Friday, June 27, 2008

The Alcolar Family

It's here! I finally got to see it - and to have a copy in my hand!

What am I talking about?

The Alcolar Family Trilogy, that's what!

My author copies arrived yesterday and I've been able to see it 'in the paper' for the first time.

And it's a wonderful feeling.

I always love the moment when the published editions of my books arrive. When I see the brand new covers, the actual pages with my words on them. And this time was really special. This is a substantial volume, 3 different stories, around 555 pages of text, and all of them mine! I've had 3 in 1 By Request volumes before now, but I've shared them with other writers - this one, with it's wonderful sunset on a beach cover is all mine! (OK - the cover's not entirely mine, but when I share it with a very special friend from 'downunder' on Trish Morey's great book A Virgin for the Taking, I'm not going to complain - and it is a great cover!)

I always loved the 'shout line' for this mini series -

Proud Spanish aristocrats . . . Passion is their birthright . . .

And there it is on the back of the collected volume, together with the names of all the three titles in the trilogy. The Twelve Month Mistress, The Spaniard's Inconvenient Wife and Bound by Blackmail. The only thing that would have made it even more perfect would have been if the on-line story that started this whole thing off had managed to be included in this volume.

But at least that is in the ebook 'bundle' that is currently riding high on the eHarlequin ebooks sales charts - it's been the best selling 'bundle' all month, right from the start.

This ebook bundle does include that story Wife For Real so that every single one of those Alcolar brothers (and sister) are collected together in one place.

To have this trilogy republished as a collection is such a special moment for me - and to have it appear now, in the middle of Mills & Boon's Centenary year, is an extra special thrill. In August I'll be running a special contest to celebrate - and that will be as well as my usual Tote Bag of Books Contest which I run every summer which is also coming up. (You didn't think I'd forgotten that did you? I've been busily collecting up books to go in this year's tote and I already have a wonderful selection).

But if you want to get your hands on the print copy of The Alcolar Family Trilogy it will be available on the Mills & Boon Website from the start of July.

And for international readers, the good news is that the trilogy will also be available on The Book Depository in August, as will The Duke's Secret Wife in the same month. Don't forget that The Book Depository offers free international delivery - that's worldwide - on all the books it stocks, so if you're itching to get your hands on any of the special Mills & boon Centenary publications and they're not available where you are, then The Book Depository is the place to look. (And no, I don't get commission from TBD but I do like to think that my readers all over the world can get their hands on the books they want as cheaply possible. And they do also stock the 2nd edition of the 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance which I know a lot of you have been looking for.)

Oh - and mention of The Duke's Secret Wife reminds me that I haven't announced the winners of the thank you prize for answering my questions about author's web sites and what you like or don't like about them. It's been a hectic week, but I finally managed to grab hold of Sid and put him to work. (work?) And the winners are:

Ellen and Dina

So Ellen and Dina will you please send me your mailing address and I'll get those copies of the book in the post to you. And to everyone else who answered both on my blog and in private - thank you so much - you've been a great help.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Flora meets a Heck

The youngest hedgehog is getting very much braver.

Either that or he/she's very very hungry.

Yesterday s/he didn't even wait until dusk to come looking for food but came trundling over the lawn early in the evening, while it was still light. We hadn't even put out any crunchies, but there was some uneaten cat food that I'd thrown after feeding the furs so that must have attracted him.

Flora was still outside too and so she was stunned to see this new and unknown creature sniffing about and eating bits of chicken in jelly. She came to investigate and was totally intrigued.

First she sniffed from a distance . . .

Then she got closer and investigated more thoroughly. She even tried to bat the hedgehog about like a prickly football but Little Heck wasn't bothered. He froze for a while. considered curling up into a ball, but then obviously realised that she was no real threat - and anyway the food was much more important.

Finally Flora just gave in and settled down beside Little Heck and they snacked on chicken together.
I was glad that this all happened while it was still daylight and that I'd had my camera close to record the first meeting of cat and hedgehog.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Swamped by Cats

Today I am swamped by cats.

So what's new about that? you ask. There are plenty of felines around the house - you've read about them lots times. There's Sid A Cat of Superior Breeding, there's Flora the Floozie (aka Princess Flora Flooziebelle) and there's Dylan - Dylan the Villain or Dyl the Vyl so beloved of Biddy.

