Regency Christmas Blog Hop

Author: Christina Graham Parker Labels::

Edited to add winners 11Dec2012: I used to select winners. Inga and Krista each get a copy of Ghosts and Stephanie gets a copy of Princess. Thank you, everyone, for stopping by!

Welcome to my little corner of the internet!

For those of you stopping by for the first time, historical romance is one of my favorite genres, both to read and to write. So when the call came from Astraea Press for Regency Christmas stories, I decided to write a novella. I had so much fun, I'm kicking around ideas for a sequel.

The eleven Astraea Press authors who wrote Regency Christmas stories have joined together for a blog hop from now until December 10.  Leave a comment telling me your favorite Christmas memory and on December 10, two random commenters will receive an ecopy of my Christmas novella, Ghosts of Winters Past, and one random commenter will receive an ecopy of  my debut novel, The Peculiar Princess. Make sure you stop by all eleven blogs, we're all having give aways! There will also be a grand prize given away at the Astraea Press blog.

Next stop on the blog Patricia Kiyono is and her release The Partridge and the Peartree.

Mrs. Peabody had the following to say about Ghosts of Winters Past (left column) and The Partridge and the Peartree (right column).

Ghosts of Winters Past is now available from AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords


Coming November 1st

Author: Christina Graham Parker Labels::

My first novella, Ghosts of Winters Past, will be available from Astraea Press on November 1, 2012.

Five years ago, Lord Henry left Lady Emmaline alone to face society’s scorn after the two were found in a compromising position.  Now Henry has returned to London as the Duke of Salle, determined to win back the woman he never forgot.

Lady Emmaline believes herself to be happy as a resigned spinster. Though her days are no longer filled with callers and balls, she has found her place in society and has no interest in romance. Her vow to withstand Henry’s renewed advances slowly crumbles, however, under his persistent and unwavering charm.

Finally, they believe, the ghosts of their past have been banished.  That is until a new scandal threatens to separate them. This time, forever.


The Scent of Almonds

Author: Christina Graham Parker Labels::

While writing Princess, I wrote a scene in which it became necessary to describe the way Lukas smelled. My first thought was, he probably didn’t smell all that great being a sixteenth century male and all. But no one wants to read a book about a stinky hero, so I gave it more thought. Since he was a wealthy duke’s son, I decided he probably smelled better than your average sixteenth century male.

After checking to make sure scented soap had been invented, I realized he smelled like leather (not from soap) and almonds (soap).

I didn’t think too much about it until I found myself in the middle of the Beth Moore study, A Woman’s Heart: God’s Dwelling Place, and a session discussed almonds. Specifically the part in Exodus where God instructs Moses to have the tabernacle lampstand made with almond flowers in the design. Beth noted that the Hebrew word for almond (shaqed) is almost the same as the Hebrew word for watch (shaqad). I promise that’s significant, plus it shows how God plays on words, which I think is very cool.

Beth went on to explain that the almond (shaqed) is the earliest flowering plant in Israel, budding sometimes before the end of February. Often, she said, God is anxious for us to produce spiritual fruit and allows us to do it earlier than we think we should. God is watching (shaqad) to see His Word fulfilled in us.

And this has what to do with Lukas?

Lukas, I think everyone can agree, is probably the very last person one would expect to produce any spiritual fruit, much less produce it early. But he smells like almonds, remember? It only stands to reason that he’ll bear fruit early and fulfill God’s Word in the process. And he’ll do it while people watch.

I know relatively few readers will ever realize the significance of Lukas and his almond soap, but I smile every time I think about it.


Quick Update

Author: Christina Graham Parker Labels::

I’ve been a little slack updating the blog, sorry about that.  I really hope to be better at posting, but if you know me, you know I’m a bit (ha!) of an introvert.

As you’re probably aware, my debut novel was released on June 21, 2011. I’d like to personally thank everyone who’s bought it so far. If you read it, I’ d love to know what you thought. The blog has a contact page with my email, so drop me a line.

For a little over 24 hours after my release, Princess was on the Amazon Bestseller List for time travel romances. My inner fangirl shouted when I saw this:

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been a fan of Gabaldon since Outlander’s release over twenty years ago. She’s one of the few authors I’ll auto-buy, in hardback, day of release.

If you're on Goodreads, I have an author account there. Come friend me:

Also, the snippet I posted in May?  The story it’s from now has a title, Ghosts of Winters Past, AND it’s under contract with Astraea Press to be released later this year. I look forward to sharing Henry and Emma with you!


