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Monday, August 12, 2013

Welcome, Author Christine London!




This week I am welcoming author Christine London to Gina's World of Good. A prolific author, Christine's novel WHEN WE WERE AMAZING was selected as Author 100 Romances Best of the Year. It a delight to have her visit this week. Leave a comment and be eligible to win a PDF of WHEN WE WERE AMAZING and a $!) Amazon Gift Card. Welcome, Christine!

Now let's get on with our chat.



What makes a book great in your eyes?

   The emotions it evokes. For a book to do its job, for it to have meaning and maybe even change my life it has to ring true to something important. Whether that is the oh-so-real challenges faced by fictional characters or the depth of thought in a nonfiction work, the key to success, to reaching me, is through my heart.
  Uplift. Educate, Entertain. Inspire.
What is the hardest scene you ever had to write?
   Australia, France and California. In spite of the globe hopping backdrops the hardest scene I ever had to write was a car accident. A three year old girl, Livvie, is struck, hand yanked from her brother, Cooper. Her mother Carrie arrives moments later to see the floral print dress of her little girl, limbs askew, peeking out from beneath the car that struck her. Just recalling it now makes my heart squeeze tight in my chest. Anyone who has loved a three year old. Anyone who has had a child. Anyone would feel the same.
Pastel painted facades of six story buildings abutted the frontage, like Lego blocks in a child’s display of idealized reality lining the curve of river. Pedestrians walked along narrow sidewalks. A balloon-tired bike darted onto the street with the thrum of rubber against cobblestones. It all seemed surreal, as though the camera of life had broken, shifted into fluid encumbered ballet.

From around the corner she came, Livvie toting Cooper. Determination in her stance she pulled on him like a dog on its lead. A spotlight of happiness shone, her children in the midst of the gloom. They reached the curb. Carrie lifted her hand to wave, to call.

And then the world slowed into eternity.

The grip was broken. Livvie dove into the street headlong, unseeing toward river’s edge. A screech of tires. The blur of metal. Then interminable silence. Carrie wanted her heart to stop, because if what she saw was true, her life was over.

She froze, blood turning to ice in her veins. Power unknown shot through her. Muscles fired to life propelling her forward. She was at the front bumper of the white sedan before she could take another breath. Hands on the hood, she pushed with the strength of heaven. The car rolled back, and Livvie’s crumpled form appeared, an unnatural twisting of limbs, clothing, hair. Her face was turned toward the undercarriage, ear and cheek the only visible features.

Carrie’s first reaction was to hold her, rock her in her arms like the baby she was. Sing a
lullaby, the aural version of motherly shield from harm. Feel the weight of her, the reassuring warmth, the powder sweet scent of her ivory flesh against hers, in her nostrils reassurance of home, safety, life.

But like a china doll, Livvie lay motionless, broken.

The scream that erupted from her core sounded distant, yet it tore something irreplaceable from her. It was like her own blood poured forth on that street in Lyon, all color, all light draining from the world in an instant. Carrie looked up as though a magnet drew her eyes.

Cooper jolted to a halt above her, face contorted in horror.

Torn from her, Carrie’s heart vacated her chest, leaving in its place a chasm of cold, hideous death.

“Call. Get help.” More disembodied words, the sound coming from her, but not real. She
turned back to the rumpled form below, covering her with the tent of her chest, so carefully surrounding the sweet floral fabric of Liv’s dress. Cheek placed on cheek, she listened for respiration.

*****************






Excerpt from: When We Were Amazing - Christine London (http://christinelondon.com/books/when-we-were-amazing )

