Raiding the TBR pile


by Anna Campbell

As many of you know, my third book TEMPT THE DEVIL was released about ten days ago and I’m on a major blog tour to talk about it (if you ever want to know where I’ll be, please check out latest news on my website). So I thought today it might be nice to talk about some books that are NOT by Anna Campbell!

For months I’ve been promising myself a few days of sloth between Christmas and New Year. It’s an Australian tradition. The Boxing Day Cricket Test Match is on (as I write this, things aren’t going too well for the Aussies with the South Africans really tanning our hides. If we lose this match, it means we’ve lost the series and it’s the first series the Aussies have lost on home ground in 15 years. Ouch!). People are busy playing with Christmas presents and eating Christmas leftovers and it’s hot and perfect pool or beach weather. Well, as long as you have your sunscreen with you!

It’s also a perfect time of year for reading!

I’ve been attacking the huge To Be Read Pile. And while I’m far from conquering it, I have made some inroads. Books I’ve enjoyed in the last few weeks include PLAYING FOR THE ASHES by Elizabeth George (an Inspector Lynley book), THE LACE READER by Brunonia Barry, THE KISS by Sophia Nash, THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW by Denise Rossetti and QUEEN OF DRAGONS by Shana Abe.

I’ve picked out five books to talk about in a bit more detail. All were an absolute pleasure to read. So if you’re looking for some recommendations to fill a few hours’ reading time, look no further!

The book whose cover features at the head of this blog, NEVER ROMANCE A RAKE by Liz Carlyle, is a fantastic, intense historical romance with a ton of emotional punch. It’s also got Liz’s trademark wit and passion – seriously the love scenes in this are HAWT! One of the most compelling heroes I’ve read for a long time too. I picked this up yesterday and didn’t put it down until I finished it. Highly recommended!


Amy Andrews who’s a Bandita regular (when she’s not breaking her arm to avoid us!) writes really emotional, heartfelt Medical romance for Harlequin. I’ve had her THE ITALIAN COUNT’S BABY on my TBR pile for a long time. Sorry, Amy! It’s been one of those years and I knew once I started this book, I wouldn’t want to stop. What an absolutely lovely story about an unlikely love between two damaged people. And as a bonus, there’s a stack of wonderful, drool-making descriptions of scenery on the Amalfi Coast, courtesy of Amy’s recent visit. The great news for American readers is that this book was chosen as a special Presents Extra release in the United States and you can order it from Amazon (just click on the cover). Generally, Harlequin Medicals aren’t available in the U.S. but this one is! Huzzah!


A book that’s been in the TBR pile since I went to the RWA conference in San Francisco in July is Rachel Gibson‘s TRUE CONFESSIONS. This won the RITA for best contemporary romance back in 2001 and it’s now been reissued in the Avon A line. What a charming, funny, gorgeous romance! It’s a fish out of water story (love that theme!) where a big city girl who writes tabloid stories about aliens kidnapping tourists and Elvis living in the Bermuda Triangle heads off to the wilds of Idaho for six months when her life in L.A. heads for the rocks. The hero, sexy local sheriff Dylan, is absolutely to die for and the story will have you laughing out loud as our heroine Hope runs into stranger creatures in the small town than she ever created out of her fevered imagination.

The next book is a delicious treat by Kelly Hunter who I recently hosted as my guest here on the Bandits. You all loved her and absolutely reveled in her dry as dust sense of humor. Her PLAYBOY BOSS, LIVE-IN MISTRESS is on the surface as light and luscious as chocolate mousse. There’s her trademark snappy dialogue and quirky characters. But underneath that sparkling veneer, this story packs a lot of emotional punch. It’s about taking a chance on love and letting go of old tragedy. I’m sure this book will come out in America before too long but as yet, there’s no confirmed date. However, the Book Depository in the UK will post books anywhere in the world without charging postage. It’s a great deal and even with the exchange rate, it makes it worthwhile checking for things that aren’t readily available in the North American market. You can order Kelly’s book here: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/WEBSITE/WWW/WEBPAGES/showbook.php?id=0263863913


As a lot of you know, I’m a huge fan of Madeline Hunter. I’ve loved her work ever since Isolde Martyn from my Sydney crit group brought home an ARC of Madeline’s debut BY ARRANGEMENT from the Washington conference back in 2000. I think Madeline’s such a smart, elegant writer and I love the way she creates unusual, compelling characters. Her first books are medievals but over recent years she’s moved to the Regency. SECRETS OF SURRENDER is the third in her series based around the aristocratic Rothwell Brothers and their associates. The second book LESSONS OF DESIRE was a very deserving RITA winner this year in the Long Historical category. SECRETS OF SURRENDER has all the hallmarks of Madeline’s style – smart, offbeat characters (I particularly enjoyed the self-made hero), a plot grounded in real life elements of the Regency, an intelligent, rebellious, headstrong heroine, sizzling sexual tension. Can’t wait now for the last in the series, THE SINS OF LORD EASTERBROOK which is out in February!

So let’s talk books! What have you read over the Holidays? Have you discovered any great authors in 2008? What were your favorite books of the year?

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Comments

128 thoughts on “Raiding the TBR pile

  1. 1
    flchen1 says:

    OOh, books!!!

  2. 2
    Virginia says:

    Congrats Fedora on nabbing that rooster!!!

  3. 3
    Anna Campbell says:

    Man, you girls are quicker than a Golden Rooster grabbing a Tim Tam! Only four minutes between you and the post had only JUST gone up!

    Fedora, congratulations! Virgina, SO close!

  4. 4
    flchen1 says:

    How fun, Anna! I didn’t read as much as I would have liked over the holidays, but maybe things will pick up in the new year! A few of the reads I really enjoyed last year were Beth Ciotta’s trilogy–Jinxed, Charmed, and Seduced; Stacey Kayne’s Wild books; Sarah Mayberry’s Blazes (Below the Belt was especially good, and I loved Amorous Liaisons because the H/h were dancers); Michelle Willingham’s Warrior series; Kate Angell’s baseball titles; and I finally read Loretta Chase’s Mr. Impossible–that was fabulous :) Plus many entirely too engrossing reads by you Banditas! And you’re all publishing more, so that TBR isn’t getting any smaller! ;)

  5. 5
    Helen says:

    Well done Fedora enjoy your day with him be careful though remember he was with p226 yesterday for target practise.

    Anna I am halfway thru To Tempt The Devil and WOW it is awesome but I have Bec Lex and Jake coming over for dinner so I have to put it down for a little while can’t wait to get back to Erith and Olivia.

    It was a shame about the cricket at least we one the 3rd test.

    I have Never Romance a Rake by Liz Carlyle on the TBR pile but I thought it was part of a series and want the first two books so as I can read them all must hurry and get them.
    I too loved Amy’s story I finished that one not long ago, I loved Sophia Nash’s The Kiss as well but you have given me a few more titles to get always a good thing. Denise Rossetti’s The Flame and The Shadow I really enjoyed that one.

    As for some great books I have read over the holidays I read Bronwyn Parry’s As Darkness Falls and that is a fantastic book not sure whether it is released in The States but it is an excellent read set in an Australian outback town.

    I have just finished Michele Ann Youngs The Lady Flees Her Lord a fantastic regency set story about a Lady with a fuller figure this is the second of Michels’s books I have read and really enjoyed them.

    I have just finished Annie West’s The Billionaire’s Bought Mistress and what an alpha hero Rafe is and I did love seeing a great heroine Antonia tame him.

    I am sure that this post is going to add heaps to my must get list and the TBR pile.

    Have Fun
    Helen

  6. 6
    seton says:

    I read and enjoyed both NEVER ROMANCE A RAKE and SECRETS OF SURRENDER. I liked the carlyle slightly more than the Hunter altho most years, I usually prefer Hunter to Carlyle. Both are two of the best historical authors in the biz right now.

    I might check out the Kelly Hunter.

  7. 7
    Anna Campbell says:

    Fedora, you did pretty well with the TBR pile! Well done! I bet you did what I did then – turned around and bought some more books! Sigh. Hey, some great stuff there. I met Sarah Mayberry at the Aussie conference last year. She’s great and I love her writing. Must check out her latest one. So glad you loved Mr. Impossible. That’s one of my favorites – Rupert is so adorable!

  8. 8
    Amy Andrews says:

    Oh my! What a nice surprise to fnd myself on at the Banditas :-)

    Thanks Anna.

