Glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again for Monday Morning Musings, Meet the Author Thursday, Weekend Writing Warriors, and guests whenever they drop in.

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 all-round-mister-nice-guy.

Meet 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 allows.

You're not tempted to work in some of the big city hotels?
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 hotel management?

Wasn't it difficult to give up such a high profile lifestyle?
(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 difficulties.

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 Manager?
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 Office.

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 room?
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 the waitress?
(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 together.

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 five years?
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 Debra's mother?
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 her?

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 on.

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 park.
He rubbed the persistent ache in his shoulder. The winter chill gnawed incessantly at the injury and was a constant reminder of his hopelessness.
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 comfortable.
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 meaningful relationship.
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 existence.
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.

The Wild Rose Press:  http://bit.ly/10fl6ur
Amazon:                   http://amzn.to/U5cnYb
GoodReads:              http://bit.ly/132jqYX

In case the shortened links don’t work, here they are again

Anne Ashby bio:
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 block.
For years 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.
Temporarily 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 romance writer.
I'm so 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.
I have 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.

Find Anne Ashby Here:
Website:       www.anneashby.com
Twitter:        www.twitter.com/AuthorAnneAshby

Anyone leaving a comment, please be aware I live on the opposite side of the world from you and may not be able to reply close to when you post. Though I will reply to everyone as I'm able to.

Thanks again Diane, I'm looking forward to hearing from your readers.

My pleasure, Anne. It's always great hearing about your new books.

Readers: Anne has graciously offered a PDF copy of The CEO Gets Her Man to a lucky commenter. Be sure to leave your email address with your comment.


  1. Fantastic interview! Definitely made me want to learn more about Jase. Love the excerpt too. Nice job!

  2. Character interviews are my favorite. Thank you!
    -R.T. Wolfe

  3. LOL He seemed uncomfortable. Great interview!

  4. Hi Alicia, RT and Jessica, Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such uplifting comments. I do appreciate them. Interviews are fun, I agree. And so good to use for a deeper look into a character that you haven't been able to achieve while writing a story. Only I think I should do character interviews with my hero and heroine before I write their stories - that might be even more fun.

  5. Loved it! And loved your idea--writing out char interviews before writing the story. Nice!

  6. Hi Kara,
    Great to see you here and thanks for the feedback. Always good to come up with these ideas, but then there's the actual doing them...hmm. Maybe it would help me with my wip right now...perhaps I'll do it tomorrow. Yeah?

  7. I'm reading "The CEO Gets Her Man" right now! Really enjoyed learning a bit more about Jase!

    1. That's cool Leah, thank you. I hope you're enjoying it, and get that warm, fuzzy feeling as you turn the last page. Thanks for stopping by

  8. Great interview! Sexy hero. And what I'm sure promises to be a great read. I've had this book on my e-reader for a month. Can't wait to find the time to sit down and actually read it!

    1. Hi Lilly,
      I know exactly where you're coming from. I've just received an email from Amazon asking me to review some books I have on my kindle - when I looked, I had only managed to read one of them. Somehow they're easier to overlook when they're not taking up space on the bedside table.
      Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy the story

  9. Interesting guy! Loved the interview!

    All the best, Anne

    1. Hi Loni
      Thanks for the feedback - I appreciate you taking the time

  10. Love the interview. I got the book. It's on my reading list for May.


    Linda Joyce

    1. Hi Linda
      You're doing better than I do, having a reading list to stick too lol. Mine just keeps growing as I see another interesting story to download. I hope you enjoy the CEO.

  11. Fantastic interview. I tweeted.

    1. Hi Ella,
      Thanks so much for helping spread the word of my visit to Diane's blog and for stopping by to say hi. I appreciate your time

  12. Superb Interview! Intriguing hero, look forward to reading "The CEO gets her man" and getting to know Jase!

    1. Hi Sapi,
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Who knows, you might be the lucky winner of a PDF of "CEO"


Love getting your comments. BTW, your comment won't show up until you refresh the page. Isn't that a pain? Thanks for stopping by.