Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. She writes both adult and young adult urban fantasies and when not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie. --Quoted from from Amber's Website
And her beautiful novel:
The Syrenka series #1
Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love.
When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan leadership, she is forced to choose between the life required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fiancé would make a wonderful husband except that she’s been in love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ever since they were kids. Choosing to abandon her family, her clan, and her life with Kain will have dire consequences far beyond anything she could have imagined.
A war is brewing amongst the clans and Eviana unwittingly becomes a pawn in the intricate schemes of a twisted mastermind. With Brendan’s life on the line, she has no choice but to involve those who she once considered friends. Amidst encountering senseless tragedies and immense loss, Eviana discovers that she is more valuable as a clan leader than anyone ever suspected. Her survival is not only dependent upon the loyalty of her friends, but also on her acceptance of a life that she had so adamantly tried to escape.
Promises is the first book of The Syrenka Series trilogy following Eviana and her friends through the perils of growing up in a discrete world that inherently threatens human society.
Hey, you two, thanks for coming to the blog today!
Thank you for having us!
CYP: Can y'all tell me about yourself, say, in 5 words each.
Amber: A girl with a plan.
Eviana: A girl who needs a plan (I know, that’s six words…but I’m not one to follow all of the rules)
CYP: *Turns to Amber* What do you like to do when you're not being an author and crafting the very exciting life of Eviana and her two boyfriends? *snickers*
Amber: Well, when Eviana and the crew aren’t screaming in my brain, I spend my days working as a marine biologist. So I conduct experiments, write proposals, manuscripts…things like that. I also teach dance at a local studio, so sometimes I get to tell stories through movement instead of words.
CYP: Wow, that's awesome. A very fulfilling lifestyle, indeed.
CYP: What are both of your dreams? Has your dream always been to be an author, Amber? What about being a marine biologist? Which one came first? Which one comes first now? Haha.
Amber: Well, originally I was going to be a ballerina. And then I met some scientists when I was ten and I decided that I was going to be a marine biologist. I ended up going to school for both. I’ve always loved creative writing and thought it would be awesome to have something published…but my focus had consistently been on the science side of writing. So, I would say that I’ve really focused on fiction writing in the last few years and now I’m totally obsessed! When I’m not at work, I’m writing!!!
CYP: What about you, Eviana? Has your one big dream always been to marry Brendan and full stop?
Eviana: If you would have asked me this a few months ago, I would have told you that my dream was to have a perfect life with Brendan that most likely didn’t involve my family and clan. But now I’m not so sure. Too much has happened and too many things have changed. I suppose my dream at this moment would be for me not to fail. Yes, I know that’s dramatic, but I’m not quite sure what to expect anymore.
CYP: What were y'all's previous dreams?
Amber: Oops, I think I kind of answered this one. But to add to the mix…I wanted to invent gills for humans so that we could breathe underwater without wearing a tank! I should probably start working on that….
Eviana: I had always enjoyed mentoring the younger kids in my clan, so at one point I wanted to be a teacher. Although, in reality I knew that could never happened because of my birthright.
CYP: What was the hardest part in your path to becoming an author and you running away with lover-selkie (y'know, loverboy?)?
Amber: Getting over the fear of rejection (although I’ll never really be over it!). Wow! I sound like Eviana a bit! I don’t have a problem making the time to write all of my stories, but asking someone to critique them for me has really been my biggest obstacle. Accepting that not everyone will enjoy your story is a part of this process, and it’s still a work in progress for me!
Eviana: (sighs) Kain. I didn’t want to hurt him and I knew that it would. He’s such a great person and friend, but he isn’t Brendan. Believe me, I contemplated going through with everything and sometimes I wonder if that would have been for the better…
CYP: Oh man, I know what you mean. I could feel your pain even when I was reading your "autobiography". He really is a very good friend. But anyway, Eviana, from here, I'll interview y'all separately, so I'll post my questions to Amber first, k?
CYP: What age did you start penning down all those crazy ideas of yours, Amber?
Amber: You know? I’m not really sure. We had a lot of artists in the family, so I remember telling stories through drawings or putting on plays. Of course I also danced a lot and made up a ton of stories that way. I did have a journal when I was a kid, so that would have probably been where all of my written ideas were stored.
CYP: Is PROMISES the first novel you ever wrote? Any that didn't get published?
Amber: No, it was actually the second novel. I have an adult urban fantasy under review right now that I’m thinking about publishing later this year. After I finished that, I took a short story (pretty much the first chapter of Promises) and just kept on writing. It quickly turned into a trilogy! I’ve written three complete books so far, and a bunch of random short stories.
CYP: What is the inspiration behind PROMISES? Eviana the mermaid with a big destiny, Kain the man with a big heart and tragic love life (lol, ok I'm exaggerating) and Brendan the selkie loverboy?
Amber: Well, of course I always wished that I could be a mermaid *Eviana sighs…and Amber rolls her eyes*, so I often wondered what that life would be like. Would I live in the ocean or walk amongst the humans? And what kind of responsibility would that entail? So the story kind of developed from there…a secret society of mermaids and a girl who feels like the she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Because, who hasn’t felt that way at least once in their life? Kain’s character is a combination of all of us who have ever loved unconditionally or without it being returned. It is tragic! Kain represents the good in people. And the selkie…well, I was just really fascinated with their mythology and wanted to incorporate that into my mermaid world. I mean, why would there only be one water creature out there? Brendan really loves Eviana, and he would have been a good match for her…if only he had been a merman. I think Brendan represents those “if only” type moments.
