Monday, December 23, 2013

Stocking Filler winners and one last chance to win

Charlie has been busy picking winners for the advent calendar here and on my Newsletter list. It was a hard time fitting in time for him to do this job as there has been so very much to do, and he was a bit harassed by a small black and white kitten who kept wanting to join in - obviously I'm going to have to train her up so that she can pick some winners next year!

Anyway, there are some winners  names to announce  so here we go -

The winners of stocking filler books are:
Carol  - who wins Kept for Her Baby
Maria - who has to decide whether to pick Kept for Her Baby or The Greek Tycoon's  Unwilling Wife!

And Lidia - who hasn't  named a book, but she can let me know about that.

Charlie also picked some winners from my newsletter list -
Andrea  K
Jane K
Sheila F
So tomorrow is Christmas Eve - can you believe it?  How did it get here that fast?
What do you do on Christmas Eve? Is it all bustle and organizing - baking  - wrapping ? Or do you get together with family?  Do you eat a special meal on Christmas Eve ? Or do you end up working on preparations right to the last minute?  I'll be out at 6am making sure I get fresh bread for the holidays.

I have a friend whose family opens their presents on Christmas Eve? Does anyone  else do that? I know the royal family do too - so you'd be in esteemed company!

The giveaway book this time is my most recent title - A Throne For The Taking . . .

A kingdom's safety...
Betrayed by those she loves, Honoria Escalona must now face the only man capable of bringing stability to the Mediterranean kingdom of Mecjoria. A cold, hard man who once called her his friend... Alexei Sarova-the true King of Mecjoria.
In exchange for her happiness
But Alexei's tortuous past has changed him into someone she hardly knows. He blames Ria's family for his bitterness, and his help-when he offers it-comes with a price: he'll take his rightful place as King with Ria as his wife, until she produces a true-blood heir...

Tell me about your Christmas Eve and you'll be in with a chance of winning a copy.

Oh - and  little Ruby says that she loves her new home . . . and  this Christmas stuff  is very exciting  - she's already climbed the Christmas Tree three times . . .
But it's also very very tiring . . .

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Back to The Advent Calendar - Stocking filler weekend

Well, what with one thing and another - and Ruby! - the Advent Calendar got totally muddled up and behind itself - but not to  worry.  We can still have a fun weekend   and I can give away some books   before December 25th dawns.

First of all - I have to announce the winner of the last giveaway -  a copy of His Suitable Bride.

That goes to Gladys
And I still have  a copy of The Konstantos Marriage Demand  to go to Charlotte who seems to have missed the announcement.

Now - to get back to the Advent Calendar - Let's have a pot luck weekend.  A stocking stuffer giveaway.

I just read  a magazine article, full of pictures and details of 'stocking  fillers'. Not one of them was under £12!!   Er - not in this house.  The idea for the stocking my family and I make up is that nothing is to cost very much at  all,  but all the gifts are to be fun and perhaps silly - certainly to be enjoyed on Christmas

In fact, a romance novel is perhaps the perfect sort of stocking filler  for many women I know.

So here's how you get a chance to win an extra (if perhaps a little belated ) gift to go into your stocking this year. (Even if it's too late for the big day,  hopefully it will  provide some enjoyment and relaxation in the new year.

All you have to do is to turn up, say hello  - tell me where you're from  and where you're spending Christmas.
Then you let me know which of these ten  books you'd like to find in your stocking on Christmas morning -  and why

You can choose from
The Return of the Stranger
The Proud Wife
A Good Greek Wife?
The Greek Tycoon's Unwilling Wife
Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife
The Devil and Miss Jones
The Sicilian's Red Hot Revenge
Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride
Bedded by The Greek Billionaire
Kept for Her Baby

If you need any help deciding which one of these you'd like to win - click on the title of each book and the link will take you to the page on my web site where you can read about them.

Or if you have read a particular book and enjoyed it - you can pick a friend you think would love it too and tell me about them.

You can post at any time over the weekend  and hopefully I will have got things back on  track to organise
Charlie to pick  some winners on Monday morning.  It will be pointless to ask Ruby - she hasn't shown any interest in cat treats, much to Charlie's total disgust!

