Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I wrote that headline in gold for a special reason :)

I thought all the reviews for Reunited: Marriage in a Million were in and then today, this was posted at We Write Romance

"...a unique and very memorable read."

Belle Davenport has deep, dark secrets that she's hidden from not only her television viewers but her husband—billionaire, workaholic, Ivo Grenville. But she's not the only one with secrets and as this story unfolds we find out that both have kept things hidden that could ultimately tear their marriage apart.

As the story opens, we find Belle asserting a bit of independence by defying Ivo. She refuses to drop out of a charity cycle event in the Himilayas—an event to support homeless children, a cause dear to her heart— to simply play host for him. Ultimately, she's risking the security she married him for...but in the end, the ride was a life changing eye opener for her. She returns home determined to make some changes. The first, but certainly not the last, being to look for her lost sister whom she feels she abandoned after the death of their mother. And so the story begins...

Liz Fielding's Reunited: Marriage in a Million is a unique and very memorable read. In a time when romance novels are full of the same old story lines I was relieved to read one with a fresh and exciting twist to the marriage of convenience plot. This is definitely a must read for anyone who likes stories that keep them guessing and wondering whether or not the couple really should be together until the end.

What a really lovely end to the day!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Comments aren't appearing for some reason so just for Snookie ...

To enter the competition to win a copy of BRINGING UP BABY all you have to do is email me the three years in which Jessica, Marion and I have each won a Rita. Email the answer to me with your name and address and BRINGING UP BABY in the subject line and I'll draw one lucky winner on 31 August.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


A few months ago I posted about the delightful Nell Dixon winning the RNA's Romance Prize for her novella Marrying Max.

Last week, Nell sold Blue Remembered Heels to Headline's Little Black Dress imprint and I'm so delighted I might just go pop. I can't wait to read it!


I haven't been blogging much lately. I had a tight deadline for my sheikh novella, which is presently sitting on my editor's desk while I wait on tenterhooks for it to come boomeranging back with revisions. That story seemed to consume all my writing energy so that when I surrendered for the night I just allowed myself to sink into the pleasures of reading someone else's hard work.

One of my favourite books was Ally Blake's, Billionaire on Her Doorstep. When you've written (and read) as many Romances as I have, you think there's nothing new. It's not true of course, but maybe one gets a little jaded. And then you pick up a book like Billionaire, with a quirky heroine who's searching for herself, a group of terrific, off the wall friends that you'd love to have yourself, and a hero to die for. Oh and the gorgeous setting along the Australian coast just made me long to be there...

Treat yourself.

I've just ordered the latest Anne McAllister for my holiday reading. And another Ally Blake. This time one of her Modern Extras. And Lilian Darcy's Cafe du Jour is on its way from Australia. You've got until the end of the month to win yourself a copy and a t-shirt. Check out Lilian's website, read the excerpt, and email her at lilian@liliandarcy.com with CAFE DU JOUR COMPETITION in the subject line. Just tell her the name of Julie’s son, and whether you think he’s going to be good or bad for Susie.


So what am I doing now? Apart from decorating a couple of bedrooms? Well, the next deadline is even tighter and I have to go to Italy for two weeks right in the middle of writing this book -- really, I mean, how bad can it get? -- so I didn't have a second to waste worrying about who or what I was going to write about.

Actually you all made it really easy for me. I've lost count of the number of emails from readers who've read Reunited: Marriage in a Million and want Manda's story. So there she is on this tropical island that isn't quite paradise when an earthquake hits. His name is Jago and he's just fallen out of love with the entire female sex. And Manda? Well, Manda has just done all the smiley Godmother stuff for her sister-in-law, Belle, and her assistant, Daisy, and she needs a break. Anywhere. The trouble is, she's so busy running from her demons that she just doesn't see the brick wall until she's run into it...

Monday, August 20, 2007


Have you entered the two competitions running on this blog yet? You've got until the end of the month for the chance to snaffle a copy of Lilian Darcy's stellar single title CAFE DU JOUR. Scroll down for full details of how to win, but first feast your eyes on Diana Dempsey's review from THE MELBOURNE AGE, a journal not normally known for kindness to romance authors.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

"Susie is a 28-year-old chef whose sister has been injured in a motorbike accident and she’s in love with a schmuck who starts up a series of shonky New Age workshops. Now that’s a good set-up. Lilian Darcy does an incisive job demolishing the dilettante boyfriend, as well as some of the self-centred participants, who, in the name of personal development, just want more and more and more.