    Oh I do so love these 6 weeks school hlidays. I’ve been catching up on my toppling TBR pile which now resides in 2 different spots – eek! And those RITA books will be arriving soon so I need to get a few more under my belt.

    I’ve just recently read Denise’s Flame and the Shadow which I adored. I’ve also read Rachel Gibsons book which I also adored – love, love love her comedic voice and sexy zing she has going on.

    I’m in the middle of reading a Marian Keyes – This Charming Man – which I’m really enjoying. Have also just finished 7,8,9, of that Plum girl which I cackled my way through. Her and Ranger finally did the deed! Woohoo!

    Oh! What next? Eat Pray Love has been tempting me for a while but I want to get through some shorter books first. Then of course there’s your new one, Anna. Oh and Kel’s…

    Sigh. Too many books. Too little time

  9. 9
    Anna Campbell says:

    Fedora, you’ll love Kelly’s book! Given there’s no postage, the Book Depository is definitely competitive with Amazon, etc.

    Hey, Helen, thanks so much for saying how much you’re enjoying Tempt the Devil! I hate when I’ve got a good book and people expect me to do something. Don’t they know I’m BUSY???!!!!

    Oh, the cricket was a bit woeful, wasn’t it? Although as you say, at least honor was saved when we won the third test. Never Romance a Rake is part of a series but I’d borrowed it off Christine and had to return it. It stood on its own pretty well, I thought. And the central romance is great.

    I’ve read Bron’s book. Doesn’t she do that brooding outback atmosphere amazingly well? Brrr! I was hiding under the bedcovers before I finished!

    I think Rafe and Antonia are among my faves of Annie’s. Mind you, that’s hard. They’re always great. I love that Rafe keeps pushing and she doesn’t give him an inch. I love a clash of the titans story like that! I’ll let her know you mentioned her book. She’ll be stoked. I must check out the Michele Anne Young. Sounds good – especially the fuller figure. All this reading has seemed to go with eating far too much chocolate!

  10. 10
    Anna Campbell says:

    Seton, one of the things I love about both MH and LC is that, while I might prefer one book over another, I’ve never read a bad book by either. The characters are always great and the plots are always compelling. I’m really looking forward to the last in the Rothwell series, THE SINS OF LORD EASTERBROOK. He’s been such an intriguing character through the series. I’m going to review that for RNTV in Feb which should be fun!

    Kelly has this amazing voice. You know sometimes you pick up something and go, wow, that’s just electric?

  11. 11
    Anna Campbell says:

    Amy, sounds like a few of us have been attacking the TBR pile. I’ve had yours waiting for ages – as I said, I didn’t want something I couldn’t put down when I was supposed to be working. LOVED that story – I got quite weepy there a couple of times. Brava, bella! And you really made me want to go to the Amalfi Coast!

    I’ve read a couple of Rachel Gibsons. Again, I’ve never read one I didn’t like. This one seemed to have some extra zing, though. Maybe I was in the mood for a contemporary romance!

    I’ve never read a Marian Keyes although I’ve heard lots of great things about her. Excellent news about SP and Ranger!

    I read Eat, Pray, Love. As expected, Eat was my favorite bit ;-)

  12. 12
    Virginia says:

    Hi Anna, I do like Madeline Hunter, I read her book Lesson Of Desire a few months ago. I will name a few that I read during the holidays. I read Georgett Heyer’s Lesson of Desire, Patricia Rosemore’s In name only. I like the Intrigue line pretty good. I also love anything by Elizabeth Hoyt.

    A couple of books during the holiday that really stood out for me would be Carrie Lofty’s What a Scoundrel Want was a great read. Rachel and the Hired Gun by Elaine Levine was a fantastic read, I just loved this book. I really recommend it if you like the western type romance. Both of these ladies are new authors.

  13. 13
    danie88 says:

    Sadly, I didn’t get much reading done during the holidays (started reading “Chasing Midnight” by Susan Krinard-still am in the process of reading it) I was busy preparing for my blog launch and all the holiday who-ha… :P

    great authors I discovered in 2008… oh there are tons… here are a few… Joey W. Hill, Jennifer St. Giles, Yasemine Galenorn, Monica McCarty, Susan Krinard…

    my top 3 favorite books of the year… “Castle of the Wolf” by Sandra Schwab… “Anything For You” by Sarah Mayberry… and
    “Breaking Dawn” by Stephenie Meyer…

  14. 14
    jo robertson says:

    Great topic, Anna!

    Congrats on capturing the rooster from P226, Fedora. I imagine he needs a break from all those strenuous maneuvers.

    I’m rediscovering Anne Perry through audio books, particularly the William Monk series. Smack dab in the middle of Michael Connelly’s latest book, THE BRASS VERDICT, and just starting Lorraine Heath’s In Bed with the Devil. I love when we have guests in the Lair and I get new suggestions for books.

    I just finished Foanna’s TTD last night and I cannot say enough good things about it!

    I’ve just gotten Kate Atkinson’s latest book When Will There Be Good News. She’s an amazingly complex writer and I love how she weaves so many different stories together to make one large tapesty of narration. Beautiful!

  15. 15
    Anna Campbell says:

    Hey, Virgina, thanks for the recommendations. I met Carrie in San Francisco. She’d just made her sale and she was SOOO excited. I even have a pad of postit notes for her book so I’ll have to buy the book, don’t you think? ;-) Glad you’re already a Madeline Hunter fan. See if you can find her medievals – they’re great!

  16. 16
    Anna Campbell says:

    Hey, Danie, thanks for the recommendations! I’ll definitely check them out. I haven’t read a couple of the authors you mentioned. There’s been a lot of buzz about Joey Hill. One of my writing buddies, Denise Rossetti, loves her stuff.

    Jo, I’ve never read Anne Perry although given my recent luck with historical mysteries – C.S. Harris and Deanne Raybourne, I should definitely try her. I’ve heard a lot of good things about her. I have to say I read a couple of Michael Connollys and they were a bit too full on for me. I’m a wimp when it comes to violence. Beautifully written but too scary for this little chicken (hey, Rooster, that doesn’t mean I wanna dance with you!). I love it when Lorraine comes to visit – she’s such a wonderful woman, isn’t she? Thanks, Suz, for inviting her!

    Hey, you liked TTD? How cool is that? Thanks for letting me know.

    One of my good friend is a Kate Atkinson fan – she’s Behind the Scenes in the Museum, isn’t she? I should read her. Oh, man, so many good books!

  17. 17
    danie88 says:

    yes, Joey W. Hill is awesome! I’d definately recommend her books to anyone… she’s a great writer :)

  18. 18
    Elyssa Papa says:

    Well, I read Julie James’s Just the Sexiest Man Alive a couple days into the new year, but it’s so good that I’m counting it for 2008 and 2009. It was such a fun romantic comedy and had a really sexy hero; I highly recommend it. I usually reread SEP each year, and this was no different. I simply love her work and have already pre-ordered What I Did for Love, which looks simply delicious.

    This year I “discovered” authors who’ve been published for a long time. I read Connie Brockway’s Bridal Seasons and immeditaley bought all her other historicals. I still haven’t read As You Desire and My Dearest Enemy, but that’ll happen. And I read My Lady Notorious by Jo Beverley, which I’ve had on my TBR pile forever and a day.

    I also really liked Jo Leigh’s Ms. Match and Kathleen O’Reilly’s books about the brothers in NYC (one of them is a bartender). JQ’s The Lost Duke of Wyndham and EJ’s When the Duke Return were other favorites.

    There really were a lot of great books I read this year.

    Ditto on the Hunter and Carlyle. Their books are always so good and reliable.

  19. 19
    Anna Campbell says:

    That’s what Denise says. I’ll definitely have to try her stuff, Dani.

    Ely, I’ve heard SO much good stuff about The Sexiest Man Alive (isn’t that a fantastic title – I’d buy it for that alone!). I agree with you about SEP and I’m really looking forward to the latest one. I read Natural Born Charmer back in August and just loved it. How could you not love a book that opens with the heroine trudging along the road dressed up in a beaver suit?

    And what a treat you’ve got ahead of you with Connie Brockway’s historicals. One of the things I love about her is her range of tone. She can write the most dramatic stuff and light as air comedy and do both equally well. Her contemporaries are great too if you haven’t read them. I’m really looking forward to So Enchanting, her new historical in Feb. Feb’s going to be a big month for me!

