Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Power struggles and romantic tussles ...

Three Farraday cousins meet their match when they take on the Claibourne sisters in a boardroom battle for control of London’s most prestigious department store.

Back in 2002 I’d just won a RITA for The Best Man & the Bridesmaid and I was looking for new ways to stretch myself. The obvious choice seemed to be a trilogy and with my editor onside, I set to work. The big difference about a trilogy is that you need an ongoing plot/problem that will run the course of three books, while at the same time writing a story that is whole in itself. Not as simple as you might think. All the most obvious devices -- the “crucible” -- to keep the characters locked together seemed to have been tackled and I needed something new.

I finally came up with the idea of using a classy, upmarket London department store as the backdrop – believe me, the research was fabulous! – and set to work. And I do mean work. The schedule is a killer as the books have to be published in consecutive months – and my editor tossed in a novella half way through book one, just to keep me on my toes.

So, Creighton & Farraday rose from the pavements of Knightsbridge. It had a touch of Fortnum & Mason, for the history – and the history was important; the look of Liberty’s for the Art Deco glamour; and for the sheer size of the place I spent an awful lot of time in Harrods. (Did you know that Harrods employ 3000 people?)

Then for the characters. Three half-sisters – same father, different mothers gave me the chance to vary colouring and character – for my heroines Three male cousins for the dynamic tycoons hell bent on displacing them in the boardroom. I had thought to use brothers, but realised that having three sets of characters with the same surnames would confuse me, let alone the reader!

Then I set the Creightons, Romana, Flora and India, and the Farradays, Niall McCaulay, Bram Gifford and Jordan Farraday, in a battle for control of the store. The story that would run through the entire trilogy. And to keep them together, I had India, in a time-delaying tactic, throw down a challenge to the men. Come and see how good we are at this, shadow us for a month, see if you could do better, nwittingly playing right into Jordan Farraday’s hands.

I was half way through the second book when my editor emailed me to say that I couldn’t use the name “Creighton” as there was, apparently, already a family series with that name. You cannot believe how difficult it was to find another name, something that fit in with all the other names. It took me a week, but oddly, the minute I’d finished all the global search and replace stuff, I liked it better.

Then there was the dawning realisation that three books set in a department store might just be, well, a bit samey.

Romana, the PR princess, rose to the challenge and in THE CORPORATE BRIDEGROOM leads banker, Niall McCauley, a merry dance as organiser of a week long charity event. They get off to a very bad start, but he quickly learns that writing her off as a “dumb blonde” is not a smart move, especially when she’s running a charity auction. Beneath that cute haircut the brain is razor sharp, Beneath those lovely curves beats a heart warm enough to defrost his grief-stricken body and bring it back to life. But it’s not all one-way. Romana has her own pain to work through and with Niall’s help she finds an unexpected truth. A future she never expected.

Jewellery designer and academic, Flora Claibourne is less than enthusiastic about getting involved in this power play and in THE MARRIAGE MERGER she attempts to avoid a month in the company of international corporate lawyer, Bram Gifford, by accepting an invitation to explore the newly discovered treasures on the tropical island of Saraminda. It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for Flora as Bram outflanks her escape bid and she finds herself sharing a beach-front cottage with this playboy. Her least favourite kind of man. Not that prickly blue-stockings come high on the list of women with whom he’d most like to share a tropical paradise. But there’s a mystery and since Flora seems hell-bent on getting herself into trouble, Bram has no option but stay very close.

While to her sisters, Claibourne & Farraday is important, for India Claibourne, this elegant department store is her life and she’ll do anything it takes to defeat THE TYCOON’S TAKEOVER plans. She’s certain that arrogant venture capitalist, Jordan Farraday just wants to sell the store to the first big chain that makes him offer, and she’s right. That, she discovers, too late, is the least of her worries. Jordan is looking to settle old scores. To redress a terrible wrong. He doesn’t just want her department store, he wants India Claibourne. At his feet. On her knees.

For excerpts click here.

To buy online at Mills & Boon click here.

To buy online at Amazon click here.

Reviews in template

Here’s what ROMANTIC TIMES had to say about these books:

THE CORPORATE BRIDEGROOM (4.5) is a page-turning, feel-good read sure to put a smile on your face all day.

THE MARRIAGE MERGER (4) will keep you on the edge of your seat with an adventurous story about two characters who can really strike up a spark.

Everything about THE TYCOON’S TAKEOVER (4) was simply wonderful, from the intensity of the way that the characters react to each other to the fabulous story that won't let you put the book down.

And All About Romance, not noted for their love of my books said –

…her character is well-drawn for the short space of the book. What I found particularly intriguing about her was the way her corporate attitude clashed with Jordan's. They both had different ways of looking at business practices and ethics, and both were in keeping with their past jobs and experience. Her love for her business and her desire to hold onto it was very believable, and author Fielding sneaks in some fun details about the store into the book.

