Welcome to Kisses, Caresses, and Whispers in the Night, home of bestselling romantic suspense author, Amber Lea Easton. We're all about thrills here--from hot romance to knuckle-whitening suspense. Let's have some fun!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Book hangover? Yep, it's a real thing. #AuthorInterview w/Lexi Post

We're heating things up with the hot, sizzling, downright SCORCHING author Lexi Post! She's swinging by to share an interview with us and to give us a peek at her new release, Unexpected Eden. Welcome, Lexi! 

Please tell us a little about yourself—things that aren't necessarily in your official author bio: 

I can’t cook, but my husband calls me the Microwave Queen because I can heat up any leftovers from the awesome meals he makes. I just moved back to the mainland after living in the Virgin Islands. I am a huge animal lover but cats top the list. Oh yes, I’m an ice cream-aholic, but I have an excuse, it’s genetic.

 We must share the same gene pool. Ha. How would you describe your books to a reader who hasn't read your work yet? 

My agent once described my books as “erotic romance with a whole lot of story.” One thing you will always find in my books is a strong love story. It’s just that I leave the bedroom door wide open when my characters get intimate. Okay, and maybe the camera is rolling and they are actually outside on the porch ;-)

Why write in this particular genre? Do you have any other genres that interest you or is this one your main passion? 

I write erotic romance, again with strong emphasis on the romance, but I write in many genres because I get my inspiration from classic literature. So the story, poem or novel really determines what genre the erotic romance takes. For example, when I chose to write Masque, it was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Mask of the Red Death.” That just begged to be a paranormal as did my book Passion of Sleepy Hollow. With my most recent book, Cowboys Never Fold, I was inspired by Bret Harte’s “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” so to me that meant I needed to write a contemporary cowboy story. My new release coming the end of April is called Unexpected Eden (The Eden Series Book #2) and was inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem “Come slowly Eden,” and yes, that poem is as passionate as it sounds.

Brilliant forms of inspiration. As far as the creative process goes, do you have a story idea or a character concept first? 

I start with the classic story, poem or novel that has inspired me. For example, with “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” the author created a story around a poker player, a madame, a whore, an old drunk and two innocents. The jaded characters are thrown out of Poker Flat and on their way to the next town when they run into a young couple of which the young man idolizes the poker player because he once lost all his money to the poker player and the poker player gave it back and told him to never play poker again. The story focuses on how those who have seen the seedier side of life adjust their behavior so as not to taint the innocents. In Cowboys Never Fold, I took that same concept and a similar cast of characters and switched it up. The former professional poker player is the heroine and she has taken her winnings and is opening a new nudist resort called Poker Flat. I decided the hero was one of the innocents as he is a cowboy and only comes to work for her because he owes a friend a big favor. So the characters really drive this story as they do in all my books.

Please tell us about a current work-in-progress (or latest release): 

Unexpected Eden is coming out in a matter of weeks and is already up for pre-order. I’m very excited about this book. It is the second in the Eden series. Eden is a planet mostly covered in lush green jungle with various walled in cities and is filled with naked men. Wearing clothes is an insult. Only males are born on Eden, so the men are forced to find a woman on Earth. One of the rules for this planet is that every woman must have at least two husbands (Yes, very lucky Earth women). In the first book in the series, Cruise into Eden, we meet Nase and Ware, former leaders of the city of Naralina who have been exiled, and they have boarded a nude cruise on Earth to convince Erin to come home with them. In the second book, Unexpected Eden, Jahl, Khaos and Sandale use the portal to Earth to save Serena and her friend from attackers, so when they get back to Loraleaf, their home in the jungle, they have to convince her to stay. But while their families have scarred them for life, Serena is very close to hers and insists on returning home.
What I love about these Edenists is they treat women like gold because they are so rare. 

Sounds like I need to be ordering this one ASAP! I love the premise. As an author, what do you want readers to take away from your stories after they read the words 'the end'? 

A book hangover. Yup, one of my readers told me she had book hangover after she read my book and I think it’s one of the best compliments I’ve ever had. According to her, a book hangover is when the story you read was so powerful and you loved the characters so much that you just can’t bring yourself to start another book quite yet.

Besides that, I want my readers to take away the confirmation that love can happen and it is very powerful. I know because I’ve found it.

Book hangover--what a great term. What do you do for fun that doesn't involve writing or reading? 

Dancing. I love to dance. I was trained as a classical ballet dancer right through my master’s degree, but I never danced professionally. Today, give me a country line dance or some old time rock and roll and I’m in heaven. What makes it better is when my husband joins in because he’s good and looks so hot in a cowboy hat and jeans ;-) I go dancing at least once a week. I also make my own ice cream because dancing is hard work and I deserve a treat when I’m done ;-)

Ha! I think I'm developing a bit of an author crush on you. What is the most adventurous thing you have done either personally or professionally? 

