Thursday, June 30, 2011

Where did the week go?

This is a bit late as Blogger wouldn't let me on until now  . . . but better late than never.
It's been a hectic week. Life continues to be complicated, and I've been concentrating hard on 'tweaking' Carlos Diablo and Martha - aka The Devil and Miss Jones. It's been one of those sets of revisions where you 'tweak' something somewhere and it has such an effect further along that the result is more of a rewrite in places. So that's where my attention has been.

But today is the 30th June - so that makes it the day when over the Pink Heart Society site The Proud Wife is their Pink Heart Pick for June - and I'm blushing at the wonderful, generous review that Donna Alward has given it.

It's such an honour when another author, one who knows what writing romance is all about and how difficult it can be at times, says she enjoys your book - but when I found that Donna has said that The Proud Wife 'is right up there as one of my favourite KW romances' then it has just made my day.

Donna even says that my hero, Pietro 'is giving Guido (from Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride) a run for his money as my fave KW hero. Maybe it's a Sicilian thing?' and I know how much she loved Guido so that's quite some achievement for Pietro even to challenge him!

But most of all, it means such a lot to me when a fellow author's assessment says, on the subject of heroes : 'My favourite heroes of Kate's are the ones who appear uncompromising and domineering on the outside but are really intensely emotional and tender on the inside - and the books that do it best for me is when that is immediately apparent to the reader.'

That's exactly what I try to aim for when I'm creating a hero. And I think it's specially important when creating a Presents Alpha - getting that balance between the uncompromising and domineering outer mask and the inner emotional and tender person behind it. So I'm thrilled that that's exactly what Donna found.

Anyway - the discussion is open over on the PHS site so if you've read The Proud Wife maybe you'll join us over there. I know Donna and most of the Pink Hearters are over in New York and the RWA national conference - so I'll try to visit through the day - in between adding what I hope are the final tweaks for The Devil and Miss Jones (well - a girl can hope that will be the title!)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Constantine's Revenge

Last week I blogged about my very first Greek hero.  He appeared in the book Constantine's Revenge which was first published in 2000.  The reason I was talking about it was because Constantine's Revenge has just been re-sissued as an ebook. 

I knew that this book was very popular when it came out and that a lot of people have written to tell me hat ti is one of their favourite - if not the favourite  - of my books but even so I  was stunned to see the speed with which this particular title was rushing  up the bestseller lists of my own ebooks  over on eHarlequin. Starting at the bottom of the 40+ titles I've had issued in ebook form, it raced up first ten and then twenty places in the blink of an eye or so it seemed.

I was delighted but not quite sure why this had happened - but then over on We Write Romance where I'd written my  Kate's Corner blog also last week, someone commented that she ahd been waiting to get hern hands on a reissue of Constantine's Revenge because she had read about it in my 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance  and so wanted to read the book itself.

I'd forgotten that in the 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance I had used Constantine's Revenge  as an example of how to use a synopsis to put in the emotional reasons and the emotional changes in  a story, giving first the plain simple facts and then a second version using the emotionas to deepen the story.  When I wrote the original  workshop of the 12 Point Guide of course copies of Constantine's Revenge were more easily available  - now they are less easy to come by. So the renewed interest in the reissue in ebook form.

Funny how I'd never registered that might happen - and I'm so glad that the reissue has created such interest as a result.

Oh, and if you are into ebooks, then don't forget there has been a recent reissue of the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance on KINDLE - and the publisher is working on an edition that will be available on other ebook readers too.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Return of The Stranger

A quick look at this morning brought me the discovery of my latest Presents cover  - the one for The Return of The Stranger - out in October  (October 4th according to Amazon - though I think that's a little early.)
It's interesting that when I know my editor had suggested a scene in the middle of the night - in a thunderstorm where my hero arrives at the heroine's house after he has been attacked, his shirt ripped, his face bruised, this is the result.,  She also did mention the emerald stud in one ear.  Which doesn't show on this or the UK M&B Modern cover.  Personally I'd rather have seen him look a bit more - ruffled,  a little less as if he's just come home from a business dinner.

So now I'm wondering - do you prefer the more rugged hero of the UK edition?   Just to remind you - that looks like this:
Which cover would grab you more?

The USA one seems to have a good setting - though we can't quite see it. It may show up well on the Australian cover and there is a look of passion about it -

But  would you rather a cover showed a more rough and ready hero image if that was his character in the book? Or if it suited the scene better?  And what abot the emerald stud?   A yes or a no?

