Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Buy Indie Day

May 1st has been declared Buy Indie Day. The idea: buy one book—paperback, hardcover, audiobook, whatever you want!—at an independent bookstore near you.

Writer Kevin Guilfoile said it well when he posted:

"There's an opportunity here to make something very cool happen—near simultaneous, informal meet-ups of readers and writers in independent bookstores all over the country—and it can happen with practically no effort at all."

You can RSVP, invite friends and discuss with other indie shoppers on Buy Indie Day's Facebook page, and find an indie bookstore near you here.

Where you will be buying indie on May 1st?

Saturday, April 25, 2009


We've been decorating. Since the middle of January.

Obviously this hasn't been just a slap of paint and freshen up job. We've had new patio doors put into both the rooms looking over the garden, new windows upstairs.

We've built a brand new en suite bathroom and added fitted wardrobes in the bedroom and generally thrown out more accumulated rubbish than you can believe two ordinary people could accumulate in the nearly seventeen year we've been in this house -- we moved in just before my first book was published.

There's just the new bedroom floor to be fitted (Les is coming on Tuesday to do that), the new curtains to be hung, and trip out to choose a blind for the bathroom and some rugs for the toes to step onto first thing in the morning, which we'll hopefully manage today.

All I have to do now is catch up on the dust, make one last run to the tip to dispose of the detritus and hopefully that will be that. There's a certain amount of pressure to get that all done this week since the dd and s-i-l are coming for the Bank Holiday and at the moment we're in the guest room. I'm praying for good weather since the s-i-l has never seen Wales other than soaked in precipitation and when the sun shines there is no prettier place on earth.

I did take a break from the painting to meet up with the Carmarthen Chapter of the RNA on a brilliantly warm and sunny spring day last week. It wasn't a "glamorous author day", but a casual meeting of writers, some of who'd travelled a long way to join us. We met at an ancient thatched pub and talked writing and ate a great lunch. We're a mixture of pub'd and unpub'd and provide a support group for one another.

The post man (the incomparable Steve) brought me a package containing my author copies of the Large Print reprint of Gentlemen Prefer...Brunettes yesterday.

This is one of my earlier books that never had a LP Library edition -- I'm working through these. His Little Girl was published earlier this year and Dangerous Flirtation, An Image of You and Eloping With Emmy will be available to borrow from the library (worldwide) in LP format within the next nine months.

Here's the background --

Nick Jefferson can't resist a challenge, or a blonde, so when the latest platinum-haired woman to cross his path challenges him to cook her a romantic dinner, he accepts. Cooking can't be that hard, can it? Women do it.

Big mistake.

TV chef Cassie Cornwell is not Nick's type -- she's a cuddly brunette -- and he's certainly not hers. She's allergic to sweet-talking playboys. But she needs him as much as he needs her and a deal is struck. It should have been plain sailing, but Nick discovers that he's much rather be in the kitchen with the cook than seducing the blondes.

To whet your appetite, here's where they meet.

Veronica, the blonde, who plays a lively role in this book has her own story in A Suitable Groom, by the way, which Mills & Boon published in LP several years ago.

Finally, just a reminder of the Mother's Day contest over at Anne McAllister's website. Drop in on her blog, too, to see pictures of her new grandson, Henry. He is gorgeous.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I'm hard at work on Josie's story right now -- Sylvie's assistant in The Bride's Baby. It's set in Botswana and she's moved on from punk to vintage fashion (now she's a partner she has to look the part -- but in her own way), so as you can imagine I'm having fun with the research. The writing, as ever, is a lot harder. But you've turned up and expect to read something new and so first off I have to announce a new competition.

To celebrate the birth of a new grandson, Anne McAllister is having a "Mother & Baby" contest which will run up to Mother's Day. There's a great prize, including a copy of Secret Baby, Surprise Parents, so check it out HERE. And if you haven't read Savas' Defiant Mistress, rush out and get it NOW! It's terrific.

