Monday, December 23, 2013

Stocking Filler winners and one last chance to win

Charlie has been busy picking winners for the advent calendar here and on my Newsletter list. It was a hard time fitting in time for him to do this job as there has been so very much to do, and he was a bit harassed by a small black and white kitten who kept wanting to join in - obviously I'm going to have to train her up so that she can pick some winners next year!

Anyway, there are some winners  names to announce  so here we go -

The winners of stocking filler books are:
Carol  - who wins Kept for Her Baby
Maria - who has to decide whether to pick Kept for Her Baby or The Greek Tycoon's  Unwilling Wife!

And Lidia - who hasn't  named a book, but she can let me know about that.

Charlie also picked some winners from my newsletter list -
Andrea  K
Jane K
Sheila F
So tomorrow is Christmas Eve - can you believe it?  How did it get here that fast?
What do you do on Christmas Eve? Is it all bustle and organizing - baking  - wrapping ? Or do you get together with family?  Do you eat a special meal on Christmas Eve ? Or do you end up working on preparations right to the last minute?  I'll be out at 6am making sure I get fresh bread for the holidays.

I have a friend whose family opens their presents on Christmas Eve? Does anyone  else do that? I know the royal family do too - so you'd be in esteemed company!

The giveaway book this time is my most recent title - A Throne For The Taking . . .

A kingdom's safety...
Betrayed by those she loves, Honoria Escalona must now face the only man capable of bringing stability to the Mediterranean kingdom of Mecjoria. A cold, hard man who once called her his friend... Alexei Sarova-the true King of Mecjoria.
In exchange for her happiness
But Alexei's tortuous past has changed him into someone she hardly knows. He blames Ria's family for his bitterness, and his help-when he offers it-comes with a price: he'll take his rightful place as King with Ria as his wife, until she produces a true-blood heir...

Tell me about your Christmas Eve and you'll be in with a chance of winning a copy.

Oh - and  little Ruby says that she loves her new home . . . and  this Christmas stuff  is very exciting  - she's already climbed the Christmas Tree three times . . .
But it's also very very tiring . . .



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Back to The Advent Calendar - Stocking filler weekend

Well, what with one thing and another - and Ruby! - the Advent Calendar got totally muddled up and behind itself - but not to  worry.  We can still have a fun weekend   and I can give away some books   before December 25th dawns.

First of all - I have to announce the winner of the last giveaway -  a copy of His Suitable Bride.

That goes to Gladys
And I still have  a copy of The Konstantos Marriage Demand  to go to Charlotte who seems to have missed the announcement.

Now - to get back to the Advent Calendar - Let's have a pot luck weekend.  A stocking stuffer giveaway.

I just read  a magazine article, full of pictures and details of 'stocking  fillers'. Not one of them was under £12!!   Er - not in this house.  The idea for the stocking my family and I make up is that nothing is to cost very much at  all,  but all the gifts are to be fun and perhaps silly - certainly to be enjoyed on Christmas
morning.

In fact, a romance novel is perhaps the perfect sort of stocking filler  for many women I know.

So here's how you get a chance to win an extra (if perhaps a little belated ) gift to go into your stocking this year. (Even if it's too late for the big day,  hopefully it will  provide some enjoyment and relaxation in the new year.

All you have to do is to turn up, say hello  - tell me where you're from  and where you're spending Christmas.
Then you let me know which of these ten  books you'd like to find in your stocking on Christmas morning -  and why

You can choose from
The Return of the Stranger
The Proud Wife
A Good Greek Wife?
The Greek Tycoon's Unwilling Wife
Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife
The Devil and Miss Jones
The Sicilian's Red Hot Revenge
Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride
Bedded by The Greek Billionaire
Kept for Her Baby

If you need any help deciding which one of these you'd like to win - click on the title of each book and the link will take you to the page on my web site where you can read about them.

Or if you have read a particular book and enjoyed it - you can pick a friend you think would love it too and tell me about them.

You can post at any time over the weekend  and hopefully I will have got things back on  track to organise
Charlie to pick  some winners on Monday morning.  It will be pointless to ask Ruby - she hasn't shown any interest in cat treats, much to Charlie's total disgust!

Let me know which books you'd choose.

Where was I? With Ruby

Well, that all went a bit pear-shaped didn't it?  I kept trying to get to my blog, planing on writing something and offering another book in the Advent Calendar, but things kept happening.
The doorbell kept ringing - more visitors

I had to keep going back to the Post Office - more prizes to send out

I had to plan - and work on connecting with the students for my February  Advanced Romance Writing Course at  Fishguard - even at Christmas the preparations for next year don't stop.


And talking about writing courses and teaching - I have  new plans for  the 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance - more soon - watch this space.

Oh - and  Ruby happened.

Ruby - not the 40th wedding celebration -  but she is part of them.  This is Ruby.

Or, rather that was Ruby when I first met her last Sunday - which was when  the organised life started to go  a bit  less organised!

I didn't think I was ready for another cat.  Flora's illness was so upsetting and sad  that the Babe Magnet and I weren't sure  we  could love another creature while we were  still so sad. But that was before The Offspring's Fiancee took me to visit the local Cat's Protection League  rescue where a small black and white bundle of fur threw herself into my arms and made it obvious that she knew I'd come to collect her.  And how could I argue with her when she had settled there and purred. . . and purred. . . and purred. . . .

We had to wait some days to make sure that no one claimed her. She'd been found wandering alone on the streets -
and as she  was only about 8 weeks old, that was a sad little story, especially when the weather has been so bitterly cold and wet.   So we had to leave her  at the centre (reluctantly because she yelled and yelled in protest when she was put back into the pen) . But no one did claim her and yesterday we went to fetch her and bring her home. She was still yelling! But she stopped as soon as I appeared  and jumped into my arms again - and that was that.
So here we are, with  Christmas just a few days away, the tree only half-decorated (as you can see) and some of the gifts not yet wrapped  . . .

and Here's Ruby!

But she's already wriggled her way into our hearts  - the humans anyway, but Charlie is a little distant as yet. She makes it clear that she thinks she fell asleep and woke up in cat heaven. There is food, and warmth, and lots of fuss (she yells if she doesn't get enough) and she slept curled up between us in the bed last night.

  So now I have  to go out - I know she's going to protest, and she'll probably still be yelling when I come back. But she'll soon get to realise that I do come back and we'll all settle down (even Charlie) into one big family.

Welcome, Ruby!

So that's why I've been otherwise occupied - there will. be more of the Advent Calendar next!




