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What to Read Wednesday

07 Dec

Welcome to WHAT TO READ WEDNESDAY!

I’m so excited!  Today we are featuring author Ann Montclair 🙂 and she’ll be sharing a bit about herself and her new book The Billionaire’s BaubleI love the premise of this story and can’t wait to learn more.  Let’s get started.

Welcome Ann!!  Tell us five random things about you the person, not the author 🙂

I have two children: a grown daughter who lives in California, where I was born and raised, and a twelve year old son.  We live in the Finger Lakes of New York in a very small cabin in the woods.  My son has diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and my husband and I focus our lives around our son’s needs.  I’m a college English professor, so I have a bunch of degrees in English and spend a ton of my time reading and analyzing literature. I love popular culture and enjoy watching TV in the evenings – BRAVO addicted!  I am also a published poet and a brand new novelist. That’s way more than five random things!

You sound like one busy lady!  What is your favorite feature on a person?

I love hands.  They tell me if a person has a work ethic.  I adore nail polish, and I get my nails manicured twice a month; but I still hand wash my own dishes every day and garden every summer.

I’m glad to know there’s someone else out there who still washes their dishes by hand.  Tell us the last book you’ve read.

Goddess of Vengeance by Jackie Collins.  I read her for the first time in a contemporary literature class at UCLA and have worshipped her since. I read everything I can get my hands on.  I’ve read literally everything written by Jackie Collins and Sandra Brown—and that’s a long list in and of itself–but I read Shakespeare, Hemingway and Carver, regularly, too.

What do you consider the most frustrating part of becoming an author?

It was hard to find time to write.  I knew I had stories to tell, but I kept putting it off.  Then one day, I said, “I’m going to write a book.”  Three months later I had a 70 thousand word historical romance.  It stunk, but it let me know I could do it.  I had the ability to imagine a whole world and its people. A few tries later, I had something publishable, and I knew it was good.  The characters were alive in my mind, almost real.  The plot was tight, the story made me laugh and cry no matter how many times I read it.  I was ready, so I sent it out to a few publishers, and within a month I had a contract with Soul Mate Publishing.

I think almost every author can say their first manuscript should never see the light of day.  🙂  What’s the most rewarding part of becoming an author?

The best part of becoming an author is getting to know other writers.  Romance writers stick together, promote each other, and read one another’s books.  It’s a sisterhood of sorts.  I am quite happy to belong.

So true, this is an amazing group!  What is a typical writing day for you?

I write five days a week.  I get my son off to school and sit down and write.  I break for lunch and a walk then write a couple more hours until he comes home. That’s now, while I am on sabbatical.  When I return to teaching in the fall, I will have to write in the evenings and on weekends.  I imagine my productivity will slow, but I won’t give up writing.  I love it too much.

What genre or genres do you write?

I write contemporary romance.  It feels immediate and satisfying.  Using all the fascinating tidbits I gather about current events seems especially gratifying.  I have written two failed historical romances set in Tudor England, and I plan to revise them at some point because I do feel they want and are worthy of homes.  But those are back-burnered for the moment while I work on my contemporaries. I have located my voice, my purpose in contemporary romance, and truly, writing and researching is much easier for stories set in current times.

Do you see yourself trying another genre in the future, and if so, which one?

I have plotted a romance novel with suspense elements, and I think I’ll be writing that one after I finish my current Work in Progress.

Tell us about your newest release?  (BTW, your cover is gorgeous!) 

The Billionaire’s Bauble is a fifty thousand word contemporary romance set in Fairbanks, Alaska and Upstate New York.  It is forthcoming from Soul Mate Publishing near Christmastime 2011. Here are the taglines: She wants a soul mate. He wants another bauble. But once fast-track billionaire David Grant meets modern day, home spun sweetheart Sloane Porter, he finds a gem too rare to discard.

Cute, isn’t it?  It’s a funny, sexy, heartwarming story about finding and fighting for true love.

Love that tagline!  When you were writing your story, what character did you connect with the most and why?

Sloane Porter and I have a few things in common.  She possesses common sense, is career oriented, and she wants to make a difference in her world.  She is certain true love exists, but she also knows keeping it requires character, morality, and commitment.

