Happy Birthday, Janga! Wishing you sunshine, smiles, and happily ever afters today and always.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Today's Special - - Anna Campbell








Anna is back! I'm delighted to welcome Anna Campbell back to the Dish today. She always brightens up the place, don't you think? 

Aussie Anna Campbell is a self-confessed bookaholic and is very proud of her shady past as a regular contributor to the Romance Dish. Her historical romances have won numerous awards, including the 2015 Australian Romantic Novella of the Year. Anna’s latest release is Tempting Mr. Townsend (the Dashing Widows Book 2), available from all good e-tailers from 27th February. Her website is www.annacampbell.com

Please join me in giving Anna a very hearty welcome home! 



The Attraction of the Attraction of Opposites


Hiya PJ! Thank you so much for having me back on the Dishes today to talk about my new novella
Tempting Mr. Townsend (Dashing Widows Book 2). I really think that lovely blue cover goes beautifully with the décor here!

Do you like attraction of opposites romances? I do. I love the mayhem at the start of the relationship when these people think, “What on earth am I doing, looking at this person, when they’re so obviously completely wrong for me?”

I love even better the gradual growth of understanding, until the opposites realize they have more in common than they ever thought – and even if they don’t, the other person is so wonderful, they can live with the differences. Always an aww moment for me in a romance.

I love that attraction of opposites stories always end up with the hero and heroine learning that they’re not exactly who they think they are. Self-discovery makes for a wonderful character arc in a story.

When I think of the AoO trope, I think of films like Pretty Woman where cold-blooded corporate raider Richard Gere learns about the joy of life from vivacious streetwalker Julia Roberts, and she learns that she’s more than she ever dreamed she was. Or When Harry Met Sally where freewheeling Harry discovers that he needs love after all, and uptight Sally discovers that letting go can have its own rewards.

Tempting Mr. Townsend is my most overtly AoO story so far and I had huge fun with it. If you read book 1 in the series, last year’s The Seduction of Lord Stone, you’ll remember Fenella Deerham as one of those perfect lady heroines.  She’s blonde, pretty, kind-hearted, and has perfect manners. She’s spent the last five years grieving the loss of her beloved husband Henry at Waterloo – of my three dashing widows, she’s the one who had a happy marriage and who is afraid to rejoin the world because she can’t bear to face losing love again.

So who would be the person most likely to shake up her certainties and drag her back into the hurly-burly of life? What about a brusque, humbly born, self-made magnate who has no experience of ladies, and frankly no interest in them either?

Falling in love with your heroes is an occupational hazard in this game—if you don’t love your hero, it’s highly unlikely your heroine will. But I must say I developed a monster crush on outspoken bear of a man, Anthony Townsend, with his northern accent, his generous spirit, and his habit of cutting straight to the heart of the matter.

So what could bring these two unlikely people together? When Anthony’s ward Carey and Fenella’s son Brandon run away from Eton, Anthony and Fenella join in a desperate alliance to find the boys. The stage is set for a road trip where both will discover first impressions can be mighty misleading. Anthony’s rough manners hide a heart the size of Texas, and Fenella’s air of untouched fragility doesn’t do justice to her enormous strength of character. The sparks fly hotter by the minute as they gallop through the frosty night to Anthony’s estate where the boys are waiting safe and sound—but now temptation lurks around every corner.

I hope you will check out my story about two unlikely lovers and enjoy seeing these opposites come together to find their blissfully happy ending. And watch out for Winning Lord West, Helena’s story which is out at the end of April. 

So do you like stories about opposites attract? Why do you think readers love this clash of the seemingly incompatible? Do you have a favorite example? I can think of so many! Hello, Dolly. Han and Leia in Star Wars. A million good girl/bad boy romances. 

I’ve got three Kindle downloads of Tempting Mr. Townsend (international) to give away to people who comment today. Good luck!



Beauty…
Fenella, Lady Deerham, has rejoined society after five years of mourning her beloved husband’s death at Waterloo. Now she’s fêted as a diamond of the first water and London’s perfect lady. But beneath her exquisite exterior, this delicate blond beauty conceals depths of courage and passion nobody has ever suspected. When her son and his school friend go missing, she vows to find them whatever it takes. Including setting off alone in the middle of the night with high-handed bear of a man, Anthony Townsend. Will this tumultuous journey end in more tragedy? Or will the impetuous quest astonish this dashing widow with a breathtaking new love, and life with the last man she ever imagined?

