I love sharing interviews with you and getting to know more about other authors. Today I have Amber Leigh Williams stopping by and have her in the hot seat. Check it out...
Hello Amber and thank you for visiting today. Tell us a little about yourself.
I live on the Gulf Coast. I’m a southern girl at heart so I live for beach days, the smell of real books, and spending time with my husband and our two children. When I’m not trying to keep up with rambunctious little ones (and two large dogs), you can usually find me reading a good romance or cooking up something new in the kitchen. Readers can find out more about me and my books at www.amberleighwilliams.com!
I miss having little ones. It sounds like you have an interesting life. Now on to some personal questions. If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself?
Interesting question…. I would tell my seven-year-old self to be strong and to never be afraid to stand up for myself and my beliefs, to own who I am and what want to be.
We should all teach ourselves to be stronger. For what are you grateful?
I had three dreams growing up. One was to find my soul mate. Another was to know what it was like to be a mother. And the third was to be a published author. I’ve been so blessed to see all these dreams come true so I’m grateful for that and the people around me.
I'm glad to see that you made all your dreams come true. If a zombie virus took over the world, how many days do you think you could last before you were infected? And what would you do to postpone the inevitable?
Zombies creep me out. I like to think my survival instincts would be pretty good, especially if it came down to the safety of my children. However, I think the person who would be instrumental in keeping my family alive in a zombie apocalypse would be my husband. He thinks really well on his feet. He’s innovative, and I think he could kick some serious zombie butt. I’d more than likely be there to reload for him and crack horrible jokes in hopes of breaking the tension.
My husband is the big planner. It's how we will survive. What television sitcom is most like your family? Why?
We’re probably most like “Everybody Loves Raymond” with most of the strife coming from external sources. Like Deborah, I’m a stay-at-home mom and I’m not sure how great I am at cooking (though I do enjoy it). However, there might be a little bit of “I Love Lucy” mixed in with some dry Chandler wit from “Friends,” which is quoted often at home.
All my favorite shows! What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?
Reading might sound like an obvious answer, but when you have two young children and you work from home, there’s not always enough hours in the day to get everything done, much less to do the things you’d rather be doing other than sorting clothes and picking toys up off the floor. Reading is my bliss. I only get to do it in snatched bits here and there, but if I’m stressed, nothing brings me back down to earth like a cup of hot ginger peach tea and a good book.
Let’s find out a little bit about you as an author. Did you always want to be an author?
I’ve wanted to be a storyteller since I found out I had this hidden pocket of detailed stories in my head in the third grade. I’ve always been pretty internal so writing came naturally to me through everything. It’s become my passion.
What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult?
As a child, I loved books by E.B. White, Roald Dahl, and The Diary of Anne Frank. As I got older, I started hoarding Nora Roberts novels. Reading her books made me want to write romance for a living. Writers like Anne Lamont, Eloisa James, Diana Gabaldon, and Paullina Simons are also must-reads.
Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?
Burt’s Bees lip balm, a hair tie, story notes (I’m a plotter), and caffeine. I burn through the night hours when I write so the caffeine keeps me coherent, the hair tie keeps me from pulling my hair out if I’m editing or up against a deadline, and I hate chapped lips. I might have some tunes cranking—big band, motown, ‘90’s alternative, or something modern and bouncy depending on my mood—so earbuds are a must.
How did you decide to write a Romance story? Do you feel passionate about that genre?
I’ve known since I was fourteen that I wanted to write romances. I’ve wanted to write for Harlequin for that long, too, so the fact that this is my third book with Harlequin’s Superromance line is pretty exciting! I write romance because it’s what I adore reading. Though romance novels are said to be too idealistic, I don’t think that’s always the case. The situations my protagonists find themselves in are often far from idealistic. Readers tend to love satisfying endings but they also want to see characters face adversity, hurdle challenges, confront their flaws, learn their strengths and at least touch the surface of humanity and discover what life means to them. The best part about writing romance is exploring how love can create compelling growth in a character and what it takes to build a relationship that can stand the test of time. Long-lasting relationships are fascinating because we live in a world where such things can seem rare or hard to find at times.
