Monday, July 18, 2011

PARTY TIME!

Welcome! Choose the cocktail of your choice from the barman, draw up a lap and sit down, we're about to party!

It's been twenty years since the day I signed my first contract with Mills and Boon for a book called AN IMAGE OF YOU - and two other titles.  An awful lot has happened in that time.

We've built a house. The kids grew up, went to university, flew the nest. My daughter got married and made me a grandmother and my son had a book of his own published.

And of course I've written sixty books for Mills and Boon - #60 is FLIRTING WITH ITALIAN out in December - and another three for someone else.  That's a lot to celebrate.

Writer friends will be dropping by to help me celebrate this week.  They're bringing along some good looking men to help the party go with a swing, and have books to give away as door prizes, so when you can stop ogling the pecs, leave a comment so that you name can go into the draw.
Meanwhile, my fellow author and webmistress, Ally Blake, has raided her own stash of fit blokes to serve our every whim.

Olive, anyone?

Don't all rush, now. There are plenty more where that came from!


But now to the guests.  Ally will be back later in the week with her latest book, but first to drop by is -

- the lovely Anna Campbell and she's brought a wicked English rake to the party.

He's London’s most notorious seducer, Nicholas Challoner, who lives solely for revenge…

The dashing, licentious Marquess of Ranelaw can never forgive Godfrey Demarest for ruining his sister—now the time has come to repay the villain in the same coin. But one formidably intriguing impediment stands in the way of Nicholas’s vengeance: Miss Antonia Smith, companion to his foe’s unsuspecting daughter.


Having herself been deceived and disgraced by a rogue—banished by her privileged family as a result and forced to live a lie—Antonia vows to protect her charge from the same cruel fate. She recognizes Ranelaw for the shameless blackguard he is, and will devote every ounce of her intelligence and resolve to thwarting him.

Yet Antonia has always had a fatal weakness for rakes


I have read this book and believe me, she has a fight on her hands!

Anna has three copies of Midnight's Wild Passion to give away.  


So here we have a game of truth, dare, kiss, promise... To win a copy of this book, I dare you tell me your secret passion. 


And while you're thinking about that, here's another of Ally's butlers in the buff with a jug of delicious fruit punch - livened with a touch of something naughty, to cool you down.


 Okay? Glass in hand, a little blini to stave off the hunger pangs.  Here's Nicola Marsh joining the party with her man of the moment, the utterly delicious Rob Lowe.

I asked Nicola about her new book GIRL IN A VINTAGE DRESS and she told me that the idea was originally sparked by an article in a Sunday newspaper magazine on retro charm schools. 


"Lola Lombard strutted onto the blank pages fully formed and I didn't look back.  Of course, I had to pit her against a hero her opposite in every way to ensure guaranteed sparks and a pic of Rob Lowe in a business suit fitted the bill.  Mind you, having to research loads and loads of Rob Lowe pics once I’d cast him was no hardship either!

I can't argue with that, and if you aren't lucky enough to win a copy of Nicola's Girl in a Vintage Dress here, you can win it as part of her 7 book giveaway at
http://nicolamarsh.blogspot.com/2011/07/prize-pack-giveaway.html

Meanwhile, tell me about a dress that you once owned that still makes your heart beat faster. That you wish was still in your wardrobe. And why it holds such special memories. Only the truth now!

I'm also delighted to welcome my RIVA/Harlequin Romance colleague, the witty, wonderfully emotional author, Jessica Hart   Jessica is not only a fabulous writer, but she's a great teacher, too. She regularly teaches hopeful authors in the lovely Tuscan countryside, and last year mentored writers in Mills and Boon's New Voices competition.


She has volunteered Kevin Costner as a butler, so order yourself up a Martini or two!


And she's offering a copy of her latest Harlequin Romance, The Secret Princess, as a door prize today.  It's bang up to the minute with its royal wedding theme and you won't want to miss it, I promise you.


