Saturday, July 28, 2007


I've just been doing a tour of the online bookstores to see whether Reunited is actually available yet. Some places are slower to ship than others. Since the book isn't on sale retail until next week, I was less than happy to see that Amazon UK already have a couple of sellers with "used" copies for sale at under 50p. Actually, when I chekced they were not used. They were "brand new". "In stock". Sourced from the publisher, they say.

No comment.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't have a problem with people selling, or buying, used books, but give the author -- and publisher -- a break. We have a couple of weeks on sale retail; it's not long and if we don't sell new books -- it's how we earn our living -- who is going to bother to write them? Print them? Already, the average author earns less than the minimum wage and has to have a "day" job.

I'm luckier than most, I know. My readers are loyal. They buy my books and help pay my kid's student loans. But we're all keen to save money and I can see how buying a "brand new" book for 43p is more attractive than paying £2.89. So listen up.

One of the "used" sellers is The Book Depository and here's the deal. If you buy your very competitively priced copy of Reunited from them via Amazon it will cost you 40 odd pence, plus £2.75 posdtage. However, if you go to The Book Depository's own website, you can buy a copy for £2.89 and they won't charge you for the postage.

Work it out for yourself. It's actually cheaper to buy a legitimate, brand new copy that will benefit the publisher and the author -- the author especially because the publisher will know you love her enough to buy her books (they have no way of knowing how many used of "brand new" used books are sold).

You can work out 4% of the price and discover for yourself exactly how much the author earns per book.

Oh, and ROMANTIC TIMES says Reunited is "... one of the author's best." And gave it 4 1/2 stars.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Just a quick message to thank all of you who left wonderful and inspiring messages on Elizabeth Oldfield's blog. The winner was Merri, and a copy of VINTAGE BABES is on it's way to her.

Next week sees REUNITED: MARRIAGE IN A MILLION go retail in the UK and US. If you all rush out and by it in the first week it might make the Waldenbooks list -- wouldn't that be great!

I've already given away at least half a dozen copies in competitions around the 'net so I won't be giving away any more, at least not while you can go out and buy it!

I will, however, be offering a copy of my September 3-in-1 BY REQUEST (including books by Marion Lennox and Jessica Hart) which won't be available in Australia or the US, and maybe a book or two from my backlist, so drop by for reviews, snippets and all the goss.

Thursday, July 26, 2007



Are you out there? Can you hear me?

You both won books on the guest Rita blogs but we can't send them to you if you don't email me with your names and addresses (there's an email link on my

Okay, I've stopped shouting now...
I'm sorry I've been neglecting my own blogging over the last couple of weeks. It's not that I don't have news. I do. My daughter survived the examination system and despite holding down a really responsible job with long hours, she now has her Masters. She was coming to Wales for the wedding of an old school friend (who now lives in Louisiana) but didn't get further than Paddington Station because all the trains were cancelled due to flooding. (Doesn't you heart go out to those people? And there seems to be no let up with the weather.) When, hugely disappointed, she battled her way home (one train running from Victoria), she found that news waiting for her. I am sooo proud!
I've had some totally fabulous reviews in for REUNITED: MARRIAGE IN A MILLION, which is out next week, or available online now. This is a five star job from Cataromance:

Liz Fielding kicks off the new Secrets We Keep trilogy with Reunited: Marriage in a Million, a powerful romance written straight from the heart that is brimming with emotional intensity and compelling drama.

Go here to read more.

I've just read the second book in the trilogy, NEEDED: HER MR RIGHT and I'm here to tell you that Barbara Hannay has written a moving and wonderfully sexy romance that I just loved. And it made me cry... always a plus!

And I'm finally making headway with the novella I'm writing. Do you want a taster? Do you? Really? Oh, go on then...

‘What have we got here?’

The “expert”, a silver-haired smoothie and darling of the blue-rinse brigade, was familiar from the many evenings she’d sat watching this programme with her grandmother.

'I don’t know,’ she said, truthfully, putting the brown padded envelope she had been clutching to her chest on the baize covered table in front of him. ‘To be honest I feel a bit of a fool bringing it here --’ ... she felt better for getting that out ... ‘-- but my neighbour lived in the Middle East for a while and she thought it was interesting.’

Oh, lame, Violet Hamilton. Pathetic to blame someone not here to defend herself.

‘Well, let’s have a look at it shall we?’ He tipped a rag-wrapped bundle out onto the table in front of him.

‘That’s just how I found it,’ Violet said, quickly, not wanting him to think she routinely kept her valuables wrapped in rotted black silk. Not that she had any valuables. ‘This morning,’ she added. ‘When I put my foot through the floorboards.’ The cameraman pointed his lens at her strapped up ankle.

Terrific... This was her “fifteen minutes of fame” and already her ankle was more interesting. ‘It must have been there for years,’ she said.

Without a word he carefully unfolded the rotted silk to reveal an ornately decorated dagger. Around them people crowded in to get a closer look.

