Friday, October 30, 2009

Reasons to be Cheerful Part Two (and a winner)

One of the greatest reasons to be cheerful about being a writer is that if you're lucky (and I'm really really lucky in this) you have wonderful writing writing friends who very kindly and generously send you their books. So you get to know all the good stuff that's coming up in the next couple of months.

As an example - I heartily recommend Liz Fielding's latest (but then as you know, I always recommend Liz Fielding's latest.) After a struggle to the end with Zarek the Greek a lovely, emotional Romance read was just what I needed and Liz's Christmas Angel For the Billionaire just hit the spot perfectly. I fell heavily for George, the hero. Even better, it's part one of a great duo - Trading Places - and just as I was thinking how much I wanted to read Part Two and find out about Lydia's story lovely Liz has sent me a copy of that - Her Desert Dream - which has arrived safely in spite of Royal Mail strikes. Thank you Liz! (And the Royal Mail)

Next on the TBR pile is another book by another of my favourite authors - Anne McAllister has a new Modern/Presents out now in the UK and in America in November with another of those sexy Savas brothers as the hero. One Night Mistress. . .Convenient Wife is sitting right on the top of my TBR pile winking at me. Can books wink? Well, I'm sure this one is doing just that - it's tempting me so much anyway.

But sadly ( well, a little less cheerily) it's going to have to wait as Zarek's back. Yes, my editor managed to read him that fast and he's back here for tweaking before I've quite had time to catch up on my reading. She 'truly loved ' him as he is but feels a tweak or two will make him shine - and so I'm going to polish him up a little. So this weekend, seeing as the Babe Magnet is running a Saturday school for his university teaching, it's Tweak a Greek time.

Oh yes and Sid has been busy on the crunchies front - picking someone who left a comment so that I can hopefully make your weekend more cheerful too by telling you that you've won a signed book from me - and the winner is:

Kerrin - Kerrin your birthday book for your little boy sounds fabulous and yes so much better than having all those photos on your computer. I remember making one of those for my not so little boy's 18th. Kerrin I kow you've read Kept For Her Baby so please email me and I'll tell you which books I have available. Let me know where to send your prize too!

But I suspect Sid also of sending a secret message to Tojo the cat as he snaffled the cat treat on Kerrin's name while keeping a paw safely on that belonging to Shirley who owns - sorry - who is owned by Tojo. So Shirley would you please let me have your postal address too. Thanks!

I'm off to tweak a Greek because I want to get to read One Night Mistress. . .Convenient Wife just as soon as I possibly can.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reasons to be cheerful, Part One

So I finally got around to writing the cheery post - not because I lost any of the cheeriness, but because I found I could add more. Which is great - so . . .

1. The Greek is gone. My scarred Greek hero has left the building and is sitting on my editor's desk (now there's an image) waiting to see what she thinks of him. Zarek Michaelis is no longer my hero (until he returns, needing tweaking no doubt) and I can finally turn my thoughts to a Sicilian who has been waiting patiently since I thought of his story but had to put it aside for Zarek and the Greek Myth project.

2. The sun is shining. Well, it's a little early for that right now, but when I planned this post yesterday it was very definitely shining and creating a wonderful, warm and bright Indian Summer.

3. The flu is gone at last. It lingered like a bad smell, dragging me down, for far too long but yesterday it was wonderful to be back on my walk, in the sunshine (see above) and watchig the squirrels play in the fallen leaves, talk to all the dog walkers and their dogs, see the changing colours and hear those leaves rustling under my feet.

4. I heard from We Write Romance that they had reviewed Kept For Her Baby - and what a review -

"...a masterpiece that will live in the hearts...for many years to come!"
Kept for Her Baby by Kate Walker is sensuality personified with a touch of real emotional upheaval. The fire between the hero and heroine is palpable and intriguing. And while the subject matter dealt with in the plot is harsh, it is so real and well done that if you give Lucy a chance you'll not be sorry because it will make this story a true keeper.

Lucy Emiliani couldn't handle the emotions that came after childbirth. Running on highly unstable hormones and horribly negative thoughts, Lucy sought escape in order to save her child. Even knowing she was branded a bad mother, she braved returning under the cover of night to catch a glimpse of her baby boy. And hopefully catch her husband unaware so she might have a chance at getting what she was after.

