Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Friends and Festivities

by Anna Campbell

Firstly, some news for Aussie and New Zealand readers! The local edition of CAPTIVE OF SIN should be in a bookstore near you any day now, including all the usual places like Big W, Target and KMart. The trade paperback looks truly spectacular in the flesh. Keep an eye out for it!

The writing life is a very strange one. It's lots and lots of time by yourself to write the books. Sadly, sitting on your bottom at a keyboard in front of computer screen is the only way you meet deadlines and get those books out there. Then in between, there's all this wildly social excitement like the various conventions and conferences and just catching up on all the getting together with people that you miss out on when you're at home writing.

Just lately, I've had a hugely social time. I'm just back from a few days in Brisbane seeing my oldest friend and her family. We had huge fun, saw a big art exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery, drank lots, ate lots, floated around in her pool - although with all I ate, I'm not quite sure that the physics of that makes sense. I think I should have sunk right to the bottom.

I also had a lovely day in town Christmas shopping and catching up with some of the local authors for a Christmas buffet. The fabulous Christine Wells (who has just been nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for her wonderful WICKED LITTLE GAME, congratulations, Christine!) was there. It's always a buzz to catch up with a Bandita and distance means Christine is usually my Bandit on the spot!

One of the treats of visiting my friend Amanda is getting the chance to cuddle her beautiful Burmese kitten Toby. Well, he's supposed to be a kitten but I think he's just small. But he's beautifully formed and he loves to be adored. And I'm perfectly happy to adore him. He rather likes me as there's no hard spots on my body - in fact, I've started calling my tummy the cat Hilton because it's so comfortable and he likes to nestle there. See? All that eating and drinking comes in useful for someone!

This is a picture of Toby on the prowl. He's slightly darker now - more caramel than cream. He's a gorgeous creature - and doesn't he just know it?

November was full of visitors coming to my house to stay too, mostly writing people. Seriously, I think my liver is going to pack up its suitcase and move interstate!

The next photos are all courtesy of my good friend, Sharon Archer, who writes for Mills and Boon Medicals. Her debut SINGLE FATHER: WIFE AND MOTHER WANTED came out this year to great acclaim. I wish I'd been sober...um, smart enough to drag out the camera for my other visitors!

First up, I had the fabulous Christine Wells and Denise Rossetti, who writes sensual romantic fantasy for Berkley, to stay for the weekend. We had a lovely time floating around in the pool and eating. Oh, and talking. There's always plenty to say when we get together.

Then it was Sharon's turn to come up for a few days. Sharon escaped a heatwave where she lives in Victoria to hit one at my place. Temperatures definitely over where they should be. Again, we floated around in the pool - as you can see from this picture of a bathing beauty! Snork!

My final writing visitor for November was the wonderful Amy Andrews who also writes Medicals for Mills and Boons. Trish Morey, who writes for Harlequin Presents (her sheikhs are to die for if you're in the mood for something passionate and sexy and romantic), was up staying with some friends at Noosa. So Amy, Robyn Grady and I all drove up there from the southern end of the Sunshine Coast where I live. And yeah, drink a bit more. You can see why my liver is considering emigration. Robyn writes for Desire and Harlequin Presents - lots of writerly discussion. I think - I'm a bit hazy on the details, frankly!

Hic!

Anyway, after that rash of socializing, I'm hoping to attack my new story which is currently sitting at a pathetic two chapters. Oh, and get ready for Christmas. It's always such a busy time of year.

So enough name dropping for now! And I've foresworn the demon grape at least until sunset!

Are you planning on getting together with anyone special before Christmas? Any social plans that are outside your normal activities?

This is my last regular blog for the year so I'd like to raise my glass (oh, dear, that sunset rule didn't last too long, did it?) to the Banditas and our buddies! You've been absolutely fantastic and I love the fact that we've all hooked up together to drink...um, talk SERIOUS writing business!

Happy Christmas, everyone! And may Santa bring you exactly what you want. I'm hanging out for a life-size Richard Armitage but I'm not sure I've been good enough to qualify!

92 comments:

limecello said...

Whee!

limecello said...

Haha - I love this post, Anna! (And congratulations, Christine on the RT nom!) :P Perfect too because... well I said it over the summer, that I wouldn't be nabbing the GR anymore... and this time. :X I'm serious.
No more GR for Lime! Or... if I do get him, someone reprimand me. I need to not be futzing around on the internet in the wee hours.