Sunday, December 15, 2013

Advent Calendar Day 15

I've been preparing packages for the post - prizes for winners -  so now I need to add two more names to those because my last prize was to give away two copies of The Konstantos Marriage.

It's taken some time to get Charlie in to pick the winners. The weather actually brightened and he was out enjoying the sunshine (cold sunshine - but at least it was bright and dry) and so he didn't want to come indoors at all - not even for cat treats!

Anyway, he's come back in for a short visit and has picked the two winners for me - they are:
Debby
and
Charlotte

Ladies  - you know the drill, please email me with your postal addresses and I'll get your book in the mail to you.

So how are you all doing with your Christmas preparations? I have  a tree. Some crackers. Some stocking to fill and the little gifts to fill them.  Parcels overseas have been sent (apart from prizes!) , cards written and posted - except for the couple of people I forgot!  I lost my  list of names and addresses  - I had it on my computer and a computer blip meant that it was corrupted and so this year I had to start all over again. I know there will still be some one  who  I've not got on the new list - but I'm hoping that if a card arrives from an unlisted sender, I will have some cards left over - and  can add their name to my new list.

What about you?  Are you still writing lists of things to do?  Still got gifts to buy? Cards to send? Or are you like some incredibly organised people and have it all done and dusted now? I have a sister who often buys
Christmas gifts in  July - in the sales! If I did that, then I'd put the presents I'd bought somewhere 'safe' - and forget where I've hidden them.

So tell me about how organised you are so I can be envious - or make me feel happily smug that I'm doing
better than you.

Today's giveaway is  another of those 3 in 1 collections - His Suitable Bride
My book in this collection is  Cordero's Forced Bride-

Taken in payment into his bed!
Alexa Montague is mortified. She's had to call off her sister's wedding, and now the ruthless, arrogant groom, Santos Cordero, is demanding that shy, ugly duckling Alexa, takes Natalie's place!
The Montagues have stolen his money and his convenient bride, so Santos will enjoy taking Alexa instead. For Santos does not - cannot - love. But his body burns for Alexa as it has for no other woman before. He'll keep her captive in his bed until she's begging to be his . . .

The other novels in this collection are by Cathy Williams and Abby Green

So post your comments  - let me know how you're doing with your plans and preparations -  or not! And you'll be in with a chance of winning this.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Advent Calendar - day 12

The people in the Post Office are getting used to see me arriving with packages of prizes for the winner  on the Advent Calendar  - or the special draw  for my Newsletter group.  (If you're not on that  and you want to be - see the link to join at the bottom of the page.)  They even recognise the shape of the parcels and when I say ' This is to go to America. . . Australia . . .Indonesia . . . ' they'll add  'and it's  a book?' The advent calendar is getting me noticed!

So today I'm getting some more prizes in the post -  and there's another winner I need to announce - that's the winner of Kept For Her Baby.

And the winner is Yvonne.

Yvonne please email me kate AT kate-walker dot com  with your postal address so that I can get your prize in the mail to you.

So far the Newsletter winners are:
Tonda H from Kentucky
Gemma W  from Norfolk
Flora L from  Baltimore
Jane S
Barbara S from Indiana
One point I need to mention - obviously at this time of year, there is a lot of mailing going on! Cards,  gifts, all over the place, flying to all  parts of the world.   I guarantee that I will put your prize in the mail just as soon as I can and I will package it securely, send it on its way.  After that, it's up to the Royal Mail  or whoever delivers to your part of the world.   I can't guarantee delivery - and I can't guarantee when it will arrive. I hope you all appreciate this.  It's a risk I take when I send parcels all over the world - but  it's one I'm prepared to take as I have friends/readers all over the world too.

Yesterday As well as the parceling the Babe Magnet and I did some major sorting out and cleaning, getting the house  ready for Christmas,. As a result, by the time the evening came we were both  worn out,  So I indulged in  a long, hot soak in the bath, with a vanilla scented candle  burning on the windowsill. I slept wonderfully after that.

So  - today's  question  for you to talk about is this - at this time of year, everyone is so busy - especially women! As mothers, wives, daughters, we all have so much to do, things to prepare, gifts to buy, meal to cook.  We all need a little me  time to help us  keep going.   What little extra treats do you have to keep yourself going -  a cup of tea, a hot bath?  A lie-in in the morning?   Watching a special TV programme?  (I love catching up with the soaps for this!)

I'm sure that for a lot of us, a quiet time with a good book is a special indulgence in the busy days.  So I have 2 copies ( because I might have missed a couple of days on the calendar!)  of  The Konstantos Marriage Demand  to give away this time.

The Greek's ruthless reunion.
Sadie Carteret and Nikos Konstantos were once blissfully in love. They planned the wedding of the year
, and their union would create a powerful dynasty.
But business and pleasure should never be mixed. Nikos was accused of scheming for Sadie's money and title, and was systematically destroyed by her family. The wedding was cancelled, the relationship in tatters.
Now the ruthless billionaire has built himself back up from scratch. He will clear his name and demand what was rightfully his...
Sadie must love, honour and...obey....


The Konstantos Marriage Demand was awarded Romantic Times Best Presents Extra 2010!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Advent Calendar - and a winner


Things got busier than I expected -  anyone would think it was coming up to Christmas! I just ventured out to  the local shopping mall  and it was hectic! But  I think I'm getting organised now. I have to write some cards though ..  . that's tonight's job.

Thank you for the good news - I was so happy to read it. Mary and Kaelee - new babies are always a wonderful joy and  congratulations to Lois and Charlotte on your successes.  And I know personally  what a wonderful result can come from the operation to remove cataracts. Eli, I'm sorry to hear about your mother. I hope the days that pass will ease your heart.

Everyone who nominated a friend to have a book sent to them - they're on the way! They may get tangled up in the Christmas posts but  hopefully they'll reach your friends soon.

Oh yes - and the winner of the good news prize is Lois - so you have won  a copy of Mediterranean Tycoons. I hope that's good news for you.  Lois please send me your postal address so that I can get the book in the mail to you.

Today's prize - appropriately enough with the news of babies etc - is a copy of the  2009 title  - Kept For Her Baby:



Wanted: wife and Mother...
Staring at the granite-handsome features of Italian billionaire Ricardo Emiliani, Lucy knows she's made a mistake coming back to their palatial Lake Garda home. But she'll do anything for her baby son—even return to the husband who never loved her...
Ricardo branded his wife a gold-digger, however, tiny Marco needs his mother so he will keep Lucy captive on his private island until she proves herself a worthy wife—in every sense...

