Thursday, January 28, 2010

And talking of reviews . . .

Mills and Boon have just added review buttons beneath their online book sales on their website.

If you loved a book, it's always great to let the publisher/author know and this is such an easy way to do it.

On the other hand it gives the neurotic author beseiged by the crows of doubt another thing to worry about!

But I'm still smiling about that Top Pick - a very handy crow-swatter!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My First/Favourite Kate Walker - Holly Jacobs - and some lovely news

A while back, I posted Donna Alward's choice of her 5 favourite Kate Walker novels. Today I'm posting my 'Third Twin' lovely Holly Jacobs' special choices.

Third twin? You've never heard of three twins? Believe me, it happens. Holly and I first 'met' over on the eHarlequin message boards. And we became so close so fast that very soon realised that we were obviously twins separated at birth. Meeting up at RWA Denver only confirmed that suspicion.

Then a couple of years ago, again on those message boards, I met Donna Alward, and we met up in person in London when she came over just after having her first book accepted. When Holly, Donna and I connected on the message boards we realised that there were in fact three of us 'twins' and we made a date to meet up all together in Washington. Which is where the photo of the 'Three Twins' (with me in white, Holly in the black jacket and Donna in the middle) was taken.

So naturally when I was planning this series of 'My Top 5' Kate Walkers, I had to ask my twin Holly. and here's what she has to say -

Wow, my first Kate Walker? I'm not sure. I think it was The Sicilian's Wife (2002), but I might be wrong, but even if I am, it's one that stands out for me!

And picking my favorites of KW's books is tough, but I'd have to pick the Alcolars, which makes three. (The Twelve Month Mistress, The Spaniard's Inconvenient Wife, Bound By Blackmail)
And of course The Sicilian's Wife--four.
And The Italian's Forced Bride!

Holly's latest book A One-of-A-Kind-Family is out in America in Super Romance on February 9th. And it's a very special read. I should know - it's right beside my bed, tempting me away from the book I'm supposed to be writing. I made the mistake of opening it, just to read the opening page . . . It has Holly's trademark of warm characters and strong emotional storyline. Now if I could just finish this Sicilian and get back to it!

For me, I will always connect Rafael's Love-Child with meeting Holly because it was with that book that I first ventured on to the message boards and Holly was one of the first to welcome me. Thanks so much twin!

You can read more about Holly on her web page or you can find her blogging on eHarlequin.
And I have a special reason for thanking Holly today because she has helped me with my really great news.
The new issue of Romantic Times Book Reviews appeared on the internet yesterday and I was thrilled to discover that my Presents EXTRA title The Konstantos Marriage Demand had been awarded 4.5 stars - and was one of the series Top Picks for March.
I'm really thrilled by this - I spent 20 + years of my 25 published ones without a single RT Top Pick and now in just over a year, I have two of them. The other was for Bedded By The Greek Billionaire. There must be something about those Greeks!

Thanks to Holly, who could get it from the RT web site, I can also bring you the review - and it's fabulous!

THE KONSTANTOS MARRIAGE DEMAND (4.5) by Kate Walker: As far as Nikos Konstantos is concerned, Sadie used him, humiliated him and then walked out on him -- on what was to be their wedding day no less. Five years later, the tables have been turned. A penniless Sadie has her work cut out for when she approaches Nikos to save her family home. Nikos intends to exact retribution against the woman he still lusts after, but where does his mysterious new bride fit into his plans? Misunderstandings and family betrayals propel this terrifically well-paced and fiery romance to its very rewarding conclusion. —Sabrina Madan
So I'm starting today with a very big smile on my face

Monday, January 25, 2010

My First/Favourite Kate Walker - Leena Hyat

Today's choice of a personal Top 5 Kate Walker novels comes from a lovely lady who has done so much to help me and my books over the years.

I first 'met' Leena Hyat through my very first web site, way back in 2000 when she wrote to tell me how much she'd enjoyed Constantine's Revenge. Since then through the various review sites etc that she's worked with, she's helped to promote my work in a way that's been totally invaluable. And now, with her own wonderful Author Sound Relations, she helps me to keep in touch with my American readers in a way that would otherwise be impossible from here in the UK.

