Saturday, April 29, 2006
I doubt there are many families who haven't been touched by diabetes, one of the fastest growing health problems in the developed world, especially among children.
Each year, author Brenda Novak, organises a charity auction from her website to raise funds for research into this disease. It runs during May and this year Brenda has some truly outstanding donations to auction. Bid for the chance to take eight of your friends to tea with Debbie Macomber, jewellery, for a signed baseball, all kinds of stuff from your favourite authors. My donation, a silver Welsh Love Spoon pendant and a signed book, is item # 57.
There are also fabulous prizes for the most active bidders, so take a look at what's on offer, treat yourself to something that money can't buy.
You can take a look at all the what's on offer here at
the auction list.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Colleagues keep tempting me to have one of those little bars that show the progress of the wip. They tell me there’s nothing like seeing it up there, the very public nature of it, the competition, to stimulate progress. It might work. But what if the progress is nil? While everyone else’s percentage of book written grows day by day, how bad will I feel during those weeks (more of them than I care to admit) when nothing much happens at all? Or when, like today, I thought I was on page 113, only to discover I’d somehow got in a muddle with page numbering (cutting and pasting from one chapter to another) and was, in actual fact, on page 106?
And I don’t write huge chunks every day like some people I could mention. A thousand words is a very good day. I’ll think about it some more, but as a demonstration of progress, I’m posting pictures of my hero and heroine. He was easy to find. Ben Faulkner is an academic and when I saw this guy in a magazine (he’s not a model, but I’ve no idea who he is), he just fit the bill perfectly.
Ellie was much more difficult. She’s a bit of a free-spirit and while this dark-eyed lovely is close, she’s a bit slender for my heroine, who is a delicious armful. More Nigella… The rabbit, the guinea pig and the cat, I’ll have to leave to your imagination. In the meantime, here’s another picture of Nigel, who has taken to the life of “celebrity” cat with the laid-back nonchalance of the true feline.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
I’m totally thrilled to announce that yesterday, at the annual awards lunch of the Romantic Novelists’ Association held at the Savoy Hotel in London, the Betty Neels Rosebowl was handed on to author JESSICA HART for her Mills & Boon “Tender” Romance (Harlequin Romance), CONTRACTED: CORPORATE WIFE. The award, for short romance, is judged by readers, which makes it doubly special.
This is the second year running that the Award has been won by a “Tender” romance, an eloquent demonstration of just how appealing and readable the series is to the modern reader.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
That's not "she" who must be obeyed, but "she", the cat's grandmother!
Meet Nigel, who has just found a home with my darling daughter and her dh. They found him here, the Croydon branch of Cats' Protection who have been rescuing, finding new homes for cats, reunited them with their owners for 75 years.
Nigel, bless his ears and whiskers, is a "flat" cat. That does not mean he comes "flat-packed" from MFI, or even that he's appeared in a Tom & Jerry cartoon.
Sadly, he suffers from immune problems and cannot go outside, but since the dd lives in an upstairs flat, that suits everyone very well.
We all think he's gorgeous.
Friday, April 14, 2006
But this week I had one of the good kind. It begins: --
“THE FIVE YEAR BABY SECRET is a spellbinding romance of forbidden love and family secrets which will captivate you from the very first page...“ (Did I say discerning? This is the Pulitzer Prize contender of reviews!)
“In THE FIVE YEAR BABY SECRET, multi award-winning author Liz Fielding takes her readers to the gorgeous country village of Upper Haughton. and will make them fall in love with the irresistible Matt and the gutsy Fleur.” (Old Cottage works its magic once again and this is how it looks in my head.) “Liz Fielding spins a marvelous story teeming with heart stopping romance, intense emotions and absorbing family secrets which will keep the reader up all night turning the pages of this fabulous romantic novel.”
