Anniversary Guest & Contest: Kate Walker

Kate Walker2


Our Sixth Anniversary Celebration kicks off today with a special guest — Kate Walker.  She was our first guest back in 2008 and we’re so glad to have her back with us today!

I really couldn’t believe it was six years since Jen first welcomed me to Romancing the Book.  Time has a nasty habit of slipping by without you noticing it – and suddenly, here you are, celebrating your 6th anniversary.  Congratulations X6 to Jen and  Romancing the Book.

What happened in that time?  Lots – I know that!

6 years ago, according to the post I wrote then,   I was celebrating the publication of Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife. Then, reading through my second post on a visit to the blog, three years later,  I was talking about my current title (then) The Proud Wife. Now, for this special 6th anniversary, I’m just marking the publication of my 61st title – A Question of Honor (or Honour if like me you live in the UK!).

But this year I’m also celebrating a very special anniversary myself – a publishing anniversary. But I’ll tell you more about that  in my post – because  when Jen asked me to write about my Top 5 list,  and I was looking for a subject – well, to mark this special anniversary celebration, I thought I’d talk about my Top 5 Writing Celebrations .

Chalk Line0001So – where do I start – well that’s obvious:

1.       December 1984 – this is the date on which my very first book ever was published.  This was called The Chalk Line and it was the story of a couple, Leo and Rowena, who had once been lovers then separated. Now they are forced to share a house – a bungalow together and Rowena tries to keep   as much of a distance between here and Leo by drawing a line straight down  the middle of the house, dividing it in two. Of course when the line is only drawn in chalk, it doesn’t  last very long, or work as any sort of real division.

I did wonder about choosing my second special celebration as 1986 – this is when I had my very first book published in America  but I decided instead to go for:

2.       My ‘silver’ anniversary as  a writer- this is when  published my 25th book.  I’m not quite sure exactly what date to use to mark this particular publication – because  Wife For A Day came out in the UK in 1998 then it came out in Harlequin Presents in 2002. But this was that ‘silver book.’  It’s a  revenge story – Lily thought her life with Ronan was a dream come true. The day after their wedding the dream turned into a nightmare. Ronan had  pursued Lily with only one purpose in mind. Revenge. Ronan’s plan is complete, now he just has to sit back and wait for it to play out. Only his plans didn’t include falling in love with Lily.

One of the things that has happened to change my writing life a lot in the time since I was first published,  has been the advent of ebooks. Where once my titles were only out for a month and then it wasn’t possible to buy them again after that, now they are reprinted and republished in ebook form and I’ve been delighted to see that the  new kindle edition of  Wife For a Day  has been appearing in the best sellers list on Amazon UK.

3.    So if that was silver, then the next one has to be gold – right?  My  50th title published was  The Sicilian’s Red-Hot Revenge.  This was part two of a duo I’d written  called The Sicilian Bothers.   The two brothers were Guido and Vito Corsentino and the books told their stories. The Sicilian’s Red Hot Revenge was the story of Vito Corsentino and his heroine  Emily.  They shared one night of passionate lovemaking. Then in the cold light of day, her secret tore them apart. Now Vito has come back – and he’s determined to have his revenge.Emily Lawton never expected to see him again. But Vito Corsentino has tracked her down and he wants Emily. This time he’ll take her and he’ ll be the one to leave when it’s over.

When you’ve written 50 books for Harlequin you get a special gold pin which I’m always proud to wear. I also had a wonderful celebration for the publication of my 50th title, when lots of friends and fellow writers joined me for a fabulous dinner to celebrate.  Another thing I’d like to celebrate about The Sicilian’s Red-Hot Revenge is that it has one of my favourite ever cover  designs – also known as The Man With the Gorgeous Back!

But Emily has one last secret for Vito . . . She’s having his baby and if he finds out, he’ll want more than revenge!

