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My latest blog posts

Products to make you feel beautiful

Regular readers of my blog will know that I love to travel. Exploring new cultures is the main appeal of course, but also… I adore the duty-free shopping! I often arrive at my destination with a new perfume, and my trip feels all the more special for it. Later, when I am back home and I smell that perfume, I am transported across the world to Egypt or Greece or Italy. Truly scent-sational!

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10 things I love about Andalusia

‘En la sangre hierve España sin fuego. (In Spain blood boils without fire.) This proverb says it all: Spanish is a land of deep passions, the perfect setting for fiery, dramatic romance…’

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Perfectly imperfect art

Recently, a memoir caught my eye. Published in February this year, Sounds Like Titanic by Jessica Chicceh Hindman is an account of her time playing the violin with a professional ensemble in New York City. Only she didn’t actually get to play the violin – none of the members of the

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Poems to lift a lonely heart

‘Solitude is fine, but you need someone to tell you that solitude is fine.’ So wrote French novelist Honoré de Balzac. For me, this quotation perfectly encapsulates the difficulty of our time in lockdown. We may appreciate the simpler, quieter life, but at the same time we ache to share the time with

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Healing through music: the power of music therapy

In my novel Concerto, the heroine, Catriona, is a music therapist who is hired to work with a client who is depressed. Umberto was once a celebrated pianist composer, but since he lost his sight he has turned his back on the music that is his great passion. Once, Catriona

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Fiction: ‘the triumph over chaos’

‘To write fiction, to express oneself eloquently and with passion, to set down the words in order – that requires triumph over chaos. But more than that, I think writing demands finding a harmonious way of being with chaos…’

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Hannah Fielding romance interrupted blog

Romance, interrupted

‘Does it matter, ultimately, when a romance is interrupted, when a hero and heroine spend years apart when they could have been together?’

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The serendipitous book discovery

‘Finding a book that speaks to you feels like finding treasure. There’s a magic to it – a spark of energy when you realise the book in your hand is one you’re going to read…’

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The perils of fairy-tale romance

‘As a child, I longed for the world to be only sunshine and rainbows and happy-ever-afters. As an adult, I understand that real romance is multi-faceted, and there is a danger in indulging in fantasy…’

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Bibliotherapy: books to heal the soul

‘Studies have shown that bibliotherapy is especially powerful for alleviating anxiety and depression, which makes reading so important for us all right now as we are trapped in a bubble of worry, fear and isolation. Reading is an act of self-love; it is a way to make yourself feel better…’

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8 reasons to read a romance novel today

‘The best romances offer an opportunity for readers to learn about something new, such as an interesting occupation or a place. In my own romances, I take readers to fascinating locations around the world, like Lake Como and Venice and Cadiz, so that my books are like a passport to travel from the comfort of your own home…’

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Duende: the artistic flamenco spirit

Have you heard of the term duende? The Oxford English Dictionary defines duende as ‘a quality of passion and inspiration’. The word is used to describe a state of heightened emotion, authenticity and expression, and it is commonly associated with flamenco. The soul in the singer’s cry, the feeling etched into the dancer’s face, the power in the guitarist’s playing – that is duende.

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My latest blog posts

Literary cookbooks for bibliophiles

Love novels? Love food? Then you’ll love literary cookbooks! These collections of recipes inspired by works of fiction offer you a chance to not only imagine fictional words but get a real taste of them…

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Muse: The woman in the shadows

‘Maybe you could become my muse … what d’you say?’ So says the hero of my latest novel, Concerto, to the heroine. Umberto is a pianist composer set for superstardom; Catriona is his young and naïve neighbour who dreams of being an opera singer. The idea of being a muse… well, who wouldn’t be flattered? But does it mean living in the shadow of genius?

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‘Classy and fabulous’: The heroine’s style in my novels

‘A girl should be two things,’ said Coco Chanel: ‘classy and fabulous.’ Certainly, this is the ethos I have in mind when I write the heroines of my novels. One of my favourite aspects of characterisation is to consider the heroine’s style, and I must confess I am a big fan of dressing them to impress!

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Writing Romantic heroes

An individual, a maverick, a self-made man; introspective, a thinker; drawn to nature; driven by emotion and deeply impassioned… the heroes of my novels are not just romantic, they’re Romantic in the sense of the literary archetype.

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Building your home library

‘I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.’ So wrote Jorge Luis Borges, and I quite agree. What is truly wonderful about this idea is that paradise is within our reach! We each have the ability to create a little haven at home, with a home library.

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Views of Lake Como: ‘a spot blessed by heaven’

My latest novel, Concerto, is set on Lake Como, Italy, a place so beautiful the composer Franz Liszt described it as ‘a spot blessed by heaven’. Today, I’m sharing with you some of my favourite views of the lake. Don’t forget my Sunday Special offer: if you sign up to my newsletter, you’ll receive my ebook 8 Must-See Tourist Attractions Around Lake Como for free!

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The romantic lace-making of Venice

Venice, setting of my novel The Echoes of Love, is famous for being the City of Love – but did you know it’s also known for lace-making? Not only is Venetian lace so intricate and beautiful that it’s a work of art, but there’s a romantic legend that tells us how this lace originated…

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Finding beauty in the moment

‘Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!’ From a William Wordsworth sonnet, inspired by a moment of reflection and connection he experienced during a visit to London and written 218 years ago today…

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Romantic legends of Italy

Once I have chosen the setting for my next novel, I do my best to learn all about this place: its history, its culture, its cuisine, its scenery. But my favourite research of all is into the stories of the place: its myths, legends and fairy tales. So it was with my novel The Echoes of Love

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Drawing inspiration from romantic settings

Setting is everything for my fiction, not just the backdrop of the story but where I write – where I dream up the first meeting of two people destined to be soulmates, or a first kiss shared on a moonlit beach, or a sunset framing lovers walking off into their happy-ever-after…

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Romance: not fantasy, but reality

‘To me, romance is reality. Romance – love – is everywhere, playing out all around us every day. Reading a romance novel isn’t indulging in a flight of fantasy; it’s reading about something real, and beautiful, and within your own reach in life…’

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Top screen adaptations of romantic English literature

‘Oh, the power of a good screen adaption of classic literature to awaken the romantic sensibilities! I can’t tell you how many afternoons since I have sat on a shady bench and gazed at the pond in the grounds of my home in Kent, indulging in a Darcy-esque daydream…’

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WIN fabulous prizes in my Sunday Special giveaway

Over the past few months, as a ‘Sunday Special’, I have given away my novel Indiscretion, serialised in chapters. I had such a wonderful response that I’ve decided to run another Sunday Special – a giveaway with exquisite and unique prizes worth more than £150. This giveaway is open to EVERYONE, so don’t miss your chance to win a wonderful gift from me to you.

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My latest blog posts

Romantic classical music: My top five pieces

Music has such power to express romantic feelings: as the French novelist Victor Hugo wrote, ‘Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.’ Here are my top five romantic pieces of classical music – inspiration for my latest novel, Concerto, the love story of a pianist composer and a music therapist.

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An architectural tour of my novels

My love for travel shines through in my novels, which are set in countries I have loved exploring. Here I take you on a little tour of some of the wonderful historic architecture that features in my books.

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How important is originality in fiction?

‘There is nothing new under the sun.’ So goes the proverb derived from the Book of Ecclesiastes. Depending on your perspective, you may find this a comforting thought or a frustrating limitation – or, indeed, a challenge to which you will rise.

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The romance of the sunset

‘It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream,’ said the English philosopher Bernard Williams. I quite agree: for me, the sunset can be so stirring and poignant and romantic.

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