We are super excited to welcome back Carrie Lofty and her fabulous Christie Family series! If you haven’t yet read this series you need to correct this immediately, as it’s unlike most historical romance stories out there. She’s also doing a giveaway so don’t forget to leave a comment.
The Importance of Family
After your read the blurb for STARLIGHT, you’ll realize that the key to the Christies is that the series features four siblings. And yay! They each get a happy ending!
What makes STARLIGHT stand apart from the rest of the series is that the hero, Alex Christie, is not the only protagonist who family plays a significant part in the romance. Alex’s lady love, Polly Gowan, is the “heir apparent” to a weavers union in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1881. Her father, Graham, has a thirty-year history of negotiating a path of peace between the weavers and the mill masters.
I created this dynamic for a number of reasons, only a few of which had to do with the plot conflict between Alex, a mill master with the goal of earning a profit, and Polly, who fights for justice on behalf of her community.
For me it was about making Polly historically realistic.
Although Scotland has provided free, unrestricted access to (at least) elementary school education to both boys and girls since the late seventeenth century, attendance was nowhere near universal. This was especially true for girls. Poor families, too, had a difficult time letting any of their children pursue an education. The scant income brought in by children was sometimes essential for survival.
So, Polly needed to come from a family that was either rich enough to permit a daughter to attend school—a bad character choice, because it would’ve reduced the conflict—or from a family that valued education above the finer things. That meant being born to a set of parents who were principled.
That worked! As the daughter of a peaceful union leader, she must’ve been raised in an environment where honor and principles took precedence over almost everything else. Her parents and even her siblings would’ve needed to be supportive. After all, it’s not every day that a young woman becomes the head of a labor union. Support at home equals strength to do her duty.
From a very practical, very unfortunate view of history, a positive family environment meant a family free of pain at home. An abusive father and brothers can crush even the most stalwart heroine, and a broken-down mother offers no positive example of womanhood. The heavy use of alcohol in industrial Scotland was rampant, when strong men were tested by hard labor and few hopes for the future.
Basically, Polly needed all of these family dynamics in order to become a realistic historical romance heroine. When it all boils down—education, honor, principles, safety—her family gave her hope. Hope is essential when taking on the harshest sides of life…and expecting that love is in the stars as well.
What’s next for me:
Now that RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Pick STARLIGHT has hit the shelves, I’ll be looking forward to the release of HIS VERY OWN GIRL, a historical romance set in World War II. It’s not women’s fiction. It’s not literary fiction. It’s a genuine romance, complete with sexy times and a happy ending. Look for it September 4th as a Pocket Star digital original novel. I cannot wait to see how readers respond!
I’ll also be launching a new co-written pseudonym, Katie Porter, with my long-time friend and critique partner, Lorelie Brown. Our “Vegas Top Guns” series of contemporary erotic romances will debut from Samhain on July 31 with the release of DOUBLE DOWN, which is also a RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Pick. Two more from the series, INSIDE BET and HOLD ‘EM, will follow in August and September. You can learn more about these and future books at our website [http://www.katieporterbooks.com].
Where to find me:
I’d like to give away a copy of STARLIGHT, and I’ll ship anywhere. Just answer this: What do you like to see in romance families? What characteristics or dynamics resonate with you? Or are you the kind who prefers a good in-family catfight to keep things spicy?
Thanks again to Book Reading Gals for having me!
Passion sparkles forever in the shining eyes of a true love.
Sir William Christie, ruthless tycoon and notorious ladies’ man, is dead. Now his four grown children have gathered for the reading of his will. What lies in store for stepsiblings Vivienne, Alexander, and twins Gareth and Gwyneth? Stunning challenges that will test their fortitude across a royal empire . . . and lead them to the marvelously passionate adventures of their lives.
An esteemed astronomer, Alex Christie, the eldest and most steadfast of the Christie siblings, has never possessed his late father’s ruthless business drive. But to protect his frail infant son from his cruel father-in-law’s bid for custody, the young widower must undertake Sir William Christie’s posthumous million-dollar challenge: to make a Glasgow cotton mill profitable. At sea in an industrial world of sabotage and union agitation, Alex meets Polly Gowan, daughter of a famed union leader, who hopes to seize a mysterious saboteur without involving the police.
Because a sympathetic mill master would aid her cause, Polly becomes Alex’s guide to urban Scotland. From soccer games to pub brawls, Alex sees another side of life, and feels free for the first time to reveal the man–vital and strong–behind his intellectual exterior. Polly is utterly seduced. Their ambitions, however, remain at odds: Alex vows to earn the mill bonus to save his child, while Polly fights for the needs of her people. Is there strength enough in their sparkling passion to bind them together in their quests– and in a lasting love that conquers all?