“One Day, I Want To Write A Book”

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This is a long post, so grab a coffee or a glass of wine, settle down and relax.

You know, I can remember the exact moment I said those words. I was ten and an avid Enid Blyton fan. Who remembers The Famous Five? I read them all, again and again and again… well, you get the picture. At eleven I found Elinor M. Brent-Dyer. Who remembers The Chalet School books? Read them, too, until they were in tatters.

 

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Then I went to High School and over the years was force-fed Herman Melville, Joseph Conrad, Albert Canus, Donald Rawley and of course Mr. Shakespeare. Many authors are much loved but my favourite author of all time, the one who really sparked my imagination, the one whose characters made me laugh and cry and read her books again and again was the fantabulous Georgette Heyer. One of her best has to be The Grand Sophy – still makes me laugh out loud.

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During this time I wrote a descriptive essay that made my English teacher, Mr. Henderson, cry, in a good way. He read it to the class (I was so embarrassed my face was radioactive) and the story made two of my mortal enemies cry, too. (I defy any fifteen year old girl not to have the odd nemesis in her life.) And Mr. Henderson said I should seriously think of becoming a writer. My parents immediately vetoed that brilliant idea, nipping it brutally in the bud, by stating that, ‘Writers make no money, honey, and we cannot afford to keep you. Become a shorthand/typist and live in the real world.’ So I did, which is why I can touch-type at over 100wpm. (Ha!) Karma, as they say, is a beetch.

And so, I scribbled stories, lots of stories. Mainly about love (I’d hit puberty and had strict parents who banned boys) so I wrote about my ‘perfect man’ (Ha!) and listened to David Bowie and Bryan Ferry (loved Bryan). As for books, I found romances, lots of romances and paranormal/fantasy, lots of those, too. Then I fell into international banking (trade finance) and met H, got married and had three children, dabbled in many things. Travelled the world. But right at the back of my mind I kept thinking, ‘One day, I want to write a book.’

By this time I was reading thrillers and fantasy like Eric Van Lustbader and devouring every single thing he wrote.

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Then we were back home in the UK, H had retired early (due to overseas service) and I joined a multi-national construction company. Wrote a ‘How-to’ book for sales staff that the staff, strangely enough, enjoyed because it was ‘chatty’ and ‘funny’ and ‘relevant.’  And all the while I was thinking, ‘One day, I want to write a book.’ The construction company was sold, the recession was knocking at the door, I was implementing change in the company, stressed and overworked.

So H sat me down and said, ‘What do you want to do?’ and, you guessed it, I said, ‘One day, I want to write a book.’ He looked me dead in the eye and said, ‘Then do it. You’ll be good at it.’

How’s that for confidence?

So, then the decision became, ‘What will I write?’ And more importantly, ‘What sort of reader will I write it for?’

My first ever serious attempt was a fantasy about mages and witches and alternate realities. It didn’t have a title. But it did have a ten year old hero and dark and gothic castles, blood feuds, demons – blah, blah, blah. Then I wrote a short ghost story about a banshee, which was so bloody and gothic and horror-filled I actually scared myself. But I was so gripped and excited and tormented by the thing that I knew right then writing a story was what I wanted to do. But I wanted to do it well. And so began the intensive journey of applying myself to learn my craft, including how to edit. This was 2009.

After many pitiful attempts at fantasy and a complex futuristic vampyre paranormal (the first chapter and pivotal moment finaled in The Romance Junkies competition in the USA) I decided to write a romance. After all, I thought, how hard could it be?

Right?

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It didn’t take long to discover that there’s a hell of a lot more to this romance business than meets the eye. A lot more. So I joined an online writer’s group. And we set ourselves goals and tasks and scenes and swapped stories about our characters. The girls were ruthlessly honest but great fun. Through those wonderful and generous women, I joined Harlequin’s on-line forums where the editors run tons of wannabe author competitions where thousands (yes, thousands) of readers can vote and comment honestly. Competitions like ‘The first 1,000 words of a contemporary/sweet romance’ and ‘A 3,000 word pivotal moment of romantic suspense.’  But, best of all, were the online workshops run by their bestselling romance authors – most of whom were USA Today and New York Times Bestselling romance authors – and these girls knew the romance genre inside out. They shared techniques. They answered seriously dumb questions and gave honest feedback with a generosity of spirit that I came to realise is prevalent in the romance industry. As for the fans, well, all I can say is that they are THE most voracious readers and utterly loyal when they find a writer they like.

