wound. Lorie Blake, a southern orphan sold into prostitution at
fifteen, has carefully guarded her aching soul from the disgrace
forced upon her every evening. Two years have passed,
leaving her with little hope of anything more. Meanwhile, three
men – longtime friends – and a young boy with a heart of gold
are traveling northward, planning to rebuild their lives in the
north and leave behind the horrors of their time as soldiers in
the Confederate Army.
Fate, however, has plans of its own, causing their lives to
collide in a river town whorehouse. Forced to flee, Lorie
escapes and joins them on the journey north. But danger stalks
them all in the form of a vindictive whorehouse madam and an
ex-Union soldier, insane and bent on exacting revenge. At last,
Lorie must come to terms with her past and devastating secrets
that she cannot yet bear to reveal.
Heart of a Dove is the first book in a gripping, sweeping
romantic saga of pain, unbearable choices, loss and true love
set against the backdrop of a scarred, post-Civil War America.
$15.95US $18.95CA 336 pp
Fiction - Historical, Romance
of the Civil War. Lorie Blake, a war-orphan who escaped the
miserable prison of her life as a prostitute in a Missouri
whorehouse, now takes wing, embarking on a breathtaking
overland journey northwest. With Lorie is her newfound family
– brothers Boyd and Malcolm Carter, experienced horseman
Sawyer Davis, and his beloved paint mare, Whistler. For the
first time in years, there seems reason to hope. Thrown
together by the circumstances of fate, and now deeply bound
by love, each of them are determined to begin new lives as
homesteaders in Minnesota.
But, the past refuses to die quietly. Former Confederate
soldiers Sawyer and Boyd are haunted by the scavenger-like
specters of a War that refuses to stay buried, a conflict never
truly put to rest. New friends emerge and old enemies arise,
as ancient hatreds boil over in the hearts of the men who
survived. In the face of incredible odds, Lorie must rely upon
all of the emotional strength in her soul as she battles for the
life of her true love, and towards the enduring promise of a
new beginning in the north.
$16.95US $19.95CA 384 pp
Fiction - Historical, Romance
Abbie Williams has been addicted to love
stories ever since first sneaking her mother's
copy of The Flame and the Flower. Being an
avid lover of language, history and women's
studies was what prompted her to pen her
sweeping historical saga, The Dove series.
When she isn't writing, teaching, or taking care
of her busy family, you can find her hanging out
on the dock, listening to some good bluegrass
**Independent Publishers Awards Gold Medalist 2015**
"Set just after the U.S. Civil War, this passionate opening volume of a projected series successfully
melds historical narrative, women’s issues, and breathless romance with horsewomanship, trailside
deer-gutting, and alluring smidgens of Celtic ESP." ~ Publishers Weekly
"There is a lot I liked about this book. It didn’t pull punches, it feels period, it was filled with memorable
characters and at times lovely descriptions and language. Even though there is a sequel coming, this
book feels complete." ~ Dear Author
"With a sweet romance, good natured camaraderie, and a very real element of danger, this book is
hard to put down." ~ San Francisco Book Review
"This story haunted me so much I gave up trying to sleep and just finished it. It’s beautifully done,
even those miserable moments that were painful to follow. We experience everything through Lorie’s
point of view, including the charm of her Southern roots through flashback memories as well as the
rigors of the travel through the prairie. Her relationship with the three men and the young Malcolm was
special, her burgeoning romance with one of them extraordinary." ~ The Book Nympho
How did you get the idea for the story that began with Heart of a Dove?
I have always been fascinated by the era of the American West, both the mythology and the
actual history. I am most especially intrigued by the women involved. I believe they were brave,
strong, courageous and capable in ways we cannot even imagine. What they suffered through,
and how they are often subsequently vilified or reviled, makes my soul ache. I want to learn
everything I can about this era, these women, and their lives, and give them a voice. It’s a small
thing, but it is something tangible that I can do as a writer.
Which character in the book would you most/least like to have dinner with?
Oh, definitely Malcolm Carter is the one I would MOST want to have dinner with – and here is why:
So one evening this boy blazed into my story in a lightning flash, completely unanticipated. Initially,
when I was first writing Heart of a Dove, I had created four characters who would accompany Lorie
after she flees Ginny's (the whorehouse where she is a prisoner.) I envisioned them as four grown
men, former soldiers, rough around the edges, but in a sexy, appealing way. However, as I wrote, I
realized that one of the men was not a man at all but instead a boy, whose voice flowed so clearly
in my mind that I can hear him as plain as you would someone speaking directly into your ear. He
has popped into my dreams a time or two as well, with all the forthright attitude he possesses in
my book. It's enough to make you start fully believing in ghosts.
How did you research this era?
Because I love reading, researching the 1860s and 70s was not only fascinating, but fully
enjoyable. I prefer specialized research books that go into great depth – such as a book focusing
specifically on clothing fabrics, eyeglasses, wagons, or horses. Since horses play an important
role in the book, I read a great deal about them, and was fortunate enough to be able to spend
time at my mother’s farm, hanging out with her horses. I love conducting hands-on research
whenever possible. I read books about the conditions inside whorehouses – the farther west and
the less established the city or town, typically the rougher the circumstances. Some of it made me
cringe in horror, but I feel as though if these women had the courage to live through it, the least I
can do is read about it.
Have you always loved writing?
Yes – writing has always been an integral part of who I am. From the time I was a little girl, I filled
notebooks with stories, written longhand. I was nearly finished with high school before we had a
computer in the house – what a gift it was to be able to edit on a computer screen, rather than
erasing and rewriting (literally!) on lined paper. And the late 19th century has always been a time
period of intense fascination for me – I spent hours reading such amazing authors as Larry
McMurtry and Lucia St. Clair Robson, which sparked my imagination and fired up my spirit – I
knew that I wanted to write about the people who lived and died in this era, too.
Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
Definitely keep envisioning and pursuing your dreams! If you don’t like something, change it and
try a new path. And don’t use the words “slut” and “whore” in reference to women. When
researching prostitution for my books, I studied the etymology of these words and discovered so
many captivating things that I couldn’t explain short of a book-length work. People should not
defame each other in that way – especially when both words have a long history of keeping
women powerless, marginalized and unduly ashamed.