Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Do you put things away and then forget what you’ve done with them? Stupid question. We all do that.

Reading glasses, car keys, gloves. We put them down and then have to retrace our steps until suddenly there they are, right in front of us.

Last week I had guests for lunch and so the dining room – which doubles as a second office – had to be cleared of the stuff that accumulates wherever I’m working. I shifted most of it back to its rightful place in the “Snap & Scribble” at the bottom of the garden. Tidied away the rest out of sight (as you do).

In one corner of the dining room, next to an already overflowing bookcase (all my bookcases are overflowing, double stacked, books pushed in the gap at the top) was a pile of foreign editions of my own books. They arrive, I smile, I dump them on this pile just inside the door. In the way. So I moved them.

Then, this week, prompted by the arrival of a parcel of new foreign editions, I decided to do what I'd putting off.

First, register them at ALCS (the Authors Licencing and Collecting Society which pays authors photocopying fees and foreign Public Lending Right). Then offer them to anyone in the UK who fancied a book in one of a range of languages from Japanese to Greek.

Do you think I can find them? This pile of books nearly a metre high?

I have, I swear, run out of places to look.

No doubt I’ll fall over them when I’m not looking, but in the meantime I have a Hungarian edition of The Five Year Baby Secret, Spanish and Italian translations of Wedded in a Whirlwind, Japanese editions of The Secret Life of Lady Gabriella and Dating Her Boss, something in Polish -- I'm down the S & S as I write this so I can't remember what it is -- and The Bride's Baby in French. There’s also this anthology with Diana Palmer; I’m not sure what language that's in.

If you fancy a copy to hone your own language skills, or know someone who’d welcome something written in their own language do get in touch and I’ll happily pass them on.


Not in a pile, but in a big basket in the dd’s room – and yes I had looked there! -- along with all the other stuff that needs a home (or throwing out). So, more of all the above, plus German, Portuguese and Greek.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Isn’t it just wonderful when you find a new author? A couple of weeks ago my dd was telling me about a first book she’d just read called GARDEN SPELLS by Sarah Addison Allen and was desperate because she couldn’t find the author’s second book, SUGAR QUEEN in her local bookshop.

Being a totally fabulous mother , I found it on Amazon and gave her a copy when she came to see us over the May Bank Holiday. In return she gave me her copy of GARDEN SPELLS. And then, because I was desperate for the second book, too, Michelle Styles generously sent me her copy of SUGAR QUEEN.

These books are magic. Literally. As well as being delightful romances, things happen that don’t happen in the ordinary world. According to Sarah, when I checked her website this morning, when she wrote GARDEN SPELLS she had intended to write a book that was about the reunion of two sisters, but then the apple tree started to throw apples and – like her heroine, Claire -- her life has never been the same again.

In SUGAR QUEEN there’s a girl living in Josey’s closet – and blackmailing her over her secret stash of sweets and paperback romances -- a crazy maid, the mother from hell and the mailman. And then there’s Chloe, whose one true love has cheated on her and who is plagued by books. Titles such as Old Love, New Direction; A Girl’s Guide to Keep Her Guy and Madame Bovary (an awful warning!) will turn up and refuse to stay in the trash.

This morning, having read the second book in a can’t-put-it-down rush, I went to Sarah’s website to see what else she’d written.

Sadly I’m going to have to wait until 2010 for her next book, the one in which the wallpaper changes pattern by itself. Such imagination!

Fortunately, there’s a new Susan Elizabeth Phillips to help plug the gap – although if anyone can suggest anything else that has the SAA touch, or any great books you've read lately, word of mouth is the best way to, um, spread the word!

You're welcome to start here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Here's what Randall Toye, Director Global Series at Harlequin had to say on Isabel Swift's blog: --

"The key focus is a good story, well told. The basic building blocks? Character, Structure, Pacing, Payoff. Easy to list. Not so easy to deliver. As one author beautifully articulated: "Just because they're easy to read doesn't mean they're easy to write!" Quite the opposite. The series romance, like a sonnet, is a beautiful, disciplined, elegant, and demanding creative form."

