Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Remember me? Miranda Grenville. I was a bit-player in my brother's book Reunited: Marriage in a Million. The bratty sister who made Belle's life a misery.

Anyone but Liz would have shut me up in a cupboard and never let me out again, but she has a lot more imagination that that. It wasn't chance that she called Wedded in a Whirlwind her "Eurydice" book.

She sent me to hell and then, as if that wasn't bad enough, she gave me Nick Jago as my Orpheus. The woman has a sense of humour because Nick, when my screaming disturbed his hangover, wasn't in any mood to offer comfort and sympathy to a damsel in distress. I had to get quite assertive before he finally grasped the seriousness of the situation. Not that I've ever found assertiveness a problem. But I have to admit that with Jago, I pretty much met my match.

So, there we were, trapped underground. Somewhere in the dark I had a bag with half a bottle of water, a cell phone (with no signal) and a packet of mints. All Nick brought to the party was a a bottle of Cordilleran brandy and an itty-bitty archaeologist's trowel. We weren't going to dig our way out with that so we climbed.

In the dark, without sight to fill in the gaps, the other senses become heightened. You hear things in a voice that in sunlight you would overlook. The lightest touch has an intensity. And as you hang between life and death, climbing towards the light, towards life, you share everything, bare your soul and become, for a while, almost one.

* * *

There's an excerpt on my website and the book will be available online at Mills & Boon and Harlequin as both print and ebook in October. It will be on sale retail in November.

Here's what Romantic Times had to say about it: --

"Liz Fieldingʼs Wedded in a Whirlwind (4.5) is fast-paced and fun, and the relationship between Miranda and Nick has a remarkable emotional honesty. Truly a keeper."

For chapter one, click here...

Friday, September 19, 2008


With a family wedding next week and a deadline approaching at the speed of an express train, I'm running around chasing my tail trying to catch up with myself!

Trish Wylie-- herself locked in the deadline cave -- hasn't yet given me the name of her winner, but I'll keep you posted on that.

Kimmy won Joanna Maitland's book, HIS CAVALRY LADY and it's on her way to her right now.

I'll be off line now until after the wedding, but Jessica Hart will be my guest at the beginning of October. She's celebrating the publication of her own 50th book this month so I hope you'll come along and cheer her.

Finally, because my daughter's very best friend who now lives in Louisiana, has been caught up in various weather related incidents recently and is unable to fly over for the wedding, she made a video to celebrate their friendship and Amy's wedding. It's on You Tube so I'm sharing it with you all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I first met Joanna Maitland -- as I have so many authors who've been my guests here this year -- via the internet as a newly published author. And then, delightfully, I discovered that she was sitting next to me at an author lunch.

Since then we've shared many memorable lunches and a lot of fun and I'm delighted that she's found time from her incredibly busy life to drop by and share in the cyber celebrations for my 50th book.

Joanna, whose work has been shortlisted for the RNA's Romance prize, writes delightful Regency romances and His Cavalry Lady promises to be another wonderful read. I'll leave Joanne to tell you all about it...

I’m delighted to be blogging here today. Thank you so much for inviting me, Liz, and congratulations on producing 50 of your wonderful stories. I don’t have quite all of them, but I do have a fair number on my keeper shelf. They’re exactly the kind of stories I return to, again and again, when I need a bit of escapist me-time. A pot of tea, a Liz Fielding story, and a lounger in the garden — what more could a woman want? Well, yes, I agree some sunshine would make it perfect, but we’d better not talk about that this summer, had we?

It’s a really exciting time in my writing life at the moment. I’m just about to finish the third in a trilogy of Regencies set in the period just before the battle of Waterloo. The stories roam all over Europe, and beyond, following the twists and turns in the lives and loves of the Aikenhead family of spies — Dominic Aikenhead, Duke of Calder, Lord Leo Aikenhead, and Lord Jack Aikenhead. The trilogy is called The Aikenhead Honours after the code-name of their spying band. The stories are set in some of my favourite locations, like St Petersburg in Russia, Venice in Italy, Vienna in Austria, and Lyons and Paris in France. I love the fabulous locations, and I loved the fact that I was able to fill these stories with lots of intrigue and danger, as well as romance and passion.

