Regan's Books

Regan's Books
Reads From Regan Taylor

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Who Popped into Your Bedroom Last Night -- or Where do we Meet Our Characters

Lynn Hones visits this week to talk about where she met hers. 

I love to write about historic events. If I don’t write about a specific event, I seem to find a way to slip one into my stories. I love the era of the Civil War. I think it was a horrific time to go through, and yet, in a way, romantic, too. Not that I’d ever like that kind of romance, but it showed people what was important in life. The love of one’s significant other became all encompassing and held most people up under dire circumstances. Love became the courage that held men up in battle and raised women up from the pits of despair. 

In my book, Those Who Wait, my character, Victoria Wentworth, was someone I’d love to sit next to on a crisp, fall day and sip tea with. In the story, she is a woman close to one hundred years old, who holds the devotion of her first husband, Hugh, in her heart. Hubert died in World War I, not long after they married, but she never felt the need or urge to find another mate. She still felt him around her and considered him her husband even though no one else felt his presence or understood her passion.

The First World War is of great interest to me, so I managed to slip it into the story. My grandfather fought in it and lost his younger brother, who, at the age of sixteen, lied about his age and joined the army. Not unlike the movie, Legend of the Falls, my grandpa felt responsible to keep him safe and I always felt he blamed himself for his death.

I have both wars in my book, not because I like war, no one does, but as I said before, it tends to bring our human emotions to new heights and lifts our eyes to things of greater glory. We are in a war now. Everyday we hear of someone who has been killed or hurt. My heart breaks every time I hear about a young person taken. I think of the wives, husbands, mothers, fathers and children they left behind. These mourners wait for the day when they will see their loved one again. They remember the little things, not the big things. Smells, a favorite show, a particularly hearty laugh, all the things that make us individuals, live on in the minds of grieving family members.

When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a
history it becomes more beautiful.
Billie Mobayed

That’s how I feel about my character, Victoria Wentworth. A person with a true heart, brave and forgiving, someone willing to take what is dealt and although takes the time to forage in the dark jungle of self pity, and rightly so, comes out of it shining like a piece of clay removed from the hot, relentless fires of a kiln.

For those with eyes and hearts that seek the truth, it’s not super models or the Kardashians who are the most beautiful people in the world, but those who have suffered the most and remain calm and accepting of that suffering, who carry the true loveliness of life. The exquisite lines of wear on an old face, and the broken heart of a young widow struggling to make it alone in a cold world are absolutely stunning in their heroic countenance and peaceful understanding. These are the people I like to sit next to on a cool day and talk with, and I guess write about, too.

Next week I'll be hosting Ann Tracy Marr and visiting Lynn Hones at   

Be sure to leave a comment for our weekly giveaway and to be entered into our $50 grand prize at the end of out tour! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Corinne Davies Sneak Peek Into Research - Best Ever Summer Reading Blog Tour

Hi everyone and welcome to the third week of the Best Ever Summer Blog Tour. I’m Corinne Davies and I first off want to give Regan BIG thank you for hosting me here today!

          Research is the name of the game today and what a double edged sword that is. I have lost hours of valuable writing time, all because of research. Don’t get me wrong I want to have the facts straight in my books but to be honest, I can start out researching the sounds a seal makes when it’s angry and two hours later I’m reading articles on the historical significance of the corset, or searching through pictures of shoe porn looking for the perfect pair for the scene I’m working on. (yes, those cherry platforms are featured in the book I’m working on J ) While I’m certain I don’t have any form of ADD. When it comes to research…I have the attention span of a goldfish.
          As I wrote about last week I have jumped genres and centuries in my books, which has required a lot of extra research over the years. It’s so much easier to research today than it was when I was in high school. I know I’m dating myself here but I remember spending lots of time in my local library pulling out book after book looking for information on a subject. Now a days, we have google, yahoo or a plethora of other search engines at our disposal.

          While that had made some things easier, there are some things you have to go to the source for. When I wrote Haunted Hearts I traded a number of emails with a Coast Guard Officer stationed in Florida. She helped me with the lingo and basic information about their work schedules. I was able to put in little tidbits that I never would have found without hours of web surfing.

          So when I started writing the 3xtasy Lake series, I got in contact with a Conservation Officer in Algonquin Park. This person is my go-to for all sorts of information regarding the internal workings of a provincial park, it’s employees and wildlife.

          I also have a large personal library of unique information books I’ve collected over the years. If I’m in the bookstore and there is a reference book that catches my eye in the bargain section, you can bet it’s coming home with me. Just in case, one day I need it.

          So far I’ve talked a lot about the written aspect of research. Books, emails, and the web, but that only feeds so much. As an author, I can imagine what it might feel like to wander down a rough path through Algonquin Park, but until I walk that path in real life I can’t be sure that I catch the unique scent of wet earth, or how soft and spongy the moss feels on a tree, or what the birds in the trees sound like.

          At the moment, I’m working on a new book that involves a small microbrewery. While I already know the process of how beer is made, there is a variety of information that I can’t obtain until I go on a tour of an actual brewery. To breathe an element of reality into my books I need to smell the hops, and see exactly what the metal vats of fermenting beer feel like under my fingers. Are they cold or warm? Can you smell the beer in the air or does the pungent scent of malted barley override that? How often do they have to hose down the floors or do the bottles smash while being filled? All these things I need to experience myself in order to make them realistic in my books.

