Thursday, January 06, 2011



New year, new series.  January sees the launch in the UK of RIVA, a brand new look for romance fiction with a line up of great authors of the "Modern Heat" and "Romance"  and as you'd expect from them the result is... 

"Sparky, sassy stories of life and love ... from first flicker to burning flame. Delightfully tempting, these books are must haves for passionistas everywhere."

My debut book for the series, "Tempted By Trouble" - the one formally known as "Scoop!" - won't be published until June, but in the next couple of weeks I'll be introducing you to the four launch authors and giving them a chance to tell you about their books.  And for you to win a copy of each of their books for yourself.

First up is Kelly Hunter, whose book WITH THIS FLING I'm reading at the moment and I'm suffering author envy over her heroine, Charlotte and as for Grey, well, you're going to have the read the book yourself to check out his appeal.  Here's the back blurb...

"With this fling… Successful archaeologist Charlotte Greenstone has no time for men, so invents a convenient one – who bears a highly inconvenient resemblance to sexy stranger Greyson Tyler! To protect her mortifying white lie, Charlotte begs Grey to act as her temporary fiancé… I thee bed? One glimpse of Charlotte’s killer curves, and Grey can’t resist making his own outrageous proposition – he’ll pretend to be her fiancé…if they can enjoy all the benefits of being a couple! Smoking hot Grey is definitely fling material, but Charlotte knows that’s all it ever can be… Can’t it?"

And here's Kelly herself, on the subject of inspiration.

The spear made me do it. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Inspiration for writing With This Fling... started with a ceremonial spear from Papua New Guinea and a burning desire to write a back-from-the-dead hero. Not a tortured back-from-the-dead hero, mind. A confident, hungry, sexy adventurous one - as per Riva hero guidelines.

As for the spear, it lived in the farm shed - a relic from a long ago trip my husband had made up PNG's Sepik river. The spear (and the dogs) went everywhere with me for days. The dogs favoured the tennis ball and the neighbours probably favoured a straightjacket but I had found my muse and the beginnings of an idea.

What if my erstwhile heroine had invented a fake fiance and then killed him off when he was no longer needed?

What if he - or someone very like him - then turned up in her neighbourhood and everyone thought he was her back-from-the-dead fiance? Nothing tortured about that. Plenty of room for a light touch - especially if our girl's fictional fiance had been a paragon of manly perfection and our fake back-from-the-dead hero clearly... wasn't.

If you're still reading this - which probably means you don't mind a bit of batty on the side - here's a taste of the kind of conversation you can expect if you tell a basketful of lies about a fake dead fiance. Charlotte is our reality challenged heroine. Gil is her dead fictional fiance. Millie is a friend from work. Derek is Millie's friend.

‘The crispy pork sounds good, said Derek, and Millie glared meaningfully at him.

'The crispy pork does not sound good,’ said Millie. ‘Have the beef. Or the duck. No mistaking duck for anything but duck.’ Millie’s face disappeared behind her menu. ‘Remember what I told you about the long pig incident,’ she muttered to Derek as quietly as she could, which wasn’t nearly quietly enough.

Derek slid Charlotte a lightning glance and promptly disappeared behind his menu too. ‘Where’s the duck?’ he said.

‘Halfway down the specials list,’ murmured Millie. ‘Have it braised.’

‘Why not barbecued?’ Derek whispered back. ‘You’re just assuming he was barbecued. They could have braised him. They could have boiled him.’

 ‘You’re right,’ muttered Millie. ‘Order the vegetable combo.’

At which point Charlotte reached across the table and pulled Millie’s menu down past eye level. ‘Psst.’

 ‘What?’ Millie eyed her warily.

‘Millie, let the poor man eat pork. I don’t care if he wants it crucified, I promise I won’t see it as a metaphor for him eating Gil.’

Derek’s menu dipped slowly. Derek’s eyes appeared, followed by a nose, very nice cheekbones, and a wide wry smile.

‘I knew she was saner than you,’ Derek told Millie and barely winced when Millie’s menu clipped his shoulder. They were very broad shoulders. Millie might just have to keep this one.

‘So what was he like?’ asked Derek. ‘Your fiancé.’

‘He’s hard to define, but if I had to sum him up I’d probably go with useful,’ said Charlotte. Nothing but the truth.

‘Useful as in “Honey could you fix the hot water system?”’ asked Millie.

