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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Guest Author: Christina Phillips

Christina Phillips has always loved writing, and while her efforts in eighth grade usually involved space ships, time travel and unfortunate endings, as soon as she discovered romance novels a whole new world opened up. She now writes ancient historical romances about strong heroines and gorgeous warrior heroes who, no matter how torturous the journey, are guaranteed a happy-ever-after.

Christina was born in the United Kingdom, but now lives in sunny Western Australia with her real-life hero and their three children. She is represented by Emmanuelle Alspaugh of JELM.

Today, Christina shares her thoughts with us on her writing process (among other interesting facts), and FORDBIDDEN, her exciting debut release with Berkley Heat. Without further ado, let's find out more about her! 

Author name: Christina Phillips

Published genre/s: In September last year my agent sold my Roman/Druid romance to Berkley Heat in a two book deal. So I'm now published in Ancient Historical Romance although I have two erotic romance novelettes with The Wild Rose Press that fall in the paranormal and fantasy genres.

Favourite childhood toy: It was a huge soft bodied, plastic faced clown that I called Arthur. Thinking back, it was a scary-ass thing to buy a small child but I loved it and dragged it everywhere. I was also obsessed by the name Arthur and called the cat by that too. Despite the fact she was a girl.

Shudder...I remember a clown in one of Stephen King's tele-movies that gave me the willies - loved the movie, but now I hate any doll that looks like a clown, even to this day!

Greatest Vice: Procrastination. I've turned it into an art form and it's a real monster!

Hmm, I wonder if anyone has invented a spray or herbal remedy that banishes this bane of all writers? Wouldn't they make a fortune if they ever did? *lol*

Book you’re reading now: Michelle Hauf's Kiss Me Deadly, Erin Grace's Secrets, J.R. Ward's Dark Lover.

Most intriguing place you’ve visited: Growing up in the UK I visited all the Norman ruins as a child, Hever Castle, Stonehenge (back in the days before it was fenced off), Hastings and Wales... and never appreciated any of it. Sigh. I'd love to have those opportunities again to soak up all that marvellous history.
Oh, you lucky duck! Imagine having those places as your childhood playground. And being able to visit them as a child ... wow, talk about stimulating your imagination and grooming your creativity for your adult years! Double sigh.

A place you've yet to visit & want to: I really want to visit Rome. I've loved all the photos you've been sharing on your blog (although they've made me very jealous!!!) To be honest, I want to travel around Europe and ideally write the trip off as a tax deduction! (Yes, I do like living in my own little fantasy world!)

One day, Christina, one day we'll be able to travel and claim it all on tax (heh, heh). Keep those receipts!

Author/s in your genre who you enjoy reading: I love reading so many different authors across genres I can't answer this question! However, I've recently finished Michelle Styles The Viking's Captive Princess, and have Juliet Marillier's Heir to Sevenwaters next on my tbr pile.

LOL - I know how you feel, Christina. I can't define a small list of favourite authors either.

Who or what influenced you to write in the genre/s you’re now published in? I've always loved history, and have always loved reading historical romances since I was a child. I devoured Victoria Holt's novels when I was eleven and Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor left quite an impression on my pre-teen imagination!
Strangely, the thought of actually writing a historical romance never crossed my mind until quite recently. I think it was the research that put me off!!! Not because I don't like or enjoy researching but because I love it too much and became far too distracted by all the tiny details. But, since I always end up doing whatever I tell my CPs I will never do, it shouldn't come as any surprise that eventually I not only decided to try writing my first historical but also wrote it as an erotic romance.

When developing a story who tends to appear first in your mind, the hero or heroine, and why? In FORBIDDEN, both Maximus and Carys appeared to me at the same time. Although that first vision of them never made it into the book, the essence of their forbidden love, their warring cultures and the impossibility of how they could ever be together, did. With Captive, however, I knew that was Carys's best friend Morwyn's story. But her hero soon made himself known to me, gripped hold of my heart and still hasn't let go...

Only other writers will understand this feeling, and don't you love how characters can do that to you!

