Sunday, December 13, 2015

Back home

I'm back! Thank you so much to everyone for you kind and caring get well messages. They meant such a lot to me and brightened hospital days. After a week + of IV antibiotics fighting septicaemia I'm now back home - knowing more than I care to think about of the horrible effects of a high fever. (Who knew that you shiver so much when your temp is soaring!) But I had really good care and I was able to get to know new friends and share with them while we were all stuck together. 

I've posted about this on the Tote Bags n Blogs blog page - where I'm offering giveaway of a copy of A Question of Honour  for you to give someone you think will enjoy it.

A Question of Honour is of course Part One of the Rhastaan Royals duo - and the book in which Nabil bin Rashid Al Sharifa  first appears - ten years before her turns up as the hero of my latest title Destined for the Desert King which is in the shops now. At least I hope it is - I haven't even seen it on the shelves as I haven't been into any shops except one - and there it had all sold out!

But as it seems someone has  put Christmas  on to a week on Friday, I'd  better start to do something about that!

It's good to be home.

Friday, December 04, 2015

I heart Presents blog

Things are a bit complicated and stressful at the moment so I'm not able to post much with limited internet connection and only an iPhone to use. But I do have a new title out so I want to share that with you as much as I can.

So today I wanted to let you know that I have a post over on the I heart Presents blog today. I'm talking about the special challenges of writing Destined For The Desert King and turning  Nabil
from A Question of Honour into a hero when he wasn't so much of one in that story.

Can't work out how to link using the phone but I'm sure you all know where that is!

Hope to see you there!

And I really hope life will get back to normal soon!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Surfacing from the writing cave

Sent the-book-that-would-not-end off last night ! Huge sighs of relief. Now I have a trip to Nottingham for 'Mack and Mabel' at the Theatre Royal - the I have to do something about the tip that is my office, and start on the l-o-n-g list of Things To Do - while waiting for revisions, But today is for fun!

Oh and it seems that Christmas is  sometime next month - who knew!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Quick catch up

I've been away for a few days. The Babe Magnet and I were visiting York. We were supposed to be looking at some Christmas shopping . . . well. I managed some!

We also had a wonderful Italian meal - and on Tuesday there was afternoon tea at Bettys - that's always a tradition.  Apart from eating, we had tickets for the theatre - a production of The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde). This was a fabulous production  - a slight  rewrite/revision of the original play  to make it believable when the 'romantic leads' - in this case Martin Jarvis and Nigel Havers were not exactly spring chickens. It was really funny and actually helped me look at the play again even though I've seen it several times.  Lady Bracknell was played  by the magnificent Sian Phillips with wonderful stage presence and energy in spite of her 82 years! I understand that she is also preparing her one-woman show! I want to be like her when I grow up!

One of the things about 'Earnest' that I'd forgotten is a quote about romance. This really struck me last night.
Oscar Wilde wrote:

The very essence of romance is uncertainty

Isn't that what readers love about reading romances? The fact that the relationship between the hero and the heroine is so much in doubt until very close to the end of the book. - It's that 'uncertainty'  they want to read about.

Oscar Wilde also said:

You don't love someone for their looks, or their  clothes or their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.

How true. This is something that some would-be romance writers forget  when creating 'alpha male heroes' They put too much emphasis on that 'trappings' - the  looks, the suits, the cars, the wealth . . . when really it's all about that 'song' that the hero and heroine share and no one else does.

Thanks Oscar!

Talking or romances -  in the comments  to my post on November  2nd there were two lovely reviews from Arpita Martin who has just started her own web site to chart her love of the Modern Romance books.

One of the things she said was:
. You have the gift of spinning out these stories where the heroes are so strong, , tender hearted, yet alpha macho men who will love for ever! 

Arpita- you couldn't have said anything that would please me more. That is exactly the sort of story I always try to write.

Arpita goes on:
Your latest one' Destined for the Desert King'surpasses till date all the other ones you have written.Readers should go for it in any form or shape! brilliant.Please visit

Exhilarating, emotional, riveting Modern genre Romance a 5* indeed!
Nabil and Aziza are attracted to each other with their past emotional issues and yet both are able to break down their barriers at the end! Kate Walker is a genius of a writer, to hold an exceedingly well crafted story together for the romantic readers! The plot is fast moving, well focused and the couple’s wry wit, sarcasm; facial nuances make it all so believable! Brilliant page turner, to have at hand, to escape into this world of love!
What is this thing called love?

