Friday, February 15, 2013
Riptide by Amber Lea Easton (Spotlight)
One violent night shatters Lauren Biltmore’s life. As an anchorwoman, she's accustomed to reporting the news rather than being the lead story. She escapes the spotlight by fleeing to her brother's home in the Cayman Islands. Haunted by nightmares, all she wants is a distraction from reality.
Distraction arrives via sexy screenwriter, Noah Reynolds. His take-me-to-bed looks mask a past ripe with scandal. He knows he should stay away from Lauren, especially when the worst night of her life unlocks his writer's block and while he's dealing with a stalker of his own, but ethics are his weakness.
Attraction sizzles beneath Caribbean sunshine. As their relationship grows, Noah's stalker intensifies her torment. Lauren wonders if her paranoia is justified or a carryover from her past. What's real? What's imagined? Tentative trust is tested as their love is swept up against a riptide of deceit, murder, and revenge.
Author: Amber Lea Easton
Length: 98,000 words
Genres: Contemporary Romantic Suspense (Adventure)
Heat Level: Steamy
About the Author
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published fiction and nonfiction author. For twenty years, she's worked in the fields of journalism and advertising with a brief detour into the financial industry. Although she holds a BA in Communications & Journalism, she is a perpetual student of life who enjoys taking courses on a wide variety of subjects when time allows. Smart is sexy, according to Easton, which is why she writes about strong female characters who have their flaws and challenges, but who ultimately persevere.
Easton currently lives with her two teenagers in the Colorado Rocky Mountains where she gives thanks daily for the gorgeous view outside her window. She finds inspiration from traveling, the people she meets, nature and life’s twists and turns. At the end of the day, as long as she's writing, she considers herself to be simply "a lucky lady liv'n the dream."
Visit Amber at:
He toweled himself off, his thoughts centered around Lauren and their last date. It hadn’t exactly gone as planned given the dead guy face down amidst the fish. Not that he’d helped the situation with his not-so-smooth-moves-on-the-beach later. The past two days had given him perspective. He wanted her. Right or wrong, mistake or not, he needed to see where this could go. He couldn’t get her out of his mind. Maybe tonight he’d get another chance if he could track her down.
“Noah.” Lauren cleared her throat from where she stood outside the open bathroom door. She leaned against the wall in a Caribbean blue tank dress that hugged her body in all the right places, legs exposed from mid-thigh down, ankles crossed, long hair glistening over lightly tanned shoulders, gaze averted to the floor and smile playing across lips he desperately wanted against his skin. “Sorry to barge in. You left the deck door wide open.”
“No problem.” He cinched the towel around his waist and wondered exactly how long she’d been standing there. The thought of her watching him shower and dry off did crazy things to his nervous system. “I’ve been looking for you.”
“Erin told me.” She leaned her head back against the wall and dragged her gaze from his toes upward. “Heard you were on private charter for the past few days.”
He leaned his shoulder against the doorframe and let her gaze soak him up. He liked the way she looked at him as if he were dessert.
“About the other night...I’m sorry. Can I make it up to you? Dinner tonight? Etcetera?” he asked.
She caught her lower lip between her teeth, gaze lingering on his chest. “Are you sure this time? No running away when things get hot?”
Electricity zapped in the three feet separating them.
Damn, the woman did insane things to his rational thinking. He’d decided on the boat that he needed to see her, make things right, take it slow, get tangled up in some strings. Seeing her live and in person threw common sense out the window.
“I can’t decide if you’re hotter when wet or dry...I’m thinking it might be a tie,” she said.
Oh, what the hell. With an opener like that, how could a man resist? He crossed the space between them, slipped his hand behind her neck, and kissed her on that mouth he’d been fantasizing about all week.
Her hands slid over his damp chest while her mouth moved slowly beneath his, her teeth lightly catching his lower lip. Eyes open, they smiled against each other’s mouths.
“Miss me?” he asked.
“It would be very uncool of me to answer that.” She slid her hands over his abdomen and lingered on the towel. “Are you still wanting to back off, or have you come to your senses?”
He braced his hands over her head. The only thing he wanted to do was kiss her slowly and make her beg for more. He looked into her eyes. “You’re making me forget all of the reasons this is a mistake.”
