Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Annie West and the Chic Sheikh!

by Anna Campbell

It's my enormous pleasure to welcome back a favorite in the lair, my dear friend and critique partner, not to mention fantabulous Harlequin Presents writer, Annie West.

Annie's been a busy bee since she last popped in to see us! And don't forget, it you want to know more about Annie and her wonderful books, check out her website.

Annie, welcome back. We love to have you visit although the cabana boys always need a break after you’ve chased them all day. Your latest U.S. release is THE DESERT KING’S PREGNANT BRIDE which is out in April 2009. Can you tell us about this story?

Anna, thanks so much for inviting me back to the lair. You girls have gone from strength to strength. Whenever I pop in there are great blogs to read and you’re all having a rip roaring time! Congratulations too on the terrific successes the Banditas have been having. This really is the place for good news and camaraderie.

As for Khalid and Maggie’s book, it’s a Cinderella story with a marriage of convenience just to spice things up. To me it seems very spicy (G). Maggie is a hard-working country girl who doesn’t believe she’s got a seductive bone in her body. (She’s wrong!). Khalid is a powerful, duty-driven man from the other side of the world who’s haunted by the past and definitely isn’t looking for love. Each lets their guard down one memorable night and the consequences change their lives forever.

Soon Maggie finds herself in the Kingdom of Shajehar, plucked from the racing stables and straight into a royal marriage. She expects a marriage in name only but finds Khalid has other things on his mind:

‘Come.’ Beside her Khalid rose, tall and imposing in his fine embroidered robes.

As she looked up at him a hush fell over the crowd. He held out his hand and she had no option but to place hers in his. It closed warm and vital around hers, drawing her inexorably from her seat till she stood before him. She trembled as his heat curled around her, inviting her to lean close to his strong, perfect body. Instead she stood ramrod straight, her gaze fixed on his broad chest, rather than meet those dark eyes that she suspected saw too much.

He turned and led her from the raised dais. As he did so, pandemonium broke out. Cheers and laughter and music.

Maggie faltered and looked questioningly at him.

‘What’s going on?’

She couldn’t read his expression. It was set in severe lines yet even with his back to the lights she sensed his intense regard. His eyes glittered like black diamonds.

‘They’re encouraging me.’ His lips quirked up then in what should have been a smile. ‘They approve of the fact that I’m finally going to bed my new bride.’

I did enjoy finding out what came next, right till the end of the book! It was one of those stories where the characters were so vivid in my mind they set off at a cracking pace and I struggled to keep up (oh, boy, did I struggle!).

Yummy excerpt, Annie. What else have you been up to since you last visited us?

My big news is that I’ve just sold my 10th book to Harlequin. YAY! I’m into double digits. Does that make me a troublesome teenager? (Editor's note, YES!!!) I took a moment to enjoy the feeling and then dived into the next story. And, on another exciting note, I attended the first ever Australian Romance Readers’ Convention in Melbourne which was a huge success and lots of fun. On a non-writing note I just have to share, we finally have our new oven after the old one died. I hadn’t realised how much we’d miss it. Now we’re making up for time cooking luscious goodies. Which means, I suppose, more visits to the gym!

Annie, huge congratulations on your latest sale! What’s next for Annie West?

Sleep! A week dozing and getting up only to read fiction would be wonderful. I wish! But there are some really exciting things on the horizon. BLACKMAILED BRIDE, INNOCENT WIFE is a U.K. release in May. I adored working on that book, ever since the opening came to me, where poor Alissa turns up ready to marry, despite her misgivings, only to find the wedding’s been sabotaged and a big, sexy Sicilian demands she marry him instead!

In June THE GREEK'S CONVENIENT MISTRESS is finally on sale in North America. I say finally because this was my second book for Harlequin but it got bumped off the publication list by my first two sheikhs (I love those guys, but really!). So to see Sophie and Costas hitting the shelves in the U.S. and Canada is a real thrill. I received my U.S. copies the other day. It was lovely to open the book and find I was just as enthusiastic about it as I was when I wrote it (whew!). Take one determined (but definitely hunky) Greek who’ll stop at nothing to save his family, and put him toe to toe with a Greek/Australian girl with a severe distrust of powerful men, and Greek ones in particular, and watch the sparks fly… Plus I’ve just made preparations to attend the RWAus conference in August and the RWNZ conference (a first for me) in Auckland. Can’t wait. I love writers’ conferences.

For anyone who wants to read BLACKMAILED BRIDE, INNOCENT WIFE, you can get it sent post free to anywhere in the world from the Book Depository in the U.K.

Annie, I know you’re not long back from an amazing trip to the U.K. and Europe. Will your recent travels inspire future stories?

Anna, you read my mind. How do you do that (G)? Could it be your own delight in travel for research purposes? (Snork) Definitely you’ll read about places I saw or ones very like them in future books.

I’m busy constructing a fictitious alpine kingdom that owes a lot to the towns and villages of Austria and southern Germany. We had a magnificent horse-drawn sleigh ride in the Alps which was pure magic. If I shut my eyes I can hear the bells and the soft shushing of the sleigh in deep powder snow, smell the pine trees and feel the icy wind on my cheeks. The experience was THAT good. I feel sure one of my heroines deserves to enjoy it too. It was like something out of a fairytale.

Plus we visited castles that will definitely feed into these books. There was a tiny baroque chapel in a privately owned castle where we attended a very special Christmas concert. We visited another private palace (yes, really, it was a palace and enormous!) for a Christmas market, and even stayed in a medieval castle overlooking the Rhine. That was sooo fantastic.

I posted some pictures of it on my website and still sigh when I think about it. I just hope I can inject the magic of those places into my books. I’ll have fun trying, especially since I’ve got ideas on how to give my characters a hard time despite their lovely surroundings. What me, cruel? And for something completely different a stopover on the Arabian Peninsula was great research for another sheikh story. Watch this space…

If you could do your dream trip, where would you go?

No fair. I can’t choose just one. That’s one of the great things about writing. Whenever I start a new book I visit somewhere new and exciting and live there, off and on for the months it takes me to finish the story. I can tell you there’s talk in this house about a couple more dream trips to Europe starting in a few years time, including taking a canal boat on some French waterways, another to Sicily, the Amalfi Coast and Venice. Another taking a slow walk for a week beside a river stopping in lovely wine-growing villages. Then there are vague plans for Morocco, Mexico, St. Petersburg, and would you believe, Samarkand?

Wow, that's some travel plan! Do you have anything you want to ask our Bandita Buddies to get the conversation rolling?

April is change of season weather here in eastern Australia where we start to feel the autumn nip in the air and start thinking about cosy slippers in the early morning. Changes of season are also when I find myself tackling life with renewed vigour, whether it's a spring clean, an autumn tidy up ready for the cool winter months, or planning to tackle projects that I've put off for a while. At the moment I'm working with my new oven to plan some great meals, while I tackle a brand new book, reduce my tbr pile and organise the jungle that is my garden. My dh is planning our next trip. Fantastic!

What are your favorite change of season activities? Do you have plans for the approaching seasons? Are you having your cabana boy tidy up the cocktail cabinet? Planning trips? Writing a book you'd always wanted to write? Tidying? Creating or just dreaming?

Annie has very generously offered two signed copies of her latest American release, THE DESERT KING'S PREGNANT BRIDE with bonus TURKISH DELIGHT, as prizes today. Good luck, everyone! You'll love this story - believe me!


limecello said...


Treethyme said...

Not only did I miss the GR by THIS MUCH, but when I tried to post, it came up with my husband's name. What's with that?

Treethyme said...

Today was Bandita day in my mailbox. Oops, it's after midnight, so yesterday was Bandita day.

I got two of Beth Andrews' books and Tawny's new book in the regular mail, and for some reason Annie's book was delivered separately, by UPS, a couple hours later.

Now the big decision is what to read next. That excerpt was awfully tempting...

By the way, congrats on the GR, limecello! What happened to your cute icon?

Keira Soleore said...

Lime, no way. :)

Becke, bwahaha. Perhaps that's why the GR refused to fly to your house. That cheeky bird doesn't like competition, or perhaps your husband doesn't. Hm.

Dear Annie & Dear Fo: Another flyby visit. Zooming off outta town tomorrow morning. I was so hoping I'd be able to chat a bit (once again) about your splendorous trip over Christmas and hit you up for more details about Khalid. And yes, the humping, er, humped CAMELS!!! But I'm going to miss all the fun in the Lair.

Fo, you'll have to catch me up on all the details. You've hidden in your cave long enough. Come out to play on e-mail. :)

Pissenlit said...

Oh wow, that horse-drawn sleigh ride sounds marvelous! I've never been on one but I've always wanted to!

Your book sounds great...gotta love Cinderella stories. And congrats on the new sale!

Um, I wouldn't call it my favourite but changes of season for me always entails mad dashes around the place searching for and digging out appropriate clothing and footwear. As for plans for the upcoming season? I joined a recreational softball league. I now doubt my sanity on the day I signed up.

Donna MacMeans said...

Congrats again limecello! The GR is obviously quite comfy at your place.

Hi Annie! Welcome back in the lair. Right now we're changing from winter to spring - a long awaited spring, I might add. As I'm a tax accountant during the day, the early months of winter mean I'm doing tax returns. That season ends April 15th so I do a double duty dance on that day to chase away the too-long-winter blues, welcome spring and goodbye tax returns.

Jane said...

Congrats on the new release and the book deal. I'm dreading spring cleaning. The weather has been so weird that it's a good thing I haven't packed away my winter clothes and coats. I'm hoping we'll go somewhere nice this summer.

limecello said...

Congratulations on the new sale, Annie! Great interview - and I love the premise of your books! Though I have to say I'm not feeling the snow.
I had to clean about 6" off my car this morning and then a few more times throughout the day when I had to go places. :P I think that's why the GR is staying with he - he doesn't want to bother with getting through this muck.
My dream vacation/destination would be somewhere warm - right by the equator. I'm sick of wearing 2 sweaters and a wool coat!

limecello said...

