Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Guest Blogger - Kate Walker
What do you plan to read – and where?
It’s almost November 1st. I’ve just been planning ahead, realising that the AMBA (Association of Mills & Boon Authors) lunch I’ve been looking ahead to is actually next week. On Tuesday – just as this blog is launched - I’ll be heading for London, meeting up with so many fellow authors and friends, and the event I’ve been thinking of as ‘late in the year’ is actually just a few days away. And after that . . . I just turned over another page on my office diary to see that then we start off a whole new month. . And as I did so, a nursery rhyme from long ago came into my head. It’s the one that begins:
January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow.
And then goes through all the rest of the months,
The lines for November go:
Dull November brings the blast,
Then the leaves go whirling past.
They couldn’t really be more appropriate to the sort of day we have outside. It might not be November quite yet, but the wind has been howling round the house, whirling the leaves wildly and throwing heavy cold rain at the window panes. After a short but beautiful and amazingly warm ‘Indian summer in October, winter has definitely come a lot closer as soon as November appears on the calendar. But once I’d done my daily walk - getting drenched and feeling frozen as I did so – had my shower and I started to feel virtuous as a result, the idea of staying in and keeping warm really appealed. And then my DH lit a real fire in the grate so that the cats and I could get really cozy and curl up beside it and it seemed just the perfect place to sit and read to my heart’s content.
OK, I can’t quite do that just yet. I’m on a very tight deadline ( I call them dreadlines) and I need to deal with the black sheep prince who is my current hero before I can look forward to tackling the huge TBR pile I have waiting for me. And then the fire is going to be so welcome.
But then I had an email from my sister who lives in Australia where of course everything is ‘upside down’ and so she’s heading into summer. So she’s talking about taking her TBR books out into the garden (also with her cats!) and soon, hopefully, on to the beach. (The cats will stay at home then.) And that made me remember how much I loved sitting outside under a tree . . . or on a beach, enjoying the sunshine . . . and reading. I’ve been trying to decide which is my absolute favourite place to be when I have a pile of books I just want to dive into. In the end, I couldn’t choose. OK, I admit that right now the fireside wins but that’s because the weather is so dreadful and cold – and WET.
But it made me wonder – do you have a favourite place to curl up with your latest books you buy and lose yourself in a story? By the fire? On a beach? In the woods? By the pool? And what books are at the top of your TBR pile right now? I have The Night that Changed Everything by Anne McAllister, The Kanellis Scandal by Michelle Reid, a fascinating novel about a heart transplant patient – Second Hand Heart by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Oh yes and the other three books in the Powerful and The Pure mini series.
The Powerful and the Pure is a special mini series where Presents Authors took the themes of classics of romantic fiction - Jane Eyre, Emma, Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights. I was thrilled to be asked to take part in it, especially when I learned that the book they wanted me to work on was my own favourite - Wuthering Heights. I've had an amazing time looking back at this great book and honouring it by using it as the inspiration for my own Presents version of this amazing story in The Return of The Stranger. I've had to make changes of course - Wuthering Heights isn't really a love story. It's a story about passion and possession and power - so while all those other books had happy endings already set, I had to create one for my characters. I also had to take wild, willful Cathy and dark, dangerous Heathcliff and give them the happy ever after ending that Emily Bronte's story never had.
The Return of The Stranger which is my own contribution to this mini series is out in Presents Extra this month – and I’ve been getting so many emails from readers saying how much they’ve enjoyed it – and some really great reviews (one reviewer said : Ms. Walker does a splendid job weaving a modern-day tale of Heathcliff and Lady Catherine in The Return of the Stranger. Rich with intrigue, scandal, revenge and forbidden, unleashed desire her take on the classic Wuthering Heights reminds us why some love stories are truly timeless. And Ms. Walker’s current story based loosely on that epic tale lives up to the bar set by Bronte.)
You don’t have to have liked or even read the original Wuthering Heights to enjoy The Return of The Stranger – it’s a stand-alone romance that can be read as a classic Harlequin Presents as well as a story inspired by that great classic novel. And I want to read the other three books to see how my fellow authors have dealt with the stories they were working on. So three more books (by Sharon Kendrick, Kate Hewitt and Cathy Williams) on my TBR pile.
But first I have to finish dealing with this black sheep prince and send him to my editor – and then I’m really going to read . . .and read . . .
So what about you – where do you prefer to read, indoors or out? And what’s on your
TBR pile that you’re looking forward to getting your hands on? Tell me what you plan to read and where and I’ll get Charlie the Maine Coon to pick a winner of a book from my backlist – that’s if I can get him away from the fire! And that way you’ll have even more titles on your TBR pile!
PS I know I’ll be in London but I’ll hope to be able to visit as often as possible and chat with your all – always providing the wifi in the hotel works!
THE RETURN OF THE STRANGER
Standing high on the windswept moors, the lone figure of Heath Montanha vows vengeance on the woman who destroyed the last fragments of his heart...Lady Katherine Charlton has never forgotten the stablehand with dangerous fists and a troubled heart from her childhood. Now the rebel is back, his powerful anger concealed under a polished and commanding veneer. When ten years of scandal and secrets are unleashed, with a passionate, furious kiss, Heath's deepest, darkest wish crystallises...Revenge - and Kat - will be his!
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