Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Get Lost in Medieval Romance with Regan Walker

Regan Walker is an avid romance reader, reviewer and a bestselling author. She has a new book out, a medieval romance featuring a feisty undercover bride and a simmering conquerer. Here's a look at The Red Wolf's Prize. 

Available on Amazon
HE WOULD NOT BE DENIED HIS PRIZE

Sir Renaud de Pierrepont, the Norman knight known as the Red Wolf for the beast he slayed with his bare hands, hoped to gain lands with his sword. A year after the Conquest, King William rewards his favored knight with Talisand, the lands of an English thegn slain at Hastings, and orders him to wed the heiress that goes with them, Lady Serena.

SHE WOULD LOVE HIM AGAINST HER WILL

Serena wants nothing to do with the fierce warrior to whom she has been unwillingly given, the knight who may have killed her father. When she learns the Red Wolf is coming to claim her, she dyes her flaxen hair brown and flees, disguised as a servant, determined to one day regain her lands. But her escape goes awry and she is brought back to live among her people, though not unnoticed by the new Norman lord.

Deprived of his promised bride, the Red Wolf turns his attention to the comely servant girl hoping to woo her to his bed. But the wench resists, claiming she hates all Normans. As the passion between them rises, Serena wonders, can she deny the Norman her body? Or her heart?

Here's an excerpt:
Renaud lingered at the high table in the hall until he glimpsed the servant girl with the brown plait carry a pile of linen through the entry heading toward the stairs to the bedchambers. Slowly rising, he nodded to Geoff and followed after her.
Quietly, he stepped through the open door of his chamber. The girl had her back to him as she freshened the bed, the stack of clean linen resting on a nearby chest. He did not acknowledge her but went directly to the trestle table, poured a goblet of wine and sat, pretending to examine a drawing of the lands surrounding the manor. 
She turned. “I can come back later, my lord.” She spoke meekly, barely looking at him as she hurriedly finished with the bed and began a hasty retreat to the door.
He replied in the English tongue, as he did to all save his men. “Nay, you may stay. Your work will not disturb me.”
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw her back stiffen. Slowly, she retraced her steps and resumed her work. Her movements were rushed as if she were trying to complete her assigned tasks in haste. Was she nervous at being alone with him? Even with that, Renaud thought she was graceful as she walked to the shelves near where he sat. She held her head high, unusual for a servant in the presence of her lord. Though her long plait was the dull color of country earth, her profile was refined and her features delicate. He rose and silently moved to stand behind her where she dusted a carved box.
She must have sensed his approach.
“My lord?” she said, turning to face him.
Blue-violet eyes held his gaze only a moment before looking down at the floor. Set in her ivory face they reminded him of violets in the snow. So mesmerized was he that, for a moment, he forgot his question.
“Your name is Sarah?”
Keeping her eyes focused on the floor, she said, “Yea, my lord.”
“How long have you been at Talisand?”
“All my life, my lord.” Her voice was soft, a low purr, and with her words a flowery scent drifted to his nose. He was captivated and wanted to touch her. How long had it been since he’d had a woman? And this one was causing his manhood to stir.  
Turning back to the shelf, she resumed dusting the carved box, as if to put an end to the conversation. His gaze shifted to her hand as she set down the box. Delicate fingers and ivory skin. It was not the hand of a kitchen wench.
“Let me see your hand.” She started at his request, and though he could see she wanted to resist, she did not fight him when he reached for her hand and brought it close to his body turning her palm upward.
It told him much.

Meet Regan

As a child, Regan loved to write stories, but by the time she got to college, more serious pursuits were encouraged, so she became a lawyer. But after years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government, she decided it was time for a change. She returned to her first love of writing. Her work had given her a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown,” so her first novels, the Agents of the Crown trilogy, involve a demanding Prince Regan who thinks of his subjects as his private talent pool.

And now Regan has ventured into the medieval world with THE RED WOLF’S PRIZE, a William the Conqueror romance. Regan wants her readers to experience history and adventure as well as love. Each of her stories weaves in history and real historical figures.

Regan lives in San Diego with her Golden Retriever who reminds her every day to smell the roses. 

You can email Regan at Regan.Walker123@gmail.com, or find out more about her books here:
Twitter: @RegansReview

The Interview:
E.E.: How often to you get lost in a story?
Regan: Often. I am an avid reader and reviewer of historical romance so I’m reading for my HistoricalRomance Review blog all the time, every night. I love being in the deep past, seeing history unfold as I’m falling in love with the hero.

E.E.: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
Regan: When I was a child, before I’d turned eight, I’d read the entire fairy tale section of our public library. I was big into fairy tales then. Even in later years, I read The Lord of the Rings twice. When my son came along, I read him the Harry Potter books, but for my taste now, it’s probably action and adventure. My novels all feature those elements, though occasionally there might be a glimmer of my past affection for fairy tales. There is a character in The Red Wolf’s Prize, Maugris, who sees visions.

E.E.: Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?
Regan: I write all my books to music. I have a 3-hour playlist I use, comprised mostly of movie scores by the French composer Alexandre Desplat. But for some scenes, I use special music. I used Skyfall for some of the battle scenes in The Red Wolf’s Prize, as I did for the pirate attacks in Wind Raven, my last novel.

