My guest today is Rachael Stapleton. Hello! Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age!
It’s such a pleasure to have you here. Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can
we get it?
I had two books release
this year, Curse of the Purple Delhi
Sapphire which is part of the Temple of Indra Series and a short story Dinner in the Dark.
The Temple of Indra
Series revolves around a young librarian who inherits a sapphire and is
bestowed with the gift of time travel only to discover she is now the object of
a madman’s obsession.
In the second book, Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire, Sophia
has surfaced from the 1800’s and looks forward to a new life in Ireland with
fiancé Cullen O'Kelley, but her dreams are short-lived. Not only has the Purple
Delhi Sapphire reemerged in the engagement ring Cullen presents her, but the
villain who pursued her through past lives has returned, yet again, with the
intent of reclaiming the jewel and destroying her forever. Before she is able
to share her tortured secret with Cullen, she is whisked back to an old
Victorian house where she finds, much to her astonishment, that she inhabits
the body of her great aunt. The sapphire, mysteriously absent from her finger,
compels Sophia to locate the jewel and return to the present before her killer
can catch up to her.
Dinner in the Dark, a
short story released in July. is the delectable prequel to the Temple of Indra
Series. A lighthearted romantic tale featuring Sophia Marcil, before she
inherited the cursed stone and began her adventures in time.
It’s Valentine’s Day and Sophia Marcil has all
but given up on love—until her best-friend tricks her into attending a Blind
Dating Fundraiser Event sponsored by the O’Kelley’s of Dublin. Sophia feels
guilty about going, and then she falls headfirst for the fiery green-eyed
mystery man out front. When the man turns the corner instead of joining them
inside the event, Sophia’s hopes are dashed but she is surprised to find her
appointed date for the evening is also a charming man—especially when he twirls
her around the dance floor and gives her the kiss of a lifetime. One problem—she
hasn’t seen him. The event is a sensory dining experience like no other,
complete with a blacked out room and blindfolds. But as the night moves to a
close, Sophia’s date vanishes and the night is thrown into chaos when her
ex-boyfriend appears, making it clear that her happy ever after may have to
wait… Includes two recipes and a preview of the first Temple of Indra mystery,
The Temple of Indra’s Jewel.
Is there anything specific that inspired you to write Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire?
As a child the
library was a huge source of inspiration for me. It was my favourite place to
go and reading was the ultimate adventure—mystery, danger and intrigue from the
corner of my room. I think the catalyst to launching a book was probably Diana
Gabbaldon’s Outlander. I had previously read everything I could find on time
travel and reincarnation and decided to write something that I would enjoy
reading. An idea from a snorkeling trip to Mexico was swirling in my head and
so I let it out.
So, if this book was made into a film, who would you cast in it?
In the role of
Ms. Sophia Marcil, herself, I would indeed cast the beautiful and always
endearing, Minka Kelly. With a pair of blue contacts and some freckles, she’d
Leslie was tough to cast because she is modeled after my girlfriend so I
already have a specific image of her but Isla Fisher was a close second. She is
petite and curvy and just enough of a quirky free spirit to bring the
spontaneous best friend of Sophia to life.
As the Irish heartthrob Cullen, I would most certainly cast handsome and
talented Australian actor Alex O'Loughlin. He would need some red highlights,
fiery green contacts and an Irish accent, but my goodness, isn’t that just the
most perfect nose.
Cullen’s rugged and mysterious brother Liam was a little trickier, I definitely
see him as Collin Ferrell but I thought that might be the obvious choice, so
what about Justin Theroux?His role in
Charlie’s Angels was definitely bad boy sexy and we know he can do an Irish
As Penelope, the busty, flirtatious, blonde travel writer, I would without a
doubt cast the buxom seductress of the moment Kate Upton.
And who else but dark and dashing Jesse Metcalfe to play spoiled, arrogant
playboy extraordinaire, Nick Bexx Jr.
That just leaves
Nick’s celebrity rich bitch girlfriend. So how about Margot Robbie—not that
she’s anything like the character, but she has the looks and the acting chops
to pull it off.
