Saturday, October 11, 2014

Interview and tour giveaway: Heart of a Dove by Abbie Williams

Heart of a Dove
Heart of a Dove by Abbie Williams

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.

1.      --The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less
a.       A powerful story of a young woman sold into prostitution during the Civil War.
2.      --How did you get the idea for the story?
a.       I have always been fascinated by the era of the “Wild 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. J
3.      --Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
a.       Oh, definitely Malcolm Carter is the one I would MOST want to have dinner with – and here is why:

So one evening this boy blazed into my story in a lightning flash, completely unanticipated.

Initially, when I was first writing Heart of a Dove, I had created four characters who would accompany Lorie after she flees Hossiter's (the whorehouse where she is a prisoner.) I envisioned them as four grown men, former soldiers, rough around the edges, but in a sexy, appealing way. However, as I wrote, I realized that one of the men was not a man at all but instead a boy, a youth whose voice flowed so clearly in my mind that I can hear him as plain as you would someone speaking directly into your ear. He has popped into my dreams a time or two as well, with all of the forthright attitude he possesses in my book. It's enough to make you cease speculating and start fully believing in ghosts.

It turns out this boy has volumes to tell me. When we first meet him in Heart of a Dove, he is close to thirteen years old, and he has become the son I never knew I wanted. (I was the pregnant lady secretly hoping for daughters.) He is the dearest little heart I have ever written about. In my current work-in-progress, Soul of a Crow, Malcolm is twenty and shares narrating duties with Lorie. Again, he speaks so clearly "to" me that it's hard to believe he isn't actually real. J
4.      --Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
a.       There are always at least two or three stories ongoing in my mind at any one moment.  My Shore Leave Café series (7 books released and counting) will likely conclude with book 8, which has been my favorite to write so far, and I completely loved writing each and every one. They are contemporary romance, with some paranormal, and I connect each of them through the same family. Once that series is finished, I will have about a month of mourning. I am also working on the sequel to Heart of a Dove, which is called Soul of a Crow.
5.      --What book(s) is your book’s “cousin”? (Similar kind of read, set-up or style)
a.       I love books that feature true love, steamy love scenes, and lots of adventure. I have been influenced by classic western writers, contemporary western writers, and historical fiction/romance writers. I don’t want to compare my writing to anyone’s in particular – I feel like that would be too presumptuous of me!! But if you like to read fast-paced and steamy love stories, you will definitely like my books. J
6.      --What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
a.       I do! I read all the time. My favorite authors include Lucia St.Clair Robson, Cathy Cash Spellman, Larry McMurtry, Anita Shreve, Stephen King, John Jakes, Sara Donati, Diana Gabaldon, and LaVyrle Spencer. The book I keep in my (way oversized – ask me for a stick of gum, please) purse for anytime reading is Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shreve. I can open that to any part and be utterly engaged and content.

7.       --If a fairy godmother told you could be put into the world of your favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
a.       What a great question. Lonesome Dove, without a doubt. I would want to meet Augustus McCrae, just be near him for a time, and hear his advice; he is my absolute favorite character in all of contemporary literature. I want to meet the entire Hat Creek outfit, Newt Dobbs especially, and of course Newt and I would fall deeply in love and stake a claim in Montana and live there happily for the rest of our lives. We would raise horses and Gus would sit on our front porch, drinking whiskey and speaking enigmatically about the meaning of life. Lorena, Clara and I would be best friends. J  
8.      --Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?
a. I cannot write without music playing, ideally straight into my brain via earbuds. I absolutely rely on Pandora, which has introduced me to so many new and amazing musicians. My favorite singers/songwriters of all time include: the Wailin’ Jennys, the Be Good Tanyas, Gregory Alan Isakov, Crooked Still, Alison Krauss & Union Station, and Jay Ungar & Molly Mason. Incredible, incredible talent. I am humbled time and again, moved to tears by their collective abilities. I love string band and bluegrass more than any other type of music. Of all the songs that I love, “Devil’s Paintbrush Road” is my favorite. But “Ashokan Farewell” is a longtime love of mine as well.

9.      --What is one thing you would tell your 15 year old self?
a.       Oh, wow. This makes me smile. When I was about twelve, I wrote a letter to my twenty-five year old self, which got lost somewhere along the way - what I wouldn’t give to find that now! Even though twenty-five has long come and gone. J I would tell my old self to keep furiously writing stories in those old spiral-bound notebooks, because one day it really would pay off!!
10.  Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
a.       Definitely keep envisioning and pursuing your dreams! If you don’t like something, change it and try a new path. And don’t use the words “slut” and “whore” in reference to other women. When researching prostitution for my books, I studied the etymology of these words and discovered so many fascinating things that I couldn’t explain short of a book-length work. Women should not defame each other in that way – especially when both words have a long history of keeping women powerless, marginalized and unduly ashamed. 
Lightning round: this or that?
11.  Vanilla or chocolate? - chocolate
12.  Video or Board Games? – board games for sure!!
13.  Summer or Winter? – summer
14.  Edward or Jacob? – eeek – neither? How about Charlie, Bella’s dad? Can he be an option? J Team Charlie!
15.  Hockey or soccer? hockey
16.  Ebook or paper? paper all the way
17.  Salty or sweet? salty
18.  Beach or mountains? mountains
19.  Phone call or email? phone call
20.  Early bird or night owl? night owl – I don’t know if I would trust a writer who was an early bird…haha
21.  Dog or cat?  dog
22.  Messy or neat? let’s just say a free spirit who also likes order
23.  Ninjas or pirates? pirates J
Thank you! I appreciate your time! J



  1. I love this cover! A book about prostitution would be something I have never read before, and I wonder how someone would go around and deal with such a sensitive topic. That's why I would like to try this book! Oh and I am glad the author chose summer over winter! I missing the warmth of winter myself, at the moment...

  2. It was so interesting to research this era - those poor women! But they were also brave and strong and faced things I could not begin to imagine. I had a wonderful time writing about the era.

  3. Thanks! I hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.


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