Thursday, September 23, 2010

Exclusive Peek: Forbidden by Christina Phillips

From Christina Phillips:

Despite my life-long love of historical romances, it had never occurred to me to actually write one until late one night when a tough Roman centurion marched into my mind.

Intrigued, I dropped the boring admin work I’d been attempting to organize. Accounts or a battle scarred warrior? No contest! Having just finished two short erotic romances involving witches, demons and vampires I had no idea why this very human hero had suddenly appeared to me.

My Roman was single-minded in his determination to find his Druid princess. Riveted, I wanted to know why? And how could a Roman Centurion, charged to eliminate all Druids, now be searching to save one of his Emperor’s bitterest enemies?

As if I was watching a movie unfold, a sacred grove materialized. And there was the Druid princess, bargaining for her lover’s freedom with the insane High Druid.

And then the scene faded. I couldn’t believe it. What was that all about? I didn’t write historical romance and if I did I certainly wouldn’t write an ancient historical romance! But although I fought the compulsion for almost five minutes, I knew my fate was sealed. I’d never rest until I unearthed the story of this Roman and Druid and how they came to be together.

The book took me nine months to write, and I became completely immersed in this magical, exotic world of warriors, druids and vengeful gods. And far from being the impossible sell that I’d thought, Forbidden hooked my agent’s interest and three months later sold to Berkley Heat.

Thank you, Maximus :)

Exclusive Excerpt:

Anticipation sizzled through Carys’s blood as she waited for her Roman to emerge from the wood. She couldn’t see him, but he was there. Somehow, she could feel him, deep in the most sacred recess of her soul, the same way she could feel when the wise Cerridwen merged with her spirit.

Flee. The command shivered through her mind, sharp with the acrid scent of fear. She had escaped the enemy once. To tempt fate twice was foolish in the extreme.

Except she hadn’t tempted fate by returning to the waterfall. She was at the Cauldron, in the holy glade of her beloved goddess. And her Roman had discovered her there.

He marched from the shadowed depths, magnificent and terrifying in the strange, exotic uniform of his conquering race. The sun glinted on his polished breastplate and enhanced the rich scarlet of his cloak but Carys focused on his short black hair, his hard unsmiling face and finally on his unblinking blue gaze.

“We meet again.” She spoke in her mother tongue, for some reason unwilling to let him know she was fluent in Latin. She clasped her fingers together so he couldn’t see how they trembled. And yet despite the shrill voice that shrieked through her mind, commanding her to turn and flee before it was too late, she wasn’t afraid of what this Roman might do to her.

Only of what the consequences to her people might be.

That was enough reason for her to seek instant escape. And yet she remained where she was, allowing him to close the distance between them, allowing her lingering chances of freedom to slip into nothingness.

“It seems the gods wish our paths to cross, my lady.” His tone was sardonic, but as rich and sensual as she recalled. As erotic as any of the dreams she’d enjoyed over the last two nights.

“My gods or yours?” Her breath was tight in her chest, constricting her lungs and squeezing her vocal chords. She hoped he couldn’t hear the catch in her voice, or the way her heart pounded against her ribs. She didn’t want this Roman to know just how fundamentally he affected her.

He paused before her. So close she could reach out her hand and touch his battle scarred armor. “Perhaps our gods work in harmony.”

“Our gods?’ Had she misheard? She jerked her gaze from admiring the sensual outline of his lips and stared into his eyes. Despite her covert Latin education, she agreed with the general consensus that Romans were barbarous heathens who acknowledged no true gods - not even the all-seeing most divine goddess of all, the Morrigan - only their own craven idols.

But if that was so, how could this Roman even suggest he acknowledged the existence of her gods?

He reached out, almost as if he couldn’t help himself, and lifted the end of her braid. “Perhaps,” he said, as the unbound strands of her hair slid through his fingers, “the gods answer to different names.”

He only touched her hair. And yet she could feel his touch lighting her soul. And his words ignited her brain.

“Different names,” she breathed. A revolutionary concept. Almost blasphemous. And yet – strangely intoxicating, the way she felt when Cerridwen imparted a sliver of knowledge so illuminating as to be for her mind only.

His hand fisted around her hair. “Will you tell me your name now, my lady?”

Book Summary:

First in a new erotic historical series of magical heroines and sexy warriors.

Carys knew from the moment she first spied on Maximus in his naked barbarian glory that he was a dangerous Roman centurion-his taut, battle-scarred flesh marking him as a fearless warrior. But her desire for him was as undeniable as it was illicit.

Charged by his emperor to eliminate a clan of powerful Druids in Britain, Maximus never expects his mission to be thwarted by the clan's ethereal princess, Carys. Falling under her spell, he doesn't realize her true heritage-until he captures her heart as well as her body.

Now Carys and Maximus must overcome the devastation of war and face the ultimate sacrifice if their forbidden love is to survive.

Available at Book Depository (print)

Author's Bio:

Christina Phillips has always loved writing, and while her efforts in eighth grade usually involved space ships, time travel and unfortunate endings, as soon as she discovered romance novels a whole new world opened up. She now writes ancient historical romances about strong heroines and gorgeous warrior heroes who, no matter how torturous the journey, are guaranteed a happy-ever-after. Christina was born in the United Kingdom, but now lives in sunny Western Australia with her real-life hero and their three children.

Note by Carole: I'm squeeing, coz I just bought this over the Internet! :) Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for it to arrive. :(


Jeremy said...

I have also been looking forward to this book to come out. It sounds like something I would enjoy.

Scorpio M. said...

I am eager to read this one, sounds different.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

thanks for the excerpt!! i just saw this one in the store the other day, and thought it looked really good!

Alexa said...

I saw this book at the store a few days ago and thought it looked good but I wasn't sure if it was a book in a long series or not. Glad to know it's the first book and I will have to add it to my wish list. :)

Christina Phillips said...

Hi Danielle and Scorpio M, thanks for stopping by!

Carrie and Alexa, I'm so excited you saw Forbidden in the stores - I'm in Australia and it's not released over here! Thanks for popping by!

Carole, I hope the book arrives soon!!

Unknown said...

@Christina Phillips And what do you know, it just did! You must've said the magic words. I'm itching to dive into it!

Christina Phillips said...

Awesome!! :-)

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