I had the pleasure of meeting Regina Rudd Merrick several years back when we were both aspiring authors hoping for that first publishing contract. I’ve loved watching her persevere on this often-difficult writing road, so it’s a thrill to cheer her on when a new book baby comes out. Carolina Mercy, her second release in the Southern Breeze series has recently hit the shelves, so I invited her over to Inspy Romance to introduce her to our fabulous readers!
Welcome, Regina, and thank you for visiting Inspy Romance today! Also, congratulations on your new release! I’m Snoopy dancing with you!
Can you tell the Inspy Romance readers about CAROLINA MERCY? What inspired this story?
Carolina Mercy is book 2 in the Southern Breeze Series, continuing the story that began in book 1, Carolina Dream. It’s the story of Tom and Lucy, the best friends of Sarah and Jared from book one. They met in book 1, and hit it off, but for some reason, Tom never contacted Lucy when she left the shores of South Carolina and went back to Kentucky!
I think the thing that inspired me to write this story is that we all have these areas of our lives that we think we can control. We trust God, but there are things we hold on to, and that is what has happened with both Lucy and Tom. Some things have happened that really threw them for a loop, and made them wonder if God was paying attention, or if they even deserved for Him to pay attention to their situations. When they give these trials to Him, things start to happen, and they discover just how merciful God is, and how much He loves them.
I’m so glad Tom and Lucy get their own story! Yay! And the message sounds excellent! Being wrapped in romance doesn’t hurt, either. Why do you write romance?
I write romance because that’s what I love to read. Actually, I read little else! I began reading Grace Livingston Hill and Emilie Loring books as early as age 12 or 13, then graduated to Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, and by the time I was a young adult, authors like Jeanette Oke and other “bonnet” romances had come to be. I love both historical and contemporary, but with contemporary romance, I can get into the characters, what they’re thinking, and their expressions without the baggage of being historically correct! I love Inspirational romance because to me it mirrors the love that Jesus has for his church, when describing a man’s love for that special woman.
Which authors do you enjoy reading? Have any influenced your writing?
Oh, so many. I’ve recently discovered authors Johnnie Alexander and Patricia Bradley, and their novels drew me in like a magnet, and Patricia is the one that put me onto the idea of “wounding” my characters. What a difference that has made! I love suspense, and I love contemporary romance, so I’m in heaven with these two! An author who has had a major impact on my life is the late Sandra Robbins. She wrote Love Inspired Suspense, and some historical romance, as well, and was very instrumental in making my first book better. She was an encourager, a “Barnabas” if you will, and a vital part of our KenTen Writing Group. I have very eclectic taste in my reading – contemporary, historical, suspense, some speculative, cowboys – Mary Connealy’s are my favorite – and so much more. But they all have some romance. That’s what makes me tick, as a writer. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll write a cowboy book, too! ;)
You are an eclectic reader! What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on book 3 in the Southern Breeze Series, Carolina Grace. My deadline is in September, so I’m in the thick of it! I have a few ideas for some other projects, but they’ve been put on the back-burner for now! I’m excited about book 3. You’ll get to know some other characters better, and meet a few new ones. There might just be a little more redemption in this story, coming in February!
February? Yay! I can’t wait!
When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
I’m a church musician, so I love singing, playing piano, and listening to music. I also love to read, and I love to binge-watch weird sci-fi television series and police procedurals on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. I usually have to watch the weird stuff when my husband is out of town, LOL. I’m also a big fan of Tri-Peaks Solitaire!
Where is a romantic location you’d like to travel to?
Ooo, that’s a hard one. I’m a beach lover, so a remote tropical island would be amazing to me. But, I’d also love to visit the British Isles! Motoring across the moors in Northern England, or traipsing around the castles in Edinburgh, Scotland would be my idea of a trip of a lifetime, and made more special if it’s with my husband of 35 years!
That would be special!
And the most important question: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, or no chocolate?
I always have to answer the chocolate question! I will take the top three, please! Live with NO chocolate is not really a life, is it? Dark is the best, milk is truly yummy, and white chocolate definitely has its place. I love white chocolate Reese’s! My grandmother’s fudge, which nobody in the family can make now, was the best. It was that kind of chocolate that was so rich that the first bite actually hit you in the back of the jaw. Wow, I miss it!
My mouth is watering! I don’t know how people live without chocolate! It’s one of the main food groups, isn’t it? ;-)
Thank you, Regina, for chatting with us today! I hope you’ll come back to visit some other time!
About Regina Rudd Merrick ~
Regina Merrick is a writer, church musician, wife, mother, former librarian, and grateful follower of Jesus Christ. Having lived most of her life in Western Kentucky, she dreams of the sound of crashing waves and sandy beaches. Married to her husband of 30-plus years, she is the mother of two grown daughters, and the keeper of a 100-year-old house where she lives in the small town of Marion, KY. She is the author of two books, Carolina Dream (Apr. 2017) and Carolina Mercy (July 2018) in the Southern Breeze Series. Book 3 in the series releases in February 2019.
Connect with Regina ~
About Carolina Mercy ~
She’s always gotten everything she’s wanted. He thinks he has to give up everything.
Her best friend’s wedding is foremost on Lucy Dixon’s radar. Her biggest concern is once again meeting Tom Livingston, who has ignored her since an idyllic date on the boardwalk of Myrtle Beach the previous summer.
At least, it is her biggest concern until tragedy strikes. Where is her loving, merciful God, now?
When Tom Livingston meets Lucy, the attraction is instant. Soon after, his mother is diagnosed with an untreatable illness and his personal life is pushed aside. His work with the sheriff’s department, his family – they are more important. He knows about the love of God, but circumstances make him feel as if God’s mercy is for everyone else, not him.
Can a wedding and a hurricane – blessing and tragedy – bring them together?
Purchase Carolina Mercy ~
Giveaway Details ~
Regina has graciously offered to give away (1) Kindle copy of Carolina Mercy.
To enter, answer the following question in the comments section below:
What romantic location would you like to travel to?
Contest ends Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at midnight CST.
One randomly chosen commenter to this post
will receive a Kindle copy of CAROLINA MERCY.