And the Beast?
When Anthony Townsend bursts into Lady Deerham’s fashionable Mayfair mansion demanding the return of his orphaned nephew, the lovely widow’s beauty and spirit turn his world upside down. But surely such a refined and aristocratic creature will scorn a rough, self-made man’s courtship, even if that man is now one of the richest magnates in England. Especially after he’s made such a woeful first impression by barging into her house and accusing her of conniving with the runaways. But when Fenella insists on sharing the desperate search for the boys, fate offers Anthony a chance to play the hero and change her mind about him. Will reluctant proximity convince Fenella that perhaps Mr. Townsend isn’t so beastly after all? Or now that their charges are safe, will Anthony and Fenella remain forever opposites fighting their attraction?

Buy links:
Amazon  



56 comments:

  1. Hi, PJ! Hi, Anna!

    I was lucky enough to read TEMPTING MR. TOWNSEND last week. Absolutely loved the humour and the romance. Congrats on the release, Anna!

    Can't go past Grease's Sandy and Danny as a classic case of opposites attract! I love that movie for so many reasons, but sometimes I do wish Sandy remained true to her clean-cut self. :)

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    1. Vanessa, thanks so much for those kind words about Mr. Townsend. So glad you enjoyed it.

      Oh, Sandy and Danny! I should have thought of them. Yeah, when I was a teen, I didn't really get the subtext about her transformation but now I do and it's kinda spoiled that ending for me.

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    2. Hi Anna and waving to PJ
      Anna, I love this cover it's really beautiful. If I hadn't already bought the story, your description would have made me want to download it immediately. Sounds like you've created another memorable hero and heroine. I'm really enjoying your novellas as I'm really pressed for time at the moment and they're a satisfying quick read! This one is top of my TBR pile.
      You and Vanessa now have me thinking and rethinking Sandy and Danny - love Grease. Dirty Dancing is another wonderful story of opposites attracting - love that one too.

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    3. Kandy, thanks so much for pre-ordering Mr. Townsend! So glad you like the sound of it. I so agree about novellas being the perfect read when you're under pressure. I read quite a lot in the rush up to Christmas. I still get my romance hit but in one rich bite like a chocolate truffle!

      Oh, Dirty Dancing. So right. And that's one where they actually have so much more in common than you'd originally think - they're both restricted by expectations when they actually have so much more to offer. Sigh. Love that movie.

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    4. Hi Vanessa! I have Tempting Mr. Townsend on pre-order so I'm sure you can guess what I'll be doing tomorrow morning! Humor and romance is a can't miss combination for me and Anna does it so well, doesn't she?

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    5. Hi Kandy! I always kind of wished Sandy had stayed true to herself too.

      Ooh...Dirty Dancing! Now there's a movie I never tire of watching!

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    6. PJ, the Aussies have already got theirs! Can't wait for it to come out in America. And thank you for hosting me today.

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  2. Attraction of opposites with revision of first impressions is fun to read and I guess to write about, but isn't the discovery of unexpected common grounds that ultimately leads to the development of the romance? Because the opposite (pardon the pun) can also be true: people feeling thinking their potential partner is their lost half only to discover they do not share enough values and interests to make the physical attraction last for a lifetime. I'm not sure I could make it past the first outburst of passion if I came to realise my companion is my complete opposite and ended up arguing on everything, at least that was not my experience.

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    1. I think it's a mix of the two, Isabella. My late husband and I were opposites in many ways and I think that was a key component of our initial attraction but it was our commonalities that led to our deep friendship and 25 year marriage.

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    2. Isabella, interesting take on it - I definitely think you need something deeper than physical attraction to last. PJ, your husband always sounds like such a lovely man.

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  3. Hi Anna and PJ!
    Anna, Anthony Townsend is an absolutely gorgeous hero and reading his and Fenella's story was a treat. They are opposites but they both have a deep core value of the importance of family.

    There are some great AoO movies listed here! They're all stories I've enjoyed re-visiting so I'm obviously a big AoO fan! Another that I adore is Romancing The Stone - good-girl unworldly writer with bad-boy adventurer! Great fun!

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    1. Thanks for dropping in, Sharon! Right there with you on Romancing the Stone. Love that movie! :)

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    2. Oh, Sharon, how could I have forgotten Romancing the Stone? That's a fabulous AoO romance - and both of them discover they have so much more to offer than they originally thought they had as they fall in love. Beautiful.

