Monday, February 25, 2013


Today on Novels On The Run I have a Q & A with Australian author Lee Christine.

'In Safe Hands' is a digital read published by  Escape Publishing an imprint of Harlequin. It is a romance, suspense , thriller with a rather delicious ex SAS Commander, Luke.

Hi Lee, I am Michelle thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to answer my Q & A’s . I really enjoyed Luke and Allegra’s story.

Michelle:  What 5 words describe Lee Christine the author? 

Lee:  Imaginative, deep thinker, still learning.

Michelle:  You are an Aussie author, woot! Sydney is your backdrop for ‘In Safe Hands’. I lived in Sydney for 3.5 yrs so I enjoyed the familiarity of your locations. I am used to reading books where I cannot picture the location as I don’t live in USA I have to go on the author’s description. Choosing Aussie soil as your backdrop to your mystery/thriller opposed to say USA soil, was that a case of what you knew best or would you write a book in the future on another countries turf? 

Lee: I set “In Safe Hands” in Sydney because it’s a young and exciting city, with stellar landmarks. Also, many romantic suspense novels are set in the US, and we read about their police force and their military. I wanted readers to experience our military, or ex military in Luke’s case, and read about our police force and our legal practitioners. I have travelled extensively, so I think it’s inevitable not every book I write will be set in Sydney. But my plan is for “Grace and Poole”, the legal firm where Allegra is employed, to become the nucleus of a series.

Michelle:  Your publisher is Escape Publishing an imprint of Harlequin Aust, this is a digital only release for Australian authors. Can you tell us anything about your ‘getting published’ journey? 

Lee:    Following the RWA Conference at the Gold Coast last year, I had three e-publishers wanting “In Safe Hands” which was all a bit crazy for a newbie author like me. Prior to that, the novel had three contest wins in the USA as an unpublished manuscript, a second in the 2011 Valerie Parv Award, and a commended in the 2012 Clendon. I definitely think that helped me on the road to publication.

Michelle:  What has been one of the more memorable author book signing events you have been to? 

Lee: I haven’t been to one yet, but I’m attending ARRA in Brisbane, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Michelle:  Former SAS Commander Luke Neilson is very Aussie smexi. What sort of research did you do for Luke’s character?

Lee: I had to do quite a bit of research into the Australian SAS hierarchy, especially since Luke has a gag order on him, which prevents him speaking about any ‘Black Ops’ (the operations that never happened). I also read as much as I could on Ben Roberts-Smith, our very own Victoria Cross recipient and SAS soldier.

Michelle:  Is , ‘In Safe Hands’ a stand alone book or will there be a series of SAS boys with a story to tell? 

Lee: ‘In Safe Hands’ is not a standalone book. I am currently writing a spin-off, again set in Sydney, involving Grace and Poole Lawyers. As yet, there are no SAS soldiers on the horizon, but that’s not to say they won’t star in the future. And there are cameos from Luke and Allegra.

Michelle:  Do you have another project you can tell us about, maybe even a teaser quote if possible? 

Lee:  I am currently writing ‘The Hideaway’. The heroine in this story is Josie, Allegra Greenwood’s PA at Grace and Poole, Lawyers. Josie witnesses the murder of Allegra’s client, Lizard Mulvaney in the opening chapter, and the Sydney bikie gang responsible order a hit on her. There’s a very alpha hero, and there’s a bit of an age difference between these two, which makes things interesting. Here’s a teaser:- 

“You won’t get away with this,” Josie said.

Nate made a conscious effort to loosen his death grip on the steering wheel. “I didn’t kill Mulvaney.”

“But you’re going to kill me—aren’t you?” Her voice sank to a whisper. “I heard him give you the order.”

“Don’t tempt me.” But he couldn’t help smirking at the wobbly defiance in her voice. He had to admit, the princess had balls.

“Why did you people kill him?”

“You people.” Nate raised his eyebrows. “Now that sounds like something an overly privileged, private school educated, North Shore brat would say.”