Oh, and while you're surfing, take a look at the Harlequin Romance Authors where two great HR authors Jackie Braun and Melissa James are talking about writing.

But not for a minute. I've got something to say and I hope you'll listen while I speak my piece.


I'm back on the wii after a rather long lay off. My hips have been sore and the deadlines desperate and I just went off the whole idea of exercise, but I'm missing the exercise, too.

I'm decided to give the Stepping a rest since that seems to aggravate the hips, but I beat the heck out the punchbag this morning. Bang, bang, bang...

Very therapeutic.

I needed that after yet another message informing me that my books are yet another pirate site.

At this point I Googled "pirates", so that I could provide a blood curdling image. What I found were endless pics of jolly Jack Sparrow, colouring pages for children and that whole, yo-ho-ho "pirates are fun" thing.

I think recent events prove that real pirates are an entirely different kettle of fish -- that they are in fact thieves and murderers.

Okay, book pirates don't kill people, but they can kill an author's career. Publishers take notice of how many people "buy" a book and offer further contracts on that basis. Stolen books don't get counted.

And it is stealing. There is a notice on the inside of books -- and on eBooks too -- that reads:

"The text of this publication or any part thereof may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photogcopying, recording, storage in an information retrievalsystem, or otherwise, without the written permission of the publisher."

It's there for a reason. To protect the author's intellectual rights. To protect the publisher's investment in the product he's put on the shelf at great expense. Because there is a law against stealing a work that's still in copyright. (Lots of books aren't. If the author has been dead for seventy years you can help yourself and welcome.)

If you buy a paper book you can sell it or give it away. The physical copy (that one in your hand -- no copies, remember) is yours to dispose of as you will. That's the law.

The words, however, belong to the author because he or she wrote them. Copyright protects him or her from anyone else benefitting from the blood, sweat and tears -- the months, years even, that it took to produce that book without written permission from the rights holder (and he will expect you to pay for the privilege). That's also the law.

It's not just authors and publishers who are protected by Copyright. You are, too.

Here's how it works. Suppose you write a letter in a fit of pique to someone. It doesn't show you in a very good light. Two days later you really wish you hadn't written it but life moves on and you forget all about it. A year or two passes. You get famous and the recipient of that letter thinks he owns something valuable. Something that the media will pay to publish. He'll get rich on something you wrote.

Nope. The media won't pay him a cent.

He owns the paper, but you own the words. They're yours. Protected by copyright. (If you don't believe me check the case involving letters written by Princess Diana to one of her lovers. The sleazebag thought he was going to earn a fortune. The High Court ruled against him and it never happened.

Copyright protected her from the sleazebag. The letters were never published.

The same law protects authors and publishers, for whom the book represents an investment of time, effort, inspiration, money.

Publishing is not a business like producing furniture or frozen meals. It's not something that can be simply costed and sold. If publishers had to pay authors the entire value of the book upfront they wouldn't able to produce the quantity of books that readers have to choose from now because it takes maybe five years to earn all those royalties.

There seems to be a movement that suggests that everything should be "free". That's music, films and books. Obviously the "free" movers expect to get paid for the hours they put in at the coal face. To have their salary paid into the bank at the end of month.

Authors eat, too. Send their kids to college. Buy shoes. If they have no prospect of a return for their time and effort -- and they have to wait around five years to realise the full worth of their labour remember, they don't get a check at the end of every month -- well the only books out there would be celebrity memoirs and the few authors who can guarantee huge sales in a very short time. The ones you read about in the newspapers.

How many a year would that be? A dozen maybe? Twenty? Start counting.

J K Rowling didn't get a seven figure advance. She had a tiny little advance that her publisher risked on an unknown author. That's how it works unless you're already famous for something else.

But pirates (thieves, remember), who've already undermined the music business and are giving the film industry the heebie jeepies can bring the house tumbling down.

So what, you might think. Why should I care?

