Friday, June 29, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 25 - Sharon Kendrick

Today's Guest Blogger is one of the stars of the current Presents line-up - Sharon Kendrick. Sharon started out writing Medicals but these days she concentrates on the Presents novels that have earned her a great reputation amongst the readers.

I can't actually remember when I first met Sharon - but then she's not exactly sure of our first meeting either so I don;t have to feel too bad about that. What I do know is that Sharon always looks wonderfully stylish - right down to the fact that when she broke her wrist just before the last RNA Awards lunch at the Savoy in April, she managed to have a plaster cast that toned in beautifully with her outfit. Having met her daughter, I must also say that Sharon seems far too young to possibly be mother to her two children .

I may be celebrating 50 titles, but Sharon has written over sixty books for Harlequin Mills & Boon and tells me that she has never stopped falling in love with her own heroes. She's currently working with an ebony-eyed Greek who is so arrogant he makes her shiver.

So here's Sharon Kendrick

When I think of fifty - I think of the colour gold - and as Kate is having a party to celebrate her 50th book - it's rather fitting that she has chosen June - traditionally a glorious, golden month.


I can't remember when I first met Kate - but I do remember her smile and her rather scrumptuous taste in unusual jewellery. Over the years our paths have crossed at many authorly functions - when we've angsted about our current books, or leapt for joy if we'd just had one accepted.


All I know is that, like most of us - she loves to write (or should that be lives to write?). So enjoy your special day, Kate - and raise a glass of golden champagne to all your absent friends!

GIVEAWAY:
Sharon is giving a signed copy of her latest book The Desert King's Virgin Bride as her prize
QUESTION:
What kind of book stays in your mind long after you've put it down?
Sharon says:
For me, it's usually when the central relationship has worked so effectively and convincingly that I wonder how the couple are getting along - almost as if I can believe they really exist. I guess what that really tells me that I like books which are character led, not plot driven - and that too many "coincidences" in a romance novel drive me bonkers!
So what makes a book memorable for you?

Great Big Blog Party 23 - Winner

Heather Rae Scott has sent me the name of her winner and this time the lucky lady is

Ellie
Congratulations Ellie! You win a signed copy of The Last Thing I Expected.

And while I'm talking about prizes I think I should remind you all of the great prize there is to win in my Great Big Contest in the special Spotlight over on Leena's Goodie Room on the Author Sound site.

As well as signed hardback edtions of the two titles in my Sicilian Brothers duo (that's Sicilian Husband;Blackmailed Bride and of course The Sicilian's Red-Hot Revenge) you also get a chance to win a real gold heart shaped necklace.

So what do you have to do to be in with a chance of winning?

Well, every week, Lee is posting up a set of questions about my books - all those 50 titles on my backlist. All you have to do is to find the answers to each question - the answers can all be found on my web site in the backlist pages. Answer the questions and send you entries to Lee together with your full names, mailing address and of course the answers to this week's questions!
Every week seven winners will be picked out and each of those seven will win a first round prize of a signed book and one of my special bookbags. There are 50 of these first round prizes to win so you have plenty of chances.
Then at the end of the 50 questions, everyone who has answered all the questions correctly will have their name entered into the Great Big Prize draw and one lucky winner will receieve the main prize.
Now just in case you have missed the first couple of weeks' questions - don't worry . You can still enter the Main Draw! Just catch up on the questions you haven't answered - they're still up on the Spotlight page for you to see them. Answer all the questions - including this week's - and send them in to Lee then come back and answer the rest next week and the week after.
Each time you enter you'll be in with a chance for a first round prize - and everyone who get all the answers right, whether they're a Round One winner or not, will be entered into that final Main Draw.
So hurry over to Leena's Goodie Room - read the Spotlight - and enter the contest for a chance to win a really Great Big Prize.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 24 - Anna Louise Lucia

The sky is darkening, the thunder is rumbling in the distance and the words that people around here are starting to dread - 'heavy' and 'rainfall' are being used on the weather forecasts. There are also even less appealing combinations of words - like rivers/ bursting banks - and power stations and flooded - being used as possibilities - so if I disappear off line for a while, you'll know why.

In the meantime I'll leave you in the capable and elegant hands of Anna Louise Lucia.

Along with Julie Cohen, Anna Louise Lucia was one of my very first, original virgins - the four from the eHarlequin message boards )where she is known as AnnaofCumberland - most often shortened to Annaof) who met up at the RNA Conference in Durham in 2002. We'd all chatted on the boards and the fact that we lived in the UK while most of the other posters came from USA or Canada linked us together. The thing I remember most about that first meeting with Anna is that in that first moment of 'Hello' she sank into a wonderfully elegant curtsey before me - much to the astonishment of many RNA members who were around at the time.

And like Julie, Anna has been a special person in my life ever since. From being Queen Kate - hence the curtsey - I have since become Cyber Mum as a result of an online chat where I, in a moment of mock sterness, told Anna to behave and she responded with 'Yes Mum!' Since then the BM has been prone to telling people that he has one son and several adopted daughters. And certainly no daughter could have been more welcoming on one occasion when - details not neccessary - the BM and I did not have the accomodation we thought we had one night (one very wet and miserable night) and Anna came to the rescue, providing bed and wonderful food in her home. Something for which I will always be truly grateful. And the special Pre Christmas Writing Weekends and Christmas dinners we've shared with Anna, Julie and - another 'cyber daughter ' who will be blogging soon - Brigid Coady - have been a delight from start to finish.

As a writer, I always knew that one day Anna would be published. The only problem was with which publisher. I worked with her on a NWS script and knew she had a distinctive, individual voice and a sense of drama and emotion that could lead her down several different paths but for a while her plots didn't quite fit. That all changed on September 26th last year when Medallion Press took the book we all knew as McWife and which will be published as Run Among Thorns in June 2008. This will be followed by Dangerous Lies in 2009.

Frankly, I'm not surprised - just delighted. And so looking forward to reading the book I've seen in a rough draft actually in a printed form at last. Unfortunately Anna's book won't be in print in time for her to offer it as a prize this time - but I plan on grabbing her first title for a Bag of Books contest in 2008.

Anna is someone who was born a writer -as the saying goes 'Writers write - everyone else makes excuses' - And when you read Anna's post, you'll see that she grabs any opportunity to do just that - to write.


So here's AnnaofCumberland - aka Anna Louise Lucia


I’m writing this at the top of Hartside, a high pass over the Pennines (on the way to the isolated market town of Alston) wearing a little golden heart that Kate gave me at her celebratory weekend.

