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Ismee Amiel Williams Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Water in May (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
This Train Is Being Held (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Boundless: Twenty Voices Celebrating Multicultural and Multiracial Identities(2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Ismee Williams
Ismee Williams is an accomplished writer by night and a pediatric cardiologist by day. Since she is the daughter of a Cuban immigrant and was partially raised by her abuelos, her background helped her understand all of the Maris she met along the way.

As she was growing up, her abuelos moved in to help raise Ismee and her brother because her parents worked long hours. She grew up in the woods in Connecticut, since the school system was supposedly the best. They left behind their families in New Jersey, since Ismee’s Cuban mom never felt welcome by her dad’s white Protestant family. At the time, Ismee was unaware of any other grandparents that spoke to one another in Spanish.

For fifteen years, she trained and practiced pediatric cardiology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

While pregnant and on bedrest with her third child, she picked a young adult novel up to read, fell in love with it. She decided she wanted to write something just like that. Something that would deeply move a reader.

Her patients gave her the inspiration for “Water in May”. Her main character is an amalgam of more than a dozen young women that are still in high school she cared for as she worked at Columbia Medical Center in Washington Heights. These women were mainly Latina (primarily Dominican-American), and were just thrilled to be having a baby. It never mattered that their baby had some heart problem and could die. These strong moms did everything they could to help the babies they loved fiercely. It made Ismee want to tell their story.

At first, the novel was called “Broken Angel”, but was scrapped because ‘angel’ made it sound like it could be religious and ‘broken’ made it sound sad. They worked on titles with ‘heart’ in them before realizing that some may have believed the story was a romance. Ismee wanted a unique title for the novel, as well. It made her start playing with Spanish phrases that meant ‘to be lucky’. Many didn’t translate into English that well, with one meaning ‘being born with bread in your mouth’.

The title eventually came from her mother, who suggested como agua de mayo, or “Water in May”. It means something that comes right when you need it the most, like some rain for the spring flowers. It was a perfect title. A bit lyrical and totally unique.

For “The Train is Being Held”, the inspiration came from taking the subway for more than twenty years and saw a lot of cool interactions between total strangers. Like a guy passing tissues to a young lady that began crying in her hands. Cool connections like this warm the heart, and make you feel good about people in general and living in New York. She wanted to put together two very different people that were in the same subway car. These were two people you would not expect would ever cross paths, and just watch them fall for one another.

Ismee is a sucker for romance, particularly ill-fated romance, which meant she had to make up some background stories and scenarios that tortured Isa and Alex and forced both of them apart: their demanding parents, demanding schedules, huge misunderstandings, families crumbling because of mental illness and job loss. This is something that wasn’t easy for Ismee to do to these characters, since she ends up loving the characters she writes. She had a lot of fun sitting back and seeing Isa and Alex fight to get back to one another.

She loves to cook, read, travel, and play with her kids and Rowan, their dog that gets mistaken for a muppet a lot.

Ismee is very good at petting her dog. She just has to give him a look and he flops on his side, rolls over and shows her his belly, begging to get her tummy rubbed. She is also very good at braiding hair. Assuming it isn’t her own.

Ismee’s debut novel, called “Water in May”, was released in the year 2017. She writes young adult fiction and romance.

“Water in May” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2017. Mari Pujols, age fifteen, believes the child she is carrying finally means she is going to have a family member that is going to love her deeply and isn’t going to leave her. Not like her mom, who left when she was eight; or her abuela that wants as little to do with Mari as possible; or her dad, who is currently in jail. Doctors find a possibly fatal heart defect in the fetus, Mari is faced with some choices she never thought possible.

Surrounded by her on-and-off boyfriend, her loyal girl crew, and one dedicated doctor, Mari navigates a choice that might emotionally cripple the bravest of women. Both Mari and the broken-hearted baby inside her are fighters; and it don’t take too long to discover that this sick baby has got the strength to heal one whole family.

This captures every single thing about being a fifteen year old girl that is pregnant with a baby that has a serious heart condition. It also had some beautifully forged friendships and a diverse and stunning group of characters.

“This Train Is Being Held” is the second stand alone novel and was released in the year 2020. Alex is a baseball player. He’s a great one, in fact. His dad pushes him to go pro, however, Alex might want to be a poet. Not that his papi would allow that or even understand it.

Isa is a dancer. She would love to go pro, if her Havana-born mother weren’t dead set against that. Much like she is dead set against her daughter falling for a Latino. Isa’s privileged private-school life, with her older brother battling mental illness and her father losing his job, is all falling apart. Not that she would ever tell Alex that.

Fate, as well as the New York City subway, bring Isa and Alex together. Could it be enough to keep them together right when they need one another most?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Ismee Amiel Williams

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