‘I’m sure he could have fixed the hot water system,’ said Charlotte. ‘Had it needed fixing.’

‘Can’t every one?’ countered Derek.

 ‘Sadly, no,’ said Charlotte.

‘I daresay Gil was modest too,’ said Millie, glancing pointedly at Derek.

‘What?’ said Derek. ‘I can be modest.’

‘Of course you can,’ murmured Charlotte, eyeing Derek’s frayed shirt collar and shaggy hair speculatively. ‘Gil was a snappy dresser too, in a rustic, ready for anything kind of way.’

‘Window dressing,’ said Derek. ‘It’s the body beneath the clothes that counts and don’t either of you try and tell me different.’

‘Wouldn’t dream of it,’ said Charlotte. ‘But just for your information, that was superb too.’

‘Well, it would be,’ said Millie. ‘What with all that paddling up the river. I bet the man had fabulous upper body definition.’

‘I was a lumberjack once,’ said Derek.

‘Of course you were,’ murmured Millie consolingly.

A youthful waitress stepped up to their table, smile at the ready as she asked them if they were ready to order.

‘I’ll have the pork,’ said Derek. ‘But could I have it beaten first?’

‘Chef runs it through a tenderiser,’ said the waitress. ‘You know – one of those old fashioned washing machine wringer things with the spikes?’

‘Perfect,’ said Derek.

‘Unlike some things around here,’ murmured Millie.

‘No man is perfect,’ said Derek. ‘Especially in the eyes of women. A determined woman can turn even a man’s good qualities into major flaws of character given time and motive, and half the time the motive is optional. It’s just something you do.’

‘There’s got to be an ex wife in your past somewhere,’ murmured Charlotte. ‘C’mon, Derek. Spill.’


‘Maybe an overcritical mother,’ said Millie.

‘I’m an orphan,’ said Derek. ‘Never knew my parents. Never got adopted. Ugliest baby in the world, according to Sister Ramona.’

‘That explains a lot,’ murmured Millie. ‘Though it doesn’t explain how you got to be quite so handsome now. In a craggy, hard-living kind of way.’

‘Thank you,’ said Derek blandly.

‘You’re welcome.’

They finished ordering their meals. They started in on their drinks.

‘Here’s to the wonderful Aurora Herschoval,’ said Charlotte. ‘The best godmother an orphan could have.’

‘Hear hear,’ said Derek. ‘Good for you. And here’s to Useful Gil. May he be blessed with more brains in his next life.’

‘Derek!’ said Millie, aghast. ‘We can’t toast to that.’

‘Why not?’ said Derek, aiming for an expression of craggy, hard-lived innocence. ‘Sweetie, he may have been handy, handsome, modest, and built like Apollo but let’s be honest here… the man got eaten.’

To read the whole of the first chapter, you can click on the "browse this book" link below.  And for a chance to win a copy, why don't you tell us about something weird in your own garden shed or attic that you think might inspire a romance writer with Kelly's vivid imagination!  (Don't forget to come back and check if you've won - or subscribe to my blog by email - the link is at the top of the sidebar- so you won't miss Jessica Hart, Nicola Marsh and Kimberley Lang, who'll be my guests in the next couple of weeks.)

It is, of course, also available as an eBook.   And US readers will find it published in the Presents Extra series.

And as a final treat, you'll find one of Kelly's RIVA titles free to download here at the Mills and Boon website.


desere_steenberg said...

I am just loving this title and the excerpt has definitely got me hooked I am dying to read the rest !! Congratz on another what I am 100 % sure is another masterpiece !!

Something weird in my garden shed that might inspire a story , I would have to say .. a ancient rock from Babilon (the city from the Bible) my dad worked in Iraq and once was stationed here for a week and he picked it up and brought it home to us, it looks like a normal rock except for it has a large round hole right in the middle ,could be from a explosion or something completely different you never know. So I guess for a writer it might inspire a romantic war/argeoligic/history love story (and I am hoping that makes sense).

Thanks for sharing the great post! All of the best Desere

Jessica Hart said...

Not quite as exciting as a spear (how cool was that?) but I have a dusty set of wayang kulit shadow puppets from Java. They look sad and battered here, and should really be dancing in the flickering light behind a screen on a hot tropical night ... Hold on, *I'm* inspired now! Thanks for a great post!

Ginette K said...

