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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight with Amber Leigh Williams

Hello and welcome to Wednesday Spotlight! My guest today is multi-published author Amber Leigh Williams. In the spirit of Wayback, we are kicking up our heels in the parlor to discuss Amber’s sizzling hot Western Romance BLUEST HEART. So saddle up and ride in on your favorite horse, footloose and fancy free. You’re in for one hot ride!

With a backdrop of lavendar skies, the sun, a blazing ball of fire, is just rising to meet the horizon. Bluebirds cheerfully chirp from a lush canopy of pines. A slight breeze rustles, gently stirring the sweet fragrance of daisies blooming in the arbor bordering the ponderosa from column to column.

Sharon sits at the bar, donned in red silk blouse, black jeans, beige ankle boots and cowgirl hat, waiting for Amber to arrive. Oliver, looking ruggedly handsome in Western shirt, jeans and Stetson, tends the bar with a wink and a smile. With its hardwood floors, Smokey mirror showcasing whiskey, bourbon, vodka and tequila bottles, rodeo pictures and jukebox, the parlor has a rustic atmosphere.

In the distance, the stampeding of horse hooves galloping through the pine cones rise above Frank Sinatra’s Witchcraft playing on the jukebox. A minute later, the doorbell rings. Oliver, plucking up a bouquet of daisies, swaggers off to answer, snake skin boots clicking on hardwood. He escorts Amber in through the swinging doors, looking hot to trot in her midnight blue blouse, jeans and matching hat. Sharon greets her with a resounding Yee haaa!
Sharon: Howdy, Amber. Belly up to the bar and take a load off. How the heck are you, girlfriend?

Amber: I’m doing just fine, Sharon! Look where we are! Who wouldn’t be able to take a load off in this environment….

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Oliver sets a perfectly chilled white merlot in front of Amber. Here y’all go, darlin’, and a platter of deviled eggs, just like your grandma made.

Amber: *blushes* Aw, you sure know how to make a girl happy, Oliver, honey!

Sharon taps her long ruby fingernail on the glossy mahogany bar. I’m rather parched, Oliver. I could go for a bit of what Amber’s drinking to wet my whistle.

Oliver, gazing into Amber’s eyes, places the bottle and a glass on the counter. Arching an eyebrow, Sharon pours her own. So, Amber, let’s dish about Bluest Heart. Give me the skinny, girl.

Amber: Bluest Heart is the second book in my Wayback trilogy, the Ridges of Wayback, Texas. He’s the second Ridge brother and the most…well, steady of the brood, lol. (His brother and sister are a bit infamous for their public antics.) Despite the fact that he’s just a good downhome cowboy, he happens to be in love with the so-called “bad girl” of Wayback, Josie Brusky. On the surface, it seems as if Josie wants nothing to do with him – but, as it turns out, she’s been trying and failing to resist his charms for a long time. Readers really get to see him turn on the charm, and let me just say the good boy has never been so sexy!

Sharon: Tell us about the Wayback series, the setting, the guidelines, the overall feel of what readers expect.

Amber: The Wayback, TX series was crafted originally by the editors of The Wild Rose Press’s western romance editors. They created the bones of this small rodeo town in West Texas and put out a call for authors to write stories against that backdrop. I came in a little late, but I loved the setting and characters so much I had to come back to Wayback and write two more books, rounding the Ridges of Wayback, TX into a trilogy and some of my favorite books to date J

When readers come to Wayback, whether with the Ridges or any of the other awesome Wayback stories, they expect a bit of fun, I think, along with a spunky heroine and, of course, those irresistible cowboys! They also expect a strong level of romance and, in a lot of cases, heat. A good deal of Wayback stories are hot and spicy ;)

Sharon: Your hero and heroine, Casey and Josie, despite their obvious feelings, couldn’t make it work the first time around. What obstacles do they have to overcome the second time around?

Amber: As always, it’s Josie’s past and the negative perception of everyone else in Wayback toward her that are the main obstacles. Her father was a real villain and a lot of people think more than a few of his traits have rubbed off on her despite the fact that she’s a successful businesswoman. Casey learned to look past the gossip a long ago. It’s Josie, though, who doesn’t want to sully him with her family’s reputation. There’s also the complication of Casey’s sister, Stella, who has some harsh feelings for Josie. That might lead to one of those public antics I mentioned above….

Sharon: Bluest Heart is available on audio. Fabulous, my kind of format. What makes a book a candidate for that particular format, and where is it available as an audio read?

Amber: The Wild Rose Press chose Bluest Heart as well as the two other books in the Ridges of Wayback, TX trilogy to be published in audio through AudioLark. I’m not sure how it was chosen. Bluest Heart, though, is the bestselling book in the Ridges of Wayback, TX trilogy and all three of the books have been very well-reviewed.

