Archives for posts with tag: Romance

stack of pebbles and mini blackboard with text  hello augustI’m a bit late with my August blog, but the month has  been both stressful and exciting.

First, though, I need to give you a catch up on July.

As you’ll know if you’ve been following me anywhere, I’ve been waiting for my house sale/purchase to be finalised so that I can move to West Sussex to be near my daughter and her family.

While I was in Denver, I had a call from my lawyer asking if I was prepared to complete the contracts on 31st July. Gulp. There was a flurry of calls to the removal people to see if they could manage dates around then and I flew back home on the Monday and moved on the Friday.

There has been a slight issue over a bed and while I’ve been working at the flat, I’ve been sleeping at my daughter’s house. Finally, today,  23 August, I have made up the temporary bed loaned to me by the company who failed to deliver, and have moved in!

Back to Denver.

77971387-RWA+2018+-+2584The Sheikh’s Convenient Princess didn’t win a Rita, but I had no expectations – I was just thrilled my lovely sheikh had finalled, and I was able to fly to the US and have the best time meeting old friends, meeting old internet friends face-to-face, and making a lot of new friends. And I have another Rita finalist certificate to add the seven others that I really need to frame and put up on my office wall. Maybe. I have a lot of pictures that would look far prettier.

Harlequin PartyThe Romance Writers of America conference is an amazing event. So many wonderful writers, great workshops, breakfast with friends, lunches with editors and fabulous parties!

It took me a week to recover from two nine-hour flights, jetlag, the altitude and the kind of late nights I am not used to as well as dealing with the stress of moving – and leaving behind my lovely neighbours – in the hottest August I can ever remember.

The End Of Story Flat IllustrationI’d like to tell you that I’m sitting back and taking it easy after all that, but time and a deadline wait for no man. I’m just putting the final revisions to my new book, The Billionaire’s Convenient Bride. I don’t have a date yet, but I believe it will be out next summer.

I don’t often put together a play list for my books, but this one has been a bit special so here is some of the music and words I’ve been listening to as I wrote the ending, a couple of which actually appear in the book.

Jonas Kaufmann – You Are My Heart’s Delight

Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major

How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning read by Sian Phillips

The Rose by Bette Midler

Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect”

And just because whenever I go to Youtube I listen to the amazing voice of Philippe Jaroussky, here’s Ombra mai fu by Handel

That’s it for now, but next month I’ll tell you about my next project, a quartet I’m writing with a fabulous group of authors and I’ll have a spiffy giveaway to celebrate a huge milestone in my writing life.

Enjoy the rest of August and happy reading!

 

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Stress levels…

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Oh boy. May started with a bit of a blow. The vendor of the flat I was buying changed her mind about selling.  So the surveyor’s fee, the legal costs already incurred (all my legal work had been done) left me over £1000 out of pocket. Then there was the time wasted by the decorator who had given me estimates for repainting the place, the carpet fitter measuring the place, all that time wasted trying to decide on colours…

And yet… The llama is not ironic.

Cost and time wasting aside, she did me a favour. I have found a flat I like much more, in immaculate condition, in a better location and without the need for expensive decoration or new carpets. And it has a little courtyard garden that I can see filled with plants. I’ve already started a list with wisteria and honeysuckle at the top. (The honeysuckles at Fielding Towers are about to bloom and I am really going to miss them.)

Oh, and then my vacuum cleaner died – of old age – this week. Just what you need when you’re trying to keep on top of everything. and my stick cleaner is also on it’s last legs. I looked at replacement and couldn’t believe the price! Nevertheless I had to bite the bullet and I  ve gone for a cylinder job recomended by my daughter to replace both.

Interior decorating

4892510-purple-wisteria-wisteria-japonica-growing-along-a-fence-in-franceNothing to do, at least until I move in and live with what I’ve got. Well, it’s just down to deciding exactly which trestle table I want for my workspace – the table I have just isn’t big enough. The curtain material I chose is still the one I want, but my favourite curtains (bought only last year at vast expense) will fit either my bedroom or study, which is a bonus.

My sale? Well, it’s moving, but rather as a glacier moves but I’m going on holiday at the beginning of next month and if I haven’t moved by then (if no further than my daughter’s spare bedroom) I might begin to crack.

Writing?