Something to inspire a romance novel... and unusual to boot. Well I would have to say a man. Its unusual in our house as they all hate gardening. They prefer the tv or their games console. So it would be unusual to find a man their...

Julie M said...

We found a beautiful blue and white oriental bowl in our garden shed when we bought the house. In reality it probably has no value, but in a book it would be a priceless antique.

Tamsyn said...

We don't have a garden shed or an attic but we once found a lovely antique doll in one of the boxes when we were clearing things at my mother-in-law's house after my father-in-law passed away. It was a lovely Japanese doll and I'll bet she can tell us a lot of things if she could only speak!

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Desere - thanks for stopping by. That rock with a hole in it has jarred something in my brain. Something I've seen on a television programme about ancient civilisations. It'll bother me...

Liz Fielding said...

Golly, Jessica. You people have such amazing things in your sheds. Mine is full of cobwebs, under-used garden tools and a pair of rusty secateurs. I finally threw out the mouldy sack of daffodil bulbs I bought five years ago and never planted.

Liz Fielding said...

Ginette, Ginette... You are speaking my language. :) Of course a strange man could lead to all kinds of complications!

Liz Fielding said...

It's amazing what people leave behind, Julie. I once left half a dozen carved African heads in a loft. Accidentally on purpose.

Liz Fielding said...

How lovely, Tamsyn! I just love all things Japanese. So delicate.

desere_steenberg said...

Hi Liz

If you figure out what it is that the rock has jarred in your brain please do share the rock fasinated me when I was younger but I could never find any info on it anywhere so I would love to know what you know if you can remember it lol Do you think it make a good story line for a book? I can always mail you a picture of the rock if you think it will help you remember.


Virginia C said...

Hello, ladies! Happy New Year! You are having too much fun to call it work, so we will call it a party : ) A new series, a new year, and lots of new "must have" romance reads!!! Thank you : )

Liz, I am a longtime fan of yours, and I can't wait to be "Tempted by Trouble" ; ) Best wishes for continued happiness and success!

Kelly, you are a new author to me, but I am very excited to add your work to my wish list. You have now been recommended by two of my favorite authors, Liz Fielding and Rachel Bailey! Great company indeed : ) Have a wonderful year!

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

catslady said...

My house is full of little treasures. My husband was an air force brat who traveled the world and have quite a few odd pieces. One is a stone from Africa. They were told it was a diamond and my mother-in-law wore it like it was one (very big and uncut) but we've had it appraised and it's just a fine quality quartz but I like the idea of it being a diamond in the rough lol.

Another would be a round cannon shot (about the size of a walnut) that my husband and I picked up on a mountaintop in Haiti near the Citadell.

Loved the excerpt and it sounds like a very fun read!

Kelly Hunter said...

Liz, am I unforgiveably late to the party? I've been staying at Smokey Cape lighthouse keeper's cottage on Australia's east coast and a storm whipped in, and we couldn't go then because we'd never done a gale in a lighthouse before, and everyone needs to do it at least once. Possibly just once...

As for things to inspire the muse, the cottage was full of them. My favourite? The compass of one of the ships. A Captain Jack pocket compass made of brass with the compass sitting in a bed of mercury. Alas, I think the compass that points to what you want the most has been done (and majestically).

Liz, many thanks to you for your blog hospitality.

Michele L. said... the excerpt! Very intriguing! Can't wait to read the rest of the story!

The most interesting thing we have in our attic is a lot of war stuff from my husband's dad. He was a tailgunner in a seaplane in World War 2. We have medals, pictures, a ticket, hat, and a map. Pretty interesting stuff!

Also, we have some old stock certificates that the previous owner to our house left behind in a shoebox which we found on top of an exposed floor joist in the basement.

Oh, just thought of another thing we have is my father-in-law saved the newspapers from the day the president John F. Kennedy was killed. Also, when John Lennon was shot we have the newspapers from that day also.

Happy New Year!

Dora Braden said...

I have underfloor space which has been used to store all manner of objects that may come in handy one day. I think the box of 70's singles (Vinal records with one song on each side) that I collected in my early teens could be inspiring. I aught to get those out and see what memories they stir up.

Kelly Hunter said...

