Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Annabelle Anders’ character last week, and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Amber Daulton, the author of Lyrical Embrace, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Dylan Haynes, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Amber in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Dylan!
Marie Lavender: Hello, Dylan. Please have a seat.
Character Dylan Haynes: Thank you for the invite, Marie.
Marie: It’s my pleasure!
We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?
Marie: So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
Dylan: I’m an ex-professional drummer for an indie rock band, and now I’m a teacher at my parents’ music school, Haynes Music Academy, in Willow Springs, Vermont. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I’m an excellent drummer. I love teaching kids how to play instruments, and I feel pride in their success.
I’m also a volunteer fireman. After so many years of partying and having fun, I wanted to do something good and give back to the community where I’d come from. Being a fireman and EMT helps me accomplish that goal.
Marie: Nice! 😀
So, tell us…what is your family like?
Dylan: My parents are great, as are my older brother and sister. I’m the baby in the family, but they’ve all learned that I’ve grown up and I expect to be treated like an adult. I’ve made some mistakes, true, but they’re supportive and always in my corner.
If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?
Dylan: My parents had bought and renovated a rundown two-story Victorian house, founded the school, and lived upstairs. For most of my childhood, I grew up in the apartment above the music school. I loved it since I was able to play the drums and other instruments whenever I wanted. After my grandparents died, we moved across town to their house and rented out the apartment. I hated that at first, but I eventually got used to having my own room away from Birley, my brother.
Marie: All right.
Do you have any hobbies, Dylan? What do you enjoy doing?
Dylan: As I said before, I’m a helluva drummer, but I also play several other instruments. Playing any kind of instrument is a great way to relax and let off some steam. Besides that, I like to hike in the Green Mountain National Forest. Erica and I sometimes do that together. I also fish with my dad and brother.
So, what is your greatest dream?
Dylan: I’d always wanted to become a famous musician, but my dreams changed when I was on that path of making it come true. I didn’t like the person I was turning into when I was touring and performing with Fortune’s Glory, my band. The drugs, alcohol, and groupies distracted me from the music, so I quit before I ever got close to reaching stardom.
My greatest dream now is simple, and I already have it. I have a good, clean job and a loving woman at my side. Life couldn’t be better.
Marie: I see…
Okay, I’m going to throw another random question at you now.
Who was your first love?
Dylan: Erica. She’s everything to me. Yeah, I had some girlfriends in high school and I slept with the groupies I met in clubs, but I never fell hard for any of them. None of them ever knew the real me, who I was inside. Erica was different. She called me out on my bullshit and drew me in. I’m lucky I found her.
Marie: (Sighs.) I love romance…♥
What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Dylan: One of my former band mates, Jackie, was heavy into drugs. I tried to convince him to get help, but he refused and always got so pissed at me when I mentioned it. After I quit Fortune’s Glory, which contributed to the band’s later breakup, Jackie overdosed on heroin and died. My band mates blamed me for his death since I left the band. I know I’m not at fault for Jackie’s actions, but I wish I had done more to help him. It’s one of my biggest regrets.
Marie: 😥 Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that about your friend. That’s rough…
Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?
So, who is your role model, Dylan?
Dylan: Don’t have one. There are lots of bands and musicians I like and respect, but I don’t strive to be like any of them, not anymore.
Now, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question.
Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
Dylan: No, not really. I teach a great group of kids at the academy, and the men and women I work with at the fire department are brave, levelheaded people.
Let’s try another question.
What is your deepest desire?
Dylan: To protect Erica. She’s been through some physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, and I want to make sure nothing like that ever happens to her again.
Marie: Oh, no…how awful! 😥
And your greatest fear?
Dylan: Erica’s ex is now serving time behind bars, but I worry he’ll come after her when or if he gets out of prison. He already tried to kidnap her, and I’m afraid he’ll succeed next time around. No matter what happens in the future, I’m going to be with Erica and will do what I can to keep her safe.
Marie: It’s understandable for you to feel that way.
I’m glad you were comfortable enough to tell me everything.
Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Dylan. It was so interesting getting to know you! 🙂
(Waves goodbye to her guest.)
Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have author Amber Daulton on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Amber!
Author Amber Daulton: Hi, Marie! Thank you for taking the time to interview me.
Marie: Of course! I love to have authors on ILRB. 😀
So, we just got to talk to a male character from your story, Dylan Haynes. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us about him?
Amber: Dylan is a fun guy. He’s down-to-earth, levelheaded, and genuine. He’s made some mistakes, sure, but who hasn’t? Unlike a lot of people, he’s learned from those mistakes and wants to live a better life.
What are your character’s greatest strengths?
Amber: His ability to care about someone. Dylan volunteers as a firefighter because he wants to help people. It doesn’t matter to him if you’re a friend or a stranger. If you’re in trouble, he’ll be there.
Marie: How admirable!
And your character’s greatest weakness?
Amber: Erica. He’s a sucker for her.
Marie: Lovely to hear… ♥
Let’s try something fun, shall we?
What are some of Dylan’s favorite foods?
Amber: He loves his mom’s creamy vegetarian penne casserole, and he made sure I added the recipe to the end of his book.
Marie: Yummy! 🙂
How about another question?
Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
Amber: Dylan felt like an object when he was drinking and partying with the band, but he feels more human back in the real world. I think readers will be able to sympathize with that. His job, his dream really, had changed him, and he became what other people wanted him to be. It took a lot of courage for him to break out of that dangerous cycle. A lot of readers have probably experienced something like that in their own lives, so hopefully they’ll like and understand Dylan.
Marie: I’m sure they will!
Now that we have a real taste of Dylan, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.
What first gave you the idea for Lyrical Embrace?
