Tuesday, June 19, 2012


This giveaway is now CLOSED!  Congratulations to Savannah Page, the lucky winner of Anne Allen's e-book, DANGEROUS WATERS.  

Today's guest on Books by Banister is Anne Allen, British author of the romantic mystery DANGEROUS WATERS.  Don't you love the title?  It's so deliciously foreboding.  Anne is a fascinating woman - check out her website to find out what her day job is (Hint: I bet she has no trouble writing about the inner workings of her characters' minds!)

Anne has generously offered to give away one copy of her e-book DANGEROUS WATERS.  So, be sure to leave a comment, including your e-mail address, below to be entered for a chance to win.  This giveaway is open to US and UK residents.

1) Can you give us a brief overview of DANGEROUS WATERS?

It’s a romantic mystery set in Guernsey, Britain following the loves and losses of Jeanne Le Page. She’s a thirty-something who left the island 15 years before after a family tragedy and now is forced to return after her grandmother’s death. The old lady has left Jeanne her cottage but she doesn’t want to live there, planning to sell it and leave.  Heartbroken after the recent end of a relationship she is feeling completely lost.  But then Jeanne starts to unearth secrets going back to the German Occupation together with the truth behind the unexplained tragedy. Facing danger from an unexpected source, she eventually learns to live and love again.

2) What's your favorite quality about your hero/heroine?

She’s gutsy! Although life throws a lot at her she picks herself up again. At the beginning of the story she’s feeling very vulnerable and lost but by the end she’s achieved so much, not just love.

3) What made you want to write this book?

I’ve had a long love affair with Guernsey after having lived there for many happy years and it felt right to make it the focus of my first novel. I also wanted to write a romance with a twist, with sub-plots that gradually unfurl. I’m fascinated by old houses, believing they all have so many stories to tell, and the cottage in DANGEROUS WATERS has its own surprising secret!

4) What are you working on now?

Another book, FINDING MOTHER, based predominantly in Guernsey but with excursions to England, Spain and Jersey.  It’s basically a young woman’s search for her natural mother with the back stories of that mother and the grandmother.  Again hidden secrets!

5) What comes first for you -- character idea, plot idea?

Plot idea but I also have the image of my main character to focus on. 

6) How do you think of titles?

I’m not sure – the titles of both my books came into my mind quite quickly.  I’m a lover of short titles as I think they have more impact – as well as being easier to remember! I like a title to provide a sort of image of the book, if that makes sense?

7) What are your thoughts on love scenes in books?  Do you prefer to read/write sweet/romantic encounters between your hero and heroine or spicy ones?

Perhaps something in between!  I’m not into graphic sex, either to read or write, but do like a little more than the likes of ‘the door closed behind them.’

8) Who are the authors who inspire you?

Mary Higgins Clark for the mystery element, Katie Fforde for the romance and Joanne Harris for general inspiration.

9) What genres do you like to read?  Do you stick to one or are you eclectic in your reading tastes?

I’ve found over the past few years that my tastes have changed to become much more eclectic. I now read suspense, crime (but not too graphic!), historical novels of all types and romance when there’s an interesting story involved.

10) What was the last book you read that really WOWed you?

SANCTUS by Simon Toyne.  It’s an unusual conspiracy theory book, probably along the lines of the DA VINCI CODE, although I haven’t read that. It encompasses a shocking secret (of course!) that left me gasping.  I’m now reading the next one in the 3-part series, ‘THE KEY’.

11) Do you prefer a series or stand alone novels?

It depends on the author.  For example, I loved all the Stieg Larsson books and you really had to read all of them. For other authors I’m quite happy to read stand alone novels – at least I’m not left hanging in suspense till the next one comes out!

12) If you could be plopped down in the middle of any book, which one would it be?

Pride & Prejudice – as long as I could bag Mr Darcy!

13) If you could invite any five people (living or dead) over for a dinner party, who would they be and why?

Queen Elizabeth I – She lived through so much turmoil, intrigue and adventure.  What stories she could tell!
Charles Dickens – For an insight into a brilliant novelist’s mind.
Cleopatra – Another woman with an amazing life. I’d like to know how beautiful she really was!
William Shakespeare – I’d like him to declaim his beautiful sonnets to me!
Colin Firth – So that I can imagine myself as Elizabeth Bennet!

Fast and Flirty 

Favorite scent?  Origins ‘Ginger Essence’
Favorite color?  Blue
Favorite food?  Fish
Favorite word?  Love
Dream vacation spot? 
Favorite time period in history?  Renaissance
Favorite girl's night out drink?  Mojito
Favorite date night activity?  Theatre/cinema and dinner
Coffee or tea or soda?  Coffee
Strong but lean or built and burly?  Strong but lean
Scruffy or clean-shaven?  Clean-shaven
Dark-haired or blond?  Dark-haired
Celebrity hottie on your laminated list?  Colin Firth
Novel hero crush?  Mr. Darcy

Thanks so much for participating in Authorpalooza, Anne!  Best of luck with DANGEROUS WATERS and all your future writing endeavors!

Leave a comment below telling me about your favorite vacation spot by the water and you'll be entered to win an e-book copy of DANGEROUS WATERS.  Don't forget to leave your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win!  Contest is open to US and UK residents!  Drawing will take place on Tuesday, June 26th, so get your comments in by midnight on Monday, June 25th.


Visit Anne Allen at:


  1. Ooo this sounds very good! For a chance to win a copy...I have always wanted to visit Cinque Terre, but when it comes to waters that I can just enjoy, relax by, and even take a warm dip in, Kauai's waters were by far the most amazing I've ever experienced.

    -Savannah Page

  2. I like the beaches of Hawaii.


  3. Bridget O'NeillJune 24, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Right now I'm actually at my favorite vacation spot by the water, my mom and stepdad's house on Green Lake in Wisconsin! We always have a great time, and my three year old daughter especially loves it!