Saturday, June 18, 2016

Giving the Finger to the Romance Snobs #Books #RomanceNovels

Gasp! How dare I! There I go being ballsy and in-your-face again. Guess what? I don't care. I'm an educated, professional, adult female who is way beyond the age of needing to prove myself to anyone--especially those of you who snub my work because I write romance. And, yes, I swear, drink alcohol, stay up until three in the morning, speak my mind, and sometimes wear pajamas until two in the afternoon---because I can. I also love my dogs, meditate, am a great mother of two remarkable young adults, and run multiple businesses solo. But how can this be? How can I be a...shh...romance author...and hold my head high in the world? Because I can. Deal with it.

Another gasp!

Oh, no, she's not conforming to societal expectations of a professional woman, let alone a single mom. It's scandalous that she writes about LOVE and SEX--and then she also swears and has an opinion! Oh, the horror! *cue the judgy eyes*

I love writing romance novels. Yes, I also write nonfiction, new adult, and paranormal--but today I'm talking about my favorite genre, the romance novel.

Romance doesn't equal trash. In some writing groups, being a romance author is the equivalent of being the woman wearing a too-short skirt showing off killer legs while sitting on a pew in the back of the church. Sure, she's shown up and has a good heart--perhaps she's even more devout than you--but she's sassy and beautiful so she's shunned by the rest of the congregation. Perhaps she's even labeled a whore and deviant without anyone bothering to know her.

That's how it feels being a romance author. Disrespect abounds in writing groups with mixed genres who somehow think BDSM is the same as rape or that we have no moral standards where we draw the line at incest or pedophilia.

You write romance so should be tolerant of pedophiles, right? Isn't BDSM the same as rape--just be honest with yourself. When you write trash like that, is there really a line? 

Yes. Yes, there is a line. And, no, I don't write trash "like that." We have standards, morals, families, and careers to protect. Believe me...there is a line and we all know where it is. We don't need non-romance authors trying to impose their stigmas on us--just get the fuck out of our business.

I'm a damn good writer who has been writing since the age of nine for fun and as a professional since the age of twenty-one. I'm now forty-eight. You do the math. I have published over two-hundred articles in the past decade alone and have thirty published books (some under a pen name), yet I'm dismissed in many literary circles--usually by people with far fewer credentials than I have--and even by people who meet me for the first time who snicker when I proudly declare, "I write romance novels."

Don't you want to write something serious, something you can be proud of? What on earth do your kids say? Do you keep it a secret from them? 

I'm a romance author, not a drug dealer or a pimp. No, I don't keep my career a secret...what the hell is wrong with you for suggesting otherwise?

With all the turmoil in the world, I am proud that I write stories that make people smile, keep them on the edge of their seat, give them a thrill, and leave them with a happily-ever-after or happy-for-now ending. I love LOVE. I'm not bashful about sex. I'm excited to deliver my readers a story that makes them fall in love with a hot book boyfriend and takes them away from all their worries.

Yes, there are hacks out there who don't know how to construct a sentence, write believable dialogue or weave a clever plot. The advent of self-publishing has unleashed them onto the world with gusto! But those hacks are in every genre--usually, they are the snobbiest of them all in these writing groups.

I used to bite my tongue and move on, shrug off the snottiness, but I'm not doing that anymore. I say to those who snicker at the words "romance author", remember what your mama taught you and, if you can't say something nice, say nothing.

The world needs more love and we all need to stop being so uptight about sex. Writing a full-length novel is a big task, no matter what the genre, so show each other some respect. Would it really kill you to be nice? If so, then maybe that's not a bad thing in the big scheme of life.

Offended by this post? Good. Then you're the person I wanted to read it.

Peace and love to the world! Read more romance novels! Live a little! Get wild! Don't be so damn uptight! Respect your peers!



Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of romantic thrillers, contemporary romance, women's fiction, and nonfiction. She also writes five different blogs, works as a professional editor and author coach, creates a line of inspirational journals, volunteers for children's literacy, and advocates for suicide awareness. In addition, she is the mother of two extraordinary human beings who lives in a small cabin high in the Rocky Mountains where she is completely aware of how lucky she is. To find out more about her books, please visit http://www.amberleaeaston.com





Sunday, June 12, 2016

#SecondChance at a Once in a LIfetime #Romance #Giveaway

Excerpt of Dancing Barefoot...


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“Kiss me,” she whispered against his mouth.

“No."  His hands slid up her arms before cupping the back of her head.

"I dare you."

"Never."

"I know you want to."

"I don't."

"Now who's the liar?" she asked, her teeth tugging at his lower lip.

Their mouths met in a kiss that melted her skin like candle wax, turning them into one being, one entity consumed by desire. To hell with restraint and regret. She needed this, needed him, here and now.

Passion overrode all other thought or senses. Her hands stroked his back, kneading, and searching. Every sense was alive with his touch, with his kiss. The need for him was an ache that burned deep. Hot. Necessary. Urgent. Primal.

God, she had missed this, missed him.

He ripped her tank top in two and tossed the material aside. His hands squeezed her breasts while his mouth devoured her lips.  

She yanked his shirt free from his jeans and shoved it high on his chest, needing his skin against hers more than she'd ever needed anything in life.  Clothes fell away, bread crushed beneath their bodies, wine spilled from an overturned bottle at their feet.

  They fell against the easel, knocking the canvas and paint in every direction. A tangle of limbs, they made eye contact for a moment, chests heaving, breathing labored.

"This is wrong," he muttered against her skin.  

"Right. Always right with us." She sank her fingernails into his shoulders.

"What the lady wants, the lady gets," he said, a predatory gleam in his eyes.

His hands worked at pushing her yoga pants over her hips while his mouth claimed her breast.

She looped her toes in the waistband of his underwear and yanked them over his thighs.  Her hands sought his erection while her back arched with every stroke of his hands and every lick of his tongue.

He ground himself inside her with the intensity of repressed rage. Her legs wrapped around his hips, holding him as close as possible as he plunged deep inside her.  

Sex had never been tame with him, but this was animalistic. This was raw.  Teeth sank into skin. Nails scraped against each other's bodies. They rolled together, locked as one being. Streaks of yellow and red paint lined their faces, stuck in their hair, no one cared.

From the back cover...

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Naked photographs plastered on a book cover remind Jessica Moriarty that the past isn't as dead as she'd assumed. Her carefully constructed life as an architect on the fast track to partnership is threatened by a love she'd abandoned five years ago when responsibilities had trumped dreams.

World-renowned photographer, Jacques Sinclair, could have chosen anywhere in the world for his book signing and photography exhibit, but he'd come to Boston to shake things up. He wanted answers, but they aren't what he expected.

Reunions aren't always happy—sometimes they stir up unwanted pain and forgotten passion. As Jacques and Jessica stumble their way back to one another for a second chance at love, they're ensnared in a web of conspiracy, manipulation, and sabotage designed to keep them apart. Will they be able to break free of the ties that bind them to seize the love of a lifetime? Or will the pressure to conform rip them apart forever?

**This is the conclusion of the two-part Dancing Barefoot series and can be read as a stand-alone. However, to get the full impact of the love story, the author recommends reading book one, In Between, which is permanently set at .99 as an intro to the series.**


For the Scintillating Sunday giveaway, I will be contributing one of my most popular backlist novels, Riptide, a romantic suspense set in Grand Cayman. Good luck!


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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Hot, wet, and beach ready #Romance #ScintillatingSunday

Excerpt of the romance adventure novella, Duplicity...it's a wild ride in the Cayman Islands! 


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"One drunken night is a hookup and nothing more...but the second time feels much more deliberate." He hesitated a breath away from her face, his blue eyes dark with both desire and concern. 

