Friday, April 16, 2010

West and (passionate) Union!

by Anna Campbell

It is my great pleasure to bring back to the lair one of our favorites, Aussie Harlequin Presents/Sexy/Modern author Annie West.

Annie's here to tell us what's been happening in her world (lots of good stuff) and give us some background info in her great new North American release FORGOTTEN MISTRESS, SECRET LOVE-CHILD. FORGOTTEN MISTRESS, SECRET LOVE-CHILD is a brilliant take on a couple of really popular romance themes, including amnesia and the secret baby! How can you resist?


You can find out more about Annie and her books (including great contests) on her website: www.annie-west.com

You can order Annie's books post free anywhere in the world from The Book Depository or even easier, if you click on the covers of any of her North American releases, it takes you right to that page on Amazon.

Annie, welcome back to the lair! Your latest North American release is the wonderful FORGOTTEN MISTRESS, SECRET LOVE-CHILD. Can you tell us about this story?

Hi Anna! Hi Banditas!. Thank you for inviting me back. It’s lovely to be a guest here again. I always feel so at home here. Speaking of which, I’ll take mine chilled and with bubbles if there’s anything liquid on offer, she says, looking around for a handsome young waiter...


What can I tell you about FORGOTTEN MISTRESS, SECRET LOVE-CHILD? Well, the back cover says: ‘He’s forgotten their past but not her body…’ I love that line! It sums up Alessandro’s predicament. Successful, gorgeous, hard-working Italian tycoon seeks information on his missing past. He finds it in the most unlikely place – a brochure for a Melbourne hotel. One of the staff pictured there evokes a series of almost-memories that Alessandro’s determined to follow up. Once he sees Carys he’s convinced she holds the key to his past. More, he knows with absolute certainty she was his. So he does what any red-blooded Italian male would do – gets her to himself.

Carys wants nothing to do with the man who gave her such happiness then destroyed it. But Alessandro isn’t the sort of man you can brush off and he’s not taking no for an answer. Both discover far more than they bargained for as they gradually get to uncover the truth. It was tremendously satisfying to write a story so packed with emotion, where the characters grow beyond their past hurts and learn to build on the positive.

What were the inspirations behind this book?

The book came about because I’d wanted for a while to write a secret baby book – one where the father discovers out of the blue that he has a child. But the sticking point was always why the heroine hadn’t told him, closely followed by why he hadn’t got involved in their lives earlier. I loved the emotional potential of such stories but had to find a plot, and characters who convinced me they were real. Once I sorted that, the story catapulted on at an amazing pace as Carys and Alessandro took over my life.

One of the joys of writing this story was researching the Lake Como district, where much of the story is set. I’d been there but needed to refresh my memory. Discussions with Italian friends, reading travel guides and indulging in Italian food helped me dive into that world. The location itself proved a great inspiration.


What’s coming up next?

Ah, Anna, I’m thrilled about the next book. Last year my editor asked if I’d write a story in a short continuity – the DARK-HEARTED MEN OF THE DESERT series. I jumped at the chance and I’m so glad I did. Writing Tahir’s story was such a treat. He fascinated me. He’s a loner, a man rejected in his youth who turned to rebellion before devoting himself to life in the fast lane. Hugely wealthy by his own efforts and good fortune, he’s busy sampling life’s pleasures. The trouble is they’ve started to bore him. Then he meets Annalisa: gentle, caring , capable and unlike anyone he’s met. When his chopper goes down in the desert she saves him and their lives are never the same again.

I particularly loved writing the scene where Annalisa, alone at an oasis, looks up to see a tall man in a tuxedo slipping down the sand dune towards her. His bow tie is undone, his face is covered in sand and a pair of piercing blue eyes fix on her. He’s unsteady on his feet, like an elegant party goer who’s had too much champagne. It’s only when he collapses in front of her she realizes he’s injured. And yes, I freely admit I was thinking of Daniel Craig as 007 as I wrote that.

Oops! I’ve rambled. Sorry! As you can see, I’m so excited about SCANDAL: HIS MAJESTY’S LOVE-CHILD coming out soon. There’s an excerpt on my website if you want to check it out. By the way, despite the similarity in titles, these two aren’t linked books. They were named after I started writing.

There’s always so much going on in the Annie West universe. I notice your wonderful THE SAVAKIS MISTRESS is a Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence finalist. And both THE SAVAKIS MISTRESS and BLACKMAILED BRIDE, INEXPERIENCED WIFE are finalists in the Australian Romance Readers Association Awards. Congratulations! You have a story out in a March anthology in the United Kingdom (remember, you can order all Annie’s books post-free from the Book Depository). THE SHEIKH’S RANSOMED BRIDE is one of my favorite books of yours and I’m delighted a whole new audience will discover this great story now it’s out in LORDS OF THE DESERT: THE SHEIKH’S CINDERELLA. Can you tell us about THE SHEIKH’S RANSOMED BRIDE?

Fantastic! A chance to talk about another of my fave books! Hey, I like visiting here, Anna lets me have such fun. Thanks for the congratulations on making the finals of the Australian Romance Reader Awards. That’s an enormous thrill!

Belle and Rafiq’s was my first sheikh story. It would never have got written except a certain crit partner (AC) kept saying ‘You should write a sheikh story.’ To which I’d reply ‘No, I couldn’t do the justice to the sheikh fantasy’. To which the response was, like clockwork ‘Yes you could. It’d be great!’. This went on for ages, as we giggled over potential titles (my favorite was ‘Pashing the Pasha’. If you ever see that title you’ll know Anna and I have finally collaborated on a story – what a hoot that would be). Finally she wore me down and I started plotting.

This book almost wrote itself. In fact (dare I say it? My editor didn’t even ask for revisions!). It’s a marriage of convenience story with an element of suspense as well as lots and lots of sensual tension. It’s full of exotic things that were enormous fun to include like pirates, priceless heirloom jewelry, an exotic oasis camp, marine archaeology (hey, they’re on an island!) and a kingdom that’s a fascinating mix of ancient and modern. The romance is between a handsome monarch who takes what he wants (he has the practiced skills of a seducer as well as a steely core of honor) and a woman who sees herself as ordinary yet is anything but. I’m so lucky I was allowed to let my imagination run riot with this book. How often do you get to start a story with a kidnapped heroine stuck on a desert island wearing only a swimsuit and manacles on her hands and feet!

I’m always interested in a writer’s core story. For example, mine is definitely Beauty and the Beast. Do you think you have a core story and why do you think this particular core story appeals to you?