But today I have more cats around the place - twice as many to be exact. Three more of them. That makes six cats in total, cluttering up the house.

You see, today is the day that the Offspring and his Lovely Partner move house. They're busy doing that right now. Packing up the van and emptying one place, ready to move to the new house and offload everything again. And the cats are going with them - eventually. But as they get under everyone's feet, and panic and try to run away, they have come to stay here today.

So the fur affectionately known as the Grandkits are cluttering up the place as well.

We have Meg (above) and her daughter Mozzie. --->
(Mozzie was orignally thought the be a little tom, so 'he' was named after Morrissey - but since it became clear that she was not a Mozz she's become Mozzie). Both the M&Ms are rescued cats who had been abandoned by the side of a road. And then there's Stumpy. Stumpy is a Rag Doll cat who was adopted when his previous owner couldn't keep him any longer because she was affected by his long fur. He's called Stumpy because he might have the long fur but he doesn't have the right length of tail.

So one set of cats are in the dining room (where Stumpy has made himself so much at home that he's lying on the dining table) and the other three (mine) are wandering the house, well aware of the fact that there's something strange going on but not sure what.

Sid, being the Ladies Man that he is, is lying outside the dining room door, flirting with Meg through the wood. And Flora wants to go in and play.

And other animal news - no one has yet moved into the second Hedgehog House, but I suspect that it won't be too long as Little Heck will probably want his own nest instead of being with the bigger Hecks - specially if they have more babies.

He has progressed from being just a small, nervous figure in the distance to being so intent on chomping his way through as much discarded cat meat as he can manage that he didn't mind at all if I came and took his close-up

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife - Behind the book

I don't often write a 'Behind the Book' post. Maybre that's because there isn't often a behind the book to tell. I don't spend a long process of collaging or collecting things in boxes or looking up heroes and heroines on the internet. OK, sometimes I do the researching heroes thing because that's fun - er - deep and meaningful research.
Often a book comes from just one line, or,as with the current story, just a picture of a place that I just must write about.

But sometimes there is a personal element to a book. A piece of the story that relates to something in my own life, something close to my heart that I've woven into it. And it does seem that when this happens, it creates a book that resonates with readers particularly strongly.

This has happened with Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife, where reviewers and readers have written to me about the theme of the tragedy that pulls Alannah and Raul back together when they have been separated for two years.

As Romance Reviews Today put it:
SPANISH BILLIONAIRE, INNOCENT WIFE pulls the reader first into the pain of the unexpected loss of a family member and the need to heal, then the second chance at love.

I know that feeling only too well. It's taken over ten years before I felt ready to write about it.

In 1995, my beautiful sister-in-law set out to drive to her job at a local school. She never arrived . Partway through the short journey, her car hit a van head-on. She died as a result of the head injuries she received, leaving behind a husband and two children, a daughter and a son aged just twelve and eight.

I was thinking about Julie today while I was in the garden. Past readers of this blog will know that the Magnet and I planted a special rose bush in the garden to commemorate her. A glorious deep burnt orange rose that has the name Remember Me.

Ever since we bought it, this rose has had its own particular approach to flowering. And every year I've told myself that this won't happen again -it's just coincidence, or I'm imagining things . . . .

'Remember Me' never flowers until it's Julie's birthday at the start of July. It has a rush of blooms again in September, the month in which she married. And it always has one last flower hanging on at the beginning of Novemeber, on the anniversary of the day she died.

So there I was in the garden, taking the dead flowers off all the other roses. All the roses that have had the same amount of care and attention, the same amount of fertiliser and rain and sunshine because they're all is a bed in the same part of the garden. And I realised that we're in the second half of June, heading towards Julie's birthday again. And I was 'dead-heading' all the other roses . . . but not Julie's 'Remember Me'.

All the other roses, look like the one above, with a profusion of flowers, lots of half open buds, and plenty more blooms on their way.

Julie's rose, looks like this . . . .

With the buds tightly closed, no hint of colour showing through. It is unlike every other rose bush in the garden. Every single one of them is in full flower - not 'Remember Me'. It looks just as if it's waiting - for the beginning of July.

