Monday, June 9, 2014

Hold Still

Today's special guest is Lisa Regan, a crime fiction author.  Her first novel, Finding Claire Fletcher won Best Heroine in the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards 2013.  It was runner-up for Best Novel.  It was also a Digital Book Today Best of 2013 ebook selection.  In December 2013, Finding Claire Fletcher and her second novel, Aberration were #1 Amazon bestsellers in the Kidnapping and Serial Killers categories, respectively.

Lisa is a member of Sisters In Crime.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University.  She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. 


I asked Lisa what inspired the plot of Hold Still, her latest book. Here is her answer:

I started out with the dream sequence—the nightmare that the main character, Jocelyn, has repeatedly. She is a teenager, standing at a door in her family home watching a crime being committed. I had this idea for a character who had seen something terrible, something truly horrific and for whatever reason, had no memory of it later. She knew that it had occurred, that she had witnessed it, but couldn’t remember it. I wanted to explore how that would affect someone, how it would haunt them and inform their choices in life. Jocelyn becomes a police officer which is the exact opposite of what her domineering father would have wanted for her. So I started with that.

I knew that this would be a crime novel so I needed a crime. I had seen a television special years ago on prostitutes in Philadelphia and Atlantic City. I remember being struck by how matter-of-fact these women were about all the crimes that were committed against them on a daily basis. So many of the crimes went unreported simply because these women knew that no one would care or even try to get them justice. If you think about that, you realize that someone with very sadistic tendencies could be committing crimes against prostitutes who are not reporting them and get away with it for years. Forever, even. That’s kind of a scary proposition. Something like this kind of fit right into line with Jocelyn’s back story, so I combined these two what ifs into a single plot: 

What if you had a character that had witnessed a crime but had no memory of it?
What if a sadistic criminal could get away with his crimes for years because he was doing it to people who wouldn’t report it?

Finally, I had long wanted to do a novel that was set in my hometown of Philadelphia and Hold Still had the perfect dark, gritty vibe to it—it just seemed to fit Philadelphia for a setting. So I had to work out the details of the plot but really it all started with a character’s dream sequence, a television special and two what-if questions.


Three men are viciously assaulting Philadelphia's prostitutes, and it's up to veteran detective Jocelyn Rush to stop them. She catches two, but they won't betray their partner, the most dangerous of all, and the attacks continue, striking closer to home. Jocelyn's only real clue comes when a monster from her past resurfaces--now she must race to connect the demons of her past with the villain of her present--before the sadistic attacker sets his sights on her.


Pacing, Jocelyn loosened the brace on her wrist and rubbed the skin lightly before tightening it again. Exhaustion made her legs ache. It was nearing the end of her shift, but she knew they’d be there well after their shift doing paperwork. She remembered she’d promised Olivia they would go get a Halloween costume in the morning.
“This isn’t right,” Jocelyn said. “Why are they protecting this guy?”
Kevin sighed. “Who cares? It isn’t our problem anyway. Let’s just charge ‘em and leave ‘em down there till SVU picks them up.” 

“With what?”
Kevin ran a hand over the thinning hair at his scalp. “Jesus Christ, Rush. With whatever we can. Rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault.”
She stopped pacing and looked at Kevin. “We need the third guy.”
“This is not our case. We’re not going after the third guy. We’re charging these guys, and we’re going home.”
Jocelyn stood before him and put her hands on her hips. She arched her brow until Kevin groaned loudly, leaning back in his chair and looking at the ceiling as if he wished aliens would abduct him right that very second. “What the hell, Rush?”

“When SVU takes over, I want to make sure we did our job.”

Kevin shook his head and looked back at her. “We did our job. Look, we’re not getting the third guy through these two. Did you offer Warner a deal?”
Jocelyn nodded. She rifled through her desk for the bottle of Ibuprofen she kept there. “He’s not taking a deal.”


Author Website:

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Lisa will be awarding an eCopy of Hold Still to five randomly drawn commenters during the tour and a print book of Hold Still to five randomly drawn commenters (US & Canada ONLY). A grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to one 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: