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Christina Courtenay lives in Herefordshire and is married with two children. Although born in England she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden. In her teens, the family moved to Japan where she had the opportunity to travel extensively in the Far East.
Christina is vice chairman of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. In 2011, Christina’s first novel Trade Winds (September 2010) was short listed for The Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Award for Best Historical Fiction. Her second novel, The Scarlet Kimono, won the Big Red Reads Best Historical Fiction Award. In 2012, Highland Storms (November 2011) won the Best Historical Romantic Novel of the year award (RoNA). And The Silent Touch of Shadows (July 2012), Christina’s fourth novel, won the award for Best Historical Read at the Festival of Romance.
Christina was appointed as chair of the Romantic Novelists’s Association in 2013.
Below is a Q & A with this author.
Where and how do you write?
I can write anywhere with my laptop, but my favourite place is at my desk with a proper keyboard (so much easier to type on!). I don’t do much plotting beforehand, I just sit down and write until I get stuck, then I might try and make an outline plan of where the rest of the story is going.
Who do you base your characters on?
I almost always use a real person (actor, celebrity, rock star or similar) as the inspiration for my characters’ looks, then I invent a completely new personality for them. I love going to the cinema and finding new hero/heroine material!
What three things would you take if you were to be stranded on a desert island?
My iPad (loaded with as many books as it would hold), chocolate and a Swiss Army knife I think (the biggest kind with every gadget under the sun).
Author photo © Marte Lundby Rekaa
Some dreams shouldn't come true - Maddie Browne thought she'd grown out of the recurring nightmare that plagued her as a child, but after a shocking family secret is revealed, it comes back to haunt her - the same swing in the same garden, the kind red-haired giant and the swarthy arms which grab her from behind and try to take her away - In an attempt to forget her troubles, Maddie travels to Devon to spend time with her friends, Kayla and Wes. However, it becomes clear that relaxation will not be on the agenda after a disturbing encounter with a gypsy fortune teller. Not to mention the presence of Wes's dangerously handsome brother, Alex. And then there's the fact that Maddie's dream seems to be coming true - The Soft Whisper of Dreams is a sequel to Christina Courtenay's novel The Secret Kiss of Darkness.
Sometimes the most precious things cannot be bought...It's 1759 and Jamie Kinross has travelled far to escape his troubled past - from the pine forests of Sweden to the bustling streets of India. In India he starts a new life as a gem trader, but when his mentor's family are kidnapped as part of a criminal plot, he vows to save them and embarks on a dangerous mission to the city of Surat, carrying the stolen talisman of an Indian Rajah There he encounters Zarmina Miller. She is rich and beautiful, but her infamous haughtiness has earned her a nickname: The Ice Widow. Jamie is instantly tempted by the challenge she presents. But when it becomes clear that Zarmina's step-son is involved in the plot, He begins to see another side to her - a dark past to rival his own and a heart just waiting to be thawed. But is it too late? The final in the Kinross series - Trade Winds, Highland Storms and Monsoon Mists. PAPERBACK INCLUDES A FREE DIGITAL COPY - DETAILS WITHIN THE PAPERBACK.
There is nothing like a little ghostly carrying on to make for an amusing, lighthearted, romantic read which this most certainly is. That the subject of a portrait should speak to Kayla, our heroine, makes you suspend your disbelief. That the artist is Gainsborough is even more incredible but settle into this bewitching tale for it is predictable, charming and well worth curling up with. Great fun. Choc Lit, the publisher of this novel, was the 2012 Publisher of the Year as voted for by the Festival of Romance.
An addictive mix of humour, surprise and several scoops of teenage romance. A new departure for award winning Choc Lit author Chistina Courtenay. Privileged, British and expelled from another boarding school Rain Mackensie finds herself at a local high school in New England USA as punishment. With very different rules she struggles to fit in and when she starts falling for the hot guy with tattoos it can only get more complicated... Choc Lit, the publisher of this novel, was the 2012 Publisher of the Year as voted for by the Festival of Romance. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for New England Rocks a small number of teenagers were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'New England Rocks is a perfect mix of humour and surprise obviously joined with several scoops of teenage romance. I absolutely loved it!' Scroll down to read more reviews...