The clouds are down – the windscreen in front of me is rapidly beading with moisture, and occasionally a gust of wind rocks the car on its suspension.

All this tells you three things. One, I like writing in odd places. Two, Kate’s the kind of person that begins a celebration of her achievements by celebrating yours, and Three, it’s summer in Cumbria.

Now, there’s not a lot I can do about the summer weather and Kate will forever be a Class Act, but I thought I’d blog about fifty places I’ve written…. And ask you about your favourite.

So here we go:

1.In a tree.
2.In bed.
3.In someone else’s bed!
4.In the bath (paper edits, I don’t drag the laptop in there).
5.In the car while driving (with a dictaphone, promise).
6.In the car while stationary (on an Alphasmart).
7.On a picnic.
8.In Brougham Castle
9.At work (but don’t tell anyone).
10.In a hammock. I just re-strung the hammock I haven’t used in two years only to find that its been a victim of our musty utility room and has been eaten by mildew…. Shock horror! Within 20 minutes of finding it was compromised, I had ordered a new one online. There’s nothing quite like swinging gently in the back yard, brushing against clematis blooms and lilacs, while the cats play like monkeys in the ivy overhead.
11.On my lunch break.
12.By the River Derwent in the beautiful valley of borrowdale.
13.At the library in Durham University. A distressingly modern building, but at least it’s a stone’s throw from the World Heritage Site of Castle and Cathedral.
14.In the Riverside café at Grange, where the lovely double arched bridge, built in 1675, crosses the Derwent.
15.In the wardrobe. It’s a long story.
16.At a cottage in Alnmouth on the Northumberland Coast.
17.In the Treehouse at Alnwick
18.At Mum and Dad’s house.
19. In the arbour in the front garden.
20.On a boat. Specifically a narrowboat on our recent family canal holiday. Harrison Ford hired his boat from the same company you know….
21.In a meeting. After a while, you just keep nodding and smiling, and plot out the final scene on the back of the agenda.
22.In the toilet. Last refuge of the harassed.
23.On a mountain. Any mountain will do, but it’s Castle Crag in Borrowdale for preference. OK so it's strictly only a hill but it’s a mountain in my heart.

24.At the Romantic Novelists Association Conference. Fabulous for inspiration!
25.In Sainsburys. On the back of a till receipt. I’m not kidding.
26.At Larch Cottage Nurseries, on the sun-drenched veranda overlooking the gardens.
27.In a small caravan near Southwold, Suffolk. Where I wandered into a second hand bookshop and bought Julius Caesar’s “The Conquest of Gaul,” and Kate Walker’s “Something Missing”, to the bemusement of the shop keeper and her cat.
28.In one of Kate’s workshops. Kate does marvellous workshops, and this one focussed on the The Big Why – the motivation of characters. Digging into the reasons behind my character’s actions sparked a lot of progress that day!
29.In a doctor’s waiting room.
30..In hospital.
31.On a plane to New York.
32.At the marvellous and secretive Plas Tan y Bwlch
33.At The Bewick Coffee House. I once left some paper edits there, and they looked after them and returned them when next I visited….
34.In New York’s Central Park.
35.At No 15, a trendy lunch place near work. They have really spectacular house plants…
36.On the beach at Warkworth
37.In the kitchen. Although admittedly if I’m in the kitchen, I’m usually cooking or eating. Or both.
38.Among the forests and fields of Galloway, looking for a longhouse like the one Kier uses in my first book, RUN AMONG THORNS.
39.In my office. Yes, in spite of everything, I do sometimes write like a normal person, at a desk.
40.In lectures. See, “In a meeting”.
41.In the Durham Travelodge.
42.In a mine. Well, it was raining, and the abandoned slate mine entrance was dry. Kids, don’t do this at home….
43.At Watendlath which I happen to know will make the BM very, very jealous.
44.Beside Ullswater.
45.On a train to London. Trust me, first class is worth it.
46.At a vegetarian cycle café in Keswick. The only place within fifty miles you can get eggs on toasted muffins for breakfast!
47.At Castlerigg Stone Circle. Outside the circle. Writing inside the circle seems somehow disrespectful….
48.At a gorgeous coffee house in Keswick. Home of the best hazelnut latte in Cumbria.
49.In the middle of the night on the landing. Insomnia is the writer’s friend.
50.At Kate’s house. I remember writing fairy stories and ghost stories in her lovely front room, and gazing in awe at her books on the shelves in her office.

You know, it’s only when you come to do fifty of anything that you appreciate what a real achievement it is. Let alone writing and having published fifty romantic, emotional, delicious reads like Kate’s books. Congratulations, Kate!

Now, for the prize.

GIVEAWAY:
To win a copy of a beautiful coffee-table book of Lakeland Views (many of which include places where I’ve written!) by the celebrated local photographer Val Corbett,
QUESTION:
leave a comment letting me know your favourite place to write, apart from an office or usual desk space. Are you a bathroom writer? Or do you escape to your local café? I’m looking forward to hearing about it!

Cheers, Anna

Great Big Blog Party 22 - Winner



Kate Hardy has announced her winner - being a dog person rather than a cat person she asked her Springer Spaniel to help her with this.



Here's what she says:


I asked Byron to pick a winner. He really is the most UNDIGNIFIED dog. His response was to lie down, roll over and demand that his tummy was rubbed instead. So I got my daughter to do the honours and she picked Bamabelle out of the hat. Congratulation, Bamabelle! As soon as you've given your details to Kate, she'll pass them on and I'll get your books in the post.

And because I'm a sucker for "love at first sight" stories (and am just at that point in my new book, aka the first paragraph), I'm awarding an extra prize to Kate Hewitt. (This has nothing to do with the fact that she's also a Kate H... honest...)


Kate H xx



Ladies please send on your details to me and I'll make T'Other Kate H gets them.

PS I do think that Kate H(1) has maligned poor Byron - here he is looking supremely dignified

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 23 - Heather Rae Scott

For my next Guest Blogger eHarlequin strikes again, The eHarlequin Message boards are where I 'met' Heather Rae Scott - but to me then she was just Rae-eHarlequin, one of the 'hosties' who helped run the boards, answering questions, organising threads, moderating discussions. Later, Rae set up the Gonnabeez, the 'gonna be' published writers group. I was thrilled and honoured when they names me their 'Queen Bee' and when I ventured out to my first RWA Conference - in Denver. the 'Beez' made me feel so welcome - even crowning me with a tiara at the eHarlequin pajama party.



