Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Great Big Blog Tour Stop14

Today I'm travelling again -  both  as a blogger and in reality.

I'm heading for London for the annual Association of Mills & Boon Authors lunch and the meeting with the Harlequin Mills & Boon  editors and managers afterwards.  I will also be meeting up with lots  of great friends who write for all the different  Mills & Boon lines. Some of them - like Jane Porter, Lynn Raye Harris, Jennie Lucas have come across from America.

We will be having  afternoon tea (at the Ritz!) together, a Presents authors' get together for dinner on Thursday night,   and then the main lunch of Friday when we will all cathc up and talk - and talk - and talk . . . . There will be  reception organised by Mills & Boon that evening too. Phew! we'll do little but eat, drink - and talk!

And seeing as I'm afraid I can't bring you all with me, I'll try to take some photos and show them to you afterwards. And to keep you entertained while I'm away, there's another stop on my  Big Blog Tour  to celebrate the publication of The Return of the Stranger today - over on The Writing Playground. It's the first time I've ever visited these ladies so I hope you'll come over and visit.

And Charlie will be glad to see you too - the more visitors who comment, the more chance he'll have to have lots of cat treats to help him pick the winner's name.

And although I'll be travelling I plan on calling in to chat with everyone too - so I'll see you there!

And I'll be back  home at the weekend to tell you all about it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Learning about Writing?

I don't have another Big Blog Tour Stop until 26th October, so that gives me time to pause and tell you - or remind  - you about the  courses I'm teaching in the  near future.

I've just realised that if it's almost the end of October then this time next year I will  (sadly)  be back home after a week in the glorious countryside of Tuscany where I will have been running a one week course on writig romantic fiction.

Just this week I had a note from Bill Breckon one of the owners of  the fabulous Watermill at Posara reminding me to let you know that  they are offering  a fabulous    £75 Early Bird discount for everyone who books before the end of the year.

  • Date: October 6th -13th 2012

  • Location: The Watermill Fivizzano, Italy.

  • Course Description: Romantic fiction writing is big business, making up almost half the paperback fiction sold and generating billions in sales worldwide. This course is intended to provide information and advice for anyone who wants to learn how to write a popular genre novel. It gives an introduction to all the skills needed for success, from initial research to the final submission of the typescript. With advice and exercises, I'll guide you through 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 romantic fiction, or you've written a manuscript or two but are not yet published and are interested in honing your skills, this course is for you.

    The course is intended to cover the main aspects of writing romantic fiction that from my experience of teaching over the years seem to create the most problems for unpublished writers. While the focus may be on romance novels, the techniques – dialogue, characters, tension, pacing, settings, hooks etc will also be relevant to all forms of popular fiction. I also hope to have plenty of time to discuss your own work with you either in one to one sessions or in an open critique forum with the rest of the group.
    Would you like to learn about writing romantic Fiction in this wonderful setting?

    Our beautiful and historic watermill stands beside the River Rosaro in the small village of Posara. Peaceful and secluded, yet part of the village, the mill is just a mile or so from the walled medieval town of Fivizzano with its caf├ęs, restaurants and shops. This is the heart of Lunigiana, in the North-west of Tuscany.
    Set in a gentle valley with mountain peaks in the background, the mill is a peaceful spot, yet is within easy reach of the sea and the tourist attractions of Tuscany.
    Full details and booking enquiries from The Watermill site:

    And just so that you're sure what's on offer - here's what Bill has to say:

    We should emphasise that EVERYTHING is included in the cost of your course:

    • all tuition fees
    • accommodation in bright, well decorated bedrooms with traditional features in an elegant Tuscan house complex around a courtyard
    • all meals, including pre-dinner aperitifs, including meals served at several small and friendly local restaurants offering regional Italian dishes and wines. (Vegetarians can be catered for on request.)
    • local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport; including our mid week excursion when everyone goes by train to Lucca or to the Cinque Terre)

    All you have to do is to get to Pisa and we do the rest!

    I'm so looking forward to this  -  apparently there are bookings already - so  I'd love to see you there!

    Sunday, October 23, 2011

    Happy Anniversary to a very special couple

    As many of you know, I spend  a week of my summer at Writers' Holiday  on Caerleon Campus at Newport Wales  and then I teach a residential writing weekend  at fabulous Fishguard  Bay Hotel in Pembrokeshire at the Writers' And Artists' Workshop Weekend in February every year.