Writing Milestone/s:
  • Finalling in the RWNZ Meet the Editor Contest 2008
  • Selling my very first erotic romance to The Wild Rose Press
  • Signing with my agent
  • Selling to Berkley Heat in a two book deal
Latest release/project:

Between a warrior and a princess comes an erotic passion as all-consuming as the hatred between their warring worlds…

Carys knew from the moment she first spied on Maximus in his naked barbarian glory that he was a dangerous Roman centurion—his taut, battle-scarred flesh marking him as a fearless warrior. But her desire for him was as undeniable as it was illicit.

Charged by his emperor to eliminate a clan of powerful Druids in Britain, Maximus never expects his mission to be thwarted by the clan’s ethereal princess, Carys, his daring voyeur. Falling under her spell, he doesn’t realize her true heritage--until he captures her heart as well as her body.

As Carys’s loyalties are twisted, and freedom is no longer her single-minded obsession, an avenging former lover threatens to crush Maximus’ people into oblivion. Now Carys and Maximus must overcome the devastation of war and face the ultimate sacrifice if their forbidden love is to survive.

Christina, the cover of FORBIDDEN is gorgeous - I love the detail in it!
(And good news for readers is that the second in this series, CAPTIVE, is due for release from Berkley Heat in Sept.2011!)

In FORBIDDEN, what about your hero or heroine inspired you? In FORBIDDEN, once Carys decides she wants Maximus nothing is going to stand in her way. She is a druid and devoted to her goddess, Cerridwen, but occasionally is not above interpreting the signs from her goddess in ways that best suit herself. I'm not sure if that stubborn aspect of her personality inspires me but it does make me giggle!

Thanks for dropping in and sharing! :-) It's always fun finding out things about other authors, especially how their books and characters originate. To find out more about Christina or her series, visit her website.

Thanks for having me, Kylie! 

Now for the really exciting part - Christina has an autographed copy of FORBIDDEN to give away. To be the proud owner her new release, just answer this question... 

What ancient time period would you enjoy exploring? 

Leave your answer in the comments section by Friday midnight, 3rd September 2010 (Aussie time) and the winner will be announced September 5th here on this blog.

Here's the blurb to Christina's new book, CAPTIVE. (Yet another brilliant cover!)

She is a prisoner of her sworn enemy - and her own desire...

Having lost faith when Roman invaders destroyed life as she knew it, Morwyn took a cow of elibacy to spite her goddess. But before she can join up with the rebels, she;s captured by a Gaul mercenary whose animal charms and chiseled body will test her conviction...and make it harder to kill him.

Bren, pledged to the true Briton king, has spent three years undercover in the Roman Legion. So when his own unit attacks and brutilized a fiery Celtic beauty, he saves her the only way he can - by claiming her as his prisoner. But unlike his men, Bren would never take the woman by force, no matter how obviously she burns for his touch.

As they near Roman headquarters, Morwyn resolves to honor her vow of celibacy - but if the Gaul were to ravage her, could she be blamed for enjoying his body? With just a hint of seduction, sooner or later the Gaul will succumb to his exquisite captive...


  1. Good Morning,

    Thanks for sharing your writing journey Christina, always interesting and inspiring to read. And thanks for your blog Kylie.

    I have an interest in Greek Mythology and love reading about the many different Gods with their powers, so I know what it’s like to get lost in research, time consuming but so much fun.

    Hope your wonderful book ends up on the best sellers list.

    Cheers, Margaret Midwood

  2. Kylie, thanks so much for having me here today! And I went right off clowns as well after reading King's IT!!!

    Margaret, thanks for stopping by! I love Greek Mythology too, it's all so fascinating. Time just vanishes when I start researching about ancient gods and cultures. And thank you for the good wishes!!

  3. Hi ladies, another fabulous blog!

    I love ancient history. Really enjoyed Manfredi's Alexander series. There's something very compelling about the way the real people from Ancient Greece seemed to blend in with their gods and mythology. If I could wander back in time it would be to about 330 BC when Alexander was at the peak of his power and the Greek culture was spreading east!!

