Friday, February 29, 2008

Films and international friends

I think that my current hero, Santos has been annoyed at having to share my attention with all the guys from the Here Come The Grooms contest - he's been making me fight him all the way. So I hope that things will go so much better after today when the Grooms contest ends. I'll be getting Sid to pick a winner tomorrow when March 1st dawns.

So as I have to concentrate on getting Santos to - hopefully - cooperate it's lucky that I'm blogging over on the Pink Heart Society today, talking about one of my favourite films. And it's one staring that man again - Hugh Jackman. Sadly, not in a towel, but Hugh in frock coat, breeches, white shirt, cravat and boots is well worth a look anyway.

I've noticed an increase in visitors from India on my country counter so I want to say a special hello to all the new visitors from there who have found the blog recently. My book The Greek Tycoon's Unwilling Wife was one of the very first books distributed in India in November through the brand new branch of M&B India in Mumbai there. And my March release Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife, is going on sale there tomorrow. So welcome, readers in India and I hope you'll enjoy this new title of mine.

Talking of intenational visitors, I want to send a special Hello to one of the winners of my Valentine's Day contest - Doaa who lives in Kaluobia in Egypt and who tells me that she and her friends, Sara, Dina, Alia, and Mona "made this special girls-night-in-reading-Kate-novels". What a lovely idea and I'm thrilled that you all enjoy my books so much. Sending a special wave to you all, and Doaa I hope your prize reached you soon.

Finally, when I talked about the relaunch of the great site We Write Romance, I mentioned that Heather Reed would be putting up an interview with me very soon. Well, Heather sent me a message yesterday to say that the interview was ready to go up for March - so you can check it out here. Heather even went to the trouble of adding at the last mminute the news about the reprint of The Alcolar Family in August which I didn't know about when I did the interview, so that you really have all the up to date news in this one. Thanks Heather!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Last chance to enter the Grooms' Contest

Thank you so much to everyone who sent me a private message or posted on the blog yesterday about the earthquake - I was so touched by your concern - they were all so thoughtful. Luckily there has been little or no damage around her, but closer to Market Rasen there was some damage but luckily we avoided it.

And Julie - yes, the Heck Family of hedgehogs are fine. I checked their house and it was unmoved. And when I peeped in (you can lift the lid off) they were so tightly wrapped in grass and leaves that nothing would have disturbed them and even if the house had rocked or moved they would have been thoroughly cushioned against any shock.

Today I'm battling with my latest Spanish hero, Santos Cordero, but I must just remind you that this is your last chance to enter the Here Come The Grooms Contest and give yourself three chances to win all three great books this month. As you know, I'm sharing this contest with Anne McAllister and Liz Fielding. Each groom has asked a question and you have until 29th February to send all three answers to Anne, Liz, and me.

Don’t forget you need to send all three answers to all three authors. I have been receiving some answers which have only the answer to Raul’s question in them.

Here’s Raul’s question: What are the full names of the hero and heroine of Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife (Note from Raul- his real name, not the one mistakenly given him on the back of the book!)

Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife is published in the UK in March and in Presents in June

Here’s Flynn’s question:

What story did he come to Montana to cover when he met Sara in the first place?

Flynn's book is One-Night Love Child and it's out in March (Presents) - in fact it's out right now as Anne and some others have seen it in the stores - and April (Modern Romance)

And finally Tom:

What colour silk did he become intimately acquainted with?

Tom's story is told in The Bride's Baby which is Liz's 50th Mills and Boon Romance. Out in April both America and UK

Don’t forget, all three answers to Anne, and Liz and to me will give you three chances to win all three books. And as I've read two of the books on offer - and written the other! - I can tell you that there is some really great reading to be won. I loved Anne and Liz's books.

Answers are on websites, along with email links.

Closing date 29 February. Winner will be picked on Saturday March 1st

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Did the earth move?

