Sunday, May 06, 2012


One of the questions I’m most often asked  about the American editions of my books  is –
In  Harlequin Presents (Or Harlequin Presents Extra)  does that ‘Presents’ mean  presents as in a gift – a birthday  present – or Ta dah! Harlequin  Presents – as in ‘ we present to you . .
Well, the answer is that the real way to pronounce it is as in that second version – the ‘we present to you . . .’ but today  I’ve been thinking about the word  in its other sort of meaning – the presents that come gift-wrapped and we give to people for their special days.   There is a reason for this -  May is a month when several people I love have their birthday . My dear friend and wonderful writer Michelle Reid just had her special day and  in a couple of weeks my eldest sister has her birthday,  Oh, and tomorrow is my own birthday. No, you can’t ask which one – I was a child when I started writing -  honest!
So of course I have been dealing with the gift sort of presents for  a few weeks now. (My sister lives in Tasmania so I had to buy/wrap and send her gift a while back.) I like choosing presents for people I care about – I like thinking of what they enjoy, what interests them, what sort of things they might like to treat themselves too but perhaps couldn’t afford or  might think was a bit too extravagant to indulge in.  But I’m  pretty hopeless about  thinking about gifts for myself.
I just had a  conversation with my husband and my son and a couple of friends – could I . . .l well, no really, I couldn’t come up with any suggestions of what I’d like for a birthday present.  I’m lucky, you see – I  have the perfume  I want, the  bath and body luxuries that I was given for Christmas and  I haven’t been able to use up because of the renovations we had in the house for the last three months  – it’s hard to use up bath essences or oils when you don’t have a bathroom that’s working for some time, let alone a bath!  And  jewellery?   Well, really I don’t want a lot of jewellery – I mean how much can you wear at one time?  And I recently treated  myself to the one really special piece that I wanted  because my latest novel – The Devil and  Miss Jones – is my 60th published title.  So I bought myself this necklace to celebrate.
But after a rather difficult year just behind me – with family ill health, bereavement   . .. and then all those renovations – messy, dirty, noisy, but worth it in the end – I  come to this birthday knowing deep down that really I have all I need or want.  My husband is now  well after a health scare, my son and his partner are happy and settled, my family  - there are more sisters than the one in Tasmania -  are all fine.  Even the  cats, two crazy Maine Coons are happy and healthy and revelling in the fact that  Spring is back and they can roam in the garden and climb the trees.
And  thinking about this reminds me why I write romance. It brings me back the that opening and the ‘Harlequin Presents ‘.   Because the truth is that if we have someone to  love and care for us then we have everything we need. That’s why I write romance and, I think, why people love to read it. We love to think that there will be someone special, a real true hero (or heroine) for each of us. Someone who really is a lover in all senses of the word. And that’s why I write the lovely life and love-affirming books I do. To show how important  love is in the world and in our lives.
So in a way the Harlequin Presents   books are those very special gifts too.
My DH has just gone into the living room with some wrapping paper and a bag containing . . . well, I don’t know what, but I have strict instructions not to go in there for a while! So  it looks like he found something that needs wrapping for  tomorrow.  As I said, I really am very lucky.
And because I’d like to share my special day and the celebrations with the wonderful readers who have helped me enjoy this special career  - because without my readers  buying my books I  wouldn’t be able to keep writing – I’m offering a giveaway with this post to someone who comments.
I’d love to know which of my backlist of books you’d really like to read.  If I was sending  you a Present  from Harlequin Presents (or Presents Extra) then which one would it be?  Have a look at my web site  if you need inspiration but just let me know which title you’re missing from your collection – or that you really fancy reading – and I’ll  get Charlie the Maine Coon to pick a winner who’ll receive a book from the backlist I have in stock. (I don’t have any of the really older books -  the ones that date back to 1986 when my writing career really began but I’ll offer you a choice of the ones I do have!)
Thank you all for sharing in my celebration.
The Devil and Miss Jones is out in  Presents Extra - and still available iN Mills & Boon Modern too. In Australia it's the lead book in the special Motehr's Day Pack so that means it's helping with anoyther sort of celebration too. 
 You can keep up with all my news on my web site, and the latest happenings are over on my personal blog.

