Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Welcome Siren Bookstrand author, Amber Lea Easton!



 Nice to meet you Amber! I think I'm right in saying this is the first time we've met? I have my cup of coffee so why don't we sit down and starting talking? I'm looking forward to hearing more about you and your work...

1)  Who is your favourite author and why?

     I fluctuate on this one, but I’d say my favourite author is Heather Graham.  She also writes romantic suspense and I simply love her mastery of character development and plot twists.  She also incorporates humor into her stories, which is a great way to offset the tension involved in a romantic suspense novel.

2)  When did you first consider yourself a writer?

     Hmm...interesting question.  Good one.  I “considered” myself a writer when I started writing feature stories as a journalist.  Although I’d done news stories before that, they were more straight facts (yes, there was a day when journalism was still based on facts!) and feature writing gave me an opportunity to draw on my descriptive and creative skills to an extent.  That was about twenty years ago.  Seeing my first novel, Kiss Me Slowly, in print last November sealed the deal, though, and catapulted me to “author” status.  Now that was the true rush of my life. 

3)  Describe your writing space?

     a! Well, right now it’s very cluttered, but I’m not gonna lie...it’s usually like this.  My office space is in the back of our long, narrow family room.  I have it blocked off with a dark, wooden room divider that has slats in it that I can open and close (to spy on the kids when they’re fighting).  There’s a wood burning stove to my right backed by a river rock wall.  Every other wall is covered with a bookcase. To my left is my giant wall calendar that’s supposed to keep me on track with deadlines but doesn’t. I have pictures of sexy men, cards I’ve gotten from friends and fans, pictures of my now deceased grandparents and inspirational messages on the bulletin board above the giant calendar. I’m sitting at a rolltop desk facing a 26-inch screen iMac computer that the kids say I treat like a child. All around my desk are papers ranging from bills to my latest work-in-progress that needs revision. Behind those papers are more books, including my favorite book of love poems from Rumi.  On top of the desk is a picture of me kissing a sea lion in Cancun, Mexico, bamboo, a picture of me with some friends in Hydra, Greece and a ceramic bowl that says, “Joy and Laughter” on it.

4)  What are you reading now?

     Divine Openings by Lola Jones.

5)  How many books have your written?  Which is your favourite?

     Well, I’ve written four, but only two are published right now. The other two are in the cue for publication in 2013.  Ooo...asking me to choose a favourite novel of mine is like asking me to choose between my two children.  Ha!  I’ll say Riptide is my favourite only because it has a lot of emotion in it that I used from personal experiences. I cried when writing certain scenes because I connected so strongly with the emotional journey of my heroine, Lauren. 

6)  What comes first, plot or characters?

     Characters always come first for me.  They are the strongest and truly drive the plot to places I had no idea were possible. 

7)  Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

No.  I write every day.  Let me explain: If I happen to be stuck on one story, I jump to another work in progress.  I have multiple projects going at once, which makes it easy to avoid writers’ block.  However, I do get stuck on one story every now and then and find that taking a break from it to focus on something else frees it for me later.

8)  What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

     Belly dancing, hiking, socializing, hanging out with my teenagers at their sporting events, going to movies, reading.

9)  Tell us about your latest book?

     Riptide is a story about Lauren Biltmore needing to start over after one violent act shatters life as she’s known it. She resigns and escapes to her brother’s home on Grand Cayman to sort it all out.  Although she’s raw and untrusting, she’s attracted to Noah Reynolds who has seen more than his fair share of tragedy, too. In each other, they sense an understanding born out of common sadness and hot, hot attraction! Kindred spirits.  But the island is far from peaceful--Noah has a stalker of his own and Lauren begins to question what’s real or what’s imagined.  Her scars run deep and create a lot of self doubt that she needs to battle as she and Noah fight for their happy ending.
      You see, I was once stalked an attacked by a stalker--not nearly to the extent of Lauren!--but my experience motivated me to write about starting over, the paranoia that’s always whispering through your mind as you heal and the courage it takes to be happy despite the past.

10)  What’s next for you?

Reckless Endangerment is my next novel due out this winter.  It’s about a wounded marine, Colonel Michael Cedars, who returns to Denver, Colorado after being discharged from Afghanistan. He struggles with PTSD, the fact that his left leg is paralyzed and adjusting to his identity as a civilian. He’s married to Hope Shane who is a celebrity journalist on the trail of human trafficking ring.  She’s fighting for her marriage because Michael’s wanting to give that up, too...and eventually, she’s also fighting for her life. Michael is tested both physically and emotionally as he realizes that life does go on after the war...and that he is just as valued and necessary in his new roles as civilian and husband. 


Title: Riptide
Author: Amber Lea Easton
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Length: 98,000 words
Genres: Contemporary Romantic Suspense (Adventure)
Heat Level: Steamy

AVAILABLE AT:

BLURB:
One violent night shatters Lauren Biltmore’s life. As an anchorwoman, she's accustomed to reporting the news rather than being the lead story.  She escapes the spotlight by fleeing to her brother's home in the Cayman Islands. Haunted by nightmares, all she wants is a distraction from reality.