If you want to know what it should look like - what it will look like - then I posted a photo of it here a couple of years ago. That picture was taken on Julie's birthday.
Every year I tell myself that I've imagined this. That it won't happen again - and every year it proves me wrong. And after over 12 years, that's so much more than a coincidence.
This year it has an extra special meaning for me as the book I wrote with so many memories of Julie, the book that's filled with the sorrow of her loss is on the shelves.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What the Hecks . . .

They are so very definitely back.

The Heck family of hedgehogs have obviously survived the winter, in spite of the problems of mild days bringing some hedgehogs out too early when there wasn't enough food around. (There's always enough food around in our garden.) We've seen the signs that they were waking and patrolling the garden for some weeks, and then there was the first sightings of the prickly ones themselves last week.

This week they are growing bolder and coming close to the door looking for crunchies or discarded cat food - and preparing to make new baby hoglets.

Last night was one of those nights when Ma and Pa heck were intent on creating the next generation of hedgehogs and the snuffling and grunting that sounded through the garden was very loud indeed. They seemed to find the beds where the fruit bushes are particularly appealing and we could hear grunt snuffle, snuffle grunt coming from there for quite some time.

Then Ma and Pa came for a meal just outside the door where they could crunch away happily - so happily that they didn't even care if I took more pictures.

So once again we have a pair of Hecks in the garden, together with the smaller one that I sptted the other night. If the grunting and snuffling leads to anything then we may yet have more Hecks in a new generation. So we have provided a second hedgehog house and a bundle of meadow hay ready for them to make a home at the bottom of the garden.

No one lives in it yet, but I'll let you know if anyone moves in.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Conferences and Web Sites

I'm busy with one of my least favourite jobs, the annual accounts. They have to be done , I'm late already, so it's a matter of getting my head down and concentrating . I'm almost there and it's always a wonderful feeling when I'm finished so that's today's task. . .

But while I'm concentrating on that, perhaps you could help me by contributing to a discussion I'm having with various other authors, and will be talking about in public very soon.

It's coming up to the Conference Season. The Romantic Novelists' Association will gathering in Chichester for the weekend of July 4th-7th. I'll be there and if anyone reading this blog will be there too, please come up and say hello.

And then the Romance Writers' Of America will be holding their National Conference in San Francisco July 30th - August 2nd. I'll be there too - and if you'll be in SF either at the Conference or just attending the Literacy Signing on the Wednesday afternoon, please come and say Hi. I'd love to meet some of my 'blogfriends'.

I'm also giving a talk at the RNA Conference. And that's where you can help me. You see I've been bullied - ahem - persuaded - cajoled - into leading a discussion on why web sites are useful/important for authors. I've looked at this from the author's point of view, by running a survey and asking writer friends what their approach is, what they find works well, what they like and dislike . . .

But now I'd like to find out more from the readers' perspective. And this is where you can help me. I'd love to know what you like and dislike about authors' web sites.

What do you most want to see on an author's web site?

What are the most important /vital elements for you?
What do you rarely see that you think would be useful?
What information do you want to get from a web site?

Is a blog important?

Is it important to update a web site regularly? How often?

What brings you back to a site again and again?

Do promotions/contests matter?

Have you ever bought books directly from a web site - via Amazon/eHarlequin etc in a link?

How do you find authors' sites - what search engines/fiction/romancxe focused sites do you use?

Which authors’ sites do you visit/enjoy?

Which authors’ sites do you admire ?


Are there any web sites you dislike/find difficult to use/wouldn’t revisit?

What puts you off a web site?

Any help on this would be so useful and I'd really appreciate it. Feel free to answer as many or as few questions as you like - you can either post in the Comments section or email me privately (please put Web Site Survey) in the heading.

And as a thank you I'll put all the names in a hat - no - sorry - you know what I mean - I'll put them all on the floor with a crunchie cat treat on top and let Sid the Cat pick a couple of names from all of those who answer and the winners will get signed copies of my special Centenary Collection book - The Duke's Secret Wife.

Any non UK author friends reading this who haven't been asked to join in the survey - if you'd like to help with that too, you'd be only too welcome. Please email me for the survey questions.
Thank you!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

All over the place again . . .

I meant to post this earlier but then I was distracted by an interview with the Manchester Evening News about the 12 Point Guide and an event I'm doing in Manchester in July - so the time just sl-ip-pe-d away from me.

