Monday, September 30, 2019

A Love Triangle with a Ghost #MustRead #PNR

Featuring Dakota Skye's incredibly romantic and erotic paranormal novel about eternal love, loss, and hope...Blurred Lines. Her novel has been chosen as October's book of the month for the Sizzling Hot Book Club so I thought it would be a good idea to share it here as well. I'll warn you now--this book will give you all the feels. 

From the back cover...

Only the good die young. When Shane Weston is murdered before prosecuting a key member of the Mexican drug cartel, he can't accept the idea that all of the plans he had had for his life will never come true. More than that, he can't let go of the love he has for his fiancée. 

Love never dies.Sierra Daniels is crushed after Shane's death. Head writer on a successful television series, she can't get back into the groove of life. All enthusiasm for work is gone. Ready to quit everything, she travels to her cabin in Lake Tahoe in hopes of escaping everyone's expectations and disappearing for a while.

The lines between right and wrong often blur.Alexander Blaine has risked his future on a career change from DEA agent to lead consultant and writer on hit television series. Sierra's grief has shadowed everyone around her, including him, and jeopardizes both of their careers. Unwilling to accept defeat, he follows her to Lake Tahoe determined to break through the barrier enveloping her and make her see that life is still worth living. 

Letting go is like a death.Sierra never thought she would be caught in a love triangle between her writing partner, Alex, and the love of her life, Shane—especially because her ex-fiancé is now a ghost. Tormented with both guilt for moving on with someone else and a desire to be free of the past, she's into the gray area of right, wrong, life, death, ghosts, dreams—the part of life where all the lines are blurred. 

An excerpt...Adult content...

Murder. The word still didn't roll off her tongue with ease. 'My fiancé was murdered..."she doubted she would ever get used to saying those words. Ironic, in a twisted way, that she wrote about crime for a living. 

Shane had been killed during a high profile trial of alleged members of the Mexican drug cartel. Some teenager had been arrested for the crime, but she knew he'd been a punk hired to do the deed. Of course he wouldn't talk, was probably a folk hero south of the border.

Sierra and Shane...that's how she'd come to think over their four-year relationship. Always a duo, their names always said as one entity. 

Palms against the door, she pushed herself away and forced herself into the room. She needed to make a fire, unpack, settle in...her gaze landed on the framed photograph above the mantel. Shane and Sierra, arms around each other and laughing, with Lake Tahoe as their backdrop—joy and love captured in a snapshot. Now he would always be forever tan and young. 

She had been in a downward spiral ever she clung by her fingernails to a career she'd fought and sacrificed for all these years.

I miss you, Shane, she thought with tears in her eyes. 

She shook off the dark thoughts and resumed starting the fire. 

"Sierra..." Her name whispered through the house, a memory of Shane saying it so long ago. 

A tingle went up her spine, lifting the hairs on the back of her neck, before caressing her skin with a feather-like touch. 

Shane's touch. 

If only, so many if-onlys. 

She poked at the kindling, wishing they had bothered to install a gas fireplace when they'd originally bought the property. 

Her cell phone sounded with the horror movie music indicating it was the dreaded Alexander calling again. How many times did she need to hit 'decline' before he got the message? Didn't the man have a life beyond work? 

He thought he was some kind of god simply because he was former DEA turned writer. She snorted again and poked at the sticks in the hearth. Ass. Know-it-all. She had a Masters in Creative Writing from Berkley, not to mention three Emmy's on her desk, and an Oscar nomination for a documentary she'd produced. She was a writer, not Alexander Blaine who bragged about 'stumbling into it.' 

Ignoring the phone, she started the fire, knelt back on her heels, held her hands up to the warmth, and grinned with satisfaction. 

Shane had called her a certifiable city girl. Well, look at her now. 

She searched the kitchen for the supplies Mary had stocked before her arrival. Grabbing a bottle of wine, she smiled.

"Mary, you know me too well," she muttered as she turned the bottle around in her hands before reaching for the corkscrew. 

"You're so beautiful," Shane's voice echoed through her memory."I'm the luckiest man in the world to be loved by you."

She squeezed her eyes closed and indulged in remembering him holding her, kissing her, making her believe in fairy tales and love stories. 

"I'm here. See me."The voice startled her from indulging. Clear. Deep. 

Dropping the corkscrew, she swiveled around and glanced across the room. No one. Only the empty kitchen with its clean marble countertops and gleaming pans met her vision. 