And of course one of the Beez that I met and made a friend of was Rae, The one thng that I remember most about meeting her in the flesh, apart from a shy smile, a warm hug and a wonderful welcome was Rae's laugh. Believe me, once heard, Rae's laugh is never forgottem. It's a sound that's a cross between a donkey braying and someone trying desperately to catch their breath but it's one of the warmest, most infectious sounds ever.
Hear it and you start laughing too - laughing with Rae, never at her. The next year, in New York, the Beez found out that the BM and I were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary and theymarked the occasion with some lovely gifts. In amongst those - and from Rae - were two wooden Bee figures - The Queen and her Drone - she with a flower in herb hair and he with a black top hat perched on his head. I still have those two - they are sitting on the bookshelf opposite my desk as I write this - a reminder of Rae's warmth and her sweet welcome. I really hope that one day soon - maybe next year - I'll get back to RWA and meet up with her and other Beez again.



So it was a great thrill for me when I learned that Rae was no longer a Gonnabee - but a fully fledged, 'beezkneez' published author and I'm delighted she was able to come along and share in the Great Big Blog Party as


Heather Rae Scott


When the lovely and magnificent Kate Walker asked me, me to be a part of her 50th celebration I was both terrified and excited all at the same time, because I’m a baby in this business and she’s—well, she’s Kate Walker!

Then, I thought about it some more.

She’s Kate Walker.

I knew right away what I was going to talk about. Kate is a fantastic author—really, fantastic doesn’t even begin to describe the talent Kate has.I love her books, swoon for her heroes and root for her heroines. She’s got a unique way of teaching as shown in her 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance, and she’s helped a lot of aspiring writers by participating on the eHarlequin.com boards, which is where I met her.

All this said, I feel extremely blessed to have Kate, the person, in my life. I fell in love with her persona on the boards, but meeting her in person, feeling the loving hug she gives and seeing the adoration in her eyes is priceless. For me, it was love at first sight.

Kate is beautiful inside and out and she has the grace, style and royalty of a real Queen. She’s truly a gem—a diamond in the rough and for me that is what is so awe-inspiring. Even though she’s Kate Walker, she never hesitates to roll up her sleeves and dig in and get dirty helping someone. When Kate gives her best, it comes from her heart and soul, no holds barred.

Kate’s smile will light up the room and her sense of humor will leave your side in stitches, and she reminds me very much of another special woman I lost in my life, which is why I feel blessed to have met someone like her.

Oh, and her husband is pretty special too!

Kate, congratulations on celebrating the big 5-0! Here’s too many, many more Kate Walker books to keep us warm at night.


GIVEAWAY:

I'm giving away a signed copy of my very first book, THE LAST THING I EXPECTED, which came out last August. The follow-up book in this series is called THE LAST THING I WANTED and it will be available in ebook form on July 17th from Samhain Publishing Ltd.


QUESTION:
Easy question, ready? Finish this sentence: The last thing I expected was...

Heather Rae Scott pens zany, heartfelt romantic comedies with sizzle. A mother of three and engaged to one romantic, wild, and nutty guy, her life is filled with endless fodder for her books. Her readers will connect with her fun, engaging style that will give them an escape from a world that doesn't always provide a Happily Ever After.

http://www.heatherraescott.net/blog/
~Heather Rae Scott

THE LAST THING I WANTED 7.17.07
THE LAST THING I EXPECTED

available now http://www.heatherraescott.net/blog/ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/heatherraescott/

A Kate Bit - Favourite Books Poll

I had an interesting moment this morning as I explored Amazon.co.uk. I don't think I'm the only author who gets intrigued by the various bestseller charts that Amazon sets up. It's fascinating to see what books have sold well - specially when you have one of your own out there and you want to see how it's doing compared with everyone else's.


One of the most interesting charts is the Most Popular Items on Amazon - in the last hour. This list is updated every hour so you can spot what people are buying through the day. You can start lat this list in the overall sales on Amazon and then by clicking on the list at the side, refine it through Romance - to Series - to Mills & Boon - or Harlequin Presents or whatever you want. It was a thrill to see that this morning the UK edition of The Sicilian's Red Hot Revenge was right there at #1 in the Mills & Boon sales. And then, intriguingly there was a secondhand edtion of The Twelve Month Mistress at #7.


But the really interesting moment was when I clicked on the Harlequin Presents listing and there from #1 - #6 were all these books of mine:


The Hostage Bride


A Sicilian Husband


The Married Mistress


The Sicilian's Wife


Constantine's Revenge


The Groom's Revenge

Now I'm well aware of the fact that this probably simply means that someone has bought just one copy of each of those titles and on a quiet day, that's enough to put them all in this ranking. Selling just one book is quite enough to make a title leap up the Amazon rankings. But it is interesting to me as it means that someone has gone to my backlist and has bought up some old books - hopefully because they enjoyed the one that's out now - and they wanted to read more. I believe it's called 'glomming'.

Anyway, this sort of ties in with the other thing I'm doing as part of the 50th book celebrations.
Back in 2005 when I was celebrating 20 years as a published author, I ran a Favourite Kate Walker book poll where I asked everyone to vote for their top five Kate Walker novels and I collected up all the results and at the end of the voting period I published the official Top Ten. (I still have those results somewhere - I must look for them and then I can publish them here and compare them with what everyone votes for this time.

So how about voting for your Top 5 Kate Walker titles?
Everyone who votes has a chance of winning a signed copy of a book from my backlist together with a Kate Walker bookmark and pen. All you have to do is to list your Top 5 Favourite Kate Walker books and send them to me with Favourite Book (yes - the English spelling ;-) ) in the subject line.If you need any help deciding which are your favourites, then check out that spotlight Lee has worked so hard on on Leena's Goodie Room over on Author Sound Relations - and take a look at the Backlist pages over on my web site to remind you of some you might have enjoyed.

And if you'd like to know how the voting is going - then here's last week's Top FIVE
1.A Sicilian Husband
2. The Sicilian's Wife
3. The Italian's Forced Bride
4. Desert Affair
5. The Spaniard's Inconvenient Wife
jointly with
5. The Antonakos Marriage.

And this week the list has changed to this:

1. A Sicilian Husband
2. The Italian's Forced Bride
3. Desert Affair
4. The Antonakos Marriage
5. 12 Month Mistress )
The Spaniard's Inconvenient Wife ) All 3 jointly
Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride )

Would you choose these ones? Or perhaps something totally different? I'd love to have your vote.

Authors reading this - I'd really love to hear from you too. And if I get time I'll post some of my favourite author's favourite books - that would be a great thrill for me. (Bound By Blackmail, India?)