And so we come to ‘So You Think You Can Write?’ competitions and ‘New Voices.’  Of course, I entered those (under the name Scottygirl) and had lovely feedback. And I found amazing friends that I still have today, among them finalists. Meanwhile, I was writing scenes. Scenes that had to grab the reader. I experimented with manipulating reader emotions, making the reader laugh (came second). Then I wrote a heart-wrenching scene about a young widow of two years who has a one night stand with a hot Spaniard (came joint first. I won author Tessa Radley and she spoke to me all the way from New Zealand to give me writing advice – I’ll never forget it. It’s still a highlight of my life. She said she’d buy everything I wrote. Gulp.) Then I finaled in two more competitions, one where I made readers cry. I felt I was finally getting somewhere. Time to submit the first three chapters of my book I was polishing to such a shine it could be seen from outer space. It took six long months to receive a reply. A rejection. But it was a good rejection because it was two pages long and told me exactly what to improve and to please re-submit. So I knuckled down to re-write it and…. got breast cancer.

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Now, to most people breast cancer is pretty devastating news. Don’t get me wrong – it was more than devastating to me and my family. I had a long road ahead. BUT, overnight I lost the fear of failure. I don’t think I’ve ever written so much so fast before or since. Everything that was buried deep in my subconscious spilled onto the page. Everything. Meanwhile, I underwent half a dozen operations and began treatments. When I couldn’t type, I wrote in journals in bed. H used to find me switching on the light in the middle of the night and scribbling like a demon because an ‘idea’ or ‘a plot twist’ had entered my mind and I just had to ‘get it down’ because believe me, when we wake in the morning our mind is empty.

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It was during this time that the Italian Nico Ferranti sprang to life in my head as a three dimensional character as did Bronte Ludlow and her pal Rosie (about whom, the editor of the publisher I’d submitted the work to who read the first three chapters said to ‘tone Rosie right down’.) So I worked on Nico’s back-story, what or who had made him the man he was today? What age was he when the worst thing that could happen to a child happened? What are his strengths? Weaknesses? Goals? And I did the same with Bronte. Poor Bronte, God love her, I killed her parents; her fiancé betrayed her; she lost her family home; she discovered her father was not her father; she had endometriosis, which meant maybe no children. She was beautiful, but couldn’t see it. She hated her breasts, etc., etc. BUT I made her resilient, she set up her own business with her pal Rosie and they triumphed; she wasn’t looking for love; she fell out with her (half) brother because she wanted to reach out to her real father; she stood up to Nico who wanted to buy the home left to her by her mother; she was her own woman and she rocked!

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And so the time came to send the entire re-written book to the publisher. However, there’s a twist to the tale. During the time of my return to health and re-writing the story, in the United States of America, a movement had been born. Independent authors. I’d been following a couple of bloggers who were talking about it, especially J.A. Konrath & Co. Interesting, I thought. At the same time the publishing industry was going through (still is) a seismic change. Did I, I wondered, have the time to wait, maybe six to twelve months for a publisher to get back to me? And after I spoke to some Big Name independent romance authors who were ‘breaking through’ and took their advice, I decided I didn’t have the time to waste. H and I talked and talked and talked for weeks, did our due diligence and H said he’d format and deal with the technical side of submitting digital books to the distributors, accounting and the tax authorities. In the meantime two romance editors I’d met on-line offered to edit and proof my book. So, on the 12th April 2012 we published Reckless Nights In Rome. To say we were petrified would be putting it mildly. I didn’t worry about the book or what was happening to it, got my head down and wrote A Stormy Spring and then Run Rosie Run and they were both published by Christmas 2012. That Christmas Reckless was a perma-free and Stormy and Rosie were all in the top ten of iBooks in thirty countries and selling in Barnes and Noble and doing well in Amazon.com. And that’s when I found my readers. Readers who buy everything I write. Everything. Each story is written with them at the front and centre of everything I do.

 

Some of you who are reading this have followed the ups and downs of the journey. In 2014 I had a sudden bereavement and a couple of health challenges connected to cancer treatment. But all the while I’ve never stopped writing, even if I had almost a year of not publishing new stories. My readers have been patient and loving and understanding and I want to thank each and every one.

 

It’s also true to say that as authors we don’t work in a bubble of one. My covers are done by Frauke and Gabrielle Prendergast who also designed the CC MACKENZIE brand. Formatting, distribution, sales accounting, invoicing and Chief Operating Officer of More Press is H. Author Engine, particularly Jennifer Lewis Oliver and Greg Carrico are awesome.

CC MACKENZIE now has ten books published in the Ludlow Hall franchise. This year there are the first books of a new Ludlow Nights series, books that are fun and fast pace with laugh out loud moments. The first of which, His Rules, is under the New Adult romance genre, will be available free and exclusive to my mailing list for a short time, with more to come. Four, yes four, vampyre books, the first and second out together on 28th March with book three on pre-order coming at the end of April and book four on pre-order coming at the end of May with more to follow. Plus A Daddy For Daisy – date to be advised. More short novels, but they’re a surprise. I love surprising readers.