"I really am losing my mind," she muttered as she skipped the glass and drank straight from the bottle. 

Endless days of work on the set of a hit television series took its toll. The stress of having to mesh with a partner had given her anxiety attacks, not that she'd ever admit that to anyone. In show business, writers were only as good as the ratings of the most recent show. Fickle. Not exactly the safe life in academia she'd once envisioned for herself. 

She dropped her iPhone into the stereo after making sure to put it on 'do not disturb', scrolled down to her favorite playlist, and kicked off her shoes. Music filled the room, drowning out any imagined ghost voices. Settling onto the sofa with the bottle nuzzled against her chest, she watched flames snap and crackle. 

She could see Shane without closing her eyes. Often she'd imagine seeing him in a crowd, his tall silhouette a head above the others on the street. Sometimes she would see him at their favorite restaurant sitting at the bar while she picked up her take-out after another late night at the office. She'd always do a double take only to find him gone, a figment of her imagination.

Dreams were the most vivid. She would wake up and swear she'd been touched, her skin tingling where she had imagined his fingers to be. 

"I miss you so much," she whispered, allowing the tears to fall. She suppressed them most of the time by staying busy and immersed in her career. But now—in this place that had once been their hideaway—emotions bubbled to the surface despite the pills designed to keep them buried. "Without you I'm just a stressed out work-a-holic. No one's ever going to love me like you did."

"You're wrong, Sierra."

She took another swig from the bottle, in a way resenting that she still heard his voice in her head. People nagged at her to snap out of it, let him go, move on; but how was that possible when she saw him in her dreams and heard him in her head?  The therapist told her that it was okay to talk to the deceased, that she could still have conversations if that made her feel better. Of course, she'd neglected to tell the doctor that often she heard a response. 

Just my imagination.

"I'm here." Shane's voice. 

"If only..." 

A surge of energy rushed through her like an electrical shock. She closed her eyes and sighed. 

A caress against her lips. She opened her eyes and saw Shane leaning over her. Despite being a lawyer who could wear a suit like an Armani model, he'd had the surfer dude look down to a tee. She grinned at the lock of blond hair falling across his tanned forehead.

"Always too handsome for your own good," she whispered to the image. "I miss you so much."

"I've never left you," he said. 

She covered her eyes with her hand and shook her head. "You did, they took you from me, too young, never should have happened..."

"I'm here, Sierra. See me." He touched her hand. She felt it. Heavy. Warm. 

Impossible. Too much work and too little sleep had pushed her over the edge, add pills and wine to the mix and everything felt unreal. 

"I'm losing everything, you know. I can't function. The show has dropped in ratings despite some damn DEA expert slash pain in my ass who was supposed to save us from going in the ditch. I can't write anymore. Period. I can't do anything anymore, not like I used to, not without you. Now I'm going crazy."


"You're not here."

"I'm here, I've never left you. Look at me. It's taking all I've got to do this." 

One finger at a time, she lifted her hand from her eyes. She swallowed disbelief despite the warm energy rippling through her body.

Shane leaned over her, contagious grin in place, body heavy on top of hers. She reached up, simultaneously scared and fascinated. When her fingers touched his hair, she froze. 

"I don't believe in ghosts," she whispered.

"I've noticed. Do you know how hard I've been trying to connect with you?"

Frozen with fear yet driven by curiosity, she forced a whisper from her lips, "Why here? Why now?"

"You're so sad, I don't want you to be sad anymore."

Tears slipped from the corners of her eyes despite his words. "How can I not be sad? You were my world."

"That's not true." He kissed her, the touch like a breeze over her lips. "You had it goin' on when I met you, don't you remember? You ignored me because I looked like an uptight lawyer in my suit. You were at that restaurant with all of your artist friends and I couldn't stop staring. You avoided going out with me for a full month, always too busy working. Don't you remember? You never needed me. You wanted me. There's a difference."

She shook her head, unwilling to remember. Hanging onto sorrow had protected her from living without him. She didn't want to remember life pre-Shane...and she didn't want to think about life post-Shane. Limbo felt like a safer place to hide from reality. 

Now she had conjured him up from memory; that had to be the only explanation. She'd taken talking to the void a step further. 

"You're not real." She touched her fingers to his face even as she said the words. 

"Want me to prove it to you?"

She shook her head 'no,' even as her thumb moved along his chin. The energy rippling beneath her fingertips zapped like electrical shocks, rather than a solid form. Maybe she had lost her mind, which was the only explanation she could believe. 