4.     Several of my books have earned Top Pick accolades from Romantic Time Magazine – and been shortlisted for one of their awards. But 2011 was the year that my book actualy won.  The Konstantos Marriage Demand was  awarded the Best Presents Extra in the Romantic Times  Reviewers’ Choice Awards that year, which was a thrilling moment for me.

Sadie Carteret and Nikos Konstantos were once blissfully in love. They planned the wedding of the year, and their union would create a powerful dynasty. But business and pleasure should never be mixed. Nikos was accused of scheming for Sadie’s money and title, and was systematically destroyed by her family. The wedding was cancelled, the relationship in tatters. Now the ruthless billionaire has built himself back up from scratch. He will clear his name and demand what was rightfully his… Sadie must love, honour and…obey….

5.       2014 – so now I can talk about that extra special  celebration  – and an extra special anniversary that I’m celebrating this year.  If you noted the date for  the #1 celebration I wrote about at the beginning of this blog, you’ll be able to work it out.  December 1984  was the date my very first published book ever appeared in the shops – and now we’re heading up to December  2014. That makes it my 30th anniversary of being published.   No, I can’t quite believe it myself!

30 years, 62 books (along with the ‘how to’ guide – the 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance) – it’s only when I look back that I realize how far I’ve come since that very first novel and all the words I’ve written since then. It’s amazing really because when I first said that I wanted to be  a writer, my parents and teachers all said that that was just an  impossible dream. I would do better to put that aside and have a sensible plan, to take up a sensible occupation. Well, I did – I trained as a librarian  and worked as  a children’s librarian for four years before I had The Chalk Line accepted. And after that I just kept on writing – one word after another and it’s all mounted up to those 62 titles (and another one on my editor’s desk, waiting for her opinion on it.) Amazing! And this month  I’m celebrating again – celebrating seeing that 62nd title, A Question of Honor appear in the shops. It’s been a long, satisfying and enjoyable writing journey to get here.  Later in the year I plan to do some more celebrating – to mark that 30th anniversary  as it gets closer to the actual date in December. I hope you’ll come along on my blog     to join in the event.

So there you are – my 5 special Writing Celebrations – but if I can add just one other, extra special celebration, I’d need to give a mention to  truly personal anniversary that I’m celebrating. This year my husband and I have been celebrating our Ruby Wedding  anniversary. 40 years! (I can’t quite believe that one either.) We’ve been celebrating it all year long – we decided to do 40 lovely things or things we’d always wan ted to do to mark this special year. So that’s what we’ve done. We’ve seen plays/musicals/even operas we’ve always wanted to see – seen films that we saw together all those years ago – visited places that have meant a lot to us . . .  It’s all been wonderful. And the best thing is that, whether  for my wedding anniversary or my writing anniversaries and celebrations – I’m looking forward to doing even more – heading into more years of enjoyment and happiness .

So I’m thrilled that one of the things I can do as part of these celebrations it to wish Jen and Romancing the Book a very happy anniversary.

What about you? Are you celebrating anything special this year? If you are, I’d love it if you’d share.


About Kate:

kwpic-2012-whitebgI live in Lincolnshire, UK, with my husband and grown up son nearby with his lovely fiancée – and 2  cats who think they run my life (they do!).  I was the middle child in a family of five girls, growing up in a home where books were vitally important, and I read anything I could get my hands on.

Even before I could write she was making up stories. At the age of four I was telling the tale of The Three Little Raindrops — Drippy, Droppy, and Droopy — to my two younger sisters. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t scribbling away at something, and I wrote my first “book” when she was 11.

But everyone told me that I would never make a living as a writer, and that I should work toward a more secure career. So I decided that if I couldn’t write books, at least I could work with them, and settled for becoming a librarian.

