The thing I love about doing these interviews is finding out interesting little tidbits about the authors. I didn't know Amber Leigh was from Fairhope - heck that's about a 30 minute drive from me - right across Mobile Bay! Well here's Amber Leigh make her feel welcome!
1. Tell us about your recent release.
A Summer’s Hope is the story of Briar, the innkeeper, who is losing her mother’s B&B thanks to a run of bad luck. She holds out hope that summer will bring answers. It comes in the least likely package when haunted, divorced Cole rides in on his motorcycle to book the bay suite. He falls in love with the view and the innkeeper. Though she’s never dared offer more than breakfast in bed to any guest, she can’t resist breaking all the rules with Cole. In his arms, she finds solace in her crumbling world and they embark on a passion as hot as the southern sun and as unstoppable as the bay tide. But can it be enough to rescue Cole from his past or give Briar the strength to forge on alone?
2. What gave you the idea for your recent release?
I grew up in Fairhope, Alabama where A Summer’s Hope takes place. It’s a beautiful small town on the picturesque Eastern Shore of the Mobile Bay. Although I moved twenty minutes away, I desperately needed to share this inspirational place with the world. So many of the places described in the text really do exist. Basically, it’s everything I love about Fairhope combined with the dreams of love I once conjured there. A Summer’s Hope was released, coincidentally, on my third wedding anniversary. This is the closest story I’ve written to my own love story so it made the launch all the more special!
3. How much time does it take you to finish a book?
A maximum of three months. I draw the line after that because there are just too many stories floating around in my head to spend anymore time than necessary on one manuscript. If a story really drives me to completion, it should only take two months to write it plus a few more weeks on the editing process.
4. What is your favorite part of being a writer?
Getting the fan letter. One reader admitted she never liked the western romance genre but my western novella Blackest Heart went a long way toward converting her. Knowing I could do something like that for someone fuels me to write even more.
5. What is your least favorite part of being a writer?
The promotion, of course. It takes valuable time away from writing but it has to be done. Just because you’ve published a story doesn’t mean you’re finished. My debut novel Fox & Hound was published in February 2008. I’m still pushing it out there, posting excerpts and plugging the story wherever I can. So long as the story is available, a smart writer never stops pushing his/her story further out into the world!
6. What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on my second paranormal in a five-part series. It’s about a shape-shifter and a psychic. It’s a lot of fun!
7. All writers started out as readers – who’re your favorite authors?
Nora Roberts turned me onto the romance genre and I read her for years and years. Then I branched out and fell in love with J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I’ve read all of Larissa Ione’s Demonica titles. I also love Sandra Brown’s old romances. Breakfast in Bed is one of my favorites – a short, sweet, rainy day read. I read the J.D. Robb In Death series religiously. Betina Krahn is absolutely amazing just as Kathleen E. Woodiwiss is always a classic choice. As you can see, I’m not picky at all! I’ll read anybody as long as the story appeals to me and there’s some good lovin’ to be found in the pages ;)
8. What are your goals as a writer?
Just to never fall out of love with what I do. It’s a job, but I still put my heart into it everyday. I’d really love to write romance for the rest of my life and I hope by the end of it my heart’s as deeply entrenched in the genre as it is now!
“These are for you.”
“Thank you,” she whispered, taking them. Her heart tugged and her lips curved as she stared down into their wide, bright faces. “They’re my favorite.”
He smiled. “I was hoping. They made me think of you.”
Awed, she lowered her nose to sniff the blooms. “You got them from Adrian?”
He shrugged. “Only the best.”
She nodded in agreement. “I’ll just set them here.” She put them on a bench in the shade of the magnolia tree, and then faced him awkwardly.
“Are you ready?”
“When you are.”
He held up the helmet. “I have to take precautions. I don’t want anything to happen to your pretty face although it’s a shame to cover it up.”
Her insides turned to dough and her heart pattered giddily as he slipped the helmet over her head. She lifted her chin when he motioned for her to do so.
It took him several seconds to secure the strap. “Feel okay?” he asked when he was done, lifting the visor so she could hear him.
She nodded, feeling nerves jump into her stomach again. “Um, Cole? There’s something you need to know.”
He chuckled as he went back to his bike. “I know.”
She stiffened. “You do?”
He nodded, grinning at her as he strapped on his own helmet. He lifted the visor to speak. “You’ve never ridden a bike before.”
“Is it that obvious?” she asked, rubbing her damp palms on her thighs.
He shrugged, tying the strap under his chin. “Just a little. It’s okay.” He took her hand and pulled her close. She could smell fresh aftershave and the underlying spice of motor oil. It was downright seductive. “Just lean with me into the turns and hold onto me real tight.”
Her knees quaked. “I’m a little nervous.”
He put a hand on her shoulder. “You’ll do fine.” He threw a leg over the seat to straddle it. He gunned the engine and the machine roared to life, stunning her with its raw, wild power. As exhaust smoke tickled her nostrils, she didn’t know if she was really going to be able to go through with this.
He motioned for her to get on.
Now or never. She took a steadying breath, putdown her visor and stepped forward. Gripping his offered hand for balance, she crawled on behind him and put her feet on the passenger pegs. She hesitantly put her hands on his waist and clutched his shirt as he backed out from under the magnolia.
He looked both ways down Scenic 98 then turned to look at her. “You ready?” he shouted.
She nodded and gave him the thumbs-up.
She saw his quick grin before he hit the accelerator. The force of it sent her back. Her heart pounded with terror as she grabbed him around the waist tight to keep from flying off the open seat.
A Summer’s Hope – Available Now: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/a-summers-hope-p-1255.html