Today I’m talking to Amber Daulton, author of 20 books in the genres of romantic suspense and romance, including one cookbook. She is a contributing author to the Deerbourne Inn series, and her book Lyrical Embraceis available now.
What’s the first book you remember reading on your own as a child, or your favourite childhood read?
I was a big fan of Sweet Valley High back in the day. I just couldn’t get enough of Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield!
What’s your favourite location to write about?
I love writing high-concept stories where I have to do a lot of describing, but I also like writing simple hometown stories too. I enjoy research, so my stories are often set in real cities, but it’s easier to write about a small fictional town than a big fictional city.
What’s the most important lesson you have learned on your writing journey so far?
Just keep trying even when you’re feeling bad about yourself and the quality of your work. No one is perfect. Don’t rush a project; give it the love and attention it needs to be the best it can be. You as the writer, the book itself, and the readers deserve it.
What do you do when you feel stuck?
When I cannot concentrate or when everything I’m writing sounds wrong, I take time off to read in the genre I’m trying to write in. If I’m writing a romantic suspense, for example, I have to read RS books and nothing else. Usually, after a few weeks, my creative muse starts flowing, and I can finally get back to work!
Writers are readers too. Please recommend a romance you recently read and enjoyed.
A few months ago, I was reading Jayne Ann Krentz’s Arcaneseries. I’ve also recently read Bec McMaster’s London Steampunkbooks.
What was it that appealed to you about the Deerbourne Inn series?
What first drew me to writing for the series was that it was a “small town” series. I’ve been writing mostly big stories with lots of action lately, so I was thrilled to write something on a more low-key scale. While there are hot 3-flame sex scenes in Lyrical Embrace, the story is both sweet and exciting.
What was the inspiration behind Lyrical Embrace?
When plotting this story, I first pictured a young woman running away from the big city to escape her abusive boyfriend. I mostly write romantic suspense, so this idea worked. My heroine, Erica, was in a bad relationship and finally found the courage to break free. Even though she found help, a new love, and a chance for a better future, the past was still looming over her. I think a lot of readers can sympathize with such a situation, especially those who have experienced abuse and neglect from someone claiming to love them.
I also love stories about music and rock stars, but I don’t like the cheating and drugs that go along with the lifestyle. I haven’t published a story featuring a musician yet, so I figured I should get on the ball and do it. My hero, Dylan, has retired from the New York music scene, and he now teaches kids how to play instruments. He’s gotten his life back together after all the drama of being a semi-star, and he’s enjoying the simpler life. He and Erica have an instant connection.
Tell us about Lyrical Embracein 100 words or less.
Out-of-work violinist Erica Timberly decides enough is enough. She leaves her abusive boyfriend and flees the big city, but then her car breaks down in the middle of the night. Though wary of men, she accepts help from Dylan Haynes, a stranger driving by on the road, and soon recognizes him as the sexy former drummer of her favorite indie rock band.
Music teacher Dylan Haynes knows Erica is in trouble, and her black eye is only the first clue. The stubborn yet vulnerable woman needs a friend, but he’s determined to give her everything she deserves.
Do you have an extract you can share with us?
Dylan deepened the kiss and lightly tugged on her bottom lip. Tears streaked his flushed cheeks as he smiled at her. “I’m so grateful I found you, baby. I heard you screaming. When I saw that bastard press a gun to your head, my heart nearly exploded. I thought I might lose you. I promise you, Erica, I will never control you as Phil did. You will always have the ability to choose. I just want to make you happy.”
She gripped his hand and brushed her lips across his calloused knuckles. “I know. You do make me happy. You took a bullet for me.” A sob constricted her throat, but she pushed it down.
A blast of noise rent the air. Fireworks filled the sky, visible in the alley from the narrow stretch of space between the buildings.
Erica loved the bright colors and designs, but hardly cared about watching the spectacle. She dropped her gaze back to Dylan.
A grin spread across his face. “It’s been one wild Fourth of July. Why don’t we do something more low-key next year? How about no guns and crazy exes? Just us, the creek, and a bottle of wine. Clothing optional.”
She laughed softly, amazed he could make light of the situation. “That sounds perfect. Absolutely perfect.”
Where can readers find you online?