Winner of the Historical Category Romantic Novel of the Year at the RNA Awards 2014. From the author of four successful award-winning novels, this is a gorgeous historical romance and the sequel to Christina’s second novel, The Scarlet Kimono, that won The Big Red Reads Best Historical Fiction award in 2011. The orphaned daughter of a Japanese Warlord is forced to flee Japan with the help of Captain Nico Noordholt but their tentative romance is threatened by secrets they both have and the English civil war. Meticulous research and well-drawn characters make this a highly enjoyable read.Choc Lit, the publisher of this novel, was the 2012 Publisher of the Year as voted for by the Festival of Romance.
Winner of the Best Historical Read Award from the Festival of Romance 2012. An intriguingly romantic and supernatural time slip mystery from Award winning historical novelist Christina Courtenay. Could the vivid life like dreams that Melissa Grantham and fellow villager Jake Precy are having be a message from the sprit world - and if they are what are they trying to tell them? Choc Lit, the publisher of this novel, was the 2012 Publisher of the Year as voted for by the Festival of Romance.
Winner of the RNA Historical Romantic Novel Award 2012. Although following on from the excellent Trade Winds, which was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association's Pure Passion Award for Best Historical Fiction 2011 this is a romantic and historical novel that can equally be read as a stand alone story and it's as good if not better than Trade Winds. A fabulous setting - Scotland - coupled with some vivid characters that provide romance and heartache in equal measure. As with many of the books published by Choc Lit this one is a real treat. Choc Lit, the publisher of this novel, was the 2012 Publisher of the Year as voted for by the Festival of Romance. November 2011 Book of the Month.
Winner of the Big Red Reads Historical Fiction Award 2011. Following on from the success of her first novel Trade Winds (which we featured) The Scarlet Kimono is another beautifully written, historically accurate story with a real romance at its heart. Hannah Marston is a head strong girl who stows away on a ship bound for 17th-centrury Japan. While the journey on board is seemingly endurance enough, things take a turn for the worse after she is abducted by samurai warriors. But can fear turn to love?
Shortlisted for the RNA Historical Novel of the Year 2011. December 2010 Book of the Month. It's a real pleasure to read a well written, historically accurate book, that is still a romance novel (at it's heart!) it makes for such an intellectually and emotionally rewarding read. In Trade Winds we have not one but two villains attempting to disrupt and destroy the life and happiness of the heroine, an heiress who has been swindled out of her inheritance. However help and support is on hand from a handsome Scotsman, who understands her plight as he has been disinherited himself. Go on indulge yourself...
The pacy, evocative and romantic new dual-time novel from Christina Courtenay is perfect for fans of Barbara Erskine, Diana Gabaldon and Vikings. 'Wow! This book should come with warning! It's almost as addictive as chocolate!' 5* reader review 'Completely magical' Nicola Cornick 'A rich, dual-timeline story that totally drew me in' Sue Moorcroft Their love was forbidden. But echoed in eternity. When Mia inherits her beloved grandmother's summer cottage, Birch Thorpe, in Sweden, she faces a dilemma. Her fiance Charles urges her to sell and buy a swanky London home, but Mia cannot let it go easily. The request to carry out an archaeological dig for more Viking artefacts like the gold ring Mia's grandmother also left her, offers her a reprieve from a decision - and from Charles. Whilst Mia becomes absorbed in the dig's discoveries, she finds herself drawn to archaeologist Haakon Berger. Like her, he can sense the past inhabitants whose lives are becoming more vivid every day. Trying to resist the growing attraction between them, Mia and Haakon begin to piece together the story of a Welsh noblewoman, Ceri, and the mysterious Viking, known as the 'White Hawk', who stole her away from her people in 869 AD. As the present begins to echo the past, and enemies threaten Birch Thorpe's inhabitants, they will all have to fight to protect what has become most precious to each of them... 'I was compelled to read on as I was caught up in the adventure, intrigue and romance of the dual timelines' Sue Fortin 'Sparklingly authentic - and page-turning' Maggie Sullivan 'Rich in Viking history...intrigue, adventure and romance' Glynis Peters 'Christina Courtenay weaves the threads of her contemporary and Viking love stories together expertly and the novel moves along at a cracking pace. The characters are appealing and the rural Swedish setting is engaging' Judith Lennox Don't miss Christina's stunning new timeslip novel, The Runes of Destiny - available to preorder now! Search 9781472268235.
