Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Fun :: Pulling it all together

Anne is celebrating the end of a series -- her books about the Antonides and Savas families-- which she has loosely called her "Beware of Greeks" books.  She's looking back . . . and looking forward at the same time.  It's the writer's version of tennis-watching neck.

Yesterday in the mail I got a box from England containing the last of my Savas-Antonides books, The Return of Antonides. It is generally a moment of trepidation because sometimes, frankly, upon seeing the cover, I'd really rather not have.  HOWEVER . . . this time they got it right.

Boy, did they get it right.

This is Lukas Antonides, youngest son in the Antonides family (oh, heavens, yes, it looks just like him) -- the one who, through all his siblings' books, had always looked as if he'd just got out of bed or was just on his way out the door.  He did, in fact, go out the door for most of the series. He was rarely around unless there was a wedding he was required to attend in which case he showed up, said something sarcastic, then left.

I loved him, but I privately despaired of him. When it was his turn, who on earth would put up with him?  Good question, as it turned out.

When it was his turn, he found the wrong woman the first time around.  He and I suffered through half a book before he pointed out how bored he was. He was bored? What about me?  So we tossed that and started over.  That was when Holly showed up.

Holly had more than enough moxie to deal with Lukas, but the idiot got himself engaged to Grace in the meantime.  We finished that book, Lukas and Holly -- and Grace -- and I.  The editorial team had one major suggestion: lose Grace.

That was a nice idea -- except it meant losing at least half of Lukas's motivation for anything he did, including why he couldn't get the right girl.  Because he had the wrong girl already, see?  I saw. Lukas saw.  Even Holly saw.  Grace was busy, and frankly she was interested in Will at the library, but she didn't tell Lukas that.  Editorial said again: lose Grace.

Well, Grace couldn't go entirely. She's there -- just not very there.  And not engaged to Lukas. This time around he had the brains not to pop the question.  I suspect she's happier that way -- and perfectly capable of getting herself engaged to Will at the library without any help from me (thank God).

But that meant writing another book in which Lukas was the hero, minus Grace (mostly), but with Holly who was his dearest enemy.  This time, it worked!  Well, except for the 100 or so pages I cut out because, well, it wasn't short.

So . . . Lukas has got his happily ever after (that's a spoiler, I guess, but if you read romances, you know he's going to get her, don't you? You just don't know how. And frankly, neither did Lukas for a very long time indeed.)

He also got a dynamite cover on the UK version (see above).  This is Lukas, down to the ground.  He figures he deserves such a great cover. So do I.

The US cover is, well, okay, I guess. She doesn't look like Holly at all.  So if you get the US version, you'll have to imagine your own Holly.  I'm sure you can do that.  And the Lukas is better than Holly, but not the UK Lukas.  Love the UK Lukas.

So I've been having fun this Friday reading back through all the Savas and Antonides stories which began in The Antonides Marriage Deal when the oldest Antonides brother, Elias, got the company almost literally pulled out from under him when his father, Aeolus, lost a bet to Socrates Savas who then installed his only daughter, Tallie, as head of the company.

Since then there have been eleven more books, including Lukas's.  They are all -- except Lukas's because I am just sending the info to my webmistress so stay tuned -- listed on my website on their own "Beware of Greeks" page.  You can read excerpts for each if you so desire.  I'll be posting an excerpt of Lukas's book there, too, very shortly.

And now, with the last Antonides happily sharing his ever after with the woman he'd loved for years, I am looking forward to four new guys -- I call them the Hard Broke Creek men.  They knew each other in high school and college in Montana. They cowboyed together for a time.

Now all except one have been away about a dozen years. Then fate conspires to bring them home again to face their past, to come to terms with the demons they have never dealt with, and to meet -- or meet again -- the women who help make their lives whole.

I'll miss those Antonides and Savas folks. Maybe another one will come along some day. But for now I'm having fun getting to know the Hard Broke Creek men -- and the women who may finally tame them.

The Return of Antonides comes out in late September or early October in both UK and US editions. It may be out in a venue near you -- even if you don't live in either of those places -- around the same time.  

The kindle edition (UK) has a slightly different look -- same guy! -- if you read electronically these days.

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