"With regard to Susie’s career, we have the pleasure of eating vicariously as well as being able to participate in the backstage argy-bargy of the restaurant. Despite the culinary setting, Susie doesn’t eat much herself and instead fixates on coffee. The stress of seeing her sister suffering has put Susie off her tucker, which means, in fact, she loses weight and becomes more and more gorgeous without realising it.

"Darcy is the writer of about 70 romances for Harlequin and Silhouette and she says on her website that editors didn’t quite know where to place Café du Jour. I can understand why.

"While a new boyfriend looms on the horizon, the romance in this case is secondary to the book’s theme: Susie’s personal crisis as she deals with the changes in her life. Written as a journal through Susie’s eyes, the voice is warm and witty. Susie’s insights into her relationship with her sister, workmates and her lover are handled in a subtle and totally credible way, making for an excellent read."

You can tell this a "serious" publication by the way it refers to the author by her last name!

And you still have a few days left to enter my own competition to win a copy of the 3-in-1 UK reissue BRINGING UP BABY, which includes my THE BABY PLAN, as well as books by Marion Lennox and Jessica Hart.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


After my last post, Lilian emailed me to remind me that we first met at Jane Porter's tea party at Brown's Hotel in Denver and I knew I had a photograph of that brilliant afternoon, so I looked it out. So here we have Jane Porter, C J Carmichael, me and Barbara Dunlop. Guess who's holding the camera!

But when I was looking for the first photograph, I found this. A year later, here we are all having tea with Jane at the Plaza in New York where, cleverly, Jane had the waiter take photographs. So here you have Jane, me, CJ, Barbara, Lilian and Susan Stephens.

Champagne, really good tea, food to die for and good friends. Absolutely perfect.

So, now we've got that sorted, carry on down and read all about CAFE DU JOUR, Lilian's fabulous new MIRA single title -- mine is in the post and I can't wait! -- and maybe win yourself a signed copy and Cafe du Jour t-shirt.

Monday, August 13, 2007


I can't actually remember the first time I met Lilian Darcy.

It was certainly in America. Washington or Denver, at one of those terrific Mills & Boon pizza parties that have become a legendary part of the Wednesday night of the RWA conferences when, after the literacy book signing, colleagues from all over the world gather, usually in Sandra Marton's room, for pizza and gossip.

I do remember her in Denver, though. Harlequin threw a rock n' party with an "Elvis" singer and Lilian grabbed me and said "let's dance" and golly, did we dance!

Today, in Australia, Lilian is launching her "book of the heart", a single title called CAFE DU JOUR, published by MIRA, and I wish, more than anything, that I could be there with her to celebrate its publication, but since that isn't possible, I'm doing the next best thing and having my own personal launch here on my blog.

Here's Lilian herself to tell you about her book: --

One of the things I love about Liz's books is the quality of the writing. It makes her characters and scenes so real you feel as if you could reach out and touch them. There's a gorgeous moment in one of her books when the hero curls the heroine's hair around his finger and tells her that he's the envy of every man in the room because of her, and it makes your skin tingle when you read it. As part of his support of my writing career, my husband has read quite a number of romances, and when he read this scene of Liz's he stabbed his finger at the page, flourished the book in the air, and told me, "See? Now, that's good writing!"

(This is supposed to be about your book, Lilian!)

There's a lot of good writing in popular women's fiction, actually, which is why it frustrates me that we get so little positive attention in the media. If you're just a regular reader who reads whatever she wants to and browses a whole variety of racks in the bookstore you may not realise this, but there's a huge gulf between literary fiction writers and popular fiction writers, and I really wish it wasn't there. I think there's a fertile middle ground where the two groups could connect and learn from each other and in the process produce books that give the warm, powerful and pacy stories that romance readers love as well as the richness of some deeper themes and observations that we sometimes don't have space for in romance.

In celebration of this middle ground, and of bridging the gap between literary and popular fiction, I'm thrilled that my upcoming novel "Café du Jour" is going to be launched by one of Australia's best-known literary fiction writers, Roger McDonald. He won the Miles Franklin Award in 2006 for his novel "The Ballad of Desmond Kale" which is full of his usual rich, tumbling language and cavalcade of characters that somehow manage to be exotic yet quintessenetially Australian at the same time. (Hm. I suppose Australian *is* exotic to many people!)