To be in with a chance of winning a copy - well, seeing as I'm going to be writing my cards tonight  - along with the Babe Magnet, beside the fire  with maybe a glass of wine . . .- tell about the cards you send.
Have you written them yet? Or maybe even posted them already?

Go you still send all paper cards? Or have you decided to choose ecards instead?

And what designs do you choose?  Traditional ones, maybe with a Nativity scene or a Christmas Tree -  modern designs  or perhaps you like comedy cards, with  cartoons or silly photos?

We got our first card in the mail - it was a  picture of  a big fat robin. I'm going to have to show this to the robin that comes to the bird-table in my garden - he's only young and a skinny little thing so he needs encouragement  to grow"!


Saturday, December 07, 2013

Advent Calendar Day 7 - Good News Day

I have a hectic couple of days coming up - visiting family, appointments, etc  - and that's before I plan on writing the cards and getting the tree out of storage - so I won't be able to post again until Monday - but that's fine  because it gives you all time to leave comments ready for the next  Advent Calendar giveaway.

To catch up with the winners so far -
Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride was won by Shropshire Lass 
The Good Greek Wife  was won by Kerstin
The Duke's Secret Wife  goes to Samantha Hodges and Laney


Yesterday I posted on the Pink Heart Society about sharing  - and giving a book in your name to people you felt deserved one.    I have  five winners from there

 Jo's Daughter, 
 Charlotte, 
Kaelee,
 bn and 
Mary  Preston

And then there were two people who nominated special people in their lives after Charlie had picked the winners -
I'd love to give a book to all of your nominees.  But I'm sure you'll appreciate that my prize stock is limited  - and the postage all over the world can be expensive! (Can be? It is!)

So what I'm going to do is to include this busy weekend in the prize sharing giveaway - which means that  Maria  Perry Mohan and Eli Yanti's friends get a book as well - and then we'll return to the main giveaway on Monday with a single book to win.

So can the givers listed above  - and Eli and Maria  please email me kate AT kate-walker .com and remind me of the book you have chosen. Give me your friend's address - or yours if you want to be the one to give the prize to her - and let me know your nominees names so I can sign it to her if you want.

Maria, and Eli please let me know the name of the book  from the list on the PHS that you would like to give to your friend.

The nominees stories and some of the other messages I've received have made it clear that a  lot of people have had a difficult year in 2013  so I'd like to make t he question  for the giveaway on Monday to hopefully change the tone a little - so here goes-


Can you share some GOOD news with  me? Let me know the nice, the kind, the lovely, joyful things that have happened to you this year. I'd love to hear.   Please post them between now and Monday  - and the winner will receive a copy of the 3 in 1  collection  Mediterranean Tycoons.

He thought she was his mistress . . .
Recuperating on his private Greek island after a car crash, Andreas Petrakos had no memory of the previous year. The last thing he remembered was his passionate affair with beautiful Rebecca Ainsworth.
. . . when actually she was his wife!
Becca returned to the island because Andreas had asked for her. But she had to hide the truth from him. So what would happen when he recalled throwing Becca out - on their wedding day - for a reason only he knew?

 This collection contains  my 2007 novel The Greek Tycoon's Unwilling Wife  as well as stories by Michelle Reid and Sarah Morgan.  So it'll be good news for whoever wins it!

So - share your good news stories.  Here's one to start you off -
Remember  this post     on  the So You Think You Can Write contest?

Well, I'm delighted to say that Tanya  won the first prize in the contest with her manuscript If Only.  Huge congratulations to Tanya and I'll be looking for her  book when it's published as a result of this contest. That's definitely good news for her!
ember

So - let's have some more good news over the weekend.  You have lots of time to post between now and Monday (probably late when  I get a chance to catch up)

And all the winners, please contact me  - use the link at the bottom of the page or the one above, omitting the spaces  etc.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Advent Calendar - Pink Heart Day

Today is the first Friday of the month  so that means it's my Pink Hearts Society columnist day.

I've posted over on the Pink Hearts  blog - and I'm continuing my Advent Calendar count down over there.  Today is a special day - for sharing the Advent Calendar with others and I  hope you'll nominates someone you love who will be in with a chance to win a book.

Charlie is out prowling round the garden, but when he comes in I'll get him to pick the next couple of winners.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Advent Calendar Day 4

It's been a wild  day today.  I know there have been much wilder, fiercer storms all over the world this year - but today's howling wind and flying tree branches, were more than enough for me. I can't say I enjoyed the feeling of having the car been blown towards the centre of the road -  or having flying branches hit the windscreen. It made me think of everyone who has been hit by the ferocious force of nature this year   - and hope there are beginning to pick themselves and their lives back up  a bit now.,

It also worried me for the people in my area - along the Lincolnshire /East Anglia  coastline where they are being hit by a ferocious storm surge, threatened with floods and desalination as the high water time approaches. I hope every manages to stay safe  - and I'd  hope, dry and warm.  Keep inside - and look after yourselves, wherever you are.

That's partly why I;'m a bit late posting this blog today - the other is the reason why I went out and about - I was looking for stocking fillers.  For me, stockings are one of the very best bits of Christmas traditions. I love collecting up small gifts, ones that I know will make my loved ones smile - or, preferably , laugh - and there's little I like more than Christmas morning with everyone curled up on the bed (Charlie the cat included) with mugs of tea (OK - that's not for Charlie!), everyone delving into their stocking and pulling out a small, funny, pretty, interesting gift.  I know my son is grown up and he and his lovely partner have a home of their own now  but - well, no one's  too old to have a Christmas Stocking are they?

So that's today's question - do you still have Christmas stockings - or give them to the 'kids' on Christmas morning?

What sort of things do you put in them?   I know my parents always put an annual in with ours - and the plan was that we were to sit and read the book so as not to wake mother and father too early - it worked sometimes!

As stocking fillers are small, lovely little packages, I have a couple of copies of the novella - The Duke's  Secret Wife to give away to someone who comments this time.  The Duke's Secret Wife came out originally in   Society  Weddings (with Sharon Kendrick) in  2002 and then was republished in the Centenary celebrations in 2008.

Isabelle's secret marriage to Don Luis de Silva seems to be over. But the heir to the dukedom of Madriagalo demands that she return to Spain with him and pretend to be his fiancée - and then his wife! What does Luis have to gain from this reunion - except Isabelle?

