Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Janet Laurence's Winner!

I have a winner to announce  -  one lucky commenter has won a copy of Janet laurence's Deadly Inheritance.

And the winner  is -

Princess Fiona with her comment about Poirot -

But for purity of purpose, the one person who could never be swayed by anything but the truth, I would have to say Poirot. His simple statement "I do not approve of murder" may seem trite but it covers a philosophy that is proven in book after book that murder not only destroys the victim but the soul of the murderer.

Congratulations, Fiona - please send me your postal address so  I can send it on to Janet.   
Oh - and Janet asks me to tell you that Deadly Inheritance is now available on Kindle  so it's a quick and easy download  for anyone.

This is  a little late but I just received this great review for The Devil and Miss Jones from Julie at Cataromance so, as it made me feel like a winner too, I thought  I'd share with you -

Kate Walker continues to affirm her standing as one of category romance’s most talented stars with her sixtieth novel for Harlequin Presents: The Devil and Miss Jones.

Martha Jones has spent months planning her dream wedding. Having spared no expense to make all of her dreams a reality, Martha had been looking forward to walking down the aisle towards her Prince Charming and spending the rest of her life living happily ever after. However, Martha’s hopes and dreams were dashed by devastating lies and cruel deceit. Just moments before her ceremony, Martha had overheard her husband to be admitting to her bridesmaid that he was in love with her and that he was only marrying Martha for her money. With her pride in tatters and humiliated beyond belief, a broken-hearted Martha had decided to flee the ceremony and to seek sanctuary elsewhere. With no car or money, Martha had stood on the side of the road and hoped that a kind stranger would take pity on her and take her away from this nightmare. But Martha hadn’t anticipated that her knight errant would be a devilishly attractive man who called himself Diablo…
Tall, dark and handsome Diablo does not look like the sort of man Martha usually runs into in the streets of her small Yorkshire town. Even though she doesn’t know anything about him, Martha finds herself drawn to her enigmatic rescuer, and when she is taken to safety by Diablo, she finds herself acting on her attraction towards her brooding savior and giving in to the desire that sizzles between them. Martha is well aware that their night of love can never be repeated, but she is unable to resist Diablo’s tempting kisses and tantalizing caresses…

Carlos Ortega had learned from a very young age to keep his heart under lock and key. Used to giving emotions and relationships a very wide berth, Carlos had surprised himself when he had found himself stopping by the side of the road and giving a vulnerable Martha a lift back to safety. Passion had flared from the very first moment they laid eyes on one another, but Carlos has neither the time nor the inclination for a relationships. Many months had passed since that fateful night, but Carlos cannot forget the beautiful woman who had stolen his heart…

But when fate pushes the two of them together again, Carlos gets the shock of his life when Martha tells him about the repercussions of their night of passion…

Passionate, provocative and absolutely impossible to put down, The Devil and Miss Jones is another classic tale of searing emotions, powerful drama and heart-stopping romance by the consistently wonderful Kate Walker! Written straight from the heart and guaranteed to keep readers on the edge of their seats, The Devil and Miss Jones is a spellbinding romance that pits a courageous and resilient heroine against a wickedly saturnine Alpha hero Harlequin Presents readers will simply adore.

A first-rate contemporary romance from a true mistress of the genre, The Devil and Miss Jones is the latest mesmerizing page-turner by Kate Walker

Thank you so much Julie!
If you missed The Devil and Miss Jones when it was out in the UK  in March or America in April - or even Australia in  the  Mothers' Day pack  - it's still availble on the M&B site in UK and Australia,  the Harlequin site, and of course in ebook form.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Nottingham and a nice surprise

I had a great day at the Nottingham Writers' Club workshop - the room was  full with just about every ticket sold. Evertyone was very warm and welcoming - and  enthusiastic.   My special thanks go to Carol who organised everything and to Mars who helped with the  details of the day. And  thanks yto everyone who attended and joined in  to make the  event a really pleasant one. The time between 10 am and 4pm just flew by and I  really enjoyed myself.    I know some people travelled a long way to get to Nottingham so thank you for making that special effort . 

You can read Carol's report on the workshop here - with more details about  the Nottingham Writers' Club on their home page too.

And when I came home it was to find a  couple of parcels waiting for m. The Large Print edition of The Devil and Miss Jones -  - some new foreign editions  - Swedish and  Norwegian translations of A  Sicilian Husband - great to see a book that's almost  10 years old being reissued - and another one with a  great surprise gift from my special guest this past week.

The lovely Janet Laurence sent me a signed copy of her brand-new historical mystery Deadly Inheritance and it looks so good - that cover looks even better in realtu - and who can resist this blurb?

