Thursday, July 13, 2006

Anna DeStefano GuestBlog: Doing Quirky With Style


Our Southern Belle-ah, Anna DeStefano, is here to dish about her part of the world, her great new romance, and the awesome Guess purse/wallet combo you can win just by commenting today. Anna's terrific new novel is "The Prodigal's Return," Hquin.

When you think of the South, more often than not, quirky comes to mind. The sometimes slower pace of our lives down here could put a New Yorker to sleep faster than a ten-stop subway ride. Our accents smooth out even the shortest of single-syllable words, 'cause why not dig out one more vowel while you're at it. And our weather is hot, hot, hotter than most outsiders can stand.

But, then again, so are our men...


Take for instance the rugged Josh Holloway, raised in Georgia before he abandoned us for Hollywood. Picture yourself LOST with all that rough, southern comfort to get you through the dark, empty nights, and I bet my part of the world will grow on you a bit ;O)

I write about small southern towns because that's what I know, and that's what I love. We have our own kind of flash down here. Some of it shiny, like the magnificence of an early-autumn sunset kissing farmland that's been lovingly preserved for centuries. But some of the sparks are more precursors to explosions. Like when your neighbor knows when you've run out of milk before you do, because she let herself in for your last cup, using the spare key your parents loaned her when you were still in diapers.

We're a lovable bunch, really. And we've produced some of the greatest names in classic literature, as well as some of today's contemporary fiction stars. Sherrilyn Kenyon and Linda Howard are two of my favorites. You might also have heard of Haywood Smith, Mary Kay Andrews, Emily Griffin, Gin Ellis, Deb Smith, Deb Dixon, and the list goes on... Give us southern girls a try, if you haven't already. We just might surprise you ;O)

Now, if you had a week to go anywhere you wanted, where would it be?
And who would you absolutely have to take with you
to be sure you had a good time?

Since Michelle lured me into obsessing about World Cup soccer, I'd have to say my ultimate destination has become Italy. And, of course, Fabio Cannavaro would be there to meet my plane and make sure every moment of my stay was manifico!!

I know, I probably should have picked some beautiful southern city to rave about, but my husband's Italian, so that's my excuse for the destination part. And he totally understands my current obsession with Fabio (and the fact that it's entirely Michelle's fault ;O). I know I can count on the Bellas to understand, too.

I'm giving away Funky Purses all week during my blog launch party for "The Prodigal's Return," and Michelle said I could bring the fun over here for the day!! So, I'll be giving away this totally rockin' (and stylish ;O) prize to one lucky Romance B(u)y the Book visitor, randomly drawn from everyone who leaves a comment about today's question.

You're going to love this golden, sparkly Guess purse and wallet combo!!

Good luck, Bellas!!!

158 comments:

MaryKate said...

Hi Anna! Welcome to RBB! Right after I graduated from college, I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina for five years. I adored my time down there. The south is one of the few places in the world where you find yourself chatting with people in the grocery line on a regular basis. Your new neighbors bring you cookies to welcome you to the neighborhood. And the men...well, I adore Southern men! They have exquisite manners (don't you love a man who stands up when you walk in a room?!), and they love their mamas. After going through a nasty divorce with a northerner, I dated a southern man. What a delicious change! He had wonderful manners, he was considerate and affectionate, he was close to his parents. He was great. We broke up when he moved to Chicago, but remain friends. His wife is a lucky, lucky girl! I'd recommend southern men to anyone! In fact, I'd recommend the south to anyone!

IMO, Anne Rivers Siddons writes among the best southern novels. She beautifully captures the wackiness and the charm of the south. She also does a great job with New England, but I particularly love her southern novels. I also like the Ya-Yas. I think it's too easy to make up characatures of the south. There's so much charm there. It really is a different world!

OK, on to where I'd like to spend a week. Geez, that's a toughie. I spent some time on the isle of Corfu recently. I really enjoyed that. Or Santorini or Mykanos in Greece. Any of the above would work for me!

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome, Anna. Come on in, put you feet up and enjoy your stay here at RBtB. That's my imitaion of southern hospitality. How'd I do?

I love the south. It doesn't hurt that it is warm most of the year and I love the heat. I have family in Florida and love to-go-a-visiting.

Italy is my European dream destination.
I am also a Travel Channel junkie and they did a stint about New Mexico that made my jaw drop. I would love to visit there. The rocks and Native American culture that is still alive in the area just really peaked my interest.

rachd said...

Hey, Anna, welcome again! =) I have a theory that everything in the south slows down because of the heat. I'm from Virginia so I know these things ;o).

My dream destination is definitely Italy.

I would love to post more, but I need to dash off and rescue a crying baby.

Sandra08081998 said...

Hey Anna,

I'm a southerner as well. I live in a small town outside of Charlotte, NC. I do love the south. People are very friendly and generous. I'm also a sweet tea addict! Something about all the sunshine and sweet tea! My favorite southern authors include Dorothea Benton-Frank and Pat Conroy. The areas I love to visit are in the low country in SC - Charleston, Sullivan's Island, Folly Beach etc.
Where would I go for a week? I would probably say Sidney, Australia. It is one place I have never been and I would love to visit. I would have to take(besides my husband), probably Jonny Depp or Orlando Bloom. Either would be nice!

Anna Destefano said...

Ya-ya, Marry Kate!!!! Sisterhoods are the best down here (and not the nun-sort ;O)

And yes, our men's manners are as amazing as those of the Italian New York I met in college in Atlanta, and married five years later because I couldn't let him go ;O)

Hmmm...Greece...or Spain. Lovely places I HAVE to go to some day. I've actually never been off North America (if you don't count some of our more southern islands).

Greece and Spain are turning out some of the world's best tennis players now (male tennis players, anyway). Getting back to our brief sports tangent yesterday, tennis is my passion now. Watching, playing. Nadal is Amazing...anyone else watch the French Open and Wimbledon???

I think a European Grand Slam would be an ultimate destination for me, too. And I'd taky my hunky Italian (my husband this time) along to enjoy!!! Enjoy the tennis, I mean...

Nairobi Typ0 said...

Hi Anna! Welcome to RBB! Where would i travel to? Travelling as much as my husband and I do, a lot of places come up simply so that one or other of us will get a new pin in the map. (Austalia in two weeks gets me a new continent and a new country. Double bonus points!)

I get to/have to travel a lot so when we get to do it merely for pleasure my husband and i have a long list. Chile would be lovely for the culture, ruins and the wine country! Cape Town, South Africa is probably one of my favourite spots in the whole world. (Plus more wine country to visit whenever we're there. :p ) Just about anywhere in Europe would be lovely but it's too danged expensive and other than the wine tours (!!) my husband would find it boring after the first 7 or 8 museums and art galleries.

But if i had to pick one right this instant, and y'all are going to make fun of me, it would be Disney World in Florida!! I've never been to Disney, heck i haven't even been to any of the southern US states. But the chance to meet Mickey with my embarrassed Hubby in tow would make even our trip to the Taj Mahal pale.

I know, I'm weird. :D :D

Julie in Ohio said...

I forgot to answer the most important part of the question...who I would take.

The answer is my husband. After all who do you think is going to pay for this trip. *g*



OK, maybe because he is a great guy who is fun to be with. There is never a dull moment when he is around. :o)

Anna Destefano said...

You did just fine, Julie, and I agree about the Native American cultures...a favorite hobby of mine. I'm part Cherokee.

Rach, hug the baby for me.

Sandra, Charlseton is one of my happy places. There are towns all over the map down here that I visit when I'm writing. Not to study or research, but just because the vibe is perfect for my bent of creativity. Charleston (where I was born) is one of those places. Absolutely one of the prettiest cities on the planet.
And I'd go absolutely anywhere with the Depster!!!

rachd said...

Okay, I'm back--Bit is just fine and snoozin' now. She figured out how to pull-up yesterday and now gets stuck in the upright position if you will.

I would travel Italy from top to bottom, exploring the food, culture and the ART! I should say I would take my hubby, but well, I think I would be better off taking my best friend. She and I go full speed non-stop when we travel and I would certainly get to see a whole lot more if she were with me. Something about not being distracted by the romance I think...

