1944, Harlequin Mills and Boon, Holland, Second World War, Weight of The Crown

Going Dutch – Romance in Translation…

My father went ashore in Normandy on D-Day and spent the rest of 1944 heading up through Europe. He hated the work but loved the people, especially the Dutch. For the rest of his life he was grateful to the nation who, though it had virtually nothing left after years of occupation, sheltered him and his mates through the horrible cold, wet winter of 1944/45.

A market gardener by profession, Dad fitted right in. He even brought home a pair of clogs to wear around his own nursery! He learned enough Dutch to get engaged to a girl, although sadly that relationship didn’t stand the test of time.

I was reminded of his adventures when I received the Dutch translation of Weight Of The Crown, my contemporary romance for Harlequin Mills and Boon. Hasn’t this version got a beautiful new cover?

The original English version is available as an ebook here. Romance reviewer Nas Dean had this to say about Weight Of The Crown

Available from http://amzn.to/1InUA8U

WEIGHT OF THE CROWN is a wonderful, sensual, tension-filled romance that I found charming, absorbing and moving. Christina Hollis is a terrific writer who creates likeable characters readers take to their hearts. It’s a beguiling and stirring story that is sure to tug at readers’ heartstrings and leave them with a great big smile on their face at the unusual ending.

She has delivered a yummy-to-die-for hero, a playboy Prince who turns to one woman only for true love, a strong, feisty heroine and rolled them in a story that is filled with emotion and sizzle!

Have there been any wartime romances in your family?

Creative Writing, Goodreads, literary agents, Nas Dean, RNA, Top Tips, Twitter, Weight of The Crown

Creative Writing: The Selling Business…

By Antonio Litterio

Once you’ve finished writing your book, it feels like the hard work’s over. Then you discover it’s only just beginning. Unless you’ve got a literary agent, you’ll have to come out from behind your keyboard and start selling–yourself, as well as your books. This is the toughest part for many authors. Most of us like to spend every spare moment shut away in our own little worlds. The bright lights of publicity are dazzling, but here are some great ways to cope:

1. Buddy Up: To be an author, you only need to put words down on a page, or up on a screen. Telling a story needs an audience. Actually selling a book needs readers willing to hand over good money. Start gently, with your friends and family. If they like your work, they shouldn’t take much persuading to set up a daisy-chain of sales by recommending your book to their friends. News spreads like ripples in a pond, on the Six Degrees of Separation principle. Make friends with your local librarian (see the next point!) as they’re often keen to give publicity to local writers. Join groups such as the  Romantic Novelists’ Association, whose members are keen readers as well as writers. They’re a fund of useful advice when it comes to book-selling opportunities. Go online where the readers are, too, on sites such as GoodreadsTwitter‘s a great way of networking but remember, the most important thing is actually to build friendships and find out what readers like, rather than go all-out to sell. The internet lacks the subtlety of face-to-face contact. Make sure you only include a sales pitch once in every dozen tweets or so. Make contacts, have fun, and see any effect on sales as a bonus.

2. Go Equipped: Never leave home without something you can hand out to people you meet. A picture tells a thousand  words, so get illustrated! If you don’t have a good local printer, you can pick up some great stuff online; bookmarks, flyers with your book’s cover on one side and a teasing quote on the other, and business cards. Make sure your contact details are on everything. If your book’s available in hardback or paperback form, carry a couple of autographed copies, too. Libraries are aways glad of donated books, and you can give them some bookmarks at the same time. It all helps to get your name recognised, and that’ll help widen the audience for your work.

3. Contract Out: This is where literary agents and virtual assistants can really save you time and stress. Ok, you have to pay for their time and expertise, but they spend their working days honing their specific skills. Wouldn’t you like to do the same with your craft? Employing someone to do all your non-writing work gives you more time to be creative. You can read more about the pros and cons of literary agents here. I did a blog tour with Nas Dean for The Weight of The Crown, and it was an easy, fun way to connect with readers. While Nas did all the organisation and paperwork, I dropped in at every blog to answer questions, and reply to comments from readers. It was great–the dates, scheduling, formats, information spreadsheets and prize draw admin was handled by Nas, while I spent all my time doing what I love: writing, and chatting online with readers.

For more writing tips, visit my website by clicking here. You can sign up for my occasional newsletter by mailing me at christinahollis@hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk, putting “NEWSLETTER” in the subject line.   

