One of my favorite things to do, is sit around the fire. Whether it’s away in a campground, or at home in front the chiminea, or fireplace. Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had, have been with a cozy flame sipping a beverage. Christmas is past and New Year in upon us. I'm wishing you all a happy and blessed one. So, wherever you’re joining us from, relax. I hope you enjoy our conversation. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below. Also, if you would like to keep up with Around the Campfire and information, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. Okay, without further delay…
Today I’m welcoming Amber Daulton to the Around the Campfire. Amber is a pretty special guest for me. We are both Wild Rose Press Authors and she has been an amazing help in finalizing Rock House Grill. I've read one of her manuscripts and am now reading the book we're talking about today. What’s your preference coffee, tea, cocoa, or wine?
I drink all the above except for coffee, but I love the scent of roasted coffee beans. Riesling is one of my favorite white wines. Hot cocoa with a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon, and mini-marshmallows, are to die for.
I'm a white wine gal myself so cheers. We'll start the morning with your hot chocolate choice which sounds delicious, and pop the cork later. Tell us have you ever camped, or as I call what I do, Glamp.
My husband and I love going on nature hikes or biking at a park, but I’ve only camped out once. It was for a gym credit back in college over ten years ago. I enjoyed reading while in the tent and exploring the woods, but the instructor was a bit of a drill sergeant while on the hike. He didn’t understand that not everyone could keep up with him and the other fitness nuts in the group, so a lot of people, including myself, were straggling behind. I was so exhausted and honestly frustrated that I stayed in my tent while some of the others were hanging out around the campfire. I regret that, but with the way I was feeling, I couldn’t have been social. Anyway, I would love to go camping again and actually get to enjoy it.
Well, girlfriend, let me know when you're ready. 2Hoots, my RV has a guest room with its own 1/2 bath. No rules. Camping is for fun and relaxation. Reading is one of my favorite things at the campground. Now, tell us about your project. What’s the title and genre?
Arresting Mason is a romantic-suspense novel about a flawed man struggling to right his wrongs and finding love in the most unexpected of ways. I came up with the main plot—a feisty divorcée in a HAWT relationship with a tattooed ex-con—in a little place called dreamland. I’m always the leading lady in my dreams, and I fell head-over-heels in love with a mysterious former gang member. After I awoke from that seriously mouthwatering dream, I couldn’t stop thinking about Mason, his past, and his current problems. His seductive voice kept whispering to me, urging me to write about him, so I wrote out a rough plot line and quickly finished the manuscript I was already working on. I’ve changed quite a bit in the story from what happened in the dream, but the main premise has remained the same.
Sounds exciting! I'm far enough along in Arresting Mason to say the chemistry between Mia and Mason is compelling. I also love a story where the bad boy struggles to do better. Do you have a tagline?
Their chance encounter resulted in a steamy affair, but will his former gang and a parole officer tear them apart?
How long did it take you from conception to publication?
I originally wrote Arresting Mason for a bad boy anthology call about five or six years ago, but I had exceeded the maximum word count and still wanted to add more scenes by the time I finished the first draft. So I forgot all about the submission call and kept revising this story until I was finally happy with it. At long last, the manuscript clocked in at 80,000 words and sparked ideas for more books. It’s now book one in the Arresting Onyx series, a five-book series about five sexy men—brothers in blood and in life—and the stubborn women they can’t live without.
Book two in this series, Arresting Jeremiah, is with my editor at The Wild Rose Press.
I've also had a peek at Arresting Jeremiah, and can tell the readers if you like Arresting Mason, keep an eye out for Jeremiah. What are your challenges as a writer? Did you ever hit the place where you threw your arm up in the air and said nope, this is not going to work? If so, how did you get past it?
Writer’s block is definitely a challenge. Sometimes my characters take over the story, and it’s hard for me to corral them back into my guidelines. When nothing is going right, I step back from the story and read. I always try to read in the sub-genre I’m writing in, in order to find inspiration. Usually, after a few weeks, my creative muse starts flowing, and I can finally get back to work!
Sometimes I write myself into a corner even though I’ve plotted the scene beforehand. To solve that problem, I jump a few chapters ahead and start writing those scenes, leaving a big blank spot in my novel. When the later sections are done, I go back and fill in the blank areas. I really don’t like doing this, but I have in desperate cases.
As an author you have to do what works even if you don't like it. I think it keeps you fresh. Speaking of fresh, anything else in the works we should look out for? Anything you're itching to get to?
I have eleven books published so far, the twelfth book is currently in edits, and there are several more manuscripts collecting digital dust on my computer. Some of those drafts are full manuscripts and others are just a few rough chapters.
I also need to go through the remaining Arresting Onyx books again and get them ready for publication.
I currently have four books completed in the House of Darkain series, an on-going set of unpublished vampire novels. Writing is a learning process, so I’m improving my craft all the time, and I’m very anxious to revise those books again. Hopefully, I’ll have an update on them in the New Year.
Wow! What a busy woman. I love the phrase Digital Dust. Looking over your shoulder into the past, is there something you would tell your beginning self?
Oh, yes. I would tell myself to do more research into grammar and writing style, and not to read so many romance books written in the 1990s and earlier. The writing and publishing guidelines have changed over the years, and what was accepted then is no longer accepted now, as least for beginning writers.
I had modeled my style after what I was reading, only to learn with my first publisher that passive voice and head hopping are now frowned upon. When I think back on those drafts, I shudder. But as I already said, writing is a learning experience. I’m grateful that the publisher saw the merit in my writing and set me straight from then on.