"Let me guess," she pressed closer to him, enjoying the feel of the metal ladder pressing against her back while the warm Caribbean Sea lapped against their bodies, "you're not the kind of guy who usually has more than a one night stand."

"Stop worrying about the kind of guy I am." 

"That means I'm right?" She nuzzled her nose against the side of his face. The dread that had sunk her heart only minutes earlier dissipated. 

"Do you really care about anything beyond this moment?" He brushed his lips over her neck, his massive body making her feel small and vulnerable in the water. 

She didn't care about anything except the sensations of warm water, metal, heat, salt, his body, his mouth, his breath. Sounds of the rope holding the dingy behind the main yacht slapping against the hull competed with the sound of her heartbeat reverberating in her ears. 

She slid her hands down his chest to his waist and back again. "I totally understand why the coeds go for you even though you're past your prime."

He laughed against her neck before pulling away and looking her in the eye. "Past my prime, huh? My bet is that we are the same age."

Her lips twitched because she knew she'd hit a nerve. Obviously, they were both in their thirties, but she hadn't been able to resist a dig. Feeling more adventurous than she had in a long time, she grabbed the steps of the ladder, unwrapped her legs from around him, moved up toward the boat, and pressed her breasts against his face. He licked her abdomen as she slid past him toward the deck and she smiled at the gleam in his eye. 

He followed, covering in her body with his before she was fully out of the water. Flat on the lower deck used for divers to come in and out of the sea with the ocean sloshing beneath them, he captured her mouth in a kiss that left her breathless with need. 

Passion from the night before had been fueled by whiskey, but today it erupted from pure desire. She couldn't get enough of touching him, kissing him—couldn't get enough of him manhandling her as if she were his plaything. 

No man had ever before triggered her into this frenzied lovemaking. She craved him. It was as if inhibition had evaporated in the sea breeze and all common sense had been left on land. 

He nipped, pinched, licked, and kissed every inch of her until she slapped her hands at her sides and prayed for release. The boat rocked beneath them, saltwater splashed over their joined bodies, and the sun dipped lower in the sky. 

He consumed her, his body claiming hers while his mouth crushed her lips. 

From the back cover...

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Nothing bad happens in paradise...or does it?


Lexi Dubois is in trouble. On Grand Cayman for business, she discovers the company she's been working for is funding a human trafficking ring—and the money trail leads back to her. Scared for her life, she charters a boat for a week to hide from the men on the small island who want her dead and to buy time to find enough evidence to take them down. The last thing she expects—or wants—is a torrid affair with the hot captain and dive master.

Larry Gibbon has been running a charter dive boat operation in Grand Cayman for years. He's seen it all—and done his share of creating havoc. But when a mysterious woman charters his boat for a week—alone—he has no idea what trouble she's bringing aboard.

The ocean is vast and unforgiving, but will Larry's knowledge of the Cayman Islands and Lexi's relentless determination to survive be enough to save them?

**The Wanderlust Series consists of stand-alone adventure romance novels. Occasionally, characters from previous novels may make a cameo, but each story truly does stand on its own merits.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Make Me Believe in Something Good, Something Better Than a Lie #ScintillatingSunday #Romance

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Excerpt of the romance thriller, One True Thing...
He'd never met anyone like her. Vanessa Warren was definitely one-of-a kind. She sauntered to him, almost like a predator about to go in for the kill, stood on her tiptoes until her breath caressed his chin, and whispered, "Make me believe in something good, something better than a lie." 

He grabbed her ass and lifted her up until they were eye-to-eye. Hair licked with fire slipped across his face when she leaned over him, all color and warmth. He wanted this, wanted her. This is why he had come, to feel this again, this agony of desire that he had suppressed for years. 

Fingers twisted in the strands of hair that slipped against his face. He crushed her to him, ravaging her mouth like a dying man grasping at life. Tongues teased. Teeth nipped.  And he fell past a point he had never thought to cross, not that he cared, not that it mattered. In his mind, he could see the lights of the city, blurring with speed and spinning beneath them. 

