This week's Feature on Author is on Christina Hollis and her latest release romance HIS MAJESTY'S SECRET PASSION. And there is a Giveaway!
Tell us about yourself?
I'm a full-time writer, creating contemporary romantic fiction about what happens when complex men meet independent women. I'm married to a systems analyst, and we have a daughter and a son. We also have a cat, chickens, and bees, and live deep in the English countryside.
What inspired you to be a writer?
That's an impossible question to answer! I "wrote" my first story at the age of three, and never stopped. Actually, I dictated that original piece to my aunt, as I hadn't learned to write at that stage. We used to make little books by folding paper, and stitching them together with coloured embroidery thread. That first story? "Once upon a time, there were three puppies who lived in a basket"!
How did you choose your genre?
It chose me. I'd already had half a dozen historical novels published by Harlequin. As I love all aspects of history, these covered periods ranging from the Crusades to the French Revolution. When I saw an interview with the late, great Penny Jordan, I was swept away with the idea of escapist, contemporary romance and had to give it a try. My first book for Harlequin's Modern Romance line was The Italian Billionaire's Virgin, (currently available in the Royal And Ruthless collection http://www.millsandboon.co.uk/royal-and-ruthless-2)released in 2007. I loved writing it, and luckily readers enjoyed it, too.
What made you tell this story and why did you write this book?
I used to work in an office where the atmosphere was stressful and the workload relentless. Places like that are a pressure-cooker of conflict, waiting to explode. I read fiction as an escape, and I'm sure a lot of other people do, too. I wanted the heroine of His Majesty's Secret Passion, Sara, to do something I was never brave enough to risk. She stands up for herself, and says Nobody treats me like this!
How did you come up with the title?
It was winter, miserable weather, and the title His Majesty's Secret Passion sums up the atmosphere I wanted to create: a wonderful holiday romance, with complicated undertones.
What is your favourite scene?
I love the early scene where Sara invites Leo to dinner, and he refuses. She's embarrassed and annoyed, as she wanted to pay him back for an earlier kindness. Then he sends her flowers, along with his own invitation. He's every inch the modern Alpha male, but he's been raised in an old-fashioned society and can't kick the chivalry habit. He wants to do the asking!
Tell us a little about your book?
Leo Gregoryan’s determined to be the perfect king. Loyalty to his country means sacrificing his own happiness, but he’ll divert the energy he once poured into his dream of becoming a doctor toward royal duties. All he needs right now is a stress-free vacation–no future queen need apply. Sara Astley escapes to the luxurious Paradise Hotel after she’s dumped by her partner, who then stole the promotion she’d expected. She hides her broken dreams behind a tough exterior. Her stubborn streak makes her a challenge Leo can’t resist. His special brand of hands-on persuasion seduces Sara into enjoying the holiday of a lifetime. Their fling can't hurt either of them–or so they think. Leo's focussed on being the ideal hero. Sara knows what she wants, and that’s independence. Then a revelation tears them apart, meaning things can never be the same between them...
US Price: $3.99 digital, $12.99 paperback.
UK Price: £2.63 digital, £8.50 paperback.
Available from: http://amzn.to/1DF99Dv
Christina Hollis writes contemporary fiction starring complex men and independent women–when she isn't cooking, gardening or beekeeping. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and she’s sold over two million books worldwide. You can catch up with her at http://www.christinahollis.blogspot.com, on Twitter, Facebook, and see a full list of her published books at http://www.christinahollis.com. Her current release, His Majesty's Secret Passion, is published by Wild Rose Press.
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