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Sunday, March 24, 2013


Today, I have the wonderful Christine Elaine Black visiting with me and sharing more about herself and her book MAXIMUS. I’m so glad you could visit with me.

What did you see, hear or dream that inspired your book?

I’ve always loved reading historical fiction set in the ancient world, especially Rome and Egypt. I found a lack of romance novels with that theme and started writing.

Considering those times are associated with bloody wars and the great conquering nations, I think it’s great to write about love amidst all that. It’s certainly not a time filled with romance. Even Anthony and Cleopatra’s great love story did not have an HEA.

Which one of your main characters came across strongest to you?
The men are always my strongest character as far as knowing their goals and motivation in the story. Even though my series is named Imperial Desire, I named my books after the hero. Maximus is released and Taurus is coming soon.
How long did it take you to fall in love with your Hero/Heroine?
I fall in love with characters as soon as I begin writing about them. I know their reasoning, their feelings and problems. They’re flawed emotionally but for good reason. I can’t help but love them instantly.

When you write about strong, flawed men, how can you not fall in love with them instantly?

Did you borrow certain traits for your characters from someone you know personally?  Which ones?

 I like to add a few quirky characters, for instance Milo is the father of my heroine - he’s a touch strange. I think I styled him after a few personal experiences. JJ

Is this book a single category or can we expect to see more of your characters in a series?

Imperial Desire is a three book series featuring Maximus, Taurus and Magnus, based on a fictional Roman family with a connected story spanning three generations.

How wonderful and exciting! I know this is one series I will have to read!

What is your most difficult “no-no” when you write? (Show vs. tell, dialogue, plot problems, passive voice, etc.)
All those traps are tricky to avoid as a writer. I try to keep the story character and plot driven, moving forward without bogging the story with too much miscellaneous detail.

It’s obvious you’ve been at this a while then. I look forward to being able to write like that, myself.

When you take a break from writing, what do you do to allow your brain time to regroup?

The best thing for me is to do something active. Physical exercise of any sort is neglected when sitting at the computer… so I get up and stretch every now and then, and try to walk often.

Yeah, I try to do that, too. Often when my butt becomes numb is when I tend to remember, though.

Would you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser?
I’m more of a pantser with a few plot points. I’ve got the general details in my head (which change often as things progress) but for the most part I know the beginning and the end. 

In one sentence, tell us what your book is about.
Carissa meets an exiled Roman soldier who has long-forgotten her and their past encounter.

 What is your one “guilty” pleasure? 

Reading and writing romance is my guilty pleasure. I’m a big fan of the historical genre and it’s difficult to choose between writing mine and reading my favorite authors. My ‘to be written’ and ‘to be read’ list are growing. Not enough hours in the day! 

Amen to that one!

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?


Four cubits away, a man idly leaned against a tree, watching her with a carefree grin on his face.
“Have you come to finish the job, Ulla?”
Carissa’s hand instinctively went to the knife.
He shook his head. “That little weapon doesn’t scare me half as much as the arrow you had earlier. You’ve come without the protection of the bow this time. Why?”
Carissa held fast to the knife, estimating her chances at removing it before he reached her. “I’m looking for my boy, nothing else.” Her pulse raced, and her mind swirled in turmoil. She swallowed down her fear and held his gaze, desperately wanting to run away but knowing he would catch her easily.
“He is not here, as you can see.” The man’s intense blue eyes burned into hers, hungry for something she could name but preferred to forget.
“I’ll be on my way.” Rooted to the spot, she trembled. If she passed him, she would be unable to defend against an attack.
His grin faded, and he narrowed his eyes. “You don’t like me, do you? Is it all men or just me you have a grudge against?”
“Just you.”
Thanks Christine for your lovely visit today and the best of luck with this great series!


  1. Great blurb and excerpt, Christine!

  2. Thanks Lilly. Great to be here with Lisa, talking about ancient Rome and love. Two of my favorite subjects. :):)

  3. Lost my comment. You may get two. : )
    Great story. Congrats, Christine.

    I mentioned Maximus on a thread at kindleboards yesterday. Several readers were bemoaning the overuse of the UK setting in historicals. ; )

  4. Thanks for the mention, Robena. For sure the Georgian period is extremely popular and the American midwest is another one that readers love. :):)

  5. I'll buy this book. I love Ancient Rome and read any romances set there.