“Emotional, dramatic and engrossing, THE FIVE YEAR BABY SECRET is an outstanding romance written by one of the finest writers of contemporary romantic fiction. “
You can read the whole thing at Cataromance
Those of you who’ve been with me for the last few weeks will remember that I’m on a diet and I’m reporting in to tell you all that I’ve cracked my first challenge and the scales have dipped below one of those magic milestones. I am now not “disgusting” stones and 6 lbs, but a “slightly less disgusting” stones and 13 lbs (for those of you who don’t understand English English, a “stone” is 14lbs and that’s a loss of 7lbs!)
I am energised, enthused, encouraged by this success. (And, btw, I ran upstairs today without the knees creaking.)
The only downside to this new me is that Easter is going to come and go without a sniff of chocolate. It’s okay. I can handle that, but just for you, I’m posting a picture of the eggs I would have eaten if I hadn’t been on a diet. A non-fattening cyber treat for the eyes from Hotel Chocolat
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
I was given a copy of The Most Beautiful Gardens in the World by Alain Le Toquin, a couple of Christmases ago. It’s one of those large, coffee table books with stunning fold out pictures of gardens in locations as diverse as Italy, the United States, China and New Zealand. But the ones that drew me back were Bagh-e Shahadet and Bagh-e Fin in Iran. These were ancient gardens, dating back to Cyrus the Great who conquered this region 2,500 years ago, and incorporating architecture, planting, water-rills and shade-giving pavilions into their design – a reflection of heaven on earth.
The following May, Penelope Hobhouse, the celebrated gardener and traveller, came to Aberglasney, a garden very near my home, to give an illustrated talk based on her book, The Gardens of Persia.
From Penelope I learned that Xenophon translated the Persian pairidaeza (a combination of pairi, meaning “around” and daeza meaning “wall”) into the Greek paradeisos, a term used for the Garden of Eden in Greek translation of the Bible. In modern Persian (Farsi) the word ferdous means both paradise and garden.
Life, it seemed was conspiring to point me in one direction. I had my setting; all I needed now, was a story.
Obligingly, Lucy Forrester, distraught, angry, appeared over the horizon, heading for the mountains that provide a natural boundary between the states of Ras al Hajar (HIS DESERT ROSE,) and Ramal Hamrah, in search of the man she’d married. She never gets there, instead losing her way and her heart to Sheikh Hanif al-Khatib, a man who has exiled himself from his family, his country, his life.
THE SHEIKH’S GUARDED HEART will be published in September in both the UK and the US, and in Australia in October. Email me for a “taster” first chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, April 03, 2006
I’ve just spent a week buried in a nightmare of revisions. I’ve barely had a chance to celebrate my RITA nomination, barely had a moment to spare for anything but polishing THE VALENTINE BRIDE February 2007) until the pips squeaked.
Then, on Friday I joined Weight Watchers. I am now, officially, my mother (bless her).
I put all that behind me on Sunday and went out to lunch with friends who live a couple of villages away, right on the top of the hill. Giovanni, whose name I borrowed for a luxuriously swanky restaurant that turns up from time to time in my books, did us proud. The delicious antipasta, followed by the most amazing fettucini (yes, he makes his own!) with wild mushrooms that I’m dribbling just thinking about. Then came the fish. And the cheese with Anna’s homemade bread. And the little cakes. And the tiny almond biscuits. And the coffee. And the Amaretti...
Clearly, while I joined WW on Saturday, I did not officially start the diet until this morning.
Today also brought the editorial nod on my revisions – hooray! -- and settling back to work on the wip, I caught a glimpse of something, the merest whisper of the driving passion that will set Ellie’s story alight.
Talking about driving passions, I just discovered that our very small nearest town has a branch of TOAST. I have a catalogue. In the catalogue are a pair of shoes of such unbelievable desirability that I can hardly bear it. Now temptation is a mere five miles away. Can I resist?
And for those of you demanding garden pictures, they will follow. Once I've worked out how to get a three-page spread photograph into my scanner...