Friday, February 10, 2012

Beach Chat with Ann Yost

Beach Chat—15 rapid-fire questions asked of a writer.

Name:  Ann Yost—and first, I’d like to thank Jayne Ormerod for letting me visit her delightful beach blog.  Thank you, Jayne!  Now for the questions.

  Best beach memory:  Several years ago hubby rented an upside down house on Fenwick Island in Delaware for our anniversary.  All of my known relatives (12) were present for at least part of the week.  One of our cars broke down on the way and we had to buy a $700 clunker from a dishonest mechanic just to get there and mid-way through the week I got to experience my very first urinary tract infection.  Even so, it was great.  We saw dolphins!

One guilty pleasure: Watching political pundits on MSNBC.

Dream car: Honda CRV.  Luckily, I have one.

Three of your favorite things:  Kisses (people, dogs, chocolate – not necessarily in that order), bed-time reading and all the PBS classics and mysteries.   I like knitting, too.  And eating.

Pet peeve:  iphones.  Blackberries.  All that stuff that makes it hard to have an uninterrupted conversation with someone.  Maybe I’d feel differently if I had one.

Worst non-writing job you ever had:  Substitute teaching.  Haaaaard.  It requires someone who thinks a lot faster on her feet than I do. 

Book you are reading right now:  I usually have several books underway and I leave them in various spots around the house.  Right now I am reading the second Omnibus of the Bill Slider crime series by Britisher Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.  It’s fantastic.  I’m also reading Georgette Heyer’s The Spanish Bride, and Game Change, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, about the 2008 presidential election.  I have substituted reading for housework and laundry but I manage to fit in all the meals.

Preference, print or ebook: I like print books because that’s what I’m used to.  I intend to become a fan of ebooks though since I’m guessing that’s the future.

Favorite place to write:  The little front bedroom of my house.  It’s on the second floor and I can monitor the neighborhood.  Also it’s a short twelve steps away from the refrigerator and it has a bed convenient for naps for my oldie golden retriever…and me.

Biggest writing challenge:  Trying to fit stories into a marketable category

Genre you write: Contemporary romantic mysteries and historical romance.

Current work in progress: I’m working on Crown of Candles, the first of four mysteries set on the Keweenaw Peninsula, a spur of land that juts into Lake Superior.  The town of Red Jacket, in an effort to bring in more tourists, holds a Finnish Christmas festival, Joulupiiku, which begins with a parade to honor the virgin martyr, St. Lucy.  The whole thing goes horribly wrong when St. Lucy turns up dead in a sauna.  In a remote, snowbound land where deer outnumber people, everyone wears more than one hat and Hatti Lehtinen, owner of the fishing tackle-slash-knitting supplies shop, Bait & Stitch, is in the unenviable position of serving as Red Jacket’s acting, temporary police chief.  Worst of all, the first suspect on Hatti’s list is Jericho “Jace” Summerhawk, the man who recently divorced her.  Merry Ex-mas!

 One author, living or dead, with whom you’d like to sip Mai Tais with on Waikiki Beach:  My favorite author has always been Jane Austen but, I think for sheer fun and mai-tais I’d choose Jayne Ormerod. (blog hostess’s note…I didn’t pay her to say that!  But thanks, Ann.  I’ll buy the first round!) 

Favorite quote or saying:   “Muggs was always sorry, Mother said, when he bit someone but we could never understand how she figured this out.  He didn’t act sorry.”  ~ James Thurber.

Bio:  I’m from Ann Arbor, Michigan and until I was about ten, I thought the town had  been named after me.  I followed my father into journalism, worked at three daily newspapers and then married an Associated Press newsman.  I’ve got five  adult children if you count their spouses and I do.  All of them have fascinating jobs including freelance motion designer to C.P.A. to linguist to first grade teacher to patent examiner.  I have always been interested in small towns because think it adds so much to the mundane and dramatic moments of life to have them play out on a stage where everybody knows everybody else.
My most recent release from Wild Rose Press is a novella, The Earl That I Marry.   When Reginald Wanstead, the newly elevated earl of Marchmont, threatens the Watson females with the loss of their home and herb-growing business, the pragmatic Miss Honeysuckle Watson devises a Grand Plan to save the family fortunes.  Honey intends to compromise Reggie.  As a gentleman, he will be forced to offer for her and she will graciously allow him to keep his freedom in exchange for a life-time lease on Hilldale House.  The Grand Plan goes awry when, in an unexpected and mortifying development, Honey falls in love with the devil earl.
Here’s an excerpt:  

     “My lord?” she said, her brow wrinkled.  “I have a question.”
      He lifted a brow.
    “How do you do that?  I mean work your eyebrows independently?  It is very effective, I promise you.  It makes you look quite –“
    “I would say intriguing.”
     Intriguing.  Was she flirting with him?  A jolt of desire shot through him. 
    “You had a question?”
    “It is more of a favor.”  Her eyes were huge in the pale face.
      Well, damn. A favor.  He sighed. ”Is this about Bottomsley?”
     “No.”  She bit her soft, full, lower lip and his blood surged.  “I wonder if you would mind…that is…I have never been properly kissed and, well, I would very much like you to do it.”
       She wanted him to kiss her?  He gazed at the bitten bottom lip, the small, even, white teeth, and the urge to explore them with his tongue was almost irresistible.
      Dangerous.  Reggie knew he should warn her but the words remained unspoken.
      He slid one hand behind her slender neck and lowered his head.  Her scent, lavender? And maybe sage? Jasmine? Whichever it was unique and intoxicating.  Her lips quivered as he brushed them lightly with his own.  He drew back a moment later, his chest constricted, his breathing heavy.
     “Like that?”
       The clear eyes regarded him steadily.  “I thought there would be something more.”
       Reggie stifled a groan.  He was not used to self-denial.  “I must be honest with you, Miss Watson.  Honeysuckle.  I am afraid of the ‘something more.’ I am afraid I will not be able to stop with a kiss.

           For excerpts from Ann’s other published works, That Voodoo That You Do and About a Baby, please go to her website: 
And watch for these impending releases:  
For Better or Hearse, May 2012
          He Loves Lucy, release date pending
          Eye of the Tiger Lily, release date pending


Jennifer Lowery (Kamptner) said...

Wonderful interview and excerpt! Not the genre I usually read in, but you've intrigued me to add this to my TBR list! Thanks for sharing :)

Diana Layne said...

Fun interview! Love the excerpt! Thanks for sharing!

msullivan said...

Ann, I LOVE the sound of Crown of Candles. The plot smacks of your unique sense of humour! Can't wait to read it!

Loved the excerpt from The Earl that I Marry, especially your heroine asking your hero how he gets his eyebrows to work independently. I have often wondered that same thing when I read of aristocratic heroes in Regency novels ;-)


Ann Yost said...

Jennifer and Diana, thanks so much for leaving comments...I know it takes precious bits of time. Mary, I love you.

Vicky L said...

Sounds like a fun book - I love the title! -Vicky L.

Ann Yost said...

Thanks, Vicki!

Jayne Ormerod... said...

Ann, thanks so much for stopping by the "Beach" for a chat today! \

Ann Yost said...

Jayne - it was my pleasure. I got lots of emails with compliments about your is so bright and fun...just like your writing!

Patricia said...

Nice interview, Ann. I, too, love reading about small towns and how experiences (murder) play out when everyone knows everyone else. And I'm especially intrigued by places on the East Coast since I've never been there. And I love golden retrievers!