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*


RJ:
 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: http://www.christina-brooke.com/the-ministry-of-marriage/


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 ____.**

47 comments:

  1. Hi Christina! LOVE this concept, and I love the list you posted for your "Man-slave" ideas. Yum! Had to LOL about the 'making the reader sob' bit. I'm sure I will, I love your work. Cannot WAIT for the book to be out next week! Yippeee!

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  2. Oh, as to the arranged marriage, I would pair our friend Anna Campbell's Matthew (from her book, Untouched) with me. SNORK! Alas, however, since he's got Grace, and I have my darling DH, it wouldn't work. If we both weren't spoken for though....mrrrrrrow!

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  3. Hi Jeanne! Thanks so much for commenting here today. Actually, the man-slave concept became more enticing the more I thought about it! I'm really looking forward to making you cry--ahem! Hearing how you enjoyed the book! THank you!

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  4. Heehee. Yeah, yeah, you just want your stock in the tissue companies to go up. :> Snork!

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  5. LOL, Jeanne! Matthew is a gorgeous hero, isn't he? Too bad you're both spoken for. I hear that Grace is a feisty character:)

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  6. Christina BrookeJune 22, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Stock in tissue companies... Now there's an idea!

    Thanks for dropping in, Jeanne! I appreciate it!

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  7. Congratulations on your first release Christine! Heiress in Love looks wonderful and I really like the concept behind the Ministry of Marriage...lol....as for arranged marriage it would be Richard Armitage and me....lol

    junegirl63(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. I'm so excited by this book ... and the rest of the series, Christina! Can't wait to get my copy!

    Hmm an arranged marriage - me and Cary Grant? Me and Errol Flynn? Me and Paul Newman? Spot the pattern? LOL I'd also love to have seen Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck married at the end of Roman Holiday, so in my world of arranged marriages, it will be!

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  9. I can't wait to read this book. I have been looking forward to reading it for awhile now. It looks so good. Can I arrange for Ryan Reynolds and me to get married? Not too sure if the BF would like it but he'll get over it. I mean it's Ryan Reynolds.

    iqb99@yahoo.com
    +2 Facebook friend Christina

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  10. congrats on the release! it sounds delish ;) I would suck at trying to put together folks successfully, I'm sure. I would never be able to sit on the board of M.O.M. :)

    gamistress66 (at) aol (dot) com

    (+2 Facebook friend Christina -da kenney)

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  11. Sorry, everyone--I'm having a bit of trouble with the site so I'm going to answer in one post and hope it works!

    MARIA, he's MINE, ALL MINE, I tell you! Richard Armitage is just everything you'd want in a man, isn't he? Or at least, he seems that way from the interviews. Thanks for the congrats! So glad you like the M.O.M. concept!

    ANNA thank you so much for commenting--Oh, YES! Roman Holiday is one of my all time favourite movies. I'd have loved to see those two together at the end. Cary Grant--sorry, honey, he's also MINE!! But you can have Errol and Paul (although Paul in The Long, Hot Summer? Ahhhh)

    But enough of that frivolity! Thank you for your kind words on HEIRESS -- I hope you enjoy!

    DANIELLE!! Shall we play that game of 'the men I'd leave my significant other for?' Hmm, that could be dangerous:) Can understand the appeal of RR--I know I'm a geek but I loved him in Two Guys and a Girl... Nathan Fillion happened to be in that too, so it was packed with goodness!

    Thank you so much for saying you're looking forward to HIL. I hope you enjoy!

    DA! Great to see you here! Thank you for the congrats--LOL on the matchmaker fail. I'd be hopeless in real life too!

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  12. Oh oh - I'd marry me to Johnny Depp :-) Of course, I'd also combine a paranormal element and send us back in time to do it 20 years ago, before I was married and he was otherwise committed and we both had kids LOL.

    But as for matchmaking itself, I'm horrible at it. I really admire people who understand the art of love enough to make matches- and find the concept of a matchmaking group fascinating.

    I also find the fact that you had neurosurgery at age 2 fascinating!! I had no idea!

    I am so so excited about this book -cannot wait :-)

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  13. Oh, I'd be hopeless in real life too, Christina, but it's fun to do here. Grins.

    Anna, Oh, I SO would have loved Gregory and Audrey to hook up as well. Sigh. And Bogey and Bergman in Casablanca. Hell, they had AFTER Paris, darn it! Go for the REAL gusto, Bogey! Snork.

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  14. BTW, Christina, I've had a terrible time posting until now...maybe whatever cyber gremlins were troubling the site have gone elsewhere to play.