I don’t really think of myself as adventurous, but my friends think so because of my unique living choices. After being too cold while living through a New Hampshire winter when the temperatures didn’t go high enough to reach the freezing mark for the entire month of January, my husband and I decided we wanted to live on houseboat in Arizona. So we sold everything, designed a houseboat, had it built in Canada and shipped it to a lake in Arizona where we lived on it for six years. 

But the Arizona winters were still too cold, getting down to the forties, so we decided to move to the Caribbean. After researching the various islands, we decided on St. Croix and moved there with our cat. After five years there, we decided I could quit my job as a professor and write fulltime if we moved somewhere less expensive. 

So… we just moved to Florida five months ago where we have bought land and are going to build a very unique home. You know the type, the one that everyone in town finds an excuse to drive by when they have guests in town? That’s why my friends call me adventurous. But to me, it’s just following my dreams and a whole lot of planning.

Thank you so much for a great interview. It’s been fun chatting with you!

Thank YOU for your fun answers! Loved having you and you are more than welcome anytime. Let's take a peek at the book. 

Unexpected Eden Blurb:
Serena Upton wonders if she’s been transported into one of the science fiction movies she works on with her pyrotechnics skill. It certainly seems so when she’s rescued by three hot, naked men from another planet. She’s whisked away to Loraleaf, their home in the jungle of Eden, with the expectation that she will become their beloved. As they cater to her in every way, she begins to understand what it means to be their chosen one

Jahl and Khaos risked everything, even the brother of their heart, to bring Serena home, but grief and self-doubt, etched in stone by their own families, seems insurmountable. Their only hope is that she can fill the void in their lives. They succeed in sweeping her up in their erotic passion, but they are unable to capture her heart.

Though Serena cares for Jahl and Khaos, she’s convinced she’s not the answer to their damaged souls. It’s better that she return to her family on Earth before she cares too much. That is, if she doesn’t already.

Link for Unexpected Eden

Jahl stood there, his face and body hard but his heart a scarred mess. She wanted to comfort him, tell him he was worth so much more, but his pain was so old. What made her think she could make a difference. “I don’t know what to say.”

“There’s nothing to say. It’s history. You are the future.”

“Me, why me?” She backed up another step, Jahl’s gaze too focused on her.

He moved covering the space between them in two strides. His hands grasped her shoulders, but not roughly. “Because you are our chosen one. We want you for our beloved.”

It was too much, too fast. “But why me? Why am I your chosen one. Why not another woman, why not Toni for example?”

He titled his head in confusion. “You are not Toni. You are Serena, caring, curious, helpful, interested in other planetary life. We have watched you and waited until we could make Loraleaf safe for you and others who would follow you.”

“Others?” She started to feel like she was in a sci-fi horror movie. Would cloning be next? Is that why all these men had such amazing physiques and got along so well? Suddenly, she wished Sandale was here to help her calm down.

Jahl’s face softened as if he sensed her rising panic. “Yes, other women. Many filoz have been waiting to woo their woman to Eden. Some have already begun. They waited for us to bring you, so that you could help others understand, transition to our life here at Loraleaf.”

Her heart went out to him. But understanding what he wanted for his people and being sympathetic toward his cause did not convince her to give up her own life. She stared into his dark blue eyes. They begged her to stay though the word “please” had yet to cross his lips. She didn’t want to hear that word from him…ever.

She lifted her hand to his face. Unlike Khaos, he didn’t hesitate, he grasped it in his own and kissed her palm.

“I think I need to learn more about Eden and Loraleaf.”

He nodded. “You will.”

“You have had six years to learn about me, but I just met you a couple nights ago. I need get to know you as well.”

His gaze left hers and in the silence, she thought he would refuse to share himself. But he finally focused on her again. “If that is important to you, I will tell you what you wish to know.”

Her heartbeat sped at his concession.

“But make sure it is necessary because some parts of my life are not pretty.”

She swallowed. “I understand.”

“Good. Now I must go and attend to other concerns. Do not leave the house until I return.” He leaned down and gave her a kiss. It started as a quick good-bye kiss, but after he’d brushed her lips, his arms wrapped around her and he pulled her close. “Serena.” He breathed her name against her lips before his tongue invaded her mouth and the kiss turned erotic. 

Heat flared in her belly and she welcomed his taste. His hand tilted her head to better his access to her mouth, and she held onto his shoulders as her world tipped.

