Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Royal Romance - Annie West

I don't know why, but there's something about a royal romance that holds a secret appeal for me. Not enough to follow the latest royal gossip in the magazines, but definitely enough to use as the basis for a story.

This months sees my book PROTECTED BY THE PRINCE on sale in North America. Readers elsewhere might already be familiar with it as 'Passion, Purity and the Prince'.

It came about because I had an urge to write a fairy tale romance. Take one handsome royal "Like Prince Charming's far more experienced and infinitely more dangerous older brother". Place him in a picturesque alpine kingdom with a castle straight from a fairy tale. Given him a troubled past that still shadows him, a strongly heroic nature plus a single-minded determination to pursue the woman he wants. Add one independent, clever heroine who buries herself in her work with old books rather than trust her heart again. Add a big question mark over who the rightful heir is to the kingdom. Spice with the fact that both prince and bookworm heroine are torn between an attraction that hits them out of the blue, their need to do the right thing and their own hearts. Stir in a royal ball, a makeover and a romantic sleigh ride and watch the temperature rise as love clashes with duty!

Seriously, I found writing this book a real treat. It was the emotional journey Tamsin and Alaric embark on that hooked me from the start and kept me enjoying the writing till I'd finished. But sprinkled in with that was the pleasure I got from those fairy tale elements of the royal world that we like to enjoy. My hero, Alaric, didn't particularly likey the restrictions of his royal duty at a formal ball but I loved the glamour of it.

Living in a castle? Sounds wonderful to me. Owning a treasury of royal gems? Having staff to do the housework? Well, I wouldn't say no. Perhaps it's shallow of me. I know money doesn't bring happiness, and this story is a case in point. It's not Alaric's royal status that brings my couple happiness, but their honesty and loyalty and above all, love. At the same time I confess I revelled in the chance to explore some of those elements of the royal life that most of us only dream about.

How about you? Would you like to experience a day in the life of a royal? What would you enjoy most?

To celebrate the release of PROTECTED BY THE PRINCE this month Annie will send a signed copy of her book to one person drawn at random from those who comment. Just leave a comment and keep your eye open for the winner (which may be posted a little late as Annie is away part of today).

To read an excerpt of PROTECTED BY THE PRINCE or find read some 'behind the scenes' information on it, visit Annie's website. To buy the book try Amazon or The Book Depository. Annie's thrilled about this release, especially the little tag on the cover that says she's a USA Today Bestselling Author!


Bronwyn said...

I would want to open a hospital wing for sick kids or something similar. I think the warm fuzzies to go with it would be awesome! Oh and there's the fact prince charming would be waiting for me when I get home. What could be better than that?

The book sounds great! I love the part about prince charming's older more dangerous brother =)


desere_steenberg said...

Hello Annie

Wow another contest stunning !

Well with all my "royal" influence I would help sick and homeless people (mainly those who are disabled, too old to take care of themselves and off course the kids). And do anything I can to help animals and to also help clean up the world as we only have one earth and yet some people truly go out of their way to harm it.

Enjoyable part for me would definitely have to be the fact that my darling prince will be there for me when I get back to the palace and (I know this sounds a little selfish) but would be the pampering just imagine a massage just when I want or need it the most mmmmmmm.

Thanks for the great post and for the cool contest and thanks for the wonderful books you write.

All the best

Kandy Shepherd said...

Love the pictures of the royal weddings, Annie.
When I visited the Princess Diana exhibition a few years ago, I marveled at her beautiful wedding dress. The train took up half the museum room and was covered in little pearls and crystals that I never noticed in any photo.
Sadly, Diana's royal love story didn't end so well --but that's why we read your wonderful romances where your hero and heroine share true love and a happy-ever-after ending! I can't wait to read PROTECTED BY THE PRINCE!

desere_steenberg said...

Hello Annie

Wow another contest stunning !

Well with all my "royal" influence I would help sick and homeless people (mainly those who are disabled, too old to take care of themselves and off course the kids). And do anything I can to help animals and to also help clean up the world as we only have one earth and yet some people truly go out of their way to harm it.

Enjoyable part for me would definitely have to be the fact that my darling prince will be there for me when I get back to the palace and (I know this sounds a little selfish) but would be the pampering just imagine a massage just when I want or need it the most mmmmmmm.

Thanks for the great post and for the cool contest and thanks for the wonderful books you write.

All the best

Kaelee said...

