Savakis is Sensational!
Posted by Anna Campbell Nov 21 2011, 12:02 am
By Anna Campbell
I’m delighted to welcome back lair favorite Annie West who has a wonderful new story to tell us about and some news of recent travels to share.
I loved THE SAVAKIS MERGER and you will too. It’s got all Annie’s trademark passion and emotion and drama – and one VERRRRRRRY sexy scene in particular that readers are going to adore. I’m not alone in my enthusiasm for this book. The reviews have been great, including a rave from Romantic Times who called this book “a warm, passionate tale of revenge, betrayal and the healing power of love.”
Here’s the blurb for THE SAVAKIS MERGER:
From society queen…
Only hours ago she was a tempting stranger. Now Damon Savakis knows who she really is – Callie Manolis, society ice-queen and duplicitous niece of his arch enemy…
…to his unwilling mistress!
Yet when Callie’s avaricious uncle loses the Manolis money, she is at Damon’s mercy and is forced to become the Savakis mistress. But Damon is unprepared for her bravery, poise and purity in a world full of greed. She’s paid her dues as his mistress… he’ll take her as his willing wife for free!
You can read an excerpt and see pictures of some of the places that inspired this story here: http://www.annie-west.com/savakis.html
And don’t forget you can find out more about Annie and her books on her website.
Welcome back, Annie. I’m so excited to have you in the lair to talk about your wonderful THE SAVAKIS MERGER which is out this month from Harlequin. Can you tell us about this story?
Well, you may have heard of it under the title ‘The Savakis Mistress’ (its UK and Australian title). It finaled in both the Australian Romance Readers Awards and in the Colorado Romance Writers’ Award of Excellence Contest and I’m so chuffed it’s finally on sale in North America. It’s intense and sexy and very emotional. Callie and Damon are two of the most vivid characters ever to inhabit my head and I sometimes felt I wasn’t creating their story as much as taking notes about one that I was privileged to eavesdrop on.
After being railroaded while young into an arranged marriage and suffering nightmarish years tied to a controlling older man, Callie is free at last. Now she’s just had her first taste of passion – with a stranger. To her horror she finds the sexy guy who’s just swept her off her feet has arrived in her home not to claim her, but to take her shy, unwilling young cousin in a business deal marriage like the one Callie’s just escaped. She’d thought she’d learned all there was to know about manipulative, cold-hearted men, but now she revises her opinions. She’s determined to thwart his plans any way she can.
As for Damon, after a lifetime pursuing his goal of righting past wrongs, he’s on the verge of success, only to be distracted by a woman who slices straight through his plans. Discovering she’s there as part of her uncle’s stratagem to save the family fortune means she’s played Damon for a gullible fool and he’s only too ready to turn the tables, no matter what the cost. When she challenges him to release her cousin he agrees to be persuaded, if Callie becomes his lover.
This story plumbs Callie and Damon’s deepest held emotions and their weak points. But they also get an unparalleled opportunity to discover what makes the other tick. And they’re surprised to discover there’s a lot to like.
What inspired you to write this story?
I’d once written a story about an extravagantly wealthy and in control Greek businessman who is busy celebrating his engagement to a gorgeous woman when a stranger gatecrashes the exclusive party. The stranger turned out to be the wife he’d thought dead for several years. You can imagine what fun I had with that little scenario…Anyway, as I was writing it I discovered I was fascinated by the fiancée who got jilted when he wife appeared. Not that the fiancée was in love with the hero, but I began to question why she’d agreed to a loveless marriage in the first place. I wondered about her past and more, her future and wanted to write her story. However, the story didn’t come together until I realised that Callie (the woman I’d been imagining) had a different backstory completely. Instead of being jilted out of a loveless marriage, she’d been forced into one and now bears the scars. I pictured her as stronger for it, but damaged too. She’s learned to hide her feelings and project an image of elegant disdain that’s far from the truth. Seeing history about to repeat itself with her docile young cousin, she’s determined to step in and save her.
The other inspiration for the story came from Greece. You know those gorgeous photos of emerald green water and white secluded beaches rimmed by pine forests? I saw Callie and Damon there in my first scene and from there the story just ran away with me.
