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My latest blog posts

The Mpingo tree

My novel, Burning Embers, is set in Kenya in 1970. The heroine, Coral, was born in Mombasa, but when her parents separated she moved to London. Now, she is returning to her birthplace to take up her inheritance: mistress of her father’s plantation, Mpingo. At the heart of Mpingo is

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The language of love

French, so they say, is the language of love. You may wonder why, then, when I speak and write fluently in both French and English, I choose to write in English. As a child I grew up speaking French predominantly – which was easy for me because my governess, Zula,

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Clapping the net over the butterfly of the moment

Vita Sackville-West is famous for many things. She was the daughter of Lionel Edward Sackville-West, 3rd Baron Sackville, and his wife, Victoria Sackville-West. She was married to Harold Nicolson, a diplomat, journalist, broadcaster, Member of Parliament and author. She lived in Sissinghurst Castle, Kent, and created the beautiful gardens now opened to the

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Favourite actor: David Selby

Elvis Presley, James Dean, Robert Pattinson, George Clooney, Leonardo di Caprio, Brad Pitt… all teenagers dream of talented and handsome actors, and as a young girl I was no different. There were many actors I admired whom I had seen on television and at the movies, but my favourite for

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The romantic nanny

In Burning Embers twenty-five-year old Coral returns home to her birthplace, a Kenyan plantation, where she is reunited with Aluna, her old yaha – her nanny from childhood. It’s a poignant reunion for the two, who were torn apart many years ago when Coral’s parents divorced. Coral allows Aluna to

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The day I unwittingly snubbed Richard Burton

When I was a girl my family used to visit a cabin in a place called Montazah. It was an idyllic spot away from the bustling city – woods, green gardens and the sparkling Mediterranean on our doorstep. My sister, my cousins and I would have a blissful time during

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Romance book cover art

I have recently discovered the social media site Pinterest, which allows you to collate your favourite images and share them with followers. I think of myself as a visual writer – I’m inspired by things I see, and in turn I try to describe scenes carefully so that a reader

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An interview with Hannah Fielding

The following interview was published on Omnific Publishing’s website. Omnific: Burning Embers is set in such an amazing landscape that it becomes almost a character in the story. What was your inspiration for writing Burning Embers?  Hannah Fielding: Burning Embers began not as a story, but as a vivid landscape

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The Golden Globe

As a young girl I attended a convent school run by French nuns  (interestingly, all had once been Jewish but converted to Catholicism). The nuns were passionate about French literature, and so I was brought up on the likes of Balzac, Flaubert, Proust and Hugo. But it was 19th-century poet Leconte

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A publisher author

There have been several moments in my life that have had such resonance that I’ve found myself pausing, smiling and looking back over my journey to that point. My first lone journey abroad as a young woman to live in London. My first kiss. The first dance at my wedding.

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Returning home from France

This is the ferry that brings be back to Kent from France. And here is the view of the white cliffs of Dover I see from the ferry – such an awesome sight.  

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Romance writing and the freedom to be feminine

I’m a romantic, I’m a woman and I’m a writer – and I’m privileged to be able to combine these three aspects of myself in my passion, authoring romance novels. But as a recent Huffington Post article  reminded me, not all female writers have had the opportunity to write as themselves;

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Choosing to love

In any book, the main characters go on a journey. It would be a dreary book indeed if the characters learnt nothing! Although fate plays a part, the characters have free will and they must choose the path of their journey. Love is a gift, but the recipient must actively

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Favourite recipes: Mombasa Curry

Spring is here, but the weather is wobbling between wintry and warm. So what to cook in such temperamental weather? Take a leaf from those who live in Kenya, the setting of my novel Burning Embers, and dish up a curry. Curry is traditionally associated with India, but in fact

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How do you select the books you read?

