Friday, November 26, 2010


I’m reading one of Kate Walker’s wonderful Harlequin Mills & Boon Modern romances at the moment.  The Konstantos Marriage Demand had somehow slipped behind my teetering tbr pile and, as always, it delivers on her emotional, sexually charged promise.

But I’m not talking about Kate Walker the romance author today, but Kate Walker who has done so much to teach new writers about the craft of writing a page turning romance.

Her impromptu, generous masterclass posts on the art and craft of writing at the eHarlequin community have won her an enormous following. Her workshops at conferences, at Caerleon and Fishguard are sell out occasions. But you don’t have to travel to Wales to get the benefit of her wisdom and experience.

Her fabulous book, Kate Walker’s Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance, has just made it into its third edition and I have a copy, hot off the press, to give away to one lucky visitor to my blog this week.

The 12 Point Guide is packed with the essentials that every writer needs.

How to write emotion
Why dialogue is the lifeblood of your novel
Discovering the vulnerability of your hero
Digging down to the vital “black” moment
Creating the essential PTQ – page turning quality

Since this a book for writers, for a chance to win the copy sitting on my desk I’m asking you to share a quote from your own writing – maximum 100 words! This isn’t a writing contest – I’m not judging, the winner will be drawn from a hat — but it never hurts to get your work read.

And I’ll add a copy of Mistletoe & the Lost Stiletto to the prize – or another book from my backlist if you’ve already read that one.

Off you go!

“Liz is the biz!” It has to be true, Anna Campbell said so.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Once upon a time, long long ago, Mills & Boon published my fourth book, A STRANGER'S KISS

It's just been re-released by Linford Romance Library in a lovely glossy new large print edition which should be appearing in a library near you very soon.  (If it doesn't, ask for it!)

Tara Lambert is a partner in a struggling temp agency, but there's one client she'd do anything to avoid...
'I DON'T believe it! Where did he spring from?' Tara Lambert moved quickly to the door but the tail lights of her partner's car were already disappearing into the blackness of the evening, taking with them any possibility of help from that direction.

She glanced back to where the man was waiting across the street. He too was staring after Beth's car, obviously wondering if Tara had gone home with her partner. Well it was too late to regret refusing the proffered lift, but if she moved quickly it might not be too late to escape.

Shrugging her raincoat collar up high around her ears she snapped open her umbrella, stepped out into the wet evening and took off swiftly down the street.

She had gone only a couple of hundred yards when she heard her name being called from the other side of the street. Her escape bid had not, after all, gone unnoticed. With a sinking heart she glanced around her, the shops were already closed and there was nowhere to seek refuge in the shuttered street. Even the taxi rank was deserted, although no cabbie would have thanked her for wasting his time on the short ride to her flat.

She hurried on, urging the traffic lights to stay green and keep the traffic moving, but even as the thought entered her head they flicked to amber.

She stopped, cursing herself for every kind of an idiot. She could have stayed in the office and 'phoned for a taxi. Maybe it was not too late to beat a strategic retreat.

'Tara!' Her name, much closer, startled her and she glanced back before she could stop herself. He was weaving through the slowing cars and cutting off all possibility of escape in that direction.

A burst of light shone briefly on the pavement just ahead of her and a couple emerged and ran, laughing, their arms about each other, along the road. They had come from the wine bar on the ground floor of a glossy office development. She had watched it come to life during the past few weeks but a quick glance at the menu outside had convinced her that it was far too pricey to be included on her list of lunch venues. It hadn't surprised her. Everything about Victoria House was expensive. But right now that was the last thing on her mind.

The urgent sound of closing footsteps propelled her through the door before she had time to consider what she would do once inside.

It wasn't quite seven o'clock and it was still busy with people from the surrounding offices and shops, but there was no one she recognised. She dumped her umbrella in a stand and hung up her coat. At least there were plenty of people about and now she was inside she would have something to eat. It had been a long, hard day and as the aroma of good food assaulted her senses she realised just how hungry she was. She would just have to choose whatever was cheapest on the menu.

