Today, the hero from Amber Daulton’s new romantic suspense novel, Arresting Benjamin, is visiting for a chat. For the record, what’s your name and where are you from?
Hi, Delilah. It’s great to be here. I’m Benjamin Starwell, Junior, and I go by Benji since my dad went by Ben. Some people snicker about the shortened form of my name because of that movie with the scruffy dog, but I don’t care what people think about me. I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, and I’m still there today.
Okay, great. When you look in a mirror, what do you see? Physically and personality-wise?
I see a hardworking, dedicated, and stubborn man with blue eyes, a perpetual five o’clock shadow, and shaggy, auburn hair that curls around my ears. I’m loyal to those I love. When I set my mind to something, I do it. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts.
Awesome. Loyalty and dedication are important. What did you think the first time you saw Belle Hamlin?
Hot. Mouth-watering, screw-me-sideways hot. I don’t mean to get too graphic, but it was like all the blood in my body pooled between my legs and zapped my commonsense. Not that I melted into a puddle at Belle’s feet. I have more self-control than that. But honestly, I was a goner. That’s why I skipped out on her after our one night together. I regret my actions, and I’m determined not to waste my second chance with her.
I see. It was lust at first sight. What is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
My dad opened Ben’s Auto Repair years ago when I was little, and when he passed on, I inherited the business. Everything I know I learned from him. I love my job. Though I’d rather get my hands dirty and work on an engine, I’m usually stuck in the office filing paperwork, calling suppliers, or taking inventory of my stock more often than not these days. That’s the curse of being the boss.
I’m sure it is. Do you own your own home or rent?
I live in a two-story duplex and share a central wall with Lando, my landlord. Crazy name, right? It’s like the man was born to be a landlord, but I don’t have room to talk with a name like Benji. Anyway, he’s the best. Lando hasn’t upped my rent in years, and now that he’s getting older, he deducts my payment when I mow the grass and do general upkeep on the house.
You’re lucky. The cost of living is ridiculous, especially in major cities. Do you have a pet? What kind?
I don’t, but Belle has a cat with a serious attitude problem. Luckily, I like Pepperoni’s gall. We get along just fine.
Cool. Cats are known for their cattitude. What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Probably losing my mom. I was ten when she passed on. It destroyed my family, especially my sister, Meghan. One minute, she was my sweet little kid sister; the next, she was out partying, running away from home, and getting picked up by the cops. I really do think that’s why my dad later had a heart attack. He was always so stressed and worried about her.
How horrible! I’m sorry to hear it. Let’s move on to something hopefully easier. Are you book-smart, self-taught, or widely-experienced?
Self-taught and experienced. I learned my trade and about the struggles of life from my dad. You see, he had a penchant for hiring ex-cons to work in the garage. He believed in helping people and giving them a second chance. I’ve continued the tradition.
That’s interesting. Do you see morality as black-and-white, or with shades of gray?
Gray, definitely. There’s too much pain and heartache in the world to be so close-minded. You gotta do what you can to survive, and if that means doing something wrong, so be it.
What event in your past has left the most profound impression on you?
Meeting Alan. Meghan was in the process of getting her life back together, so she brought home her new boyfriend for a family meet and greet. Al blew me away. I was expecting a womanizing drunk since Meghan always went for pricks like that, but Alan was anything but. He was polite, sober, and genuinely liked her. At the time, he was estranged from his own brother, and since Meghan and I weren’t close, we found common ground and bonded. Even after Meghan went off the rails and broke up with him, Al and I stayed friends. He’s like the brother I never had.
It’s great your friendship with Alan survived the break-up. What other character from your book do you think your author should write a book about? Care to tell us why?
You’ll meet three characters in my book that will have a story of their own.
Belle’s friends, Shea and Trevor, will have a second chance romance in Trevor’s Redemption, which is coming soon in the multi-author Dangerous Entanglements box set in December 2022. It’ll be re-released as a solo book in the fall of next year.
Arresting Alan, starring you-know-who, will hopefully be released sometime in late 2023 as well. Alan’s no longer hung up on my sister, and I want him to find happiness and love with someone else. He’s been through a lot and deserves only the best.
That’s good to know. Thank you so much, Benji, for chatting with me today.
With enemies at every turn, how will they survive with their lives and love intact?
Only .99 cents until October 18, 2022!
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.
Excerpt from Arresting Benjamin…
Benji bolted upright, waking from a dirty dream that starred the sexpot beside him. His thumping heart struck his ribs as he dragged in air. What was that noise? The harsh pounding reverberated again from somewhere beyond the bedroom walls. Was someone banging on the apartment door? He pushed back the blanket and tugged his boxers on over his poor stiffy.
Belle moaned and dragged the bedding over her head.
He hurried from the room and knocked against the coffee table. Ouch! Pain shot through his big toe as he hopped to gain his balance. At least his soldier deflated.
Pepperoni hissed at him from atop his coat. Her eyes glowed yellow in the dim light like she was a blob of demonic, prickly fur.
The rude-ass visitor banged again. After flipping up the outdoor light switch, Benji unlocked and yanked open the door. Darkness surrounded him. Frigid cold smacked him in the face, prickling his skin.
Shadows cloaked the skinny man who shifted his feet at the threshold. Not even the faint moonlight streaming in from the breezeway touched him.
The stranger reared back, his eyebrows shooting up beneath his black cap. “Where’s Belle?”
“Asleep.” Benji swung his scowl from him to the empty light fixture. Had he taken the bulb? A shiver that had nothing to do with the cold shot up Benji’s spine. “Who are you? Why are you here?”
“I have to talk with her. I gotta.” He tightened his bulky coat around him.
“Come back tomorrow, at a decent hour. What’s your name?”
“No, I can’t.” He trembled. The scent of alcohol permeated the white puffs of air that escaped his mouth. “I gotta speak with her now. It’s taken me all night to get up my nerve to do this. She’s so damn stubborn.”
Hell, no. Benji fisted his hands. “You’re drunk. Get the fuck out of here.”
“Belle!” He gripped the doorframe, panic flaring in his eyes. “Come out here. Please!”
“Leave.” Benji shoved him back and stomped onto the landing. Ow! The cold corrugated metal bit into his bare feet.
The stranger snatched the missing bulb from his pocket and threw it before fleeing down the creaky stairs.
“Shit.” Benji leapt back as the glass hit the landing and shattered into countless shards.
The late-night caller dashed to the nondescript sedan in front of the building. The engine revved, the lights flashed on, and the vehicle sped away.
He clutched the freezing banister until the car lights disappeared down the street. His chest heaved. Heat lashed through his veins, combating the cold.
Pepperoni meowed and wove between his legs, rubbing him roughly. Tiny shards glistened in the weak light a few inches from her paws.
“C’mon, you.” He scooped the cat up and hurried back inside.
Add it to Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61398149-arresting-benjamin
Check it out on BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/books/arresting-benjamin-by-amber-daulton
Universal link – https://books2read.com/arrestingbenjamin/
Amazon – https://amzn.to/3usC6SN
Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w?ean=2940186751144
iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id6443054336
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/arresting-benjamin
Google Play – https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=JHJ5EAAAQBAJ
Check out the Rafflecopter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.
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. Learn more about Amber at: Amber Daulton – Home.
Thank you for the awesome interview. “Benji” had a lot of fun with it!