What Are AmberPax™ Collections?

Simply put, AmberPax™ Collections are groups of five stories centered around a specific theme. Each story within an AmberPax™ is released individually, on the same day as the others, and can be purchased separately, but these five stories can also be purchased as a single unit (the full AmberPax™) at a discount, currently 25%. Generally, an AmberPax™ is similar to an "anthology" of stories, but instead of the titles being released in only a single volume (file), they are also available individually. These AmberPax™ Collections are sold exclusively through our website and only in electronic format.

THIS BLOG is for news about the Pax Collections - follow it to keep up with releases, find early news of the upcoming collections, and share Pax fun and chat with the authors!

All Amber Paxes can be bought at Amber Quill HERE.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

A Cop and a Con by Deirdre O'Dare

Years ago when I was trying to learn the craft of writing romance fiction, I came across someone’s statement about creating conflict between the couple that was critical to developing a powerful story. “If your hero is a fireman, then the heroine should be an arsonist.” 

I was like, “Whoa, that’s heavy stuff!” It seemed almost ludicrous but the idea took root. I have not always followed the precept to the letter but it certainly adds a lot to a relationship story if the parties have something else in their lives that puts them on completely opposite sides or distant ends of the spectrum. How can love find a way through such a barrier? 

The vague idea of A Cop and A Con had been bouncing around in the back of my mind for some time. After all, if one principal is in law enforcement, how much more opposite can you get than a former prisoner? The character of Ike came to me first. I’ve been out in some blizzards, and yes, they do sometimes happen in the high desert. It may not be Rocky Mountain or Arctic severe but a person can still get hypothermia and be just as dead if he doesn’t get shelter. I could feel Ike’s agony fade slowly to numbness as he struggled on, still trying because he is a determined man and also determined to save the little dog he had found. So what help was going to reach him in time? 

That’s when Perry began to take shape. I’ve had law enforcement folks in my circle of family and friends for a long time. I really identify with the deputies, rangers, border patrol and other officers who are out patrolling on their own in “the big empty.” That’s my name for all those miles of miles that stretch across the west, still not urbanized or civilized and in many cases, even less inhabited than they were fifty or a hundred years ago. So here comes Perry. He’s a dog person, too, and he really values his canine partner, even if she is unofficial. He also has a personal grudge about drug dealers as the reader will learn during the story, so he is out on a bad night looking for them. Instead, he finds Ike…

As I do with most of my tales, I wove a lot of odd little details and local color into this story. The county and towns I feature do not exist, yet their analogs are familiar and very real; I’ve been there. For example, I’ve witnessed vanishing mining towns over the years. While none of my homes were ever eradicated to the extent Esperanza has been in this story, I’ve talked to folks who did know this kind of displacing event. I don’t think Ike’s shock and pain are unique. While I don’t like maudlin and try to avoid anything close, that does not mean powerful emotions cannot emerge. I felt Ike’s; I hope my readers will too. Certainly Perry feels it and the pull it exerts on him. He has his ghosts too..

While none of the people in this or any of my tales are “real” in that an actual person is portrayed, every one is a composite of many, both the good guys and the not-so-good ones! They are built from the characters I’ve been privileged to know or witness in my many years living in this wonderfully diverse region. The southwestern area of the US is full of characters, both tragic and heroic. And some just quirky. They mix and meld in my weird writerly brain and come out again on my pages. 

I always want the details to be so real and vivid that even if my reader has never been south of Denver or west of the Mississippi, he or she will feel like they have when they finish a read. The people? Well, a story without characters would be very empty and without purpose, so I hope they are memorable too. They are all real, live folks somewhere and they certainly ‘live’ for me once they begin to take shape and tell me their stories. 

Of course there are often dogs, too. I can really picture Badger although I do not know a dog exactly like her. Rojo is very much inspired by my own little guy, the first small dog I ever took to heart, the one who sleeps on my bed! My Rojo is dachshund and spaniel, not Chihuahua but that is a minor thing. Although this tale is not part of my Canine Cupid series, it could be since it carries on the tradition of dogs helping to bring their people together. 

I know all the “Cop” stories in this PAX will be memorable and unique, but I suspect this one may be just a little bit different than any of the others. I admit to being an off-beat author. Readers like it or hate it, but I’m okay with that. Try me and this one, you just might find something to like. 


A Cop and A Con by Deirdre O'Dare is now available at Amber Allure.

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