Thursday, September 30
***This giveaway has ended, but you should still read the post...it's worth your time:) Thanks for joining the fun!***
It's funny how things happen sometimes, don't you think? For instance, I very well could have missed my guest author's book if it hadn't been for the Fall giveaway that Berkley publishers sponsored at Dear Author a few weeks ago. There were two or three books that I would have loved to win (didn't win any by the way), but the one book that I saw that captured my interest the most, in part because I knew little about it and mostly because it was set in Roman Britain, was Forbidden by Christina Phillips. I read the blurb, went to the author's website, then read the excerpt and couldn't wait to read the whole thing. Who could blame me when the hero is a Roman centurion (think James Purefoy in Rome, Andy Whitfield in Spartacus...I could go on but for your sakes I won't).
I'm completely fascinated by periods in time when lands were invaded by conquerors, how old traditions are assimilated into new ones to try and blend the two cultures that makes change more acceptable, and how two people can find love amidst all of this despite their vast differences. Author Christina Phillips is my guest today to share her book Forbidden, in which her hero and heroine overcome their differences for love. Read and enjoy!
Welcome to Seductive Musings Christina! I have to admit that I have had a love for early Roman heroes for quite some time, especially after having seen Russell Crowe in Gladiator, the Showtime series Rome, and the more recent Starz series Spartacus: Blood and Sand. There’s a whole lotta yum right there. For you, what makes a romance novel a great love story and what makes writing ancient historical romances set in this oftentimes brutal and transitional time period so compellingly seductive to your muse?
Thank you for having me at Seductive Musings today! I so agree, what’s not to love about hot warriors in skirts :)
I love strong conflict in my romances, tough, honorable heroes and courageous heroines. I was writing for ten years before I sold FORBIDDEN, and during that time had written both contempoary and paranormal romance. But it was only when I decided to write an ancient historical romance that everything came together. I had an Alpha warrior hero and an educated, independent heroine who came from opposing worlds and cultures. Suddenly I had an impossible love, a seemingly insurmountable conflict dividing hero and heroine in a life-and-death dilemma, set in an era of immense change and upheaval. There was so much to explore and discover, my muse was in raptures!
Your newest novel, FORBIDDEN is the first book in your new Forbidden series. Can you tell us a little bit about the books in this series, how many there might be, and how they will be connected?
The first book, FORBIDDEN starts several months after the Romans first invaded my heroine’s beloved homeland. Carys, a Druid princess and acolyte of the Goddess of Wisdom, Cerridwen, is immediately captivated by the tough Roman warrior who displays unexpected honor after he catches her spying on him :) Despite knowing she should keep well away from him, their destinies are on a collision course and it isn’t long before they become lovers. But as their ingrained prejudices and misconceptions about each other’s cultures begin to crumble, the ancient gods demand retribution.
CAPTIVE starts six months after FORBIDDEN ends, and follows the story of Carys’s best friend, Morwyn. Morwyn is an acoloyte of the Great Goddess, the Morrigan, and as CAPTIVE begins she is suffering a crisis of faith. She decides to join up with the rebels fighting the Roman invaders but is captured by a Gaul mercenary. Bren, undercover in the Legion for his Briton king, can’t confide in this woman who shows no fear of him, as he knows by so doing he risks more than both their lives. As the Legions prepare to wipe out the rebels Morwyn can no longer deny the wrath of her goddess, the mantle of her Druidry or the depth of her love for a man she has vowed to kill.
I would love to write more books in this series, and have a couple outlined that involve a warrior from FORBIDDEN, and a Druid heroine who made a brief appearance at the end of CAPTIVE.
If you had an opportunity to provide only a two or three sentence "teaser" quote from FORBIDDEN, to grab the attention of potential readers and give them a glimpse and feeling of what the story is about what would it be?
She slid her arms around his body. Granite strength and primal power radiated from every pore, thrilling her feminine senses, making her feel safe. Protected.
And yet she was the one who protected them both from untoward attack, here inside her own sacred circle.
Her Roman could never discover such magic.
The hero in FORBIDDEN is Roman centurion Tiberius Valerius Maximus, known simply as Maximus. What do you think will make readers, much like his heroine Carys, fall in love with him despite his mission to eliminate her Druid clan? And can you tell us a little bit about their story in FORBIDDEN?
Maximus is a patrician, loyal to his Emperor and Rome, but when he meets Carys and begins to get to know her he starts to question certain aspects of his culture. It’s this aspect of his personality, the way he’s prepared to see things from Carys’s point of view, how he respects her independence even when it drives him mad, that causes her to lose her heart and realise that not all Romans are savage barbarians.