Well, if your favourite author isn't making the numbers, her publisher will drop her. If the publisher isn't making a profit people get laid off. Not just authors, but secretaries, delivery drivers, editorial assistants, cleaners... It's a chain reaction. This business is, as the great Penny Jordan describes it, an inverted pyramid. At the bottom is the author, working for nothing until her book is sold, holding the whole thing up.

I know times are hard, but if you want free books go to the library. Go to the library anyway. They buy books and authors love them. The librarian will thank you (she likes her job, too). The publisher will thank you and the author will kiss the ground you walk on.

Meanwhile, hitting the punchbag will do me good. Get the blood flowing fast and the brain working efficiently.

Okay, I've gone on long enough and I'm stepping down from the soap box now. Josie needs me to sort out her wardrobe. You can go and check out Anne's competition now. And the wisdom of Jackie and Melissa.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


My dear friend Kate Walker is holding a masterclass here on her blog on the subject of heroes -- more specifically the much maligned "alpha" hero.

Anyone who writes, or would like to write, needs to go and see what the guru has to say on this subject. Also for the pictures of Hugh Jackman.

Here's one to be going on with!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! I was good. Honestly. No eggs, no bunnies, but I did make a chocolate mousse cake with 100% Venezuelan Black chocolate courtesy of my daughter (who sent the chocolate) and the slightly batty Willie and his Wonky Chocolate Factory (who grew it on his estate and gave us the recipe). Seriously, seriously good stuff!

We had a slight hiatus in the DIYing over the holiday weekend. We’d got as far as we could until the new wardrobe was fitted. It was finished today and tomorrow we’ll be back on the paintbrushes – there should be a law against skirting board in cupboards! After that it’s the floor, the curtains (which need shortening, mumble, mumble) and the removal of industrial quantities of dust that have seeped into every other part of the house. I’ve done my best to stay on top of it, but until we’ve finished it’s like Canute trying to stop the tide coming in.

I spent a little of my spare time reading – there’s a surprise. One of the fun things about having a reprint in an anthology is reading the other two books. I’d never read a Lindsay Armstrong and really loved her contribution, When Enemies Marry. Her ingĂ©nue heroine was just a hoot, especially when she handcuffed a youthful tearaway to the table leg. I enjoyed The Hasty Marriage by Betty Neels, too. The slightly grim Dutch doctor, the jolly decent heroine and her frightful family were classic BN fare; much the same pleasure as reading one of my aunt’s Sunday School prize books when I was a little girl. (Has anyone else read “Molly Rufus”?)

Television hasn’t been terrific lately, but The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency is pure delight. And last night I watched a film I’d recorded, Raising Helen. Worth it just for Helen Mirren. But then there was Pastor Dan…

And finally, in case you missed it, Harlequin is getting some serious coverage on the networks these days. Here’s what ABC had to say yesterday.

There’s an interview with Donna Hayes, Harlequin’s CEO and some readings from a range of books (sensible, sincere, no dreadful music); Harlequin Romance author Michelle Douglas had Martin Bashear reading from her book The Aristocrat and the Mom.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Hi, everyone. I'm Grace McAllister and Liz -- working hard on page proofs for her next book but one -- asked me to drop by and tell you about the really lovely 4.5 star review for Secret Baby, Surprise Parents that dropped into her inbox this weekend from Julie at Cataromance.

"Secret Baby, Surprise Parents is a powerful, emotional and heart wrenching romantic tale from the wonderful pen of multi award-winning author Liz Fielding!

"Moving, poignant and wonderfully written, Secret Baby, Surprise Parents is not just a terrific romance, but also a compelling family drama that will make readers think about the choices and dilemmas which modern women have to face on a daily basis.

"Secret Baby, Surprise Parents is an exceptional romance by one of contemporary romantic fiction’s finest – Liz Fielding!" More here.

I read it out to Posie while Josh was feeding her this morning and she blew an oatmeal bubble she was so excited. Josh just shrugged in that "what can I say?" way that men have as he wiped the cereal off his chin, but I could see he was pretty pleased with the "terrific romance" bit.

