Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.
I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Amber Dalton and her heroine, Belle Hamlin…
Hi, readers. I’m Belle Hamlin, the heroine from Amber Daulton’s new romantic suspense novel, Arresting Benjamin. I’m excited to talk about my greatest passion—playing music. It’s also my career, but the money I make from it dumps it into the hobby category. Yep, that’s right. I’m a struggling musician with a dreaded day job at an insurance company that is sucking the life out of me.
I live in Denver, Colorado, but I travel all across the state for a paying gig. I mostly play at bars and clubs, but sometimes I perform covers of classic songs for weddings, birthdays, and funerals. I can’t afford to be picky when it comes to a reputable gig. You’ll often find my best friends—Mia, Chanel, and Shea—running the merchandise table for me at a bar. They’re my biggest supporters. (By the way, have you checked out their oh-so-sexy books yet? You can find them here.)
Anyway, I need my music like I need the air to breathe. My heroes are music legends like Melissa Etheridge, Bruce Springsteen, and Stevie Nicks, so I write both folky and rock ballads. Since I draw inspiration from my own personal experience, most of my songs delve into relationships gone bad. I’ve met a lot of fans at my shows, and I’m honored and humbled every time someone tells me how much they relate to the pain, frustration, and rage I’ve vented into my songs. I write from the heart, but sometimes it’s hard to share my pain and humiliation so openly. It’s worth it, though, if I can make anyone feel better about themselves and let them know they aren’t alone. Music should heal and offer hope, and that’s my goal in writing and playing music.
Since several of my songs lean toward man-bashing and revenge tales, I thought for sure that Benji, my new guy, would run far away once he heard them. Thankfully, he proved me wrong. I gotta say, Benji has made me happy and healed some of my wounds, but that’s put a dent in my angsty creative process. Now, I’m not knocking our relationship or anything, but I’ve written a few sappy love songs lately and they clash with my damn-all-men-to-hell songs. I’m worried I’ll lose fans if I don’t keep up my angry, bad girl rocker persona with lyrics that match, but I write what I feel, and I’m in love. Sue me.
All in all, though, songwriting and performing is who I am. It’s my hobby, career, and passion all wrapped into one. I can’t be anyone other than who I am, and I don’t want to be.
Are you interested in reading about one of my performances? Check out the excerpt below. It’s in Benji’s POV, but I think he did a good job of describing the situation.
Thanks so much for visiting.
PS – Do you want a $25 Amazon gift card? Check out my Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0a0982c528/
With enemies at every turn, how will they survive with their lives and love intact?
A one-night stand, a surprise baby, and a mysterious stalker.
Mechanic Benjamin Starwell can’t stop thinking about Belle Hamlin, the ballsy musician he slept with and skipped out on months earlier. He never meant to get her pregnant, but he’ll do whatever it takes to win back her trust and be a part of his child’s life. His desire for Belle drives him to be a better man, but he’s worn thin with a garage to run and his estranged sister dumping her troubles on him.
Belle’s juggling impending motherhood, her indie rock career, and a stalker who’s determined to see her fail. Even though she’s desperate to get her priorities straight, she pushes aside her past hurt and welcomes Benji back into her bed. She never expects him to slip into her heart.
When the danger escalates, they face the greatest challenge of all—protecting their unborn child.
Benji’s heart pounded harder as Belle strutted onto the stage from a rear door. Her hips swayed with a ba-dum beat as her hair flapped behind her shoulders. Was there an air vent above her? Dark eye shadow, mascara, and a dark slash of blush on her cheeks deepened her sultry eyes. Her lips swelled like a juicy plum. God, was her lipstick purple? Burgundy, maybe? She bent over, showing off her fine ass, and plugged her acoustic-electric guitar into the amp.
A baby-faced gopher carried a stool and a water bottle to the middle of the platform.
She patted him on the back and stared out at the crowd.
Several men ogled her, despite the baby bump. Their lady friends laughed, but some frowned and slapped the guys’ arms.
Wow. Benji swallowed hard. What he wouldn’t do to unzip her knee-high leather boots, pull down her stockings, and flip up her short pleated skirt? Her red sleeveless blouse emphasized the breasts he couldn’t wait to suckle.
“Hiya, Tempes lovers! How ya doin’? Thanks for coming out in this cold weather.” Her voice echoed through the speakers. The lights lit Belle and the stage in a soft white glow. She strummed the guitar, testing it, as the audience shouted. “I’m Belle Hamlin, and this badass girl is Matilda.” She held up the sunburst-finished instrument. “We’ll rock you for the next hour, so let’s get started.” She ignored the stool, jumping into a song as her fans applauded. Deep, rumbling chords reverberated from the guitar and speakers.
“She’s starting with ‘Stay True’.” Chanel clapped. “It’s my favorite.”
“This is rock-and-roll. She sang folk and singer/songwriter-type stuff the night we met.” He bit his lip as her friends stood and danced in place.
“What did you expect? She’s a solo female artist sandwiched between testosterone-filled rock bands. She has to up her game.” Shea tapped his CD case and flashed a grin. “Give it a whirl later. Belle is a cross between Melissa Etheridge, Stevie Nicks, and Eric Clapton. Her guy issues and social opinions bleed into her songs.”
Wonderful. Guy issues. He had his work cut out for him.
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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.
Find out more here: https://linktr.ee/AmberDaulton
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