Dear Reader,

If you have visited my web site of my blog recently then you’ll know that this year is a very special one for me. I’m celebrating the fact that as my very first book ever was published in 1984, I’ve now been published for 25 years. (I was a child author at the beginning – honest!)

So my new release is very important to me because it’s the first book I have published in this ‘silver anniversary’ year. But it turns out that The Konstantos Marriage Demand (Presents Extra) is extra special for another reason too – and that is because I discovered that Romantic Times has given this particular book 4.5 stars and has chosen it as one of their Top Picks for March. Can I say – I’m celebrating! Double celebrating.

When I started out – and all through most of those 25 years, it was my ambition, my dream, to win the accolade of my book being a Romantic Times Top Pick. I finally achieved it with my 2008 book Bedded By the Greek Billionaire and that made my day (my year!) Now I’ve managed it a second time with The Konstantos Marriage Demand and I’m every bit as excited as the first time. Anyway, as most people know, when I’m celebrating I like to have others celebrate with me. And this time is no different. So in this Newswire there’s a chance for you to join me in my celebrations.

But first –the real letter I was going to write was going to be something of a response to the question that authors get asked all the time. You know the one. The ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ question.

This is what everyone seems to want to know and it’s really such a very hard question to answer. I usually fudge my answer by saying ‘well I have a very vivid imagination.’ Or ‘ Where do I get my ideas from? From life.’ And it’s true, ideas are all around you if you just know where to look. They’re in the newspapers, the magazines, on TV. In conversations overheard in coffee shops . . .The truth is that you only really need a tiny ‘seed’ that sparks off all sorts of questions and ideas and then I start asking the question ‘Why. . .?’ and I end up with a story.

And that’s how it was with The Konstantos Marriage Demand. A long time ago, in my ideas notebook, I wrote down ‘family feud – Eastenders’. I was watching the UK ‘soap’ Eastenders at the time and there was a storyline running through the episode about a family feud. I just noted the idea and never used it. Then last year on one of the writing courses I run, I was teaching about conflict – internal and external conflict and illustrating external conflict with the story of Romeo and Juliet. And there was that word again ‘feud’. The feud between the Montagues and the Capulets.

And that started me thinking . . . How could a feud come about in the 21st century? What effect would it have on my hero and heroine . . .

So that’s how the book that turned into The Konstantos Marriage Demand got started. I loved working in the ‘feud’ part of the story – it gave an added edge to the whole plot. And when I thought out a reason why the feud had really become so bad as to tear Nikos and Sadie apart, I felt I had a something that gave it all the emotional punch I had been looking for. And it seems that the Romantic Times reviewer agreed when she wrote : "Misunderstandings and family betrayals propel this terrifically well-paced and fiery romance to its very rewarding conclusion". (4.5 stars)

I hope there are no feuds in your family – and I really hope that you enjoy reading The Konstantos Marriage Demand this month.

I’d also like to thank all the readers who have helped me to keep writing for all those 25 years - thank you all for your interest in my books and I hope you’ll enjoy the ones I have coming out later this year.

With all warmest wishes –

Happy Reading!

Kate



Excerpt from The Konstantos Marriage Demand

© Kate Walker


Ridiculously buoyed up by the small triumph she’d had in putting him mentally onto the wrong foot for once, Sadie waved the hand that had picked up her fork to dig into her pasta to silence him.

‘My turn.’

He might hold all the aces but that didn’t mean that she was going to let him get away with monopolising the conversation and treating the meal as if it was a trial for fraud with him as the counsel for the prosecution.

‘I get to ask some questions too.’

Was that a grudging respect in his eyes, the inclination of his head? Just the possibility gave her a little surge of confidence as she forked up a mouthful of her pasta.

‘What questions?’

‘Well, the obvious for a starter. Like – you said you wanted to talk to me about a job. What sort of a job could I do for you? I mean – what need would you have of a wedding planner?’

‘That really is asking the obvious,’ Nikos commented. ‘To plan a wedding of course.’

The impact of his response hit home just in the moment that Sadie popped a forkful of pasta into her mouth and chewed. Too late she realised that she’d been in such a state of apprehension when she’d arrived at the restaurant that she’d blindly ordered her meal with an arriabata sauce instead of the one next to it on the menu. She loathed chillies and this was heavily laced with them.

‘A wedding?’ she croaked through the burn in her mouth, tears of reaction stinging her eyes.

‘Here . . .’

Leaning forward, Nikos poured a glass of water, held it out to her, watching as she gulped it down gratefully.