The story is set in AD 50 Britannia. As the Roman Legions sweep through Cymru, Carys and the rest of her clan escape into a magical enclave, and are waiting for a sign from their gods before they attack their enemy. They were only supposed to remain there for a short time to rebuild their defenses, but their High Druid has other plans.
Carys is a Druid princess, yet finds herself drawn to her captor, Maximus, even though she knows the danger he brings to her world and way of life. Tell us more about your heroine, Carys, and what are some of the qualities that attracts him to her and makes her undeniably tempting?
Like Maximus, Carys has had a privledged upbringing in her world, until the Romans invaded. She is devoted to her goddess, Cerridwen, and will do anything for her – although she’s not above interpreting Signs to her own best advantage :) Initially attracted to her on a purely sexual level, it’s not long before Maximus is intrigued by her independent nature and her refusal to acknowledge Rome as her conqueror. The more time he spends with her the more he realizes the Celts are not the barbarous heathens he’s always believed.
What's your favorite scene or moment from FORBIDDEN, and why? Can you describe it for us without giving too much away?
One of my favorite scenes is when Maximus takes Carys to the Roman baths. Until then, neither had been prepared to face how they really felt about the other but during the mutual seduction both come to realize they feel a lot more than mere lust. And, in Carys’s case, she has to face what the consequences of that love might be.
What are five fun facts about you or this book, that readers would love to know?
- It had never occurred to me to write an ancient historical romance until one night Maximus literally invaded my head and refused to leave until I told his story. Since I was completely intrigued as to why this Roman warrior was searching for his Druid princess, I dropped everything and obeyed his command :)
- When I first started writing FORBIDDEN, all I knew was the Romans were hunting for the elusive clan of Druids who had escaped the initial invasion. When I started my research I was stoked to discover that, in fact, the Roman Emperor of the time, Claudius, had issued orders for all Druids to be eliminated across his Empire. This was very handy for my plot!
- I had no idea how the book was going to end when I started it but, more worrying, I still had no idea how things were going to work out at the two-third point, either. Thankfully, my muse knows a lot more about these things than I do!!
- I wrote this book as a standalone, with no idea there could be any other books set in this world. Luckily, my awesome agent saw the potential and suggested I should write Morwyn’s story.
- I’m addicted to coffee, chocolate and my Chap Stick (and possibly the letter C!!)
Can you tell us about some of your upcoming releases, or new projects that we can look forward to?
Book two in the Forbidden series, CAPTIVE, is due for release on 1st February 2011. I’m currently revising a book set in a different century (although still an ancient historical) that will hopefully be the first in a new series.
If you could ask readers to finish a sentence what would it be?
The best thing about tough Alpha warriors in a skirt is...
Finally, just for fun…if you could write the “fortune” in a fortune cookie what would it be?
Ancient historical romances are ... hot!
He was a master of seduction - but no match for the magical allure of the woman he wanted most...
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's 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.
Congrats Christina and many thanks for sharing your book with us today! If you'd like to learn more about Christina and the books she writes you can find her on her website www.christinaphillips.com, her blog, on Facebook and Twitter. I especially enjoyed the Historical Bits & Pieces associated with Forbidden (I'll have to blog about my reasons for my love of this kind of thing some day). And if you like inspirational pictures, as in Gerard Butler, Clive Owen, Mr. Darcy & Brad Pitt...then you might want to take a peek at her blog :)
To celebrate the release of Forbidden, the first book in her new Forbidden series, author Christina Phillips has offered to giveaway one copy of her book to a lucky commenter. Here's how you can enter to win...
Ways to earn entries:
- Mandatory: Finish the sentence Christina started in the interview and leave a meaningful comment and/or ask her a question. (good for 1 entry)
- Mandatory: You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
- If you have a blog, or even if you don't, you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they successfully enter to win and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries. You can blog about it with a link to this post, post it on Facebook, Twitter, email...or even word of mouth (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) . Please note that to earn the points they must mention your GFC name so that I can match you.
- Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter:
- You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment
Rules and disclaimers:
- This contest is open to US & International addresses
- You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
- The contest will end on October 4th at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
- Winner(s) will be selected using Random.org
- The winner(s) will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
- The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
- Winners will be subject to one copy per household, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, that you will only receive one copy of the title in the mail
- Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit
- All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
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