Ricardo Emiliani is a rich Italian billionaire who felt as though he'd been trapped into marrying a pregnant Lucy. He'd thought she were an innocent and beguiling girl...until she'd found out who he was and how much money he had. Knowing she was probably just another gold digger didn't diminish the heat between them and he had to have her. While she gave herself and her innocence over freely, she'd also given him something else. The best thing in his life, Marco...before abandoning them both.

When Lucy returns after no word for months he's reluctant to let her back into his or Marco's life, but when his reaction to her is the same fast and furious appeal it had been the first time they'd met, when they'd been strangers, he decided he'd make her an offer she couldn't refuse. And in doing so they found the love that had been missing when they'd married.

Kept for Her Baby kept me intrigued from beginning to end. I was curious as to what could keep a woman from her baby, and not once at the beginning of the story did I imagine it would be mental issues. Maybe threats from someone or the like, but not mental. And those issues were very real and very well done by Ms. Walker. It makes those who might not have had those feelings and bad moments after childbirth see how real it could be, and how hard it would be to live with them and the real fear that you could be putting your child in danger just being with them.

Ms. Walker has created a masterpiece that will live in the hearts of the reader for many years to come!

A masterpiece! No wonder I was smiling all day yesterday.

And in the same email:

5. Again from We Write Romance, I learned that both Kept for Her Baby and my previous book Cordero's Forced Bride had been nominated for the 2009 Reviewers' Choice Award "for being the best in their respective subgenres." So now do you see why I was feeling so cheerful?

6. I've had some emails from readers and would-be writers in Scotland who feel - unsurprisingly - that the workshops I do in Wales (Fishguard and Caerleon) and Southampton involve too long a journey for them to get to. So I was wondering what I could do, if anything, to remedy the situation. And then I got an email from an arts organisation based in Inverness asking if I would be in terested in doing a romance event or maybe more with them early next year. So Scottish readers - watch this space . . .
(I will still be doing Fishguard and Southampton - so it's going to be a busy Spring - details of all events and the Inverness one when it's finalised can be found on my Events page.)

7. I'm blogging over on the Pink Heart Society today about one of my favourite types of reading - ghost stories - just in time for Halloween.

And finally -


Sir Sidney, Princess Flora and Dylan would like you to know that 29th October is National Kitteh Day which is a reason for the to be cheerful and they would like you to help them - and me - celebrate it . So when I'm celebrating I like to share and when Sid is celebrating her likes to - well - eat . . .

So if we combine the two - you tell me one (or more) of your reasons to be cheerful today and I'll get Sid on the job (er - offer him a few cat treats) to pick the names of couple of winners who will win a book from my backlist. I'll add in a pen and one of my brand-new bookmarks.

Let's have some more reasons to be cheerful.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Buying books

No this isn't the cheery news - just a bit of good news if you're a UK book buyer or you buy your romances from the Mills & Boon site

If you buy your books from the Mills & Boon web site then you can save - by getting 20% of each and every book today and tomorrow. This offer ends midnight Thursday October 29th.

And even if those darned postal strokes go ahead, M&B guarantee delivery by courier so you won't even have to wait.

For this one you need to use the code SPOOK with your order. So you know all those books you were hoping to buy . . .go get 'em!

And I'll be back with more cheery news just as soon as people stop contacting me about other interesting things . . .

PS Please don't forget to click on the Breast Cancer site link while it's still October and your click counts double - the clicks have already funded 352 free mammograms this month so ut's real worth it

Is this a dagger that I see before me . . .

Ok so this is coming in place of the other post I was going to write. I'll come back to that one because it still is one I want to use - and celebrate good news (no no that good news, not yet - but some very nice news just the same)

And first I thought I'd write the good news and then add this and then I thought no, why taint the cheery post with the less than cheery one? So here we are -

Dear Ian Rankin . . .

I'm not really annoyed- or even narked - just disillusioned and well, quite frankly, bored. At the Crime Writers Awards you trotted out that dreary old joke about the only writers likely to plant a dagger in your back are the Romantic Novelists.

