When Michelle and I realized we both had Roman set books releasing this month, we thought it would be fun to swap blogs for the day – so here I am, and thank you Michelle for having me!
I’ve always loved history and grew up in England surrounded by the rich heritage of our Roman, Saxon, Viking and Norman influenced past. At school I loved nothing better than to write tragic stories that involved time travel to ancient Rome or the fascinating Pharaohs in Egypt, but it never occurred to me to write a historical romance with the aim of publication. At least, not until Maximus, the Roman centurion hero of my debut novel, Forbidden, stormed into my head late one night.
Even though I knew Romans, Druids and ancient Wales were all considered a hard sell in romance, I had to write the book (Maximus was very persuasive ) As Michelle can attest, I was thrilled when Berkley Heat offered me a two book contract!
Set during the first century AD, during the early years of the Roman occupation of Britain, my Forbidden series has sexy warrior heroes and magical Druid heroines.
Between a warrior and a princess comes an erotic passion as all-consuming as the hatred between their warring worlds…
In Forbidden, book 1 in the series, Maximus, a proud Roman centurion, discovers Carys spying on his bathing ritual and is instantly captivated. Who is this woman, and why hasn’t she been seen in any of the villages the Legion has vanquished?
Maximus has been charged by his Emperor to eliminate all Druids. And Carys, a Druid princess and acolyte of Cerridwen, Goddess of Wisdom, has sworn to rid her land of the barbarous invaders. Yet despite everything that conspires against them they are irresistibly drawn to each other.
Trained in sensuality, a Druid priestess finds herself falling for the wrong man—the warrior who’s taken her prisoner…
Captive begins six months after Forbidden ends. The heroine, Morwyn, is not only recovering from the realization that the man she once loved brutally betrayed his own people, but has also turned her back on her Druidic heritage. She sets off to join the rebels fighting the Roman invaders but is ambushed and captured by a tough Gaul mercenary.
The hero, Bren, is haunted by his violent past and, far from being Morwyn’s bitterest enemy as she imagines, has been undercover in the Roman Legions for the last three years. The problem is he can’t tell Morwyn the truth, because the truth could get them both killed.
He was a master of seduction - but no match for the magical allure of the woman he wanted most...
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, his daring voyeur. Falling under her spell, he doesn't realize her true heritage - until he captures her heart as well as her body.
As Carys's loyalties are twisted, and freedom is no longer her single-minded obsession, an avenging former lover threatens to crush Maximus's people into oblivion. Now Carys and Maximus must overcome the devastation of war and face the ultimate sacrifice if their forbidden love is to survive.
Read Chapter One of Forbidden (Over 18s only, please!)
Romantic Times BOOK Review
"Set in the time of the Roman Empire, Phillips' wonderful story of the romance between a Roman soldier and a Celt is more than entertaining"
She is a prisoner of her sworn enemy - and her own desire...
Having lost her faith when Roman invaders destroyed life as she knew it, Morwyn took a vow of celibacy to spite her goddess. But before she can join up with the rebels, she's captured by a Gaul mercenary whose animal charms and chiseled body will test her conviction... and make it harder to kill him.
Bren, pledged to the true Briton king, has spent three years undercover in the Roman Legion. So when his own unit attacks and brutalizes a fiery Celtic beauty, he saves her the only way he can - by claiming her as his prisoner. But unlike his men, Bren would never take the woman by force, no matter how obviously she burns for his touch.
As they near Roman headquarters, Morwyn resolves to honor her vow of celibacy - but if the Gaul were to ravage her, could she be blamed for enjoying his body? With just a hint of seduction, sooner or later the Gaul will succumb to his exquisite captive...
Read Chapter One of Captive (Over 18s only, please!)
Romantic Times BOOK Review
“Phillips’ second in the Forbidden series is just as hot as its predecessor. Readers will be held Captive by the magic between Druid priestess Morwyn and Bren.”
I’d love to give away a copy of either Forbidden or Captive to one lucky commenter. Just leave a comment, ask a question or let us know what you love about ancient or unusual historical romances!