I went to the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth to study English and librarianship. While there, I met my husband and we married and moved back north, eventually settling in Lincolnshire, where I worked as a children’s librarian until my son was born. After three years of being a full-time housewife and mother I decided to try and write professionally and so I started trying to write romance. I sent off some submissions to Harlequin Mills & Boon. The first two were rejected, but the second one had a letter from an editor telling me that she had liked what I’d written and asking me to try again. So I did – and that books was accepted. In 1984 my very first book, The Chalk Line was published by Mills & Boon. Since then I’ve had 61 titles accepted and I’ve just sent in my 63rd to my editor.   I’ve also written the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance – and  I’ve recently self-published the newest edition of that on Kindle.

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When Clemmie was very young, her father arranged for an official betrothal to the young Prince Nabil, the marriage to take place when Clemmie was 23. Now that time has come round and she must meet her arranged bridegroom – but Clemmie has found out a family secret that means she’s run  away to England to find someone very special.  Crown Prince Karim is given the delicate mission of bringing her back without creating an international incident and keeping her safe from the threat of possible danger from enemies who do not want the marriage to go ahead.  He thinks he is going to deal with this task very quickly – but he  finds that his overwhelming attraction to the woman he’s been sent to collect complicates things terribly , especially when she is clearly equally attracted to him.



‘YOU know why I’m here.’

The man’s voice was as deep and dark as his eyes, his hair . . .his heart for all Clemmie knew. He filled the doorway he stood in, big and broad and dangerously strong. Worryingly so.

She didn’t know what put that sense of danger into his appearance. There was nothing in the way he stood, the long body relaxed, his hands pushed deep into the pockets of the well-worn jeans that clung to narrow hips and powerful legs that spoke of threat or any sort of menace. And his face, although rough-hewed and rugged, did not have the type of features that made her think of black shadowy novels about serial killers or vampires rising from the dead.

Not that serial killers conformed to the myth that evil had to be ugly as well. And this man was definitely not ugly. He was all hunk, if the truth was told. Those deep brown eyes were combined with unbelievably luxuriant black lashes, slashing high cheekbones, surprisingly bronze-toned skin. He was a man for whom the word ‘sexy’ had been created. A man whose powerfully male impact went straight to everything that was female inside her and resonated there, making her shiver in spite of the warmth of the spring sun. But once the image of a vampire, dark devastating and dangerous, had settled into her brain there was no way she could shake it loose.

It was something about the eyes. Something about that cold, direct, unflinching stare. Dead-eyed and unyielding. She couldn’t understand it. And because she couldn’t find a reason for it, it made her shiver all the more though she forced herself not to show it and instead pasted a smile that she hoped was polite but not overly encouraging on to her face.

‘I beg your pardon?’

If he caught the note of rejection and dismissal she tried to inject into the words then not a sign of it registered in that enigmatic face. He certainly didn’t look discouraged or even concerned but flashed her another of those cold-eyed glances and repeated, with obvious emphasis, ‘You know why I’m here.’

‘I think not.’’

She was expecting someone. Had been dreading his arrival for days – weeks. Ever since the time had approached when she celebrated her twenty-third birthday. If ‘celebrated’ was the right word for marking the day that would mean the end of her old life, and the start of the new. The start of the life she had known was coming but had tried to put out of her mind. Without success. The thought of what her future was to be hung over her like a dark storm cloud, blighting each day that crept nearer to the moment her destiny changed.

But she had prayed he wouldn’t come so soon. That she would have at least a few more days – just a month would be perfect – before the fate that her father had had planned for her when she had been too young to understand, let alone abject, closed in around her and locked her into a very different existence.

The person she had been expecting – dreading – was very different from this darkly devastating male. He was much older for a start. And would never have appeared so casually dressed, so carelessly indifferent to the demands of protocol and security.

