What or who is your personal muse?
I find inspiration in nature and in music--whether it be the sound of the trees stirring in the breeze, my dogs fetching a ball, the sunset illuminating the mountain across from me, the sounds of water moving down the river, or the sight of the ocean stretching out toward the horizon. I'm lucky to live in a place where I'm surrounded by nature rather than concrete. I often listen to sounds of the ocean when I'm trying to relax. When I write, music sets the mood. If I'm writing an intense scene, I like having a soundtrack playing that sets the tone of what I want to create. Between both music and nature, I find myself in the flow of creativity more often than not.
More about Amber Lea Easton, aka The Temptress...
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published fiction and nonfiction author. Smart is sexy, according to Easton, which is why she writes about strong female characters who have their flaws and challenges but ultimately persevere. She currently has six contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels out in the world: Kiss Me Slowly, Riptide, Reckless Endangerment, Anonymity, In Between, and Dancing Barefoot. Her memoir, Free Fall, is dedicated to suicide prevention, awareness, and helping others navigate the dark journey of grief.
In addition, Easton works as an editor, freelance journalist, and professional speaker. She speaks on subjects ranging from writing to widowhood. Some of her videos on romance writing have appeared on the international Writers & Authors television network. Current radio appearances are linked via her author website, http://www.amberleaeaston.com.
Easton currently lives with her two teenagers in the Colorado Rocky Mountains where she h 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 simply to be "a lucky lady liv'n the dream."
A taste of her latest release, Dancing Barefoot, a contemporary romantic drama that tackles issues of co-dependency, addiction, and breaking free of others' expectations to live the life of your
"I." He kissed her lightly. "Will." He slid his mouth from her lips to the line of her jaw. "Never." His tongue flicked over her earlobe. "Date you."
Somehow she'd kicked off the high heel and now her barefoot slid up the side of his lower leg. "Yes, you will."
He laughed at her audacity, relieved to see that fire in her eyes. "It is good to know you have big dreams, Jess."
"Ava said you'd make Boston your home base if only I asked." She moved her hand over the bulge in his jeans and grinned with satisfaction. "I know there's a lot of heartache here, that you don't trust me, but the way I see it, you're worth me making a fool of myself over."
He couldn't believe her, even though he wanted to very much. He'd given back the ring, said all he had to say, had vowed to erase her from his heart. The gallery idea with Miranda had slipped from his lips without conscious intent. Looking at her now, he knew it would be too risky to let her close.
"And then what? I leave for South America, you have a fit about me wandering off, we break up again? Is that how this will play out?"
"Technically, we never broke up," she whispered, gaze intent on his. "We never had a fight, I still wore the ring, so did you."
"You're confusing me and I don't like it." His dropped his forehead against hers and tried desperately to reign in his desire.
"If you don't want a date, then let's go back to my place, lock the door and see what happens."
"You know what would happen." He grabbed her wrists and made her stop touching him. "What are you really asking me, Jess?"
"What do you want?"
“You're ashamed of me, of what we were to one another. Didn’t you say that last week? Yes, you said you don’t talk about Italy to anyone here.” He knew it was the truth when her eyes darted away from him. “You don’t want anyone here to know about our affair. You don’t want your lover to get upset—”
“You have the wrong idea about Marc. He—”
“Stop lying. Is it even possible for you to stop?” He pressed his thigh between hers, pushing her tighter against the bark of the tree. “You two are lovers. Deny it.”
She dropped her head against tree trunk and stared at him. “It’s complicated.”
“Of course it is. Nothing with you is simple. Come back to my hotel with me. Right now. Intervene.”
"You think I won't, but I will." Her lips trembled, eyes searched his.
His gaze locked on her mouth. “Is that your plan? Seduce me away from Simone? How would Marc feel about that?”
“Stop throwing him in my face.”
“You want me back in your bed, Jess? Is that all you want? Sex and nothing more?”
Blue eyes darkened to indigo. Body shifted toward him. Teeth bit into her bottom lip. He knew she wanted him, but he wanted more than that.
“Do you want me to beg?” Her hands settled on his hips.
“Yes, I do. Beg me.”
The war in her eyes was evident.
“No more.” He closed his eyes. “We aren't capable of a casual affair and you know it. We'll get sucked in and then what?”
“It could be different this time. We'll make it work.”