As for friends... well... not really. Sadly, one of my oldest friends - the one who got everyone together, moved away a few months ago. We all grew up together. Sad.
Otherwise... *after* Christmas -there should be an informal high school get together :X
I managed to skip the one during Thanksgiving, but will likely be guilted into this one. Maybe. Of course, we're meeting at a bar. Isn't that the only place *to* go to? ;) [See? This meandering, rambling nonsense is also why I should be sleeping not commenting. And I swear. I've only been drinking water. :P Maybe *that's* the problem! O:-D]

Cassondra said...

Dangit Lime! You are FAST!

Virginia said...

Congrats lime on getting the rooster!

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS to you Anna!No big plans for me before Christmas other then getting the shopping done and the wrapping, which I am working on now. I already have the tree up and the house decorated as much as its going to get. I do have to go pick up my son next week from college as soon as his final are over.

flchen1 said...

Woohoo, Anna! We've got a get together planned for this coming weekend, which is lovely! Except that I'm not done shopping for it, which is less lovely! ;)

Thank you for all the wonderful posts and the wonderful books, Anna! It's always a treat!

Congrats on the GR, Limecello!

Anna Campbell said...

Congratulations, Lime! Hmm, not convinced that you'll be able to beat your GR addiction. Perhaps they have poultry patches like nicotine patches, except with feathers! Hey, a get-together in a bar can't be too bad! Oh, dear, I'll have to stop joking about how much I drink - people will think I'm serious! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Cassondra, I swear that Lime was in there the minute I put the post up! She's faster than greased lightning!

Anna Campbell said...

Virginia, your lead-up to Christmas sounds really appealing. Sounds like you won't be a blithering wreck by the 25th! I've still got a few cards to write and a couple of parcels to post but otherwise I'm organised this year.

Anna Campbell said...

Fedora, thank you for being such a fun part of the lair crowd. Thank you to Virgina and Lime too. We LOVE our Bandit Buddies as I think is perfectly obvious! Hope your get-together is fun. I don't think I've got a lot planned socially between now and Christmas - think I've done my dash in the last six weeks or so!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

HAPPY HAPPY Christmas, Fo!

Wow, I love that sunburn you are sporting and those shades! I hope to have a similar healthy glow VERY SOON! As in next week, since we are leaving Friday for my birthday cruise to Acapulco. HURRAY! I love getting away for the holidays and could really use some warm weather about now. Oh, and of course, a few margaritas MUST be consumed... it's the holidays and Mexico!

Congrats on the GR Lime and enjoy your get together at the baaar. I'm SURE the chook will be happy to join you.

AC

Helen said...

Congrats limcello I am sure he has been missing you

Anna lovely post and great pictures. What a fun time you have been having with all the visitors. The only plans for get togethers before Chrissy is my grandsons 1st birthday party and we are going on a picnic seeing as how there will be lots of us going and I still have so much to do for Chrissy and the birthday party.

Thank you Anna and Bandits for a fantastic year huge congrats to you Christine.

Have Fun
Helen

Sarah Morgan said...

Anna, you know I'm such a big fan of your books but I'm now officially depressed having seen those photos of you in the swimming pool. It's freezing here and pouring with rain. I wanted to take season pictures of my holly and ended up sprinkling it with icing sugar as there was no hope of snow :-)

Blodeuedd said...

I am afraid we must compete for that present for I am sure wishing the same thing ;)

Oh what a lovely cover they get down under

Anna Campbell said...

AC, our weather seems to have taken 'warm' very seriously. We're in the middle of a heatwave. I'm spending quite a bit of time doing exactly what I'm doing in that pool photo! Have a great time on your cruise - I love how you travel so much. I kind of do it vicariously through you!

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, thanks for being such a fantastic part of our year with the Bandits. You're as good as a Tim Tam! Hope the birthday picnic is fun.

Jane said...

Hi Anna,
I might be going to cousin's for Christmas and hopefully I'll be able to get a seat on the plane. I'll be running around trying to finish all my Christmas shopping and trying to figure out what to pack. Merry Christmas.

Congrats on the nomination, Christine.

