Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What Is an Ancient Historical Romance?

With the release date for Betrayed rapidly approaching, I thought it would be good to look back on some of the guest posts I wrote for when the first two books in this series, Forbidden and Captive, first came out. 

I'm also gearing up for my Betrayed blog tour next month, so stay tuned as I have free copies to giveaway!!!

I wrote this post for the Historical Romance Junkies blog in September 2010. It gives a brief overview of the world of my hot warriors and their magical Druid heroines :-)

So what exactly is an ancient historical romance? Well, ancient history is the period known as Classical Antiquity, the beginning of recorded Greek history in about 776 BC. It also roughly coincides with the traditional founding of Rome in 753 BC. Western scholars use the fall of the Roman Empire in AD 476 as the end of ancient European history and the start of the Middle Ages.

Forbidden is set in AD 50 in Cymru (ancient Wales). The Romans invaded Britain in AD 43 and it took them seven years before they invaded the western peninsula, where they faced fierce resistance from the local tribes. But Rome wanted the gold and other precious minerals Cymru had to offer – and Rome wasn’t going to let a primitive province of the Empire get away with rebellion.

My hero, Maximus, is a Roman Centurion, a patrician and loyal to his Emperor and Rome. When he discovers his heroine, Carys, (who’s been spying on his bathing rituals for the last three months!) he’s instantly captivated. Who is this woman and why hasn’t she been seen in any of the villages the Legion has vanquished?

Carys is, in fact, a Druid princess and acolyte of the Goddess of Wisdom, Cerridwen. She and the rest of her clan of Druids escaped into a magical enclave before the Romans invaded, and are waiting for a sign from their gods before they attack their enemy. But despite knowing this Roman would strike her dead if he knew who – what – she is, Carys can’t stop thinking about him.

Claudius, the Roman Emperor at the time, hated Druids with a passion and wanted all trace of them wiped out across his Empire. This couldn’t be better for the purposes of my plot! I now had historical back up for my Romans’ determination to hunt down and eliminate any Druid who had escaped them during the initial invasion.

But why was Claudius so determined to eradicate the Druids?

Unfortunately, while there’s plenty of written and archeological evidence when it comes to the Romans, there’s not so much when it comes to the Druids. Caesar explains this lack of documentary evidence when talking of the Gaulish Druids: “they consider it improper to entrust their studies to writing.” And the contemporary written accounts we do have of them are invariably from the Roman viewpoint – the victors – so there’s likely to be some prejudice going on there!

But here’s what we do know about them. They were widely respected as the priests of Celtic society, held responsibilities for lawmaking, were the keepers of knowledge and wisdom and were known as magicians. They were also, according to the Romans, the rallying force behind the rebellious tribes that inhabited Cymru and the Druidic stronghold on the Isle of Mon (now known as the Isle of Anglesey, off the west coast of Wales).

The Romans saw Druidism as a serious menace against the might of their Empire, and Claudius was convinced that as long as Druids remained in Britannia then rebellion and resistance would continue to flourish among the tribes.

This period of history is so rich with inherent conflict that as a romance writer I find it hard to resist! In Forbidden, Maximus has been charged by his Emperor to eliminate all Druids. And Carys, the woman he falls in love with, is one of Rome’s bitterest enemies. 


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lion's Share by Shelley Munro

My good friend Shelley Munro is holding a Goodreads contest for her upcoming print release of Lion's Share, book 7 in her fantastic Middlemarch Mates series. Here's the lowdown!

 Lion shifter Leticia Huntingdon has FIV, the feline version of AIDS. For months she's been in remission, treated by Gavin Finley, the Middlemarch feline doctor. Now the disease has returned. Her feelings for Gavin can't go anywhere because of the FIV, so it shouldn't hurt when Gavin turns to Charlie, the new male cop. Gavin can't believe how good sex is with Charlie, can't believe he's found a mate. The loving is amazing and hot, but Gavin can't forget Leticia. He wants her in his life. He wants Charlie too. Confusion and jealousy create torrid undercurrents for the trio. 

Charlie McKenzie falls for Gavin quickly and can't understand why he's attracted to Leticia. A nightmare changes everything, drawing the three together and bringing new possibilities. A mnage a trois. Raw need and passion brings them closer. If only the disease threatening Leticia's life didn't loom on the horizon..

Enter the Goodreads contest to win a print copy of Lion’s Share!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Lion's Share by Shelley Munro

Lion's Share

by Shelley Munro

Giveaway ends in 24 days (March 20, 2013)
1 copy available, 324 people requesting

giveaway details »
Enter to win

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

BETRAYED Cover Reveal & Release Date!

It's been all systems go at Ellora's Cave since the weekend! First of all Betrayed,  book #3 in my sexy warriors and magical Druid heroines series has been moved from the Legend line to the Xanadu line, which I'm thrilled about since this will really highlight the fantasy elements of the book.