The first of the trilogy, His Cavalry Lady, is in the shops now in the UK (and will be published next spring in the USA). Books 2 and 3 will be published in late spring/early summer next year, in both markets.

Here’s an extract from His Cavalry Lady to whet your appetite.

Boulogne, June 1814

It was the smell that woke him.

For fully three seconds, Dominic lay quite still in the Lion d’Or’s best bed, trying to make sense of the strange messages tumbling into his brain. Dark. Silence. Smoke? Fire!

He flung himself out of bed. Light! He needed light! And where the devil were his breeches?

A terrified neighing ripped through the pre-dawn silence. Then a whoosh, as if a giant were sucking in a monstrous breath. Followed by red, hellish light.

The smoke had turned to flames. The Lion d’Or’s stables must be on fire!

Dominic threw wide the half-open window, stuck his head out and yelled at the top of his voice, ‘Au feu! Au feu!’ It was surely loud enough to wake even drunken grooms.

He dragged on his breeches and crammed his feet into boots. A voice rang out below. At last! Then more voices. A woman’s despairing wail. And the ominous crackle of the fire taking hold in dry straw and ancient timbers.

Dominic took the stairs three at a time. In the yard, the silence was turning into utter chaos. Yelling, cursing men milling around in the eerie light. No one fetching water. No one saving the horses.

He grabbed the nearest groom by the shoulder. ‘Get to the pump,’ he ordered in crisp French. ‘Start filling buckets. And you—’ he seized another by his flapping shirt ‘—rouse all the men from the house. Get them into a line to pass the buckets. You two. Don’t stand there gawping. Start getting the horses out.’

In the space of half a minute, Dominic had turned the commotion into the beginnings of order. The terrified horses were being led to safety. Water was being brought. But the flames had a head start. And they were winning.

The front part of the stables and one side of the doorway were ablaze. One panicked horse was refusing to be led through. It was fighting against the halter, rearing, eyes rolling, hooves flailing. With a cry of pain, the groom dropped to the ground. The horse fled back into the stables.

Dominic lunged forward, hefted the unconscious groom over his shoulder and raced across the yard to the inn. By the door, a maidservant stood motionless, wide-eyed with fear. ‘You, girl.’ He laid the boy ungently at her feet. ‘Make yourself useful. Look to his hurts.’ He did not wait to see whether she obeyed. He had to help save the horses. Only one other man left to do that. Not enough. Not nearly enough.

The smoke was now so thick that it was difficult to see. And to breathe. Dominic looked around for something to use as a mask over his face. If only he had thrown on a shirt. But he had nothing. He would have to continue as he was. Taking a deep breath of the cooler air in the yard, he plunged into the hell of the burning stables.

Still at least half a dozen terrified horses to save. Possibly more. He could barely make out the back of the stable. It was full of smoke, though not yet ablaze. But he could hear the sounds of hooves thundering against stall boards. At least some of the horses must still be tethered. He raced to the back of the building, keeping as low as he could, to avoid the choking smoke. Let the groom deal with the horses nearer the door.

Like a ghostly apparition, a slim shape in grubby white emerged from the swirling smoke, leading a horse. No more than a boy, from the little Dominic could see, and dressed only in a bedgown and boots. But a boy who knew horses, for he had covered the animal’s eyes to quiet it. ‘Well done, lad,’ Dominic gasped as they passed. No reply. The boy had his mind on his task. Just as Dominic must.

It was taking too many precious minutes to rescue the horses. All the time, the fire was engulfing more of the building. Yet the boy in the bedgown was fearless, always going back into the most dangerous area of the stable. He had a way with the terrified beasts, too. More than once, Dominic fancied he heard the lad’s voice, murmuring strong and low, urging the animal towards the flaming doorway. He had even started to cover the horses’ nostrils against the acrid smoke. Part of Dominic’s brain registered that he would find the lad after this was all over, and reward him for his bravery. He would have been proud to have such a boy in his own service.

Out in the yard again, Dominic caught a dripping cloth tossed to him by one of the inn servants. Gratefully, he covered his head, hoping that the boy had done the same. With this, there ought to be a chance of rescuing the remaining animals. Only a few more to bring out now. He ran back into the thickening smoke.

