I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK.
They know me here...


Saturday, November 9, 2013

DARK SIDE DOWNUNDER: Christina Phillips

The Dark Side DownUnder series continues! I invited you to get to know some paranormal romance authors from Australia & New Zealand, maybe find a couple of new-to-you-authors & reads!

These authors are part of a blog group I'm affiliated with, called the Dark Side DownUnder. The site is aimed at showcasing all things speculative fiction - articles, authors, books, spotlights on... and contests/giveaways. You can find out more about DSDU here.

My good friend, Christina Phillips is the Dark Sider in the hot seat today!

Christina loves writing dark tales of tough, sexy warriors who are brought to their knees by their heroines. A mystical touch of fantasy or paranormal usually weaves its way through her stories, although strangely enough this wasn’t her intention when she first starting writing her historical romances. But when ancient gods and goddesses get involved, it’s best just to go with the flow.

She is published by Ellora’s Cave and Berkley Heat and has dipped her toe in the indie pub waters. She is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia, Romance Writers of America, the DarkSide Down Under Group Blog and Historical Hearts Group Blog. She helped establish the inaugural Professional Development for Authors program and has been a member of the editorial team for the RWA’s monthly newsletter, Hearts Talk.

Christina is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her family. She is also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.

Christina, growing up, did you have an interest in the paranormal?
Looking back, I’ve always been obsessed by the paranormal although at the time it all seemed perfectly normal to me. Why wouldn’t there be a magical land in the back of a wardrobe? Of course toys came to life as soon as you went to sleep at night. I still remember as clearly as anything hiding behind the sofa watching Doctor Who on Saturday evenings (but it never occurred to me – or my parents, apparently! – to stop watching the show!) 

What drew you to write in the paranormal romance genre?
I’ve always enjoyed writing about the weird and strange. Even my English essay homework involved time travel to ancient Rome and epic space journeys.

When I first started writing with the aim of publication I tried writing category romance, but even then an errant guardian angel appeared and my second heroine was a powerful medium in denial.

In your books, what sorts of characters or themes do you like to write about?
I write a lot of historical romances and one of the obvious constraints that arises is the fact that in the past women have been severely repressed (I realise that, unfortunately, inequality still exists in many forms).

I think this is why I gravitated towards the dark and misty times of the Druids, just before they were decimated by the Romans. Because we know so little about the Druids I was able to unearth a culture where female Druids were as powerful and respected as their male counterparts. Their pantheon of gods, unlike the Romans, wasn’t patriarchal or created to subdue women… at least not originally…

In the same way my Highland Warrior Chronicles, set during the ninth century in the Highlands, have the mysterious Picts. Again we know so little about the Pictish people who lived in the Highlands before the Scots, yet the few things we do know about them paint an intriguing picture.

And so I once again went back to the Goddess culture where women had been on equal footing with men. But this is a time of great change and upheaval in universal beliefs, and woven through the ancient myths and legends a new God arises. It makes for fascinating conflicts between the Scots warriors and their Pictish princesses.

Another theme that I appear to like, although I must admit I didn’t even realise it until recently, is the enemies to lovers trope. I’m not sure why, but when I looked back at my books that theme runs through them all!

Fav. paranormal TV series: It’s been ages since I’ve sat down and watched a TV series. And when I tried to think of one we’ve bought on DVD all I come up with are sci fi ones instead!  I love Star Trek TNG and Voyager, Stargate and of course, (are you ready for this revelation?) Battlestar Galactica! 

Which paranormal romance author would you just love to meet in person? I consider myself hugely fortunate to have actually met in person several of my favourite paranormal authors – present company included! On a side note my eldest daughter is still green with envy that I’ve met (and spoken with! And hugged!) Nalini Singh.

Most intriguing paranormal creature: Ever since I was a child I’ve found mermaids fascinating. I’m talking about the beautiful maidens with long flowing hair… and a tail. As I got older the tail kind of freaked me out, but despite the many questions I have as to their romantic rituals, mermaids still intrigue me.

Fav. paranormal movie: I do love Enchanted, it’s such a delightful feel good movie and always makes me smile when we watch it (which is frequently!!) Also love Terminator, Alien and Déjà Vu with Denzel Washington– not sure they all qualify as paranormal movies though!

Keeper paranormal romance series/books: Psy/Changeling by Nalini Singh.

Which would you prefer - transporter, TARDIS or immortality: Much as I would love to travel in the TARDIS (hello, David Tennant!) my super technology of choice would be a transporter. With so many friends and relatives scattered across the country and the globe it would be completely awesome to be able to visit them with just a quick snap of the fingers! 

Christina, thanks for visiting today!

Driven by the knowledge he failed to protect his king and embittered at losing the woman he loves, Celtic warrior Gawain despises the lust he feels for the beautiful Roman patrician, Antonia. She is everything he’s never wanted in a woman, yet she ignites his passion like no other. Despite the danger of discovery he embarks on an illicit liaison with her, determined to uncover the reason for the infinite sorrow that haunts her eyes.
Newly arrived in Britannia from Rome, Antonia is inexplicably drawn to the cold, tough Celt whose touch stirs a desire she long thought died at the hands of her brutal former husband. With Gawain she learns the pleasure of sex and his unexpected tenderness thaws her frozen heart. But she hides a deadly secret that could be her undoing, and knows her growing feelings for him can lead nowhere. Yet when a shadow from her past threatens her future Antonia is torn between the Empire of her birth and betraying Gawain, the man she’s grown to love.

Inside Scoop: This medieval romance dabbles a wee bit in the paranormal.
A Romantica® historical erotic romance from Ellora's Cave
--> Ellora’s Cave      Amazon      Amazon UK      ARe      Kobo 

When tough Scots warrior Connor Mackenzie rides into the barbaric lands of the Picts on a mission for his king, he never expects to be captivated by a beautiful Pictish widow. Drawn under her spell, yet unaware of her true identity, he risks everything for one passionate night in her arms.
Aila, princess of Pictland, swore long ago she would do anything within her power to help defeat the Vikings who invaded her land and murdered her husband. But after meeting Connor, her frozen heart thaws and once again she imagines a future filled with love and passion.
When Connor delivers the message from his king, Aila becomes a pawn in a deadly game of politics. Her heart belongs to Connor, but she must marry the prince of Dal Riada – Connor’s half-brother. But the fates have other plans for the star-crossed lovers as they fight their enemies and themselves to find true love.
A Romantica® historical erotic romance from Ellora's Cave
Ellora's Cave    Amazon     ARe     Nook     Amazon UK     Kobo 

Christina's Backlist:

Bloodlust Denied
Touch of the Demon
Foretaste of Forever 

The Forbidden Series

Forged in Blood, United in Passion, The Highland Warrior Chronicles (Coming Soon)
Her Savage Scot
Her Vengeful Scot
Her Defiant Scot 

Writing as Christina Ashcroft 
Archangel of Mercy

You can find Christina at the following places:
Website    Facebook    Twitter     Goodreads    Blog   


  1. Hi Christina! *waves*

    I agree with you on toys coming to life at night and being other worlds in the back of the wardrobe - it's true, isn't it?? LOL! Loving all your covers! And there's a few I have to catch up on. Happy writing!! =)

  2. Kylie, thank you so much for having me on your blog today!

  3. Hi Mel!

    Yes, it's absolutely true. i think it's one reason why I find it so hard to throw any old toys out - because their feelings would be hurt!!