It took some time to find Charlie and get him to pick the winners, but now that the rain has started he's back inside!  And he was hungry so he has picked more than one winner!
The winners are -
Lory Lee

Suqiressj  and Jen - I have copies of the books you have chosen (Lept for Her Baby and The Return of The Stranger)   and Lory Lee- I don't have any copies of One Night in Madrid because that is a 3 book  anthology - but I will send you a copyu of the book Spanish Billionaire,Inocent Wife which is my book in that collection
Please all winners send  me your postal addresses to kate AT
And thank you all again for the birthday wishes!


Lory Lee said...

Advance Happy Birthday to you! May is also very special to my family since my two brothers will also celebrate their birthdays (24 and 27). And about the book (excited!) I'd love to read "ONE NIGHT IN MADRID" mainly because I like the country Spain (maybe because I have a bit of Spanish blood) and Spanish men are gorgeous and passionate. Thanks for the lovely post and the giveaway! :D

Karen H said...

Happy birthday to you Kate! Enjoy your day. You can always do what I did...start a collection of Swarovski Crystal Miniatures. They range in price from $35 to $1000. I have a wish list of about 35 miniatures and own about 9 so far...everything from a lighthouse to a lady bug. Love 'em!

Thanks for the giveaway. Your new book sounds good.

SiNn said...

Happy Birthday! honestly your totally right on why i read romance Im a horror film junky butir ead romance so i can know at the end ofthe day the onlythingthat reallymatters is love andthose you care aboutand who care about you its a beautiful thing.

Iveread all most all of your books except for the new one and CLAIMED BY THE SICILIAN
andthose books it contains book budget i donthave so i chomp at the bit and hope for the best or begmy lib to get ones i havent read in

ty for the chance


Anne McAllister said...

Well, as someone who is struggling to come up with the suitably appropriate birthday present this time, I wish you'd dropped a few hints. Sadly no Hugh Jackman t-shirts on the horizon this time around. Still wracking my brain . . .

Kate Walker said...

Hi Lory - And Happy Birthday to your brothers for later in the month. Like you I love to read about a Spanish hero - how interesting that you have some Spanish blood yourself.

Kate Walker said...

Hi Karen and thank you for the birthday wishes. I've seen those miniatures - and some of them are really beautiful. Well worth collecting

Kate Walker said...

Hi Sinn - I'm glad you agree with me about why you read romance . Love is the most important thing, isn't it? That's why I love writing about it. Thank you so much for saying that yo've read so many of my books that is such a compliment to me as a writer.

Kate Walker said...

Oh Anne, I'm sorry - but I really don't know what I'd like as a present this year - unless you happen to have Hugh J giftwrapped - that's be OK ;o) I've not been able to give anyone any suggestions . .. Charlie suggests a new kitten to play with!

Manisha said...

Hello Kate
Many Happy returns of the day. My best wishes to you. Yeah me too get difficulties to choose gift, But once I go shopping, I always find something immediately and then I will tell myself, y I spent so much time trying to figure out what to buy.
Enjoy your special day and congrats for your 60th published title

Pat Cochran said...

Happy Birthday, Kate, on your mystery

Tomorrow would have been my Mom & Dad's
anniversary. If they were still with us,
it would be their 77th!!

Enjoy a special celebration! (Here's me,
raising a glass to you!!)

Pat C.

Kaelee said...

Hi Kate ~ However you pronounce it Presents are great. Hope you have a Happy Birthday tomorrow.

Maybe being as you just had your kitchen and bathroom renovated you might get some new tea towels or towels. Are you at the decorating stage yet?

I'll mention it again ~ I just loved The Devil and Miss Jones.

Malvina said...

Happy birthday Kate. I still remember you fondly from coming to the RWAustralia conference. Keep on writing!


GladysMP said...

We have been doing a lot of birthday celebrating ourselves during April. It has been fun, but I am actually looking forward to a bit of a lull because I need to get a lot of things done that I have had to postpone.

squiresj said...

