Ann Howes

Delightfully Devious Romance

yummy hot guy.jpg

When I first started writing The Debt, it wasn’t meant to be a sequel to The Marker. It was going to a standalone and it was going to be written solely from my hero’s point of view. It was going to be about a man, who had everything he wanted, but not what he needed to grow as a human. And since I write romance, it was the love of that one woman.

It all started with the photo above. I’d seen it on Facebook and there was something about the intensity in this dude’s face (besides being stinking hot) that wouldn’t let me go. What secret pain was he was hiding behind those sunglasses?

The thing to keep in mind is about my writing process, is my characters tell me the story. I have tried to plot them out, but it never ends up being what I think it should be. Always what they want it to be. So I’ve learned after lots of chewed nails, pulled hair and too many deleted words to stop arguing with them, making them do what I want, and let them lead me on their wild, crazy journeys. It’s a longer process, but for me, far more authentic. As I got to know Zander, and he slowly revealed his past to me, it was much more tragic and complicated than I ever suspected. He was a broken man who couldn’t face who he was, or his past.

So what did he need to make him whole—Terra of course. But she needed to be someone from his world that he related to but at the same time blew his mind. Someone who would override his tendency to not allow himself to feel anything too deep and his ability to keep his distance from women. With her he couldn’t. When tragedy struck, in her grief he saw his own past and it forced him to open that dark chamber in his mind, allow his memories to surface–face his demons and really heal.

I love Terra and Zander so much, and I love them together and I hope you love them and their story as much as I do.

With that, I give you The Debt

~Hugs and kisses…Ann~


Brenda‘s review

May 26, 2018
it was amazing


4.5 stars
I really liked this book, even more than I thought I might. It was well- written and plotted, and the storylines were captivating right up to the end. It definitely got my attention from the intriguing opening and I wanted to know what had happened with Shelley and Joey and her past with Gianni… The story has several interweaving plotlines that bring several characters into the fold – some more interesting (and well-developed) than others. It definitely has its thrilling/dangerous side… But also romantic and sexy and sweet. It is really fast-paced, but it isn’t a ‘quick’ read (if that makes sense) There are too many interesting events and crazy experiences here to gloss over so Ms. Howes takes her time in developing the storylines so that we the readers are thoroughly invested the whole way through as sins of the past and certain characters come to light in very dramatic, unexpected ways. There’s lots of little threads here in this story that keep us hooked, and I found myself completely lost in this dangerous, sexy world she recanted night after night. Was almost disappointed when I was done, but the ending gave the emotional satisfaction I look for in a great book, which is rare for me these days, especially in this genre. Well done. Recommend to fans of sexxy thrillers/suspense or anyone who just enjoys an entertaining, well-written story with lots of drama and you actually feel like you are a part of the thrilling action unfold.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


I guess I might have been a desert-rat in a past life.

I  love the heat. At the time of writing this blog I could’ve been inside a cool, air-conditioned room. Instead I sat outside with a big, silly grin on the patio of my little garden view Casita clacking away on my MacBook Air in 98 degrees at 8.24 in the evening. Drinking a glass of icy Chardonnay and watching the bats do acrobatic fly-by’s. Granted, it’s not something I’d do everyday, but I was in southern California on a working vacation in the little desert resort town of La Quinta, which means ‘the fifth’ in Spanish.

The town, nestled in a cove against the spectacular Santa Rosa Mountains, was named by the Spanish conquistador, Juan Bautista D’Anza in the 16th century. To those unfamiliar, he lead 240 people on an epic trail from New Spain (Mexico) approximately 1800 miles north to a settlement in the San Francisco Bay. La Quinta was the fifth base established along the way.

Also known as the jewel of the desert, it has an interesting history that involves not only Spanish conquistadors but movie stars, screen-writers and producers who considered it a retreat from the madness of Hollywood. Situated two hours by car east of Los Angeles, The La Quinta Resort where I wrote this blog, was the vision of Walter Morgan, the youngest son of a wealthy businessman from San Francisco. In 1926 he purchased 1400 acres of land and built adobe cottages (known as casitas) with the idea of attracting Hollywood’s elite. It worked. During the thirties stars such as Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo and Frank Capra, among others flocked to the resort. Capra, famous for writing Mr. Smith Goes To Washington and You Can’t Take It With You, called it his ‘Shangri-La’ and returned frequently to write.

During the Second World War times were difficult and because of gas and tire rationing the guests stayed away. This resulted in the resort locking its doors and draining the pool. However after the war, the Hollywood elite returned in droves, no doubt aided by a boom in air travel and a convenient airstrip installed on the grounds. It has since grown and is still popular today, maintaining its distinct Spanish style and charm. Lets hope some of Mr. Capra’s good luck continues to rub off on me.

Most exciting as an animal enthusiast, not all of residents are of the human kind. I came across a roadrunner literally road-running in Old Town La Quinta. I’d never seen a real live one and it was quite a treat. A larger variety of non-humans, the big horn sheep graze on exquisitely well-manicured golf courses and trespass on the locals often partaking in a drink from their swimming pools.

In the second book of The Bridge Series, The Debt (to be released in the summer of 2018) my heroine Terra Miller, a feisty lingerie sales-associate and lead singer of a cover band spends a little time in La Quinta while recovering from the the death of her mother. She’s also hiding from ruthless members of the Russian mafia whose ties reach deep into the California State Government. What better excuse to come to the place where a little research is required. The more I learn about this gorgeous little palm treed gem of an oasis, the more I love.

If you’re ever in the desert in SoCal, I highly recommend stopping by and enjoy a cocktail while watching natures magnificent display of the mountains turning pink as the sun sets behind them.

So, where is your favorite place to be when you’re not at home?


What do you get when you have a sassy hairstylist with a psycho ex and Mini full of problems? Toss in a sexy, alpha mafia Harley-riding dude and his smelly but funny and lovable dog?  Well…you’re just gonna have to keep reading to find out.

Get your copy here.



One of the starring characters in my debut novel, The Marker is a rescued, overweight, flatulent English bulldog who bears a striking resemblance to Truman Capote.  He falls in love with my main female protagonist, Shelley De Luca. He’s almost as obsessed with her as her psychotic ex boyfriend is. But in a good way.
He farts, he drools, he sneezes, and is so ugly that it circles all the way around to cute. But true love knows no boundaries and is not defined by species or beauty.

Animal lovers know there’s nothing like the unconditional love of an animal. It’s so pure and honest, and they have no agenda other than to be the best friend they can to us. It’s heartbreaking when we lose them, or they lose us.

There’s a point in my novel, when Shelley makes a choice to walk away from the man she loves, Gianni and his adorable dog, Truman. But it’s Truman’s lack of complexity and understanding that is almost the more painful parting of the two. Dogs are so in tune with their humans that they’ve been known to detect cancer before any screens or modern methods get close. They can literally smell it.  They don’t know the why’s of what humans do, only that it’s done. So when you abandon or leave, an animal you can’t explain to them your reasons, and that makes the parting exponentially more painful for them.

Which brings me to the point of this blog and please allow me to pontificate for a moment.

When we choose an animal to be part of our family, we need to keep in mind, that’s exactly what they are. A member of our family. They are a commitment and the choice should never be made lightly or because a breed is suddenly popular. They deserve to be loved, respected and taken care of just like we would our own children.

Truman is a fictional character, but he represents too many animals that I’ve seen on social media and in real life, who’ve been abused, neglected and abandoned. But the good news is, there are  wonderful people who make it their mission to help these animals at a severe emotional cost to themselves. These people, and I know a few personally have my utmost gratitude and respect.

This blog is dedicated to them and to all the animals who still need to be rescued.

Love on.

When I first started this journey of writing a novel, I had to pick a genre.  For me, the choice was clear. Romance, of course. Duh. That’s what I read and enjoy.  But I was somewhat surprised with how difficult writing romance can be.  Writing in general is hard, but writing about your characters kissing under a crescent moon or making whoopie under satin sheets can be somewhat embarrassing  if you don’t get it right.  Putting it out there into the readisphere, is literally like you’re doing it on stage for everyone and their dirty old uncle to see. And an exhibitionist I ain’t.

The mechanics of the kiss or bumping booty is relatively easy.  It’s the emotion that is so dang hard to get right without it coming across as cheesy. It’s what your characters are feeling that gets readers all hot and fanning themselves and wishing it was them under those covers.  But, what makes their hearts pound and toes tingle and…yes…yours too, can be bloody difficult.  Painstakingly choosing each word for maximum effect is a thoroughly stressful, but most enjoyable matter.

As of now I’m unpublished and maybe never will be in the traditional sense, but that’s not going to stop me from doing something that I have a new found passion for.  Even if nobody reads it, I’m having the best time writing it.  This writing thing has gotten under my skin,  in a way I never thought possible.  Not in this lifetime anyway.  It’s become my obsession.

You’re yet to meet my characters, Shelley and Gianni as I’m only half way through my manuscript, but I’ll be introducing them and their shenanigans bit by bit to the world soon, like a proud Momma dragging her babies to the playground.  Hopefully you’ll join me on the journey and we can all grow up together.

So tell me, what gets your toes and other bits tingling?