Now let’s play LUCKY SEVEN….Pick seven words to describe your book.

The Billionaire’s Bauble is humorous, fast-paced, emotionally gripping, sexually titillating, and smart. (I hope those seven don’t make me seem conceited! I am confident: I’m sure my story has heart and soul and will inspire readers to believe in happily ever after.)

I don’t think you sound conceited, just confident and excited!  Through the eyes of your heroine, describe your hero!  You can quote her if you want 🙂

David Grant is rich, accomplished, devastatingly handsome, and lonely.  He doesn’t know how love works because he’s never seen it modeled.  David is a hard working billionaire, an alpha male who thinks he’s invincible, but Sloane recognizes he’s substituted material possessions and financial success for emotional fulfillment.   Sloane also recognizes she’s the one person who might teach David what life is really all about.

I like Sloane already.  What bores you as a reader?

Uninspired vocabulary, lack of meaningful metaphor, overutilization of clichés – those are giant turn-offs.

Will you share with us what inspired you to write your latest story?

I was inspired to write The Billionaire’s Bauble when Stacy Boyd, senior editor for Harlequin’s Desire line, was taking pitches at my local Romance Writers of America chapter meeting.  I had been writing historical romance, but when I found out I could pitch to Stacy, I decided to try a contemporary.  I quickly realized I had found my genre when I wrote the story in a month’s time and knew it was worth reading.  She rejected my pitch, but I revised the manuscript and Soul Mate picked it up.

Please share an excerpt of your book!

Chapter One

“I’ll be all yours in a moment, Ms. Porter,” David said absentmindedly to the final interviewee entering his plush Fairbanks office. The walnut and steel door swooshed closed as the woman approached his desk. He didn’t glance up from his paper pile, but he could smell a hint of Chanel perfume, and he already liked the confident click clack of the candidate’s heels across his tiled office floor.

“Yes, sir. Take all the time you need,” the applicant purred, and remained standing, waiting for David to ask her to be seated.

He enjoyed making his prospective employees squirm—just a bit—as they waited to find out if their futures would be linked with his Fortune 500 company.  Everyone wanted a piece of the pie, but only one person would be hired to become the newest administrative assistant to the CEO and owner of the billion dollar enterprise.

David Grant required a team of personal aids to scurry after him and keep things running smoothly so he could wrangle the S & P and rough up those big city corporate honchos. He smiled to himself.  The new figures looked strong, and Grant Oil was set to double up.

David slowly lifted his eyes to observe every detail of the young woman.

He started at her shoes, a serviceable pair of two inch heels.  Check.  She doesn’t wear stilettos, a sure sign of self-indulgence if worn to the office. Good.

Her legs were lean but strong; he could see calf muscle but no knee.  Check.  Modesty was key to creating a productive workplace.  He didn’t want to see thighs at Grant Oil. He demanded a focused environment, and that meant no glimpses of distracting flesh.

As his inquisitive eyes moved to the woman’s hips, he noted she was full figured despite her athletic legs.  Her blue wool pencil skirt did little to hide her feminine curves.  Wool was a smart choice because June could be quite cool in Fairbanks, despite the sun’s bright glare.

Her arms were to her sides and her fingers hung loosely. Light pink paint adorned each small nail. No wedding ring decorated her slim pale fingers, though she had quite a nice ornament on her left pinky finger.  A 2 carat diamond sparkled in the late afternoon sunshine coming through the giant paned window above his desk.  Terrific.  She didn’t have a husband to keep her home.  David needed assistants who moved as quickly as he did.

The woman’s matching suit coat jacket was finely tailored, and the small leather covered buttons were undone so David could see the crisp white silk shirt that almost disguised a full bosom. 

Her throat was long and he could see a pulse.  Good.  She was nervous despite her calm demeanor. A few wisps of auburn hair had escaped from her chignon, but they curled artfully along her neck, just touching her suited shoulder. David appreciated the softness just a few misplaced hairs could lend to a business woman.  A woman should be soft—even in the rugged oil business, he wanted a woman to be a woman.

