To those who think I’m a potty mouth….

Sometimes it’s hard to be a Christian, and the author of secular romances. It can be a challenge to hold true to my values, but also write authentic books for a mainstream audience. I never want my books to be “cheesy” or unrealistic. That’s the reason I address sex in my books. It’s the reason my books have some colorful language. Because a teenage boy isn’t going to say “Darn it” when he screws up a play on the baseball field. And, whether we want to face it or not, teenagers think about sex. If they don’t, it’s not realistic. If they don’t, they’re not relatable, and no one wants to read their story.

I’ve written over twenty young adult romances, and I’m proud of every one of my books. I know some people don’t get how writing romances can be my calling in life,  but it is. I’ve been specifically designed for this job and I love it.

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But, as with anything in life, there is a margin for error. We all make mistakes. And I’m here to confess to a mistake I’ve made and apologize.

If you read my books you enjoy “clean romances.” You’re looking for a good story with a lot of passion, maybe some heat, but not anything more than that. And I’ve held true to that mandate.

However, there is one area that I’ve allowed to slip a bit, and recently I’ve been called on it. That’s the area of bad language. As I’ve said before, I want my books to be authentic, and some of my characters cuss. I’ve written jerks. I’ve written good guys. I’ve written competitive guys. I’ve written bookworms. I’ve written rockstars. The point is that all of my characters are different and they all have their own language. If a bad word is called for, I use it. No excuses.

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For instance, if there is a heated exchange between two ball players, and the guy says, “I’m gonna kick your ass” I’m not going to change that to “I’m gonna kick your butt.” No one would say that in the heat of the moment. Unless, of course, I’ve already written that character to be someone who never cusses. That being said a guy who threatens to beat someone up probably isn’t going to be my goody two-shoes character.

Anyway, my point is that as clean as  my books are there will be some foul language. That won’t ever change. However, it was brought to my attention by several readers that my language has escalated in the last year and a half. I still have never used the F-word, but the amount of other cuss words has multiplied to a level that makes some of my readers uncomfortable.

This bothered me because my books should never make anyone uncomfortable. Not in that way, anyway. Sometimes my subject matter is sensitive, but even so I always promise a “clean” reading experience. And if some of my readers aren’t feeling like my books are “clean” anymore that’s something I have to take seriously.

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So, first off, I’d like to apologize.  I’ve gone through my books with a fine toothed comb and I’ve identified the books in question. What’s weird is that I hadn’t even noticed this shift until it was pointed out. But now that I have noticed it is very obvious. My books went from a handful of bad words per book to a handful every page. I’m not sure how this happened. My only defense is that my characters feel like real people to me, so perhaps the shift happened with a potty-mouthed character and escalated from there. I know that the baseball books have a lot of scenes on the baseball field where guys are razzing each other, so the language became more colorful in those scenes.

Whatever the reason, I am fixing it. So far I’ve gone through and changed FOR THE WIN and FOR THE GAME. I am working my way through the remainder of the books. I am only taking out the unnecessary bad language. There will still be some, just not as much. It will take awhile to get through all the books since I also have to stick to my current release schedule. So I appreciate your patience in this.

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To those that have been offended  by the language in my books, please accept my heartfelt apology. Those who don’t care about the bad words, carry on.

To all of you, happy reading!!

 

CUTS RUN DEEP released!!!

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CUTS RUN DEEP is live in kindle! If you are interested in the paperback that will be available early next week!

Blurb:

Piper wakes up in the hospital with no recollection of how she got there. Only fragmented memories surface – her boyfriend Jackson on the ground covered in blood, Piper standing over him, her hands slick and red.  Then she is told the awful truth: Jackson was killed the night she was injured, and she is the only witness.

If only she could remember what happened.

Piper searches through her memories, recalling her entire relationship with Jackson in order to piece together what happened. Meanwhile, as Jackson’s family is trying to make sense of the tragedy, they find his journal and begin reading through it to find answers.