 Twenty three year old Aussie wine heir Bryan Lassiter wanted nothing more than to be a self made man. When online love, California ranch owner Carrie Sorrell flies half way round the globe to visit him, she’d no idea his magnetism would erase both their fourteen year age difference and her common sense. As fate and a powerful family collide to tear them apart, will she have the strength to let him go or will it be the secret she’s so carefully protected that destroys… or heals?
What is your favorite place in the whole world?
   Those who read my blog know I adore exploring new places. From California's golden grassed hills to Paris and London's historical wonders, to Australia's wine country and back. I have happily traveled to many gorgeous locales.
   At the end of the day, it is my own back garden that I adore. Perhaps it is the familiarity of home. Maybe the plants that I have memorized over the years as I care for them. Maybe the dancing twinkle of lights strung along my pergola or the happy tinkle of the wind chime. More likely, it is the place my closest friends and family have gathered, sometimes around the round of raised brick fire pit, sometimes at the simple white rimmed and glass picnic table. Maybe it is their love and presence that makes it so.
   My back garden is my favorite place in the world.
If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend they start with and why?
  Now that would depend of if that someone was a fan of short reads or full length novels, spicy or sweet. End of October or first of November my anthology of short stories, 55 Portobello Road, is slated to come out in both e and print format at Amazon.com. Six of the eight shorts are already available at Amazon in electronic format for 99 cents.
Notting Hill Scrooge -  http://tinyurl.com/qagpnhb
Happy New Year Baby - http://tinyurl.com/q69dgk6
Valentine Huntsman - http://tinyurl.com/ojwu9sz
Pancake Race - http://tinyurl.com/nhlewqr
Cait the Cat Burglar - http://tinyurl.com/pkhcsqx
Caught Being Good - http://tinyurl.com/kvu6hhn

 They are a great way to get a taste of my American/British tinged tales in a short, sweet doses you may not wish to end.


   

Full length fleshed out tale? My first is the story of my heart that got me into this biz (Soul In His Eyes http://christinelondon.com/books/soul-in-his-eyes ), though unless you like celebrity-meets-every-day-girl stories with the celeb having the most to learn, you might prefer the lavish, sexy love letter to Hawaii (Reluctant Companions http://christinelondon.com/books/reluctant-companions ) or the touching tale of a young woman coming to terms with the recent diagnosis that has shattered her world—Leap of Faith http://christinelondon.com/books/leap-of-faith .


  



Hard to say, and certainly as personal a choice as the clothes you wear. All can be sampled at christinelondon.com  under the pull down menu of the "Books" tab.







What three things bring you to tears?
These days, a lot. Maybe it is the softening of the heart as we age or the fluctuating hormones that does it.
- The beauty in nature, be that a breathtaking sunrise or a snow capped mountain jutting from the verdant green of the valley below. God's paintbrush is unrivalled.
-A heartfelt note from a reader whose life has been touched by what I have written.
-The distance and infrequency in seeing my Marine First Lieutenant daughter stationed clear on the other side of the continent—and how very proud I am of her courage and accomplishments. Trying to come to terms with the fact that my disabled son may never enjoy all the things in life with which I have been blessed. (Oh, that four— Sorry.)

   Thank you for leading me through this amazing journey with the thoughtful questions you have asked, Regina. I love visiting you and your readers.

Thank you for visiting, Christine! Please come back again soon.

Here are some ways to find Christine in cyberspace:

Christine London
Author 100 Romances Best Of the Year, When We Were Amazing
Tweet sweet with Christine at https://twitter.com/ChristineLondon
Facebook cool stuff: https://www.facebook.com/christine.london
Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Christine-London/e/B003MX4AW6/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Impossibly Pretty Pinteresting: http://pinterest.com/christinelondon/

36 comments:

  1. Welcome, Christine. I am looking forward to this week. Perhaps you could talk about your process for designing your book covers. They are so beautiful.

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  2. Thank you for hosting me this week Regina. I am very happy to be here! You have such wonderful readers. *waves hello*

    My book covers? Ah--yes. Like most authors, I anxiously anticipate the reveal of any new book cover, but I am most fortunate to have had the privilege of having a couple of my covers designed by my dear friend and digital artist, Alex Kent as well as shot by her photographer hubby, Keith.

    Most small presses do not have the budget to hire models and have photo shoots (stock photography is used--very well I might add)However, when my first publisher said they were willing to look at what we could produce, and then accepted it--well I was thrilled. Since then Alex, Keith, myself and a couple family members have collaborated to make some pretty nifty covers.
    If you are curious, pop over to christinelondon.com and look under the 'books' tab for the covers:

    Sunninghill Snow, Soul In His Eyes, Leap of Faith and all the covers in the 55 Portobello Road series of short stories.

