Wednesday, December 31, 2008


May 2009 bring you everything your heart desires.

Health, happiness and peace.

May the words flow without ceasing, the reviews all be five star and the covers make you weep with joy.

And very special congratulations to


who this year celebrate their


I'm delighted to be part of the celebrations and you can sign up to


where you'll be able to download books, including

The Bride's Baby

for free all year.

The fireworks are also to celebrate the re-issue
in large print of


It was my first ever RITA-nominated book.

At £8.99 it's a little expensive to buy (although with the way the pound is at the moment, not as expensive as it might have been!) but will be available worldwide in libraries, so do ask for it if you haven't read it.

Also available in January


will be published in Germany in an anthology with Lynne Graham, Lucy Monroe and Cara Colter. More details here

And there's a French reprint of


in an anthology with Sara Craven and Charlotte Maclay.

More details of that one here

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My husband took this photograph of Michelangelo’s Madonna & Child at the Church of Our Lady when we were in Bruges earlier this year and we have chosen it as the image for our 2008 Christmas card.

Since it would take a forest of trees to send cards to every bookseller, librarian, reader, reviewer, writer (published and unpublished) who I’ve met or chatted with over the internet during the course of my career I am sharing it with you all here.

May each of you have a joyous and happy Christmas with all your loved ones safe around you, and a peaceful, happy New Year in which your dearest wishes come true.

* * *

Finally in 2008 I have a lot of people to thank for making this
50th book year so special for me.

* * *

Romantic Times
for a
Lifetime Achievement Award

The Romantic Novelists’ Association
for nominating
The Secret Life of Lady Gabriella
for the Romance Prize/Betty Neels Trophy

All About Romance
for making Wedded in a Whirlwind a
Desert Isle Keeper

The countless authors who’ve taken time out of their busy lives to come and guest on my blog, give away copies of their books and be great friends.

Wonderful reviewers who have taken the time to read my books and tell the world about them.

There have been fourteen editors in my life since my first book was accepted in 1991 and it’s been a joy to work with every one of you.

But most of all a huge

to my

who spend their hard earned money on my books, search them out in libraries, hunt down my backlist in used book stores.

Without you there would be no books and I bless you all.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


This is the second call forKaren Kish to get in touch with me at liz @ (no gaps). You've been drawn by Susan Meier as winner of her book and candy prize, so we need your snail mail addy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Last year, A SURPRISE CHRISTMAS PROPOSAL was published in the "Love & Laughter" series in Germany. Clearly it was a hit because yesterday I stumbled on this book at the German Amazon site, giving it a second outing and I loved the cover so much that I had to share.

We don't always get copies of foreign editions, or even discover they've been published until the half yearly statement arrives many months later. Yesterday was one of those moments when, despite all the problems I have with it, I love the 'net.

I've also just received the hardback editions of my first book for next year, SECRET BABY, SURPRISE PARENTS. The cover image -- a really rather lovely one -- seems to have disappeared from my computer, but it's in the sidebar. It won't be retail paperback until April, but look out for the HERE COME THE BRIDES/GROOMS competition with Kate Walker and Anne McAllister in January when one of these babies will be up for grabs. The heroine -- Grace McAllister -- was named to honour two of my favourite authors. One is Grace Green, now sadly retired. The other is-- well you can work it out for yourself!


This is just in from Susan Meier...

Karen Kish and Snookie won the drawing!

Each receive a copy of my book and a sample box of candy from the candy factory I toured as research to write next year's Christmas story.

I'll need snail mail addresses from Karen and Snookie!

Thanks everyone for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I've delivered the revisions on the latest book -- still no title -- and this weekend I skipped work and went shopping with the dh to Regency Bath.

That's the Pump Room, btw. We had intended to have afternoon tea there, but somehow never quite got around to it. We have done it before and I can thoroughly recommend it.

Actually it was a good thing that this wasn't our first trip to Bath, because I'm afraid we completely ignored Jane Austen, the Assembly Rooms, even missed out on the Romans.

