Posts tagged with: Anna Campbell

Vanessa Barneveld’s Winner!

BanditBootyThanks to everyone who swung by yesterday to turn my friend Vanessa Barneveld’s launch of her debut YA THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE into such a party. I’m delighted now to announce the winner:

DONNA FLINT!

Donna, please email Vanessa on ness @ vanessabarneveld.com (no spaces) with your preferred ebook format and the address where you’d like Vanessa to send both your Amazon $20 gift card and your download of THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE. Happy reading!

This Is Vanessa Barneveld!

v1I’m delighted to host for the very first time in the lair, my very dear friend Vanessa Barneveld, a triple Golden Heart finalist. Vanessa’s debut young adult romance THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE comes out from Bloomsbury Spark today!

Vanessa and I met some years ago, working as captioners on television programs for the Deaf. We bonded over a mutual love for romance and a shared dream to be published romance writers. I’m so happy for Vanessa that her dream has come true in such style!

Here’s the blurb for THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE:

When the one boy you crushed on in life can’t seem to stay away in death, it’s hard to be a normal teen when you’re a teen paranormal.

Sixteen-year-old Keira Nolan has finally got what she wanted—the captain of the football team in her bedroom. Problem is he’s not in the flesh. He’s a ghost and she’s the only one who can see him.

v2Keira’s determined to do anything to find Jimmy’s killer. Even it if means teaming up with his prickly-yet-dangerously-attractive brother, Dan, also Keira’s ex-best-friend. Keira finds that her childish crush is fading, but her feelings for Dan are just starting to heat up, and as the story of Jimmy’s murder unfolds, anyone could be a suspect.

You can find out more about Vanessa and her books on her website: http://www.vanessabarneveld.com/

By the way, I love the ‘ghostly’ pics Vanessa sent to accompany this article. The cemetery ones are from Camperdown in Sydney – and of course every paranormal writer needs cats, especially black ones!

Check out the great trailer Vanessa made for her book. That Dan’s a bit of all right, isn’t he?

Vanessa, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to host you at the Romance Bandits to celebrate the release of your first book THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE. Can you tell us something about this story?

v3Anna, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be in the Lair as a debut author! You and the Banditas have been so good to me over the years. (Waving to the Golden Rooster and the trusty cabana boys!) THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE was a finalist in this year’s Golden Heart YA category. It’s a paranormal that brings new meaning to “teen spirit.”

Sounds great! What were the inspirations behind this story?

The idea of ghosts is endlessly fascinating to me. As a child, I fed my imagination with a UK series of magazines called THE UNEXPLAINED, which was chock-full of paranormal phenomena. So it’s no surprise that this led me to writing ghost stories!

V 5As with most of my books, it was the title that came first. I don’t remember the exact moment it hit me, but from then on, characters started “talking” to me. Jimmy, the dead guy, had looks, talent and his own fan club. The world was at his feet, but it was ripped from under him in one terrible moment. My heroine, Keira, is clairvoyant. That means she sees dead people. Her character is loosely based on a member of my husband’s family who was psychic and helped police with investigations many years ago. Keira was a card-carrying member of Jimmy’s fan club. “What bugs me is that I’ve been invisible to Jimmy for years. Now that he’s dead, he finally sees me. There is no justice in the world,” she says.

V 6Oh, no wonder Keira’s a bit annoyed! What’s coming up next?

I’m partying for the next week – literally! I’ve got a stellar line-up of YA authors sharing spooky stories on my blog. Once the paranormal party’s over, it’s back to work on my follow-up book, AFTERLIFE GOES ON. I may or may not be traveling to Amsterdam to research that story. I’m partway through a UFO abduction book. It’s a ton of fun! I may or may not be traveling to another galaxy to research that story. Next year, I hope to continue my master’s degree in writing.

We love, love, love call stories in the lair. Can you please tell us yours?

With pleasure! I’ve been writing with the aim of publication since 1997 and have written eight or nine paranormal and contemporary YA manuscripts since then. In 2007, after facing more than 100 agent rejections on three different books, I signed with Writers House. (Third time lucky!) Then we proceeded to rack up so many rejections I was sure I’d make the GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS. The rejections were rarely about the writing—that was comforting!

V 7THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE was the fourth of my books to be shopped. Rejections galore, which I had come to expect. My agent submitted to Bloomsbury’s New York office in July 2013. A few days later, my sister and I went to London and we kept drifting toward the Bloomsbury area. Just by accident, but I thought it was a nice omen.