Secondly, I received two emails from my editor this morning with the new and improved blurb for Betrayed  - and also a release date!

20th March 2013

This means I have only a month to get my butt in gear and prepare for launch day. A daunting prospect when you consider it normally takes me about three months to get my head around the fact I actually have a release date coming up!

And here is the blurb:

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

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Day in the Writing Life of...

Today I'm in the hot seat over at the Romance Writers of Australia's blog in A Day in the Writing Life of... me :-)  Come on over and find out all my dirty little writing secrets!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Spilling Hot Secrets!

Today I'm a guest over at In Shadows with Brynna Curry to help celebrate her Heart of Romance Valentine's celebrations and I spill some secrets about my upcoming books, BETRAYED and TAINTED :-)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Beer - Cold or Warm?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hearts, tiaras and cold beer. That's what I'm talking about today over at The Displaced Nation, a great blog site for ex-pats from everywhere who now live anywhere! As with many good things I first discovered them on Twitter and was delighted to be invited onto their blog. If you want to discover some amazing tidbits about me then hop on over!

(OK the revelations are probably not at all amazing but I would still love to see you over there!!!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Heartbreaker Blog Hop Winner!

And the winner of a copy of Foretaste of Forever and some gorgeous swag is...


I will email you shortly!

"Christina Phillips does a magnificent job at creating an eerie, haunting atmosphere. Her use of imagery is nothing short of genius as she paints images that evoke emotions out of the reader. " CK2S Kwips and Kritiques, 4 Stars

Friday, February 08, 2013

Heartbreakers Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Heartbreakers Blog Hop!

There's something addictive about heartbreaker heroes. Maybe he's a little bit arrogant, or maybe he's so charming he just doesn't realise he's left a trail of broken hearts. But either way I just love it when he finally faces the fact that he's fallen hard for the heroine - and she's not sitting at his feet worshipping him :-) Because I sooo enjoy watching these heroes have to do a bit of good old fashioned grovelling in order to win the woman who's captured their heart :-)

Gabe, the hero in my latest release, Archangel of Mercy, is bit of a heartbreaker although his heroine, Aurora, doesn't let him get away with much :-)
 I'm giving away some gorgeous archangel swag and a copy of my erotic paranormal romance
Foretaste of Forever
 to one commenter on my blog.

Between an angel and a desperate woman comes salvation -
and a raw passion that challenges them at every turn... 

Over 18s Only Please!

Destined to fall... destined to love...
When Aurora Robinson attempts to open a rift between dimensions to embrace her true heritage, an arrogant Archangel is the only one who can save her from the jaws of hell. And while she owes Gabriel her life, she’s determined not to fall at his feet-despite the desire she feels whenever they’re together.
After his wings were brutally destroyed millennia ago, Gabriel has no compassion for humans like those who ruined him and betrayed the ones he loved. But when he inexplicably finds himself defying ancient protocols to rescue a woman from a fate worse than death, he is shocked by the searing attraction he feels for a mortal.
As the ancient forces that seek to punish Aurora for her actions close in, Gabriel offers the tempting woman protection at his private sanctuary. But as they both succumb to their desires, they discover an even deeper connection-one that threatens to consume them.

Don't forget to check out all the other fabulous authors, reviewers and bloggers participating in this Hop! You can find a list of them at Carrie Ann's Heartbreaker Hop

But that's not all....

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: 
A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!
All prizes are international except for the Swag Pack which is US only
To be entered into the Grand Prize draw and my own contest on this blog, just let me know one of your fave scenes from a book, movie or real life where it finally hits the hero that he can't live without his heroine :-) *or* since Valentine's Day is just around the corner, what (or who) is your ideal Valentine's date?

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Blog Hop Coming Up...

Next fabulous blog hop coming up is...

Are our heroes heartthrobs or heartbreakers? Or are they just the same thing? Yummy right? Valentine's Day is just around the corner for this blog hop and we're gearing up to see what exactly is a heartbreaker. Is the song playing in your head line mine? "Cuz he's a heartbreaker!" We love those sexy men, but what about those times in the story when they aren't perfect. Because come on, we know they aren't perfect. What makes those men heartbreakers? What can those guys do to make it better? Is there a way to grovel? Come on! Tell me about your heartbreaker!!

Almost 300 bloggers have giveaways and posts about those men we love! 

But that's not all....

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

All prizes international except for the swag pack

Pop back on Friday to join in the fun!

Friday, February 01, 2013

Goddess of the Apocalypse

Today I'm over at the Romance Writers of the Apocalypse and instead of looking forward at possible cataclysmic events I look back to first century Britain. Which, by no coincidence, is the era that my Roman/Druid books are set :-)

And I ask the question: what would ancient gods and goddesses do if they were faced with a vision of apocalyptic devastation?