Well, apparently it did - according to the reports on the BBC News this morning:

The biggest earthquake in the UK for nearly 25 years has shaken homes across large parts of England.
People in Newcastle, Yorkshire, London, Manchester, the Midlands and Norfolk and also parts of Wales, felt the tremor just before 0100 GMT.
The British Geological Survey (BGS) said magnitude of 5.3 and the epicentre was near Market Rasen in Lincolnshire.

Market Rasen is just down the road from us. And I've already had several concerned enquiries from lovely friends who were worried about us.

So I'll just say here that we're all fine, and I haven't spotted any damage. The only effect of it was waking in the night and thinking what on earth is that noise? But I was so tired I went back to sleep again.

Quite annoying, really, as I missed most of perhaps one of the most dramatic natural events in this area.

But thankfully no one was hurt, no cats scared - and actually, even if we'd had any broken windows it wouldn't have mattered as we are having them all replaced in 3 weeks.

I'm so glad that it seems no one anywhere was seriously hurt - and I wish I had noticed more but it's all my latest hero's fault that I didn't as he is giving me such a hard time trying to write his story that I was worn out when I went to bed and missed most of the drama.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Good news

After my visit to London and the M&B Centenary party, I said that I'd had some good news but I wasn't yet able to announce if definitely.

Well, yesterday, I got the confirmation that it's going ahead so now I can tell you all about it - and I'm so thrilled about this!

The covers scattered about this post should give you the clues to what I'm talking about - and that is that all three books in The Alcolar Family trilogy are going to be reprinted as a collection in the By Request series. The collection will be in the shops in August this year.

For those of you who don't know about The Alcolar Family or missed it the first time around, the Alcolars are two brothers, (well - half brothers - they have the same father - Juan Alcolar - but different mothers) and a sister, from a complicated aristocratic Spanish family and each book tells the story of one of them and their personal journey to their happy ever after.

The Alcolar Family first started out as an internet short story called Wife For Real which was about yet another brother (I warned you that this family was complicated!) Alex, who was the illegitimate son of Juan Alcolar. At the end of that story I introduced the rest of Alex's family - his father and his two half-brothers, Joaquin and Ramon, and his half-sister Mercedes who, at that point had just walk on parts. But the story was very popular, and in the comments on eHarlequin lots of readers asked about the other members of the family. Was I going to write a story for Joaquin, Ramon and Mercedes, they wanted to know.

I already had ideas for the rest of the family. I knew about Juan's past history - of his four children, only two were by the same woman, his wife, the other two were the result of affairs - and so each of them was affected in their own way by the past and their own place in the family. I discussed the idea with my editor, she was as excited by it as I was - and so The Alcolar Family trilogy was born.

Joaquin is the eldest and only legitimate son and his story is told in The Twelve Month Mistress. Believing himself to be very much his father's son, he has stuck strictly to his 'no commitment' rule for years, but now he's met the woman he just can't walk away from.

Next, in The Spaniard's Inconvenient Wife, is Ramon, the son who grew up believing that another man was in fact his father. But now that he knows he's an Alcolar he's determined to establish his place in the family. As part of this plan, he determines on a carefully planned marriage of convenience - only to find that he's got more than he's bargained for in his choice of a wife.

And finally there's Mercedes, the only daughter. In Bound By Blackmail she is swept off her feet by sexy Jake Taverner, a man she meets on a trip to London. But Mercedes doesn't know that Jake is also a member of a family that has strong reasons to hate the Alcolars and all that they stand for. When he traps her into a fake engagment she has no idea if his skillful seduction is genunine or part of the long-standing feud between his family and hers.

The original books came out in 2004/2005 and they were a great success in both the UK and USA. The first two books -Joaquin's story, and Ramon's have both appeared in the list of Favourite Kate Walker titles when I ran the poll both in 2004 and last year - when Bound By Blackmail also appeared on it. There has also been a lot of rivalry between readers who claim Joaquin as their favourite Alcolar and those who say that Ramon is the one for them. And of course, because of a certain - er 'knicker scene' - India Grey will always claim that Bound By Blackmail contains her favourite Kate Walker 'golden moment' as she explained in her post in the Great Big Blog Party last year.

