I don’t know about you, but January’s been tough for my family. (Read: Sickness-O-Rama.) So I am thrilled to put that all aside to hang out with Super Author Amber Lea Easton today for Writer Wednesday! (And Amber is no doubt happy our get together is only virtual, as I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t want to be around my kids right now. 😉 ) Why do I call her a Super Author? Because she writes a variety of fiction types and for numerous blogs – just read the list in her bio today.
Thanks, Amber, for joining me today! Let’s learn more about you!
What inspires you to write?
I’m driven to write by a thousand characters vying to have their stories told. I just write. I’ve been writing stories in one way or another since I was 9 years old. I’m not sure I need inspiration–it’s more of a compulsion.
Which type of romance do you love most, and why?
I love romantic suspense novels because they’re edgy, fast-paced, usually with a smart plot and richly developed characters.
Name one interesting thing you learned in researching/writing your last book:
Sex slaves are often auctioned off on container ships in international waters with their rich “guests” ferried there. This was the central plot in my latest romantic suspense novel, Duplicity, set in Grand Cayman.
Name two things people don’t know about you:
I am addicted to the smell of Vicks VapoRub—yes, I know that’s weird.
I am an avid star-gazer with three telescopes. I totally geek out about meteor showers.
What fellow romance author do you recommend reading, and why?
Jill Shalvis. Her books have it all—fabulous characters, interesting storylines, and she really knows how to write!
What one piece of advice do you wish you’d had when first starting out?
Don’t trust everyone just because they’re fellow authors. Not everyone in your publishing group has the “team spirit.”
What’s your favorite romance novel of all time, and why?
I have many, but the first one that popped into my mind is Nora Roberts’ The Reef. It is such a great plot about treasure hunters and the characters remained with me long after I turned the page. I’ve read it too many times to count.
And now, a bit on Duplicity:
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.**
Excerpt from Duplicity (contains strong language):
“You’re being hunted, you realize that, right?”
“I do.” She plopped another strawberry into her mouth.
“Why do you keep saying that?”
“Why are you being so agreeable and nice? You said last night that you were a class A bitch, yet here you are making me food, being cool about hooking up, acting as if you’re not afraid—”
“I’m afraid, but what good will that do me out here?” She motioned to the sea surrounding them. “What did you expect me to do? Curl up into a ball and cry my eyes out?”
“Maybe.” He put his hands on hips, pissed off that she’d found him in the first place. She was one of those complications he avoided at all costs.
“Sorry to disappoint you.” She sat on the bench and reached for a fork.
A fork! A fucking utensil. For a minute, he’d thought she was a laid back chic who drank beer from a bottle just like him, but here she was having sandwiches on plates and salads and fruit and beer in bucket of ice and plates with all the proper accessories while they bobbed in the middle of the ocean.
“Listen, I don’t know what you think this is becoming—”
“I paid you to take me off the island so I could figure out how to bury Owen Williams so deep in the prison system—”
“You what now?” He held his hand out to stop her from speaking. “I told you I didn’t want to—”
“And you lied.” She faced him, hands on her hips. “Ever since those people showed up this morning, you’ve avoided me for one reason only—because you want to know every detail.”
He gritted his teeth together and squinted. “Are you here to mess with me, is that it? Who is paying you? Is this all some elaborate scheme to get in my head?”
“Shouldn’t I be the one playing the paranoid freak?”
“Did my father send you? This all screams of an elaborate ploy to get me to give this up. Ron and the creepy goon in the suit were a nice touch, but maybe a bit over-the-top. Are they all actors on his payroll? Are you? Because if you are, honey, you deserve a star on the Walk of Fame.”
She gaped at him as if he’d sprouted devil horns and a tail. “Listen, now is not the time to have some kind of mental breakdown. I need you to keep me safely out of sight until I can get myself out of a jam, but that’s it.”
He felt the nerve pulsating in his jaw. His heartbeat raced as if he’d been given a shot of adrenaline. Logic warred with emotion.
Spike got beat up. Noah wouldn’t lie about that. I’m losing it. She reminds me too much of Alicia.
“What’s wrong with you?” she asked.
“What’s wrong with you?” he countered. “You’re the passenger. You’re not supposed to be doing—” he motioned again to the table, “all of this. It’s wrong.”
“You are a caricature of yourself—a Hollywood version of the ship captain with his cool hat, hip pants, sexy tat, and oh-so-perfect hair. It’s like you’re trying too hard to fit into some image, like you’re rebelling against who you really are. Isn’t it about time to grow up, Captain?”
“One fuck doesn’t make you an expert on my life.”
“I made you a goddamn meal and I don’t know why we’re fighting about it.” She slammed her hand down on the table. “As for screwing last night, so what? We’re both adults. I don’t want to marry you so you can fucking relax.”
“I am relaxed!”
“So am I!”
“Why aren’t you being mean? You said you were the ultimate mean girl or whatever—”
“Until now, I didn’t feel the need to be mean.” She tossed a fistful of lettuce at him. “What is wrong with you? Heat stroke? What? Tell me so we can eat.”
“This looks romantic—” he motioned to the set up, “and I am not romantic.”
“Thanks for the newsflash, I mistook you for Romeo.”
“I don’t like this. Maybe we need to go back to Grand Cayman now. I know people that can keep you safe.”
“I don’t have any evidence yet.” She shoved her hands through her hair and pulled. “I tried to figure it out all day. All I have is my suspicion against his word—and his screwed up girlfriend slash suspected sex slave told me to my face that she wouldn’t betray him—how do I combat that? I’m a dead woman if I can’t deliver concrete evidence, what about that don’t you understand?”
“All of it. I don’t understand one thing about any of this.” He knew he wasn’t being rational. He felt the rage rush through his veins and couldn’t explain it to anyone, least of all himself. She set him off. For a brief millisecond of time he’d thought maybe they weren’t so different—and the fact that she reminded him of the past he’d left behind years ago would be irrelevant—but he’d been wrong.
Needing to cool off, he stripped out of his pants and smiled at her gasp of surprise at his sudden nudity. After carefully placing his hat and sunglasses on the table, he turned his back on her, strutted to the side of the boat, looked at the undulating turquoise water, and dove overboard without a backward glance.
Find Duplicity here:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/duplicity-amber-lea-easton/1122237601?ean=2940152007367
All Romance eBooks: https://goo.gl/4MqXl9
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of romantic thrillers, contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and nonfiction. She also writes five different blogs, volunteers for children’s literacy, and advocates for suicide awareness. In addition, she is a professional editor and mother of two extraordinary human beings. She currently 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.
Follow her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmberLeaEaston
Woo hoo! So much fun to learn more about you, Amber! (Personally, I’ve always liked the smell of Vick’s VapoRub, too!) Thanks for chillin’ with me for Writer Wednesday!