Thursday, October 09, 2008

Time for Change - Annie West

It’s spring in Australia, that gorgeous time when the sun seems suddenly to shine more brightly. The scent of flowers is in the air and new growth is everywhere. The birds are busier than ever, chattering before dawn (grr) and darting here and there all day feeding and building nests.

I love this time of year, partly because of the warmer weather but mainly because it never fails to lift my spirits. I feel a zing in my blood that was missing just a month ago. I’ve got renewed energy for tackling those tasks that I’ve been putting off. I even find myself making plans for the future, whether it be figuring out how many books I can deliver or masterminding a mini makeover for one of the rooms in our house. For me spring never sneaks in, it bursts with a sudden, vibrant change.

Interesting that my other favourite season is Autumn/Fall. I think again it has something to do with change arriving. With the sense of anticipation as I look forward to some cool weather (I live in Australia where summers are baking hot). I get excited at the thought of brisk walks on foggy mornings (whether I take them or not is another matter), of cooking soups and baking bread and turning my home into a cosy nest where I can curl up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate.

Change can be disturbing or downright frightening, but some changes, like the beginning of my favourite season, energise me. Right now I feel like starting new projects. I have plans for my garden. Plans for that to-be-read pile that’s grown so much it blocks the light. I have a big family trip to organise (is it true that the best part is the planning?). I have plans to improve my fitness and come out of winter hibernation to catch up more with friends.

I’m also feeling enthused at the prospect of starting a brand new book. New characters to meet, conversations to have with them, emotions and secrets to discover and a happy ending to enjoy. The lure of the unknown with all those blank pages to fill. (Er, maybe cut that last one. It’s easier to look forward to a new story if I don’t think about how much work is involved!).

Does the change of season inspire you? What changes do you look forward to? What plans do you have for exciting change?Annie will give a copy of her latest release THE DESERT KING’S PREGNANT BRIDE to someone who contributes an answer.

The book is available this month in the UK or Australia and in April 09 in North America. In this story Maggie, a hard working country girl faces the biggest changes of her life after a man in a tuxedo rescues her from the worst night of her life. You can read more on Annie’s website. She also has a contest running all through this month (go to her contest page) to win books and chocolates.


Anna Campbell said...

Annie, how funny! I've just written a blog on Romance Bandits about spring at my place. Which is further north than your place and is therefore slightly different in flavor. Clearly we both have spring fever!

I love the idea of you starting all these wonderful new projects. Especially the new book! You know I hang out for your latest book to drop into my hot little hands.

By the way, I've read the Desert King's Pregnant Bride and it's fantastic! Whoever wins it is lucky indeed!

Annie West said...

Anna, snap! Though I put the similarity in our blogs down to the fact that you're channelling my thoughts. I know for a fact I wrote this blog before you did yours (G).

Yep, love this time of year and the enthusiasm it brings. So many things I want to achieve. Wonder how many I'll get to.

Glad to hear you enjoyed Khalid and Maggie's story so much. I hope this copy goes to someone who loves a good strong sheikh!


Sandie Hudson said...

Hi Annie,
I love spring as well, not even birds chattering in the morning can spoil it for me. It's foaling time so in the next week or two we'll have a new foal on the ground. I can sit for hours watching them running around.

Congratulations on the sale of your ninth 'Sexy' book. Lord more book to my TBR pile. LOL.


Annie West said...


Foals! Ooh, lovely! Can I come to your place? Sounds wonderful. I had such a soft spot for horses as a kid. In fact I delved right into that vein for Maggie and Khalid's story, doing research on horse studs. Such fun.

Thanks for the congratulations on today's sale. It was fabulous news. And they're even keeping my working title - The Savakis Mistress!


Authorness said...

Happy spring, Annie! It's a wonderful time, isn't it? The temperature's not too hot, not too cold, and the flora here in Sydney is spectacular. When spring arrived a few weeks ago, I worked up the energy to clean my windows *and* my study, which I hadn't done, last spring. I feel so much lighter and inspired with less clutter around my workspace.

Enjoy your new projects!


Monique Wood said...

Hi Annie,

I left a message on Anna's blog too about how I love Spring. Actually, I usually say to people who travel here that October is the best time in Oz. The weather is just right!

The change of season inspires me because it's almost like starting afresh. To be honest, the warmer it gets, the happier I am - it means holiday time :-)

Congrats on the news of your sale, too. Very exciting! Sorry I can't get to meet you and Anna in Guildford :-(

All the best,
Monique Wood

Helen said...

