Monday, January 14, 2008

Happy Birthday to Anne!


Anne McAllister here. And no, I'm not telling you it's my birthday.

It's Anne Gracie's birthday.

Actually it's probably past her birthday where she lives (that would be Australia) -- unless you're reading this very early in the morning in the US. But I rang her yesterday (or today, if you want to get technical about it, though it was tomorrow there when I did it here, um, yesterday) and wished her the best.

She deserves it. Anne is terrific.

Every now and then in your life as a reader -- and as a writer -- you meet someone whose books have such an impact on you that you look for every book they write ever after. You relish not just the stories, but the voice, the emotion, the wit, the characters, the turns of phrase.

Anne Gracie is one of those writers for me.

I first met Anne on the Mills & Boon loop before the turn of the century (the 21st, in case you were wondering). And I enjoyed reading her posts, found myself smiling, nodding, occasionally laughing. But I hadn't read any of her books at that point.

Then I did. I read Tallie's Knight -- and it blew me away. I can't tell you now what the story was about -- which may seem weird, but the truth is, I can't even tell you the plot-line of my own books. It's the emotional impact that stays with me. And it was the emotional impact -- in spades -- that has stayed with me from Tallie's Knight for years.

After Tallie, I read everything Anne wrote. And I've loved them all. Some, of course, I love more than others (these aren't my children. I'm entitled to have favorites.) The Perfect Waltz was my favorite of her series of "Perfect" books.

I loved the hero, Sebastian Reyne. In fact, I just named a hero Sebastian in his honor. Of course my guy is nothing like her Sebastian. My Seb is nowhere near as quick-witted and charming and sweep-you-off-your-feet spectacular. But he's my small homage to a hero I loved.

And now she's done it again as she's begun a whole new series of books with The Stolen Princess.

I just finished The Stolen Princess earlier this week. And I fell in love with Gabe. He's not Sebastian, but he's a great Anne Gracie hero nonetheless. He's strong and determined, responsible and capable, yet emotionally wounded, and definitely in need of the love of a good woman.

That would be Callie. Princess Caroline -- a woman whom fate has thrust into a role she would not have chosen -- finds her inner strength challenged by the circumstances of her life. The last thing she needs right now is a man to complicate matters.

Except -- maybe she does. And maybe Gabe is that man.

It was a delightful, purely Anne Gracie tale of wit and angst and charm. I loved it. And I'm thrilled that it promises to be the first of several about Gabe and his army cohorts. They look like a bunch of guys you'd want on your side when the chips were down. I'm hoping Anne hurries up and finishes the next one. I can hardly wait.

What about you? Have you ever had a book turn your head and set you off on a quest to find everything that person has written? Leave a comment and tell us what book and author -- and of course if there were even better books by that author that you'd recommend.

I'll check back and choose one winner from those who have left comments. That person will get a copy of my last book, The Boss's Wife For A Week -- and a copy of The Perfect Waltz.

How about that? Anne has the birthday, but you get the present!


Ellory said...

Happy Birthday, Anne.

I have The Stolen Princess next to my bed to be read. I'm going to have the pleasure of attending a Romance Readers Group discussing this book and Anne will be there.

Anne McAllister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anne McAllister said...

Ann, you're so lucky to have Anne come to your discussion group. That's awesome. I'm sure it will be interesting and entertaining -- and you might even get to laugh a lot. Have a great time.

Cherie J said...

Happy Birthday Anne! There have been a few authors that have hooked me with just reading one of their books. One of those writers is Robin Owens who hooked me with the first book of her Summoning series, Guardian of Honor. I have been trying her Celta series now and enjoyed reading the first one, Heart Mate.

Lois said...

Oh my gosh, Happy Birthday! :) Hope it's totally terrific!!! And I so very loved the Perfect Series -- and I do have the Stolen Princess next to me, but haven't read it just yet. So many books, so little time! LOL :)


Maureen said...

Happy Birthday to Anne! I love her books and have many of them.

felinewyvern said...

Happy Birthday Anne.