    But this isn't about the events - though you'll hear me mention them again and again a as February and the July come closer -
    This is to send out a very special greeting  of Congratulations and Celebrations to the two very special, caring, generous people who run both Writers' Holiday and Fishguard Writing Weekend - and who are always ready to help, to offer a warm smile, and even warmer welcome and  between them have created two fabulous writing events where regular  visitors become more like family and even if it's your first visit to either event no one is without friends for very long.

    I'm talking about Anne & Gerry Hobbs  - and today  is a  truly special day for the, Because today is their 40th wedding anniversary. (It doesn't seem at all possible so Anne must have been a child bride!)

    As anyone who's been to Caerleon/Fishguard knows, it's usually Anne who does the front of house stuff while Gerry works behind scenes from his place in the Bookroom - so  to actually be able to grab a photo of him  isn't an easy task. However  once, just once I amanged to grab a photo of him and Anne after the Welsh Male Voice Choir performance on the last night of Writers' Holiday - and here's one of Anne in a  suitably celebratory mood - which I hope they're both enjoying  right now.

    Many Congratulations and a truly Happy Anniversary my lovelies! Have a very special day.  I can't wait till we all meet up again in  Fishguard in February.

    Saturday, October 22, 2011

    Great Big Blog Tour Stop 13

    13 may be unlucky for some but for me it's totally lucky because today my Big Blog Tour   takes me to visit some of my most favourite people ever -  The Romance Bandits.

    I've visited their site several times before and always had a wonderful, warm and fun reception so I'm hoping that today will be no different.

    Well, actually, yes it will be different - because the Bandits' blog and site is different - and brand new - you can find it here  with lots of great information about the Banditas and their books  and all that's happening. They've taken the Golden Rooster with them - and their favourite masseur Sven - and they nare running special launch Trick or Treat prizes - so there's lots to see.

    They also have a brand new blog which you can find here - and that's where I'll be visiting today.  I'll be talking about my brand new book  - which is of course The Return of The Stranger - and how this story has really been brewing in my thoughts and my imagination ever since I was eleven . . . . that's. . .Oh . . . . 20 years ago! (And  bit more!)

    I have a  copy of The Return of the Stranger to give away - and to celebrate the launch of the new site, I'm adding in a Kate Walker tote bag as an extra prize for one commentor - chose by  Charlie of course (He's getting a lot of practice at this so he's getting good!)

    See you there!

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Great Big Blog Tour Stop 12

    Today's stop on the blog tour is  one of my regular blogs over on the Pink Heart Society Blog this morning.

    In A Date With Kate I'm talking about  the New Voices  contest again - and why a couple of animal stories/songs  have kept me going in the past when I've felt low  - and convinced I would never write again. After the publication of The Chalk Line in 1984, I was convinced I would be a one book  wonder and had to keep going and trying again before Game of Hazard appeared in 1986.

    And on a sort of opposite extreme, I'm giving away a copy of my award-winning bok The Konstantos Marriage Demand which won Best Presents Extra 2010.

    See you over there.

    And talking of my Big Blog Tour, some of you will remember that I was hosted by lovely Michelle Fayard  on her Birds'Eye View Blog on  October 4th. Well, since then Michelle has read  her copy of The Return of The Stranger and has posted me a wonderful review over on Good Reads and Amazon  - Thank you so much Michelle!

    With her latest release, THE RETURN OF THE STRANGER, veteran romance author Kate Walker takes the classic tale found in Wuthering Heights and lets it inspire her to create a modern take on the powerful story.

    STRANGER is part of a series, The Powerful and The Pure. In this title, Heath Montanha left England as an orphaned gypsy and made a new life for himself in Brazil. Now he's rich and powerful, but he's missing something. He thinks it's revenge on the two men who kept him poor and powerless. What he's soon to learn is it's love in the form of the one woman who always believed in him, Lady Katherine, sister to one of Heath's former tormenters, widow to the other.

    STRANGER might be inspired by a classic, but rest assured that Walker has taken the characters and atmosphere and brought them into the 21st century to make the story her own with high-voltage intensity. If this book could be described in only one word, it would be "chemistry."