Although my favourite season is autumn my second favourite is spring I love all the flowers coming into bloom and all the birds that are staring to make more noise.
Spring does inspire me to clean up better at home I do spend most of winter with a book in my hand and really do need to have a spring clean LOL

I am looking forward to meeting you and Anna at Guildford in a couple of weeks Annie can't wait.

Have Fun

Eric said...

Hi Annie, ---- I don’t like change. I want to imagine the outlook for tomorrow as an offer for more of the same. Sometimes, when I’m feeling radical, I negotiate with the garden for the addition of a shower of rain on top.

Every year in late spring we come across a hot day. I go into meltdown, convincing myself it’s never been this hot before. Doomsday predictions follow. Eventually they never quite live up to my expectation. Before I know it May has arrived. I convince myself it’s never been this cold before…

It’s lucky for me I can visit the local shopping centre. Line up, behind the bullies, purchase my Annie West and return, past the row of garbage tins, to the donga; close the door and escape. ----- It’s wonderful to hear Ms West will be on the shelf for some time yet. You offer dreams where reality saturates predictability. (Thank you) --- Eric

Christina Phillips said...

I love spring too! I am definitely not a winter person. I have lots of plans for the garden, but since I freak at the sight of bugs and can't quite tell the difference between buds and weeds, I usually end up supervising! hehehehe!!!

And congrats on your latest sale!

Annie West said...

Vanessa, so you're another spring lover? Isn't it amazing how much energy the change of season can give you?

I'm impressed with your window cleaning and your office tidy up. You're right - reducing clutter can help the creativity (at least it seems that way!). Unfortunately I seem to attract clutter and then have to take drastic action when it builds up too much.

Thanks for the good wishes on the next project. I'm currently waiting to hear from my editor about my next proposal so it's a nice time, playing with possibilities. Hope you get lots achieved this spring!


Alli said...

Hi Annie,
I know what you mean about feeling a zing in your blood when spring arrives. Love an endless blue sky and the warmth of a gentle breeze. The birds and the flowers blooming are amazing.
Huge congrats on your 9th sale. Wow!

Best wishes

Anne Gracie said...

Lovely post, Annie.
Autumn is my favourite time of year, but I do love my garden in Spring. First the wattle tree in the front explodes into gold, then my camellias flower, and then jasmine perfumes the air and floats into the living room, and at the moment my lilac is a mass of blooms.
And summer vegies start to grow. I love home grown tomatoes in particular.
I also get odd impluses to begin massive house-cleaning projects-- but I think you can get treatment for that, so I'll recover, don't worry. LOL.

Annie West said...

Hi Monique,

Yes, it does feel like holiday weather when it gets warm, doesn't it? Something else to look forward to - those lazy days of summer. Well, not too many lazy ones, unfortunately, but it's a terrific time of year!

Thanks for the congratulations on my latest sale. I'm thrilled.


Annie West said...

Hi Helen,

How interesting that your favourite season is autumn. I wonder if that makes us opposites? It's gorgeous isn't it? I used to live in an area with a much cooler climate, where the autrumn leaves are fantastic. The four very distinct seasons were just lovely.

How terrific that you're coming to our library talk in Sydney! What fun. I'll look forward to seeing you there and talking about romances.


Annie West said...

Oh Eric, thank you - that's high praise indeed!

Had to laugh about your negotiating over a few more drops of rain. It's like that sometimes isn't it? Even though I live on the coast we're still feeling the effects of this long drought, even though it's not nearly as bad as inland. Here's to enough rain to keep everyong happy (but not too much!).


Annie West said...

Christina, it sounds like you've got the perfect excuse for supervising in the garden. And after all, it's so nice to watch other people working, isn't it? Actually I've been out in the garden this last weekend and it was wonderful. Weeds like bushes but such a feeling of satisfaction ripping them out!

Thanks for the congratulations on the sale. It's nice to get good news, isn't it?


Annie West said...

Hi Alli,

It is a real zing in the blood, isn't it when spring hits? I love the sudden contrast to what's gone before and that promise of good things to come.


Serena said...

Oh I'm definitely an autumn person too - though I am partial to winter as well. (Anyone who knows me knows that I detest hot weather). But I'd love a wonderful garden and spring is the time for flowers. A bad back prevents me from tending the flowers I used to grow, but my neighbours have a gorgeous garden and their pièce de resistance is a wisteria that runs half the length of our fence. Fortunately for me, the gorgeous, delicate purple flowers hang all over our side of the fence. The fragrance is divine and wafts up throught our open windows. That's how I know spring is here...

Mega congrats on book number 9, Annie. So rapt for you.

Annie West said...