So I've been smiling all day since I read that.   Thank you!

Also in the November 2nd comments, Lidia asked:
Kate, any idea when "Destined for the Desert King" will be released in the US?

Lidia - the good news is that it will be released any minute now! The official release date on Amazon
is November 17th - which means it's available there already. And hopefully in the shops near you very soon if not there already.

Thanks for asking!  I hope you enjoy Nabil  and Aziza's story when you read it.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tote Bags Day

Today's my day for blogging over on Tote Bags 'N' Blogs.  so maybe I'll see you over there.

I'm finally admitting that Christmas is coming . .  . so if you're looking for a stocking filler gift for someone special this might
be a chance for you while Charlie is acting  as Santa Paws.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Destined for the Desert King

Back home  after a wonderful trip to Leeds and  a great evening with 'Uncle Albert' in Churwell. It was fascinating meeting people who remembered the original  characters behind the fictional ones in  some of the stories -  specially to hear that the shop  Aunt Clara  ran in reality was always known as 'Clara's shop' to the locals.  The houses where some of  the stories are set no longer exist though, having been knocked down and new buildings put up where they used to be.  So we didn't get a chance to try to find any of the toy soldiers the Babe Magnet had buried (with full military honours!)  way back when . . .

Saturday evening was spent at a wonderful, joyous, laughter-filled production of Kiss Me Kate by  Opera North - fantastic singing and fabulous dancing.  A very special evening.  And a little trip down memory lane as the theatre was where we went on out very first date. . . one or two years ago!!

If you buy  your M&B romances from the Harlequin Mills and Boon  web site, then the newest titles are available from today,   That means that if you  can't  wait for your copy of Destined for the Desert King to be on the bookshop shelves, then you can  find a copy of the book on the M&B site right now.

I took a look at the site just now and delighted to find that, after just one day,my book is already at #4 in the Top Ten Bestsellers chart  - that made my day.

Mind you, the same page also told me that it's just seven weeks till Christmas - help!  Good job I took the opportunity to do some shopping in Leeds!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wearing my other 'hat'

I'm off to Leeds this evening  - to play my other role, that of Mrs Babe Magnet and supporter and PA to  my husband when he's appearing at the Morley Festival this evening.

He's doing his 'Uncle Albert' one man show with readings from his book of Yorkshire short stories by the same name.  (Priory Press) 

This  should be specially interesting though  as he's appearing at Churwell Community  Centre - and Churwell  is the village where he grew up  and the village is the Uncle Albert book is based on.    Should be a real trip down memory lane - both in fiction and reality!

Destined for the Desert King

I'm so glad that everyone seems to like the new UK cover of my December book as much as I do. But I've had some messages asking me to give a little spoiler or two about the story .

So here you are:

A queen of convenience?
There’s no doubt that their marriage is one of convenience and political manoeuvring. But shy beauty Aziza El Afarim secretly hopes that her husband – the boy she once idolised – remembers something of the closeness they shared as children.

Except Sheikh Nabil bin Rashid Al Sharifa is far from the boy he used to be. The weight of loss and power has changed him beyond recognition. Where once there was warmth and generosity, now only a ruthless passion burns. He’ll give Aziza everything…except his love.

But as pressure to produce an heir mounts, can there be more than duty in the marriage bed?
Rhastaan Royals Book 2.

And for those who recognise Nabil's name - Yes he is the  man (youth)  who was supposed to have been Clementina's husband in A Question of Honour. (Rhastaan Royals Book 1)  But this is ten years later - and, believe me - he's changed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

UK Cover at last!

I've been waiting for so long  to be able to share the cover for the UK edition of my next book - Destined for The Desert King - which is out in  December (or the end of November in USA) I wasn't sure what to expect as the USA Harlequin Presents cover is so great I was a bit worried that the UK one might be a bit of a disappointment.

But I needn't have worried.  My authors' copies of the UK edition arrived this morning  in another of those wonderful moments in an author's life  that never gets dull and  I was more than thrilled to find that the great Harlequin Presents cover that I'd liked so much  on the USA  edition was also the one they've used for the UK edition.  And its rich colours and  sensual design look just as good against the UK's blue framing as they do against the Presents white and red cover.

