Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Catching Up...

It's only the 6th June but there's been a heck of a lot going on this month. You won't have missed (I hope!) the fact that Her Pregnancy Bombshell, the first in the Summer at the Villa Rosa quartet, was published at the beginning of the month in the US, UK and Australia. Here are a few things people are saying about it -

"...lovely scenery, interesting characters, and plenty of hiccups along the way... it is a truly delightful read..."

"Very beautifully done, as always Liz never fails to give the warm fuzziness that we crave from a heartwarming beautiful story..."

Her Pregnancy Bombshell by Liz Fielding is a story about trust, hope and the power of love. I was deeply moved by the sincere characters and thought about them even after I closed the book. What really kept me turning the pages though were the deep emotions the author layered into the story. Cleve and Miranda are two people I cared for and if you pick this book up I think you will be touched by their individual journeys too."

Mills and Boon have also made me their "Author of the Month" which has totally made my month - possibly my year!

Finally, there's one of my occasional writing craft posts up on the Romance University site about writing characters the readers will care about and that is here

Right now I'm working on the last chapter of the The Bridesmaid's Royal Bodyguard which will be published later this year by Tule and then I'll be starting on a duet with the uber talented Kate Hardy. Busy, busy year!

Monday, May 22, 2017

One week to go...

There's just a week to go until the release of Her Pregnancy Bombshell.  Here are what a few people are saying about it on Goodreads

The setting is ideal, the characters are very appealing, and Liz Fielding has infused wonderful romantic touches throughout the story.

This is the first book I have read by this author and I absolutely loved it! Though keep the tissues to hand as you will need them! Fantastic read and highly recommended! 

The characters in this story were well developed and believable. I really liked them. There is just enough angst to make you ache for them as they find a way to see how right they are for each other, passion that keeps it from being blah without the overdone erotic mess that, for me, can really distract from the storyline, and humor to make you smile.

It is available in both paper and as a digital download.

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon Australia
Barnes & Noble
Mills and Boon UK
Harlequin US


Monday, May 15, 2017

I Never Write Reviews...

It's true. I never, well very rarely, review books.

I will sometimes tell my twitter or facebook fans if I've enjoyed a book, but this weekend I downloaded The Other Us by Fiona Harper.

Hands up, I download a lot of books. I don't always read them. This, however, was by someone I've known for a long time but it wasn't just that. This book sounded very different to anything she'd written before and I was intrigued.

Here's the blurb...

If you could turn back time, would you choose a different life?

Forty-something Maggie is facing some hard truths. Her only child has flown the nest for university and, without her daughter in the house, she’s realising her life, and her marriage to Dan, is more than a little stale.

When she spots an announcement on Facebook about a uni reunion, she can’t help wondering what happened to Jude Hanson. The same night Dan proposed, Jude asked Maggie to run away with him, and she starts to wonder how different her life might have been if she’d broken Dan’s heart and taken Jude up on his offer.

Wondering turns into fantasising, and then one morning fantasising turns into reality. Maggie wakes up and discovers she’s back in 1992 and twenty-one again. Is she brave enough to choose the future she really wants, and if she is, will the grass be any greener on the other side of the fence?

Two men. Two very different possible futures. But is there only once chance at happiness?

I am not a reviewer but here goes. 

My Saturday began with a hunt in the cupboard under the stairs for a load of batteries that needed charging, a handsaw and that machine that makes your legs tingle. A quick steam of the kitchen floor followed by breakfast and a dash to Sainsburys to catch up on the weekly shop. After that there was a stint in the garden putting in plants I'd bought the day before, clearing a clematis intent on world domination and replacing sad containers full of weeds with some petunias to brighten the day of anyone who walks past our garden. 

That done I was a bit pooped to tell you the truth, so I made coffee, the dh put on the F1 practice session and I opened up The Other Us. Just half an hour.I told myself. I had to stop when the dh prodded me to make lunch but then it was back to the book. Apart from stopping for cups of tea, something to eat, that was it. Me and my Kindle on the sofa. Do Not Disturb..

At one point my battery warning light came on and I moved so that I could plug it in and carry on reading. The dh went to bed. I read until I reached the last page when I went straight to Amazon and gave it 5 fabulous stars.

I can't remember the last time I did that.

The Other Us is an extraordinary book. Imaginative, emotional, especially evocative for anyone who grew up in the 90s. Full of questions, lots of answers... At one point there were tears running down my cheeks. 

If I ran a bookclub - I don't - it would be top of my list. 
Demand it at your local bookshop, order it from Amazon, pick it up in your local supermarket, but read it.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Writing Romance: The Crucible

Crucible: A vessel, usually of earthenware, made to endure great heat, used for fusing metal; a melting pot; fig, used for any severe test or trial.
When writing series romance which is mostly around 50,000 words, there is very little spare wordage for sub-plots and secondary characters. The focus is totally on the hero and heroine. In real life, people who aren’t living together tend not to spend that much time together. Even when they are living together they will be apart all day, doing their own thing in the evening (even if it’s only the ironing) and at the weekend. Life is, let’s be honest, mostly just getting through the week. 

