My guest today is debut romance novelist Anna del Mar. Anna del Mar writes hot, fun, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories are about strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass, military heroes who defy their limits to protect the women they love. A Georgetown University graduate who met most of her real-life heroes during her stint as a Navy wife, Anna now lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and a pair of very opinionated cats.
Welcome to Blogcritics, Anna del Mar! Congratulations on the release of your debut novel, The Asset. When did you start writing and what got you into the romance genre?
I only started writing romance a couple of years ago. I’d always had these stories in my mind, stories that centered on how relationships grow from attraction to full-blown love, from casual encounters into life-changing experiences. I had these very vivid characters in my mind, men and women who faced the challenges of our times along with their own personal demons. I wanted to write about love’s redemptive power.
What is The Asset about?
The Asset is the first novel of my “Wounded Warrior” series. It begins with Lia Stuart, a woman fleeing from the ruthless drug lord who has terrified her existence. She’s hiding in a small town in the Rocky Mountains. When a stranger comes to her door, she confronts him at gunpoint. She’d rather die before going back to her former life.
The stranger who shows up at Lia’s door, Ash Hunter, is also on the run, from his superiors, but worse, from his uncertain future. A SEAL wounded in Afghanistan, he bolts from an extended stay at the hospital, without permission. Along with his trained service dog, Ash flees to his hometown only to discover that his home has burned down and his grandmother is dead. Suffering from a crippling infection and severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Ash is drawn to the isolated lakeside cottage where he confronts Lia’s shotgun and the limits of his broken body.
When Ash collapses in her kitchen and the Marines turn up hell-bent on returning him to the hospital he loathes, Lia defies her fears and risks her life to care for the embittered wounded warrior who has disrupted her carefully orchestrated farce of a life.
But Ash soon realizes that he’s not the only one suffering from PTSD. He teaches Lia that weakness can transform into strength, fleeing doesn’t lead to freedom, and caring is a shared endeavor. Together, Ash and Lia must defeat the evil that threatens to destroy their lives as they struggle to heal, not only Ash’s broken body but Lia’s shattered soul.
What was your inspiration for it?
When my husband was in the Navy and we lived as part of the military community, I met some truly outstanding people who inspired the heroes and heroines in my “Wounded Warrior” series. Now a days, I’m really awed by the wounded warriors returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I think these men and women and the families that support them are amazing. Their strength in the face of adversity, their determination to reclaim their lives and their resilience are extraordinary.
What do you hope readers will get from your book?
I hope that readers will be as inspired as I was by Lia and Ash’s resolve to free themselves from their pasts and heal each other through passion and love. I hope that the readers will be taken away in a fun, smart, sexy journey toward true love.
Many writers experience a vague anxiety before they sit down to right. Can you relate to this?
I’m exactly the opposite. I experience anxiety when I’m not writing! I love writing and The Asset and the novels of the “Wounded Warrior” series have been a joy to write.
What was your publishing process like?
It’s been a wonderful journey, slow at times, but overall very fulfilling. I started with a private editor, Nancy Cassidy, from The Red Pen Coach, who led me through the intricate publishing environment of the romance genre. The submission process was nerve wracking, but once I piqued the interest of a couple of publishing houses, I began to feel much better about my chances. Their manuscript evaluation process is extensive and intense, but I didn’t mind it, because I knew then that Carina Press would be the right house for my “Wounded Warrior” series.
Where is your book available?
The Asset is available from Amazon and all of your favorite online booksellers. It can be purchased in all ebook formats.
What has writing taught you?
Patience, perseverance and joy.
Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
If you like a smart, suspenseful, sexy romance, The Asset is for you. And thank you so much for having me on Blogcritics today. It was great talking to you.
Cover art published with permission from author.
Cover art credit: Copyright © 2016 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.