In March this year, my agent emailed me when I was at the day job and said she wanted to call me. I immediately thought, “Maybe she wants to drop me!” I quickly emailed a very wise and trusted friend who told me I was a total loon. (Not in so many words.)

As it turns out, my agent had the best news of all — an offer from Bloomsbury Spark! My workmates managed to find a bottle of champagne at 10 o’clock in the morning and we had a little celebration. The book received a Golden Heart nomination a few weeks after that.

v 8Great story! Young adult books are huge in the market right now, with all ages. What do you think is the appeal of the genre for the general reader?

I can speak for myself in that teen fiction allows me to see the world through a younger person’s filter. I like seeing how teen characters react against the problems they face and choices they have to make. It brings back great (and not-so-great!) memories of firsts – first kisses, first dates, first time you felt like you were growing into your identity.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Simplest advice? Read! Study the masters of your genre. I recommend reading out of your genre for a fresh perspective, too. If there’s one thing I know about writing it’s that I don’t know enough about writing! So whatever level you’re at, keep learning through workshops or craft books and blogs. Join an organisation for writers (e.g. RWA) where you can find a critique group, learn from others, and importantly, share what you’ve learned. And one last thing—just write. It doesn’t have to be Pulitzer Prize-winning prose, not in the first draft, anyway! Good luck! :-)

Great advice, Vanessa. Do you have a question for the Bandits and Bandita Buddies to get conversation going?

If you could have a paranormal power, what would it be and why?

BanditBootyGet commenting, people! Vanessa has very generously offered a download of THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE along with a $20 Amazon giftcard for someone who leaves us a message today. Good luck!

The Darcy Factor

Hi Bandits and Bandita Buddies! Today I thought I’d talk about one of my fave historical heroes. He might be over 200 years old, but we all still sigh over Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s immortal Pride and Prejudice.

Last year, I was fascinated (and amused) when a 12-foot statue of Darcy, including nipples under his wet shirt, in his Colin Firth incarnation was placed in the Serpentine in Hyde Park, bang in the middle of London:

p and pNot bad publicity for an old guy. They don’t even do that for the latest pop star! You wonder how many current romantic heroes will pack the same punch in 2215.

As someone who writes romance (and hopefully compelling heroes) for a living, I find the world’s crush on Darcy fascinating. I wonder what he’s got that places him so high in the feminine pantheon of wonderful blokes.

I think part of it is the eternal attraction of the cool boy. Darcy’s richer than anyone else in the story, except maybe the fearsome Lady Catherine de Bourgh. And it would be a brave person who had a crush on her!

Darcy’s handsome. He has a sophisticated sense of humour. He’s impressively clever. Among the many things I love about his exchanges with Elizabeth is that those two are clearly the smartest people in the room. Even while they’re fighting fate, it’s obvious that they’re made for each other.

p and p 4Another part of his attraction is that he’s so articulate. There’s something about that historical language when it’s used to persuade and seduce that turns me to mush. How about his first, disastrous proposal to Lizzie that starts out with, “In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you”? Wow!

Another heroic aspect of Darcy is that he’s willing to put himself on the line for the sake of the woman he loves. And without any expectation of reward. When he rescues Lydia from the disaster she’s got herself into with the vile Wickham, you know how it chafes at his pride to deal with his enemy. Yet, for Elizabeth’s sake, he does. Not only that, he succeeds – there’s a lot to be said for a competent hero!

We also admire that he sees beyond rank and fortune to Lizzie’s true value. We all love a Cinderella story, and Prince Charming in this particular one comes with the magnificent Pemberley as his palace.

Darcy’s generous enough to see the error of his ways by the end. We adore a self-aware hero who admits to the heroine where he went wrong. And there’s the delicious enjoyment of watching the journey as he struggles with painful change before he reaches his happy ending.

p and p 2So all round when people start talking literary heroes, I do a time slip and go back to the Regency when men wore coats, neck cloths, breeches and boots, and spoke in perfect sentences. Long Live Mr. Darcy! 201 and still going strong!

So what about you? Are you a Darcy girl? Who’s your favourite book hero, historical or contemporary? Do you think the old guys have something going for them that the current crop of whippersnappers don’t? Do you think any of today’s heroes have what it takes to last 200 years as worthy subjects of a literary crush?

Sandra Antonelli’s Winners!