I’ve truly been blessed by the support of generous authors who write in a variety of genres (not only romance) – Diane Capri, Jillian Dodd, Steena Holmes, Ruth Cardello, Marie Force, Lindsay J. Pryor, Natalie G. Owens, Dana Delamar, Kristine Cayne, Stacey Joy Netzel, L.C. Giroux, Liz Matis and Katherine Bone.

More recently I was part of a group of authors who wrote a continuity series based in the Island of Eden a world written and created by Lauren Hawkeye. This month we published an Eden boxed set with contributions by Lauren, me, Avery Aster, Opal Carew, Steena Holmes, Mari Carr, Cathryn Fox, Eliza Gayle, Adriana Hunter, Roni Loren, Sharon Page, Daire St. Denis and Elena Aitken.

On the night of Wednesday 18th April 2015 something amazing happened, we made the USA Today Bestsellers list. So now I can say I’m a USA Today Bestselling author. The reason I’m sharing this is not to toot my own horn, but to encourage those who don’t believe they can follow their dreams to – Go For It!

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So tell me, what are your innermost dreams and what are you doing to make them come true?

 

Big hugs,

Christine XX

 

 

 

 

 

THE BAD BOYS OF EDEN ARE HERE!

Hello, my darlings,

I’m thrilled to announce that fourteen of us who wrote a story for The Invitation To Eden continuity series, have come together to bring a boxed set of linked stories set in the island of Eden. Plus, an exclusive bonus story by best selling author, Lauren Hawkeye! And all for $0.99cents!

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The Bad Boys of Eden box set is your one-way ticket to the ultimate escape, with 14 sensual stories to sate and satisfy your appetite for alphas, bad boys, heroes, bikers, adventure, love, lust, and more!

The island of Eden knows what you want, all you need to do is find what it has waiting for you.

Available now!

AMAZON   iBOOKS   KOBO   BARNES AND NOBLE

My contribution to the set is Delicious and Deadly. See below:

A LUDLOW HALL STORY

A LUDLOW HALL STORY

 

Enjoy!!

Christine XX

A NEW BOOK – OR IS IT?

Greetings everyone.

As many of you know I write a futuristic paranormal series, The Vampyre Legal Chronicles.  Last year I had a lengthy discussion with my editors on the way forward and where the series was going and we realised that the two stories already published needed to be expanded to take into account the futuristic world I was building and scenes re-written. So we took the books down from all distributors.

I’ve spent the last nine months re-writing and expanding all the books and very soon will have three full length stories. Yay!!! The plan is to have nine books in this series and I’m taking all y’all on a roller-coaster ride from the present day into the future. And that’s all I’m saying! I’m so excited about this project.

Here’s the blurb and the cover reveal!

THE VAMPYRE LEGAL CHRONICLES

BOOK ONE – MARCUS

 

 

Get ready to enter the world of The Vampyre Legal Chronicles. A world that’s a wondrously realized magical reality, where dark heroes fight to protect the women they love, and us.
Get ready to take part in a battle without end.
Get ready to escape…

Take one broodingly hot vampyre. Add one gorgeous New Born. And this is just the beginning…

Anais Walker has one passion – Law.

And one goal – a glittering career with Gillespie, Pattullo & Hindmarch.

Success is so close she can taste it.

Until a lamentable slip of concentration jeopardises a billion dollar deal with the Chinese in Shanghai.

Is Anais about to lose it all?

Famously ruthless corporate lawyer Marcus Gillespie has two secrets.

He’s a Vampyre Prince.

And after two hundred and thirty years he’s found the woman for him.

She’s beautiful, smart and with a body to die for. After six months of mentoring Anais, the time has come to move her from the boardroom to the bedroom. And when Anais makes a costly mistake, Marcus has the gorgeous lawyer just where he wants her…

But although passions run hot in the bedroom, Anais refuses to give her heart or commit to a future not of her choosing. When an ancient enemy arrives in Shanghai with bad news, Marcus finds himself in a race against time not only to win her heart, but her life…

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The release date is 28th March!

Christine X 

SURPRISE LUDLOW HALL CHRISTMAS STORY RELEASED TODAY

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Click on the links to buy here:

AMAZON USA  AMAZON UK  iBOOKS USA  iBOOKS UK  SMASHWORDS   BARNES AND NOBLE

 

Greetings of the season to one and all!