So I just wanted to let you know that I'm blogging in a couple of other places today. First, I'm over on lovely Liz Fielding's blog, helping to celebrate her fabulous 50th title. That's The Bride's Baby - the book I blogged about here when I read it back in February. I loved it - but then I love Liz's books. Although this one came out in April, it's still around on Amazon and other places, so if you haven't read it you can still grab yourself a copy.

The other place I'm blogging - when I get myself organised - is over on Tote Bags 'N' Blogs when I'm doing my monthly 12 Points on the 12th blog. Or I will be when I've written the darn thing - I'm all behind with things!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Centenary Exhibition Launch

The hotel at which I was staying in Manchester was directly opposite Manchester Central Library. So the very first sign of the Centenary Exhibition that I spotted was the huge pink banner flapping in the wind as it hung outside the the main library building. This banner was advertising the "And Then He Kissed Her" exhibition, celebrating 100 years of Mills and Boon. .
Manchester Public Library is a huge public buildings has a domed central area bigger than the British Museum Reading Room. The exhibition is situated outside the Social Science Library on the first floor.

The Babe Magnet and I walked across the road and into the library building at just after 6.30 to attend the launch. In the library we were directed to the first floor where we were greeted and welcomed by Rose Ryan, Fiction & Reader Development Coordinator, Manchester Library and Information Service and one of the librarians responsible for organising the exhibition. Thank you Rose for appearing just at that 'Help - do I know anyone here!' moment and making us feel welcome. Rose directed us to where the glasses of wine and soft drinks were laid out, instructed us to help ourselves and then, after making sure that I had spotted someone I knew, went back to her meeting and greeting duties.

I think the first face I recognised was that of Linda Fildew, Senior Editor and M&B. We had spotted her earlier in the afternoon while we were getting to know a bit more of our way round the city, but she was on the oppposite side of the street. Now we were able to catch up a little more - remembering the time when she had actually been my editor (one of many and a good few years ago.)

After that I met up with other M&B authors and editors, Jenny Hutton and Sally Williamson, India Grey (seen here with the Magnet)and her handsome husband, new Historical author, Melinda Hammond, Medical author Gill (Roger) Sanderson. I also met Laura and Digby members of the team from MIDAS, the PR company organising the publicity for these very special Centenary celebrations.

And I spent a long time chatting with Sarah and Bethany from M&B PR. We talked about a Centenary event I'm booked for - giving a workshop at one of Manchester's other libraries, and discussed another project that I hope will work out - if it does, I'll tell you more about that soon.

The long room was decorated with huge vases of flowers and in one corner the Hallé singers, mostly dressed appropriately in pink, sang a selection of love sings, starting, of course, with And then He Kissed Her.

There were a few short speeches including one from Claire Somerville from M&B who weclomed us all to the exhibition, pointed out just how far the company had come in its 100 years. She then explained that the two gentlemen in dinner jackets and bow ties were our Mills & Boon 'heroes' for the night. They would be showing people round the exhibition and she encouraged us to 'take advantage of them.' The 'heroes' didn't look too concerned at the though of being taken advantage of.

I met up with both of these guys later and was able to find out a little more about them. (These were the details I had to check because I knew you'd want to know about them!) Phil Rowson (on left) was there in his role as Irish smoulderer Jack Riordan (from Jack Riordan's Baby by Anne Mather). And although he is actually from Lancashire, his accent was good enough to charm and convince me - and I'm someone who hates fake 'stage' Irish.

The other hero was playing one of those popular Greek Tycoons. And I was surprised and delighted to find that his role was actually that of a Greek hero I've 'met' in discussion with his author - but the book hasn't yet been published. Andonis Anthony (right)was playing Leo Christakis the hero from the upcoming The Greek's Forced Bride by my special friend Michelle Reid. Both these books are of course by famous and bestselling M&B novelists from the North of England, appropriately for the setting of the event.

Sadly I missed being escorted round the exhibition by either of the 'heroes' - I was so busy talking ! But Rose Ryan and her colleague Libby Tempest, National Year of Reading Co-ordinator for Manchester did have fun posing for photographs full of passion and romance with them for the press!

I did catch up on the real reason why we were all there before I left.

