Wednesday, December 29, 2010


This year it totally revolved around Miss Cora Rose, nearly eleven months old and diving into Christmas as if it were created just for her.

It was a really special holiday for us and I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your family and friends around you.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I'll be out and about over the Christmas holidays with a lot of other authors, guesting at the Minxes of Romance, High Heels And Book Deals and Romance Author Hotspot

If you have a moment to spare from the last minute wrapping, cooking and general mayhem, do drop by and share in the fun.  I have no doubt there'll be books and other goodies on offer, a chance to chat to your favourite authors and ask them questions about how they do what they do.

I'm fairly sure there will be at least one copy of Mistletoe and the Lost Stiletto to be won, too, although I've done so much and been to so many blogs I've lost track of exactly what and where!



And in the New Year I'll be having some very special guests.  Each of the authors of the new RIVA series is coming to visit.  There'll be excerpt of their books and copies of each of them to be won.  Not to be missed.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


We're snowed in! Sixteen cms of snow the first night, another nine last night and it's still snowing.

I did dig a path to the gate - not that anyone is mad enough to venture out in this, we haven't seen a car for two days - but it seemed a sensible thing to do.

The path has now disappeared under more snow. And the bruise on my forehead isn't from falling on ice outside, but slipping in wet boots (when I went to fetch salt) on the mud room floor.

Fortunately I've got everything well stocked up - apart from the turkey and ham which are an impassable five miles away at the butcher - so we're not going to starve. Whether the family will make it is another matter. They are up to their eyes in the white stuff at the other end of the country so it seems unlikely and unless the weather gods decide to smile it's going to be a Christmas by Skype!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I hope you all had a good time at the eHarlequin Open House yesterday.  It's always a blast to meet up with readers and share some time with other writers.   Someone won a copy of MISTLETOE AND THE LOST STILETTO and I 'll be getting that into the post as soon as I have details from the host.  Whether it will arrive in time for Christmas is all down to the Royal Mail.

Meanwhile, if you want to know what book your favourite author is hoping to find under her Christmas Tree this year, then check out High Heels and Book Deals - there's a pretty stellar lineup over the next few days.

I'm out this morning for coffee with a writer friend and then a quick look around the shops to find little extras for Christmas stockings.  It's been difficult this year because the dh wants an iPad (it'll be a joint Christmas and birthday present!) but he's waiting for the next generation.  I give the grown-ups money so that they can choose something for themselves, but Christmas morning wouldn't be right without something to open.  So one last push on the shopping front this morning.

Keeping my fingers crossed that the promised snow doesn't cut us off from the loved ones and leave me with a turkey, a ham and enough food for the next month!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Come and join the Harlequin Romance authors at their Open House Party today!  Bring a friend!

There's chat,  book prizes and a chance to post chat online with authors and readers from all over the world.  Share your best reads, ask questions, eat the cyber food (your scales will love for it), kick back and have fun.

See you there!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I've drawn the winner of HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE and it's Tamsyn!  Congratulations. :)

Thanks everyone for dropping by the blog.  I will be offering paper copies of some of my newly published eBook backlist in the coming weeks, so don't forget to stop by when you have a moment.

And in January I'll be hosting the authors of the four launch books in the new RIVA series.  They'll be talking about their books, sharing excerpts and giving away a copy of their books.

Not to be missed!

PS  Linda S, your prize is still sitting on my desk, waiting for you to email me with your address!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Running through the books that Harlequin is re-releasing as eBooks, I'm choosing this one because it is the very beginning of my "Upper Haughton" adventure.   These are the characters who started it all when their wedding plans hit the skids.  Big time.

Her ghostly reflection stared back at her from the car window. On the surface, everything perfect. Her dress, her hair, her make-up.

'Nearly there, Willow. All set?'

She turned to father, distinguished in his morning suit, his top hat resting on his lap as the car, ribbons fluttering, drove in slow state towards a church filled with friends and family, all gathered for her big day. What would they do, she wondered, if she didn't turn up.

'Did you wonder? Before you married mum? Whether you were making a terrible mistake?'

'It's a big step. Nerves are to be expected.' Then her father frowned. 'Or is there something more?'

'I don't know. Maybe. ' Then, 'If I hadn't been offered that wretched job ...'

The letter to Toby Townsend lay on the hall table. She'd kept putting off posting it. She'd meant to do it last night, along with the thank you letters for wedding presents; like the juicer, the clock to count the hours that she'd spend dusting a house she'd loathed on sight.

