Hi there! I’m Amelia Autin and I write sexy and emotional romantic suspense for Harlequin. My August 2017 release is Rescued by the Billionaire CEO, my second book set in exotic Hong Kong. It features alpha hero Jason Moore, who made his first appearance (along with his highly covert organization, Right Makes Might) in A Father’s Desperate Rescue last April.
I thought it might be fun to reveal some “secrets” as a way of introducing myself to you before we get to the giveaway, so here goes.
Ten Things Few People Know About Me
- I’m an introvert’s introvert. Painfully shy. I’ve had to overcome that for the jobs I’ve held throughout my career as an accountant, and of course as an author. But I’d rather watch a cat choke up a hairball than have to approach a group of strangers and introduce myself. (See how this might be a problem for an author who has to put herself out there to the public?)It’s a good thing I’m married to a man who’s even more of an introvert than I am. Which means he “gets” me, even though he thinks I’m not an introvert because I can talk to strangers. (I don’t like it, I just force myself to do it.)
- My husband is my best friend. How many people can say that after fifteen years of marriage? He’s also my hero. Bodyguard (as he’s known on Facebook) is what I call an alpha-beta hero, and I admire him more than any man I know. Is he perfect? Of course not. No one is. But there’s a reason I dedicate all my books in part to him.
- I’ve lived inside my head my entire life. My characters are as real to me as my friends are. (True story. I had an interesting conversation on New Year’s Eve in December 2015 with a friend who is also a fan. We were discussing what was going to be my November 2016 Harlequin Romantic Suspense (RS) release, The Bodyguard’s Bride-To-Be. I was explaining why it wasn’t Niall Jones’s story after all, even though some readers had asked for it, because at the time I’d submitted that “blind book” proposal I didn’t know anything about Niall except that he was a black ops warrior.)I knew a lot more about the characters in The Bodyguard’s Bride-To-Be. The hero had been a secondary character in King’s Ransom and Alec’s Royal Assignment, and I knew what made him tick. That made it easy to envision his character arc and write about his journey to happily ever after.I went on to say that after I’d turned in the proposal for The Bodyguard’s Bride-To-Be back in June 2015, I’d learned a lot more about Niall when I wrote Killer Countdown, the manuscript for my August 2016 RS release I’d just turned in the day before (December 2015). Niall, the brother of the hero in Killer Countdown, played a pivotal role in that book.
My friend laughed, and when I asked her why, she said, “You talk as if he’s a real person.”
I blinked at her. “Umm,” I stammered. “Well yeah.” Then I laughed, too, because it sounded odd, I know. And yet, I do think of my characters as real people, who reveal little bits and pieces of themselves to me as I write them, the same way you learn things about your friends as you get to know them. So I couldn’t possibly write Niall Jones’s story before I knew more about him, about the man he is.Does that make sense? When I write I feel like a sculptor who has merely chipped away from the marble what shouldn’t be there. That’s what the creative process is for me—listening to my characters as they tell their story, and merely removing what shouldn’t be there.
The reality of my characters is also why I’m only half kidding when I tell people on Facebook not to mention to Bodyguard I’ve fallen in love with the hero in the book I’m working on (as I invariably do).
- Readers can make my day…my week…my month, just by leaving a review. I write because I have stories to tell, because the characters compel me to write about them.But…it makes a difference when you write something that resonates with a reader. It truly does. I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels when someone says something like this in a review: “…I don’t know how many tissues I went through as Trace says things that tear his heart out even as they break Mara’s heart. He knew he was hurting her, but thought it was the only way…” (Sigh.)
- I’m the most surprised person in the room when someone says I write romantic suspense. Truly. Even after writing twelve romantic suspense books (one back in 1997 for Silhouette Intimate Moments, and eleven for Harlequin Romantic Suspense).
- I love alpha heroes…in romance books, anyway. In real life? Not so much. All the heroes I write are alphas, to a greater or lesser extent. I’m not sure I’d want to live with them…but I love writing them (he he he).