Ah, Anne, I agree, the impulse to clean the whole house soon passes (G). I find a good dose of cleaning the bathroom and the kitchen cupboards works wonders for it!

You've made my mouth water at the idea of home grown tomatoes. Yum. And all the other wonderful home grown produce - it all tastes so good, like strawberries still warm from the sun and raspberries straight from the cane. Hm, summer has a lot going for it!


Annie West said...

Hey, you people are coming up with such wonderful things. Serena, I love wisteria. We used to have a long covered archway in our garden that dripped wisteria in spring. The smell is just heavenly. So great that you get to enjoy your neighbours' garden without the backbreaking toil! A great arrangement.

Yes, can't believe how fast the ninth book has come around. Quite amazing. I don't think the thrill lessons, especially when you can walk into a shop and see something you wrote there on the shelf, or better yet, notice someone rapt in your story.


Amy Andrews said...

hi Annie - my, my spring is in the air. It's certainly running amok in cyberspace :-)

We dont really get season changes here in QLD - hot or cold and not a lot in between. But I do love the blooming of the Jacarandas.

Congrats on your latest acceptance!

Cheri2628 said...

Happy Spring to you, Annie! For me, it is fall/autumn now. I love this time of year. I enjoy the cooler temperatures because it gets so hot and humid here in the summer. My hubby and I just returned from a trip to the beach. It was perfect- temperature was just warm enough, the kids and teens weren't there because of school, and the resorts weren't crowded.

Congrats on the new release. I have been hearing a lot about this book around the blogs, and it sounds like another winner!

christina said...

That's such a positive post, Annie! Here in the Northern hemisphere we're enjoying some lovely sunny days at the beginning of autumn so while you're planning your garden we're putting ours to bed. I don't have a favourite season, I love them all but I agree that starting a new book is a real treat, whether I'm going to be reading it or writing it!

Jennie Lucas said...

Annie (and Anna C.), what's this "snap!" thing? NZ Presents author Natalie Anderson recently used the same expression in an email.

In the U.S., "Snap!" might be slightly old slang (early '90s?) meaning "HA!" or "in your face!" As in, "Oh, snap, she really got you with that comment!"

But I don't think that's what you mean. Is your use of the word closer to the British "cheers" that can mean a variety of things--thanks, hello, best wishes, thanks (sarcastically), etc.?

Jennie--who should be packing to leave for the Emerald City conference with a plane in 2 hours!

Jennifer Y. said...

I love the changing's changing to fall here and I love the cooler temps, falling leaves, etc. I think fall might be my favorite season...the colors, the temps, the sports...LOL.

PJ said...

Hi Annie! Autumn is my favorite season. Here in the US Carolinas the leaves are changing colors and entire hillsides are bursting into vivid reds, oranges, yellows and golds. It's breathtaking. The summer haze has disappeared and the mountains are a deep, vivid blue against the autumn sky. The mornings are crisper and the air smells fresher. My dogs are frisky and our early morning walks are exuberant. Soon, the geese will begin arriving on our lake. This is also the season for (American) football and I'm a huge fan. I live 9 miles from a major university so football Saturdays are always fun around here. :)

Right now I'm enjoying the apple harvest and making lots of goodies with them. Soon, I'll be hauling out the heavy sweaters, making big pots of soup and chili and cuddling up at night with my hot chocolate and a great romance novel. :)

Maureen said...

Hi Annie,
Spring and Fall are our favorite time to get projects done. The weather is usually mild so that encourages us to do things inside and out.

Estella said...

Autumn and Spring are my favorite seasons.
Autumn for the changing colors of the leaves, cooler weather and Football.
Spring for the flowers and birds return.

Annie West said...

Amy, you poot thing - no cold weather (G). You sound terribly deprived. At least you have those wonderful jacarandas to make up for it. Love the amazing blue-purple of those flowers.

Thanks for the good wishes on the latest sale. Am wondering how many books you've sold now. Too many to count?


Annie West said...

Hi Cheri, a trip to the beach without children or teens? Is it possible? Sounds like a wonderful time.

You've been hearing about 'The Desert King's Pregnant Bride'? How terrific. I have my fingers crossed readers enjoy it, especially as I have a soft spot for these characters.


Pat Cochran said...

This is amusing, with you and Anna
Campbell both writing about the
same subject. Early Spring and late
Fall are my favorite times of the
year. Both are outside the hottest
portions of the year.

Pat Cochran

Annie West said...

Christina, I love the idea of putting your garden to bed. Here in my part of Australia that doesn't really happen, there's still some growth going on, though you know when spring hits because suddenly everything (particularly weeds) is 5' high!

