Australian Women Writers Feature: Christina Brooke & Mad About The Earl

Meet Christina Brooke

Christina Brooke is a former lawyer who staged a brilliant escape from the corporate world and landed squarely in Regency England.

She was the first Australian to win the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award for her first published novel and was nominated for a RITA award for her second historical romance, writing as Christine Wells. Her books have also been nominated for RT’s Reviewer’s Choice Award, Bookseller’s Best and the Australian Romantic Book of the Year Award.

Christina makes her home in sunny Queensland, Australia with her husband, two small boys and one enormous girl dog called Monty. Monty is the inspiration for Ophelia, the Great Dane in the Ministry of Marriage series. However, the resemblance of any human characters to real life people is purely accidental. Christina loves to travel, particularly to England for research and most especially to see her dear friends and colleagues in the United States. She also loves walking, window shopping for antiques and enjoying good food, good wine and good times with her friends and family.

Australian Cover

Mad About the Earl , the second in her historical romance series, Ministry of Marriage is her latest release, published in Australia by Penguin  and St Martin’s Press in the US this month. I am thrilled that she agreed to participate in my Australian Women Writers feature and answer a few question.

Welcome Christine!

Can you tell us about the The Ministry of Marriage and your newest release,  Mad About the Earl?

First of all, thank you for having me on your blog today, Shelleyrae. Lovely to be here.

I write romance set in Regency England, a time when the Romantic movement influenced not only artists of all kinds but the aristocracy, too. Prior to this, most noble families arranged marriages for their children where possible. By Regency times, love matches were becoming more common. I decided that I would write about certain noble families who form a cabal and agree to arrange marriages for the young people in their clans as a kind of last stand against this falling in love business! Thus, the body flippantly referred to as the Ministry of Marriage was born.

Mad About the Earl is about a couple who were betrothed by the Ministry of Marriage before they even met — Lady Rosamund Westruther and Griffin, Earl of Tregarth. It’s a classic beauty and the beast tale with a Regency twist. I had a lot of fun pitting the stubborn, rough-mannered Griffin against society beauty, Rosamund. Griffin thinks he is unworthy of Rosamund, but of course, Rosamund sees the wounded soul beneath the beastly exterior and she’s determined to win this big brute’s heart.

Read an excerpt of Mad About The Earl

Your series is set in the Regency era in England – what is it that you find most attractive about that period?  What would you have liked least if you had lived in the Regency period?

I love the wit and style of the Regency era and the way people could not always say what they thought—there’s a lot of subtext beneath all the witty banter.

As for what I would have liked least– I almost said that I wouldn’t have wished to be born into poverty in this era but of course, appalling poverty exists today as well. I definitely wouldn’t have liked to live in an era where the infant mortality rate was so high no matter what class you were from—it would be terribly difficult to know that at least one of my babies would probably die in infancy.

What’s the most fun thing you have done in the name of research? Have you ever attended a Regency (Reenactment) Ball for example?

I’m not very interested in acting out the past myself, although I do own a Georgian cookery book I intend to cook from…one day! Probably the most fun I have researching is visiting stately homes in England. There’s a story everywhere you look.

US Cover

Australia was in its infancy during the Regency period, will the Ministry of Marriage’s reach possibly extend as far as Australia in future title?

No, if I ever write a book set in Australia I would write it in a contemporary setting. I think even the Ministry of Marriage’s reach wouldn’t extend to the southern hemisphere!

Could you recommend three historical romance novels by Australian authors, or set in Australia, for the readers?

Midnight’s Wild Passion by Anna Campbell

Bride By Mistake by Anne Gracie

Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue by Stephanie Laurens

What is your preference?

  • Coffee/Tea or other? Coffee
  • Beach/Pool or River? Beach
  • Slacks/Jeans or Leggings? Slacks
  • Butterfly/Tiger or Giraffe Giraffe
  • Swing/Slide or Roundabout? Slide

I wonder what all that says about me! LOL

Thanks again for having me on your blog, Shelleyrae!

Thank you so much for your time Christina, I wish you much success with Mad About The Earl and future titles in the series.

Don’t miss the first Ministry of Marriage title,


Christina Brooke’s novels are available

@ Boomerang Books I @ Booktopia @ Fishpond

& and all good Australian bookstores

@ Amazon I @ Book Depository

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Robin Nolet
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 07:21:50

    Great interview! I’ll definitely check out the book…and I really found the difference between the Australian and American covers fascinating! Does Christina have a preference?



  2. Helene Young
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 18:45:16

    Love Christina’s books! Witty, charming and altogether delicious.

    Her earlier ones, written as Christina Wells, are in my keeper pile.



  3. Christina Brooke
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 05:04:07

    Hi Robin, thanks for commenting! I love both covers and I think they are perfect for their markets. The U.S. like the covers to be a little sexier and that’s fine because it is a sexy book. I love that they both used that same blue, because that is a colour Rosamund wears when she and Griffin first meet. It’s always nice to get that detail on the cover.

    Helen, thanks so much! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed my books.



  4. Melanie
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 06:51:12

    Ooh, arranged marriage novels are always intriguing.



  5. Cialina
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 14:42:41

    Oooh thanks for sharing. I absolutely love the sound of this series and I’ll definitely check them out. I love regencies with Beauty and the Beast undertones. 🙂



  6. Theresa
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 13:44:08

    Hi Christine,
    I loved Heiress in Love and can’t wait to get Mad ABout the Earl! It’s interesting knowing the beginnings of the Ministry of Marriage.



  7. maria
    Feb 26, 2012 @ 17:37:29

    i luved heiress in love
    wish i can read d second book
    cant find it online
    d book also cant be found in india:(



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