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“Now that’s not something you see every day.”
The dazed wonder in his most recent hire’s voice had
Vince Sutton glancing up from where he’d been filling a
third pitcher of beer. It was a Thursday night and the
regulars were in The Brass Eagle. “What’s that?”
Since he’d hired Travis Fielding all of three months
ago, Vince had found there was little that didn’t amuse the
college senior. Tall and gangly with an odd penchant for
retro seventies’ paisley and sideburns, the computer
science major seemed to be off in his own world most of
“Tell me that’s not an angel who just walked in.” Travis
suddenly jumped back as he’d over-poured the line of
tequila shots. The pungent liquid dribbled over the lip of
the bar and onto the kid’s pristine white sneakers.
Despite hearing the distinct cha-ching of lost cash,
Vince tossed Travis a towel. When he glanced over again,
he found his employee’s “angel” standing directly across
from him. “Simone.”
Vince went numb as he took in the familiar lush waves
of thick hair, her startling sapphire-blue eyes that, despite
every attempt, couldn’t hide her emotions. Not from him,
at least. Had it really been three years since he’d touched
her face, those cheekbones? Trailed his finger down that
pointed nose that only hinted at the stubbornness he knew
she possessed? Traced that small tattoo on the base of her
Her voice washed over him, sultry, intoxicating. How
two words could hold so much—a greeting, a promise, a
reminder—was beyond him. Then again, he’d stopped
trying to figure out Simone Armstrong around the time he’d
served her with divorce papers.
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USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J. Stewart currently writes sweet to sexy romance for Harlequin's Heartwarming and Romantic Suspense lines. Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating fun, funny, and family-centric romances with happily ever afters for her independent heroines. Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural & Sherlock addiction, surrounds herself with friends and family and tolerates an overly affectionate cat named Snickers (or perhaps it's Snickers who tolerates her). When she's not writing, you can find her at fan conventions, at her local movie theater, or building her client list for her content editing service for writers. You can find her online at www.authorannastewart.com.
Jan Schliesman: Do you ever get lost in your own stories?
Anna J Stewart: Absolutely. And I think that's probably the best part of the job (aside from hearing from readers). When I get lost, I call that "in the zone"; it's when the story just takes off on its own and my fingers fly. It also means I'm on the right track. I'm always waiting for that moment when my characters take over and forget I'm around, LOL
Jan: My maiden name is Stewart! Do you think it’s exciting that we might be related or is it a pen name? (Third choice would be a restraining orderJ)
Anna: It is most definitely my name! And I wouldn't be surprised to hear we're related. I hear the Stewarts got around, LOL. One of my best friends traced our ancestries back to Scotland--where her ancestors actually imprisoned and fought mine (mine were protecting Mary Queen of Scots)! Funny how we all find each other in some way :)
Jan: Name three things on your desk right now.
Anna: A water bottle, bills, and a picture of George Clooney (he inspires me *sigh*)
Jan: Do you struggle to find fresh ideas or do they come naturally?
Anna: Sometimes I struggle, certainly. I tend to write out of the box ideas anyway, but finding a fresh spin, doing something unexpected is something I really focus on. I'm a reader, too, and I don't want predictable! I want the reader to be turning the pages of my story because they can't wait to see (and they can't anticipate) what's going to happen. When I'm really stuck, I put out the call to my two critique partners (authors Melinda Curtis and Cari Lynn Webb) and we brainstorm over Skype. Honestly? I couldn't write my books without them.
Jan: What do you love most about your latest release?
Anna: First, I love writing reunion stories. There's something about focusing on characters as they are now, comparing them to how they were, that really adds layers. Simone and Vince are clearly made for each other, but the first time around, I think they got caught up in the physicality of their relationship and never took the time to see the other for who they really are. They do this time around and that's what makes for an unbreakable bond. My second favorite thing about this story (and the entire trilogy) is the friendship among the three heroines (MORE THAN A LAWMAN was the first book). I've enjoyed exploring how each of them dealt with the same childhood tragedy.
Jan: What are you currently reading?
Anna: I just finished reading ECHOES IN DEATH by JD Robb. And before that, I read THE OBSESSION by Nora Roberts. I have a bit of a fan fetish with her, so...they're on the top of my TBR list whenever I get the time to read (which isn't much these days).
Jan: Do you believe in love at first sight?
Anna: Hmmmm...I think I do? I've never experienced it myself, but I know a number of friends who have. With that evidence (and their lasting relationships), I'd have to say yes.
Jan: If you had the skills to be in any other profession, what would it be?
Anna: I would love to be a professional chef--but I don't think I have the energy. Those people work HARD! I like my solitary writing world, LOL.
Jan: Best vacation you’ve ever taken?
Anna: Oooooh, I've had a bunch that have been awesome, but I think the last trip I took to Hawaii with my best friend (who had never been before) tops the list. Normally I'm ready for vacation to be over. I didn't want to leave!
Jan’s GOTTA ASK: My hubby works for Tombstone/DiGiorno. What do you like on your pizza?
Anna’s GOTTA ANSWER: I'm a "the works" kind of girl. I like everything, even anchovies. Except spicy things. So everything but jalapenos and banana peppers.
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UP NEXT: In August I'm releasing the third in my Butterfly Harbor series from Harlequin Heartwarming (these are sweet romances). A DAD FOR CHARLIE features Deputy Fletcher Bradley and Paige Cooper, along with her daughter Charlie, who's decided Fletch is the dad she wants. I got to play a bit of Parent Trap with this one. Then in October, I've got book 3 in the romantic suspense trilogy, GONE IN THE NIGHT, where readers (and my heroines) will finally learn who murdered Chloe Evans twenty years ago.
PREVIOUS RELEASES: As I said before, I love writing large groups of characters into my stories. My Tremayne Family Romances (ASKING FOR TROUBLE, HERE COMES TROUBLE, and THE TROUBLE WITH NATHAN) features a large cast that also includes a cat burglar, an art forger, foster kids, a Robin Hood do-gooder, a con artist and some other fun stuff thrown in (I call these my kitchen sink books-they have something for everyone).
My Butterfly Harbor series takes place in a town inspired by the Monterey, CA area (one of my favorite spots on the planet). THE BAD BOY OF BUTTERFLY HARBOR and RECIPE FOR REDEMPTION are the first two in that series).
I also write a holiday novella every year that takes place in Christmas Town, Maine (THE CHRISTMAS WISH was my first sale to Harlequin). After our previous boxed sets (A HEARTWARMING CHRISTMAS and A HEARTWARMING HOLIDAY), I'll be adding yet another this year.
And then I've started writing in Marina Adair's St. Helena Vineyard's Kindle Worlds. STRAIGHT TO HIS HEART just came out on April 3rd and I'm mulling the possibility of more.
THANKS SO MUCH, Anna for sharing your writing world with us! Anna is offering an e-copy(format of your choice) of ASKING FOR TROUBLE, the first in her Tremayne romances. Open to international readers. Answer this question in the comments:
I'm always interested in hearing what readers want to read. Tell me what your favorite type of romance is? Genre, story, hero or heroine? I never know what will kick start a new idea and readers have a lot of great ones!