That it was old was not in doubt. The handle had the patina of hard-use and, inset in the top was a large, smoothly polished red stone the size of a pigeon’s egg. The sheath wasn’t straight, but sharply curved and adorned with fancy filigree work into which were set three similar, tear-shaped red stones, decreasing in size as they reached the curved point and looking for all the world as if the stone on the handle was bleeding along its length.

The man said nothing for so long that Violet said, ‘If I’d seen it on a market stall, I’d had sworn it was some fanciful pantomime prop. Something the genie might wear in Aladdin.’ The crowd, obligingly, laughed. ‘All glass and plastic,’ she added.

Then, as he eased the knife out of the sheath and the lights glinted off the metal, the laughter died.

‘It’s not a theatrical prop,’ he said, unnecessarily.

Stay tuned for the winner of Elizabeth Oldfield's book.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Marion Lennox is now safely back from RWA and has snagged a passing koala to draw "Juliemt" as the winner of her signed book. Email me with your street name and addy, Julie, and I'll pass it on to Marion so that she can send you her book.

And Joye!!!! Are you out there. You won Fiona's book, but without your details we can't get it to you. Email me -- there's a link on my website -- NOW!

And there's still time to take part in the competition for VINTAGE BABES by Elizabeth Oldfield. Scroll down and tell us who is your most admired "mature" woman.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I first met Elizabeth Oldfield just as my third book, Instant Fire, had been published. A group of Mills & Boon authors had been invited to tea at the historic Brown's Hotel in Albemarle Street for afternoon tea, by the fabulous Charlotte Lamb. A very memorable occasion for a very new author.

We met in the cloakroom; I was trying to get my shaking legs under control, while she was so cool, so authorly. But then Elizabeth Oldfield was the author I'd been advised to read when my first Mills & Boon was turned down. She was the stellar author held out as an example...

Now, for the first time in several years, she has a new book. Not a straight romance, but a book for the baby boomer generation. A story to make us all realise that the first chin hair isn't the end of the world. Or having a life...

Here's Elizabeth to tell you a little about it.

After writing 40 Mills & Boon romances over 18 years, I retired from the romantic genre. I wanted time to relax, go travelling with my alpha male husband and, finally, to attempt a long-held ambition of writing mainstream women's fiction. VINTAGE BABES is the result.

Whereas a proliferation of chick-lit is targeted towards younger females, few books cater for the older women - yet more than 50% of women readers are over fifty. VINTAGE BABES explores the sometimes scary, sometimes comic business of being female and of 'a certain age'.

Carol - divorced, fifty-plus and a reporter on a small-town newspaper - has one grumble; the way friends and family will try to fix her up with a Mr Wonderful. No thanks! She's perfectly content on her own, free to wield the TV remote control and shave her legs in the bath with no-one bellyaching. Then life shifts into the kick-ass mode.

Jenny, Carol's meek plump housewife friend, is eager to find herself a job, but her husband disapproves. Can she summon up the confidence to do what she wants?

Tina, a glamorous, recently-widowed gold-digger has one major problem - she hates getting older.

When the three women work-out together with Max, an exotic personal trainer, all their lives are changed.

And here's an excerpt:

'OHOC, OHOT, WLTM a WOCA with GSOH. That'd suit you.'

I looked across at Melanie. 'I beg your pardon.'

'Own house, own car. Own hair, own teeth,' she translated. 'Would like to meet a woman of a certain age with good sense of humour for a long term relationship. Interested?'

'No thanks. And you shouldn't be logging onto encounter sites and printing out details in company time and at company expense. Eric may have let you get away with murder, but Mr Lingard would not approve.'

'He isn't here.'

'Makes no difference.'

If she had a spare moment and, I suspected, whenever she was left in the office alone, Melanie scanned what seemed to be a never-ending scroll of lonely hearts 'males eager to contact females.' When I had asked why a girl in her twenties should need to forage for dates in such a way, I had been informed that 'everyone does it.' I'd also been informed that there are specialist sites catering for vegans, poets and herpes carriers. Wow!

Courtesy of the net, Melanie had even gone speed-dating where, in the course of one evening and after sipping a free cocktail, the organisers had introduced her to eighteen members of the opposite sex and allotted her three minutes to talk to each. So much for romance! Whatever happened to old-fashioned courting?

Melanie had subsequently met up with two of the men and afterwards given me a detailed - too detailed- account of what had happened. While not wanting to go all the way on a first date and be viewed as 'easy', she had agreed to blow jobs. Crikey! In my youth, a lad would've considered himself fortunate if a girl had held his hand. Melanie had not, however, felt inclined to see either of the guys again. And vice versa.

'I am a well-mannered, healthy and intelligent businessman, looking for an older solvent lady who -'


Melanie popped a Smint in her mouth. She sucks them continuously. ''Wouldn't you like to team up with a guy? There's a lot on offer for the silver surfer market.'
I stiffened. 'I am not a silver surfer.'

'You are nearly.'