Bath, it transpires, as well as having a world heritage site (the Royal Crescent) and all that other great stuff, has absolutely FABULOUS shops, including my favourite, Hampstead Bazaar. It's on Pulteney Bridge which almost makes it sightseeing. The bridge, with gorgeous shops on either side of the road, links the city to Great Pulteney Street, famous from many a Regency romance, including Persuasion. It was used as a backdrop in the Rees Witherspoon version of Vanity Fair.

Hampstead Bazaar do this fabulous stuff that comes in one size fits all (much loved by the equally fabulous Dame Judi Dench) and I bought a great black "posh" outfit there, plus a devore velvet coat in black and autumn colours that makes me look like a 1930s "lady novelist".

It requires masses of amber jewellery to be quite perfect. Not a problem...

I bought jeans and exactly the right cream Viyella shirt to go with the new long waistcoat the dh bought me a couple of weeks ago.

I bought a gorgeous cardigan for my 83 year old aunt, went totally mad in Crabtree and Evelyn and ate Chinese food and spent a fortune in Waterstones.

Oh, and as a bow to history, we had lunch at Sally Lunn's -- she lived and baked there in 1680.

Here's a picture!

The dh, who's hooked on Peter Lovesey's "Diamond" books, set in Bath, had a great time with a map, finding locations. He's over the moon to discover that it's been optioned for TV.

Monday, December 15, 2008


The Romantic Novelists' Association today announced the long list for the Romantic Novel of the Year 2009. Whittled down from 156 submissions, a long list of 22 books up for the Romantic Novelists' Association award includes a number of lesser known authors as well as bestsellers, among whom are Cecelia Ahern, Harriet Evans, Victoria Hislop, Susanna Kearsley, Sophie Kinsella and Judith Lennox, who has previously been shortlisted.

The full long list can be seen on the RNA website here. The shortlist will be announced on January 13th.

Freya North, last year's winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year for Pillow Talk, sees winning the award as a career highlight and a real 'seal of approval'. Freya adds, "During the course of the year, messages of support and congratulations have continued to come in - from readers and the trade alike - and I'm proud to have won an award whose reputation is so widely acknowledged."

Read on...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Today brings to a close a entire year of celebrating the publication of my 50th book, THE SHEIKH'S UNSUITABLE BRIDE (just shortlisted by Romantic Times for Best Harlequin Romance of 2008) and what a totally fabulous year it's been. Countless guests, wonderful stories from authors around the world and a book giveaway to make Jeff Bezos weep. Huge thanks to the authors who've generously given their precious time (and books) to make it so special. And huge thanks, too, to those of you who've left wonderful comments, joined in, shared the pain (the thumb!) and the joys (the wedding) and made the whole thing such fun.

We're finishing on a high today with my last guest, Susan Meier.

Susan is the author of over 35 books for Harlequin and Silhouette. Her books have been finalists for Reviewers Choice Awards, National Reader's Choice Awards and Reviewer's Choice Awards and have made both Walden’s Bestseller List for Series Romance and Bookscan.

Susan loves to teach as much as she loves to write and is a popular speaker at RWA chapter conferences. Her article “How to Write a Category Romance” appeared in 2003 Writer’s Digest Novel and Short Story Markets and she's in great demand for workshops at RWA chapters, but she's here this week not to help with the blank page, but to share the "magic" of Christmas. Over to you, Susan.


This time of year, I hear a lot of grumbling and complaining about the commercialism of Christmas. Truth be told, I categorize the complainers into two camps: Those who hate to shop and those who’ve never experienced the magic of Christmas.

When I was young, I spent a Christmas Eve in the back seat of the family car, with five or six of my brothers and sisters, waiting while my dad fixed our car, which had died halfway to the popular discount department store where my parents planned to buy our gifts. In the dark backseat, we whispered to each other that there’d be no Christmas that year. Not only had the money been spent for car parts, but also by the time the car was fixed the stores were closed.

But under the tree the next morning were gifts galore. Things my parents had purchased at a drugstore that stayed open later than the department store. I remember pop beads, a toy medical bag complete with candy pills, and, of course, a doll. Some of my all-time favorite presents. I don’t remember what I got for Christmas most years, but that year sticks out – - because of the magic.

