Top 5 List & Contest: Anna Small

anna 001Today we welcome Anna Small to Romancing the Book.  Before we get to her top 5 list, let’s learn a little more about her.

I grew up in the English countryside and went to an American boarding high school outside of London. It was no Hogwarts! But it was there I wrote my first romance novel, and finished two more before graduating and moving to New Jersey, where I went to college. I wrote more novels and studied English and Anthropology. My dream job would have been writing for National Geographic magazine. I love where I am now, however: mother of 2 great kids and with the love of my life for the last 20 years.


Top 5 books made into movies:

  1. Harry Potter series – while I loved the books, the movies bring so much more of the stories to life, especially with the interactions of the characters. I always loved the theme of friendship and love being the strongest forces of all.
  2. Hunger Games series – the books are wonderful, and the movies do them justice. The actors bring the characters to life and the stark reality of the books is portrayed beautifully. I can’t wait for the final chapter!
  3. Outlander – this wonderful series by Diana Gabaldon (my favorite author) will finally reach the screen this summer. The outtakes and previews look great so far. I hadn’t written seriously in several years when a friend gave me this book. It sparked something in me that, 5 book contracts later, has not let me go.
  4. Gone With The Wind – my all time favorite novel is an equally fantastic movie. It was way ahead of its time, and Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara made a huge impression on me. While none of my heroines are as strong and outspoken as she, I like to think there’s a little bit of Scarlett in all of us.
  5. Beastly – the book was different from the movie, as the book was told mostly in email and journal entries, but there’s something about the movie that makes me watch it every time it’s on TV. I don’t know if it’s Alex Pettifer’s great acting or just the theme in general. I’m always drawn to the idea that love can change even the most monstrous heart, and this story is a good example of the genre.



Hollywood starlet Joely Burbank gets more than she bargains for when she takes her kids up to their dad’s Montana ranch for Christmas. It wouldn’t be so bad if she and Ben were able to hold a civilized conversation, but the distance between them is more than a few states away.

When a blizzard closes the airport, Joely accepts Ben’s half-hearted invitation to stay at the ranch for the holidays. Maybe it’s the mistletoe. Whatever it is, neither of them expect a Christmas like this.


Enjoy this short excerpt:

She perched on the edge of the counter while he poured them both a glass. Being up on the
tall counter made her his height. Most of the lights downstairs were off. The only light in the kitchen was the hanging lamp over the breakfast nook. The room seemed intimate. Familiar. Comfortable.

Ben clinked the edge of her glass with his. “Here’s to a civilized three days.”

“You sound surprised.”

“Aren’t you?” He snorted, swishing the eggnog around his glass. “Things haven’t been
exactly polite between us in the past.”

“And that’s my fault?”

“I was stating a fact, not pointing a finger.” His jaw tensed, but his eyes stayed focused on her. “I like this, Joely. I like not fighting with you, and being with our kids together. They like it, too.”

The glass chilled her palm. She stared down into the creamy depths of her drink. “Did Ian tell you what was bothering him?”

“Yes.” He drained his glass abruptly, using the excuse of eggnog to pause before responding.

“I talked to him. He’s okay now.”

“So I don’t get to know what it was about?”

“No, I’ll tell you. He’s mad at you for chasing Matt away.”

“What? I didn’t…”

“And he’s mad at you for chasing me away.”

“Great. And I suppose you…”

He held up both hands and gave a short laugh. “Easy, tiger! Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m
just letting you know what he said. I told him you didn’t chase away either of us. I don’t think he really blames you, anyway. It’s just something kids do. I blamed my dad for my parents’ divorce, even though it was half my mom’s fault. Don’t take it personally.”

“You’re right, Ben. Why should I take it personally that my son thinks I’m a man-hater?”

“This isn’t how I wanted this conversation to go.” He took her glass from her and stood
directly in front of her, forcing her knees apart so he could wedge in between them. She gripped his shoulders.

“What are you doing?” Her lips still tingled from the earlier kiss. She hadn’t realized how badly she’d missed him.

“You have sap and pine needles in your hair, Miss Hollywood. If you want me to get them
out, I have to take this position.”

“Oh, really?” But she didn’t push him away. In fact, it felt good having him so close. She
nearly closed her eyes at the pleasant sensation of being touched, even though he was picking through her hair like a mother chimp. His hips rasped against her inner thighs as he moved, and she fought the temptation of wrapping her legs around his waist.

“All done,” he murmured a few minutes later. The woodsy scent of his cologne mixed with
the pine scent of his fingers and her hair.

“You’ve got some in your hair, too,” she said. He was standing too close. A tiny pulse in his neck vibrated with his heartbeat. She wanted to touch the place between his neck and the open collar of his flannel shirt where a few dark hairs poked out.

“Get it out for me, will you?”

“Get it…?”

“The sap.”

“Oh, that.” Almost giddy with desire and a heightened awareness of him, she lifted her hands and slowly slid them through his hair. He sucked in a breath, and she watched his eyelids flicker.

“What did you think I meant?”

His breath misted on her forehead. His lips were too close. Dangerously close. A rush of heat soared through her cheeks. She was too old to blush, for heaven’s sake. It had to be the eggnog.