I disagreed. To my reckoning, you don't rate as a silver surfer until you clock at least sixty and more like sixty-five. I was a long way off that. A mere chick. A funky chick, too. But I wasn't prepared to argue the point. Not with someone who regards thirty as 'past it'.

'What I wouldn't like,' I said, 'is to fix to meet a guy over the Net and find myself lumbered with a well-mannered, healthy and intelligent serial killer. Or rapist.'

Melanie rolled her eyes skywards. 'That is so last millenium. On-line dating is just window shopping. You chat for two or three weeks, then arrange a get-together in a public place. If you're sensible, it's perfectly safe. How about this one? JLFAS. Just looking for adulterous sex.'

I shuddered. I'm not saying my moral compass is superior to anyone else's, but I would never sleep with a married man.

'Spare me.'

VINTAGE BABES can be viewed at Accent Press or on at Amazon.

Question: Who is the woman over fifty whom you most admire - and why?

A signed copy of VINTAGE BABES will be sent to the provider of the most impressive answer.

Jackie Braun is back from a relaxing week by the lake and she has now drawn Pam as the winner of her signed book. Email me, Pam -- there's a link on my website -- with your full name and snail mail addy and I'll pass it on.
I still haven't heard from Joye!!!

Don't forget to comment on the Elizabeth Oldfield blog about VINTAGE BABES. You've got until the 25th!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Barbara Hannay (congratulations again, Barbara!) and Fiona Harper (now recovered from jetlag) have now drawn their Rita blog winners.

Joye was drawn by Fiona, and Becky was drawn by Barbara, so send me an email with your full names and addresses and I'll pass them on.

I'm blogging over at the Pink Heart Society today about the SECRETS WE KEEP trilogy, and my book REUNITED: MARRIAGE IN A MILLION, which kicks it off. A copy of the book will be in the Pink Heart hamper at the end of the month.

And don't forget that a signed copy of Elizabeth Oldfield's VINTAGE BABES is up for grabs -- leave your comment below for a chance to win this hugely enjoyable book.

The dh has drawn the winner of the Rita blog for Domesticating Luc and it's Eva!

Since I was unable to connected with Sandra Paul, the prize is a copy of my August release, Reunited: Marriage in a Million. Email me with your full name and snail mail addy, Eva (there's a link on my website and I'll get the book in the post to you.

Joye, are you out there? I haven't heard from you yet -- you won Fiona's book.

And don't forget that there's a copy of VINTAGE BABES by Elizabeth Oldfield to be won. Leave a comment telling us which over-50 woman you most admire, to go in the draw. Is some famous public figure? An actress who eschews the plastic surgeon's knife and loves her wrinkles (Helen Mirren stand up and take a bow!), or someone in your own family?

Monday, July 16, 2007


Barbara Hannay's fabulous Mills & Boon Tender/Harlequin Romance CLAIMING HIS FAMILY.

For a taste of what made this emotionally charged and heart-warming book such a winner scroll back a couple of posts and you'll find an excerpt.
And then join me in raising a glass of cyber champagne to this wondeful author.

Oh, and make a note to put her September, "Secrets We Keep" book, Needed: Her Mr Right on your auto buy list.

You know it makes sense ...

Sunday, July 15, 2007


In response to my appeal for more information about this book, FtWorthMom was kind enough to send me the following. Thanks a bunch, FWM!

Domesticating Luc by Sandra Paul (Silhouette Romance#1802, Feb 06)

This is a RITA finalist (2007) for traditionalromance. I have now read all but one from thatcategory. It was much lighter than the others and veryenjoyable (as were the others but it was a mood apart).

The Pawlogue and E-Pawlogue are told frm the dog'spoint of view.

Luc Tagliano has just inherited a Cane Corso (ItalianMastiff) from his great-aunt, who finished raising himafter his parents were killed in an accident. He takesPuppy to Julie Jones's dog training institute and heand Puppy are problem students, so Julie pulls themaside and totally blows Luc's ego. He's used to womenthrowing themselves at his gorgeous rich self andJulie is all about the dog! Her apartment is about tobe re-done so she'll be living in a hotel for a month.Luc convinces her to move into his guest house andwork with him and Puppy.

Julie perceives that the main problem is the two guyshaven't bonded and Luc is not making any effort tobond. So, she requires Luc to come home at a decenthour and spend the evening with Puppy and by default,he spends the evening with her, too. They becomeattracted. Julie falls totally in a sad moment betweenthe two guys when Luc finds his aunt's long-lost glovein Puppy's crate (which is what Puppy had been diggingout of the $4000 couch when he ruined it). And Luclooks at Puppy and says something like, "So that'swhat this has been about? You've been grieving forher. I know, I miss her, too."

Luc is too stupid to realize that he's fallen for bothPuppy and Julie til it's almost too late. He givesPuppy to a dog-shower-person but can't drive away andgoes back and demands Puppy back. Then he and Puppy gobeg Julie to marry them.
There are quite a few humorous moments in this book.It is very well constructed. I would have totallymissed it if it hadn't finaled for a RITA so I'm veryglad that it did. Since it is by far the mostlight-hearted in its group, I'll be interested to seeif it wins. It deserves to, but so do the others. Hardwork for the judges.

