Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tote Bags today

I'm writing the blog at Tote Bags 'n' Blogs on Sunday. So stop by and say hi. Share a memory about your high school days.

Or if you don't want quite such a big audience, share it here!

Facebook has brought high school back into my life. It's a strange experience. And it's reminding me of all kinds of things I didn't realize I even remembered.

Christo's book, One-Night Mistress . . . Convenient Wife, benefited from those emotions because it is all about unrequited first love and what happens when you meet the right person at the wrong time.

George's book seems to have something of a similar theme, though the stories are quite different. Do you suppose my subconscious is trying to tell me something? Or is it just one of the main thematic mountain ranges in what my former editor Patricia Smith calls "my emotional landscape?"

What do you think? Do you see themes in your own writing or your own life that you address in different ways over and over? If you do, do you know where it comes from?

Inquiring minds are curious -- even though they should be thinking about George.

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Friday, November 20, 2009


This weekend I am posting over at the Pink Heart Society about Holiday traditions. It's a post inspired by our upcoming Thanksgiving in the US.

I think Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday ever since I moved away from home. While I was growing up, it didn't measure up to Christmas. But once I left, I began to see its potential.

It became for me a holiday of infinite potential. It made me remember all the people I'd shared it -- and my life -- with in the past. And it connected me to those present sharing it with me now and those who would share it in the future.

I use recipes that belonged to my great-grandmother. I have shared them with by daughter and my sons, and I know that they are passing them along as well. I like that about it. I like the sense of handing things on, being a part of something that has meaning and stretches into the past and the future both.

Of course there are plenty of other holidays that you can say the same thing about. But I'm fond of Thanksgiving because while the sense of thanksgiving in general can be shared with people around the globe, Americans have a historical identity tied up with its celebration as well.

We are immigrants -- even those of us with American Indian ancestors -- and our ancestors, even those so far distant in time that we don't even know who they are, came here with hopes and dreams and determination. We share that sense of being able to make a new life in a new place. We share a sense of gratitude for the opportunity. We share hope for the future. And we share connections to the past, to the present, and to each other.

As a writer I celebrate connections -- to my wonderful readers, to so many fantastic writers who have come to be my friends. I share with all of you the joy of story, of hopes and dreams and happy endings.

Thanks for being here this year. Stick around. I hope we will share many more.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The reprints are coming! The reprints are coming!

Two of them, actually.

To start with, in January, the We Write Romance crew has worked with Harlequin to put together a "Harlequin Bloggers' Bundle." Apparently the first one they did was enormously successful, so they're back for another round with four different books, all Harlequin Presents -- and one of them is Lessons From a Latin Lover, the third of my McGillivrays of Pelican Cay books.

If you haven't read it, you can get a taste from the excerpt on my "books" link. The first two about the family on Pelican Cay were about brothers Lachlan and Hugh McGillivray. Lachlan was a former professional soccer goalkeeper turned hotel developer entrepreneur. Hugh ran the island air service.

Their kid sister, Molly was Hugh's mechanic.

Molly had never met an engine she couldn't handle. The same couldn't be said about her experience with men. She got along with them fine. She even had a fiance. But Carson couldn't seem to remember that they were engaged long enough to set a wedding date.

Molly was getting tired of waiting. So she decided to shake him up a bit. That was how she turned up on Joaquin Santiago's doorstep. Nothing like a suave, sexy, sophisticated man of the world to help a girl make her fiance sit up and remember he had one.

The trouble is that once Joaquin starts giving Molly lessons in seduction, she starts thinking a lot more about him than about Carson. And it turns out to be a bit more than Joaquin bargained for, too.

I had such fun writing Molly and Joaquin's story that I'm delighted to see it coming back at part of the Blogger Bundle. It's supposed to be available in early January. I'll give you more details when I know them.

The other three books are Kate Walker's The Twelve Month Mistress (also with a very different Joaquin for a hero), Margaret Mayo's Surrender to the Millionaire, and Michelle Reid's The Brazilian's Blackmailed Bride. Sounds like plenty of sizzle and a real variety of authorial voices.

Here's what Heather at WeWriteRomance had to say about the four books:

"...we hope you'll sit back and enjoy the first book we chose to showcase from this line, Kate Walker's The Twelve-Month Mistress. Ms. Walker allows you a glimpse into the life of Spanish aristocrat, Joaquin, who has a stead-fast rule to only keep his mistresses for twelve months...but when an accident claims his memory, he forgets all about his latest mistress Cassie breaking up with him! Up next you'll find Margaret Mayo's Surrender to the Millionaire where a life changing decision could lead Kristie down the path to revealing a devestating truth to Radford, one that doesn't only affect their lives. To be followed by Anne McAllister's Lessons from a Latin Lover which allows us--and Molly McGillivray!--to learn the art of seduction from super-sexy Joaquin. And to round out our super Presents package is Michelle Reid's The Brazilian's Backmailed Bride that takes us through the art of seductive revenge...Anton only thinks he's got Cristina where he wants her: blackmailed and in bed!"

I hope you'll watch out for it.

Then coming in May 2010 there is a three-fer called The Greek Tycoons' Takeover that has one of my books along with books by Jane Porter and Chantelle Shaw. Just which of my Greeks is taking over something -- or more likely someone! -- I don't know. I'm curious. I don't know which of Jane's and Chantelle's books are in it, either. When I find out, I'll let you know.

In the meantime, if you find out before I do -- drop me a note and tell me!

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where I've Been . . .

Nowhere interesting, believe me.

I've been holed up in my office writing George. And writing an article. And creating a Power Point presentation on immigration trails.

George has been the most fun part of my life, which ought to tell you something.