So at last I'm able to share this with you. I hope you like it as much as I do.

As I said, this book isn't actually out  on general sale as yet,  but I've discovered a great site  called   Mills and Boon reviews where a reader who is a real fan of the Modern Romances  reads so many of the books  - and she has a  a review that says this book is:

Exhilarating, emotional, riveting Modern genre Romance a 5* indeed!

So, together the great cover and the great review have just made my day (and it needed a bit of cheering up as it has been so dark  and wet all day that we needed some brightness  brought into it.)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Autumn days

I can tell that it's definitely  becoming more autumnal these days. Not just because  the weather is getting
 colder and the evenings darker. Or because the clocks  have to go back very soon, but because of the extra number of jobs I need to do in the garden to take care of the wildlife and birds who live there.

I've just come in from  sorting things out and making sure that everyone is fed and looked after.  The jobs I had to do included:

1.  Putting down clean straw for the hedgehogs to drag into their  hog boxes to make cosy safe nests for the winter.
(We make sure the hedgehogs have these safe dens so that they don't burrow into any prepared bonfire planned for Bonfire Night)
2.  Clean the water bowl and refill it with fresh water. (The Hecks seem to have been washing their paws in it or something to make it so muddy!)
3.  Clean the plate and replenish it with special hedgehog crunchies for nourishment for the hogs so that they don;t have to go too far in the cold nights to forage for food.  We know there is one very small hedgehog there who will need to be well nourished so that he can be  string enough for a winter's hibernation.
4. Clean the bird bath, disinfect it and fill it with clean water
5. Clean the bird table and disinfect it - apparently too many birds are being killed by germs in the actual bird tables etc.
6. Put out suet cakes and fat balls for the birds who prefer to feed higher up
7. Soak the mealworms in  warm water to make them more enticing to birds (and the hedgehogs if they want some!)
8.  Put seeds and nuts in the ground feeder for birds like robins etc who prefer to feed on the ground.
9. Drain the soaked mealworms  and put them into a ground placed feeder.
10. Put some peanuts out for the mother and baby squirrel who would otherwise steal seeds
etc from the birds.


Then I came indoors to feed the cats to make sure they didn't  ruin my good work by taking over the bird table as Charlie used to do! (He's a bit too big to do this now  - but  Ruby can still fit on to the bird table with ease>)

Friday, October 09, 2015


I'm off  on retreat for the weekend.

I'm running a guided retreat - Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction -  at The Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick  Derbyshire  with Relax and Write. So looking forward to it. While these retreats are, obviously for the benefit of my students,  I also get so much out of them. I get to talk about writing, look at the way I do things in my novels - the ways other people do them - differently but  not wrong - everyone has their own process of writing a novel and it's great to combine ideas in the discussions.

I always come home energized and inspired and usually with a notebook crammed full of ideas for the current book - or the next one -  or the next course.

To those who are coming to Swanwick - see you soon.  Safe journey. I'm so looking forward to catching up with old friends and making new ones on this course or the Babe Magnet's Writing The Past Which is running on the same weekend.

Oh yes - and I'm delighted to hear that one of my students Kim Lain's  (who was on last year's retreat) entry to this year's So You Think You Can Write  - has been picked to be in the top 50 of the entries.  I haven't seen the full list yet but I do know Kim's name is there.

Congratulations Kim!  And good luck for the next round.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

So You Think You Can Write - what if your story doesn't make it?

    With the SYTYCW Top 50 being announced today, there will be  lots of entrants who didn't make the cut wondering what to do with your  submission, how to rework it so that  the editors
    would like to see more of it if you want to submit it  later.

    Rachael Thomas who was in the Top Ten in the contest in 2013   was one of my students on the Fishguard Advanced Romance Writing course with Writers' Holiday.   She now  has  more than five books published  after her first title  A Deal Before The Altar came out in September last year and  just had her latest submission accepted.   She knows what it's like to be successful  - and what it feels like to have a novel rejected - like most of us, she's been there and got the tee shirt.
    Rachael has some great points on the best way to look at something that  was rejected the first time round  so NOW  needs reworking. She has a great blog post about - well, about 3 important things -

     1. Never give up 

     2. Never throw away any story that didn't work because - well, . . 

     3. The 'didn't work ' stories can always be reworked when you've had time to step away from them for a while then come back and rework them so they do work.
    Well worth reading
     I first saw this story as part of the  one to one in the Fishguard Course and  again in full in the RNA's New Writers' Scheme back in 2012 and I'm so glad to see it will now be published. Looking forward to seeing  Destiny and Zafir's story in print.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Workshops and Retreats

I've been busy writing  - head down, focus on the keyboard.  What's that they say about BICHOK?
Bum In Chair, Hands on Keyboard.  The only way to get from 'Chapter One' to The End.

