Thursday, July 21, 2011


Day 4 - I'm starting to feel a little giddy! Maybe it's time for a sit down in the shade while the guys fire up the barbie and we sip on a cool drink.

Colin looks eager to serve.

And just to catch up, winners of books have been announced in the comments column, so do check to make sure you've followed up on that.  I will do a round up of all winners on Saturday, just to be sure you don't miss anything.

My first guest today is the charming Nell Dixon, who writes for Little Black Dress in the UK, Samhain and Astraea Press in the US.  She has twice won the prestigious Romantic Novelists’ Association “Romance Prize” with the accompanying Betty Neels’ Rosebowl – the only author to manage that extraordinary feat.

I first met her face to face at an RNA conference in Leicester and spent a very pleasant Sunday afternoon on the train with as we headed for the hub at Birmingham.

She’s come along today with a copy of her exciting new title, DANGEROUS TO KNOW, which seems to have a whiff of the suspense about it – and haven’t we all been longing for the return of romantic suspense?

The authors who turned me onto romance were Georgette Heyer and Mary Stewart.  Whose book first grabbed you by the heart and made you a lifelong fan of romance?

Moving over to let Donna Alward – darling girl – slide in beside me.

I’ve known her since she was a “wannabe” author on the eHarlequin community; she calls me her “writing mum” and was thrilled to celebrate with her when she joined the tanks of the Harlequin “Romance” authors.  She’s had a pretty stellar year, being shortlisted in a fistful of prestigious published author competitions and I’m so glad she could find a moment to drop by and offer one of her lovely romances as a door prize at my party.

Donna is giving away two of her books, her latest Harlequin "Romance", A FAMILY FOR THE RUGGED RANCHER, and an ARC of the new Samhain, BREATHE.

Donna writes a stunning cowboy.  

Karin Stoecker, until recently the Editorial Director of Romance HQ in the UK, once told me that a sheikh was a cowboy in a different hat.

With that in mind, which hat would your hero be wearing?

Oh, look, Daniel's just turned up to give Colin a hand. 


My next guest, Chris Stovell, is almost a neighbour.

She lives in the next county to me and is a member of the Carmarthen chapter of the RNA. She was also my flatmate at the recent RNA conference at Caerleon; fun to be with and a wonderful author.  

I hope she’ll manage to visit today – she’s in the middle of having her new house rewired so life is a bit on the edge for her at the moment.

She’s offered a copy of her first book, published by ChocLit called TURNING THE TIDE.  The inspiration was her love of the sea and sailing and it’s an “all’s fair in love and war” romance with two strong characters facing off against each other, a wonderful cast of supporting players and some touching sub plots.

Are you captivated by the sea? Does the snap of a sail make your heart beat faster? Or are you a river, or lake woman?  Paddling about in a dinghy, or gliding along in a punt? What memory lingers of a watery moment?

And while you're thinking about that, dig in...


catslady said...

Yay I'm first lol. Kathleen Woodiweiss was the first author that got me really into romances - The Flame and the Flower.
As to hats - a cowboy hat first comes to mind!
I've never lived near the water and my first experience of a large body of water (lake) was that I almost drowned. But I love being on the shore and hearing the waves and feeling the breeze.

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

The first author that got me into romance was Johanna Lindsey. Captive Bride,

Hats - a baseball hat

Water - I grew up in a beach town, so I would have to say the ocean

Liz Fielding said...

Golly, some of you are here early! It's only 6.30 here...

Liz Fielding said...

Catslady - the Kathleen Woodiweiss is a real classic = and one I'm shamed to admit I've never read.

Eek, on the close call with nature - I have to admit I'd rather walk beside any kind of water than actually be on it. Although if Hugh in towel was handling the pole I think I'd enjoy gliding along in a punt!

Liz Fielding said...

Another author new to me, Tammy. Georgette Heyer's The Perfect Gentleman was my first brush with romfic

A baseball hat? I think it would have depend on the head beneath it for me!

Love the beach. It's about ten miles or so away from here but we don't make the effort nearly often enough.

Jan Jones said...

Do you mean The Quiet Gentleman, Liz?

Too early for cocktails, but I'll have some of those delish canapés and a nice mug of tea. Daniel looks as though he could manage that.

Authors - Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart and Jane Austen. All three of them do it for me still.

Hats - I'd like my hero in a curly-brimmed beaver, please.

Water memories - sailing around the Ionian islands. Waking up in a quiet bay and coming on deck in the early morning with the sun just gilding the surface or the water, knowing I'm the only one awake in the world

Sheree said...

The first romance I read was Jennifer Crusie's "Anyone but You". I was sick in bed, the ebook was available from the local library, and it had a dog on the cover. That was enough to get me to read all the available Jenny Crusies. I really started reading romances when I read a few too many downer YA books (which was the bulk of my reading up to that point).

Hm, how about a deerstalker since I loved Sherlock Holmes when I was a teen (when the other teen girls I knew were reading romances)? Of course, I'd prefer no hat at all so I can run my fingers unimpeded through his hair. ;)

I've only sailed twice and although these were memorable trips, they were memorable for the wrong reasons. Of course, sailing in San Francisco Bay probably was not the best way to start. I've had fun experiences in small boats (with outboard motors) and canoes.

Raven McAllan said...

romance.... ah so many, because I discovered my mums stash of Mills and Boon. Violet Winspear, Ann Hampson spring to mind, and of course Georgette Heyer and These Old Shades,

Hats, big, floppy, sixties

water... mmm tricky hating looking at the sea through the slat of llandudno pier. I was scared I'd fall in. to the water through them.

Jane said...

