Thursday, September 29, 2011


What do writer's do when they take a day off? Go on a writing course, what else?

I am very fortunate in that I live close to the amazing crime writer, Sally Spedding - stories to raise the hair on the back on your neck - and she recently ran a three day course on Writing Crime with a Difference at the lovely on Huguenot mansion, Glynhir, which is a couple of miles down the road.

Why crime?

Writers do need to stretch themselves, give the imagination a workout, from time to time. And I love reading crime, watch crime drama on the television and - like every other writer I know - I have a book in my bottom drawer that keeps calling to me. So I gave it day out.

There were ten of us including the French Consul, a criminal psychologist, a criminal lawyer and some fabulously talented writers who could write wonderful stuff at the drop of a hat. That's something published writers never have to do. Write something and then read it aloud to total strangers. Something I have never done, since I never belonged to a writing group, or had a crit partner before I was published. Deeply, deeply, scary.

I had to produce my hero and his Nemesis - and have them confront each other. I had to write about the motivation of two of my characters. And I had to write a prologue.

This was difficult. My idea of crime writing is more Janet Evanovitch than P D James and the opening of my book is very "women's fiction", but there is a crime in the present that is fired by something dark and horrible that happened in the past. And wow. Suddenly I was thinking about my story on a whole new level. The prologue I wrote was rubbish, but I was there at that moment in the past and it is so perfect start for the story that I'm bubbling with enthusiasm again.

And if any of you write crime and need someone to read your novel, Sally charges a very reasonable £100 for a detailed critique of a full length ms. You can get in touch with her via her website.


Here's something special from Mills and Boon for writers entering the New Voices competition, or just wanting to write for them.

It's a little eBook to download for free containing advice, tips and the inside scoop from editors. You don't need a Kindle - you can download it to your PC. You can also download for your eReader here

You'll find advice from editors, fabulous author Donna Alward and I'm in there, too, talking about using humour and emotion in your romance. What? Are you still here? Go download!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


We are not a one author family.

The son and heir's book is at the "Spooks" end of the market, I - as you all know! -write romance and our lovely cousin Lucinda Ganderton makes the most beautiful things and writes craft books so that you can make them, too.

My granddaughter is lucky enough to have an heirloom patchwork quilt made by her.

Her latest book written for Liberty's is out on the 5th October - you can check it out here - she has made some special limited edition items that will on sale in the store to celebrate the launch.

It's the kind of book I reach for when the nights draw in.

Writing tends to be an all consuming occupation, but the the arrival my granddaughter did produce a sudden rush of knitting and, as the nights draw in I'm looking at the abandoned projects in the basket in the corner.  Small, lovely things to keep the hands occupied in the quiet after dinner while I watch Downton Abbey.

What kind of stuff do you turn to when the nights draw in and the inclination to leave the house after dark declines sharply?

Are you a demon knitter, a Christmas decoration queen, or does cross-stitch keep you busy?

Monday, September 26, 2011


Today is the day of the big cover reveal for BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD a fabulous new book by my colleague, USA Today bestselling author, Nicola Marsh

Shari Jones needs to get a life. Preferably someone else’s.

Single, homeless and jobless, Indo-American Shari agrees to her best friend’s whacky scheme: travel to Mumbai, pose as Amrita, and ditch the fiancĂ© her traditional Indian parents have chosen. Simple. Until she’s mistaken for a famous Bollywood actress, stalked by a Lone Ranger wannabe, courted by an English lord, and busted by the blackmailing fiancĂ©.

Life is less complicated in New York.

Or so she thinks, until the entourage of crazies follows her to the Big Apple and that’s when the fun really begins. Shari deals with a blossoming romance, an addiction to Indian food and her first movie role, while secretly craving another trip to the mystical land responsible for sparking her new lease on life. Returning to her Indian birthplace, she has an epiphany. Maybe the happily-ever-after of her dreams isn’t so far away?


Saturday, September 24, 2011


Welcome to my very first SSS - and if you don't know what that is, click here.

Here are six sentences from my upcoming Riva/Romance, FLIRTING WITH ITALIAN...

Her brain was apparently engaged, busy dealing with a bombardment of signals.  The sun hot on her arms, her throat, her breasts.  The sensuous sweep of the mouth hovering above her own, the scent of warm skin, leather…
The world seemed to have slowed down and it took forever for his lips to reach hers.  Somewhere, deep inside her brain the word “…no…” was teetering on the brink and all she had to do was move her lips,say it,but her butter-soft mouth seemed to belong to someone else. 
When it parted, it was not to protest; as his mouth found hers a tingle of something like recognition raced like wildfire through her blood, blotting out reason and her body, with nothing to guide it, softened, melted against him, murmured, “Yes…”

Coming soon!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


This month, in the UK, Mills and Boon have republished a three-in-one called AN ORDINARY GIRL AND A SHEIKH, featuring books by myself, Barbara McMahon and Nicola Marsha.

