Saturday, March 12, 2022

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - LOVE IN THE KINGDOM Series by Amber Cross


THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY
Love in the Kingdom Series

Get a behind-the-scenes all-access pass to Amber Cross’s Love in the Kingdom series!


Series Synopsis:

Welcome to Somerset, where folks are rural by choice, not backwards in nature. Through my Love in the Kingdom Series, you’ll get to know this small community in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom and experience the lives and loves of the people who live there.

First you’ll meet Abby Wilson and Glen Plankey in Precedent for Passion. A lawyer and judge, Abby’s dreams of living in Somerset are second only to her dreams of meeting him again. When they attend the same wedding, sparks fly. In her case, because her fantasy man more than matches her memory. In Glen’s case, because she witnessed his hopes and dreams dying on a courtroom floor and he has no wish to revisit that day. But put two smart, stubborn, and lonely people together, and these sparks erupt into passion.

In Tender Possession, Emmeline Charbonneau shows up at Somerset Gables on the night of her father’s funeral hoping to drink away years of trauma. What she finds is Romney Wilson; a tall, dark, and handsome man who plies her with gullywash until she unloads all her ugly secrets. The next morning, Emmeline has a hangover and Romney is in love. He convinces her to take a short-term job as his grandmother’s nurse and companion and, though wary, she follows him to the Bahamas. Soon the endless sun and Romney’s irrepressible good nature will warm her tender heart.

David Wang is the glue that connects his stepsister Abby and half-brother Romney. Reliable and responsible, steady could be his middle name. It’s no surprise he is attracted to the opposite and finds her in Open Door to Love. But Jonnie Moulton isn’t available, so when she hits him with a crazy proposition, he turns her down. Fast forward three years. Jonnie takes a twelve-month position working for the town of Somerset. It comes with room and board, in a cabin at David’s resort. She humiliated herself in front of him. Will he let her stay? David has never met anyone so wide open with her emotions. Will she give him another chance? Sometimes all love needs is an opening.

A FULL-BODIED LOVE releases on May 4th!

BLURB:

Lisa Kirkpatrick is stubborn, but she's not stupid. If this guy needs a date to evade an unwanted admirer, who is she to object? It's not as if handsome men are lining up to ask her out. Sure, they know there's a woman in the wheelchair, but it would never occur to them that there's a WOMAN in the wheelchair. He notices. This solid, fun, straight-shooting guy ticks off every box on her ideal man list. But why do they call him Slick?

Roger Plankey thought his life was full until he walked into the town clerk's office and laid eyes on the woman behind the counter. A spunky, independent woman with a dash of humor and just enough sass to keep him on his toes. She fills that unknown void in his life like she was made for him. But is there such a thing as too perfect?




What is the sub-genre and trope?  Did your characters lead you to this genre or was that decided before the story began?

Contemporary romance


Are you more character or plot driven?

Character driven. I always have an idea of the plot and where it’s going, but sometimes the characters “tell” me things I hadn’t planned on.


With many main and secondary characters, how do you keep them separated in your mind?  Do you have a story/vision board above your workspace?

I don’t have a story or vision board, but I know my characters before I start writing. Then I search the Internet for someone who resembles them (physically) and save that image to my computer.

Coming from a large family helps, because no two people are alike even when they grow up in the same household.


I know from previous interviews that characters take on a life of their own.  Were any of the characters in this series determined to take their own direction instead of where you initially wanted them to go?

Oh, my goodness! I’ll say!

Lisa was a small character in Tender Possession but with a distinct personality. In Open Door to Love, she became Jonnie’s best friend, and that personality grew. Before I even finished that novel, she was screaming at me: “Write my book!” So, I did.


Are any of the characters based on anyone you know?

No, though there are bits about their lives that come from people I know.


Was there any one character/scene that was harder to write about than the other?

I love Emmeline but knew not everyone would.

