Wednesday, January 20, 2016

New from Regina Richards

Host Angi Morgan



A big GLIAS welcome to my friend and chaptermate, Regina Richards. I can't wait to read her new project, She's a source of constant support and has a loving heart. And she's a wonderful writer.


REGINA RICHARDS spent much of her childhood with her nose in a book. At night, when darkness and responsible parents forced her to set her books aside, she’d lie in bed and create stories in her mind’s eye of daring adventures, cunning escapes, and improbable feats of heroism on alien planets.

Today Regina lives in Texas with her husband and three children. She still tells herself a story each night before she sleeps, 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.


The BLUE BREEZE
For too long Lāākē has watched Aleesha from his Hell Hollow darkness, knowing she is forever beyond his reach. His half-breed flesh would burn to ashes if he dared step across the Cleaving into her blue-skinned world of mountain sunlight. But when she tumbles into the darkness, he must decide whether to follow his hellish instincts, or succumb to the unfamiliar feeling gripping his heart.

Fleeing her uncle’s attempts to steal her inheritance, Aleesha falls into the lethal world of the Hell Hollows. To reclaim her rightful place in the sunshine, she must battle monstrous animals, cunning plants, and trophy hunters intent of mounting her head on their lodge wall. With the help of Lāākē, a disturbingly attractive Hell Hollows warrior, she just might escape the darkness with her life. But will she get out with her heart?

Read a Little More

Lāākē drew his only remaining weapon from his thigh sheath and held his arm clear of his body. Multiple wrappers bound his legs now. More crawled to help the one trapping his left arm.
“Sit up! Now!”  Lāākē shouted. “Run!”
Aleesha’s eyes left his. The creature moved toward her. All blue tone drained for her face and the high-pitched, horror-whoosh of breath she gasped in nearly burst Lāākē’s heart.
The phantel’s long green tongue licked out to curl around One-ear’s severed head and draw it into its mouth. Skull crunched. Brain splurted. Still Aleesha didn’t move.
The lizard swung its long snout toward her. Lāākē aimed for the creature’s eye and let his knife fly. But fortune favored the phantel. It blinked and the same scale-armored hide that protected its massive body sent Lāākē’s knife thudding harmlessly to the ground. The phantel advanced on Aleesha.
“No!” Lāākē shouted and struggled to keep his final arm free. The lizard’s tongue whipped out. Lāākē felt his heart would explode. But the creature didn’t sever Aleesha’s head. The razor edges of its tongue folded inward, transforming it into a flat, blunt-edged appendage. With fluid dexterity the phantel gathered Aleesha’s splayed hair and wound it into a leash.
Curved horns rose in two parallel rows down either side of the lizard’s back and between the rows its spine sunk. Above the bowl created by the caved spine, the horns arched and bent inward, coming together at their apex like steepled claws.
Lāākē released a rattling breath. Like his own death, Aleesha’s would not be swift or merciful. The phantel was female.
Aleesha’s legs kicked in the mountain sunshine as the creature dragged her through the Cleaving and fully into the darkness. She twisted and flailed, digging her heels deep into the moist soil. Her hands clawed frantically at the ground. Anything she could grasp—rock, stick, plant—she threw at the creature. As she passed beneath the kissama tree her hand closed on Lāākē’s knife.
“Go for the eyes,” Lāākē shouted. But it was too late.
The phantel released her hair. Its tongue encircled her waist. The horns steepled on its back opened like a pair of hideous jaws. With an effortless flick of its tongue the lizard tossed Aleesha into the bowl on its back. The horn steeple snapped closed.
Aleesha scrambled to her knees, stabbing and lashing at the creature with the knife. But the walls of her scale and horn prison were impervious to the blade. The phantel ignored her, stopping to lap One-ear’s blood from a bush.
Lāākē shook a wrapper from his free arm. “Use the knife on yourself,” he said quietly, his voice hoarse, as if he’d been shouting for hours.
She gazed up at where he hung from the tree. Turquoise eyes held blue.
“She will take you to her den. Feed you alive to her young. Use the knife on yourself.”
Aleesha’s gaze left his to dart around her. To the carnage across the Cleaving wall. To the dead rodents, bow, and arrows littering the ground beneath the tree. To him, tethered upside down, wrappers trussing him like curing meat. The phantel turned to leave. Aleesha looked at the knife, and then again at the bow and arrows. Her eyes met his and she bobbed her chin once in acknowledgement.
Her arm extended out from between the horn bars of her prison. With a grim smile, she flung the knife upwards.
He caught it. The blade flashed with savage swiftness. Wrapper bodies rained from the kissama as the phantel’s spiked tail disappeared into the forest tangle.  
On the other side of the barrier, Eeloos shoved his guard toward the Cleaving wall. “Go. Get her back.”
But the guard’s fear of the Hell Hollows was greater than his fear of his master. He backed away, shaking his head and muttering beneath his breath.
Eeloos’s face turned indigo with rage. He charged the guard, boxing his nose. “You worthless imbecile. Post men around the mountain. If she comes back, deliver her to me. Immediately.”
Blood gurgled between the fingers the guard pressed to his nose.  “No one has ever come back.”