I know which one make me think more of my hero - but which would make you take the book off the shelves?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

May - You Write Your Novel

I don't know if you know this already, but over on her special blog, Sally Quilford has been running a special  challenge to write an 80k novel in 80 days - any style, any genre. She's been posting word counts, encouragement - and guest blogs from published authors to offer advice and help to get you writing  - and keep you keeping on.

Sally asked me to join in by writing a guest post too - specifically on writing Category Romance, but offering advice that could be useful for every genre too. (The brilliant historical novelist Karen Maitland - author of The Company of Liars  and The Gallows Curse has been kind enough to say that: "I  regularly recommend your Twelve Point Guide to writing Romance to my Creative Writing Students. I'm glad to say, they all agree it is one of the most helpful books they've read on writing and works for all types of fiction." )
Anyway, my post is up now on Sally's blog I hope it helps anyone aiming at this sort of fiction - or any other genre.
And I need to announce a couple of winners -  Sid has done his job, and the winners of a copy of The Proud Wife  are:
Becky  and
Please can you email me - see the link at the bottom of the page - and let  me know your postal address so I can send your prizes on to you. I hope you'll come along  to The Pink Heart Society and discuss it on June 30th - and I'll hope to see lots of you  there.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Date With Kate

It's the third Friday in the month so that's my day for blogging over on  The Pink Heart Society in A Date With Kate.

Today my blog is  about A Question of Balance - Why Too Much (Even of a Good thing) can be just too much. So I hope I'll see you over there.

And tonight I'll get Sid the Cat to pick some winners of a copy of The Proud Wife so that you can join in the PHS Book Club on the 30th. So you can still add a comment on the post below to be in with a chance of winning.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kate's Corner

Today is the 15th of June, and  so that means it's my day for blogging over on We Write Romance in Kate's Corner

Today I'm talking about the old and the new  - books and covers, that is, which gives me a chance to talk about that new sexy cover for The Return of The Stranger. And to look back at an old favourite with the republishing in ebook of Contantine's Revenge.  Both great covers.

And you can still give yourself a chance of winning a copy of The Proud Wife so that you can join in the Pink Heart Society  Book Club discussion on  June 30th. Just leave a comment on yesterday's post and you'll be in the draw.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Win a copy of The Proud Wife

So, as I mentioned,  my latest book - The Proud Wife - is the Pink Heart Society's Pink Heart Pick  at the end of the month - June 30th to be exact.

If you don't know about this then what you need to now is that every month the Pink Heart Society web site editors pick a particular book for the Book Club to read and then join in a discussin about it on  the blog at the end of the month.

And this month's pick to read is my own The Proud Wife.

That's both a  lovely honour and a little bit nerve-wracking. The thought of everyone discussing my book does make me a little apprehensive, I'll admit. But of courtse in order to discuss the book, you first have to read it - and as the UK paperback isn't easily available on Amazon - the kindle edition is there of course, and the paperback is on the Mills & Boon site - I promised I'd offer you a chance to win a copy to read so that you can join in the Book Club discussion.

So -  all I ask is that you post a comment to say why you'd like to win this book. Or what you're currently reading - just come by and chat for a moment  - and in a couple of days' time -  on Friday -  I'll get Sid the Cat to pick a winner or two so that there is still time for you to read the book before the end of the month.

I just posted off a bundle of prizes  after a special Newsletter contest (you can join using the link at the bottom of the page) so while I'm in prize-giving mood, here's your chance to win a copy of this best-selling book! And all you have to do post in the comments.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Cover

My editor sent me my new cover last week, and then I discovered that it's on now too - so here it is -   The Return Of The Stranger   - coming on September 2nd

The shading is slightly funny on this Amazon reproduction so he looks a little redder in the face than in my copy  so if I can get a better version, I'll put that up as soon as I can.  (PS Have now amended the coer so it looks better - and less red!)

And here's the blurb:

Standing high on the windswsept moors, the lone figure of Heath Montanha vows vengeance on the woman who destroyed the last fragments of his heart.

Lady Katherine Charlton has never forgotten the stablehand with dangerous fists and a troubled heart from  her childhood. Now the rebel is back, his powerful anger concealed under a polished and commanding veneer.

When ten years of scandal and secrets are unleashed with a passionate, furious kiss, Heath's deepest, darkest wish crystallises . .  .

Revenge - and Kat - will be his!

Just one little point - this book is part of the The Powerful And The Pure  miniseries - where the four books in the series are  inspired by some of the Classics of romantic fiction.  There seems to be some confusion on the part of some readers that this is 'stealing'  from the originals  - but right from  the stories of Cinderella and such, plots have always been taken and reworked,  turned into something new.   So  just to repeat  - these boks are inspired by the Classics - because it's as I'm always saying in workshops etc, that we could all be given the same hero, heroine, setting and start to a plot and we would all come up with something new.