For a chance to win, all you have to do is tell her who you'd choose as your Prince Charming!  Be honest, now. And husbands and partners do not count!


 And come back tomorrow when I'll have more guests, more books, more gorgeous men.

67 comments:

Anna Campbell said...

Ha ha, I'm first at the party. Does that mean I get my choice of hunk? Jessica and Nic, extremely flattered to be sharing shelf space with both of you today! And Liz, 20 years in the biz? Congratulations! That's such an achievement. And every book a winner too - I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your books as you know (because I keep telling you - I know, sometimes it's hard to be you!). And by the way, I think TEMPTED BY TROUBLE is one of my favourites of your books. Beautifully done. Just when did you say you posted up that special Sean parcel for me? ;-)

Rachael Johns said...

I must be terribly boring for I'm racking my brain to think of a secret passion and I can't think of one!!!

As for a dress - that's have to be this short red number I wore to my highschool graduation. I thought I was fat then but that dress made me feel fabulous. Little did I know I had no idea what fat was back then!

Prince Charming... hmm... I'd probably choose a hero from a romantic comedy. Anyone played by Matthew Mcconaughey... actually, maybe I'll just have Matthew McConaughey himself :)

Congrats again on twenty fab years Liz!

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Anna! Thanks so much for coming to the party. And thank you for loving Sean - did I not send him to you? Oh, dear... must have slipped my mind. :)

And thank you for the three lovely copies of Midnight's Wild Passion that you've donated as door prizes. Treats in store for three lucky visitors!

Liz Fielding said...

Rachael - a red dress is always going to be memorable. I bet you looked a treat. And Matthew - oh, yes!

Jenny Schwartz said...

First up, Congrats Liz! Anna sent a post to our Australian Romance Readers group and I immediately dashed over. To celebrate. To sit in awe. 60 books! Whew. And then I get here and there's all these distracting photos of hot men. How's a girl to concentrate? But there are three important questions, so here goes.

Secret passion -- this one's weird -- and I'm not going to admit it anywhere else -- but I love half-cooked pasta. Maybe that confession should go under "most embarrassing admission", but there you go...while cooking I scoop out half-cooked spaghetti and happily chew it. Ssssh.

Favourite dress. I was eight. It was a flounced gypsy-style dress. I wore it to a rag -- literally. I still remember asking mum what happened to it and she said -- emergency nappy for my little sister!

Prince Charming -- I'm a huge NCIS LA fan -- any one of the guys from there. So sad it's the last episode for the season tomorrow night.

Candy G said...

First Congrats on 20 years!
I also must be boring because I'm having difficulty thinking of a secret passion.

My dress would be my wedding dress which I still have and wish I could still fit into so I could put it on once in awhile lol

You make it really hard to choose a Prince Charming by not letting me pick my husband...he really is a Prince! So I think i'll pick...some hot highlander lol

Liz Fielding said...

Thanks for sharing, Jenny! And I so get the dress. I had a Laura Ashley blouse that I wore to a thread. It was a pull on and one day I pulled it over my head and disintegrated. Still mourn it!

And if I allowed husbands, that's all I'd get!

Liz Fielding said...

Oh... You wedding dress, Candy. That's so lovely. Sad fact, I wouldn't fit into mine, either. I don't expect many of us would. :)

And a hot Highlander will do nicely!

Jill from Romance Direct said...

Just what I need after a long day working...a party...bring on the hunks (hope they have something for me to drink) *sigh*

Damn - I don't have a thing to wear. I'll have to find something for tomorrow...I'll be back...

Sheree said...

Vodka martinis with extra olives served by hotties? I'm on board with that!

Congrats on your anniversary! Do you get a clock for your 20th?

I don't have a secret passion; all my passions are out there for all to see. Right now, it's reading romances and YA books and collecting books with my favorite cover model on them (which also feeds into the first passion).