This week I have discovered a whole new world: Goodreads. What a wonderful website! Such a vast, welcoming community of like-minded book lovers, keen to share recommendations and talk about books they’ve read. My ‘to read’ list is completely out of control, now, thanks to all the marvellous books I’ve

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Britain’s got passion

British people are traditionally seen as reserved, formal, bearers of stiff upper lips. But a survey this week revealed that in fact beneath the cool exterior run torrenting rivers of passion to equal those of our Mediterranean neighbours. The survey, commissioned by erotic publisher Xcite Books, found that despite the

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Chemistry versus compatibility

Have you seen the musical Guys and Dolls? It’s a favourite of mine, because it’s upbeat and atmospheric and has toe-tapping tunes; plus there’s a wonderful cast of Hollywood greats in the 1955 film version: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine. And of course, hopeless romantic that

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Spring, timelessness, romance

Daffodils, tulips, bluebells; dozy bees and cheery thrushes; the drone of a lawnmower, the scent of the new grass; the bluest sky, the sun on your face . . . spring has arrived! For me, spring is the most energising season. There’s renewed vigour, more power in a daydream, the

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Live on doubts?

One of French author Francois de la Rochefoucauld’s most famous maxims is on the subject of jealousy. ‘Live on doubts,’ he advises; ‘it becomes madness or stops entirely as soon as we pass from doubt to certainty.’ Francois de la Rochefoucauld is advocating an ostrich-with-its-head-in-the-sand approach to doubts about a

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Writers’ rooms

Regular readers of my blog will know that settings are a big inspiration for me in my writing. I love to write outdoors, amid the lush, vivid colours of gardens, the hum of crickets and the melodies of the birds; but of course sometimes the south of France is too

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African proverbs

I love quotations and aphorisms and proverbs – simplicity coupled with inspiration and power. In researching Burning Embers, I read a lot of books about Africa, in particular those relating to African culture and philosophy. It struck me that some of the basic African proverbs have become worldwide currency. Perhaps

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A winning love ballad?

This past week the newspapers have been full of commentary on the release of this year’s Eurovision entry song: ‘Love Will Set You Free’, sung by Engelbert Humperdinck (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFNv9pjqZkk). The song is a ballad, simple, restrained – the vocals accompanied by a melancholic Spanish guitar arrangement.  The lyrics are

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Favourite poem: The Stars Falling

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a poem from my favourite poet, Leconte de Lisle. Regular readers of my blog will remember I have a real affinity for de Lisle’s poetry, which dates back to the 19th century. His verses are a source of inspiration for me in creating

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Burning Embers: The book trailer

I’m delighted to announce that the book trailer for my new novel is now live:  I had a lot of fun writing the script for this, and am delighted with the visuals – particularly of the lead male character in the book, Rafe, who is most rakish and debonair. I

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The top ten most romantic lines in literature

Regular readers of my blog and followers on Twitter will have spotted that I love quotations – especially romantic ones. I find them inspiring, and they often eloquently voice a sentiment one struggles to put into words. I was intrigued to see recent reports of a survey commissioned to boost

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A terrace with a view

  We often have our aperitif on this terrace before meals, à la Française, looking out onto the view.  I sit here sometimes in the afternoon reading to research my current book.

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My latest blog posts

Welcome to El Pavón

In my first novel, Burning Embers, the heroine Coral has inherited a plantation in Kenya. I so loved making her a mistress of a beautiful expanse of land, and describing the setting: an exotic and stunning backdrop for the love story that plays out. In my new novel, Indiscretion, the

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My ten best tips for overcoming writer’s block

Writer’s block is a strange beast indeed. The writer lives and breathes writing, and has done from an early age. All we want to do is write; it’s what makes us feel most alive, most ourselves, most fulfilled and peaceful inside. And yet some days, the words just won’t come.

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Favourite writer: Miguel de Cervantes

Too much sanity may be madness and the maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be. –Miguel de Cervantes I was in my teens when I first began reading classic world literature, and when it came to Spanish literature, top of the list

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The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor

From the blurb: Inspired by true events, the New York Times bestselling novel The Girl Who Came Home is the poignant story of a group of Irish emigrants aboard RMS Titanic—a seamless blend of fact and fiction that explores the tragedy’s impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants. Ireland, 1912. Fourteen members

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Author: The most coveted job

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I imagine you changed your mind fairly often, as you discovered the world around and fell in and out of love with aspects of it, but perhaps one desire was deep-rooted and pervaded through the

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The UK’s ‘Most Romantic’ Awards

Regular readers of my blog and my books will know this fundamental truth about me: I’m an ardent romantic. I very much wish that was something everyone could say about themselves. Don’t you think the world would be a warmer, sweeter, kinder, more beautiful place if we were all romantics?