But at the same time I've been thinking about and planning the Writing Retreat  with Relax and Write I'm running in a couple of weeks time.  So looking forward to meeting the  students - some I've met
Swanwick where I'll be 'retreating' on October 9th
before - some who are brand new to me. All are at different stages on their journey towards being published writers but there's one ting they must already all have in abundance - and that's commitment and determination.  You don't sign up for a weekend course and pay the fees(admittedly very reasonable)   if you're  not committed.

When people ask why I teach - specially when I tell them that when I was much younger, the last thing I wanted to do was to be a teacher -  I think of the  number of past students , either of my courses or from the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance  who are now published writers of romantic fiction. Not just with Harlequin but with other publishers too.  A wonderful result from
working with them is sharing their joy in their success and  seeing their books on the shelves - just as good as seeing my own.

 I was reminded of this twice in the past month.  First of all, when I was at the AMBA lunch in London on the 19th. At the lunch I was seated next to Amanda Cinelli, the winner of the So You Think You Can Write whose first book Resisting the Sicilian Playboy is just published. She made my day by telling me that she had the 12 Point Guide in both print and ebook form and that  she credited it with helping her a long way on her personal journey to publication. Good luck with that first book and your new  career Amanda!

But talking to Amanda, and some news I had from an ex-student this week, reminded me of an important point - and that's why I called the 12 Point Guide a 'Workbook'. There's plenty of advice and information in the text - but there are also the writing exercises at the end of each chapter.  Writing exercises that are meant to make you  - guess what - write.

I've met so many people who will start writing when they have a moment, when the kids are at school/university/in bed. . .when they have a new kitchen table (to write on)  . ..  The problem is that the only way to write a book that's publishable  is  to - write it.

And then - this is the voice of an author with 60+ books published - to rewrite it and maybe rewrite it again. The trouble with the books on Amazon or the bookshop shelves is that all the blood sweat and tears that went into writing them doesn't show in the text or the cover.

  And this is what I was reminded of today when I got some good news from another ex-student.
Fishguard Bay Hotel  where I run the Advanced Romance Writing Course
Rachael Thomas was a regular at my Fishguard Writers and Artists' Weekend  courses - first with the basic Writing Romance course and then with the Advanced Writing Romance course there in February each year. Each year I felt her writing was getting closer and close to publication standard and then for the last but one So You Think You Can Write contest she was in the top ten.  That book A Deal Before the Altar  was published last year - and several more since.

Today, the good news was that her latest (sort of) book has been accepted. No title as yet but I knew this book as Destiny's story.  Destiny is the name of the heroine.

I'm particularly pleased about this book as I first read  it - well, the origins of the current book - as her submission to the  Fishguard course back in 2012 - and then again in 2013.    It didn't work the first time  Or the second time.  But there was the seed of such a good story in there that I gave Rachael the advice I give everyone with a story that is a  'not quite' :

Put it away for a while till you can look at it with clearer eyes and see how it needs to be rewritten. Looking at it with fresh eyes - and, in this case, with more experience of writing novels that work - can shine a spotlight on a 'not quite' and turn it into a success.

Which is exactly what she did and today I got an email with the great news that this book - with Sheikh Zafir and  Destiny the heroine with the wonderful name - will be published next year.  It's fabulous news - and it reinforces my belief that if you really want to be published you need talent, obviously, luck, perhaps - but you definitely need hard work.

Write, revise, submit - revise  . . . .      and repeat . . .

Congratulations Rachael! I'm so looking forward to seeing Zafir and Destiny's story in print.  It's the perfect proof that no teacher, however brilliant, can guarantee you success in your writing, even if you follow (or try to) every word she says!

But, as I've always said, the one way you can guarantee you'll never be successful is to give up. Stop trying. Stop writing.

