Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Carole McKee’s character on December 20th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Rachael Stapleton, the author of Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Sophia Marcil, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Rachael in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Sophia Marcil!
Marie Lavender: Hello, Sophia. Please have a seat.
Sophia Marcil: Hello. Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Marie: We’re going to start out with some simple questions, okay?
Character Sophia: Sure.
Marie: So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
Sophia: I’m a librarian. Or I was a librarian. I’m from Canada, but I’m currently living with my boyfriend in Ireland so I’m not working at the moment.
Marie: I don’t mean to get side-tracked, but you’ve caught my interest. What is one of your favorite things about your boyfriend?
Sophia: His accent. I love his brogue.
Marie: How did you two meet?
Sophia: He rescued me from drowning a year ago. Now I live with him in his adorable fairytale cottage outside of Dublin.
Marie: What do you mean by ‘fairytale’?
Sophia: Only that it reminds me of the cottage from my favorite childhood fairytale ‘Snow White’. It’s adorable with its diamond-paned windows, steeply pitched roof and massive chimney thrusting skyward.
Marie: Oh, that does sound quite lovely!
Speaking of childhoods, can you tell us something about yours—something that makes you unique?
Sophia: Hmm…I lost both my parents growing up, but that’s kind of depressing so…how about the fact that I never wanted to be a Princess?
Marie: You were a tomboy?
Sophia: No. I played with the other girls. I just watched in a strangely detached fashion when they put on frilly dresses, their mother’s costume jewelry and oversized heels and paraded about in sparkling silver tiaras. I think even then I must have remembered.
Marie: Remembered what?
Sophia: Remembered my past life.
Marie: I’m not one to overlook a good story. Your past life—are you implying that you think you were a Princess?
Marie: Is that what bothers you the most when the story opens?
Sophia: Yes, that and the fact that I’m keeping a secret from the man I love most.
Marie: Can you share your secret with us or is that too personal?
Sophia: I’m cursed.
Marie: I’m sorry? What do you mean by ‘cursed’?
Sophia: I own the Purple Delhi Sapphire.
Marie: Can you tell us what that is?
Sophia: You’ve never heard the tale of The Purple Delhi Sapphire?
Marie: No, please do tell.
Sophia: It’s kind of long and really needs to be told in a dramatic fashion to do it justice.
Marie: Well, why don’t you give it a try? I can’t say no to a good story.
Sophia: Alright but my great-grandmother was the storyteller in our family. Anyway, here it goes.
Once upon a time, along the banks of the River Ganges, there existed a sacred temple that housed an extraordinary purple sapphire, a stone rumored to hold a wondrous magic, but at a terrible cost—a curse. To wield the power you had to own the jewel but to do that, you had to remove it from the safety of its chamber. This action triggered the release of the curse: infinite reincarnation.
Marie: Oh! So you continue to reincarnate? That’s not so bad.
Sophia: It is when you’re being hunted for the stone’s power. Maybe I should finish the tale.
Marie: All right.
Sophia: To protect humanity from the stone’s magnetism, a powerful family loyal to its owner, the god of thunder and war, were charged as the sworn keepers. Wielding a book of spells, one member of the family in each generation could safely use the magic of the sapphire to make sure that it stayed put. In 1857, during the confusion of the Indian Mutiny, the keeper failed, and the Purple Delhi Sapphire was stolen, pried from its chamber within the deity by a fortune hunter, and eventually sold to the Prince of Monaco as a gift for his sister, Princess Sapphira Alexandrie de Monaco. That was me. I was Sapphira. The next dark soul to come into contact with the jewel before it reached me was a greedy political advisor who coveted the throne. He was seduced by the stone into believing that he was the rightful ruler. As a result I was cursed too, tied to this dangerous man, who has now stalked me in every life. He is willing to do anything to possess my stone’s magic.
Marie: And you can remember this life?
Sophia: Only now because I accidentally traveled into the past a year ago using the jewel’s power. I attempted to change things and that’s when Cullen saved me and that’s what I haven’t told him.