My first romance was Julie Garwood's "The Bride." I was hooked after reading it. I think my hero would be wearing a cap. I think it's flattering to all. I like the sea. There's something romantic about the sea because of its vastness.

Alexandra said...

It has to be Kathleen Woodiwiss for me too! The Flame and the Flower & the Wolf and the Dove. Her books were such an exciting read and well written too. I've just recently purchased all the missing books from my collection, now I just have to find time to read them.

As to hats - I do love the Sheik and royal romance stories so reckon headgear would have a crown. Long time since I've read a cowboy story. I adored reading the Calder books by Janet Dailey.

I love the sea. Love its changing moods and its drama.

Chris Stovell said...

Phew! I made it... although I'm not sure how long I've got before the power goes off. Anyway, there's lots to recharge a girl's batteries at Liz's wonderful celebrations... hmm, you can see why I'm fond of the sea, can't you ;), although I'm still on the lookout for Daniel Craig emerging from the waves!

I think I've got my nan to thank for introducing me to romances, she was such an avid reader that I tried them too and discovered so many wonderful writers that it's hard to name just one from those days.

I have to add that at the moment I'm a little bit in love with the hero of Liz's 'Tempted by Trouble', the delectable Sean - if you haven't met him yet, you really should!

Our new house might need lots of work, but its location is lovely; I love the sea and I'm very fortunate to be able to look out across Cardigan Bay from my desk... hold on, who's that I see drying himself on the beach?

Jenny Haddon said...

I think I rad lots of romantic novels before I actually thought YES!!! Want more!!! And that was after reading Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart. (At my grandmother's, who didn't like it, she said.)

Hats - a little black velvet number with stiff tulle frill like a tutu. Very Vivien Leigh.

water memories - quiet ripple of a small river over stones in a still, sunny afternoon, with everyone else dozing and me realising there was a story coming . . .

Helen said...

A BBQ oh yes I do so love them lot of happy people.

The first romance I read was Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers and what a book that was LOL

I love a good cowboy hat although we call them Akubras here in Australia

I love the ocean the sound of crashing waves and the smell of salt in the air love

Have Fun

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Jan - yes The Quiet Gentleman! And I was a huge fan of Mary Stewart, too.

Just about any islands - so long as the sun is shining and the sea is tranquil!

Liz Fielding said...

Sheree! I read Anyone But You on a train - going to an author lunch - and I nearly fell off the seat laughing. it's still my favourite by her, although I love Bet Me, too.

Liz Fielding said...

Raven, I once saw Violet Winspeare interviewed on the television. Slightly scary lady, I though!

And I so know what you meant about those slats on piers.

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Jane - Julie Garwood is another new author to me. We don't get too many US authors in the bookstores here - especially now we;ve lost Borders, but the eBook market has opened all that up.

Liz Fielding said...

Alexandra! Another Woodiwiss lover. I so have to read The Flame and the Flower - I've been hearing about it for years.

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Chris - hope things are going well today. And I do envy you your sea view - although ours is lovely, too.

My Mum used to take me to Boots library she was a died in the wool Netta Muskett fan. I had to move on to the public library when I'd read the entire stock of children's books. :)

Liz Fielding said...

Jenny, I love the sound of that hat!

Did we all fall in love with Mary Stewart? My favourite was the one set on a Greek island. How does the line go ... you wanted his heart on a plate. I have cooked it for you ... shiver, shiver, shiver!

Liz Fielding said...

Helen, we are all familiar with the fabulous Akubra!

And another new author - Rosemary Rogers. I'm going to have to go ahunting for all these fabulous books that started your love affairs with romance.

ChrisCross said...

This set me thinking... when I was a child romantic fiction didn't really feature in our book-filled home. But at my aunt's I remember reading (and loving) Catherine Gaskin's 'I know My Love' and Victoria Holt's 'Shadow of the Lynx'. Now I shall have to track them down and re-read them.

Evonne Wareham said...

Coming late to the party - I'm another one brought up on Mary Stewart. That quote Liz - was it from The Moonspinners?

I'll happily look at the ocean from the deck of any cruise ship.

Teresa Morgan said...

Actually, I'm not exactly sure who turned me onto romance, as with writing it, it sort of came naturally. I think, and I don't want to sound like a creep as I'm on your blog, you helped with my passion to write romance. I love how you make both characters sizzle without evening getting them into bed. I just love that 'buzz' you create and try to achieve the same sort of sensual, sexual tension between them - like in Tempted By Trouble with Elle and Sean in Rosie!

So far I haven't written a hero wearing a hat, but if I did it would either be the cowboy hat or some sort of officer. (Have a few tasty pictures of Dirk Benedict I could share)... Oh and how lovely to see Daniel Craig... concentrate!

And as for sea? I have very fun memories of my brother and I 'wave jumping' in Woolacombe, while my dad surfed. One night, it was about 7pm, teaming with rain, and we went out into very rough surf. It was great fun, all of us shivering to get dressed in the car afterwards!

Also, having the river Thames opposite our house as I grew up, you can't beat sitting outside a pub by the river. So I'm an ocean river girl ;-)

Liz Fielding said...

Chris - Victoria Holt is a real blast from the past. And the gothic is so much with us these days. Would she be writing steampunk, do you think?

Liz Fielding said...

Evonne - yes, The Moonspinners. I probably misquoted - I don't have a copy of the book now, but it was a favourite. The fact that it had theatricals in it helped, of course. Love a bit of Shakespeare. :)

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Teresa,

Deeply flattered to have turned you on to "romance" with sizzle rather than sweat!

Woolacombe is just lovely and I grew up by the Thames, too. Lovely Sundays on Ray Mill Island at Boulters Lock. Bliss.