So, I was writing the first story of my new Ludlow Hall franchise called LUDLOW NIGHTS, His Rules, when I noticed more than few messages from readers asking me if I was writing a Ludlow Hall Christmas story for them. Initially, my response was ‘No’ because I didn’t have time. And then I thought, ‘To hell with it. I’ll write them a story.’ And here it is! I outlined Marc’s story about six months ago and decided to use his character for a Christmas tale. I LOVED writing about bad boy made good Marc Atelier, head of security for the Ferranti Group. And head receptionist of Ludlow Hall, Elena Margaret Mary Kennedy, the youngest of seven siblings and the only girl. As she says herself, Elena runs her department with the light touch of a feather duster, she’s my kind of girl. AND it was a good way for me to introduce the Kennedy family to readers! Yes, there will a lot more to come from this family. And I can hear the cheers from here.

Here’s the blurb:

SPEND CHRISTMAS AT LUDLOW HALL AND AS FANS OF THIS SERIES WILL TELL YOU, THERE’S NEVER A DULL MOMENT!
 AT CHRISTMAS, THERE’S NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN FAMILY
 
 
Charismatic Marc Atelier, head of security of the Ferranti Group, has arrived at Ludlow Hall hot on the trail of a corporate spy.
Yet, from the moment he focused his intense blue eyes on head receptionist, Elena Kennedy, neither of them can deny the heat of an attraction that’s about to burn out of control.
 
But there’s more to Elena than meets the eye… And Marc likes what he sees…a lot.
I hope you enjoy the story!
And I

want to wish all y’all Happy Holidays!
Hugs,
Christine XX

NEW RELEASE – DELICIOUS AND DEADLY – A LUDLOW HALL STORY

A LUDLOW HALL STORY

A LUDLOW HALL STORY

Greetings!

Today is the long awaited release of my contribution to the awesome Invitation To Eden Continuity Series – DELICIOUS AND DEADLY! I LOVED writing Oscar and Emma’s story, two people who came together three years earlier, fell madly in love and then…

Well, you’ll need to read it to find out!

Here are the buy links:   AMAZON UK   AMAZON USA   iBOOKS   KOBO   SMASHWORDS

Falling in love can be lethal

Emma Ludlow’s temperature is rising and it’s not because of the sweltering Florida sun. Her lucrative business is slaughter and bloodshed. All she wants is peace and quiet in Eden to plot her latest murder. However, a much-adored celebrity chef is in Eden, too. The man is insufferable with an overblown ego she’s dying to… kill. His slow smile may be Delicious, but she won’t taste it, not again.

Being famous and wealthy isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. Oscar Zamani learned that life lesson the hard way when he let the seductive Emma slip through his fingers. Now an Invitation To Eden has given him another chance to show her that this time he can be trusted.

But little does Oscar know that Emma has a dark secret. A secret that might be Deadly to his heart.

Also released today are two other Invitation To Eden stories – HOW TO TEMPT A TYCOON written by New York Times best-selling author, Daire St. Denis. And PLEASURE GAMES written by New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Jessica Clare.

Here are the books, links and blurbs:

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BARNES AND NOBLE   AMAZON 

HOW TO TEMPT A TYCOON

 A Savage Interactive

Tessa Savage has traveled all over the world but she has never been to Eden. So when she receives a personalized invitation to this enigmatic island location, there’s no way she can refuse. She’s been told that Eden will fulfill her every fantasy but instead Tessa is faced with the choice of overcoming one of her two greatest fears; total vulnerability or total submission. To Tessa there is very little difference between these two things…except that the choice means she must make a decision between two very special men, one from her past…the other from her future.

Tessa doesn’t know what to do and she needs help. Your help. Help Tessa decide what to do in this smokin’ hot, emotionally charged interactive tale!

Warning: Beware of billionaire playboys, hot ex-husbands, bad-boy bikers and an island that makes even the deepest, darkest wishes come true. Recommended for a mature audience.

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AMAZON     BARNES AND NOBLE    iBOOKS    GOOGLEPLUS   ARe  SMASHWORDS   PAGE FOUNDRY  

PLEASURE GAMES

Glass artisan Juno Ashmore’s bank account has hit the skids lately. When she’s invited to mysterious Eden to film the reality TV show Pleasures of Eden, she’s not interested. Swanky island location? Billionaire bachelor? No thanks. But when she hears the contestant payment fee of fifty thousand dollars — just for showing up, Pleasures of Eden suddenly sounds more interesting. Screw the billionaire bachelor! Juno will take the contestant fee and have herself a nice beach vacation.
But the billionaire bachelor is none other than Heathcliff Forester, the sexy, arrogant man who broke her heart in college. And Heathcliff’s made it clear that he’s not interested in any girl but Juno. In fact, it’s looking more and more like he’s rigged the entire show just to bring her into his arms again. It should make Juno furious, but all she can think about is what it’d be like to spend her nights in Eden in his bed…
ENJOY!
Christine XX

WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT?

