Please welcome guest author Christina Hollis to the Cafe!
Everything is copy, as Nora Ephron’s mother put it. I always carry a notebook, which means I can flick through it for inspiration if I need to top up my creative well. When you love writing, often the tricky bit is deciding which of your ideas to leave out.
I started thinking about the plot of my eighteenth romantic novel at a time when the weather outside was freezing and dank. It was the middle of winter, the sky was grey, and summer was a long way off. My notes reminded me that the bone-numbing chill wouldn’t last forever, and I soon developed a plan.
The idea of a powerful man taking on the job of rebuilding a country had been bubbling away in the back of my mind for a long time. Writing is all about living in a story world, and on a miserable winter day, I was keen to escape to somewhere hot and sunny. Creating a new story gave me the chance to do exactly that. I turned up the heating, switched on the white light box, poured myself some freshly squeezed orange juice (pretending I needed ice in it was a bit of a stretch, but I managed!) and dreamed up a luxury spa on a Greek island, where King Leo was waiting to be crowned, and Sara was a stressed executive in need of rest and relaxation.
I wanted to feel hot sun on my skin, and dig my toes into fine white sand. The only way I could do it was to lose myself in a fantasy. It was a lovely way to forget the dark days of winter, and what began as a single idea for an escapist romance turned into a whole series of books. Leo and Sara’s story became His Majesty’s Secret Passion, the first book in my Princes Of Kharova series for The Wild Rose Press. I wrote the second book in the series, Her Royal Risk, after readers wrote to me wanting to know what happened next. Krisia the perfect personal assistant was given the impossible job of working for Leo’s wild younger brother, Athan. Both these books were nominated in The Romance Review’s Readers’ Awards for Winter 2015. At the time of writing this, voting is still open, so visit my blog at http://christinahollis.blogspot.com to see if either of my books has won!
Kharova’s princess, Maia, went on holiday and accidentally got in on the act, too. In Heart of A Hostage, the third book in the Princes Of Kharova series, Leo and Athan’s younger sister discovers not everyone is willing to roll over like her lap dog, and let her get her own way. Mihail, head of the Kharovan rebels, takes Maia hostage as she returns from a break. He expects a big ransom, but the king of Kharova doesn’t bow to blackmail. Maia’s a long way from the glittering, story-book princess Mihail fantasized about when they were both teenagers. His hostage soon becomes the houseguest from hell, but when Maia discovers the secret behind Mihail’s mysterious double life, everything changes in an instant.
Heart of a Hostage will be published by The Wild Rose Press in December, just in time for the Christmas holiday season. Sign up for my newsletter here to get a sneak preview, with the chance to win a free copy of Heart Of A Hostage the moment it’s released.
Here’s a taste of what you can look forward to….
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Heart of a Hostage
Princess Maia has it all—including a horrible fiancé chosen for her by the king, and a family bullying her into doing the right thing—but all she wants is her independence. When she falls into the hands of rebel leader, Mihail, she tastes real freedom for the first time. Mihail is a lone wolf, Public Enemy Number One, and heir to a fierce tradition. A dangerous reputation, a castle full of guilty secrets and now rescuing Maia are all woven into his master plan. He can’t lose.
Until his unexpected hostage turns out to be the house guest from hell…
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Christina Hollis met her husband on a blind date. After they married, she wrote award-winning short stories to fit in with the school run until she had a full-length historical novel, Knight’s Pawn, published by Harlequin Mills and Boon. Five more historical novels followed, written under the pen name Polly Forrester. Then in 2007 her first Mills and Boon Modern Romance, The Italian Billionaire’s Virgin, was published. Since then, she’s written seventeen more novels, more short stories, sold well over two million books, and her work has been translated into twenty different languages.
You can find a selection of Christina’s work at http://christinahollis.com, follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ChristinaBooks, like her Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/1Ee1urM and follow her blog at http://christinahollis.blogspot.com