Romance and erotica author Ann Bradford was born and raised on the prairies. She loves her rural lifestyle and hopes the passion for the simpler things in life slips into her writing. A romantic at heart, Ann enjoys nature, reading, and spending time with her family and St Bernard. Ann is happily married with two children and works for a non-profit organization. Today, she’s promoting His Holy Stare A Truth or Dare Forbidden Love, published by Solstice Publishing.
About the book:
Gripped by daring passion.
James has suffered a great loss in his life, but he’s pulled himself up and started a new life he’s committed to with passion and fascination. His first big assignment in the Brotherhood is to run a college for boys on the forgotten prairies. When he arrives, Brother James finds an attachment to a family who suffered the same type of loss as him. To help them heal, he starts a game of Truth or Dare with the daughter who’s close to his age, forging a needed friendship.
In search of a ravaging truth.
Frustrated with life, Constance finds herself on the doorstep of the boys’ college where her father wants her to help in exchange for her brother’s tuition which he can’t afford. But meeting Brother James changes her entire view on life. He’s charming, friendly, and so blasted happy. What is his secret? Gripped by a determination to find out, she agrees to a harmless game of Truth or Dare.
When things aren’t so innocent.
Neither will back down from the challenges, but how far will they let things escalate? No matter how intense things get, he refuses to give in to the temptation of her body while she squirms under his not-so-holy stare.
Published January 10, 2018
Why did you decide to write this book?
His Holy Stare came about while I was researching for something entirely different. I was digging through some files from the 1950s when I stumbled on a picture of a Brother who ran a convent in a forgotten town on the prairies. He had this incredible smile, yet his eyes had this… deep sadness to them. I was so intrigued, I told myself I’d write a short paragraph about the man to find out what the shadow on his life was. And well, Brother James was born and took me on a journey of self-discipline that impressed me.
What genre does your book fall into?
His Holy Stare is a forbidden romance from the 20th Century.
Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?
Both. Sometimes Brother James’ actions, or lack of actions, push the story as much as the conflicts they face.
What makes your book unique?
Of course, the Truth or Dare aspect is a fun twist on things in this series as the characters challenge each other to do or not do certain things until the games escalate to a point of no return.
When it comes to forbidden romance, many of the ones I read have a character that is torn between their calling and their heart. I wanted James to suffer a different plight. And so Brother James is running from his past. He didn’t have a calling and he knows this. By pretending he had a calling, he’s keeping his heart safe. His refusal to break his vows is a thing of principal; a man stands behind his promises. This creates a huge problem for him, because if he’s to be the man Constance deserves, how can he break this vow to be with her? Yet… how can he watch her suffer alone?
And the last aspect that makes it unique is the plot. Sometimes, not everything is how it seems. In this series, each book reveals a new truth about the deaths in this backwater town.
Do you plot ahead of time or let the plot emerge as you write?
I let things emerge and allow my story to take me by surprise. I am a firm believer in the magic of writing and trust my creativity. My first drafts are raw but contain all the basic plot elements. It’s in the third and fourth drafts that I really focus on the elements of plot and character growth.
How did you develop the names for your characters?
The process is quite amusing. I write a sentence about my character doing something naughty and bring in another character to react to whatever they are doing. This shocked secondary character usually blurts out their name without thinking.
Of course, there is a bit of thought needed sometimes because I don’t like to have names with the same sounds or first letters, and do I use Constance or Connie? Well, it seems Mel likes to call her Connie, which is a fun friendly gesture I let go. But to hear the grounded, macho James roll that older delicate French name off his tongue as he pleads her to behave… there was a little magic to that moment.
How did you decide on the setting?
I love writing about the prairies, especially when settlers and pioneers were adjusting to the harsh lands. I am a prairie gal at heart and find inspiration in every blade of wheat I see. I love the idea of bringing my readers this magic and showing them the prairies I cherish through raw unfiltered eyes.
What’s your writing schedule?
I write for at least 4 hours a day. To me, writing includes, reading, researching, marketing, promoting, editing, rewriting, reviewing, and of course the actual writing. I steal time in the morning before work, at lunch, and at night when everyone is in bed. I can also steal time while at the dentist office. I have no schedule. I write because I can, when I can.
Do you have a favorite place to write?
I write everywhere. My favorite place is in my bed simply because my family can curl up beside me. And in those moments, all is right with the world.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for having me on your site! Be sure to look for His Forbidden Stare a Truth or Dare Forbidden Love which will be out by Solstice sometime this year. In this story, Constance’s brother fights his attraction to his best friend at a time when men were not supposed to fall in love with other men. Plus, the plot thickens as more layers are revealed about the deaths in this prairie town where nothing is what it seems.
Where can we find you?