Wednesday, April 09, 2008

SORRY...

I'm being a neglectful blogger just at the moment. Major problems with the wip are the main reason, but it does seem, finally, to be making sense.

First up, a big thank you to Michelle Douglas for being such a star last week. The winner of her book is Dina -- so fire in an email with your snail mail addy to liz @lizfielding.com, Dina and I'll pass it along. And thanks to everybody for joining in the fun.

I have my own bit of news -- a totally thrilling review for The Bride's Baby (which is one of the reasons we're having this celebration. remember!).

"Liz Fielding’s heartwarming and enthralling romances are in a class of their own! In The Bride’s Baby, she has written a wonderfully moving story of hope, loss, pain and second chances that just left me breathless! Peopled with richly believable characters and sprinkled with plenty of warmth, charm and heart, The Bride’s Baby is another spellbinding romance by a writer readers the world over adore... "

For more go to Cataromance

And while I'm talking about The Bride's Baby, I'm blogging over at The Wedding Planner's blog and also helping the lovely Jessica Hart celebrate her own anniversary this week. There are books to win!

Okay, that's all about me for this week. Time to introduce this week's guest, the totally amazing and all round lovely person, Kate Hardy.

What can I tell you about Kate? That she's known as Scary Kate because she writes at the speed of light? That she has a chocolate addiction that would rival any of my heroines? That she is the most wonderful friend, fabulous author and winner of this year's Romance Prize for the emotionally rivetting Breakfast at Giovanni's aka In Bed with Her Italian Boss (see below). Pardon me, while sigh over Giovanni.

Oh, yes, and she has a cover fairy...

Jealous of The Doctor's Royal Love-Child? Moi?

Enough -- here's Kate...


I’m so pleased to be here, celebrating the publication of Liz Fielding’s 50th romance for Mills and Boon – and I’m thrilled to be shelfmates with her in such a special month.

I’ve loved Liz’s books for many years – and for many reasons. The snappy dialogue, the one-liners that as a writer you just wish you’d thought of first, the gorgeous heroes it’s so easy to fall in love with, the heroines you want to be best friends with, the clever twists, the heartwarming secondaries you’d rather like to be part of your own social network...

Liz’s books are, quite simply, fabulous reads. I’d say she’s written four out of five of my all-time favourite romances. And whenever things turn rocky in real life, it’s one of Liz’s books I always choose to give me a respite – she might make me cry, but at the end I’ll have a smile on my face and be able to go on with the show, because the sheer warmth of the worlds Liz creates is like having a hug from a really good friend. (Actually, I have this theory that authors are like their books. Liz is just as warm and lovely in person as her books are.)

As I have two releases this month, I’m going to offer two books up for grabs: a copy of In Bed With Her Italian Boss (the US release of Breakfast at Giovanni’s) and The Doctor’s Royal Love-Child (the Medical Romance that’s on the shelves in the UK this month along with Liz’s The Bride’s Baby).

To be in with a chance to win, simply tell me what puts a smile on your face, and I’ll draw a name out of the hat.

Oh, yes. Excerpt. I nearly forgot. Hmm, which book? Which hero? I’m almost tempted to give you the scene with Giovanni that’s all Natasha Oakley’s fault (she told me a fact about one of my favourite actors that set a major lightbulb pinging). But I guess we should begin at the beginning… and as I’ve banged on a bit about Gio on my own blog (it was my 25th book and did something very special for me in M&B’s centenary year), then I’ll give you the opening of The Doctor’s Royal Love-Child.

Dragan Lovak is the Croatian doctor with a haunting past, and Melinda Fortesque is the village vet… or is she? (Note that this time it’s NOT the hero who’s Italian… and yeah, there’s food involved. It’s a Kate Hardy book. Of course there’s food involved…)

***

‘Fancy seeing you here, Dr Lovak,’ Melinda said with a grin as Dragan wound down the window of his car. ‘Anyone would think I had matched my call lists to yours.’

Knowing that she’d done exactly that when she’d called him after her morning’s surgery – except his first call had taken a little longer than he’d expected, which was why he was arriving at the boarding kennels just as she was leaving – Dragan smiled back. ‘Tut, tut, Ms Fortesque. Suggest things like that and people might start to talk.’

