Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tote Bag of Books Presents Special - Annie West

It’s Harlequin’s 60th birthday in 2009 and July has been designated Presents month. What a grand reason for a celebration! It’s my birthday this month too, so I’m in party mode.
Today's author is one of the great Australian authors who write for Presents. Up to a couple of weeks ago I might have said she was one of the newest Aussie authors but I've learned of a new Australian author whose book will be appearing very soon.

Annie has donated copies of her book The Greek's Convenient Mistress (a June release ) to the Tote Bag.

Welcome Annie -

Harlequin books have played an enormous part in my life. When I was a teenager I discovered the joys of romance between the covers of love stories set in exotic places all around the world. I’ve been a Presents reader for years, but I’ve also devoured Temptation, Desire, Intimate Moments, Intrigue and Romance.

I love a touch of glamour in my romances and a hero who can sweep a woman off her feet. Sigh. Is it any reason I’m addicted to these love stories? It’s wonderful writing them and such a thrill too to get to know other Harlequin writers who create just the sort of stories I love.

As we’re talking about birthday celebrations I thought I’m mention a few that stick in my mind. We’re planning a birthday weekend trip to the beautiful vineyards of the Hunter Valley (Australia) this month which should be lovely: gorgeous scenery, great company and total relaxation. Recently I was speaking to someone who celebrated a significant birthday in Venice with her husband. As she lives in Sydney, that’s no mean feat! One of my all time favourite birthday memories was of a sunny winter’s day in Canberra when I wasn’t long married. We couldn’t afford to go out to a fancy restaurant, much less go away. Instead we sat on the verandah of our newly acquired home (which at that stage didn’t have floor coverings or proper curtains) and had a lovely romantic picnic, watching the kangaroos grazing on the top of the hill opposite. It felt so special, celebrating with my husband in our very own home.

What birthday celebration stands out in your memory? Is it a treasured childhood recollection or something more recent? If you haven’t got special birthday memories, is there something you’d like to do mark the occasion in the future?

Costas Palamidis is a desperate man - desperate to save his daughter. He seeks out the only person in the world who can help her: Sophie Paterson. But their meeting is an explosive confrontation between two people shattered by grief. Costas comes face to face with a woman who embodies every haunted memory of his past yet presents an inescapable temptation. Can he trust her to help him, and trust himself to resist her?

When a furious Greek tycoon bursts into her home, Sophie’s anguish turns to outrage. She wants nothing to do with any man as callous and hard as this one. Yet she discovers a reluctant bond of understanding with this arrogant stranger. To help him she must return to Greece, face the family that disowned her and lay herself open to the shattering attraction between her and Costas. She can’t walk away, but will she survive the experience?

Annie's question for the contest is:

What is the title of Annie's current UK release?

You can find the answer on Annie's web site here


Laney4 said...

Hi! Thanks for adding your blog! As for your question about birthdays, I was only allowed one birthday party while growing up. I was in Grade 2 and everyone had to wear a dress. We jumped rope, played hopscotch, and threw a ball against the garage wall while clapping beats (I forget the name of that game). What I remember clearest was my embarassment, though.
I was born 50 years ago with a hole in my heart and spent most of my first 4.5 years in a children's hospital 100 miles away. I wasn't allowed to cry since birth, as I could choke and die (so they resuscitated me often, both at the hospital and at home in the middle of the night when the doctor had to rush over). I was in a crib until I could no longer fit and then had a roll-a-way cot with a high handmade wooden gate around three sides. My parents took the gate down the morning of the party, but they put it back up a few days later because I kept falling out of bed! Everything is fine now and I can recall that story and many others with gratitude for just being alive!

Annie West said...

Goodness, Laney, that's an amazing story. A friend of mine was born with a hole in the heart but luckily she was allowed to live at home. No wonder your birthday stands out in your memory.

Your mention of hopscotch and jumping rope brings back memories. We used to spend hours playing those.


Anna Campbell said...

Annie, what a great post. And I love the idea of the picnic on your front verandah with the wildlife looking on to help you celebrate the occasion! My family always made a big deal of birthdays and it's something I've carried on so I've got some great memories of birthdays. One was a surprise party my flatmates threw for me in my last year of university. For some reason, that night still sums up so much that I loved about being a student. Another was my birthday party my second year in England - I remember looking around and marvelling at all the wonderful new friends I'd made. Oh, and we drank French champagne which always adds a certain zing! My best friend put on a really swish 41st birthday party for me when I lived in Sydney. For various reasons, the 40th birthday party didn't happen so this was a replacement. It was a small but very select group of people I really loved and I remember the night with such fondness! Perhaps because we ate all my favorite foods!

Ah, the memories...

And congratulations on the book that's the contest question (I'm being cunning here, aren't I?). It's fabulous!

Annie West said...

Hi Anna,

Yes, you are cunning, not mentioning the name of my latest release! I'm thrilled you enjoyed it.

What fabulous birthday memories you have. Love the sound of a special 41st birthday instead of the missed 40th. And as for drinking French champagne with your new friends in England - what a treat! Some memories are special, aren't they and they just last and last.


Michelle Douglas said...

Hi Annie. I hope you had a lovely time in the vineyards -- what a gorgeous part of the world. My favourite way to spend my birthday is to drink champagne and eat pizza with my dh -- not very exciting perhaps but VERY satisfying.

Speaking of a different kind of anniversary, though. My dh and I were married in London 11 years ago and we managed to spend our wedding anniversary this year back in London -- had lunch at the Dorchester (which is where we spent our honeymoon night). I swear it is the best meal I have ever eaten! Now that was seriously satisfying :-)

Annie West said...


How wonderful to spend your honeymoon and your anniversary somewhere so special. Sounds like you had the most marvellous time.

We were just looking at some old photos recently, of us in our first year of marriage, living in Germany. I remember it so well - freezing cold, lots of snow but lots of friends around and very special indeed.

I bet you have a wonderful time with your pizza and bubbly.



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