January 1, 2011

Greetings from Amber Leigh Williams and Alabama!

Happy New Year from the Gulf Coast of Alabama! I’m a multi-published romance author, a member of Romance Writers of America, and former Secretary of Gulf Coast Romance Writers of America. My historical romance, FOREVER AMORE, was a LASR Best Book of 2009 Nominee and my first western romance, BLACKEST HEART, was the 1st Place Novella in the 2009 More Than Magic Contest. My western romance trilogy, the Ridges of Wayback, Texas, was chosen to be published as an audio book collection by AudioLark http://www.audiolark.com/  I’m represented by D4EO Literary Agency and live a mere ten miles from the Gulf with my husband and three labs. Yes, I was born and raised here in Alabama. My father was the same. My mother was born in Kentucky but has lived in Alabama all of her life. I married a man who was born and raised a mere 30 miles away in the same state, and we live within thirty miles of our respective families. “It’s a small world” is especially true for Alabamians, it seems.
Finding inspiration in Alabama has never been difficult. Not when my family spent weekends on the white shores of coastline and a few days out of every hurricane season barricaded in our houses listening to the wind and hail beat against the outer walls. Not when you practically live on the banks of a the picturesque eastern shore of Mobile Bay. Downtown Fairhope, AL, however, is a sight to see for anyone who loves small town America. The buildings are modeled after New Orleans architecture: wrought iron balconies and vibrant- and pastel-painted facades. Seafood restaurants can be found on every street, and on every corner flowers grow in cheerful profusion, no matter the season. Fairhopians are famous for their hospitality. The most remarkable thing about our town, though, is the Fairhope Pier. This enduring landmark reaches far out into the Mobile Bay. On clear days, the city of Mobile is visible. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset. And on the evening of July 4th every year, it’s the site of a spectacular fireworks show. Any other day of the year, visitors can comb beaches just thirty miles south for sun or shells and visit Fort Morgan, which took part in The Battle of Mobile Bay.
When people think about the state of Alabama, most tend to visualize deep-fried food and heated college football rivalries. This is indeed a part of our culture, as you’ll find in any other state of the deep South. However, when I was young and my family moved away from Alabama all I dreamed of was the white sands of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and the quaint, antebellum beauty of Fairhope.
Readers, today I’m offering a giveaway! Comment to this post and tell me what Alabama means to you. I’ll randomly draw a name and that person will win a copy of western romance and award-winning novella, BLACKEST HEART, in audio!

6 comments:

Fran Orenstein said...

Thank you, Amber for your lovely description of the Gulf Coast of Alabama. I've only seen the northern part of your state, and only from viewpoint of driving along Interstate 20. Thank you Annette for posting this great blog forum. Fran Orenstein

Kathleen said...

Hey Amber, I enjoyed your post today. I have fond memories of Alabama myself. It has to do with two places along the coast, Gulf Shores State Park and Foley, Alabama. We spent one of our first camping trips in your state and the first time pulling a rented trailor with our camping gear. We blew a tire in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. We found a nearby house that allowed us to use their phone. (This was pre-cell phone era.) The gracious people, even with a sick family member, offered us something cool to drink and use of their facilities if needed. I'll never forget their kindness.

Our second trip to Alabama was to the wonderful state park. God created a little bit of heaven there and I cried when I heard how bad the beach had been torn up during one of the hurricanes some years later.

You have a beautiful state with beautiful people.

Judy said...

I was born in Mississippi and have lived in Louisiana for over 30 years. I have been to Alabama many times, have lots of relatives that live close to Birmingham. It is a beautiful state to visit and most people I know who live there, Love it!!!

Celia Yeary said...

HI, AMBER--I'm glad I popped in on LASR and caught Annette's first 50 states blog--and it was you! I didn't get in--dragged my feet or something. So someone else will represent Texas.
I enjoyed reading about Alabama (I do know about your books, too) and have been to some of the places, such as Gulf Shores. Thanks for the great descriptions. Celia

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Thank you so much for the warm welcome, Annette!

Fran - I love northern Alabama! My family has a lakehouse there we visit at least twice a year. The quiet and natural beauty makes for a great writing environment!

Kathleen - what a coincidence - my husband and I bought our first house in Foley! It's only minutes from Fairhope, close to my family. My favorite thing about it besides the people is the close proximity to Gulf Shores and the beaches! Only 15 minutes! My husband also volunteered for oil clean-up. Because of people like him, our beaches are looking lovely again, thank goodness! Here's hoping the wildlife recovers just as quickly...

Judy - I love both Mississippi and Louisiana! Such rich histories! Hats off from one southern girl to another ;)

Celia - thank you so much for reading my post! So neat that you've visited Gulf Shores! It's one of my favorite places :)

Debby said...

For me Alabama means the movie and beautiful songs. Thanks
debby236 at att dot net