Oh and Treethyme - no idea. My icon seems to go in and out - much like everything on twitter (esp for me) recently! O_o

Tawny said...

Annie, welcome back to the lair!! It's so great to have you here again and a huge congratulations on your 10th book!!!! I'm so excited for you :-)

I have to admit, your description of the sleigh ride has me actually wishing I was there -which says a lot since I'm not a major fan of snow *g* I thought we had spring starting here, but today was filled with rain, hail, thunder and lightening, so it felt more wintery :-P

Limecello-congrats on the rooster staying with you another day. I have to ask - is he wearing two sweaters, too?

Anna Campbell said...

Limecello! You seem to have a monopoly on the chook! Congratulations!

Becke, you were SOOOOO close. Hey, love the new photo! Cool that you've already got Annie's book. I'm really hoping they release the Blackmailed Bride story in the U.S. soon. It's a corker.

Anna Campbell said...

Now, Keira, make up your mind! You tell me to write and now you ask me out to play. I can't be in two places at the same time (although if I keep eating chocolate at this rate, cutting me in half is a definite possibility!). I hope you have a good trip. You're not going as far afield as India this time, are you? I was green with envy about Annie's trip. Especially this wonderful castle on the Rhine where she actually stayed in a turret room that looked absolutely amazing.

Annie, do you want to tell us all about that wonderful castle? We're all armchair travellers here in the lair. Well, perhaps for the cabana boys who are too busy pouring margaritas to let their imaginations roam too far afield.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Pissenlit, good on you, joining up with the sporting team! I seem to be in a clean up the garden phase at the moment. I hadn't thought of it in terms of the change of season, but I think Annie's right - something clicks in your mind with the new season.

Donna, roll on the end of tax season!

Anna Campbell said...

Jane, it's funny to think of you guys heading into summer whereas we're heading towards winter. I really like winter where I live. It's usually not terrifically cold and the weather is so bright and clear. Beautiful.

Lime, snow? Still? That seems crazy!

Anna Campbell said...

Tawny, I've seen the photos of the sleigh ride and it was truly a fairytale occasion. Bright blue sky and bright white snow. The sort of thing I imagined winter in Europe was like - and then I went to Europe and realized winter was mostly gray and pretty miserable!

Anna Campbell said...

Annie emailed to say give everyone a big wave. She's on her way home from the dreaded day job but she'll be here with (sleigh) bells on soon!

Christina Phillips said...

Annie, congratulations on your 10th book!

I've got my fingers crossed that I'll be going to the RWNZ conf again this year - would be lovely to meet you!!

Fiona Lowe said...

Change of seasons? I love kicking the autumn leaves that are falling right now :-)

Kirralee Schmidt said...

Hi Annie and Banditas,

I just love the sound of Desert King's Pregnant Bride and the opening to Blackmail Bride, Innocent Wife sounds intriguing. Just the sort of situation I'd like to find myself in one day... :)

Congrats on hitting the big One Oh!!! A milestone to be proud of.

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the similarities between the covers of the Greek's Convenient Mistress and Blackmailed Bride, Innocent Wife?

I think, for me, I love going from stinking hot summers to rugging up from the cold is my favourite. I just love being comfortable and cosy inside when its horrible weather outside!

Annie West said...

Hi Anna, and Banditas. At last I'm here. Have been trying to get home for a few hours to join you and have only just succeeded. Yay! So lovely to be here.

Have to say, Anna, you've done a marvellous job with the post. Thanks for adding my covers. I looked at the post and smiled myself silly. I'll even forgive you for agreeing that now I'm into double figures with the books I might be becoming a troublesome teen. Moi? Troublesome? Never.

Congratulations, Limecello on snaring the golden chook! Well done.


Annie West said...

Treethyme, commiserations on missing the GR. I know how fierce the competition is to snaffle him.

Best of luck deciding what book to read next. It can be hard sometimes, can't it? Maybe take a day off and just read...Oh, so tempting.

Hey, is that my book you've got hold of? I'm glad you liked the excerpt! I had enormous fun writing that. I just knew my dear CP Anna would approve too(G)!


Annie West said...

Humping camels indeed, Miss Keira! Now I know I really am in the bandit's lair. And my what a turn of phrase.

Actually, I hate to disappoint you but Khalid's story doesn't actually have any camels in it. I'm sure there are stacks of them just over the nearest dune but they don't make any cameo performances in the story. Plenty of nice horses though!

Sorry you can't be here for longer, but hopefully you'll have a nice trip. As for my great European journey over Christmas (sigh) I'm happy to talk and talk and talk about that any time. You've seen the pics I put on Facebook and the couple on my website but there are plenty more...beware if ever you venture to Australia. I might make you sit in a comfy chair and look at a few hundred! Actually your own vacation sounded just marvellous.

Talk later,

Annie West said...

Hi Pissenlit,

Believe me the horse drawn sleigh ride was pure magin. You know when you dream of what you might do on a holiday but the reality, while fun, isn't quite what you'd hoped? Well this was everything we could have hoped for. After grey skies beforehand the temperature dropped on Christmas night and the snow came and we woke up to brilliant sunshine and about a foot or more of powder snow on top of what was already there. We went to a small alpine town, not all posh tourist hotels but small houses and old style guesthouses. And when we went on the sleigh all you could hear was the soft swish underneath us and the bells and in the distance the occasional dog (and excited foreigners exclaiming about how fantastic it was). If you ever get a chance, do it!

Thanks for the congratulations on the recent sale. It was great meeting that landmark, but frankly, any book sale is a highlight!

Glad you like Cinderella stories too. They tap into something deep for me - maybe it's a sign that I'm desperately in need of a makeover! (No comments, Fo!).

Oh, yes, the change of season scramble for clothes. I can so relate. I'm currently foraging for long sleeved tops that seem to hav disappeared. I'm sure they're in the cupboard somewhere. Good luck with the softball. You'll be beautifully fit for summer.


Annie West said...

Hi Donna,

Wow, change of season sounds fantastic at your place. You must be so desperate for it. Getting rid of tax returns as well as getting warmer weather. How terrific. Bet you can't wait for April 16th!


Annie West said...

Hi Jane,

Thanks for the congratulations. Isn't it great to have something to celebrate? Must admit that when I finally sell a story we celebrate with a bottle of bubbly. Then of course there are the lavish celebratory lunches with Anna (one for each of our books sold). We just caught up last weekend for one in Sydney which was brilliant. A couple of lazy hours nattering and looking out through the Botanic Gardens to the harbour while people brought us lovely food. Such a change from a normal writer's day of stiff shoulders and hard yakka in front of a computer.

Jane, commisserations on the spring cleaning. My answer is not to do it! Don't you hate it when the weather is so fickle? I used to live in Canberra (capital of Australia) which is inland and gets the extremes of winter and summer weather. One summer (ie. December) it actually snowed on Christmas Day - our hottest time of year. All those poor kids getting swimsuits and bikes for Christmas...

Hope you get your summer trip away and it's fantastic.


Annie West said...

Limcello, 2 sweaters and a coat definitely calls for an equatorial vacation. Somewhere with palm trees and a sexy cabana boy who mixes a mean drink? Think you could cope?

Glad you liked the interview. It's always fun chatting to Anna about books or travel (or almost anything). Great to hear you like the sound of the premise of the stories too! I had fun with them.

Annie West said...

Anna, I forgot to say how cool the blog title is. AW and the Chic Sheikh indeed! You punster you. Just couldn't resist, could you?

Annie West said...

Hi Tawny, waving across the Pacific. Thanks for the congrats. There's definitely something satisfying about the no 10 thing. Like maybe I'm a real writer after all (ducking now in case Anna reads that and takes a swipe at me).

Where are you that you're getting rain, hail and thunderstorms all at once? Sounds like a place to avoid right now. Here on the other hand, the weather is balmy with just the slightest nip in the air, No more going bare foot first thing in the morning I suspect - a sure sign Autumn is here.

Christine Wells said...

Hi Annie, wonderful to have you back in the lair. I have TDKPB next on my to be read pile and I read and adored your Billionaire's Bought Mistress! Congrats on 10 books. That's so fantastic. What a body of work you've built up.

The Alpine kingdom sounds fabulous. Where are you going next? I'm so jealous!

Season change at the moment means buying yet more clothes for my growing boys and the onset of sniffles season, unfortunately! What I love most is the change from winter to spring. That's my favourite time of the year, when you can leave off the jumpers and start swimming again.

Annie West said...

Anna, I'm waiting on news about Blackmailed Bride, Innocent Wife coming out in the US. So glad you think it's a 'corker'! I know there were certain bits in particular that you enjoyed in that story, but we won't go into detail here. (snork).

I'm hopeful of a release date coming up for that book in North America but have to wait till the schedule is sorted out. Ah, the ways of the publication schedule are mysterious. It would be so nice to have the same book out on different continents at the same time, but at least this way I get to spread out the fun!

Tawny said...

Annie, I can so relate to the "real writer" feeling. I'm still waiting for it to hit me!!

I'm in California, where it was in the 80s this weekend and we were wondering if it would be swimsuit time soon LOL.

Annie West said...

Ha, Anna, am smirking at your comment that you like winter where you live. You don't get winter! Your idea of winter is when the sun goes behind a cloud and you have to put slippers on. That sub tropical climate of yours had made you soft, girl! But I have to say I LOVE to visit - great climate for a holiday.

Authorness said...

Hi, Annie and Anna! Annie, super congrats on becoming a Presents teenager ;). I'm looking forward to seeing how that kingdom you're building turns out. I just know it's going to be magical.

