Great to have you visit with me again, Amber. Hope you are well! It is always great to have another Wild Rose author on my page and the fact you're here to talk about hunky cowboys makes it even better!
Ah, the western frontier! All those wide, open spaces – and I’m not just referring to the landscape. But the story possibilities are endless! I love western romance. It all started with Nora Roberts’ Lawless and the perfect cowboy hero – Jake Redman. He hooked me from the opening line of the back cover blurb – “Half-Apache, all man…” My love for the genre bloomed from there, helped along by a few favorites.
While researching my first foray into the western romance world, I realized what an utter newbie I was while attending my first rodeo. A whole new world I never knew existed opened up before my eyes, loud, semi-crazy, and oh-so-pungent. I learned that the rodeo world, much like the ranching world, is an entire culture unto itself. I knew already that I would be aiming for contemporary and that my hero would be a bull-rider. In a way, it felt like taking a step back in time – to the rough and tumble days of Dirty Harry or Wyatt Earp. Neither sat on the back of a mean, bucking bull for eight seconds, but there was something in that arena that harkened back to those wide open possibilities of the American West.
My western trilogy, now published in ebook and audio – Blackest Heart (available now), Bluest Heart (available now), and Bet It On My Heart (audio edition coming September 28) – is based in the small western town of Wayback, Texas. Wayback was formed by the Yellow Rose imprint of The Wild Rose Press. It was a job trying to bring the unfamiliar world of rodeo to life on the page. I liked the idea of a pre-determined setting for my unraveling saga. And I had the immense pleasure of “researching” Wayback with the first stories published in the series by Rita Thedford
(Hot Night at the Blue Bug Saloon) and Judith Rochelle (Shadow of the Hawk). These talented authors not only launched the new series with a bang – they set the bar very high for every Wayback story to follow. For Bet It On My Heart in particular, I wanted to explore the magic and mystery that is the Texas landscape. In my research, I stumbled across the celestial Marfa Lights. This strange phenomenon makes a magical moment between the hero and heroine of this book even more magical!
I learned much from my time in Wayback. For one, I love ranch life almost as much as the Ridge family itself. In fact, I’m planning two more western sagas – one paranormal and another contemporary. It’s only right that I research ranching the same way I researched rodeos – by visiting a dude ranch. And you can be sure I’ll be back to give readers the skinny on that experience!
Until then, visit The Wild Rose Press (http://www.thewildrosepress.com/amber-leigh-williams-m-352.html?zenid=15b27dd3979aed4f6e9b807430fc1daa) to check out Wayback and the dysfunctional Ridge family saga in ebook edition. On September 28, Bet It On My Heart will complete the Ridge family’s audio book collection at AudioLark (http://www.audiolark.com/books/tag/amber-leigh-williams/). Thank you, Rachel, for letting me share with your readers! And…it’s only fittin’ that I add a big Yeehaw! Happy reading J
Amber Leigh Williams
“Williams has brought the romantic back to romance!” ~ Long & Short Reviews
Great post, Amber! I must admit, I am yet to read a single Western romance so guess where I'm going next?? I assume Blackest Heart is the first in your trilogy? It seems fitting that my first experience should be written by the fair hand of one of my guests! OK, Amber is waiting for your comments, people!