Friday, October 7, 2011

Q&A Interview and Giveaway with Regan Hastings

Hello Book Monsters!  Book Monster Reviews is very pleased to welcome USA Today bestselling author, Regan Hastings/Maureen Child to our site today.

Regan Hastings is also known as USA Today best selling author Maureen Child.   She is the author of more than ninety romance novels and novellas. Maureen is a five time nominee for the prestigious Rita award from Romance Writers of America. 
Regan Hastings is the creator of the AWAKENING series which currently consists of two (2) books, "Visions of Magic" and "Visions of Skyfire" which was just released on Tuesday, October 4.  For those of you who are not familiar with the AWAKENING series, here is a synopsis of each book to keep you up to par…

Every witch has a destined mate, an Eternal who will serve as her guardian and complete her powers. Once the coven has awakened, the witches must race against time to join with their Eternals and protect the relics that will prevent the destruction of the world…

"Visions of Magic" - Book 1

In the ten years since magic has reemerged in the world, witches have become feared and hunted. For weeks Shea Jameson has been haunted by visions of fire. When she unintentionally performs a spell in public, she becomes one of the hunted. Her only hope is Torin, a dangerously sensual man who claims to be her eternal mate.

"Visions of Skyfire" - Book 2

Teresa Santiago has awakened her abilities to summon lightning but is unable to control her power-or her attraction to Rune, her Eternal protector and destined partner. Now, Teresa and Rune must locate a missing artifact of unimaginable power before it unleashes the forces of darkness on the world. But with enemies both mortal and magical on their trail, Teresa and Rune discover that only through sacrifice will love conquer all...

They sound great, don't they?  Now let's go talk to Regan to find out more about this great new series…..

Book Monster Reviews:  Hi Regan!  Congratulations on Tuesday's release of "Visions of Skyfire".  Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to stop by and chat with us!  We’re so happy to have you with us today!

Regan: Thank you! I’m thrilled to be here, and I appreciate the opportunity to chat with readers about VISIONS OF SKYFIRE.

Book Monster Reviews:  We always like to start out by getting to know you a little bit better.

Q1):   Can you tell us 3 things about yourself that we can't find out on the internet, in your bio, etc?

Regan: Wow, great question! One, I’m not a morning person or at least, not until after I’ve had two cups of coffee in silence. Two, my house is for sale right now, so I have to rush out the door whenever a realtor calls to come see it, which makes it challenging to write. And three, I have an unnatural love for cheese.

2)  What are some other hobbies and interests you like to do when you're not writing?

Regan: I love spending time with my family. They are endlessly interesting, especially the young ones. Halloween is especially fun, helping put together costumes. Isn’t it great how kids put on the costume and really feel like they have become whatever character they’re dressed as?And when holidays aren’t keeping me busy, I read incessantly, have a wildly diverse DVD collection that keeps me rewatching over and over and I crochet. Way too much. Need a blanket?

3)  Who or what inspired you to become an author?

Regan: As much as I love my children – and I do – they were making me crazy when I was a young stay-at-home mom. They inspired me to start writing as a way to keep my sanity, and a way to be able to continue to be a stay-at-home mom after they started school.

4)  You have written so many stories in multiple genres of romance?  Which would you say is your favorite genre to write in?  Which is the most challenging for you?

Regan: I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite! I love them all. The real joy of being a writer for me is being able to transport myself to different worlds, which makes writing in different genres even more fun. I started out writing western historicals, so I’ll always have a soft spot for the old west. Then I moved into contemporaries then took a slight detour into light paranormal and finally discovered the dark.  LOL. Hard to choose a favorite, really. Because each genre allows me to explore different things. While writing VISIONS OF SKYFIRE, I lived in a dangerous, exciting world where magic was real and enemies were around every corner. Then I got to start on one of my books for Harlequin Desire, and suddenly, I was stranded on a tropical island. The best part about it is that there are sexy men wherever I go!

5)  Do you have any interesting writing quirks or things you must have with you to begin the writing process?

Regan: I buy a Barbie doll and a Ken doll. Before I begin to write, I design and sew elaborate costumes for each, dressing them as the hero and heroine of the book I’m about to start. I get out a teeny, tiny paint brush so I can get their eyes the right color, and I add any scars or tattoos the characters have. If I can’t find dolls with the right hair color, I dye their hair, and then I get out my tiny scissors to give them the proper haircut.

That’s a complete lie. J But I made you blink, didn’t I? The truth is, all I need to start writing is a computer or a pad of paper and a pen. I don’t have any particularly interesting writing rituals. Unless you count my coffee pot, my synopsis and a window that I can stare blankly through while I come up with just the right way to get started.

