Ella: What drew you to Christian Regencies?
Regina: All my books have had a Christian worldview. As a Christian, I find it hard to write otherwise! But it’s only been the last six that were actually published as inspirational romances. I wanted to write for Love Inspired Historical because I heard one of their first publisher sessions at a conference and was really impressed with their vision for the line. Of course, it wasn’t until nearly ten years later that they finally decided to accept Regency-set stories!
Ella: What part of writing historicals do you find the most challenging?
Regina: Stopping the research to write. I am such a research geek! I can spend hours scouring historical documents, devouring period literature, watching documentaries, even watching well-made period movies! Sometimes it’s hard to find time to actually write the book.
Ella: The Heiress’s Homecoming is the last book in your Everard Legacy series. What’s next?
Regina: August sees the start of a new series for me, called the Master Matchmakers. Four magnificent estates near the Derbyshire peaks of Regency England, four handsome owners who show no signs of marrying and begetting sons to inherit, four sets of staff worried for their futures. What more logical than for the cooks and butlers and housekeepers to band together, play matchmaker, and serve up a delightful dollop of marriage for their masters!
Ella: I so agree. Many people don’t understand the influence and roles servants, especially the senior staff played during the Regency. What is the first book about?
Regina: The Courting Campaign, features a widowed hero with a scientific bent, who meets his match when his cook convinces the new nanny to help him stop being such a recluse, never knowing that the nanny harbors a secret that caused his retreat from society to begin with.
Ella: Regina, thank you so much for visiting today.
Regina: Thank you! You’ve built a great blog!
Ella: Thank you so much, I really appreciate that <blushes> Well, without further ado, here is a blub and excerpt from The Heiress’s Homecoming.
To keep her cherished childhood home, Samantha Everard must marry by her twenty-fifth birthday. Yet she refuses to marry on a whim, even to save her fortune. When she returns to Dallsten Manor to say goodbye, the last person she expects to see is her handsome, disapproving neighbor William Wentworth, Earl of Kendrick.
Will is certain the scandalous Everards are nothing but trouble. He shouldn’t care about Samantha’s predicament, but her feistiness and kindheartedness intrigue him—as do the secrets surrounding her. Soon his greatest wish becomes to persuade Samantha that her true home is with him.
Excerpt: (from a scene where Samantha, Lady Everard, joins the hero William Wentworth and his teenaged son Jamie in their weekly fencing practice)
Will slipped his mask back on, extended his foil and laid it against Samantha’s. She stood calm and composed, sure of herself and her skills. But the bout would tell just how formidable those skills were. He pushed against her blade; she pushed back. He smiled.
He disengaged and thrust toward her left shoulder. She parried but didn’t back away. The laugh that escaped her told him she knew what he was doing.
The next few minutes proved that she knew what she was doing as well. They moved about the room, foils clinking as they hit, breaths coming thickly through the masks. She darted and spun about him, quick and light as a dancer. But with each blow, Will saw that she was always on the defensive. Did she fear to offend him by attempting a strike, or had her cousins perhaps only taught her to defend herself? He thrust again, and she turned to avoid the blow.
And then he found her blade at his throat.
“You are beaten, my lord,” she said, triumph in her voice.
The minx! She’d been testing him, seeking a weak spot, and when she’d found it she hadn’t hesitated to use it to her advantage.
“I believe the rules call for a strike between the shoulders and hips,” he countered.
She pulled up her sword as if in surprise. “You play by the rules?”
“Spoken like an Everard,” Jamie said, striding into the room. His son had on a similar white shirt, padded vest, buckskin breeches, and a mask tucked under his arm.
Samantha pulled off her mask and turned to face Jamie. “Oh good. A fresh opponent. I’ve already beaten your father.”
“I was blinded by your beauty,” Will said with a bow that extended his blade to the side.
“I’ll have to remember that excuse,” Jamie said, taking up his favorite foil. “If I ever need it.”
Will gave him a bow as well as he surrendered the floor to his son.
He watched carefully as Jamie and Samantha took their places opposite each other. It had been a hard lesson for him to learn in the diplomatic corps—sometimes arriving at a solution to a difficult problem required not decisive action but careful observation. An incursion taken as an act of war might instead be only a desperate attempt to save a stricken outpost.
He thought Samantha’s bout with Jamie would be telling. He was fairly certain now she had no designs on his son, but if he’d mistaken her motivation, surely he’d see evidence. A woman bent on capturing a man’s heart might defer to him, make it appear he was the stronger. On the other hand, a self-absorbed beauty might blame her loss on fatigue from the previous bout.
Samantha did neither. She fought, with grace, precision and enthusiasm. The clang of their blows echoed around the room. Will found himself edging to the right or left, grimacing when Jamie’s blade came perilously close to her shoulder, smothering a shout of triumph when she pushed the boy back with the flick of her wrist alone. She was fire, she was lightning. She was bold, undaunted. He’d fought men with less skill, less daring. Even the Janissaries would have quailed before her.
How could the spirit of a warrior have made its home in the body of a beautiful woman?
With a lunge Jamie penetrated her defenses and struck her square in the heart. She put up her blade with a laugh and pulled off her mask. The action must have caught her hair pins just right, for her tresses began to tumble in a shower of gold.
“Oh, well done, Jamie!” she cried, hair flowing down her back. “Please accept my apologies for thinking there was anything I could teach you.”
As Jamie removed his own mask, Will could see he was grinning from ear to ear. He swept her a bow. “Apology accepted.”
It was a courtly gesture, but Will couldn’t help thinking she had it all wrong. Samantha, Lady Everard, could teach them both a great deal, if they were willing to learn.