Sunday Snippet

Author: Christina Graham Parker Labels::

I'm taking a break from my PRINCESS trilogy to work on a Regency Christmas short story.  I took it up as a challenge, one, to see if I could write something under 70,000 words and, two, the era has always intrigued me. Since I've never posted any of my writing here, I thought I'd share the opening (or at least the opening as it stands now).

The setting is December 1812. No title yet.


Henry Westmoreland, the new Duke of Salle, had returned to England.

The servants had whispered about it all day. Emmaline tried to ignore them, but the guilty way they jumped apart every time she happened upon a group of them didn’t make it easy. After running into gossiping servants in the kitchen, the dining room, and the drawing room, she finally took a novel and found a quiet corner in the library.

She soon found, however, that while she could escape hushed chatting of the servants, she could not escape her own thoughts.
“Foolishness,” she admonished herself. “He didn’t return for you. You wouldn’t want him if he did.”
With a self-satisfied nod of her head, she turned her attention back to her book, and reread the page in front of her for the eighth time.  After the tenth, she put the novel aside with a heavy sigh. Perhaps she should go for a walk.

“Lady Emmaline,” the butler said from the doorway. “You have a caller.”

 A caller? She hadn’t had a caller in over five years. Not since he left.

“Who is it?” she asked, standing and trying to cover her excitement.
“His Grace, the Duke of Salle.”
Her knees grew weak. Henry? Here? At her home? Her heart beat wildly. Whatever did he want?
From the doorway, the servant watched her with barely concealed curiosity.  Summoning all the inner strength she had, Emmaline sat back down.
“Oh.” She took her book off the table and opened it to a random page. “Please inform His Grace I am indisposed.”
“My humblest apologies, my lady, but he has already conversed with your mother.”

"Of course he has," she muttered under her breath. Whatever he was, Henry wasn't a fool. He knew the quickest way to a single woman was through a desperate mother. 


Our Worrying Ways

Author: Christina Graham Parker Labels::

The other day I was taking the kids to school when Little C had one of those all consuming drama fits the way only eight-year-old girls can.  No, her brother wasn’t picking on her and no one had told her she had to go to bed before eight o’clock. The problem? She needed to learn the states and their capitals.

For next year.

 That’s right. She had a complete meltdown over the fact she didn’t know something ten months prior to when she needed to know it.  I eventually calmed her down and promised that as the time grew near for when she needed to know the states and capitals, we’d help her.  “I promise,” I told her. “There isn’t any reason to worry about it now.”

It’s easy for us as adults to grin at stories like that, but as I went about my day it hit me – I do the same thing.  Sure, my worries are different and I usually don’t have a meltdown over them, but how many times do I catch myself worrying over something?

“What kind of shape will I be in physically and mentally in twenty years? Ten? Five?”

“What if everyone hates my book?”

“Am I messing my kids up for life?”

Just this weekend, every time I thought ahead to today, I found myself worrying over two meetings I had at work.

And heaven help me if I ever wake up at two a.m. with something on my mind. I’ll never get back to sleep!

So where does that leave us? I don’t know about you, but I like to think that when I’m in the middle of a worry fit, my heavenly Father’s looking down on me saying, “It’s okay. When the time comes, I’ll help you through it. And I promise, there isn’t any reason to worry about it now.” 


When the Muse Speaks

Author: Christina Graham Parker Labels::

When I first started PRINCESS, I knew the book would be part of a trilogy. The second would be PEASANT, and the third, PRINCE. That’s it. No plot, no characters (except for Lukas and Lexy in PRINCESS), nothing.

I was about a third of the way through the first draft of PRINCESS when it came to me who the peasant was in the second book. “Ah ha!” I said. “Perfect.” And it was. Since I discovered this information early, I was able to add a sprinkling of foreshadowing. My vision, however, only extended to PEASANT and one main character in PRINCE. A few times, I tried to plug some other people into the PRINCE plot, but no one fit. I decided not to worry about it too much. Surely, when the time came, the pieces would fall into place.

I started work on PEASANT knowing there were major loose ends that would have to be tied up at some point. For me, that’s one of the exciting, yet scary parts of writing. I don’t always know the whole story while I’m writing it, but if I listen to the characters, immerse myself in their world, they speak to me. Sometimes, it feels like magic.

Last week, I was knee-deep in PEASANT when it struck again. The confirmation came that, indeed, the main character of PRINCE was who I imagined it would be and I discovered the skeleton of the plot. I don’t know all the details (and, honestly, what fun would that be?), but I know if I listen intently, they’ll come when they’re supposed to.

And those loose ends? They’re all tied up.