Friday, February 19, 2016

February Fiesta (Giveaway) @fieldinghannah

Dreaming up ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’ - by Hannah Fielding

A British newspaper described my debut novel Burning Embers as ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’. Of all the reviews of my work, I think this most perfectly encapsulates the essence of my fiction. I write ‘grand romance’ – epic, sweeping, evocative, dramatic, emotional; the kind of romance that makes you feel.
My writing careers has been greatly inspired by the romances that Hollywood used to make. In my mid-teens the highlight of my week was my father taking my sister and me to the cinema to see the latest release. I would beg to see the same film over and over – and I would fall so much in love with the characters I would walk about for weeks afterwards in a hazy dream.
A family friend who visited sometimes contributed greatly to my starry-eyed passion: Omar Sharif, star of Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and Funny Girl (1968). But the day I remember most vividly was when, aged fourteen, I gate-crashed a party in the hope of meeting some of my heroes.
My family and I were holidaying at our cabin in Montazah, Alexandria, at the same time that an international film and television festival was taking place at the nearby Hotel Salamlek. My sister, my cousins and I hid in the bushes and watched, wide-eyed, as Hollywood icons were chauffeured to the door of the hotel and disappeared inside. Such brief glimpses were not enough. We found an open window and sneaked inside!
In moments we were mingling with the great and good of Hollywood, looking resplendent in their eveningwear. Heedless of our own childish attire, we began approaching actors. They were incredibly benevolent, though Roger Moore (of James Bond fame) declined to kiss my sister, saying, ‘But, baby, I’m married.’ Meanwhile, I was hunting for Gardner Mackay, star of Adventures in Paradise, whom I most wanted to meet. I asked a man in a tuxedo whether he had seen Gardner. His response: ‘Why do you want to him? Don’t you want to meet me?’ I had no idea who he was at that time, so I had no interest in him and politely backed off. Some months later, I realised my mistake when I saw that actor on the big screen – it was Richard Burton, formidable actor and husband of Elizabeth Taylor.
To this day, when I write romance I think there is a lot of that fourteen-year-old girl spirit in me: adventurous, impassioned and colourful. But these days, I never let an attractive hero slip through my fingers!

Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean.

To date, Hannah has published four passionate, evocative novels: Burning Embers, a ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’, set in Kenya; the award-winning Echoes of Love, ‘an epic love story that is beautifully told’, set in Italy; and books 1 and 2 of the Andalusian Nights trilogy, set in sultry Spain, entitled Indiscretion and Masquerade. She is currently working on her fifth book, Legacy, which will publish this spring.

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