Well, it has a slightly amusing irony to it. Or it would have if it wasn't so tired the poor comment probably needs to appear in a wheelchair by now. This is at least the third time in recent memory I've heard this 'witty' comment dragged out - originally (maybe) by Peter Guttrige, then by Lin Anderson in the Edingburgh Times, Andrew Taylor on the One Show and now you. And that's without counting up the number of reported repetitions of it that I've never actually heard myself.And I do have to wonder - I thought writers were supposed to be good with words, not just parrots.

But this is the one that disillusions me. Because I've been an admirer of Ian Rankin, his books, his televsion appearances, his discussion of crime writing, Dr Jeykell and Mr Hyde etc etc for a long time. So I'm sad to hear him repeating the tired old joke that surely must be well past its retirement date by now.

Come to a Romantic Novelists' Conference is all I can say.

Or no - perhaps I should add that recently, when my one of my dear friends Zoe Sharp ( another Crime Writer) came to visit, she set us this puzzle and I got the answer straight away. That was when she told me that usually the only people who get the answer right are supposed to be psychopaths. Oops.

So perhaps that just goes to show that those Crime Writers are right in their opinions of us Romantic Novelists . . . .
Now I'll go and write the cheery post to distract myself from thoughts of daggers. . . .

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Top 5 ?

Can you name your top five category romances of all time?

No neither can I - not easily - but I know that Gold Ring of Betrayal would be in there somewhere . . .

But over on All About Romance's blog there's an interesting discussion on Category Romances - 'The Bastard Children of Romance'. They challenge you to name your favourite 5 category romance novels of all time.

I'd have to go away and think about that - and this Greek isn't goingto let me do that till he's had a Happy Ever After so maybe you'll have more luck! And the discussion is interesting too.

With thanks to Marilyn who directed me there.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blogging around again

Still buried under that Greek hero - and Yes, Jan I knew you'd understand and appreciate why I couldn't blog too much with this happening to me ;o) But at least we are getting to the end of our affair and I hope to wave him off very soon.

But in the meantime, while I deal with this hero, there is my lovely Italian Ricardo Emiliani on his private island out now in Kept For Her Baby and lots of great sites have been asking me to blog with them to chat about that book.

Today it's the turn of the fabulous Romance Bandits and I'm over on their blog talking about why I write the sort of romance I do - and why I think that a classic Presents novel is like a deep-tissue massage. Well, it made sense when I wrote it - and hopefully it will make sense if you go and read it. I'll be chatting with the banditas all day.

Sorry Alison I can't tell you that good news yet - it's all still under discussion - but I will tell you just as soon as I can. And I can share another bit of good news and that is that Kept For Her Baby is still on the Waldenbooks/Borders Top Ten list for a second week - and it's moved up this week! Thank you to everyone who helped put it there.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's all Greek to me

Sorry that blogging is a bit patchy at the moment. I'm buried under the latest Greek hero - What with the flu and other commitments planned when I thought (Ha!) that life might be a little quieter by this time of year this book has been a fight to find the energy and the time to write. So I've been concentrating totally on that. And at last an end is in sight.

So just to say a belated thank you to Anna and everyone at the Calderdale Writers' Roadshow and to Jill and everyone at Barnsley Library Crime and Passion Day for the warm welcome, the interesting questions and the interest in my books. Thanks too and a wave to Adam from Orchard Bookshop Denby Dale who provided books for the latter event.

I received the hardback editions of my next book yesterday - that's The Konstantos Marriage Demand. So I'll give you a sneak preview. Sadly, it's not the glorious sort of cover that I have for Kept For Her Baby, but then you don't get one of those every time - I wish! The heroine looks scarily like my mother when she was young which is a bit of a wierd feeling. Luckily, the KFHB cover is the one I've used on my new bookmarks!

(For those of you in America - just a reminder that as Kept For Her Baby is out in Presents EXTRA it will be in the shops now. A great big thank you to everyone who has already bought a copy and put the book on the Borders/Waldenbooks bestseller list for the first week)
Oh yes - and I've had some lovely good news - two bits of good news actually. One of them is still only potential good news and still under discussion but I have my fingers crossed very tightly. And I'll share things with you just as soon as I can - promise!
One bit of good news I did have is that the collected edition of The Alcolar Family that came out as a By Request is now sold out on the Mills & Boon web site and there is just one copy in stock on Amazon. So I'm hoping for as great a result with one of my pieces of good news . (And that's all the clues you're going to get for now!)
And now back to the Greek . . . .