He found himself struggling with the tether of one of the last horses. The straining beast had pulled it tight in the iron ring. Its thrashing hooves were threatening to crack Dominic’s head open. If only he had a knife. Damnation! The rope refused come free. At this rate, they would both burn!

A strong, lean hand appeared out of the smoke holding a knife. Bless the boy! A single slash cut the rope. Then the hand disappeared again. No time to say a word of thanks. The horse, suddenly freed, reared up to its full height with a loud and terrified whinny. Dominic ducked under the deadly hooves and grabbed the trailing rope, forcing the animal down. He had to get this horse out. The fire was really taking hold now. Soon the stable roof would be aflame. There would be no more rescues then.

At last, Dominic managed to coax the horse through the stable doorway. Someone had taken an axe to the blazing wood so that the gap was wider and the flames were less fierce. The broken, smouldering timbers lay on the ground. Dominic thrust the rope into a waiting hand and raced back inside, ignoring the prick of sparks on the bare skin of his back and chest. He had tiny burns all over his body now. No doubt he would look as though he had a dose of smallpox when this was over. But he had to be sure that there were no more horses hidden by the smoke.

It seemed the lad in the bedgown had had the same thought. His eerie figure was just visible through the swirling darkness, searching among the stalls. Dominic ran towards the boy. ‘Is that all of them?’ he yelled, trying to make himself heard above the noise of the fire.

Before the boy could say a word, there was an ominous crack above their heads. Dominic caught a glimpse of a huge, flaming beam dropping towards them. Towards the boy! Dominic bridged the space between them with a single stride, grabbed the boy and thrust him aside. The beam hit the stable floor just inches from where they stood, showering them both with sparks. In seconds, the boy’s bedgown had caught alight.

Dominic made to tear it off him.

‘Non!’ It was a scream of anguish.

The boy must be a idiot. Surely he knew that it was better to be naked than to burn?

‘Non!’ the boy cried again, ripping the tail of his bedgown out of Dominic’s hands.

There was no time to argue. And only one solution. Dominic pushed the boy to the ground and covered him with his own body, rolling them both in the dirt to stop the sparks from taking hold.

And then he understood.

This was no boy. The lithe body straining against his own belonged to a fearless, and extraordinary, girl!


And for the competition? Well, Liz is one of those amazing writers who can find new avenues and new ways of writing while still giving us readers the buzz and the glow we expect from her stories. As far as I know, she was the first to write an HMB romance in the first person. I reckon it was a triumph, and it’s one of my all-time favourites. To win the competition, email the title of that mould-breaking book to The winner, drawn at random, will receive a signed copy of His Cavalry Lady.

With very best wishes from Joanna

Monday, September 08, 2008


Congratulations to Snookie who won Michelle's prize last week and hopefully her prize will be with her soon.

Okay, it's time for my wii update. Well, there's good news and bad news. Despite all the effort I'm putting into my morning exercises -- and restraint in the cake/biscuits/fries department -- my wii buddy informed me that at this rate of loss I'm not going to make my next weight loss target (do you suppose he's just trying to stir me to greater effort?) The good news is that he got very excited when I hit the 10hrs of exercise point and that the weight is going down. S-l-o-w-l-y.

Maybe it's the fat turning to muscles (she suggested hopefully). Muscle is heavier than fat, isn't it?

The other good news is that I'm still enjoying it -- I've upped the daily workout from 20 to 30 minutes -- and that I'm feeling really good!


I won't be needing this for a while yet. It's only here to alert you to the fact that I've posted my ever short story -- it won a prize from Writers News back in 1990 -- on my website.

It's called The Rocking Chair and it's a ghost story.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Arrgh! For some reason my guest Trish arrived a day early and since I couldn't get on the internet all day I was unable to put in my welcome message!

Sorry, Trish!

I first met Trish at an AMBA lunch -- a shy young thing from Ireland, with barely a word to say for herself. Since then she's become the life and soul of the party and pretty much the voice of romance in this celebration year for Mills & Boon and I'm absolutely delighted that she's agreed to come and play here for a few days in my own big year.