"Why the change of mind? Ava? Last Friday night? What? Why? If you hadn't seen me last week, I wouldn't be on your mind at all. If I hadn't come to Boston for the exhibit, we would not be standing here. If I am the great love of your life, then you would have tried to contact me and explain. According to Kevin, I have a huge social media following. Not too hard to catch up to me. I don't trust you. I don't trust this, not at all. Are you using me again? Is this promotion scaring you and I happened along at the right time?"
"I never used you, never. I thought about contacting you so many times, but what would I say? Then what? I waited too long, was too messed up—maybe still am, I don't know—I didn't know how to say what I felt. Think of all the places you've been in the past five years, all you would have given up for me."
When she stopped speaking, he started thinking. Without opening his eyes, he moved his hands over her arms, felt the softness of her dress beneath his fingertips, heard her sharp intake of breath, felt her lips caress his chin.
He shook his head, reality waking him up like a cold shower. “We no longer fit.”
Her hands fisted in his shirt when he tried to step away. “What does that mean?”
“It means I think you and Marc will have a nice life together.”
“Marc and I are not a couple. He does his thing and I do mine, that's it.” Her hold on him intensified.
He looked at her—really looked—and saw a woman who was as far removed from his lifestyle as he was from a corporate boardroom.
“I haven’t been fair to you. I came back here hoping to see you, that’s true. All of it was designed to open that door for me.” Confusion twisted his thoughts into meaningless meanderings going nowhere. “We were what we were and had what we had. I gave you back the ring, meant what I said. We've had our closure, bellazza mia. The end.”
“The end?” Fire returned to her eyes.
“I look forward to seeing you at the gallery on Saturday. I hope you'll change your mind about showing your art.” A hole opened up where his heart once existed. “You should be there with me, like Ava says. You were there in the beginning—”
“The beginning.” Her eyes flickered with pain. “There are other reasons that I keep Italy to myself, Jacques.”
“What other reasons?”
"You're mine, my memory, mine alone. I don't share you, us, with anyone who wasn't there because no one would understand the magnitude of it. I don't tell anyone because it's sacred to me, you, Ava, our life together that summer...sacred to me." She shook her head, disbelief and sadness transforming her eyes into the color of the deep ocean. “Even when I boarded the plane home, I thought somehow, someway we'd be together. I didn't want it to end, but I needed to come home. I returned too late, I know I screwed up, but I never intended to end us, can't you see that? Now we have a chance to begin again. Brand new. Jessica and Jacques the sequel. Think about how amazing it could be.”
She made him doubt himself. The look in her eyes, the way her hands fisted in the material of his shirt at his waist, the longing that emanated from her. It was as if he had been caught beneath a wave and didn’t know which way was up.
Without answering, he disengaged from her and strode across the park. He had to give up the idea of her, surrender the notion that they'd once had a great love affair. Memory had a way of glossing over reality. He broke his stride and looked over his shoulder. She leaned against the trunk of the tree, a vision in yellow surrounded by green.
And he wondered why walking away felt so damn wrong.
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What the reviews are saying....
4 stars via Avid Reader
"I loved this story.
It was refreshingly honest, brutally tragic, and at times lyrical in it's flow. Their connection was so intense that as I read it, I was like this absolutely cannot survive. Love this intense and in your face has a slow burn to it, and will torch everything in i's path until it is stamped out...There was nothing contrived about it. I felt like I was literally a fly on the wall and this was happening in reality and not fiction land. I liked them both, probably one of the best couples I have ever read."...read entire review http://goo.gl/R191Sa
5 stars via ChristophFischerBooks
"Conflicting emotions and insurmountable chemistry cause both of them to reassess the past, their current lives and priorities. Easton shows the magnetic and hypnotic effect of physical and emotional attraction very well and the gradual crumbling of outer facades and deep inner resolve. This is a romantic fantasy written in a convincing and heart warming manner and with enough complications thrown in to make for a very entertaining and gripping read."...read entire review http://goo.gl/R191Sa
5 stars via Sglas, Amazon reader review:
"Excitement, intrigue, twists and turns! Dancing Barefoot has it all. Very hard to put down." read entire review http://goo.gl/R191Sa
Link to the prequel, In Between: an Italian love story, that is a permanent free read on the author blog (14 chapters total): http://goo.gl/T9XCOj