That's great advice. I can appreciate the old-style romances. But as you say things change and you have to change with them. Now on to the fun questions. If they made a movie about your life what would the title be and who would play you?
I have no idea. My life isn’t very interesting, but my stories are. I’d much rather have Arresting Mason or another book made into a movie.
Ha, your book started as a dream so maybe you can star in it. Do you have a tattoo? If yes, what is it? If you feel brave, where? Does it have a story you feel you could tell us?
I have a black-and-blue butterfly on my right shoulder blade and a pinkish-purple fairy on my left hip. I would like to get more (flowery vines up and down my back), but tattoos are so expensive. Unfortunately, I don’t have a story behind them or a reason why I got them. I just wanted them.
Years ago, there was a commercial which talked about a “Kodak Moment.” It’s a time you catch in a picture. One you never want to forget. What is yours?
I remember the old Kodak Moment commercials, but I don’t think the younger generation will (and I’m only 33). For my unforgettable picture, there’s one of me lying in bed, cuddling with my kitty Ling Ling. My boyfriend-at-the-time, Greg, took the photo (he’s now my hubby). I loved that cat so much, and there’s just a look of pure happiness on my face in the photo. Ling Ling was the first kitty I adopted after I moved out of my mom’s home when I was 18. I found her at the local animal shelter. After three days of no adoption, she was scheduled for euthanasia (don’t get me started on kill shelters). Thank goodness I got there in time to rescue her. I’m not sure if she was a tabby or something more, but she looked like a Birman, which is an exotic Asian cat breed. That’s why I gave her a Chinese name. Ling means beautiful, so I just doubled that because she was extra beautiful to me. Lingy was about 9 months when I got her. She lived for only seven years, having died in 2012. I still miss her and will always treasure my memories of her.
It’s early in the morning, so I’m not looking my best, but here’s the picture…
She's beautiful! My girl, Hali, approves. She woofs, "Don't buy adopt." Is there a book that inspired you to become an author?
I read my first romance book, True Blue by Ingrid Weaver, when I was 12. It's about an ex-convict hero and a schoolteacher heroine. After reading this book, I decided I wanted to write my own stories about two people finding adventure and falling in love. And so I did. I got to work on a romantic suspense novel and finished it within six months. It’s my first attempt at writing, and though I've revised the MS several times over the years, it’s currently not published.
And here you are are years later doing exactly what you wanted. Are there any mentors, authors, or books, you would like to give a shout-out to?
I read both small-press and traditional published books. Some of my favorites are: Arial Burnz’s Bonded in Blood series (small-press), Tabitha Conall’s Colliding Worlds series (small-press), and Bec McMaster’s London Steampunk series (trad-pubbed).
What does literary success look like to you?
Success is different for everyone. For me, I feel accomplished when I read a great review for one of my stories, or a critical review that was instructive but also kind. I enjoy it when readers share my publishing news and talk about my stories. I always feel honored when a blog host (like you) invites me to their site for an interview.
My dream is to make it on a best-seller list. Fingers crossed that it will happen someday.
That's the reason I love this question. Everyone has their own idea of success.Thank you so much, Amber, for joining me around the campfire today. I would appreciate you leaving us a blub and exert from your work. Don’t forget to add where we can purchase your book and how we can find out more about you below.
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?
“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.”
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39005064-arresting-mason
Amazon – http://amzn.to/2ppcmEJ
Barnes and Noble – https://bit.ly/2uOj90J
iTunes – https://apple.co/2FVAQMP
Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/arresting-mason
Google Play – https://bit.ly/2Izu3cZ
The Wild Rose Press store – https://bit.ly/2VDUTXI
Books2Read – https://books2read.com/u/m2vvY7
Audio Buy Links
Amazon – https://amzn.to/2Nbwr03
Audible – https://adbl.co/2CV6oVU
iTunes – https://apple.co/2NHwMqA
Official Book Trailer
About the Author
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.
Social Media Links
Facebook Author Page – www.facebook.com/amber.daulton.author
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AmberDaulton1
Street Team – https://www.facebook.com/groups/572204316296198/
Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/amberdaulton5/
Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624921.Amber_Daulton
Amazon Author Page – http://amzn.to/14JoZff
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/amberdaultonauthor/
Book Bub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/amber-daulton
Book Gorilla – https://www.bookgorilla.com/author/B00ALQITWY/amber-daulton/kcc
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/amberdaulton
LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/pub/amber-daulton/87/538/368
The Wild Rose Press – https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2362_amber-daulton
I went looking for a movie about criminal redemption. I'd love to hear from some of you who know of one where the criminal changes his or her life and gets their Happily Ever After. Since I couldn't find one I chose instead one about a man who'd lost everything but never gave up.
The Pursuit of Happiness staring Will Smith.
And in honor of Ling Ling
Born Free 1966 Yes it's about a big cat but all cats think themselves as King of the Jungle (or house).
looking for an easy peasy breakfast for a crowd.
At home or at the campfire breakfast for many
Build a campfire and allow the fire to burn until it has accumulated a bed of coals. Or you can adapt for on the stove.
Cook and stir the sausage, onion, and garlic in a 12-inch cast iron Dutch oven with lid, raised over the coals to medium-high heat, until the sausage is no longer pink and the onion is tender. Stir in the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and hash brown potatoes until evenly mixed. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the hash browns are hot and the peppers are tender, about 15 minutes.
Pour the beaten eggs evenly over the top of the potatoes, allowing them to sink into the potatoes. Cover the Dutch oven, and place 6 to 9 coals underneath, and 12 to 18 on top. Allow to bake until the eggs are firm, about 40 minutes. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese, cover, and continue cooking until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.