Congrats on the GR, Lime.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Sarah, icing sugar on the holly? Oh, dear! Hey, why don't you come down for a visit. The pool's cool, the champagne's cold, the sun is hot and I promise no holly at all, apart from the plastic stuff people put on Christmas cakes here. Hmm, that's kinda on a par with the icing sugar. Thanks for saying those lovely things about the books. And huge congrats to you on finalling in the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards too! Whoo-hoooo! It's a really great list this year.

Anna Campbell said...

Blodeuedd, isn't that a lovely cover? And it's truly spectacular in the flesh - the writing on that stormy cover really pops. I love that photo of Sharon holding it up - think it's so cool! Hmm, do we have to share RA? I think we could come to some arrangement!

Anna Campbell said...

Jane, happy travels! Travelling in Australia is a real schemozzle at this time of year so I'm really glad to be staying fairly close to home for the next few weeks. And the hot weather makes it all really uncomfortable too. I really envy you people getting cold weather right now - although I must say Sarah's description of her weather didn't appeal ;-)

Christine Wells said...

Anna, beautiful post and thank you (and Lime, Jane and Helen!) for the lovely congrats. You failed to mention that you have been nominated also, and for the same category, for the marvellous TEMPT THE DEVIL! Now people will really be saying we're joined at the hip! And of course our lovely Kate Carlisle is also up for an award with HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER!

I've always said that watermelon pink looks fantastic on you, Anna--again I'm proven correct in the gorgeous photo of you with the lovely Sharon. You look so healthy and tanned and happy.

Really enjoyed having my sister in law and her two children to stay the other day and I'm sure they'll stay again closer to Christmas Day. Looking forward to it!
Congrats, Lime!

Helen said...

Way to go Anna and Kate as well as Christine you girls rock.
I love all of these books

Have Fun
Helen

Annie West said...

Hi Anna,

It sounds like you've been having a marvellous time being so sociable. We've just had our street Christmas party everyone brings food and chairs and tables and we sit in the turning circle at the dead end of the street and chat till late. Lovely. This year we're having 3 different Christmas celebration meals over 2 days. I think I'll wear loose clothing!

Thanks for the great reading this year, Anna. I'm already agog to see what you'll bring us in 2010. Merry Christmas!

Gillian Layne said...

Merry Christmas to you ,too! My biggest goal is to get together with my best friend for a bit of tea and chatting; no small feat, with everything else going on.

I love the cover and size of that book. Bigger books seem to fit better in my aching hands at the end of the day. I'm afraid I see a Kindle in my future, as much as I love actual books.

Your pool looks amazing (as I see it's 4 degrees outside this morning...) :)

Deb said...

Hi, Anna. What another lovely post. Thank you for such good and fun reflections for all of us to enjoy reading.
It's my turn to have Christmas, so my family will be coming here for dinner. There will be 13 of us and I'm still mentally trying to place an extra table in the dining room, but I'll think of something. I love having family get-togethers any time of year, but Christmas Day is special.
Merry Christmas to you, Anna!

Miranda Neville said...

Hi Anna
It's good to know someone's been having fun. I, however am about to start, having just pressed send on my book (Come back...I'm sure I can fix chapter 14. Again...). I'm gearing up for some serious Christmas celebrating and up in Vermont we've had our first snow to make it all pretty.
The Aussie cover for COS is HOT. (Fans self madly). And congratulations to you and Christine on RT noms - I haven't seen full list so I didn't know.

Christie Kelley said...

Great post, Anna.

I'm hosting my local RWA chapter's Christmas party this Saturday. So I'll have all kinds of friends here. Then next week, I'm hosting my neighborhood book club, again more friends here and I don't have to drive! I planned that right!

Other than that, dh and the kids and I will go up to NY after Christmas to visit with my family.

In between all the fun, I have a short story deadline of 1/31 and my 5th book (still untitled!!!) is due 3/1. Needless to say, I'll be writing my fingers off.

Sarah said...

I love the picture of your friend's Burmese! My wonderful writing companion (who recently added three lines of "*" symbols to my current WIP) Puma is slightly lighter in coloring and a fair bit plumper. What may I ask is your friend feeding her Burmese and how does she convince her cat to exercise? Mine prefers reading and writing . . .