    They are all produced by Alex. Sunninghill and Soul have the author (yeah, me) modeling for the cover. Leap Of Faith has my daughter as Faith on the cover, Alex's son Zen and his gf are on Nottinghill Scrooge in the 55 Portobello Road series and the rest in this short story series are designed by Alex using her talent as digital artist and stock photos.

    My other covers are produced by various talented artists at the publishing house through which they are released. Not a stinker in the bunch...lol. I have been very fortunate!

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    1. Thanks for the insights, that is so interesting, Christine, they are all beautiful and unique. Your work, like you, is beautiful inside and out.

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  3. What a lovely interview. Like you, Christine, I enjoy travel and have visited some amazing countries. Many of those locations have ended up in my stories. I especially love a story that hits me in some tender spot that I wasn't even aware I had. When I cry while reading a story I know it is one that will stay with me for a long long time. Don't put me in the drawing, I already have When We Were Amazing, and I enjoyed it very much. ; )

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Robena. For you m'dear, I could dust off a different book *grin*

      I am presently reading your wonderful romantic suspense "Desert Exposure" and really enjoying it.

      "She follows her gut--he follows the rules." Great tag line!

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  4. What a fun interview. Enjoyed reading about your writing journey and how much you enjoy your travels & own backyard. Thanks!

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  5. Hi Christine and Regina,

    Thanks for the interesting interview. All of your stories sound so good, Christine, and the blurb to your featured book, When We Were Amazing, got me interested. It sounds as though it would be warm and tender, but with conflict and obstacles. Can't beat that!

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    1. Glad When We Were Amazing's heart came across, Gail :)

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  6. Very interesting interview and a different setting for your story. I never thought of Australia as wine country. Now that I consider it, here in Georgia we have a kangaroo farm in the area of our state that is known for its wineries. Would love to win your book.

    Blessings, Janice jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. The Morningside peninsula just outside Melbourne, Victoria Australia is a very well known and respected wine region. It looks and 'feels' much like the northern California wine areas. A really pretty area. :)

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  7. That car accident scene is just heartbreaking; really gets the adrenaline pumping and tugs at the heart strings. Very unique interview questions.

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    1. The mother in us all is brought quickly to the surface, no?

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  8. Hi ladies,

    Great interview! Christine, your "most difficult scene to write" completely choked me up. I'm going to run to the preschool and hug my little guy now.

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    1. I thought of my own precious girl when I wrote it. Dang...it is tough to even consider such a thing happening. Hugs to your little one. oooo

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    2. Me, too! I'm tearing up right now.

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  9. Hey, Christine. Oh, my goodness. Having lost my two pups last month, it doesn't take much for tears to come. But even if this were the good times before they got sick, I'd have been crying at your scene. Really beautiful and moving.
    Interesting answers to some very good questions.

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    1. God bless, Marsha. For anyone who has ever hugged a little girl close--that faint baby shampoo smell in her silk soft hair---yup, it chokes me up every time.

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  10. Christine and Regina: I've enjoyed this interview. Christine you are such an interesting person with all your travels and multifaceted stories and feelings. Your excerpt is so intense and full of emotion. As one comment has already alluded to we must appreciate our children and grandchildren, loving them and being with them as much as possible. It is best done now and not put off.

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  11. Thank you for your interesting interview and for the opportunity to win WHEN WE WERE AMAZING.

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  12. Oh, wow. What an excerpt. So vivid, so raw, so real. Incredible writing.

    The very best to you, Christine. :)

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  13. Hi Christine, Great excerpt. Very emotional. It's hard to write scenes like that, but I think those are the scenes that really tug at a reader's heart.

    Best wishes on your new releases.

    Kelley

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  14. Fantastic interview, Regina and Christine! Wow - that powerful and riveting excerpt will linger with me for some time.

    My niece Suzanne and her little son were in a severe car accident recently. A huge RV hit Suzanne's car head on when she was taking her son to Cedar Point. It's unbelievable that she survived - the car was crunched and fortunately her son only rec'd a seatbelt bruising. But Suzanne rec'd several injuries and had two surgeries and when swelling goes down, she will have a third.

    Christine, you're such an wonderful writer. How long does it take you to write something the length of "When We Were Amazing?"

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  15. Kelley--thanks for stopping by :)
    Diane-prayers for a speedy recovery to your niece and son. How frightening that must have been for your whole family!

