Hello, everyone! This is Quinn Anderson, author of the Murmur Inc. series, and I'm here to share some inside information about, Hotline, coming out October 31st. Stay tuned to hear about where I get my ideas, writing comedy, and how I went "undercover" as a sex worker to research my novels. Leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win a $10 Riptide Publishing gift card!
Zack never intended to become a phone sex operator, but with half a college degree and a smart mouth, his options were limited. It helps that he has a knack for thinking on his feet and a willingness to roll with whatever his clients throw at him. Sure, he gets his fair share of creeps and unconventional requests, but it pays the bills, and he’s in no danger of breaking his one rule: never fall for a client.
Until a man named “John” starts calling, and Zack finds himself interested in more than a paycheck. It’s not just that John has money, or that his rumbling baritone drives Zack wild. He’s everything Zack isn’t: educated, poised, and in total control of his life.
A twist of fate brings them face-to-face, and now that they’ve seen each other—and spent an unforgettable night together—they can’t go back to the way things were. A sex worker and a trust fund brat . . . It’s like Romeo and Juliet, but with less stabbing and slightly fewer dick jokes. Hopefully they can pull off a more successful ending.
He heard an answering grunt, but it seemed his client was too far gone to form actual words. He glanced at the clock at the corner of his desk. Eleven minutes and counting. He’d had this one on the phone for longer than most, but he needed to keep him there if he wanted to make any real money.
He could hear the wet sound of lube and a hand moving over flesh. Zack’s cock twitched enviously, but he ignored it. He was working, after all.
“I love the noises you make,” he purred. “You sound so sexy and desperate. What would you do to me if I were there right now? Would you fuck me until I couldn’t stand?”
His client whimpered, and Zack bit back a curse. Shit. He’d been in the biz long enough to recognize that sound. His client was about to come, and there was little Zack could do to stop him. He briefly flirted with the idea of saying something to kill the mood. So, are you and your parents close? Were you bullied in high school? I’ve had this weird rash on my thigh for like a month now . . .
Tempting as it was, he discarded the idea. Not only would the client never call him again, but he’d probably hang up on him too. He mentally sighed and started drawing random symbols on the surface of his desk with an index finger. After a few more well-timed moans and an “Oh, fuck yes, baby,” he heard a startled groan, followed by heavy breathing. A second later, the line went dead.
“Another one comes and goes.” Zack huffed as he placed the phone back in its cradle. Part of him resented the fact that his clients seldom bothered to say good-bye. He understood why, though. If those extra five seconds caused the minute to roll over, they’d have to pay another $1.99. Good-byes just weren’t economical.
Zack turned to the ancient computer that took up the left half of his desk and squinted at the dim screen. The tracking system logged his calls incorrectly more often than not, and their commission rate wasn’t the best. Even working full-time, he couldn’t be blasé about losing a single minute.
Everything seemed to be correct, however, so he typed his initials in the appropriate box and hit Enter.
Zack checked his clock again. It was a quarter past two in the morning, which meant he could go home soon. Not so soon that he couldn’t justify taking a quick break, however. None of his phone lines were blinking, and Colette hadn’t dropped off a new Murmur. No one would notice if he slipped away for a few minutes.
Zack stood up and stretched his arms above his head, rising onto the toes of his red Converse sneakers. His joints popped pleasantly, and the hem of his shirt rode up over his flat stomach. One of the major selling points of becoming a phone sex operator was the dress code, or lack thereof. Since his clients couldn’t see him, it didn’t matter if he showed up in street clothes. His boss certainly didn’t care, so long as he made money. It was Casual Friday all week long.
Zack poked his head out of his cubicle and surveyed the room. More cubicles and desks dotted the open space, but the similarities to a normal office ended there. Murmur Inc. was located in a disused recording studio. An assortment of old mixing consoles, audio workstations, and equalizers were piled haphazardly in the back. At night, the blue walls and olive carpet looked gray beneath the harsh fluorescent lighting. Zack preferred to work the afternoon-to-evening shift. When sunset rolled around, warm light flooded through the windows on the west side of the building, casting the office in gold and shadow. It created the perfect atmosphere for seduction.
Zack stepped out of his cubicle and glanced toward a desk that was two up and one over from his. To his immense pleasure, it was occupied. He strolled up to a woman with multiple facial piercings and shockingly purple hair that had been shaved on one side. She was perched on the edge of a desk identical to Zack’s, and seemed utterly absorbed in the task of filing her neon-green nails.
Zack waited for her to acknowledge him, but she just kept filing. Zack fought a smile and stepped closer. And closer. And closer, until their knees were nearly touching. The corner of her mouth twitched up, and Zack knew he’d won.
“So, Alexa—” he began, but she cut him off.
“Don’t even think about it, Zack.” Her deep voice was at odds with her petite frame. “I’ve given you enough already.”
Zack pressed his palms together in mock supplication. “Please? Pretty please? You know I left my pack at home. Plus, if you come with me, I’ll tell you about this freaky caller I had.”
“We all get freaky callers,” Alexa protested, but she tossed her nail file into the pencil holder on her desk and stood up. “Fine. I’ll do it, but only because you look especially hot today.”
About Quinn Anderson:
Quinn Anderson is an alumna of the University of Dublin in Ireland and has a master’s degree in psychology. She wrote her dissertation on sexuality in popular literature and continues to explore evolving themes in erotica in her professional life.
A nerd extraordinaire, she was raised on an unhealthy diet of video games, anime, pop culture, and comics from infancy. She stays true to her nerd roots in writing and in life and frequently draws inspiration from her many fandoms, which include Sherlock, Harry Potter, Supernatural, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Buffy, Marvel, and more. You will often find her interacting with fellow fans online and offline via conventions and tumblr, and she is happy to talk about anything from nerd life to writing tips. She has attended conventions on three separate continents and now considers herself a career geek. She advises anyone who attends pop culture events in the UK to watch out for Weeping Angels, as they are everywhere.
Her favorite television show is Avatar: the Last Airbender, her favorite film is Tangled, and her favorite book is Ella Enchanted. She can often be spotted at conventions, comic shops, and midnight book releases. If you're at an event, and you see a 6'2'' redhead wandering around with a vague look on her face, that's probably her. Her favorite authors include J.K. Rowling, Gail Carson Levine, Libba Bray, and Tamora Pierce. When she's not writing, she enjoys traveling, cooking, spending too much time on the internet, screwing the rules, finding the Master Sword, guided falling, consulting for the NYPD, guarding the galaxy, boldly going, and catching 'em all.
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To celebrate the release of Hotline, one lucky winner will receive $10 in Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 5, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!