It's starting to get chilly here, but instead of hibernating, I'll be writing as much as possible and keeping warm with hot chocolates.

x Vanessa

Laurie said...

Congrats Annie! I'm looking forward to reading your books!

Spring weather here in Florida has brought wide temp swings: 2 days ago 93 high, today 49 low...It should reach 70 this afternoon! lots of WIND, strong gusty winds, 25-30 MPH. It's been partially to mostly cloudy all winter long! too. Also,the coolest winter overall, since I've been down here
(1995). I'm going to get rid of clothes that I don't wear and wash windows!!

Helen said...

Congrats limcello it must be love good on ya have fun with him

Hi Annie and Anna how are you both? great interview my advice to everyone is to run to the bookstore and get The Desert King's Pregnant Bride, Khalid is to die for as a hero and Maggie is so beautiful I loved this book couldn't put it down. Actually I have read 4 of your books Annie I have one here that I haven't yet read that I got at the wonderful conference in Mebourne back in February seems like it was yesterday it was so much fun so I still have a couple to find from your back list but any new ones that are released will be bought as soon as they are on the shelves.

I too love the changing of the seasons my favourite seasons are Autumn and winter and my favourite thing to so is snuggle up with a great book a nice coffee chocolate and read the days away that is on my days off anyway LOL

Congrats on selling your 10th book this is great news means more Annie West books for me to read. Blackmailed Bride Innocent Wife is that going to be released here in Oz in June? You have some wonderful ideas for new books from your travels Annie sounds like lots more Books to come.

The new oven sounds great I always enjoyed cooking before I started working full time just don't seem to have the time like I used to although when I have time off work I do still get some done I love cooking soups and hearty stews in winter and then lovely biscuits and deserts by the time summer comes around again I am looking forward to all of the salads and summer fruits.

Thanks Guys for a great post

Have Fun

Annie West said...

Anna, you're pandering to my weaknesses. Tell us about the Rhine castle, she says! Well! It was fantastic. We had 2 nights at a tiny village on the Rhine in the middle of the wine growing area where castles sprout from the hills. First night was in a 450 year old hotel with a Roman cellar. Quaint, half-timbered and so comfortable. And the food!

Then the next night we headed up the hill to the castle. There were only 4 rooms occupied since it was winter and it felt like having the whole place to ourselves. We were right at the top and had views on four sides, the most comfy bed ever and a bathroom that has inspired some ideas for the next story. Just gorgeous. And when we ate they put us in the library with a fire so we could eat in private since there were so few guests. I could have stayed a month. Don't know how I'd have paid for it but still... Really the most terrific place to visit.

Already saving for the next trip.

Annie West said...

Actually, Anna, the only trouble with that castle was no cabana boy. Though, now I think about it the waiter was exceedingly cute...

Annie West said...

Anna, just saw your post about me coming home from the day job. Thanks so much for holding the fort.

Banditas, I had a mail while I was still at work saying the post was live and people were here and I couldn't get away. So cruel!

But now I have a nice glass of cool, dry white and am relaxed and feel much better!

Hm, do you experts change drinks with the change of season? You know from light rum based cocktails or G&TS in summer to mulled wine or something heavier in the cooler months. Wondering if your cabana boys have special instructions for the change of seasons.

Annie West said...

Oh, Christina - you might be at the RWNZ conference? Yay! Would love to catch up with you. I've booked my flights to Auckland and am just waiting to hear the details of the conference. I hear the NZ conference is really friendly and warm and comfortable. Am so looking forward to it.

If you're there, please look for me.


Annie West said...

Hi Fiona,

Lovely to see you here. I love the leaves in Autumn too. We used to make piles of them in park and the kids would jump into them and disappear. Lots of fun.

Amy Andrews said...

Hey Annie - woohoo on #10! Where has the time gone???

Weather here is wet, wet, wet. Actually today was quite sunny BUT apparently its going to be raining tomorrow and for all of Easter. We've had a couple of hundred mls in the last week - enough already!!

Your Europe trip sound divine! We had Xmas in Europe may moons ago now. We were in a Swiss ski resort - very posh. Unfortunately we were in very cheap digs :-( But one of my most potent memories is rounding an enormous frozen lake and seeing a horse pulling a sleigh across the middle, jingling all the way. I can still hear the bells.
We went ice-skating on said lake on Xmas Day - will cherish it as long as I live.
St Petersburg did I hear? YOu now ther's this fabulous river cruise in Russia from Moscow to St Petersburg..... I'm thinking writers retreat....

reine abeille said...

Hi Annie! The trip sounds great. I'm up in the Blue Mountains for Easter reveling in the cold weather and doing massive amounts of pruning while hopefully brewing a new story. I read The Billionaire's Bought Mistress not so long ago and thought it a corker! Happy Easter to you and the Banditas!

Keziah Hill said...

Oops! That last comment was from me, the Queen Bee.

Annie West said...

Hi Kiralee,

Thanks for popping by. So glad you like the sound of the books.

Laughing at you liking the idea of being in Alissa's shoes at the beginning of 'Blackmailed Bride, Innocent Wife'. When it opens she'd definitely swap with you! Loved writing that opening, I have to say. But then I'm a sucker for openings. Am having fun with my current one at the moment. I wonder if that's common? Whether most writers enjoy playing with the opening of a new story?

Hey, good point about the similarity in book covers. Of course one is in Greece (possibly) and the other on Sicily (G). Have to say I like the girl on 'Blackmailed Bride, Innocent Wife' better than the one on Costas' story. But it's not a matter of pleasing me. Interestingly both pics actually do relate to scenes in the book. In both cases the characters aren't wearing precisely what's shown on the covers, but perhaps for modesty's sake it's better not to go there right now. At least in the case of Costas and Sophie.

I know what you mean, Kiralee, about feeling comfortable and cosy when it's cold outside. Perfect weather for a good book, isn't it?

Annie West said...

Hi Christine,

How cool that you've got TDKPB in your tbr list. Laughed at myself - had to sit and think to work out what TDKPB was! These acronyms...

Lovely to hear you enjoyed The Billionaire's Bought Mistress. Rafe and Antonia were a hoot to write and he really pushed the boundaries (or so I thought).

Yes, looking forward to my alpine kingdom. If all goes to plan there'll be two stories set there. I was plotting my book and found I had 2 heroes and had to separate them. Right now I'm starting something completely different. Will tell you more when I've got it set in my head. But as a hint, it's set in much warmer climes than the alps.

Oh Christine, isn't Spring a gorgeous season? Yes, to the swimming. I remember too living through a European winter and for the first time seeing why spring was so important. After all that snow and those grey skies the sight of daffodils was so exciting.

Good luck buying clothes for the boys. I always found my kids grew out of theirs by the end of the season, if not before. I'm hoping the growth spurts have stopped now. Amazing to think of getting more than one season's wear out of a pair of jeans!

Serena said...

Hi Annie! I enjoyed reading your entry - and loved hearing about your wonderful trip again. SIGH. It sounds magical.

I am so looking forward to reading The Desert King's Pregnant Bride. I know it'll be another book on my keeper shelf along with all your others.

Thanks, Anna for having Annie back again. Both of you are just gorgeous (and didn't we enjoy brekkie when you were down for the ARRC! He he he.)

As to season changes - finally - YES FINALLY!- summer is over in Melbourne and we're into autumn (fall). This is the best time of year. Warmish days, cool nights, gorgeous coloured leaves rustling around the gardens (which actually have some GREEN grass following some rain. YAY!)


Luv2read/Deb said...

Annie, I like the idea of an Alpine romance: princes, castles, mountains, sleigh rides, and a (spunky) girl.

I love the change of seasons. I am happy to see the plants peeking through the soil and buds coming out in spring. I like the variety of colors my front and backyards show in summer. I think the golds, reds, yellows, and oranges of the trees, burning bushes and seedums are beautiful in fall. I even love winter. The first snow falling on a quiet evening. I even like the end of winter when everyone is ready for it to be done!

Congrats on your new release! I'm looking forward to checking it out!

Annie West said...

Tawny, that 'real writer' thing is a strange feeling, isn't it? Somehow it doesn't seem quite real. But I keep seeing your name all over the place, getting all sorts of accolades, so I think you've well and truly hit the 'rw' stage!

Hm, weather in California doesn't sound so good right now. Hope it improves.

Annie West said...

Hi Vanessa,

Love your new picture!

Hm, I suppose I'm not really a Presents teenager yet, but I'm working on it. Just hope I avoid the mood swings (G).

Yes, looking forward to my European kingdom. Not sure it'll be magical but it will be lots of fun. Had a ball working on the details of my characters, which is promising.

Glad to hear you're writing lots. And as it should be - a brand new GOLDEN HEART FINALIST (yay, Vanessa) needs to keep at the ms. Good luck in that, dear. And enjoy those hot chocolates. With Easter just a few days away I thought you'd be feasting on Easter eggs.

Actually, I've just won a huge Easter raffle (see, there are some positives to the day job) and am hoping the fuel my next scene with Lindt bunnies!

HistoricalGoddess said...

Hi Annie..I had to stop by since my Oh so favourite is interviewing you..Hi Anna..That tells me I need to run out and get your book Annie..You have the perfect blog here to do it!

My favourite activity is to get rid of the old and bring in the new as in spring and fall cleanings. They are my favourites because I get to unload all the crap that gets collected over the winter and summer from my husband and kids.
MY FAVOROURITE Activity is to watch any number of my girls blow it out on the soccer feild. When they are on the same teams they call them The Gardner Girl Trouble cause they kick ass and what mom wouldnt be SO proud of that? And yes Im the only mom that screams...

Annie West said...

Hi Laurie,

Hope you enjoy my stories when you get to them.

Goodness, Florida sounds so changeable. I always thought it was warm and humid. Obviously I've got it wrong. Br to cleaning windows. Perhaps you could pop over here to help me with mine when you've finished? Good luck clearing out the wardrobe. Then you'll have room for new clothes...

