Monday, December 31, 2007

Resolved for 2008

It is far easier to do this today, rather than to put it off until tomorrow.

Everything is pretty set with my writing. Basically, I want to continue to improve and to give readers the best possible story. I also want to write 4 completed manuscripts in 2008 (not including the one I am currently working on).

Reader Outreach:
I now have a better idea about what works and makes me feel like things are working. Promotion v self-delusion. I love reaching out to my readers and hopefully growing my readership, but it can also be an expensive game and can really eat up one's time for an uncertain return. Therefore, I am going to concentrate on things that I like doing -- blogs, newsletter etc.

Time Management:
I want to manage my time better, so I do not waste hours surfing the 'net. Or worrying about things that are out of my control. I want to keep focused. This means using timers.

Weight control and exercise:
I want to get fit for Crete at the end of May. I started an exercise programme in 2007 and wish to keep it up. I also want to control my weight, rather than having it control me. I suspect that using a timer etc will have benefits here.

Happy New Year to all my blog readers.

The photo is because I am still working on this ms and needed the inspiration!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Review of 2007

I went back and revisited my resolutions for 2007.

Although I did not make my goal of getting my weight back to what it was in my 20s. I did lose some. More importantly, I started an exercise programme and my back pain has nearly ceased. (I put this down to exercise band I do when the computer is revving up). It find the 3-6 miles that I walk every day does wonders for my outlook. I would have to think what I would have been like if I did not do that.
Also I started looking after my skin much more. Establishing a daily routine has really helped I think. I am certainly happier with its appearance.

On the writing front, I did not write four manuscripts -- 2 Vikings and two Victorians. To date, I have written 3 books and have another manuscript 2/3 finished. It was one Viking, one Victorian and 2 Regencies. It physically pains me that I might miss a deadline. 6 January remains the official deadline, but I would like some time to revise.

I also I think became more timely with my PR. This year has certainly been a learning experience. Appearing on television was one of the highlights. And I remain convinced that there is a lot an individual author can do for FREE, rather than paying for it. I also do wonder if some of it is self-delusional activity to make me feel more in control. Some of it seems to be a bit of a treadmill. Ultimately the best PR is to keep one's shop window full of wonderful books. The last page of a book sells the first page of the next book. It is about reaching out to readers, rather than making PR an end in itself.

Little accomplishments are important as well -- the Aga now works, the boiler does as well and downstairs has been pretty much redecorated.

All in all it has been a good year. I will attempt to do a post on my 2008 resolutions.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Industrial Revolutionaries

I now why my eldest kept telling that the Industrial Revolutionaries was never in at The Lit and Phil. My dh managed to procure me a copy for a Christmas present.

It looks wonderful and seems to be absolutely brimming with ideas for stories.

For example, early 18th century England was full of spies. Not political spies but industrial spies who wanted to acquire the technology for their own country.

Or then there is the story about the American *Robert Francis* who demonstrated the torpedo to the British Navy. The process took rather long but finally, the ship imploded. Robert Francis is much better known by his real name -- Robert Fulton.

And then there is Marc Brunel and Sophie Kingdom. Sigh. Happy sigh. As well as the railway men who I already know lots about.

Gavin Weightman is interested in the transfer of technology between countries. He has sections on how the US and Britain cooperated and about the Great Exhibition. The US delegation apparently did not take up the space allocated, much to initial amusement, but then all were impressed with the efficiency of the Americans products. He also has a section about Japan. So it promises to be an interesting read as well as a whistle stop tour around the various countries.

I shall also be looking out for his other book on the Frozen Water Trade during the 19th century. This is the story of how one man shipped ice across the Atlantic. The Frozen Water industry collapsed in the early 20th century because of the rise of artificial coolants.

But I do have my wip to finish first. And my editor who is indeed lovely might get a bit upset if I get distracted.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas is nearly here

Christmas is still spelt deadline. The book is due on 6 January. However I have finished my refinements to QI and have done my proofs for An Impulsive Debutante.

Rereading An Impulsive Debutante was such fun and reminded me why Lottie Charlton became one of my favourite heroines. And if you liked Jack Stanton, you will love Tristan Dyvelston.

My only hope is that QI is as good. Actually with my current editor, I am certain it will be.

One thing that my editor did point out is that historicals are truly going down to 75k. So it means my current one does not have to be quite as long. And for me, it means that I have to be more careful with my word choice.

It is Christmas Eve and so here is a picture of this year's tree. The ornaments have been collected over the years and are lovingly put on. It is one of my favourite parts of Christmas.