At least I'm not battling him to a standstill the way I did Demetrios. He's actually turning out to be entertaining -- right now -- before revisions and deep in the middle of the first draft.

How often does that happen?

Not very, to be honest. But sometimes it does, and so I'm just enjoying it. Nice to go to work every morning for a change.

I've done a little Christmas shopping, too. And I'm struck, when I do it, how much of it I do online these days. What about you?

I started doing it online when I was looking for things for the older grandsons when they were little -- and I got tired of dragging from store to store to find that what I wanted wasn't there. Or it was there at a price I couldn't bring myself to pay.

So I started looking on the internet and, wow, what a time saver. Money saver, too.

Have your shopping habits changed like mine have?

I'll be back tomorrow when, I hope, George will make it into chapter six, and I will have something new to write about -- a reprint or two (well, that's not new, but it's exciting). I'm just trying to get the information sorted.

In the meantime, if you see Christo hanging around a bookshelf anywhere, do me a favor and put him up at eye level. He was gone at my Target when I looked last week. I was happy about that.

Also happy about the review on the Pink Heart Society where Julie Bonello said, "Anne McAllister never fails to come up with the goods and One Night Mistress...Convenient Wife is one of her best books yet! Funny but poignant, tender but sensuous and moving and utterly engrossing, One Night Mistress... Convenient Wife is a spellbinding Harlequin Presents novel readers will just devour.

"With a spunky heroine, a gorgeous hero and oodles of love, passion and laughter, One-Night Mistress... Convenient Wife is the perfect book to cuddle up with on a cold autumn's night!"

How nice is that? If you want, you can read her whole review here. Thank you, Julie.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Once upon a crush . . .

Once upon a time when I was young and emotional, I was in love.

Or thought I was.

I don't know what the object of my affection thought -- if indeed he thought about it at all. I doubt that he did because I never actually saw him run screaming in the other direction. So chances are he remained oblivious.

But I was sure (not fairly sure, not reasonably sure, but absolutely positively sure) that if the stars aligned properly or fate so decreed that he would notice, we would live happily ever after.

We didn't.

But it doesn't stop me thinking about it and remembering it -- all the angst, all the emotion, all the deep unrequited desire -- now and then.

And when Christo Savas popped into my head carrying a surfboard and talking on a cell phone, I was reminded of those days. He's exactly the sort of guy I would have looked twice (or maybe several million times at).

So did Natalie, my heroine.

But Natalie was far more, er, pro-active than I was at her age. She made things happen -- or tried to.

It was a disaster, of course. Sometimes the time and the place aren't right, even if the people might have been. That's what happened to Natalie and Christo the first time. The second time is what I wrote about in One-Night Mistress...Convenient Wife.

And crushes are what I'm blogging about Thursday on the I Heart Presents blog. So stop over and check it out. Leave me the tale of your own crush there -- or here.

Whoever makes me laugh, cry, cringe or sympathetically shake my head will win a copy of Christo and Natalie's book


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Monday, November 02, 2009

Hugh and Dan's WInner!

I didn't forget. It just took me a while to get Micah and Mitch's paws cleaned off enough to allow them into the living room where the names of the contestants and the treats were all set out so they could choose.

We spent a lot of the last week under water -- or so it seemed. And almost every day was a "96 dog foot day" -- one where I measure the day in terms of how many dog feet I wipe. It used to get to 96 a lot faster when we had four dogs. But these guys go out often enough that I had a lot of paw-wiping to do here, too.

All of which is prelude to saying that they have finally come in and made their choice -- and the winner of the Hugh and Dan contest is Jillian from Ohio!

Congratulations, Jillian!

And many many thanks to all the hard-working contestants who entered and who took the time to look up the answers to the questions. You are all wonderful. And I hope you all have Hugh's and Dan's birthdays on your calendars now, so that when I ask again next year (you don't think I will?) that you won't have to go looking for them.

Jillian's prize, including DVDs of Defiance and X-Men, as well as my new book One-Night Mistress...Convenient Wife, some other books and goodies, will be going out to her today. I hope you enjoy them, Jilian.

On the home front, besides mud, there's not much new. I do have the galleys back for Demetrios's book, which also now has a title. Did I tell you that? It's called The Virgin's Proposition. It actually has something to do with the book! Imagine that.

I don't know when it's coming out yet, but they seem to be moving it right along, so I hope it will turn up mid 2010 sometime.

George went back to the drawing board because he had far too much backstory in the first three chapters. So I'm pruning him and hoping that his book moves faster now.

Speaking of Georges, Liz Fielding has a terrific book out in November with a hero named George She sent it to me because she knew I was working on a George, too. It's supposed to be inspiration, but it's so wonderful, my George is despairing of ever living up to the name.

Her book is called Christmas Angel for the Billionaire and it's out in North America by itself as a Harlequin Romance, and in UK as part of a two-fer with Jessica Hart's Under the Boss's Mistletoe (another really lovely book).

Liz's George is a wonderful George (all Liz's heroes are wonderful) -- with a teenage daughter who is giving him fits and a father he's never been able to please.

I fell for her George the first time I saw him. I wanted to be Annie, her heroine. I loved the way Liz brought them together, loved the way Annie found herself (her real self, not her royal self) in George's family. And I loved the way Annie gave him the support he needed to make peace with the people he loved the most but couldn't seem to connect with.

As always, Liz did a terrific job with her people. I always like to spend time in Liz Fielding's world, and George's book was pure delight.

I'm looking forward to Her Desert Dream, the other half of the "trading places" duo where I get to find out what happened to Annie's look-alike Lydia who took her place and, from the look of things, may end up with a sheikh!

Watch out for Liz's book this month. And keep your eyes open for Lydia's book as well.

I loved the first. I can't wait for the second.

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