PERSONAL: Born in OH. Education: Earned Ph.D. Hobbies and other interests: Feng shui, qi-gong, offroading, hiking, charity work with the Dulaan Project and Heifer Project International.
ADDRESSES: Home—Scottsdale, AZ. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Bantam Dell Publicity, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
CAREER: Writer and novelist. Translator for international oil consortium in Beijing, China. Guest on various broadcast shows and networks.
East of Forever, Dell (New York, NY), 1993.
Come the Night, Dell (New York, NY), 1994.
Come the Dawn, Dell (New York, NY), 1995.
2000 Kisses, Dell (New York, NY), 1999.
Going Overboard, Dell (New York, NY), 2001.
My Spy, Dell (New York, NY), 2002.
Hot Pursuit, Bantam Dell (New York, NY), 2003.
Code Name: Nanny, Bantam Dell (New York, NY), 2004.
Code Name: Princess, Bantam Dell (New York, NY), 2004.
Code Name: Baby, HQN Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Code Name: Blondie, HQN Books (New York, NY), 2006.
"DRAYCOTT ABBEY" SERIES; ROMANCE NOVELS
Hour of the Rose, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1994.
Bridge of Dreams, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1995.
Bride of the Mist, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1996.
Key to Forever, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1997.
Season of Wishes, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1997.
Christmas Knight, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1998.
Enchantment (audiobook), Renaissance Productions, 1999.
The Perfect Gift, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1999.
(With Elizabeth Harbison) A Walk down the Aisle (audiobook), 1999.
Also author of four nonfiction books on Chinese culture.
SIDELIGHTS: Christina Skye, an expert on classical Chinese poetry and an international consultant, transformed into a best-selling romance novelist in the 1990s. She is especially well known for her Regency-era novels and her "Draycott Abbey" books, which place her characters in a haunted Scottish abbey, where they find adventure and romance.
Skye read voraciously as a child and studied Chinese literature in college. When she finished her doctorate, she took a job as a translator for an international oil consortium in Beijing. She found the work to be fairly quiet most of the time, though she occasionally ended up arbitrating between drunken Australian and German engineers or helping her boss smuggle prostitutes into the highly guarded state guest house. Although she enjoyed her job, the long trans-Pacific flights became increasingly difficult for her.
Skye began writing in 1979, penning four books on Chinese culture. She interviewed master puppeteers, sculptors, painters, and artists to learn their ancient secrets and recorded them, hoping to preserve centuries-old crafts that are increasingly rare in modern China. Then, in 1990, Skye switched to writing fiction. She wrote historical romances set in the Regency period and created the "Draycott Abbey" series. Her trademarks are witty dialogue and a sense of humor, as well as steamy love scenes. East of Forever showcases some of Skye's expertise on Chinese literature. The heroine searches for an erotic Chinese "pillow book" her father's kidnappers demanded as ransom; she finds the book and the love of her life at the same time. She is also proficient in a Regency-era martial art.
Skye wrote several Regency novels about the wealthy and eccentric Delamere family. In Come the Night, heroine Silver St. Clair is captured by a highwayman who is heir to the richest title in England; she is also the target of other bandits who seek the formula to her family's successful perfume. In Come the Dawn, heiress India—also a martial arts expert with a pet wolf—secretly marries Devlyn Carlisle, but thinks he has died in the battle of Waterloo. She returns to London to resume her life, but so does Devlyn; though in love with her, he pretends not to remember her as he is on a secret mission for the Duke of Wellington to recover some French diamonds. A reviewer for the Library Journal wrote that this novel "will appeal to readers who like their historicals adventurous."
In the "Draycott Abbey" series, a kindly ghost named Adrian and his grey cat, Gideon, oversee the abbey. Three ghostly sisters, patterned after the three Macbeth witches, also appear periodically, passing as mortals and participating in matchmaking. Bride of the Mist combines a contemporary romance with an old tale of a beautiful mute girl, a knight returned from the Crusades, and his evil brother. Kara, the contemporary woman, has the gift of second sight, which helps bind her to the hero, Duncan. Key to Forever concentrates on another modern couple: Joanna Russell, an expert on ancient weaponry and a tour guide at the abbey, and Alexei Cameron, a half-Gypsy earl and sword maker. He is psychic, manages a large corporation, and searches for an ancient Scottish sword that was significant to the tale of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Season of Wishes tells of kidnap specialist Ian McCall, who is going blind. He accepts one last job, guarding heiress Jamee Night, and must reconcile his attraction to her with his fear that his blindness will make a relationship impossible. In Christmas Knight, thirteenth-century Scottish Highlander Ronan MacLeodd travels to modern Scotland and saves Hope O'Hara from falling off a roof. Hope owns a bed and breakfast that is struggling financially and thinks she has no time for romance, but the former crusader Ronan and the Wish-well sisters help her sort things out. The Perfect Gift features Jared Cameron MacNeill, a Scottish demolitions expert with British Intelligence. Cameron, who has spent a year in captivity in Southeast Asia and has come home to die, falls in love with Maggie, a world-class jewelry designer.
