Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Weekend wanderings

Well that was a fun if hectic weekend. We crossed the country twice - east to west - there and back - went North, and visited I don't know how many counties in three days. Certainly, we went through all of the Ridings of Yorkshire, north, east and west, along with many others.

Friday started at the crack of dawn - before dawn had cracked really - to drive to Manchester airport to meet Anne McAllister there. Then we headed for Cumbria where Michelle Reid has her home overlooking the sea. ( Envious? Moi? You bet!) There if course the talk was of books, heroes, books, dreadlines, words, books - and more books. We talked over the lunch table, in Michelle's lovely office, outside in the garden while the sun shone for a change. We talked as we walked round the village, over the dinner table . . . we were still talking as we reluctantly climbed the stairs for bed.

The next morning we were still talking as we headed for Cartmel and wandered around the lovely Priory there. I had a special reason for wanting to go back to the Priory - a little mystery that I've been wanting to investigate for some time. (I've actually written a blog for the PHS about this which was scheduled for today but my own busy schedule and a posting problem has meant that it's not up today - so if it appears, I'll direct you over there. If it doesn't, I'll post it here.

Saturday afternoon saw us crossing the country again, going back home this time. we took the quieter route, rather than the motorways and went through the Yorkshire Dales, stopping for afternoon tea in Ilkley and as the warm and sunny weather held this was a really pleasant trip. With plenty of time to talk.

Once back home we introduced Anne to Flora - they got on wonderfully well except at 4am when the Floozie decided to go and bounce on everyone's head and woke us all up. Sid was the perfect gracious cat host - but then he and Anne have a friendship that goes back many years. And she brought him some Greenies which he loves. Dylan who often holds back from visitors, was actually very forthcoming (for him) this time and came to accept his share of the goodies in Anne's suitcase.

And then of course there was The Birthday to celebrate. It's hard to believe that Flora is now a full year old. She didn't come to us until she was 3 months old, so that's why it still seems a shorter time. She revelled in being the centre of attention, enjoyed all the treats/greenies/special food she was given and has, I think generally decided that birthdays are A Good Thing. I'll post the official first birthday portrait here as so many of you have asked for one. And there's one of her with all her goodies as well.

It was a fabulous weekend, we talked, explored, travelled, ate great food, debated, discovered, investigated a historical mystery (more on that either here or the PHS soon). The Magnet and Anne talked about genealogy, mysterious Irish ancestors who changed their names and other who ended up in prison for unrevealed (as yet) offences. I introduced Anne to the enjoyment of Life on Mars - and the fact that we only managed two episodes now means that I shall have no problem at all in deciding on a Christmas present for her - except of course that there's that book on Criminal Ancestors that she and the Magnet were poring over for a lot of Sunday. (And the Babe Magnet is now writing his own book on How to Trace Your Criminal Ancestors so there's that as well).

Sadly, yesterday was the last day of Anne's visit and eventually, reluctantly, we had to take her to the train station and wave her off - eventually, after some lengthy delay - on the next stage of her journey. Today she is in London, with Sophie Weston and her Maine Coon Tom Kydd. Then she's going to Cannes on a research trip. And for us it's back to normal - back to the dreadline and to Ricardo and his wife Lucy.

Sid is still sleeping in Anne's place on the settee - keeping it warm for the next time she comes to visit - and Flora wants to know where the nice lady with all the treats has gone and when can she have another birthday? She celebrated being one by going out on the town last night and refusing to come in until very late - it was the rain that finally drove her in.
PS My PHS post is now up so if you're interested in that mystery I mentioned, there are more details over there.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friends, Furries, Expeditions and English Ebooks

By the time you read this I will be heading for Manchester Airport to meet Anne McAllister who is coming to visit. She wants to spend quality time with Sid of course and to help celebrate Madame Flora's first birthday.

But first we will be heading for Michelle Reid's lovely home in Cumbria to spend a night there. I'm so looking forward to that. One of the delights of being in London last week was meeting up with Michelle and her husband and I expect that we will spend the day talking about books, writing, heroes, writing, books and more books.