The exhibition is set around part of one of the curving corridors, with glass cases showing covers and a brief note from various periods from 1908 until the present day. There was the first copy of the first book ever published by the company after it was founded in 1908. This was Arrows from The Dark by Sophie Cole and it was signed of the flyleaf by both Gerald Mills and Charles Boon.

There are some fascinating items of memorabilia from the early days of the publishing house, including a little book entitled "How to live without servants", and a letter to the editors written by Jack London, from the deck of his yacht in 1914.

Mills and Boon didn't always specialise in romance, but started as a general publisher, but in the 1920's realised where its real future lay and concentrated on the romance genre. At first, it had writers like Jack London and John Buchan, but that gave way to Mary Burchall, the first superstar of Mills and Boon. A book, set between the cases, gives the company biographies of some of these women. It was a thrill to see one of my own loans to the exhibition - a 1940s hardback by Mary Burchell entitled Nobody Asked Me on display here.

I had loaned several other books from my collection (it's very difficult to find hardbacks with dust jackets) and you can see some of them in this case too. Including the one where the lady in the pink dress in the middle of the case is the heroine of the wonderfully titled 'Mystery at Butlins'! I can only assume that in the 1950s/60s Butlins was considered an exotic holiday destination.

On the way out of the exhibition - or on the way in if you were not busy looking to see if there was anyone you knew as I had been - there is a brilliant piece of original artwork made up of Mills & Boon covers cut up and moulded into the shape of a corset. This is described like this:

The artist who made the corset sculpture is Ros Burgin. The piece is called ' Stays, Holds and Ties' and is made from M&B covers, gold thread, fabric and steel, and marks 100 years of stories about women's choices and the way their relationships affect change in their lives. It's a stunning and creative image.

The reception was officially supposed to last just 2 hours, but the wine was so generously provided, the conversation and the exhibition so interesting that people were still there over half an hour later. (My apologies to the library staff who had to work late - the event was so brilliantly organised that everyone was reluctant to leave). Even the wine was so appropriately named - Love Saves The Day!

Thank you so much to Rose Ryan who organised everything so wonderfully, to everyone at Manchester library for your friendly reception, and to MIDAS PR for your part in a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm back . . . and so are they !

I'm back - report on the exhibition launch to follow. I'm just waiting for a little bit of informatin - one I know you're all going to ask for if I don't supply it, so better to get it now than to wait till you're all demanding it.

So in a quick catch up -
Thank you to Minna who kindly pointed out that the cover I'd put up on Thursday was in fact a Finnish edition. The Swedish, Danish etc editions are all so very similar and sometimes it's hard to tell which language they are in. Thank you for putting me right Minna! Living in Finland, you should know.

Secondly - to answer Janet who asked what authors do with the foreign editions. That's a great question. I keep one copy of the translations but I hate to waste the rest. I'm always looking for good ways of using them.

So far I've given them to an international women's group, donated some to college libraries where they have a large and varied range of language courses, donated some to libraries where they need foreign language books for non English readers. Recently I have found that women's prisons have many non-UK nationals who never see any book in their own language and I've passed on foreign editions there too.

But as I say I'm always looking for good ideas about places that can use the foreign editions, so if anyone has any more suggestions, I'll be glad to hear them.

And to explain that headline - they're back! Just as soon as I posted about the Hecks, saying that I knew they were about but I hadn't seen them, then they appeared last night and started eating the crunchies loudly and enthusiastically.

So here we have the first Heck photos of the year. The first one to appear was a smallish hedgehog - possibly last year's baby Heck. I'm not quite sure how fast they grow but I think this one was not small enough to be one of this year's babies.

And then later a Bigger Heck came and crunched its way through the food - much to the amazement and fury of Flora who watched appalled through the glass in the door as a strange prickly creature ate her crunchies right in front of her. I think this is the first time she has ever seen a hedgehog. She doesn't go out at night so she won't have encountered them in the garden.

The bigger hedgehog has greyer prickles when compared with the smaller one which was almost a rusty brown colour.

So we have at least 2 Hecks reappearing this year. We have our fingers crossed for more babies to keep the family generations going. And I must remember to report them to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society for their survey of hedgehogs all over the country.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Animal catch up

I'm not actually here.

I'm really in Manchester where I am attending (will have attended by the time you read this) the opening of the Mills & Boon Centenary Exhibition And the He Kissed her in the Central Library. And I'll give you a full report when I get back.