"I see you everywhere," she whispered.  

"I am everywhere." His smile made her heart ache with longing. 

She slid her fingers over his lips with fascination and relaxed against the sofa cushions. Eyes narrowed, she stared at the image above her. She wanted to believe, but her imagination had gotten her into trouble in the past. 

"You're not here," she said. "I just want you to be so badly I'm seeing things." 


"You ask a lot."

She closed her eyes and shuddered with the need pulsating through her body. Her hand moved beneath her sweater, fingers tracing over her abdomen before sliding over her bra. Where her hands drifted, ripples of energy followed, creating a trail of sensation over her skin. Desire warmed her blood. 

"I miss being loved," she whispered.

"I love you." Shane's voice against her ear. "Let me touch you."

"I wish you could." She ached for him, for the love they had shared, for the laughter, and the partnership.

With a sigh, she set the wine bottle onto the floor and pulled her sweater off. Another shudder went through her body, ripple after ripple of intensity. Closing her eyes to submit to fantasy, she moved her hands over the swell of her breasts. 

She felt his lips against her neck, breath against her skin. Shane's blond head bent over her, the familiar scent of his shampoo overwhelming her senses, his voice whispering about how much he loved her. 

She missed making love, holding a man against her, tasting him on her tongue, feeling him move between her thighs. 

"Believe in this, Sierra. I'm really here," the whispered command made her squirm against the seat and reach for the zipper of her jeans. 

But the zipper slid down without her fingers touching it. Her eyes snapped open. 
"Is this really happening?" She choked out the words from a throat swollen with fear while her heartbeat raced with hope.  

"Do you want it to be?" He loomed over her, a solid form, yes, but one zapping with an electrical current. "You see me."

"I see you." 

He kissed her; energy sizzled between their mouths as he shoved her jeans down her legs. Where he touched, her skin reacted with an intensity born from loneliness and need. 

What could be better for the book of the month in October than a love story about a ghost who loves so deeply that he cannot let go of life? Keep reading Blurred Lines by downloading a copy at one of the links below--also available in paperback from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Get Ready for Mystery, Adventure, and Love in this #YoungAdult #PNR #NewRelease

Please allow me to introduce you to debut author, Jennifer G Edelson. She's written a young adult paranormal novel about discovery, loss, adventure, uncertainty, and young love. Check out the interview and the excerpts below! Enjoy! 

Amber: First of all, thanks for joining me on the blog today, Jennifer. I know you're busy with book launch madness and I'm happy to showcase you and your work. Because this is your debut novel, how are you feeling right now? 

Jennifer:  Before I published, people in the know told me publishing would be like birthing a child. But it’s more like after I had my first son and brought him home from the hospital; when I sat in the backseat with his tiny little body as we drove, alternating between terror, elation, wonder, hysteria, protectiveness, and extreme anxiety. It’s cliché, I know, but the whole drive really felt like that first apex on a roller-coaster just before it drops you; I was paralyzed with excitement and uncertainty. I remember thinking, what if missed something? Or I miss something in the future. Or I did something wrong? Or don’t do enough? Or he turns out to be a monster? That basically sums up how I’m feeling now. Though thankfully, I’m also an optimist. So part of me knows that no matter what happens, ultimately, it’ll have been an excellent ride (for the record, my son grew into an amazing, not-even-remotely-monster-y young person!).

Amber: I'm happy he's not monster-y! I completely understand all of those mixed emotions. Now it's done, your baby is taking its first breaths, enjoy basking in the glow. Tell us what inspired your storyline?

Jennifer:  I fell in love with the Glorieta Pass and the Pecos Pueblo — which are both magical places — after exploring the area, and desperately wanted to write a story that took place there. I’m a place-centric person, and often fall for scenery, land, and the feel of a location, and end up wanting to write novels about an area long before I figure out the plot or story. In that way, my story’s setting is often as much a character as the people, which is definitely the case in Between Wild and RuinBetween Wild and Ruin’s actual plot though, the short answer is that it initially evolved over a sleepless night. I’m an insomniac, and like a lot of writers, tell myself stories about things that interest me in order to turn off my mind and fall asleep. I hate being boring, but plot-wise, this was one of them. The longer answer is a little more mystical and would probably take a couple of blog posts to explain.

Amber: Oooo...I love mystical, but we'll let the readers pick up your book to see what you mean by that. As for the setting as a character, I love that. This is the first book in a series, how many subsequent books do you foresee?