PJ said...

Hi Annie! Congrats on the new release (loved that excerpt) and on your 10th sale! So glad you introduced me to Annie's wonderful writing, Anna.

We're slowly heading into spring here and I'm more than ready for it. My dogwoods and azaleas are in bloom and the tulips and canna lilies have begun to sprout up from the ground. It's such a beautiful time of year.

I'm off to work in a bit so I won't be able to play today then the honorary granddaughters arrive tonight for three days (spring break). I'll be lucky to get within 4 feet of the computer while they're here. :)

Have fun today!

Annie West said...

Hi Helen,

Lovely to see you. Wasn't it fun catching up in Melbourne for the Aus Readers' Conference? Am already looking forward to the next one even though it's likely to be 2 years away.

Hey, can I employ you as a publicist? Thaks for the lovely, lovely feedback on Khalid and Maggie's story. I hope the readers in the USA like it as much as you did.

Yes, Blackmailed Bride, Innocent Wife is a June release in Oz, whereas in North America that's the month The Greek's Convenient Mistress (TGCM)goes on sale. Just as well I've got all this written down or I would get confused. Oh, speaking of TGCM - I came home from work yesterday to find a delivery - two copies of the book in Japanese! Now that made me smile. Can't imagine my stories in Japanese. Though I proudly have a manga comic book to my name and that really did feel 'foreign'.

Now, Helen, why am I not surprised that you like the cooler months so you can snuggle up with a hot choccie and a book? So appealing - especially if you have the sound of the rain on the roof. Strangely though I often find myself reading (or writing) summery books in the cool months and wintery stories in the summer.

Yes, the oven is working out well. Too well in fact. My skirt is getting quite tight as we've been baking cakes and desserts which we haven't done for ages. Will have to head to the gym more often.

Annie West said...

Amy, you're right, the time has flown since that first Harlequin acceptance a few years ago. I've lost track of how many Medicals you've written. Stacks! You and Fiona L have converted me to reading them - you've got a lot to answer for when my time's so limited. (G).

Ooh, the Swiss ski resort sounds lovely. I wonder you could afford it on the cheap. I remember as a student travelling to Italy via Switzerland and even though we stayed in a youth hostel it blew our budget completely.

LOVE the sound of the St Petersburg cruise! How tremendous. It looks such a brilliant city. If you're planning a writers' retreat there I'll be there with (sleigh) bells on! When are we going?

Actually, you're a good one for using your travels in stories. I seem to remember hearing about a visit to the Amalfi Coast of Italy that found its way into one of your books...

Annie West said...

Ooh Keziah, lovely to catch up with you. The Blue Mtns at this time of year are so great. Good luck with the pruning. Are you getting mists and cooler weather? I love the mountain mists, except when I'm driving in them.

Wow, so glad you enjoyed The Billionaire's Bought Mistress! One of Anna's fave scenes of mine is in that story. I wonder if you can guess which one.

Hope all's well with you and you hack the garden into shape ready for winter.

Sarah said...

Anna, thanks for the invite to read this great interview! Although, I agree you should be writing, I'm looking forward to your latest release. But while I'll wait, I think I'll have to order a copy of The Billionaire's Bought Mistress. I love the title and I can't wait to guess which seen in Anna's favorite.
Sarah Tormey

Annie West said...

Hi Serena,

So glad you enjoyed Anna's interview. She's very good at it, isn't she?

Wasn't it great getting together in Melbourne? If anyone is ever heading to Melbourne, Serena has introduced me and Anna to a fantabulous cafe called Brunetti's. Italian coffee, cakes and other sundries to die for. Just sitting there watching everyone else go by would be great but not as great as the food and conversation at our table. Actually, if you have a sweet tooth, I posted a pic of one of the patisserie counters on my 'latest news' page in March. Definitely droolworthy.

Serena, I bet you're welcoming the cooler months with open arms, especially after the horrendous bushfires. Hope you get plenty of rain and nice cool weather.

Annie West said...

Hi Deb,

Great to hear that the alpine romance idea appeals to you too. Of course there will be a great heroine (at least I hope she turns out that way). Over the years I've read a couple of romances in those sort of settings and they always held a touch of magic for me.

You sound like a girl who enjoys the outdoors. Aren't the coloured leaves amazing in autumn/fall? We don't get so many of them in Australia as we have mainly evergreens, but in some gardens they're just spectacular. And as for seeing new growth coming up out of the winter soil - now that IS magical.

Hope you're getting some nice warm weather now.

Annie West said...

HistoricalGoddess, lovely to see you. Anna's great for introductions, isn't she? Yes, she should be writing more, but she has been working very hard, believe me. Right now though she's probably headed off to bed.

Isn't it a great feeling to have finished a big spring clean? I think it rejuvenates you and they do say that getting rid of clutter helps you concentrate. I wonder if that's true.

The soccer sounds terrific. It's one of my fave games. I find it hard to believe though that you're the only one who screams from the sidelines!

Annie West said...

Hi PJ, lovely to see yet another familiar face. Hope you have fun with your visitors - I'm sure you will.

Glad you enjoyed the excerpt from Khalid and Maggie's story. It was fun looking for such short piece.

Oh, you've got Dogwoods. I used to have one then we moved to the coast and the weather's so much warmer here I don't think they'd do well.

Have a great weekend!

Annie West said...

Hi Sarah,

Glad you popped by. Will leave it to Anna to tell you which scene she enjoyed most, or she'd probably have something to say. Oh, it's fun having her as a crit partner. I remember writing parts of that book and chuckling because I thought she'd appreciate them. Just like she knows the bits of her mansucripts I'm likely to sigh over.

Amy Andrews said...

Working on 19 as we speak, Annie.

So Moscow to St P writers cruise in a few years. Any Bandita takers?

Annie West said...

Amy - 19 books! Squeak! Wow, that's some achievement. Maybe I should just touch you for luck.

As for the cruise, count me IN!! Wouldn't it be a hoot if we managed it with lots of romance readers and writers taking over the ship?

Miranda said...

Hi Annie
Congratulations on your book which sounds like a lot of fun. Loved hearing about your exotic locales. Doesn't Anna give great interview? She knows just what to ask.(of course with you she has inside knowledge....)
Spring? What spring? Even if it hadn't rained for two days solid I'd be chained to the computer. The season isn't changing for me till the book is finished.

Annie West said...

Hi Miranda,

Believe me, I've been enjoying those exotic locales. For a long time I haven't been doing much travelling at all so that trip was fantastic and I intend to use every bit of it I can for inspiration!

Sorry to hear spring hasn't sprung over where you are. Commisserations on being chained to the computer. I know what it's like being under dreadline. Hope it passes soon and the book is a huge success.

Yes, Anna does do a good interview. I could see a great future for her as a talk show host except that would mean she'd have to give up writing and we couldn't have that.

Keira Soleore said...

Leaving for the airport in an hour. Eeek.

Khalid and his horses are going to be plenty hot from your blog and the hints Fo keeping dropping.

Fo, you're right. I can't have it both ways. I'm glad you're getting plenty of writing down. Feel free to ignore me for the next few weeks, too.

We're off to Disneyland for a short break. Miss Wee is besides herself with excitement.

Annie West said...

Keira, Disneyland? Sigh. Am jealous. I've wanted to go there since I was about 8 (all of 10 years ago, he, he). Hope you have a ball.

As for the horses in Khalid's story - well yes they're nice, but not nearly as nice as Khalid, believe me. Hm, has Anna been dropping hints? Can't imagine that. She's usually much more blatant than that. I wonder what could have come over her.

Louisa Cornell said...

Hello, Annie! Congrats on your tenth book. As you know my Mom is your biggest fan so she will be in alt sitting in her comfy chair by the window reading your latest.

I've been on one of those sleigh rides and you are so right. There is something about the Austrian Alps, a sleigh with bells, beautiful horses and the magic of the silence that cannot be duplicated anywhere else. I'm looking forward to reading your books set in that magical place.

My Spring cleaning consists of cleaning up my latest manuscript and getting those query letters out on it.

The house really needs a good clean, but it will have to wait!

Good job on the GR, Lime! Keep him out of trouble if you can!

Safe journey, Keira! I know Miss Wee will have a ball!

Maureen said...

Congratulations on your new books! Your recent trip sounds just lovely. Now that it's spring I am looking forward to planting our garden. I really enjoy picking something from the garden and eating it that night.

Trish Milburn said...

Wow! It's only 9 a.m. here, and there are already 70 comments. Annie, you are one popular gal. :)

Welcome back to the Lair. Always fun to have you here. I just got dreamy-eyed reading about all those wonderful trips. I think one of those canal trips would be fabulous.

It's the change of seasons here now, into spring. So I've been doing a lot of yard work. And after I get past my deadline this month, I plan to do a big house culling and get rid of a lot of stuff. It's like dust bunnies -- it multiplies when your back is turned.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Hey Annie! Good to see your smiling face again! I so enjoyed having you Over Coffee.

You are just beginning to feel the nip of Autumn and we're just now beginning to enjoy Spring in my neck of the woods. I think every season has it's preparations. Autumn is one where I put up the winter stuff to make the house warm for the snow months and make outdoor chores as easy as possible. Not a big fan of winter feeding of critters :-)

Loved hearing the story lines of your books and how you incorporate travel in each book. My family are preparing for a European trip next year. I'm returning to Scotland and Ireland, which I LOVE to do. Must be something to do with being a Celt, you think? I'm not sure how much of England we'll do. But it will be the first trip to Europe for my 14 year old. So that will be exciting.

Congrats on your10th sale. Try to stay outta trouble now that you're hitting those double digits, will you? :-)

Treethyme said...