I have sent my cards, wrapped all the presents, the food is in and my in laws have arrived, so Christmas has truly begun.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Contest winners and refinements

The winners for the December newsletter contests are:

KimW -- Taken by the Viking hardback

Sherry H -- signed paperback of her choice

Kathleen G -- critique

I have notified them all by email.

My editor decided that she wanted a few more things doing to QI. she calls them refinements and I go agree with her -- I think her suggestions will make the book far stronger. Okay, she is really a genius and has an unerring eye but we won't go into that. It is simply a matter of working through. The important thing is that the reader gets the best read possible.

It has been moved up the schedule which means the next one has as well. So my Christmas is really spelt DEADLINE.
Luckily all I have to do is wrap presents. But I have this TBR pile that keeps growing as well.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fire in the Belly

There is an excellent article in the Christmas edition of the Spectator by Tony Parsons on why writing a bestseller requires something more than writing simply for the money. It requires heart and passion. Bestsellers become bestsellers because they are written from the heart. He argued even Harold Robbins with his books that became the runaway bestsellers wrote from the heart. I found myself agreeing with him wholeheartedly.
As a professional writer, it goes without saying -- I write for the money. It is how I earn my living. But I care passionately about each and every book I write. If I didn't care, the reader wouldn't care.
Why do I write the books I write?
Because I am PASSIONATE. Passionate about the need to have good historical romance where the setting is vivid. Passionate about the time periods involved. Passionate about the characters. And most importantly Passionate about the stories I want to tell.
Parson points out about idiotic boyfriends who tell the girlfriend -- go ahead write a chick lit, it's easy and you can make money. So you get idiotic people who think that writing Harlequin Mills and Boon is easy. I would say the reason why the current stable of writers write for HM&B is because they are passionate about the stories they write. They care intensely. These books would not be as successful as they are IF the writers were not dedicated to the medium.
Here I should point out that every HM&B is a world wide best seller. These books speak volumes to women around the globe. You do not get that sort of following without heart and fire in your belly.
Writing commercial books does not mean that the writers are any less dedicated to their stories.
Success in storytelling comes from being passionate about your stories. Full Stop.
Sometimes, yes, writers who would rather be writing other things get taken on, but they do not tend to last. And they are very much the exception rather than the rule. Also sometimes, writer's own individual interests takes them on a separate path from HM&B, but it does not mean they do not care passionately about the stories they told, rather that the Muse has led them elsewhere.
Without passion, without heart, stories can feel contrived and flat.
Ultimately because writing is such a long and lonely process, no one writes for the money. It has to come from the heart. One has to care passionately. In order to succeed in this business, you must have fire in your belly. You must have the desire to write the story. It shows in the writing. Always.

The very lovely Ray Anne went and found the url of the article. You can read it here. I read from the print copy as the Christmas Special of the Speccie always provides food for thought. Among other things, it has a Molesworth article and an article about the orgins of the crib.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

How Jack Stanton came about

As several of you have been so kind as to say that you like Jack, I thought some might be interested to know how his beginnings.

Back in May 2006, I went down to lunch with editors. I was very excited as I had never been to The Offices before. One of the things an author gets to do is to see the Editorial Director if she is in. She is a totally lovely person btw. But my knees were knocking as she asked if I had ever written a story about an engineer. I had to say no.
At lunch, I mentioned the conversation to my senior editor and we got talking about Brunel and other Victorian engineers such George Stephanson and his son Robert. We also discussed how they wanted me to move on from Romans and write Vikings etc. I did mention that a self made man would make an excellent hero if handled properly. But felt at the time, I was being very politely urged towards Vikings.
A few days later, I received a phone call -- could I possibly make that Victorian civil engineer a Christmas story? And could it be in the North with more than a hint of the Industrial Revolution as Helen Dickson was doing hte companion piece set in the South? I said yes and began to do the research in earnest.
While I knew about North and South and Richard Armitage, I did not watch it until after the book was finished. This is mainly because I did NOT want to be influenced by it at all. There was a case of North and South being used in a M&B book and by an author in the early 1990s as source material and there were Consequences.
When I did finally watch it, I let out a huge sigh of relief because Jack could have been played by Richard Armitage. Actually at the time, I was more taken with Toby Stephens. The odd thing is that my current hero Simon who also is a self-made man type started off as more RA but appears to be transmogrifying into TS...Who knows.
But it was really that chance conversation with the Editorial Director that started it all. And civil engineers are such great heroes, particularly in the early Victorian era.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Secondary Characters becoming leads