    Oh and if you're interested in how this Big Blog Tour thing works - and you'd  like to learn  more, then Nas Dean  from Romance Book Paradise    has written a great post on Michelle's blog all about the way she plans and runs these.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    I have winners

    Charlie took some finding yesterday!  The sun was shining, he was out in the garden, I had to be out for  most of the morning,  and when  I was in the house he wouldn't come in. Then he got rather excited at the prospect of  eating treats and wanted to snarf them all down in a rush.  But I finally  got him to settle down to the job of picking winners. And the results are:

    The Haworth souvenirs -  picked up when I went to talk about The Return of The Stranger  at The Bronte Society Festival of Women's Writing  goes to Theresa N
     - Theresa I have visited Beatrix Potter's home several times and what I love about it is that you can see places in the house and the gardens  that appear in drawings in her books.

    And over on the We Write Romance Blog, the winner of the 12 Point Guide  to writing Romance is  Erin K

    Theresa  and Erin  will you please email me  your postal addresses (there's an email at the bottom of every page of my web site)   and then |I can  organise getting your prizes in the mail to you.

    Everyone else  - thank you for joining in. It seems so many of you want to visit Jane Austen's house - and I must admit that I have never been there. I have however visited her grave in Winchester Cathedral thanks to a guided tour by Sharon Kendrick.

    If you didn't win a prize this time - don't forget that the Great Big Blog Tour has plenty of places to visit yet so check out the details on the Author Page and  see where I'll be next. 

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    When I find him . . . .

    . . . Charlie will be picking some winners.
    The contest to win the Haworth/Bronte souvenirs after my visit to Haworth to talk about  The Return of The Stranger has now closed.

    So has the Great Big Blog Tour Stop 11 giveaway for comments over on We Write Romance to win a copy of the 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance

    And as soon as Charlie comes in he will pick winners for both  .. . .er though that may be  a little while yet.    Charlie is a young cat,  having as he would say only just got a number -  that number being one. One year old.  So he is always desperate for the door to be opened and to get out into the garden - and he's never too desperate to come back inside! 

    But at some point in the day  the urge of his tummy will bring him in and then I'll set him on to winner picking and announce the results  as soon as he's done his job.

    Charlie is ready to become the winner picker  for the future but he would just like me to mention his loving memory of  The Great Sid  - that Cat of Superior Breeding  who taught him all he knew. Some of my gentlest memories of Sid's last days are of him and Charlie sitting in the hall - just hanging out together. And I'm sure that Sid was passing on all the wisdom of his 16 years,  He will have taught the Young 'Un  well, as I'm sure all the future prize-winners will know.

    And so - for  Julie, Desere, Rita   and everyone else who have asked for 'more cats'  (Julie Thank you for the pic of Vala and Teyla and my sympathies on the loss of Mia -  I know exactly how you feel)  I've added a few cat picures to today's post to amuse you while you wait for the winners' names to be drawn.

    And the next Blog Tour  Dates and stops will be coming up later this week - you can see the itinerary  here.  Don't forget that it you join my newsletter list  - see the sidebar  - you'll also get up to date news  and extra chances to win!

    Saturday, October 15, 2011

    Big Blog Tour Stop 11

    Today is another stop on my Great Big Blog Tour - it's one of my regular  guest blogs, over on We Write Romance  where on the 15th of every month I write Kate's Corner. And this month, following on the big announcement  about the Top Twenty One selected in  Mills & Boon New Voices, I'm talking about what those of you who weren't selected do next - where do you go from here?

    And as this is part of my Great Big Blog Tour Stop 11 - with today's giveaway I hope to give you encouragement to keep on keeping on - so today I'm giving away a copy of the 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance.

    All you have to do is to post a comment on today's blog - and Charlie will be  practising his prizewinner picking skills to see who will win a copy of this book to encourage you not to give up - and to keep on going!

    So come on over and chat and maybe you'll be in with a chance to win!

    And talking of winning  - the contest to win my special souvenirs from Haworth where I was talking about The Return Of The Stranger  closes at midnight tomorrow. You have just one more day to comment and entere - and then Charlie will get to work to pick a winner - he can't wait!

    Friday, October 14, 2011

    And Repeat as Before . . .

    This is basically - no, just about  exactly, the post I put up on this blog at this time last year.  And I'm making no apologies for that because it seems to me that, sadly,  what I said last year needs saying all over again - and then some.   Already the kickback at the choice of the Top Twenty (one) has started) So , sadly, I need to repeat myself - Only the numbers have been changed in the cause of accuracy. 

