Thursday, March 29, 2007


A protest from Ellie March....

Well there it is. There’s no hiding it now. Everyone will know exactly what I did, but honestly, Liz, that title is just so unfair!

Go on, just read the book and tell me – no, tell her – just how unfair it is!

That title will make everyone believe that I did it deliberately. That I set out to live a double life when it was all just a great big ... accident.

No, really!

If it hadn’t been for the howls of mirth at my Writers’ Circle at the very idea of me writing a column for Milady magazine it would never have happened. Okay. If it hadn’t been for that particularly pitying look from Diana Sutton, the Hon Sec, it would never have happened. I was getting really tired of being pitied.

All right. I admit that I should have stopped when I had that letter from the editor inviting me to go and see her. I’d proved my point. But, honestly, when would I ever get another chance like that? And who knew that I was exactly what Milady were looking for? Well, not me, obviously. They don’t take on cleaners as columnists at Milady magazine. That’s why I called it “Lady Gabriella’s Diary”. Ladies-who-lunch weren’t likely to be interested in anything written by plain old Ellie March, cleaner, waitress, house-sitter now, were they?

I still can’t believe I got away with it. That I have a contract...

But now, of course, I can’t tell anyone in case that scary editor finds out I’m a complete fraud. Not even my Mum, who’d tell her best friend, which would be like taking out an ad in the Courier. So Diana Sutton is still giving me pitying looks. And my Dad still gives me the regular lecture about going back to teaching so that I’ll get a pension.

A pension!

Life is too short, too fragile to waste on being careful; planning for a future that may never happen. You have to grab your chances when they come and always, always take the balloon ride...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

MORE PURE PASSION from the north-west library service. Check out the links in the sidebar for more information.

STARDUST by Neil Gaiman

This is a delightful fantasy which takes you back to childhood fairy stories and transports you into other worldliness.

Read it in the belief that fallen stars can be found and dreams can come true, thought there might be unexpected twists in the tale.


As one of the nation’s favourite romantic novelists, Jack Carter knows romance only too well. But what he really wants now, after his traumatic divorce, is romance in his personal life.

Little Black Dress publish stylish, short romantic fiction written with the modern girl in mind.

A STEP IN THE DARK by Judith Lennox

A family drama set in India and Scotland, from 1915 to the 1960s. Young Bess Ravenhart, recently widowed, leaves her baby son Frazer with her mother-in-law, Cora, while she sails from India to Britain to set up home.

An emotional drama for those who love to get involved with family histories.

HOME TRUTHS by Freya North

The McCake sisters assumed their mid-thirties would be a time of happiness and stability. But at Uncle Django’s 75th birthday party, secrets are revealed that will change how the three sisters view their family forever.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Not permanently!

Liz is working hard on her next book with deadlines looming and she's asked me to drop in and remind you that there are only a few days left to go to enter her Boardroom Bridegrooms competition.

Who am I?

Sorry, I should have introduced myself. I'm Jordan Farraday and I got picked for the assignment because Liz loved the artwork on the book she wrote about how this sorry individual got his comeuppance for planning to take revenge out of the hide of ... Ouch! Make that the soft, glowing skin of the lovely India Claibourne.

Okay, okay... I'll get on with it. Good grief, India is a bossy woman. But then she is the boss. And I'm not complaining...

Just to remind you of the competition. The questions are:

(a) Which book in the Boardroom Bridegroom trilogy was nominated for a Rita?
(b) Name the hero and heroine of that book.

Email your answer, with Boardroom Bridegrooms Competition in the subject line by 31 March -- there's a link on the website if you don't know the addy.

The prize is a signed copy of Liz's May release, THE SECRET LIFE OF LADY GABRIELLA (and one of Lady G's fluffy yellow dusters), a full month before its release.

Why isn't she giving away a copy of our books? Good question. I asked. She didn't even have a copy herself last month (disappeared in the post apparently). Now she has. Next month she'll give away one of those, so stay tuned.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Here are the next three books in the north-west libraries exciting Pure Passion initiative. The librarians, all enthusiastic supporters of romance fiction, have put together a selection of books that cover just about every kind of relationship novel; not just the historical, chick-lit, shorter genre romance that you’d expect to find, but fantasy, gay romance as well as introducing the exciting new genre of African-American romance. Here are three more to tempt you.

UNDEAD & UNWED by Mary Janice Davidson

Betsy Taylor wakes in a coffin dressed in an ugly pink suit and her wicked stepmother’s throw away shoes.

This funny and inventive book manages to pay homage to both Chick Lit and vampire novels in one fell swoop.

GOING DUTCH by Kate Fforde

Jo and Dora may not know much about boats but they are determined to make the best of things. Follow their story in this 13th novel from one of the UK’s most popular and successful romantic writers, in which boats feature strongly.

MY LOVER, MY FRIEND by Shirley Hailstock

Dr Rosamund Albright could never stand by and watch someone in pain without helping. Evan Harper had been her best friend and now the man was hurting.

Kimani Romance books are sexy, entertaining love stories that keep it real with true-to-life African-American characters who turn up the heat and sizzle with passion.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Here are three of the books that are part of the Pure Passion librarypromotion in the north-west of England. There are more to come!