It always surprises me when long term relationships break up. What have you learned the most from being in the writing business?
I once had an interesting conversation in a doctor’s office, of all places, about prolific authors and their work. The person I was discussing this with noted that it’s obvious when an author you read often writes a book just to write it; not to enjoy it. I read quite a few writers who punch out five or more books a year and through the years I’ve found this to be true. You can tell if a writer was up against a deadline and didn’t really “feel” the work. Ever since that chat in the doctor’s office, even if I’m up against a deadline, I refuse to write unless I’m passionate about the material. If I don’t feel compelled toward a character or their response to the situation they’re in, I change it. Who wants to read something that wasn’t written with some measure of zeal? It’s like reading the headlines; you can only take so much.
Tell us about your latest release:
Can a rebel ever change his ways?
Being a single mother and successful florist is tough, especially when your next-door neighbor is the man who shattered your heart. Eight years ago, bad boy James Bracken walked away from Adrian Carlton…and their unborn child. Now he’s back. And Adrian’s desire to protect her son from the truth of his biological father isn’t enough to hide the wild blue eyes of father and son, or to keep Adrian from surrendering to the raw passion between her and James. But is he truly the changed man he claims to be? Maybe this time his rebel heart really is home to stay.
Here’s a short snippet:
"I don't want you to be alone..."
Adrian sighed. "James, I have been alone, for a really long time."
"I'm sorry," he said. "Adrian...I am so, so sorry."
When he drew her into his arms, she was helpless to stop him. She felt his lips come to rest on the top of her head. His arms wrapped around her back, closing her in, tightening.
He simply held her, for what seemed like ages.
A small eternity passed in the space of moments. Memories stirred, whispering to life, ghosts of what had been.
When his lips touched hers, it felt so natural. The simple press of his lips brought her back to life. Her heart fluttered, lifting and soaring.
She should have pushed him away. After everything, she should shove him back, make him leave. Instead, she let the moment stretch, deepen until she felt him brush up against the soul she'd buried from everything and everyone...
How did you decide on your story plot?
It’s a character-driven story so at the heart of it are these two people, James and Adrian, who I love. I always try to write strong heroines, but Adrian goes a step further. As a mother and an independent business owner, she’s fierce. I love her strength but I also love the big, hidden chord of vulnerability beneath it. I like stories of homecoming. In James’s case, nothing could have been braver than returning to Fairhope and trying to redeem himself in Adrian’s eyes.
How did you choose your characters names and location for your story?
I didn’t realize it when I chose the name, but funnily enough I think Adrian comes from the movie Rocky. My husband and son share the middle name James. Though James is a person all to himself, he and my husband have some similarities. They’re both tall, blue-eyed, dark-haired and have been known to wear a tool belt and listen to Red Hot Chili Peppers. The location, Fairhope, Alabama, is my hometown.
Do you have a favorite scene? Why?
I don’t have a favorite because I enjoyed writing so many of them, but humor is a must in all of my books and there’s a scene in which James accidentally winds up in the crosshairs of Adrian’s BB gun and the resulting sequence of events is pretty hysterical. The book packs on the emotional elements so writing lighthearted moments like this was refreshing.
Do you have a character that you identify with? Who and why?
Adrian has a little boy, and I was fortunate to write this story shortly after the birth of my son. I definitely identified with the bond that they share and how protective she is over him.
Let our readers know how they can get a hold of you…
Readers can find me on my website – www.amberleighwilliams.com! There you can sign up for my monthly newsletter and be the first to know about book news and the latest sales. Readers can contact me personally via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m also a regular on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/amberleighwilliams) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/ALeighWilliams).
Is there anything else that you want to share… feel free!!
For More Information
About the Author
Amber Leigh Williams lives on the Gulf Coast. A southern girl at heart, she lives for beach days, the smell of real books, relaxing at her family’s lakehouse, and spending time with her husband and two children. When she’s not keeping up with rambunctious little ones and two large dogs she can usually be found reading a good romance or cooking up a new dish in her kitchen. She is represented by D4EO Literary Agency.
Her latest book is the contemporary romance, His Rebel Heart.