As some of you may know, An Impulsive Debutante which comes out in September 08 in the UK features Lottie Charlton from A Christmas Wedding Wager.
I have had several people raise their eyebrows when I have said this. My lovely editor at the time when I first mooted this proposition around this time last year murmured -- it will be a challenge but if you want to... And you have never done a heroine like that before, Michelle but I have faith... My daughter kept demanding. She wanted to know what happened to her.
The one proposition I kept repeating over and over in my head is that EVERY character is the hero of his own story. And Lottie in her own mind has ALWAYS been a heroine. She did need to learn a few lessons though...I had a great deal of fun writing An Impulsive Debutante.
My current editor who had not read ACWW at that point loved Lottie. She thought it wonderful that I wrote this heroine's story because Lottie is so great. She also had not quite taken on board that it was a linked story, so it does very definitely stand on its own. There is a brief appearance by Emma and Jack though..
At the moment, I have been struggling with the sensual tension in this book. And it finally dawned on me, I was still in the mode of the last book and considered my current hero like a brother. He is the brother of the heroine. Basically he had very nearly taken over the first story and I had to FIRMLY put him in his place as my editors had wondered if I was more interested in his story than that heroine... But now, I have to think and see him through my current heroine's eyes -- oozing with sex appeal etc. It required a step change in thinking but I was not prepared for the problem.
It is all in the viewpoint.
There is so much you learn when you are writing.
But fingers crossed -- some of my problems are solved with this manuscript.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Cataromance review for A Christmas Wedding Wager

One of the reviews I always wait for is the Cataromance review. I really respect Julie's opinion and I know she has a keen eye and takes her reviewing very seriously. If you want to know which catagory romances to read, you should definitely look at cataromance.

Iti s slightly later than Julie wanted because of her hetic family BUT it was well worth the wait!

My favourite bit was:

Touching, tender, passionate and simply breathtaking, this Victorian romance is rich in period detail and imbued with so many vivid descriptions of nineteenth century life, that the reader will feel as if she’s experiencing the story and not just reading it!
Wonderfully atmospheric, highly evocative, totally absorbing and immensely well-written, A Christmas Wedding Wager is another triumph for a novelist who never fails to make history come gloriously alive.

All is right with the world. AND I have finished my Christmas shopping .Now all I have to do is wrap presents, write cards and finish my manuscript before Christmas eve. The treee is up and I am taking part in Cheryl St John's Great Christmas Tree Tour, so a picture should be going up there soon.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

In Polish

Kate Hardy let me know last night that Gladiator's Honour is out in Poland this month.

The blurb reads like this:
Starożytny Rzym, 65 rok p. n. e.Przekonali się, że są dla siebie stworzeni, jednak Rzymianka z rodu patrycjuszy nie może poślubić gladiatora. Oboje, zarówno Julia Antonia, jak i Walens Trak, są tego w pełni świadomi, a mimo to nie zamierzają wyrzec się miłości. Julia opiera się macosze, która chce jak najszybciej i najkorzystniej wydać za mąż nielubianą pasierbicę. Walens stawia wszystko na jedną kartę. Podczas zbliżających się igrzysk musi zwyciężyć i z rąk Cezara otrzymać drewniany miecz, co jest równoznaczne ze zdobyciem wolności. Wie, że przyjdzie mu walczyć z bardzo groźnym przeciwnikiem.

Again a language that I don't know but it looks interesting. And I love the little Santa's hats they have on all their books this month.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Satisfying v Happily Ever After