Ah, southern boys, gotta love 'em ;o).

Anna Destefano said...

Disney!!! No snickering here. We actually made a point to stop for a few days on our honeymoon, if you'll believe it. My dh is forever a child, he was in hog-heaven. Me, too, I'm not ashamed to admit. We get to go back every year or so now, because he has business conventions in one of the park hotels. Now my son's addicted, at least that's our excuse.

Our latest "kid" adventure that we did just because the "child" wanted to go--Lego Land in CA...picture me trailing my two men all over the park, shaking my head and smiling ;O)

ellie said...

I just love travel to Italy. It is my fave spot in the entire world. My husband would be the man I would take since we both appreciate its beauty and history.

Julie in Ohio said...

Montana would be another place I would love to visit. ("Legends of the Fall", anyone?)
I think I was a ranchers daughter in a previous life because I love to ride horses. The wide and wild open spaces really appeal to me...for a week or a month. :o)

pearl said...

I would travel the entire length and breadth of Italy. This would satisy my cravings for a short while but I would have to return for another infusion. It gets in the blood and I have to go again. I love everything about Italy. My husband would be my travel companion.

rachd said...

I would also love to travel the US and Canada. Heck, I think I would like to explore every continent except Antarctica if it comes right down to it. I would love to be a world traveler. But, I would start at home and then work my way west. I would definitely need to take my dh with me for this, though =).

Nairobi Typ0 said...

Rachd, they actually have these really cool cruises you can do so that world travellers can mark Antarctica off their list. Ok, that's not the only purpose of the cruise but it is popular for that reason. :p

I've never been on a cruise before but have warned Hubby that this one will be on our list eventually. :D

Meljprincess said...

Hi Anna! I'm proud to be a southerner and I love the slow pace. Living in the north, folks just don't understand why I poke ass along. You also won't find grits on any menu up here. *g*
If I had a week to go anywhere I wanted, I'd go to Scotland. And I wouldn't take anybody 'cause I'd want to meet lots of Scottish men. *bg* I GUESS that's all I have to say for now. See you back in your blog tomorrow. :-)

Anna Destefano said...

Okay, daking the dh is a common love of all the Bellas. I wouldn't have expected anything less from Michelle's loyal band.

But...I make my living writing contempory romance (fanasy, if you will, for the everyday woman), so give me your dreams...you gotta have a dream...

Oo-oo!! I know. Since I'm giving away rockin' fashion accessories all week on my site, let's play the "who would be Richard Gere to your Pretty Woman...and where in the whole world would you shop?"

Fantasy enough for everyone, LOL!!

I myself would have to go to Paris (maybe because I just saw Devil Wears Prada, and it A-M-A-Z-I-N-G). As for my sugar daddy...I'll take a cross between Collin Farrell (all cleaned up and unmaried, of course), because spending a bad boy's money would be a blast, and Paul Bettany, because I'd need a British Accent by my side to feel suitably refined as I'm buying out Chanel and Dior, LOL. Pass the gold card, and watch me go ;O)

Barbara-PF said...

I would go to London because it is the one place that I have always wanted to go overseas. There would be so much to do that I wouldn't need someone with me to insure I had a good time. Everything would be new and that in itself would insure that I had a good time...but I would probably take one of my friends along to have someone to chat with. Although if you travel alone it might be easier to meet new people.

Anna Destefano said...

One more post before I dive back into my current WIP for a while (sorry for the typos I'll keep posting, but I'm hopeless when I type fast).

I envy people who take cruises. Being spacially-challenged (tight spaces, lots of people, not a lot of air, and I'm the one in the corner trying to find a window to open), I've never been on one. I hear the ones to Alaska are wonderful...there I go, doing the North Amerian thing again...someone get this southern girl a passport!!

rachd said...

Okay, Paris for shopping, and, hmmm, I'll have to give this one some thought. Who's the sugar daddy? I'll get back to you as soon as I have it figured out. =)

Meljprincess said...

I'd go to England and shop on King's Road with the Deppster. *VBG*

Julie in Ohio said...

Rodeo Drive, baby!

I have never been to California (ok, west of the Mississippi River) and I believe that is where a Pretty Woman shops. *G*
As for my Richard Gere, I would say Donald Trump. He has the most $$, right? Maybe I could talk him into a new hair style. *g*

Meljprincess said...

I guess I should have said London 'cause that's where Kings Road is. Barbara-pf, if you get the chance to go..GO! London is fabulous!
Anna, I've always wanted to take an Alaskan cruise.

Nairobi Typ0 said...

Anna: There's nothing wrong with a good Typ0. :D :D

I don't know about shopping since i've come to adore bargaining. (Team work works best here!) Waterford would be a dangerous stop for me in Ireland though. I'm not a size 2 so most cool clothes shops are out. Tiffany's maybe?

My sugar daddy would have to be... David Beckham. He's cute. He's used to someone who likes to shop a lot so wouldn't notice when the credit cards got maxed out. And he seems to have good taste for those days when we went to the mall together.

Fannie said...

I have always been facinated by Greece. Not so much the cities but the small islands and the countryside. I read Mary Stewart's book " The Moon Spinners" years ago and it sparked an desire to see the places she wrote about. Then, I read her book "My Brother Michael" and that was it. I want to see The Greece in her books. I also want her heroes. They are fantastic. My more realistic week would be Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia. My companion would be my secret dreamboat. He is not famous but he sure does start me to dreaming X-rated dreams.
It is so nice to know there are many of us southern folk that enjoy reading. Hugs to all.

Julie in Ohio said...

OMG, I almost forgot my ultimate USA dream destination and shopping excurstion...NYC.
I have never been there and I love big skyscraper buildings. I went to Cleveland once with my cousin and we both looked up at the buildings and were just in awe and the pics I have seen show some awesome buildings.
I don't know where to go shopping there (Times Square?) but I would need to go down Broadway to see a show. *g*

I know I couldn't take my DH there because he has already expressed his distaste for the place. I would want to take someone who is familiar with the place so they can show me around to the places only locals know about...the hidden treasures.

Monica Burns said...

Welcome Anna! The bellas are determined to outdo me in posts from the other day! ROFL...I live in the south, although I'm a mid-West Yankee by birth. Can't quite give up that designation.

I don't mind the heat in the south, it's the humidity that just drags the wind out of me. *sigh*

Ok, as for where to go, MUST I really choose??? There are so many places.

1. England, specifically London - Jack the Ripper walking tour. Ok, yes I have a morbid curiosity. *grin*
2. Egypt (despite my absolute terror for snakes) I so want to visit the pyramids and do a visit out in the desert.
3. India (why is I'm fascinated with places that have the deadliest snakes in the world?) I would love to see the Tah Mahal and visit the Thar Desert and a number of places in Rahjasthan (sp?). Lots of great temples and the diversity in spiritual thought is fascinating.
4. Tibet - visit a monastery if they'll allow a woman in. I think the spiritual energy would be so healing and uplifting.
5. Disney World - Nairobi - Tower of Terror is the TOTALLY most outrageous ride I've ever been on! I can't get enough of it. And aside from Ukrops here in Richmond, no one else has customer service the way Disney does it (at least not that I've had the pleasure of experiencing!)

Basically when I'm rolling in dough, the DH and I will be doing major traveling.

However, since this is my fantasy, I'd have to say that I'd take Patrick Stewart to London because no matter how many Brits there are, I can't get enough of the accent! For Egypt, India and Nepal it would have to be Gerard he would protect me from all the negative elements in true Laura Croft fashion! LOL Disney World would have to be the DH because I'd be dead before I got on the plane without him. LOL

What a great question Anna. As you might have figured, I'm one of the more verbose bellas here. *grin* I never known when to shut up. Of course there's always...shut up Monica. LOL

Vivi Anna said...

HI Anna, you've convinced me...I already love the south...and I get to experience it in 10 days when I come down to Atlanta for a week for RWA Nationals...for me it will be a big change, as I'm from Canada, Alberta..where right now the Calgary Stampede is on and I'm surrounded by cowboys in tight fitting Wranglers.......mmmm, there is soemthing to say about Alberta...

