Tuesday, May 31, 2011


A last minute reminder if you were thinking of making a last minute bid on the Brenda Novak Auction which closes today.  My offering - apart from a share in the Harlequin Romance Authors Kindle and book bundle is a couple of signed books

Lots of other good stuff on offer so do drop by and take a look around at all the goodies including critiques on partials from authors such as Kate Walker, jewellery, books, meets with editors and promotional stuff.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Go Swans!

My local football team are in the play-offs at Wembley today.  If they win, they'll be in the Premiership next season.

Excitement is huge - saw cars out on Saturday with flags flying.  Forty thousand fans have traveled to London for the match and the capital will be inundated with heol..

Go Swans!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I recently posted on Facebook inviting my fans and friends to ask me a question about writing – something that I could answer, at length on my blog.

One of the first to be posted addressed the subject of openings. 

“When would you recommend the couple actually meet in a romance? First page, or can we meet them separately first and then witness them meeting each other?”
Excellent question.

In Grabbing the Reader on the First Page, an article on my website on the subject of openings, I advise new writers to dive in.  Start with action.  Get the hero and heroine together on the first page – the first line if possible.  I wrote it in response to a number of unpublished manuscripts I’d read where the writer had no idea how to begin a story, struggling with the weather, the setting, the scenery, anything but get on with the story. 

I wanted to show the inexperienced writer how to grab a reader by the throat in the first sentence.  And, just an important, show one or both of the main characters in action – even if it was only mental activity.

Most of my early books do start with a confrontation between the hero and heroine and if you can manage that I still think it’s the way to go, particularly with short fiction.  A reader recently commented on the way the characters leap out of the first page in my latest book TEMPTED BY TROUBLE and clearly loved that the roller-coaster started on line one.   


Accepting that this advice comes under the heading of “don’t do what I do, do what I say”,  I freely admit that it isn’t the only way, even with the shortest novels.  Despite the fact that I write books that are no more than 55,000 words, occasionally my hero and heroine don’t come face to face until the end of chapter one.

That’s the case in my first book, AN IMAGE OF YOU, but my heroine has met the hero in the past and everything she does in the first chapter is dictated by her memory of that encounter — and the knowledge that she’s going to have to face him again.  From a distance of eight thousand miles he is changing her life, forcing her into moves she would not otherwise make.  He is there, on the page from line one and the reader can’t wait to see the impending clash when they meet. 

Often, to bring the hero into the story - while concentrating on the heroine -  I will show him responding to some crisis; a move that will ultimately bring him into contact with the heroine, but CITY GIRL IN TRAINING and A SURPRISE CHRISTMAS PROPOSAL are written in the first person so that’s not an option.  In both books the first chapter belongs entirely to the heroine, the hero unmentioned, unknown.  It doesn’t seem to have bothered readers, since both books were hugely popular, and City Girl was nominated for a Rita.

What each of these books do have is a heroine who fizzes with life from line one, filling every page with character, motivation, conflict and fun.  By the time Philly is fighting with her potential hero over a taxi, and Sophie is risking life and limb to get at the unconscious Gabriel York, the reader can’t wait to find out what kind of trouble they are in. 

ELOPING WITH EMMY offers a different kind of opening.  The slow build up.  It begins with Tom Brodie talking to the heroine’s father.  The action switches to Emmy — the subject of the conversation — who has been locked in an attic nursery by her father. The scene switches back and forth between the two of them showing Tom’s growing dislike of Gerald Carlisle, and Emmy’s increasingly desperate attempts to escape until, as he leaves, Tom spots Emmy climbing down the drainpipe and has to choose between warning Carlisle, or distracting him so that Emmy can make her escape.  The switching gets faster and faster, like the build-up to a collision in a movie.

Faced with a story with a particularly complicated back story, one where I don’t want to have an information dump but want the reader to know what’s happening, I use a different technique.  In the first book of the Boardroom Bridegroom trilo, THE CORPORATE BRIDEGROOM, I started with a five line Press Release, followed it with the brief newspaper report that followed  — punchy, pacy with a touch of humour, to fill in the background to the boardroom battle between the Claibournes and the Farradays — attached that to a memo from Jordan Farraday to his cousins, and added an email from India Claibourne to her sisters.  When, Romana collides with Niall in the opening proper, we have the classic first page confrontation — and, with the use of small, entertaining snippets — the reader already understand what's at stake. 

So here’s the truth.  Each story is different.  The situation the heroine finds herself in will dictate how it will open.  What is vital, however, is that it starts at the moment of change.  That it starts with action.  That from the moment she steps onto the page she is on a roller-coaster and, grabbing the reader, takes her along for the ride. 

And the weather only matters if it's blowing a force nine gale and your heroine is in a very small boat, if she's broken down in the desert and just swallowed her last mouthful of water, or a flood has her trapped on the roof (preferably with a baby in her arms). 