Anna, I have to say the story that keeps appearing in my work is Cinderella. Lots of my stories have transformations and an apparent mismatch between a wealthy, powerful hero and a heroine who’s doing it tough. However my Cinderellas don’t sit around waiting for their princes to appear with glass slippers. They’re trying to improve their lives or help those they care for and they’re not always sure Prince Charming is who he says he is! It makes them intriguing to write. I also seem to throw in a few other story themes like Beauty and the Beast or Rapunzel or even The Frog Prince. Oh, I forgot – why does Cinderella appeal? Probably I’ve always loved the idea that the most ordinary person could be special. That princesses weren’t just the loveliest, smartest, most favored people, but sometimes the ones who did it tough, who blended into the ordinary world yet who had something – character or generosity or heart that was special.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers out there?

One thing that I discovered: it’s helpful to know what’s happening in the market, it’s fantastic to get useful feedback from contests, it’s fascinating playing ‘pick the trend’ and seeing what’s selling and what’s not, but none of it helps unless you write a book you’re committed to – not just because the goss is that this way is the next big trend but because you love the story, you believe in the characters AND it’s the sort of story that plays to your strengths. I don’t mean you should ignore the wider world, but at the same time you need to remember writing a book is intensely personal. You’ll never appeal to everyone and you have to love it yourself. Particularly for someone trying to get their first project published, it’s important to focus on the sort of story that lends itself to your voice, that sparks your imagination and that inspires you. And to anyone out there, aiming for publication – good luck!

Annie, is there anything you'd like to ask our Banditas and Buddies to get conversation started?

Talking about these stories made me remember visiting marvelous places. For me one of the treats of traveling is trying local specialties. When I wrote Carys and Alessandro’s story I remembered the fresh-made lemon gelato I had at Lake Como and crisp white wine (not at the same time). With Tahir and Annalisa’s story it was memories of waking to a breakfast that included home-made rose petal jam and evening meals with skewered meats and middle eastern treats

Do you have favorite food memories from your travels or your reading, or even your home town? Is there a special dish (or drink for that matter) that instantly transports you back to somewhere special?


Annie has very generously offered us TWO giveaways today in the lair to people who leave a comment. The first is a signed copy of FORGOTTEN MISTRESS, SECRET LOVE-CHILD, the second is your choice from her contest finaling books, THE SAVAKIS MISTRESS or BLACKMAILED BRIDE, INEXPERIENCED WIFE. All fantastic reads! Good luck and get commenting!

116 comments:

Lynz Pickles said...

Mine?

Lynz Pickles said...

Le oui! I return in grand style! GR, prepare to wear the MINI SOMBRERO OF DOOM! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

limecello said...

lol congrats on the GR, Lynz! I'm glad you're so enthusiastic to have him again. :D He must be well behaved for you ;)

Hi Annie! Congratulations on all your fabulous new releases! They sound so dramatic and glamorous :)
As for something that "takes me back" - hmmm... juice boxes, but specifically guava ones.
Favorite memories from books? Absolutely. I have an entire *bookcase* of favorites that I often re-read or pick bits and pieces to skim. :)

Lynz Pickles said...

Hallo, Annie! And Anna! And everyone! Gosh, I'm exclamation-y today, but I'm just so happy to be back in the lair and in English, oh glorious English~

Limes make me think of Mexico. Okay, right now, everything makes me think of Mexico, since I spent so much time there so recently. But regardless of how long it's been since I last went, everytime I taste/smell/see a lime, I think about Mexico. We put lime on just about everything down there, and I'm absolutely addicted to it. Skip the tequila - just give me a lime wedge and some salt and I'll be happy. I swear I go through lime withdrawl when I get back to the frozen wasteland known as Canada. (Okay, it's not really that bad, but compared to Mexico? Brrrr!)

Helen said...

Well done Lynz have fun with him

Whoo Hoo Annie is back to visit Yay thanks Anna for inviting Annie back.

Annie
There are only 2 of your books that I still haven't been able to find and now I am going to be able to get one of them when Lords Of The Desert is released YAY. Love the sound of Scandal His Majesty's Love Child your heros are always just so strong and to die for.
I haven't travelled that much but we did go on a cruise about 8 years ago and some of the cocktails that I tried were so yummy and now whenever I have any cocktail I can see my self on the deck of the cruise ship sailing out of Sydney Harbour oh to be there again LOL.

Annie
Congrats on the nominations for the awards I will be at the Aust Romance Readers Awards next month and will be cheering you and Anna and Cindy and Christine on I so wish you could all be there.

Have Fun
Helen

Michelle Douglas said...

Hi Annie and Anna -- waving madly at you both! And Annie, huge congratulations on finalling in both the Colorado Awards of excellence AND the ARRA Awards.

Let me just say to everyone who hasn't read it, go grab a copy of The Sheikh's Ransomed Bride -- Rafiq is to die for! Having said that, I loved Forgotten Mistress, Secret Love-Child too. I'm really looking forward to Tahir :-)

Favourite food memories... suet pudding in a little pub in Cambridge, and fondue in Switzerland. Yum.

Serena said...

Hi Annie and Anna,
What a great interview. When you two get together it's always a guaranteed good time :)

My favourite food memory (and there are many) is the first time I tasted the famed Australian dessert, Peach Melba, which was named for Australia's famous opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba. Now where would you think I tasted this wonderful dessert? Australia, where I was born and raised? Nope. In Cortina D'Ampezzo in the north of Italy. We travelled there in the new year after visiting relatives in Italy. In those days it wasn't so common for Australians to travel to ski resorts (I was a child, well almost). The Grand Hotel Savoia were so happy to have us as guests, the head chef made us an Australian specialty - La Pesca Melba.

Let me say I adore all of Annie's and Anna's books - all are keepers for me.
Hugs
Serena
xoxox

Annie West said...

Lynz, is it just me or do you bag the golden chook an awful lot of the time? Am chuckling over the rooster wearing the mini sombrero of doom! I bet he still looks gorgeous!

Annie West said...

Limecello, I can relate to you rereading and picking fave bits of books to skim. I love that. When life gets tough there's nothing quite like re-entering a book you loved.

The guava juice sounds very eoxtic. Wonder if there's a story in there?

Annie West said...