If I coudl go anywhere it would be Greece, and Viggo Mortensen or Joaquin Phoenix would be there with me...or both of them, as I like variety...

Monica Burns said...

Oh right shopping! *gasp* How did I forget that? Ummm well, since I'm addict, I rarely go to stores. But JulieO you're right NYC is the ultimate. There's a Medieval Times store in Times Square that I love. I'd love to add more swords to my collection. I'm thinking of a Claymore in the near future.

Clothes? Nah, I hate clothes shopping, nothing ever fits. *sigh* But I could probably get into Bond Street in London, the couture houses in Paris, Milan for shoes and Rodeo just to see all the rich people. LOL

Andrea Sisco said...

Welcome Anna. This is a great blog and they're very welcoming. I so appreciated them on Tuesday. We've never reviewed your books... Hmmmmm.

I would go with my husband and it would be to England and then on to New Zealand (my favorite country)with a side trip to Tuscany... We travel throughout the world on a regular basis and always have a wonderful time together mixing business with the pleasure of travel.

MaryKate said...

Julie - NYC is the best city in the states, as far as I'm concerned! I adore NY and get there at least once a year. Best place to stay is Hell's Kitchen, right near Times Square. The food, the theater, the shopping, the pretention. I love it!

Anna - I'd imagine you wouldn't find cruising anywhere near as scary as you think. I just got back from a cruise in May. The ships really are like a floating hotel. They take such amazing care of you, and they're humungous. Plus, you wake up in a new place every day. It's pretty amazing!

I'm headed to Disney in November with my sister. I can hardly wait! I've only ever been to Magic Kingdom and I can't wait for MGM and Universal Islands of Adventure!

CrystalG said...

If I could go anywhere, it would be Australia. It is my dream to get there some day. My husband would be the one I would have to take to have a good time. We always have a good time going places. :)

Julie in Ohio said...

Alright, I'm taking Mary Kate with me to NYC. Pack your bags. Let's go!! :o)

kerri1973 said...

I have to comment here...since I'm a southern belle myself. :-) Who doesn't love hot southern men? I do declare..(insert batting of eyelashes here). Well, I love the beach and so if I could go anywhere it would be to the beach. I'm not picky about the particular location but the more private the better since I'd be taking along one hot southern guy a/k/a Josh Lucas (ya'll might remember him from the movie Sweet Home Alabama). He is delish!

Julie in Ohio said...

OK, Monica. You, too!! I want a full tour. Will it take more than a week? I'm make myself available. :o)

Cherie Japp said...

Hi Anna,

I would say I would go to Great Britain if I could go anywhere. I would take my twin sister and my husband who have also dreamed of going there. My twin because she loves British literature even more than I do and my husband because he owns some British cars and belongs to a car club here so he would have so much fun checking out the factories there for parts.

Monica Burns said...

MK - We went to Universal's Islands of Adventure and hated it!! I'm a huge roller coaster fan - AIR TIME reigns supreme! The rides a UIA were far from what I appreciate in amusement. The Dr. Doom drop was two drops...TWO! We're talk about a 45 second ride. The Hulk Rollercoaster was ok, but Rock n' Rollercoaster is far superior as is Time Track at Epcot. If you want some specific tips for Disney, email me at monicaburns@monicaburns.com. The DH and I are fanatics. We can give you some insider tips that most people don't know, like where the specific center of the Magic Kingdom park is. *grin*

If you want to do a Universal Studios park, I highly recommend the older one. It's better as far as entertainment. Also, consider an early morning swim with the dolphins or a day of training with the orcas at Sea World. Both are expensive but a splendid experience.

MaryKate said...

Julie - I'm in! Let's go. I'll get us a room at the Marriott Marquis, and we'll go see some musicals, do some shopping, and of course, STUFF OUR FACES!

And we have to tour Radio City! It's the best tour in the city IMHO! Love it!

Monica Burns said...

NYC is NOT something one can do in a week to FULLY appreciate the offerings of the city. Hey MK, what's your fav resturant. I love Jekyl and Hyde in Greenwich, the one midtown (or is it uptown) isn't as good IMHO.

JulieO - the museums are unreal! TOTALLY unreal. I love them, and Broadway is great, but tend to enjoy off-Broadway more. MK do you like Frank Wildhorn productions? He did Scarlet Pimpernel and some others. I got to see his Dracula the Musical 2 years ago and adored it!! Tom Hewitt was INCREDIBLE...singing AND looking! LOL

Monica Burns said...

Oh and since we're all Bellas, how could I forget Little Italy in NYC some of the best resturants, although it's always important to take note of how many guys are in the place. We went to one resturant that was only a few places down from the mob's fav hangout. Might be interesting for observation, but if one picks the wrong night...LOL

Anna Destefano said...

'Kay, gonna try and catch up with the Bellas ;O) Everyone, welcome some of my blog friends from my site, they're taking a field trip today to check out RBBB!

Fannie, I LOVE Mary Steward. I do all my travelling through books, too, and her descriptions of places and people were some of the first that sparked my interest in writing fiction. I wanted to make people feel like she did. I wanted them to dream about the worlds I'd painted.

Julie, you HAVE to go to NYC one day. And you have to hang out with a native New Yorker. I started going in college with my then-fiance. Walking around that city is like transporting into a differnt world--worlds. So many cultures, something different around every corner. Romance Writers of America will be there again soon for their national conference...maybe you could do a trip and come for their amazing literacy signing. All your favorite authors would be there to sign your backlist ;O)

Monica, problems with humidity, check! Have you seen my hair! A pushover for accents, check, check!! Did I mention my weak-in-the-knees reaction to Collin Farrell, no matter how much of an ass he makes of himself!

Vivi--another Anna!!! You'll have to look me up at RWA Nationals. Atlanta's my home town, so I'll be there, too. And my editors are from Canada--Toronto. I tease them all the time when I'm still playing tennis outside in December, and their first blizzard has come and gone. We're also having a HUGE reader luncheon in September, with authors like Sherry Kenyon attening. Here's the link, if anyone wants to come see my south for a bit. We might just have to find somewhere local to party!!!

http://www.georgiaromancewriters.org/Luncheon/RLMain.php

I'm a bargain shopper, too, whoever said she liked to shop sales. And clothes aren't always my ideal--purses, as you may have noticed are my dirty little drug of choice. I don't have to worry about finding a perfect size, and when I have too many, I know I can always give them away at one of my launch parties ;O)

Andrea, it seems this blog can become a bit addictive, LOL!! I had fun reading up on you the other day...think you might be staying around for a while??? And, um, if you're interested in reviewing emotional dramas set in small-town southern America, I just might be able to hook you up with some ;O) Michelle reviewed The Prodigal's Return last week, if you're up for a teaser.

Pant, pant... I can hardly keep up with you girls. Okay, a few more pages of the hot, hot hot love scene I'm writing, then I'll peak back out here! My hero is being gentle, and my heroine is about to jump his bones because she's tired of being treated like a fragile souther flower...

rachd said...

Okay, I've been giving it some thought. Why limit myself to shopping in only one spot? Start in Beverly Hills, move onto Chicago, Atlanta, New York, and then hop a jet to the UK and do some major shopping in London. From there onto Paris and then Italy. From there, the world's the limit =)!

So, I need a man with his own jet and a ton of money. At this point, as long as he's willing to shell it out, I'm willing to spend it. If I could go back in time I would say JFK Jr. Mighty fine hunka man and a private plane. Now, I don't know. There are way too many hotties to choose from! =)

rachd said...

Hot hot hot love scene??? Count me interested!! ;o) Love it when the herione jumps the I'm-just-a-good-boy-and-could-never-do-that-to-you hero's bones! =)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Phew. Youz girls leave me breathless. Reading your posts is like reading a book I can't put down. There! You've just been reviewed. Just remember to spell Buonfiglio correctly when you blurb me.

Welcome, Anna! You shake things up here, just like I knew you would. Now, lemmee tell ya, Anna is beautiful, and I totally thought she was Italian when I met her. Perhaps Southern Italian?