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39 thoughts on “Anniversary Guest & Contest: Kate Walker

  1. laurie g says:

    i just got a job after 2 years of unemployment. so i am not doing anything special…too many bills to pay off 🙁

    • Hi Laurie – and congratulations on that job! I hope that it won’t take too long to clear the debts and then hopefully you’ll have something spare to treat yourself. Good luck with the new job.,

  2. Laney4 says:

    We’re celebrating my husband’s 65th birthday this summer. Not sure when he can retire yet, but we’re hoping by early next year…. (We celebrated MY 55th birthday a couple of months ago. My not-so-great-to-celebrate event is that I need to go back to work outside the home, plus continue working from home, as, once I have regular paycheques coming in, then my husband can retire….)

    • Hi Laney – I’ll be celebrating my dh’s 65th birthday very soon – so Happy Birthday wishes to your husband. I hope things work out well for you both so that you can enjoy his retirement as suits you best.

  3. JoAnne_W says:

    Wow – what a great top five list. Congrats on all you’ve done and Happy 40th anniversary to you and your husband. Love the idea of celebrating it all year long in 40 special ways. We’re celebrating 33 years next month and might have to give that a try on our 35th or 40th. I look forward to reading your books.

    My husband celebrated his 65th birthday this year but wanted it low key so it was – no party, no celebrations with family and friends. One of my nieces graduated college last month and we attended her ceremony and a small party after. Yesterday was her official graduation party with family and friends so we were able to celebrate again. She also just accepted her first teaching position – in Hawaii, she lives in NY with her family currently. In a few weeks we’ll be seeing her off and my sister, brother in law and nephew will fly out with her and hope to get her settled.

    • Hello Joanne – and many congratulations to you and your husband for the 33rd anniversary – I recommend the doing 40 (or whatever number) different things to celebrate – it does mean the special years is filled with lovely things and great memories. Congratulations too to your niece – I hope she’s really happy in her new job. I would love to go to Hawaii – one of my dream destinations!

      • JoAnne_W says:

        Thanks Kate. Went there once on our 25th anniversary (8 years ago) with our son and my sister and her family. Seven of us in all. Had a wonderful time on Maui and on the Big Island plus flew over for a day to Oahu to visit Pearl Harbor.
        I hope you get to Hawaii one day. We hope to go back while my niece is there.

  4. Rachael Thomas says:

    Firstly big congratulations to Jen and Romancing the book and to you Kate for the 30th anniversary of your first book being published. I’m celebrating too and I’m sure you know what I’m going to say! After seven years of perseverance and attending your brilliant Fishguard Writing Weekends, I’m celebrating that my first Presents book will be out later this year. So thanks Kate for your support and encouragement and enjoy your celebrations. Xx

    • Hello Rachael – lovely to see you here. And yes, you have something truly special to celebrate – and I’m so pleased for you. I can’t wait to get my hands on your very first book. It’s results like this that make the teaching and the courses and critiques so worthwhile. And I’m chuffed to bits (as they say in Yorkshire) to celebrate your first book in my 30th year of publication. Congratulations again to you – and hope to see you soon.

  5. Diane Sallans says:

    we’ll be celebrating the arrival of a new little one in the family – another great-nephew for me!

    • Hello Diane – now that really is something worth celebrating! The birth of a new little one is a magical event. Congratulations on your brand new great nephew. I hope all goes well and wish you every joy – and lots of cuddles for the future.

  6. Maria D. says:

    Congratulations to Jen and Romancing the Book on their 6th Anniversary. Congratulations to Kate on her own celebrations too – that’s a lot of books and quite a career so far:)

    • I’m a bit late coming in to answer everyone – blame time zones and having commitments outside the house today! Hello Maria and thanks for coming by – and thank you too for you congratulations. I have to admit – it’s a bit scary to find that it was 6 weeks ago that I first blogged with Jen – and it’s even scarier to think of how long my career has been gong”

    • Hello Julie – congratulations t you on your special anniversary. Will you share with us which one? I do hope you have a wonderful time – and that there are many more celebrations in the future.

  7. Marcy Shuler says:

    Hi Kate! Congrats on your 61st book!