Don't forget, you've got all day Sunday to add comments and win yourselves a book from a Rita nominated author. Just scroll on down....

I'm feeling rather desperate about Sandra Paul.

I wanted to bring you a taster of all the RITA shortlisted books this year -- the very last in which there will be a Traditional Category -- and thought it would be a piece of cake.

I actually know four of the shortlisted authors so all I had to was put out a call for excerpts. No problem. But Sandra hasn't shown up on any of my extended networks so I searched further. I posted pleas on all my loops, on the eHarlequin message board. Nothing.

She doesn't have a internet footprint. No photographs. No interviews. No blurbs. So all I can give you is the cover of DOMESTICATING LUC -- it's great isn't it? -- and give you a link to Amazon, US so that you can check it out for yourself -- and maybe buy a copy so that you can find out for yourself what gives it that extra sparkle. Give you a link to her page at Fantastic Fiction

And if anyone out there can tell me more, then send me an email and I'll put up more tomorrow. In the meantime, since I can't get hold of Sandra, I'm going to set you a question myself -- and the prize will be a copy of my August release, REUNITED: MARRIAGE IN A MILLION.

"Luc" is one of those seriously sexy hero names. If you could name a hero, what would you call him, and why?

Don't forget! Keep commenting on all the Rita finalist posts until Monday.

And finally, we now have news of the categories for next year's Rita and Golden heart series fiction. Gone are Traditional, Short Contemporary and Long Contemporary and they are to be replaced with the following.

New Contemporary Series Golden Heart and RITA Categories

Contemporary Series Romance

Definition: Series romance novels that focus primarily on the romantic relationship.

Judging guidelines: In this category, the love story is the main focus of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure

Definition: Series romance novels which focus primarily on the romantic relationship but may have more complex suspense/adventure subplots.

Judging guidelines: In this category, the love story is the main focus of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

"Rationale pertaining to both of the above categories: With the shrinking word counts at Harlequin/Silhouette, there is no longer an appreciable difference between the length of individual lines. Therefore, these two categories were created to focus on content rather than word count. "

So there you have it. But tonight we have the award ceremony -- it's online, live, at the RWA website

I'll be back tomorrow with news of the winner!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

MARION LENNOX did it twice!

I met Marion Lennox at the Romance Writers of America Conference in New York.

We were both nominated for a RITA that year (Debbie Macomber took the prize!) and had flown many a jet-lagging mile to be there, not that we let a little thing like that slow us down. I don't remember much about the conference, but New York was fabulous, the parties were fabulous... You get the picture!

Marion has been nominated, or double nominated for a RITA every year for as long as I can remember. She has two of the golden ladies at home already, proving just what a stellar writer she is in both Harlequin Romance and Medical Romance series. My first impression on meeting her is that is so tall! In fact I think my first words were, "You're so tall..." which wasn't exactly sparkling conversation, but honestly, we're talking super-model here...) My second was that she was fun. Oh, and charming. Just lovely. Like her wonderful books. I wish I was in Dallas so that I could visit with her again and celebrate her achievements because this year she's done the double again, with two books nominated for a Rita. The first is --


HOW did you knock on the front door of a medieval castle? And what was such a castle doing in a remote Australian fishing community?

Dr Kirsty McMahon was worried and tired and it was starting to rain. The castle doors looked as if they'd take a battering ram to open them, and using the incongruous intercom-thing produced nothing. Her tentative knock sounded ridiculous. She knocked harder and gave a hopeful shout but there was no response.

Enough. She'd been stupid to come. Susie was complaining of cramp. She and her twin would find a hotel in Dolphin Bay and broach the castle walls in the morning. If she could get Susie back here.

Then she paused as a sudden flurry of barking sounded on the other side of the gates. Was someone coming?

The vast timber doors opened an inch, and then wider. A lanky brown dog of indiscriminate parentage nosed its way out. A hand gripped its collar. A man's hand.

She took a step back. This place seemed straight out of a Gothic novel. The castle was set high on the cliffs above the sea, with purple-hazed mountains ringing the rear. In the mist of early evening, Kirsty was almost expecting to be met by a pack of ancient hunting dogs, anchored to armoured warriors with battle-axes.

"Boris, if you jump up on anyone you'll be toast." She blinked. The owner of the voice didn't sound like an axe-toting warrior. The voice sounded...nice?

The doors swung wider and she decided the adjective nice wasn't strong enough.

Her warrior was gorgeous.

Six feet two. Mid-thirties maybe? Aran sweater, faded jeans and battered boots. Deep brown, crinkly hair, ruffled just the way she liked it in her men.

Her men? Robert? The thought almost made her smile and she had no difficulty at all turning her attention back to her warrior.

What else? He had a craggy face, strongly boned and weathered. His eyes smiled at the edges even when he wasn't smiling. His body was...excellent.