One of the reasons I'm so thrilled about this collection reprint is that I keep getting emails from readers who have read one or other of The Alcolar Family titles and are now looking for the rest of them and haven't been able find them. At least in August they will have a chance to get the complete trilogy all in one volume. The only disappointment is that the internet short story won;t be in it - but that is still available as an on-line read on the Mills and Boon site or as a Harlequin Mini ebook at . It was also published in print form in the 2008 Mills and Boon Annual and there are still some copies of that available on

August is also the month when my novella The Duke's Secret Wife (originally published in Society Weddings) is reprinted as part of the Mills & Boon 100th Birthday Collection. (you can buy the whole collection here if you can't wait to collect them through the year. This offer will save you over £12 on the complete set)

So August will be reprint month for me. I don't have the covers for The Alcolar Family or The Duke's Secret Wife to show you yet, but just as soon as I get them you know I'll share them with you.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Voice and a great read

I've been thinking on the same lines as Michelle Styles today. That's because we've both been discussing that elusive thing called 'voice' with an unpublished writer over on the eHarlequin forums. This lady - Melissa - was avoiding reading any other romance books because she was afraid that they would interfere with the development of her personal style, her writer's voice.

I didn't agree - and neither did Michelle. I don't think that reading affects your personal voice - unless you start copying the authors you read and then you just turn into a pale imitation of them. But I always recommend that you should read lots of books by different authors - that will show you that there isn't any one way to write but as many different ways as there are different authors. And each one of those authors will have the readers who love her work.

When I first started out writing romance, I would read lots of authors I admired and I'd think Maybe I should write like that - and then Oh I can't write like that!- and then the doubts would come in to make me think I can't write! But when I told myself that I couldn't write like that - and I shouldn't write like that - I should write like me and tell the story the way I wanted to - that was when I had my first book accepted.

I was thinking about this over the weekend as I got lost in a wonderful book. It was my reward for reading some of the RITA entires I've been sent to judge. There's a real variety of them and some of them, frankly, are not my sort of read at all. This is not to say that they are bad books, but I'm reading them with my critic's hat on - the one that got me my degrees - not as a reader reading for enjoyment.

But my reward book, I read that with real delight. I enjoyed it from start to finish. And as I read it I was thinking that this was one of those books that in the past would have had me sitting with my head in my hands, declaring that I could never write like that!

The book was one of the 3 titles that are the prizes for the Here Come the Grooms Contest. It was Liz Fielding's book - her 50th M&B title - The Bride's Baby. And it's a great read. The characters are appealing, believeable, sympathetic. The hero is strong as a hero should be but he's also wounded and vulnerable and throwing up a defensive shield to ward off all comers. So is the heroine - for her own personal reasons. And because you believe in those reasons, then the conflict is one that tugs on the heartstrings and then gives them an extra twist for good measure.

And because it's a Liz Fielding book, the writing is wonderful too - clear, elegant, easy to read - the sort of writing that reminds me of a quote by Enrique Jardiel Poncela who said:

When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.

The other thing that this book had me thinking about is the way that when ill-informed critics declare that Harlequin Mills & Boon romances are 'all they same' they really are talking through their hats- or perhaps out of somewhere much less polite!

At the end of January, I wrote about the other book that is a prize in this contest - Anne McAllister's One-Night Love Child, another great read and I discussed that along with Michelle Reid's May release The Markonos Bride. Two fabulous books that demonstrate just how different each author can make a story, while still writing within the defined parameters of the 55,000 word category romance. Each one has a very clearly defined voice, unique to their individual authors - as The Bride's Baby is unique to Liz Fielding. Each one of them takes the 'formula' - the skeleton of a romance - man meets woman, there is a conflict between them, as they work to resolve that conflict they fall in love and can then move on to a happy ending - and crafts it in their own individual way to produce a gem of the genre - and each is totally unlike the other.

