Title: Thunder Mountain Brides: The Outlaw Schoolteacher - Edith
Author: Amanda A. Brooks
Release Date: December 2010
Publisher: Amanda A. Brooks/CreateSpace.com
Blurb: Thunder Mountain was Edith’s plan to escape The Outlaw Benton Gang. Her love for Zachary stood to ruin everything.
Welcome to Sizzling Releases, Amanda. I’m so pleased you could join me today. What is your Sizzling Release?
Thank you, Rie. My Sizzling Release is Thunder Mountain Brides: The Outlaw Schoolteacher - Edith, my first book of a ten-book western romance series.
What is Thunder Mountain Brides: The Outlaw Schoolteacher - Edith all about?
Edith is about an outlaw who comes to the picturesque town of Thunder Mountain, Colorado to rob the town’s bank. In order to do so, she poses as the town’s schoolteacher. She is a cold-hearted woman who allows nothing to get in her way - until she meets Zachary. Ironically, he happens to be the president of the town’s bank. Zachary only cares about his bank - and his young daughter - until he meets Edith. But he must choose between Edith and his bank.
That sounds very interesting. How did you come up with the idea?
After writing my unpublished historical novel Serviced Love, set in 1743, I had major writer’s block. No matter how hard I tried to write, I just couldn’t do it. I had all these ideas - historical and contemporary - but I didn’t like what I wrote. One night, I went to see High Noon on the big screen. That’s the night that changed my life forever, and for the better. I knew I wanted to write a western. Although I loved westerns, one of my favorites being Tombstone, it took High Noon to make me realize I wanted to write one. When I was creating Edith and Zachary’s story, I loosely based the idea for their story around the movie Original Sin - which stars Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas. I was trying to come up with the plot for Edith and Zachary, and just happened to be watching the DVD one night. In Original Sin, Angelina’s character poses as Antonio’s character’s mail-order bride - she takes the place of the woman who was supposed to be his bride. I used the scene where we learn this as the foundation for my book, and made Edith a schoolteacher since my dream was to be a teacher, and because of Little House On The Prairie. Because Edith was an outlaw, and planned to rob the town’s bank, it was only natural that I made my hero, Zachary, president of the bank.
I know this is book number 1 in the series Thunder Mountain Brides. Did you begin writing with a series in mind, or did your muse take over?
Watching High Noon, my first thought was, I want to write a western. It was a no-brainer to make my western a series. I knew that a western town has all these characters whose stories are begging to be told. I first thought, I’ll write an eight-book series. But eight didn’t seem right. Ten sounded perfect. The first thing I did was name my heroines - first, middle, and last names. Then I plotted out their stories. Once I did that, I then focused on the heroes of my series.
This is your first published work, which must be very exciting for you. What was it like for you to write your first book and get published?
It is very exciting! Writing Edith and Zachary was an amazing experience for me. I loved every minute. I hated to see it end, even though I had nine more books to write. While I’m very proud of my historical, and very sensual, novel Serviced Love, creating Edith and Zachary and my Thunder Mountain Brides series was more meaningful and personal. I put a lot of me into my characters, and I poured my heart and soul into this. It was never my intention to self-publish until I woke up one morning in the summer of 2009, and thought, I want to self-publish. I had been blogging my series, and suddenly, I wanted so badly to show my work to others. I chose to self-publish because it was the only way to have total control over my books and my cover art.
What are you working on now?
I finished Book 2. It is called Thunder Mountain Brides: Hidden Secrets - Agnes. I am now working on Book 3, which is called Thunder Mountain Brides: The Devil And The Lord - Danny.
Do you have an evil day job, if so, how do you find time to write?
I used to have evil day jobs until I found a job I love very much - working at a bookstore. I work in the DVD department – films, television, and music are my specialty. I write whenever I can - morning, night, whenever. I’m bad because I really need to work on Danny’s story. It’s hard when I’m putting the finishing touches on Edith’s story. And soon I'll have to work on finalizing Agnes' story. And, I will admit that the Internet distracts me. Evil Internet!
What is your creative process?
I use music to get in the mood. I write as if I’m (or the readers) watching a film. I listen to certain songs when writing certain scenes. It’s fun to decide what song will be perfect for a certain scene – like a saloon fight, for instance. When I am writing the hot love scene or beautiful love scenes, I find a beautiful song that fits the mood. It can either be classical or a beautiful pop or rock song.
What does your family and friends think about you being a published author?