One year, my father worked away from home and because Christmas was on Monday, he had to leave on Christmas Eve. The mood at our dinner table that night was solemn, sad, until my sister went into the living room and under our tree were our presents. Santa, my parents told us, had visited us first since he knew Dad couldn’t be around Christmas morning.

The “how” of all my Christmas magic is transparent when I look back as an adult, but it’s magic all the same. The memories make me smile and also make me realize how far my parents would go, what they would sacrifice to make our Christmas special.

That’s what Christmas magic is all about.

The magic of Christmas isn’t something you can buy at a store or catch in a jar. It’s an unexpected jolt of joy, a sense that anything’s possible – if you believe. Sometimes you feel it from something as simple as having someone open a door with a smile, a merry conversation with a stranger in the checkout line, or a parking space that suddenly opens up when you’re trying to shop on your lunch hour.

Sometimes your heart will be touched. Listening to the choir sing a familiar melody, you suddenly feel lifted. Dropping your coins into the Salvation Army container, you receive a smile of gratitude from a cold, probably hungry, bell ringer and you suddenly realize that lots of people do more than shell out money to make the holiday special for their friends and families, they give time and make sacrifices for needy strangers, people who depend on others for their Christmas magic…and you ask yourself…why haven’t I?

Sometimes the scent of pine cones or fir trees or gingerbread will transport you to a happy time, when you were young and everything was magical and you realize how much your parents, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends loved you to make all your Christmases special, wonderful.

That’s what we pass on. Our legacy to our kids isn’t a philosophy of success as much as it is the ability to see real magic and to know we’re all magicians.

All it takes is a smile, a helping hand, an open door, more time than money, more love that sacrifices.

That’s the magic of Christmas.

And that’s what my hero, Jared learns in HER BABY’S FIRST CHRISTMAS. Jared has a tragic past, the kind of past that would level most people. He survived by living in denial. But face-to-face with someone who’s suffering in the here and now, longing for the type of family he’s throwing away, Jared not only learns to count his blessings; he also realizes that Elise copes by seeing the magic in everything. But can he learn to see the magic before his time runs out and he must return home for Christmas?

HER BABY’S FIRST CHRISTMAS easily turned into one of the favorite books I’ve written, all because of the magic.

I’d love to hear other Christmas magic stories and I have two copies of HER BABY’S FIRST CHRISTMAS to give to away so step up and share. You're got until midnight Sunday.

Thanks so much for sharing those stories, Susan.

HER BABY'S FIRST CHRISTMAS is available in the UK, Australia and eHarlequin on the sidebar links to Harlequin and Mills & Boon. And is also available Amazon.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Because of Christmas those of you in the southern hemisphere have had to wait an extra month for WEDDED IN A WHIRLWIND, but it's now available at the Australian Mills & Boon website here.

Or here if you'd rather have an eBook download.

And my website has just been updated, too.

I am now retreating to the cave in an effort to get on top of the wip before the season takes over. SUSAN MEIER will be putting in a guest appearance next week, though, so do stop by and say hello to her.

And don't forget, that if you're looking for the perfect stocking filler for the romance addict, you can still buy the Centenary collection from Mills & Boon (there a link on the sidebar).

That's 24 books for less than £1 a book.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


A visit to Barbara Hannay's blog led me to a website where I could have my blog's personality analysed on the Myers-Briggs range. Who could resist?

Here I am... Oh, dear. Spot on (apart from the outdoor physical activities. I'm definitely the indoor type!) But that sitting still thing. I can still hear my lovely Mum begging me to STOP FIDGETING!

ESTP - The Doers

The active and play-ful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities.

The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.

Check out your own blog here

Monday, December 01, 2008


Please visit the Auction for Jo Leigh and bid on great gifts for the writers and readers in your life. Jo, a RITA-nominated Harlequin author, lost her husband to cancer this summer and is facing financial difficulties, and the romance community have banded together to offer signed books, ARCs, and goodies–as well as critiques from authors, editors, and agents, and mentoring opportunities.

Here’s the link.