I enjoyed reading each one of them and admired the way they were crafted. Each one of them made me wish I'd written it, but at the same time acknowledge that I never would - and I never should. Because that's not my voice. And if was enjoying reading three such different styles and voices, then it was because they were all different that I got the best enjoyment out of them. If they'd all been - as those critics claim - exactly the same - then I doubt if I would have read all three - and certainly not with the same enjoyment.
So although I would have been proud to have written any one of those books - I'm also proud of the fact that I didn't. I'm proud of the fact that I write like me and my brilliant author friends write like them. I'm proud of the way that this genre produces so many wonderful voices who create so many wonderful stories - ones that are not at all 'just the same'.
So if you're a writer remember that it's variety that's the spice of life. That Harlequin Mills & Boon already has a Liz Fielding, an Anne McAllister, and a Michelle Reid, they have a Kate Walker too! They don't want another one. They don't want a pale copy of an original - they want an original - an original you.
I'm still advising would-be published authors to read - read as many different authors as possible, to learn the many different ways that the same basic romance theme can be written. Learn how the other authors do things, how they tackle problems, create empathy . . . Learn, but don't copy. Learn the sort of stories that speak to your heart, and most importantly to your witer's heart. Learn, get inspiration - and then go away and think of Frank Sinatra and do it your way.
I still wish I could have written any one of these great books, but I'm so glad I didn't because if I had then I wouldn't have had the pleasure of reading all of them. I was able to enjoy them so much because I wasn't wondering if I could have done it better - instead I was able to read them and enjoy them as they were - - and to see how these authors did it - which was not the way I would have done.
Thank you Liz, and Anne, and Michelle - reading your books inspired me, making me want to keep giving that same enjoyment to readers through my books too.
As I said, two of these books are prizes for the Here Come the Grooms contest. If you haven't entered yet then get your entry in - these are really great books to win. And if you don't win, but have to buy your copies, well, for my money you're still a winner because you'll be reading some of the best of what romance has to offer.

Friday, February 22, 2008

PS To Valentine's winners

I've heard from Doaa and she lives in Egypt - so she will get the prize of the calendar and the signed book.

Which means that Sid had to make sure there was a second winner of the book of vouchers and the winner he has picked is

Rachael Thomas from Wales

So congratulations to Doaa and to Rachael and your prizes will be in the mail to you just as soon as I can arrange it.

Thank you to everyone who joined in this contest - the 12 Point Guide Contest on My Tote Bag and the Here Come The Grooms contest are of course still open. I've already mentioned how much I loved reading Anne McAllister's One-Night Love Child and this afternoon I made the mistake of opening Liz Fielding's book that's the other prize in this contest - The Bride's Baby. It's all Anne McAllister's fault, she gave it such a great write-up I couldn't wait to try it - and now I can't wait to get back to it - I'm so enjoying it!

Whoever wins this contest, they'll get some great reading as a prize.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Some winners, some news, and another contest

Sid the Car would like to send his thanks to you all for enteruing the Valentine's Day Contest. He found there were a satisfactory number of entries and he was happy with the task of choosing the winners. In the end there were some more answers from UK readers so he had plenty to choose from there too.

So to announce some winners - I have to wait for one last winner as you'll see in a moment.
So far the winners are:
Jacqueline Lewis from London who wins a book of vouchers - they're on their way to you Jacqueline

Jane Cheung from New York who wins a calendar, centenary bookmark and a copy of The Greek Tycoon's Unwilling Wife which is in the mail today
Doaa Younis -
Now there's where I'm waiting to hear . I suspect that Doaa is not in the UK, but she might be so I have to wait until I hear from her and get her mailing adress to be sure. The I can get Sid back to work on picking the last winner when I know if he's picking from the UK entries or the international ones.
Then I can contact the final winner and announce it here.
The question for this contest was - which book has it's cover on the November page of the Centenary Calendar?
And the answer, as so many of you got right - is No Holding Back which was published in the UK in 1995 and in America in 1997
Now for the news - I have some great news about my book - The 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance. (well - it's great news for me! If you've been looking for a copy, it might not be quite so great for you.)
I heard from my publisher last week and this book is now officially SOLD OUT. He shipped the very last copies from the wharehouse and there are none left. There might be some around on or B&N .com - but not many! ( A quick check shows me that has some in stock - but I don't know how many. is out of stock.

