Spotlight on Guest Author Christina Courtenay

This week, I’m pleased to welcome Christina Courtenay to the blog spotlight. I’ve just read her fantastic new novel Echoes of the Runes and it is a real treat. See my review below.

I asked Christina some questions…

What originally made you start to write?

I had just had my first child and wanted to stay at home with her rather than go back to work so I was looking for some way of earning money from home. I stupidly thought it would be easy to write a Mills & Boon novel – in fact, I wrote two and sent them both! Needless to say that didn’t work out so well … (I was eventually published 21 years later, the week after my daughter left home).

Do you think what you write is influenced by the area in which you live?

It is certainly influenced by places I have lived in and visited, but I don’t stick to just the particular place where I am based now. My first novels were set in Sweden and Japan, because that’s where I grew up. Later I wrote a story about Raglan Castle (which is near my present home), and now I’m working on a series about Vikings, thus returning to my Scandinavian roots.

Swedish lake
A Swedish lake

If your novel was made into a film, which actors would play the leading roles?

The heroine could perhaps be played by Lily Collins (although they’d have to make her hair long and curly and change her eye colour). As for the hero, it has to be Chris Hemsworth 😀

What is your favourite childhood book and why?

All twenty-one Famous Five books! I absolutely adored these and no birthday or Christmas was complete unless I received at least one as a present. I’m not quite sure why I loved them so much – perhaps it was the freedom those children had to roam the countryside at will, combined with their knack of finding treasure. It all sounded so idyllic! (Plus I wanted a dog and when I eventually got one, I named him Timmy).

(I loved Famous Fives too! I so wanted to have a big brother called Julian 😄 Mx)

What are you working on now?

I have just finished edits on the second book in my Viking series (the first one is out in March and the next one will be published in December this year) and I’m now working on the third. The research for this will involve going on a one-day course in silversmithing, which I’m looking forward to immensely, and possibly some travelling!

Viking loom and yarn
A Viking loom and wool

(Christina and I both share a love of weaving and are interested in natural dye methods. We’d like to go on a course to learn to use a Viking loom like the one in the picture! Mx)

About Christina Courtenay

Christina Courtenay and her dogs

Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories. She lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) and is married with two children. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) and has won several of their awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014).  Echoes of the Runes (time slip published by Headline 5th March 2020) is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

To keep in touch with Christina, you can use the following links:-

Website –

Facebook –

Twitter –

Instagram –

About Echoes of the Runes

Echoes of the Runes_cover MEDIUM

Their love was forbidden. But echoed in eternity.

When Mia inherits her beloved grandmother’s summer cottage, Birch Thorpe, in Sweden, she faces a dilemma. Her fiancé Charles urges her to sell and buy a swanky London home, but Mia cannot let it go easily. The request to carry out an archaeological dig for more Viking artefacts like the gold ring Mia’s grandmother also left her, offers her a reprieve from a decision – and from Charles.

As Mia becomes absorbed in the dig’s discoveries, she finds herself drawn to archaeologist Haakon Berger. Like her, he can sense the past inhabitants whose lives are becoming more vivid every day. Trying to resist the growing attraction between them, Mia and Haakon begin to piece together the story of a Welsh noblewoman, Ceri, and the mysterious Viking, known as the ‘White Hawk’, who stole her away from her people in 869 AD.

As the present begins to echo the past, and enemies threaten Birch Thorpe’s inhabitants, they will all have to fight to protect what has become most precious to each of them…

To buy Echoes of the Runes, you can use the following link –

Morton’s review – 5 star – A Viking delight! I always enjoy stories involving history and at one time wanted to be an archaeologist, so this book was right up my street. The weaving of the past and present stories and the echoes of the past in the present were skilfully handled and enthralling. I always know when a book is good if I’m tempted to sneak away to read when I should be doing something else and this book was definitely enticing me away from daily activities. Definitely a book where you can lose yourself in the story and imagine yourself in the two heroines’ shoes. Next book please … Mx


Watch out for Victoria Cornwall next week.


Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available now as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon Kindle, Audio, Apple iBooks, Kobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

The Truth Lies Buried is available now from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKobo, Apple iBooks. This will be available as a paperback and audiobook.

The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available as a paperback and from all eBook platforms – Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.



By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels.


  1. Great post ladies. I have wonderful memories of reading the Famous Five books to my daughter who loved them, too. And I wonder how many fictional heroes the lovely Chris Hemsworth has inspired – my guess is a lot 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yet another fascinating insight into the many differing inspirations for a novelist. Always interesting to see what makes people start writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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