Distraction arrives via sexy screenwriter, Noah Reynolds. His take-me-to-bed looks mask a past ripe with scandal. He knows he should stay away from Lauren, especially when the worst night of her life unlocks his writer's block and while he's dealing with a stalker of his own, but ethics are his weakness.

Attraction sizzles beneath Caribbean sunshine. As their relationship grows, Noah's stalker intensifies her torment. Lauren wonders if her paranoia is justified or a carryover from her past. What's real? What's imagined?  Tentative trust is tested as their love is swept up against a riptide of deceit, murder, and revenge. 

EXCERPT:

His two days on board the Angelfish with Larry had been good for him. Larry had convinced him of the absurdity of his theory that Alicia still walked the earth and assured him that he’d help find out who was bringing up the past. Sometimes there was nothing better than an old friend, even one who tended to piss him off more often than not.

He toweled himself off, his thoughts centered around Lauren and their last date. It hadn’t exactly gone as planned given the dead guy face down amidst the fish. Not that he’d helped the situation with his not-so-smooth-moves-on-the-beach later. The past two days had given him perspective. He wanted her. Right or wrong, mistake or not, he needed to see where this could go. He couldn’t get her out of his mind. Maybe tonight he’d get another chance if he could track her down.

“Noah.” Lauren cleared her throat from where she stood outside the open bathroom door. She leaned against the wall in a Caribbean blue tank dress that hugged her body in all the right places, legs exposed from midthigh down, ankles crossed, long hair glistening over lightly tanned shoulders, gaze averted to the floor and smile playing across lips he desperately wanted against his skin. “Sorry to barge in. You left the deck door wide open.”

“No problem.” He cinched the towel around his waist and wondered exactly how long she’d been standing there. The thought of her watching him shower and dry off did crazy things to his nervous system. “I’ve been looking for you.”

“Erin told me.” She leaned her head back against the wall and dragged her gaze from his toes upward. “Heard you were on private charter for the past few days.”

He leaned his shoulder against the doorframe and let her gaze soak him up. He liked the way she looked at him as if he were dessert.

“About the other night...I’m sorry. Can I make it up to you? Dinner tonight? Etcetera?” he asked.

She caught her lower lip between her teeth, gaze lingering on his chest. “Are you sure this time? No running away when things get hot?”

Electricity zapped in the three feet separating them.

Damn, the woman did insane things to his rational thinking. He’d decided on the boat that he needed to see her, make things right, take it slow, get tangled up in some strings. Seeing her live and in person threw common sense out the window.

“I can’t decide if you’re hotter when wet or dry...I’m thinking it might be a tie,” she said.

Oh, what the hell. With an opener like that, how could a man resist? He crossed the space between them, slipped his hand behind her neck, and kissed her on that mouth he’d been fantasizing about all week.

Her hands slid over his damp chest while her mouth moved slowly beneath his, her teeth lightly catching his lower lip. Eyes open, they smiled against each other’s mouths.

“Miss me?” he asked.

“It would be very uncool of me to answer that.” She slid her hands over his abdomen and lingered on the towel. “Are you still wanting to back off, or have you come to your senses?”

He braced his hands over her head. The only thing he wanted to do was kiss her slowly and make her beg for more. He looked into her eyes. “You’re making me forget all of the reasons this is a mistake.”

“A sexy mistake.” Her fingers touched his chest in a featherlike caress. She licked her lips.

“Good point.” He smiled. “We’re headed into the danger zone.”

“You have no idea how dangerous.” She tugged on the towel, a wicked grin in her eyes.

Oh, he had an idea about the level of danger. He’d thought of nothing else for the past forty-eight hours and ranked this situation a solid Level Red. Despite that, all he could think about was how good it would feel to have her long legs wrapped around his hips while her nails clawed against his back. He needed to pull the emergency brake. Slow, he reminded himself. Slow.

He leaned against her, enjoying the way her body arched toward his like a magnetic pull. He tangled his fingers in the hair at the back of her neck. “What do you want, Lauren? After the other night, you know I’m more complicated than I seem.”

Her gaze flicked up to his. “I know what I’m doing.”

“You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.”

“Show me. Let’s make some mistakes together. We’re both consenting adults. What the hell?” she whispered, her teeth pulling at his lower lip.

“You’re reckless.”

“Does that scare you?” she asked.

He paused a fraction over her lips and looked into her eyes. Yeah, she was scary reckless, but that turned him on more than he could say. So what if she wanted to use him for a distraction from her own demons? He knew that had something to do with it—the woman oozed intensity.


BOOK TRAILER:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published fiction and nonfiction author. For twenty years, she's worked in the fields of journalism and advertising with a brief detour into the financial industry.  Although she holds a BA in Communications & Journalism, she is a perpetual student of life who enjoys taking post-graduate courses on a wide variety of subjects when time allows.  Smart is sexy, according to Easton, which is why she writes about strong female characters who have their flaws and challenges, but who ultimately persevere.

Easton currently lives with her two teenagers in the Colorado Rocky Mountains where she gives thanks daily for the gorgeous view outside her window. She finds inspiration from traveling, the people she meets, nature and life’s twists and turns. At the end of the day, as long as she's writing, she considers herself to be simply "a lucky lady liv'n the dream."

Visit Amber at:
Twitter - @MtnMoxieGirl

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