A.M Westerling featured in Hugs, Kisses and Mistletoe Wishes Christmas Romance Collection
Welcome to fellow Canadian and BWL Author, A.M Westerling!
A.M. Westerling, a top selling author for boutique Canadian publisher BWL Publishing, writes historical romance, including Barkerville Beginnings, Book 4 of the popular Canadian Historical Brides Collection issued in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday.
A former chemical engineer, Astrid traded in her calculator, mechanical pencil and spreadsheets for a keyboard, history books and membership in her local RWA chapter. From Vikings to Viscounts, her adventure filled stories span the ages. Sophie’s Choice and Leah’s Surrender, the first two books in her Ladies of Harrington House Regency romance series, were finalists in Long and Short Reviews Book of the Month, with Leah’s Surrender winning that honor for May 2021.
She enjoys walks in the great outdoors, spending time in her garden and camping. This avid sports fan loves watching NFL (ballet on the grid iron!) and NASCAR (hot cars, cute drivers!), and cheering on her hometown teams, the Calgary Flames and Calgary Stampeders. Find her books at www.bookswelove.com/westerling-m/
Tell us about your life outside of writing.
I’m a retired chemical engineer and don’t miss my profession at all. As a matter of fact, I often wonder how I ever had time to work! I spend a few days a week at my keyboard with writing and writing related activities. Unless I have a deadline, I work at my own pace. I have a husband and two wonderful sons, both married to smart, beautiful women. We recently became grandparents for the first time and oh my, if I had known how much fun it was going to be, I would have been pestering my kids for years!
I love being outside and go for a walk every morning. I love my garden and the Canadian climate is perfect for me – I’m all gung ho in April and May when I’m anxious to get dirt under my fingernails but by the time September rolls around, I’m ready to put everything away for the winter. I adore camping (see above comment re: love being outside!). Don’t get me wrong, 5 star resort hotels are lovely too. But nothing beats sitting outside in the morning with a coffee staring into the forest with the smell of bacon sizzling on the camp stove, or sitting by the fire at night and gazing up at the stars.
I’m also a big sports fan. To me, pro sports is real reality TV. We have seasons tickets for the Calgary Stampeders and of course follow the Calgary Flames as well. I also love watching NFL on Sundays and NASCAR. I have to blame that one on my husband – a number of years ago he suggested that we attend a NASCAR race in Las Vegas and I’ve been hooked ever since. There’s nothing like the sound of 900 hp engines racing and oh my, you have no idea how fast they go unless you see it in person. Love it. Oh, then there’s golf, and curling, and - You get the picture. *wink*
Do you have a work in progress?
Not officially although I do have a half-written Viking romance set in L’Anse aux Meadows (Newfoundland). I have another book coming out in December with BWL Publishing, Catherine’s Passion, Book 3 of my Ladies of Harrington House Regency romance series.
I’m taking a bit of a breather at the moment to focus on marketing the Christmas anthology I’m involved with, Hugs, Kisses and Mistletoe Wishes. After that, I’m not sure whether I’ll finish the Viking one or tackle something brand new. I have a folder of story ideas so I might just see what I can find in there.
What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote? What made it difficult?
I have to say it was my Viking romance A Heart Enslaved. My heroine Gisela is a Christian and my hero Thorvald believes in the Norse gods. It’s a source of conflict for them, particularly Gisela. It was difficult to navigate equitably between the two belief systems as I didn’t want to make one belief system better than the other. Also, it was the first Viking era story I wrote so it required a lot of research.
Conversely, Evelyn’s Beau, a novella set in the Regency era and which is my contribution to the Hugs, Kisses and Mistletoe Wishes Christmas anthology, was the easiest book I’ve written so far. It’s a sweet romance and the story centres on a Christmas pageant performed by disadvantaged children which ends in disaster. Because it’s novella length, I didn’t need to weave in many subplots which is usually where my research comes in. I only had to ensure that the language, clothing, food, modes of transportation, etc., were appropriate for the era.
What sort of research do you do for your work?