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Hello my darlings,

What on earth is this, I hear you cry? Well, along with working on five books – yes five – I’m almost finished the first story of a new venture called LUDLOW NIGHTS. This will be an Exclusive for a short time to my MAILING LIST  six part story. And the first part of the story is called His Rules.

Ambitious, workaholic Anastacia Morgan runs Ferranti Communications with a cool-head and an iron will. Her latest project is ensuring sports star Olivier Conti does what he’s told in a series of adverts. Olivier is impossible with an huge ego she’s made up her mind to ignore. His smile may do wonderful things to her libido, but Ana is determined to succeed where other women fail and resist the gorgeous soccer star.

However, in this game there are no rules and Olivier’s never missed a penalty, yet.

EXCERPT:

“A footballer, Nico?” Anastacia shoved heavy curls the colour of jet over her shoulder, sat back in her butter-soft leather chair, and raised imperious black brows. “You cannot be serious?”

“I hope that is a rhetorical question,” Nico Ferranti returned mildly. His wife Bronte always said that good things came in small packages. Well, Anastacia Morgan was a size zero, five foot two inches in her size four bare feet, and a prime example of how good things did indeed come in a small package. She was dressed in an immaculately tailored business suit the colour of bone, personally designed for her. A suit that fit in all the right places. He knew for a fact Ana wore the fashion equivalent of stilts to boost her height. He also knew those stilts were even now discarded under her desk. At the moment she resembled a very angry angel. Nico wasn’t worried. He’d had plenty of experience of dealing with angry angels. He had two of them at home.

Now she was glaring at him over the reading glasses perched on her small nose.

She read the look on his face, uncompromising, and tossed down her silver pen in disgust. Her behaviour reminded Nico forcibly of his three year old daughter, Sophia, throwing a temper tantrum.

Dark eyebrows shot into her hairline.

“Can he speak in declarative sentences?” she wondered in a droll voice that made him raise his own brows.

“Tsk, tsk, Ana. Sarcasm is not a good look on you,” Nico told her in a very soft voice. A voice that made heat rise in her cheeks and told him his rebuke had been received loud and clear. “Just think of the nice fat fee you will make.”

The look Ana sent Nico was her own version of uncompromising.

She could stare down the Queen of England with that look, but not Nico Ferranti.

At thirty-six Nico was head of a global business that spanned hotels, and digital technology. A business he’d begun with a legacy from his paternal grandfather, brains and balls. Nico ran things his way, and everyone who worked for him knew it. Including the tiny angel who was showing her fangs and glaring at him out of navy blue eyes.

Four years ago he’d taken a big chance on Anastacia Morgan.

And he’d never regretted it.

One of Nico’s greatest skills was recognising raw talent in another. In Ana he’d seen a creative ambition, and a need for a financial freedom that matched his own. Ana was twenty-six and one of the top brand manager’s in the business. And since he knew that Anastacia Morgan cared as much for the Ferranti brand as he did, Nico had Ana on a very long leash.

Then Ana pulled out the big guns and gave him the death stare.

Nico waited.

After another minute had passed, Ana gave up.

“Okay. You’re the boss. But Nico… a footballer?” The last two words were said in a whine that made Nico bite down hard on his bottom lip. And Ana wasn’t finished, “What’s wrong with Tobias Aidin? He’s the next big thing. Dontcha watch prime-time TV? In less than six weeks he has over five hundred thousand followers on twitter. Not only does his voice make women’s toes curl, he can take direction and…” She stopped when Nico’s brows rose. He had to admire the way she took a breath and battled on. “Sportsmen, especially soccer stars, freeze, or take the piss when a camera’s rolling.”

Without comment, Nico focused on brushing a speck of dust from the sleeve of his immaculate grey suit.

“As you are aware, the new Boutique hotels specifically target young business executives and tourists who demand quality, cleanliness, and value for money. We need a well-known face and a name that resonates world-wide.”

I’ve never even heard of Olivier Conti,” Ana threw back.

“Every soccer fan in the world has heard of Olivier.”

She shrugged off his comment.

For a moment Nico wondered just who was the boss here.

“We’re selling a lifestyle here, Nico. Not flashy cars and even flashier women,” she said with a sneer that made him again bite down on his abused lip.

Little devil.