People occasionally complain that with the romance genre, you need the Happily Ever After, the cliched clinch in the sunset. Umm no, you need a satisfying ending and because the emotional relationship has been the spine of the book, the reader will not be satisfied with anything but the couple getting together or at least showing the promise that they will be together. Readers are not willing to have the lady or the tiger type endings. They are not satisfying.
Ultimately a reader wants satisfaction. They want to feel that the main character/the focal character's emotional needs/goal is met. A cliche clinch does not do it. It is why those old Harlequin M&B novels where the hero appeared to hate the heroine up to the last three pages fell out of favour. The ending wasn't satisfying. Characters' emotional needs were not being met and readers started demanding more.
It is because Harlequin Mills and Boon does deliver on the satisfying ending that its books are so popular. Yes, they all end with a HEA, but is an emotionally satisfying HEA. There is a difference.
Equally and obviously, a HEA does not mean that the characters need to achieve all of their physical goals. They simply need to have their emotional needs met.
And sometimes, they achieve their physical goal only to realise that it does not meet their emotional goal.
For example, in A Noble Captive, Helena does become the Sybil, something she has worked and waited for for all her life, but she discovers that she really wants and needs something else. IMHO the ending would have been less satisfying if she had not made the decisions that she did as she had learnt what she truly wanted from life.
Or for another example. In Life on Mars, the main character's goal is to get back his old life, but once he does return, he realises that he has no feelings. Earlier, he has been told that the way you know you are dead is when you stop feeling. He then makes a decision that I think gives it a more satisfactory ending. The key moment for me is when he cuts himself and realizes that he is just existing.
In other words, it is okay to have goals change, but the turning points need to be marked. It is also important to realise that physical goals are simply manifestations of the internal landscape. And it is what goes on internally with a character that decrees whether or not a reader is satisfied.
One way of looking at it as my editor is apt to say -- is what does the character want beginning, middle, and end. What happens if they do achieve it? What other need does that open up? Will the characters be satisfied with the ending? If they can't get what they want, what can they get? What else do they need to achieve before thy can live happily ever after?
Endings are satisfying when emotional goals are achieved, rather than just physical goals.
And if the author does it right, the reader can not conceive any other satisfying ending besides the HEA in a romance. Therefore, the reader feels cheated if she does not get that ending.
Do not cheat the reader.
As Kate Walker has said many times, the last page of your book sells the first page of your next book. Never underestimate the power of an emotionally satisfying ending.
Now I need to get back to my middle and work towards that halcyon plain -- the ending.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

December Newsletter and contests

I have done my December newsletter and it has its usual array of contests, plus two recipes. Mrs Charlton's Lambswool Punch and my own eggnog recipe.
There are also contests to win a signed hardback copy of Taken by the Viking as well as one for aspiring writers.
These are exclusive to my newsletter subscribers, so if you wish to take part, do sign up and I will send out my latest newsletter... The sign up is on my sidebar.
If you want a chance to win A Christmas Wedding Wager along with a whole host of other brilliant books, visit Kate Walker's blog for her annual Christmas Stocking contest.

I found out that Gladiator's Honor was out in Greece earlier this year as O Monomaxos. it is a very interesting experience to see my work in an entirely different alphabet. I did take several terms of ancient Greek, and so can recognise a few words. Being published in dfferent languages is one of the perks of writing for HM&B. Harlequins are published in 22 different languages and in 109 different countries.
So far, including English, my books have appeared in 5 different languages.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Who runs HM&B

Going back to that Article, one of the more amusing assumptions by Julie Bindel was that HM&B is something of a male preserve. Yes, you have these little self deluded female authors but it is the males who decide.
Ummm which ones?
Although back in the 1960s and 1970s, M&B was mainly run by the Boon brothers. This has changed. The Boon family sold out many years ago to the corporate entity --Torstar.
Shall we look at some of the people who make the current editorial decisions at HM&B? It would have taken very little time for an competent journalist to do this.
All the editorial assistants and acquiring editors at HM&B are currently women. There was once a male editor but that was a long time ago and he is now a hugely successful agent. I think the NY office now is going for more equal opportunity and has hired its token male but there are no male acquiring editors at the Richmond office.
My current editor started working for HM&B within the last few years. She has a Phd from Oxford. She decided that publishing was preferable to academia. My former editor needs to finish her dissertation . Her speciality is 19th century women's literature. Her Phd again will be from Oxford... My senior editor has worked in publishing since the 1970s. She has held a variety of editorial positions within HM&B. And I would say that being an editor in any large publishing house is a huge achievement. it is not a part time job.
The executive editor of the Presents/Modern line is a woman. As it is not my line, I have only spoken to her casually at the HM&B authors' toast. However, she is impressive. Again she has chosen publishing as a career. She is not working for pin money. She is working because it is her career and she is highly successful at year in and year out discovering best selling authors and managing the most successful line in Harlequin Enterprises. In short you do not become an executive editor in one of the world's largest publishing houses by being a pushover. You get it on merit, because you have demonstrated that you can deliver.
The current Editorial Director of HM&B is a woman. She is also one of the most powerful people in publishing, in both the UK and the world in general. Ultimately she is the person who decides which author will be bought for the lines that the UK editorial team hold over all responsibility for. Spend some time in her company, and you will realise that she knows a fantastic amount about publishing. Not just women's fiction but publishing in general. She is the ED for very sound business reasons and is there on merit.
If any young woman wants to go into publishing or indeed to know what it is like to succeed in this business, they could do far worse than to take the ED of HM&B as a role model.
Basically these are the women who decide. It would be a brave man who told them what to do. They make their decisions not on some ideal but on hard headed business facts. they are in the business of selling books.
Ultimately it is the vast majority of consumers who decide which books are bought and how the direction of the business is shaped.
And about those titles, TPTB recently did an experiment and gave a few less hooky titles to books. They had to apologise to the authors in questions, because despite garnering excellent reviews, the books tanked. In the world of category publishing, hooks rule. Hooks actually rule on other areas of publishing.It is just that people do not seem to joke about murder mystery titles as much.
So before pointing to huge male conspiracies, it would be helpful if journalists etc actually did their homework.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