If you've had one of my bookmarks, or my pens, entered a contest on My Tote Bag, or read a blog on Tote Bags 'N' Blogs, then Leena has been responsible for that. Right now she's working on some special pens for my 25th anniversary, and I'm looking forward to knowing what she thinks of the latest book The Konstantos Marriage Demand.

So of course I had to ask Leena when she first read a Kate Walker novel and which one it was. I'll admit that her answer surprised me. She's been reading my books a lot longer than I thought! And I think her answer shows just how international the world of writing and reading romance is. I've never been anywhere near Dubai - but my books have!

Here's Leena

I think the first Kate Walker book I read was Leap in The Dark. (1989) It was pure chance I picked it up. I was in Dubai in the back of a small little bookshop that stocked more stationery than it did books! Amidst the sci-fi and horror, I found a few romances – all M&B – and picked up this one because the blurb appealed to me. I can’t recall more than that after all these years but I do remember it was the only one I walked away with that evening

I’d say my favorite KW book is a toss between Constantine’s Revenge, Hostage Bride and Rafael’s Love-Child. I’m leaning more heavily towards the first two but I know I really liked Rafael’s book too. It’s a tough choice!

My first 5 favorite KW books would be –

Constantine’s Revenge
Hostage Bride
Rafael’s Love Child
The Twelve-Month Mistress
A Sicilian Husband

Thanks Lee. And thank you for all your help!

Lee's sites are a great place to visit - lots of information about your favourite authors, fabulous contests and great blogs - so why not take a look?

(I'm hoping that when the silver anniversary pens are done we'll be able to send them out to American readers who send in a self-addressed stamped envelope - and maybe in the UK too. So watch this space!)

Friday, January 22, 2010

What is love - The Winners!

Yes - winnerS

Because you lot didn't make it easy for me did you?

You all came up with some wonderful ways to complete that line 'Love is . . ' and you made it so so hard to choose.

I think my absolute favourite was short and simple -

Carol's love is what heals us, whatever life may throw at us.

But then I also liked Summer's Love is when the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

And finally there was Susan's other sort of love that made me smile:

Love is...your children, after a dreadful day, when you've been caught in the wind, rain, sleet and snow, been drenched by a passing truck, have dirt dripping of the end of your nose and are about to burst into tears and they look at you and say...but mum your still an 11 out of 10!

As I said I got more copies of the Mistresses trilogy than I expected and it's the most miserable wet, dark cold January day outside - so we probabky all need cheering up. So there are three winners - Carol, Summer and Susan

Will the winners please email me with your postal addresses and I'll send your prizes off to you

And huge thanks to everyone else who posted - there were some fabulous comments and I ended up feeling wonmderfully inspired for writing the next book - and the next. Thank you!
PS Though on apersonal note, I'd have to say that love is . . getting up at 3am on a cold wet dark winter's night to get a fluey Babe Magnet a cup of tea and some paracetamol.

Can you tell that that one is said with feeling? ;o)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What is love?

The world of fiction lost two writers this week.

Robert B Parker died 'at his desk' at the age of 77. I learned this from Anne McAllister's blog. So if you want to know more about him, she can tell you more than I can. I never really read any of his Spenser detective novels. In fact the only time I was ever aware that Spenser existed was way back when, when there was a TV series starring Robert Urich that I watched for a while.

The other author who died at the weeked was Erich Segal who was 72. Segal was of course the a classics professor at Yale University who he wrote the book, Love Story which became an Oscar-winning 1970 film starring Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw.

Love Story was the film that was famous for coining the line that everyone went around quoting at the time - and that is :

Love is never having to say you're sorry.

That infuriated me at the time and really it still does. It was too simplistic, too neat . I never fully believed in it.

Thinking about my own writing now and the resolutions of my books where my hero and heroine have to sort out the conflicts between them to reach a happy ending, I think that if I had to say why I don't like this line it's because I'd need to say that loving someone means that if you're the one who needs to say sorry because you've hurt someone you love, then you'll really really want to say it.

And if you're the one someone has to say sorry to, then you know you're happy to forgive them - so in one sense they 'never have to say they're sorry' but you're so glad they want to say sorry because that shows they know they hurt you and they regret it.

Of course there are different ways of 'saying sorry' and actions can speak louder than words . . . but well now perhaps you see why I always found this line too simplistic and rather sentimental. That's also why I always find writing romance so fascinating and complex and I don't get bored with it.