"Café du Jour" itself falls into the middle ground between popular and literary fiction, I think, with its mix of sadness and quirkiness, happy endings and unfinished journeys. It was originally slated for publication by another publisher and was given to Roger for editing. His valuable insights provided the basis for the next draft, but then the publisher closed up the imprint and the book went homeless for years. Several more major drafts later, it is finally coming out, and because of its long incubation it is a book that remains particularly close to my heart, and is different in many ways from anything I've published before.

On that note - being different - I'd like to challenge all of Liz's blog readers to try something different in your reading this month. Yes, we all love to turn to our favourite authors for time out or stress relief or guilty pleasure or inspiration, but there are so many writers out there whom we don't take the time to discover. If you're up for a reading adventure, go into a bookstore and try something new. Choose a book on the strength of a cover that grabs you by the collar as soon as you look at it, or on the strength of the author's unusual name. Choose a book because you've never bought one from that rack before, or pick a random colour and buy the first book of that colour that you see. Close your eyes and just reach out to the shelf. Okay, I'll let you have a few trial runs at this. You're allowed to read the back cover blurb or the first page and put it back if it sounds really awful!

Yes, there are some really awful books out there. They're scattered all over the bookstore, masquerading behind great covers, famous names, rave reviews. And the books that I might think are awful, you might think are great. Ultimately, the thing I most want to celebrate is that, whether we're writers or readers, there is room for all of us.

If you'd like to make "Café du Jour" your different read this month, order here

In the meantime, here's a chance to win a signed copy of the book and a "Café du Jour" t-shirt. You'll find more about the book at my website and and excerpt here. To win the book and t-shirt just email me at lilian@liliandarcy.com with CAFE DU JOUR COMPETITION in the subject line and tell me the name of Julie’s son, and whether you think he’s going to be good or bad for Susie. You've got until the end of the month!

Saturday, August 11, 2007


I promised you a competition this August for a copy of the September BY REQUEST (UK only) called BRINGING UP BABY with reissues of books by me, Jessica Hart and Marion Lennox.

To win all you have to do is email me the three years in which Jessica, Marion and I have each won a Rita. Email the answer to me with your name and address and BRINGING UP BABY in the subject line and I'll draw one lucky winner on 31 August.


The novella has reached a conclusion. I got to a point this week that I could call the end.

I wasn't entirely happy with the last scene (I could hear my editor in my head saying, "Mmmmm, I think we need to do something...")

Anyway, I woke this morning with my head in that clear space that it goes to when you stop trying and it'll be on her desk on Monday morning when she returns from holiday. Whew!

I've been thinking titles and I rather like THE SHEIKH'S HONOUR, but you can all see the problems with that one straight away can't you? US readers will think I can't spell. It doesn't matter. Whatever I come up with "marketing" will have it's own ideas. Leave them to worry about it.

Now I have an October deadline and a clear space in my head. Question -- Where do you get your ideas from? Anyone ... please ...


Writer Marcus Sakey tells us all how it's done, here. In the meantime, where does he get his ideas from...

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Somehow author Cheryl Reavis has slipped beneath my radar in the past. I don't know how that happened. She's won four RITAs for heaven's sake, which makes her a stellar writer in anyone's book.

Maybe her books have just passed beneath my eye -- something about title or cover that just didn't grab me.

But I've been reading some of the NEXT imprint, now they've made it to the UK -- renamed PRIMA NEW BEGINNINGS. For US readers, it wasn't changed just to be picky, NEXT is a chain store selling clothes and furnishings in the UK.

I freely confess I chose BLACKBERRY WINTER solely on cover and title. It sort of spoke to me in that "buy ME" sort of way. And since I bought it online at the Mills & Boon website, I don't think I even read the blurb. Here's what it says about the book on Cheryl's website.

"Sometimes, just when it seems as though spring is here to stay, the weather turns bleak and cold. It's the time when the wild blackberries bloom and it's the promise of sweet things to come.

"But Maddie Kimball has never told her daughter, Loran, about the "blackberry winters" or anything else about her past. And neither of the Kimball women realizes that old sins can cast very long shadows."