Well, again in the manner of a glacier. Stress is not conducive to writing as I’ve learned in the past. And anything you do write is likely to be pants but I’m thinking a lot.

Giveaway…

31263256_1616328918488216_6159892561788928000_nRoyalWedding-FieldingLARGE-300x450 (1)I’m also running a lovely little giveaway in conjunction with the Tule #royalweddinginvitation series and our own royal wedding event. If you want to throw your name into the hat, leave a comment on my Facebook page.

I’m also taking part in the #romanceauthorchallenge on Instagram. No prizes, but a great opportunity to see a picture post from some great authors every day.

 

I’m starting an irregular column on writing romance.
First things first. It helps if you know what the reader most enjoys, the book that she’ll reach for.
Obviously there’s room for the new but if you’re approaching an established publisher it’s always a good idea to begin with something they know will sell so I’m beginning with a rundown of  popular tropes.
The Marriage of Convenience

Yes, even in this day and age when single mothers are no longer stoned in the street, it’s still possible to write this fan favourite trope.

Money is a good reason. Tricky Wills give you a lot of scope.  Okay, you can challenge them, but in the mean time you might be left homeless. Or you might discover that the inheritance you thought was safely in the bag is mortgaged up the hilt. The unexpected pregnancy after a night with someone you’ve only just met – or have known forever but as a friend, is still a useful one. Social pressures are still there, or guilt, or maybe the guy plans to do his duty, just being there, providing support and ends up falling in love. Of course you have to come up with a good reason why they ended up in bed together. That’s the fun bit!

The Sheikh Romance

Ever since E M Hull wrote the iconic “The Sheikh” they have sold like hotcakes. The first thing to realise about a sheikh romance, is that it is a total fantasy and has nothing to do with reality. The sheikh has everything. He is in total command of his environment, has unimaginable power and wealth coupled with an air of danger, otherness. He also has the kind of respect for family, a sense of honour, that can leave him in some really tricky situations.

Lots of scope for marriage of convenience here especially if the woman is in some kind of danger, or he has some hidden reason for not marrying the woman his family has chosen for him.

If you struggle seeing him as a hero, a former publishing director of Mills and Boon once described him to me as “a cowboy wearing a different hat”.  Same thousand yard gaze. Same deep seated sense of honour.

Nine to Five

 

The workplace romance should be tricky in this PC/Human Resources dominated age but it’s is still a much-loved trope. Unlike the sheikh romance, this is something much closer to home, familiar. Most of us will have worked somewhere – office, store, factory – at some point in our lives.  These days, of course, it doesn’t have to be the powerful boss and the woman he doesn’t notice until some crisis occurs and he needs her to play his fiancée. There’s plenty of room to play out a scenario between equals, a boardroom battle that only one of them can win. So much more interesting.
Christmas 
Oh now, this is always fun. You not only have two people trying very hard not to fall into bed with each other but you have it with baubles, fairy lights, Santa Claus and snow.
You can dress your characters in embarrassingly silly costumes, dump two feet of snow on them, cut off the electricity or strand the Grinch and the Sugar Plum Fairy in a place from which there is no escape (it doesn’t have to be snow!)

Mayhem or magic, they go down a treat.

The Mediterranean Hero

Passionate, sexy, with his dark good-looks, the Mediterranean billionaire — Greek, Italian, Spanish or Italian — is the staple hero of romance.

He is very nearly as much a fantasy as the sheikh. You can throw in a palazzo overlooking the sea, helicopters, yachts, private jets, private islands and plenty of angst. Oh, and sex. Lots of sex.

That’s it for now. I should probably have added babies to the list. There is nothing like a cute baby on the cover to set the cash tills ringing, but they have to be tiny (no toddlers or teenagers in series romance – they distract from the hero and heroine and it’s story).

Look at the books being published, what tropes call you? Writing what you enjoy is always the best way to start.

Next time I’ll talk about the “crucible”.

Happy writing.

***

Liz Fielding’s Little Book of Writing Romance is available to download from iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

Old Desires is free on Amazon from 25 – 29 November. 

Tell your friends!

 

Here are the links –

Amazon US 

Amazon UK 

Amazon Australia

LizFielding_ASummer'sLease_800pxI guess most authors have a book in the bottom drawer that, for one reason or another didn’t get published. There are as many reasons for this as there are books. The first, the big reason, is that for some reason your editor didn’t quite take to it.