And I want to welcome our new Bellas, Sandra08081998, ellie, pearl, meljprincess, barbara-pf, and fannie. I'm guessing you're big Anna fans, as am I. I'm so glad you've stopped by to share your thoughts, and hope you'll keep coming back.

Why am I not remarking individually on all your funny, great stuff, Bellas? My husband threatened me. He wants me to rest and says that only includes sleeping and reading.

But can I tell you at breakfast I came up with an idea for a really cool book?

Anyway, I guess my fantasy destination is Italy, cause I've wanted to go since I was a kid. Dave's been there twice. I want to go everywhere, city, coutryside, etc. I want to see it like a native, with someone who speaks the language and knows the best restaurants, the best country inns, etc.

And I want to get there while I'm still young enough to not be too embarrassed to show my face around all those beautiful Italians.

Who would I take? Dunno. A few years ago it would have been Andrea Boccelli. I know you think I'll say Canna, cheeky Bellas. But I want to actually LEAVE the hotel room. (ew. was that as creepy as it sounded? Have I become a fangrl?)

Help me out here: I need somebody smart and Alpha, preferably Italian or Latin.

Oooo, Oooo! The last part of the fantasy is we'd shop everywhere, from "knee to toe of the boot," but I'd have an expert personal shopper to help me choose the wardrobe that was perfect, fashionable, and hip. I'd give up Canna in a hotel room for that, Bellas.

Oh. I see I've missed post while writing. I'll be back.

rachd said...

Hey, MK, Julie, wait for me!! I wanna play too! =)

Anna Destefano said...

Gotta do Little Italy in NYC, Bellas. There's a resturant, on Mott street, I think called Pellegrinos...yummmmmmm. And, bonus!! It's right by China Town, so you can hop on over for sponge cake after, and maybe play tic-tac-toe with the chicken. No, really. Serious...

Rach, go for the tour-de-shopping of shopping, girl!!! Though I'd stay way from playbos who sly their own planes. Too many of them end up ditching into the blue stuff...shudder...

Now, about that love scene...

"Why are you here babysitting me tonight?"

"I'm trying like hell to be the kind of friend I should have been to you all along." His voice hardened with the same need that was chipping away at her control. And still, his voice was so gentle, the contrast was the most erotic thing she'd ever seen.

"Maybe...maybe I don't want any more friends," she stuttered.

What she needed, dangerous or not, was him. The way he'd been before things fell apart, the way they'd been when they'd first met. Lost and free and unaware of anything more than the magic waiting for them every time they were in each other's arms.

Just one more time before this night was over.

"Maggie--"

Her kiss silenced him. She swallowed his hungry growl. Tasted him with her tongue. Ran trembling fingers up the muscles of his stomach until she could smooth them over his ribs.

He gripped her shoulders, everything but his need stripped away...


Oops, I thought I had MS Word open ;O)

MaryKate said...

Michelle - You'll probably need someone to watch Canna's back(side) for you while you guys are travelling. I'll come and help. That's me big GIVER! Always GIVING, never TAKING. ;oP

Mon - Favortie restaurants in NY? BLT Steak for steaks (I'm a HUGE carnivore), Norma's at the Parker Meridian for brunch, Beppe for italian, Katz's for deli. I could go on and on and on.

Rach - The more the merrier! You can absolutely play too!

Anna - I'll take one of those in a size LARGE! I love when heroes feel like they need to be all "noble" and they end up getting ravished for their trouble!

Oh! Also Bellas, I just re-read last night FALLEN FROM GRACE by Laura Leone. Has anyone else read this one? Features probably my favorite older woman, younger man story ever. It's also unique in the genre. I've never read a story like it. Her writing is SO tight and well delivered. Her characters are so genuine and the hero is a hearbreaker. Has anyone read this one?!?!?!

rachd said...

Oh, that's good, Anna! That's really good ;o).

I hear ya on the crashing thing. Since sugar daddies are rich anyway, how 'bout if they have their own jet and pilot?

Michelle, glad you could pop in! =)

Anna Destefano said...

Arrrrg, the typos. Of course, she heard his voice...

Joy said...

Hello from another hot area of the country-Arizona. However, we don't slow down as much here-i guess because we don't have much humidity.
Being artists, my husband and I love to paint in Tuscany. It is a beautiful area and of course, I would have to take a model with me-say Keanu Reeves or Andy Garcia. Can't you picture them in a vineyard or posing as a statue of marble. Ahhhhh, the possibilities.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Now THAT's what I'm talkin about!

See why Anna Destefano rocks, Bellas?

rachd said...

MK, you generous soul you, looking out for Michelle's best interests. Way to put yourself out there for her *wink*.

Haven't read Laura's book, that I can remember anyway. I've read other stuff by her though and really liked it.

You just let me know when you and the bellas are gettin' together and I'm SO there! ;o)

Anna Destefano said...

Sigh...Canna's butt...now this writer girl could typo all over that lovely thing, and rewrite, and rewrite, until I got it juuuuuust right ;O)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hey, Anna reader fans! Thank you so much for joining us today...hope you feel welcome and will come back (if you dare)...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

LOL! You go, Anna, girl... Is that what writing hot love scenes does to you?

We talk a lot about how our reading romance "affects the happiness" of our husbands and guys. How does your bel tipo feel about your writing romance?

Monica Burns said...

Great scene Anna! but did you have to stop? Of course I'm at work, and it would be bad form to be going, YES, YES, YESSSS! at work wouldn't it. LOL

MK, we have got to take JulieO to the big city!!

Michelle, I'm happy to use your name as having reviewed us bellas (your ultimate fan club), I just want to know HOW to pronounce it! ROFL I'll find out in a week and half, and you're gonna have to let me try first before you correct me! ROF Oh, and congrats on the idea!! Roll it out there hon!

rachd said...

Hey, Mon, what about me??? I've never been to NYC either!! Hmph. Where's the love, I ask you?

Oh, Mon, are you going to Hotlanta too? How fun! You bellas going will have to share all the deets with us stuck at home. =)

Monica Burns said...

Oh Rach, I would NEVER leave you out intentionally bella! Besides you could just ride up 95 with me, that is if you just this wild German/Italian's driving (I used to have high risk ins because of my heavy foot - what is behinda me is no important! LOL)

As for Hotlanta, yes I'm going, I think Vivi is too, and I KNOW Michelle's going. I've told her about a blog that's tracking all of us who are blogging about the conference.

Anna, are you going???

rachd said...

LOL, thanks, Mon! =)

Yep, Vivi mentioned she's there. So that's three of you from here. Wonder who else.

Anna Destefano said...

Michelle, my dh is my biggest fan, and my first editor. He reads anything and everything. Can consume a 400 page book in a single night. And he's got plot down cold.

Now the romance part, he has no problem helping me...um...edit, when needed. He's such a trouper!!

Seriously, he's so proud of my sometimes I feel like I've woken up and found myself living one of my dreams. That kind of support is the sexiest thing of all, isn't it, Bellas.

Monica, let's see if we can't get you in a little trouble a work ;o) That is if the Siamese napping beside my laptop would stop stretching and typing phantom characters as I post...

"I...I need you." She leaned deeper into his touch. "I need--"

She lost the rest in his kiss, his own raw need, as his lips covered hers. His hands were as strong as she remembered, his touch magic. He stroked her back, then around to her breasts. He filled his palms with her as his mouth left a trail of kisses on its way to her ear.

"I don't want to hurt you." Desire made his words both a caress and a warning.

She arched closer and let her own hands explore. Knowing he needed her, hard and demanding, even as his hands soothed down her back, the only thing that could hurt now was if he stopped.

"Then love me," she whispered, watching his pupils expand at her words.

She tensed, waiting for him to edge away, same as he always had when things got too real. He eased her back instead, his strong body covering her, the heat from his touch searing, ripping at her control.

She closed her eyes, fighting the memories that were still intertwined with her emotions.

"Shh," Matt murmured again. His fingers slid beneath the hem of her top to flick across the navel ring he loved to play with. "Don't think, Maggie. Just feel. Let me make it better."

His mouth took over for his fingers, freeing his hands to work at the fastenings of her drawstring pants. Cool, midnight black hair filled her fingers when she reached for him, tugging his head closer as his pleasure consumed her.

