Today, we’re doing something a little different. I know it’s been a while since we did one of these. If you remember, we interviewed Remy Marie’s character back on February 8th, 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 Arresting Mason, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Mason Harding, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Amber in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Mason!
Marie Lavender: Hello, Mason. Please have a seat.
Character Mason Harding: Thank you for having me, Marie.
Marie: Of course! 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?
Mason: I’m a mechanic, and yeah, I’m pretty damn good at the job. I like it too. My dad taught me everything I know about cars, and even though we don’t talk anymore, I’m still grateful to him for showing me the ropes. In all honesty, I didn’t plan to be a grease monkey growing up—in fact, I never really thought about the future when I was a stupid teen—but then I landed in prison and everything changed. A few years before my parole, I participated in an automotive work/study program to brush up on my rusty skills.
Marie: All right.
So, tell us…what is your family like?
Mason: My big brother, Alan, is supportive but overprotective. After all the crap I’ve put him through, though, I understand why he watches over me like I’m still a kid. Alan’s son, Danny, is adorable. I love my nephew to death, and I’m determined to not set a bad example for him. My parents and I are estranged. Alan is pressuring me into making amends with Mom, but I don’t think it’ll happen any time soon.
Marie: Oh, no! How unfortunate! 😦
Let’s try something else, okay?
If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?
Mason: It was just a typical two-story, cookie-cutter house in suburbia. You know the type: a big yard to play in, flowerbeds lining the foundation, and nosy neighborhoods. The best thing about my home was that it was only a few blocks from the city’s downtown area, but I guess that wasn’t a good thing after all. I got into way too much trouble back then, and most everything was within walking distance.
Marie: Do you have any hobbies, Mason? What do you enjoy doing?
Mason: Besides work, which I really enjoy, I like to exercise and read. I picked up both hobbies while locked up, and they seemed to have stuck now that I’m on the outside. I like to keep my body in good shape because I never know if some creep from my past will find me and make trouble. I read when I need to wind down after a stressful day. Disappearing into another world helps take my mind off my problems, you know.
Marie: I know what you mean! 😉
So, what is your greatest dream?
Mason: I’d like to stay out of trouble, permanently, and just live my life with Mia at my side. She’s a wonderful woman and doesn’t deserve any of the bad stuff that’s happened to her. If I could forever keep her safe, I’d be happy.
Marie: (Nods.) That makes sense…
Let’s try another question.
What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
Mason: I want to be a good husband, and I want to give Mia a few babies, but I’m not looking forward to telling my kids about my prison sentence. I’m not necessarily ashamed of my past, but I don’t want my son or daughter to look at me differently after they would know the whole story.
Marie: Well, when they’re grown enough to understand, I think they’ll respect you for making your life better after what you went through.
Okay, I’m going to throw another random question at you now.
Who was your first love?
Mason: I’ve had a lot of girlfriends before I met Mia, but never loved them. I cared about them, sure, but after being cheated on a few times, I’d learned to step out first before the girl I cared about stabbed me in the back. I regret doing so, and I’ve vowed to Mia to never hurt her like that. She’s my first love, and I know better than to throw away her trust.
Marie: Aww. I understand that. ♥
So…not to be a downer, but I do have a pretty deep question next.
What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Mason: Most people in my situation would probably say going to prison, but not me. The most terrible thing I ever did was when I robbed a liquor store with some friends. I knew it was wrong, but did it anyway. That mistake affected the outcome of my life, and there’s a part of me that wishes I could take it back.
Then again, I don’t think I would change anything I’ve ever done or had done happen to me because I’m happy right now. I have Mia and a great job, and I probably wouldn’t have either without doing the mistakes I’ve made.
Marie: That’s true!
Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?
What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
Mason: Like I said earlier, I didn’t think about the future growing up. I just wanted to have fun and that backfired on me.
Marie: I see.
So, who is your role model, Mason?
Mason: Don’t have one.
Now, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question.
Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
Mason: No, I’m a pretty honest guy. If I don’t like you, I’ll tell you. No pretending for me.
Marie: That’s refreshing!
Let’s try another question.
What is your deepest desire?
Mason: Just to live a good life under the radar from cops and criminals alike.
Marie: Sounds like a plan!
So, tell me something, Mason. What is your greatest fear?
Mason: That I’ll mess up and land back in prison. Alan and Mia would never forgive me for it, so I try my best to stay out of trouble.
Marie: All right.
I’m so glad you were comfortable enough to tell me everything.
Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Mason. 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, Mason Harding. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about him?
Amber: Mason is a very frustrating character. He’s so stubborn with a temper a mile wide, but then he can be so sweet and caring. He definitely swept his lady love, Mia, off her feet.
So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?
Amber: When he puts his mind to something, he never gives up, no matter the obstacles in his way.
Marie: How admirable!
And what are your character’s greatest weaknesses?
Amber: His temper. He gets upset way too easily and says things he regrets.
