Beau Cadwell is the handsome, mysterious bad boy who lives next door to Willow Bell. He may also be a serial killer.
Despite a rivalry between their grandparents, Willow can’t help but to be pulled in by Beau’s effortless bravado in Amber Hart‘s new novel Wicked Charm. But as a rising number of teen girls’ bodies are found in the local swamp, Willow realizes that Beau is the best suspect. She wants to give in to her feelings for him, but first, she’ll need to make sure he’s not a murderer.
We had the chance to chat with author Amber Hart about romantic thrillers, Willow & Beau’s dynamic, the charm of the swampland, and more! Check it all out below.
Willow is very attracted to Beau, but she also knows he could be a deadly crush. How did you strike the balance between her curiosity and her fears as their relationship progressed?
Willow holds her ground. She carries a weapon at all times and knows the swamp well. She also stays alert. So though she’s attracted to him, she’s smart about it. She knows there’s a killer and she is determined to not be the next victim.
What’s your favorite part of Willow and Beau’s relationship dynamic?
I love how freely Willow gives herself to situations and how much that affects Beau. He’s guarded. He closes himself off, but with Willow, he finds it difficult to do so. I love how different they are and how they play on each other’s strengths, build each other up.
I spent half of my time growing up in Georgia, and the other half in Florida, where there was no shortage of swampy waters and gators and southern charm. I passed most of that time reading thrillers and imagining the things that could go wrong in such an eerie setting. I drew on this to crate the background scenery, then added a complicated hero, who likes to talk in riddles, a curious, feisty girl, and a string of shadowy murders.
Besides your main characters, who were your favorite characters to write? (Gran seems like a hoot!)
Absolutely I loved writing Gran. She is old, speaks her mind, and loves feeding the gators. She’s such an odd character, yet helps the reader feel at home in the story. I also liked writing Charlotte, Beau’s twin, maybe because she was the most difficult to write. Throughout the pages, she is ruthless, savage, and maybe a little rotten at the core.
What are some of your favorite book or movie romances with a creepy twist?
Though I’m not a fan of movies with any kind of scary twist, I LOVE books with them. I adore Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake and Shutter by Courtney Alameda. These are my all time favorite creepy stories that I reread often, and both have a touch of romance.
Were there any artistic or musical influences behind Wicked Charm?
Nature is my muse—the ultimate artist. There’s no other place I know of that can look like a painting, sound like a song, feel like passion, and have outlines like a sketch all at the same time. There are so many, many inspirations where I live. From sandy, stormy beaches, to wicked skies, to dark woods, to mangrove roots, to wandering paths. The scenery paints different words in my mind.
What’s your writing process like?
Computer. Silence. Words. Dogs curled at my feet. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.
Want to see more? Check out our exclusive excerpt from Wicked Charm here!
Wicked Charm is out now. You can snag yourself a copy via…
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled Publishing
ABOUT THE BOOK
Nothing good comes from living in the Devil’s swamp.
Willow Bell thinks moving to the Okefenokee area isn’t half bad, but nothing prepares her for what awaits in the shadows of the bog.
Girls are showing up dead in the swamp. And she could be next.
Everyone warns Willow to stay away from Beau Cadwell—the bad boy at the top of their suspect list as the serial killer tormenting the small town.
But beneath his wicked, depthless eyes, there’s something else that draws Willow to him.
When yet another girl he knew dies, though, Willow questions whether she can trust her instincts…or if they’re leading to her own death.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amber Hart resides on the Florida coastline with family and a plethora of animals she affectionately refers to as her urban farm. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She’s the author of several novels for teens and adults, including Wicked Charm, the Before and After series for teens, and the Untamed series for adults.