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The Hall of the Abencerrages

One of my favourite places on earth is the Alhambra, the amalgamation of fabulous Arabesque palaces and a fortress complex built by the Moors on a steep wooded hill during the mid-14th century in Granada, Spain. It’s straight out of the Arabian Nights, and is startling for its beauty and

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How ebook analysis can shape writing and publishing strategy

Follow my blog with Bloglovin An interesting new trend is emerging in publishing news – releases from Amazon sharing reader and reading data. Take, for example, its news release on the most highlighted passages in Montlake Romance titles (Montlake is its romance imprint). Amazon shared the 14 passages that readers most

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Heredity and my new novel, Indiscretion

Follow my blog with Bloglovin With just weeks to go until the publication of my new novel, Indiscretion, I’m delighted to be able to start sharing something of the background and themes of to the book. Today, I’d like to introduce this poem, by Thomas Hardy:     I am the

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Cover reveal for my new novel, Indiscretion!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Happy Valentine’s Day. Today I’m delighted to be able to share with you the cover for my new novel, Indiscretion, which will publish in April. I think this is my favourite cover yet – what do you think?

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Want to feel better about yourself? Read more books…

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Quick Reads is a UK-based initiative that aims to encourage adult engagement with reading. It commissions big-name authors to write shorts – little books that are quick and easy to read, so that the one in six adults in the country who struggle with reading

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By the light of the moon

Moonlight – an element of nature about which poets have waxed lyrical for centuries. For Charles Baudelaire, the moon was sad: ‘Earthward she lets a furtive tear-drop flow’. For Robert Graves, it was unkind: ‘The cruel Moon hangs out of reach/Up above the shadowy beech’. For Emily Bronte, it made

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Harper Lee

The publishing world has been abuzz this week with the news of the discovery of a second novel by Harper Lee more than 50 years since the publication of her first. To Kill a Mockingbird was one of the most powerful, memorable books I read in my childhood, and I’m

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Going beyond the author’s legacy

Stieg Larsson, sadly, never lived to see his novels, the Millennium series, become the worldwide sensation of the past decade. Indeed, he had not even attempted to publish them; he wrote them for his own pleasure in the evenings after work. After this death, the manuscripts were discovered, and subsequently

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A slice of Chinese mythology: Nüwa

In my novel The Echoes of Love, the protagonist, Venetia, is somewhat lost – torn between heart and head: her interest in the man she has recently met, Paolo, and her long-term independence and avoidance of romantic entanglements. She is walking home from work one evening along the CalledelParadiso, amost

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A Little Scandal by Patricia Cabot

From the blurb: When beautiful Kate Mayhew is hired as chaperone to Burke Traherne’s headstrong daughter Isabel, the Marquis finds himself in an impossible predicament. Torn between the knowledge that she is exactly what Isabel needs but also, for him, the worst possible temptation, he finds himself in constant proximity

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My latest blog posts

Inspired by Helios, the Greek sun god

This sandy-hued island of eternal azure skies, ever-changing blue sea, beaming sunshine and ancient stone temples… Welcome to Helios, the setting for my novel Aphrodite’s Tears. Helios is a small island in the Ionian Sea that is privately owned by the Lekkas family. It is fictional, inspired by my travels

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Summer, beautiful summer – as depicted in my novels

‘Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.’ So wrote English novelist Henry James. I quite agree! I love the month of June, because it heralds the beginning of summer – those long, heady months of warmth and

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Hero or villain? A matter of perspective – and choice

In my novel Aphrodite’s Tears, the heroine, Oriel, comes to work on the Greek island of Helios. Her new boss is Damianos (Damian) Lekkas, the owner of the island and a man with quite the reputation. ‘In ancient Greek, Damianos means master, tamer and conqueror. The name suits him well,

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An ancient treasure trail… to the lost city of Helice?

‘Tell me,’ says Damian, the hero of my latest book Aphrodite’s Tears, ‘how did you become so keen on archaeology?’ ‘My father used to tell me tales of Atlantis as a child,’ replies the heroine, Oriel. ‘After that, I read anything I could lay my hands on, especially stories about

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Andromeda: the original damsel in distress

For my latest novel Aphrodite’s Tears, I took inspiration from the stories of the Ancient Greeks. Interwoven within the narrative you’ll find reference to plenty of Greek myths. But one story you won’t find is that of Andromeda. The poet Ovid tells us that Andromeda was the daughter of Cepheus, ruler

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