For More Information
Do you like romantic suspense with a touch of horror? Blood in the Shadows features two novellas by Inkspell Authors, Kristy Centeno and Stephanie Keyes. Each story: Shadows and The Boy in the Trees, has love and romance but also a paranormal twist! Be sure to check out the cover and blurb...You know you'll want it!
Acclaimed author Kristy Centeno, and Bestselling author of The Star Child series, Stephanie Keyes, bring you two stories that prove love and light can overcome the pain and shadows. With secrets hidden in the night, and dangerous creatures prowling the woods, trusting the enemy can mean either life or death.
Two dark worlds...One night that will change their lives forever...Where evil lurks, only goodness can prevail.
Preorder on Kobo
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Kristy Centeno is an author of paranormal romance, young adult, new adult, horror, and contemporary romance.
She has always had a passion for books and after years of being an avid reader, she decided to transform her desire to write into a reality and thus, her first novel was born. In her journey to create memorable reads, she has delved into several genres, creating fictional characters meant to entice readers and captivate the mind.
She is currently working on finishing off the Keeper Witches series among other projects, which include sequels to several of her published works. When she’s not busy taking care of her five children or holding down the fort, she finds time to sit and do what she loves the most: writing.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/kristycenteno
Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/kristycenteno/
As a teen growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Stephanie Keyes’ family always accused her of having an “overactive imagination.” Now, she’s encouraged to keep her head in the clouds and share her world with readers.
Keyes is the author of the YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, which includes The Star Child, After Faerie, The Fallen Stars, The Star Catcher, The Last Protector, and the forthcoming A Faerie Wedding, all from Inkspell Publishing. The Star Catcher won first place in the 2014 Dante Rossetti Young Adult Novel Awards—Mythological Category. The Star Child has topped bestseller lists several times since its 2012 release.
Steph is a hopeless romantic who lives to believe that magick truly does exist. She is hard at work on a new YA and NA novel.
I love sharing new books with you, hoping that you will enjoy them as much as I do. Lucky for me, I was able to read Tail Lights before the release and it really pulled at my heart! Like the heroine, I wanted to escape my hometown for bigger things...and this story made me dream of how it might have been if I'd met back up with my first love.... but don't just take my word for it... GRAB Your Own Copy!
Bruised and battered hearts can keep beating. But can they heal?
Preston and Nick endured the breakup of all breakups when Nick accused her of cheating on him. He insisted, and she denied while the rain pounded against her driveway and thunder roared in the distance. Then they both ran—Preston to a life of Rock & Roll, and Nick to a career in the Army.
Four years later, they’re damaged and broken almost beyond repair. He’s carrying baggage from his military days, and she bears the scars of living a lifestyle she’s grown to hate.
When Preston’s label forces her to take time away from music, their paths cross in a parking lot not twenty-four hours after her hometown return, anger and sparks flying in a confusing blend. But regardless of the feelings neither has been able to shake, too many lies and secrets stand in the way of the one thing they need in order to recover.
“You think I’m trying to trap you in your past.” He reached for me once more with his free hand, and I let him cup my cheek with his still-dirty fingers. “I’m not. I don’t want to go back in time and be who we were then. I want to be me, with you, here and now. I’m fine with moving on from your past. I just want to be a part of your future.”
“I can’t separate them.” I moved my face, and his hand fell to his side. “It’ll always be in my mind, how you accused me, dumped me, and drove off. That’s not a clean break from my past. That’s inviting it to ruin the rest of my life, too.”
“That’s trying. That’s knowing what’s between us is worth pushing beyond whatever obstacle we gotta overcome to have it. You’re worth it. I understand why you can’t say the same about me, but I’m gonna keep trying to be worth it to you. Until the end, when I’m gone and buried. And even then, you’ll still have my love, whether you want it or not.”
I started to speak, whether to tell him to kiss me or beg him to keep his distance, I’d never know. His boss called from near the Silverado, reminding him he had less than five minutes to finish with the truck before the owner was due to arrive.
Despite the strained schedule, Nick took the time to hold my gaze for a few seconds more, the one word he offered dripping with affection. “Always.”
Gator Girl Extraordinaire