But if you want a chance to win a copy of this book, I gave Lee Hyat two copies of it to offer as a prize and she has just set up a contest over on My Tote Bag Contest Page
There's one simple question to answer and you could be in the running to win this award winning guide to writing romance.

NB Please send your entries to Lee ( marking your entry Kate Walker Contest - not to me as I'm not handling this contest myself.
I am still accepting entries for the Here Come the Grooms Contest though, and that is still open until the end of the month - the winners will be selected on March 1st. Details can be found here

Finally, seeing as people are always talking about the Modern/Presents titles and often laugh at them, here's the 2008 shortlist for the Bookseller/Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of the Year announced yesterday.
The titles are:
Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues;
How to Write a How to Write Book;
Cheese Problems Solved;
If You Want Closure in Your Relationships, Start With Your Legs;
People Who Mattered in Southend and Beyond: From King Canute to Dr Feelgood
I Was Tortured by the Pygmy Love Queen.
Perhaps I should buy How To Write a How To Write Book now that I have to work on the 2nd edition of the 12 Point Guide! The comments on Amazon make it sound like a lot of fun.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Here Come The Grooms

My name is Raul and I’m one of the grooms in the HERE COME THE GROOMS contest that Kate has been running on here – together with Liz Fielding and Anne McAllister.

Kate tells me that as Tom has appeared on Liz Fielding’s blog and Flynn has been chatting to you from Anne’s blog that it was time I came to introduce myself to you all. So I’m here.

Of course, introductions could be a little tricky seeing as I can’t give you my full name. And that’s because my full name – and that of my bride- to-be Alannah – is the answer to the question that I’m asking so that you can enter this contest and hopefully win a copy of the book that tells my story and Alannah’s.

Yes, I know that there’s a name given on the back of the book – Raul Esteban, it says – but that’s only part of it. Esteban is my second name - Raul Esteban Marquez . . . . . It’s what comes after the Marquez that you need to find. (Actually it’s Don Raul etc etc to be strictly accurate but that title has caused trouble between me and Alannah in the past so I prefer not to use it much. And it’s not what you need to find out for the contest.)

Kate says you want to know something about Alannah and how we met. Well, seeing what Tom and Flynn had to say, I think we’ve all been through something pretty similar. Like those guys, I thought I’d found the perfect woman. I even asked her to marry me and then, as Tom says she turned me down flat. And no, Tom, mi amigo – it was not arrogance that put her off – she suspected I had cold-blooded motives for wanting her to be my wife. Cold-blooded – me? I’m a Spaniard, and my blood is hot – very hot. Especially where Alannah is concerned. I wanted Alannah from the moment I first saw her – but she turned down my proposal and walked out on me.

But now, as with Tom and Flynn Fate has taken a hand and brought us back together again. I could wish that it was in different circumstances. The tragedy that linked our two families once again has only made Alannah’s reasons for mistrusting me so much worse. But, again as Tom says (he’s learned a lot from his bride Sylvie – as much as Flynn has learned from his Sara) the path of true love never did run smooth. This time, I have no intention of letting Alannah walk away from me – this time I was prepared to do whatever it took to keep her.
And this time – I’m not ashamed to admit it - this time I learned a lot too.

If you’d like to read our stories, find out how we all made good use of the second chances we’d been given and how we finally won our lovely brides, then you’ve three chances to win all three books this month. Each of us has asked a question and you’ve until 29th February to send all three answers to Anne, Kate and Liz.

Kate has asked me to emphasise that you need to send all three answers to all three authors. She tells me that she has been receiving some answers which have only my name in them. Well I'm glad to know that you have taken the trouble to find that out - but this is a Here Come The GroomS contest and Flynn and Tom need answers to their questions as well.