I plan to break away from my desk this afternoon to go shopping with my mother and aunt who are visiting NYC for a long weekend! I won't be seeing them over Christmas as we will be spending the time with my in-laws. But today will be extra special b/c my mom and I are going maternity clothes shopping!! Just this week, I outgrew my pre-pregnancy clothes.

Wishing you great sales for Captive of Sin (both in the US and worldwide) this holiday season!

Sarah Tormey

Emmanuelle said...

What a HOT cover Anna !!! Btw, just read it over the week-end and LOOOOOOVED it. Gideon broke my heart and Charis made me proud! She really knew what she wanted and was never afraid to fight (litterally) for it. Just loved that girl ;-)

MsHellion said...

Santa is bringing me the latest Harry Potter movie (I know because it's on its way now) and I'm VERY happy. Anything else is just bonus.

For instance, this morning a faculty member brought me a burned CD of some songs by a guy we both like. Very thoughtful.

While you guys are suffering sunburn and heatstroke, back here we're shivering. Today's wind chill is -7, but it is supposed to go up to 26 degrees!

Nancy said...

Anna, it's sunset somewhere in the world. :-)

Limecello, congrats on grabbing the rooster. Please make him work very, very hard. *g*

Anna, we have no special plans. We'll just be here. We have our big meal on Christmas Eve. The dh makes Swedish pancakes, as his mom used to, on Christmas morning, and we eat leftovers later in the day.

We haven't yet put up our tree but will probably do that next week, when the dh and I turn in our grades.

My parents are gone, and his dad and siblings live 2000 miles away, so we have no visits to make on the holiday. When my folks were alive, we went up to the retirement home on Christmas Eve. Before they moved there, we went to their house Christmas morning.

We used to have big get-togethers, when I was in high school, with my mom's siblings and their kids. I do miss those a little, but I have to admit, I'm glad we had a few Christmases when the boy was little and still into toys when we could just stay here Christmas morning and have a leisurely journey through stockings and the gifts under the tree. He has never been one to just rip everything open. He opened things and then played with them before moving on, which was always so much fun to watch!

Nancy said...

Cassondra, better luck next time!

Nancy said...

Anna, forgot to say that is one gorgeous cover on Captive of Sin!

Congratulations to all the RT nominees, especially our three banditas!

Nancy said...

Sarah, I wouldn't have thought of sprinkling sugar on the holly for pictures. Very clever!

Our weather has been weird. Tuesday was in the 40s and drizzly, but yesterday was in the mid-60s and windy, like March.

Linda said...

It was to be a quiet Christmas but I found out earlier in the week that a relative from Italy will be visiting California. I think he'll be here in time for Christmas...mad dash to clean house, set up some kind of tree and figure out the dinner arrangements.

And I am Scrooge - I just want the days to myself. But it will be lovely to see him - he was 13 when I saw him last and now he is 28!

Nancy said...

Sarah, you outgrew your pre-pregnancy clothes? Congratulations! Shopping for "real" maternity clothes was a big thrill for me. I hope everything goes smoothly with your pregnancy.

Louisa Cornell said...

Lime, do we need to perform an intervention? Sheeesh! That GR is SUCH an enabler. I think he RUNS to your house. Especially after he's had to deal with P226 !

Happy, Happy Christmas, La Campbell !

I envy you the lovely warm weather. We are expecting a high of 40 today. BRR! My doggies lined up at the door to have their coats put on before they would budge out of doors.

For me Christmas means work, work, work! Christmas cookies, cakes, cupcakes, you name it we are turning them out at record speed and the customers are gobbling them up. Worse! Wal-Mart has decided to stay open until 8 PM on Christmas Eve! That means I won't begin the 80 mile journey to Mom's until 9 PM Christmas Eve. Then after Christmas dinner I will have to leave Mom's no later than 4 or 5 PM Christmas Day to get back because I will have to work the 26th. Did I tell you HOW much I want to write full-time and tell Wal-Mart where to stick their Christmas tree?

Our local writing group did have our Christmas get-together at a lovely Italian restaurant Tuesday night. The poor waiter was in training and I am sure he will never be the same. We ate loads of food, the girls had some wine and we critiqued each other's latest chapters. The poor young man came in on some rather risque conversations concerning love scenes!

Cassondra said...

Hello Anna! And welcome back for just a wee minute from all of your social butterfly activities!

