Monday, October 29, 2018

Starting my day well.

An unexpected little thrill - I just discovered this. 

 I thought that after the flurry of interest in the new revised edition of the 12 Point Guide, things had died down a bit - but today, when sending the details to new students who had asked for them - I found this. Made my day!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Lincoln Library talk

Thank you to everyone who came to my talk at Lincoln Library yesterday. The weather was so awful - cold and wet - that I was grateful to see anyone turn up. But - unlike the weather - the welcome was warm and the session went more than 30 minutes over time.
Thank you too to Tina and Louise - and all the other members of the library staff who made me so welcome and provided plenty of cups of tea to warm everyone through after the miserable day.
I h
ad a great time.

Because I was asked about the teaching of Writing Romantic Fiction that I do - here, specially for Michelle and Kim at the Lincoln Library event, and anyone else who might be interested - are the details of the next 'Relax and Write' course - organised by Lois Maddox -
16-18 November 2018
Write That Romantic Novel –
One-to-one guidance, advice on your writing and in-class discussions on important topics:
Creating realistic characters.
Sustaining pace and conflict.
Packing emotional punch.
Writing sex scenes.
Crafting a satisfactory ending.
Lilleshall Conference Centre
Nr. Newport Shropshire
All inclusive fee £255
The next one coming up will be in February 2019 when I will be back at the fabulous Writers' Holiday event at Fishguard. This is the Advanced Romance Writing Course - so you need some experience of my courses before signing up,. Though I think it might actually be already fully signed up - or close to it!
I'll check on that and post more details of other courses planned asap

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Lincoln Library talk

Want to learn all the tricks of the romance writing trade? Come and learn the secrets of this hugely popular genre from one of their best-selling authors Kate Walker at #LincolnLibrary next week! Tickets are limited so book now on 01522 782010 or email

Favourite Covers 2 - my choices

So  now it's my turn. Andrea asked me to share my choice of favourite covers  and as she promised to make that lovely donation to the Tickled Pink collection for research into help for breast cancer, I want to thank her by doing just that.

There's a slight complication in that she had the UK covers to choose from - while I have the same books as her but often the UK and USA covers are rather different -  but I'll post  images of the covers anyway so you can see them - whichever version I use.

I mentioned in yesterday's post that like Andrea, I liked the cover for Man of Shadows (see above).  This was very like the image I had in my mind of my hero and heroine and although it's a long-ago title, I still like it.

One of my favourite covers - and a favourite book with literally thousands
of readers judging by sales  - is     Constantine's Revenge.  I have a thing about strong male arms  - and  hands - and this get the intensity of the story too.

There's a book called The Sicilian's Red-Hot Revenge  where, like  Constantine's Revenge, the cover is the same on both the USA and UK editions.   This cover is affectionately known as 'The Back' among fans - I 'm sure you can see why!   There is also, as one reader said - 'all that sexy non-touching' .
  Often when there is a sheikh in the title, and when it works for the art department , then it seems works I get  great cover art -  like  At The Sheikh's Command

In fact a 'Sheikh' title often works really well - like Destined for The Desert King where I  was delighted to see that my 'desert king' had the beard that is so much a part of his  appearance  at first.  There's a reason why he has that beard!

One of the few times when I've liked the UK cover better than the USA one has been  A Question of Honour - it's rare that I like a photo image better than a painted  cover.

But this one works for me:

These are some of my favourite covers, where the artwork comes close to the mood of the story and the hero and heroine I had in my imagination while writing the book.

It doesn't always work out that way though - sometimes I find I'm left wondering 'why?'  when I see a cover.

As an example - how about the one known in my family as 'The Headless Manicure'!


Saturday, October 20, 2018

Favourite covers - For Andrea

I must apologise to one of my readers and students on my writing courses - I have been so so busy that I've only just caught up on this,. 

So -  For Andrea

When I was helping with the Tickled Pink Collection for Breast Cancer Research,   Andrea wrote and offered a generous donation   to the collection if I would let her know which of my covers are some of my personal favorites.

To start this off, she listed these  covers as her personal choices  - and I have to agree with her on them really!