Thanks, Desere. Fingers crossed you enjoy the story. Your rock with a hole in the middle makes me think of all things ceremonial - the weirder and more wonderful the better. I haven't done a married-without-realising-it story yet. Could be fun. Liz, have you? Jessica, have you? Although... Jessica, I'm all for you sticking with the puppetry and the flickering candlelight. You could throw in Yul Brynner, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera

Kelly Hunter said...

Ginette, my man's a keen gardener and I don't know which is worse - having the precious tank water diverted from the bathroom in order to save the giant pumpkin or having him ignore the garden but being able to bathe...

Julie, in a book it would definitely be a priceless antique. I wrote a book with a vase prop once.My heroine bought it from a funny little shop in Singapore and inadvertantly ordered a hit on her fake fiance.

Tamsyn, my grandmother has a Japanese tea set my grandfather traded off one of the boats in port (he was a wharfie). It's almost see through and never fails to conjure up images of the exotic

Kelly Hunter said...

LIz - African heads in a loft? Really? That is so cool. You could have a heroine madly trying to find the owner of the cursed heads so that they didn't do her head in...

Kelly Hunter said...

Best New Year wishes for you too, Vriginia, and I hope you enjoy my stories. Liz is one of my must buy authors too, as is Rachel Bailey with her Desires.

Catslady, I love jewels, precious or not. Looking at them, lusting over them, talking about them... Colour me smitten.

Michele L, I hope you enjoy the story. The saved newspapers of the day sound fascinating.

Dora, the lightouse keeper's cottage was awash with what my teenagers called retro music. My favourite for the duration? Straighten Up And Fly Right. We belted it out for the seabirds (and any passing yacht). There's got to be a story in there somewhere...

Anonymous said...

RIVA looks like a great new source about new books however you never told us if these books be available in paperback I have no ebook readers. Thanks

Liz Fielding said...

Susan, no problem, the books are available in paperback. I added the bit at the bottom to remind everyone that they are also available as eBooks - I know lots were sold as Christmas gifts this year!

They may come in a different cover if you are not in the UK.

Check the Harlequin/Mills and Boon website wherever you are.

Liz Fielding said...

Desere, the night has done it'd job and cleared the brain. Stones with holes were used as fishing weights. they can occur naturally through water action and no doubt were found and used by primitive societies. A real link with the past - not with kings or gods, but real people. Plenty of story potential there.

Liz Fielding said...

Kelly, we once had the heads on display but a charging child dislodged one and I happened to be the one standing within range. It was bit and heavy and hard. They were banished to the attic forthwith.

I could use that incident to end up with a husband heroine didn't remember. I haven't done an amnesia book since my second ts was returned with an "overdone" tag. Maybe it's time to look again. I loved the film "Overboard"!

Liz Fielding said...

Lovely to see you here, Virginia! Welcome to the party. Cyber champagne anyone? This is definitely a celebration. :)

Natalie Anderson said...

Nothing beats a Kelly Hunter story (I know what you mean about Author Envy, Liz!) - I can't wait to get my mits on this one!! :)
As for weird things in sheds - not a lot in ours altho 6 year old boy did make a stink bomb using egg, milk and vinegar which he let ferment in a container for a few weeks out there... so not nice. So not inspirational!!!

I do have a lighthouse experience tho Kelly - and a goodie - was on the coast of Scotland for Christmas. It snowed. We wrote off the car trying to get out and had to stay an extra couple of days... that could be inspirational ;)


Liz Fielding said...

Welcome, Natalie. Hope you've recovered from the lighthouse trip. I think there are going to be a lot of "stranded" stories coming up in the next few months on editorial desks!

Kelly Hunter said...

It's a Feb Aus release, Nat, within the Sexy line. Same story, different cover pic altogether. Or we bookswap Fling for 'Walk On The Wild Side'. Congratulations on it being HMB's February Book of the Month!

Paula Roe said...

quick pop in to say 'hey there!' to my good/evil twin :D Another brilliant book under your belt I suspect, Miz Kelly!

Clare said...

When friends moved house they discovered an old laundry chute leading from the kitchen down to the basement. But it was jammmed with some papers. Turns out they were detailed records dating back many years listing the 'customers' who had visited their (new) home, including some old local dignitaries - unbeknown to our friends the house had in one of its previous lives been a brothel!!! The really funny thing was that my friend's DH - the new home owner - was then the local police sergeant!

I enjoyed the touch of zaniness and humour in your excerpt - thanks for sharing!

Nas Dean said...