Let me know which books you'd choose.

Where was I? With Ruby

Well, that all went a bit pear-shaped didn't it?  I kept trying to get to my blog, planing on writing something and offering another book in the Advent Calendar, but things kept happening.
The doorbell kept ringing - more visitors

I had to keep going back to the Post Office - more prizes to send out

I had to plan - and work on connecting with the students for my February  Advanced Romance Writing Course at  Fishguard - even at Christmas the preparations for next year don't stop.

And talking about writing courses and teaching - I have  new plans for  the 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance - more soon - watch this space.

Oh - and  Ruby happened.

Ruby - not the 40th wedding celebration -  but she is part of them.  This is Ruby.

Or, rather that was Ruby when I first met her last Sunday - which was when  the organised life started to go  a bit  less organised!

I didn't think I was ready for another cat.  Flora's illness was so upsetting and sad  that the Babe Magnet and I weren't sure  we  could love another creature while we were  still so sad. But that was before The Offspring's Fiancee took me to visit the local Cat's Protection League  rescue where a small black and white bundle of fur threw herself into my arms and made it obvious that she knew I'd come to collect her.  And how could I argue with her when she had settled there and purred. . . and purred. . . and purred. . . .

We had to wait some days to make sure that no one claimed her. She'd been found wandering alone on the streets -
and as she  was only about 8 weeks old, that was a sad little story, especially when the weather has been so bitterly cold and wet.   So we had to leave her  at the centre (reluctantly because she yelled and yelled in protest when she was put back into the pen) . But no one did claim her and yesterday we went to fetch her and bring her home. She was still yelling! But she stopped as soon as I appeared  and jumped into my arms again - and that was that.
So here we are, with  Christmas just a few days away, the tree only half-decorated (as you can see) and some of the gifts not yet wrapped  . . .

and Here's Ruby!

But she's already wriggled her way into our hearts  - the humans anyway, but Charlie is a little distant as yet. She makes it clear that she thinks she fell asleep and woke up in cat heaven. There is food, and warmth, and lots of fuss (she yells if she doesn't get enough) and she slept curled up between us in the bed last night.

  So now I have  to go out - I know she's going to protest, and she'll probably still be yelling when I come back. But she'll soon get to realise that I do come back and we'll all settle down (even Charlie) into one big family.

Welcome, Ruby!

So that's why I've been otherwise occupied - there will. be more of the Advent Calendar next!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Advent Calendar Day 15

I've been preparing packages for the post - prizes for winners -  so now I need to add two more names to those because my last prize was to give away two copies of The Konstantos Marriage.

It's taken some time to get Charlie in to pick the winners. The weather actually brightened and he was out enjoying the sunshine (cold sunshine - but at least it was bright and dry) and so he didn't want to come indoors at all - not even for cat treats!

Anyway, he's come back in for a short visit and has picked the two winners for me - they are:

Ladies  - you know the drill, please email me with your postal addresses and I'll get your book in the mail to you.

So how are you all doing with your Christmas preparations? I have  a tree. Some crackers. Some stocking to fill and the little gifts to fill them.  Parcels overseas have been sent (apart from prizes!) , cards written and posted - except for the couple of people I forgot!  I lost my  list of names and addresses  - I had it on my computer and a computer blip meant that it was corrupted and so this year I had to start all over again. I know there will still be some one  who  I've not got on the new list - but I'm hoping that if a card arrives from an unlisted sender, I will have some cards left over - and  can add their name to my new list.

What about you?  Are you still writing lists of things to do?  Still got gifts to buy? Cards to send? Or are you like some incredibly organised people and have it all done and dusted now? I have a sister who often buys
Christmas gifts in  July - in the sales! If I did that, then I'd put the presents I'd bought somewhere 'safe' - and forget where I've hidden them.

So tell me about how organised you are so I can be envious - or make me feel happily smug that I'm doing
better than you.