BanditBootyThanks to everyone who swung by to give Sandra Antonelli such a great welcome on Friday. I’m now delighted to announce Sandra’s winners:

DEBBIE OXIER (Driving in Neutral)

SHANNON (For Your Eyes Only)

Congratulations, girls. Please contact Sandra on sandraantonelli! @ gmail.com (no spaces) with your e-book account information (email address and preferred format, Kindle or whatever) and she’ll get your prizes off to you. Happy reading!

 

Sandra Antonelli Is a Driving Force!

sandra 2I’m always so happy to bring you guys a great Aussie author to add to your TBR piles. I’ve known Sandra Antonelli for many years now – she’s incredibly fun company, she’s brilliantly clever, and she has a razor-sharp wit, qualities that translate into her wonderful contemporary romances.

Today, Sandra is visiting to tell us about her latest release DRIVING IN NEUTRAL. Here’s the blurb:

Levelheaded Olivia Regen walks away from her career in car racing and wreckage of a bad marriage to take on a job that’s far removed from the twists of racetrack. The very first day at work steers her headlong into an elevator with a handsome claustrophobe who turns out to be her new boss. The anxious little incident leads Emerson Maxwell to develop a curiosity in the methods cool-under-pressure Olivia uses to restore his equilibrium—and an even greater interest in her. Despite the intense mutual attraction, Olivia tries to out-maneuver Emerson and keep her distance. While she cures his fear of small, enclosed spaces, can Emerson convince Olivia that fear of falling in love again is just another kind of claustrophobia?

sandra 1You can find out more about Sandra and her books at her website: http://sandraantonelli.com/

Sandra, I’m delighted to welcome you to the Romance Bandits and congratulations on the release of DRIVING IN NEUTRAL. Can you tell us something about this story?

Thank you, Anna and all the Banditas, so very much for having me here in the Lair! Well, gee, I guess I like to think of DRIVING IN NEUTRAL as a love story about claustrophobia. The fear of being closed in, of not having space or room to move can manifest itself in a number of ways, not simply when it comes to being stuck in a small space. In DRIVING IN NEUTRAL, the hero, Emerson Maxwell has a deep anxiety about elevators and other tiny spaces, while Olivia, the seemingly fearless heroine has a similar, closed-in anxiety she’s not aware she’s hidden from herself.

Love the name Emerson Maxwell. Makes me think of Daphne Du Maurier! What were the inspirations behind this story?

sandra 4The only inspiration was the fact I met my husband in an elevator. There was no fear involved and we did not get trapped in the elevator the way the leads do in DRIVING IN NEUTRAL. That being said, I like to write about fear, particularly when it comes to love because what is scary than love? Nothing makes a person feel more vulnerable, nothing is more painful, and nothing leaves a more lasting mark than love.

What’s coming up next?

I have three stories going at the same time. First is CLEANING HOUSE, a James Bond homage of sorts that is a blend of romantic comedy and romantic suspense. The next, is a contemporary romcom I’ve titled TAKE ME I’M YOURS. It’s the third book in my Los Alamos series (the first two are A BASIC RENOVATION and FOR YOUR EYES ONLY) and it questions the notions of family, responsibility, and love. The third book, NEXT TO YOU, is actually completed and I am in the process of polishing it before I send it to my editor. It’s a little darker than most of what I write. Essentially, it’s about making assumptions and how appearances are deceiving.

sandra 3Lots for us to look foward to! As this is your first visit, can you tell us about your writing journey?

I won a grade 7 writing contest for a short story I wrote. Then I wrote in high school because my best friend was an awesome storyteller and I wanted to keep up. So I wrote shockingly bad stories where there was always danger and some kissing. My friend is still an awesome storyteller and I still write about kissing.

Since high school, I wrote on and off until about 10 years ago, I finally churned out a massive doorstop of a novel that will never see the light of day. A local author/university lecturer had a look at the work for me, told me I had some talent, and encouraged me to keep writing. So I did. I wrote 2 more books, wound up joining the Romance Writers of Australia, met a university lecturer who had an interest in romance fiction, and was invited to do a Masters Degree in romance fiction. I had to write a novel as a portion of that degree. The result was A BASIC RENOVATION. I don’t know what possessed me, but I got it in my head—I suppose because I had a bee in my bonnet about female stereotypes and ageism in fiction—that I needed to do a PhD, which culminated in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY and wearing an oversized robe and silly velvet bonnet on a stage.

sandra 7Congratulations on your doctorate! Could you share some of the surprising things you discovered as you researched the genre?

Thank you. I assure you that I am blushing madly.