Jennifer:  I originally intended to write a stand-alone novel but knew when I finished Between Wild and Ruin there could be more. In my mind, Ruby’s story continued; I’d sort of plotted out her future. After my beta-readers commented that they couldn’t wait for a sequel, I realized I was also pretty eager to complete Ruby’s journey. Now that I’m almost finished writing the sequel, I’m also surprised to find I may not be quite done after all. So two books for sure, but there may be a third. No more than that though. 

Amber: Between Wild and Ruin is an interesting title, what about the story inspired it?

Jennifer: On its face at least, Between Wild and Ruin is a bit of a Beauty and the Beast story. I initially gave the book a title that played with that idea, but my editor and manager worried the title was too obscure. So I winnowed down a list to four other titles and then threw it out to the masses, who essentially chose one of them for me. Between Wild and Ruin fits well, because the book is as much about wild spaces, feelings, and people, as it is plot-driven. Plus the plot involves an old pueblo ruin. Ruby and Ezra are also caught between choices about their lives and each other that could literally lead to ruin. Ultimately, I got to keep the word ‘Wild,’ which sums up the kind of world the book’s characters live in, and still play with words AND sport a more telling title. 

Amber: Sounds fascinating. I understand that New Mexico is a special place for you personally. What about the place itself inspires you and/or draws you to it?

Jennifer: There are obvious things, like the amazing scenery, light, sky, smells, culture, people, and food. Not to mention all the many summers I spent exploring its lesser known nooks and crannies before actually moving to Santa Fe. But it runs deeper than that. Honestly, I wish I knew. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the magical or maybe universal forces that lured me here. It’s all very enigmatic, which in itself is a draw, and I’m perpetually fueled by the mystery. All I can say for sure is, New Mexico really is The Land of Enchantment! 

Amber: Speaking of enchantment, if you had to pick a spirit animal, what would it be and why? 

Jennifer: I used to love whales and went through a period where I was really into panthers and jaguars. After I found a natural Buffalo-shaped piece of serpentine in a stream in the Pecos Wilderness, I also wondered if maybe a Buffalo was my spirit animal. But for a while now, I’ve been all about Cuttlefish. If you haven’t seen one, Google it immediately! Cuttlefish are masters of camouflage, have a unique internal shell (soft on the outside tough on the inside), communicate using color and pattern signals, have three hearts, are present all over the world except America, and are among the most intelligent invertebrates. For many odd reasons they really resonate with me!

Amber: I must admit I wasn't excepting you to say Cuttlefish. Fascinating. What is the most adventurous thing you have done?

Jennifer:  I took a once-in-a-lifetime ‘adventure tour’ with my husband and two boys on the North Island of New Zealand. Scaling up two underground waterfalls to get to a subterranean cavern the size of an outhouse about two hundred feet underground, and then army crawling through a subterranean river in a very long, very dark underground tunnel maybe only twice the size of my body, all to float through a tube-sized tunnel of glowworms, is probably the ballsiest physical thing I’ve done. It’s probably close to the most immediately mentally/emotionally challenging thing as well (but worth all the panic and hyperventilation!).

Amber: I'm impressed! What is one of your most embarrassing moments?

Jennifer: I’d call it a tie between the time I stood up to answer a question in one of my law school classes and lost my wraparound skirt to the ground, and that time I fainted in the law school library maybe two months later and had to be wheeled out of the building on a stretcher (despite my very vocal protests). Law school and me, we weren’t always compatible.

Amber: I'm loving your answers! That's a definite wardrobe malfunction. Let's switch it up again, I like keeping you on your toes--or maybe it's just because my mind jumps in random directions. Deep breath...back to being serious... How do you feel that your personal life inspires your writing?

Jennifer: I wish I had some deep answer for you, but the truth is, for me writing is mostly about escapism. I can’t live the thousand different lives I’d love to, or travel the world, or be an astrophysicist or spy, so I write to get away and appease my own curiosity and wanderlust. I get lost in myself when I write, so it satisfies all that romantic and adventurous yearning. Though I also get A LOT out of imagining that my writing touches other people. I love humans and am all about connecting on fundamental levels.

Amber: What were you like as a teenager and do you feel those experiences have shaped your current work? 

