Cover Reveal: Hearts in Florence by @AMWillard1 #romance

Hearts in Florence Cover Reveal
A.M. Willard
Coming March 22, 2016


Raven Bloomberg finds herself stuck in Florence, Italy during a holiday weekend. One meant for lovers, not lonely art gallery assistants sharing the last hotel room with a dark and mysterious stranger.
She decides to loosen up and enjoy what the city has to offer. The only problem is; she may be enjoying herself a little too much.
Pierce Ashton’s eyes are set on Raven Bloomberg, the sexy yet reserved blonde that pushes him to limits he never expected. Will their thirst be enough to continue the love affair once back in the states?
Will these two souls go back to living life as they did before, or embrace the passion ignited in the opulent streets of Florence.
Find out now in author A.M. Willard’s contemporary romance novella, Hearts in Florence, which is best enjoyed with an Italian Merlot.

About A.M. Willard
A.M. Willard is a true believer of soul mates, and happy ever afters. She enjoys reading, sailing, and of course writing contemporary romance with some saucy scenes. Releasing her first novella of the One Night Series on April 12, 2014 has sent her on a new journey in life.
A.M.’s passion for writing started at a young age, but with the love and support from her husband of eighteen years pushed her to follow her dreams. Once she hit that first publish button, she hasn’t looked back.
Publications available from A.M. Willard include the Chances Series, Love on the Screen, and everyone’s favorite, the One Night Series. She’s also had an article published in the Writer’s Monthly Review Magazine and was just accepted into the Romance Writers of America organization in May of 2015.
A.M. Willard was born and raised in the Panhandle of Florida, but resides in Savannah GA with her husband, son, two cats, one rotten dog, two goats, and her six chickens. Yes, we said chickens…
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“Come, I want to show you my favorite section here,” he says while dragging me behind him. Now it’s as if he’s a kid in the candy store. Laughter escapes from me while I’m being pulled. I glimpse back and forth between everything as it’s covered in greenery and wonder what it would’ve been like back in the day. As we slow, I notice the Ragnaie up ahead, and I pray that he’s going to say this is his favorite spot. I really want to walk underneath it.
“You coming?” he asks, tilting his head in that direction. I offer the biggest goofy smile ever and follow along. I take in the green trees that cascade over the gravel path making a canopy above our heads. The sunlight peers through open sections of the trees above, creating a spotlight effect down toward the road as we walk along. Pierce takes my hand into his and squeezes it a little more than he has before. I close my eyes and glide through as I imagine being here with my fiancé or lover in the future. We could come here for him to kneel down and propose to me, or to celebrate our first year of being wed.
I stop and breathe in the air around us. I want to memorize this moment for as long as I can. I want to remember exactly what it smells like, the sounds of the birds chirping, and the slight creaking of the branches. I picture that it’s the sound of the branches intertwining more into each other, forming a tighter bond than before. The hopeless romantic in me wonders if that’s the sound that two lovers’ hearts make. When two people who love each other unconditionally grow old together, do their branches mend together to make a canopy of their souls?
Hearts in Florence


#IWSG Writing Research

Holla, writers! Good to see you for the Insecure Writers Support Group started by Alex J Cavanaugh.

Join us HERE to share insecurities, worries, tips, and celebrations.

Let’s talk research. How do you research unfamiliar topics to increase the authenticity of your writing?

My WIP Spiked (Blocked #3) has two main characters:

* Mateo is a music performance major with diabetes

* Jessica is an art major on the varsity swim team

I have part lungs, part gills after swimming all my life, so I’m good with that aspect of the story. But I know very little about the intricacies of music, art, and diabetes.

Thank goodness for Professor Google. For this story, I’ve consulted the inter webs for ideas about college curriculums, acoustic guitars, and the Secret Service. Of course there’s a lot of crap on the internet, but I try to verify information with two or three sites.

Human capital is awesome for research, too. Lovely reader Nelly Guajardo guides me with the diabetes aspects and my kickbutt crit partner Nicki Elson helps me as well.

How do you research?

Happy writing!


Review: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The GoldfinchThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Development of a Criminal…The Development of a Good Man?

What a fascinating psychological study! This epic story begins when Theo Decker is 13 years old and ends when he’s twice that age. Wow, does the author torture him in this story. What does not kill us, makes us stronger? I’m not so sure that’s true in this case. Tragic events weaken Theo and it’s unclear if he will ever regain his strength.

Theo lives with his mother in New York City after his alcoholic father abandoned them. His beautiful, fun mother has to take him to a late morning disciplinary meeting at school, so they stop in an art museum on the way. Then a terrorist’s bomb explodes. The blast rips Theo’s life apart when it kills his mother. In the ensuing surreal melee, a dying man insists Theo take “The Goldfinch”: a famous painting.

The painting haunts Theo for the rest of the story just like the story has haunted me.

The characterization is raw, real, and detailed, and the author made me care deeply for Theo. Every time he suffers a post-traumatic symptom, I wanted to hug him. Every time he veers into drug use, I wanted to smack his neglectful father. Here’s a vivid description of Las Vegas Dad, who has shifted from abusing booze to pills:

From his genial cursing, his infrequent shaving, the relaxed way he talked around the cigarette in the corner of his mouth, it was almost as if he were playing a character: some cool guy from a fifties noir or maybe Ocean’s Eleven, a lazy, sated gangster with not much to lose.

Thank goodness for quality mentors like furniture-restorer Hobie, who is connected to the dying man from the museum.

Theo’s Ukranian friend Boris is simultaneously endearing and infuriating. Boris is the saving grace to a lonely boy, and the loving shove to a boy perched on the precipice of a deviant, criminal life. I freaking love how Boris nicknames Popper the dog “Popchik”.

The writing is exquisite. I dog-eared so many pages with impressive passages, like these:

Tormented by what was happening, yet unable to stop it, I hovered around and watched the apartment vanishing piece by piece, like a bee watching its hive being destroyed.

When I got off the phone, I felt sick — like someone had just reached a hand in my chest and wrenched loose a lot of ugly wet stuff around my heart.

Spring in New York was always a poisoned time for me, a seasonal echo of my mother’s death blowing in with the daffodils, budding trees and blood splashes, a thin spray of hallucination and horror. (What a vivid description of PTSD)

My moods were a slingshot; after being locked-down and anesthetized for years my heart was zinging and slamming itself around like a bee under a glass, everything bright, sharp, confusing, wrong — but it was clear pain as opposed to the dull misery that had plagued me for years under the drugs like a rotten tooth, the sick dirty ache of something spoiled.

Speaking of pain, Theo pines for a girl who also survived the museum bomb: Pippa. But she doesn’t seem to requite his love.

“Well, girls always love assholes,” said Platt, not bothering to dispute this.
No, I thought bleakly, untrue. Else why didn’t Pippa love me?

Aww, Theo. You are quite lovable!

One of the reasons I became so involved in the characters is the impressive length of the book: 770 pages. Unlike some readers, I didn’t find the story unfocused, though the end did drag just a little. I’m glad I invested the time to read this moving drama.

View all my reviews