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  15. Congratulations on the new book! What an interesting concept, the ministry of marriage. I would put together Jennifer Aniston and George Clooney just because they are both in the news so much for their single status.
    I sent a friend request on facebook.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

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  16. Hey, TAWNY! So excited you could make it over here. ROFTL at the Johnny Depp comment (and all the qualifications of age and unattached status!)

    I'll tell you about the neurosurgery one day:)

    JEANNE, LOL, yes I would have loved Bogey and Bergman but I think those kind of endings do add a special poignancy don't they? Thanks so much for persevering!

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  17. MAUREEN! Lovely to meet you and thank you for the friendship on facebook! Hmm, Jennifer and George... It could work! Thanks for the suggestion and I'm glad you like the MOM idea:)

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  18. Hi Rita! Hi Christina! Wow, what a great interview. I didn't know about Gosford Park inspiring that opening scene. I see it now! By the way, hate to gloat (well, I don't hate it THAT much) but I've read Heiress in Love. Absolutely brilliant. Readers have such a treat ahead of them in the push and pull between Jane and Constantine. Absolutely delicious!

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  19. If I could arrange a marriage with Clive Owen, Hugh Jackman, Gerry Butler, Matthew McConaugey, or Christian Bale with myself, it would be all good! I'm not to picky! LOL!

    This book looks awesome! Thanks for sharing today!

    evjochum[AT]aol[DOT]com

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  20. Christina BrookeJune 22, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Ohh, Anna, you're so kind to me! Thank you! And I'm so grateful to you for your help when you critiqued that book, too! You're a fabu friend, my dear!

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  21. Christina BrookeJune 22, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    Haha, Johanna, not picky at all! Great choices, btw. I'm with you on all of them.

    Thank you, great to see you here!

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  22. It would be selffish, I know, but I would merry myself off to Gerard Butler *Big grin* Those looks, that accent... come on. What romance lovin' gal DOESN'T want Gerard Butler all to herself? ;-)

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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  23. Christina BrookeJune 22, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    Chelsea, I think you're going to have to fight for Gerard! Thanks for commenting!

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  24. What a fun interview! Congrats on your release, Christina! I'm very excited to read Heiress In Love and am hoping to have a few hours to myself next week to dive into this book *g*

    I'd match my son with Emma Watson, for which I'm sure he'd be forever grateful :-)

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  25. I have a little thing for Hugh Jackman so I think I would pair myself with him! I love the concept of the Ministry of Marriage. Thanks for the giveaway.
    jepebATverizonDOTnet

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  26. Christina BrookeJune 22, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    BETH, lovely to see you here! THank you, I hope you enjoy HIL! Oh, just a little crush, I take it? He has good taste. You are the BEST MOM IN THE WORLD!

    JEN B. Oh, the loveliness of Hugh is not to be underestimated. Great choice! Glad you like the concept. Good luck!

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  27. I love the twists you describe in this book & congrats on having it published. Sounds like we'll have more to look forward to. I'll choose to match my neice - how about Ryan Reynolds, isn't he cute?! I'd love for Sandra Bullock to find a good mate - how a bout Keanu Reeves - they were great in a few movies & I think they are friends which is always a good thing.

    sallans d at yahoo dot com

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  28. forgot to say that I asked to 'friend' Christina on Facebook (still trying to figure out how that all works).

    sallans d at yahoo dot com

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  29. Hi Christina,
    thank you for an amazing interview and awesome excerpts. Excerpts which have whetted my appetite. There's nothing I love more when reading than being carried away to another time and place where people lived, loved and were finding their way to each other. I absolutely adore Historical Romance and, if Anna says it's good, then, that's good enough for me.
    If I could arrange a marriage for myself then, it would have to be a choice between Richard Armitage or Henry Cavill (The Tudors). I think that they are both flat out very sexy and handsome men.
    Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.

    +2 - Facebook friend - Diane P. Diamond

    dpd333 at (aol) dot (com)

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  30. Christina BrookeJune 22, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Hi Di! So glad you like the sound of the book and thank you for your congrats. Oh, yes, love RR--he seems like a nice boy for your niece to have *G* So agree on Sandra Bullock although I can see her with a really uptight type. I can't think of anyone off the top of my head but I think she's so zany she'd be a good pair for a stick in the mud. Maybe a Britgish actor?

    Thanks for trying to work out the 'friend' thing.

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  31. Christina BrookeJune 22, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Diane D! Yay, you made it!

    Thank you--I'm so glad you're enjoying the excerpts. Anna has excellent taste (if I do say so myself:) SHe has made many recommendations to me of wonderful historicals that are on my keeper shelf.

    Ahhh, yes RA is quite a popular one. I love Henry Cavill in The Tudors. Isn't he a saucy knave? His scenes with Gabrielle Anwar were very hot!