As the velvet cloak of moonlight settled over the ruined towers of Raglan Castle, the shadows beneath them stirred ... When newly widowed Tess visits Raglan Castle, she experiences an extraordinary vision that transports her to seventeenth-century Wales and a castle on the brink of a siege. Even when Tess leaves Raglan to return to Merrick Court, her late husband's home, the strange dreams continue as her life becomes increasingly intertwined with the past. And when the new owner of the estate arrives - New Zealander Josh Owens - the parallels become even more obvious. But perhaps the visions aren't just trying to tell their own story, maybe they're also giving a warning ...
Nagasaki, 1648: Temperance Marston longs to escape England and explore the exotic empire of Japan. When offered the chance to accompany her cousin and Captain Noordholt on an expedition to Nagasaki, she jumps at the opportunity. On a foolhardy venture she meets Kazuo. Kazuo is fascinated by her blonde hair and blue eyes, but he has a mission to complete: Kazuo must restore his family's honour. But when Temperance is kidnapped, he has to make a decision - can he save her and keep the promise he made to his father?
Can an impossible love become possible? Nagasaki, 1648 Temperance Marston longs to escape war-torn England and explore the exotic empire of Japan. When offered the chance to accompany her cousin and Captain Noordholt on a trading expedition to Nagasaki, she jumps at the opportunity. However, she soon finds the country's strict laws for foreigners curtail her freedom. On a dangerous and foolhardy venture she meets Kazuo, a ronin. Kazuo is fascinated by her blonde hair and blue eyes, but he has a mission to complete and he cannot be distracted. Long ago, his father was accused of a crime he didn't commit - stealing a valuable jade lioness ornament from the Shogun - and Kazuo must restore his family's honour. But when Temperance is kidnapped and sold as a concubine, he has to make a decision - can he save her and keep the promise he made to his father?
Amelia Ravenscroft is desperate to escape her aunt's home where she endures life of drudgery, whilst fighting off her lecherous cousin. When she overhears Viscount Demarr confiding in a friend that he needs to marry at once , she boldly proposes a marriage of convenience. Amelia soon proves herself a perfect fit for the role of Lady Demarr. But their blossoming relationship is blighted by suspicions regarding Amelia's past. Will they find, all too painfully, that if you marry in haste you repent at leisure?
How do you start a new life, leaving behind all you love? It's 1641, and when Midori Kumashiro, the orphaned daughter of a warlord, is told she has to leave Japan or die, she has no choice but to flee to England. Midori is trained in the arts of war, but is that enough to help her survive a journey, with a lecherous crew and an attractive captain she doesn't trust? Having come to Nagasaki to trade, the last thing Captain Nico Noordholt wants is a female passenger, especially a beautiful one. How can he protect her from his crew when he can't keep his own eyes off her? During their journey, Nico and Midori form a tentative bond, but they both have secrets that can change everything. When they arrive in England, a civil war is brewing, and only by standing together can they hope to survive...
What will it take to put the past to rest?Professional genealogist Melissa Grantham receives an invitation to visit her family's ancestral home, Ashleigh Manor. From the moment she arrives, life-like dreams and visions haunt her. The spiritual connection to a medieval young woman and her forbidden lover have her questioning her sanity, but Melissa is determined to solve the mystery.Jack Precy, owner of a nearby cottage, has disturbing dreams too, but it's not until he meets Melissa that they begin to make sense. He hires her to research his family's history, unaware their lives are already entwined. Is the mutual attraction real or the result of ghostly influence?Melissa slowly uncovers the tale of her ancestor Sibell's love for handsome knight, Sir Roger. Promised to another man, Sibell defies her domineering father to be with Roger. But does Roger keep his vow to be with Sibell for eternity? Melissa desperately needs to find out...
Who can you trust? Betrayed by his brother and his childhood love, Brice Kinross needs a fresh start. So he welcomes the opportunity to leave Sweden for the Scottish Highlands to take over the family estate. But there's trouble afoot at Rosyth in 1754 and Brice finds himself unwelcome. The estate's in ruin and money is disappearing. He discovers an ally in Marsaili Buchanan, the beautiful redheaded housekeeper, but can he trust her? Marsaili is determined to build a good life. She works hard at being a housekeeper and harder still at avoiding men who want to take advantage of her. But she's irresistibly drawn to the new clan chief, even though he's made it plain he doesn't want to be shackled to anyone. And the young laird has more than romance on his mind. His investigations are stirring up an enemy. Someone who will stop at nothing to get what he wants - including Marsaili - even if that means destroying Brice's life forever ... Winner of the 2012 Best Historical Romantic Novel of the year award (RoNAs). Sequel to Trade Winds.