Only he hadn’t added any alcohol to it.

“I know you meant the sap.” Where had her voice gone? Her fingers stilled, and she
smoothed back the rumpled mess she’d made. He’d hardly had any sap on him at all. She didn’t even care if she should be embarrassed for finding an excuse to touch him.

“Sure, that’s what I meant.” His eyes sparkled under the fluorescent kitchen lighting.

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21 thoughts on “Top 5 List & Contest: Anna Small

  1. Nancy Goldberg Levine says:

    Sounds like a great book and I loved the excerpt. Thanks for the chance to win.

  2. Christine says:

    Thanks for doing this interview! I haven’t read any of your books yet, but they look interesting!

  3. Christine says:

    And I also looking forward to Outlander, I’ve reread the first 3 books in the series several times. Of course this was before there were e-readers and free/99c books to take up all my time 🙂

  4. Anna Small says:

    Thanks for stopping by, ladies! Nancy, thanks for the kind words, and I hope you put me on your TBR shelf! Christine, I had the biggest thrill meeting Diana Gabaldon at the RWA National Conference in NYC a few years ago. I told her I hadn’t written in a while, but then read Outlander and wanted to be an author all over again! She was so gracious and friendly. I love a big, fat book to curl up with on a rainy day!

    • Christine says:

      Anna, Diana Gabaldon is one of the few writers who makes the trek to Winnipeg Canada where I live (about an 8 hour drive north of Minneapolis, just across the North Dakota Border). I have her last 3 books in hardcover as she came to do readings/book signing at a local bookstore – what a treat for me! ( at the last one, they actually had waiters walking around with hors d’oevres while we were standing in the signing line). She’s wonderful, and has always stayed around until everyone has had a chance to have their book signed and snap a picture with her.

      • Anna Small says:

        Wow, what a thrill! I tweeted something about her being an inspy to other authors, and she tweeted back! Look at me, fan-girling all over the place! Winnipeg – gosh, I hope you’re staying warm up there. Hope summer reaches you fast!

        • Christine says:

          Well, we haven’t got to the staying warm part yet, it was -9F this morning with the windchill, and not much snow melting to date. This is why I’m always looking for good romance novels to steam things up 😉
          I’m adding you into my Goodreads account, but I didn’t find this book listed, just some of your older books. Are you planning to add it soon?

          • Anna Small says:

            Thanks for friending me on Goodreads! I asked my publisher about adding the book to Goodreads, also. I don’t know how they put books on there. Hopefully, it will be soon! Looking forward to this new “e” friendship! Hope you are staying warm!

  5. Anna, what a great interview and excerpt. Except for Beastly, which I haven’t read or seen, your top 5 list is right up my alley. I love your book and didn’t enter because I already bought it, but best of luck on your promotion.

    • Anna Small says:

      Thanks, Flossie! I truly value your friendship and support. We are lucky to belong to a wonderful writing group.

  6. Jennifer Taylor says:

    Loved the passage from BACK IN HIS ARMS AGAIN, Anna! I cannot wait to read it. Great sensory detail and a hot hero! I enjoyed the interview as well.

    • Anna Small says:

      Thank you, Jennifer! I’m glad we’ll be seeing more of you now that you’re back home from visiting that tiny hero of your own!

  7. Marcy Shuler says:

    I loved this excerpt and have added the book to my wish list. It sounds so good! Thanks for sharing it, Anna.

    As for book to movies, I love THE WIZARD OF OZ. 😉

    • Anna Small says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Marcy! I also thought about Wizard of Oz – what a timeless classic!

  8. Leanna H says:

    I loved Nora Roberts Montana Sky. While maybe not the best but it inspired me to checkout Nora Roberts books. I found my love of reading again.

    • Anna Small says:

      As big a fan of Jane Austen as I am, I can’t believe I left out her books! I love the Keira Knightley version of P&P and also Sense and Sensibility. Emma, too, although more for Jeremy Northam’s performance than Gwyneth Paltrow’s. There’s also an older movie of Persuasion that is wonderful.

      I also left out Jane Eyre – the newest version, although I like all the older ones, too. Just goes to show how timeless these novels are. Speaking of the Brontes, I don’t like any of the movies that have been made from Wuthering Heights. Maybe the character of Heathcliff doesn’t translate well onto a modern screen!

  9. Mary Preston says:

    I have to say the LOTR movies. They actually made the reading experience more enjoyable.

    • Anna Small says:

      Hi Mary! I left those out, too! Yes, the films are wonderful and do the creativity and imagination of J.R.R. Tolkien justice. My mom read The Hobbitt to my sister and me when we were little. Great for fostering crazy dreams and nightmares!

  10. Anna Small says:

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by this week! I hope you found the excerpt intriguing and fun. Stop by my blog and pay a visit at your leisure. I have more excerpts there, as well as information on my past and future novels. With Westerns, contemporaries, and historical romances set in England’s Regency period, there’s something for every reader.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to enter my contest and leave your friendly, encouraging notes. Writers produce the stories readers love for people like you.

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