    Thank you for making such an effort to comment today.

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  32. What an entertaining post, Christina! I cannot wait for the last few days before this book is winging its download to my Kindle! I love how you've created a specific fictional regency world and invented this clever societal organization. I predict this series will be immensely popular!

    Hmmm, I just heard George Clooney's split with his girlfriend, but I doubt anyone can snare him into marriage. If I could, however, I'd partner him with Halle Berry. She's so beautiful!

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  33. Christina BrookeJune 22, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    Oh, thank you Jo, that's so sweet of you. I'm glad you like the idea--not strictly historically accurate but hopefully more of an extrapolation than an inaccuracy:)

    My goodness, wouldn't George and Halle have the most gorgeous children ever? I like that idea!

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  34. Thanks so much for featuring Christina today. I love learning more about new authros and where they get their inspriation.

    Christina, I love the idea of The Ministry of Marriage and the Regency period of a perfect time period to choose for the setting of the series. I can't wait to find out how Jane and Constantine's relationship developes and can just imagine some of the challenges you are going to present to them to overcome.

    When can we expect the 2nd book Mad About the Earl to be released? I'm just letting you know as a reader we will all be emailing your publisher letting them know we want it as soon as possible!

    If I could arrange a marriage I would pick Tom Selleck and ME! Okay my husband of 41 years might not be too happy about that but maybe you could help me come up with a senerio to convince him that it really would be a good idea!

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  35. Christina -

    I not only love your stories I already had "liked" you on Facebook!

    jeannemiro@yahoo.com

    +2 Facebook

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  36. Christina BrookeJune 22, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    Oh, Jeanne, thank you, thank you, thank you!! You've made my day. That's so lovely to hear:)

    Mad About the Earl is out on January 3, 2012 (it will be here before we know it!) Then A DUCHESS TO REMEMBER will be a July book.

    Tom Selleck is lovely isn't he? And he has aged so well, too! Nice choice and good luck with convincing your husband!

    Excellent! So glad we're facebook friends.

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  37. I am looking forward to reading this book. I would arrange a marraige between me and Gerard Butler. I have friended you on facebook.
    kelly_mann@hotmail.com

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  38. Generally I imagine myself with the sexy hero of whatever book I am reading at that time. However, they all look the same, and is not a real person, or at least not one I have seen. If I every do see him, I will probably attack first, introduce myself later. LOL

    GFC follower: June M.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

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  39. Hi, Christina! Your books sounds wonderful! And I'm very intrigued with the arranged hollywood marriage question. I've always sort of wished Tom Hanks & Julia Roberts were married. They're so good together on screen, it would be fun if they were a couple off screen too!

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  40. Forget the real life guys. If I'm pairing myself up with anyone, it would be Bones from Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series. He is one hunky vampire.

    Your book sounds great. I'll be looking out for it.

    Jen at delux dot com

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  41. KELLY, thanks for commenting. I think Gerrard is going to have to spread himself around a bit if today is any indication! Hope you enjoy HEIRESS!

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  42. JUNE, you make me laugh about attacking first. Good on you! Thanks for commenting.

    SUSAN, lovely to see you here. Oh, yes, I think Tom and Julia would definitely work. Nice one!

    JENM, what a great idea to pair yourself with a fictional character! I have a few in mind, too! Thanks for commenting!

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  43. Christy WashingtonJune 23, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    Hi Christina, congratulations for you new book and thank you so much for added me on your Facebook. Frankly, I never read your book before, but I'm glad I found you and can't wait to read your books, because historical romance are one of my favorite kind of romance.

    Anyway, if I can arranged my marriage I would love to pair with Johnny Depp, George Clooney or the hottie from "True Blood" Joe Manganiello:))

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  44. Hi Christina and Rita!

    Wonderful post!

    I can't wait to get my hands on your new debut book, sounds like a winner!

    The opening from Gosford Park is definitely one way of opening your story, I can picture it in my mind, perfect thinking in that writers head of your's!

    As far for matching up people, I'm not even going to touch that one with a tenft. pole! LOL!!
    There is waaaay too much man-candy out there to choose from! Plus I'm too greedy, I want them all for me! LOL!!

    Wishing you all the best!

    Have an awesome evening ladies!

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  45. Please enter me! To be honest, I wouldn't pair ip any characters. They've had their own book and that's where they should stay.

    +2 for friending on FB- Jordan N.

    niteofblu at gmail dot com

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  46. Looks like a great read. Can't wait to read it!
    lvsgund at gmail.com

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  47. great interview. this book looks great and love the cover. would love to win. thanks for the giveaway.
    christinebails@yahoo.com

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