God, she felt good.  Intoxicating. Her lips nibbled across his neck.  

“I shouldn’t want you so much, but I do. I can’t stop myself,” she whispered.  

“Why do you want me?” He held her firm with his fists wrapped in her hair. “Tell me.”

“You wanted me when you didn’t know who I was. We were just two people, strangers, without a past or a future. I knew you wanted to fuck me against that mural, beneath that tarp, I saw it in your eyes, thought about it all damn day. Then tonight there you were. You walked up those stairs like a predator, seeking me out, sweeping me away.”  

“You want to be swept away?”  

“Desperately.”

From the back cover...

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Power...it's a heady drug.



Vanessa Warren is America's favorite rebel. Daughter and granddaughter of US Presidents and sister to a future one, her family connections and notoriety are seen as leverage for manipulating the White House—if she's captured.

One little lie leads to a whole lot of trouble.

Reclusive international resort developer, Dominic Varga, needs a date to ward off his matchmaking parents. When he persuades the notorious Vanessa Warren to play his girlfriend for the night, he has no idea he's stepped into the crosshairs of kidnappers who will do anything—destroy everything—to get to her.

One true thing...

Trapped in a rapidly escalating international terror plot, Dominic and Vanessa's lie becomes the only real thing in the midst of betrayals, conspiracies, and murder. As their world falls apart, they suddenly only have each other to rely on against ruthless people who will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. Who can they trust? Who is behind the plot—her own family, a political rival of her family's, or a terrorist organization? How far will the kidnappers go—what will they be willing to sacrifice—to control the power of the White House? Is there anywhere in the world where they can find safety?
 





Sunday, May 22, 2016

She's Like an Inferno and He Can't Resist the Flames #RomanticSuspense #ScintillatingSunday

Excerpt of the political romance thriller, One True Thing...


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“My name doesn’t make a difference, does it?”  

“I’d be lying if I said no…” his voice trailed off with uncertainty.  

“Then lie to me.” She twisted her fingers into the fabric of her dress and willed him to not let the weight of her lineage crush the spark of something new. 

Damn, he looked good in both jeans and a tuxedo. She wondered what he'd look like naked, hoped she'd find out soon. Something intangible compelled her toward him that had nothing to do with his appearance — an understated power reverberated from him. And she wouldn't be a true Warren if she weren't attracted to power on some level.

In one quick move, he crushed her against him and devoured her lips with his. Like a wild animal released after years in captivity, his passion overwhelmed her, consumed her. He lifted her tight against him, one hand at the back of her head, the other at her hip. 

Her feet left the ground. She wrapped her arms around his neck. Desire engulfed her like an inferno. 

Tongues clashed in an age-old dance. Deep, low moans rattled from their chests.  Her fingers wrapped themselves in the ends of his hair. She wanted more, craved his heat, needed his body claiming hers, hungered for the taste of his skin under her mouth. 

The elevator doors opened with a ding.  

Chests heaving against one another, they stared into each other's eyes, lips still clinging together. Breath tangled with breath. 

“Going down?”  Pam asked from the opening of the elevator.  

“Not quite yet,” Vanessa replied, a slow smile curving her lips as she smoothed the velvet over her hips.  “Maybe later.”      

From the back cover...

One little lie leads to a whole lot of trouble.


Reclusive international resort developer, Dominic Piazza, needs a date to ward off his matchmaking parents. When he persuades the notorious Vanessa Warren to play his girlfriend for the night, he has no idea he's stepped into the crosshairs of kidnappers who will do anything—destroy everything—to get to her.

Power...it's a heady drug.

Vanessa Warren is America's favorite rebel. Daughter and granddaughter of US Presidents and sister to a future one, her family connections and notoriety are seen as leverage for manipulating the White House—if she's captured.

One true thing...

