April is coming to an end. It will soon be May 1st and that means that it's high time I talked about something important that's coming up in May and that is -
Brenda Novak's On Line Auction for Diabetes Research
Help Brenda make a difference in the lives of her son and millions of others like him who live with diabetes by shopping at her Sixth Annual Online Auction to Benefit Diabetes Research in May 2010. How does it work? Just like eBay—except the proceeds help accelerate progress in diabetes research.
Take a look at the Auction website here
And you'll notice a new link in my sidebar from today - that's because I've donated two lots to the year's auction and if you bid on those you could win yourself a great Kate Walker lot - and make a donation to a very worthy cause at the same time.
What have I donated? Well . . .
There's the Kate Walker Writer's and Reader's Basket
To quote the listing on the auction site -
The winner of this bid will receive autographed books from Harlequin Presents bestselling author Kate Walker:
12 POINT GUIDE TO WRITING ROMANCE
THE STRAIGHTFORWARD GUIDE TO WRITING ROMANTIC FICTION
A great selection of Kate Walker's novels:
THE KONSTANTOS MARRIAGE DEMAND (Presents Extra March 2010)
KEPT FOR HER BABY (Presents Extra October 2009)
CORDERO'S FORCED BRIDE (Harlequin Presents February 2009)
THE ALCOLAR FAMILY TRILOGY in one volume (Mills & Boon By Request Reprint)
BEDDED BY THE GREEK BILLIONAIRE (Harlequin Presents November 2008)
All books are packed into one of her fabulous Kate Walker Tote Bags.
Bonus: Kate Walker pen.
And then the second lot you can bid on is this:
Critique of a Partial by Harlequin Presents Best-selling Author Kate Walker
Do you dream of becoming a published romance author? Do you want to write for Harlequin Mills & Boon Modern Romance/Harlequin Presents? If so, this is a unique opportunity to have your work critiqued by Kate Walker, one of its best-selling, award-winning and most famous authors with 25 years of publication and 56 titles to her name! Kate Walker is also the author of not one but two amazing guides how to write romantic fiction.
The winner of this bid will receive:
Critique of a partial (first 3 chapters and a synopsis) of the manuscript aimed at Harlequin Mills & Boon Modern Romance/Harlequin Presents by Kate Walker. Do not miss this great opportunity!
Bidding on both these lots will open on 30th April 2010 - that's in just under 2 days time.
So why not put in a bid and see if you can win -
And while you're there, check out all the other fantastic lots on offer . . .there are some wonderful things you could bid on and contribute to this great cause!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I think he also loves to get strokes - which he does, a lot. Perhaps it's because he's small and he only has one eye that works, and that wins their sympathy. And I'm sure it's because these guys have big hands that can deliver great strokes all the way down a little furry grey body. But he loves it- and he gets a lot of fuss.
So he's had a very happy week, going from room to room, getting a new set of strokes here, a rub behind the ears there.
He has even set himself to investigating the various vans that have been parked outside the house, filled with interesting boxes and tool kits and cloths . . . so much so that twice now the builders have set off home, only to have to return because they have a small grey tabby curled up in the back of the van.
Sorry Dylan - the repairs and renovations are all done now. And the vans have left for the last time - thankfully without you in them!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Once again I’ll be going back to one of my favourite places and taking part in the Writers’ Holiday at Caerleon 2010.
Date: July 25-30, 2010
Book online and save £10!
NAWG (National Association of Writers’ Groups) Festival of Writing
Commercial publishing is a highly competitive world. Knowing how to focus on the type of fiction you can write best is an advantage in this often cut-throat business. But how do you decide where your focus should lie?
SATURDAY - SUNDAY
These 3 workshops will be particularly focussed on writing Romantic Fiction which is my speciality. But they will also be helpful for anyone who wants to write any sort of fiction, particualarly commercial genre fiction. They can be used as a mini course - or dipped into by someone who just wants to do one or the other.
1. Creating Characters
An essential skill for succesful commercial fiction is to create believable and sympathetic character. Whether storm-tossed lovers, hardened, cynical detectives or even blue headed aliens from another planet you need to build characters the readers care about and who come alive on the page. This workshop will give you techniques and ideas how to do just that.
Are you a planner or a pantser? Do you plot your story in details or 'travel hopefully into the mist'? How do you create a romantic story - or indeed any sort of story - that will keep your readers turning the page and avoid the dreaded 'sagging middle'?
3. Writing A Sex Scene
Very little commercial fiction that involves the relationships between men and women (or indeed same sex relationships) is published today that doesn't involve dealing with the passionate and sexual aspects of that relationship. So how do you write a believeable, emotional, sensual scene that works for your characters and keeps you out of the short-list for the annual Bad Sex Awards?
2. Saturday 9 October – Halifax Library – 10.30-12.30 workshop on Romantic Fiction
Once again I will be teaching at the fabulous Fishguard Writing Weekend.
Event: Weekend Residential Writing Course – Romance – Moving It On
Dates: 18 – 20th February 2011
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
French editions of The Sicilian's Red-Hot Revenge, and The Spaniard's Inconvenient Wife and Cordero's Forced Bride.