As he continued his deliberate perusal, he noted her dimpled chin, full pink lips and pert nose.  When he finally arrived at her eyes, he almost lost his composure.

“It’s you,” he managed as his throat clamped tight.  If he had been kicked in the gut, he couldn’t have been more affected.

A quick flash of recognition quickly became all business as her brilliant green eyes smiled at him, twinkled even.  She extended her hand across his glass topped desk and said, “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance Mr. Grant. Thank you for the opportunity.”

David felt her small hand go instantly hot. He stood then, and she stepped back, pulling her hand from his strong grip. He could see a flash of confusion and then determination well up in her remarkable eyes.

“I understand you are here for a position in my company,” he assuaged.  He read her name from the top of her resume again: Sloane Porter. “I apologize for my familiarity, Ms. Porter, but you are the woman I danced with a couple of years ago at Hal’s.  Right?”

Her eyes fell to the desktop.  “I’m not sure, sir,” Sloane lied.

“Please sit down, Ms. Porter,” he said; his voice sounded annoyingly tight, maybe even gruff, as he motioned her into the sleek steel and leather chair across the desk from his own larger chair.

He sat heavily, shaking his head in disbelief. She certainly must remember the night in question.  David knew he hadn’t been able to forget the way she had wend her way to his table and asked him to dance.  It had only been one dance, but the heat between them had ignited into a long, slow, amazing kiss—a kiss that had left him wanting to unhook her bra and remove her panties.  It hadn’t gone anywhere.  The music ended and she left.

No one left David Grant–well, almost no one—and he had not forgotten her. Not for a minute.

Great teaser!!  What’s your current WIP?

I wrote another contemporary romance entitled One Wet Summer, and it was picked up by MUSA publishing.  It’s set for release in the middle of 2012.  The manuscript I am currently writing is titled Good Things Come in Tall Packages, a spin-off of One Wet Summer.  In One Wet Summer, the reader is introduced to a sexy, voracious little lawyer named Lucy and a large, handsome, very wise doctor named Joe. They were so compelling, so interesting, they needed their own story; they are the protagonists in my current WIP.

Sounds like a couple of fun books.  I’ll be looking forward to reading them too.  Do you have any wise words to share with anyone out there on the road to publication?

Write, write, write, and read, read, read.  I learned how to write romance by reading romance. Then get involved with a group of writers, and learn as much as you can about the process of writing and publishing.  I would not be where I am today without the inspiration and insight offered from the Romance Writers of America.

And finally Ann, where can we find you and your book?

The Billionaire’s Bauble will be available at www.soulmatepublishing.com right around Christmas day 2011. I encourage readers to visit www.annmontclair.com to keep abreast of my novels.

Thank you!!!!

And thank you so much for sharing your book and yourself with us.  It’s been a pleasure and I wish you much success with your writing and your books 🙂  Happy Holidays!!!

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65 responses to “What to Read Wednesday

  1. jerridrennen

    December 7, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Love the title and great interview.

     
    • ChristineWarner

      December 8, 2011 at 12:54 am

      Thanks for coming by Jerri…the book sounds fun doesn’t it?

       
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 1:02 am

      Glad you like the title. I chose it because it feels god in the mouth and sounds good in the ear. I read the whole book aloud several times!
      xo, Ann

       
  2. Tereasa

    December 8, 2011 at 12:36 am

    An intriguing cover and excerpt really leaves me wondering what he’ll do next. Good job!

    Tere

     
    • ChristineWarner

      December 8, 2011 at 12:54 am

      Glad you came by Tere!

       
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 1:03 am

      Remember to check out Soul Mate at Christmastime. The book will be available then.
      xo, Ann

       
  3. Neecy

    December 8, 2011 at 12:52 am

    Great cover and excerpt, Ann!
    Thanks, Christine for bringing another talented author to my bookshelf.
    Ann wishing you much success,
    Neecy

     
    • ChristineWarner

      December 8, 2011 at 12:54 am

      You’re welcome Denice…I’m adding this to my list too!