I don't have a photo of Charlie with his Christmas Stocking - but  I know he won't mind if I share this lovely one of the late, great Dylan (just for you Biddy!)  who obviously knew that Santa Could be expected to come down the chimney!

Keep safe everyone out in the wild winds.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Advent Calendar Day 3 & Winner Day 2

Today's the Post Office day.  The day when I wrap up  the gifts for my friends and family who live too far away for me to be able to visit and deliver their presents in person over the Christmas holidays and then take them down to the Post Office to let the mail service do that for me. .  As I do this I think of the people I love who are in other countries, even the other side of the world, and I wish I could be going with the packages to their doors.

There are dear family members like my beloved eldest sister over in Australia. The Ofspring's gorgeous  Godmother who now lives in Spain. And then there are the friends I would never have met if it wasn't for the internet and email - dear friend Anne McAllister and my lovely web designer - and maintainer - Heather from HR Web Concepts . And Lee Hyat from Author Sound Relations  whose blog at Tote Bags 'n' Blogs I contribute to each month.  

These are the ones I have to get into the post now while there's still time for delivery for the big day.  There will be a few more parcels sent out  where they're going to the UK and there's more time  to spare for them. 
And then of course there will be  all the Advent Calendar giveaway  that will be sent on their way as soon as I get the addresses to send them to.

So  - yesterday's prize goes to:
SHROPSHIRE LASS

She wins a copy of Sicilian Husband,  Blackmailed Bride -  please send  your postal address so I can sent the books on its way - kater AT kate-walker dot com (or use the link at the bottom of the page. ) PLease ask for a receipt so that you know I've received the email

Today's prize is The Good Greek Wife. This book came out in 2010 and was part of a mini seroes based on the Greek Myths.

The return of the proud Greek husband...
He was declared missing at sea — but now notorious Zarek Michaelis is back and ready to take cont
rol! First he'll see to his business, and then to his wayward wife...
For two years Penny has struggled to come to terms with Zarek's disappearance. But enough is enough. It's time to move on… Her proud Greek husband is still as darkly handsome as ever, and the attraction between them is just as potent. But Penny can't trust Zarek's motives — does he just want her body and the fortune he left behind…or to try again? 


To be in with a chance of winning, just leave a comment - answering this question:

Do you have relatives and friends over seas who you need to send packages to? Is there someone who lives so far away (even in the same country - not many places are as compact as the UK!)  that you'll have to rely on the Post Office to act as Santa  for you?

Who would you love to see on Christmas Day (give me a Tardis and I'd bring my sister,  the Godmother , and Anne McA here like a shot - or I'd go to them.) Will you get in touch with them on Dec 25th no matter what?
I know my phone bill is going to be huge over the festive period!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Advent Calendar - Day 2 .

Well, if you visited on Sunday, you'll have been wondering what happened to day 2 of the Advent Calendar -  me too!  I just couldn't find a moment to write a post, choose a book to give away, organise anything.

But that's what it's like at this time of year, isn't it? There are places to go, people to see, presents to buy . . . .  Monday was one of those - places to go, people to see days.  The Babe Magnet's brother lives in Leeds and  Monday was the day planned for a visit to him  - and an early delivery of some Christmas gifts.  So that's what took up the time  and I never managed to write a blog post for the Advent Calendar.

So  because of that I think today's question should be about visiting people at Christmas.

Do you have all your family and friend close at hand so that you  can see them on the day, or close to it (lucky you!) Or do you need to go travelling to make sure you can see people who matter to you at Christmas?

Who is the one special person you really must see, without whom it just wouldn't be Christmas?

Post your answers in the Comments section  and as always I'll get Charlie on the job of picking the name of a winner - as you can see he's getting into the spirit of things and is  more than ready to pick Day 2's winner  ..  .

. .  .and Day 3's  . . . more of that coming up.

Today's prize giveaway is  Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride   a book from 2007
It's Guido's story from the Sicilian Brothers duo -

Possessed by his passion!
Dark, proud and sinfully gorgeous, Guido Corsentino is determined to reclaim his wife. Outwardly, Amber
is perfect and untouchable - but Guido knows the passionate woman inside. One kiss, and he's certain she'll give him whatever he demands . . .
But Guido is also certain of something else: Amber ran away from him once—so she won't be given the opportunity to do so again. He'll protect her from the consequences of her actions . . . in his bed!

PS If  you're on my newsletter mailing list, there are extra chances to win in this year's  Advent Calendar giveaway - so make sure you comment to be in with a chance.




Sunday, December 01, 2013

Tote Bags Day & Advent Calendar

As it's the first Sunday in December, today I'm blogging over at Tote Bags 'N'  Blogs. 

Today I'm talking about Advent Calendars - and regular visitors to my blog will know that there's a special reason for that. 

One  Advent Calendar tradition  I’ve always had is  the one that I’ve opened on my blog each year. In the countdown to Christmas I ask visitors to the blog to come along and tell me about their preparations, or  their hopes, their plans for the holiday period over the next 24 days.  Every day I  ask a question – one that’s so easy to answer, and there’s no right or wrong,  you just tell me a bit more about yourselves.  

And every day Charlie the  Maine Coon picks and answer from one of the contributors  and the chosen person wins a signed book  from my backlist – it might be an older title. Sometimes it’s a 3 in 1 anthology where my book has been published along with a couple of others – I don’t quite  know what titles I have in my backlist titles collection these days. I have to go and sort things out  before I can announce what books I’m offering

But today you can be in with a chance to win the first Advent Calendar prize if you go over to Tote Bags 'N' Blogs  and join in.

Monday, November 18, 2013

And another one . . .

I really do love it when my teaching pays dividends and  results in  one of my students progressing from beginner to more knowledgeable writer - and then hopefully to published author - or at least well on the way to that status.  I have met so many (a dozen or more I think now)  people who tell me that my classes/courses/workshops - or the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance -  have helped them learn more about writing and the success they  have had as a result.  

I just told you about Rachael, one of my Fishguard students whose  novel - Behind the Scandalous Façade  is in the Top Ten line up for So You Think You can Write   contest - and this weekend I heard from another of the ten semi -finalists. 

Tanya Wright is the author of  If Only - a novel aimed at the  Harlequin Romance line.  I've never actually met Tanya in person, but back in  March I 'met' her on line when I led a forum discussion on writing with emotion on Harlequin's community boards. Tanya joined in that and asked some interesting questions as she was just starting to write a new manuscript.  And now that manuscript  too has placed in the top ten of SYTYCW.

