Today I am interviewing author Christina Courtenay.
1. Tell me 3 strange things about yourself?
I eat chocolate for breakfast
I don’t like champagne so if I have to drink it I mix it with 7Up, Lemonade or Sprite
I can swear or say something rude in eight languages (not sure that’s a good thing though!?)
2. Tell me about your new book Moonsoon mists?
It’s a historical romance and adventure story, set in India in 1759, and it’s the third book in my Kinross series. It features Jamie Kinross, younger brother of Brice from the second book in the series, Highland Storms. Jamie is a gem trader who embarks on a dangerous mission, carrying the stolen talisman of an Indian Rajah. When he encounters Zarmina Miller, he’s instantly tempted by the so called “Ice Widow”, but he soon 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? And what is he to do with the talisman?
3. Why did you decide to set it in India?
The hero, Jamie, wants to escape his past and needs to get as far away from his native country of Sweden as possible. In the 1750s that usually meant going to the Far East, but his brother and parents have already been there so he decides on India instead.
From the author’s point of view, I chose India because I found a wonderful journal from that time with an account of a Swedish man’s journey to Surat in India so I was able to see things through his eyes which was very helpful. And having already written about China and Japan, I wanted to try something new and exciting.
4. This is something many readers always wonder when a book is part of a series. Do you recommend that they read book 1 and 2 first, or can it work as a stand alone?
The book definitely works as a stand alone, but it is probably more satisfying for the reader if they have read books 1 and 2 first as there will be things they recognise and little snippets of information about characters from the previous stories. And the ending, where everything comes together, includes characters from the previous books who have cameo roles in this one. So yes, I’d recommend reading all three, but it’s not essential.
5.Did you always plan to write about Jamie or?
No, and in fact, I hadn’t planned to write a trilogy at all! When I finished the first book in the series, Trade Winds, I thought I had finished with the Kinross family, but the characters wouldn’t leave my head and I ended up writing the second book about Brice, the son of the couple in Trade Winds. Then his younger brother Jamie seemed to be the villain of that story, but he had his reasons and he wouldn’t give me any peace until I’d written his take on it down too. And there were readers who egged me on to write Jamie’s story as well, so in the end, I did. And I’m glad, because I’ve enjoyed spending more time with this family.
6. What are you working on right now?
I’ve just sent my publisher the third book in my Japanese trilogy (provisionally titled The Snow Ghost) and now I’m about to start work on a time slip novel set partly during the English Civil War, a period in history that I love. There’s something very special about the Cavaliers so I’m looking forward to writing this one!
Thank you for having me as your guest!
Blurb for Monsoon Mists
Sometimes the most precious things cannot be bought …
It’s 1759 and Jamie Kinross has travelled far to escape his troubled existence – from the pine forests of Sweden to the bustling streets of India.
Jamie 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.
When it becomes clear that Zarmina’s step-son is involved in the plot Jamie 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?