Another Shot With Summer
Hot Tide Book 1
by Michele De Winton
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
After an accident stole his surfing career, Ashton Evans has a chance to reinvent his life by photographing the leaders of the World Surfing League. The problem? Summer Roberts is his first client. Now the woman he can’t forget is spending long, hot Indonesian days in front of his lens. In a bikini. And worse, she’s steaming up his nights.
But no matter how tempting Summer is, Ashton must keep his hands to himself. For the sake of her career, Summer is pretending she’s still in a relationship with someone else. Being seen with Ashton could blow her chance at making it onto the World Surfing League leader board for good. But with their attraction as unstoppable as one of the giant ocean waves that rule their lives, will they be tumbled under by it? Or will Ashton finally get his second shot with Summer?
Get ready for a wet, hot ride.
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“I thought about doing something more urban. You know, with the backdrop of Rio to spice up the image, but it seemed wrong. If the client really wants sun-kissed, this is about as sun-kissed as it gets.”
Summer froze. That voice. And then the photographer stood from where he’d been partially hidden behind his gear. The full impact of Maya’s text sunk in.
“You!” Summer’s heart swelled to twice its usual size, and she felt the blood beating all the way up to her ears. Ashton. The man whose picture she’d kept under her pillow as a teenager, and the man who had haunted her loneliest moments as a young woman. The bastard.
“Oh. She said she’d squared it away with you. She pulled a fast one on both of us, huh?”
“Don’t worry. The cab can’t have got far. I’ll just call him back.”
Ashton caught her arm as she swiveled to leave, and she tried to pull free as if he’d stung her. Her reaction to his touch was the same as when she’d been a teenager. Hot, firm, sending her senses into sharp overdrive, his fingers made her skin burn. These were feels she was not ready to feel again.
He dropped his hand, and there was an awkward moment where they looked at each other, frozen, and Summer realized he felt it, too. His face was shocked, his eyes wide. The moment grew longer, her breath catching in her throat as she waited, unsure of what to do next.
Then his pupils returned to normal, and his face softened. “We’re here now, and the light is about to turn. Maya’s told the client I’m on the job, so I need to get the shots. I’ll just be the photographer. Everything else…” He waved his hand between them. “It’s history. Ancient history.”
She felt his gaze on her a moment longer than was strictly necessary. She brushed at her face, as if trying to get the sensation of him off her skin. Then her awe turned to anger. “I guess it is all about you, after all. Wouldn’t want you missing out on keeping your new client happy.”
“That’s not what I meant. Shit.” He rubbed his chin. “This is not how I wanted to see you again after so long.” He looked about as if trying to find a distraction and came up empty. “I’m a different guy behind the camera. I promise.”
She kicked the sand and wished the extra freckles the sun had added to her face today would fade instantly. Nothing like freckles to make a girl feel like a girl, instead of a woman. You are not a girl. Be the bigger person.
There was an awkward pause. She straightened. “Fine,” she said. That was all she was going to give him. Short, calm, professional.
Making Over Maya
Hot Tide Book 2
Maya Taylor is all sass and style when it comes to closing a PR deal, but when it comes to men, she has about as much witty banter as a drowning grommet. So when fashion mogul, Dominic Wolfe, enters her life, he seems to be bringing the perfect deal.
She’ll teach him all there is to know about the highly competitive side of surf sponsorship. And in return, Dominic will turn the beautiful surf-klutz into a man-magnet. Dream deal, right?
Only the lessons start getting hotter than the beach mid-summer and Dominic realizes he wants more. Much more. But the deal was their relationship wouldn’t cross the line between business and pleasure…
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She now writes full time in a studio surrounded by the whisper of wind in the trees and only intermittent interruptions from her young son, husband and hunger pangs. She's based in New Zealand (land of beaches and hobbits) loves chocolate, yoga, sunshine, her boys and happy endings.
You can get in touch through facebook or twitter or through her website and blog www.micheledewinton.com
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I was a dancer before I was a writer.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
I once sailed to Tonga from New Zealand through a big storm. I had met a lovely man who had been a semi-professional sailor and he’d always planned on crewing boats around the world. I’d never even been on a yacht till I met him, and then suddenly, there I was, crew on a catamaran. We had pitched ourselves as a team, he would offer technical sailing support and I would cook. We’d even got certification for all sorts of crazy circumstances, including full fire safety training. The things you do for love!
It was all going well, the sun was out, the ocean flecked with glimmering specks of silver sequins. And then, boom. We hit bigger seas. Nothing crazy, just not the relative calm of inshore sailing. I felt terrible. Awful, but it would pass, everyone assured me. They were wrong. I got sea sick bad enough that I thought I might die (dramatic I know). Then to make matters worse the weather spiraled into darkness. We pitched and rolled while the wind roared at us outside and tore at the rigging and sails.
When we finally got to Tonga, eight days later, I have never been more happy to see land in my life. And what land. Golden beaches, palm trees, baby sharks swimming slow circles in the clear harbor water.
The moral of the story? Make sure if you’re going to sail anywhere when you’re completely inexperienced, that you have a wonderful partner with you. That man proved over and over that he was definitely husband material on that trip!
What are some of your pet peeves?