And another really exciting thing is that our book is available online now in Australia and New Zealand here.

It'll be in the shops next month.

Josh was blase about that. Australia is his second home and he expected nothing else, but the stay-at-home in me is still getting used to having another home on the other side of the world.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


May your eggs all be chocolate and your bunnies from Lindt!

Friday, April 10, 2009


The Secret Shopper's Revenge by Kate Harrison. Orion

Bridesmaids by Jane Costello. Pocket Books

Recipe For Disaster by Miriam Morrison. Arrow

A Winter's Tale by Trisha Ashley. Avon

The Marriage Bureau For Rich People by Farahad Zama. Abacus

The Importance Of Being Emma by Juliet Archer. ChocLit

For more about the Melissa Nathan Foundation click here

Thursday, April 09, 2009


My cover was on the TODAY SHOW! They were filming in Barnes & Noble, doing a piece on the fact that romance novels are recession proof -- in tough times we get a happy ending where we can find it -- and the Secret Baby got in there twice!

See if you can spot it here!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


It's always a big week when a book is published. Interviews, blogs, comps and talks. This week I'll be doing my stuff at my local WI which promises to be fun. I've got a lovely book to give the winner of the "first lines" competition that I set.

I hope you'll find time to visit Coffee Time Romance and take part in the competition for a book and some Liz Fielding goodies here

I'll be blogging here at RomanceTV on Thursday -- Trish Millburne is there today -- and at CTR on Saturday (if I can ever get the hang of the system they use!)

It's your chance to make any point you want so come and join in the fun. I'll be delighted to see you. Meanwhile, click on the link below and you can read the whole of Chapter One.


I've finally run down the full list of shortlisted books for the Colorado Award of Excellence. Great to see author buddies Annie West, Bronwyn Jameson, Holly Jacobs and Brenda Novak in the line-up. Good luck to everyone!

Short Contemporary

Wedded in a Whirlwind ~ Liz Fielding
Editor Bryony Green, Harlequin

The Daddy Dilemma ~ Karen Rose Smith
Editor Tina Colombo, Silhouette

The Tycoon’s One Night Revenge ~ Bronwyn Jameson
Editor Diana Ventimiglia, Silhouette

The Billionaire’s Bought Mistress ~ Annie West
Editor Suzanne Clarke, Harlequin

And Baby Makes Four ~ Mary J. Forbes
Editor Susan Litman, Silhouette

Long Contemporary

Once Upon a Thanksgiving ~ Holly Jacobs
Editor Kathryn Lye, Harlequin

Another Man’s Baby ~ Kay Stockham
Editor Wanda Ottewell, Harlequin

No Place Like Home ~ Margaret Watson
Editor Victoria Curran, Harlequin

The Secret Soldier ~ Jennifer Morey
Editor Natashya Wilson, Harlequin

A Perfect Stranger ~ Terry McLaughlin
Editor Laura Shin, Harlequin

Single Title

Accidentally Yours ~ Susan Mallery
Editor Tara Parsons, Harlequin

Sweet Spot ~ Susan Mallery
Editor Tara Parsons, Harlequin

Addicted to Love ~ Lori Wilde
Editor Michele Bidelspach, Grand Central Publishing/Forever

Windswept ~ Ann Macela
Editor Helen Rosburg, Medallion Press, Inc.