American Ursula Grandison accompanies Belle Seldon to visit her sister, Helen, Countess of Mountstanton, commissioned by their father, multi-millionaire Chauncey Seldon, to discover what is wrong with Helen's marriage and what has happened to her dowry. At decaying stately Mountstanton House, Ursula finds the Earl is a cold fish, the Dowager Countess of Mounstanton the mother-in-law from hell, and Helen has not forgiven her for stealing her great love. Ursula discovers the drowned body of Polly, the nursemaid, thought to have deserted the household. Neither the Earl's brother, Colonel Charles Stanhope, nor Ursula believes Polly's death was an accident. Investigating against the Earl's wishes, they uncover a tangle of deception reaching into the past that threatens the reputation of the house of Mountstanton. After another death, Ursula fights to reveal the truth, to save Belle from dreadful scandal, and to fulfil Mr Seldon's commission, with a final shocking denouement.

 Thank you Janet!  I can't wait to dive into it . . . tyhere's just the small problem of too many books on the TBR pile (and a few on the Kindle!)  and not enough time to read.

And Janet will be picking a winner  from the contest last week - one lucky commenter will win a copy of Deadly Inheritance too. I'll let you know as soon as Janet tells me  who has won . . . watch this space.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Kate's Corner

I almost forgot!   It's the 15th of May  - so it's the day for my regular blog over on We Write Romance. but I was so excited to tell you all about Janet Laurence's new book Deadly Inheritance that I  very nearly forgot that I was meant to be blogging over  in Kate's Corner  today too.

So that's where  you'll find me talking about the  new Kindle I was given for my birthday and the books I've loaded it with and have been reading recently.

Luckily Deadly Inheritance is available on Kindle too  . . . but don't forget you can win yourself a print copy if you read Janet's  interview  below and  leave a comment about your favourite crime novel protagonist - this contest is open  till Friday.

A special guest

One of the great things about my writing  career is the number of interesting and delightful peope I've met as a result of going to conferences, fesrtivals, or teaching,  

As many of you know, I teach every year at Caerleon Writers' Holiday in July and this is where I met the lovely Janet Laurence who writes crime fiction.    We've also met up at also at Fishguard Writing Weekends  where once she even joined my course and became a student for the weekend.

Janet has written crime for years - and always with an interesting twist - a cook  or  a long ago artist as an investigator.  Now she has  a brand new  - and intriguing  - book  out this week. It's a historical  crime called   Deadly Inheritance  and to celebrate the publication date of this book, Janet kindly agreed to do a small interview with me to tell you more about herself and her writing.

She's also offering a give away of a signed copy of her brand new book  - all you have to do is to talk about your favourite  crime novel character in the comments section and your name will go into the prize draw.    The contest for the prize draw will stay open till Friday when Janet will pick a winner.

Welcome Janet!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself – when did you start writing and what made you choose crime as your genre?
I began writing as a child. I could think of nothing more fun than making up stories. As I grew older, I started on novels.  But I never seemed to get beyond chapter three, before I had a better idea for a story. After failing too many times, I decided to master the short story before writing a full length novel. Bad decision! I am not a natural short story writer. I think most writers have a natural length that they enjoy working with. Also, the short story is a very demanding and difficult form. Mastering it? How ridiculous is that? Meanwhile I had a job writing press releases and then I landed a cookery column in the Daily Telegraph. I’d been running  courses in a too-large house we’d bought in Somerset and writing about food seemed a natural development. When Conrad Black bought the Telegraph, there was an almost clean sweep of the feature writers and I lost my column.

This, I thought, was the time to give my fiction ambitions a kick start so I enrolled on a creative writing course. I arrived intending to be a romantic novelist, I finished it with the first page and several passages for my first crime novel, A DEEPE COFFYN. In it I tied together my love of detective fiction with my foodie knowledge and created a cook as my protagonist. 

Who are your favourite authors to read – in the crime genre and in other genres you enjoy?

My mother was a great reader of crime fiction and used to get me to choose books for her from our local library. I read and loved the Golden Age authors: Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh  and Margery Allingham, who could all ally devilishly clever plots with characters I really cared about in stories I devoured and went back to time and again. Then there was Raymond Chandler for the magic of his language and the power of his characters (his plots didn’t always make a great deal of sense). I read today’s crime writers widely, often as a judge for one of the Dagger Awards. It would be invidious to pick out individual writers but the ones I enjoy the most are those whose books have all the assets of good novels but with the added attraction of a well crafted crime plot, red herrings, clues and all. I have to confess I didn’t enjoy Agatha Christie until I’d become a crime writer myself, then I started to appreciate her incredible cunning with red herrings and ability to bury clues.  
I also, of course, read outside the crime genre.