She'd had to smile and smile to keep her feelings bottled up, so as not to hurt Mike's father. Not to hurt Mike, who'd been so overwhelmed by the generosity of the gift of the house that he'd been quite lost for words. And somehow the letter hadn't quite made it into the box.

'Tell me, Willow, if Mike had rung last night and said "let's forget the wedding", how would you have felt?'

'Relieved.' The word, blurted out without hesitation, shocked her. She said it again. 'Relieved.' And this time she knew it was true. Not because she didn't love Mike, but because she didn't want this life. As the car began to slow she said, 'Don't stop!'

The driver grinned. 'You girls do like to make a man suffer. Once more round the block is it?'

'Yes, once more round the block. Dad, I can't do this to Mike. Can I? He's in the church now, waiting for me --'

'If you're really that unsure, my dear, then I think you must.'

'Mother will never forgive me.'

'This has nothing to do with your mother. This is your life.'

'But the reception --'

'It won't be wasted. People will still need to eat.'

Was that the only reason she was going through with this? Concern about wasting some food, upsetting her mother? 'Tell Mike --' She stopped. What? That she loved him? That she loved him but she couldn't marry him? Better to say nothing ...

'Leave it to me, sweetheart.' He squeezed her hand. 'Drop me off at the corner, driver, and then take my daughter home.' He got out, held the door for a moment. 'Willow, about your mother ... Maybe it would be a good idea to disappear for a few days.'

*   *  *

Was that why he was doing it? Going through with the wedding? Taking on the Chronicle? Not to disappoint his father.  One life, Cal had said.  He had one shot at getting it right. He didn't have time to waste it living other people's dreams.

And Willow? What about Willow? He loved her. She was the best thing that had happened to him in years, but she wanted a career. He wasn't stupid. She'd been aching for him to say she should take that job at The Globe. He'd seen it and part of him had wanted to say, go for it, don't waste a minute of your life. But there was another, darker side that was all screwed up, that reminded him that she was the one who'd insisted on marriage. Well, she'd got it. She couldn't have it all.

What kind of start was that? How soon before they'd both be wishing they were somewhere else?

Out of sight someone was playing the organ, quiet incidental music, a counterpoint to the quiet rustling as the wedding guests took their places, exotic hats surreptitiously angled as women glanced sideways at him, tipping close as they whispered to each other.

The sun was shining in through the stained glass, spattering the marble steps with red and blue and gold. But he felt cold and the scent of flowers in the vast arrangements either side of the aisle was making him feel slightly nauseous.

How much longer? He glanced at his watch. Willow was late. Last minute nerves? Suppose she didn't turn up? How would he feel? Devastated or just relieved?

'Don't look so worried, Mike, I haven't lost the rings.'


'Cal, what would you say if I told you I don't want to do this?'

Cal looked at him as if he was about to say something flippant, then he frowned. 'Is that a serious question?' His face must have been answer enough, because he said, 'For the last week you've looked like a man on the way to the gallows. I thought it was the Chronicle --'

'It was. That and Josie's juicer.'

'What has a juicer got to do with it?' He waited, but when no further explanation was forthcoming he took in a deep breath. 'You'd better make up your mind what you want, Mike. The minute Willow steps foot in this church you're committed.'

'I'm already committed. I can't --'

'For heaven's sake, if you've got real doubts you must. Get out of here. Now.'

'Tell her ...' What? What could he possibly say? That he loved her? But that this life was not the one he'd ever wanted to live. 'Tell her father that I'll pay for all this ...'

'Sure. Now go. I've got things to do.'

What happens when two people love each other, but want completely different things from life?  Download HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE and find out what happens next.  Or leave a comments and you might the lucky one to win a paper copy If you do, don't forget to come back next week and check to see if you've won!

Friday, December 03, 2010


Thanks everyone, for taking part in last week's competition.  It was great fun reading all the entries;  there is a lot of imagination and talent out there.

Congratulations to Linda S, who  won the draw for a copy of Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance.  I know she'll gain a lot from this terrific book.

The big news on the book front this week is the launch of Mills & Boon new RIVA imprint in the UK.  The strap line,

"Live life to the full - give in to temptation"

says it all. :)

This is an entirely new range of books that is all about "voice" rather than a prescribed level of sexuality.  About modern young women and their lives.  And in June this year you'll find my "ice cream" book, Tempted by Trouble, appearing in this new livery.

The books are available now at Mills and Boon's website and will be in the stores in January. But I'll bet you can't wait to treat yourself for Christmas to Jessica Hart's follow up to last year's sensational Oh So Sensible Secretary.