Head hopping! I hate Point of view changes mid way through a paragraph.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born and grew up in Hawkes Bay in New Zealand. Close to Napier, which is the Art Deco capital of the world after an earthquake and resulting fires wiped out almost all of the cities architecture at 10.47 am on the 3rd of February 1931. Most of the rebuild happened very quickly so the city is a testament to the Art Deco design of the time.
What are you passionate about these days?
I have always loved reading and writing, so those stay my passions, but with two small boys in the mix now it has reinvigorated my passion for outdoor play, music, dance and singing.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I am in a chamber choir and I love to sing big, fruity pieces. There is something uplifting about singing in a group when there are so many harmonies going on.
How to find time to write as a parent?
It’s a juggle. I used to write while they sleep, but now they are a bit older I write while they are at school and pre-school. And if I’m on deadline or have extra freelance work, I write in the evenings too.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Colorful, eclectic, bold, loyal.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I guess when I published my first book was when the world started considering me a writer. But it was when a book was rejected after that that I realized I couldn’t quit the writing life. I was on a year long fellowship and had been relishing writing everyday with no interruptions, no deadlines, nothing except the freedom to write and write and write. I committed three projects to the page that year but only one of them was published. And the one that I was most passionate about was rejected. That was the turning point for me. Even facing down someone telling me I didn’t cut it, I couldn’t stop myself wanting to continue. I realized I was a writer, for better or worse. The stories in my head were still going to want to come out. I stopped worrying about it and just concentrated on writing whenever I could. I count that as a blessing.
Do you have a favorite movie?
I do have a big love for Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I actually pitched my first novel (not a romance) the other day – we shall see what happens!
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
I walked the moors in England, following in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes. It’s a desolate place but remarkably full of color. Rich reds and browns against the endless gray skies.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A Labrador puppy. I like to bounce at things and chew on them a while ?
What inspired you to write this book?
I was always at the beach as a young girl. My brother was a dedicated surfer and I dabbled. I even rode a long board in Bali back in the day. But it was the fact that women are so underrepresented in this sport that got me thinking that I’d love to read about how they make their passion happen against the background of such a male dominated sport. I love to see women take on a challenge – and win! And my characters certainly like to take on big challenges.
What can we expect from you in the future?
There are three books in the Hot Tide series so they will all be rolling out soon. I also have a third book in my Big City Billionaires series: Lady Boss coming out. A boss and employee trope but with the heroine being the boss!
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learnt a lot about competitive surfing. About the cut throat nature of it. And about how even on the same contest, women will often get half the prize money as men. This is people who are surfing the exact same waves, on the exact same days, and yet the prize money is half. It baffles me that this is still happening in 2018.
How did you come up with name of this book?
It’s a second chance romance and the heroines name is Summer. I loved the idea of the hero getting both a second chance with his love and with the summer world of surfing. He really is chasing the endless summer. He’s also a photographer so getting another shot with her is both about his profession and his love life. It’s a title that is about as full of double meanings as any I’ve ever written!
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
I loved writing the surfing scenes. I have always loved writing about the water and so to put myself inside giant waves, and feel them crashing over me was really fun. Thinking about the view under the water, the way the light hits it when a wave is curling, all of that made my fingers itch to put it on the page.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Ashton is entirely from my imagination. Summer is a combination of all the strong sports women I know and a few of the passionate surfers I knew in my youth.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
I always have a plan before I go into writing. It is a faster process if I know where I’m going. But the characters always take over. That’s the fun part I think. Not knowing exactly where they’re going to go at any moment. It’s part of what makes writing so fun. The unknown, the process of creating life where there was none before. Knowing that you are taking other people on a journey.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
I have the other books in this series that aren’t out yet but they will be soon. I also have a few kids book that I write under another name that aren’t out, but I’m hopeful they will be one day!
What book do you think everyone should read?
Oryx and Crake. I read The Handmaids Tale at school and fell in love with Margaret Atwood’s writing on the spot. It is rich and provocative.
How long have you been writing?
Around ten years. I began writing full time when I got a fellowship in New Zealand that allowed me a year off to write. Not long after I had completed that I had my two boys and I haven’t stopped writing.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
The central characters are always there before I start, but sometimes the secondary characters come along without me realizing they are going to. I do also remember being shocked when I read over my notes from the day before and realized I’d killed a character off. I hadn’t planned to and didn’t remember writing it the day before, but there she was, dead on the page, and it really worked.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
Read. Lots. I read around the subject of the book, so in this case, around surfing and surfing contests. And I read about locations and traditions in the area. I usually set all my books in places I have been to though so I draw a lot on my experience. It’s pretty great living down here in the Pacific!
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes! It has been my career for over ten years.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Computer. I type as fast as I think so it’s a much quicker process. I do like to plan on paper though and I need to have things spread out in front of me – ideally as big as possible. I have LOTS of notebooks scattered around with ideas and notes and plans for books and other projects. I don’t know if I want someone to discover them after I’m gone or for them to all get burned to hide my secrets!
Advice you would give new authors?
Read. Write. Edit. Repeat.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I do believe it exists. But I also think that when you write all the time you get better at managing it. Someone told me it takes 23 minutes to pull yourself back into a story if you stop writing, to, say, look at social media (many a writers deadliest foe). I think I have trained myself to drop back into the writing zone a bit quicker than that, but that’s also because my time is limited so I know I just HAVE to get back to the page.
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