Amy Willoughby-Burle grew up in the small coastal town of Kure Beach, NC, and now lives in Asheville, NC with her husband and four children. She teaches creative writing and works as a freelance editor when not working on her own fiction. She is also the director of Wildacres Writers Workshop.
She is the author of the novels The Lemonade Year and The Year of Thorns and Honey. Her award-winning short fiction has been published in numerous journals and in her collection Out Across the Nowhere. Her fiction focuses on the importance of family and friends and centers on the themes of forgiveness, second chances, and finding beauty in the world around us. She likes to write about the wonder and mystery of everyday life.
The Other Side of Certain, A Love for Certain Novel, Book I
For the love of love…and books.
Mattie Mobley planned to be a teacher, but when times grew tough during America’s Great Depression and there were no teaching positions in her hometown of Asheville, NC, Mattie found work starting a school and helping the Pack Horse Librarians just over the mountains in the rural town of Certain, Kentucky. She’s not certain at all that this is a good situation, but she’s determined and honestly, a little desperate. Of all the things that Mattie does have– money, comforts, a good name, she doesn’t have what matters most–friends, love, and a purpose of her own.
Daniel, “The Grizzly Bear,” Barrett had a lovely life for a little while. Overcoming his family’s bad name and worse reputation, he made a life for himself in Certain. He was married with children and a figure of respect in his church, but desperate times called for desperate measures and a terrible tragedy was the result. Now exiled with his children along the wily run of the Hell for Certain Creek, Daniel has gotten used to being the town piranha again. It’s in his blood after all. Right? Maybe not, but he’ll need the powerful influence of love not only to change his own mind about himself but to convince his estranged extended family and the whole town as well.
Praise for The Other Side of Certain
“Willoughby-Burle has a knack for making readers chuckle at all the right places, and her theme of the importance of forgiveness shines through. Inspirational but not preachy, The Other Side of Certain will likely delight fans of sweet romance.” –Sarah Hendess for HNR
“As a fan of southern fiction, I had high expectations for The Other Side of Certain, and Amy Willoubhy-Burle exceeded them all. She weaves an inspiring story of redemption and finding home in a rough-around-the-edges town that both intrigues and entertains from page one. Simply put, the book is lovely! With thought-provoking dialogue, characters you can’t help but cheer for, and poignant symbolism, Burle tackles the topic of hell on earth and in man—displaying God’s grace and mercy throughout. The ending will leave readers with a smile on their faces and hope in their hearts.” —Beth Pugh, award-winning author of The Valentine Proposal and The Santa Run
“Welcome to Certain, where mountain legends sway minds and secrets rule hearts. The Other Side of Certain is richly grounded in research, taking the reader on a sweeping journey. In the midst of the Great Depression, Mattie and Daniel discover the power of hope and the beauty of second chances.” —Rachel Scott McDaniel, award-winning author of The Mobster’s Daughter
“Amy Willoughby-Burle’s The Other Side of Certain is a heartwarming, enduring tale of how libraries in even the most remote, impoverished towns can change lives since books are ‘so much more than little black words on a white page.’ Reading opens up new worlds for those involved and learning to read helps them heal to love again. A smashed stained-glass window becomes a metaphor for broken things being restored in this small Kentucky locale where many things are uncertain. The author carefully reconnects the shattered, colorful pieces of her character’s journeys and situations into a beautiful and memorable design.” —Delores Topliff, author of Books Afloat, Christmas Tree Wars, and Wilderness Wife
“If there is one overarching theme to this story, it would have to be that redemption, forgiveness, and a new beginning can always be found if one is open to the possibility and unwilling to let the past drag one down. Ultimately the key to these things is love and this is what the author portrays so beautifully. I loved the clean, wholesome romance with just that slight hint of titillation that keeps a reader interested. This was a wonderful read and one I can highly recommend.” –Grant Leishman for Readers’ Favorite (5 star review)
“Though the story is based in the 1930s, the characters are individuals with much more defining agency than the social norms of the era. It makes their love story relevant to modern-day audiences. Although not overtly pronounced, the book has Christian themes. However, the nature of their subtlety makes the book a great read for both religious and non-religious lovers of clean romance.” –Phumeza Ndzambo for Readers’ Favorite
“The overriding lesson I learned from this book is to always go directly to a person and ask questions instead of listening to rumors. Many times, you will find there is more to the story than you have heard. The Other Side of Certain would be a good fit for young adult readers who like slow-burn romances and vividly described characters.” –Stephanie Chapman for Readers’ Favorite (5 star review)
Praise for Amy’s other works include:
Out Across the Nowhere: “These stories give the reader the vivid language and compelling narratives that are the trademarks of the best short stories. Out Across the Nowhere is an astonishing debut.” –Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Serena and The Cove.
The Lemonade Year: “When life gives you lemons, read this book. It’s a delicious glass of humor, heart, and hope.” –Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants and At the Water’s Edge.
The Year of Thorns and Honey: “Amy Willoughby-Burle has crafted a warm, heartfelt story of second chances, exploring how we move forward in grace. With stunning emotional and psychological depth, the novel’s engaging characters wrestle with decisions large and small–and discover that starting over can be the most meaningful gift of all.” –Heather Bell Adams, award-winning author of Maranantha Road and The Good Luck Stone.