Red-Hot and Royal ~ Susanna Carr
Editor Anne Bohner, NAL/Signet Eclipse

Romantic Suspense

Watch Me ~ Brenda Novak
Editor Paula Eykelhof, Harlequin/MIRA

Stop Me ~ Brenda Novak
Editor Paula Eykelhof, Harlequin/MIRA

Phantom in the Night ~ Dianna Love and Sherrilyn Kenyon
Editor Lauren McKenna, Pocket

Trial by Fire ~ Jo Davis
Editor Tracy Bernstein, NAL/Signet Eclipse

Under Fire ~ Beth Cornelison
Editor Bethany Morgan, Samhain Publishing

Spicy Romance

Unleashed ~ Lori Borrill
Editor Kathryn Lye, Harlequin

Risque Business ~ Tawny Weber
Editor Brenda Chin, Harlequin

Sex, Straight Up ~ Kathleen O’Reilly
Editor Kathryn Lye, Harlequin

Shaken and Stirred ~ Kathleen O’Reilly
Editor Kathryn Lye, Harlequin

Hot Silk ~ Sharon Page
Editor Hilary Sares, Kensington Aphrodisia

Paranormal/Time Travel/Fantasy/Futuristic

Kiss of Fire ~ Deborah Cooke
Editor Kara Cesare, NAL Eclipse

Talgorian Prophecy ~ Ariana Dupre
Editor Helen Woodall, Cerridwen Press

Enchanting the Lady ~ Kathryne Kennedy
Editor Leah Hultenschmidt, Dorchester Love Spell

In Twilight’s Shadow ~ Patti O’Shea
Editor Heather Osborn, TOR Books

Heart Fate ~ Robin D. Owens
Editor Cindy Hwang, Berkley Sensation

Mainstream w/Romantic Elements

Alibi in High Heels ~ Gemma Halliday
Editor Leah Hultenschmidt, Dorchester

Making It Turning Thirty-Twelve ~ Sandy James
Editor Amanda Hilton, Bookstrand

Knock Em Dead ~ Rhonda Pollero
Editor Audrey LaFehr, Kensington Books

Don’t Hex with Texas ~ Shanna Swendson
Editor Liz Scheier, Ballantine Books


The Perfect Life ~ Robin Lee Hatcher
Editor Ami McConnell, Thomas Nelson

Wagered Heart ~ Robin Lee Hatcher
Editor Sue Brower, Zondervan

My Heart Remembers ~ Kim Vogel Sawyer
Editor Charlene Patterson, Bethany House

Beyond the Night ~ Marlo Schalesky
Editor Julee Schwarzburg, Multnomah Books

For Pete’s Sake ~ Linda Windsor
Editor Cynthia DiTiberio, Harper One, Avon Inspire


The Rebel and the Lady ~ Kathryn Albright
Editor Jenny Hutton, Harlequin Historicals

Siren’s Song ~ Trish Albright
Editor Leah Hultenschmidt, Dorchester Publishing/Leisure Books

Distracting the Duchess ~ Emily Bryan
Editor Leah Hultenschmidt, Dorchester Publishing/Leisure Books

The Mistress Diaries ~ Julianne MacLean
Editor Erika Tsang, Avon Books

The Kiss ~ Sophia Nash
Editor Lyssa Keusch, Avon/Harper Collins

Friday, April 03, 2009

In the Guardian this morning...

"Mills & Boon falls for social networking

"The publisher has announced plans to launch its own, romantic version of Facebook

"Romance fans are getting their own version of Facebook thanks to the world's biggest romantic publisher, Mills & Boon. The publisher, which sells a book every 6.6 seconds in the UK, is launching a social networking site next week in an attempt to up its brand presence online.

"Just like Facebook and other online communities, users will be able to set up their own profiles, upload photos, make friends and post updates. "Obviously it's not going to be as big as Facebook," admitted digital director Tim Cooper, "but it will work in the same way"."

Read on here.

And if you're out and about shopping this weekend, SECRET BABY, SURPRISE PARENTS is in the shops today, along with The Rebel King by Melissa James which I read last night and loved, Nine-to-Five Bride by Jennie Adams, Marrying the Manhattan Millionaire by Jackie Braun, The Cowboy & the Princess by Myrna Mackenzie and Diamond in the Rough by Diana Palmer.

And if you want to keep up with my day to day doings, ditherings, dallyings, you can now follow my Tweets here on Twitter.

Oh, and my website has just been updated, too.