As an inexperienced author you think she knows everything, but then the same editor (long gone) had undermined my confidence in another book – A Stranger’s Kiss – that became one of my bestsellers. (How many people turned down Harry Potter? Not that I’m suggesting, well you know…)

So much in publishing is about timing. The right ms on the right desk at the right moment.

When there’s nowhere else to publish (and there wasn’t when I wrote this) you stick the ms in the bottom drawer and get on with the next book. But every time you open that drawer it nags at you and the publishing world has changed out of all recognition and so A Summer’s Lease is published today at Amazon.

Here’s the set up…

In a midsummer’s dawn, high in the woods above Beaumont Court, Charlotte Palmer encounters a man who at first sight she thinks is the ghost of Harry Beaumont, the buccaneer who built the Court in the 16th century.
His passionate kiss blasts away the illusion but when he extends a hand to her, an invitation to go with him, she hesitates and in a heartbeat he’s gone.

Here’s a taster…
CHARLOTTE Palmer woke long before dawn and lay in the not-quite-dark of midsummer listening as the night sounds were gradually overlaid by the birds stirring and trying their early morning voices.

She had toured the house the evening before when everyone had gone and it was quiet, saying goodbye to the past.

Now, in the dawn, she would walk through the gardens and up into the woods to the special place she had always gone when she was unhappy or life was difficult. A place where she could see the house nestling in its hollow and the river beyond.    

Beaumont Court.

The one thing that had always been a constant in her life.

She finished plaiting her hair and picked up the miniature portrait of Harry Beaumont — painted when he was a favourite at the first Elizabeth’s court — from the table beside her bed. She could almost hear the laughter promised by bold blue eyes that glinted with a wicked merriment. She would need a friendly face to see her through this day and on a sudden impulse, she slipped it into her pocket.

‘Daisy,’ she called softly, when she reached the stables. The horses had long since been sold, but Richard Beaumont would never have a dog in the house and her spaniel had slept there ever since she’d been forced to move into the Court.

Last night she would have welcomed the comfort of Daisy’s soft warm body on her bed, but now that Richard was dead and she could have done what she liked it would have felt like a betrayal to take advantage.

The small liver and white spaniel needed no second invitation, but bounded joyously to heel, then ran on ahead, giving short excited yelps as she snuffled at trails in the grass.

‘No, this way, girl.’

It was a long walk to the top of the hill and the church clock had chimed six before she finally sank onto the dew-soaked grass of the clearing. She hugged her knees and gazed down into the valley.

Swathed in the golden mist rising from the river the house — built by the same Harry Beaumont who smiled from her precious miniature — had an ethereal, magical quality. It was easy to imagine him pausing here as he caught his first glimpse of its tall brick chimneys after the long ride from Elizabeth’s court at Richmond. Easy to imagine him spurring his horse on, eager to hold his beloved Maria, see his children.

He had been the first in a long unbroken line of Beaumont men to hold the house against the world. Today the latest to be given that trust would arrive at Beaumont Court.

He was late by any standards.

Matthew Ryan had, it seemed, been too busy with business commitments in the Far East to come home to be with the dying Richard. To come to his funeral. It was nearly two weeks since Richard Beaumont had been laid to rest with his ancestors in the family vault below the church and only now had his heir found some time in his crowded schedule to come and take control of his inheritance.

‘Daisy, be quiet.’ The spaniel was barking at something in the woods, drawing her mind back to the clearing, away from disturbing thoughts of the changes that were bound to be made with his arrival and how they would affect her. The dog, intent on her quarry, ignored her. ‘Daisy!’ she called again, more urgently, scrambling to her feet as she disappeared into the thicket well aware that if she took off after a rabbit she would be gone all day.

But Daisy danced backwards into the clearing letting out excited little yaps. Narrowing her eyes against the slanting sun, Charlotte took a step towards the copse, halted uncertainly, her breath catching in her throat as she saw the shadowy figure of a man astride a large black horse, at the edge of the clearing, the low slanting sun giving him a halo about his dark curls.

The trees began to retreat giddily and, as her legs buckled beneath her, the man threw his leg over the animal’s head and slid to the ground moving swiftly to catch her, his shadowed expression so familiar that she whispered his name.

‘Harry…’   

Read on…

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