Michelle:  What song would you think describes Luke’s character and why?

Lee: I’d have to give this to our very own Guy Sebastian with “Battle Scars”, featuring Lupe Fiasco, my new fave song. Luke is battle scarred, but he’s hanging onto Allegra, trying to save her life and win her heart, even though he knows she’ll be devastated when she learns his secret. But she’s the best he’s ever had, so, as it says in the lyrics, even though the signs are saying he should forget her, he’s not listening.

Michelle: What song do you think describes Allegra’s character and why? 

Lee:  Mariah Carey’s “Hero”, because, while Luke is the hero of the novel, a hero also lies within Allegra. She’s strong, though terrified, and she continues to go to work and appear in Court, despite the stalker.

Michelle:  A lot of authors have playlists for their books, or a song that got them through a particular scene. Do you listen to music when you are writing for inspiration, if so, what was the one song that you played the most? 

Lee:  Absolutely. I play the alto saxophone, so there’s always music in the house and car, and there’s many musical references in my novels eg. ‘his heart a metronomic pulse beneath her fingertips’, ‘her stilettos tapping out a staccato rhythm on the marble tiles’, even her name ‘Allegra’ comes from the Italian musical terms ‘allegretto’ and ‘allegro’. While I was writing ‘In Safe Hands’ I was listening to Maroon 5 and Noel Gallagher. The song I played most was “If I had a gun” by Noel. I love that lyric ‘my eyes have always followed you around the room’. Made me think of Luke watching Allegra at the dinner. I’m presently listening to “Of Monsters and Men”. Sensational Icelandic band.

Michelle:  Is the villain or the good guys harder for you to write and why? 

Lee:  The good guys are definitely harder for me to write. Villains are mostly bad, whereas the good guys can be hiding beneath a rough exterior and are more three dimensional.

 Did you have a particular person or celeb in your head when writing Luke’s character or was he one of our Aussie soldiers? Folks, Luke is very humma, humma! 

Lee:  Not really. Luke is my personal fantasy guy. However, Jim Caviezal from ‘Person of Interest’ looks how I imagined Luke would look.

Michelle: If you could invite 4 people , real or fictional, alive or dead to dinner, who would they be and why? 

Lee:  I know I should say writers, but it would have to be John Lennon and Sting, (for their song writing abilities), my dad (so he could see what I’m doing now) and Jon Bon Jovi (because he’s still hot.)

Michelle:  Fun question to wrap up the interview, if your life was like a box of chocolates, what flavour would it be and why? Now if you don’t like chocolates I can go with icecream. 

Lee:  Hmm. Tough one. I prefer ice cream to chocolate, gelato actually. I’ll go for Baskin & Robbins Berry Romantic because I love all kinds of berries.

Michelle:  Thank You Lee again for answering my Q & A’s best wishes for your writing career.

Thanks so much for having me Michelle.

Best wishes,

Lee Christine



  1. Great interview, Michelle. Reading Lee's experiences suggests we're on the brink of an e-publishing explosion. In Safe Hands seems like a pretty cool little thriller. And it's set in Sydney, no less. Awesome to see Noel Gallagher getting some props. Who would've thought he'd share playlist space with Guy Sebastien and Mariah Carey? Lee certainly has eclectic tastes. Looking forward to checking out her book.

    1. Hey M.J thanks for dropping by and your comments. Much appreciated. I love the music Q it is one of my faves. I find it interesting what authors come up with. Yes very eclectic.



  2. OMG An Aussie in uniform. Swoon!!!!! I didn't care much fir Jon Bonjovi but after I saw him on Oprah helping out victims of Katrina that's when I had a big crush on him. Gelatinous trumps traditional ice cream hands down.

    1. You keep getting spammed Ms B. Not sure why some comments get thru and some get stuck :) I found a couple in spam .. again!

      I like Bon Jovi, I think he is rather cute :) You should hear me sing Bad Medicine. I kind sucketh but I enjoy myself!



  3. Thanks MJ, hope you enjoy the book.


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