Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Oranges for Miranda by Annette Bower

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Oranges for Miranda by Annette Bower. This tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a great guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Oranges for Miranda
Author: Annette Bower
Publication Date: July 14th 2021
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance
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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.

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EXCERPT:
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?”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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 Portuguese 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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GUEST POST:
Monastiraki Flea Market
When I began your question, “What is the most romantic place you have visited and why?” I wrote a whole draft about Greece and the reason it was romantic to me. Finally, it came down to one event. Cam, my husband, partner, and friend discovered a place I didn’t think we would find on our trip. But as with all trips we’ve been on, he takes a particular interest in what I would like. I hadn’t even mentioned to him that I would like to find this place. It was in Athens. The guidebook, of course, gave directions, but we were with a tour group, and you only get a specific amount of free time. We had walked up to the top of the acropolis and visited the ancient ruins of the Parthenon. We took photos when we were in awe of walking in the same place as the ancient Greeks. Then, we had a few minutes at the Monastiraki Flea Market. Visiting markets is one of my favourite activities to do besides seeing the tourist highlights.

The Poet Shoemaker
A few days later, Cam suggested we take the train back to Athens from our hotel in Nea Makri. We did. Even though the four cardinal directions of N, S, E, W are in my survival kit, I don’t understand their significance. Cam learned to trust that I would find my way back to the meeting place at the approximate time. When I returned, he told me about the Poet Shoemaker shop he had seen. Cam knew I would be interested. He led me back through the winding streets, and I had a pair of sandals made by the Poet Shoemaker.

Cam and I have shared many trips, and he cares when we are on a ship, train or bus that I am facing the same direction that we are travelling because I get motion sick. He gives me space to go off on my own and walk the streets and watch people. He makes sure that he, too, has his adventures so that we can share what we’ve experienced over dinner. I am the more social of us, so I will introduce him to people I’ve met. He meets people that bring a different perspective to our travels, usually political and social issues. In Greece, for instance, he discovered why many buildings are left partially completed because there is a tax benefit. When we were in Egypt, he helped me stage some photographs. The idea may have seemed silly to many, but he indulges my creativity.

When we are on a beach, he knows I can’t tolerate harsh sunlight. So he carries the umbrella and helps dig it into the sand.

When we were part of a Riverboat cruise up the Rhine, Main and Danube, he wasn’t feeling well at our last stop. He encouraged me to take the tour and see Budapest and then spend the free time walking on my own, even though when I came back I reported I couldn’t find my way off a bridge, so I followed a man I assumed was local. This man did lead me off the bridge. However, when he stopped to relieve himself at the nearest bush, I walked along the canal and found our ship before it was ready to leave port.

There are so very many instances where we’ve been that he has made the experience fun, safe, and romantic. It isn’t only the candlelight dinners or the moonlit walks on the beach that make the place romantic. It is the many small and silent ways Cam is saying, “I love you.”
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GIVEAWAY:
Annette Bower will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

74 comments:

  1. Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good morning Slehan, Thank you for dropping by and reading about Miranda and Renato while they discover the Algarve together and learn about each other in this third act of their lives.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  2. How long was the writing process?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Deborah, I am a slow writer. Probably two years start to finish. Life happens around writing. Thank you for dropping by.

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  3. Replies
    1. Hi Wendy,
      Thank you for dropping by. I hope I have piqued your interest in joining Miranda and Ren on their journey through Portugal and to love.

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  4. Replies
    1. Hello Rita, Thank you for dropping by All the Ups and Downs hosting my VBT. I'm used to writing long so it was a challenge to choose excerpts that would entice readers.

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  5. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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    1. Hello Cic408, When we first started to choose our email and web identities it was a challenge. One of my emails is after our basset hound Daisy. At that time the advice as not to use a dog's name. I did and now I have it forever. Thank you for reading the excerpt. I appreciate you dropping by.

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  6. Sounds like a wonderful romance story. Congratulations on it's release.

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    Replies
    1. Good morning peg42, When a book reaches the wide world it is cause for celebration. Thank you for dropping by and checking our Oranges for Miranda.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  7. Replies
    1. Good morning Leonie T, The tidbits I shared I hope brings readers some thoughts of joining Miranda and Renato through the Portuguese Algarve, and their time learning about each other.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  8. Love the cover and the excerpt sounds amazing.

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    1. Hello Thomas, Thank you for your compliments on Rae Monet's design. Every cover attempts to show the story in an image. I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for dropping by.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  9. Replies
    1. Good morning Victoria, I'm busy preparing for a Barbie fest with my granddaughters this afternoon so I'm glad you dropped by early. Thank you for enjoying my post.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  10. Good morning Heather, I apologize for not thanking you earlier for hosting Oranges for Miranda's VBT. I had some computer issues and then when they were fixed so many of your readers had commented. I appreciate the time it takes for a host to have send out the questions and post to their site, and monitor it of course. Thank you once again.
    Yours truly,
    Annette

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  11. Really nice to learn about your book tour.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Calvin, Thank you for dropping by. Virtual Book tours are a way to reach many different readers who might be willing to try an author new to them. I hope that you may feel inclined to join Renato and Miranda in Portugal and on their way to getting to know each other.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  12. Looks like a great summer beach read. Sweet,

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    Replies
    1. Hello Paige, I think it is a good book to travel with whether you are on the beach or your couch. I had an afternoon Barbie fest with my granddaughters, so I apologize for my late reply.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  13. This sounds like a very good book.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sherry, Thank you for stopping by Heather's blog, All the Ups and Downs. She asked an interesting question about romantic spots. As I said, I found it was who I was with that created the romance.
      I hope you take a chance and join Miranda and Ren during their romance.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  14. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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    Replies
    1. Hello Ann,
      Thank you for finding the excerpt and blurb interesting. Rae Monet did an amazing cover design to show Miranda and Ren's story. I'm glad you dropped by.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  15. Sounds like a good book. I like the cover and excerpt.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Susan1215, Thank you for reading the excerpt and being enticed by the cover. We wanted to show that it was an older couple romance in a Mediterranean setting. I believe she found a photo or the Portuguese Algarve as I suggested.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  16. thank you for a chance to win!