Today's giveaway is  another of those 3 in 1 collections - His Suitable Bride
My book in this collection is  Cordero's Forced Bride-

Taken in payment into his bed!
Alexa Montague is mortified. She's had to call off her sister's wedding, and now the ruthless, arrogant groom, Santos Cordero, is demanding that shy, ugly duckling Alexa, takes Natalie's place!
The Montagues have stolen his money and his convenient bride, so Santos will enjoy taking Alexa instead. For Santos does not - cannot - love. But his body burns for Alexa as it has for no other woman before. He'll keep her captive in his bed until she's begging to be his . . .

The other novels in this collection are by Cathy Williams and Abby Green

So post your comments  - let me know how you're doing with your plans and preparations -  or not! And you'll be in with a chance of winning this.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Advent Calendar - day 12

The people in the Post Office are getting used to see me arriving with packages of prizes for the winner  on the Advent Calendar  - or the special draw  for my Newsletter group.  (If you're not on that  and you want to be - see the link to join at the bottom of the page.)  They even recognise the shape of the parcels and when I say ' This is to go to America. . . Australia . . .Indonesia . . . ' they'll add  'and it's  a book?' The advent calendar is getting me noticed!

So today I'm getting some more prizes in the post -  and there's another winner I need to announce - that's the winner of Kept For Her Baby.

And the winner is Yvonne.

Yvonne please email me kate AT kate-walker dot com  with your postal address so that I can get your prize in the mail to you.

So far the Newsletter winners are:
Tonda H from Kentucky
Gemma W  from Norfolk
Flora L from  Baltimore
Jane S
Barbara S from Indiana
One point I need to mention - obviously at this time of year, there is a lot of mailing going on! Cards,  gifts, all over the place, flying to all  parts of the world.   I guarantee that I will put your prize in the mail just as soon as I can and I will package it securely, send it on its way.  After that, it's up to the Royal Mail  or whoever delivers to your part of the world.   I can't guarantee delivery - and I can't guarantee when it will arrive. I hope you all appreciate this.  It's a risk I take when I send parcels all over the world - but  it's one I'm prepared to take as I have friends/readers all over the world too.

Yesterday As well as the parceling the Babe Magnet and I did some major sorting out and cleaning, getting the house  ready for Christmas,. As a result, by the time the evening came we were both  worn out,  So I indulged in  a long, hot soak in the bath, with a vanilla scented candle  burning on the windowsill. I slept wonderfully after that.

So  - today's  question  for you to talk about is this - at this time of year, everyone is so busy - especially women! As mothers, wives, daughters, we all have so much to do, things to prepare, gifts to buy, meal to cook.  We all need a little me  time to help us  keep going.   What little extra treats do you have to keep yourself going -  a cup of tea, a hot bath?  A lie-in in the morning?   Watching a special TV programme?  (I love catching up with the soaps for this!)

I'm sure that for a lot of us, a quiet time with a good book is a special indulgence in the busy days.  So I have 2 copies ( because I might have missed a couple of days on the calendar!)  of  The Konstantos Marriage Demand  to give away this time.

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 was awarded Romantic Times Best Presents Extra 2010!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Advent Calendar - and a winner

Things got busier than I expected -  anyone would think it was coming up to Christmas! I just ventured out to  the local shopping mall  and it was hectic! But  I think I'm getting organised now. I have to write some cards though ..  . that's tonight's job.

Thank you for the good news - I was so happy to read it. Mary and Kaelee - new babies are always a wonderful joy and  congratulations to Lois and Charlotte on your successes.  And I know personally  what a wonderful result can come from the operation to remove cataracts. Eli, I'm sorry to hear about your mother. I hope the days that pass will ease your heart.

Everyone who nominated a friend to have a book sent to them - they're on the way! They may get tangled up in the Christmas posts but  hopefully they'll reach your friends soon.

Oh yes - and the winner of the good news prize is Lois - so you have won  a copy of Mediterranean Tycoons. I hope that's good news for you.  Lois please send me your postal address so that I can get the book in the mail to you.