Christmas just gets busy, doesn't it? We don't do a lot of seriously irregular stuff, but there are office parties and parties of friends, plus the bustle of extra shopping. This year, since I've changed jobs, I'm really looking forward to actually participating in all of these things. Most of the time I miss them because of work. I'm kind of excited!

Janga said...

Another great blog, Anna! I’m another who envies you the warm weather. We have lovely sunshine here today, but the thermometer reads 37 and the forecast says colder tomorrow. That’s shivering weather in the Southland.

I’m such an introvert that I dread all the holiday gatherings before the events, but I always have a great time once I’m there. I had a three-hour Christmas lunch yesterday with a class of older women I teach. I loved hearing about all their Christmases past, and since their ages range from 75-99, they made me feel young in comparison—a terrific gift at my age. :)

~Drew said...

Anna! Great post, I am envious of that lovely pool! It is bloody cold here today!

First off, my copy of Captive of Sin arrived Monday,(my bandit win!) last night I started it with a huge bowl of popcorn. Oh my, only a few chapters in and I am captive! Gideon is....wow.

Also, I bought and read "Tempt the Devil" while away visiting family, Julian had me slipping away at inopportune moments to 'sneak read', LOL! Anna, your books are astounding, such rich, dense characters, such emotion, I am riveted!

It is a quiet Xmas for me and hubby, I did all my socializing in November visiting family and friends in Eastern Canada, even had an Xmas dinner before I left!
We will have a friend or two over, and yes...another Xmas dinner. More turkey.
Putting up the tree this afternoon, decorate it tomorrow, I like to do things in stages.

Anyway, all the best for the holiday season, glad I found this blog, you are all a lovely bunch!

limecello said...

lol Anna - believe me, I'm right there with you. It seems that the only time I go out/do something social... it's to a bar O_o
And I was going to joke about hanging out with authors would be right down my alley what with law school behind me... ;) But was afraid people would take that too seriously as well.

Pamela Cayne said...

What a *beautiful* cover! And it sounds like you've had such a lovely December. May your new year be as successful and as surrounded by dear friends.

catslady said...

Oh I got on just to say your cover for Captive of Sin just blew me away - I absolutely love it!!!!! Happy Holidays.

Joan said...

My gosh! That pool with the river? Bay? in the background looks SO inviting!

Last weekend I had my work party and LRW chapter party. Plan get togethers with two friends in the next week. Then a quiet actual Christmas with my brother.

This year though will be a bit different. My dear friend, a sister of my heart lost her husband two weeks ago PLUS she must have surgery probably before Dec. 25th. So I will be sharing "take caring" duty with her sister and get her through this really, really rough time and MAYBE help her find one little glow of Christmas in her life.

jo robertson said...

Loved hearing about your social interactions, Anna! Aren't readers and writers the best people to hang out with? There's never a dearth of conversational topics.

My son is home from being gone for a while and my daughter will be visiting from Indiana, so we're going to have lots of socialization going on! Plus Shannon's having an 80's Prom Party for her birthday in December. Should be lots of fun.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Christine, thanks for the congrats! Yes, I laughed at us being up against one another YET AGAIN! We really do seem to be the terrible twins, don't we? I'm so thrilled about WICKED LITTLE GAME, though. It was one of my top ten reads of last year - as I keep telling people when they ask me for my list. Thanks for saying you like that photo of Sharon and me too. I love it - as you say, we both look so happy. What's amazing is it was an auto one and they're usually terrible. I love that pink colour - so glad it's back in style!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Helen! It was wonderful to see my Bandita sisters on the list, as well as a lot of my other wonderful writing friends. I haven't seen the full list published anywhere on the net yet. Has anyone else?

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, your description of your Christmas makes me think of that wonderful Vicar of Dibley episode where poor Geraldine has to go to every house in the village for a full Christmas dinner. It's so funny! The street party sounds like lovely fun. Sitting out in the gloaming shooting the breeze is one of the pleasures of summer, isn't it? Thanks for swinging by! And thanks for being such a fabulous guest on Monday!

Anna Campbell said...