    Kathleen O’Reilly was a big discovery for me this year. I think she’s an amazing writer (Blaze has some great writers – Tawny’s another one). Another book of hers I really liked was Courting Disaster which was a Special Edition and absolutely sizzled with sexual tension. I must check out Jo Leigh. I haven’t read JQ’s latest two – must pull my finger out! ;-)

  20. 20
    Suzanne Welsh says:

    Congrats, Fedora!!

    Wow, Anna, you’re making me think to hard at this hour of the night!!

    I’ve enjoyed all the Bandit releases this year and if y’all haven’t read them, click on the covers in the sidebar and BUY them to read this winter!!

    I’ve read a lot of ARCs this year for interviews for the Bandit blog, and quite frankly loved them all:
    LaVida Vampire by Nancy Haddock
    In Bed with the Devil and Between The Devil and Desire by Lorraine Heath
    Jo Davis’ Trial By Fire and Under Fire, (which comes out in MAY 09)
    Better than Bulletproof by Kay Thomas
    Touched By Love by Tracy Garrett
    Tall Tales and Wedding Veils by Jane Graves

    Personal favorites:
    Master of Seduction by Karen Tabke
    A Seduction At Christmas by Cathy Maxwell
    Warrior by Kinley MacGregor
    Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon
    Lover Enshrined by JR Ward
    Into The Fire by Suzanne Brockmann
    Twisted Creek by Jodi Thomas
    The Seduction Of An Unknown Lady by Samantha James
    AND The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell also by Samantha James

    Currently reading:
    Just finished Julie Garwood’s newest Fire And Ice…and I loved it!

    Also have just started Iris Johansens’ return to Romance book, Treasure!! It’s got KADAR in it ladies, mmmmmmmmm

    And then Oh, I think I’ll tackle Tempt The Devil, then probably a Steve Berry book…there are two in my TBR

  21. 21
    Anna Campbell says:

    Suz, I 100% agree with you on the Bandit releases. It’s been a bumper year for us, hasn’t it? Hey, you’re awfully lucky getting ARCs! And what a great selection! You’ve introduced us to a stack of great writers here, Suz. Thank you! Although my Visa Card whimpers every time you get a guest on!

    What a great list you put together. For someone who said she was having trouble thinking, you didn’t do too badly, Bandita! Hey, cool you’ve got TTD! I hope you enjoy it.

  22. 22
    danie88 says:

    gosh what i wouldn’t give to get my hands on some ARC’s… :D

    a girl can dream can’t she? hehe :)

  23. 23
    Anna Campbell says:

    Dani, I think they’re getting harder to get your hands on rather than easier with the publishers tightening their belts. Oh, well, at least we’re keeping the industry going by buying books! Let’s give ourselves a pat on the back!

  24. 24
    Elyssa Papa says:

    Anna, the SEP opening to NBC is a classic. Loved it! And the ending—sigh. It made me want to have my own gypsy caravan. I don’t think the managers at my apartment complex would like it.

    Ohhh, I forgot about Tawny! I won a contest over here, and her book Risque Business was the prize. I gobbled that one up as fast as it got here.

    Kathleen’s heroes totally reminded me of NR’s heroes, especially the ones from the Chesapeake Bay series. Sigh. And, I’m looking forward to So Enchanting. I’ve read CB’s first contemp but not the second.

    And I’ve read more YA this year too. Loved Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games—such a great, fabulous, page-turning book. Definitely, definitely read this one! And Keturah and Lord Death which was a hauntingly beautiful romance.

  25. 25
    danie88 says:

    yes true true… *pats myself on the back*

    i honestly know that i’ll never be able to stop buying books… it’s like an addiction… haha :D

  26. 26
    Anna Campbell says:

    Actually 2008 was a catch up year for my on SEPs. I read a couple that I'd missed out on and there wasn't a dud in the bunch. I ADORED First Lady – I think she writes some of the best kids in the business. They're so real! And I read a couple of the Chicago Stars books like Heaven, Texas, which I really, really liked. She's an amazing writer. I love how she can turn on a sixpence from hilariously funny to heartwrenchingly emotional. It's a fantastic skill.

    Risque Business is a great read, isn't it? See if you can grab her backlist. Actually speaking of her backlist, did you see I'm giving one away on the Eloisa James/Julia Quinn Bulletin Board this week?

    http://eloisajames.net/board/viewtopic.php?t=6879&sid=961dcfe4f08b93b3344650d7457a19e9

    There's also Annie West's great debut A MISTRESS FOR THE TAKING and Bronwyn Jameson's TYCOON'S ONE-NIGHT REVENGE. Bron is a gorgeous writer – she does the most exquisite sensual tension.

  27. 27
    Anna Campbell says:

    Hey, I hadn’t thought about the Kathleen O’Reilly/Nora connection but you’re right. They’re REAL men. You can almost feel them (I wish!). The Chesapeake Bay series are still my favorite Noras. Gorgeous books!

    Hey, thanks for the YA recommendations. I’ll check them out too.

  28. 28
    limecello says:

    Congrats on the GR, Fedora!

    Hm… 2008 – I discovered Susan Lyons. LOVED her Awesome Foursome – may be some of my favorite books ever. Also … Meredith Duran was great – her debut novel the Duke of Shadows was great.

    Ummm… Kresley Cole… O_o Nalini Singh (it’s been a long year so it feels like I’ve been reading their books a lot longer) – I love both their new paranormal series.

    My TBR pile is formidable and continuing to grow – at this point I’m forgetting books on it. Eek.

  29. 29
    danie88 says:

    Oh! Tawny Weber’s book Double Dare… excellent read… one of my favorites… i have yet to read Risque Business though…

    The Chesapeake Bay Series is in my TBR pile… i should plan on reading that series this year :)

  30. 30
    Elyssa Papa says:

    Oh, Danie, I envy anyone who’s reading the Chesepeake Bay series for the first time. Cam is so . . . so sexy. You’re going to love the series so much!

  31. 31
    Jane says:

    Congrats on the GR, Fedora.

    I love Liz Carlyle, too, especially “A Deal With the Devil” and “Beauty Like the Night.” Over the holidays I read Beverly Barton’s “Dying For You,” Patricia Potter’s “Behind the Shadows” and Wendy Roberts’ “Devil May Ride. My favorite reads of 2008 besides the Bandita books include Karen Rose’s “Scream For Me,” Pamela Clare’s “Unlawful Contact,” Jo Goodman’s “The Price of Desire,” Colleen Gleason’s “When Twilight Burns” and Cindy Gerard’s “Show No Mercy.”

  32. 32
    Anna Campbell says:

    Limecello, I’ve got a couple of Nalini’s on the TBR pile too – loved the first couple of her paranormal series. I’ve heard great things about Meredith Duran (met her in SF too, she’s lovely) and Kresley Cole. Must check out Susan Lyons. Oh, dear, I can feel another trip to Amazon coming on.

    Dani, get out those Nora books now. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

  33. 33
    Anna Campbell says:

    Ely, isn’t it lovely seeing how the couples develop through that series? I just love it! They’re actually books friends of mine who don’t like romance love – absolutely universal.

    Jane, I’ve just ordered The Devil You Know, which was recommended to me. Looks like I need the A Deal with the Devil too. I loved The Devil to Pay. That won the RITA a couple of years ago and I wasn’t at all surprised. Great book. Thanks for the other recommendations. The weird thing is I think I read a LOT and yet there are so many good books I miss out on. I wish somebody would pay me to read! ;-)

  34. 34
    Anna Campbell says:

    Jane, did you know our guest on Tuesday is Pamela Clare?

  35. 35
    Kelly Hunter says:

    Anna, I’m thrilled that Playboy Boss Live-In Mistress made your fine reads list! Flattered too. Tickled a particularly flattering shade of pink. Chuffed.

    Writing has taken precedence over reading for most of these christmas hols but I did sneak in some beauties (still waiting for your Devil to arrive)

    Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Scion – my oh my it’s lush and intoxicating. Barbara Samuel’s No Place Like Home – again, so lyrical and gorgeously written. I went on a wee Barbara Samuel fest after that.

    The writing voices I love the most are so different to mine. Do you find that? That you admire most the stuff that you can’t do? I find that.

    Therapy would help…

  36. 36
    Anna Campbell says:

    Kelly, lovely to see you. And thank you for a gorgeous read with PBBLIM. Pure pleasure from beginning to end.

    Actually I think that’s a really perceptive comment that we most admire the things that are most foreign to our native talents. Must be why I like ballet! LOL. But seriously, the voices I love are people like Barbara Samuel (she’s amazing) who don’t write at all the way I do! Did you read In the Midnight Rain which is Barbara S writing as Ruth Wind? Absolutely gorgeous book although sadly out of print now. See if you can get it secondhand, if you haven’t read it. It’s fantastic!