THE TYCOON’S TAKEOVER was also nominated for a RITA®

Thursday, February 22, 2007


I have a counter on this website -- just to make sure that someone is listening! -- and every once in a while I go and check out my stats. It tells me where visitors have come from and it will even tell me what they’re looking for. So just for those of you who have been searching for stuff that I know you couldn’t have found:

For the visitor from Germany who wanted an excerpt of The Bridesmaid’s Reward, email me and I’ll email Chapter One to you. The same offer applies to anyone who's interested; I’m a firm believer in the “try before you buy” theory.

For the visitor from North Carolina who was looking for Romance Tips for Husbands (I guess that would be a man?), my tip is go out and buy a pile of Harlequin Romances – you’ll learn a lot about what men do that makes a woman happy.

For the visitors looking for online reads – that’s a popular one! – there’s a link to The Cinderella Valentine, my latest, on the sidebar of my blog. Enjoy.

For the visitor from Minnesota looking for writing tips, you’ll find some here, on my website.

For the visitor from Cheshire who wanted to know more about the Bella Brides series, she’ll find everything she wants to know here, at the The Brides of Bella Lucia blog here.

And for all of you who wanted an update on the Women’s Weekly/Mills & Boon story competition – I believe that the winners will be announced next month. As soon as I know for sure, I’ll post it here.

Monday, February 19, 2007


The Marriage Miracle has reached The Netherlands! To buy this edition of the book that won a RITA, and has now been nominated for a Romantic Times
Reviewers' Choice Award, all you have to do is click here

Or if you speak Spanish and being swept away to a world of luxury in a lost garden by a Sheikh is your thing, then click here for The Sheikh's Guarded Heart!

Sunday, February 18, 2007


The Cataromance Reviewers Choice
nominations are in and I'm pretty
much over the moon that
The Sheikh's Guarded Heart
is on the list!

For a complete list of nominations, including Ally Blake, Trish Wiley, Kate Walker, Fiona Harper, Kate Hardy (four times!), Lucy Monroe and Judy Christenberry click here

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I promised you more pictures of the dogs and here they are. Following on from Flynn’s starring role as the centre-fold pin-up in an animals lover’s magazine, Bob – the sorry six-month old rescue pup has been picked as a model for a dog food advertisement – what a poser!

Kees – the old guy -- has had his own column in a magazine since he was a pup and is so not impressed.

Milo, as you can see, would much rather just be having fun and chilling out with the guys (that's Flynn providing him with a pillow), but I have a feeling his time will come!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


This is my famous -- make that infamous -- first date with the dh. Obviously I haven't spoiled a good story by telling the truth, but I didn't make it all up, either!

Liz was late. She very nearly hadn’t come at all. Despite the fact that the annual Cinema Club Ball was the social highlight of the year, a blind-date was always a risk. But the manner of the invitation had been intriguing; a double ticket to the Ball, torn in half, and one half delivered to her by messenger suggested a man with imagination, passion.

A man of mystery.

And she was a sucker for a mystery.

She glanced again at the torn card she was holding, the part that said, “The St Valentine’s...”

Someone had written “9 pm” in bold script across the corner. You could tell a lot about a man from his handwriting. This said ... strong, purposeful, determined.

But who was he?

She’d spent all week trying to figure out who could possibly have sent it. Who had the other half? The piece that said, “...Day Massacre Ball”?

She paused in the entrance to the Ballroom. The only lighting came from the strobe effect of the film projected against the walls, giving momentary glimpses of faces, features flattened out by monotone images making them hard to recognise. And the clothes didn’t help.

Everyone had taken the 1920s Chicago theme to heart. The girls were shimmying to the Charleston in their beaded flapper dresses, the men were anonymous, almost unrecognisable in gangster-era suits, their faces shaded by wide-brimmed hats.

Touching the band around her own forehead a little self-consciously, she peered into the flickering darkness.

She still had time to cut and run, but even as she took an uncertain step back, a man’s arm reached out of the darkness, placing the matching piece of the ticket against the one she was holding. The hand that had written “9 pm”, matched the script. Strong...

‘I knew you’d come, doll,’ a voice, pure Humphrey Bogart, drawled out of the gloom, breaking into the thought and she looked up.

For a moment she didn’t recognise the figure in the pinstriped suit, fedora pulled down at a rakish angle. Then the light caught his face. It was vaguely familiar. She’d noticed him at a recent club meeting. John something....

Despite the pitch-perfect Bogie impression and darkly, handsome looks, her date didn’t quite match the actor’s dangerous aura. But then who could? And heck, it could have been a whole lot worse.

He could have been Edward G Robinson.



I'm chatting all this week on the eHarlequin Message Board on the subject of The Fractured Family and it's place in fiction -- especially in reference to the Bella Brides series. If you've got a story, got an opinion, or just want to hang out, click here. I'll be thrilled to talk!

Monday, February 12, 2007


Liz has loaned me her blog so that I can personally announce the winners of the There Go The Grooms... prize draw.

