12:31 PM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest


CONTEST: Amber has a Khyber Run T-shirt to give away. She will draw her winner at the end of the week. To be entered simply leave a comment for Amber. Thanks and good luck!

AL: Hi Amber! Welcome to Blog Bites.

Amber: Thanks for inviting me back!

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Amber: Well, my older son is home from the Marines and looking to start college. My younger son is at tech school learning to repair aircraft. We're up to nine cats, having collected an abandoned little gentleman named Merlin. About two weeks ago, I found out that the US Marshals have a Violent Fugitive Task Force! As it turned out, the marshals who came in search of a former housemate were all Marines, and one of the first things they saw was my son's boot camp portrait. They spent a while chatting, probably trying to figure us out. They might also have been disarmed by my Clifford-sized pit bull; Baron is certain that the only reason anyone comes to our door is to play ball. Meanwhile I'm not bringing in enough royalties (yet) to replace my wardrobe with floaty stuff from The Pyramid Collection, I'm ticked off at Wal-Mart for discontinuing a line of shoes wide enough to fit my feet, and Governor Voldemort is messing with my day job.

AL: Tell us about a current or upcoming release.

Amber: My newest release is Khyber Run, a contemporary military romance, now available at Loose Id and at the Sony Reader Store. Zarak abandoned that Warrior Code crap long ago. Oscar personifies it. In a war-scarred land, two men fight for justice, honor, and who gets top.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Amber: Right now I'm working on a contemporary and a fantasy, both of which persist in ignoring my attempts to plot them out.

AL: If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend that they start with and why?

Amber: For m/m, probably Golden Boys. It's loosely tied to the Turner & Turner series but not part of it. It's also my best approximation of a fluffy dick-lit beach read, even if both heroes do get shot.

AL: You write m/m and m/m/f in paranormal, contemporary, etc. Do you ever find it hard to move from one genre to another?

Amber: Not at all. Changing genres is a great way to circumvent writer's block.

AL: Do you have a mentor or critique partner that you work with consistently?

Amber: I have a crit group, ERA, which keeps me going when everything outside says stop and give up. I also belong to a group called WeWriteStuff, which focuses more on creativity than production. I call on other people here and there when I need to.

AL: It’s time to get personal! Who is a great example to you and how you live your life?

Amber: I wouldn't want to hang the blame on anybody for the way I live my life.

AL: When you have time just for you (if only) what do you do?

Amber: If that ever occurred, I'd probably spend it trying to remember my to-do list. Seriously, I hang out with my writing buddies and brainstorm or do Power Hour writing sprints. Or I throw a ball for the dogs and let them wrestle over which one gets to bring it back.

AL: If you had to write yourself as a villain, what kind of villain would you be? What would you be named?

Amber: How about an evil T'Pau, from the Spock-with-beard universe?

AL: If you could go anywhere in the world and in any time…where would you go? What would you do? And why that time-period?

Amber: It depends on how long I'd be there. If you're talking about a permanent relocation instead of a visit, how about Tahiti in the 1400s? It's isolated enough to decrease risks of plagues and invading armies, there's no snow to shovel, and it didn't get wiped out by a drought, volcano, earthquake, or tsunami.

AL: Can you share some of your plans for 2011 and beyond?

Amber: Well, we're halfway through 2011 now, and very little has gone according to plan--sort of like my plotlines. My Man of Mystery story is simmering on a back burner, with only one chapter written, instead of being a complete draft ready to go through revisions. I've only learned to cook a handful of Pakistani dishes, and somehow my kitchen and pantry have failed to rearrange themselves according to plan. I hope to revamp my website pretty soon.

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

Amber: "We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home." Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965)

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with us, Amber.

Amber: Thank you so much for asking. It's always fun to spend a few days at Blog Bites.
AL: If you’d like to find out more about Amber please visit:




After being transplanted from an Afghani battleground to a Florida playground, Zarak Momand grew up trying to instill in his younger brothers the ancient Pakhtun Way. A generation later, he’s a burned-out US Navy hospital corpsman who has lost touch with his brothers and his heritage alike.

Then he’s kidnapped by USMC scout-snipers hell-bent on recapturing a deserter who murdered a brother Marine. Z uses Pakhtunwali to navigate the ambiguities of fourth generation warfare, where there are no front lines and where the moral high ground shifts from situation to situation. At his back stands Oscar, who is every bit the seasoned warrior young Zarak had once hoped to be.

Secretly crossing the border into Pakistan, Oscar and Z take help where they find it, and become more of a couple than either man has ever known. But is Oscar’s rough passion a betrayal between brothers? And what happens when the deserter would rather die than go back?


I woke muddled, thinking the ship’s engines sounded wrong. Red light glared on my eyelids. Breathing meant gagging on the seagull-shit taste of a hangover. And that sound was not my ship’s engines. More like a sardine can’s engines or…a plane?

Opening my eyes took effort. A plane. From the rear of the fuselage, I faced up an aisle between rows of knees hugging sea bags. Not sea bags: MOLLE-packs. Red lights in strips overhead barely illuminated a couple hundred hunched forms in desert camo, a row of males in body armor along each bulkhead, facing inward, and two rows of females jammed into back-to-back seats in the center. Male or female, each of them clutched one of those carbines the sponges called an assault rifle.

What am I doing in a plane packed with camo-assed bullet-sponges?

The plane’s deck angled down sharply. Screams rang in my ears, going dull. My ears cleared, painfully, and the shrieks sharpened.

Crashing. That’s what we’re doing.

The deck roller-coastered up, then yawed faster than physics should allow. Whiplash. I saw stars. The stench of vomit wrung my empty guts.

A dive and another yaw brought more screams ringing off the bulkhead, prayer in Spanish close by, retching farther away.