If you'd like to write the first hundred of words of your story beginning with any of those three scenarios, go for it.  I've got copies of City Girl in Training, The Corporate Bridegroom and Eloping With Emmy for three that make me want to read on.

Friday, May 20, 2011


It's always a joy to see a long out of print book make a return appearance and this is a brand new LP library reprint of one of my earlier books.

What if...

What if you were getting on with your life quite happily and then one day a disturbingly attractive stranger knocked on your door and told you that you weren't who you thought you were?  That all your life the people you loved had been lying to you. Shattering your world with old secrets, hidden desires...

How would you react?  Who could you trust?

If you want to read Holly's story, ask at your local library for a copy.

Coming up...


I invited friends on Facebook to ask me questions about writing and I'll be answering them here starting on Monday.  If you have a question that you're burning to ask an author, then email me on liz at lizfielding dot com - or leave a comment - and I'll do my best to answer.



all three books in the Beaumont Brides trilogy are now available as eBooks at Amazon US, Amazon UK and Amazon, Germany (where, incidentally, some of my books are now available in German). They are also available at Smashwords.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Thank you all so much for a fun competition.  Well done!

Most of you got it - I thought the glasses were a giveaway, to be honest, but the mouth has not changed a bit.

The dress, in case anyone is the slightest bit interested was a deep blue with a desperately old-fashioned yoke and tied at the back with a bow.  And we wore panama hats and grey blazers with blue and grey badge.  The white collar was not detachable.

The girl directly in front of me, by the way, is Caroline Clifton-Mogg, now an acclaimed journalist and author of books such as French Country Living.

Now for the prizes.  Everyone gets a book - on a first come, first served basis - from the following list: -

A Nanny For Keeps
A Family of His Own
City Girl in Training
The Ordinary Princess
Her Ideal Husband
Eloping With Emmy
Dating Her Boss

Take you pick and send me an email - liz at lizfielding dot com - better give two choices!

Next up will be the first of an occasional series called Ask An Author - and if you have a burning question about writing in general, or for Harlequin Mills and Boon in particular, then drop me a line, or leave a comment and I'll add it to the list I'm building up.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Jennifer - Moosetracks takes the prize. Nothing could beat that! Send me an email with your snail mail addy and I'll get your prize in the post to you, asap.

An overwhelming vote for chocolate, I think. And Cherry Garcia... I really want to try that.

Now, since this is launch time, I have another competitions for you!

Below is a photograph I found today.

It's my school class - teacher Madam Patrick - taken when I was eleven years old. Don't we all look sweet.  If you can find me, I'll put your name in a draw for a copy of a book from my backlist.

Comments are also welcome!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


What happened there, then?

Never mind, you still have until first thing on Monday morning to comment on the post below for a chance to win a copy of TEMPTED BY TROUBLE.

Monday, May 09, 2011


I now have a title for the Italian book. This took longer than usual. Editorial didn’t think my suggestion, Italian for Beginners was romantic enough. I didn’t care very much for their alternative. Time was running out. The lack of a title was holding up production. A list of suggestions was produced and then, out of the blue, I took a bit of mine, a bit of theirs and, fingers crossed, breath held, I made my suggestion.

Readers, I have a title. FLIRTING WITH ITALIAN will be published in December.

Meanwhile, TEMPTED BY TROUBLE is now available in paper or to download online at eHarlequin and Mills and Boon. Kindle users – and those of you in the southern hemisphere - will have to wait until June. But you can read the first chapter by clicking on the link at the top of the sidebar.

Since a book launch wouldn’t be complete without a treat, I have a lovely shiny RIVA edition to give away. For a chance to win this, tell me about your best (or worst) ice cream moments. What was the most luscious ice cream you ever ate? The most memorable? The one that cheered you up on a bad day, or the huge one that made you sick.

Here's a quote to concentrate your mind -

‘All you have to do is press this button and the machine dispenses exactly the right amount of ice cream.’

Sean was standing behind her, one hand over hers as she held a cone poised beneath the nozzle. With his other hand he pressed the button and moved the cone beneath it as the ice cream descended.

It was hard enough to concentrate with his arms around her but then, as he leaned over her shoulder and took a mouthful of the result, his chin grazed her temple and she turned to look at him.

‘Your turn,’ he said.

‘My turn?’

A smear of ice cream decorated his top lip. Without thinking her reflex was to lick her own lip as she imagined how it would feel to lick it off. How it would taste. How he would taste…

 I’ll pick a winner next Monday morning (UK time).

Alternatively you can put in a bid for a signed copy of this (and Becoming the Tycoon’s Bride) at Brenda Novak’s Auction and have the added joy of knowing your money will be going to a good cause.