I’ve been dying to have a go in Annie’s famous writing chair for ages and now I’m here – hurrah! Thanks for having me, Annie and, I must say, it’s jolly comfy here …
I’d like to talk about books and covers, literally and metaphorically. Most of us will be familiar with the phrase don’t judge a book by its cover with regard to people, but this phrase can apply to places as well. Certain locations have a reputation and an image that is generally accepted- take Paris for instance, it’s known as the city of love. Sounds wonderful until you start talking to people who live there and they tell you to watch where you’re walking. Very mucky pavements apparently! Not terribly romantic …
Now, I’ve been very fortunate to have two books released in October and in both of them I’ve kicked the stories off in places that I have visited and/or know well. Without letting the settings dominate the romance, I wanted to try and show a different side to both locations, the things you don’t always see.
The Devil to Pay begins in industrial south Wales where my heroine, Rianna Peters, works in a supermarket and a quarry to make ends meet. I lived in her Welsh valley for three years as a student and my grandfather (to whom the book is dedicated) was born there in 1909, was sent down the mines and finally left for good on a hunger march in the ‘30s. I was hard up living there and so were most of the people I knew and lived with. The streets were narrow and lined with cramped terraced houses and it rained an awful lot. My rented room looked out onto a factory that belched clouds of sulphur and other unspeakably noxious substances. It was grim. And yet … there was an amazing community spirit – people spoke to each other in the street, offered to lend a hand, did each other favours, leant money and cigarettes, shared food and told stories. They stuck together, but were also welcoming to ethnic minorities. The Tamil corner shop owner at the end of my street was one of the happiest people I’ve ever met, and let’s not forget the Welsh-Italians because they play a part in my story too. So, to an outsider, it might be an unattractive place, but scrape away the soot and there’s pure gold.
The Spanish Billionaire’s Hired Bride begins in Ibiza, one of the Spanish Balearic islands with quite a reputation. Every summer thousands of people from all over the world flock to bask in the outlandish, hedonistic nature of the island. Commonly dubbed the ‘The party capital of the world’ the travel brochures promise a low price clubbing, partying and music paradise. Luminous thongs and belly piercings aren’t my kind of thing to be honest … but scratch the surface and there’s so much more to discover about Ibiza, the White Island.
Ibiza town was founded by the Carthaginians in 654 B.C. making this one of the earliest towns in Europe. Evidence of the Roman occupation can be seen on the walls of Ibiza Old Town. The Arabs came in the 9th century A.D., fortified the city walls and stayed for almost 500 years. Then there were the Catalans and pirates – there’s so much history, it’s astonishing and that’s why large portions of the island are registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Who’d have thought it? And there are some amazing beaches and hidden coves to be discovered. I fell in love with Ibiza and the Balearic Islands, so I hope I’ve managed to weave in a little of their magic and culture in Ricardo and Helen’s story for my readers.
So here are the covers for you to judge (I’m rather pleased with both of them actually) and a short blurb for each to tell you a little more about each story.
Rianna Peters is used to struggle. To support her family, she works as both accountant for the town quarry and clerk at the local grocery. Trapped in the small Welsh town, she wonders if love has passed her by. Then a disastrous encounter with a handsome Italian and a packet of washing powder fires her fantasies. However, her dream man has come to close the town’s major employer, the money-losing quarry.
Mining CEO Daniel Bracchi is stunned to discover the clumsy but attractive store clerk in the quarry office. Although he’s against mixing business with pleasure, the feisty Rianna intrigues him. Despite his feelings, his no-strings romantic approach and the town’s potential destruction stand between them.
From green South Wales to glittering Portofino, they fight their attraction as Rianna’s small town grit clashes with Daniel’s privileged attitude. Between them lie secrets, a community’s survival, and their own bruised hearts. Are the stakes too high for even love to overcome?
Buy links: amazon.com http://amzn.to/UWUTew
He bought her with cold, hard cash, but can she stop him from stealing her heart?
Blackmailed to marry against his will, Ricardo Almanza needs a wife before he’s thirty, and time is running out. A notorious playboy, marriage is the last thing he wants, but his stepmother’s sexy, debt-ridden personal assistant is the perfect solution. He makes her a business deal she can’t refuse—one million euros for three months as his wife. He might even enjoy being married to her … if she doesn’t kick the crap out of him again.
Helen Marshall can’t believe she’s considering Almanza’s outrageous proposal, but she must help clear her parents’ debts or they face financial ruin. The small print on the marriage contract changes to read three months as his wife in every way—including in the bedroom. Has she gotten in too deep, or will she need a new contract addendum, extending their marriage forever?
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Note from Annie.. I LOVE both of these covers. They are so different but each one is stunning . Which one is your favourite? Leave a comment...
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