Marie: So this man is hunting you even as we speak?
Sophia: Yes, my ex-boyfriend—he’s the one who pushed me from the cliff that sent me back in time in the first place. That’s why I’m in Ireland. He is back home in Canada, or at least I hope he is.
Marie: Well, this is fascinating. I can’t wait to find out more, but we’re running out of time on our interview.
Thank you for visiting us today, Sophia.
Sophia: Thank you for having me here.
Marie: Of course! (Waves goodbye to her guest.)
Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have Rachael Stapleton on the stage today. Hi, Rachael!
Author Rachael Stapleton: Hi. Thank you for having me here.
Marie: My pleasure! We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Sophia. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?
Rachael: Sophia is at a cross roads in her life. One year ago, she was a quiet librarian dating a spoiled playboy. The past year has taken her on a wild ride, occupying the body of another person, facing off against a heinous villain. Sophia has been forced to think and act on her feet many times and I must admit she’s about to face a whole lot more.
Marie: Yes, that is quite a lot! So, let’s try another question.
What, do you feel, is her greatest weakness?
Rachael: She is cursed to live out a cycle of betrayal. In every life, she is destined to be killed by someone close to her so she certainly has trust issues.
Marie: Oh! That’s terrible. I can certainly understand her hesitance to get close to anyone.
So, what are some of her favorite foods?
Rachael: Is red wine a food group? Sophia loves her Shiraz almost as much as she loves cheese, pasta and Chinese food but she’s pretty health conscious so you won’t see her indulging all the time.
Marie: What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Rachael: She’s witty and she’s extremely loyal. This makes for great dynamics with her best friend Leslie. I love writing their scenes.
Marie: Great! Well, now that we have a real taste of Sophia, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.
Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire is the second book in the Temple of Indra series. What first gave you the idea for the series?
Rachael: I was snorkeling off a reef near Esmeralda beach in Cuba and I looked down and noticed a dark deep cavern and I just felt really drawn to it. It almost felt as if I was flying over the top of a cliff and it made me really wonder what was down there and what if it was a portal to another world or another time. This is the crazy way my brain works. I actually just returned from that very resort. I was so excited to go snorkeling but unfortunately I came down with food poisoning the day I was supposed to do it.
Marie: Aww…sorry to hear that. I love your imagination, though. I can really picture what you meant when you were looking into the cavern.
So, tell us. What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Rachael: I guess I’m a plotter, although I hardly know every detail or twist and turn before I sit down. I do have an idea of my characters, the basic plot points, and the ending I’m working towards. After my basic outline is done, I spontaneously write chapters out of order which is a little annoying at times. It makes for some fun re-writes.
Marie: I hear you on writing scenes out of order. Mine come to me randomly, which I agree, can be annoying at times. I don’t often know what will happen until I write an outline, but even then, the characters will still surprise me.
(Glances at clock.) Oops! It looks like our time is up.
Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog. And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire appears to be. Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome new release by Rachael Stapleton, a very talented author!
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.
Release Date: January 30th
Amazon Universal link: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00SNAF018
About Rachael Stapleton
Rachel Stapleton spent her youth cultivating a vivid imagination inside the book lined walls of an old Victorian library where she consumed everything from mystery to biography, creating magical worlds, hidden elevators, and secret spiral staircases. At sixteen, she penned a column for the local newspaper and in 2006, wrote her first book featuring an adventurous librarian. She lives in a Second Empire Victorian with her husband and two children in Ontario and enjoys writing in the comforts of aged wood and arched dormers. She is the author of The Temple of Indra’s Jewel and is currently working on a third book in the Temple of Indra series. Visit her website and follow her on social media or sign up at www.rachaelstapleton.com to receive email updates.
And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Rachael Stapleton, here are some of her author links:
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Rachael-Stapleton/e/B00IE9W804/
Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Sophia Marcil, the female main character of Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire, and Rachael Stapleton, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was so fun to have you here! 🙂