Friday, July 3, 2015

Summer Vacation Recap + HIS REBEL HEART....

Amber Leigh Williams

Exciting news! My latest Superromance novel, His Rebel Heart, is on sale now! (Visit my Facebook page today to learn more about this month's exciting giveaway in honor of James and Adrian's story....)

Can a rebel ever change his ways?Being a single mother and successful florist is tough, especially when your new next-door neighbor is the man who shattered your heart. Eight years ago, bad boy James Bracken walked away from Adrian Carlton…and their unborn child. Now he's back. And Adrian's desire to protect her son from the truth of his biological father isn't enough to hide the wild blue eyes of father and son, or to keep Adrian from surrendering to the raw passion between her and James. But is he truly the changed man he claims to be? Maybe this time his rebel heart really is home to stay.

Buy it this month for just $3.99 at any of the following online retailers….

Every summer, the family stuffs an entire household of items into the back of our 4x4 and heads north for an amazing, four-day lake vacation. Since the mid-1980’s, my grandmother has owned a lake house on Alabama’s Lake Martin. We call it “Sunnyside.” Sunnyside rests on the banks of a quiet slough, a good boat putt away from the marinas and other public areas surrounding Lake Martin.  
Summer of '87

Lake Martin is close to our college football mecca, Auburn University, so in the fall my parents would drive my sister and me to the lake to stay with my grandmother while they attended an SEC game. Even more than splashing in the lake in spring and summer, I remember climbing down the ladder to the lake bottom and walking twenty to thirty feet out to the shrunken waterline where we would skip rocks. The lake dam drains the water in the fall and winter. In January, my son experienced walking the shrunken shoreline for the first time. Watching him roam the lake bottom in his muddin’ boots and chunk rocks made me more than a little nostalgic….

Winter 2015 - Big, tough toddler guy skipping (...or, er, slinging) rocks
Nothing beats those long, summer trips, though. In summers, there’s homemade lemon sorbet….

Summer 2013 - Creating a lemon sorbet monster... 
In summers, there’s boating. I learned to ski behind my grandfather’s boat on the lake when I was 14. And there’s nothing in this world more relaxing than a boat ride, particularly at sunset.

Summer 2004 - The hub and me...the early years!
Summer 2015 - Eleven years later, the hub and his mini-me on the boat
Though this year, we took time out for our annual family water-sports-a-palooza….

Summer 2015 - Not bad for a month and a half post-partum, huh?

Summer 2015 - The hub wakeboarding...just before he busted, LOL

In the end, nothing gets babies to sleep faster than my daddy’s boat.
Summer 2013 - Little guy sleeping on the boat
I'll admit I’m one of them….

Summer 2015 - Babycakes and me snoozing on the boat

When general water merriment and relaxation get to be too much (hahaha), there’s always Kowliga’s Marina and Restaurant. Anybody remember that Hank Williams tune? Turns out that ol’ wooden Indian really does exist....

Summer 2013 - Little guy and his "Dubya" with Kawliga the Indian
A little further past the dam and over the open channel, there’s Chimney Rock. Personally, I’ve never jumped off The Rock. Craggy, giant rock-face, heights…neither are my cup of tea. However, that doesn’t stop the hub from climbing 50-some-odd feet to the top and launching himself off into the water far below. Oy.

Summer 2013 - The hub jumping off the rock...while I scream in terror.
And, yeah, I won't even talk about the year the hub found the secret rope swing....

Summer 2013  - Flight of the daredevil

There’s something healing about lake waters, especially on lazy summer afternoons when the hot sun starts to sink behind the tree line, offering us shade and repose. My father and the hub fire up the grill. The boat traffic dies down so the waters are calm. The view from the sun porch or the Adirondack chairs along the seawall is spectacular. Even the air is different—softer, sweeter. When I was little in still moments like these, my grandmother would tell me to breathe the lake air down deep, deep, deep to the bottom of my lungs so I could take it home with me. I still do this. More, I get to tell my own children to do so. When the time comes for the drive home, we’re all a bit more at peace with the world. Maybe it’s the magic in the air or those rejuvenating, fresh waters. I’ve heard people talk about the air in Tuscany and the light in Ireland much the same way I feel about Sunnyside and Lake Martin. Living on the Gulf Coast close to white-sand beaches and the beauty of the Eastern Shore is a blessing I don’t take for granted. But whenever I feel a little world-weary, my mind and heart drifts back to Sunnyside and the beauty of lake days.

Summer 2015 - Until next time....
And now, as a release week treat, here's an excerpt from His Rebel Heart. Enjoy!

"I don't want you to be alone..." 


Adrian sighed. "James, I have been alone, for a really long time." 

"I'm sorry," he said. "Adrian...I am so, so sorry." 
When he drew her into his arms, she was helpless to stop him. She felt his lips come to rest on the top of her head. His arms wrapped around her back, closing her in, tightening. 
He simply held her, for what seemed like ages. 
A small eternity passed in the space of moments. Memories stirred, whispering to life, ghosts of what had been.  
When his lips touched hers, it felt so natural. The simple press of his lips brought her back to life. Her heart fluttered, lifting and soaring.
She should have pushed him away. After everything, she should shove him back, make him leave. Instead, she let the moment stretch, deepen until she felt him brush up against the soul she'd buried from everything and everyone...

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