Friday, March 29, 2013

Winner of BETRAYED

And the winner of a copy of BETRAYED is


I'll contact you over the weekend with your prize :-)

Big thank you to everyone for joining in the fun! And here for your viewing pleasure is the trailer for BETRAYED. Enjoy!

Read Excerpts from BETRAYED - Over 18 Years Only 

Available from 
Ellora’s Cave  Publishing      Amazon

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Clash of Ancient Cultures + Giveaway

I’m delighted that finally, two years after book #2 in my fantasy historical romance series was published, book #3, BETRAYED, has been released by Ellora’s Cave. It’s been a long time between drinks :-)

Setting a romance during the time when the Roman Legions invaded Britannia was always a gamble. It’s not one of the more popular eras and four years ago, when the first book sold, Romans and Druids weren’t common for the hero or heroine. And despite the popularity of such shows as the Spartacus Starz series, this era is still a hard sell.

Yet even knowing that, I never gave up hope of writing and selling the next two books in the series. There’s something I find so compelling about this time in history, and it has a lot to do with the mysterious people known as Druids.

We know so little about them, and what we do know is tainted from the viewpoint of the conquering Romans. And so I felt completely justified in letting my Druid heroines show me the mystical world they lived in :-)

I love exploring the clash of cultures between the technologically superior Romans and my Druids, who are used to living in an equilateral society and don’t take kindly to Rome’s view of womankind. And I also love weaving in the story threads of ancient gods and goddesses who will do anything to ensure their names linger on in the minds of their children.

BETRAYED is the story of Tacitus, a Roman tribune conflicted by his past and cursed by a sense of honor few of his peers share. He’s forced to go against everything he believes in by enslaving Nimue in order to keep her safe. As for Nimue, she is caught up in a battle that threatens to destroy her world. But she also has to battle her illicit desire for a man who challenges every prejudice she has ever held.


Christina Phillips

In 51 A.D., Druid priestess Nimue is injured and enslaved by the hated Roman Legions. Even though she is drawn to her captor, she’s determined to escape and complete her mission for the Briton king and her duty to Arianrhod, the goddess she is bound to.

The tough Roman warrior who captures her is far from the brutal barbarian she expects. His touch inflames her desires and passion burns between them. Though Nimue does not accept her enslavement, her heart surrenders to her enemy. When Arianrhod appears to her in the form of an owl, Nimue knows the union is blessed.

Roman warrior Tacitus is enchanted by the fiery beauty who shows no fear and challenges him at every turn. Though enslaving her goes against his heart, he’s determined to make her his. No woman has ever heated his blood as she does. But when he discovers her true nature as one who actually communes with the gods, his loyalties are torn between his heritage and a woman who could destroy everything he’s ever believed in.

A Romantica® fantasy erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Leave a comment or let me know which era in history you’d like to see more romance books set, and you’ll be in with a chance to win an e-copy of BETRAYED!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Passion for the English Civil War

Timothy Dalton as Prince Rupert of the Rhine - 1969

HOOZAH! On April 1, I have a new book coming out, SECRETS IN TIME, my first foray into time travel, and I am delighted to be back in my 'happy place', writing about the English Civil War.

The English Civil War is used to roughly describe the period from 1642 to the execution of Charles I in 1649. The period from 1649 to the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 is properly called the "Interregnum" (between Kings), although it is generally lumped in with the English Civil War period.  I don't propose a lecture on the causes of the English Civil War when Horrible Histories does it so much better! (Scroll to end of this blog!)

"When did you last see your father?"
Perhaps it is best described in the romantic parlance of cavaliers and roundheads. The dashing cavalier with his long curls and wide brimmed beaver hat, and the sour faced roundhead with his cropped hair and puritan collar. 

Boo...hiss..."Right but Repulsive" according to 1066 and All That

 My love affair with the Roundheads and Cavaliers began when I was probably no more than about 8 or 9. My darling father would read to us every Sunday afternoon (no TV in Kenya in those days!). He had a wonderful reading voice and if his choice of subject matter tended to rather reflect his taste than ours, neither my brother nor myself complained.

Oh, give me a wounded hero...
One such book he chose was Daphne Du Maurier’s THE KING’S GENERAL, the story of the ill fated love affair between Sir Richard Grenville and his crippled mistress, Honor. Du Maurier remains one of my all time favourite authors and the struggle between King and Parliament, laced with romance and skeletons in secret tunnels had me in a thrall. I was lost!  The very idea of a Civil War threw up so many possibilities for an over active imagination: father against son, brother against brother, friends destined to become foes! 

More Timothy...Cavaliers "Wrong but Wromantic"...1066 and all That
A few years later the movie CROMWELL was released with Richard Harris as Cromwell and the wonderful Alec Guiness as Charles I (and of course who can ever forget a young Timothy Dalton as Prince Rupert!). ignoring the historical inaccuracies, it still gave form and substance to my growing passion for the period and I immersed myself wholeheartedly in it.  I kept scrapbooks of articles cut from magazines, I read every single book (fiction and non-fiction) I could find in the local library and lived and breathed English Civil War from the moment I woke up until sleep claimed me.* 

My best friend at school was a budding writer like myself and we set out on our first venture to write a novel at the grand age of thirteen. Mine was, of course, set in the English Civil War and titled “The Locket of Grace” (note to self:  not a bad title – I should find an appropriate use for it!). Hers was science fiction and titled “The Intermittent Brain”. We did wonderful illustrations but I don’t think either of us ever finished our ‘oeuvres’. Over my school years I filled shorthand notebooks with stories, all of which closely resembled the last book I read! 

Of course nothing is more guaranteed to kill a grand passion more than studying it at university and in first year of my Arts degree I made the mistake of taking “Sixteenth and Seventeenth History”.  All my wonderful imaginings and colourful characters were rendered dull and lifeless and I have to confess it was many years before I started writing again, but when I did (following a fortuitous skiing accident) I went straight back to my roots and the book that was to become my Eppie Award Winner, BY THE SWORD, was born.

I’m not sure if I have really answered the question I set myself. When something grips you as a passion, it is very hard to put a logical rationale to it. I just love the English Civil War- I love bucket top boots, lace collars, wide brimmed beaver hats, buff leather coats and lobster pot helmets! Above all I love the opportunity, through my stories, to share this wonderful period with readers. Sadly, because it is not well taught at schools (despite being such an important foundation stone of our modern democracies and judicial systems), or lacks the “glamour” of the French and American Revolutions, it is often overlooked as a rich source of fabulous stories and interesting characters. I have lost track of the number of publishers who have told me they love my books but sorry, “we can’t market the period”. 

So, if you are bored with regencies, medieval and blokes in kilts, try a cavalier such as my two gorgeous and troubled heroes from  BY THE SWORD and THE KING'S MAN. If you just want to dip your toe into the period then have a look at SECRETS IN TIME with a gorgeous (and for once, level headed) cavalier and his adventures in the modern world with a thoroughly modern and sceptical doctor.

And if you're interested in knowing more about the period, I blog regularly about all things seventeenth century on a blog dedicated just to that century - Hoydens and Firebrands.


You will find SECRETS IN TIME (ebook only at the moment) at Lyrical Press, Amazon and all reputable on line book stores. 
For more information and an excerpt see my website.

*I should add that I would go to sleep willing myself to wake up and find myself magically transported back in time. Thankfully writing about time travel is so much more comfortable!