Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, Annie!
Thank you for having me! I’m excited to be here!
What 5 things should readers know about you?
Hmm. 1) I’m a working mother of three 2) I am a hopeless romantic and love all things romance, including novels, chick flicks, soap operas, etc. 3) I love the rain. The fact that my husband’s last name is Rains is one of the first things that got me to notice him 4) I still live in the small town that I grew up in, and 5) I love to hear other people’s stories. The stories of others fascinates me. I’m a watcher and a listener.
Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need to have with them if stranded on a desert isle? 😉
My heroine is Kat Chandler. She’s faced huge heartache in her past, but she’s tough. She’s not afraid to meet challenges head on. She’s the local elementary school’s principal and she’s got a huge heart for others. She’s an optimist until the end. If stranded on a desert isle the one thing she’d need would be some kind of connection to her friends. A phone? Her best friend Val and sister Julie are definitely her life lines.
Sergeant Micah Peterson is a single father Marine, whose number 1 priority is his son, Ben. Micah carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. It’s tough for him to share that weight with anyone because he’s been burned by others one too many times. Micah relaxes by dabbling in landscape design. On a desert isle, Micah would need his gardening tools.
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
It started in my mind as the story of a woman who was reluctant to remove her engagement ring. That started me wondering what happened to her fiancé. As I delved deeper, the story evolved. I realized that Kat Chandler had been through a lot and deserved a happily ever after. So I gave her one.
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. The earliest story I remember writing was at age six. It was about monsters under my bed. I’m not sure who inspired me to become a writer. I think I realized early on how much I loved writing. When I realized that the books on my shelves were written by real people, I decided I wanted my stories to be on shelves, too.
I like it 🙂
What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?
I like the end product. There’s a sense of huge accomplishment when you’ve finished writing a book. I can’t describe the wonderful feeling, but you immediately want to set forth and do it again. Doing it again is the challenging part! It’s not easy to get from page 1 to page 300!
I hear you! 🙂
What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?
I’m finishing up edits for book 3 in this series, Welcoming the Bad Boy, which is my personal favorite so far. After that, I’m not sure. I have several other stories competing for attention in my mind. I usually let those ideas marinate and decide which one interests me the most. Or, like in Welcome to Forever, I decide which hero or heroine deserves to find their happily ever after the most.
Love the title!
What authors and/or books have inspired you?
Kristan Higgins. Lori Wilde. Jill Shalvis. Nora Roberts. The list goes on and on. I love so many authors out there. Danielle Steele was a big influence for me when I first started writing romance. I couldn’t read her books fast enough in college! I still love to read Danielle Steele books.
What are you currently reading? What are your thoughts about it so far?
I’m juggling my attention between Lori Wilde’s latest Christmas book,iIll be Home for Christmas, and a parenting book. I’m loving both for different reasons!
If you had to “sell” this book in a single Tweet, what would you say?
He represents a past she swore she’d never repeat. And a future she desperately wants. –WELCOME TO FOREVER.
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).
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.
“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.