Jennifer: I was a difficult teenager. As in really, really, really difficult. I was also super sensitive; like many teens, I felt misunderstood, and alienated, and just very lonely in this ‘who am I really, what’s the meaning of life’ way. Because of that, I spent way too much time looking for ‘answers’ and ignoring consequences. There’s this quote by Albert Camus that goes:You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” Though I take it with a grain of salt, I’ve also taken it to heart, so though I still spend a good amount of time thinking about meaning, I don’t let it interfere with having a productive meaningful existence. Still, the stuff that’s lingered, knowing those feelings are not only part of the human condition, but a condition (maybe rightfully) endemic to teenagers, really informs everything I write. It’s also why I love writing in the YA genre. Most adults don’t give kids and teens enough credit for being the smart, savvy, sensitive, and super creative people they truly are. I acknowledge that, and like writing stories that both resonates with them AND respects those feelings. 

Amber: I like that quote, especially the part of "you will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life." I need to take that to heart. Thank you for sharing. Switching it up again...What is your favorite word and why?

Jennifer: Just one? Ugh! I love words. Narrowing it down is torturous. For now, let’s go with debrisdiscipline, and ubiquitous, for no other reason than I really love the way they feel in my mouth and head when I say them.

Amber: Yes, I love the way certain words feel when saying them, too. My favorites are euphoria, scintillating, and savage. Getting back to your series, what can readers expect from Between the Wild and subsequent books? What is the overall message you’re communicating and what is it that you would like a reader to take away from the experience?

Jennifer:  I’m not sure I’m trying to communicate a message as much as a feeling. That exciting, sometimes breathless moment that comes from experiencing ‘firsts’ and facing the unknown.  Of connecting over unexpected emotions, and backgrounds, and alliances, not to mention the rollercoaster that comes with being in love. A few reviewers mentioned how sensory and atmospheric Between Wild and Ruin’swriting is, that they could see, smell, and hear everything as they read, and that because of it, were right there in the Glorieta pass with Ruby throughout the story. I agree and hope readers find themselves immersed in a story that wholly transports them both emotionally and intellectually to the heart of La Luna, New Mexico and into Ruby’s unique world. But if people just walked away feeling like they’d spent a few fun hours reading something enjoyable — if all the book is for people is super effective escapism — I’d still be really happy.

 Amber: I've always said that we as writers are in the entertainment business. Our books may find their way into the hands of someone sitting vigil in a hospital or to someone longing for connection. If we can transport the reader into another place, make them smile or laugh, or cry or shift in their seat with anticipation, we have done our job. It sounds to me that you've done your job, Jennifer. I'm sure many people will be thoroughly satisfied with these stories. Let's take a look. I know you gave me two excerpts to choose, but I have decided to showcase both. I will name them Excerpt One and Excerpt Two. 


Fresh sap and damp earth assault my nose. Under bright sunlight, large, rough-cut slabs of glittery rock blanket the otherwise bare field. Some lie stacked on top of each other like the crumbling remains of a building. Awestruck, I circle the structure, running my fingers over what looks like a ruin. 

“Incredible, isn’t it?” 

A voice behind me sends my heart racing toward my throat. I jump, whipping around to find a young man leaning casually against a pine near the clearing’s perimeter, looking off to his left as though listening for something. 

Even in the shade, his face glows. He smiles, showing off teeth that gleam like snowflakes between perfect lips. Hair as dark as Liddy’s French roast coffee falls around his face in unruly waves. His features are angular but refined, and his high, rounded cheeks soften the striking juxtaposition. 

I blink, then blink again. Ruby. I rub my eyes. You’re hallucinating. But he’s still there, staring at me. 

While I gawk, he pushes himself off the tree. “Not many people make it up here.” He smiles broadly. 

A soft, purple-hued halo circles his golden irises, catching fire in the sunlight. They settle on me, and my heart stops, completely paralyzed by his faultless storybook features. 

I exhale, trying to swallow inconspicuously. “It’s definitely a hike.”

“Who are you?” 

“Who am I?” I sputter. “Who are you?” 

“Leo.” He grins. 

“I’m Ruby.” 

“Ruby.” My name rolls off his tongue with a smooth “R” and a musical lilt. Somehow, he even manages to make it sound appealing. “First time up?”

“Yes. We just moved to La Luna.”

“La Luna,” he repeats. “Welcome.”

“Thanks,” I mumble. Earth to Ruby, I mentally smack myself. Since when has any boy made you senseless?