The one author who got me hooked with one book is an Anne too. Anne McCaffrey that is. I read one book from her way back in the 1970's and have since bought everything she has written.

Jane said...

Happy Birthday, Anne. The author who turned my head is Barbara Freethy. I first picked up "Taken" and then I had to read its sequel "Played." I then went in search of her backlist, many of which was hard to find. "Don't Say A Word" was great. I'm still having a hard time finding "Summer Secrets."

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday, Anne

Yes many years ago I read a book called Rebel Temptress by Constance O'Banyon and right now I own every book she has ever written. I went to Amazon and bought them used or anyway I could get them. They are all stored in shoe boxes. I get these books out from time to time and reread them. I really enjoy her writing. Any time she comes out with a new book I am in the store looking for the new book.

Wolfy said...

Happy Birthday, Anne.

There have been a lot of authors over the years that have hooked me. But an recent one for me would be Lucy Monroe. One that got me started in Romance was Nora Roberts, and there are so many more but those come to mind right away.

Anne said...

Thank you Anne, for a lovely birthday surprise. And thank you for the gorgeous comments about my books -- you've got me blushing.

Hi Ann M, another of the Tribe of Ann(e)s, I hope you enjoy my Princess. Looking forward to meeting up with you at the Dymock's romance discussion group.

Anne said...

Cheriej, Ilona, Jane, Virginia, and Cryna, thank you so much for the birthday wishes.

I've had a lovely day. I was surprised that I got a number of emails wishing me happy birthday and I had no idea how people knew, but I guess the mystery is explained now. ;)

Anne said...

Lois and Maureen, thanks to for the good wishes and for enjoying my books. Lois, love your avatar.
Another author I can recommend is Eva Ibbotson - some of her adult romances have just gone back into print. I have to go out now, but when I come back I'll post the details.

Oh and put me down as another Anne McCaffrey fan.

Nathalie said...

I have read almost all books by Anne's - and almost all of yours too Anne, that is getting confusing!!

I also like Eva Ibbotson's romances :) mostly a Countess below Stairs!

Lily said...

That was a great tribute... and I have never read one of Anne's historicals! I must correct that almost fatal mistake!

Happy Birthday!

Anne McAllister said...

Wow, you go away and work for a few hours and all of a sudden there are tons of comments and great suggestions and birthday wishes for Anne!

And you've give me tons of great ideas for books and authors I will check out now and read. So thanks for that, all of you.

I was hooked by Anne McCaffrey years ago, too. I'm still hoping she'll do a book on the 'other guy' from Dragonsinger. Sibell, I think his name was. I liked him a lot. Maybe it was thinking about how much he deserved a story that got me writing romance! Hmmmm.

Anne McAllister said...

Wow, you go away and work for a few hours and all of a sudden there are tons of comments and great suggestions and birthday wishes for Anne!

And you've give me tons of great ideas for books and authors I will check out now and read. So thanks for that, all of you.

I was hooked by Anne McCaffrey years ago, too. I'm still hoping she'll do a book on the 'other guy' from Dragonsinger. Sibell, I think his name was. I liked him a lot. Maybe it was thinking about how much he deserved a story that got me writing romance! Hmmmm.

Sue A. said...

A belated Happy Birthday to you Anne!

I got hooked when I read a category romance of Elizabeth Lowell's. And it turns out that I wasn't the only one because she became a bestseller not much later.

I also got hooked on your books too Anne M. like with potato chips I couldn't stop with just one. Keep them coming.

ellie said...

Happt Birthday Anne!

An author who hooked me was Jennifer Donnelly. Compelling writing and novels.

Michele L. said...

Happy Birthday to you Anne! May all your wishes come true!

Well, I have many favorite authors. The one author that really impressed me so much was Jennifer Crusie. I read her story, FAKING IT, and I just loved it! I had to buy all her books! I just finished reading her book, ANYONE BUT YOU, that stars a basset hound named Fred. It is a fantastic story and Fred steals the show! He is hilarious!

Have a fantastic birthday Anne! I hope you had a lot of laughs!

Hugs and Angel wishes,
Michele L.

ruth said...

Happy Birthday Anne. best wishes and much success.

