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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tantalizing Tuesday

Welcome Author
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Amber Skyze

Sorry folks, I'm posting this author interview for Gracen, so I don't have any witty or insightful comments to make about this author. In fact, this author isn't really known to me. So, on to the interview!

GRACEN: When you stop to consider trends and traditions, June marks a time of beginnings (marriages, commencements). What about you, any weddings, anniversaries or graduations to attend this month?

AMBER: No wedding, anniversaries or graduations, but I am planning two surprise birthdays. Both my mom and DH hit milestones this year.

GRACEN: While April 22nd marks Earth Day, June 5th is World Environment Day. What will you do to celebrate our environment?

AMBER: Celebrate? Nothing. I do my best to recycle and be conscious of the environment every day of the year.

GRACEN: Speaking of the environment, do you strive to be more energy efficient or more environmentally conscious? How you accomplish this goal?

AMBER: Yes, the DH has replaced all the light bulbs in the house. We recycle everything possible. He unplugs everything not in use.

GRACEN: What traits make the men in your life good father figures? Will you do anything special to celebrate these men? If so, what will it be?

AMBER: Sadly I won’t be able to spend Father’s Day with my Dad, but we’ll talk and I’ll send him something special. Instead I’ll have a cookout at our house for my father-in-law and DH.

GRACEN: While the summer solstice occurs on June 21st, warmer weather usually arrives earlier than that, encouraging people to get out and enjoy the weather. What activities do you usually start in June?

AMBER: I love June for so many reasons. Our pool is open and the weather has been warm enough to use it. I love hanging out on my deck and enjoying the sun. I’ve made a few trips to the ocean already. There’s a lighthouse we go to and sit by the ocean watching the boats sail by. Listening to the waves coming in is so peaceful.

GRACEN: While people generally clean in spring, they need to do something with all the stuff the find they do not need. If it isn’t given away or donated, many people have rummage or estate sales. What about you, do you like to hit the rummage sales on a nice warm morning? Do you go alone or with someone else? Is it a family tradition?

AMBER: Our family does an annual rummage sale in late June. The only problem is I have to lug all my stuff three hours to my Aunt’s house to participate!

GRACEN: In many areas, private community schools tend to schedule festivals and bazaars as fundraisers throughout the summer. What about your area? What kind of festivals and bazaars can be found and when will they occur? Do you make appearances at them, or do you avoid them? If so, why?

AMBER: I like the local bazaars. I’m all about helping them out. The only thing that scares me is the rides. They put them together and take them apart so much I can’t imagine them being safe.

GRACEN: The weather in June seems to be a great mix in almost every state, and most people tend to plan vacations in June. What about you, are you a June traveler? If so, where will you be going? If not, when do you prefer to travel and why? Where have you gone or will you be going this year?

AMBER: June is a vacation month for us. We are planning a trip to Denver to see the Red Sox play. We are huge fans and are excited to be able to see them in a different park.

GRACEN: We’ve had our fun now, so let’s put the focus on your writing. While there are many genres to choose from, what specifically brought you to romance? Why this genre over the others?

AMBER: As a child I loved fairy tales. I’m all about happily-ever-after.

GRACEN: Even though the popularity of the romance genre continues to grow, it’s still not always a highly respected genre. What, in your opinion, is the reason for the continued interest in the genre and for the lack of respect it receives?

AMBER: The continued interest in my opinion is women want to believe in love and HEA. They want to fantasize about the possibility of being with one of the heroes in the romance books.

GRACEN: Earlier, we asked about what traits make the men in your life good father figures. Now, we want to know, have any of these men, or their traits, been inspiration for characters in your stories? If so, which men, what characters and/or traits and why?

AMBER: Nope, none of them have shown up in my characters. Not yet anyway.

GRACEN: For a writer, inspiration can be found everywhere and in almost anyone, but sometimes specific people, places and events can inspire certain characters, personality traits, events or situations that happen in our stories. In your current story that we’re promoting here today, Pretend With Me, did any one particular person, place or event inspire you? If so who/what was it (were they), how did it/they inspire you and how is this inspiration reflected in your story?

AMBER: A mansion in Newport RI was the inspiration behind the BDSM club in this story. Pretend With Me is the first in the Freedom Fantasies Series. As I walked around the mansion looking at the numerous rooms I envisioned different acts that could take place in each.

GRACEN: Without giving away anything pertinent to the story, tell us about the hero and heroine (s) of your story. What do they look like? How do they meet (or “did” if this is not the first book with these same characters)? What are their personalities – Are they comical cut-ups, are they serious or are they a mix of the two? Please give us a little bit of dialogue from the story that can illustrate this.

AMBER: They’re husband and wife. Paige has red hair, blue eyes. Jed has blond hair, brown eyes and a goatee. They’re definitely a mixture. Paige is a spitfire at times. “I want a divorce,” Paige declared. She slid her hoop earrings on for another day at the office.
“What?” She could see Jed’s look of shock from the mirror, but she didn’t care. She was tired of their non-sexual marriage.
“You heard me. I want a divorce.”
“I don’t understand.” He stopped adjusting his tie and walked over to her.
She turned and looked at him pointedly. “I’m tired of being second best in my own house. I’m tired of not having my husband!” As her voice grew louder Jed tried to hush her.
“Paige, he’ll hear you. Can’t you please keep it down?”
“I don’t give a rat’s ass who hears me! I’m tired of playing second fiddle to him. So I hope he hears me. I want a divorce because of him.”