- I can write backwards cursive (also known as mirror writing, because when you hold it up to a mirror it appears forward). When I was a child I read that Leonardo Da Vinci kept his journals that way, and it intrigued me enough to try it. Ta da! I could, so I kept at it. It’s my one party trick.
- I love reading connected books, which is probably why I love writing them. Yes, every romance ends with an HEA (or an HFA, although I don’t care for them as much as HEAs and never write them). But I also like heroes and heroines from previous books to make cameo appearances in subsequent books, just to reassure me that those HEAs are Betty Neels was great at this, as was Mary Burchell.The worst romance I ever read wasn’t actually a bad book. It was very well-written, in fact. But I could never forget that the heroine of the book I was reading had been the heroine of a previous book…with a different hero. A different HEA. So I could never buy the new HEA. I could never forgive the author (who shall remain nameless) for that betrayal of me as a reader.Yes, of course I know that in real life people die. Even people we love. And yes, life goes on, and some of us do find someone new to love. And I’m okay with heroes and heroines having lost someone they loved before…so long as I (the reader) wasn’t invested in that love story and its HEA ending.I don’t read romance for reality. I read it to escape. And in my fantasy world (unlike in real life) there are three absolutes:
- Good triumphs over evil. Always.
- Heroes and heroines have to be likeable, i.e., even if they do bad things, it has to be for a good reason.
- Heroes and heroines live happily ever after.No exceptions.
- I live in Arizona, the land of “way-too-much-sun” (we don’t have daylight savings time because we definitely don’t need it!) Summer is brutal, but winter is mild. And spring and fall are fabulous. I’ve lived all over the US, and every place has its pluses and minuses. I’m willing to overlook the enervating summer heat and the monsoons that often knock out our electricity in exchange for being able to swim outside in an unheated pool in October and March. And our sunsets are to die for. If you look at the cover for Killer Countdown, my 2017 RITA-nominated book, you’ll see what I mean.
- My husband is my biggest fan, but…he has never read one of my books. Never. How can that be? And yet he tells everyone I’m a wonderful writer, and he means it. How can he know? I’m baffled until I realize…love. That’s how he knows. Which just makes me love him more. (Sigh)
Now let’s get on to the reason I’m here—Rescued by the Billionaire CEO, my August 2017 release from Harlequin Romantic Suspense.
A billionaire on the hunt for justice meets his match in Amelia Autin’s latest Man on a Mission romance
When she’s bound, gagged and kidnapped, Alana Richardson is terrified…until a masked avenging angel saves her. There’s something unforgettable about the mysterious man. But when she uncovers her hero’s identity—drop-dead-gorgeous alpha male Jason Moore—Alana is irresistibly drawn into his dangerous world…
A CEO by day and a vigilante by night, Jason lives and breathes danger. Yet, for the first time, he may have found a woman who understands his commitment to justice at all costs. His hunger for right to prevail could put Alana in harm’s way—but one night and one secret will change everything.
I have to admit that I really, really wanted to read Rescued by the Billionaire CEO after I watched this video created by the amazing Nita Banks…and I wrote it!
So how about a giveaway? For a chance to win one of three ebook copies of Rescued by the Billionaire CEO, correctly answer all five questions below, either by writing me directly at AmeliaAutin@aol.com, or via the email link on my website, www.AmeliaAutin.com. All answers can be found on my website. Giveaway ends at midnight, Vail, AZ time (aka MST), on Sunday, 08/06/2017.
- The “Man on a Mission” torch was passed to Rescued by the Billionaire CEO from what two other books?
- What book was a 2016 HOLT Award of Merit Finalist?
- What book was featured in a Mayo Clinic interview?
- What book was a 2015 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Finalist?
- What was the name of the manuscript that won a Golden Heart® award from RWA®, and in what year? (This manuscript became my first published book and was renamed Gideon’s Bride because my editor told me the word “Bride” in the title would sell more books, the same way “Billionaire” and “CEO” in the title are expected to do).
Good luck, everyone! Thanks for reading my guest blog today and for entering the giveaway. Be sure to check back on Monday, 08/07/2017 for the announcement of the winners.