‘You loathe spicy food,’ he said when she finally started to breathe more easily. ‘Particularly chillies.’

Did he remember everything about her? It was a scary thought.

‘So why order something that you were going to hate?’

‘It’s almost five years. I might have changed - people do.’

‘Obviously not that much,’ Nikos drawled, his dry tone making her wonder if there was so much more than her reaction to the chilli sauce behind his comment. ‘Would you like something else?’

‘No – thank you.’

Any appetite she had had fled in the moment that he had made that stunning announcement. But at least the impact of the chillies had disguised the fact that a lot – oh, be honest! - most of her reaction had been in response to his declaration. Her heart was still thudding from the shock of it, her thoughts spinning, whirling from one emotion to another and back again.

And none of the reactions was one that she really wanted to take out and examine in detail. Not here, not now. Not with Nikos lounging back in his chair, watching every move she made.

‘Whose wedding?’ she managed to croak. ‘Are you telling me that you are getting married?’

Once more Nikos inclined his dark head in agreement.

‘Who to?’

‘I prefer not to say. One never knows when the paparazzi might be hanging around and looking for a story. I prefer that they do not find out about this just yet. I want to protect my fiancée.’

A protection he hadn’t offered her, Sadie recalled with a stab of bitterness. Then he had been happy that the world should know about their engagement, their upcoming wedding. With the result that she had begun to feel she was living her life in a goldfish bowl with a huge, powerful spotlight directed right at it all the time.

Which had made their final break-up into a media circus that had left her shattered and devastated.

‘And you don’t trust me?’ she asked as much to distract herself from some particularly vivid, particularly painful memories that had risen to the surface of her mind, no matter how much she tried to push them down.

‘You will find out soon enough – when the time is right for you to know.’

It seemed that Nikos too had abandoned all pretence at having an appetite for his meal, his ignored sea bass rapidly cooling on his plate as he focused only on her.

‘And of course when you are in Greece . . . ‘

‘What?’

She couldn’t have heard that right.

‘No – wait a minute – back up a bit here. What was that? I thought you said. . . I’m not going to Greece!’

‘Of course you are.’

Nikos’s half smile was perfectly composed, totally in control.

‘How else will you organise the wedding?’

‘Your wedding?’

The croak in her voice was worse than the one inflicted by the bite of the chillies. She could hardly believe that she had heard anything right. Had he really said?

She couldn’t . . . She wouldn’t! How could he expect her to organise and arrange a wedding at which he – the man she had once been going to marry herself - became someone else’s husband? He couldn’t ask it of her! It was too cruel. Too monstrous.

But the reality was that Nikos wasn’t asking. He was simply stating a fact. As far as he was concerned, this was what was going to happen. She was going to take on the arranging of his wedding – to his new fiancée. Because he said so.

‘No...’

It was all that she could manage. Even after a long, shaken gulp of cooling water, her throat refused to allow her to say any more.

‘I said that I had a job for you.’

‘This is the job? This is what you brought me here to talk about?’

And what sort of twisted vindictiveness had driven him to bring her here, to the restaurant where they had shared their first meal together, and where, barely two months later, he had proposed to her in one of the other candlelit booths?

‘Well, thank you for the offer, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to decline the commission. I can’t go to Greece.’

And she couldn’t possibly work with him on his plans to marry someone else.

‘I’m afraid that you do not have that option.’ Nikos’s tone took the response to a place light years away from any real regret. In fact it made it only too plain that the very last thing he was was sorry. ‘This is not a job that you can turn down – or even stop to think about. Not if you really meant what you said when you told me you would do anything if I would just let you live in Thorn Trees.’

Amazon Barnes & Noble eHarlequin




Contest!


As I said, I love  sharing my celebrations with my readers so to celebrate the fact that The Konstantos  Marriage Demand has been awarded a Romantic Times Top Pick, I have four special prizes on offer. Each prize will be a signed book from my backlist, together with a package of scented drawer liners, together with a Kate Walker tote bag and one of my brand new special 25th anniversary silver pens.

To enter this contest, you need to visit my web site and find the answer to this question:

I have a 3 in 1 By Request titles Claimed By The Sicilian coming out in the UK in April. Which three of my backlist titles are included in this anthology?

Send your answer to staff@authorsoundrelations.com and be sure to mark the heading as Konstantos-KateWalker. Please also include your full name and mailing address.

Contest deadline is March 28th, 2010.

Good luck!

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