“Seven goals in the world cup in Brazil,” Nico went on relentlessly. “He’s the leading goal scorer in the Seria A.” He shook his head at her blank stare. “The Italian football league, for four consecutive seasons. Two of the top clubs in the Premier league are prepared to pay over one hundred million pounds for him.”

Ana narrowed her eyes until they were blue slits.

“How come you’ve got the skinny? Since when do you follow football?”

“Ana, cara mia,” Nico drawled. “Soccer is in my DNA. I am Italian.”

She couldn’t help but grin at the way his voice deepened, the way his accent grew stronger.

“Since he’s in such high demand, how the hell can we afford him?”

Nico unfolded his tall frame from the skinny chair.

“Let us just say the boy owes me a favour. Do not make plans for this evening. A car will pick you up at six-thirty. I have tickets for the game tonight. Milan against United.”

“Who?”

Nico gave the question and the cranky tone in which it was delivered, the attention it deserved, none.

He strolled towards the door.

“Hang on just a minute there, buster.”

Nico opened the door, turned to look at her over his shoulder, and almost burst out laughing at the unspeakable scowl on her face.

“Si?”

Ana sat back, and in an dazzling move that belonged to ballet, stretched up a long leg, pointed to a soft leather platform shoe with five inch heels. “These shoes and this suit are Victoria Beckham. How is this a good look for a football game? I’ll need time to go home, get changed into skinnies and a T-shirt that says, ‘Hump Me.’

“Nothing wrong with standing out from the crowd. The clothes and shoes are fine. If I were you, I would spend the next few hours boning up on the offside rule,” Nico advised before he closed the office door behind him.

With language that turned the air blue, Ana spun her chair around to stare unseeing over the city of London and Tower Bridge. Vast glass structures, tall buildings and clogged traffic, with a river running through it. In her past, she’d had other views of the city, but they’d been at street level. These days she gazed down upon the city from the fifteenth floor. And one day, Ana promised, she’d look down from the top floor.

One day.

Anastacia Morgan only looked forward, certainly not at the past. The past was behind her now, thank God.

Ana shoved back her hair. Hair that was too long, too curly, and it drove her nuts. However, her hair had become something of a trademark. It hung past her waist in glossy curls the colour of rich ripe chestnuts. A gleaming brown shot through with a rose gold that her friends told her was gorgeous.

Her friends also told her that her eyes were the darkest blue they’d ever seen. A couple of men had also said they felt they could drown in them.

At the moment Ana could care less about her hair or her eyes or her looks. All she cared about was the Ferranti brand, which encompassed the five star hotels, spas, and resorts world-wide. And now the new boutique hotels. Working for Nico Ferranti meant there was never a dull moment… but football? Her wide mouth was marred by the sneer on her full lips.

Then Ana remembered how much she owed Nico Ferranti. Four years ago, in the middle of the worst recession in living memory, she’d marched into Ferranti Enterprises with a marketing degree, a gut-searing desperation for a job and a smart mouth. And twenty pounds in her purse. Never look back, she reminded herself. Nico had taken a chance on her and she would never, ever forget it. Ana wanted only the best for the Ferranti brand. If that meant working with a football player, then she’d make damned sure the prima-donna (weren’t all footballers drama queens?) did the job.

Determined, she spun back to her desk.

Ana snatched up the phone, jabbed buttons.

“Linda, get me everything you can on Olivier Conti. Oh, and find me someone who can explain to me in words of one syllable the soccer off-side rule. No, I’m not being funny.”

*****

So that’s a tiny taster of part one! Want more? I need the promise of your first child, and chocolate and wine for a year!!  Kidding!! All y’all need to do is to subscribe to my mailing list either on the top right hand of the blog or on the link!

Easy peasy.

Big hugs,

Christine XX

I NEED TO MOVE ON

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“I want closure, querida. I want to be able to move on with my life. I want to be able to go to sleep without hearing your voice, without wanting to bury myself deep inside you, without imagining you being loved every which way by another man. I want peace, Gabriella. And you are going to give me that peace. Tonight.”  Jacob Del Garda

Ha! Knew that would get you going! It’s been a while since I last posted and that’s because I’ve been working like a stupid crazy person to get Jacob finished, edited, revised, edited, revised, copy-edited, revised, proofed, revised and then ready for publication. And at the same time writing the first draft of A Daddy For Daisy and Delicious and Deadly, the next two Ludlow Hall books. It never gets any easier this gig.

So I’m thrilled to announce that THE FALL OF JACOB DEL GARDA  is out now, CLICK the links below.

AMAZON  iBOOKS  GOOGLEPLAY  SMASHWORDS

I’m still waiting for KOBO and NOOK – I’ll add them as soon as I get them!