6)  Who are some of your favorite authors and series?

Regan: Oh, so many! And across genres. I like to be transported to different worlds while reading, the same way I do while writing. In paranormals, I adore Jeanine Frost and Lara Adrian. Laura Wright’s Mark of the Vampire series. The heroes are deliciously dark and tortured. My friend Kate Carlisle writes the quirky Bibliophile Mysteries, which I’m completely addicted to. When I’m in the mood for contemporary romance, Susan Mallery is absolutely the one I turn to. 

7)  What is your favorite inspirational quote?

Regan: Actually, it’s part of a much longer quote that I heard during one of the first workshops I attended at my Orange County chapter of RWA.  “There is no substitute for persistence.” For me, that told me that if you simply keep working, keep trying, keep sending out your book, you will eventually succeed. But if you don’t try, nothing will happen.

8)  What are 3 things that never fail to make you smile, and 3 things that never fail to piss you off?

Regan: Three things that never fail to make me smile: my kids, dancing in the kitchen with my husband, and writing The End on my latest book. Three things that never fail to piss me off: when someone hurts or insults my kids, people being rude to the elderly, and a trip to the DMV. J

9)  What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview, but never have been?  Could you answer that for us?

Regan: Question I’ve always wished someone would ask: How does it feel to hit #1 on the New York Times best sellers list? Answer I will be happy to provide when the time comes…: Fan-freaking-tastic!

Book Monster Reviews:  Now we'd like to ask you some questions about the AWAKENING series.

10)  For those out there who have not yet read the series, can you please give us some more detailed information about what the AWAKENING series is about?

Regan: I’d love to! 800 years ago, a coven of witches chosen to protect an ancient, powerful artifact grew greedy for the power and knowledge the artifact could bring. Against the wishes of their Eternal mates, they cast a dangerous spell, and their incantation brought demons pouring into the world. The witches and the Eternals were able to fight back most of the demons, but not all. Shamed, the witches cast their next spell upon themselves, sentencing themselves to live many lifetimes without magic, to gain wisdom before their powers Awaken again. Each witch hid one piece of the artifact to protect the world.

The Eternals were forced to stand apart as their witch-mates lived and died lifetime after lifetime. Now, in modern times, the witches’ powers have finally begun to Awaken… in a world where witches are hunted and killed by the powerful Bureau of Witchcraft and the Magic Police. With the protection of her Eternal, and the powerful magic created by their mating ritual, each witch must recover her piece of the artifact so they can banish the evil they called into the world, once and for all. J
11)  When is the next book in the series scheduled to release?  Can you tell us who that book will be about and maybe some other juicy tidbits.  J

Regan: VISIONS OF SKYFIRE, book 2, was released this week. Next up will be VISIONS OF CHAINS, due next June. This is the picture that inspired me while writing VISIONS OF CHAINS. This is Finn, an Eternal. Is he juicy enough for you?

12)  How many books do you have planned for the series?

Regan: Oh there are at least six and maybe more.

13)  What were some challenges (research, literary, psychological, logistical, etc.) in bringing the AWAKENING series to life?

Regan: I did a lot of research into witchcraft, the history of it, the urban legends surrounding women of power. I spoke to several practicing Wiccans and they’ve been fabulous, especially in understanding that the way a writer treats witchcraft won’t necessarily be strictly by the facts. Then I  had to look into gods and goddesses and the ancient Celts because my coven began in Ireland, then eventually moved to Wales. And there was finding the home of my coven, and now my plan is to visit that place in person. My biggest problem is that I have such an active imagination, and I really feel like I’m living in the world of the book while I write it. The world of The Awakening is very dangerous, not just for witches but for any woman who is suspected of being a witch. Neighbors turn on each other. Longtime friends make accusations, and it only takes one such accusation to bring the Magic Police to your door. If suspected witches aren’t killed outright, they’re imprisoned and often tortured. So my challenge at the end of every writing day was to bring myself out of that world and not become paranoid about what my neighbors were saying about me!

14)  What's next for Regan Hastings and your other pseudonyms?  What do you have planned in the upcoming months?

Regan: In December, my next book with Harlequin Desire will come out: THE TEMPORARY MRS. KING. It’s part of the King’s of California series of contemporary romances I write as Maureen Child. It’s fabulous and fun… and there’s that tropical island I mentioned earlier. Next up for Regan Hastings is VISIONS OF CHAINS, to be released in June.

15)  Is there anything specific you would like to say to your readers?