So those of you who are entering the So You Think You Can Write Contest this year - or who are just writing and trying - or those who will be coming on the Retreat or any other course I'm running  in the coming year - the only way is to keep on trying.

If you get a rejection, the only way is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.

Because the real truth is that still applies even after 63 published titles.  The only way to get 64 completed is  BICHOK - submit - revise . . .  and again. And again . . .

Good Luck!

Which reminds me - I need to do some more BICHOKing  - so I'm off back to the keyboard.

PS If you want to know any more about my courses with Writers' Holiday or Relax and Write then check out their websites - or look at the Events page on my website. (Though I know I need to update that!)

Monday, September 21, 2015

London - AMBA and the Author Party

I’ve finally managed to get home from London, sort things out, unpack and do the laundry  so that I have a chance to catch up.

With Kate Hardy aka Scary Kate
 The trip to London was great from start to finish. On the  Friday night I had dinner with Chantelle Shaw and Rachael Thomas which was so much fun. It’s always good to catch up with fellow writers and friends and have a chance to have some quality time together to really talk.   Of course Rachael was once one of my students on the Fishguard Advanced Romance Writing Course and it had been wonderful to enjoy her success as she had written more successful  books and established her position in the Harlequin Presents line-up.

This year, the newest recruit to the Presents line was Amanda Cinelli  (winner of the So You Think You Can Write contest last year) whose first book  Resisting the Sicilian Playboy is out in October.  I sat next to Amanda at the lunch and so was delighted to learn from her that she  had  a copy (OK 2 copies – the print version  and the Kindle  one) of my 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance  and she told me that it had really helped her with her writing for Harlequin. Which is great because that’s just what I wrote it for! I also had more time to chat with Andie Brock who I met briefly last year but didn’t get much of a chance to  talk to her.  And of course I had a chance to talk with my editor - and so many others of  HMB editorial .

View from the News Building
  I had a wonderful time at both the AMBA lunch and the Harlequin Author Party afterwards.   The new offices in the News Building  on London Bridge Street  are in a part of London that I don’t know well, so it was fascinating to explore a bit  and to marvel at the amazing building  that is The Shard there.

The height and expanse of The Shard makes the News Building look rather small in comparison, but by the time we had travelled up 17 floors (thankfully in an express lift!) to reach the special events area, it didn’t actually feel smaller!  The view from the windows was
Another version of that stunning view
totally stunning, with the whole of London spread out below.  Even things like the London Eye looked tiny from up there.

One of the best feelings about being at the author party was the excitement of being able to see a couple of my covers projected on to the large screens in the room. As the covers to Olivero’s Outrageous Proposal and Destined for The Desert King are two of my favourite covers it was great to be able to see them on display like that.

Cover for Olivero's Outrageous Proposal on display
At the party I was able to meet up with more friends – some  international ones too! Anna Sugden who writes for American Romance and Kandy Shepherd  (Cherish) who was over from Australia.  And I had a very special hug for lovely Nicole Locke whose newest Historical novel  Her Enemy Highlander  is out this month.   You might remember that Nicole wrote thislovely blog post to mark my 30 years of being a published author. Thanks once again Nicole!

With Anna Sugden and Kandy Shepherd

I didn’t take many photographs  during the day so I’m grateful to my friends and the official M&B photographer   Katie who took pictures so that I can show them here.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


    Off to London today for the annual Association of Mills and Boon Authors meeting. Looking forward to seeing so many friends amongst the writers and editors. And... viewing the new offices in the News Building

     Dinner with Rachael Thomas tonight - always a great feeling to see an ex-student enjoying her writing success. Charlie the Maine Coon and Ruby have spotted the suitcase and are not happy!  But they have a great cat-sitter and we'll only be gone a couple of days. They'll be so well looked after(ie spoiled rotten!)

    I was in the chemist's yesterday, waiting for a prescription and a lady came in to collect her. She looked at me and said 'Aren't you that book-writing lady?' So I said I was. She's been reading my books for over 20 years! And 'that's because they are so good!'
          It's moments like that that make a book-writing lady's day!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Tote Bags Day

Today's the 12th of September  - which means that it's my day for blogging over on Tote Bags 'n' Blogs so that's where you'll find me today.

I'm talking about some of the things I'm looking forward to this autumn.

