Wednesday, November 3, 2021

It's Time, Once Again, for Amber Daulton

There are so many great books out there, but style guides are constantly changing, and it’s a good idea to stay updated on what’s growing in popularity.

For example, classics like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice or F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby are wonderful books, but if a modern author would write in Austen’s or Fitzgerald’s verbose style, he or she might have a hard time finding publishers to contract the work and readers to read it. 

How about a more contemporary example?

I grew up in the 1990s and early 2000s, so I read romance books from the ’80s and ’90s. I based my writing style off those books, which included passive voice, head-hopping between characters, and long, tedious descriptions about unimportant items, like the heroine’s dress. After I submitted the books to publishers in the mid-2000s, I received a bunch of rejection letters or nothing at all. Sure, there were more problems with those manuscripts than just the writing style, but the style didn’t help me any either. You see, I didn’t read new, recently released books, so I had no idea the style guides had changed and that the style I learned from childhood was now frowned upon, as least for beginning writers. (FYI – the big authors who rake in six figures a year can usually do whatever they want because their name and fan-base are already so huge. Too bad that doesn’t apply to the majority of us.) My first publisher in 2012 finally set me straight, but it still took me years to outgrow what I had previously learned. When I think back on those earlier manuscripts, I shudder, but writing is a learning experience.

Nowadays, I keep passive voice to a minimum, I don’t jump between POVs without a scene or chapter break, and I only add lengthy descriptions when absolutely needed (and that’s rare).

Okay, so I’ve talked about old vs new writing styles. Let’s discuss genres. If you write romance and read in other genres like mystery or horror, that’s fine if you read it for fun. But if you read it to learn how to style and plot, then apply that to romance, you’ll probably end up with an awkward read. Romance has a different flow, different pacing, different everything from other genres. This rings true for sub-genres as well. Romantic suspense, sci-fi romance, and historical romance are worlds apart from each other, no pun intended. Remember, do your research. It’s always best to read in the genre you want to write in and learn how your fellow authors do it.

Authors and readers—Do you have any advice you’d like to add? Please leave it in the comment section. I’d love to know your thoughts.



Lies. Betrayal. A million-dollar bounty.

After an undercover mission goes awry, DEA agent Jarrett Brandt hides out in the last place he wants to be—his hometown. Now he’s stuck with his judgmental parents and the memory of his perfect brother hanging over his head. His one bright light? Marissa Reinn Brandt—his high school sweetheart and former sister-in-law.

Marissa lost Jarrett once before. No way will she let him back in; then her son offers him their guestroom. His wicked charm and smoldering stares are hard to resist, but she’ll make him work to reclaim his spot in her bed.

When his enemies close in, how will Jarrett keep Marissa and her son safe, or will he lose his shot at redemption?


– Triggers: drug use (discussed) and a brief assault of the heroine

– A Hero’s Heart is a smoking hot second chance, romantic suspense novella. No cheating. HEA guaranteed.

– Second edition. Newly revised and edited.


Tagline – Rekindling the flames of love has never burned so hot.




Marissa grabbed her plate and headed to the kitchen. How would she get through this? Better yet, how would she console her son when Jarrett left? Footsteps resounded softly behind her. The hair on her nape rose. She stuffed her plate in the trashcan and scowled at the source of her problems.

“I’m sorry. If staying here will be an inconvenience, I’ll tell Jason I can’t.”

“He’ll blame me.”

“No, I’ll say I have to go back to San Francisco for work or Montana for the ski trip. He’ll understand.”

She barked a laugh. “Have you lost your mind? He’ll scream and beg you to stay. Once you leave, he’ll cry for hours.”

“Marissa, what do you want from me? I can’t stay forever. I don’t want to hurt him—or you—I swear it, but I will leave. It’s only a matter of when, not if.”

She grasped the counter to keep steady. “I know that. Jason and I are not good enough reasons for you to give up the life you’ve built in California, and I would never ask it. I’ll understand when you go, but Jason won’t, not that it’s any of your concern. I’ll deal with his pain when the time comes.”

He cursed. “You sure know how to make a man feel like shit.”

“That’s not my intention.”

“Doesn’t change the facts.” He grabbed his phone from his pants pocket. “Am I staying here or not?”

If only she could toss him out on his ass. “You’re staying.”

“Okay. I’ll call my boss and let him know your address.”

“Fine. I’ll show you to the guestroom when you’re ready.”

“Thank you, Marissa. I appreciate it.”

She fisted her hands. “Thank Jason.”

With that, he left the kitchen.


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About the Author


Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through Daulton Publishing, The Wild Rose Press, and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats. 

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats. 


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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for hosting me, Jennifer! I had fun writing the post.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Amber. What you say is very true. I've been re reading some of my older favorites and there is so much telling and description. I don't mind reading it because it's familiar but I'd never get it past my editor. D.

    1. Hey, D.V.
      Thanks for stopping by. I agree, the oldies are fun to read, but my editor wouldn't be too amused if I sent her something old school like that.

  3. Hi Amber, your advice about reading extensively in the genre is spot on.

  4. Enjoyed the post and yes, even those long-ago favorites that I recall fondly are a little difficult to read these days because of that omniscient narrator!

  5. Oh, yes! That omniscient narrator is difficult to handle nowadays. Thanks for stopping by, Barbara.

  6. I'm with Barbara - it is hard for me to keep my author-editor from interfering as I reread books I loved from long ago :-) I'll be the first to admit, I love writing description and it has taken a ton of control to self-edit it out of my own work, or revise to a more minimalist style. Always learning, always reading, always keeping pace with the current style - so important for an author. But I still remember those wonderful authors and their stories from the 80s and 90s.

    1. I agree, Deb. The older books have a lot of charm if you can put aside your inner editor. I still write lengthy descriptions sometimes, too, but I always cut back during edits. And it hurts too!