Writer Wednesday: Meet Amber Lea Easton

AmberinSantaMonicaI 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.

bookdanceWhich 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.

whiteoutWhat 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: 

DuplicityCoverNothing 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?”

“Saying what?”

“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’re insane.”


“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:

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/DuplicityWIII

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/duplicity-amber-lea-easton/1122237601?ean=2940152007367

iTunes/iBookstore: https://goo.gl/hEJWcQ

All Romance eBooks: https://goo.gl/4MqXl9

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=Duplicity+by+Amber+Lea+Easton

Author Bio: 

Last Light on Longs Peak from a Frozen Bear LakeAmber 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

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MtnMoxieGirl

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!

Interview with Meg Adams, Author of In From the Cold

I love Writer Wednesday, but the darn day only comes once a week, and sometimes I’ve got authors to share with y’all, and I just can’t wait! That’s the case with today’s special – time with fellow Virginia Romance Writer Meg Adams, who just released her contemporary, In From the Cold.

Meg graciously sat down with me (virtually speaking, I guess) to share some insider info. So grab that hot cocoa, turn on the Christmas lights, and settle in for a great, quick intro to Meg and her work!

Everyone always asks, where do you get your ideas, but I’m gonna ask it anyway: What’s the story behind the story in In From The Cold?

Grand Teton Reflection at SunriseOh, jeez. This story began with the place first, and then I peopled it with characters … and then the plot formed. I have relatives in Jackson, Wyoming, so I’ve been out there several times and in all kinds of weather. We once had the pleasure of staying in a spiffy guesthouse like the one in the book–totally different from my daily existence–and I got to thinking, what if…? Definitely a fun fantasy.

How long have you been writing romance?

I wrote my first novel about fifteen years ago, a young adult novel based on Beowulf, but with a female protagonist who falls in love with one of Beowulf’s men. I intended it to be a young adult novel, but my agent kept at me to go ahead and make it a romance. I was resistant then and never published it, but I’ve been thinking lately I might go blow the dust off that file and see what I have. I know so much more about the genre now, and my agent was probably right. My sister has also pointed out that I’ve always read a lot of romance, even when I thought–silly me–I was just reading classics. Go figure. So the unofficial answer is a long time. Officially, about three years.

What draws you to the genre? Would you consider writing in other subgenres, such as historical or paranormal?

Civil War CannonI love romance because it’s so hopeful. I’m not a naturally positive person, although I’ve noticed in my friendships that I’m drawn to those who are. Life is tough for lots of us, and no matter how poor, or sick, or beset by troubles our lives may be, love gives some respite from that. I need the hope romance offers, and a little dose of magic, to help offset the realities of daily life.

I  do write in other subgenres, too. I’ve self-published an historical mystery set on the eve of the Civil War called The Edge of War, which contains a strong romantic thread. I’ve also completed the rough draft of  a “Hen-lit” contemporary romance, working title Flat Tires and Shifting Gears–Again, and I’m currently writing a young adult romance, Unforgettable. I have a whole series planned for a Victorian romance series, but until I have more time for the research, that will stay on my back burner. Alas.

Who are your favorite romance authors to read, and why?

Tough, tough question. I love so many. I love the humor in Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Lisa Kleypas, the styles of Barbara O’Neal and Jennifer Crusie. Grace Burrowes and Meredith Duran are fabulous Regency romance writers, and Simone Elkeles, Gayle Forman, and John Green rock in young adult. And if I’m feeling in the mood for something a little racier, my buddy, Mari Carr, is my go to. What an imagination!

You’re a member of the Virginia Romance Writers; how has that helped you in your writing career?

vrwFirst and foremost, it’s given me a great education in the genre and the business of writing. The publishing world has always been a mystery to me, but now, with so many choices and more author marketing expectations, it’s downright complicated. Meeting so many people struggling with the same issues gives me a wonderful support group, and I’ve met some fabulous people and contacts through the organization.

What’s next from you, and when can we expect it?

As I mentioned above, Flat Tires and Shifting Gears-Again is about ready to go to my editor, so I don’t have a timeline per se. Hopefully within the year. Unforgettable is still a work in progress,and  my current publisher doesn’t want Young Adult, so I need to find this one a different home. After that, I have several partially completed manuscripts that I need to finish. I’ll have to see what inspires me, or what I’m asked for at that point. I save my summers for research-intensive writing, just because the rest of my year is so intense.

Name two things most people don’t know about you. 

Oh that’s a fun one. I found out a couple of years ago that I have some Cherokee blood, which you wouldn’t know by looking at me.You would though if you saw my father and brother. And learning to sail is on my bucket list.

What’s one piece of advice you wished you’d had when you first started writing?

