Nice surprises are, I believe, one of the great joys of life. Like receiving an unexpected hug or breakfast in bed. Or a bunch of flowers that make your day seem so much brighter. I have fond memories of a bunch of vivid purple/blue irises and orange/red tulips delivered to me when I worked in a busy office building years ago. It was the middle of winter, I was engulfed in a huge and difficult task and I was missing my husband who was away. Outside it was grey, cold and wet. Then came the call to visit the front desk as something had been delivered for me. I expected another bundle of paperwork and instead I found a radiant bouquet that transformed my office and made me feel so special.
Then there are letters from friends or postcards from exotic places you’ve never seen yourself that come out of the blue. It’s wonderful to know your friends are thinking of you and have taken the time to share their news. Or getting thanked for something when you least expect it. Surprise packages are another favorite of mine. These days some of those packages contain copies of my books in foreign languages – so exciting! Or maybe it’s my latest book and opening it is like opening a birthday gift, waiting with bated breath to see what’s inside. (I love seeing my new book covers for the first time.)
Nice surprises come in all shapes. Recently a friend told me that one of my books from last year, The Sheikh’s Ransomed Bride, had been nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. I hadn’t even realised there was such an award. What a thrill!
What got me thinking about surprises? It was the release of my current story, The Greek Tycoon’s Unexpected Wife. Tessa’s arrival at Stavros’s waterfront mansion comes completely out of the blue. A nice surprise? Well, in the long run yes, for together they find the sort of love and commitment that we romance readers revel in. But at first? Definitely not. This is one surprise that Stavros, a man who has every aspect of his life under control, does NOT appreciate. And who can blame him? As he says to Tessa,
‘You surely don’t think I’d have celebrated my betrothal quite so publicly tonight if I’d known I still had a wife?’
Tessa, the wife he thought he no longer had, arrives at his villa on the very night he has several hundred guests gathered to celebrate his engagement to a gorgeous woman. A woman Stavros believes will make his life comfortable. Now his life is turned upside down by a wife who stands up for herself and gets under his skin in ways he’d never expected. What a surprise!
What surprises do you like? Which ones stand out in your memory as being special? Something momentous or something small and sweet?
I’d love to hear about the unexpected joys other people have experienced. And to encourage you, I’m offering a copy of The Greek Tycoon's Unexpected Wife to someone whose comment catches my eye. This is a good chance to get an early copy – it’s on sale now in Australia and New Zealand but doesn’t appear as a Presents in North America until the second half of May! If you want to read an excerpt, check it out on my website: http://www.annie-west.com/