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.
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