He pulled away, looking bemused by his own actions. Without a word, he turned on his heel and strode out of the room.

She sank to the floor, her knees too weak to support her, her mind too jumbled to think and her heart torn in a million directions. What the hell was she doing?

More about Lexi...

About Lexi:
Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of erotic romance. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe's short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she's read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.
But Lexi's first love is romance novels. In an effort to marry her two first loves, she started writing erotic romance inspired by the classics and found she loved it. Lexi believes there is no end to the romantic inspiration she can find in great literature. Her books are known as "erotic romance with a whole lot of story." 
Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat (unless she is going incognito).

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Know Whose Ass You're Kissing #amwriting #writers

I've been a published author for several years now and I've seen some pretty fucked up things. Authors behaving badly and undercutting each other for their own sense of self-worth (aka trolls). Grown women acting like junior high brats and tattling to someone they think of as "important." Authors playing the system with corrupt back room games that falsely inflate their stats. Aspiring writers challenging the system because they think they don't have to play by the same rules the rest of us did to achieve success. Published authors creating "go fund me" campaigns to self-publish and essentially conning the masses for thousands of dollars (when self-publishing costs the price of a good editor and a cover artist--roughly maybe a thousand dollars tops). Relatively unknown authors bullying established authors with the threat of undermining their online reputation if they don't help publicize/review/help/or whatever.

It's madness! I thought I'd seen it all until...

Authors conning other authors for publicity services--and they are making good money using free services available to all of us. There are social media networking teams all over Facebook and the internet--for no charge. Yet authors are handing over their money to these people who are bragging behind the scenes that they no longer need to write because they're making so much money basically leeching off of their peers.

Wait! Before you send your money to someone because it sounds like a good idea, know who they are--for real. Just because you see their names in mutual writers group doesn't mean they are anyone with anymore clout than you have. Check them out like you would anyone you'd be about to pay for a service.

There are a lot of "nobody's" out there pretending--or, in some cases, truly believing their own delusions of grandeur--to be "somebody" who can further your career. A fancy website means nothing these days. Anyone can buy a domain and create a page.

When I first started out, I flung promotional dollars at anything that sounded good. Blog tours that called themselves "virtual book tours" with fifty stops in thirty days snagged me right away. Some were effective, but most were a waste of money. Now that I've been around for awhile, I know other authors with blogs and we all support each other--for free. It's the result of networking, putting in the time, finding people who fit with your genre, and people who do what they say when they say they say it. Do you know how many times one of my "guaranteed tour stops" never posted anything or had my post buried so far down in their blog that no one could find it? Too many to count. Did I get a refund? No.

And this past weekend a popular blog hop sent out an ad to all of its participating authors asking for money for a big spread in an online magazine. Well, guess what? The woman heading up "appears" to be more than she is. A little checking shows that she has minimal social media reach and very little success in the business. The prices she's charging don't add up compared to what the magazine actually charges for that size of the advertisement. But I know authors who eagerly gave her their PayPal information and contributed because of the 'exposure.' Well, the magazine in question has less exposure than I do alone, which isn't saying much because I'm not exactly HUGE and admit that. When questioned, the woman said that she knew there would be "overages" that would go into future projects. the participating authors know that? No, because those I talked to never thought to ask.

Oh, and what did I get for my asking? She trolled me--tried to get me in trouble with a magazine I sub-contract for. It worked, too, but that showed me who has my back and who doesn't--which takes me up to the first paragraph. I'll be handling that in due time.

Listen, I know we all came into this business thinking of it as a dream come true. Yes! That first book contract! Woo-hoo! All those hours, all that work--finally, a published book was born. Well, the excitement is great and is deserved; however, writer beware because there are demons in the shadows who want to prey upon that glee.

And I didn't even mention the pirates...

Are there good things about this business? Yes. I've made many great friends who are my confidantes and who I trust implicitly. I kissed a lot of frogs, though, before I found my princes and princesses. Keep your head up. Keep writing. Do your research. Be smart.

Know whose ass you're kissing before you pucker up. Or, better yet, kiss no one's ass and always--ALWAYS--be true to you.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Reading Between The Lines #MySexySaturday #RomanceNovels

She'd gone to Belize solo looking for adventure rather than romance...but love always finds a way...a glimpse of Anonymity on My Sexy Saturday 

Seven paragraphs to tempt and tantalize--When words convey so much more than what's actually being said..