What did I discover? I followed on research from my MA, which indicated that there was a gap in romance fiction that left out mature-aged women as romance heroines, or redirected the 40+ female lead to Women’s Fiction tales, where romance ceases to be vital to the story. My PhD examined the reasons for the redirection to Women’s Fiction, and highlighted that there are readers who want romance novels that feature mature-aged women as romantic leads, complete with wrinkles and life baggage.

The exquisite messiness of love isn’t just something young people experience.

Love “the exquisite messiness.” How true! The tagline on your website is “Quirky romance novels for grown ups…and smart asses.” Would you care to elaborate?

sandra 8The grown up bit is simple. I’ve always enjoyed reading about people who were older than me. I like that they’ve “been there, done that.” The characters in my romance novels are older than the norm. Most of them are middle-aged and are still trying to get “this thing called love” (Cue Cole Porter) right. The smartass part is because, well, I lean a little in that direction; I like snappy, quippy, rapid-fire dialogue. I like Rosalind Russell in HIS GIRL FRIDAY and Barbara Stanwyck in THE LADY EVE. Those two women epitomise smartass to me. Quirky, well, that’s probably because love can make people do bizarre things.

Do you have a question for the Banditas and Bandita Buddies to get the conversation going?

The women like Rosalind Russell and Barbara Stanwyck had an impact on me and influence the female characters I write, but mostly I have to credit my mother and her moxie as the biggest influence. No woman I know has ever had more gumption and sass than my tiny little 4’10” mother. What powerful, motivated, intelligent women had an impact on you? Were they someone famous or did you have a mama as ballsy and smartass as mine? Do you have a favourite smartass character from a book or movie?

BanditBootyGet commenting, people! Sandra has very generously offered up a copy of DRIVING IN NEUTRAL (international) for one visitor and a copy of FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (international) for another visitor to the blog today. Good luck!

And the Duke Goes to…

BanditBootyThanks to everyone who swung by to make the launch party yesterday such a hoot! The cabana boys are still cleaning up after all the shenanigans. We definitely sent WHAT A DUKE DARES out into the world in style!

The winners of the two signed copies of WHAT A DUKE DARES are:

DEBBIE OXIER

ANN GONZALEZ

Congratulations, Debbie and Ann. Please email me on anna @ anna campbell.info (no spaces) with your snail mail details and I’ll get your book off to you! Happy reading!

 

What a Duke Dares Makes Booklist Top 10 of the Year!

Duke low resThe prestigious journal Booklist has released its list of the top 10 romances published between September 2013 and September 2014 – and WHAT A DUKE DARES by Anna Campbell is on the list. You can see the whole list here: http://www.booklistonline.com/Top-10-Romance-Fiction/pid=7006915

Find Out What a Duke Dares!

Duke very low resWahooooo!

It’s a launch party in the lair.

You know how I love a launch party in the lair.

You know how I particularly love a launch party when it’s for a book I’ve written!

So ring (wring?) out the cabana boys! Fill up the margaritas! Let’s play Herb Alpert on the music system! And let’s party!

While you get yourself comfortable preparing to samba the night away, here’s some info about my third Sons of Sin Book, WHAT A DUKE DARES:

A reputation at risk…
What woman in her right mind would say no to marrying the dashing Duke of Sedgemoor? Miss Penelope Thorne, that’s who. She’s known Camden Rothermere since they were children – and she also knows she’d bring nothing but scandal to his name.
romeCam can hardly believe Penelope turned down his proposal. But if she wants to run off to the Continent and set the rumor mill ablaze, he can’t stop her. Then her brother’s dying request sends him to bring home the one woman he thought he’d finally gotten over.
The only way they’ll both get back to London without their reputations in tatters is to pretend they’re married during the journey. That means kissing like they mean it and even sharing a bed – until it becomes hard to tell where the game ends and true desire begins…

You can read an excerpt here: http://annacampbell.info/dukedares.html

If you’re a Romance Bandits lair member (and why wouldn’t you be? For a start, we offer fabulous prizes every month and give members access to exclusive material! Just click on the Members Den button up the top), there’s another excerpt here: http://romancebandits.com/check-out-the-exclusive-excerpt-from-what-a-duke-dares/

To buy from Amazon, just click on the gorgeous red cover up above. Otherwise, WHAT A DUKE DARES is available this month from all good booksellers in print and e-book.