    Hey, hope my devil turns up soon and that he tickles your fancy! That would tickle me pink too!

  37. 37
    Minna says:

    I didn’t have very much time to read during the holidays, but I did manage to read some books by Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb. As for new discoveries… I have to check my pile of books first…

  38. 38
    Authorness says:

    Oh, I love looking at other people’s TBR piles. I’ve got my eye on some of the one’s you’ve just read, Anna, especially Denise’s book.

    I’m currently enjoying Loretta Chase’s ‘Mr Impossible’ and Allison Rushby’s YA, ‘Blondetourage’. I’ve just finished lovely Annie West’s ‘The Desert King’s Pregnant Bride’and I’m about to start on her ‘The Billionaire’s Bought Mistress’.

    Vanessa :)

  39. 39
    Kelly Hunter says:

    In a fit of forward thinking I bought Barbara Samuel’s In The Midnight Rain at the bookstore at the last RWAus national conference – her first ‘big book’ I believe, and in it she really reached full and glorious voice. Wistful sigh. If you haven’t read any of her stories, well… what can I say? Go and grab one.

    Many of her category stories were divine too. Try Jezebel Blues…

  40. 40
    Kelly Hunter says:

    Elyssa, Chesapeake Bay Cam is divine no doubt about it, but Ethan’s my man. All that slow burn patience. All that need. Somebody get me a fan!

  41. 41
    Suzanne Welsh says:

    OOOOOOO Anna, wait til you see who I have coming this year.

    The firefighters are making a return trip.

    I’m introducing a new Urban Fantasy series and debut author.

    And rumor has it I might sit down to talk with one of the masters of Historical Westerns!

    And people keep giving me ARCs so I can ask some questions!! hehehe

  42. 42
    Christine Wells says:

    Hi Anna, that’s a quality list! I always love Liz Carlyle’s and Madeline Hunter’s books. Didn’t want to read the first chapter of The Sins of Lord Easterbrook in the back of SOS because this is a book I can’t wait to get my hands on and I don’t want to be tantalized even more!

    Another great read was Kelly Hunter’s. I devoured that one in a sitting. Kelly is laugh-out-loud funny and such a lovely lady, to boot. I’m looking forward to reading our Amy Andrews, too and the Rachel Gibson sounds really cute.

    At the moment I’m reading Julie Ann Long’s Like No Other Lover and loving it. JAL has such a wonderful wit and verve to her stories. Even her description of a room imbues the furniture with personality.

    Looking forward to reading everyone else’s recommendations!
    Congrats, Fedora!

  43. 43
    Anna Sugden says:

    Great topic, Anna. I didn’t get to read as much as usual over the holiday – too many visitors!

    But, I did manage to read Susan Mallery’s ‘Sweet’ trilogy which was awesome. I’m so happy they’ve re-released one of my favourites of her books – Falling for Gracie. No-one does depth of emotion, humour and clever story twists like Susan.

    I also caught up on a couple of Kathleen Kane’s – I managed to get some of the ones I hadn’t yet found. Many of you know her as our fab BB Maureen Child – she’s one of the best western historical writers too!

    Another book I enjoyed was The Source by my friend Michael Cordy – not a romance – but a thrilling read. Dan Brown-esque but much, much better.

    And Kathleen Long’s Christmas Confessions. Lovely romance and chilling twists! Awesome.

    So many books I enjoyed over the past year – and as part of my new year’s resolution, I’m going to enjoy more as try to read a little every day.

    Next up on my TBR pile are Tess Gerritsen’s latest, Wild Jinx by Sandra Hill (she is one of the funniest writers!), The Matters at Mansfield (the Mr and Mrs Darcy mysteries – fab!), Mariah Stewart’s No Mercy and Allison Brennan’s last trilogy – to name but one small pile.

    I know I shouldn’t have put in another Amazon order – but you know it is!

  44. 44
    Anna Sugden says:

    Oh yes on the Kate Angell baseball books! Fantastic – I adore the Bat Pack!

    Love SEP’s Chicago Stars series, Rachel Gibson’s hockey boys, Deirdre Martin’s New York Blades (even if both of those ladies support the wrong team *g* – though Jane may disagree with me!) – so glad to see sports heroes getting their time in the sun – now if only I can get someone to buy my hockey hunks!

  45. 45
    PJ says:

    Busy adding all these fab books to my TBB list. 2008 was a banner year for romance. I read 151 books and so many of them were wonderful. Here’s my top 10 in no particular order: Duchess by Night (Eloisa James), Immortal Warrior (Lisa Hendrix), Into the Shadow (
    Christina Dodd), Like No Other Lover (Julie Anne Long), Seduce Me at Sunrise (Lisa Kleypas), Skinny Dipping (Connie Brockway), Some Like it Wicked (Teresa Medeiros), The Edge of Desire (Stephanie Laurens), The Spymaster’s Lady (Joanna Bourne) and Trial by Fire (Jo Davis).

    Honorable mention goes to The Lost Duke of Wyndham (Julia Quinn), The Mistress Diaries (Julianne MacLean), Price of Desire (Jo Goodman), To Taste Temptation (Elizabeth Hoyt), The Duke of Shadows (Meredith Duran) and To Sin With a Stranger (Kathryn Caskie).

    Hendrix, Bourne, Davis and Duran are all terrific authors that I discovered in 2008.

    Favorite category debuts last year were Beth’s Not With Her Family and Trish’s A Firefighter in the Family. I’m eagerly anticipating the next books from both of them!

    Favorite westerns were Touched by Love (Tracy Garrett)and The Loner (Geralyn Dawson).

  46. 46
    Joan says:

    Great post, Anna!

    Wow, I’m constantly reading so to pinpoint for the year would be difficult.

    I gravitate toward historicals and/or paranormals though I won Kelly’s Playboy Boss, Live In Mistress (squealing, dancing around)and have that on the top of the TBR pile.

    Nora’s Blood Brothers series
    JR Ward’s Lover Enshrined
    CL Wilson’s Tarien Soul series
    Shanna Abe’s Dragon Queen
    Acheron by Sherrilyn
    Untamed by Pamela Clare who yes, will be with us this week to share her world of hot Scots

    And of course, TTD which was WONDERFUL!!!!

    Now off to get ready for my critique group. My partner Lisa Tapp WON the Hot Prospects contest in Contemp. Woohoo!!!!

  47. 47
    Louisa Cornell says:

    Wow, Fedora! Great Rooster Grab! You and Virginia were neck and neck there.

    Great recommendations, La Campbell. I have Never Seduce a Rake on my TBR pile. Need to move it up. I love Liz Carlyle and Madeline Hunter too.

    The Kiss by Sophia Nash was a great read.

    Since Christmas I’ve read :

    A Seduction at Christmas by Cathy Maxwell – Great story!

    Dark Obsession by Alison Kent – a really great Gothic historical!

    His Woman by Diana Cosby – this is a fabulous medieval in the old style we love with great sex!

    Simply Perfect by Mary Balogh – I LOVED this book, but then I love anything by Mary B!

    When the Duke Returns by Eloisa James – One of the best in the series.

    My favorite reads of 2008 ?

    Anything by Anna Campbell, of course!

    Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale – not a new book, but new to me.

    I know there are more, but my brain is not awake yet!

  48. 48
    Susan Sey says:

    I'm pathetically predictable on holiday reading. I never treat myself to hardcovers so on Christmas my family just goes out & buys anything by Nora Roberts/JD Robb in hardcover because they know I haven't read it & am lusting for it.

    This year I also got the hardcover of the latest William Kent Krueger, a Minnesota based mystery writer I LOVE. His Cork O'Connor mysteries never fail to suck me in. Red Knife was his latest & for my money his best.

    But as for new authors, I actually really really liked Jessica Andrew's (is that her name?) book about the endtimes as based on the Mayan Calendar. We got it as a freebie at the RWA conference this year & I totally loved it. Am waiting for the next one to hit the shelves at B & N.

  49. 49
    Minna says:

    Well, one great author in 2008 I dscovered was Candace Camp and her series about Morelands.

  50. 50
    Minna says:

    I liked Nora’s Blood Brothers series. Well, I still haven’t read the last book, since I’m still waiting when it would arrive to the library. Not to mention some of those in Death books I haven’t read yet.

