Thursday, August 28, 2014

Author Christina Courtenay Visits

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I am delighted to welcome Christina Courtenay to my blog today as part of her Highland Storms book tour, published by Choc Lit.

Highland Storms & nbsp;is Christina's third Choc Lit novel. Her debut, & nbsp;Trade Winds & nbsp;and prequel to & nbsp;Highland Storms, was short listed for the Romantic Novelists' Association's Pure Passion Award of Best Historical Fiction 2011. & nbsp; Her novel The Scarlet Kimono & nbsp;won the Historical category in this year's Big Red Read awards.

For a chance to win a signed copy of Highland Storms, & nbsp;please see below.

Christina chats:

Thank you for inviting me to be your guest! & nbsp; & nbsp;I have to say that the title of your blog, & nbsp;Love Reading Love Books, perfectly describes me as well – I've loved reading and books ever since I first learned how to and a birthday or Christmas without receiving at least one book as a present would have been inconceivable! & nbsp; & nbsp;I also noticed you support something called 'Love a Happy Ending', and I couldn't agree more – I absolutely hate sad endings and usually check to make sure before I buy a book! & nbsp; & nbsp;So it will come as no surprise if I tell you all my own novels always end happily.

I'm here today as part of my blog tour for the upcoming release of my third novel, & nbsp;Highland Storms. & nbsp; & nbsp;Here is a short synopsis to hopefully whet your appetite:-

Who can you trust?

Betrayed by his brother and his childhood love, Brice Kinross needs a fresh start. So he welcomes the opportunity to leave Sweden for the Scottish Highlands to take over the family estate.

But there's trouble afoot at Rosyth in 1754 and Brice finds himself unwelcome. The estate is & nbsp;in ruin and money is disappearing. & nbsp; He discovers an ally in Marsaili Buchanan, the beautiful redheaded housekeeper, but can he trust her?

Marsaili is determined to build a good life. She works hard at being housekeeper and harder still at avoiding men who want to take advantage of her. & nbsp; But she's irresistibly drawn to the new clan chief, even though he's made it plain he doesn't want to be shackled to anyone.

And the young laird has more than romance on his mind. His investigations are stirring up an enemy. & nbsp; Someone who will stop at nothing to get what he wants – including Marsaili – even if that means destroying Brice's life forever …

I put some questions to Christina which she kindly answered:

What influenced your decision to write historical novels? & nbsp;I've always loved history as a subject and once I discovered the novels of Georgette Heyer, I was hooked. & nbsp; & nbsp;When I started writing myself, I knew that was the sort of thing I wanted to write too. & nbsp; & nbsp;I still read mostly historicals, so my taste hasn't changed, although nowadays I am more open to reading other genres.

How long did it take you to write Highland Storms? & nbsp; & nbsp;The first draft I wrote in a couple of months, but then I spent ages polishing it. & nbsp; & nbsp;I always write very quickly in order to get the story down on paper (or screen I should say), but it's very rough and needs a lot of work afterwards. & nbsp; & nbsp;In this case, it took less than a year from start to finish, but some of my other novels have taken a lot longer during the polishing stage.

Did you always plan a sequel to Trade Winds? & nbsp; & nbsp;No, sequels just seem to happen by themselves. & nbsp; & nbsp;I guess it's like when you read a really good book and you feel sad to have to say goodbye to the characters. & nbsp; & nbsp;If you're the author, you don't have to – you can just carry on with another family member or the next generation. & nbsp; & nbsp;Sometimes certain characters cry out to have their own story told, but that wasn't the case here as Brice was only a baby in & nbsp;Trade Winds. & nbsp; & nbsp;However, I knew already then that he was special – not many foreign babies were born in China in those days and he had to be tough to have survived the journey back to Sweden so he was obviously good hero material!

The covers are very beautiful – do you have any input for the designs? & nbsp; & nbsp;Yes, Choc Lit authors are consulted about the cover designs and it's a fascinating process. & nbsp; & nbsp;I've been very lucky with mine, I love them all, but since lilac is my favourite colour, I have to admit the & nbsp;Highland Storms & nbsp;one is my favourite.

Author's Book Shelf

What is your favourite book you have read? & nbsp;

I really can't give you just one I'm afraid, how about five? & nbsp;Midnight is a Lonely Place & nbsp;by Barbara Erskine, & nbsp;Shadow of the Moon & nbsp;by M M Kaye, & nbsp;Possession & nbsp;by A S Byatt, & nbsp;Cotillion & nbsp;by Georgette Heyer andSophia's Secret (aka The Winter Sea) & nbsp;by Susanna Kearsley.

What are you reading at the moment? & nbsp;

The Rose Garden & nbsp;by Susanna Kearsley

What book should you have read, but haven't?

War and Peace & nbsp;or maybe & nbsp;Anna Karenina ?

Win a copy of Highland Storms

Would you like a chance to win a signed copy of Highland Storms courtesy of Christina Courtenay and Choc Lit? & nbsp;To enter just leave a comment as to why you would like to win a copy and I will randomly select a winner. & nbsp;Competition closes at 10pm GMT Sunday 16 October. & nbsp;Check back to see the winner on Monday 17 October. & nbsp;Thank you!

A big thank you to Christina and the Choc Lit team.


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