tonight. Clover, you have made an awesome discovery. Is the book available now. The excerpt GOT me! Best wishes. Enjoy your kids being home! :)

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    1. Thanks, Donnell. :) Blood Marriage is currently available on Amazon.

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    2. Thanks Donnell. I am feeling rather smug about this.

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  21. Hairbands for me. I always keep them where I believe I'm sure not to lose them - on my person, either on my wrist or actually in my hair. And yet they all still mysteriously disappear...

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    1. Yep, hairbands are definitely Houdini-ish items. I think they and the dryer socks are off somewhere laughing at us all.

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  22. Great excerpt, and I'm glad to hear you have additional books in the works!

    As for me, I'm forever misplacing my USB drives. Kind of a pain, since my class presentations are stored there... Oh well. :)

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  23. USB drives. That's serious. We kept doing the same at my house so I thought I had a brilliant idea and bought everyone drives shaped like animals: elephant, penguin, lion, etc. Sadly, it didn't stop us from misplacing them but at least when we found one we knew whose it was.

    Thanks for stopping by, Lara. Can't wait to read your new Harlequin suspense due out soon.

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  24. I don't do romance and vampires. Ever. I'll read about vampires, but they better be eating hearts instead of breaking them. However, having seen quite a bit of your ridiculously well-written "unpolished" stuff, I'm extremely eager to read about vampires and romance. Yep, your writing is that good. I'm a convert. Just this once.

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  25. Molly Cannon is the winner of the Rose gel pens. (I'm jealous and will have to find out where Regina gets them)

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  26. Yes! Great interview, great read!

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