    Can't wait to read Forbidden! Enjoy your launch week party, Christine!!

  4. A Romantic Historical set in AD 50, when the Romans and Druids warred, even the H&H. Way to go. Just love the trailer. All the best for the launch, Christine, and many thanks to the lovely Golden Heart Kylie for inviting you to blog. Way to go, girl!
    Robyn A

  5. My humble apologies, Christina. Typo above.
    Robyn A

  6. Hi Margaret & Robyn,

    Thanks for dropping in and sharing your thoughts!

    Reading about the ancient myths & legends and the cultures that spawned them is a fascination of mine gauging by the number of books I have on my "reference" shelf.

  7. Hi Helene! It is very compelling and I would love to travel back and soak up all that wonderful culture, although I have to confess I wouldn't like to actually live there for good since I love my mod cons too much!!!

    Hi Robyn! Thank you so much for the good wishes! I love this time period, it was so much fun watching Maximus and Carys falling in love despite how everything conspired against them!

  8. I love the concept of this story and the way it's set in a new time period. Even now Stonehenge carries a power. I'd also love to go to Hever Castle. I've adored Tudor history since I was a child.

  9. The ancient time period I'd enjoy exploring would definitely be Ancient Rome. I've watched so many episodes of Time Team that I can tell you about amphora's and underfloor heating and mosaics. It also helps that I've visited Rome, Naples and Pompeii.

  10. Hi Helene - I studied ancient history in high school, mostly Rome, Greece & Persia, and absolutely loved it.

    Cathleen, I loved the atmosphere surrounding Stonehenge but I also enjoyed walking around the standing stone circle in nearby Avesbury.

    Oh, the Time Team are great, Julieann. I've only seen a few shows but I've been engrossed in each episode.

  11. Hi Cathleen! I love the mystery and power of Stonehenge. I'd also love to visit the sacred standing stones in Scotland - that's something I've never done. And I was completely obsessed with the Tudors when I was a child - especially the fate of Henry VIII's wives!

    Julieann, I'm definitely with you on exploring Ancient Rome :-) It's amazing how technologically advanced they were and how much managed to survive into the present day. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  12. Hey Christina and Kylie - great interview!!
    Kylie I'm with you on the clowns. IT surely made them seem eerie indeed.

    Christina - it's so easy to get lost in research isn't it. I used to be the Footnote/Appendix Queen at university with all the different sources I looked at.

    I love your covers - congrats!!! And see you at your blog party.

    Oh as for time period - well being from a Greek background I've always been fascinated with the Classical and Hellenstic period. And of course Greek mythology is a big influence on my life.

  13. Christina's covers are fantastic, aren't they? We can all only aspire to get such a wonderful art/cover dept. working on our own books, eh?

    Thanks for dropping in. :-)

  14. Christina I'm feeling twinges of envy here on your wonderful trip to Europe as a child! Going there is my dream! And yes, writing and travelling - wonderful!!!
    And doesn't stonehenge make you shiver, it's so magical!

  15. Hi Christina and Kylie.

    A clown, Christina? *laughing* That is actually a bit creepy. I love the sound of your new release and can't wait to read it. Not long to wait now.

    I've always had a yearning to visit Pompeii and explore the ruins. It was such a naughty time with brothels on every corner. There's plenty of scope for erotic romance there. ;)

  16. Hi Shelley! Pompeii was one place I didn't get to visit when I went to Italy but it gives me a great excuse to travel back there. :-)

  17. Hi Eleni! I could easily spend all day researching, it's a never-ending obsession really!! So glad you like my covers - they are pretty awesome!!!

    Hey Mel! I'd love to go back to Europe, there are so many places I didn't get to visit. Have laptop, will travel :-) Must check my lotto ticket!!!!

    Hi Shelley! you're right, the clown is really creepy and it didn't help when I used to paint its face, either!! I'd love to visit Pompeii too, it makes me shiver to think about it!!