She is aloof and defensive. She suffered a great deal of betrayal and emotional trauma in her life. I knew her well because she was in the first book (an unpublished prequel to Precedent for Passion.) Finding the right man for her was easy; Romney is exactly what she needs. Making her the right woman for him was more complicated.


What is your favorite book in the series?

A Full-Bodied Love


I know that we aren’t supposed to have “favorites” as far as our children, but seriously, who’s your favorite character and why?

This would probably be a tie between Emmeline-shy, sad, and sweet-and Lisa-bold, fun, and giving. These are my most vulnerable characters.


Series question - Who is your favorite couple and why did you decide on their dynamics?

Roger and Lisa are my favorite couple. Roger wasn’t looking for a partner. Lisa had given up on finding one. Theirs is a mature romance with real world problems and no escapism, just a solid love that will last forever.


How do you get inside these character’s heads to find their perfect HEA?

Each character needs to find something in the other that they don’t have or can’t provide for themselves. Not something that will “fix” their lives but something that will make it better than they ever expected.


What scene in this book/series sticks out the most for you?  Why?

Without writing a spoiler, the proposition scene in Open Door to Love is special to me. Jonnie’s desperation and David’s empathy are both evident in this scene and clearly show who they are.


Series - Were any of the books harder to write than others?

Open Door to Love was harder to write than the others. I was so emotionally invested in David and Jonnie that they were living in my head instead of on the page. I’m not sure if the attachment I feel for them always translated to the story. 


This question is if you write in MULTIPLE POVs not just the hero and heroine - I love the multiple POVs in a book.  It’s not just the hero and heroine, but we get inside the heads of multiple characters throughout this series.  I feel that it gives the story further depth.  Do you think you will write another book or series following this multiple POV outline? (if applicable)

I always write in two POVs (his and hers), but I’m working on another series where one of the books has more than two POVs. Sort of parallel plotlines that eventually intersect, so the only way to “show” them is to write in more than one POV.


How long did it take you to write this series?

The first book and last book were the fastest to write. All together, they took about 3-1/2 years with editing rounds.


How did you come up with the title for your book and series?

The first book, Precedent for Passion, refers to Abby being a lawyer and she and Glen meeting years before. Like a legal precedent sets a standard, Glen sets a precedent for her that no one else can match.

Tender Possession was named after Emmeline’s fragile heart and Romney’s desire to hold it safely in his possession.

Open Door to Love refers to the Open Door Policy between the West and China since David is Chinese American.

Full-bodied means to be heady, mellow, lusty, mature, potent, rich, and strong. Lisa has spina bifida and some physical restrictions. She’s almost forty years old. Roger is a widower who wasn’t expecting a second chance at love. A Full-Bodied Love seemed to fit their age and situations.

All of the books take place in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, so naming the series Love in the Kingdom seemed natural.


If you met these characters in real life would you get along?

Abby and I would definitely be friends. She’s smart, quirky, and motivated.

It would take me a while to get to know Emmeline, but then she’d be a forever friend and I’d never have to doubt her loyalty.

Jonnie and Lisa would probably scare me a little at first because they are less inhibited than me. I might wonder what was coming out of their mouth next. Then I’d realize these two are women you can always count on.

Of course, I’d love the men! Glen is smart, a true friend, and devoted father. Romney is happy and positive all the time. David is mellow and predictable, and Roger is the salt of the earth.


Series question – Did you know in advance that you were going to write this as a series or did one of the characters in book one demand their own story?

I thought I was writing book two in a series (Precedent for Passion), but it became book one. The others naturally followed because I liked Abby’s brothers so much I wanted them to find happiness. Lisa was the surprise. She demanded a story of her own!


Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect next?  Whether a new book and series or a sequel to an existing series?  Can you share a small tease?

So many balls in the air!

I just finished a short story for an anthology about paranormal defense agents. Mine is a werewolf assigned to protect an archaeologist. No problem, except the prickly woman has an issue with “personal space” and his job is to stay as close to her as possible.
 