For the song that Rhodri, the Welsh bard, sings with Serena, I used Muladach Mi Is Mi Air M'aineol by Capercaillie on their Celtic Celebration album. It was just as I pictured them, sitting in the great hall, the firelight dancing on her face as she smiles at the Welsh bard and the Red Wolf observes in the shadows, mesmerized. Here's one of their songs on YouTube,

E.E.: Where do you read and how often?
Regan: I read every day…usually in bed at night for several hours. And I take my Kindle or a book with me everywhere I go, so that if I am forced to wait, I can take out my book and be happy in an instant. I am an AVID reader.

E.E.: What sounds do you love?
Regan: The ocean waves breaking on shore. Rain falling. Thunderstorms, especially when I’m tucked under the covers at night. Music to my soul.

E.E.: What was the first story you remember writing?
Regan: In grammar school, I wrote a story about a brave girl. I recall she had adventures. It was called “A 20th Century Pollyanna.

E.E.: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Regan: It used to be Casablanca, but that has been replaced by Pride and Prejudice (the version with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen)—I like the happy ending.

E.E.: What is your biggest vice?
Regan: Dark chocolate, the gourmet kind. Currently my favorite bar is Triple Nut Temptation made by Chuao, but I would not turn down a chocolate truffle. Just sayin’…

E.E.: Be honest, when reading...do you put yourself in the heroine’s role?
Regan: Sometimes, but only if the heroine is strong and smart and courageous. I don’t like weak, whiny heroines who keep tripping on their gown as they are trying to escape. Please.

E.E.: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
Regan: The deep historicals, rich in historical detail with a believable plot and sincere emotion. I call them the two-Kleenex novels.

E.E.: Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?
Regan: I’d invite Lady Mary Campbell from Racing With The Wind. She’s smart, courageous and clever—and she always has some scheme she is working on. I’d not invite my villains. They’d insist on having their way and they’d not be kind about it.

E.E.: What three things are, at this moment, in your heroine’s purse, satchel, reticule, weapons belt or amulet bag (whatever she carries)?
Regan: From The Red Wolf's Prize, in Serena’s satchel: herbs, bandages and her deadly seax knife. She’s a worthy heroine, to be sure.

Regan is giving away a copy of The Red Wolf's Prize. All you have to do is leave a comment and enter the raffle.

Today's question for our readers: “What fascinates you most about the medieval period?”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

21 comments:

  1. I think it's just generally the way of life that fascinates. How things were done without any modern conveniences. The different roles in society & how those roles all fit together.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. I agree with you, Mary, and it was a surprise to me to learn how well they ate and how everyone had a place in the Saxon/English society.

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  2. I like how the everything seems more real somehow

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    1. You have a great imagination, Linda. And that's the kind of reader I am...I enter the world of the story and visualize I'm there!

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  3. I fell in love with romance reading the medieval "Song" series by Catherine Coulter. Your book reminded me of those so I'm eager to read it. Thanks for being with us today!

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  4. Thanks, E.E., for having me on the blog...and I am honored my story reminded you of Catherine Coulter's Song series. She's a great storyteller!

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  5. Regan, I absolutely loved your excerpt. Sold! Off to get my copy. As for medieval, I love this era so much more than Regency. It's the ultimate escapism. It was so rural, so dangerous, and yes, we build it up to be what it wasn't --- hard hard life. But still just love this era! Good luck on your publications!

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    1. Oh, Donnell...you made my day. If you win, you can pick any other of my novels as your prize. Wind Raven is a very unusual Regency...and it only begins in London.

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  6. Love the two-Kleenex novels line, Regan!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Collette. Yeah, the historical romances of Penelope Williamson are just that kind. I keep the Kleenex close.

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  7. I love the medieval period, If I had to chose a time to live in, it would be then.It would be hard I'm sure. Great excerpt from the book Regan, I'm now curious as to how it all works out for Serena/Sarah and Renaud

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    1. Thanks, Libby. I must say that diving into the 11th century for as long as I did in all my research, I felt like I was living there. The time of the Norman Conquest...and the years after...were tumultuous for all those living in England. The next in the series, Rogue Knight, will be set in 1069, and feature William's "harrying of the north."

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  8. the people

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    1. Dear bn, I do understand. Some of the people draw me, too, though William I wasn't always a nice man, particularly if you were English!

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  9. I'm fascinated by the medieval period, the dark ages, and I find myself getting so deep into a well-written stories at time that I simply forget I belong to the modern times. Sometimes, I will identify with the heroine and sometimes, the hero - depending on my mood at the time of reading. I love it when there are lots of historical details woven into a story in such a way that it doesn't feel as if I was attending a History lesson in school. I like to let my imagination go wild and, through those details (about history, the setting, the descriptions), I escape into another world.

    And Regan, as I already bought The Red Wolfe's Prize, don't put my name in the basket (unless I could pick another book... LOL). I downloaded the excerpt on Amazon and after I read it, I simply couldn't wait a day longer and I bought it so it's handy whenever I'm ready to read it.

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    1. Liette, thanks so much for getting the book, and yes, if you win, you may choose any of my books to have as a prize!

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  10. Men were strong and looked out for their family. The different customs and food of that time period also.

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    1. You are right, Debbie. Men then had to protect their families or lose them. I hope you find The Red Wolf's Prize to be a satisfying read!

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  11. You know how I love medievals, Regan. Holiday can't come soon enough so I can get to my TBR list and The Red Wolf's Prize! Best of luck.

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    1. Oh, I can't wait to hear what you think, Barbara.

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