Oh, for heaven's sake, she was standing outside a ridiculous Australian castle thinking lustful thoughts about a strange man's body?All her life she'd fought to stay in control, and now, when everything was teetering, the last thing she needed was the complication of a male. Back home she was dating nice, safe Robert, who'd stay being nice and safe for as long as she wanted. She was in control. She was married to medicine.

But her warrior was definitely gorgeous.

And the second --


"ISN'T Kapua where Lily Cyprano lives?"

Ben was running to a tight schedule, and he sighed as Sam Hopper joined him. Sam was a skilled surgeon but he talked too much. The first Chinook was leaving in an hour. Normally the adrenalin was kicking in by now, making him move with lightning speed, but lately, Hell, what did it mean when preparation for disaster seemed routine?

"What?" he asked without looking up, and Sam poured himself coffee and hiked his frame onto the bench where Ben was sorting drugs.

"Lily,'he repeated patiently. "Cute as a button. Half islander, half French. We all thought she looked like Audrey Hepburn, only curvier. Sexiest thing on two legs. She went through med school, then went home to work on the little island where she'd been raised. Wasn't that Kapua?" He paused, sorting old memories. "Hey, weren't you two an item? I was a couple of years above you but I seem to remember, I'm right, aren't I?"

Ben's hands stilled. For a moment—just for a moment—a surge of remembered pain washed through him. Lily.

Then he regrouped. "We're talking about seven years ago,' he snapped. "The trivia you keep in that tiny mind of yours, "

"But Kapua is Lily's island?' "Yeah," Ben said, remembering. He'd been so caught up in the urgency of the job that until now he hadn't thought of the link between Kapua and Lily. But, yes, Kapua was definitely the place Lily called home.

"Is she still there?'

"How would I know? I haven't heard from her for years."

"It'd be a joke if she was among the insurgents."

"A great joke," he said dryly, starting to pack again.

Marion's latest, HIS MIRACLE BRIDE is on sale in the UK and US in August. You can check out an excerpt at her website.

And to win a signed copy, just tell us what it is about doctors that make them such great heroes.

Marion won't be drawing the prize until she gets back from the States, so, as with all the other finalists, you have until Monday to leave your comment.

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's day three in the great Traditional Category RITA giveaway and it's a huge pleasure to introduce the stellar new talent --


Fiona Harper's Blind Date Marriage is a bit of phenomenon.

Her first book, it scooped the Romantic Novelists' Association New Writer's Prize in 2006 and now has a double Rita nomination as Best First Book and Best Traditional Romance.

We are, as you can imagine, in awe and wondering just what Fiona is going to do next.

Here's what she has to say about her book.
BLIND-DATE MARRIAGE is about Serendipity Dove's quest for a little normality in her unconventional life. All she needs is a nice husband to provide her with two-point-four children and she'll be in heaven. But finding the perfect man is harder than she anticipated! However, on a blind date she meets Jake, and intelligent, attractive accountant, and he ticks all the right boxes. Well, almost all of them. She's too busy falling in love to notice that, down in the small print, the ready-for-commitment box is glaringly empty.
And here's an excerpt...

Jake walked into Maison Blanc ten minutes early. Being there first gave him the edge. When Serena arrived he’d be calmly seated at one of the little square tables with its crisp linen table cloth. He’d make sure he had a good view of the entrance and scrutinize every female who glided through glass door.

Maison Blanc was his kind of place. The decor was white and clean, full of straight lines. No fuss. No frills. The best feature by far was that he knew how big the bathroom window was. He’d fit though it, no problem.

He walked past the bar into the main part of the restaurant and scanned the entire room from left to right—then did a double take.

It was her!

The mystery woman. Here. Now.

He very nearly swore.

The woman he’d spent most of last night trying to forget, while he punched his pillow and ordered himself to sleep, was sitting at a table in the centre of the room, sipping a drink.

Suddenly he didn’t know what to do with his hands.

She looked stunning. Her silky, brown hair was swept up into a braided ponytail. Her large, almond-shaped eyes were accentuated with smoky make-up and she wore a soft, moss-green cardigan open at the throat. He swallowed. Never had a cardigan looked so sexy.

She was warm and vibrant, a perfect contrast to the sterile surroundings. And something about her seemed indefinably exotic. He wondered if she had gypsy blood coursing through her veins.

She started to turn her head in his direction, so he dived behind a pillar and stayed there for a few breathless seconds. Then, when he was sure she wasn’t looking his direction, he slunk over to the bar and ordered something. He sat there, hunched over his glass, hoping to heaven she hadn’t noticed him. But that didn’t seem possible. He was sure every molecule in his body was screaming, “Look at me!” and waving its arms in her direction.

He risked another glance.

She was looking at the menu. He was safe, for now.

An enigmatic smile curled her lips, like she was remembering a secret joke. In fact, it looked very much like she was trying not to laugh.

Coming in August from Fiona...