Christina Hollis author, Harlequin Mills and Boon Limited, Weight of The Crown

Have Yourself a Berry Little Christmas…

This may be the only holly we will have to decorate our house this year, as the birds in our garden have been eating all those juicy berries as fast as they ripen.  Unusually, they stripped our yellow-berried holly tree first. Normally, the traditional red berries go first. The yellow ones must have been tastier!
I’ve had some very welcome news this week. My latest book for Harlequin Mills and Boon has been accepted, and it will be published in the summer of 2012. I’ll let you have all the details as soon as I can, but for the moment I can tell you that it will be called The Count’s Prize.
My Big Blog Tour for Weight of the Crown has given me a great chance to chat to readers and writers alike. Everyone who has posted a comment will be included in the wrap party draw on December 15th, so drop by to share  a virtual mince pie. If you haven’t had a chance to call in on any of  the various blogs yet,  you can catch up on the remaining few dates: see http://rbpp-ch.blogspot.com/

Christina Hollis author, Romance, Weight of The Crown


…to Lorraine Nelson, who won a copy of my latest release Weight of the Crown on Ju Dimello’s delightful Of Dreams and Realities website.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my interview, it was great as always to hear from you. The next spot on my blog tour is on 28th September, when I’ll be at http://christinenolfibooks.blogspot.com/.I’m looking forward to meeting you all there, and don’t forget – comment on every one of the remaining blogs on my tour, and you’ll be entered in the draw for my Grand Christmas Stocking Prize. You can find a list of dates on my Romance Book Paradise author page http://rbpp-ch.blogspot.com/ or click on the Blog Tour link on my archive in the right hand sidebar of this page.

Christina Hollis author, Nas Dean, Weight of The Crown

The Weight of the Crown Blog Tour Starts Here!

This is a very exciting week for me. My latest Modern Romance for Harlequin Mills and Boon, Weight of the Crown, is released in the UK. To celebrate, I’m starting a blog tour on 13th September. Lots of kind hosts have agreed to let me blog on their websites, and I’m really looking forward to it. If you’d like to follow me as I surf the cloud, here’s a list of dates and places:

   The Words Behind the Writer 14th Sep
   Ju Dimello-of Deams & Realities 19th Sep
   Christine Nolfi 28th Sep
   Seven Sassy Sisters 6th Oct
   Totes Bags ‘n’ Blogs 9th Oct
   The Character Depot 10th Oct
   Writing PlayGround 13th Oct
   Minxes of Romance 19th Oct
   Guest Post 20th Oct
   Kylie Griffin 24th Oct
   Sunday Smooch LoveCats 30th Oct
   The Book Bordello 8th Nov
   Totes Bags ‘n’ Blogs 13th Nov
   RomCon 14th Nov
   Romance University 18th Nov
   Romance Book Paradise 21st Nov
   Fresh Fiction 23rd Nov
   Bird’s Eye View 29th Nov
   Author Interview 8th Dec
   Totes Bags ‘n’ Blogs 11th Dec
   Seven Sassy Sisters 14th Dec
   Winner Announcement and Wrap-Up Party! 15th Dec

Those dates and places are correct at the time of posting this blog, but to be absolutely sure you can check an up-to-date listing anytime at http://www.rbpp-ch.blogspot.com/. The Weight of the Crown blog is masterminded by the incredible Nas Dean of Romance Book Paradise, who has done a wonderful job co-ordinating all the dates for me.

I love writing, and working on Weight of the Crown was a particular joy. It gave me a chance to do something a bit different. By setting Lysander and Alyssa’s story in the fictional country of Rosara, I was able to escape the gloomy English climate by imagining scenes like this…

The rising sun was already staining the Eastern sky with colours of pomegranate and peach. down in the gardens, nightingales still sang. Their music was a grace note for Alyssa’s perfect fantasy, and she relaxed into Lysander’s embrace. No woman had ever felt so adored. As she felt his kisses on her hair and looked out over the ageless scene she allowed herself to imagine being this happy forever…

Copyright Harlequin Mills and Boon Ltd, 2011

I hope you’ll be able to follow me over the course of my blog tour. There will be giveaways and spot prizes
at various sites and if you’ve got the stamina to comment on every single one of my guest blogs, your name will go into the final draw for my special Christmas stocking surprise, announced on 15th December. For further details, and the chance to enter my first competition in the series visit my website, http://www.christinahollis.com/
I’m looking forward to hearing from you!