But it made me think of an idea for a one off quick contest. Because yesterday I received some author copies of the bok from the Mistresses collection that contains one of my earlier stories. This is the book with the lovely cover. The full title is Mistresses Shackled with Rubies and my book in it is Her Secret Bridegroom.

I got far more copies of this book than I was ever expecting so I'm giving away one as a prize today.

All you have to do is to leave a comment completing the following sentence -

Love is . . . .

And I'll pick out a favourite and the poster will win one of the extra copies of Mistresses.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Coming events - a recap

As I've just been talking to the librarian in Hull who is organising the workshop there, I thought I'd just recap on the details of that and other events coming up where the booking details haven't been totally finalised before-

So - Hull Central Library Monday 8th February 1- 3pm
Workshop on Writin Romance
For details and to book please contact:
Jessica Leathley Senior Librarian here or phone: 01482 331365

Fishguard Writing Weekend 19th - 21st February - there are still places available on the Contemporary Romance course (but of course Historical Romance will be covered as well!) and if you put my name on the application form it should save you an extra £10. (Considering I just saw a different writing weekend costing over £500 , I personally think the £209 this weekend costs is a bargain anyway)
Details here: Writers' Holiday site

Residential Training weekend in Southampton
The course's web site is still down but you can find details and contact the organisers here:

Monday, January 18, 2010

My First/Favourite Kate Walker novel - Michelle Reid

In another of the occcasional blog to celebrate 25 years of being published, today I have a post from a very special writer and a very special friend - Michelle Reid.

If you haven't read a Michelle Reid book then I both feel sorry for you and at the same time I envy you. I find it hard to believe that there are people out there who haven't yet experienced the intensity and emotion that Michelle brings to her stories. But then if you haven't, I envy you the fact that there are all those great books out there waiting for you to read them all.

2009 was a difficult year for Michelle with family health problems so the new books haven't been coming as fast as she would like but for American readers who haven't yet been able to buy it, Marchese's Forgotten Bride is out in Presents in March., with another title coming in July/August UK/USA And of course her book The Brazilian's Blackmailed Bride is available in the We Write Romance Selects Presents ebook bundle on eHarlequin and Amazon right now.

Here's Michelle:

Celebrating Kate Walker's 25th

When I think of Kate’s early books there are 3 which instantly leap into my head; Flirting with Danger - Shattered Mirror - Man of Shadows, and as I typed this I realised why these three leap out at me – just look at those titles! They speak for themselves of deep dark intriguing heroes and vulnerable heroines. They flag trouble before you even glance at the first page, where you’re treated to opening gambits like,

The sound of the doorbell rang loudly through the house, making Catherine tense instinctively. She froze in the middle of the room...

from Flirting with Danger,

Or, “How dare you? How bloody well dare you?” The savagely angry words flung at her from the darkness, seemed to slam into Eve...

from Shattered Mirror.

Don’t you want to read on? I know I do.

Just plucking these books off my shelf today I was hooked all over again. Sadly, I couldn’t find my copy of Man of Shadows, which is really annoying because I have a full set of Kate Walker books so it should be there, now I know I won’t settle until I find it. --Look’s like my bookshelves are about to receive an early Spring clean!

Some other favourites:
Rafael’s Love-Child
The Twelve Months Mistress
A Sicilian Husband
Constantine’s Revenge
Kept for Her Baby

And because they have to be here...
The Alcolar Family

Thanks Michelle!

On a personal note, I have to put Shattered Mirror as one of my favourites in this list as it was the first book of mine that Michelle and I talked about when we met and started our very special friendship over 15 years ago.

You can read more about Michelle's books and find out about new titles on her web site here

Friday, January 15, 2010

Kate's Corner

Today is the 15th of the month so that's my day for blogging over on We Write Romance.