    Yesterday was   a big day for aspiring romance writers. The day when the next stage of the New Voices contest was  announced. When the  20 (21)  writers whose work was selected to go into the second stage and write another chapter of their story learn which of them will now be asked for the final entry - to write the pivotal moment between their characters.

    20 entries out of 1088 - it's a very small proportion of the oringinal entries who will now be seens as winners of this stage. But does that make the other 1068 entrants 'losers' - not in my book. 1088 people put their words and their dreams on- line and on the line. And while they all did it with varying degrees of success in editorial assessment terms - they also all succeeded in doing what writers do - they wrote.

    There has been a variety of responses to the announcement of the results - but one that has saddened me by prevailing is the wash of disapointment - natural disapointment - that has tended in some cases to slide over the line into negativity. If this chapter didn't succeed as it is, then it's no good. And if it's no good then I'm no good as a writer seems to be the assumption. Or - I can't see what was wrong with my chapter - everyone on the web site loved it - they must be 'moving the goalposts' or 'changing the rules'. Neither of which is true. But it can feel that way. I know - I've been there.

    As you know I'm celebrating 25 + years of being published. The Chalk Line was published in December 1984 . . . but my next book wasn't out until 1986. The reason for the gap? You can call it second book blues, but the truth is that I didn't get another book right until then. I can excuse myself by saying that my mother was dying or that I was ill myself but the fact remains that the two books I wrote after The Chalk Line just did not work. Particularly not the one between The Chalk Line and Game of Hazard, which was the book I managed to revise to publication standard.

    The one in the middle was called Chase The Dawn. And as I write this I have in front of me the revsion letters that my then editor sent me about this book - five different letters ! After each one I tried top do the revisions - and just couldn't get them right. The letters are also spread over four years because I ended up doing the sensible thing - and looking back - the best thing - and put the book away for about 18 months so that then I could look at it much ore clearly when I brought it out.
    What was so wrong with the book? With the benefit of hindsight, I can now honestly say not that much. Or rather, not that many things but the fact that I hadn't done one basic thing that I now hear myself advising would-be authors to do all the time.
    Keep it simple. Dig deep.

    Or to quote one of the revision letters - probably the first - I didn't 'delve deeply enough into your central characters' motives and personalities to integrate their actions into the devlopment of the relationship.' But honestly, remembering back, I really thought I had done that. I remember staring at the revisions letters wondering just what it all meant. How could they say this? I was a failure - a one book wonder who would never be published again.
    Today, looking at those letters, I see where so much of my teaching and commenting, the sort of things I put in the 12 Point Guide come from. And the important thing is that although those letters were written back in the 1980, by an editor who hasn't worked for M&B for - what - 20 years? - they show that the things editors have been looking for have always been the same.

    Delve deeply into your characters' motives and personalities

    Go all out for emotional identification with your heroine. If you live inside her head then your reader will too. (These days it would be identification with both hero and heroine - there wasn't scope for dual point of view then)

    Make the reader understand that what she(they) thought and did were her (their) only possible reactions at the time

    Get inside your characters' skin so that the developing relationship is no longer swamped by the convolutions of the plot.

    It all seems so obvious to me now - but then I was too close to my book to see what they meant.
    And the end of this story?
    If you look on my backlist page, you'll see it there -

    It took me four years but I got there.

    And what has always intrigued me is that while I ended up feeling quite sick at the sight of that manuscript, and eventually that book, Chase the Dawn is one of the books I have written that I have had most personal mail about, that so many people have said is one of their favourites. Readers say 'Chase the Dawn - oh, I loved that book.' It might be 20 years old but people remember it.

    And no one has ever said anything about being able to see all the blood sweat and tears (lots of them!) that went into that book.

    So what am I saying? I'm saying that I and every author I know has been through the rejection of 'this doesn't work'. I know how it feels to think I'll never be a writer - I just can't get this. And I know how it feels to have your precious work sent back to you and to feel you have to start all over again.

    I used to have a routine when I got rejections/rewrites/revisions. I used to go into the garage and scream, stamp my feet - and fling the rejected manuscript at the wall. Then when I'd calmed down, I'd pick it all up, put it back in order - and I'd reread the rejection letter to see what I could do about it. It was that 'what can I do about it' that got me into being a writer.

    I learned so much from those rejections. And from reading and studying the books that did make it. There weren't contests then but I wish there had been - not from the winning point of view but from the value of the lessons in writing romance that the chosen chapters and the editors' comments on them can reveal if you just take note.