So the books in this mini series - The Forbidden Innocent (Sharon Kendrick)  - Jane Eyre
In Want of A Wife  (Cathy Williams) - Pride and Prejudice
 Mr and Mischief (Kate Hewitt)  Emma
and my The Return of The Stranger  - Wuthering Heights

 are all inspired by the spirit and the characters of the originals and then as authors ourselves, we created a brand new story as a result.

I'll be blogging more about how I worked on The Return of The Stranger  when it gets closer to September.

And talking of my books reminded me that I promised  to run a contest so that a couple of you could win a copy of The Proud Wife in order to join in the discussion on the Pink Heart Society where it's their Pink Heart Pick for June.

So I need to think of a contest to do that - watch this spaceThen you'll have time to read it before the discussion starts on June 30th.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

My very first Greek hero

It seems amazing now,  but back in 1999 I had an editor who suggested the I might like to have a Mediterranean hero - for a change! Back then it didn't seem like every single hero you read in a Modern Romance/ Presents novel was  a sheikh, Italian, Spaniard, Greek . . .   My heroes had been Englishmen,  or Irish.  But the Mediterranean hero was really becoming popular and more and more of them were appearing in the novels.

Just after my editor made this suggestion I was in a small hotel in a West Yorkshire town. The Babe Magnet and I were having breakfast in a tiny dinind room - it was in the basement I remember!  Suddenly a couple of men appeared in the doorway, making me look up - as a writer, I'm always curious  - nosey!  These two guys were both  striking but the younger one was absolutely gorgeous.  I later found out that he was  Spanish and his name was Javier something.   My husband had to work that day and I was happily settled in a coffee shop with a notebook and pen - and inspiration for a whole new idea.

Along the way, Javier the Spaniard changed nationality and became Constantine the Greek - and so my very first ever Greek hero - or Mediterranean hero  - was born.  The book was Constantine's Revenge.

I've never know quite what it is abot Constantine but he seemed to grab the imagaination of my readers and never let go. I have had more letters, emails about this one hero than any other. The book has been frequently reprinted, some years ago when I ran a poll of my readers' top ten favourite Kate Walker novels, Constantine's Revenge topped the voting right from the start - and stayed there.

Perhaps it has something to do with the cover art - one of the best covers I've ever had. I loved it so much that I used the cover on my business cards for a time.   Whatever it is,  I'm always grateful for the fact that one unknown man walked into a room over twelve years ago!

And I was thrilled to discover this week that as part of their programme of reissuing my backlist in ebook form,  Harlequin have reissued Constantine's Revenge as a brand-new ebook out this month.

His plan was to make her his mistress...
When Constantine Kiriazis reappeared after two years, Grace thought he'd finally forgiven her for her lack of trust in him - and for canceling their wedding. Certainly Constantine's desire for her had not waned. But neither had his desire for revenge...
He fully intended to seduce Grace, but vowed she'd only be his mistress - never his wife. It was only when she melted in his arms that Constantine began to wonder who was exacting the revenge and who was paying the price!

Another backlist book is also coming out in ebook form in June  this one has an Irish hero - not that that gets mentioned much! Ronan Guerin appears in Wife For A Day - and this is a book that I always remember with a blend of horror and relief. I had such a struggle to get this one accepted! But since it came out I've had a lot or response from  readers and again it often appears in Top Ten Favourite Kate Walker booklists. So I'm glad to see that Wife For  Day  reissued as well.

What about you? Do you have a favourite of my books?  And in heroes - do you prefer the Mediterranean hero? Or would you like more  Englishmen, Irishmen . . ?

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Taking stock . . . and looking ahead

 I sent off  Diablo's story - aka The Devil and Miss Jones (sort of running a campaign to  hint that I'd like that for a title  but I'm not overly hopeful! And I haveto get the book accepted first) and now I'm in the middle of all the sorting out and planning that comes after one book and before another. Which means I'm  buried in paperwork and sorting things out.

So I was looking ahead to see what I have coming up and as I've had a few enquiries about courses or workshops  that I'll be doing, I thought I'd run a quick recap so  you can plan/book/think about them -

First things first - I will of course be heading for Wales for the fabulous Writers' Holiday week in July  (July 24th - 29th  to be exact).  Although I'm teaching, that's only for half the week and my time in Caerleon is always one of my favourite weeks of the year. (It's the same for the Babe Magnet too - he's teaching Writing Poetry there this time!)