Today I'm talking about writing The Twelve Month Mistress
This is the book that was chosen to go into the special Bloggers' Bundle of ebooks - We Write Romance Selects Presents - which is out this month.
Here's what Heather who runs WWR and seletced the titles for this bundle says about it -
Dear Readers,
Once upon a time, in a land called Harlequin, ladies of all ages found that there are these spectacular books with strong, sophisticated heroes and sensual, endearing heroines who were fighting to find love in exotic, romantic places. They were sexy, emotional and definitely life changing! They were called Harlequin Presents. is about all things romantic fiction, so when Harlequin asked us to put together our picks for an ebook bundle we were over the moon. Then came what we thought would be the easy part -- picking the books! But it was a lot harder than we'd thought--as Harlequin publishes so many exciting and wonderful stories! But in the end, we agreed on the strongest of the lines: Presents.
Presents stories have it all. They have what women want most: excitement, an escape from reality, and most of all romance that ends with enduring promises. They are well-written and just the right size. They were, in a word, fabulous.
So we hope you'll sit back and enjoy the first book we chose to showcase from this line, Kate Walker's The Twelve-Month Mistress. Ms. Walker allows you a glimpse into the life of Spanish aristocrat, Joaquin, who has a stead-fast rule to only keep his mistresses for twelve months...but when an accident claims his memory, he forgets all about his latest mistress Cassie breaking up with him!
Up next you'll find Margaret Mayo's Surrender to the Millionaire where a life changing decision could lead Kristie down the path to revealing a devestating truth to Radford, one that doesn't only affect their lives.
To be followed by Anne McAllister's Lessons from a Latin Lover which allows us--and Molly McGillivray!--to learn the art of seduction from super-sexy Joaquin.
And to round out our super Presents package is Michelle Reid's The Brazilian's Backmailed Bride that takes us through the art of seductive revenge...Anton only thinks he's got Cristina where he wants her: blackmailed and in bed!We hope you enjoy!
Sincerely,Heather Reed

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My First/Favourite Kate Walker book- A Reader's Story

Another reader's story about her favourite Kate Walker books.

A few weeks ago I told you about some of the writers I've worked with who had good responses from the Presents writing contest and today's reader is one of those.

Because of course the writers who succeed are usually voracious readers too.

I met Rachel at one of my Workshops - for the Guildford Festival - and I'm hoping to see her again when I run a Writing Romance weekend course in Southampton. (There are spaces left on this course - and all my courses so far if you want to book check out the Events page on my site.)

See you there Rachel!

Here's what Rachel has to say about discovering my books - and her Favourite Top 5

About six years ago a little miracle happened when the second grumpiest baby in the world actually fell asleep in his pram going round a charity shop (the first grumpiest had just started school). After years of sleep deprivation and the self neglect most new mums go through, I was beginning to feel desperate. Desperate for something different, desperate for something just for me, desperate for an escape from the hideous routine of it all and then I saw it. The little paperback wasn’t a Kate Walker but it had a photo of Santorini on it, the blurb promised romance, luxury and of course a gorgeous Greek—just about as far from reality as it was possible for me to get right then.

I’d never read a Mills and Boon before, I’d never read a romance per se (far too much of a literary snob!) but that day I sat down on a damp park bench and read something properly for what felt like the first time in five years. It was bliss. That little book fitted snugly into my handbag and the chapters were just short enough for me to treat myself whenever I could sneak the odd half an hour. Before I knew it, I was hooked and fed my new habit from charity shops over the next two years—I truly believe those books preserved my sanity!

Then we got our first computer. The first thing I did was book my grocery shopping on line, the second was to Google Natasha Oakley whose lovely book I was currently reading. My eyes were opened wide that day when I read her biography, writing her first book on the kitchen table with all those children around and highly recommending a certain person’s 12 point guide.

My youngest was just about to start preschool and I thought ‘well if she did it, I wonder if…?’ I used my newly acquired internet shopping skills to order Kate Walker’s amazing 12 Point Guide and promptly went out to see if I could find a book by this mysterious Kate Walker. Blow me if I couldn’t find a single book by her in any of the five charity shops in town. Now I know why: everybody keeps them! Fortunately W H Smiths saved the day and I greedily snatched up At The Sheikh’s Command

The rest, as they say, is history and Kate Walker is now firmly on my ‘buy without hesitating’ list, but I think my most favourite so far is The Spaniard’s Inconvenient Wife. This is a truly memorable book for me in so many ways but I won’t spoil it for anyone who’s not read it by revealing the best bits!

