Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Author Interview & Giveaway with Christina Brooke

Today, I am super excited to share with you guys an interview I did with a very special author! She's debuting this month with her first book in The Ministry of Marriage series (cute, huh!). She also has amazing taste in movies(you know my love for old black-and-whites!)!
 So enjoy and find out more about today's guest:

Christina Brooke
About the Author:
       Christina Brooke did not always want to be a writer. After undergoing lifesaving neurosurgery at the age of two, her sole ambition was to become a brain surgeon. Unfortunately, Christina does not like the sight of other people’s blood.
       Nowadays, when Christina is not driving her high-perch phaeton in the park or dancing until dawn with her personal Mr. Darcy, she is a manager of household affairs, mother of two and soon to be renovating genius. She maintains her sanity by long walks with her dog and the online purchase of many beautiful purses.
       For the latest news from Christina, please sign up for her newsletter.

Find Christina online: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

About the Book:

A CONVENIENT MARRIAGEJane, Lady Roxdale, has endured one marriage of convenience decreed by the Ministry of Marriage. While she deeply regrets her late husband’s death, she is relieved to be free at last. But when a dissolute rake threatens everything Jane holds dear, she must contemplate marrying a second time…
AN INCONVENIENT PASSIONDisgraced libertine Constantine Black inherits his cousin Roxdale’s land and title–while Roxdale’s prim widow is left all the wealth. Constantine is not a marrying man, but wedding Jane is the only way to save the estate from ruin. Jane resists the smoldering heat between them, desperate not to fall in love with an unrepentant rake. But for the first time ever, Constantine wants more than seduction. He wants all of her–body, heart, and soul…
Read an excerpt: here | Read a review from Publisher's Weekly : here

Book Trailer:

Get Your Copy Today:

The Interview
RJ: Hey Christina! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today for some book chat! Congrats on the release of your debut historical romance, ‘Heiress In Love’ (June 28th, 2011 from St. Martin’s Press)! What have the past few months been like with having the book finished and anticipating its release? What have you experienced emotionally as well as professionally with the completion of this new book?
CB: Hi Rita! Thanks so much for having me on your blog and for your congratulations. I’m thrilled that ‘Heiress in Love’ is finally hitting the shelves. I suppose what I’m most looking forward to is sharing the hero of ‘Heiress in Love’ , the deliciously sexy Constantine, Lord Roxdale, with readers. He’s a bad boy with a heart of gold and extremely dangerous to my prim and proper heroine’s peace of mind! And if we’re talking of emotions—I never fail to cry towards the end of this book, even when I’m doing copy edits! So I hope to make readers sob, too. Sadistic, aren’t I?*G*

 Why don’t you tell me and the readers a bit about ‘Heiress In Love’ (something we won’t find in the blurb)? 

CB: The opening scene in chapter one was inspired by the opening scene of the wonderful movie, Gosford Park, where it’s raining and the motor car tootles up the long, long drive to the stately home. But instead of a lone motor car we have many black barouches crawling down the drive after the funeral of Jane’s husband. Constantine makes a grand entrance (he has a habit of doing that!), thundering down the drive to the house on a big white horse. Jane is watching from the window, bemused and intrigued by this flamboyant, wicked man. She is determined not to be charmed, however! Jane presents a distinct challenge to Constantine’s vision of himself, constantly testing his mettle. And he delights in ruffling her feathers. Clearly, a match made in Heaven… or by The Ministry of Marriage *G*.

RJ: This debut novel will also be the first book in ‘The Ministry of Marriage’ series. What is the premise for this series and what direction are you planning to take it? How did the idea for it come about?
CB: I love the way paranormal and fantasy authors create entire worlds for their books and I thought, why not create my own Regency world? With a fairly stable monarchy, in the Regency period nobles were no longer vying for the crown as they did in, say, the Elizabethan period and fewer and fewer titles were awarded as the Crown’s power waned. One clear path to advancement up the social scale was marriage.
The Ministry of Marriage is an imaginary body set up with the aim of preserving and regulating wealth and privilege among the aristocracy by arranging marriages. One member of each aristocratic ‘house’ or dynasty is entitled to take their seat in this organization. (It’s not actually called the Ministry of Marriage, by the way, that is just a nickname its members have given it.) You can read more about the M.O.M. on my website:

RJ: What were some interesting tid-bits you picked up while researching or something quirky that you incorporated into your story?
CB: I researched a lot of things for this story, from Chinese puzzle balls to Cotswold sheep to woolen mills! An awful lot of my research doesn’t actually make it into the book. There was a very interesting piece of research that provided a pivotal turning point in the story but I don’t want to spoil it so I won’t explain here.

