Annette is in the House! Please Welcome Annette Bower to the Blogathon!

Annette BowerSay hi to Annette Bower!
I asked Annette to tell everyone a little about herself. Check it out, below!

The year was 1996 and I had powered up a second hand desk top computer and began my annette1writing career at long last. Our sons were in high school. Daisy, our tricolored basset hound, sat in a sunbeam waiting for me stop poking around on this keyboard.

After hours, I closed the file for the day and Daisy and I went for a walk on the path beside Last Mountain Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada. Later in the evening, I returned to work on the file, but it was gone, disappeared.

annette2 I cried. When my husband came in to comfort me, I said, “I either have to leave you, or get a job.” He suggested I go back to University and obtain my English degree. And that was what I did. In 1999 in cap and gown, I walked  annette3across the stage and received my degree.
An aunt introduced me to romance novels one summer while I was still in my teens. In fact when our children were young, my husband would often purchase a romance novel, so I could curl up and escape for a few hours on a weekend. But then again, In Paul Grescoe’s book The Merchants of Venus, Inside Harlequin and the Empire of Romance, he states that “Harlequin readers read—and watch television less than the average [person]. And they have better sex lives.” Hmmm! There may have been an ulterior motive. Lucky him. Lucky me. annette4I enjoy reading novels with an underlying social message as well as the romance. I read sweet romance and I write romance where my characters become friends and build a foundation for love. Both of my novels explore building a relationship from loss, through friendship, and move to love. My book shelves are loaded with books on grief, love, loss, and books about returning soldiers, books about orphans, and about grandparents raising a grandchild, and a shelf for books on beauty and body image. Oh yes, and how to wear a credible disguise.

WomanofSubstance My first novel, Woman of Substance was inspired by my women’s studies courses where I learned the negative effects that body image has on women. I knew I had looked at my less than perfect figure and sometimes hid under baggy clothes or when a size didn’t fit, it was my problem rather than the designer, but this course showed me that so very many women experience these same feeling. I chose a strong heroine who wanted to walk on the journey the women in her thesis did. She disguises herself as if she is outside the norm of what is considered acceptable for a woman. Not many women will dress as if they are larger, usually we squeeze into control top pantyhose to smooth our bulges and cellulite. I also wanted to discover a man who would love Robbie for her strengths and weakness. Jake is a man of integrity, but he also comes with his own issues.

movingonMy second novel, Moving On is about Nick who has been injured in Afghanistan. annette5

 There were so many armed forces personnel returning home injured. I wanted to discover what that could be like for a man. My heroine, Anna is also recovering from loss.

annette6 She moves into Nick’s space in Regina Beach, Saskatchewan. Together they work through these feelings.

Before I became a mature university student, I had worked as a rehabilitation nurse and as an executive secretary which I parlayed into Regina Beach’s Town Administrator, managing budgets, writing bylaws, and taking property tax money from residents.

Can you see what I’ve done? Yes, I have utilized my life experiences to inform my stories.
When I write I want to learn what I know and also what I don’t know.
Stories are all around, but the stories that I want to write explore social issues. The characters have baggage and they have to find a way to unpack the past to allow for a present and a future. They explore the benefits of close, long-term relationships formed on trust. They respond to each other’s vulnerability and discuss inner fears and deep longings.

I begin a story with a character in a position of change and discovering the strength to move forward. I then look for another character who will be there and love that character. I choose a social issue as a backdrop. In my third novel, I am using the idea of what happens when a large resource based company comes to a small community. The draw backs and benefits are also mirrored in my heroine, Tiffany, she needs to change too. She needs to hold true to who she would like to become without being forced to give up her dreams. Will, the hero is on the scene with strengths that he has achieved over a lifetime of overcoming barriers. He’s part of the new movement in the town. He wants to support Tiffany but he also wants her to be his one true love.

I love creating my characters. In another book case I have name books, because I believe that a character becomes their name. I have horoscope books which can provide a basic characterization, then I build their past. I have books on style and decorator magazines to assist in dressing and housing my characters.  annette7
I ask you, in what other profession can a writer research love? In researching I continue learning about relationships that I have garnered from life experience but also so much that I don’t know. My third novel with the working title of “Will’s Intentions” explores a premise that has surfaced recently. I believe it will work. I wonder if my readers will. annette8

Yes, I was born with a story on my lips but my inability to spell and conquer the English language mechanics handcuffed me. If I had known I could hire people with the talents that I lack, I would have written a whole lot sooner. But then I wouldn’t have had all of the wonderful experiences that I have had to help enrich my stories. annette9

I began writing. I am Annette Bower, author of more than two dozen published short stories in magazine and anthologies in the UK, Canada and the US. And a proud Soul Mate author with two published contemporary romance novels and a third contracted for release in 2016.

As the author, I am most thrilled when I laugh and cry with my characters. And the most rewarding is when a reader shares that reading my book has made them look at life just a little differently. A doctor’s receptionist told me that she looks as clients who are larger with another view than she did before. Another reader told me that Moving On was the first book she read in a very long time, she is now downloading regularly and reading to her grandchildren.

movingon
Sweet contemporary romance with an heiress, a soldier, a small town and secrets.

