Unexpected Romance with Eileen Richards

My guest today is my friend Eileen Richards.  I’m so excited that her first two books debuted from Kensington’s Lyrical Press this fall, and she’s here to celebrate with us.

Welcome, Eileen! Please tell us how you started writing.

eileen-richards-authorThank you so much for having me. I started writing in college. I tried to keep it up after college, but this was pre-computer days with edits on a typewriter and a toddler running through the house. I picked up writing again in 2007 and I’ve not looked back.

What is your A Lady’s Wish series, and what inspired it?

A Lady’s Wish series is about three sisters rather down on their luck and stuck in a small village in the Lake District. It was inspired by a real place: The Fairy Steps in Beetham Cumbria. The legend goes that if you climb the steps without touching the sides, a fairy will grant you a wish. I based the books on that legend.

Which book came to you first?

An Unexpected Wish is the first in the series. Anne is the older sister. She’s a spinster, overlooked but trying to do right by her family at least until her wish gets completely misinterpreted.

In An Unexpected Wish, what are the issues that keep Nathaniel and Anne apart?

Anne’s stubbornness and insecurity to trust Nathaniel’s feelings gets in the way of their relationship. She’s afraid Nathaniel is affected by the wish, like the other gentlemen, and he’ll wake up and regret his connection to her.

Would you like to share an excerpt from An Unexpected Wish?

Anunexpectedwish_2This is from Chapter One:

A cold gust of wind blew the tendrils of hair from her face and chased a shiver up her spine. Dried leaves rattled behind her as they skated across the rock. A twig snapped behind her.

Her eyes flew open. She wasn’t alone.

Anne’s heart pounded so hard she could hear it thumping in her ears. Hair lifted on the back of her neck. Anger warred with fear. Anger won.

She picked up a good-sized limb from the ground and gripped it with both hands. “Show yourself, coward.”

“Speak your heart’s desire, my lady.” An odd, otherworldly voice filled the air. The breeze kicked up again.

Anne tightened her grip on the tree limb. She threw her shoulders back and stood taller. She wasn’t going down without a fight.

“You climbed the steps properly and earned a wish, you have.” The voice cackled.

She lowered her arm. Blast, this was nothing but a prank. Probably some child bribed by Sophia. She’d box the child’s ears and send him on his way. She’d deal with her sister when she got home. “The joke is over. Come on out.”

“‘Tis a magical place you’ve found, as well you know for the many times you’ve climbed these steps.” The crackling voice sounded old, not childlike.

“Enough!” Anne was sick to death of being the whipping boy.

A wizened, bent old woman with a twisted cane shuffled out of the trees at the foot of the stairs. “Always you must see to believe.”

“You must think me dicked in the nob, madam. There are no fairies.” Anne threw the limb into the bushes behind her. “Be gone now, and tell my sister Sophia to try harder next time.”

“How hasty and untrusting you young people are. Make your wish, child.”

Anne studied the old lady. She looked like one of the gypsies that came around at harvest time. How much coin had she bilked out of Sophia for this prank? “Fine. I wish you to be gone.”

The old woman cackled. “I should take you up on that, but your heart speaks differently. It speaks of struggle and loneliness.”

What did this woman know of her life? “I’m sick of this game. Good day, ma’am.” Anne turned towards the path.

“Wish for anything, my lady. Wish grandly.” A gleefully, wicked light gleamed in the old woman’s eyes. She lifted her cane and jabbed it toward Anne. “Little wishes are for little souls. They are not for the likes of you. Now wish. You are wasting my time.”

Anhonorablewish_2Oh, very cool! What keeps Tony and Juliet apart in An Honorable Wish?

Juliet has been in love with Tony since she met him. He’s just realizing what he’s missed. What keeps them apart is trust. Tony has a problem with gambling. Juliet is in the circumstances she is in because her brother gambled away his inheritance. Can she trust Tony to walk away from it and never look back?

We love call stories in the Lair. Will you share yours?

It was just another Tuesday afternoon in cube land in June 2014. I was working when my cell rang. I glanced at the number – 212 area code. I just figured it was one of the coworkers from my old employer. I had just recently changed job and the number did look familiar.

I answered it and it was Martin, the editor from Kensington/Lyrical. It took my brain a moment to catch up. I quickly took the call outside. He made the offer and my words were: “You read it and you still want it?” I also remember pacing a lot. After seven years, it finally happened. I could barely talk when I called my husband to tell him.

How fun! What’s next for you?

Book Three, A Most Inconvenient Wish, is out next July. I’m also working on a new Regency series. There might be speed dating and there definitely will be some interesting heroines. Stay tuned.

For more information about Eileen and her work, visit her website, www.eileenrichardsauthor.com.  You can also connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Eileen is giving one commenter today a download of An Unexpected Wish. So tell us about your favorite story involving fairy magic or ask Eileen about her work.

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  • Jane says:

    Welcome Eileen,
    Congrats on the recent releases. I haven’t read many stories featuring fairies and the only ones I can think of right now is Kelley Armstrong’s Cainesville series.

  • flchen1 says:

    Ooh, Eileen! Thanks for sharing the excerpts–I love the premise you chose for the stories! The idea of wishes granted is always such a powerful one! Looking forward to reading these in their entirety!

  • Ki says:

    Welcome Eileen! It’s so good to see you here. I definitely enjoyed reading both of these books of yours and can’t wait for Sophia’s, even if she irritated me at one point. But it’s great knowing you have more in store for us in a new series.

    *not in for the gift.

  • Colleen C. says:

    Oh I am loving the sound of this series! 🙂 I love stories that touch on myths and legends…

  • jcp says:

    I’m looking forward to reading these

    alysap at yahoo dot com

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    HI Eileen! Welcome to the Lair! This series sounds totally cool. Looking forward to reading it. Fairy wishes are such great fodder for stories aren’t they!?

  • Helen says:

    Hi Eileen

    Oh I do love the sound of these stories and wishes involved make them even better haven’t we all had wishes over the years and to see them come true fabulous and with fairies :). Sounds like you have been really busy.

    Have Fun

  • Hi Eileen!

    Congratulations on the series! I love stories with a little bit of magic. There’s always hope that a fairy godmother will pop out unexpected one of these days, but perhaps she’s been there all along, I have no complaints 🙂 Love your covers! Good Luck with the series!

  • Hello, Eileen ! I am so very thrilled for you and I cannot WAIT for everyone to read your wonderful stories !! Such a wonderful premise and such lovely, fun and romantic tales! And, of course, those covers are perfect !

    We always told my baby brother the fairies brought him and that one day they were going to come and take him away. Poor kid. We really were awful to him. He grew up fine and the fairies never did come to get him!

  • Laney4 says:

    Can’t think of any recent books. The only one that comes to mind is Peter Pan, LOL!

  • Amy Conley says:

    Fairies and magic, two of my favorite things. I don’t know if I could come up with a favorite off the top of my head, but this series sounds just lovely. The fact it is based on a real place and story make it even more so. But if I had to say one story above all others it would be CINDERELLA. I think part of the reason is because I saw Rogers and Hamersteins Cinderella on, in color! It was one of the very first shows I remember seeing in color and I loved Lesley Ann Warren and Sturat Damon as Cinderella and Prince CHarming. Celeste Holm as the Prince’s mother also made me think she was pefect for the part because with a name like Celeste she had to be magical.

  • Laurie G says:

    My favorite story with fairy magic is Sleeping Beauty!