You gotta read this. Seriously. Amber served up an incredible post about her herorine, Calli Morlani, and all the things that make her tick. But that excerpt?? PEEL ME OFF THE FLOOR! Whew! This one's definitely going on my TBR list, Amber! Glad you could be here today to share!
Bet it on my Heart
Keefe Ridge's bronc-busting days are nearly over. Despite that and the fact that he is slowly making his dream business venture a reality, Wayback's wildest cowboy doesn't see any reason to settle down. He is even willing to bet that marriage isn't in the cards at all for him.
Agent Calli Morlani came to Wayback on a mission: to bring Stella Ridge back to Hollywood. When Stella refuses, she dares Calli to take in some local color and see what Wayback has to offer. Whether that includes Stella's devastatingly charming brother becomes irrelevant once Calli finds herself in bed with him - in more ways than one…
Will it take a tough city girl to make the Wayback playboy finally fall long and hard? Or will Keefe give Calli a reason to stay? Place your bet!
Hi AJ! Thanks for having me, Calli and the gang here at Tattered Pages! Over the past year or so I’ve rediscovered what a delight it is to watch characters grow organically as I’m writing their story. I love finding out their quirks and eccentricities along the way. While writing my western romance trilogy, the Ridges of the Wayback, TX, the eccentricities of the Texas cowboys and their fiery heroines couldn’t have been more fun. It was while I was writing the character of Bet it on my Heart heroine, Calli Morlani, that I couldn’t resist compiling all these intriguing characteristics into character interviews!
It was a joy, as a writer (and a country girl myself), setting up the predicament that would make Calli, a tough businesswoman and city woman to the bone, come into close contact with the quintessential cowboy, Keefe Ridge. Throwing a city slicker into situations only a country boy like Keefe could navigate is a recipe for storytelling delight J
Calli, however, has a different opinion….
Name: Calli Morlani
Childhood Ambition: To not have a boy’s haircut (father was a barber), and to work in show business.
Fondest Memory: Going to the movies every week with my stepfather while my mother worked the late shift.
Soundtrack: Anything but country music. Please.
Wildest Dream: To make it to Hollywood. Which I did. And building my own agency from the ground-up. Which I also did.
Proudest Moment: Signing my first A-lister, Stella Ridge…the reason I’m stuck here.
Biggest Challenge: Wayback, Texas
Alarm Clock: Usually a Samsung. My first morning in Wayback it was the rooster who lives next door to The Dew Drop Inn. Who the heck keeps chickens as pets, I ask you?
Perfect Day: The day I leave this godforsaken place? No, I’m kidding. Sort of.
First Job: Peeling potatoes at my mother’s restaurant.
Indulgence: Keefe Ridge. Nom. And Godiva. (Send immediately care of Stella Ridge at 1 Middle-of-Nowhere Lane, Wayback, Texas. Thank you.)
Last Purchase: A Stetson. I can’t believe I just said it.
Favorite Movie: The Godfather
Inspiration: Elizabeth Taylor
When I’m mad I: smile. Think “crocodile.”
The good news is that eventually it’s not just Keefe Ridge who gets under Calli’s skin. It’s, surprisingly, the town of Wayback and the family she uncovers there….
"Are you a gift from God or do they make all the men like you around here?"
"What’re you talking about?" he asked with a chuckle, threading his fingers through hers and pulling her close, navel to navel.
"You ride a horse like a Trojan warrior," she pointed out. "You happen to look like one, too, minus the hat and boots. You’re ninety-nine-point-nine-nine percent charm. And you also happen to be a fabulous dancer." She tilted her head curiously. "All that’s missing is ‘Great Kisser.’"
He lowered his lips. They brushed hers as he murmured, "Got that covered."
Her eyes drifted to a close while he lingered a breath away, teasing her. That fresh smell of his wrapped her close and warm. "Of course, you do." Her lips parted under his to accept the full depth of his smoldering kiss. The hands she’d twined at the nape of his neck fell limp on his collar. Her head bowed back into his cupped palm as his tongue danced over hers in firm, languid strokes.
Heart pattering, breath stalling, she hardly noticed the hum that escaped her throat. His hand was trekking down her back, long fingers inciting the skin underneath the zipper of her dress.
The song ended, but she didn’t break away from him when applause sounded around them and people began to nudge past them on and off the dance floor. His hands gripped her hips as the kiss intensified. Good God.
Amber Leigh Williams is a multi-published romance author, former Secretary of the Gulf Coast Chapter of RWA, and a monthly contributor to The Roses of Prose and Sweethearts of the West. Her first western romance, Blackest Heart, was the 1st Place More Than Magic Novella in 2009 and her historical romance, Forever Amore, was nominated for Best Book of 2009 by Long & Short Reviews. She is represented by D4EO Literary Agency and lives on the Gulf Coast with her husband and their three labs. Visit her on the web at www.amberleighwilliams.com!
To learn more about Calli and her story, Bet it on my Heart, visit this page on my website and read the reviews. Purchase Bet it on my Heart in ebook at The Wild Rose Press, Barnes & Noble or Amazon! The audio book is available now at AudioLark!