A rustic farmhouse, the warmth of a crackling fire, and breathtaking views of the countryside make the perfect setting for the most romantic evenings...

For Nick and Adele Hughes this idyllic evening for two is the last place either of them wants to be. Their marriage over, they never believed they could find their way back to each other. But, stranded in this picturesque cottage, Nick and Adele find they cannot resist the spark that has always fizzed between them.

As the twinkling firelight begins to work its magic, this couple discover the wonderful thing about breaking up is making up...

And finally, for a chance to win a signed book from Fiona, what two things did Jake know about his blind-date before he met her?

We won't be drawing any of the winners until everyone's home from Dallas, so keep those answers coming on all the fainlist posts this week!

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I first met Barbara Hannay at the Romance Writers of America conference in New York. Since then we've shared a meal in London and maybe, one day, we'll get together in Australia.
Here's what she has to say about her Rita nominated book CLAIMING HIS FAMILY...
A marriage renewal…

Many of my stories have ended with happy marriages in the Outback, but in Claiming His Family, I asked, what if, this time, one of my characters simply cannot face the unrelenting isolation, the hardship and danger in remote Australia?

Erin Riley, a born-in-the-womb New Yorker, has agreed to take her little boy to the Outback to meet his father – her ex-husband – whom she hasn’t seen for five years.

Seeing Luke again, Erin’s not sure how she’s supposed to act around the man she once loved so deeply.
The memories of their marriage come flooding back… the happy times, and the problems that tore them apart. Now Luke is determined for her to stay. But Erin knows their problems have not disappeared, so how can she give their marriage a second chance – and let them become a family again…?

Here's an excerpt ...

“There’s no point in my coming to the airport,” Erin said, keeping her gaze no higher than Luke’s broad shoulder. “I’ll say goodbye here.”

She knelt beside Joey and gave him a hug and a kiss and then another hug. Joey clung to her and she could feel his little body trembling with excitement and just a little fear. “Daddy’s going to take good care of you,” she whispered. Then she said more brightly, “You can call me when you get to Warrapinya. I’ll expect to hear all about your adventures.”

The boy nodded against her shoulder, and she gave him one more kiss, a final hug.

“I love you,” she whispered and then she stood. Her eyes met Luke’s and she forced a smile. “I packed a photo album in with Joey’s things. It’s for you. I had copies made of all the best ones. Of Joey. You know. All the milestones.”

“Thanks.” His voice sounded rough around the edges.

“You’d better get going,” she said, keeping her chin bravely high.

“Indeed.” With two fingers he snagged Joey’s suitcase.

Erin opened the door. “Have a great trip now.”

The man and the boy passed through the doorway.

“Bye, Mom.”

“Bye, Joey-boy.” Erin swallowed to push away the sharp lump in her throat.
Luke was still watching her closely, and then he set down the suitcase. “I’d better say goodbye, too.”

Before she had time to understand what was happening, his hands were at her waist and he was kissing her.

Her heart took a leap. She felt a hot rush of excitement as he drew her against him. Within seconds she was trembling beneath the unexpected warmth of his lips.
She had tried so hard to forget what Luke’s kiss was like. She’d blocked from her mind the physical desire she’d always felt for him. But now her senses sprang to life. The taste of Luke Manning sent her skin aflame. Her heart was a flower bursting into bloom.

“No!” Joey’s voice shouted beside them. “No, Dad, stop it. Mommy doesn’t want you to kiss her. She told me.”

With a sharp groan, Luke lifted his head. His arms released her as quickly as he’d embraced her and he stepped away.

Stunned, flushed and breathless, Erin sagged against the door frame.

“Are you all right, Mommy?” Joey looked worried and he touched her hand.

She took a quick breath and nodded and she squeezed his fingers to reassure him. “Yes, sweetheart, of course I’m okay. I’m fine.”

Her eyes sought Luke’s, but he was already bending to retrieve the suitcase. When he straightened, she saw that his face was flushed and his eyes were burning beneath stern brows. He stood very stiffly and gave her a curt nod, and then turned to the boy. “Are you ready, Joey?”

“Yeah, sure. I’ve been ready for ages.”

“Then we’d better be on our way.”

Now they were heading down the hall and Joey flashed Erin one last, searching glance over his shoulder.

She waved and smiled fiercely to show him she was fine.

“I don’t know why Mom doesn’t want you to kiss her, do you, Dad?” she heard Joey ask, and she knew that Luke said something in reply but she couldn’t hear his answer.
It must have been flippant, because as she watched, Joey laughed and then he gave a little skip and he took his father’s hand and then they turned the corner and disappeared.
More from Barbara...
And finally....

When Liz Fielding first asked me to join her in writing a trilogy with Jackie Braun, I didn’t hesitate – not even for a split second. And what a wonderful journey we’ve been on together, from the early discussions through all stages of the writing process.

In much the same way, our three heroines, Belle, Simone and Claire support each other when they return home from the Himalayas to face the challenges of their pasts. For Simone, revealing the truth about her own past is terrifying, but she’s plunged into even deeper turmoil when she loses her private dairy and compromises the shared secrets of her two friends.

