Welcome back for another round of What to Read Wednesday! Today I’m thrilled to have author ANN MONTCLAIR joining us for her second visit. She’s an interesting lady who writes some wonderful books. So sit back and make yourself comfortable while you learn about Ann’s latest release ONE WET SUMMER.
Thanks for returning Ann. Please tell us a little bit about you the person, not the author. :)
Thanks for hosting me again, Christine. Your readers might remember when I visited last December with my first published romance novel The Billionaire’s Bauble. I am a wife, mom, college English professor, and romance writer. I live in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. I’m an avid hiker, cyclist, and gardener. I love music and food, so I spend most evenings cooking while listening to my husband play his bass guitar to jam bands we both love. I like to dance, too. A lot. And read. I read several novels a week.
You always sound busy…but a fun kind of busy :) If you could throw a party and only invite 5 guests, who would you ask?
I’d ask Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Jackie Collins, Sandra Brown, and Philippa Gregory. Problem is, I don’t know any of them!
Oh, don’t worry, knowing your guests isn’t a requirment :) What’s one talent you wish you had but don’t?
I wish I could play piano. We had one for a few years, but I never learned. My kids can play though. Hubby, too. I’m surrounded by musicians.
I love the piano. I don’t play but my daughter does and so did my mother. What genre (s) do you write?
I write contemporary and historical romance.
What’s the first sentence and the last sentence of your book?
You’ll have to buy ONE WET SUMMER if you want those precious gems! Seriously, my book is still in final edits when my blog entry for “What to Read Wednesday” was due. I can tell you it opens at a pool and it ends with dancing.
Maura Fields loves her uncomplicated, independent, single life, but things quickly change when a summer vacation opens the door to an unexpected world of passion and desire. Wealthy Savannah hotelier Ben Driscoll had his playboy lifestyle upended when his ex-wife died, entrusting him to care for their daughter—a child he sequesters and vows to protect from future heartache and disappointment. Can the wall Ben has built around his heart withstand the assault from the intriguing, beguiling Maura, or will it crumble, leaving him vulnerable to the undeniable attraction and unbridled need to make her his own?
Sounds like another great read Ann…and I love the cover. Tell us what excites you the most about writing.
I love creating characters and following them to their happy ending. I find each one unique, lovable, and instructive. They teach me so much, and I love learning from them.
Please share an excerpt of your book!
“You better take your shirt off, too.” He set down his glass, and she helped him remove his saturated coat. “Oh, you have wine all over your back. Ben, I’ve ruined your beautiful suit.”
“No big deal. I was getting hot anyway.” He smiled wickedly. “If I can use your sink, I’ll wash it off and head back to my apartment. I have rooms right here at the hotel. I’m sure no one will notice a half-naked man roaming the halls, and if they do, too bad. I own the place, you know.”
They both laughed. Maura delighted in his easy going temperament, how he made her feel whatever she did, he’d like. She was sorry to see their date end this way, but accidents happen, and this one might have very well saved her from further impetuosity.
“You know where the bathroom is. Help yourself.”
He laid his suit coat on the table and started unbuttoning his shirt. Maura turned away, all of a sudden feeling bashful. How silly, she thought. I have already seen his chest. But that had been at the pool with loads of other people around. Now, they were all alone in her hotel room, only a few feet away from a suddenly imposing bed.
He must have recognized her gesture. “I’ll take care of this in your bathroom. Excuse me, please.”
He thoughtfully shut the door so she couldn’t be caught watching him.
She sunk onto the bed and shook her head self-derisively. “Way to wreck the mood,” she told herself and lay back to stare at the ceiling.
When his phone started beeping from his suit coat pocket, she ran to the table and hastily retrieved it, fearful the expensive phone might be damaged by the spilled wine. She wiped it with a tissue from the ornate box on the bedside table and sat down again on the white duvet. She must have hit the wrong button because a “new text message” alert flashed onto the touch-screen.
New message from Jessica.
Maura blinked hard once, twice, three times. Her stomach tightened apprehensively as she stared at the sender’s name. She wouldn’t read the message. She wasn’t a snoop. Jessica could be anyone, most probably a business associate or an employee, but before she could set the phone down on the bedside table, the message scrolled across the screen.
When will you be home? I can’t fall asleep without you.
Maura’s stomach clenched as did her fists. Tears stung her eyes, and she blinked hard, willing them away. Her jaw set, and she took a deep, ragged breath.
When Ben came out of the bathroom a minute later, his shirt was on, though it hung loose and open. It was damp and red in places as if he’d been in a fight and had tried to wash blood from it.
When he saw the look on Maura’s face, his grin faltered then faded. “What’s wrong, Maura? I meant it when I said I don’t care about the suit. Please don’t be angry at yourself. We had such a great time tonight…” He stopped midsentence, midway between the bathroom and Maura’s bed, perhaps perceiving something terrible had occurred. “Maura?”
She shot to her feet and thrust his phone out to him as if it were a poisonous snake.
Great snippet…I definitely want more. Describe your hero in 5 words.
I’ll describe their essential qualities instead of their appearances. Ben Driscoll is accomplished, nurturing, private, dedicated, and sexy.
Now your heroine.
Maura Fields is pragmatic, curious, industrious, considerate, and athletic.
What’s the hardest part of the writing process for you?
The hardest part of writing is sitting down and doing it because I get very wrapped up and focused when I write. Then the hardest part becomes turning it off. I understand why some writers plot and then disappear into a room for three weeks. I would love that: but I have a family and major responsibilities I can’t neglect. Balancing everyday life and writing is a huge challenge for most writers.
The easiest part of the writing process is conjuring plot ideas. I possess an active imagination that ponders what if… all day long.
We sound very similar Ann :) What time of the day are you most productive in your writing?
Morning is go-time for me. Once my son is off to school, my husband is in his office, and I’ve downed my coffee, I’m ready to craft.
What’s the easiest part of a book to write for you…the beginning, middle or end?
The beginning of the novel is the easiest part to write because I’ve totally imagined it. I spend a lot of time prewriting, so that when it is time to start a new story, I know exactly what comes first. Everything after that is likely plotted, but often the characters rebel against my plans and take their story in a new direction.
What are you working on now? :)
I am editing Good Things Come in Tall Packages (a sequel to One Wet Summer) which is being published by Musa this August. I also have a romantic suspense in the hopper, and I’m revising a couple of Tudor romances as well.
You’re a busy lady…kudo’s to you! Do you have one piece of advice you’d share with a newbie author?
Seize the day. It has never been a better time to be a new writer. With electronic publishing and unprecedented access to those in the know—writers, editors, agents, publishers—all blogging and sharing free, invaluable information every single day online, there is limitless help for the new author. Find it, use it, enjoy it.
Perfect advice. And finally, where can we find you and your book(s)?
My website provides all the information you’ll need http://annmontclair.com (including links to buy my books).
You can go straight to my publisher http://www.musapublishing.com/ for my newest novel or any of the usual online book buying sites.
Thank you so much Ann for joining me today! I’m glad you returned and hope you’ll think about joining us again!
I appreciate your generosity, and I wish you all the best, Christine.