Fountain penThat writing is a process. It wasn’t until I got out of college and started teaching that I started learning myself how to truly revise. Breaking writing into stages had never occurred to me, and I couldn’t understand why writing seemed so much less stressful for my fellow English majors. Now I know they already knew the secret. Allowing myself a crappy first draft has helped me enormously, letting my creativity flow and pushing me through potential roadblocks over and over again. That process gets better the more I practice it, too. 

So yes, I wish someone had told me earlier that novels don’t emerge fully formed from an author’s head. Zeus, we are not.

Finally, peanut butter + chocolate = God’s gift to man, or heinous corruption of two otherwise divine substances?

My husband would definitely agree with the first assertion. Moi? Change it to almonds, pecans , or macadamia nuts–and I’m your girl!

infromthecoldPerfect families don’t always start with perfect ingredients.

Professional nanny Claire Iverson has wiped enough noses, butts and spills to qualify for a PhD in raising kids. She knows a toddler with a potty crisis when she sees one, and it’s clear this child’s impossibly handsome father doesn’t, since he’s sound asleep on the flight to Jackson, Wyoming.

Getting burned by her ex-boyfriend left her gun-shy around men, but when it comes to this beautiful little girl, she has to speak up. Just her luck, it turns out the man she just dressed down is her new boss.

Between his roles as full-time CEO and full-time father, Drake Driscoll is exhausted. If he can seal the next deal at his upcoming holiday house party, he’ll have room to breathe. He never expected for his daughter’s new nanny to take his breath away.

Claire hesitates to accept the warmth that beckons in Drake’s arms. But soon their attraction ignites, pulling them in deeper than either of them expected. Into passion that could weld them forever—or burn them to cinders.

Warning: Hot chocolate, cozy fires, snowball fights and sizzling ski hut sex = one very merry holiday!

Meg Adams, author of In From the Cold, is a true blue “Valley Girl”—the Shenandoah Valley, that is. She lives with her family—both two-legged and four-legged— in an old farmhouse, her other work-in-progress, and when she’s not herding kids or cats, she’s reading or writing. Whether cheering on bicyclists as they crest the hill or writing another romance, she encourages everyone to find their own happy endings.

Writer Wednesday: Meet Debra Druzy

Author Debra Druzy - Head Shot

Didja miss us? Didja miss us? Writer Wednesday was on hiatus last week while I worked to meet an editing deadline, but now we’re BACK and we’ve got contemporary romance author Debra Druzy in the interview hot seat (well, really, I hope it’s just a comfortable, relaxing, warm seat, because I want authors to enjoy being here).

I don’t know about YOU, but with a book entitled Sleeping with Santa, Debra’s got me dying to know more about her and her books (if Santa looks like the guy on her cover, I’m so in)! So settle in while Debra takes over the mic and shares a bit about herself, and what’s next for her writing.

Thank you for having me on your Writer Wednesday blog, Margaret. And Hello to your fabulous followers!

I’m Debra Druzy, author of Sleeping With Santa, a contemporary romance. These questions were a nice break from revising my current work in progress. And a helluva lot easier than third grade Common Core math homework.

MusicButterflyWhat inspires you to write?

Everything. Dreams. Conversations. Driving. Grocery shopping. Doing laundry. Watching the news. Music is especially inspirational—I call it songspiration.

Which type of romance do you love most, and why?

Contemporary is my favorite because I relate to the time, place, and language better than some other genres.

Name one interesting thing you learned in researching/writing your last book.

I learned that I must plot the story rather than write from the seat of my pants. I can’t drive my car anywhere without my GPS guiding the way, so I don’t what made me think I could write without knowing where the story was going.

love heart in a book with filter effect retro vintage styleName two things people don’t know about you.

I can’t fall asleep with the television on. [ML says: People can do that? I sure can’t!]
I was born the day the Mets won the World Series, the first time.

What fellow romance author do you recommend reading, and why?

I have the privilege to beta read for two writer-friends. Arla Dahl’s Immoral Virtue Trilogy gives the Salem witch trials an erotic twist. I consider Arla’s style Fifty Shades of Shakespeare. And Stephanie Kepke’s Goddess of Suburbia is a chick-lit romance. I compare reading the story to taking a road trip with a good friend as she recaps a nervous breakdown with heart and humor. I have to mention Cherry Adair—she is a fabulous writer and mentor. If you like action-adventure-romance, check out Cherry’s books.

Vintage TypewriterWhat one piece of advice do you wish you’d had when first starting out?

Plot first!
It’s fine to sit and free-write to get the juices going and warm up the muse. But like cooking, driving, building a house, sewing a dress—having a recipe, a map, a blueprint, a pattern to follow is a tremendous help. Set up the framework for the story before layering the details.

What’s your favorite romance novel of all time, and why?