       
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 1:04 am

      I appreciate Christine inviting me and your support, Neecy.
      xo,Ann

       
  4. Callie Hutton

    December 8, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Love it, Ann! The excerpt left me panting (pun intended) for more. Sounds intriguing. Good luck with it. Whenever anyone asks me what’s the best advice for a new author, I always say the read,read, read, write, write, write quote. I agree, reading the genre you write in helps tremendously.

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 2:03 am

      I try to read romance daily, but I definitely read some form of fiction every day. Thanks for stopping by, Callie, and I’m so pleased you enjoyed the excerpt.
      xo,
      Ann

       
      • ChristineWarner

        December 8, 2011 at 2:45 am

        You’re right Callie…that excerpt was great 🙂

         
  5. revrosevan

    December 8, 2011 at 1:28 am

    What a fun interview! I look forward to reading Ann’s work!

     
  6. Amaleen Ison

    December 8, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Great questions and answers. My congratulations to both interviewer and interviewee. Loved the excerpt. Makes me want to read on…

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 2:05 am

      Thanks, Amaleen! I chose the first couple of pages for my excerpt because it sets the tone I use throughout the book: fun and flirty with a little tension and conflict thrown in.
      xo, Ann

       
      • ChristineWarner

        December 8, 2011 at 2:45 am

        Thanks Amaleen…glad you stopped by! Ann’s book sounds great 🙂

         
  7. Calisa Rhose

    December 8, 2011 at 2:37 am

    What a fun sounding read, Ann. Good luck with your publishing successes! Hi Christine. Thanks for the intro to a rising star!

     
    • ChristineWarner

      December 8, 2011 at 2:46 am

      Hey Calisa, I think you’re right…this book sounds like it’s just the beginning for Ann 🙂

       
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 3:44 am

      “Rising star”! I’m blushing! Thanks so much, Calisa.

      xo, Ann

       
  8. Sheri Fredricks

    December 8, 2011 at 3:12 am

    First the title caught my eye, then the great author pic, and finally the cover when I’d scrolled down far enough. Thank you for including your Ch. 1 – great teaser, makes me want MORE! Congratulations on your release.

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 3:45 am

      Thanks, Sheri. The book should be available December 21, 2011. Am working on the galleys as we speak. 🙂

      xo, Ann

       
  9. Cindy Racette

    December 8, 2011 at 3:13 am

    Looks like a winner to me! Can’t wait to read it.

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 3:46 am

      Thanks, Cindy. I’m so pleased you’ll be publishing soon with Soul Mate. I look forward to Windswept.

      xo, Ann

       
  10. myrahmcilvain

    December 8, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Great teaser. Looking forward to the read. Congratulations!

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 3:47 am

      So glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

      xo, Ann

       
  11. Emma Lane

    December 8, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Great interview, Ann. Thanks for the invite. Sure makes me wanna tag your book for tbr list. I used to live in Anchorage, btw. <s will enjoy the revisit.
    Emma Lane

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 4:03 am

      Yay, Emma’s in the house! Emma Lane writes Regency Romance for Musa, and her books are wonderful!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      xo, Ann

       
  12. Patricia Yager Delagrange

    December 8, 2011 at 4:27 am

    Really enjoyed this interview because I got to know you as a person as well as you as a writer. Living in a cabin sounds like the perfect venue for writing – less distractions, more quietude.
    Good luck in your future writing career.
    Patti

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 5:03 am

      Thanks for your support, Patricia. Living in a cabin is quiet, and it wasn’t until I moved here that I was able to sit down and write anything longer than a poem. 🙂

      xo, Ann

       
  13. mirriamsmyth

    December 8, 2011 at 4:47 am

    Oh, wow! Great interview and excerpt! 🙂 I’m gonna have to check this one out when it’s released.

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 5:05 am

      Thanks, Miriam. Dec 21, 2011 TBB should be available at soulmatepublishing.com.

      Fingers crossed I get through my galley edits okay!

      xo, Ann

       
  14. Brenda

    December 8, 2011 at 5:08 am

    Loved the excerpt, and the cover is brilliant!

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 5:25 am

      Thanks so much, Brenda. I love the cover, too. Sqeeee. I have put it on everything from t-shirts to coffee mugs for my family this Christmas! Shhhh.

      xo, Ann

       
      • ChristineWarner

        December 8, 2011 at 10:56 am

        Ann, I love that idea….I bet everyone will be thrilled!

