My good friend, Miranda Baker, is my guest today at Fierce Romance. She has a new release from Samhain and I'm so glad she stopped by to answer some questions and share an excerpt with us! And don't miss out on a chance at the cool contest prize she's offering!
Q: Miranda – congrats on the release of HOOK UP your latest Come Again story. Tell us about it!
A: Thanks! I’m really excited to get Crystal’s story out into the world! A one-night-stand in college blew her mind – literally. Here’s the blurb:
A blast from the past can be hell on the heart.
“Spend the night with me, Crystal.”
One college hook-up with Ryan Anderson ripped Crystal LaRusso’s emotions wide open and hot-wired her to the world around her. After gaining control of her new abilities, she rebuilt her life and started a business as a sensual psychic. She’s bold, fearless and, admittedly, a little freaky. Black leather, exotic makeup and a reputation for only dating women keeps the world at a necessary distance—distance she can’t maintain when Ryan reappears in her life.
Ryan has spent the last ten years wondering what went wrong between them, and now that she’s back in his life, Crystal has a lot of explaining to do. The chemistry is just as potent as it was ten years ago, so why does she keep running away? One night won’t be enough to satisfy Ryan’s need for her, but it might take the edge off. At the very least, he can ask her why she broke his heart—and this time he’s not leaving without an answer.
This book contains an unforgettable one-night stand, a heroine with a taste for beautiful women, a quest that begins in a sex shop and ends in a sex club, and enough mind-blowing psychic sex to change one lucky man’s life forever.
Hook Up Excerpt:
The door to Come Again opened just as he reached it and a pink-cheeked redhead stepped outside and held the door for him.
“Thanks,” he said, glad to be spared the awkwardness of trying to open the door while holding two hot coffees and a bag of goodies.
He spotted Crystal behind the counter.
“Be right with you,” she called. Her back was turned as she reached to hang a pair of fur-lined handcuffs on the wall behind her. He wasn’t exactly sure what she was wearing, but it was black and made out of leather and something shiny. There were an ungodly number of hooks and laces across the back. It reminded him of a Chinese puzzle box he’d had as a kid. It had kept him busy for hours unhooking latches and bolts to get inside. When he had discovered the trick, it had been fiendishly simple. One button and the lid had popped open like magic. He wondered if Crystal’s complicated getup had a simple catch too. Maybe a hidden zipper?
She turned around and her welcoming smile disappeared. The heavy black lines around her eyes made them look huge and deep, and her lipstick was so dark it looked like it had been applied with a black Sharpie marker. It should have looked garish, but it suited her.
She crossed her arms and the movement plumped her breasts above the neckline of her top. What the hell is that thing? How does it stay up? How does it come off? He itched to get his hands on the closures.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
“Bringing you coffee.” As he set her mocha on the counter, he saw an empty cup with chocolate residue on the bottom. “But I see you’ve had your fix today. My instincts were right on, but I guess I’m a little late.”
“I’d say that about covers our situation.” She slid onto the stool behind the counter and crossed her legs. The band of smooth white skin between the top of her fishnet stocking and her miniscule skirt made him dizzy.
He swallowed hard, forcing his eyes back to her face. “What’s with all the black and leather? I don’t remember you as a goth girl.”
She smiled, tilting her head back to gaze at him through half-shut eyes. The long line of her neck made his mouth water. “People change, Ryan.” The way she said his name sang through him. “I’m more comfortable this way. It fits the whole psychic image, and frees me up to do what I do best.”
“What do you do best?” he asked, even though he already knew—make love like an angel, haunt a man’s dreams, set the standard so high that no other woman would ever measure up.
She shrugged. “I help people. I know what my clients want, what they need. I give them the good advice they would give themselves, if they only knew what to say.”
“How do you do it? I don’t remember you being psychic.”
She laughed. “We spent one night together, Ryan. I didn’t tell you all my secrets. Did you tell me all yours?” Her voice held no more than mild curiosity, but something about her blasé attitude didn’t ring true. Maybe it was the faint sheen of sweat on her forehead and upper lip. The tightness in her jaw. The way her heel twitched against the leg of the stool.
He leaned on the counter. “You tell me.” They were eye to eye, her sitting on the stool, him leaning forward. “Even if I did, I have more secrets now. Better secrets. Want to try to guess them?”
She shook her head. “I can’t read minds. Only emotions.”
She could read his emotions? Did she know he wanted to walk around the counter and stand behind her, brace her body with his and drop his face into the long, pale curve of her neck? From this distance, he could just catch the edge of her spicy perfume. It wasn’t enough. Couldn’t they drop the bull and have this conversation naked? Somewhere comfortable? Where she couldn’t run away for at least a week?
