CELEBRATING 50 BOOKS!
Today the dh asked me if I ever thought, when my first romance was published, whether I'd ever be at this point in my career, celebrating the publication of THE SHEIKH'S UNSUITABLE BRIDE -- Book # 50. The answer was that I was just so thrilled to have my first book accepted, I couldn't possibly have imagined anything more exciting.
That's probably still true, actually, but there is something about a nice round number like 50 that demands a party so I thought I'd invite my friends to come and join in the cyber fun!
Each week during 2008 -- on Thursday (except for a couple of important dates when I'll post them a little earlier -- I'll tell you) -- one of my much admir'd authors will drop by to share the fun, and since all parties need games, offer a signed book for one lucky reader.
Today I have great pleasure in welcoming Presents/Modern author, Annie West. Annie, who has recently been nominated by Romantic Time for Best Presents of 2007, hails from Australia's east coast and once received a marriage offer which included a herd of camels!
Liz, thanks so much for inviting me to help you celebrate your career success so far – 50 books! From where I sit that’s almost unbelievable. Almost – because I and so many of my romance reader/writer friends have been enjoying your stories for a long time now. Congratulations on this landmark achievement!
I’m thrilled to start 2008 with the release of THE GREEK TYCOON'S UNEXPECTED WIFE, and to talk about it here.
This book emerged from a title that popped into my head one day: The Unwanted Wife. Once I had those 3 words I knew I wanted to write the story even though I didn’t know what it was about! For about 6 months as I worked on other projects I wondered why this particular wife was unwanted. I even became desperate enough to ask friends! They humoured me, supplying all sorts of reasonable explanations but none were quite right. Then, finally the story came to me and I became completely absorbed.
I enjoyed so many aspects of this story. A Greek island setting that made me long for another Aegean visit. A strong couple who were perfect for each other, if only they could overcome their differences. A good dose of melodrama (hey, I write for Modern/Presents), deep emotion, gorgeous gems and a situation that kept hero and hero in sizzling suspense. All I had to do was write it! Easier said than done.
Stavros is a powerful, obstinate man, used to getting things his own way. I took great delight in putting him in a situation where all his careful plans are destroyed, as well as his assumptions about Tessa. Poor Tessa doesn’t realise the trouble she’s unleashing when she arrives at his villa to return his ancestral ring.
'I'm sorry if I've come at a bad time. It wasn't my intention.' She tugged at her hand but he kept it in his. 'I'll leave now that you have your property.'
Would she indeed? And no doubt she'd head to the nearest press agency to sell her story.
Not if he had anything to do with it!
'I'm afraid not,' he murmured.
'But I'm not welcome here. That much is obvious.'
He nodded, acknowledging her point. 'True. But do you really think I'm so stupid as to leave you to your own devices?'
She opened her mouth, no doubt to protest. He cut her off with a single, abrupt gesture.
'Enough! I want no more of your pretensions to innocence. You will not leave the estate until I have the whole story from you and we come to some...accommodation about our circumstances.'
'Accommodation?' She shook her head, the very picture of bewilderment.
Her dramatic skills had improved in the last four years, he realised. When they'd first met he'd found her amazingly transparent in her thoughts and emotions. Now look at her: an accomplished liar.
'Of course, an accommodation. The situation requires careful...attention.' His fingers tightened round hers as he smiled.
'You surely don't think I'd have celebrated my betrothal quite so publicly tonight if I'd known I still had a wife?'
Writing about this story has reminded me of the fun I had creating Stavros’ Greek island. What is your favourite ‘exotic’ setting for a story? Maybe a place in one of Liz’s books, or elsewhere. Perhaps even a place you think would be perfect for a romantic story? I’d love to hear. And I’ll give away a signed copy of ‘The Greek Tycoon’s Unexpected Wife’ to one of the readers who provides a comment.
Happy New Year everyone, and happy celebrations, Liz!
In the meantime you have until Monday morning (US time) to leave your comments and have a chance to win a copy of THE GREEK TYCOON'S UNEXPECTED WIFE.
Whew! For a longer excerpt and to find out more about Annie and her books, check out her website