Here’s my question: What are the full names of the hero and heroine of Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife (Note from Raul- as I said above - my real name, not the one mistakenly given me on the back of the book!)

Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife is published in the UK in March and in Presents in June

Here’s Flynn’s question:

What story did he come to Montana to cover when he met Sara in the first place?

Flynn's book is One-Night Love Child and it's out in March (Presents) and April (Modern Romance)

And finally Tom:

What colour silk did he become intimately acquainted with?

Tom's story is told in The Bride's Baby which is Liz's 50th Mills and Boon Romance. Out in April both America and UK

Don’t forget, all three answers to Anne, Kate and Liz will give you three chances to win all three books.

Answers are on websites, along with email links.

Closing date 29 February.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


She may only be not quite five months old but Flora the kitten is growing up.

And kittens - female kittens - grow up to be Queens. If you think having a teenage daughter is not exactly fun, then try having a young female cat who is suddenly hit by the feline equivalent of puberty.

I've just spent the last couple of days with my cute little fluffy bundle of female fun transformed into a man hunting diva. She has writhed on the floor, flaunted herself all over the place, and wandered the house yelling, 'I want a man!' at the top of her voice. After 20+ years of nice, easy - well, much simpler - boys, it was a bit of a shock to the system to be reminded of just what this can be like.

It was also a definite shock to poor Dylan and Sid who have been sexually harrassed and molested for about 48 hours. They stared at her in astonishment, looked to me for help, and finally fled outside when she pounced on them, and then flounced off declaring - 'No - I want a MAN!' I'm just grateful that the big outdoors is still too cold, unwelcoming and frightening to her that she didn't try to follow them into the garden and find herself a suitor by yelling her need there. Right now, it would be a case of a kitten having kittens.

Not surprising then that cats left un-neutered can probably create over 400 others over a period of about seven years, and that those cats . . . No, I love cats but that's just irresponsible and cruel to the cats and kittens who struggle to survive.

So it's time to book her in at the vet. She'll be calmer and happier, and so willl I. And Sid and Dylan will be able to snooze in peace without some feline Jezebel importuning them at all hours of the day and night.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Valentine's Day Contest - UK readers

A message from Sid the Cat - to all UK readers of this blog.

Dear UK Readers,

It has come to my notice that my Mum, Kate Walker, is running a contest again. This means that she will be calling on me to help her by picking the winners. That is fine by me as I enjoy the difficult and complicated process of choosing winners by selecting a crunchie and eating it so that Mum can find the name on the piece of paper beneath it. It's a hard job but some cat has to do it.

And I specially enjoy the process when I have to work really hard because there are a lot of crunchies on a lot of pieces of paper and so I have to be very particular in my selection of each crunchie and make sure that I have exactly the right one. And then I get to eat all the rest to check that I was in fact right in my first selection.

However, on this occasion, I am becoming concerned. As my Mum has already explained, one set of the prizes in this particular contest can only go to UK residents. This is because the prize in question is a book of vouchers, in UK pounds, money off the purchase of Mills & Boon books. Thevouchers are up to the value of over £20. The other prizes can go to the international readers.

Now, my problem is this - as of today there are only 2 UK entries. If this state of affairs persists, then I will not be needed to select the winners of this UK prize, they will, as it were, select themselves. And I will not be needed to eat any crunchies.

I am sure that you can see what a tragedy this would be.

The contest is still open until February 21st - please, dear UK readers, send in some entries so that I shall have to make a careful and intelligent selection of the prize winner on Friday morning.

To remind you- the details of this contest can be found here. But basically, all you have to do is to go to Mum's web site and find out which book has the cover from which this artwork was taken to appear on the Mills & Boon Centenary Calendar. It is quite an easy task. I think I could do it - if, of course there was a cat treat on each cover I had to choose from.

To all you wonderful international readers - you have been answering in droves. I will have a large number of entries to choose from for the international prize. For this I thank you.

Don't forget to enter the Here Come the Grooms contest as well - answer the three questions you will find on Mum's web site, the website of The Lady Across the Pond - Anne McAllister - and the site belonging to Liz Fielding on whose books I have often snoozed. You can find the details of this contest here.

