Friday, September 11, 2009

Three's Company!

by Anna Campbell

I've got a new book out at the end of next month (CAPTIVE OF SIN, excerpt and blurb here) which means soon I'll be spending an awful lot of time talking about me and my writing process and the new story. So I thought this month, it might be fun to talk about books by other writers that I've recently enjoyed.

I got my latest manuscript in to my editor last week and immediately went on a bit of a Harlequin kick. These are three I really liked.

The first is SHE'S GOT IT BAD by Sarah Mayberry. Sarah is an Aussie who writes absolutely brilliant books for Harlequin Blaze. She's a fairly recent discovery for me - Sharon Archer who writes great Medical romance for Mills and Boon put me onto her - and I've devoured most of her backlist in the last year or so. This is her latest and it's riveting.

The theme of this story is lovers reunited which is one I'm a complete sucker for. I love it when a couple gets a second chance to put things right.

When she's fifteen, Zoe Ford is madly in love with Liam Masters, a boy her family has taken in temporarily after his mother's death. When Liam rejects her because of her youth and innocence, Zoe's life takes a dark turn. They meet again twelve years later and the spark is still there but there's so much heartache and history between Zoe and Liam, the reunion goes anything but smoothly.

This is such a sexy, emotional, compelling read, I stayed up way too late to finish it. And given how little sleep I'd had getting my manuscript ready to go, that's one serious compliment to Sarah's writing skills. Sarah has a wonderful ability to convey the texture of real life amongst all the emotion and drama of her stories. I think she's great!

The next one is Tote Bags regular Annie West's latest. THE SAVAKIS MISTRESS is the perfect Harlequin Presents. Brave, intelligent, spirited heroine up against it through no fault of her own? Check. Sexy, dark, brooding alpha hero who can't resist our heroine although he'd dearly love to? Check. Exotic, beautifully described setting that makes me want to buy a plane ticket? Check. Or perhaps I should say 'check in' there. Dramatic, emotional plot with oodles of sexual tension and lots of really passionate love scenes? Check, check, check!

Callie Manolis meets gorgeous Greek-Australian hunk Damon Savakis under false pretenses and then discovers he's the ruthless tycoon who's about to take control of her family's business and her future. The heat sizzles from the first page of this story and doesn't let you go until the ending. Yum!

The last of my terrific trio is another Blaze. It's HOT UNDER PRESSURE by the brilliant Kathleen O'Reilly who is rapidly turning into one of my favorite writers EVAH!

Like Sarah's writing, Kathleen's books have that same quality of vivid life and deep emotion. Ashley Taylor and David McLean are both three-dimensional people who leap off the page and into your heart. You SOOOO want things to work out for these two. And the things threatening their future are real too - which doesn't lessen the dramatic emotional intensity one whit. They have families and careers to deal with and bruised hearts from previous relationships.

The story starts when plane-phobic Ashley from Chicago sits next to David from New York in crowded cattle class (see what I mean about real life?). When the plane is delayed overnight, both surrender to the desire crackling between them and take a hotel room. But where do they go after that one perfect, smokin' hot night?

Believe me, you want to find out!

So that's the pick of my recent reading. What have you read lately that's made you stay up way too late just so you can find out what happens?


Annie West said...

Hi Anna,

I'm thrilled to see my Savakis Mistress is in your trio of fave recent reads! How cool is that!

I've had a mental note for a while saying I must try Sarah and Kathleen's books so this could be just the impetus I need to follow through.

Congratulations on getting your latest ms in, and on next month's release!


Emmanuelle said...

Yay recommendations (and from a pro ;-)!!
Recent favorite reads :

- Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare
- From friend to Lover by Tracy Wolff
- Memories of Us by Linda Winfree
- First comes twins by Helen Brenna
- See Megan Run by Melissa Blue (not a recent book but was recommended last month on the book binge)

PJ said...

Anna, I can always count on you for scrumptious new titles to add to my tbr. I've been in a reading frenzy lately as I've set a reading goal of 8,000 pages for myself this month. It's part of my participation in the Unleash Your Story fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis. With the help of some terrific September releases I'm already halfway to my goal! Here's what I've been reading.

Hunt Her Down - Roxanne St. Claire
To Wed a Wicked Earl - Olivia Parker
Obsidian Prey - Jayne Castle
Storm of Shadows - Christina Dodd
Never Love a Lawman - Jo Goodman
How to Tempt a Duke - Kasey Michaels
Simon Says Mommy - Kay Stockham
With Seduction in Mind - Laura Lee Guhrke
To Love a Laird - Karen Hawkins

I was also lucky enough to read an advance copy of the fabulous Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas, an upcoming October release. I think it's one of the best books she's ever written.

PJ said...

I love that photo of you, Anna!

Also, wanted to say that I'm counting the days until the release of Captive of Sin!

Lynz Pickles said...

Ooh, a Harlequin kick? I've been on one of those lately, though I haven't wandered into this month's Blazes yet. Abby Green's Mistress to the Merciless Millionaire was reeeeeaaaally good, as was Mauren Child's Conquering King's Heart, which kind of reminded me of Sarah Mayberry's Anything for You. Also, as far as I'm concerned, October's Royal House of Karedes installment is the best of the series thus far. It's called The Sheikh's Forbidden Virgin and it was so good!