One of those things is the upcoming Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction guided retreat  coming up at Swanwick in Derbyshire,  Numbers on this retreat are strictly limited but  unexpectedly I do have a space or - ata  push two spaces - if you'd like to come along. Part of the weekend is an intensive one to one session focused on your individual writing.

'Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction' - a Retreat with Kate Walker.  This course has a limited number of places, so if you have not booked, please hurry.  Retreats are popular with those writing a novel.  They can receive feedback during the year, as Retreats are twice yearly, they will help you progress chapter by chapter!

Or you might like to look into writing stories/memoirs/articles  inspired by your family - 
Write About your Uncle Joe with Stephen Wade links you to not only writing short stories about the past, but putting into words the Family anecdotes that are more personal to each of us, whether for your memoirs or for fiction.

Check out the Relax and Write website for details if you're interested 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Afternoon post

This just arrived at the door.

It's an excitement that never gets old.  I still haven't see the UK edition of Destined for the Desert King  but I do have my hands on the Harlequin Presents  edition.

Also - discovered this  Harlequin Manga  comic - in English - version of The Greek Tycoon's Unwilling Wife is coming out next week.

 And then there was the Australian collection - the Notorious Alcolars   also out this month. It's a great  book day!

Catching up - the RNA Afternoon tea in York

The Guildhall Sept 5th 2015
can't believe it's Friday - who stole my week?? I'm sure it was only yesterday that I was setting out for York for a very special RNA meeting - an afternoon tea in The Guildhall. Then I blinked and - it's Friday! A week later. Help!

I know I had planned to talk about the other new courses I had coming up - but that got sidetracked. Anyway, I'd like to share some of the memories of the York afternoon.

With Anna Louise Lucia
Special thanks have to go to Lynda Stacey and Jane Lovering who planned and organised the whole thing. So good to have a meeting 'up North' instead of having to journey to London each and every time.

Also thanks to John Jackson who was the official photographer and whose photos of the day I can share with you.

Milly Johnson making her speech
It was a great chance to meet up with friends I don't get a chance to see too often - way too often Anna Louise Lucia - Marie Frances Ingrid Petrie Kim Elizabeth Lain Jean Fullerton Vasiliki Scurfield . . . Oh dear, I'll miss people out I know I will.

A couple of other special moments - Milly Johnson's brilliant and very funny speech - that's Milly below. Also meeting lovely Rachel
Rachel Louise Dove
Louise Dove . Prima and Mills & Boon Flirty Fiction competition winner 2015. Huge Congratulations Rachel! And a real highlight was meeting Jane Linfoot who made my afternoon by telling me how much help my 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance had been to her when she was starting out. Thank you so much for letting me know, Jane. I'm thrilled to know that - not least because this brings the to
Jane Linfoot and Dorinda Cass
tal of new writers helped to publication by either one of my courses or the 12 Point Guide to 17!! I've just downloaded Jane's latest book  The Vintage Cinema Club to add to my collection of 'now published' students' work. Wonder who will be #18?
With friends  -and students from  a past course (or two!) Marie Frances and Kim Lain. Maybe potential  #18??

Will add details of names etc under the photos so you know who's who.

And I'll keep on trying to catch up!

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Pink Heart Day

I was going to post about the other courses I have coming up - with Writers' Holiday - but I forgot that today is my day for blogging over on the Pink Heart Society site - so that's where you'll find me today. I'm talking about the arrival of September - Autumn   - and my 'new season' resolutions.

More on those courses later.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Writing Courses coming up

I've had a few enquiries about courses coming up  so I thought I'd just  bring things up to date.  The start of  September with the New Term and Back to School  promotions in the shops always makes me think of  going back to school/college/university and so I think about courses - taking them or teaching them -  and planning  at this time of year.

So my  plans for the next six month or so are these:

Today I'll talk about the courses with Relax and Write  

 9 - 11 October at The Hayes Conference Centre Swanwick Derbyshire - all inclusive fee £245 
'Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction' - a Retreat with Kate Walker.  This course has a limited number of places, so if you have not booked, please hurry.  Retreats are popular with those writing a novel.  They can receive feedback during the year, as Retreats are twice yearly, they will help you progress chapter by chapter!
'Write About your Uncle Joe' with Stephen Wade  (Author of  Uncle Albert etc) links you to not only writing short stories about the past, but putting into words the Family anecdotes that are more personal to each of us, whether for your memoirs or for fiction.. 
All the weekend courses are informal and fun and structured to help us paint word pictures and express your emotions in words. Encouraged by published authors with experience of writing many books and how to get your writing published.  Come and join us and enjoy a weekend with other writers and write 'all hours.' 