I once had a short, blue, sequined dress with spaghetti straps. It was really awesome, but I think I only wore it once and with a black velvet shrug. My sister got more use out of it. It was one of the sexiest yet classy dresses I have ever owned.

As for Prince Charming, that's a hard question. Going old school, how about Cary Grant in "Bringing Up Baby"? Nerdy but very sexy. Then there's Dennis Quaid in "The Big Easy" - that smile and that drawl, wow. When I first saw Jude Law in "Gattaca", I totally agreed that he was perfect. Also, Orlando Bloom's Legolas? Ian Somerhalder? Paul Marron? Taylor Lautner? I can't decide!

ironss [at] gmail [dot] com

Jane said...

Congrats on the 20th anniversary of your first contract, Liz. I'm not sure if it counts as a secret passion, but I love watching raunchy comedies like The Hangover and Porky's. I don't have any really fancy dresses. I have a few versions of the little black dress. Right now I'll choose Henry Cavill as my Prince Charming. I've been hearing a lot about his upcoming movie in which he portrays Theseus.

Jan Jones said...

Happy anniversary, Liz!

Secret passion? Ouzo - but it costs an arm-and-a-leg over here

Fave dress? I have it still. Soft brown jersey floral from 70s. First grown-up dress. First one to show cleavage. Wore it to every party for years. One day I may fit back into it again. (Yes, I'm into fantasy)

Prince Charming? Aragorn. Every time. *swoons happily*

Nas Dean said...

Congratulations on your 20th anniversary! Wow, lot of great books for 20 years, thanks!

My secret passion? To spend one week partying with Lola Lambert with her retro theme!

Favourite dress would be from teen years when I could wear fabulous clothes and look slim!

My Prince Charming would be...er..secret! Okay maybe I'd share...Ian Somahalder! Shhhh, don't tell my husband!

Annie West said...

Liz - huge congratulations on your 20 years! How marvellous! I hope you're having a terrific private celebration as well as your blog party.

Hi Anna and Nic - it's lovely to see you both here. Wondering about my secret passion - there are lots of things I love doing but none of them are secret. Except perhaps my passion for redesigning houses I don't own to suit my own taste. One day maybe I'll get to build my own instead.

Liz Fielding said...

Sherree - sexy but classy does it for me! And lucky you to have a sister to share with (only child here).

And you have fine taste in hotties. Cary Grant is always going to be a favourite with me. I fell in love with him when I was about ten years old.

Liz Fielding said...

Jane - oh, Theseus. Love a lust in the dust. :)

And LBDs are the best.

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Jane - ouzo? Mmmm. And Aragorn. We're getting some fabulous hotties here.

Good luck with the dress. I finally gave up on a fav skirt and sent it to the charity shop so that someone thinner could wear it. :)

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Nas - so, Her Name was Lola...

Oh, and don't we all wish we were thinner!

I'll have to check out your hottie - not a name I recognise. But that's not a hardship...

Liz Fielding said...

Thanks, Annie. And I hope you get to build your own house one day. The problem is that once you're done, you think "I should have..." It's a never-ending story!

Nell Dixon said...

My prince charming would have to be Bryan Adams - sigh. My secret passion is for old houses - I sneak them into so many of my books. Marrying Max had one of my faves and Renovation, Renovation, Renovation is all about houses - oh and a ghost. My favourite dress was a fitted scarlet number back when I was thin, used to turn heads everywhere I went in that dress - now I suspect i wouldn't even manage to fit my one leg in it. Congratulations on 20 years. Gentlemen prefer Brunettes is one of my favourites of yours - love that book.

Nas Dean said...

Hi Liz, it's Lola Lambard from Girl in a Vintage Dress, she threw an awesome retro themed party!

And who doesn't want to have a secret desire to be a Princess, but in The Secret Princess, Charlotte (Lotty) runs away to be an Ordinary Girl!