Marie: Ah. Well, I’m sure some of our readers can relate. It’s not always easy to avoid confrontation.
Let’s try something fun, shall we?
What are some of Mason’s favorite foods?
Amber: Anything, really. After being in prison, he’s not picky.
How about another question?
What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Amber: His ability to love. Though Mason wants to be a good person, he doesn’t think he deserves to have a woman show him unconditional love and acceptance. But when he loves someone, he doesn’t let anything stop him from showing and proving it.
Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
Amber: Mason has made a ton of mistakes—everyone has to one degree or another—but he’s ready to change and move on with his life. I think a lot of readers could relate to that, and they’ll like him because he’s a good person beneath all the scars and tattoos.
Marie: Very true!
Now that we have a real taste of Mason, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.
What first gave you the idea for Arresting Mason?
Amber: A few years ago, I found a submission call for a bad boy anthology, and the stories were supposed to be pretty short. By the time I finished the first draft of my manuscript, I had exceeded the word count and still wanted to add more scenes. So I forgot all about the submission call and kept revising the manuscript until it clocked in at 80 thousand words and sparked ideas for more books, which is now a 5-book series.
For how I came up with the plot, I must thank my subconscious since I dreamed about it. For days after, I kept thinking about the hero, the heroine, and her brother, and the characters wouldn’t leave me in peace until I wrote out a rough plot line. Though it changed quite a bit as I put the dream down on paper (or rather computer), the main premise remained the same.
Marie: Awesome! Isn’t is fascinating how the muse works? 😉
Let’s try something else.
What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Amber: Both actually. I plot as much as I can, but I get new ideas once I start writing and I usually follow them.
Marie: (Smiles.) Yeah…sometimes I think the characters are directing the story more than I am.
How about another question?
So, now I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Arresting Mason or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?
Amber: The biggest challenge for me was the word count. As I already said, I needed to write a short story (around 15k word count), but ended up with a manuscript that was around 40k. Then I kept building on it to make it a full length novel. Weaving in all those new scenes was difficult and required lots of re-writing to scenes already done. The only thing I would probably do differently next time would be to plot better.
Marie: I hear you. I’ve written myself into a corner with plots a time or two.
I was in your situation before as well. Once I had an anthology challenge too, and it was so hard to keep within those guidelines. I think as a writer, I don’t like to be boxed in. (Laughs.)
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 Arresting Mason appears to be. Sounds like it’s right my alley!
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 Arresting Mason:
Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life. That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcée behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.
Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life.
When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?
Amber is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!
“Which one is your car?” She glanced around the crowded parking lot. A few streetlights pushed back the darkness and shadows. The restaurant served customers until midnight on the weekends, but no one loitered in the lot, at least from what Mia could see.
“Don’t have one at the moment.” Mason hooked his thumbs in the belt loops of his jeans. “I took the bus. It stopped a few blocks from here.”
“Would you like a ride?” She pulled the car keys from her purse. “I feel a little ridiculous we met here tonight. I just wasn’t sure if you were some kind of freak.”
His eyebrow lifted, and he closed the distance between them as a tiger would zero in on its mate. A sexy, masculine smile curled his lips. “Have you made up your mind yet?”
“I’ll let you know in the morning.” Desire trickled down her spine. Mia nodded toward the passenger side of the car for him to hop in.
He confiscated her keys instead to unlock and open the driver’s side door for her like a gentleman. Then he leaned closer and nuzzled her temple with his nose.
Not sure if he planned to seduce her in the parking lot or if he merely wanted to tease her, Mia pressed her hand to his chest and tried to think straight. “You’re the first guy I’ve gone on a date with since my divorce. I haven’t slept with anyone since Evan.”
He tunneled his fingers through her wavy, chestnut-brown hair. “I haven’t dated anyone in a long time either. We’ll take it slow or fast, whatever you want, but I promise you one thing. After I’m done with you, you won’t even remember that bastard’s name.”
Oh, God. She almost melted right then and there. “Fast. I want you, Mason.”
“Take me to your place and you can have me.”
And some teasers!
Wow! Love the sexy tension. ♥♥♥ Can’t wait to read this book…🙂
Universal Amazon link: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07BHGMQRK
Universal Reader link: https://books2read.com/u/3nOgre
Add it to your Goodreads bookshelf: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39005064-arresting-mason
We’ll be sure to get a copy of this romantic suspense! ♥
About Amber Daulton
Writing is the fruit of happiness.
Amber Daulton lives her life by that one belief even though she normally isn’t so Zen.
As a fan of contemporary, paranormal, and historical romance novels alike, she can’t get enough of feisty heroines and alpha heroes. Her mind is a wonderland of adventure, laughter, and awesome ways of kicking a guy when he’s down. She probably wouldn’t be too sane without her computer and notebooks. After all, what’s a girl to do when people are jabbering away in her head and it’s hard to shut them up? Write! Nothing else works.
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, Mason, a male character from Arresting Mason, and Amber Daulton, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! 😀