If you're wondering what makes the difference between a Writing Retreat and a Writing Course - the answer is in the title - it's to help you focus on your own writing.

Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction is a guided writing retreat for people who have been on a course before or who need to do exactly as it says on the tin – Focus on their writing.  On this course you will:
·         Have time and space away from the real world to write and reflect on your novel.
·         You’ll also have the opportunity to work with your tutor to discuss the novel, work through problems, brainstorm new ideas, and get it ready for submission.
·         There will be some relaxed group sessions designed to make you think deeply about your writing.
·         There will be scheduled for one-to-one time where you can ask all the questions that have been bothering you.
·         You will concentrate on writing – and have professional advice/input/discussion.

. This retreat is designed for people who have already started work on a novel and who want time to focus on that - and not have to worry about anything else. It’s an ideal course to get your writing moving ahead.  There are a limited number of places on this Retreat, so it is essential you book early, in order to send Kate your work in advance for comment and arrange a one-to-one.

Unexpectedly, I have a place on the latest retreat  coming up -  9th -11th October. If you're interested - contact Lois  at Relax and Write  as soon as possible.

The next course coming up will be in April 2016.  This will be held:

15 - 17 April 2016 at The Royal Agricultural University Cirencester. 
 The fee £245 includes Sunday Lunch.

Planning your romantic novel  - Beginning, Middle & End -   with Kate Walker
This weekend course will introduce you to writing that novel you have always wanted to see in print!   How to plan a basic synopsis and first chapters. Build your Characters and describe your scenes. A very popular Course Leader and a very popular course.
'Writing the Past' with Stephen Wade. 
You can write about a character or a place; an experience of your own or an event in history. Write about a family anecdote or a personality that has influenced your past. Short story or memoir, this course suits all levels and is fun and informal. Plenty of exercises and notes. 
Keep an eye on the Relax and Write advertisements in 'Writing Magazine - Writers' News' and in 'Writers' Forum or Facebook - we have about ten to twelve weekends planned every year. A chance to write away from home and work interruptions. A chance to meet other writers and compare notes. 'Relax & Write' all in fee - single accommodation for comfort  and privacy. Contact Lois for full details. e-mail or telephone 01454 773579 - book early and pay by installments.

Check out the Relax And Write web site for more details of these and all their other courses. 
Tomorrow I'll post the details of the courses/weekends with the fabulous Writers' Holiday in case a visit to Wales  would appeal to you.

Of course, if you can't make it to any of my upcoming courses - there is always my guide to writing romance - and workbook - 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance.

I was thrilled to see (courtesy of Nas Dean - thanks Nas!) that  the new paperback edition was on sale at the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference last week.   (It's also on Kindle)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

For my Australian Readers - part 2!

You might remember that back on   - in this post -  I told you how some  of my books would
a. be republished
b. would be published at a  different time to the dates on which they were published in the UK and USA
I thought I had the most up to date information then - but it seems not . . .  The publication dates have changed again - at least for the two newest novels of mine to be published . So let me bring you  up to date.
I originally  said that following this lovely review on the Australian Romance Readers Association site – and the fact that they posted it as a Featured book on their Facebook Convention page, I’ve had people asking me when Olivero’s Outrageous Proposal will appear on the bookshop shelves in Australia. Usually the Australian publication is pretty much simultaneous with the UK and  USA editions, but this time  the books have been changed around rather – so the news is that Olivero’s Outrageous Proposal will not be out in Australia until December.

Now I have to amend that to - Olivero's Outrageous Proposal will not be published in Australia until January.

So  I’m sorry to everyone who is waiting to read it. It is coming – promise!  - but there will be a little wait before it does.

That's the bad news - but the good news is that the latest novel - Destined for the Desert King -
will be published simultaneously  with the UK and USA publication dates. So that is the book that will be out in Australia in December - and the  better news is that that book published in December will be followed  by the January publication of Olivero's Outrageous Proposal.   So instead of having to wait another few months for the next Kate Walker title, you'll be able to read both of these books one after the other - in December and then January.

