Thursday, July 29, 2021

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Oranges for Miranda by Annette Bower @BowerAnnette @GoddessFish


Oranges for Miranda

by Annette Bower

GENRE: Romance Contemporary Sweet


Miranda Porter, a newly retired award-winning businesswoman, leaves home to transition into her new life stage. Always in control, this is her time to have fun without plans and responsibilities. Enter Renato Monteiro, a considerate tour guide with secrets. Miranda isn’t looking for long-term. She wants a purpose in her retirement. Could her purpose in retirement be finding love in this unlikely place? Could her aim be domesticity and caring for and be cared for by a newly found friend? Will a vacation romance end because of miles?

Renato Monteiro has decisions to make. Stay in his birth country where his female relatives want him to marry a woman young enough to give him children. Or does he return to his second home, where he has a purpose and has built a life without children? The day Miranda and he bumped heads changed his life and his pursuit. Now he must decide which is most important the family he was born into or the family he chooses.


Tucking her oranges into the pocket of her billowy trousers, she toed off her shoes, removed her socks, and padded down the stairs and onto the beach. A rock, eroded and pocked from the wind and seas, was the perfect place to stop. With her toes in the sand and her eyes closed, the scent of salt and the sound of seabirds engulfed her. A wave lapped cold over her feet. Miranda lifted an orange to her cheek.

As a shadow blocked the warm sun, her body momentarily chilled. A deep voice whispered close to her ear, “Por favor, Senhora.”

Her eyes flew open, and she jumped away from the sound. Her shoes slipped from her hand, and she reached to catch them at the same time the man did. They bumped heads, but his hands were quicker and larger and rescued her shoes seconds before the ocean foam of a retreating wave could swallow them whole.

Miranda didn’t know whether to rub her head, reach for her shoes, apologize, or sink into the sand in mortification. “I’m sorry,” she stammered.

I must apologize to you. My head is so much bigger and harder. Are you okay? You aren’t dizzy. Come, let’s sit over here on the rocks.” Long, thick fingers curled around her elbow as she allowed him to guide her.

When he let go of her arm, he swiped sand away from the surface of a rock and then motioned her to sit. Her orange. Miranda turned and saw her orange lying in the sand at the base of the rock she had been leaning against. She ran back and scooped it up before the next wave would have taken it out to sea. She tucked it in her pocket along with the other one.

Walking back, she surveyed the man who had scared her, bumped her head and then shepherded her to safety. Tall, with a large frame and short-cropped, thick hair graying at the temples. He wore a golf shirt, shorts, and sandals. He appeared to be a visitor, too. But why had he spoken to her at all?

Miranda.” She stretched out her hand.

His hands were hard. “Renato.” The lines around his brown eyes were crinkled. “Renato Monteiro.”

Was I in danger?”

Interview with Annette Bower

What made you want to become a writer?

The tale I tell is that when I was young, I was the kid who heard everything and then told what I heard. So I was called the tattletale. But the family still came to me for news.

I also liked to make up stories as children do. My favorite books to read are character-driven family or romance stories. They are my escape. When my children were teenagers, I started to write romance stories. The family encouraged me because I wasn't trying to organize their lives when I wrote. They like it when I'm busy creating lives I have a little more control over.

What inspired you to write Oranges for Miranda?

My readers asked me if I would consider writing about an older heroine. I liked the idea and the challenge. I had to think about her past that informed her present decisions. I have also been reading more and more stories about single women deciding to become mothers with the help of sperm donors, adoption or fostering. Miranda was ahead of her time. With an older female, I needed an older hero. I also had to discover his past. The Portuguese Algarve is one of my favorite places to travel. During the pandemic and our travels curtailed, I decided to travel in my writing.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Oranges for Miranda?

Miranda is a fifty-five-year-old award-winning real estate business owner. Her succession plan is her children, who have taken over the business, while Miranda enters the third act of her life. So how does a success-driven woman allow her children to gain their wings? First, she leaves the country, considering a new part-time home.

Renato is a fifty-five-year-old single man who has not married, nor does he have children through circumstances. Yet, they bump heads on a beach in Albufeira, Portugal and begin their journey to love, sometimes reevaluating their past and hopes for a different future.