Yes, Annie, that was indeed your book that was delivered yesterday. Anna C. mentioned it on Facebook, so I ordered it. (I've liked every book she's recommended!)

Anna, I was sick of the other picture. Tried to crop a couple of chins out of this one, with minimal success.

Hey, Anna or Annie, you will let us know when and if Blackmailed Bride becomes available in the US, won't you? I think my husband is going to England in the fall, though. I can always send a shopping list with him.

Keira, you may have a point there. My husband has read these posts over my shoulder once or twice, then walked away, shaking his head.

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

What a wonderful turnout! Annie is an auto buy for me and I immediately became a fan with her first Presents.

Stop by for a chance to win this release at and see my interview with Annie and Abby Green.

For my review of her April "sheikh" release

Nancy said...

Limecello, congrats on grabbing the rooster!

Treethyme, good luck next time. Blogger does weird things to me from time to time, too.

Nancy said...

Annie, welcome back and congratulations on your recent sale! You're rolling along at a terrific pace. This new book sounds fabulous.

Change of season activities--cleaning for the boy's girlfriend to come (she arrived today), grading as we roll downhill (or careen, more like) toward the semester's end, and waiting to enjoy sitting outside to read. We have a narrow window of opportunity for that before the weather turns hot, muggy, and mosquito-infested, so I like to enjoy it while I can.

Nancy said...

Pissenlit, softball was the one team sport I really enjoyed. I hope you'll have fun with it.

Nancy said...

Donna, our taxes are gone--for which we are deeply grateful. Ever since we hired someone who understands the internal revenue code without struggling, we don't have to do that mad dash to the PO on April 15. *g*

I hope you coast smoothly to your happy dance.

jcp said...

Your books like look a mini-vacation:)

Beth said...

Welcome back to the lair, Annie! Your smile is contagious *g* As soon as I saw your picture, I started grinning :-)

Congrats on selling your 10th book to Harlequin! And The Desert King's Pregnant Bride sounds fabulous - love the excerpt!

It's supposed to be Spring here but it doesn't seem like it considering it's about 30 degrees outside and there's snow on the ground *g* But we've started our Spring Cleaning as I do like to force my kids to help me clean the house top to bottom :-)

jo robertson said...

Hi, Annie! It's so delightful to have you back in the Lair and to hear about your new books! Congratulations on reaching the double digits -- that's so cool.

I have to say that THE DESERT KING'S PREGNANT BRIDE sounds delicious! I adore how you have so much enjoyment writing your characters' stories.

I love the change of seasons too. Here in northern California, we're approaching spring, the blossoms have popped out on the trees, and the weather's getting warmer. I love to sit at my kitchen window, TRY to write, and look out at my ginormous back yard and watch everything grow.

MsHellion said...

*squealing* ANNIE! It's been so long since we've talked and I love hearing you've sold your 10th book!

Damn, I was so excited Annie was in the house, I didn't read the question I was supposed to answer. Right now I'm in Application and Deadline Season--and the thing I'm looking forward to is VACATION in May. I hope to have all--or at the very least MOST--of the apps done by the time I vacation. I'm going to Virginia and North Carolina. Beaches, ocean, pirate stuff maybe, and other historical stuff. I don't care. It's not in this office and that's what I care about.

*squealing again* Have I mentioned how excited I am that Annie's sold her 10th book? (And is it me or is this probably the only time a woman is happy to be in the 'double digits'?)

Virginia said...

Congrats limecello!

Congrats Annie on that 10th book, this is great news. As far as seasons go spring is my favorite. I am still waiting on it right now because the past two days we have had cold weather and a little snow. What I look forward to the most is getting outside and taking walks and working in the yard. I love the outside after a long cold winter.

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Annie congratulations on your tenth sale, you must feel very proud. Can't wait to read The Desert Kings pregnant Bride. There's something about those Desert Kings woo hoo.

Great interview btw. Interesting.

Congrats once again,
Suzanne :)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome back to the lair, Annie!

Big THANX to Fo for inviting you to celebrate the sale of book #10! WOOO HOOO! WTG!

Cabana Boys!!! More maragaritas! It's 5 o'clock somewhere.

Congrats on the GR AGAIN, Limecello. Put him to work.

Safe travels, Keira. We'll miss you but expect a FULL REPORT when you return!


Eva S said...

Hi Annie and Anna,
thanks for the great interview and the yummy excerpt! Congratulations on your new book, one more for my wishlist! And I'll love to read about the castles and the places you visited in your future books...
I'm looking forward to a new trip to Andorra to visit my sister, perhaps I'll be able to see some castles in Spain or France on the trip.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey, Annie! Glad to have you back in the lair with us. Your travels sound fantastic and rather inspiring. Do you plan to use this European village as perhaps the sight for a series of books? Perhaps a small kingdom?

Since it's almost summer down here in Texas...a beautiful 74 degrees at the cabana boy, (dh) has been cleaning and conditioning the pool so rocky-the-wonder-dog and I can start our daily swims again. Probably mid May!

I'll take one day off this month to prune and feed the rose bushes, and I may even plant some pots with annuals, although a tomato plant might do me some good this year, too. Who knows?

Anna Campbell said...

Gosh, you girls have been busy while I've been snoring! Thanks for giving Annie such a wonderful welcome!

Anna Campbell said...

Christina, are you off to NZ? Hope you get there! I wish I was coming but I've got a book due 1st Sept so hitting the Oz conference, which is mercifully just down the road, is the best I'll do with local conferences this year. Isn't 10 books a fabulous achievement?

Fiona, you're lucky you're in a place that has such obvious changes of the seasons. In Queensland, the changes are much more subtle and we sure don't get the leaves changing colour or anything like that.

Anna Campbell said...

Kirralee, I lived in England for two years and I have to say one of the things I miss in Queensland (beautiful one day, perfect the next) is that there's not much seasonal variation. I used to love the way spring came as this burst of life after the barrenness of winter.

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, so glad you like the set up of the blog. And we're delighted to have you, whenever you decide to turn up.

By the way, people, if you click on the two American covers, you get straight into Amazon where you can buy Annie's latest. Eazy peazy.

Blackmailed Bride is available for order from the Book Depository and I've put the link in the post. They're great - they don't charge postage to anywhere in the world!

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, I adored the horses in Desert King!

And hey, I wouldn't be game to mention the 'makeover' word to you, AW! But I think it's significant that your first book which was published as A MISTRESS FOR THE TAKING was originally called The Mistress Makeover.

Actually all jokes aside, I think your base myth is Cinderella. Mine's Beauty and the Beast, I think.

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, have you had any further thoughts on the perennial appeal of the sheikh hero? He's almost as ubiquitous in category romance as the vampire hero is in single title!

Anna Campbell said...

Christine, I'm always slightly sad around Easter because it means the end of my swimming season. Although I must say I prefer cooler weather - and we've had a really hot summer up here where I live now.

Annie, when it comes to Blackmailed Bride, I'll just say black leather...

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, AW, I haven't always lived in subtropical luxury, hon!!! Although I think you're right about getting soft. And honestly, when it's cold, I have to make the cabana boys put on extra clothes. Not the thing at all!

Hey, Vanessa, huge congratulations on the Golden Heart final! Our Nessy is a finalist in the Young Adult category. Yay, VVVVV!!!!

Helen said...

I would be happy to be your publicist anytime your books are excellent reading and your heros are so strong and ooh I just want them all am I being greedy LOL

Hi Amy
I would love to be on that cruise as well but I think I would need to win lotto first LOL and yes when I read The Italian Counts Baby set around the Almafi Coast I really felt as if I was there the descriptions were beautiful.

Have Fun

Anna Campbell said...

Laurie, laughed at your glamorous plans for your ex-wardrobe. Actually I got busy and washed windows the other day because we've had such stormy weather here lately and then of course, the stormy weather came back so I've got to do the windows again. Aaaaaarrrrggggghhhh!

Hey, Helen, I love that you're an Annie West fan! I remember how excited you two got when you met each other in Melbourne. It was lovely. Annie's books are fantastic, aren't they?

Anna Campbell said...

Actually, Annie, I must say I tend to drink red wine all year. Although I use whites when people come to visit in summer. Whites and gin and tonics - yum!

Amy, hasn't the weather been awful? Rain, rain, rain - and more on the way. By the way, for those not in the know, Amy lives just down the road from me in global terms!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Reine, isn't the Billionaire's Bought Mistress great? That opening scene in the graveyard in the Alps. Wow, what fantastic atmosphere building. I'm pruning madly too - it's actually one of the gardening jobs I enjoy. I clearly have destructive tendencies!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Keziah, I think the Queen Bee thing suits you! ;-) I wondered who this new commenter was!

Pat Cochran said...

I used to mainly think about the
spring-summer change in connection
with the children being out of school and "summer sleepovers" at Grandma's house. After last year, I now place more thought on June 1 and the beginning of hurricane season! Hurricane Ike awoke us to the severity of summer weather changes. Thirteen days with
no power, food shortages, extreme
Texas heat, it was no fun! We could have used some of the excess
snow which the northern part of
the country experienced this past
winter (and this past weekend!)

Miss Annie, love your books and
I'm enjoying your visit with us

Hi, Miss Anna! Congratulations.
Limecello! Happy 48, Honey!

Pat Cochran

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, I must say I always enjoy the beginning of a book. Largely because it's often a scene I have fairly fixed in my head - and there's a chance that the final story might actually meet my expectations. They never do, of course! And they always change so much in the writing from the original concept!

Hey, Serena, thanks for visiting. That breakfast was amazing. I still dream about those endless cabinets of gorgeous pastries at Brunetti's. I LOVE Melbourne!

Anna Campbell said...

Deb, I love the Harlequins set around the Mediterranean but won't it be fun to have the different, mountainous setting? Really looking forward to seeing what Annie does with her next two books! They sound like they're going to be great!

