Today’s spotlight is on a very dear friend, both in real life and in the publishing world. Please allow me to introduce to you Abbie Williams, author of Central Avenue Publishing’s very popular Shore Leave Cafe and Heart of a Dove series. Abbie will be hosting the Facebook “The Final Countdown Author Takeover Party” on January 18th, in anticipation of the release of my novel, The Edge of Nowhere, the following day. Abbie will be hosting from 5:00 to 5:30 PM CENTRAL TIME ZONE.
First I’d like to tell you a little about how Abbie and I met. Like myself, Abbie is a Minnesota author. Late in 2014, I was assigned by Rochester Women magazine to cover a story on Abbie’s new release, Heart of a Dove. We met for coffee at a local coffee shop and we just seemed to click. What should’ve been a quick 30-minute interview lasted nearly two hours, and I walked away with a new friend. More that that, I walked away with the idea for The Edge of Nowhere. You see, it was during this conversation with Abbie that the wheels in my brain started turning. I had asked Abbie about her book and where she got the idea to feature a former prostitute as her main character. It was a unique premise and I was curious. Her answer was that she got the idea in her head and couldn’t stop asking the questions, “What would you do in that situation? How would you live? What choices might you make?” I left that conversation and wrote my article on Abbie, but then kept asking myself the same questions as they related to my grandmother’s story (which we had discussed briefly in that meeting).
After that, I couldn’t get those questions out of my head. The more I thought about my grandmother’s life, the more I kept repeating those questions over and over, until I finally sat down to write the first words. And now we’re here today, in no small part a result of that afternoon’s conversation.
Since then, Abbie has remained a tried-and-true friend. She’s supported me every step of this process, and encouraged me when I was feeling down. Besides my own family, she’s been one of my biggest champions. And besides all that, she’s also a kick-butt writer!
So that’s the Abbie that I know. Now let me tell you about Abbie the Author.
From her Author Bio:
Abbie Williams is a natural-born storyteller. Blame it on her Irish roots, rowdy imagination, or her love of American frontier folklore and steamy romance, but telling stories is her thing. She lives in the wilds of Minnesota, where she spends her time writing, researching, teaching, and taking care of her busy family of five. When not curled over her keyboard, you can find her listening to bluegrass music, lounging near one of the 10,000 lakes in her home state, and simply enjoying nature in all its gorgeous, colorful seasons, a place where she never fails to find inspiration.
Abbie’s novel, Heard of a Dove, is the first in a series of books about a young woman in the post-Civil War era who is rescued from a life of prostitution. She’s gently-bred, but is sold to prostitution by the people entrusted with her care when she’s orphaned at the end of the Civil War. I was truly fascinated at the idea of a prostitute serving as the main character in a book that, at it’s heart, is a love story so I was thrilled to hear from Abbie where she came up with the idea. This is what she said:
I have always been fascinated by the era of the American West, both the mythology and the actual history. I am most especially intrigued by the women involved. I believe they were brave, strong, courageous and capable in ways we cannot even imagine. What they suffered through, and how they are often subsequently viliﬁed or reviled, makes my soul ache. I want to learn everything I can about this era, these women, and their lives, and give them a voice. It’s a small thing, but it is something tangible that I can do as a writer.
Heart of a Dove is a wonderful read, and I’d recommend it to any of my friends. It’s so good, in fact, that it won the 2015 Independent Publishers Awards, Gold Medal. I’m so proud of Abbie! For today, let me share with you the beautiful cover and synopsis:
The Civil War has ended, leaving the country with a gaping wound. Lorie Blake, a southern orphan sold into prostitution at fifteen, has carefully guarded her aching soul from the disgrace forced upon her every evening. Two years have passed, leaving her with little hope of anything more. Meanwhile, three men – longtime friends – and a young boy with a heart of gold are traveling northward, planning to rebuild their lives in the north and leave behind the horrors of their time as soldiers in the Confederate Army. Fate, however, has plans of its own, causing their lives to collide in a river town whorehouse. Forced to flee, Lorie escapes and joins them on the journey north. But danger stalks them all in the form of a vindictive whorehouse madam and an ex-Union soldier, insane and bent on exacting revenge. At last, Lorie must come to terms with her past and devastating secrets that she cannot yet bear to reveal. Heart of a Dove is the first book in a gripping, sweeping romantic saga of pain, unbearable choices, loss and true love set against the backdrop of a scarred, post-Civil War America.
For THE FINAL COUNTDOWN AUTHOR TAKEOVER PARTY on January 18th, Abbie will be giving away a paperback copy of Heart of a Dove to one lucky winner. To win, you’ll have to pop in between 5:00 and 5:30 PM (CENTRAL TIME) to see what Abbie has in mind for selecting her winners!
In the meantime, check out the beautiful cover of Soul of a Crow — the next in the Lorie Blake series by Abbie Williams. I seriously can’t wait for this book to come out!