If you're not in the UK, The Book Depository - link on the sidebar - will send it anywhere in the world post free (which is fabulous), although it will also be available as an eBook.

By sheer coincidence, all three of us have recently released eBooks.

BLUEBELLS ON THE HILL by Barbara McMahon tells the story of country singing star Amanda Smith who's seeking a refuge from the busy concert schedule when she finds the perfect hide-away in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The only problem is neighbor Mac Mackenzie who's had his eye on that patch of land for years. When he can't bribe her to leave, he changes tactics. The only problem is it becomes hard to tell if he's trying to drive her away, or convince her to stay.

It available now as a FREE download.

From Nicola Marsh, there's this hot new novella, TAG TEAMin which a  Police Special Ops team leader joins forces with an Australian Defence Force Tactical Assault Group expert who specializes in biological warfare to stop an imminent chemical threat.

When the threat becomes personal and the body count mounts, they find themselves locked in a safe room, where they discover their sizzling history takes little to ignite. 

This is available to download from Amazon or Smashwords for 99c.

And, finally, you can still download the first of my Beaumont Brides trilogy, WILD JUSTICE (the one with the cover that produced more reaction than my last 60 put together!) for free at Amazon in the UK and on Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and iTunes in the US.

(Amazon US - a law unto themselves - are still charging 99c. I've written to them twice but they're not taking any notice of me. They might listen to readers!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


NEW VOICES went live today - you can register here and upload your entry. Or read what the early birds have posted and leave comments, too. And here's the lovely Flo Nicholl introducing four of the NV mentors.

It's been agony keeping the secret that I'll be working with one of the twenty writers who get through the first round, but the list went up today. I'm so thrilled and excited!


Friday, September 02, 2011


Many thanks to Bethan for supplying this photograph of my New Voices workshop at Pontardawe Library this week.  It was a lovely afternoon and over-subscribed sadly, so some people missed out.  If you'd like a copy of the handouts I prepared, please do email me at liz at lizfielding dot com - it doesn't matter where in the world you are!

New Voices is getting closer! Have you registered here yet?

I hope you’ve started writing, but it’s not too late. You have until the 10 October to post your chapter, although the earlier you get it online the more reader feedback you’ll have, which can be hugely useful. It isn’t votes from readers that count, however; the editors will choose the best twenty first chapters to move onto the next round.

Getting the first chapter right is vital.

• The opening tells the reader who the story is about. Who. Not where, or why or what the weather is doing. Romance is character led.

Have you got all the ingredients in place? Here are some questions to help get you started:

• Who are your characters?
• What do they want?
• Why do they want it?

A great opening to a romance raises questions in the reader’s mind; questions that what make her read on. To achieve this you must:

• Start with something happening
• Get the hero and the heroine on the page
• Grab the readers attention

Stories begin with an inciting incident.

• Cinderella meets the disguised prince in the woods.
• A rich bachelor moves into the neighbourhood.
• Bassanio asks his best mate, Antonio, for a loan.

A Lee Childs I read recently started with a drunk picked a fight with Jack Reacher for no reason other than he was feeling belligerent. He gets a broken finger (he poked Jack – how dumb can you get?) and nose for his trouble. Unfortunately he’s the local cop and when he sobers up he comes after him with handcuffs. Reacher knows the best result is going to a beating in police cell and he hitches a lift out of town.

In Tempted By Trouble, Elle answers a ring at the doorbell prepared to fend off a nosy neighbour and instead finds herself fending off not just the bone-meltingly gorgeous Sean McElroy, but the ice cream van he insists is hers.

Everything that happens in these stories stems from that moment.

In all instances the stories begin with action, movement, dialogue.

That first meeting isn’t the end of chapter one, however. In the space of four thousand words the reader will find out a great deal about them.

They will have an idea what they look like – have seen them through the eyes of the other character. Not a descriptive shopping list, please. Leave room for the reader to fill in her own fantasy. Just small details. The shape of a nose. A tiny scar spotted when the characters moves and it’s emphasized by shadow.

They will, from their reaction to this meeting, know a little of their hopes, their fears and the reason why they won’t simply enjoy this unexpected meeting and move off into the happy ever after that is waiting for them.

These characters have to earn their HEA. Discover things about themselves, grow, become stronger – strong enough to deal with whatever is keeping them apart. At the end of a book should – heaven forbid – the romance fade into no more than a sweet memory, your hero and heroine should have taken control of their lives, faced their demons, be looking forward rather than back. They should be winners. That they have a partner to match them in every way is the icing and the cherry on top of that cake.

But first they have to meet. And bless Amazon for allowing you to download the first chapter of eBooks to your reading device – your PC if you don’t have anything else. You can study first chapters by your favourite authors, by authors you’ve heard of but never read, without spending a penny. (I cannot be held responsible if you feel you have to buy the book to read on, but if you do, ask yourself why.)