    A full length novel takes about six months to pen, depending on 'real life'--might be as long as a year. Now if there were a deadline pressing, the pressure would speed up this writer to a certain degree. With small presses, that is one of the benefits--no hot breath on the author's virtual neck...lol

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  16. Christine, I loved your interview and the excerpt was great but what touched me most was what you said about your disabled son. I am disabled also so I understand how you must feel. Everyone accepts their disability in different ways. I tend to go with the flow. I'm grateful to the good Lord to be here despite my circumstances and I wouldn't trade one day of my life for anything. I'll be praying for you and your son.

    Thank you for the giveaway.

    Wanda Barefoot
    flghtlss1(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Wanda--I can not tell you how much it means to me--your words of understanding, empathy and kindness. Thank you so much for inclusion in your prayers.

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  17. Christine-excellent interview.Another great writer for Regina to host!!GOD BLESS. BEN SMITH

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  18. Thank you for a very emotional and inspiring interview, Christine. The excerpt of the car accident is powerful and heart-breaking. I agree with you. As I get older, there seem to be more things that reduce me to tears, but children always do. I cannot sit through my children's nativity play, for example, without being in floods of tears. 'Away in a Manger' does it for me, every time...

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    1. Thanks for sharing your (shared) tear-i-ness. I think it is a sign of maturity. We love life and appreciate its fragility and beauty. :)

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  19. Christine - I loved the questions...and your responses:) Interesting hearing about your daughter and others appear on your book covers - love it! I agree with both you and Marie about the crying...I think as I age I see things with deeper meaning, and children fill that area...they are the depth of me for sure:)

    Great interview!

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  20. What an amazing week we are having! Thank you, everyone, for all the comments.

    Christine, I am curious and have to ask -- do you have a dream book you'd like to write but haven't done so yet? If so, could you share a bit of what it is about and perhaps also why it is still in the 'dream' stage? :-) Thank you!

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  21. Good Morning Regina,
    Ah but you have struck a nerve. Dream book?
    It is my dream to reach people and touch them in some way. I have a book on the back burner that addresses great love and loss. I don't know that it is 'the' dream book, but I had hoped it would lead people to access the value they place in each other and what might happen when it is cut short by death. Is there more?

    To date in my writing career, I have failed to break through to a significant number of readers. That said, of those who have read my work, they have been touched. That is more gratifying than any royalty. If only life did not require money to live *sigh*

    I dream that I might write 'that story' that touches more than just a handful. A story that seeps into the hearts and minds of many so that it might affect many more lives for the good. A story that could be carried to others who have not read it, but who through a reader's actions or changed worldview, might be touched.

    Kindness. Patience. Kindness.

    That is the message. Care for each soul as if this were your last day.

    One More Day
    "Cole Phillips is dead. Four years on, his wife Tara is still without answers. Ah, but life is cruel and unfair. How can Tara even hope— her dreams so desperate, for an answer to 'why'?

    Is the same reality that tore Cole from her, capable of bestowing such a gift? One More Day… A tale of the return to life of a man so sorely missed by his widow the power of her will alone brings him back, and with him, an opportunity of which others can only dream."

    A secular book with religious underpinnings. Faith is not what you believe in. It is what one does to make this world a better place. Our job not to sit around pondering theology, but to fight to improve this world—to determine when it is time to fight and when it is time to let the world be broken.

    One More Day

    I have not had the courage to self publish this book. It will never be the perfect work and the subject is too important not to get it as 'right' as possible. So--we shall see...

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    1. Oh my gosh, how amazing are you! It took me a day to reply.

      I have faith, Christine, that you will write the story that touches more than a handful of readers. Personally, I believe you may have already done so, and reaching a broader readership is all about the timing.

      With your beautiful message, your talent and your exemplary intentions, it is, I am sure, only a matter of time before that dream comes true.

      Thank you for sharing!

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  22. Christine- your new book seems like excellent reading material.I really enjoyed the different countries you have visited.Again I have traveled extensively mostly in the far east.GOD BLESS BEN SMITH

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    1. Thanks for your interest and support Ben :)

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  23. At what cost to pursue this dream of ours--to write?

    Please share your hard won wisdom:

    http://christinelondon.com/to-thine-own-self-be-true-balderdash

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