Theo's winner (Anne's blog) is Jennifer Yates
Domenico's Winner (Kate's blog) is Mona Mohamed Ahmed Hassan
and my winner (Liz' blog) is Debra Guyette

The books are in the post.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to seek out the answers. You are all stars!

I'm off to find the lovely Louise now, so I'll hand you back to Liz.

Thanks, Max. And thank you, all of you, who've taken part in both the Brides and Grooms contests.

Come back on Wednesday and I'll tell you a little tale about my first date with the dh!

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Online browsing can be an interesting experience. This morning I discovered that I'm available in eBook format. Or at least THE VALENTINE BRIDE is available. On it's own, or in a Brides and Babies Bundle with the fabulous Raye Morgan and Lucy Gordon.

And my online story (online no more) is now
available as a .99c download to your phone.
At least I think that's what it is.
(I'm an electronic dummy!)

I feel all ... smiley.

Add to that the fact that I'm talking about The Valentine Bride and the joys and pitfalls of writing a continuity series at The Pink Heart Society Blogspot today and, well, I'm bouncing just like the little pink heart himself!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


The Valentine Bride is now available online herein Australia and New Zealand.

And I've had to add in the Amazon link to the sidebar because it's SOLD OUT at eHarleuqin in the US, unless you want the LP edition!

If you want to know why, well you may link to check out my website for an excerpt and the scad of fine reviews it's garnered! (I'll ignore the one at All About Romance -- they haven't like one of my books yet; maybe if I promise to stop sending them review copies, they'll promise to stop reading them!)

Oh, and I just heard...


Had been nominated by Romantic Times for a Reviewer's Choice Award! Check out the RT review here

Friday, February 02, 2007


First thank you to so many readers for taking the time to answer the questions and enter our HERE COME THE BRIDES contest.

Clearly there are a lot of you out there who know a good thing when they see it and you entered in droves. There can, however, be only three winners and
they are --

Drawn on my website -- Crystal Broyles
Drawn on Anne's website -- Laurie Bertram
Drawn on Kate's website -- Stanislava Ivanova

Congratulations to all of you. The books will be reaching you in the next week or so.

But the game isn't over yet. There is still the diabolical quiz devised by the GROOMS and you have until 10th February to seek out the answer and win nine books (yes that's nine books each!) And, as with the BRIDES, you get three chances to win -- one on each of the blogs: mine, (Anne’s), and (Kate's).

There are nine questions – three from each Groom. That’s just one for each book you can win, which seems reasonable to me. Some of them have two parts, so make sure you’ve got all the answers before you send them in. For nine books you’re going to have to work harder! The answers can all be found on the blogs– or by using the sidebar links.

When you’ve got all the answers, email them to us on our websites (there’s a sidebar link to mine on the blog) or, in the case of Anne's you can just click on the "Contact Anne" tab on her blog and then send the email from there. Don’t forget to put GROOMS CONTEST in the subject.

So, go for it. You have three chances to WIN a pile of great books. From me you'll get a collection of “Groom” books: A Suitable Groom (it wasn’t issued retail in the States and these are my last copies); Her Wish-List Bridegroom (which was shortlisted for an RT Reviewers Choice award) and, Her Corporate Bridegroom.

Anne has chipped in with a three-in-one book containing three complete novels: The Cowboy's Code, containing Cowboys Don't Quit, Cowboys Don't Stay and The Cowboy and the Kid (Romantic Times's Best Series Novel of the Year) PLUS a copy of Theo Savakis's book by the author whose name you have to figure out.

From Kate each winner will get her best-selling Alcolar Family trilogy: The Twelve-Month Mistress, The Spaniard's Inconvenient Wife and Bound by Blackmail.

Here are the Groom's questions: --


1) Which book, also being published in February has a hero called Theo Savakis (who is NOT ME because he is going to marry Miranda Weston and I am going to marry MARTHA!) and who is the author of that book?

2) My (Theo's) sister was the heroine of an earlier McAllister book. What's the name of the book -- and the full name of my sister?

3) McAllister says there is "another hero" in The Santorini Bride (which isn't true, by the way). What breed of dog is Ted?


1 Where did Kate celebrate a book launch party this month and which famous novelist did she meet there?

2. What award did Kate's February release - The Italian's Forced Bride win?

3. If the winner of The Brides Contest has already read The Italian's Forced Bride, Kate will give away a copy of her March M&B Modern release which also had Bride in the title. What is the name of this book – and what is the name of it’s hero?


1) St Valentine’s Day is a worldwide phenomenon, but Liz lives in Wales and they have their own special day for lovers in January. What’s the date? And what is the name of the saint involved?

2) The Valentine Bride (the book that Louise and I share), is the last one in a mini series. What was the series called? Name another author who wrote a book in that series (you've got seven to choose from!)

3) Liz wrote a special online story The Cinderella Valentine to set up this series. What are the full names of the two characters who met and fell in love in my Chelsea restaurant?

That's it. Go to it!