As you know, I adored GIRL IN THE BEDOUIN TENT, your next U.S. release (currently available in the U.K. and Australia). Can you tell the Bandita buddies about this story?
I let myself go with this book. You know when you have those flights of fancy and then crash back to reality and realise you can’t write that? Well I decided to write it anyway. It was such fun. Cassie is travelling through Tarakhar when the bus she’s on is surrounded by bandits from across the border. Twenty four hours later she finds herself in a desert encampment, being given to a visiting sheikh. Bad gets worse when her captors chain her to his bed.
Amir is visiting the renegade encampment on serious business – to put an end to the dangerous incursions into his territory. The last thing he needs while trying to negotiate a settlement is to be distracted by a sexy love slave in a skimpy dancing girl outfit. Nor does he expect her to attack him the moment they’re alone.
For various reasons they’re stuck with each other for a week, till they can return to Tarakhar. Cassie finds a week sharing a bed with a strong, sexy hero difficult. As for Amir – well, I admired his fortitude. Both are slow to trust, especially Cassie who’s seen what being a kept woman did to her mother. Being cast as a sex toy, even for show, forces her to face her darkest past. Meanwhile Amir has his own reasons for not wanting love or anything approximating it. But, since neither can get away they have to face both their fears and the storm of desire that batters them. It’s a story about passion, trust, betrayal and love. It’s out in North America in March.
Can you tell us anything about what you’re currently working on?
Well, I’ve just finished my first ever Beauty and the Beast story (you know all about those, Anna) and I’m in the very, very early stages of a story about a couple who have the odds stacked against them. She’s promised to another man and the hero is (you guessed it) that man’s best friend. They’re driven together by circumstance and kept apart by duty. I’m guessing it will be a story packed with tension, anticipation and strong emotions. And that’s just for the author! If I can manage to get all that onto the page I’ll be very happy.
I’ve been lucky enough to read this. An amazing story. You’ve recently been on a fantastic European trip. Please tell us about that and perhaps share some highlights.
Anna, it was truly terrific. I’d love to go travelling every year. Wouldn’t that be glorious? I was away through September and part of October, first in England, where I met my lovely editor over lunch, and then some wonderful British and Irish Mills and Boon authors over lunch, bubbly, dinner, bubbly and breakfast. Though it was a quick trip we also got to see other friends which was brilliant. In addition we visited Hadrian’s Wall, the remains of a Mithraeum (I’m an ancient history geek and this was right up my alley), ruined castles, Buckingham Palace, the marvellous Claridges Hotel for high tea, and various other sights. We stayed in an oast house and went to dinner at a pub called The Rat. Where but in England? France was fabulous too. We stayed in Paris’s smallest apartment just a hop, skip and a jump away from Notre Dame. We walked till our feet were ready to drop off and then we hired a car to investigate places like the Loire and the Perigord. We ate too much wonderful food, spent sunny days visiting quaint villages, elegant chateaux and farms where walnuts where being harvested. We (temporarily) lost our luggage to the bowels of Air France and spent a lovely end-of-trip week in Berlin with family and enjoying pure luxury of the sort to which I’d love to become accustomed. Did I mention I was introduced to the best chocolate croissants ever (in Berlin not France)? Adjusting to life at home has been challenging. The good news is it was all marvellous inspiration.
Annie, do you have anything to ask the Bandits and Bandit Buddies?
Since my heroine in ‘Savakis’ finds herself with an invitation to share a stranger’s bed (or else) and my heroine in ‘Bedouin Tent’ is actually chained to a man’s bed – how about sharing with us your thoughts on whose bed you’d like to find yourself attached to and why? Real or fictional is fine by me. I’ll give away signed copies of THE SAVAKIS MERGER to two people drawn at random from those who comment. If anyone stuns me with their ingenuity (like a rhymed or haiku or otherwise brilliant answer) I’ll offer one of my Aus copies of GIRL IN THE BEDOUIN TENT.
Ooh, double the joy! Thanks, Annie. Get commenting, people! And remember there’s a bonus for ingenuity
Posted in Anna Campbell, Annie West, Bandita Booty, The Savakis Merger