Her clothes disappeared beneath his touch.

"Matt, please," she begged.

"I'm right here, Baby." His mouth dipped lower still. "I'm not going anywhere."

Grabbing the bedspread, she let herself ago. Let his too-gentle touch and the hard edge of passion in his voice sweep her away. This was for her. He couldn't have made it clearer.

For the first time, he was focused solely on her, open and giving, yet just as driven as ever to control the incredible things he made her feel.

God help them both when it was finally time to wake up from this dream. But just this once, she was grabbing what she wanted, no matter the risks.

rachd said...

Wow! I want more!!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh, my, my, my.

MaryKate said...

Now THAT's what I'm talkin' 'bout!

I need more. Immediately!

Manda said...

Dang! I had a doctor's appointment this morning and I get back to find 57 postings!!! We are having a banner few days here.

Michelle--rest, Bella. We love you and want you healthy, wealthy AND wise (which you totally are already).

Welcome, Anna, as a Southern belle myself, I'm all about the small town stories. When I was younger, like all rebellious youth I wouldn't have anything to do with southern set books, but I've come around and seen what I've been missing. Nice scene BTW;0)

MK, Julie, Rach, pleeeeeeese can I come with yall on the trip? I'll bring extra chocolate!

My dream trip is Italy for now, followed by France or Greece. In continental US, I really want to go to Martha's Vineyard/Nantucket OR Maine. It's hot as hell down here in Mobile today so I'm dreaming of Northern climes where the humidity is low and breezes are cool.

robynl said...

I would love to take a train ride out to the West coast here in Canada and view the absolutely gorgeous scenery. Hubby would be with me and enjoying it.

bamabelle said...

Hi Anna! Hi Michelle!

I made the field trip over from Anna'a blog. As a southern girl myself, I love stories about the south. I love the quirky characters that seem to be plucked directly from a page of my own history. I love the settings that are so similar to the backdrop of my own life. Anna is one of the best at capturing the essence of the South on the written page. She also likes Colin Farrell, so obviously she's a smart girl lol!

If I could go anywhere in the world, it would be Greece. I would love to stay in a villa overlooking the sea with my husband. Of course, if we are talking fantasy here ... yes Colin Farrell.

Shopping... I'd say London with Sean Connery. He is so elegant that it just seems fitting.


Hugs, Zara

rachd said...

Manda, as long as you're packin' chocolate, you can come with me *anywhere* =). Hope all went well at the doctor's. Everything okay?

Andrea Sisco said...

Anna: I'm sticking around. I'm lurking mostly today (taking a break from editing!) Love small southern towns. I believe I am a southern gal who was drop kicked into the north. A truly horrific situation. I think we should talk. Can I say, on Michelle's blog, contact me??? I think so. Michelle's all for promoting wonderful authors.

Anna Destefano said...

Speaking of quirky, (and then I have to beg off or a bit. Feeding the ten-year-old lunch calls, among other things), my latest favorite contemp. southern story is Susan Elizabeth Phillip's Aint She Sweet?M. People who didn't get it thought it was a farce, but that town and the people she painted were sooooo similar to what I grew up with in Savannah, GA, it was spooky sometimes. L-O-V-E-D it. You gotta get you some of that, y'all ;O)

Anyone else have a southern-themed favorite? Linda Howard did one years ago called Shades of Twilight, too. Amazing stuff!!

MaryKate said...

Yeah Manda, let us know you're OK.

Of course you can come with us to NYC! Chocolate only means you can sit next to me!!!

Anna - Your book sounds fabulous! Will you give us a little synopsis? We know it's Maggie and Matt, but what's the setup?

Anna Destefano said...

Can I say, on Michelle's blog, contact me???

LOL, Michelle's is a great place to "hook up"!!!

Andrea, are you one of the Bellas coming to Atlant later in the month?

ruby55 said...

Hey, it's hot enough here already!(g)

Hm, where would I like to go? I'd say Hong Kong and maybe part of the rest of China. Taking alond somebody would be a mite difficult since I'd be visiting a friend in HK and homes there are not of the large variety unless you've got millions of $.

Oh, rest assured, I've been to Italy twice already. The second time, when I was driving, two guys from Sorrento kept playing catch-and-pass for about 30 km. Since I was going to Pompeii, they lost me. Too bad.

Yeah, know "all" about those Italian guys, including Italian-Canadians, e.g., my landlords, beauty salon owners. Oh, how one of them talks up the ladies.

Anna, must admit I haven't read any of your books yet though I have a couple. They're "clueless in the basement, er...they're in the basement after a move here and *I* am clueless as to where they are. But I got your newsletter so I thought I'd say hi anyway.

Anna Destefano said...

MaryKate, catch me in a few...I'll chat books all you like ;o)

Michelle reviewed the one that's in stores now, The Prodigal's Return, last week, so check out the previous reviews on Romance B(u) the Book...

Matt and Maggy are in the book that's due out next Feb...hence the revisions I'm working on now. The Perfect Daughter is the last in a three-book series I'm writing. Check out the first two novels on my bookshelf:

http://annawrites.com/bookshelf.shtml

Will check back in after the PB&Js are done...

Monica Burns said...

Anna, YOU are killing me here. THANK GOD the Boss is at lunch.

I TOTALLY got A$$ (see Michelle I'm being good today LOL). I thought it was a great book.

And the bellas are wild today. Every time I refresh the blog there are at LEAST 10 new posts! Oy!!

Oh and MK, JulieO, Rach, Manda we have got to get cheesecake at Lindy's. That's still there isn't MK??? OMIGOD, it's better than se...umm no I don't think so...almost though...almost. LOL

Michelle, you need to think about hosting a party either at RT or RWA where the bellas and new bellas can get together. Hell, just start up your own conference! We'd all come!! It's been a while since I was in the twin cities.

MaryKate said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MaryKate said...

Mon - What you meant is "it's better WITH se..."

LOL!

I'm not sure if Lindy's is still there or not.

Anna - If you haven't checked out Andrea's site armchairinterviews.com, you should!Terrific content!

bamabelle said...

Anna,

I just finished "Ain't She Sweet?" by SEP a couple weeks ago, and I loved it! You just gotta love Sugar Beth and Colin Byrne. Ya'll read it. You will not be sorry.

Andrea Sisco said...

Anna: No, I'm not going to Atlanta. Someone has to keep Armchair Interviews running... Connie is in Dallas and I leave for Orlando next week. Alas, I will be left behind to do edits, review books, read new ones. Ummm, not too bad.

Monica Burns said...

MK you just gave me a V8 moment!
Mon (smacking head!) LOL

Julie in Ohio said...

OMG, Anna, WOW!! That is really all I can say.
I just finished SEP "Ain't She Sweet". I really enjoyed it. I loved the small town atmosphere.

Looks like we better book an entire floor at the hotel in NYC. :o)

Little Italy? We can do two destinations in one. Is tomorrow to soon to go?

Julie in Ohio said...

OOOHH, a Bella Gala. That sounds like fun. Too bad I won't be at RWA. PPFFTT!

Jeanette J said...

I would love to go to a nice deserted island for a week with Sean Connery...just the two of us...no competion since I would bring only males to cook, serve etc.

Leslie said...

I live in the small town of Albany, actually it's Worth County, out on the outskirts between Worth County and Dougherty County. I love to hear the crickets at night rather than big trucks. I love the south and I love southern men.

Anna Destefano said...

Whoever has the link for bloggers going to RWA, fill me in. I'm planning to blog and upload pics all week I'm there.

Then again, I'd planned to do that at RT, too, but there was so much fun going on, dancing with hunky cover models and meeting fun people like Michelle, that I had no time for anything else... Did I mention the hunky cover models just begging the girls to dance??? How can you blog with that going on, LOL. At least I brought back lots of pics.

I'll see your Sean Connery, Jeanette, and raise you a Timothy Dalton...he was my fav. long before James Bond...since I saw a film of him playing Heathcliff... Oh-my-gosh!!!! Talk about a panty-changing moment ;O)

Maureen said...