  51. 51
    Trish Milburn says:

    Right now, I’m reading Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward and loving it.

    Elyssa, I have The Hunger Games up next. I got it from the library, and it has a million holds on it, so I have to read it in the next couple of weeks.

    Some of my favorite books from last year other than my Bandita pals’ releases were: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer; Host by Stephenie Meyer (her first non-Twilight-related book); The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray; The Bleeding Dusk and When Twilight Burns by Colleen Gleason; Remembered by Tamera Alexander; and Glass Houses, The Dead Girls’ Dance, and Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine.

    Oh, Suz, who is the urban fantasy author? I’m a big fan of that genre.

  52. 52
    Trish Milburn says:

    PJ, mwah! I love you. Thanks so much for listing A Firefighter in the Family. I’m always tickled pink when anyone says they like it.

    Though I need to write today, it’s rainy and what I really feel like doing is curling up and reading all day. I haven’t done that in forever.

  53. 53
    Christie Kelley says:

    Good blog, Anna. I’m glad you had time to get a little rest in.

    Since I’m supposed to be writing, I tend to shift my reading to contemporaries. I’m just about finished with Size 12 isn’t Fat by Meg Cabot. It’s fantastic and I don’t know why I haven’t read her before now.

    I’m not sure what’s up next. I have to go to the book closet (my office closet has a wall of shelves for my books) and see what sounds interesting.

  54. 54
    Trish Milburn says:

    Christie, I’ve not read Meg’s adult books yet, but I love her Mediator YA series and Avalon High, also a YA. As you all can tell, I read a lot of YA.

  55. 55
    Suzanne Welsh says:

    Trish, her name is Jaye Wells.

    And the first book in her series is titled, “The Red Headed Step Child”.

    She’ll be visiting us in late March when the book is to debut.

    **whispering to Trish** “The ARC is third in my TBR pile right now, hehehe”

  56. 56
    Suzanne Welsh says:

    OOps, no “The” in that tilte. Sorry.

  57. 57
    Janga says:

    I read so many good books last year that I could never list them all. I read 168 new romances and reread 106 old favorites in 2008 plus a fair number of mysteries and an assortment of poetry, biography, history, and literary fiction.

    My #1 read of the year was Pamela Morsi’s Last Dance at the Jitterbug Lounge. I’ve read it three times now. The first time for the story, the other reads to marvel at Morsi’s craft. She blends a WW II setting with a contemporary one and uses dual male povs in a way that may be unique.

    Jo, I read Will There Be Good News? too and immediately started looking for Kate Atkinson’s other books. She’s wonderful!

    I thought 2008 was an especially strong year for debut authors. I read many that I know I will look for their next books with eagerness. Most have already been mentioned, but I have to add Sherry Thomas to the list. Private Arrangements joined my list of all-time favorites, and I found her second book, Delicious, intriguing.

    The new year has started well too. I’ve already started my Best of 2009 list because it’s hard to see how anything can top three of the books I’ve read since January 1: Carla Kelly’s Marrying the Captain in typical Kelly fashion makes ordinary people extraordinary; Anna Campbell’s Tempt the Devil has her usual darkness and sizzle, and in Olivia and Erith, an H/H who linger in the reader’s mind long after the book is closed; Barbara O’Neal’s The Lost Recipe for Happiness has the same richness of character and life-affirming, love-as-redemption theme that I’ve always found in the stories this author wrote as Barbara Samuel and Ruth Wind. Don’t you love it when favorite authors write new books that make you fall in love with their writing all over again? :)

  58. 58
    Anna Campbell says:

    Minna, I read my first J.D. Robb a few weeks ago and now I see what all the fuss is about! Great stuff!

    Vanessa, that's a pretty good selection you've got going! You'll love Rafe and Antonia – it's one of my favorites of Annie's. U.S. guys, hope they publish it soon in the States for you. You're missing out on a treat. Annie wrote it for an anthology to celebrate the Mills & Boon (Harlequin in the UK and Commonwealth) centenary last year. It absolutely sizzles! Hey, glad you've finally picked up Rupert. I wouldn't mind picking up Rupert…

  59. 59
    Anna Campbell says:

    Kelly, I’m still looking for Jezebel’s Blues. I LOVE her categories. There’s a lovely one called Rio Grande Wedding (I think!). I love the way she writes cross-cultural romance. Have you read Lady Luck’s Map of Vegas yet? It won the RITA a couple of years ago and it’s absolutely fantastic. It made me cry!

    And I see you’re another Chesapeake Quartet fan! Aren’t they great? So much heart. I actually like ALL the heroes – clearly I’m a faithless flirt ;-)

  60. 60
    Anna Sugden says:

    Oops – I meant Mercy Street by Mariah Stewart. And I forgot to add JD Robb and Suz Brockmann are on my TBR, along with Tori Carrington’s Foul Play.

    *sigh* too may books!

    Susan – I think you meant Jess Andersen – who we’re hoping will guest with us shortly to talk about her ‘Keepers’.

    I loved Geralyn Dawson’s The Loner too PJ – I can’t understand why her publisher leaves her books so long between releases – I adore anything by Geralyn, historical or contemp. Her McBride series is awesome!

    Suz – you got me on to Julie Garwood’s contemps. I’m working my way through them.

  61. 61
    Anna Campbell says:

    Suz, I think you actually hide around corners and knock poor authors on the head to steal their ARCs! I don’t believe that question line for a moment! Hey, looking forward to Jo and her firefighters coming back and everybody else!

    Christine, I had exactly the same reaction to the excerpt of Lord Easterbrook. I’m already frothing at the mouth for this one. Didn’t want to torture myself unnecessarily. Actually I have a love/hate relationship to excerpts. If they’re really good, I find it so frustrating that I haven’t got the rest there! I agree with you about Julie-Anne Long. Her The Perils of Pleasure was one of my best reads from last year. Really enjoyed it!

  62. 62
    Anna Campbell says:

    Anna, lovely to see you all the way from the Old Dart! Why do they call it the old dart? It can’t be because people play darts, surely! Anyway, I’ve got a Susan Mallery on the bookcase that I picked up in SF. I must read it! I know she’s one of your faves. Hey, I didn’t know Maureen C wrote westerns. She was such a great visitor this week, wasn’t she? Great list of recommendations. I haven’t actually read any of the Jane Austen spinoffs. Maybe I should. I truly believe it’s better for my writing if I’m reading regularly. I think my subconscious starts working when I’m concentrating on someone else’s story rather than my own!

  63. 63
    Anna Campbell says:

    Anna, I KNOW your hockey hunks will get their time in the sun. Which makes it a good thing that they don’t play ICE hockey!

    Hey, PJ, your organisation puts us all to shame! And what a great list! I must admit there’s quite a few there that I haven’t read so I’ll have to get moving. There WERE some great Bandita books last year, weren’t there? Makes you proud to put your address down as the lair!

  64. 64
    Keira Soleore says:

    Out of the 91 books I read in 2008, my top twenty books in no particular order are:

    1. The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn
    2. Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas
    3. Blue-eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
    4. All Through the Night by Connie Brockway
    5. Skinny Dipping by Connie Brockway
    6. A Lady’s Secret by Jo Beverley
    7. The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne
    8. Scandalizing the Ton by Diane Gaston
    9. A Sinful Alliance by Amanda McCabe
    10. Flirting with Forty by Jane Porter
    11. Not in the Flesh by Ruth Rendell
    12. Why Mermaids Sing by C.S. Harris
    13. Snowfall at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
    14. Untie My Heart by Judith Ivory
    15. The Dangerous Duke by Christine Wells
    16. Untouched by Anna Campbell
    17. Pitch Black by Susan Crandall
    18. Careless in Red by Elizabeth George
    19. Atonement by Ian McEwan
    20. Christmas Wedding Belles

    Fedora and Virginia, that was tooth-n-nail.

  65. 65
    Anna Campbell says:

    Joan, lucky you, having Kelly’s book waiting for you. I think you’ll like it a lot! Wasn’t she a great guest (still smiling at the picture of Bella Mary the pig!)? Hoping to get her back again before too long. Great list of goodies there. And thanks for mentioning TTD! I’m stoked you liked it, as you know!

    Louisa, it’s been great to see how many people here are already fans of Liz Carlyle and Madeline Hunter. I think both of them put out such a quality product. Great list! I didn’t have a book out in 2008 but 2009 will be a bumper year for me. TWO BOOKS!!!