If that’s my number one then the rest of my top five would be:
Rafael’s Love-child

The Italian’s Forced Bride

The Antonakas Marriage

A Sicilian Husband

And Kate Walker ‘does’ the BEST Italian men, believe me!
Thank you Rachel! And good luck with your own writing - I'd love to be able to announce your first book on here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Coming Up 2 - the Books

As part 2 of looking ahead at what I have coming up this year, I'm looking at the books that will be coming out. I was renewing and updating my signature that goes on my emails and I was pretty surprised to find just how many books were actually on it.

I tend to think in terms of books scheduled to come out as new titles, so that's two coming up, between now and July and the one on my keyboard at the moment, But I forget about the lovely thing that is a reprint - a republication of a past title that has proved really popular and so gets a second time in the limelight when the 'By Request' or other anthologies appear.

So I had a couple of extra books to add to the list for the first half of this year. And that gives me the chance to tell you one of my bits of really nice news.

So starting with January - official publication date is Januray 15th but I expect it may be appearing in the shops right now - it's certainly on sale on the Mills & Boon site and on This is The Konstantos Marriage Demand

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 will be published in Presents EXTRA in March 2010. And I'm assuming it will be out in Australia either February or March. But while checking the Australian site, I've just discovered another unexpected bit of good news and that is that the on-line read that started off The Alcolar Family is included as a free bonus in a book with Carol Marinelli in February.

Also in January is thge special Bloggers Bundle in ebook form with We Write Romance's special selection of four favourite Presents authors - including my Twelve Month Mistress. ( Also contains books by Michelle Reid, Anne McAllister and Margaret Mayo) To mark this, I'll be talking about writing my book over on We Write Romance's blog for my Kate's Corner post onf the 15th and the other Presents authors - and several others will be joining us there.
Next up is another reprint - and this has one of my favourite covers of the year (well - if you ignore the fact that she's actually wearing pearls not the rubies that are in the title !)

Mistresses Shackled by Rubies is one of a four book collection - The Mistresses Collection that is currently on offer on the Mills & Boon site. (They're offering one book free)

My book in this collection is the 2001 title Her Secret Bridegroom.

Bride by deception!
After a whirlwind wedding in Venice, Amy discovered that her brand-new husband had only married her to gain a priceless old ring. Fleeing Italy, Amy never told anyone of her marriage to ruthless billionaire Vincenzo Ravenelli.
Four years later, while Amy knew she'd never really love another man as she loved Vincenzo, she needed to be free of the past. The time had come to return to venice and confront her secret bridegroom .
. .

Next up is that piece of good news - I'm really thrilled by this.
April has the release of Claimed By The Sicilian.

This is one of those 3 in 1 By Request Anthologies - but where these reprints are usually by 3 different authors, this time, all three titles in Claimed By The Sicilian are re-released books of mine.

Sadly, I don't have a cover yet, but I can tell you that the books included in this anthology are
The Sicilian Brothers duo -
Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride, and
The Sicilian's Red-Hot Revenge
together with the 2002 title The Sicilian's Wife.
I'm really proud to have all three of my Sicilian titles collected together like this.

And finally, in July I have the next brand new title - The Good Greek Wife? This is part of a four book mini series telling modern stories based on the Greek Myths. I just sent in the corrected proofs for this one and I have to say that I'm intrigued to see the other stories in the series. Again, no cover as yet but as soon as I get one I'll post it here for you.
So that's what's happening between now and July - it's a little busy isn't it? But that's the way i like it.

And now I have to get back to work on the current novel so that there will be another title to add to this list after July.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Coming up - events

As a PS to the previous post - here are few more details of the events that are coming up in February

Sheffield Library:

Meet the Author:

Coming soon to Sheffield Central Library, a programme of author events running throughout 2010. The programme kicks off with Mills and Boon author Kate Walker.

Celebrate Valentine's Day with Kate Walker
Mills and Boon premier romantic novelist and author of "The 12 Point guide to Writing Romance" shares her experience and skills with you.

Monday 15th February, 6-7.30

Tickets £2 to include refreshments, available from :
Central Library
Surrey Street
SheffieldS1 1XZ

or Telephone 0114 273 4727
You can find details here or here

Coming Up

The start to a new year made me look forward and plan - and it was quite amazing to see what's already booked as coming up for me in 2010.

As some of these events - most of them - are already taking bookings and I'll soon be starting with the first of them, I thought I'd do a quick summary of just what's happening in the way of workshops and talks this year

So here goes -

This first one isn't fully confirmed yet but it's the first chronologically so -
I've been asked to do a workshop on the writing romance - based on the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance - in Hull Central Library. I've just heard it will be on 8th February but I'm not sure yet if it's morning or afternoon.