That may be the US book blurb. In the UK it says:

"I am illegitimate. But this was never a problem for me -- it was just me and my mother against the world. Mother never told me much about her past, and after a couple of unanswered questions in childhood, I stopped asking. Now, Mother is sick, and she's decided to revisit the past -- literally -- by taking an unexpected trip to the mountains where she was born.

"I was worried. I was scared. I followed her. And my mother's journey became my journey, too. I discovered that I have a father -- and my parents are still in love. Their life togethr just took a detour that lasted over forty years.

"Their relationship was like a blackberry winter... the colder the weather, the sweeter the berries in spring. And now that I've found the truth, will I have the strength to make it through my own blackberry winter?"

This is what Romantic Times said about when they awarded it the prized TOP PICK:

"...BLACKBERRY WINTER by CHERYL REAVIS is by turns heartbreaking, inspiring, puzzling and thought-provoking. Complex, sympathetic characters tell a wonderful story while working to make sense of their lives."

Here's what I say about it.

I was drawn in by Loran, desperate to get her mother back to the "civilisation" of Arlington, accepting a self-serving man as a partner because love was a mystery that she hadn't cracked, knew nothing about.

I was drawn by Maddie, dying and needing to be home.

There are three men in this story, each of them tugging at these two women in different ways. One is entirely self-centred. The other two are complex, difficult men. Hard, suffering, break-your-heart men. And there's a cast of characters so real that you want to know them. To stay at Lilac Hill and eat Mrs Jenning's scones. To sit with the men who gather beside Poppy's stove. Eat one of Nelda's pies.

I cried through the last fifty pages and discovered something for myself. That the only thing harder than reading through tears, is putting down the book and not reading...

Monday, August 06, 2007


My computer died. I thought it was just sick, but it went to the shop and Andy said it was terminal. I should be getting the replacement he's building me sometime this week, but I've been forced to work on my laptop for the last four weeks and -- close your ears, honey, I love you really -- it's driving me crazy.
The dining table is too high for comfort, it doesn't fit on the keyboard slide on my desk and I have to FINDABO today!

This novella was the hardest book to start ever. It took me more attempts to get it going than my lawnmower. The middle, when I finally did get going, eventually went down fairly quickly, but the ending... The problem is that it's a novella that has aspirations to be a full length book. I've got enough ending for another 25,000 words and all I have is 5,000. Something, or someone, is going to have to go. Memo to brain. SAY NO TO NOVELLAS.

But The Sheikh, the Girl in the Bathrobe and the Fancy Bit of Cutlery is in the future. This month it's Reunited: Marriage in a Millions's all too brief sojourn in the sun. Well, there's next month, too, in Australia and New Zealand, and now I have that cover, I thought -- since it's so excellent -- that I'd treat myself by posting it again.

I had another review last week, too. This time from Once Upon a Romance and since it's rather lovely, I thought I'd share it with you. (There are quotes from earlier reviews at my website.) Interesting, they and the readers who've written to me -- thank you, guys! -- all fell for Ivo. I can't think why...

Anyway, here's what they said: --

"Belle Davenport is the belle of England. Host of a popular morning show and married to billionaire Ivo Grenville, she appears to have it all. With a fabulous husband, the perfect marriage, the darling of morning TV—who could want more? Unfortunately, nobody really knows that their marriage is a sham. Nothing more than a business relationship with great sex. She needed security and he needed somebody who understands that he doesn’t "do" emotions or love. It seemed to be a perfect fit at the time, but now Belle wants more.

"Besides, Ivo doesn’t really know a thing about her and her past. Nobody does. But she is desperate to find the little girl she abandoned years ago. Does she have what it takes to leave the security of Ivo and go after what she wants?

"What a great storyline. I felt an instant connection with Belle and wanted her to face her demons. However, I didn’t realize Ivo had things to hide as well. Can the two of them ever tell each other the truth? Can Belle really leave Ivo? This story plays out in many ways like a soap opera. Every time we get one answer, another question pops up. I don’t want to give away too much of the storyline so you can be as surprised as I was as the secrets kept being revealed.

"A totally attention grabbing book. You’ll have trouble putting it down."
Finally, the website has had it's monthly update and I'm running a competition there for a copy of BRINGING UP BABY. Also on sale at M&B and Amazon UK now!