If I could go anywhere I would pick New York. It has everything; fantastic shopping, food, museums, Broadway.

Anna Destefano said...

And Andrea, I'm off to investigate armchairinterviews...will look you up over there, okay?

Julie in Ohio said...

Barcelona, Spain. I hear Antonio Banderas would be a good one to bring along. It is always good to have someone who knows the language when traveling to a different country. :o)

I would also like to go to Ireland. I have seen pictures and sigh over the landscape. I would like to drink a pint and sing bawdy songs in a pub. And of course that means I would need to have Colin Farrell with me. Who else knows all the best pubs to go to? *g*

Jennifer Y. said...

WOW Anna...nice pics!

Hugs from another Georgia girl!

I'd love to travel the world. I never get to go anywhere so it would be cool to visit several foreign countries. Scotland, England, Australia, and many more are on my list. Of course I would have to take longer than a week. I am not sure who I would take with me.

sharon said...

I loe your darling website with the cutest gifts imaginable. For travel it would be a go with only one place on earth that I love and pine for. With my husband at least en entire month off touring the entire country of Italia.

Tam said...

I love a family cruise around the world. To stop in every port for at least 2 - 3 days. Thats not asking for much is it?

Monica Burns said...

Anna, the link to Jude's blogger site is

http://bloggingnational.blogspot.com/

A whole group of us are blogging about our experiences. I KNOW Jude would love to include your link. *smile*

Um, well Tammy, I think that depends on whose family we're talking about. I love my siblings, but the last family vacation we had to together was WORSE than Chevy Chase's National Lampoon Vacation. I'll NEVER do another "family" vacation. LOL

Anna Destefano said...

Tam, I'm with you on the family cruise, but I'm thinking immediate family would be my ideal. I LOVE the peace in my world, but some of the history and tension of my past is all caught up in family (interestingly enough, it's the same way for most of my characters...hmmmmm...) A getaway wouldn't be complete, unless everyone could let go and live for the moment...give me that, and I'd be ready to go, go, go...the Chevy our family, however, would have to stay home ;o)

rachd said...

Hey, Anna, what's happening with that scene?? You left me hangin' here, bella! =)

Anna Destefano said...

Okay, lunch turned out to be Tostino's pizza, instead of peanutbutter...you know, those 5 for $5 little junkie pizzas you used to eat as a kid...I stole a slice from my starving child, and T has now joined my list of comfort foods...I literally had a childhood flashback...you know, to when I had months off in the middle of the year to play, play play...sigh...

Comfort food. I know the Bellas have to have some, besides the chocolate (to which I have a lifetime addiction...my son could say Godiva by the time he was three). What else makes you drool, say while you're watching world cup...besides Canna's dandy assets?

As for book talk, I'd love to chat about just about anyhthing, but I want the Bellas to have fun, too. We have to recharge, so we can get back to our heavy reading at night, right? I'm having so much fun hanging with you ladies, I feel like a have my slice of vacation after all.

Let me know what you'd like to know...

Anna Destefano said...

Rach...leaving you hanging is my job ;O)

How about a glimpse of the morning after? That's what I'm up to now with the revisions.

You may notice a trend in these scenes...I've got nothing to say, if I can't meddle with your emotions ;O)

Matt pulled a sleeping Maggie closer, his hand never stopping its sweeping caress over the soft skin beneath his fingers.

She was mesmerizing. Tough and sweet and smart and vulnerable. A deadly combination for a man who'd been starved for all of it ever since she'd left him.

He was going to have to wake her soon. The doctor had warned that even though her concussion was mild, there was still a risk of complications. Someone should periodically wake her up and check her pupil reflexes. Matt had promised Tony he'd call if he wasn't able to get in and do just that.

Well he'd gotten in.

Back into a relationship the woman in his arms was certain he didn't want. She was still terrified of so much more than the MS 13s, him most of all. His world was still too hard for someone with her history, but that wasn't all of it. She didn't feel safe with him, because when she'd first run, he'd let her. He'd convinced himself it was for the best.

Blind, self-centered asshole!

Now, nothing mattered but keeping her safe and talking her out of running again.

When she'd lost control, she'd begged him to love her. And, God help them both, he did. He always would.

Maggie stiffened in his arms, just a slight movement, but it was enough to tell him she was awake. Yet she didn't open her eyes. She didn't move. Her mind was no doubt already racing with what they'd done, everything they'd said and how she was going to talk him and herself out of believing that it had meant anything.

"Don't even think about it," he murmured against her hair. His arms tightened around her. "Don't think about how to run from me again, Maggie. Don't think about yesterday or anything else. Just lie here and let me hold you."

Meaning something to this woman, being there until she decided what she needed so he could help her get it. Nothing had ever been more important...

rachd said...

Okay, so this book won't be out until *next* spring?? How can you tempt us with such wonderful glimpses and then leave us dangling until *NEXT* spring?? ;o)

Sounds wonderful and I guess I'll just have to add it to my Amazon shopping cart. :oP

Anna Destefano said...

Rach, I'm just evil that way, LOL.

There are two books out this year, though...to tied you over until Feb. Both full of equally gut-wrenching emotion.

Smooches, Bellas, for liking the teasers...you're exactly what a girl needs as she revises your rough draft, hoping her editor will love the changes!!!

Monica Burns said...

I love your hero Anna, he's yummy. And I'm a tough nut to crack when it comes to heroes. *grin*

Valeen said...

Popping in just for a second - I seriously wish there was more time in the day. And Oh my good Lord, there are 98 replies!

Where would I go? Scotland, I'd say. And who would I want to show me around? Julie Garwood's Alec Kincaid. LOL Or Karen Marie Moning's Drustan McKeltar.

Estella said...

My destination would be Hawaii with my husband.

rachd said...

Good grief--we've topped 100 comments and it's not even 3:00 yet!! Wow, Anna, you're good ;o).

Anna Destefano said...

Okay, Bellas, I'm off for an hour or two. My son has a doctor's appointment. My husband's taking him, out of respect for my deadline (and the fact that he's spent the better part of the month travelling and making a single parent ;o). But I have to be the taxi from home to his office...you know, because, afterall my schedule's uber-flexible since I work at home...not that I'm bitter...

Comfort foods, ladies. I know you have something amazing to tempt me with, so I'll have to make a late-night dash to the 24-hour Kroger!!! What's your craving (beyond hunks of burning hero love)?

Catcha in a few!!!

Billie said...

WOW! You mean I could have a week of being anywhere I wanted? Gee, where will I go? I believe I will have to go to Egypt. Mom has to go too. Okay, so maybe it won't be romantic, but atleast there will be lots of bonding.

MsFlexie said...

What a fun question!

A few days ago I found out about a cruise that leaves from Amsterdam and makes stops in Copenhagen, Stokholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Oslo... WHAT FUN GETAWAY THAT WOULD BE!!! And I'd bring one of my best girlfriends with... Of course I'd have a ton of fun by challenging them to come up with the best bribe for me to pick one of them first! *WG*

MaryKate said...

MK's ultimate comfort food: Triple Chocolate Cake. Served warm.

It quite simply rocks!

rachd said...

Comfort food. How 'bout hot fried apple pies? So hot that if you aren't careful the applebutter will ooze out and burn your lips. Um.

Amy S. said...

I would go to Hawaii or Australia with Keanu Reeves.

catslady said...

Wow, so many posts. I'm going to take a cruise around the world and hit all kinds of cities, big and small, and I'm going to pick up someone "interesting" in every port. Since this is fantasy - gotta think big lol.

Monica Burns said...

Ok, Rach--hot fried apple pies are where we're gonna part company bella. LOL

I have almost too many comfort foods to name!! Hence the width of my hips. *sigh* Hot fudge sundaes from Friendly's are the best IMHO, when I get a reject, have a bad day at the office or any other depressive type of event, I head to Friendly's and order the Super Scoop Hot Fudge Sundae. I still feel miserable in most cases after eating, but at least I can have a pleasant time being miserable. ROFL

Can you believe this BELLAS!!! Michelle's blog has crashed the 100 barrier. Will we hit 150?

MaryKate said...