Here is an excerpt:

Boots stopped beside the jeep. Knees appeared as the owner of those boots bent low to the ground. She remembered the crowbar and stretched to retrieve it from where it had fallen. When a hand and face appeared in her line of vision, she hit out at both with the iron rod.

It was snatched from her grasp. Fast, like a frog’s tongue captures prey. The speed shocked her into stillness.

“You can come out now.”

Uh, not a chance. She remained on the hard ground. Mute. Maybe if she didn’t move a muscle he wouldn’t attack her.

A sigh came from the man’s face, not quite visible in the shadow of her vehicle. He tossed the crowbar aside and when his hand reappeared, he held a wallet open, displaying a laminated identification card.

“Cole Grayson. I believe I’ve been assigned to be your bodyguard?”

Brynn squinted at the picture, printed name and agent number, finally allowing herself to breathe. “You’re a little late, Mister Grayson.”

“You’re welcome.”

I’m almost finished the first novel in a new series and I’m beyond excited about this one! Without giving too much away, this one takes place deep in the forest, is full of angst and altercation, powerful emotions, a tight community and strong secondary characters, and a really satisfying HEA.

I’m also working on the first in a series about three best friends, men who for one reason or another, haven’t had the greatest homelife. Rejection, abandonment, and learning disabilities will all play a part in making them who they are; strong, dependable, salt of the earth kind of guys looking for the right woman to share their lives with.

 


BIO:

Amber Cross was raised on a family farm in New England, one of a dozen siblings, each one inspiring her writing in some way.

She still lives in that same small town with her husband and the youngest of their five children.

She loves spending time in the woods, in the water, and watching people because every one of them has a unique and fascinating story to tell.


 Check out my interview with Amber Cross!


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BLURB:

Abby’s imagination hadn’t been playing tricks with her memory. Glen Plankey is still so attractive he makes her toes curl, even fifteen years after first meeting him in a court room. And that voice! Deep and authoritative, she practically melts into a puddle at the sound of it. She can’t wait to see more of him.

Glen can’t get away fast enough. Everything about Abby reminds him of a terrible day in his life, yet his brain turns to adolescent mush at her curves and his heart skips a beat every time she smiles.

Soon undeniable attraction leads to scorching passion and grows into a true love affair. But is it strong enough to survive when he thinks she has played him for a fool?

Check out my review!



BLURB:

Emmeline Charbonneau spent most of her life protecting others from her father's violent mood swings and erratic behavior. Now that he's gone she isn't so much relieved as cast adrift. She desperately needs an anchor.

Romney Wilson is his mother's second son and his father's second child. Success may take him all over the world, but he is still that youngest sibling trying to find his place in it. Quite simply, he needs to be needed.

The connection between them is immediate and strong. But can she trust this impulsive and spontaneous charmer to stick around? And will he get past her wall of self-preservation only to scare her away?



BLURB:

Jonnie Moulton's chance for a fresh start as Somerset's marketing consultant might be over before it begins unless she can convince David Wang she knows what she's doing and isn't the desperate woman he met three years ago.

This confident new Jonnie makes David's blood sizzle. He plans to keep her close and not just because she's living in one of his resort cabins.

He "gets" her like no one else. She excites him more every day. But is this simply passion, or have they found an open door to love?



Releases May 4th, 2022

BLURB:

Lisa Kirkpatrick is stubborn, but she's not stupid. If this guy needs a date to evade an unwanted admirer, who is she to object? It's not as if handsome men are lining up to ask her out. Sure, they know there's a woman in the wheelchair, but it would never occur to them that there's a WOMAN in the wheelchair. He notices. This solid, fun, straight-shooting guy ticks off every box on her ideal man list. But why do they call him Slick?

Roger Plankey thought his life was full until he walked into the town clerk's office and laid eyes on the woman behind the counter. A spunky, independent woman with a dash of humor and just enough sass to keep him on his toes. She fills that unknown void in his life like she was made for him. But is there such a thing as too perfect?


Start the LOVE IN THE KINGDOM Series!



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