Then on Saturday we will head home, bringing Anne with us, and organise the important birthday party. I can't quite believe that Flora is a year old. It's a poignant anniversary because she was born just as my dear old friend the ginger alpha Robert Redford (Bob to his friends of whom Anne was one) died. But the Floozie has helped to fill the hole that he left. So we will celebrate and I know that Anne will have packed special treats just for the occasion (and plenty for Sid and Dylan of course). I hope that The Heck family of hedgehogs will put in a nocturnal appearence - but it is getting close to hibernation time now that the evenings are growing colder.

Talking about pets - over on Publisher's Weekly Beyond Her Book, Barbara Vey is running a special Saturday post where authors/publishers/agents/editors are sending in pictures of their pets and a separate picture of themselves. Readers will then try to match the pet and the owner. I've sent over a pic of A Cat of Superior Breeding - so regular readers of this blog will have an advantage with one set of pics anyway!

On Saturday I'm taking part in the Harlequin September Blog Bash where 30 authors have been asked to blog about their favourite Harlequin Moments. So although I probably won't be blogging here on Saturday as I'll be driving across the country from west to east, my Harlequin Moments post will be up at eHarlequin for you to read.

And ebooks - one of the things I learned at the AMBA lunch last week is that Mills & Boon books will now be available as ebooks. The books can be bought from Waterstones right now and there are plans for them to be sold on the Mills & Boon site soon. They are only just beginning to put the monthly books out in this format but I was delighted to see that The Alcolar Family Trilogy is one of the first to be made available this way. So this means that it will always be available in this format in the future. like the ebook bundle for sale on eHarlequin.

Other good news there is that the M&B site will be keeping books in stock for longer than the basic 3 months they've had them on sale up to now. So if they have copies in stock you will be able to buy from an auhtor's backlist until they sell out.

And if you buy a Sony ebook reader, then 3 M&B books come preloaded - including Fiona Harper's book. English Lord, Ordinary Lady . There were several Sony readers on show at the lunch and the size and compactness did seem tempting - but I so love real books!

What do you think?

Oh - and talking of ebooks - when I was checking on The Alcolar Family on eHarlequin just now, I discovered that Bedded By The Greek Billionaire is already on sale in its ebook form - and in the Top Ten Bestsellers even thought it's not out in book form until November.
Another plus for ebooks.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Thank you so much to everyone who left Get Well messages or sent them privately. The weekend wasn't a lot of fun but by yesterday at least the symptoms were starting to ease.

And then I got some great news that really brightened my day. In fact, if I had enought voice I'd be cheering and singing. As it is, I've been doing the Snoopy dance of joy and smiling a lot.

Because yesterday I discovered on the Romantic Times web site that not only have they give Bedded By The Greek Billionaire 4 1/2 stars but they have also made it one of their Top Picks for November.

I am so thrilled by this. In fact I've achieved a long-held ambition. A l-o-n-g held ambition.

I've had some good reviews from RT, generally pretty respectable. And The Twelve Month Mistress was short-listed for Best Presents in 2005 but I've never achieved that elusive Top Pick for the month.

Now I've finally manged it and Bedded By The Greek Billionaire had a wonderful review as well. The reviews aren't up on the RT site yet, but my lovely friend Holly Jacobs (who got 4.5 stars herself with her fabulous Same Time Next Summer in August ) subscribes to the magazine and she was able to find the review and send it on to me so I can share it with you. (Thanks Hall!)

Seven years after he left in disgrace, Angelos Rousakis is back in London. He'd been attracted to Jessica Marshall but knew she was too young. But she wouldn't leave him alone and when her stepfather found them in what seemed to be a compromising position, Jessica placed the blame on him. Now Jessica's stepfather has died and she learns Angelos is now the owner of the estate. When Angelos sees Jessica he expects to feel triumphant but now wonders if his hate isn't masking something else. Kate Walker's Bedded by the Greek Billionaire (4.5) is a delicious melodrama full of dizzying emotions as the reader goes along with the highs and lows as this couple finds each other again. —Sandra Garcia-Myers

Great isn't it? Thank you RT - and Sandra Garcia Myers - this news has just made my week.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bear with me . . .

Sorry for not blogging much but a deadline + a savage sore throat bug + a nasty stomach bug is a pretty crippling equation.

And I have to be better by Friday when my dear friend Anne McAllister comes to visit. I'd say she was coming to visit me but I know her real aim is to celebrate Flora's first birthday and to spend quality time with Sid.

But I want to be able to spend quality time with her.

