Sunday, November 16, 2008

An Interview with Amber Leigh Williams and A Contest for Blackest Heart!

Please welcome Amber Leigh Williams to my blog today!

Alisha: Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood? Favorite memories?

Amber: There’s so many, I can’t pick a favorite. My sister was the comedian of the family and I just remember laughing, from the day she was born. I’m still laughing! She’s amazing! I remember hundreds of college football Saturdays and trips to Auburn, through the wins and losses and still going home a fan, no matter what. My grandmother has always had a lake house on Lake Martin. Whenever things ever got stressful, we’d go up there and just sit in the quiet for days. Lots of stories conjured lounging on the dock, listening to the tiny waves lap against the sea wall.

Alisha: I'd love to go to Grandma's. Sounds lovely. My grandparents had a lake house too. Sigh...Tell us about the hero and heroine in your latest release.

Amber: Mark and Valentina are an unlikely couple. Under normal circumstances, they probably never would’ve grown together emotionally as well as physically. All it takes is a race for their lives across the globe for all those sparks to fire and for them to depend on each other. She depends on him to protect her and guide her. He depends on her to stay alive because he’s emotionally bound to the journey from the start. Of course, coming from different backgrounds, they butt heads a ton and that’s where the sparks really start to kindle. That’s always fun to write!

Alisha: Oooh, yes, those kind of romances are always so strong! If you were granted three wishes by a genie, what would they be?

Amber: A ‘yes’ from someone in New York…but only if my story deserved it. I want to get there so badly, but I want to be good enough first and foremost. I’d wish for all computer viruses to just die. I’ve lost too much material to bugs. It’s depressing to fathom. I’d also wish for times to be better because everyone’s struggling now. It’s been a good wake-up call for the country, but enough is enough.

Alisha: You said it! I don't think I know a soul right now who is not struggling! If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?

Amber: Really tough tie between Ireland and Paris. Since I studied French in high school, I’ve wanted to simply experience Paris. From the moment I started reading Nora Roberts’ Born In trilogy, I’ve dreamed of Ireland. That’s something I have to see before I’m gone.

Alisha: Both places are on my list too. If you could see anyone tomorrow (dead or alive), who would it be?

Amber: I’ve always wanted to meet my grandfather who passed away a year before I was born. The stories about him that live on are so great. He was someone I wish I’d known, even if it was just for a little while.

Alisha: Sniff, sniff. If you could choose six people to spend one week on a desert island, who would it be and why?

Amber: I’m not much of a people person. I hardly get along with my computer, LOL I’d want my family with me and my husband. And my dogs—I’d worry too much about them if I was gone. And they’re always good for a laugh.

Alisha: What word or phrase tingles in all the right places for you?

Amber: “I love you” always does it for me when it’s out of the blue and in exactly the right place. Too early seems corny, too late seems anticlimactic. It has to be subtle, too, not overdone. When it’s hiding in exactly the right spot, the impact is so much more intense. When I feel it singing in my toes, I know it’s done well. The toes are definitely the key ;)

Alisha: I'm getting all tingly just thinking about it! Great answer! If you had one day to spoil yourself, what would you do?

Amber: I’d go to the lakehouse, sit out on the dock, read until dark, then just veg out on the couch and watch all my favorite old movies. And not feel the least bit guilty about it so it’d definitely have to be after NaNo!

Alisha: If you could change one incident in your life, what would it be and how would you change it?

Amber: There’s always something you look back on and think, “I wish I hadn’t had to go through that.” But those things really test you and make you what you are. Though there are several things I don’t care to dwell on, I wouldn’t change them because then things would be different, and I like where I am in life right now.

Alisha: What’s the sexiest thing a man has ever done for you or said to you or both?

Amber: My husband and I have a code. At our rehearsal dinner, my grandmother made a speech about the things you can’t forget to say to each other no matter how long you’re together. She counted them off on five fingers. One is ‘We’, not ‘I’. Two is ‘Thank you.’ Three is ‘I love you.’ So on and so forth. Since then, when we’re not within hearing distance, he’ll raise three fingers—even in front of his guy friends. There’s something sexy about a guy who doesn’t forget something like that and isn’t afraid to express that in front of others.