    What is it they say - that success is picking yourself up one more time than you are knocked down. If you think you're a 'loser' then you will probably stay down - but if you look at what you can learn from all this and work with it, I'll be willing to bet that there will be way more than the 21 winners on one list - or the 45 on the 'see again' list.

    But the only person who can make that happen is you.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    I found this review on We Read Romance this morning and after a difficult week it made my day - Thak you  so much Larissa!
    The Return of the Stranger by Kate Walker

    “Ms. Walker delivers a powerful, emotion-invoking read….”

    Reviewed by Larissa M
    Rating 5 stars

    Ms. Walker does a splendid job weaving a modern-day tale of Heathcliff and Lady Catherine in The Return of the Stranger. Rich with intrigue, scandal, revenge and forbidden, unleashed desire her take on the classic Wuthering Heights reminds us why some love stories are truly timeless.

    When I was a bit younger I found Emily Bronte’s story to be full of emotion, making it one of my all-time ill-fated love stories. And Ms. Walker’s current story based loosely on that epic tale lives up to the bar set by Bronte.

    If you aren’t familiar with the classic, you won’t miss out but if you know the story I think you’ll see the parallels and enjoy watching how each plays out just slightly different. In The Return of the Stranger, Heath Montanha is a young man, a stablehand on the estate, who is friends with the young daughter of the house (Lady Katherine). But jealousy, circumstances and family tear their friendship apart leaving Heath hard and determined to seek revenge. Revenge being the powerful motivator it is, he builds his wealth and returns to show them all.

    As usual, Ms. Walker delivers a powerful, emotion-invoking read that makes you route for the hero and heroine all the way through! A must read for sure!

    Don't forget that the contest to win the Bronte Gifts is still open - see below. Charlie will be picking the winners soon -  he can't wait to prove he's learned  his job well from dear Sid.

    Sunday, October 09, 2011

    A Hectic week - Big Blog Day Something, Haworth and a contest

    It's been a hectic and dfifficult week - migraines were bad enough but a bad rection to the tablets that were supposed to help made things worse So  before I forget there area couple of other posys here and there today, part of the Big Blog tour with giveaways and posts to read and such . . . so here's where you'll find some of them -
    Love Cats Down Under Sunday Smooch has - as the title gives away  - a red-hot smooch from The Return of the Stranger to get you in the mood for this passionate, heart wrenching romance - so visit  if ypou want to read that. I had a lot of trouble postign responses to the commentators on the blog but I eventually got there !

    Also in Australia is the Australian Romance Readers Association where I have a nother guest blog (did I say it's been hectic this week! )  I'm chattring over there too and talking about  - guess what - The Return of The Stranger (everyone wants to know about my take on reworking Wuthering Heights!
    So you can find the post, the discussion and the giveway over  at ARR

    Finally  - finally – I have managed to collect together some pictures of my trip to Haworth  , now that I’ve got them off my camera so I thought I’d share some with you. There is the big building which is the old Baptist Centre where the workshop was held  - I always think it should be appearing in Jane Eyre. And outside was a big post with my name on it!

    There were also posters all over the town – specially on the Bronte Parsonage Museum  gates and doors – that was  a real thrill. I’ve also included a photo  of the Old Schoolhouse where I gave my talk about working on Wuthering Heights and turning it into a Modern/Presents Romance – this was another real thrill as, as you can see from the inscription, the school says ‘Charlotte Bronte taught here’  - and now  so have I!

    The Babe Magnet took some pictures of my talking to people who had attended the talk and who wanted copies of Return of The Strange signed afterwards. And one fo the saddest things In Haworth h I always think is the carved plaque on a pillar marking the spot above the crypt where all the Brontes  - except Anne who is buried in Scarborough are buried.

    I’ve also included a photo of some bits and pieces I picked up at the Bronte Parsonage shop – a notepad, a pen, bookmark, key ring – and I’m offering these as a special prize to mark the publication in America of The Return of the  Stranger.

    All you have to do is to leave a comment in the comments section telling  me which famous author’s house you would love to visit and why  - and you’ll be entered into the prize draw. I’ll get Charlie the Maine Coon on the job of picking a winner in a couple of days. And the winner will get the Bronte souvenirs.

    Saturday, October 08, 2011

    I Heart Presents

    Today I'm heading for Nottingham where I'm speaking  at the New Writers' Book Fayre and Festival - so if you're going to be there, I'll lookk forward to meeting you  - do come and say hello.