So I need to throw off both these bugs - and maybe - maybe - the dreadline too. So perhaps I'll call in Sebastian and see if he can help.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

PHS Prize

Sorry the prize decision has taken so long. I must have met with some nasty germs while I was in London and I haven't felt up to doing very much at all this weekend.

So the winner is CHERYL C

Cheryl - you already sent me your postal address so I'll get the prize in the mail to you.

Thank you to everyone who joined in - keep your eye on the PHS blog where there will be more birthday gifts for Li'l Pink and more birthday prize contests coming up before the month is finished.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy Birthday PHS

Today - if this blog posts while I'm away - I'm helping Li'l Pink - and all the Pink Heart Society celebrate their 2nd birthday. Doesn't seem two minutes since Pink was just a twinkle in Trish Wylie's eye and now the PHS have one of the most interesting and respected blogs on category romance in the blogosphere.

And that's not just cos I write for them a but I always visit the blog every day.

So to help Li'l Pink celebrate - I have a present for him and a prize contest for you all.

He's getting all excited because he wants to know just what his present is - well, I know he's only two and so can't drive himself , but I got him something that maybe Trish can chauffeur him around in. He's been visiting a lot of blogs recently and he needs some transport.

So my present to the little guy is . . .

A pink Mini. I think he'll like that
So now to help celebrate - I'm offering a prize to myblog visitors. All you have to do is to answer this simple question . . .
What bestselling trilogy mine has been reprinted as a 3 in 1 collection and as an ebook bundle this year?
Send your answers to kate AT kate-walker.com with PHS in the subject line

And the prize?
I'm giving away a birthday pack - one of my bags, a copy of the new book Bedded By The Greek Billionaire + That Trilogy in one volume. And as it's M&B's Centenary, I have some Centenary goodies that I'll add in as well. Oh, OK I'll add in the Centenary novella - The Duke's Secret Wife as well - the things I do for that little pink guy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Heading south

I'm off to London any minute. Tomorrow is the annual Association of Mills and Boon Authors' lunch so that's why I'm going. It's a wonderful opportunity to get together with friends.

I'll be meeting up with Michelle Reid of course - so looking forward to that. And Trish Morey has come over from Australia. We didn't have enough time to talk in San Francisco so I'm hoping we'll get a little extra chance this time. And there will be so many others.

So I'll be back on Friday and I'll tell you all about it. But tomorrow, if my scheduling on the blog works, I'll be helping the Pink Heart Society celebrate their second birthday with a special gift for Little Pink - and a prize birthday pack for you all to have a chance to win. There's a copy of my latest Bedded By The Greek Billionaire - and other goodies.

So call back tomorrow and see what's on offer.

Oh - and talking of friends - Anne McAllister has a great post on friendship and the power of words over on her blog today. Well worth reading

And if the scheduling doesn't work, then I'll post it as soon as I get back on Friday!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Guildford Book Festival Part 2

Girls' Night Part I
Hosted by Jane Wenham-Jones
2008-10-17 19:00
Electric Theatre
Venue Details: There’s nothing wrong with a happy ending!

A celebration of Mills & Boon. In the Mills & Boon centenary year the panel celebrate the enduring popularity of these classic romances.

Katie Fforde, a ‘failed’ Mills & Boon writer who went on to become a successful writer of romantic fiction. Her latest novel, Wedding Season, is her fourteenth.

Matt Dunn’s Ex-Boyfriends Handbook was shortlisted for the 2006 Romantic Novel of the Year Award and the Melissa Nathan Award for Romantic Comedy. His fourth novel is Ex-Girlfriends United.

Roger Sanderson lectured in English Literature during the week and relaxed with rock-climbing and mountaineering at weekends before writing Romance. He has now written 48 medical romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon under the name Gill Sanderson. Roger was a committee member of the Romantic Novelists' Association for twelve years.

Kate Walker has published 52 romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon. Her novels have appeared in over 50 countries and have sold over twelve million copies. Kate has also written the award-winning 12-Point Guide to Writing Romance and A Straightforward Guide To Writing Romance.

£7• £12 Joint ticket for Parts I & II

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Guildford Book Festival

Workshop places are limited, so please book early!

