Celebrating Romantic Fiction

SportsdayChristina here. You know that saying, “It’s not the winning but the taking part that counts”? That’s a hard lesson to learn when you’re little. How many times have we said it to ourselves, our children or our friends when someone lost at something or didn’t win some competition or sport? I know I repeated it to my daughters until I was blue in the face, but it didn’t stop the disappointment on their faces as they came away emptyhanded from yet another school sports day.

“Mummy, can’t we buy a medal?” my oldest asked once, obviously not having grasped the whole concept of such competitions at all. And clearly, she had already learned that a lot of things in life can be bought, which wasn’t a lesson I wanted her to absorb at such a young age. Thankfully, we eventually begin to understand the saying as we grow up and it makes perfect sense.

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Welcome to the New Wench

Anne here, and today I'm delighted to introduce you to our newest wench — Christina Courtenay. RNAteaChristina&Susanna copy

Christina is an award-winning, bestselling author of sweeping historical romances, regencies, time slip/time travel novels, and young adult novels, among others. She has won several awards, twice winning the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014), and won the Big Red Reads Historical Fiction Award with The Scarlet Kimono.

She also chaired the RNA (Romantic Novelists Association) in the UK from 2013-2015. (Read an interview here.) Naturally she is friends with wench Nicola, but she's also very good friends with our departing wench, Susanna. Here's a photo of the two of them together at an RNA event some years ago.

2book-cover-trade-windsI first came across Christina's books five years ago, when Nicola mentioned one of her books, saying that it was set partly in Asia, something that always interests me. I bought Trade Winds, read it, and immediately glommed the rest of her backlist. I loved her big sweeping stories where Scottish and Swedish people found love and adventure in Japan and other parts of Asia.

Christina: Thank you Anne, so glad you enjoyed them, and I’m hugely honoured to have been asked to join the Word Wenches! I have been a fan ever since Susanna first told me to seek out this blog many years ago (thank you, Susanna, great advice!) so to actually be a part of it is just amazing.

Anne: Christina, you had something of an adventurous youth yourself; born in England, raised in Sweden and then, when you were sixteen, your family moved to Japan. What was that like?

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