Amber Lea Easton
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Mountain Moxie Publishing
Date of Publication: April 13, 2013
Number of pages: 268
Word Count: 93,400
Heroes come in many forms--soldiers who fall and rise, ordinary people doing extraordinary things, women who battle for their marriage, reporters who fight for truth and justice, and men who put it all on the line for the women they love.Guest Post:
Sometimes heroes fall.
Colonel Michael Cedars is a decorated war hero returning home from Afghanistan. Wounded, unsure if he’ll walk again, he’s not sure how he fits in civilian life, and he definitely questions if he wants to remain married to the feisty redhead, Hope Shane.
Hope’s never been one to play it safe. She met the Colonel while working as a war correspondent, fell in love with the man in uniform, watched him get blown up, and isn’t willing to give up on him now.
Back in Denver, Colorado, she’s working as an investigative reporter who becomes entangled in a human trafficking story. As the danger of her story intensifies, Hope and Michael are tested more than they ever imagined. Will Michael be able to see beyond what he’s lost to embrace what remains? Is he still the man she married or has he become a liability that could get her killed? Is he still the hero she claims him to be? Will her reckless pursuit of justice endanger the life they’ve pieced together?
Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.
Thanks for hosting me today on Musings and Ramblings. In fact, the name of your blog inspired me to write a post about why I'd choose to push the boundaries a bit in my latest novel, 'Reckless Endangerment'.
One of the most annoying things I hear as a romance writer is that all of our stories are "cookie cutter". I disagree! Many of the stories I write and read from my favorite romantic suspense authors are far from ordinary or formula. Yes, we in the romance genre love a happy ending...but who doesn't? Yet, as much as I resist the idea of a "formula" or a "standard rule", I knew I was taking a risk with 'Reckless Endangerment' by writing about PTSD, human sex trafficking, and by having my hero be a partially paralyzed US marine married to a reckless reporter who can't avoid danger.
Why write a story like this, with all of its emotional drama paired with real world dangers ripped from the headlines? Why write about a hero who's partially paralyzed...will the public accept him in the role of romantic leading man? Well, let me muse and ramble about that for a minute.
I write the story I'm compelled to write at any given moment. This is one of those stories that bled onto the page for me as a writer. There were nights when I'd finish writing and be emotionally spent. I fell in love with these two characters with all of their humanity and courage. I also believe that my audience is smarter than the average bear so why not deliver a story that is unique while still being a story of true love?
My hero is a wounded marine, trying to figure life out as a civilian with scars both physical and mental. He's not sure about being married, feels he'll be a burden to his wife whose career is in fast forward momentum. That's real—this happens in life. People have doubts and can be brought down by life's burdens, no matter how strong they've been in the past. For me, the journey Michael goes on to heal and to get his life back is authentic and relatable. Perhaps it's not the 'norm' for a romance hero, but he's still sexy, smart, loveable, and romantic which are very real elements for any leading man.
As for the love story between the Hope and Michael, anyone who's ever been in love knows that sometimes it's a battle to keep it going instead of taking the easy way out. Hope is a fighter—she fights for the victims of her human trafficking story and for the love of her life. She's not one to surrender—but she's also vulnerable, which is a true reflection of many amazing women I know in real life.
I enjoy writing stories that feel 'real' to me, as if I could meet these people in life and end up being friends with them. Romance novels, to me, are all about love triumphing over adversity—if that's "cookie cutter", well, so be it. I love a happy ending, especially when I've fallen head over heels for the characters.
“I can’t do this on my own,” she said so quietly he wondered if she’d actually spoken. She sat on the edge of the bed, her face pale and eyes full of unshed tears. “I’m faking it every day. Please, Michael, I don’t know whether I should smack you, scream at you or kiss you to bring you back.”Trailer:
“Don’t cry for me.” Seeing her like this threw him off. He preferred the irreverent spitfire who would go toe-to-toe with him any day. He’d wanted to spare her pain, but it was obvious he had inflicted more.
“It was never hard for us, not even in a war zone. We met and—wham—that was that. We made it work.”
He leaned back in his chair and stared at her. She wore a black dress that rose up on her thigh when she crossed her legs. Black leather boots went to her knees. Hair cascaded around her shoulders, lush lips frowned and eyes glistened.
“You’re not okay, are you?” he asked. “Despite your badass looks, you haven’t healed, have you? Have you talked to anyone or just stayed in perpetual motion?”
“What do you think?” Her lips twisted in a self-deprecating grin.
“I think we’re too much alike.” He grinned despite the circumstances.
“I wouldn’t presume to feel the same as you do.” She dragged the back of her hand across her cheek without meeting his gaze. “Things happened that you don’t know about...and now isn’t the right time...but you’re right that I understand you.”
He nodded slowly, not taking his gaze from her face. Anger long gone, heartache remained. All words sounded inadequate in his brain. He wondered what had happened that she hadn’t written about, wondered if he would ever know. Sorrow clung to her. He had not only failed as a husband, but also as a friend.
They had once been the best of friends.
“What do we know about being married?” she asked, her gaze focused on a distant spot on the tiled floor. “Maybe you’re right. I’m a mess. You’re a disaster. Neither one of us is being honest.” She met his gaze. “We’re just a couple of liars who enjoyed the danger of sneaking around in a war zone. We’re the good story without a happy ending that we’ll think about when we’re old and alone.”
He winced. He deserved that. Hell, he’d been singing the same song. It felt like a boulder crushed his chest as he waited for the final blow.
Prize is a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card from Amber Lea Easton. Contest is tour-wide and ends July 12. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
Book Tour Info:
Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Book Tour:
Regina May Ross's - Author Interview
Janna Shay's Fair Play - Guest Post
Books Books and More Books
Books to Light Your Fire
Samantha Holt - Author Interview
Coffee Beans & Love Scenes
Crystals Many Reviews - Guest Post/Review
Ali's Books - Guest Post
Musings And Ramblings - Guest Post
Deal Sharing Aunt
It's All About the Romance!
Harlie's Books - Guest Post
Kelly P's Blog
Queen of the Night Reviews - Guest Post/Review
Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess - Guest Post/Review
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published cross genre author of romantic suspense, action adventure, mystery thrillers and new adult (coming in summer 2013). Her current releases cross all boundaries and appeal to a wide audience. If you love a clever plot, action that will leave you breathless, riveting characters and sexy love scenes, her books will appeal to you. "Smart is sexy," Easton says, which is why she focuses on smart heroines who always have a lot to lose yet find the courage to face their fears to overcome adversity. She's an avid reader of all genres or "whatever turns her on in the moment".
Easton grew up in Hartford, South Dakota, where she spent her time daydreaming of big adventures over the horizon under a giant blue South Dakota sky. Now living in Colorado, she's an avid traveler who incorporates her real life travels into her novels as much as possible (minus the illegal activities her characters become immersed in--she swears). To her, setting is another character in the novel and often serves as an inspiration. Love is her motivation for all things--whether it be writing, traveling, playing with her dogs or hanging with her two teenagers--if it's not done with love, then what's the point?
To connect with the author online:
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