Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Promises by Amber Garr - Guest Post & Giveaway

Welcome to Reading It All's stop on the Promises tour presented by Bewitching Book Tours! Without further ado, author of Promises, Amber Garr guest posts:

Top Ten: Character Connections

I’m often asked if any of my characters are based on people I know in real life, or if their situations ever mimic any of my own. The short answer is yes. I’ve definitely used my knowledge of the aquatic environment to describe the scenery, and there have been several characters whose traits I may have adopted from a few unsuspecting humans. So I decided to write a Top Ten list of things that my characters or their situations have in common with me and my life.

10. Daniel - I love Daniel’s character and I will admit that he was loosely based on a friend of mine from high school. He shall remain nameless, but he had a wonderful personality that always set my mind at ease whether it were his jokes or the way he handled everything life threw at him.

9. Brendan’s College Degree and Job - It’s no secret that my degree is in biology, just like Brendan’s. What people may not know is that we also had similar occupations. I interned at the National Aquarium in Baltimore while I was in college and when I came home, I smelled like the fresh fish, squid, and other goodies that I had to chop up three times a day for the fish, dolphins, and seals. And even though it was a messy job, it was great and I know that I loved it every bit as much as Brendan enjoyed his work.

8. Abhainn’s Accent - I am absolutely in love with Scottish accents and often try to speak with one much to the dismay of my husband. So when I get the opportunity to hear the real thing, I just sit back and take it all in. Abhainn got his Scottish accent thanks to two people I work with whose voices are magical and who I now listen to very intently at our budget meetings!

7. Travels - I’ve already mentioned that I used my research experience under the water to make sure that the scenery and animals are accurate for their locations. I’ve also tried to write in locations that I’m familiar with such as the Florida Keys, Virginia, Maryland, Seattle (Betrayal), Mexico and the Bahamas (Arise).

6. Kain’s Song - One of the best parts about Kain is his voice. Like their ancestors, my merfolk have the innate ability to calm and seduce with their singing. When Kain tries to soothe Eviana on the plane (see #2) he sings a song that I have enjoyed since I was a kid. My sister and I used to belt it out in the back of the car on our way to dance class (not voice lessons) and to this day, I still remember every word of Baby Beluga.

5. Birthday Suits - How can I put this delicately…I’m not a huge fan of clothes. So all of the nakedness that comes along with the world of The Syrenka Series, is inevitably a way for me to live out a little part of that dream. Growing up in a dance studio where it wasn’t uncommon or uncomfortable to strip down in front of everyone, helped me write characters who were at ease with nudity. Of course, when you are a shape shifter, you would have to be okay in your birthday suit! Maybe there’s a little bit of shifter in me…

4. Coffee - In Promises, Eviana has an aversion to coffee. I love the smell of fresh brewing coffee, but can’t stand the taste. And although Eviana changes her mind by Betrayal, I don’t think I’ll be ordering a latte anytime soon.

3. Marisol - I’ve mentioned this in other interviews, but one of the first things my mom asked me when she finished Promises was if my sister had anything to do with Marisol’s personality. I had to laugh, because, yes she did in a way. My sister is now a wonderful mother, but there were some annoying teenage characteristics and issues in our relationship that made their way into the Eviana-Marisol dynamic.

2. Fear of Flying - Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that my fear of flying is out of control and a bit ridiculous. Dying in a plane crash is not the way I want to leave this world. So it was very easy (and somewhat therapeutic) to give Eviana this fear and describe exactly how we feel each time we board a plane.

1. Underwater Dreams - I’ve wanted to be marine biologist since I was ten. I also wanted to live in the water my entire life. My mother always told me the story about how I was swimming underwater on my own by nine months old. I would beg my parents to take us to a pool/lake/ pond every day, I was a lifeguard for many years, and now I enjoy SCUBA diving. So when I wrote The Syrenka Series, it gave me the opportunity to explore the water in a way my human body wouldn’t allow me to. I have to admit…I am envious of the mermaids, selkies, and sprites and their underwater abilities. Perhaps someday I will create those human gills I always wanted to so that I can join them in the sea.

About the book:

Title: Promises
Series: Book One of The Syrenka Series
Author: Amber Garr
Genre: fantasy/paranormal YA

Synopsis: 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 fiancĂ© 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.

Buy Links
AmazonSmashwords / Barnes and Noble

About the author:

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.

Social Contact
Website / Blog / Facebook / Goodreads

Amber Garr has been generous enough to offer two of my readers e-copies of both of her books, Promises and Betrayal (second book in the series)! These will be given via smashwords coupons. Enter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I think it is really interesting how she incorporated so many things from the people around her and her own life. I also like how she is willing to tell about it too. So many authors refuse to say where they got their inspiration. So I really appreciate this list by Amber :)

  2. I think it's great how Amber takes inspiration from the people around her for her characters, it makes them seem more real when they have their own quirks and stuff :)

  3. Thank you for being a part of my tour Melissa and for posting my (really) long guest blog! ha!

  4. I have to agree with you about coffee - it always smells so good, but ick on the taste. It has to have lots of chocolate in it before I think about drinking it!

  5. I think it's great and very inspiring.

  6. I really enjoyed your character post. I also like Scottish accents. When i was a child I always wanted to be a mermaid. It didn't happen but I still love to swim.