Great Big Blog Party 20 & 21 - Winners

Well, across the country, the cats have been busy, as Sid and India Grey's Ruby were roped into action to choose the winners of the next two prizes.

Sid, of course, is used to this. He has chosen so many prizes in the past that as soon as he sees the bits of paper being laid out on the floor, he's ready. Sometimes he doesn't even need to have the crunchies laid out too - that takes far too long. So he just walks up to the list of names, puts his nose down on one of them - 'That's the winner, Mum - now gimme the crunchies all together - never mind this spreading them out thing!'

In just this way, Sid chose the winner of Nicola Cornick's prize - and the copy of Lord of Scandal goes to:

Juliemt

Who I believe is actually guest blogger 15 - Julie from Malta

Congratulations Julie! As I mentioned, Nicola is actually away at the moment but I'll send her your address and as soon as she gets back the prize will be on its way to you.

Now we come to Ruby's choice . . .
Well, Ruby isn't quite as experienced at this winner-choosing thing. And her mind was clearly on other things so she gave India a hard time. Here's what India says:

In the end, I'm afraid Ruby let me down. Spent ages making a very elaborate and amusing toy for her, featuring all the names of the entrants, folded over and secured by paper-clips onto lengths of string, and dangled it enticingly over her head for ages. Trailed it alluringly along the floor. Bashed her repeatedly on the nose with it. Not a flicker.

I'm blaming Sid. A year ago she'd have been making a complete and utter banana of herself over a toy like that, but now she's lost her heart she's gone all serious and grown-up. It's all very boring.


India - I suspect that the missing factor in the way Sid chooses winners and the method you were using on Ruby is a four letter word - f - o - o -d . Sid chooses happily because the idea appeals to his stomach (aka the 'flab sack'). He'll do anything for a smackeral of something.

Luckily India had helpful daughters, one of whom helped by picking a random piece of string and pulling it out of the bundle. And the name on that piece of string was . . .

Lis

Congratulations Lis! You win a copy of India's The Italian's Defiant Mistress - so send me your address and I'll pass that on to India. Coincidentally, Lis chose as her favourite Kate Walker book Bound By Blackmail - which is also India's choice . . .

And that reminds me - next post . . .


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 20 - Winner


Yvonne Lindsay has been drawing names out of a hat for her winner She's come up with three because her first winner had already won a prize recently - and now I'm happy because . . . well here's what Yvonne says -
My book prize winner is Nancy.
Ooh, just noticed that Nancy has recently won a prize. I’d still like to nominate her for a book prize but I did an extra two draws and guess what, Kate Walker and India came up So, that’s you, India and Nancy. How’s that?
That's fine by me Yvonne - I really really want to read Rosellini's Revenge Affair - so I'm thrilled to have my name picked. It's my party and I'll grab a prize if I can!
Nancy and India - Congratulations and I've already sent your addresses to Yvonne.

Great Big Blog Party 22 - Kate Hardy


Right - I checked - and yes, today's blogger will have time to come and chat with us today. Officially it was her turn to blog at the weekend but I knew she was agonisingly tight on a deadline so I waited until she'd finished the book before I posted her blog here.

And of course she did finish her book - not that I ever doubted it - because today's blogger is Kate Hardy - the lady I affectionately call Scary Kate. Want to know why? Well, you'll have to read my Guest Blog over on her blog party - when I get to write it that is! And Yes, Kate I will write it - promise - but there's a small touch of pots and kettle here when it comes to delivery of blog posts.


Scary Kate is only Scary Kate professionally of course -she's a one woman dynamo, writing all sorts of books at incredible rates - that's why she's having a Blog Party too - to mark her 25th - er that's her 25th Mills & Boon title - we're not counting the other non fiction books she's created as well. See what I mean? Scary?

But in real life Scary Kate isn't Scary at all - she's warm, generous with herself and her time (Scasily so when you think about the books she's writing- and her family commitments) and she's a very special friend to have in my life. And not only because she is one of the few people who can talk history and research with then BM- and stay as long in secondhand bookshops - and spend as much as he does! I find it hard to believe that it was only 5 years or so ago that we met - it feels as if she has been in my life for ever. Kate's blog post today recalls that meeting and all I can say is that I'm so glad we ended up sitting next to her or I would have missed making a great friend.
Oh yes - and that last comment about being in trouble - not a bit of it! Unless you count reducing your friend to tears of happiness on a very special occasion cause for trouble - if you didn't read about it before - or you need a reminder then check out my celebration dinner pictures here and my very special memories of that occasion here. Not to mention Kate's own memories of the event on her own blog here. Because of this, as well as Kate'ws official photo, I'm also posting a photo of a moment that really sums up our friendship and Kate herself.




Kate Hardy blogpiece for Kate Walker’s 50th

The first time I met Kate Walker, I was a relatively baby author: my first Mills & Boon had been accepted but was about six months away from publication in paperback. I’d been invited to a Mills & Boon authors’ lunch. Suddenly, from being a journalist and mum of two small children, I was in a room with all these people who were Really Famous. People whose books I’d read and loved over the years. And I was having lunch with them.

Daunting, or what? And I must’ve been looking a bit lost because this lovely woman was sitting next to me at lunch and started chatting away to me, drawing me out of my shell. I felt as if I’d known her for years. And it was only a bit later, when we finally got round to exchanging names, that I realised who she was…

A Very Famous Person.

Kate Walker.

But she didn’t act like a star. She was kind and down-to-earth and funny and warm and she made me feel as if I belonged in this group of talented (and did I mention famous?) writers.

That was back in 2002. Although I’ve known Kate personally for only five years, it feels more like fifty years – because it’s the kind of friendship you know right from the start is going to be special and last a lifetime. The kind of friendship where you ring for a five-minute chat… and two and a half hours later, you’re still talking, though it only feels as if you’ve been talking for five minutes. The kind of friendship that when you realise you’ve been shortlisted for an award and you’re panicking just a teensy bit about the fact you’ve never been to the Savoy before and you’re going to fall flat on your face or spill wine over yourself or… (take the rest as read), she stops you jabbering and says, ‘Meet me at my hotel at ten and we’ll have a cup of coffee and you can talk history with the BM, and then you can travel to the Savoy with us and we’ll hold your hand.’ (Kate – and Steve – you have no idea how grateful I still am for that.)

Over those years, we’ve laughed a lot and talked a lot and set the world to rights over a glass of wine/water/cup of coffee – to the point where we’ve both had a croaky voice, the next day. We’ve shared pictures of heroes and inspiring music and the sort of little snippets that set the novelists’ inner lightbulb flickering. It doesn’t matter that we write for different lines and we have different styles. It doesn’t matter that she’s a cat person and I’m a dog person. It doesn’t matter that she’s a vegetarian and I’m an omnivore. Our differences complement rather than divide.