Ok, if Lola dresses in a Vintage Dress, runs away to be a Secret Princess and Tempted by Trouble to spend Midnight's Wild Passion at your party, would your welcome her?

Liz Fielding said...

Nas, Lola is already at the party! I have the book, but haven't read it yet.

Jane O'Reilly said...

63 books is an incredible achievement, well done Liz!

I have a secret passion for beer. I'm not a middle aged man with a beard either :s The dress has to be a red top shop one I had at university. Every time I wore it, something good happened. The final time I wore it, I met the man who is now my husband. So it's either that, or the wonder woman costume I had when I was 6 (though that doesn't really count as a dress). Prince Charming? Keanu Reeves circa 1996 has never been topped :)

Please do not enter me in the draw for Nicola's/Jessica's books though, I already have them :)

Helen said...

Whoo Hoo Liz huge congrats what a great party.
I have to say that I have read Anna's book Midnight's Wild Passion and loved it I couldn't put it down. My secret passion Anna would be to fall into one of your books and be the heroine LOL but don't enter me in this contest because I have this awesome book already.

Nicola
I bought a dress to wear to my 4th Form fromal (showing my age here) and it was black with tiny white flowers on it this was the 70's LOL and I often think about that dress it was so nice.

Jessica
My Prince Charming would have to be the one and only Hugh Jackman what a great Guy although i must be honest and tell you that I call my eldest grandson 5 year old Jayden my Prince Charming LOL.

Again huge congrats Liz I am really looking forward to reading your new one

Have Fun
Helen

Sharon Kendrick said...

HUGE congratulations, Liz - the woman who always seems to be smiling (and DON'T disabuse me!).

Favourite dress is not really a dress but a purple satin coat which I wore with a cream satin dress. Both were floor length but the purple coat had those medieval sleeves which floated down in a V of material from the elbow. Very practical!

Ot there's the silk-chiffon, embroidered 1930's dress which I took to the dry-cleaners and it.....disintegrated - before I'd ever had a chance to wear it!

Love from Sharon, who should be writing her book!

Morton S Gray said...

Hi Liz and others,

Can I have a Pina Colada please, I haven't had one for years.

My secret passion is fur. Lol - fur cushions, fur bedcovers......

The dress which came to mind is the floaty one I had for my first university ball. It had a black sheath underdress and a chiffony overdress with swirly flower patterns and short slit sleeves - I felt so good in that dress and it only cost £10 (many years ago).

My Prince Charming would be my lovely hubbie.

Congratulations on your anniversary and keep writing. Mx

Nicola Marsh said...

So great to be here!

Liz, to the hostess with the most-ess, huge hugs and congrats on 20 YEARS!!!! I'm in awe (and Liz regularly gets nutty fan-girl gushing emails from me!)

Waving to Anna and Jessica!

I'm wearing one of my favourite frocks to the party, a floor-length royal blue shimmery number :)

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Nell! I love old houses, too. And another red dress - I think we all have that scarlet woman longing!

Marrying Max was so lovely - I remember Cat Cobain saying to me that after your speech after winning the Romance Prize they decided they had to take you on as an author!

Liz Fielding said...

Sherree - love the sound of those blue sequins. And your passions all being on show. Brilliant!

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Jane - I love cool beer on a hot day (and I don't have a beard either - although the dh does!)

Glad to meet another Nic/Jess fan!

Liz Fielding said...

Helen - Hugh Jackman. Oh, yes. (Look out for him later in the week!)

And don't we all just have that favourite dress we never forget?

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

Congrats Liz and what a fun party. Since I can't pick my husband, I will pick Gerard Butler - like he was in Dear Frankie or P.S. I Love You. Sexy and sweet.

Kate Hardy said...

Congrats, Liz, on twenty fabulous years (and I think I've read every single one of your M&Bs - love your work).