Set on the beautiful island of North Uist. The stories of artist Rose and Calum the poet are woven against a backcloth drawn from
mountains, poetry, colour and fabric.

From the Transita series of love stories for mature contemporary women.

THE SCARLET LION by Elizabeth Chadwick

To open the pages of any Elizabeth Chadwick novel is to step instantly into the living, breathing medieval world.

A sumptuous, accurately rendered, feast of a book that you wish could go on forever.


A story of love, passion and betrayal spanning two generations. Holly Noble believed she was the most important person in hr Aunt Tony’s life: summers spent as a child with the reclusive painter are some of her most precious memories.

What she finds in her Aunt’s attic changes her life forever.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I was sorting through my daughter’s bookshelves a few weeks ago, putting together her school and university text books to find a new home for them, when I came across a copy of Beauty by Susan Wilson.

My daughter had clearly bought it in a charity shop to read on the train and had left it behind after one of her visits.

The cover, a yellow rose on a red background, did not inspire. And although it was published in 1996, I had never heard of the book or the author, but the “A Modern Day Beauty & the Beast” strap line caught my eye and I put it to one side and, finally picked it up and started to read it.

Some books draw you in from the first line and this is one of those books. The lovely artist, Alix Miller, receives a commission to paint the portrait of Lee Crompton, a member of a wealthy New England family. It is a tradition that has gone back through generations; his family have always commissioned her family to paint their portraits. This, however, is a portrait that will never be seen. The sitter suffers from a genetic disfiguring illness and lives as a recluse.

“I tripped over a buried root and pitched headlong down the steep slope. Stunned, I lay painting and didn’t hear anyone approach until a gloved hand reached down to me... I took the proffered hand and was pulled to my feet to look into the most grotesque face I had ever seen...”

As Alix begins work, however, she finds herself seeing beneath her subject’s face and the friendship develops, almost imperceptibly, into a magnetic sexual attraction.

Susan Wilson writes a tender and beguiling love story, bringing the Beauty and the Beast story credibly to life -- although it's the Beast who has to find his own internal beauty in this story since there is no possibility of transformation -- and her writing is wonderful.

A word of warning. If you’re lucky enough to find a copy, keep the tissues handy.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Primroses and violets were the traditional gift, along with a simnel cake, from girls in "service" who were allowed home to visit their mother's on the fourth Sunday in Lent -- known as Mothering Sunday; the day in the UK that we still celebrate as Mother's Day.

These primroses are flowering now in my garden and I'm posting them here with my love.

Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Libraries in the North West of England are promoting romantic fiction.

How great is that?

In partnership with the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and sponsored by Bertrams, their PURE PASSION initiative, aims to bring to the attention of readers in the North West of England “some of the best contemporary Romantic Fiction available to borrow from your public library”.

Authors being promoted include Elizabeth Chadwick, Neil Gaiman, Linda Gillard, Shirley Hailstock, Kate Harrison, Erica James, Annie Proulx, Eileen Ramsay and, um, Liz Fielding. I’ll be visiting the north-west later this year for an author event – don’t worry, I’ll give you all plenty of notice -- but meantime for anyone close enough to take part, I’m flagging up the Wigan Words Festival on Monday 16th April. If you’re within striking distance, please give it your support.

For details of this initative or, if you’d like to recommend your own favourite romantic read to others, follow the link to Pure Passion on Time to Read

I'll be featuring all the books on the list in my blog over the next week or two.

And now for my "Library Champion" soapbox bit:

Books in libraries are a shrinking resource. If the demand isn’t there, the service with wither and die, so --




Monday, March 05, 2007


Finally, at last, after what seems like a marathon, Sheikh Zahir has a story. It’s taken the best part of six months to get there and, in Diana Metcalfe, he met a totally unsuitable bride. But sometimes that’s the only one that will do.

I was filling in my log – the one in which I write titles, first publication date, character names when I realised that I’d reached an incredible milestone.

THE SHEIKH’S UNSUITABLE BRIDE is my fiftieth book.

Not my fiftieth book for Mills & Boon; I still have to reach that milestone, but fifty books in total.


I feel I have to do something special to mark the occasion. To thank all those readers who’ve bought the books, or borrowed them from libraries (you’ll find me on the I Love Libraries website). Who read them and wrote to tell me that you loved them.

The book will be published early in 2008, so I have a little while to think about it, but I’ll definitely be doing something BIG, so stick around!

In the meantime here’s my MARCH COMPETITION...

This month M&B are republishing my BOARDROOM BRIDEGROOMS trilogy in the UK (it’s available at for those of you in North America).

One of the books in that trilogy was shortlisted for a Rita.


Which book?
What are the names of the hero and heroine of that book?

(Hint – you’ll find the answers on my blog!)

Email the answers to me with “Boardroom Bridegrooms Competition” in the subject line and your name will go into the draw on 31 March (if you don’t know the address, there’s a link on my website).


A signed copy of THE SECRET LIFE OF LADY GABRIELLA, (May 2007) a full month before it’s available retail, together with one of Lady G’s fluffy yellow dusters.

Oh, and if you’d like me to email you the first chapter of Lady Gabriella, just put “First Chapter” under your answer.