Haha, well I write historical romance so I do a ton of research. That suits me perfectly as I find the facts I learn always give me story ideas. For example, I learned Vikings could buy their innocence which is the premise behind A Heart Enslaved. I’ve been building up my own library of history books but of course I rely heavily on the internet aka the time suck. I stay away from Wikipedia.
Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author who inspires you?
Not really although I was a huge fan of Kathleen Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers, Marsha Canham and Johanna Lindsay back in the day. I pretty much stick to historical romance although I will throw in the occasional contemporary romance. Right now I am discovering other BWL Publishing authors such as Victoria Chatham, Rosemary Morris, Tricia McGill and Juliet Waldron. I prefer romance as I read for entertainment and the last thing I want is a depressing book. I like a happily ever after!
Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
No. I started to write because it got to the point that the market was so saturated with historical romances, they were ahem, mostly terrible. I thought I could do better so I actually started my first book (it’s not published, it’s my so called book under my bed) during lunch hours when I was still working. My family of course is very supportive of my endeavours.
HUGS, KISSES AND MISTLETOE WISHES
Hugs, Kisses and Mistletoe Wishes...a Sweet Christmas Romance Collection. Celebrate the magical holiday season with this special gift straight from our hearts, eight enchanting love stories to cherish all year long. Rekindle your love of the holidays with these heartwarming romances. Only available for a limited time. Get your copy today.
Check out the titles below:
Roxy Boroughs: THE SPRITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
A wisecracking Christmas sprite takes a heartbroken woman on a magical journey to discover the true meaning of love and family, but only if she has the courage to act before it's too late.
S. L. Dickson: MY CHRISTMAS HERO
When a firefighter finds and returns a Christmas sock monkey to its rightful owner, he finds a woman with a zest for life. While the romance sparks, a tragedy occurs. Will they get a second chance? Will a kiss under the Mistletoe fulfill their dreams?
Raine Hughes: LOVE IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS
Ready to move into their newly purchased home, Jamison Baker and his two young girls discover the previous owner and her female boarders haven't vacated. Until new accommodations can be found for the women their only option is to share the renamed house, Baker's Harem...er, Haven. Jamison can't imagine how he'll live with thirteen females, especially the feisty Kat Madison.
Ellen Jorgy: SAFE IN HIS ARMS AT CHRISTMAS
Mix one scared city girl with one guilt-ridden country boy doctor and you get a recipe for love at Christmas, but hidden agendas emerge that could crush not only their hopes of love but might end Nicole's life as well.
Shelley Kassian: A GENTLEMAN FOR CHRISTMAS
In this Downton Abbey meets Outlander romance, a veterinary surgeon pursues a high society lady at the height of the Christmas season. Differing cultures and a high-class father complicate the romance. Will a carol's song and a horse's Lady Luck make the season brighter?
Katie O'Connor: GINGERBREAD DREAMS
Poppy Holiday needs a new oven for her bakery. Darius Badeaux has a reputation to shed. The only way they can both achieve their dreams is by winning the Annual Gingerbread Baking Competition. Together. Too bad there's a hurtful past hanging between them. Will the season of giving bring them together to build the perfect gingerbread house and salvage their careers, or will the past crush their dreams and their hearts?
Sherile Reilly: A WISH UPON A CHRISTMAS KNIGHT
Orphaned, Melody Blackwell, lives under the control of her selfish uncle who betroths her, for financial gain, to a cruel old man. Cursed for centuries, Samuel Knight is brought to life by the fair Melody. Together, they must fight an ancient curse that threatens to destroy their love and then kill them. Can they survive?
A. M. Westerling: EVELYN'S BEAU
After a disappointing Season, Lady Evelyn Kendall retreats to Kendall Hall in Cornwall. Her immediate future does not include a husband, although a renewed acquaintance with long-time family friend Oliver Harrington shows promise. When a local vicar offers her an opportunity to organize a Christmas pageant for disadvantaged children, Evelyn accepts, never thinking it would lead to disaster for both her and Oliver.