Festival Box Offices: 01483 444789 / 01483 444334


Kate Walker – Writing Romantic Fiction

Guildford Institute (Old Billiard Room), Ward Street • 3pm-5pm • £8

Romantic fiction writing is big business, making up almost half the paperback fiction sold and generating billions in sales worldwide. This workshop 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 creating realistic characters, sustaining pace and conflict, packing emotional punch, writing sex scenes and crafting a satisfying ending. 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 workshop is for you.

Kate Walker has been writing for Harlequin Mills & Boon Modern Romance since 1984. Her novels have been published in over thirty-five countries and approximately twenty different languages worldwide Kate Walker is also the author of the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance which gives an introduction to the essential skills needed to succeed as a writer of romance.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Literary Wife

Today I get to play one of my other roles and appear as the Writer's Wife when the Babe Magnet does a talk and a signing for his books.

He's at Borders Birstall where at 1pm he's talking abut writing true crime, why he writes these books and what we can learn from it.

And he'll be signing copies of his most recent books. Heroes Villains and Victims of Bradford and Hanged at York amongst them.

So I get to go along and listen - but I'll be taking Ricardo and Lucy along with me and a note pad so when the audience might think I'll be noting down every word that falls from the Magnet's lips - I will probably be creating the next confrontation between my hero and heroine.
Plus, I'll get to see how well my own latest book Bedded By The Greek Billionaire is selling as it should be on the shelves there this weekend.
And talking of heroes and heroines - you've been asking about Flora the Maine Coon kitten and how she's growing up. So here is the latest photo of Princess Flora - who will be one year old on the 27th of this month. And of course also in the picture is her real life furry hero Sid.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Blogging elsewhere

I'm locked in the writer's cave with Ricardo and Lucy so I'm concentrating on that.

But if you are a would-be writer, don't forget that the 12th of every month is when I write my 12 Points on the 12th as an extra spin off from the second edition of Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance.

So I'm over on Tote Bags and Blogs and today I'm talking about that question that I've been asked so many, many times :
Where do you get your ideas? Hope to see you there

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Congratulations . . .

To the team of Mills & Boon editors, writers, friends and family who ran in the Addidas 5k Challenge for Breast Cancer Campaign on Sunday.

They originally aimed to earn £2,500 for this great cause and the sponsorship has achieved that and more - to date, their page at Just Giving shows they've earned £3,614.23 - a fantastic result. (You can still sponsor them if you'd like to)

Don't forget that in October 10p from every sale of our Modern™ and Modern™ Heat books in October will go to Breast Cancer Campaign, as well as all the profits from Diana Palmer's Greatest Gift...

And you can help today by clicking on the link to the Breast Cancer site in my sidebar to help fund free mammograms for women in need — low-income, inner-city and minority women whose awareness of breast cancer and opportunity for help is often limited.

Congratulations too to Jessica Hart who reaches a milestone birthday today - though she'll probably kill me for telling you !

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Prizes, Heroes and Words

I have some winners to anounce -

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was also interested by Caroline's comment -

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 08, 2008

From the writing cave . . .

I'm deep in the process of getting this book done - finding a picture of 'Ricardo' seems to have helped a lot - so I'll be concentrating on that for a while.

But I just had to dash in and tell you that I had my first review for Bedded By The Greek Tycoon (I don't like that title any better - no matter how many times I use it!)

This is my first official review - but lovely friends have already commented on this book - wonderful friends like Anne McAllister who thought it was 'dynamite' (waving to Anne across the pond) and Duck says she thinks it's my 'best novel to date' (waving to Senora Duck over in Madrid) I love it when my friends enjoy what I write!

And here is the review from Julie at CataRomance and this one really made my day -

As a teenager, Jessica Marshall had been head over heels in love with her father’s stable hand, Angelos Rousakis, a gorgeous Greek who had turned the head of every girl in Jessica’s village. Jessica was determined to seduce Angelos, but when he rebuffed her advances, she vowed to make him pay and her revenge resulted in Angelos getting fired from his job and kicked out of her stepfather’s estate.

