I had the honor of interviewing the author or Welcome to Forever which is a contemporary romance, the first in her new ‘Hero’s Welcome’ Series, author Annie Rains.
As you will see from Annie’s answers and both the book’s synopsis and excerpt, this is a sweet book that will tug at your heartstrings as well as remind you how wonderful the men and women who fight for us on a daily basis truly are.
OK, here’s the synopsis of Welcome to Forever:
If you love Kristan Higgins, Susan Mallery, or Jill Shalvis, you won’t want to miss the Hero’s Welcome military romance series! Welcome to Forever introduces a small coastal town where America’s best and brightest risk everything for love.
In Seaside, North Carolina, there are two kinds of people: Marines, and kids of Marines. Then there’s Kat Chandler. Recently hired as the principal of Seaside Elementary, Kat makes it her mission to turn the school into a place of peace and calm. That’s not going to be easy with hard-liner parents like Micah Peterson storming in, telling her how to do her job—and then kissing her with those gorgeous lips of his and turning her brain into mush.
As a Marine Sergeant and a single dad, Micah Peterson has just two priorities: doing his job better than anyone else, and getting the absolute best for his son, Ben. But when he meets Ben’s beautiful new principal, a different yearning shifts into focus. He wants her, sure, but he’s also moved by the connection Kat forges with her students. So after learning that she refuses to date Marines, Micah sets two more objectives: convincing Kat to give him a chance . . . and then holding on to her forever…
OK, swoon, seriously, swoon! Below find the link for the tour and the Goodreads:
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/11/welcome-to-forever-heros-welcome-1-by.html
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25476323-welcome-to-forever
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/154832-hero-s-welcome
Here are the links to purchase the book (Don’t worry ~ I’ll have them at the end of this post as well):
ANNIE RAINS’ INTERVIEW TIME!! WOOHOO!
Alright, y’all…It’s Interview Time!! I’m so excited to give you a small peek into the mind of Annie Rains! Things such as what makes her tick, how she manages her day, her writing style and some super-fun facts about her. Ready? Here we go!!
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
Well, I’m a working mother of three who writes in the wee hours of the morning. When I’m not writing, I work at an elementary school. I love coffee, storms and reading romance novels.
Quickly, give us the title, the genre of your novel and a 50-word or less tagline.
Welcome to Forever is a contemporary romance; it’s the first in my Hero’s Welcome series about a few good marine who have traveled the world and risked their lives for their countries, and who are now looking for a place to call home. And a good woman to love, of course.
Please give us an interesting fun fact about your novel.
Welcome to Forever was part of an online contest called Pitch Wars in 2013. I was an alternate in the contest, but “won” several weeks of being mentored by someone who goes by Lady Lioness. That mentorship helped me polish this book into what it is now.
In Welcome to Forever, who’s your favorite character and why?
My favorite character is Ben, the hero’s son! Ben is a young boy with cerebral palsy. He has overgrown brown hair that gets in his eyes and freckles sprinkled across his face. He faces being bullied in the book at his new school. Ben really just walked on the page as I was writing this book and stole my heart. I love him!
OK, yeah, Ben sounds amazing! However, I now have to ask the opposite question…
Who is your least favorite character? Why?
Dora Burroughs, the assistant principal in the book is my least favorite character. She doesn’t believe my heroine, Kat Chandler, is seasoned enough to be the school’s principal and undermines her every chance she gets.
I have to say – you’re really great at creating believable characters. I already LOVE Ben and CAN’T STAND Dora. Ugh! Why is it that women so often do anything they can to bring down another woman? I’ve never understood that. Seriously. OK, sorry, rant over ~ let me get back to the interview! 😀
Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book (over another book in the same genre)?
My intended audience is readers of military and contemporary romance. This is a sweet story with a healthy dose of humor. If you like to teeter between laughter and tears, then I think you’ll enjoy WELCOME TO FOREVER. If you like men in uniforms and stories about second chances, pick this one up.
And now…here’s a few questions regarding the writing profession:
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers trying to get published?
Yes! I could go on and on with advice for aspiring writers because I spent a very long time trying to get published. The most important thing, though, is just to believe in your work and stay the course. Don’t give up because it’s tempting to do so in the face of rejection. And look for mentors, critique partners, beta readers, etc. We write in solitary, but then it’s crucial to work with other people in the business.
Do you write a little each day or binge-write?
Everyday. 4 a.m. (or just a little after if I press snooze J).
When did you know that writing was going to be your profession? Did you work in another field prior to writing? If so, what was the catalyst behind your decision to write full-time?