Growing up I loved Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell, particularly for their insights into human nature and their irony; Trollope for his sheer story telling; Evelyn Waugh for his biting wit; Wodehouse for his much gentler humour and way with words (I heard David Cannadine on the radio not so long ago describing how Wodehouse and Chandler - who both went to Dulwich College public school -  share the same wordsmith ability. He ended his talk with a sample paragraph and challenged the audience to guess which author had written it. Quite impossible unless you could remember which book it came from) .

I also loved romance and historical novels. Georgette Heyer has been a constant favourite, I reread most of her historicals every few years or so, though I have never been able to connect with her crime novels.  Elizabeth Gouge was another favourite and Margaret Irwin. It would be lovely to see their books resurrected – perhaps as e-books. Elizabeth Gouge knows how to inject enchantment and Margaret Irwin to bring the past alive. There are  many more authors who have brought me so much pleasure. I don’t suppose Iris Murdoch would have been pleased to have her novels classed as romance, but I enjoyed the emotional journeys of her characters. And I learned so much about emotion as a driving force in one’s writing from you, Kate. 

What I need from a novel, any novel, is a good story and characters who grab me emotionally.

My reading is always diverse and voracious. I love settling down with a book that hooks me, be it romance, crime, chic-lit, or any other genre or sub-genre. The essentials are  genuine characters I can believe in, a good plot and a satisfying ending. I just wish I knew why it is so difficult to write such books! You have that gift, Kate,  and I learned so much from your wonderful course. I still want to be a romantic novelist. I love Mills & Boon books and the first novel I ever finished was to have been the start of my M & B career. It was also the end of it! But you have inspired me to continue with the romantic novel I started for your Fishguard course. For the moment it’s had to go on the back burner while I write the second in my new historical mystery series but it’s not forgotten.

You are the author of the Darina Lisle series of books – can you tell us a bit about your cookery writer sleuth. How did you come up with the idea? And will there be any more Darina Lisle books?

I’ve already mentioned the creative writing course I attended where I came up with the idea of a cookery sleuth, thus marrying my love of crime novels with my interest in food. I saw the books as a series from the start, each one to be set in a different area of the food world. That first book in the Darina Lisle series was set in the annual conference of the Society of Historical Gastronomes (and I still don’t understand why there isn’t such an association). Other have been set in a  restaurant, a health farm, a  specialist food company, a television food programme plus others. The last book was set on a cruise going up the Norwegian coast and ended with Darina pregnant. That baby would be ten years old by now! Will there be any more? I’m working at getting the back list into e-book format. Maybe if they sell, I’ll think about another one. I am still very fond of Darina and her policeman husband.
Your other series features the Italian  artist Canaletto – what made you choose him to feature in a set of mystery stories?

I wanted to write an historical mystery. The middle of the eighteenth century attracted me, it was so vital, with London emerging into the capitalist age.  At first I thought Boswell might be a suitable protagonist. As a lawyer from Scotland, he belonged to the middle classes but had the entrĂ©e to aristocratic circles and was perfectly happy to mix with low life. But I reread his LONDON JOURNAL, and realised he had laid himself bare there, leaving me with nothing to add. Then my husband and I went to an exhibition in Birmingham on Canaletto and his influence on English painters. As we went into the lecture hall for a talk, there, on a large screen, was Canaletto’s painting of London seen through an arch of scaffolding,  Westminster Bridge was in the process of being built. Hanging down from the scaffolding was a bucket. As the lecture progressed, I realised I had found my protagonist, a perfect observer of all levels of society and someone who was almost a blank canvas. And whilst I listened, I couldn’t help wondering what was in that bucket! So I wrote CANALETTO AND THE CASE OF WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, which was followed by two more.

We first met at Caerleon Writers’ Holiday, where you have run courses on Writing Crime Fiction – and again at Fishguard Writing Weekends – what do you think is the value of events like these (apart from the opportunity to drink wine and talk!)? I suppose I’m really asking can creative writing actually be taught.

I’ve already admitted that my first published novel was conceived at a creative writing course. And at Fishguard Weekend I attended your marvellous course on romantic writing, so obviously I think they can have a great deal to offer. However, I think attendees have to have a certain talent to start with.  I think creative writing courses can hone technique, open doors into previously unexplored ways of telling stories, offer guidance on particular genres, and make writers realise they have undeveloped gifts.

Finally, can you tell us more about your new historical crime novel DEADLY INHERITANCE. I’d love to know more about your heroine Ursula Grandison – and do you plan to create a whole new series of mysteries with her at their centre?

My first agent, now retired and a very good friend, read DEADLY INHERITANCE as soon as I had finished it and said, ‘It’s Midsomer Murders comes to Downton Abbey’!  And it’s true that the background is very similar: 1903 with an American heiress married to an English Earl, a stately home and family difficulties. After that, the similarities are not many. My protagonist, Ursula Grandison is American but she is not the Countess. She arrives at Mountstanton as companion to Belle Seldon, the Countess’s young sister. Fabulously wealthy Chauncey Seldon has hired Ursula to discover what has happened to his daughter’s dowry and the exact state of her marriage.  But Ursula discovers the body of a nursemaid and finds herself investigating what lead to her death – which isn’t the last in the book!  