Today's prize - appropriately enough with the news of babies etc - is a copy of the  2009 title  - Kept For Her Baby:

Wanted: wife and Mother...
Staring at the granite-handsome features of Italian billionaire Ricardo Emiliani, Lucy knows she's made a mistake coming back to their palatial Lake Garda home. But she'll do anything for her baby son—even return to the husband who never loved her...
Ricardo branded his wife a gold-digger, however, tiny Marco needs his mother so he will keep Lucy captive on his private island until she proves herself a worthy wife—in every sense...

To be in with a chance of winning a copy - well, seeing as I'm going to be writing my cards tonight  - along with the Babe Magnet, beside the fire  with maybe a glass of wine . . .- tell about the cards you send.
Have you written them yet? Or maybe even posted them already?

Go you still send all paper cards? Or have you decided to choose ecards instead?

And what designs do you choose?  Traditional ones, maybe with a Nativity scene or a Christmas Tree -  modern designs  or perhaps you like comedy cards, with  cartoons or silly photos?

We got our first card in the mail - it was a  picture of  a big fat robin. I'm going to have to show this to the robin that comes to the bird-table in my garden - he's only young and a skinny little thing so he needs encouragement  to grow"!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Advent Calendar Day 7 - Good News Day

I have a hectic couple of days coming up - visiting family, appointments, etc  - and that's before I plan on writing the cards and getting the tree out of storage - so I won't be able to post again until Monday - but that's fine  because it gives you all time to leave comments ready for the next  Advent Calendar giveaway.

To catch up with the winners so far -
Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride was won by Shropshire Lass 
The Good Greek Wife  was won by Kerstin
The Duke's Secret Wife  goes to Samantha Hodges and Laney

Yesterday I posted on the Pink Heart Society about sharing  - and giving a book in your name to people you felt deserved one.    I have  five winners from there

 Jo's Daughter, 
 bn and 
Mary  Preston

And then there were two people who nominated special people in their lives after Charlie had picked the winners -
I'd love to give a book to all of your nominees.  But I'm sure you'll appreciate that my prize stock is limited  - and the postage all over the world can be expensive! (Can be? It is!)

So what I'm going to do is to include this busy weekend in the prize sharing giveaway - which means that  Maria  Perry Mohan and Eli Yanti's friends get a book as well - and then we'll return to the main giveaway on Monday with a single book to win.

So can the givers listed above  - and Eli and Maria  please email me kate AT kate-walker .com and remind me of the book you have chosen. Give me your friend's address - or yours if you want to be the one to give the prize to her - and let me know your nominees names so I can sign it to her if you want.

Maria, and Eli please let me know the name of the book  from the list on the PHS that you would like to give to your friend.

The nominees stories and some of the other messages I've received have made it clear that a  lot of people have had a difficult year in 2013  so I'd like to make t he question  for the giveaway on Monday to hopefully change the tone a little - so here goes-

Can you share some GOOD news with  me? Let me know the nice, the kind, the lovely, joyful things that have happened to you this year. I'd love to hear.   Please post them between now and Monday  - and the winner will receive a copy of the 3 in 1  collection  Mediterranean Tycoons.

He thought she was his mistress . . .
Recuperating on his private Greek island after a car crash, Andreas Petrakos had no memory of the previous year. The last thing he remembered was his passionate affair with beautiful Rebecca Ainsworth.
. . . when actually she was his wife!
Becca returned to the island because Andreas had asked for her. But she had to hide the truth from him. So what would happen when he recalled throwing Becca out - on their wedding day - for a reason only he knew?

 This collection contains  my 2007 novel The Greek Tycoon's Unwilling Wife  as well as stories by Michelle Reid and Sarah Morgan.  So it'll be good news for whoever wins it!

So - share your good news stories.  Here's one to start you off -
Remember  this post     on  the So You Think You Can Write contest?

Well, I'm delighted to say that Tanya  won the first prize in the contest with her manuscript If Only.  Huge congratulations to Tanya and I'll be looking for her  book when it's published as a result of this contest. That's definitely good news for her!

So - let's have some more good news over the weekend.  You have lots of time to post between now and Monday (probably late when  I get a chance to catch up)

And all the winners, please contact me  - use the link at the bottom of the page or the one above, omitting the spaces  etc.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Advent Calendar - Pink Heart Day

Today is the first Friday of the month  so that means it's my Pink Hearts Society columnist day.