An author whose books I have enjoyed immensely is Penny Vincenzi.
I will be reading The Stolen Princess as I bought it last week. So appealing.

Estella said...

Iwas hooked on Nora roberts from the first book I read by her. I have read most of her books, including the JD Robb books.

Happy Birthday Anne!

Stacy S said...

Happy Birthday Anne! I love your books.

A couple authors that I had to get their backlist were: Nora Roberts & Kay Hooper. Once I read a book by someone that I like, I have to go check out their older books.

Jodi Rolles said...

Happy Birthday Anne!

One author who hooked me was Jude Deveraux and the book was Velvet Angel. I now have all of her books except 4 and I read them over and over again. Also I have loved Nora Roberts from the first and continue to search for her older books.

ReadingIsSoMuchFun said...

Happy Birthday Anne :-) Hope you had a great one.

There are so many authors who got me hooked I will name a few though *G*

Cathryn Fox - Making Waves & her Pleasure Games Trilogy

Sasha White all her books are great & must read :-)

Wendy Roberts, Shirley Jump, Maya Banks, Tori Carrington & so many more :-)


Unknown said...

Happy birthday Anne. I'll have to add "The Stolen Princess" to my TBR list.

Anne McAllister said...

I'll let Anne, the birthday girl, pick the winner -- or maybe her dog will want to do the "treat thing" like my dog Gunnar does. He'll be very envious of all the treats Anne's dog will get, if she lets her do it that way. I'll post Wednesday on my blog at who the winner is. So check there, okay?

And many thanks to everyone who suggested books and authors and who stopped by to say 'happy birthday to Anne.'

Anne said...

Nathalie, yes, Eva Ibboston's Countess Below Stairs has been re-released with a different title, something like The Secret Countess, I think. Gorgeous book, and don't you just LOVE the fantastic way the hero gets rid of his ghastly fiancée?

Lily, LOL, it's not a nearly fatal mistake - there are so many books out there. Thanks for the birthday wishes.

Anne said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes Ellie and Sue a.

Sue a I've loved every Elizabeth Lowell I've ever read, and I have a stack. My faves are probably her medieval Scottish series - Untamed, Untouched and Forbidden.

Don't know Jennifer Donnelly, Ellie. Must look out for her.

Anne said...

Hi Michele, I had a lovely birthday, thanks. I love Anyone but You -- I think everyone loves Fred. You know, I gave that book to a friend of mine who doesn't read romance (except for my books) and she loved it. She's now read every Crusie there is and has branched out to other authors. Nice, eh?

Anne said...

Thanks for the birthday greetings Ruth, Estella and Stacy S.

I hope you enjoy the book, Ruth. It has a lovely cover, I agree. i've been very lucky with the covers Berkley have given me.

Estella, Nora is a classic, isn't she. Always a guaranteed good read.

And Stacy S, you're a woman of very fine taste, LOL. Thank you.

Anne said...

Jodi, would you believe I only recently started reading Jude Deveraux. Haven't read Velvet Angel, though.

Linda h I love your nickname -- readingissomuchfun. You are so right there. Hugs back at you.

Jodi, Linda h and Georgie Lee, thanks so much for the birthday good wishes. it's been a blast.

Anne said...

And yes, Anne McA, my Chloe-dog says she'd be delighted to pick a winner. She thanks you and sends you a doggy grin and a wag, knowing there are Treats To Be Had in a job like this

And I thank you too, for such a nice birthday surprise.

carol marinelli said...

My wishes are belated because Anne had to tell me *how* to blog in!!!
So much for a surprise Happy Birthday!
Anne Gracie's, The Perfect Rake, was my first ever historical romance - and, to me, was just brilliant - I loved Prudence. My sister pointed me in the direction of Catherine Alliott recently and I am having a great time wading through her back list!!!!
Carol Marinellix

Anna Campbell said...