Over to you, Trish. Give us the craic...

HUGE CONGRATS on the fifty books Liz! And thanks for inviting me over to sip a glass of bubbly with you! If we have a few I might even join you on the Wii Fit. Just remind me to get off it before the champagne acts as a painkiller and I can’t feel what I’m doing until I wake up in the morning and have difficulty with the basics like… walking…

Yes. That is the voice of experience.

But seriously. The very thought of fifty books makes me want to curl up in a ball in a corner and whimper. Possibly with cake. I haven’t even hit twenty books yet and already I find myself wading through treacle at least twice a year… Any secrets you’d like to pass on to those prepared to pay in cake? Would pleading help?!

I first met Liz after an AMBA lunch a few years back. She had her lovely hubby with her and I was fortunate enough to be sat with them at supper that evening. They made me feel very welcome and totally at ease and lemme tell ya – considering how nervous I was that day it was MORE than appreciated. Thank you Liz and lovely hubby!

When it comes to writing I think our Liz is a bit of a trail blazer. Without her and the ‘rules’ she’s broken with many of those fifty books, new writers like me wouldn’t get to play ‘outside the box’ the way we do. And for that we all owe Liz cake! One of my absolute favourites was of course Mattie in The Marriage Miracle, the book several competition judges agreed with me on ;) And thanks to Liz and Mattie I had the courage to tackle Ronan in The Millionaire’s Proposal…

The Millionaire’s Proposal is the Autumn Bride in the Bride For All Seasons mini-series the lovely Liz started back in April with our Spring Bride ‘The Bride’s Baby’. It’s a round-the-world romp of a story I had a blast writing and one that has pretty much ruined me for Romance heroes ever since. Tips for overcoming that one Liz? Huh? Huh?

* * *

Of all the cities in the world, he chose Paris to propose!

Ronan O'Keefe has everything money can buy. He'd give it all up in an instant to keep the one thing he's losing. The jet-setting playboy is slowly being robbed of his sight.

Alone in New York, Kerry Doyle isn't feeling quite so brave about her trip around the world. Luckily, a millionaire has come to her rescue...

By the time they get to Paris, Ronan doesn't want to let beautiful, bubbly Kerry go. His secret is casting its shadow, but Kerry has lit up his life...

Kerry giggled, her eyes widening in surprise at the sound before she set her glass firmly away from her. That was quite enough of that stuff then.

“The suspense is killing me. So spill it.”

“Three days in the States and she’s already picking up the lingo.”

When she threw a warning glare his way he smiled lazily, leaning forward to rest his elbows on the table, long fingers playing with the cutlery he hadn’t used while he studied her face. And under the influence of the sense numbing wine it took a moment for her brain to kick in with a possible motive for his stalling,

“Whatever it is you’re not entirely convinced it’s that good an idea, are you?”
Ronan’s brows jerked, “And how exactly would you know that?”

Kerry waved a limp hand back and forth in front of her, “Female intuition. We’re born with it.”
He nodded at the table, “How many glasses of that have we had young lady?”
“Not enough to lose my ability to think. So if you don’t think it’s that good an idea why are you about to suggest it?”

His chest rose and fell, “Good question.”

“Well don’t suggest it then, if you’re so unconvinced,” She reached for her glass, hiding her nose in it and her eyes from his intense gaze while she swallowed her sudden sense of disappointment with another mouthful of rich liquid.

“I want to suggest it even more now you’ve said that – if it was a go at reverse psychology then bravo…”

Kerry pursed her lips at the tinge of sarcasm, nodding firmly while focussing her attention on swirling what was left in her glass round and round in circles, “It wasn’t. But if that’s how you feel then you definitely should suggest it. Go with your gut, shoot from the hip, live life without regrets, fortune favours the -”

She had dozens of these. But Ronan caught her attention by waving his arm at a waiter, smiling while he raised his voice to be heard above the background noise, “Tiramisu and two coffees please - the lady will have hers black.”

Kerry scowled at him.

And he chuckled throatily in reply, eyes still twinkling with amusement when he then leaned over the table, lifting a hand to beckon her with the same forefinger he’d waggled earlier, “Come here crazy girl.”