  18. Hey Christina and Kylie - great interview! But Christina, how on earth did I not know you had a toy clown called Arthur?????

    I'm not a big history buff but I do like Norse mythology so it would be cool to see a berserker (from behind a big invisible screen of course!!!!!

  19. Hi Amanda, I LOVE Viking history - and my favourite author who write yummy Viking heroes is Sandra Hill. Very funny.

  20. Amanda, I've kept my childhood clown episode under tight wraps until now!!! And OMG yes, I'm quite partial to a hot Viking! Not so sure about a berserker though!

    Kylie, I must read Sandra Hill's Viking books - they've been on my radar for a while!!

  21. Another wonderful interview, Kylie. Christina, sigh for your beautiful, beautiful covers - sexy and mysterious and enthralling, all at once. All the best with both books!

  22. Thanks Kylie - I'm going to add her to my list right now!!!!!!

  23. Hi Jo, I have to totally agree that Christina's covers are just stunning

    Amanda, glad you have a new book to add to your To Be Read pile *lol*.

  24. Well, being of Irish & Scottish lineage, I'm natually partial to anything Celtic, so, a bit of the Dark Green Goddess from the Emerald Isle - MORRIGAN and her famous shape-shifting powers would really being intresting in a hot romantic novel. I' so excited about "Forbidden" and can't wait to read it Christina. The interview was great Kylie and thanks for dragging the "clown" episode out of Christina....I always hated those Jack-in-the-box toys...lol.
    Hugs to you both,
    Marilyn Cottrill

  25. Hi Marilyn, fellow Scottish descendant! Celtic history is fascinating isn't it. I loved exploring the many historic sites while in the UK a few years back.

    I wonder how many other people detest the "clowns" now after Stephen King's movie???

  26. Jo - I have been sooo lucky with my covers! I actually cried when I opened the file for "Forbidden" - it totally captures the sexy, mystical essence of the book. And Maximus's biceps are so H-O-T!!! Thanks for your good wishes!

    Hi Marilyn! The Morrigan makes an appearance in "Forbidden" (and the second book, "Captive")I love the goddess culture and it always seems to form an integral thread in my books. Thanks for stopping by!

    Kylie, I think Stephen King has a lot to answer for with IT!!! Although on the other hand with all that face paint they are pretty scary all by themselves!!!

  27. Oh Christina, Forever Amber! I remember reading that (I think I was like you & pre-teen or very early teen). Back in the day I could re-read (no time now) it was definitely one I transported back in time with.

    Travelling back in time - where do I begin... Given I think anything after the 1700s is too modern for me, I think I'd throw back firstly to watching one of Euripides plays...then perhaps a quick look at those pesky Vestals during Sulla's reign...finishing up my tour of a squiz at Vikings at home (when they weren't off raiding somewhere).

  28. Nicky, great to see you here and browsing the posts!

    I like your time-travel suggestions, leaning more towards visiting the Vikings. :-)

  29. I would enjoy exploring the time period when ancient Samurai warriors and shoguns were around. The Japanese culture has always fascinated me, but when I think of how strong and powerful those Samurai were with their katanas and samurai swords and armor it makes me go weak in the knees.

  30. Hi Becca,

    I'm going to assume that you enjoyed watching The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise?!?! That period in time remains a mystery to me as I haven't had the chance to explore it but I think it would be just as exciting as any Roman or Greek or Celtic equivalent.

  31. Nicky, I read Forever Amber when I was off school sick, and was so entranced I spent the rest of the week imagining which actors could play each part. And I remember wishing Amber would discover who she really was!!!

    Becca, that's a fascinating era although I confess I don't know much about it. But I'd love to find out!!

  32. Kylie, thank you so much for having me here this week! It's been so much fun, and thank you to everyone who stopped by for a chat! We'll be picking a winner later today for a signed copy of FORBIDDEN!

  33. Christina, it was a pleasure having you here on my blog - thank you!

    And to everyone who left a comment about their favourite period of time in history, you're in the running for Christina's debut book giveaway, FORBIDDEN! Good luck!!!