Pages

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Late Summer Dreaming... by Christina Hollis


I began reading Mills and Boon Modern Romances (published as ‘Harlequin Presents’ in the USA) as a form of escape. It was a time when I didn’t know which way my life was heading. My head was crammed with conflicting ideas of what I should do. It is always a real relief to take a few hours off and relax with a good book, and they came to my rescue in those days. I could lose myself in a world where nothing was impossible. ‘Presents’ heroines could do and say all the things I could only dream about, and the heroes could always be relied on. Over the years, my life sorted itself out. I lost the job at the laundry that had caused me so much grief: I gained a wonderful husband and family. The one constant through all that change was my love of romance, and an inability to stop day-dreaming.

My latest Harlequin release, The Tuscan Tycoon’s Pregnant Housekeeper, is all about dreams. Michelle wanted to be an artist, but real life got in her way. She started off working as a cleaner, but managed to land the job of housekeeper at a luxurious villa in the south of France.

Alessandro arrived there to unwind, and they discover a shared love of art – and a lot more besides! When Alessandro finds out Michelle has become pregnant, his instant reaction is to take complete control of the situation. He whisks her off to his Tuscan villa. Michelle is determined to give her baby a better childhood than she had, but there is a high price to pay for Alessandro’s help. His heavy-handed arrogance destroys her dreams. In desperation she tries to escape his regime, with near tragic results. Almost too late, she discovers the reason why Alessandro is so protective.

I felt particularly close to Michelle as I was writing this story, as I love painting and drawing. Unfortunately, I lack her talent! It was great fun to imagine having the skill to convey a scene in a simple sketch. Early on in the story, Michelle achieves her dream of running an art gallery. I like to think she would put some of her own work on display.

What skill would you like to put to good use in your own life?

When Christina Hollis isn’t writing romances like The Tuscan Tycoon’s Pregnant Housekeeper, she is kept busy raising a family, wrangling a garden, some hens and anything up to a quarter of a million honey bees. The only time left for dreaming is in bed – or in the bath, with a good book and maybe some scented beeswax candles…

14 comments:

Mint said...

I don't know that I have any particular skill. I've worked hard all my life and raised two daughters who are now grown. I am no longer able to work so I have more time to devote to reading and spending time with my grandchildren. Maybe that is my skill, spending quality time with my grandkids and making sure they feel loved and appreciated.

Linda Henderson

Christina Hollis said...

Being a good, attentive parent and grandparent is a skill to be cultivated and prized - not all children (and grandchildren) are as lucky as yours, Linda. My grandfather taught me to read and my grandmother taught me to cook. I remember those shared times with real pleasure, and your grandchildren will, too!

Mary said...

Patience, I wish I had a little more patience with everything in my life. I read that you have honey bee's? omg, that's like one of my biggest fears. How is it to be around all those bee's?

Christina Hollis said...

Hi Mary - patience is a virtue I wish I had, too. Yes, I've got honeybees and it all started when a swarm arrived in our garden three years ago - I was so scared I rang the local swarm officer from underneath the kitchen table! I can't stand creepy crawlies, but the guy who came to rescue me made the whole subject sound so interesting, it made me want to learn more. One thing led to another and now I'm afraid to say the garden takes a bit of a back seat during the bee-keeping season!

Pat Cochran said...

I'm most organized everywhere except
at home! I do a lot of volunteering
which calls for sound organizational
skills. Perhaps I use home to let
down and renew!

Pat Cochran

Christina Hollis said...

Home is obviously your safe haven, Pat! One of the great things about that is, if you feel like kicking back and relaxing, you can shut your front door on everything and everyone else, and take it easy for a while. Lovely, isn't it?

Mary said...

Christina, it's interesting that you were first scared of the bee's and after he explained them to you that you would care for them. I find that very interesting and something I could never do. Good for you getting over your fears.

Mari said...

Christina, I just wanted to let you know I just bought the subject book yesterday and it is fabulous! I truly enjoy your books!

Christina Hollis said...

Thanks, Mary - I only wish my fear of dogs was as easily cured. We got a dog ourselves, hoping it would help. In a way, it did. He was a constant companion all his life and we loved him to bits. But it didn't stop me being very nervous about other people's animals!

Christina Hollis said...

Thank you for that lovely endorsement, Mari. It's made my day to hear that you've enjoyed 'The Tuscan Tycoon's Pregnant Housekeeper'.
Happy reading, everyone!

Mary said...

I had a dog when I was a kid but have never had one as an adult. All my pets have been Rats, Hamsters, Gerbils or Mice. I'm not afraid of anything but bee's. All types of bee's, wasps, hornets ect. I can understand being nervous around some dogs because some of them are quite big.

Christina Hollis said...

I was knocked down and bitten by a big stray when I was little, but luckily people seem to look after their animals much better these days and don't let them roam so much.
Now hornets - they're a different matter and seem to be on the increase. My friend got a nasty sting the other day. A hornet had been taking a nap inside her clean pair of jeans and when she pulled them on - ouch!

Mary said...

Ah well, the fear is understandable after that experience. Oh, yeah that would hurt. I feel for anyone getting stung by a hornet.

Emmanuelle said...

And yet another book to add to my shopping cart ;-)
Congrats !!