Gillian, posting the pool pic was a bit mean to people suffering winter, wasn't it? Bwahahahahahaha! I love the trade paperbacks and I always get extras so I can auction them off for charities or use them for raffles. They're not available in the States and I've noticed people over there get such a thrill to win them. Hope you and your best friend have a fabbo time together.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Deb, merry Christmas to you too! 13 for Christmas dinner? Wow, that's a lot of catering. Good luck. I'll let you know if I'm swinging by - maybe I can help to peel some potatoes or something!

Anna Campbell said...

Miranda, thanks for the RT congrats. I'm a bit of a contest sl*t - entered a million of the things when I was unpubbed. So finalling ALWAYS give me a thrill. Good luck with the book. I'm sure it will be another fun bit of brilliance like NEVER RESIST TEMPTATION. Snow? I'm jealous! It's been so hot and sticky here, the idea of all that cold clean whiteness really appeals.

Anna Campbell said...

Christie, sounds like some fun coming up for you. I agree that not travelling at this time of year is always a benefit. Wow, your deadlines sound hairy. Good luck!

Anna Campbell said...

Sarah, Toby is still quite young. I think he'll settle into torpor as he gets older. He is a sleek, elegant beast, isn't he? Puma sounds lovely! I was trying to field the comments on Annie's blog on Monday with Toby insisting on attention. Made for an interesting experience! I know he likes chicken necks more than he likes bought cat food!

Wow, I didn't know about you expecting a baby. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS! And what fun to go out looking for a new maternity wardrobe. There's some really pretty clothes out now in that line - they used to be awful, or at least they were in Oz. Sort of coloured tents! Have fun shopping!

Anna Campbell said...

Emmanuelle, thank you so much for that lovely wrap for COS. I'm so glad you loved it - those characters were so very dear to my heart when I wrote it and I really wanted them to have their happy ending after all they went through. Isn't that Aussie cover great? I can't wait to see it in the shops - it's still a little bit early although that doesn't stop me hunting!

Anna Campbell said...

Ouch, Hellion! That sounds cold. We're expecting 32C today and a storm in the afternoon. Actually it's the humidity here that's the killer. Sounds like you're having a nice run-up to Christmas!

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, your Christmas sounds beautifully civilized! I love watching kids play with what they get too. It's one of the fun parts of Christmas.

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, it's a great cover, isn't it? And they certainly took my hint about the stormy Cornish coastline to heart! Isn't it great to have our Banditas up for the RT award? Whoo-hoooo!

Anna Campbell said...

Linda, what fun about your relative visiting! Hope you have fun and eat lots of Italian Christmas cake. I'm being really Scroogey about those days between Christmas and New Year. It's been a really busy year and I've promised myself a real sloth-out then, including a lot of reading. I've been saving up books that I know are going to be good just for the occasion.

Anna Campbell said...

Louisa, giggled about your writing group get-together shocking the waiter. I've done that too. Or I've been in the middle of describing something rather risque from a book and realized the entire restaurant was silent and hanging on the whole conversation! Mmmm, I'm liking the sound of all that bakery stuff you're turning out. Maybe I should come for a visit! I hear you on the scrambling trip to your mum's. It's a time of year when you really don't want to be rushing about, isn't it? Fingers crossed the writing gig isn't too far away!

Anna Campbell said...

Cassondra, Christmas is one of the few times when I get a tiny twinge of regret that I don't work somewhere 'normal' any more. I used to love all the parties at this time of year! Glad you're getting to kick your heels up this festive season!

Anna Campbell said...

Janga, that get-together with the older ladies sounds like such fun! And times have changed so much, I find it fascinating what people did back when. Hey, thank you so much for including Tempt in your list of top ten books of the year. I've had a big smile on my face ever since I saw it last night! Well, apart from when I was asleep, when I could have been smiling, but who would know? ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Drew, we're glad you found this blog too! I think the lair is like the Tardis (which will make no sense to people who didn't grow up watching Doctor Who!) - we can always find room for extra people! And gladiators and massage specialists. What's that, Sven? Yes, I know Swedes are people too. Although in Australia, they're also a vegetable. Um, Sven, come back!!!!

Thank you for those lovely words about the books! I'm so thrilled you enjoyed Tempt and now I'll be interested to see what you make of Captive. I had quite a crush on Gideon myself ;-)

I'm having a quiet Christmas too so it was fun really kicking my heels up in the last few weeks.

Anna Campbell said...

