Friday, April 11, 2008

Even More of a Good Thing - Annie West

What’s even better than a good book to read? A collection of good books!

Like when you discover an author or a series you enjoy, then you have the pleasure of reading the other stories in the series. Or when the present you receive isn’t a book but a collection of books. The promise of more to come is so appealing.

If I’ve enjoyed a story it’s wonderful to discover linked books where a theme, location, quest or characters carry on into other titles. Similarly I love anthologies – collections of stories by a favourite author, or by various writers. There’s something so luscious and satisfying about knowing you can dip straight into the next story when you’ve vanished the first one!

I started young. One of my first books was a fairy tale anthology. Large, hard bound in red, with wonderful evocative illustrations. I still have that book. As a child it seemed almost magical – as if there was a never ending supply of exotic, exciting tales between the covers. Even when I’d read them all I kept going back, poring over favorites and finding new details to enjoy.

Later I discovered other anthologies. Dr Dolittle, whose fantastic adventures kept me spellbound, and compilations of adventure stories. I read my way through series too, such as Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew. Every so often I discovered new authors in anthologies and I had a ball. There was the glorious anticipation that one book wouldn’t have to be enough. More were waiting. I worked my way through Tolkien, Austen, Wodehouse and EF Benson (love Mapp and Lucia).

Then I discovered romance...

Harlequin Mills and Boon books presented a never-ending series to be explored. Then there was Georgette Heyer, with a whole new world of regency-set romantic comedies to read. Mary Stewart too, whose stories of romantic adventure and suspense enthralled me as a teenager. My favourite was a huge anthology of 3 stories. I read it everywhere, even walking between classes. The first story I loved, and then there were two more waiting for me between the covers! Joy. I barely looked up for days.

These days I read anthologies of romances, or a series of them. Lots of reading pleasure to look forward to!

Now, to my delight, one of my stories in appearing in an anthology. My 'Billionaire's Bought Mistress' is released in the UK this month in a special centenary edition called 'Mills and Boon Presents...'. The collection of 3 full length novels aims to showcase some of Harlequin's new authors. As well as my story there are romances by Annie Burrows (regency historical) and Margaret McDonagh (medical). I hope readers enjoy this collection as much as I enjoy delving into anthologies.

Do you have favourite book collections/series/anthologies? I’m offering a book from my backlist to someone who contributes a comment.

Happy reading, everyone!


Look out for ‘Mills and Boon Presents...’ (in the UK or on the web at Amazon UK or Mills and Boon) AND Annie’s latest Harlequin Presents Extra ‘The Greek Tycoon’s Unexpected Wife’ is also available now from eHarlequin or in US stores in late May.

To celebrate the launch of the anthology, Annie, Annie and Margaret are running a contest in which one lucky reader can win three personally signed books. Details on the contest page of Annie’s website.


Anna Campbell said...

Ha! I get the Golden Rooster. Oh, that's right - wrong blog...


Annie, what a great post. I love anthologies. I love collections of short stories. It's like having a wonderful box of chocolates to play with. And I smiled to see you list so many of my favorites!

Congratulations on the release of the anniversary anthology. What an honour that you've been featured as such a major part of the 100th birthday celebrations!

By the way, you'll all love Rafe and Antonia's story. It's a doozy!

Annie West said...

Anna, I misread your message and at first I thought you were saying it was great to have an anthology AND a box of chocolates. I immediately got excited, thinking what a terrific idea that was. I'll have to pursue that one.

Thanks for the congratulations. It's fun being in a big, fat book! (G) instead of my usual category size edition.


Dina said...

Hi Annie,

I'm new to some of these words, so does anthology mean several books in 1? I have the Lord if the Rings trilogy, is that the same?

I don't have any fav series, but my small collections of all books is my fav. :)

Have a great day to all.


Gigi said...

I never get tired of reading Nora Roberts Donavan series.
But series books I think are more of a favorite of mine to read. I love reading about the same charactrers through three or more stories. It is like having old friends.

I used to be a Nancy Drew Mystery series reader when I was a young one.

Karen H in NC said...

Congratulations on the anniversary anthology. Sounds like a good collection. I must add it to my BTB list.

I love series books like Stephanie Lauren's Cynster nobels. Her work is among my favorites.

I like anthologies too. Especially those stories that my favorite authors write about secondary characters from other series novels. Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn and Sabrina Jeffries have all written stories included in anthologies that are linked to their series books.

acdaisy95 said...

I love to read anthologies, though I have read a few of them. I like to read to get the feel of different authors writing in one book. :) One anthology book I enjoy was Santa Baby by Jennifer Cruisie, Lori Foster, and Carly Phillips.

Ellen said...

I love series and anthologies. I started out reading series books just like you did --Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden. Cherry Ames, Hardy Boys(I had brothers). My only problem with series is I have a tendency to wait until I have all of them before reading any of them.

robynl said...

My favorite series is Sandra Brown's Texas Trilogy: Texas, Chase; Texas, Sage; Texas Lucky.
I like series where you can learn more of the characters from book 1.

Margaret McDonagh said...

As a child I was addicted to the horse books by the Pullein-Thompson sisters, Ruby Ferguson and the Flicka books. I also loved The Famous Five and The Secret Seven by Enid Blyton, Helen Dore Boyston's Sue Barton series, and the Adventure books by Willard Price.

Nowadays I love connecting or loosely linked stories - (which is also why I so enjoy writing them!) - and my favourites include Christina Jones, Jill Shalvis and Lori Foster. I have just discovered the amazing Christine Feehan and I am devouring her Leopard, Ghostwalker, Dark and Drake Sister books as fast as possible.

