Thursday, October 21, 2010

Welcome Friday Friend Amber Leigh Williams

Today, I welcome fellow Wild Rose and Wayback Series author Amber Leigh Williams. She is going to take care of my cyber home this weekend while I'm at the New Jersey conference. Yeah, Amber!

It’s October! Superstitions abound! Recently my sister informed me that Friday the 13th doesn’t mean anything sinister unless it takes place in October. I’m not sure if I agree, but October does seem to amp up my superstitious nature. I’m definitely looking out for those shifting shadows and strange happenstances. Growing up, I watched my grandmother draw an X on the windshield whenever a black cat crossed the road in front of her vehicle. We also had a family ghost named Myrtle. If you think I’m kidding, you should’ve been there when we heard frantic footsteps pacing across the attic floorboards late at night and when our refrigerator’s ice dispenser randomly spit out chunks—timed in such a way that passersby would get pelted. We were convinced Myrtle had a benevolent sense of humor. She never scared the bejesus out of anyone except the dog and a couple of new boyfriends. In fact, Myrtle was the boyfriend initiation rite. If the dude could handle a Myrtle encounter, we knew we had a winner! (Yes, my DH was one such contender…and, ah, the memories!) I wonder if to this day any old boyfriends think of us and shudder ;)

Last month, my western romance trilogy went from ebook publication to an audio book collection. In the final book, Bet It On My Heart, I was thrilled when the opportunity to throw in a powerful and poignant superstition scene presented itself. Years ago, in an earth science book I read about the ghost lights of Marfa, Texas.
For those of you unfamiliar with this phenomenon, for over a century outside this Texan town people have been seeing mysterious, allegedly paranormal lights. Scientists at first tried to distinguish them as a reaction to rocks underneath the soil but after some daytime digging no such rocks could be found. Then they attributed the lights to headlight reflections from a nearby route. Watching the lights, however, it’s clear that these aren’t headlight reflections and the reported sightings date back before cars were invented. The lights are so popular, Marfa built a viewing platform on the bluff overlooking the site and the TV series Unsolved Mysteries filmed a segment there.

So intrigued was I by the Marfa lights, I kept a photocopy of the book’s article in my writing notes. With Bet It On My Heart, the chips fell in all the right places. The book takes place in the fictional small town of Wayback in west Texas. The cowboy hero, Keefe, drives his heroine, Calli, out into the quiet countryside for some special alone time. What they see and experience there creates one of my favorite moments of the book. You can purchase Bet It On My Heart, and its award-winning prequels (Blackest Heart and Bluest Heart) in ebook at The Wild Rose Press ( or in audio at AudioLark today (!

So readers, I’d love to hear your favorite paranormal phenomena—real life or fictional! Writers, has your own experience ever crossed over into your work? A special thanks, too, to Autumn for letting me share today!


  1. You're welcome, Amber. Anytime. Please tell us more about the audio books. Did you submit and if so to where? If not, why do you think your books were chosen? And, please share a blurb and excerpt of Bet on My Heart.

  2. I enjoyed your blog, Amber. Those Marfa lights sound fascinating. I've seen the 'northern lights' a couple of times, but by the time they 'hit' the UK they are somewhat diluted :-)

  3. Wowwww. How kewl is that, about the lights and the audio book and all. Loved your post and hearing about Myrtle. Your book sounds super too.

  4. Saw the show about Marfa. How cool is this?
    Good luck with your stories.
    (I'm glad I don't have a house ghost.)

  5. Best of luck with your stories. I;m going to have to check into the stuff about Marfa. Just the thing for Halloween.

  6. I've seen the Marfa lights many times while living in Alpine and Fort Stockton. They're fascinating and I so wish they could figure out what causes them. Cool about Myrtle and your grandmother. Good luck with your book. It sounds like my kind of story.

  7. @Autumn - The audio books were actually chosen by The Wild Rose Press for that format. I don't how they were chosen, only that I'm extremely grateful to the editors for deciding all three could be published in audible format. They're available at along with Judith Rochelle's Wayback story, Shadow of the Hawk!

    @Sherry, I've always wanted to see the Northern Lights and had no idea you could see them in the UK! How cool!

    @Beth, thanks so much and thank you for stopping by!

    @Irene, thank you - and the house ghost wasn't so bad. I'm glad she never showed herself in physical form. That would've freaked me out more than the ice chunks, lol

    @PL, there are a couple of videos on YouTube about the Marfa lights. It's neat to see them live.

    @Linda, I wish they could figure out what they are, too. I think the reason they haven't is because they keep focusing on the scientific and not enough on the paranormal. Thank you!

  8. Myrtle sounds a bit like the resident ghostly couple haunting an antique picture frame in my house. We'd covered up their old photograph with another picture and placed the ancient couple facing the wall when we hung our lovely new frame on the dining room wall. The next morning, picture had crashed to the floor and the old couple's photo had slid out from behind the other picture. This happened three days in a row. We finally faced the couple "out" - behind our chosen picture so they'd be looking out at the room from behind the photograph we preferred. The frame has stayed in place ever since. *smile*

  9. @Maeve, spooky! Still, all they wanted was to see everyone's day to day progress. They're probably discussing it all together as well. Kidn of cute once you think about it :)

  10. Several years ago, some freak condition allowed the Northern Lights to be seen in North Central Texas. My dh and I stood in our front yard and watched them. Not as vibrant as from, say, Alaska. We loved the experience, though.

  11. Hey Amber,
    Loved the post! I didn't know about those lights, and I'm glad you posted about it, and wrote about them. I will now be looking them up and reading about them. LOL

    Caroline, I remember that--I'm in Oklahoma City, and I was waiting to pick up my daughter from acting classes out on the far edge of OK City, and I remember seeing those swirls and flashes of the Northern Lights. That was just amazing to me!


  12. @Caroline and @Cheryl, so neat and weird that you could see the Northern Lights that far south!