I hope this makes up for the wait.

But if it helps  you get through the weeks before that release date – I do have news of two other  releases in Australia coming up in the next few months.

Firstly there will be a reprint of a 2001 book  - Her Secret Bridegroom.  This will be in a special  Latin Lovers collection together with books by Miranda Lee and Lynne Graham.   I'm calling  cover of this book ‘the Chest’ – I’m sure you can see why.

Secondly, there will be a reprint collection of
the three linked Alcolar Family stories –

Which tell the stories of Joaquin, Ramon and Mercedes Alcolar – Proud modern day Spanish aristocrats – passion is their birthright!

The trilogy will be released under the title The Notorious Alcolars, and this should be out in 
September.  I now have a copy of the cover to show you  - and I'm really pleased that they've decided to use my favourite cover from the 3 books in the series. You can see it at the top of this post  - this was the cover of The Spaniard's Inconvenient Bride.

And just in case you wanted to  remind yourself of the story that started this all off – before you read/reread the trilogy  then don’t forget that the story of Alex Alcolar – Wife For Real – is available on the eHarlequin web site  here.

PS  - a reminder for anyone who has bought The Alcolar Family bundle from the Harlequin web site - this originally had the wrong story included  in it. Where it should have  been my story Wife For Real  telling the story of Alex Alcolar, there was a book by Jennifer Taylor with the same name. Since then I've been working with editorial and  everything has been sorted out - with the correct version of Wife For Real included in this collection. So if you still have that story and you'd like the one I wrote - you can update your ebook by logging into the place you bought it.  (I understand that the problems have mainly been with Barnes & Noble)

Phew!I hope that brings everything up to date!  At least you know that the two books are coming - soon!  I'll remind you all about that when I'm celebrating the publication of Destined for the Desert King in December!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What the Heck. . .

To answer  some enquiries about the Hecks - the family of Hedgehogs who live at the bottom of our garden.

I haven't mentioned them much recently because, to tell the truth, we haven't seen much sign of them and as the hedgehogs  who had been around have been for some years, we weren't sure if they were now very elderly Hecks or sadly ex-Hecks and we no longer had anyone living in Hedgehog Towers. We'd left supplies of hedgehog crunchies by the hedgehog house in the hope there was someone there to feed on them but we couldn't be sure that it was the Hecks and not the birds who had been eating them. A few bits of dung was all that we'd seen.

But this week we were delighted to see that, at the very least, we have one brand new baby  hedgehog - one who has just grown up enough to come out and about hunting for food.  He is more than happy to eat up old cat meat - specially chicken  -  but we have  also invested in a new packet of hedgehog crunchies just in case.

At the moment he's emerging to forage about 8.30 in the evening - both Charlie and Ruby are
fascinated but don't go too close  - those prickles are a bit sharp on inquisitive noses!

The main picture doesn't really show how small this little creature is - so I'm adding a second one to put it in proper proportion to the part of the garden he/she's in.

Tiny.  Hope it stays around - we're planing on feeding it well to encourage it to grow string ready for hibernation this winter.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Book of The Day

I often take a look at the Mills and Boon web site - just to see what's going on and what books are around at the moment,.

Today I'm really glad that I did!

Unexpectedly I found that a By Request collection I have a novel in has been  brought back  as an ebook  - and it's today's Book of The Day.

Which means that it's  on a reduced offer for today  at £5.09 instead of £5.99.

Here's what the web site says:

Back by popular demand! These great value titles feature stories from Mills & Boon fans' favourite authors.

A Sicilian Husband by Kate Walker One night was all it took for Terrie Hayden to fall in love with a stranger. One night was all that Gio Cardella thought he wanted from her. But some irresistible force dragged the proud, remote Sicilian back to her door…

This book was originally published in 2003. (22004 in USA)

The other two books in the collection are The Passion Bargain by Michelle Reid  and
The Italian’s Marriage Bargain by Carol Marinelli

I know that some readers have been looking for an ebook version of A Sicilian Husband  because I've had messages from you asking where you can get hood of it. For some reason there isn't a separate single edition of this book  yet - I talked with my editor about it and they're working ion it. But this is a great way to get hold of a copy and get two other great books in the bargain bundle too.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


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