Like this excerpt? Get the rest of the story  


 GET TO KNOW REGINA
ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
REGINA: I know how many pages I can read in an hour, so in the past I’d get the daily routine stuff out of the way and block out that number of hours to just curl up in a comfy spot with my favorite tea and indulge in a one-sitting-cover-to-cover reading orgy. But the pace of life has been crazy lately and I don’t get to do that as often, so I carry my Kindle tucked in my purse right next to my cell phone and sneak a few minutes here and there wherever I can. Yes, I’m that lady at the doctor’s office, the bus depot, and inching along the drive-thru lane with her nose in a book. During a long wait in the grocery checkout line when everyone else whips out their cell phone to check email, I’m the gal whipping out her Kindle.

ANGI: Hugh Jackman or Chris Pine?
REGINA: Wow, that’s a tough one! But if I must choose…Hugh Jackman. I love a little (just a little) Wolverine in my man.

ANGI: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met?
REGINA: My oldest brother died last year. He has always been a hero to me because despite dealing with serious health issues most of his life, he never let anything stop him from achieving success in his career, living a family life full of laughter and love and adventure, being the truest friend anyone could want, and in the end facing his death with dignity, grace, continuing concern for those he was leaving behind, and an awe-inspiring gratitude for his life.

ANGI: What's your favorite thing to do in your state?
REGINA: There’s a question almost as big as my state—Texas.  But it’s got to be traveling to Austin to see my adult children. Austin is a great city with all sorts of entertainment options and visiting with my kids is the best!

ANGI: What’s your favorite meal?
REGINA: That’s a hard one for me. Practically everything is my favorite meal. I’m totally monogamous when it comes to men, but I really get around when it comes to food.

ANGI: What do you like about the hero of your book?
REGINA: He puts the heroine’s needs above his own, even though his needs are eating him from the inside with all the viciousness of the creature in the movie Alien.

ANGI: What drinks or snacks are always on your desk when you’re writing?
REGINA: Water with Sonic ice. I buy it by the bagful. I’m addicted.

ANGI: Hiking Boots or Dancing Heels?
REGINA: A love of dancing seems to be a genetic thing in both my husband’s  family and mine. Both the men and women are enthusiastic social dancers and sometimes they even have some talent. Dancing powers me up physically and emotionally; hiking calms and soothes my soul. So it’s a tie.

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: What’s one thing from your bucket list?
REGINA’S GOTTA ANSWER:   Scuba diving! I’ve dreamed of going since I was a kid and read a Power Boys mystery in which the teenage detectives explore an underwater cave and solve a crime. I can’t remember the title of the story or what mystery they solved, but that scene really captured my imagination. I don’t want to take up scuba diving as a hobby, but I’d love to do it just once to experience what it’s like. So is it a coincidence that there’s an underwater cave in more than one of my novels? Probably not.
FIND REGINA:
Previous GLIAS interviews