An Evening With Kate Walker
15th February Sheffield Central Library
Further details from the library


Once again I will be teaching at the fabulous Fishguard Writing Weekend.
Event: Weekend Residential Writing Course – Writing Modern Romance
Dates: 19 – 21st February 2010

Venue: Fishguard Bay Hotel Fishguard Pembrokeshire
Details and application here - (If you put my name on the form you should get a £10 reduction in the fee)

I will be running a couple of events/seminars on romance writing organised by Highlands and Islands Arts (
At the moment, things are still being finalised, but the probable dates/venues I have are: Thursday 25th March 2010 (evening) Inverness
Saturday 27th March 2010 (afternoon) Ullapool
More details when I get them - or from HI Arts

Event: a two day residential course on Writing Romance held in the beautiful surroundings of New Place Shirrell Heath, Southampton.

Dates: 24th - 25th April 2010
I've been having trouble with the RT web site - I will put the full details on my web site as soon as I get this sorted out.
NEWS - apparently the web site for this event has been lost and until the organisers can get things sorted out, the details of this course can be found here:

Romantic Novelists’ Association Conference

I'll be teaching some aspect of romance/ romantic fiction writing - not quite sure exactly what yet.
Place: University of Greenwich in SE London

Dates: Friday 9th July - Sunday 11th July 2010

Once again I’ll be going back to one of my favourite places and taking part in the Writers’ Holiday at Caerleon 2010.
Date: July 25-30, 2010

Event: I will be teaching a five part course on The 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance.
Further details and booking forms can be found here:

NAWG (National Association of Writers’ Groups) Festival of Writing

Place: St Aidan's College, University of Durham, Durham
Dates: September 3-5, 2010
I'll be teaching some courses here. More details when I get them.
That'll keep me busy - I hope to meet up with old friends and make new ones at many of these events -
That means you Rachael, Brenda, Rachel , Caroline . . .

And anyone else who wants to come along.

All details are on the EVENTS page of my web site and any new bookings will go up there as soon as I arrange them .

Monday, January 11, 2010

Blogging around

Today I'm blogging over at the Pink Heart Society Blog where I'm talking about one of my latest hero inspirations.

See you there!

Friday, January 08, 2010

My First/Favourite Kate Walker Books - Readers' Stories

I'm still collecting lists of Top 5 Favourite Kate Walker reads - or the first Kate Walker I ever read and today here are some more of the stories/lists my readers have sent in:

Mary from Kentucky says:

I have enjoyed all of your books that I have read. I didn't start reading Harlequins until the early '70s, so I cannot say that I have read all your books. Here is my list of 5:

The Greek Tycoon's Unwilling Wife
The Antonakis Marriage
The Italian's Forced Bride
Bedded by the Greek Billionaire
Kept for her Baby

The lovely Marilyn who lives in Seattle and wrote so many wonderful reviews of my books gives her list of the top five- and she was very very definite about which one was her favourite. I know she told me that when she read it, she 'cried and cried' - I'm mean you see, I love making my readers cry! (Sorry Marilyn!)

Here's her list:
The Italians Forced Bride (if you want to read Marilyn's review of her favourite book you'll find it here)
The Twelve-Month Mistress
The Spaniard's Inconvenient Wife
Bound By Blackmail
The Sicilian’s Wife

And here's a story that really made me smile. It's a perfect example of the way that romance reading (and writing) brings people together and, as Jean, the writer of this email says, creates 'friends across the age divide'.

Jean is from Colorado and she says that her first ever Kate Walker was:
The Greek Tycoon's Unwilling Wife. The first book was given to me, a woman in my seventies by a young college girl and since then we have exchanged books, friends across the age divide.

Finally, Debra from Connecticut also chose The Greek Tycoon's Unwilling Wife as her top favourite - that's 3 votes for that book today - here's what she says:

I am new to your books and started with The Alcolar Family Trilogy and the Cordero books. I have been hooked ever since.