I’m proud to call Kate my friend.

And I’m even prouder that she’s reached a special milestone. Fifty contemporary romance novels for M&B, all with her trademark intensity and all with the feeling that you’ve met new characters in new situations – our Kate never cheats readers by recycling.

Here’s to you, Kate Walker. By the time this is posted, I’ll have celebrated your fiftieth properly with you in person. (And I might also be in trouble… but that’s a different story…)
GIVEAWAY:
And whoops, nearly forgot. This is a blog party celebration, which means authors get to give away books! So I’m delighted to include two books that are special to me. The first is Breakfast at Giovanni’s, my newest book (which also happens to be my 25th). And the other is a release from last year – Strictly Legal – which I dedicated to Kate with love and thanks for her encouragement and support over the years. I think that says it all. Thank you, Kate.

Kate Hardy
http://www.katehardy.com/
http://katehardy.bravejournal.com/

GIVEAWAY QUESTION:
To win, just post a comment about the first time you met someone who became a very special friend.

A Kate Bit - Catching Up and an Apology

Well yesterday was a day that was definitely 'one of those days' . The BM and I made it to York - but only just - the rain was horrific, the visibility almost non-existent. It couldnt last we told ourselves.

It could. And it did. In fact it got worse.

The weather was scary. The rain was torrential,all day no let up - non stop - the river rose 11 inches in one hour. 11 inches!! Apparently there was a month's rain in an hour at one point. Visibility just about nil at certain stages, roads inches deep . . . I was just so thankful to get home. Luckily here we're on the hill but the garden was so saturated that the flower beds were filled like pools where there was no scope for it to drain away. And round here was mild compared to some - Sheffield - Hull - where people drowned and sewage backed up and electricity went off

If you're in one of the places that were worst hit by the deluge, then my thoughts are with you.

So I'm just glad for the respite we have this morning. And scarily they're saying it's just a respite. There are threats of more rain to come and with everything already saturated, there's nowhere for it to drain to . . .

Virginia from Kentucky who wrote in her comment that she'd love some of the rain, believe me I'd love to send some over to you - I just wish I could. And I'll bet the people if Sheffield and Hull would wish for that too. We have more than enough.

If you're in one of the places still so badly affected by the floods and the appalling weather then you're in my thoughts and I hope things improve for you soon - and I pray that there isn't going to be the rain they're predicting again.

So yesterday was a real wash-out - and on my blog party too. I have to apologise for the fact that lovely Nicola Cornick will not be able to come and chat with you as you comment on her question - I wanted to post her blog in June to talk about her latest book which is out now - and thought I had just got her post up before she left for her holiday.

But apparently I just missed her and she'd already left. So, sadly, she won't be able to chat - but here prize will still be given away. In her absence I'll get Sid on the job and he will pick a winner from the commentators. And as soon as Nicola gets back I'll let her know who's won and she'll sort out the prize.

And today's Guest Blogger is definitely available - so I'll sort that out next

Monday, June 25, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 21 - Nicola Cornick

Strictly speaking, if I'm going by the date of arrival in my Inbox, today's blog should be by Kate Hardy but I know that Kate is on a screamingly tight deadline and so I'm giving her a day's breathing space and turning instead to lovely Nicola Cornick whose fantastic historical novels are such a delight to read.
Nicola is one of the many writing friends I've made through the Romantic Novelists' Association and for two years she ran the RNA'S New Writers' Scheme so we were often in touch about the scripts she sent me to critique. Regular readers of this blog will remember that I had one of Nicola's books Lord Greville's Captive (Also known affectionately as Cavalier in Bondage!) in my Christmas Stocking stuffed with books contest - and that that book was later shortlisted for the RNA Romance Prize.
Nicola's current book - with the fabulous title of Lord of Scandal is out this month in HQN books and as well as a great title it also has a wonderful cover. This book is the one that Nicola is giving away as her prize to one lucky commentator.

Here's Nicola Cornick
50 Books – It is Rocket Science!

I’ve always been useless at maths so when I looked up the number fifty on the internet to see what its special numerical qualities were it’s no real wonder that I couldn’t understand a word. Fifty is the smallest number that can be written as the sum of two squares in two distinct ways? Well, okay, but...

Then I read on and saw that fifty is a magic number. Now that I can understand. I don’t get it in the nuclear physics, rocket science sense, of course, but in the sense that it’s magic and an amazing achievement. Writing 50 books shows creativity, imagination and dedication and Kate has those qualities in abundance. I have so many of her books on my keeper shelf and only last night was late to bed because I was re-reading Hers for a Night.

I remember when I first met Kate at a Harlequin Mills and Boon author day about 10 years ago. I was totally in awe of her. Liz Fielding had taken me under her wing and introduced me to a few people and I’ll never forget their warmth and friendliness to me, a newbie author who was just starting out. Kate was one of those people and her kindness and encouragement made a huge impression on me. I’m still in awe of Kate’s achievements and also of the dedication she has shown in helping other authors to achieve publication through the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Scheme and her other mentoring as well. She's a star in so many ways.

Kate, congratulations on reaching the magic fifty! Keep writing those fabulous books!


GIVEAWAY:
I have a copy of Lord of Scandal, my June 07 "Regency Celebrity" book, to give away.

GIVEAWAY QUESTION:
My question is which actor would make the best hero of a Jane Austen drama? Did you like Matthew MacFadyen in Pride and Prejudice or James McAvoy in Becoming Jane? Or do you have another personal favourite?

Bio: Nicola writes historical romance for Harlequin Mills and Boon and single title Regencies for HQN Books. She lives in a cottage in the country with her husband, her adorable Labrador Monty and two characterful cats. Website www.nicolacornick.com

Great Big Blog Party 12 & 19 - WINNERS

First - a question - how many cubitts of wood did it take Noah to build an ark? I'm asking now because I might need the informatuon later on today if it keeps on raining as it is doing now. If this blog ends suddenly on a sort of whooooosh sound, then that will mean that I've been swept away on a flash flood as the amount of water pounding down outside becomes just too much. I am supposed to be going to York to meet visiting Australian author Anna Campbell - but at this moment I'd be afraid of having to swim there not drive.

Seriously though - for many people this is NOT a laughing matter and if you're one of those caught in the potential flood plains over the country you have my sympathies and my thoughts. Keep safe - and I hope and pray you keep dry. A little less rain would help too.