But by the wonder that is Blogger's preloading system, I can blog today and have it posted tomorrow.

So as several people have asked, I thought I'd give you a quick livestock updates.

First off - The Hecks

The Hecks as you probably know already are the family of hedgehogs who love in the specially built Hedgehog House at the bottom of my garden. They have been hibernating all winter, but now that the weather is getting milder and more spring like I am expecting them to reappear at any moment.

Well, they are out there. I know they are. The food I put out (cats' leftovers) is always eaten and they leave small donations of hedgehog poo by way of a thank you and a calling card. But I have yet to see a Heck or Mrs Heck themselves.

So I don't have any new pics yet - and I don't know if there are any Mini Hecks around yet. But as soon as I spot one, I'll let you know. I know the Hecks have fans out there. In the meantime, here's a photo from last year.

Livestock 2 - Flora the Floozie and Sid

Flora had her trip to the vet and had the operation so she is now safe to be let outside without yelling for the attentions of any passing vagrant Tom. ( There was one day when George from down the road and one of those passing vagrants were sitting outside on the lawn, peering in through the French windows while the Floozie flaunted herself inside). She bounced back from the op so fast it was as if nothing had ever happened.

She also had way too much energy and running up and down stairs just wasn't enough exercise for her. Even adding in leaping into the air to catch flies as they flew past. So she is now given her freedom to run in the garden - which she adores. She runs up and down the lawn at high speed, jumps and catches flies and climbs trees to her heart's content. She also tries to catch birds by jumping into the air after them but, thankfully, hasn't succeeded yet.

Her outdoor expeditions also take the pressure off Sid who is regularly bounced on whenever he gets close. And his tail makes a wonderful plaything. Though I have spotted him sitting and twithing it deliberately just so that she will pounce on it. They regularly chase each other up and down the stairs and it sounds like thunder - no silent paws when they're having fun.

So here are a few cat pics too to keep you entertained until I get back from Manchester and can report.
Oh and a PS on Flora - can anyone explain why she absolutely loves to lick photographs. The glue on envelopes I can sort of understand - but photos? She'd lick the ink right off them if I don;t get to her fast.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Foreign Editions

Some weeks there are no books in the post - copies of my books that is. And then sometimes the doorbell just keeps ringing and there is a flurry of packages arriving with author copies from all over the place.This week, most of them have been mine but there was one Grim and Gruesome title of the Magnet's. (Must stop calling them that - people will think that the series really is titled that way!)

So, I have Danish, Norwegian, Swedish editions of a collection which includes Miranda Lee, Carole Mortimer, and Lee Wilkinson. The book of mine in this collection is The Hired Husband which was originally published in 1999. I do love the way that older books come round again and get another airing. It's like seeing old friends.

Then there were two Japanese editions - a touch of that revisiting 'old friends' here as well. The first one is a Japanese translation of Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride - the other, the 'Classic' is reprint of an even older book - Something Missing which was originally published in 1993!

That was way back when I had the only male M&B editor. I remember we had one editorial lunch together - that was the infamous lunch where, with his back to the crowded restaurant, he told me that his only criticism of my latest submission was that 'I want more sex . . .'

Stunned silence in posh London restaurant.

He also told me that I was - quote 'very original' - surely I realised that? Er - no. Funny, isn't it, that sometimes we don't really see - or don't see - what other people see in our work. One of the toughest things is to be objective in our assessments of our own writing. That's something I always think of when I work with unpublished authors- how easy it is to get too close and not see what we've actually written but what we think we've written. Long ago, when I had more time between dreadlines I used to put the book away for as long as I could and 'grow away' from it , then hope to read it more objectively. No time for that now.

Anyway - more foreign editions. There's the Czech edition of The Italian's Forced Bride. I love the way the Czech edition changes my name to Kate Walkerova. This always makes me smile. Some names lend themselves to this Czech version - but none, I think, as well as Historical Novelist Elizabeth Rolls who becomes Elizabeth Rollsova.

As well as these I've had more Danish, Swedish and Norwegian editions, French, German, Spanish, Greek . . .

