Thursday, November 17, 2016

Guest post: The end ... or maybe not? by Christina Phillips | New Release: Tainted (The Druid Chronicles #4)

Finally, the fourth book in The Druid Chronicles series. What a journey it has been! I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. I've thoroughly enjoyed having Christina visit the bloggity and also reading the books, which I am slowly making my way through. Don't you love Christina's writing?

I particularly loved Chrsitina's portrayal of all the women in the series so far. I'm looking forward to learning more about Antonia in thist story. I bet she's going to give Gawain a run for his money. :-)

Please give Christina a very warm welcome.

The end ... or maybe not?

A big thank you, Deanna, for having me back to help celebrate the release of the final (for now!) book in The Druid Chronicles. The heroes of the previous three books were all Roman, and in Tainted I wanted to mix things up. There was a Celt warrior, Gawain, who first appeared in book 1, Forbidden, and I had readers contact me asking when I was going to write his story. It took a while, but I knew he needed a very special heroine to help him heal from the past and I found her in the Roman noblewoman, Antonia.

At the start of Tainted Gawain is embittered and in danger of losing his way. Not only has he become estranged from his gods but he’s still reeling from a brutal betrayal where his fellow warriors were slaughtered in battle. Although he’s instantly attracted to the icily beautiful Antonia, he doesn’t expect to feel anything deeper for her—after all, she’s his enemy, a pampered, bored patrician.

I had so much fun proving him wrong 

After writing about three strong Druid heroines, who were all warriors in their own way, I loved getting to know Antonia whose culture was so different. She doesn’t go onto the battlefield and she can’t use a bow or dagger, but as Gawain comes to learn—she has the heart of a warrior and an inner strength that puts him to shame.

But Rome doesn’t give up her possessions so easily…

And now here's Tainted.

Tainted by Christina Phillips

The Druid Chronicles #4
By: Christina Phillips
Releasing November 7, 2016
Phoenix 18 Publishing

Buy Links:  Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Tainted by Christina Phillips blurb

Goodreads | Goodreads series


Set up: Three days after Gawain and Antonia first meet in Carys and Maximus’ villa, Gawain catches sight of Antonia in the marketplace…

    He pushed himself from the wall and sauntered toward her. She didn’t turn away, didn’t attempt to break eye contact or disappear into the bustling crowd. She merely stood there, waiting for him.
    Anticipation thrummed through his veins. She might not have arranged for an illicit assignation as his other Roman conquests had. But her surrender smoldered in the air, enhanced by the foreign spices and exotic delicacies on offer at neighboring stalls.
    “Lady Antonia.” He didn’t offer her his hand. He knew she would never accept his kiss of greeting. At least, not in public. Instead he gave a half bow, unable to keep the smile of satisfaction from his lips. “I trust the day finds you well.”
    She inclined her head, a familiar gesture he recalled from their conversation at Carys’. “Thank you.” Her voice was as cool as he remembered and just as enchanting. For a moment he thought she intended to say more, but instead she dropped the ribbons she’d been holding back onto the stall.
    He waited, but she appeared fascinated by a collection of glittering colored beads displayed in a woven basket. Was she waiting for him to make the next move? If she’d changed her mind then surely she wouldn’t still be standing here beside him, looking so remote and untouchable?
    “Would you care for some company?” Gods, the stilted words all but choked him. If she were a Celt, he could come right out and say what he meant. But that hadn’t stopped him with the other Romans he’d laid. They’d been superficially shocked by his blunt, barbarous manner but also delighted. So why, with Antonia, did he feel this odd need to coat his base intentions with honeyed words?
    He’d not felt so restricted the other day. But when they’d conversed before, they hadn’t been in the middle of a busy marketplace.
    She gave him a lingering sideways glance. “Perhaps.” A delicate blush highlighted her cheeks, giving her an irresistible air of seductive innocence. It took him a moment to drag his mesmerized thoughts from such a laughable illusion.     Antonia might be a seductress but she was no innocent. He wasn’t interested in innocence. And he couldn’t fathom why such a thought had drifted across his mind in the first place.
    Antonia was playing a game. She might have played it countless times in the past with various lovers. He had no objection. Not when the outcome remained the same.
    “Do you often visit the markets?” He glanced at Antonia’s companion, a young woman who, although doubtless a slave, didn’t instantly drop her gaze to the ground when he caught her eye. Instead, she appeared to be scrutinizing him in a way he couldn’t fathom.
    He returned his attention to Antonia who was now once again looking his way.     If she made a habit of visiting the market it would be an easy matter to secure a room somewhere nearby for their mutual pleasure.
    “Rarely,” she said, demolishing that idea. “My father is convinced danger lurks for me on every corner.”
    “And what do you think? Does danger lurk for you at every corner?” Even as he spoke, he knew the answer. She was too fragile to defend herself against any form of attack. That was why she would never be allowed to wander the markets without her slave and, he was certain, a guarded litter to escort her through the streets.
    But there were ways around such obstacles.
    “Oh.” A smile tugged at her lips. “Not every corner.”
    He laughed, surprising himself, but her response had been slightly deprecating and unexpectedly amusing. An intriguing combination for a Roman noblewoman.
    “Do not fear. My sword is at your disposal.”
    She didn’t simper or gasp in mock outrage at his words. Her smile deepened and with an odd sense of disbelief, he realized she read no sexual implication in his comment at all.
    “I trust you’ll never need to use it on my account.”
    Her words confirmed his suspicion. Unless this, also, was part of her seduction routine?
    He leaned toward her, enough to give them an illusion of privacy but not close enough to cause heads to turn.
    “I look forward to nothing more than using it on your account, my lady.”
    A blush suffused her cheeks and he stared at her, transfixed. Anyone would imagine she was an untouched virgin, unused to such banter. Yet he knew that, despite their outward show of modesty, in private Roman matrons could be as earthy in matters of sex as his own countrywomen.
    Unless Antonia truly was a virgin? Unease slid through his mind. He couldn’t imagine why any husband would leave a woman as desirable as Antonia a maiden. Or was this the reason for her divorce? Because her husband had no interest in women?
    “In that case, I have no objection to encountering your…weapon.” Her whisper was so low he had to lean in closer to catch every word. Her elusive scent of woodland flowers teased his senses, stirred his blood and made a mockery of his vow to withdraw. Her eyes no longer reminded him of winter’s ice. They smoldered like a scorching summer sky. Virgin or not, he wanted her.
    Relief seared through him. Antonia was good, he gave her that. For a moment he’d fallen for her façade of innocence.
    “Then we should make haste with our introductions.” He couldn’t help but laugh aloud, both at his outrageous words and the look of bewitchment on Antonia’s face. He knew she likely practiced that enchanting expression a dozen times a day in order to snare her lovers. It didn’t matter. He had no intention of becoming ensnared but saw no reason not to enjoy her entertaining performance. “My weapon is primed to defend your honor.”
Read Chapter One here.

Author Info

Christina Phillips

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter

Find Deanna around SOCIAL MEDIA:
blogger  blogger  rss  facebook  twitter  instagram  email  youtube  pinterest  google+  goodreads


  1. Hi Christina

    Sounds like another fab story I really need to catch up on this series woohoo :)

    Have Fun

    1. Me too! I need to get my tookus into gear and get reading.