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. If you want to be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below. And if you'd like to increase your chances of winning, you can visit other tour stops and leave comments there.
As a child Regan Walker 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.
Welcome, Regan. Please tell us about your current release.
Against the Wind is the second in my Agents of the Crown Regency trilogy. It’s set in 1817 in England and tells the story of Sir Martin Powell, a spy for the Crown who returns from spying in France during Napoleon’s reign for one last assignment from the Prince Regent. In his one night of leisure, he meets Katherine, Lady Egerton—in a bordello—never knowing she is the daughter of an earl and a dowager baroness. While still knowing little about each other, he will sweep her away to the Midlands—and into the storms of revolution.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was listening to a Ricky Martin song, “Nobody Wants to Be Lonely” and the scene of Kit in the bordello 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.” And from that one scene, I wrote the novel.
London, April 1817
She is dead.
Katherine, Lady Egerton, stared at the still form lying on the bed. Beloved sister, friend of the heart…Anne was gone. One minute she was struggling for breath, the next she lay silent and still. The only person in the world Kit loved more than life had left her.
They are all gone now. The sudden solitude tore at her heart.
Kit smiled sadly, gazing through eyes filled with tears at the frail body lying before her. The brown mouse. Anne’s name for herself. Delicate even as a child, she had not long survived her marriage to the cruel Earl of Rutledge. Kit knelt at her sister’s bedside, assailed by grief and guilt, and reached for Anne’s hand. Could she have done more to save her sister from the dread disease? Could she have done more to protect Anne from the heartless man who was her husband?
Pale in death, Anne was still beautiful. Kit had often sketched that heart-shaped face. Not a mouse, but a much-loved sister with a kind, unselfish heart.
Kit had seen the end coming in the last few months, months through which she’d faithfully cared for Anne. The coughs that wracked her sister’s slight frame had grown worse as Anne seemed to fade before Kit’s eyes. Kit knew she was losing her even as she willed that weak body to heal. The physician said he could do nothing; each time he left shaking his head and telling Kit to make “the poor girl” comfortable as best she could. Kit had tried to save Anne, doing the only thing she knew by giving her syrup of horehound and honey. But such a small measure was not enough. Then, too, her sister had seemed to welcome death.
Suddenly, the room grew cold. Kit felt his presence, a looming evil behind her. She took a deep breath and summoned her strength.
“Leave her and come to me.” Rutledge’s tone was harsh and demanding. Kit had no need to see him to know his face would be twisted in an odious scowl, his lips drawn taut. “It is time.”
“I must see to my sister.”
“You need do nothing. I have arranged for the burial. Come away now.”
Kit knew what he wanted, for she had seen the lust in his dark eyes. What at first had been sideways glances became leers and unwanted touches. Though she’d lived in his home since the death of her husband the baron, Kit had avoided the earl, rarely leaving her sister’s bedside. She had been thinking of a way to escape, but her exhaustion in caring for Anne these last days left those plans incomplete. With meager funds, her options were few.
When she failed to rise at the earl’s direction, his hand roughly gripped her shoulder. She stiffened at the pain of his fingers digging into her skin.
“I have waited long for you, Katherine, enduring that mockery of a marriage to your sister while all the while it was you I wanted, you I was promised. Now I shall have what is mine.”
“No!” She rose swiftly, stepping back as she turned to face him. Revulsion rose in her throat. What did he mean by those words? She never had been promised to him!
His smirk transfigured what many thought of as a handsome face. Hadn’t Anne at first been fooled by his aristocratic features and wavy brown hair? One had only to look closely to see his nature reflected in those thin lips and narrow eyes now focused on Kit. A deep furrow between his brows bore witness to his long having insisted upon having his way. When Kit sketched him, it had been as an attacking hawk.
“What will you do?” he asked smugly. “Where will you go, m’dear? You are alone and without funds. I am the one who has provided food and shelter for both you and your weak sister, though I wanted only you. You are mine, Katherine, and I will have you.”
Terror seized her. Cornered, her eyes darted about like an animal snared in a trap. His tall figure blocked the door to the corridor; the only way out led through his adjacent bedchamber. She fled toward it.
She hastened into the room as he stalked after her, knowing she had but seconds, and her eyes searched for a weapon, something to hold him at bay. At the side of the fireplace were tools, short bars of iron that could fend off a man. But could she reach them in time?
He lunged for her just as she ran toward the fireplace. His body collided with hers, and she fell upon the wooden floor with a thud. Pain shot through her hip. His body crashed down upon hers, forcing the air from her lungs. She gasped a breath just as his mouth crushed her lips, ruthlessly claiming dominance.