Her 'Top Five' are:

The Greek Tycoon's Unwilling Wife
Cordero's Forced Bride
The Alcolar Trilogy (That's The 12 Month Mistress, The Spaniard's Inconvenient Wife and Boumd By Blackmail.
Thank you all for your stories and your votes. I have contacted all the winners about thier prizes.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

My First Kate Walker - Kate Hardy

Today's fellow author who is talking about the first time she read one of my books is the prolific and award winning Kate Hardy

Sorry - no - amend that - she's actually talking about the first time she met Kate Walker! And her favourite five books.

Actually, Kate wrote this before Christmas as you can see but as life has been pretty hectic I've only just got round to posting it.

Kate's latest title in Harlequin Presents is her Modern Heat title Temporary Boss, Permanent Mistress which has a setting that is so appropriate to the UK's current freezing and snowy weather.

Here's what Kate has to say:

Being a Bear of Very Little Brain at the moment (Christmas + snow + children home for two weeks + deadline = distracted author), I can’t honestly remember my first Kate Walker book because I’ve read her books for so very many years… but I *do* remember the first time I met Kate herself. So I’m going to cheat and tell that story instead (if Kate doesn’t mind!).

It was at a Mills & Boon authors’ lunch, a couple of months before my very first M&B was published, back in September 2002. I was already a bit starstruck when I saw the table plan and realised that the people sitting near me were people whose books I’d known and loved. When it came to dessert and everyone moved round, I think I might’ve had that ‘wet-behind-the-ears author, in rabbit-in-headlights mode’ look about me. But then this really nice woman came to sit next to me, chatted to me and put me completely at my ease… and then, after pudding and just before I took a sip of coffee, she said, ‘I forgot to introduce myself. I’m also Kate, by the way – Kate Walker.’

O. M. G.

Someone whose books I’d read for years. A Big Name Author. And she made time to talk to a complete and utter nobody at her first authors’ lunch.

Just over seven years later, I still remember that kindness. And over those seven years I’ve celebrated her 50th book with her, and I’m so pleased now to celebrate her 25th year in a glittering career. Congratulations, Kate.

My top five Kate Walker books:

e Spaniard’s Inconvenient Wife (that wedding dress…)
Desert Affair (the dining table *almost* made this #1, but the wedding dress did it for me)

The Twelve-Month Mistress

The Hostage Bride
The Sicilian’s Red-Hot Revenge

If you want to know what Kate's talking about when she mentions the weddingg dress for The Spaniard's Inconvenient Wife (the cover does give a clue) and the dining table in Desert Affair, you'll have to read the books! The Spaniard's Inconvenient Wife is a 2005 book (but it's also available in the Alcolar Family Collection ebook bundle) and Desert Affair was published in 2003.
You can find out more about Kate H and her books - both Modern Heat and Medical - on her web site or read her blog

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

They Grow Up So Fast . . .

Two years ago, just after Christmas, I brought home this small
<- furry creature who came to live with us, entranced everyone who met her, turned into a real Floozie and now looks like

this --->

Thirty years before that, just after Christmas I brought home
<--- this little person who has now grown up to a 6 ft 2" perfect Presents style hero, a son to be proud of who is celebrating his birthday today.
Happy Birthday Offspring! And here's hoping the snow doesn't prevent our clebration meal tonight.
One other small person I'm looking forward to watching grow up is my brand-new sponsor child. My sponsor 'daughter'. The one my readers all enabled me to help because you buy my books and I can use your 'Christmas Card' money to do this.
Because of the need to protect this little girl's privacy, unfortunately I can't share her details and her photo with you but J is 6 years old, living in an SOS Children's Village in Central African republic where SOS care for other orphaned children besides her. I'm told this little girl is a chatterbox who loves helping in the kitchen, drawing colourful pictures and participating at school.
Thank you all again for helping me help her.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

My First Kate Walker - Michelle Styles

Today I have another writer friend who's talking about the first time she read a Kate Walker novel.

Michelle Styles, who writes for Mills and Boon and Harlequin Historicals is an American who now lives in the UK after marrying her husband. I think Michelle's comments pretty much summarise some of the many reasons why people read romances so I've left them in with her list asI think they are so great.

I am fairly positive the first book of yours I read was Leap in the Dark (1989) and I think I read it on the train going to Sheffield when I had a job interview with a bank's graduate training programme. And I can remember the train journey going far too quickly. I am certain I read others of yours then as I was homesick and reading a lot of M&B because I had read Harlequin in the US.