“A sexy mistake.” Her fingers touched his chest in a featherlike caress. She licked her lips.
“Good point.” He smiled. “We’re headed into the danger zone.”
“You have no idea how dangerous.” She tugged on the towel, a wicked grin in her eyes.
Oh, he had an idea about the level of danger. He’d thought of nothing else for the past forty-eight hours and ranked this situation a solid Level Red. Despite that, all he could think about was how good it would feel to have her long legs wrapped around his hips while her nails clawed against his back. He needed to pull the emergency brake. Slow, he reminded himself. Slow.
He leaned against her, enjoying the way her body arched toward his like a magnetic pull. He tangled his fingers in the hair at the back of her neck. “What do you want, Lauren? After the other night, you know I’m more complicated than I seem.”
Her gaze flicked up to his. “I know what I’m doing.”
“You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.”
“Show me. Let’s make some mistakes together. We’re both consenting adults. What the hell?” she whispered, her teeth pulling at his lower lip.
“Does that scare you?” she asked.
He paused a fraction over her lips and looked into her eyes. Yeah, she was scary reckless, but that turned him on more than he could say. So what if she wanted to use him for a distraction from her own demons? He knew that had something to do with it—the woman oozed intensity.
Her mouth widened, taking his like a woman starving for the taste of him. Ravenous. Her fingers fisted in the back of his hair. Her bare foot slid up the outside of his leg. Tongues clashed in a passionate dance that left no doubt about mutual desire.
He pressed her against the wall, uncaring about the slipping of the towel down his hips. This woman made him want more than he had dared want in years. His hands roamed up her sides, thumbs caressing the outline of her breasts. Closer. He couldn’t get close enough.
She pressed her hips against his. “Five days ago I didn’t think I’d feel any emotion ever again. Now here I am making out with you. Insane.”
“A little bit of crazy is good for a person.” He wrapped his hands in her hair, holding her face close to him. “What do you feel now?”
“You. I feel you.”
“You say all the right things,” he said against her mouth. His skin rippled beneath her touch. He couldn’t explain his reaction to her...he felt like an addict in desperate need of a fix.
EXCERPT #2 (more suspenseful than sexy):
Heart thudding in her chest like steel drums, she jolted awake, and blinked at the stars glaring at her from the open hole in the ceiling. She froze with fear, every limb paralyzed, breathing labored. Someone watched her from the foot of the bed. She could feel their gaze on her...on them.
Noah slept next to her, completely unconscious judging by the steady rise and fall of his chest and the weight of his arm over her abdomen.
Look. It’s my imagination. No one’s there. I double-checked—no, triple-checked—all the locks before bed.
Her thoughts immediately went to the morning before...the blackout, the pictures, the fear. She exhaled slowly and raised her head.
A woman stood at the foot of the bed, hair hidden by a yellow scarf, face in shadow, dressed in a baggy sweatshirt and jeans. Real.
“Who are you?” She bolted upright, eyes wide as the woman turned and ran from the room.
Pushing Noah’s arm aside, she bolted from the bed. Anger replaced fear in an instant. Unable to control the emotions raging through her bloodstream, she ran into the living room. No one. She’d left all the lights on before going to the bedroom. She turned in a circle, plastic from the still unfinished kitchen crunching beneath her feet.
The deck door remained closed and locked. Nothing appeared disturbed.
Heart still slamming against her ribcage, she walked to the top of the stairs leading down to the laundry room. She took one step...and then another...slowly...unable to breathe until she reached the bottom. All the deadbolts remained locked.
No one had left.
She flattened her back against the wall and looked over her shoulder toward the top of the stairs. If no one had left, then the woman had to still be inside.
Ali? Alicia? Someone pretending? Questions rattled her mind as she ascended the stairs with her back kept firmly against the wall. She wanted to call out to Noah, but her voice lodged in her throat.
Once in the living room, she again checked the lock on the sliding glass door before staring down the hall toward the spare room she’d never entered. Fear battled anger until she thought her head would explode from the pressure of the two heated emotions.
As she passed the bathroom, she flicked on the light to make sure it was empty inside. It was. She pushed open the door to the spare room with her foot as she kept her back pressed against the door.
Dark. She slid into the room, her hand moving along the wall for a switch of some kind.