UP NEXT for REGINA:
THE MOSS MIST
Hell Hollows, book 2
May 2016

Aaric pushed a dead lizard into the boobla grove that formed the wall of the bar. Two arm-like branches slid from the dense red foliage, weaving together with practiced speed to form a leafy yet smooth table and stool. He sat down and pulled a second small lizard from the leather pouch attached to his thigh, then thought better of it and instead fished out a plump rodent. The eager foliage accepted the payment, a whiff of tangy spice signaling its approval. Laden vines extended and two purple gourds thudded onto the table. They rocked like clumsy idiots as if in warning of what awaited the man who consumed the full contents of even a single gourd.
With deliberate care, Aaric drew his knife from his waist sheath. The rough-faced patrons at the surrounding tables watched him from the corners of their eyes, though their boisterous conversations continued without pause. Aaric’s lips twisted. In the northern mountians, the blue-skinned Azzurians thought of the green-skinned residents of the Hell Hollows as savages. They would have been shocked to realize that the rules of behavior here in the dusky valleys that separated the twin mountains were as intricate and nuanced as those of their own society. The difference of course was that failing to touch cup to brow before drinking with a fellow Azzurian would result in no more than a censuring glance and a dip in reputation. While failing to draw a weapon with proper sloth when amongst the Wasobi would almost ensure a multitude of knives would be flung at your heart.
Languidly, Aaric cut the top of one gourd with his knife. The razor edge sliced through the thick-skin as if through water. As was traditional, he left enough peel attached to create a hinged top. The heady spice of boobla juice rose from the gourd neck to fog his mind. He slowly returned his knife to its sheath and waited for those corner-eye squints to turn away before averting his nose from the rising purple wisps.
In the Hell Hollows it was usual to wait to open a gourd until all were seated at table. Like the slow drawing a knife, it was a practice particularly important in a bar like this one, where your drinking companions might be as inclined to drug and rob you as make merry.
Aaric raised the gourd to his mouth, lips pressed tight. Thick purple liquid dribbled through the dark stubble on his jaw, running in thin wet rivulets down his corded neck muscles. It disappeared beneath his sleeve-less leather jerkin, stinging in smooth lines over the tight muscles of his chest and abdomen.
“Buy a frilly a sip?” A green-skinned Wasobi woman in a tunic so low-cut at the top and short below that it barely covered her assets sashayed up to his table. She looked pointedly at the place across from him where a small lizard might convince the boobla to provide a second stump seat. Her eyes were the same soofoo-addicted pink as her dye-stained hair and she batted them coyly at him as she leaned forward to give him a view down her tunic. Cheers rippled from the crowded grovebar as the green-skinned patrons behind her approved their view.
“You would tempt a Paccan monk,” Aaric said politely. Soofoo addicts, male or female, were always trouble and he didn’t need trouble tonight. Nor did he need company. Not of her variety at least. “But to my sorrow, tonight its business for me, not pleasure.”
The woman gave him a practiced pout, then smiled with the understanding of a veteran boobla-veen. “Well, once business is done…”  She turned her back to him, flashed an invitation over her shoulder, and then bent to adjust her sandal strap. Another cheer rippled across the grovebar as this time the patrons were treated to the frontal view, while Aaric had a close up of their previous view. The drunken grin Aaric forced to hide his disgust faded as the boobla-veen wandered over to another table.
When he was certain the attention of the bar patrons had left with her, Aaric lowered the open gourd under the table and poured all but a few sips of the contents onto the crushed clover ground. At his shoulder the boobla bush rustled in surprised indignation, but the sound blended into the general din of arguments and laughter, attracting no attention.
Tonight’s crowd was as boisterous as any he’d ever seen in a bargrove, but there was something beneath their merry-making that set Aaric’s nerves on edge. A storm was brewing among the citizenry of the Hell Hollows. It had begun a few months earlier with the shock of the mixed-race consort chosen by the Cereallean queen.
The green-skinned Wasobi had always reigned supreme within the Hell Hollows, secure in the knowledge that though the blue-skinned people could enter their territory, they dared not. The promise of swift death from the lethal plants and animals that inhabited the dusky lands between the twin mountains kept them away. As did the Wasobi’s almost insane enthusiasm for decorating their lodge walls with blue-head trophies. It had been that way for as long as the brother suns, ring and disk, had traveled the sky. Or at least as long as anyone living, blue-skinned mountain folk or green-skinned valley dwellers, could remember. It was more than simply the transparent barrier that encircled the base of each of the mountains or the fact that crossing that barrier into the mountain light meant almost instant incineration to any green-skinned Wasobi. It was the fact that the blue-skins who could cross the Cleaving, as both races called the barrier, had always been prevented from doing so by the very nature of the Hell Hollows. The dusky valleys between their mountains were agitated. And when the greenskins got agitated, they became even more dangerous than usual and usual was certainly dangerous enough.
Three men entered the grovebar. Aaric raised the near empty gourd to his lips, studying them. The two taller green-skins positioned themselves two steps ahead of the third, shorter man. Their eyes swept the room, looking at everyone rather than for someone. Aaric stilled the instinct to reach for his knife, relaxing his shoulders into a comfortably inebriated slump. There would be more of their sort waiting outside, hopefully with the merchandise; the softly feminine, cunningly treacherous merchandise.