    Hey, did I tell you guys I’ve got a title for the book I handed in in October? It’s going to be called CAPTIVE OF SIN. Which is pretty darned sexy, I think. It’s out next November.

  66. 66
    catslady says:

    So many good books and so little time to read them all. My tbr pile could bury me (something my husband says will happen one day lol). I just finished Shadow Rider by Kathryn Dennis and enjoyed it. I also started Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett which I think may end up my favorite. It’s a big book so it’s going to take me a while. I always love to hear what others are reading (and thus the large tbr pile!!). Also my daughter moved close to home and she too is a big reader and lends me all her books lol.

  67. 67
    Helen says:

    Anna
    I love the title of your next book sounds lush but November is a long way away yet.

    I forgot to say how much I loved all of the Bandits books from 2008 there are only 2 I have to get yet but I have read the others and loved them and am loking forward to the releases this year.

    My must get list is growing with each post

    Have Fun
    Helen

  68. 68
    Kirsten says:

    Anna, I rediscovered two of my favorite authors over Christmas — Eloisa and Julia Quinn. And there’s a certain Anna Campbell book that’s burning a hole in the TBR pile right now…but my faeries are calling, so it may be a little while before I get to it. :-(

    Is the Liz Caryle book the one she was in the Lair talking about? Where her naughty hero needs to be punished? I need to read that one…

  69. 69
    PJ says:

    Squeeee! The mailman just delivered a prize box of 11 books from Tote Bags ‘n’ Blogs and I haven’t read any of them! There are four single titles and lots of assorted categories ~ including millionaires, virgins and Greek tycoons. :)

  70. 70
    Anna Campbell says:

    Susan, what great recommendations. Those free books at RWA are a great intro to authors you’re unfamiliar with, aren’t they? That’s how I came to read Deanna Raybourne. Those Minnesota books sound great. And I think the hardback buying is a wonderful idea. Hardbacks are an endangered species here. Too expensive. The last one I bought was $60! For some reason, though, Aussies LOVE trade paperbacks. I’ve never quite worked out why. You pay twice as much for the same text as a mass market and they’re much harder to store. Clearly, I’m an old-fashioned girl! And I must say getting my books in TP here is always a thrill. Those covers look great in the big format.

  71. 71
    Anna Campbell says:

    Minna, thanks for the recommendation! One of the nice things about series books is if you do discover a new author, you’ve got all those connected reads ahead of you. I’m still catching up with the In Death books. Loved the first one!

    Trish, I’ve got Phury’s book waiting for me. Looking forward to it. Thanks for the great recommendations. I must admit all the hype about the Twilight books actually worked to turn me off. I’m terrible like that – never go and see the blockbusters either!

  72. 72
    PJ says:

    I adore anything by Geralyn, historical or contemp. Her McBride series is awesome!

    I agree V-Anna. I have all the books in the McBride series (re-read them this past summer) and The Loner was a terrific kick-off of her new historical series.

  73. 73
    Anna Campbell says:

    Trish, isn’t it lovely when somebody says they enjoy our books? One of life’s great pleasures! Enjoy your rainy day of reading. Because I’m blogging everywhere next week, I’ve got a couple of columns to write in between seeing what’s happening with the chat here.

    Christie, I’ve never read a Meg Cabot although they sound like great fun. Did you see the princess has now written her own historical romance? What a hoot! I’m like you – I tend not to read a lot of historicals when I’m writing a book which is why historicals tend to be what I binge on when I’m having a readathon. I’m happy to read anything with a good story, so that’s OK. I also read a lot of nonfiction when I’m writing. Seems to give my mind a bit of a rest from my story.

  74. 74
    PJ says:

    Christie, I already have March 3rd marked on my calendar. I loved Every Night I’m Yours and can’t wait to get my hands on Every Time We Kiss!

  75. 75
    PJ says:

    I enjoyed everything the Bandits published last year and am looking forward to all the wonderful offerings from the lair in 2009.

  76. 76
    Anna Campbell says:

    Suz, Jaye sounds like a great guest. Love that title!

    Hi Janga! Wow, you are a heavy-hitting reader! Actually because I’m reviewing some old favorites for Romance Novel TV, I’ve revisited a couple of classics in this last year too. And it’s been wonderful to see that in every case, the magic is still there. I’m currently reading Judith Ivory’s THE PROPOSITION for a review at the end of this week. Loving it. Mick the gorgeous ratcatcher has to be one of the best heroes ever written!

    I haven’t read Pamela Morsi (I’ve decided this column is a mistake – I’m going to be spending a fortune at Amazon soon!). Must check her out.

    Thank you so much for including Tempt the Devil in that stellar list. I know I’ve thanked you privately – but thank you again! I didn’t realise that Barbara Samuel/Ruth Wind had yet another pen name. Yay, more books! You’ll notice that Kelly has been raving about her books too. She was a guest at our conference this year in Australia and I was so happy to meet her at last. She was as lovely as I’d expected she’d be. And so smart and full of heart.

  77. 77
    Anna Campbell says:

    Anna, there’s been a lot of buzz about Jessica Anderson, hasn’t there? There’s a whole slab of stuff on RNTV about her that makes her stuff sound absolutely fascinating. I haven’t read Geralyn Dawson. Must check her out.

  78. 78
    Minna says:

    Oh, and then there was this book by Gemma Halliday. I just visited the Killer Ficiton Writers blog and it seems that Gemma and others will have an auction for a good cause soon.
    http://killerfictionwriters.blogspot.com/2009/01/reader-in-need.html

  79. 79
    Anna Campbell says:

    Hey, Keira, no wonder we get along so well. A lot of the books you read coincide with the ones I did – we’d clearly be fighting at the bookshelves!

    I haven’t read Lisa K’s contemporaries but I’ve heard such good things about them. Read The Devil in Winter this year which I thought was great – wonderful hero. Loved All Through the Night and Skinny Dipping, although I think I have a slight preference for Hot Dish which I thought was absolutely hilarious. I love Amanda McCabe’s writing – I’ve got her latest one High Seas Stowaway on its way to me right now. Flirting with Forty is great. Odd Mom Out is on my TBR pile. Glad you discovered C.S. Harris too – I think she’s an amazing writer and what a compelling hero she’s created in St. Cyr. Judith Ivory is one of my favorites – wish she’d write something new. As I said above, I’m currently re-reading The Proposition for an RNTV review and loving it. Christine is fabulous. Oh, and what can I say about Anna Campbell? (Thanks for including me, sweetie!) I loved Pitch Black. I read that book as a result of Susan Crandall visiting the Banditas. I’ve discovered a lot of great new authors that way. I’m making my way through the Elizabeth Georges. I only read the first one in November and I’m up my eighth, In the Presence of the Enemy. Love Havers! Read Atonement a couple of years ago – quite wrenching, isn’t it? Given how many books are out there, that’s not a bad number to coincide, is it?

  80. 80
    Minna says:

    And nearly forgot Suzanne McMinn and the paranormal series of hers. I should never check out her blog when I’m hungry. There are all those lovely pictures of FOOD…

  81. 81
    Anna Campbell says:

    Kathrynn was a great guest here too, Catslady. Her books are now definitely on my radar – although I must admit I haven’t yet read them. I’ve heard great things about Pillars of the Earth! You’re so lucky you and your daughter share a passion for reading. I really miss discussing the books we’ve read with my mum. She was a lifelong romance reader.

    Helen, sounds like your credit card will be suffering along with mine after this blog! Cool you like the title! Hey, November is only 10 months away. It was 14 months between Untouched and Tempt the Devil. 10 months is a mere doddle ;-)

  82. 82
    Anna Campbell says:

    Kirsten, I think that was indeed the book Liz was talking about. It’s great. By the way, doesn’t she get great covers? Good luck with your writing – I hope you get to TTD before he’s tempted away ;-)

    Hey, PJ, congratulations on the prize from Tote Bags. Lee has a great blog going there, hasn’t she? Pop round and say hello to me on Monday. I’m talking about Regency high life.

  83. 83
    Anna Campbell says:

    Ooh, that’s it, PJ, Geralyn is now on the list! Ack, my wish list is growing faster than my pants size. And given all the chocolate I ate over Christmas, that is saying something!

    PJ, there’s some amazing Bandita books coming out soon. I’m SOOO looking forward to Kate’s Homicide in Hardcover. It sounds like such fun and it features a smooth-talking James Bond-type hero. Yum!

  84. 84
    Minna says:

    Guess I should go to eat something. I was too busy watching David Attenborough’s latest documentary series. His books are good too, including his memoirs, Life on Air.