GRACEN: The main characters are usually great, but sometimes, secondary and tertiary characters are known to steal the scenes, even if the author did not intend this to happen. Who are the secondary/tertiary characters in your story and what do they look like? What’s unique about them? What is their relationship to the hero/heroine? Have any of these characters gone on to become scene-stealers? If so, who and how did they do it? Is there the possibility for them to get their own story? (Again, please give us a small bit of dialogue to illustrate this – thanks!)

AMBER: Tommy is a secondary character. He’s Jed’s best friend and plays a part in their marriage falling apart. He also helps put it back together. Tommy’s not really a scene stealer, but he will be getting his own story in the future. He deserves a HEA.
“I never meant to cause any trouble. I just needed to be around friends. It hasn’t been an easy time. In all honesty, I didn’t want to go on without Felicia.”
His confession rocked her to the core. She hadn’t realized the extent of his pain.
“Tommy, she isn’t worth ending your life. If you did she’d win.”

Interested in reading more? Then check out the following excerpt:
Pretend With MeBLURB: After threatening divorce, Paige gives up her fantasy of hot sex with two men, especially when Tommy, the other man she wants to have sex with, is the reason for her divorce threats. When Paige confesses she’s considering leaving Jed to her best friend and owner of Freedom Fantasies sex club, life takes an unexpected turn. Paige finds herself pretending she’s having a hot, sordid affair.

Paige appreciates all the pleasures she’s unable to find at home. Being spanked in the corner, tied to the bed or getting it on in the shower, Paige experiences more orgasms than she thought possible. To heighten the excitement, her pretend lover brings in a friend…

EXCERPT: “What’s wrong?” Tommy asked, coming into the living room.
“Oh nothing.” The last thing she wanted to do was discuss it with Tommy.
“Okay. Well, I’m going out for a pizza. I’ll be back later.”
Her stomach growled. “Hold on, Tommy.”
He came back into the living room. “What’s up?”
“Do you mind if I tag along? Jed has to work late and I’m starved.” She’d barely touched her salad at lunch. She was more engrossed in the sex she was having with Jed, or should she say Stone, to worry about eating.
“I’d love you to join me.”
She put her work aside and followed Tommy out the door. They walked down the street to the pizza parlor. The night air was crisp but felt good. It’d been so long since she’d taken a walk and enjoyed the night air.
“It’s a beautiful night,” Tommy said. His steps were lazy and Paige followed his lead.
She wasn’t in a hurry to rush back to her empty house, the place where her husband barely lived anymore. The sad part was Tommy was partially to blame for her husband’s disappearance all the time. When he wasn’t working late he was out gallivanting with Tommy.
“Jed doesn’t want a divorce,” Tommy said, breaking the silence.
“Neither do I,” she admitted. Yes, she was angry with him, but deep down she didn’t want to divorce her husband. She’d only threatened to so she would get his attention. She’d managed to grab it, but only momentarily.
“He loves you more than anything.”
“What’s so funny?” He stopped, grabbing hold of her arm.
“He’s in love with you too. Not in a sexual way, but come on, Tommy. Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed how he’s torn between his loyalties to both of us.”

11 Moonbeams (comments):

Tina Donahue said...

'Pretend with Me' sounds wonderful, Amber. What a great excerpt! Hope you have tons of sales. :)

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Great interview, ladies! Amber, I want to come spend the summer at your house!

Unknown said...

LOL Come on over Cindy! :)

Thanks Tina.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Lovely! But then Amber, you are the most gracious interviewee! And you tell wonderful stories!

Molly Daniels said...

I've only recently discovered Amber's books! PWM sounds awesome:)

Fran Lee said...

Well, Carrie...

I will introduce you to this author. Amber Skyze is one of Ellora's Cave's up-and-coming new stars, and her books are insightful, hot, and fun!

Go, Amber!

Katalina Leon said...

Amber Skyzes is a very talented author with a big heart. I recently had the pleasure of reading "Pretend With Me" and I loved it!

Unknown said...

Fran, Kat, Julia and Molly - you ladies rock! :)

Tessie Bradford said...

I love your books, Amber! Pretend With Me is a wonderful love story!

Regina Carlysle said...

Amber is one of my very favorite writers and one of the nicest ladies I know. What a wonderful interview!

Gracen Miller said...

It was a pleasure to have you join us, Amber! Sorry I wasn't here on Tuesday to join you when you were live...but I guess here, the interview is always live. =)

I loved fairy tales as a child too. I loved them so much, I declared my name to be Cinderella and refused to answer to anything else. Thankfully, I had a mother that didn’t mind playing along. LOL As for the HEA, I still demand those and I agree I think women want to believe in love and HEA!! I'll celebrate 19 years of marriage with my husband this November (almost half my life since I'll turn 39 in October!), we've had our ups and downs, but nothing that would have forced either of us out the door. So I believe I'm in a HEA relationship.

All the best of success with your books, Amber! BTW, fabulous excerpt.