Tanya sent me a lovely message thanking me for my help and  advice and  I was thrilled to know that what I said had helped her so much because her editor mentor had commented on the realistic emotion in her story.

Congratulations Tanya!

Tanya's  not reminded me that the Writing With Emotion discussion can still be found on  the Harlequin web site if you want to have a read - in the Craft Courses Archives -  Delivering Emotional Punch with Kate Walker  if you want to take a look. Hopefully it will help you too.

If you live in the UK I will be posting details of all my new courses/workshops coming up on the Events Page of my website in case you want to come along.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

So You Think You Can Write 2013

I haven't said much about  this year's huge So You Think You  Can Write contest  - life has kept me too occupied to think about it - and it has been huge!  What was it 650 entries?

So to be in the group that was narrowed  down to 50 was an amazing achievement .


Huge congratulations are in order to every single one of them - they have all written not just one chapter that caught the editor' eyes  but a  full book to go with that first chapter.   And I know how hard that can be.  Ideas can come and seem bright, sparkling, wonderful - but to work them into a  full story, with characters, emotions, motivations, conflict, a resolution  and a satisfactory ending - well that's another job entirely.  So many people start out on that road and  never get to the end of it. 

And now - well that group has been narrowed even more  because the final  10 contestants - the 10 finalists have been announced today. And you can find the list of these ten  on the official site today  - every single one of them worth reading.

Mega congratulations to this special ten entries - you've come a long, long way from the opening of the contest.  Each and every one of you has something special, something the editors wanted to see more of.


So I'm  going to read my way through them all and I know I'll enjoy the process.  I won 't be  voting though - not right when I have a personal interest and  I never do vote in these contests because I know only too well that if the editors have chosen them then each entry will deserve its place in this final list.  And I have to admit that  I have a personal interest in the shape of  Rachael Thomas, a student of  mine from the Fishguard course  who has got the recognition she deserves as a writer.   I am so so pleased for her.

But don't let that stop you - go to the site - read all the entries.  

And then vote for the one you enjoyed best. 

Vote every day between now and November 25th - make sure you follow the rules - vote once a day  for your favourite. It's your turn to make an impact in this contest.    They certainly deserve  your support.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thank you to everyone who posted messages, here, on my Facebook  or sent them personally.  It was lovely to know so many people understood and your messages were lovely.


It does help to know that Flora is no longer in pain - I only wish the kindest thing we can do for these lovely creatures was not also the hardest thing for us.


Thank you again.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Sadness


Sorry to have gone missing - it has been a difficult week. Those of you who know of my beautiful Maine Coon  cat Flora will understand when I tell you that back in April we discovered that she had cancer.  Sadly, it wasn't anywhere operable as if was growing behind her eye.

With the vet's help we tried chemo and for a while that really seemed to help -  the lump shrank, growth slowed and for a while we had our lovely Flora back again.  But the chemo was traumatic and last month we knew that it wasn't helping her as it had. The cancer was growing again behind the other eye. So we decided  we had to stop the treatment,  spare her the stress of   the chemo and let nature take its course.

Today we came to the end of the road.  The cancer had grown even more and we had to make the hard decision that was the kindest for her but heart-breaking for us. Flora was on my knee as the vet gave her the injection and she slipped away.

She was a real beauty, a 'Queen' in  every sense of the word. The best Christmas present ever  and I will miss her terribly.

I wrote about Flora for the Pink Heart Society blog if you want to read  a bit more about her

Friday, November 01, 2013

Pink Hearts again

November? Really ?  How did that happen?

I have a confession to make - I've been so busy that I only turned over the months page for September on my office calendar  a couple of weeks ago. So I'm really stunned to find that I have to do it again today   and find myself facing the month of November!

Which means that it's the first Friday  of a brand-new month.;
Which means that it's my day to write a blog over on the Pink  Heart Society blog.  I only just remembered that it time!

Anyway, that's where I am- Pink  Heart Society blog - and A Date With Kate.

Now I'm going to make myself a stiff coffee as I adjust to the fact it's November!  Still not sure how that happened.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Where was I?

I can’t quite believe how long it is since I blogged. But then when I look back I realised that I did cram quite a bit into  those  14 days!

What have I been up to?

Well, I went to the Crime Writers’ Association (Northern Chapter) lunch  in Boroughbridge.  I was there as  the Babe Magnet’s plus one because he’s the crime writer in this family. It was fascinating meeting a bunch of writers who all write popular fiction but in a very different  way from the romance writers I know. I ended up having an interesting discussion with  my friend Lesley Horton who wanted  to introduce a romantic relationship into her latest  book. We have very different styles and subjects – but that romance element  needs something of the same approach, no matter which sort of fiction you’re writing.

Barely back from the CWA, we were on the move again – to York  to meet with friend and fellow Presents Author Trish Morey. You’ll remember her from the 40 for 40 celebrations – but this time we got

to celebrate in person. We also got to talk and talk – and talk . . .  Books, heroes, settings, roma
nce . . .  When writers get together there’s no stopping the conversation.

What else?  Ah, yes  there was that vital thing that makes me a romance writer. Writing! It’s been a difficult year for getting words on the page so I was really thankful when I finally typed the last few words on a new book ( working title A Question of Honour)  and  sent it off to my editor with a huge sigh of relief .

I had an even huger sigh   -  of delight – when she got back to me within just  a couple of days and told me that she loved the book! ‘A truly fantastic read’ she said. And there were no revisions, just some small ‘tweaks’  - small additions just to deepen a few areas. So that was  where the rest of the week went . . . tweaking.

And the tweaking worked because  this week I heard from my editor that the book was accepted, bought  and scheduled – we were just waiting for a title. Debates followed – and the title we ended up with was my original working title. So I’m delighted to be able to say that

A Question  of  Honour will be published in Mills & Boon Modern Romance and Harlequin Presents  in June 2014.

So that's my 62nd title with Harlequin.  I don’t have a cover or anything else yet, but as soon as I know more, I’ll share with you.

Since then I’ve been offered an new contract and I am already planning the next new book – and hoping life will give me a bit more  of a peaceful time and space in which to write it.

So I have time to relax and ‘refill the well’ with reading – and next week the Babe Magnet and I are off to  enjoy another of our 40 special events for our Ruby Wedding celebrations. This one will be a trip to Oxford where we are going to the stage revival tour  of West Side Story. Why that? Well it's a really romantic story  - if tragic - but also because we had been to see the film version of West Side Story  on the day we finally decided on the date for our wedding – so naturally it has  very special memories.
 