Secret passion - mine's probably not that secret, LOL. Italy. (That covers ice cream, bread, gianduja aka best chocolate in the world, coffee, volcanoes, ancient ruins, mosaics, pasta, gondolas, the music of Corelli, Michelangelo, Raphael and... ha, do I win the prize for the broadest secret?)

Dress - I think it'd be the one I wore to a seventh birthday party. It had a white lacy top, long sleeves, and a long purple skirt. I loved it. (I was also desperate for a velvet cloak to wear with it, but that's another story.)

Prince Charming - Mr Banderas, please. Hands down. (If you want a role, then "Take the Lead" - he was just delicious in that. A real hero.)

Liz Fielding said...

Sharon - hugs on the chiffon dress! What a tragedy. But the coat sounds wonderful!

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Morton - of course you can have a pina colada - and any of the butlers you choose to serve it!

I love chiffon!

Liz Fielding said...

And don't you look gorgeous, Nic! Thanks for coming out to play!

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Tammy - Gerard - nice one!

Liz Fielding said...

Ah, sweet, Kate! I am so with you on Italy. And obviously ice cream. :) And Mr Banderas will be along later in the week to wait on your every wish!

Summer said...

Congratulations on twenty years!

I guess my secret passion would be the boy band New Kids On The Block, just saw them twice in concert a week ago, it was lovely to be thirteen again for a couple hours.

I love a flirty little sundress.

As for Prince Charming, since I watched Alexander Skarsgard skinny dip on True Blood last night, I'll go with him.

Di said...

Twenty years of being a published author - what an accomplishment!
Secret passion - it's really not a secret, I Love to read romance!
Dress - a deep teal blue silk dress that is so soft & twirly.
Prince Charming - got to pick Prince William!
sallans d at yahoo dot com

Liz Fielding said...

Summer, have to love a woman who knows what she likes!

Liz Fielding said...

Di - You're going for the real thing, then? :)

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, the party definitely heated up overnight! I had to line up for half an hour at the bar to get my fruit juice (well, a margarita has LIME in it!). Helen, thanks for the MWP lurve! I'm loving hear about everyone's secret passions and fave dresses and prince charming.

j. barrett said...

passion to live near the sea, not really what youre looking for tho.
dress was a knit one i mom made in a baby blue and it clung to my body-wore it in high school.
no real prince charming, i have mine

Morton S Gray said...

Just realised I didn't read all of the rules when I posted earlier. If I can't have hubbie as my Prince Charming I'll go for Rupert Penry-Jones in Persuasion.

Marie said...

My Prince Charming would be one of two men; George Clooney and, no comments please, believe me, I've met this man and had I been an intern, it could have been my dress! Bill Clinton!!

And my secret passion, wow, that's a hard one. I mean that's REALLY hard! I guess I'd have to say finishing the novel I've begun, writing the second one, and become everyone's favorite 'new' author.

Marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liz Fielding said...

Living near the sea is great passion, j.

Anna, the party has indeed hotted up - lime juice in anything sounds good right now.

I took delivery of a Macbook this morning and my day has been confusing to say the least!

Morton - Rupert it is!

I'm off to bed now. Make sure you keep those men busy freezing the margheritas! See you in the morning. :)

Liz Fielding said...

So, Marie - that's older men with grey hair. I am totally cool with that!

Gwen said...

Prince Charming for me would be Hugh Jackman, ooh la la!!!!

Soraya Lane - Romance Author said...

Hmmmm, now that's a tricky one! I'd say Gerard Butler, so long as he whispered to me in that gorgeous Irish accent of his all night long!!!

Liz Fielding said...

Gwen, I fear you will have to stand in line. And beat back Kate Walker - who will be here tomorrow, along with Soraya Lane and Lesley Cookman.

ros said...

I'll have whatever Rupert Campbell Black is offering, okay?