The Savakis Mistress was just as wonderful as I'd expected it to be. I always know I'm in for a treat when I read a book written by Annie :) I can't wait for her December release!

I also went on my first manga run since May yesterday and ended up buying ten volumes... eight of which I've already read. They're all from series I love, but Kaze Hikaru volume 14 was the best of the bunch. I admire the mangaka of that series so much, because she researches everything about the time period it's set in to make sure it's as accurate as possible.

Pat Cochran said...

Hello, Anna,

Annie and Kathleen are favorites
of mine but Sarah is new-to-me, although I have seen her name on
a Blaze author listing. The books
you listed have increased the size
of my TBR list.

A friend recently passed some books
along to me, some new, some older.
One of the older books is Once Upon
A Star, an anthology featuring Nora
Roberts. It was the book by Ruth
Ryan Langan, The Curse of Castle
Clough, which kept me up late. (I
love the title!)

Pat Cochran

Mary said...

I've read some great books lately. I am going to read the ones on your list as soon as I can.

Lately I've read:
Dark Slayer- Christine Feehan
The Darkest Whisper- Gena Showalter
Bad Moon Rising- Sherrilyn Kenyon
Obsidian Prey- Jayne Castle

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Annie! LURVE the Savakis Mistress as I think was perfectly clear from my rave about it. One of your best, m'dear!

Hey, Emmanuelle, what a great list. I've heard so much buzz about Tessa's book and she's such a nice woman too. And Helen Brenna seems to be a name I'm hearing everywhere too. I'll have to check them all out.

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, one of the best Lisa Kleypases ever? That's a huge recommendation. I'll have to try and find it when it comes out. On your list, the book that's already in my TBR pile is the Laura Lee Guhrke. She's an auto buy for me. Actually I'm currently reading a really fantastic historical - Pamela Clare's RIDE THE FIRE. Amazing intensity!

Hey, good on you supporting that great cause.

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, thanks for saying that about the photo. I had some new ones done just before Christmas and I was really pleased with them. And I'm generally someone who runs screaming when she sees herself in a photo.

Anna Campbell said...

Lynz, wow, you have been on a reading binge lately. So glad you too loved Annie's Savakis story. I think it's one of the best Presents I've read in ages. Must check out the others you mentioned. I read another in Sarah's backlist this week - Cruise Control which was great too.

Anna Campbell said...

Pat, give Sarah a go. Her style reminds me of Kathleen's - really vivid characters and intense emotion, oh, and pretty hot too ;-) I don't know Ruth Ryan Langan but seriously, you got me at that title! How cool is that?

Oh, and did you see I recommended a Pamela Clare in the comments. Really an amazing writer. I've heard about her for ages but this is the first book of hers I've read and it's a doozy.

Anna Campbell said...

Mary, um, would you happen to like paranormals? LOL! What a great list. I'll have to try them. I seem to do my reading in waves. You know, lots of Harlequins and then lots of historicals and then lots of whatever else takes my fancy. I'm so lucky there's such a lot of stuff out there at the moment for every mood.

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Anna, first of all great post and I love your new(?) photo.

As you know I adored Annie's Savakis Mistress, very sensual and made me cry my eyes out!

Mary said...

Anna, lol...Yeah I love those paranormals. How could you tell...*giggle*...I do the same thing at times. Read a few historicals, then a few Intrigue, and then a few superromance and back to the paranormals. lol

penney said...

Great blog today I am going o order Sarah's book it sounds good, I love Annie's books too.
I just finished another Silhouette desire book of the Texas Cattlemen series by Michelle Celmer The Oilmans Baby Bargain, I could not put this one down I loved it I stayed up half the night to finished it.

Anna Campbell said...

Marilyn, thanks so much for commenting on the photo! So glad you like it. Another Savakis fan, I see. Actually one of the things I love about Annie's writing is the way it plumbs such deep emotion.

Anna Campbell said...

Mary, clearly I'm psychic! ;-)

Penney, thanks for recommending a new author. I'll definitely give her a go. And you'll enjoy Sarah's books - they're fab!

Beth said...

Hi Anna,

The latest book that kept me up and has stayed with me is One Reckless Summer by Toni Blake. It is the story of a guy from the wrong side of the tracks, or in this case the lake, who falls for the prom queen. Fast forward several years and the prom queen returns home after a failed marriage and the bad boy is home under mysterious circumstances.

I really felt the heroe's lonliness and yearning for something more and the heroine's desire not to always do what it expected and for once not be the "good" girl.

Blake really had me rooting for these two and the heroine's relationship with her best friend was also a highlight.

Can't wait for your new book!


Mint said...

I read a lot of Harlequins and right now I'm reading Tawny Weber's Feels Like The First Time.

Linda Henderson

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, thanks, Beth. Not long now until 27th October!

Thanks for the recommendation for Toni's new one. I've read her stuff before and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Linda, I love Tawny's stuff - she's one of my favorites! Great choice.