All of which reminds me how huge and international this company I write for has become since it first started out in 1908 in the UK. Something that perhaps gets forgotten in the celebration of Mills & Boon's 100th Birthday. So many people think that Harlequin Mills & Boon is still just that 'home-grown' company, and the books on the shelves in WH Smith, the only ones published and sol nowhere but here in the UK. My latest royalty statement ame this week and it had sales in 31 different countries listed on it - including those posted above and others ranging from Russia to Brazil, Holland to Indonesia. And I only have to look at the flags of all the countries where the visitors to my blog live to see just how international romance writing and reading really is.

And of course the Centenary is in my mind because tomorrow (today when this is posted) I'll be heading for Manchester and the opening of the Mills & Boon Centenary Exhibition. I'm so looking forward to seeing that. But while celebrating the past 100 years, I hope we'll also be looking forward to the future and all that holds.

Oh yes - and to come back to those book parcels that have been arriving in the post. The Babe Magnet's contribution to all this has an international flavour as well. The Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths series has moved across the Irish Sea and Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Dublin is the result of the research trip we made to Dublin last year.

But after that he's coming back closer to home with Heroes , Villains and Victims of Bradford.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Some reviews and a new cover

My latest Harlequin Presents title, Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife, has been getting some great reviews so I thought I'd share a couple with you - these all arrived in the past couple of days .

First, there's Casey B from We Write Romance who says:

Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife is a breath of fresh air. Kate Walker is definitely a master of her trade, and it definitely shows as she brings together two strong-willed characters who are obvisously destined to be together despite all odds.

Alannah Redfern made the mistake of falling head-over-heels for a member of the Spanish aristocracy. But what woman wouldn't when the aristocrat was the super-hot, Latin Marquez, Raul Esteban? Then a misunderstanding tears them apart—well, at least for two years—until fate brings them back together. Neither can deny the attraction they still feel, and despite Raul's hesitation to trust her again after she'd dumped him so carelessly before, he can't help but lose himself in her again. And she can't help but let him...

Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife is a definite must-read. While the storyline of two people of different stations coming together isn't exactly new, it does have a fresh take on it. The characters are very well written and the locations/situations used are described in a way that brings you into the story. I believe I'm definitely going to be picking up the next Kate Walker title

Deborah Jackson Romance Reviews Today has this to say:

Both Raul and Alannah can’t ignore the strong chemistry that sizzles between them. Raul’s foolish statement two years before has come back to haunt him. Maybe he should explain to Alannah why he made it? Will she listen? Raul does not want to let Alannah go, and because of the deaths of their siblings, Raul has a plan to help both families heal and keep Alannah close to him. Will Alannah agree to the proposition, or will she once again runaway?

SPANISH BILLIONAIRE, INNOCENT WIFE pulls the reader first into the pain of the unexpected loss of a family member and the need to heal, then the second chance at love. Raul is a proud, successful businessman. He needs to learn to put his angry feelings aside as he and Alannah are thrown together. But what will he discover about her? Alannah needs to say what is on her mind and not keep running away. If she loves this fiery Spanish lover, she must take a stand and tell him so!

Kate Walker has written a delightful read. Raul and Alannah‘s romance crackles with the continuing miscommunication and the sexual tension of blossoming love. Will these two grab the opportunity to get their love right? You’ll find out when you read SPANISH BILLIONAIRE, INNOCENT WIFE. Enjoy.

And finally there is this review from Liadan - Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance

The tragedy of losing a loved one is prominent in this story. Ms. Walker relays the hopelessness one feels during a time like that very well. She also shows that no matter how angry you are at a person, if you love them, nothing will stop you from being with them. I enjoyed this book and finished it in a matter of hours it so kept me hooked. This is one author I will be reading more of and I hope you will as well.
My thanks to all the reviewers for their kind comments.
Those with sharp eyes amongst you will have spotted that there is a new cover on my Slide display in the sidebar - the first glimpse of the paperback edition of my September (UK)/
November USA release Bedded By The Greek Billionaire.

For a better look at it - I'll post it here . . .
It's not quite the cover I was expecting. I know my editor had suggested the scene she described as 'the hot scene in the stables.' But it seemes that the art department had other ideas.
So you'll just have to wait till the book comes out before you find out about that scene!

Home Bio Books USA Readers Writers Contests Events Blog Links

Join Kate's Newsletter

Email Kate

Modified and Maintained by HR Web Concepts