She swayed on the stool. “And I don’t have to guess how you feel right now. I can’t get away from it.” She took a deep breath and blew it out loudly. “Enough with the lust, Ryan. You’re giving me a headache.”
Surprise jerked him upright. “That is certainly not my intention.”
“Yes, I understand that. But we aren’t teenagers anymore.” Her indulgent smile made his hackles rise. She had moved on. She’d made that clear, but he still felt like she owed him an explanation.
“I have some questions for you.” He crossed his arms. He had assumed she was cleverly tapping a niche market with the whole sensual psychic gig. Was it possible she was telling the truth? If so, he had nothing to hide.
She jumped to her feet. “I’m sorry, but I have a client at four-thirty. I don’t have time to chat.”
“Actually, you do.” He pointed at the appointment book on the counter. “I booked your last slot.”
She grabbed the book and flipped it open. “Marvin Gaye?” Her voice held disbelief and fury.
“I couldn’t resist.” He took a sip of his cappuccino, now cool enough to drink.
“Isn’t that what you peddle? Sexual healing? I’ve needed a dose of that for ten years. Bring it on, Crystal. I’m waiting.”
Q What made you write this story? What influenced your ideas/characters?
A: Crystal inspired the entire Come Again series. I walked into a sex shop in Toronto, and there she was. We had a long chat about breastfeeding and silicone-based lubricants, and I walked out of the shop with a bottle of Gun Oil lube and the idea for the Come Again series. In fact, Crystal’s story was originally titled Come Again, but my genius editor loved the title so much, she stole it for the series. Man, my brain almost exploded coming up with another title for Crystal’s story! Although she was the first character to walk into my head, Hook UP took time to develop. It was built from hints and dialogue in the first two books of the series, Bottoms Up and SoloPlay. If sexy, smart-ass, relentless Ryan hadn’t walked on scene in SoloPlay, Crystal probably would have gotten her happy ending with a woman!
Q: Will Bonita’s story be next? Any hints you can give us while we’re waiting?
A: I’m working on Bonita’s story right now. Her childhood sweetheart is a mega-famous Hollywood movie star with a sexy dungeon in her walk-in closet. I got some great ideas for plot and setting while I was visiting my high school BFF in LA last summer, and I can’t wait for my favorite lesbian submissive to get her happy ending!
Q: I understand you may have a new series in the works. What can you tell us about that?
A: Superhero kink! Power Trip, the first book in the Double Helix series, will release in January. The hero is super-charged with electricity, and the heroine is the only woman who can touch him. I’m in love with every character in this book, and I wish I could clone myself to write faster.
Q: How do you fit your writing in around family and your work outside the home?
A: That is the ten-zillion dollar question in my life, especially now when I’m working full-time teaching pastry arts classes at a community college. I’m lucky to have a very understanding husband who supports my writing and also loves to cook and play with the kids. He is my superhero! He brings me coffee and sandwiches and is more than happy to help me brainstorm. *wink*
Q: Do you make 5 year/10 year goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: Oh, Natasha…oh my God. I wish! I have daily goals, weekly goal and an epic to-do list. I dream about getting ahead of life, but it hasn’t happened yet. Since I have four days left of my current class and then a week off before the next one starts, I just want to survive until Christmas. In 5 years, I imagine I’ll be doing exactly what I’m doing now. Writing. Teaching pastry arts. Trying to set a good example for my kids. At least, I hope so! It’s a very good life, and I can’t complain.
Q: Where can we find you on the web?
A: My den of iniquity: http://www.mirandabaker.com
My home away from home: https://www.facebook.com/MirandaBakerfans
Or my favorite hangout: https://twitter.com/Miranda_Baker
Thanks so much for having me on the blog today, Natasha. You are a huge inspiration to me. I think of the writer’s journey as a path with many light posts, and you were holding up the first one. Hook Up is dedicated to you because it was the first story I wrote where you didn’t have to remind me that the emotions are as important as the sex in erotic romance! Woot!
And thank YOU for stopping by Fierce Romance today. Do you have a hero or mentor who inspires you? Who is it? How does s/he challenge you to grow? Leave a comment and I’ll enter your name in a giveaway for a Hook Up Survival Kit. The Hook Up Kit includes:
Orchid temporary tattoo (just like Crystal’s!)
Mini Magic 8-Ball (to check the auspices for a hook up)
E-copy of Bottoms Up, the first book in the Come Again series (because I can’t actually hook you up, but I can offer you a few hours of reading pleasure. If you already have it, you can re-gift it!)
Two STUDDED condoms (Safety first! In Hook Up, Ryan buys condoms at Come Again and discovers there is more to life than ribbed.)
Romance Trading Cards for Bottoms Up and SoloPlay (I love e-books, but I do miss actual book covers!)
Giveaway ends at midnight on 11/11/12! Let’s talk inspiration!