And that, my
friends, rounds out the perfect star-studded cast for my novel, Curse of the
Purple Delhi Sapphire. Now I just need to hear from Hollywood.
Fascinating cast! :)
Let's tackle some general questions. When reading, do you prefer traditional printed books or ebooks? And why?
I like both.
Print books for the summer at the beach and e-books as a nightcap.
So, what are you reading now?
I am reading Secretive
by Sara Rosett. I downloaded her first book from the series free on Amazon and
really liked it so I bought the second and third.The perfect example of why giveaways work. :)
Great! Let's try another question.
you get an idea for a book, what comes first usually? Dialogue, the
characters, a specific scene? Or do you plot it out before you write?
overall idea usually hits me first and I write it out as a summary. After that
scenes come to me randomly and I slowly fill in the outline. This can be a pain
towards the end when I have filler chapters to write to bridge certain scenes.
Oh, I certainly know what that's like!
So, what do you have planned next, Rachael? Or is that a secret?
working on two books. One is the third and final book in the Temple of Indra
Series and the other is a cozy mystery which started out as a short story but
might just be the beginning of a new series.
Temple of Indra
Series Book #3
A bad omen looms
over Sophia O’Kelley’s cozy bookshop and not just because a medium predicted
her daughter would steal Sophia’s book of magic on her sixteenth birthday—no
quite literally—a cryptic-looking-raven flew in with the latest
shipment. When she discovers the five-hundred-year-old spell book she’s
been guarding on Alana’s bed she wonders if maybe the psychic knew what she was
talking about. Cue the migraine. Looking for answers and a way to stop the
pain, Sophia agrees to a hypnotic regression. Unfortunately for Sophia, not
everyone has the best of intentions and she suddenly finds herself in the past,
manipulated, betrayed and imprisoned for witchcraft. Meanwhile, back in
Ireland, Sophia’s husband and best friend uncover a painting, proving that
Sophia could be alive. The answers lie in a sixteenth-century castle—all they
have to do is navigate time to get there. Of course, they’re not the only ones
searching; Sophia’s sixteen-year-old daughter is determined to tag along, and
she’s leading the traitor right to them.
Jack & Juniper Young agree to lend and help prep their latest purchase—an
old Victorian mansion to act as the eerie setting for the town’s Halloween
bash. They’re expecting to find missing floor boards, and pesky bats, not dead
Ooh! I'm definitely excited to find out more!
Is there anything you'd like to add? Any advice for new writers?
Writing is an investment. Just like no one
becomes an athlete overnight, no one becomes a bestselling author overnight. It
takes practice and determination. I’m not rolling in cash YET, but I see
everything I’m doing as an investment in a long term career. The same way a
doctor goes to school and does rotations for most of his young life, I write
for peanuts because it’s improving my skill level, it’s flexing my brain muscle
and I’m growing a fan base.
Also, I'd also like to run a contest! All Marie Lavender fans and anyone
reading this blog post are eligible to win one copy of Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire. Please enter the rafflecopter
Sounds great! And thanks for the wonderful writing tip about patience, definitely a trait we should all take to heart. ;)
Readers, here is the blurb for Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire.
Librarian Sophia Marcil loves reading, especially books about ancient
curses and reincarnation. But she never imagined the legend of the
Purple Delhi Sapphire was true until she inherited it and was wrenched
back in time. Now having suffered deadly consequences, she knows and
fears the sapphire’s irresistible charm, but before she can warn her
boyfriend, he proposes with a ring made from the very jewel. No sooner
is it on her finger, then she once again finds herself in the body of
another, wandering the hallway of an old Victorian mansion circa 1920.
Unfortunately, her nemesis has reincarnated too. Doomed to repeat past
mistakes, Sophia struggles to prevent the deaths of those she loves,
returning to her present-day life, with a deep understanding that her
killer is not far behind.
Here is an excerpt.