I knew I wanted to be an author at age six. I’m still trying to make this my full-time profession. I have a day job right now, so I write when I can. I love writing, so that’s my catalyst. Even if no one ever read what I wrote, I’d do it.
Who are your literary heroes? How do they influence your writing?
My first literary heroes were Danielle Steele and Nicholas Sparks. I devoured everything they wrote (and still enjoy them). Right now I can’t get enough of Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, and Lori Wilde. My good friend Rachel Lacey writes contemporary romance. She’s also my critique partner. I am always thrilled when I get one of her books in my hands. I enjoy sweet, heartfelt love stories that make you cry. Make me laugh and cry and I’m a fan for life!
OK, Random Question Time! 🙂
Do you have a Hollywood crush? Who and why?
Can I name more than one?! Liam Neeson (because of that voice!), George Clooney, Joaquin Phoenix (because of that scar!), Chris Hemsworth, and maybe I’m showing my age but I’ll always be crushing on the original Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford. Sigh.
Who is your all-time favorite band? Have you seen them in concert?
Rascal Flatts. I love all their songs. I’ve never been to one of their concerts, though. I’m not a crowd person.
Wow! Annie, thanks so much for your honesty and letting us into your lives!
And, if that’s not enough to get you jumping on this book ASAP – just wait – here’s an exclusive excerpt from Welcome to Forever:
“Have you thought about that kiss?” she asked, as he leaned in close to fasten her seatbelt. She couldn’t control what was coming out of her mouth. “Because I have. A little.” She started laughing again. Val had warned her that she was a horrible drunk, and evidently, it was true.
“What have you thought about it?” he asked, his voice low and bristly. Her buckle snapped into place with a loud click. He could step back now, but he didn’t.
And she didn’t want him to. What was the point of being drunk if you couldn’t say and do what you wanted, and then apologize for it in the morning? No one blamed a drunk, they blamed the drink. “I thought that I liked it. The kiss. It was amazing.” She held her breath as he lingered in front of her, his hand still resting on the seat’s buckle.
“I thought the same thing.”
“You did?” She swallowed thickly, as her heart rode up her throat.
His brow lifted. “You sound surprised.”
“I’m out of practice.” She nibbled on her lower lip, drawing his gaze there. Then his gaze flicked back to her ring. Just the thought squashed the flutterings in her chest, leaving a deep ache that vibrated with the alcohol. “He’s been gone for two years,” she said.
Micah’s brows pinched together softly.
Explaining about John in her state wasn’t a good idea, though. She might start crying, which she didn’t do in front of others anymore, and right now all she wanted to do was forget everything but their kiss. That she wanted to remember. “You could kiss me again,” she said softly.
His smile deepened and, damn, he smelled good.
Leaning in closer to her ear, his hot breath melted her as he whispered, “Kat, you’ve had too much to drink. I’m taking you home now.”
Before she could process what he’d said, he stepped back and shut the Jeep’s door, the sound as offensive as if someone had crashed cymbals in her ears. A moment later, he reappeared on the driver’s side and cranked the engine, another sound that made her wince.
She closed her eyes, unsure of what to do with her drunken emotions.
“If I kiss you again, I want to be one hundred percent sure it’s what you want. Not because my almost ex is walking up and you want to help me out. Not because you’ve had too much to drink and want to escape.”
She suddenly felt very tired, as the Jeep Cherokee headed out of the parking lot. “So, you are going to kiss me again?” she asked. Before she could hear his answer, though, her eyes closed and the sounds of the road and his voice, and the blood thundering in her head, blurred together. She remembered their kiss, the feel of his stubble roughly brushing against her cheek, and the way he had smelled like pine and fudge brownies.
No, wait. His eyes reminded her of fudge brownies. He didn’t smell like them.
Her eyes fluttered open. Yeah, she was definitely going to regret tonight in the morning.
℘℘℘Ummm, yes please! I can’t wait to buy this! Remember, it’s available TODAY!!!!! December 1st! Yay!!!℘℘℘
Here’s the Buy Links one more time:
And Here’s the Rafflecopter Giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway (For $50 Amazon Gift Card and a Book Bundle) ;D
Finally, here’s some info about the fantastic author, Annie Rains:
Annie Rains is a contemporary romance author who writes small town love stories set in fictional towns on the coast of North Carolina. Raised in one of America’s largest military communities, Annie often features heroes who fight for their countries, while also fighting for a place to call home and a good woman to love. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and 3 children, or reading a book by one of her favorite authors. Represented by Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency (NYLA).