Trapped in a rapidly escalating international terror plot, Dominic and Vanessa's lie becomes the only real thing in the midst of betrayals, conspiracies, and murder. As their world falls apart, they suddenly only have each other to rely on against ruthless people who will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. Who can they trust? Who is behind the plot—her own family, a political rival of her family's, or a terrorist organization? How far will the kidnappers go—what will they be willing to sacrifice—to control the power of the White House? Is there anywhere in the world where they can find safety? 



Sunday, May 15, 2016

She's a Pawn in a Deadly Game to Control the White House #ScintillatingSunday #Romance

Excerpt of the political romance thriller, One True Thing...


She opened her eyes and stared him down. Anxiety gripped her chest like an iron corset. "No matter what I said, wouldn't this be an over-the-top election strategy? He told me that he's being pressured to drop out."

"And you know damn well he has no intention of doing that," he said quietly without breaking eye contact. "The power of the White House is at stake. What would anyone sacrifice to be President of the United States?"

Think of the greater good, Cleo's words whispered through her mind. 

"I get it, I do. I'm a pawn in someone's sadistic game, but that doesn't mean my own family is orchestrating mass chaos," she whispered. 

"Doesn't it? You thought so yourself only twenty-four hours ago."

"Dominic—"

"There is a part of you that doubts them, which is why you're here with me and not in your house surrounded by Secret Service."

Because she could neither confirm nor deny his theory or provide an alternative one, she walked away from the table, moved through the shadows flickering across the room from the shaded windows, and quietly gathered her things. Heartbeat rushed through her ears like an endless whooshing of fear. Sweat lined her palms. 

She waited for Dominic in silence, almost too scared to breathe, and watched the shadows of palm trees swaying against the floor, the knowledge that the glass house could shatter at any moment growing like a crescendo in her mind. 

From the back cover...

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Power...it's a heady drug.



Vanessa Warren is America's favorite rebel. Daughter and granddaughter of US Presidents and sister to a future one, her family connections and notoriety are seen as leverage for manipulating the White House—if she's captured.

One little lie leads to a whole lot of trouble.

Reclusive international resort developer, Dominic Varga, needs a date to ward off his matchmaking parents. When he persuades the notorious Vanessa Warren to play his girlfriend for the night, he has no idea he's stepped into the crosshairs of kidnappers who will do anything—destroy everything—to get to her.

One true thing...

Trapped in a rapidly escalating international terror plot, Dominic and Vanessa's lie becomes the only real thing in the midst of betrayals, conspiracies, and murder. As their world falls apart, they suddenly only have each other to rely on against ruthless people who will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. Who can they trust? Who is behind the plot—her own family, a political rival of her family's, or a terrorist organization? How far will the kidnappers go—what will they be willing to sacrifice—to control the power of the White House? Is there anywhere in the world where they can find safety?

 Amazon





Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Enough of the Superficial Crap #life


Over the past week, a few male models have been behaving badly. They've body shamed a few of the romance authors who actually make or break their careers, suggested the fat ladies should commit suicide, and other heinous BS. Yes, that's true. There have been many posts on the subject this week so I'm not going to delve into the details, but I admit it got me thinking.

Enough of the superficial BS that's ruining our society! We need to correct ourselves--now.

On top of that male model drama (that makes me snicker a bit writing that), I had a man tell me that the real reason we could never have a future together is because I'm a romance author and he "deserves" to only date doctors or lawyers; but, in the same conversation, tell me that I'm the most amazing woman he's ever known and his "best friend"-- it's too bad I'm just a writer.

What the fuck is happening in the world? When did dating become more like a job interview or like an application for a home loan? Do you make enough money to be with me?! Are you physically fit enough to deserve my respect as a human being? Is THAT really the criteria we want to judge all of our human interactions?

People are more than their careers or body shape/size. Has our world become so shallow that character no longer matters? Have we become so worried about image that we can't be seen with someone who doesn't fit our inflated delusions of how great we are? Why is it so easy to rip people down rather than lift them up? Not only is it easy, it appears to be acceptable as a social norm.

