AS: Being a short question, you’d think I’d have a short answer, but I don’t. When I sat down to write Here and Gone, it was a totally different story, with a different title. It was that title that inspired me to write the book, which was intended to be a Christmas romance.
The concept for the book began to change as I wrote. For one thing, as usually happens because I plot as I go, ideas pop into my head that lead me down a different path. Before you know it, I’m writing a different story, with different lead characters. My female protagonist (Hannah) has a different history than the woman in the other book and my male protagonist (Noah) is a county sheriff, rather than a cartoonist. By the time I’d written half the book, I knew it also had to have a new title. That other book will still get written the way I envisioned it, but Here and Gone has its own path, one that is an emotional roller-coaster for Hannah.
AS: Hannah Clarke doesn’t like the ocean, but her husband Jason has a sailboat and when their son Jay reaches age five, he insists he’s taking the boy out on the boat. Several hours later, Hannah is notified that her husband and son perished when the sailboat capsized. For the next two years, one police detective hounds Hannah unmercifully, labeling her a person of interest to the media, insinuating that she had something to do with Jason and Jay’s deaths. The community picks up on that and harangues and harasses Hannah verbally and with hateful graffiti on her home. When she’s finally had enough, she sells her home and relocates to Colorado, where she lives under the name H.L. Mason, the pseudonym she’s been using as a scientific illustrator.
Her goal is to start a new life, though she’s still grieving the loss of her husband and son. She doesn’t expect to hear from her sister’s husband that he’s sure he saw Jason and Jay at the Denver airport. Hannah has faced adversity and beat it, only to face it again in an way that’s even more insidious. Along the way, she discovers the courage to carry on and the ingenuity to succeed.
BBB: What do you think readers will find most appealing about your book?
AS: Sheriff Noah Ward notices footprints in the fresh snowfall when he drives by Hannah’s house on his way home. He decides to stop and make sure no one’s living there who shouldn’t be. He follows the footprints to the back patio door and notices Hannah inside, on the floor. He tries the door and finds it unlocked.
Hannah has been betrayed and she decides to do something about it. With the help of Sheriff Noah Ward, a former Navy SEAL, she could accomplish her goal. The problem is, after being harangued by the cop in San Diego, she has trust issues with law enforcement. The other problem is, she and Noah experience an instant attraction for each other. Now that Hannah knows her husband isn’t really dead, she feels compelled to honor her marriage vows, regardless of her husband’s infidelity. Together, she and Noah make a commitment not to have an intimate relationship, which does nothing to quell their feelings for each other, proving instead that true love runs deep.
Not only is Here and Gone a thriller, it’s also a love story, and both will leave you breathless.
Buy links for Here and Gone:
Free read on Kindle Unlimited
BBB: What are you currently working on?
AS: I just finished book 4 in my Grace Gabbiano Mysteries, Quilted to Die, and it’s now with my editor. The series is set in Coburg, Oregon, a small town in the Willamette Valley with a population of just over one thousand. I’m excited that I’ve been accepted as a vendor at the 2018 Coburg Quilt Show, July 20-21. Since Quilted to Die takes place at that very event, it will make its debut there, along with my other books.
While I wait for editorial comments on QD, I’m working on book 6 in my Christmas Valley Romance series, Angels on the Rooftop. This coming November, I’d like to introduce three new CVRs, so when Angels is complete, I’ll move on to Back-Door Santa after that, and if all goes well, Gingerbread Junction. These are romances that are a little bit spicy and laugh-out-loud funny at times. Many of the characters introduced early-on recur in later books, and the owners of the Christmas Valley Inn, Nick and Kris Kringle, appear in every story.
BBB: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
AS: My books are available worldwide on Amazon.com in both paperback (free ship with Prime) and ebook format. Paperbacks are also available on my website (free ship within the U.S.), https://annsimas.com, where you can also read about me and each one of my books.
Amazon and other links for Ann Simas:
Free read on Kindle Unlimited
Ann Simas, Author on Facebook: https://bit.ly/2yxRotW