Spotlight: Rachael Stapleton Visits to Talk About Her Latest Release!

Today, we're doing something a little different. Rachael Stapleton is stopping by to talk about her fascinating book!
Hello, Rachael! It's great to have you on MLB.  :)



Hello! Thanks so much for having me!



My pleasure, of course! So, let me ask a few questions since you're here...

All right.


Can you tell us a little about your latest book? When did it come out and where can we get it?

Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire just released February 2015. It’s part of the TEMPLE OF INDRA SERIES which centers around Sophia Marcil, a young librarian who inherits a sapphire from her great grandmother and is bestowed with the gift of time travel only to discover it’s a curse and she is now the object of a madman’s obsession. I’m happy to say that it made the Amazon Bestsellers List for approximately two weeks in the time travel romance category. It was mind blowing to be on the same list as Diana Gabaldon and Susanna Kearsley. 

In Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire, Sophia looks forward to a new life in Ireland with fiancé Cullen O'Kelley, but her dreams are short-lived. Not only has the cursed, time-travelling 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 childish 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. 

Buy Links:


Sounds riveting! So, what inspired you to write your book? How did you get into writing time travel romance?


I can’t say that there was one single thing that inspired me but more of a compilation of scenarios. For one thing, books transported me at a young age—The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis, anything and everything by V.C Andrews and Roald Dahl’s The Witches. The library was my favorite place to go and reading was the ultimate adventure—mystery, danger and intrigue from the corner of my room. Something I firmly hope I am able to do for others. I think the catalyst was probably my first pregnancy. I was off work and I’d finished Diana Gabbaldon’s Outlander. I had read everything I could find on time travel and reincarnation prior to that and decided I would write something that I wanted to read since I was out of books. I thought back to a swirling underwater cavern in the beautiful waters of Playa Esmeralda I’d once snorkeled over and been enamored by. At the time I’d felt alone, excited and curious to go further into and I’d written a mini story in my head so I just pulled the idea out and expanded on it and voila, a series was born.

That's great! What, do you feel, sets this book apart from other books in the genre?

The mystery angle—I’m a hardcore mystery/thriller fan so while I did write a book that appears, at a first glance, to be time travel romance, once you dig in you find nothing is as it seems. This happens once again in book three so my fans can look forward to having their minds blown.


So...give us a teaser or two if you can.

Teaser One - Dublin, Ireland

Today 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.

I 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.

I 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.

It 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.

“Sophia, ye all right?” Cullen asked, appearing suddenly at my elbow.

“No,” I said automatically and pushed away the bothersome thoughts.

“Gah. It’s the restaurant. It’s too fancy, isn’t it? I said so, but ye know Móraí.”

“What? I love this place.” The room buzzed with mixed conversation. “I just didn’t hear what you said.”

“Where the tongue slips, it speaks the truth. I asked if ye were all right and ye said no.”

“I’m fine. I’m just soaking in the atmosphere. It’s so romantic in here.”

That 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.

“It 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?”

“Like that’d matter. Loud-mouthed arses. Let’s skedaddle and we can celebrate alone.”

I laughed as Cullen pretended to boot one of his cousins in the rear.

His 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.

Cullen bent his head toward me, his lips brushing mine, but at the last moment I turned my cheek.

“Cullen, your grandmother has arrived with your parents and she’s staring at us. It’s probably this dress.”

“Well now, she can be after findin’ her own frock, can’t she? ’Cause ye look bloody deadly in that one.”

He 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.

Teaser Two - London, 1920

Fog descended, eerily beautiful despite the dingy residue it seemed to be composed of—producing an unwelcome metallic taste in my mouth. I lagged behind, pulling my scarf tight around my shoulders and taking in the outline of the buildings, which now looked even more Gothic and ghostly. They gave me a chill, or maybe it was just the weather. I had snowmobiled and skied on the frostiest of Canadian mornings and hardly ever felt the cold; I even slept with the windows open at times. But this cold was different from anything I had experienced. It cut to the core.