With a very deep breath Kerry fought the urge to be petulant and leaned forwards, setting her glass down on the white tablecloth and resting her elbows the same way Ronan had. Then she simply quirked her brows in silent question, and waited.

He examined her eyes for the longest time, as if sizing her up before he made his decision, “What age are you Kerry, Kerry Doyle?”

What did that have to do with anything?

“Why? Do you want to add old to drunk and crazy?”

“No – and I don’t think you’re drunk; just slightly sozzled. You’re obviously not much of a drinker,” He smiled a smile that warmed her inside more than the wine had, his voice dropping seductively, “but I’m sticking with crazy.”

Actually she was nearly as okay with that as she’d been with him thinking she was beautiful. Crazy was much more interesting than the sensible or practical or reliable tags normally associated with her name.

“Why do you need to know what age I am?”

His eyes narrowed an almost imperceptible amount, the gaze so intense she could feel her toes curling, “You’re currently a bit of a conundrum that’s why…”

Her eyes widened in surprise, “I am?”


Kerry sighed dramatically, mumbling beneath her breath, “Thirty-six.”

“Didn’t quite catch that.”

So she reluctantly raised her voice, “Thirty-six okay? Now tell me why you needed to know so badly you broke the ‘never ask a lady her age’ rule.”

“Right up there with the dessert rule is it?”


Amusement shone in his eyes, even while he shook his head, “You don’t look thirty-six.”

“Thanks. I think. Now what does my age have to do with your proposition?” On top of the effects of half a glass of wine too many her head was starting to ache attempting to figure him out. So if blunt was what it was going to take…

The nod was barely perceptible, but enough when accompanied with another intense gaze for her to know that whatever doubt he’d had about what he was going to suggest was now gone,
“I’ve had an idea for a new book. And I want to hire you to help me research it – with mutually beneficial perks along the way.”

“Mutually beneficial how exactly?”

“That we’ll discuss over coffee…”

In The Millionaire’s Proposal Ronan makes it his personal goal to fulfil as many of Kerry’s fantasies from her Travel Wish-List as possible…So my question for you would be what destinations would be on your fantasy Wish-List and why? The winner will be drawn at random and will win a signed copy of The Millionaire’s Proposal.

To find out more about the book and to read some reviews you can visit Trish’s Website. And of course don’t forget we have our lovely A Bride For All Seasons Blog with excerpts, covers, author info and seasonal wedding info all in the one place… worth it for the pics alone!

Congratulations again Liz! I hope you have the most fantabulous rest-of-the-year and that the next fifty books slide smoothly and painlessly off your fingertips!

Monday, September 01, 2008


I'm delighted to announce that Trish from Australia is the winner of my website competition for an advance, hardback edition of WEDDED IN A WHIRLWIND, which isn't published in paperback until November in the US and UK and December in Australia. Many thanks to everyone else who took part.


It's always fun to have the books translated into another language. Last September, when I was in Italy, it was The Secret Life of Lady Gabriella that was on sale and I was able to stop by the kiosks and say hello.

This year The Bride's Baby will be published in Italy in September. I'll be in Guernsey, doing my mother of the bride bit this year, so if you're lucky enough to be in Bella Italia, look out for it at those little green kiosks and say hello.


Quando si è messa a organizzare un evento speciale come un matrimonio fiabesco non credeva che la sposa sarebbe stata lei!

Allestire eventi è la specialità di Sylvie Smith e inscenare un matrimonio da sogno le pare una buona idea per raccogliere fondi per una causa benefica. Certo, impersonare la parte della sposa lo rende un po' più personale, anche perché Longbourne Court, la dimora ancestrale teatro dell'avvenimento, un tempo apparteneva proprio a lei. Prima di diventare appannaggio di Tom McFarlane.

Bello, affascinante e ricchissimo Tom ha più di una cosa in comune con Sylvie. Entrambi amano la campagna inglese ed entrambi credono nella chimica immediata tra uomo e donna. Come è successo a loro due, cinque mesi prima...

For more, click here

And on Wednesday, Trish Wylie will be here to talk about her latest book -- don't miss it!

Oh, and it's ...