Lynz, they don't have limes in Canada? Sounds awfully dangerous. A wonder there aren't outbreaks of scurvy. Your stay in Mexico sounds terrific (well, I'm thinking about the Mexican food here). Had to smile though - what a difference a wide Pacific Ocean makes. You associate limes with Mexico. I associate them with Thai food - absolutely fabulous with a Thai curry.

Virginia said...

Congrats Lynz on getting the GR

Great post Annie! All of these books sound fantastic, which I am sure they are. You two are great authors!

I can't think of a favorite food memory right now because I love about any kind of food. Although my sister can whip up some mighty fine dishes herself! I am real big into fish so if any place has some fried cat fish I will go for that!

Annie West said...

Hi Helne! Waving here from a bit further nice. Thanks for the welcome. It's a great to be back, she says looking around for a handsome drinks waiter. He must have seen me and decided to hide!

Ah, if you're looking forward to Lords of the Desert, it means Rafiq - one of my faves. Hope you enjoy that book as much as I did. As I wrote I kept fearing someone with sense would step in and stop me writing as it seemed unlikely I'd be allowed to get away with a book I had such a ball writing!

Wow, cruiseliner cocktails sound very, very enticing. I'm picturing you here with fruit-laden glasses complete with parasols. It must have been terrific heading out across Sydney Harbour and enjoying someone else waiting on you! I once had cocktails in Santorini looking out over the caldera as the sun set over the new volcanic island. The cocktails were rich and yummy, the company fantastically sexy and the view stupendous. Bring on the cocktails I sat!

Thanks too for the good wishes for the ARRA awards. It's an enormous thrill to see my books nominated there. Just wish I could make it on the night to cheer on so many good authors.

Annie West said...

Hm, can you tell I'm tired and had a glass of wine? Of course Helne is meant to read Helen! Sorry, Helen. Sloppy typing.

PinkPeony said...

Welcome Annie...hi Anna!

I'm going to have to get the secret baby book...I love secret baby stories!

Food memories...hmm...the chili prawns steamed in banana leaves when I was a kid visiting my granny in Singapore. To this day, I've never eaten any prawns that can compare. I get hungry thinking about it. Closer to home, it would be Taylor's Hotdogs in Visalia, CA where I grew up. Back then they were twenty-five cents..a soft bun and a hotdog coated with their special chili. Also, Neldam's Danish bakery here in the East Bay makes a decadent strawberry shortcake cake with heavy whipped cream. Pure heaven. (Sorry, Anna, I know you dislike strawberries!)

Annie West said...

Michelle, how lovely of you to pop in. I know you're very busy writing right now! I'm not sure suet pudding sounds all that wonderful but I'm willing to believe it tasted great and that the thought of it brings back lovely memories. Fondue in Switzerland does sound appealing right now (the temperature has just dropped here and some melted cheese sounds very warming). You have got around on your travels!

Gee, thanks for the kind words about Rafiq and about Alessandro's story too. I'll be interested to see what you think of Tahir. In all three instances I fell in love with my heroes. Sigh. Such a shame they had eyes for no one but their heroines.

Annie West said...

Hi Serena. So glad you enjoyed the interview! Anna's always so nice to me when I'm here and definitely lets me get away with enthusiastic, rambling answers. Sad to say I do ramble about my books but then maybe that's a good sign!

I've always wanted to go to Cortina! The scenery there looks fabulous and quite stunning. It's one of the top places on my must-visit list. What a hoot that it's where you first ate peach melba. I would have thought you'd be eating thoroughly Italian desserts on your visits. Pause here while I swoon a little at the thought of gorgeous Italian desserts. I'm impressed too by the fact that the chef made a special dessert in your honour. Had you been flirting with him earlier?

Smiling here at your comment about my books and Anna's. I do too but then I may be a little biased...

Annie West said...

Hi Virginia! Thanks for the lovely compliment. I hope you enjoy the stories if you get a chance to read them.

I've never had catfish. Maybe one day. I'm wondering what you eat with it... Hm, I'm getting hungry now!

Annie West said...

Hi Pink Peony, how great to find a fan of secret baby stories.

Wow, you have fantastic food recollections. I have to say I adore the sound of the chilli prawns in banana leaves. I have childhood memories of waking up to find my dad had come home with kilos/pounds of fresh-caught prawns and mum would be cooking them in the kitchen. For years in my teens and later I thought I didn't like prawns any more, until I discovered it was just that nothing could beat the taste of them fresh from the sea. Sounds like you may be a chilli fan with your hot dogs too, but the strawberry shortcake sounds like an excellent treat any time.

PinkPeony said...

I just ordered Forgotten Mistress, Secret Love Child and pre-ordered His Majesty's Secret Love Child from Amazon. Can't wait til Monday!

Fresh prawns are hard to find here nowadays. I remember the prawns were huge and we ate them with our hands. I'm a hot sauce/chili/curry freak.

Annie West said...

Oh, Pink Peony, what a woman! I hope you enjoy both books. As I said I had a thoroughly lovely time writing them and though I fall for all my heroes some books seem easier than others.

You're going to have to visit somewhere that has fresh seafood. I don't think anything beats it. Am grinning here as coincidentally, I've just had a lovely feast of very fresh seafood as a treat. Sometimes I wonder though if the things we loved in childhood are the dishes we particularly enjoy for special occasions as adults. My son is a chilli fanatic too. He eats much hotter food than I can but I do love a great curry, especially with fresh spices.

Donna MacMeans said...

WOW, Lynz - Way to catch the rooster! - but the mini sombrero of doom? Pray tell - what do you have in mind for him?

Hi Annie - Welcome back! I think that "extra" on the cover of the secret baby book stands for extra sizzle! My jaw dropped at the sheer beauty of Lake Como. No wonder you set a story there.

I'm afraid I haven't your travel experience. One of these days I hope to travel to some exotic location. Still, I have to admit, food carries some powerful memories. I love crab - and it instantly takes me back to the Delaware/Maryland shore... a picnic table covered in newspaper, mallets for cracking shells, and a huge pile of red steamed crabs covered with Old Bay spice. Oh - and a big pitcher of beer. It's about the only time I drink beer - when eating crab.

Fun blog!

Annie West said...

Hi Donna! Thanks for the welcome. Oh, that's a nice idea: ' extra' for extra sizzle. Now I'm remembering Carys and Alessandro's first kiss in the book - tss! Definitely sizzling.

Yes, isn't Lake Como gorgeous? We were only there for a very short time but I'm sure I wandered around with my mouth open a lot of the time.