I loved writing the story and do hope readers will enjoy discovering the secrets that lie beneath Mountstanton’s aristocratic surface. And, yes, I do intend there shall be an Ursula Grandison series. I’m currently writing the second novel featuring both her and the London detective who eventually joins her at Mountstanton. But the action in  A FATAL FREEDOM moves to the metropolis.

I’d love to give a copy of DEADLY INHERITANCE to the blogger who gives the most interesting answer to a very simple question: Who is your favourite crime novel protagonist and why?  

I don’t have a website yet – watch this space – but  has details on me. Follow the link and enter Janet Laurence in the space for author’s name.
And thank you for asking me to join you in your blog today.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Where did the week go?

Well - there was a birthday - thank you all for your lovely birthday greetings and wishes here and on Facebook - they made me smile all day long.  And what with that and lots of visits/cards/gifts from family and friends I had a wonderful time.
I am now the proud owner of a brand new Kindle which  means my TBR pile will look slightly  smaller - but the list of books I have yet to read will be  every bit as long - just appearing on the kindle, not the shelves! Oh  well, at least that doesn't have to be dusted!  The trouble is that there are still so many 'real' books on my  TBR shelves.  Oh well!

And talking of new books -  May 12th was the publication date for the  In His Bed, a 3 in 1 book that is part of the Greek Affairs collection. This has a reprint of Bedded By The Greek Billionaire  along with two other stories by Anne Mather and Carol Marinelli

I'm going to be busy this week - with a day-long workshop in Nottingham on Saturday  to prepare for and run - there are still just a couple   of places left if you want to come along.

  • Date: 19th May 2012

  • Time: 10am - 4pm (including an hour for lunch)

  • Location:

  • The Nottingham Mechanics
    3 North Sherwood Street
    NG1 4EZ

  • Information on booking here :

    So - to  fill the blog and give you something to read - plus an extra special giveaway   -  I'll be posting an interview with a friend of mine who has a new release out today.   This  is not a romance  but . . .No you'll have to wait and see,  Come back tomorrow to find out . . .

    Sunday, May 06, 2012

    Tote Bags 'n' Blogs

    Today is the first Sunday of the month so as regular visitors will know, it's my day for blogging over at Tote Bags'n'  Blogs.

    And as some you will also know, tomorrow is a special day   for me  - so it won't surprise you that my blog is about  presents - not Harlequin Presents - but the gifts we give to celebrate  those special times.

    And I'm giving away a special present to someone who comments - so maybe I'll see you over there!

    Friday, May 04, 2012

    A Date With Kate

    As it's the first Friday in May, today my blog is over at The Pink Hearts Society where I have my monthly Date With Kate column.

    This month, beng a special month for me and some other important people in my life, I'm thinking about birthdays  - real ones and those of my fictional characters - how they can help you dig deep into  the personality of your hero and heroine.

    See you there!

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012

    Brenda Novak's Online Auction

    I meant to post this yesterday but  as usual time ran away with me.
    But  I can't delay any longer to remind you that as from May 1st Brenda  Novak's Annual Auction for the Cure of Diabetes  begins - and runs all month.

    May is the month when the romance community come together to support inspirational fundraiser, Brenda Novak, raise loads of money  for research into a cure for Diabetes.

    You can help by bidding for signed books from your favourite authors. There are unbelievable offers from authors you love. There will be jewellery, books, eReaders,  fabulous PR opportunities for writers, wonderful treats from writers for readers.
    My contribution this year will be my Writers and Readers' basket that has always been so popular in the past years when I've offered it.  Included in this basket are:

    A great selection of Kate Walker's novels:
    The Alcolar Family Trilogy (3 in 1), which includes:

    The trilogy Claimed by the Sicilian (3 in 1), which includes:

    Also included are the following autographed books by Kate Walker:
    THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES (Presents Extra April 2012)
    THE RETURN OF THE STRANGER (Presents Extra October 2012)
    THE PROUD WIFE (Presents Extra October 2011)
    THE GOOD GREEK WIFE? (Presents Extra April 2010)

    All books are packed into one of her fabulous Kate Walker Tote Bags; bonus: Kate Walker pen.

    Just checking the listing today, I was thrilled to see that the bidding, which started at $2 has already gone up to $30 in just one day! And yes, I will post the books to anywhere in the world, so don't let your geographical position make you hesitate about bidding.

    You can find my donation  on the web site here - but don't just check out my donation - take a lok at everything else on offer.  There's so much worth bidding on.

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