I am pleased and relieved to report that there are plenty of entries for this contest so I shall have to do my usual detailed and difficult winner selection process - but there is always room for a few more entries - and a few more crunchies for me to chew.
Thank you
With purrs
Your Feline Friend Sir Sidney St John Willoughby Eamonn Portly-Lummox

Friday, February 15, 2008

Great Site Relaunch

I'm rushing around today - lots to do - a book to write - a dreadline on the horizon . . .

But I just wanted to let you know about a great site that has been revamped and is relaunching today - or just as soon as Heather gets everything organised.

In case you don't know, Heather Reed is the talented and wonderfully efficient web designer who helps me with my site - she and Terescia planned and designed the wonderful new look (was that really a year ago?) and she deals with my updates almost before I send them to her.

So I'm delighted to have this chance to let her tell you about her plans for the future of the We Write Romance site: is set to relaunch February 14, 2008!

While WWR is the same romantic fiction site you've known for years, it's now under new management. Original co-founder, Heather Reed, will now be running the site with an outlook toward opening the it up to new author and reader opportunities.

One of the first changes is the establishment of a new Author Sponsorship program. Another is a fresh round of interviews from a variety of authors (from Sweet to Sexy), as well as reviews for the latest books.

There are also new promotional opportunities like book cover advertisements and banner rotations.

Unpublished authors will definitely want to watch the site for news about upcoming writing contests.

Readers should also check out the Red-Hot Reads list for sizzling recommended reads.

There's definitely something for everyone. And more to come.

One of those new interviews will be one with me that's due to be posted soon - look out for that around March 1st and in the meantime, enjoy all that We Write Romance has to offer.

Oh - and talking of new ventures - this is what I was given yesterday. The Babe Magnet's latest - as someone said, when you've spent so long writing about murders, I suppose the next logical step is to deal with the ones that come back to haunt . . .

At least this has a wonderfully evocative cover, unlike the cover on the other new book on Yorkshire's Hangmen.

Perhaps that was the reason why I had a nightmare about being hanged last night . . . no, on second thoughts that was probably the thought of what my editor will do to me if I miss this dreadline . . back to work!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day Contest

Remember those goodie bags?

The ones that the Babe Magnet and I brought home from the Centenary Party last Thursday.

Well, when we looked through them we found that we had duplicate gifts and one of them in particular was more than I could ever use - so I've decided to share my party gifts with my lovely readers. And with today being Valentine's Day and thoughts of love and romance are all around, I'm launching this quick contest today to celebrate.

This is my special Valentine to you all to thank you for being my readers and buying my books so that I can continue to write new ones - hopefully for you to enjoy. A big Valentine thank you to you all for that.

So what prizes do I have to offer?

The first and major prize can, I'm afraid, only be won by a UK reader - or, rather, two UK readers as I have 2 of these on offer. This is not my choice but is because this prize comes in the form of money-off vouchers and the only vouchers I have are in British £s, so I'm afraid they wouldn't be any use outside the UK.

But if you are a UK M&B reader, these little booklets are well worth having - they have lots of £1 of vouchers - over 20 of them! So if you use them all, then this prize will save you £20 on your romance book buying this year. And that's worth having!

But I know that I have so many readers out there who are not from the UK and I don't want you to miss out, so I've put together a little gift package for you too - and you can win this no matter where in the world you live. This prize has two of the special gifts from the party bag as well -

First is one of these specially designed golden centenary bookmarks, stamped with the centenary slogan - Mills & Boon 100 years of pure reading pleasure!

And together with this will be one of the special centenary calendars where every page is taken from a genuine Mills & Boon covers, old and new. It's a lot of fun seeing how the designs have changed.

And to add to these prizes, for my overseas winners, I'll include a signed book of your choice from the backlist titles I still have available.

So what do you have to do to have a chance of winning?

It's quite simple - all you need is a good eye for detail and a little time to suvey my backlist on my website.