Although contemporary is my favorite genre, Thea Devine’s historical romance, Secret Pleasures, is my favorite story. It’s a little bit of everything decadent—murder, mystery, romance, erotica. I bought the book when it first came out to read on my train ride to work, and it proved to be a naughty escape during the long roundtrip commute. The paperback is still in my nightstand drawer.

Thanks again, Margaret. And thanks to your followers for stopping by.

If you haven’t slept with Santa yet, you can get the SLEEPING WITH SANTA
e-book on sale for only 99 cents, until October 29.

perf5.000x8.000.inddWhen Nick reluctantly accepts the temporary transfer to the Scenic View Fire Department he doesn’t plan on playing Santa Claus for the kiddie Christmas party. Sticking around town for the special assignment will give him a chance to get to know lonely, local sweetheart Lily and find out why she wants nothing to do with him.

Lily is a lifelong fixture in Scenic View, sick of living hand-to-mouth in a place where everyone’s nose is in her personal business. Just when she’s ready to move out of town, she meets the gorgeous newcomer, and it’s lust at first sight. The only thing is she doesn’t date firemen, which is too bad, because charming Nick seems like a real keeper.

With a little Christmas magic and help from the Santa suit, will Nick find a way into Lily’s heart and change her mind?

You’re gonna have to sleep with Santa to find out.

Get SLEEPING WITH SANTA for .99 October 16 – 29.

Find it here:

TWRP store: http://tinyurl.com/n2fqx4x

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1628307374

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/sleeping-with-santa

All Romance EBooks: http://tinyurl.com/owen27w

Bookstrand.com: http://www.bookstrand.com/sleeping-with-santa

iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/ok8vx8b

BN Nook: http://tinyurl.com/ko9rohd

For more information and links for where to buy, please visit http://www.debradruzy.com/

A bit about Debra:

Debra Druzy is a married, stay-at-home mom, writing romance in between running errands and doing household chores. Sleeping with Santa is her first published book, but there are plenty of unfinished stories in the closet and under the bed, which is probably bad for feng shui, but a good lesson in persistence pays off.

Stack of vintage books isolated on whiteWant to connect further? Find Debra here:

Debra Druzy Online: http://www.debradruzy.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debradruzyauthor

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/DebraDruzy

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/debradruzy/

Thanks so much for being a part of Writer Wednesday, Debra! It was a pleasure to have you with us!

Writer Wednesday: Meet Susan Scott Shelley

susanscottshelleyWellllll-come to Writer Wednesday! I really love this day of the week, don’t you? Almost to the weekend (do weekends matter anymore when one is a writer?), and you get to learn about a wonderful author, to boot. What’s not to love?

This week, Susan Scott Shelley joins us. Ms. Shelley is an award-winning author of contemporary romance who, in her own words, “spends her days writing about tough heroes, smart heroines, and love being the strongest magic there is. Her favorite things include running, sports, hard rock and old Hollywood movies. She lives in Philadelphia with her very own Superhero, and believes life should be lived with laughter, enthusiasm, and a sense of wonder.”

Don’t you just want to hang out with her for a day? I do, but I’ll have to settle for this quickie of an interview. And here we go!

What inspires you to write?

The stories that keep popping into my head demand it! I like writing about how falling in love changes people. I love exploring it, and seeing what odds they’ll need to overcome in order to let love win.

Name one interesting thing you learned in researching/writing your last book. 

In researching for my Boys of Summer series, I’ve learned *so* much about the rules of the game, the intricate details, and the psychology of baseball. I’m a huge sports fan. Hockey was my first love, followed by football, and then baseball. Combining something I truly love into the stories I’m writing is so much fun.

Name two things people don’t know about you.

I’m a professional voiceover artist. And, I have an affinity for all things Scottish. I also read the newspaper comics every morning (because you should start off your day with a laugh!) and I have a mild (okay, maybe more than mild…) addiction to coffee and eye makeup.


Check Out Rekindled – Book 1 in the Boys of Summer series

Actress Gemma Norwood and professional baseball player Adam Hudson are thrown together four years after a gut-wrenching break-up. Far away from the glitter of Hollywood and the trappings that accompany a high-profile, major league star, they meet in the small town in the Catskills where they first fell in love.

Adam, sidelined by an injury that’s left him questioning whether he can continue to play, longs to return to the sport he loves and Gemma, weary of small roles in low-budget films, isn’t sure if her heart still lies in making movies. After one kiss, rekindling their relationship is all that matters.

But as the start of baseball season draws near, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Gemma threatens to tear them apart again. The warm glow of a happily-ever-after seems as impossible as starting a fire in a snowstorm.

Find it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

Want to connect with Susan? Find her here!

Website: http://www.susanscottshelley.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susanscottshelleyauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Susan_S_Shelley
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sscottshelley/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/susanscottshelley

Thanks for stopping by, Susan! It was a pleasure having you.
Wishing you all the best with your new series – it sounds fabulous!