As the chilling truth begins to unfold, Piper has to face the darkest secrets of her relationship with Jackson and the part she played in his murder.

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Grab your copy for only $3.99 or FREE with kindle unlimited by clicking this link.

Why I Quit Writing the Happily Ever After

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My readers know that all my books end in an HEA. You see, I’m not just a writer. First, I’m an avid reader. Therefore, I write books that I would like to read. I suppose you could say I’m selfish. I don’t take into account what the market is doing or what I think other people want. I write what I want. Often I say that I write the story that is speaking loudest in my mind. This method has worked well for me. I rarely suffer from writer’s block and I enjoy every minute of writing my stories (well, almost every minute).

Before I self published, I felt like all I did was write for others. For years I was trying desperately to get traditionally published, so I racked my brain constantly coming up with stories that I felt would attract the attention of editors and agents. The problem was that I rarely felt connected to these stories. Once I started writing for me, I wrote the stories that spoke to me, the ones I felt connected to. And I think my writing is so much better for it.

However, I know this can sometimes be a risk. It’s clear from my sales numbers that my readers prefer my sweet romances. So it stands to reason that I should stick to writing books like TRIPPING ME UP, THE SUMMER WE FELL and WINNING ME OVER.  But sometimes I like to write darker, more suspenseful romances. Sometimes that’s the story that wakes me up in the middle of the night, the one that consumes my thoughts and pesters me day in and day out. And that’s why I wrote BREAK FREE and BREAK THROUGH, which are still my two favorites.

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That’s also what happened with CUTS RUN DEEP. The idea came to me even before writing THE SUMMER WE FELL, but I really wanted to write a lighthearted summer romance so I did. But afterward, I was dying to jump into CUTS RUN DEEP. However, I was nervous about it. This book isn’t like my others. For starters, it doesn’t end in an HEA.

crdteaserSecond, it doesn’t portray healthy relationships. If you read my post last week called Bike Ride Musings, you know that I like to write about true love, about good guys and about healthy, loving relationships. This is an exception to that. I can’t give away the reasons why because that would reveal too much about the story. But trust me, the story wouldn’t work any other way. And I had to be true to the story and the characters. I had to write it the way it was told to me.

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This book is beautiful and heartbreaking. It’s so different from my other stuff, but I love it. And I hope you will too. So give it a shot. Maybe you’ll find that you don’t need the HEA.

But if you do, I have plenty of other books for you. And I promise to write an HEA in my next book….

Feed your addiction for less!!

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BREAK FREE is on sale today only (May 15) for $0.99. Tomorrow it will go up to $1.99 and the following day it will be back at $2.99! I don’t anticipate putting it on sale again anytime soon, so don’t miss out on getting your dose of romance for mere pennies.

What people are saying about BREAK FREE:

If you like real stories, if you like romance and if you like it when people rise above life’s challenges I highly recommend this book. Amber Garza has found her niche with Break Free, this is a must read! — Bestselling author Cambria Hebert

A captivating and intense novel, Break Free had me glued to the pages from start to finish. Kyler is unlike any other male lead out there–he’s set apart in all the best ways possible. You won’t be able to get the plot, nor the characters out of your head, even after that final sentence. This book has become one of my top favorites and I look forward to reading it again and again . – Author Megan Squires


Amber Garza breaks out with “Break Free,” an unexpected dark and edgy tale.  Jade and Kyler are so easy to love. The plot is intense with a surprising twist. Truly masterful.- Author Susan Griscom

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Blurb:

Jade Mathews is on the run. Running from an addiction that almost destroyed her, and a man who wants her dead.

Kyler James is a writer, a recluse locked in a prison of his own making.

When Jade and Kyler meet they find solace in one another and start to heal. Until Jade stumbles upon Kyler’s latest manuscript and is shocked to find that it is her story. One he couldn’t know. Jade fears she’s trusted the wrong person once again, and this time it may be her undoing.

Is the past destined to destroy them, or will they finally break free?

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Click here to purchase!!