Mon - I like Mint Chocolate Chip Shakes from Baskin Robins (they closed our Friendly's, can you believe it?!?!)

MsFlexie said...

comfort food --- ummm, good red wine (preferrably Italian, like Montelcino) and assortment of cheeses and crackers!

rachd said...

See, ya'll just don't appreciate the good stuff. ;o)

I thought mentioning anything with chocolate would be redundant. =)

As MK pointed out the other day hot Krispy Kremes are really the way to go.

MaryKate said...

As MK pointed out the other day hot Krispy Kremes are really the way to go.

Sure, Rach, I was sorta talking about Krispy Kremes (and to be fair, Julie won the junk food wars), but really it was a euphamism... ;oP

rachd said...

Well duh, I know that, I'm just saying the euphamism as well as the real thing are the ultimate in comfort food ;o).

Anna Destefano said...

Oooh, euphmisms for K-Ks...what could you mean... Tell, tell!!

I'm a brownie fudge sundae girl myself, when it comes to the sweet stuff. But I have low blood sugar, so the sticky sweet and I have to be on our best behavior.

Salt, however...now we're talking. Soups and french fries and anything cheesy... Hmmmmm...and like I said, really bad for ypu pizza...

I think I need to go to the gym tomorrow, just for thinking about all this!

Fannie said...

Chocolate Ice Cream, Chips Ahoy Candy Blast cookies and a glass of milk are my comfort foods. I also like hot fried apple pies. They are so good. Even better with a scoop of Vanilla ice cream. But I also like bacon sandwiches and a hot cup of coffee. This has been so much fun. I've had a blast reading all the posts.

Monica Burns said...

Now being the erotic romance gal here, can you imagine how excellent a Krispy Kreme would if a snaxy guy were to act as the serving plate??? ROFL

I LOVE KK, the DH and I when we first met in college would do late night study sessions, but before we settled in, we'd stop at the local KK and get a box (one for each of us! *grin*) to snack on with several mugs of instant hot cocoa. We both love that memory. We need to resume that on occasion. In fact, perhaps in the very near future! LOL

Monica Burns said...

Fannie, what kind of bacon sandwiches?? I love BLTs

Anna - I love salt too! Actually anything bad for me I love. LOL Nachos are my favorite salty snack.

Anna Destefano said...

Ummm nacho with really greasy chili...can you believe that I'm a health nut!!!

A girl's got to have her wicked little fantasies...I'm off to dream of serving plates for sticky sweet, hole-in-the-middle breakfast pastries ;O)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I leave for just a little while to rest and come back and all heck hath broke loose. Are we back on the Krispy Kremes again, girls? Cause I gotta tell ya, I'm in Dunkie's land now, and I am solidly in thier corner. And may I add they make the best coffee known to womankind?

Now, salt and fat, that is also where my allegiance lies/lay (poo you grammar police). Keep the sweets, but gimmee sumthin like buttery popcorn, etc. Of course, I have to have it with an icy Coca-Cola.

Robin in NC said...

Hey Anna!!

My pick would have to be Hawaii, with my great hubby! We go to Disney at least once a year & we're in our 50's!! Sometimes we even let my grandson come along! LOL!!! BTW, as you can see from my blogger ID, I'm a transplanted yankee & would never go back to the Ohio winters!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh, Anna. Just read your latest excerpt. sigh. I just love me some hero pov.

Did I say that right you Southern Belle-ahs?

Thank you, Anna's friends for stopping by!!! How cool to have new e-friends to join us. Especially cool to see how you just fit right in...

And it's incredible having so many readers chime in. Usually, it's just tons and tons and tons of lurkers (you know who you are).

Honestly, we love to hear what everyone has to say. Our motto: Never too much TMI on RBtheBlog!

Don't worry how to say it, just blog on...

Julie in Ohio said...

Holy smokes! Gone for a few hours and come back to serious blogging.

Now I'm gonna read all that I missed. :o)

Robin in NC said...

Oops, forgot goodies from Kroger...Krispy Kremes are always a top pick, especially the cream filled with chocolate icing, YUM! But then you've got to cut the sweet with something salty, hmmmm, how about some Chex Mix? And always have Diet Coke with everything! ;-)

Jennifer Y. said...

I LOVE Krispy Kremes...they are very addicting. I am also addicted to chocolate...LOL

Anna Destefano said...

Chex mix is my son's fav., Robin.

Michelle, DD's chocolate cake doughnut minis are my dirty sweet treat secret. I steal them out of the box when no one's looking, he-he.

Pringles (the low fat kind, of course, cause like I said, I'm a health nut) are my snacky food when I'm on deadline and the stomach is feeling all stressed and I need carbs to sooth things. Don't let that juicy rationalization pass without a raised eyebrow or two, Belllas.

Manly POV...My favorite writing thing. I have husbands email me regularly, saying they enjoy reading their wives copies of my books, because I spend some much time on the guy's story.

There are those years of training play sports and working with men paying off again. I think the hero's journey in my stories are just as important as the heroine's.

Plus, and I mean this with all due respect, I tend to be able to mess up the guys more to begin with. If the heroine's too flawed, editors get a little nervous when you're writing straight romance. But feel free to beat away at the hero's backstory. he's tough. He can take it ;O)

Julie in Ohio said...

AAHHH, comfort foods. My third favorite subject.

Anna, do you know what an elephant ear is? They are definitely in the comfort food catagory but are seasonal.

My biggest comfort isn't so much a food but has food properties to it...CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH minus the chocolate chips.
If I am stressing about anything I will whip up a batch and eat as much as I can, then put the chips in and bake the rest for the family. *g*

Julie in Ohio said...

Michelle, you've gone over to the dark side?
How could you abandon the KKs? They are hot and melt in your mouth...take that anyway you, Bellas wish. *wink*

I love my Mocha Lattes from Beaners. They start my morning on the right note.
Either that or a french vanilla capp from the nearest gas station. They are surprisingly tastey. *g*

Monica Burns said...

Oh JulieO!! you mentioned the most fav of all treats that I craved when I was pregnant with both my girls RAW chocolate cookie dough. I still hanker for it sometimes, so I'll go and just whip it up, but I have to have the chocolate chips because the semi-sweet chocolate has that good chemical enzyme (sp?) in that helps ease depression. Yummm! Thank goodness the DH is fixing dinner as I type. I won't feel the urge to make some to compliment the ultra uber treat I just bought. Ready for this??? The girls ate almost every piece of the Caravel Ice Cream cake I bought yesterday. I had one sliver!! So I'm punishing them, I bought another one and it's just for the DH and me to enjoy!! ROFL They're soooo pleading for more, but Mom is standing tough. LOL

ReadinDiva said...

Hey Anna,
Looks like it has been busy around here today.Here are my answers to your questions for today.

Now, if you had a week to go anywhere you wanted, where would it be? ~I would love to go to the islands maybe Bahamas or Jamaica. Wish I had the body to lie around on the beach (no such luck)

And who would you absolutely have to take with you
to be sure you had a good time? To be safe I would have to say my hubby. If I could be naughty and take a playmate it would have to be Demetrios Angelo, a very yummy cover model. A girl can dream, can't she?
Check him out:
http://www.c4intensetraining.com/c4tb4.html

Patsy

Anna Destefano said...

Monica, you're not a nice lady. I like that about you!!!

My baby cravings were again of the salt and fat variety. I don't eat red meat, and for the full ten months I was preggers, I couldn't eat much at all. But when I did start to crave, it was for big, juicy, greasy hamburgers... You should have seen my husband go flying out the door at the mere suggestion that I'd eat anything. We should have bought stock in Wendys. Oh, and the fries were good, too ;O)

Monica, I love your cover picture. Is it a book I can buy online?

Anna Destefano said...

Yowza, Patsy!!!

My cover model dream boats (of which I have many, and I've gotten to dance with all of them at RT the last two years)? Here are my top two--

Peter Decicco

http://www.peterdecicco.com/

Bill Freda

http://www.billfreda.com/portfolio2.htm (I don't so much like the first pic. you see, so click on the portfolio and indulge yourself in the rest ;O)

Both are incredibly nice men...it's just not fair to look like that and be a good guy...