I've posted over on the Pink Hearts  blog - and I'm continuing my Advent Calendar count down over there.  Today is a special day - for sharing the Advent Calendar with others and I  hope you'll nominates someone you love who will be in with a chance to win a book.

Charlie is out prowling round the garden, but when he comes in I'll get him to pick the next couple of winners.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Advent Calendar Day 4

It's been a wild  day today.  I know there have been much wilder, fiercer storms all over the world this year - but today's howling wind and flying tree branches, were more than enough for me. I can't say I enjoyed the feeling of having the car been blown towards the centre of the road -  or having flying branches hit the windscreen. It made me think of everyone who has been hit by the ferocious force of nature this year   - and hope there are beginning to pick themselves and their lives back up  a bit now.,

It also worried me for the people in my area - along the Lincolnshire /East Anglia  coastline where they are being hit by a ferocious storm surge, threatened with floods and desalination as the high water time approaches. I hope every manages to stay safe  - and I'd  hope, dry and warm.  Keep inside - and look after yourselves, wherever you are.

That's partly why I;'m a bit late posting this blog today - the other is the reason why I went out and about - I was looking for stocking fillers.  For me, stockings are one of the very best bits of Christmas traditions. I love collecting up small gifts, ones that I know will make my loved ones smile - or, preferably , laugh - and there's little I like more than Christmas morning with everyone curled up on the bed (Charlie the cat included) with mugs of tea (OK - that's not for Charlie!), everyone delving into their stocking and pulling out a small, funny, pretty, interesting gift.  I know my son is grown up and he and his lovely partner have a home of their own now  but - well, no one's  too old to have a Christmas Stocking are they?

So that's today's question - do you still have Christmas stockings - or give them to the 'kids' on Christmas morning?

What sort of things do you put in them?   I know my parents always put an annual in with ours - and the plan was that we were to sit and read the book so as not to wake mother and father too early - it worked sometimes!

As stocking fillers are small, lovely little packages, I have a couple of copies of the novella - The Duke's  Secret Wife to give away to someone who comments this time.  The Duke's Secret Wife came out originally in   Society  Weddings (with Sharon Kendrick) in  2002 and then was republished in the Centenary celebrations in 2008.

Isabelle's secret marriage to Don Luis de Silva seems to be over. But the heir to the dukedom of Madriagalo demands that she return to Spain with him and pretend to be his fiancée - and then his wife! What does Luis have to gain from this reunion - except Isabelle?

I don't have a photo of Charlie with his Christmas Stocking - but  I know he won't mind if I share this lovely one of the late, great Dylan (just for you Biddy!)  who obviously knew that Santa Could be expected to come down the chimney!

Keep safe everyone out in the wild winds.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Advent Calendar Day 3 & Winner Day 2

Today's the Post Office day.  The day when I wrap up  the gifts for my friends and family who live too far away for me to be able to visit and deliver their presents in person over the Christmas holidays and then take them down to the Post Office to let the mail service do that for me. .  As I do this I think of the people I love who are in other countries, even the other side of the world, and I wish I could be going with the packages to their doors.

There are dear family members like my beloved eldest sister over in Australia. The Ofspring's gorgeous  Godmother who now lives in Spain. And then there are the friends I would never have met if it wasn't for the internet and email - dear friend Anne McAllister and my lovely web designer - and maintainer - Heather from HR Web Concepts . And Lee Hyat from Author Sound Relations  whose blog at Tote Bags 'n' Blogs I contribute to each month.  

These are the ones I have to get into the post now while there's still time for delivery for the big day.  There will be a few more parcels sent out  where they're going to the UK and there's more time  to spare for them. 
And then of course there will be  all the Advent Calendar giveaway  that will be sent on their way as soon as I get the addresses to send them to.