As she looked around for a vacant table the door opened behind her. 'Tara!'

Galvanised into movement by the sound of his voice she threw herself into a bench seat hidden from the door by a small grove of potted palms where a man whose deep concentration on a business document and navy pin-striped suit suggested a certain safety.

'Please pretend that I'm with you!' she whispered, urgently. He looked up, a frown momentarily creasing his wide tanned forehead and in that instant she knew, without any doubt, that the impression of safety was all illusion.

Despite the touch of silver that streaked across an unruly lock of hair he was younger than she had thought, in his mid-thirties, no more. Not handsome. The word implied a smooth perfection that this man did not possess. His faced was rugged. Dark brows jutted fiercely over sea-green eyes that seemed to bore into her, seeking out her inmost secrets. His nose had the unmistakable kink produced by a collision with a rugby boot, or perhaps a fist, his mouth wide and uncompromising above a hard chin. It was the face of a plunderer, a pirate, albeit a twentieth century one. And his reactions were as swift.

A brief assessing glance over her shoulder was enough. Without hesitation he slipped his arm around her waist and her lips parted on a short, startled breath as he swept her hard against his chest. She caught the faint scent of something clean and masculine. Good soap, leather, something more.

His fingers grazed her cheek and slowly he began to wind a long jet strand of hair that had escaped from restraining pins around his fingers. For a moment she sat too stunned to move or do anything to stop him. Then, he tucked it behind her ear and while she was still trying to gather her scattered wits he moved swiftly to capture her chin, tilting it upwards, leaving her mouth at his mercy.

'You're late, my darling,' he murmured, his voice a velvet caress. Shaken by this dashing, if unexpected response to her appeal for help, she tried to protest. Then he smiled and the words died in her throat. 'But I forgive you.'

He lied. There was nothing forgiving about the kiss he demanded as a forfeit for his protection. Tara knew the instant his lips claimed hers that this was no 'stage' kiss to fool her pursuer. Whoever this man was, whatever he was, he had never done anything by halves.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I'm blogging at the PINK HEART SOCIETY today - talking about my Male on Monday so do pop by and see who I've chosen.

And there's an interview at HIGH HEELS AND BOOK DEALS with a chance to win a copy of MISTLETOE AND THE LOST STILETTO.

Here are a couple of recent reviews to bring joy to an authors heart!

"...a Christmas bon bon - delicious and satisfying all at the same time." ...
Dear Author

"Ms Fielding yet again delivers a beautifully written story full of emotion, with characters I will remember long after finishing it. The final scene had me closing the book with that warm glow and satisfied 'aah' that all romance readers are looking for and all aspiring romance writers wish they could achieve." ...
Mad About Romance 5 stars

And following my last post - I hope the 500 plus of you who read it couldn't wait to leave a comment, but instead rushed off buy the eBook :);  Nas gets the paper edition I have to give away. 

Nas, send your details to liz at lizfielding dot com and I'll get it in the post to you asap!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


HIS PERSONAL AGENDA is in the line-up of the books being re-released by Harlequin as an eBook in whatever format you prefer.

Here’s the blurb –

Troubleshooter Matt Crosby has a hidden agenda: he’s been hired to find out all he can about Nyssa Blake…

But when Matt meets Nyssa, he falls for her – and his private agenda suddenly gets a lot more personal! Nyssa is naturally wary of Matt, especially as he seems determined to keep her at his side twenty-four hours a day. Tension begins to build between them, and once Nyssa discovers Matt’s mission, there’s bound to be an explosion!

Well, yes.

His job is to destroy her reputation but within minutes of setting eyes on her, Matt is rescuing her from a kidnap attempt. Here’s the moment –

Nyssa Blake was smaller than he had imagined from her photographs and reed slim, but the neat burnished cap of bright hair, the pale delicate skin, the elegant black dress were pure drama and every eye in the room was fixed on her, waiting for her to speak.

