Jan 4, 2014
Lee Christine is a former legal practice manager and corporate trainer. An amateur songwriter in her teens, she is passionate about music, and plays the alto saxophone. In 2011, In Safe Hands won first place in the Romance Writers of America Silicon Valley Gotcha Contest, followed in 2012 with first place in The Smoky Mountains Laurie Award and the East Texas Southern Heat Writing Contest. The novel also received a Commended in the 2012 Romance Writers of New Zealand Clendon Award. In Safe Hands is Lee’s first novel, and she is currently writing her second, another gripping romantic suspense. She has two grown children, and lives in Newcastle, Australia.
‘So Nate, thanks for granting us this interview today.’
(Leans back in the chair with a disarming smile.) ‘No problem.’
‘So, first up, I’d like to ask if you know what inspired Lee to call her novel ‘In Safe Arms’?’
‘Well, I mean, it’s obvious isn’t it? She likes arms.’ (Flexes left arm and grins wickedly). ‘She’s totally into the whole biceps and triceps thing, I mean, just take a look at the cover. No, seriously, she agonized over the title for a long, long time, and because she’s written a series with some common characters, the first novel being ‘In Safe Hands’, it made sense to go with this title. It makes it clearer to readers that it’s a series, and I’m pretty sure the title ‘In Safe Arms’ was born after some serious brainstorming with her best coffee buddy. It’s a nice play on words too, seeing the story is about the murder of the president of an outlaw motorcycle gang in Sydney. Because, you see, bikies these days are involved in everything from laundering money to the importation of illegal firearms. So, she liked ‘In Safe Arms’ because of the play on the word arms.
Oh, that’s interesting Nate. Is there anything else you can tell us about the title?
(Strokes his fingers along his jaw line and thinks for a bit.) Well, no-one else knows this, oh, okay, her editor, Kate Cuthbert and her critique partner know, but the working title of the novel was originally called ‘The Hideaway’. And I know for a fact, the novel still resides in a folder called ‘The Hideaway’ on Lee’s laptop. She hasn’t changed the name of that folder to ‘In Safe Arms’ yet. She’s superstitious like that.’
‘Really? Why was it originally called ‘The Hideaway’?’
‘There’s an old World War II air raid shelter in the backyard of the safe house which originally was going to have a more prominent role. The structure’s still in the novel, but she turned it into my wine cellar, which I’m totally cool with, because I’m a bit of a wine buff. AND, Lee being the total music tragic she is, playing the sax and all that, she called it ‘The Hideaway’ after seeing Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges up at Bluesfest last Easter.’ She seriously loves the blues.
‘Fantastic! So tell me, what’s she like to work with?’
‘I wish she’d stop throwing me into all those dangerous situations, like putting me back in the bikie compound and having to deal with Bull, Grassy and the Viper. I mean, they bloody well gave me ink. (Pulls up his tee-shirt and shows the Altar Boys crest tattooed into his shoulder.) ‘I was pissed off about that. I hate needles and all I wanted was to stay in bed with Josie. (Waves a dismissive hand). ‘Other than doing shit like that—she’s great.’
Smooth, seductive and savage: Lee Christine returns to the dark, criminal underbelly of Sydney with her follow-up to In Safe Hands.
Legal secretary Josephine Valenti has no idea why a notorious bikie president would be contacting her, but when he is murdered in front of her eyes, she knows that she is in very deep trouble. Fleeing to her home, she’s intercepted by Nate Hunter, a man she used to know and lust after…a man she used to care about.
However, Nate has changed. His leathers and his bike tell of a lifestyle that Josie can’t begin to accept or understand. His is a life of drugs, money laundering and prostitution.
Though, all is not what it seems, and Josie must fight harder than she ever has before — for the truth, for what’s right, and, ultimately for the man who still has a hold of her heart.
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