I would tell Cullen the truth. I swirled the champagne in my glass in an
agitated fashion. I would not allow myself to be distracted. I looked down in
early defeat and noticed the dark limp waves cascading past my shoulders. Who
was I kidding? I couldn’t even get ready for a dinner party without being
distracted. All that work curling it, and then Cullen had walked in, glimpsing
my lacy black bra, and poof, my hair was flat again. Twirling a strand around
my index finger, I attempted to bring it back to life. If only the jewels could
work their magic on my hair.
spotted Cullen a couple of feet away, making his way over to me. He looked
handsome in his sport jacket and tailored shirt. His hair, a coppery red with
streaks of blond that looked almost golden in the sunlight, was slicked back so
the ends curled at his neck.
should be over-the-moon happy right now. I was sipping Dom Pérignon in an
elegant restaurant surrounded by rustic stone walls, as a soft and whimsical
Irish fiddle played in the background in honor of our one-year anniversary. It
wasn’t technically our anniversary. He had playfully called it that when he’d
invited me out to dinner with his family, but what he’d meant was that it had
been one year since we’d met. Since that ill-fated day on the Lerins Island,
half a mile off shore from Cannes, when I’d rejected the marriage proposal of
that egotistical lunatic Nicholas Bexx and endured his wrath. Lucky for me,
Cullen had been looking up from the deck of his family’s yacht and had seen Nick
push me off the cliff. Cullen dove in and pulled me to safety, and subsequently
into his life.
was hard to believe that in a full year I couldn’t bring myself to tell him the
truth: that the fall had sent me to another time and place and into the body of
a nineteenth-century princess. But what sane person would believe what had been
only seconds underwater to them had been another lifetime to me? I was the
owner of the Purple Delhi Sapphire. I had time traveled into my past life and
uncovered my destiny—had done so repeatedly—and was always reborn, only to be
murdered by the same obsessed spirit, again and again.
ye all right?” Cullen asked, appearing suddenly at my elbow.
I said automatically and pushed away the bothersome thoughts.
It’s the restaurant. It’s too fancy, isn’t it? I said so, but ye know Móraí.”
I love this place.” The room buzzed with mixed conversation. “I just didn’t
hear what you said.”
the tongue slips, it speaks the truth. I asked if ye were all right and ye said
fine. I’m just soaking in the atmosphere. It’s so romantic in here.”
was the truth. The place was intimate. A combination of comfortable leather and
floral high-backed chairs surrounded the long table, and almost all of them
were now full with Cullen’s family.
is getting loud in here. I thought this was just dinner, but it looks like you
rented out the whole restaurant. Will this place hold your entire family?”
that’d matter. Loud-mouthed arses. Let’s skedaddle and we can celebrate alone.”
laughed as Cullen pretended to boot one of his cousins in the rear.
eyes met mine, and it was just like that first day in the hospital after I’d
awoken from the fall. There was no denying the attraction and it wasn’t just
pheromones. It was as if my soul recognized his, which was exactly why I needed
to be honest about the curse. I was giving myself an ulcer and all for what? I
knew he felt the same way. For heaven’s sake, I’d overheard him tell his
brother of his dreams, and they sounded suspiciously familiar. There were other
clues. He shared a birthmark with Graf Viktor Ferdinand of Württemberg, who’d
rescued me on three separate occasions when I was the princess, and of course
his ancestor had been the one to sell the Purple Delhi Sapphire to my family.
bent his head toward me, his lips brushing mine, but at the last moment I
turned my cheek.
your grandmother has arrived with your parents and she’s staring at us. It’s
probably this dress.”
now, she can be after findin’ her own frock, can’t she? ’Cause ye look bloody
deadly in that one.”
playfully tugged at the clasp centered between my breasts. He’d been the one to
choose this low-slung, emerald-green dress. He said it reminded him of a
shamrock, but I knew he really liked it because it provided a pretty little
peek-a-boo if I moved just the right way. Truthfully, it was a little racy for
this evening, but you only lived once. Well, maybe some people did.
Riveting! Thank you for visiting us on Writing in the Modern Age, Rachael! :)
Rachel Stapleton lives in a
Second Empire Victorian with her husband and two children in Ontario, Canada
and enjoys writing in the comforts of aged wood and arched dormers. She is the
author of The Temple of Indra’s Jewel, Curse
of the Purple Delhi Sapphire and is currently working on the third and most
likely final book in the Temple of Indra