Polish copies of The Greek Tycoon's Unwilling Wife
Other reasons to smile -
And last night I spent the evening with a glass of wine and two great DVDs - and it was all research.
The DVDs were supposed to have been this drama. . . but for reasons beyond my control they ended up being something else. Oh well, North and South can always be used for inspiration . . .
Oh and the post lady has just delivered an extra treat in the shape of the latest great romance by a special favourite author - Liz Fielding - A Wedding at Leopard Tree Lodge - and I might actually have time to read it!
Like I said, sometime I love my job!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Whenever we have visitors he has to check that the bed is comfortable . . .
Make sure that the chairs are just purrfect . . .
Deal with any paperwork that needs doing . . .
And then he spends lots of time being great company for the visitor before he gets down to the important job in hand . . .
Of picking winners of prizes.
But at last I managed to drag him away from being stroked, having that special spot behind his ears rubbed, being told how handsome he is. . .
to get him to pick a winner of the Claimed by the Sicilian 2 3 in 1 By Request. . . and then he went and picked two names!
So - Crystal B and Karen D - you have each won a copy of Claimed by The Sicilian
Karen, I think I have yours but I just sent an email to double check.
The answer to the question was that the titles in Claimed by The Sicilian are:
The Sicilian's Wife
Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride
The Sicilian's Red-Hot Revenge
Friday, April 16, 2010
Although I've actually seen it out and about on the bookshop shelves already, today is officially the publication date for the 3 in 1 By Request book Claimed by The Sicilian.
To be in with a chance of winning, just email me with the titles of the 3 Sicilian books that are reprinted in this special anthology. You have just over 24 hours to get your answers in - at noon on Saturday (UK time) I'll get Sid to pick a winner Put Claimed by The Sicilian in the subject line so that I'll find your answers easily.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
And that's what I'm blogging about today - over at the Write Romance BlogWe where as it's the 15th of the month, it's my Kate's Corner day - and if you're interested in maybe getting a personal critique of a partial manuscript from me as a way to help charity, there's some news about that over there too.
See you there!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Friday, April 09, 2010
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
What am I talking about? An article that appeared in the Irish Independent this morning - apparently on the back of the announcement that so many younger readers are now downloading Mills and Boon novels onto ereaders instead of buying them in shops. This article, under the heading: Mind & Meaning: Why Mills & Boon still make the ladies swoon claims to explain why romances are still so popular with readers - it's the safer alternative to lying down in a dark room with a bottle of whiskey, apparently!
Sunday, April 04, 2010
I'm passing on the chocolate for two reasons - one - and I know this is sacrilege - I'm not desperately keen on the stuff. A little taste maybe but more than that makes me feel ill and I don't want anything extra to make me feel ill right at this moment because the second reason why I'm avoiding chocolate - or most things! - is that I'm just recovering from this vile sickness bug that is going around and the chocolate seems to be what makes it worse.
No - actually, there are three reasons why I'm avoiding chocolate, but I'll come to the third in a moment.
As I said I hope you are having a wonderful Easter but after the week I've just experienced I can't help but be very aware of the fact that right now there are several friends and people I know who have just don't feel like celebrating at all, for various sad reasons. And that must be repeated all over the world as well. So I just wanted to send out a message to anyone else who feels that the Easter celebrations are not for them this year - to send them thoughts and sympathy in the difficult times they are going through. I hope that the dawning of Sprin g brings you brighter days in every way very soon.
And that brings me to the third reason why I'm not bothering with chocolate this year. A writer friend of mine (Lynne Hackles who often teaches with me in Fishguard or Caerleon) ) posted on her blog about a charity called the Fresh Start Foundation in Gambia - http://www.fsfgambia.org/ She tells me that 2p (yes 2p) is what it costs to feed one child one school meal a day.
Here is the newsletter she quotes:
FSF's first school meal appeal has been a success with all children at Kwinella Lower Basic School guaranteed a meal until the end of the summer term. As a result of the appeal the school has seen an increase in its enrollment figures which means more children learning and less working on the streets. Now FSF want to feed more children. We are appealing for support to feed 770 hungry bellies and the funds will be allocated between 3 schools and 1 nursery. Schools and nurseries charge 2p as a contribution for a school meal. However, for some families living in abject poverty this amount is simply too much to pay. As a result some children go the whole day without food.
So I had a think - didn't take much thought really - and I came to the conclusion that even at £5 for 3 Easter Eggs (for chocolate that was going to make me feel sick!) of £5 to feed 250 children was a very simple equation. Even the price of a Creme Egg would buy a decent number of dinners.
Anyone want to join me? How many 2p coins (or the equivalent in your national currency) do you have in your purse right now? Just think they could be turned into something a whole lot more nutrious than chocolate. And I'll just bet your Easter Eggs will taste even better as a result!
I was going to call this post '2p or not 2p - that is the question' . . . but perhaps not!Oh and as today is the first Sunday of the month, I will be blogging over on Tote Bags 'n' Blogs today as well. Just as soon I think of something to write about!
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