    My youngest son graduated high school this month. It just doesn’t seem possible. 🙂

      • Hello Marcy – good to see you here. I know that feeling – when did your baby get to be so grown up? ! For me it’s even scarier – my ‘baby’ son now teaches high school! Congratulations to your son and to you.

  8. Mary Preston says:

    We have my mother’s 90th birthday coming up. It’s a bit like organising a military operation to pull it all together.

    • Oh Mary – Happy Birthday to your mother. It will be a really special occasion for her and for all your family – well worth the military operation beforehand to have such wonderful memories afterward. Enjoy that special day.

    • Hi Karielle – I hope your nephew and niece have wonderful birthdays|. Will they be celebrating on the same day or do you have separate occasions to mark – more excuses for cake! 😉

    • Hi Erin and thanks for commenting – sometimes nothing special planned is just fine – don’t you think? I have a new little cat – just 7 months old, and every day is a celebration for her – you can almost see her thinking ‘It’s a day!’ Sometimes the simplest things are worth the most.

  9. Jane Squires says:

    I have read and reviewed your books in past. I think I have one in my TBR pile. Congratulations on this anniversary post. I just celebrated 35 years of marriage this month.

    • Hello Jane – yes, you have reviewed some of my books in the past – thank you. Perhaps the book in your TBR pile is A Question of Honor – whatever book it is, I hope you enjoy it. And congratulations on your 35th wedding anniversary – I hope you had a wonderful day to enjoy it.

      • OOPS! My reply to Jane ended up on your post bn – I’m, not sure why. It’s a pity you don’t have anything special to celebrate right now – but then perhaps like my little cat you can celebrate just having a new day to enjoy. I hope it’s a good one!

  10. Casie Boland says:

    I am celebrating the life of my dad on his bday, he passed away back at the end of March.

    • Hi Cassie – I’m so sorry that this year your Dad’s birthday will be a poignant one for you – but I hope that celebrating his life will bring lots of wonderful memories back for you and you can mark what a truly special person he was for you. I hope you have some lovely reminiscences.

  11. Kate Sparks says:

    My next celebration will be for the 4th of July… I admire your writing ability and dedication!!! I cannot fathom having all those stories in your brain just waiting to come out on paper!!

    • Ah yes, of course, Kate – being in the UK I forgot about the 4th of July. I hope my American frineds have a great celebration on that special day. Thank you for the compliments – but I suppose that all those stories just got written one word and a time over a long time.

  12. Amanda says:

    I just want to say thank you for your writing. As everyone else in the world I have had my hard times and great times. But it’s always been books to get me through them. You are one of my top 10 authors and I have read an reread your books for years. Thank you for all you do. I know I am with everyone else when I say I love love love yours books! 🙂

    • Hello Amanda and thank you so much for a lovely post. You can’t say anything more special to a writer than to let me know that you have read and enjoyed my books. It is such an honour (honor – I used the UK spelling!) to be told that I am in your top 10 authors list. That really is something special – and to know that you have read and rereads my books – 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thank you – because without readers like you I wouldn’t be able to keep on writing. I hope you keep on enjoying what I write.

  13. LisaVH says:

    This year I celebrate my youngest starting Kindergarten. We are done with baby daycare and off to big kid school 😀 Definitely bittersweet.

    • That is a bittersweet moment – and celebration Lisa. I was so proud of my son when he moved on to big kid school – but sad that he’d left baby daycare behind. I hope your little one has a wonderful time at the new school – and brings you lots more celebrations of milestones to enjoy.

  14. Karen H says:

    Actually, there is nothing really special happening in the future. That said, I did move back to Michigan in March after spending 14 years living in North Carolina. I’m retired now and my children wanted me to ‘move back home’, so I did.

  15. Cassandra Hicks says:

    Congratulations to you! There is no one thing in particular that I will be celebrating except having another wonderful day alive and my loved ones by my side 🙂

  16. Nadene Reynolds says:

    I never knew about this author, but after reading this post I realized what I have been missing out on.

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