Matt was not easily impressed, nor he suspected were the journalists who had gathered there and yet he felt a quickening in the air, a stir of anticipation as she looked around the room, acknowledging acquaintances with the briefest of smiles.

Then her gaze came to rest on him, lingering in a look that seemed to single him out, to hold his attention and just for a second he had the disconcerting sensation that she could see right through him, recognised him for what he was.

He had wondered, looking at her photograph in Parker's office, if her eyes could really be than impossible shade of blue, or whether, like her hair, the colour had been enhanced for effect.

But there was no need to enhance anything. The effect came from something that lit her from within and he knew what it was. Passion.

And her look, he discovered as for just a moment their gaze locked and held, had a kick like a mule.

Matt hadn't been affected like that by a woman since Lucy Braithwaite had dropped her knickers in the vestry after choir practice, cutting short a promising career as a solo treble. He was still struggling to recover his breath when Nyssa Blake took a sip of water before finally beginning to speak.

'Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming to Delvering today,' she began, her voice unexpectedly low and slightly husky rippled through him, stirring the small hairs at the nape of his neck. He swallowed, slumped down a little further in his chair. Was that how she did it? How she drew supporters to her, twisted the callous Fleet Street hacks around her dainty fingers, walked past security guards without let or hindrance? Did she just turn on the lamps behind her eyes, murmur in that low voice and turn them into her willing slaves?

He rubbed his hand over his face in an attempt to pull himself together. He hadn't come to the press conference to join the Nyssa Blake fan club. He just wanted to get the measure of the girl ... woman ...

Well, he was doing that all right. But it sure as hell wasn't what he had expected.

'I do hope you have all taken advantage of this opportunity to look around Delvering, to talk to local people, to discover for yourselves what exactly is at stake here,' she continued, then quite unexpectedly she grinned, and for a moment he saw the girl, still there behind the sophisticated veneer. 'But don't worry if you haven't,' she said, indicating the projector with a wave of her hand. It was a gesture that would have done justice to a geisha, controlled, exquisitely graceful and for just a moment his body seemed to do a loop-the-loop as he imagined what that hand could do to him. 'I'm about to enlighten you, so save your questions until after the show.'

There was a murmur of laughter as the light dimmed until there was just a small shaded lamp over the notes on the lectern, the powerful beam from the projector directing all eyes to the screen with its aerial view of the small market town of Delvering.

As if this was a prearranged signal, several people leapt to their feet in the darkness. There was an angry yell that turned into a cry of pain from the man standing by the projector as it was overturned, hitting the floor with a crash that blew the lamp, plunging the room into almost total darkness.

The heavies. He didn't have to see them to know. He'd recognised them for what they were despite their suits and their careful interest in Nyssa Blake's work and he'd assumed they were minders. He'd been wrong. And there was one right in front of the lectern.

Without pausing to consider the wisdom of his actions, Matt Crosby hurled himself towards the shaded light that illuminated nothing but Nyssa Blake's small hands, frozen in the act of turning over the first page of her notes.

Nyssa should be grateful to her rescuer, but instead she “borrows” Matt’s car to make her getaway. From there on in it’s a battle of wits. Kiss chase with serious consequences for both of them.

I have a paper copy of HIS PERSONAL AGENDA to give away. Just leave a comment – something about the excerpt, or maybe your feelings about a romance with a little bit of danger to heighten the senses. I’ll draw a winner out of the hat on Sunday.

Meanwhile, here's a link to the Kindle edition -

Saturday, November 06, 2010


Most of us read short stories in magazines.  They fill desperate moments in hospital and dentists' waiting rooms, take our mind off the moment.  There aren't many collections published in book form these days, but  National Short Story Week 22-28 November, championed by the very lovely Katie Fforde, is hoping to open our eyes to the pleasures of the form.

You can read what she has to say about the pleasure of reading short stories
here and if you find yourself convinced, there's no better place to start than in this collection published by the Romantic Novelists' Association to promote their 50th Anniversary this year.  Perfect to pop into a stocking.  Yours, or someone you know who loves to read. 
Perfect to fill that twenty minutes before you climb into bed and are overcome with sleep.