Alisha: Wow! Now THAT is sexy! What a wonderful man!

CONTEST: Leave a comment today and you'll be entered into a drawing for Amber's Wayback Story at The Wild Rose Press, Blackest Heart, which releases November 19th!
Blurb for Blackest Heart
America 's Sweetheart, Stella Ridge has been away from Wayback for fifteen years paving her way to the top of the acting business. When a car accident leaves her physically and emotionally scarred, the only place she wants to go is home to Texas and her family's ranch. The changes that have taken place since her departure are enough to rock her world again. She uncovers a buried tragedy, struggles with the penetrating stares and questions from townsfolk, and comes up against an intriguing and unexpected spark with the silent cowboy and champion bull rider, Judd Black. Their wounded souls draw them together and Stella begins to realize that only in him can she find the solace she sought by leaving the bright lights of Hollywood.

EXCERPT from Denied Origin:
“He’s gone…gone.” She chanted it like a sinner at a shrine, her eyes wide with fear. “He was there…then he was gone.”

“Drink it,” he ordered, holding her tight. He managed to pour the liquid into her mouth.

She winced as she swallowed it. There were tears pouring down her cheeks again. “They took him to get to us. He was just a ladder to me.” She ripped the envelope from her bra strap and, in a sudden burst of righteous anger, hurled it across the room. “What is it worth? People shouldn’t have to die for me!”

She collapsed into shudders against him. He held her close as she sobbed loudly into his shirt. “Don’t think of it,” he advised.

Her face lifted and she stared incredulously at him. “Don’t think about it?” she shot back. “Why don’t you tell me how to do that? Why don’t you tell me how to block it out, numb it? You must be an expert on that!”

He was silent. The anger was better than helpless shudders. He let her berate him without interruption.

“They killed a good man to get to me! It’s my fault he’s dead! It’s my fault that some poor, innocent man is lying out on the street in a million pieces! There’s no way they can justify that!”

“They’re not trying to justify anything, Valentina,” he said calmly, taking her face in his hands to keep her eyes on his. “They’re not thinking about morals or justice. They’re thinking about you and the letter. They’re thinking about eliminating you. They think they can weaken you or take you out by targeting the people you love. He didn’t die a coward. That matters. Let that be your comfort.”

Unmoved by his words, she shoved his hands away from her face and scrambled to her feet. “Who’s going to die next for me, Mark? You?” Her lips trembled threateningly and her eyes filled with hot tears at the mere thought of the idea. “If you die, too, because of me, I’ll never be able to live with myself. If somebody else dies for me, I won’t be able to keep going. Why not just let them take me? It should end here! Right here, right now!”

He got to his feet and went to her quickly. In a quick surge of anger, he pushed her against the wall with his hands on her shoulders. “Don’t say that ever again, you hear me? You’re not going to give up. You’re not going to quit. If you do, you’re quitting your family. You’re quitting what we’ve worked for together. You’re quitting me. Could you live with that, Valentina?”

Her hands came to her face as her throat heaved with dry sobs. “Why can’t it all just go away? I don’t want my life anymore. I don’t want it. I can’t live this way anymore. Take me back home, Mark. Take me right now.”

“I am taking you home!” he yelled without thinking.

She stared at him for a long moment. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

He paused, collecting himself. “You’re going to find out soon enough because you’re not quitting. The end’s not far and I won’t let you quit now. I can’t. You’re moving on even if I have to drag you every inch of the way.”

DENIED ORIGIN available now in print from The Wild Rose Press! The digital version on sale now at The Wild Rose Press in honor of Crimson Rose Month! Don’t miss out:

Amber Leigh Williams
Romance Across the Genres
Anytime! Anyplace! Anywhere!

What a nail biter! Thanks for being my guest of honor today, Amber!


Skhye said...

Fantastic interview! And doesn't everyone love a take charge kind of guy? ;) Skhye

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Thanks so much for the interview, Alisha! It was fun :)

Alisha Paige said...

Thanks for being my guest of honor today, Amber! The winner of a copy of Blackest Heart is Skhye Moncrief! Congrats, Skhye!

Happy Reading!