I don't think I have a secret passion - mine are all too public! Chocolate, romance novels, Jesus, studying, laughing, gardening, knitting.... But I definitely have a favourite dress and I remember it most because I never owned it. It was a 1980's floral Laura Ashley number which belonged to a friend of mine. When I tried it on and looked in the mirror it was like seeing myself as a totally new person. It looked amazing and I felt amazing in it.

My Prince Charming will make me feel amazing no matter what I'm wearing - holey pyjamas, greying underwear, old jeans. And he'll have a twinkle in his dark, quizzical eyes that will make the butterflies in my stomach do dances. And he'll whisk me away to his country mansion and whisper in my ear that I'm perfect, just the way I am. But would I mind terribly putting on a gorgeous designer gown and a tiara for dinner with his father, the king? *happy sigh*

Liz Fielding said...

Does he have any other, Soraya? :)

Liz Fielding said...

Ah, Ros - a friend of mine had a midnight blue lace dress that she occasionally loaned me and that I wanted So Badly!

And my favourite blouse ever was Laura Ashley. It disintegrated...

Nicola Marsh said...

Nas, forgot to say I think it's super cool you want to spend a week retro partying with my Lola :)

Linda said...

I'd love a copy of Anna Campbell's MWP!

My secret passion? Sexy lingerie; silk, satin & lace. I don't/never had a killer dress. I spend all my time in scruffy jeans n tees.

Nas Dean said...

Oh, Nicola, the retro party was such fun!

Alexandra said...

Congratulations, Liz on your 20 years as a published author. Hmm, secret passion... not sure I've got one... reading romantic fiction perhaps and loving the pure fantasy of a royal romance or a sheik story.

I had a lovely dress with a ragged hem that I loaned to a friend - I never got it back - it was gorgeous!

Prince Charming - definitely Hugh Jackman (loved him as Leopold in Kate and Leopold - just saying), and Gilles Marini (plays the gorgeous Frenchman in Brothers and Sisters). ...sigh...

Jessica Hart said...

I've refilled my glass and am making way round the party looking for Ros and Sheree to ask them to let me know their addresses so I can put a copy of The Secret Princess in the post to them. I couldn't decide on one winner. I loved Ros's answer about her Prince Charming (SO romantic, Ros!) but just had to agree with Sheree about Dennis Quaid in The Big Easy ... irresistible! So in the end, I made life easy on myself by giving away two books ... If I don't find you, girls, do you want to email me (jessica@jessicahart.co.uk)? Or Liz, I'm sure, will forward addresses.

Nicola Marsh said...

My copy of Girl in a Vintage Dress goes to...ta da! Morton S Gray!

Email me with your details please nicola@nicolamarsh.com and I'll pop a signed copy in the mail!

Has been so much fun partying here :)

Nicola Marsh said...

Nas, will let you in on a secret.

As I was writing Girl in a Vintage Dress, I wished I had a friend like Lola so I could attend her retro parties too! :)

Liz Fielding said...

Thanks, Nic and congratulations, Morton on winning Girl in a Vintage Dress.

I've just found a photograph of my mother as a girl - such beautiful detailing in the clothes back then. :)

Morton S Gray said...

Whoo hoo thank you Nicola. I have e-mailed you. Just love winning things - in fact maybe that is my secret passion! Mx

Liz Fielding said...

STOP PRESS!

The three winners of Anna Campbell's Midnight's Wild Passion are - ta da - Jenny Swartz, Nell Dixon and Jane O'Reilly.

Congratulations all of you and if you'll send your contact details to Anna at anna @ annacampbell.info
(no gaps), she'll get the books to you asap.

And to recap Nicola's book was won by Morton and Jessica chose two winners, Roz and Sheree.

Thanks again to Anna, Jessica and Nicola for making Day 1 go with such a swing.

Anna Campbell said...

Congratulations, girls! And thanks for swinging by. Liz, hope you're still partying!!!!

Sheree said...

Congrats to all the winners!

I've emailed you, Jessica! Thank you! And thank you, Liz!