Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Prizes, Heroes and Words

I have some winners to anounce -

I love this bit - one of the best things about running a contest is being able to write to a winner and let them know that they have won a prize. The email that comes back is usally on the lines of 'you made my day' and there's something very special about know that you have made someone's day.

This time, purely by coincidence, both winners come from the same state. Which is a real coincidence considering that Sid the Cat and Saffy the retriever were several hours and hundreds of miles apart when they picked their winners. Saffy lives near Manchester and Sid, of course, lives here with me in Lincolnshire.
Anyway - the winners they chose both come from Texas. So congratulations go to
Gladys P from Houston
Ellen M from Corpus Christi

Both win a signed copy of Bedded By The Greek Billionaire and the De Santis Marriage - and the 3 in 1 By Request Her Passionate Italian.

The discussion on heroes was interesting. I'm in total agreement with Julie (and Anne McAllister) who said:

I think that the British hero is rather unrepresented in Modern Romance/Harlequin Presents of late. A sexy British aristocrat, a stately home, a strong Presents heroine, gorgeous scenery and I am in heaven!

I have to agree - after all I'm married to my own British hero and have been for many years. I also totally agree with Anne that " a good Englishman (or Irishman)" would be great as a hero. I often wonder why the Mediterranean hero has so much of a hold on the market at the moment. I'm all for an English or Irish hero - specially the Irish one as I'm a sucker for an irish accent - and that Irish charm. Hmm . . . I shall have to see if the trips to Ireland last year yield some extra inspiration.

I was also interested by Caroline's comment -

I think there's a shortage of Eastern Europeans. The Mediterranean men get good coverage, but how about the Slovenians and Estonians? Fascinating countries and some seriously handsome men, with the possibility of weaving courageous and heroic acts from the recent Balkans conflict into their back stories.

Which is one I can relate to as well. I grew up in a community that had many Poles and Estonian families in it. In fact my first 'love' was a Polish boy in my school. And I have always been fascinated by Russian men - ballet dancers Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov started that off. I have read a couple of Russian heroes in Presents (in books by Carol Marinelli) and I agree that Eastern Europe is a fascinating place. with a great deal of background detail. I do wonder though, Caroline, if it is exactly that "recent Balkans conflict" that makes me hesitate. Romance readers want to believe in the happy ever after and the memories of those conflicts are still so sharp and disturbing in my mind at least that I would wonder - and fear - that perhaps things have not settled enough to give the hero that settled and secure happy ever after. Another thought is that perhaps the cultural refernces are not as easy to access - not just for the writer but the reader so that the appeal of these heroes' backgrounds would be less immediately recognisable.

Which is not to say that an Eastern European hero wouldn't work. I think he could. And your comment has given me plenty to think about. Especially as Lidia agreed with you. So I shall be looking at that potential area for hero inspiration too.

Which leads me to the fact the winners of the hero comments prizes are



And as no one contacted me from India - which is such a pity - I'm going to add in an extra prize which goes to Lidia.

Julie, I know your address so I will get your prize in the post to you.

Lidia, can you confirm yours is still the same, please?

Caroline, could you please let me know where to send you prize to. Thanks.

Oh, and I visited Caroline's blog on Natural Scotland and she has some wonderful photographs on there. Take a look. Caroline, I spent a happy time looking at those pictures - more than I could afford. I loved them!

If you want some more chances to win prizes, take a look at the Pink Heart Society all this month. Li'l Pink the Dancing Heart - and the PHS - are celebrating their second birthday this month. So there will be extra giveaways and prizes on various blogs all through the month. The posts are always worth reading as well.

Flora has just come in from the garden complaining that it's cold and WET again - so everyone in danger of flooding or anywhere where the persistent rain is causing real trouble, my thoughts are with you - keep safe.

Oh, and those words? It's amazing how a whole section of a book can turn on a few words. Last night I left Ricardo and Lucy at a point that will change their relationship for the next part of the book. But I kew there was one piece missing. This morning,as I staggered out of bed and went downstair to put the kettle on, four words came into my head that will affect this next secion so much. I do love the way that going to sleep with a problem/uncertainty in the plot at the back of my mind can so often mean that I wake up in the morning knowing that my subconscious has worked it all through for me and come up with the answer.

That's one of the things about writing that I can never teach anyone - it just happens - sometimes.

And today is one of those times so I'm off to make use of it.


Caroline said...

Caroline, could you please let me know where to send you prize to. Thanks.

Oh, and I visited Caroline's blog on Natural Scotland and she has some wonderful photographs on there. Take a look. Caroline, I spent a happy time looking at those pictures - more than I could afford. I loved them!

Oh wow, I never win things! Thank you :o) I've emailed you my address.

I'm glad you like the photos - I'm very lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

India said...

Kate, I've been absent from blogland for a while (trying to be disciplined, you see...) and I really should have stayed away!! You see I just popped by for a moment and found myself reading the synopsis and review of Bedded by the Greek Billionaire, and now I know I won't be happy until I've read it! It sounds seriously good (gorgeous Greeks in stables... oh YES!)

So how am I supposed to get this book written now?

juliemt said...

I'm so thrilled to have been picked, Kate! Many thanks.

I also would love to see more Irish, Scottish and Welsh heroes in Presents. I prefer a draughty cottage in some splendid village over a blistering hot beach any day!

lidia said...


THANK YOU! What a wonderful surprise.

You know, thinking back, the older HPs had quite a few British heroes. I wonder why that changed.

Anyway, Thanks again!

Kate Walker said...

Caroline, Julie and Lidia - i'm glad you're pleased about the prizes. They've all gone out to you so I hope they reach you soon and that you enjoy them

India - I'm sorry if I've tempted you away from your disciplpined writing - I know how those dreadlines prey on the writer's mind. I'll just say that i hope that BBTGB is worth it if you find it.



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