That Guardian article

Yesterday, the Guardian produced a very sloppy piece of journalism in the Hell part of its article on Mills and Boon. You can read the full piece on Natasha Oakley's blog.
The journalist in question, Julie Bindel did not bother to properly research her piece. She simply quoted Violet Winspear from a 1970 interview and used her research from 15 years ago. She also glanced at a few back covers of the January 2007 releases. Nowhere in her article does she mention the far more up to date research of Laura Vivanco or Sandra Schwab.
At the moment, certain academics are investigating why the romance novel has remained popular and what it can tell the world about popular culture and current perspectives on the female condition. The research is easily accessible from the blog Teach Me Tonight. Why not use that research?
Why not read the books? Why not look at the latest statistics?
Her very method calls into question her integrity as a journalist. How many other corners has she cut? Can her articles on issues closer to her heart be trusted or has she done the bare minimum?
I do not mind people not liking romantic fiction, I probably would not like the sort of fiction they enjoy. I do not write for those people. What I do mind is sloppy journalism masquerading as some sort of definitive truth.
Surely if one thing has come out of the feminist movement is that women have the right to choose what they want to read. Or is her world view that of a Stalinist dictator that we must all read exactly what she prescribes?
When people report on industries or companies or indeed genres of books, they need to do their research and not to cut corners.
What people like Julie Bindel can not get away from is that romance remains the most popular genre other than religion and Harlequin Mills and Boon, the largest publisher in that genre, despite their best efforts to *educate* the masses about the evils of such things.
Right, back to my writing. I write for my readers whose intelligence and integrity are without question.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Going quickly

Blogging today at Tote bags.There is a contest to a copy of A Noble Captive as it is out in Italian. The prize though is the UK edition.

Dear Author has a lovely lovely review of A Christmas Wedding Wager up.

Also they pointed out that eharlequin ebooks is a 50% off sale tomorrow. A chance to stock up on ebooks.

My dd is in her school's production of Priates of Penzance today. So all is go...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Update on the Amazon situation and reader feedback

I have checked back. Amazon are now showing three copies in stock and that they have more on order.

I am so pleased as I would hate to think anyone was missing out.

The post delivered a lovely reader's letter. Tears came to my eyes when I read it. The woman had taken the time to scan the cover of ACWW and paste it to a card. She then wrote how much she enjoyed the book and that she had purchased copies for friends. It is for readers like Debi that I write my books.

Reader feedback means so much to me.

Dear Author recommends...

Perhaps an explaination as to why Amazon has gone temporarily out of stock...

Dear Author has recommended A Christmas Wedding Wager as one of their December reads. I can't wait to read Jayne's review and it is wonderful to know that the book inspired her to put up her Christmas decorations.

But the second comment really made my day. It is so great that readers think Harlequin Historical is pumping out some of the good stuff. I am so proud to be a part of their programme and I know how hard the editors and authors work...

On being temporarily out of stock

I went on this morning to check how well A Christmas Wedding Wager is doing. It is part of my routine to check on my books. Sad, yes, but it helps from going around the twist.

In any case, I have discovered that for some reason is temporarily out of A Christmas Wedding Wager. I did some fast checking. Barnes and Noble still is showing copies as is eharlequin. So I suspect that it is still relatively easy to get a copy and that it is just an Amazon supply problem. I mean after all the official publication date was only Saturday!