Of course I’d read about the smog of old London, when a million coal fires polluted the atmosphere, but the sound of the fog horn now blaring from the river made it real.
“Maggie,” Emily said with a cough. “We should duck into one of these places. We’ve got a pea-souper rolling in.”
Maggie’s soon-to-be mother-in-law gave a gasp. “A tavern is not a suitable place for a group of women and children.”
“Yes, I realize that but it’s bloody—sorry, it’s terribly bad weather out here—” Emily stopped. “It’s going to get worse and—”
“Mama, I’m cold,” Gigi whined. I gave her arms and shoulders a little rub to increase the circulation.
“What is this?” Marjorie asked through a muffled hand.
“Pollution from the—” I began and then clamped my hand over my mouth.
“No use chit-chatting. We should be there already. Let’s pick up our feet, shall we?”
Maggie, who was clearly uncomfortable, made a vague gesture with her hands and followed the formidable woman down the sidewalk.
As the ladies turned a corner, a man in a trench coat caught my eye. He’d been right behind us four blocks ago, and earlier in the day he’d loitered outside the dress shop. His fedora rode low over his eyes at all times and he looked to be about 5’11", coincidentally the same build as Eugene. I kept my eye on him for the next several blocks before he slipped behind a great stone church. I looked up and began to feel uneasy as I realized I’d now lost sight of the gang. In the growing fog, the iron fence surrounding it looked like rows of jagged black teeth. Don’t panic, I said to myself. Eventually I would catch up to them or come to a place I recognized and everything would be all right. I knew the name of the hotel we were staying in. The problem was that I was rapidly being swallowed up into the murk, and it was impossible to read the street signs which had now vanished into the fog above my head.
That’s when I noticed the slow, steady rhythm of footsteps behind me—keeping pace with mine. I turned but couldn’t see anyone. Probably just someone else out lost in this godforsaken weather, I told myself. Or the footsteps could only be a strange echo produced by the fog. I started walking again, stopped suddenly, and heard the footsteps continue another couple of beats before they too stopped. I had no choice but to keep going, so I increased my pace. Thankfully I glimpsed Marjorie’s skirt disappearing behind a building and took off on a terror in an effort to catch up, my mind conjuring the sort of thing that happened in the fog in some of Gigi’s old mystery novels. I rounded the corner onto a cobblestone side street and ran smack into something hard.
Palming my forehead, I realized the smog didn’t hang quite as low here, or maybe the cool breeze off the Thames River pushed it away. The bad news was, aside from the offending lamp post, the street lay empty. I looked up and noticed a sign that hung atop an old storefront, advertising rare books. Maggie must have reasoned with her mother-in-law and pulled the gang indoors. No better place than one filled with books.
Wandering into the shop through a brass-studded wooden door, I smiled to myself, taken in by the familiar smell of grass mixed with a hint of vanilla, my happy place. Books were a constant in my life, and this unmistakable smell always made me feel at home. The bell over the door jingled and a slender man of sixty with large brown eyes, a long nose, and a full gray mustache appeared, climbing down from the rolling ladder behind the counter.
He smiled at me as if he recognized a fellow bibliophile.
“Good afternoon, miss. May I help you?”
I looked around the quaint little shop. A polished table sat empty in the corner, offering up only a delicate brass lamp. Shelves lined the room and were packed with books at every turn but the store was also empty, unless Marjorie and the gang were hiding in an alcove. “Did a group of women come in here?”
“No, dear,” he replied and wrinkled his brow.
Turning to go back out the door, panic slammed into my chest. The man in the navy blue trench coat had followed me. He stood at the corner of the street, leaning against the wall, casually smoking and efficiently blocking my only way out. Half expecting him to turn around and spot me, my mouth went dry.
“Is everything all right, miss?”
Swiping a hand over my forehead, I brushed back a clump of sweaty hair. “I’m fine. I’m waiting for someone, that’s all.”
The shopkeeper stood still, watching me, his face creased with concern. Hastily I retreated, circling the room, studying the shelves and looking for a back door.
He followed me to where I stood browsing an older collection of Shakespeare. He pulled out a nineteenth-century edition of Twelfth Night and handed it to me. I flipped through the pages, to be polite, before handing it back.
“Something specific you fancy?”
“I’ll just take a look around on my own,” I said, then noticed for the first time the book in his possession.
“What’s that?” I asked, squinting; his hand covered the spine.
“Oh, this?”
I followed him and he laid the book open on the counter, turning it sideways so we could both look at it. The scent of dust and pages that time had long since begun to degrade drifted out of it. It was the smell of the book I’d found in the library in my own time and seen prior to that in the alchemist’s study.
“It’s a collection of spells I acquired at an estate sale in Prague a few years ago.” He flipped the thin pages until he came to a poem printed neatly in the center of the leaf. “It looks to me like a book of magic,” he added, grinning.
A familiar feeling twisted within me.
Could it be?


I'm hooked!

I'm sure readers are curious about your next writing project. Can you tell us what you've got cooking up now or is that a secret?

I’m currently working on The Keeper of the Book—this is the third and final book in the Temple of Indra Series. As I mentioned, it is a complete head trip. The first half of the book is told from Sophia’s POV and the second half is from her daughter's. The truth about the legend of the sapphire is about to be exposed and somebody’s been lying.

Awesome! Can't wait!

Book One Trailer:

Book Two Trailer:

Thanks so much for stopping by to tell us about this book, Rachael!

My pleasure!

Readers, you'll just have to pick up a copy of this exciting time travel story!  ;)

Here is the blurb.

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. 

About the Author:

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 series. 

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