    In the meantime, today's blog is over on the main I heart Presents Blog today  where I'm talking about that  most important element of writing romance - the hero. Or, in the case of The Return of The Stranger - and most other Presents  novels - the dark, brooding hero.
    See you there .

    Friday, October 07, 2011

    Winners - but you can't win em all!

    I have some winners from the recent stages of the Big Blog Tour to announce.
    Romance Book Paradise's winner was Kiru Taye
    Lucy Monroe's Winner was Sunu
    Kyle Griffin's winner is Sonali
    The Minxes of Romance winner in Tash NZ

    And talking of winners - I have had a couple of reviews in for The Return of The Stranger -  four to be exact  - and they illustrate perfectly just how  really a review is one person's opinion.  Some people love what you write -  some don't like it  . . . .  So in the interests of fairness, here are all of the reviews, you  can take your choice which one(s) you agree with when you read the book!

    OK - so
    Over on Everyday is the Same  blog, Rebecca has set herself the challenge of reading 365 books in 365 days.  She's currently halfway so go and cheer her on! Congratulations on getting this far Rebecca.
    To encourage her in her challenge I sent her a copy of The Return of The Stranger recently - and she has reviewed  it (she's also reviewed The Good Greek Wife? and A Proud Wife) and here's what she has to say:

    Wow, this one intense book. In her 'Dear Reader' letter, Kate Walker mentions how she wanted her 'Heathcliff' and 'Cathy' to learn about love and have their happy ending that they could never have had in 'Wuthering Heights', she has certainly acheived that. The journey that Heath and Kat go on together is spectacular, making that HEA even more special!
    This book does not have a lot of dialogue (just so you know!), it's more brooding, backward reflecting, and dark - as it should be, after all this is a rework of a VERY deep and intense book. I think Kate Walker has done a fantastic job of keeping this book flowing even with all the reflection/flashbacks. The passion and chemistry between the hero and heroine it litteraly sizzling, always bubbling away under the surface and when it explodes, boy does it explode!

    The whole book is gripping and passionate from start to finish. A great read.

    What can I say but Thank you Rachel!  A review from a reader rather than a 'professional' is always appreciated.

    Next up - The Good The Bad and The Unread . . . this  is a long review by Lynne Connelly and as I said to her I think this is more of a review of  a modernised version of Wuthering Heights (what she calls a re-envisioning of WH)- not a Modern Romance/Presents romance written on the themes of WH which is what The Return of The Stranger is.   It's a long review - so here's just a snippet -

    Kate Walker is a writer of immense experience in writing the 50,000-word romance, particularly for the Mills and Boon Modern line (reprinted in the US as Harlequin Presents). She is also academically linked with the novels of the Brontes. But she is never anything but a professional, and in her retake on the classic, she’s trimmed the characters, rejigged the story and characters, and turned Emily Bronte’s astonishing debut into a satisfactory romance.
    She has also trimmed the wildness and the insanity of the original. But how do you tame that and have something left?

    Hmmm - I  have to say that  for me personally, reducing the original Wuthering Heights to the 'wildness and insanity'  cited here and saying that without it you don't 'have something left'  is to do just that -reduce it.  WH is much more than a story of the wild elemental love of Heathcliff and Cathy, it's a story of society, or power, possession, of the different generations, of  heredity - and mmost of all it's told by a series of narrators who aren't trustwothy . . . and that's before we look at the second generation. But I wasn't asked to reproduce Wuthering Heights  but create a romance using the book as inspiration -  so as far as I'm concerned that's all that it should be judged on.

    Romantic Times has a review that damns with faint praise:

    The novel starts slowly, with more telling than showing, and although Walker incorporates emotionally charged flashbacks, they’re distracting and repetitive. But for readers who enjoy a brooding hero and a somber tone, this novel might appeal.

    As I said you can't win them all. Interesting isn't it that  some people love that 'brooding hero and sombre tone', some people find I haven't been brooding and sombre enough  . . . . (I'd dispute that point about repetitive flashbacks though.)

    Finally -  to end on a high - another of those valuable reviews - from a reader - over on the Mills & Boon site - this one really makes me happy as it comes from a reader who , like me, has Wuthering Heights as one of her favourite classic novels.
    Wow. I was really sceptic at first about reading a rewrite of one of my favourite classics but Kate did a brilliant job.