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    Replies
    1. Hello Zelda,
      Thank you for dropping by Heather's blog and taking the time to post. Good luck in the draw.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  17. Replies
    1. Hello Dale,
      Thank you for stopping by and reading the information on All the Ups and Downs and for me it is writing. An author's goal is to assist as many readers as possible find my book and enjoy a few hours of romance.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  18. This looks like a great read to me.
    And the cover is fantastic!
    Thank you for sharing this.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Barbara, Thank you for stopping by Heather's post. She asked an interesting question, so appropriate for this book which is about being away and examining the feelings of home.
      You are welcome for this share.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  19. I think will be a definate book to put on my to be read next list. I like that you put some of your information you learned while on your travels in this story.

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    1. Hello satkins, Thank you for considering Oranges for Miranda on the TBR list. It was a lucky accident that we began to travel to the Algarve. Initially, it was an affordable European holiday and continued to be so but also a favorite.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  20. I enjoyed your guest post.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Kim,
      It is lovely to read that you enjoyed my post. I know that many blog followers will be reading it and I want them to have value for their time. Thank you for taking the time to drop in on All the Ups and Downs and for taking the time to comment.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  21. Nice book cover and the book sounds interesting.

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    1. Good morning Deb, Thank you for joining the VBT for Oranges for Miranda. I will pass on your compliment to Rae Monet an inspired book cover designer. I'm glad you found the nugget except interesting.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  22. This book sounds very interesting. Life doesn't always go as planned.

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    1. Good morning Pippirose, You are absolutely right. What's that saying? "Make a plan and the universe laughs." Miranda is good at planning, Renato is a hard-working artist.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  23. Your book sounds like a sweet and entertaining read for a summer's day.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    Replies
    1. Good morning Nancy,
      I hope you find the time to curl up on a beach next to the ocean, or on a chair next to a lake, or even on a couch in your living room. Romance is a lovely escape because we know they will end happily.
      Thank you for dropping by.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  24. sounds like a fun one

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  25. Hello Daniel, Thank you for stopping by the VBT for Oranges for Miranda and commenting. I like to think there are amusing moments in my story.
    Yours truly,
    Annette

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  26. This sounds like a great book ty for the chance

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    Replies
    1. Hello DreaDrake, Thank you for stopping by All the Ups and Downs to support Oranges for Miranda on the Virtual Book Tour. You are welcome for a chance to win. Good luck.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  27. This sounds like a fun book to read this summer.

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    1. Hello Jen,
      I hope your summer is going well and you have books to read and will add Oranges for Miranda to you list.
      Thank you for stopping by.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  28. Where is your favorite place to write?

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    Replies
    1. Good morning slehan, I write well in my office. I have a view of my city out of my windows and there is a large Canadian flag on the hotel at the end of my block. It is my wind sock. However, this morning I wrote at my dining room table with a fountain pen and on unlined paper, my favorite when I'm working out something in a story. Thank you for asking and dropping by this virtual blog tour at All the Ups and Downs.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  29. Did your traveling help when choosing a place to use when writing your books ?

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    Replies
    1. Good morning satkins, I set my stories in my province, but Oranges for Miranda was different. My first trip and the return trips to the Portuguese Algarve were special that I wanted to share it with readers. My next book will be back in my home province. Thank you for asking and stopping by and leaving a comment.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  30. Replies
    1. Good morning Danielle, Thank you for reading about Oranges for Miranda and joining All the Ups and Downs on this virtual blog tour. I appreciate the time you have taken to read and comment.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  31. David HollingsworthJuly 30, 2021 at 12:45 PM

    This definitely sounds like a solid read!

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    Replies
    1. Dear David,
      Thank you for stopping by all the Ups and Downs and discovering Oranges for Miranda. I enjoyed having Miranda travel to the Portuguese Algarve which I've always enjoyed.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  32. Sounds great, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hello Susan1215,
      Thank you for joining this Virtual Book tour featuring Oranges for Miranda. I appreciate that you took the time to drop by and leave a comment.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  33. Replies
    1. Hello Deborah,
      Thank you for stopping by and wishing me a wonderful day. In the province of Saskatchewan, it is a long weekend so everyone is excited. There are lineups and people get ready to enjoy less restrictions.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  34. LAST DAY!
    Thanks for the contest.

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    1. Hello slehan, Thank you for following the Virtual Book tour for Oranges for Miranda. I appreciate the time you have taken to read and leave a comment.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  35. Replies
    1. Hello Christy R. It is indeed a romantic read or at least a romance, where two people discover that they do indeed love each other. Thank you for stopping by.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  36. Replies
    1. Hello Leela,
      Thank you for dropping into All the Ups and Downs blog. I appreciate the hosts as well as the followers who take the time to read and comment.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

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  37. What inspired you to write this book?
    By the way, I am unable to pin the copy of the book cover. Not sure what is wrong.
    digicats {at} sbcglobal {dot} net

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  38. Hello Carolsue, I was inspired by friends who suggested they would like to have a story with an older heroine. I love the Algarve. So I put 2+2 and found a wonderful hero.
    Did you try to pin from All the Ups and Downs? Thank you for stopping by.
    Yours truly,
    Annette

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  39. Last day, it was lovely to meet you and hear of your books! Added to my tbr, and will read it soon! Thanks for the giveaway!

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