Think I'm exaggerating? Look at the Culture of Trump that allows this bigot who spews hate and sexism to be one step away from winning the White House. We watch reality shows where the "winners"--the ones who lie, cheat, and backstab the best--are awarded a check for a million dollars. We follow The Real Housewives of Wherever who are too rich for their own good and who tear each other apart in the name of entertainment--deepening the stereotype that women are catty and unable to cultivate true friendships. Ask BRAVO how profitable the Housewives series has become--it will blow your mind.

Teens are bullied so badly on social media that they kill themselves--yet we say, "Oh, that's too bad, " or, worse yet, blame the parents of the dead child for not intervening while the bullies usually continue on their merry way.

For the past eleven years, I've been judged for being a single parent--despite the fact that I'm a widow. I have been sneered at, left out of parties that were 'couples only', pitied for being on a budget, and many other superficial things that boggle my mind. The fact that my kids have never been in trouble, are always kind to others, have been active with volunteering in the community, and excel in school seems to be brushed aside. Why? Because it's so much easier to focus on the negative (although I don't see being a single parent as a dirty word or a negative, more like a challenge and a fact of life), than to give anyone credit for all the positives.

Why? Because when we are putting others down, we are inflating our own false sense of perfection. Ask yourself--if you're busy judging someone else, does it make you feel superior? Do you feel better about your own life when you're looking down your nose at someone else?

I don't understand it. Yes, I've been guilty of gossip--but not for many years. Tragedy struck my life again and again and reframed my perspective. Often, passive aggressive stuff coming my way goes right over my head making me seem clueless, but I'd much rather not understand than be on the same wavelength of the ones doing the judging. The same with body shaming someone for being heavier or not wanting to date someone because they aren't a doctor or a lawyer. To me, none of that makes any sense.

My late husband was a construction worker. His hands were stained with oil at times and he was self-conscious about always being dirty. Yet that man was the kindest soul I have ever known. He never spoke ill of anyone. He took good care of us. He would hire someone to work on his crew even if the guy had a sketchy history because he felt everyone needed a second chance in life. Yes, he was one of the good ones, yet he was and has been judged harshly since his death by people who don't have half of his integrity.

Why do we allow hate to permeate our lives? Why are we so angry that we would rather take a look at someone and dismiss them because of their appearance or because of their job title? It scares me.

My kids and I witnessed road rage the other day when we were walking into a movie theater--a man was screaming at a mom driving a minivan while her children sobbed in the back seat. He had stopped her car and was calling her a whore and a bitch while people walked by like it was okay...like it was normal. (Apparently, she hadn't driven properly in the round-a-bout) I started to intervene just as the woman managed to steer around him and leave, but I was shocked at the ambivalence around me.

I would rather be a poor-always-hustling-to-survive, overweight, single mom who has raised ethical children than a mean-spirited, zero-body-fat bitch who would rather take someone down than lift them up. And, no, I'm not judging the skinny ones--I have friends who run triathlons and I personally love Zumba--I'm simply using that as an example of superficial stereotypes that divide rather than unify! Me shaming someone for being skinny is just as bad as someone shaming me for being a size 12. But, it's all true...every word. I have lived it. And, most likely, so have you. That's the tragedy.

I'm scared of what the world is becoming, of what we're allowing. When is enough enough? When do we as a collective stand up and demand more from our fellow human beings?

Peace to you.
Amber Lea Easton
http://www.amberleaeaston.com

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Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of romantic thrillers, contemporary romance, women's fiction, and nonfiction. She also writes five different blogs, works as a professional editor and author coach, creates a line of inspirational journals, volunteers for children's literacy, and advocates for suicide awareness. In addition, she is the mother of two extraordinary human beings who lives in a small cabin high in the Rocky Mountains where she is completely aware of how lucky she is. To find out more about her books, please visit http://www.amberleaeaston.com