“You okay?” He smiles like he knows I’m not. Like he knows why I’m not. “Do you want to sit down? The altitude can be a bitch if you’re not used to it.”

“No. I mean, yes, I’m fine. No, I don’t want to sit down. You just really startled me. You should announce yourself next time.”

“Next time?” 

“Next time you sneak up on somebody.” 

Leo raises a perfect dark eyebrow. “But then it wouldn’t be sneaking, would it?” 

My cheeks flush, and I suddenly want to drop through a hole in the ground. I choke out, “Ummm,” and something incoherent and then stare at my toes like they hold the keys to my future. 

           EXCERPT TWO OF 

 My head hums as I stand up, brushing pine needles and dirt from my jeans. Scratching at my ears, I toss my stumpy charcoals into my backpack, wishing Mother Nature had it in her to grant me just one more hour to sketch the ruin. Pre-twilight transforms the plateau into a fairyland. I want to draw the ruin in shadows, but I’m afraid of looking more like mountain lion meat than Ruby Brooks once twilight sets in.

Sunset turns the mountainside golden, igniting the dried flora covering the forest floor. As I lean over to collect an escapee drawing, a patch of crimson pine needles catches my attention. The needles spread out in a piecemeal path that leads me toward a maroon mess near the center of the ruin, to the rock Leo claimed was once an altar. Against the drab ground, the patch looks like dried blood. I pick up a pine needle, scratching at it, watching curiously as a crusty substance flakes off its root, like rust crumbling between my fingers. 

A faint metallic scent fills the air, popping my imagination into overdrive. Turning in circles on the empty plateau, I suddenly feel exposed, and maybelittle afraid of being something’s dinner. 

As I stare at the rock, the humming grows louder, vibrating between the ruin’s crumbling walls. I paw at my ears, then rub my eyes, waiting for my head to explode as my vision turns the forest into blurry chunks of light and outlines. Off to the side, between the trees, something moves. Startled, I whip around, squinting to see better. 
In the shadows between two tall pines, I see my mother.

Already unnerved, I close my eyes, trying to forget Daisy’s haunted forest stories. My mother died ten months ago. It’s got to be the altitude. There’s no way she’s standing there like an ephemeral stump near the ruins. Still,my mind takes off running, moving from ghosts, to demons, to being sure I’m about to face down another mountain lion. 

Shaky and suddenly mindful of Leo’s story about Ottomundo, not to mention just about every news report about mysterious animal attacks I’ve ever seen, I rush to my backpack. Quickly gathering all my art materials, I turn toward the sloping hillside, refusing to look back before running at breakneck speed down the mountain to the creek. 

Keep reading by buying your copy today!

Amazon kindle and paperback

About the Author
Jennifer G. Edelson is a writer, trained artist, former attorney, pizza lover, and hard-core Bollywood fan. She has a BFA in Sculpture and a J.D. in law, and has taught both creative writing and legal research and writing at several fine institutions, including the University of Minnesota. Originally a California native, she currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, kids, and dog, Hubble after surviving twenty-plus years in the Minnesota tundra (but still considers Los Angeles, the Twin Cities, and Santa Fe all home). Other than writing, Jennifer loves hiking, traveling, Albert Camus, Dr. Seuss, dark chocolate, drinking copious amounts of coffee, exploring mysterious places, and meeting new people—if you’re human (or otherwise), odds are she’ll probably love you. 

For more information, please visit Jennifer’s Author Page at:
You can also find Jennifer on:
Twitter: @JGEAuthor
Instagram: @JGEAuthor

What are you waiting for? Get your copy today! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Taking the High Road Sucks #writing #selflove

I have never liked cheaters. Back in high school, the valedictorian at graduation was a girl who prided herself on the ability to cheat. Then out in the "real world" I had a co-worker sabotage me with the boss by setting me up for something I didn't do...and wouldn't have dreamed of doing. As a widowed single mom, I witnessed boys with dads get positions on teams just because their fathers were buddies with coaches. I endured other parents--often with more money than I had--buy their kids' way out of trouble, which only led to their kids being bullies who knew they could do no wrong because mommy and daddy had money. Now, as an author, I witness wannabes buy themselves reviews, join subscription reader services just to swap reviews with other authors, calling themselves USA Bestselling authors because of cheating their way onto a list with a box set of other no-names, all for a chance to cheat the system while the rest of us put in the hard work.



adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished

Yet despite all of this happening around me, I don't succumb to the temptation to become a cheater. I'm not a saint, not at all, but I do believe in integrity. I want to look myself in the mirror and know I have done my best, no matter what, and that I have nothing to be ashamed of at the end of the day. Perhaps playing it straight means I occasionally fail or that I endure frustration more times than not. I have come to peace with that because at least it's honest.