Anna Jenkins, a mysterious woman arrives in the resort town of Regina Beach as the heir to a cottage, even though there isn’t an obvious family connection. The residents of the town know everyone’s business and they are very keen on discovering Anna’s secrets. Anna meets Nick Donnelly with a secret of his own. As a soldier, the injuries he sustained in an IED explosion were greater than most people realize.
During his rehabilitation, Nick and Anna become friends. Nick begins to dream of a life on the land with a family of his own. When Anna discovers that Nick plans to return to active duty, she puts the brakes on loving a man who might die because of his career. Nick must convince Anna they have a future to live for.

BUY LINK:  AMAZON:

For comments on my blog post today, I will enter each name into a draw for  a Kindle ebook copy of MOVING ON. Leave your email address in your comment to be eligible.

Annette, thanks for visiting with us today!

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About charchaffin2011

Writer and Senior Acquiring Editor
This entry was posted in 2015 August Blogathon, Contemporary Romance and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Annette is in the House! Please Welcome Annette Bower to the Blogathon!

  1. Barbara A. Burdette says:

    I enjoyed your history from the beginning when your aunt introduced you to romance as a teen & the progression to writing them. Your blog is a mini romance adventure that captivated me & makes me want to read your books. Good luck!

    • Hello Barbara,
      Thank you for appreciating my blog post. Yes, my aunt continues to read romances, but she likes more spice then I write. One of the advantages with some of the romance series is that the reading level is accessible to many readers, so they too can enjoy an escape from their day to day.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

  2. Karen Rossi says:

    Hi Annette,
    Glad to have on board another writer who is not a spring chicken, At one point I thought all romance writers were young women but I have discovered that a lot of us aren’t. Perhaps all the life-experiences that we older writers have gathered gives us more material to work with, You certainly seem to have a lot of life-experiences to draw from!
    Good luck with your career!

    • Good morning Karen,
      You are right in that writers bring their life experiences with them and their imagination to the page. I am reading another Soul Mate Author right now, Lady Shadow by Abrielle S. Fuerst. She combines her life passion of martial arts and a strong female heroine.
      “There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.” You and I may know this is a quote from Dragnet, a TV show from a long time ago, but so still pertinent to all writers. Of course the eight million is now multiplied by many.
      Thank you for being the first to stop on by Karen.

  3. Good morning Soul Mate followers and those who are discovering Soul Mate Authors.
    We are a diverse group of writers. We continually learn about our craft and the business of being published authors. We share our knowledge and our encouragement. If you are a writer looking for a home, check out the submission details.
    Thank you for discovering me in this wonderful Blogathon which Char Chaffrin organized. Thank you Char for the time and energy you share with Soul Mate authors.
    I’m looking forward to checking the comments all day, because today is my special day.
    Yes, you saw correctly. Comment and I’ll enter you in a draw for an E-copy of Moving On.
    Thank you for stopping in and good luck.

  4. Madelyn Hill says:

    Nice to meet you Annette! Great post.

    • Hello Madelyn,
      Thank you for stopping by and learning just a little about me the writer behind my stories. Debby Gilbert, our publisher and chief editor at Soul Mate, along with her other editors select authors who have wonderful stories to tell. I hope you continue to stop on by all month to learn about some of us. I’m listening to Time and Forever by Susan B. James, another Soul Mate author, while I drive in my car. A story about time travel, missed opportunities at love and how much we might risk for love. I’m not at the end yet, so I can’t tell you what happens.
      Good luck.
      Yours truly,
      Annette Bower

  5. Byrna Barclay says:

    Having read and enjoyed — and yes, learned from — both Annette’s books, I can’t wait to see the third in print.. This Blog is wonderful. You’re a mentor to all writers, especially those struggling with the new technology. Best wishes for continued success! Byrna Barclay

  6. sbanks says:

    Hi Annette,

    Great to read about your writing process – beginning the story with characters at a time of change, and featuring social issues as backdrops.

    Love your writing.

    • Dear Sbanks,
      Thank you for finding my blog post and commenting. Life and how our lives are shaped by what happens around us constantly changes. While I was researching Woman of Substance I began to notice how much the same influences about body issues were beginning to impact young men, but that is for another story. Hmmm, novel number 4 idea?
      Yours truly,
      Annette

  7. Mary Balogh says:

    This is a lovely, very personal article, Annette. I have learned things about you I did not know before. And I can vouch for the fact that your two published books are full of an understanding of people and their issues as well as a novelist’s imagination.

