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Thursday, April 25, 2013
Welcome Anne Ashby
Author Anne Ashby is here with her latest book. Welcome back, Anne.
Hi Diane, thanks for inviting me to visit with you. I've interviewed
Jason McEwan from my latest release The CEO Gets Her Man and hope
I've conveyed just a little of how he's definitely an
Jase McEwan from The CEO Gets Her Man
Good morning Jason, thanks for joining me today. As
you know we are compiling an article about New Zealand hotels off the beaten
track. Riversleigh Resort definitely fits that premise and your manager
suggested we speak to you. Thanks for agreeing to participate.
(Jase settles into a chair with a welcoming smile)
You're better known to us all for your prowess on the
rugby field. How did you get into the hotel industry?
My parents were quick to point out that my chosen career wouldn't last a
lifetime, they encouraged me to have a back-up plan.
But why hotel management?
(With a shrug) I enjoy people.
I like showcasing our country. I like the variety the hospitality industry
You're not tempted to work in some of the big city
I spent enough time in big city hotels during my playing days. They can
be quite sterile and lack character. I prefer it here. Besides, I grew up just
over the hill from Riversleigh. This is home to me.
You were a member of our national rugby team the All
Blacks for many years. It must have been a huge change in lifestyle to join
Wasn't it difficult to give up such a high profile
(Stirs uneasily in his seat) I
didn't give it up by choice
No, of course, you were injured. The doctors couldn't
restore you to full fitness?
(Jase's hand begins to rub his
shoulder) I thought this interview was about the hotel?
Yes, yes, of course. It's just I'm sure the readers
would be interested to know why a famous rugby player is now working in a hotel.
I assure you you'll find ex-rugby players working in more interesting
and unusual places than Riversleigh. If you want to do an article about that do
some research and I'm sure you'll find stories more exciting than mine. (back stiffens) Now what did you want to
know about Riversleigh?
Riversleigh Resort had been having staffing problems
for some time, I understand?
We had some problems but we were working our way through the
Were you really? I understood your chef and kitchen
staff were on the brink of leaving?
That's not quite true.
I heard the chef had been dismissed. Why didn't you
approach Head Office in Wellington with your concerns about the General
We sort out our own problems, not go running to the boss. Anyway I
understood unattainable constraints had already been imposed by those in Head
It must have been a shock for you to discover that
untrained waitress was actually Debra Laurie?
(One shoulder lifts)
How did you feel when she walked into that conference
In a word, gutted.
You had no idea who she was?
I knew she wasn't a waitress.
You'd developed quite a close relationship with Debbie
(Eyes narrow) I don't know where you got that idea from.
You spent the night together in Queenstown.
We did not spend the night
together. We were unexpectedly forced to stay the night because of a road
accident. Yes, we were in the same hotel. (Leans
forward and glares) No, we were not in the same room. No, we were not
You were also stuck in a lift for some hours together,
what did you talk about?
(an angry hiss of air escapes) Explain to me how this has anything to do with
Riversleigh or this supposed article of yours?
Ahh. Where do you see the resort going in the next
We are currently concentrating on increasing our guest numbers. Finding
ways to attract them. We have some tourism ideas we intend to discuss with the
local residents. See if anyone is interested in pursuing a couple of adventure
businesses which would be ideal for the area and will help attract visitors to
the region. We also want to develop our
facilities further and hope to enlarge the gym and increase the spa area to
include a steam room alongside the existing sauna.
You have developed a good working relationship with
I think we'll be able to continue working together successfully.
It doesn't bother you that she is Debra's mother?
Why should it bother me?
Do you ever discuss Debra?
Why would we discuss Debra?
Does Karin realise you had become quite close with her
daughter before she returned to Wellington?
Is there anything else you'd like to ask about Riversleigh? (looks at his watch) I have a staff
meeting in a few minutes.
I understand there is a managers' conference in
Wellington next month. Will you be seeing Debra?
As she is the company CEO I dare say she will be present
Are you intending to make any personal approaches to
Do you expect she will be singling you out at all?
I think you must have enough for your article now (stands up). You know your way out?
Do you wish she'd single you out? Do you have any
aspirations for a relationship with Debra?
Good luck with your article. Goodbye
(thrown over his shoulder as he walks out)
Back Blurb: The CEO
Gets Her Man
Ensuring her company's success is Debra Laurie’s life. But when she goes
undercover to investigate a failing hotel in southern New Zealand, she finds
her confidence crumbling. Masquerading as a waitress is a disaster—especially
when the hotel’s assistant manager is a former rugby star she once had a crush
Jase McEwan is struggling to keep the hotel afloat. An unpredictable
manager, ridiculous demands from the head office, and employee unrest are
problems enough. Now a haughty new waitress is causing mayhem in the
restaurant—and in his heart.