My top five of yours:
1. The Italian's Forced Bride as it made me cry
2. The Antonakos Marriage as our discussion inspired me to write Sold and Seduced (one of Michelle's Roman romances) and it got me through my first cataract operation.
3. Constantine's Revenge because it is excellent
4. Cordero's Forced Bride because it helped me when I was stressed and needed to escape.
5.Sicilan Husband. Blackmailed Bride because I could not put it down.

Thank you Michelle!

Michelle's latest Harlequin Historical The Viking's Captive Princess was a December USA release and is still available on Amazon, eHarlequin etc - and her next UK book Compromising Miss Milton will be out in May,

Take a look at Michelle's web site where you can read more about her great historical romances and find her blog.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Totally irresolute

I'm not a great one for making New Year resolutions. I always find that in the razmatazz leading up to the New Year everyone gets a little carried away and decides on dieting, not drinking, not smoking, detoxing etc etc just that bit too much and sets themselves a whole load of aims and achivements to reach for - most of which are way out of our reach so that the failure to reach them means that we just feel worse about ourselves rather than better.

But then I feel lazy and a real let-down when all around me everyone else is declaring their resolve to do better, try harder, become the 'New You'. So I was quite relieved to read that a psychologist had declared much the same idea. That it doesn't really help and can be quite depressing to make those resolutions - specailly now in the dark days of midwinter with the snow covering the ground and making everything so bleak and miserable. (That set me wondering how my friends and readers on the other side of the world feel - does the New Year still inspire you to great resolves, to looking into changing or does the sunshine outside insist that you relax, enjoy, live for today?).

Besides, I've never felt that 'do more' actually equates with 'doing better'. I've never been the fastest writer in the Presents line - and that's fine by me. I take pride in writing the best books I bcan and from the lovely letters, cards and emails I've had over the last 12 months it seems that I'm doing that. If we're not careful, I feel that we end up being too busy telling ourselves what's not good enough and not enough time appreciating what we are - what we're actually achieiving. And that's a recipe for depression. So I’m not resolving anything. Except to keep up with the one resolution I made last year - and that was to make sure I got some exercise. So my almost every day 3 mile walk stays. Apart from that, I don’t really feel that I need a ‘New Me’. The ‘old’ one might need a bit of a shake up every now and then but I’ve managed OK so far. But I am looking forward to 2010 with a lot of anticipation and some excitement.

Those of you who've read my post over on Tote Bags 'N'Blogs will have some idea of what's ahead of me. If you haven't, then take a look at the Events page on my web site and you'll see.

And of course all through it, it is also a year to celebrate. I'm still marking the fact that it's 25 years since my very first ever book was published. A special silver anniversary for the day my dreams came true and I became a published author. And I’m looking forward to the publication of some new books that I have coming up – the very first of which will be published in the middle of this month (January 15th - though it's already available on the M&B site or Amazon). That’s when my next Modern Romance The Konstantos Marriage Demand will appear in the UK shops.

And over on the eHarlequin site, there's the launch of the special selection of Bloggers' Bundles which includes the We Write Romance Selects Presents ebook bundle chosen by the reviewrs and owners of that web site.

There’s another new title coming in July too and a rather special collection in April and I’m looking forward to those as well. More details later.

But sometimes it seems that when you work in publishing you’re always looking forward – always planning ahead. Right now, I’m busy with the plans for my next book, the deadline is already set for when I need to have this on my editor’s desk and I’m working towards that right now. The trouble is that I know that as soon as I get involved in the story and get my head down, then the time of writing it will just pass in a flash. It always does. I’ll look up and realise that it’s March or April and this ‘New Year’ is way behind me and already we’re partway through it. And if I’m not careful I’ll be too busy looking ahead to take the time and space to enjoy the present.

So that’s my resolve – not necessarily a ‘resolution’ but definitely a determination – for 2010. I’m going to take a couple of steps back and actually experience – and enjoy – everything that comes along in this new year that stretches ahead right now. I know from experience that if I don’t then I’ll get to this time in 2011 with a sort of ‘blink and you missed it’ feeling. Instead I want to actually live fully in this year, experiencing everything that happens in it so that I will remember it all as clearly as possible. After all, these past 24 years of being published seem to have passed in a flash already. I want to enjoy the 25th!

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