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  4. I like the "attraction of opposites attracting" however, if there is a game of constant one-upmanship throughout the entire book, it honestly becomes wearying. So, I really admire an author who can create this scenario just a bit before those opposites become "permanently attracted."

    Congratulations, Anna! I am looking forward to reading your new books. :-)

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    1. I don't mind a bit of one-upmanship but too much can be so exhausting. At least for me. ;-)

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    2. Connie, that endless bickering? Oh, it becomes very tiring after a while, doesn't it? I HOPE I haven't done that with Mr. Townsend!

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  5. When the opposites attract idea is discussed I always think of magnets with opposite poles or opposite electric charges. It seems that there could be a sound scientific basis for the familiar phrases in romantic novels "as their fingers touched, a jolt of electricity tingled through them and across the surrounding aether" ... I may have embellished that a little bit!

    I particularly liked the film 'Working girl' with Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith. The smart secretary makes good against all the odds and teams with the financial wizz kid going through a rough patch.

    A new Anna Campbell novel always induces sparks in the romance universe .... can't wait to read this one!

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  6. Quantum, what lovely things you say! Thank you! Feeling VERY sparky this morning. There's a lovely moment in the movie of Pride and Prejudice where Mr. Darcy helps Lizzie into a carriage and you can almost see the sparks fly as they touch. Definitely with you on that!

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  7. I love opposites attract stories, as long as they actually have something in common..... love, loyalty, intelligence etc. Can't wait to read TMT! An Anna Campbell release is an autobuy.

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    1. Kai, what a lovely thing to say! It was interesting that Sharon pointed out that both Fenella and Anthony really care about family - as you say, those deep things coincide despite the superficial contrasts.

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    1. Perfect choice, Denise! And as often is the case, they have more in common than they suspect when they originally meet.

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  9. Yes, I love the opposites attract trope! I like Anna's explanation of self-discovery combining with the realization that she and he are more alike than originally thought. To me, it's a little more exciting than the best-friends-to-lovers trope. It's fun, however, to read different types of romance because variety adds spice to my reading life. I do read mostly historical romance though, so there are several kinds of opposites attract romances I can think of: country girl vs. man about town, shy retiring man vs. actress, independant business woman (author) vs. dominating Lord of the manor, stay-at-home mother vs. world traveling man/spy, etc. I think it's possible to write different opposites attract romances for quite awhile. Thanks for the post! jdh2690@gmail.com

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    1. Janice, I'll definitely be playing with this trope again! It's been such fun to write. That's a great list you've given us - might keep it as future inspiration!

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  10. I think I'm just like many, love to read this "Opposite Attraction" stories, even though in reality now they say it isn't really a good thing in marriage in a long run, but I think it's OK as long as they have something in common, but one may have it in passive, inwardly, while the other doesn't and act upon it which gives them that fascination and admiration towards each other. Maybe it's because it speaks of something that most of us secretly "been wanting to do, or saying that for ages", or "Wow! wish I could do something like that!" when someone just comes along with a devil-may-care attitude, dare to be different, and just up and do exactly that to fascinate us, gives us that "Wow! s/he's gutsy!" I think that movie, "Pretty Woman" is a good example, that's why Richard Gere was fascinated by Julia Roberts's character.

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    1. Pretty Woman's such a great example of the opposites attract trope, isn't it, Dot? I think a bit of difference in a marriage can work really well - keeps the people from getting complacent and adds that bit of interest. But I think as you say, there needs to be something deeper where they are as one.

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  11. I enjoy "opposite attract"stories. Anna always has such delicious looking covers. I don't read e-books, so no need to enter me into the contest. I will wait for the print book edition to come out.

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    1. Diane, isn't that a gorgeous cover. Because this is a novella, there are no immediate plans to do a print edition although I'm toying with the idea of doing a big omnibus edition of all three stories as print on demand once Winning Lord West comes out in May.

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    2. I think the omnibus edition is an excellent idea, Anna!

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    3. PJ, I need to check out pricing - I have a horrible feeling that POD might put it at an unreasonable level. It's a brave new world out there! On the other hand, an omnibus edition would be 120k words long so it would be a decent amount of reading!

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    4. I would definitely buy it if you did do this, Anna. x

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    5. Hey, thanks, Diane. I've had a few people asking which is why I'm toying with the idea.