AudioLark designed new covers for each of the Ridge books! To see them and purchase Blackest Heart, Bluest Heart, or Bet it on my Heart in audio, visit AudioLark here:

Sharon: Do you incorporate any of your own personality traits into Josie’s character, and if so, do share.

Amber: Oh boy, I wish I was more like Josie. She came out of a horrible upbringing a strong and resilient woman, despite the fact that others in Wayback don’t take the time to notice that fact. The only thing Josie and I have in common is that we’re both short on fuses, which of course always makes things interesting, lol

Sharon: What about Casey. Tell us about him, his best, his worst, what makes him irresistible to women?

Amber: What doesn’t make Casey irresistible? That would take less time to explain. No character is perfect, but Casey Ridge is a fine member of the male species, both in looks and heart. The thing I love most about him is that when he knows what he wants, he goes after it – no questions, no hesitation. In this book, that thing he wants most happens to be Josie ;)

Casey’s biggest flaw is that same single-mindedness, however, because it can get him, and his heart, into a great deal of trouble.

Oliver winks at Amber. In his husky voice, sings the lyrics of Witchcraft as he plucks her off the bar stool. May I have this dance, darlin’?

Amber: Hahaha, well… Oliver, honey, I’d be honored!

After the Dancing With the Stars couple  take a sweeping bow, Oliver refills Amber’s wine glass, sloshes some into Sharon’s as an after thought. Casting Amber a wildly wicked wink, produces a hot off the press copy of BLUEST HEART. Might I have your autograph, sweet darlin’?

Amber: You are just too much…and yes, of course, you may!

Sharon: What’s next for Amber Leigh Williams?

Amber: I’m pleased to say that my agent is now circulating my new contemporary romance. It takes place in my hometown on the Gulf Coast. I’m more attached to this story than the Ridges. And that’s saying a lot because I LOVE those Ridges of Wayback, TX!

Sharon: Congratulations! As you probably know, collecting legends and superstitions is a passion of mine. Do you have one for me?

Amber: Oh, I have plenty. Mostly involving the number thirteen. It’s ridiculous, but since I was a little girl, when I read to chapter thirteen in a book I have to rush through it because some crazy part of my brain thinks something will horrible to happen to me or my loved ones if I linger. Silly, right? Also a few years ago I had to go to the emergency room on Friday the 13th so that day always comes with a great deal of trepidation. I get my superstitions honestly, however, so that’s something….

Sharon: I feel the same way about that number, see I can’t even say it. LOL Sadly, Amber, this brings us to the end of our interview. Thank you for a delightful time, what fun it’s been dishing with you! Before Oliver serves dessert, do tell where readers can buy BLUEST HEART and where they can find you.

Amber: Readers, BLUEST HEART is now available in ebook from The Wild Rose Press:

Readers, you can also visit my website for bonus material from the Ridges of Wayback, TX trilogy:!

Oliver appears with a decadent strawberry shortcake brimming with whipped cream and huge succulent berries. With great ceremony, slices a huge piece and feeds to Amber, gazing into her eyes the whole time.

Amber: *simpers* I think I’ll stay here awhile…. Thank you so much, Sharon, for the lovely interview! And, Oliver, bring on those strawberries, honey ;)

Sharon: We’ll leave readers with a teaser from BLUEST HEART. So long, and thanks for saddlin’ up!

The Wayback bachelor is a dying breed, but that doesn't stop Casey Ridge from wanting to settle down. For this cowboy anyone but Josie Brusky would be an easy wrangle. Unfortunately for him, the Blue Bug singer and owner of Josie's Treasures doesn't believe in commitment much less marriage.

Years ago, Josie lost her heart to Casey's charm and dimpled smile. Since then she has done everything she knows to forget him. After all, she’s known as the local harlot and the daughter of the town’s biggest bigot. Casey could have any girl he wanted. Why would he saddle himself with her? In the wake of a shattering past, she refuses to give up her independence.

Casey digs down deep to win her over, but does he have what it takes to win Wayback's bluest heart?

"You remember that night behind the stable?"

She let out a small, throaty laugh. "Seems like forever ago, but yeah. Your hair was a lot longer then."

"Yours, too." He could remember it curtaining their faces, the tips of silky, red curls tickling his cheeks. Tracing the line of pearly buttons from the hem of her midnight blue blouse to the open neck-line, he touched the teardrop-shaped pearl on the thin gold chain around her neck which reminded him of the moon that night. "You were my first."

She lifted her gaze to his. Tenderness warred with uncertainty in the whiskey-colored depths. "Me, too."

His heart pattered at the memory. "I always liked that about us."

She nodded, frowning. "I was crazy about you."

The tip of his thumb traced the bottom edge of her lip. "So why didn’t it last?"

