Today, I get to shed some light on the lovely Belle Ami! I’ve had the privilege of meeting Belle a few times, spending some time with her, and watching her journey as she’s produced book after book. She’s been nominated for several awards, and not only is her writing a joy, so is she.
- How did you get started writing?
First off, thank you, Erin, for giving me the opportunity to share my writing journey with you and your readers.
Once upon a time, a fulltime mom and wife felt compelled to write the story of her mother’s life. My beautiful mother, Dina, is a Holocaust survivor. When the Nazis conquered Poland and marched into Radom, the town where my mother was born and lived – Dina was only ten years old. My first book, In the Face of Evil, is the story of her life before, during, and after World War II. It is the ultimate tale of endurance and survival. By the time she was thirteen years old, Dina had lost every member of her family, yet she survived. Writing her story was an act of love, and it was the birth of my writing career. In the Face of Evil, a novel/memoir was a Finalist in the National Jewish Book Awards. Although atrocities abound in my mother’s story, this is an uplifting tale of a young girl’s spirit and determination to survive and build a new life.
After writing a book that literarily tore me apart—I turned to a different kind of storytelling. The first series was The Only One, a dark romance suspense series. I love this series, but if I ever find the time, I’d like to re-edit and republish it. Yes, authors do improve in their craft, and my style and approach now is more sophisticated, but my romantic thriller stories are still full of action, suspense, and love. I’ve learned to delve deeper into the human psyche in my books, and my characters have become more richly portrayed and truer to real life.
After The Only One Series (The One, The One and More, One More Time Is Not Enough) I found myself completely immersed in the world of international thrillers—espionage/intrigue/the underworld, and crime/terrorism, with lots of action and thrills and robust plots to keep the pages turning, including deep, poignant, and meaningful life-changing romance. My heroes and heroines go through a lot, and the love they find with each other becomes their driving force for a better life for themselves and a better world for all of us. The Tip of the Spear series has won numerous awards and praise. It chronicles the adventures of my sexy and soulful, Iranian Mossad super-spy Cyrus Hassani (kind of like a Jewish/Iranian James Bond) and the woman who brought him “out of the cold”, Layla. She transforms him with her courage, humor, sassy spirit, and love—Layla Rose Wallace, a Jewish-American grad student with a brilliant nuclear physicist father, and courageous and funny grandparents, who lived through the Holocaust (my mom’s influence again). Escape, Vengeance, Ransom, and the upcoming Exposed are all about political intrigue, adventure, heroism, and, of course, love and the complexity of our relationships with those we love and, yes—those we hate.
An author evolves with time as do her stories, which brings me to my current, Amazon #1 bestselling series, the Out of Time Thriller Series. My heroine, Angela Renatus (Renatus means reborn in Latin), has a gift bestowed upon her from her past lives. Angela is a brilliant art-historian and psychic, who, with her fiancé, ex-SEAL-turned-detective, Alex Caine, recover stolen art and solve mysteries about the title artist and his/her art, and more importantly, their lives.
Angela psychically time-travels via her waking visions and dreams. She is compelled not only to find lost art, but she’s driven by her past lives to correct the historical record of what really happened and who these renowned artists really were. Even though Angela and Alex always uncover the truth—sometimes they have to decide whether to share it with the world or let the mystery go “unsolved” in the public realm.
The Girl Who Knew da Vinci (Book 1 in the Out of Time Thriller Series) and The Girl Who Loved Caravaggio(Book 2 in the Out of Time Thriller Series) are multi-award winning books that transport readers to the Renaissance era. The next book in the series, The Girl Who Adored Rembrandt, is up for pre-order on Amazon for only .99 cents! It will go live on September 1, 2020 (at which time the price will go to its regular price of $2.99).
I’m over the moon with excitement to continue Angela and Alex’s journey through time and history.
- What are you working on now?
Thanks for asking, LOL. Right now, I’m nearly finished writing the fourth book in the Tip of the Spear series, titled Exposed (You can sign up for my newsletter to get all my latest updates). Cyrus, accompanied by Layla, is ordered by Mossad’s Ramsad (head) to London to protect an Iranian diplomat’s daughter, Jasmine Amin after she seeks asylum at the Israeli Embassy after witnessing the assassination of her family. Cyrus is also tasked with exposing the truth of who really assassinated her family. Lots of excitement and thrills as the three are on the run from the deadly hired assassin known to his clients as Gurga, which means “Wolf” in Persian-Kurdish. The Islamic Republic of Iran is on the verge of another revolution that might usher in one of two possible outcomes—nuclear apocalypse or the overthrow of a brutal regime. Can Cyrus once more protect Israel and the world? I’m also writing a domestic thriller/women’s fiction, which is a departure from my usual writing voice. Written in the first person, it’s the story of a middle-aged woman’s recovery from losing her husband and son in a car accident while she was behind the wheel of the car. When a younger man comes to work for her with his teenage stepdaughter on her ranch in Colorado, she discovers a horrifying secret that leads to terrifying danger and, ultimately, a new purpose in her life. Throughout the story, she struggles with her guilt and her journey to forgive herself for the accident and her beloved husband and son’s deaths.
- What future projects will we see from you?
This year I returned to World War II with a book I haven’t released yet. It’s a time-travel story with dual timelines of the present and WWII, titled The Blue Coat. I’m thinking of releasing it in three parts as a serial series on Amazon. I love this book, and it is, as you might expect, also inspired in many ways by my dear mother – who truly is my hero(ine).
There will be another Out of Time book. I haven’t yet settled on an artist/painter to build a story around, but I’m leaning towards a female artist, which would be fun to write. If any of your readers have any suggestions, I’m open. One thing is certain, it will be titled The Girl Who (fill in the blank), and Alex and Angela are going to tie the knot. Yes, there will finally be a wedding in Book 4!
I may also write another Tip of the Spear thriller, and it may become a side-story that might be a freebie book for my readers. So be sure to sign up for my newsletter to get updates on that!
And finally, there is ONE VERY SPECIAL BOOK I can’t wait to start writing. Right now, I’m in my research phase. I’m excited about the title too! It’s a great title, and it truly gets to the heart of the story. If your readers want to know more, they can sign up for my newsletter by clicking HERE to get updates and sneak peeks! In this book, I’m bringing back my good friend Leonardo da Vinci for a mystery thriller with two historical timelines. World War II and the Renaissance. I might have one more timeline in there too. I can’t wait!
As I said, I’m in my research phase right now – and as with all my books – I go deep with my research and create these big, hefty binders full of source material and notes. (I’m a little old-school that way). Hey, I wasn’t an A-student in school for nothin’! When I’m not writing, you can find me with some ungodly, giant tomes in hand. Yes, I really do read those thousand-page art-history books for my research.
Thank you again, Erin, for shedding light on my books.
If anyone wants to get in touch with me, they can go to my website: belleamiauthor.com.
There’s a gorgeous promo video on my home page that showcases my books. My super-duper book editor/promotions gal and dear friend Joanna D’Angelo created it. It’s a 47-second cinematic-style video. I love it!
Peace and Love, Belle Ami
If you would like to get to know other authors check out my interview with Tess Thompson here, and be sure to check back regularly for other author interviews, home decor tips, and my own writing ramblings.