  85. 85
    Anna Campbell says:

    Minna, Gemma’s auction is for a great cause. Check out the Anna Campbell trade paperback collection. I’m giving away a parcel of three signed Aussie editions, the gorgeous larger format.

    Here’s the link again:

    http://killerfictionwriters.blogspot.com/2009/01/reader-in-need.html

    The auction will run from 19th to 26th January. I hope they make a motzah!

  86. 86
    Anna Campbell says:

    Ooh, Minna, never read Suzanne McMinn. Must check her out! I love David Attenborough – he’s a staple of TV here because we get so much BBC stuff.

  87. 87
    Minna says:

    Before I go to eat, I have to mention also Loreth Anne White. I really hope I’ll be able to get her latest book in my hands, because there is this partly Finnish heroine, Silver Karvonen.

  88. 88
    Minna says:

    Oh, here’s her blog. Really, don’t check it out if you are hungry.
    http://suzannemcminn.com/blog/

  89. 89
    Anna Campbell says:

    Minna, another writer I don’t know about. Thank you! And thanks for the link.

  90. 90
    Minna says:

    We get lots of BBC stuff, too. ;) And I even have an autographed letter from Attenborough. *g* Evidently he answers his mail himself.

  91. 91
    Christie Kelley says:

    PJ, you crack me up. I can’t imagine reading that many books in one year! And thanks for marking March 3 down. I’m more than a little nervous about this book. This is the one I wrote during the remodeling and had to write it in the coffee shops.

  92. 92
  93. 93
    Anna Campbell says:

    Minna, how lovely! I think he’s a marvelous man! Treasure that letter.

    Christie, at least you didn’t write the new book in bars. Now, then I’d really worry! ;-)

  94. 94
    Beth says:

    Wow, so many great recommendations! I have my TBR pile down to a manageable amount so now, of course, I’m itching to buy more books :-)

    Some of the new-to-me authors I read and loved in 2008 were Amy Andrews (fabulous! and such great humor *g*) Sarah Strohmeyer and Erin McCarthy.

    A few of the favorites I read last year include: YAs Best Food Forward by Joan Bauer, Fever and Prom both by Laurie Halse Anderson and Airhead by Meg Cabot.

    I recently finished Nora’s Blood Brothers trilogy and loved it. Also enjoyed Christie Ridgway’s Unravel Me, Erin McCarthy’s Flat Out Sexy and Rachel Gibson’s Tangled Up In You.

    And it goes without saying how much I loved all the wonderful Bandita books that were out last year *g*

  95. 95
    Beth says:

    PJ! Thank you so much! I’m thrilled you enjoyed NWHF *g* Congrats on your box of books!!

  96. 96
    Jane says:

    Hey Anna,
    It’s Rangers all the way. We do have the hottest goalie in the league.

    FoAnna,
    Thanks for the heads up. I love Pamela Clare.

  97. 97
    Anna Campbell says:

    Hey, Beth, how did you manage to get Amy’s books? I wish they were available in the States without trouble (as I said, the Count’s Baby is there, thank goodness!). She writes just beautifully, doesn’t she? Thanks for all the recommendations! Your book was one of my faves from last year too. You know that, because I told you ;-)

    Jane, I’m really looking forward to Pamela’s visit too.

  98. 98
    Suzanne Welsh says:

    Anna S….YES! Another JG convert!!

  99. 99
    Beth says:

    Hey, Beth, how did you manage to get Amy’s books?

    I was lucky enough to sit next to Amy at the Lit Signing in San Francisco *g* Plus, I believe Amy’s January Medical release is available at eHarlequin :-)

  100. 100
    Anna Campbell says:

    Lucky you! That was a bit of alphabetical good fortune, wasn’t it? And everybody, rush to eHarlequin!!!

  101. 101
    Janga says:

    Anna, I miss Judith Ivory’s writing too, and Laura Kinsale’s. And oh, I miss Maggie Osborne books!

    A new-to-me author in 2007 who became an autobuy in 2008 is Christine Merrill. I’ve read all five of her books and one novella now, and I love the way she uses Regency conventions with a twist. She also creates great characters, which is always my first criterion.

  102. 102
    Suzanne Welsh says:

    Janga, I too, miss Maggie Osborne books. She made characters come alive, didn’t she?

  103. 103
    Anna Campbell says:

    JANGA!!! I read my first Maggie Osborne this year. Bronwyn Jameson lent it to me because she’s such a big fan. It was called the Promise of Jenny Jones (I think) and was utterly amazing! Really unusual, really strong, fantastic writing. MO is such a discovery for me! I wish she was still writing too. And Laura Kinsale – but she, to me, is like the Beatles. 10 years or so at the top of her game, maybe that was how her creativity flourished.

    I’ve heard of Christine Merrill. I’ll have to check her out. Actually speaking of great Regencies, another one I really enjoyed in 2008 was Nicola Cornick’s Unmasked. It had some really unusual touches and was so emotionally intense.

  104. 104
    PJ says:

    Janga, I read Christine Merrill’s Christmas book, on your recommendation, and really enjoyed it.

    FoAnna, Janga is reason I’m so organized with my reading records. She’s the master!

  105. 105
    Anna Campbell says:

    Hey, Suz, another Maggie Osborne fan. I must see if I can find her stuff secondhand. I went looking on Amazon and it seemed they were all out of print. No, just checked – two are still available new. They’re now on the list. Oh, my poor aching VISA card!

  106. 106
    Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) says:

    Hi Anna! What a great blog. And look how many people are popping by on a Saturday. Must be snowing where they are…not HERE, of course…

    I got a lot of reading done this holiday and – HUGE FAN GIRL SQUEEEEEE – I just got Tempt the Devil yesterday! Whooohoooo! Grins.

    I adored all the Bandita books this year and reread Risque Biz over the holiday. I read Mercedes Lackey's Foundation, the latest JD Robb, the Nora trilogy, and reread our own AC's Wild Sight. I burned through a couple of older books I'd had at the bottom of the TBR pile – Laura Landvik's Tall Pine Polka and Angry Housewives Eating BonBons. I adored her first book and second as well. Tall Pine Polka wasn't as much my cup of tea, but Housewives was witty and acerbic and fun.

    I read several nonfiction books – one about signs and symbols and another about prosperity.

    It was actually quite a lot of reading in between house guests. :>

    Oh, I got the latest Loreth Ann White too – I think Minna mentioned her. She's a friend of our own Bandita KJ, and I met her at National and gave her latest a shot. WONDERFUL!

  107. 107
    Suzanne Welsh says:

    Anna, Maggie is one of the nicest, most generous ladies in Romance. I saw her at her last appearance at RWA, (I believe it was in Reno) and got her picture, that was when she told me she was retiring.

  108. 108
    Anna Campbell says:

    Jeanne, I’m wishing you snow! Actually I just heard a cyclone is setting up along the coast – one of the hazards of living in the subtropics. We’ve had a fairly stormy summer!

    Hasn’t it been an interesting discussion? And my wish list is now groaning from overwork!

    Excellent news about you finding TTD! Perhaps I should kidnap the Golden Rooster and only release him when everyone who visits the Banditas buys Tempt the Devil! Hmm, might be a thought… Although I’m not sure I could put up with his chookiness for too long!

    Sounds like you’ve done some great reading lately. My head is feeling much happier since I had my little reading binge a little while ago!

  109. 109
    Anna Campbell says:

    Suz, she’s retired, has she? In a way, that’s a relief. Often when people stop writing, it’s because something awful has happened to them. For example, poor Lisa Valdez has had absolutely horrible writer’s block. I thought she’d be a good stick – you can tell by her writing!

  110. 110
    hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna says:

    What have you read over the Holidays?
    I started reading Christmas stories and anthologies in October so for the most part that is what I was still reading over the holidays.

    Have you discovered any great authors in 2008?
    Only new to me, I found authors that have been writing for a while but I had never read them. Most I might add were brought to my attention by the Banditas.

    What were your favorite books of the year?
    In all honesty I can say that there is no way I can name favorites. I liked just about everything I read equally but for different reasons.

  111. 111
    PJ says:

    Jeanne, glad to hear you enjoyed Angry Housewives Eating BonBons. That’s my bookclub’s selection for this month. I’m headed to the library Monday to see if I can find a copy.

    No snow here but we are having slain. That’s rain that’s almost, but not quite, sleet. Pretty darn close though!