You'll find the whole article on here

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


According to Horace Bent of The Bookseller on Twitter, this morning, 13 books with “Angel” in the title have made the Sunday Times best-seller list in recent months. With my own “angel” book on the shelves in November, you can imagine how happy this made me. Not that I’m anticipating the Sunday Times best-seller list, you understand, but a girl can dream of being a "Heat Seeker"!

CHRISTMAS ANGEL FOR THE BILLIONAIRE is part of the “Changing Places” duet being published by Harlequin Romance next November and December, in which Lady Rose and her look-alike, Lydia Young, change places for a week.

The second book is HER DESERT DREAM in which another of the Khatib cousins, Kalil al Zaki (the first two are in The Sheikh’s Guarded Heart and The Sheikh’s Unsuitable Bride) from Ramal Hamrah, gets himself into all kinds of bother when he falls for the “people’s angel”.

Here he is -- just for a treat :)

An angel and a sheikh in the same duet. Hook heaven!

Just now, I’m writing a book for the exciting new ESCAPE AROUND THE WORLD mini series. Josie – who first made an appearance in The Bride’s Baby (still available free at here – is in Botswana, attempting to bring order out of the chaos of a “celebrity” wedding at the fabulous tree-top Leopard’s Lodge on the bank of the Chobe River.

Fortunately, Gideon McCloud, hors d’combat and flat on his back in the next door tree, is there to lend her a sympathetic ear, his shoulder when the bridesmaids get stroppy, half of his super king size bed when the sleeping arrangements prove inadequate. He’s exactly what a girl needs when she’s thousands of miles from the comfort of her office and without a mobile phone connection. Maybe.

The only question now is, how can I get “angel” into the title?

Sunday, May 10, 2009


A very happy Mother's Day to everyone I know. It's such a special day, when we honour our own mother's and get made a fuss of ourselves. At least I did back in March when we had Mothering Sunday in the UK. Now it's the turn of everyone else out there. Joy to you all.

Sunday is my favourite day of the week. A lie in, a slow leisurely breakfast with the dh. This morning I was sitting there, dipping the toast soldiers into the lightly boiled egg -- as you do -- and listening to Broadcasting House on Radio 4 when I suddenly found myself listening to extremely talent author and all round great woman, Kate Hardy. She was talking about ... blogging! And Antonio Banderas. And her fabulous new sheikh romance Surrender to the Playboy Sheikh -- more of which here.

After that, well the sun was shining and some plants I bought weeks ago were desperate for more space so I've spent the rest of the morning in the garden working up a sweat. Potting the antirrynums -- I'm sure that's not how you spell it -- and Sweet Williams. Moving an astilbe to a place where it will be happier and a fern, ditto, to the wood. Then I went a little bit crazy with the loppers -- the frosts caused so much damage this winter.

It's been a busy week. I've been driving all over the place and the hedgerows are absolutely stunning at the moment. The hazel hedges are a buzz of fresh green, and the banks below them absolutely filled with bluebells, buttercups, cow parsley and red campion. Apparently there are violets, too, according to the dd who actually went out for a walk last weekend. I'm just enjoying the ones in the garden.

Spring is absolutely, totally here. Bliss.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Heaving Bosoms: A Tonic for the Recession?

That's not actually my headline -- I've never written a heaving bosom in my life -- but a report on "...a unique two day symposium which promised to take romance fiction seriously. Bringing together scholars, romance writers, and reviewers, the symposium's specific focus would be "the multiple ways that romance novels--long the most maligned of literary texts--can provide rich critical insight for the study of American culture, politics, and society..." that took place at Princeton, no less, as reported on The Huffington Post

It's a really interesting post, debunking myths galore. I particularly liked the conclusion that the only thing most romance readers have in common is that they like reading romance. And it also addresses the reasons why, in bad times, sales of romantic fiction rise.


Fresh Fiction wrote this about Grace and Josh's story.

"Liz Fielding is like taking a breath of fresh air. I usually don't choose Harlequin Romances for a personal read. But I'm glad I got this book. It's a classic romantic tale with many twists and turns. You know the saying 'a picture says a thousand words', well the title of this novel SECRET BABY, SURPRISE PARENTS says a thousand words. I expected a great read and got an exceptional read. The conflict and the chemistry are on every single page. The characters are charming and full of wit. Once you read this book I promise you'll be in awe."

You can read the whole thing here while I go off to work whistling with a big, silly grin on my face.