Hi Annie,

My granny followed the Royal family, she had scrapbooks full of clippings about them. I grew up with that influence. She had been a lady's maid in England before she came to Canada. When I was young I used to dream about marrying Prince Charles as he was only a couple of months younger than I was. Many a night I fell asleep to the how would I meet him scenes in my head. As I grew older I became more realistic and realized it would never happen. I never thought about what I'd do once I married him.

I'd think I'd enjoy some of the duties of being a Royal. I'd find a lot of them heartbreaking.

My day as a Royal. I'd would want to attend the grand opening of a new Children's hospital followed in the evening by a charity concert in full formal dress with the attending handshakes and all. If these events could take place in Scotland it would be wonderful.

Lil said...

I would love to experience what it would be like to be a royal for a day. Well, more aptly I would like to be treated like a beloved princess. I always imagined fantastic food and drink, beautiful clothes and jewelry, lack of need for me to do the housework or cooking and yet influence to do good in the world.

Of course, the life in a fishbowl part of the deal would be a total discomfort.

runner10 said...

Hi Annie!! I think it would be nice to be a royal for one day. I think it would be nice to have someone wait on me and get whatever I want.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Annie, huge congratulations on the release of PROTECTED BY THE PRINCE. I've loved this story ever since I first read it. It's SOOOOO romantic and all the fairytale elements are just so beautifully done. And man, that Alaric is one hot dude in his cold kingdom! It's interesting seeing the world go mad for a real royal wedding, isn't it? Must say I don't think I'm royal material - I'd be sure to eat my peas off my knife or say something completely unforgiveable to the Ruritanian ambassador! But it's nice to live that glamorous life vicariously through your books!

host said...

Great post! Congrats on the new release :) It would be nice to be royal and enjoy all the privileges of the status. But at same time all the negative would be really too much for me :)

Denise said...

Hi Annie! I love the idea of being a princess or queen, but I think it'd be awful to have everyone scrutinizing my every move. So, I'd rather be a baroness or something similar. I'm so excited for Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding, though; I'm studying abroad in England this semester so I'll be in London for the wedding!

Estella said...

I have no desire to experience a day in the life of a royal.

Annie West said...

Hi Bron,

What a great idea. As you say, that warm and fuzzy feeling would be wonderful, plus having Prince C at home would be a double bonus. I can see you've thought this one through!

Annie West said...

Hi Desere,

I'm go glad you enjoy the books and the contests! Love your ideas for helping others, and all that pampering wouldn't go astray either, as you say.

Annie West said...

Hi Kandy,

I hope you enjoy Tamsin and Alaric's story.

Wow, it must have been fascinating seeing Princess Diana's wedding gown. I'd imaging it would look completely over the top even in an exhibition - I remember the impact of that long train even in the pictures of a place as magnificent as St Paul's. I saw some gorgeous clothes worn by Princess Margaret in a costume museum in Bath years ago and realised she was another princess who was extremely glamorous in her day. Her clothes were exquisite.

Nas Dean said...

Hi Annie,

Love the Royal theme. I don't know why but people of my country are so besotted with The Royal Family!
Anything to do with them is big news here.

I read the excerpt of your book and I would love to read more about Alaric and Tasmin's journey!

Annie West said...

Hi Kaelee,

My grandmother followed royal events too. She didn't have scrapbooks but she did have some commemorative china from the coronation. How fascinating it must have been hearing your grandmother's stories of life as a lady's maid. Tha tmust have given you an insight into life in a wealthy household in the past.

It sounds like you've got your royal day all planned out. Good on you!

Annie West said...

Hi Lil, it's sad that there's a downside, isn't it? I think that life in a fishbowl side of things would be so hard. It must be incredibly difficult especially for those not born to it to cope.

Annie West said...

Runner10 - I see you're all ready for a live of luxury! It would be fun for a short while, I think.

Annie West said...

Hi Anna,

I had a giggle at you offending the Ruritanian ambassador. I sometimes think of Alaric's kingdom as my own private Ruritania. All the protocol aspects would be hard to deal with, wouldn't they? A friend of mine's brother used to work as a royal advisor in Buckingham Palace and it sounded like there was always lots to consider and lots going on.

Grinning too at you loving the story so much! As you know, I adored writing it.

Annie West said...

Hi Host,

Thanks for the congratulations! I'd so love to be able to see this book on the shelf in a bookstore in North America.

As for the negatives of the ryal role - that's why I think it would be fun to do for a day. A lifetime would be too hard.

Annie West said...

Hi Denise,

Will you try to line up in the street somewhere to see the procession to and from the wedding? I think just being in the capital on the day would be thrilling. I hope you have a great time!

Annie West said...

Estella, hopefully you might enjoy reading about the experience instead!