So -   Andrea said -
I loved the ones with the painted covers. Some of my faves are:

'Hers for a Night' (can't beat the James Bond dinner shirt and untied bow tie look),

 'Man of Shadows' (man in a jumper and old jeans ... enough said)

'The Konstantos Marriage Demand' - incredible story and incredible cover - the way the hero is kissing the heroine

 ... and 'Kept for Her Baby' ditto

  So now I need to go and check through my covers . . . only 60+ of them  - and see which ones I'd label as my  'favourites' . 

I have to admit that, long ago title though it was, that  Man of Shadows cover was one I always loved.

Anyone else want to join in?

Friday, October 19, 2018

Out and about

Well, the weather may have been a trifle wet - like constant downpour and huge flooded roads puddles wet - but a special, late birthday treat for the Babe Magnet took us to Oswestry to see the place where poet Wilfred Owen was born - and (almost) to mark the centenary of his death on November 4th 1981. So desperately sad to walk through the quiet streets of this small town and think of where he was born contrasted with the horrors of the 'front' where he died. There was a tragic letter to his mother saying that he was not 'at the front' but 'in the front of things'. I couldn't bear to read the rest of the description of the 'sucking mud' and the other miseries he and others endured. Another strong reason to mark the coming Armistice Day and to wear a poppy, not to glorify war but to mark the sacrifice of so many, so young.

After that, a wonderful long weekend with dear friends in a 'Coach House' on the Welsh Borders. The rain may have kept lashing down but inside we were warm and dry - with friendship and laughter to share - and much talk about writing and books. The weekend passed in a flash and I can't really believe we're home again and catching up.

Back home from Oswestry and the long weekend away - today was the day to celebrate Ruby's 5th birthday. Is it really that long since I visited the Cats' Protection League rescue shelter and a tiny black and white creature threw herself into my arms declaring loudly to anyone who would listen 

that she didn't belong in the shed, but was coming home with me! She found her way into our hearts and has been there ever since. To mark her birthday portrait, she settled herself on top of the suitcase as a sit-in protest so that we can't go anywhere else and abandon her again!

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Collecting for Tickled Pink.

It was a cold, wet autumnal Saturday but the welcome to the #tickledpink collection couldn't have been warmer. My mother used to say that the older ladies and the mothers with young children were the first to come forward when she was collecting - and that was certainly largely true today.

But there were some wonderful guys who made generous donations too.

My heart is literally full after the stories that were shared - the girl who lost her mother only last week to
breast cancer - so many whose sisters, mother, aunt, mother-in-law have left a hole in their lives as a result of this horrible disease. But then there were the success stories - the lady who 'left that thing behind' her 30 years ago! The ones who have just passed their 5th year clear - and the collectors who took over from us after our stint was finished who were celebrating 13 + years clear by collecting for others.

There were stories that made me cry. Stories that made me cheer - and laugh. The little girl who was so excited by her sparkly pink sticker that she put her 10p donation in her mouth and her chocolate in the bucket! The lovely
sons who when their mother said she wished she had some change, said 'Oh I can do that for you' - and went off wearing their sparkly stickers with a smile.

So many - some who made generous donations that you wondered if they could afford them - and others who only had a few pence - but that all built up. But most of all there were the shared stories - some happy, some of the 'all clear' - some of harder news - that just proves how appallingly common this dreadful cancer is - with one woman diagnosed with it every 8 minutes. I'm just grateful that I could do some little bit to help.

'It's a generous store this' said the staff - and they were right. My bucket - and that of my lovely assistant - was heavy to lift by the end of the morning. So thank you to everyone who came and chatted and donated - thank you to everyone who shared their story - thank you to the staff at Asda - specially Ruth who helped us get organised and kept an eye on things.
My lovely assistant!

Thank you too to all my fellow Mills & Boon authors who gave their time in other Asda stores all over the country to collect for the #Tickled Pink campaign. And if you couldn't get to an Asda where one of the M&B authors was collecting, you can still go and buy one of our books as it means a donation! (a valid excuse to have to go and buy books - Oh dear! )

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