So winners -

First one is from right back at Guest Blogger 12 - this one was for the Authors out there - my fantastic web mistress offered a prize of a banner she's created to the winner. And I can now announce that the winner is:

Kate Hardy

Which seems like a great result to me as T'other Kate (aka Scary Kate) is also having a celebration this week and will be celebrating her 25th published title. Congratulations on both Kate!

And a second winners' announcement comes from Natalie Rivers who has found it hard to choose so here's what she says:
"There were so many fabulous suggestions that I found it impossible to choose just one winner, so I chose two, who will both receive an embroidered coin purse and a signed copy of The Kristallis Baby.

Sharon said Murano, and as my second book is set in Venice I just had to pick this island as a winner.
And Nature nut/jj loch – your description of an uncharted island, where the flora and fauna are straight from the Garden of Eden, made me yearn to go there. So I had to pick you too!
Then, because I had such a lovely time imagining visiting all the gorgeous islands that everyone suggested, I put the rest of the names in a hat and chose three runners up, who will all receive a signed copy of The Kristallis Baby. These are

Sandra Schwab,

Anne and

Lidia.
Thanks again to everyone for commenting and sharing such great ideas for dream holiday destinations!"

Congratulations to all the winners - you know what to do (you should by now!) Send me your snail mail address details and I'll pass them on to Natalie and she'll organise the prize distribution.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 21 - India Grey

Following the policy of putting up blog posts in the order in which they arrived, I find that today's Guest Blogger is the lovely India Grey.

Now India is one of those people who if she wasn't so truly nice you would have to hate her for being so beautiful, slender and elegant, intelligent - and now she's proving herself to be talented as well with her very first ever Modern Romance/Presents title - The Italian's Defiant Mistress - out in July.(Readers in America will be able to get their hands on it when it comes out in Presents in October) And even worse this is one of those rare books that has been accepted on her first submission. (But she credits the 12 Point Guide as being a great help to her so I'll manage not to be totally eaten up with jealousy) India is great fun to be with too - and add into the mixture a husband who could be a M&B Hero himself and a cat called Ruby who is lovesick for Sid (Sid says to send his best purrs to Ruby, India) and you will begin to see how I might have problems with this lady. ;-)

But when India on our first meeting tells me how much she loved what is affectiuonately known as 'the knicker scene' in my book Bound By Blackmail - and she has chosen to write about it for her guest blog - well, then what can I do but admire her great taste? I have India's own first book on my mountainous TBR pile and if it wasn't for a Great Big Blog Party and a pestiferous Greek hero who wants his story told I would be indulging in reading it right now


(That scene in Bound by Blackmail seems to have struck a chord with a few writers - 'Lord Alfred' who won Julie Cohen's prize wrote about it too - do take a look at that here)



Here's how India describes herself:


India Grey’s first Mills&Boon Modern romance (The Italian’s Defiant Mistress) is released a month after Kate’s fiftieth one. A year ago she was unpublished and unhopeful, and might well still be today had it not been for The Twelve Point Guide To Writing Romance!



And India wants to write about her :

GOLDEN MOMENT


Fifty glorious heroes, fifty lucky heroines, fifty passionate happy-ever-afters.... and countless hours of drama, pleasure and heartache! In honour of Kate Walker’s Golden title, I set myself the task of distilling all of the above down into one Golden Moment, which would encapsulate everything that makes Kate’s books so special, and the fiftieth one such a cause for celebration.


It wasn’t easy. But it was a great excuse to collect together all my Kate Walker books (most of them tattered and oddly creased from having been carried around in handbags and read in the bath) and indulge in a glorious, indulgent reading session! Three weeks, countless very sleep-deprived nights and a box of tissues later, I’ve narrowed down my shortlist and come up with my best and all-time favourite Kate Walker Golden Moment, and because Kate herself is the most generous person in the world, I’m sharing it with you along with the reasons why I like it so much. However, I am not nearly so selfless and giving as Kate and am only sharing it in the hope that other people will post theirs too and I can get to go back and read them all over again!

Mine comes from Bound by Blackmail, when Jake comes face to face with Mercedes at her half-brother’s wedding. He had met her for the first time a few months previously, and attraction had instantly flared between them. However, she ran out on him—literally—as they were about to make love. Now, surrounded by her protective family and her slightly slimy fiancé, she wants to pretend she doesn’t know him.


Her chin came up even more defiantly, tilting her perfect little nose higher in the air. And the cold, dark eyes met his head on, rejection the only emotion he could see in them.
‘Do I know you?’
‘You know you do.’
‘I know nothing of the sort.’
She even managed a smile, though it was so false and brittle that he almost expected it to shatter and fall as splinters onto the ground at his feet.
‘I think you must be mistaken—Mr...’
Jake didn’t even honour the pointed hint that he should give her his name with as much as an acknowledgement. This ‘I don’t remember you’ act didn’t convince him for one moment.
‘No mistake, I assure you. You know that and I know that-- but if you need any further convincing...’
He had been thinking of just this moment when he had packed his case, and again this morning as he had dressed for the wedding. in the left hand pocket of his suit jacket, the sliver of silk not even bulky enough to spoil the line of the superb tailoring was the evidence of the truth—the knickers she had left behind in her headlong flight that night in London.
he pulled them out, crushed in his hand, opened his fingers just enough so that she could see exactly what he held—but had no chance of reaching for them, trying to snatch them away from him
The effect was everything he had hoped for.

It’s BRILLIANT! I love the way the build up is so slow and languorous and unhurried. Mercedes is behaving appallingly—really, all things being equal I should just want someone to come and slap her legs. But the thing is, her character is drawn so perfectly and I know that haughtiness and naughtiness stems from embarrassment and insecurity. I can totally identify with her—who hasn’t been in a situation at some time or another when someone they really don’t want to see appears at the worst possible moment? (Usually this happens to me in supermarkets when one of the children is having a tantrum and someone important from school or a posh friend of my mother’s hoves into view. The instinct for total denial is natural and irresistible.) Beneath Mercedes sophisticated exterior is a sheltered, naïve little girl, so in her case it’s more than denial. It’s childlike wishful thinking. If she says she doesn’t know him maybe it’ll make that incident that she’s so disturbed by and ashamed of just go away.


At the same time we’re also deliciously, painfully aware of Jake’s tightly-controlled anger. It’s menacing, but never threatening, and the fact that it’s motivated by hurt makes it powerfully sexy. I feel outraged on his behalf, which is why when he pulls off his audacious knicker stunt I should be shocked—I am shocked, but I’m also loving him so much I could scream.


