Monday, 17 February 2014

Author Post and Giveaway: Christina Courtenay

Today Christina Courtenay is over with a post about smugglers, and there is a giveaway of her new book at the end :)

What is it about smugglers that makes them seem romantic and fascinating when in actual fact they were nothing but common criminals?  It’s strange, but they are almost on a par with pirates and highwaymen, their misdeeds seen through rose-tinted glasses. We should abhor these men, but we don’t – we love them!

Perhaps it was their spirit of enterprise that captivates us?  Or the fact that they helped put food in the mouths of the poor hungry fishermen’s families who might otherwise have starved?  One could argue that they were like Robin Hood, only operating on water instead of deep inside Sherwood Forest.

The truth about their lives and nefarious activities was probably not in the slightest bit romantic, but you wouldn’t expect that to stand in the way of a romantic author, would you?  Which is why the hero of my novel The Secret Kiss of Darkness is a smuggler AND a good guy, not a criminal.

Smugglers didn’t refer to themselves by that word, they were ‘free-traders’.  To me, that says it all - they didn’t think they were doing anything wrong.  On the contrary, it was obviously their opinion that the government of the day was wrong in preventing them from trading freely with the French and putting such high taxes on imported goods.  It makes sense when you think about it, although the small fact that they were breaking the law does sort of weigh against them.

We all know poor people had a hard time in the past, so can we really blame them for wanting to earn the kind of money smuggling could bring?  I don’t think so.

If you visit the coast of Devon or Cornwall, in south-west England, you’ll find lots of secluded creeks and coves which are eminently suitable for ‘free trade’.  It’s easy to imagine the longboats of these free-traders rowing silently towards the shore with nothing but a feeble moon to guide them, then pulling onto the sand and beginning the task of unloading their precious cargo.  They would have worked in almost complete silence, everyone knowing their job and what had to be done.  In no time at all, the goods would be making its way either to local hiding places or towards London, where it was usually sold.  And unless the Excise men knew where to look, they didn’t have any hope of catching anyone.

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?  And not really so very bad.  Well, that’s my take on it anyway – what do you think?

Thank you very much for having me as your guest today!

1 copy of The secret Kiss of Darkness

1. Open to all
2. Ends Feb 22
3. Just go ahead and enter :)
And be free to ask questions

PS. Check that your email is in your profile, otherwise you wont be entered. And if not then leave email or twitter here.
You have 48 hours to respond if you win.

Must forbidden love end in heartbreak?
Kayla Sinclair knows she’s in big trouble when she almost bankrupts herself to buy a life-size portrait of a mysterious eighteenth century man  at  an  auction.

Jago Kerswell, inn-keeper and smuggler, knows there is danger in those stolen moments with Lady Eliza Marcombe, but  he'll  take any risk to be with her.

Over two centuries separate ies separate Kayla and Jago, but when Kayla’s jealous fiancé presents her with an ultimatum, and Jago and Eliza’s affair is tragically discovered, their lives become inextricably linked thanks to a gypsy’s spell. Kayla finds herself on a quest that could heal the past, but what she cannot foresee is the danger  in her own future.Will Kayla find heartache or happiness?  

ISBN:  978-1781890677

Buy links:-
Amazon US:  (not until March)


  1. That definitely does sound exciting - and enticing! Great feature and guest post!

  2. Fun post! :) And I agree it does sound exciting... I mean it's books after all so we can live the fantasy and look at the world through rose-tinted glasses if we want to.

  3. This sounds like another great read by Christina!
    Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

  4. The book sounds good and I enjoyed the author discussing smugglers and the reasoning behind what they were doing.

  5. For me the most effective way to romanticize a common criminal like a smuggler or pirate is to make them heroes of either historical romance or UF/PNR.

    I love this GP.

  6. good point about the smugglers and pirates being so appealing for whatever reason! (not entering giveaway at this time, just commenting)

  7. Thank you everyone! Glad you agree with me and hope you enjoy the story :-) xx

  8. Pirates and smugglers always seem a bit romantic, at least on tv and in books.

  9. Great post Christina :) Thanks!

  10. Hmm I never thought about it, but yes smugglers are appealing when they are helping those who are suffering. Great post! Happy Monday!

  11. Oh this does sound interesting! I guess smugglers can be romanticized. :D

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Sounds so exciting!!! :)

  14. Smugglers? Now that is freaking awesome. :) :)

  15. I've not come across any books with smugglers before. But I can see the appeal. In those days people were forced by circumstances to do lots of things that we would not forgive them for in today's society.

  16. oh it sounds nice and it's always great to discover some new books. thank you!

  17. I've read a few books with smugglers, even with female smugglers, and I have always enjoyed them.

  18. I am SO excited about this fantastic sounding new novel {from an author i love: including her amazing YA book 'New England Rocks'}.

    I am definately adding this to my to-read list & thank you so much for the giveaway x

    {My email is - lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk }

  19. There are so many things I find romantic and sexy in fiction that I probably wouldn't in real life, and I'm thinking smuggling might be one of them:):)

  20. I really like the premise of this book :) Congrats to Christina on the new release and thanks for sharing!

  21. I love "free-traders," it's a very clever way of avoiding the criminal overtones. :-) This sounds awesome! I don't know why I'm strangely ok with criminals as long as they are bringing the swoon!

  22. Oh smugglers- I think I like them more than pirates!

  23. Great giveaway!
    Book looks like a great read!


  24. Smugglers! Hey, the mystery and unknowing that comes with them. :) Thanks for sharing!

  25. It's been ages since I read a book with smugglers. Always exciting.


  26. It sounds like a very exciting and interesting read. I haven't read about any smugglers in a long, long time. I would love to read this one. Thanks for having the giveaway.


  27. I love books with danger, excitement and intrigue. I especially love reading about smugglers. I've been to both Devon and Cornwall, and can agree that there are lots of secluded coves and creeks. I'd love, love, love to read this, and I really love finding new Authors. Thank you for the chance to win.




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