You know, I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author, and why?

I will name two authors. My favorite mystery author is Louise Penny, who sets her stories in a small village in Quebec, Canada. She uses an older detective who is a family man and who learns lessons about life. My favorite romance author is Mary Balogh. She writes historical romances, but her stories can appear to parallel current events. Her characters are excellent examples of male and female points of view.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

I am a slow writer. I am circling a story right now. My heroine is in her mid-twenties, and she has not followed a usual post-secondary education plan. However, she has a folder full of certificates and varied job experience. I'm thinking about her future and who the hero will be. Right now, I have a deaf character as well as a pony involved. I may have to pat the pony on the rump and send him back to the stable for another story.

My immediate plan is to help as many readers as possible discover Oranges for Miranda.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed revisiting the Portuguese Algarve. I dedicated the book to my friend Meradith who promised herself a trip to Europe when she retired from teaching. She asked me to accompany her, and after discussing it with my husband, Cam, I went along. After that, Cam and I returned many times with friends. I encouraged cousins to go for their first European, and they did. It brought back many warm and happy memories.

I have included pictures of Sagres, Portugal, where until the 15th C, the people considered the world's end. Still, Prince Henry, the Navigator, discovered the world from here in the age of discovery. Similar to Oranges for Miranda, where Miranda found a new way of life was possible. 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Annette believes home is where her stories percolate. And her home is a condo where she watches the urban life below, airplanes arrive and depart at the international airport, and the seasons change on farmland near the horizon. Annette travels extensively but always returns home to Regina, Saskatchewan. Whether at home or away, and even though directions are always a challenge, she wanders the streets, parks, and lanes observing how people live, love, and care for one another. Your way of sitting, holding hands, the way you tilt your head, or a t-shirt you wear may end up in one of her stories.

On her first trip to Olhos de Água, a fishing village in Portugal, she stopped at a café where the proprietors were a mother and daughter. Annette sat at the outdoor blue and white tiled table and ordered an espresso and brandy. While the sun warmed her back, she opened her new notebook. The older woman walked by carrying a basket, tipped her head toward Annette’s blank page, and shrugged. When black-laced heeled shoes struck the tile, and the scent of just-picked clementine oranges interrupted Annette’s writing, the woman plunked three oranges at the edge of her page. Annette cherishes this gift from one woman to another. Recently, Annette travels with an accompanying Orange and shares pictures on Social media as her way of honoring those Portugues women. A version of this event appears in her new novel, Oranges for Miranda.

During another trip, while searching for an address in Malaga, Spain, she asked a well-dressed man carrying a floral paper-wrapped bouquet if he spoke English? Would he direct her to the address? With impeccable English, he suggested she walk with him. They chatted, and she discovered he was a lawyer in his final days of retiring. Finally, she asked to whom he was giving the flowers. He lifted the cover to reveal a large crucifix. This detail has not appeared in a story yet.

In a coffee shop, looking south between glass tower office buildings, she could be anywhere in the world. However, she is home watching people on Eleventh Avenue run for buses, bring tea to a panhandler, and holding mittened hands while bending into the wind.

Annette uses experiences she gathered as a nurse, town administrator, elected official, traveller, and member of a large extended family to inform her stories because writing is her joy.

Annette Bower is a Soul Mate Publishing author of five contemporary romance novels. Her novel Fearless Destiny was first runner-up in the 2017 Sweet Contemporary RONE awards and winner of the Raven Award. Her novel Ponytails and Promises was a finalist in the 2020 RONE Awards and is the 2020 winner of the Raven Award.

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Buy Link:



$25 Amazon/BN GC

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Annette said...

Good morning, Thank you for hosting the VBT for Oranges for Miranda. I appreciate your blog that features authors and helps readers find interesting books to read.
Yours truly,

Rita Wray said...

I liked the excerpt.

Annette said...

Good morning Rita, Thank you for following this tour. I'm happy your enjoyed the excerpt. It is hard to choose a nugget that might speak to a reader.
Yours truly,