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blogging around - 3

The thing with having a new book out (Kept for her Baby out in Presents EXTRA this week, in case you hadn't noticed ;o) ) is that lots of people want me to come and blog with them and talk about it.

So this last week I've had those posts/interviews at Finding the Write Word and Writers At Play (thanks ladies - I had a wonderful time and I'm glad you liked the shoes! )

Today it's the turn of I Heart Presents which of course is the blog where the writers, editors, and those very special people the readers all get together to celebrate the wonderful books that make up the classic Presents novels and their fabulously intense and seductive stories.

Today I'm talking about being mean to my characters, putting them through torment and imprisoning them as well!

So I hope you'll come along and join me over on I Heart Presents and maybe leave a comment letting me know which Presents novels have moved you recently - maybe even made you shed a tear or two. I know there have been plenty of those for me.

Tomorrow I'm heading for Barnsley Library where the Babe Magnet and I will be holding our day of Crime and Passion starting at 10 am tomorrow morning so if you're anywhere near the area and free to join us please come along and say hello. Places are limited but I know there are still some seats left.

You can find the details on my Events page and on the RNA Blog here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Gratuitous shoe shot

As I said, I have an interview over on Writers At Play

And we had alittle discussion about shoes in which I mentioned the shoes I wore to the Harlequin party at RWA Washington

Now everyone wants to see what they looked like - so I reckoned posting them here and then posting a link in the interview is the easiest way to do that.

So here you are - the Harlequin party shoes -

It's Hugh's Day and blogging around

It's October 12th and that has traditionally become Hugh's Day on my blog and over on Anne McAllister's blog too.

Hugh Michael Jackman was born 12 October 196. And coincidentally today is the Canadian Thanksgiving Day - well, I know a lot of romance writers who'll be giving thanks in a whole different way for today and the hours of inspiration that have resulted from it!

I'm desperately busy with a late dreadline thanks to the flu - but as a picture paints a thousand words then here's a couple of pages for you:

Happy Birthday Hugh

There will be more words later as I've been invited to join the fabulous Writers at Play to celebrate the Presents EXTRA publication of my October release Kept For Her Baby. So later to day there will be a long interview with me and a chat about that over at Writers at Play blog.

See you there.

Hmm - come to think of it, the hero on the fabulous cover of Kept for Her Baby looks remarkably like one H Jackamn - don't you think?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Just to say . . .

I'm heading for Halifax and the last of the Calderdale Writers' Roadshows. This one will be special for me as I'm going back to the town I grew up in. It hadn't changed all that much the last time I was there. I wonder if I'll see anyone I used to know.

So that you have something to read while I'm gone, I'll leave you with a link to an interview that I did with Finding the Right Words. That should keep you occupied for a while.

And if you check out the other Author Interviews, you'll find another fascinating one with the wonderful Liz Fielding.

Finding the Right Words can be found here.

Oh - and look out for Anne McAllister's upcoming contest. She's trailing it on her blog right now. She's also giving free entry with the answer to a simple question - well, we thought it was a simple question - but would you believe that there are some people who don't know whose birthday it is on Monday! Do you? If so, go tell Anne and she'll enter you in the contest.

Right - Halifax here I come. I'll see some of you there.

PS Ooops - I almost put the birthday b - - person's name in my labels for this post! The would have given the towel - ahem - game away!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Feline flirtations

Flora has a suitor - an ardent suitor.

But she's just not keen ( I'd say he doesn't suit 'er but perhaps not . . .)

So far she has totally repulsed his advances with hisses, spitting and scratching. Oh, and the most horrendous wails from Dylan as he comes to the defence of his sister's honour - a real alpha hero cat!

Of course nothing can come of it as Flora has been 'done' over a year ago. But I keep looking at this beautiful long-haired, golden-ginger male with big green eyes and a white tip to his tail and I can't help thinking what gorgeous kittens they'd make!