Snort, we've started our daily drinking session in the lair, Lime. We don't take ANYTHING seriously at the moment! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Pamela! I love catching up with people at this time of year and as so many of my friends live a long way away these days, it's always a treat to have them come to stay. Happy Christmas to you! And glad you like the cover!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Catslady! Seeing you're all drooling over that gorgeous cover, I might do a contest on my Jan blog here to win a copy. Now that would be a conversation piece in any library in the U.S.!

Anna Campbell said...

Joan, it's tough when people we love are going through bad times at this time of year, isn't it? I mean, it's always tough but Christmas and all the festivities just seem to bring it home, don't they? I hope things go well for your friend's surgery and I'm deeply sorry for your loss.

It's a lake in the background. It's such an interesting place to live - the waterbirds really take advantage of the stretch of water.

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, an 80s prom sounds like huge fun! And so do your Chrismtas plans. Great to have the family together. Hope you and yours have a joyous festive season. And you're right about readers and writers always having plenty to talk about! I love it!

Nancy said...

Anna wrote: I love watching kids play with what they get too.

Once we didn't have to hit the road early and could just kick back, his habit of opening something and playing with it a while before moving to the next thing really made for a very peaceful and leisurely day. And we do take turns opening things, which also draws out the day a bit more.

But somehow Super Smash Brothers Melee, or whatever it is, doesn't quite have the charm of a pumper truck tooling around on the rug.

Nancy said...

Jo, the 80s prom birthday party sounds like great fun.

Nancy said...

Hi, Virginia--You're already decorated? Wow. We haven't even gotten as far as dragging out the boxes.

Come to think of it, I need wrapping paper.

Anna Campbell said...

Yeah, Nancy, it's sad when they get too old for fun presents, isn't it? These days, most of my 'younger' contingent get cash. They're all chronically short of fun money so I figure that's the best thing I can give them. But I can't say I get nearly the kick out of it that I had buying really cool toys and watching them play!

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Anna, I love hearing that
someone has the holiday craziness
under control. I'm so far behind
schedule on everything! The major
pre-holiday activities include
rehearsals for Christmas Eve Mass.
(Honey and I are in our parish choir.) Our annual family holiday gathering is set for the weekend before Christmas with some 50-60 of us attending. Thank goodness we always make this a potluck dinner!
Best wishes to all for a Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Pat Cochran

Margay said...

Have a wonderful holiday, Anna! And I hope your every dream comes true this season - and all of the Banditas. You have all made my year that much fuller and I can't wait to see what the new year brings from you.
Margay

Nancy said...

Pat, 50 or 60 family members gathering? How wonderful!

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Pat, 50 or 60? That's one huge Christmas gathering. I hope you have a great time! Actually this year, I'm feeling reasonably positive about Christmas. Well, so far, anyway! I hope you have a wonderful festive season and thank you so much for all your support on the blogs. It's always so great to see you!

Anna Campbell said...

Margay, thank you for being such a regular denizen of the lair this year. We always love to see you! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas too!

Margay said...

Anna, that is so sweet! I really enjoy coming here. Seriously, what other place is there on the 'net with a rooster for a mascot and Richard Armitage for...well, you know. Besides, you gals are a hoot to keep up with - you never know what you're going to read! Always entertaining.
Margay

Anna Campbell said...

Snort! Yes, I rather like having Richard Armitage for...you know! ;-)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Anna, sounds like you've had a grand time socializing lately. And all those summery pictures are making me yearn for warmer weather. It was 25F with a wind chill of 12 when I got up this morning. Brr. Thankfully I wasn't in the path of the big blizzard blanketing much of the country though.

Anna Campbell said...

Trish, I'm seeing on Facebook that a lot of people in the U.S. are shivering in their shoes today. We're expecting another hot one today although not as hot as yesterday. It was 10 degrees Centigrade over average yesterday. No wonder I was a steamy little bunny!

Authorness said...

Merry Christmas, Anna and the Banditas!

Anna, Toby is gorgeous! Burmese are known to "talk." Wondering if you had any conversations with Toby. He looks like a rather intelligent chap!

Christmas at our house is low-key. We haven't put up our tree and decorations yet. Our cats usually love playing with the baubles and tinsel. I'm having a few friends over for lunch on the day. My hubby already presented me with my major gift--a shiny new push bike! We'll probably go for a ride after lunch and work off the turkey and pudding.

x Vanessa

Anna Campbell said...

