Thursday, April 02, 2015

HER NERDY COWBOY - Annette M Irby - One Free Ebook

Dear Readers, I’ve known Annette for a long time. I’m pleased to share this new short book with you. Don’t you just love the title?

Welcome, Annette. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
They say “write what you know,” and I find myself in my characters often. Who, besides God, knows us better than we know ourselves? I want readers to relate, so that means using my experience to inform my stories. But the level of how much of my own personality/life influences them varies by the character and by the plot of that particular story.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Great question. Back when my oldest daughters were in pre-school and kindergarten, I dropped them off for school on a foggy day. Then, just for fun, I went across the street to the park and swung on a swing for a long time. Folks out walking just stared, probably wondering how old the female on the swings in that weather was. But I liked how the fog swirled around me.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I was four years old, I began writing songs—or rather, making them up in my head since I wasn’t writing yet. A little later, I recall spinning stories in my mind during family vacations. I’d get caught up in them, my imagination working hard. Later, I began to write them down. There was something so satisfying about having the tales on paper. Still love that feeling. In fact, I often print a late-stage manuscript just to read it on hard copy before submitting it, and because I like to see the physical evidence of all those hours of researching and writing.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’m an inspirational romance reader above other genres. I occasionally read spec fiction or fantasy and some women’s fiction. But generally I stick with contemporary Christian romance. I find that a strong romantic thread keeps me reading, which is why some genres appeal more than others.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
As one of those introverts who physically requires downtime away from folks, I find the best way to cope with this busy world is to take that time for myself. So, I’ll go for walks or work in my garden. I like container gardening with flowers. The reward is beautiful the entire season so that just looking at the finished pots of blooms is refreshing.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Generally by feel. I like to use names that are uncommon, and I often pull out a baby name book for inspiration. Sometimes I make them up, but then wonder if editors will feel they’re too unusual. I’ve also found names online at baby naming sites. On rare occasions, I have chosen a name based on its meaning and how it fit the story’s theme.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Another great question … I’ve been thinking a lot lately about humility and how we have nothing unless God gives it to us. I also believe that we partner with God to do His will (when we’re willing). So, can I take “credit” for an accomplishment? I guess not. But I am grateful to God for His grace to do anything worthwhile.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d like to be a hummingbird. They’re so lively. Hummingbirds live in our region and my youngest and I like finding them and pointing them out to each other.

My husband keeps a hummingbird feeder out all summer long. We love it when one comes to visit. What is your favorite food?
My all-time favorite is chicken souvlaki. Oh, the feta on a Greek salad!

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
For years and years I was a Seat-Of-The-Pants writer (pantster). I loved the rush of the words flowing as the story played out for me. Then, I felt led to learn to plot. Oh, outlining. I’ve been studying plot building for quite awhile. I usually know by instinct that something’s missing. But plotting and I still aren’t great buddies. The best of both is when the vague outline lends itself to inspiration and flowing words.

I, too, am most SOTP, but I do start with a timeline that I build on. Tell us about the featured book.
Her Nerdy Cowboy is a short inspirational romance—what Pelican Book Group calls a Dollar Download. It comes in e-book format and is 37 “pages” long. I wanted to write a cowboy story, but with a twist. I thought it would be fun to combine the romantic idea of a cowboy with the trendy “nerdy” character. Here’s the summary:

Whoever heard of a bookish cowboy? When Logan McDaniel’s brother-in-law dies, he steps in to help his beloved sister run her ranch. But what does a city boy know of herding cattle?

Claire Langley loved her cousin. After he dies, she agrees to serve as a temporary nanny for two heartbroken children. Claire and Logan find they share a love of books, and Claire can’t resist the nerdy uncle who is great with children and who reads to her of pirate romance, but Claire’s ailing mother needs her in Seattle. Can she break away? And if she does, can there ever be a future for Logan and her?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Logan McDaniels lugged his baggage through the airport. So many people wearing cowboy boots and hats. How in the world was he going to fit in here, what with his black-rimmed glasses and lean build? You never saw cowboys in glasses. Maybe they wore contacts. Now, that was a picture—cattle proddin’ macho dudes jabbing lenses into their eyes.

His sister Macy stepped forward, a baby on her hip. Where did that little tike come from? Last he knew she had only Cody, age eight, and Aubrey, age five. He hugged Macy with one arm, careful not to scare the kid. “What gives, sis? You have another one when I wasn’t looking?”

“Har har. No, she’s a neighbor’s daughter. I’m just watching her for a couple hours while her mom’s at an appointment. Another baby on the way.”

He sighed to himself, glad his sister and bro-in-law stopped at two. Especially now.

The threesome headed toward the airport exit. He glanced around. “What? No niece or nephew for me to pester?”

“Nope, they’re with the nanny. Lucy here wouldn’t stay with Nanny Claire.” Even now, the rug rat clung with white fists and wary eyes.

Wait a minute. Back this truck up. “Your nanny?” Since when could she afford one?

She clicked open the pickup with its crew cab—the ideal “family” vehicle for ranch owners. Then, she nodded toward the open truck bed and his luggage. “Just strap it down back there.”

He reached for a bungee cord and checked the sky. Not a cloud. Then the horizon. No hills, mountains, bodies of water … anything. When had he agreed to come to Oz?

Love that opening. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: @annettemirby
Editing website:

Thanks for having me, Lena. It’s a pleasure!

I've loved having you here today, Annette.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Her Nerdy Cowboy

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Annette M. Irby said...

Thanks so much for having me, Lena!

Melissa M. said...

This character sounds interesting, and I like the writing style.

Thanks for the opportunity to win!

-Melissa M. in TN

Mary Preston said...

What a fun cover & title. Looking forward to this.

Mary P


Carolyn Brooks said...

Congratulations Annette! I didn't know you were a writer. I liked the preview. You're writing my favorite type of book. I've read lots of Love Inspired and Heartwarming. Wish you the best in your new endeavor. Your mom sent this along to me. Carolyn Brooks in Michigan

Annette M. Irby said...

Thanks, Melissa and Mary! Great to see you here, Carolyn! Small world. :)

Melissa M. said...

You're welcome, Annette. Also, I like your answer to the question "What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?"

Melissa M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.