How did I stay in my seat, with gravity halving and doubling and snatching me starboard to port? When the plane steadied long enough to let me look down, I saw bands of dull silver duct tape strapping my thighs to my seat, and another red-streaked silver band over my belt.

Something hung on my lower face. I had some kind of mask. No. Somebody had duct-taped a puke bag to my face. It sagged obscenely against my chin, like a giant used condom.

Pulling it off hurt. The stench blasted from it.

Where do I put this? I looked around, blinking, trying to make sense. The screamers in the middle seats were mostly army. The hundred or so men squatting in the seats lining the bulkhead were marines. Some laughed at the women. Others hunkered down, as if waiting for shrapnel to find them. A few threw curious glances at me, the only squid in sight.

A cluster of pops rapped at the bulkhead, like popcorn in my mother’s big pot. One of the sponges grinned at me. “Small arms fire. Welcome to Bagram.”

Bagram? A map of the giant air base flashed in my eyes, then a dim memory of riding my father’s shoulder, hiding my face in his turban while a trio of Shuravi—Soviets—stomped an ominously silent laborer. Couldn’t be…

“He means hold on,” added another sponge.

I dropped the puke bag to grab my seat. The plane tilted, again nose-diving but this time braking hard. Instead of falling to the deck, the bag shot forward, splatting against a female’s ear.

“I’m hit! Aaah!”

“God! Brains! Oh, God!”


The plane swerved and jinked, each jerk redoubling the shrieks. The smell of fear, sharp and sour, fought with the smell of vomit.

One of the marines chuckled, despite the sweat beading on his face, and pitched his voice low enough to hear under the shrieks. “You know you’re going to have to police that up, Squidward.”

“No-go, sir. The doc’s our volunteer.”

Volunteer? WTF? I twisted to see who’d called me a volunteer, but his rifle caught my attention first. A bolt-action rifle. A sniper’s weapon.

Behind the rifle, teeth flashed in a grin. He didn’t seem to exist, except as a rifle, a hint of helmet, and a grin. Then the grin vanished.

The deck flipped overhead. The unsecured marines bounced, sending bellows among the screams. I hung from my seat, still taped in place.

The deck flipped again, then slammed up at us. A marine fell across my lap. I caught his weapon before it could bean him. The cool metal slapped into my hand, rousing memories like an old lover’s name.

REMEMBER: Amber has a Khyber Run T-shirt to give away. She will draw her winner at the end of the week. To be entered simply leave a comment for Amber. Thanks and good luck!


Judith Leger said...

Hi Amber! Just found out you were over here. Ah, Baron sounds like a jewel. Can't wait for your new work to be out. Fantasy? Yum, my favorite genre!

Cate Chase said...

I have a thing for dogs of any kind. After a walk last week, a baby Pitbull followed us home. She was headstrong, interesting and funny, and didn't think my twelve pound Shih'tzu counted as top dog.

You keep writing, I'll keep reading. My favorite of yours still is Lights Out, I have to admit.

DA Kentner said...

You crack me up. Glad to hear Merlin's safe and sound.
Love Khyber Run. Outstanding story and superb writing.
Looking forward to your next release.

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Amber. Your answers made me grin. Chaos is sometimes good. I enjoyed the excerpt. :)

Virginia E said...

My Dad taught Aviation Maintenance for years through the local community college district. I have to warn you. Expect that once he gets certified, you will be shown tiny screws and bits of metal and asked to guess how much they cost. The answer used to be $40 about 20 years ago, so feel free to surprise him with a close guess.

Why so expensive, you might ask. Simple, there are no curbs at 35,000 feet.

Cherise Sinclair said...

You know, you're the author who showed me how hot m/m could be. And you keep getting better--Khyber Run is absolutely awesome with to-die-for heroes.

Another kitteh? Sigh. I think I'm having a bout of kitten envy.

Amber Green said...

Hi,Judith! He really is a jewel. Or something.

Cate, the ones who choose you can really be the best pets ever.

David, thank you!

Shelly, I've got plenty of chaos to go around--some of it had better be good!

Virginia, I'll remember that. Thanks!

Cherise, you make me blush. Kitten envy? Your pic looks a lot like Lyndis, one of my Calico Twins.

Thank you all for dropping by!

Amber Green said...

NEWS! Khyber Run has just hit All Romance eBooks!


Amber Green said...

As of tonight, it's also available on Amazon. :)

L said...

Hi Amber! That's a great excerpt and interview.
I'll be looking for Kyhber on my next shopping trip...sometime this weekend.

Lynn Lorenz said...

Sorry, hit the wrong button.

L is me!!

Jianne Carlo said...

Khyber Run is excellent - really enjoyed it!

Emily Carrington said...

Dear Amber- I love your cover! It puts me in mind of a book by Keith Taylor, who was actually known more for his research into ancient Ireland than his fiction, but who nevertheless wrote five fantastic fantasies about a bard named Felimid mac Fal. The first book is called simply "Bard." I'm going to find your book and read it simply based on the cover and title alone! It looks fabulous!

Emily Carrington

Tara Lain said...

Hi Amber-- Khyber Run is snuggled on my Kindle. Don't enter me for the t-shirt. I just wanted to say hi and that i can't wait to read the book once my current pile of editing is complete. : )

Amber Green said...

Thank you, Lynn and Tara--hope you like it.

That's so good to hear, Jianne. I always wonder, once the book is out, whether it is actually okay or a total dud.

Emily, I might have to look up that one. Thanks for coming by.

Tarah Scott said...

Hey, Amber, just stopping by to say hi. Don't enter me in the contest. I have the book, so I'm good to go! (Until the next book.)

Amber Green said...

Gotcha, Tarah. Thanks for stopping in to say hi!