          Thank you again Regan for having me on your blog today!
 You can find Regan at this week J

Remember to post a comment in order to have your name put in for the weekly draw!

A special excerpt from Haunted Hearts, just for you…

He hated seeing her in this place. It looked dirty and dingy and couldn’t be healthy for either her or her brother. He didn’t know how to suggest she find something else without insulting her.
“I know this place is horrible, but we can’t go anywhere else.”
That made him feel like an ass. “If it’s about money, I know of a much nicer place. It’s owned by friends of mine, and I can arrange for you two to stay there.”
“In exchange for what?” Her voice had gone icy, and the suspicious look returned. It pissed him off. What kind of a guy did she take him for? Never mind. He had jumped her in her kitchen after not being in her room for more than five minutes.
“Nothing. You could stay there and tell me you never wanted to see me again, and I would respect that. I don’t like this place. Your neighbors are a walking time bomb. It’s only a matter of time before some nasty stuff goes down over there, and I don’t want you or Joey getting caught in the crossfire.”
“Believe me, it has crossed my mind, but I can’t take any chances.”
“Why don’t you explain what is going on and let me help you?”
“Because I don’t want you to get in the middle of this. It’s bad enough I can’t keep Joey safe. I don’t want to have you getting hurt on my conscience.”
“Sweetheart, what could be so bad you would worry about me? Who are you hiding from?”
She fidgeted in the spot, and he held his breath. He knew if he pushed too hard she would clam up, but there had to be something going on, and he couldn’t help her if he didn’t know what obviously frightened her.
“I’m hiding from some bad people. They think I have something important. I don’t, but they would never believe me. I heard things I shouldn’t have, and now I am doing everything I can to make it right.”
“You mean turning what you have over to the proper authorities?”
“That is one way of putting it. I also have another strange problem.”
“What?” He had wandered into the living room and dropped down onto the sofa. She moved to sit next to him, but with a quick tug of her hand, he managed to maneuver her into landing on his lap. He wrapped his arms around her waist and guided her legs to the cushions next to them. She didn’t seem too comfortable and kept fidgeting, which made his erection harder than ever. She had to be able to feel it pressing up against her core. With every wiggle of her ass, he feared the zipper in his jeans was going to give.
“Sweetheart, sit still please, or I’m not going to be able to pay attention.”
She laughed nervously and then relaxed a smidge.
A loud pop and a scream cut through their quiet bubble. Mac rolled them both to the floor, protecting her as she curled into a ball beneath him and covered her ears. A couple more pops and the glass in the window where she had been sitting earlier shattered.
With his cell phone in hand, he dialed 911 as the bedroom door opened.
“Wendy, wuz goin’ on?” A sleepy Joey stood in the doorway, rubbing his eyes.

Next week Corinne will be at

And my guest will be Lynn Hones 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Genre -- From a Reviewer's Standpoint -- Meet Angie!

I recently asked my friend Angie, who has been a reviewer at Love Romances and More Reviews since July of 2003 what are her favorite genres and why.  She had some interesting insights for me and we share them with you.

Angie said:  I was asked to write a blog post on what I read vs. what I write, I had to really think… I write reviews! I review what I read… and why I do it, is because I am opinionated and love having an audience. There – that could easily be this entire blog post in one line… But because I like to write and talk, I will share more about why I read, what I read and what motivates me to review a book or even an author’s entire line of books.

I have been reading for nearly my entire life – from the Berenstain Bears to Nancy Drew, I have always had a book in my hand. Growing up, I was LOVE with Sweet Valley and the twins, I started out on the Twins series and moved on to Sweet Valley High and then Sweet Valley University with all of the spin offs. One of the biggest trauma’s of my childhood was learning that Francine Pascal was only the creator of the series, not the author. This is what led me towards reviewing, having my idol brought down a notch left me wanting more from books – I wanted to learn about the person behind the words coming from a page. If the twins in Sweet Valley were not real, maybe the author was? It was not to be, but I kept coming back for more! I suspect if I walked in a book store and found a new series created by Ms. Pascal; it would be on my bookshelf in a heartbeat!

As an adult, I tend to lean towards romantic suspense and mystery when picking up a book, yet like every area of my life, nothing falls into one category. Favorite books sometimes end up being the one I would have never dreamed I would fall in love with – one of my current favorite series is D.P. Lyle’s ROYAL PAINS. This is the draw of reviewing, I get books I wouldn’t pick up on normally and sometimes they hit me so hard, I cannot wait for more! I would have never thought I would ever fall in love with a “fan” novel, but yet, I wait impatiently for each one to be released. I love the characters from the show – which I had never seen before I picked up the first book!

I tend to love series of books keeping the same characters. I am very character driven in my reading, I want to feel like I just made a new friend, and to keep them forever... My biggest disappointment in a book is often that it ends. I love a happy ending like any other reader of romance, yet I don't want to lose my new found friends.

On a note from a reader and not a reviewer, books I wait impatiently for and MUST buy as a pre-release are Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Series and ANYTHING by Brenda Novak. These two women make my life complete. I cannot live without them. I recently discovered Kate White and her mystery lines – she is quickly making my top 5 authors list… I am slowly working my way through her back list and waiting for more!

* * * * * **

You can read some of Angie's reviews at the Love Romances and More blog

And she will be continuing our tour with us, sharing her insights from a reviewer's perspective for the next few weeks.  Next week she will be at Sue Roebuck's blog: 

And you will be able to find me at Love Romance's Blog talking with Angie!