Determined to be impartial, Debra sets out to discover if Jase is
responsible for the hotel’s drastic situation. But the more she investigates,
the more she likes his work—and the more their attraction sizzles. Before long,
Jase has turned Debra’s world upside-down. But what happens when he learns the
new waitress is really his CEO?
Excerpt from The CEO
Gets Her Man
Jase dragged his lanky form from the car with all the
enthusiasm of a condemned prisoner taking his final walk. Ignoring the squally
shower’s skipping water across the puddled pavement Jase trudged across the car
He rubbed the persistent ache in his shoulder. The
winter chill gnawed incessantly at the injury and was a constant reminder of
Jase’s heart tripped and he stumbled at the edge of
the glow of Riversleigh Resort’s main entrance. His mouth dried and the
now-familiar tightening at the rear of his throat was back, threatening to
choke him. Why?
The light wasn’t reminiscent of Twickenham, Ellis
Park, or any other international rugby stadium. Hell, the sight wasn’t even
reminiscent of the local Rugby Park in New Zealand’s southern-most city,
Invercargill. So why did those images always materialize to haunt him? Every
day this view reminded him of what he’d lost.
With his eyes clenched to obliterate the vision, he
sucked in a deep breath and let it whoosh from his mouth with all the force of
a tsunami conquering an unsuspecting beach. The mantra of numbers reverberated
through his brain, his rigid lips mouthing the words until he’d regained his
acceptable facade. He’d practised this pretence so many times he felt almost
With measured determination he straightened his suit
jacket and checked his tie. He’d conquered his demons again--for now. Jase
drove back his broad shoulders and concentrated on lightening his gait as he
strolled through the automatic doors.
The cheerful greeting he intended never sounded.
Remembered bitterness had frozen his vocal cords. He tried again.
“Morning, people.” The words sounded harsh and
scratchy to his ears. He hoped his twisted lips resembled some sort of smile
and covered any perception of displeasure as he approached the main reception
desk. The young porter’s scramble to attention suggested his expression was
probably more grotesque.
“Good morning, boss,” the receptionist answered with
the cheery smile required by her position. The night manager’s head shot from
behind the office door and he pointedly checked the clock behind him.
“Hey boss-man, it’s not even five. You trying to catch
us napping or something?”
His friend’s quip helped to further ease the tension
inside him. “As I remember it, you were always too cunning to get caught,”
Jase’s plastic smile turned genuine.
White teeth flashed as Hemi Nikau rounded the
reception desk. He chuckled as he accompanied Jase past the bank of elevators
and toward the administration offices at the back of the hotel. “What you need
is someone warm in your bed. Coming to work at these ungodly hours would soon
lose its appeal.”
Anxiety scoured Jase’s smile. The death of his career
had signalled the death of his social life, too. Hell, in a town this small he
already knew everyone and also knew there was zero chance of developing any
The girls he’d known at school were either long
married or long gone. Fraternising with guests didn’t appeal. It wasn’t
professional, nor could that type of socialising be the answer to his forlorn
The vice around his chest tightened. Hemi expanding on
his theory would only stab more pins into Jase’s still leaky self-control. With
his mouth drier than the Sahara, he quickly changed the subject. “Anything I
should know about?”
The CEO Gets Her Man is
available at all major online book sellers.
I grew up
in the tiny township of Colac Bay, in New Zealand's most southern province,
Southland. Books and my widowed mother's storytelling filled a huge part of our
family life when I was young, mainly because it felt like we were the last
family in New Zealand to get a television set. I guess I'm a chip of the ole
I was a closet romance reader. All through a very satisfying career with the
Royal New Zealand Navy I dreamed of writing but never imagined those dreams
might one day materialise.
living in USA in 2000 I found the courage to attend a romance writing course -
after all, no-one would know me there - instructed by multi-published
Silhouette writer Loree Lough and my life changed forever. Not only did I throw
open the 'romance' closet doors, but I wrote my first 100K story. I'd become a
lucky my husband supports my writing ambitions. Both he and our four children
are always ready to give me new ideas or supply the odd word or phrase that
might be escaping me. Their help and encouragement is invaluable. Now, if only
I could figure out how to convince them housework is great for the soul.
five books currently published with The Wild Rose Press with both digital and
print. There will always be a touch of New Zealand in my stories, normally the
setting, but if not, at least one of my main characters is a New Zealander.
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com