Here's the question:

On the Mills & Boon Centenary calendar, November 2008 has the artwork from one of my own covers.

Take a look at this picture here and then go to my website to find out which book this cover is taken from.

Send your answer to me with the heading Valentine Contest in the subject line of your email.

Closing date will be a week from today - February 21st 2008.
That's when I'll get Mr Valentine himself - Sid the Cat - to choose two readers from the UK and two from overseas to win these special Mills & Boon Centenary prizes.

And because I've been getting enquiries as to how Sir Sidney and Mademoiselle Flora are getting on now, here is a special Valentine's Day portrait of the two of them - not quite curled up together yet, but getting closer all the time.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Here Come The Grooms - and more Romantic Heroes

It's time to remind you about the Here Come the Grooms contest that I'm running with those wonderful writers Anne McAllister and Liz Fielding. You can read about Anne's Flynn Murray from One Night Love-Child here and about Liz's Tom McFarlane from The Bride's Baby here.

But today it's my turn - or, rather, Raul's turn, because Raul is the hero of my book in this contest - my March UK release (June in the USA) Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife.

Raul is not only the Spanish Billionaire of the title - he's also an aristocrat, and he's not used to being kept waiting until this stage in the contest - so I'd better tell you about him fast before he loses all trace of patience and gives up on me completely.

Two years ago, Alannah turned down Raul's cold-blooded proposal of marriage and walked away without one word of regret. Now tragedy has thrown them together once more, and this time the proud Spanish aristocrat will see that she doesn't get away from him again.

He had always wanted Alannah from the first moment he saw her. Her unique combination of purity and passion intrigued, then intoxicated him. And Raul is a man used to getting everything he wants. She got away from him once - This time, he intends to keep her.

And Raul's question is:

what are the full names of the hero and heroine of Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife

(Note from Raul - his real name, per favor, not the one mistakenly given him on the back of the book!)

You can find the answer on my web site. And all the details of the Here Come The Grooms Contest are on my contest page there. But don't forget that you have to check out Anne's web site, and Liz's blog to find the answers to thier questions too.

To recap on all three, these are:


Flynn's Question: What story did he come to Montana to cover when he met Sara in the first place?


Raul's Question: What are the full names of the hero and heroine of Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife

Liz Fielding's THE BRIDE'S BABY.

Tom's Question: What colour silk did he become intimately acquainted with?

And talking of heroes - with Valentine's Day coming up - here's a little extra inspiration for you -

Johnny Depp and Pierce Brosnan make Romantic Novelists’ hearts throb

Members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association have voted Johnny Depp as theNumber One Perfect Romantic Hero in a poll to mark Valentine’s Day.

According to these authors, a romantic hero should be gorgeous, deliciously sexy, intensely masculine and have a commanding presence.‘

We should be qualified to judge,’ one writer commented. ‘After all, we create these heroes on paper every day.’

The top ten male celebrities voted the Perfect Romantic Hero were

1. Johnny Depp

2. Daniel Craig

3. Sean Bean

4. Richard Armitage

5. Hugh Jackman (5th! Have they never seen this guy in a towel?)

6. Colin Firth

7. Alan Rickman

8. Pierce Brosnan

9. George Clooney

10. David Tennant

A second poll, taken by members of the RNA bravely admitting to being ‘over a certain age’, voted for male celebrities over fifty who’ve ‘still got it’.

Remarkable for his appearance on both polls, Pierce Brosnan took the crown for the over fifties by a huge margin.

The top ten Over-Fifty Perfect Romantic Heroes were:

1. Pierce Brosnan

2. Harrison Ford

3. Ranulph Fiennes

4. Bill Nighy

5. Liam Neeson

6. Sam Neill

7. Sean Connery

8. Peter O’Toole

9. Clint Eastwood

10. Omar Sharif

So there's some inspiration for you.
And as an added bonus, he may only have come 5th - but, well, any excuse for that man in a towel.
I'll be back tomorrow with a special Valentine's Day contest based on those centenary goodie bags.

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