I would like to read Kept for Her Baby. Then maybe I could have a good Mother's Day. I am wondering if my husband will even be here to celebrate his 65th birthday on June 5th. He already almost died on me 2 weeks ago. Then today his heart rate spiked again. His blood sugar will not stay stable.
All I can do is cry and pray and cry some more.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Nas said...

Happy Birthday, Kate!

Debby said...

Happy Birthday!! Good luck to squiressj.
Life is never easy.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Jen B. said...

I would love to read The Return of the Stranger. Even the name is awesome. But the book description, shiver! jepebATverizonDOTnet

TashNz said...

Happy Birthday Morning to you Kate, it's your Birthday evening technically as I write this from NZ. You've had a difficult year and I wish you on your birthday happiness and success to you and your family for the year. Thank you for sharing all that you do, it's been great following you renovations etc. If I was lucky enough to be drawn I would chose the Konstantos Marriage Demand. Hope you have a lovely birthday. Tash

Mary Preston said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I would love to read THE HOSTAGE BRIDE, but I think we should be giving you the gifts.

Kate Walker said...

Hi Manisha - thank you for the nirthday wishes adn the congratulations on the 60th! I've been out enjoying my day so I'm late coming in to answer everyine! It's funny how sometimes you can spend ages thinking and trying to plan and then find something quickly and easily - and somethimes the simplest ideas are the betsa ren't they?

Kate Walker said...

Hello Pat - what a major anniversary today would have been for your Mum and Dad - I'mn sure they are still together and so you can celebrate that anniversary for them. Thank you for raising that glass - I'm raising one to you and all my readers (and your Mom and Dad) tonight.

Kate Walker said...

Kaelee - your post made me smile - funnily enough, someone has just sent me a pack of really pretty tea towels the go in the new kitchen - and another gift was a beautiful bowl in a rich glowing blue. Yes, we are decorating the kitchen and the bathroom now - and you're right new towels will be on the list!

Thak you for your lovely comments on The Devil and Miss Jones - you know exactly what to give and author for her birthday! :o)

Kate Walker said...

Hi Malvina - I remember you too! That was a lovely trip and a wonderful conference - I remember the hotel staff saying they'd never seen conference delegates hove so much fun and I agree. Please remember me to any RWAus friends.

Kate Walker said...

Dear Gladys - your post made me smile - how great that you have had birthday celebrations to enjoy - but I understand how sometimes that does interfere with tihikngs that need to be done. The renovations we've had done have been so successful but I'm glad of the lull now that it's done and we can relax a bit more.

Kate Walker said...

OH my dear - my heart goes out to you. How difficult it must be for you to cope at the moment. It is so very hard when someone we love is ill - and so worrying. I know, my husband was very ill last year. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I do hope that your husband will be able to celebrate his birthday in June

Kate Walker said...

Hi Nas - and thank you so much

Kate Walker said...

Thank you Debby - and thank you for your thoughts for squiressj - life can be very hard at times, can't it?

Kate Walker said...

Hi Jen - I'm glad you like the description of Return of the Stranger - and I hope that if you read it it lives up to that! I like the thought of you shivering in anticipation!

Kate Walker said...

Hello Tash - lovely to 'see'you here! Thank you so much for the birthday wishes - I'm hoping that a 'new year' will put all those difficulties behind me. I'm glad you enjoyed following the renovations through the blog - a bit (a lot!) easier than going through them in reality!

Kate Walker said...

Hi Mary! The Hostage Bride is one of those older boks that I no longer have copies for but it is now available in the Harlequin Treasury. Thank you for the birthday wishes, but believe me, my readers give me the wonderful gift of buying/reading/enjoying my books - and for a writer it doesn't come much better than that!

Kate Walker said...

It took some time to find Charlie and get him to pick the winners, but now that the rain has strted he's back inside! ANd he was hungry so he has picked more than one winner!

The winners are -
Lory Lee

Suqiressj and Jen - I have copies of the books you have chosen and Lory Lee- I don't have any copies of One Night in Madrid because that is a 3 book anthology - but I will send you a copyu of the book Spanish Billionaire,Inocent Wife which is my book in that collection

Please all winners send me your postal addresses to kate AT

And thank you all again for the birthday wishes!