PREVIOUSLY RELEASED by REGINA:
BLOOD MARRIAGE
Read a little, Buy the book

THE BLUE JAY OF HAPPINESS
This short story is suitable for all ages.

Blue Jay's grouchiness is legendary among the birds on the block. So when an old woman he’s been pilfering peanuts from saves his tail feathers, Jay isn’t the sort of bird to get all gooey-hearted. Still, he owes the old lady, and he knows just how to clear the debt. 

REGINA IS GIVING AWAY  a $20 AMAZON GIFT CARD so you can find that perfect story. The winner will also receive a pair of wrist warmers, so you’ll be both warm and elegant as you settle in for a long winter’s read.  North America Readers

Note: COMMENTERS are encouraged to leave a contact email address to speed the prize notification process. 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.

ANGI'S back Friday with
MADELINE MARTIN
UP NEXT ON GLIAS:  Lizbeth Selvig
Get Lost on Goodreads, Facebook
or @GetLostInAStory  #GetLostStories

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REGINA WANTS TO KNOW: Is there a scene from a novel you read as a child, or as an adult, that has made you add something to your bucket list? What and why?

37 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Glad to have you here, Regina! Congrats on the new book!

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  3. Thanks, Lara. It's a real treat to be here. :)

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  4. Wow! Just the little excerpt makes me want to read more!

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  5. Reads like a thrilling tale of adventure in a unique and colorfully well-drawn fantasy world. Would definitely be interested in reading more.

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  6. If you'd like to be entered in the drawing for the $20 Amazon gift certificate, please be sure to leave your comment with your name so that we can get you in the hopper.

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  7. That cover turned out gorgeous. I've read a lot of this story and really love it. I can't wait to read the rest!

    "I’m totally monogamous when it comes to men, but I really get around when it comes to food" made me laugh out loud. XD I've always wanted to go scuba diving too! I also end up with lots of water scenes in my books. Hm...

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    1. There is something about water...*arches her eyebrows*

      Thanks for coming by Annie. I so love getting the email notices each time you do a new post on your blog http://annieneugebauer.com/ . You always have something fun and fascinating to say about books, writing, and life.

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  8. Well the wonderful descriptions of Ireland in a series I read has brought to life a dream of mine to see Ireland in person one day... Enjoyed reading your post! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Ireland would be such a terrific adventure! I might have to add that one to my list, too!

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    1. Coming from the very personification of modern coll, I take that as a mega-compliment. :)

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  10. Agreed! Best Regina quote of all time!

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  11. In answer to the question. I have read many books set in Paris and have always wanted to take a trip there.

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    1. Paris. Now that's what I call a great choice for a bucket list. I might put that on mine as well.

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  12. Funny interview! I can't wait to read the book!:)

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  13. That excerpt really hooked me. Sounds like a great story, can't wait to read it!

    In response to the question . . . When I was a kid, I used to love the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. I always wanted to go to Xanth! Too bad it's not real . . .

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    1. Well, if you can't add actually going to Xanth to your bucket list, maybe you could have a Xanth themed party. Or writer a few letters to producers begging them to make the movies if they haven't already. Or if the movies already exist maybe your bucket list could be to binge watch them all in a Xanth-ish place with Xanth-ish snacks. Yep, I'm weird, but weird can be fun. And bucket lists aren't supposed to be mature or sensible. They're supposed to be fun. :)

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  14. Reading books about Ireland and Scotland make me want to visit there some day. Entering under the name of Virginia

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    1. Both Ireland and Scotland are both on my bucket list as well. I'm sure the modern cities are great but I admit it's the historic stuff (castles and ruins) I want most to see. Thanks for coming by. :)

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  15. Reading books about Ireland and Scotland make me want to visit there some day. Entering under the name of Virginia

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