And before  I go - I have to send Congratulations to the top 50 entrants to the SYTYCW   contest who have had their first chapters selected to go into the next round -  Good luck with the next stage of the contest!
 
And those who didn't get selected? The only way  forward is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off -  and start again.  I understand  - and I sympathise - but  it really is the only way.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Pink Heart Day

 
It's been a busy week  - or two.   I've been nose to the grindstone doing that thing that novelists have to do - writing! It's been good to have come concentrated writing time, but  a few other things, like blogging have had to go by the wayside as I focused my attention on that.

As a result I lost track of time and almost forgot that today is the first Friday of the month - but luckily I remembered just in time.

Because of course the first Friday of the month is my day for blogging over at The Pink Heart Society. 

So that's where you'll find me today - talking about one of my  favourite romance books  and a favourite author. Anne Mather.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

And something new for May 2014

    RELAX AND WRITE
CREATIVE WRITING WEEKEND COURSE
‘Writing Romantic Fiction
 
WEETWOOD HALL
LEEDS
16 – 18 May 2014
Attend as a Day Visitor or Residential Member
Course Leader: Kate Walker
Kate Walker is a well-known Harlequin Mills & Boon author, having published 61 titles for them in the UK and USA. She is also the author of the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance.  Kate’s workshops can be adapted to any form of romantic fiction, and ‘Relax & Write’ plan weekend courses, two-part courses and retreats, so that you can benefit from her expertise in this genre. 
Romantic Fiction is big business.  This course is intended to provide information and advice for anyone who wants to learn how to write romantic fiction.  It gives an introduction to all the skills needed for success, from initial research to the final submission of the typescript. The courses are informal and fun.
If you’re just starting out writing romance, or you’ve written a manuscript or two but are not yet published and are interested in honing your skills, this course is for you.
For further information Contact Lois Bird-Maddox ‘Relax & Write’ Course Organiser
on Tel. 01454  773579
E-mail LOISBM@aol.com                                              www.malagaworkshops.co.uk
Write to: The Secretary, ‘Relax & Write’ 9 (D) Langthorn Close, Frampton Cotterell, Bristol BS36 2JH.
Book early to guarantee a place.  Book early and pay by instalments. 
Non-participating partners welcome.

Writing Courses coming up -


September always makes me think of new terms – school  terms, university terms, college terms. It’s been a long time since I was actively involved in those preparations – as a student myself, then with the Babe  Magnet teaching and the Offspring studying at school and then University but  I still love that ‘Back To School’ type of feeling. And, as I admitted over on a Pink Heart blog recently, I love the stationery and pens or pencils that go with it.

So this time of year always makes me think of plans and projects and indulging in a little stationery buying, rather more than the actual ‘New Year’ at the start of January.  And this past week or so I’ve been looking ahead rather more than usual and planning  and organising

I’m always being asked what courses/workshops I will be teaching  so I thought I’d let you know what I have coming up in the next  ‘new year. There are  the  tried and tested events that I now do every year – and one exciting new venture  and a new venue that I’m really looking forward to  getting involved in.

So – first of all, as many of you know there are the courses being run at Fishguard in Pembrokeshire, Wales. I’ve been running these course for years now and am always so happy to go back to Wales , to enjoy the warm hospitality of Anne and Gerry Hobbs who run these events, and to work with the students who sign up for my courses. In  previous years, the summer courses have taken place in Caerleon but sadly last year was the last ever event there and the whole set up has now moved to Fishguard, with the summer event being smaller as a result. So places are strictly limited and both events are booking up fast.

So here are some details:

The 9th Writers and Artists Workshops Weekend

Dates: Friday 28th February – 2nd March 2014

Place:  Fishguard Bay Hotel  Pembrokeshire

Course:  Advanced Writing Contemporary Romance.
Cost: All inclusive - £219-00

This course is designed  for students who have already been on my basic Writing Romance course – or some other. It’s not for beginners but has been designed specially to move one from the basic course.  There are six advanced workshop sessions, discussions and critique sessions.

Places on this course are strictly limited and until this weekend, the advanced course was already fully booked. But I just heard that at least one person has had to  drop out – so there  is at least one place free. If the course fills up, names will be kept on a waiting list on a fikrst come, first served basis.

Writers’ Holiday Fishguard

The new format Writers’ Holiday now also takes  place in the Fishguard Bay Hotel.

Dates: Monday 21st  July – Saturday 26th July inclusive
Cost: All inclusive:£499-00

Course: The Complete Writing Romance course.  The new courses at Writers’ Holiday will now be longer – 8 hours instead of 5.
Again, places  - and rooms at the Fishguard Bay Hotel  - are booking up fast.    There is currently just one 1 double/twin room only for July.   People sharing a room with a friend/ partner  will save on the cost of the holiday. - Unfortunately, the Writers’ Holiday  website is down for two weeks but if you email Gerry Hobbs  and if you mention my name he will sort things out for you.
As soon as the site is back up I'll post a link to it and all the details of this new Writers' Holiday.
 
These are the courses I've always run - and will continue to run each year in Wales.
But if perhaps you can't get to Fishguard, if you're looking for something morfe in the north of England, or the week-long Writers' Holiday would be difficult for you - I have something new coming up that might suit.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Catching up again

I'm not sure where the time has gone again.

Well, no - I do know where a lot of it went.

I was travelling, and meeting up with family and friends. With fellow authors. With editors.

I was in the beautiful city of  Cambridge  where I had a lovely family get together and a picnic in the sunshine (when we had sunshine, unlike today) on Jesus Green  after a visit to the outdoor swimming  pool. I met two of my sisters, one of  my brothers in law,  my nephew, and I met my  great niece  for the first time. A memorable afternoon.
In Cambridge I also went to the book launch of a dear friend who was celebrating  the publication of her very first book. You met Anna Sugden when she came  to this blog to join in the 40 for 40 celebrations and I was so happy to be able to join her at her launch party  on the same day as the family picnic - great organising that put both events on the same day.

Home from Cambridge, I just had time to turn round, unpack, do some laundry, pack again -  and head for London.

London was where the annual Association of Mills & Boon Authors lunch was held in the Reading and Writing Room (appropriately enough) of One Whitehall Place - Part of the Royal Horseguards Hotel.  The  guest list there read like a who's who of romance writing. Liz Fielding, Sarah Morgan,  Sharon Kendrick, Fiona  Harper,  Heidi Rice, Kate Hardy, Kate Hewitt,  . . .  If I went on, I'd fill the whole blog with names. There were also the new writers, Michelle Smart, Anna Sugden, Rachel Brimble, Victoria Pembroke, Christy McKellen and brand-new, only just signed Jessica Gilmore.  I also met up with new friend CC Coburn for the first time, face to face. Again, you met her here on this blog last month.

