Good morning! Please welcome author Annette Bower to Full Moon Dreaming! She is here today to tell us about her new release, Oranges for Miranda. Annette will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on her tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!
Oranges for Miranda
by Annette Bower
GENRE: Romance Contemporary Sweet
Miranda Porter, a newly retired award-winning businesswoman, leaves home to transition into her new life stage. Always in control, this is her time to have fun without plans and responsibilities. Enter Renato Monteiro, a considerate tour guide with secrets. Miranda isn’t looking for long-term. She wants a purpose in her retirement. Could her purpose in retirement be finding love in this unlikely place? Could her aim be domesticity and caring for and be cared for by a newly found friend? Will a vacation romance end because of miles?
Renato Monteiro has decisions to make. Stay in his birth country where his female relatives want him to marry a woman young enough to give him children. Or does he return to his second home, where he has a purpose and has built a life without children? The day Miranda and he bumped heads changed his life and his pursuit. Now he must decide which is most important the family he was born into or the family he chooses.
Tucking her oranges into the pocket of her billowy trousers, she toed off her shoes, removed her socks, and padded down the stairs and onto the beach. A rock, eroded and pocked from the wind and seas, was the perfect place to stop. With her toes in the sand and her eyes closed, the scent of salt and the sound of seabirds engulfed her. A wave lapped cold over her feet. Miranda lifted an orange to her cheek.
As a shadow blocked the warm sun, her body momentarily chilled. A deep voice whispered close to her ear, “Por favor, Senhora.”
Her eyes flew open, and she jumped away from the sound. Her shoes slipped from her hand, and she reached to catch them at the same time the man did. They bumped heads, but his hands were quicker and larger and rescued her shoes seconds before the ocean foam of a retreating wave could swallow them whole.
Miranda didn’t know whether to rub her head, reach for her shoes, apologize, or sink into the sand in mortification. “I’m sorry,” she stammered.
“I must apologize to you. My head is so much bigger and harder. Are you okay? You aren’t dizzy. Come, let’s sit over here on the rocks.” Long, thick fingers curled around her elbow as she allowed him to guide her.
When he let go of her arm, he swiped sand away from the surface of a rock and then motioned her to sit. Her orange. Miranda turned and saw her orange lying in the sand at the base of the rock she had been leaning against. She ran back and scooped it up before the next wave would have taken it out to sea. She tucked it in her pocket along with the other one.
Walking back, she surveyed the man who had scared her, bumped her head and then shepherded her to safety. Tall, with a large frame and short-cropped, thick hair graying at the temples. He wore a golf shirt, shorts, and sandals. He appeared to be a visitor, too. But why had he spoken to her at all?
“Miranda.” She stretched out her hand.
His hands were hard. “Renato.” The lines around his brown eyes were crinkled. “Renato Monteiro.”
“Was I in danger?”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Annette believes home is where her stories percolate. And her home is a condo where she watches the urban life below, airplanes arrive and depart at the international airport, and the seasons change on farmland near the horizon. Annette travels extensively but always returns home to Regina, Saskatchewan. Whether at home or away, and even though directions are always a challenge, she wanders the streets, parks, and lanes observing how people live, love, and care for one another. Your way of sitting, holding hands, the way you tilt your head, or a t-shirt you wear may end up in one of her stories.
On her first trip to Olhos de Água, a fishing village in Portugal, she stopped at a café where the proprietors were a mother and daughter. Annette sat at the outdoor blue and white tiled table and ordered an espresso and brandy. While the sun warmed her back, she opened her new notebook. The older woman walked by carrying a basket, tipped her head toward Annette’s blank page, and shrugged. When black-laced heeled shoes struck the tile, and the scent of just-picked clementine oranges interrupted Annette’s writing, the woman plunked three oranges at the edge of her page. Annette cherishes this gift from one woman to another. Recently, Annette travels with an accompanying Orange and shares pictures on Social media as her way of honoring those Portugues women. A version of this event appears in her new novel, Oranges for Miranda.
During another trip, while searching for an address in Malaga, Spain, she asked a well-dressed man carrying a floral paper-wrapped bouquet if he spoke English? Would he direct her to the address? With impeccable English, he suggested she walk with him. They chatted, and she discovered he was a lawyer in his final days of retiring. Finally, she asked to whom he was giving the flowers. He lifted the cover to reveal a large crucifix. This detail has not appeared in a story yet.
In a coffee shop, looking south between glass tower office buildings, she could be anywhere in the world. However, she is home watching people on Eleventh Avenue run for buses, bring tea to a panhandler, and holding mittened hands while bending into the wind.
Annette uses experiences she gathered as a nurse, town administrator, elected official, traveller, and member of a large extended family to inform her stories because writing is her joy.
Annette Bower is a Soul Mate Publishing author of five contemporary romance novels. Her novel Fearless Destiny was first runner-up in the 2017 Sweet Contemporary RONE awards and winner of the Raven Award. Her novel Ponytails and Promises was a finalist in the 2020 RONE Awards and is the 2020 winner of the Raven Award.
Webpage: https://annettebower.com/ (Also a sign up for my monthly newsletter)
Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Oranges-Miranda-Annette-Bower-ebook/dp/B095Z4DF2F
1. You’re marooned on a small island with one person and one item of your choice-who is that person and what item do you have?
When stranded on a small island with one person, I hope a survival expert such as Bear Grylls or Rocky the Park Ranger is with me and a flat of duct tape. According to the YouTube Myth Busters video, we can make anything we need from duct tape, hats, water carry bags, and foot protective coverings etc. This scenario is my life, and I want to be alive when the rescue boat or plane arrives. I have many more books I want to write. Julie, thank you for this prompt to research survival.
2. Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life—and which character in the musical are you?
The musical Yentl is my life choice. I am Ashkenazi, the Jewish girl who dresses and lives like a boy to obtain an education. During her deception, she falls in love but chooses adventure over becoming a wife at that time. After she arrives in America, I imagine she finds love with a man who accepts her as the strong, intelligent, independent woman she has become.
3. When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot?
I am a pantser. I begin with a character and something I want to learn.
I always know the end because I write romance, and the ending is happy. B.U.T. (behold the underlying truth) how the characters arrive there is the most challenging. I enjoy the beginning when the characters get to know each other. The middle is hard because I want them to fall in love and be happy. Of course, there are challenges with past emotional baggage and the expectations of love in their future together.
4. If they were to make the story of your life into a movie, who should play you?
I would want Sandra Annette Bullock to play me. She is the woman with the “girl next door” appeal, but she is so much more than that. Sandra is not mainstream beautiful. Instead, she appears normal and seems to enjoy herself and loves what she does. Sandra adopted children to realize her desire to be a mother. She clarifies that they are her children, not her adopted children. She is precise.
5. Do you have an historical crush and if so, who is it?
I am Canadian, and I enjoy reading about Anne of Green Gables, who lived on Prince Edward Island. Therefore, my historical crush is Lucy Maude Montgomery. Lucy wrote stories about an orphan girl who needed love and found it in a spinster and a bachelor. Anne brought love and wonder to their world while they gave her a home, stability that she hadn’t experienced, and love she could not have imagined. L. M. Montgomery continues to bring joy to many readers, both young and old. I want my writing to bring joy to my readers.