There are pics of my dancing with both of them in my blog archives...on my website, too, I think, though the gallery there's not always as current.

Come to RT next year, and you, too, can live the dream ;O)

Julie in Ohio said...

When I have a hankering for cookie dough, Monica, that is what I want. I don't want anything getting in my way. :o)

Anna, I don't think I have mentioned (although with all these posts I didn't go back to see *g*) what wonderful excerpts you gave us. The teasing was cruel (in the bestest of ways) but the before and after shot you gave us was HOT. Thank you so much.
In case I don't get back on before you have to go, I wanted to say "Thanks for a great day. It has been lots of fun."

Manda said...

Wowee! I had meetings at work all day so I didn't have time to check in! Our little corner of the web is hopping this week!

And I totally missed the comfort food/yummy food discussion. Of course as I'm reading this I'm eating my dinner from Taco Bell...
Still gotta love the Krispi Kremes, though I like an occasional Dunkin Donut for variety's sake.

Don't worry about doc visit, Bellas. Routine bloodwork. All is well. Just a pain in the arm and the finger:)

Andrea, sorry I missed you today! I've read the comments though and am gonna buy your book!

Carol said...

A trip to Italy would be sooooo great. I'm 100% Italian and I would love to visit all historical places and the museums. I would love to look up some of my relatives that are still living there.

I read The Prodigal's Return and enjoyed it very, very much!

Angie-la said...

Popping in from Anna's blog...
Wow! I'm impressed!
This is quite the active little community! I'm a little intimidated.
Just kidding. As another Southern "gal" I just have to say, y'all are just too much fun!

rachd said...

Anna, it's been sucha blast!! =) Thanks for poppin' over to play--will you come back?? =)

Manda, glad all is well, you had us a little worried!

Sandy said...

Thanks for inviting us over from Anna's blog. I also am from the south (AL) and am now living in Tucson, AZ. Big culture shock! I miss that slower pace, good friends, the smell of rain , of course my family, and the food. Nothing like southern cooking.

Stacy~ said...

OMG I miss all the fun LOL. Hotties and travel and fave food and hotties and sexy excerpts - wow, fanning myself Anna. Those were awesome.

I'm going to RWA (to support the reader faction) and I can't wait. I've never been to Atlanta but I'm really looking forward to it, and of course meeting some of the Bellas from here. My first RWA...fortunately I'll be hanging with some veterans of the event.

As for travel, I love cruises. I think it's such a great way to see a lot of different places, and there's so much to do and see. It's great. I want to go to Scotland, and Ireland, and Punta Cana, and Prince Edward Island, and the French Riviera, because doesn't that sound exotic?

Gotta go and check out some of those hottie sites ;)

I want to go

doll said...

I'd love to live in the south--warm temperatures and a slower pace of life would really suit me. Love those great looking guys in the pictures.
Pat

Lucy Monroe said...

Oh, my...I meant to come and chat in the morning, but got caught up doing a major overhaul on my website. Won't go live just yet. But, well, sigh...I couldn't stop. It's sorta scary being this compulsive about some things.

Where would I go? Someplace warm and sunny with a beach and my family...but two suites so the teens have their down time while dh and I share ours. I really love traveling with my family and it's gotten even more fun with the kids being old enough to go off on their own sometimes.

Right now I think I'd like to be on a small cruise ship touring the Greek islands. Yep...that sounds just perfect.

Anna...loved your blog!

Anna Destefano said...

((((Hugs))) Stacy and Sandy and everyone else who linked over from my blog today. And to everyone else who's been so fabulously welcoming to all of us.

Rach, I will absolutley come back and keep up with the Bellas!!! It's been so much fun and inspirational, while I worked in between catching up. Hearing such enthusiasm for the book I'm deconstructing and knitting back together is just the ticket ;O)

Everyone coming to Atlanta for RWA, look me up!!! We'll find some Bella-worthy fun to get into with Michelle ;O)

I'll check back in one more time before nodding off...which'll be who knows when...for some reason, I'm a tad behind my daily page goal... hmmmmmmmmm...

Cheryl said...

Wow! The party's here, isn't it? :)
If I could go anywhere - I'd love to go to Scotland. I am fascinated with castles. But who to take with me? Well, I'd have to take my daughter. She is starting to get interested in castles too & they would be fun to explore together.

rachd said...

Okay, so RWA Bellas are: Stacy, Vivi, Michelle, Monica. Anyone else? I'm just trying to keep all the ducks in a row, so I know who to be INSANELY jealous of! ;oP

All of Anna's bloggin' buddies, I'm so glad you came to play with us today too!

Stacy, I'm so sorry you missed the party--we really did have fun! I'll be in the same boat once school starts again *sob*.

Anna, maybe we're not so good for you after all, what with you being behind on page totals ;o). It's been fun!! Hope to see ya again soon =). Can't wait to read Maggie's story ;o)!

Phyllis said...

There are a few places in the world that I would like to visit; Scotland, England, Hawaii, but right now I really would like to be somewhere to just chill and do some major relaxing, like on an island somewhere. And I think I would probably take my daughter or daughter in law. I'm sure my DH would not be happy to hear that, but I know I could really just relax with them.

P.S. Keep the great stories coming too.

luckyme said...

Wow the party is definitely here!!

If I could go anywhere well it would be Hawaii and I'd take my darling boyfriend wih me and have a blast!

PS. I think I should win today because its my 40th birthday..lol

Stacy~ said...

Thanx Rach. I miss chatting with you guys - I feel like I got the the New Year's party after the clock struck midnight LOL. Oh well. Have your fun. I sure would if I could *g*

rachd said...

Stace, we miss you too, bella! I know just how you feel because I've been there, and will be doing it again really soon. Boo hoo hoo.

Susan Francis said...

i wouldn't go anywhere! i live in the best place on earth!

Julie in Ohio said...

All of you Bellas who are going to RWA, take lots and lots and lots of pictures.
And then SHARE them with us little people who want to live vicariously through you. :o)

Stace, glad to see ya! :o)

Manda, happy all came out hunky-dory. Isn't that such a fun word? *g*

You know who else we haven't seen in a while is Amy. She went on vacation and hasn't come back. SHEESH. Was it something I said?



word verif: gattwjii
Isn't that an island in the south pacific?

Wanda S. said...

One week is not enough time to go anywhere I'd want to go, but I've always wanted to see Scotland. And I would like to meet a big, hunky scottish highlander to make my stay pleasurable.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

My goodness, but you've got things hoppin here, Anna! Thanks so much for coming by and bringing your friends. I'm looking forward to seeing ya'll back here again as we discuss romance and hot guys and snack foods.

I'm closing out the contest at 12 midnight EST, Bellas, so git your comments in afore then.

And, ya'll come back now, heah?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Posts reading up until 11 pm
will be accepted in contest.

Stacy~ said...

I'm with you Wanda *g*

Hey Julie, I like the french vanilla cappuccinos from the gas station too LOL. They're pretty good - 24 oz for $0.99. Good deal.

Anna Destefano said...

'Night, Bellas.

The contacts are out, and the glasses are on. I'm propped up in bed doing some last-minute work on the laptop.

Thanks again, Michelle, for inviting me out to play. And everyone else for being such fun blog buddies. We'll be partying over at my blog all week, if you feel like checking it out.

Michelle, will you announce today's winner tomorrow? Can't wait to send my Guess beauties to one of you lovely ladies!!! I think I'll throw in a copy of one of my books, too--winners choice ;O)

Chow, Bellas!!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Prego, Anna. You are so welcome. I'll announce the winner tomorrow (I'm writing the blog now). You'll be the second to know! Lucky duck winner.

Playground Monitor said...

Anywhere? Oh I'd love to go Kenya on a photo safari. Who would I take to be sure I had a good time? Gee, that's a hard one. I am so blessed with good friends it would be hard to pick just one. Can't we all go?

Hi Anna! Southern girls rock. Sorry I missed you at the HOD lunch this year; my baby was graduating from college that day. See you in Atlanta!

Marilyn

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi, Marilyn! Haven't seen you e-round in a while. Hope you'll stop back soon. How'z things at the Playground?