Thursday, August 7, 2014

Christina Courtenay Talks About Her "Mixed-Up" Heroine #Giveaway

My favorite author has a new book out!!!! I'm very excited about it and cannot wait to read my copy, but some other books are a wee late for their while I postpone it just a week or two--something to look forward to, eh?--she's agreed to guest on Book Babe today.

As always, please extend a very warm welcome to Christina Courtenay. She's also giving away a signed paperback copy. Giveaway is open worldwide. Merely leave your email address in a comment and even better, take a moment to share with us, what's your "mix"?

Being a child of mixed parentage isn’t usually a problem these days. The world is becoming a melting pot and in all enlightened countries our race shouldn’t matter. I’m a ‘mixed up kid’ myself, being half Swedish and half English, and although it’s often made me wonder where I actually belong, it’s never bothered me much or made any difference to my life.

Zarmina Miller, the heroine of my new novel Monsoon Mists is of mixed race too – she’s ‘Eurasian’ as they called it in the 18th century, half English and half Indian. Her father actually married her mother (lots of foreigners just took Indian women as mistresses without bothering to make the unions legal), but she’s still regarded as a half-caste by the Indians. And although at that time foreigners in India weren’t too bothered about this, she still feels she doesn’t quite belong.

More than half the children baptised in Calcutta, for example, in the late 18th century were Eurasian and illegitimate, but most of them were cherished nonetheless. Foreigners who came to India weren’t heartless brutes (well, not most of them anyway!) and at least a third of wills found from that time have bequests to Indian mistresses and their children, showing how much the men cared even if they weren’t married. Racial intolerance was something that came later, during the Victorian era, and many men were proud of their offspring, helping their sons to have careers.

The fate of girls was slightly more difficult though. They could be sent to England to go to school, but usually always returned to India afterwards. As my heroine discovers, she doesn’t fit into English society and although she is beautiful, her beauty is ‘exotic’ and stands out among the pale English girls.

Having been ‘sold’ into marriage – her take on it, her father saw it as a good match – by her father to a much older man when she was only seventeen, Zar has had to become tough to survive. Is it any wonder she’s happy to be a rich widow, able to decide her own destiny? She’s determined never to marry again and be anyone’s property, and she wants control over her life and the business she helps run. So the last thing she needs is to meet a man she can’t resist ... Jamie Kinross.

Can she trust him? And would he ever marry someone like her? That’s what she has to find out ...


Monsoon Mists (Kinross Saga, #3)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?


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  1. Thank you so much for having me as your guest - always a pleasure visiting Book Babe! :-) xx

  2. What a fascinating post & this sounds like an amazing read.

    I'm quite a mix. On my mother's side I am Irish, Welsh, Scottish & English (so Great Britain) and on my father's German & Danish. My mother has often said I inherited the Viking genes.


  3. That sounds like a great mixture to me, Mary, especially as I'm half Viking :-) And kind of similar to my own family tree - thank you for your comment!

  4. I am what all my relatives call a mutt. I have ancestors from Ireland, The Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Austria, The Czech Republic, England, and Sweden. I love Christina's books and have read all the I have been able to get my hands on. Looking forward to reading her new one.

    tmrtini at gmail dot com

  5. Comment for Angela Britnell whose WP account is not permitting her to enter. She entered via Twitter and can be contacted via twitter.

  6. Many thanks Terry - so glad you've enjoyed my books! I love your multi-cultural background. I'm sure we all have great mixtures, I've got Welsh, Belgian and Prussian blood among other things I think :-)

  7. The winner of the giveaway is Mary Preston - congratulations! I'll be emailing you shortly :-)