I’m delighted to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author Christine Elaine Black here today for an interview and a look at her new historical romance, MAXIMUS – Book I of the Imperial Desire series.
Hi Christine, so glad to have you here today. Tell us a little about Maximus:
Maximus is a story about an exiled Roman soldier and the woman he wronged years ago. Maximus has forgotten Carissa, but she remembers him too well.
Carissa Valeria distrusts the handsome soldier who rescues her reckless son from plunging to an early death. Recalling the man’s heartless treatment of her from years ago, she itches to even the score, but her son hails the rescuer as a hero. When he becomes her neighbor, her son’s friendship with the soldier threatens to uncover old secrets and place her family and her heart in danger.
Exiled to the countryside by the Roman emperor, Maximus Octavius is confounded by the brittle countenance of the woman he’s willing to befriend. She’s afraid, and he’s determined to find out why. But helping Carissa and her son means confronting the guilt of his long-forgotten past and stirring the silenced passion in his heart.
Can Maximus win Carissa before fear and revenge tear them apart forever?
What inspired this story?
I enjoy romance in ancient times but found they are difficult to find. I decided to write one and it turned into a three book series.
What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?
TAURUS – Book II will be released this summer. The exact date is pending but the announcement is coming soon.
Do you have any good news you’d like to share?
Yes, MAGNUS – book III in the series will be out in 2014.
What are your writing goals for this year?
Another time period I enjoy is Tudor romance and I’ve almost completed a short romance about a relationship during the War of the Roses. I’m sending that one off to the publisher soon.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I enjoy the character development and most of my stories are character driven. The interaction between the hero/heroine is most important in my stories, revolving around a good plot. I’m often surprised where I end up while writing or the ideas that come to me once the project is underway. I find it exciting to weave a good tale.
What did you learn from writing your first book or what do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
I think all writers wish they’d started sooner. Get going, write the book, connect with authors, research publishers and just go for it. It takes time and effort but the process is a learning curve and the sooner you start the further you’ll be ahead. Also, jump into the world of marketing your book. It’s part of the business and our goal is to be read… so get the word out there.
Do you have a favorite time of day for writing?
Family commitments demand that most of my writing time is at night. And it’s easier to get one of the computers in the house to myself. Now that I’m blogging and face booking I tend to do that first thing in the morning.
Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?
Not so much a favorite but I love writing the man’s point of view as well as the woman’s. For my Tudor novel I chose to try the first person narrative. Call me crazy but I love it. I’d like to write another story in the first person
What do you like to read?
I’ve read many books on ancient Egyptian, ancient Roman and medieval England kings and queens. Those are my ‘go to’ books when I read for pure escapism.
These are few of my favorite things outside of writing:
1. Sharing my love of music and musical theatre with my daughter.
2. Planning and having themed parties.
3. Taveling to new places.
Carissa stood watching the man as he rode away. She relaxed her grip on the bow and arrow, then waved her son to her side. “He is a stranger, Caius. Even if he lives at the old Phillipus estate, we know nothing of his character.”
I could have killed him right there and then for trespassing on my property. Another opportunity missed!
Caius bubbled with enthusiasm. “He showed me how to tie knots with the rope. I like him. He said he means no harm to us, Mother.”
Carissa flicked her hair over her shoulder and shot a glance at the path where the man who called himself Maximus Octavius had disappeared. “What did he say to your grandfather?”
“I don’t know, I couldn’t hear them.” Caius dragged his feet in disappointment.
Later, Carissa prepared their food while her father sat by the fire, scraping vegetables with a blunt knife. She couldn’t trust him with a sharp knife these days. Increasing senility made him unable to accomplish a few small tasks before losing his concentration and lapsing into a rant over an event from the past.
Milo Valerius had been a famous man in his day, and Carissa had grown up as his privileged, pampered daughter. She had worn fancy clothes, beautiful trinkets, and had a maid of her own and a lovely room in a beautiful villa. Now, she lived no better than a peasant.
“A peasant!” The words tasted bitter on her tongue.
Her father dropped the knife. She had not meant to speak aloud. Carissa smiled at him. Because of her mistake they were poor, living on a dead relative’s property for the last twelve years. Perhaps if she had managed things a little differently it would have turned out better. Yet she would never know the answer and had nothing to gain by revisiting the past.
The knife lay on the floor at Milo’s feet. She stepped forward, stooping to pick it up. “The man who came earlier—what did he ask you, Father?” Carissa spoke softly, cajoling his memory.
The old man grunted. “I saved him once, a long time ago, and he rewarded me well for it. But he left me with a responsibility, and I have never forgotten my duty.” He pointed to his temple, indicating he had information stored in his head.
Carissa shrugged. Her father had probably scared the wits out of their visitor. Between Milo and the arrow pointing at his chest, Carissa guessed the man would happily stay out of their way in the future.
Maximus. His name is Maximus.
Carissa shook her head. She would not allow her mind to fill with curiosity about an untrustworthy man, and fortunately he had not recognized her.
Christine Elaine Black, born and raised in the west of Scotland, currently resides in Ontario, Canada. Her favorite stories to write are romantic fiction with a historical setting. Two novels are complete in her Imperial Desire series and the third one is in progress.
You can find Christine at: