Summer Reading: Anita Hughes

Nearly a year ago I was asked to read Anita Hughes’ debut novel, Monarch Beach, for a possible cover blurb and I’m so glad I did.  I loved the book.  It was a fantastic story and perfect for summer and I’ve been waiting anxiously for it to hit store shelves so I could recommend Monarch Beach to all my freinds.

I had the chance to spend an afternoon with Anita in Dana Point in July and it was a wonderful afternoon.  We talked books and books and more books, and discussed life and publishing and parenting and I can’t wait for you all to “meet” Anita, too!

Help me welcome Anita to the JaneBlog for a Q&A.  I know you’ll love her, and her first book!

*Anita, what’s your favorite time of the day and place to write?

I love to write first thing in the morning. I think up the next day’s writing right before I go to bed, so it is fresh in my mind when I wake up. I like to write on the love seat in my bedroom. It has a view of the golf course and it is very peaceful. When I get stuck, I look up and watch the bunnies in our garden!

*Your new book, Monarch Beach, is in stores now.  What’s the feedback been like from fans so far?

I love that readers have really connected with the characters in MONARCH BEACH. I have gotten a lot of requests for a sequel – people want to see what happens next for Amanda. I also love that they recognize Amanda’s support system: her mother, Grace and her best friend, Stephanie. These characters are very important to me and it is wonderful to see that they are important to my readers as well.

*What’s your next project?

My next book is called MARKET STREET and it will be released on March 26th, 2013. I love MARKET STREET because it has two wonderful female characters with a very close friendship. I love exploring female friendships like Amanda and Stephanie’s in MONARCH BEACH. MARKET STREET is set in San Francisco and has a gorgeous cover!

*What’s your all-time favorite movie or book?

I am a huge fan of Penny Vincenzi. She is a British author who writes wonderful, super thick books crammed with fascinating characters. When I start one of her books, I put everything else aside. And she never disappoints – every one of her books is fabulous.

*You’re going on vacation and can only choose one of two destinations.  Would you pick a Safari in Africa or Cruise in the Caribbean?

Definitely a Cruise in the Caribbean. I love to talk to people and on a cruise you meet people from all over the world. Plus, I’m not opposed to some serious pampering and a cruise is a great place to get massages, eat gourmet food, shop in fabulous stores. Having the ocean outside your window would make it absolutely heaven!

*You’re planning a girls night out with friends.  Would you pick an nightclub so you can all let your hair down or a fun, cozy dinner at a nice restaurant?

I would pick a cozy dinner at a nice restaurant. I love to chat – to find out what is going on in my friends’ lives and you can’t do that in a nightclub. My favorite restaurant has a view of the ocean. You can sit on the balcony and watch the sunset, and when it gets chilly they turn on the heat lamps. It is the perfect place to catch up over a delicious dessert.

*Name 3 – 5 books you’ve read this year.  Which ones would you recommend to your girlfriends?

I have read and loved The Song Remains the Same by Allison Winn Scotch, Overseas by Beatriz Chantill Williams and WIFE – 22 by Melanie Gideon. I would highly recommend all three.


Thank you, Anita, for joining us today.  Readers, you can find out more about Anita and her books on her website,

For a chance to win a copy of Anita’s wonderful debut novel (tucked into a colorful summer tote bag perfect for the beach along with other fun goodies) talk to me!  What books have you read lately that you’d recommend to your girlfriends?  Or is there a book one of your girlfriends has been recommending to you? Share with me and you might win!  Contest runs through Friday night, with the winner being announced Saturday morning.  Best of luck and happy reading!

PS  Anita and I are going to be doing a booksigning together September  19th at Warwick’s in La Jolla, California, so if you live in San Diego County and are free, come see us at Warwick’s and hang out with us for awhile!!



  1. Based on your recommendation I’ve started reading Claire Cook’s books. I’ve started with “Seven Year Switch” and I’m loving it and would totally recommend it to my girlfriends. And thank you now for the recommendation of Anita’s books. Sept 19th is my birthday and since I live in SD I may swing by as a birthday treat to see you both!

      1. I’m really enjoying your guest bloggers. It’s helping me add to my “must read” list. I will definitely have to check out Anita’s book.

        I’ve been reading up a storm lately and will probably be doing a lot more reading as I am having surgery on Tuesday morning and will be on limited activity/no work for 6 weeks. The books I’ve read recently that I would recommend to girlfriends are:

        Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter by Lisa Patton (there’s a sequel out now too that I am dying to read) It’s a good lesson in overcoming obstacles and being independent plus there’s a lot of humor in it.

        Georgia Bockoven’s The Beach House and Another Summer are great beach reads and follow the lives of several couples/families who each rent the same beach house for different months during the summer.

        Another favorite of mine is My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares (author of the Sister of the Traveling Pants). It’s a great romance with a slightly supernatural twist, but it is a really engaging read.

        Other authors that never fail for me are: Diane Chamberlain, Barbara Delinsky, Kristin Hannah, Jane Green, Barbara O’Neal, Dorothy Koomson, Rowan Coleman, Karen White, Jennifer Weiner…I could go on and on…

  2. Yea, Jane. Anita sounds like another great author and I can’t wait to check out her books. I am currently reading Tough Customer by Sandra Brown and have been really enjoying it. Before that I read Claire Cook’s new one that you recommended in an earlier blog – loved it!

  3. Someone recommended that I pick up Mary Kay Andrews’ “Summer Rental.” I have the book, but haven’t read it yet.

  4. I love Anita. I’m halfway through her book and I just started reading it yesterday. It’s so hard to put down. I was immediately drawn into the characters and the story. I can’t wait to finish the book, but will be sad that I have to wait until next year for her next one. She is a wonderful author!

  5. Hi Jane!
    Hi Anita, it is great to “meet” you here, though I did get a quick second to talk to you at Nationals when you signed my book for a friend. I read Monarch Beach in a matter of a couple of hours. I just couldn’t put it down. I really loved the story, and I was pleasantly surprised. The story is still on my mind, even though it’s been a little over a week since I read it. I have to reread it again soon. it would be great to see what happens to see what happens to Amanda in NYC. Will she change her pattern of falling for the wrong men? Will she allow herself to unfurl her wings like that symbolic monarch butterfly. I loved the sybolism in that, by the way. Looking forward to see what you have in store with your next books.

    Jane, thanks for having Anita here today. I hope youre weekend is going well.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  6. I loved your interview with Anita. She is such a talented person.
    As for what books I would recommend to my friends for summer reading the list is long. However, you couldn’t go wrong with SHELTER ME by Juliet Fay, THE UNFINISHED WORK OF ELIZABETH D by Nichole Bernier, SEA ESCAPE by Lynne Griffin, BUNGALOW by Sarah Jio, NIGHT SWIM by Jessica Keener, or THE FIRST HUSBAND by Laura Dave.

  7. My sister recommended Emily March’s Eternity Springs series and I was hooked then I recommended it to one of my girl friend and sent her the first book in the series and she got hooked on it also. Its a great series.

    Anita, love the cover of your book and it sounds awesome.

  8. Thanks for another great author interview! I love the cover of Anita’s book. A co-worker was raving about Fifty Shades of Grey. I heard so much talk about it, but never what it was about. I thought it was about women going through menopause. 🙂 She gave me the first book to read, but before starting it I went onto Amazon to read reviews. There were some really bad reviews about poor editing and just poor writing. I really don’t want to read it with so many other wonderful books in my TBR MOUNTAIN, but I feel kind of obligated. Does anyone have any feeling about the series?

  9. You are the second person I saw recently mention Anita Hughes and her new book. Goining to Amazon to find out more. I really liked the interview. Very fun.

  10. I just finished reading Phantom Evil by Heather Graham. it is set in new Orleans. I always like my books to take me away someplace. Since I don’t get to travel anymore, this is an escape for me. i still need to pick up a copy of Monarch beach. once before when Jane mentioned it, I made a note to get it on my next book store trip. And, today I went to one and completely forgot my list of books I was wanting.

  11. Thanks for introducing us to a new – to me – author. I am reading a new Fern Michaels, and a Nora Roberts oldie. Both good.

  12. I loved These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen and Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D by Nichole Bernier. I’d recommend them to anyone!
    And I’ve heard wonderful things about Monarch Beach and put it on my to-read list!

  13. I really enjoyed reading Emily Giffin’s Where We Belong. The book deals with secrets, relationships, family dynamics with lots of twists and turns along the way.

  14. I have been reading alot mostly cowboy books, Linda Lael Miller’s Big sky Country and staring to read her second book Big sky Mountaain and i read Lindsay McKenna’s The Cowboy and have her other book the Wrangler on my book shelf to after i get done with Big Sky Mountain…I really liked your interview with your friend and author Anita. another new author to put on my list of books to read, willbe looking for her book at the bookstore or Target. Monarch Beach sounds like a really good book.summer is over for me and my classes start on monday so will need to hit the books and not read so much but I’ll make time///have a nice weekend!

  15. So many new authors and books, so little time. The cover is fabulous and I love summer reads. I’ll be heading to Chapters on Monday to look for this book, great interview. I just finished Kristan Higgins’ My One and Only.

  16. I just started reading The Inn at Rose Harbor..Debbie Macomber..Thanks for the chance to win Monarch Beach..

  17. I neglected to suggest a book. For easy beach or poolside reads, I would recommend Hope in a Jar and Always Something There to Remind Me by Beth Harbison. Her other books are great too, but these are my top two faves. I would also recommend the Beach Girl series by Luanne Rice.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  18. Happy to meet Anita!!!
    My favorite book to suggest to friends is always Mrs. Perfect!

    I have been reading a lot lately, trying to catch up on what I have been hoarding on my kindle or on my fire place ledge.
    “The Secret Life of Husbands and Wives” by Josie Brown, “Housewifes Assasin Handbook” by Josie, “Wolves in Chic Clothing” by Carrie Karasyov & Jill Kargman.

  19. I’ve been reading Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold series this summer…Summer Days, Summer Nights, and All Summer Long. They just get better and better and I would recommend them to anyone. Looking forward to the next one that comes out Sept 25th, Fool’s Gold Christmas.
    I’ve been hearing a lot about Anita’s new book and would love to give it a try also.

  20. I just read “Summerland” by Elin Hilderbrand. Every single one of her books is excellent.
    I will definitely read Anita’s book. I love the cover!

  21. Oops accidentally posted this as a response to another comment so I wanted to make sure it went up properly.

    I’m really enjoying your guest bloggers. It’s helping me add to my “must read” list. I will definitely have to check out Anita’s book.

    I’ve been reading up a storm lately and will probably be doing a lot more reading as I am having surgery on Tuesday morning and will be on limited activity/no work for 6 weeks. The books I’ve read recently that I would recommend to girlfriends are:

    Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter by Lisa Patton (there’s a sequel out now too that I am dying to read) It’s a good lesson in overcoming obstacles and being independent plus there’s a lot of humor in it.

    Georgia Bockoven’s The Beach House and Another Summer are great beach reads and follow the lives of several couples/families who each rent the same beach house for different months during the summer.

    Another favorite of mine is My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares (author of the Sister of the Traveling Pants). It’s a great romance with a slightly supernatural twist, but it is a really engaging read.

    Other authors that never fail for me are: Diane Chamberlain, Barbara Delinsky, Kristin Hannah, Jane Green, Barbara O’Neal, Dorothy Koomson, Rowan Coleman, Karen White, Jennifer Weiner…I could go on and on…

  22. Hi Anita! I love that cover – wish I was there on that beautiful beach right now! 🙂

    I just finished Fractured by Karen Slaughter – great book! I look forward to reading some of your work!!

  23. I’ve been trying to get my hands on this one for a while, thank you for another opportunity!

    Some books I’ve recently read and loved are Finding Emma by Steena Holmes and The Song Remains The Same by Allison Winn Scotch. I also recommend Hell or High Water by Joy Castro, but it is a much darker read than the other two. I’ve been very lucky to have read some awesome books so far this summer!

  24. Hi Jane,

    I am always looking for new authors so I can’t wait to check out Anita’s book. I just recently finished Beachcombers by Nancy Thayer and loved it. It really followed the complex relationships of sisters, which I totally relate to as I have three sisters.

    Hope the rest of your Hawaiian time is great!


  25. I ventured out of my normal reading & read Alexia O’Brien Huntress. It’s pretty good for a vampire, werewolf, paranormal romance.

  26. Anita sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to read her book. My daughter is almost done with it and then she is giving it to me! Thank you for spotlighting authors on your blog, Jane. I love reading books from authors I’ve never read from. Thank you so much 🙂

  27. Jane, I love all the introductions to new authors. I’m going to look for this book. I just finished 50 shades of grey but I’m not sure it was for me. I’m trying the second book and we will see. Monarch Beach sounds like something I would really enjoy reading.

  28. Hi Jane- What an interesting interview I really miss the girls days/nights out but lately I have read the last 3 Susan Mallery just put out then in between I have been reading Nora Roberts,Linda lael Miller,and then passing those to my friend I have started at Susans 1st Fools Gold book and started reading it. I am an avid reader so I like to read 1-2 from the same author then go another so it’s a mix and match always staying in the romance/suspense genre.

  29. I have read so many good books this summer. It’s very hard to just name a few! I just finished “Summer Breeze” by Nancy Thayer and I loved it! I also loved Elin Hilderbrand’s new book Summerland. Emily Giffen’s Where We Belong was amazing too!

  30. Hi Jane, Thank you for introducing us to another author. If you think she is good, then I will look for her books. I read The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri recently and loved it. And, the nonfiction I read recently is Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. It is a gritty life story that kept me reading to find out what would happen next.

  31. I enjoyed Claire Baxter’s HER MEDITERRANEAN MAKEOVER. Thought it was a great love story for 40-somethings (not often found in today’s romances), with realistic feelings portrayed. Even though the heroine felt she was old, I was glad she wasn’t depicted as such.

  32. I would recommend On the Island too – and Not Fit For A King by Jane Porter, The Long Way Home by Karen McQuestion, Elsie, Adventures of an Arizona Schoolteacher 1913-1916 by Barbara Anne Waite, and War Brides by Helen Bryan.

  33. I will have to add this to my list. I just finished Megan Crane’s I heart the 80’s! Loved it! It was so fitting for me to read while I was at my HS reunion and the main character is from Indiana and goes back to 1987!(where I am from and graduated in 1987)

    I hope that something changes and I can come to the booksigning in San Diego, but I have a crazy work thing that day.

    Hope everyone has a great week!

  34. In order to prepare for “Death of a schoolgirl” by Joanna Campbell Slan, I had to read my well-worn copy of Jane Eyre.

  35. Thanks for this lovely introduction to an author and her wonderful book. A novel that I read this summer which was memorable and special was Jasmine Nights by Julia Gregson.

  36. well after reading the shades of grey series, i am out of books. so i have nothing to suggest, but will look up some of the books others have mentioned.

  37. Thank you for another interesting author interview. I’ve recently read Kristin Higgin’s book, “Somebody To Love” and I enjoyed it.

  38. I would recommend anything by Kristin Hannah. Love her books and they are a great summer read. Thank you Jane for ANOTHER interesting and great recommendation. I love being introduced to new authors. There are just sooo many good books out there. And, I just LOVE the cover!

  39. Your guest blogs are awesome, it gives us a chance to experience other authors that we may miss out on. I am reading Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult such a sad event in the book but it really shows how everyone’s life gets affected by one persons actions and bullying in our world that is so difficult to deal with….very intrigued!

  40. Hi Jane and Anita,

    Jane, I just love your summer blog this year. It´s so fun for me to read about, for me, new authors, and you introduce them to us in such a nice, funny and inviting way.
    I´m still reading “Saving Gerda” and loving every page of it. I´m not reading as much as I would like to right now, but when my last summer guests have gone home I´ll have more time to read again.
    I´ll put Anita Hughes’ debut novel, Monarch Beach,in my TBR pile 🙂

  41. I feel like I’ve read a lot of interesting books lately! I loved Emily Giffin’s newest, and I read The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst and really enjoyed it. Now I’m reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’m not completely into it yet, but hopefully I am soon.

