Recently I visited Melbourne, a city I've always enjoyed. But what made it particularly special was catching up with some kindred spirits. Romance writers who love a good natter, a good book and are great company to boot! Here I am with the lovely Serena Tatti and Josie Caporetto. Serena and Josie are book lovers and writers, whose warmth always makes a trip south a treat. They're also wonderfully generous with their time and knowledge of all things Italian, which has been terrific, especially while writing my current book FORGOTTEN MISTRESS, SECRET-LOVE CHILD, which they're holding.
Josie and Serena belong to the Melbourne Romance Writers' Guild. You can see me with a few of the Guild members here. For anyone in the vicinity of Melbourne, interested in writing romance, look them up on the web. They're a dynamic and positive group who impressed me with their professionalism, their enthusiasm and their deep appreciation of chocolate! You can't see the chocolate in this photo, but believe me it was there. It was wonderful walking into a room of mainly strangers and feeling at home so quickly. Probably because of our shared delight in romance. And possibly chocolate!
Another major plus about visiting Melbourne is that my friends there share with me a robust interest in research. How can I write about fantastic Italian heroes in gorgeous settings if I don't fully appreciate the local cuisine? Just as well my friends know just the places to try Italian specialities such as fragrant coffees and cakes so devastatingly delicious I'm sure I put on weight just looking at them. But that didn't matter, for the time passed so quickly and I'm sure all that talk and laughter must have burnt off the calories. A visit to Brunetti's with women who know their way around the cake counter is an experience not to be missed! And just for the record, here's the cake counter, or one of them at least.
Do you have friends you meet up with after long absences and feel you've never been away from? What sort of things connect you? Shared experiences, shared weaknesses, shared sense of humor?
Annie's thrilled to have two books on sale at the moment. FORGOTTEN MISTRESS, SECRET LOVE-CHILD is an April Presents Extra that's available now. It has a luscious Italian hero who lives in one of the most gorgeous places Annie has ever visited. THE SHEIKH'S CINDERELLA is a UK anthology which includes her award winning THE SHEIKH'S RANSOMED BRIDE. If you want to find out more about either story, or enter her contest to win free books, visit her website.