Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Day Nine brings us one of my dearest friends, who, by some stroke of UNluck, I have never crossed paths with in person.  No matter.  Liz mentored me before I ever sold a book and when I need advice I always turn to her.  She's wise, she's cool, and she writes wonderful books.  She's got a fantastic duo out at the moment, which you're going to hear about in a just a sec.  Here's Liz...

Reading is, and always has been, the first love of my life. Except writing.

Success came early -- I was twelve when I won an Easter egg in a hymn writing competition at school – but life intervened with my plans to become a hot shot author. The day job. Not that this was dull. I travelled to Zambia at the age of twenty where I worked as a secretary, before following my personal hero to the Middle East, Kenya, Botswana and ambition became buried in the joyful business of raising a family.

I never forgot that I was a “writer”, however. I wrote children’s stories for Listen With Mother. Magazines articles. Ghost stories. I was at a point where I wanted to move onto something bigger when I read a magazine piece about Charlotte Lamb and Anne Hampson and discovered, rather late in life, romantic fiction. I read everything I could lay my hands on, then, feeling certain I had a grasp of the genre, began writing. I had three rejections – I still have those letters! -- but my fourth submission became An Image of You and was published in 1992.

Since then seven of my books have been shortlisted for RWA’s RITA award – two of them, THE BEST MAN & THE BRIDESMAID and THE MARRIAGE MIRACLE winning in 2001 and 2006, respectively. A FAMILY OF HIS OWN also won the RNA’s Romance Prize in 2005.

The PH and I are empty-nesters these days, living out in the country where excitement means a visit from the mobile shop, the travelling library, the fish man. But I’m a writer, I invent my own worlds. Once the door to the my cabin in the woods is closed I can be anywhere my imagination takes me; the desert kingdom of Ramal Hamrah, the villages of Upper Haughton, Little Hinton and Longbourne where romance is always just around the corner, or I can jet off to New York, the Mediterranean, even the Himalayas. Pick up a book and come with me…

Liz has Christmas Angel for the Billionaire for our prize, book 1 in her Trading Places duet.
Lady Roseanne, orphaned just before Christmas when she was six years old, has become the “people’s angel”. At sixteen she stepped into her parents’ shoes to become the face of the charity they founded. Ten years on, she’s a young woman cut off from real life, confined within the protective bubble of bodyguards and protocol.

Here she is –

Annie smothered a yawn. The room was hot, the lingering scent of food nauseating and all she wanted to do was lay her head on the table in front of her, close her eyes and switch off.

If only.

There was a visit to a hospital, then three hours of Wagner at a charity gala to endure before she could even think about sleep. And even then, no matter how tired she was, thinking about it was as close as she would get.

George Saxon walked away from his family the minute he had a chance. His father never understood him, he is the despair of his mother and his daughter -- well she just wants him to notice her.

Here’s George –

George Saxon, bare feet propped on the deck rail of his California beach house, laptop on his knees, gave up on the problem that had been eluding him for weeks and surfed idly through the headlines of the London newspapers.

His eyes were caught by the picture of a couple leaving some gala. She was one of those tall, patrician women, pale blonde hair swept up off her neck, her fabulously expensive gown cut low to reveal hollows in her shoulders even deeper than those in her cheeks.

But it wasn’t her dress or the fact that she’d so obviously starved herself to get into it that had caught and held his attention. It was her eyes.

Her mouth was smiling for the camera, but her eyes, large, blue seemed to be looking straight at him, sending him a silent appeal for help.

He clicked swiftly back to the program he’d been working on. Sometimes switching in and out of a problem cleared the blockage but this one was stubborn, which was why he’d left his Chicago office, his lakeside apartment. Escaping the frantic pre-Christmas party atmosphere for the peace of the beach.

Behind him, inside the house, the phone began to ring. It would be his accountant, or his lawyer, or his office but success had insulated him from the need to jump when the phone rang and he left it for the machine to pick up. There was nothing, no one --

‘George? It’s your dad…’

But then again there were exceptions to every rule.

And here’s what Romantic Times had to say –

CHRISTMAS ANGEL FOR THE BILLIONAIRE (4.5) A delicate blending of fantasy and reality, this story has everything, including a difficult but irresistible hero and a clever, gutsy heroine who's in every way his match.

Today's clue is GRINCH!
Put it in the subject line of your e-mail to donnaalward@hotmail.com and you're entered!
Only three days left...


  1. Love Liz's books! Love her characters. It's always such a disappointment to get to reach the end and have to leave them! :D

  2. Love Liz's books and would love to win this and review it. I sent my entry in.

  3. Hi everyone -- sorry I'm late turning up for the show. Life is hectic -- not a Christmas card written or a present wrapped!

    Lovely to be part of your 12 Days of Christmas, Donna. Thanks for having me.

    Happy Holidays everyone!