Toby and I had numerous conversations, V. Most of which went:

ANNA: Oh, Toby, you are so gorgeous. Oh, you are so beautiful. Aren't you beautiful? Aren't you gorgeous?

TOBY: I know. Now scratch me behind the ears. I'm sick of you stroking my chin. Chop chop!

I know about the famous bike! What a great present. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas - sounds great!

PJ said...

Wow, Anna, that's one seriously sexy cover. I love it!

Sounds like you've been getting into the holiday spirit lately. Or is that spirits? *grin* I love all the photos and I love seeing that fabulous smile of yours. Can't wait to see it in person again next summer!

Things have been a little low key for me so far this holiday season. I went to a ladies Xmas luncheon at church last weekend and a Hospice Festival of Trees fundraising luncheon on the 1st. Tomorrow night is our neighborhood Christmas party though and that's always guaranteed to be a good time. We have a very sociable neighborhood! *vbg*

Congrats on nabbing the GR, Lime!

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, it's really over the top, isn't it? In a good way! So glad you like it!

Sounds like you've got some nice things lined up for Christmas without running yourself ragged. I'm just tidying up the last of the Christmas cards this morning in between the blog. Always love posting off a stack of nice mail!

Kate Carlisle said...

Anna, great post! And don't you look gorgeous in that pretty pink shirt! All pink cheeks and sweet smile. ;-)

I was thinking the holidays would be rather quiet, but then I started listing all the stuff I'll be doing. I've got an office party tomorrow, then I'll be meeting up with friends on Saturday at my local rwa chapter. Then a party with mystery writer friends on Sunday. A dinner party the following weekend at my brother's house, then driving to mom's for Christmas, then up to San Francisco to see the brothers and families for New Year's. There should be lots of eating, drinking and carrying on -- for which I refuse to apologize! LOL

Anna, big congrats to you and Christine for the RT nominations. Ooh, hey, and to me, too! Wheeee!! I'm so psyched for us all!!

Keira Soleore said...

Another ooh-n-aah look at the pool in the garden that rightfully belongs at a resort, but is Fo's humble home where drinks are served 'round the clock.

Christine, m'dear, I'm so-so-so PLEASED that WLG was nominated. Vane, er, you, totally deserve the honor.

Gannon Carr said...

Anna, dear, that cover is gorgeous! It is very cold and windy here so the pool and sunshine look so inviting. Lolling about on a float with a cocktail in hand....lovely!

I'll be spending Christmas--crossing our fingers for a white one--at home with my hubby and kids and my sister and two nieces. I will probably go to Florida to see my parents after the New Year.

Have the merriest of Christmases and I hope Santa brings you something extra special. ;)

Anna Campbell said...

Kate, how cool is it that three Banditas are up for RT awards? Yay, us! Congratulations to you too!

Sounds like you've got a busy couple of weeks planned. I've just found out next week isn't going to be me in my writing cave - family visits. Should have expected it! Be nice to see everyone, anyway.

Glad you like the photos!

Anna Campbell said...

Keira, I think Vane was definitely involved in the nomination! Sheesh, I'd give him the award! No argument required! Actually it's kinda mean advertising the sun and sand and sybaritic lifestyle here. Snort!

Anna Campbell said...

Gannon, I'm not sure I've been nice enough for Santa to visit this year ;-) Although there's a couple of emails doing the rounds with Santa's scantily clad younger brother who apparently is delivering stuff to the naughty girls. So I mightn't be too badly off. Sounds like you've got a lovely Christmas planned!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, everyone, thanks for a great day in the lair! Raising a glass in honor of all the Banditas and Bandita Buddies! Happy Christmas, everyone!

And don't forget to check out the 12 Days of Bandita Christmas coming up!!!!

Christine Wells said...

Thanks again for all the congrats--Kate, Miranda, Keira (Vane didn't do it all on his own, you know!LOL)

Anna, forgot to say I lurve the drama of that Oz cover! That's going to be so eye-catching in trade paperback form. A great cover for a fantastic book!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Christine. And you haven't seen the 'real' version yet - hubba, hubba. Lap up the congrats, my friend. WLG deserves it!