Dear Reader,

One of the joys of writing is the moment when you recognise that a character you’ve created to fill a supporting role in one book has taken on an importance, a presence. Had become a woman in need of a story of her own.

It happened when I wrote A Wife On Paper and Matty Lang wheeled herself onto the page, a heroine so wonderful that she won herself a RITA® Award for The Marriage Miracle.

Last year, when Miranda Grenville, difficult, flawed, fragile, played her part in Reunited; Marriage In A Million, I knew that she had a story to tell. A secret so terrible that she had never shared it with anyone.

Her story begins when, desperate to escape an over-abundance of happy-ever-afters, she grabs the first get-away-from-it-all destination offered and flies to the island of Cordillera so that she can be alone for a while. “Alone” takes on a new and terrifying meaning when an earthquake hits, but sparring with Nick Jago – a man who gives as good as he gets – certainly livens things up and, forced to work together to survive, they swiftly learn to trust and respect each other’s strengths. Then, in their darkest moment, they spill out the secrets they’ve buried deep and learn to leave the past behind them as they reach for a new beginning.

But can the fierce intensity of their brief relationship survive in the real world? Will this whirlwind romance grow to become a lifetime commitment?

I’ll leave you to find out.

With love,

Liz




Wedded In A Whirlwind
Liz Fielding
Harlequin Romance
November 2008



Trapped in the dark, certain she's about to die, Miranda Grenville believes things can't get worse. She's wrong. She's trapped with Nick Jago...

Miranda is a survivor. Her rare beauty masks the scars of an emotionally deprived childhood and self-destructive youth; the protective barriers she’s built against hurt.

Desperate to escape a surfeit of “happy ever after” family events, be alone for a while, she grabs a flight to the remote island paradise of Cordillera where “alone” takes on a terrifying new meaning when an earthquake hits.

Trapped deep underground in the total darkness of an ancient temple, her first encounter with an embittered Nick Jago is not promising but to escape they must co-operate and as they embark on a life-changing journey towards the light their protective layers are peeled away, every truth revealed. But once free will they go their separate ways or will that very special bond of trust lead to something more lasting?

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Wedded In A Whirlwind

Excerpt © Liz Fielding

'Tell me, are you always this disagreeable?’ Nick enquired.

‘Only when I’ve been trapped underground by an earthquake.’ He didn’t answer. ‘Okay. I have a low tolerance of incompetence,’ she admitted. ‘Not that I’m saying you’re incompetent. I’m sure you’re very good at...’

‘Getting drunk?’

She gave a little shivery sigh. ‘N-no.’ ‘No,’ he said, ‘although I’ll admit that I did consider drowning my sorrows if it’ll make you happy. Fortunately for both of us, I thought better of it but it’s likely the bottle broke when the earthquake hit so be careful where you put your hands and knees. And don’t grab at me, okay? I’m not going anywhere without you.’

‘No,’ she said again. Then, ‘I’m... sorry.’

Anything that difficult to say had to be sincere and by way of reply he wrapped his fingers about her wrist. It was slender and he could feel the delicate bones beneath her skin, the rapid beat of her pulse. It was a wonder that something so fragile could have survived undamaged as she had fallen through the roof. She had been lucky. So far.

'Yes, well, maybe we could both do better. Now let’s see if we can find a light.’ As she made a move to stand up, he held her down. ‘On your knees, Miranda. Breaking an ankle down here isn’t going improve matters.’

‘Know it all,’ she muttered.

‘You know, maybe you should try not talking for a while,’ he suggested.

‘You should be so lucky,’ she replied, grinning despite everything. Riling this man might be the last fun she ever had. ‘So, have you any idea where you are?'

'I know where this was yesterday,’ he replied, bringing her back to earth with a bump. ‘Once we reach one of the walls I'll have a better idea of the situation.'

Keeping his free hand extended in front of him, Jago swept the air at head height; it would be stupid to knock himself out on a block of stone. Easy, but stupid and he’d used up his quota of stupid for this lifetime.

Despite the blackness he sensed the wall a split second before he came into contact with it and placing his hand flat against the surface he began to feel for the carvings that would tell him where he was.

'I'll need both hands for this,' he said, but rather than abandoning her while he searched for something that would tell him where he was, he turned and pressed her fingers against his belt. 'Just hang on to that for a moment.'

Manda didn’t argue. His belt was made from soft, well worn leather and she hooked her fingers under it so that her knuckles were tucked up against his waist as he moved slowly forward, her face close enough to his back feel the warmth emanating from his body.

'Well?' she demanded after what seemed like and endless silence. He didn't answer and that was even more frightening that his silence. 'Jago!'

'I think I’ve found the eagle,’ he said.

'The eagle?' Manda remembered the unfinished carving on the stone beside the path.

'It had a special place in the life of the people who lived here, watching over them.'

‘In return for the entrails of young virgins?’ she asked, trying to recall the stuff she’d heard in the television interview of the well-endowed archaeologist.

‘You read the Courier?’ He didn’t bother to disguise his disgust.

‘Not unless I’m desperate. Should I?’

‘Someone wrote a book about this place and the Courier ran excerpts from it. It was pitched at the sensational end of the market.’

‘They wouldn’t be interested otherwise. And no, I didn’t read it, but I did catch a few minutes of the author when she doing the rounds of the television chat shows a few weeks back. Very striking. For an archaeologist.’

‘Yes.’

‘I take it you know her?’ Then, when he didn’t answer, ‘Who is she?’

‘No one who need worry about becoming a virgin sacrifice,’ he replied and there was no disguising the edge in his voice. He was, it seemed, speaking from experience. Was she the reason he’d been thinking about taking to the bottle? She didn’t ask. She didn’t want to know and rapidly changing the subject she prompted, ‘Tell me about the eagle. The one that you’ve found.’

He turned away from her, looking up. 'It used to be above the altar stone.'

'So?'

'In the ceiling above the altar stone.'

Earlier that day Jago had been certain that life didn't hold much meaning for him. The sudden realisation of how close he had come to losing it put a whole new slant on the situation.

'Okay, let’s try this way,' he said, moving to the left too quickly, catching Miranda off balance and she let out a yelp of pain.

‘What is it?’ Jago demanded, impatiently.

‘Nothing. I jabbed my hand on something that’s all--’

‘Glass?’ Jago reached back, took the hand she was cradling to her breast and ran his thumb over her palm and fingers to check for blood. If the bottle had broken, if she’d cut herself… But her hand was dry. ‘It must have been a piece of stone. Be careful, okay?’

She just laughed, deriding him for a fool and who could blame her.

‘I mean it!’ he said, angrily, knowing full well that what happened had been his fault. ‘I’m sorry.’

‘It’s okay. I understand. It's worse than you thought, isn’t it?'

‘It’s not great,’ he admitted.

‘So? Are we going to get out?’

She spoke directly, her voice demanding an honest answer from him, but Jago had spent a lot of time working alone in the Cordilleran temples and his hearing had grown acute in the silence. He heard the underlying tremor, the fear she was taking such pains to hide.




Contest!

To celebrate the release of her November 2008 Harlequin Romance, Liz Fielding is giving away fun prizes!

To enter her contest, visit her website and find the answer to this question -

In which two years did Liz Fielding win a Rita -- and what were the titles of those books?

Then email us with your answer by midnight on November 16th, 2008.

One winner will receive a $50 gift certificate for Amazon. Five more winners will each receive a book from Liz's backlist. That's a total of six winners so hurry up and enter!

Winners will be announced at My Tote Bag and on Liz's blog shortly thereafter. Good luck!

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