Hi Liz, Hi Kelly, loved the excerpt. Sounds intriguing read!

Well new house just built on a new plot so no attics or old sheds! But the location itself might inspire... private driveaway going to a higher plateau, one side sheer drop which is perfect for sunset views!

Rachael Johns said...

Have already read this gorgeous book and just wanted to say it's CLASSIC Kelly! PERFECT!

Susan said...

About to go back to bed with my cold, but wanted to say congrats on the wonderful new Rivas!

Love the covers, the stories sound fabulous...can't wait to read them.


Liz Fielding said...

The colds have been awful this year, Susan. Mine has been hanging on for weeks and just won't quit. Bed is the best place - I hope you feel better soon.

desere_steenberg said...

Brilliant now I know thank you so much Liz now my mind can rest !
All the best

Nicola Marsh said...

Am eagerly awaiting the arrival of Feb when this book hits OZ shelves!

The wait is made a little easier while I take away Kelly's last book and Liz's latest with me on holidays next week :)

I'm so excited about the Riva launch!!

Looking forward to 'popping' in, in a few weeks Liz :)

Kelly Hunter said...

Greetings, Paula - sender of christmas cards that arrive before christmas - I do indeed crown you the good twin. Yours is coming. Honest!

Clare, I enjoyed the Zany in your brothel story too. Thanks for sharing.

Hi Nas, I have new house envy and the location sounds divine. Enjoy.

Happy hols, Nic. I'm looking forward to the Riva titles hitting Aus shores too. Mind you, wonderful thing The Book Depository for those times when you just can't wait. Barbara O'Neal's How To Bake A Perfect Life being my most recent can't wait.

Anne said...

I've read this one and I loved it so much! It's on the keeper shelf, along with the other Kelly Hunters. (Liz I just read your Wedding at Leopard tree Lodge, too -- fab! I cried at the end.)

I have a fairly dreadful pottery horse someone (not I) made and gave to me. It can't stand up - 4 legs all different lengths-- so I named it Equus at Rest. S'pose it could inspire a story.
All the very best for the RIVA launch. It's a brilliant line-up!

Kelly Hunter said...

Anne, nothing like mentioning the word keeper to make an author beam delightedly. Thank you.

Liz, once again, thank you for your hospitality. I've had a great time.

Thanks also to everyone who dropped by. The winner of With This Fling is Michele L, with those wonderful old newspapers of the day in her attic. If you send your details to Liz she'll pass them on and I can pop it in the post.

Liz Fielding said...

Anne, how lovely to see you here - and for the lovely compliment. I always hope to make a reader cry at some point in the story (preferably not with anguish at the writing!)

I love the sound of the pottery horse. The pottery horse. Treasure comes in memory, too. I can just imagine someone finding that and yes, weeping. The man or woman who made it as a child, maybe.

Liz Fielding said...

Kelly, thanks so much for visiting with me and sharing your inspiration. It's been a treat.

And thanks to everyone else. Do come back to share Nic, Kim and Jessica's stories, too.

Michelle L - you can email me at liz at lizfielding dot com.

Kaelee said...

I adore Kelly Hunter's books. I am hoping that the last Bennett brother gets a book and that it comes out in NA.

This book sounds so good. Again hoping it comes out in NA.

I don't have a garden shed but I have a basement. I have stuff in my basement that hasn't seen the light of day for years. Stuff from when my mother in law passed away, stuff from when my parents passed away and lastly stuff from when my uncle passed away. In the stuff from when my uncle passed away is a book on how a lady should conduct herself in her marriage. I can't tell you what it is called or who wrote it off the top of my head but it is full of male chauvinistic propaganda. I only read the first chapter and was muttering to myself for days afterwards. It was written in the 1930's and the first chapter was about the duty to bear as many children as possible. Imagine if the author's great grandson or great grand daughter found that book?

Liz Fielding said...

Kaelee, lovely to see you here. Some of those old etiquette books are really strange. Do you remember that one came out a few years ago about dating, The Rules, that was absolutely huge. A man would have had to be absolutely obsessed with a girl to have put up with the kind of nonsense in that one.

But a granddaughter finding this this book - I can think of any number of ways that could go. :)

Kelly has already drawn her winner, Michele L - it was announced a few posts ago. Nicola is visiting now and then we have Kimberley Lang and Jessica Hart guesting during the next couple of weeks.