Annie, congratulations on winning the Easter raffle. I hope you remember you darling, sweet, endlessly cooperative critique partner when you're sharing the chocs.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Michele, returning the lurve ;-) Hey, grab Annie's latest. You'll love it! Hey, go the Gardner gals!!!

PJ, your place sounds absolutely glorious at this time of year! Lucky you, getting a proper spring! And I'm so glad I've converted you into a fan of Annie's writing. I truly believe a rising tide lifts all ships. The more good books out there for people to read, the more good books people WILL read.

Speaking of which, did you all see that interesting article in the NYT about how the recession is sending romance sales through the roof? Yay!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, for a bit of a giggle, check out Annie's Manga Cover for At the Sheikh's Pleasure:

It's about halfway down latest news.

Anna Campbell said...

Amy, I adored the book about the Amalfi Coast. And that had such a sexy Italian surgeon in it as the hero - and he was a Count as well! Wow! What a bedside manner. Actually I think my favorite of yours for me, though, is the one about the conjoined twins. Such an emotional read. Top-Notch Surgeon, Pregnant Nurse? Is that right?

Hey, Sarah, great to see you here! Don't be a stranger. Come back and see us again. Seriously, Annie's stuff is fabulously good. Really intense and smart and passionate. And I have no idea how she does it in 180 pages!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Miranda, I'm snorking at the idea of giving good interview! Just what a girl wants to hear! Hey, great to see you! Bet Never Resist Temptation is going great guns. I've heard so much good buzz about it. Actually I must admit it's easier to ask interesting questions when I have some acquaintance with the subject - like your lovely visit, my friend.

Keira, bon voyage and please don't do anything too rude to Mickey!

Anna Campbell said...

Actually, speaking of the fabulously talented Vanessa Barneveld, she's joined a wonderful new Young Adult romance blog called We Love Ya (ha ha, love that pun!). They're having their launch this week and it's a lot of fun. Natalie Hatch who is a frequent lair visitor is involved too.

Anna Campbell said...

Louisa, darn tootin' you're spending spring getting that manuscript ready to go! No spring cleaning for you, my girl! ;-)

Oh, Maureen, you lucky duck, getting to pick fresh produce straight from the garden. When we lived on the farm, we used to do that. There's nothing like it, is there?

Anna Campbell said...

Trish, I need to have a bit of a cull too. But at the moment, like you, I"m concentrating on chopping back the garden. We've had a warm and wet summer (which still seems to be continuing) and everything has grown like billio. I swear Tarzan and Jane are living in my front yard! Oh, and I'm with you about the canal trip. Doesn't it sound wonderful?

Hey, Sia, great to see you. I enjoyed Annie's visit at Over Coffee too. She's always got such an interesting take on things, hasn't she? Oh, I envy your European trip! Especially the Scottish part!

Anna Campbell said...

Becke, honestly, for things that you can't get immediately in the U.S., I'd strongly recommend the Book Depository. I get a lot of books from there. Even with our awful exchange rate against the pound, it's economically viable when they don't charge postage.

You can get Medical Romances there too - I highly recommend Amy's and Fiona Lowe's.

Annie West said...

Goodness, a girl goes off for a little beauty nap (OK, OK a night's sleep) and the lair turns into a party! Where did all these comments come from? What have I been missing? So looking forward to catching up.


Anna Campbell said...

Marilyn, I thoroughly enjoyed your interview with Annie! Thanks for giving us the link.

Nancy, I hear you on hot, muggy and mosquito-infested. Are you sure you don't live next door?

JCP, a mini vacation is a wonderful description!!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Beth, crawling out of bed after your big release party yesterday, you wild woman? I saw you swinging from the chandelier with A NOT SO PERFECT PAST clutched between your teeth! Yeah, isn't that a great photo of Annie?

Jo, sounds like you're having a lovely spring too. And isn't it great to have Annie back? It's always a party when she visits the lair!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Hellion! Fantastic to see you swing by in all your pirate regalia. It's a fantastic achievement to have 10 books accepted, isn't it? We definitely celebrated that fact when we got together in Sydney! Actually the weird thing is when I was a little kid, I desperately wanted to be a teenager. I realized how misguided I was once I hit those adolescent years, though!

Virginia, I hope your spring comes soon. The snow seems to be hanging around late this year!

Annie West said...

Louisa, Louisa, terrific to see you here. How sad I gave in and went to bed before you arrived. As you know I'm absolutely thrilled about your mum being an Annie West reader. She's a woman of excellent taste and refinement (obviously) - just look at her daughter!

How cool that you've been on a sleigh ride too! We must be twins. Aren't they just marvellous? I can see my hero and heroine snuggled together under a big rug as they dash through the snow. Sigh. What an incentive to finish the current book and move onto the next one...!

I think you've got your spring cleaning priorities right. Forget the house (I do) and focus on the ms and those query letters. It's so important to have something out there in a contest or before an editor or agent, isn't it? I always felt there was hope of good news if I had something out there, not languishing on my computer. Now I'm thrilled when my ms is with my editor and I feel my time is my own for however short a time.

Hope the change of season brings good changes to your writing career.

Anna Campbell said...

Suzanne, so glad you enjoyed the interview. I really wanted to drag Annie into the lair and quiz her on her latest releases and her travels. She had such a great time, the lucky duck!

I should have known AC would be over her headache from yesterday by now! Yes, pour the margaritas!!!

Annie West said...

Hi Maureen,

I can so understand the lure of the garden. I'm sitting here with a cup of tea (no brekkie yet) and the sun is flooding in the window beside me. It looks terrific and it shows how jungly the garden has grown. Must tear myself from the computer and get out there, but not just yet. I particularly love the way the garden changes in spring. So spectacular!

Anna Campbell said...

Eva, what a pretty picture in your avatar! I've been to Andorra! Hope you have a great time.

Suz, I'm clinging to the very last of the roses but they're going to be chopped back very soon. And as I said, my swimming season is nearly over. Sigh. Hey, if your husband does pool maintenance, do you lend him out to good friends? Bats eyelashes winningly...

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, that's the book on the Amalfi Coast! Thanks for remembering. I have to admit, I do get all those Harlequin titles mixed up, especially now they've taken to using the Presents style titles for all the other lines as well.

Pat, I remember hearing about Hurricane Ike and worrying about you. That must have been absolutely terrifying. We've had a few bad cyclones this year (Hamish springs to mind!) but nothing on the scale of what you've had on that Gulf Coast over the last few years. Stay safe!

Annie West said...

Trish, thanks for the welcome. As for being popular, it just feels like I've come to the best girls club in town whenever I visit the Lair. Especially if there are drinks being poured...

Good luck with this month's deadline. I can commisserate. My next one's a while away, but I can almost hear it creeping up on me.

So, can Amy and I count you in on the boat trip? Wouldn't it be fantastic? Sigh. I'll just sit a moment and dream about it a while. I met someone once who'd been a tourist guide in St Petersburg before she migrated to Canberra. Seeing her pics and hearing about the place made me want to hop on the next plane.

Sorry to hear about the dust bunny build up. A common writers' problem I suspect. The only bunnies I want to hear about right now are Lindt ones. Love the jingle of their tiny bells as they give themselves up for the greater good (ie. my choc craving)

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, they've been a chatty mob, haven't they? I told you everyone was looking forward to your visit! Although I wonder if the Turkish delight might have something to do with it... ;-)

Annie West said...

Yay, Sia, fantastic to see you here. I had such a ball chatting with you Over Coffee. On the down side my computer was dying and getting on line was a major hassle, but it was such fun.

Your description of autumn preparations are spot on. It's about making the place warm and cosy and prepared, isn't it? I tell you, this new oven is getting a workout as we taste test recipes for winter. I'll be 6 sizes larger if I don't watch out!

Oh, fantastic news about your trip. Scotland and Ireland will be terrific and I'm sure your 14 yo will have a ball. Our teens thoroughly enjoyed themselves and at that age they were able to do some things by themselves. My daughter even spent a few days in a different German town going to school with a friend and visiting the Christmas markets and local sights. She had a ball.

Love Scotland. Have only been once and that was a long time ago. Need to go back. There's a strong flow of Scots blood in the family (my mother's maiden name was MacKeen)and the pull of the place is real, I agree. Hope you have a ball in Ireland too. On my trip I did a quick flit to Dublin to catch up with a dear friend and fellow Presents author, Abby Green. My, my, what a wonderful time we had! Can't wait to hear how your vacation turns out.

Annie West said...

Hi Treethyme,

Oh, how cool that it is my book you ordered. I do hope you enjoy it! How dangerous that you take Madam Campbell so seriously - but then she does have great taste in books. Believe me, over the years she's introduced me to fabulous writers I would have missed otherwise!

Yes, I'll be sure to tell you when the Blackmailed Bride is out in the US. It's a story dear to my heart. I was virtually a brand new Presents author when my ed asked me to write a story especially for a 3 book anthology showcasing new authors to celebrate 100 years of Mills and Boon publishing. Me! I was stunned and flattered and so happy to write that book. As Anna will tell you (she was there at the book's conception and leant a hand with ideas) it grabbed me from the first. I got a thrill that it was released last December as a Christmas special here in Aus.

Annie West said...

Hi Marilyn! Great to see you here. I remember when we started corresponding just after my first book came out. It seems such a long time ago but it's not really. Amazing how much change can happen in a few short years.

About the interview you did - have to say you thought of a couple of great questions I've never been asked before! Can't wait to read your interview with Abby. Well, maybe I'll wait till after I've gone through these Lair comments...

Hope all's well in Seattle!

Annie West said...

Hi Nancy,

Thanks for the congratulations. I suppose my career sounds like it's going at a terrific pace. But on the other hand at this end it can sometimes seem slow as I work and work and work on getting the story right, then wait for my editor's comments etc. But it's great having a couple of books out so close to each other.

