Thanks to YA Bound for hosting this tour. To keep up with the rest of the tour you can check it out HERE.
Now, it’s pretty essential when reading any book to get a pretty good understanding of the main characters, right? Well, the author of Arson and Ashes has compiled some profiles for the characters in his books for just that reason.
Hey, Grandma’s been calling me Arson for so long, it’s become my name. I’ve lived most of my life, after the age of ten, that is, in East Hampton, CT, but it doesn’t really feel like home, even though I know it like the back of my hand. You probably want to know what I look like. I’m a pencil-thin seventeen year-old. Go and picture that. Some kids in my school—the jocks and athletes—they’re built, but I guess that gene just skipped me when God was handing out attributes. I can, however, create and manipulate fire with my thoughts. But it’s not exactly something you can enter talent shows for, you know? I mean, how weird would that be? Besides, can’t always control it. What’s home life like? Well, Mom and Dad aren’t in the picture, at all. They’re dead. At least, my mom is. My dad might as well be. I was raised by my borderline schizophrenic/bipolar grandmother since I was born. She loves me as much as someone like her can. Look, before you go judging me, just know this: I’m the kind of person you’d never ask to be your friend but secretly wish you knew. Oh, and I’m in love with Emery, the coolest chick on earth.
So, first of all, you can stop staring. This mask I’m wearing isn’t gonna give you Hep C or anything, so chill. I wear it because I have to. I have these scars…underneath. I hate the way I look. The mask makes me feel, I don’t know, more human, more…normal. Other than that, I’m just your normal, sassy, Converse-wearing, rocker chick teenager. I like ripped jeans and band t-shirts. I like weird movies, just as long as the hero wins at the end, more or less. I have two dysfunctional, perfect-for-each-other rents, slang for parents. (Try to keep up…). I wish like crap I had a dog. Would’ve made the constant moving over the years a bit more bearable. And I wish Arson and I could go to prom. There, I get one more wish, right? Ugh, forget it.
Subject 217. I think that sheet in your hand says I’m five-eight or something. Just under average height. I don’t have any hair, not on my scalp anyway. I’m sorta scrawny but strong. Don’t let my appearance throw you. Where do I come from? What kind of question is that? I’m not a freakin Martian, man. But what am I? I don’t know. Maybe you should ask The Grey Man. Oh, wait, you can’t, because he’s dead. Bastard! He manipulated me! Look, you wanna know the truth? You sure you’re ready? I was taken from home when I was a teenager. Well, taken isn’t the right word. I chose to go. The Grey Man said I’d be important, that my blood, my code, was unique, that I’d help change the world. The things I was able to do, they weren’t normal. Don’t point the finger. I spent years thinking I was a freak, but I came to realize the reality; these abilities are a gateway to power. Limitless power. I just need to tap into it.
It’s been a few years since I gave my last sermon, but only a few hours since my last drink. My wife, Aimee, doesn’t know I sneak them in now and then, does she? I hope to God she doesn’t. Ahh, whatever. She doesn’t get it. I’ve tried reading books, tried praying, even talked to a shrink once or twice, but nobody gets it. I had a plan. I had purpose, and then it all got ripped away because of such a little, insignificant thing. My church, my life, my passion, taken from me. That stuff doesn’t just come back because you ask it to. I want things to be different. I just want my family back. I want to change. Can good men exist in a world like this?
Joel’s been a bit of a pathetic mess lately. Don’t tell him I told you; he’d probably throw around some piece of Scripture that warns against gossip. Hypocrite. I never should’ve married him. No, that’s not fair. It’s really not. He just gets me so…I didlove him once, you get that, right? It wasn’t always like this. It wasn’t always such a weak façade of a marriage. Go to the hospital, punch in, punch out, come home and fight. If you asked me in high school where I’d be, I would’ve told you. I would’ve said happy. Not this. Never this. Carlos understands. He always understood me, better than Joel ever could. I think we could be happy together. For real.
J-ju-just-just because I have a speech impediment doesn’t m-mean-mean you should underestimate me. I am doctor, a scientist, a gift to the frail race of men. Make no mistake, f-friend, I will become. And I will leave my marks on this world. I’m sick of Saul Hoven, sick of Dr. Carraway and that vapid mongrel Lamont. All of them are just a bunch of dead w-w-w-weight as far as I’m concerned. What makes them so valuable? What? An FBI agent and a washed up war v-vet-veteran? Ugh. No one sees my potential. I am the true source of power behind our work at Salvation Asylum, not Hoven, not anyone. I am tired of be-b-b-being-being treated like a pawn.
What’s good, dawg? Look, you want the deal? Casper’s whack for wantin’ me to go back there, but I will because I think that’s where his girl’s at. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. You prolly ain’t read that ish yet. Oh, who’s Casper? That’s right, you call him Joel. But that dude’s whiter than a ghost, swear it. How’d we meet? Who? Me and Cass? Shoot, what kinda question is that? What are we on some weird reality show or something? I don’t roll that way, homie. Oh, you just want to know the deal. I gotchu. Here’s how it went down. I was chillin with my crew on Boylston. That’s a street name in Boston, my hood. I’m like a bookie, see. We place bets on skating and basketball games, whatever I’m feelin’ that day, ya know? So there I am talkin’ smack to my boy Ricky (he’s about to do this crazy stunt, right, and I know homeboy’s gonna break his ass, but I let him talk me into lettin’ him bet anyway), and up walks Casper. I thought he was a dark blue…a cop. He starts wavin’ around a photo of some scarred girl. Says she’s been missin’ and have we seen her, all Law and Order and junk. I hustle him into doing a stunt, figure I’d at least get a laugh outta this whole mess before I start spillin any info (little does Cass know at the time I wasn’t exactly sure I could help at all). The rest is history, baby. Yeah, guess I’m just your regular Good Samaritan from the hood. Respect that, dawg.
Joel hired me to find his daughter, and that’s what I’m going to do. If it’s one thing I’m good at, it’s finding lost things. Ironic, right, seeing as how I carry around a photograph of someone very close to me, have ever since…forget it. It’s in the past. What I’m concerned about is the future. I will find his daughter. Is it about the money? No. I’m not one of those scheming lunatics. I don’t bleed crying parents dry just for the thrill. In fact, while other private investigators specialize in domestic disappearances like this, I’ve made my career with more commercial, not to sound callus, but bigger picture type stuff. But I’m confident I can help Joel find what he’s looking for. I have to at least try. I wish someone had done the same for me.
Now tell me…which character do you identify the most with? Which character do you think you’d hate? And which one sounds the most interesting?
Sound off below. And thanks so much for following the tour! Check out the Arson series!
AND check out this giveaway:
Grand Prize Includes:
Signed copy of Arson
Signed copy of Ashes
Custom Arson T-Shirt
E-books of Arson and Ashes (Nook or Kindle)
Custom Personalized letter from Estevan Vega telling you how classy you are 😉
$25 Amazon Gift Card