‘If they do, I’ll just tell them I wanted to check on my favourite patient and see how her leg’s doing. Isn’t that right, Bramble?’ Melinda looked over Dragan’s shoulder at the flatcoat retriever they’d rescued a little over three months before, who was lying on a blanket in the back of his car.

The dog’s tail thumped loudly, and she gave a soft answering woof.

‘Hear that? Bramble says she’ll be my alibi. Bella ragazza.’ Melinda leaned in through the open window and stole a kiss from Dragan. ‘Though I think people might have already started to guess, amore mio. Do you know how many people this last month have told me what a wonderful doctor you are?’

‘Funny, that. People have been singing your praises to me, too.’ He stole a kiss right back. ‘But that’s the thing about living in a place like Penhally. Everybody knows everything about everyone.’ Or nearly everything. So, despite the fact that they’d kept their relationship low-key, he was pretty sure that everybody in Penhally knew that the vet and the doctor were an item.

For a moment, he could’ve sworn that worry flashed into Melinda’s gorgeous blue eyes. But then the expression was gone again. No, he must be imagining things. And what did Melinda have to hide, anyway? She’d come to England on holiday years ago, fallen in love with the country, and decided to settle here and train to be a vet.

Not so very different from himself. Although holidays had been the last thing on his mind when he’d walked off that boat, seventeen years ago, he too had fallen in love with England. And he was as settled here in Cornwall as he’d ever be anywhere. The wild Atlantic wasn’t quite the same as the Adriatic, but at least the sound of the sea could still lull him to sleep at night.

‘Do you have time for lunch?’ she asked.

He shook his head. ‘Sorry. I’m already behind schedule. And I really can’t keep my patients waiting.’

‘Of course you can’t.’ She stroked his cheek. ‘I’ll cook for us tonight, then. Your place.’

He turned his head to press a kiss into her palm. ‘That would be lovely. Though you don’t have to cook for me, Melinda. I’m perfectly capable of doing it.’

She scoffed and put her hands on her hips, shaking her head at him as he got out of the car. ‘Dragan Lovak, you know as well as I do that you never cook. That if I let you, you’d live on bread and cheese and cold meats and salad – even in the middle of winter.’

He flapped a dismissive hand. ‘Well. Food doesn’t have to be hot. It’s fuel.’

‘It’s much more than that,’ she told him. ‘You don’t just shovel down calories like a Ferrari taking on petrol at a pit stop. Food is a pleasure. Something to be enjoyed.’


***

Congratulations on your 50th book, Liz. And here’s to many, many more.


***

Thanks, Kate!

You'll find more about In Bed With Her Italian Boss here And on The Doctor's Royal Love-Child here

And because obviously writing a gazillion books a year is not enough for Scary Kate, you'll find her endlessly entertaining blog here

24 comments:

Liz Fielding said...

How about a new Kate Hardy romance?

Kate Hardy said...

The Post Fairy will be on her way :o) (after school tomorrow!)

Jane said...

Congrats on the great review. Jokes usually put a smile on my face. Even stupid jokes will get a reaction.

Estella said...

Congrats on the great review, Liz!
My young grandsons put a smile on my face.

Ellen said...

A new born baby will put a smile on my face even tho I've never had one.

Virginia said...

Winning a book. I just love it. It makes me one happy camper.

michelle Douglas said...

Congratulations on the great review, Liz.

Very intriguing excerpt, Kate. Looking forward to see what comes next.

What puts a smile on my face? The Magpie that lives in our street. He has this sort of descending whistle - kind of like a falling bomb - and then ends on a crackly 'Hello.' I can't help it. Whenever I hear it I have to grin.

Other things that make me smile - chocolate, doughnuts, red wine, book shops and Colin Firth (not necessarily in that order).

Anonymous said...

That is just mean! Penhally's not being released in NA and those of us in the USA with our anemic dollar can't really afford to get them . . . and then you post the most TEMPTING excerpt and HOLY CROW! Thank goodness I'm busy and can move on to other things. And Mommy Brain helps me forget. My hope is that Harlequin takes our advice and releases Penhally as a group/spec release in NA.