Amber: I love small town romances, especially ones with an edge and a little bit of danger weaved in. When plotting this story, I first pictured a young woman running away from the big city to escape her abusive boyfriend. I mostly write contemporary and romantic suspense, so this idea worked.
I also love stories about music and rock stars, but I don’t like the cheating and drugs that go along with the lifestyle. I haven’t published a story featuring a musician yet, so I figured I should get on the ball and do it.
Despite the dark undertones, this story is fun, uplifting, and hot. The characters are real and flawed. I really enjoyed writing it, and I hope readers will love it.
Marie: Isn’t it fascinating how the muse works? 😀
Let’s try something else.
What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Amber: I always plot out each chapter and scene before I start writing, but sometimes the characters take over and derail my plan. When that happens, I usually go with the flow and let it take me wherever, but eventually I have to whip the characters back into gear and force them to follow the plot I’ve established.
Marie: (Laughs.) Aww…what’s the fun in that? I think sometimes the characters know best. 😉
How about another question?
Now I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Lyrical Embrace or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?
Amber: Lyrical Embrace is book four in the Deerbourne Inn series, a multi-author collaboration of stories from The Wild Rose Press. The biggest challenge in writing this story was hammering out the details with the series coordinators and with the other authors writing for the series. Everyone has their own ideas, so we had to work together and tweak descriptions or names to make sure everything flows from one story to the next. The only thing I would do differently next time is be more direct when asking questions in the series forum.
Marie: Sounds like a plan!
Congrats on your latest release! ♥
Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Lyrical Embrace appears to be.
Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this romantic suspense by Amber Daulton, a very talented author!
Here is the blurb for Lyrical Embrace, book four of the Deerbourne Inn Series:
Out-of-work violinist Erica Timberly decides enough is enough. She leaves her abusive boyfriend and flees the big city, but then her car breaks down in the middle of the night. Though wary of men, she accepts help from Dylan Haynes, a stranger driving by on the road, and soon recognizes him as the sexy former drummer of her favorite indie rock band. Maybe, just maybe, her run of bad luck is finally turning around.
Music teacher Dylan Haynes knows Erica is in trouble, and her black eye is only the first clue. The stubborn yet vulnerable woman needs a friend, but he’s determined to give her everything she deserves.
Will Erica listen to the music in her heart and trust Dylan, or will her past always threaten her future?
Amber is also offering us a little excerpt from the book!
Dylan deepened the kiss and lightly tugged on her bottom lip. Tears streaked his flushed cheeks as he smiled at her. “I’m so grateful I found you, baby. I heard you screaming. When I saw that bastard press a gun to your head, my heart nearly exploded. I thought I might lose you. I promise you, Erica, I will never control you as Phil did. You will always have the ability to choose. I just want to make you happy.”
She gripped his hand and brushed her lips across his calloused knuckles. “I know. You do make me happy. You took a bullet for me.” A sob constricted her throat, but she pushed it down.
A blast of noise rent the air. Fireworks filled the sky, visible in the alley from the narrow stretch of space between the buildings.
Erica loved the bright colors and designs, but hardly cared about watching the spectacle. She dropped her gaze back to Dylan.
A grin spread across his face. “It’s been one wild Fourth of July. Why don’t we do something more low-key next year? How about no guns and crazy exes? Just us, the creek, and a bottle of wine. Clothing optional.”
She laughed softly, amazed he could make light of the situation. “That sounds perfect. Absolutely perfect.”
And a teaser!
Universal Reader link: https://books2read.com/u/m2xRlj
Add it to your Goodreads bookshelf: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43225610-lyrical-embrace
Link to the series on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NEtkdS
What are people saying about Lady Saves the Duke?
“I REALLY LOVED LYRICAL EMBRACE. I AM A BIG FAN OF SMALL TOWN STORIES. THEY FEEL MORE REAL AND BELIEVABLE AND I LOVE HOW THE TOWNSPEOPLE LOOK OUT FOR ONE ANOTHER. LYRICAL EMBRACE WAS SUCH AN EMOTIONAL AND SWEET ROMANTIC READ. AMBER DID AN EXCELLENT JOB SHOWING WHAT AN ABUSED WOMAN GOES THROUGH AND FEELS. I LOVE THE CONNECTION THAT ERICA AND DYLAN HAVE. IT WAS INSTANT CHEMISTRY AND ATTRACTION.” – Victoria Zumbrum, Amazon
“Ms. Daulton has crafted a well thought out story of two people who need one another to heal the hurts of their pasts. Physical and emotional abuse isn’t something often tackled in light contemporary romance stories, but Daulton has done an excellent job of showing the power of love to heal wounds and scars that often in time don’t heal. I highly recommend this book. It’s a wonderful addition to the series.” – Margaret-Mary Jaeger, Amazon
“Heartwarming, touching and brilliantly crafted! Lyrical Embrace is an absorbing, character-driven novel that immerses you in a beautifully written tale about letting go of the past, forgiving one’s self, surviving, taking chances and moving on.
The writing is vivid and eloquent. The characters are flawed, supportive, lovable and real. And the story is the perfect mix of hope, heart, drama and steamy hot moments.
Overall, I found this to be an engrossing story that reminds us that life is often a messy journey complete with pain, tears, smiles and happiness.” – Meredith W., Amazon
We’ll be sure to get a copy of this small town romantic suspense! ♥
Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.
Amber lives in North Carolina with her husband and four demanding cats. Feel free to visit her at http://www.amberdaultonauthor.blogspot.com.
And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Amber Daulton, here are some author links:
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/14JoZff
Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Dylan, a male character from Lyrical Embrace, and Amber Daulton, the brilliant author of the book, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! 😀