I value things like the USA Today Bestseller list or the NY Times because I want to earn my way onto it through good old fashioned hard work--which involves a lot of rejection and failure and tears and screams. Slapping the title onto my book cover any other way would feel fraudulent. So I suck it up when I see it happening all around me in this publishing world, but it's hard to stay quiet or to remain above the fray.

There's a saying that goes, "good guys finish last." Maybe that's true, but at least I can stroll across the finish line of life with my head held high knowing I ran a good race. Maybe there is no such thing as Karma or maybe integrity is old-fashioned in the age of quick fixes and delusional social media posts, but it is important for me to respect myself, my work, and my journey on this earth.

Self-love is tied to self-respect. I respect myself enough to love myself with my flaws and my simple life. I can only imagine that those who cheat don't believe in themselves enough to trudge through the real challenges life presents--which is a symptom of self-loathing. 

Like I said, I'm not perfect. I get angry. I am sometimes lazy. I love junk food. I enjoy day drinking with friends. I am sometimes reckless. I get distracted. I have turned procrastination into an art form. I know I'm not perfect and am not saying I am here. But I don't cheat. I will never cheat.

What joy does a cheater get from false success? That's what I don't understand. How can they bask in the glow of an "accomplishment" if it isn't earned?

I am glad I don't understand. I don't want to be like them.

A lot of our culture seems to reward the cheaters. It's troubling but common. People buy their way into things all the time and we all shrug and accept it as normal. Oh, well, if they're doing it, why not me?--seems to be the attitude.

Taking the high road sucks, it really does. It means biting my lip more often than not. It means watching someone who writes like shit call themselves a USA Today Bestseller when it's all based on cheating they system. It means grinning at some aspiring author questioning my twenty-nine years of experience because someone else has told her about an easier way...a less ethical way. It means shrugging off the frustration so I can keep living my life on my terms despite the criticism or judgment that may come my way. It means being courageous enough to distance myself from the cheaters so I am not dragged into their mess, even if I end up having a very small circle of trusted people in my life. It means sitting at my computer every day putting in the hard work with the faith that playing by the rules is still cool in the eyes of Karma.

I have taught my kids to take the high road, too, even though it's the harder path. At the end of our lives, we will all be faced with judgment of some kind. Perhaps the judgment will be from a higher power or maybe it will simply be from ourselves as we look back at how we chose to live. Will you be happy with your choices in those last moments of your life? I know I will have regrets, but none of them will be because I lied or lived a life of illusion. No, my regrets will be because I didn't take certain opportunities out of fear or from not loving enough. Perhaps I am over-estimating the cheaters--maybe they will have no regret. I can only speak for myself when I say that I may never be the richest person or the most successful, but I will be content in how I've chosen to live authentically and with integrity.

Self-love is tied to self-respect. I respect myself enough to love myself with my flaws and my simple life. I can only imagine that those who cheat don't believe in themselves enough to trudge through the real challenges life presents--which is a symptom of self-loathing. For this alone, I have pity for them, but I still don't want to associate with them.

Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of romantic thrillers, contemporary romance, women's fiction, and nonfiction. She also works as a professional editor and creativity coach, takes road trips with her dogs whenever the mood strikes, and advocates for suicide awareness. Her life motto is: Imagine, Create, Become. No matter what challenges life tosses her way, she gathers the pieces to create something weird and wonderful. Find out more about her books by visiting her website at

Monday, September 23, 2019

Ghost Adventures Meets Fifty Shades in this #NewRelease #PNR Series!

Oh, my. This erotic paranormal romance suspense series by Dakota Skye is full of laughter, adventure, mystery, and passion. The full series is complete on kindle and the paperback includes all six stories! Love it. Here's a peek inside...

A series overview...