    • Hello Mary,
      Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. Char Chaffin was kind enough to use my replies to the questions, pictures and all. As authors we need a circle of supportive family, friends, writers and readers. Thank you for being in my circle.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

  8. Faye Little says:

    Hi Annette,
    I really enjoyed your book Woman of Substance and am so proud of your accomplishments! This is a great little introduction about yourself and your writing passions. Your sense of humour is woven in the description…..a definite asset for life. We have known each other for 45 plus years and I can attest to the fact that you enjoy writing stories about women, social issues and have even written a song or two :-). I look forward to your next book.
    Keep writing,
    Hugs, Faye

    • Hello Faye,
      Thank you for finding your way to my blog post. Yes, you can attest to my writing and collaborating on a song or two. Your name will be entered into the draw. Good luck.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

  9. Beth Carter says:

    I, too, lost my first novel and was so upset. That’s great that you went back to college. I also enjoy weaving social issues into my stories. Nice job.

    • Dear Beth,
      Perhaps losing our manuscripts was a door closing and window opening scenario for each of us. We both moved forward and now have published our books. It is hard not to weave social issues, I think, because we don’t live and love in vacuums. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

  10. Patty Taylor says:

    Congratulations on your releases, Annette 🙂 I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. I wish you much continued success with your stories and looking forward to reading one of your current releases. Best wishes 🙂

    • Hi Patty,
      Thank you for dropping in to the blogathon. Thank you for your wishes for success. For me success is one reader at a time or encouraging another person to write their stories.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

  11. I am reading A Woman of Substance right now and I love it. Thanks for sharing, Annette.

    • Hi Susan,
      I’m glad you are enjoying Woman of Substance. You will see from the post above that I’m audio reading/listening to your book while I’m out and about. I am curious about the outcome of perhaps changing destinies.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

  12. Meradith Churchill says:

    So happy and proud to be your friend. I’ve been there through all this growth and change. Love the writing and heartfelt romance of the novels and subtle humor of the early short stories. Hurray for our author “Beach Babe’! More! More!

    • Hello Meradith,
      Thank you. Yes you have been through the growth and have read my novels and my short stories. You have encouraged me along the way.
      I appreciate that you found your way to my blog post.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

  13. janarichards says:

    Hi Annette,
    Congrats on the contract for your third novel! Way to go!

  14. Good morning again,
    Some of your comments were waiting to be moderated and they arrived this morning. I hope you all continue to read other Soul Mate authors for the rest of the month.
    I will now enter all of your names into a computer generated random draw program and declare a winner of the e copy of Moving On.
    Stay tuned.
    And the lucky winner of an e copy of Moving On is Patty Taylor. Patty, I will be in touch with Char for your email address.
    Again, Thank you everyone who took the time to read and comment. My heart soars.
    Yours truly,
    Annette Bower

  15. Janis Campbell says:

    Annette, congratulations on your commitment to become and obvious success as an author. Love your work and look forward to more. Can’t get the “two words” to send this to Georgia in Salmon Arm or to Karen.

    • Hello Janis,
      Thank you for finding your way to my blog post in this Soul Mate blogathon. I’m a success because I have a strong circle of support. I’m glad you and Colin are in it.
      You mean the “two words” to rub together to make a sentence?
      Yours truly,
      Annette

  16. Jeannie Brewer says:

    I read Woman of Substance in Puerta Vallarta last March and loved the references to places I was familiar with in Regina. And your funny quips. Ben Brewer used a lot of funny quips too. Like slippery than snot on a door knob. I doubt you will get a chance to work that one into one of your stories. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Gonna get another one to read this upcoming March in Puerta Vallarta.

    • Hello Jeannie,
      Thank you for finding this blog post and taking the time to comment. Yes, I remember Ben well as I was town administrator during his term. I was on Council when he was mayor, too. If you haven’t read Moving On, I hope you take it along to Puerta Vallarta this winter and enjoy.
      Thank you again for dropping in. Now that you’ve found the links, check out the other authors, there will be more books for you to take along.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

  17. Annette – Great post! I loved hearing about your journey! I love how you weave social issues into a romance novel. I’m reading Woman of Substance and I’m loving it. It has opened my eyes to everyday obstacles and prejudices that people face. Linda

    • Hello Linda,
      Thank you, I know the post is long and I hoped readers would stick through most of it.
      As you know, love happens in a community, in a world where judgments happen and sometimes we just need to walk in someone else’s shoes for a little while. Here’s an instance I didn’t understand until I was in the situation. I hadn’t realized that many elementary teachers can’t go to the bathroom when they need to because they can’t leave their classroom. I learned this because I was a teacher’s assistant for a child with disabilities. But I hadn’t thought about this basic need. But then it was pointed out to me that lawyers in court can’t just leave either. Now that I think of it, I wouldn’t my brain surgeon leaving in the middle of surgery either. There are little things some of us take for granted. No I don’t think I’ll put this in the next book, but hmmm, perhaps a 1/4 scene?
      Yours truly,
      Annette

  18. Brenda says:

    Annette, I’m slow on the mark, but just visited your blogpost, and have to say what a great personal essay you offer. A gift. Thank you. I look forward to seeing the final version of Moving On. So glad!

    • Hello Brenda,
      Thank you for stopping by and taking time to comment. There are so many things that call for our attention in a day. I credit Char Chaffin for posting my post as I gave it to her. When she gave me a list of questions, I answered them in a random order to share with readers how I came to this challenging career. I also want to encourage others to follow their dreams.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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