Maryland seems very exotic to me! As does a picnic of fresh crabs, complete with mallets. Now I'm curious what Old Bay Spice is. We don't have it here. I love picnics by the beach or the lake, even if it's just a sandwich. Eating by the water seems to make the occasion more special.

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Hey, it's my favourite double act--Annie West and Anna Campbell!

Annie, congratulations to you on your latest Presents. I can't wait to read it and imagine myself at Lake Como.

It mightn't sound glamorous, but every time I eat hot chips and mayonnaise, it takes me back to my first magical trip to Holland when I was 18. I'm a real chip connoisseur now!

x

Christine Wells said...

YAYAYAYAY!!! Annie's in da house!

Welcome back to the lair, my dear! Congratulations on all your wonderful success with nominations and publications. You are one busy lady! You write about exotic settings with such authenticity--you made my mouth water just in that interview.

As for memories, well, there is a certain dish consisting of an exotic seafood platter... Hmm, now what memories could THAT bring back, hmm?

What else? Cassis ice cream in France, Hida beef in Japan, beautiful cheeses and a kind of dukka called "bush dust" in Tasmania, made from all sorts of native Australian ingredients. Mango daiquiris by the pool at Heron Island. Ahh, makes me want to travel again, and not only for the food!

barb said...

HI Annie
Looks like I will have to read Blackmailed Bride, Inexperienced Wife as it could bring back memories of Lake Como as I went there in 1959 (showing my age) with the school. It has probably changed since then though LOL. I originally come from England although I now live in Sydney Australia now.
Barbara

Annie West said...

Hi Vanessa, how lovely to see you here. Hey, I love the idea of being billed as a double act with Anna. Yes, Please!

Hope you enjoy the Lake Como story when you get to it. Sadly there's no gelato mentioned in it but you can imagine it.

Oh, I remember hot chips with mayonnaise. I think it must be a European thing. The first time I saw it it was served in a paper cone with a tiny plastic fork and I thought it was very odd. Then I tasted it...yum! I bet you have wonderful memories of that trip to Holland.

Annie West said...

Christing - I'm waving madly across at you. Have to say I can't wait to read your latest book. Just read your fabulous 4 1/2 star review in Romantic Times. Congratulations! It will be marvellous getting my hot little hands on the story.

What a huge range of yummy food memories you have. My mind's boggling a bit at the idea of cassis ice cream. Not something I'd think of. Hm, exotic seafood? Just my style. And as for mango daquiris - well, I've never actually had one, but I've got a fertile imagination, and if it includes sitting by the pool at Heron Island, count me in! Can I come travelling with you?

Laurie said...

Hi Annie,

I enjoyed learning about your books!

My food stories center around ice cream! I was born in the Dairy state, Wisconsin. My hometown Two Rivers is known as the birthplace of ice cream sundaes. Supposedly a little girl asked that the chocolate syrup used to make ice cream sodas be placed on top of her ice cream. Voila! Ice cream sundaes cost 5 cents and were originally only sold on Sundays.

My second fond food memory is the delicious ice cream made by Babcock Dairy on the University of Wisconsin campus. I fell in love with their chocolate chip ice cream with bits of toffee in it. The ice cream is sold at both Unions and at the Babcock Dairy Store. YUMMY!!

I'd love to read your books!

Annie West said...

Hi Barb. You went to Lake Como on a school trip? That's fantastic. My school trips were definitely of the mundane variety. We did visit a piggery once.... (I kid you not). Imagine visiting Europe with the school - that must have been enormous fun. I hope you enjoy 'Forgotten Mistress, Secret Love-Child' if you do pick it up. I had a great time researching the area since it's been a while since I visited there. Of course, as with all research, most of it doesn't appear obviously in the story but it provided a fantastic inspiration as I wrote it.

Annie West said...

Hi Laurie, it's lovely to hear your reminiscences. Fantastic that they're about ice cream. I blogged recently about two of my favourite things: gelato and ice cream (can you tell I love food?) so I really appreciate what you're talking about. Chocolate chip ice cream with toffee sounds seriously scrumptious.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Lynz, welcome home! We've missed you. Lots of doings in the lair in your absence - you'll have to have a good goss with the cabana boys!

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Lime, you and Lynz were neck and neck. Annie's books are great - seriously give them a go if you haven't read them!

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, I'm so sorry I'll miss the ARRA dinner. So wish I could make it but I'm running a writers workshop in Adelaide that weekend. You'll have to cheer extra loud for Annie and me to make up for our absence ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Reeze, love your food memories. They really do enrich our recollections of travel, don't they? I think of a rabbit and garlic stew that I had in the mountains up behind Lerici in Italy. Just melted in your mouth. I've never forgotten the taste and we're going back to 1985.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, thanks, Serena! I'm so glad you love my books and Annie's books are just fantastic - love all of them. Laughed at the peach melba being an expat experience. You know, I don't think I've ever had it! I used to live around the corner from Nellie Melba's last home (a very glam flat in Potts Point in Sydney). Always got a thrill when I went past the building.

Anna Campbell said...

Virginia, I've heard of fried catfish in the movies but I've never had it. Perhaps they'll serve it in Nashville!

Anna Campbell said...

Jen, had to laugh at you remembering I don't like strawberries! Hardly anyone ever does - which means often I get these special 'treat' gifts and I have to just smile and say thank you and give them away later. The prawns sound delish!

Anna Campbell said...

Donna, a crab memory for me is the crab omelettes they served at the Marriott in San Francisco at breakfast. Yum scrum!

Anna Campbell said...

Vanessa, you've told me before about the Dutch chips. I think I want to move there (and it's also close to Belgium for the chocolate!).

Anna Campbell said...

Christine, love your food memories. And wasn't that seafood platter at my place just the best? I might have had something similar for dinner last night ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Barbara! Lovely to see you. I actually went to Lake Como the same trip as when I had the rabbit dish. Sadly everything was really hazy and we couldn't see the wonderful views. I love Annie's evocation of the place!

Anna Campbell said...

Laurie! Yum, love the sound of your ice cream. And how cool about the sundae story. I hadn't ever heard that before although I'd always wondered why they were called sundaes. Sounds like I need to visit Wisconsin (Danish background means dairy products are IT!).

Gillian Layne said...

Hi Annie! I can't wait for Lords of the Desert. I am pretty addicted to sheik stories. :) And congratulations on your release of FORGOTTEN MISTRESS, SECRET LOVE-CHILD. That picture of Lake Como is stunning.

Every time we make salmon I think of when we spent time in Eugene Oregon. We had the most amazing salmon with blueberry sauce.