CYP: Wow, that's very deep. And there's so much symbolism in your PROMISES it's amazing! Oh man, now I feel so shallow after reading it and not being able to point those out..-.-
CYP: Did you base any of your characters on real life people/experiences? If so, which ones?
Amber: Ha! It’s funny you ask this because the first thing my mom asked me was if I based Marisol on my own sister. And the short answer is YES! She’s not so bratty anymore, but we didn’t always get along well as teenagers and you can tell that it stuck with me! (Love ya, Aimee!)
CYP: Why a love triangle? Haha. And why YA? Why not adult fiction? Thinking of it, I've never seen an adult fiction novel about mermaids before...hmm..
Amber: You know, that’s a good point. An adult mermaid story…sounds like the next project! And the dreaded love triangle…I think I needed to include that because I remember having feelings all over the place as a YA (be it with boyfriends, friends, or family) and I thought that it is a very real situation. Having to choose and knowing you may hurt someone’s feelings in the process is not an easy thing to do. Even as an adult (sigh, yes I’m no longer a YA). I also have parts of those inner struggles in my adult novels too. One is an urban fantasy dealing with grief and the other one tests the boundaries of choosing right and wrong.
CYP: What do you plan to do now? Sequel to PROMISES, more diving, more experimenting?
Amber: All of the above! Betrayal, the sequel to Promises will be out in February and I am a third of the way done with the final book of the trilogy. I also want to finish my adult books and hope to see those on the shelves within the next year. I always love diving, so that’s on the table, plus I’m gearing up to finish my doctoral studies in May! So that means more experimenting, more writing….
CYP: What is the one question that you would like to be asked in interviews and what would your answer be?
Amber: This is tough. I think one that I’ve been asked by some of the readers quite a bit is who would be cast in these roles if this were turned into a movie. And to be honest, the only person I currently have cast in my mind is Kain – and Alex Pettyfer would be my pick! One of my dancers wants to be Eviana, so we could give her that role! Ha! And as for Brendan…I’m not sure. I’ll have to think about that some more.
CYP: AHHH, Alex Pettyfer! Yes!! Hahaha. *Turns to Eviana* Hey, sorry for the cold treatment. Haha. So, looking back, your life's been quite the adventure, huh? Tell me, which was the most memorable one of them all? Can either be the saddest, most touching, or happiest.
Evianna: Yeah, and it feels like all of those adventures have happened in the last couple of months. Unfortunately, most of them have been sad (like my parents) or scary (Lucian). But probably one of the most touching memories is that despite what I did, my friends didn’t abandon me. I needed them and they were there.
CYP: Actually if you think about it, the root of your problems stem from being the princess of a mermaid clan. Would you have traded your mermaid's life for a selkie's to be able to marry Brendan without all that fuss?
Evianna: In a second…if only that would make a difference. I’d always been envious of their solitary lifestyle and the ease in which they transition. But Brendan and I still would have had issues to deal with when it came to following the call. I’m not quite sure how that would have worked out for us…
CYP: What is the best thing about being a mermaid?
Evianna: The water. There is nothing like feeling the freedom of being under the water and leaving the human world behind. It’s exhilarating and if it were possible, I would probably live in the ocean forever.
CYP: Yes! I love swimming, and I wished I could stay in the water and drift for as long as I liked..:( But sadly, the limitation of lungs will always plague me sad body.. Hehe X)
CYP: How do you feel now that your novel is released and you know that everyone - and that includes Brendan, Kain, your parents, and your other mermaid friends - will be privy to your innermost thoughts and those secret moments you had with Brendan AND Kain?
Evianna: Hmmm…I haven’t thought about that before. I guess that it’s a little scary, because ultimately someone is going to be hurt by my actions or my thoughts. But I can’t really change the way I feel, so I just hope it helps them understand why I chose to make the decisions I did.
CYP: Tell me about your other friends besides Brendan and Kain. Any close ones?
Evianna: Well, I met a few at Cotillion earlier this year- Daniel, Lily, and Carissa – who have become really good friends. Although we all live in a different state, we talk to each other on a regular basis. Daniel and I are probably the closest and he’s supposed to come and visit me soon. At my school, I have three close human friends – Kristy, Carlee, and Mia who help me forget about my other life for a while. But sometimes it’s hard because I can’t tell them all of my secrets.
CYP: What was life like, back before you were betrothed to Kain?
Evianna: Simple. Although, I’ve been promised to Kain since we were little, I guess I never thought that would actually happen. So before I had the reality of a wedding and a future clan leadership to worry about, I would say that I was a pretty “normal” girl. School, babysitting, swimming all night long…easy things.
CYP: Huh..that must've been nice. Relaxing. But when it's boring, you'll wish for adventure, and when you get adventure, you wish for simple. Haha, it's always the case, right? There's that saying, "the grass on the other side is greener". Lol. *Turns back to face both Amber and Eviana* Any parting words to the readers?
Amber: Just a BIG thank you to those who read Promises and I hope that you enjoy they story!
Eviana: I’d tell them to hang on for the ride, and when times seem like time are tough, we will find a way to get though it.
CYP: Where can readers buy PROMISES?
Amber: Both paperback and ebook formats are available and readers can buy them at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
Thanks again for coming, both of you!
If you're interested to find out more about Amber or Evianna or Promises, you can visit them at:
Or, you can read the first chapter of Promises HERE!
|Amber with Conch!|
Amber is so generously giving away three (3) ecopies of Promises to three (3) international winners! Following is not mandatory, and this giveaway will last for 2 weeks till 2/12. Just fill in the Rafflecopter form below, and you're good to go!:)
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