A warm welcome to author Amy Lane joining us today to talk about her new release “Summer Lessons”.
Check out the guestpost Amy wrote and don’t forget to enter the awesome giveaway she offered to our readers!
Welcome Amy 🙂
His Gal Friday
By Amy Lane
Heroes don’t live in isolation.
Even the most socially inept hero—and oh brother, does Mason fit that bill—have to live, work, cohabitate or coexist with people in their world. And in fact, you can tell a lot about people when you look at the people they don’t have to be nice to.
Someone they work with, for instance.
In particular, someone who is often taken for granted.
So, like, your office assistant—whether or not you treat your office assistant with respect can say a lot about your morals and your personality, and how this person feels about you can say the same.
Mason and Mrs. Bradford adore each other.
When I wrote Mrs. Bradford I had a combination of people in mind. If anyone remembers Mrs. Landingham from The West Wing and Hildy Burns from His Gal Friday—I wanted a combination of those two characters. Tough, smart, classy as hell, witty, and, when pressed, maternal with an enormous if understated heart.
I wanted the sort of character who could take Mason with his unpredictable blurty-ness and see the brilliant businessman underneath. And then see the good man under that. Mason’s pretty smart—and more than competent at his job. He can create a new division at work, deal with mergers and acquisitions, and generally perform all the tasks of an upper level business man without blinking an eye. Mrs. Bradford doesn’t need to do Mason’s thinking for him, and she doesn’t need to cover for his ineptitude.
What she does need to do is protect him from himself.
Mrs. Bradford makes sure Mason doesn’t get too bored—because God knows what he’ll say. She writes his speeches because the combination of Mason and improve is terrifying. And very tentatively makes sure he’s ready for the potential heartbreak of his relationship with Terry.
Mrs. Bradford has two sons of her own, and those sons have wives—they don’t seem to need her. But her boss, with his brilliant mind and perfectly executed business acumen, was raised by a strong woman and is very receptive to the promptings of another one.
This puzzles her, perhaps—she’s not the earth-mommy, nurture-the-world type.
Maybe it’s Mason’s receptivity, and maybe it’s his eagerness to learn new things. Maybe it’s the fact that he cares about her opinion, whether it’s in business matters or in whether the two of them can bravely venture into the potential fashion disaster that casual Fridays can offer.
Maybe it’s that they simply respect each other and enjoy working together, and enjoyment of each other’s company is sure to follow.
Either way, what results is one of my favorite secondary characters of all time. She accepts no bullshit—but she’s not abrasive. She is the epitome of the 1950’s movie heroine—classy, smart, unable to be intimidated, not even by her blurty boss with the hopelessly tangled love life.
I hope she can find a way to insinuate herself into the next two books–she made a cameo in Winter Ball, but Skipper wasn’t in the state of mind to appreciate her. But I think after Mason’s book, she should get the appreciation she deserves.
He rang off and looked up to see Mrs. Bradford waiting in his doorway.
“Did you have a good weekend, Mrs. Bradford?”
“Can’t complain, sir. The mister and I drove up to the snow.”
Mason blinked. “Did you go skiing?”
She gave a shudder. “Good Lord, no. We sat inside the bed and breakfast, drinking hot chocolate and looking out the window, going, ‘Oh, look. Snow.’ It was thrilling.”
“I imagine so,” he laughed. A part of him wondered if maybe the two of them hadn’t found other “thrilling” things to do while looking at the snow, but the thought of Mrs. Bradford and sex would knock him off his game for maybe the rest of his life.
And he wasn’t doing great as it was.
“How was your weekend, sir?”
Mason sighed. “I played golf,” he said, unable to shake the confusion in his voice. “But that was Saturday. Sunday, my brother and I tried to redecorate one of the guest bedrooms.”
Mason shrugged. “Well, we succeeded, but I went with green and cream, thinking it would be handsome?”
“As it should have been.”
“I picked the wrong….” He shuddered. “Green.”
“How bad could a green be, sir?”
He closed his eyes and shuddered again. “Like an olive barfed on a rotten lime.”
She let out a bark of laughter and her eyes crinkled at the corners. “That is an epic failure, sir. Do you have plans to fix it?”
“Yeah—next weekend, I think.”
“That would probably be a mercy. Are you ready for your first meeting?”
Mason nodded. “Yes, ma’am—but is there any way you could order some takeout Thai food delivered?”
She barely raised an eyebrow. “Of course, sir. Anything in particular?”
“How about two helpings of mild green curry and one of pumpkin curry. You really can’t go wrong.”
“But that’s what you said about green and cream,” she told him in all seriousness.
Mason found a real smile coming up from his toes, when he could have sworn he’d be stuck with that sort of achy, anxious expression he’d been wearing since he woke up.
“Point taken. Make sure it’s a really good Thai place, or Skipper and his boyfriend may be feeding their dog pizza for the next twenty years.”
She laughed again and then sobered. “Mason, does any of this banter have anything to do with the young man you saw last week?”
Mason felt his face heat. “It’s sort of a way not to think about him,” he confessed, feeling raw. “He was my golfing buddy on Saturday.”
Mrs. Bradford nodded as though things were beginning to fall into place now. “Was this a good thing or a bad thing?”
Mason closed his eyes again, and this time, instead of putrid green, he saw the wonder in Terry’s eyes as he peeped at Mason through his hair.
“It was an amazing thing,” he said, but no amount of remembering the amazing could shake the trouble from his voice.
“Understood, sir,” she said.
“I wish I did,” he told her and then nodded in dismissal before he could spend any more of his morning worrying about Terrence Jefferson.
a Winter Ball novel
Mason Hayes’s love life has a long history of losers who don’t see that Mason’s heart is as deep and tender as his mouth is awkward. He wants kindness, he wants love—and he wants someone who thinks sex is as fantastic as he does. When Terry Jefferson first asks him out, Mason thinks it’s a fluke: Mason is too old, too boring, and too blurty to interest someone as young and hot as his friend’s soccer teammate.
The truth is much more painful: Mason and Terry are perfectly compatible, and they totally get each other. But Terry is still living with his toxic, suffocating parent and Mason doesn’t want to be a sugar daddy. Watching Terry struggle to find himself is a long lesson in patience, but Mason needs to trust that the end result will be worth it, because finally, he’s found a man worth sharing his heart with.
Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.
Amy is offering an Ecopy of both Winter Ball & Summer Lessons to one Lucky winner !