Great interview, Anna!

Annie West said...

Anna, rabbit and garlic stew sounds just the thing to have on an Italian mountain. Were there any lovely Italian hunks around there? I'm sure you kept your eyes open for some.

Annie West said...

Ooh, Gillian, how lovely to hear you're addicted to my sheikh stories! I have to say there's definitely something special and a little different about writing them. Hopefully that means you'll enjoy 'Scandal: His Majesty's Love-Child' when it comes out. As for the 'Lords of the Desert' anthology - it's out now but you have it sent from the UK. I only received my copies recently and I'm looking forward to reading the other stories in it.

Wow - salmon with blueberry sauce sounds just amazing. I'd never have thought of that particular food combination. I bet it melted in the mouth.

Annie West said...

Anna, you surprise me - a seafood platter for dinner? What a lusciously decadent life you lead! Yum.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Annie! Welcome back to the Lair! It's lovely to see you again. Anna, I loved the post - as much for ya'll's fun interaction as for the content. Grins. You two are a hoot.

Lynz, you nabbed him! Dare I ask about the mini-sombrero of doom? Do I really want to know? Grins.

Annie, you sould have to ask about food. I'm homesick for homestyle fried chicken, one of the foods that takes me "home" in an instant. Between that and grits, I'm transported to childhood and happy as a clam. Grins. One other flavor will do that, and it's Damson Plum Jam. Go figure. Ha!

Other foods bring memories too, but that's probably the strongest.

Love the sound of these upcoming books! Wow. And I'm thinking the Pashing book would be a heck of a read, you two should get on that (so to speak) right away!

Deb said...

Hi, Annie and Anna! I don't read many contemps, but I won BBIW (from you) and enjoyed it!

My food memory isn't so much the food, but the experience of eating it. I was in Denmark and my sister, cousin, and I were at Tivoli Gardens and ordered pizza at a little Italian bistro. I really tried to eat it with knife and fork in hand, as the Danes do with every food, but, I mean, pizza? So, I picked it up with my hands and began eating. I heard a child's voice from a nearby table say something (Danish, of course) and my cousin Finn choked on his pizza, laughing. Apparently, the boy said, "Look at the American lady eating pizza!"

There is a Dutch settlement nearby (Pella) that makes wonderful pastries called Dutch letters. Shaped as an S, they are flaky, buttery, and have almond filling. Hmm, the Tulip Festival is coming up soon; I may have to make a roadtrip. :)

Thanksgiving dinner wouldn't be Thanksgiving dinner without my gram's orange rolls.

Thanks for the interview and visiting the Lair today.

PJ said...

Hi Annie! Welcome back to the lair. Hope you and Anna are having a lovely time! Congratulations on your new books and the awards. Lots of happy things happening in your life!

Favorite food memories? My mom's lemon meringue pie. She made the best I've ever tasted. Gelato! Italian gelato is my favorite food memory from Italy. Tiramisu in a small ristorante in Rome where, I'm told, I gave a spot-on impersonation of Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally." Escargot! My dad made me try it shortly before I left for a summer in Europe when I was 16. He wanted me to get used to trying new and different foods. Who knew I'd become addicted to the (very expensive) snails in butter and garlic sauce! lol!

PJ said...

Lynz, welcome back! LOL @ the mini sombrero of doom. That reminds me of another food memory. Freshly made tortillas take me right back to the outdoor stalls in Mexico City during the summer I spent there as an exchange student. It was my first exposure to any kind of Mexican food and ruined me for life to anything but real, authentic Mexican cooking.

Virginia C said...

Hello, Annie and Anna! You two are definitely a dynamic duo! Both of you always offer such interesting posts and photos. Your great interest in the world around you, along with your keen and funny observations, are part of what makes you both great fiction writers! May each of you have your best year yet in 2010!

One of my best food memories comes from Nashville, TN. Nashville is the home of country music and The Grand Ole Opry, but it's also where I had one of the best Italian meals of my life! I was visiting Nashville with a friend, and she let me pick a place to eat. I chose a quiet, homey, little Italian restaurant. The family that owned and operated the restaurant was from Sicily, and they couldn't have been more welcoming. They practically adopted us! We even exchanged recipes--one from a Sicilian "nana" and one from a Virginia-born "granny" : )

MsHellion said...

Food memories from travel....

Okay. I won a trip to Washington DC when I was 17 (traveling with a bunch of other 17 year olds), and all expenses paid. Most teenagers spent their lunch money on Subway (which I loathed) or McDonald's (which I was tired of--I was on VACATION!), so I took off on my own, during the lunch hour, into Alexandria and went to a place called Il Porte Restaurant. Italian food. I had a gorgeous, delicious plate of linguine alfredo and was fawned over by a cute waiter. Good times.

I went with a friend to Boston, and we ate at this Cuban place (something Fish), and it was DELICIOUS. Black beans, plantains, jerked chicken, grilled fish, the freshest vegetables. We feasted! It was wonderful. She was very happy I was willing to go because she said if she'd brought her husband, they would have been eating at McDonald's the whole time. Oh, and that happened to be my birthday meal too. *LOL* On the same trip, we also went to Concord, MA, and ate at this tavern house that was around in the Revolutionary War, and had lots of home-cooked food. I think the only thing we ordered that we hadn't tried before was butternut squash soup...

jo robertson said...

Hi, Annie, welcome back to the Lair. It's always a pleasure to have you here and discover the marvelous stories you have in store for us!

Thanks for bringing her, Anna!

Congrats on the chook, Lynz. Challenging the bird, are you! Oui!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Annie and Anna
Anyone who hasn't read one of Annie's sheikh books is in for a real treat. They have all that power and wealth (and extreme good looks, of course!) we expect in a Presents hero but also something special that Annie gives them that makes these guys unforgettable! Those lucky heroines!
All the chocolate around at Easter took me back to my first visit to my Swiss stepmother's home town and the amazing chocolate shops she took me to. I was in heaven!
Good look with the new launch.

Louisa Cornell said...

LYNZ !!!! SO glad to see you back in the Lair!! And apparently so is the GR as he followed you home!


And La Campbell always brings my FAVORITE people to the Lair!! G'day Annie !!! Another Annie West book! YAY!!! Of course my Mom probably already has it, drat her! I'll see her today for lunch and ask. I know if she doesn't have it she will be dragging me off to Wal-Mart to fetch it immediately!