Here are a few more buy links:

Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/What-Duke-Dares-Anna-Campbell/9781455557905

Rome 4Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-a-duke-dares-anna-campbell/1117543455?ean=9781455557905

Booktopia: http://www.booktopia.com.au/what-a-duke-dares-anna-campbell/prod9780732295141.html

Reviews so far have been lovely. RT Book Reviews gave Duke a Top Pick and 4.5 stars, not to mention a K.I.S.S. (Knight in Shining Silver) Award and called it “an extraordinary read.” Publishers Weekly said, “Campbell makes the Regency period pop” and they comment on the “romantic fireworks and “witty banter.”

Booklist said, “With its superbly nuanced characters, impeccably crafted historical setting, and graceful writing shot through with scintillating wit, Campbell’s latest lusciously sensual, flawlessly written historical Regency, part of the Sons of Sin series (A Rake’s Midnight Kiss, 2013), will have romance readers sighing happily with satisfaction.” Isn’t that nice?

Rome 2Given the illustrations I’ve chosen for this blog, you’re probably asking yourself why this party is taking place in Rome in what looks like a nuclear winter!

I was trying to come up with a theme for this launch and I thought I couldn’t do better than daring. After all, Cam needs to be daring to get his sweetheart just where he wants her!

Still don’t get all these Italian photos?

WHAT A DUKE DARES has an Italian connection. Once she knocks back Cam’s fairly unenthusiastic proposal, the heroine Penelope Thorne takes off for the Continent. The first chapter is set in an inn high in the Italian Alps where Pen is in big trouble and Cam turns up to save her. She’s grateful for that. She’s less grateful when he insists upon escorting her back to England. Most of the story takes place in England, but it starts out as two prickly, unwillingly attracted people on a road trip through Italy.

Rome 5The other reason I put up these Italian photos is that I wanted to remember a time in my life when I was daring and it paid off. When I was in my mid-20s, on my first overseas trip I took off for two years in England. I can still remember how utterly terrified I was when I got on the plane in Brisbane, having never been outside Australia before.

That trip ended up being one of the best experiences of my life and let me visit so many wonderful places including…you guessed it, Rome!  So like Cam, I’m in favor of being daring!

Oh, and that was many years ago – hence the rather strange coloring on the pics!

1BanditBootySo I thought today, I’d ask you to tell me (no X-rated stories please!) when you were daring and how it paid off for you. And there are rewards for your bravery! I’ve got two signed print copies of WHAT A DUKE DARES up for grabs (international). Come on, tell me when you took a leap of faith! I dare you!

 

 

 

Annie West’s Winners!

1BanditBootyThanks so much to everyone for giving Annie West such a lovely warm welcome yesterday. The winners of Annie’s DAMASO CLAIMS HIS HEIR are:

DEANNA

JANE

Congratulations, Deanna and Jane! Email Annie on annie @ annie-west.com (no spaces) with your snail mail details and she’ll get your book off to you. It’s a doozy of a read so I’m sure you’ll love it!

Annie West Claims an RT Book Reviews Top Pick!

Annie 6I’m delighted to welcome back to the lair one of our favorite guests, Australian author Annie West. Annie is here to tell us about her latest Harlequin Presents, the passionate and emotional DAMASO CLAIMS HIS HEIR.

Damaso is making friends all over with some wonderful reviews, including a Top Pick and 4.5 stars from RT Book Reviews. How’s this for a wrap? “West’s page-turner set in colorful Brazil is impressively perfect, starring her well-matched, rags-to-riches hero and her unjustly scandal-ridden royal heroine. Her illuminating, expert narrative brings the breathtaking story and the explosive lovemaking to life.”

Annie 2You can find out more about Annie and her books on her website: www.annie-west.com

Annie, congratulations on your Top Pick review from RT Book Reviews for DAMASO CLAIMS HIS HEIR. Well deserved! Can you tell us about this story?

Hi Anna, and thanks for having me to visit again! I always feel warm and fuzzy opening the door into the Banditas’ lair. Or maybe it’s those cocktails!

Snickering here at the way you seamlessly lob in the reference to the RT top pick review. Thank you, dear. I do so love it when someone (other than me) enjoys my characters’ journey.

In DAMASO, a slumdog millionaire meets a society princess and sparks fly. Their passionate affair ends in pregnancy and a proposal. But Marisa won’t settle for less than love. The question is whether she can find it with a man who doesn’t know what love is.annie 3

It’s a great read. What were the inspirations behind this book?