Happy (belated) birthday, Anne. Lovely blog, Anne! ;-) As Anne Gracie knows, she's one of my favourite people and favourite authors. There's a warmth she has that comes across so clearly in her writing. I love her books - they're a wonderful mixture of laughing and crying. A real emotional feast! I think my favourite Anne Gracie hero is Gideon from Perfect Rake. He's just soooo gorgeous! I've done the discover authors and then chase their backlist so often, it's probably not worth listing everyone. But ones who come to mind are Liz Fielding, Laura Kinsale, Loretta Chase, Jennifer Crusie, Linda Howard. You know, all the classics!

Anne said...

Yay Carol, you're no longer a blog virgin! She blogged for the first time recently and now she's left her first comment.
Expect to see more of Carol Marinelli, folks - in fact you might have read one of her scorching, fabulous Presents. If not, grab one and find out for yourself.

Ms Campbell, thank you for dropping in and for the lovely comments. And I'm glad you listed Liz Fielding in your classics list -- I love her books. They always leave me smiling.

Just like Anne McAllister's. Though I do mourn your wonderful cowboys, Anne McA. Good thing I have a shelf full to go back to.

Pam P said...

Hi Anne, stopping by to say Happy Birthday! Tallie's Knight was a wonderful story.

juliemt said...

Happy Birthday, Anne! I'm a huge fan of your books. It's so difficult to pick a favourite from all your books, but Tallie's Knight is probably the one I loved most as the was the first book of yours I read.

There have been so many heroes which have stayed with me long after the last page is turned. I adore Captain Wentworth from Persuasion, John Thornton from North and South and Gilbert Markham from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Of course, who can forget the enigmatic heroes of Victoria Holt and the gorgeous men of Georgette Heyer. Not forgetting of course the likes of Anne Gracie, Linda Howard, Roarke from JD Robb, Anne McAllister, Liz Fielding, Kate Walker and many, many more.

ReadingIsSoMuchFun said...

Thanks Anne G :-) You are welcome. Glad you had a wonderful birthday.


Kathleen said...

Happy Birthday Anne!!!! I'm a January Birthday too! I definitely hunt down more books from an author if I enjoy reading one of them. And sometimes even come across a book that I have read and realize that it is a book right in the middle of a series! Good news: it is a great book and there are more great books!!!. Bad news: I have to find all the previous books and read them all so I can get caught up and read the books that precede the original book I read...LOL!!! But it is a lot of fun to hunt down more books by an author that I really enjoyed reading. They are my "guaranteed" great reads!! It is always nice to pick up a book and know you are going to like it b/c it is written by a very talented author!

Anne McAllister said...

In case you missed it on my blog, Michele L (de seng) you are the winner of my book and Anne's. Go to my blog for a link to contact me with your postal address and I'll see that you get your books! Thanks to everyone for your comments and suggestions and, of course, your birthday wishes for Anne.

Anne said...

Pam p, and Juliemt thanks for the birthday wishes, and thanks for loving Tallie's Knight. That was my second book and it was one of these books that just seemed like a gift to write.

With my first book it took more than 18 months to get accepted, starting from my first query letter. By the time it got accepted, I'd finished Tallie. I asked the editor if she'd like to read the complete manuscript and she said yes. Within 2 weeks I had another contract. So that book is very dear to my heart, too.

Julie, doesn't Richard Armitage play John Thornton beautifully in North and South? (dreamy sigh)

Anne said...

Kathleen, I know what you mean about the excitement of glomming a new autor.

Late last year I read my first ever vampire books -- until then I was soo not a vampire reader, LOL. Well JR Ward changed that. I read the first four in a few days -- I even drove in to the city in a mad rush on a saturday to buy #3 and 4 before the bookstore closed for the weekend.

And hey, happy birthday to you, too. Go and read your forecast on -- capricorns are supposed to have a great year. Here's hoping...

Anne said...

You all have to go over to Anne McAllister's blog just to see my gorgeous dog picking the winner.
Can you tell I'm besotted?

Jodi Rolles said...

Anne G, so which Jude Deveraux books have you read so far? I like her older books more but I just bought her new book today called Someone to Love.

Madeline said...

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY ANNE! I know this is a bit late but, I just found this site through Anne McAllisters Blog. I hope you had a great day. Mads:)