Now a grown woman, Jessica is mourning the loss of her beloved stepfather and wondering just how she is going to survive without the only father she has ever known, when suddenly, in walks Angelos, looking as gorgeous as ever, who delights in announcing to Jessica that her beloved stepfather had gambled away her entire inheritance and that the estate and her home now belong to him! Jessica is shocked when she realizes that she’s now homeless and destitute. Appealing to the Greek billionaire’s better nature seems to be a fruitless exercise and Jessica begins to pack her bags to leave the estate. But the ruthless Angelos is not prepared to let the woman who, seven years ago, had cost him everything to leave his new life unscathed. Angelos wants to finish off what Jessica started seven years ago. But his plans for ruthless seduction only serve to leave him wanting more…

Jessica is disgusted with herself for succumbing to Angelos so easily. She knows that she should hate him for all that he had done to her and her stepfather. But resisting the gorgeous Greek is easily said than done. A master between the sheets and an expert in the bedroom, Angelos has taken Jessica to paradise. But she’s still unsure about how he feels about her outside the bedroom!

Can Jessica ever hope to have a relationship with Angelos outside the bedroom? Does he feel the same way about her as she does about him? Or has too much water gone under the bridge for the two of them to ever be together?

Sexy, dramatic, passionate, emotional and gloriously intense, Bedded by the Greek Billionaire, is Kate Walker at her most mesmerizing. Immensely well-written, superbly crafted and sprinkled with plenty of heart, this engrossing tale is the reason why millions of women all around the world read category romance!

As Harlequin Mills and Boon celebrate 100 years of exceptional romantic fiction, readers can rest assured that with writers like Kate Walker writing for the company, category romance will keep on thriving and enriching the lives of women everywhere!

Thank you so much Julie. (Julie has been reading my books for years so I'm always keen to know what she thinks of the newest title - I would hate to disappoint her!)

Contest news - I'm still waiting for Michelle Reid to get in touch with me about her winner. I think she's having trouble talking to Saffy the labrador on the phone to get her to pick the winner. But Sid has done his job and just as soon as I hear from Michelle we will announce the winners.

Meanwhile if you want to contribute to the discussion on heroes from the previous post that's still open and Sid would like a few more contributionsto make up a few more crunchies!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Heroes and countries

I love the fact that my books sell all over the world. And I love the way that this blog has so many visitors from so many different countries - the collection of flags and places in the sidebar is evidence of that.

Recently I mentioned the fact that Mills & Boon had lauched the distribution of their lines in India where they knew there was already a large market for romance novels and they hoped that this new venture would be a great success. I haven't yet seen the royalties fro the 3 books of mine that have been published in India but I do know that it is in the top twenty countries for visitors to this blog. I know that the publisher of the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance has sold the Indian rights to that book, too.

Then this morning I discovered that I discovered that I am this month's Featured Author on the M&B India site. My newest title in the UK - Bedded By The Greek Billionaire is published in India this month and as I've already said the cover art has been changed to suit the country of sale. So today is a good day to send a special hello and welcome to all my readers from India if you're visiting as a result of that. If you are visiting from India please say hello in the comments section and tell me where you're posting from. To celebrate being the featured author, I have a 2 small prizes on offer in the form of some M&B centenary goodies for the first couple of posters with Indian home addresses.

It seems so appropriate that as this interest in M&B romances in India is growing , over on the I heart Presents site, Penny Jordan has been talking about her new book and how she is pushing the boundaries of the types of heroes that are popular as she has written this one with an Indian hero. That made me wonder what other countries that are not well represented in the hero populaton of the Modern Romances/Harlequin Presents titles, you would most like to see. Again, I have a couple of small prizes for those whose posts interest me.

Or, rather, interest Sid. Sid of course will be busy this weekend anyway as the Super September Contest that I'm running with Michelle Reid is now closed and The Cat will be choosing my winner just as soon as I can get him organised. Meanwhile, Michelle will be asking Saffy the Labrador to pick her winner. Two lucky winners will win signed copies of Bedded By The Greek Billionaire and The De Santis Marriage both of which are out now in the UK, together with a copy of Her Passionate Italian the 3 in 1 By request volume in whihc Michelle and I both appear. The results will be announced when we know them and have got together to disover the two winners' names - probably on Monday. Watch this space.

And talking of heroes - as you know, sometimes I use a photograph to imspire me when creating a hero - sometimes I don't seem to need one. I was working on the current book and my brooding Italian hero without any extra inspiration but then yesterday I came across this. . .

