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Saturday 25 June 2011

Exciting Times

The year is dashing by - I can hardly believe the longest day has come and gone already. It won't be long before the honey harvest, which happens here in mid to late July depending on the weather. I don't take much, as I keep bees more for the enjoyment and environmental benefits than for what they can give me. Though I get hours of free entertainment (and sometimes disappointment and frustration) out of them as well! In anticipation of the harvest, I ordered just a few odds and ends of equipment - as I thought. It arrived in three huge boxes, though luckily none were very heavy. It's amazing how much space a thermometer, some flat-pack carpentry and a few sheets of wax can take up when everything is individually packed in tons of shredded paper! Does your hobby end up filling the house from top to bottom with bits and pieces?
By the same post,  I got some some copies of the Japanese version of The Count of Castelfino and the French edition of Count Giovanni's Virgin. I like to get these as the cover art is always subtly different from country to country. This means my bookshelves are filling up, so I'm going to be giving away a copy of each of these most recent additions to my collection. If you have Japanese or French friends, they'd make an unusual present!
To get your name into the draw for one of these signed copies, just email me via my website, http://www.christinahollis.com putting either the word 'Japanese' or the word 'French' in the subject line. Good luck in the draw!

Thursday 16 June 2011

Address Book Burgling

WARNING: If a message gets posted on your Facebook page containing a survey allegedly from me, please mail me direct at christinahollis@hotmaildotcom (replacing word 'dot' with an actual dot) to check before continuing. I've heard of a couple of instances lately when questions have been posted asking people 'Do you think Christina Hollis is smart?' or 'Do you think Christina Hollis will make a good parent?' These are clearly spam and have absolutely nothing to do with me. It's this kind of thing that is rapidly putting me off Facebook. I suspect these messages are automatically generated in response to requests for access to on-line address books, so the system can trawl for other 'friends' to contact.

I don't like to think of questions being generated in my name like this. It might seem a minor gripe, but Facebook is so widely used the opportunities for bullying are immense. Imagine an insecure young person seeing their name attached to a question such as 'Do you think so-and so is pretty/fat/smart?'. Social network has revolutionised life for millions of people, and when used for good it's great fun and a vital link between people who would otherwise never meet, but it has its down side.

Have you come across any problems like this? Do you find the benefits of Facebook, Twitter etc outweigh the problems?

Monday 13 June 2011

A Sense of Place

Here's the view from the hotel I stayed in recently. It's Canary Wharf, part of the Docklands development in London. The Thames ran past our windows, and at low tide all sorts of flotsam and Jetsam was exposed. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, this was where my grandfather's family made their living. They were mudlarks, salvaging and selling on anything they could. It was the nineteenth century version of reuse, repair and recycle, but it can't have paid very well. Grampy ended up in Barnardo's. Once he was old enough to be useful, he was to be sent to Canada but didn't think much of that idea. One night he ran away, lied about his age and joined the British Army. It sounds very romantic, but I suspect it was anything but!

Wednesday 8 June 2011

My New Work In Progress...

...is another Modern Romance for Harlequin Mills and Boon Modern Romance. Leo Cassini is a bad boy made good - but his determination to be the best has cost him the two people who meant most to him in the world. Embittered and cynical, he finds consolation in his work.
 It’ll take a strong woman to iron out Leo’s flaws. So step forward, Alexa Crane!
That’s her, hiding behind this comforting pile of pancakes.
On the outside, Alexa is a hard bitten business woman - but that’s only because she has become an expert at hiding her problems. Unknown to everyone, Alexa is leading a bizarre double life. Whenever things become too much to bear, she eats.
So it’s a good job Leo’s ex-wife has left him with a deep suspicion of scale-jockeys…

Friday 3 June 2011

News and Views

I had some great news this week. My Mills and Boon Modern Romance, The French Aristocrat's Baby, has gone on release in the US. It's published as a Harlequin Presents Extra, with a new title: The Count's Challenge.  You can see the details here:  http://www.eharlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=23974

I've also been busy updating my author biography and photographs. If you'd like the new information, please mail me via my website, http://www.christinahollis.com .

Here in the UK we've had some beautiful weather over the past few weeks. I hope the weather is good where you are, too!

Wednesday 1 June 2011


...To Minna and Judith, who won signed copies of The Hot Headed Virgin collection in my May Competition. Thank you to everyone who entered!