I really do love the ideas in this book - amnesia, secret baby? I am SO there!

And now I have to find that Sheiks anthology. Night after night with desert princes? YAY !!!

I don't get them very often, but roasted chestnuts remind me of the first Christmas I spend in Salzburg. A group of us were walking down Getreidegasse and there was a little man with his cart selling hot roasted chestnuts. It was not a novelty to the Austrian and German kids, but for me and the other American it was like something out of Dickens. Even now, the smell of roasted chestnuts or the playing of The Christmas Song makes me think of Salzburg, freshly falling snow, good friends and the taste of those chestnuts.

The smell of really strong coffee always makes me think of New Orleans. Its the only place I ever drink coffee and then only the real chickory coffee. Chickory coffee and fresh beignets at Cafe du Monde on a Sunday morning when the city stretches and rolls out of bed after a rowdy Saturday night is one of life's perfect hours. I haven't been back for quite some time, but when I do return to New Orleans I know the coffee and beignets will surround me with the memory of those perfect Sundays rambling through the Times-Picayune with my DH and the seventeen years without him will go away, even if just for a little while.

Becke Davis said...

Hi Anna! Hi Annie! Definitely two of my favorite themes - I'll definitely get this book!

Becke Davis said...

Maybe I should say "definitely" a few more times - not sure I said it quite enough in my last comment.

Julia Smith said...

Fun interview, Annie and Anna! Your delight definitely bubbles up off the computer monitor.

I really enjoyed your discussion on core stories and your relationships to them. Mine is most definitely Sleeping Beauty. All of my female characters wake up in some way through their relationship with the men in their lives. Rather like I felt after meeting my husband, I suppose.

As for memory-laden food, for me nothing can beat the rice dish that always accompanied Christmas dinner. It's pretty simple - just rice cooked in turkey or chicken broth and a bit of ketchup for tomato zing, which gives the rice a rosy/buttery color. In fact, I didn't realize that rice is white until I got older and started eating at different people's homes.

Pissenlit said...

Hiya Annie! Congrats on the new release!

Fondue reminds me of Montréal. *happy sigh* On a one-day side trip to Montréal during an Ottawa trip, my friends and I found this fantastic little restaurant on rue St-Denis called Fonduementale where we had a super tasty dinner of cheese, meat and dessert fondues. The restaurant was SO cosy and candle-lit........and we had the HOTTEST waiter! :D

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome back to the Lair, Annie!!!

So great to have you here, and BIG THANX to Fo for luring you here yet again.

The one time I was in Lake Como it was very hazy and I couldn't even see across the lake. :-( But the mention of Lemon Gelato.... YUMMMM! Heaven!!! There's NOTHING to compare with real Italian gelato.

Since I recently returned from a cruise, I've experienced a food extravaganza! If you are going to blow a diet, cruise food is definitely the way to go. ;-) Like PJ, I LOVE escargot and about the only place I ever get them is on a cruise. Also love creme brulee and cherries jubilee which I usually only get on a cruise too.

CONGRATS Lynz! The GR in the Mini Sombrero of Doom?!?! *I* want to hear 'the rest of the story.' LOL!

AC

denise said...

Lovely covers. I would love to read your books.

chey said...

My best memories of food while travelling are seafood on the East and West coast of Canada and steak pie in Scotland.

Nancy said...

Lynz, congrats on the rooster!

Annie, welcome back! As usual, this book sounds fabulous. I love the picture of the town at the edge of the lake.

Cinderella as core story, huh? I can see that. I think we all like a bit of Cinderella.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Annie and Anna,

My goodness,this is a name-related
trio today! My middle name is Ann.

Fave foods/drinks: Hot chocolate
at the football stadium in the
fall; sharing a toast to Honey's
21st birthday with his parents,
then getting sick because of an
unknown allergy to bourbon; fried
chicken and ice-cold watermelon
at our Fourth of July picnics;
Mother's Chicken Cacciatore, come
to think of it - anything she
prepared for us! She was a great
cook!

Patricia Ann Cochran

Annie West said...

Hi Jeanne! Thanks for the welcome. It's been a little while since I was at the lair, as life has gone just a bit crazy lately, but it's as nice as ever being back. And as for being interviewed by Anna - what can I say? It's always a huge treat.

Oh, I love foods that remind me of my childhood. Fried chicken sounds fabulous. Grits - I know it's a southern dish but that's as far as my knowledge extends. Maybe one day I'll get to try some. As for damson plum jam - yum - you've hit on one of my all time faves. And for me it's a childhood thing too. My mum used to make jam all the time and as we had stacks of plum trees I grew up expecting all jam to taste as fantastic as my mum's home made stuff - bliss. Sadly I learned it wasn't to be. Now, if plums are cheap I'll make my own.

Will tell Anna you're looking forward to 'Pashing the Pasha'. We were rolling around laughing at the title years ago. I wonder if we ever could collaborate on a story? What a strange experience that would be. I'd be tempted to just let her get on and write it while I advised from the sidelines...

Annie West said...

Deb, it's lovely to see you. So glad you enjoyed 'Blackmailed Bride, Innocent Wife'.

Sounds like you caused a stir in Denmark! You're right, it's so much easier to eat pizzas in your hand, isn't it? Perhaps you started a new trend.

Ooh, love the sound of buttery, flaky Dutch pastries and orange rolls. Can you tell I haven't breakfasted yet? Argh! This is torture.

Annie West said...

Hi PJ! Thanks for the good wishes. Yes, there have been some exciting things happening for me lately - I'm very fortunate.

I'm licking my lips thinking og Italian gelato. Isn't it the most wonderful thing? And as for lemon meringue pie... Have to say though I've never tried snails. Is it the snails themselves that taste so good I wonder or the garlic butter sauce? I suppose I should give them a try if I ever get the chance but I have to say I won't be going out of my way to search them out? You have exotic tastes!

Annie West said...

PJ, fresh made tortillas sound fantastic. Isn't that the trouble with anything though? If you taste 'the real' thing, the not quite so authentic or so fresh versions are never quite as good. I bet a year as a student in Mexico was fascinating!

Annie West said...

Aw, Virginia, that's so nice of you. I'm glad you liked the post so much. Didn't Anna do a marvellous job finding that brilliant photo of Lake Como? Next time I go (I tell myself there will be a next time) I intend to take one of the ferry rides around the lake so I can slowly survey the whole place.

Your Sicilian restaurant in Nashville sounds brilliant! What good luck that you picked it and I love the idea of swapping recipes there? I hope you get a chance to visit again.

