Blood Marriage

A friend of mine got to read Blood Marriage by Regina Richards before it was printed, and she said it is so beautifully written it even made her like vampires and she doesn't like vampire books. So as soon as I heard this was out, I immediately went and bought my copy. 

(psshh: it's on sale for 99 cents until January 8th)

I'm excited to have Regina as a guest today.

So Regina, tell us a little about what Blood Marriage is about. 

Set in England in 1813, Blood Marriage is the story of Elizabeth Smith, a young woman who is dying of the same mysterious disease that has claimed most of her family. One night she meets Nicholas Devlin, a charming man who lures her into a rose garden with disastrous results. In short order she finds herself married to Nicholas and at turns frightened and confused by his behavior and the behavior of nearly everyone around him: his family, his friends, and even his houseguests.

When a pair of detectives arrive at Elizabeth’s new home to accuse Nicholas of a series of vampire-style killings, Elizabeth is certain they have the wrong man. Yet as servants, friends, and even family die, she begins to question who - or what - she’s married. Is she falling in love with a monster? As the evidence mounts against Nicholas and the detectives close in on their killer, Elizabeth must decide whether to follow her head or her heart. 

Why vampires?

I never meant to write a vampire story. Truly. But many of my stories begin with an object and this question: what is happening around this object? It was November 1st and the Halloween decorations were still on the front porch. The previous night my son had been laying in a coffin he’d built from a cardboard box. He’d been dressed as a vampire and rising up to scare the Trick or Treaters that came to our door. The next morning the coffin was still there. As I sat down to write, the empty coffin was less than an arm’s length away on the other side of the window. So a cardboard box was the object that inspired Blood Marriage. And if you start with a coffin and Halloween still fresh in your mind…

A few days later I had an amazingly vivid dream about vampires. I won’t go into detail, though I remember the dream clearly still, but it spurred me on to write this story.

Anything else you'd like us to know?

I blog most Mondays at and would love to have everyone drop by and add their two cents to whatever I’m musing about that day. 

Also, I’m currently working on a new series of three connected romantic alternative history novels. What if the plague that decimated Europe in the Middle Ages had come with a twist that produced a very different society? Look for the first of this series in the winter of 2013.

Finally, if there’s sufficient interest in Blood Marriage, I have a second novel in mind along similar lines and would love to write it. So if readers like Blood Marriage and want to see more Regency Gothic Vampire Romance, they can contact me through my website and let me know.

Thanks for inviting me to your absolutely gorgeous blog today, Clover.

Holiday Blog Hop

Thanks to all the participants and those who left a comment. I loved reading them. Anyhoo, I had my child pick a number so lucky #7 commenter Laurie is the winner of my prize Highland Sorcerer. 

Congrats Laurie. I'll be contacting you shortly for mailing details!  And as far as the nook or kindle winner, that should be listed soon as well. Good luck y'all for that! I hope one of you that came over here wins it!!!

It's a Happy Holiday from your favorite Authors and Bloggers. While we know everyone celebrates a different way, we wanted to make sure that you guys knew how much we treasure you all. So from Dec 14th to Dec 17th, all 200 or so of us will be blogging about the holidays and what they mean to us. We may talk about our favorite holiday traditions, recipes, gifts, reads, heroes, and so much more. We want to hear about what you do for the holidays, what you read, and who you'll spend it with. We hope to see you here and happy hopping!

And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.

But that's not all....

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $200 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

So what are the Holidays like for the Autrey Family? Weird actually. We are still finding our way. Having a child with cystic fibrosis meant that more often than not due to cold season, Chase was in the hospital for Christmas. Fortunately the children's hospital tried to make it really nice for families with lots of special events, even Santa visits, going on. Then there were all the do-gooders that pop up around Christmas. We've met several Texas Rangers, and Dallas Cowboys, and Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders (tiny petite things in real life-could blow them over with one breath), a few celebrities like Garth Brooks. As nice as that is, we'd much rather be at home.

Then we had the year when we nearly made it without a Christmas hospitalization  Chase's lungs were holding their own (okay he had just been in over Thanksgiving so our fingers were crossed), but just our luck, my sister-in-law thought it'd be a great thing to hook a trailer behind a SUV and enjoy a pseudo hayride in which our other son fell out and got run over by the trailer. There was a horrifying Bump as the first tire ran over him, then a second Bump as the rear tire got him.