Not quite sure why this particular image of Richard Armitage inspired when all the photos of him in black leather as Guy of Gisborne - or frock coat and cravat as John Thornton didn't. Perhaps it has something to do with the screen behind him that looks as if it might have a place in the historic island villa that is his home - but I took one look and knew that that was Ricardo. So I'm hoping that having a little extra inspiration will help the book grow even more and get me to The End a little faster. It should please Natasha Oakley anyway!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Prizes and podcasts

It's September 4th which means that you have just a couple of days to enter the Super September Contest that I'm running jointly with the wonderful Michelle Reid.

Bedded By The Greek Billionaire and The De Santis Marriage will be published as Mills & Boon Modern Romances in September. The De Santis Marriage will also be published in Harlequin Presents, and Bedded By the Greek Billionaire will appear in Presents in November.

But we're giving you the chance to win a signed copy of each of these great books in advance. There are two prizes of a signed copy of Bedded By The Greek Billionaire and The De Santis Marriage together with a copy of the By Request 3 in 1 volume Her Passionate Italian which contains my A Sicilian Husband and Michelle's The Passion Bargain.

Details of this contest can be found on the Contest page of my web site and Michelle's and entries have to be in by the time September 5th ends, wherever you are.

Incidentally my web site is now newly updated by fantastic Heather of We WriteRomance with details of the Beded By the Greek Billionaire, and information about everything I have coming up in the next few months. And Heather's own site, We Write Romance has just had a revamps and now has it's own regular blog - with planned guest bloggers for the future so keep an eye on that.

Talking of guest blogging - don't forget that I'm doing just that to help Jessica Hart celebrate the great achievement of her 50th title - we're talking about why you read romance and what keeps bringing you back to these stories - that over on Jessica's blog which you can find here.

If you're a would-be writer - and specially if you are interested in writing for Presents or considering entering the Feel The Heat contest that Harlequin Mills & Boon are currently running, then you will learn a lot by listening to the Meet The Editors podcast that are now available on the eHarlequin web site.

In the latest one, Executive Editor Tessa Shapcott and and Assistant Editor Sally Williamson are discussing the Presents and Modern Heat lines. You can find the discussion here

And the details of the Feel the Heat Contest are over on the I Heart Presents blog

Finally, as you'll know from reading this blog - and from the link in the sidebar, I am a keen supporter of Breast Cancer Research - a charity that Mills & Boon are strongly linked to as well.
This year the ladies of Mills & Boon will be running in the adidas 5k in support of Breast Cancer Campaign. Here's what Bethan Hilliard has to say:

This is Mills & Boon's 4th year of supporting Breast Cancer Campaign, and as this is also our centenary year, we'd like to do it in style! 10p from every sale of our Modern™ and Modern™ Heat books in October will go to Breast Cancer Campaign, as well as all the profits from Diana Palmer's Greatest Gift...and of course we're running as well!

We hope that 100 Mills & Boon staff, family and friends will be running at Hyde Park on 7th September, so please sponsor us and help us raise lots of money for this fantastic charity!

If any romance readers or writers want to sponsor them - there is a page set up at Just Giving where you can sign up to do just that. The run is on September 7th so let's give the runners all the encouragement we can and make a contribution to this great cause. After all, it's one that affects us all as women.

And there will be more about the support for Breast Cancer Research in October.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Happy Birthday, Happy Hugh Day and Happy 50th

It's September

and that means that it's the Pink Heart Society's Birthday

So Happy Birthday to the Little Pink Dancing Guy.

And because we PHSers know how to celebrate in style, the birthday means that it's also the one and only official Hugh Jackman Day - the day we run the official Hugh Jackman Tour.

If you want more details - go here

And then follow the tour blogs from there. you can also add your own pics to the tour if you want.

So - because a picture is worth 1000 words - here's a whole chapter or two:

And of course you can't improve on the original Hugh-in-a-towel . . .

And Happy 50th? Well that's books, not birthdays. All this week I'm guest blogging with Jessica Hart to help her celebrate her fabulous fiftieth title Last Minute Proposal. (It's sitting on the top of my TBR pile, tempting me right now)

I'm talking about what keeps bring me - andhopefully you - back to romance novels again and gain. So why not come by and join in the discussion?

Everyone who posts will be in with a chance to win my new title Bedded By The Greek Billionaire as well as a copy of the Centenary novella The Duke's Secret Wife. And Jessica is running a contest to win that very special 50th title - so what are you waiting for? Come and join us.

Happy 50th Jessica- and many congratulations on this sepcial book.


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