Skye also wrote several contemporary tales featuring workaholic heroines and men of action. 2000 Kisses plays on fears about millennium computer failures. Heroine Tess O'Mara is a New York career woman with no personal life who suddenly receives a million dollars on January 1, 2000. Warned she might be laundering money for criminals, she escapes to a small town in Arizona where she meets and likes the no-nonsense sheriff.
In Going Overboard photographer Carly Sullivan is shooting an advertisement on a cruise ship but lacks a male model. She recruits Ford McKay, a Navy SEAL, who is secretly on the ship to protect her; he reluctantly agrees to model only after he decides that it would be the most convenient way to guard her. Carly and Ford grow closer and realize that they have both been too wrapped up in their professional lives. Karen Lynch, writing in Romance Reader, called Going Overboard "the perfect beach read…. I was grabbed from the start by the cutest first encounter between a hero and heroine that I've read in a long time."
In My Spy, another Navy SEAL, Sam McKeade, whose memory is vital to national security, suffers from amnesia after saving some children from a traffic accident. He has been sent to Annie O'Toole's spa to recuperate and hopefully recover his memory. Annie works to restore his health while protecting him from the traitor who wants him dead. Finally, in Hot Pursuit, Annie's sister Taylor also gets involved with a Navy SEAL. Jack Brussard is assigned to protect Taylor after the latter's attempts at amateur spying result in her receiving death threats. Diane Tixier Herald, writing in Booklist, felt that this "compelling story" shows that the author "has hit her stride."
Modern-day action romances featuring Navy SEALS become the norm with Skye's "Code Name" series. Depending on the reviewer, critics of these books have either found them to be delightful entertainments or clichéd stories full of two-dimensional characters. Reviewers have also noted that the author has done her research on military technology, though this does not always result in a successful novel. For example, in a Publishers Weekly review of Code Name: Nanny the critic remarked that "even beach readers may find the wildly implausible investigation difficult to swallow." However, Booklist contributor Herald, writing about the same book, maintained that the main character is "delightful and memorable." Critical debate continued with reviews of Code Name: Princess, with the Publishers Weekly writer declaring that "all of Skye's Navy SEALS are 'poster boys for commando work,'" although the story is helped along with "snappy dialogue and between-the-sheets sizzle." Herald more enthusiastically felt that the novel shows that "Skye is unsurpassed at combining adventure and romance." Code Name: Baby involves a plot that includes everything from genetically enhanced dogs to Navy SEALS whose bodies have also been enhanced with paranormal results. With the exception of the "pat finish," even the Publishers Weekly critic seemed to enjoy this installment, while Herald liked the "fast-paced, adventurous plot, and the wonderful dogs."
Skye has appeared on several television shows, including Geraldo!, ABC Worldwide News, Voice of America, and Looking East. In the late 1990s Skye became known as an expert on the ancient Chinese art of feng shui, the study of how energy flows through objects and landscapes, and has answered many fan questions on the subject. She included a discussion of feng shui in Bride of the Mist.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2003, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Hot Pursuit, p. 859; June 1, 2004, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Code Name: Nanny, p. 1712; October 1, 2004, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Code Name: Princess, p. 317; December 1, 2005, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Code Name: Baby, p. 31.
Library Journal, August, 1995, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Come the Dawn, p. 64.
Publishers Weekly, May 3, 2004, review of Code Name: Nanny, p. 177; September 13, 2004, review of Code Name: Princess, p. 64; October 24, 2005, review of Code Name: Baby, p. 45.
Christina Skye Home Page, http://www.christinaskye.com (February 13, 2006).
Romance Reader, http://www.theromancereader.com/ (May 4, 2001), Karen Lynch, review of Going Overboard.