    Firstly in the original I didnot like Katherine coz I thought she was too selfish and mean too Heathcliffe. I adored Heath and I always wanted a happy ending for him.

    So thanks Kate, you gave my hero the ending he deserved. Also by changing Katherine's characther the story evolved like a true MB should.

    Let's not make too much of a comparison but enjoy this book in the spirit of the two eternal star crossed lovers. It is a keeper and I have given it place next to the original Book not that I am saying it is on the same level but a gentle glimpse of what should have been.....but didnot.

    Thank you Sadhana!

    So there you are. It's  always easy  to quote some random reviews that claim this  - or any other book - is absolutely wonderful - but these are four different reviews I found today so I thought I'd share them with you.  Which one describes the book best? Well, that's really up to you - and in many ways it doesn't matter because it's what you think of the book and whether you enjoy it that counts!

    But talking about Wuthering Heights reminds me of a special extra contest  - as a result of my visit to Haworth to talk about The Return of the Stranger  - that's coming up over the weekend.
    Watch out for that!

    Wednesday, October 05, 2011

    Big Blog Tour Stop 10

    I'm struggling with  migraines this week - they just don't seem to clear so it's time to be thankful for the fact that I have  a  'here's one I wrote earlier'  blog already prepared as part of the Big Blog Tour.

    So today, you can read the Q&A that I did for The Minxes of Romance over on their blog - and I'll hope to see you over there  when - well, when I can see properly myself!

    Thanks to the Minxes for inviting me over - and I'm hoping to visit and chat soon!

    Tuesday, October 04, 2011

    Big Blog Tour Stop 9

    I'm off touring again - celebrating the publication of The Return of The Stranger  which will be out in America  at the end of the week.  

    Today I'm visiting Michelle Fayard's Bird's-Eye View.  Michelle asked me to talk about marketing and creating a buzz about a book. I'm no expert, I'm still learning so much! But there is one important thing that I have learned and that I always stick to when I'm promoting my books - want to know what that is?
    Read my blog.

    And there is a book giveaway too - see you over there.

    Monday, October 03, 2011

    If you're anywhere near Nottingham . . . .

    I'll be speaking at this New Writers' UK  Book Festival and Fayre  on  Saturday October 8th - I'll be talking about  Writing Romance - starting at 12  noon (till 12.45)
    The Babe Magnet in his role as writer of true crime, history and other factual topics will also be talking on Writing Non-Fiction

    Place: County Hall West Bridgford Nottingham. For full details see the New Writers' UK page here.

    Sunday, October 02, 2011

    Big Blog Tour 8 - Tote Bags 'n' Blogs

    Today is the first Sunday in October - not that you'd believe it from the bright sunshine and warm temperatures we're still enjoying  - so as regular readers will know  today is the day that I'm blogging over on Tote Bags 'n' Blogs.
    So that'w ehere you'll find my post today - and as I'm still busy with the Big Blog Tour  to celebrate the publication of The Return of the Stranger then  that's what I'm chatting about - and  there's a small giveaway  as part of the blog tour too.  So I hope I'll see you there.
    We're still only at the beginning of the Blog Tour so there are lots of guest posts  to come - check out all the details  on the special author page here.  There are some more visits coming up this week . . . and next week . . .   I was so thrilled to see The Return of the Stranger at #1 on the Mills & Boon site and selling so very well on Amazon last month so I'd readlly love to see it doing every bit as well in America.

    Saturday, October 01, 2011

    Big Blog Tour Day 7

    It might be the first of October, but the sun is shining  gloriously - as it has been for the past couple of days.   Charlie and Flora are lying  in the garden, sunbathing, and the dark days of winter that we've been threatened with  seem to be  miles away from here  for now. 

    And in keeping with the brighter  weather and seasons, I'm heading 'downunder' on my blog tour today.

    Today's blog visit is hosted by the lovely Kylie Griffin- author of futuristic and fantasy romance  with a touch of the paranormal.   And as we work in different time zones, when I'm awake over here she'll be asleep - and vice versa. But we'll work something out!

    Thank you for the hosting Kylie - and there's a giveaway of one of my backlist book at this stop on my blog tour too.

    I love the fact that being on an Australian blog today gives me a chance to post the 'Sexy' cover of The Return of The Stranger. While it's not that hunk,  it is a good cover - and the Australian Sexy Romance version  shows more of the great artwork that the Presents Extra cover does.

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