The giveaway will stay open until 9 February.
I love captive stories - the conflict is so fabulous.
Is this why you write in the roman period?
Hi Bron! I love the conflict in my world of Forbidden, where the tough Alpha warriors are pitted against their Druid heroines. One of the reasons I love writing in this period so much is because we don't know much about the Druids at all - so I could really let my imagination run away with me! Thanks for the question!
Congrats on the latest release, Christina!
I found a story line that intrigued me. The stories are supposed to be set in sixty century BC. I did a bit of digging and there's a lot of information on general dress and customs, but not a whole lot of specifics about the town where the line is set. It leaves a lot up to the imagination. It's always fun when you can write without worrying about getting something wrong.
Loved your chapters, Christina! Fanning myself ;). I've always been fascinated by the Druids and love historicals that revolve around them.
Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway! I love tough Alpha warriors and enjoy reading about the Druids.
Congrats on the new release, Christina. I definitely love the political intrigue and learning about the lives among the different social classes.
Congrats on the new release, Christina. I adore ancient historicals! Reading ancient historicals takes me back to the times when I've stood in the middle of ancient sites around the world and imagined what it would be like to live in those times.
Hi Christina and Michelle,
I love ancient history and I've a special fascination for the Celts and the mystic Druids and their conflict with the Romans.
Having travelled to the UK and just touched the surface of that part of history, I'd like to know if either of you have actually been to any of the places/areas you mention in your books? Do you think actually having been there (or places similar) impacts your writing? Makes it more realistic?
And if you haven't visited, what sort of research do you do to compensate/make it seem realistic? (books, DVD's, museums?)
I absolultely loved Forbidden so happy Captive is out (or almost) :-) Any chance that there will be more? I love what you did and the time period you wrote about.
Hi Emma! Oh wow, that series sounds amazing. I'd love to know what it is - I really love when history is interwoven with myths and mysticism, so as you said you can let your imagination fill in the bits we know nothing about!
Hi Rula! I'm so glad you enjoyed my chapters!! I did enjoy writing that waterfall scene :-)
Hi Jena! It was only when I started to research about Druids for Forbidden that I discovered we know so little about them. So although I incorporated what I could find, it did mean I had a lot to learn about the world through the eyes of Carys!
Hi Jane! I loved all the political intrigue and it was really convenient as far as my plot was concerned, as it tied up with the Roman Emperor wanting to eliminate all the Druids - since that's what my Romans were planning to do!!
Thanks Alli! I visited the historical sites in the UK when I was a child, but never appreciated them - not like I would now! Isn't that always the way? I'd so love to visit Rome!!
Hi Kylie, I grew up in the UK and when I think back, the fact that the Romans occupied Britain for so long was something I just took for granted. But until Maximus demanded his story be told I'd not even considered their impact on the Druids of that time. So I did research that aspect and of course there's hardly anything at all that isn't from the Roman perspective.
So while I tried to keep true to what we do know about the Roman way of life, when it came to the Druids and their culture I took what I liked from what the Romans said about them, discarded the stuff I didn't, and that's how their world unfolded.
Thanks for the question :-)
Larena, thank you so much! I'm thrilled you enjoyed Forbidden :-)
There is a third book in the works, but we're waiting to see whether the market likes the Roman/Druid time period. So we all have our fingers crossed for that one :-)
Fantastic! I can't wait to read Captive!
Phew! Really late in posting -sorry. I love "Romans" and wish you all the luck in the world with your latest release. Going over to read your first chapters - and I am definitely over 18 ;) Caroline x
Hi, Christina! Congrats on your new release! I can't wait to read it!!
Thanks, Caroline! I hope you enjoyed reading the chapters! :-)
Thanks for the congrats, Chelsea!!
I enjoy reading historical romances because of the history involved.
Love the history tales.It really takes me to another world.
I love a good, strong story with characters that are equally strong. I like it when I start reading and I am swept away to another century, I almost feel sad when the story ends
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