STRAYED COVER IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know…I can hardly believe it either, but it’s FINALLY happening. This book is almost ready for publication and now has a STUNNING cover. I hope you love it as much as I do. I should have the blurb for the back of it done soon 🙂

As for the release date, stay tuned…. I should know in about a week or so.

Strayed_high[1]

Weathering the Storm…

I have no idea why I named this post “Weathering the Storm”…I think it just sounded cool.

Anyway, in all fairness, that’s what I feel life is like at the moment. I’ve been trying for balance from the second I published Caged, but, nearly ten months later, I still haven’t achieved it. Most of you know that I run a health care office with my husband, and that we also have a toddler. They both consume a lot of my time and energy (in a good way), but that doesn’t leave a lot to channel toward writing, editing, marketing, etc. My friends think I’m superwoman, and, maybe I am, but I don’t feel like it. I feel tired 🙂 I’ve put a lot of thought into how to remedy this situation and I think I may have found a way to help, at least for now.

I have an amazing husband who has always believed in my crazy ideas, like: let’s but a century old home and remodel it ourselves, or I’m going to publish a book, or I’m going to die my blonde hair CRAZY dark before our wedding… He’s a patient soul 🙂 We’ve been trying to come up with ways to free up my time so that I can better balance my two careers without cutting into my family life. The solution we’ve come up with is me taking an afternoon off of the practice. Yes, a WHOLE four hours of uninterrupted writing time! I have yet to implement this change, but it’s going to be put into action soon. Very soon.

Now, what does this mean for you? I have no clue, but it should mean more solid release dates and a better mapped out release schedule in the long run. I’m aiming for 3 novels a year with a novella in there too. Ambitious? Yes. Doable? Of course…I’m a type A. I can do ANYTHING if someone tells me I can’t! (Can someone please tell me I can’t lose five pounds? Please?)

So, I look forward to wearing my author hat with more consistency and getting a feel for whether or not it’s something I could don for years to come. I really love writing, but, if I can’t find a way to seamlessly integrate it into my life, I fear I will burn out from the stress. I don’t want that any more than you do. I have stories to tell, crazies to get out of my head, and supernatural worlds to explore.

Let’s hope this half-day off is enough to make this all happen 🙂

Scarred Teaser #3…

Here’s the latest teaser to tide you over for another month. Enjoy 🙂

 

Wiggling my way under the bed, I hoped to score a pair of black, spandex
shorts. My efforts were quickly derailed.

“Why do I seem to always get this view of you?” Sean purred from
somewhere in my room. It startled me enough to make me whack my head on
the bed rail.

“Ouch!” I yelled, trying to rub the growing bump in the confined space.

“Don’t get me wrong,” he continued, his voice moving closer, “I enjoy the
view immensely, but seriously, Ruby…if I had a dollar for every time I caught
you like this, I could buy another car.”

“You could buy another car regardless,” I argued, ass still hanging out from
under the bed. “Maybe you should stop barging in on people when you’re not
invited and you wouldn’t have this problem at all.”

“Maybe you should try cleaning your room so you wouldn’t have this
problem.”

He had a point.

“Fine,” I yelled from under the bed, grabbing what I thought were shorts.
“You win. I’ll clean.” I shimmied back out on my belly and came to stand in
front of him. I held up the black fabric that—amazingly enough—turned out to be
what I was looking for.

Sean eyed the tiny strip of fabric with a dash of
amusement.

“Are those for a six-year-old?”

“They stretch!” I said, slapping him playfully in the chest with object in
question. “Jerk.”

He tried to contain his laughter, but failed miserably, sending me out of the
room, eyes rolling, to the bathroom so I could change. I emerged seconds later
wearing only the tiny shorts and a tank top.

All the playfulness drained from his face.

 

 

Tempted by Evil Teaser #1…

A lot of you are curious about all the other projects I’ve got going on at the moment, so I thought I would give you a little taste of another series I’m co-writing with Shannon Morton. It is a young adult fantasy trilogy, the first of which should debut this November.

Here is the first official teaser for Tempted by Evil. Hope you like it 🙂

 
“Aspen…what are you going to do?” he asked softly, easing his way toward me as I remained perched on the window sill. I would not be stopped. I could not be what I was destined to be―not if I was dead.

I looked at him with a sad but satisfied smile.

“It’s simple, Julian. I’m going to save the world.”

…Then I jumped.

 

 

Is Caged a Young Adult (YA) Novel?

This question seems to be searched on my site as well as google a fair amount.  For some reason, people seem to be associating my novels with the young adult book population. The short answer to the title of this blog is no, it is NOT a YA novel.

The long answer is a little more complicated than that.

I’ve read a fair amount of YA fiction over the last couple of years, and though the characters are young, the content is not. This isn’t for me to comment on as to whether I think that’s good or bad, but what it does make me consider is whether or not Caged could be appropriate for some younger readers.  I think the answer to that is yes.

I can think of several YA novels that contain language, graphic violence and sexual content/situations that far surpass what is in my own work.  Personally, I have friends who have let their 13-18 year old children read Caged, and have no issues with it at all.  I’m sure other parents would. In response to this confusion, I have elected to post content advisories at the bottom of my novels on Amazon to list what obectionable material is contained inside.  This is something that I’ve chosen to do not only because I am a parent, but also because I feel that books should have some way of denoting what to expect with their content.  Tv shows have warnings…movies too.  Why not books?