Or here's one I wrote earlier that you can read for free - The Cinderella Valentine

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


I had an email recently from a writer who is still at the learning stage; a rejection beneath her belt, the second book in progress. She’d been told that she should never change point of view in the middle of a scene but she’d been reading my books and was sure that I did. But wondered if perhaps she was imagining it.

I know a lot of writers and writing tutors insist that you should never change viewpoint in the middle of a scene and there are sound reasons for that, the major one being not to confuse the reader.

I have to tell you that I recently read a crime novel from an important mainstream publishing house where the mid-scene viewpoint changes were so bad that I had to keep back-tracking to catch them and whoever edited it needed a slap. This is actually rare in crime fiction, but the two detectives (both male and heterosexual) were so closely involved over a past case that their thoughts were entwining rather like a pair of lovers and I suspect that was the author’s reason for using this technique.

My first twelve books were written from the heroine-only view point, which was the norm back then. I broke out with Eloping With Emmy but stuck with one viewpoint per scene until, four books later, I wrote Dating Her Boss.

I was in the middle of a scene in which they were dancing; it was a big scene — one of those pivotal scenes that were part of the recent Mills & Boon New Voices competition — and I wanted the reader to know what they were both feeling. Not her now and him remembering later, or vice versa. It was important for both of them and I wanted the reader to feel that in the instant it was happening. So I switched viewpoint mid-dance.

Re-reading the whole scene now I can see that in places it was a little loose in execution but at no time is the reader in any doubt whose head they’re in. And that’s the trick of it. Make it clean, make it clear and you’ll keep the reader with you.

Here’s how I did it —

Putting her arms about his neck, laying his head against his chest was by no means a penance, and her lips softened into a smile as he put his hands about her waist and pulled her closer so that she was listening to the slow thud of his heart overlying the sensuous beat of the music. Two hours ago she’d been enduring hell at the hands of Rich Blake; quite suddenly she was being transported to heaven.
        Max shifted his hold slightly, so that his hands rested on the soft curve of her hips. It was heaven and it was hell too. Like the pain when frozen fingers began to thaw, and for just a moment he felt dizzy…

I did this intuitively but it’s a writing technique and therefore something that can be learned.

Using a character’s name, as I did here, is one way of doing this. Writing a short paragraph, no more than a sentence, describing something neutral such as a sound – something outside the internal thoughts of the characters – to divide two viewpoints will also help.

I confess that having once started I did get a little carried away, changing backwards and forwards with abandon. These days I think carefully about it and don’t do it nearly as much but in what is basically a two-hander romance (as with Harlequin Mills & Boon) I think it has a place, adding internal movement to what would otherwise be static scenes. As long as you make it clear whose head you’re in, because sloppy changes won’t get past an HMB editor.

But don’t just take my word for it. Nora Roberts, who’s sold more romances than most of us can ever dream of changes viewpoint at the drop of a hat and the millions of readers who love her books, send them flying up the bestseller charts time after time, don’t complain. The only people who tut are those who are obsessed with rules rather than telling a brilliant story.

Rules are for grammar. The rest is imagination.

Monday, November 01, 2010


At a recent lunch, the managing director of Mills & Boon told us how much she'd suffered during a couple of days earlier this year when she was supervising the shoot of a charity calendar at the Leander Club.  Getting down to business with the baby oil to make sure you see a host of Olympic and World Champions as they’ve never been seen before!

Leander Club is recognised the world over for its extraordinary rowing achievements – including winning gold medals at every Olympics since 1984 - and is committed to developing its squad of athletes to help underpin future British success at World and Olympic level.

And if anyone doubts your motives in buying the calendar, you can tell them that all proceeds go to THE LEANDER TRUST (Registered Charity No. 284631) to help, ahem, develop future champions.  For more action, click here

It costs £11.99 (including post and packaging) and you can buy here