Here’s the blurb:

 

Twin sisters – twice the trouble

Twelve months after disappearing from Jacob’s life, the woman who broke his heart, supermodel Gabriella Dolman, is back. But things have changed. Now Gabriella is a photographer – still fabulously beautiful – but no longer glamorous, and no longer looking for love. Though Gabriella claims she just wants to move on without him, Jacob’s pretty certain that her reaction to their red-hot kisses implies otherwise.

Tobin Gillespie believes in taking a stand, and he never turns his back on a challenge. So when his work as a PR guru brings research scientist Sophie Dolman back into his life, her obnoxious behaviour and lethal putdowns aren’t enough to put him off – quite the reverse. And the more they clash, the more determined he is to break down the wall around her heart and claim it for his own.

 

 

Please let me take this opportunity to thank all my readers who contacted me over the last few months, over 190 of you, who told me to take my time with this story after the sudden loss of my mother. I love each and every single one of you. This story is for you.

 

Big hugs,

Christine XXXXX

DESERT ORCHID IS ALIVE!

IT'S ALIVE

IT’S ALIVE AND AVAILABLE NOW IN ALL STORES

AMAZON  iBOOKS  KOBO  GOOGLEPLAY 

BARNES AND NOBLE  SMASHWORDS

 

Some of you might remember the original Desert Orchid story featuring Charisse and Khalid that I began in weekly episodes on this blog… two years ago (how time flies). And some of you might have wondered what on earth happened to Charisse and Khalid. Well, the story has sort of morphed, as my stories are wont to do, into something bigger. Something more exciting. Something a little bit… different.

First of all let me make clear that at the heart of the tale is a romance (this is me you’re dealing with). The story is a nail biting suspense thriller, with plenty of twists and turns, that readers (they tell me) did not see coming. In this book I get to shoot, poison, kidnap and kill. THE best fun in the world! I also emotionally torture two characters who had gone through more than their fair share of grief and torment. I just tormented them even more. I even got to deal with a couple of sociopaths – and let me tell you, writing those guys was dealing with a different kind of human.

Towards the end of editing the story, there were lengthy discussions between my editor and H and myself regarding a change of direction for the series. Deep in my heart I’ve always wanted to write a continuity series – where each book stands alone as a complete tale – with two characters strong enough to take centre stage right through the books to link the series. With Charisse and Khalid I’ve found those characters. I know them better than I know my own family. And so their story, along with their close friends, siblings, and the story of their country, Onuur, and the people who inhabit that land will carry on. The El Haribes will continue to fight against unseen forces including a terrorist War Lord, people trafficking, the drug trade and much more. And all the while, against all the odds, and personal sacrifice, a deep and abiding love prevail.

It all begins with Desert Orchid where Khalid and Charisse meet. And just let me say that the road to true love is a pretty rocky one. Against the background of falling in love, the couple deal with the reality of an unseen enemy who has waited many years until the time is right to strike. There’s heartbreak, death, betrayal and a relentless evil who will not stop until it gets what it wants. But what strengthens the couple’s initially fragile bond, is a very real selfless love that is growing between them. A love that will be tested again and again.

And since it’s Mother’s Day in the United States of America, this post is dedicated to all mom’s everywhere. Especially my own mom, Ruth, who died very suddenly before the book was completed.

Big hugs,

Christine X

 

IT’S A NEW DAWN, IT’S A NEW DAY, IT’S A NEW LIFE………

COVER REVEAL

COVER REVEAL

Hi guys,

As many of you know, my mom passed away very suddenly this year.
Which meant everything creatively went all to hell in a hand basket. The grand plan had been that Desert Orchid would be out by February, followed by The Fall of Jacob Del Garda. Well, the plan had to be re-jigged and put aside. But today I can give you the Desert Orchid cover reveal. The story is in final proofing. And when it goes live in the stores I will be sharing the links and sending out newsletters.

But before the worst happened, I’d been approached by a bunch of crazy romance authors to be a part of their Invitation To Eden continuity series. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to work with Avery Aster, Lauren Hawkeye, Steena Holmes, Jennifer Probst, Suzanne Rock, Tawny Stokes. Julia Kent, Adriana Hunter, Ava Conway, Sharon Page, Kathryn Fox, Eliza Gayle, Daire St. Dennis, Carly Phillips, Erika Wilde, Mari Carr, Roni Loren, Opal Carew, Lauren Jameson, Vivi Anna, Joey W. Hill, Sarah Castille, R.G. Alexander, Jessica Clare, Eden Bradley, Delilah Devlin, Kimberley Kay Terry, Marian Tee.