Simone never expects to find that very special man, someone she can trust with the truth about her past and her hopes for the future. She has no idea that Mr. Right is just around the corner. Fpr more information, check out Barbara's website

Coming in September from Barbara Hannay

Needed: Her Mr. Right, the second book in the SECRETS WE KEEP trilogy…
And for a chance to win a signed book from Barbara's backlist, why don't you tell us what it is that you love about stories set in the Outback?
Draws for the prizes won't take back until after the weekend when the travellers have returned from conference.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Since this seems likely to be the last year that Traditional Romance will stand alone as a category in Romance Writers’ of America annual RITA awards for excellence in romantic fiction, I wanted to celebrate the wonderful authors and books who have been short-listed this year. This is who they are

Jackie Braun

Barbara Hannay

Fiona Harper

Marion Lennox

Sandra Paul

It’s Fiona’s first RWA conference, she’s up for Best First Book as well as Best Traditional Romance. Marion is flying in from Australia, too. Already a double Rita winner and a RWA veteran, I imagine that they’ll need stewards at the book-signng keep her fans in line, but it’s a long trip from both England and Australia and if you can make the book-signing – the money from all the books sold goes to the cause of Literacy -- please so make a point of stopping by to say hello.

During the week of the conference, Tuesday to Saturday, I will be featuring the five authors in the line-up. They have each been kind enough to donate a signed book – for the chance to win, all you’ll have to do is answer a simple question.

I’m taking the finalists in alphabetical order and the first up is


I loved writing this story. It's a powerful tale of redemption and not just for the heroine but for the hero. I have to say, I was a little surprised that my editor climbed on board when I pitched this book to her, and as the first book in a trilogy no less. This is a very different kind of story for a traditional romance. My heroine, Audra, was thrice-married and a failed actress. My hero, Seth, was a photojournalist who turns to a career as a tabloid photographer to pursue Audra, whom he blames for the accident that killed his family. It's my hope that readers enjoy Audra and Seth's journey to forgiveness and love as much as enjoyed writing it.

Here's the story in a nutshell --

Audra Conlan has always been flirtatious, flamboyant and wild, until fate gives her a second chance she vows not to waste. This time she'll repent her mistakes, face her estranged family and avoid men like photographer Seth Ridley, whose sexy smile and welcoming ways tempt her to fall for him hard and fast. But when the past threatens her new life, will Audra dare to forgive the woman she once was and embrace the woman she was meant to be ... a woman worth loving?

And here's an excerpt --

It was easy to have regrets about the way she’d lived her life when a man’s hands were wrapped around her throat, thumbs pressing insistently on her windpipe to cut off her oxygen supply. In truth, though, the excuses Audra had made for her bad behavior hadn’t seemed valid for a while now.
It’s not fair.

That thought registered even as her vision began to dim.

After all, she had been changing her ways -- discreetly, which perhaps explained why the tabloids’ most recent headlines had still labeled her a gold digger.

Audra didn’t like the moniker, although she supposed she had been called far worse. Still, she had married for love and, after that, for emotional security. Wealth hadn’t been the quality that had attracted her to any of her husbands, including the late Henry Dayton Winfield III. He’d been kind, undemanding. He’d been ... safe. And she had been determined that this marriage would work despite the gap in their ages. She had been determined that this time she would not fail. Marriage number three would not end in divorce like the previous two had, leaving her disillusioned and her heart a gouged out husk.
“Lying, manipulative witch,” spat the man squeezing her throat.

Audra was incapable of disputing his words. How ironic that when she had been capable of speaking out in her own defense, she hadn’t bothered.

In general, she hadn’t cared what other people thought about her or what adjectives they used to describe her, as long as they'd spelled her name right. She’d known her soul wasn’t completely black even if the rag-reading public thought differently. Since her most recent marriage in particular, she’d taken steps to restructure her lifestyle and realign the egocentric pattern into which she had fallen since coming to Hollywood. She was no Mother Teresa, but she had found great satisfaction and personal fulfillment becoming involved with children’s charities in recent years, working quietly behind the scenes lest someone accuse her of exploiting the already exploited in an attempt to salvage her flagging acting career.

While the tabloids might call her a gold digger -- and the man trying to kill her clearly saw her that way -- she had in fact made an appointment with her lawyer that very afternoon to rework her late husband’s will so that his rightful heirs would inherit the vast estate.

She didn’t need the money, nor did she feel entitled to it. She had amassed a fair bit of wealth on her own thanks to a few smart investments. Still, she could understand why some people who didn’t know her, and who only read tabloid stories about her, would see her as a candidate for stoning.

As she floated near the edge of consciousness the past thirty years played through her mind like some poorly acted made-for-television movie. That was galling, but apropos. She’d never made much of a name for herself in Hollywood, at least not the kind that could be repeated in polite company.