Oh yes. He’s a total twenty first century hero. He’s honourable, emotionally articulate, sexy and breath-takingly human. Kate Walker is one of the undisputed queens of the alpha hero: quite simply (and I hope the BM will forgive me for saying this) she knows her men, and over the course of 50 books has shown every variation of the alpha male. Jake is alpha with a twist— he has all the power, control and integrity that defines the species, but his heart is on his sleeve, not buried beneath a wall of ice. When pushed to the limit he doesn’t resort to bullying or humiliation... just that one silent, eloquent, gesture which speaks so much more about their intimacy and her duplicity than any words ever could.


Everything is here—sexual tension, anger, hurt, rejection, all set against the sumptuous backdrop of a Spanish society wedding. Add in some to-die-for writing (smile... splinters... totally fab) and two of the best characters ever and it’s just pure Kate Walker gold. I adore and admire the way she can express the universe in a few well chosen words and create a character in a single, defining moment. A golden, gasp-out-loud, Kate Walker moment.


GIVEAWAY QUESTION:
I’d really love to know what's your favourite Kate Walker Golden Moment, book or character

GIVEAWAY PRIZE:

I have a copy of my first book* (compared to fifty how sad is that!) to give away, along with some golden goodies to someone who will be chosen randomly (very randomly, believe me) from all those who post a comment by Ruby the airhead cat.

(* I really feel I should be giving away my beloved copy of Bound by Blackmail too.... but I just can’t bring myself to part with it!! Sorry!!)

Great Big Blog Party 18 - Winner


Julie Cohen has just emailed me with her winner - and who else could it be but
Lord Alfred
Congratulations Alfred - now you're going to have the reveal your identity- at least to me or to Julie so that you can be sent your prize.
I'm just about to post another guest blog - yes they're still coming! More prizers to win.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 20 - Yvonne Lindsay

Friday 13th August 2004 was not unlucky 13th for me. Quite the opposite At just after 7.30 that evening, I was standing at the Red Dress Ink Cocktail Party for Romance Writers of New zealand in the Waipuna Hotel in Auckland, wondering if anyone would talk to me - or if I could pluck up the nerve to talk to anyone when a tall lady approached me with a warmly welcoming smile.

'I'm Yvonne Lindsay,' she said.'From eHarlequin - you told me to come and say Hello.'

That's what I love about the internet links that connect the romance writing world. You can chat to someone in printed words over on the eHarlequin message board and get to know them and then - when you're lucky enough to meet them in person, there's no need for all that awkward fumbling for a topic of conversation or explaining who you are and what you do. I knew Yvonne, I'd chatted with her - and before I knew it, in Auckland, she and I - and the wonderful Trish Morey became the Three Twins (yes - I know - you can't have 3 twins, but whose counting?)

At that stage Yvonne was struggling with her writing. She wasn't sure where her voice fitted -Presents or Romance? - she'd been submitting, working with editors, not quite making it . . .I remember we talked about keeping going and writingfrom the heart - and I told her to be brave.


And she was. And less than a year later she - and I - were celebrating the fact that her first book The Boss's Christmas Seduction had been bought by Silhouette Desire and she had found the place where her voice fitted at last.


And how. Since then she's had four books out - with more - many more, I hope, in the future. And this was after 13 - thirteen - years of trying! And it couldn't happen to a nicer person. I loved her first book and I'm so looking forward to getting her current one onto my TBR pile. And you can have a chance to win a copy if you answer Yvonne's question.



So here's the Tallest Twin - Yvonne Lindsay


First of all, Kate, warmest congratulations on your golden celebrations! What an amazing milestone to reach in your career. You’re an inspiration—not only a great author but a great teacher and friend as well.


Second, thank you so much for inviting me to share the fun at your blog party and hopefully share a little celebration of my own. This year I’ve had the amazing honour of my first book, THE BOSS’S CHRISTMAS SEDUCTION, being nominated for the Romantic Book of the Year Award—a competition run by Romance Writers of Australia and judged by readers of romance. It’s been such a thrill and being a total gem-a-holic I absolutely love the associated acronym for the Award being R*BY (pronounced, ruby). I’ve been reading a lot lately about authors buying milestone gifts for themselves for each book published, or contracted, or specific occasions in their writing career and I think, for this one, I’m definitely going to treat myself to a permanent ruby-coloured reminder to keep this moment in the forefront of my mind.


It’s all too easy to lose sight of the special things that we achieve in our lives, step by step as we reach our goals and milestones, so I think we owe it to ourselves to acknowledge the greatness we’re all capable of. This doesn’t need to be solely for writing related events, it can be for anything in our lives. Let’s live, celebrate and enjoy, and share our joys.

GIVEAWAY QUESTION:
How many of you can think of something you’ve done—personally or professionally—that deserves a mini-party. Share your stories, I can’t wait to hear them!

GIVEAWAY:
One will win a copy of my July US release of ROSSELLINI’S REVENGE AFFAIR!

BIO:

After 13 years of submitting to London and New York, Yvonne Lindsay was ecstatic to sell to Silhouette Desire in April of 2005. At the time, working four days a week as a practice manager in a sole practice law firm, the dream of ‘giving up the day job’ was exactly that. A dream. Yvonne has since contracted seven books with Silhouette Desire and at the end of 2006 realised that dream. She now writes full time creating stories she hopes you’ll fall in love with.


WEBSITE:

http://www.yvonnelindsay.com/

My latest news! http://www.yvonnelindsay.com/

My blog! http://yvonnelindsay.wordpress.com/

Friday, June 22, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 19 - Natalie Rivers

It's a special thrill to me to be able to introduce my next Guest Blogger as someone who has her novel out on the shelves with me this month. Not just her novel - but her very first published novel ever. Natalie Rivers is a brand new signing to the Modern/Presents line and her book The Kristallis Baby is out now in both UK an America - and in the UK it's sharing a shelf with The Sicilian's Red-Hot Revenge.

Which is a delight to me because I have watched this book develop - and watched Natalie grow from an eager student, throught the New Writers' Scheme, to a published author - and I've had my own small input into the success of her career.

But I'll leave Natalie to tell you about that. Just to say that I'm specially pleased that the success of Natalie's book shows how talent, determination, hard work and commitment will win through - and that the publication of it is a great endorsement of the Romantic Novelists' Association New Writers' Scheme - which I'm proud to be a reader for.

So - Natalie Rivers

There are more than 50 reasons why I love Kate Walker, but here are just some of them…

As a brand new writer, I felt very proud and honoured when Kate asked me to take part in her 50th Book Celebrations. It still seems quite unreal to me that I’ve been published (my first book, The Kristallis Baby, is out in June UK and US), and I am delighted, and somewhat awed, to say that Kate Walker helped me on the road to publication.