Josh and Bethany star in the Uncharted Territory paranormal investigation television show where they travel the world facing down ghosts, exploring myths, traveling to other dimensions----all while fighting their love for each other. Being hassled by demons? No problem—the Uncharted Territory team is on the case! Dealing with unseen portals into alternate realities? Josh and Bethany are ready to explore! Whatever the mystery, the Uncharted Territory crew is ready to solve it. While the fans are entertained by what goes on in front of the camera, the real drama occurs behind the scenes while Josh and Bethany dabble in erotic exploration and deny their real-life love affair. Each book is an episode—as their team gets into trouble again and again. From the Bermuda Triangle to Mayan caves deep in the jungles of Central America, this erotic paranormal series tackles each mystery with a smile and an open-mind. Through all the misadventures and close calls, Josh and Bethany are afraid of only one  

An excerpt of book two, Sinful Ghosts at the Stanley Hotel...

"What do you want, Bethany?" he asked with impatience. 

She sat on the edge of the bad and faced him. "I want us to be okay."

"By okay, are you referring to our near death experience or sex on the beach? We've done both many times and are technically okay." He lifted a rum bottle up to eye level before unscrewing the lid. "There's a ghost in the room...her name is Annabelle, at least I think that's what she we're not alone."

"Stop turning everything into a joke." She scooted closer and snagged a stray bottle with her fingertips. "There's no ghost named Annabelle. Once again, you're changing the subject."

"Think what you want, do what you want, that's the Bethany way." He drank the rum without looking away from her face. 

"You need to get your act together." She moved another inch while her gaze roamed his face. "We're here surrounded by the best paranormal teams on the planet. We need to be at the top of our game. I need my partner, the one with the charm and the wit, not the surly ass I'm looking at right now."

"Surly ass? New one." He dropped his head back against the pillow and looked at her through narrowed eyes. "You want me to be fine? Okay. Tell me why you treat sex with me the same way you treat lunch with a girlfriend."

Her jaw dropped open and eyes widened. "Wh-what? Why would you even make that comparison?"

Sick of her games and casual attitude about everything, he grabbed her shoulders and yanked her toward him until they were a fraction of an inch from each other's faces. "Think about this when you're downstairs flirting with Zack."

He crushed his mouth against hers with brutal force. He'd been craving contact for a solid fourteen days and her nonchalant attitude had pushed him beyond the edge of control. He shoved his tongue into her mouth and groaned at the primal urge that surged through his veins. 

When she gripped his shoulders and kissed him back, his strategy switched from punishing to seducing. He moved his hands beneath her sweatshirt to the bare flesh of her back before sliding up to unsnap her bra. He twisted until they lay entwined on the bed. 

She bit his lower lip, eyes wide open, and grabbed his face between the palms of her hands. "We can't keep falling into bed together."

"Why not? We both want this." He shifted his weight to rest his hips between her legs while his hands found her bare breasts beneath the lacy bra. "Let's make that leap from partners and friends to full-time lovers." 

Her eyes darkened, fingers caressed his cheeks, and her chest arched toward his despite her words, "That would be a bad thing, Josh." 

"Why? Why would it be a bad thing?" He kissed her chin before sliding his mouth over her neck. He squeezed her heavy breasts. His cock strained against the zipper of his jeans. 

She wiggled from beneath him and staggered off the bed. Bracing herself against the wall and looking at the floor, she shook her head. "Take a cold shower and meet us all downstairs for this fan thing. When you're ready to have a serious discussion with me that involves both of us keeping our clothes on, let me know. I'm in the room next to yours." 

He rolled onto his back and blinked at the ceiling. "You are the most exasperating woman on the planet."

"You bring out the best in me," she said as she walked toward the door. "Do something about that bulge in your pants."

"I thought you were going to help me out with that." He hit the mattress at his side and sent the travel-size bottles rolling toward the edge. 

"Damn it, Josh. Just...I can't think straight when you touch me, is that what you want to hear?" She hesitated before opening the door. "Yes, we need to talk because we have a show to do, but I'm not the coldhearted bitch you paint me to be. When you're ready to act like an adult—"

"I thought that's what I was doing." He twisted his head to look at her back and grinned. "Come back to bed, Bethany. You know you want me."

She shook her head, muttered something he couldn't understand, and left him alone with his hard-on and regret. 

"Jonathan,"the ghostly whisper made him laugh out loud. 

"No, honey, I'm not Jonathan." He closed his eyes and tossed his arm out to the side. "I wish I were, though. Right now I wish I were anyone but me, someone with a simpler life."

Author Dakota Skye is fascinated with all things unexplained and edgy. After a few personal paranormal experiences, she decided to delve even further into the mysteries of the universe by creating this pen name and writing stories that defy limitations and expectations. To see all of her books, please visit her website at or follow her on Facebook at ...Enjoy the adventure!