Life in the romance novel cannot be like that. It will start at a moment of crisis. A point at which the lives of your hero and heroine are about to change forever. It can be as simple as getting lost, delayed or doing a good deed that gets our heroine into hot water. If you’ve read The Billionaire Takes a Bride, you’ll know how easily that can get out of hand! Or, as in my latest Harlequin Romance, Her Pregnancy Bombshell, it will be the moment is when the stick turns blue.

Whatever happens next should throw the hero and heroine together, confined by a place, or a situation from which they cannot walk away. Their crucible; the place where their feelings are put to the test. 

They do not have to live in the same place or even be in the same country for the crucible to hold them together. In The Bachelor's Baby it took nine months of struggling against the whole idea of being a father for my hero to get it. They never lived together, were mostly miles apart, but the progressing pregnancy acted as the crucible. It was in the hero's head, he was thinking about it 24/7. Doing things for the heroine so that he wouldn't have to be there and all the while she was subverting his efforts, telling him go away, that she could handle it. (That one was nominated for a Rita!) For almost every minute of the book they were either together or thinking about one another. If they are apart for too long have one of them send an unexpected text, or phone all.

Look at those two covers. They tell you what the readers wants. The hero and heroine are together, close and that's the point. The total connection. I've read manuscripts where the hero and heroine barely talk to each other let alone spend time together or think about each other. There was one where the hero's golf clubs got more attention from the hero (and page time) than the heroine.

Your plot will dictate the crucible. 

For a “dating the boss” scenario, you have the office. A crisis, not necessarily for the company, the boss's domestic crisis can be just as useful, can throw the hero and heroine together, Enemies or partners in an effort to stave off disaster are equally good - just as long as the feelings are passionate. An overseas trip can throw the  hero and heroine together intimately in a situation where, with the desk is no longer between them, they will see one another in a whole new light.

The storm is a classic. Cut off, stranded, by the weather offers a great crucible but always remember that it’s the reason why your hero and heroine are confined in a mountain while a blizzard rages around them that is important. The storm is just the soundtrack to the drama being played out within the hut. Concentrate on why the heroine is desperate to get somewhere when a white out closes in and she has to take shelter. Why she ignored the weather warning. And why the hero is there. He has a story, too.

The jungle, desert, or stranded on an island works just as well. It’s the hardship, the need to work together (especially if they dislike one another) that brings them together.

A journey across country.  Shut up in a car with someone you hate, or like too much when he doesn't return your feelings. Does he know or is he oblivious?

A cause (keep it something local, something fictitious, not your cause) where they are on opposite sides rouses passion, keeps them on one another's mind. The relationship can be anything, the man/woman who dumped them, an embarrassing schoolgirl crush that he teases her about, posh girl/poor boy made good. Something personal to lend an edge to the fight over a development. 

The important thing to remember is that the crucible is what holds them together, it's the emotion, the passion, that makes a story.

Next time, the vital opening.

Don't forget that my Little Book of Writing Romance is available to download from all outlets and it's also available in paperback is you like to highlight stuff or make notes. (If you buy the paperback from Amazon you will also get a download.) There are links to all outlets in the sidebar..


Wednesday, May 03, 2017

A Sweet Day Out and a unique giveaway!

Last week I had the kind visit that most of just dream about. I knew there was a chocolate factory just a few miles away in the village of Rode. Not a factory like well, you name any of those international companies that produce millions of bars of chocolate a week.

Choconchoc is the brain child of Flo and her father, Kerr. And their chocolate - the finest handmade Belgian chocolate - is not only the best you're ever likely to taste, but totally fun.

I mean, look at this! Prosecco and strawberries! And one that you all know is very dear to my heart. This new chocolate ice cream.

Flo's Dad carves the designs in his workshop. This is a sneak peek at the carving of a school satchel that he's created and which will be appearing in one of my favourite stores in a few months. That perfect "back to school" gift for a child you know. :)

This gorgeous chocolate unicorn is definitely going to be going to my unicorn-loving granddaughter very soon. And her little sister will get this adorable afternoon tea-set. Perhaps a cricket bat for my grandson. Or a pair of chocolate sports shoes. :)

Once the moulds have been carved, latex formas are created. These gingerbread men are for the Christmas market because, just like the publishing industry, they have to work months ahead. And the chocolate is pure so it has a shelf life of a year. As if you could ever keep it that long!

 Flo did give me the figures of exactly how many pieces of chocolate they will have to make before the holiday season. It was mind blowing when you consider that every piece is hand-poured, hand-finished and hand-packed. This is a place where every piece of chocolate is produced with love and I urge you to check our their website even if you are overseas, just for fun.

Now for the really good bit. Choconchoc have given me some chocolate treats that they produced especially to celebrate the launch of my new book, Her Pregnancy Bombshell.

There are two prizes -

The first is a little chocolate bookshelf. The second is a box of "love notes", each with a quote from the book.

Here's how you get your name in the draw. The bookshelf is a Facebook giveaway.  Click the link to my page, leave a comment on the #giveaway post  and I'll draw a winner on 15 May.

The love notes are something really special and will go to one of my very special newsletter subscribers. To be in the draw for this prize you have to be signed up to my newsletter - there's a link at the top of the bar.. Again the draw will take place on the 15th May, so do it now!

Finally a huge thank you to Flo and her team at Choconchoc for the very warm welcome and for donating these very special chocolate creations.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This is on my Facebook page this week - to take part, click here and "like" the picture. I'll draw the winners on 1st May 2017.