Annie West said...

Ms Hellion, what fantastic food choiced you make. Who'd go for chain store takeaways when you could get lovely pasta and a gorgeous, flirtatious waiter? No choice at all!

The Cuban restaurant sounds brilliant! And as for eating in a centuries old tavern on home cooked treats - yum. Sometimes it's the setting that makes the meal, don't you think?

Annie West said...

Hi Jo! It's lovely to catch up with you all too. I'm still intrigued by the GR's mini sombrero of doom and wondering if I'll find out about it.

Annie West said...

Hi Kandy, thanks for the kind words about my sheikhs. They are a little different from my other heroes, aren't they? And such a delight to write. Sigh. Thanks too for the good wishes on the launch. You'll be having your own launch coming up soon too with 'Home is Where the Bark Is'. I can't wait for this 2nd book! The debut was such a beauty.

Wow, with a Swiss stepmother you'd have had the inside information on which is the best of all that yummy chocolate! What a treat that must have been.

Annie West said...

Hi Louisa! It's fantastic to see you here. Please say hi to your mum for me! Hope you have a lovely lunch together - what a beaut way to end the week.

Hey, I didn't know you were a fan of secret babies or amnesia stories! I had such a good time working through the lost memory elements of this new book. In fact I kept feeling I shouldn't have enjoyed it quite as much as I did but then I consoled myself with thinking writers have to have a little mean streak or their characters wouldn't be nearly so interesting! Fingers crossed that's right.

Oh, oh, oh! Roasted chestnuts in Salzburg! Would you believe we spent Christmas 2008 in Salzburg with our kids. We stook in Getriedegasse eating roast chestnuts from the stall there! Goodness, what a coincidence! Did you try the sweet roasted almonds too? They're fantastic? And there's nothing quite like cradling a paper packet of hot from the furnace almonds or chestnuts to keep you warm as the snow drifts down around you.

Oh, Louisa, I hope you get back to New Orleans soon, to relive lovely memories and make some new ones, too.

Annie West said...

Hi Becke! Smiling here - you can say 'definitely' as many times as you like about this book. So happy to hear it's striking a chord with you. Hope things are going well with you.

Annie West said...

Hi Julia. What a gorgeous compliment. I love the idea of our delight bubbling up off the computer monitor!

Now, that's interesting about your theme being Sleeping Beauty. Stories of awakening always fascinate me and I love the progression in them. How sweet that was your own experience too. I'm guessing your husband is someone extra special.

Ooh, Christmas rice. That's something I haven't heard of, but if it's cooked in turkey or chicken broth with that added seasoning it must be yummy. I hope you cook it sometimes yourself to keep the tradition alive.

Annie West said...

Hi Pissenlit - you've definitely got your priorities right. A cosy restaurant with good food and a fantastically hot waiter sounds like a recipe for a fabulous time. No wonder you remember it so vividly!

Annie West said...

Loucinda, it's great to see you too! Wasn't it nice of Anna to invite me back? Obviously she's not got sick of me yet...

I've heard cruises are a fantastic way to destroy a diet. You brave woman. But what a marvellous experience. For some reason I never thought of having snails served on board ship! As for cherries jubilee - where do I sign up? I've never had that dish but I've read about it over the years and feel it's time I tried it. As for lemon gelato - what can I say except mmmmm!

Annie West said...

Hi Denise.
Thanks very much - I think the cover of 'Forgotten Mistress, Secret Love-Child' in particular is a great cover. In the Australian and UK editions you see much more of the picture. Carys has her arm down and behind her back she's holding a rather lovely masquerade mask which I think really adds to the effect.

Annie West said...

Hi Chey. Ooh, you go straight to the specialties, don't you? I've heard that Canadian seafood is spectacular and the Scots definitely know their way around beef. I'm imagining myself now in a cosy Scottish pub with a steaming hot steak pie.

Annie West said...

Hi Nancy, it's good to see you here. Glad you like the scenery. It really did inspire me as I wrote this story.

As for the Cinderella theme. Anna and I were just talking recently about core themes. I'm wondering now how difficult it would be to write away from that core theme. Wonder how much of a challenge it would be?

Annie West said...

Hi Patricia. Welcome to the world-wide club of Anns! I'll let you in on a secret - my first name is nothing at all like Annie but I've always been known by my second name. If you decided to do the same, just for a change, you could be Ann too!

Chicken cacciatore, home made, sounds mouth wateringly wonderful. And picnic food is a particular fave of mine. I don't know why, but being outdoors, munching on something tasty always seems to make it taste that little bit more special.

Anna Campbell said...

Gillian, I LOVE salmon. Actually Annie (who is visiting) and I are having smoked salmon for breakfast! How decadent is that?

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, I don't know how the pashing book will read but it was sure fun to talk about! I've never had real fried chicken. Wonder if that's something else I can try in Nashville.

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Deb, I love the sound of those Dutch pastries. Let me at 'em! I still remember fondly the buttery, custardy, nutty, completely yummy pastries in Copenhagen. I was travelling with a friend and we used to stock up at the bakery at the main railway station before we set off for the day's journeys!

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, what a gorgeous list of memories. I love them - the gelato and tiramisu in Italy in particular. I remember the first time I tried tiramisu - it hadn't yet reached Australia so it was completely foreign to me. I was in a side street in Venice and saw it and tried it and thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Laughed at the snails - I think ANYTHING in that much garlic butter would taste great ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Virginia, will you come and write some PR releases for us? That was fantastic! Thank you so much for letting us know you enjoy the posts. I always enjoy having Annie on Banditas - she's a hoot!

How cool about the Italian restaurant in Nashville (had to laugh - they're a LONG way from Sicily!). What's the name of it? I'm going to Nashville in July. I'll check it out.

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Hellion, they're fabulous memories! I always think it's sad when people are in new places and don't try the local nosh.

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, isn't it great Lynz got the bird on her first day back with us? He must have known, that wily rooster!

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Kandy! Lovely to see you. And good luck for the release of HOME IS WHERE THE BARK IS! Ooh, Swiss chocolate - I had to laugh the first time I went to a Swiss supermarket. Half the shelves were taken up with various types of chocolate! Clearly it's the staple diet over there.

Anna Campbell said...

Louisa, what a beautiful poetic description of your food memories. I was right there with you - actually I WISH I was right there with you. I've never been to New Orleans but the food sounds great!

Anna Campbell said...

Becke, it's DEFINITELY lovely to see you!