My friends are so excited about my book. They have known since I was fourteen that I wrote. I have let them read some things, and they read my blog. They’re very excited that they get to read an actual book of mine. I have made many of my friends' characters in my stories. They really love that! And I’m very lucky to have friends who were willing to pose as my models for my covers. As for my family, I have kept this quiet. While they know I’m writing books and self-publishing, it’s bit a bit of a sore subject. My mom would prefer I write Children’s books and take writing classes, although she does ask when my book will be out. I feel like they think I’m wasting my time. I’m hoping my parents will love this book, and be very proud of me. My Aunt Jean in Oklahoma can’t wait to read it! As of today, though, I know my parents are very proud of me. I showed them my cover art, and they loved it. My mom keeps telling me my Grandma can't wait to read my book. They'd better buy a lot of copies!
It’s December again! I can’t believe Christmas is upon us all ready. What are your holiday plans?
I plan to be low-key this month; focus on promoting Edith, and relaxing with some holiday DVD's and films. We are going to Palm Desert at the end of the month. I know I'm bad, but I'm not doing Christmas cards this year. I will do e-cards. The holidays come too fast, and I don't want to get caught-up in the rush. I want to take it easy.
Do you go all out with decorating?
Now that I live in an apartment, I may get a small tree. But that's it.
Real tree or fake?
We have been using a small tree that gets stuck in a box and in the closet. With a white sheet to look like snow, it does the trick.
Lots of lights on the house or subdued lighting?
Like I said, since I live in an apartment, there will be no decorations this year. Maybe the tree and sheet. That's it.
Store bought ornaments or do you make your own?
We have special ornaments that we've had since the late 60's/early 70's. Some are made, some are bought. It's amazing they've survived all these years - what with numerous moves.
Eggnog? With or without rum?
Without rum. Not only do I hate alcohol, I am allergic to it.
What would be the perfect Christmas gift for you?
Besides people buying my book? Hmm, that's my secret. I would also be happy with gift cards. That way, I can buy whatever I want.
Thank you so much for being here. Is there anything else you’d like the readers to know?
Thank you for inviting me, Rie. I just hope my readers love my story (s) as much as I do. I hope they think of my series as more than just a romance novel. It’s about love and family and community. I hope they see it as an awesome western series - like Little House On The Prairie, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and Bonanza. I hope they love the characters as much as I do - both the good ones and the evil ones.
And before we go, can we get a juicy excerpt from Thunder Mountain Brides: The Outlaw Schoolteacher – Edith?
Be warned. It is steamy.
While Edith took a tour of the now empty haunted stable, the sound of footsteps broke the silence. She turned to see Mr. Scalen standing in the doorway.
Why did he have to be so devastatingly handsome?
Life was so damned unfair!
“Aren’t you supposed to be on the hayride with the children and the other parents, Mr. Scalen?”
“My name is Zachary.”
“It is not appropriate for me to call you by your given name.”
Slowly walking toward her, he said, “Rules are made to be broken.”
She looked into his eyes.
They were as black as night.
As black as sin.
Moments passed before Edith broke eye contact. She crossed the stable, and climbed the ladder to the hayloft. She went to the opened doors, and stared out into the night that would soon be drenched with long-awaited rain.
Zachary followed her up to the hayloft, and stood behind her. He stared down at the top of her dark head for a moment before softly asking, “Don’t you agree, Edith?” He gently placed his hands on her shoulders.
Edith closed her eyes for a moment, took a deep breath, then turned toward him, and opened her eyes. She looked into his black eyes.
His black soul.
And then she kissed him.
He pulled her against him, and deepened the kiss. Her body melted into his.
When he finally broke the kiss, he smiled. The kiss had fogged her spectacles.
“Don’t stop,” Edith whispered.
Zachary removed her spectacles, and tossed them into the hay. His voice husky with passion, he said, “Nothing on this earth could make me stop kissing you. Not even God, nor Satan, could make me stop wanting you.”
“Mr. Scalen, there’s something I need to tell you.”
Zachary took her face in his hands, lifting her chin so she would look him in the eyes. “Zachary. My name is Zachary. Say it!”
“Za- Zachary, there’s something I need to tell you.”
“Now is not the time for words, Edith. We only have a few precious moments before everyone returns from the hayride.”
He left the decision to continue this dangerous liaison to her. She knew she had to be strong, and walk away. If she didn’t, he would blame her.
And he would hate her.“M- make love to me, Za- Zachary,” she whispered.