I’m over at ARRAinc today talking about race cars and the Calhoun family.
With Fast Lane due out on July 23rd, Book 3 of Calhoun Customs Garage, Burnout, is with the editors. Mason’s story will be out later in 2019, but I’m so excited to share the cover with you already.
The beauty of having these covers as I’m writing the books, is that the cover fairies have done such an amazing job, I’m totally inspired by them. I pictured Mason as a bad boy, but the extra touches on the cover, like the leather band on the model’s wrist, all add so much more depth to his developing character.
These two models were made for the cover of Burnout. How good is their chemistry? Their broody mood captures the nuances of the story perfectly. Mason is a tortured soul, carrying the guilt of his brother’s death on his shoulders. He not only has to learn to love himself again, but also to cope with the return of his ex, Paige Drew, to Bigfork Montana. He needs to let go of the past, and he starts that journey in book 1, Overdrive.
The wreck of his pickup stands under cover, a reminder of the sins he can’t let go. He feels that if he does, he might lose sight of the memories of his little brother, so he refuses to scrap or fix it. Until his future sister-in-law, Charlie Jackson, draws the graphics that will go on the paintwork when he’s ready to let go of the past. Below you’ll find the graphics that inspired this scene from Overdrive:
Charlie clutched the sketch pad tighter to her chest. Doubts flickered across her beautiful face. Chase wanted to reach out and drag her away from the monster that taunted them with its damaged body and steadfast silence. She chewed her lip and a monster of a different kind rose in him as he noticed Mason’s gaze follow the movement.
“I had an idea for a design come to me last night, so I drew it for you.”
Mason frowned. “Why?” He barked out the word, but she didn’t shrink from it.
“Because I think it might be exactly what you want. I think it might even be what Mitch would have liked.”
“Don’t mess with me, princess.” His growl turned to a snarl. “You didn’t even know my brother.”
“Mason.” Chase gripped Mason’s shoulder and drew him back out of Charlie’s face.
She tipped her stubborn chin up a little higher and turned her sketch pad around for them to see. “This is the design for the hood. The skulls represent races won and lost, the flag means it’s over, but not for long. Only until the next race. And the cowboy hats … well, this is Montana after all.”
Mason’s sharply indrawn breath had Chase wanting to see what she’d done, but he could wait. Tension drained from Mason’s muscles, the danger of his anger past.
Charlie flipped the page. “And this is for the sides. Look at it, Mason. Really look at it.” She pressed the sketch pad into his hands.
He looked, holding the page between his thumb and forefinger, poised to tear it out. He didn’t. Instead he listened to Charlie in a way Chase had never seen Mason listen before.
A little smile spread across her face, signaling her victory. “Your two skulls again, one regenerating, the other staying the same. Chasing each other across the sky, together yet apart, the blue flame that binds them together burning eternal. Mitch will always be with you, Mason.”
The burn of loss lodged in Chase’s throat. He hoped Mason would see exactly what she’d drawn and how perfect it was for the pickup. It might even spur him on to fix it or, at the very least, not continue to destroy it or himself further.
When Mason spoke, his voice was tight. “Do you seriously think showing me a pretty picture will make things right?”
“No, nothing will make what happened right. We can’t undo the past, but we can make amends. We can make things brighter again. Do you think Mitch would want you to stay angry at a chunk of metal? Do you expect the people, standing outside that window watching you, to forgive you when you can’t forgive yourself?”
I wish I had the talent to paint graphics like that 🙂 . I hope you’ll enjoy Mason’s story.