Helen said...

There are some great memories of places and really nice foods here makes me hungry for travel and food LOL.

Annie when I get Lords Of The Desert I will only have to find The Greek Tycoons Unexpected Wife then I will have a complete collection of your books so as I can re read when I wish so looking forward to that.
No worries about cheering all of the nominees at the awards dinner I will be happy to do so there are some fantastic books in the running.

Have Fun
Helen

Anna Campbell said...

Julia, thank you so much for saying how much you enjoyed the interview! I love the idea that your core story is Sleeping Beauty.

Lois said...

Well, mine's a bit boring, but the only thing I thought of wasn't food, but clorine. The only time I ever went in a swimming pool for a long period of time was when I visited my Aunt and Uncle in Florida for three weeks in the summer between Junior and Senior year of high school. Even taught myself to swim (not too gracefully, but got me from one end of the pool to the other), because I couldn't stand seeing those darn first graders do it and I couldn't. LOL Alas, haven't been in a pool since, so when I smell the related chemicals, it takes me back right to there. :)

Lois

Annie West said...

Hi Helen, wow, I'm impressed. You've got an almost complete Annie West collection!! Let me know if you have trouble finding 'The Greek Tycoon's Unexpected Wife'. I remember starting that book, snickering as I wrote, thinking my hero was sinking further and further into a hole so deep it was going to be great fun to see him try to climb out.

ooh, you're going to have a lovely time at the Aus readers dinner. I so wish I could be there. I'm hoping I might get a full report from you later. The last awards dinner was such a fantastic night!

Annie West said...

Lois, isn't it amazing how a smell can take you right back to another time and place. That's one of the things I was interested in, writing this story - the way something could inadvertantly trigger a vivid memory. Most often is seems to be a scent.

Good on you teaching yourself to swim! Sounds like you had a great time there, despite the chemicals!

Annie West said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annie West said...

Anna, your smoked salmon brekkies are delicious! As are your seafood platters. Not to mention your choccie slice... Ah, I love meeting with my crit partner, but particularly when there's scrummy food involved.

Lynz Pickles said...

I guess I should've said "el mini sombrero de doom" since it's from Mexico, eh? Puppies do NOT like wearing it, but thankfully, the GR cooperated pretty well today. I guess he's still apologetic about the time he stole my car.

Annie: The sombrero looks fabulous on him! I don't know if I get him all that often, and I know I certainly haven't in the past couple of months, since I was in Mexico, but I know we do have some good times together. He's a fun guy. Yeeeeees, we do have limes, technically, but... there are about three growing seasons down there, so everything's always so much fresher and tastier (and cheaper) that there's really just no comparison. Plus they have these sweet ones - key limes, maybe? - that I've never seen up here are that are sooooooooo goooooooooood.

Donna: Oh, nothing too mean. I've just made him wear it and taken pictures of him in it to show to any serious girlfriends he gets. That's not mean at all! I'm such a loving relative :)

Anna: you know, to catch up properly, I think I really need some alone time with them. All of them, all to myself... erm, I mean... erm... look! A distraction! (Love the new cover, by the bye~)

Jeanne: it's blue, sequined, and rooster-sized. Need I say more? Need I?

PJ: Oh, yes! Fresh tortillas! Mmmmmm! I don't even eat anything requiring tortillas up here unless I can get my hands on some now, because once you've eaten ones so fresh they're still hot, you just can't eat anything less!

Jo: indeed I am challenging him, but I think it should be "Sí!" in this case! I'm not being too bad, though... you just don't mess with a rooster in a sombrero. That's a recipe for trouble, chica.

Louisa: aw, shucks! I missed you guys too! Given that I now have humiliating pictures of him, I don't know if the GR is all too happy with me at the moment, but all I can say is... mwahahaha!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Pissenlit, drool for the fondue - and the waiter!

Anna Campbell said...

AC, isn't it incredibly frustrating about that haze. I did a driving tour around the lakes and really didn't see anything more than a few yards in front of me because of the haze. The postcards told me the scenery was magnificent but that was about the best I could do.

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks for swinging by, Denise!

Anna Campbell said...

Chey, laughed at the steak pie in Scotland. I've had wonderful salmon in Scotland too! And they use whiskey in a lot of their cooking which isn't hard to take at all!

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, I think one of the things about those fairy stories is that they speak to a deep part of all of us. I love Cinderella, personally!

Anna Campbell said...

Pat, love the sound of your mum's cooking. My mum made the world's greatest roast dinners - never found anything to compare!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Helen, you'll love the Greek Tycoon's Unexpected Wife. That's one of my favorites of Annie's. Stavros, the hero, is just so king of the world when it starts - and then everything goes to pot with Tessa's arrival. LOVE it!

Anna Campbell said...

Lois, smell is an amazingly powerful sense, isn't it? This will make you laugh - when I was really little (younger than five because we left that particular house), Dad used a really strong-smelling herbicide. Occasionally I smell that same chemical mix and suddenly I'm right back in the dark under that house. It's so vivid. Yeah, I know, REALLY romantic memory!

Anna Campbell said...

Lynz, isn't that a lovely cover. And not long till it's on the shelves! Whoo-hoooo!

Lady_Graeye said...

I love to drink homemade mead. It takes me back to ancient England and the days of King Arthur or when mean wore kilts in Ireland. I have had some really good Italian food which makes me feel like I'm in Italy.

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Lady Graeye, the mead sounds really great. What romantic associations!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, everyone, for a great day in the lair. Annie, you've been a pleasure to host, as always. Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who won the books! Good luck!

Annie West said...

Lynz, the GR pics sound great, but not as good as the fresh limes - yum!! And if you're making key lime pie, can you give my your address. I'm always willing to travel if the rewards are worth it!

Annie West said...

Anna, what a lovely thing to say about my Unexpected Wife story. It was great fun seeing how Stavros' absolutely certainty that he ruled his world to order started crumbling from the moment one beautiful woman invaded his life. It was great seeing how he coped (or didn't) with that.

Annie West said...

Hi Lady Graeye,

The mead sounds terrific. I always thought it was potent, or is that because it's served warm? Always seemed the thing to have at a picnic by a castle or a feast!

Annie West said...

As always, I've had such a fun time with you all. Thanks banditas and friends for the warm welcome and for sharing your food reminiscences! Yu-um! I'll draw some winners for my book giveaways soon and Anna can post the details later.

Hope your weekend is full of great books and at least a little time to enjoy them!