We were given wonderful  'Books are My Bag' goodie bags (thanks to Kate Hardy for letting me borrow the photo - my gift of chocolate didn't survive the Babe Magnet on the journey home!)  Kate also has some great photos of the venue etc on her blog. I didn't take my camera, so I'm relying on her.

She also has pics of the  Meridien Hotel  where the authors'  cocktail party was held  by Harlequin Mills & Boon. Another fabulous venue with  Rossinis (strawberries and champagne) and other delights.  So many new editors to meet and only I  just had time to chat with my own lovely editor before the evening ended. You can read about this event from an editor's point of view over on I Heart Presents.
I want to thank  Fiona Harper,  Heidi Rice and Sharon Kendrick for organising such a fantastic AMBA lunch. And of course I also need to thank Harlequin Mills and Boon for the fabulous cocktail party afterwards.

But there were two other treats in London - as part of the 40th celebrations - I've forgotten how many of the  '40 Special Things' we have crossed off on our list so far  but these two were really special. Well, they were for a theatre fan like me.  The Wednesday evening was spent at the National Theatre watching Othello starring Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear. And Thursday  evening was at the Gielgud Theatre to see Noel Coward's Private Lives  starring Toby Stephens and Anna Chancellor.
Both were totally fabulous - very different, but wonderful in their own ways.  Fabulous.

So now it's back down to earth and to work for a while. There are other events  coming up but for now I need to concentrate on writing.

Which reminds me - if you are interested in  writing and thinking about writing a romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon, don't forget that the annual writing contest - So  You Think You Can Write -  has started again  for this year. You can read all the details on the SYTYCW home page and here, again on I Heart  Presents.

And if you are interested in writing romance  and have ever thought about coming on one of my courses then I have some news for you coming up. 

Watch this space.




Friday, September 06, 2013

Pink Heart Day

Well I hope you enjoyed the 40 for 40 celebrations.  I did, but it took up lots of time and energy so I've been taking a break and concentrating on writing  and other things.

This weekend I have another celebration as I meet up with my sister and her husband,(also celebrating their 40th  in October) another sister, my nephew and niece and a grand-niece -    but just to finish off the 40 for 40 - I have a few winners I didn't hear from. This is the last call to get in touch with them .
Shirley Buchanan
girlygirlhoosier
Sally Bearnathy
jaganderson
Jane Linfoot
 Please can you contact me to claim your prize.  If you have already contacted your donating author direct, please let  me know so I can cross you off my list.

Once again thank  you to everyone - authors and commenters  -  who joined in. You made a special occasion  extra special.

Today I'm back into routine a bit more with my monthly column A Date With Kate over on the Pink Heart's Society blog where I'm talking about the Back to School season -  and its temptations.  Temptations I know some of you share.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

40 for 40 - final winners and Thank you

So the 40 for 40 celebration has finally come to an end. I hope you've enjoyed meeting so many of my friends. The '40 for 40'  ended up at 45 for 40 so there has been a lot of posts to read and plenty of fabulous authors to meet.


I have the final  set of winners to announce so that these readers can claim their prizes. So here goes:

Sandra Marton has chosen Kaelee
Helen Bianchin picked Laney4
Sophie Weston's choice was Kaelee
Michelle Smart  chose Eli Yanti
and Victoria Parker chose Julie M

Please will the winders make sure that I have an email ( katewalker AT ntlworld.com)  with your postal address so that I can forward that to your author and then can sort out your prize for you.

and that, I think, is it!

Except that to round up this very special celebration, I have to send a great big thank you to to all the special guests who came, blogged, and offered giveaways.
So thank you to:
  1. Dee Tenorio
  2. Holly Jacobs
  3. Melanie Milburne
  4. Anne McAllister
  5. Sally Quilford
  6. Michelle Styles
  7. Scarlet Wilson
  8. Jane Jackson
  9. Louise Allen
  10. Zoe Sharp
  11. Anna Campbell
  12. Kate Hardy
  13. Donna Alward
  14. Kate Walker
  15. The Babe Magnet
  16. LoveCats Downunder
  17. Janet Gover
  18. Fiona Harper
  19. Margaret Mayo
  20. Julie Cohen
  21. Liz Fenwick
  22. Nell Dixon
  23. Lynn Raye Harris
  24. Jane Porter
  25. Annie West
  26. Susan Stephens
  27. Anna Louise Lucia
  28. Anna Sugden
  29. Pamela Hartshorne/Jessica Hart
  30. Chantelle Shaw
  31. Tawny Weber
  32.  Liz Fielding
  33. India Grey
  34. Danica Favorite
  35. CC Coburn
  36. Lesley Horton
  37. Heidi Rice
  38. Helen Bianchin
  39. Sandra Marton
  40. Janet Laurence
  41. Sophie Weston
  42. Michelle Reid
  43. Trish Morey
  44. Michelle Smart
  45. Victoria Parker
And thank you to everyone who came by, read, commented and joined in.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Winners

I have some 40 for 40  winners to announce.

Here goes -

Danica Favorite's  winner is Petite 

Janet Laurence has picked Kaelee

The winner of Michelle Reid's prize is Shirley Buchanan

and I just heard from Trish Morey that she has chosen  Sally  "for her 'love second time around' story"


So will the lucky winners please contact me, putting your address in the email so that I can forward it to  the generous author who has donated your prize.

Contact me  katewalker AT ntlworld.com 

There are still  some prizes unclaimed - so if you have answered any of the authors' questions over the past month, do check back over the Winners announcements in case you missed your name.

Still time to chat with Michelle Smart and Victoria Parker  until I hear from them who has won their prize.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

40 for 40 - Victoria Parker


So today's post comes from the very last guest blogger in the  40 for 40 celebrations - and once again I want to introduce you to one of the newest Modern Romance/ Harlequin Presents authors.  Not quite as brand new as Michelle because Victoria Parker  has her second book out now. Which means she's got past that difficult 'second book blues; time - Congratulations, Victoria!

I read and enjoyed Victoria's first book - The Princess in the Iron Mask so I'm looking forward to her new title -  A Reputation to Uphold.  As I said, when introducing Michelle, the new writers are the 'new blood' of the line and I hope that Victoria has a long and successful career ahead of her.  I'm really happy to introduce her to you here today -
And to round off the 40 for 40 celebration in  true style - Victoria is celebrating her own wedding anniversary today.