"Why did I have to meet the best man so far from home?" she asked against his shoulder.
"That's the's all an illusion. I'm not this guy."
"I think you are."
"If that's true," he dragged his mouth up her neck to claim her lips, "take a chance on me."  
He grabbed her thighs, lifted her up, pressed her against the tile, and thrust inside her. He reveled in the feel of her mouth on his skin, her nails sinking into his back, her thighs wrapped around his hips.
"You're the closest thing to love I've ever felt," he whispered against her ear.
"Not fair," she said with tears slipping from her eyes. "Don't say that to me, it's not real."

*Voted Goodreads' February book of the month**
New year, new beginnings. Alyssa McNeil is on a mission of breaking free of her comfort zone, reinventing herself, and forgetting the fact that her ex is getting married on New Year's Eve. She's in Belize for a week of sun, fun, adventure, and flirtation. Meeting Luke is an unexpected bonus…falling in love with him, though, simply isn't part of the plan.

Luke Picket is more than happy to go along with her idea of a no strings, uncomplicated weeklong fling. He embraces his solo lifestyle and can't see that changing any time soon. When they find themselves trekking through the jungle and facing turbulent seas together, he rethinks his permanent bachelor status.

But they'd agreed on anonymity, on a first-name-only-no-strings love affair, and neither wants to ruin the moment with unwanted declarations. Old beliefs are challenged. Doubts questioned. Will they stick to their deal and go their separate ways when the week is over? Or will the new year bring them a new attitude about love?

***The Wanderlust Series consists of stand-alone action adventure romance novels designed to take the reader on an escape any time of the year. 

Buy links:

Saturday, March 14, 2015

When Love Falls Into Place #MySexySaturday #Kindle #Romance

Sometimes, especially when life's been hard, it's difficult to believe in happily ever afters...of being 'chosen' as a priority in someone's life. This week's theme is "Sexy Me Up", which is where we find Jessica Moriarty realizing for the first time that Jacques Sinclair has chosen her above all else. 

7 paragraphs to tempt and tantalize on My Sexy Saturday Blog Hop

Clothes came off once the door closed behind them until they were both skin-on-skin and mouth-to-mouth on the bed. Slower than last night, the kisses lingered and the caresses discovered. Her hands roamed the hardness of his back to the roundness of his ass and back again while their tongues danced together. Eyes wide open they looked at each other in the moonlight that played across their skin and over the bed. 

"Tell me you didn't stay in Florence because of me," she whispered against his lips.

"I stayed because of you. I do what I want. I want this, here and now."

Tears blurred her vision because she'd secretly hoped he had chosen to stay for her, but hadn't dared believe. "You don't know me." 

"I know you." He silenced the rest of her words with a kiss that curled her toes. 

"I don't want to be a speed bump in your life."

"Let it be, Jess. Let us be whatever we become...or not. Let it be." 

(Book One of the two part Dancing Barefoot Series) 

In between responsibilities and dreams...

Jessica Moriarty has always played by the rules, but for once in her life, she's doing exactly as she pleases. In between graduate school and 'real life', she's in Florence, Italy, indulging her love of art and abandoning inhibitions. 

Meeting Jacques Sinclair rocks her off center. Whereas rules and living up to expectations have dictated her life, he is the opposite. A rebel. A photographer. A man who lives for the moment. He sweeps her up into a riveting romance that makes her question all she's ever believed to be true. 

The drum of old commitments echo through her heart as time ticks away. Will the crush of 'real life' undermine the love she's found in between...? 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

He is Addicted to She...#MySexySaturday #Romance

Chemistry has a way of existing despite the conscious mind's wishes. In Dancing Barefoot, Jacques can't fight his desire for Jessica even though he knows he's risking heartbreak by opening up to her again. 
And Jessica's putting her pride on the line for a second chance with the one who got away. 

God, she had missed this, missed him.
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.
He ripped her tank top in two and tossed the material aside. He looked down at her naked torso, a wicked grin on his face before squeezing her breasts, claiming them, and devouring her mouth with an intensity that bordered on decadent. 
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.
"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.

Success means different things to everyone. On the surface, Jessica Moriarty appears to have the world at her feet. An architect on the fast-track to a partnership and moving in all the right social circles, she's checking off the boxes on her to-do list. But she's living a lie. The 'perfect life' facade hides a heart filled with regret and a longing for a love she abandoned.

World-renowned photographer, Jacques Sinclair, doesn't need much to be happy. As long as he has his cameras, a backpack, and a good pair of walking shoes, he's content. No matter how far he travels, though, he can't escape the heartbreak of the one woman who'd been able to bring him to his knees.

A chance meeting brings Jacques and Jessica back together. Reunions aren't always happy—sometimes they stir up unwanted pain and forgotten passion. As they stumble their way back to one another, 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?