There's a special excitement about starting a new book isn't there? I love picking up a book and getting hooked and then not wanting to put it down. And when I've got a new idea to write, that tingle in the blood is fantastic. Hope you've got a new project of your own starting soon.


Annie West said...

Jenniem you're off to a conference? Have a great time.

As for 'snap' - no, it's not sarcastic at all. If you find yourself saying the same thing at the same time as someone else you say 'snap' - meaning we've both had this clever thought at the same time! Childish I know. Hm, wonder if it comes from the childhood card game of 'snap' - where you each turn cards over in turn. If there are two in a row of the same sort the first person to say 'snap' and slam their hand on top of the cards wins them all. The one who wins all the cards wins the game.


Annie West said...

Hi Jennifer,

Great point about the cooler weather bringing terrific colours. Aren't they lovely? And cooler weather makes me want to snuggle up with a book. OK, so does not weather for that matter...


Annie West said...

PJ, what a terrific picture you paint of the change of season in your part of the world. Sounds tremendous! I have to say the sound of the geese arriving fascinated me. I'm imagining large, noisy flocks. It really must signal the change of season. Your hot chili and soup sounds so appealing too. You make me want to visit!


Annie West said...

Hi Maureen,

How interesting that you get your projects done in Fall too. I have to say in cooler weather I get more walking in and more cooking but otherwise I'm not so sure about starting big projects.

Happy change of season!


Annie West said...

Estella, another Autumn/Spring girl! Isn't it interesting that these season seem so popular? I hope you're enjoying the colours and the sport right now.


Annie West said...

Hi Pat, it is funny isn't it? Obviously Anna used her ESP to pick up on my great idea (G)! But the more I think about it the more I realise how much vibrancy and energy there seems to be at this change of season.


PJ said...

Your hot chili and soup sounds so appealing too. You make me want to visit!


Annie, the guest room is empty and waiting!

H Maree Davis said...

Not only is it time for change all around the world - it's time for great books everywhere too it seems. Thank goodness, I was in danger of reaching the dregs of the tbr pile!

Much as I love spring I have to admit to getting very little work done over the long US summer, so perhaps it's just as well that autumn is here. I'm actually writing again - even if it is to comment on blogs in the hope of winning a book to read, gotta ease myself into it.

H! :)

Annie West said...

Maree, LOVE your idea of easing yourself into the idea of writing by winning yourself a book. I appreciate your way of thinking.

My tbr pile is enormous. I need a spare room I think. Or to stop doing everything else and read.

I'll be back in a while to announce a winner (which I'll draw at random). In the meantime:

PJ, can you please email because I understand you're the August winner here at Tote Bags! How lovely!


Louisa Cornell said...

Popping by to say hello, Annie! Your new book is sure to be a hit as I loved the last one! As did my Mom, a big fan of yours! Between you and La Campbell, I feel like I have had a lovely spring day in Oz! Here it is fall and actually it is my favorite time of year. The weather is cooler and the wildlife start dropping by to visit and catch a free meal. (My place is ripe with wildlife feeders and quite a bit of natural food as well.) One thing I hope to have finished right before winter arrives is my latest WIP!! I am trying to get it ready to enter in the GH. Wish me luck as I race to the finish line. And I am so glad to hear of your latest sale as well!

Annie West said...

Louisa, lovely of you to drop by! How cool to hear that both you and your mother enjoyed 'The Greek Tycoon's Unexpected Wife'! You've put a huge grin on my face. The book that's just been accepted (with a 2009 release date) has another Greek hero and one who I think will give Stavros a run for his money! Hm, these Greek alpha males.

Best of luck finishing your story. I hope you make it in excellent time for the Golden Heart contest. Fingers crossed for you. The GH girls seem to do so well.

Hope you start seeing some nice wildlife dropping by. I'm currently being visited by King Parrots (large, quiet birds covered in emerald green and bright red) and Eastern Rosellas - red, blue, yellow and white. One has a baby in tow whish is rather sweet to watch.


Annie West said...

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to thank you all for your comments. I've had a ball reading about the changes you have coming up and I'm almost convinced that autumn in places where there are geese flying in, visiting wildlife, great books to read and chili on the stove cold be as nice as spring here.

I've enlisted the help of my son who just drew a name out from those who contributed. Cue fanfare please...I'm happy to announce that the winner of THE DESERT KING'S PREGNANT BRIDE is CHERI. Cheri, if you email me at with your postal details I'll send you your prize.

If anyone wants a second chance to win, do visit my website ( and check out the contest page.

In the meantime, I hope you all enjoy your change of season!