Friday, June 7, 2013

Against the Wind

Today's special guest is Regan Walker. As a child Regan loved to write stories, particularly about adventure-loving girls, but by the time she got to college more serious pursuits took priority. One of her professors thought her suited to the profession of law, and Regan realized it would be better to be a hammer than a nail. Years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government gave her a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown” on its subjects. Hence her romance novels often involve a demanding Prince Regent who thinks of his subjects as his private talent pool.

Regan lives in San Diego with her golden retriever, Link, whom she says inspires her every day to relax and smell the roses.


AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

Your book takes place in Regency England. Why did you select that particular era?  How much research did you have to do into the history of the time, the clothing and the customs?

The idea came from my early love of mysteries and spy stories and my knowledge that all branches of government have their own agents. It wasn’t much of a stretch to conceive of the Prince Regent asking a few of his subjects to take on “special assignments.” Kings have been doing it for centuries. Hence my trilogy features heroes who have been asked by the Prince Regent to take on a unique task. First there was Racing With The Wind, and the British Lord who masqueraded at the Nighthawk, the thief of Napoleon’s secrets. Next is my latest release, Against the Wind, the story of Sir Martin Powell, the agent for the Crown in France who has come home to England for one last assignment. The 3rd in the trilogy—Wind Raven--takes place on a schooner and in the Caribbean in 1817 and features a rakish sea captain and a pirate who plied the seas around Puerto Rico at the time. I’m writing it now.

I always do a tremendous amount of research. For the first book, it was work on Regency London in 1816, and also the real life characters I used from Paris as well as geography, and buildings in existence at the time. I suppose that research never ends as an issue pops up and sends me scurrying down a rabbit trail. Like the time I needed to know what kind of trees grew in the place where a scene was set or what guests did at house parties. For my new release, Against the Wind, I did volumes of research on the Pentrich Rebellion that shook the Midlands in 1817, and the inns of the Midlands and the 6th Duke of Devonshire, to name just a few things. There are many historical figures in that book so much of my research went into getting them right.


What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?

My favorite scene is the one where Martin and Kit first meet in the bordello, Willow House. It was the first thing that got me started writing the book. I was listening to a Ricky Martin song, “Nobody Wants to Be Lonely,” and the scene with Kit came to me, a young woman whose life has been shattered standing before a window, bathed in moonlight, staring out into the night, a “broken arrow.” She hears a voice behind her, a man in the shadows, saying “Come to me.” It’s a very unusual encounter and I had to understand what might lead a proper lady to make love with a stranger. I even consulted with a psychologist friend to make sure I portrayed it in a believable manner.

 
Tell us about the main characters; their situations, their quirks - and what brings them together.

Sir Martin is from a wealthy sea merchant family who after an argument with his father ten years earlier ran off to serve the Crown in Paris as a spy. He was knighted for his work by the Prince Regent and is being recalled to London for one last assignment. He is charming and winsome but also scarred by a past failure that haunts him. Kit, who is actually Katherine, Lady Egerton, is a young woman who has lost everything: her parents, her sister and her dreams. Alone and with little funds, she runs to the one woman who has always cared for her—Miss Abby—her former nanny who is now the owner of an elegant bordello. It is there she encounters Martin who is having one night of pleasure before buckling down to work. He cannot believe the beautiful redhead he meets there is a courtesan. And he is right; she isn’t. Kit is a dowager baroness and the daughter of an earl—and an artist who sees everyone through an artist’s eyes. She thinks Martin is nearly beautiful when she sees his face bathed in firelight. She sees her brother in law, a violent man who lusts after her, as an avenging hawk. She will draw the faces that figure prominently in the uprising that will take place in the Midlands.

What are you working on currently? Can we expect more of Martin and Katherine?

Currently I’m writing the third book, Wind Raven. While it begins in London in 1817, much of it is set on a schooner in Bermuda and the Caribbean. The hero is Martin’s sea captain brother, Nick, whom you meet in Against the Wind, and the heroine is Tara, an impudent American patriot from the family who built the Baltimore clipper ships that were so successful in the War of 1812. She was raised on her brothers’ ships and thinks she can act the crewmember on Nick’s ship but he’s not having any of it. Right now, I am deep in all the nautical terms from the period as well as the history of Bermuda in the early 1800s. Ah yes, there is also a very handsome pirate, Roberto Cofresi out of Puerto Rico. All that work is why I don’t write a book every few months. Each involves a lot of inquiry into the past.

Yes, you will see Martin and Kit again in Wind Raven—they will meet up with Nick and Tara in St. Thomas near the end of the book just before Nick and Tara sail to Baltimore.


ABOUT THE BOOK


A night in London’s most exclusive bordello. Agent of the Crown Sir Martin Powell would not normally indulge, but the end of his time spying against Napoleon deserves a victory celebration. Yet, such pleasure will not come cheap. The auburn-haired courtesan he calls “Kitten” is in truth Katherine, Lady Egerton, a dowager baroness and the daughter of an earl as elusive as she is alluring. She flees a fate worse than death. But Martin has known darkness, too, and he alone can touch her heart—as she has touched his. To the English Midlands they will steal, into the rising winds of revolution.


AN EXCERPT


“Is making love something you do not wish to do?” he said. “As I recall, you seemed to enjoy it as much as I did.” Then, more tenderly: “Besides, I have missed you, Kitten.”

“No…I cannot. I am not your…your…” She could not bring herself to say the word. Their one night together had been a wonderful, amazing, and yes, passionate experience, but it could never happen again. She had escaped for one dreadful night into a dream. Into his arms. As much as she wanted those around her again, wanted to lie with him, she could not allow it. This was not who she was. Not who she was raised to be.

Placing his hands on her waist, he pulled her against him. The heat from his broad chest overwhelmed her as she stared into indigo eyes now stormy with desire. “You opened a door, Kitten, I’m unwilling to close.”

CONTACT THE AUTHOR - AND WIN A PRIZE!

Follow Regan by visiting her website, blog and following her on Twitter:

twitter: @RegansReview


Regan will be awarding either Racing with the Wind OR Lunchbox Romances that tie into the triology,The Holly and the Thistle and The Shamrock and the Rose (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/04/virtual-book-tour-against-wind-by-regan.html





6 comments:

p.m.terrell said...

Thank you for joining us today! I love books set in the UK - can't wait to read yours. Best of luck on your book tour!

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Regan said...

Thanks for having me on your blog! I have friends in North Carolina and have spent many happy days there.

Kaki said...

A great interview. Thanks for sharing, Regan. I just added your two Agents of the Crown books to my Kindle and can't wait to get started. I loved your novella, THE HOLLY AND THE THISTLE, and know these will be even better. Good luck!

Regan said...

Thanks, Kaki--a real honor for me coming from you!

Ellen Thompson said...

Sounds like a great book! I can't wait to read it.

thompsonem3 at aol dot com