Sounds like you're busy indeed with cleaning and grading before the holidays. I've just sent my son off to the last day of school for 2 weeks and he's already negotiating how many sleepovers he can have and how many people at each one...

Hope you get plenty of time to enjoy reading outdoors without mossies. We'd had a dry season till a little while ago and then the blighters came out of nowhere. Argh!

Annie West said...

Hi jcp, that a great idea. I'd never thought of my books as a mini vacation. Actually the sad thing is that I have to leave out a lot of the place description because I write long and always have to cut. But the feel for a place really helps me get into my story so I can concentrate on the emotions.

Annie West said...

Beth, it's lovely to be back. Have I really got a contagious smile? I think that's because I was sitting there having my pic taken (which I abhor!) thinking I'm REALLY a Presents author. REALLY! Sometimes the enormity of the change in my life still stuns me. It's so tremendous to be paid to do what you love. Even better to connect with other people who enjoy what you're doing.

Great to hear that you like the excerpt. It's hard to choose one tiny snippet. Does anyone else find that?

Commisserations on the lingering snow at your place. But great that you've started the spring cleaning. I've got a real nesting instinct right now (and NO, I'm not pregnant) and want to tidy the place up and bake and make it all fresh and cosy. I'm sure it's change of season. Or possible manuscript avoidance...

Amy Andrews said...

Thanks Helen and Fo on your compliments re The Italian Counts Baby. Ah yes, the Amalfi Coast... I'm sure I was a Roman goddess in a past life.

Top-NOtch Surgeon, Pregnant Nurse -good memory Fo. My conjoined twins story. Love that one.
Of course it wasn't as much fun as going to Italy though....

My Greek Jelly Fish book is coming up in a couple of months - my first Greek. I took some pointers from Annie's fabulous Greeks.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, and for an even bigger Annie West fix, she's having an amazingly interesting discussion about Sheikh heroes over on Michelle Buonfiglio's Romance By the Blog.

Annie West said...

Hi Jo, waving here. Thanks for the welcome. Hm, I like the idea of my book sounding 'delicious'!

Actually, you're right about me enjoying writing my characters' stories. That's part of the joy of writing romance, don't you think? When people ask me about my stories and my characters I get so excited because they're so real and I live their stories with them, and I have a real soft spot for each of them. Of course that doesn't mean it's all unalloyed joy. As Anna will tell you, I have my ups and downs writing like everyone else (no, Anna, don't tell them in detail). And in this book I had some challenging revisions...but on the other hand the characters came through for me and I love them.

I wonder if that's one of the reasons I enjoy romances so much - that writers so often put their hearts into their stories and their characters?

Northern California sounds lovely. I just recently saw a movie set in California (out of the city) and it looked tremendous. Love the idea of you sitting at the kitchen table and watching the garden grow as you write. It sounds lovely and comfortable and promising.

Annie West said...

MsHellion! Fantastic to see you here. I don't care if you don't answer my question (sh) - it's just lovely to chat. What a welcome! Glad you're so excited about my 10th. They sort of snuck up on me, and now I'm grinning, thinking, yes, I'm really doing this. As for welcoming the double digits - believe me 10 is a lot better than some other double digits I could think of!

Oh, I know what you mean about escaping. The day job can be such a drag, can't it? I got held up by mine yesterday (well this morning your time) and couldn't be here when the blog started. Your vacation sounds brilliant. Beaches and pirates. Yes please! That sounds perfect. Think of the stories that might inspire....I'm floating off in a hazy day dream right now.

Annie West said...

Virginia, thanks for the congratulations.

I can see why you'd look forward to walks after a long cold winter. We don't get snowy winters here so that sense of freedom when the weather changes isn't quite as strong. Actually one of my fave things is when I'm in the mountains in winter and I get to go for a long walk in the cold and the air is chilly and it's so good to be stretching your legs and breathing deep... and then you have a perfect excuse to indulge in a cup of hot chocolate and a good book (G)!

Annie West said...

Suzanne, hi! Glad I've spiked your interest with the Desert King. Actually, I think I rather like the sound of 'desert king' over 'sheikh'. It really emphasises the power and glamour aspects I think. Or maybe that's just me. I was fascinated to see the book was on the eHarlequin bestseller list for a number of weeks last month and wondered if it might be something to do with the title.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Amy, looking forward to the Greek jellyfish book! The mind boggles!

Annie West said...

Loucinda/Aunty Cindy,

Fabulous to be here. Boy, I'm enjoying all these lovely good wishes on the 10th book.

You're right, it must be 5pm somewhere. Cabana boys and margaritas sound great. Well, maybe given the fact that it's just after 9am here, a little later? Might stick to coffee for the mo.

Anne Gracie said...

Lovely interview, Anna and Annie. Annie, can't wait to read your new book -- you do write fabulous sheikhs. Your trip sounds fabulous -- that sleigh ride, sigh...
And what's this with being a turret-dweller -- that's you and Kelly Hunter both! Is this a new trend? Should I be shopping for a turret? ;)

Congratulations on becoming a teenager. As for being a troublemaker, well, we all know who's the reeeeal troublemaker in that partnership ;)

Annie West said...

Eva, what an exotic life you lead - trips to Andorra and castles in France and Spain. Wow. Would love to hear about that!

As for reading about places I've visited in future books, it'll probably be snippets here and there as I think my alpine kingdom will borrow heavily from a number of places. But parts of that castle are very vivid in my head after that recent trip. Travel for research - I love it!

Annie West said...

Suzanne, Texas in spring with a hardworking cabana boy sounds lovely. Maybe he can plant the annuals for you and the tomato plant too! Mine does a great job on the pool, so it's no trouble at all to mop his hot brow after he's been toiling away.

Yes, I've got enough ideas to create a small kingdom and definitely 2 books. They're stand alone but do have a link between them. Whether I'd go further than that I don't know. It depends on how much I enjoy writing them and what the readers think. Nice to have possibilities, though.

Annie West said...

Ooh, I see a stack of mails from the mighty Campbell! How are you m'dear? Refreshed after your nap?

Annie West said...

Anna, I love the way you skate around the idea of seasons in Queensland. 'Subtle' indeed! Isn't it a change from hot to not-quite-so-hot? Whenever I head north in winter it's a hoot to see all the locals wearing pullovers and long trousers while the tourists are in shorts and skimpy tops.

Annie West said...

Hey Anna, thanks for all the extra work you put into this blog. I hadn't realised the US covers linked straight through to Amazon. Are you good or what? As for the book depository, I have serious plans for it. Free postage anywhere in the world has to be a plus!

Annie West said...

Anna, I remember your love of the horses in Khalid's story. Actually, I'm sure that's one of the reasons you warmed to this book - you're such a horse lover.

Now I think about it Arik's book had a horse element too, right at the start. I remember your reaction when you discovered one of Khalid's beautiful thoroughbreds shared a name with one of your characters.

Hm, suspect you're right about our base myths being Beauty and the Beast for you and Cinderella for me. We write around them so often. I love transformation stories and you focus on redemption, though that's a little too simple to be true as there are lots of other elements in there too, don't you think? I always get a surprise when I look back at a story and see what I've drawn on to create that book and the characters.

Annie West said...

Ah, Anna, when it comes to The Billionaire's Bought Mistress I was going to say 'black leather' on your behalf, but I didn't want to dob you in. I always chuckle to myself at how much you enjoyed that scene. Actually, now I think of it, I've had a similar reaction from other people too.

Anna Campbell said...

Anne Gracie, you know it's OUR secret that I'm the true troublemaker in this particular partnership. Although I think Annie has you fooled - she's a pesky teen now, you know! Hey, what's this about Kelly H and turrets? I didn't know!

Annie, yes, I did get a surprise when I met Soraya THE HORSE!!! Mind you, I loved Arik's story so much, I almost forgave you. ;-)

Annie West said...

Anna, ideas on the appeal of the sheikh hero? Interesting that you say he's ubiquitous in category romance, as much as the vampire in single title. I know when I started reading category romance years ago (we won't say how many) there weren't as many sheikhs as now. Or if they were I didn't stumble across them. Absolutely they're a permanent favourite but I do suspect there have been more lately than say a decade ago. Hm, it would be interesting to go back and check - I could be completely wrong of course.

What's not to like in a sheikh? He's masculinity personified in the romances I read. I think the fact that he has more power and authority in his own kingdom than most contemporary stories would usually allow, also taps into something deep down inside us that revels in the slightly untamed hero - the one who, if he wanted to, could be very, very dangerous to the heroine. In some ways he can be the ultimate threat to her, but of course desire and love impact on him and we find our heroine isn't quite so vulnerable - that it's a 2 sided thing.

There’s something scintillatingly dangerous and exciting about the fantasy of being swept into the arms of a mysterious, handsome stranger and carried off to his lair. No true heroine could resist the challenge of a man who can have whatever woman he wants, yet chooses her. And of course our sheikhs are sexy and charismatic and engaging. Sigh.

Enough to be going on with? Do you agree or do you have a different view?

Annie West said...

Anna, it worries me that you're getting soft in that warm climate. Making the cabana boys put on more layers is definitely NOT the thing! I can see I'll have to visit to set you straight on this protocol.

Isn't it fabbo news about Vanessa and the Golden Heart? Am so excited for her. It's hard to type with my fingers crossed.

Annie West said...

Helen, wouldn't that cruise be fun? Though I do hear you on winning Lotto first. A shame about the practicalities of life interfering...

So glad you enjoy my books that much. I'm greedy too, I can't just pick of of my heroes, I want them all (but don't tell my dh!).

Annie West said...

AC, nothing wrong with drinking red wine year round. At least I hope not. Though there's something especially luscious isn't there, about a nice red on a chilly night?

Annie West said...