    This book sounds good!

  42. Hi Jane!

    Just loved the interview with Anita. I can not wait to read her book along with your new book.Gathering with friends on the beach this summer, I have compiled a long list of must reads! Where We Belong and Girl Gone are currently waiting for me.

  43. Welcome, Anita. I’ve heard wonderful things about Monarch Beach. I also read an article about you living in the St. Regis. What a wonderful place to call home!

  44. I am recommending “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” to everyone I know and now to your blog. It is a great book where the character are writing letters back and forth which is similar to “84 Charing Cross Road” and another great read.

  45. Just finished reading “On the island” by Tracey Garvis Graves…was a very good read… really enjoyed it. Story centered around a teacher and her student being/surviving on an island after their plane crashes and how they rely on one another to survive.

  46. I am reading the last book in the fifty shades triology. It is not all that romantic but I am really enjoying the story line and Christian’s mysterious self. I look forward to your September release date of The Good Woman. Have a great week Jane.

  47. I was floored by the book “I Couldn’t Love You More” by Jillian Medof. It was almost too hard to read because of how real the character’s reactions were to the events that took place. Also really enjoyed “Rescue Me” by Rachel Gibson. The love scenes are great. I also just discovered a new embroidery mystery series by Amanda Lee that’s lovely.

  48. Hi Jane – I also think your Guest Blogger Q & A is a great idea. Some very good questions on here. I have not read Monarch Beach yet, but it’s definitely next on my list, once my busy August is over. The cover illustrates the title perfectly. I also think it’s wonderful that you and Anita have bonded so well. She reminds me of you in that she truly cares about her readers. As far as books I would recommend, I have not read it yet, but my oldest daughter highly recommended Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. As the mother of two young boys, her reading time is limited and she read this in just a few days and absolutely loved it. In fact, her husband is reading it now. Look forward to getting to know more new or established authors thru your blog posts.

  49. Anita Hughes is wonderful and I loved this book! So decadent. 🙂 Can’t wait for “Market Street.”
    I’ve been recommending “The Sweetness of Forgetting” by Kristin Harmel to my friends. I also told my mom she has to read it. 🙂

  50. I’d say either Where we Belong by Emily Giffin or Overseas by Beatriz Williams. Both were really great reads.

  51. Well, I couldn’t wait to see if I won this book and bought it today. About a quarter of the way in and am really liking it so far…great recommendation Jane!

    1. So I read it in one sitting… a quick, fun read… and i can’t wait to see what’s in store next for Amanda,so I hope there will be a sequel. Was intrigued by the preview of Martket Street at the end of the book too….

      And now I’m just waiting for The Good Woman to come out!

  52. Hi everyone,
    What a great list of recommendations! I’ve noted several titles from your comments and even bought some of them a couple of days ago. So looking forward to reading these!

    Our winner today is –

    #5 Paula R.

    And lucky us!! We have a second copy of Anita’s wonderful book to giveaway also along with some fun JP goodies. So, our bonus winner is –

    #50 Cheryl Zahn

    And then… wait for it… we also have a special mystery prize today and the winner for this one is –

    #18 Carole

    YAY! Winners please shoot me an email with your address info and we’ll get these prizes in the mail asap!

    Hope you’ve all got fun plans for the weekend! I plan to spend some time reading and enjoying this wonderful sunshine!


  53. I just got on my computer and just checked that I won the mystery prize1 It made my friday alittle better! Here’s my home address carole fiore 18 mohave rd. crawfordville, fla. 32327 have a wonderful weekend! I’m gonna try for we may get hit with this hurricane thats coming our way..getting prepared and hope we don’t get hit too hard..and whoever else is on the path of Isaac!

  54. Congratulations to all the winners today, I’m not a lucky person, but I am lucky in finding new authors. I am home on disability and I read alot, I love reading about the authors and when and how they got started. Jane thank you for blogging about the authors, you added to my library collection.

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