I’m fascinated by the idea of people who put on one face to meet the world, hiding a wealth of emotion in private, especially those living in the public eye. I came up with an idea for stories about three royal sisters, variations on that theme of a hidden inner world. But it became obvious that one was a loner and her story would work better if, instead of having devoted sisters, poor Marisa was alone in the world.

Marisa is a twin, and in my imaginings she’s just lost her twin brother. Imagine how much harder it would be for Marisa if she’d only had one sibling, one true friend in a world where she didn’t fit. So the sisters had to go, though I’m hoping to write their stories separately.

So there was Marisa, lost and alone, disapproved of by her extended family and even the public. She hides her true self behind smiles and a penchant for extreme sports. Enter Damaso, who built his wealth and power after a childhood of deprivation. He sprang fully formed into my head some time ago after watching a program about street kids in South America.

Annie 7Damaso also hides his real self. He’s never learned to love and he’s not interested in it. But he is interested in Marisa. For one glorious night they let down their guards, till things go wrong. Damaso has his own demons that drive him away from anything that makes him feel too much. So of course they were going to have to find themselves in a situation where they couldn’t just turn their backs on each other. That’s when Marisa discovers she’s pregnant. The book is about how two almost-strangers, each hiding their vulnerabilities and hopes, each with problems trusting, deal with this most momentous change in their lives.

What’s coming up next for you?

In November REBEL’S BARGAIN hits the stores. It’s my first reunion novel and a scorching hot lovers-into-enemies-into-lovers story. It’s part of a continuity of linked stories about the Chatsfield siblings and their family hotel chain. Rebel isn’t set in a hotel though. It starts in the Himalayas where my hero has been badly wounded while ice climbing (it’s dangerous being an Annie West hero – I love doing nasty things to them) then most of the story is set in a chateau in France’s gorgeous Loire Valley. Le sigh.

Part of the booksigning queue in Berlin.

Part of the booksigning queue in Berlin.

My secret squirrel agents tell me you haven’t been to Brazil and yet I found the setting one of the most compelling parts of this story. Can you tell us how you got into a Brazilian frame of mind?

Anna, I’ve wanted to visit South America for years but still haven’t made it, so I made do with books, television documentaries and the web. I’ve been in love with the idea of Brazil since I watched a long running Brazilian TV show years ago and fell for the look of the place and the cadences of the language. On the latter, I was lucky enough to be able to check the little Portuguese I used with a native speaker who was wonderfully helpful. I’ve spoken to people who’ve lived or visited there and tried to use some of what I learned in the book. One day though I want to visit and do some in depth research.

Annie working hard – researching her current wip in Prague.

Annie working hard – researching her current wip in Prague.

Those secret squirrels have been busy! They also tell me that you’ve recently had a European trip, including an appearance at the big Love Letter convention in Berlin. Can you let us in on some of the highlights of your travel? Can we expect to see any of those glamorous places making an appearance in forthcoming books?

What is it with you and furry little animals, Anna? Obviously they’re a good source of information.

Yes, I made a quick trip to Europe earlier in the year. Considering that’s 24 hours of flight time from Australia you can tell I really wanted to be there. The Convention was terrific, having the chance to meet up with so many other romance readers.

Other highlights? Prague. Big smile. If you haven’t visited Prague you have a treat in store. I’m just writing a wedding set in the old town there and it’s wonderful reliving my visit.

Annie getting a taste of Italy, researching her next novella.

Annie getting a taste of Italy, researching her next novella.

Also the Dolomite Mountains of northern Italy. I got to drive the multiple hairpin bends over the high alpine passes, surrounded by luxury sports cars and still found time to admire the views. That setting is going into a Hot Italian Nights novella I’m currently plotting. And I even managed to fit in a night in an alpine castle. We had a spare night and no accommodation booked so I did an internet search on castle stays in Austria, as you do, and hey presto! More fodder for future stories. Sigh. I do love research.

Sounds like a fantastic trip, Annie. I look forward to reading those wonderful settings in future wonderful stories! Do you have a question for the Banditas to get conversation going? Or should we all just go and have ice-cream? :-)

I want to visit Brazil one day, especially after writing Damaso and Marisa’s story. I want to taste the food, see the sights and get a feel for the place after all the research I did.

Is there somewhere you’ve read about and long to visit but haven’t yet made it? Have you ever looked forward to visiting a place (maybe after reading for writing a story set there) and then found the reality far different to what you’d imagined? Were you disappointed or intrigued?

1BanditBootyAnnie has very generously offered two commenters today signed copies of DAMASO CLAIMS HIS HEIR (international). So good luck people! 

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