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  12. I'm dreadfully late posting, but I had to say that I adored The Seduction of Lord Stone, and, like PJ, I plan to be reading my pre-ordered copy of Tempting Mr. Townsend tomorrow.

    I'm definitely a fan of the opposites attract trope when it is credible. For my favorite movies with that theme, I go way back (even before my time) to movies like It Happened One Night and Woman of the Year. I love those romantic comedies from the 30s and 40s. A more recent--and different--favorite is Room with a View.

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    1. Janga, not late at all! So glad you're here and I'm tickled pink you enjoyed Mr. Stone. This one has a bit of a different feel - I think Fenella and Caro are such different heroines. Be interesting to see what you make of it. Oh, how right you are about those screwball comedies being great opposites attract. Another one that springs to mind is the hilarious Bringing up Baby with geek Cary Grant and free spirit Katharine Hepburn. Not to mention the leopard! OK, I'll mention the leopard!

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    2. I love those old romantic comedies! I'm about to finish the book I've been reading so I'm all set to dive into Tempting Mr. Townsend tomorrow!

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  13. I do like opposites attract stories. When Harry Met Sally is my favorite movie ever! As for books, how about Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas? Could there be any people more opposite in character than Sara & Derek?

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    1. Sharlene, great example. I think we're such a visual culture, we tend to go to the movies first, but LK's DOY is the perfect opposites attract romance. I recently caught When Harry Met Sally on TV and I was immediately wrapped in the magic all over again.

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    2. Oh, Sara and Derek are a perfect example! I adore them as a couple.

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  14. Laws of Attraction with Julianne Moore and Pierce Brosnan. I love the movie.

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    1. How did I miss a Pierce Brosnan movie? Must search this one out.

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    2. I've never heard of Laws of Attraction, Pamela. I must hunt it down. It sounds like just my thing.

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    3. You both will love it!! Watch it every time it comes on.

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  15. Anna,
    This year my husband and I are going to be celebrating our 46th Anniversary I have admit that as soon as I read “What on earth am I doing, looking at this person, when they’re so obviously completely wrong for me?”

    it took me back to when I met my husband. He was enlisted in the Navy during Vietnam and I had graduated from school several months earlier and worked for Procter and Gamble.

    We were totally the opposite of each other and it was if you knew how I felt when I first met my husband!

    It really is luck that put us together and even though there were times he was in the Navy and after he go out in the Navy Reserves it really is true that sometimes the last person you ever would have thought you would date (much less marry) can end up was exactly perfect one for you!

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    1. Jeanne, what a beautifully romantic story! I love how opposites can bring out new qualities in the person who falls in love with them too - everybody ends up better for the experience. Congratulations on your 46th anniversary!

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  16. opposites are always fun :) and you know beauty & the beast is one of my fave story lines :)

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    1. Gamistress, it was fun playing with this - they're actually not that different once you get past superficialities, but when they meet, wow, they're not either one's cup of tea!

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  17. Hi Anna! I do love the opposites attract stories! There are so many great one out too! Add in the whole Beauty and the Beast twist and I'm all in! :-D

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    1. How lovely, Glenda. I hope you enjoy Mr. Townsend. He's a fairly sweet Beast!

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  18. I enjoy the opposites attract stories, and this slight variation of Beauty and the Beast taps into another favorite trope. I think any story that challenges pre-conceived opinions and allows a person's true self to be seen offers great possibilities for both author and reader. As for my favorite, I will go with Belle and the Beast. Getting to know and understand each other changed their lives, but not who they really were.
    It was nice having you back for a visit, Anna. I am looking forward to reading your new book, Tempting Mr. Townsend.

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    1. Thanks so much, Pat. I always feel like I'm coming home when I visit the Dish. Everybody always gives me a lovely warm welcome too. Great choice about Belle and the Beast - that's the ultimate opposites attract story, isn't it? And that transformation theme that I think is a major part of the AoO romance is really overt in that version too.

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    1. That's great to hear, Judi! It's always a fun trope.

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  20. Thank you so much for having me as your guest today, PJ. And thank you to everyone who swung by to say hello and talk about the Attraction of Opposites!

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  21. Anna and PJ - waving a huge but late hello! Just stopping by to say how much I loved your latest. This is such a fine romance and all packed in to the shorter novella format - such enormous fun. Thank you!

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  22. Annie, thank you very much for those kind words! I was so thrilled when you told me you enjoyed the new story! xxx

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