         
  15. jesstopper

    December 8, 2011 at 5:41 am

    Loved the excerpt, Ann! Sounds like the two of them are primed to heat up Fairbanks!

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 5:44 am

      Thanks, Jess. Indeed, Sloane and David bring the heat! Perfect for a winter read. 🙂

      xo, Ann

       
  16. Martha Ramirez

    December 8, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Great interview! Happy release day!

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 6:15 am

      Thanks, Martha. I can’t wait for Dec. 21, 2011 — my Christmas comes early!

      xo, Ann

       
  17. Rebecca Heflin

    December 8, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Great interview! Can’t wait to read the book.

     
  18. Nikki Barrett

    December 8, 2011 at 7:42 am

    What a fun interview! And the book sounds great! Can’t wait to get a copy.

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 8:51 am

      Thanks for stopping by, Nikki. I hope you enjoy the book!

      xo, Ann

       
  19. Casey Wyatt

    December 8, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Hi Ann! Stopping by to say hi and congratulations on your new release. The book sounds exciting and your interview was so fun!! And l love the cover! 🙂

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 9:56 am

      Thanks,Casey! I can’t wait to read YOUR soon to be released Mystic Ink. Talk about a cover… 🙂

      xo, Ann

       
  20. ChristineWarner

    December 8, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Wow Ann, you’re a popular lady! I go away for a few hours and come back to tons of comments! I think that catchy title and your excerpt are real crowd pleasers 🙂

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 12:05 pm

      Thanks for hosting me, Christine. I have enjoyed responding to such encouraging comments!

      xo, Ann

       
      • ChristineWarner

        December 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

        You are so welcome Ann! I’ve enjoyed meeting you and happy to add another book to my list of reads! I’ve been so lucky, I keep meeting these amazing authors with wonderful stories….glad we met 🙂

         
  21. B.J. Scott

    December 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Sounds great! Can’t wait to readi it!

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks for coming by, BJ! Highland Legacy is a terrific book. BJ is a Soul Mate sister, and her book is available at Soul Mate Publishing.

      xo, Ann

       
      • ChristineWarner

        December 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm

        Hi BJ, glad you stopped by too! You are another author with a great cover! So many I can’t keep up. lol

         
  22. mandicasey

    December 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Can’t wait to read more! The first chapter was great, but it totally left me with needing to keep reading, great job!

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks, Mandi! Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick is another great Soul Mate Publishing title. It is great to be supported by my fellow writers.

      xo, Ann

       
      • ChristineWarner

        December 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm

        And Mandi will be appearing on my blog in the not so distant future as well! Can’t wait 🙂

         
  23. ChristineWarner

    December 8, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    WOW..what a day! I want to thank everyone for coming by to learn more about Ann and her book!

    Ann, thank you for taking the time to appear on What to Read Wednesday! I loved meeting you and wish you all the success possible! I have a feeling we’ll be seeing your name a lot in the future!

    Congrats on your book!

     
  24. Cheryl Yeko

    December 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Sounds like a fun read. Congrats Ann!

    -Cheryl

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 9, 2011 at 12:31 am

      Thanks, Cheryl! I know today is huge for you! Congrats on your Soul Mate Publishing release, Protecting Rose. Yippee!

      xo, Ann

       
  25. Meggan Connors

    December 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    I can’t wait to read your book, Ann! Congrats on your Christmas release!
    –Meggan

     
  26. Ann Montclair

    December 9, 2011 at 12:40 am

    Thank you so much! Got your friend request, too! Yay!

    xo, Ann

     
  27. Susan Muller

    December 9, 2011 at 1:24 am

    Sounds like an exciting read. Can’t wait. The title and cover are excellent.

     
  28. Cassandra Carr

    December 9, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Wow, Ann, I can’t wait to read this. Your hero sounds delish!

     
  29. myrahmcilvain

    December 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    @AnnMontclair loved that teaser. Great interview.

     
    • Ann Montclair

      December 11, 2011 at 12:57 am

      Thanks! I appreciate you stopping by!

      xo, Ann

       

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