She pulled on the paper around the candy. It came off easily. Then she climbed up on the chair next to the cradle and leaned down. He had big blue eyes and he stared at her very hard.
“Here, baby,” she whispered to him. “Here. Eat.”
Suddenly someone was yelling. She jerked back, startled. The maid named Ana was calling out and people were running toward the room.
Ana pulled the lollipop from her hand. “No!” she cried. “You can’t give that to the baby. No!”
Molly was scared. She wasn’t bad. Didn’t they understand? She wanted to give the baby something fun. She wanted to give him the thing she had always loved best. But the faces seemed angry.
Then Daddy was there and he pulled her up into his arms. “You and your red lollipops,” he said, holding her close.
“Don’t yell at her,” Mommy was saying. “She was doing it out of love.”
“You can’t do it, though,” Daddy told her, being very serious. “You can’t give things like that to the baby. He’s not ready.”
Tears were popping out and running down her fat cheeks and her lower lip was trembling.
“You love the baby, don’t you?” Daddy said.
Did she? She looked down at where he was watching. And suddenly, she saw something in his big blue eyes. He was her brother. He was hers. Maybe she did love him. She nodded and gave a big sniff.
“Of course you do.”
“Tell you what,” Mommy said, tousling her hair. “You wait just a second. I have an idea.” She reached in and rummaged in the big bag of baby care items she took with her everywhere these days.
“Here.” She pulled out a bright red pacifier and showed it to Molly. “What do you think? Do you want to be the one to give it to him when he’s ready?”
Molly’s eyes lit up and she nodded, smiling through her tears.
“Only when I say it’s a good time, okay? But you will be the keeper of the red pacifier. I’m going to trust you.”
“And you know what?” Daddy said. “Next week at your birthday party, you’re going to have all the red lollipops you can handle. Okay?”
Molly nodded again and threw her little arms around his neck. She was a big girl now. She was learning lots of things. And that was good, because that little baby was going to have a lot to learn from his big sister and she wanted to be ready.
“We love you, Molly,” Daddy said.
She nodded. She knew that. She loved them, too.
Even the baby.
Reading is, and always has been, the first love of Liz Fielding’s life. Except writing.
Success came early; Liz was twelve when she won an Easter egg in a hymn writing competition at school. But life intervened with her plans to become a hotshot author-she got a day job. Not that this was dull. Liz travelled to Zambia at the age of twenty where she worked as a secretary, before following her personal hero to the Middle East, Kenya and Botswana, and ambition became buried in the joyful business of raising a family.
However Liz never forgot that she was a writer. She wrote magazine articles, ghost stories and children’s stories for BBC Radio. She was at a point where she wanted to move onto something bigger when she read a magazine piece about Charlotte Lamb and Anne Hampson and discovered, rather late in life, romantic fiction. She then read everything she could lay her hands on, and feeling certain she had a grasp of the genre, began writing. Liz had three rejections-she still has those letters!-but her fourth submission became An Image of You and was published in 1992.
Liz has now written forty-five Harlequin Romance books. Seven of them have been nominated for RWA’s RITA award; The Best Man & The Bridesmaid took the prize in 2001. A Family of His Own won the RNA’s Romance Prize, and was also named Reviewers’ Choice Best Harlequin Romance by Romantic Times BOOKreviews in 2005. A Marriage Miracle took the Short Contemporary RITA in 2006.
These days, Liz, an empty-nester, lives in a small village in Wales where excitement means a visit from the mobile shop, the travelling library or the fish man. But she’s a writer, so she invents her own worlds. Once the door to her cabin in the woods is closed, Liz can be anywhere her imagination takes her: the desert kingdom of Ramal Hamrah, the villages of Upper Haughton, Little Hinton and Longbourne (where romance is always just around the corner) or New York, the Mediterranean and even the Himalayas. "Pick up a book and come with me…"
For news and excerpts of her latest releases, visit Liz’s Web site at http://www.lizfielding.com. For gossip, competitions, chat and a chance to talk back, drop in on her blog at http://lizfielding.blogspot.com.
Lucy Gordon was born in England, where she still lives with her Italian husband. She wanted to be a writer all her life, and began by working on a British women’s magazine. As a features writer, she gained a wide variety of experience.
She interviewed some of the world’s most attractive and interesting men, including Warren Beatty, Richard Chamberlain, Charlton Heston, Sir Roger Moore, Sir Alec Guiness.
Single life was so enjoyable that she put marriage, and even romance, on the back burner, while she went about the world having a great time. Then, while on vacation in Venice, she met a tall, dark handsome Venetian, who changed all her ideas in a moment, and proposed on the second day. Three months later they were married – and still are. Her friends said a whirlwind romance would never last, but so far it’s lasted nearly 30 years.
Lucy now claims to be an expert on one particular subject. Italian men are the most romantic in the world. They are also the best cooks.
After 13 years on the magazine Lucy decided that it was now or never if she was ever going to write that novel. So she wrote Legacy of Fire which became a Silhouette Special Edition, followed by another, Enchantment in Venice.
Then she did something crazy – gave up her job. Since then she has concentrated entirely on writing romances for Silhouette and Harlequin. Rico’s Secret Child, out in March 2000, will be her 50th book.
A few years ago she and her husband returned to Venice and lived there for a couple of years. This proved the perfect base for exploring the rest of Italy, and she has given many of her books Italian settings: Venice (of course), Rome, Florence, Milan, Sicily, Tuscany. She has also used the Rhine in Germany for Song of the Lorelei, for which she won her first RITA Award, in 1991. Her second RITA came in 1998, with His Brother’s Child, set in Rome.
Eventually Lucy and her husband returned to England, where they now live. So far her settings have been European and her heroes mainly Italian or English, but recently she branched out with Blood Brothers, a Silhouette Desire (July 2000) cowritten with Anne McAllister, about an English lord and a Montana cowboy who swap lives. This will be followed by For His Little Girl, a Silhouette Special Edition, set in L.A., with her first American hero.
Raye Morgan grew up in Holland, Guam, and California, and spent a few years in Washington, D.C. as well. She lives in the Los Angeles area now with her geologist/computer scientist husband and the two of her four sons who still live at home.
“Having the boys around helps keep me up on the current trends,”she says with a laugh. “But writing helps keep me in touch with the romance that weaves through the everyday lives we all live.”