So welcome Victoria. And  Happy Anniversary.


Firstly, huge congratulations to Kate and Steve on 40 years of wedded bliss! My hubby and I celebrated our 10th anniversary last summer so 40 years seriously boggles my mind and leaves me completely awed. I was very young when I first met my husband and little did I know then, we had a rocky road ahead of us. Lots of ups and down and wrong turns but we always found our way back to each other. I like to think our hearts were driving us and we were destined to eventually meet in the same place. And if I’ve learned one thing from our youthful encounters and subsequent marriage it’s that you have to love hard. We all change through the years and it takes a deep loyal friendship and mutual respect to grow together. That’s one thing I noticed most about Kate and Steve when I first met them – they are great friends as well as a truly loving couple.

 

It’s that perfect blend of two people coming together – being destined – that is always the starting point for my Modern Presents and oddly enough my latest release ‘A Reputation To Uphold’ was born around the time of my own anniversary.

 
On a whim we decided to fly out to Thailand to celebrate with my rather wonderful sister and her family and I knew I had the perfect setting for my next book. Question was; who could I picture here in paradise? Then, one day, we were all relaxing on James Bond Island, soaking up the sun and lush scenery and we all got to chatting about love at first sight – was it even possible or was it merely wishful thinking, a fairy tale of sorts? Naturally, the guys decided it was lust-at-first-sight wrapped in a pretty bow but here’s the thing… I’m a die-hard romantic, so of course I believe it is entirely possible. Then as always, I started thinking, what if. What if my heroine grew up wrapped in the arms of her parents love and always dreamed of finding The One? What if her fairy tale was a beautiful courtship and a white wedding with vows from the heart? What if she met her hero in the form of her older brothers best friend, was struck by the power of love at first sight and began to build castles in the sky? Then, what if life threw her off course and dealt her some hard heart-wrenching cards that meant she would forever be alone. Gone were the dreams as she crashed into reality. Life was not a fairy tale, she discovered. It was hard and love was a lie. Happy ever afters, she decided, did not exist – at least not for her.

 

That was how Eva St George was born. A series of what if’s. And as I painted her past I watched her bury that beautiful youthful innocence. I watched her make mistakes, just as we all do, but that makes her real and one of the many things I adore about her. When the story opens she’s fought past her turbulent years and is on the brink of becoming a hugely successful wedding dress designer. In truth, she makes other women’s dreams come true, happy to live vicariously through her clients. So there
she is, on the verge of success, creating a gown for the next Duchess and who should swagger back into her life to reap havoc and destruction but super sexy, inordinately powerful, Dante Vitale – the cynical brooding Italian who crushed her youthful heart. The man she’s always wanted. The man she can never ever have.

 

As soon as I started writing this book, I knew it would be chock full of romance, of all the wondrous elements love has to offer that Eva has denied herself for so long. I knew it would be teeming with a passion that has never died and I knew Dante needed to show Eva the light, even as he lived in the dark. They bring out the worst in each other but also the best and theirs is a true love story that will stay with me always as they both learn that life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain. Life isn’t a fairy tale but dreams do come true – you just need the courage to fight for them, have faith and believe.

 

I’m giving away a signed copy of ‘Reputation To Uphold’ to celebrate the power of love and life. Of making every second count.
 
All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me; What is the most romantic thing your partner has ever done for you?
 
Like Dante, did they drive miles out of town for your favourite ice-cream or vividly remember their first glimpse of you so many years ago. Or maybe they whisked you away for a secret rendezvous just to say ‘I love you’. The romantic in me would love to know!

Friday, August 16, 2013

40 for 40 - Michelle Smart

 I promised that I would introduce you  to some of the newest published authors in the M&B Modern/Harlequin Presents line. So here's the first of them - Michelle Smart.  I met Michelle at the Romantic Novelists' Association conference in Sheffield in July and asjed her to join in the 40 for 40 celebration here.

 I'm always happy to learn about the new authors  - new authors are the lifeblood of the line, the ones who will take it into the future.

Michelle's very first Modern/Presents title The Rings That Bind was published on August 1st - so you should be able to see it on the bookshop shelves now. 

Or you can be in with a chance to win a copy by chatting with Michelle today - about romance of course!

Welcome, Michelle.
 

“It’ll never last.”

Those were the oft repeated words imparted to my twenty year old self when I got engaged to my now husband. Indeed, my own mother gave us two weeks. In fairness, we had only been together for a couple of months. When we married a year later, she generously gave us two months.

Two kids and fifteen years of marriage later, and we’re still together, still happy. I so wish I’d put a bet on us!

I have no magic formula to give but I knew he was ‘the one,’ simply because he made me feel the way I’d always hoped a man would make me feel, the way the heroes of my beloved Mills & Boon books made their heroines feel. Okay, so my hubby isn’t a billionaire (shame) but he is tall, dark and gorgeous (to me). He’s an alpha male but happy to be bossed around by little old me. Through the years there have been occasions when I would have gladly throttled him (and vice-versa) but I’ve never regretted a minute of it.

When I think of all the romantic gestures he’s made, all of which I could count on one hand (I never said he was perfect!), the one that stands out the most was when he proposed. I was working shifts in a pub to bring in some extra money and had been asked to help out in the kitchen of another pub whose staff had all walked out – two weeks before Christmas. My boss and I spent the day cooking Christmas dinner for around fifty pensioners and by the end of it, we were shattered. I remember sitting in the restaurant in my filthy chef whites, stinking like a chip-pan, my hair a greasy mess, just taking a breather, when my boyfriend walked in. He’d been working in the same locale and decided to pop in to see me. He joined me at the table, which was littered with rubbish from the dinner, including cracker hats and toys. Nestled in amongst the mess was a plastic cracker ring. He simply smiled at me, passed me the ring, and said, “Marry me.”

How could I refuse?

It always makes my heart sing when I remember that moment, when the man I loved saw me looking
my very worst and knew he wanted to marry me.

 


What’s the most romantic gesture you’ve experienced? What memory makes your heart sing the most? I’d love to hear your stories.

There’s a copy of my debut Mills & Boon Modern / Harlequin Presents, The Rings That Bind up for grabs – a winner will be selected at random from the commentators.

 

Contact Michelle at

http://www.micheller-smart.com                            https://www.facebook.com/michellesmartauthor

and on twitter @chellebellwrite
 

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