Regan: As you know, I’m giving away a copy of VISIONS OF MAGIC here today (the first book in The Awakening.) I’m also holding a contest on my website. All you have to do is answer a simple question about the free excerpt of VISIONS OF SKYFIRE. The winner will be chosen at random from among all the correct answers and will win a $50 Amazon gift card. Click here to read the excerpt:

Book Monster Reviews:  Thank you again Regan for dropping by.  We wish you the best of luck with your AWAKENING series and we would love to have you back on Book Monster and LITERAL ADDICTION in 2012 to help you celebrate and promote the release of "Visions of Chains".
Regan: Thank you so much! I’d love to visit you again to chat about VISIONS OF CHAINS!

If you would like to find out more about Regan/Maureen and her books, you can visit her at any of the sites below.

Regan's  Website:

Maureen's Webiste:

CONTEST:  Regan is giving away a copy of VISIONS OF MAGIC, the first book of The Awakening series. 

To Enter: Make sure you are a follower of the BMR Blog and then post a comment on the interview and make sure you leave a valid email address. Any comments without an email address will NOT be entered into drawing. You must also be a follower of the BMR blog.


KirstenF said...

loved the interview!!! Can't wait to read these books!


RachaelM said...

I have seen bloggers and people talking about this series everywhere. I am looking forward to reading them. Thanks for the interview.

CYP @ A Bookalicious Story said...

The books look great! Awesome interview and giveaway by the way!


Nicole said...

Loved the interview. Can't wait to get a chance to sit down and enjoy it.

Regan Hastings said...

Thank you, Kirsten!!! So glad you enjoyed the interview. Carla asked some really great questions. Put my brain to work. I hope you'll rush out and buy VISIONS OF SKYFIRE. :)

Regan Hastings said...

Rachael, I looooove to hear that there's a good buzz going online for VISIONS OF SKYFIRE! Thank you! You just started my Saturday morning with a big smile.

Regan Hastings said...

Hi, CYP!!! I love the word "Bookalicious!" How fun. :) Best of luck in the contest. Hope you entered the contest on my website, too! Here's the link:

VISIONS OF SKYFIRE excerpt contest

Regan Hastings said...

Nicole, thank you so much for stopping by and for commenting. Glad you enjoyed the interview. I hope you'll love the witchy darkness of the world in VISIONS OF SKYFIRE!

Christina Madison said...

I love this series and I've only read Visions of Magic so far. I can't wait to read Visions of Skyfire and I'm really excited to know the name of the next book Visions of Chains (if that isn't a title to keep you guessing on what it's about, I don't know what is).

Thanks so much for the great interview and giveaway!


Victoria said...

What a great interview. That is so cool how you take a Barbie and Ken and transform them into your characters. I've never heard of an author doing that before. Do you keep them all in a special place after the books are released?
Thank you so much for giveaway.

alainala said...

i LOVED book one! eagerly awaiting book 2, would love the chance to win book 1 ! thanks for the interview and contest!!

alainala@ hotmail DOT ca

oneinamillion21 said...

The interview was very interesting and I am looking forward to reading the books.

Mary said...

Loved the interview and the picture of Finn! Woohoo!

Na said...

I recently learned about this series so I'm so happy to see it has been featured. I forgot how much I love witches and their world and now I can't wait to meet Regan's.

Cambonified (at) yahoo (dot) com

Barbara E. said...

Great interview. The more I hear about The Awakening series, the more I want to read these books. I love stories featuring witches, and these look fantastic.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Proserpine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Proserpine said...

This series sounds great, BTW Love the candy-man pic you put on your interview... oh my! Love the cover of both book!


dawnmomoffour said...

This series looks fantastic and right up my paranormal alley! Sure am looking forward to reading it. Thank you for the chance to win a copy!
-Dawn aka dawnmomoffour

Book Chatter Cath said...

What a really awesome interview, I cant wait to go get these books. I love witches :)

I have read a couple of 'Maureen Child' books but didn't realize that Maureen and Regan were one in the same!

Thanks for the chance :)

Alexia Purdy said...

Alexia Purdy

Followed the blog!

Debbie said...

Another great interview!! I am excited to read these books. I loved the barbie doll comment You had me going for a minute.

Amberia said...

Sounds so interesting. Love witch books!

Michelle said...

I've not read a good witch series in ages, I need to check these out. Thanks for the interview and the little insight into your books. I could stare at that picture for hours, a nice piece of inspiration! :)

Cathy W. said...

Great interview. I'm looking forward to reading all the books planned for this series.
P.S. I love the tattoos on the cover models (although I'd never get a tattoo for personal reasons).
I love the idea of the Barbie and Ken dolls. I think you should really do it. Think what an amazing collection you'd have if you did this for all your books.

Barb P said...

Hi Regan! Loved the interview and I have heard really great things about the series. I am also really impressed by the covers. Thanks for the contest! I am a follower.