Sexual content is always a bit tricky because not all sex scenes are created equal.  I’m not a romance writer, though romantic themes carry out through the series.  That being said, there are sexual encounters in some of the novels.  Where some choose to go into graphic detail, oulining everything that occurs between the characters, I do not.  My grandmother told me once that if I was doing something that I was too embarrassed to admit to my parents, I shouldn’t be doing it.  This was sage advice, and I apply it in my life still, even at thirty-four.  I could NOT show my parents something that contained certain terms, or painted certain pictures.  I think I would die.  What I’ve done to compensate for this is to make those scenes about the characters themselves and the relationship between them rather than keep the primary focus on the act itself.  You still get the gist in a relatively steamy way, without it being too in your face and graphic.  I think grandma would approve if she were still around to have seen it.  I also think she’d be all about Cooper 🙂

My stand on violence/gore is this: sometimes it enhances a scene, and sometimes it’s gratuitous.  Having read the Hunger Games, I don’t feel that anything I write is more graphic than the goriest scenes in that novel, though my tone tends to be far darker and creepier in combination with the violence.  That tone is more so what makes it adult than anything, in my eyes. I also don’t feel that anything I have down in print holds a candle to the violence that is found in R rated or even PG 13 movies, or the content on TV shows viewed after 9 p.m..

Now my favorite issue: language.  The bottom line is that sometimes…you just gotta swear.

I hope for anyone who has searched for this explanation that it has been helpful to you.  If you’re still uncertain about content, my suggestion would be to read it yourself before deciding.  And if you find Caged objectionable, you may want to investigate some of the marketed YA material your children are reading.  You may be shocked by what you find. 

Official 5-Star Review from rabidreads.ca

Thanks to Carmel at http://www.rabidreads.ca for such an AMAZING review of Caged.  It made me smile from ear to ear.

Carmel says:

This book starts off slowly but by the end it absolutely howls with excellence! Caged is very much plot driven and when paired with Ruby’s outstanding voice this story quickly becomes next to impossible to put down. Natusch’s descriptions are spellbinding without putting even the smallest damper on the endless action. This novel is hilariously funny, well edited and even introduces a new breed of werewolves. Talk about bang for your buck! Caged has many pros and very little cons; what’s even more surprising is that this is Amber’s indie debut.

The story starts off rather slow and I found myself re-reading the blurb to figure out if I accidentally agreed to review a *gasps* non-paranormal book. However, once the story started to reveal itself I quickly realized that the beginning wasn’t slow at all. Amber was actually putting the building blocks in place for a killer story. Knowing what I know now, the opening chapters of this tale make a whole lot more sense. The plot line comes full circle beautifully and no stone is left unturned. I loved watching everything come together seamlessly. You definitely have to stick this one out until the end in order to be able to fully appreciate the depth of this story.

Ruby’s voice is very compelling from the get-go and becomes even more so as the book progresses. I found her way of dealing with the new found truth that is her life very realistic. I also thoroughly enjoyed the sarcastic way in which she keeps “score” when faced with challenging situations. One of my favorite parts of this story happens when Ruby escapes from the compound and is confronted by her foes in a clearing. She adopts a fierce attitude of “I might be going down but I am going to take as many of you with me as possible”.

At first, the bad guys are cleverly disguised as allies and I found this approach both original and intriguing. I can usually pick out the enemies pretty early on in a book so I really enjoyed the fact that Amber challenges her readers with her out of the box way of thinking. I couldn’t figure out whom to trust which made the book even more addictive because I didn’t want to stop reading! The mystery surrounding Sean was a lot of fun to unravel as well. He’s definitely not who he appears to be and the cliff hanger ending only further adds to the enigma.

Caged is a Trojan horse in disguise; it might be an indie publication but rest assured, you’re in for a wild ride. With a riveting narrative and a story line that just doesn’t quit; this book is a must read for any and all paranormal fiction junkies.

5-stars!!!

Framed Teaser #3

Here’s a scene with Ruby and Sean…enjoy!

He took my elbow in his hand from behind and jerked me into the opening of the nearest alley. My back was pressed uncomfortably against the brick facade only moments before he crammed his face in mine.

“I know you are, Ruby, but there is much at stake and you need to put on those big girl panties that you love to talk about so much and deal—deal with it, deal with life, and deal with me. I know you’re hurting. You think I like that? I don’t, but if hurting you keeps you alive, I’ll do it time and time again. You can hate me for that all you want; I’m tired of apologizing for the decisions I have to make, the job I have to do, and the past I can’t escape. You’re not the only one with problems, nor are you the only one less than pleased with the hand you’ve been dealt.” 

He spoke low and in my ear, and the sound lulled me slightly, even though his message was jarring. When he pulled back to stare me down, I felt sleepy and unstable, like the feeling you have when you jump off the table too quickly following a long massage. It took me a moment to sober up. 

I looked up at his face and saw his eyes had darkened as they always did when his emotions intensified, good or bad. I wanted to say something clever to get the last jab in, but I decided against it, thinking my anti-response would be far more poignant. 

I walked away instead.