Christmas Eve. Miraculously he was fine, not even bruised, but had to take him in just to make sure... 6 hours later totally bored in the ER, we got to take him home. Joy. What would a Christmas be like without that? And now one of our favorite Christmas carols (cuz we are all sarcastic butts) is "Samuel got run over by a trailer".

So for years we haven't had a normal Christmas. Two years ago, Chase passed away a couple of months before Christmas. No hospital stay, but being at home sucked too, so we hit the road and went down to Galveston. Yes, Galveston in winter. Cold windy beaches, flopping jellyfish, but great food. We wandered around not really knowing what to say to each other and missing the one we lost terribly and opened presents in a motel room beneath a little tree because we couldn't bear to be at home.

Last year? A hotel again, this time closer to home. 15 minutes away actually, which was kind of lame.But we saw a few movies, went out to eat, and went ice skating together  so it was fun and different, but home pulled us back a day earlier than we planned.

This year it's time to stay home. I still won't hang any stockings. The youngest is insisting on getting our tree out so that's inevitable though we're waiting for our daughter to fly in from college and she and T can decorate together, though I'm not sure where to put the tree since part of my present to my husband this year is letting him keep his music set-up in our living room for all of December. It is wall-to-wall speakers, guitars, cords, amps, drums, and electric piano. Don't ask. I can't fathom why he needs the huge speakers in a little 10x16 room either. He just does.

I get two reactions from people coming to our door. One of amused indulgence from the women and salivation from the guys.

So there you have it, the not-so-Holidayish-yet-true story of Autrey Christmas Pasts. I have no idea what this one will end up being like. Shrugs.

Run along and comment on all these blogs. I hope you win a Kindle. My personal giveaway will be a signed copy of Highland Sorcerer, so be sure to comment and while you're at it, let me what your most unusual Holiday was like.

The main list for all the Author Blogs is here. or they are all below...

Making of a Book Cover: Banshee's Cry

Original model for Jake

So here are the two models for the half-human, half-Anointed Gillant brothers Cael and Jake. As you can see the lighting is way different. Cael needed some darkening up some.
Darkened photograph of Cael modelCover model for Cael

Superimposed the pictures together, but had to put a wall for Cael to lean on so he wouldn't be floating in mid-air. Then I grittied them up in keeping within the dark edginess of their world. 
Below, I was playing with turning them into illustrations, but decided not to go with that look.   

So this is the final cover. I'm quite proud of it.
book cover for Banshee's Cry final

 Kindle version                                                  Nook version 

Making of a Book Cover: A Haunting

For the third book in The Anointed series, A Haunting,  I wanted to keep both brothers on the cover again. This one was a little harder to get just right. I loved the picture of Jake standing by the window, but I couldn't find any full bodied pictures of Cael to go with him so I had to not only cut and paste him in, but use one guy's body, and Cael's head. Here's the three original stock photos I had to work with:

Had to mirror image this guy's body to fit in the picture and darkened him up a little. He'll be darkened a little bit more after the fact.

Then desaturated Cael's head because he is so light  And then layer up the three different pictures. Head to body, Cael to Jake's photo... Cael still is too light for the whole though, but that will be taken care of.

Next put the gritty texture onto it and then darkened Cael up more.

So after all that I decided Cael's head was too big, so started over and resized to a smaller head size. Geez.

Kindle version                      Nook version

Making of a Book Cover The Anointed

The more I learn how to Photoshop, the more I want to play around with my covers. It's terribly addictive. This week I updated all three of the covers to my Anointed series, taking them from a horror look to more of a gritty texture with the monster hunting half-human teen brothers.

Here's for the first book in the series The Anointed.
The original photo. This model just has that hard-edged take no prisoners look that big brother Jake embodies. But I wanted the covers to have both brothers so I went scouting around for a stock photo to both fit Cael's more innocent outlook, but also fit the picture. Fortunately the cover model I already liked for Cael also happened to have a photo of him sitting on steps. Perfect!

He needed some darkening up to match the dark tone and saturation of the first picture, and I had to shrink him just right to get his butt planted perfectly on the steps behind Jake.

 A little cropping here, a little cropping there.

Now to go all grainy and texturing. These guys fight demons and operate in a pretty dark gritty world so I wanted the cover to reflect that.

Add the Title and Author (moi) and it's good to go.

                                                   Kindle version                Nook version