Then she heard footsteps behind her. Slow. Creeping.
“What’re you doing?” Noah asked from where he stood in the open doorway.
He flicked on the light, showing the room to be empty except for piles of boxes and tools. She stared at the open window at the far side of the space.
Without answering him, she walked over the mess and leaned out the window. Palm trees swayed with the night wind. Shadows danced in the darkness, black on black. In a moonless sky, stars fell toward the dark void where the ocean lay. .
“Lauren? Are you sleepwalking or something?” Noah’s hand dropped against her shoulder.
The truth of what she was seeing warred with the knowledge in her heart that someone had been standing at the foot of the bed. The intruder could have escaped out this window. It wasn’t a long drop for an athletic person.
I’m not going crazy, I’m not. God, I hope I’m not.
She shoved the window closed with more force than necessary and latched it. When she finally faced Noah, she felt like someone dancing on the edge of a cliff in the darkness, someone about to take a free fall into the abyss.
“I didn’t mean to wake you,” she said, her voice husky with emotion.
“You look terrified.” He smoothed her hair back from her face, his thumbs caressing her cheekbones. “Did something happen that scared you?”
“You look better.” She flattened her hands against his chest and forced a grin. “How do you feel?”
“Hungry.” His grin reassured her that all was well in the world. “Want an omelet?”
She smiled and let her hands trail down his chest. Maybe she’d been dreaming, after all. Yesterday had been more than a little stressful.
“I hear you make the best omelets on the island—”
“In the world, actually.” He winked. “World famous omelet.”
“World famous, yes, of course, how could I resist?” She exhaled the nervous energy that still zapped through her system and leaned into him. The man had a way about him. There was no denying it.
“You can’t resist me. I’m like a drug.” He glanced behind her toward the window she’d forcefully closed. “Want to tell me why every light in the house is on and why you’re in here closing windows at three a.m.?”
“Not really.” She linked her hands behind his waist and looked up at him. “I like being here with you in the middle of the night, think I’ll make it a habit.”
He squinted at her, obviously curious about the reason behind her madness. Again, he glanced toward the window but said nothing.
Habit? Had she actually said that word? There’s no way she could stay here again, probably shouldn’t be here now, not when she was having blackouts, chatting it up with creepy redheads and hallucinating women standing at the foot of the bed. She’d successfully gone from one nightmare into the next and could no longer distinguish reality from fantasy.
She cringed when he looked away and turned off the light. She was such a liar, a dirty, rotten liar. A hypocrite. A fraud. She needed to control herself and slow this down before they both got in too deep.
World of Ink Network
M E D I A R E L E A S E
CONTACT: VS Grenier
Partner & Founder, World of Ink Network
Amber Lea Easton is available for speaking and signing events.
You can find out more about Amber Lea Easton, Riptide and her World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/a2azncg
To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit http://worldofinknetwork.com
World of Ink Tour Schedule for Amber Lea Easton
Writers On The Move—Guest Post: Engaging Romance
World of Ink Network Blog—Spotlight & $25 Victoria Secret Giveaway
The Writing Mama—Guest Post: Kindling the Fire
Book Reviews by Lynn—Spotlight
My Life…One Story at a Time—Spotlight
Jo Linsdell Blog—Featured Author
BTR’s Featured World of Ink Network show: The Writing Mama
Books and Tales—Interview & Giveaway of “Kiss Me Slowly”
Sunset Reader Reviews—Spotlight
World of Ink Network Blog—Book Review
Sunset Reader Reviews—Guest Post: What’s Your Goal in Life
Deal Sharing Aunt—Book Review & Giveaway “Kiss Me Slowly”
Romance Junkie—Guest Post
The New Book Review
When in Doubt...Read—Book Review
My Life…One Story at a Time—Book Review & Giveaway “Kiss Me Slowly”
The Writing Mama—Book Review
Book Reviews by Lynn—Book Review
The Phantom Paragrapher—Guest Post: Romantic Leading Men
The Indie Spotlight—Interview
Sunset Reader Reviews—Book Review & Giveaway “Kiss Me Slowly”
My Life…One Story at a Time—Guest Post
The Phantom Paragrapher—Book Review
The Writing Mama—Interview
Writers and Authors—Guest Post