Annie West said...

Hi Nas,

Where are you? Here in Australia there's lots of interest, though I wonder if there's as much as say a decade ago. I'm sure the royal wedding with get lots and lots of coverage!

So glad you enjoyed the little excerpt from Alaric and Tamsin's story!

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Hi, Annie!

It was so lovely to see you in the flesh in Sydney last week, which incidentally where Prince Fred met our Mary.

I wouldn't mind a day as a royal! I'd most probably spend it trying on as many jewels and gowns as I could, as well as exploring a castle. Actually, I'd need more than just one day. Can you grant me that?

Congrats on the North American release of Protected by the Prince!

Annie West said...

Hi Vanessa,

Getting together in Sydney was fun, wasn't it? Sadly the time was a little short though.

Oh, trying on the jewels - a must for any new royal! What a great idea. And as for exploring the castle - that could take weeks. Personally I'd like one with a few hidden passages too.

Linda Henderson said...

I wouldn't want to experience life as a royal, to many restrictions. If I had to though I would probably enjoy not having to do housework.

Sharon Archer said...

Ooooo, Annie, call me shallow too but wouldn't it be cool to have a staff to do the housework - my least favourite thing in the world...

But I do have to say that I don't think I'd like that life-in-a-fishbowl that the Royals have to cope with. Pressure to behave with decorum all the time... mmm, perhaps I'll stick with the housework, after all!

Congratulations on your gorgeous book, PROTECTED BY THE PRINCE! Your winner is in for a wonderful treat!

Laney4 said...

Hey there, Annie!

"Would you like to experience a day in the life of a royal?" Honestly? No way, Jose! Not enough privacy. Don't like playing dressup. Not into jewels, clothes, shoes, etc. Too many rules.

That being said, should the man I love be a prince, then I would get used to living in a fish bowl because at night I would sleep with my husband and by day I would serve my country. I'm comparing it to having a sick relative. Would I WANT to change diapers, clean up barf, and perhaps be abused in some manner (as children and those with dementia can be physically abusive without realizing)? No. But I would go through it because I love them.

"What would you enjoy most?" Hmmm.... Not counting pennies. Having clothes brought to me instead of going from store to store myself. (Even though I am not "into" clothes, I realize that it would be important to play the part.) Medical appointments would be expedient and often at my own home. I wouldn't have to run to the store for anything when I'm in the middle of something else. How's that for a start?

dlynnpen said...

Awesome excerpt.Royal Weddings have a unique appeal the to romantic in all of us.

To be a royal for a day.Me? A royal for a day? Would be a disaster for the royals.I always like the "Evil Queens" that never leaves the palace in her gold coach without her jeweled crown.Screams "off with their heads"when anyone disagreed with her.Tends to be scary even for a day.But oh what ;D

Congrats on the book!!!

Annie West said...

Hi Linda,

I agree - I think the lack of housework would be one of the biggest attractions!

Annie West said...

Hi Sharon,

Another person with her eye on missing the housework! G. Not surprised it's so popular! Works for me!

Thanks for the kind words about Tamsin and Alaric's story.

Annie West said...

Hi Laney,

I think you put your finger on it - that it would be great if the man you loved was there beside you! That's how Tamsin felt. It's all about being with the right person. LOVE the idea though of not having to rush off to the shops! Hadn't thought of that.

Annie West said...

Hi dlynnpen,

I'm chuckling here at the evil queen scenario. You'd definitely give whatever royal family you barged into a bad name in one day. Imagine the press reports!

Annie West said...

It's getting near the end of the day so I've just done a random draw from the names of people who've commented today.


Nas, if you email me at annie@annie-west I'll send you a signed copy of PROTECTED BY THE PRINCE.

Thanks everyone for popping by and sharing your thoughts on a day of royal life!


desere_steenberg said...

thank you Annie and congratulations on what Iam sure is another briliant ,masterpiece ! take care ,Desere

Nas Dean said...

Hi Annie,

Thanks for the win! I'm so excited!

Pat Cochran said...

Have always loved the Royals!
Of course, our favorite was always
Princess Diana! Not Prince Charles!

Would love to follow a schedule of
hospital and school visits followed
by a formal-dress state dinner.

Sunnymay said...

Having the royal treatment and moving amongst the privileged would be fun for a few hours. But obligations to their "subjects" and charities would take up most of the time, since you can't escape duty even if you have a pedigree. It's tradition and took a long time to set up the customs.

Selena Blake said...

Sign me up for lack of housework and the incredible jewelry. I've always wanted a tiara!