It's almost 11am - time to tune in to the Babe Magnet being a radio star on Radio Lincolnshire talking about his latest book Tracing Your Criminal Ancestors.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Getting there

Many many thanks to everyone who has sent me get well messages as I fought the flu. It's been a really vicious virus this time and it knocked me - and the Magnet - back for days.

But I'm starting to feel as if there's light at the end of the tunnel. Still coughing for England, but at least my voice is back - if croaking. I think I'll live.

But of course the time ill has made my dreadline situation even worse so I'll still not be blogging too much over the next few days while I sort out my scarred Greek hero. The situation is made even more pressing by the fact that I have two events coming up in the next week so they'll take time away from writing.

But if you're coming to the Calderdale Writer's Roadshow in Halifax on Saturday or to the Crime and Passion Day in Barnsley Library on Wednesday (14th) then I'll see you there.

And for fans of the Hecks - we have another Mini Heck. Regular blog readers may remember it was this time last year that we first saw one of that year's babies come close to the door to eat the cat meat/crunchies left for them. Two nights ago there was a very small mini Heck that I have never seen before. He/she needs to eat plenty to stoke up ready for hibernation so we're leaving extra rations outside for them. I haven't managed to get a photo of it yet, so this one of last year's baby will have to act as a stand in.

I must just say welcome to my first ever visitor from Dominica who took my total of visiting countries up to 147 this week. I thought 146 was the final total but it seems there are still more countries yet to visit.

And please don't forget to click on the Breast Cancer site link in the sidebar and help the October Breast Cancer Awareness Month drive for extra free mammograms. While you're there, why not click on all the other sites too - it only takes a minute, is totally free, and you'll be helping with literacy, child poverty, animal rescue . . .

Back to the word mines. And thank you again for all the lovely messages.

Monday, October 05, 2009

The wrong sex flu . . .

Yes, very definitely the flu.

But if I thought I was going to get away with the girly flu - the lightweight one that we females suffer from compared to the one our heroes have to suffer through, then forget it. The Babe Magnet has very definitely passed on his manly flu to me.

So, with no voice (none at all) no brain, no energy and no concentration, I'm cheating and saying that for those of you who are interested in writing there are a couple of interesting posts for you to read elsewhere -

Jackie Ashenden has 10 Fun Ways to NOT win the Harlequin Presents Writing Competition here. She makes some good points

And Michelle Styles has a really interesting post on Conflict on her blog here : Conflict is more than good vs evil

And I'll make another honey and hot lemon and go back to bed. Annoyingly, with this thing affecting my eyes so badly I can't even read very much.

And the Babe Magnet? Oh he's fine now - disgustingly healthy - nothing wrong with him at all !

Friday, October 02, 2009

The October books are out at eHarlequin

Do you buy your books/ebooks from the eHarlequin site?

If so - this might help you save a little (a lot?) of money. See the link in the sidebar

And don't forget that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I've moved the Breast Cancer Site up to the top of the sidebar to remind you to click daily to help provide free mammograms for woman who need them.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Yes, definitely the girl flu - because of course it can't possibly be as bad as the Man Flu that's afflicting the Babe Magnet - can it? Well, he's totally lost his voice, so at least he can't complain quite so much!

Thank you all for your get well wishes, I really appreciate them - or I will when I can think straight.

So, while I'm not up to blogging much - here's something not to be sneezed at (sorry - I couldn't help it!)

Want to win five - that's right 5 - of my backlist books?

Well that's the prize in the contest I'm running with My Tote Bag to celebrate the publication of Kept For Her Baby in America in October. (Special thanks to Summer for her lovely comment about it yesterday. That really brightened a non too bright day. I'm getting some wonderful letters about this one - it seems to be touching a lot of hearts.)

So head over to My Tote Bag's Contest page and answer the easy question you'll find there. You'll find the answer on my web site.

And don't forget that this book is out in the Extra Presents line up - The Presents EXTRA Collection that is out on October 13th.

PS Flora and Dylan kindly cleared up the pigeon on the lawn for me - I won't go into details but they were both burping late into the evening and all that was left was a lot a feathers blowing in the breeze!

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