Anna, when you've finishing slashing your way through your garden, how about coming to visit and doing mine? I have an oven now so I can cook yummy meals for you and there's wine and good company and lots of books to read. Please? Have so much to do outside it's getting beyond me but when I have any time I'm at the computer.

Hey, thanks for the lovely comments about atmosphere building at the beginning of The Billionaire's Bought Mistress. I had such fun writing that snowy graveyard scene. Aren't I mean. I take that as high praise from you, madam. Thank you!

Annie West said...

Hi Pat, it's terrific to see you here. So glad to hear you're enjoying my books. Honestly, visiting the lair is so good for my ego!

Wow, I can understand why the anniversary of the hurricane would stick in your mind. You'd be on tenterhooks when the season is in full swing after an experience like that. It must have been an ordeal. Hope it's a mild year this time and you can relax.

We had a terrible storm here 2 years ago on 6 June (technically a cyclone though we're way outside the zone for them) and now when we get a really severe storm with torrential rain and strong winds I start to look at those tall trees around the place and wonder what we're in for.

Fingers crossed for lots of calm weather for you.

Joan said...


A 149 COMMENTS???!!!!

Wow! Ya'll have been a chatty bunch today!

Annie, great to have you and your Greeks and Sheikhs and any other handsome, hot, heroes you care to bring around. :-)

Annie West said...

Anna, that's a great point. I never thought of it before - that maybe I like writing beginnings because I've got that scene in my head and I know what I'm doing (sort of). That could be part of the joy. I think too, it's the promise of the unknown, like diving into a new season or a new experience.

Hm, am remembering Brunetti's all over again reading your comments. I'm sure my waistline is expanding just thinking about it!

Annie West said...

Anna, you shameless hussy, what's this about my "darling, sweet, endlessly cooperative critique partner"? Do I know such a person? Endlessly cooperative? Sweet? Hm, racking my brains here.

As for sharing the Lindt booty from the Easter charity raffle - line up, babe. The West family have discovered the tin of goodies and bunnies are falling away daily. If you were here of course you'd score a choc or three. But posting them to Qld? I'm not sure they'd survive the trip!

Annie West said...

Anna, I have to say I agree about the idea of a tide lifting all the ships (aka a reader who enjoys one romance will buy more, by lots of authors). That's one of the things I love about talking to other readers and writers - hearing about other books. Most of the time I go with a recommendation and find it's something I'd have been sad to miss and then I start looking for other similar things.

Hey, Anna, glad you liked the manga cover on my website. It really is the oddest edition of one of my stories I've ever seen, but enormous fun. Now I want to see another one in comic format to see how they represent the characters and the places. I'm still a litle bemused by some of the scenes in that one but I figure that it's a middle eastern seduction story by way of Australia and then Japan so it's meant to be different!

Annie West said...

Thanks for the reminder about the weloveya blog, Anna. I've noted it down to head over there.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Annie, that sheikh theory works for me!

JT, it has been a busy day in the lair, hasn't it? Great to see!

Annie West said...

Anna, are you implying people are only talking to me for my turkish delight? Shame on you! Have to say though that turkish delight goes down exceedingly well. Hm, well you never know.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Annie, as if I'd say something rude like that? Remember, I'm your endless (Turkish) delight of a cooperative, kind, sweet, mealy mouthed crit partner!

Annie West said...

Amy, a Greek jellyfish book? I can't wait! When is it out here? I've loved your writing so far but know I have so much catching up to do (hey, the woman's working on no 19!). But I think a Greek jellyfish deserves to rocket to the top of the tbr pile. Do jellyfish rocket? Bob, maybe?

I've got some 2 Greek stories out later this year - maybe it's a trend? All excited now and mind boggling.

Annie West said...

Ah, see it's official, Anna, that I'm NOT the trouble maker in this partnership!

Thanks Anne! I appreciate you setting that straight.

As for becoming a turrent dweller, I can recommend it, especially since, unlike Kelly, I had a lift (elevator) most of the way up my turret which was much easier on the knees. As long as you have someone to provide food and leave you to enjoy the place it's utterly spectacular. If I were an extremely wealthy author I'd think seriously about installing myself in a turret for a while to write. It was just glorious!

Thanks for popping by. It's lovely to see you. Now get back to work - I'm hanging out for your next book after having devoured the last one!

√Člodie said...

Hi Annie West!

It's so great that you are visiting with the Bandits today. I love this group of gals. They are such fun and have great posts and interesting guests. :)

I am so excited to hear that you have 2 new books coming! You write such compelling stories and complex characters. If you can believe it, I was just re-reading your first book last week. Ronan and Marina have to be one of my favourite HEA couples of all time. After Anna introduced me to your books a couple of years ago, you have become an autobuy on my book list. :)

Congrats on the new releases!


Annie West said...

Anna, you must ask Kelly about turrets. What an experience. Obviously castles should be on every writer's must do list.

As for forgiving me about Soraya the horse. What's wrong with that? She was a gorgeous, high spirited, well behaved lady and Arik was very fond of her. I don't see the problem. Sigh, you think you have a monopoly on names, is that it?

Annie West said...

Hi Joan, you're right, everyone's been so chatty today. Of course Anna and I have been quiet little girls in the corner...

Thanks for the welcome. Always nice to share heroes amongst friends!

Annie West said...

Hi Elodie, what a lovely warm welcome. Wow, a woman who's rereading my first Harlequin Presents is a woman I like! So glad you enjoyed Ronan and Marina's story enough to revisit it.

Hasn't it been an amazing day here at the lair? I suspect having Anna introduce me is a good thing. After all she's such a sweet, accomodating... hey, I'm falling for her PR!

Thanks for the congratulations on the new releases. As you can tell I'm very excited about them!

Amy Andrews said...

It's July Annie. Greek hero. Its a reverse ugly duckling story. And yes, there are jellyfish.

And wah - I want a turret now too. Then I can be that mad writer who built a turret ;-)

Cheryl said...

Annie, dropping in before I head down south to congratulate you on reaching double figures. I'm going to cooler climes today in preparation for winter. LOL. The new book sounds wonderful! Love your Manga cover for FOR THE SHEIKH'S PLEASURE!

Annie West said...

Amy, July? I can wait for July, I suppose, if I must. Sounds so good. A reverse ugly duckly story? Now I AM intrigued! Do ducks and jellyfish go together?

Are you going to add a turret to your house? Great idea, but the family would probably lock me up there if I'm not careful. Hm, it'd be quiet though...

Annie West said...

Hi Cheryl, glad to hear you enjoyed the manga cover for 'For the Sheikh's Pleasure'. Isn't it a hoot.

Have fun in the cooler south. I'm sure you'll have a ball. That area you're visiting is lovely. We stopped there for a few hours a couple of weeks ago on the way back from a longer trip and the autumn leaves were just starting to turn. Hope it's fabulous!

Treethyme said...

Anna - I have bookmarked the Book Depository for future reference. Thanks!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Elodie, cool on re-reading Ronan and Marina. That's such a great story, isn't it? I was actually hanging around Sydney harbour on the weekend and thinking about that story!

Cheryl, happy travels!

Annie, ugly DUCKLY??!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Thank you, everyone, for a fantastic day in the lair. I hope to bring Annie back to visit us again before too much longer. Hey, cabana boys, you'd better take a rest before then!

Annie, you've been a fantastic guest. Thank you so much!!! And I'm sure THE DESERT KING'S PREGNANT BRIDE is going to be a huge hit! It deserves to be. It's a wonderful story!

Bandita buddies, don't forget to check back in the next day or so to see who won the prizes!

Annie West said...

Thanks, Anna, and thanks Banditas and guests for the party. I do so love being here. Offers of margaritas in the morning, chat about cabana boys and books and things that motivate us through the changing seasons and heroes and so on. I've had a marvellous time. Thank you, thank you!


Cassondra said...

Oh, spring cleaning.

I need to do that.

I like the change of seasons too, though lately, as I'm growing older, I dread the change to winter. The change to warmer weather though..I'm all about that.

Annie, nice to have you back in the lair, and sorry I'm late to the party. Seems to be a habit for me lately. Congratulations on the double digits, and best of luck with your latest release.

What a party in the lair today!

Christina Hollis said...

Hi Annie - what a great post! Congratulations on reaching double digits - that extract was mouthwatering. Blow the cabana boy - could you send your sheik over to supervise my spring cleaning?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Cassondra and Christina, you're over to check out the end of the party! And hasn't it been a great gig? Christina, love the idea of a sheikh as my pseudo cabana boy!

Annie West said...

Hey Cassondra - long time no see. Lovely of you to drop by. You're right, it's been quite a party today.

As for the change of weather, at least you're going into spring. Think warm thoughts. And when it turns cool perhaps you could visit a friend in sunny climes with a pool and cabana boys (naming no names)!

Annie West said...

Hi Christina, how lovely to see you here.

A sheikh supervising the spring cleaning? Now I never thought of that one! I suppose, for a friend, we might be able to swing it... Though I think if I had a sheikh hero in my house I wouldn't be thinking about cleaning.

Annie West said...

Anna, a sheikh as your cabana boy? Really! I'd worry about him, truly. I'm sure you'd take shameless advantage of him, out there slaving in the sun... Boy would that pool get a lot of use!

Caren Crane said...

Annie, I can't believe I missed you and the chic sheikh! Change of season activity I love: painting toenails! Change of season activity I loathe: spring cleaning! Ha!

So sorry to have missed the party. :-(

Anna Campbell said...

Caren, there's a few late stayers sipping port and kicking back. Come and join us!

Annie West said...

Caren, the Chick Sheikh would be so honoured by your presence! It's great to see you here even if not with the others.

Love the idea of toenail painting as a change of season activity (G)! Terrific.

Anna, that port sounds lovely. And I have home made hot cross buns to go with it. Sounds like a lovely relaxed party.