Thanks for having me here today on Reading between the Wines. My New Adult/contemporary romance, The Mason Dixon Line, features probably my favorite character I've ever created, the hero, Mason Dixon. (Yes, that's his real name.) Without further ado, here are the Top Ten things I love about this character:
10. His name. His parents had a perverse sense of humor and didn't mind giving him a name they knew would get him teased. Some of the other things they did to him, like giving him to an aunt to raise when his learning disabilities and behavior problems became too much for them to handle, weren't quite as funny.
9. He's an artist. Specifically, a cartoonist. I love a hero with a creative side.
8. He has a pet chameleon named Barney, after Barney Rubble, the first cartoon character Mason ever learned to draw.
7. His wardrobe consists of a vast collection of indie-rock T-shirts, Weezer and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs among them. Actually, when I needed a physical model for Mason, I used Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer of Weezer, as my model. [Picture attached if you'd like to use it.]
6. He's got relatively little sexual experience and has sworn off casual sex because he has trouble keeping his emotions out of it.
5. He's kind of a snob. He likes to mock Carolyn, my heroine, for her love of shopping, cell phones, and what he sees as her shallow materialism.
4. He's not afraid to say what he thinks, even when it gets him in a lot of trouble. (And if you've read the book, you know what I mean. The Hogs and Chicks scene!)
3. He's not perfect. He struggled through the school system because of his ADHD and dyslexia, and it's given him a chip on his shoulder toward school, which causes him some trouble with Carolyn, who is a teacher's aide.
2. His goofy red Nordic hat with tassles.
1. When he falls for a woman, he falls hard.
Those are my favorite things about Mason. If you read the book, I hope you come to love him as much as I do. Thanks again for having me a Reading between the Wines!
The Mason Dixon Line
by Linda Morris
Kindle Edition, 190 pages
Published February 3rd 2014 by Linda Morris (first published January 30th 2014)
Goodreads | Amazon
Carolyn Hart has excelled at one thing her whole life: looking good. She has the beauty and style to turn heads. But making her own way in the world turns out to be a lot tougher than getting elected homecoming queen. She has no idea what she wants to do with her life, her credit card balance is becoming self-aware, and her love life is DOA. And now her boss at Horizons, a school for kids with special needs, has given her an unwelcome assignment: to work with a cartoonist to create a kids' book as a fundraiser for the school.Former troubled kid Mason Dixon would do anything for the aunt who took him in after his parents gave up on him. But when he offers to illustrate a kids' book as a fundraiser for her pet cause, he winds up taking on way more than he bargained for. The gorgeous teacher's aide he's assigned to work with challenges him at every turn and makes him wonder if there's any line he won't cross for her.
"Got a pen?" Mason asked her.
She rifled through her purse. "Yeah, here. Why?"
"Thought I'd do some drawing. Waiting is boring."
"We've been waiting like thirty seconds."
"And I've been bored for thirty seconds. I'd rather draw."
She watched him stroke his pen across his napkin and frown when the pen's nib tore the paper. "This napkin sucks. Got any paper?"
She dug through her purse again until she found a long receipt. "Sure." She handed it over.
He eyed it. "You blew two hundred and fifty-six bucks at Victoria's Secret?"
"Hey, I gave it to you so you could draw, not criticize. No judging!" Flushing, she grabbed for the receipt but he held it out of her reach, grinning. He was cute when he smiled. Damn him.
"Who said I was judging? That purchase actually sounds worthwhile." His lips curved and she had the oddest sensation he was imagining what she might have bought. "What was it? Two hundred and fifty bucks ought to buy a lot of lingerie."
She scowled. "You'll never see it, so don't worry about it."
"Oh, I don't plan on seeing it. But I can dream, can't I?"
"Is that the Mason Dixon version of flirtation?" She crooked one eyebrow. He didn't plan on seeing it? That was a first. No guy had ever come right out and admitted he had no shot at seeing her scantily clad.
Most men were optimistic that way, even if it was totally unfounded.
He looked down at the receipt and began to doodle, his cheeks reddening. "I wouldn't say I was flirting with you."
Linda Morris is a multipublished writer of contemporary and historical romance. She writes stories with heart, heat, and humor. Her latest book, The Mason Dixon Line, was published in February of 2014. She has two more books coming in 2014 from Swoon Romance and Samhain.When she's not writing, working, or mommying, she's doing yoga, reading, working in her flower garden, or baking delicious things she probably shouldn't eat. She believes that there are two kinds of people: pie people and cake people, and she is definitely one of the former. Her years of Cubs fandom prove she has a soft spot for a lost cause. A beat-up old copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss's Ashes in the Wind that her mom bought for her at a garage sale years ago was her gateway drug into the world of romance novels.
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