Of course, if you are willing to buy ACWW as an ebook (in any of its variations), there are always copies available. This includes Amazon Kindle.
The UK version of A Christmas Wedding Wager -- Christmas by Candlelight remains readily available from

Monday, December 03, 2007

Nell'Antro della Sibilla aka A Noble Captive

I discovered quite by accident that A Noble Captive has been published in Italian. It is called Nell'Antro della Sibilla and is a December 2007 release!
The blurb reads like this:
Mar Egeo, 75 a.C.
Catturato da una nave pirata mentre veleggia sulla sua trireme lungo le coste del Mediterraneo, il tribuno romano Marco Livio Tullio viene condotto su un'isola a nord di Creta e tenuto prigioniero nel tempio di Cibele, in attesa che giunga da Roma il riscatto. Il compito di vigilare su di lui e sui pochi superstiti del naufragio è affidato alla futura sacerdotessa della dea. La giovane, allevata fin da bambina per assumere quel ruolo, sente però di non avere il necessario dono della preveggenza e l'arrivo di Tullio, così diverso dal conquistatore brutale e prepotente che immaginava, riaccende in lei il desiderio di condurre la vita di una donna normale, con un marito e dei figli. Ma innamorarsi di un romano, l'odiato nemico, significherebbe tradire il suo popolo...
I found it listed on an Italian booklist of my books. and then discovered it on the Harmony (the Italian Harlequin) site.
It is always fantastic to have another editon come out.
Cranford continues to delight. I love the unfolding story lines, but all the romances so far have been so sad. Last night's episode was definitely one for the hankies...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Counting Down to Christmas

It is the First Sunday in Advent and wherever you go in Britain or the US, stores are decked out in Christmas decorations and all are Counting Down to Christmas.

But who started this tradition?

The honour was claimed by one Gordon Selfridge.
And surely if any man who should be lauded for transforming the shopping experience at Christmas -- both in the uK and the US, it is he.

Selfridge was an American and first started the tradition in the Marshall Field store in Chicago. He also introduced carol singers, free gifts with purchases and generally tried to make the shopping experience pleasurable. He discovered that customers responded to the idea of Christmas and Christmas related themes. I believe he even started the whole idea of personal shoppers and gift guides.
He got his start with Marshall Fields as a stockboy in 1879, but 1890 he was a junior partner. He came over to the UK in the early 1900s(1906) and started Selfridge's in 1909. The reason hedid so is slightly murky and no one really knows the full truth but around about then Marshall Field was incorporated and there is some speculation that he was not as well treated as he thought he deserved. The department store he created was the largest built from scratch rather than by expansion.

He did not start the annual or even the fire sale, but what he did was to create the idea that shopping is aspirational. He wanted to create a desire, but he also wanted the expereince to be available to all who entered his shop -- whether it was to purchase a very expensive item or the cheapest one. he made shopping into an event for all to share. He was very keen on window displays and showing how a product might be worn or incoprporated into a lifestyle. He thought of his department store as living theatre. Because of his success at getting the public flock to his stores and stay, spending money, his ideas were copied all over the world.
Certainly when I worked as a teenager at I Magnins, it did feel like a stage set. And it was all about treating the customer right -- no matter the size of the purchase! I did gift wrapping and as long as the item was purchased from Magnins, we would wrap it in the appropriate sized box. Magnin's boxes at Christmas were always gold with I Magnin's written in deep burguny red, and tied with a burgundy ribbon. Before being placed in the box, the present enveloped in tissue paper and sealed with a gold Magnins label. It was great fun in many ways.

Anyway, love or loathe Christmas and its shopping, Gordon Selfridge's innovation appears to have worked.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Romance Reader Connection Review

I had a lovely surprise in my email today. Melissa Fowler has reviewed A Christmas Wedding Wager for The Romance Reader Connection. She gave it a 4 1/2.

My favourite bit was:

A CHRISTMAS WEDDING WAGER is simply enchanting!

You can read the rest of the review here.

The Romance Reader Connection will also be publishing my response to the Holiday Parade 2007 question about which miracle has affected my life. I look forward to discovering what other authors have to say as well.

In other news: I have had a slight change in editors. I knew it was going to happen and I love and adore my new editor. She makes me think and constantly challenges me. My old editor is moving to a new and exciting post in HM&B...and I shall miss her wit and wisdom. HM&B does have a habit of changing author's editors so they do not get stale.

For anyone worried about slush submissions, know that the editor in question will make sure they go to a good home.

I had a lovely time at the RNA Northumberland Christmas meeting and came back with a totally over the top purple feather pen which my daughter has designs on. However it is resides in my pen holder for now...

I am just so pleased that Ms Fowler liked ACWW.