Tearing away, she pushed against his shoulders with all her might, but his greater strength held her pinned to the floor. His hand gripped one breast and squeezed. She winced at the pain, but that was quickly forgotten the moment a greater terror seized her: His aroused flesh pressed into her belly.
Violently she struggled, but to no avail. His wet lips slid down her throat to her heaving chest as his fingers gripped the top of her gown and yanked at the silk. Kit heard the fabric tear as he ripped her gown and the top of her chemise, and she felt the cool air on her naked breasts. Frantic, she mustered strength she did not know she had. Twisting in his grasp, she reached for the iron poker now a mere foot away.
His mouth latched onto her breast where he voraciously sucked a nipple. Lost in his lust, he did not see her grasp the length of iron, raise it above him, and bring it crashing down on his head. Stunned by the blow, he raised up, his eyes glazed. Kit let the bar fall again, this time with greater force. Blood spattered her chest and face as his body went limp. He slumped atop her.
Kit’s heart pounded in her chest like a bird’s wing beating against a cage. Frantically she shoved his face from her breast and rolled his body to the floor.
Unsteady at first, her breath coming in pants, Kit rose and looked down at the crumpled form lying before her, every nerve on edge as she gazed into that evil face, now deathly pale. Blood oozed from a gash in the earl’s left temple. There was no sign of life, no movement.
I have killed him!
Fear choked off her breath as she wiped blood from her face with a sleeve, and with one last look toward her sister’s bedchamber she raced from the room. Footsteps sounded down the hall. Alarmed at the prospect of encountering one of the earl’s servants who would summon a constable, Kit knew she must find a place to hide, and there was nowhere to hide in the house. Quietly stealing into her bedchamber, she grabbed her cloak and reticule, stuffing inside it the one piece of her jewelry that could be sold to sustain her, and fled the dwelling.
Out on the street, she paused to draw her cloak tightly around her, desperate to cover her torn and bloody gown. Where could she go? Who would shelter her in the state she was in, given the deed she had done?
Only one name came to her.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m writing Wind Raven now, the third in the trilogy. The hero is Sir Martin’s brother, Captain Nick Powell. You meet him in Against the Wind. A privateer during the War of 1812, he is now a merchant sea captain in the family business. A rake and an emotionally wounded man, he loves all women yet he loves none—that is until he meets an impudent American named Tara McConnell who he is forced to take as a passenger on his way to Baltimore. However, the Prince Regent diverts him to the Caribbean to investigate a certain pirate. It’s research intensive since it takes place on a schooner and I have to learn all the nautical terminology. And I’ve a very worthy pirate to understand, too. It’s so important to get all that “right,” elsewise some clever reader will point out that I got it all wrong! I hope it will be out late 2013.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have been writing nearly all my life and I suppose seriously the last few years, but I did not consider myself an author until I saw my first novel, Racing with the Wind, published and available on Amazon in July 2012. I knew I’d finally made it!
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Other than part time work, I have not had a full time job in some time, which allows me to write more than I could otherwise. Typically I rise early, walk my Golden Retriever and fix a protein drink and then I hit the computer for social media and my blog. I am active on Goodreads as well as Facebook and Twitter. I may write in the morning but more typically in the afternoon. Unless I’m in final edits in which case I’m editing all day. I read in the evenings as I’m an avid reader/reviewer with my own Regan’s Romance Reviews blog dedicated to historical romance lovers, http://reganromancereview.blogspot.com.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like visuals for the scenes I’m writing and typically my typed research notes include pictures of places and buildings, even food, from the period in which I’ve set my story. For example, I spent all morning today in Bermuda (yes, the island), researching the history, Hamilton harbor, the food, the flowers and the people who lived there in 1817. I always feature real people as some of my characters. Being in Bermuda for many hours made it seem almost like taking a vacation. I also write to music and have a 3-hour playlist featuring many of the movie scores of French composer Alexandre Desplat.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a child I wanted to be outdoors and the idea of being a naturalist appealed. But it’s hard to make a living doing that unless you want to be a forest ranger. So, eventually, though I did major in science and took a fair amount of wildlife biology classes, when I looked at my options, I decided to go to law school. So I have both a science and law degree. Most of my career has been spent in the legal profession, but it’s all that left-brain stuff that left my right brain sadly neglected for a long time. Now it is now being cultivated with my romance writing.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Oh, I love to hear from readers, what they like, what they want to see in my next novels, just anything!
Author website: http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com/
Regan’s blog: http://reganromancereview.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @RegansReview (https://twitter.com/RegansReview)
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