If you're interested in Writers' Holiday - over the  six days there is the opportunity to take two different courses choices can be found here

There are also main speakers, who give talks to everyone there - at the moment, the list of speakers reads -

Raymond Allen Susan Moody  Janet Laurence  Lesley Horton

But I do know that my dear friend and brilliant writer Julie Cohen will be at Caerleon this time because we've just been in touch about finalising the details.
But of course it is  a 'Writers' Holiday' - so if you don't want to do a course and you just want to sit and read - or sleep - or even write! - then nothing is compulsory and love Anna and Gerry want you to do just as you choose.
Last time I heard there were still some places left at Caerleon - you can find the details and book here

Of course thinking of Caerleon means that I also think of Fishguard Writing Weekends - the next one isn't until February 2012 - but I'm already looking forward to that - I look forward to the next one almost as soon as the old one is over. 
Just to remind you that the course at Fishguard is the Advanced Romance Writing course - one that follows on from the basic Writing Romance course I run in Caerleon.  People need to  have been on a basic romance writing course to come along on this one. Again, although it's early, people are already booking. 

This is an intensive weekend course - Friday night to Sunday lunchtime and we cram  a lot into that time!
Here are some comments from past students at Fishguard -
 A blinder of a course. I learned so much and  . . . You were an inspiring teacher and brought so many useful guide posts to life for us. And made it all fun! . . . I ended the weekend with a much clearer idea of just what emotion and conflict mean in terms of novel writing. So thank you so much for laying so many riches before us. I really enjoyed every minute of the weekend.   Janet Laurence
Your course was fabulous: interesting, stimulating and empowering.. .  . thank for your dedication to all of us. You're a marvellous teacher.  Susan Moody
Thank you so much for all your energy and thoughts this weekend - a truly fabulous course which left me happily exhausted and full of enthusiasm for my upcoming week away writing.   Sarah Jane V
The details on the Fishguard Writing Weekend site still have the dates etc from 2011 - but if you are interested in booking, email Gerry and he'll add your name to the list of students. Last year this sold out almost as soon as it went on the site and I know there are already names on the list - numbers are limited to get the most out of this intensive course.
And just last month I finalised the details of another workshop I'll be doing in September - this one might be more suikable for people in the north of England. I'm really excited about this one as it's connected to another great interest of mine- the Bronte sisters and their books and particularly Wuthering Heights. And as many of you will be aware, my next book out - The Return of The Stranger is part of a mini series inspired by the classics of romantic fiction  - Jane Eyre, Emma , Pride and Prejudice  and my  book Wuthering Heights. (This and the other books are in the mini series The Powerful and The Pure - titles by Sharon Kendrick, Cathy Williams and Kate Hewitt) 
So I was thrilled to be invited to appear at the Bronte Society Festival Of Women's Writing in Haworth on September 17th.  I'm running a 2 hour workshop in the morning  and then giving a talk about writing The Return of The Stranger and using my reading  of Wuthering Heights to in spire me in the afternoon.
I don't yet have the details about time and place for bookings yet - though the workshop should be 10 - 12am and the talk 2 -3 pm - but as soon as  I do I'll post them here and on the Events page on my web site.
Finally - can't reveal full details yet - but just yesterday I finalised the discussion about another, wonderful course coming in 2012. And that wonderful is not me boasting about the content of the course  but anticpating this one with real excitement  because it will be in such a lovely place. 

What I can say is that this will be a week long residential course - and it's not going to be in England or even the United Kingdom . ..  Watch this space!
I hope that I'll get to meet some of you at one or other of these events! 

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Catch up

Well, that was a busy week - I was racing to finish my latest book by the end of the month so that's why I've been MIA - I finally pressed 'send' to have it winging its way to my editor and I hope she likes Martha and Carlos  Diablo's story.  My working title for this has been  first The Ortega Inheritance  - and then  another title was The Devil and Miss Jones.  I don't suppose that the last one will be used but you never know.

I was thrilled that my lots in the Brenda Novak Auction had such a great response - the critique of a partial went for $325,  the Reader's and Writer's for $62 - so that's a great contribution to a fantastic cause - and the whole auction raised $300,500 ! That's brilliant.

And I'm just waiting to hear how much the Make For Macmillan book auction made - that's closed now.

Oh yes- and as it's the first Sunday of the month, today I'm blogging over at  Tote Bags'n' Blogs  where you have a chance to win a copy of One Night In Madrid .

And there's a new contest running on the Tote Bag Contest page where you can win 2 more of my backlist books.

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