She’d caused her share of trouble and heartache, bitterness and outright rage, which, she thought with the brutal honesty of the dying, was exactly how she found herself in her current predicament. She’d pushed the envelope too far, thumbed her nose at convention one time too many.

At one point she’d felt she’d had good reasons for being a wild child, a rebellious teenager and then an adult who’d lived scandalously enough to become weekly tabloid fodder. Those reasons had ceased to matter, perhaps because Audra had finally realized they didn’t absolve her from responsibility or translate into happy endings.

You reap what you sow. How often had she heard that advice while growing up? Yet it had taken her all this time to understand and accept the truth of those simple words.
And now it was too late to complete her metamorphosis.
As the saying went, the chickens had come home to roost, and the head cock now had his big hands encircling her neck. With each passing second his grip grew tighter.

And tighter.

And tighter.

I’m not ready to die.

Even as that panicky thought registered anew she prepared for the inevitable, praying for forgiveness from the God she’d only recently become re-acquainted with and wishing she could seek the same from the many people she had wronged over the years. Her sister topped the list.

I’m so sorry.

The words whispered through her mind, unable to make it past her gasping lips. Surrendering to the blackness rimming her vision, Audra accepted that her apology was too little and, like her bid for self-respect, had come too late.

For a chance to win a signed book from Jackie's backlist, tell her what special qualities make a heroine memorable for you.

And come back tomorrow for a glimpse at Barbara Hannay's shortlisted book.

PS Draws for the books won't be done until after the weekend, when the travellers have returned from conference!

Monday, July 09, 2007


Those of you with sharp eyes will have noticed a new “slider”; Reunited: Marriage in a Million is now for sale online at Mills & Boon and eHarlequin (there are links under the slider). There’s a link to an excerpt, too. But here’s a taster, the prologue...

‘The car is here. Your paparazzi army are forming their usual guard of honour.’

Ivo was waiting, his face expressionless. Waiting for her to back down, tell him that she wouldn’t go and Belle had to fight back the treacherous sting of tears.

She didn’t cry, ever.

Why couldn’t he understand? Why couldn’t he see that she hadn’t chosen to spend ten days cycling over the Himalayas on some whim!

This was important to her. Something she needed to do.

By demanding she drop out at a moment’s notice to play hostess at one of his power-broking weekends at his country house in Norfolk, he was making it plain that nothing, not her career, certainly not some charity stunt, was as important as being his wife.

That he had first call on her.

If only she could have told him, explained. But if she’d done that, he wouldn’t want her to stay...

‘I have to go,’ she said.

For a moment she thought he was going to say something, but instead he nodded, picked up the heavy rucksack that contained everything she would need for the next three weeks and reached for the door handle.

By the time it was open, Belle was wearing a smile for the cameras. She paused briefly on the step with Ivo at her side, then they made their way to the car.

The chauffeur took the rucksack and while he was stowing it, Ivo took her hand, looked down at her with grave eyes that never betrayed what he was thinking.

‘Look after yourself.’

‘Ivo...’ She stopped herself from begging him to come to the airport with her. ‘I’ll be passing through Hong Kong on my way home. If you happened to find you had some business there, maybe we could take a few days...’

He made no comment, he never made promises he could not keep, but simply kissed her cheek, helped her into the car, repeating his directive to “take care” before closing the door. She turned as the car pulled away, but he had already turned away, was striding up the steps to the house, wanting to get back to work.

The chauffeur stopped at the drop-off point, loaded her bag onto a trolley, wished her good luck and then she was alone. Not alone, as a woman with a loving husband waiting at home might feel.

Just ... alone.

The reviews are coming in and so far they’ve been good. Since both Barbara Hannayand Jackie Braun invested a lot of trust in me, as well as their starry talents, to make this trilogy a success, I’m relieved about that. Here are some quotes – with links if you want to read the whole thing.

"Liz Fielding begins Secrets We Keep with Reunited: Marriage in a Million a moving yet frequently amusing tale. Highlighted by truly great characterizations, it's one of the author's best." Romantic Times 4½ stars

“When you pick up any Liz Fielding novel, you’re guaranteed a well-written, altogether moving experience and Reunited: Marriage in a Million is no exception...” McCreativity,
Romance Reviewed 5 roses.

Liz Fielding gives us a story in which we can experience someone else’s angst and in which we can relate to her experiences. Her vivid descriptions make us feel as though we are part of the story.
Contemporary Romance Writers Rating “9”

Liz Felding creates lovable characters that grow on the reader. They have faults, weaknesses, and at times, are even strong-willed, but throughout it all they stick together. This smooth flowing read is like a breath of fresh air and one I will not forget
Coffee Time Romance “4 cups”

The book will be on sale retail in August.

Oh, and for a chance to win a copy of the book, drop by Coffee Time Romance!

Friday, July 06, 2007


I'm helping Kate Walker celebrate her 50th Presents Romance today, by giving away a copy of Reunited: Marriage in a Million.
Do drop by, answer the question and who knows, you could be the lucky winner.

And don't forget that Kate Hardy is having a party, too!