Melissa said...

Amazing interview!!! I am really happy to see that we like the same authors Regan!!! Laura Wright's Mark of the Vampire series is one of my faves too!!!!I can't wait to read the Awakening series!!!

Regan Hastings said...

Hi, everyone! Wow, you've been busy today. This is so fun! I didn't abandon you... I attended a writing conference today. We were celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Orange County chapter of Romance Writers of America. I got to spend the day with some of my favorite people, including Susan Mallery, Kate Carlisle... so many great women! Now I'm going to respond to comments here. Thanks for your patience with me!

Regan Hastings said...

Christina, Yes! So glad to hear that you loved VISIONS OF MAGIC. WOOOHOOOOO!!!!! In VISIONS OF SKYFIRE, we dig even deeper into The Awakening lore. I hope it will rock your world.

Victoria, LOL! You missed the paragraph right after the Ken & Barbie one... I was joking. LOL I love the idea of it, but there's no way I'd have the patience to do that. I suppose I could crochet Ken & Barbie a scarf.

Regan Hastings said...

Alaina, thank you so much!!! Good luck in the contest. I'm so glad you're looking forward to VISIONS OF SKYFIRE. I hope you'll buy it this weekend, if you haven't already.

Oneinamillion21, Good luck in the contest!

Mary, isn't Finn delicious? I almost wanted to be late with my deadline just so I could be, um, "inspired" by him a while longer.

Chrisbails said...

Have heard many great things about Regan's books. She is a new author for me and would love to win and read this first book of her series. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win. Loved the interview and would love to win so please choose me.

Regan Hastings said...

Cambonified, I love witches, too, and I am having more fun than should be legal writing this series.

Thanks, Barbara! I love that you've been hearing about The Awakening series. That makes me sooooo happy! I want lots of readers to discover the witches and their Eternals. Love to hear buzz is building.

Prosperine, don't you adore those covers? The witches have a dangerous sexual edge. I love the covers. Hardcore.

Regan Hastings said...

Hi, Dawn! Great! Thank you so much for posting and for looking forward to VISIONS OF SKYFIRE. I hope you'll read the excerpt on my website. Don't forget about the contest there, too... Someone's going to win a $50 Amazon gift card! Might as well be you!

Cath, So glad the blog has helped you discover VISIONS OF SKYFIRE! Thank you! I hope you love it.

Hi, Alexia! Good luck!

Regan Hastings said...

Debbie, LOL!!! I re-read the interview this morning when it was posted, and I had myself going for a minute there with the Barbie thing! LOL In my defense, it was before I'd had any coffee... my brain hadn't woken up.

Amberia, Thank you! I hope you'll buy VISIONS OF SKYFIRE this weekend and that you'll love it! (I'm hoping for great sales during the first week so my publisher will looooooove me!) :)

Michelle, That man is C.U.T. Wow, what muscles. I might just let him inspire me for another book someday. (I love my job!)

Regan Hastings said...

Cathy, Aren't the tattoos great? The witches didn't go out and get tattooed... the tattoos happen magically as part of the - well, I'll let you discover how the tattoo magically appears when you read VISIONS OF SKYFIRE. Hope you love it!

Barb, SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! Love that you've been hearing great things about VISIONS OF SKYFIRE!!! That makes me so happy!

Melissa, the Mark of the Vampire books are HAWT! Love the books, love Laura! Since we love the same books, I hope that means you'll love VISIONS OF SKYFIRE.

Robin said...

Your series looks great!

Robin D
robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

Diana said...

i just started Visions of Skyfire and love it so far!! I would love to have a copy of your first book - i couldn't find it where I live so only have the digital edition!

Trish said...

Thank you for the interview!


Christina Strickland said...

Thank you for the interview! Your books seem interesting. I'm looking forward to reading them.

Linda said...

Well I'd definitely like to thank your kids for getting you into writing! I was amused to read the part in the interview about dancing in the kitchen with your husband but why in the kitchen of all places?!

The series sounds lovely & I can't wait to read it.

Barbara said...

Hey! Great interview! The Awakening series sounds really good...hope to my greedy little hands on the prize!

GFC follower - Barbara

Carla said...

Thank you for entering me into the contest! My info: Sue Sattler

Could not post so I am posting for her. :-)

SdyLion said...

I cannot wait for your new release and I think you are one incredible author. Thank you for interviewing and giving us all a chance to get to know you better. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

Luvdaylilies said...

This was a GREAT interview & I really look forward to reading this series!I love "Witchy reads"!
Thanks so much for the giveaway=)
Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

winnie said...

The Awakening series sound like great reads. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!