She looked beyond him, remembering. "Because however much I wanted to be with you, I knew I would be leaving the first chance I got. I wasn’t go-ing to let anything or anyone stand in my way."

"You figured I would?"

"Casey, we were so young," she told him. "Who knows what you or I would’ve done?"

He paused, running a hand over her hair. "Just for the record," he murmured, lips brushing her cheek, "I would’ve let you go."

She sighed, reaching up to clutch his upper arm. The muscle under her hand and his sleeve warmed. "Why hasn’t anyone snatched you up yet?"

"Because you’re the only one I ever wanted, Josie," he told her, cupping her chin in his hand to look her in the eyes as he said it. "The only one."

BLUEST HEART © Amber Leigh Williams
Title: Bluest Heart
Author: Amber Leigh Williams
Genre: Western Romance
Length: Novella
Heat Rating: Hot
Price: $3.75 
Bio: Amber Leigh Williams is a multi-published romance author, a member of Romance Writers of America, former Secretary of the Gulf Coast Chapter of RWA, and a weekly contributor to The Roses of Prose. Her first western romance, Blackest Heart, was the 1st Place More Than Magic Novella in 2009 and her historical romance, Forever Amore, was nominated for Best Book of 2009 by Long & Short Reviews. She is represented by D4EO Literary Agency and lives on the Gulf Coast with her husband, Jacob, and their three labs. Visit her on the web at!


Sharon Donovan said...

A warm welcome for Amber Leigh Williams. Amber, come on down!

Oliver said...

Amber, love, another white merlot and more deviled eggs, just like your grandma made. Wink

Oliver said...

Ladies, ladies, coffee, tea, chocolate chip cookies, cornbread muffins, apple fritters to die for! Served with a wink and a smile, Oliver style

Hywela Lyn said...

Lyn gallops up on Harri and comes to a 'sliding stop' in a cloud of dust.

Good morning Sharon, Amber - and Oliver!

Ooh choc chip cookies and tea, thank you so much.

What a great book this sounds, Amber, I may write futuristic myself, but I do love a good Western!

P.L. Parker said...

Uh. . .Can't get my boots on. . . Oh well, great interview Amber and book sounds really good. Like Lyn, I do love a good Western!

Debra St. John said...

Hi Amber, Sharon, and Oliver,

I am ALWAYS up for anything western. Great Spotlight as usual, Sharon and Oliver. (I'm going to go for some of those chocolate chip cookies!). Amber, congrats on another great story. Loved the excerpt.

Oliver said...

Here we go then, Debra my pretty, a big platter of chocolate chips with your name on them. Enjoy!

Oliver said...

Patsy, my sweet petite, allow me to help you with your boots, some pretty snazzy red snake skins, might I be so bold to say. Wink

Oliver said...

Lovely Lyn, my love, a nice chai and heaps of chocolate chips, apples and carrot sticks and fresh water for Harry, such a good sport.

Lynne Marshall said...

First of all, Sharon, I want to live at your house! LOL

Amber - Bluest of Hearts sounds wonderful, and you've got to love those big western families, especially for book series. I think trilogies are great, each builds on the other. How exciting about being in audio books. I'm laughing, wondering if the reader gets a little hot under the collar when reading your Hot scenes? Good thing for earbuds, right? :)
Best wishes for great success.

Amber Leigh Williams said...

*wakes up from a wine-induced stupor* Oh, sorry ladies. Seem Oliver's plied me with a little too much of the white merlot. Dang, that's good stuff! No, no - no more for me, Oliver! I mean it!

Thank you all for visiting and the compliments! And thank you, Sharon, for the fantastic interview experience :)

Oliver said...

Lynne love, a nice white merlot and fresh chocolate chips. Smile

Sharon Donovan said...

Ah, Lynne, thank you so much, so glad you feel right at home. Come by any time. Yes those hot scenes on audio can get pretty steamy. LOL

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Debra, thank you so much for dropping in to chat, wayback style. Belly up and put your favorite country song on the box.

Sharon Donovan said...

Patsy, dear, cool boots, you must be ready to kick up your heels

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Lyn, dear friend, oh good show, Oliver has you well supplied with mead. So happy you brought your dancing shoes because we'll be dancing on the ceiling. Smile

Sharon Donovan said...

That's okay, Amber honey. Oliver makes a mean pot of strong coffee. Wink. We've loved having you, and who wouldn't love to read a red hot western in the Wayback series!

Mary Ricksen said...

There is nothing like a cowboy from Texas. That deep drawl is a stomach flutterer!
I strapped the hooters on today. Don't want to lose them when I gallop away with one of those hotties. I love your interviews, I feel as if I am drinking my coolatta right there with you! Cheers ladies, great blog!