So  - yesterday's prize goes to:

She wins a copy of Sicilian Husband,  Blackmailed Bride -  please send  your postal address so I can sent the books on its way - kater AT kate-walker dot com (or use the link at the bottom of the page. ) PLease ask for a receipt so that you know I've received the email

Today's prize is The Good Greek Wife. This book came out in 2010 and was part of a mini seroes based on the Greek Myths.

The return of the proud Greek husband...
He was declared missing at sea — but now notorious Zarek Michaelis is back and ready to take cont
rol! First he'll see to his business, and then to his wayward wife...
For two years Penny has struggled to come to terms with Zarek's disappearance. But enough is enough. It's time to move on… Her proud Greek husband is still as darkly handsome as ever, and the attraction between them is just as potent. But Penny can't trust Zarek's motives — does he just want her body and the fortune he left behind…or to try again? 

To be in with a chance of winning, just leave a comment - answering this question:

Do you have relatives and friends over seas who you need to send packages to? Is there someone who lives so far away (even in the same country - not many places are as compact as the UK!)  that you'll have to rely on the Post Office to act as Santa  for you?

Who would you love to see on Christmas Day (give me a Tardis and I'd bring my sister,  the Godmother , and Anne McA here like a shot - or I'd go to them.) Will you get in touch with them on Dec 25th no matter what?
I know my phone bill is going to be huge over the festive period!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Advent Calendar - Day 2 .

Well, if you visited on Sunday, you'll have been wondering what happened to day 2 of the Advent Calendar -  me too!  I just couldn't find a moment to write a post, choose a book to give away, organise anything.

But that's what it's like at this time of year, isn't it? There are places to go, people to see, presents to buy . . . .  Monday was one of those - places to go, people to see days.  The Babe Magnet's brother lives in Leeds and  Monday was the day planned for a visit to him  - and an early delivery of some Christmas gifts.  So that's what took up the time  and I never managed to write a blog post for the Advent Calendar.

So  because of that I think today's question should be about visiting people at Christmas.

Do you have all your family and friend close at hand so that you  can see them on the day, or close to it (lucky you!) Or do you need to go travelling to make sure you can see people who matter to you at Christmas?

Who is the one special person you really must see, without whom it just wouldn't be Christmas?

Post your answers in the Comments section  and as always I'll get Charlie on the job of picking the name of a winner - as you can see he's getting into the spirit of things and is  more than ready to pick Day 2's winner  ..  .

. .  .and Day 3's  . . . more of that coming up.

Today's prize giveaway is  Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride   a book from 2007
It's Guido's story from the Sicilian Brothers duo -

Possessed by his passion!
Dark, proud and sinfully gorgeous, Guido Corsentino is determined to reclaim his wife. Outwardly, Amber
is perfect and untouchable - but Guido knows the passionate woman inside. One kiss, and he's certain she'll give him whatever he demands . . .
But Guido is also certain of something else: Amber ran away from him once—so she won't be given the opportunity to do so again. He'll protect her from the consequences of her actions . . . in his bed!

PS If  you're on my newsletter mailing list, there are extra chances to win in this year's  Advent Calendar giveaway - so make sure you comment to be in with a chance.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Tote Bags Day & Advent Calendar

As it's the first Sunday in December, today I'm blogging over at Tote Bags 'N'  Blogs. 

Today I'm talking about Advent Calendars - and regular visitors to my blog will know that there's a special reason for that. 

One  Advent Calendar tradition  I’ve always had is  the one that I’ve opened on my blog each year. In the countdown to Christmas I ask visitors to the blog to come along and tell me about their preparations, or  their hopes, their plans for the holiday period over the next 24 days.  Every day I  ask a question – one that’s so easy to answer, and there’s no right or wrong,  you just tell me a bit more about yourselves.  

And every day Charlie the  Maine Coon picks and answer from one of the contributors  and the chosen person wins a signed book  from my backlist – it might be an older title. Sometimes it’s a 3 in 1 anthology where my book has been published along with a couple of others – I don’t quite  know what titles I have in my backlist titles collection these days. I have to go and sort things out  before I can announce what books I’m offering

But today you can be in with a chance to win the first Advent Calendar prize if you go over to Tote Bags 'N' Blogs  and join in.

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