My story DELICIOUS AND DEADLY is up in December, but I’m ‘hoping’ for it to go live on pre-order in September. The first Invitation To Eden story – Master Of The Island is free and the first three books are out now (links below). There will be three linked stories out each month until December. And just let me say that these girls know how to paaaaaarty!

Here are all the covers and don’t they look fabulous?

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Last year it was all about angst and sexual tension in romance novels, with both Hopeless by Colleen Hoover and Entwined with You by Sylvia Day topping the lists. But Spring calls for new books to load up your Kindle.

Culled from hundreds of titles I asked today’s bestselling authors what novels they’re not only personally reading but recommending to their inner circle of besties. These are the industries most anticipated MUST READ BOOKS for the Spring and Summer. Whether you want to laugh till you cry, find a new poolside page-turner or get turned on and ahem…’ya know, these delicious love stories deliver the goods in all the right places and just at the right time…when you need it most.

top 20 must reads

#MustRead #JustReleased #OneClick

One click via Amazon with each book that interests you by tapping on the cover. Go on! After you’ve stocked up ENTER THE RAFFLE at the bottom of this post to win cash, prizes and author swag.

FREE READ. Download it already!

“Jet off to Eden with me and my Manhattanites for new adult fun,” says Taddy Brill. ;-)

If ‘ya need some extra lovin’!

Curvaceous gets her dark & mysterious…

Continue reading

A FILM-STAR, A BABY, AND A PROPOSAL

IT'S A LUDLOW HALL CHRISTMAS!

IT’S A LUDLOW HALL CHRISTMAS!

Hello my darlings,

It’s been a while since my last post, and that’s because I’ve been writing, visiting London, writing, and attending a wedding! Writing. Editing. And writing.

As a family, we love this time of year. There’s something about Christmas that makes me all warm and fuzzy. And from the lovely feedback and comments I’ve been receiving about my books, I know my readers love feeling warm and fuzzy too.

The Ludlow Hall series has struck a chord, especially Nico and Bronte. Readers are enjoying watching how their relationship and marriage unfolds with all their trials and tribulations. It was something I always wanted to read – how a couple I loved in a romance – coped with real life challenges in subsequent stories. The reader response has been nothing short of amazing and has truly humbled me.

So to keep all y’all going until book five, The Fall of Jacob Del Garda, comes out next year I had the bright idea to write a Ludlow Hall Christmas special featuring the usual suspects, Nico and Bronte, Alexander and Rosie, and the fabulicious movie star Mathias Carter and super-model Eve Langan, who gives Matt a run for his money. Bringing two independent and successful career people, who’ve overcome many early challenges in their lives, together is always fun. Especially when they don’t have time for love, marriage, children, or a happy-ever-after. How the might fall flat on their face. Hehehe. Watching them climbing out of the deep hole they’ve dug for themselves is always a blast. And Nico Ferranti steps up to lend his best pal Matt a hand in his hour of need. The scene where Matt returns the favour brought a tear to a couple of beta reader’s eyes, and that is very a good thing.

Man, I love this job.

I’m waiting for the story to go live on iBooks and Barnes and Noble. When it does, I’ll add the links. Until then, here’s the Amazon links USA and UK and SMASHWORDS.

As y’all know I’m part of a boxed set called Sugar and Sin, which has been really well received. Well, we’ve got together again to bring you more of the same - Sugar and Sin, The Sexy Seven. Seven books by the same authors plus one. The plus one is the talented and all round awesome romantic suspense writer Dana Delamar, who keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Dana has joined our ranks and we’re thrilled to have her.

We’ve been touched by the Amazon Angel who has very kindly given us a pre-order button for the set, so thank you, Amazon! The set is on pre-order at a very special $3.99 and due for release on 15th January 2014. I love the way Kim Killion of the Killion group has branded Sugar and Sin – the colour of this set is warm and sunny – just like us! I love it!

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Here are the pre-order links (we’re waiting for B&N):  Kobo  AMAZON  iBOOKS

While I have your attention, I’d like to thank you, dear reader, for your continued patience while I’ve been juggling my writing calendar.

My publishing schedule (hopefully not subject to change) is:

Book one of a new Desert Princes series – Desert Orchid (cover reveal coming very soon) January 2014.

Book five of The Ludlow Hall series, The Fall of Jacob Del Garda (cover reveal coming very soon), February 2014.

Book six of The Ludlow Hall series, A Daddy For Daisy, late Spring 2014.

For those of you waiting for the next Vampyre Legal Chronicles instalment, I have an exciting announcement in the New Year about what’s happening to the entire series.

So stay tuned!

Thank you so much for taking the time to email/FB message/Tweet and leave very kind comments on my website. Readers rock!

You know I adore hearing from you guys, so any questions feel free to fire away.

Christine X