  112. 112
    Anna Campbell says:

    Hey, Dianna, nice to see you here! Fantastic that the Banditas are introducing you to a lot of new authors. It’s the same for me. I find that between the 20 of us, we cover all spectrums of the romance world and there’s some really interesting stuff out there that I wouldn’t have found on my own. Great you’ve had such a good reading year! Stick around! Who knows who we’ll introduce you to this year?

  113. 113
    Anna Campbell says:

    PJ, I’ve never heard of slain. Well, I have in terms of medieval knights doing each other in! How interesting! A hot day coming up here, I think, and I suspect a storm tonight. Be interesting to see what that cyclone does, though. I had visitors during the week so I’m doing lots of laundry today – hope it stays fine at least until the sheets dry. I can put a lot of things on the clothes horses but sheets are a pain.

  114. 114
    PJ says:

    PJ, I’ve never heard of slain. Well, I have in terms of medieval knights doing each other in!

    LOL! That’s what one of our local weathermen calls it. For all I know, he’s the *only* one who calls it slain.

    I hope that cyclone steers clear of you.

  115. 115
    Janga says:

    Anna, I think The Promise of Jenny Jones may be my favorite Osborne, although The Wives of Bowie Stone is a close second. Then there’s I Do, I Do, I Do, which has some of the funniest love scenes in romance history. :)

    Suzanne, do you think anybody else could have taken Rosie and Bowie and made them the H/H of a romance? Maggie Osborne is a genius IMO.

    PJ, a Merrill rec for a Duran is a good exchange. LOL! Are you getting organized to cast your top 100 vote?

  116. 116
    Anna Campbell says:

    PJ, I do too. Because we’ve had such funny weather patterns over the last years, this is the first real monsoon/cyclone season we’ve had for ages. I can remember as a kid Mum putting aside food and blankets and stuff in case the roof came off the house. Fortunately, it never did but they can do horrific damage.

  117. 117
    Anna Campbell says:

    Janga, the funny thing is when Bron gave me JJ, I thought, “This doesn’t look like my sort of story.” And then I loved it. I laughed, I cried, I lusted after that gorgeous hero, I cheered for Jenny. The whole thing! I heard so much great stuff about Meredith’s story – it sounded like a Regency noir, actually! ;-)

  118. 118
    Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) says:

    Hey PJ, you'll have to let me know what you think of Angry Housewives. :>

  119. 119
    Annie West says:

    No, Annie West is NOT really here. After being away from the computer so long, surely she’s glued to her wip. In theory…

    Anyway, sorry for appearing late, Anna, but wanted to say I’d finally managed to sneak a peek at your blog and as usual you have great stories to recommend. Oh, my TBR pile(S)! I have nothing to contribute by way of recent reading recommendations as all I’ve been reading for the last month are travel books and info picked up in local places as we moved from place to place. Sigh. It was hard but it had its own compensations. (G)

    Happy new year, Banditas!

    And Anna, mega congratulations on the release of TEMPT THE DEVIL! It’s another brilliant book. I’m looking forward to diving into it again and falling in love with the story yet again.

    Helen, if you’re there, thanks so much for the kind words about THE BILLIONAIRE’S BOUGHT MISTRESS. So glad you enjoyed Rafe and Antonia’s story. They really just leapt off the page for me as I wrote, which believe me, was distracting!

    Annie

  120. 120
    Trish Milburn says:

    Suz, looking forward to learning more about Jaye and her new series.

    Janga, I’ve not yet read any of Pamela Morsi’s contemporaries, though I have a few, but I adore her historicals. They are all on my keeper shelf.

    Anna, I understand hype working against something. I’m that way with movies sometime. But I adore the Twilight series. I would urge you to at least try the first and see how you like it.

  121. 121
    Anna Campbell says:

    It wasn’t that hard, Anoushka! I’ve seen some of the photos of Christmas in Salzburg and visiting Paris and all the fun you had in London and Germany. In fact, I don’t think you deserve any sympathy at all ;-)

    But then, you did congratulate me on TTD and say nice things, so perhaps a soupcon of sympathy…

    It’s great Helen loved Rafe and Antonia so much, isn’t it? I think they’re amongst your best!

  122. 122
    Anna Campbell says:

    Trish, thanks for the Twilight recommendation. I avoided J.R. Ward forever because of the hype and then just adored them when I read them so sometimes my aversion works against me. Don’t know why hearing about something endlessly turns me off it – perhaps I get bored with it before I pick up the actual object! Which is a bit silly! My oldest friend’s daughter is crazy about Edward and Bella. She’s horse mad too – makes visiting them quite interesting. It used to just be one subject I heard about endlessly. Now it’s two. Teenage girls can be slightly obsessive (the way the man on the cover of Tempt the Devil is slightly sexy!).

  123. 123
    Treethyme says:

    This was the year I discovered I liked historicals. I've been reading romance since I discovered Mills & Boon in about 1975, and before that I got my romance fix from Mary Stewart and Dorothy Eden.

    I still love a lot of contemporaries, and since I discovered paranormals in 2007, I found a lot of those I liked, too.

    I read a prolific number of books — you could say an obsessive number — and when I find an author I like, I tend to go back and read everything they've written.

    Authors I got hooked on this year:

    Anna Campbell (you rock!)
    Christine Merrill
    Joanna Bourne
    Madeline Hunter
    Shana Abe
    G.A. Aiken
    Connie Brockway
    Teresa Medeiros
    Kathryn Smith
    Nalini Singh
    Virginia Kantra
    Patricia Gaffney
    Joshilyn James
    Julie James
    Christine Wells
    Maya Rodale
    Julia Harper/Elizabeth Hoyt (both)
    Toni Blake (loved Letters to a Secret Lover)
    Anne Stuart (it will take a decade to catch up with her books)
    Christina Dodd's historicals (already liked her contemporaries)
    Donna MacMeans

    Kristan Higgins continues to amaze
    Old favorites include Linda Howard, Suzanne Brockmann, Linda Howard and (sometimes) Nora Roberts.

    I thought Wild Card lifted Lora Leigh into a whole new class of books.

    I liked Erin McCarthy's Flat Out Sexy a lot more that I expected.

    I'm liking Vicki Lewis Thompson's Hexed series more and more.

    I also like Carrie Vaughn's Kitty werewolf series.

    There's a lot more, that's all I can think of right now.

  124. 124
    Annie West says:

    Anna,

    No, I don’t deserve sympathy on the trip. The trip was just magnificent (sigh). Even better than expected.

    But I’m glad you’re not throwing things at me, since I said nice things about TEMPT! (Gee, that Campbell woman is so easy!). But then TEMPT is one of the best books I read in 2008 – a cut above, so it’s terrific to be able to brag about my mate’s terrific new release in public at last.

    Hey, thanks for the kind words on Rafe and Antonia. Now I’m really chuffed!

    Annie

  125. 125
    Anna Campbell says:

    Wow, Becke, you really ARE a prolific reader. Some great authors there (blushing to see myself in such wonderful company!). Glad we’ve turned you onto historicals. I’ve had a weakness for historical heroes ever since I was a little girl watching her first Errol Flynn movies so I’ve always been hooked on the genre! I love it when I get authors with a big backlist too – love glomming the whole collection.

  126. 126
    Anna Campbell says:

    Thanks, Annie. I'll be interested to see what you think of the final product. Poor Annie gets stuck with what is very much a work in progress and then I work off her pages and pages of notes to try and turn the wip into something I can hand in. Seriously, she is worth her weight in Belgian chocolate!

    I'm going to have Annie on as my guest over at the Eloisa James and Julia Quinn Bulletin Board. I'm the book club guest this month which gives me carte blanche to do what I want (pretty amazing). Thought I'd feature a few writers I like. Anyway, I'm going to ask her about Christmas in Salzburg if anyone wants to check it out towards the end of the week.

    Actually, there's been some really interesting discussion there already if anyone has a free five minutes (or five hours – it's been pretty hectic!).

    http://eloisajames.net/board/viewforum.php?f=85&sid=94c4f1d513ae26fe6ad0d112d3fc291b

  127. 127
    Anna Campbell says:

    Thanks, everyone, for an amazing day in the lair! With all these suggestions, I think it’s a good thing I’m not trying to fit a car into that three-car garage that is currently where I store my books. It’s been such fun to talk about books we love! See you all tomorrow!

  128. 128
    Leslie says:

    I read both of Deanna Raybourn’s books – Silent in the Grave and Silent in the Sanctuary and loved them.