I first met Kate three years ago at the Romantic Novelists’ Association conference, at Leicester University. It was her second year as the creator/organiser of the Conference Virgins and she did a wonderful job looking after the first-timers. But even better than that, she arranged for us all to have a ten minute discussion with an author of our choice.

Well, you can guess who I chose! I’d loved Kate’s books for years, so it was fantastic to get to meet her as a fan. And, as an aspiring Modern/Presents writer, who could be better to talk to for help and advice?

I already had a very good idea of Kate’s warmth, intelligence and caring personality from her on-line presence. But in person I was immediately struck by her amazing dynamic energy. She is also an incredible teacher and is unstintingly generous with her wealth of knowledge about the craft of writing. (Just take a look at Kate Walker’s 12-Point Guide to Writing Romance, and you’ll see what I mean.)

I discussed my story idea with her. Then, once it was written, I sent it off to the RNA’s New Writers Scheme, hoping that my manuscript would fall into her hands. I was lucky! Although the reader is supposed to be a secret, I was sure I recognised her voice in the hugely detailed and helpful feedback. I revised my story – always keeping in mind Kate’s favourite question Why? Then sent it off to Mills & Boon.

And now my book is on the shelves in the UK, next to the fabulous The Sicilian’s Red Hot Revenge by none other than the equally fabulous Kate Walker.

GIVEAWAY PRIZE:
signed copy of The Kristallis Baby and sequined coin purse
GIVEAWAY QUESTION:
In The Kristallis Baby the hero whisks the heroine away to the beautifulGreek island of Corfu. If you could go anywhere in the world, which islandwould you love to visit for a romantic getaway?
Natalie doesn't yet have a web site that I can link you to but as she has just had her second book accepted, I hope that she soon will have one - and as soon as I know, then I'll give you a link to that.

Kate Bit - Good news and poetry

Before I post the next guest blog I need to just sort things out, making sure who has sent a blog and who hasn't so here's a quick Kate bit to say

1. I was checking my links and things on the blog this morning to make sure that all were still working anbd accurate and I discovered that both At the Sheikh's Command and The Italian's Forced Bride have lovely big red Sold Out signs across them over on eHarlequin.

Which is great news for me - not so wonderful if you were looking for copies of either book to buy. Apparently they are still available in the Large Print editions on eHarl so I'll leave the links live for a little while - and there are some lurking on the Amazons. But if you're one of those who've bought a copy already, I owe you a great big THANK YOU! for such a wonderful result.


2. In her guest blog, Julie Cohen set the challenge to readers to write a poem about one of my books - if you haven't already checked out the contenders, I do recommend that that you go and check them out - there are some great entries. And no, Lord Alfred is not the BM ! (Though I think I know who . . .)


In honour of which, and because there was a general request for a printed version of some of the poems that were read out at the celebration dinner - I'm still waiting for permission and copies to print of the other poems, but I've twisted the BM's writing arm and have been allowed to reproduce a copy of the poem by 'im indoors.
Important - please remember that this is copyright:



ROMANCE

For Kate Walker


And it's the wonderful, colourful dance of life
We sing today
And we believe what we say
For the words we make

Are about the chances we take



And it's the romance of life
The irrational passionel that enhances life


We sing today,
The high not the low,
The fire and the glow,
The words flying high
From the new lover's sigh.


We sing today
And in the dance of each heart
The fearful new start,
The wonderful, colourful dance of life.


In romance we revisit the spoken vow
And the warming rush of living now.
The uneasy taking
And the laughs in giving.

We sing today
And we believe what we say
For the words we make
Are for their own sake


For the believers who dance
And still delight in the thrill of chance


We sing today




(c) Stephen Wade 2007

Great Big Blog Party 17 - Winner

Nell Dixon has picked her winner

So today congratulations go to -

Maureen

who recommends as a romance worthy of an award The Preacher's Daughter by Cheryl St. John.

Must look that one up Maureen.

Please email me your details as usual and Nell and I will sort the prize out.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 18 - Julie Cohen


So here's another of my 'ex-virgins'. Julie Cohen is one of the original group of four who came to the Durham conference in 2002 (you'll meet another of this special group at the party soon). Once again Julie is someone I 'met' on the eharlequin message boards. We chatted, I learned she was an American married to a Brit, teaching English - when the RNA Conference came around and I knew she was going, I started a newsletter to put her and three others in contact. We met in person at Durham and she's been in my life ever since. And I couldn't be happier about that.

Julie was one of the very earliest published 'virgins'. She submitted to Harlequin's Temptation line when that still existed and so was one of the launch authors when Temptation became Modern Extra (Sexy Sensation in Australia). She has also published Spirit Willing, Flesh Weak in the Little Black Dress line for Headline.

Julie's post is, she says, short, but she hopes sweet. As she has a very young (and adorable) son, is currently back teaching, and is also writing, she's stretched pretty thin but wanted to join in the party. Her current book - All Work and No Play is currently on sale alongside The Sicilian's Red-Hot Revenge.

So here's Julie Cohen

I thought I would write a poem to celebrate Kate's heroes. But I sort of ran into difficulties. For one thing,I couldn't find anything to rhyme with "Hugh in a towel" except for "poo on a dowel", which doesn't really evoke the correct image.

Anyway, this is what I came up with:

A Short Poem To Celebrate Fifty Swoon-Worthy Heroes
by Julie Cohen, BA (hons), MPhil, KWHL (Kate Walker Hero Lover)

Spaniards, Italians, Sicilians,
Greeks, sheikhs, and tycoons worth billions:
The heroes Kate's written
Have all left me smitten;
Let's hope she'll keep writing gazillions!

Do you agree that Kate's heroes are worth writing poetry about? Post a couple of lines of poetry about your favourite Kate Walker hero--for example, here's mine about my all-time favourite, Ramon Dario, from The Spaniard's Inconvenient Wife:

If I got a hold of Ramon
He'd never spend a night alone.


The best entry will get a signed copy of my June Modern Extra release, All Work and No Play...

(Hey, with a title like that, I had to get you to do some work, didn't I?)
And here's a photo of Julie at the weekend in Lincoln - with a friend!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 16 - Winner

Time to announce another winner

Ann Wesley Hardin has drawn the name of her winner and this time Congratulations go to

Ali

who would like to have tea with Jane Austen - that sounds such an interesting tea time, Ali

You know the drill - email me with your details and I'll send them on to Ann

 

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