Anyway, what puts a smile on my face (besides all 6 medicals being released in NA each month)? Ummm, my kids playing well together. My youngest running and laughing (as he is wont to do). My youngest saying he wants to go back to France (even though I know he's just trying to get brownie points). My eldest having a thumbs-up from-his-teacher day at school (he gets all stellar marks on the academics and needs improvement on the social skills). All the hugs and kisses all my kids give me. The kitchen after dh has cleaned it (he's a much better cleaner than I am). Enjoying a breakfast that my dh has made and served (oh, luxury).

That's enough, right?

Penn (aka ftworthmom)

robynl said...

A puppy will put a smile on my face everytime. I love dogs. My neighbour's new puppy is a delight for me. I love going over to let her dogs out because they are so happy to see me everytime.

Kate Hardy said...

Jane - we have a fund of them here, with the children. (My youngest tries to make them up, and it's hilarious.)

Estella - yup, children do it every time.

Ellen - you're making me feel broody, now! :o)

Virginia - LOL!

Michelle - thanks, and your magpie sounds amazing. Your other list would make me smile, too (though I'd swap Colin for Richard Armitage...)

Penn - thanks for the support on Meds :o) And your list is pretty good, too!

Robyn - oh, definitely. My best friend has a Border Terrier pup (he's about 12 weeks old now). I love it when they have a mad puppy moment, race around - then just flop and they're instantly asleep.

Jan Jones said...

What puts a smile on my face? Seeing my friends, of course. Which reminds me, it's been far too long since 4th February!

Jan Jones said...

Oh, and lovely review, Liz, and very well-deserved. I treated myself to the Bride's Baby on Monday (I love these M&B money-off vouchers) and walked around one-handed all day while I read it.

Gorgeous setting. I felt as if I was there.

Dena said...

Great review Liz.
I've read a few of Kate's book and loved them. Congrats on your wonderful achievement award Kate!
Jokes, kittens, and puppys playing put a smile on my face.

Donna Alward said...

Baby belly laughs. Every time. I can't resist those big, baby belly laughs.

Lovely excerpt, Kate! It felt like summer. Which is nice as it's SNOWING here today.

limecello said...

Hi Kate and Liz!
Congratulations on the great review, Liz :). Hm, what puts a smile on my face is a book. A new book, old book, finishing one, knowing I have time to read ... That, along with the weekend. And good food.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the comments and information from Kate
What puts a smile on my face is the laughter of children. Also chocolate, a good book, and a handsome guy to spend some time with. Joy JWIsley@aol.com

Liz Fielding said...

Thanks everyone for being so kind about the review. And Kate, I've just got my proper postman back -- he's been laid up since before Christmas, and he's genuine post fairy. (No, not like that...!) He's an absolute love.

Kate Hardy said...

Dena - thank you! (Another puppy fan.

Donna - mm, when they're giggling their heads off... Hugs on the snow. (Mind you, we had snow Monday and it was lovely today - fingers crossed you'll have the sun tomorrow.)

Limecello - with you there. Books and good food...

Joy - yep, with you all the way! (Glad you're enjoying this.)

Liz - glad you have your proper postie back. And I meant to say, congrats on your fab and much-deserved review.

Carol said...

The antics of children and animals always make me smile. I love reading a good book, and yours sound great, Kate, but I'm not sure I smile at them. I just enjoy them.

Kate Hardy said...

Carol - thanks for the compliment. :o)

Lynne Marshall said...

Congratulations on a fabulous review, Liz.

Kate, since I'm currently reading The Doctor's Royal Love-Child, I can honestly say that reading a Kate Hardy book puts a smile on my face.

Now I see I've got to rush out to my local bookstore and pick up both your Promotional Presents (got to read the RNA winner!) and Liz's wonderfully reviewed wedding planner book!

Best wishes to all! Off to shop.

Kate Hardy said...

Lynne, thanks - aren't you lovely? You've just put a smile on my face, too. :o)

Linda g said...

Liz,

The Bride's Baby sounds beautiful. What terrific review from Cata.

I can't wait to have a break from the wip, so I can read it.

www.lindagoodnight.com

Liz Fielding said...

Thanks so much, Linda. And thank you all for being such great visitors.