Great to share the anthology with you and Annie B, Annie W, and I hope everyone will enjoy it.


Annie West said...

Hi Dina,

Yes, you're right - an anthology is an edition that has more than one story in it. A lot of the time they're short stories but sometimes (like Lord of the Rings) they're full length and they're often very large (something I rather like as it means I've got lots of reading ahead of me - G)!


Annie West said...

Gigi - Yay, another Nancy Drew girl. I used to love the teen series books. I haven't read that Nora Roberts series - will have to look it up.

Karen - thanks for the congratulations. I really was thrilled to be asked too write for such a special edition. So you enjoy the Cynster novels? It sounds like we share a weakness for gorgeous, dark haired heroes!


Annie West said...

Daisy - thanks for mentioning Santa Baby. Jennifer Crusie is a long time favorite of mine and I haven't picked that book up yet. I'll have to check it out.

It is interesting, like you say, getting the feel of different authors' writing in one book. I found it fascinating to discover how Annie and Mags write by reading their stories in our anthology.


Annie West said...

Hi Ellen, it sounds like we read a lot of the same books growing up. Yep, I used to read Hardy Boys too!

Oh, you're so patient, waiting till you have a whole set before you read. I don't think I could do that. Some of the series stories I've read have had books published so far apart... like Dorothy Dunnett's historical books. Lindsey Davis too - she writes mysteries set in ancient Rome. You can read them separately but the love story between hero and heroine develops over the books so it's good to read them in order. The only trouble is they come out about once a year!


Estella said...

My favorite series is Evanovitch's Stephanie Plum books.

Annie West said...

Hi Robyn,

Thanks for the recommendation. That's another set of stories for me to look out for. It's great to have reader recommendations!


Annie West said...

Estella - Stephanie Plum! Isn't she fun? I find myself laughing out loud with I read those stories. Thanks for mentioning them!


Annie West said...

Hi Mags, nice to see you here. I've got Christine Feehan on my must read list as a number of people have mentioned her books to me.

Horse stories were big in my early years too. I wonder if they're as popular with young girls now?


Pat Cochran said...

Congratulations on your inclusion
in the special anthology! I enjoy
reading anthologies, especially
when time is limited. I always
hate to set a story aside to do
whatever my task. With anthologies,
I stand a better chance of reading
an entire story at one sitting!

Pat Cochran

Pat Cochran said...

Oops, I forgot to say that I do like
reading a series. I am currently
reading the Diamonds Down Under series and the Texas Hold 'Em series.
Let's face it, I just love reading
and it keeps my 71 y/o brain active!

Pat Cochran

Virginia said...

I love Constance O'Banyon's book. I started collecting her books over the years some were used when I got them. I have them all stored away in shoe boxes in my closet. I think I am a pack rat. My whole closets is full of books, not just hers it is a lot of different authors. I guess I just love books. If the book is really good or autographed I will keep it.

Annie West said...

Hi Pat,

Lovely to see you here. I'm thrilled to know that reading romance is the way to keep my mind active as I get older...any excuse!

I've got some of the Diamonds Down Under series myself set aside to read. Can't wait.


Annie West said...

Virginia, I'm chuckling here at your pack rat analogy. Guess what I've got boxes and cupboards full of? I recently bought some more bookshelves but obviously not enough!


Michelle said...

Congratulation on the anthology, Annie. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

Yep, count me in as another series addict. Enid Blyton got me started - Mallory Towers (I so wantted to go to boarding school); Children of Cherry Tree Farm (I so wanted to live on a farm); Hurrah for the Circus (I so wanted to run away and join the circus)

And then came the Anne of Green Gables series, which I go back to every now and again because it is such a delight.

Great post, Annie - enjoyed the nostalgia trip

Michelle Douglas

Annie West said...


Isn't it fun thinking back over the series books and anthologies you enjoyed? After this conversation I'm really tempted to visit some old favorites on my bookcases.


Jane said...

I love Lisa Kleypas' Bow Street and Wallflowers series. I'm also a fan of Stephanie Laurens' Cynster books.

Nathalie said...

I started being an addict when I bought my first Jane Austen books... and it has not stopped ever since.

Lily said...

I once won a buch of romances, and loved the experience of having books in my room, so I strated collecting romances of all kind... and series are always great. I am know going through the first of the Diamonds Down Under one.

nicki72182 said...

I love all the anthologies by Nora Roberts. Also, the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward.

Annie West said...

Hi Jane,

Another Stephanie L fan? And Lisa K too? There ares some great books there.


I remember my first Jane Austen book - like you, I was hooked immediately. And now there are so many terrific movies and TV adaptations of them too!


Annie West said...


Where else would you keep books but in your room (G)? I think I'd feel lost without some waiting to be read there.

Hi Nicki,

Some more great books you've mentioned. That's the problem - so many books and so little time!

OK, off now to pick a winner at random from all the comments that have been provided. What fun.


Annie West said...

Hi everyone,

I promised a signed copy of one of my books to someone who posted a comment today.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read my post and comment. I've thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the books you love now and the ones that were important to you in the past. I've just drawn a winner at random from all your terrific comments. The winner is: ELLEN.

Congratulations, Ellen! Could you please email me at and tell me your postal address? You'll need to let me know which of my backlist books you'd like. You can find them listed on my website:

Thanks again, everyone. It was lovely sharing with you.

best wishes,

ilona said...

Like you I grew up reading books and back then my favourite anthologies were The World's Myths and Legends, but now my most treasured collection of books are my Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey, closely followed by The Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Annie West said...

Hi Ilona,

Thanks for the recommendations. I've heard of them but haven't read them...yet!