RJ: The first 3 adjectives that come to mind when describing your Hero and Heroine, (Constantine & Jane), are?
CB: For Constantine I’d say charming, intelligent, detached. For Jane, prim, socially awkward, lost.

RJ: The writing process differs from author to author. Some are planners, and others just jump right in. Some consider themselves evening writers, while others need daylight and a park bench or a coffee shop to set the mood for creativity; what’s YOUR writing process and atmosphere like?
CB: I wouldn’t wish my writing process on anyone! I’m an organic writer (or pantser) who really wishes she wasn’t. In fact, it seems that a part of my process is to convince myself that *this* time I will plan the book.LOL I do charts with 3 Act 8 Sequence structures. I do GMC (Goal, Motivation Conflict), I listen to countless RWA ® workshops and let my mind wander. I collage. Then I throw it all out and write something completely different! I don’t think all of that mulling is time wasted. I just wish I could get that part over with sooner.
As for writing habits, what works for me is getting up at 3a.m. and writing, then editing or doing a bit of pre-writing through the day or that night. It’s crazy but at least I’m not interrupted that early in the morning. I love it when I can live in the story—it’s difficult to do that as the mother of two young boys and sometimes housework slides but I’m trying to get better at balancing writing and life.

RJ: What do you do when the pen (or keyboard) is down for the count? What hobbies or solitary interest do you like to pursue?
CB: Reading is still my favorite solitary activity but I love going to the theater and the opera when I can. I love having friends over for a simple meal and some wine and playing outdoors with my kids.

RJ: Romance has transcended so many different sectors of pop culture. I think the Beatles said it best, "All you need is love". So, what are some of your favorite pop culture romance references?: Favorite Love Song?, Favorite Scent on a Man?, Favorite Romantic Comedy? and of course, Favorite Romance Novel?
CB: Favorite Love Song? So hard to pick just one! OK, I don’t think I’d ever get tired of Night and Day by Cole Porter, sung by Ella Fitzgerald. More recently, I have a soft spot for the fairytale romance of Taylor Swift’s Love Story. It has the feel I want my stories to have.
Favorite Scent on a Man? Davidoff’s Cool Water. I bought that for my husband when we first met. I was astonished when I gave him an unmarked sample card to sniff years and years later and he recognized the scent. It was one of those ‘ahh’ moments, you know?
Favorite Romantic Comedy? I’ll go with a classic—The Philadelphia Story. Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart. How could you go wrong?

RJ: What projects are you currently working on and what can we expect on the shelves next from you?
CB: I’ve handed in the second Ministry of Marriage book, MAD ABOUT THE EARL. This is Rosamund’s story. She’s the beauty of the Westruther family and the Ministry has matched her with an angry beast of a man. But Rosamund is no shrinking violet and she’s determined to make this marriage work! At the moment, I’m working on the third of the Westruther cousins, Cecily’s book. I’m having so much fun with Cecily, who is absolutely incorrigible, witty and lively and a great handful.

RJ: Final Question: If you could ‘weird-science’ your own piece of man candy, mixing and matching the genes of your favorite celebrities and book characters to create the ultimate man slave, whom and what attributes would you combine?
CB: Hmm. I think it’s what’s on the inside that counts the most—even with man slaves!—so here goes:
Richard Armitage’s intelligence and modesty
Hugh Jackman’s sensitivity and loyalty
A touch of the bad boy streak from Rufus Sewell
A touch of the quirky from Johnny Depp
All wrapped up in the body of Georgette Heyer’s Vidal in Devil’s Cub (OK, so looks do count, just a little, in a man-slaveJ)
RJ: Thanks again, Christina for stopping by and sharing. Best of luck with the debut! I am looking forward to your release and finding out more about The Ministry Of Marriage ;)
CB: Thank you for having me, Rita! I’d love to ask your readers a question, if I may. If you could arrange a marriage, who would you put together? From real life, Hollywood, books (or even pairing yourself with someone!) One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of HEIRESS IN LOVE!

Christina has generously offered to giveaway a signed copy of 'Heiress In Love' to (1) one lucky commenter! All you have to do to be eligible to win is comment on this interview post with your answer to her question! The giveaway will end on July 6th and the winner will be announced and contacted shortly thereafter.
[You can also friend Christina Brooke on Facebook for +2 extra entries]
*Please leave your email in your comment so you can be contacted if you win
*Restricted to US

**If you're having problems commenting, select Name/URL option next to comment as and just write your name and website if you have one. If that doesn't work, email me your name and comment to NotAnotherRomanceBlog(AT)gmail(DOT)com and I'll manually put it in the comments. Sorry for the inconvenience. Blogger can be a real ____.**

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