A Stranger She Can Trust
by Regan Black
GENRE: Romantic suspense
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Outside a busy Philadelphia nightclub, a woman stumbles from her taxi. Beaten and bruised, she is an amnesiac who must rely on a handsome stranger to help her uncover her identity. Carson Lane—a paramedic with his own dark history—can't help but bring this beautiful, vulnerable woman under his wing. As they begin unraveling who she really is, he realizes falling in love could be the biggest risk of all.
Carson turned around at the sound of an engine, holding up a hand to shield his eyes from the glare of headlights as a big car pulled to a stop at the side of the club. He saw a typical white city taxicab with a familiar logo on the back door. Then a slender woman pushed it open and stumbled out.
“Hey!” The driver jumped out, as well. “You owe me money, lady.”
“I…” The woman frowned at her empty hands. “I don’t have money.” She wobbled, looking around. “Where—”
“Wait right there!” The cabbie rushed around the car to confront her.
Sensing trouble, Carson dashed forward as the woman tripped and started to fall. He caught her, willing his knee to hold up for both of them. “Back off,” he warned the cabbie.
“She owes me the fare.”
“I’ll cover it.” Carson eased the woman down to sit on a discarded pallet. Despite the shadows, he could tell she wasn’t well. Drunk or stoned, the visible fresh scrapes and bruises on her face and arms implied someone had taken a few swipes at her recently. “What happened to her?”
“How the hell do I know? She got in the car that way.”
Carson looked at the woman. “Is that true?” She only stared up at him, shying away from the cabbie. “Bring me her purse.”
“No purse.” The driver gestured at the empty backseat. “Just her.”
Q & A with Regan Black
Thanks for hosting this tour stop for A Stranger She Can Trust. I’m delighted to be here today.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
This book gave me a few challenges along the way, but getting a handle on Carson was a biggie. It was tough diving into that mindset of digging out from under life’s overwhelming moments. At the start of the story, he’s pretty much hiding at the Escape Club, avoiding his career as a Philadelphia Fire Department paramedic. Angry over the murder of his partner on the ambulance rig (worse - there are no leads on her killer) and coping with a lingering knee injury, he’s afraid to go back on the job. He’s an excellent first responder who suddenly has no confidence in his ability to treat patients or be a reliable partner on the rig.
What inspires you?
My inspiration for stories comes from everywhere. It could be a news story, something my husband shares from his Army experience, or even a science journal. Music and poetry help me find the mood for various scenes while I’m writing. For A Stranger She Can Trust and the Escape Club series, the inspiration for plots comes from brainstorming worst-case what-if scenarios for characters.
But story inspiration is just that – an inspired jumping off point. My characters invariably throw me curveballs. Fortunately, I love those surprises as the adventure unfolds on the page. The beauty of being primarily a ‘pantser’-style writer is never having to apologize for leaving an outline in the dust.
Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?
There are so many authors I enjoyed reading long before I was published and several more I’ve learned from since my journey as an author began. Clive Cussler, Debra Webb, Nora Roberts, Tom Clancy, Virginia Kantra, Carla Cassidy, J.K. Rowling, Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, and Anne McCaffrey top the list.
Cussler, Webb, and Roberts are extraordinarily prolific and they have a gift for pacing and storytelling. Their consistency and work ethic are a superb example for any author to model. Kantra, Kleypas, Quinn, and Cassidy have a way with prose that just sinks into my heart as I’m reading, bringing me that much closer to the character experience. And Rowling, Clancy, and McCaffrey demonstrate remarkable examples of world building.
What do your plans for future projects include?
The third Escape Club novel, Protecting Her Secret Son, is being readied for release in November 2017. It features another Philly firefighter on the cusp of a serious life decision and a strong-willed woman whose past has caught up with her. I’m currently working on the fourth Escape Club book that is slated for a 2018 release.
In addition to the Harlequin Romantic Suspense books, Debra Webb and I have two more Harlequin Intrigue releases this year. The first of those is Marriage Confidential available in July. (And the cover on that one of my all-time favorites!)
All of my writing plans include the occasional return to my paranormal roots. Those stories offer me a change of pace which I believe keeps me fresh no matter what genre I’m writing in. Timeless Light, the next Knight Traveler novel, will be released later this year.
Do you ever get writer’s block? Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Early in my career, when the words stopped flowing, I would vacuum or fold laundry. While that made the family happy (and it was great to see something completed) it wasn’t the best long-term solution when deadlines were looming.
In the white noise of the vacuum or mindlessness of matching socks, my mind would often drift to another story scene that I could see more clearly than the scene that stumped me. I’d hurry back to my desk and write that scene instead, then weave it into the right place in the book.
Writing a book out of order isn’t for everyone, so I often encourage writers feeling blocked to do two things. First, take a break - anything from an hour to an entire day - and go for a walk, watch a movie, take a nap, just stop thinking about the project. Second, before you put your hands back on the keyboard or pick up that pen, take time to identify something you absolutely love about what you’re writing. Usually that will knock that block right out of the way.
For me, the thing that’s worse than writer’s block is the mid-point slump. It happens with every project! To solve that, I tend to creep out of the office and find my husband. He lets me steal a hug and a kiss, then gently steers me back to the office with the reminder that I’ve survived every other mid-point slump that came before. He’s a good man. ;)
Thanks again for hosting me and helping me celebrate the release of A Stranger She Can Trust!
Live the adventure,
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Regan Black, a USA Today bestselling author, writes award-winning, action-packed romantic suspense and paranormal romance novels featuring daring heroines and sexy heroes. Raised in the Midwest and California, she and her family, along with their adopted greyhound and two arrogant cats, reside in the South Carolina Lowcountry where the rich blend of legend, romance, and history fuels her imagination.
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